Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Victory Without a Goal

By Moshe Feiglin

1 Elul, 5771
August 31, 2011

Translated from the article on the Ma'ariv's NRG website

The frustration that grasped me over Shabbat reminded me time and again of the man who told me how, at his bar mitzvah, "A ghost suddenly entered the synagogue in Budapest. It was scary, with a stench of smoke and death. The ghost ascended to the stage of the synagogue and began to shout: 'Jews! I have escaped Auschwitz to warn you! They will burn you! Run away now!'"

"The synagogue managers," the man continued, "dragged him off the stage and threw him out of the synagogue. I was sitting next to my father, in an aisle seat, and the man touched me. Until this very day, I can remember his smell. One month later, I was in Auschwitz."

That is what happens when the public is not willing to deal with the significance of what it hears. That is what happens when leadership is captive to the existing pre-conceptions. No facts, proofs or evidence will help. They will not listen to you; they will throw you out of the synagogue, they will say that you are an extremist, crazy; they will do anything to save themselves from dealing with the significance of what you are saying.

I didn't really want to write about what is happening in Israel's south. What can I say? "I told you so?" There is nothing taking place now that I have not warned about in tens of articles. What good will come out of writing the same things again? Why should anybody listen now? What can I write? Blame Begin who surrendered the Sinai desert? Rabin and Peres who surrendered Gaza and injected Arafat's army of terrorists into its streets and alleys? Sharon who destroyed (excuse me, "disengaged" from) Gush Katif?

I hear the "experts" on the radio. The broadcasters are not interviewing those people who tried to warn us. Instead, they interview the 'synagogue managers', those people who held senior positions and those who cooperated with the liars. They will go to great lengths to preserve the lie and the mentality that defends it.

"Feiglin! Tell me what we can do!" a senior worker in the Ashkelon municipality shouted to me after a Grad missile landed in her yard. "First of all, change all the names of the streets, plazas and boulevards here back from 'Rabin' to their original names," I answered her and she, totally shocked, turned around and walked away, not integrating what I had just said to her.

Remember Rabin. It is impossible to get through to a public that is captive to a misconception. From at least the time of Oslo, the Nation of Israel is captive. Instead of freeing itself from the Oslo mentality and the name Rabin that symbolizes it, they changed the names of the Katyusha missiles. Rabin promised they wouldn't fly from Gaza into Israel. They do, but never fear. In the north, where Rabin never promised we would not be hit by Katyushas, we are still attacked by Katyushas. But in the south, where he scoffed at the thought, we are attacked by Grads.

Just a short while after the murderous rampage (a.k.a a "terror attack") in the south, Israel's Air Force eliminated five senior terrorists in Gaza. The news broadcasts also mentioned that they were behind Gilad Schalit's abduction. Why didn't they kill them earlier and prevent the murders? Because Israel has no goal other than to survive. Its leadership cannot initiate anything because there is no national goal for which it is legitimate to fight, other than simple existence. If Israel had killed the terrorists before their rampage, tensions here would have escalated and the media that continues to pump Oslo into our bloodstream would have blamed our leaders. In other words, when there is no destiny beyond mere existence, we cannot initiate. All we can do is react. So now we have more murdered Jews and an escalation of tensions, as well.

All that we wanted was to realize the Zionist goal of "being a normal nation like all other nations." We tried to create an artificial reality that would replace the heavy burden of destiny that the Jewish Nation carries on its back.

But reality, of course, cannot be changed. We have lost eye contact with our destiny and now, even though we are stronger than ever, we cannot defend ourselves. Without destiny, all that we can do is react. And he who only reacts, will ultimately fall. I am a great believer in this Nation. I believe that ultimately, we will return to our destiny-consciousness. When that happens, our enemies will evaporate. I just pray that the process of reclaiming our destiny will not be too painful.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why Feiglin Didn’t Back Beck

By Shmuel Sackett
International Director, Manhigut Yehudit

It has been a pleasure – and an absolute breath of fresh air – watching Glenn Beck on FOX these last few years. He is clever, outspoken, unafraid and extremely in line with my way of thinking. Over these last few years, I have forwarded many clips of Beck’s show to Moshe Feiglin, who enjoyed them immensely. Moshe appreciated Beck’s candor and, above all, his honest and direct approach. He thanked me each time I sent him those clips and was excited when I told him that Beck was planning a trip to Israel.

If that’s true – which it is - why did Moshe Feiglin write a very strong article against Glenn Beck’s recent Israel trip… and why did I agree with each and every word he wrote?

It all comes down to two simple words: Friends and Location. Allow me to explain.

This event proved that Glenn Beck’s trip to Israel was about a lot more than just Glenn Beck. From all the years that I watched and enjoyed his show the one word that Beck said thousands of times – over and over again – was “truth”. And since Glenn Beck wants to hear and speak only the truth, allow me to continue.

Glenn Beck is at his best when he is alone. The camera focuses on him and he speaks from the heart. However, when he came to Israel he did not come alone. He brought with him some friends and featured them as keynote speakers in his program. His opening event was held in Caesarea under the title; “The Courage to Love”. At that event, Pastor Mike Evans was given the spotlight. Evans spoke about his Jewish mother (you know what that makes him…) and how much love he has for the Jewish people. Yet, his title is not “Rabbi” Evans, it is “Pastor” Evans. What he did not say was that he is a “Jew for Jesus”. In 1977 TIME magazine featured him in a major story called “Yeshua is Messiah”. While he brilliantly guarded his words, his speech was really all about how a nice Jewish boy found Jesus and still manages to love the Jews and the Land of Israel.

Another speaker at Beck’s first event in Israel was Pastor John Hagee. This guy is a master at saying all the right things and getting Jews to give him huge standing ovations. I was at the AIPAC conference when Hagee spoke. He told 7,000 Jews how there are two ways to live their lives; “The Torah way or the wrong way!” These 7,000 Jews – mostly very secular in their level of observance – rose to their feet and cheered. In Israel, during Beck’s event, Hagee continued with his masterful words; “We don’t place our trust in Washington, we place our trust in God!” Wonderful words from an eloquent speaker! Once again, the crowd cheered. But, as Glenn Beck taught me, let’s push all the makeup and decorations aside and get to the real, pure truth.

John Hagee has indeed poured millions of dollars each year into Israel. It has been reported that he gives between $10-15 million each year to various charitable causes across the country. Yet, not every body who he offers money to accepts. Immediately after the terrible slaughter of the 8 beautiful students from Mercaz HaRav, Hagee offered $100,000 to the Yeshiva only to have it turned down by the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Yaakov Shapira. That money could have been put to wonderful use and could have forged a lasting partnership between the Yeshiva and Hagee but HaRav Shapira refused. He did that because he understood that John Hagee isn’t as innocent as he looks and isn’t as wonderful as he sounds. Hagee is very active with DayStar television – a 24/7 Christian missionary television network, as well as being a proud full-fledged supporter of Maoz Israel, one of the largest missionary ministries against Jews in Israel. The “John Hagee Today” show is one of the most popular programs on DayStar. Thanks to the enormous money being poured into Israel every year by Hagee, this missionary channel is now available as part of the basic cable tv package in Israel and is now in over 500,000 Jewish homes. I want you to read this next sentence carefully; Because of Hagee’s donations, over 500,000 Jewish homes – representing well over 2,000,000 Jewish souls - have the ability to watch missionary television 24 hours a day in Israel. Yes, his words at AIPAC were sweet and his line about trusting God and not Washington is incredible but I beg you… do not fall into this trap. Do not sell your birthright for a bowl of red lentils because the guy says things you are dying to hear.

These two men, Pastor Mike Evans – a Jew for Jesus – and Pastor John Hagee – endorser of DayStar missionary television – were the main speakers at Glenn Beck’s opening event in Israel. That is not the Glenn Beck I watched on FOX all those years. This has become something else and I urge you to open your eyes and see it.

There’s one more reason why Moshe and I stayed away from the Beck events in Israel. I mentioned the “friends” reason above and now I will tell you what I meant when I wrote “location”.

Had Glenn Beck come to Israel alone and had his event been in the Jerusalem Convention Center or the Jerusalem Theatre or outside in Jerusalem’s largest park, Gan Sacher, Moshe Feiglin would have been in the front row! But that’s not what happened. While all other entertainers and television personalities would have chosen one of the three venues I just listed, Glenn Beck did not. He chose – of all places – to have his main event; “The Courage to Declare” at the Southern Wall of the Jewish Temple Mount. Why? Let me give you some background.

As Beck was preparing for his August event, he appeared six weeks before in a live broadcast from the Jewish Temple Mount. During that “warm-up” event, Beck theatrically showed his audience how in that very place, Jesus overturned the tables of the Jewish money-changers who served the pilgrims to the Bet Ha’Mikdash (the Holy Temple). He neglected to mention how this one act by Jesus created one of the most anti-Semitic Christian legends of all times and how millions of my brothers and sisters were slaughtered because of that very legend.

By having his main event at this location, Glenn Beck was not showing his support for the Jewish people… regardless of what he said. Life has taught me to put far more emphasis on people’s actions than their words and this was not an act of solidarity it was an act of conquest. Too many nations falsely lay claim to the Temple Mount and we cannot allow ourselves to be so naïve as to think that these nations are really our friends. The Temple Mount is the holiest place on earth for the Chosen People and it represents Hashem’s one and only earthly abode. We must guard that place with our lives and we dare not allow any one to lay claim over it in any way, shape or form.

I understand why so many good Jews embraced Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage events. With so much negative media around the world and with “Israel bashing” becoming the world’s most popular sport, it certainly is sweet to see a major figure come to Israel’s defense. Yet, I implore each of you to wipe your eyes and see what is really happening. You are being conned. You are being swindled by master orators who speak deceit but cover it with honey. In your haste to find a friend you have blinded your eyes to what Beck himself focuses on every day; the truth.

People tell Moshe Feiglin that he must embrace the support from the 50 million plus Evangelical Christians in the USA. Let me state – loud and clear – that Moshe Feiglin welcomes their support and urges them to get involved in the battle for a strong state of Israel. The one thing that he has stated time and again is that if they really want to help Israel, they will follow our lead and do as we instruct them. Fulfilling the famous verse of “I will bless those that bless you” does not mean coming to Israel and throwing around money in order to gain influence. It means doing one thing: Blessing the Jewish people by doing as they instruct you.

Feiglin urges Evangelicals to help fight the anti-Israel battle on college campuses, in Washington and in the media (such as what Glenn Beck did so successfully). With all due respect to this very important community, we do not want their charity. Furthermore, we do not want them sending Jewish Pastors who sing praises to a false Messiah nor holding events that undermine the exclusive Jewish ownership of the Temple Mount. That is not “blessing Me so I will bless you”… it is the complete opposite.

Moshe and I have told this to many Christians and the honest ones embrace us. In case you think we are anti-Christian – which is not the case at all - consider this one final point: The guest speaker at Moshe Feiglin’s Manhigut Yehudit annual dinner in New York this past year (March 2011) was… an African-American Christian Pastor!

Not backing Beck was a difficult decision, but when we saw the truth – and we urge you to search for that every second of the day – we “restored our courage” and told people what they needed to hear.

May Hashem give us the strength to remain honest in the battle for authentic Jewish leadership and may we always fulfill the Talmudic teaching; “Better to be considered a fool your entire life by man, than evil – for one moment – by G-d.”

Jews, G-d, the Middle East—and Larry Derfner

By Tuvia Brodie

When Jews founded the modern State of Israel in 1948, they did not put G-d’s name into our Declaration of Independence. They put Herzl’s name in. G-d made no appearance. Perhaps the Jews of 1948 believed G-d was not a Socialist. Today, we are a modern democratic state. We are sixty-three years old. We have a strong army, an even stronger economy, and a widespread belief that, if Socialism is not dead in Israel, it should be. Still, no major politician (Netanyahu, Barak, Peres, Livni) mentions G-d’s name in public. Perhaps they believe G-d had become a Socialist.

A few weeks ago, the Israel Government announced that G-d’s name would be removed from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) funeral service for fallen IDF soldiers. Weeks later, eight Israelis (including IDF soldiers) were murdered by Arab terrorists on the road to Eilat. Within hours, rockets from Gaza began to fall onto Southern Israel. Israelis were in an uproar. The Cabinet met in a special midnight, Saturday-night meeting. Announcements were made. Government leaders spoke. No major politician mentioned G-d.

While all of this was unfolding, American TV personality Glenn Beck was in Israel to host a rally he was calling, “Restoring Courage”. He invited lots of Christians. They came. They talked about G-d.

Some Israelis questioned this. What was Beck really doing here? No one seemed to know. Did Beck have the right to come here and talk about G-d like that? No one seemed to know.

I am not sure where all of this is going to end but it sure looks suspicious to me. We have recently read the week’s Torah portion called Eikev (you can read it for yourself; it’s Deuteronomy 7:12- 11:25) that some say contains the central, most explicit documentation of the relationship between G-d, the Jews and the land of Israel—and with this almost contractual rendering on our mind, the only religious reaction we have to attacks against Jews and the land of Israel is…silence?

Sunday, August 21, 2011—the day after we had read this Torah portion-- turned out to be a busy day for those who claim that the Middle East caters to the insane: Turkey announced that it was going to suspend or reduce diplomatic relations with Israel as a punishment for the consequences of an illegal and deadly 2010 Flotilla incident that was sponsored by, you guessed it, Turkey. At the same time, Egyptian demonstrators attacked the Israel Embassy in Cairo and burned the Israel flag. More rockets hit Israel from Gaza. By noon, local time Sunday, the Israel Air Force (IAF) had retaliated twice with pin-point attacks—and because of that Jordan immediately condemned Israel for its military ‘escalation’. The Arab league met. They condemned the IAF air strikes on Gaza. They said nothing about Gaza firing rockets into civilian Israel in the first place. A UN Committee called the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People published a report calling on UN member states to compel Israel to halt all ‘settlement’ construction because construction undermines peace. On a day that Israel was under attack-- with Jews being killed-- a UN committee announces that construction undermines peace? Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), signed on Sunday an agreement with Lebanon to open a PA ‘embassy’ there (in Lebanon) and announced that he could not wait for the Lebanese flag to fly over Jerusalem. Hezbollah, which essentially rules Lebanon, issued a statement that all of Israel, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River was sacred and belonged to the Arabs. Late in the afternoon, Israel news outlets reported that Hamas, which controls Gaza (and which was responsible for shelling Israel in the first place), had called on the United Nations to stop Israeli military attacks on Gaza. Terror alerts were issued for the cities of Jerusalem and Maale Adumim. By late Sunday afternoon, still more rockets fell into Israel. Meanwhile, American news outlets ran no story about the Gaza rocket attacks or about Abbas’s or Hezbollah’s statements. Nothing. But they did have a lot to say about Kim Kardashian’s celebrity wedding and a $40 million fortune-telling scam—you know, important stuff.

Okay, so the Middle East isn’t the only place that caters to the insane.

Meanwhile, back in Israel, G-d was waiting. No one mentioned His name in public. Except the Christians.

By Tuesday, August 23, 2011, Muslims in our locale decided to speak out, to add to our understanding of the week’s events. They had read about the attacks against Jews and Israel—and they had read about Glenn Beck. They appeared now to have two plans: the first was from an Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset (MK)-- Christian Zionists in the world conspire to Judaize Jerusalem, the Arab MK said. Therefore, Jerusalem must be liberated: Arabs must rise up for Jihad [Holy War], to free Jerusalem. The second plan came on the same Tuesday from Egypt, from a cleric of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood [said by President Obama’s team to be a secularized organization]: any Egyptian citizen who encounters a ‘Zionist’, he declared, should kill that Zionist.

Curiously, these two ideas did not seem to clarify anything. They were ignored.

Glenn Beck, meanwhile, began to receive increased media attention: he was attacked ( Haaretz and Arutz Sheva) and then defended ( Arutz Sheva and Jerusalem Post).

By the end of the day (Tuesday), the score seemed to be Glenn Beck, two; his opponents, three.

Everyone waited for Wednesday, when the Beck show was to move to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, G-d also waited. No one mentioned His name in public. Except the Christians.

Then, late Thursday, word spread online that a Jerusalem Post Leftist columnist, Larry Derfner, had written an eye-opening essay on a site entitled, Israel Reconsidered (it looks like a Derfner-only site); the essay was titled, ‘The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror,’ posted a few days earlier, August 21, 2011. There, Derfner wrote that the Palestinians who had ambushed and killed eight Israelis last week—including perhaps five civilians on their way to vacation-- in a terrorist attack, ‘were justified to attack.’ More explicitly, Derfner stated that the Palestinians have “the right to resist” the so-called Israeli ‘occupation’—“to use violence against Israelis, even to kill Israelis.” To many readers (in the ‘comments’ section), the Jewish Leftist Derfner was declaring that Palestinians have the right [his words, his context] to kill Jews for their political goals. The next day, Friday, Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post, August 26, 2011, ‘Column One: Glenn Beck’s revealing visit’) wrote that “The Israeli left habitually embraces self-proclaimed friends” of Israel who declare their friendship and then immediately “proceed to denounce Israel’s policies and to deny its basic rights. …The Israel Left habitually embraces” such self-proclaimed friends, and encourages “such friends to harm Israel in the name of helping it.” But embracing those who are actually hostile to us— a long-term, traditional Left staple—seemed by late Friday afternoon to be a far cry from Derfner’s new approach: forget about embracing so-called friends; let’s just tell our enemies that they have the right to kill Jews.

Suddenly, a confirmed Jewish Leftist was revealing the truth: ’justice’ justifies murder for ‘peace’.

There’s more, of course, but you get the picture. In fact, part of this picture is a fascinating apology that Derfner posted on his site very late Friday. The apology is both clear and unclear, making the apology extremely suspect. He backs off from saying that the Palestinians have both the right to kill Jews and the justification to do so—but then he says the ‘occupation’ provokes those acts. What’s the problem here? In common usage, ‘provoked’ is directly related to ‘justified’. An example of this would be: if an assault is provoked, a potential victim is justified to repel force with force. So Derfner, after apologizing for saying that the Palestinians are justified in killing Israelis, essentially confirms that the Palestinians are indeed justified to kill Israelis.

His apology is not an apology. In my opinion, he got hammered for what he had written, and he was now trying to control whatever firestorm he had started. He does not disavow his conclusion; actually, he justifies it.

His error, it seems, might be that he had the gall (or innocent thoughtlessness) to state what everyone knows is the obvious end-point for Leftist anti-Israel ideology: the Arab is justified to kill Jews and has the right to do so to achieve his ‘freedom’. The bad news is that Derfner’s legitimization of murder hung out there on the internet for six full days (he says he has now deleted the essay from his site). The good news is, he actually stated the truth—Leftist ideology leads to justifying murder.

He may have removed the offending essay from the web, but he will not be the last to make that statement. In fact, since he has removed the essay, we will see if others will come to his defense and either repeat his conclusion or support his right to say it.

Where does all of this end? G-d knows.

Actually, we also know, because we are the Jewish people. If you want to know what is going on with this insanity called the Middle East (and the Israel Left), read your Torah texts. Start with the portion we have recently finished (it starts at Deuteronomy 7:12), and then read each of the portions for the next six weeks, including the ‘additional’ weekly readings called the ’haftorah’. Seek appropriate commentaries for these readings, especially for the metaphor and poetry you will encounter.

As you read, forget Glenn Beck. Forget the Christians. Forget the Israel Left. Forget the Muslims. Forget Kim Kardashian.

As you read, think not only about the words and the ideas you see, but also about Jewish history: compare the words you read to the history of the Jewish people.

Once you’ve done that, think again about today’s Middle East. Marvel at how man-made ‘justice’ and morality can evolve to a legitimization of murder. Consider how anti-G-d and anti-Semitic Leftists seek ‘world peace’ by demonizing Jews (see Jenny Tonge in England and the Flotilla groupies from Europe). Compare the ‘justice’ that the man-made Left would create for Israel with what our G-d in our Torah defines as justice, morality and caring for humans. Compare the selfish and cruel remedies for what ails us presented by the Left, with the remedies for our times that we see in G-d’s Torah ( see Gold from the Land of Israel, ed Rabbi Chanan Morrison, Urim Publications, 2006, p.347). Compare the Muslim and Leftist curses of Israel, to G-d’s promise that the Jewish nation will ultimately receive the full cup of G-d’s Blessing (ibid, p.351).

From your readings, your reflection and your observations of current events, you might be surprised to discover a threshold—or the hint of a threshold—beyond which lives, not a Jew-free, peaceful ‘Palestine’, but rather a singular, unique Jewish nation fulfilling a singular, unique Destiny. Once you discover that threshold—or the hint of it—then you can ask yourself, ‘what should I do with my life?’ Should I seek the justice of a Left that would kill Jews for peace, or should I seek the justice of the G-d of our nation? Spend the next six weeks reading. Six weeks from now will be a good time to ask these questions because in six weeks the Jewish nation will be observing the days between its Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur—a time for reflection, discovery and commitment.

Perhaps those days will become your time to reflect—and to discover the truth about G-d and the Jewish nation.

Perhaps then, you will not be afraid to mention G-d’s name in public.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brotherhood and Giving

By Michael Fuah

"Of a foreigner you may exact it; but whatsoever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release." (From this week's Torah portion, Re'eh, Deuteronomy 15:3)

The line between 'your brother' and the 'foreigner' is not drawn out of hate or a desire to insult the foreigner, G-d forbid. It is an essential line drawn to build a national framework. A person who grows up in a healthy family framework that is part of a community, united with a nation that has a destiny and significance can give up his property - by choice - for the good of the other. This is the secret of the Shmittah of money once in seven years and the re-division of personal gain once every fifty years, in the Jubilee. On one hand, the Torah sanctifies personal property, which is the foundation of liberty. On the other hand, the Torah demands societal norms of concern for the weak - by choice and not by coercion. This unique way of life is neither capitalistic nor socialistic, nor is it a compromise between the two. It is a Jewish way of life, "for you are a holy nation to Hashem, your G-d, and Hashem has chosen you to be his treasured nation from among all the nations on the face of the earth."

The ability to willingly and happily give up possessions for the welfare of someone less better off is acquired when there is a common destiny and when there is something to live for beyond material pleasure. "And you shall rejoice on your holidays, you and your son and your daughter and your servant and your maidservant and the Levite and the convert and the orphan and the widow who are within your gates." The nation rejoices when it is united, at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the place that G-d has chosen.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drumbeats and Smoke Signals for Jews (Part II)

By Jason Gold

Next stop, the US.

It has already begun. Flash mobs/rioting in Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Wisconsin(??!!). It is amazing the US showed such enlightenment electing a black man as President and yet he and his administration including the Justice department have polarized the US along racial lines like never before. Throw in the fact that Obama learned anarchy/socialism/communism/anti-Semitism at the feet of Ayers, Alinsky, Dorn, Kalidi, Farrakhan, Wright, and the fact that despite what he polls say now he has an excellent chance of getting re-elected, and this is definitely not good for the Jews. And yet 78% of the Jews voted for this man despite his inimical hostility towards them and Israel. It is equally amazing how time and again we sow the seeds of our own destruction. And if he should be elected again with the help of our assimilated liberal brethren and the Pravda-like mainstream media, things are going to get much worse than they are now.

To be sure, what is happening in Europe will spread to the US. It will just take longer because unlike the Europeans, Americans are basically decent people. But give them enough financial hardship, fiscal uncertainty, demonization of a certain country that has its supporters in the US, and the discomfort level for Jews in this US will be ratcheted up considerably.

If there is one discussion that Jews (even observant ones) are uncomfortable with, it is about the end times or "keitz hayamim" leading to the Messianic age. The Talmud speaks about the end days leading up to the Messianic age as being the “Dor HaHachafa” or the generation of reversal, when things go backwards, when truth are lies and lies are truth, etc. among other things. And before you accuse me of being a messianist, let’s be clear about something; ALL observant Jews are messianists or are supposed to be. Many Jews feel uncomfortable acknowledging this and how it pertains to what is playing out on the world stage all around them, and how their time in the Diaspora is rapidly approaching its end, whether they choose to accept it or not.

It is also clear from Talmudic sources that as we approach our final destiny, before the new order with Israel leading the way can begin, the old order must decay and rot away. The previous post looked at Europe so now let us look at the moral decay happening in the US. Let us look at the proliferation of sexual licentiousness, pornography, corruption, and the decay of the moral values and with them the family unit, all of this once again true to Pat Moynihan's prediction of defining deviancy down. Let us look at the lack of real leadership or for those who truly have the gift of leadership, the way they are demonized by the mainstream media. Want more evidence of the generation of reversal, how lies are truth and how truth is treated as lies? If your stomach will tolerate it, tune in to MSNBC and watch the liar, racist, tax cheat, race baiter, and corporate blackmailer, aka the new “host” of his own cable show, the “Reverend” Al Sharpton. Sharpton, who perpetrated one of the greatest frauds in New York State history in the Tawana Brawley affair and whose murderous incitement helped flare the Crown Heights riots and the burning down of the Jewish-owned “Freddies” in Harlem. Who has been given a free pass by the mainstream press all these years and who counts himself as one of President Obama’s good friends. I think Tuvia Brodie put it best in his blog post of the other day; “When the political culture of the West joins the religion-based culture of Middle East Islam to attack Israel, the resulting condemnations signal how complete is the West’s moral collapse. It is not a coincidence that the West’s refusal to stand up for a Westernized but Jewish sovereign state’s right to exist appears simultaneously with the rising influence of the International political Left. This modern Left, with deep roots in Marxism, Humanism and Hellenism is perfectly comfortable with a global demonization of Israel and all matters Jewish. The Left’s Humanist-Hellenist ideology seeks to replace G-d with man, the minority with majority, and ‘justice’ with a man-made morality. The Humanist Left feeds itself on a globalist world-uniting vision that is based in part on a Hellenist faith that it is man (and only man) who can best shape the universe”.

Gd has been sending us numerous messages of late (how’s that comfort level doing?) about looking to the East and the impending demise of the West both economically and by the hand of Islam; i.e. 9/11, the recurrent economic collapse of the West, Israel’s technological and economic ascendancy. How many of us are getting that message? If you’ll allow me some dime-store prophecy (oh, let's just shred that remaining comfort level), perhaps the final or near-final message will be when a faith-based leader takes the reins of Prime Minister in Israel with a clear mandate from the people of Israel. When that happens, several things will become manifest. First, that leader will place faith in Gd and Israel’s interests above all else; no more kowtowing to world opinion. That in turn will trigger rage in the Islamic world, and when they see that they are utterly impotent against Israel, they will turn their savage rage at what remains of the West. Hopefully, we'll hear the drumbeats and see the smoke signals way before that because at that point, the discomfort levels of the Jews in the Diaspora will rise exponentially. And then, the universal question that will ring from shore to shore will be, “Where are the passports and are they up to date?”

Feiglin Objects to Beck Jerusalem Event

August 25, 2011 Thursday 25 Av 5771 14:20 IST

Jerusalem Post
22 Av, 5771 (August 22, '11)

Feiglin Objects to Beck Jerusalem Event
By Gil Hoffman

American broadcaster Glenn Beck has faced criticism from left-wingers and Reform rabbis in the US and warnings from Arab MKs and Peace Now in Israel ahead of his Jerusalem mega event set for Wednesday night at Jerusalem’s Southern Wall site.

But Beck has been welcomed warmly by the Israeli Right until Sunday, when hawkish Likud activist Moshe Feiglin denounced him in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Feiglin objected to the Christian broadcaster holding his Restoring Courage rally so close to Judaism’s holy site.

“Glenn Beck should do such an event in his court, not mine,” Feiglin said. “Besides territorial sovereignty, there is also a concept of spiritual sovereignty. When he holds his event so close to the Temple Mount, he is supporting us physically but undermining us spiritually.”

Feiglin noted that Beck was purposely holding his event close to the site where, according to the New Testament, Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers where Jews on pilgrimage to Jerusalem redeemed funds for sacrifices that would be made in the Temple. He said this was problematic, because the incident has been a source for anti-Semitism for centuries.

“This created the image of Jews as pursuers of money and Christian anti-Semitism that led to rivers of Jewish blood,” Feiglin said.

“Glenn Beck doesn’t back the Jewish mission. What drives him is the Christian mission. I have no problem doing business with him, but he has to respect me when he comes here just like I don’t try to force my identity on him when I come to him.”

Feiglin mocked right-wing figures such as MK Danny Danon (Likud) and Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip chairman Danny Dayan who have facilitated Beck’s visit.

“Jews like it when goyim finally smile at them, but sometimes a smile is more dangerous than a scowl, and this is one of those occasions,” Feiglin said.

Feiglin also said he had a “deep problem” with Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin participating as a featured speaker at a Christian prayer rally Beck organized at the Caesarea Amphitheater Sunday night.

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Re'eh 5771: Two Views from beyond the Horizon

BS"D Parashat Re’eh 5771



In this week’s parasha, the age old ethical-philosophic problem of defining right and wrong and what is good and what is bad, is unequivocally and unambiguously resolved:

ראה אנכי נתן לפניכם היום ברכה וקללה: את הברכה אשר תשמעו אל מצות ה' א-להיכם אשר אנכי מצוה אתכם היום: והקללה אם לא תשמעו אל מצות ה' א-להיכם וסרתם מן הדרך אשר אנכי מצוה אתכם היום ללכת אחרי אלהים אחרים אשר לא ידעתם

See (acknowledge), I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse; The blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; and the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today to follow false deities which you have not known

"Good" is defined as "the commands of the Lord your God," and "bad" is the negation of those commands.

I suggest a corollary to the above definition of good vs. bad. Any act that benefits the Jewish people is "good"; an anti-Semitic one is "bad". Any act that supports what the Torah (Bible) says is good, an anti-Bible one is bad. An activity or resolution intended to foster the Jewish people’s return to all the Biblical lands as promised in the Torah is "good"; an act intended to distance the Jewish people from re-establishing our sovereignty over the Holy land is, by definition, "bad". Any person or nation that supports "bad" acts or policies is by definition "bad".

During the last six months, we have been witnessing the unexpected, sudden downfall of many evil leaders by the hand of their equally evil subjects.

It makes for fascinating news, but the real story is what is happening "beyond the horizon", which is the subject of this d’var Torah.

The Torah states (Beraisheet 25:16)

אלה הם בני ישמעאל ואלה שמתם בחצריהם ובטירתם שנים עשר נשיאם לאמתם

These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps

Yishmael’s rise to power was through his 12 children, each of who ascended the throne of some country in the area of Eretz Yisrael.

We are witnessing today the dramatic, and in historical terms "sudden" downfall, and imminent downfall of 12 malevolent leaders of 12 evil Yishmaelic Arab states: Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudia, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria and Morocco.

It has all the trappings of a Godly production, where HaShem as the ultimate playwright draws the audience of the world to the edge of their seats, not knowing what the next scene might bring.

But as moving as these events appear to be on the front pages of newspapers and on TV screens, they are only the shadow of what is actually transpiring. The real story is as follows.

The prophet Yeshayahu says (24-21,22)

והיה ביום ההוא יפקד ה' על צבא המרום במרום ועל מלכי האדמה על האדמה; ואספו אספה אסיר על בור וסגרו על מסגר ומרב ימים יפקדו

In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days.

The 12th century renowned Bible commentator, RaDaK (Rabbi David Kimchi, Narvona France) echoes earlier sources, including the Zohar, Midrashim and many more; that prior to HaShem’s destruction of evil leaders and evil nations, He destroys the heavenly spiritual forces that empower those entities (guardian angels, if you wish).

In chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel, it is recorded (in Aramaic):

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. "The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.

And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’

After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns...

As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days (HaShem) took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened...

Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.

Avraham Ibn Ezra, in his commentary to the Book of Daniel, explains the meaning behind the dream.

The fearful strange animals refer to the descendants of Yishmael. And Ibn Ezra writes:

אגלה קצת סוד המלאכים הקדושים לאשר יבינו: והנה ראה כי השם יעשה משפט וישפוט כל הארץ והספרים יהיו פתוחים לפניו כדרך מספרך אשר כתבת ויכתב בספר זכרון לפניו ועם דבר המלאכים אדבר על זה והנה פירש שראה די קטלת חיותא שתאבד כל מלכות ישמעאל רגע אחד בימים מועטים

I will reveal a little of the secrets surrounding the heavenly angels. HaShem will make judgment on the the world. The great books that recall all human actions will be open before Him. And an angel revealed to me that Daniel was shown how in future times HaShem will destroy Yismael in a very short period of time.

The Islamic cry of praise for their fictitious god "AlaHu Akbar" when beheading someone unfortunate enough to fall into their hands, is the absolute negation of what a human being was created for. The leaders of Islam, beginning with the illiterate Mechamad, use what they call "ala" to further their political-military interests as a soldier uses a weapon. So the time will eventually come when the descendants of Yishmael, who have sown and reaped so much evil over these many centuries, will pass from the world.

May we merit to see it speedily in our time.


With authority comes responsibility. A parent must show an example to his children; a rabbi to his community; a mayor towards his city and a president to his nation. And a nation that deems itself to be the world’s leader must certainly maintain high ethical principles.

So lets go "beyond the horizon" to discover why the United States is in the situation it finds itself.

Like everything else in this material world, earthquakes have a superficial scientific explanation, while the real reasons are to be found in the spiritual world.

This week the East Coast of the US experienced an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude, felt from Virginia to Canada.

The Talmud Yerushalmi (end of chapter 1 of Berachot) states that one of the causes of earthquakes is homosexuality. That as a reaction to human being’s unnatural patterns of behavior, the earth reacts in an extremely unnatural way.

There are an increasing number of states which have, or are in the process of, approving same sex marriages, the latest one being New York.

A seismograph or Richter Scale can tell us the magnitude of an earthquake, but only the Torah traditions are able to inform us of the human misbehavior that incurs the wrath of HaShem which causes them.

The other misfortune to have fallen on the United States, as the leader of the western world, is the economic downturn. The economic indicators can measure the severity of the catastrophe, and can even explain what brought it about in economic terms, such as housing mortgages etc., but that again is the superficial appearance of what is really causing the misery.

As I have previously written, it is happening because the US is the world’s leader in pressuring the Jewish people to refrain from building and developing the lands promised to us by the Creator.

The misery will continue and even worsen in the US if they do not reverse their anti-Bible policy of tying our hands in Eretz Yisrael.

It is vital for the US and the western world that this message be brought to the attention of their political movers and shakers.

It is even more vital for them than for the people of Israel, because as in the words of Mordechai to Esther when she hesitated to do what was necessary for the survival of the Jewish nation (chapter 4,14):

כי אם החרש תחרישי בעת הזאת רוח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר ואת ובית אביך תאבדו ומי יודע אם לעת כזאת הגעת למלכות:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for just such a time as this?"

HaShem has brought the United States to the position of a world leader, but if it turn its back on the people of the Bible, we the Jews in Eretz Yisrael shall find "relief and deliverance" from wherever HaShem will choose, but the western world will decline and fall.

Shabbat Shalom

Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5771-2011 Nachman Kahana

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the Threshold of Greatness (VI): when the Jewish Nation becomes Dirty and Repulsive (Part II)

By Tuvia Brodie

Where Illegitimacy began, and where it ends

When the political culture of the West joins the religion-based culture of Middle East Islam to attack Israel, the resulting condemnations signal how complete is the West’s moral collapse. It is not a coincidence that the West’s refusal to stand up for a Westernized but Jewish sovereign state’s right to exist appears simultaneously with the rising influence of the International political Left. This modern Left, with deep roots in Marxism, Humanism and Hellenism is perfectly comfortable with a global demonization of Israel and all matters Jewish. The Left’s Humanist-Hellenist ideology seeks to replace G-d with man, the minority with majority, and ‘justice’ with a man-made morality. The Humanist Left feeds itself on a globalist world-uniting vision that is based in part on a Hellenist faith that it is man (and only man) who can best shape the universe.

From our point of view, the Hellenist influence on the West’s moral collapse begins with arrogance and ends with denigrating the Jew: Hellenists considered themselves more intellectually sophisticated than others and, by comparison, aristocratic, while the rest of the world was barbaric (ibid, p. 205); only they were civilized and only they had the answers. They were—as today’s Left—intolerant, cruel and full of contempt for those who were ‘other’. In addition, their attitudes toward Jews was to remove the Jew from the ‘nations’ of the world, by isolating the Jew as unsocial, impious and hostile (Hecataeus, 300 BCE, in Judeophobia: attitudes toward the Jews in the ancient world, Peter Schafer, Harvard University Press paperback, pp. 15-16, and 23); indeed, the Jews’ insularity and supposed hostility to ‘foreigners’ was explicitly associated with their strange and perhaps ‘improper’ belief in a non- human god who had no physical form (ibid, 17 and 22-23). Less politely (Manetheo, app 250 BCE, ibid, p. 18), Jews were portrayed as cruel. Worse, Jews were said to create laws to assure that the world’s ‘normal’ gods were not worshipped. Jewish law, in this view, was exclusionary to the point that Jews required their women to have intercourse only with those within their own confederacy (ibid, p.18)—something which, apparently, bothered non-Jewish observers. By first century BCE Hellenists, Jews are portrayed as having adopted a hatred of humankind as their permanent tradition (Diodorus, ibid, p. 23). Later (Tacitus, early second century CE), Jews become ‘hateful to the gods’, practicing customs (the Sabbath, fasts, abstinence from pork) that were abominable ( ibid 31-2); some at that time spoke of Judaism with disgust (32). Curiously, Jews again seem particularly offensive because they abstain from intercourse with foreign women while among themselves, it is suggested, nothing lustful is unlawful (p. 33), a criticism that surely says more about the accuser than the accusee. Ultimately, the fact that Jews did not make images of their god meant that they were in fact godless (ibid, 36). You can see where this is going: the creation of anti-Semitism, a focused, unified attitude where the Jew becomes both hostile and repulsive, blasphemous, godless and hypocritical—foreign, untrustworthy, suspicious. The Jew, in other words, becomes the one who obstructs amity and trust.

In the modern world, Nazi Germany refined this anti-Semitism; they built upon ancient and accepted attitudes to create a uniquely horrific Jewish ‘solution’—the complete removal of Jews from the world’s population map. Today, as the Arab seeks to remove Israel from the Middle East map, the politically Left Humanist speaks of the power of human capability above all else, and is disdainful of G-d. To the Humanist, compassion and sympathy towards others is not paramount, the minority must yield to the majority, and peace in the Middle East comes only when the Jew yields to the Muslim.

The Left (the Humanist’s natural home) along with Arab media and Mosque, seem now to have inherited the Nazi and Hellenist views of the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism fits their world-view. One can see this in the Arab use of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, and in the Left’s support for the modern version of the big lie (the Arab claim of a Palestinian people forcibly ejected from their ancestral homes by murdering Jews in 1948, who now cry for the justice they deserve), in order to demonize an Israel they identify as a cruel, repulsive and arrogantly abusive minority. British Leftist Jenny Tonge sums it up well when she suggests (Jerusalem Post, November 14, 2010) that the very existence of Israel creates terrorism-- the inference being that the political pursuit of a Humanistic world peace would be much enhanced with the terror-creating, obstructionist Israel removed from the world map. The Arab and the Hellenist Left appear to have formed a symbiotic partnership, where, working together for peace, the one would disdain and demonize as the other would destroy and/or kill. These haters of the Jewish people have a long and sneering (and by now) blood-stained legacy.

In their own way, some Christians back away from this hatred. It is too extreme. Christians may have their own ideas about Jews, but this unholy alliance goes too far: the Left and the Arab pursue their modern anti-Israel, anti-G-d agenda with a fervor that seems too intense—indeed, altogether too, well, religious. For some Christians, this hatred suggests a religion of Evil; suddenly, perhaps surprisingly, the Jew must be defended because once the Jew is destroyed, they will be next; and if they wait until the Jew is destroyed, it will be too late; the enemy, this Evil, will have become too powerful.

We must not be distracted by events or individuals. The G-d of Israel remains the Living G-d of the Jewish nation, who has promised both punishment and Redemption for his Chosen. We might wish to note this Christian battle against Evil, but we should read our own Tanach and remember what our G-d has said to us. In comments on the poetic lines that follow the words, “They called me dirty and repulsive, worse than all my peers,” Rabbi Soloveitchik tells us, “In effect, G-d says to the Jewish people, ‘I will bring you back to the land of Israel…and restore you to your former glory, for one reason—not because you are deserving, but because My name has been desecrated”(ibid, 200).

The Jewish people may not be deserving—there is, unfortunately, some evidence of this; but there is also evidence that Left-leaning politicians of the world actively desecrate both the name of Israel and the name of G-d in order to promote a Humanist, majority-focused and man-made ‘justice’ that has nothing to do with G-dliness or Holiness. Right now, the nations of the world (and the political Left) seem to work too fervently and too diligently to isolate us as a repulsive, cruel and vile nation. But the Jewish tradition is clear: more than a 1,000 years ago, we were reminded that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of G-d. You may have to re-read parts of this essay (or do some additional reading) in order to think it through, but this association holds true. To hate Israel is to hate G-d. The Christians may see something else in today’s events—deeds and words that strike at the heart of their own religion-- but our truth is found and then repeated throughout history: G-d and Israel are as one; to hate the one is, in fact and deed, to hate the other. To desecrate the one is to desecrate the other. Remember that as you watch September 2011 at the UN and note how eagerly do the nations work against Israel, how gladly do they support wrong over right and desecration over Deity.

Do not tremble if you see sneering hate. Do not worry if the media shows us nations seeking to foist a Humanist ‘justice’ upon us. Do not fear if the Jewish nation becomes dirty and repulsive, worse than all her peers at the United Nations, for the G-d of Israel watches. As September unfolds, we would be wise to read our Tanach and remember what our G-d has told us.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Drumbeats and Smoke Signals for Jews (Part I)

By Jason Gold

1. Defining Deviancy Down

Some years ago I was dragged to a political function in New York, which, unfortunately in New York City invariably meant and still means a Democratic Party dinner/fund raiser/sycophantic glad-handing soiree. However, the lone bright spot was the presence of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Pat, as he was fondly known, was a brilliant man, an eloquent speaker and perhaps the last remnant of what the Democratic Party used to be. The fact that as a Senator, professor and UN Ambassador, he was also a fierce supporter of Israel was just the cherry on the cake.

One of his most famous essays was on “Defining Deviancy Down”. Triple D, as I called it (he was somewhat amused) states that as a society begins to implode, it will gradually tolerate more deviant behavior than was previously thought possible and redefine its normal standards lower and lower. We discussed that seminal essay of his and also discussed how the decay in the US began during the sixties and how Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” spending binge just made things worse. Peering at me over the top of his reading glasses, Pat told me that no matter how much money was thrown at poverty and inner city youth, unless education and programs to strengthen the traditional family unit accompanied it, it was doomed to failure and things would just get worse and worse. Not exactly PC and he was called all sorts of names for this but he was right on the money. I have to wonder how horrified Pat would be if he were alive today and saw just how accurate his predictions about Triple D have become starting with Europe and now the US.

2. Attention Jews! Kiss England/Europe Goodbye

Watching the riots in England, I really wanted to feel sorry for the country. But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t. Forget the fact that England was the incubator to the Crusades and had the honor of being the first European country to throw out the Jews, or how it specializes in that nuanced, gentlemanly anti-Semitism (nee Jew-hatred) that is so chic to speak about at British functions, on the BBC, and at tea time. But here in the European heartland of political correctness, we got to see in living color the absolute and complete failure of the Left liberal welfare state brought to an explosive end of thirteen years of binge spending on failed social programs by Tony Blair and the Labour Party hoards. Abortions for unwed mothers, cradle to grave entitlements, no encouragement of work, complete disintegration of the family unit with alcohol and drugs; yes the nanny state in all its glory. Triple D, indeed. Nine and eleven year olds who have never seen their parents (or parent) work a day in their lives rampaging for the fun of it because the British government in an all-too-brief moment of fiscal urgency realized it had to cut the financial handout cancer that Blair et al let grow. And so the hooded masses rioted, stole, and pillaged, despite having food, clothing shelter, health-care and of course, flat-screen TV’s. The defining moment of this came when Labour party hack Harriet Harman faced off against Conservative Secretary of Health Michael Gove and tried to score political points by blaming the riots on the current government’s cost-cutting. Mr. Gove handed Ms. Harman her head in a way that would have made Pat smile.

What’s the point of all this? Is this good for the Jews or bad for the Jews of England (and, not just England; riots in Greece, Spain, Italy although a bit more subdued). I fear the latter as into the breach of this social chaos usually steps the opportunistic Islamists. Couple this social disaster with the massive immigration explosion of Muslims over the last decades, the exponential expansion of Sharia law in Europe with its associated "no go" zones (see "European 'No-Go' Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating"), the unemployment of both youths and adults, and it is time to bid the old mother country good night. As the financial crisis intensifies, as the Islamists take over more and more of the continent, the Jews will start bearing the blame for everything both from the Islamists and the Europeans who will find themselves powerless against the Islamist tide and only able to fight against....the Jew. It has happened before in Europe. It will happen again.

I daresay if Pat were here, he would have tried to make the hyper PC correct, left wing British pansies (as a British friend calls them) read Melanie Phillips’ “Londonistan” and Bat Yeor’s “Eurabia” which were prescient roadmaps of the end of Europe as we know it and the establishment of the future Islamic Euro-Caliphate. The drumbeats and smoke signals were there but there are none so blind as those who will not see and none so deaf as those who will not hear. Not good for the Jew and not a place you want to be in the coming years. Unfortunately I see no people of courage in England ready to stand up to this like Geert Wilders in Holland. I see no hope for England and the continent. England and Europe will indeed become Eurabia. Time for the Jew to say to Europe farewell, adieu, arrivederci, buona note, etc. What was that song by The Clash? “Safe European Home”? Not for the Jews anymore.

(Tomorrow; Part II, Next stop, the US)

On the Threshold of Greatness (VI): when the Jewish Nation becomes Dirty and Repulsive (Part I)

By Tuvia Brodie

Upon Becoming Illegitimate

In the Tisha B’av poetry called Kinot, there appears a line that translates as, “They called me dirty and repulsive, worse than all my peers.” The dating of this line is uncertain, but all seem to agree that it would have been written no later than the eleventh century, some 1,000 years ago, or as early as the second century, perhaps some 1,750 years ago. It draws our attention not to the physical destruction of the Holy Temple (the subject of the poetry), but to hostility of the nations towards Israel (see discussion by Rav Joseph Soloveitchik, The Koren Mesorat Harav Kinot, the Lookstein edition, ed Simon Posner, OU press, Koren publishers, 2010, p. 200). This reference to the disdain and contempt of the nations is meant here to refer to the political and social aftermath of the destruction of both the First Temple (586 BCE) and the Second Temple (70 CE); but it is also relevant today, as Israel is demeaned and demonized by both Western and Muslim countries.

At the United Nations, for example, where we should expect to see respect for a sovereign nation’s rights, Israel is condemned even as some of the world’s most brutal national killers (think of Communist North Korea) are essentially ignored. Too often, when Arab dictators kill thousands of their own people in brutal internal repressions aimed solely at maintaining a brutal regime, they receive—at best-- only formal verbal objection from the nations of the world. But when Israel seeks to defend itself from 8,000 rockets fired into her sovereign territory from an avowed enemy, Gaza (2009), the UN rises up almost in unison—against Israel. The UN not only fails to protect a sovereign member (see the very beginning of the UN Charter), it attacks, condemns and investigates Israel (recall the Goldstone Report), seeming always to conclude that Israel is surely to be considered an international rogue. This disdain for both Israel’s safety and its sovereign rights is a clear expression of contempt for the right of the Jewish nation to exist. Israel has no right to defend herself against attack? The UN’s contempt towards Israel desecrates the rights of a sovereign nation. It falsely calls Israel worse than her peers, dirty and repulsive, when North Korea, Syria and events in Somalia and Darfur demonstrate that such a label is blatantly and obviously untrue. In addition, when a Synod of the Catholic Church publishes a document(accepted by the Vatican without comment) that states unequivocally that the Jews are no longer the Chosen, singular People of G-d, the desecration of G-d’s name gets added to the contempt heaped upon Israel. Particularly since the 2009 Gaza incursion, the nations of the world have made a clear statement: they not only reject Israel’s right to defend herself, but they reject as well the word and the Promise of the G-d of Israel. Rabbi J. Soloveitchik anticipated this reality—perhaps understanding it better than we—when he wrote, “the enemies of Israel want not only to kill the Jews, but also to deny the…chosenness that G-d imparted to the Jewish people (ibid, 201).

In an extraordinary article (International Analysts Network, August 6, 2011) Mark Silberberg writes that

“The lies perpetrated by otherwise respectable international religious, educational, humanitarian and political bodies against the only democracy in the Middle East are most notable in the double standards that are applied to Israel as opposed to states that have slaughtered their own peoples for decades with absolute immunity from international censure. In an excellent article published in the Jewish World Review, Jonathan Rosenblum notes that the UN General Assembly passes more resolutions against Israel annually than against all of the rest of the nations of the world combined" [my emphasis].

Israel is repulsive, worse than all other nations, even as million are slaughtered, raped and starved in aggressive Muslim-African and Muslim-Muslim conflict. Only Israel is condemned—for defending herself. Indeed, as all of this unfolds at the UN, Arab Mosques of the Middle East call for death to the Jews, and the Waqf of Jerusalem supervises the illegal removal of more than 15,000 tons of debris from the Temple Mount before announcing that there is no evidence of Jewish life on the Temple Mount. As this goes on, the nations of the world remain cynically and sneeringly silent. If they do speak, it is to claim, as Caroline Glick shows (Our world: Norway’s Jewish problem, Jerusalem Post, August 8, 2011), that Israel somehow deserves to be denigrated and attacked because it is a vile ‘occupier’; and they then define ‘occupation’ as, “Since 1948 the state of Israel has occupied Palestinian land.”

Israel’s very existence, in other words, is illegitimate.

(Tomorrow: Part II: where illegitimacy began, and where it ends)

Success is a Gift of G-d

By Moshe Feiglin

"Because G-d, your G-d is bringing you to a good Land. And you shall eat and you shall be satiated and you shall bless G-d, your G-d for the good Land that He has given you." (From this week's Torah portion, Eikev, Deuteronomy 8:7, 10)

Sometimes we are so involved in man-made troubles that we forget to give thanks for all the wondrous good that G-d gives us. Just 70 years ago, we were at the receiving end of the prophecy that opens this week's Prophets reading: "And Zion said G-d has abandoned me and my Master has forgotten me," and now we have merited "And He will love you and He will bless you and He will make you many and bless the fruits of your womb and the fruits of your earth, your grain and the juice of your grapes and your oil." (Deuteronomy 7: 13).

Gratefulness does not come naturally; we must work on acquiring it. On the contrary, when all is going well, one often forgets the feelings of lack and dependence that he feels in times of trouble. In truth though, all is a gift from G-d, and we must thank Him for every detail throughout the day.

The good that we have been promised is not a given. The feeling that we are on a direct route to the Final Redemption often dangerously combines with the plague of "My strength and the power of my hand brought me this success," causing us to forget our responsibility to nurture the process in which we are living. G-d directs us to build a kingdom of priests and a holy nation that calls out in the Name of G-d and is a moral beacon for the world. Nowhere in the Torah does He call upon us to establish a normal state that will find its place among the nations. The reason that Israel - strong and prosperous - is losing the legitimacy for its existence hinges on this understanding.

It is up to us: "And if you will listen to My voice - "No man will stand in your path, G-d, your G-d will put fear and trepidation of you on the entire Land upon which you will step."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Slavery or Freedom?

By Michael Fuah

The tent city protests have now gone in the direction of solutions. In a certain way, we are facing an Oslo-like social danger. False messiahs are talking about "justice" and lofty goals, as if the State can cure all the ills of the human race. Affordable housing, mandatory education from birth (in other words, government funding of pre-school care from birth and up) free medical care and more are the slogans just barely concealing Socialist - and in some cases, Communist - policies.

History has proven that a welfare state is a state of servitude and tyranny. Just a small reminder of the socialist worldview that we have not yet managed to uproot from our country is the battle being waged by families right now over their right to bring their children home from kindergarten for lunch and not to leave them there against their will until 2 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

Capitalism, though, is not a cure-all. Individual liberty and the freedom to do just about anything easily descend into anarchy, in which the individual is concerned only with his own success while social responsibility crumbles away. In a socialist regime, the people are slaves to the government and the system; in a capitalist regime, they are slaves to work and the eternal drive for more and more material goods on the mistaken assumption that they will provide true happiness.

We would like to propose a social justice system based on Jewish heritage and culture: Let’s call it "a Jewish society". The Jewish Society's economic method would be based on the Jubilee. In the Jewish Society, the citizens enjoy true liberty. They are free to do what they want, but shoulder personal responsibility for their livelihood, the education of their children, their family’s health and for helping others who truly need help. As opposed to the "welfare state" in which the citizen is trained to expect the state to provide for everything with no responsibility on his part, the Jewish Society teaches its citizens to take responsibility for all that they can. No more focus solely on personal gain, trampling anyone and anything in the path to material success.

As a first step, and on the backdrop of the genuine housing shortage in Israel, we propose to give each citizen an initial economic base that really should be his, but was stolen from him. 93% of the land in the State of Israel is owned by the State. This phenomenon is unique to Israel, a remnant of the days when the socialist Mapai party ruled. Land is a resource that belongs to all the citizens of a state. The State of Israel must return it to its rightful owners. We propose to give - that's right, to give - every household in Israel half a dunam of land.

Another issue that we need to strengthen is the family structure. Both the capitalist and socialist approaches have wreaked terrible damage on the proper development of parental responsibility.

The prominent British Jewish journalist Melanie Phillips recently addressed this topic:

As I have been writing for more than twenty years, a society that embraces mass fatherlessness is a society that is going off the edge of a cliff. There are whole areas of Britain (white as well as black) where committed fathers are a wholly unknown phenomenon; where serial generations are being brought up only by mothers, through whose houses pass transitory males by whom these girls and women have yet more children, and whose own daughters inevitably repeat the pattern of lone and utterly dysfunctional parenting.

The result is fatherless boys who are suffused by an existential rage and desperate psychic need, who take out the damage done to them by lashing out from infancy at the world around them. And all this is effectively condoned, rewarded and encouraged by the welfare state which conceives of need solely in terms of absence of money, and which accordingly subsidises lone parenthood and the destructive behaviour that welfare fatherlessness brings in its train.

And the unutterably wicked thing is that this catastrophe has been deliberately willed upon Britain by left-wing politicians, well-heeled media feminists and other middle-class ideologues who wrap their utter contempt for the poor in the mantle of ‘progressive’ non-judgmentalism, witlessly prattling about poverty and social justice and hurling execrations at anyone who suggests that lone parenthood is in general a catastrophe for children (and a disaster for women) and that the state should stop subsidising family and social breakdown and start encouraging married parenthood instead.

It is urgent to regain our handle on societal norms, to strengthen the family unit instead of fostering its disintegration. It is time to free ourselves of foreign influences and return to our Jewish culture and heritage, developing and applying them to all facets of our lives.