Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dennis Mitzner Analyzes Moshe Feiglin’s Policies in the Jerusalem Post

Thursday Dec 19, 2013
Feiglin – Israel’s libertarian rabble-rouser
By Dennis Mitzner
Israel is a diverse country with a wide array of opinions on a given topic, but when it comes to Moshe Feiglin, the gushing is universal: the ultra-orthodox oppose him for his opposition to religious parties, the left oppose him for his capitalism and centrality of Judaism in nation-forming and the political center find his views too radical altogether.

With his calm and eloquent demeanor, it is not obvious why Moshe Feiglin is one of the most controversial figures in Israeli politics. Feiglin, who currently serves as the Knesset’s deputy speaker, is a member of the governing Likud party and an old rival of its chairman the incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Feiglin, detested by the left and misunderstood by the right, is an anomaly who takes positions that to the masses often seem counterintuitive. But his positions have also won him a fan base of the oddest kind, from yarmulke-wearing settlers to techies roaming the streets of Tel Aviv. In the American context, Feiglin is somewhere between Ayn Rand’s objectivism and the philosophical articulacy of William Buckley.

Feiglin opposes governmental coercion and celebrates choice. He is a believer in man’s ability to thrive without a societal safety net afforded to him by taxpayers, but unlike Rand’s objectivism, recognizes man’s limitations by acting humbly in accordance with the moral code found in the Torah.

As a religious Zionist, he opposes the Zionism of the Israeli left. “Whoever thinks that the state is the supreme value edges uncomfortably close to fascism,” Feiglinlamented. With such statements Feiglin echoes Yeshayahu Leibowitz who warned of putting might of the army ahead of spirituality.

For a thoughtful observer, Feiglin’s demeanor is far from the bombastic and Spartan bearing of the younger generation of Zionist leaders like Naftali Bennett.

Indeed, there is something disconcerting about Naftali Bennett, Danny Danon and Avigdor Liberman. All three act as the guardians of the Jewish people, espouse ideas and solutions without hesitancy or doubt. Many see Feiglin as part of the clique of the populist new right, but to lump Feiglin together with tough-talking Liberman would be to surrender to the power perception and give no credence to substance.

In fact, whether the loyalty oath, biometric passport or the law to ban certain NGO’s, Feiglin seems different. Unlike Liberman, Feiglin’s views emanate from a different tradition and Liberman’s authoritarian instincts are part of the statism which Feiglin opposes.

In a nutshell, Feiglin is a Jewish libertarian, for whom libertarianism should be harnessed to serve the sole purpose of solidifying Israel as a Jewish state. Unlike many of his peers, Feiglin is unwilling to push for laws that might or might not alter the future. Indeed, laws such as the NGO bill and biometric passport are based on the premise that Israelis must be protected from events that might or might not occur.

Indeed, the element of faith seems to be the main difference between Feiglin and his peers on the right.
One Likud insder thinks that Feiglin is out of step with the Israeli public because of his rampant indifference to public opinion.
“Feiglin doesn’t do much to help himself though. He and his movement are anti-PR people. That is, they don’t think about appealing to a wider audience, by picking their strongest issues or finding the right time and manner of pursuing them. They just don’t care. There’s a certain psychology to it.”
Most politicians in Israel succumb to the admittedly heavy web of interests that often force ideologically opposing sides to strike a deal on a decisive issue. Indeed, the perception of Israeli politicians as hardened ideologues is largely false. Party leaderships flock to the center when in the government, and oppose the government when in opposition.

A recent indication of this was witnessed when the nationalist Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, agreed to stay in the government after it was decided that Israel would release over a hundred terrorists as a good will gesture towards the Palestinians.

For better or worse, Feiglin is neither a populist looking to incite the public nor a party hack always willing to toe the party line. He leads his own faction, Manhigut Yehudit (The Jewish leadership Movement) which for lack of a better comparison is to the Likud what the Tea Party is to the GOP establishment: a pain in the neck. If PM Netanyahu is John Boehner, then Feiglin is Ted Cruz.

U.S aid is another hot button issue that separates Feiglin from the mainstream. Most Israelis take U.S aid as a given. However, most Israelis prefer not to be perceived as America’s Middle Eastern poodle, but only a few are willing to do much about it. Although the relationship between America and Israel is largely mutually beneficial, Feiglin is against U.S. aid to Israel.
“This aid is not in our favor, not economically, not militarily, not in any way. This aid serves psychological purposes, not anything else. We are talking about 1.5 percent of our income, of what Israel is producing — we can definitely deal without it.”
Israelis are generally apathetic when it comes to the conflict, but have begun to regain some of that passion and fervor embedded in the Jewish culture, but easily forgotten in the Mediterranean surroundings where leisurely pursuits often take precedence over philosophy.

Feiglin’s agenda of liberty is starting to resonate although still haunted by his reputation. Many Israelis belonging to the disjointed left, and who thought they had once again found their collective voice during the tent protests of 2011, have started to listen to what Feiglin is preaching.

After failed attempts to achieve better conditions – largely due to the incoherence of the demands and an element of youthful foolishness – the educated Israel middle-class might one day turn its attention to the man they still view with suspicion. Feiglin’s internal rival, Benjamin Netanyahu has lost the battle for the middle class, but Feiglin’s political destiny is yet to be sealed.

The author is currently the editor in chief of Binarries.com, a financial daily. Follow Dennis @DennisMitzner 

No Administrative Detention Except for Settlers?

By Moshe Feiglin

Yesterday I visited with Boaz Albert, the father of 6 from Yitzhar who is in prison after refusing to abide by an administrative order prohibiting him from entering Judea and Samaria. Boaz is a farmer. His vineyards and winery need his constant attention. The administrative order prevents him from being with his family and also means financial ruin. Boaz was arrested at his home and jailed. He has no idea what he is being charged with, but is surre that it is nothing more than suspicion of involvement with “Price Tag” activities: In other words, “criminal” graffiti.

Attorney General Weinstein just announced that he opposes administrative detention against organized crime leaders in Israel. In the case of organized crime, the suspicions against the leaders are murder, extortion, trafficking and more – not graffiti.
I agree with Weinstein: Arrest without trial must completely disappear from our justice system. But to allow it against Boaz Albert while negating it for some of Israel’s most dangerous mafiosos? Is Weinstein simply afraid? Or are his judicial decisions tainted by his political inclinations?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Learn from Pollard, Who Will Not Agree to Be Released in Exchange for Terrorists

By Moshe Feiglin

Construction in Judea and Samaria in exchange for the release of murderers is moral pollution and a perversion of the value of settlement of the Land of Israel. Every time that I visited Jonathan Pollard in prison he insisted, "I am not willing to go free in exchange for terrorists."

I prefer to die in prison and not to see one Jew killed by a terrorist who was released for me.” It would be wise for us all to align our scale of values with this amazing man.

Tel Aviv Cheers for Feiglin

Friday, December 27, 2013

"And I will harden Pharaoh's heart"

And I will harden Pharaoh's heart"

(Exodus 7:3)
Tevet 24, 5774/December 27, 2013

From the moment G-d shared His plans for Israel, Moshe replied with two questions: Will Israel believe that You have sent me, and will Pharaoh pay heed to my words? Concerning Israel, G-d equipped Moshe with His holy name and with His promise to their forefathers, but concerning Pharaoh, G-d simply said, "I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go." (Exodus 3:19) Was G-d, in His omniscience, merely anticipating Pharaoh's response, or was G-d determining for Pharaoh his own mind? If the former, then G-d's "leak" to Moshe is no more than a Divine spoiler, alerting Moshe to what has yet to happen. But if the latter, then we may ask, and justifiably so, what has become of Pharaoh's free will? Isn't his humanity and isn't his potential to do good or evil inherently bound to his G-d given ability to make up his own mind, to choose his own course of action? And further, if he has been stripped of his own free will, how can he be punished for his actions which were pre-determined by G-dG-d has set out to reveal His oneness and His omnipotence to the world, but has He provided a level playing field, or is G-d simply beating up on the hapless Pharaoh? Is G-d being a bully?

The answer would be yes, were it not for one essential element in the fundamental relationship between G-d and man. G-d created man with a physical body akin to the other "beasts of the earth" that He created on the sixth day. But then G-d breathed into man an additional life force, a more elevated aspiration: G-d breathed into man the conscious knowledge of G-d! This is what distinguishes man from G-d's other living creations, and it is this knowledge of G-d which is the source of man's ability to choose. What we call in today's world, "free-will," is so much more than the ability to choose what color socks we will wear today, with whom we want to share our lives, or even what candidate we will vote for. These are all expressions of personal autonomy not to be dismissed, but ultimately they hardly provide a distinction between ourselves and the other animals in the food chain. What does distinguish man is our ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. Or more simply put, between G-d's will and our own will. This, and only this, is the source and the purpose of our humanity. For this G-d created man!

Mankind is filled with an entire spectrum of semi-autonomous beings who range from the very evil to the most righteous. But we all share the same basic calculus: The greater the distance we maintain between ourselves and G-d the greater is our exposure to temptation and the greater our capacity to do evil. The closer we strive toward G-d the greater our exposure to His truth and the greater our desire and ability to do good. From the most depraved to the most righteous, we are all human beings, we are all G-d's children, because we all work according to this principle. What books we choose to read, what songs we choose to sing and what walk we choose to walk, that is, the great symphony of human self- declaration, are all but expressions of our unique position along the G-d-man continuum, where our will is in relationship to where G-d's will is.

In the book of Genesis we meet a rogues gallery of figures who are ill-at-ease with G-d's presence in the world. The generation of the flood showed great contempt for G-d. The generation of the dispersion, (the Tower of Babel), sought to dislodge and replace G-d, and the inhabitants of Sodom sought to pervert the will of G-d through their decadent sophistry. But none of these generations, nor the individuals that led them astray ever denied the existence of G-d.

Pharaoh was the first who said, "I know not HaShem." (ibid 5:2) Pharaoh didn't merely distance himself from G-d; he didn't merely challenge G-d'sauthority or even G-d's ability to impose His will. Pharaoh denied G-d. In doing so Pharaoh severed the bond between his earth-bound animal being and the divine breath of his own humanity. The covenant between man and G-d that insured man's free-will and preserved a human autonomy for making up one's own mind for good or evil, was nullified. From this point on Pharaoh was no more than a beast of the field, a pawn in G-d's hand whose continued authority over Egypt was but a prop by which G-d would reveal His sovereignty over all creation. When G-d"hardened Pharaoh's heart," plague after deadly plague He was hardening the heart of a man who had already, by virtue of his own last expression of free will, ("I know not HaShem"), willfully opted out of his own humanity.

Ultimately, over the course of the ten plagues, Pharaoh would begin to recognize that there is a G-d independent of Pharaoh, and G-d would restore to Pharaoh his ability to harden his own heart, or not. But while Pharaoh fulfilled the role of chief antagonist of the Exodus drama, he is not unique among the annals of mankind, and certainly exists, at least in potential, in all of us. Today the world is filled with many Pharaohs. Some are leaders, other are followers. But each pursues his or her own course of action based on the self-evident "truth" that there is no G-d. With this self-dehumanizing certitude, the path to enslaving others or enslaving oneself to others is infinitesimally short. Today's Pharaohs can be recognized just as our Pharaoh was recognized: By the role they play in attempting to deny G-d by denying the manifestation of His plan. Those, great or small, who seek to strip the land of Israel from the children of Israel, to wrest Jerusalem from G-d's chosen, and to bequeath the place of G-d's Holy Temple to the preachers of hate and merchants death, these are today's Pharaohs. So long as they deny G-d, He shall harden their hearts. And we whose hearts are open, we shall worship G-d in His holy Sanctuary!

Israel’s Right: The Light’s On But Nobody’s Home

By Moshe Feiglin

Translated from Makor Rishon
If this bill passes, Israel will have to announce that there will be no negotiations over Jerusalem. The real significance of that is that we completely halt the negotiations taking place today.”  (Minister Tzippy Livni from the Knesset podium relates to the Jerusalem Bill proposed by MK LItzman. The bill would have made negotiations over Jerusalem contingent on the approval of 80 MKs.)
Everyone knows that MK Litzman proposed the Jerusalem Bill strictly to embarrass the Coalition. Everyone knows that in the opposite situation, he and all his Ultra-Orthodox colleagues would have voted against the exact same bill. Everyone knows that this bill had no chance of passing. Everyone knows everything. But nonetheless, Litzman did achieve two things, albeit unintentionally:
He extracted an explicit admission from the minister conducting the diplomatic negotiations that Jerusalem is on the table. Second, he showed in the most deep and fundamental manner that in the Israeli reality, the National Camp is simply absent.
The situation was embarrassing. “The Likud has a contagious flu,” the radical Left Meretz  and Arab MKs gloated at the sight of the empty seats of the Likud, Jewish Home and YIsrael Beiteinu. The vote on the Jerusalem Bill was held by roll call. The Secretary of the Knesset called out the names of the MKs one by one and announced, “Not present, not present.” I sat there, between the empty seats and thought to myself that what she was saying is true: In the Israeli reality, only the Left and the Arabs are present. The Ultra-Orthodox do not want to be present and the Nationalists are incapable of being present.
I see how the deconstructionist values and laws in Israel are gaining momentum more than ever: There are the laws designed to deconstruct the status of the normative family. They are disguised as equality for those with different sexual orientations, victims of discrimination and protection for battered women. These bills are making their way through the Knesset more successfully than ever – specifically in a “Nationalist” coalition.
“Have you ever tried to ask yourselves how it is that we are passing bill after bill to protect women, while more women than ever are being murdered by their partners?” I asked the Meretz MKs. Obviously, they had no answer and it did not really interest them. The legislation is not really meant to protect women; the real goal is the deconstruction of the family unit.
Not only social values are deconstructing at an accelerated rate; we are also experiencing territorial deconstruction. The government announced that the Prawer Law to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev was suspended. But that is not true. The law is in its final stages of preparation in the Knesset Interior Committee, and they are working on it double time.
“How can you support this law? It gives the entire central Negev to the Bedouins as a gift. Isn’t the Negev part of the Land of Israel? I asked MKs from the Jewish Home.
“So what do you suggest?” they answer me. “After all, we must solve the problem.”
“Full equality,” I answer. “We must treat the Bedouin land grabbing crime as we would if the perpetrator were Jewish. The Bedouin  have not managed to prove their ownership of the land for over forty years. Now the government must restore its full sovereignty in the Negev and develop and market the lands there as it sees fit.”
“After we pass the law, we will have the legitimacy to do just that,” the Religious Zionist MKs explain to me.
“Just like how Rabin promised that if the Arabs will shoot at us from the weapons that we gave them, we will let them have it. And just like how Sharon promised that when we retreat from Gush Katif we would gain international legitimacy,” I answered.
 The Prawer Bill is not about regulation. It is about gaining international legitimacy. And just like the examples above, it will achieve the exact opposite.
And what about the struggle for the sovereignty of the nation against Israel’s High Court? Have we progressed on that front or is the right-wing coalition also advancing deconstruction of the sovereignty of the people as well? In this case, it is liberty that is being deconstructed. We saw how the Coalition suspended the will of the voters in three major cities in Israel after the High Court demanded that the newly elected mayors should be fired.
And yes, Iran will cross the threshold into nuclear capability on the rightist coalition’s watch.
Now, we are negotiating on Jerusalem and the entire national camp – with no exception – is simply absent.
Don’t get me wrong – the Religious Zionist MKs are wonderful people. My love of the Land of Israel is not greater than theirs and my “righteousness” cannot compete with that of the Jewish Home MKs. So why was I the only one to vote in favor of Litzman’s bill? Why am I the only one opposing the Prawer Bill? Why am I the only opposed to giving the High Court even more power?
Who here is sane?
The multi-faceted National Camp always manages to get lost inside the political fog. The Left is always present – the Right – never. Even when the Left is a small minority in the Knesset, it continues to set the public agenda and to actively control society. The Left steers us in the direction it wants Israel to take and mirrors Israeli society.
The Right has no “public figure”. It has no real horizons. That is why it doesn’t understand where political games give way to essence. For the Right, politics will always be more important than essence – even if Jerusalem is at stake.
That is because the Right has no real alternative to the deconstructionist values of the Left. The alternative to the Left is not the Right and it is not religion. It is not even the strange combination of the two. The alternative is faith-based leadership and living faith-based lives.

Negotiations Will Collapse, Israel Will be Blamed

By Moshe Feiglin

Clearly, Abu Mazen will not agree to Kerry’s security arrangements. The negotiations will collapse , terror will explode and Israel will be blamed.
Why does this keep happening? Why does Israel, always willing to negotiate, lose its international legitimacy while those who refuse to negotiate always come out on top?
The answer consists of one word: Justice
They demand on getting what they want with no room for compromise. We are always willing to negotiate. We will never dare to say, “This is our Land.”
Until we transfer the negotiations from the pragmatic/security arena to the arena of justice, we will continue to lose on every front. We will never have peace and we will continue to suffer from terror.
It all begins with three simple words: This is our Land!

The Promise of the Land

By Rabbi Mordechai Rabinovitz

It is generally assumed that the inalienable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is based on the promise by Hashem to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Since the Talmud (Berachos 7a) states that divine promises for good things are not rescinded by Hashem even if the recipient is no longer deserving, this promise would seem irrevocable.
However, Rambam (Introduction to Mishnah Commentary) qualifies that rule and asserts that a divine promise for the good is not irreversible if it was communicated to a prophet for the prophecy as a personal message from G-d, without a command to convey it to others.
When a promise is communicated to a prophet for his ears alone, then even a good promise can be rescinded. But in that case, a serious problem arises. Because elsewhere, Rambam (Guide 2:39) states that the very first prophet in history to receive a command to communicate his prophecy to others was Moses. Now, if the promise to the forefathers is what gives us a right to the Holy Land, and if the forefathers received that promise in a personal prophecy, not for communication to others, how can we (according to Rambam) be certain that the promise will be fulfilled?
The answer would seem to be given in this week’s reading (Shemos 6:6-9): Hashem spoke to Moshe and said to him: “Say to the people of Israel, I will take you out… and I will bring you to the land that I promised to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a heritage, I am Hashem”.
As can clearly be seen, Hashem here commands Moshe to communicate the promise to the people of Israel. Accordingly, this promise cannot be rescinded even if we are not always so deserving.
Today, we are witnessing the fulfillment of that promise by Hashem, and are certain that likewise all other promises of good to our people will be fulfilled, speedily in our days!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Anthropic Principle: HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Va'ai'ra 5774

Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Parashat Va’ai’ra 5774

Part A: Anthropic Principle and the land flowing with milk and honey
There is growing interest among the scientific community in what is known as the “Anthropic (meaning: man) Principle”. This principle states that the universe and certainly our planet Earth were specifically designed to support the existence of life. That not only are the principles of biology cogent to the existence of life, but even the laws that govern the non-biological sciences of astronomy, physics and cosmology are fine-tuned to permit the existence of human beings.  To mention just three:

1- We are dependent on the sun for light and heat. Solar burning is caused by the combining of a hydrogen proton with a neutron to form the hydrogen isotope deuteron which “burns”. If the nuclear force which combines the protons and neutrons would be slightly less than it is or slightly more, there would no solar burning. The Creator saw to it that the nuclear force would be within the narrow range permitting the formation of deuterons.

2- Planet Earth is in the exact distance from the sun to sustain water. Were we a bit closer, surface water would be at the boiling point; were we a bit further away, the atmosphere would not be breathable.

3- We live on Earth. Mercury and Venus are too hot and Mars is too cold. Mercury has no atmosphere, while the atmosphere of Venus is too thick for the sun’s rays to penetrate to the surface.

The temperature range and other properties of Earth are perfect for life. Earth’s atmosphere is transparent to the same spectrum of light to which our eyes are sensitive.
Conclusion: Anthropic reasoning would attribute this to design with humans in mind. And there are many more examples to substantiate the Anthropic Principle.

Now the big question: For whom did HaShem “go out of His way” to shape the Laws of Nature to make the planet so hospitable for humans?

To answer this question I turned to this week’s Time magazine, and the five people who the board of judges deemed to be deserving of the title “Man (or woman) of the Year,” to see who is important in this time and might justify creation. They are: The Pope, Edward Snowden, Edith Windsor, Bashar Assad and Ted Cruz.

I was incredulous. The Pope represents the billion plus Catholics and Christians who believe in the Trinity, which is a negation of Monotheism and, as such, is avoda zara. Snowden contributed to the rights of individual privacy; important but not Earth shattering. Ms Windsor is an insult to the values of Judaism. Assad of Syria has much blood on his hands, and Ted Cruz is nothing to write home about.

So perhaps HaShem fashioned the “laws of nature” for the teeming billions in China, India and elsewhere who deny the existence of the Creator? Unlikely!

Did He create the world for the over one billion Moslems who manipulate the concept of G-d just to further their fascist, totalitarian grip on people and to further their dreams of world Caliphate? Most Unlikely!

So who remains?
The Gemara in Nedarim 32a states:
גדולה תורה – שאילמלא תורה לא נתקיימו שמים וארץ, שנאמר (ירמיהו לג,כה) ‘אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי וגו’.
The Torah is uniquely great. For without the Torah the Heavens and Earth could not exist, as stated by the prophet (Yirmiyahu 33,25) “If not for My covenant (with the Jewish nation that they would keep My Torah) day and night, I would not have established the principles governing the Heavens and Earth”.
Indeed. Every thing that exists was created for the Jewish nation which was destined to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai!

Rashi on the first pasuk in the Torah quotes the Midrash which states that the Heavens and Earth were created for the sake of the Torah and for the sake of Am Yisrael.
But this requires further investigation.

Did chazal (our rabbis of blessed memory) intend that HaShem created the universe so that the Jewish nation would perform the mitzvot in Babylon, in Lakewood, New Jersey or even in Vilna, Lithuania?

Ramban (R. Moshe ben Nachman) states (Vayikra chapter 18) that the mitzvot were given to Am Yisrael to be kept in Eretz Yisrael, adding that to reside in Eretz Yisrael is equal to all the other mitzvot in the Torah. In Shemot 3 verses 12 and 17, it is stated:

And HaShem said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship HaShem on this mountain (to receive the Torah)… And I have promised to bring you… into the land… a land flowing with milk and honey.”

The conclusion is that the 5774 years since creation, which has seen so much human suffering and injustice, were vindicated for the sake of the six million Jews now living in the Holy Land.

Part B: What is propelling the USA against the State of Israel?
Shemot 6,6-8:
Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord
The prophet Amos reveals that HaShem does not readily punish a society for its first three sins, however starting with the fourth severe sin HaShem acts with unrelenting justice and with no impunity.

In the first chapter of Amos, the prophet calls out to the nations with a warning of what awaits them on their fourth strike.

The nations under scrutiny are: Aram whose capital is Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moav.

In the relatively short time since the Shoah and the establishment of the Medina, the United States is guilty of three cardinal sins vis–à–vis the Jewish people’s aspirations to return to our Biblical homeland.

1- The US could have saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Jews, by bombing the death camps of Europe or even the tracks leading to those camps. However, in all the excruciating years of the Shoah, not one American or allied bomb was dropped to terminate, or at least to interfere with, the German killing machine.

It is on record that for technical reasons an American plane that was in the vicinity of the Auschwitz camp had to release its bomb load. The pilot was ordered to release the bombs in an empty field but must be careful not to harm the camp or the tracks.

At the same time the US prohibited Jews who fled from Europe entry into the country, and the US did nothing to influence their allies, the British, to permit Jewish refugees entry into Eretz Yisrael, for fear of incurring the wrath of the Saudis who were sitting atop an ocean of oil.

2- While the nascent Jewish State was fighting for its very life against five Arab armies, the US imposed a total arms embargo. Were it not for the miraculous intervention of HaShem, we would have been a closed file in the archives of the US State Department.

3- The United States has degraded into a promiscuous society where every form of abomination is tolerated and protected by law; while the name of God cannot be mentioned in their public schools. And it is this society that beckons to our young Jewish men and women to mix freely with the gentile majority, to intermarry and forget their Jewish heritage.

4- The fourth major sin is transpiring now, when the US is forcefully pressuring us to commit national suicide. The US Secretary of State has visited Israel more than he has been to any other country. With each visit he turns the screw ever tighter, with his present plan that Israel give the Jordan Valley to the Arabs, with Yerushalayim not far behind.
Amos when referring to the fourth sin of the regional powers, deems it to be the worst, for it encapsulates parts of the preceding three.

The US administrations – all of them – are as loyal to Israel as Aisav was to Ya’akov. The US takes its lion share of the relationship while leaving Israel dependent on the crumbs they throw to us.

At present, the US is coercing the Jewish State to dismember itself limb by limb. They are doing it tactfully under the cover of political correctness. The US as a legalistic society does not care about the moral outcome of their acts, as long as they are covered by contractual documentation.

It’s analogous to one who takes his car back from repair, and is asked to sign that he is satisfied with the work, when in fact he has no idea that the mechanics know that he will have to come back in a month. But the paper legally covers the garage.

The idea behind the US assault on Israel is to reach a written agreement with the unscrupulous Arabs, which is not worth the paper it is written on, but will permit the US to gracefully retreat from their “obligations” to Israel and leave the Middle East.

But this is not the real story. Because what is behind the US and the European countries is a Christian agenda. It has been the Christian agenda of 2000 years to negate all that is stated and promised in the Bible. Specifically that we are the chosen nation of Hashem, with the Land of Israel the indisputable, substantive and essential guarantor of the covenant between the Creator and Am Yisrael.

That is the real story – Aisav vs. Ya’akov as it unfolds in our time with Medinat Yisrael as the “tug of war” between the chosen Jews of HaShem and the rejected nations.

Shabbat Shalom!
Nachman Kahana

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Medical Marijuana Proposal Adopted by Cabinet Will Make Matters Worse

By Moshe Feiglin

Yesterday, Health Minister Yael German passed a proposal in the cabinet that ‘regulates’ medical marijuana. “Read my lips,” I said to Yael German and her Health Ministry CEO Rony Gimzo, who tried to convince me of the benefits of their proposal. “We will meet in half a year and you will see that the situation has deteriorated.”
What is the problem? Why do they insist on making it more complicated for so many victims of serious illness to get relief for their pain? Why shouldn’t the people suffering from MS be able to get the cannabis that so clearly helps them?
Some people think that the reason is corruption – plain and simple. That suspicion is not unwarranted: the proposal passed in the cabinet and the fact that the Sarel drug company received a monopoly on the distribution of medical cannabis raises very serious questions. But the corruption – if it exists – is the result, not the cause of the problem.
The reason for the Health Ministry’s insistence on maintaining its control over cannabis distribution is much more than simple corruption. Cannabis is an entity that the government and medical establishments cannot grasp. It is not a medicine; it is simply a plant. It is not clear exactly how it works. Cannabis eludes all their control paradigms. It doesn’t come in a capsule with dosage and manufacturer  instructions. They do not really control it. They are not really sovereign over it. The Master of the World is the sovereign and what we need is some humility, basic modesty and understanding that there are things that we cannot wrap our brains around – but they exist, nevertheless. In other words, we must be willing to admit that we are not G-d.
Those who do merit this understanding and faith are truly free. They have been liberated from servitude to the worst form of idolatry: servitude to themselves.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

“Legal Robbery” Draining Society of Millions

By Moshe Feiglin

Yesterday evening, when I was acting Speaker of the Knesset, the Knesset conducted deliberations on the topic of poverty. Most of the speakers bemoaned the cut in the government funded child stipends. “Why didn’t they cut the stipends for the millionaires?” I asked. One billion shekels are paid out every year to millionaires who receive a government stipend (called a “budgetary pension”) of over 30,000 shekels per month. That is the the data that I received from the Finance Minister.
But nobody dares to upset those millionaires; the most prominent of whom are the veterans of the justice system. Just ask former Attorney Generals Michael Ben Yair, Elyakim Rubinstein or Meni Mazuz if it is appropriate for retired AGs to receive a pension of 86,000 shekels per month. How many children could we have fed with these monthly sums, legally robbed from the public coffers?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We are the Whipping Boy of the Middle East

Moshe Feiglin in the Knesset

(English Subtitles)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Feiglin: The 'Right' Has Disappeared From Knesset

Tevet 17, 5774, 20/12/13 01:11
Feiglin is only nationalist camp MK to vote for bill against dividing Jerusalem, says right acting in way that led to Gush Katif.

Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva Staff
Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Moshe Feiglin was the only MK from the nationalist camp to vote in favor of MK Yaakov Litzman's (UTJ) bill requiring 80 MKs to approve any withdrawals from Jerusalem, Israel's capital. The bill was rejected on Wednesday.

Only 12 MKs voted for the bill, all of whom were from the hareidi-religious parties other than Feiglin.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva​, Feiglin said, "I looked at the empty seats of Likud, Jewish Home, and Yisrael Beytenu, and when their names were called and 'not present' was called - I thought to myself, truly the 'right' is not present."

Feiglin accused the government of adopting a position like that which led to the expulsions from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, saying "then too ministers from the right didn't want to resign because they said the law would pass in any case."

"That's what happened yesterday, there are places where politics ends," stated Feiglin. He added "I'm not more of a patriot than (MK Tzipi) Hotovely or (MK Orit) Struk, but here was a true chance to remove the political fog from above Jerusalem and to determine that it will not be the subject of negotiations."

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid were among the votes against the proposal.
Feiglin asserted that Livni's strong opposition to the bill proves that Jerusalem is on the table in the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) that she is running.

"The left constantly feels the country belongs to them, and even if they're a minority they fight for their path," remarked Feiglin, saying "but here when such an important law was proposed, all of the right disappeared, and I ask why."

On Wednesday, Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri similarly criticized the "nationalist" government for turning its back on the bill. Deri commented "those who call themselves a right-wing government chose to forgo the opportunity to keep Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, united."

Israel Must Regain Sovereignty Over the Negev

By Moshe Feiglin

As the only member of the government coalition who, from the very start, voted against the Prawer Plan to regulate Bedouin land ownership, I congratulated former Minister Benny Begin and the government of Israel on their decision to scrap the bill at the beginning of this week. But then something strange happened: On Monday, I braved my way through the largest mounds of snow that Israel has seen in 100 years  to get to the Knesset Interior Committee meeting. What I discovered is that the snow at the Knesset is covering much more than the asphalt: It is covering a lot of lies.
The government announced that it had scrapped the bill to bribe the Bedouins (to compensate and relocate un-zoned Beoduin settlements) known as the Prawer Plan. But the truth is that the Interior Committee is moving full steam ahead, preparing the bill for its second and third readings in the Knesset.
“We have to pass it,” a nationalist MK said to me.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because now, Israel does not enforce any laws in the Negev. After we pass the law, we will be able to enforce the law against the Bedouin land grab.”
“Do you remember that former PM Rabin promised us that if the Arabs shoot just one bullet from the guns that we gave them, we will let them have it and nullify the Oslo Accords? Do you remember that former PM Sharon promised that after we retreat from Gush Katif we will have legitimacy to take whatever military action necessary in Gaza? The Prawer Plan works on the same principle. Israel surrenders sovereignty and its present ability to enforce the law, hoping to gain legitimacy to act in exchange. This process always leads to the opposite result. We lose our sovereignty (in this case, in the Negev) and also our legitimacy as a sovereign nation.”
Instead of forging ahead with the Prawer Plan after it has already scrapped it, Israel must now announce that the forty year opportunity that it gave to the Bedouins to prove their claims of land ownership in the Negev are over. From now on, those lands will return to the exclusive and full sovereignty of the State of Israel. The State of Israel must develop those lands and market them in the entire Negev to all citizens interested in purchasing them – Bedouins and Jews alike.

Fear G-d, Not Men

A Torah Thought by Moshe Feiglin

And the midwives feared G-d and they did not do as the King of Egypt said to them and they kept the children alive. (From this week’s Torah portion, Shmot, Exodus 1:17)
Time and again, fear of G-d ensures life. The Israelite midwives in Egypt are not willing to murder the baby boys who they help deliver. But it is not their natural mothering instincts that compel them to defy the directive of the Egyptian tyrant. It is a different quality that saved the babies – fear of G-d.
When Joseph calms his frightened brothers before he imprisons Shimon, he provides them with a guarantee that he will not kill them:  ”And Joseph said to them on the third day, Do this and live, I fear G-d.” (Genesis 42:18)
When Avimelech asks Abraham why he didn’t tell the truth about his wife, Abraham answers with complete honesty: 
“And Abraham said, ‘Because I said, just that there is no fear of G-d in this place and they will kill me due to my wife." 
Where there is no fear of G-d, there is murder.  Fear of Heaven is the cure for all the shocking murders that plague us. But we also learn something else from the midwives. 
And they did not do as the King of Egypt said to them.”
Where there is fear of Heaven, there is no fear of the cruel king. A person who has fear of the true King is not afraid and does not obey the criminal orders of a king of flesh and blood. Blind obedience is actually a lack of fear of Heaven.
There is another lesson that we learn from the short story of the midwives. For some reason, Pharaoh does not punish them. Pharaoh is a precursor of Hitler, may his name be blotted out. Our Sages’ depictions of his cruelty are hair raising. But the midwives – two women who defy the king – get out unscathed. Why?
“And all the nations of the earth will see that the Name of G-d is called upon you and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28)
When a person fears Heaven, the nations of the world fear him. Even the all-powerful Pharaoh does not dare harm the midwives.

Shabbat Shalom

The Turning of Moshe and Facts are Stranger than Fiction: HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Shemot 5774

Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Parashat Shemot

Part A: Mysteries Hidden in the Parasha
At the heart of our Parasha is one of the most emotionally charged human dramas in history, before which the greatest plays of Shakespeare pale.

The story of the child with the Hebrew name Tuvia (or Avigdor), who later became the Egyptian called Moshe.

The following are only a few of the mysteries hidden in the Parasha.
The Torah relates that Moshe went out one day “to his brothers and he saw their suffering, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew of his brothers.” Moshe is so reviled by the scene that he kills the Egyptian.

1) Why was Moshe so shocked at the beating of a Jewish slave? Did he not know that millions of Jews were being beaten daily?

2) If indeed the conduct of the Egyptian taskmaster justified his being punished, why did Moshe not bring the matter before his adopted father, the Pharaoh? Why did he prefer to run away?

3) Of all people in the land of Midian, how is it that Moshe finds himself “by chance” in the house of Yitro?

4) At the scene of the mysterious burning bush, for a period of seven days, Moshe rejects HaShem’s command that he return to Egypt. How does one argue with the Creator for even an instant, much less a whole week?

5) How does Moshe enter the palace — and attain an audience with Pharaoh — seemingly at will? And when he orders Pharaoh to free millions of slaves, why does Pharaoh tolerate Moshe at all? Why does he not give the order to rid himself of this man?

6) At the first meeting with Pharaoh which transpired before the first plague, a full year before the death of the firstborn Egyptians, Moshe already warns Pharaoh that his own “bechor” (firstborn) will “die.” But Pharaoh had no bechor, his only child was his daughter Batya (Bitya)?

I suggest the following but with reserve and apology if I am wrong.
We meet Moshe for the first time as an infant, the next time he appears in the Torah as an adult with the Egyptian name Moshe.
As a member of the royal family, being the adopted son of Batya, he was certainly well versed in Egyptian culture. He undoubtedly completed the officer’s training course at “West Point” and he was the honored guest at the cocktail parties given by the movers and shakers of Egyptian society.

Don’t believe that Amram and Yocheved had visitation rights with the young Moshe, and at these opportunities his true father taught him Yiddishkeit. Moshe was culturally an Egyptian. He was the beloved “son” of Pharaoh, and as the Midrash tells us, Pharaoh would often hold him on his lap. Pharaoh, his daughter, and many of the older courtiers (and probably Moshe himself), were aware of Moshe’s background — he was a Hebrew who was adopted by the childless Batya.

With this in mind Pharaoh, who very much loved the clever and handsome Moshe, was anxious to eradicate every semblance of Moshe’s past from the boy’s consciousness, and certainly anxious to hide from him the intolerable servitude of the Hebrew people. The way to do this was to distance Moshe from life’s realities. And as Rashi comments, Pharaoh appointed Moshe “al beito” — “over his palace,” whereby Moshe would remain far from matters of the realm, having to concentrate on the complex affairs of the royal court.
One day, the Torah relates, Moshe ventures out to see the hinterland. He perceives a scene which was totally unexpected — the mass oppression of the Jewish people as the basis of the Egyptian economy. He is overwhelmed when he sees a taskmaster beating a Jewish slave. Moshe’s sense of outrage arouses him to punish the oppressor.

Moshe is distraught — not because he killed the man, but rather, he was traumatized at the knowledge that Pharaoh, the man he loved as a father, is capable of this inhuman treatment to a people who did only good for the Egyptian nation. It is like waking up one day to find out that one’s father was the commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Moshe could confront Pharaoh with the fact that he is now aware of the secret which was being held back from him. But to do so would be to accuse the man, who Moshe loved so much, of heinous crimes; Pharaoh, who saved Moshe from death and provided him with the life of a prince. Moshe saw only one way out — to run away. Because to fulfill his moral obligation of standing up to Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian leadership was too awesome a task.

Moshe arrives at the home of Yitro. Who was Yitro? The Talmud (Tractate Sota) tells us that Pharaoh had three advisors: Yitro, Bil’am and Ei’yov. When Pharaoh brought up the matter of enslaving the Jews, Bil’am agreed, Ei’yov gave no opinion and Yitro RAN AWAY.
HaShem plans it that Moshe, the RUNAWAY from his responsibilities, finds himself in the home of the original runaway, Yitro. During the cold winter nights of Midian, while sitting around the fire, Moshe looks at Yitro and thinks to himself: if Yitro had not escaped his moral responsibilities, and had he rejected outright the proposal to enslave the Jews, there would have been no slavery. And Yitro, who knew Moshe as a child, looks at Moshe and thinks that Moshe is the only person in the kingdom who can influence Pharaoh, but Moshe ran away!

One day, Moshe is tending the sheep at Mount Chorev, and sees a wondrous sight — a burning bush which is not consumed. He draws closer and hears a voice. But it is not the voice of HaShem. It is the influence of this holy place which arouses Moshe’s conscience. For seven days Moshe’s conscience paralyzes him at that spot. To return and confront Pharaoh with the fact that he is a despot, or to let time run its course? At the end of seven days Moshe resolves his conflict and decides to return and help his Jewish family. At this point HaShem appears to Moshe, but only after Moshe’s internal decision was to do the right thing.

Moshe returns to Egypt and to the palace; to the place of his childhood and to his beloved “mother” Batya, and to Pharaoh whom he dearly loves.

I picture the scene as follows: Moshe arrives at the palace gates, after being away (according to one opinion) for forty years. He requests of the guard to allow him entrance to the palace, to speak with Pharaoh. The sentry asks him if he has an appointment? Moshe says he does not, but requests the sentry to inform Pharaoh that “Moshe” is here. The sentry goes inside to Pharaoh’s personal secretary telling him that a certain “Moshe” wants to see Pharaoh. The secretary probably answered that without a previous appointment no one can see Pharaoh. The sentry tells the secretary that the strange-looking man said to tell Pharaoh that “Moshe” wishes an audience. The private secretary goes into the throne room and tells Pharaoh that a certain “Moshe” wishes an audience. Pharaoh jumps up and calls out to Batya to come immediately. “Moshe is back!” Moshe comes in. Pharaoh looks at Moshe and asks, “Where have you been all this time? Look. Your mother Batya who saved your life, look at her eyes which have not stopped crying out of longing for you.” Then Pharaoh says to Moshe, “What do you have to say for yourself?”

Moshe looks at Pharaoh and at his beloved Batya, and with tears in his eyes calls out to Pharaoh “sh’lach et ami” — “let my people go!” Pharaoh descends from his throne and says, “Moshe, WE are your people!” Moshe answers, “The Israelite slaves are my people.” And Moshe continues, “And if you do not send out the Jews, then HaShem will kill your first born son.” But since Pharaoh has no son, Moshe was telling Pharaoh that if does not free the Jews then he, Moshe, will no longer feel as a son to Pharaoh. Pharaoh cannot bear this threat from his beloved Moshe, but he also cannot free the slaves.

I cannot prove that this is in fact what transpired, but it must have been very similar. For it must have been Pharaoh’s love towards Moshe which prevented the former from killing the man who would overturn the entire national order. And it had to be a person like Moshe, who was intimately associated with Pharaoh, who could come before the royal court and not be overwhelmed by the grandeur of the ambiance.

The emotional scenes between Moshe and Pharaoh end in a very surprising way. Chazal say that all the Egyptian army was destroyed at the crossing of Yam Suf except for one person who was saved — Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh is saved by HaShem in deference to Moshe’s love for the man who so much loved Moshe.

Now, Moshe’s mission was to bring Pharaoh down to his knees, and agree to free the Jewish nation. But how can Moshe, who is eternally grateful to Pharaoh and Batya for everything they did for him, bring suffering to those he loved and respected so much?

HaShem has to cause a change of heart in Moshe regarding Pharaoh and all of the ministers and courtiers he knows so well. Moshe has to come from the heights of love to the heights of enmity and hostility. HaShem succeeds in bringing this about by sending Moshe to Pharaoh to plead for his people. But when Pharaoh refuses and indeed commands that the yoke of servitude be made heavier, Moshe sees the man for what he really is. Moshe is now in the mindset to bring punishment upon Pharaoh.

Part B: Facts are often Stranger than Fiction
If a Jewish periodical would have published the following prediction, during the 80th year of the cruel and relentless period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, what would a rational person conclude?
“An individual who was a major member of Paro’s royal court will soon reveal himself to be a Jew and will lead the Jewish slaves to freedom.”

The rational reader would conclude that the writer was merely trying to draw the readers’ attention.

And if the article continued, “This individual will bring about ten plagues which in one year will cause havoc with the Egyptian economy, cause great physical pain to all the Egyptians and bring the Angel of Death to every Egyptian family”.

The rational reader would conclude that the writer was delusional.
And if the article continued: “Paro will be forced to permit all the Jewish slaves to leave the country taking with them all of the Egyptian wealth. However, 80% of the Jews – numbering millions of people – will refuse to follow their great leader and, instead, will choose to remain in Egypt and die during the plague of darkness.”
At this point, the rational reader would conclude that the writer was guilty of drug abuse.

And if the article continued: “The newly freed Jewish people will experience a spiritual revelation resulting in their being designated as the Creator’s chosen nation. And after one year of sojourn in the desert, they will be commanded by God to enter the Holy Land. However, out of fear of the resident Canaanites, they will refuse and the entire male generation of 600,000 men will die”.

At this point, the rational reader would conclude that the writer who suggested that 80% of the nation will refuse to leave Egypt and die and another 600,000 men will refuse HaShem’s directive to enter the Land and will die, is not delusional nor is he under the influence of drugs but simply a lowlife anti-Semite searching out the iniquities of the Jewish people.

Now, if in the year 1900, a periodical would have published the following predictions, what would a rational Jew think?
“After the prayers of 2000 years that HaShem restore His people to Eretz Yisrael, a grassroots movement has begun functioning to arouse the Jewish people to return home, but will encounter opposition from many illustrious religious leaders.”

The rational reader would conclude that the writer was merely trying to draw attention, because rabbis would be the first to lead the people in returning to the holy land.

And if the article would continue: “In forty years, the enlightened Germans together with many willing Christian and Moslem helpers will construct extermination camps where over 7 million Jews (the present estimate of historians) will be shot, gassed and burned to death”.

The rational reader would conclude that the writer was delusional, because: 1- the enlightened peoples of Europe could never do such things, and 2- by that time the Jews of Europe would already have followed their rabbis to Eretz Yisrael.

And if the article continued: “After the murders, two thirds of the world’s nations will join in an organization called the United Nations and vote for the establishment of an independent Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael. However, a great number of religious Jews the world over will choose not to return to the Holy Land, but will continue to pray to HaShem that He bring them home.

At this point, the rational reader would conclude that the writer is suffering from drug abuse, because if the world’s nations would ever vote for a Jewish State it would be the obvious “hand” of HaShem.
And if the article continued: “There will be very vocal religious groups in the galut which will side with the worst of the Jewish State’s enemies, such as Iran who has stated publicly that they will erase the Jewish State. And there will be large numbers of religious people in the State of Israel who will prefer to go to jail or worse, just not to serve in Tzahal.”

At this point, the reader would conclude that the writer who suggested that Jews who are faithful to the Torah will refuse to leave the galut, and some will extend help to our enemies, and others would disregard the great mitzva of defending the Jewish people in the Holy Land, is not delusional nor under the influence of drugs but simply an anti-Semite. Because the first to join in the defense of Eretz Yisrael would be the dati’im in the spirit of King David.
Facts are often stranger than fiction, and nothing is more difficult than correlating the conduct of certain groups and cults with the ideals of classic Judaism.

Love of fellow Jew. Love of Eretz Yisrael and willingness to defend our sovereignty against all enemies (the essence of the Books of Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel and Melachim). And the presentation of Torah and mitzvot in a way which touches the “pintele Yid” and draws him and her into the golden circle of G-d’s chosen people.
Too many of our fellow Jews are suffering from amnesia, forgetting who we are, who our ancestors were, from where we have come and where we are supposed to be. May HaShem have pity on us – His children – and send us leaders who are blessed with the spirit of ahavat Torah and ahavat Yisrael.

Shabbat Shalom!Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5774/2013 Nachman Kahana