Sunday, April 20, 2014

Are We a Nation or a Religion? HaRav Nachman Kahana

BS"D

Pesach Shayni: Outside the Azara

In Bamidbar 9:10 regarding the laws of  פסח שני (Pesach Shayni) it says:
דבר אל בני ישראל לאמר איש איש כי יהיה טמא לנפש או בדרך רחקה לכם או לדרתיכם ועשה פסח לה’: בחדש השני בארבעה עשר יום בין הערבים יעשו אתו על מצות ומררים יאכלהו:
“Tell the Children of Israel saying: When any of you shall be tamei because of a dead body or distant on one’s way (from the azara – the inner courtyard of the Temple where sacrifices are offered up), he may still celebrate God’s Pesach (on the 14th of the following month of Iyar).”
Rashi explains that the term ‘דרך רחוקה’ (derech rehokah) - distant on one’s waydoes not necessarily mean physically far away from the Azara (as stated above: the inner courtyard of the Temple where sacrifices are offered up), rendering him unable to bring the Pesach sacrifice. Because the phrase includes even one who was present on the Temple Mount but just outside the threshold of the Azara, and he is transferred to Pesach Shayni, on the 14 of the month of Iyar.
Rabbi Ya’akov ben Asher, author of the classic commentary on the Chumash, the בעל הטורים (Baal Haturim) which deals with gematria, parallel phrases and language usage, writes that the word בדרך  in the phrase בדרך רחוקה  appears again in the book of Kings, chapter 22:53 regarding the evil King Achazyahu son of Achav:
ויעש (אחזיהו בן אחאב) הרע בעיני ה’ וילך בדרך אביו ובדרך אמו ובדרךירבעם בן נבט אשר החטיא את ישראל
And he (Achazyahu ben Achav) did evil in the eyes of God, and he wentin the way of his father and mother (Achav and Eezevel) and in the wayof Yeravam ben Navat who caused Israel to sin.
Meaning: The word בדרך (b’derech) appears in the verse with regard to the person who was just outside the Azara on the 14 of Nissan, and the same word appears again in the context of the evil Yeravom ben Nevat.
What is the Baal Haturim telling us?
I submit:
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 102a) relates that HaShem appeared to Yeravam ben Nevat and said:
חזור בך ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן אמר לו מי בראש בן ישי בראש אי הכי לא בעינא
“Return in teshuva and we shall walk in Gan Eden, Me and the son of Yishai (King David) and you. Then Yeravam asked, “Who will be first, me or David? And HaShem replied, ‘David.’ To which Yeravam said, “If so then I am not interested in repenting or walking with You in Gan Eden.”
At that moment there was no one spiritually further away from Gan Eden than Yeravam, because he was so close but refused to enter! He rejected the opportunity afforded him by HaShem to enter the heavenly Gan Eden.
The Baal Haturim is teaching us that the man who on the 14th of Nisan stands before the entrance to the Azara but refuses to pass over the threshold, possesses a brain-dead and arid, parched neshama like that of Yeravam ben Navat.

English: Modern Day Talmudic Aramaic

Before Pesach, I was presented with a copy of a “Torah magazine”(?) called Kuntris, as stated on the front cover.
The issues dealt with are Torah related ones, and are penned by rabbis who are well known in yeshiva circles in the United States.
So far so good!
However, there is one “minor” detail that caught my eye almost immediately, which could not be a remarkable co-incidence, but an intentionally planned out editorial policy.
There is not one word in Ivrit in any of the “Torah” articles.
When a technical halachic term is cited by one of the rabbinic authors it is italicized; when a pasuk is cited it is transliterated. All the “Torah” articles authored by the American rabbis and poskin are Judenrein.
The very unsubtle message that the yeshiva world in the USA is telling us in Eretz Yisrael is: “You have your Yerushalayim in the Judean Hills, and we have our Yerushalayim in Boro Park, Lakewood and, in fact, anyplace where Torah is studied in the USA.
You have your Ivrit, but we have the modern day equivalent of the Talmudic Aramaic, which we call English.
You visit the military cemeteries to grieve at the graves of your young soldiers, and we visit our summer bungalows in the Catskills and Poconos.
We are 10 hours away by plane from entering “Eretz HaChayim” – The Land of Life – however we prefer to remain outside the “Azara” of Eretz Yisrael.
You live surrounded by Jews and Judaism; we prefer to be neighbors with the other wonderful minorities in the USA.
We are not your brothers, we are brothers to Yeravam ben Navat.
If this sounds overly critical of the good Jews in the USA, it is in fact underrating the damage they are doing to Torah and our advance towards the geula shelaima – the final redemption of our people, as I will explain.

Are We a Nation or a Religion?

A Major demand of Israel in its “negotiations” with the Arabs here is that they recognize, in word and deed, that Medinat Yisael is the national homeland of the Jewish people. The Arabs reject this condition with the claim that national homelands are a matter for nations, but the Jews are a religion not a nation, so they are not entitled to a “homeland”.
We know what the Arabs are and the degree of their intellectual “honesty” or honesty in general. But here they bring proof to their assertion that we are a religion, not a nation.
A nation implies a demarcated and designated land area. And for the most part a common language and daily mutual experiences and concerns. The Irish living in the USA are not a nation of Irishmen, but they are a nation when living in the land mass called Ireland.
There are 4-5 million Jews living in the USA (half are not halacha valid Jews), including one million observant Jews. These observant communities maintain yeshivot and are led by rabbis, roshei yeshivot, grand rabbis and whatever, who turn their backs on the Promised Land at a time when the gates of the Holy Land are open to all. This would lead an impartial mediator to conclude that these rabbis believe and are living their belief that the Jews are a religion, not a nation.
One cannot overestimate the religious, national, political social, historic, military, emotional and educational disasters that these religious leaders in the galut are fermenting on the entire Jewish people now and in the future.
Yeravam ben Navat splintered the nation into Yisrael and Yehuda, eventually leading to the disappearance of the ten northern tribes and the weakening and isolation of the southern tribes.
I fear that we are witnessing a replay of the spiritually “distant” Yeravam, as the yeshiva world of the galut grows every more distant from the earthly Gan Eden of Yerushalayim and the Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael.
I fear that the publishers of the Kuntris magazine are voicing the will of the yeshiva world to cross the line of no-return, where opposition turns to hatred and hatred turns to destructive acts.
May Hashem have pity on the innocent people there who are incarcerated in the web of “da’at Torah” spun around them. May He bring them home before the hands of Aisav tear them apart, or his kiss of death drowns them in mass assimilation.
Chag Sameach!
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5774/2014 Nachman Kahana

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Defense Minister Ya’alon Owes Me 4,000 NIS

By Moshe Feiglin

In a Facebook post following the destruction of the Lazar home in Yitzhar by Israeli forces, Moshe Feiglin wrote the following:
DM Ya’alon already owes me 4,000 shekels.
This is the second consecutive month that I have given all of my tithe money set aside for charity to the dear families whose homes were destroyed by the forces who answer to the Defense Minister – in the name of the law, of course.
Bogey tries to explain that nothing can be done as the newly built homes were illegal. But the homeowners do not enjoy any form of equality. Surrounding their homes are thousands of Arab homes being built with no authorization. The law, then, is not the problem. The problem is the politician’s weakness, which leads to serious evil.
Last month, it was the Kaizer family from Kidah who lost their home. Last week, it was the Lazar family in Yitzhar. Pictured is my recent visit to the ruins of their home. Avi Lazar is determined to re-build his home. Those who donate to this reconstruction project are doing more than merely contributing to these amazing pioneers: First and foremost, they are contributing to themselves. As we have consistently seen throughout Jewish history, the moment always arises when we say to ourselves, “How fortunate that the Jewish People has produced such giants to safeguard Israel’s heartland for us, while a cruel enemy fights them from without and pitiful, short-sighted politicians fight them from within.”
To contribute to rebuilding the Lazar home, call (Israel) 972-2-960-5558.

INN: Feiglin Slams Former MK Kahlon’s Remarks, Blames ‘Far Left'






Deputy Knesset Chairman Moshe Feiglin (Likud) on Tuesday responded to former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon’s comments earlier in the day, in which Kahlon claimed the “extreme right” had wrested control of the Likud party.
“Kahlon’s attempt to connect loyalty to the land of Israel to damage on the economy is a miserable attempt,” Feiglin told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview. Feiglin formerly was considered close to Kahlon.
Kahlon, speaking to Yedioth Ahronoth, clarified that his plans to return to politics were definite, but at the same time ruled out a return to Likud. According to Kahlon, ”Likud was social sensitivity, Likud was compassion, Likud was caring for the weak. But this Likud no longer exists.”
However, according to Feiglin, precisely the radical left is responsible for any faults in the financial and social situation, not the “extreme right.”
“If today there’s no obtainable housing it’s because they don’t build in Judea and Samaria, and there won’t be housing until we change it and build in Judea and Samaria,” declared Feiglin.
“There’s incitement here against the right,” argued Feiglin. “Precisely the left should be blamed, for creating an industry of peace here and (the) Oslo (Accords), because that industry is funded by the weaker economic layers. They fund Gaza, the rockets, the security fences and the guards at cafes, which the radical left brought on us. The industry of peace takes 10% of the budget of the state of Israel.”
Feiglin claimed Kahlon had fallen victim to some strategy to corrupt his positions, saying “he’s a positive person who is loyal to the land of Israel, but someone apparently led him astray and that won’t count in his favor. Kahlon never left politics, and those who understand will understand.”
Build in Judea and Samaria to save Israel
Arguing for construction in Judea and Samaria as a solution to the housing crisis, Feiglin noted “the basic point is that state lands are running out, and in a few years there won’t be lands within the green lines. Today you can’t get permission to build, not in the Negev or the Galilee, it’s over.”
“Go to the Negev and see, there are either Bedouin lands there, or green areas, or military zones,” remarked Feiglin. “Land reserves are running out, and there’s nowhere to go other than Judea and Samaria, and south Mount Hevron.”
“Unfortunately, instead of thinking of Judea and Samaria, the academics start dealing today with the possibility to build on poles in the sea, preposterous construction to the direction of the west,” concluded Feiglin.
Polls give Kahlon 10 seats
A survey published by Channel 10 on Tuesday found that if Kahlon were to run in elections at the head of his own new party, he would receive ten mandates.
The same survey found that under such a scenario, Likud-Beytenu would receive 33 seats, up from its current 31, while Labor would get 14, dropping one from its current standing.
Further, Jewish Home would gain one seat, putting it at 13 mandates, while Yesh Atid would drop from 19 to 12 mandates.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Conflict in Yitzhar is the Defense Minister’s Fault

By Michael Fuah

The way I see it, those responsible for the intensifying “price tag” conflict in Yitzhar are Israel’s security chiefs. When the Defense Minister acts like a hilltop youth – just that  instead of spraying graffiti or puncturing tires, he destroys homes – he plays into the hands of the “price tag” youth.
The ridiculous and subliminally anti-Semitic reactions of the Minister of Internal Security and the President against an entire segment of society prove that we have learned nothing. For years, the police fought the Haredim on the Bar-Ilan Road over closure on Shabbat – until former Minister of Internal Security Kahalani came along and proved that a solution can be reached with no fanfare. Actually, the police had been the main cause of the weekly conflict.
Before the Expulsion from Gush Katif, an entire segment of Israeli society was threatened and accused of being violent. In the end, it turned out that the cruelty and violence were  perpetrated by those who destroyed homes and lives for no reason – falsely and fraudulently promising a housing solution for all and then throwing the ‘settlers’ to the dogs.
I warned of this before the Expulsion, and I am warning everyone again: The sheep-like silence of the Judea and Samaria community leaders and the quiet agreement to the State’s disgraceful and discriminatory conduct against the residents of Yitzhar – hoping that if we keep in line they will forgive us – will exact a heavy price from the settlements in Judea and Samaria.
We do not have to agree with the opinions of the Yitzhar residents and we do not have to agree with the actions of some of them. But we, as a society, are not responsible for them. It is the responsibility of the police to deal with them according to law.
We are responsible, however, to ensure that the Defense Minister does not act like a neighborhood bully, indiscriminately breaking and destroying – harming citizens with no due process of law – because somebody made him angry. Even convicted terrorists’ homes are not razed because of a whim of a minister of bureaucrat.
This internecine fighting must be stopped. The Defense Minister should be sitting in the chair of the responsible adult. Currently, he is not there.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Golden Opportunity

By Moshe Feiglin

10 Nissan, 5774
April 10, ‘14
Translated from Makor Rishon
The breakdown of ‘peace talks’ and Abu Mazen’s formal application to 15 UN organizations is Netanyahu’s golden opportunity. He can continue with his “whose fault is the breakdown of talks” strategy – in other words, Zionism’s rear guard war – and pay outrageous prices for the fact that a dialogue is taking place. Or he can emerge from his defensive strategy and go on the offense; he can go from reacting to initiative; from stammering to clear statements; from excuses to justice.
The Rabin-Arafat handshake – and later, the Netanyahu-Arafat handshake – caged Israeli mentality in the Oslo concept. Twenty years have passed since we adopted the ‘justice’ of the ‘Palestinian’ cause and surrendered our own. The result is international pressure that erodes all the moral, sovereign and security achievements of Zionism.
Israel’s recognition of the ‘Palestinian nation’ and its rights to our heartland turned Zionism into colonialism and the State of Israel into a state founded in sin. Oslo laid Zionism bare of its moral expression. Twenty years later, we are no longer the good guys, the ingathering of exiles and making the desert bloom no longer make us ethical and we have become the ‘new Nazis.”
Israel’s willingness to retreat from parts of its Land, to freeze construction in Jerusalem, to transfer the Temple Mount to Jordanian rule and much more, have dealt a severe blow to our sovereign achievements. Since Oslo, we are less and less a sovereign nation. Before Oslo, Israel’s position ensured that the US would not recognize the PLO. Today, Israel recognizes the PLO, but the PLO does not recognize Israel – and merits American backing. Instead of demanding an apology of Turkey for the Marmara, Israel apologizes and reimburses Turkey. Our loss of sovereignty is also closely linked to the rise of the underworld in our country. Where government is weak, the Bedouin law rules the Negev and gangster law rules our cities.
Most severe of all is the security damage brought about by the Oslo Accords. It is not only the narrow dimension of our technical ability to defend  ourselves – the thousands of murdered Israelis and the rockets on Sderot and Tel Aviv. It is also the deeper dimension of the loss of legitimacy for Jewish existence. Israel’s willingness to free convicted murderers has returned the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified. First, the murderers were freed for the sake of ‘peace’. Today, they are being freed for the privilege of talking with their leaders. For when you have agreed that you are nothing more than a colonialist in their land, you need a peace process to justify your continued occupancy of both Beit El and Tel Aviv.
There is no real moral difference between the conquest of 1948 and the conquest of 1967. If Beit El belongs to them, then Jaffa does, as well. After all, everybody knows that they are both part of one country.  The loss of our sense of justice brings about the terrorist release and the terrorist release brings about the loss of our existential legitimacy. When we see how the Jews release the murderers of women, children and babies, we no longer ask how the world remained silent as the transports travelled east.
Netanyahu now has a golden opportunity to turn all of this around. By turning to the UN, Abu Mazen has announced the end of the Oslo Accords. Israel has already said that this would bring about the nullification of the Accords. Netanyahu must announce that the Oslo Accords are null and void. He must declare full Israeli sovereignty over all the territory under IDF control and afford the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria permanent resident status. Those Arabs who prove their loyalty may be offered a future option for citizenship. This is the same option that Israel gives the Arabs of East Jerusalem.
The astronomic sums that the cursed Oslo Accords continue to drain from our economy – nearly one trillion shekels to date and more than 10% of our annual budget – can be channeled to creating a generous emigration package for the Arabs and massive Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

Dangerous Exit from the Comfort Zone: Passover Offering on the Temple Mount

By Moshe Feiglin

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them: ‘Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.
And you shall observe this matter for an ordinance for you and your sons for ever. (Exodus 12)
Soon, with G-d’s help, we will establish Jewish leadership for Israel. Please be forewarned that when that happens, our familiar, comfortable Pesach holiday will be radically changed. We will have to forget about the Pesach seder with the extended family at the home of the family balabusta. Instead, we will be face to face with the Korban Pesach (Passover offering) at the Temple Mount.
For those who have forgotten, the Korban Pesach is a positive commandment, equal in its importance to the mitzvah of brit milah (circumcision). The mitzvah of circumcision is a personal covenant between a Jew and his Father in heaven. The Pesach offering is the national covenant between the Jewish Nation and its Father in heaven. These two commandments forged the Jewish People as the unique nation of the Creator – both as individuals and as a collective.
Today, a Jewish policeman stands at the entrance to the Temple Mount and explains to the Jews that they are prohibited from praying there. A request to bring a sacrificial lamb is out of the question. When we will finally establish Jewish leadership for Israel, though, the same policeman will stand at the entrance to the Temple Mount and cheerfully explain what you need to know, ensuring that you are well-versed in the Jewish laws that must be observed during your momentous visit.
In truth, it is not the policeman who blocks our entrance to the Temple Mount. It is the observant Jews whose Torah and faith are still in exile. They/we feel more comfortable when our covenant with G-d remains exclusively in the realm of the individual. It’s great to be religious in your home and “Israeli” in public. The people subscribed to this mode of living will go to great lengths to avoid being a complete Jew in the complete Land of Israel – both in private and in public. In other words, at some level, all of us have a little policeman in our hearts, blocking the entrance to the Temple Mount. That is why we have a full-sized, flesh and blood policeman at its gates.
When we establish Jewish leadership for Israel, all of this will be distant memory. The prime minister and his cabinet will ascend to the Temple Mount with their sacrificial lambs. The entire national mentality will change, and there will be no more lame excuses for not bringing the Pesach offering.
Instead of sitting in the comfort of our living rooms and chewing on matzah that symbolizes the Pesach offering, we will joyously sit in the streets and alleys surrounding the Temple Mount, eating our roasted sacrificial lamb.
The international uproar will be deafening. How will we be able to conduct “peace” negotiations when the entire Jewish Nation is at the Temple Mount with their Pesach offerings? And who will protect us from Iran? And what will Obama do? And how will Russia react? And what about the European Union? What will we explain?

‘And you shall say: It is the sacrifice of G-d’s Passover, for He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.’
Happy Festival of Freedom

Pre-Pesach Guided Tour of the Temple Mount with Moshe Feiglin


Click on "cc" for English subtitles

A Pesach Message 5774: HaRav Nachman Kahana

Pesach 5774

By Rabbi Nachman Kahana
A Pesach Message 5774
As in years past, I am sending this “tale of two brothers” who despite their family relationship are worlds apart from each other in every way.
Picture a frum family living in any one of the great Torah centers in the galut; they could even be your next door neighbors!
~~~~~~~
The home of Reb Sender and Mrs. Rayza is impeccable; the result of the great time and energy, not to speak of the money, which the expeditious and skillful ba’alat ha’bayit has devoted to it.
The sofas and arm chairs in the sitting room that look so inviting, were it not for the thick plastic covers which insure that the upholstery retains its “new” look.
The five-meter-long dining room table is covered with the finest Irish linen table cloth. In the middle of the table stands the imposing sterling silver candle sticks handed down from mother to daughter for generations. The china is the finest Rosenthal, with each plate delicately rounded off with a band of gold. The silverware has been put away in favor of gold-ware in honor of the great night.
On the table, under a hand embroidered silk cloth, lay the matzot. On the insistence of the two sons learning in the recently opened Yeshiva Taharas Ha’Torah (purity of Torah) in Las Vegas, in order to bring the voice of Torah even to the entrance of Gehennom, the matzot are from the first 18-minute batch, guaranteeing that no naughty piece of dough would be hiding in any of the rollers. The hand matzot were personally chosen by the rebbe of the shteibel (homey synagogue) where the family now davens after leaving the central shul which was costing too much. The rebbe assured the boys that the matzot were bubble-free, with no overturned edges.
The wall-to-wall carpet is as deep as the grass in the beautiful garden. Above the table hangs the family’s pride and joy — a multifaceted crystal chandelier, personally chosen by Rayza on the family’s last visit to Prague.
Reb Sender is wearing his new bekeshe (silk robe), the one with the swirls of blue, with a gold-buckled gartel (belt). Rayza has just said the shehechiyanu blessing (gratitude for seeing this day) over the $3000 dress imported from Paris. The boys are handsome in their wide-brimmed black hats and the two girls will make beautiful brides when the time comes, dressed in their very expensive imported from Paris dresses.
The seder goes better than expected. There are words of Torah, beginning with an invitation to the hungry to join with them in the meal, despite the fact that there is not a needy person within 50 miles. A lively discussion develops on the characters of the “four sons.” The main course of Turkey and cranberry sauce is served, in the finest American tradition of giving thanks to the Almighty for all His abundance. Theafikomen (ritual dessert matza) is “stolen” by the youngest daughter who, for its return, has succeeded in extorting from Tattie a vacation in Hawaii.
Songs of thanks to HaShem for freeing the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt are recited. For it is a mitzva on this night for each person to undergo a deja vu experience as if he or she were slaves in Mitzrayim.
Birkat Hamazon (grace after meal) is said, as is the second part of Hallel. Chad Gadya puts the final touch on the mitzvot of the night. Now, just as HaShem destroys the “Angel of Death” in the song, father jumps up and gathering the family in a circle, they all break out in a frenzy of song — L’shana ha’ba’a Be’Yerushalayim — “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Again and again around the table L’shana ha’ba’a Be’Yerushalayim is sounded. Louder and louder until their song merges with the same melody resounding from the neighbors’ homes, cutting a path into the highest realms of heaven.
Suddenly Mama collapses into a chair, crying hysterically. The singing stops. Father runs over and asks why she is crying just at the apex of the beautiful sacred night?
“What do you mean next year in Yerushalayim? What about the table, the chandelier, the deep carpet, the Rosenthal china, the garden! How can we leave all this?”
Father approaches Mama and taking her hand while gently dabbing her tears away, in a voice full of compassion, says to his beloved Rayza, “Darling, don’t cry, IT’S ONLY A SONG!”
Ten thousand kilometers to the east, in Eretz Yisrael, lives Reb Sender’s brother Kalman. Kalman had moved to Eretz Yisrael many years ago, and was blessed with a beautiful family and an adequate apartment. His son, Yossi, will not be home for the Seder night, since he is doing his army service within the Hesder yeshiva system.
But the parents were not overly worried, because Yossi himself told them that he is in a safe place in the north and that next year they will all be together for the Seder.
At 12 noon, on the 14th of Nisan, erev Pesach (day before Pesach), Yossi and three other soldiers from the same yeshiva were called to the company commander’s room, where he informed them that they had been chosen to fill an assignment that evening, on the Seder night. They were to cross the border into Hizballah territory in Southern Lebanon and man the outpost bunker on hill 432.
Yossi knew the hill well; he had been there several times in the past year. It was sarcastically called a “bunker,” but in reality it was nothing more than a foxhole large enough for four soldiers. Their assignment was to track terrorist movements and destroy them on contact. It was tolerable except when it rained, which caused the bottom of the hole to be soggy and muddy. But today, the four hoped that it would rain, even though chances were small since it was late in the season. On the 14th of every Hebrew month when the moon is full, crossing into enemy territory presents a greater danger; so rain would be a mixed blessing.
At 5:00 PM, they were given the necessary arms and ammunition. In addition, the army rabbinate provided them with 4 plastic containers – each holding 3 matzot and all the ingredients necessary for a Seder – as well as 4 plastic bottles of wine, sufficient for 4 cups, and of course four Haggadot (ritual text).
At 6:00 PM, they waited at the fence for the electricity to be turned off in order to cross into hostile territory. Yossi held a map of the minefield they would have to cross. “It was so strange,” Yossi thought. “This is the area assigned to the tribe of Naftali, and we have to enter it crawling on our stomachs.”
At 6:15 PM, the small aperture in the gate opened and they passed through. As they had hoped, it was raining and the thick fog was to their advantage.
At that moment, 10,000 kilometers to the west, it was 12:15 PM and Yossi’s two cousins in New York were just entering the mikva (ritual bath) to prepare for the Pesach holiday.
The 4 soldiers reached hill 432 after walking double-time for 5 kilometers. They removed the camouflage and settled in, pulling the grassy cover over them.
Each soldier was assigned a direction. Talking was forbidden. If any murderers were sighted, a light tap on the shoulder would bring them all to the proper direction. After settling in, they prayed ma’ariv and began the Seder. It was finished within a half hour, and they were happy that the 4 cups of “wine” had no detrimental effect on their senses.
At 6:00 PM in NY, the family returned from shul to begin their Seder. At 11:00 P.M. the family was dancing around the table singing the song of hope that they will be in Yerushalayim in the following year.
It was then 5:00 A.M. in Eretz Yisrael, and the 4 soldiers were waging a heroic battle against boredom and sleep. The minutes crawled by, and at the first approach of light, they exited their outpost and returned through the minefield and electric fence to the base. After reporting to the officer in charge, the four entered their tent and collapsed on their cots without removing clothing or shoes, because in an hour they would have to join the minyan for the shacharit service.
That night, Yossi’s angel and the angels of his friends were draped in flowing, golden robes while sharing the heavenly Seder with the righteous of all the generations. Yossi’s cousins? Their angels were having their Seder in an area separated from Yossi’s angels by a mechitza (barrier) with the words “chutz la’shamayim” (out of heaven) engraved on it.
~~~~~~~
The Hagada instructs every Jew to see himself and herself as if they were enslaved in Egypt and were freed by the hand of HaShem. The most effective way is to stand before a mirror and imagine that you are looking at a Jewish slave.
After reading the aforementioned stories of the two brothers, stand before a mirror and ask yourself two questions: Which of the two brothers and their respective families are living a life closer to the word and spirit of the Torah? Where do you and your family fit into the story?
Chag Pesach Kasher ve’samai’ach
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5774/2014 Nachman Kahana

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Masters of Time

By Michael Fuah

People whose entire lives are bound to the pressures of time, work or society – people who have never savored the taste of true redemption – will have a hard time understanding the Torah’s innovative message to the Nation of Israel, “This month is for you the head of all months.” Just as a blind person cannot sense the depth in blue, the storm in red and the serenity in white, so the servant of time cannot sense the feeling of redemption when one controls time.
“This month is for you -” time is now in your hands. You can work with it and sanctify it. The Nation of Israel is commanded to sanctify the material world; to build the Sanctuary in the desert and the holy Temple in the Land of Israel. It is this same sanctity that we are commanded to create in the most spiritual element of the material world comprehensible to the human mind – time. This freedom is Israel’s unique message to humanity.
The Jewish Nation’s message of freedom to the world is actually the message of Manhigut Yehudit to the Nation of Israel. It is the message of leadership that believes in G-d and strives to develop its national identity so that we may truly be a light unto the nations. Manhigut Yehudit means leadership that is unafraid of the Supreme Court and the state prosecution that sanctify the rule of law above all else. It means leadership that is not fearful of public-opinion-makers in the media, academia and arts. It means leadership free of the shackles of Western morals that aggrandize the weak, leadership that sanctifies justice and liberty and strives to perfect the world in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jewish leadership is not a luxury. It is a necessity for the Nation of Israel. And that is why it will become reality.

Olmert = Amona, part II

By Moshe Feiglin

Israeli television in Russian interviewed me about Ehud Olmert. They asked if I think that his guilty verdict is because of his support for the Expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. “I don’t know what is going on in Heaven and G-d does not report to me about His decision making,” I answered. But when the broadcaster asked me his question, I understood that this gut feeling – that whoever was involved in the despicable act of driving Jews off their land was ultimately punished – is also shared by the less traditional public.
To me, Olmert is synonymous with Amona.  Olmert is the PM who saw how Sharon halted the investigations against him by destroying Gush Katif and expelling its inhabitants and decided he wanted to do the same – just bigger and better. He called it ‘Convergence’.
Afterwards, Olmert went to war in Lebanon, so that he could return from there victorious, “which would provide the tailwind for the Convergence,” in his words.
In other words, Olmert brought about the deaths of soldiers and civilians in a war that had no logic: No missiles were being fired into Israel at that point and nobody thought that the war would help the IDF find its soldiers, who had been captured by the Hizbullah. The former PM assumed that the IDF would win, he would be crowned a war hero and gain the full legitimacy he wanted to destroy all the settlements, bring ‘peace’ and like Sharon – merit world-wide fame and the pardon of those who decide against whom to press criminal charges.
For the Israelis, however, the trauma of the Expulsion from Gush Katif was quite enough. Israel was defeated in Lebanon and that was the beginning of the end of the despicable man who had been Prime Minister.

Friday, April 04, 2014

How I Would Deal with Current Diplomatic Imbroglio if I were PM

By Moshe Feiglin

In an interview on Israel’s Channel 2, the broadcaster asked Moshe Feiglin what he would do today if he were PM. Feiglin answered that by turning to the UN, Abu Mazen has essentially declared the nullification of the Oslo Accords.  Moshe Feiglin would jump at the opportunity to formally announce the end of the cursed Oslo Accords and declare absolute Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. The Arabs living there could enjoy the same status afforded to the Arabs living in East Jerusalem.
“We are being dragged into impossible dilemmas because of the Oslo Accords, in which Israel essentially recognized the ‘Palestinians’ as the just side of the equation, with Israel being some sort of foreign occupying force,” said Feiglin. “This has slowly but surely brought about the erosion of our sovereignty to the point where we are willing to release hundreds of murderers and their accomplices back onto our streets, among Oslo’s many other ills.”
“Currently, the same Oslo mentality has dragged Jonathan Pollard into this bubbling cauldron as a bargaining chip,” Feiglin continued. “Pollard, a true Israeli hero and man of principle must be disconnected from all other issues. If we would believe in our own justice and right to the Land of Israel, Jonathan Pollard would have been here years ago. Remember, tens of US spies – who have done real damage to Israel – are at work in our country at any given time. We could quietly get Pollard back with no further ado – if we would believe in our own rights and respect ourselves,” Feiglin hinted.

Mountains and Valleys

By Michael Hirsch


The twin Parashot of Tazriah and Metzorah present us with a broad cross section of afflictions of one's body, clothing and home. While these afflict the physical, they are spiritual in nature; which is why they are diagnosed by a priest, a Kohen, not a doctor. The cause is generally ascribed to libelous talk. This is why the one afflicted with tzara'at (inaccurately defined as leprosy) was sent out of the Israelite camp, a more severe form of isolation than one deemed impure by having come in contact with a dead body. As he/she tried to isolate the object of their libel, so shall they be isolated.
But, as we say, G-D truly works in strange ways. For as depressed as we may be over such occurrences, there can be an unforeseen silver lining. Imagine the funk you would find yourself in, if you were told that your home had to be partially or totally razed due to its walls being afflicted with tzara'at. Yet, there is a very positive reason why this occurred: as cited by Rashi (14:34), Va'Yikrah Rabbah relates that for the forty years during which the Jewish people travelled through the desert, the native tribes in the Land of Canaan, the Amorites, would bury their valuables in the walls of their homes. After the Israelites conquered the land, they occupied those homes.
Imagine the joy, the positive feelings. And then—utter despair! Tzara'at is discovered on a wall of the home, and it must be torn down. Oh, woe is me! Only to be replaced once again by the most upbeat of emotions, when the hidden treasure is exposed.
What a powerful lesson—one must guard their emotions at all times!! Invariably, highs will be followed by lows. And just as invariably, lows will be followed by highs. Following every mountain, there might be a valley, but after the valley there will likely be another mountain.

Shabbat Shalom!
Michoel David ben Dov Ber
4 Adar Bet 5774


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Pollard is a Modern-Day Israeli Hero

By Moshe Feiglin

3 Nissan, 5774
April 3, ’14
 Our Sages say that in the month of Nissan, the Nation of Israel was redeemed from Egypt and in the month of Nissan they will be redeemed in the future. This is a special month: the month of liberty. Who knows? Maybe this will be the month of the redemption of our brother, Jonathan Pollard?
According to news reports, Kerry is proposing that Israel expand the fourth scheduled terrorist release to include14 Arabs who are citizens of Israel and an additional 400 terrorists – in addition to a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. All of this in exchange for the privilege to continue to bask in the glory of the presence of the murderer of our Israeli sportsmen at the Munich Olympics, Abu Mazen – into 2015.  For all of this, we may get Pollard. Or maybe not.
On numerous occasions, Jonathan has told me that he is not willing to go free in exchange for murderers. In principle, he is certainly right. The terrorists should have been executed long ago, and Pollard should have been out of prison long ago. Israel, however, utterly at odds with its identity, is incapable of justifying its existence as a Jewish State. It cannot deal with the claim of the ‘justice of the Palestinian cause.’ The result is that we pay in the hard currency of construction freeze or the release of murderers in exchange for the farce of a ‘process’ that is supposed to address the Arab demand for justice. Since Oslo, Israel has discarded all the fundamental values of a normal nation: values like sovereignty, justice, morality and the sanctity of life. In light of that, and since this process will lead to the terrorist release and construction freeze that Kerry proposes with or without Pollard, then at least he should go free.
The amazing Jonathan Pollard, however, refuses to participate in a hearing at the Parole Board to pave the way for his possible release. “I am not willing for other Jews to be murdered in exchange for my release,” he has said to me. Now, when his words have been put to the ultimate test, he stands by them. Pollard is a modern day hero of Israel. For the US to use Pollard as a political bargaining chip is unbelievably villainous. In a meeting with the US ambassador to Israel a few weeks ago, I made this position clear to him.
By the way, the high cost of housing crisis of 2011 broke out as a result of the previous construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. The additional pressure that was suddenly added to the housing market in Israel’s pre-’67 borders was like the extra vehicles that turn a traffic jam into a traffic gridlock. I assume that an additional construction freeze will result in an additional housing shortage and an additional leap in housing prices. But what won’t we do for the privilege of blabbing with Abu Mazen for another half year?
The name of our new Hebrew month, Nissan, means “our miracles.” Apparently, we need a miracle. Not the Splitting of the physical Red Sea – our physical/material situation has never been better. We need a miraculous “splitting” of our slave mentality. We need to leave the bondage of a slave mentality for the mentality of liberty. The modern-day redemption from Egypt is totally an internal, Jewish affair. We are the Children of Israel and we are Pharaoh. It is we who are breathing life into the puppet, Abu Mazen, and enslaving ourselves to it. I pray that in this propitious month of Nissan, we will choose redemption.