Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg zt”l: The Need for Tisha B’Av Part Six
To sum it up, we feel in a world of Galus as though there were no Galus. We’re comfortable in America, we’re comfortable in England. It doesn’t feel as though we’re in Diaspora at all. We live among civilized people. We live among people who are good, who see justice and right, and if they murder and slaughter occasionally, well…, but basically they’re good. They kilt the millions of unborn children a year, but basically they’re good.
They start talking about “the quality of life” as a preparation for killing another dozen million of elderly, sick, and hopeless a year. It’s the preparation. When you start talking about “the quality of life,” you know for sure that it’s only a question of how long before they start killing people off. Otherwise you don’t start talking about “the quality of life.” The quality of life means that soon as a person can’t enjoy life the way I do, he’s better off dead. And when a person is better off dead, you have an awful lot of kindhearted people who are prepared to help him get that way. That’s a fact. But they are kindhearted, basically they are seekers of justice in civilization. We can talk their language, we can relate to them, we’re comfortable.
Oh, maybe, maybe in the Pale of settlement in Russia under the horrible, horrible conditions that prevailed then, then we were in Diaspora. But you are making a mistake. Without a Shiva Asar Betamuz, they also didn’t know that they were in a Galus. They were comfortable too. You get comfortable anywhere, you get used to anything. There is no situation that is so terrible that you don’t get used to it, and don’t accept it as being normal. You accept the pogroms of Russia as normal, and the inquisitions of Spain as normal, and you don’t feel you’re in Galus. That’s the way life is.
Because if you couldn’t accept those things as normal we could also never accept living without a Beis Hamikdosh as being normal. It is as horrible to live without a Beis Hamikdosh as to live under an inquisition. They both are the main threats to our lives as Jews, not to our bodies alone. We accept as normal any condition, any circumstances, no matter how impossible. When you live in it, it becomes normal. In a death camp, if you’re there long enough, it becomes normal, and you begin to feel this is the way life is lived. It’s normal, and we come to accept life among the Goyim with their false values and their twisted emotions and their completely vicious sense of justice as being normal. We accept it and we live with it and we live with their sports. We live with their sports, no matter how vicious it is, we live with it.
We live with their definition of the meaning of being a human being—competition. Competition is what life’s all about. And we live with it. And we accept it. And we don’t recognize that we are being “Hitlered,” because living with competition means that the law of the jungle, of survival of the fittest, is the true law of life. You don’t make the connection? That competition means the law of the jungle? That’s what competition means, survival of the fittest. You’ve got to be superior to survive. Oh we won’t let you starve to death, but we’ll let you be a low man if you can’t hold your own. And if I let you be a low man, how long before I let you starve? No. No.
Their values are the values of the jungle. And we live with them, and we accept them, and we feel comfortable with them. And we stop realizing, and we stop being aware, and stop thinking and pointing out to ourselves that we have a whole different way of thinking, we have a whole different way of living, we have a whole different way of doing, we have a whole different way of relating. And we buy from them the concepts of what a good marriage is, and we start thinking of love as being the basis of marriage. And marriage becomes self-fulfillment, and – do your own thing. And selfishness becomes ingrained and becomes a part of the very fabric of our existence, instead of the realization that the purpose of marriage is to learn to be concerned one for the other, to be outgoing, to be out giving. We learn from them, we take from them. Because we don’t feel the Galus, because we feel at home. And if once in a while somebody says – “Well, but you’re not really at home”, we turn it away, we don’t want to hear it, we don’t want to face it, we don’t want to live up to it.