Years ago when I was a farmer, I had a Labrador Retriever, the best of the best. He was gentle with my children, who were small at the time, but fierce with intruders. He understood my body language and he'd react accurately on the cue of a mere gesture. In fact, whenever he ran in front of my tractor as was his habit, and we'd reach a crossroads, he'd look over his shoulder to see where I wanted him to go. This experience helped me understand the meaning of the Gemara in Tractate Sotah 49b where it describes the generation of Moshiach. Among other things, all which are materializing before our very eyes, the Gemara says, "The face of the generation is like the face of a dog." Don't be upset, dog lovers, this is not a disparagement of our canine companions. It simply means that before Moshiach comes, there won't be leaders who lead. Like my Labrador Retriever, they'll look over their shoulders and go where they think people want them to go. This is an amazingly accurate description of Israel's and most of the world's leaders today.
One cannot understand current events in Israel today without understanding the above-cited Gemara passage. It shows how the travesty of injustice in the Elor Azariya case and the capitulation of the Israeli Government in the Temple Mount security fiasco are similar symptoms of the same disease, what we can term"Dog-Faced Leadership". How?
Elor Azariya couldn't possibly have received a fair trial when tons of inadmissible and prejudicial material had been published all over the media before the trial began. The military judges all knew that if they ruled contrary to the way the wind blows in the offices of the Minister of Defense, the Commander in Chief and their own commanders, their futures would be doomed. Even in the appeal that was overturned yesterday, Defense Counsel Sheftel tore apart the prosecution showing dozens of inconsistencies in their case. He also showed a film of the terrorist on the Temple Mount who played dead and got up shooting, which the tribunal deemed "inadmissible." As such, Elor Azariya was tried in a populist, politically correct liberal-press-pleasing military court that looked over its shoulder rather than looking in the book of true justice. Like Jimmy the Greek says in Las Vegas, "the game was thrown." If Elijah the Prophet would have testified in Lior's behalf, it wouldn't have helped.
That's not all. At first, the Israeli Prime Minister was adamant that the metal detectors would remain on the Temple Mount after the murder of two Israeli policemen by Muslim terrorists there. But, as soon as he looked over his shoulder, he saw the frowns on Washington's face and capitulated. For a few words of praise from the White House, the Israeli Government compromised the security of Jerusalem and made Israel a laughing stock in the Arab World, destroying any remaining semblance of deterrence or credibility.
All the above makes me happy. Why?
The Gemara in Tractate Makkot 24b tells how after the destruction of our Holy Temple, which we commemorate tonight and tomorrow on Tisha B'Av, the great sages Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria and Rabbi Joshua saw a fox emerge from the Holy of Holies. They rent their garments and cried. Yet, Rebbe Akiva, who accompanied them, laughed. They asked him why he was laughing. He answered, "This is Uriah's prophecy, that Zion shall be plowed into a field - it has been fulfilled. Now I know that Zachariah's prophecy - that Zion will be rebuilt - will be fulfilled also."
By the same token, the Gemara says that in the generation that Moshiach comes, the face of the generation's leaders will be like the face of a dog. If this is happening, then Moshiach must be ever so close. Blessings for an easy fast.