Monday, December 31, 2012

Naftali Bennet and the Mafdal's Last Hurrah

By Rafi Farber

Why it makes absolutely no difference how many seats the Jewish Home party gets.

Originally published in Settlers of Samaria 

9 Tevet, 5773
Dec. 22, '12

Those of us who really believe Moshe Feiglin can and will lead Israel and the Jewish Nation to liberty by becoming Prime Minister have this refrain. We always say that we’re not trying to lead the Dati Leumi, or the Religious Zionist sector. We are not a sector, we do not believe in sectors, and we try to speak to the Jewish nation qua nation and leave sectors aside. We want to lead everyone and free everyone. Not lead a sector and try to cut off a hunk of publicly funded steak and bring it home to a ravenous constituency starved for tax-funded whatevers.

But even those of us with our eye on the ball sometimes lose focus for a second and get sucked back into the "sector" that we supposedly "came from," which in most cases is the Religious Zionist sector, the srugim, or whatever you want to call them.

We see in the polls that Naftali Bennett has totally revived the old Mafdal. He’s a new exciting guy, served in Tzahal as commander of a bunch of important stuff and did heroic things and whatnot just like Ehud Barak of the new up-and-coming then out-and-going Atzmaut (literally, "Forget Labor") Party. He was a highly successful career man and made a skrillion dollars just like Yair Lapid of the new up-and-coming and soon to be out-and-going Yesh Lapid (literally "There is Lapid") Party. Or was it two skrillion? I don’'t remember exactly. And he can talk oh soooo smoothly - in perfect American English, with a perfect American accent, that’s so seductive. Just like -

Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mafdal, or Bayit Yehudi, or whatever you want to call it, might get a bunch of seats. Maybe 10. Maybe 15. Maybe 20. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. Why? Because Naftali Bennett is nothing but a new Netanyahu with a kippah on. He has no conviction about anything but he can talk as if he almost does. For example, he can say contradictory things like, "A soldier should never have to choose between expelling a human being from his home and disobeying orders," and then end it with, "A soldier should never disobey orders under any circumstances," and state both mutually contradictory statements together with the same conviction, thereby effectively saying absolutely nothing, but making people think he has.

And then, as if he didn’t contradict himself at all, he’ll go on in the very next sentence and challenge his twin, Benjamin Netanyahu, to state publicly if he plans on expelling people from their homes again or not, as if trying to fork another politician will take the attention away from the fact that he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too as well. Well, Bennett, my little Bibi with a kippah, if he does, what will you do? All you'’ve told us is you hope it won’t happen. But what will you do? Support private property or support immoral orders?

Bennett’s long term plan is genius. Get this: He wants to wait for the Arabs to "calm down". Of course this isn’t what Israel has already been doing since Oslo. Inspiring. That’'s it! They have to "calm down"! Why didn’'t we think of this before! When I think of Jewish History and our job on this planet and the reason we came back to Israel after millennia of exile, I think of Arabs "calming down," and when I picture calm Arabs, I get this kind of religious messianic zeal. Thanks Bennett. You have a very nice kippah and a cool buzz cut.

And his slogan: "Something new is beginning." Yes, something new indeed. Bibi now has a kippah. That'’s new. And the new Bibi says right wing sounding rhetoric without committing to any actual positions and wants to wait things out until the Arabs "calm down". New Indeed.

Now, back to why it makes absolutely no difference how many seats the Mafdal gets. It doesn’'t matter because the only interesting thing that is going to come out of this Knesset will be the Knesset speeches and Knesset actions of Moshe Feiglin from within the Likud slate. He’s going to be in the Knesset. Nothing can stop that. Likud isn’t going down to 20 seats under any circumstances. From that podium, from that pulpit, Feiglin will speak about liberty and Jewish values and Jewish leadership. And the Jewish Nation will listen. And he'’ll say actual things that don’'t contradict themselves. And when Netanyahu tries to do something stupid, he will fight tooth and nail and probably get sanctioned in some way or another, and he won’'t be invited into Bibi'’s little circle, and if he is named as a Minister he may get fired, and if he doesn’'t get fired and Bibi tries to expel someone from their home, he'’ll resign, and it'’ll be great.

Moshe Feiglin won'’t have to pull stupid political tricks like asking the "Prime Minister" from a press conference if he intends to expel Jews from their homes or not. He will be able to fight it and embarrass Bibi from within the Likud itself if he does. Bennett will be able to do absolutely nothing but yell. He won’t pull out of the government because he’ll fear someone from the Left will take his place. So in the end he'’ll do nothing and say things like "I wish soldiers wouldn’t have to choose between expelling Jews and following orders boo hoo."

Meanwhile, while Bennett pouts and stays in the coalition posing no threat to Bibi whatsoever, Feiglin will be fighting from the inside and setting the stage for his next run at the Likud leadership.

So in the end, whether Bennett has 10 or 20 seats makes no difference. He'’ll stay in the government just like every other Mafdal incarnate has over the history of the sector. Sometimes we Feiglinites forget that we are not in a sector and we are not trying to get sectoral votes for our party. We are not after "Religious Zionist" votes. We don'’t want the Religious Zionist all suddenly joining Likud and filling out membership forms. We don'’t want the Likud to be a sector. We don'’t want to turn the Likud into the Mafdal. We want to lead the nation. That means we are after the votes of people who believe in the nation, not their sector.

Someone who feels they are part of the Religious Zionist sector more than they are part of the Jewish Nation as a whole should not vote Likud. Someone who feels that they are part of the nation should vote Likud, regardless of what kippah he (or she) wears or if he even wears one at all.

When all is said and done, the Nation will hear Feiglin speak softly, like he did yesterday, that he supports anyone who refuses orders on moral grounds, left or right, as he always has. Bennett will be screaming at a wall as he continually says nothing.

Bennett will speak loudly. Feiglin will speak softly as he always does, but this time he will carry the big stick. Let the votes fall where they may, and let the Jewish People separate the leaders from the politicians. Once they do, it will be clear. This is the Mafdal’'s last hurrah.

Annual Tu B'Shvat Tree Planting Drive to Focus on Southern Israel

1,500 fruit trees for 1,500 rockets! This is the name of this year's annual Tu B'Shvat tree planting drive! Every year, our parent organization, Zo Artzeinu, leads the biggest fruit planting project in Israel. This year, they will be planting the trees in the exact areas which came under attack during the recent "Pillar of Defense" war. Cities like Sderot, Netivot, Beersheva, Ashkelon and Asdod will receive thousands of new fruit trees to signify life, growth and the Jewish people's eternal existence! (Note: Tu B'Shvat is next month!)

Over 50 schools across the USA and CANADA have already participated in previous tree plantings and we urge your school and organization to join us. Every child gets a beautiful certificate and prizes are awarded for the most trees planted. Great prizes such as iPads, Nintendos and pizza parties for hundreds of students! This is a fun and very educational project for the entire family.

Zo Artzeinu's project manager for the Tu B'Shvat tree planting project will be in the USA and will gladly meet all schools to discuss this exciting program. Please call or email Shlomo Walfish at the following numbers: Tel: (516) 371-2474 or email

See our tree planting website:


Sunday, December 30, 2012

An Open Letter to Dr. Steven Plaut from Feiglin's Open Kahanist

By Shmuel Sackett

Recently, Dr Steven Plaut, an economics professor at Haifa University wrote an essay quite critical of Moshe Feiglin (Ed. note: please visit Dr. Plaut's Zionist Conspiracy Blog and scroll down to "The Feiglin Factor" article). While Plaut admits that "Feiglin is a nice guy, a truly religious guy" and one who "speaks well", he leveled a major criticism at Moshe which I must address since it deals with me personally.
Dr Steven Plaut wrote that the #1 reason for Feiglin's failure all these years is his "refusal to distance himself from Sackett" who he claims is "an open Kahanist". He then writes that Feiglin "needs to dump Sackett" or he will never be successful.
First of all, Moshe Feiglin has been tremendously successful. Above everything else he has put the idea into millions of heads that leadership for the State of Israel must be based on Jewish identity and authentic Jewish values. Thanks to him, people with Jewish pride, strength and conviction have entered Israel's political scene and are talking – not only about building 30 more houses in Shilo – but about leading the nation!
However, it is not that point that I want to explain. Allow me to address the rest of this post to Dr Plaut directly regarding his negative comments about Rabbi Kahane.
Dear Dr Plaut,
I would like to begin by thanking you for bestowing upon me the highest compliment imaginable. By calling me "an open Kahanist" you have given me the greatest gift. I first met Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1973 and immediately became active in the Jewish Defense League's fight against anti-semitism and freedom for Soviet Jewry. I read every word Rabbi Kahane wrote, attended every lecture possible and studied a tremendous amount of his Torah ideology. Unlike most students who follow their Rabbi from classroom to classroom, I followed mine from classroom to the streets of New York where we battled big, bad Jew-haters and taught them what "Never Again" truly meant. I also followed my holy Rabbi into prison where we followed the example of Moses, Jeremiah, Rabbi Akiva, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Begin and Natan Sharansky (and thousands of others) who preferred to fight with Jewish pride even at the expense of personal freedom. I then followed my Rabbi here to Israel when I made aliyah with my family in July 1990. Unfortunately, I also followed behind my Rabbi's coffin on that dark and tragic day in November 1990 when his pure and saintly body was laid to rest on Har Hamenuchot.
Immediately after the shiva, I continued my following. This time, I followed the young man who stepped into his father's huge shoes. Binyamin Zev Kahane was young in years but wise and strong. His pen was mightier than the sword and he shocked the world with his brilliance. The Jewish establishment thought that Kahane was dead and buried but "Od Kahane Chai" – Kahane still lives! I became one of Binyamin Kahane's closest friends and the Chairman of the Board of his Yeshiva. I spoke to him daily and had the merit of being arrested with him TWICE in our battles against the forces of evil. What an honor to see a son following in his father's footsteps! I was dedicated to Binyamin Kahane and gave him every spare moment I had. Unfortunately, I also followed behind his – and his wife's – coffin 12 years ago when they too were tragically murdered and laid to rest on Har Hamenuchot, leaving behind 6 young, innocent and beautiful flowers, one of which who bears the name Meir Kahane.
Dr Plaut; you generally write well and explain brilliantly about Israeli politics. Your voice has been one of the only ones, throughout all these years, who has screamed about the absurdity of the Oslo Accords. With a touch of humor and sarcasm you have managed to explain our position to the world. I have enjoyed your articles and have forwarded them to many people over the years. Most of my friends cannot believe that these articles come from a Professor at Haifa University, thinking instead that they truly come from a hilltop near Hebron. And yet, with all your brilliance and wit, you cannot get out of the mud. You see a proud student of Rabbis Meir and Binyamin Kahane and your hate button is automatically pressed. You assume that a Kahanist is a crazy, irrational, blood-thirsty, gun-toting maniac but actually the opposite is true. Those who truly studied – and continue to study the teachings of our holy Rabbi – are the most rational Jews on the planet! We are proud Jews who possess brotherly love like nobody else. We have self-sacrifice, Jewish pride and a deep understanding of what our Father in Heaven truly wants from us. Above all, we are 100% honest in our thinking, speaking and actions. Unlike many others, we are not "for sale" and are certainly not "politically correct". This is what leads good people – such as yourself – to draw the wrong conclusion. Since we do not play the game, you incorrectly assume that a Kahanist is a negative force to be avoided at all cost, when – in all honesty – we are very often the best members of a team.
Professor Plaut; my dear friend Moshe Feiglin understands this concept very well. He is much more than the nice-religious-good-speaking-guy you write about. He is able to see clearly and does not accept the labels that are so easily stuck on good, serious Jews. The time has come for you to dust off your glasses as well. Thank G-d you were not blinded by the Oslo hysteria nor the euphoria of a Palestinian state but for some reason, you just can't get past that annoying Kahane bug from buzzing in your head.
Anytime you want, please feel free to call me to discuss this in greater detail. I will gladly travel to Haifa and treat you to the lunch of your dreams in the kosher restaurant of your choice, but beware: Rabbi Kahane accompanies me wherever I go.
With love of Israel,
Shmuel Sackett 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Teach Your Children Well

By Moshe Feiglin

"And the brothers of Joseph saw that their father had died and they said: Perhaps Joseph will hate us and desire to pay us back for all the evil that we did to him." (From this week's Torah portion, Vayechi, Genesis 50:15)
It seems a bit strange. After the emotional reunion, the public display of forgiveness, the shared lives - suddenly the brothers fear that it was all just a show? That Joseph was nice to them only superficially and was just waiting for their father to die?

We are not usually aware of the power of parents' influence on their children. We think that after the children get older and leave their parents' nest, they are already completely independent. But children have a natural need to look back and get the parental ok for their path in life. Children study and integrate all of a parent's actions. Always. Even the most rebellious of children. Even when the parents are very old. One never knows how much influence he has on his descendants and how much influence he will continue to have - even after he is no longer living among them in this world.

Joseph's brothers apparently feared a deep change in Joseph after their father's death. But what does Joseph answer them? Do not worry; my relationship with you is not dependant on changing moods or proper education. Our brotherhood is solidly based on faith and fear of G-d.

"And Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, am I instead of G-d? You thought to do evil to me, G-d thought to do good in order to do as this day, to give life to a vast people." (Genesis 19, 20)

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, December 27, 2012

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Va'ye'chi 5773

Parashat Va’ye’chi 5773
This week’s message is being written on the occasion of the 90th annual conference of Agudat Yisrael, opening today (14th of Tevet) at the luxurious, opulent and mehadrin specially kashered out Hilton in New Brunswick New Jersey, for the ultra religious for whom nothing but the best would be tolerated.
There are two major schools of thought in the anti-Medinat Yisrael chareidi camp in the galut:
1) The mainline charedi thinking, represented by Agudat Yisrael, of not relating religiously, practically or emotionally to the Medina, because it was established by non-observant Jews, so they must wait for the Mashiach to come and fetch them from galut.
This mind set was spelled out by Rabbi Pesach Krone, a rabbi of some influence in the United States, who authored a book which was brought to my attention, whose basic premise is that Eretz Yisrael is not an obligatory mitzvah until the advent of the Mashaich.
On page 204, after leaving the city of Vilna, the author writes : "The bastions of Torah have moved elsewhere. Perhaps this is why the Torah was given in the desert: to symbolize that Torah has no permanent home until the coming of Mashiach".
On page 290 he writes: "That long journey has taken thousands of years and its final destination lies at the footsteps of Mashiach. When he arrives we will begin the glorious march home".
2) The more extreme school of Satmar, which contends that it is a sin to take any action in our emancipation from galut, even in order to establish a Torah-true Medina.
With all due respect to the worthy geonim, rabbis and baalei batim at the convention who adhere to their view, and to the adherents of Satmar and the Neturei Karta of America; I would like to humbly state my opinion regarding these groups of observant Jews in the galut.
If the main stream chareidi objection to the Medina is based on the personalities of those who gave their lives to make the land live again, the Satmar Rebbe and those who follow him base their objections on the three vows recorded in the Gemara (Ketuvot 111,a):
1. The Jews would not rebel against the Gentiles in the galut.
2. The Gentiles would not mistreat the Jews in the galut.
3. The Jews would not attempt to invade Eretz Yisrael militarily as "Crusaders".
History has proven that:
1. We did not rebel against the Gentiles during our sojourn in their "hospitable" lands.
2. The Gentiles breached their vow and "mistreated" us in every way and in every land.
3. The two-thirds majority vote in the United Nations on Nov. 29, 1947 establishing the State of Israel made the vow of not taking the Holy Land through military force obsolete.
4- The presence of the majority of the world’s halachic Jews now in Eretz Yisrael and the renaissance of Torah in a way not seen on 2000 years are proof that the chareidi and Satmar ideologies are grossly mistaken. Medinat Yisrael is an act of HaShem.
5- And when every other possible avenue of logic and words of Chazal do not succeed in opening their eyes and hearts, then perhaps the concerted voices of the seven and a half million Jews (a more accurate number than six million) who were murdered in the Shoah might bring them to realize that their place is not in the make-believe Yerushalayims of Vilna , Lakewood or New Brunswick.
6- I cannot conjecture any more hubristic, arrogant, haughty false sense of importance than to think that the Mashiach will come and invite the Jews of the galut to join with us in Eretz Yisrael. Remember and never forget that every inch of this Holy Land is paved with the blood of over 22,00 young men and women of Tzahal and many thousands of civilians who gave their lives for the Jewish return to Eretz Yisrael.
One cannot even imagine the colossal amount of effort that it takes to hold up the Medina for even one day - the military, health, education, welfare, housing, manufacturing, airways, shipping and so much more. It is absurd even obscene to even imagine that after all the blood sweat and tears that we are investing in this land , the Mashiach will roll out the red carpet when the Jews of the galut graciously agree to leave Flatbush etc..
I perceive a very different reality. The future of the Jewish communities, with their religious leadership in the galut,will parallel what occurred at the time of the exodus from Egypt - either they will be like the 80% who refused to leave Egypt together with Moshe, or like the miraglim who refused to enter the land. The fate of them both is well documented.
No thinking Jew could entertain the idea that the entrance to Gan Eden is a free ticket. Why then would the Mashiach bring anyone here who has contributed nothing but lip service to the Jewish renaissance now being actualized through the self-sacrifice of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael?
Did Moshe not admonish the tribes of Reuven and Gad when they requested to remain in the eastern part of the Jordan River while the other tribes went to fight the Canaanites (Bamidbar 32,6)?
האחיכם יבאו למלחמה ואתם תשבו פה:
Will your brothers will go out to war and you will sit here?!
I very strongly suggest that the good Jews in the lands of the galut disengage themselves from leaders who seek to anesthetize them. There are no "free meals" in life, and certainly not when it comes to the holy land of Eretz Yisrael. As Rabi Shimon ben Yochai states (Berachot 5,a):
שלש מתנות טובות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל, וכולן לא נתנן אלא על ידי יסורין. אלו הן: תורה וארץ ישראל והעולם הבא
HaShem presented three gifts to Israel and each one can be possessed only through effort and pain - Torah knowledge, Eretz Yisrael and the World to Come
In summary: To the good and innocent Jews in the galut, If you subscribe to the notion that the Torah permits one to live out his life in the galut when the gates of Eretz Yisrael are beckoning for you to return, then you are playing with fire. And if you are a rabbi who represents this notion to others then you are playing with the fire of Gehhenom.
Ya’akov Aveinu, in the last hours of his physical existence in this world (Ya'akov lo met - Ya’akov - Ya’akov did not go through the experience which we call "death") gathered together his 12 sons, progenitors of the tribes of Israel, for the purpose of revealing to them what lays in store for the Jewish nation at the end of the cycle of time called "olam hazeh" (this world).
However, at the precise moment when the hearts and minds of his sons were at their peak attentiveness, HaShem withdrew His shechina (holy spirit) and Ya’akov’s mind became cloudy, blocking him from revelating the future.
This is cited in tractate Pesachim 56a.
The gemara proceeds to describe what transpired after Ya’akov realized that HaSHem had blocked the revelation.
Ya’akov was at a loss to understand why. He looked at his 12 sons with apprehension, lest the reason be that one or more of the brothers was a heretic. For just as his grandfather Avraham had begot the sinful Yishmael and his own father Yizchak had begot the evil Eisav, he too might be cursed with a wayward son.
The gemara relates that the brothers turned to their father in order to assuage his fears and in unison recited:
שמע ישראל ה' א-לקינו ה' אחד
Hear Yisrael (our father) the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
Ya’akov replied:
ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד
Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom forever
When reciting "Shema Yisrael" morning and night, the halacha is that "Shema" is said aloud, but "Baruch shem etc." is said quietly.
This Gemara presents several difficulties:
1- Prior to this episode, there is no precedent for reciting "Shema Yisrael" in preparation for one’s final moments in life. We are not told that either Avraham or Yitzchak said "Shema" on their death beds. Moreover, the ones reciting "Shema" here are the sons not Ya’akov who is about to die, but rather his sons!
2- Why are we obliged to recite the six words of Shema twice daily just because the brothers said them?
3- Why is "Baruch shem..." recited quietly?
I suggest:
The brothers were waiting impatiently to hear from Ya’akov details of the future ge’ula (redemption). When Ya’akov realized that HaShem did not want the details to be disclosed, he turned to his sons suspecting that perhaps they were the cause.
At that moment, in order to dispel Ya’akov’s fears, HaShem brought His holy Shechina onto the brothers and they began to prophesy how the future redemption will evolve, albeit in general terms.
They prophesied that the ge’ula will come about in three stages:
1) Shema Yisrael - Harken Israel
2) HaShem Elokaynu - the Lord is our God
3) HaShem Echad - the Lord is one
1) In the initial stage of "Shema Yisrael", HaShem’s name is not mentioned, only the name of Am Yisrael. This stage will see the ingathering of Bnei Yisrael from the far corners of the globe to Eretz Yisrael. They will return for a variety of reasons, many of them not religious - fleeing anti-semitism, escape from totalitarian regimes, secular Zionism, etc.
2) The second stage "HaShem Elokaynu" now includes the name "Elokaynu" in the plural. Denoting a period of differences among various rabbis how to interpret the will of Hashem as it manifests itself in the miraculous events which we witness on a daily basis in Eretz Yisrael. The matter in question will be the theological status of the Medina as the direct will of HaShem or just a political episode in our history where Hashem is not involved.
The third stage "HaShem Echad" will mark the unity of Am Yisrael under the leadership of the Mashiach with the rebuilt Bet HaMikdash on the Temple Mount, when all will agree that the advent of Medinat Yisrael was the handiwork of HaShem.
Upon hearing the revelations voiced by his sons, Ya’akov added a fourth stage:
"Baruch shem kevod malchuto le'olam va'ed" (blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom forever) signals the universal acceptance of HaShem’s total mastery as Creator and Preserver of all things.
The halacha states that the first three stages be said aloud, because they pertain exclusively to the Jewish nation. But the fourth stage, which will be recited by all mankind, is out of our control and thus is to be recited quietly until that time when the tikkun (restoration, repentance) of mankind will bring us back full circle to the days of Gan Eden.
Today, with the majority of halachic Jews in the world having returned to Eretz Yisrael, we have already passed the first stage of "Shema Yisrael."
The failed attempts of our enemies to destroy Medinat Yisrael places us currently in the middle of the second stage. And we shall shortly witness miracles far surpassing those of the exodus from Egypt, as the gemara says at the end of the first chapter of tractate Berachot. It is a time of debate regarding the theological essence of the State and the miracles performed here.
We will soon be propelled into the third stage of absolute unity under the leadership of the Mashiach, who according to the Rambam will be a military man and Torah scholar, with the rebuilt Bet HaMikdash on the Temple Mount, and all will agree that Medinat Yisrael is the handiwork HaShem.
As it appears now, before the fourth and final stage where all humanity will perceive the true God and that Am Yisrael is His chosen people, the world will yet have to undergo major changes.
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5773-2012 Nachman Kahana

Secular support for Moshe Feiglin? yes, really, just ask Feiglin

By Tuvia Brodie

Somewhere in Israel today, you may find a small group, chatting. Perhaps you’ll overhear them at a restaurant. They will be friends who enjoy talking politics. Given the recent de facto UN recognition of ‘Palestine’, they might talk about Judea-Samaria, which some want to take from Israel to give to ‘Palestine’. That could lead to a discussion of IDF soldiers disobeying orders to evict Jews from their homes in Judea-Samaria. That could lead to the words, ‘damn settlers’.

Nobody will flinch. No one will ask, ‘what do you mean’? Everyone will understand—no explanations needed. According to Israel’s media, these friends are authentic Israelis. They understand what it means to be ‘Israeli’. Those 'Jews' or 'settlers' who live in Judea-Samaria, however, are alien; not real Israelis. They hurt Israel. They provoke the government to evict them. They make hard-working seculars ashamed to be called, ‘Israeli.’ They think only about their damn land.

Is this the looking glass through which secular Israelis see their world? Our media might like us to think so. Some in the media believe we are a wonder-machine--a capitalistic and science power-house. They believe we should be the apple of the world’s eye—successful, daring and brilliant. But that’s not what’s happening. Our media elite cry that Israel is rejected, not admired. Every country they care about hates us. The nations they admire most express nothing but contempt for us.

That contempt hurts. Media people want to be loved. They want to be accepted. So they’ve made a plan: get rid of 'Jews" or ‘settlers’. Then, nobody will hate us.

They love publishing Leftist polls that tell us they are correct.

Perhaps you have seen these polls. Perhaps you have heard  conversations in restaurants. Perhaps you should wonder: is this the Israel we have created—a materialistic, anti-values culture where people reject both their Heritage and the very land they inhabit?

Ask Moshe Feiglin that question. The answer might surprise you.

You see, Moshe Feiglin doesn't look to media for answers. He talks to people. He travels around the country. He understands that most anti-settler and anti-religious pronouncements might be more Leftist dreaming than reality. For example, the Haredi aren’t as anti-work as you have been told —nor as anti-IDF; and the secular, no matter what the media suggests, may not be so aggressively anti-Heritage or anti-Judea-Samaria.

Ask Moshe Feiglin about that.

Seculars tend towards anti-settler sentiments, but they are not as homogeneous as Israel's Left-leaning media wants you to believe. In fact, secular Jews may be more conflicted over land and Jewish families being evicted from homes in Judea or Samaria than media dares to admit. Remember, the anti-Israel Left not only has an agenda, it also carries a significant voice in our media. The Left dreams of ‘peace’ in a Jewish-free state—and it uses the extraordinary power its media voice provides to try to make that dream a reality. Its behaviour is no different than Abbas telling ‘stories’ so often the world believes him. Think about it: does the Left report Arab incitement against Jews? Does the Left remind us that the Hamas Charter calls to destroy Israel and kill Jews? The Left rejects all things ‘Israel’. It wants to erase Israel’s exceptionalism; and if it cannot do that, it can certainly erase or limit public defense of Israel’s right to exist.

Ask Moshe Feiglin. He could and did write about how Leftist media treats Israel in the Arab-Israel conflict.

If you have heard that seculars hate both the religious and the nationalist, be careful. Don’t believe all that you hear. You might be wrong. Just as Haredi do not promote abuse of women, seculars do not universally hate 'Judea-Samaria'--or religion. Some even support a religious-nationalist like Moshe Feiglin. Why? Because he believes in Jewish values--and that strikes a chord with many seculars: even seculars who profess ‘no religion’ can be sensitive to values, especially when those are presented honestly, openly and intelligently.

Ask Moshe Feiglin about that. Seculars, contrary to media representations, do not always hate G-d—or Israel.

Jewish values and belief in G-d turn out to be important in Israel. Secular Israelis who hear a constant anti-G-d/anti-Israel drumbeat often become weary. They become disenchanted. At some point, some will long for a truth that is not coloured by a Leftist tinge. They want something more. But because Israel is a politically peculiar place, even when seculars discover someone who presents an honesty they can believe and a truth they know is real, they may not vote for him—at first. That’s Israel. But in the end, they come to respect that man; and in Israel, that is where power and influence lie—being respected.

Ask Moshe Feiglin. He knows because, increasingly, this is how his influence is taking root; it is taking root in the secular population. It is why his support grows.

So when you meet a ‘secular Israeli’, be careful. He may not think what you think he thinks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Feiglin Manifesto, Part III

By Moshe Feiglin

Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Achronot, recently asked
Moshe Feiglin to write his manifesto for the State of Israel for the next
four years. Read Parts I and 2 here 

Gaza: Revoke the Oslo Accords
There is no solution for Gaza if we do not understand that we are not colonialists and that Israel is our Land. I oppose endangering our soldiers in a ground assault on Gaza if we intend to subsequently exit the area. The fact that Israel continues to provide electricity and cash to those who target its citizens is completely unreasonable. Israel must engage in a Defensive Shield type of operation in Gaza (editor: in which Israeli forces re-captured areas of Judea and Samaria from which Oslo had dictated that they retreat) destroy the Hamas, restore security to southern Israel and return to the infinitely better situation that we had there prior to the Oslo Accords. Ultimately, Israel must relate to Gaza as it does to Judea and Samaria.

The Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza: Permanent Residency
The Land of Israel is our Land and we will never leave it. Israel must declare sovereignty over all parts of the Land that are in our hands, as the Likud Charter requires. Israel's Arabs enjoy all rights – even more than Israel's Jewish citizens. The Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza can be offered permanent residency status. This status will afford them full human rights and most of the services that the State of Israel gives its citizens. It will be forbidden to do to them what we did to our own brothers in Gush Katif. Israeli citizenship will be granted to those non-Jews who have tied their fate to Israel and who have proven their loyalty to the State. Those Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza who insist on voting for a parliament may do so in any one of the 22 amazing democracies that the Arab Nation has established since World War I.

The Iranian Threat: No Foreign Involvement
One lesson of the Holocaust is that negation of the victims' legitimacy precedes actual physical destruction. The Holocaust of the Jews of Europe did not begin in 1939 when the war broke out. It began in 1933 when Hitler became chancellor of Germany and, as head of state, began to espouse his threats to destroy the Jews. When the war broke out, a question mark already hovered over the right of the Jews to exist.

When the leader of a sovereign nation prepares to destroy Israel and publicly declares his intentions, he negates our legitimacy. This is the correspondence that we see between Ahmadinijad's hate speeches and the accelerating process of de-legitimization of Israel in the Western world.

It is a fatal mistake to involve the world in the Iranian issue. If the world solves the problem, Israel will always be forced to pay for the right to breathe air on the face of the earth. He who threatens to destroy us loses his own right to exist. Think of how many lives would have been saved if the free world had understood this and killed Hitler before he embarked on World War II.

America: No Foreign Aid
Israel should have foregone American foreign aid long ago. The foreign aid that Israel receives from America amounts to 4% of its GNP. Israel exports to America approximately one third more than it imports.

When America carries a debt of 16 trillion dollars, it is not reasonable that a much better-off country like Israel should expect donations. Israel's relationship with the US should be based on common interests and values between strategic partners.

Israel must demand the release of Jonathan Pollard and expel the US spies who fill our country.

We Still Have a Long Way to Go
My election to the Knesset is an important stage in the journey that began with the establishment of Zo Artzeinu and continued with the establishment of Manhigut Yehudit and our integration into the Likud. I do not know what role the Prime Minister will offer me. I am particularly interested in a position of influence in education, housing or security. But any position that will foster my efforts to advance the liberty, Jewish identity and meaning of the Jewish State are relevant.

My insistence on advancing my agenda from within the national ruling party was not the easy route to the Knesset. I could have been a Knesset Member long ago with a sectoral party that has no influence. In the face of the relentless zigzagging of Israeli politics and the embarrassing paucity of ideas in the ideological marketplace, my political opponents can also benefit from the contrast that my ideology provides.

I intend to help the Likud, the government and the Prime Minister – whom I respect - as much as possible. When the time comes to elect a new leader for the Likud, I plan to run once again in order to advance the Jewish liberty alternative for leadership of Israel.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Slippery Slope Into Totalitarianism

By Moshe Feiglin

12 Tevet, 5773
Dec. 25, '12
The distance between the average American and Newtown, Connecticut is much greater than the distance between the average Israeli and the place where approximately 200 people are slaughtered every day: Syria. Nevertheless, the slaughter perpetrated in Syria (and other places in the world) by people who are legally armed by their state doesn't really interest anybody. What shocks the enlightened world, including Israel, is not the millions slaughtered by states, but rather, those exceptions to the rule in which individuals - not regimes – perpetrate the slaughter.

The authors of the American constitution wrote a document about as close to perfection as is humanly possible. They understood well that the first stop on the path to slavery is to rescind the citizen's right to defend himself, leaving him alone, helpless and vulnerable to the 'kindness' of the regime. Wherever a regime has become totalitarian, its first step is to disarm its citizens.

We automatically assume that the state is a responsible power acting, first and foremost, for the benefit of its citizens. We feel good thinking that there is a big brother out there with whom we can deposit the responsibility for our fate. When a shocking shooting spree like Sandy Hook takes place, nobody seriously checks what violent films children are watching. Nobody talks about training armed citizens to prevent more of these insane shootings. The easy solution – the solution that does not require taking responsibility – is to deposit arms and responsibility in the hands of the state.

In Israel, the gun licensing procedure is more logical than its American counterpart. Nevertheless, the state tends to prevent its citizens from carrying arms. This is another expression of the ongoing erosion of human rights that began with the Oslo Accords and intensified with the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif.

It is easy to slide down the slippery slope of totalitarianism. The loss of the ability to protect oneself is the loss of liberty. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Likud or Jewish Home?

By Shmuel Sackett

Dear Shmuel,

What you YOU done to stop the expulsion from Ulpana? Nothing. What have you done to get the Levy Report translated to English and adopted by Likud? Nothing.

You have been in Likud for many years and the world STILL thinks we are illegal occupiers. Hopefully Beit Yehudi will change this because Likud HASN'T.

Dear L.,

It is important to understand that Moshe Feiglin and I did not start "Manhigut Yehudit" to stop the expulsion from Ulpana, adopt the Levy report or even to build more houses in Jerusalem.

We did not begin this major undertaking to stop the settlement freeze, help Migron or even end the dream of a Palestinian state.

We started this in order to grab the reigns of leadership away from those who think that Israel is a Hebrew speaking Singapore.

Unlike others who are constantly running to extinguish one fire after another, Manhigut Yehudit is there to ACT and not REACT!

Yes, it is a slow process but one that – eventually – will insure that Israel will become a strong and proud Jewish state.

When that happens, questions like the Ulpana and the Levy Report will be ridiculous.

Please do not misunderstand me; It is also important to fight for the issues I stated above and we praise – and even help – those organizations who fight those battles.

It is just that I must state loud and clear that this is not OUR focus.

Never was, never will be.

Our focus is taking away the control of leadership from those who are guiding Israel on the wrong path – which ultimately leads us to the problems you stated.

Our plan is to cure the disease at the SOURCE and not just the SYMPTOM.

I hope this is clear.

Thank you for your question. 

-Shmuel Sackett

Co-founder and International Director

Manhigut Yehudit

Jabotinsky, Feiglin

This caricature was penned by talented cartoonist Shai Charka after Moshe Feiglin was elected to the Likud roster. It appeared in the Makor Rishon newspaper. The man in the picture frame is Jabotinsky, founder of the Herut (Liberty) party that eventually became the Likud. After decades, the Likud finally has a strong advocate of Jewish liberty, following in Jabotinsky's political footsteps. Jabotinsky would have been proud.


The Humanitarians who need Israel but don't know it

By Tuvia Brodie

There is a certain gathering place in downtown East Jerusalem known for attracting foreigners-- photo- and TV-journalists, the occasional Western diplomat, humanitarian employees and other assorted workers of good will. One may not hear much about the price of liquor or the quality of the food in this favoured spot; victuals and drink don’t seem to be the attraction. What attracts these foreigners to this Arab section of Jerusalem is the after-hours chatter—and the camaraderie one seems always to find among like-minded foreigners who do the dusty and sometimes dangerous work commonly associated with humanitarians and journalists who ply their trades in difficult, far-away lands.
There is something bracing about sitting among educated, articulate and highly-motivated professionals whose names are known and whose faces are sometimes famous. It’s even more bracing to listen in on their conversations, to hear how they made the day’s stories, or to get a private glimpse into the how tomorrow’s news might become shaped by an evening of friendship and conversation.
These professionals know how to enjoy an end-of-the-day drink among friends. Their friendship seems especially warm because it is fuelled by a shared ideology. They are united in their contempt for Israel; and, because Israel is a free country, these foreigners know they can drink as much as they want and be as contemptuous as they want. Why? Because Israel protects them.
When these friends talk, they talk openly about hate. They hate when Arabs are killed. They hate when Arabs are arrested. They hate seeing Jews stop Arabs at security check-points.
But they love Israel. They really do. Like nowhere else in the Middle East, they can gather here safely with their like-minded friends. They can accuse Israel of anything they want—and Israelis won’t arrest them for it. No one challenges them if they manufacture or misrepresent the day’s news events. They are free to concentrate on their profession: was Israel accused of a humanitarian crime today?
Humanitarians and journalists in Israel can do almost anything they want. It’s wonderful.
In the 64 years since modern Israel was established, some 44,000—66,000 Arabs have been killed by Israel (the number depends upon who you talk to). True, most of these deaths came as the result of attacks against Israel initiated by the Arabs themselves. But that doesn’t matter. Just say it’s Israel’s fault.  Say Israel is guilty and you can become famous for defending ‘justice’.
Humanitarians and journalists love Israel. The work is easy. The salaries are good; and the Israelis give you above-average protection against harassment. Israel is the perfect foil for promoting anger at injustice. Israel is perfect because, generally speaking, when you call Israel immoral and unjust, the world cheers--and Israel responds with silence.
Israelis are afraid you might get insulted if they accuse you of lying.
Where else in the Middle East can you work against a government like that? In the Middle East, Israel is a humanitarian and journalistic Garden of Eden. Speak or write against the ruling powers in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza or Iran, and you could end up ‘disappeared; and if you are a humanitarian or journalist, you have no illusions about what that means. In the Arab Middle East, you keep your mouth shut, or else.
But Israel is different. There seem to be no restrictions. You can accuse Israel in the morning and then go happily in the evening to your favourite Arab East Jerusalem watering hole.
Israelis won’t touch you.
Without Israel, a humanitarian would have to risk his life in the Middle East. Without Israel, a journalist can be murdered or beaten. But in Israel, they can live humanely.
Israel is good to the humanitarian and journalist—very good.
Syria, on the other hand, isn’t a place for either. If some 44,000 – 66,000 Arabs have been killed fighting against Israel over the last 64 years, a similiar number has now been killed –and ‘disappeared’—in Syria during Arab-vs-Arab fighting over the last 21 months; and if 600,000 – 800,000 Arabs were made into refugees because of their wars against Israel, millions of Arabs in Syria have fled their homes over the last 21 months—fleeing from fellow Syrians.
In an orgy of internecine hate compounded by bloodcurdling inhumanity, Syria is pounding itself back to the Stone Age. Daily, Arabs killing each other violate international Human Rights code and commit horrific war crimes. But what’s a humanitarian or a journalist to do? Do you really expect them to risk their lives going into Syria to fight for truth and humanity?
In Israel, they can do that without risking anything.
Humanitarians and journalists are no different from anybody else. They need jobs. They want to enjoy life. Their friends in an Arab East Jerusalem watering hole are good to them. Should they jeopardize all that by working in Syria-- or Egypt or Libya or Lebanon or Iraq or Tunisia or Sudan or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Gaza?
There is no other country like Israel in the Middle East.
Israel is good to humanitarians and journalists—very good. It's a shame they don't know or appreciate just how desperately they need Israel and how good Israel is to them.

Friday, December 21, 2012

All in the Family

By Moshe Feiglin

And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph, does my father still live?" And the brothers could not answer him because they were afraid of him. (From this week's Torah portion, Vayigash, Genesis 45:3)

When Joseph asks if his father is still alive, he is obviously not seeking information. His brothers have mentioned their father numerous times and he knows that he is alive. When Joseph asks if his father is alive, he is asking if his family still lives. Is the message heralded by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the message of perfection of the world under G-d's kingdom that will be brought to the world by the Nation of Israel – is that message still alive within the family, or is it only my role to keep that spark alive?

The dreams of Joseph's youth were not just meaningless distractions. His father took them to heart. When the brothers threw Joseph into the pit, it was clear that they were no longer brothers and that the family unit had been sundered. And when Joseph rose to greatness in Egypt, he could easily have concluded that he was the sole bearer of the message of his forefathers.

This explains why Joseph did not send messengers to inform his father that he was alive immediately upon attaining his lofty status. Joseph understood that he had to complete the realization of his dream and to bring his father and all his brothers to Egypt. He understood that the next stage in the history of the future Jewish Nation would unfold in the Land of the Nile. He also understood that his family remained united to herald the message of the Forefathers – forever.

Since the Six Day War, Israel has been trying to solve its identity crisis through its neighbors. "We will make peace and then everything will work out here." But more and more, the realization that the solution to the challenges facing us must come from within our family and within our Land is becoming crystal clear.

Shabbat Shalom

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Vayigash 5773


Parashat Vayigash 5773
On the 5th of Iyar 5708 (May 14, 1948) Mo’e’tzet Ha’am (National Council) met in Tel Aviv to declare the establishment of Medinat Yisrael. The very next day, on the the 6th of Iyar, the armies of seven Arab states invaded the tiny area of Medinat Yisrael. They were in effect saying, "We will give the flame of Medinat Yisrael one day to be lit. Tomorrow we will extinguish it, together with the hopes of the Jewish people to ever return to the land from which God had exiled them".
Today, 64 years later, the Medina with its over 6 million Jews from 100+ countries stands at the cutting edge of human endeavor, while the majority of the 22 Arab states are, in the best case, struggling to remain solvent, or busy killing each other in civil wars.
Sixty four is a natural number for the miracles of Chanuka, because it is the number 8 squared. Eight times 8 years of continuous miracles from the hand of HaShem!
Chanuka is celebrated differently among the widespread communities of our people. In the galut, Jews recall the miracles of our successful rebellion against the Greeks’ attempt to extinguish the fire of Torah in their quest to destroy the Jewish nation. But in Eretz Yisrael, Chanuka is forever present in our struggle against the many forces who seek to destroy Medinat Yisrael in their quest to destroy the Jewish nation. We in the Holy land daily relive the challenges which faced our ancestors, only the names of the enemies have changed. Because enemies of God’s people fall from the platform of history very quickly, in order to make room for new enemies to try their hand at doing the impossible - destroying the Jewish people.
No longer is ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome or the Phillistines factors in our lives. They have given way to Christianity, Islam, the UN, the European Union, the ICC, and anti-Semites of various colors and tongues. But they too will go the way of all our previous enemies, so we shall begin setting up room for them in the exhibits of our museums.
Chanuka, is the holiday of the Kohanim. The kohanic family of Mattityah were the first to raise the flag of rebellion against the Greeks and their Jewish Hellenist corroborators. The kohanim led the brutal 25 year war, and it was they who lit the oil which burned for 8 days in the kodesh (sanctuary) of the Bet Hamikdash.
On this background, I wish to direct this week’s message Torah to my fellow Kohanim who are still living in the galut.
Our parasha relates (Beraishiet 47,22):

רק אדמת הכהנים לא קנה כי חק לכהנים מאת פרעה ואכלו את חקם אשר נתן להם פרעה על כן לא מכרו את אדמתם:
However, he (Yosef) did not purchase the land of the (Egyptian)+++ priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

From here we learn that the priests were landowners, and Paro saw to it that they retained their homesteads by supplying them with their needs.
In our holy Torah kohanim and levi’im were not allotted homesteads, as stated in Devarim 10:8-9

בעת ההוא הבדיל ה' את שבט הלוי לשאת את ארון ברית ה' לעמד לפני ה' לשרתו ולברך בשמו עד היום הזה:
על כן לא היה ללוי חלק ונחלה עם אחיו ה' הוא נחלתו כאשר דבר ה' א-להיך לו
8) At that time HaShem set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of HaShem, to stand before HaShem to minister and to pronounce blessings in His name, as they still do today. 9) That is why the (tribe of) Levi have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; HaShem is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told Moshe

The tribe of Levi were not awarded land, which would have occupied the majority of their time and efforts, whereas HaShem desired the kohanim and levi’im to be totally dedicated to serving Him.
Every son of Ya’akov, the progenitors of the 12 tribes, was endowed with a unique quality. It is not surprising that the fourth son of Ya’akov, Yehuda, was the brother who came forward in our parasha to challenge the Viceroy of Egypt’s belligerent attitude from the first moment the brothers arrived there. Yehuda was endowed with the quality of leadership and initiative indicative of the role which was to be set upon his future descendants as the ruling House of King David. The third son, Levi, Levi was to become the connecting link between HaShem and the Jewish people in the role which was to be set upon his future descendants as kohanim and levi’im.
The Jewish nation is Hashem’s chosen people, and the Kohanim are His personal emissaries.
There is a natural affinity for spirituality in the kohanic soul. Kohanim are endowed with zealousness in the defense of the Torah. Pinchas acted as a kohen when he displayed his zeal for Hashem, and was rewarded with an upgrade from Levi to Kohen. The kohanim brought down the walls of Yericho, the city known as the "Gateway to Eretz Yisrael".
Despite their relatively small demographic percentage (about 5%), many prophets were kohanim, i.e., Yirmiyahu, Uriah, Yehoyada, Zecharia, and many more. Ezra the Scribe, who led the rebuilding of the second Bet Hamikdash was the kohen gadol, as were the majority of the rabbis in the Sanhedrin chosen from the kohanic family. The Maccabeim were kohanim, and the kohanim fought the Romans to the last man, as the Bet HaMikdash was burning around them.
With the development of DNA analysis, it was discovered that over 80% of people who claim to be kohanim were found to have a particular factor on their "Y" chromosome, the chromosome that determines the male gender through which the kehuna is passed on to the next generation.
In the years prior to the destruction of the second Bet Hamikdash, various Sanhedrins decreed that chutz la’aretz was tamei, so that kohanim would not leave Eretz Yisrael except in certain special circumstances.
With all this in mind, I turn to my fellow kohanim in chutz la’aretz to remind them of their unique status, which cannot be reconciled with their presence in the galut.
We kohanim were at the forefront of every religious activity, from earliest times. Thus, it is our obligation to be role models for the nation, requiring our return to the land where the Bet Hamikdash was, and will be once again.
An impressive statistic. In most areas of Eretz Yisrael the kohanic blessing is recited daily and twice when musaf is said. On Yom kippur even three times.
That comes out to approximately 400 times a year. Whereas in chutz la’aretz it is recited approximately only 10 times a year. Had I remained (God forbid) in galut, I would have said the kohanic blessing over the the last 50 years approximately 500 times, whereas in the 50 years of being in Eretz Yisrael I have recited the blessing about 20,000 times! Each time a kohen recites the blessing he is fulfilling a Torah mitzva.
Our parsha relates that when Yosef and Binyamin embraced, they cried bitterly. And as Rashi explains, it was because they both experienced a prophetic moment. Yosef cried because he saw the destruction of the two Batei Mikdash which were to be built in the tribal area of Binyamin, and Binyamin cried because he saw the destruction of mishkan Shilo (the sanctuary in the town of Shilo) in the area of Yosef.
Many people today, in Eretz Yisrael, are planning and learning all the possible aspects of the Bet Hamikdash. Because, in contrast to Yosef and Binyamin we do not envision destruction; but rather we see in our minds’ eye the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash.
It will happen, and could happen very suddenly. And when it does, the kohanim who will be here will be granted the privilege of serving HaShem in the Mikdash. How embarrassing, to say the least, it will be for the kohanim who will not be here.
Dear fellow kohanim.
We have been blessed with a gift that cannot be attained through purchase; the kehuna is an indivisible component of our souls. The kehuna part of you yearns to be re-united with the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael. To turn your back on it is to be your own worst enemy.
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana