Friday, November 29, 2019

Rav Kook's Ein Ayah: Constriction and Freedom

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:88)

Gemara: We interpret the pasuk, “A bundle of mor (a spice) my beloved is for me; between my breasts he lies” (Shir Hashirim 1:13), as follows: Israel said before Hashem: “Master of the Universe, even though my beloved was harsh (lit., put me into a constricted place), he still dwelled between my breasts” (Rashi – a reference to the two posts which were attached to the ark, which protruded through the curtain of the Holy of Holies).

Ein Ayah: There are two situations that bring a pleasant feeling to the human spirit when they are present, and when they are missing (and certainly if the opposite situation is present), it can cause him great distress.

One situation is that of the ability to spread out. This can exist in regard to the breadth of his heart, and to spread out his essence, to increase his desires, and seek to go as high as high can be. He wants to be unrestricted in what he can seek and what he can imagine. When he has the freedom to have space of all sorts, he feels that he is prominent and is internally happy. When, in contrast, he is lead into a situation of restrictions, which constrict him, he feels incarcerated, abused, and lowered. He lacks the breadth of his heart and his light is dimmed, causing him to feel depressed.

The second situation is suitability and harmony. When a person’s desires, feelings, and surroundings all fit his internal life values, he feels pleasantness and internal smoothness. It is like a pleasing taste or a melodious sound. It is representative of a characteristic of compatibility between that which is felt and the one who is feeling it. In contrast, when elements of a person’s being are complicated and contradictory, it causes pain and bitterness, which can be shocking to a person. It can feel like elements of hell, which cause pain to the spirit and body.

The flame of sanctity of the love of Hashem, which is like intellectual perfume, is the most penetrating emotion of the soul. It is generally present in members of the Jewish people, and this is true in an all-encompassing manner in special people. This love of Hashem sweetens all the sources of bitterness. The light of freedom turns all of the constricted areas to breadth and freedom, which bring great love and fulfillment to those who merit it. The connection to Hashem through love based on achievement, which is built upon the basic connection to Hashem of all in the nation, is connected to the power to cause growth which has existed throughout the generations.

Breasts are the guarantee of sustenance. Raising up new generations and providing them with the vitality of life is represented by the mother who gives birth and raises the child, which she can do with the help of the father who fertilizes.

The internal sweetness of the love found in the Jewish people surpasses all boundaries. The power of the spirit can enter the constricted places and in response to the pressure, stand strong to the challenge. That is what the gemara means by saying that even though my beloved was harsh and constricting, still he lied between my breasts. The love of the powerful overcomes all, and the tight places actually increase the eternal freedom. The bitter enhances the power of taste and enables the impact of the sweet.

"And they named him Eisav"

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

And the first one emerged ruddy; he was completely like a coat of hair, and they named him Eisav. (Bereishis 25:25)

MOVING RIGHT ALONG, we are already at Parashas Toldos. Every parsha is important in its own right, and so much happens that has and will impact the rest of history. But it is in this week’s parsha that the die is cast for millennia to follow, until the arrival of Moshiach. Finally, all the main characters of world history have been born.

Actually, it’s really quite amazing. Lots of people do not believe in the Bible. However, that does not negate the fact that their history has turned out the way it was predicted long before any person could have predicted it. We have Bnei Ya’akov, that is, the Jewish people. Yishmael, the Arab world, which has become exactly what the Torah said he would become when he was but a single person. And Edom, a.k.a. Eisav, is as true to his form as he ever was, beginning with this week’s parsha.

Yishmael is not so complicated and fools no one. Eisav, on the other hand, is a book on his own. There is Eisav the “Russian” who doesn’t care what the world thinks about him. He knows what he wants, he knows how to get it, and does it regardless of backlash, and there often is a lot of that.

Then there is Eisav the European, religious but with a lot of inconsistencies. No religion in the history of mankind has left such a trail of blood over the last couple of thousand years, all “in the name of God.” Of course there have been a lot of “good” Christians over the years, but the religion as a whole has a history, and it has not usually been a favorable one.

Then there is Eisav the Westerner. Eisav in his time was a brilliant lawyer, or was that a liar…or both? The Midrash says that Eisav knew how to use the law to his advantage, or to the advantage of whoever could paid his fees. He was corporate material through and through, and his descendants are all over the world today.

As for the Jewish people, we too have followed in the footsteps of our ancestor, Ya’akov Avinu. We just haven’t done it as well as he did, or with the same honest intentions.

For example, there was Ya’akov the talmid chacham, sitting day and night in the tents of learning. Today it’s cheder, yeshivah, and kollel. There was Ya’akov the deal-maker, something for which Jews are still known, for better or for worse. Finally, there was Ya’akov the trickster, something many Jews have DEFINITELY been known for, usually ONLY for the worse.

It’s kind of like a person. The basic psychological infrastructure of a person is built during the early years, until around age 12. Until that time, there is intellectual flexibility, and a child will tend to conform to the world around him. After that, as he grows up, he tends to try to make the world conform to his own point of view.

Thus, though his clothing changes from period of life to period of life, including his hair style, etc., the person basically remains the same. Outward appearances and attitudes may seem different, but more than likely they can be traced back to basic characteristic from the person’s early life.

History is not much different. Modern man looks at the past only when he has to, believing that he knows more and is far better equipped to deal with life than his ancestors. Knowledge has been cumulative, so though ours may be built upon that of past generations, ours is also the most advanced and complete. The past, therefore, is just extra baggage.

No wonder we constantly misread history and make old mistakes anew. YES, there are some major differences, but NO, they aren’t as major as we think they are. History is still about Ya’akov running for his life from Eisav while looking over his shoulder for Yishmael. It’s just happening on a far more massive scale and includes countries that long ago shed their biblical names and roots.

They can shed all they want. They just can’t change the fundamental spiritual architecture of history. There are two basic roots, and each has a holy side and an impure one. These are the shor, or ox, on the side of holiness and on the side of impurity, and the chamor—the donkey, who can stand on the side of holiness, and on the side of impurity.

The GR”A explained that Moshiach Ben Yosef is the holy ox, while Eisav represents the impure one. Moshiach Ben Dovid corresponds to the chamor on the side of holiness, and Yishmael, on the side of impurity. And the Erev Rav, otherwise known as the “Mixed Multitude,” is that force in history that unifies the two impure elements, Eisav and Yishmael, against the two holy ones, Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach Ben Dovid.

The amazing thing is how well history can hide the biblical underpinnings of a current generation. People see the Arab world, but they do not see Yishmael and his Torah-defined characteristics. They see the White House, the Kremlin, the House of Commons, etc, but they do not see Eisav sitting in each of them. And they see a modern Jewish state with its disparate components, but not different facets of Ya’akov’s potential.

And they see people, some even Jewish, uniting the Western world with the Arab world against the Jewish nation, but they don’t recognize the Erev Rav. They see courts overturning Torah values, but they don’t see the Mixed Multitude as the source of it. The people rendering those decisions certainly don’t see themselves acting as one of the most despised elements in the history of mankind. Just the opposite, they believe that they are “champions of the public.”

There is a hint to this in Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Chapter 20, which I have quoted many times before. It says that at the End-of-Days, Moshe Rabbeinu will return, as will the souls of the generation that he led in the desert, as well as the Erev Rav. It will be the curtain call of Jewish AND world history.

What difference does it make in the end, you may ask. It is what it is, you may say. Let me ask you. Would it make a difference if the person pursuing you had randomly chosen you as a victim, or had personally targeted you? What if the plot against you was part of larger conspiracy? Wouldn’t you want to know that?

One important difference is that it points us in the direction of answers to important questions in the Torah. And it adds a whole other dimension to the events of today, a more MESSIANIC dimension. And that is the difference between just sitting back and waiting for things to happen, and proactively taking a lead to make them happen.

Yitzchak's Test

by Rav Binny Freedman

At the end of every command-course in the Israeli army, a questionnaire known as a Socio-Metric test, is given to each cadet which has to be filled out.

It’s a pretty simple form: each soldier is asked to list five fellow cadets, in order of priority, whom they would choose to lead their unit, and five fellow cadets, also in order of preference, whom they would not want leading their unit. No-one is permitted to leave the form blank; it’s a pre-requisite for graduating the course (not to mention getting out of the army that ShabbatJ.)

I recall finding this difficult; especially at the end of Officers’ course, literally the day before we were all meant to get our bars. There was actually a cadet who had been with me in Commanders’ (Sergeant’s) course who was not accepted to officer’s course, even though he had one of the highest scores in our course, was extremely intelligent, and was clearly cool under pressure, simply because his name came up negatively (so the rumor went) on this Sociometrist questionnaire.

But we were not given the choice; we were obligated to think of five names under whom we would serve without question, and five whom we would not want to follow anywhere. Most challenging for me was the fact that we had to name the number one choice for leading us (we were not allowed to enter our own names…).

I often wondered why we couldn’t just pick the top five; why was it necessary for one cadet to be our top choice….

This week’s portion of Toldot relates one of the most challenging parenting moments in Jewish history: Yitzchak’s decision to bless his first-born son Esau.

We have spoken in the past about why Yitzchak chose Esau, perhaps seeing in his proficiency for the hunt and comfort in the world of nature, some of the necessary qualities for leading the Jewish people.

But why does Yitzchak have to choose one son? Why would he prefer Esau over Yaakov? Why can’t both of his sons, Yaakov as well as Esau be blessed? In fact, we already know this can happen, as Noach blesses all three of his sons (see Bereisheet (Genesis) 9:24-27), and Yaakov himself gives a bracha to each of his twelve sons on his death bed (see Bereishit (in Parshat Va’yechi) chap. 49). So why does Yitzchak wish to bless Esau and why does this necessitate Rivka’s subterfuge in ensuring the blessing is in fact conferred upon Yaakov?

It certainly seems as though Yitzchak’s blessing to Eisav (and Yaakov) contradicts the way in which Yaakov blesses his own sons! Did Yaakov see something flawed in this process which he later corrected? That would be a difficult presumption, considering the fact that Yaakov himself ultimately benefits from the story of Yitzchak’s blessings.

Contradictions usually mean we need to re-define our terms. In truth, there are two types of blessings. But in order to understand this, we first need to define blessings (brachot): what is a bracha?

At the end of his life, the Torah tells us:

“And Avraham was old, well on in years, and Hashem blessed (beirach)Avraham with everything.” (Bereishit (Genesis) 24:1)

Most people think that when I make a blessing, I am thanking G-d, but that is not actually correct. “’Bracha’ (the Hebrew word for blessing) does not mean thank you. We have a word for thank you: ‘Todah’; and we use it often both when we pray as well as after we eat (“Nodeh lecha’ we thank you….”). So obviously ‘bracha’ (blessing) has to mean something different.

In fact, Rav Soleveitchick suggests, the word bracha means to increase; hence we are told that Hashem (G-d) has blessed Avraham which means Hashem has increased Avraham’s wealth or progeny (At the end of his lie Avraham remarries Ketura and has many more children).

And this makes a lot of sense. After all, what is it I am trying to do when I say a blessing? I am trying to increase Hashem’s presence in my life. I can choose just to eat a piece of bread, or I can choose to use that bread as a vehicle for deepening my relationship with G-d.

Most people don’t think twice when they bite into a soft piece of fresh bread, other than to relish its taste. But it takes a lot of work to make bread: You have to plough and then sow a field, then reap the crops, and thresh and winnow and sift the grains and eventually crush the wheat into kernels and produce and then knead the dough until finally baking it into bread. And all this is completely dependent on rain and sunshine….

And by seeing myself as a partner with G-d in producing this bread I increase Hashem’s presence in my life and thus in the world.

As such, our verse which describes Hashem’s blessing of Avraham with everything, is as much about how Avraham chooses to see the world Hashem gives us, as it is about what Hashem actually bestows upon Avraham.

Indeed, at the end of his life, Yaakov wants each of his twelve sons to know that they are all blessed, and that they have the ability, each through their own special gifts and talents, to see Hashem’s presence in everything they do, and everything they experience. In this instance (as in Noach’s blessings of his three sons) the process of blessing is inclusive; everyone is blessed, because we are all special and created by Hashem to be vehicles for a better world.

Sometimes though, despite all our children being special, we need to choose one, to the exclusion of all others. Some things cannot be run by committee; a ship needs one captain and an army unit needs one commander. And in that instance the blessings are exclusive; someone needs to lead.

Hashem tells Avraham only one of his sons will carry on the Jewish message, and thru him the world will all be blessed; because every human being is special and blessed, but for any particular mission, sometimes one has to be chosen to (in this case ) lead the world to a better place.

Of course, this leaves us with the question of why Yitzchak chooses Esau despite the fact that Rivka already knows that Yaakov will lead. (See Bereishit 25:22-23; Rivka receives a prophecy to that effect)

Perhaps this entire story unfolds in this manner so that Yaakov learns to fight for what is his?

There is a very strange ruling in the Talmud (Tractate Bava Metzia 2a) regarding a case brought before a court by two litigants, each claiming ownership of a boat at sea. Neither has evidence to support their case; they have no witnesses, no contract and no presumption of ownership (chazaka), so the court, with no basis upon which to rule, pronounces: Kol de’alim gevar: whoever is strongest, let him win! In other words, go outside and fight it out and last man standing gets the boat!

What sort of a ruling is that?! How can a court make such a statement? There are many different opinions amongst the commentaries (some say it is actually a reflection of the act that he court cannot issue a ruling in such a case…) but one that speaks to me is the Rosh (Rabbeinu Asher, brought in the Shitah mekubetzet) who suggests that we learn from this case: if something is really yours, you have to be willing to fight for it.

Perhaps Yaakov, as a harbinger of millennium of Jewish history to come, is meant to learn that sometimes one cannot stay in the tent of study; sometimes achievement must come with struggle.

Indeed, this idea is exactly what the Jewish people finally understood, after the horrors of the Holocaust, in 1948. If we wanted to call Israel our Home, we would have to be willing to fight for it.

In life, every human being deserves to find something so meaningful and so beautiful, that they are willing to struggle, and perhaps even give up life itself, for its achievement precisely because it is so much bigger than any one person.

The message of the Jewish people and the gift it is meant to share with the world, is one such ideal as Yitzchak and Rivka and later Yaakov understood, four thousand years ago…

Shabbat Shalom.

Selfishly Selfless: The Way To Self Actualization

by Rabbi David Aaron

Judaism teaches that no character trait is absolutely negative, everything has a role. All we have to do is look at each trait with an open mind and determine the pluses and the minuses. When it comes to pride there is an aspect of it that comes from the godly grandeur of our soul and is therefore, truly self affirming. But there is an aspect of pride that comes from our ego which is self destructive; alienating us from our true inner self. This type of pride focuses on selfish concerns and social status; it embodies a desire for honor and one-upmanship. This type of pride confuses us to think that as an individual soul we stand independent and apart from the greater collective soul of the community. According to Jewish mysticism this kind of pride is self destructive because in essence our individual self is really an aspect of the collective soul of the community. We find personal meaning and fulfillment only to the extent that we daily serve the betterment of the Jewish people. An individual is not an isolated being floating in outer space; disconnected from a greater context. Rather an individual is actually an individualistic expression of the national soul of his people. I think this is one of the common epiphanies for Jews when they visit Israel — their destined homeland.

I recall the first time I toured the borders of Israel and heard heroic stories about young Israel soldiers who valiantly defended their country from invading enemies and sacrificed their lives for the Jewish People. These selfless soldiers gave up their individual life so that the nation could live on. I wondered– Is there such a reality called national life? Does a nation have a collective soul that encompasses our individual souls?

Jewish mysticism teaches that a nation is not simply the sum total of many individuals. Rather the nation is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In fact, each soul is actually an individual expression of the whole nation. Therefore, even though each of us is an individual we are meaningful only because we are members of the national soul. Our individual soul does not have an independent existence rather it is bound up with the collective national soul.

In addition, just as an individual soul has a body, so too the national soul has a body. The body of a nation is its land. The body of the collective soul of the Jewish People is the land of Israel. Just as you wouldn’t want someone to cut off your finger or hand, you wouldn’t want someone to cut off a piece of the land of Israel because they would be cutting off a piece of the national body of the Jewish people.

Jewish mysticism also teaches that our individual soul is also an individualistic expression of the Universal soul-G-d. This is the deeper meaning of the belief that each of us is created in the image of G- d. Each of us is a unique expression and manifestation of G-d. G-d becomes manifest through the unique vantage points of every individual soul. Therefore there is no such thing as an individual soul that exists separate and independent of the Universal Soul–G-d.

Self-actualization is generally understood to mean that I actualize myself; I take care of myself, become fully me and succeed in my evolution towards individuality. My personal fulfillment does not necessarily have anything to do with anybody else. This definition of self-actualization does not require any type of national responsibility or commitment to G- d. But in truth there is no such thing as an individual soul existing independent and apart from the collective national soul or the collective universal soul. Therefore, true self-actualization must happen within the context of the actualization of my nation’s destiny because the individual soul is an expression of the national soul. And true self actualization must also happen within the context of the actualization of G-d’s will because the individual soul is an expression of G-d.

When a Jew perceives himself as an independent entity; existing apart and separate of The Jewish people and G-d then he is actually alienating himself from himself. Since the true self is an individual expression of the national soul and the universal soul then when I neglect the need of my people and the will of G-d I neglect myself. To selflessly serve your people and G-d is the only true way to self actualization.

The Yishai Fleisher Show: Steal This Blessing

Are you blessed if you trick your own father to get his blessings? Rav Mike Feuer joins Rabbi Yishai in an attempt to snatch a blessing from the Torah portion of Toldot and understand the root of the rivalry between Yaakov (Jacob) and Esav (Esau). Then, Malkah Fleisher on Shabbat in Hebron with 45K people and on eating Biblical burgers!


by Rabbi Mordechai Willig


The shepherds of Gerar fought with the shepherds of Yitzchak saying "the water is ours". He called the well Esek because they quarreled with him. They dug another well and they fought over it also. He called it Sitna. He dug another well, and they did not fight over it. He called it Rechovos and said "Now Hashem has granted us wide space and we can be fruitful in the land". (Bereishis 26:20-22).

The Ramban asks, what is the purpose of this story? He answers that the three wells represent the three Batei Mikdash, the home of Hashem, the Source of freshwater (Yirmiyahu 17:13). The first was destroyed when our enemies quarreled and went to war with us, hence Esek. The second suffered sitna, Satanic hatred, from its very inception, when our enemies wrote sitna to stop its construction (Ezra 4:6). The third will be rebuilt when Hashem broadens our land (Devarim 19:8) without any fight.

The Kli Yakar focuses instead on infighting within Am Yisrael. During the period of the first Beis Hamikdash our shepherds, i.e. our leaders, fought (Yoma 9b, Bach #5). It was destroyed because of the fight between the kings of Yisrael and the kings of Yehuda. The war between our own kings led to the war of foreign kings represented by the shepherds of Gerar. Esek means a quarrel over property, wells in Yitzchak's time and sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael during the first Beis Hamikdash.

During the second Beis Hamikdash the scourge of sinas chinam, baseless hatred, spread to all of Am Yisrael. Without any Esek, anything to fight over, the people hated each other. The Satan enticed them to find fault in one another. Therefore, the shepherds are not mentioned in the story of the second well and it is called Sitna, referring to the Satan of baseless hatred and infighting.

The third Beis Hamidkash will rebuilt by the Mashiach who will bring endless peace (Yeshayahu 9:6). When people fight, they cannot coexist even in a huge city, a common problem even today (the Kli Yakar's time). When there is peace, even when we are fruitful and there are many inhabitants, the land is wide enough and no one feels cramped (See Sanhedrin 7a).


Every generation in which the Beis Hamikdash is not rebuilt is viewed as if that generation destroyed it (Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1). Infighting within Am Yisrael, and within each section and subsection, is, unfortunately, a common problem in our time as well. To hasten the rebuilding of the Beis Hamidkash, and to not be viewed as destroying it, we must avoid the mistakes of the past, both nationally and individually.

The first king to split Eretz Yisrael into two kingdoms was the infamous Yeravam ben Nevat. When Hashem told him "Back off, and I, you, and Kind David will walk together in Gan Eden", Yeravam asked "Mi barosh - Who will walk first?" When Hashem answered "David will go first", Yeravam responded "If so, I don't want" (Sanhedrin 102a). The perennial problem of "Mi barosh - Who will walk first?", the origin of the infighting which destroyed the first Beis Hamikdash, continues to plague the leaders of our nation and it sections and subsections.

Sadly, some rabbinic leaders squabble over Esek, the property and honor of controlling communities. The worlds of Chasidim (See Who Will Lead Us, by Samuel Heilman) and Yeshivos have been embroiled in protracted controversies, sometimes leading to fisticuffs, police involvement, and chilul Hashem. Followers of these leaders, and certainly followers of these events from the outside, should avoid these fights and seek peace whenever possible.

Sitna, baseless hatred, leads, as the Kli Yakar notes, to finding fault in others. As individuals, we should, in the famous words of R' Eliemelech of Lizhensk, see the good in others and not their shortcomings. One who feels that his way is the only way to serve Hashem is in danger of improperly distancing himself from others and even harming them by viewing them as heretics (Netziv, Mesihiv Davar 1:44).

Talmidei Chachamim, despite their disagreements, should exhibit love and friendship toward one another, as Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel did (Yevamos 14b). Some rabbis put down all others except for their own adherents. This is inappropriate and can lead to dangerous and even cult-like behavior, especially in cases of charismatic personalities. One should avoid such leaders and instead cleave unto true talmidei chachomim who, despite disagreements with others on halachic and hashkafic matters, honor one another (See Rashi Devarim 11:22).

Every person, and certainly every leader, should avoid Esek and Sitna, and thereby hasten Rechovos, the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, hopefully in our own generation.

Rabbi Ari Kahn on Parashat Toldot: Following the Footsteps of a Giant

Israel on the Golan Heights benefits the USA

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

In 1993, 1995 and 2005, Israel retreated from 40% of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip. It transformed these regions into platforms of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and missile launches, supported by Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Moreover, it has intensified lethal threats to all pro-US Arab regimes, bolstering their security ties with Israel, which they perceived to be the most credible “life insurance agent” in the region. As expected, gestures to rogue regimes and terrorists fuel further violence!

“In November 1994, the peace process had seemed to be in full swing…. [But], an organized campaign began in the US against the idea of stationing US troops on the Golan Heights as ‘peace keepers’, in the event of an Israel-Syria [peace] agreement. The campaign was orchestrated by right-wing organizations and individuals in the Jewish community, with occasional participation of visitors from Israel… [such as] the former Minister for Congressional Affairs in our Washington Embassy, Yoram Ettinger…. The organizers conveyed the message that sending US troops as peacekeepers to the Golan was bad for the US [and that the Syrian armored mechanized divisions stationed between the Golan Heights and Damascus would be deployed to the border with Jordan, aiming to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime]…. The US could lose the lives of its soldiers and become entangled in a dangerous foreign arena…. That would no doubt lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in the US…. Senator Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [a friend of Bobby Jacobs] was openly critical of the Assad regime…. The Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, was under pressure from voters in his own constituency…. This Congressional opposition had at least some negative impact on Assad’s motivation to move forward in his peacemaking with Israel….” (Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli Ambassador to the US and Chief Negotiator with Syria, The Brink of Peace, 1999, pp. 164-167).

Since 1967, Israel’s control of the strategically-commanding Golan Heights - over-towering northern Israel - has constrained and monitored the Russian, Iranian, North Korean, ISIS and Turkish strategic profile in Syria. Furthermore, the Israeli posture of deterrence has bolstered the national security of Jordan’s Hashemite regime and all other pro-US Arab regimes (hence the unprecedented cooperation between Israel and these regimes). For instance, the September 1970 pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of the pro-US Jordan was rolled back, primarily, due to Israel’s deployment of troops to the Golan Heights, 37 miles from Damascus. The Syrian invasion aimed at toppling the Hashemite regime and producing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil. Thus, Israel’s control of the Golan Heights spared the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to save its Jordanian ally, while preventing a potential super-power confrontation, and denying the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.

The significance of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights for the national security of the US has been intensified due to the following phenomena:

*The raging civil war in Syria which erupted in 2011;
*The escalation of Iran’s involvement in Syria and Lebanon, aspiring to extend its dominance to the Mediterranean and Europe;
*The entrenchment of ISIS cells in Syria, irrespective of their recent setbacks;
*The growing involvement in Syria by Turkey’s Erdogan, who aims to resurrect the Ottoman Empire;
*The inherent Russia-Syria alliance, with Russia expanding its presence in the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.
*Since the 1960s, North Korea has been a leading ally of Syria, engaged in illicit military and technology cooperation, including ballistic missiles and chemical warfare. Pyongyang facilitated the construction of a Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed, by Israel, in 2007.

In November 2019, the explosive potential of Syria transcends the boundaries of the Middle East, triggering ripple effects throughout the globe. Since 2010, it has been exacerbated by the Arab Tsunami, which has further destabilized the inherently unpredictable and violent Syria and the Middle East. Thus, the pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-North Korea and anti-US Damascus – which provided safe haven to Nazi war criminals - has become a global epicenter of proliferation of anti-US global terrorism and drug trafficking.

The endemically turbulent reality of Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, in general, highlight the self-destructive nature of the attempts to get Israel off the Golan Heights, the potential damage to US interests, and the prospective setback to the survival of the pro-US Arab regimes.

An agreement concluded with Damascus can be no less tenuous than the policies of the transient, rogue regime which signs them (would you buy a used car from Assad?!).
The politically-correct assumptions that “a state of peace was the best security arrangement…. the end of occupation would eliminate the motivation to wage wars, and Syria’s record of keeping its commitments was excellent…. (ibid. page 169)” clash with reality, ignoring the rogue and non-compliant nature of Syria as demonstrated by its systematic violation of agreements, domestically and regionally.

For example, since 1953, Syria has violated all water supply agreements with Jordan (from the Yarmouk River). Notwithstanding the official state of peace with Jordan, Syria invaded Jordan in 1970, threatened to invade again in 1980 and 1989, and periodically supports anti-Hashemite subversion and terrorism.

For 30 years (1976-2006), Syria has violated a series of international and intra-Arab commitments to evacuate Lebanon, until it was forced to withdraw by domestic and international factors.

In 1973, Syria violated the 1967 armistice agreement with Israel, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement with Israel, terrorizing Israel through Palestinian and Shiite terrorists in Jordan and Lebanon.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights, just like its control of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, extending the strategic hand of the US, with no need for additional US soldiers. Israel’s retreat from the Golan Heights would erode its posture of deterrence, relegating the Jewish State from a national security producer/asset to a national security consumer/liability, to the detriment of the US.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rav Kook on Parashat Toldot: Jacob's Hand on Esau's Heel

The account of Jacob stealing blessings from his father raises many perplexing questions. How could Isaac not be aware of the true nature of his twin sons? Why did he insist on blessing his apparently wicked son Esau? And why was it necessary for Jacob to get the blessings that his father intended for his brother?

The Rights of the First-Born

We need to first analyze the concept of bechorah, the right of the first-born. Why should the family inheritance be determined by order of birth, without taking into account the relative merits of the heirs? The Talmud in Baba Batra 133b discusses this issue, advising against switching the inheritance, even if the first-born is wicked and his sibling is righteous. Why? The commentators explain that we should not make decisions based on the current situation; in the future, worthy children may come from the evil son.

Still, why not give preference to the son whom we know to be righteous and will use the inheritance for proper objectives? Why let the evil son utilize this wealth for corrupt purposes, just because of a possibility that he may have upright children?

Segulah Selection

Twelfth-century philosopher Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi explained the concept of segulah – how a particular people is chosen by God. The process of divine selection is beyond human understanding and occurs in a hidden manner. The kernel of light and good is concealed in an enveloping darkness, just as the spiritual greatness of Abraham could not be foreseen in the wickedness of his idolatrous father Terach. Only in the time of Jacob was the segulah nature of his children revealed to all. At that time it became apparent that his entire family was a “seed blessed by God.”

Why should this kernel of future good be concealed in evil and wicked people?

Even negative character traits have their place in the world. Ultimately, they too will serve the greater good. In order to perfect righteous traits and straight paths, these bad traits and convoluted ways must be uplifted. This occurs when the righteous are able to utilize them for their true purpose.

Isaac’s Love for Esau

The process of divine selection must be free to progress according to God’s design, without human intervention. Only God knows the path by which the pure will come forth out of the impure. Therefore, we should not disrupt the inheritance of the first-born according to what seems to us reasonable and logical.

Isaac felt that, despite Jacob’s obvious spiritual and moral superiority, it was not up to him to decide who will carry on Abraham’s spiritual legacy. Isaac assumed that the separating of the segulah was not yet complete. Perhaps from the cruel and brutal traits of Esau, his first-born son, would come an even greater heir, capable of utilizing and elevating those destructive traits.

Furthermore, Isaac knew that the world may be mended in different ways. It could be gently uplifted, as people stream from every corner of the earth to learn Israel’s teachings of kindness and truth. Or the world could be rectified through the complete destruction of those corrupt and violent elements from which no good will come (as we see in the obligation to destroy Amalek and the nations of Canaan). Jacob, the gentle scholar in the tents of Torah, did not possess the temperament necessary to wage wars and fight against cruel and vicious opponents. How could the segulah of Israel come from him? True, Jacob was righteous — but many righteous individuals lived before him whose progeny did not continue in their path.

Jacob appeared to totally lack these necessary traits of dominance and power. And Esau was anyway the firstborn, a sign that he was chosen by God. Isaac valued Esau’s potential to forcibly correct the entire world. The Torah thus explains Isaac’s love of his firstborn son: “Isaac loved Esau, for his hunt was in his mouth” (Gen. 25:28). Isaac appreciated Esau’s ability to hunt and dominate the beasts, the trait needed to dominate bestial peoples.

The Torah contrasts the different ways in which Isaac and Rebecca loved their sons. On the one hand, it says, “Isaac will love Esau” (with the conversive Vav switching it to the past tense). Isaac valued Esau’s future, his progeny, not his present state which even Isaac could see was savage and violent. But for Rebecca, the Torah uses the present tense: “Rebecca loves Jacob.” She loved and appreciated Jacob’s current state of righteousness.

Esau Under Jacob’s Hand

In fact, Jacob did have a connection to his brother’s traits of cruelty, but these traits were not an integral part of his soul. This is the significance of Jacob’s hand holding on to Esau’s heel when they were born. The heel represents instinctive nature (the Hebrew words for ‘foot’ and ‘habit,’ regel and hergel, share the same root), while the hand indicates willed and planned action. Jacob had a hold onto Esau’s heel, i.e., a connection to those savage traits that were an intrinsic part of Esau’s nature. For Jacob, however, these traits were not wild and undisciplined, but under the control of his hand and mind.

(We find a similar idea with regard to King David. The Midrash states that Samuel was reluctant to anoint David as king after he saw David’s ruddy complexion. Samuel feared this was a sign that David would spill blood like the reddish Esau. But God responded, “He has beautiful eyes.” Esau killed for his own pleasure, but David will kill according to the dictates of the Sanhedrin (the high court), which is called the “eyes of the people.”)

Jacob will be capable of performing the same brutal actions as Esau, albeit out of necessity and judicious choice. He will be distressed by the need to utilize his brother’s characteristics, but will recognize their usefulness in achieving the final goal.

Acquiring Esau’s Blessings

Now we understand why Isaac preferred Esau. But why did Jacob need to take his brother’s blessing?

Jacob realized that he was the true spiritual heir, and he needed the blessings of rule and sovereignty — “nations will serve you,” “you will be a like a lord over your brother.” But it was important that his father think that fierce Esau was the object of the blessing. These blessings require strength and leadership. They helped Jacob utilize Esau’s traits when necessary, even though they were not part of his inner nature. Therefore, his mother clothed him in Esau’s garments. For the sake of the blessings of stable rule and firm reign, Jacob’s outer appearance needed to be like that of ruthless Esau.

When Jacob announced to his father, “I am Esau your first-born,” he did not truly lie. Jacob had truly acquired his brother’s traits. He had become Esau, only in a better fashion. Most certainly, his father had spoken to him in the past about the need to acquire these negative traits for the sake of serving God. Jacob could now proudly report to his father, “I have done as you have requested,” And afterwards, Isaac was able to declare, “I have eaten of all.” All that I desired to taste, I have found in Jacob. “Yes, he shall be blessed.”

Getting Respect

by Victor Rosenthal

In New York City, smacking a Jew in the face for the hell of it is OK. Oh, you will get arrested if a cop sees you doing it, but in a larger sense, it’s OK, because everyone knows that Jews are racists, and you can do anything you want to a racist.

In Amsterdam, police “stand idly by” while a local Jew is beaten by hooligans singing about Nazis burning Jews, because – now, pay attention – the hooligans are fans of a football team whose major rival is considered “Jewish,” having had several Jewish players and being liked by Jewish fans. If you don’t think this is strange, consider that nobody beat up Yankee fans because of Joe Dimaggio and Phil Rizzuto.

In Pruchnik, Poland, a ritual observed before WWII in which an effigy of Judas is beaten and burned has recently been revived. For some inexplicable reason the effigy has “a hooked nose, black hat and sidecurls typical of ultra-Orthodox Jews.”

In the UK, the candidate from a major party for Prime Minister is … you know.

In the halls of the European Court of Justice in Brussels, it’s been decided that Europeans need to know not only where something is made, but whether a Jew made it. It’s important that Europeans be “informed” so that their decisions can be based on “ethical considerations” among others. The ECJ thinks it’s illegal for a Jew to live in a place where his ancestors lived, which was set aside for Jewish settlement by the international community in 1920, where Jews lived until they were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian army in 1948, to which they returned in 1967, and which the PLO itself agreed (in 1994) would be under full Israeli control. But we are talking about Jews, and the rules are always different for Jews.

I could go on for pages and pages if I had the stomach for it. But I’ll get to the point, which is what I think we should do about it.

It isn’t what you think. I do not advocate trying to teach Jew-hating bullies about the Holocaust, or about the importance of tolerance, or that someday they might be the ones being persecuted, or about how all humans are brothers (they aren’t). I would like the police to do their jobs, but that is only a solution in individual cases, and requires that the perpetrators be captured and actually punished – and anyway, the European Court of “Justice” and Jeremy Corbyn are unlikely to be arrested.

Humans are not all that far in an evolutionary sense from their animal ancestors. And they are still primarily motivated by deep emotional urges. Logical reasoning at best gives them an excuse or a justification for their behavior. So there is little point in education. And as I have pointed out before, teaching them about the Holocaust often encourages anti-Jewish violence because it demonstrates that the darkest desires of the Jew-haters can actually be – indeed, have been – realized.

No, what they need is to respect Jews, which is different from liking them and even farther from feeling sorry for them. I haven’t done the research, but I am willing to bet that worldwide antisemitic acts decreased sharply after the Six Days War, even taking into account the fact that the Arabs were angry about losing the war. This is because Israel, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, is also a standard-bearer for them. Strength brings respect. If Israel wins wars and international sporting competitions, if it is economically successful, then the respect earned by the state of the Jewish people also trickles down to the individual Jew in New York, Amsterdam, or anywhere else.

Of course humans are complicated. Success has a downside of stimulating envy and hatred. Antisemitism has a big component of envy. But I’ll trade that for respect.

Everything we do in Israel either adds to the sum total of respect we get or subtracts from it. Terrorism against us, when it is successful, subtracts, although if the terrorists are killed on the spot, that’s a plus. We do a pretty good job of arresting terrorists, a plus, but unfortunately the leniency they often receive makes us look weak, a minus. Our ability to develop technological marvels like Iron Dome is a plus, but the fact that we are content to bat away missiles without killing the would-be murderers that are launching them is a very big minus.

Of course, the thug that punches a Jew in New York is not thinking about the Six Days War or Iron Dome, or indeed about Israel. He is just enraged by the Jewishness of his victim. But I think there is such a thing as a collective consciousness, and everything that happens to a Jew or the Jewish state that enters this consciousness changes it, perhaps only a tiny bit, but changes it nevertheless.

So it is very important for us to not only win wars, kill terrorists, and in general crush our enemies as viciously as possible, but our messaging must project strength, competence, and even aggressiveness. We must avoid the image of victimhood. Experts in self-defense teach that a tactic for avoiding attacks in the street is to not look like a victim. Victims are held in contempt and invite attack. This goes for states as well as individuals, for hasbara as well as posture.

What about the establishment bullies in Brussels and the UK? I think we sometimes do the opposite of what’s necessary to fight them.

For example, the IDF goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, and to try to hew close to the letter of the laws of war. It has been more successful in this endeavor than any other army, including the US and NATO forces. But the complex of “human rights” NGOs and the UN still come down harder on Israel than any other nation. And since our enemies use tactics of asymmetric warfare against us, the more careful we are, the harder it is to defeat them.

This may be the wrong tactic. After all, the US and Britain engaged in strategic bombing of cities during WWII, in order to “destroy the enemy’s will to fight.” Today, such bombing would be considered a war crime. I am not suggesting that we deliberately harm civilians, but rather that we apply the same standards that today’s US, UK and NATO would. We would still be excoriated by the “international community” but in addition to the military advantages, there would be a psychological one – both against the enemy and in the rest of the world.

This isn’t easy. Millennia of diaspora existence taught the Jews to take a low profile, to not be aggressive, to not tug on anyone’s cape. They were dispersed and weak and in most cases didn’t have a choice to behave differently. Antisemitism grew and thrived, in part because it was easy and safe to victimize them. As a sovereign nation we don’t have to take it anymore. If we make that clear to the world by our actions, it might ultimately change the image of the individual Jew as well – from a victim to an object of respect.

Rivka’s Great Secret

Parashat Toldot 5780
by HaRav Nachman Kahana

Rivka suffered during her pregnancy and went to obtain advice at the yeshivah of Shem and his son Ever. There she was told that, in her womb, she was carrying twins who would become the forefathers of two nations and two opposing cultures. These twins would change the course of history, and the younger would surpass the older.

Why didn’t Rivka seek advice from the greatest spiritual figure of her generation, her husband Yitzchak? And why did she act to divert her husband’s blessings?

I suggest: Even without being told, Rivka knew that she was carrying twins, for when she passed a yeshivah, one fetus would become aroused, and when she passed an idolatrous temple, the second fetus would become aroused. She knew that one of them constituted a bad seed from the moment of conception, so that nothing could change his basic nature.

Rivka concluded that her innately evil son was her fault. After all she was Betuel’s daughter and Lavan’s sister. She also concluded that the righteous son could be credited to her husband, who was Avraham’s son.

When the twins grew up, Rivka could not tell her husband about Esav’s evil deeds and just how far he had gone in his wickedness, lest he blame her for having brought that evil soul from the house of Betuel and Lavan. Rivka’s regular practice was, therefore, to praise Esav before Yitzchak.

Matters continued in that fashion until the twins reached Bar Mitzvah age. Yaakov became a righteous man devoted to his studies, whereas Esav became a man of the field engaged in absolute licentiousness.

Rivka heard that Yitzchak was about to bless Esav, thanks to her own words of praise over the years. She understood that she had to correct the warped situation that she herself had created by hiding the truth from her husband. So, she did so to the best of her ability.

Although Rivka succeeded in hiding her great secret, Yitzchak understood by himself that Esav was evil when he married Canaanite women.


Psychologists debate what is the major factor that fashions the human personality – heredity or environment. We are all composed of traits we inherited from our parents, but to what degree are we influenced by our surroundings? Which of the two is decisive? The question becomes more perplexing when dealing with twins who possess personalities that are polar opposites.

Heredity and environment, indeed, constitute primary components in fashioning the personality. However, it appears that the decisive factor is the divine soul that HaShem breathes into every human being at birth.

The end result can be compared to an artist who paints by using various media: paper, cloth, parchment, canvas and glass. Oil paint will ruin paper, while chalk will leave no imprint on glass. Likewise, an educational approach that stresses character improvement will be lost on someone inherently selfish, just as the free spirit may be repelled by an approach that emphasizes constraints.

Yitzchak and Rivka strove to influence Esav to be true to Torah values, but the call of the wild was too strong. All of his parents’ holy words of chastisement were rejected in the face of his desire to lead a life of licentiousness and immediate gratification. Esav thus remained Esav.

Rivka knew full well who Esav was, and Esav knew himself as well. Esav’s twin, Yaakov, also knew very well who his descendants would have to deal with until the end of time.

When Rivka learned of Yitzchak’s intent to bless Esav, she was left with no choice but to prevent this at any cost. She found herself in a situation that she herself had created by hiding from Yitzchak the true nature of Esav – that Esav had a soul that detested holiness. So, Rivka accepted all the consequences of her act and told Yaakov (Bereishiet 27:13):

עלי קללתך בני
“Let any curse be on me, my son.”

Rivka acted as she did because she knew that Esav was born with the soul of a pagan. Indeed, Esav became the father of Eliphaz, whose son was Amalek. And this is why the Midrash states (Sifrei on Bereishiet 33:4): “There is a well-known rule that Esav hates Yaakov.”

That hatred did not derive from anything Yaakov did or said. Rather, Esav’s soul was the total opposite of Yaakov’s, just as impurity is the opposite of purity.

Nowadays, who are Esav’s descendants?

According to tradition, most of the population of Christian Europe is linked to Esav, including those who emigrated from Europe to other places like the United States. It is interesting to note that the flags of almost all of the countries of Europe, including the United States, include the color red which is associated with Esav due to his red hair and blood-thirsty nature.

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Shamrak Report: Jewish Settlements on Jewish Land are Legal and more..

by David Israel
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has renounced a 1978 opinion written by the legal adviser of the Department of State Herbert J. Hansel (during the Carter administration).
"After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate," Mr. Pompeo told reporters, the United States has concluded that "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law."
The International Court of Justice in 2010 ruled that Israel is in breach of international law by establishing settlements in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” including eastern Jerusalem. The Court thus maintained that the “West Bank” which Israel liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967 was prima facie a Palestinian territory. (The International Court of Antisemitism does not care about China’s occupation of Tibet; Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus; Russia’s occupation of Crimea…How can there be “occupied Palestinian territory” when there was never state of Palestine?)
It was a bizarre ruling that willfully ignored the fact that:
a) Jordan was not entitled to the territory, which it acquired by force after the expiration of the British Mandate in Palestine in 1948;
b) There was no recognition of a Palestinian entity in 1948, and certainly no designation of that territory to such an entity; (The “Palestinians” were ‘created’ later in 1964 with the help of the KGB! Before 1948, Jews were the Palestinians!)
c) Israel’s right to the same territory is as valid or invalid as Jordan’s, seeing as on May 14, 1948 it became a ‘no man’s land.’
There are an estimated 700,000 Jews living in the settlements and in eastern Jerusalem. The Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria live in Area C, which was designated by the 1994 Oslo Accords to remain under full Israeli control. Before the September elections, Netanyahu promised to annex some of this territory, in the Jordan Valley. There are also plans to impose Israeli laws in the rest of the settlements, most likely in the settlement blocs. (Usual enemies of Israel, including self-hating Jews, hate the truthFake people, the so-called Palestinians, are he occupiers of Jewish land. This is a fact and the government of Israel must end this idiotic status quo!)
Zionism is Jewish National Independence Movement!
Presented by (this box is available to sponsors)
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
Anti-Semitism is the easiest and the fastest way to gain popularity and support among ‘inadequate’ people!
The IDF's unusually aggressive attack on Iranian military targets in its war-torn neighbor to the north is supposed to demonstrate its new, harsher retaliation policy to attacks on its population centers. The rockets were launched at Israel from south of Damascus by a Syrian Shi'ite militia. They were fired within about 80km from the border with Israel, an area where Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there would be no Iranians, nor Shi'ite militias operating on the Islamic Republic's behalf.
A spokesman for the Houthi forces, General Yihya Sari, claimed that Israel had "aspirations in Yemen" and in the Persian Gulf region - and, if it tries to fulfil its aspirations, "Yemenis would not hesitate to respond to Israeli folly." In a direct threat to Jerusalem, he said the rebels had the ability to hit "deep in the occupied territories", among other things by means of unmanned missiles and aircraft.
Bastards are still Deeply anti-Semitic
1. The Vatican spoke out against the United States' decision to no longer consider Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria illegal. "The Holy See reiterates its position of a two-state solution for two peoples, as the only way to reach a complete solution to this age-old conflict," the Vatican said. (They could say nothing on the subject, but it is not how anti-Semites of the Vatican operate. The "age-old conflict" must be resolved - removing enemies of Israel from the Jewish land is the best solution!)
2. UN Security Council members rebuke US on Israel settlements. All 14 other UN Security Council members have strongly opposed the US announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law. Only Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, who is not a council member, spoke in support of the US action, saying it “rights a historical wrong”. (The usual anti-Semitic assault from “Ugly Nazi” on the Jewish state – it became an ugly norm!)
Israel fighter jets smashed dozens of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Syrian military targets in Syria – payback for the four-rocket volley against the Golan. They included ground-to-air missile batteries, command centers, weapons stores and bases. The IDF reported that Syrian anti-air batteries were destroyed after opening fire on the Israeli jets, although a warning was relayed to Damascus to abstain. (Only a decisive victory, followed by unconditional surrender by enemies, will bring peace to Israel and good relationships with Arab countries! They need to shake off the delusion that they can destroy the Jewish state.)
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas declared that President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, is already dead! “From the very beginning we said that the Deal of the Century doesn’t have a foundation. After what Pompeo said, it’s now dead.” (It is not a surpriseFake Palestinians have rejected the deal a long time ago, as they rejected all previous efforts to make peace with Israel.)
In the wake of an announcement Monday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States plans to reverse its stance on the legality of Israel’s Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a plan to advance the “Jordan Valley Annexation Bill”. (This is the good news, but why must Israel's internal policies always depend on external approval!)
Why is It Allowed in the Jewish State?
1. Jordan is in the final stages of renovating the Sidna Omar mosque in the heart of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Residents of the Jewish Quarter report that prayers have already been held in the mosque in recent days, and expressed fear that Muslim prayers in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and in close proximity to the Hurva synagogue will increase religious tension in the Old City. (Have any synagogues been opened in Jordan or Saudi ArabiaWhen will the self-destructive stupidity of 'political correctness' and appeasement of enemies end?)
2. Israel’s Supreme Court has issued an order allowing PA Arabs to enter the military compound where the Tomb of Yishai and Ruth is located, allegedly to pray in a structure which they claim to be a mosque. (The Supreme Court is still infested by self-hating anti-Zionists!)
Cracks in the EU anti-Semitic Union!
1. Dutch Parliament Against Mandatory Labelling. Coalition-approved decision calls on the government to object to EU court’s ruling as discriminatory, unless similar standards are applied to all disputed territories around the world.
2. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó made it plain that his country would veto any statement on the settlement’s legality. An effort to get all 28 European Union member states to issue a joint statement condemning the US decision to no longer consider Israeli settlements as illegal is being blocked by Hungary. (Some people in Europe recognised the putrid stench of anti-Semitism coming from Brussels!)
Thirteen Israeli notables issued an open letter saying they welcomed the European Court of Justice’s ruling earlier this week that settlement products need to be labelled as such, but said the move is insufficient and the European Union must ban the import of settlement goods altogether. The letter was signed by former speaker of Knesset and head of the Jewish Agency Avraham Burg; former lawmaker Mossi Raz; former ambassador to France Prof. Eli Barnavi; former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe Ilan Baruch; former attorney general Prof. Michael Ben-Yair; former ambassador to South Africa and Turkey Alon Liel; former Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic Erella Hadar; Israel Prize winners Prof David Harel, Prof Yehoshua Kolodny, Alex Levac, Prof David Shulman and Prof Zeev Sternhell; EMET Prize Laureate Miki Kratsman. (Fake Palestinians are occupying Jewish land using the generous help, financial and political, from international anti-Semites. Jewish 'kapos' are helping themThey are smart people – but so dumb and self-destructive!)
Quote of the Week:
"Our future does not depend on what the Goyim will say. It depends on what the Jews will do!" - David Ben Gurion
by Robert Philpot
The Church of England admitted Thursday that centuries of Christian anti-Semitism helped lead to the Holocaust.
England’s established church cited “the attribution of collective guilt to the Jewish people for the death of Christ and the consequent interpretation of their suffering as collective punishment sent by God” as being among the ideas that “contributed to fostering the passive acquiescence if not positive support of many Christians in actions that led to the Holocaust.”
The report also urged Christians to accept the importance of Zionism for most Jews.
In an oblique swipe at opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, it warned that “some of the approaches and language used by pro-Palestinian advocates are indeed reminiscent of what could be called traditional antisemitism.”
The document is unflinching in its acceptance of the historic role of Christianity in perpetuating anti-Semitism. “Recognition on the part of the Church that it bears a considerable measure of responsibility for the spread of antisemitism demands a response from the Church,” it argues.
Although it argues that “some would find the seeds of Christian antisemitism within the New Testament itself,” the report draws special attention to the historic role of Christianity in England.
“England had its own role in this history, with a claim to being the birthplace of what became known as the ‘blood libel,’ whereby Jews were falsely accused of murdering Christian children to make Passover matzot with their blood,” it says.
The report was published as Britain prepares to go to the polls in three weeks in a general election which has seen continuing controversy over anti-Semitism in the opposition Labour party.
The report does not address the issue directly, but instead suggests that “recent events in the UK context have highlighted the capacity of antisemitism to find purchase across the political spectrum, on the left as well as on the right.”