Thursday, October 30, 2014
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:48:00 PM
|By Rabbi Yisrael Rosen|
Dean of the Zomet Institute
"And Malki-Tzedek, King of Shalem, took out bread and wine, and he was a priest of the exalted G-d" [Bereishit 14:18].
New Rabbis after some Complications
After ten or eleven years that the exalted post of the Rabbi of Jerusalem was not filled (since the passing of Rabbi Yitzchak Kulitz and Rabbi Shalom Mashash in 2003), the void has now been filled with the new elections of two candidates, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Rabbi Aryeh Stern. The position of Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem is indeed exalted and honorable, possibly the most prestigious job of its type in the world, and former Chief Rabbis include such legendary luminaries as Rabbi Yisrael Salant and Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, along with a long list of prominent rabbis, both Ashkenazim and Sephardim. The current choice of these two rabbis involved both complex political struggles and intricate legal delays. However, this obstacle course is now behind us, and we can hope to derive pleasure from the activities of the newly-chosen rabbis, and especially from their joint activities on our behalf.
All of the struggles and the manipulated deals, and all the administrative and legal twists and turns, were centered on one question only: Is there a possibility for the religious Zionist movement to find a suitable rabbi who will be accepted by a majority of his colleagues? The question was never whether a candidate was appropriate for the job of rabbi of Jerusalem, but rather where he came from and in which surroundings he developed.
Rejection or Inclusion?
Indeed, I admit that as far as the residents of Jerusalem are concerned it does not matter very much which rabbi was chosen or from which "sector" he comes. In fact, for more than ten years the city continued on its way without a Chief Rabbi, and the sky did not fall. And it seems to me that the religious services of the city continued to operate, for better or for worse, even without a "ruler in the palace/capital." And I also admit that the question of how the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem will behave is nowhere near as important as the key question of the elections themselves: Can Torah Zionism succeed in achieving a prominent position within the rabbinate or not? To put it even more bluntly – as far as I can tell the character of and the role played by the Jerusalem rabbinate would be virtually the same no matter if it would be directed by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, the Chassid, Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the Zionist, or Rabbi Eliyahu Shlezinger, the "Lita'i." They are all well-liked, they are all clear in their statements, they are all pleasant to others, and they all know the same Torah. But now we come to the sharp blade of contention within the Beit Midrash: Will the camp (or camps) of the Chareidim admit that the above statement is true? And here the answer is well known, it is a resounding "NO!"
To our great sorrow, there is a complete lack of symmetry between the Chareidi and the religious Zionist camps with respect to mutual recognition of relevance to Torah and showing respect for prominent rabbis. Based on tradition, the Chareidi Torah giants are recognized and honored by the Torah Zionist camp. Their books are studied in detail, as is clearly seen on the walls of the Batei Midrash, where the books by Chareidi rabbis are displayed prominently. However, on the other side there is open rejection instead of respect, contempt instead of appreciation, and disregard instead of a show of interest.
I am not referring only to books about philosophy and faith or even books about current issues in halacha (such as "Techumin," which deals with Torah, society, and the state, or books that deal with halacha in the army and modern economics). Rather, I am referring to books that are strictly analytical or involve pure halacha. Perhaps the best example of this is the edition of the Talmud "Halacha Berura U'Birur Halacha" edited by Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the newly-elected Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. Evidently the twenty-five tractates of this treatise cannot be found in any of the Chareidi yeshivot, even though it consists purely of collections of all the opinions of the early commentators for each passage in the Talmud. Matters even went so far that one of the Lita'i "mashgichim" commanded that a single volume that was displayed as an advertisement be removed immediately, striking the table and declaring that he would "resign if this book is allowed to enter our holy place," or something similar. And why is this so? It is totally unacceptable for them to acknowledge or to allow a belief that Torah can exist among the "goyim" who studied at Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and its subsidiary yeshivot!
However, in the end truth will prevail! There is valid Torah in the Torah Zionist camp, there are yeshivot and kollelim, there are rabbinical judges and authors, there are philosophers and educators, there are people with outstanding personal traits and wise men who can take part in halachic disputes ("baalei terissin" – see Berachot 27b).
And... now there is a Chief Rabbi in Jerusalem! I have a rabbi, my brother!
* * * * * *
The first time Jerusalem is mentioned in the Torah is in this week's Torah portion, in the verse quoted above, where it is called Shalem. There is also a hint of the rabbis of Jerusalem in the verse, with the name Malki-Tzedek. "Who are the kings (melech)? They are the Torah scholars." (See Gittin 62a, commenting on the verse, "Kings will rule over me" [Mishlei 8:15].)
In the Midrash, the sages note that Malki-Tzedek was Shem, the son of Noach (Rashi). He was the innovator of the concept of studying in a yeshiva, and a veteran Rosh Yeshiva, as in the phrase, "The Beit Midrash of Shem and Eiver" (see also Rashi, 21:8 – "The prominent scholars of the generation were Shem and Eiver"). The veteran scholar of the generation receives Avraham, the Ivri, with a blessing and presents him with bread and wine, which is a hint of the Torah – Halacha is the bread, and Aggada (thought and an approach of belief) is referred to as wine.
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:43:00 PM
By Rob Muchnick
In the wake of the Obama administration’s undiplomatic name-calling of Bibi and also yesterday’s assassination attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick’s life, I think that we need to take a look at ourselves and determine whether or not we and our leaders are all ‘chickensh*t’, apathetic, or something worse.
Rabbi Glick, one of the most prominent fighters for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, was shot yesterday by an Arab who was recently released from Israeli prison. He was most certainly targeted for his activism on behalf of the holiest site in Judaism, as every Israeli government since G-d liberated the Mount for us in 1967 has denied Jewish rights on the spot where our Holy Temples stood.
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:36:00 PM
Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Thursday instructed Knesset guard commander Brig. Gen. Yosef Griff to deploy a security attachment to accompany MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud), in a unique security detail unlike the routine attachments given to MKs.
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:28:00 PM
In this short English interview, MK Moshe Feiglin explains how the Temple Mount impacts the world.
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:25:00 PM
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:19:00 PM
MK Moshe Feiglin: Status Quo on Temple Mt. Murderous (Recorded 3 days before the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick)
(English subtitles available)
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/30/2014 09:15:00 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
MK Moshe Feiglin calls to open Temple Mount for Jewish prayer following shooting of leading activist.By Yishai Karov
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/29/2014 07:45:00 PM
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/29/2014 07:39:00 PM
After Tuesday’s scathing personal attack by a top US official against Prime Minister Netanyahu, MK Moshe Feiglin issued the following statement: "I fundamentally disagree with PM Netanyahu on many issues – including those issues over which the US has criticized the PM in the past. But if America does not officially distance itself from yesterday’s personal attack against Prime Minister Netanyahu (who represents all the citizens of Israel) we can conclude that under Obama, the US has deteriorated to the cultural and essential level of a third world country. Its future is already behind it."
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/29/2014 07:38:00 PM
Monday, October 27, 2014
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/27/2014 04:47:00 PM
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/27/2014 04:45:00 PM
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/27/2014 04:44:00 PM
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
An Arab colloquialism, frequently employed by Arab policy-makers in order to mislead foreign movers and shakers (including American Secretaries of State) suggests that "on words one does not pay customs."
For instance, on October 16, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry stated: "I was just in Cairo, where a terrific $5.4bn was raised in order to help rebuild Gaza." In fact, $5.4bn was not raised; it was verbally pledged against the backdrop of a litany of unfulfilled Arab pledges to help the PLO, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
While Secretary Kerry assumes that Arab leaders walk-the-talk when it comes to the Palestinian issue, a July, 2014 study by the Congressional Research Service states: "Routinely, [Arabs] make generous pledges of aid to the Palestinians, but at times fulfill them only in part and after significant delay…. According to Reuters, 'a high of $1.8bn in foreign aid from Arab countries in 2008 plunged to $600mn in 2012, with Gulf countries scaling back their giving…." The study indicates that since 2008, the US foreign aid to the Palestinians has averaged $400mn annually, more than the oil-rich Saudi Arabia ($260mn in 2013, $100mn in 2012 and $180mn in 2011), the United Arab Emirates ($50mn in 2013) and Kuwait ($50mn in 2013).
The Qatari Al Jazeera reported that "Palestinian officials are skeptical of Arab aid pledges, as few Arab countries carried through on promises last year…. "
On December 26, 2012, Nabil Elaraby, the Secretary General of the Arab League, divulged that "Arab countries pledged a $100mn monthly safety net to the Palestinian Authority at the March, 2012 Baghdad Arab Summit, but none of it has been realized yet."
According to the official site of the US Department of State, Secretary Kerry stated at the October 16, 2014 Department of State reception in honor of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday: "As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, there was not an [Arab] leader I met who did not raise with me, spontaneously, the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt they had to respond to. And, people need to understand the connection of that…."
Professor Efraim Karsh, the founding Head of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Center at King's College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, highlights - in a July 2014 publication, "The Myth of Palestinian Centrality" - the wide gap between the lavish Arab talk and the scant Arab walk when it comes to the Palestinian issue.
While Secretary Kerry assumes that the Palestinian issue is a crown jewel of Arab policy making and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Prof. Karsh writes: "pan-Arabism does not consider the Palestinians a distinct people deserving statehood, but rather an integral part of a wider Arab framework…. In the words of Hamas leader, Mahmud Zahar, 'In the past there was no independent Palestinian state….' The 1948 pan-Arab invasion of Israel was more of a classic imperialist scramble for territory, than a fight for Palestinian national rights. The first Secretary General of the Arab league, Abdel Rahman Azzam, admitted that Transjordan 'was to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine; the Egyptians would get the Negev; the Galilee would go to Syria….'"
In fact, the 1948/9 war was not fought by Arab countries because of – or for – the Palestinians. Therefore, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Syria occupied Judea, Samaria, Gaza and parts of the Golan Heights, but did not transfer it to the Palestinians. Moreover, none of the Arab wars against Israel (1948/9, 1956, 1967, 1069/70, 1973) was conducted on behalf of Palestinians. And, Arabs never flexed any military muscle during Israel's wars against Palestinian terrorism (1982/3, 1988-91, 2000-2003, February 2008, December 2008, March 2012, October 2012 and July 2014). Arabs have always showered Palestinians with rhetoric, but never with resources. Why?
Since the 1950s and 1966, when Mahmud Abbas and Arafat fled Egypt and Syria due to subversion and terrorism, Arab leaders have perceived Palestinians as a source of violent unrest. Prof. Karsh notes that the PLO has a treacherous track record, stabbing its Arab hosts in the back, triggering ferocious civil wars and causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Jordan (1970), Lebanon (1970-1976, 1983, 2007), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (2003) and currently in Syria. No Arab country came to the rescue of those Palestinians.
Irrespective of the Arab talk, the roots of the anger and agitation on the tectonic Arab Street are 1,400 year old; unrelated to the 66 year old Israel and its policies.
Regardless of the Arab talk, the cause of recruitment to – and the vision of - ISIS are derivatives of the 7th century birth of Islam; not of the 21st century Palestinian issue.
Notwithstanding the Arab talk, the failure to consolidate an effective coalition against ISIS reflects the fourteen century old violent, unpredictable, fragmented, anti-Western nature of the hate-education-based Arab World; not Israel's determination to sustain secure boundaries in the most violently treacherous neighborhood in the world, the Middle East.
Secretary Kerry should avoid repeating the critical error committed by Senator Kerry, who allowed the Hafiz and Bashar Assad talk to cloud their walk, convincing himself that the ruthless Syrian dictators were constructive and peaceful leaders, worthy of Israel's trust and Israel's giveaway of the Golan Heights.
Posted by Jason Gold-Editor at 10/27/2014 09:20:00 AM