Israel’s Disunity and Downfall – A Warning

Don’t get me wrong. I dread the day of our own downfall, if it ever happens. But nevertheless it is beating strongly in me to warn our Jewish world that it may come if we do not even recognize the “symptoms” of our own society that will cause it to come.

An ancient prophecy in the Torah made by Ya’akov and Moshe Rabbinu reveals how in the end of days, which would be our time, a great evil is to befall “the last generation” of Israel. Two Orthodox Jewish writers published a lengthy article five years ago that explains this prophecy and how they deciphered this from the Torah codes. In the article the writers explain what the great evil is and who causes it to come. They also talk about why G-d even allow this great evil to befall Israel, and the Jewry all over the world — it is because of the DISUNITY within Israel and the Jewish people.

You can read the whole article here. But let me share with you that I believe that Joel Gallis and Dr. Robert Wolf, the two Orthodox Jewish writers, were right.  The disunity of Israel and the Jewish people is the number one reason why every evil throughout our Jewish history was allowed to happen.

Think about it. How did 6 million Jews during the Holocaust died in the hands of only a few hundred thousand Nazi soldiers? The Jews greatly outnumbered them but the Nazis were like barking German shepherds herding frightened sheep into slaughter. Is it because they really were as dumb as sheeples (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”)?

If you have seen any WW2 movies about the Holocaust, you will see how groups of Jews would stand in rows for roll call in front of one Nazi officer who would bully them and choose whomever he liked to shoot in the head. One officer against 20, 30 or even 50 Jews. How can one person have victory over 50 Jews? It is because the lack of unity between the 50 Jews. Have you never heard of the saying, “United we stand, divided we fall?”

You can argue with me using psychology, as many of my friends have done in the past, and say, “In oppressed moments like this, nobody would want to work together with others and think of a plan and strategy to fight back and work it out with their inmates. It was always about surviving one day at a time.” Yes. Exactly. Every one of them had such great love for themselves and their ego that it was more important to survive and save oneself rather than laying one’s live for somebody else. Self-nullification for the sake of others was not in their dictionary. Everybody wanted to save their own ass.

This is the ultimate seed of disunity!

In the book “I was Doctor Mengele’s Assistant” by Polish Holocaust survivor Miklos Nyiszli, there was a description of how the Nazi soldiers would find the dead bodies in the gas chamber after they were gassed. The infants were always at the bottom. Then the next layer of bodies would be young children, then women or elderly people, and at the top of all the bodies were the bodies of the strongest in the group. Dr. Mengele’s assistant wrote that in panic, everybody’s survival instinct would immediately kick in. Within the 5 minutes after the gases were dropped into the chambers, people would just savagely climb up and trample on the weaker ones to save their own lives. And all that just for extending their own life for only 2 extra minutes.

Once I read of a teaching of a rabbi who said, “Those who fight to save their life will lose it. But those who give their life to others will receive it back.” He was a very wise rabbi!

Because whether you deny it or not, this spiritual law actually applies in our world. The heroic stories of Holocaust survivors that are made into movies  always show many of their acts of selflessness throughout that dark period of time. It was always these selfless people, and not others, whose lives were eventually spared by G-d. And they almost always survive against all odds.

In the Holocaust movie “Triumph of the Spirit” which was based on a true story, a Jewish boxer was hired to perform in boxing matches in order to entertain SS officers. He had to fight other Jewish boxers but against all odds, he won all 200 matches, despite the lack of food and illnesses he suffered from. The boxer, Salamo Arouch, survived Auschwitz and died in 2009.

Why did G-d actually spared this boxer and not the others that lost the matches against him? There is no Mathematical or Scientific explanation to this. All the reason that I can see is the deeper spiritual background, where the spiritual law of surviving, that the rabbi I mentioned above spoke of. For every match that he won, Arouch asked for a reward: one Auschwitz prisoner to be freed.

This was an amazing act of selflessness and self-nullification. He could have easily asked for more food or a cigarette or something nice for himself. For every act of selflessness, he was offering a hand in the spirit of unity with other prisoners. And for every life he saved, as he was treating them as his own in the spirit of unity, he opened the door even wider for his own survival.

Self-nullification or selflessness is the seed of unity. And until the modern children of Israel understand this and lives by this law, evil will always befall them from one generation to the next… as if it was a test for the one scattered Jewish soul, the nefesh Yehudi. Until each piece of soul does his part to self-nullify themselves and unite with the rest of the nefesh, Holocaust will repeat… and every time probably even worse.

Until my Jewish soul and yours finally get it.

Walking Down the Holocaust Path

I just returned from my trip to Poland, Germany and Holland, arriving there on the day when Poland was commemorating the Warsaw uprising against Nazi in World War II. I grew up in Germany and going to memorial places of the Holocaust was not the first time for me. However, returning to those places as an adult gave this trip a spiritually deeper insight.

The first morning I was in Warsaw, I woke up at dawn and did the Sacharit myself. Thank G-d for Rabbi Eliezer Cortez whom I met in Hong Kong the month before. He equipped me with a small travel Siddur which I never had. You see, in Indonesia, it is hard to find these little things that most Jews in the world have easy access to. So when people give me these things, it gives me great joy! But that morning, I felt I wanted to do the Sacharit differently. For some reason I was led to sing the mourners Kaddish in combination of the Shema. Yes, sing it. With a melody according to a song by a famous Israeli singer, Ezer Yechiel. (I have attached the Youtube video for this song below.)

When I sang it, I started weeping quietly in great grief. I recognized that the grief I felt was not really my own. Somehow I felt that it was Elohim’s. To my surprise I revealed that Elohim was still grieving and crying until today for the 6 million Jews that died in WW2. After almost 70 years since the war was over, the Holocaust was as real to Him as if it was still going on in the present.

To the world the 6 million Jews that died has become a horrible tragedy in the past. When I came to Treblinka to visit the site where the death camp had been, all I saw was memorial stones of the dead in the midst of a vast green pasture. It was quiet and peaceful. There was almost no trace of the horror that occurred decades ago. But in the eyes of Elohim, the horror is still visible there.

Everyone on earth, Jew or not, has their own baggage, suffering from all kinds of pain from the past or even the present. To some, this baggage has turned into an emotional scar that takes a long time to heal. If Elohim was human,  His emotional scar in our generation would be the Holocaust. Zechariah hanavi wrote, “Surely, the one that touches [Israel] touches the apple of His eye.” The Holocaust did not only touch His eyes. It stabbed them. This could not have been only painful but also traumatic! If Elohim really was human, this would be His emotional scar.

We tend to be angry for what has happened to our people in WW2. Even for the last 10 days of my trip on the Holocaust path, I angrily questioned, why He had allowed all this to happen. Many times we often turn our backs against Him because of this and blame Him for all the loss. But has it ever occurred to any of us that maybe… maybe Elohim has been grieving even deeper than we have? He knew all of the 6 million people that died. They were not just a number to Him. He knew each and every one of them personally. It must be hurting Him far more than it hurts us.

We chant the Kaddish when our loved ones die. But when you look at the prayer, the words are all about praising and worshiping Elohim. Would you not think that the most appropriate thing to do in such circumstances would be to lament over the dead?

Nevertheless, I do agree with all my heart that the Kaddish is a good prayer to chant while mourning. Those who are left behind by our loved ones are not the only ones who grieve. Especially when they left in such horrible conditions as in the Holocaust. Elohim grieves too. And singing the Kadish to Him while we too are hurt is a selfless act of love towards Him because we want to comfort Him despite our limitations.

Of course He may not need the comfort. After all, He is G-d! But doing so will not only heal ourselves from the pain, it will also lead our hearts to not turn our backs against Him nor blame Him, because… really… He did not kill the 6 million of our people. Hitler did. And more than we can understand, He grieves more than us, because He loved them all so much more than we could have ever loved them. If we can heartily do that and comfort His grieving heart, we will come in peace with the past. Only then can we bond again with our great big wonderful G-d.

I returned home with the faces of the victims carved deep in my heart and with His grief echoing over and over again in my soul. I will never be the same again and I refuse to be the same.  But in all this, I want to reach out to Elohim and be His friend, so if history should ever repeat (Elohim forbid!), I would remember His and my grief, and work for Him and with Him to either prevent it or give it a different, much better, ending.