Monday, November 29, 2010

Manhigut Yehudit's Strategy: Past, Present and Future

By Moshe Feiglin

From the hysteria that has gripped the Left and the Arabs since this week's Knesset ratification of the National Referendum Law, which will require either a Knesset super-majority or a national referendum before Israel could surrender parts of Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, we can understand that the new law can delay Israel's collapse more than any protests that the Right can organize. It can delayIsrael's collapse. But it cannot prevent it. The collapse is taking place on an essential level, while the law is a technical matter. Nevertheless, this law is an additional obstacle – perhaps even significant – in the path of those who plan to transform the Jewish State into a state of all its citizens – or to destroy it.

The day after the bill was passed, the headline of the radical Left newspaper,
Ha'aretz, claimed that the bill can be annulled by a regular majority. In other words, the Left is already planning how to overcome this obstacle. Clearly, if the PM brings a "peace" agreement to the triumphant calls of the press and if the entire horror film that we experienced with the expulsion from Gush Katif replays itself – the Left will find a way to circumvent this law.

Nevertheless, this is an important law. Since Begin's Camp David, every retreat and surrender carried out by the Israeli government has been implemented against the will of the Nation. The fait accompli was executed with media and court manipulation of the will of the majority. In the name of democracy, of course.

The importance of this law is in the fact that in a small measure, it returns the state to the Nation. The Left and elites will take the state back – that is quite clear. But this law is important because it compels them to do so up front. It forces them to openly take the sovereignty away from the Nation and to return it to the elites.

How is Manhigut Yehudit connected to this?
MK Yariv Levin, who initiated the National Referendum bill, would not have been in the Knesset without Manhigut Yehudit. All the opposition inside the Likud to the proposed building freeze – entirely a product of faith-based registration for the Likud – would not have taken place without Manhigut Yehudit.

It is worthwhile to remember the ridicule for Manhigut Yehudit - largely from the Right - when we joined the Likud ten years ago. With all due humility, we can safely say that our entry into the Likud then was the result of the fact that we had successfully identified the truly consequential developments in Israel amidst the barrage of distractions.

Now, we can once again calm all those who say that Manhigut Yehudit has "failed" or "gotten tired." Our change of focus to an additional arena does not stem from a feeling of failure or weakness. It is the product of our strategic perspective. In the near future, when the world will claim that there is no need for a Jewish state and when this will be the hot topic in the elections for leadership of Israel, nobody will ask why a year or two ago Manhigut Yehudit began printing a magazine that explores this topic.

They are renewing the freeze and you are printing a magazine?
Absolutely. We have identified the strategic point – the point where the light of Mashiach is being created. Since the times of the Begin government we have run from one demonstration to the next – failing time and again. The public anti-freeze campaigns that we have seen over the past week or two – the full page ads in the newspapers, the demonstrations in Jerusalem, the municipal strikes – all look like an old, tattered shirt that is pulled out of the closet every few years.

It is the same shirt.
The same patches.
It didn't fit before and it still doesn't fit.

We have matured. The shirt didn't fit before, but we wore it anyway. We youthfully blocked the highways and thought that that would save Israel. There is no doubt that it was important to do so. But if years later, we are still wearing the same shirt and still using the same tactics that didn't help last time, we look pathetic.

Where is the strategic point?
We are losing the Land of Israel because the State of Israel is not a Jewish State. At the very most, it is the State of the Jews and the rest of its citizens. Without true Jewish content and essence, nothing here will last.

Manhigut Yehudit's goal is to reach out to the Israeli public with the tools and at the pace that it can digest. We must convince the public to lift its eyes off the ground and to see the new horizon – the Jewish State that awaits it, just around the corner. We must stimulate broadening circles of the Israeli public to stop fearing the Jewish State and eventually – to yearn for it.

For this reason, Tomorrow magazine does not argue with the present reality. Instead, it presents future reality. It doesn't debate. It creates a new paradigm. If we can consistently produce this magazine, its accompanying internet site and other programs that it will precipitate, we will generate a new consciousness in Israel. We will help to create the light of Mashiach.

How can you help?
Donate to help the magazine keep running and grow.
2. Advertise in the magazine or encourage relevant others to do so
3. Help to distribute the newspaper. Contact Ronit Cherki

Friday, November 26, 2010

Light of Mashiach from Behind the Scenes

By Moshe Feiglin

"And it was at that time, and Judah went down from his brothers." (From this week's Torah portion, Vayeishev, Genesis 38:1)

This verse opens the entire story of Judah and Tamar, which took place after Joseph was sold to Egypt by his brothers. Our Sages in Breishit Rabbah have an interesting perspective on the events described in these verses:

"The tribes were preoccupied with the selling of Joseph, Joseph was preoccupied with his sackcloth and fasting, Reuven was preoccupied with his sackcloth and fasting, and Jacob was preoccupied with his sackcloth and fasting and Judah was preoccupied with taking a wife and the Holy One, Blessed Be He was busy creating the light of Mashiach."

Everyone was preoccupied: Drowning in the swamp of their errors, mourning, trying to extricate themselves and not knowing how. The general mood was low; sadness and ambitions prevailed. The brothers did not overcome their jealousy and competitiveness and sold Joseph. Reuven was busy with his ambitions, Judah - busy with his. It looked like the forces of the mundane were poised to overcome the young family of Israel and drag it into the abyss of submission, despair and mourning.

Behind the scenes, though, the King of the World was there, fulfilling His promise to Israel. From amidst all the complications He created the light of Mashiach. Peretz is born to Judah and Tamar. He will become the progenitor of King David and Mashiach, the son of David, in the future.

Sometimes, the truly significant events take place behind the scenes. The challenge is to identify those portentous times and not to miss the truly consequential developments amidst the constant barrage of distractions.

Today, everyone is preoccupied with their sackcloth and fasting. There will be a second building freeze, there won't be a second building freeze - it is completely insignificant. Since the days of the Rabin government – and actually, even prior to that – the strategy of Israel's successive governments has been to choke off the settlements as a prelude to their abandonment. A state that is not Jewish in its essence is incapable of holding onto the Land of Israel. Eventually, it loses the legitimacy for its very existence.

Let us progress to a truly Jewish State.

Let us create the light of Mashiach.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Boycotting Actors: Stay Home!

By Moshe Feiglin

18 Kislev, 5771
Nov. 25, '10

Editor's Note: Over the past few weeks, a number of actors and performing artists have announced their intention to boycott the new theatre just built in Ariel, due to their objection to perform over the Green Line. The Right's knee-jerk response was to angrily attempt to force the artists to perform in the new theatre. The Minister of Sport and Culture vowed to withhold government allocations from those artists who will not perform in Ariel. Moshe Feiglin has an entirely different perspective.

I would like to make a heartfelt request of all the actors who do not want to appear over the Green Line. Please - don't come. If the show cannot go on without you, then let there be no show. The very thought that one of the actors on stage is performing against his will dissolves any desire I may have had to see the play. If I even suspect that there is an actor on stage who is there against his will, I will forgo the entire experience and not buy a ticket.

Artists are not service providers. If the Phone Company sends a technician to my home, his feelings toward me or toward the place to which he has been dispatched really do not interest me. But an actor who is forced to act against his will?

True, they receive government funding and the settlers also pay taxes and are entitled to enjoy theatre as much as any other tax payer. True, by the letter of the law, they must appear in Ariel. All the technical and legal claims that the Right has made are true - but completely irrelevant. To force artists to fall in step with state dictates against their will is true Bolshevism. Stalin kept the authors and artists in Russia under surveillance. Soviet art carefully poured itself into the party mold. Is this what we want for the performing arts over the Green Line?

By insisting that the artists perform over the Green Line against their will, the Right is actually endorsing the dubious fact that Israel's spirit and culture are represented by the Left. If the settlers were really confident in their place as part of Israeli society - as they should be - this boycott would have amused them.

I do not believe that the art of an estranged artist is really worth anything. Art and hatred do not go together. When art stems from estrangement and theatre is coerced - nothing good is going to emerge from them.

There are excellent performing artists out there just waiting for a quality stage like the one built in Ariel; artists who exude brotherhood and bonding - not estrangement and egocentricity. If all that has come out of Ron Nachman's tremendous investment in the Ariel theatre is that we can now force estranged actors to perform in Ariel, it is doubtful that the investment was worth the 30 minute drive to Tel Aviv.

But if the Ariel stage will be home to artists who are not at odds with their identity; if true, new and original artistic content will be poured into the beautiful new theatre building; content that is original in every sense of the word - authentic and Israeli: then we will have to thank the actors who boycotted it.

Manhigut Yehudit in the News

Bernie Quigley at The Hill sees a sea change coming and has high hopes for Israel and Moshe Feiglin. Check it out here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's All in Your Head

By Moshe Feiglin

And the messengers returned to Jacob and said: We have come to your brother, to Esau and he is also coming to meet you and four hundred men are with him. And Jacob was very frightened and he was distressed and he divided the people that were with him and the sheep and the cattle and the camels to two camps. (From this week's Torah portion, Vayishlach, Genesis 32:7-8)

"And he was very frightened and he was distressed."
Why write the same thing twice? We understand that Jacob was frightened, we understand that he was feeling pressured. Why re-emphasize this as two separate issues?

There are many answers given to this question. But one Chassidic commentary captured my eye. "And he was distressed -" because he was frightened. Jacob naturally reacted toward Esau with fear. But immediately afterwards, he felt great sorrow for having felt fear.

When we moved to the Shomron, the Arab uprising was in its first year. To protect their car windows from being smashed by rocks, many of our neighbors attached metal "cages" to their windshields. Their cars resembled a sorry version of a zoo on wheels.

I took a different tack. I began driving on the roads slowly, with my windows open and an Israeli flag flying proudly from my car. I was the victim of far fewer rock attacks than my neighbors, who would fearfully speed through the Arab villages. When the flag got torn and had to be removed from our car, my wife was afraid to drive!

Much water has flowed since then under the bridges of Judea and Samaria. An Israeli flag no longer conveys pride and ownership - it may possibly even convey the opposite. But the lesson remains the same. A person is where his thoughts are. If you feel that you belong in Israel and that this Land is yours, then you are not afraid. Your internal world projects to your surroundings, reflecting as a world that is, indeed, not dangerous.

Israelis today do not feel that they belong in their Land. They are encased in state-of-the-art protective defense systems, but are suffering from the worst case of existential doubt they have ever had. Their internal perceptions create the external threat. That is why the solution has to be - first and foremost - to change Israel's mentality and consciousness.

It all begins and ends in the world we create inside our heads and hearts.

Shabbat Shalom

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free Pollard: All We Have To Do Is Ask

By Moshe Feiglin

9 Kislev, 5771
Nov. 16, '10

Translated from Ma'ariv's NRG website

When US Vice President Joe Biden publicly comments that it is time to free Jonathan Pollard, it is not by chance. There is no doubt that this remark was coordinated with the President. When this declaration is accompanied by similar comments by the heads of American security agencies that were involved with Pollard's conviction and the highest echelons of the US Defense Department (former Undersecretary of Defense Lawrence Korb) it is clear that something is being orchestrated from above.

After Pollard has served twenty five years in prison, America has suddenly discovered that he did not transfer any information to the Soviets, that the information that he transferred to Israel did not endanger the US at all; that according to a previous agreement, the US was supposed to have relayed that same information to Israel and that the radically severe prison sentence that Pollard is serving is completely disproportionate to his actions and totally unprecedented.

The feeling that something in America has moved motivated activists for Pollard to sign all the 109 Jewish Knesset Members on an across the board petition to the US President requesting Pollard's release. But Netanyahu refused to take the letter to America.

This is not the first time that a petition like this has been signed. When Sharon was PM, 112 MKs signed a similar letter and asked him to present it to President Bush. Olmert also had the same opportunity. They both refused. At the time, it seemed possible that they refused because the Americans advised them to do so. But now, when the voices calling for Pollard's release are coming out of America, it is clear that the source of the pressure not to release Pollard is Israel - not America.

Amazingly, in all the years that Pollard has been imprisoned, Israel has never officially requested his release. In fact, Israel has done all that it could to help the Americans convict him and sentence him to the longest prison term possible. Rafi Eitan, who was Pollard's handler, publicly expressed his regret that we did not put a bullet through Pollard's head and save ourselves this whole complication.

Too many important people in Israel who were involved with the Pollard case don't want him here. It is reasonable to think that they are pressuring Netanyahu. Shimon Peres, who was PM then, is the person who gave the Americans the documents they needed to convict Pollard. The head of Intelligence GHQ then was Ehud Barak. These are just a few of the senior officials who would like to see Pollard die in jail. But ultimately, the responsibility for the fact that our brother, Jonathan, may not see the light of day is completely on the Prime Minister's shoulders.

Pollard is the Jew who saved the Israelis from the Americans. This role is completely unacceptable in our country. Pollard holds up a mirror to Israel, anxiously fleeing its identity (to America). Israel is not interested in peering into that mirror. Pollard says to us all: I endangered myself for you because I am a Jew and you are Jews.

But we do not want to be Jews. We are Israelis. We are no longer a 'nation that dwells alone.' We have America. If Pollard had been jailed like Sharansky in the USSR or a similar enemy of America, we would have turned him into a national hero. But Pollard has fallen right into our internal identity crisis - and we simply can't stomach him.

I have visited Jonathan Pollard five times. His condition is horrendous. He has never enjoyed even one day of furlough. If he dies, G-d forbid, his blood will boil at our doorsteps. To gain his release, all we have to do is ask. But we are not willing to do that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is There Life After America?

By Moshe Feiglin

7 Kislev, 5771
Nov. 14, '10

Translated from the Makor Rishon newspaper

The tremendous significance that Israel's Right attaches to last week's elections in the US attests to the fact that the Right also pins most of its hopes on America. In other words, both the Right and Left in Israel suffer from the same delusion. For both sides of the political spectrum, everything depends upon our relations with the US - and not on our relations with ourselves, with the justness of our cause - and with our G-d.

The "pragmatic" perspective that disconnects destiny from existence is what ultimately prevents us from understanding reality and dealing with its challenges.

From a strategic perspective, the political process in the US does not have much importance for Israel. The building moratorium in Yesha began a short time after Rabin took office in 1992. Since then, we have been busy adjusting the height of the flames, while the situation has steadily deteriorated. Now, there is also a building moratorium in Jerusalem - even though officially, no such thing exists.

Obama did not create the problem. The problem is completely home-grown. We created it and the US pressure that accompanies it. True, Obama has intensified the problem and treats us less gently. But his behavior is actually helpful because it indicates which way America is headed - an indication that pragmatists like us insist on ignoring. Instead we look to the mid-term elections in Washington for salvation.

There are more than enough signs that the curtain is closing on America. If someone would have told us ten years ago that within less than a decade it would not be Israelis stuffing dollars into their mattresses but Americans rushing to buy the shekel, would we have believed him? If we had been told that within a decade the Governor of the Bank of Israel would be buying dollars in an effort to maintain the value of the American currency, would we have taken that information seriously?

What happened to the Soviet Empire, the British Empire and all the empires throughout history is beginning to happen to America. It is simply a historical rule to which the American Empire is also subject.
Obama has hastened the pace of this process but he did not create it. Thus, his decline will not prevent it. The very fact that the majority of Americans so enthusiastically voted for the man whose entire being symbolizes the complete opposite of the values that brought about the establishment of the United States, indicates the deep rot that has spread through American society. The inevitable economic collapse that Obama is inflicting upon America is nothing more than a symptom of the moral rot.

Significant sections of the American population are still motivated by the values of America's founding fathers. But they have no real ability to stop the crumbling of their society. The Hispanic immigration on the one hand and the Islamic pressure on the other have forced America to face a challenge that it cannot overcome. "Multi-culturalism has failed," explained Angela Merkel. In America, multi-culturalism is in the Oval Office.

In these very days, when America is pulling out of Iraq with its tail between its legs and when it is already clear that it will suffer a similar defeat in Afghanistan, we can say that Bin Laden defeated Bush - in a big way. He defeated Bush, which just goes to show that the defeat is not Democratic or Republican. The defeat is American, the product of values that cannot face conflict with a religion or an enemy that is not a nation-state.

Where is Israel in this state of affairs? Clearly, nobody in Israel's Foreign Ministry, in its plush universities, in Israeli politics or its generously-funded think tanks is even attempting to think about what will happen when we wake up one morning and America will simply not be there. For them, this would be tantamount to a religious person considering the ludicrous possibility that there is no G-d.

But that is exactly what will happen. First, America will not be there for Israel. And then it will not be there at all. It will collapse or turn into something reminiscent of Argentina.

All the important institutions that are supposed to warn us of this eventuality will fail miserably. That's how it is with institutions. By their very nature, they cannot think out of the box. They will scoff at the type of article that you are reading now, just like they scoffed at everyone who warned that rockets would be flying into Ashkelon. Afterwards they will explain why they were right nevertheless or they will ignore their failure. The people who were paid fat salaries to prepare us for the new reality - and instead left us off-guard and helpless - will write glorious autobiographies and run for the Knesset.

So, despite all the warning signs, America's collapse will catch us completely by surprise. Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, like the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is impossible to know when it will happen. But one way or another it will happen - and Israel should plan ahead and free itself now of its dependence on America.

How will we manage without the American veto in the UN Security Council? Maybe we should pre-empt that problem and simply resign from the UN? Don't we have other strategic allies?

How do we fight without American weapons? Has anybody thought of the fact that in any case, we will not have American spare parts after a certain point? Did the recent F-35 deal take that into account?

In other words, instead of beginning to free ourselves from the sinking Titanic, we have added another rope that ties us to it. Simply because our pragmatism leaves no room for strategic thinking.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Connecting Humanity to its Creator

By Moshe Feiglin

Illustration Courtesy of The Temple Institute

And he dreamed and behold a ladder planted on the ground and its top reaches the heavens, and behold angels of G-d were ascending and descending upon it.
(From the week's Torah portion, Vayeitzei, Genesis 28:12)

That's it. No doubts remain. Now that G-d has revealed Himself to Jacob, it turns out that his mother, Rebecca, was right all along. The Kingdom of Priests, the holy nation that testifies to the existence of the Creator and His message to the world hinges on Jacob - not Esau.

This does not mean that now Jacob can rest on his laurels. On the contrary - the significance of G-d's directive means that now Jacob has to actualize the potential that he carries within.

"In the World to Come, they will not ask me why I was not Moses. They will ask me why I was not Zusha," said Rabbi Zusha of Anapoli. Jacob understood Rabbi Zusha's message. Now that he has received the Divine promise, he has no doubt as to his role in the world. The only question that remains is if Jacob will actualize all his Jacob potential. To foster this goal, Jacob vows:
"And this rock that I have set up for a pillar will be the House of G-d." Jacob declares that he is committed to his destiny.

What is Jacob's destiny?

The entire depiction of Jacob's dream begins and ends with the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. "A ladder planted on the ground and its top reaches the heavens."
The Temple is the connecting point between heaven and earth, between the physical and the meta-physical.

"G-d is truly in this place," says Jacob. It is entirely possible to live here in the Land of Israel with G-d in our midst. Judaism is not about Christian asceticism or Moslem animal lusts. At the Temple, we can naturally connect the mundane with the holy.

"This is none other than the House of G-d and this is the gateway to Heaven," Jacob continues. I am setting out on a long and exhausting path, strewn with obstacles. I will have to work hard, establish a family, establish a nation and stave off swindlers and murderous enemies. But I will always remember my destiny:

"And this rock that I have set up for a pillar will be the House of G-d."
This is my role in the world; from this place I must connect the plug to the socket; from this place I must connect humanity to its Creator.

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feiglin on Freedom, Darwin, Obama and Jewish Identity

This week, Moshe Feiglin was invited to speak at two major Likud meetings. The first was a gathering to support Likud Central Committee member, Dr. Gabi Avital, who was dismissed from his position as Head Scientist of the Ministry of Education after he suggested expanding mandatory science studies to include theories for creation other than Darwin's evolution theory. The second gathering was a "Tea Party" organized by former Likud MK Michael Kleiner under the heading: Saying No to Obama. Both gatherings were well-attended by major Likud figures and commanded much media attention. The following is a summary of Moshe Feiglin's words at these two gatherings.

In Support of Dr. Avital
The fundamental questions behind Dr. Avital's dismissal are: Is the State of Israel a free state? Is it a state of liberty and freedom of thought? As a believing man, I do not feel threatened by the evolution theory for two reasons: For one, it is clear to me that aside from kindergarteners, nobody else can really learn the story of Creation on its simple level. On the other hand, Darwin's theory is no more than a theory that must be able to withstand the critique of common sense.

To me, for example, it is not clear where exactly in the Darwinist chain of development man cultivated the ability to differentiate between good and bad. In other words, from what animal, specifically, did we inherit morality? Obviously, Darwin's theory cannot explain that and actually - under the surface - claims that there is no such thing. That is the secret of the appeal that Darwin has had for humanity ever since it was introduced. It frees man of the chains of morality. What fun to be cultured monkeys, free of any limits or moral concerns.

There were those who took Darwin's theory to its ultimate conclusion and claimed that there really is no such thing as morality. It is all just a fabrication of the elites, they claimed, based on personal interest. From there, the path to the racial doctrine of the Nazis was short.

The enlightened witch hunt organized against Dr. Avital could not have been written better by George Orwell, himself. It was the thought police at their finest.

It would be worthwhile for the enlightened tyranny that forcibly sealed its ears and scurried to fire the scientist who merely suggested that students learn additional theories - to remember that there is no Nazism without Darwinism. This does not mean that Darwinism should be censored. On the contrary, it is important to learn as much as possible. But in this case, the religious fanaticism, darkness and threat hovering over man's liberty and freedom of thought do not emanate from the dismissed, but rather from the dismissers.

Moshe Feiglin's Remarks at Michael Kleiner's Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a major milestone on the way to the independence of the American colonies. Let us pray that this small tea party will also be a milestone on the way to an independent Israel.

In order to say no to Obama, we have to be able to say yes to ourselves. For the past ten years, Manhigut Yehudit has been explaining that the State of Israel must be a truly Jewish state. We asserted that the loss of our Jewish identity is the main cause of our diplomatic collapse. It was difficult for people to listen. It is much easier to declare that we are a Jewish state but in practice to disengage from any practical obligation toward our Jewish essence. It is more comfortable to forget our Jewish identity and to build an imitation of other nations; the Singapore of the Middle East, in the words of Peres.

We didn't want to hear this message from Manhigut Yehudit - so now we are hearing it from Abu Mazen and from more and more nations of the world that do not accept the right of self definition of the Jewish nation. Currently, Israel recognizes the "Palestinian" nation and its right to a state in the heart of the Land of Israel, but this non-nation does not recognize the Jewish nation and is not willing to accept Jewish rights for any type of sovereignty in the Land of Israel - or in any other place on the face of the earth.

But how can we complain about Abu Mazen for not recognizing Israel as a Jewish state when we have abandoned the holiest place for the Jewish Nation - the Temple Mount - to control of the Moslem
wakf? How can we complain about Abu Mazen when we allow the remnants of the first and second Temples to be strewn about on the Temple Mount as so much rubbish? If we are complacent when our state turns its back on the foundations of our national identity, what can we expect from the nations of the world?

If we want to say no to Obama, we must first say yes - to a truly Jewish state.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Open Hunting Season on the Ultra-Orthodox

By Moshe Feiglin

1 Kislev, 5771
Nov. 8, '10

Translated from Ma'ariv's NRG website

Editor's Note: A
major controversy and media brouhaha has surfaced over the small increase in state funded stipends that married yeshiva students learning Torah full-time are slated to receive. The university students, backed by some politicians, have protested loudly, claiming that the increase is unfair to them.

To me, it looks like somebody involved with the student's protest against the Ultra-Orthodox wants to run for office. Usually, a protesting group has some goals. If the students would be demonstrating for additional funding for higher education, I would understand. But why are they demonstrating against the Ultra-Orthodox? It is impossible not to sense that this is a simple case of Ultra-Orthodox bashing that will help somebody to get elected. I have no other explanation.

We could argue over whether it is worthy or not for a Jewish state to provide men who study Torah full time with a miniscule stipend. What is not clear is why the funds that the Ultra-Orthodox get is called 'extortion', while what the Broadcasting Authority or the theatre get from our taxes is called 'democracy at its finest'.

As a rule, I would be pleased if the state would pay no one. A community that would like theatre should allocate funds for theatre. A community that would like full-time Torah study should allocate money for Torah students. A community that would like both should fund both. I am a proponent of minimal state intervention in every area except for security and justice.

Until that goal is accomplished, though, we have to live with Big Brother and the regime that is still tainted with socialism from the days of Mapai. We have no choice but to try to understand what lies behind this controversy.

The Ultra-Orthodox are completely right about the value of Torah learning. More than the Nation of Israel has protected the Torah, the Torah has protected the Nation of Israel. Our short experience of the last 3,000 years has taught us absolutely that without Torah, the Jews simply disappear off the pages of history. So when the Ultra-Orthodox say that Torah study protects us - we should take them very seriously.

This is the place for two qualifications: First, are all of these Ultra-Orthodox men really learning Torah? Second, why just the Ultra-Orthodox? Why can't every Jew who learns Torah receive a government stipend?

I have no doubt that many men in the Ultra-Orthodox community are seriously learning Torah day and night - despite the smear campaign against them. The problem is that Ultra-Orthodox society more or less forces all young men to learn Torah exclusively. This cannot work. Most people are not capable of learning all day long for years upon years. Ultra-Orthodox society must change its approach to those members of its ranks whose first choice is to join the work force while setting aside time in their busy schedules for Torah study. This is not the taxpayers' problem. First and foremost, it is the problem of thousands of Ultra-Orthodox men who would like to live normal lives and work to provide for their families but instead find themselves trapped on a one-way track.

As to who should receive the Torah-study stipend, there should be no connection between the stipend and the Ultra-Orthodox. Every Jewish citizen of any stripe who decides to devote himself full-time to Torah study should receive the same symbolic assistance that the Jewish state now gives the Ultra-Orthodox Torah students. The Torah is our culture and the essence of our existence - certainly no less than the opera, for example.

This is a fine solution for the demonstrating students. What is the problem? You can also get stipends. All that you have to do is to sit and learn Torah.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Esau: Back to Old Tricks

By Moshe Feiglin

And Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and he rose and he left and Esau scorned the birthright. (From this week's Torah portion, Toldot, Genesis 25:34)

When Esau heard his father's words, and he cried an exceedingly great and bitter cry and he said to his father: Bless me as well, my father. (Genesis 27:34)

Esau scorned the birthright and sold it for a pot of lentil stew. Yet he cries an "exceedingly great and bitter cry" when his brother receives the firstborn's blessing. Esau's descendants practice the same mode of behavior until this very day. Until the Nation of Israel returned to its homeland, the Land of Israel laid desolate, of interest to no one. As soon as Jacob's descendants returned, Esau's descendants woke up and began to cry "an exceedingly great and bitter cry."

It is worthwhile to look at the picture of the Temple Mount above, taken in 1877. Note the thorns and thistles, neglect and desolation. There was no Palestinian nation, no Palestinian state. Before the miraculous 1967 war, the Arabs claimed land inside the borders of what was then the State of Israel. They did not demand land held by the Jordanians. They were not interested in land that was not in Israel's hands.

It is not the blessing that makes Jacob. It is Jacob who gives significance to the blessing. Now that the two have connected, Esau is jealous of the result. The deep hatred burning in his gut stems from the understanding that the essential truth is that he is not the first-born; the dynasty of Abraham and Isaac will not continue through him - and the blessing will not be bestowed upon him.

Esau was right. He really has nothing to do with Jacob's blessing. He knew that then and he understands it well today. But then as now - he will certainly raise a ruckus.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Progressing from 'Who' to 'What'

By Moshe Feiglin

From the moment that Manhigut Yehudit understood that in order to save Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel we must establish Jewish leadership for Israel, we faced two problems.

The first problem was that we had no candidate. The second problem was that - unlike any other candidate from the Right or Left - we had no clear policies.

Ultimately, we decided to simply start. We assumed that when we would designate a candidate, debate about policies would ensue, new ideas would be born, policy papers for a Jewish State would be written and everything would eventually fall into place.

It was no simple matter to find a candidate and to position him as a contender for leadership of the country. Ideas that seem unremarkable today looked totally hallucinatory then. Nevertheless, we managed to find the correct political venue and the faith-based candidate achieved second place in the primaries for leadership of the Likud. The media was fascinated and the political establishment viewed the move with the utmost seriousness.

We have successfully answered the 'Who' question - but the 'What' question still hangs in the air.

Manhigut Yehudit's strategic goal is to bring the majority of Israelis to the conclusion that there is a different path - a Jewish path that is relevant to all of us. There is a different agenda, there are different rules, different goals - an all-encompassing truth that imbues us with confidence and hope. The public has been victimized by a strong dose of brainwashing that blinds it to other alternatives and to the reality that it faces. Manhigut Yehudit does not mean Iran, coercion or a halachic state. It means freedom of thought and freedom of choice. It fits every Jew who wants a state that expresses his essence.

Now that our political foundation has been laid and we have gained firm footing in the public consciousness, we are moving the focus of our activities. Over the next months, we will be creating tools to encourage the public to dream the impossible dream and to will it into reality. As soon as the Israeli public sincerely wills an authentically Jewish state, it will become a dream come true, with G-d's help.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Rabin Who?

By Moshe Feiglin

24 Cheshvan, 5771
Nov. 1, '10

Translated from Ma'ariv's NRG website

There is a major discrepancy between the national energies invested in commemorating Yitzchak Rabin and the way the man is perceived by a growing majority of Israel's public. In all the official media, some sort of mourning takes place during the weeks surrounding the date of his assassination. But under the surface, the public is - at best - distancing itself from Rabin.

The assassination of a prime minister is a terrible thing. Its social significance is far broader than its personal aspect. It is certainly appropriate that Rabin Memorial Day should be a meaningful day for all of us. Why hasn't that happened? Why is just the opposite taking place? Because Yitzchak Rabin made a grave mistake when he submitted to the pressure of the Oslo cabal and decided to spearhead this madness.

What does that have to do with Rabin's memorial? Why mix his commemoration with politics? Because Oslo is far beyond a political dispute. Oslo is a menace that perpetually pursues and murders us. Just a few weeks ago, four Jews from Beit Hagai were murdered on the road by terrorists who were released as part of the cursed Oslo process.

The process that began when Yitzchak Rabin shook hands with the head of the Organization to Liberate the Land of Israel from the Jews (PLO) brought us much more than an unending trail of blood. Prior to Rabin, all of Israel's prime ministers - from both Right and Left - understood that it was dangerous to speak with, meet or recognize the PLO in any manner. Our conflict with the terror organizations is not a border dispute. The terrorists' goal is to totally undermine the right of Jews to establish a state in any place in the Land of Israel. Rabin's handshake with Arafat was essentially Israel's recognition of the "Palestinian" claim. Fifteen years later the world says: If you admit that you stole half the Land, then the other half is not yours either. Your presence here is one big crime.

All the Jewish Agency's volunteer ambassadors and all the millions to be invested in PR world-wide will no longer help. From the moment that we recognized the "Palestinian" claim, we pulled the existential foundation out from under our own feet and the State of Israel lost its legitimacy to exist.

To properly commemorate Rabin, we must be able to admit that Oslo was a grave error and to separate the faulty policies from the man. But in the 15 years since Rabin's assassination, just the opposite has occurred. Rabin's political camp created an intrinsic bond between the man and his politics. Whoever opposed his policies was summarily demonized. In this manner - almost coercively - the shock from the assassination was used to force Israeli society to continue down the Oslo path.

It worked very well. The fact is that today, the Likud, Labor and Kadimah all propose precisely the same thing: Oslo. Rabin's assassination was used to neutralize Israeli society from any other option.

With the last remnants of healthy reasoning that have survived the 15 year Rabin brainwashing campaign, the average Israeli understands where Rabin's commemoration is leading - and he has had enough.