Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is That Really What We Believe?

A couple weeks ago I got the latest copy of the OU's Jewish Action magazine which I found enjoyable and interesting. (Best piece by far: the fiery exchange between Rav Aharon Feldman of Ner Yisroel and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion. Quick piece of advice: Don't get into a debate with R. Aharon L. You will lose.)
One particular article caught my attention - at least enough to blog about. In a witty humor piece about Tefillat Haderech at the end of the magazine, describing our fears of traveling, and the modern relevance of the prayer the author writes,
It occurs to me that it’s time for Moshiach. Maybe even before this flight takes off. I calm myself reflecting that when he finally comes, a lot of people will be thrown out of work: first to go will be that beady-eyed girl with the clipboard at the El Al terminal (“You understend why I esk you ziss questions?”); doctors will head for the nearest kollel; the entire military will retrain in driving tractors. When that big shofar blows, x-ray scanners will be cast aside and we will dance onto the planes taking us to Eretz Yisrael, as baggage handlers cheerfully, gently load our belongings aboard.
I agree that it is time for Moshiach. It's always time - today, right now. But is this really the way that she thinks it's going to be: a big shofar, baggage handlers, and people dancing onto planes? I read those words with a sense of incredulity. Now I know why people don't come. Why come now when you have to get a job, and learn the language, and acclimate. Better to wait for the shofar. It'll be that much easier, and that much better when the shofar finally blows?
Sorry, but I don't think that's how it's going to be. If you want to move to Israel with singing and dancing, the time is right now. I fear that people waiting for the right moment will wait just a little bit too long, and when they're finally ready, the moment will have passed.
And then they'll come - if they can. But there are no guarantees.