It was 10 pm. I had just left an appointment. I was a few blocks away from the grounds of my old school, where, in the ancient days of my former life, I had met my wife when we were both teenagers. I drove up to the entrance and stared at the buildings. I sat in the car and wept.
“Hodu l’ashem ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo … Give thanks to Hashem, for He is good; His kindness endures forever!” (Psalm 118)
How had we ever managed to escape from this Gehenom, this Gulag?
I had attended this school, together with its feeder elementary school, from the age of three until I was eighteen. It was founded in the late nineteenth century by a German Jew whose father was a product of the “Enlightenment.” An ironic name, because more darkness emanated from that Enlightenment than from a black hole. Like a black hole, the Enlightenment swallowed up the light of countless Jewish souls and consigned them to eternal oblivion.
Such was the school I attended. It was founded as a place where Jews could rationalize running away from their heritage. Almost all my classmates had been sucked into that black hole.
Recently, a Jewish teacher at this school made headlines by various acts in which she mocked and ridiculed Israel and her Jewish brethren. Amazingly, her acts were apparently considered so outrageous that she was actually fired by the school. Her firing produced a tremendous reaction. My own classmates – I see their emails – became incensed.
At what were they incensed?
They were incensed that this teacher was fired! Almost two hundred emails were written within a two-week period by my former friends and schoolmates! These Jews are infuriated at the “neo-McCarthyite assault” on those who dare to criticize “Israel!” Yes, my friends. These Jews are outraged, not at those who hate Israel, but at those who defend Israel!
My friends, we are in deep Golus (Exile). The black hole is trying to pull us in, G-d forbid. The events we study in the Torah are the blueprint for history, right up to the present. We have to know that there is a reason we are in Golus. There is a reason we are in deep trouble and danger.
Let’s look into our own hearts and make sure there is no rebellion there, no desire to cleave to the alien culture around us. The mouth of the black hole is open, gulping, like the mouth of Esav, ready to swallow those who come near.
We have to search and cleanse ourselves, because the Redemption is imminent.
“It was at midnight that Hashem smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt… and there was a great outcry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was no corpse… [Pharaoh] called to Moshe and Aharon … and said, ‘Rise up, go out from my people…’” (Exodus 12:29 ff)
A “great outcry” is coming soon, my friends, after which we will be expelled from the nations among whom we have dwelt for two thousand years. May we cling to Hashem and His
Torah and be among those who sanctify His Name!