Friday, July 27, 2012

Israel and Edom: The Seesaw

By Moshe Feiglin

In this week's Torah portion, Devarim, Moses relates how G-d directed him not to have the Nation of Israel pass through the land of Edom, the descendants of Esau. G-d promised the land of Edom to Esau, and Israel was directed not to initiate any hostilities with his descendants. Even today, we cannot think of warring with America, Russia or Europe, all of whom are Esau's descendants.

Our Sages teach that Jerusalem and Rome, which represents Edom's capital, have a symbiotically inverse relationship: When one ascends, the other descends.

It will be reality, a.k.a. G-d, Who will avenge the rivers of Jewish blood spilled by Edom. It is mind-boggling to witness the crumbling of the 2,000 year old civilization that emerged from Rome. Those who want their children to be able to manage in America or Europe one generation from now, had best teach them Arabic or Spanish.

Rome is descending. Jerusalem is on its way up.

Shabbat Shalom

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Devarim Shabbat Chazon 5772

Parashat Devarim Shabbat Chazon 5772
Many of the lamentable chapters we read on Tish’a B’Av were composed by Yehudah HaLevi (1080-1141), one of our greatest poets, who lived in Spain when it was under Islamic rule. He was a talmid chacham, a physician and a philosopher. Yehuda HaLevi longed for Eretz Yisrael, but when he finally reached Yerushalayim, an Arab horseman trampled him to death as he knelt for the first time before the Kotel.
In his poem "Zion" (Eretz Yisrael), Yehuda HaLevi expresses his profound love for the Holy Land and in particular for Yerushalayim. He writes:
מי יעשה לי כנפים וארחיק נדוד אניד לבתרי לבבי בין בתריך
Who can provide me with wings? I would fly to you.
I would cause my shattered heart to reside amidst your shattered ruins.
In his classic work, "The Kuzari", Yehuda HaLevi states:
ירושלים אמנם תבנה כשיכספו בני ישראל לה תכלית הכוסף עד שיחוננו אבניה ועפרה.
Yerushalayim will be rebuilt when the Children of Israel will yearn in earnest (for the holy city), and then (HaShem) will have compassion even on its stones and dust.
As quoted above, Yehuda HaLevi writes:
אניד לבתרי לבבי בין בתריך
... I would fly to you. I would cause my shattered heart to reside amidst your shattered ruins".
He uses the word בּתּ (BTR) with poetic license to mean "shattered," however the literal meaning is a cut or slice.
In the Torah, the first usage of the word BTR describes the intimate, unbreakable covenant that HaShem enters into with our father Avraham, who acts as the agent for all his future offspring who would be born of Yitzchak and Ya’akov and thereafter. It is called Brit bein Ha’Betarim - the Covenant of the Cut (severed) Pieces, as related in Beraishiet (15:7-18):
ויאמר אליו אני ה' אשר הוצאתיך מאור כשדים לתת לך את הארץ הזאת לרשתה:
ויאמר א' ה' במה אדע כי אירשנה:
ויאמר אליו קחה לי עגלה משלשת ועז משלשת ואיל משלש ותר וגוזל:
ויקח לו את כל אלה ויבתר אתם בתוך ויתן איש בתרו לקראת רעהו ואת הצפר לא בתר:
וירד העיט על הפגרים וישב אתם אברם:
ויהי השמש לבוא ותרדמה נפלה על אברם והנה אימה חשכה גדלה נפלת עליו:
ויאמר לאברם ידע תדע כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם ועבדום וענו אתם ארבע מאות שנה:
וגם את הגוי אשר יעבדו דן אנכי ואחרי כן יצאו ברכש גדול:
ואתה תבוא אל אבתיך בשלום תקבר בשיבה טובה:
ודור רביעי ישובו הנה כי לא שלם עון האמרי עד הנה:
ויהי השמש באה ועלטה היה והנה תנור עשן ולפיד אש אשר עבר בין הגזרים האלה:
ביום ההוא כרת ה' את אברם ברית לאמר לזרעך נתתי את הארץ הזאת מנהר מצרים עד הנהר הגדל נהר פרת:
And HaShem said to him (Avram), "I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as an inheritance (for future generations).
But Avram said, Sovereign Lord, how shall I know that I will gain possession of it?
HeShem said to him, "Bring me a calf, a goat and a ram, each three years old [according to most commentators] along with a dove and a young pigeon.
Avram brought all these, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other. The birds, however, he did not cut in half.
(The prophet Yirmiyahu 34:18 states:
ונתתי את האנשים העברים את ברתי אשר לא הקימו את דברי הברית אשר כרתו לפני העגל אשר כרתו לשנים ויעברו בין בתריו:
Those who have violated My covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before Me, by cutting the calf in two and walked between its pieces)
Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Avram drove them away.
As the sun was setting, Avram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
Then HaShem said to him, "Know for certain that, for four hundred years, your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.
But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.
You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at an old age.
In the fourth generation your descendants will return, for the sins of the Amorites have not yet reached their full measure.
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.
On that day, HaShem made a covenant with Avram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.
Why did Hashem choose severed animals as the physical expression of His covenant with the Jewish nation, and why did He have Avram walk between the pieces?
I suggest:
The trademark song of Breslav chassidim states: "The whole world is a very narrow bridge".
The path between the severed animals was very narrow indeed.
HaShem was telling Avram that he was free not to enter Hashem’s covenant. However, if he would agree in his own name and for all Avram’s progery, then Avram must know that life would be a very narrow bridge. Gentiles are what they are, but the Jewish nation will be scrutinized from cradle to grave. Their thoughts, actions and intentions will be held to a standard never before effectuated in the world. Spiritual success would be greatly rewarded in this world and beyond; failure will be severely punished. The Jewish nation will have very little room to maneuver, just as the path between the divided animals is restricted.
There would be little room for excuses or error. And just as a wrong step between the carcasses would bring Avraham face-to-face with death, so too would the sins of the Chosen Nation bring upon them destruction, exile, suffering and death.
Religious communities in the galut, under the leadership of their spiritual guides, are about to commit a sin of unprecedented proportions.
The Gemara in Yuma, quoted in the Rambam, describes the protocol of teshuva.
If one neglects to perform a mitzvat eh’sai - a mitvza that requires one to be active, (i.e., tefillin where there is no Karet punishment of early death and further punishment in the world to come) – a feeling of remorse and resolution not to repeat the sin pardons the transgressor. If one performs a lo ta’asai (prohibited act whose punishment is 39 makot [lashes]; i.e., eating milk and meat cooked together), remorse and resolution will withhold punishment, and pardon will come on the day of Yom Kippur.
If the lo ta’asai is punishable by Karet, remorse, resolution and the day of Yom Kippur will withhold punishment; but pardon is conditional on the transgressor having to endure difficulties in life.
However, a sin which includes chillul HaShem (desecration of the Holy Name) is so severe that although remorse, resolution, Yom Kippur and difficulties in life will together avoid punishment in this world, pardon will be possible only upon the death of the transgressor.
There are many examples of chillul Hashem, but the classic one is when a well-known rabbinic personality acts in a way that brings shame to God’s Holy Name or distorts HaShem’s Holy Torah. The chillul Hashem increases incrementally when two rabbis perform the transgression, and increases exponentially when it is done by 90,000 religious Jews together.
Next week, in a stadium in New Jersey, it is estimated that this will be the number of participants in the mass siyum (conclusion) of the last seven-year daf hayomi cycle.
It will be a worldwide production of many rabbis, roshei yeshiva, and grand rabbis who will draw in good and innocent Jews into the most publicized chillul HaShem ever undertaken.
Close to one hundred thousand observant Jews will declare before the world that God did not give us the Holy Land.
In one hand they will hold up the tractate of Ketubot in which the Talmud declares that a Jew who willingly lives in the galut is as if he has no God.
They will make a mockery of the Gemara (Ketubot 112b) in which Rabbi Chiya ben Gamda rolled on the ground of Eretz Yisrael in keeping with the verse in (Tehilim 102)
רצו עבדיך את אבניה ואת עפרה יחוננו
For her servants desired its stones;
and they shall treasure its soil
One’s very presence at this chillul Hashem intimates - to the United States, to the United Nations, to the Arab League, to Hamas, to Hizbullah, to the engineers now producing the Iranian bomb, to the world - that Eretz Yisrael is some distant dreamland that will be actualized when the Mashiach comes, but is Arab Palestine until then. This is no exaggeration, this is real life.
My fellow Jews in the galut: If you value your Judaism, celebrate the new daf hayomi cycle in privately, modestly – and even shamefully - in the place where you reside.
Compare the lack of ideals and lack of religious passion of the nearly one million observant Jews living a pseudo-Jewish life in the United States, with the words of Yehuda Halevi:
Who can provide me with wings? I would fly to you.
I would cause my shattered heart to reside amidst your shattered ruins
And: Yerushalayim will be rebuilt when the Children of Israel will yearn in earnest (for the holy city), and then (HaShem) will have compassion even on its stones and dust
The soul of the saintly Rav Meir Shapiro of Lublin zt"l, who initiated the daf hayomi study, will not be in New Jersey. It will be here in Eretz Yisrael hovering over the authentic, sincere part of our nation; the part which is of one mind and heart with Yehuda Halevi.
For the Jews in the United States, I say: Be proud of your Judaism. Stay away from the colossal chillul HaShem - desecration of the Holy Name about to be perpetrated in front of the eyes of the world. Be able to tell your grandchildren that you were not there.
My voice is but a small, shrill call compared to the cacophonous call of the religious leaders in the galut for good Jews to show up in force and sanctify the Holy Name.
I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide who is sanctifying the Holy Name and who is defiling the Holy Name?
On the night of Tish’a B’av, as you sit and weep for the destruction of the Temples and the exile of our fathers and mothers to foreign lands, think. Today there are 6 million Jews in Eretz Yisrael with the gates open for all Jews to return home. Is this not the sanctification of the Holy Name? Then the Holy Name is being defiled by those who refuse to recognize their religious responsibilities by their clinging to their lives in the galut!
May we all merit to meet in Eretz Yisrael and go up to the Temple Mount to the rebuilt Bet HaMikdash.
Nachman Kahana

We've Learned Nothing in 2000 Years

By Shmuel Sackett

Baruch Hashem, I am a student of the Daf Yomi daily Talmud study and will be finishing the entire Babylonian Talmud for my first time. For the last 7+ years I have attended Daf Yomi classes in 4 countries, listened to lessons online and learned many pages myself on various airplanes (thanks to ArtScroll!). I am excited to be finishing and am quite proud of my discipline and effort, Yet, despite this accomplishment, I will not be attending the celebrations being held around the world for the culmination of this round of study. Allow me to explain.

The most wonderful thing about the Daf Yomi is that it unites world Jewry. I have often thought of my fellow Jews in Australia, Brazil and South Africa and how they are studying – and struggling – through the same page of the Talmud as I am. Jews of all kinds; Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Haredim, Yeshivish, Modern or any of the other silly labels we love to slap on ourselves, are all united in this amazing project. One nation, one people, one page of Gemara - now THAT is the unity we desperately need!

I remember traveling to London about 5 years ago. Naturally, I asked about the times of the morning minyan and found that this Shul also had a Daf Yomi class. After prayers, I simply joined the class and opened my Gemara. I didn't ask what page they were learning and within 8 seconds, felt right at home. This scenario repeated itself in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Houston, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, Kew Gardens Hills, the Catskills and across Israel; in the Golan, Hebron and even in Eilat! Sitting next to me – in all those cities – were Jews of all kinds; white shirts and black pants, suits and ties, shorts and sandals etc. One nation, one people, one page of Gemara. Unfortunately, this unity was short lived.

For what are we crying on Tisha B'av? Why do we mourn, fast and say "Kinot"? People think it is because of the destruction of the Bet Ha'Mikdash but they are wrong. We are still crying – 2,000 years later – because that beautiful Bet Ha'Mikdash has not been rebuilt!!! Please remember that, according to most opinions, when the first Bet Ha'Mikdash was rebuilt, there was indeed no fasting on Tisha B'av. Of course not! Why fast when the Bet Ha'Mikdash is standing in all its glory? Therefore, we fast today for the simple reason that 2,000 years have passed and we have still not learned from history. Every child will tell you that the second Bet Ha'Mikdash was destroyed because of "sinat chinam" (baseless hatred) a horrific sin that exists to this very day. For had there been "ahavat chinam" (baseless love – or a better term: true Jewish unity) the third – and final – Bet Ha'Mikdash would be standing today in our capital city!

I have always felt that the Daf Yomi would be the leader of that "Ahavat Chinam". In all my experiences attending those various Daf Yomis across the globe, nobody ever asked me what Kashrut I observe, how big my Kippa was or if my wife covers her hair. We were all one nation, one people studying the same page of Gemara.

And then it came crashing down.

That beautiful unity, that amazing "achdut" and that wonderful feeling of being one family was shattered with the announcement – here in Israel – of the Siyum Ha'Shas.

Monday – the 11th of Menachem Av (July 30th) will be – and this is a direct quote: Siyum Ha'Shas for Sefaradim in Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem.
Tuesday – the 12th of Menachem Av (July 31st) will be Siyum Ha'Shas for Haredim in a special complex being built for this occasion in Maalot Dafna, Jerusalem.
Thursday – the 14th of Menachem Av (August 2nd) will be Siyum Ha'Shas for Religious Zionists in Binyanei Ha'Uma, Jerusalem.
There it goes, or as a famous sports announcer used to say when a player hit a home-run: "Kiss it good-bye". For 7+ years there was one nation and one people, but for the conclusion of this Kiddush Hashem there are three nations and three people. Knitted Kippa? Your place is on Thursday. Black hat? Your siyum is on Tuesday. Sefardi? Better hurry, you guys go first!

"Al eleh ani Bo'chiya". This is why we cry on Tisha B'av. How crazy are we? For 2,000 years we have been divided, split, segregated and compartmentalized and our answer to solve this problem? More splits, more divisions.

This is why I have decided not to attend any of the Siyumei Ha'Shas in Israel. Simply put, I will not be part of this circus. I made aliyah 22 years ago (July 1990) and thank Hashem for every day that I have lived in this incredible land. But I want more. With every fiber of my being I want Jewish unity. I truly love every Yid, regardless of their level of observance. They are my family and they are all welcomed in my home. This is why I began a movement, together with my dear friend Moshe Feiglin, called "Manhigut Yehudit" (The Jewish Leadership Movement). Our goal is to lead the Jewish people under the banner of Jewish identity via Torah principles, values and concepts. No more divisions in our people. No more "us" and "them". Just tolerance for our brothers and sisters, unwavering love – even for those who don't act like they should – and education for every Yid in this country, especially for those who need it the most. We are truly a Daf Yomi nation who needs to constantly be "on the same page" as each other.

This is the message that needs to be sent – loud and clear – especially by the Torah world. If we neglect this message and choose instead to focus events such as the Siyum Ha'Shas based on one's kippa, I am afraid that we will be sitting on the floor for many Tisha B'avs to come.

May Hashem save us - from ourselves.

Jerusalem and The Ninth Day of Av

By Tuvia Brodie

Each year at Tisha B’Av—the ninth day of the Hebrew month, Av—Jews around the world read our book of sorrow called, Eicha—Lamentations. We think about the destruction of ancient Jerusalem and ask, “How is it that Jerusalem sits so alone?”

Perhaps this year we should reconsider that question and ask: how is it that our Jerusalem sits so alone, rejected as our Jewish capital by nearly all nations?

How is it that such a city, filled with a multitude of people, seems like a widow—alone and unfulfilled?

Jerusalem is a wondrous city. Millions come every year to see her beauty. She is a princess among tourist destinations, true royalty in the travel industry. But the national leaders of those enthralled tourists reject this beautiful princess. They scorn her. Tourists may indeed yearn to see our regal Jerusalem. But their leaders plot to defrock her.

The nations behave like an enemy.  Jerusalem, always celebrated in the best tourist catalogues, can find no comfort. Her enemies seek to prosecute her. Our beloved Zion becomes an outcast. Her diplomatic gates are desolate. Her defenders sigh. Her righteous are afflicted. She sees only bitterness and gall.

Her adversaries become ascendant. Her enemies prosper in the eyes of the world. Her enemies taunt her.

Many dream of Jerusalem. They dream to capture her. They dream to enslave her. They dream to afflict her. They dream to cleanse her of her splendour—her Judaism.

She has become loathsome. Those who once honoured her despise her. She is a virtual pariah.

Look at her. See how her enemies magnify themselves over her. They gloat at her discomfort. Her children sigh. They seek comfort but can find none. Her enemies fashion a net for her feet and neck. They knit the net together.

Jerusalem suffers. Her enemies prevail. There are none to comfort her.  Only adversaries surround her. Her friends deceive her. They deliver her to her enemies.

Her allies betray her.

Her enemies see and gather to give comfort—to each other. They gather to celebrate the moment they can capture and oppress the beautiful Jerusalem.

Her enemies rejoice when they see her pain. Because she appears bereft like a widow, her enemies creep towards her to strip her possessions-- the holy places she loves. Inch by inch they creep, claiming as theirs what is hers.

They want to swallow her whole. They will strip her holiness, trample her gardens, laugh at her lamentation.

Her children find no solace.

We have seen this mourning before (see The Koren Mesorat Harav Kinot, the Lookstein edition, OU press, Jerusalem, 2010). But if we mourn today, we know that, one day, the ninth of Av will no longer be a day of mourning for national tragedies that have punished us across more than 2,500 years. One day, this day of sorrow will become a day of joy because the G-d of Israel has made that promise; and we know that, when we compare history to our Tanach—the Jewish Bible—we see clearly that G-d keeps His promises.

Honour will return to Jerusalem. Zion will once again be a sign of strength to the nations. Zion will again be proud!

Jerusalem has a Jewish Destiny despite her current isolation. Her Destiny is not with our enemy. Her Destiny is not desolation.  Her Destiny belongs to the G-d of Israel. Her Destiny is reserved for G-d’s beloved. 

The G-d of Israel watches. He watches Jerusalem, the Jewish people and the nations. He sees who supports Jerusalem, who attacks her. He records in His Book of Deeds. He does not forget. His Justice could be measure-for-measure. His Judgment could be as exacting as that of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who declares that Jonathan Pollard will not be released even though he has served more time than any spy in US history, has cooperated fully from before his trial, has expressed remorse—and did not spy for an avowed enemy of the United States: Jonathan Pollard, she announced in July, 2012, was sentenced to life imprisonment and that is what he will serve.

Measure-for-measure:  mercy denied could become Mercy denied.

Vile men have oppressed and possessed Jerusalem. She has wailed bitterly.  Even now, her enemies approach.  They would once again strip her, to humiliate her nakedness. But the G-d of Israel watches. He records in His Book of Deeds.

Today, Jerusalem mourns on the Ninth of Av. But one day, Zion will be adorned, not mourned. Those who terrorize her now will bow at her feet. Zion will wear raiment of silk. Once again, her Creator will protect her.

Today we mourn. But our promised day is before us. That is G-d’s promise—and, as we know from our Tanach, the G-d of Israel keeps His promises.

Major Breakthrough: University in Ariel

This week, the university center in Ariel became an official university. This is not just a small victory for an institution that has proven itself to be professional and eminently capable - and until now has been ostracized. This is an achievement with strategic significance much broader than the political debate over the future of Judea and Samaria.

The real story behind the new university is the absolute hegemony of the Israeli Left in academia. It is an open secret that a kippah-wearing student may feel quite uncomfortable in the Tel Aviv or Be'er Sheva universities. If a woman is studying in the Tel Aviv University Nursing School, she will be told that the administration does not look kindly upon students who need a vacation to get married or for maternity leave. If a student wants to succeed in the humanities, he had best hide his patriotism. There are countless connections between various lecturers in the humanities and the New Israel Fund – and to key positions in government offices.

The stiff opposition of all the universities in Israel against the inclusion of the only independent university in Israel's academic world into its ranks was a foolish attempt to keep an unrelenting grip on the thoughts and minds of Israel's university students. The university heads repeatedly brandished the fact that the religious Bar-Ilan University also objected giving Ariel university status. But that is like when Ahmadinijad brandishes the support that he gets from the extremist Haredim who snivel up to him as an expression of their abhorrence of the State of Israel. Since Rabin's assassination, Bar Ilan is an institution that has been spiritually neutered. It will do anything to merit a bit of legitimacy from its colleagues in academia
How was Ariel given university status? Without Manhigut Yehudit and the empowerment of faith-based forces inside the Likud, it would not have happened. Education Minister Sa'ar and Finance Minister Steinitz courageously withstood the pressure and paved the way for intellectual liberty in Israeli academia. They had the political backing that allowed them to remain firm.

Does this mean that the Likud will always do the right thing in the future? No. But we have certainly witnessed an important development – one of many. In the complex reality of Likud government, there are also many positive points. 

The Draft Tragicomedy

By Moshe Feiglin

If it weren't so sad, the draft brouhaha would be the greatest show in town. It is a masquerade ball, a tragicomedy in which each actor says the complete opposite of what he really wants.

The main actor, the IDF, is practically invisible. He doesn't dare speak the truth, which happens to be terribly politically incorrect. The truth is that the IDF really does not want the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox). Not because they are not good people: Simply because as it is, the army has too much manpower. The last thing it needs is to deal with tens of thousands of new recruits with special dietary requirements and the like for which the army is unprepared. Two separate committees (one appointed by the head of the IDF's General Headquarters) the Ben Basat Committee and the Shefer Committee have already studied the issue and recommended reducing conscription. But to tell the truth to the feminists demanding to draft women into combat units and to the "pushovers" demanding a full-scale draft for the Haredim would force the IDF top brass to exercise a rare character trait: courage on public issues.

The second actor in our tragicomedy is the bearer of the torch of hatred for the Haredim. This actor and his like-minded supporters were never great fans of army service. The last thing that Yair Lapid wants is for the Religious Zionist dominance in combat units to be matched by Haredi dominance in the computer units of the Air Force and Navy. The outburst of patriotism that suddenly exploded onto the scene reflects political expedience and has nothing to do with ethics or social or national values.

The third actor, Kadimah, and the fourth, the Likud, are dragged into the play for similar reasons. The supporting cast: the media, the New Israel Fund and its plethora of organizations didn't think it was hot enough this summer. They kindled the cyclical bonfire of Haredi hatred in the Israeli forest. Now they are all dancing around the flames. Who has time to deal with minor issues like Syria? Or Iran?

The only actors who truly want the Haredim to enlist are the majority of Haredi young men. They, like most people, are not capable of learning throughout the day and night. They would prefer to enter the workforce, but their establishment and the State establishment do not allow them to do so. So in our theatre of the absurd, the Haredim wear the mask of those who do not want to enlist.

At the commencement ceremony recently held for the accounting graduates at the Kiryat Ono College, department head Yaron Zelicha addressed the many Haredim who had successfully completed their degrees. He told them that the Haredim had not only scored better than the accounting graduates in other colleges, but their marks were even higher than those of their secular counterparts.

The real challenge facing Israel is not integrating the Haredim into the army, but integrating them into the workforce. Europe is not collapsing because of a lack of soldiers, but because in the face of increasing longevity, the productive sector of their society is shrinking. The developed countries can no longer meet their commitments to their citizens and their economies are sliding into the abyss.

In Israel, most of the nurseries and kindergartens being opened are for Haredim. It is not the draft quotient in two decades that ought to concern us, but the integration into the workforce. If the State of Israel will continue to make it difficult for Haredim who did not serve in the army to work, it is actually cutting off the branch on which it sits.

One of the common gripes against the Haredim is that they are being supported by Israel's non-Haredi taxpayers. A culture that forgets the adage of our Sages, "Torah study is good with derech eretz (the way of the land, working) as laboring at both distances one from sin," (Pirkei Avot 2) becomes vulnerable to distortions and seemingly insoluble problems for its children.

Calling the Haredim parasites is way off the mark. In fact, just the opposite is true. It may raise an eyebrow or two, but scientific investigation shows that a Haredi child living in poverty today is the best investment for those aiming their poison arrows at him. That child will be feeding them when they are older.

The State of Israel must encourage the Haredim to enter the workforce, as the letter I received a few days ago demonstrates:

Shalom Moshe,
I have been a financial advisor and CEO of a provident fund for many years. I often lecture on economic topics and have developed a very well-received presentation that shows the connection between longevity, birthrate and economy. The presentation reaches the same conclusion that you have written about, with examples from countries throughout the world. After much research on this topic, my unequivocal finding is that children are the strongest motor that drives an economy forward. 
Click here to see the Power Point presentation, about half in English

The government can encourage the Haredim to enter the workforce by taking the following steps:

1. Cut the connection between army service and integration into the work force. When we prohibit Israeli citizens from working, what we are really doing is preventing them from paying taxes. Instead, we require the workforce to pay them unnecessary stipends. The sanctions preventing the Haredim from work are much more punishing to the State than to the citizen.

2. Copy and expand the successful example of Yaron Zelicha at the Kiryat Ono College to other campuses. Positive action is already taking place to encourage this goal. The induction of Haredim into academic learning toward professions that Israel needs – particularly professions in which the Haredi's Talmudic background gives them an advantage – turns out to be not only possible but a sure way to success. Some Haredi elementary schools do not teach science and math. This is a problem that must be addressed, but experience has shown that the Haredim quickly close the gap and excel at their studies.

3. Creation of more academic courses for Haredim. Preferred funding for those institutions that integrate Haredim. This will also encourage the various colleges to compete for the Haredi student.

4. Tax breaks for employers who integrate Haredim into their workforce.

5. Public relations campaign to encourage employers to hire Haredim, much as is being done now to encourage employers to hire Arabs.

If we ignore all the political hype, the solution is clear and simple.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Call for Israeli Sovereignty

Another positive point is the Knesset Lobby for Annexation of Judea and Samaria, headed by MK Miri Regev. Regev works tirelessly to further this cause. This week, the Lobby met for the second time and heard a lecture by Allen Baker, a member of the Levy Committee on the outposts, on the findings of the Levy Report and their significance.

Manhigut Yehudit supporter Uri Noy made the following remarks at the session:

1. If a person lives in the same house for forty five years, and all that time avoids clearly stating that the house is his; refuses to put his name on the door and refuses to refute his neighbor's claims that he is a trespasser –eventually even his friends and family will be convinced that the house does not belong to him. Even if they know that the house has been in the family for generations and can quote the deed, they will remain doubtful.

This comparison reflects the strange and problematic situation in which Israel finds itself. Israel has ruled its central regions for forty five years, but has always avoided the most logical step: declaration of sovereignty over our Land.

2. I could speak at length about the historical connection between the Nation of Israel and the Land of Israel, on the borders of the Promised Land, the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, the Foreign Ministry claim that Judea and Samaria are void of sovereignty and the Levi Report.

But that entire discussion can be boiled down to one word that includes everything and provides an answer for everything: The Torah. The Torah is our legal deed on this Land. It is the only deed and there is no other. The Torah – and not the Holocaust – is the basis for all the international documents recognizing Jewish rights here in the modern era. Without it, we would not have gotten the Balfour Declaration and not its international endorsement at the San Remo Conference. Both of those, by the way, took place before the Holocaust.

The Torah is our deed here, whether we are rightist or leftist, residents of Tel Aviv or settlers, religious or secular. The Torah is the only thing that lends moral justification to the existence of the State of Israel in the Land of Israel today – in the heart of the great Arabian expanse.

This is not a political claim, but an ethical claim. The Torah justifies and also requires Israeli sovereignty and law in all parts of the Land currently in our hands, or land that will return to us in the future. This is the right thing to do; it is the logical, ethical and ultimately necessary course of action.

This is our Land. When something is yours, you declare that fact. It is as much an educational imperative for our children as it is a political or legal necessity.

3. We must be specific: What is needed is not 'annexation of Judea and Samaria', but declaration of sovereignty and Israeli law in all parts of the Land of Israel that are in our hands. This is Israeli law since 1948. The law says that Israeli sovereignty and its laws apply to all territory of the Land of Israel held by the IDF. That is what the members of the first Knesset wisely legislated, and that is what is right and needed today.

This law directs us to apply sovereignty and Israeli law. It was never annulled. As a citizen of the State of Israel, I expect the legislators to abide by the law, even if it is late.

When this law will be applied, the absurd situation in which hundred of thousands of Israelis who live in Israel's heartland, in settlements built by the Israeli government, live outside the borders of the State – will be rectified.

4. Until now I have related to our rights to this Land – rights that do not depend on anything else. But due to the fact that the arguments against annexation relate to our Arab neighbors, I will relate to them as well.

Since the Six Day War, the main argument against annexation of the territories that returned to our hands then, was demography. This argument can be divided into two: One, the impression that we must give Israeli citizenship to enemy populations in our midst. The second: fear of losing the Jewish majority in Israel in the future – even if we do not grant citizenship to the Arabs living here.

The necessity of granting citizenship to a conquered enemy was already refuted in 1967 by the status that Israel gave to the East Jerusalem Arabs, upon which Israeli sovereignty was declared. The Arabs there are not Israeli citizens until this very day. Instead, they enjoy resident status. They cannot vote for the Knesset. We must be able to differentiate between our rights to this Land and the status of a hostile population that fought against us with the declared purpose of destroying us. There is no reason to grant them citizenship or any other type of prize.

As to the fear of losing the Jewish majority, even if we do not grant the Arabs citizenship: For years, Manhigut Yehudit has been encouraging continued emigration of the hostile population to outside Israel's borders. For decades, Israel has invested huge sums of money to daily defend itself from this hostile population. We station tens of thousands of security guards in public places throughout the country; people who could have worked in a productive field, instead. We build long walls on the ground and will soon top them off with an Iron Dome over our heads. We spend a fortune on security services, bullet-proof cars and roads that circumvent Arab towns. In addition, a good portion of the IDF's operations – and no less important – its attention, is spent on protecting us from this hostile population, instead of training for the next war.

If this huge fortune was invested over the years in encouraging the emigration of the hostile population out of Israel, most of them would not be here already. They would have been living in Arab states or countries looking for immigrants – and there are quite a few of those. We would be living in our Land with true security; not security that is dependent on a huge daily investment to protect us.
How would annexation affect our relations with our neighbors over the border? The immediate significance of annexation of Judea and Samaria would be a war to re-conquer Area A. Annexation of all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands now or in the future as a permanent feature of Israeli policy would not require immediate military action. It also does not contradict our desire to live peacefully with our neighbors.

This policy will augment peace. Our neighbors will not want to exercise violence toward us as they will know that we will not attack them as long as they are peaceful. However, if they instigate a fight, Israel will take advantage of the opportunity to re-acquire the parts of our Land that are currently in their hands. In addition to their appreciation of the IDF's strength, this knowledge will enhance Israel's deterrence and maintain peace. 

The Olympics: Jihad vs. the Cowardly Lion

By Tuvia Brodie

Sports lovers around the world are excited. The 2012 sports-fest called the Olympics is about to begin. In some countries, TV stations will broadcast Olympic events round-the-clock—or so it will seem.
The world loves sports.
This summer’s Olympic Games will not disappoint. They will be exactly like so many other recent Games, only more so: more coverage, more pictures, more competition, more celebration-- and more security. A lot more.
It may not be enough.
The star attraction for this year’s Games will not be swimmers or runners. It will be Jews.  By Olympic sports standards, Israel is a micro-player. But she will stand at stage-centre during the entire Olympics. Israelis may win no medals. They may not even be competitive. But every morning, sports fans around the globe will start their day with the same question: did anything happen to the Jews overnight?
The Games—the terror Games, that is—have already begun. A week before the Olympic opening ceremony, a bomb went off inside a Bulgarian tour bus carrying Jews.  Several were killed, many injured. A Muslim terrorist group called Ka’adat el-Jihad claimed responsibility for the killings.
In case you forgot, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan coincides this year with the Olympic Games. That’s an important juxtaposition because, as the killers who blew up that Bulgarian bus declared in an email, this year’s Ramadan could become for Muslims a month of Holy War and violence. If Westerners—fans or athletes--are killed as the entire world watches the Games, this Ramadan could become unique: Jihadists will call it the month that Holy War became world-famous.
It would be one of the greatest statements Jihad has ever made and, thanks to the feeding frenzy that characterizes modern TV news, any Jihadic violence will be played and replayed countless times across the globe until billions have seen it; and the more spectacular the violence, the greater will be the reaped glory.
A Jihadic ‘event’ at the Olympics can become Jihad’s most successful recruiting program. Muslims will dance in the street every night of the remaining Ramadan. They will revel in the news that Islam dominates world-wide TV coverage. They will celebrate how their god gives them such Holy publicity.
The threat of violence is magnified this year because 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the murder of eleven Israeli Olympians during the 1972 Munich Games. A violent attack now could become Jihad’s eternal Olympic signature.  What better way to celebrate forty years of Holy War against Little Satan and Big Satan than to start with a 1972 Olympic spectacle and end with an even greater spectacle in 2012!  With both Ramadan and this fortieth anniversary coming together at the same moment, a Jihadist might believe this in indeed a propitious time to strike.
The Israelis take all of this seriously. They are working with the Bulgarians to identify everyone associated with the bus bombing, to see if there is any connection to individuals in London. They work with British police and military to make sure that security for Israeli athletes is at its highest level.
We pray they will be successful.
The British, meanwhile, seem to be serious about this threat. According to reports, there will be as many as 24,000 police, military and private security forces deployed throughout the Games.  Britain’s MI5 Intelligence Service and its Scotland Yard are reportedly working with Israel’s Shin Bet. Israel’s athletes are set to receive enhanced protection.
This threat also explains why there are reported to be surface-to-air missiles installed at six locations around the Olympic village. It’s why London police have begun picking up individuals whose behaviour appears suspicious, even if they have no obvious link to the Olympics.
Will these precautions be enough?  We pray so—but if the driving force behind this threat is Iran, the answer may be, no.   Frimet/Arnold Roth recently appeared on the blogsite, Love of the Land (July 22, 2012, ‘This Ongoing War’,, documenting eleven Iran-sponsored terror attempts since January 2012. Each of these attempts targeted Israelis outside Israel. If these eleven attempts are warm-ups for the Olympics, Iran could be bringing to London its terror A-team. Since the West has been cowardly in dealing with Iran, no one can predict what will happen if something happens in London.
Of course, so far, the Iranians have been targeting primarily Israelis. But we know from their speeches that Iranian leadership has hostile intent for the West as well as for Israel. Will this be the moment we see that intent actualized?
The Olympics are a very big stage. They used to be about sports competition. Now, the big story could be Iran-sponsored Olympic Jihad.
If Iran-surrogates attack, what will the West do? Not much. The cowardly, toothless PC lion of the West fears Jihad.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Torah Peace Plan

By Moshe Feiglin

And you shall drive out the inhabitants of the Land and you shall dwell in it. And if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you and it will come to pass that those that you leave will be thorns in your eyes and thistles in your sides and they will harass you in the Land in which you dwell. (From this week's Torah portion, Matot, Numbers 33:53-55)

If you were looking for a peace plan, here it is. Israel must move forward toward the reality in which all the Land is in our hands. No foreign nation should have a foothold in our Land. If they do, we will lose our own hold on the Land and evaporate. Any peace plan that does not take this into account is pure deception.

Shabbat Shalom

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Matot Masei 5772

Pinchas and Matot-Masei 5772
Three major incidents in parashat Pinchas were enacted by individuals who were nonconformist by acting against the national consensus.
Pinchas acted quickly and zealously, while the nation’s leaders, Moshe and the Sanhedrin, stood on the sidelines. He killed Zimri, head of the tribe of Shimon, in order to stop a heinous transgression, while being aware that his act would antagonize the people. In fact, it did to such a extent that many actually tried to kill him.
The five daughters of Tzelafchad went against the general consensus when they demanded to inherit their deceased father’s homestead in Eretz Yisrael, as stated in the Midrash Shimoni (Bamidbar 5773):
רבי נתן אומר יפה כח נשים מכח אנשים, אנשים אומרים נתנה ראש ונשובה מצרימה ונשים אומרות תנה לנו אחוזה... אמר להן משה והלא ישראל מבקשין לחזור למצרים ואתנה מבקשות נחלה בארץ, אמרו יודעות אנו שסוף כל ישראל להחזיק בארץ
Rabbi Natan says: The strength [acts] of women surpasses that of men. Moshe asked [the daughters of Tzelafchad]: "Why are you demanding a portion in the Land, when the men of Israel are clamoring to return to Egypt?" They replied: ‘We know that eventually the Jews will control the Land [and wish to guarantee our portion]".
The third personality was Yehoshua bin Nun. He was chosen over seemingly more competent candidates to succeed Moshe Rabbeinu as the nation’s leader, including Moshe himself who was hoping that HaShem would choose one of his sons. But Yehoshua was chosen by HaShem by virtue of his consistent dedication to Moshe and to Torah study, which included physically cleaning the bet midrash and preparing it for the next day’s study.
Although the three personalities were very different, they overcame overwhelming opposition by virtue of a shared attribute. They possessed a spiritual and moral compass that always pointed to one direction - HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah.
Pinchas understood that Zimri’s public flaunting of the Torah was endangering the nation that it might bring HaShem to banish them to another extended period in the desert, rather than permitting the nation to enter the Holy Land.
The daughters of Tzelafchad had an inherent attraction to the Holy Land (as have Jewish women, in general), that served as their spiritual compass.
Hashem, as the Master of the compass, knew that Yehoshua, the scholar soldier, was the man to actualize the plan of HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah.
In our very complex world, we turn for direction to rabbis as the focus of Torah wisdom. However, all too often, we receive mixed signals.
We are at a stage where there is such a supermarket of rabbinic decisions and directives that one can know before hand what a particular rabbi will decide, thereby allowing the querier to shop for the answer that best suits him. If you want to eat a certain brand of tuna fish, you know who to ask and who not to ask. If you need encouragement, support and reassurance to ignore the miracles of our generation and remain in the galut, ask most chareidi rabbis in the USA.
So where can the pure truth of Torah be found? The answer is: Inside your pure Jewish conscience, according to the compass that HaShem has given each of us: HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah.
Every decision in your life should be held up to the light of this compass. Will the person you wish to marry be you partner in this compass? Is the school that you send your children educating them in the direction of the compass? Is the place where you live and work conducive to permitting you to come on aliya?
And for us who have merited to live in the holy Land: Is our lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael complimentary to the ideals of HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah? Do you study the Torah as much as you can and should? Do you relate to your fellow Israeli as brothers and sisters? Do you serve in the army or in any of the defense options available? Do you present the Torah to others in a respectful and honorable fashion?
The compass implies that any act, big or small, that brings one closer to Eretz Yisrael is consistent with the will of HaShem. Any act performed in Eretz Yisrael that furthers our ideal of creating a Torah based society is consistent with the will of HaShem. Conversly, any act, big or small, or suggestion that keeps a Jew away the Holy Land is inconsistent with the will of HaShem.
If you do not follow the compass of HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah Am Yisrael you or your children will surely die spiritually – just as a person lost in the thick jungle of Africa without a compass will die.
When you hear the words of the prophet Yeshayahu in the haftorah this Shabbat (Shabbat Chazon), be aware that these were not just hollow threats, but have, unfortunately, all come about in our history.
HaShem is absolutely serious in His treats. When the red line of immorality was crossed, He did not hesitate to send a flood that destroyed all humanity. The highly developed and deeply immoral city of Sodom and its four sister cities were destroyed in fire. The Egyptian army was drowned at the Red Sea. HaShem exhibited His wrath at societies, which are now mere displays in museums, when they did not live up to the moral and ethical standards HaShem had set for the Noachides of the world.
The Jewish people have not been exempt from His wrath when we strayed from the ideal of Am Yisrael living according to the Torah in Eretz Yisrael.
One cannot be certain of the future of the Jews still stubbornly clinging to their spiritually endangered communities in the galut. They are denying the window of opportunity afforded by Hashem to return home before the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel world takes that last fatal step across the "red line".
But just as HaShem was true to his threats when we sinned, He is true to His promises of redeeming and restoring HaShem’s chosen people, living in HaShem’s chosen land, according to HaShem’s Torah.
Which is happening now!
Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5772/2012 Nachman Kahana

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Exorcist

In an apparent response to the Levi Report, President Shimon Peres took advantage of the memorial ceremony for visionary of the State of Israel Theodore Herzl to attack the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. To prove his point, he brought the demographic demon back from the dead, explaining that by building and remaining in Judea and Samaria, Israel will have to incorporate the Arabs living there and will succumb to the Arab birth rate. The demographics these days actually favor Israel and not the Arabs, no matter how much some Israeli politicians and media try to scare us with the ‘demographic bogeyman’. For details, see Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s detailed demographic study.
And what exactly were the demographics when Herzl first initiated the idea of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel?
At the end of the 19th century, during Herzl's lifetime, approximately 26,000 Jews and 450,000 Arabs lived in Israel. In other words, when Herzl called to establish a Jewish state here, the Jews were just 5% of the entire population of the Land of Israel.

It's a good thing that Herzl didn't ask Peres and his demographic exorcism team for advice before he got to work.


Attorney General vs. Democracy

By Moshe Feiglin

Former Prime Minister Olmert is convicted in court of breach of public trust, a crime legally considered a 'disgrace' that can get him up to five years of imprisonment - and he is all smiles. Nothing more is necessary to show us what type of person he is. Can anybody imagine Menachem Begin or Yitzchak Shamir leaving the courthouse with a broad smile after a similar conviction?

Olmert can certainly qualify for the title of most contemptible PM that Israel has known. The fact that he was acquitted of most of the charges against him means that he is very devious – not that he is honest. 

Nonetheless, when Attorney General Mazuz announced that he would be conducting an investigation against Olmert, I wrote the following:

I do not have many good things to say about Olmert. In truth, I don't have anything good to say about him, at all. But I am deeply opposed to this investigation. Moreover, I will act to advance legislation that will provide immunity from police investigation for prime ministers and possibly ministers for a year after they have finished their term."

"With all the disgust that I feel toward certain politicians, I prefer to let them off the Attorney General's hook while they hold office, and not to allow a group of people who have never been elected by the public to extort our elected officials." 

Leave the Prime Minister Alone (NRG Sept. 29, 2007)

Four years later, after another scandal erupted, this time with Yoav Galant, a candidate for Chief of Staff, I wrote the following:

The witch hunt against Israel's senior officials that has turned into a national sport is a negative phenomenon that must stop. While Olmert was being investigated I wrote that we must enact legislation that would ensure immunity for all those who hold senior government positions while they are serving their term. Olmert was never my cup of tea, but I consider the legal attacks against him a greater danger than the intrinsic danger of the man himself.

What we are witnessing is actually a putsch carried out by the 'rule of law' gang, backed by the media's attack dogs of 'democracy'. It is a putsch against the legitimacy of government by the people and its elected officials. It serves to effect a steady retreat from the sovereignty of the people by undermining the status of its elected officials."

From the Shikmim Farm to the Galant Farm
: (NRG: Feb. 6, 2011)

The AG investigated Raful, Ne'eman, Ramon, Lieberman, Sharon and of course, Olmert. The common ground between all of them is one of two factors: Either they attempted to undermine the undisputed supremacy of the justice system , as in Olmert's appointment of Friedman as Justice Minister; insistence – against the will of Chief Justice Aharon Barak – that the Judicial Selection Committee write a protocol of its proceedings (Ramon); or they were a candidate for Justice Minister (Ne'eman). In other words, the AG's offices attacked anybody who could threaten their ruling hegemony. Further, they advanced their own agenda of retreat from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The investigations against Sharon that disappeared at the moment that he announced his Disengagement plan are a glaring example of this phenomenon.

To save Israel's democracy from the Attorney General, three important reforms must immediately be put in place:

1. A commission of inquiry into the scandalous conduct of the Attorney General's offices.
2. Immediate separation between the position of attorney general and public prosecutor
3. Change of the law so that, outside of serious exceptions that will be determined by legislation passed by a privileged majority in the Knesset, the prime minister and government ministers will enjoy immunity from investigations and initiation of court proceedings while they are still serving their term of office.

In a democratic state, the people are sovereign and it is they who should determine who will lead them and to where. 

Peter Beinart, J Street and American Jewish Leaders

By Tuvia Brodie

Peter Beinart is in the news this week because he completed an extensive interview with the Jerusalem Post. He calls himself a friend of Israel. He supports a two-state solution. He advocates a boycott of product from Judea-Samaria. He worries that Israel’s democracy might not survive if we reject the two-state plan.
J Street claims on its website that it is a ‘Pro-Israel, Pro-peace’ advocate for Americans’. It, too, supports two-states. It suggests that if you don’t agree with them, you harm Israel.
For these and other American friends of Israel, Israel must make concessions-- now. We must mid-wife a new Muslim state. Otherwise, they argue, Israel may not survive. We must give the Muslim what he wants. Then we will survive.
Really? We have seen such advocacy before. Throughout Israel’s history, Jews have promoted anti-Israel ideas as pro-Israel. Virtually all require some form of retreat which, in a neighbourhood of bullies, never works.
Perhaps you’ve noticed: Jews like helping other Jews. It’s a family thing. But families are not always warm and cuddly. Sometimes, families are nasty. We know this because Jews wrote the books on dysfunctional families—from Freud to Alfred Adler to Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique). Sometimes, unwise family members recommend behaviour that is not healthy.
Today’s version of the dysfunctional Jewish family is writ large. It’s no longer  about mom-and-pop. Now, it’s national; and because of electronics,  everything gets aired in public. We do this with panache-- a splashy website, an attention-grabbing book, a letter to Israel’s Prime Minister from no less than forty prominent American Jewish leaders: it’s all public-- and critical of Israel.
Today, some think about these American friends and their potential impact on Israel in a startling way: the friend of my enemy, they suggest, becomes my enemy.
Think about it: our enemy, Arabs, promote, glorify and celebrate the killing of Jews. Their leading religious figure, the Waqf of Jerusalem, says repeatedly (most recently in January, 2012) that killing Jews is an Islamic religious goal. The World Bank and the IMF declare (April 2011) that the survival of a ‘Palestinian’ state depends upon cooperation with Israel, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses categorically to cooperate with Jews. Their school textbooks demonize Jews and claim that all of Israel is ‘Palestine’-- not just Judea-Samaria, but Haifa, Tel Aviv and Ashdod as well. Their TV showcases children singing that they cannot wait to martyr themselves by killing Jews. The PA takes UN money for the purpose of educating children to stop smoking and uses that money to create puppet shows that call for their children to put down cigarettes-- and pick up guns to kill Jews.
Nice people.
Our enemy calls us apes and pigs who must be slaughtered in a religious Jihad so that his  ‘Palestine’ can be cleansed. The Jews, he tells his TV audience, have been ingathered in order to give the Arab the honour of slaughtering them for his god. Our enemy repeats these themes with gusto. Our enemy paints a national dream for his people that feeds on Jew-slaughter in the name of religion. Our enemy lusts to see Jews die—and he is not shy or secretive about it.
Our Jewish-American friends, however, cannot understand how we can reject a ‘marriage’ with these people. These Jews are highly-educated; but they  nonetheless promote concessions to--and appeasement of--Nazi-style Jew-hate. Isn’t such behaviour dysfunctional? Clearly, these friends refuse to listen to the Arab reality. They believe that we cannot survive if we remain ‘single’. But we know from that same reality that we will not survive if we ‘marry’ with them.
Do Jews who promote anti-Israel ideas as ‘hope’  reveal a dysfunctional disconnect from reality?
Why would we want their peace? We choose life. We know all about Jews being murdered by ‘peace’. We also know about family problems. We wrote the books, remember? We’ve suffered enough from dysfunctional ‘peace’ efforts. Gaza worked out really well, right?
We know what our enemy wants. We see it almost every day. So when our Jewish-American friends ignore those almost-daily calls to kill Jews, we marvel at their dysfunction.
Those who befriend our enemy by advocating their empowerment do not watch Arab TV. Israel does. It’s a harsh world, Arab TV, especially if you’re a Jew. Arab TV is graphic. But it educates. It teaches in detail what our enemy will do once he gets his chance. The pictures, stories and songs on Arab TV are so graphic they make us think twice about our powerful American friends. Mostly though, Arab TV teaches us to be careful: the friend of our enemy might indeed be our enemy.
American Jews should consider which side they empower when they step into the war to eradicate Israel.
Powerful or influential American Jews may not like to hear that Judea-Samaria is ancestral Jewish homeland. They may not want to hear that land lost by Jordan in an attack initiated by Jordan (1967) is legally ours. They may be so comfortable with lies about Israel that the truth sounds false. The truth may make them angry. Perhaps that's why they penned a letter to Mr. Netanyahu imploring him not to act on the findings of the Levy Report which demonstrated our rightful claim to Judea and Samaria. 
That's too bad. The truth gets mauled in war, as Arabs and their ennablers have shown us again and again.
If these powerful and influential American Jews are smart, they'll consider carefully which side they empower when they push into the war to eradicate Israel.
Do they really want to go on record as a friend of our enemy?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Annexation or Fade Away

By Moshe Feiglin

The Levi Report on the settlements in Judea and Samaria was like cold water on a parched landscape. The members of the committee who drafted the report and dared to publicly say what every child in Israel can and should know deserve credit and appreciation. The report factually states that there never was an occupation in Judea and Samaria because no entity there was ever occupied.

In the War of Independence (1948) Jordan forcefully took over Judea and Samaria. After World War I, the Commonwealth of Nations transferred the mandate on the territory to Great Britain so that the Jews could establish a national home in what was slated to become Israel. Later, the Jordanians refuted any claims of sovereignty on the territory. Thus, when the IDF captured Judea and Samaria from Hussein, who didn't even pretend to be its owner, it was hardly an occupation.

The local Arabs, who have suddenly invented the Palestinian Nation, cannot claim that the territory was captured form them. First of all, they are the ones who started the War of Independence, dragging the regular Arab armies into the fighting. According to international law, whoever initiates a war cannot claim territory that they lost during the fighting. But what is even more important is the fact that there never was national "Palestinian" sovereignty: Not in Judea and Samaria or in any place on the globe. In the Six Days of Miracles, the IDF liberated Judea and Samaria from the Jordanian army, not from the residents of Ramallah.

Those of us who have become unfortunately accustomed to the State toeing the brazen and false radical leftist line – the Talia Sasson Report, for example – might see the Levi Report as a sign of the Messianic era. However, respect and appreciation for the authors of the report and the PM for requesting it notwithstanding, the logical conclusion is missing from its findings.

It is like an expert doctor who has been called to the bedside of a dying man. The doctor calls in a team of experts, who examine the patient from every possible angle. When they finish, they call the family together and announce their conclusion: The patient is allowed to get better. And then they leave.

It is difficult to know if the Levi Report heralds real change or if it is just part of the zigzag syndrome that we have been witnessing recently. It is very important to stop the damage wrought upon the settlement enterprise by the Sasson Report. But the fact that the Levi Report is not coupled with positive measures means that the strong forces that have been pushing Israel into harmful declarations and deeds for years can continue their activities, undisturbed. The Report does say that Israel is not an occupier, but it doesn't draw the logical conclusion: This is our Land. The Report does not recommend the vital next step: Israel must immediately annex all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands, as we did with all the territory captured by the IDF in 1948, to a lesser extent in Jerusalem and fully in the Golan Heights. This is the Israeli law: Every part of the Land of Israel under Israeli control at any time automatically becomes part of the territory of the State of Israel.

Since the days of Menachem Begin, the Jewish majority in Israel has received glorious gifts that turned out to be nothing more than fancy wrapping. Begin's "There will be many more Elon Morehs" turned into the reality of the great retreat from Sinai and the destruction of the Yamit settlements. On one hand, the Likud has built more than any other ruling party. On the other hand, all the destruction and major retreats are also on its resume'. Without faith-based leadership for Israel, the Right will necessarily drift leftward; if not in word, then in deed.

The Levi Report is another step in the right direction. It is a positive development, along with MK Yariv Levin's proposed legislation against the High Court dictatorship and MK Miri Regev's proposals for annexation of Judea and Samaria. While the PM put the brakes on those two proposals, the very fact that they were brought up creates a positive cumulative effect.

We must not fool ourselves, though. If tomorrow Abu Mazen turns around and shows willingness for some type of compromise, the entire media will clamor to advance "peace" full steam ahead, the justice system, security officials and academia will join in to ensure that the new 'peace' will get past the public's healthy skepticism and the Levi Report will make no difference as we march toward another mass destruction.

While there is an important, positive evolution taking place with regard to the settlements, what we really need is to revolutionize our leadership and its ideas. If not, this evolution will end up as another forty years in the desert and the loss of much that we hold dear. 

On the Threshold of Greatness: Do You See what's Real?

By Tuvia Brodie

The Jewish nation is unique.  More than 2300 years ago, the content of our Bible‹the Tanach‹was selected and approved. Since that moment, Jews everywhere have had before them the recorded predictions of G-d: Jews living in Israel would sin grievously; they would be exiled; they would be scattered among nations; they would be persecuted; their land of milk and honey would become desert; that land would remain a desolation for all who entered; the Jews would return to their land; the desert would blossom again; Hebrew as a language of everyday use would be reborn; a Jewish religious revival would occur;  Israel would become distinctive; she would be a success; she would rise like a lion against her enemies;  and finally, in the days preceding Israel¹s ultimate Destiny, the nations of the world would turn against her.
These are the words of our Tanach. These are predictions Jews have read and re-read for 2,300 years. These predictions are now fact.
No other nation can tell such a story of dispersal, desolation, persecution and rebirth. No other religion can match such a record of ancient prophesies fulfilled. No other people have returned to a land filled with surviving historic evidence of their ancient glory. No other G-d has such a list of promises kept.
The G-d of Israel lives. The proof is before us. History is our witness: at least fourteen ancient prophecies have become fact.  Promises recorded more than 2,300 years ago have become history.
And yet, denial is stronger than truth.  Man's commitment to denial‹his irrational pseudo-religion‹is so strong that, no matter the weight of the accumulated historic evidence, many refuse to hear. They refuse to see. They refuse to affirm that the G-d of Israel has indeed foretold our history. Instead, they affirm that the G-d of Israel cannot exist. Why do they deny?  The evidence is before them: G-d has turned prophesy into fact. What could be better proof of G-d¹s Truth than that?
It doesn't matter. The power of denial destroys Man's intellect: the Tanach cannot be correct. It cannot be real. G-d Himself can't be real because the Jewish narrative of Israel is a lie. It must be a lie‹for otherwise, the G-d of Israel lives; and as we all know, there can be no G-d.
Really? What happened to Man¹s rational capacity to observe, consider evidence and acknowledge truth--however uncomfortable that truth makes him? When rational Man sees more than a dozen ancient prophecies become historic fact across 2,300 years, does he honestly acknowledge such truth or does he use his intellect to reject reality?
G-d accurately foretells 2,300 years of Jewish history; Man denies it. G-d declares that Israel is His beloved; Man denies it. Instead of acknowledging reality, Man rejects it. Fourteen prophecies come true; Man scorns the G-d of Israel. Man will not acknowledge G-d's Power because he turns against G-d's beloved. Man calls Israel intransigent and cries for Justice‹but only for aggressor Arabs who have brought sorrows upon themselves by repeatedly starting wars they lose.  As G-d shows He is True, Man uses his intellect to delegitimize G-d's chosen. Man will not confront G-d. But he will empower those who want to destroy Israel.
Man blinds himself with denial. Irrationally, he denies history. He chooses lies‹and then celebrates his intellect.
Here's proof:  in the last two years alone, the Arab has asserted that there has never been Jewish ownership of the Temple Mount, Rachel¹s tomb is a mosque, Joseph's Tomb is Islamic, Hevron has no Jewish roots and Judea-Samaria has no connection to Jews whatsoever. These assertions celebrate Man's intellectual capacity because only Man has such power to choose lies over truth. Only Man-the-self-appointed-supreme can believe that Arabs are innocent victims, Jews are immoral oppressors and the G-d of Israel doesn't exist. Only Man can design a peace that posits that Jews are Zionists; their Zionism causes terrorism; and peace is possible only after the cause of terrorism is destroyed.
Only Man can celebrate the Arab lie over G-d. Only Man can celebrate denial.
But when Man denies, we should remember: Man is irrational. He is not supreme. He lies. It is the Jewish Tanach‹not Man‹that accurately predicted how Jewish history would unfold over more than 2,300 years. It is the Jewish Tanach‹not Man‹that identifies Jerusalem as our capital. It is the Jewish Tanach‹not Man‹that declares that the G-d of Israel will record in his Book of Deeds who is for Israel, who against; who is for truth, who lies.
Today, Israel does not stand as an outcast before Man. Man lies. Israel stands--as predicted-- at the threshold of her Destiny. Everyone has his role to play in the unfolding drama of our Destiny and, as recorded more than 2,300 years ago, each player plays his role as foretold.
Do not follow Man. Man is irrational. Man cannot foretell. Instead, he lies. Follow G-d. Read your Tanach.  Read‹and marvel at the virtual statistical impossibility of so many ancient prophesies becoming real.
Marvel at G-d's Power.