Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chanukah: A Religious Victory for the Purpose of a Full Jewish Life

By Zvulun Orlev
We have not yet figured out the precise formula for winning an election. The next experiment to determine such a formula will cost our country about two billion Shekels. From the point of view of the voters, a time of elections brings up thoughts about the purpose of having elections. Does our ballot really make any difference? Perhaps the reason that the fraction of eligible voters who take part in elections is constantly decreasing is related to the lack of thinking in this way. The results of our elections establish the character and the behavior of our country in all walks of life in a way that corresponds to the outlook and value systems of the parties which win, just as much as they also depend on the personalities of the elected officials (honesty, morality, remaining true to their own platforms, and so on).
Why Have a Festival?
Today we will share with you some thoughts about the proximity of the coming elections and Chanukah. The following passage in the Talmud is very well-known. "What is Chanukah? When the Greeks entered the Temple they defiled all the oil in the Sanctuary. When the kingdom of the Chashmona'im gained the upper hand and was victorious, they searched and found only one small vial of oil that still had the seal of the High Priest, and it had only enough oil to burn for one day. However, a miracle occurred, and they were able to light the Menorah for eight days. The following year this was established as a holiday, with praise and thanks." [Shabbat 21a]. According to the Talmud, the miracle was that they were able to find a vial of oil that burned for eight days, so that they could renew the holy service in the Temple. However, in the "Al Hanissim" prayer we emphasize the military success, the victory of a few against many. Is there a conflict between these two issues?
At first glance it would seem that the symbols of the holiday emphasize the reason given in the Talmud. The name Chanukah, meaning a dedication, is related to the Altar and not to the military victory. The holiday lasts for eight days, the time of the miracle of the oil, and it is not just one day in which Hallel is recited, as is the case with Purim, Yom Haatzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim. The special Torah sections that are read are the sacrifices brought by the leaders of the tribes for the dedication of the Tabernacle. And the Haftarah on Shabbat of Chanukah discusses the Temple. We may well ask: Why did the sages emphasize the miracle of the oil more than the military victory? As noted, this question is even stronger in view of the text of "Al Hanissim," which describes the victory and mentions the oil only in passing. In short: Does the holiday of Chanukah celebrate the liberation from the yoke of the Greeks or the miracle of the vial of oil?
The Ultimate Objective: The Temple
The Maharal writes: "Specifically this miracle was performed (with a vial of oil and not something else) because the main evil of the Greeks was that they defiled the Sanctuary... And the blessed G-d gave strength to the Chashmona'im, who were priests serving G-d in His Sanctuary, and they were therefore the ones who were victorious and not anybody else." [Insights in the Aggadot of Shabbat]. From his words we can see that the dedication and the loyalty to the objective of the war, which was the purification of the Temple and the restoration of its sanctity, is what gave the Chashmona'im, who were priests, their great strength and led to victory. The reason for the victory was their dedication to the concept of sanctity.
The Meshech Chochma notes that Judaism purposely does not celebrate military victories and only marks the release from the yoke of the Gentiles. This is also evident on Purim, which is celebrated on the day when the Jews rested from the battles and not on the day when the fighting took place. And with respect to Chanukah too, the sages have taught us to pay attention mostly to the Temple and less to the military victories.
The following appears in "Assufat Maarachot" (a collection of essays by Rabbi Chaim Goldvicht, the founder and Rosh Yeshiva of the Hesder Yeshiva in Kerem B'Yavneh): "There is an internal link which connects between the conquest of the Greeks and the dedication of the Temple – between salvation and sanctity, between the military/political aspects and spiritual success." That is: the goal of the victory was not simple political achievements but mainly an attempt to renew the holy service in the Temple. The rededication of the Temple was the main goal of the battles, not merely military victory. The people did not win in war and then rest, they won a battle in order to achieve a higher level of holiness.
The salvation and the sanctity brought back the national independence as a means to establish significant Jewish life. Thus, the success was a miracle that overcame the Greek attempt "to make them forget their Torah and to take then away from the laws of Your Torah" [Al Hanissim]. It is written in the Book of the Maccabees: "And Yehuda said to his brothers: Behold, we have vanquished our enemies, let us rise up to purify the Temple... And they set up the dedication of the Altar for eight days, and they happily offered Olah Sacrifices and brought Shelamim and Todah Sacrifices... And Yehuda and his brothers and the entire community of Yisrael established that the days of the dedication of the Altar shall be celebrated every year as a holiday, for eight days from the twenty-fifth of Kislev, a joyous time."
The sages viewed military victory and political independence as secondary to the rededication of the Altar and the Temple. Victory and independence were seen as a means to achieve the main objective of reinstituting proper Jewish life. This is the message of the sages for all generations. In our generation too we must remember and remind the people and the parties who are running in the elections just what the main goal of the State of Israel is. Election Day is more of a test of the voters than it is a test of the candidates. On this day of reckoning, it is imperative for us to support those whom we can be sure will act out of a conviction that the creation of the State of Israel is a renewal of the full significance of sanctity and Jewish life in our nation and in our land.

MK Moshe Feiglin Withdraws from Likud Leadership Race

Moshe Feiglin has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race for Chairman of Likud and will be focusing all his energy and resources in the race for a top spot on the Likud Knesset list.

I call this plan; “Getting to the Two-yard line”. Allow me to explain.
The Likud court just decided (last night) that primaries for BOTH Chairman of Likud AND the Knesset list of Likud will be held on THE SAME DAY – Dec 31st.
We fought this decision very hard and while we won in the Likud’s regular court (to have them on separate days), the Likud appeals court overturned that ruling and decided – same day.
To make a long story short, we had the option to appeal to the supreme court but decided against it.
Moshe just came out with a statement (see below) that this is the time to strengthen Likud and in the name of party unity, he has withdrawn from the Chairman race.
As stated above, he (we) will be putting all of our resources, time and energy into getting Moshe elected to one of the top 10 spots on the Likud list.
If that happens, Moshe will be in a wonderful position to be a Minister in the next government which gets us closer to our goal of eventually leading the party… and the State of Israel.
We strongly believe that the ruling to hold elections on the same day made it impossible for us to win the Chairman race and we are no longer interested in running a campaign just to “prove a point”.
Our position is clear that we are interested in LEADERSHIP and this plan – the one that will not score a touchdown but will get the ball down to the two-yard line – will put us in a wonderful position to achieve our complete goal in the near future.
Happy Chanukah to one and all!
Shmuel Sackett, International Campaign Manager
The following is the official announcement from Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Moshe Feiglin:
Yesterday, the Likud party court accepted PM Netanyahu’s appeal and ruled to hold the primary election for chairmanship of the Likud together with  the primaries for the Likud’s Knesset roster. This decision changes the rules of the game and would require me to compete in two simultaneous races on two fronts. I will not drag the party to more legal battles so soon before the general election. At such a fateful time, we must unite to keep the Likud as the ruling party. Thus, this time I intend to run only for a slot on the Likud roster for the Knesset. I am convinced that I will receive widespread support. I will run again for leadership of the party and the state in any real future primary.
I have not retreated from my goal of leading the Likud and Israel in any way. It is specifically because my intentions are serious and not just declarative that I am forced, with a heavy heart, to make this tactical move.
Simultaneously, we are going full steam ahead in the battle for the ideological path of the Likud and the entire National Camp. Please re-read my Bar-Ilan speech from Sunday. We are determined to return the entire National Camp to the One State for One Nation paradigm while also presenting an economic and social blueprint that will work. I will continue to promote this paradigm in the Likud. Have no doubt – I am in this race to win and I will continue to run for leadership of the Likud in any impartial elections that will be held.
At this point, I ask for your support in my campaign for a high slot on the Likud Knesset roster, which will enable me to continue my struggle for the authentic Jewish path for Israel.
Click here to donate to my campaign:

Fear of Heaven is the Foundation

By MK Moshe Feiglin

“For I said, there is no fear of G-d in this place, and they will kill me.” (Abraham in Genesis 20:11)
Joseph understood the same thing understood by his great-grandfather, Abraham. Joseph’s brothers have nothing to worry about. They can leave Simon with the stern Egyptian ruler and be sure that no harm will befall him, for he has a G-d: “I fear G-d.”
True fear of G-d is the foundation upon which everything rests. There are people who fear G-d, but are unaware of it. There are people who declare that they have fear of G-d, but in truth, it is non-existent. Only G-d knows what is in our hearts. But ultimately, without fear of G-d, everything collapses. There are no borders to separate between good and bad. There is no permissible and forbidden, no moral coordinates with which to navigate the challenges of life. Reality sinks into confusion, into chaos and disarray – into death.
The greater the potential, the greater the sensitivity. A state of the art fighter jet is much more sensitive and can be ruined much more easily than a simple rifle. Regular countries can survive for long periods of time even if their leadership lacks fear of G-d. But the State of Israel is different. Without fear of G-d, the amount of time it takes for it to lose the legitimacy for its very existence – is very short.
The Nation senses this and is seeking G-d.
With His help, we will soon have leaders who reflect the will of the Nation.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

But It Feels So Right: HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Miketz-Chanuka 5775

Parashat Miketz-Chanuka 5775 
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

But It Feels So Right

There are entities and concepts which are inherently bi-polar (marked by opposite extremes).
A toxic substance when used in proper dosage can restore one to good health, but when abused can cause death.
Compulsion or desire (yeitzer) when directed in the service of HaShem uplifts a person’s soul and brings him to Gan Eden. But when the yeitzer is used to satisfy one’s egoistic gratification, his soul feels downtrodden, debased and degraded, paving the way to Gehennom.
Even Torah possesses this duality. The Gemara (Yuma 72:b) states that for one who abides by the Torah “lishma” (for the proper reason of keeping HaShem’s laws) the Torah is an elixir of life, but for one who practices the Torah “lo lishma” (for the wrong reasons) the Torah is an elixir of death.
Chutzpa is another example of such behavior. When performed properly it becomes a virtuous act of courage and valor, but when used improperly it is no more than brazen audacity, disrespect, impertinence and shameless presumptuousness.
In our parsha, Yosef, the Hebrew slave-convict is brought up from the pit (bor), shaved and dressed appropriately and immediately whisked to the royal court. He is set before the powerful despot Paro and his entourage of priests and royal advisers to perform an act for which there is no room for mistakes – the interpretation of Paro’s dreams, in a very hostile environment.
He is told of the previous interpretations of Paro’s expert advisors – that seven sons will be born to Paro and will all die, and the other suggestion that seven daughters will be born to him and they will all die.
Paro is dissatisfied with these divinations, and looks to the young Hebrew (Ivri) just released from incarceration to satisfy his intuition.
Yosef, in direct conflict with the established advisors, tells Paro and all those present that there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of great famine.
This was the epitome of chutzpa-courage.
Yosef predicted that the great and ever-faithful god of the Nile would disappoint the nation. For seven years the Nile’s flow would not bring down the fertile soil and silt from the rich African hinterland of Lake Victoria. The waters would not overflow their banks to drench the land with life-giving liquid. People would die. Moreover, there were also radical religious and political implications: if the great Nile fails the nation, the conclusion is that the god of the Nile is discontent with the monarchy and priesthood, with the obvious conclusion that they must be replaced.
For Yosef to imply all this is chutzpa-courage at its height. But Yosef’s courage goes even further. His mandate was to interpret dreams, not to give advice. But knowing that running through Paro’s mind was that this interpretation could endanger the monarchy, Yosef immediately followed with a plan whereby the god of the Nile will forsake the nation, but Paro will come to its rescue. Save food from the plentiful years to be sold to the people in the famine years. Paro accepts Yosef’s interpretation and advice, and the rest is history.
The chutzpa-heroism of the Maccabees is unique in history: When a single family of Kohanim from the town of Modi’in declared war upon the Greeks who had conquered the land, and together with other faithful Jews drove the Greeks from the land.
In our time, the same can be said of the two underground groups in pre-state Eretz Yisrael; the Etzel (Irgun Tzva’i Le’umi) and Le’chi (Lochamei Cheirut Yisrael), who succeeded in driving out the brutish-British from the land.
This is the beautiful side of the coin called chutzpa – courage and faith in HaShem.
But there is an ugly side of that coin, where chutzpa is the abandonment of accountability, of dignity, of esteem and reverence.
The titles “Avienu Malkeinu” (our Father, our King) which we attribute to HaShem are not mere platitudes of respect. They imply the way that HaShem relates to Am Yisrael. He is the ultimate King who conceives and legislates the laws that govern us, and also the judge of how we abide by those laws. But HaShem is also our loving devoted Father who understands the foibles and weaknesses of lowly man, and takes them into account when judging us.
The Gemara (Kedushim 40:a) states:
אמר רבי אבהו משום רבי חנינא: נוח לו לאדם שיעבור עבירה בסתר ואל יחלל שם שמים בפרהסיא

R. Avahu said in the name of R. Chanina: It is preferable for a man to commit a sin in seclusion lest he desecrates the holy name in public.

אמר רבי אלעאי הזקן: אם רואה אדם שיצרו מתגבר עליו, ילך למקום שאין מכירין אותו וילבש שחורים ויתכסה שחורים ויעשה כמו שלבו חפץ, ואל יחלל שם שמים בפרהסיא

Rabbi El’a’i the Elder said: If a man feels that his evil compulsions have overtaken his ability to conquer them, let him go to a place where he is not recognized, don black clothing and commit what his heart compels him to do, lest he desecrate the Holy Name in public.
An individual’s sin is between him and His Creator, but when performed in full view of other people, it is the abysmal depth of unadulterated chutzpa.
What makes the people who partake in public “gay parades” and same sex marriages so abominable is not only their sinful, unnatural preferences, it is their spiteful, brazen, audacious attitude of disdain for the values that have been held sacred for thousands of years.
Despite all our other difficulties, the Jewish nation has not had to suffer the long course of civilization’s trek to discover what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is not. We have the luxury of having had our values presented to us on a golden platter at Mount Sinai through the Written and Oral Torah, the words of the prophets and the guidance of our holy rabbis. Beyond the Torah there is nothing certain in life, not even the iron-clad postulates of physics that change dramatically.
Our Torah value system demands that all Jews live in Eretz Yisrael. In addition, the very presence of Jews in chutz la’aretz when the gates of the land are open for us, is nothing less than shameful chillul HaShem – a desecration of the Holy Name. This has been stated clearly by the prophet Yechezkel (chapter 36 verse 16 and on):
ויהי דבר ה’ אלי לאמר:
בן אדם בית ישראל ישבים על אדמתם ויטמאו אותה בדרכם ובעלילותם כטמאת הנדה היתה דרכם לפני:
ואשפך חמתי עליהם על הדם אשר שפכו על הארץ ובגלוליהם טמאוה:
ואפיץ אתם בגוים ויזרו בארצות כדרכם וכעלילותם שפטתים:
ויבוא אל הגוים אשר באו שם ויחללו את שם קדשי באמר להם עם ה’ אלה ומארצו יצאו:
ואחמל על שם קדשי אשר חללוהו בית ישראל בגוים אשר באו שמה:
לכן אמר לבית ישראל כה אמר א-דני ה’ לא למענכם אני עשה בית ישראל כי אם לשם קדשי אשר חללתם בגוים אשר באתם שם:
וקדשתי את שמי הגדול המחלל בגוים אשר חללתם בתוכם וידעו הגוים כי אני ה’ נאם א-דני ה’ בהקדשי בכם לעיניהם:

Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions….

So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols.

I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions.

And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’

I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.

Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.

I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes’.
In verse 20 the prophet says:
And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’
The very presence of a Jew in chutz la’aretz is per se a chillul HaShem. Every shul, yeshiva and shtiebel there cries out “chillul HaShem.”
And all the more so when the continuation of the prophet’s words have come alive:
כה אמר א-דני ה’ ביום טהרי אתכם מכל עונותיכם והושבתי את הערים ונבנו החרבות
והארץ הנשמה תעבד תחת אשר היתה שממה לעיני כל עובר
ואמרו הארץ הלזו הנשמה היתה כגן עדן והערים החרבות והנשמות והנהרסות בצורות ישבו
וידעו הגוים אשר ישארו סביבותיכם כי אני ה’ בניתי הנהרסות נטעתי הנשמה אני ה’ דברתי ועשיתי
כה אמר אדני ה’ עוד זאת אדרש לבית ישראל לעשות להם ארבה אתם כצאן אדם
כצאן קדשים כצאן ירושלם במועדיה כן תהיינה הערים החרבות מלאות צאן אדם וידעו כי אני ה’

“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.

The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.’

They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.’

Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.”
In addition, the Gemara in several places states that a Jew who lives in chutz la’aretzis tantamount to worshipping idolatry.
What arouses my anguish and frustration are the public conventions, meetings, assemblies, convocations and councils of major religious organizations in the US, such as Agudat, Young Israel, Orthodox Union, Chabad etc., held so brazenly in the best and finest hotels for all the gentiles to see how the “chosen” of HaShem have so graciously accepted the dire circumstances of their exile.
What would the prophet Yechezkel say? Would he accept an invitation to be the guest speaker? What would Mattityahu and his five sons, who fought and died in the sanctification of the Holy Name, say?
All those present at these assemblies will utterly reject what I say here, because “it felt so right and good” to be in the presence of the American gedolim and take pleasure in their words of Torah. And something that “feels so right and good” must have the blessings of HaShem.
I recall that once a young man who was a Kohen came to me after the rabbinate rejected his application for marriage to a divorcee. He explained how spiritual their relationship was. They discussed Torah ideas and had a meeting of the minds in all issues. His question was, how can the Torah prohibit such a union when “it feels so right?”
After 66 years since the establishment of Medinat Yisrael, it is obvious that nothing short of a catastrophe will release the Jews from the galut of America.
So my only intention with this message is: if you are going to violate the word and spirit of the Torah, do it without chutzpa. Have your conventions, and arrive at your earth shattering, world changing decisions, but not at luxury hotels for all the gentiles – Christians and Moslems – to see how God’s chosen people turn their backs on the Holy Land.
I can even recommend a place to hold all future conventions. Twenty five years ago, when visiting New York, a friend took me to a minyan for Mincha in Manhattan. We entered into an elevator of a huge skyscraper and he pressed the button for minus 5, which is five stories below ground level.
We emerged from the elevator into very large subterranean basement, filled with Jews preparing to pray to the God of heaven and earth, as in the words of David HaMelech
ממעמקים קראתיך ה’
“From out of the depths I called out to You, HaShem”

Here is the perfect place for conventions. The gentiles will not see you and they will have no recourse to repeat what the Prophet Yechezkel said:
And wherever they went among the nations they profaned My holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave His land.’

If Not for Godly Intervention

If not for Godly intervention Yosef could never have been saved in the pit and if not for God Yosef would certainly have rotted in prison instead of becoming viceroy of Egypt. Surely, if not for Godly intervention, I would not be writing this and you would not be reading it; for our ancestors would all have disappeared long ago together with all the others of the extinct nation called Israel. And if not for God there would not be a place today in the Middle East where Jewish tourists could spend their vacations.
Were there a Sanhedrin today, and if I was a member, I would propose the enactment of a gezayra (amendment) prohibiting Jews in chutz la’aretz from celebrating Chanuka! (The Sanhedrin has the authority to prevent the fulfilling of an affirmative mitzvah through inaction, as in the case of the prohibition on blowing the shofar when Rosh Hashanah falls out on Shabbat). Because in the minds of Jews who prefer not to return to Eretz Yisrael after witnessing God’s miracles here, Chanuka is no more real than the existence of Helen of Troy or the long lost Atlantis. If one does not believe that God can provide him with parnasa (sustenance) and security in Eretz Yisrael, how can he believe that God was able to save Yosef from the pit and or delivered the mighty Greek army into the hands of Yehuda Ha’Maccabee and his small band of warriors?!
Do not be agitated at the suggestion that there could be mitzvot which are required to be kept in Eretz Yisrael but not in Cleveland, Brooklyn, Monsey or Baltimore. Does it really bother anyone there that we in Eretz Yisrael are required to apportion a part of our produce for truma and ma’aser which is not required in the exile? Does any great Torah scholar in chutz la’aretz lose sleep once every seven years in the knowledge that there is no mitzvah to keep Shemitta in L.A.? The halogen lights in the study halls in the great seats of learning outside the Holy Land would continue to burn bright even without the little, half hour, flickering Chanukah candles.
If the contemporary victories of the War of Independence, the Six Day War, and the Yom Kippur war, the six million who have come home and the huge strides made here in Eretz Yisrael in all fields of endeavor, are not real enough to activate one to return to Eretz Yisrael in order to be part of these ongoing miracles, why should a galut Jew believe that something miraculous occurred 2200 years ago?!
My brothers and sisters abroad, have a happy “Festival of Gevura” (heroism) far away from where the action was and is today. And for my brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael, know that all the miracles we are merited to observe and participate in are just the “coming attractions” of what we will soon see in this holy land of Hashem.
Chanuka samai’ach ve’Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5775/2014 Nachman Kahana

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Israeli Elections… Again!

By Shmuel Sackett

When asked how much time there is between elections in Israel, I answer the following; “The Israeli election system works like the warranty on your car. When you purchase a new car they tell you that the warranty is good for 4 years or 40,000 miles – whichever comes first. It’s the same with Israeli elections. Once elected, the new government is good for 4 years or until it falls – whichever comes first!” In the history of Israel, I think only one government actually made it the distance. The rest fell before their time, resulting in early elections – well before the 4 year “expiration date”.
All kidding aside, this makes it almost impossible to run and manage a country. The party-based system is always fragile and prone to one crisis after another. Even if it makes it close to the 4 years, most of that time has been replete with “putting out fires” or appeasing one (or more) of the coalition partners. Simply put; it is not a good nor effective system but as we say in Hebrew; “Zeh Mah Sheh Yesh” (this is what we have) so instead of complaining, we need to get inside that system and make the necessary changes.
My team, led by Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin, has written dozens of articles about changing the system to a much more effective one. The problem is, that right now, those ideas and proposals need to be put aside since – like it or not – we need to run our own campaign to insure that Moshe Feiglin gets re-elected to the Likud Knesset list. Worrying about changing the system at this point and time is like figuring out how to fix your home’s leaky roof, as your home begins to burn in a tragic fire.
Nobody can figure out why Prime Minister Netanyahu called for these early elections. There’s a lot of speculation but nothing concrete. The best answer, however, came from Moshe Feiglin when he looked straight into the tv camera and said that Hashem is the one who decides who rules Israel – and for how long. We may think that these decisions are in our hands but in reality, they are 100% guided, directed and orchestrated by the One above.
Our role in this is clear, yet very difficult. I am, once again, the International Campaign Manager for Moshe Feiglin’s Campaign and at the present time, we are running TWO different campaigns. The first is for the head of the Likud party where we will be challenging Prime Minister Netanyahu for leadership of Likud. MK Danny Dannon, former Deputy Defense Minister (until Netanyahu fired him) will also be running and this three-man-race will be quite exciting. The heavy favorite is of course, Netanyahu, but we never were – nor will ever be – Jewish leaders who act based on polls. We have always tried to do the right thing to explain the concept of authentic, proud and strong Jewish leadership. Our goal is to educate through personal example, not just lectures or articles, and therefore we have always felt the need to show people what we mean by actually running serious campaigns. I believe that it was our “ice-breaking efforts” that cleared the way for Naftoli Bennett to enter politics and begin talking this way as well. Moshe Feiglin always said that while the Religious Zionists in Israel are first in education, army and settlement of the land, they are dead last in leadership of the country. Moshe changed all that when he came out of the box and reached way beyond the comfort zone. Back in November 2000 we entered politics and decided – not to lead the Mizrachi or National Religious Party (associated with the settlers and right wing) – but to swim against the tide and work our way into the Likud party. We weathered many storms and stood strong against fierce opposition and today, Moshe Feiglin is considered by many as the face of Likud’s future leadership. That future may come in this election, or in a different one, but that day is definitely heading our way.
The second campaign we are running – simultaneously – is for the Likud Knesset list. In Israel, on national election day, every citizen 18 and over gets a chance to cast one vote – not for a person – but for a political party. At the rate things are currently going, there will be around 35 political parties to choose from. Each party must state the exact list of names that appear on their election-day slate and they do this in different ways. The Haredi parties have their slate set by their Rabbonim. Other parties, such as the new Moshe Kahlon party, have one person who controls everything and he – and ONLY he – decides who is on that list and in what position. Likud, as well as a few others, actually hold primaries so that all members of that specific party can vote on primary day for the Knesset list. These members decide who will be #2 on the list, who will be #3, who will be #4 and so on… This is the second campaign we are running – the one where we want Moshe Feiglin to be somewhere on the Likud Knesset list in the top ten.
These 2 campaigns; the first one which will determine the head of the party (which is #1 on the list) plus the second one for the “lineup” of the Knesset list will be held in a few weeks. About 100,000 people have the right to vote since they are members of Likud. Just like in the USA when you need to be a member of the Democratic party (for example) to vote in the Democratic primaries in your state, here in Israel you must be a member of Likud (for example) to vote in the Likud primaries. As stated above, just 100,000 have that right and these people will determine who will lead Likud and who will be in the Knesset on behalf of Likud in the coming years.
Exciting, hard-working, long-hour days are headed our way as we campaign across the country with Moshe Feiglin. My comfort in these long days is that our Rabbis have said that every 4 steps taken in the Land of Israel is a mitzvah so by the time this is over, our 40 MILLION steps will serve us well. With Hashem’s help we will reach our goals in the election and bring new leadership to the State of Israel. Please follow our campaign and get involved! Our special campaign website

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ani Yehudi (I am a Jew): A Music Video with MK Moshe Feiglin

MK Moshe Feiglin: Instead of Fighting Arab UN Proposal, Declare Sovereignty

PM Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman need not oppose the Arab UN proposal that calls for the end of the ‘occupation’, said MK Moshe Feiglin on Monday. “Israel must take advantage of the Arab move and clarify to the world that we are not an occupying force. Israel is lawfully in Judea, Samaria, the Arava and the Golan Heights. Instead of fighting the Arab proposal, Israel should agree to it and simultaneously declare immediate sovereignty on all parts of the Land of Israel. This is the only way to stop the international snowball that is gaining momentum toward decisions that will undermine Israeli sovereignty and the safety of Israel’s citizens,” Feiglin concluded.

Jerusalem Post: Apply Sovereignty to West Bank, Feiglin Says in Speech to Open his Leadership Campaign

The Likud should work to apply Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank and offer the Arabs living there money to emigrate, MK Moshe Feiglin said on Sunday, as he opened his campaign to wrest control of the party from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“By no coincidence, this is exactly what is clearly written in the Likud charter: Application of sovereignty in all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands,” Feiglin said.
He spoke at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan in advance of the party’s December 31 threeway leadership race in which MK Danny Danon is also vying to oust Netanyahu.
Feiglin said he chose to launch his campaign at Bar-Ilan because it was there that his party abandoned its principles when, in 2009, Netanyahu spoke of a twostate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognized the rights of Palestinians to a state of their own, albeit a demilitarized one.
“Here, in this place, where Prime Minister Netanyahu made his famous Bar-Ilan speech, we lost our political and diplomatic direction,” Feiglin said.
“Here, in this place, the national camp adopted the seed of destruction that had sprouted during the sixties in the most radical leftist camps and was vehemently rejected by the Labor camp and the sane Left.”
It’s time for the party to return to its ideological roots, Feiglin said. “One state for one nation in one land.”
It’s time to recognize that the 1993 Oslo Accord was a disaster and must be repealed, because it robbed Israel of its legitimacy by accepting that the Palestine Liberation Organization had a just claim to the land, Feiglin said.
“It makes no difference how strong you are, how technological you are, how many fences, cement blocks and Iron Dome batteries you position. It also doesn’t matter how humane you are and how cruel the other side is. What ultimately determines world opinion is very simple: Who is the just side of the story?” Feiglin said.
“For when we lost the sense of the justice of our cause, all that remained was the principle of self-defense,” Feiglin said.
Any diplomatic strategy must restore that sense of justice and legitimacy as well as strengthen the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, Feiglin said.
He proposed a sovereignty plan for a one-state solution, a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
During his entire half-hour speech, he mentioned the PLO but did not otherwise use the word “Palestinians.” He instead referred to those residents of the West Bank as Arabs.
Those Arabs who want to remain in their homes could do so by accepting Israeli sovereignty and acquiring permanent residency status, Feiglin said. Those who want citizenship status must make a public declaration of loyalty to the State of Israel and do national service. Both options, he said, are open only to Palestinians who have a clean record.
But he said the most “fair and attractive” option is to offer Arab residents of the West Bank a monetary compensation package to emigrate. He said he believed that 65 percent of them would take Israel up on the offer. Should the same plan be applied to Gaza, he said, 90% would want to leave.
“The costs of this option are minuscule in comparison to the astronomical sums of money that Israel has invested in the two-state idea,” Feiglin said. Oslo, he said, cost Israel NIS 1 trillion.
Feiglin also dismissed the demographic threat. He said he expected the Jewish majority in Israel to grow by 80% in the next 15 years, due to the combination of three factors: Arab emigration, a high Jewish birth rate and Jewish immigration.
Feiglin was born in 1962 in Haifa. He joined the Likud party in 2000 and became a Knesset member in the January 2013 election. He is often considered to be on the far-right end of the party. The December Likud leadership race will mark the fourth time since 2005 that he has vied to head the party. In the 2012 leadership race he received 23% of the votes.
On Sunday he spoke to an auditorium of over 100 Bar-Ilan University students, who broke into applause at various points in his speech. He told them that restoration of a one-state idea for the Land of Israel was only part of his platform.
As party head, Feiglin said, he would also develop a platform to improve the economic lives of Israeli citizens by lowering housing prices and the cost of living.
“Under my leadership, the Likud will not allow the food and housing cartels to charge prices that are more than double the norm in the world,” Feiglin said.
He promised to dissolve monopolies and create economic competition, rather then lowering the value-added tax.
The reform that occurred in the cellular phone industry must be applied to the housing, retail and financial markets, Feiglin said.
“The state currently holds 93% of Israel’s land reserves. It could lower the price of that land immediately,” said Feiglin, adding that under his leadership it would do so.
“I call upon you to vote for me, to strengthen the Likud and to return our country – with security and prosperity – to its true course and destiny,” Feiglin said.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

MK Moshe Feiglin’s Bar Ilan Speech: My Plan for Israel’s Future


Dear Friends,
It is no coincidence that I have chosen the Bar Ilan University as the venue at which to present my political platform.
In all the officers’ training courses that I completed, one rule was highlighted: If you lose direction while navigating, return to the point at which you lost your way and from there, start again.
Here, in this place, where PM Netanyahu made his famous Bar Ilan speech, we lost our political and diplomatic direction.
Here, in this place, the National Camp accepted the principle of two-states for two peoples, as it were – in the very heart of our Land.
Here, in this place, the National Camp adopted the seed of destruction that had sprouted during the sixties in the most radical leftist camps and was vehemently rejected by the Labor camp and the sane Left.
Thus, we return to here today, to the place at which we lost our direction. We return to the national ideological foundations and to the only diplomatic principle that is just, wise and realistic:
One state for one nation in one Land.
It was former Labor party PM Golda Meir who said, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian nation”. All the heads of the Labor party always pledged that they would never recognize and never hold any type of discussions with the terror organizations that vowed to liberate the Land of Israel from its Jews.
Why not?
What did the Left once understand that even the Right today does not comprehend?
Until the Oslo Accords, the entire nation – Right and Left – understood that there is an inherent difference between border disputes with neighboring Arab countries and the conflict with the PLO.
The wars with our neighbors can be ended with one type of agreement or another.
But with the PLO, the conflict is not territorial. They claim ownership of the entire Land. The PLO is the organization for the liberation of the entire Land of Israel from all the Jews. Thus, recognition of the organization is recognition of the justice of its claim.
What we lost in the Oslo Accords, which were brought to us by the Left and the rationale for which the Right adopted – is much more than parts of our heartland. What we lost is the most powerful weapon of all: We lost the sense of the justice of our cause.
Do you understand?
It makes no difference how strong you are, how technological you are, how many fences, cement blocks and Iron Dome batteries you position. It also doesn’t matter how humane you are and how cruel the other side is. What ultimately determines world opinion is very simple:
Who is the just side of the story?
When we shook hands and hugged the most nefarious murderers, when we released them from their prison cells and gave them the heart of our Land and the holiest places in our country – we lost the basic justice and legitimacy for our existence.
That is how we got to the situation in which they can fire missiles at Tel Aviv and win world approval…
They are convinced of the justice of their cause, while we merely shoot missiles against their missiles.
For when we lost the sense of the justice of our cause, all that remained was the principle of self-defense.
Yes, dear friends.
Today, they shoot at civilian population centers, we do not do so – and nevertheless world opinion always favors them  – simply because the world will always take the side of the just.
As such, the first principle in any diplomatic/security strategy is to restore our lost sense of justice.
Oslo, the unilateral retreats and surrender of territory have brought us nothing but war. They have brought violent, murderous terror upon us – tens of times more than in the past.
They brought long-range missiles upon us.
They brought us the terror tunnel threat.
Today, it is already clear to all: This is not the right direction.
Prudent leadership must be willing to face reality.
Responsible leadership must strive for the only diplomatic solution:
One state for one nation in one Land.
By no coincidence, this is exactly what is clearly written in the Likud charter:
“Application of sovereignty in all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands.”
We must return to the foundations that we have abandoned.
We must act with resolve to apply Israeli sovereignty in all parts of our Homeland.
The abandonment of sovereignty, particularly on the Temple Mount, means the loss of security in Tel Aviv. It invites terror into every home in Israel.
This is our Land – ours alone!
This is our Land in the merit of the promise to our Forefathers, who rest in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron.
This is our Land in the merit of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, bought by our King, David.
This is our Land in the merit of the eternal covenant with our Father in Heaven, nurtured over the millennia.
This is our Land, to which we have been faithful for over 2000 years of exile.
This is our Land, which has been faithful to us and in which no other national entity has risen since we were exiled from it.
This is our Land, also recognized as ours by the nations of the world in the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Conference. No other significant legislation was ever passed.
This is our Land, it is ours alone. And as we have seen time and again, any other statement brings about:
More terror,
More international pressure
and more loss of legitimacy.
The Likud under my leadership will fundamentally rectify the terrible mistake of the Oslo Accords and restore security and peace to Israel’s residents.
How will we apply the one-state principle?
First, we must understand: The Oslo era is over!
Israel has no obligation to unilaterally uphold the agreement, which was abrogated by the Arab side at every opportunity and from every possible perspective.
Israel will declare that the open support of terror and the countless betrayals of the Arab side have depleted the Oslo Accords of all content and that from our point of view, these accords are null and void.
Israel will restore its full control in all the territory abandoned as per the Accords – as it did in the Defensive Shield Operation.
After restoration of its control, Israel will declare its complete sovereignty over the entire area.
The Arab residents of these areas will be able to choose between three options.
But before I elaborate, a few words on demography:
The demographic direction in Israel has unrecognizably changed in the past decade. The only woman in the world who today gives birth to more children than her mother is the Jewish woman in the Land of Israel. Yes, including the Jewish woman in Tel Aviv.
On the other side of the coin, there is steady Arab emigration from our Land.
According to these current trends and with no promotion of emigration, the Jewish majority in the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea will grow to 80% in the next 15 years.
This working assumption takes into account the projected aliyah of just half a million Jews during that time period.  I have no doubt that a much larger aliyah of a million and a half new immigrants will actually take place in the coming decade: From Ukraine, France and the entire world.
In light of these statistics, there is clearly no reason for us to despair and bequeath the land that we received on a silver platter from our parents to our children – as a terror state.
Another vital statistic for understanding Israel’s next necessary diplomatic steps:
According to comprehensive surveys frequently publicized in Israel, approximately 65% of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria are interested in emigration and approximately 90% of the Arabs of Gaza would like to emigrate. They are captive to regimes that do not allow them to actualize their will. Young people in Gaza currently pay thousands of dollars for a place in a rickety boat to the shores of Italy. Sometimes they drown in the open seas.
After liberating the Gazans from the Hamas regime and the youth of Judea and Samaria from the puppet regime of terror, the will be offered one of the following three options:
Option 1: Permanent Resident Status: The condition for receiving this status is a clean record and acceptance of Israeli sovereignty.
Option 2: After a period of time to be determined, receipt of Israeli citizenship. Conditions for citizenship would be public declaration of loyalty to Israel and national service. (It is Israel’s full right to scrupulously examine a public that has fought it for years prior to offering it citizenship).
The third option, which I believe is the most fair and attractive:
Those who do not wish to accept Israeli sovereignty can receive a respectable emigration basket and generous aid to pursue their future elsewhere.  The costs of this option are miniscule in comparison to the astronomical sums of money that Israel has invested in the two-state idea.
What about international pressure?
As above, the world supports the just and resolute.
Israel merited the status of ally and economic and defense aid from the US only after it conquered Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Sinai in the Six Day War.
True, we can anticipate a wave of condemnation, as in the past, when we bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor.
But with resolute Israeli leadership, the world will understand that the rules of the game have changed; that the boss has returned and that we have restored to ourselves the most important weapon of all: belief in the justice of our cause!
Then, the world will once again turn a smiling face to Israel, as it did after the Six Day War.
For this to happen, we must once again believe in ourselves. To do so, we must strengthen Israel’s Jewish identity.
Israel’s Jewish identity is at the foundation of this enterprise. Jewish identity is the basis that gathers and unites Israeli society as a strong society that firmly advocates its rights and stands strong in the face of external pressure and threats.

I will act to strengthen the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.
I will act to fortify Israel’s family values.
I will act to buttress the personal liberty of every Israeli citizen.
Solid identity and true concern for the liberty and prosperity of every citizen will fill the hearts of our youth with a sense of pride and belonging to their Land.
No longer will our young people be enticed to seek their future overseas – because of the high price of chocolate desserts.
But pride and a sense of belonging are not enough. The Likud must once again raise the economic and social flag.
Over the past two years, the Likud has disconnected from the citizens. The social and economic ministries – all of them! – were given to coalition ‘atmosphere’ parties. This is a mistake and fiasco that must not be repeated! We must restore economic leadership to the socially-aware Likud.
I am committed to fundamentally changing the economic situation in Israel.
I am committed to an uncompromising battle against the high cost of living and the unreasonable economic burden that rests on the shoulders of the average citizen.
Under my leadership, the Likud will not allow the food and housing cartels to charge prices that are more than double the norm in the world.
I will act to truly open the markets, to truly dissolve the monopolies and to truly create competition, which will surely lower prices.
The key to rehabilitating Israel’s economy is to create competition in the market – not to lower the Value Added Tax – not on housing and not on food.
The principle that successfully dissolved the monopoly on cellular phones in Israel must be applied in the housing market, the retail market and the financial markets.
The Likud under my leadership will drastically reduce the cost of land for construction. The State currently holds 93% of Israel’s land reserves. It could lower the price of that land immediately.
Under my leadership, the Likud will embark on a gradual process of transferring ownership of the land from the State to the citizens.
The liberation of the central mountain range in Judea and Samaria for accelerated construction will also quickly lower the prices of land and housing in the entire country.
In the retail market, we will open basic food and consumer items to competitive imports with equal conditions.
In the financial market, we will create true competition between the banks. We will ease the procedure for the opening of new banks and we will stop the robbing of our pensions by the insurance companies.
Dear friends,
I am offering you leadership with faith; leadership that is completely different than what we have become accustomed to.
I offer leadership – so lacking in these days – with a true and clear ideological path. I offer leadership of integrity and reliability; leadership that does not change course with every new survey; leadership that means what it says and implements what it promises.
I am convinced that this type of leadership will restore the many mandates that the Likud lost to parties with a better-defined agenda in the National Camp and will transform the Likud into Israel’s undisputed leadership party.
Last week, a survey showed that the Likud under my leadership would win 18 mandates. That is only the beginning.
When the National Camp will understand that it has to whom to turn, those 18 mandates will be no more than the floor from which we will achieve the mandate ceiling that will restore the Likud’s strength as in the past.
The time has come to lead the change; to get the Likud back on the right diplomatic and economic course.
The time has come to bring back our friends and colleagues who have left the Likud for other parties.
I call upon you to vote for the right path for the Likud. For honest and reliable leadership.
I call upon you to vote for me, to strengthen the Likud and to return our country – with security and prosperity – to its true course and destiny.
Thank you.