Politics make me sick. Since there are bloggers who say what I would say, perhaps even better than I would say it, I allow myself the luxury of blogging about other fun topics, like living with cancer.
In general, if you want to know what I think about politics in Israel, read The Muqata, Treppenwitz, or Joe Settler. They say what needs to be said.
But, every once in a while, I still need to say what I need to say, because nobody else seems to be saying it.
The Sephardic Chief Rabbi (Rishon LeTzion), Shlomo Amar, has declared today to be a public fast day, basically, to pray for rain.
Today's Chief Rabbis are no longer powerful spiritual leaders, who serve as our national moral compass. They are government appointed lackeys, who do not criticize or speak out against the government, even in cases of religious prejudice.
But they will declare a public fast day to pray for rain.
The thing is, as religious leaders, they have an obligation to be our nation's spiritual guides, especially when our nation has lost its way.
Every day, at least twice a day, religious Jews repeat the formula that God gave us, in the second paragraph of the sh'ma (Deuteronomy 11:13-21):
Option A: If we listen, and do the right thing, God will provide the right amount of rain for our land (Israel), and we will reap our harvests of grain, and wine, and oil. And, basically, everything will be good.
Option B: BUT, if we don't listen, and we stray from the path, then God will close the heavens and there will be no rain, and the land will not produce, and we will lose the land that God gave us.
Now, let us take an honest look at what is going on in our country:
Maybe the Rabbis should organize something more effective, that will result in actual changes in Israel, which might just bring us closer to fulfilling our side of the formula, which, if we do it right, will result in God fulfilling His part.
In Zechariah, Chapters 7-8, God is asked if we should continue to fast (on days like Tish'a B'Av and Tzom Gedaliah), after our return from exile. God mocks the question, reproving the people for missing the point: God never commanded the people to fast. Rather, the people instituted the fast days after ignoring God's message, and losing Jerusalem. God did not ask for fast days; rather, God asked the people to be just, compassionate, and merciful. God wanted people to speak the truth, and to refrain from corruption and dishonesty.
The message in Zechariah is clear: What we do is what matters to God, not whether we eat or fast.
If we fast for 100 days, while we destroy Jewish homes with our own hands and allow our fellow Jews to be stoned, shot at, injured, and killed, then we do not deserve rain.
What do you think?
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Gaza and Shabbat
20 hours ago