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Bungalow life vs. Desert life 2

In our ongoing series depicting Bungalow colony life versus the life the Bnei Yisroel faced while trudging through the desert for forty years, one thing has become apparently clear: The Jews faced many enemies throughout their sojourn, battled many nations in wars and had to put up with the scorn, disdain and malevolence purported against them by various groups of people. Whether it was Bilaam trying to curse them on behalf of Balak, Amalek “cooling off” the wonderful world opinion of the Jewish people, or Amon and Moav not allowing them to pass through their lands, Bnei Yisroel faced many tough adversaries. However, I doubt if they ever experienced the “evil eye” or heard the, shall we say, uncouth expressions emanating from the lips of the upstate folk population (many would refer to them as “Hicks”!) as they stood on line in Walmart the first Friday morning of the summer buying thirty inch window shades and lawn chairs! Just about everyone who has gone up to the Catskills for any length of time has had some sort of run-in with these people, and unfortunately, as the summer season is once again upon us, it does not appear that they have changed their opinion of us from last year to this one. You’ve all heard stories of how they look at us and the things they say about us. I even remember a story about how one Sunday morning, while two bungalow colony teams were playing softball on a public field in Monticello, an older lady who lived directly adjacent to the field and was bursting with anger over the fact that a bunch of “Jewboys” were enjoying themselves right near her trailer home, called the cops claiming that one of the players had indecently exposed himself in public, forcing the Police officers who responded to break up the game and send everyone packing! This is all not new.

It would seem that our only remedy for this problem would be to do our best not to antagonize the year-round residents and work on ourselves to create a Kiddush Hashem which would go a long way to change their attitudes. This is where we need to emulate our forefathers as they wandered through the seemingly endless and barren terrain of Midbar Sinai. In what way, you ask? Well consider this: In the second year after being miraculously redeemed from the Land of Egypt, after accepting the Torah and building the Mishkan, the Jewish People were on the precipice of entering the Land of Israel. Hashem had promised them that this land which “flows with milk and honey” was their birthright and they would enjoy all of His Divine goodness and protection. What did the Jews say? They clamored that they need to “scope out” the place first! They wished to send spies into the land to see what they were getting themselves into, literally! Moshe finally relented and sent out a group of the finest men from the entire nation. We all know what happened after that: Not only did they come back with a negative report, their slanderous words and malicious depictions of the land and the people living there caused the entire Nation to have a change of heart as they cried and shouted at Moshe, imploring him to reverse course and even head back to Egypt! Their punishment for this was that they were all sentenced to die in the desert and not even one of them – with the exception of Kalev and Yehoshua Bin Nun – ever made it into the land. Now imagine, knowing that their death was imminent and sentenced to wander through the desert for the next 38 and a half years with no hope and no future in store for them, what would one think would be their reaction to this news? If they were rebelling before, how much more so would their attitudes reflect a general impression of non-compliance to the words of Hashem and his Navi, Moshe Rabbeinu? All these viagra purchase buy parts work in tandem to allow smooth movement and carry out physical activities throughout our life. Thus even if you do check for more info now generic viagra feel like stopping, chances are high that such addiction can occur yet again. Then you price tadalafil tablets get all the healthful substances without any fats and calories. There are a number of ways that you can use both age-old and newer research to find reliable cialis in canada pharmacy source.This medicine is time tested and have shown very good results. Yet, marvels the famed Telzer Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Mordechai Gifter ZT”L, we know that the generation of Jews who went through the desert were known as the “Dor Deah” – an enlightened group of people who achieved tremendous levels of Avodas Hashem. These same people subsisted on the Mann, the Heavenly food that fell in front of each family’s tent. A well of fresh spring water followed them wherever they went and many midrashim recount how the Divine Cloud of Glory protected them, comforted them, cooled them in the blazing heat and warmed them in the bitter cold nights. They even had their clothes laundered in a miraculous way! All this, due to their tremendous level of Mitzvah observance and their unwavering faith in Hashem. As the Navi says, “I remembered for you (Yisroel) the kindness of your youth ….. You followed after me in the desert in an unsown land.” This posuk, more than any other, sums up Hashem’s feeling towards the Bnei Yisroel and it is this merit which allows us to overcome our sins and be judged for life on Rosh Hashanah, year after year. Explains R’ Gifter ZT”L, what the Jewish People in the desert accomplished was more incredible than anything else. Knowing that they were to die, and according to some views in the gemara, they did not even merit a share in the World to Come due to their sins, they nevertheless, continued to walk in the path of Hashem’s Torah and to perform His mitzvos “Lo Al M’nas L’Kabel Prass” – “Not for the sake of reward.” Although they sinned badly and ended up paying a tremendous price for their slander and temporary lapse of emunah in the words of Hashem, they were still a generation of people who experienced G-d in a manner more intimate than any other since, and thus will always retain their reputation as an enlightened generation.

Obviously, we are nowhere near their level of Torah, mitzvos, emunah – everything in fact, but this should not relieve us of our responsibilities towards doing what we can and achieving what we must! When we all leave the comfort of our city homes and move out into the “desert” of the mountains and country life, we can look back at our ancestors with pride and note that all that they did and accomplished, their entire existence was not relegated to a hopeless existence with no future in store for them. They lived their lives so that their children should merit what they could not: A homeland under Divine protection, a status of “Chosen Nation” and a wonder unto the world. For thousands of years, their children, grandchildren and generations upon generations of offspring owe their continuing existence and meritorious judgement before Hashem, to their selfless acts of Torah and mitzvos, and when we say selfless, we mean it in the trueset sense of the word! Let us today, set the same example for our children and grandchildren and in the same way, we can hopefully alleviate any negative impression that may have been formed against us by other people. In this sense, the “bungalow colony” people have one up on the “Desert” people. They had nothing to look forward to, on this world and the next, and yet their desire to fulfill Hashem’s word was unwavering and their accomplishments awe-inspiring. We, who have everything to look forward to, our entire lives and the next world, how much more should we strive to create that all-important Kiddush Hashem, perform the mitzvos in a public display that will yet have all the nations of the world – even the “Catskill Mountain Nation” – proclaiming Hashem as the one true God and the Jewish people are His “Chosen Nation.”


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