Thursday, October 31, 2019

What does it mean to be a Tzaddik?

by Rav Binny Freedman
There is a story they tell about the “Chazon-Ish” (Rabbi Avrahom Yeshaya Karelitz, 1878-1953).

Towards the end of his life, when he was already quite weak, the phone rang in his home on a Friday afternoon. One of the Chazon-Ish’s students, who was helping in the house answered the call and responded to a fellow on the other end who had a daughter who was quite ill. The man, who was a cab driver, had a six-year-old daughter who had fallen ill with leukemia, and someone had told him about the Chazon-Ish and the legendary reputation his blessings had received.

He was desperate for help and wanted to come to the Chazon-Ish for a blessing before Shabbat.

The student explained that the Chazon-Ish was not well and could not possibly see him in the next few hours, but the fellow should call back after Shabbat. The cab driver, however, would not let the student off the phone, begging for even a moment of the Chazon-Ish’s time.

Suddenly, a hand grabbed the phone from the startled student’s hand and the Chazon-Ish himself got on the phone.

“Please come right over, and I will be happy to see you.” Said the Chazon-Ish, after which he explained to the student that one should never be too tired to hear the pain of a fellow human being.

When the cab driver arrived, the Chazon-Ish himself answered the door and ushered the fellow in to sit down.

After hearing the story of his daughter, dying of cancer at the age of six, the Chazon-Ish explained that only G-d heals the sick, but that if this cab driver believed that his prayers could help, he would certainly consider it an honor and a privilege to pray for his daughter.

As the cab driver was leaving the home, he looked back to see the Chazon-Ish sobbing hysterically in the corner of the living room, with tears streaming down his face.

The cab driver felt terrible, finally realizing why the student had wanted to put off his visit till after Shabbat. He assumed the Chazon-Ish himself must have had a loss in his family, perhaps of a child, and perhaps even to Leukemia, and that his conversation had triggered the memories that were obviously causing the great rabbi such pain and heartache.

Curious as to the story behind the Chazon-Ish’s reaction, he enquired of one of the students as to what was causing the Chazon-Ish so much pain.

The student responded with a puzzled expression:

“I don’t understand; aren’t you the fellow whose daughter is very ill, and didn’t you just ask the Rav for a blessing?”

“Well, yes”, responded the cab driver,“But I didn’t realize I would be bringing up such terrible memories for the Rabbi, why is he so broken up?”

The student explained: “You don’t understand. You asked the Rabbi to pray for your daughter, and that is what he is doing. But with the Chazon Ish, it’s not your daughter he is praying for, it’s his own. Because for such a great rabbi, your daughter is his daughter.”

What does it mean to be a Tzaddik, a truly righteous person?

In the entire Torah, there is only one person who is ever described as a Tzaddik, and that is Noach, who is called an “Ish Tzaddik”, a righteous man, at the beginning of this week’s portion, appropriately named Noach.

“…Noach Ish Tzaddik, Tamim Hayah’ Be’Dorotav, Et HaElokim Hit’halech Noach.”
“… Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations, Noach walked with G-d.” (Genesis 6:9)

What was so special about Noach that caused the Torah to describe him as a Tzaddik?You can’t ask for a better introduction than Noach’s: righteous, perfect, the consummate Tzaddik who walked with G-d; this would seem to be the ideal of what a person is meant to be, which leaves us wondering what we are missing. After all, we do not trace our Jewish lineage back to Noach, but rather back to Avraham. It is Avraham who is traditionally described as the first Jew, not Noach. Yet Avraham is never described in the Torah as a Tzaddik; why not? And where did Noach, the only Tzaddikin the Torah go wrong?

Rashi (1040-1105), perhaps sensing this question, quotes the Midrash which itself is challenged by what we are to make of who Noach really was:

The verse (6:9) tells us that Noach was perfect in his generations, and there are some rabbis, explains Rashi, who interpret this in Noach’s favor, suggesting that if in his wicked generation, he was considered to be a Tzaddik; he would certainly have been even more righteous in a generation of generally righteous people. Some rabbis, however, interpret the afore-mentioned comment as casting a much more negative light on Noach, interpreting it to mean that Noach may have been considered righteous relative to his particularly wicked generation, but “had he lived in the time of Abraham, he would not have been considered anything (special).”

This comment is surprising to say the least: Noach would have been “klum”, nothing, in Abraham’s generation? How could the commentaries suggest that the only person ever defined in the Torah as a Tzaddik would have been nothing? Does this mean that being a Tzaddik is a relative idea?

It is interesting to note that Rashi, in his comments actually describes Avraham in his generation as a Tzaddik, though the verses in the Torah do not apply this to Avraham at all. Further, the Midrash compares Noach in his own generation, with Noach in Avraham’s generation; why not just compare a wicked generation to a more righteous generation? Why does Jewish tradition specifically compare Noach to Avraham?

Perhaps the Midrash (and Rashi in quoting it) is alluding to our initial question: why indeed, was Avraham the first Jew, and not Noach?

It is worth noting, that this is not the only comparison we find between Noach and Avraham; Rashi notes, on the phrase:

“…Tamim Hayah’ Be’Dorotav, Et HaElokim Hit’halech Noach.”
“ … Perfect in his generations, Noach walked with G-d.” (Genesis 6:9)

That the same terminology is employed to describe Avraham, with a slight variation:

“Hit’halech Lefanai Ve’Heyeh Tamim.”
“Walk before me, and be perfect.” (Genesis17: 1)

Avraham, explains Rashi, walked before G-d, while Noach walked with G-d. Further, Noach was perfect, while Abraham was meant to become perfect. What does this difference mean, and how does it relate to our question?

There is one more debate Rashi shares with us, which may serve to elucidate the meaning of this entire question:

When Hashem tells Noach to build an Ark, one of the details of the construction (6:16) is the command to include a Tsohar, but the verse does not explain what this Tsohar actually is.

Rashi, again quoting the Midrash, explains that there are two opinions as to the nature of this Tsohar: some explain it to be a window, and some suggest it was a precious stone which provided internal light. (Some form of a chandelier, perhaps.)

What exactly are these two opinions debating, in trying to understand the nature of this source of light? And more, why did Hashem expressly command Noach to include this in the Ark’s construction? Wouldn’t it be obvious that Noach would include a source of light in the ark?

I once heard a wonderful explanation for this verse from my teacher, Rabbi Shlomo Tzvi Ha’Kohen Riskin. The obvious difference between a window and a chandelier is whether the light comes from within, or from outside the Ark, and, more significantly, that a window allows the people inside the ark to see what is happening outside, whereas the chandelier leaves them focused entirely on their own small world inside the Ark.

Perhaps this was the underlying message G-d was giving Noach; perhaps Noach did not earn the right to see outside the Ark, because Noach’s focus was less on the world that was, and more on the world of Noach as it was meant to be.

A careful look at the process whereby Noach was commanded to build the Ark shows that this project took Noach and his family a hundred years! For a hundred years, Noach was out in the front yard hammering away, collecting lumber, while all his neighbors watched the goings-on. One wonders what went through the minds of the homeowner’s association as Noach rolled up one day with twin elephants in tow!

And yet, when the time came for Noach and his family to enter the Ark and batten down the hatches, they got in alone. Not one person in the entire world elects to join Noach on his journey. This, perhaps, is Noach’s greatest failing.

In fact, once the flood is over, Noach is never called a Tzaddik again. Hashem tells Noach one last time, as he is about to enter the Ark, that:

“Bo’ Atah’ Ve’kol Beitechah’ El Ha’Teivah’, Ki Otchah’ Ra’iti Tzaddik Le’Fanai’ Ba’dor Ha’Zeh’.”

“Come, you and your whole family into the ark, for it is you that I have seen to be righteous before me in this generation.” (7:2)

Again, Noach is described as righteous in his particular generation, almost implying that when this generation ends (momentarily, with the coming of the flood), so does his righteousness.

Noach would have a year in the Ark to contemplate how he had allowed an entire world to be destroyed, while spending a lifetime building an Ark for himself and his family.

Contrast that with Avraham, who, when commanded by G-d to go on his own journey, (in next week’s portion, Lech Lecha’) which must have seemed similarly inexplicable to those around him, takes with him not only his family, but as well:

“Kol Ha’Nefesh Asher Asu’’ Be’Charan”

“All the souls (people) they had made (he and Sarah) in Charan.” (12:5)

And Rashi quotes the Midrash, which explains that these were the people Abraham and Sarah converted to Judaism, who were led out of the darkness of pagan idolatry to a world of monotheism and ethics. Thus, says the Midrash, it is as though they were ‘made’ by Abraham (and Sarah).

While Noach is getting into his Ark all alone, Avraham wants the world to come with him on his journey.

By far the best example of this is the story of Sodom, which on a certain level represents the flood story of Abraham.

G-d comes to Avraham and tells him He is about to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (18:20-19:1)

Recall that these cities have become so wicked that G-d hears the screams of the people suffering under the weight of Sodom’s evil (18:20-21).

One would expect Avraham, who is trying to teach the world by example, a model of objective ethics and monotheism to be thrilled at this latest development. At the very least, an “OK, Boss” would do; but instead, Avraham starts to argue with G-d!

Maybe there are fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, suggests Abraham. How can the true judge destroy an entire city, full of human beings, if there is any hope that these righteous people might one day succeed in turning the tide? And, incredibly G-d agrees not to destroy these cities if fifty righteous people can be found! At which point Avraham, seeing he has G-d’s ‘ear’, wants to see if he can push his luck a little further: what if there are forty righteous people? And again G-d acquiesces! At which point we are treated to what essentially amounts to a marketplace haggling over the future of Sodom and Gomorrah: How about thirty? Twenty? Ten?

What is going on here? Especially as the entire discussion is ludicrous: G-d obviously knows whether there are any righteous people in either of these cities, and there clearly are none, so why this entire discussion? Unless, of course, this discussion is not really about Sodom and Gomorrah at all, it is about Avraham.

Interestingly, later, when G-d finally does destroy these cities (19:27-29) Avraham actually wakes up early (which is what the word Va’Yashkem there really means) to see the destruction, something which seems very much out of character for this paragon of virtue. Is Avraham excited to see the Sodom show? Is it even appropriate for one to which the destruction of others, whatever the reason might be?

Perhaps the reason Avraham watches the destruction is because if you are an Avraham, you cannot sleep while even a city like Sodom is being destroyed. One wonders what was going through Avraham’s mind as Sodom is destroyed; there is no joy in his heart, but only a sense of loss and failure. If a Sodom could exist, and if all these people could be destroyed, however right that might be in the given moment, something is nonetheless wrong, and Avraham, on a certain level has failed. Because the world has not yet become what it is meant to be.

And this may be why G-d bothers to tell Avraham that he intends to destroy these cities at all, because this was Avraham’s moment; this was the opportunity for Avraham to change the course of human behavior, and to demonstrate that if one human being is in pain, then we are all in pain.

The difference, ultimately, between Avraham and Noach, is that while Noach gets into the Ark alone, Abraham cannot sleep while Sodom is destroyed, even arguing with G-d to try and save this evil city.

This too is perhaps the meaning of the different descriptions of Abraham and Noach. Noach is seen by G-d as a Tzaddik, because, alone in the world as the only person who relates to one G-d, and thus to an objective ethical morality, Noach has the opportunity to impact an entire world. G-d is not only interested in Noach being righteous (6:9); he wants him to be righteous before Him, to walk ahead and make the world better.

Perhaps Tzidkut (righteousness) is when someone else’s pain really becomes your pain, to the point where there is no difference. Perhaps this was Avraham’s pain; he was not struggling for someone else’s city; he was in pain over his own city, because if we are all really meant to be one, then anyone’s pain should be everyone’s pain.

Maybe this is the reason Avraham himself is never called a Tzaddik in the Torah; because if you ever think you actually got there, you will never get there.

The life of Avraham was never about Avraham, just like the true Tzaddik has no interest whatsoever in whether he or she is actually a Tzaddik. And ultimately, Avraham is the first Jew, because this is what Judaism is all about.

Perhaps this year, with G-d’s help, we can finally learn to truly feel each other’s pain and challenges, as well as joys and hopes, so that the world becomes the place Avraham dreamed of so long ago.

Shabbat Shalom, from Jerusalem.

Holocaust Survivor Hands Israel’s Enemies a Victory on a Silver Platter

The simple answer to a student’s “question” should have been: There is no ethnic cleansing or exile of Palestinians. Prove it!

By Atara Beck

An Arab student at Benedictine University last week called on Professor Harold Kasimow, a child survivor of the Holocaust, to condemn the establishment of Israel and the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians in Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported. She then walked out when he did not do so.

Kasimow is the George Drake Professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa and a visiting scholar at Benedictine. He has been involved in Jewish-Buddhist dialogue since the 1960s.

Kasimow delivered two lectures at Benedictine University’s Lisle campus last week: “Advancing Abrahamic Friendship: Modern Popes in Dialogue with Jews and Muslims” on October 23 and “Bearing Witness: Memories of a Child Holocaust Survivor” the following evening.

It was at the latter that Benedictine senior Ayah Ali drew a parallel between Kasimow’s experiences and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, reported JTA, which also provided an accompanying video of the incident that has since gone viral. Ali, according to her Twitter feed, is affiliated with the Chicago-area school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, JTA noted.

“It honestly means the world that you were willing to share your story with us, but I wanted to bring your attention towards a similar story,” Ali said during the Q&A. “I’m sure you know about what’s happening in ‘Palestine’ and my question to you is, do you support or do you condemn the establishment of the Zionist Israeli state, and whether it’s OK to exile and completely — the complete ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, the way that the Jewish people were exiled and ethnically cleansed?”

The professor responded that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “not an area of my experience,” adding that he believes the State of Israel should exist although he is “not happy with the government in Israel.”

“It’s such a complicated issue,” he said. “There are many Jews involved in interfaith centers who are working on this very issue, trying to help create peace, but it’s really both sides need to [be] open to each other and talk to each other.”
An Iota of Truth?

Kasimow’s opinion of the Israeli government, however, has nothing to do with Ali’s question. What compelled him to say it? Was he insinuating that under the Netanyahu government there may be an iota of truth in Ali’s heinous lie that Israel exiles Palestinians and practices ethnic cleansing?

Does the fact that people on both sides are working towards a resolution to the conflict have anything to do with a Holocaust?

Indeed, the vicious enemies of Israel and the Jewish People on campuses across the US and around the world have a new tactic. Rather than denying the Holocaust, they – including Ali – acknowledge it happened but then claim that a new Holocaust is being perpetrated against the Palestinians in Israel.

Even concerning the Holocaust, Ali’s facts were skewed. It wasn’t because of the Holocaust that the Jews were “exiled” – they were exiled from their homeland, the Land of Israel, by the Romans in the 1st century. During the Holocaust, they were transported from their homes to the extermination camps.

Furthermore, the Arabs were not exiled when the state was established in 1948. Rather, as explained by expert Eli E. Hertz, “the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees left what was then the newly established State of Israel on their own accord due to structural weaknesses within Palestinian society and their leadership…

“Palestinian refugees were neither hapless targets nor innocent bystanders. The first stage of the 1948 war was a fierce interethnic or anti-Zionist civil war in which Palestinians were the aggressors and the initiators.”
Where Are the Extermination Camps?

Ali would be hard-pressed to prove her allegations, unless she relies on false documentation created by the likes of Pallywood.

In 2019, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the official number of Arab residents in Israel was 1,890,000 people, representing 21% of Israel’s population.

Where are the extermination camps? Are Arabs being removed from their places of employment, as happened to the Jews locked in Hitler’s Europe? Indeed, anyone visiting an Israeli hospital, for example, will find Arab patients being treated equally to Jews as well as a large percentage of Arab doctors and nurses.

As noted in The Jerusalem Post in 2016, 23% of Israeli doctors are Arabs; 46% of Israeli pharmacists are Arabs; 28% of hi-tech students at the Technion are Arabs; and 16% of the students in all of Israeli higher education are Arabs.

“Regarding perceptions about Israel within the Arab community (based on 2015 polling performed by Prof. Sammy Smooha, University of Haifa),” the Post continues: 73% view ‘Israeli’ as part of their identity; 77% want to see their community fully integrated into Israeli society; 60% are ‘at peace’ with the reality that Israel has a Jewish majority, and 52% would actually vote in a nation referendum in favor of a constitution which declares Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, with equal rights for all minorities.”

A most recent example concerns the brutal rape and murder of Israeli-Arab student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne, Australia. As reported in The Saturday Paper, her father returned to Australia for the launch of the Aiia Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship program.

“This is very formal, so let me describe it [the program] in a simple way,” he said. “I call it Aiia’s Dream. From now on, every two years, a deserving Palestinian doctor will be given an opportunity to study under an Israeli doctor whose skills are among the best in the world, in an Israeli hospital, which are among the best in the world.”
The Real Ethnic Cleansing

Another issue is the changing demographics in the Palestinian Authority-administered areas of Judea and Samaria, most notably in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, where Christians are fleeing due to profound discrimination and abuse.

“Arab Christians are fleeing in droves from Bethlehem, where, in 1990, they made up a majority of the city’s residents; today they make up only about 15%,” says Robert Nicholson in Providence Magazine.

“It is no coincidence that Bethlehem was mostly Christian until the 1990s,” Nicholson explains. “Until then, Bethlehem was ruled directly by Israel through a military administration. Although they were not full citizens of Israel, Palestinian Christians (and Muslims) could travel freely inside the country, visit the beach, and shop in Jewish neighborhoods. That all changed in the mid-1990s when Israel agreed to let the PLO rule parts of the West Bank and Gaza under a famous treaty called the Oslo Accords.”

Domestic energy producers, the Middle East and Israel

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

The growing sophistication of domestic oil and natural gas production has enhanced the US national security. It has transformed the leader of the free world from a major importer of crude oil to the world's top producer of both crude oil (surpassing Saudi Arabia) and natural gas (ahead of Russia), and expected to be the globe's largest exporter in five years.

The dramatic reduction of US dependency on the importation of oil takes place at a time when the supply of oil from the Persian Gulf is increasingly precarious. It is threatened by Iran's Ayatollahs, as well as by additional rogue elements in the inherently violent, intolerant, fragmented, unpredictable, shifty, non-democratic and unstable Middle East. An area which is strategically located between Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The Middle East – and especially Iran's Ayatollahs - has become a most proliferating epicenter of global Islamic terrorism, drug trafficking and the development of ballistic and nuclear capabilities, producing ripple effects throughout the globe. For instance, the expanding presence of the Ayatollahs and Hezbollah terrorists in the South American platforms of anti-US Islamic terrorism and drug trafficking: the trilateral border of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay and the trilateral border of Chile-Peru-Bolivia. The aim of the Ayatollahs is to employ these platforms – and their intensified presence in Venezuela and Mexico - as a venue to surge toward the US.

Iran's Ayatollahs are not driven by the eagerness to improve trade balance, employment, standard of living and education. They are driven by the conviction that they are divinely ordained to dominate the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the entire globe. They indoctrinate their youth that the world is divided into the abode of Islam and the abode of the infidel, which will eventually submit itself or be vanquished through Jihad (holy war).

The Ayatollahs – as reflected by their K-12 curriculum - consider the US to be the "Great
Satan," the mega obstacle on their way to achieve the mega goal of global domination. Hence, their determination to develop mega capabilities (ballistic and nuclear), in order to remove the mega obstacle (the USA).

The Ayatollahs are energized by Western policy-makers, who are unaware that gestures and retreats – such as the 1978/79 US betrayal of the Shah and support for the Ayatollahs – are perceived by the Ayatollahs as weakness, which intensifies their anti-Western zeal.

Moreover, they consider any agreement with the West – such as the 2015 nuclear accord – a Hudna or Sulh (a tenuous truce, ceasefire, armistice), which must be abrogated once the "believers" gain the necessary strength to overpower the "infidel" West.

The 2015 agreement suggests that Western policy makers may not be aware that leopards don't change their spots, only their tactics.

The expansion of the Ayatollahs to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and all the way to South and Central America has occurred while the Arab Tsunami – erroneously defined as "Arab Spring" – is haunting the Middle East from northwest Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. The Arab Tsunami, represented by the raging civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and the domestic upheaval in most Arab countries, reflects the 1,400 year old reality of the Middle East: there is no intra-Arab, intra-Muslim peaceful-coexistence.

In face of the conventional and non-conventional threats posed by the tectonic Middle East, Europe is losing its will to flex an effective military muscle, reverting to Chamberlain's and Daladier's pre-WW2 policy of appeasement.

On the other hand, Israel is increasingly considered by all pro-US Arab regimes to be the most effective "life insurance agent" in the region. Hence, their unprecedented security and commercial ties with Israel.

At the same time, Israel is the most effective ally of the US, extending the strategic hand of the US, and benefitting the US militarily, technologically and commercially.

For example, Israel has emerged as the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of the US defense industries, employing over hundred US military systems, and sharing with the manufacturers lessons related to operation, maintenance and repair. These lessons have yielded thousands of upgrades, saving the US many years of research and development, enhancing the competitiveness of the US products in the global market, increasing US exports and expanding the US employment base. A Lockheed-Martin executive told me that the lessons shared by Israel's air force, flying the F-16, "have yielded a mega-billion dollar bonanza to the manufacturer." Similar benefits have been enjoyed by McDonnell-Douglas, the manufacturer of the F-15, which is employed by Israel's air force.

Israel's battle experience has been shared with the US armed forces, contributing to the formulation of battle tactics and transferring to the US critical information about the performance of Soviet/Russian military systems. US special operation units on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan stop in Israel for 2-3 week training by Israeli experts in countering suicide bombers, car bombs and deadly improvised explosive devices.

According to General George Keegan, former Chief of Air Force Intelligence, five CIAs would be required, in order to procure the intelligence provided by Israel.

In the aftermath of the January 1991 First Gulf War, then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney stated: "Thank you Israel for destroying Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, which spared the US a nuclear confrontation in 1991."

The late General Alexander Haig, former Supreme Commander of NATO and Secretary of State, referred to Israel as "the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US soldier on board and deployed in a most critical region. If there were not Israel, then the US would have to deploy a few more real aircraft carriers to the region, along with many more ground forces, which would have cost the US taxpayer some $15BN-$20BN annually, all of which is spared by Israel."

Just like the US independent oil and natural gas producers, Israel has defied the odds, ascending to new heights, enhancing US national security and the economy through mutually-beneficial cooperation.

US-Israel relations resemble a two-way street, whereby the US makes an annual investment in – not foreign aid to – Israel, which yields an annual rate of return of a few hundred percent, benefitting the US taxpayer.

The US-Israel cooperation proves that two guns shoot longer than one.

The Yishai Fleisher Show: Floating Data Pod and the Ugly Rainbow

Before there was Global Warming - there was the great flood that came because of mankind's immorality. Rav Mike Feuer joins Rabbi Yishai Fleisher to discuss Noah's scientific prowess, his building of the ark, and the attempt to create a new society in the wake of the world's destruction. Then, Malkah Fleisher on eliminating ISIS founder Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

Rabbi Ari Kahn on Parashat Noach: A Natural Disaster

St. Yitzhak Rabin Day is Coming to Israel Again…

(Ed. note. I don't know who killed Rabin but I do know it wasn't Yigal Amir. Poor schmuck was set up as a patsy.  More on the Kedar farce here....

St. Rabin Day is coming to Israel again. If you’re on the political right, its time to run and hide before you’re accused of incitement to murder.

Or maybe a million or two, brave men and women, should hold a quite vigil by the Knesset, on the theme, “I didn’t kill Yitzhak Rabin, and I don’t feel guilty.”

The annual leftist-inspired guilt fest of St. Yitzhak Rabin (patron saint of lost “peace,” with the so-called Palestinians), has come around this year again.

The phenomena of martyrs being deified, canonized, and raised to super-human status, has a long history among obscure antinomian messianic groups within the Jewish people.

St. Rabin is only the latest one...

Every year at this time, we are reminded that the “Kingdom of Heaven and Peace on Earth,” didn’t come about because of Netanyahu and the right-wing mobs.

Everyone who participated at a right-wing demonstration, everyone who opposed the “peace process” (half the country), everyone who questioned the orthodoxy of the Left; that “peace in our time,” was just around the corner (if Arafat would only have stopped “catch and release” and kept those nasty terrorists in jail); are guilty. You unbelievers, you had a hand in pulling the trigger!

And so, the leftist orthodoxy has a new victim this year, a new “sacrifice for peace,” Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a professor at Bar-Ilan University. The wheels of the inquisition are turning quickly.

What’s his crime?

He dared raise the issue of, “Who killed Yitzhak Rabin?”

The orthodoxy already “Knows” the “Truth,” how dare he question it. He must be “disciplined.” If the left had the power, he probably would be sent to a “re-education camp” or the “Gulag.” So Bar-Ilan University, that bastion of “academic freedom, free speech and free thought,” is going to muzzle him from talking out of turn. His free trip to represent the university at an academic conference, was canceled.

Not good enough “punishment” for a heretic, University Rector Prof. Miriam Faust, summoned Dr. Kedar to the Disciplinary Committee, just for saying that he thought convicted assassin Yigal Amir was not actually responsible for the murder of PM Yitzhak Rabin.

Kedar spoke recently at a right-wing rally in support of PM Netanyahu. Kedar claimed that Rabin had been the victim of a political conspiracy, and raised the question, that Amir was not the real assassin.

“Twenty-four years ago, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered,” Kedar told the crowd, “and the attempt to hide what happened continues to this day.”

Kedar accused the Left of turning the assassination into a political weapon against the Right for something, “Yigal Amir might not have done”.

“The guilt of the Right continues to this day,” he said. “And how do I know it’s been silenced? For 25 years I was in the Intelligence Corps. I’ve seen tens of thousands of documents that are ‘confidential.’”

“Why [are documents relating to the murder] confidential?” Kedar asked the audience, answering: “Ladies and gentlemen, much of the investigation into Rabin’s murder are still in secret documents to date.”

Kedar continued, “Why is he [Amir] sitting in solitary confinement? So that he won’t tell people the truth?” Kedar then called for a “real investigation of Rabin’s murder.”

By the way, according to a poll conducted recently, by the Roshink Research Institute, for those organizing the upcoming Rabin Memorial, 19% of Israelis support a pardon for Yigal Amir, and 18% reported they are unsure whether, to pardon him or keep him in jail.

So it seems that many Israelis have their doubts too.

Yet, Bar-Ilan University was swift in responding, “The Bar-Ilan University administration strongly condemns Dr. Kedar’s comments. The things he said and his opinions, are his own, and do not represent the university and its employees. We believe that there is no place for these kinds of statements in Israeli society.”

Notice, one is not allowed to question the orthodoxy...

But, let’s not forget, two things:

1. In 2001, Yitzhak Rabin’s grandson during a radio interview, revealed that Leah Rabin (Yitzhak’s wife) had expressed doubts and had questions about Rabin’s murder herself. And, Dalia Rabin-Pelossof (Yitzhak’s daughter) has also expressed this in the past.

If the Rabin family themselves have raised questions, why is Dr. Kedar being “burned at the stake?”

2. Bar-Ilan University is where that “wild weed” Amir grew, he was a law student of theirs, at the time. Who were his teachers? What did they teach him? Is Bar-Ilan’s guilt complex over-reacting?

Defending Kedar, attorney Dan Yakir, of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, sent a letter to Bar-Ilan University’s management, “We are very concerned about the University’s decision to invite Dr. Mordechai Kedar to a disciplinary committee, to suspend him from representing the University at conferences abroad, and prevent his participation in an [upcoming] conference as a University Representative.”

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Arabic at the University and research associate of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies.

Yakir wrote, that Dr. Kedar’s remarks about Prime Minister Rabin’s murder were stated outside the walls of the academic institution and that the lecturer did not purport to represent the university.

“These steps constitute an improper violation of freedom of expression and academic freedom. Therefore, we would like to see to it that the disciplinary discussion to which Dr. Kedar is summoned and the suspension of his participation in overseas conferences be canceled,” Yakir wrote.

Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz was quick to condemn Kedar’s remarks. Again capitalizing on the murder, to besmirch all those who opposed the “peace process” in 1995, Amir said, “Netanyahu and his supporters are again on the balcony in Zion Square. The mouth is Kedar’s mouth, maybe the text too; the atmosphere is Netanyahu’s atmosphere.”

Proving Kedar’s point!

And, let’s not forget the so-called “Rabin Legacy,” about the “peace that could have been,” that’s always mentioned every St. Rabin festival.

The true legacy is that, after firing on the ship, the Altelana, in 1948, St. Rabin, commanding soldiers on the shore, ordered the fledgling IDF to open-fire on defenseless Irgunists in the water, fleeing the sinking ship, killing many.

Much Jewish blood was on St. Rabin’s own hands…

Not to mention the 30,000 machine guns his “peace process” gave to arch terrorist and serial murderer, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, that led to the Oslo War (the second Intifada), over 1,500 Jews murdered and thousands more maimed.

What a legacy for St. Rabin.

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.

(c) 2019/5780 Pasko

Meir Kahane was Both Right and Wrong

by Victor Rosenthal

Last week I wrote a post entitled “Kahane was Right.” Apparently, the name “Kahane” has great power. One publication republished my article, and then tried to post it on its Facebook page, only to have it blocked, presumably because saying anything positive about Rabbi Meir Kahane constitutes “racism.” Another editor felt that he could not in good conscience publish it – because of parts that were critical of Kahane!

Facebook’s action, whether an algorithmic response to the title or the decision of a human who probably didn’t bother to read past it, is not worth bothering about. But I would like to talk a bit more about Kahane and reactions to him.

Kahane is important because he is one of the few thinkers who have faced head-on the very uncomfortable (and yet undeniable) fact that – for cultural, religious, and political reasons that are unlikely to change – Jews and cannot coexist with more than minimal numbers of Muslim Arabs in Eretz Yisrael.

Keep in mind that individual Jews and Arabs often work well together, and can treat each other with respect and even form friendships. I know this as a fact from personal experience. But events during the 70 years of Jewish sovereignty here – and the Jewish presence prior to that – have shown that the ideal of coexistence is chimerical.

A major problem, perhaps the ultimate source of all of the problems from the beginning, is that Islam does not countenance non-Muslim – especially Jewish – sovereignty in a place where Muslims live. Another issue, since 1948, is that the Arab narrative of dispossession, along with shame from repeated military defeats, evokes fury in the honor-based Arab culture. Finally, the Arab leadership, starting with Amin al-Husseini, has always tried to exacerbate these feelings. Yasser Arafat, especially, created an educational system that transformed Arab boys and girls into vicious killers as a political tool.

Thanks to leaders like Arafat as well as interference from external antisemitic powers – the KGB’s embrace of the PLO comes to mind – the situation has only gotten worse. A “Palestinian” culture, which did not exist before the 1960s has come into being which is essentially (and murderously) oppositional to the Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael.

Meir Kahane, sadly, was assassinated before the disaster of Oslo, but in “They Must Go,” written while he was imprisoned in Israel in the 1970s, he exhaustively documents the Arab hostility to the Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael back to long before the founding of the state.

The conflict will not be solved by well-meaning attempts at dialogue. If the political aspects of the conflict that have developed over the years weren’t enough to make it insoluble, the religious side would be more than enough.

If you combine this with the simple geostrategic fact (just look at a topographic map) that an Israel without military control of Judea and Samaria would be indefensible, you arrive at what Micah Goodman called “Catch 67,” the dilemma which seems to force us to choose between military and demographic insecurity.

It’s even worse than this, because the problem is not only with the Arabs of Judea and Samaria. The relationship between Israeli Jews and the close to 20% of its citizens within the Green Line who are Muslim Arabs is also tense. A recent poll shows that two-thirds of Arab citizens of Israel do not believe that Israel has the right to be defined as the national home of the Jewish people. Arab members of the Knesset display varying degrees of hostility to the Jewish state, all the way up to calling for “resistance” against it, which is understood to mean terrorism. I can’t think of another country with even a 10% proportion of Muslims in its population that doesn’t suffer from serious instability, terrorism or insurrection connected to Muslims.

Kahane argued that higher birthrates among Arabs than Jews would inevitably lead to a Muslim majority, which of course would be the end of Jewish sovereignty. But time has proven him wrong – at least in the pre-1967 area of Israel – as the Jewish birthrate has increased while that of Arabs declined; and Israel received a surprise bonus of almost a million former Soviet Jews. Nevertheless, the tipping point for political instability may be well below the numbers needed for a Muslim majority.

Kahane’s conclusion was that Jewish survival demanded the emigration of most of the Arabs from the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. And I believe that he was right about this. That doesn’t mean that they should be expelled violently (as the Jordanians did to the Jews in the areas they occupied in 1948, and as the Turks are doing right now to the Kurds in the areas of Syria that they have invaded). Perhaps voluntary, incentivized, emigration is possible (see Martin Sherman’s comments about Gaza here).

But I cannot agree with everything he believed. For one, he wanted a state whose laws would be the laws of Halacha. I think, on the other hand, that observance of the commandments by Jews should be a personal matter, not one enforced by the state. The state of the Jewish people must respect Judaism, but it must also respect its Jews; and many of them are only partly observant or not at all.

The other difficulty I have is more philosophical. In his view there is something essentially different between Jews and non-Jews. Kahane sees the “chosen-ness” of the Jewish people as a concrete property that connects them to Hashem in a way that no other people can be connected:

There is only one reason why Jews should be different, and that is the very special difference, the uniqueness that makes them separate and different from all other peoples. ONLY the election of Israel, only the concept of a Chosen people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation; only the “Ata b’chartanu, You have chosen us from all the nations”: only the “hamavdil beyn kodesh l’chol, He who differentiates between and separates between holy and profane, between Israel and the nations”; only the need to be different, apart and separate NOT BECAUSE OF SOME VAGUE LANGUAGE OR HISTORICAL DIFFERNCE [sic] but because of the distinct uniqueness of Torah and the commandments as a DIVINE decree – only this gives any validity to the Jew remaining alive as a distinct entity. – Meir Kahane, Letter to a secular Jewish nationalist, 1973

Although I go to synagogue every Shabbat, apparently I am a “secular Jewish nationalist.” I see the “election” as the imposition and acceptance of the burden of Hashem’s mitzvot, not a metaphysical property that places me higher in the chain of being than an Arab. Indeed, I admit that I find the idea repugnant.

I don’t insist that the Arab and Jewish cultures are equally good or valuable. But my problem with the Arabs isn’t metaphysical, it’s concrete, based on their behavior.

For Kahane, the only kind of Zionism that’s worth having is a strict religious Zionism, one that doesn’t see its task complete until the State of Israel is a Jewish kingdom modeled on an idealized ancient Judea. Of course, if you think about our history as described in the Tanach, you’ll realize that everything wasn’t ideal back then either. Kahane’s belief is analogous to that of the Islamists who believe that “Islam is the answer” to all the problems of Muslim societies. That didn’t work for them, and I don’t think a similar approach will work for us. Just read the Book of Kings.

While I believe that Kahane was correct in his analysis of the Jewish-Arab conflict, and agree with him that the only acceptable solution to it is the emigration of most Arabs from Eretz Yisrael, I also think it is necessary for our survival that Israel be at the same time a modern, democratic state and one that is based on Jewish principles (and I don’t mean the “Tikkunist” principles of liberal Judaism).

Do you see the tension there? Certainly there is one. And I see my personal job as trying to understand how it’s possible to have a Zionism that can be justified on wholly secular grounds without losing its spiritual truth.

When I think about the difficulties, though, I am reminded of a remark made by the very liberal (but very smart and knowledgeable) Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, z”l. When someone asked him how he could both study biblical criticism and yet believe that every word of the Torah was given to Moshe at Sinai, he simply said that he was “a crazy Chosid who could hold several contradictory ideas in his head before breakfast.”

Maybe we all need to learn to do that.

Noach’s World

Parashat Noach 5780
by HaRav Nachman Kahana

Rabbi Yochanan (in Sanhedrin 108a) – expounding on the Torah’s statement that Noach was “righteous in his generation” (Bereishiet 6:9) – states that “had he lived in another generation, he would not necessarily have been considered righteous.”

Rashi explains that had Noach lived in Avraham’s time, Avraham’s righteousness would have outshined all of Noach’s deeds. Yet, neither Rabbi Yochanan nor Rashi explains how Noach was inferior to Avraham.

The key to understanding Noach is the action he took upon leaving the ark – he planted a vineyard. Noach and his contemporaries achieved impressive technological developments; they harnessed forces of nature to serve humanity in ways not yet known today. At first, peace and brotherhood reigned, resulting in the creation of a materialistic society that rejected every shred of spirituality. From there, the distance to moral deterioration and licentiousness was short.

At a certain moment, HaShem decided that the wisdom that humanity had imbibed from the Tree of Knowledge was serving its evil impulses to such an extent that it would lose its right to exist. Only one man preserved his divine image – Noach. He stood against a world of violence, murder, idolatry and sexual immorality.

According to our Sages, Noach was famous in his generation as a man of science and technology whose genius had freed humanity from natural calamities that struck mercilessly. His scientific contributions were the basis for his generation’s easy life. Yet Noach saw that his contemporaries had strayed from their spiritual traditions and had deteriorated into licentiousness. He also understood that his many discoveries had contributed greatly to that deterioration, and he felt a personal responsibility to restore his contemporaries to the path of HaShem. However, they were already past the point of no return.

At the end of the Flood – a year of toil and suffering for Noach – the ark came to rest on the peak of the Ararat mountain range. Noach opened up the ship’s hold and saw before him a world devoid of everything. He called out and his voice echoed off the cliffs of Ararat without a response. Noach struggled with his guilt feelings for his share in causing such a severe punishment. He could not accept the new reality nor build a new society from scratch. The only path before him was to escape through drunkenness and sweet slumber.

In contrast, let’s consider the story of Avraham.

Avraham discovered HaShem at a young age. He developed a belief system which he transmitted to tens of thousands who had abandoned their faith to idolatry. Avraham’s spiritual universe was perfect: there was a Creator of the Universe and He demanded of people that they lead a moral life.

Avraham was blessed with a son who had been educated to continue on the divine path until the entire world would accept faith in the One God.

When HaShem commanded Avraham to bring this son as a burnt offering, Avraham felt as if his spiritual world was about to collapse. The command to a father to sacrifice his son totally contradicted Avraham’s belief that HaShem was the source of kindness and mercy. This was Avraham’s great test.

Noach was tested and he failed, reaching the point of irreversible breakdown. Avraham, too, was brought to the breaking point. He had to choose between love for his son and love for HaShem, and he could not resolve the contradiction. Yet, unlike Noach, Avraham did not break down nor did he attempt to run away from a seemingly terrible reality. For three days, he advanced quietly and determinedly to Yerushalayim. His son, Yitzchak, asked him, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?” (Bereishiet 22:7). Still Avraham did not break down, even as he lifted the knife to slaughter his son. Only then did the angel cry out, “Do not harm the boy! Do not do anything to him” (Bereishiet 22:12).

The difference between Noach, righteous in his generation, and Avraham, righteous in every generation, is reflected in the breaking point. Noach broke down, finding no other solution to his suffering but escape. Avraham experienced suffering but not crisis. He would never stray from the God of love and kindness.

Every one of us is a descendant of Jews who did not break. They withstood the destruction of two Temples, wars, exiles and persecutions perpetrated by the Christians, the Muslims, the Communists and the Nazis – and none could break them.

Today, the Jewish people once more find themselves undergoing a test of faith. Should they return to the land of their forefathers or remain in the exile to sacrifice their children on the altars of gold and convenience?

In the future, historians will note that a small number of Jews blocked with their bodies the advance of murderous Islamists while building a national home in the Land of Israel. That minority of Jews are not only “righteous in their generation,” but righteous by the yardstick of all the generations.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5780/2019 Nachman Kahana

Hey America: Israel is Losing It Too!

by Victor Rosenthal

I know that I sound like a broken record. OK, none of you are old enough to know what that sounds like. How about a scratched CD, one that plays the same phrase over and over and over: Bibi, Gantz, Lieberman, Lapid: get your acts together. It is a matter of life and death.

I have sometimes sounded smug when I criticize the USA, my former home, for descending into madness. On the one hand you have the spitting and cursing leftist “resistance” to Trump, who find an angle to criticize everything that he does, accuse him of every imaginable crime, boo him at baseball games, and would certainly murder him if they could. On the other side are his partisans, to whom every action he takes, no matter how ill-considered, is portrayed as a stroke of genius. Normal mortals may not be able to see it, but there is a Plan.

That’s just the politics. Culturally, people are obsessed with race and gender in ways that defy reason, there is a strong current to throw away the idea of free speech, and – yes – they are beating up and shooting Jews there, too.

Israel, I used to suggest, is different. We aren’t crazy. We are a small country that makes the best of its opportunities, with competent leaders. We can’t afford an army like the US has, but ours is still the best in the region, because Jews are smart and know how to innovate. Aren’t we the “startup nation?” Haven’t we found a way to be both a Jewish state, a refuge for persecuted Jews the world over, while still maintaining halfway decent relations with the 20% of our population that are Arabs? Aren’t we, despite all the challenges, a democratic state?

Well, boker tov [good morning] Eliyahu as they like to say here to someone who finally understands the obvious. We are just as crazy as America. Our political and social fabric is tearing here just as badly as it is over there, and we seem to be just as clueless about how to mend it.

The behavior of Bibi, Gantz, Lieberman, and Lapid, whose almost unbelievable selfishness, egotism, and stubbornness has prevented the establishment of a government after two elections, and which threatens to produce a third (and probably equally inconclusive) one is deplorable – and intolerable. Israel is on the verge of war with Iran and its proxies, a multi-front, complicated war with an intelligent and creative enemy, one which will certainly exact a high price in blood from us. We are, it seems, unprepared, and it will take a supreme effort and expense to get prepared in time. And yet, the squabbling continues! How can they not understand this?

To the Left, it is all about Bibi’s alleged criminal activities and the Right’s “attack on democracy,” which means an attack on those unelected elements that lean Left and have so much influence, including foreign-funded lobbyists. But Bibi has been subjected to a campaign of fishing expeditions and illegal leaks to the media about them almost since he took office; something that played a large role in bringing about the current stalemate.

Today, Minister of Justice Amir Ohana referred to the “symbiosis” between the police investigators, the prosecution, and the media in connection with the leaks, which have never been investigated. Ohana is a Netanyahu appointee, but he’s quite right. Whether or not Bibi turns out to be a witch, he has been and continues to be the subject of a witch hunt (an interesting analysis of the charges against him is here).

On the other hand, Bibi has used more force to crush opposition to him in his party than he has to stop Hamas from setting wildfires in the area adjacent to our border. I can’t count all the ministerial portfolios that he is holding at once. Once perhaps the most competent Prime Minister in Israel’s history, his obsession with his legal problems and his inability to delegate responsibility seems to have neutralized him.

Yesterday’s big news was that a couple of Netanyahu’s aides allegedly paid a Bratslaver sound truck, one of those that drives around playing joyous music, stopping from time to time to allow the occupants to come out and dance in the street, to park in front of the house of Shlomo Filber, a State’s Witnesses in one of Bibi’s criminal cases. Instead of joyous music, they broadcast accusations that Filber was a liar. The police, investigating the incident, are alleged to have improperly taken the telephones of the perpetrators, and downloaded their content. The USA has nothing on us for craziness.

Social problems are multiplying. Young people still can’t afford apartments. The Haredi Rabbinut continues to embitter the lives of thousands of Israelis. The healthcare system is falling apart from a shortage of doctors, nurses, and money. Arab citizens of Israel elect politicians to the Knesset who oppose the existence of a Jewish state. Nothing is done to remove the infiltrators from South Tel Aviv. Nothing is done to prepare for the inevitable powerful earthquake. As happens in third world countries, money flows into the pockets of the elite, while public needs receive less and less attention.

I’d call for a military coup if the worthless opposition party weren’t already heavily laden with former Chiefs of Staff. Or a revolution, if I didn’t know that historically revolutions tend to end up with the most extreme, brutal factions in charge.

Really, all we need is a competent government, made up of people who put the needs of the state and its people first. Is that too much to ask?

"I will blot out man"

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

And God said, "I will blot out man, whom I created, from upon the face of the earth…” (Bereishis 6:7)

I HAVE GAINED an insight I wish to share by building it into this week’s Perceptions.

I am in an unusual situation, though my daughter tells me that it is far more common these days than I think. She and her family (husband and three daughters) have moved into our home (temporarily) to avoid paying rent on their previous apartment while they wait for their next one to be ready.

We weren’t really given a choice, and it is really quite amazing how they are living out of ONE room. Even more amazing is how much I am able to live like this, given how small our place is and how much I usually need my space. And without question, they are “tenants” with benefits.

It has already been over a month, and, b”H, so-far-so- good. But one thing I have noticed, and I think it is an amazing insight, is something that explains a lot about society today, and why it struggles to be decent.

We all know how once upon a time, it was quite common for a few generations to live in one house. Economics demanded. Social responsibility required it. After all, who better to take care of aging parents than the children, and who better to help out with the children than grandparents.

Then society changed.

It became faster.



It was no longer convenient to have aging generations around. Either they were healthy and wealthy enough to take care of themselves, or they were placed in homes for the aging. People could afford day care for their children and babysitters. Family homes became streamlined.

There have been many discussions about the pros versus the cons of this dramatic change to society. Yet one I never heard, but have recently discovered, seems so obvious now, and so obviously important.

Love is the name of the game, and key to a healthy child becoming a healthy adult. When children grow up without enough love, they end up imbalanced as adults. Just how much depends upon how much love they enjoyed as children.

My wife and I, like most parents, tried to be loving parents for our children. And we were a lot of the time, but life has its way of sapping you of energy at times, making it hard to show others the love you have for them somewhere inside. And children, being as love-hungry as they naturally are, pick up when their parents give out bad vibes, either consciously or unconsciously.

My daughter and her husband and definitely loving parents, b”H. But, as parents with jobs and responsibilities, it is easy to get distracted. Or, it is easy to stop being mindful of loving your children because of the ongoing status quo. Nothing out of the norm there.

Nonetheless, my wife and I have been lavishing some extra love on our granddaughters, just because they are there, and we are their bubby and zaidy. Of course we love all of our grandchildren equally, and make a point of letting them know that one way or another. But it is one thing to show that kind of love over a Shabbos now and then, and something else to show it on a daily basis. It’s got to be good for personal development.

This has made me wonder if the whole downfall of society, which often seems run by a lot of immature and spoiled brats in expensive adult clothing, is because of the breakdown of the nuclear family. It is been said often that ours is a love-starved society, which is why Hollywood makes so much money off of love-based entertainment.

It’s simple. A giving society is a happy and safe one. A loving society is a giving one, because the generous people in life tend to be those who feel grateful for what they themselves have received. The more grateful people feel about what they have received, the more they tend to share with others.

It is HIGHLY unlikely for people to have been loved a lot as children, and grow up to be selfish. There are always exceptions to the rule, but they are never the rule. It’s just the way God made man and the world in which he lives.

And it’s the way He WANTS the world too. By the end of last week’s parsha, mankind become so anti the purpose of Creation that God decided to eradicate all of it. And as Rashi points, of all the bad things they did, and they did HORRIFIC things, theft was the last straw that “convinced” God to reboot history.

When analyzing the root of all their evil, the commentators point at different sources. According to the Arizal, it is actually quire Kabbalistic, and details in Sha’ar HaPesukim (now translated into English). None of them, however, suggest that theirs was a love-starved generation.

Then again, one of the first acts outside the Garden of Eden was murder. And when confronted by God about it, Kayin did not respond with guilt and regret, but simply asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Not a very loving statement to make.

Not everyone in each generation was like this. There are always some who get it right, or righter, if only because their souls are Chesed-based. But when too many people become Kayin-like in their approach to their “brothers,” then society is doomed, because their children will only become worse.

It’s like the “Ben Sorrer u’Moreh,” the rebellious son. As the Talmud explains, he isn’t executed so much because of what he has already done, but to prevent him from doing what he will probably do. We see his behavior today, and project it into the future, and save his soul before he has a chance to seriously damage it.

Society too. If after time God sees the tools for tikun dissipate from generation to generation, then he doesn’t necessarily wait for society to do all the evil it can. If it becomes an inevitable reality, He may simply put mankind out of its spiritual misery before it has a chance to go the full distance.

After all, what about all the children of Noach’s generation? Were they doing the same level of bad as their parents? Were they even yet culpable for any “sins” they may have already committed, if only because that is what they saw all around them? Was there no innocence anywhere at all?

It didn’t matter at some point. The children belonged to parents who could not give them what they needed to change the trend, and improve society. So, there was no sense in waiting until they simply inherited their parents’ evil ways.

We’re still here, so there must still be time. But watching love on the silver screen is not the same as giving to those worthy of it, and in the amounts they need. People, believe it or not, can do without food better than they can do without love. The former affects the present, but the latter affects the rest of a person’s life.

Just take a look at the divorce rate today, which does not reflect all the bad marriages out there that never make it to divorce court. Not the sign of a very loving society, and certainly a warning to parents about what they should focus on within the walls of their homes. I’ve yet to meet a brat that was the product of too much AUTHENTIC love.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Shamrak Report: Compromise Ignores the Rights of Jews and more...

by Adam Rasgon
Senior Arab MK, Mansour Abbas, said alliance of Arab-majority parties wants full civil and national rights for Arab Israelis and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“Of course, we are against the Zionist movement. However, from a pragmatic perspective, we are ready for a compromise between the Zionist movement and Palestinians,” said Abbas, who heads the Ra’am party.
“We believe that compromise should entail full citizenship for Palestinians in Israel including civil and national rights and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.” (“Compromise” what a dirty word!Its real meaning is that both sides are not happy with a deal,as far as Jews are concerned, it is always in favor of our enemies!)
Zionism is Jewish National Independence Movement!
Presented by (this box is available to sponsors)
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
Arab Members of Knesset have no loyalty to Israel! They advocate creation of another Islamic terror state on Jewish land, the sole goal of which is destruction of Israel. Jews will not have any rights there and even won’t be allowed to live in it. It is not much of a compromise! Palestinians and their Jew-hating supporters chant “Palestine from the river (Jordan) to the sea”. No room for Israel! There are many Arab/Muslim states where Jews have no rights and have been expelled from. Let the fake Palestinians leave Israel and claim their right over there, among their Arab brothers!
Shas chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said that his party will agree to sit in a coalition with Yair Lapid, provided he agrees to maintain the status quo and does not demand changes on matters related to religion and state. (Keeping the status quo means that more Jews will be killed by terrorists and more rockets fired from Gaza terrorising Jewish kids in Israel's south!)
Jordan considered downgrading its diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public promise during the run-up to last month’s Knesset election to annex the Jordan Valley, backing down only after King Abdullah II concluded the declaration was most likely a pre-election stunt. (Too many empty promises, for too long - nothing is doneBibi must go and let a true Zionist lead Israel!)
The US deploys stealth F-22 Raptors at Saudi Prince Sultan air base. The Trump administration is also committed to send another 3,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia. Some of them are part of the contingents being withdrawn with sensitive equipment from the Al-Udeid base since the US CENTCOM judged this base in Qatar to be within easy range of Iranian cruise missiles.
A senior Israeli official, Dana Benvenisti-Gabay, took part in a security conference in Bahrain. Presence of Foreign Ministry official at meeting in Manama on maritime, civil aviation security marks latest sign of warming ties between Israel and some Arab states. The meeting, co-hosted by Bahrain, the US and Poland, is part of the so-called Warsaw Process, which started with the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East that took place. (Arab states have shown temporary warming to the Jewish state as they need help from Israel in dealing with Iran's threat!)
Israeli authorities have demolished at least 140 Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem this year, the highest annual number since it began keeping records in 2004. Of the 140 units demolished this year, 31 were dismantled by their owners - owners choose to demolish their own homes to avoid the high fees charged by Israeli authorities. Peace Now estimates that half of the 40,000 housing units built in Palestinian neighborhoods since 1967 lack permits, placing them at constant risk of demolition. (Even enemies of Israel, Peace Now and Israel unfriendly publications, have admitted the systematic illegal occupation of the Jewish land by fake Palestinians!)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday ordered the rebuilding with PA funding of the Abu Hmeid family home in the Amari 'refugee camp' in Ramallah. The house was demolished Thursday morning by the IDF corps of engineers. The Palestinian Authority financed the reconstruction of the house once before. This is the fourth time Israel demolishes the Abu Hmeid residence. Four members of this beleaguered family are serving several life terms and a fifth is being held in administrative detention. A sixth member was killed by the Israeli army. (Only by removing enemies from the Jewish land terror will stop in Eretz-Israel!)
Blue and White wanted the second chance to form a government, betting that the PM would fail. So now Gantz has the opportunity he sought, but no evident path to a majority. So far, Gantz ended up with 54 recommendations: 33 from his own Blue and White party, 10 from the rest of the Joint List, six from Labor and five from the Democratic Camp. Gantz now has 28 days to try to do what Netanyahu could not. If he fails, any MK will have 21 days to obtain the support of a Knesset majority to form a government. If no one succeeds, elections will be automatically initiated.
The Ukrainian government announced that it will open a special office to promote innovation and investment in Jerusalem. The existing Ukrainian Embassy in Israel is still operating in Tel Aviv.
A recent decision by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Attorney General to block 59 Media pages and websites has generated outrage in the PA, prompting fierce criticism from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and others. Many of the social media pages and news sites that the official said were blocked are highly critical of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.(After many years in power and promises made by Abbas, an election is still an illusion. Last time Hamas won the PA's election! It says a lot about 'peace-loving’ 'Palestinians'!)
Half of Yisrael Beytenu's voters would not vote for him again! According to a poll, 100% of the voters who backed United Torah Judaism answered in the affirmative, as did 90% of the Joint Arab List's voters, 88.5% of Likud's voters, 85% of the Democratic Camp's voters, and 84% of Blue and White's voters. A full 76% of Yamina's voters would vote for the party again, compared to 71% of Otzma Yehudit's voters, 70% of Shas voters, 64% of Labor-Gesher voters, and just 51.5% of Yisrael Beytenu's voters. (PM Netanyahu admitted that he cannot form a government at the moment!)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said that she was open to making aid to Israel conditional on whether the government ceases settlement building in the West Bank. "Right now, Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution." (Is aid to the fake Palestinians will be also conditional - to ending terror attacks and corruption? Jew-haters always have one-sided vision!)
Quote of the Week:
“The time has come to say Israel is ours. To go from strategic defense to a process of initiating the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the territories under Israeli control in Judea and Samaria.” – saidNaftali Bennett several years ago – It is long overdue - but only as the first step toward reunification of all land of Eretz-Israel, as it was defined by the original resolution of the League of Nations! But did he mean it, or just was looking for voters’ support? Nothing has changed since!
by Mordechai Kedar
Palestinian territorial contiguity is dangerous for Israeli national security:
Over the years, many Israelis and others have adopted the Arab-Palestinian narrative that views territorial contiguity as a condition for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. As a result of this narrative and its pervasiveness worldwide, efforts are made to ensure that the West Bank Palestinians will have an integral territory from Mount Gilboa in the north to the outskirts of Beersheba in the south...
The central strategic goal of the state of Israel should be to permanently remain in Judea and Samaria and to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity... Territorial contiguity will compromise Israel’s security for the following reasons:
Non-viability of PA governments. Experience has shown that PA governments do not resolutely and consistently act against terrorists. Political and media messages since 1994 have proven that neither the PLO nor Hamas have prevented terrorism and the proliferation of weapons. There also is no evidence that any Palestinian government will prevent terrorism, even if Israel withdraws all the way to the Green Line. A further danger is the possibility of a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria and the creation of a terror state like the one in the Gaza Strip.
Rockets. Territorial contiguity will enable weapons smuggled from Gaza to easily reach all parts of the West Bank and to be used against the surrounding major Israeli landmarks and cities. For example, Israel’s only international airport, nuclear reactor, and towns such as Petah Tikva, Kfar Saba, and Afula in addition to Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv will fall within rocket range.
Tunnels. After the completion of the security fence in the West Bank, the Palestinians are likely to dig tunnels along the perimeter, as they have done along the Gaza-Egyptian border. These tunnels can be used to smuggle explosives and terrorists in and out of Israel...
Territory. Transferring land to the Palestinians will remove the IDF presence from Palestinian towns. Two problems arise with this scenario. First, every strategic location Israel evacuates is at risk of becoming an arms depot and a haven for launching missiles into Israel. Second, any IDF operation against terror in these towns will require movement through hostile territory. This eliminates the element of surprise, essential for an operation’s success and forces the IDF to cope with explosives, mines and ambushes on the way to the target...
Water. Most of Israel’s water comes from an aquifer located under the Judea and Samaria. Palestinian sovereignty over the aquifer will create a grave water problem, compounded by the presence of hundreds of thousands of Israelis who will need to be evacuated from the settlements of Judea and Samaria.
Arab neighbors to the East. Palestinian territorial contiguity will cut off the strategically vital Jordan Valley from Israel, exposing it to dangers from the east - Jordan, Iraq and Iran. The threat posed by Iraq and Iran is thus greatly magnified by the loss of this territory.
Settlements. Retaining the rural areas in Judea and Samaria will significantly reduce the number of settlements to be dismantled, increase the chances that evacuation of settlements will be accomplished by agreement, decrease the expenditures for compensation and rebuilding, and limit the destructive repercussions on Israeli society. At present, there are serious social disruptions resulting from the events of Gush Katif, Northern Samaria and Amona. There is also a growing distrust and the resultant alienation from the political establishment and the democratic system by religious Zionists and settlers. Efforts should be made so that further withdrawals will be conducted in cooperation with the settlers and not in opposition to them. (After all these perfectly reasonable objections the author still believes and advocates possibility of creation of another Arab terrorist state on Jewish land! What has to happen that would convince those ‘liberal’, if not self-hating, Jews that they need to regain self-pride and self-respect, and pay more attention to interests and the future of their own people? May be they will understand this: “It is our land!” Simple, isn’t it? The bottom line is – Palestine is Eretz-Israel, and by making the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza contiguous it will split Israel and robe Jewish people of their land and future. Why should Israel be split to satisfy terrorists?)