Friday, November 30, 2018

Rav Kook's Ein Ayah: Broad Knowledge for those on the Verge, Not Beyond it

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:8)

Gemara: Rav Zeira found Rav Yehuda when he was by the entrance of his father-in-law’s home. He saw that Rav Yehuda was in a happy mood and that if he asked him any question about anything “in space” (i.e., in the world), he would give the answer.

Ein Ayah: There is a phenomenon of an elevated spirit to the point that it conceives all sorts of conceptions that exceed all boundaries, including the boundaries of the holy confines of the details of the Torah. Realize that the Torah is compared to a woman, as it is the practical, outward expression of the wisdom. In contrast, the wisdom itself comes from Hashem, Who is represented by the woman’s father.

When one has an elevated soul, the happiness exceeds all boundaries, and the whole world can be seen from the internal side of the wise spirit. The paths of wisdom break forth to be able to view everything, from the lofty to the lowest and most trivial matters. He can view not only matters that can be grasped through intellectuality and logic, but even things that seem to be improper for the developed mind to spend time thinking about, things that can be expressed in terms of air and space. These too will be illuminated by the great person’s mind when it “flies” beyond all boundaries.

This is represented by the metaphor of Rav Yehuda being by the entrance of the home of his father-in-law (i.e., Hashem), at which time his spirit was open to understanding everything without limitations. While he would naturally be focusing on lofty matters, the questioner would be able to take him to any matter, including those that are simple and insignificant, and Rav Yehuda would be willing to answer.

When one is on the vergeof divine understanding, the flow of understanding could even take him to matters in the simple physical world. The abundant inspiration of the hidden world actually makes all of wisdom open before him. Everything becomes clear and unified. When one has both the highest thoughts and also connects to the most mundane things, this is described as a happy mood, and questions of limited depth are solved immediately.

It is different when the scholar goes beyond the entranceway but actually “goes into his father-in-law’s house.” While he enjoys his exposure to the light of Hashem and His goodness, he is no longer described as being in a good mood, which allows him to look from above to below, from the sacred world to the mundane world. Along with the spiritual enjoyment of one who is inside, there is a certain “heaviness of the head” and a joyous trembling, as the greatest lights shower down upon him, taking him to a place higher than the place from which he came. His thirst for Hashem and his fear, full of an appreciation of sanctity, grow. At the same time, he is distanced from the logic of mundane matters, as thoughts of the divine erase them. He is not able to answer questions about matters in “the space of the world.”

Therefore, the time to ask questions about matters of the mundane world is when one is by the entrance to the deeper levels. Then, questions can bring him to focus on solutions to simple dilemmas.

Moshe Feiglin on Kan Moreshet Radio: New Possibility of Early Elections and Why Zehut will not Run with Otzma Yehudit

As time goes on, it is becoming clear that the factor that will determine if Israel will go to early elections or not, is if the Sa’ar Bill will be passed or not. The proposed bill says that after elections, the president will automatically appoint the person whose party won the most votes to form the government coalition. For Netanyahu, this is a matter of political survival.

Netanyahu believes that he will be re-elected. This time, however, it will be under the shadow of an indictment. He fears that the president will take advantage of the delicate situation and will appoint a different MK of the winning party (Likud) - in this case, Gideon Sa’ar, to form the coalition and then become prime minister. The current law allows the president to do so. If the Sa’ar Bill is passed, the President will be required to appoint the party chairman, in this case, Netanyahu.

On the day that the Sa’ar Bill is passed, get ready for early elections. Moshe Feiglin discussed this and why Zehut will not be merging with the Otzma Yehudit party on Kan Moreshet Radio.

Do you think that the PM is paranoid? Or that Gideon Sa’ar really is planning with President Rivlin to usurp his place in forming the next coalition?

I think the PM is correct. I know all the people involved here: The Prime Minister, President Rivlin and Gideon Sa’ar. You will see that this scenario is true. It is very possible that this is why Netanyahu did not want the government to fall two weeks ago.

If the Likud will unfortunately win the elections again, I believe that President Rivlin will say that he believes in democracy, but he cannot appoint a person who has been indicted to form the coalition. As a result, he will say, “I have turned to the other parties and asked them who they would recommend from the Likud to form the coalition. The other parties will recommend Gideon Sa’ar, who has always been sure to cultivate ties with Israel’s Left over the years.

Why don’t you join with Otzma Yehudit as a technical bloc in order for both parties to enter the Knesset? After the elections, you can separate.

The marijuana party also want to create a technical bloc with Zehut in order to get past the voting threshold and into the Knesset. But we will not join with Otzma Yehudit or the marijuana party or even the Jewish Home party. Zehut is not a sectoral party. We turn to the entire Israeli population with a very broad, coherent agenda.

Did you calculate how many votes you will lose as opposed to how many you would gain by running with Otzma Yehudit? Is this a political decision or a principled decision?

Both political and principled. I like the Otzma people very much. I agree with much of what they do and their ideology. But we must understand that their real merger should be with the National Union party. Both of their platforms are more religiously-based and in favor of a more centralized economy. Parties have to know who their natural partners are. I hope that they will get together and we will all cooperate from within the Knesset.

Why you should wash your hands

by Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz

By two wings a man is lifted up from things earthly: by simplicity and purity. -Thomas Kempis

Jews have an ancient ritual of washing hands after using the bathroom, and before eating bread. While the command pre-dates any concept of hygiene and was likely one of the reasons why Jews survived the Black Plague in such large numbers, the Berdichever gives a much deeper, mystical reason for the practice.

He explains that one of our missions in this material world, is through our thoughts and actions to release and elevate “sparks” that permeate our physical existence and move them to the spiritual plane. Only humans, who are the bridge between the physical and the spiritual have that capability and purpose.

Therefore, every act we do, even the most mundane ones, should ideally have the intent and purpose of elevating those hidden sparks from the material and superficial to the spiritual and sublime. We have the power to take the finite and temporal and somehow, just by having the right intention and effort, make it infinite, timeless.

That, the Berdichever states, is the secret of washing hands (Netilat Yadaim in Hebrew). By washing hands in the ritual fashion, we are elevating those particular sparks in time and space. Washing hands is somehow related to three instances where God’s “hand” is referenced to in the Torah: “the great hand,” “the high hand,” and “the strong hand,” and the washing of our hands on each occasion as prescribed, elevates those trapped sparks and returns them to their divine root.

This is also connected to the blessing on eating bread, “Blessed are You, God, our God, King of the World, Who takes out bread from the earth.” The word “earth” relates to the physicality of this world. “Who takes out” refers to retrieving those divine sparks from the material and converting them, returning them back to their spiritual origin.

As a physical, material, earthly being, I often feel like I have no idea what the Berdichever is talking about. However, some part of me, some spiritual stirring perhaps, feels like I’m touching on something familiar, something forgotten, something beyond my physical senses, beyond even rational comprehension. If we believe that we are indeed souls clothed in physical bodies, that our corporeal self is merely a shell, a host for our eternal spirits, then the Berdichever is giving us hints and guides for the spiritual beings that we ultimately are.

May we reach growing levels of understanding and the comprehension that really, it’s all for God, and we each need to find our own way, our own purpose in this divine scheme.

Shabbat Shalom.

A Protest on Behalf of the High Cost of Living

by Moshe Feiglin

The pain of the cement workers is clear and we can identify with their traffic-blocking protest.

But the implications of continuing the ban on import of cement to Israel will be that the cost of the expensive Israeli cement will be covered by the young couples and those who have a hard time affording a home of their own. It is much more logical to open the cement market, bring down the cost of building materials and housing prices – and to levy a new tax on all Israelis: the cement workers tax.

Just think about it:

The cement workers will sit at home and continue to receive their salaries. Their unneeded salaries will not burden only the lower-income families, but will be equally divided between everyone. And we won’t even have to deal with the air pollution from the cement factories…

And now, seriously. All regulation, any blocking of the open market will ultimately fall on the shoulders of the lower income population. Those who gain from the mad centralization of Israel’s economy are the industries with a strong lobby, the cronies and the insiders.

Furthermore, the next time the cement workers decide to block traffic, they should ask my advice on how to do it properly. Or they should read my book, “Where There Are No Men”.

Click here for Zehut's economic platform.

Ya’akovism vs. Aisavism

Parashat Vayishlach-Vayaishev 5779
by HaRav Nachman Kahana

The central theme of these two parshiot is JEWISH IDENTITY – Ya’akovism vs. Aisavism, or to put it plainly: as with the practice of medicine where wellness is defined as the absence of sickness; in Judaism, Ya’akovism is defined as the absence of Aisavism. And just as a minor illness excludes the sufferer from the status of wellness, even an infinitesimal dose of Aisavism excludes a Jew from the distinctive, unique, sacred, aristocratic status of Ya’akovism.

In parashat Vayishlach, Ya’akov Aveinu returns home triumphantly, as Chazal say: “spiritually, physically and materially whole”. But a dark cloud hovers as he learns that waiting to greet him in Eretz Yisrael is his brother Aisav, accompanied by 400 “armed to the teeth” cohorts.

Ya’akov prepares for the fateful meeting, not only of two alienated brothers, but the collision of two ways of life, both of which are destined to influence humanity until the end of time.

Ya’akov is gripped with fear. He devises a three-pronged strategy: to appease Aisav with gifts, to pray, and to prepare for battle. And just to make sure, if these should fail, Ya’akov divides his loved ones and material possessions into two camps, so that in the event Aisav destroys one, the other will have an opportunity to survive.

Ya’akov is desperate. On this day, his destiny, and that of the Jewish nation hang in the balance; tomorrow it will be resolved in the life and death struggle between him and his brother.

In view of Ya’akov’s pessimism, we cannot escape the seemingly unexplainable change of heart on the part of Ya’akov. At the height of the drama, just before Ya’akov is about to meet his brother, he unites the two camps into one. The Torah even relates by name the order in which the family stood at the approach of Aisav: Bilhah and Zilpah with their children first, Leah and her children second, with Yosef and Rachel last.

How did his fear dissipate?

The answer is in the mysterious episode that separates the opening pesukim describing Ya’akov’s trepidations and the perilous meeting with Aisav – the all-night wrestling match between Ya’akov and the angel.

The mystery lies not only with a man physically fighting an angel, but the pasuk itself is contradictory. In chapter 32:25, the Torah says: “And Ya’akov remained alone – and a man began wrestling with him until daylight”. Now, if Ya’akov was “alone”, how did he wrestle with a man?

I submit that Ya’akov was indeed alone; the only man who was present was Ya’akov himself. Ya’akov was wrestling and struggling with himself – with a desperate spiritual dilemma: “HaShem promised that He would bring me home safely, so why am I terrified at the very thought of meeting my brother? What can Aisav do to me or to my family in light of HaShem’s promise? But the fact is my heart is filled with terror. Does this mean that I do not believe in HaShem’s promise? So who am I – a believing Jew who does not relate to the so-called realities of life but to HaShem the Master of all things; or am I so superficial that I am unable to overcome the tests that HaShem places in my path?”

All night Ya’akov struggles to define his spirituality, of which Aisav might also be a part, for they are twins in body but perhaps also in soul. Ya’akov agonizes with the greatest struggle that has ever crossed his path: “Is there still a part of Aisav within me, or did I succeed in exorcising it?” Ya’akov agonizes in this struggle during the night of his life, when the truth is imperceptible. But at the first rays of morning light, the light of clarity, Ya’akov resolves his perplexing spiritual dilemma, declaring, “I am a totally believing Jew. Not one iota of Aisav is within me. No more compromise. No gifts for Aisav. No more division into two camps. Rather reliance on the promise that HaShem chose me and my descendants for all time.”

Ya’akov returns to his family and merges the two camps into one, fully confident in his inner strength which he now projects to the family, and all are prepared to face the antagonist of all that is holy to Am Yisrael.

Ya’akov identifies himself as “Ya’akov” and “Yisrael”.

Regarding parashat Vayeshev, many quills have been broken and much ink spilled in attempts to explain why Yosef’s brothers wished to distance him from the family.

The rationale appearing in Rashi is that the brothers’ hatred stemmed from Yosef’s having revealed to their father that they had violated the prohibition against dismembering an animal while it is still alive. But this is highly problematic, for this act is forbidden even to the gentile descendants of Noah!

I submit: HaShem chose us, the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov from all the nations. But unlike the other nations whose cultures evolved in stages, with individuals integrating as families, families as tribes and tribes as nations, the Jewish People received our entire divine way of life in one moment at Mount Sinai. But what was the status of the Jewish “family” prior to HaShem’s revelation at Mount Sinai? Were they Jews like us in every sense of the word, or were they entirely non-Jews, or perhaps something else? In other words: were they Ya’akov or Aisav, or perhaps a little of both?

This question stood at the heart of the argument that erupted between Yosef and his brothers.

One of the seven Noachide laws is the prohibition against dismembering an organ or flesh from a living animal – אבר מן החי- “Ever Min HeChai”, literally, “a limb from the living”.

This commandment differs from the other Torah laws in that the Torah is stricter with the gentile than with a Jew in determining an animal’s moment of death. For Jews cutting the majority of the trachea and esophagus (or one of the two in the case of a kosher fowl), constitutes death of the animal permitting one to begin dismembering it. For non-Jews, however, an animal is considered dead only when its death throes entirely cease.

The dispute between Yosef and his brothers focused on the question of their religious/national status before receiving of the Torah, finding practical expression in how the moment of death that renders an animal to be dismembered.

The brothers argued that they were Jews -Ya’akov in every regard, and they would customarily cut limbs from animals immediately after cutting the trachea and esophagus, without waiting for the animal to come to rest. Yosef agreed that they were Jews in every sense, but only outside the Land of Israel. Inside the Land, they were obligated to abide by all the strictness applying to Jews and to non-Jews. Thus, according to Yosef’s approach regarding the Land of Israel, removing limbs from an animal when it is still moving constituted a violation of Ever Min HeChai.

What led Yosef to this conclusion was his mother Rachel’s death immediately upon her entrance into the Land. Rachel and Leah were forbidden to marry one husband since they were sisters. Yet Ya’akov, as a Jew, had converted them, and the law is that a convert is like a newborn, such that the family connection between the sisters had ceased. When Yosef saw that his mother had died immediately upon entering the land, he concluded that their conversion, with all of its ramifications, was binding only outside the Land. In the Land of Israel, however, they were bound by all the strictness applying to Jews and to non-Jews. It thus turned out that Rachel and Leah were still considered sisters according to the laws applying to non-Jews. That was why Rachel was taken away from Ya’akov.

Yosef’s halachic position maintained that his father should have divorced Leah before they entered the Land, thereby saving Rachel from death.

In Parashat Vayechi, when close to his death, Ya’akov revealed to Yosef that his conclusion based on Rachel’s death that the strictness of both Jews and non-Jews applied to the family in Eretz Yisrael was erroneous. Your mother Rachel died and was buried there because fifteen hundred years later, with the destruction of the First Temple, those setting out for the exile would pass by way of Efrat, and Rachel would emerge from her grave to weep and pray for her children.

Ya’akov rejects the notion that he and his children are anything less than total “Ya’akov,” without a trace of Aisav.

Two parshiot of uncompromising Jewish identity.

Conclusion: There are many opportunities in life when one is called upon to define and clarify his role as a Jew. For us in Eretz Yisrael there is no room for choice – we eat, drink, breath and live in the eternal shadow of our forefathers. We are not jew-ISH, we are Jews!

In contrast, the most conscious jew in galut who wants to be a “Ya’akov” cannot let go of the Aisavism in his soul.

In the matter of Ya’akov vs. Aisav it matters not if one is a leading rabbinic figure or an assimilated Jew, both are not Ya’akovs because they choose to live with Aisav. With the difference between the rabbis and the assimilated camp being the quantitative degree of Aisavism they choose to bring into their lives.

The intermarried Jew identifies totally with Aisav, whereas the “ben torah” in galut is Ya’akov prior to that significant night when he fought with the Aisavism in him to become absolute Ya’akov.

In current times…

An example of what I mean is transpiring at this very moment in the State of Connecticut where Agudat Yisrael is holding its 97th yearly conference in an exclusive hotel and enjoying the pleasures that an Aisavistic culture can provide. Leading Chareidi rabbinic figures are there. What will they answer in the real world where absolute truth reigns?

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5779/2018 Nachman Kahana

Fake Orthodox Jews Against Trump

by Daniel Greenfield

You could find Rabbi Mike Moskowitz protesting for illegal aliens at “Moral Mincha” rallies organized by Torah Trumps Hate (TTH) and Hitoreri: An Orthodox Movement for Social Change.

Both lefty groups claim to be Orthodox Jewish organizations and with his black hat, dark suit and black beard, “Rabbi” Mike Moskowitz certainly looks the part of a real Orthodox Rabbi.

But he’s as real as Hitoreri and Torah Trumps Hate.

“Rabbi” Moskowitz is actually employed by Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a gay non-Orthodox institution. Its clerical leader, “Rabbi” Sharon Kleinbaum, was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, a movement that rejects the idea of both God and the Torah. While Beit Simchat Torah’s views aren’t unusual within its movement, its anti-Israel politics have made it controversial.

During a previous war with Hamas, an exodus of pro-Israel members occurred at Beit Simchat Torah after it was caught praying for Hamas terrorists and hosting BDS bigots.

“Recent events have demonstrated that CBST is far more committed to a progressive political agenda than to the Jewish people,” Bryan Bridges, a former board member, wrote. “I couldn’t imagine raising a child in this congregation, and have that child hear, just before we recite Kaddish, the names of people who are trying to kill her grandparents.”

Bridges has higher standards than “Rabbi” Mike Moskowitz who collaborates with the institution as its “scholar-in-residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies”. Pro-Israel gay leaders have condemned Beit Simchat Torah’s collusion with Islamic homophobia and anti-Semitism.

Joining CBST’s clergy isn’t just an endorsement of gay rights, but of radical leftist and anti-Israel politics.

Mike Moskowitz is often wrongly described as an Orthodox Rabbi, his own site states that, “Rabbi Moskowitz was assigned secular, then identified as ultra-orthodox for but twenty years, and now embraces a religiously non-conforming identity.”

A Jewish Week article photo shows him with a clean shave and no black hat. A note in the article mentions that, “his old black hat” makes its appearance “when necessary”.

That apparently includes Hitoreri and Torah Trumps Hate rallies where the costume gives people the impression that they brought an Orthodox Rabbi out to protest Trump and Republicans.

Like Moskowitz, Hitoreri and Torah Trumps Hate are inauthentic and collaborate with anti-Israel hate groups.

Torah Trumps Hate is described as “a community of orthodox and orthodox-friendly Jews” who are part of the “resistance” to the results of the 2016 election. “Orthodox-friendly” is not Orthodox.

Elad Nehorai, a leading Torah Trumps Hate figure, admitted that the group was run by “Victoria Cook, a woman who doesn’t consider herself Orthodox anymore.” Cook has said that she doesn’t believe in G-d and had co-produced Screwed, a documentary “about pornographer Al Goldstein”.

Cook, an entertainment lawyer, is still described as Torah Trumps Hate’s “founder and leader” on its site while “leading Torah Trumps Hate into a future of activism and public-facing political actions.”

An organization claiming to represent Orthodox Jews is being led by someone who isn’t Orthodox.

It’s calling itself Torah Trumps Hate even though its leader and founder doesn’t believe in Torah.

Nehorai, TTH’s other key figure, is a lefty hipster who drifted around Chabad for a few years before breaking with the movement and getting a “quick”, “simple” rabbinic ordination that “mostly happened over email”. Nehorai has admitted, "I wasn’t an expert in Shabbat or Kashrut (laws of kosher food) or Niddah (marriage laws)," but, "I was an authority of my own Torah."

At an event in support of the March for Racial Justice, Cook claimed, “We are diverse”. Including, "those who are observant in other ways, to those like me who are OTD [off the derech, or lapsed Jews]."

Torah Trumps Hate appeared at the pro-black nationalist event along with Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Israel and pro-terrorist BDS hate group that has flirted with outright anti-Semitism.

Also, there was Farrakhan supporter, Linda Sarsour, who had urged Muslims to dehumanize Jews. At the rally, Sarsour warned, "we will not be intimidated by right-wing Zionists, by white supremacists, by racists."

On Twitter, Elad Nehorai claimed that "Calling out Farrakhan after Pittsburgh” is “also a sickening attempt to create racial division.”

Hitoreri was co-founded by Rebecca Krevat, a lefty feminist activist who called Birthright Israel, "rape culture".

Krevat has repeatedly retweeted attacks on Israel by anti-Israel activists. She also retweeted Linda Sarsour. Like Moskowitz, she worked with Uri L’Tzedek, a pseudo-orthodox group that serves as an incubator of lefty activists. And she co-authored at least one piece with Moskowitz.

Despite occasionally claiming to be Orthodox, Krevat largely retweets non-Orthodox clergy. There is nothing “Orthodox” in the lifestyle that she displays on her social media accounts. Over the summer, she tweeted about “feeling so inspired” at visiting the hateful premises of Beit Simchat Torah.

“This gorgeous shul embodies hospitality&inclusivity,” she tweeted about a place that its pro-Israel members are fleeing because it embodies support for terrorism and the murder of Jews.

Torah Trumps Hate and Hitoreri, which often appear to be interchangeable, recently attacked the National Council of Young Israel for praising President Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism. Its Moral Mincha attacked the Orthodox Union for honoring Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Its activism borrows the style of anti-Israel hate groups such as If Not Now which targets legitimate Jewish organizations in support of radical lefty causes. The protests are invariably deserted. On one video, Mike Moskowitz can be seen lecturing about the suffering of illegal aliens to what appears to be an audience of two women. Torah Trumps Hate and Hitoreri’s petitions struggle to reach 200 signatures.

These “Orthodox” Jewish protests suffer from a distinct shortage of Orthodox Jews. Their key figures are processed through the same pipeline of professional social justice groups. Their rants about white people and recitation of party line causes are equally interchangeable. But they are meeting a demand.

The demand does not come within the largely conservative Orthodox Jewish community. Instead it comes from lefty groups which have seen the rising Orthodox demographics and seek to hijack its voice for their causes. They are backing and promoting fake Orthodox social justice movements that do not represent and do not speak to the conservative values of a religious and traditional Jewish community.

“While we need the outside world to see that observant Jews have not lost their moral compass, we also want the bullying voices within the Jewish community to no longer be so sure that they have a majority of support,” Victoria Cook declared.

Victoria Cook, by her own admission, is not an observant Jew and does not believe in God.

Her activists are the ones trying to bully Orthodox Jews into remaining silent. They are targeting Orthodox Jewish organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of religious Jews. And they are doing it while collaborating with lefty anti-Semites in a profoundly anti-Semitic movement.

Fake Orthodox Jews campaigning against Trump would not have a fraction of the attention without a fake news media that gives them millions of dollars worth of unearned publicity.

The truth was always easy to find.

The Yishai Fleisher Show: United Colors of Israel

The son's of Jacob are united in the land of Israel - should be a great time, no? However, there are fractures in the family of Israel and they come out in this weeks Torah portion. Rav Mike joins Rabbi Yishai to talk about the sale of Joseph and his descent into imprisonment through the false allegations of Mrs. Potifar. And his dream interpretations there, plus Judah consorts with his daughter-in-law to protect the seed of Messiah?

Finally, Malkah Fleisher joins the show to talk about her incredible trip to the Ukraine and to the Tomb of the Baal Shem Tov.

Please stop playing with my Holocaust, Geraldo/Cortez

by Jack Engelhard

It appears that throughout this entire great country, we have but one proper news channel, Fox News, and even over there we can use a day without Juan Williams.
Or Geraldo Rivera.

There he was, saying that it is wrong to use the Holocaust to score political points, as Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) just did – which would have been a good place for him to stop.

For those who haven’t heard, Ocasio-Cortez, neither our best nor our brightest, compared
the migrants crashing our borders to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.

There is only one Holocaust, sweetheart. You might learn that when you grow up.

“At the same time,” Geraldo continued, these “poor people” have no choice but to come as they can because they have no legal system upon which to rely. it comes… Geraldo (as reported) went on to say, they have no friends, no rabbis, no fixers.

As if we did – the Jews. We had friends, rabbis and fixers. So where were they, you dumb klutz, for the Six Million who perished?

Personally, I was carried in a rucksack across the Pyrenees…and coming to America, through Canada, read this, there were no friends, rabbis or fixers.

In fact, the doors were closed. “None is too many,” declared Canada’s Mackenzie King. Likewise, the sainted FDR in America.

We were “the lucky ones,” as my mother often said – long story. We were lucky to get out in the nick of time.

But some 77,000 French Jews stayed a day too long and were handed over to the Gestapo.

What they did – they rounded up Jews throughout Europe and shot them through the head. When they ran short of bullets, they built the ovens.

Think Babi Yar. There, in Kiev, the Jews were ripped from their homes, rounded up, and in a single day, 33,721 were massacred…September 29-30, 1941.

Multiply that several hundred thousand times – and there’s the Holocaust.

Is anything like that happening in Central America?

Spare me the sob stories.

Those of us who did survive – the very few – we waited our turn. We did not come as a mob carrying the French flag or the German flag, or any other flag…as do these of today.

We were grateful to stand in line on the chance that here and there a door might open – and usually, as with my father, we were standing in the wrong line with insufficient papers.

Eight and a half years – at the cost of his health – he was tossed from this queue to another, until something finally cracked open.

But he never complained. The Survivors never did. They were grateful for anything and everything. They never felt that they were OWED.

They never felt that America owed them any favors. That is the entire difference in a nutshell.

The people who were spared Auschwitz were not seeking a better life…they were seeking life, period. Any kind of life.

Geraldo Rivera is a man in his 70s. By this time he should be less of a fool. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in her 20s and the product of our Progressive schools.

She cannot help but be an ignoramus. But either way, their beliefs are poisonous, indefensible and unconscionable.

Rabbi Ari Kahn on Parashat Vayeshev: Unequal

Be Harrison Ford, not Woody Allen

by Victor Rosenthal

I just googled “combating antisemitism” and got 7.5 million results. Apparently a lot of people are thinking about this. And well they should, given that Jew-hatred is rising sharply everywhere in the world, especially in the West. The old-style “paleo” antisemitism is going strong almost everywhere, Muslims have added some of the older European themes to their Koranic and anti-Israel narratives, and the Left is taking its obsessive anti-Zionism to new heights. Meanwhile, Right and Left are coming full circle to tell neo-Nazi stories about Rothschild and Soros (as if Soros is a friend of the Jews!)

So while all this is happening, everyone is in a tizzy about “combating” it. For example, the European Union has a basketful of programs to do so, led by a “coordinator on combating antisemitism,” and including a working definition, Holocaust remembrance observances, a program to monitor and report on it, special legislation making it illegal, and of course above all, education. At the same time they are pumping Euros into subversive NGOs in Israel and financing illegal Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria, but that is another story.

Everybody wants to get into the act. The US Department of State (the one that still refuses to put “Israel” on the American passports of people born in Jerusalem) has a “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism” to, er, monitor and combat it. Jewish federations, Hadassah, Chabad, B’nai B’rith, the Union for Reform Judaism, Germany, the UK Labour Party, and countless other rights organizations, religious groups, political parties, and national governments are doing it. Even some people at the UN have joined in.

How do you combat Jew-hatred? Most of those fighting it seem to think that the answer is education: the theory seems to be that if you teach people about the horrors of the Holocaust and the moral evil of bigotry, they will stop hating Jews. A great deal of resources are expended on doing this, but antisemitic incidents keep increasing.

Which is not surprising, since the theory is ridiculous. Jew-haters love to hear about the Holocaust. For one thing, it reinforces their beliefs to know that they are not alone. It gives them a warm feeling to think that a major nation led by a charismatic figure actually tried to carry out a genocide they would heartily approve of. Ridding the world of Jews isn’t just an impossible dream, they realize; someone almost succeeded! It also provides ammunition for demonstrations and Twitter campaigns: without Holocaust education, who would know to shout “Jews to the gas” at football/soccer games? And how better to exacerbate hatred of Jews than by accusing them of fabricating the Holocaust for financial gain?

Of course it is absolutely essential to preserve the historical memory of the Holocaust out of respect for the victims, as well as to teach Jews or other peoples threatened with genocide to take the threats seriously. But while Holocaust education is necessary for these reasons, it doesn’t reduce Jew-hatred – it facilitates it.

Telling people “not to hate,” and explaining that bigotry is wrong is of very marginal utility. Nobody in the West thinks that hating an ethnic group is morally good, but that doesn’t change their feelings. And in the Muslim world, hating Jews is an indispensable part of their culture. Even if people can be conditioned to reject prejudice against individuals, there seems to be no moral stricture against irrational hatred of the Jewish state, which is both a form of Jew-hatred itself and an excuse for other forms of it.

Probably the least helpful kind of “education” is that which lists the accomplishments of Jews: so many Nobel Prizes, great composers, performers, artists, scientists, writers. Look how good they have been for society, runs the argument. It should be clear that this simply feeds the envy of the Jew-hater, something that is almost always part of his psyche. It also is evidence (not that evidence is needed in the mind of the Jew-hater) for the correctness of the theory that there is an massive Jewish conspiracy, even a secret ruling class. Of course the Jews can control the world, they are so smart!

So how do we “combat antisemitism?” We can’t, directly. But we can combat antisemites. This is especially clear for the kind of Jew-hatred that expresses itself as hatred of Israel. Recently Israel allowed herself to be humiliated by Hamas, which burned thousands of acres of her fields and forests, and then launched the most intense rocket bombardment in Israel’s history. Our response, bombing unoccupied military targets, was tactically significant but psychologically impotent. The Jew-haters were gratified, because the Jews lived up to the stereotype: powerful and controlling, and yet at the same time weaklings who are afraid to fight.

Suppose Israel had mounted a massive, “disproportionate” response. Perhaps we would have had to deal with legal and diplomatic attacks, as we have after previous conflicts. Perhaps there would have been strategic concerns, such as the possibility of a multi-front war. But from the psychological point of view, it would be a victory. The Jew strikes back! The Jew-haters wouldn’t stop hating us, but they would be the losers. Jew-hatred would be less attractive, because nobody wants to be a loser.

Everyone, as bin Laden said, wants to bet on the strong horse. We need to be the strong horse. If that means that we can’t live up to the moral standards proposed by the “morally enlightened” Europeans (who themselves are even less able to live up to them), so be it. People like winners. The way to make people like us is not to try to be kind to our enemies – by sending food and fuel to Gaza while they incinerate the southern part of our country and make our children scuttle into shelters – but to crush them. Probably we can’t make them “like” us, no matter what we do. But we can make them fear and respect us.

I often write about the importance of maintaining respect and honor as a part of creating deterrence. They are important in fighting Jew-hatred as well, because they neutralize the contempt that is a key part of Jew-hatred. But let’s face it; the usual programs to “combat antisemitism” are useless at best, and either feed it or are used as cover by those (e.g., the UK Labour Party and the UN) who in truth don’t see antisemitism as a problem.

It’s easy to see what Israel’s strategy in the psychological struggle against Jew-hatred should be, if not the tactical means of implementing it. But for Jews in the diaspora, who are a small minority surrounded by a large non-Jewish population, a significant portion of which hates them, the difficulties are greater. The nature of diaspora existence is that the Jews are dependent on the good will of their hosts – a fact that strengthens the antisemitic stereotype of the parasitic Jew with great influence although physically weak, and makes an aggressive posture difficult.

One solution is aliyah. Short of that, it doesn’t hurt for diaspora Jews to align themselves with a strong, potent Israel. Standing up for your homeland makes you stronger, even outside of it. Hint: attacking Israel won’t make the Jew-haters like you any better.

Diaspora Jews can fight the stereotype by developing an image of self-reliance and self-protection, of physical power that must be respected. The Jewish Defense League had mixed results, but ultimately failed for various reasons, in particular its rejection by the self-appointed “responsible” (liberal) Jewish community. Perhaps a revitalized JDL could renew its appeal in today’s more dangerous climate? I don’t know if it’s possible, and I am sure liberal Jews would fight it tooth and nail.

But if I have one piece of advice for the diaspora, it’s this: be Harrison Ford, not Woody Allen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Yosef had a dream

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

Yosef had a dream, and he told it to his brothers, [which made] them hate him even more. (Bereishis 37:5)

DREAMS ARE A fascinating topic in and of themselves, but particularly so after seeing the significant role they have played in Jewish history. True, Ya’akov’s dream was really a prophecy, but being a prophet, could he have not learned the same things while conscious? Why did he have to see them in a dream specifically?

This week’s parsha starts off with dreams, and the story revolves around them. Clearly they are also prophecy, at least that is the way Yosef and Ya’akov looked at them. His brothers looked at them more as wild fantasies, at least the first one. The fact that their hatred of Yosef turned to jealousy may be an indication that they were beginning to suspect the Yosef’s night visions were more than just mere dreams.

The Talmud, recorded thousands of years later, long after the close of prophecy, also did not make light of dreams. On the contrary, it spends a couple of folio pages on the topic, even providing some of the more “common” interpretations. It does say that all dreams usually contain some aspect of nonsense, but the rest, according to the Talmud, is certainly interpretable.

Most of us don’t remember our dreams in the morning, and the ones we do usually fade away after a few hours. I’m always amazed how I can wake up with a full memory of a dream, and within a short time, have a difficult time recalling much of it. Days later, I have forgotten it altogether, as if it was “written” in disappearing ink.

Last night I looked up online if dreaming also occurs in non-REM sleep. Lately I have found that I can drift off and within seconds have some kind of dream. Even more interesting is that I can be aware that it is only a dream, because I am still caught between the two realities. This is weird and fascinating stuff.

What is also interesting is how, after so many years and advancements in brain technology, we still don’t know for sure why we dream. Theories abound, but one thing is for certain. Dreams are like manuscripts that got torn up, thrown into the waste basket, and then reassembled without any care taken to know which pieces belong to which manuscript.

It’s just so surreal how characters end up in plots that have nothing to do with them in real life. A few nights ago a neighbor of mine was in my dream, stuttering (he has no stutter) and bashful (he is not bashful at all), asking to use my washing machine. He certainly doesn’t need MY washing machine. Go figure.

People who lose loved ones speak about “visitations” during dreams, or at least “dream” of having them. A couple times, my father was in my dream, and I seemed to be aware that he had passed away. In one dream, he himself even told me that he could not do something for me because he was no longer alive. The brain can be VERY creative, even while asleep, perhaps ESPECIALLY while asleep.

The Ramchal explains what happens to a person while they sleep. Their levels of soul loosen up, and the upper levels are able to ascend to higher levels of spiritual reality, even meeting up with souls of those who have died. Kabbalah even teaches that it is possible for a person’s soul to learn Torah in the upper realms while asleep.

Since a person’s levels of soul always remain connected, the nighttime experiences of the upper levels are communicated to the lower levels, and might be the reason for some dreams. It might also be the reason for deja vu, since past certain levels, time no longer exists as we know it, and the soul can see the future as well.

It’s a fascinating topic for sure. There may be several reasons why God made us with an ability/need to dream. I personally think one of them is to remind us that life is not just one level of consciousness, but many. Why is this important to recall? Because when we don’t, as we see in this week’s parsha, we can misread reality, and that can be, and usually is, disastrous.

Spiritually this is true. There are five levels of consciousness, and there are different ways to access them, if you know how, if you are qualified, and most important of all, if you are worthy. These levels actually correspond to our five levels of soul, the upper four of which a person will have difficult accessing on lower spiritual levels, greatly limiting their vision.

It’s like five people on five levels of an apartment building. Each floor faces the same direction and has the same sized window. But the view of the person on the second level will include more than the view of the person at ground level, as will be the case each floor up. The higher up you are, the more the view will incorporate, and therefore, the more accurate a description of reality it will be.

That was certainly the case with Yosef and his brothers. It seems that his viewpoint was different from theirs, higher up. In 22 years, they would find out just how much higher up, when Divine Providence would force them to that higher level through a series of upsetting events. This is a lesson to take to heart, because the same thing can be true about all of us.

Rav Kook on Parashat Vayeishev: The Nature of Exile

“They took Joseph and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water in it” (Gen. 37:24).

When the brothers threw Joseph into the pit, the exile began - not just Joseph’s personal exile from his father’s house and the Land of Israel. From that dark, empty pit, began the exile of the entire Jewish people to Egypt.

Joseph’s pit is a metaphor for Galut, for each exile of the Jewish people from their land.

Three Types of Pits

There are, of course, different kinds of pits. There are pits filled with water, wells that provide life to those living near them. One must be careful not to fall in and drown, but these are productive, useful pits.

Then there are empty pits. They serve no purpose, and are dangerous. Nonetheless, even empty pits have a positive side to them. With effort and skill, they may be filled with water and transformed into useful pits.

And there is a third type of pit. The Talmud (Shabbat 22a) quotes Rabbi Tanchum that Joseph’s pit belonged to this third category. It was empty of water, but it contained other things - snakes and scorpions. Such a pit is of no use - neither actual nor potential - for humans.

Some mistake the pit of Exile for a well of water. Yes, one must be careful not to drown in it; but overall, they claim, it is a positive experience. If Jews are careful to act in a manner that will not arouse anti- Semitism, they can dwell comfortably in their foreign homes.

But the true nature of Exile is like Joseph’s pit, full of snakes and scorpions. It is a dangerous and deadly place for the Jewish people. Such a pit has only one redeeming quality, intrinsic to its very nature: it will never mislead the Jews into mistaking it for their permanent homeland.

Snakes and Scorpions

Rabbi Tanchum spoke of a pit containing snakes and scorpions. What is the difference between these two dangerous animals? A snake bites with its head, while a scorpion stings with its tail. The snakebite is a planned and intentional act, executed by the directives of the snake’s brain. A scorpion stings from its tail instinctively, without thought.

Exile is accompanied by both of these “blessings.” There are times of intentional and malevolent persecution, such as those perpetrated by the Crusaders, Chmielnicki’s Cossacks, Nazi Germany, and other sinister snakes of history. These are dark hours for the Jewish people, but they are also times of shining heroism and self-sacrifice.

Worse than these intentional snakebites are the continual, unintentional scorpion stings which are an intrinsic part of Exile. Cultural dissonance, intermarriage, and assimilation take their slow, unintended toll on the Jewish people and their connection to the Torah.

The afflictions of Exile are by heavenly decree, lest we confuse a temporary resting place in the Diaspora for a permanent home for the Jewish people. The only true remedy for these snakebites and scorpion-stings is to rescue the Jews from the pit, and restore them to their proper homeland.

The Transformation of the Law of the Hind Flesh

by HaRav Eliezer Melamed
Rosh HaYeshiva, Har Bracha

The Meat of the Hind Part of an Animal

Q: Why with many hechshersis it impossible to buy meat from the hind of animals? Is it forbidden?

A: According to halakha, the meat of the hind part is kosher, but nikkur(rendering the hindquarters of an animal fit for kosher consumption) of cheilev(prohibited fats known as tallow or suet) and the gid ha’nasheh(the sciatic nerve) is a complicated task, which also greatly damages the quality of the meat, therefore in many communities it was customary to sell it to non-Jews and not to try to kasher it. In this column I will detail the halachot and customs that brought this about.
What is the Gid Ha’Nasheh

As we learn in this week’s parsha, the Torah commands not to eat the gid ha’nashehthat is on the kaf ha’yerech(hip joint) (Genesis 32:33). This refers to the sinew on the right thigh and the left thigh. The gid ha’nashehis the large sinew through which most of the nerves of the leg pass. It begins with the spinal cord and ends at the end of the leg, and the Torah forbids eating the part on the kaf ha’yerech, that is, the enlarged flesh surrounding the thigh bone, shaped like the palm of a cauldron- a rounded shape that rises in the middle. This kafexists in all kinds of beasts and animals, whereas in birds, although there is flesh on the thigh, it is not round as a spoon but flat. Hence the gid ha’nashehis forbidden in beasts and animals, and not in birds.

The Forbidden Part from the Torah, Rabbinic, and Minhag

In a large bull, the length of the forbidden part from the Torah is no more than eight centimeters long, and in a large sheep about four centimeters (Rama, Yoreh Deah, 1: 16:3). This part of the gidis easy to remove, because after the dismantling of the flesh from the kaf ha’yerech, it protrudes from the flesh.

Our Sages added and prohibited the beginning of this gidfrom the spine and its continuation to the end of the shin. They also forbade the tendrils of the gid ha’nasheh, i.e. the branches that spread into the flesh on the thigh. There is another gidcalled chitzon, and even that is forbidden by our Sages. It is rooted in the spinal cord as two vertebrae before the beginning of the gid,and from there it is drawn to the outer side of the flesh of the thigh and penetrates into it (Shulchan Aruch 65: 8).

In addition, God-fearing Jews are accustomed to also prohibit the fat around the gid and tendrils.

The removal of all the forbidden parts is from Divrei Chachamim (rabbinic edict), and because of Jewish custom, it is a complex task that requires learning, how to cut the meat so that in relatively few cuts it is possible to remove the gid with its branches and fat.

The Prohibition of Cheilev

The cheilevimare part of the fats in the flesh of the animal, and when an animal is brought as a sacrifice to Hashem, it is a mitzvah to completely sacrifice thecheilev, and sprinkle its blood on the altar. As a continuation of this, the Torah forbade eating cheilevand blood, since the cheilevis worthy of being sacrificed to Hashem, it is forbidden for a Jew to eat it (Leviticus 3:14-17). The prohibition of cheilev applies to three types of animals: ox, lamb and goat, which are worthy of sacrifice (Leviticus 7:23).

The cheilevim are similar in shape and texture to animal fats, but the cheilevim are solid and relatively large; they are located in three places in the animal, it is relatively easy to remove them as one piece (Shulchan Aruch 64: 4), and when a sacrifice is offered, we are commanded to sacrifice it on the altar. In contrast, fats are absorbed more in the meat, and it is difficult to remove them as a whole, and when a korban shleimimis sacrificed, they are eaten together with the meat of the korban.

The meaning of the word cheilev is choice, fine, and fat. The cheilevof an animal is the fat and best part of the animal, since fat is the softest and richest part in calories, and the cheilevimare the fine pieces of fat, therefore we were commanded to sacrifice them on the altar. There are three kinds of cheilevim: 1) the cheilev on the kerev, i.e., on the digestive stomachs which are called the kravi’im; 2) the cheilev on the kliyot (kidneys); 3) the cheilev on the kesalim, on the sides of the waist, next to the cheilev on the kliyot.

Because of the severity of the prohibition on cheilev, our Sages also forbade fats that are stuck and drawn from these cheilevim, even though they are absorbed into the meat, because they derive from the cheilev. They also prohibited small veins and membranes drawn from the cheilevimthat are forbidden from the Torah, because they derive from them. And as our Sages have said, that there are five places that have small veins and membranes that must be removed, three of them from cheilev– in the spleen, loins, and in the kidneys (Chulin 93a). In addition, in other communities, they were stringent to forbid other fats because of their closeness or resemblance to the forbidden cheilevim.
Doubts and Chumrot as a Result of Exile

Since the laws of nikkurare taught in tradition, the constancy of their transmission from one generation to the next was greatly affected by the displacement of the exiles. The longer the exile, the more numerous the communities that were destroyed, and the more the tradition was negatively affected – the more doubts arose in the halakhas of nikkur. In order to avoid the safek, God-fearing Jews had to be increasingly stringent. Thus we find that already in the beginning period of the Rishonim, because of the doubts, they tended to be more stringent than the halakha, as we find in the words of Rabbi Ya’akov ben HaRosh (who lived some 700 years ago), who copied in his book Arba Turim(Yoreh Deah 65) the order of the laws of nikkurthat Rabbi Yitzchak of Marseilles, the author of Itur, wrote (about 850 years ago), because he was the only one who wrote the order of these laws in detail. At the end of his words he remarked: “This chachamwas machmir(stringent), and one who is machmir will be blessed.” Rabbi Yosef Karo explained in his commentary on Beit Yosef: “Because of a number of places that need nikkur and removal, and have no foundation or root, as I have explained, each one in its place.”

Still, all Jews would slaughter and knew how to remove the cheilevim, the gid ha’nasheh, and the vessels of blood, but as the exile continued, more communities were destroyed, and until new communities were established and restored, other doubts arose in the tradition of nikkur, and Jews were required to become more stringent; it was already necessary to have great expertise in the work ofnikkur. And as Rabbi Shlomo Luria wrote about four hundred and fifty years ago, that although in the early days of the Rishonimthey relied on women and any proper man for the work of nikkur, but now they do not rely, because “in the days of the kadmonim(earlier Sages) they were not so stringent in nikkur as today, because from the law of the Talmud, nikkur is not so difficult; later, however, they added on to it (chumrot) … and in the land of Ashkenaz, they became ever more stringent.” He went on to explain that although most of the stringencies are from the words of the Sages, upon which one can also rely on someone who is not a scholar, but since these laws are complex, and the public does not know what is forbidden from the words of the Sages and from the Torah, it is only possible to rely on a minakkerwho is “known to be a God-fearing person, and an expert in the work of nikkur.”

In addition to the halachic explanation of the cause of the stringency, the Shelah wrote a general and deep explanation for the addition of the chumrot, according to which from generation to generation our coping with the Evil Inclination becomes greater and deeper, and therefore Jews added chumrot and fences (Beit Hochma Talita).

The Custom of Selling the Hind Part

Following the growing doubts and chumrot, the large communities used to sell the hind of the livestock to non-Jews, where almost all the forbidden cheilevim, the gid ha’nasheh, and all the other forbidden parts are found, and whose nikkurtakes several hours (for example, one hind leg, especially the gid ha’nashehand all of its branches, lasts an hour or two according to the chumrot of nikkur Yerushalmi).

The first to mention this custom (about 500 years ago) was the Radbaz, who wrote that this was the custom in Egypt. And the Shelah wrote that this is the correct way to act (in Ashkenaz some 400 years ago). This was the minhagof many of the communities in Europe, because they feared that due to the heavy burden, the men doing the nikkur would not be able to do their job properly.

The concession of the hind part is significant because about half of the animal’s meat is found in it, and it also contains what is considered premium meat. On the other hand, the more stringent the nikkur of the cheilevimand the gid ha’nashehis, the quality of the meat surrounding them is negatively affected. This is because the meat needs to be cut into more pieces, and large areas are exposed to the air, and require to be soaked in water for the purpose of kashering and salting the meat, and in the eyes of butchers, water is considered poison for meat because it reduces its quality and appearance, to the point where they have to sell it as cheap minced meat. Besides this, rinsing the meat shortens its shelf life.

It is worth noting that today, it has become clear that health benefits from the chumrot of the removal of many fats are increasing, because during the period of abundance in which we live, meat fats are considered unhealthy foods, which increase the risk of vascular disease and cancer.
The Minhag and Halakha

In practice, according to the nikkur Yerushalmi, which is accepted and widespread in all the major communities in the world, nikkuris not done on the hind part. However, in practice, since the minhag forbidding the consumption of the hind parts was not accepted, anyone who wants to take the trouble to do nikkur according to halakha can do so (Igrot Moshe, unlike Zaken Aharon, who claimed that it is considered a vow that cannot be nullified). There are kashrut bodies that sell most of the hind meat to non-Jews, and perform nikkur on the better parts of the meat (fillet and sirloin), which are relatively easy and profitable to perform nikkur.

The Order of Nikkur Yerushalmi

It is worth explaining the order of nikkur Yerushalmi: In the wake of the meeting of Ashkenazi immigrants with Sephardic traditions from the West and Oriental Jewry, the Ashkenazi rabbis in Jerusalem established about 150 years ago, the “Order of Yerushalmi Nikkur“, according to all the chumrotof the Sephardim, the Eastern, and Ashkenazi countries together, where naturally, the majority of the chumrot came from Ashkenazi communities that underwent more destruction and wanderings. Since the customs of all the communities were included in it, from Jerusalem an order was issued that over time the tradition of the Yerushalmi nikkurwas accepted throughout all of Israel and the Diaspora. In this nikkur, approximately 13-25 percent of the weight of the meat is lost.
Other Traditions

There are communities that have maintained traditions, such as the immigrants from Yemen and Morocco, who have skilled minakkrim according to their tradition, without taking into consideration the chumrot of the other communities. In these methods approximately 5-10 percent of the weight of the hind meat is lost, and those who wish to rely on their tradition are entitled, but in all hechshers intended for the public at large, the custom is to take into consideration all the traditions, like the Yerushalmi nikkur.

The Shamrak Report: Jewish Patriots Fear Legal Establishment and more...

by Tzvi Lev
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked admitted that she had not wanted to accept the Justice Ministry over fears that a legal establishment upset at the vast changes she would make would and trump up criminal allegations...
Shaked's popularity has been steadily rising since becoming Justice Minister in 2015 due to a rash of right-wing legislation she has promoted and her successful effort to install conservative justices in the Supreme Court. (Anti-Zionist, self-hating leftist cronies of the Legal Establishment of Israel has been blackmailing right-wing politicians for quite a while! They have been 'investigating' Netanyahu and his wife; as well as Sharon and his son and many other Zionist activists, using the legal system as a tool of punishment - financial, moral and psychological!!)
Please, read and distribute!
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
This is a common pattern - Hamas attacks Israel; IDF retaliates 'responsibly'; Hamas asks for a ceasefire, which it has no intention to comply with; Israel obliges! It is time to change the political leadership in Israel and remove gutless, self-centered wimps - who have no interest to end the siege of terror and to defeat enemies!
US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that Israel would face major regional difficulties in the Middle East if it were not for the stabilizing presence of Saudi Arabia. “Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters. US President Donald Trump said he would keep his alliance with Saudi Arabia to 'ensure the interests of Israel,' but a new report reveals that Israel and the Jewish people are still demonized in the monarchy's official textbooks.(Saudis have been behind most of the anti-Israel endeavours and propaganda! At the moment they need Israel to do a 'dirty job' for them in dealing with Iran. What will happen after Israel does it?)
A PA official in charge of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Maliki, called on the world to help resolve the Israel-Palestinian Arab issue by backing a two-state solution. "The Palestinians are still waiting for the international community to try to resolve the Palestinian problem that has been created by the international community" with the foundation of Israel in 1948, he charged.(The idea of a two-state solution was dead on its inception! To avoid so-called apartheid state Israel must be ready and willing to implement the Sinai Option!)
Greece, Italy, and Cyprus have reached an agreement with Israel to lay a pipeline connecting the Jewish state’s gas reserves to the three countries, in a major project estimated at costing over $7 billion that will supply gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, as the continent seeks to diversify its energy supply.
The High Court of Justice has rejected a petition by 104 Palestinian residents of an East Jerusalem neighborhood who have been ordered to evacuate homes that are owned by a right-wing group that settles Jews in Arab areas of the city.(For quite a while, the Israeli judiciary has been making mainly anti-Zionist rulings - Let hope it is a real and lasting change!)
Thirty-two residents of East Jerusalem who carry Israeli blue identity cards were arrested on suspicion that they had enlisted and served in the Palestinian Authority security forces. Some of the suspects served illegally in the PA security apparatus, while receiving allowances from the State of Israel.
The PA has received $7 million in aid for projects in eastern Jerusalem and in Area C in Judea and Samaria, which is under Israeli security and civilian control. At the same time, while blaming Israel for the PA’s financial woes, $4.5 million a month was paid to jailed terrorists and another $6.5 million to their families.
The president of Chad, Idriss Deby, became the first leader of his country to pay an official visit to Israel - to enlist Israel’s participation in the fierce wars against Al Qaeda and ISIS Chad, a Muslim-majority country in central Africa, broke off relations with Israel in 1972. Deby said that while he's eager to renew "very strong" diplomatic ties with Israel, such a detente does "not obscure the principle on the Palestinian question."(Another anti-Israel user is seeking Jewish help!)
A member of a UN Human Rights Council commission, which is investigating the events of recent months on the Israel-Gaza border, asked two Israelis living near the strip, "If that is the situation, why do you continue living there?"
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has unveiled a new and enhanced configuration of its Drone Guard system which detects, identifies and disrupts the operation of large and small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAS).
(It is nice, Jewish ingenuity is amazing, but wouldn't it be more effective, on a long run, to remove the enemy population from the Jewish land - Gaza? Recently, Israel had another opportunity to do this!)
The US Department of Justice will not allow former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to serve the remainder of his parole probation in Israel. Pollard was arrested in 1985, convicted and then sentenced in 1987 to life in prison on a single count of passing classified information to an ally, Israel (which the US military should share but withheld from its ally). He was released on “mandatory parole” in 2015. However, Pollard is still living with severe, unprecedented restrictions! (Even Soviet spies, in the middle of the Cold war, were not treated with such contempt!)
A Palestinian Authority court in Qalqilya sentenced two Palestinians convicted of selling land to Israeli Jews to 15 years of hard labor. Separately, a Palestinian who died in a car accident was barred from burial in Jerusalem over allegations he sold property to Jews. According to the PA law, possible punishments for trying to sell or selling land to Israeli Jews include different degrees of hard labor and execution.
Israel will not sign a nonbinding, first-of-its-kind migration pact aimed at managing migration and making it more orderly and safer. A number of the Central European and Eastern European countries that have pulled out have governments that ran on planks of limiting migration, and have been at odds with Brussels over the EU’s immigration policies. (Israel joined some Western countries stood up to international 'Political Correctness', which facilitates Islamic invasion and illegal Migration!)
Amid speculation that US President Donald Trump is looking to roll out his administration’s peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians in February, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that she would counsel the American leader that any such proposal was “a waste of time.” “I think that the gap between the Palestinians and the Israelis is much too big to be bridged,” she said. (Isn't that Obvious? Just recently, Hamas fired 460 rockets at Israel in one day - their aim is killing Jews and destruction of Israel, not peace!)
Days after agreeing to a ceasefire, the Palestinians launched homemade drones carrying explosives over into Israeli border communities. One came down near a village in Sedot Hanegev council, another was found with a bottle bomb attached.
Judges at the International Criminal Court have ordered the court’s chief prosecutor to reopen for the third time her probe into the May 2010 flotilla incident. An Israeli official fumes over court’s repeated ‘exploitation for political ends’!
Quote of the Week:
''Bottom line, Jews, wake up. Anti-Semitism is not an abnormality and it is not “back”, it just was on the backburner for a while. Anti-Semitism was always part of Jewish life, we just got spoiled living in a time period that it hid for a while. So, get with the program, internalize this new reality, stop the divisiveness, unify and be proud Jews and proud of our Jewish State of Israel!'' – a FaceBook posting
by Aviad Kleinberg
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's decision to stay in government despite threatening to leave the coalition if leader Bennett doesn't receive the defense portfolio...
Bennett folded like a cheap suitcase when he decided to stay in government despite his threats... If you give an ultimatum, you have to commit to it; otherwise, people might say you're all bark and no bite...
There is the growing sense among the Israeli public that there is no alternative to Netanyahu.
This feeling is strong not only among right-wing voters, but also among members of the center and the left. The latter certainly want to see the prime minister go. They despise him and wish for his demise. But when asked who they want to see in his place, they are speechless. order to bring down a prime minister, resistance is not enough. We need to want an alternative; otherwise we will choose parties that will only weaken the prime minister, not replace him.
Netanyahu's main strength is not his likability - only a few sense it - but the belief that he is invincible. As long as this goes on, he will keep on winning.

The Winds of Change?

by Moshe Feiglin

“In a step that seemed inexplicable to many, I left a meaningful job in the security industry a number of months ago. I worked there many years and had many achievements (if I must say so myself). When I announced that I was planning to leave, my superiors tried to convince me to stay.”

The above is part of a letter that I received about a month ago from a senior employee in the military industry. I don’t know if it can be called a phenomenon, but three very senior officials in the military industry have recently joined Zehut – unaware that their colleagues had done the same. They all have a similar explanation – they understood that all the technological achievements are nothing more than a fig leaf to cover the loss of identity and the will to triumph.

“You are tired of substituting justice for technology,” I said to one of them.

“Precisely,” she answered. And since then we have gained her unbeatable energetic professionalism as we prepare for the upcoming elections. I urge you to invest another couple of minutes to read her full letter:

“In a step that seemed inexplicable to many, I left a meaningful job in the security industry a number of months ago. I worked there many years and had many achievements (if I must say so myself). When I announced that I was planning to leave, my superiors tried to convince me to stay.

I wish that I could have fulfilled their request. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t take it anymore.

Those who know me know that for me, my work was a labor of love. Throughout the years, I was simultaneously proud and grateful that I merited to take part in the mutual effort and to contribute – even if just a bit – to the security of the State that I love so much. I felt that my work was truly beneficial and significant.

That feeling began to crack in the year or two before I left, as I was exposed to the phenomenon of military officers fighting their soldiers (Elor Azaryah was just one example) but hesitant in the face of their enemies. I saw that minimizing harm to uninvolved bystanders was above and beyond everything else. I saw how the word “victory” disappeared from the IDF’s combat lexicon. I saw how the culture of falsehood conquered goodness. I saw how they silence people whose opinions were “too combative”. I saw how the decision makers (at the diplomatic level) authorized endless investment in technological measures and emergency supplies so as not to make define more rigid parameters for the length and level of military engagement. I understood that something is very wrong, because money cannot cover up the lack of spirit and absence of belief in the justice of our cause.

Because I could not influence these trends, but did not want to be part of the deception, I left.

And now I read what Colonel Lior Mednes wrote and pray that his words will fall on listening ears. That something will change. For that to happen, we need change at a deep level. Not just at the military level, but perhaps mainly at the levels above the military. Is it still possible?