18 April 2018

Geula and more geula, part 2 ("Israel at 70" by R' Ephraim Sprecher)

4 Iyyar 5778
19th Day of the Omer
Yom haAtzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day, observed and commemorated)

Yes, I took this picture today...building going on behind the flags. CDG

Despite everything — our enemies, our government, ourselves, and more we don't know about — tomorrow night we will arrive, with the help of HQB"H...


A very happy 70th birthday to the State of Israel and to Phil (Pinchas) Chernofsky.
May G-d bless them both to continue with their incredible and miraculous work on behalf of the Jewish People. The Torah states in Parshat Kedoshim, “Rise in honor of the elderly” (Vayikra 19:32). The Mishna in Avot says that when a person reaches the age of 70 he is entitled for people to rise in his honor. Therefore, when Phil enters the room, there is a Mitzvah to rise in his honor! If this is true for an individual who reaches the age of 70, how much more so, for the State of Israel at the age of 70!

Therefore, I believe that we should rise and salute the flag of the State of Israel. The flag of each nation is a symbol of that people’s national pride, identity, and love of their country. Thus, there is an incredible verse in Shir HaShirim ch 2:4 which states, “… and HIS flag upon me is love”. G-d, as it were, unfurls HIS flag on us with endless love. What is G-d’s flag if not the flag of the State of Israel?

Therefore, the Israeli Flag has great Kedusha! Rov Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik is quoted in the book, “Nefesh Harov”, that there is a passage in the Shulchan Aruch that relates to the Kedusha of the flag of the State of Israel.

The Shulchan Aruch in (Y.D. 352) rules “that one may not bury the deceased in expensive shrouds.” Later in Y.D, 364, S.A. rules, “If a Jew is found murdered, he is to be buried as he was found, in his bloody clothes without any shrouds”.

The Shach (a commentary on S.A.) explains the reason for this Halacha is, “since this Jew was murdered, we bury him as he was found, in order to kindle G-d's wrath against the enemy who killed this Jew.” This means that G-d sees how this murdered person was buried without the usual burial shrouds, and arouses G-d's compassion to avenge the spilled Jewish blood.

Rav Soloveitchik applies this idea to the Flag of Israel as well. Towards the end of the Israeli War of Independence, the UN set a specific date by which the Israeli State and the Arab states could seize territories. By that date, any parcel of land captured by Israel, verified by raising the Israeli Flag on that spot, would remain under Israeli control. And any parcel in Arab hands would remain outside the border of the new State of Israel.

During this period of intense fighting a great deal of Jewish blood was spilled in an attempt to raise the Israeli Flag over these parcels, to acquire the land for the new Jewish State.

Many heroic Jewish fighters sacrificed their lives to raise the Israeli (Jewish) Flag. Therefore Rav Soloveitchik felt the Israeli (Jewish) Flag has the Kedusha and status of a murdered Jew's clothing, for the Israeli Flag symbolizes spilled Jewish blood. Thus, when the Israeli Flag flies, it arouses G-d's divine compassion for the Jewish People anywhere it is seen.

Let G-d’s Flag fly forever!