If we went into Exile because of our sins, doesn’t that make things only worse by sending us out to live among the gentile nations?
I’ll explain it to you. There are two kinds of treatments for a person. One is a treatment where they give him every kind of luxury. They tell him you can have freedom to eat whatever you wish, you can go wherever you wish, all types of good times – that’s the freedom they had in Bayis Rishon. In the days of the Bayis Rishon they were completely independent. They drank the best wine. They ate cheilev kelayos, kilyos chitah. They ate the best crops. They enjoyed a beautiful country. It was a great garden, a gan Hashem. They had everything. Before the Churban Bayis Rishon the peiros and the produce, everything was at its optimal best.
Now this is the situation where people can make the most progress. If you’re willing to utilize it properly, there’s no limit to how great you can become mitoch harchavah. In the midst of great happiness you sing to Hashem and you can make progress like nobody else will ever be able to repeat. It’s an excellent opportunity. But when that luxury is misused, if people utilize the happiness of ve’achalta ve’savata and instead of u’veirachta, instead of blessing Hashem more and more without stop, if instead of that it’s pen yifteh levavchem, that’s already different result of ve’achalta ve’savata. Their hearts turn aside and become foolish and they start looking for forbidden pleasures and straying after strange gods and they try to imitate the goyim and they fall in love with gentile ways. So now because they misused the first treatment, a different treatment is given to them. Finally, it’s time for a different treatment and so they’re taken out of the place of opportunity and no longer do they have that freedom to do anything wrong. Now they live in Golus among goyim; they’re hemmed in and for 2000 years the goy kept the Jew walking the derech hayashar.
You hear that? Up until the days of Mendelssohn the goyim kept the Jewish nation walking in the right path. If anything ever wrong was done, it was a sakanah for a Jew. You know a Jew couldn’t get drunk in the Middle Ages? Imagine a Jew got drunk in the Middle Ages and he would stagger out of the ghetto. His life wasn’t worth a nickel. If a Jew would commit adultery in the Middle Ages, the goyim would be happy to murder him. The goyim had no pity on Jews for the smallest crime. If a Jew would start up with a gentile woman, he would lose his head. And therefore they walked a straight path, thanks to persecution. If a Jew tried to move out of the ghetto and live in a gentile street, he was murdered right away. The shkutzim all came together with their dogs and they destroyed him.
Jews, for their own self-preservation, had to live in the ghetto. And so Jews lived among Jews and they had to wear a Jewish garment or some other sign that they’re Jews. They couldn’t mingle with goyim and so the Jewish nation was preserved. It was the Golus that made us so great. Because of the Golus we were able to produce all these heroes, anshei haruach who suffered the persecutions and they learned from that the greatness of keeping away from the umos haolam. They looked down on the goyim. They saw them at close range so now they didn’t envy them. They didn’t emulate their ways at all now because they saw them up close.
And so the Golus was certainly a managed treatment. Of course we would have preferred the first kind of treatment, but when a person becomes sick you can’t say “Eat whatever you want.” Now he has to be limited in his diet in order to save his life.
What happened, however? Hakodosh Boruch Hu, after 2000 years of persecution, He said, “Maybe now I’ll let up a little bit? I’ll give you a test; a little tolerance, a little emancipation, a little freedom. Let’s see how you’ll take it now. Maybe you’re ready to go back to Eretz Yisroel. I’ll give you a little sample.”
So in the days of Mendelssohn a little tolerance began creeping in among the nations of the world. And when the Jews smelled the intoxicating atmosphere of tolerance – although it was only a little bit; it wasn’t much tolerance but they became drunk. They became so inebriated that they began to rush out of the ghetto into the arms of the church. They began to shmad themselves and in a short time Mendelssohn’s own children and his grandchildren became meshumadim.
And so Hakodosh Boruch Hu said, “That’s what’s happening?! Oh, I have to bring back the course of history once more.” And finally the glorious period of emancipation was brought to an end by the very opposite, by Hitler.
Now, in America Jews haven’t learned that lesson yet. They’re going further and further away and getting lost and Hakodosh Boruch Hu won’t keep quiet forever unless Jews in America come to their senses. It’s a very far chance that they ever will however and it’s a very big problem what to do.
But that’s the purpose of Hashem’s management of history. He gives us one test, a test of unlimited happiness in Eretz Yisroel and another test of being hemmed in by the umos haolam and He sees how we’re going to respond.
TAPE # 434 (October 1982)