Recently former Police Commissioner William Bratton was quoted regarding New York City drug-use policy with the words, “The world has turned upside down.”
This reminds me of an encounter I had with a philosophical highway patrolman. (See “From Sinai to Yerushalayim,” page 345) I had pulled off the road to speak with him, and we had a memorable conversation, the highlight of which were his words to me, “Today, ‘crazy’ is the norm!”
Yes, my friends, “crazy” is the norm.
Someone expressed shock to me recently about the use of surgical procedures to alter the gender in which children are born. We try to undo what Hashem has decreed. This person asserted that such a thing has never existed before in history, but I pointed out that similar insanity existed before the Great Flood which destroyed the world in the time of Noach.
“Noach worked for one hundred and twenty years constructing the Ark. Building this great boat in public was equivalent to announcing that the world was about to be destroyed, but no one paid attention. In fact, they … made fun of [Noach]. But he was right. Nearly all human life was wiped out. [Humanity] had caused its own destruction by rejecting the rules Hashem had given them to live in this world. The situation is repeating itself now.
“Moral corruption … has become the law of the land in many countries which consider themselves civilized. The Torah makes it clear that this spells certain doom. Hashem made human beings as man and woman…. Through their union, life continues on earth. If mankind tries to uproot the order in which Hashem made the world, the result is not life but death. Thus the Death of the World through the Great Flood occurred as a result of moral degradation, as it says, ‘All flesh had perverted its way on the earth.’ (Beraishis 6:12)
“It is taught in a Baraisa: ‘the waters of the Flood were harsh…. Rav Chisda said, they acted corruptly and [therefore] they were punished with boiling water.’ (Sanhedrin 108b) The accepted way of life of the present generation includes a complete rejection of the order by which Hashem created the world. This phenomenon is occurring around the globe. The behavior which directly caused the destruction of the world in the time of Noach is recurring, and we are not willing to acknowledge what is happening.” (From my book, “Hold On: Surviving the Days Before Moshiach”)
It used to be a joke when I was a kid: the New Yorker Magazine would run cartoons of crazy men with beards on street corners holding a sign which read “The End of the World is Coming.” Actually, it wasn’t such a joke, because that was during the Cold War when people were actively afraid of atomic warfare and imminent world destruction. We used to have air raid drills in elementary school during which we would hide under our little desks.
My own uncle moved with his young wife to Northern California because their Long Island home was next to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, which was considered a prime target of Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.
My uncle was killed shortly thereafter in a car crash in California.
My friends, we cannot run away from the abnormal world being created by those who hate Hashem and His Torah. “Stop the world; I want to get off” doesn’t work.
Sodom was obliterated by Hashem, but angels were sent to rescue Lot and his family.
Ancient Egypt was destroyed by the Hand of Hashem, but those who clung to Moshe Rabbeinu were saved and brought to Har Sinai.
The same thing will occur to this impure culture in the end of history, but we can be among those who cling to Hashem in order to save ourselves. As the Novi says, “A sun of righteousness will shine for you who fear My Name, with healing in its rays ….” (Malachi 3:20)
We have to know that Hashem will save us if we hold tight to Him and His Torah.
This week’s parsha (outside Israel) is called Chukas. It discusses Parah Adumah, the remedy which the Torah prescribes for tumah, impurity. The world is swimming in an ocean of tumah. It cannot – and will not – continue to exist in this way. It is only a matter of time before the forces unleashed by those who hate the Master of the World bring about the destruction of the world as we know it.
What comes after that will be beautiful and pure, a world in which "ki mi Tzion taitzai Torah u’d’var Hashem mi Yerushalayim … the Torah will go forth from Tzion and the Word of Hashem from Yerushalayim.” But we have to merit to live in it. We have to be like Noach in the Days of the Flood, the followers of Moshe Rabbeinu in Mitzraim and those who “fear Hashem’s Name” in our own days. That means swimming against the tide, which is exceedingly difficult.
The Torah keeps us afloat. We have the formula for the Parah Adumah. We have to kill and burn the Red Heifer of rebellion against the Master of the Universe. We have to close our eyes and ears to the tumaharound us and strive to dwell in the purity of Torah. It can be done and Hashem assures us that those who cling to His Name will survive to enter the beautiful and perfect world of Moshiach ben Dovid and the Bais Hamikdosh, may we see it soon in our days!
Parah Adumah: Red Heifer