The Foundation Stone
Newsletter             July 15, 2009 - 24 Tammuz 5759


  What If?
If Savinien de Cyrano, known to us as Cyrano de Bergerac, can emulate Enoch and Elijah in order to rise to the heavens and travel to the moon, why cannot I do the same?
During this period of The Three Weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av, the time period when the Babylonians and the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the Temples, I want to travel to an alternative universe. I will rise to the heavens - method yet to be determined - and travel to an alternative history, one in which the Children of Israel did not reject the warnings of the prophets, as they did at the time of the destruction of the first Temple.
I will travel to a Jerusalem thirsty for Jeremiah's instructions. The people will surrender to the Babylonians, submit to Nebuchadnezzar, pay tribute and protect the Temple and their lives.
Babylonian soldiers are patrolling the Temple mount, and their presence is an insult to my sense of awe for God's Temple. I see the evil Nebuchadnezzar demanding a tour of the Temple and its riches, and I am incensed. The local Babylonian authorities are demanding that we purchase all Temple supplies from Babylonian merchants. They want to introduce their gods and idols to Jerusalem. I consider any Jews who cooperate to be kapos. Is this really what Jeremiah wanted us to do?
I quickly forget that I am already in an alternative universe and find myself dreaming "What if?" What if we would have not listened to the prophet. I picture myself, and my compatriots in this other world, filled with religious fervor and feeling assured that God would help us if we would only stand up and fight for the glory of His Name?
How strange! I traveled to an alternative universe only to wonder about the one I just left. It seems that no matter where we travel in time, or even across universes, we end up wondering "What if?"
Sorry, Cyrano, I think I'll drop your idea and travel instead to The Foundation Stone where I can at least attempt to understand the realities of this world instead of "What if?" I will meet Jeremiah speaking his first prophecy in Why? I'll go to the Music of Halacha Concert in the Park and listen in to a careful study of the laws of rebuke in Tidying Up The Mess. I will participate in Table Talk - Matot Massei and discuss Purity of Speech and The Price of Observance. I'll make a stop in Medziboz and listen to Bentzion Meltzer's Stories of the Baal Shem Tov and Keter Shem Tov. I will visit the Yeshiva Beit Midrash to study The Torah Connection with Rabbi Yaakov Shlomo Weinberg. I will listen to the Heileger Chana Chaya's Life LessonsRabbi Chaim Goldberger's The Voice of Torah and El-Ad Eliovson's Naaseh V'Neeshmah.  After all that traveling a visit  Heshie Hagibbor's The Healing Insight will help me recover.
After I rest, I will saunter over to The Foundation Stone Blog and reflect on Appreciating The Gift of Israel by Rabbi Sholom Brodt, Some Favorite Quotes, Travels In Exile I and II, My Problem With Globalization, Victory of Life, A Lesson in How To Sing A Blessing, Lamentations, and Reflections on Eichah.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg
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