This author read a commentary by the K’li Yekar on the first posuk of Parsha Vayechi which was leyned this Shabbos.
That first posuk reads; “And Yaakov lived in the land of Mitzrayim for seventeen years…” The K’li Yekar indicates in part that Yaakov lost his Ruach HaKodesh; his ability to give prophesy, and that the Shechinah, Hashem’s presence (if you will) departed from him during his 17 years in Mitzrayim.
The K’li Yekar further indicates that the loss of prophesy and the departure of the Shechinah;
“was caused by the attitude taken by the children of israel in Mitzrayim, who knew how long their exile would last and allowed themselves to become permanent citizens of Mitzrayim. For this reason, there was no space between the final verse of Vayigash and and the initial verse of Vayechi, to imply that since the children of Israel considered themselves permanent residents of Mitzrayim, Yaakov’s spirit was not with him all of the seventeen years that he spent in Mitzrayim.”
It seems that there are lessons for our times in this K’li Yekar, both for Jews in Chutz L’Aretz and Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
For Jews in Chutz L’Aretz, particularly in the US, it seems that being American has supplanted identity as a Jew, even in religious circles such that expressions like “Borough Park Ir HaKodesh” prevail and that aliyah, even with all of the great and holy work of Nefesh b’Nefesh, is still but a relative trickle compared to the number of Jews in Chutz L’Aretz.
But the lesson of this K’li Yekar for we who live in Eretz Yisrael is more stark. The lesson for us is not about living here for we already do. The lesson is about the passive acceptance, by many, perhaps the vast majority of us, of the prevailing so-called “reality” of corruption, graft, protexia, excessive “make-work” bureacratic red-tape and total lack of legal justice in Israel.
In a post on 4 January, 2007 entitled; Israelis, Jews MUST Commit Themselves to Bring Real Change, this author suggested the following;
In order not only to remove Olmert and his crew from power but to change government in Israel as we know it, requires recognition by the Israeli people that excessive bureaucracy, protectzia, influence-peddling, the “Old-Boys” doing favors for each other and the existence of Hamulas will have to end.
In short, the beginning of the end of Olmert and his ilk begins with US. It begins with achievement of position and title based on merit, experience, fairness and worthiness, NOT based on who it is you know — from the position of Prime Minister down to the mortgage applicate at the local bank.
And of course, the Olim Chadashim can help foster and hasten this change by being forceful as we would be in the US and not allowing ourselves to be intimidated.
But until the Jews are willing to commit themselves to the axiomatic reality of change based the attributes of fairness, integrity, merit, experience and worthiness, as well as V’Ahavta, L’Rei’echa, Kamocha — treating our brethren as we ourselves would want to be treated, we will continue to have same effete leadership: Olmert, Peres, Peretz, Livni, Mofaz, Halutz — leaders who mirror who we currently are. MB