Although one might not see an immediate connection between the three they are all very symbolic of the situation of Jewry today and they all occurred within a few days time of each other. As is well known the Internet Asifa attracted over 40,000 religious Jewish men to New York’s Citi Field last Sunday and filled the stadium to capacity. The event was ostensibly to publicize the dangers of unbridled Internet use to the Jewish soul and the pictures of the crowd emanating from the event were powerful. Who could not be moved by thousands of Jews together in unity? I will not discuss here the whether the event should have happened or should not have happened from the viewpoints of those who supported the event and others that did not. That is not the point. The point is that the event, (I am not sure if the organizers planned this on purpose or not or whether this was the only date that Citi Field was available), was on Yom Yerushalayim.
Yom Yerushalayim, the date when all of Yerushalayim returned to Jewish rule after an absence of 2,000 years: And nary a mention of this fact during the entire Asifa. From all the discussions regarding the propriety of the event I did not see anyone bring up this issue. On the other side of the pond in the Holy Land pictures of the Kotel Plaza filled to overflowing were also powerful. “So said the Lord of Hosts: Old men and women shall yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of old age. And the streets of the city shall be filled, with boys and girls playing in its streets.” (Zechariah 8:4-5). And yet although both events occurred during the same day, and both consisted of religious Jews, they were so oblivious to the other that they could have happened in separate centuries. Therein lays the tragedy. If one is going to have an Asifa with 40,000 religious Jews on Yom Yerushalayim at least acknowledge what day it is. Perhaps say a few psukim of Tehillim, (not Hallel G-d forbid). That is the least one can do. But the thought occurred to me what if Citi Field was transplanted into Eretz Yisrael? What would these 40,000 men and their families and children do to the atmosphere there? What would be their effect on the Israeli scene? It would be tremendous.
Lastly we have Mark Zuckerberg. Poor Mark Zuckerberg. He was neither at the Asifa nor at Yom Yerushalayim. Ironically his Facebook site was the main culprit behind the reason for the Asifa in the first place. He decided to marry his non-Jewish wife the same week as the above events after nine years of being together. His descendants will be exiting the Jewish people in toto. He is a role model. Hundreds of thousands of young Jews see this, see him, and will follow his path. This is the path to assimilation and the ending of the Jewish chain of tradition. A tradition that has outlasted empires and remained intact.
Therein we basically have a very simplistic breakdown of the state of world Jewry today. As demographic studies show every year the percentage of world Jewry that lives in Israel goes up and that of the Diaspora goes down. And within the Diaspora the Orthodox rate is the only one that is rising. The non-Orthodox will eventually become a minority of the Jewish population if all else remains the same. Through dwindling numbers and rampant assimilation they will sadly dissolve into oblivion. This has been the pattern throughout history with one crucial difference today. In our age a Jewish state has arisen. Whereas the Orthodox in the Diaspora may be a lifeboat with the non-orthodox swimming in the sea they are all in the ocean, all susceptible to the dangers at sea. The Jewish state is on land, on dry ground, on terra firma. We should try to get to dry land.