When Tzvi Glatt (hy?d) decided to embark on the project that ultimately led to the publication of Me?Afar Kumi (Rise From The Dust), he had no aspirations of selling many books, nor of becoming famous.
He had a simpler goal: He wanted to wake up the Diaspora to the reality of the biblical commandment to make Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel).
When one reads the new English edition of this book, translated for the first time by Rabbi Moshe D. Lichtman, known also for his translation to English of Eim Habanim Semeichah (written by Rav Teichtel Hy"d while in hiding from the Nazis) , the alarm clock rings loudly and boldly.
Rise From The Dust is a must-have for every Jewish home, although many in the Diaspora may not want to read it, since it outlines quite clearly that there is nowhere to hide from the mitzvah of Aliyah. But not to worry, says Glatt. Even if Diaspora Jews are not interested in reading Rise From The Dust, there is a strategy for overcoming that challenge.
But first, who was Tzvi Glatt?
Little has been written about him, but the following is a short biography of a too short life:
Glatt was born in 5719 (1959) in the United States of America. He immigrated to Israel in 5735 (1975) and studied at the Or Etzion B?nei Akiva Yeshiva from 5736-37 (1976-77). In Elul of 5737, he and his friends established the higher-learning program there, and one year later he came to Jerusalem to study at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav [Kook]. On the
eve of Shabbat Parashat Emor, 5740 (1980), he was killed by [Arab] murderers near Beit Hadassah in Hebron. He was just 21 years old.
What that short bio does not report is that Glatt spent his time at Mercaz HaRav jotting down notes regarding the mitzvah of Aliyah any chance he could. Eventually, he built up enough information to serve as the basis of Rise From The Dust, which ultimately was put together by friends of his from his time in yeshiva.
Rise From The Dust is divided into two, easy-to-navigate sections, the first regarding Hashkafa (philosophy) and the second on Halakha (Jewish Law).
From the introduction, which is entitled ?Neglecting the Land of Israel,? the reader is made aware that there will be no punches pulled by Glatt as he states his case. The first lines, after two quotes from Tanach, are:
?For two thousand years, during the long nights of exile, the Land of Israel remained faithful to us, refusing to embrace any foreign entity. As she sat desolate and lonely, we wandered far away, spreading out to every corner of the earth. The flame of love for the Land of the Deer always burned bright in the hearts of our nation?s spiritual leaders, but over the years, this G-dly flame began to wane in the hearts of the Jewish masses, and even in the hearts of Torah scholars.?
In that single paragraph, Glatt communicates three important messages that will serve as key areas of focus for the book:
1 . The Land of Israel has been waiting for the return of the Jewish people;
2 . For centuries, our spiritual leaders yearned to return as soon as it was possible;
3 . Now that the Land is back in our possession, for some reason our leaders no longer share past yearnings..
The hashkafa section then takes the reader through Jewish history, from the time of Abraham through the establishment of the modern state of Israel, stopping along the way to outline Aliyah-related highlights, such as the Sin of the Spies.
About it, Glatt writes: Making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael is an exceptional challenge. The test is so difficult that it has the power to turn righteous people into wicked ones. And in order to pass the test, one needs extra help, as Moshe said to Yehoshua, ?May G-d save you from the counsel of the Spies? (Sotah 34b).
And the issue of needing extra help becomes Glatt?s driver. In essence, whereas the classic Eim Habanim Semeichah is a call to Diaspora Jews to wake up and return to Eretz Yisrael, Rise From The Dust adds the requirement for those who have already made Aliyah to step forward and help our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora come home.
Review courtesy of IsraelNationalNews.com and written by Goel Jasper.