Just A Thought: A Journey On Cruise Control – I am Fine!

By Aaron Joseph. Today I was a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. We were traveling together to NY. I can’t say I was completely comfortable as a passenger. The truth be told, I’m usually in the driver’s seat and firmly in control. Today I was apprehensive with each swerve I deemed unnecessary by the guy behind the steering wheel, or the cruise control set to about 79 miles an hour. Not exactly my style and I couldn’t just get used to it on the hour long drive to Brooklyn.

As the miles rushed by, I spent time in the passenger seat reflecting on the recent enormous events all within a month of each other. There was Hurricane Sandy that so profoundly affected everybody in the Tri-State area. There was an election that was seemingly upended by the hurricane and which did not sit well with so many. There was the war on Eretz Yisroel that had all freedom loving decent people enraged and so utterly concerned for the lives of our Israeli cousins. What was this world coming to?

Then, suddenly, to make matters far worse, there was the U.N. General assembly vote today, giving “Palestine” observer status. This news coming as a tweet just as my driver nearly put my side of his car into a wall barrier just next to the small green sign which says GSP mile marker 119.5. Of course my heart skipped a beat as the fellow said “sorry”, and went back to his one-sided, blue-tooth conversation.

You really don’t have too many options when you are in a car as a passenger on a highway being driven at nearly 80 miles an hour over a bridge, and you’re just not comfortable with the driving skills of the driver. I suppose if desperate you can ask to be let out on the side and try to thumb a ride. Or be let off at a rest stop on the pretense of an urgent call of nature, and hope to find some other Yeshiva guy there, pretend to be his best friend- whether you know him or not, and go the rest of the distance with him.

Or, you can just stick out the ride and hope for the best- perhaps saying Tefilas Haderech over a second time with extra Kavonah. I opted to stick out the ride. The driver was in essence an OK driver- basically, he was just not my style. After all, I was so used to being in the driver seat that I attributed most of my being uncomfortable to the fact that I was simply not the driver in complete control, just a passenger along for the ride. In the back of my mind I had confidence that I would arrive in all good health at my destination, albeit, without knowing exactly how or when. I was fine.

As my thoughts returned to the U.N. vote, and how crazy it all seemed, and how scary perhaps, and how the world seemed to be running adrift- especially with the prediction that if Greenland and Iceland’s Ice all melt, all the real estate I own would be perpetually underwater, I realized how it all fit so well into the pattern of these last few weeks, and, well, into the car ride I was in the midst of taking just then.

Nope- I was not in the driver seat, not of the car, and not of world events, not at all. Unlike my car driver, the driver of the past months events is the safest, surest, sturdiest, most reliable driver possible. True, I would like to believe that at most times I, me, I am in full control of my life’s events, and I control my own destiny- if not the world’s.

Yet there is a supreme being who always asserts his directive, and we, me and you both, are the passengers on HIS world sojourning through the life HE blessed us with- according to HIS plan- be it a hurricane, an election gone “wrong”, missiles, votes or who knows what else. So being, I am perfectly at ease acknowledging the speed HE has set the world’s cruise control at, to be just right for everybody, and I am perfectly confident that I will arrive in all good health at my destination. With such a driver- I don’t need to know how or when, I am completely in his hands.

I am fine.

Just a Thought.

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  1. Things are moving into place quite quickly, actually.

    Think back ten years. Who would have thought that one day America will become an antisemitic country, that Iran would start World War 3, that we would enter a long, severe depression under the same socialist policies that caused the first one, that America wouldn’t be safe anymore, that America would turn against Israel, that the internet would be here to stay….. Who would have ever thought that America would collapse under the leadership of a very anti-American president, who was voted in twice by an American electorate mesmerized by this leader’s cult-like charismatic personality.

    It is now ten years later, and the world has changed.

    Milchemes Gog Umagog is now a very real reality.

    Buckle up for the wild ride, guys!

    (For those who want to get a feel for what the world may look like when the entire world turns against the Jews, you may want to watch Rav Amnon Yitzchak’s videos on Gog Umagog, or the Hidabroot videos on this topic. Their props and visuals are great, and eerily realistic.)

  2. and dont forget that its him the same hashem who states openly in his torah not to hurt another person’f feelings

    lets improve our bin adom l’chavrio we can do it

  3. We all need to buckle up for a rough ride. Many nations of the world are protesting the decisions of their government, but not in the US. European nations are suffering the results of Socialism, but the majority of residents of the US vote in favor of it.

    There is no one to save us if we choose to continue to spend more than the nation can sustain. The President continues to take more power. The Congress is inept at resolving the situation. The Judiciary is setting on the sidelines.

    Are the American people waiting for a dictator? Are the American people waiting for a fiscal disaster? Are the American people begin to demand a fair and balanced press? Are the American people ready to become informed and speak up?

    I do not know the answer to some of these issues. But if we do nothing, the great American empire will fall from within, much the same as other great empires that have proceeded us.

  4. Response to #2:

    The nation is not coming to an end. Our First Amendment religious freedom is stronger than ever and discrimination laws are more protective than in the past. There are no signs of a constitutional crises, a disregard of the Court, or the rule of law. It took the Roman Republic about a century of civil wars and constitutional crises since the assassination of the Gracchi in 123 bce and the establishment of the dictatorial Principate in 27 bce, it will takes us at least some of that amount of time.

    How did socialist policies start the Great Depression? I recall that the Great Depression started with the market crash. Bernard Baruch took his money out beforehand when his shoe-shine boy gave him a stock tip! Everyone, even shoe-shine boys were throwing money into worthless paper. The depression of 1836 was because lack of banking regulation. Jackson destroyed the National Bank which Hamilton originally pushed through Congress to make the dollar stable and strong. The depression of 1892 was because of bimetallism and a run on the Treasury to redeem certificates for gold issued to people that sold the Treasury silver. Indeed, it was what you might call “socialist” policies such as regulation (SEC) and social security (preventing spiraling collapses–when a worker loses his job, he still has money to buy from the baker), that have prevented a subsequent depressions.

    America has never been as strong. Does Iran, Iraq or any of these bar-skin, stone-tool countries have an auto (tank), aircraft, steel, or munitions industries? They cannot even manufacture their own currency but buy the dinar paper from Britain. Compare to Japan and Germany (Toyota, BMWs, Zeros, Panasonic etc.–steel).

    Toqueville wrote in 1836 that the 20th century world powers will be the US and the Russians. But not Iran. I might be blinded by the Cold War mentality, but really–Iran?

    The Russians and Chinese are not likely to go to war with the US because of nuclear deterrence. My UT foreign policy teacher, Robert Divine, claimed that the “Balance of Terror” prevented WWIII. On the other hand, my Politics of the Soviet Union teacher (a Czech diplomat who defected to the great state of Texas) claimed that war is inevitable whenever two great powers compete for world dominance, citing Rome and Carthage, Athens and Sparta, Britain and France. I guess you might add the US and Iran to the list.

    The President of the United States is Anti-American? My Constitutional law teacher at UT, Wallace Mendelson, a talmud of Felix Frankfurter, who was himself a talmud of both Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis use to say, “No man on the Court was corrupt.” Yet he criticized almost all of the opinions of the Laisez Fair Court and the Warren Court. We would read the substantive due process and incorporation cases and they would be contrary to history and the Constitution. But the justices were not corrupt or anti-constituion. It was power that clouded their judgment–they thought they knew best.

  5. Thank you Mr. Lang for bringing some sanity to the comments on this topic. America was, still is, and shall always be the greatest nation in the modern world. Those who cry Socialism do not even know the definition of Socialism. Those who cry Socialism cannot show one valid action of the current administration that equates to the definition of Socialism. Mr. Joseph wrote an interesting piece. The ultra-conservatives thought they were reading something from FOX.

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