Sunday, October 25, 2015

Judaism in America

In the 71 years that I have been on this Earth I have seen such a tremendous change in the way people behave. The most encouraging change is the Baal Teshuvah movement of the Jews. The Baal Teshuvah movement is a return of Jews to Torah Judaism – real Judaism. Most of my readers have no idea how little Yiddishkeit existed in the 40's, 50's and 60's. In the 70', and even more so in the 80's, there was such a spark of Yiddishkeit that it was truly miraculous -- definitely from Hashem. When I traveled around the US with the military, I had trouble finding any observant Jews. Getting into the 90's, I was amazed at how many Torah communities were popping up in places where I didn't even know Jews existed. The number of Synagogues, Yeshivahs, Mikvahs, Kosher restaurants and stores, etc that were being created nationwide was extremely encouraging. I saw without a doubt that Hashem was causing this and that it was a message that we were approaching the time of redemption. Why? Because, Hashem was starting to sort out the truth about who is Jewish, who is not and what all Jews needed to do to survive and thrive for the future.

Everything that is happening in the world today is according to Hashem’s plan to bring about the redemption and the introduction of the Moshiach.  That doesn’t mean that Hashem is causing evil.  Hashem uses the evil to affect His will.  A friend of mine in the states asked me in the 1990’s: why do you think we got the PC, personal computer, at this time in history?  It was time for all Jews to see the Torah codes, have a way of studying Torah, learning with a partner over the net, get exciting blogs like this one (I had to throw that in), etc.  Everything is from Hashem.

Of 3,727 synagogues in the United States, 40 percent are Orthodox, 26 percent Reform and 23 percent Conservative, according to the census (I believe that is the 2001 census, which means the numbers are even better now). The most encouraging numbers are in the great increase in Orthodox synagogues and the great decrease in non-observant places of worship. If you aren’t keeping the 613 commandments, you aren’t practicing Judaism. The Baal Teshuvah movement proved the necessity of being observant. B”H

A big phenomenon that has occurred is in way the people act. In the 1950’s everyone tried to be a WASP, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Blacks tried to act as white as can be, women were as subservient as can be, foreigners hid their birthplace and pretended to be as American as can be and Jews tried to completely assimilate and act as non-Jewish as can be. It was quite the shocker when a Roman Catholic became President of the US in 1960. John F Kennedy broke the mold. How many people then would have believed that today we have a black, Muslim, Communist, non-American for a President?

What caused much of the change? The first answer is, of course, Hashem – preparing the world for now. How did Hashem do this? Through people. The biggest influence was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His civil rights movement changed the US and the world completely. Blacks started to be proud of being black and decided they didn’t have to sit in the back of the bus anymore. Women started to demand equality and changed the workplace, the education system, the government, the judicial system, etc. Foreigners were proud of their homelands and even their language. But the best effect of all was Jews coming out of the closet and being Jewish. It wasn’t perfect and still isn’t, but it is 1,000,000% better than when I was a young lad.

Hashem sent plenty of messages telling us how much more we needed to do and even telling us it was time to come home. The number of Jews who started to make Aliyah was very exciting to the point that there are more Jews in Israel now than in the US (a statistic that changed not too many years ago). The strong messages, that Hashem is sending now, are causing the highest increase of Jews trying to make Aliyah ever. What messages? The crime rate (statistics show the US has the highest crime rate of any county in the world), the financial upheaval (getting much worse), the medical debacle (longevity is going down in the US), the unemployment increase (the government is not telling the truth about how bad it is and getting worse), the lack of freedom, the violations of human rights and dignity, including the great increase in Jew-hatred, the weather, the quality of the environment, etc, etc, etc. This is also the case in the rest of the world. Hashem, on the other hand has made Israel the exact opposite. It is so pleasant to be here, I recommend it for every Jew in the world.

There is another great phenomenon. More people are converting to Judaism than ever, especially in Israel. Hashem is sorting it all out. Those who were Jewish in previous lives are feeling the strong desire to study Torah, live as a Jew and be with the Chosen People. You may point out that there are Jews who are going off the path and becoming more secular. I will judge no one, but Hashem knows everyone. Is it possible that Hashem wanted someone to be observant and he or she got away from Hashem? Absolutely not!!!!! Hashem is aware of the Erev Rav who are not Jews, but have pretended to be only to gain benefits, but are now perhaps losing interest. As I said, Hashem is sorting it out that every Jew will reap the highest benefits of the upcoming redemption. Also, every non-Jew who was Jewish in a previous life, or is a member of one of the lost tribes, will receive the maximum benefit. Also, every evil person will receive exactly what he or she deserves.

It is all good news; Hashem’s plan is perfect. Just make sure you are doing the most for yourself and your loved ones to reach the happy ending as best as possible.


  1. It's so true! It IS so pleasant to live in Israel--even with the current tensions I couldn't imagine living anywhere else! It's as if the holiness is in the very air we breathe, seeped into the stones where we live.

  2. It is such a tremendous privilege to be a Jew. To be created for this... there is nothing better or more rewarding in this world. I wasn't born a Jew. But as a child - like Avraham - when I looked up at the star- filled sky and contemplated the mystery and depth of it I knew there was a Creator. I'm grateful beyond words for this gift Hashem gave me. I have so much to do and it is a pleasure and a struggle.


    1. B'H!!!

      Luiz Felipe - S.P. - Brasil

  3. Hello Rav Menachem!

    As an American and European-born child of Holocaust survivors, I applaud you for providing your readers with a perspective that they don't often get let alone understand. We American Jews are undergoing enormous changes. Many are struggling financially, emotionally and spiritually. We are being tested!

    At present, my own Tikkun is a very difficult one but it has brought me closer to Hashem--and maybe that is the intent. As a child, I was taught to work hard, rely on myself and never upon others--including subconsciously Hashem.

    However, over the last few years, I have gratefully realized and acknowledged all of the many gifts I was given by Hashem. I observe Judaism more sincerely now than I ever have in the past. My renewed interest has led to reading various blogs, listening to Torah parshas on subjects of interest and observing more mitzvoth.

    It is possible that Hashem has allowed secular American Jews to experience the world-- both the good and bad-- in order to realize what is true and what isn't about Judaism and other religions; to be more circumspect and less judgmental. One of my favorite books--The Art of Amazement is by Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld who as a young Jew was an activist hippie who studied other religions and eventually ended up as a Rabbi--writing books to educate and engage other Jews about the spiritual, practical and ethical practices of Judaism.

    Personally, I believe that those who make blanket judgments, don't ask questions or probe for truth are just sheeple---who follow without knowing why and at this incredible juncture in our history, perhaps Hashem wants us to finally know why so we can value Judaism more fully and live better lives. --Diaspora RO

  4. I think you and your readers would get a kick out of this story which is an amazing example of how we must never judge a book by its cover and how Hashem works to help us see the truth.--Diaspora Ro

    "The Rabid Anti-Semite who became a Proud Jew

    Co-founder of Hungary’s far-right, anti-Semitic party discovers he’s Jewish, forcing him to rethink his life and reconnect to his roots..."

  5. There is also a huge increase in the number of people who identify as observant Noahides, and this has been, in no small part, caused by access to the Internet. It was about 10 years ago when Hashem drew me into looking into the 7 laws, and in the past 10 years I have seen a huge increase in the number of people who are becoming observant Noahides. Hashem is drawing those who wish to observe His laws, whether Jew or Noahide, and He is making it easier for us to find each other and to study and learn. My primary teachers, Orthodox Rabbis who have taken on the task to teach Noahides, live 2000 miles from me. I have had teachers from Israel teach Mussar, professors from 500 miles away teach how to counter x-tian missionaries. I live in the middle of the Bible belt and without the Internet I would still be stuck in x-tianity. Now I have access to all the knowledge of the sages and the ability to learn Torah any time I wish. Hashem is guiding the world and touching the lives of the people who are seeking Him.

    1. Watch this video, I believe you will find it interesting.

  6. Rav Menachem,

    Despite Obama, there are many other politicians in the US who are fair-minded and pro-Israel. See attached story and link--Diaspora Ro

    Late last week the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed H.Res. 293, a bipartisan resolution that strongly condemns the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority, including from its acting head, Mahmoud Abbas.

    The resolution was introduced in the spring by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) and Ted Deutch (D-FL-21).

    At that time the resolution was directed at the PA incitement against Israelis which “has continued unabated for many years,” including the “glorification of terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians,” and “the demonization of Jews and Israelis,” and the “denial of Israel’s existence and its demonization as evidenced by the absence of Israel on official maps used in Palestinian Authority institutions,” – this will be discussed further, below – and “false claims that Israel or the Jews are endangering Muslim holy sites, such as the Al-Aqsa mosque/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”