Friday, April 27, 2012

Separate and Sanctified

By Moshe Feiglin
Speak to the entire Congregation of the Children of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy for I, Hashem your G-d, am holy. A person must fear his mother and father and keep My Sabbaths, I am Hashem,
your G-d.
 (From this week's Torah portion, Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:2-3)

You shall be holy, or in other words, separate, dedicated to a special, lofty goal.
What makes you separate? Your Torah, of course.
But the Torah is immense. What is the unique, essential point that separates and sanctifies us? Two commandments follow the directive to be holy: Honor of one's parents and keeping the Shabbat. Thesemitzvot are the practical framework for our holiness.

The mitzvah to honor our parents is logical and accepted among all cultured nations. But Shabbat is completely opposite. Not only is there no economic logic in this mitzvah, but it is forbidden for a non-Jew to keep the Shabbat (there is a vast difference between a day of rest and keeping Shabbat). The Shabbat is a 'sign' between Me and you; it is a personal covenant between the Creator and the nation He adopted as His children. A non-Jew who keeps all the legal intricacies of Shabbat is bursting uninvited into someone else's living room.

What makes us separate and sanctified is our ability to connect these two opposing concepts: logic and everyday life, natural ethics and human conduct on the one hand, with unblemished faith on the other; while both the logic and faith are subordinate to the same source: I am Hashem, your G-d.

G-d does not command us to be holy by living a life of asceticism or seclusion. Our lives must incorporate high-tech, army, education, infrastructure, police, health, tourism – all the components of a modern state. But all of this must stem from the faith-based recognition that G-d is in our midst. This is how we must fulfill G-d's commandment to be holy.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Video: Likud Ministers and MKs in Wall-to-Wall Support for Moshe Feiglin

After the recent primary election between Moshe Feiglin and Bibi Netanyahu for head of the Likud party, in which Moshe garnered at least 1/3 of the vote [ed: and we will never know the final tally due to massive voting ‘irregularities’], Manhigut Yehudit held a post-election rally on March 1. Many high-profile Likud MKs and Ministers attended, and they all spoke highly of Moshe. Here are some highlights of their speeches, and then a few
words of Moshe’s to wrap up the evening:

Click here to view the video.

Minister Israel Katz: I am coming here now, straight from Itamar. I said there and I will say it here—there will still be very very very many Itamars throughout the Land of Israel. In the Shomrom, the Galilee, Judah, in all corners of the Land of Israel.
Whoever comes to murder Jews, to hurt them in the lowliest way in order to deter, scare, and expel, that person will attain exactly the opposite. Also in Itamar.

My views are very clear, and I am willing to say them here. I support the law to legalize the settlement, which was established with the support of the government. I am against house demolitions. Anyways, who will it satisfy? Will it satisfy the Palestinians? If you just take down a house in Migron, will they sign a peace treaty with us?

Believe me, Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is much more interested in the house in Tzfat that he claims belongs to him, than in the house in Migron. He is ready for the house in Migron to remain and that you should evacuate the houses in Tzfat.
Although Moshe was a few years younger than me in yeshiva, both of us received the same education from Rabbi Chaim Druckman, and we believe in mutual respect. Every person has his own lifestyle. That is the basis, and it is an important value. I bless you on the amazing work you have been doing, and I extend my hand to you in the most positive way. I want to work together, and as the chairman of the Likud Secretariat, cooperate in all of the different frameworks in which I have influence. I think we need to work together.

Knesset Member Gilad Erdan: I really want to join you in the blessings, first and foremost to my friend, to our friend, Moshe Feiglin, on the very, very, very impressive achievement in these elections. This is democracy. Although the media is not willing to accept democracy when the outcome does not fit its viewpoint, nonetheless, this is still democracy. We are all here, and Manhigut Yehudit is operating according to the rules of the democracy. You represent values that, as [Knesset member] Tzipi [Hotovely] said at the beginning of the conference, are values that will guide the Likud.

Leadership for Am Yisrael is very different from any type of leadership in the world because in the world, a leader can be very talented, and only make decisions on a rational basis. But if we had operated according to rational decisions, I do not think that we would have announced the establishment of the State of Israel at the time that they declared statehood. But a leader in the state of Israel has to have faith.

Rashi [Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki] says that this is the most basic requirement, that this is true Jewish leadership, more than anything else. He says, [in Psalms 111:6] “He has declared the power of His deeds to His people, to give them the inheritance of nations” [ie. the Land of Israel]. With all of the arguments about security, and who was here first, and who will be here after, and if we were here thousands of years, and if they were here for decades, because they were expelled or not expelled. All of this is important, but it is much less important than the most basic and significant fact; The most basic and significant fact is that whoever created the world, He is the one who will decide whether this Land belongs to the Jewish people. This is what needs to direct us, and I think that this, even if I do not agree with Moshe Feiglin on all subjects, I think that this basic value is the value that will unite us, and everyone who wants to govern within the Likud.

Knesset Member Miri Regev: First of all, Moshe, I want to bless you on Manhigut Yehudit’s great success. I think, and I said this back then, that there is place for everyone within the Likud—the public decides. The Likud is a grassroots movement, large, and united, and there is a place for every person who goes with their truth. You chose a path, and you are not afraid. That, in my eyes, is true leadership because all of us, or at least most of us, are people who follow the herd, going after people who they see as winners. We do not like to be minority. We do not like to be in the position where the media is speaking against us. We do not like to be in the position where we must apologize and explain ourselves. Whoever has a path that he is not afraid of, and he goes on this path through thick and thin, even when he knows that he will not win, but he says, this is my camp, I am going with this - that person will win in the end, and today we are here because, in essence, you beat the system.

You beat the system, and with this I would like to connect to Minister Erdan’s words. The time has come to re-staff all of the Likud’s institutions. The dust has been there for ten years already. The time has come for us to stand up and say, “The party belongs to everyone, and not to one person.” The party is transparent. We need to stop being afraid to say the truth, even if it is not popular. Let’s take off the masks. Let’s get closer to our truth, and let’s go with the ideals that we believe in.

Knesset Member Ayub Karah: This situation reminds me slightly of what happened with Menachem Begin, for whoever read his book. People who were pushed to the side a little, they always had the power to push through in the end. I have no doubt that Moshe Feiglin is worthy of being with us. That he is worthy of being one of the leaders of the Likud, and he will be with Hashem’s help.
Your presence within the Likud, your dominance within the Likud can only add a lot to our privilege of guarding this state, guarding this Land. As long as we persevere, as long as we are strong - that is the language that they understand in this area because there is no difference between Migron and Hebron and Tel-Aviv. There is no difference.

Knesset Member Zeev Elkin (Coalition Chairman): We are finishing here a stage in our internal organization for the Likud, and everyone who looks today at the new Likud Central Committee will see one very, very, very clear fact. There were many rumors, with people saying that they want to do things according to this approach, to change to a different approach. One outcome is very clear—the national, right-wing force within the Likud Central Committee, no matter how you look at it, grew bigger and is growing in a significant way. The people sitting here have a very, very significant role in bringing this about. They were the first who understood the significance of the internal democratic process, and the proper way to guard the Likud as a nationalistic party. The way is through influencing from within, and when this reaches a critical mass, it influences the entire movement. For figuring out this method, Moshe, I think that you deserve to register a patent.

Knesset member Jamal Zahalka said to me, “I do not believe what my eyes are seeing. I knew that the Right knows how to win elections, but I never thought that you would actually want to wield power. I do not know what happened to you . But this time, for some reason, you have decided that you want to rule, and that changes the rules of the game. We didn’t agree to this. We didn’t agree that you would not only win, but that you would also wield power.

Once, I heard from Ehud Olmert, the head of the last government, who almost brought upon us a disaster, by trying to sell all of Judah and Samaria, an interesting statement. He said, “I had a lot of roles in politics, and always, in every role, I had someone to call if I had a problem. But suddenly, when I sat in the Prime Minister’s chair, when I want to come to someone with a problem, I turn around, and all I can see is a picture of myself on the wall.” This is why it is so hard to be an Israeli Prime Minister.

I told him then, and I think that this is very, very true, and this is the path that you have raised, like a flag, and I agree with you on this idea completely. Sometimes we have tactical disagreements, but on principles, I think that you have recognized a very central point. Because when a politician looks at the wall, and all he sees is a picture of himself, in the end there will be a problem. If there is no problem today, there will be a problem tomorrow. But every person who knows also how to look upward, understands that even when he sits in the Prime Minister’s seat, and thinks about what will happen, he has Someone to whom he is accountable.

In the end, this is what will straighten out the political arena according to a set of nationalist goals. I bless you for going in this path. Up to this point, we cooperated on a lot of issues, and you asked a question about Migron. Just yesterday, I had a phone conversation with Moshe about what we should do about this issue, and we are cooperating on a lot of issues. That is how it has been up to now, and that is how it will be from now on, and I believe that the Likud will become stronger in going towards this path. Right now we are at the stage when we will be holding elections for the Likud’s institutions, and this path, in the end, must win. Good evening.

Knesset Member Danny Danon: Good evening to all of you. At the beginning of Adar, we increase our happiness, and in truth, there is a lot of joy in this room.

We are all happy about Moshe Feiglin’s impressive achievement, Manhigut Yehudit’s achievement, and I value Moshe and Manhigut Yehudit on their courage to run in these elections. The courage to say, "I believe in this, and I am running in these elections."
When I announced that I would be running for head of the Central Committee, I did not think that my opponent would be the Prime Minister. Now, wait a second; I am a Jew who believes in God, all of us are believers, and the Torah portion for that week was the portion about Jethro. When I met the Prime Minister, I asked him, “Are you really running?” I said, “Did you read the weekly Torah portion? In the portion, Jethro, who was the first political advisor, the best that there was, better than all of us, comes to Moses and says, what are you doing, you cannot do everything, you cannot judge everyone.” With all due respect to the Prime Minister, and I respect him and value him very much, Moses also knew how to delegate responsibility, to hand out tasks, how to let other people be active participants within the camp, for Am Yisrael, and this is what we shall do in the upcoming committee—we will get there together and united. We will make sure that the committee will be fair, transparent, with clear rules. To summarize it all, I believe, and I am not afraid. Thank you.

Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely: Purim is the holiday of costumes. Everyone knows that for too much time in the Likud they gave legitimacy to those who said that Manhigut Yehudit is a group of people who dressed up like Likudniks. My friends, let’s say the truth: they are as Likud as you can be, Manhigut Yehudit.

There is no opposition today for the Likud’s current leadership, and without Manhigut Yehudit, we would have also seen a deterioration of values, and an erosion of its ideology within the Likud. It’s good that Manhigut Yehudit is here, to remind us all, what the line is, what the destination is, and most importantly, not to forget that there is a vision. My friends, Knesset members and ministers, we represent a Likud that is willing to come out of the closet, and not just to say what the media wants to hear, but, instead, to say the truth. From here we have, in essence, wall to wall support. Not only in secret, but in truth, in the most open and truthful manner. Today we are giving you a hand to say, you are an inseparable part of the Likud movement. This evening is the evening in which we say this in the most open manner.

Moshe Feiglin: Sometimes I think to myself at night, you know, just dreaming. Tell me, if you are elected tomorrow, who will be in your government? I have to tell you that in the last Knesset, I wasn’t really sure what to say. But in the current Knesset, I want to tell you - I feel completely comfortable with a large section of the Likud Knesset list, and the people currently on the list.
The feeling is that there are just really great people within the Likud. I think that we are really standing on solid ground on this, thank G-d. We can also pat ourselves on the back. We did something. There is a really amazing roster, with a lot of people who are very talented, and believers. We see this. The Likud is not a secular party, as Tommy Lapid once asked me on his program, when he said, “What are you doing there, this is a secular party.” I said, the Likud is not a secular party; it is a traditional party, and a party of the people. The Likud is the real Israel, and with it we can go forward, leading the way for Am Yisrael. 

Will an Israeli Strike on Iran Harm US-Israel Relations?

By Moshe Feiglin

2 Iyar, 5769
April 26, '09

The following article was written three years ago in Hebrew and has been translated here for the first time. The truths underscored in this article are even more obvious today than they were then.

This weekend's newspapers widely quoted the Associated Press report of Obama's threat that an Israeli strike against Iran will bring about the cessation of US military aid to Israel. This situation is particularly reminiscent of the period prior to the Six Day War. Then, as now, Israel was faced with an existential threat. Then, as now, the US pressured Israel not to take action.

Despite the fact that after the 1956 Sinai War Israel received a signed US guarantee of intervention in the eventuality of an Egyptian obstruction of the Straits of Tiran, America ignored its commitment and threatened Israel that if it would attack Egypt, the US would not stand at its side. President Lyndon Johnson lamely excused his betrayal by telling Israeli PM Levi Eshkol that he "couldn't find his copy" of the guarantee document.

America's approach to Israel prior to the Six Day War was patently negative. It imposed an arms embargo on the Middle East, while Soviet arms continued to flow freely to the Arab states. But after the successful Israeli attack – that also included the destruction of the USS Liberty in the waters off the Sinai Peninsula – the American approach to Israel completely changed. Arms and vast amounts of aid began to flow from our "great ally." The flow of aid was downgraded only after Israel surrendered the Sinai to Egypt in the Camp David Accords. Currently, only one sixth of the American arms sold to the Middle East are directed to Israel. The rest is sold to the Arab world, directly endangering the Jewish State.

The situation was not much different in 1948. The American government did not want to lose a market of 400 million Arabs and planned to vote against the establishment of the State of Israel. Public opinion after the Holocaust forced the US to vote in favor – but only because they were convinced that the Arab armies would destroy the fledgling state in no time. For those who still hold the "great friendship with America" cliché dear, we will just add that in those difficult pre-State days, America also imposed an arms embargo on the Middle East – in other words, on the Jews. Jewish Americans who were caught smuggling arms to Israel were imprisoned.

There is no doubt that healthy relations with the (crumbling) American superpower are an important Israeli interest. But we must remember that those relations have always been founded on mutual interests and nothing more. If we were to evaporate in a radioactive plume, G-d forbid, Obama would respectfully lay a wreath at the new wing of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Nothing more. So the American threat on an issue that is existential to Israel must not be taken into account at all.

One of the main lessons that we should have learned from the Holocaust is that when a Jew hater who heads a country declares his intention to destroy us – he means it.
If we have not yet attacked Iran after all of Ahmadinijad's blatant threats, we have not really learned the lesson of the Holocaust.

In the Six Day War, Israel initiated an aerial attack against its enemies that involved the entire Israeli air force. In the technological reality of those days, it was a mission no less complex than the proposed strike on Iran today. It demanded evasion of the Jordanian radar, total radio silence and difficult navigation at extremely low altitudes deep inside enemy territory – all with mechanisms that can only be described as primitive relative to the weapons systems used by Israel's air force today. Failure then would have left Israel with no air force against the attacks of all the Arab armies.

In other words, we have been in this scenario before. Israel has no choice but to attack Iran. America's relations with us should not be part of the question of whether to attack or not. At most, we can ask ourselves how America will relate to us following a strike. And the answer is simple: A successful attack will improve relations, while no strike or an unsuccessful strike, G-d forbid, will worsen them. 

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Yom Haatzmaut, 5772

Parshiot Acharei and Kedoshim (in Eretz Yisrael) 5772
In Bamidbar, chapter 14, the Torah relates the tragic episode of the ten miraglim (spies or scouts) who convinced the nation to defy the wishes of HaShem that they liberate Eretz Yisrael from its Canaanite occupiers. As a consequence, the miraglim died immediately, and the entire male generation between the ages of 20 and 60 were condemned to die within the coming 39 years. When the nation heard that HaShem had declared them to be persona non grata, many of them (known as the ma’apie’lim) informed Moshe that they regretted their decision to follow the miraglim and were now prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael. Moshe warned them that for the time being, HaShem would not perform miraculous military victories; so that they would be endangering their lives by entering the Land. The ma’a’pie’lim ignored Moshe’s warning, entered the Land, and were destroyed.
HaShem used the weapon of persona non grata beginning with Adam and Chava, who were expelled from Gan Eden, then with Kayin (Cain) who was excluded from the company of men to be a wanderer his whole life, and+++ Lot who was sent away by Avraham and a metzora who may not enter a walled city.
Just recently, our Minister of the Interior declared the German author, Guenter Grass persona non grata, after the former SS soldier wrote a poem condemning the State of Israel. Unless he changes his ways and expiates the anti-Semitic feelings he received with his mother’s milk, he will forever be excluded from entering the Holy Land.
The Ha’aretz newspaper, which cannot be accused of being overly Zionistic, published an article in its English edition on the subject of aliya from the United States. The following are excerpts from the article:
1) Immigrating to Israel (aliyah) was never a top priority for the Jews of the United States. But as Israel prepares this week to mark its 64th year of Independence the subject has disappeared completely from the community's agenda
2) Aliyah is not mentioned at all in the list of subjects for discussion at Jewish conferences; its place will not be found at gatherings of organizations and institutions that pride themselves on being Zionists and ask for community support to build close ties to Israel.
3) Israeli cabinet ministers and senior officials who appear at Jewish functions have for some time stopped talking about the necessity for aliyah and are cautious about even paying lip service to the notion. The Jewish Agency, whose mission used to be promoting aliyah and helping immigration to Israel, has officially, declaratively removed the word "aliyah" from its list of priorities.
4) By decision of Chairman Natan Sharansky, the agency now deals solely with bringing Diaspora Jews closer to Israel and infusing "Zionist values" into their communities. Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization that tries to fill the void the agency left, operates privately and in limited fashion in the United States, as if ashamed to be seen doing something so unacceptable and unfashionable in the community's eyes.
5) Recent surveys of American Jews do not include even one question about their attitude toward aliyah or about Israel as a place to live. "It is better not to ask", says a veteran Jewish activist. "The disgrace to the community and to Israel would be great if they were to reveal the depth of alienation among American Jews from the idea of making aliyah".
6) It appears the Iranian threat and fears of the Obama White House toughening its stance on Israel after the November elections are not among the community's chief concerns. In a recent survey of U.S. Jewish public opinion, only four percent said Israel was as an important issue in deciding how to vote.
7) Nefesh B'Nefesh brings some some 2,000 new immigrants from North America to Israel every year. That they are mainly religious does not mean they decided to make aliyah because of the preaching of rabbis or religious figures. If a small minority on the fringes of the Orthodox community immigrates to Israel, it is despite the total silence on the subject of American Jewish religious leaders.
8) The previous generation of American rabbis still spoke of settling the land, preaching that it was a "mitzva" to do so. Today Orthodox rabbis and other influential figures have dropped the issue entirely from their sermons and speeches.
Contemporary Jewish life in the USA is essentially a replay of the major sin that brought about the near tragedy of Purim.
The Jews in Persia had deteriorated so far in their assimilation process that they even dined at the king’s royal feast while eating and drinking from the sacred vessels taken from the Bet Hamikdash.
While it is not specifically recorded, I have the feeling that the Jews would never have taken this giant step towards spiritual suicide without rabbinic permission. I can close my eyes and hear the "heterim" (permits) promulgated in the shuls and Jewish newspapers. "We cannot permit ourselves to be the only ethnic group not participating in the king’s feast". Or, "It’s a one-time situation, therefore one may be lenient in the matter". And the list continues ad nauseum.
The Jewish people are composed of two essential elements: we are a national entity and possess a unique spiritual-ritual way of life.
Do we not pronounce the following blessing over the Torah?
אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים ונתן לנו את תורתו
God who have chosen us over all other nations and has presented us with His Torah
This is an indivisible duality, where each factor exists only by virtue of the other. One who relinquishes the spiritual-ritualistic component, will eventually - he or his close descendants - surely loose their national association, and conversely: one who separates himself from the major cohesive factor of nationality - a common land and language - will eventually find no reason to continue in its ritualist ways. This is a time tested formula, immutably set in concrete in our history.
When rabbis no longer teach that the essence of HaShem’s covenant with the Jewish people is our keeping of the Torah IN Eretz Yisrael, it is only a question of time before spiritual gangrene begins to rot away at the nation’s cohesion.
Now, if the presence of rabbis, yeshivot and orthodox communities in today’s galuyot (lands of our exile) were a neutral phenomena that had little or no effect on the world scene, it would be bad enough. But the existence of these religious, ultra-religious and ultra ultra-religious communities and people resonate to the world; to the few friends we have and to the billions of our enemies, a disastrous, untrue message. That the Creator did not give us the Holy Land, and hence we are not God’s chosen people.
Because when the Creator gives you a gift you do not turn it down with crippled, lame excuses such as "when the Mashiach will come" or the three vows (Tractate Ketivot), which are passe.
Today on Yom Ha’Atzma’ut, we recite the Hallel prayer which contains the words: "They have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear." I wonder if King David, when he wrote these words with idol worshippers in mind, could have imagined that they would apply perfectly to the religious leaders in today’s galut, who have eyes, ears and brains, but are unable to perceive that the world of the galut is now in the midst of its death throes; while the new-old world of the Jewish nation is being reshaped in Eretz Yisrael today?
When reading about the status of persona non grata placed upon the German Geunter Grass, it came to my mind that our Minister of the Interior should declare all the religious leaders who oppose the Medina through word of mouth or by disregarding its existence as being persona non grata. But then I realized that it would be a superfluous, unnecessary and redundant act. Because HaShem has already elegantly and subtlety deemed them persona non grata, by leading them to believe that they need not come on aliya to God’s Holy Land.
A few minutes ago there was an air force "fly past" over Yerushalayim, in honor of Yom Ha’Atz’maut. And the thought passed over me that during WW 2 we begged the major ally nations to use their air forces to bomb the concentration camps, or at least the rail tracks, and thereby every day save tens of thousands of Jews who would then not arrive at the camps.
Not once, during all those years, did an American, British, or other ally, plane bomb a camp or the tracks.
But, how wondrous are Your ways - Hashem!
Today the entire world is holding its breath and counting the minutes when our Israeli Air Force will bomb the Iranians and rid the world of that scourge.
Indeed! How wondrous are Your ways, the God of Israel.
Yom Ha’Atzma’ut samayach
Nachman Kahana

Thursday, April 19, 2012

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Tazria and Yom Ha’Sho’ah 5772

Parashat Tazria and Yom Ha’Sho’ah 5772
After relating the laws incumbent upon a Jewish woman who has given birth, with regard to matters of tuma (x-slate) and the sacrifices she must bring to the Bet Hamikdash, the Torah turns its attention to the mysterious malady of negeh tzara’at.
The telltale symptom of this affliction is a white skin blemish within which the hair has turned white. It is the body’s external reaction to a deep rooted spiritual sickness. After the diagnosis has been determined, a kohen declares the individual to be tamei (negative spiritual state), to the extent that he must leave the city and sit in isolation until the blemish disappears.
Within the context of this strange law, there exists a bizarre detail. When the blemish is confined, then the individual is tamei,(x-slate), but if the blemish extends to cover his entire body he is deemed to be tahor (positive spiritual state) and may return to normal life. How odd!
I suggest:
Our rabbis have taught that the major reason for negeh tzara’at is anti-social behavior, such as lashon ha’ra (gossip), miserliness, etc. The perpetrator’s behavior was performed within the context of a social group, and as such he is liable to influence others to act as he did, hence he is expelled from society and excluded from all social interaction.
This man is dangerous. He is morally corrupt, but because he is accepted in society, in view of his moral hypocrisy, he can camouflage his evil intentions and his spheres of influence can be extensive. He can be compared to a generally healthy body but stained with a blemish of negeh tzara’at which can be concealed, just as his negative behavior can be concealed by seemingly ideological rhetoric.
This man is deemed to be "tamei," because just as tuma can be transferred to others, his depravity can be transferred to those who would be duped into following his ways.
So he must be expelled from contact with other people.
However, a person whose evil is visible and acknowledged, is a lesser danger to society. People around him are aware of his spiritual contamination, and can find protection from him.
This is the person whose negeh tzara’at has covered his entire body. He is no longer tamei, which implies infecting others. He is a rasha (evil person) who may return to society, because he harbors no hypocrisy. His evil is evident and can be protected against.
We shall be"H return to this below.
Several days ago, Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner used his rifle to push a 20 year old Danish self-declared anarchist, who was demonstrating for the worst enemies of the Jewish people. Now, since I don’t know Lt. Colonel Eisner personally, although his late father, Harav Binyamin Eisner and I were close friends, I am sure that the "apple fell close to the tree", I have nothing to add to all the wonderful things that are now being said about him.
But I do want to relate to the "innocent" peacemaker who fell victim to the officer’s "vicious attack, but did not even have a band-aid on his face when appearing on TV.
The 27th of Nisan, which falls out on Thursday of this week, is Yom Ha’Shoah in Eretz Yisrael. Thousands of people will throng to the Yad Ve’Shem Memorial Museum in Yerushalayim. Among them will be survivors of the European, Christian, Amalek bloodbath, IDF soldiers, school children of all ages, and Am Yisrael in general.
They will come to see, to study, to remember; and will cry.
Among the visitors, who come throughoutt he entire year, will also be Christians from many countries, such as, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and others. They too will come to see; but what they see is not what we see. They too will study, but their conclusions are not ours. They too will remember; but their memories are not ours. And some cry; but their tears are for different reasons.
The vast majority of those Christians will walk through the tear drenched halls of Yad Ve’Shem saying to themselves, "This is what the Jews deserve for killing our god"!
If this idea is too complex even for the Jewish Talmudic mind, I will try to explain it. They believe that god killed the Jews because they killed him! Now that should make it perfectly clear
The young man from Denmark, and his friends, who came to Israel in support of the Arab cause in the name of humanity, have an agenda - the destruction of the State of Israel. They are the tamei people infected with negeh tzara’at, who talk of peace and human rights, but in whose hearts beat the hope that the Arabs will serve as the agents of god to destroy the Jews for killing their god.
The Christians come here, and on their faces one can detect their dissatisfaction with what they see. They arrive at the airport and are inspected by Jews. They are directed by police, who are Jews. Their every step is surrounded by us, the remnant of what they did to us in our 2000 year exile.
They come to Yerushalayim, and see the 12 Israeli flags, representing the 12 tribes of Am Yisrael, unfurling in the wind on the Kotel plaza. And they ask themselves, "We Christians number over one billion in the world. The Moslems number over one billion in the world. The Jews are just one half of one percent of the two major faiths. How did they survive, and why did God give them sovereignty over the Holy Land?"
The blow that Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner gave to the face of the Neo-Nazi, anarchistic anti-Semite was heard around the world, louder than what was recorded in the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn" (1837), which referred to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
It was a call to inform the world that we know who your are and what you think, even when you smile at us.
It was a call, sent out on the week of parashat Tazria, to let the gentile world know that their hypocrisy will not be able to cover the fact of their tuma.
It was, first and foremost, a message to HaShem that we are aware of our responsibility to defend the Land of Israel against all evil doers who would raise a tamei finger against this people or this Land.
Lt. Colonel Eisner acted as a shaliach (agent) of all Am Yisrael in this world, just as his holy father, Harav Binyamin, is in the world of absolute truth.
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5772-2012 Nachman Kahana
The Hebrew terms "tamei" and "tahor" have spiritual meaning, and are not translatable. I have tried to give them meaning in the context of this message.

Moshe Feiglin's Parting Words at his Father's Funeral

Editor's note: As Yaakov Tzvi Feiglin's funeral was on Pesach, no eulogies were allowed. Moshe did say a few words of parting, reprinted here:
My dear and beloved father,
My prince
The most noble of the noble
A rare breed from other worlds

From a world of innocent childhood in the sands of Hadera
From the shores of the Kinneret
From the Herzliyah school of old

A rare breed from a world of modesty, a world of respect for others,
A world that knew what it means to shoulder the yoke of responsibility
A descendant of Chassidic rabbis and pioneers.

You built and ran a large factory, a business that spans the world. You once said to me:
"I cannot lie. If I lie, everyone will see it on my face." You proved that one can succeed like that,
Truly succeed!

You chose the right time, Father, to emerge from slavery to freedom,
And you held our hands close to your heart and whispered to our tear-filled faces,
"Be happy!"

Again and again you whispered and said, thank you, thank you, thank you
And I, because of the joy of the holiday, cannot eulogize you, Father,
I remain, as you requested,
Happy and thankful to G-d for giving me such a father, to walk in his light
Till the end of my days.

May your soul be bound up in eternity.

18 Nissan, Pesach 5772

The Arab Spring and the Jewish Spring

By Tuvia Brodie

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal.  In nature, it suggests fragrance and flowers.  In international politics, it is a metaphor for uprisings in the Arab world—The Arab Spring.  The Arab Spring, however, is confusing.  For example, the West says the Arab Spring is about democracy and freedom.  But how can that be? The Arab has never learned about democracy and freedom. These concepts are foreign to him. After watching Tunisia, Libya and Egypt turn increasingly to anti-democracy Islamic radicals, the West seems destined to be disappointed with its definition of ‘Spring’:  a tree that never existed can never renew.

But the Arab  ‘Spring’ is indeed real. It is pregnant with hope and possibility.  It promises the Arab a rebirth of what once was theirs-- the real opportunity to exterminate the Jewish state.

They have reason to be hopeful.

The Nazis made a mistake. While their goal was clear—eradicate the Jew—they mistakenly thought that what they needed to succeed was the silent acquiescence of the nations. With that silence, they thought, they’d take care of the rest. Clearly, that strategy failed.  The Arabs have made a similar but opposite mistake: they never sought anyone’s acquiescence; they simply ignored everyone, thinking they could destroy the Jewish state by themselves.

The Arab has now learned his lesson: they and the Nazi are wrong.  The Jew is too powerful. He cannot be destroyed by one enemy. He cannot be exterminated by a powerful nation seeking silent acquiescence, and he cannot be wiped off the map by an enemy who ignores all others.  The Jew can only be destroyed when nations act together, uniting in a common, shared effort.

This is why the Arab turns to the United Nations. The UN will mid-wife his dream. The UN is why the Arab is so hopeful.

Giving birth is never easy. It is painful. It requires effort.  A mid-wife is often  necessary; sometimes, a mid-wife spells the difference between life and death.

So it is with the Nazi- Arab dream: the key to fulfilment is a proper mid-wife. 

The UN can play that role because that august body is built upon a powerful ideal: world peace.  The UN and its adopted brother--the Left--have struggled for decades to define UN goals. They have, for example, written new International law. They have redefined the rules of war. They have redefined ‘justice’. They have redefined ‘peace’. Today, the UN knows what it wants—and how to get it. It wants a Leftist-inspired world peace where a favoured class makes the rules (recall Communism). World peace—and its required corollary, social justice-- are so important that their implementation must over-ride all other considerations. This is why, for example, the UN feels so strongly that Israel, an unfavoured class in its Region, must yield to the favoured in its Region.  It is also why, while the UN states that ethnic cleansing is illegal, it remains silent when Arabs speak of ethnically cleansing Jews from their new ‘Palestine’: peace and justice for the Region’s favoured over-ride all other considerations.

Do you object to this characterization of UN goals? If you do, you are reactionary. You believe in ideals that no longer exist. You ignore how UN Commissions (with Leftist help) have rewritten rules according to a Leftist Gospel. You ignore reality.

The new reality is, the Jew doesn’t belong. He believes a G-d no one accepts. He believes in a nation no one wants.

The Left has worked hard at the UN to renew itself. Today, that Left unites with the Arab. Their definitions and goals merge: Israel is the cause of terrorism (Jenny Tonge, British Leftist, November, 2010). Peace—and Social Justice--are possible only when the world destroys the cause of terrorism.  

The Jew, meanwhile, dreams of Redemption. Israel was once a united national kingdom where the presence of G-d revealed itself; we dream that, through Redemption, that status will be renewed. It is our ‘Jewish Spring’.

 Our religion teaches that, at the beginning of our ‘Jewish Spring’, the nations turn against Israel.  Is it coincidence that Israel is delegitimized at the UN?

Our Heritage teaches that our Redemption will show the world that Peace comes only through the G-d of Israel. Is it coincidence that the UN and the Left want everyone to think,  ‘world peace’?

Is it coincidence that the UN promotes discussions of world peace—and, simultaneously, Israel’s demise? Isn’t this one way the G-d of Israel can be revealed as Supreme, by defending Israel against this  ‘peace conspiracy’? 

The moment has arrived: as the UN and the Left work for ‘peace’, the war against Israel begins. That war is called, ‘For World Peace and Social Justice.’ It requires the collapse of Israel.

Perhaps this is how the Jewish Spring begins.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Ugliness and Redemption: a Passover Lesson for Yoday

By Tuvia Brodie

Can you feel the joy—we’re free! Can you see the exhilaration on people’s faces? Everyone smiles!

This is Pesach (Passover). The G-d of Israel has fulfilled His Promise: for generations, Jews had whispered that G-d would take us out of Egypt. He has done it! We are no longer slaves to a mighty Pharaoh. On Pesach night 3,324 years ago, G-d rescued His nation and led us to the Sea of Reeds; there, He engineered yet another miracle, in addition to all He had already done: He split the waters of this Sea so that our ancestors could pass to safety—and freedom.

Each year we celebrate the joy of this moment. Each Pesach Seder we say the prayer of praise that our nation will always say whenever our people experience a great national miracle—the Hallel. We repeat this song of praise as a way to re-experience the total joy of that Exodus moment. When we recite this praise at the Seder table, we are to feel as if we ourselves individually experience—right now-- that awesome moment of G-d’s incredible Power: G-d redeems me!

Our celebration lasts for hours, long into the night. We recall our national story—how we began, how we became slaves, how we suffered, how G-d rescued us and how our Redemption unfolded with astounding miracles. It is indeed a story of joy. But this wondrous story also has a less glorious side, because once the Jews left Egypt, the Exodus story became ugly.

It is an ugliness that teaches us about our future.

From the day G-d brought the Jews out of Egypt, the Jews appeared to have nothing good to say to Him. In Egypt, he had tormented the slave-masters with horrid plagues. He had performed miracles. He freed an entire people in a single day. How did the Jews respond to this? Instead of being grateful to G-d, they complained. At the Sea of Reeds—they complained; at a place called, Marah—they complained; in the wilderness of Tzin—they complained. G-d continued to perform miracles for them. It didn’t seem to matter--they still complained. They didn’t even vary their complaint; it was always the same: G-d was taking them into the desert to die; they’d have been better off staying in Egypt!

As you read this Torah story of escape from the slavery of Egypt, you notice two points of interest: first, few turned back; and second, the Jews couldn’t stop complaining that they should go back.

Once, they did stop complaining. In this incident, they had been waiting for Moshe their leader to return after spending forty days and nights with G-d. But when they saw that Moshe didn’t return at exactly the moment they thought he should return, they took offense. Remember now, we are talking about a people who can never start a wedding or a funeral on time, and who have no problem waiting patiently for hours for a ceremony to begin; but as soon as Moshe was late, they decided immediately that he was never coming back. Therefore, they replaced him—with an idol.

During their journeys after Redemption, some Jews just didn’t ‘get it’. They couldn’t change. They couldn’t believe redemption was better than Egypt. They couldn’t adjust. They couldn’t see their destiny. They were still enslaved. Their behaviour seems an ugly addendum to an otherwise joyous story.

Some argue that we have the same ugliness today. They say we have a lot of good happening in Israel—but it’s all tainted by an idol modern Jews have created. The idol is called, ‘we must be like everyone else’. For this idol, the argument goes, we cannot be different because then we cannot be safe. We must become like everyone else: we must reject Judaism because everyone else rejects Judaism. We cannot be Jewish because no one else is. We must have Auschwitz borders for Israel because that’s what everyone else wants. If everyone else sneers at G-d, so must we.

Of course, this isn’t real idol worship. But the belief seems similar and the result is the same: a complete rejection of everything Jewish. At least, that’s the argument.

Complaining against G-d and rejecting G-d might be ugly, but the Pesach story reminds us that Redemption occurred despite this ugliness. The Idolatry and the anti-G-d behaviour we see in the Exodus story is not an ugly addendum—it’s part of the Redemption. For reasons known primarily to G-d, ugliness is part of the beauty of our Redemption—past and future.

We should remember that. We should also remember that our past exists only to prepare us for our future. Think about Passover. Think about our world. Then take another look at the complete Exodus story. You might have missed something.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Pesach 5772


Pesach 5722


This is being composed on a very auspicious day - the 10th of Nisan. On this date which occurred on Shabbat of the year that we left Egypt, every Jewish family was commanded to take either a young goat or a young lamb in preparation for sacrificing it four days hence as a korban (sacrifices) of Pesach. The problem was that these animals were part of the Egyptians’ religious practice, as are the wandering cows in downtown New Delhi of today for the Hindus. This took an immense degree of courage, because the Jews could not have known know what the Egyptians’ reactions would be. To visualize this: picture an order to every US military unit in Afghanistan to gather books of the unholy Koran and explain to their Afghan friends it was being done in preparation for burning them in another four days. There would be mass hysteria, rioting and murder of countless American troops. But these things did not happen with the Egyptians, so add one more great miracle to the events in Egypt.

The other history changing event on the 10th of Nisan occurred 40 years later, when the Jewish nation entered Eretz Yisrael under the leadership of Yehoshua Bin Nun, to take on the 31 powerful Canaanite kings who controlled the Holy Land.

Today, on this 10th of Nisan, we are witnessing the unfolding of yet another episode in the history of our valiant people in Eretz Yisrael.

At this time of the year, "Jewish eyes are smiling" as we look back to our Egyptian experience of 3300 years ago and the great salvation that HaShem had brought forth for us. But on this 10th of Nisan, corresponding to the general calendar of April 2, the eyes of all enlightened nations are on Egypt, but for different reasons. The Moslem Brotherhood political party in Egypt, that now controls the two houses of the Egyptian Parliament, is going to have their man as the next president of that country. This group is among the most radical Islamists in the world, and they have an unabashed, open, straightforward Islamic agenda. Not only will they turn Egyptian society back 300 years, their end game is to uproot the Jewish State.

One should not forget that Egypt, thanks to the US, has the largest army in the Middle East, built on some of the most modern weapons of the US army.

So, permit me to share with you what I forsee unraveling in our part of the world, as HaShem prepares the greatest of miracle of all times for his people in Eretz Yisrael.

The military threats on the Jews in Eretz Yisrael will be overwhelming, to the degree that only those who feel the renewal of HaShem’s eternal covenant with His people in Eretz Yisrael, and those Jews who will do teshuva in acknowledgment that only with HaShem’s involvement can we be saved, will remain in the Land. The others, which include the 350,000 non-Jews who have come here from the former Soviet Union, the Arabs in this country, Christians, and Jews who have no sense of Torah or possess warped ideas of what HaShem wants from this generation, will leave!

Egypt will become Islamic, as will all the surrounding Arab countries. Egypt will be the first to open hostilities against the Jewish State and they will be totally destroyed, as were their ancient namesakes. I would not be surprised if the great Aswan Dam that holds back the billions of cubic meters of water in Lake Nasser, will be the instrument of HaShem (with the close co-operation of the holy soldiers of Tzahal) as were the waters of the Red Sea that crashed down on the Egyptian army of old.

When this will happen, the other Islamic nations will join with several Western Christian nations to avenge the destruction of their Egyptian brothers. But as they approach Eretz Yisrael war will break out among themselves on the background of their religious differences, and the Jewish State will be saved.

This, of course, is not my imagination. It is taken from the Book of Yechezkel chapter 32 and the Malbim’s commentary on verse 17.

B:As time marches on, we begin to find the answer to the age old question: What was HaShem’s intention by having the Jewish people undergo its slavery experience in Egypt.

I submit:

As stated above, the great religious-military leader of Am Yisrael, Yehoshua Bin Nun, entered Eretz Yisrael with the Jewish nation on the 10th of Nisan. Tradition has it that Yehoshua composed the chapters of "Aleinu" that we recite three times daily, at the end of the prayer services. With the opening sentence of "Aleinu," Yehoshua let his feelings be known as he stepped foot for the first time on the western Side of the Jordan River, or, according to some, when he completed the victory over the city of Yericho.

עלינו לשבח לאדון הכל לתת גדולה ליוצר בראשית שלא עשנו כגויי הארצות ולא שמנו כמשפחות האדמה שלא שם חלקנו כהם וגורלנו ככל המונם שהם משתחווים להבל וריק ומתפללים אל אל לא יושיע.

It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to acclaim the greatness of the One who forms all creation. For God did not make us like the nations of other lands, and did not make us like the other families of the earth. God did not place us in their situations, and our destiny is not like theirs.

For they bow before vanity and emptiness and pray to a god that cannot save

Yehoshua Bin Nun spoke of the unfathomable differences between the Jewish nation and all others.

There is, I believe, little difference between the "nations of other lands, and... the other families of the Earth". Basically, the Germans are not better or worse than the ancient Egyptians. Nor are they different than the Crusaders, who decimated hundreds of Jewish communities as they swept across Europe on their journey to liberate the Holy Land. And all together they are similar to the Cambodians who murdered 2 million of their own people, or the Belgiuns who murdered 1.5 million Africans in the Belgium Congo, or the Tutsis and Hutsis, or the Turks who murdered 1.5 million Armenians, or Stalin who admitted to murdering 30 million Russians in the 1930s, or the Serbs or the Japanese or the Croats, or the Moslems who are credited to murdering hundreds of millions since their inception as the religion of peace, or even the early Americans as they cleared the frontier of Indians on their way to realizing their manifest destiny.

For the ancient Egyptians, Paro did not need any more than to raise the specter of fear that the Jews were not loyal citizens and would join with the enemies of Egypt in any impending war. He used the jealousy of the Egyptians as his platform for evil.

For the peoples of Europe, Christianity served as the platform for their evils. Hitler did not have to dig very deep into the German and Austrian souls to reveal the cesspool of anti-Semitism, since they already believed that we killed their god. And the unholy Koran with its descriptions of the Jewish people and the ranting of their Imams, serve as their platform of hate towards the Jewish nation to this day.

In total contrast to the "nations of other lands, and... the other families of the Earth, our slavery experience in Egypt, in addition to our unique souls as descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, served as the emotional, intellectual and religious platform in preparing the Jewish nation to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai.

These differences will be expressed in the near future, when we shall witness a total breakdown of civil law and order in the Western World. What happened in Darfur, in Southern Sudan, will be just a preliminary to what will happen in Europe and in North and South America when the frustration and anger reach the critical boiling point.

What will bring about the wrath of the merciful God who created the world? The Gemara (Avoda Zara 2b) states that all people will be measured by the manner in which they treated the Jewish nation, and our return to the Holy Land.


As stated above, Yehoshua Bin Nun composed the "Aleinu" upon entering Eretz’ Yisrael, or after the victory over Yericho. He did not compose it while still in the desert, after receiving the leadership of the nation at the death of Moshe.

I suggest that Yehoshua waited to enter the land before saying, "... For God did not make us like the nations of other lands, and did not make us like the other families of the earth", to teach us that we and our destiny are different than that of the gentile nations only when we are in the land given to us by the Creator.

But, when a Jew chooses to live among the other nations and drink from the cup of their civilizations, than his destiny will be like theirs.


Picture a frum family living in any one of the great Torah centers in the galut; they could even be your next door neighbors!

The home of Reb Sender and Mrs. Rayza is impeccable; the result of the great time and energy, not to speak of the money, which the expeditious and skillful ba’alat ha’bayit (woman of the house) has devoted to it.

The sofas and arm chairs in the sitting room, which look so inviting if not for the thick plastic covers which insure that the upholstery retains its "new" look.

The five-meter-long dining room table is covered with the finest Irish linen table cloth. In the middle of the table stands the imposing sterling silver candle sticks handed down from mother to daughter for generations. The china is the finest Rosenthal, with each plate delicately rounded off with a band of gold. The silverware has been put away in favor of golden ware in honor of the great night.

On the table, under a hand embroidered silk cloth, lay the matzot. On the insistence of the two sons learning in the recently opened Yeshiva Taharas Ha’Torah in Las Vegas (in order to bring the voice of Torah even to the entrance of Gehennom) the matzot are from the first 18 minute batch, guaranteeing that no naughty piece of dough would be hiding in any of the rollers. The hand matzot were personally chosen by the Rebbe of the shteible where the family davens after leaving the central shul which was costing too much. The rebbe assured the boys that the matzot were bubble-free, with no overturned edges.

The wall-to-wall carpet is as deep as grows the grass in the beautiful garden. Above the table hangs the family’s pride and joy -- a many faceted crystal chandelier, personally chosen by Rayza on the family’s last visit to Prague.

Reb Sender is wearing his new bekeshe, the one with the swirls of blue, with a gold-buckled gartel. Rayza has just said the shehechiyanu blessing over the $3000 dress imported from Paris. The boys are handsome in their wide brimmed black hats and the two girls will make beautiful kallahs when the time comes, dressed in their very expensive dresses.

The seder goes Beitter than expected. Words of Torah, beginning with an invitation to the hungry to join with them in the meal, despite the fact that there is not a needy person within 50 miles. A lively discussion develops on the characters of the "four sons." The afikomen is "stolen" by the youngest daughter who, for its return, has succeeded in extorting from abba a vacation in Hawaii.

Songs of thanks to Hashem for freeing the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt are recited. For it is a mitzva on this night for each person to consider himself as if he and she where slaves in Mitzrayim.

Birkat hamazon is said, as is the second part of Hallel. Chad Gadya puts the final touch on the mitzvot of the night. Now, just as Hashem destroys the "Angel of Death" in the song, father jumps up -- and gathering the family in a circle they all break out in a frenzy of song -- L'shana ha’ba’a Be’Yerushalayim -- "next year in Jerusalem." Again and again around the table L'shana ha’ba’a Be’Yerushalayim is sounded. Louder and louder until their song merges with the same melody resounding from the neighbors’ homes, cutting a path into the highest realms of heaven.

Suddenly Mama collapses into a chair crying hysterically. The singing stops. Father runs over and asks why is she crying just now at the apex of the beautiful sacred night?

"What do you mean next year in Yerushalayim? What about the table, the chandelier, the deep carpet, the Rosenthal China! How can we leave all this?"

Father approaches Mama. And taking her hand while gently dabbing her tears away, in a voice full of compassion says to his beloved wife, "Darling, don’t cry, IT’S ONLY A SONG!"

Ten thousand kilometers to the east, in Eretz Yisrael, lives Reb Sender’s brother Kalman. Kalman had moved to Eretz Yisrael many years ago, and was blessed with a beautiful family and an adequate apartment. His son, Yossi, will not be home for the Seder night since he is doing his army service within the Hesder yeshiva system.

But the parents are not overly worried, because Yossi himself told them that he is in a safe place in the north, and that next year they will all be together for the seder.

At 12 noon, on the 14th of Nisan, erev Pessach, Yossi and three other soldiers from the same yeshiva were called to the company commander’s room, where he informed them that they have been chosen to fill an assignment that evening, on the Seder night. They were to cross the border into Hizballah territory in Southern Lebanon and man the out-post bunker on hill 432.

Yossi knew the hill well; he had been there several times in the past year. It was sarcastically called a "bunker," but in reality it was nothing more than a fox hole large enough for four soldiers. Their assignment was to track terrorist movements and destroy them on contact. It was tolerable except when it rained, which caused the bottom of the hole to be soggy and muddy. But today the four hoped that it would rain, even though chances were small since it was late in the season. On the 14th of every Hebrew month the moon is full, which presents a greater danger when crossing into enemy territory; so rain would be a mixed blessing.

At 5 PM, they were given the necessary arms and ammunition. In addition, the army rabbinate had provided them with 4 plastic containers each holding 3 matzot and all the ingredients necessary for a seder, as well as 4 plastic bottles of wine, sufficient for 4 cups, and of course a Haggada.

At 6 PM they waited at the fence for the electricity to be turned off, in order to cross into hostile territory. Yossi held in his hand a map of the minefield they would have to cross. "It was so strange," Yossi thought, "this is the area assigned to the tribe of Naftali, and we have to enter it crawling on our stomachs."

At 6:15 PM the small aperture in the gate opened and they passed through. As they had hoped, it was raining and the thick fog was to their advantage.

At that moment, ten thousand kilometers to the west, it was 12 noon and Yossi’s two cousins in New York were just entering the mikva to prepare for the Pessach holiday.

The 4 soldiers reached hill 432 after walking double -time for 5 kilometers. They removed the camouflage and settled in, pulled the grassy cover over them.

Each soldier was assigned a direction. Talking was forbidden. If any murderers were sighted, a light tap on the shoulder would bring them all to the proper direction. After settling in, they prayed ma’ariv and began the seder. In was finished within a half hour, and not unexpectedly, the four cups of "wine" had no detrimental effect on their senses.

At 6 PM in NY, the family returned from shul to begin their seder. It was then 12 midnight in Eretz Yisrael and the four soldiers were waging a heroic battle against boredom and sleep. The minutes crawled by and at the first approach of light they exited their outpost and returned through the minefield and electric fence to the base. After reporting to the officer in charge, the four entered their tent, and collapsed on their cots without removing clothing or shoes, because in an hour they would have to begin the shacharit service.

In conclusion: As the holiday of Pesach approaches, and we recall in a more active way the redemption of the Jewish nation from the galut of Egypt, I sincerely wish all a chag kasher v’samayach. And may we all meet together very soon in Eretz Yisrael, when HaShem will close the door on our religious, physical and mental slavery in the 2000 years in galut.

Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5772-2012 Nachman Kahana

Video: Primaries 2012 Behind the Scenes

A summary of the recent primary elections between Moshe Feiglin and PM Netanyahu. Click here to view the video with the English transcript.

These elections caught us completely by surprise. Just like they caught all of Am Yisrael. We are not different in this regard. But in one thing we were different, in that, with us, the contest is based on principle. I was not willing, under any circumstance, to withhold from other Jews the right to vote for a faith-based alternative. Continue reading

The Migron Litmus Test

By Moshe Feiglin

This week's High Court ruling, striking down the compromise agreement between Israel's government and the residents of Migron, was actually logical and a realistic commentary on the state of affairs between the government and the court. In truth, the question that was laid at the High Court's doorstep was not about Migron and not about property rights. It was much more basic than that. The question upon which the High Court was asked to decide was to whom this Land belongs.

The significance of the High Court ruling that a Jewish settlement must be destroyed without any petitioner to claim the land upon which Migron is built is that the Land of Israel does not belong to the Jews, but rather, to the Arabs. The Jews, according to the High Court justices, live in the Land of Israel with temporary resident status, as guests – a status completely different from that of the Arabs living here.

The deeper truth is that the High Court's approach reflects the approach of Israeli society. The Israelis love the Land, but after years of leftist thought manipulation they have adopted leftist temporary mentality and feel like guests in their Land. It is the Arab who is here forever, the Arab who is the unmovable boulder. The Jew is a temporary guest who must apologize for his presence here.

Sounds extreme? Just ask yourself what would happen if the tables were turned. Is it even remotely possible that an Arab village in Israel would be completely destroyed because of such an unfounded claim? The High Court would not even allow a hearing to come near it and in a thicket of convoluted reasoning and legalese the system would determine the same preposterous principle: the Land of Israel belongs to the Arabs.

As long as the High Court justices elect themselves, the High Court will continue to bequeath its legacy of "a state of all its citizens" to the public. Actually, there is nothing to complain about; this is their view and the political empowers it.

Every child learns in his first civics lesson that the people are the sovereign. The parliament and the elected government actualize the rule of the people. The role of the court is to explain the laws legislated by the parliament. If Israel would have a justice system that represents the values of the public; in other words, if the justices would be filtered in some way by the State's elected officials, Migron would never have been an issue.

When a home is built and after many years an unfounded claim on the property is made, any legal system would call for compensation, at the most – and only after the claim was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But the High Court operates by a political worldview different than that of the vast majority of the public. The public – the sovereign – is then forced to legislate another law to underscore its will. That is how the law that would legalize the outposts was born. The law is moderate, proportional and begs to be legislated.

Many refer to the Outpost Law as a law that circumvents the High Court. That terminology is false, Orwellian newspeak in the finest tradition of Israel's Left. The Knesset does not circumvent the High Court; the Knesset is the sovereign. It is the High Court that circumvented the Knesset. The Knesset is being forced to enact the Outpost Law to protect the public from the political whims of the High Court. The Outpost Law is moral, eminently legal and supremely democratic. It is a step that, besides protecting Migron will also preserve the sovereignty of the people (in other words, democracy and the law) and will also preserve the rule of the Likud: another Amona will necessarily lead to its downfall.

What is preventing the legislation? One minister who believes in judges more than in G-d. Another minister or two who lean left and are subordinate to the politics inside the justice system. An entire imbroglio of leftist organizations and interests and of course, the media – the Damocles Sword, ready and waiting to defame Netanyahu for trampling the "rule of law".

In his quest to keep all those forces at bay, Netanyahu is not allowing the ministers to vote for the Outpost Law. But without the votes of the Likud ministers and MKs there will not be a majority for the law.

If G-d forbid, Netanyahu goes through with the destruction of Migron, he will suffer much more political harm than if he demonstrates leadership and solves the problem now.

Two ministers have already announced that they will vote in favor of the Outpost Law: Ministers Yisrael Katz and Moshe Kachalon. We wholeheartedly bless them and expect the other Likud MKs to follow in their footsteps. Ministers or MKs who do not vote in favor of the law should not expect our support in the Likud primaries.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Kimcha D'Pischa: Pesach Essentials for the Needy in Israel

By Shmuel Sackett

Dear Friends,

These next few words contain no exaggeration. They are 100% true:

On Tuesday of this week, I received 4 telephone calls from people I personally know asking for help in buying Pesach food.

The first was from a man – married with 3 children - in the Galilee who is currently struggling with the bank to allow him to keep his house. He lost his job and fell behind in mortgage payments. The bank just received a court order to foreclose on his house and he is desperately trying to remain from being homeless. He has zero funds to make Pesach.

The second call was from Hadera. This man is married with 5 kids. Thanks to the local Chabad in Hadera his family will participate in a communal Seder but the rest of Pesach they are on their own. He has been out of work for a long time and, as a result, is suffering from depression. I brought my children to his house on Purim to bring "Matanot La’Evyonim" and to cheer them up but that day looked more like Tisha B'av than Purim. The wife is broken and the kids are a mess. When he called me, he started crying. This man is 61 years old and he cannot afford basic Pesach necessities. My heart was breaking.

The third call was from Immanuel. The man who called me personally takes care of 32 poor families in this Haredi city. He has his own family of 8 children (thank G-d, he does not need the help for his own needs) but he is busy supplying these 32 families with whatever he can; but he cannot do it alone. He said that prices have gone up and he will be $14,000 short for this Pesach.

The fourth call was from Kfar Tapuach. 7 young families live across several hilltops in this area. They are dedicated to the land, guard it 24 hours a day and till the soil. They are proud of what they do - but have no income. They have no idea how to pay for Matzo, wine and everything else.

Every year, Moshe Feiglin and I set up a special "Pesach Fund". We send out some emails, make a few calls and raise whatever we can so that we can help people like those I just wrote about.

We do not take any commissions.

We do not take any administrative costs.

We do not deduct expenses.

Every penny raised goes DIRECTLY to the families in need.

Please CLICK HERE and donate money to the Manhigut Yehudit Pesach Fund.

Baruch Hashem, last Pesach we raised – and distributed – over $20,000!!!

Please help us continue this chessed by donating to this special fund. All money will be personally distributed by Moshe Feiglin and myself before Pesach – and even through Chol Ha’Moed.

As I stated above, every dollar in is a dollar out.

People will be helped in every part of Israel. The last few years we gave money to Yidden in Hebron, Netanya, Elon Moreh, Yitzhar, Jerusalem, the Golan and much, much more.

Simply CLICK HERE and follow the simple, secure form.

May you blessed with a happy and Kosher Pesach.

Note: Please let me know if you will be spending Pesach in Israel. I would love to see you over the holiday!

With Love of Israel,

Shmuel Sackett
Co-founder and International Director
Manhigut Yehudit

Sunday, April 01, 2012

An Iceberg called Migron

By Tuvia Brodie

An unintended consequence is a result that is not anticipated. For example, a hospital might develop a patient information system to enhance patient-care efficiency and reduce medical error. But these systems sometimes create the opposite effect; they reduce efficiency and increase error. That’s an unintended consequence.

How can our good intentions create negative outcomes? We are educated, experienced and smart. We know how to plan. We understand how to make decisions. The problem is, every decision-making process contains a flaw: decisions are made by humans--and humans, by definition, make mistakes.

Our humanity limits us. Our hubris betrays us. We invent DDT to solve an agricultural problem and create an even bigger environmental problem. We create increasingly powerful drugs to fight disease and end up with bacteria super-resistant to those drugs.

That man could mistakenly create undesirable outcomes appears counter-intuitive because we believe that man can control his environment. Man controls the world. Humanism has taught us that. Man creates. Man is Master.

Because we believe so completely in Man, G-d gave us unintended consequences --to remind us that Humanism is wrong. The ‘law’ of unintended consequences tells us that man does not control. Man is the worker, not the Master. He can plan. He can work. But when he thinks he controls, the result is often an undesirable outcome.

This is a lesson in humility that Mr Netanyahu dismisses. The moment he decided to govern by rejecting the Likud Platform he was elected to promote, he began to create his own version of unintended consequences. He has a big plan—to build power by rejecting Likud and embracing the Left. Big plans require big risks—and that’s the problem. Human nature is perverse: the more powerful you feel, the safer you feel; and the safer you feel, the more risk you take. Mr Netanyahu has become powerful. He has begun to take risks.

So far, his plan works. He has created a political juggernaut that has sailed the Israeli political sea with impunity. Wherever this juggernaut goes, it dominates and controls. Even as it steers Left, it appears to maintain speed and balance. But when Netanyahu’s people corrupted the recent primary vote to beat Moshe Feiglin, they crossed a line: they chose corruption over honesty. The Man-made juggernaut had become so danger-proof it could alter election results without fear. The ship of State had become unsinkable: nothing could stop it; nothing (not even voters) could stand in its way.

Now, that line crossed, poor decisions will accumulate. Thoughts of humility before G-d evaporate. The juggernaut becomes pregnant with unintended consequences waiting to happen.

This is what makes Migron more than just a ‘settler’ community. Migron is a small collection of homes in Samaria which could become for Mr Netanyahu’s ship of state what the iceberg was to the Titanic—an unexpected problem that creates the ultimate unintended result, the sinking of the unsinkable juggernaut.

Think about the Titanic. Compare it to Mr Netanyahu. The Titanic was the greatest ship of its day. It was powerful, perfectly designed. Its captain assumed nothing could go wrong. If nothing could go wrong, where’s the risk? Ignore passenger emergency drills. Forget basic sailing values. We’re safe. We are danger-proof. There are no risks. We can do as we please. Only we control our destiny.

Pregnant with unintended consequences waiting to happen, the Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage. Soon, sailors on night-watch spotted icebergs in their shipping lane. It wasn’t a problem. Icebergs at that time of year were considered too small to threaten; and besides, the Titanic was so strong, brilliantly built and powerful, no iceberg could stop her. Mr Netanyahu sees Migron the same way the Titanic’s captain saw that iceberg: it’s an annoyance—a phenomena with little risk. But that iceberg wasn’t just an annoyance; neither is Migron.

Migron is scheduled to be demolished, thanks to a High Court decision Mr Netanyahu supports. Migron would become the largest Jewish expulsion of Jews since the Gush Katif affair in 2005, when the IDF expelled Jews from Gaza. Israelis know what happened at Gush Katif—and what has happened since: placate anti-Israel hate and it grows ever more aggressive. Repeating that 2005 fiasco again at Migron will not sit well with a lot of Israelis who currently sit on the fence about the question of Judea/Samaria. Migron is not just a ‘settler’ issue.

Beware, Mr Netanyahu. Your success with the Left makes you feel unstoppable. You are indeed captain of a political Titanic. You believe you can proceed risk-free. You believe that your corrupt victory over Feiglin proves your power-- but it only reveals your hubris. Power and hubris can undo you when you believe you have immunity from the law of unintended consequences.

Your Titanic is surrounded by icebergs and one of them is called Migron.