Friday, August 30, 2013

Revamp Educational System with Vouchers

By Moshe Feiglin

The beginning of this year’s school year falls out very close to the High Holidays. It highlights the absurdity of running our lives by both the Hebrew and general calendars.

Manhigut Yehudit’s Michael Fuah, a veteran educator, has devised a school calendar based on the Hebrew dates. With his calendar, students will no longer begin the school year, finally get acclimated in their new classrooms and then begin a long vacation for the Holidays.

The education system has problems deeper and more essential than the double calendar complication. The root of the problem is the concept of servitude. Our educational system is based on the assumption that the State (or the Minister of Education, according to law) is responsible for the education of our children. This is the source of all the problems with teachers’ salaries, the quality of education and the budget that never suffices.
The educational system should stand on the foundation of liberty. “A father is obligated to teach his son Torah,” our Sages say in the tractate of Kidushin. The father is obligated – not the State.

Society (and the State that is supposed to serve it) has a keen interest in the education of its younger generation. As such, it must ensure that every parent will have the means with which to educate his/her child. The most efficient way to accomplish this is with vouchers. Parents will receive vouchers from the State and will redeem them in the educational setting that best fits their needs. 

Mazel Tov on the Royal Baby

By Shmuel Sackett

I am so excited that the royal baby has been born. Seriously, this is not a joke. What a "Simcha" that a baby has been born to Britain’s royal family! It is no wonder why the media has gone crazy over this little boy and has reported every aspect of the parents’ wedding, pregnancy and birth. I firmly believe that the entire world will see his first steps, his first sneeze and will be glued to the TV when he starts first grade in a few years.
There's only one problem with this story. The media made it a special and unique event as if something like this happens once every 30 years. Fortunately for Am Yisrael, a royal baby is born every few MINUTES!!! (Note: Last year – just in Israel – over 130,000 Jewish babies were born. This translates to 15 Jewish babies every hour!!)
This is not a joke. The Jewish people are children of the King. The Torah is very clear when it says: "You are children to Hashem, your G-d" (D'varim 14:1) Therefore, if Hashem is the King of Kings – which He is! – His children are all princes and princesses! Thus, every one of us is a member of the Royal Family!!! Think about THAT the next time you see a little Jewish baby.

Of course, I mean no disrespect to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Prince William and Kate, nor to their son; Prince George. I am merely pointing out something that most of us take for granted – that every Jew alive today; observant or not, Sefardi or Ashkenazi, man or woman, young and old are Princes (or Princesses) no less than Prince George and actually a LOT more since OUR father is not flesh and blood but the Ruler and Master of the Universe!

Therefore, allow me to address the rest of this article to YOU; Prince Chaim, Prince Elisha, Princess Chava Leah, Princess Tamar and ALL the sons and daughters of the King who may be reading these words including Prince Bibi. Stop selling yourself short. Stop bowing before the entire world. It is YOU who is the child of the King and not them. Stand proud and tall – not on an individual level since we are taught to be modest and humble - but on a NATIONAL level which FORBIDS us to be modest! That is correct. As a nation, as the CHOSEN nation, we are not allowed to be humble since that would lower the greatness of Hashem Himself. We are the bearers of His sword and His great and holy Name. As such, we must guard His honor by never lowering ours!

While all this sounds great – who wouldn't want to be the son of a king? – it comes with a tremendous responsibility. We have a job to do and the King is expecting and DEMANDING we act accordingly! One of our most important tasks is actually going to take place next week on Rosh Ha'Shanah when we will have to perform the most important Mitzvah of the day. No, it is not hearing the shofar, going to Tashlich, eating an apple dipped in honey or dovinning with kavanah. Those are all very important but pale in comparison to the #1 priority and job of every Jew on Rosh Ha'Shanah: TO CROWN HASHEM AS KING OF THE UNIVERSE!!

Yes, you – in Kew Gardens Hills, Boca Raton, Netanya and Petach Tikva; YOU are the one who needs to crown Hashem as King. But let me give you some advice – you can only crown a king if you feel you are a prince! This is why I started the article the way I did. You need to understand that this is a two-way street. On one hand – Hashem is the king with or without us and therefore we are automatic princes but, in a very strange way, a king needs subjects to rule or he will sit on an empty and meaningless throne. Therefore, Hashem "needs" us to crown Him king each and every year! This is why we switch several parts of the dovinning to phrases like "Ha'Melech Ha'Kadosh" and end the Neilah service with words that shatter the earth: "Hashem Hu' Ha'Elokim". Who doesn't shake when those words are screamed out loud?

My dearest friends and fellow Princes and Princesses; take your job seriously! Stop looking at yourself as a mere individual. You are far greater than that. You are part of the Nation of Israel chosen from over 7 BILLION living creatures to represent Hashem as His personal treasure. Stop bending your neck to the flesh and blood at the UN, EU and Washington and start bending your neck ONLY to the Creator… our Father, our King. You have been given a mission. Focus on that mission and live every second of your life towards fulfilling it. Start next week with Rosh Ha'Shanah by crowning Hashem King and make sure you live in His kingdom every day of the year!

And one more thing: Let's all have lots of royal babies!! Shanah Tova!

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Nitzavim-Va’yai’lech – The last Shabbat of 5773


Part A:
Every Jewish man and woman is alluded to in the intricate texts of the Bible. So too, are the manifold episodes of every generation hidden behind some word or phrase in the Torah.
Where is our generation alluded to in the Torah?
Initially, we have to identify the parameters and circumstances of our generation which make it unique from all others. This is fortunately not an herculean task! For there has never before been an exile of such duration and cruelty as the one we have experienced these 2000 years, and concluded with Hashem’s miraculous restoration of the majority of His people to a sizable part of the biblical borders of Eretz Yisrael, which we call today Medinat Yisrael.
One need not seek out our generation in the texts of the Torah with a magnifying glass, because it is explicit in our parasha Nitzavim chapter 30:
(ג) ושב ה’ א-להיך את שבותך ורחמך ושב וקבצך מכל העמים אשר הפיצך ה’ א-להיך שמה:
(ד) אם יהיה נדחך בקצה השמים משם יקבצך ה’ א-להיך ומשם יקחך:
(ה)והביאך ה’ א-להיך אל הארץ אשר ירשו אבתיך וירשתה והיטבך והרבך מאבתיך:
3 Then the Lord your God will return you from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.
5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.
Indeed, we were scattered to the four corners of the globe, and HaShem is now in the process of returning all the Jews to His holy land; those who return willingly, as well as those who cling to the unholy galut and will have to be wrenched away from their sweet captivity.
However, it might appear that the opening verses of this chapter (30) are not pointing to our generation, for it says:
(א) והיה כי יבאו עליך כל הדברים האלה הברכה והקללה אשר נתתי לפניך והשבת אל לבבך בכל הגוים אשר הדיחך ה’ א-להיך שמה:
(ב) ושבת עד ה’ א-להיך ושמעת בקלו ככל אשר אנכי מצוך היום אתה ובניך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך:
(ג) ושב ה’ א-להיך את שבותך ורחמך ושב וקבצך מכל העמים אשר הפיצך ה’ א-להיך שמה:
1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations,
2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today,
3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.
How can we say that we are living in the time of national restoration which is conditioned upon the Jews doing teshuva, “And when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today”? When did this happen?
I submit:
Teshuva is a subjective matter. It finds expression in accordance to the individual and his dark past.
The pasukim (Beraisheet 25,8-9) relate that when Avraham passed away, his two sons came to bury their holy father:
(ח) ויגוע וימת אברהם בשיבה טובה זקן ושבע ויאסף אל עמיו:
(ט) ויקברו אתו יצחק וישמעאל בניו אל מערת המכפלה אל שדה עפרן בן צחר החתי אשר על פני ממרא:
8 Then Abraham died at an advanced age, elderly and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.
9 His sons Isaac and Yishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zochar the Chittite
Chazal say that verse 9 reveals that Yishmael did teshuva, because although Yishmael was older, he agreed that Yitzchak should be the spiritual heir to Avraham, as we learn from the fact that Yitzchak is stated in the pasuk before the name of Yishmael. However, the statement that Yishmael did teshuva is difficult, because Yishmael was an idolator to the end of his life, as attested to by the fact that he took the evil Aisav to be his son-in-law.
As stated previously teshuva is subjective. Yishmael’s definitive fault was his stubborn insistence that he was the heir to Avraham’s spiritual status. HaShem’s grievance to Yishmael was not that he was not a talmid chacham or that he accepted idolatry, but that he did accept the fact that he was not and never was connected spiritually to Avraham. So when Yitzchak precedes Yishmael in the pasuk, it is the Torah’s way of saying that Yishmael finally accepted his inferior spiritual status vis-à-vis Yitzchak, and that was his personal teshuva.
The great historic sin of the Jewish people of 2000 years ago was our desire to be accepted and loved by the gentiles. Many Jews were involved with Greek culture, then after with Roman culture. We dressed like them, spoke their language and were a part of their political intrigues, all in the name of being accepted by the goy.
Our experience of living under the goyim reaching the climax with the Shoah, made it clear to most Jews that we must leave the hated galut. That we must return to our own Biblical home-land and distance ourselves from the “favors” of Aisav and Yishmael. And the acknowledgement that we are a unique entity in the world.
This is the teshuva that HaShem was waiting for, and it in itself was sufficient to open the doors of return to Eretz Yisrael and the restoration of our national life.
The next phase in the teshuva process will be our return to actively fulfilling the Torah’s mitzvot, towards which we are advancing rapidly every day.
Part B:
The real life game-changing decisions are very private and never revealed in history books. There are things that I know about the Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars which will be forgotten never to appear in the official documents of our nation, but were critical to the events which transpired.
We are now in the throes of events which could have far-reaching consequences for the Middle East and the world. Will the US and Europe attack Syria? Will Syria react by attacking Israel? Will Iran join with Syria? Will Russia and China find reasons to join in the free-for-all?
Our parasha states (Devarim 29,28):
הנסתרת לה’ א-להינו והנגלת לנו ולבנינו עד עולם לעשות את כל דברי התורה הזאת
The secret things are known to the Lord our God, but the revealed episodes are known to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
The real diabolical motives behind the apparent moral positions of the Western powers, are known to HaShem, but not to the general public. The US and Europe are not acting now to retaliate for the crimes perpetrated by the Syrian government, or to prevent further acts of cruelty against humanity.
The reality which might never be told is that the decisions are anchored in deep Christian, anti-Semitic religious motives.
The Christian world will never be reconciled with the existence of the State of Israel. The very existence of Medinat Yisrael is the most brutal, ferocious, merciless, ruthless and unrelenting repudiation and abrogation of all that Christianity stands for.
And all their intellectual gymnastics in explaining why their god permitted the Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael after he ‘rejected” the Jewish people does no more than arouse a sarcastic smile on the face of any intelligent person.
The driving motive behind the forth-coming attack on Syria is in order to arouse the Moslem world to retaliate and destroy Medinat Yisrael. The deciders may not even be the heads of state, but a small group of individuals in the Council of Foreign Relations, or the Vatican.
The reader of this might think that this line of thought is hallucinating. I too would think so would it not be for the Midrash Tanchuma which is quoted by Rashi in the Book of Yechezkel 35,10 as follows:
ומדרש אגדה ר’ תנחומא דורשו כלפי שהלך עשו אל ישמעאל להתחתן בו להשיאו שיעורר על יצחק על ירושת אברהם ויהרוג ישמעאל את יצחק ואהיה אני גואל הדם ואהרוג את ישמעאל וזהו יקרבו ימי אבל אבי ואירש אני את יצחק ואת ישמעאל
Midrash Tanchuma explains the intention of Yechezkel in this verse to mean that Aisav married the daughter of Yishmael with the intent of influencing him to kill Yitzchak, then he (Aisav) will act as the “goel hadam” the justified avenger to kill Yishmael, thereby paving the way for him to be the uncontested spiritual heir to Avraham.
Replace the name “Aisav” with Europe. Replace “Yishmael” with the Arab countries, and replace “Yitzchak ” with Medinat Yisrael and you have the script of what is transpiring these very days.
Aisav the Christian arouses Syria the Yishmaelite and its Persian masters to attack Yitzchak the Jew.
The time of our so long awaited redemption may be now. Our Father-in Heaven will protect His people Israel.
During times of stress the prophetic words of Yishayahu (40:15,17) must always be in the forefront of our thoughts:
(טו) הן גוים כמר מדלי וכשחק מאזנים נחשבו הן איים כדק יטול:
(יז) כל הגוים כאין נגדו מאפס ותהו נחשבו לו:
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
Part C:
We might be entering the period of HaShem’s retribution for what the gentiles did to us. When it happens, the Jewish communities in the galut will not be immune. Their fate will not be concerted establishment anti-Semitism but rather ground-roots “street” violence. When the genie of hate is released, the blacks and Moslems will smell blood and react with violence. They will run through the streets smashing, vandalizing and burning Jewish stores, attacking Jews on the streets, destroying their cars and homes.
Let us hope and pray that this will never happen. However, one can never know when HaShem will change the gears of history, and the lives of people will never again be the same.
Question: Why should such an idea even enter one’s mind?
Our Minister for Tourism, Dr. Uzi Landau, revealed a sickening statistic. That from 1948 to the present, less than 15% of the Jews of the United States ever visited Medinat Yisrael.
It is estimated that there are 5 million Jews in the US, of which one million are Torah observant.
The 15% of 5 million who visited Eretz Yisrael is 750,000 half of whom are presumably non Torah observant, leaving the number of observant Jew who ever visited Israel at around 375,000.
Numbers don’t lie. These numbers reveal that the vast majority – 625,000 out of one million – religious Jews of the US have never stepped foot on the soil of God’s holy land.
Among these 625,000 there are principals and teachers in religious day schools, pulpit rabbis, yeshiva and kollel students and more.
It has not yet come through to the Jews in the galut that our Father in Heaven is very serious when it “comes to religion”. HaShem was the initiator of Religious Zionism, when He revealed himself to Avraham and promised to him and his descendants sovereignty over “Eretz Hakodesh”.
The religious leaders in the galut would do well to recognize the awesome responsibility they have for the physical and spiritual welfare of their adherents, by not guiding them to return home, and theirs will be the ultimate blame for not doing so.
Their responsibility goes even beyond that of the religious leaders of the 1930s in Europe who saw the black clouds over the horizon, yet did not use their prestige to arouse their adherents to return home.
Let us hope that in the coming year of 5774 the Quality of Chesed (compassion) will overcome the Quality of Severe Justice, and all of Am Yisrael will be united in our holy land of Eretz Yisrael.
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5773/2013 Nachman Kahana

Obama will Pay for Complications in Syria with Israeli Concessions

By Moshe Feiglin

In my evaluation, America's anticipated strike in Syria is part of a long-term US plan. If it wanted, America could have continued to blur the Syrian use of chemical weapons. Massacres happen all the time throughout the world; some are intentionally ignored while others are amplified. 

The President of the United States is eager to bolster his image in the aftermath of his resounding policy failures. To stabilize his relations with the Arab world and Russia after expected complications set in, Obama intends to pay in Israeli coinage. Israel must urgently formulate a strategy - and not suffice itself with mere tactical positioning. 

In the Middle East, either you sit down to the dinner - or you are the main course.

A Matter of Desire

A Torah Thought for Parashat Netzavim

By Rav Mordechai Rabinovitch 

"Hashem your God will return your captivity and have compassion upon you; and will return and gather you from all the nations, to which Hashem your God has scattered you" (Devarim 30:3). Rashi explains that the Torah teaches here that Hashem, as it were, is also in exile, and will return with the Jews to Israel. But how can the apparently superfluous repetition of the verb "will return" be understood?
In the first half of the verse, the Torah speaks of the Diaspora Jews as in "captivity". R. Meir Simchah of Dvinsk explains that this refers to a Jew who yearns to return to the Holy Land and regards his presence in foreign lands as a form of captivity. This type of Jew is the first to return home.
There is another type of Jew who feels perfectly comfortable in foreign lands, and has lost any desire to return to Israel. This type is the subject of the second half of the verse (which makes no mention of captivity). This type of Jew will eventually be returned – but later on (Meshech Chochmah).

Today, a Jew who merely wants to can return home. What about you??

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Elul, Days of Awe and John Kerry

By Tuvia Brodie

Some days, it's tough to turn on the computer in the morning. The news is that bad.  
For example, convicted murderers have been released from Israeli prison as a ‘peace gesture’. But the Wall Street Journal asks, why does setting murderers free bring peace? Their hate of Jews knows no bounds.

Israel has privately told US Secretary of State John Kerry that it will issue new construction tenders for areas not affected by peace talks. Mr Kerry accepted that explanation. But when Israel made that decision public, Kerry joined the world’s condemnations by declaring that all construction in those areas is illegitimate. He betrays Israel.

The European Union (EU) wants a Palestinian state along 1949 armistice lines. It calls Israel, ‘occupier’—and announces it will boycott all Jewish businesses and institutions across those lines. But the argument underlying their boycott is bogus. Those armistice lines were never intended to be borders. The EU bears false witness against Israel.

It is not coincidence that these anti-Israel stories began around Tisha B’Av (July 16, 2013) and continue well into the Jewish month Elul, which began this year on August 7.

Elul is unique. It helps Jews prepare for the Days of Awe. The Days of Awe begin on the Jewish New Year (this year, September 5). They end on the Day of Atonement, ten days later.

These Days of Awe are filled with fear of Heaven. This is when G-d decides our fate for the new year. It is the moment of Heavenly Judgment.   

Elul reminds us that Judgment comes. It is a month when our Father the King leaves His Palace and goes out ‘into the field’. He beckons us to Him.  He wants us to come to Him before that Judgment begins.   

During Elul, we say special prayers. We add Psalm 27, where we read about enemies surrounding us, war coming to us and G-d helping us.

These prayers—and Elul’s emphasis on recognizing the Power of G-d—create a context for these anti-Israel news stories. The context is, G-d is the ruler, not John Kerry or Mahmoud Abbas.

We note this context because two weeks ago US Secretary of State Kerry warned Israel that it must sign a ‘peace’ agreement with Abbas. Kerry has been told that such an agreement would create Auschwitz borders for Israel. But he ignores that. He ignores Abbas’ racist calls for a Jew-free Palestine. Instead, he demands that Israel sign off on the agreement. Then he warned that if Israel does not accept this arrangement, Israel will be subjected to world-wide isolation ‘on steroids’.

That warning sounded ominous. It sounded like extortion.

During this Elul, we see men rise to bear false witness against Israel (Psalm 27). We see men (the released prisoners) chafe to breathe violence against Israel (ibid). We see evildoers exalt themselves (Psalm 94:4, from the Ramban’s comments on Devorim, 21:14 in the weekly Torah portion for August 17, 2013).  

Elul reminds us that the troubles we see in the news have been foretold (Psalm 27). They’re a pre-recorded message. They come from our Tanach (Jewish Bible).

We have known for more than 3,000 years that the day will come when the nations will hate Israel, conspire to harm Israel and plot to destroy Israel. This is what we see now—exactly as foretold.

This is the context for today’s news. It is the context of Jewish Destiny.

In Elul, we are reminded that G-d watches. He records. He prepares an accounting. He prepares for the Days of Awe when He Judges us--measure-for-measure.

The Master of the Universe Judges everyone.  Individuals will be punished, measure-for-measure. Nations will be punished, measure-for-measure.  

It’s a simple concept. For the nations, it means that every evil committed against Jews during the last 3,000 years will be accounted for. Every act of hate, every false accusation and every murder accumulates as testimony before G-d’s Judgment.

The nations will pay a price for their evil. As some have said, what goes around comes around; that is, what you have done to others will now come to you, measure-for-measure.

This punishment will not be spread out over the next 3,000 years (to equal the evils committed during the last 3,000 years). The punishment will be compressed. The Heavenly Judgment for 3,000 years of evil will unfold over months or weeks, not centuries.

Here’s some advice: you don't want to be punished in any compressed way for every sin you have ever committed. You couldn’t bear the weight of it.

When we compare this month’s anti-Israel stories to Elul’s special prayers and readings, we realize that Edom (the West) and Yishmael (the Arab) are destined to be judged. Their account of sins will be settled. They will pay for all the killings, lies and betrayals they have ever plotted and committed against Israel.

For them, that judgment will be Days of Awe on steroids.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Who is Fooling Whom?

By Michael Fuah
Michael Fuah is the Research Director of Manhigut Yehudit
Everybody knows about the deal: Terrorist release in exchange for construction permits in Judea and Samaria. Privy to the deal are the US, PLO, Lapid, Bennett-Ariel and the Likud MKs. Every actor plays his part. The US expresses its concern over the building permits but ultimately “accepts” them. The PLO pretends that the permits will torpedo the negotiations. Bennett, Ariel and their Jewish Home party, along with the rightist wing of the Likud vote against the terrorist release, but don’t really break out of the matrix. They vote in favor the government budget (votes against the budget could have brought the government down) in exchange for a promise of construction permits in Judea and Samaria, all the while releasing trite clichés condemning the immoral deal. They reap support and good will for their impassioned speeches. In short, the actors are all talented and on the surface, everybody wins. 

The truth, though, is that the big losers are the citizens of the State of Israel. The terrorist release is not just another tactical measure, the outcome of which will be calculated according to how many Jews were murdered by the newly released prisoners. The terrorist release, with the approval of the entire National Camp, is a strategic terror strike against the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Israel’s National Camp has always excelled at tactical measures – and failed at strategy. The National Camp created facts on the ground in Yamit and the Sinai, Gush Katif and of course, in Judea and Samaria. But it is the Left that determines the agenda. Thus, when the moment of truth arrived in Yamit, Sinai and Gush Katif, all the tactical success made no difference. Everything was destroyed. Clearly, the sheer size and power of the tactical success of the Right in Judea and Samaria became a strategic problem for the Left; but not an insolvable problem.

PM Netanyahu’s goal is to remove most of the Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria and to reach an arrangement that he calls “Two States for Two Peoples”. Netanyahu is not simply making this declaration for foreign ears while relying on the Arabs to torpedo his proposal; it is a goal toward which the PM has been working for years. Even when Netanyahu was still in the Opposition, he attempted to recruit me, personally, along with other influential Likud leaders to support this proposal. With the deal for terrorist release in exchange for building permits, the PM succeeded in acquiring the Right’s approval for both terrorist release and negotiations that have only one goal: the continuation of the Oslo process.

If this step is immoral, according to Minister Elkin, and if the values system of Minister Bennett dictates zero compromise in the face of terror, why didn’t the heads of the Land Of Israel Knesset Lobby – MKs Yariv Levin and Orit Struck , Jewish Home party heads Ministers Bennett and Ariel and the coalition partners from the National Camp leverage their political power and threaten to vote against the budget to prevent this catastrophe?

Before the Expulsion from Gush Katif, Sharon used the National Camp to pass the budget. Afterwards, he threw the Right to the wayside and bulldozed his Expulsion plan through the Knesset with the support of the Left. Hasn’t the lesson been learned? The ministers and MKs, aware of the power in their hands, refused to use it. Some of them even explained that their refusal was because of the promised construction permits.

The Community Council and Action Committee heads who protested the terrorist release did not demand that their Knesset representative leverage their political power in the vote on the budget, which took place just two days after the government decision to release terrorists. Clearly, if there had been even five Coalition members who had refused to vote in favor of the budget, the decision to release terrorists would have been nullified. Drawing a red line on the terrorist release and exacting the price in the budget vote would have been understood and clear to the general public. Labor party’s Shelly Yehimovitz and her friends would not have been able to provide the government with a safety net for the budget just to make the terrorist release possible. But the Prime Minister, in coordination with the US and Abu Mazen knew that the Right could be bought with building permits, and he was correct.
Beyond the moral question raised by the release of murderers in exchange for additional buildings and beyond the dubious “benefits” of the deal, there is a very basic issue in question here: The release of terrorists is recognition in principle that these murderers are actually freedom fighters in a just war. This new release is not even similar to the irresponsible release of prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit. That was surrender, not recognition of the importance of their struggle.

This ‘deal’, in which the National Camp agrees to the terrorist release in exchange for construction, so as to facilitate the opening of negotiations from an inferior position - may turn out to be the moment at which the fate of some of the towns and villages of Judea and Samaria was sealed: For expulsion, or perhaps even worse, unilateral abandonment. It seems that the Kfar Maimon paradigm, in which the heads of the National Camp dizzy the public with futile gimmicks while secretly collaborating with the destruction masterminds, is repeating itself. I have no doubt that the MKs and public figures mean well and are certain that the added construction will stop the next expulsion or abandonment. But in this game, in which everyone is deceiving everyone, the winner is the person who leads; not those being led.

Minister Uri Ariel, who boasted about more buildings in Judea and Samaria on the day of the terrorist release, is playing directly into the hands of the PM and the Left. When the terror attacks intensify, the Left will blame the Right for the terrorist release and the murder of Israeli citizens. “You preferred the terrorist release to a building moratorium,” the Left, as usual, will point its blaming finger at us.

The only person who held a mirror up to the display of hypocrisy is Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Moshe Feiglin. He announced that if the government would approve the terrorist release, he would vote against the budget – and he did. If another three or four MKs would have joined him, if community council heads and Judea and Samaria Action Committees would have joined in the pressure that Manhigut Yehudit was applying – instead of agreeing to the ‘deal’ – the terrorist release would not have happened. But everyone remained silent because the deal was struck with everyone ahead of time and continued construction, in their eyes, is the supreme value. At this point, the score is 1:0 for Netanyahu, Obama and Abu Mazen.

The struggle is not over. If we continue to sign petitions against the terrorist release while allowing the negotiations to progress until Netanyahu will no longer need the National Camp and will be able to announce an historic move with the support of the Left, then what happened in Yamit and Gush Katif will happen in Judea and Samaria. The way to deal with the process that is already working against us is to dictate a new agenda: a social agenda and a diplomatic agenda.

The social agenda must feature the true hardships experienced by all Israelis, particularly the high price of housing and construction, which continue to rise. The public must know - now - that the solution to the housing crisis in central Israel lies in the foothills of Judea and Samaria. The public must internalize – now – that every expulsion or abandonment of residents of Judea and Samaria will bring the victims into the housing market and will intensify the crisis. We must make the facts public and create action committees to spark a just public outcry. Lowering the cost of housing is an issue that resounds with large segments of the population. If the public understands that the diplomatic process will generate an additional rise in housing prices, the process will be destabilized.

On the diplomatic front, we must stop our attempts at halting the process; they are always too late. Instead, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount must be at the forefront of our struggle. They are the cornerstone of every negotiation process. The last few months have seen a secret, creeping transfer of sovereignty on the Temple Mount to Jordan, despite the fact that it is against the law. The PM is attempting to circumvent the question of Jerusalem in general, and the Temple Mount, in particular, by dividing Jerusalem and giving up sovereignty on the Mount in practice. His goal is to reach an all-inclusive agreement in which these issues will already have been determined by the facts on the ground. The agreements will simply reflect the situation and will not require any additional retreats.

An uncompromising public struggle on Jerusalem, led by the National Camp, can do more than ameliorate the dangers of the negotiations. It can restore the State of Israel to its sense of justice and improve its international standing. Today’s situation, in which the State’s basic laws are being trampled upon in the very place that is the bedrock of our existence – is untenable.

We need thousands of Jews to ascend the Temple Mount and demand freedom of movement and worship. Not only will this change the situation on the Mount; it will change our entire diplomatic situation. Ministers and MKs must uncompromisingly demand the sovereignty of the Knesset on the Temple Mount. They will dictate a new agenda that Abu Mazen will not be able to sustain.

Initially, we will be portrayed as crazies attempting to ignite World War III. But if we persevere, those threats will dissipate, just as all the states surrounding us are melting away. Our connection to our historical destiny, to build a center for prayer and sanctity in the holiest place on earth will restore the legitimacy and international recognition that we are rapidly losing since we declared that we are robbers and conquerors.

I hope and pray that this time, there will be enough community activists in the National Camp who will rise to the moment and will act with a broad perception of the situation. We need people who are motivated by a sense of mission and leadership. We owe it to ourselves, to our children and to the historical mission now on our shoulders. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Time to Stop Netanyahu is Now

By Moshe Feiglin

I watched the video of the violent arrest of Boaz Albert with deep shock. It looks like the government is setting out on "mental preparation" in advance of the results of the "peace" negotiations: trampling and negating the basic rights of the residents of Judea and Samaria as a precursor to expulsion or abandonment.

I call upon all the ministers and Knesset Members from all political camps to demand Boaz Albert's immediate release and the immediate dismissal of the commander of this brutal arrest. The political debate must be conducted with respect for the civil and human rights of every individual. Government violence, which begins with administrative orders against Jewish citizens, distancing a person from his home, family and work without trial, will necessarily lead to the horrific pictures that we saw of the brutal arrest of a person in front of his small children and cruel physical abuse with a taser.

I turn to the representatives of the National Camp with a special request: The time has come to place a stop sign in the path of this government. A government cannot be called "nationalist" and there is no reason for its existence if it is transferring Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Jordanians, releasing terrorists, negotiating with those whose declared goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and trampling the most basic rights of Jews like Boaz Albert. The time to stop the march off the cliff is now - not when it is already too late.

I am not calling upon anybody to resign. On the contrary: It is imperative to use all the political power that we have to forge a new direction and to compel the "nationalist" government to carry out the policies that it was elected to implement. The vote on the budget, a powerful tool for leverage, was already wasted. But at this stage we must use all the political power that the National Camp has, including obstruction of the work of the government and Knesset so that it will not be "business as usual" for Netanyahu.

Netanyahu must be stopped now. The red line is already here and it has already been crossed. Any lingering makes the National Camp a partner in these crimes and erodes its ability to stand against the program being led by the PM - as we experienced with former PM Sharon. 

The Shomron Settler's Committee is selling wine made by Boaz Albert in order to financially help him and his family. I will be buying 52 bottles of his most expensive wine - one for each Shabbat of the year. I urge you to buy Boaz's wine as well, and to do your part to help him weather this storm. The link to the order form is The box on the right is for your name (you can write in English). Middle box is telephone number and left box is email. We are all in this together and must help each other. Here's to Am Yisrael, which can be proud to have a son like Boaz Albert. 

The Joy of Life in the Land of Israel

A Torah Thought for Parashat Ki Tavoh
By Rabbi Chaim Richman
Bringing the first fruits to the Holy Temple is the ultimate expression of true joy. This mitzvah is the consummate exercise in gratitude and humility, and the keenest manifestation of the sheer joy that results from living in the Land of Israel. Bringing the first fruits to the Beit HaMikdash, a Jew declares: "I have brought the first fruit of the ground that You have given me, Hashem!" And Torah continues: "You shall rejoice with all the goodness that Hashem has given you…"
But isn't strange that this Torah portion, which begins with this ultimate joy, also contains the ominous, portent-filled 'curses?' What opposite extremes!
In reality it's not strange at all. The joyous experience of the first fruits, and the concept of the 'curses,' both convey a lesson in the attribute of gratitude. The first fruits are a manifestation of our gratitude for the Land of Israel. And the Divine sequence of punishments outlined herein, indeed the exile itself, are all a result of "because you did not serve Hashem your G-d amid gladness and goodness of heart, from an abundance of everything."
Let us be thankful for the Land of Israel! is the main message of our Torah portion.

Rabbi Chaim Richman
Director, International Department
The Temple Institute
PO Box 31876 Jerusalem, Israel 

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Ki Tavo 5773

Parashat Ki Tavo 5773
Part A: Devarim 26,16-19:
טז) היום הזה ה’ א-להיך מצוך לעשות את החקים האלה ואת המשפטים ושמרת ועשית אותם בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך:
יז) את ה’ האמרת היום להיות לך לא-להים וללכת בדרכיו ולשמר חקיו ומצותיו ומשפטיו ולשמע בקלו:
יח) וה’ האמירך היום להיות לו לעם סגלה כאשר דבר לך ולשמר כל מצותיו:
יט) ולתתך עליון על כל הגוים אשר עשה לתהלה ולשם ולתפארת ולהיתך עם קדש לה’ א-להיך כאשר דבר:
16 The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to Him, that you will keep His decrees, commands and laws that you will listen to Him.
18 And the Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.
19 He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations He has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as He promised.
After leading the Jewish nation for 40 years, Moshe Rabbeinu is now in the closing days of his farewell soliloquy, for soon – on the 7th day of the next month of Adar – Moshe will climb Mount Nevo, from where he will ascend to the highest realms of heaven.
During these 40 years, Moshe and the Jewish people experienced unprecedented occurrences: the ten plagues, splitting of the Red Sea, receiving the Torah from the Almighty Himself at Mount Sinai, the Manna, Miriam’s Well, the defeat of the mighty Sichon and Og and other innumerable miracles.
Why then did Moshe say to the Jewish people: You have declared this day that the Lord is your God… And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, etc? Haven’t the Jews been God’s “people” since the time of Avraham, or at least from the time we received the Torah at Mount Sinai? Why “This day”?
I submit:
Life consists of objective facts, incidences, and intellectual knowledge. But it often takes an extraordinarily long time for an individual to internalize the changing realities of his life.
An example: A person completes his formal education (usually university). He then realizes that for the first time in his life he is no longer subject to the schedules dictated by others. The world is now open before him. He is on his own to sleep late in the morning or to change the world. It occurs again when one loses his last parent, and the realization that his feeling of being “the son of” will now be replaced with the realization that he is now the “head” of his family, with all its accompanying responsibilities.
For the past 40 years, the Jewish people were comfortable under the protective umbrella of Moshe Rabbeinu – their intimate link to the Almighty. Moshe taught them Torah. He was father, judge, peacemaker, general, and all else. He was the staff upon which every Jew leaned, and which afforded them the confidence necessary to exist in the harsh, barren desert for so long.
But now it was coming through to them that Moshe’s end is drawing near. That the great umbrella of Moshe will soon be gone and a smaller one will take its place. Yehoshua will lead them into Eretz Yisrael, where they will have to make war upon 31 city states for seven years, and during the following seven years each family will leave the commune of the twelve tribes and depart to the homestead allotted them by HaShem.
On that day, it sank into the nation’s consciousness that in another 14 years they will be “on their own,” free from the schedules and dictates of an acknowledged leader. They will no longer have the comforting feeling that their father figure, be it Moshe or Yehoshua, will solve all their problems.
One can be a citizen of a nation, either by birth or naturalization. It is his choice to empathize with his country or not to feel the national pulse by distancing himself from the challenges facing the nation.
On that day when Moshe said to the Jewish people, “You have declared this day that the Lord is your God”, Moshe saw that the people had finally internalized that HaShem took them out of Egypt in order for them to be His chosen nation. And when that realization came about Moshe informed the nation: “And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people”. He saw that it finally sank into the national consciousness that in order to survive they will have to join together as one nation, with “one for all and all for one”.
Part B:
Sixty five years ago, Medinat Yisrael was established. But unfortunately our brothers and sisters in the galut and many here have not internalized that the Medina is the entity which will usher in the final redemption of our people. They refuse to identify with the revolution which our Father in Heaven has performed for us.
To be part of Am Yisrael today is to live in the land specified by HaShem for His chosen people. To speak the language of the Bible, and in the way 90% of Israelis do, not chassidish or litvish but pure Ivrit. To be partners in the hardships our people are going through in order to prove to HaShem how much we want to return home. To know the military history of this land prior to the Medina’s establishment, such as the names of the holy young men who were sent to the gallows in their fight to rid the land from the hated British. To know what yechida 101 (unit 101) means. The Altelena. The Lamed Heh (45 soldiers murdered on their way to aid Gush Etzion in the War of Independence). Golani, Bislach, Ramatkal, tironut and tirturim. To know the civics of the land; its Judiciary, Legislative and Executive branches.
In short to feel that this is your home and we are one family.
Just as HaShem creates human beings with a physical body and a spiritual soul, so has He created Am Yisrael with the physical land of Eretz Yisrael, upon which we are commanded to perform His mitzvot. He created our holy souls which become enriched and nourished by the fulfillment of those mitzvot in Eretz Yisrael. As in the words of the great Ramban, the mitzvot were given to be kept in Eretz Yisrael.
To be involved in keeping the mitzvot outside of the national collective, is like catching a floating cloud which has no substance.
This, at the onset, excludes anyone who does not live in the land of Israel, and even those who do, but do not have Israeli citizenship preferring to be on the periphery of society.
When I first arrived in Eretz Yisrael, I asked a great posek regarding the reciting of Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. He answered in the wisest of ways: “It depends on how you feel. If you see the hand of HaShem behind all the episodes of the Medina, then you must say Hallel, if you don’t feel it then do not”.
I see the hand of HaShem every day and in every way.
The vast majority of our people here love the Medina. They are willing to make any and all sacrifices for the Medina’s welfare, security and development. Even those who do not observe all the mitzvot will tell you, privately, that what is transpiring here is the hand of God.
The unprecedented phenomena of a people keeping alive for 2000 years the dream of returning to their ancient homeland is a wonder which cannot be explained in human terms. That the Jewish people are so faithful to the Torah, and the desire even by people who are not observant to be Jewish, is a mystery.
It is so wondrous that even the Almighty is taken aback at the degree of faithfulness of His people, as stated by the prophet Zecharya (8,3-8):
ג) כה אמר ה’ שבתי אל ציון ושכנתי בתוך ירושלם ונקראה ירושלם עיר האמת והר ה’ צבאות הר הקדש:
ד) כה אמר ה’ צבאות עד ישבו זקנים וזקנות ברחבות ירושלם ואיש משענתו בידו מרב ימים:
ה) ורחבות העיר ימלאו ילדים וילדות משחקים ברחבתיה
ו) כה אמר ה’ צבאות כי יפלא בעיני שארית העם הזה בימים ההם גם בעיני יפלא נאם ה’ צבאות:
ז) כה אמר ה’ צבאות הנני מושיע את עמי מארץ מזרח ומארץ מבוא השמש:
ח) והבאתי אתם ושכנו בתוך ירושלם והיו לי לעם ואני אהיה להם לאלהים באמת ובצדקה:

3 This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”
4 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age.
5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”
6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.
8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5773/2013 Nachman Kahana

Rabbi Kahana was interviewed by Judy Simon on her Life Lessons program on August 16th for Arutz Sheva Radio.  In the interview, Rabbi Kahana discusses his views on the religious divide among various groups of Jews around the world – with a focus on the US and Israel.  He also gives us a glimpse into his fascinating family history and what his aliyah to Israel was like 50+ years ago. You can listen to the interview here...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Special Report: Discrimination Against Jews on the Temple Mount

15 ElulAugust 21

Dear Friends,
This report was compiled and written by Michael Fuah, Director of Research and Development, Manhigut Yehudit, and funded in part by the Israel Independence Fund, קרן נחלת עצמאות. It is an extremely important report to read, share and distribute as far and wide as possible. Instead of  feeling frustrated about the situation in Israel, this is your opportunity to take effective and focused action. Thank you!

Click here to read the report.

The UN and the Tanach

By Tuvia Brodie

UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon has just admitted that the United Nations discriminates against Israel (Elad Benari, “Ban-Ki Moon Admits: UN is biased against Israel”, Arutz Sheva, August 18, 2013). He admits that the world headquarters of fairness and justice hypocritically treats one of its own Members with prejudice.
The UN didn’t start out to be hateful. It began with the desire to create “respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of International law” (Charter of the United Nations, Preamble), including agreements that helped Israel become a State. That commitment should have helped Israel. What went wrong?
Incredibly, the desire for peace led the UN astray. That desire prompted the UN to seek a ‘Higher Authority’ for nations to turn to in cases of conflict. But that ‘Higher Authority’ wasn’t G-d. It was Man.
That’s when the trouble began. The UN created their ‘Higher Authority’. They called it, ‘International law.’ Then, they misused their creation.
The purpose of this law was to guide nations before conflict erupted. That should have helped Israel. It didn’t.
The law contained a flaw. It put its hope in Man.
Man’s law is like milk: it’s good for only so long. Then it turns sour.
International law began with hopes for peace. But it’s been turned into a war tactic. That tactic has a name:  lawfare.
It’s a new concept. It means warring against an enemy using a legal system to destroy that enemy. Lawfare’s favourite target is Israel.  
This is not coincidence. Despite what Man says, history conforms to the script that the G-d of Israel wrote into the Tanach (Jewish Bible) more than 2,300 years ago. Look at modern history: the United Nations (UN) was formed after World War Two. That UN created the state of Israel. Then, Arabs pursued a relentless war against Israel; militant Islam spread to Europe; world-wide movements for ‘peace and justice’ grew strong; Leftists and Jihadists joined together to ‘destroy Israel for world peace’.
It’s all in the Tanach. Israel becomes the center of the world’s attention. The world sees Israel as its enemy. Man puts Israel into the crosshairs of destruction.
In Man’s version of history—the script Man wants to write--it is Israel’s destruction that brings peace.  But Man is ignorant. He doesn’t see that his effort to destroy Israel had been predicted in the Jewish Tanach long before Christianity, Islam or the UN. 
In G-d’s History, Israel will indeed be surrounded. But it won’t be destroyed. Peace will come from Israel, not the UN. The Higher authority will become G-d, not Man.
Man rejects that view. He rejects Israel. He calls Israel, immoral.  
But it is Man who is immoral. He lies about Israel. He ignores archaeological evidence that Jews controlled the land of Israel 3,000 years ago, and argues instead that the claim of a homeland began only after the Holocaust. He lies about Arab aggression in 1947 when the UN created a true two-state solution: Israel for the Jew, Jordan for the Arab. He ignores racist Arab calls to kill Jews. He calls Arabs who murder infants, ’Freedom Fighters’.
So far, Man’s United Nations hasn’t voted to unmake Israel. But that could happen, especially when the UN itself—through it United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA)--prints textbooks in Arabic which, essentially, call for destroying Israel.
The UN joins with the Arab to create a future without Israel. It sets the stage for that by condemning Israel more times than all other nations combined. A world without Israel is advertised as a winning proposition.  It certainly sounds like a good idea to Humanists, Leftists, academicians and world-wide human rights organizations. It also sounds good to Muslims, who have vowed to make Israel disappear.  
Some argue that a world without Israel will be a more just world. Christian denominations have joined an international chorus-call against Israel. Some say that only Israel is so unjust it needs ‘adjustment’. The Church of Scotland and The Church of England have recently been accused of outright anti-Semitism.
Anti-Israel Muslims, Christian leaders, atheists and Humanists add up to a world majority—perhaps 4 billion of the 6+ billion total population. Many within this majority want to destroy the world’s Jewish minority. 
Israel is stage-center, just as Tanach predicts.  There is a movement spoiling to remove her from the world map, just as predicted. The West joins with the Arab to harm Israel—just as predicted.
For Man, it doesn’t get any better than agitating against Israel. Man works hard to attack the world’s only Jewish state. He gathers at the UN to dream of a world without Israel. He rejects the G-d of Israel.
Don’t listen to Man. The Jewish Tanach has a better track-record. It’s never been wrong.
You should remember that the next time Ban-Ki Moon allows the UN to slander Israel.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Jonathan Pollard: Restoring Israel to greatness

From the Jerusalem Post

Jonathan Pollard: Restoring Israel to greatness
"Only a re-awakening can guarantee the future. Political process devoid of fundamental values will never end the agony or the fear for the State of Israel."

When tragedy strikes anywhere in the world, the State of Israel is always among the first to offer help, sending experienced rescue teams, portable hospitals and world-class medical experts to the scene. Israel is a world leader in medical research, farming technology, and military innovation. The country that made the desert bloom is the undisputed champion of hi-tech innovation, all of which it generously shares with the world.

Unfortunately, when it comes to morale, the State of Israel has the distinction of holding a number of world records which no other country would want.

Over the last six decades, Israel’s leaders and its judiciary have practiced the art of political expedience to such a degree that Israel is now the first and only country in the world to hold the following dubious “honors”: 

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily expel its own citizens from chunks of its homeland in order to hand over the land to its enemies.

• It is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily destroy the homes and businesses of its own citizens, leaving them with shattered lives and broken promises.

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily dig up and transport the graves of its dead so that the land could be turned over to its enemies.

The State of Israel also holds unenviable world records for betraying those who serve the state, including the following: 

• Israel is the only country in the world to restrain its military from rescuing a wounded soldier, for fear of provoking the enemy and risking its approval ratings with the world. The soldier, injured by enemy gunfire at a Jewish holy site, slowly bled to death needlessly while the IDF stood by and watched.

• Israel also remains the only country in the world ever to voluntarily cooperate in the prosecution of its own intelligence agent, refusing him sanctuary, turning over the documents to incriminate him, denying that the state knew him, and then allowing him to rot in a foreign prison for decades on end, cravenly forgoing its right to simple justice for the nation and for the agent.

• Additionally, Israel is still the only country in the world ever to violate its own system of justice by repeatedly releasing dangerous, unrepentant murderers and terrorists back into the civilian population with impunity. No other country in the world has ever done this! 

In summary, Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world so befuddled by moral ambiguity that it is willing to dishonor its dead, betray its bereaved, and disgrace its citizens for the sake of political expediency.

Earlier this week, the State of Israel began the staged release of some of the worst murderers and terrorists the world has ever seen. Twenty-six out of the 104 murderers scheduled for release went free on Tuesday. Many are serving multiple life sentences for their heinous crimes and their many victims.

The blood of their victims cries out from the grave at this affront to human decency. Their cries go unheard.

The bereaved families of the victims beg and plead not to free the savage murderers of their loved ones. Their entreaties are ignored.

All the polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens are opposed to the release of the murderers. It is a strange kind of democracy that pays no heed whatsoever to the will of the people.

No Israeli official has advanced a single compelling reason in support of the wholesale release of these murderers and terrorists. The claim that it “serves national interests” is spurious. There is no national interest that supersedes morality.

The second-most touted excuse is that the government of Israel was given three existentially threatening choices by its best ally, and the least damaging choice of the three was the release of murderers and terrorists.

Did anyone at the helm ever consider that given three life-threatening choices, the only response is: “No, no and no!”? 

Overriding all objections, the government of the State of Israel is bound and determined to release the murderers, whose victims are not all dead. Some have been maimed, crippled and disfigured for life. Others show no external scars but have had parents, children and loved ones amputated from their lives. No one sees the broken hearts that will never stop bleeding for their loss.

Authentic Jewish tradition teaches in great detail how to relate to the dead with honor and reverence. The dead are not only keepers of the past; they are our teachers, our moral guides and our inspiration for the future. A country with no respect for the dead has no respect for the living.

A sovereign state which is capable of dishonoring its dead by freeing their murderers and tormenting their bereaved loved ones has, in essence, discarded all of the moral underpinnings of its own existence.

Nor should it come as any surprise – as any student of history knows – that no country can survive without a clearly defined moral infrastructure.

The Land of Israel is eternal and the State of Israel has temporal stewardship over the land. The corrosive moral ambiguity that has brought us to this dreadful day is relentlessly eating away at the legitimacy of the state’s continued role as legal guardian of the land. The prognosis is dire.

Only a reawakening of national resolve and a rebirth of ethical politics rooted in national self-respect, moral rectitude and courage of conviction can guarantee the future. No political process devoid of these fundamental values will ever end the agony or the fear for the State of Israel.

It is clearly time for an historic restoration.

Jonathan Pollard is completing his 28th year of an unprecedented life sentence in an American prison for his activities on behalf of Israel.