Friday, February 28, 2020

Rav Kook's Ein Ayah: Too High to be Connected to People on the Ground

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:128-129)

[After months, we come to the end of the sugya dealing with the giving of the Torah at Sinai.]

Gemara: It was called Sinai because from it hatred (sina) came down to the idol worshippers. And what is its [real] name? “Chorev.” This argues with Rabbi Avahu, who said that its [real] name was Har Sinai and it was called Har Chorev because it was from it that destruction (churva) came to the idol worshippers.

Ein Ayah: The whole foundation of the improvement of the world, which will occur in the future and whose early stage already exists in the present, due to the great power of the acceptance of the Torah, was prepared by the previous state of destruction. Specifically, the world had been missing the basis for its existence because it was missing the divine light of the sanctity of the Torah, which would later give it light and adornment. From the midst of the world’s state of destruction, there developed a desired “edifice” of spirituality that came from the appearance of the Torah.

This would not have been possible if there were a structure in place, even if it was low and lowly, because there would still not be a possibility to have a new edifice appear. The situation, though, is that from the beginning of creation, had it not been for the power of Torah, the world would have been slated for destruction. It is only the light of Torah that gave the characteristic of being able to be built and to stand. After all, all of the special qualities related to the revelation of the Torah impact on the world and make it more adorned. This is based on the idea of building on top of the foundation of that which was previously missing. This was evident from the original name of the mountain that Hashem desired, so that He should give the Torah on it. That name, Chorev, hints at the state of destruction.

The other approach among Amora’im is that the real name of the mountain is Sinai, and that Chorev stands for that which happened on the mountain causing destruction to the idol worshippers. The world could have been “built” as a coarsely materialistic edifice. If that were the case, it would actually have been much worse than the fact that it was created in a manner that it is slated for destruction if left on its own. However, in the essence of Har Sinai and the revelation that occurred there, an internal hatred was embedded there. This serves as a strong protest against the way the world was built with a foundation connected to blood and metal, evil and foolishness. It would have been a tragedy if such a negative edifice would have continued.

Rather, Sinai was called Chorev because it brought destruction for idol worshippers. Even though they never became imbued with the powerful obligations of Har Sinai, what occurred there for Israel ensured that there would never be a quiet and stable edifice in a manner that contradicts the divine revelation of the mountain that Hashem desired would take place at Sinai with its sanctity. There needed to be some level of destruction, because of the world’s connection to lies and the essence of evil. Eventually, this enables there to be the revelation of a complete world, built on kindness (see Tehillim 89:3).

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ask the Rabbi, Part I

by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky

A few months ago, I was invited to be part of a panel of rabbis to submit answers to questions posed by the editor of the Jewish Press. The column appears bi-weekly, and I take this opportunity to present my take on some of the questions raised. Each question is fascinating in its own right, as are the variety of answers proffered. All the answers can be viewed at

Here is the first selection with my take on these issues - RSP

Is it appropriate for men and women to call each other by their first names at work?
Rebbi Akiva noted that “levity and light-headedness facilitate immorality” (Avot 3:13), to which Rabbenu Yonah deduced the converse: “seriousness and reverence are barriers to lascivious conduct.” Both premises are true and undeniable, and both are challenged in modern society where informality – including calling strangers, elders and co-workers by their first names – is rampant, being perceived, partly, as a great social equalizer.

But informality also breeds frivolity, and that can lower our guard and even lead to the diminution of our moral aspirations. We have to know ourselves, our temptations and our triggers. We also have to delineate proper boundaries in the workplace to avoid the pitfalls of work relationships that expand into improper realms.

Of course, in a workplace where first names are always used – and no one thinks twice about it – it would appear stilted, pretentious and even pompous to refer to others as Mrs. Jones or Mr. Smith. (Consider also the vast variety of honorifics that people might choose to use that would give offense if they weren’t used; the use of first names protect against falling into that snare.) And illicit relationships abounded in earlier times when people addressed each other quite formally; “there is no absolute guardian against decadence” (Masechet Ketubot 13b).

The ultimate guidance, therefore, is contextual. In workplaces where such informality is part of the culture, it is not necessarily a manifestation of excessive intimacy. Indeed, it would reflect poorly on religious Jews if we appeared aloof and addressed others so formally. But certainly Jews should not be the ones to introduce such informality into the workplace; indeed, all would benefit from keeping professional relationships completely professional.

Is the desire to be more machmir than one's father good, bad, or neutral?
The inclination to embrace Halachic stringencies should not be based on one's relationship with other people, including one's father, but rather on our inner commitment to Torah and recognition of our spiritual level. The merit of embracing chumrot is ultimately rooted in motivation and not simply performance. Stringencies are laudable when they reflect an awareness of personal deficiencies that require strengthening or safeguards, as well as the maintenance of a level of religiosity in all spheres that warrants special behavior in just a few.

As a general rule, it is better to be machmir in our interpersonal dealings than in mitzvotbetween man and G-d. The latter can often be employed to mask utter depravity and thievery in other areas, while the former is a better indicator of one’s true religious life.

Furthermore, chumrot in one area often lead to kulot in others, the simplest example being stringencies in dress or kashrut that nurture arrogance and the pleasures of the ego. That is not a good trade-off as it tends to degrade the life of the soul rather than enrich it.

That being said, our fidelity to the Mesorah generally demands that we adhere to the customs of our ancestors. We don’t create the Jewish world anew simply by being born. Of course, if what some perceive as chumrot are actually the simple halacha that for some reason was disregarded by the parents, then we are permitted to observe the essential halacha. But where halacha is not violated and it is a matter of minhag or hanhaga, then one-upmanship within the family unit is even more unsettling that it is outside the family.

Should a person avoid the company of someone who constantly swears but is otherwise a decent fellow?

To constantly use vulgarity but otherwise be a decent person is a contradiction in terms, sort of like shoplifting daily but otherwise being scrupulously honest or eating a cheeseburger every day for lunch but otherwise keeping kosher. No “decent” person can habitually perform acts that are definitively indecent.

Chazal frequently noted the concept of “lashon nekiya,” literally “clean speech” and employed euphemisms when discussing intimate matters, activities or parts of the body. Indeed, Rambam stated (Moreh Nevuchim III:8) that one reason Hebrew is referred to as “the holy tongue” is because it has no original scatological terms. And despite the tawdriness that is drowning modern society – one can hardly walk on the street today without overhearing shameless and voluble profanity, with some words creatively featured in the same sentence as a noun, verb and adjective – Jewish society must be characterized by high standards of personal morality and purity of speech.

Lowly individuals, those who lack self-control in many areas of thought and deed, often cannot help but verbalize their unconscious fixation on lecherous matters by recurrent references to it. But we are adherents to a faith that demands discipline in thought, deed and speech.

The writer Edna Buchanan once said that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” Friends should reflect our deepest values and encourage our better natures. While no one is perfect, and true friends will inform each other of offensive conduct rather than indulge or ignore it, socializing with those whose values are antithetical to ours can only lead to the dilution of our own moral aspirations. If rebuking doesn’t work, then it behooves us to eschew the coarse companion and find another, more exemplary, social outlet.

Trump wants Israeli sovereignty on Judea and Samaria ‘in one shot,’ says Netanyahu

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Jan. 27, 2020. (AP/ Evan Vucci)

“Religious Zionism has a good heart,” he told the conference, “but it doesn’t always understand politics.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that his delay in extending Israeli sovereignty to portions of Judea and Samaria is due to the request of President Donald Trump that it be done all at once, instead of piecemeal.

“The reason that we haven’t yet annexed the communities in Judea and Samaria is that Trump has asked that we annex it all in one shot,” Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Conference on Tuesday.

The prime minister made reference to pressure brought to bear by Judea and Samaria local leaders and others on the Right, calling upon him to act immediately on the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the aftermath of the Trump peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians unveiled at the White House at the end of January, which recognized the Jewish connection to the lands of Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu touted his ability to withstand pressure from the Obama administration and said that he believes “every word” of what Trump says.

As he has before previous elections, as well, the prime minister has been criticizing smaller right-wing parties ahead of the March 2 ballot, charging that they are not acting in the best interests of the ideological cause and that a strong Likud with him at the helm is necessary due to his experience in handling sensitive matters.

“Religious Zionism has a good heart,” he told the conference, “but it doesn’t always understand politics.”

The prime minister lashed out at Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Ayelet Shaked, leaders of the right-wing Yemina faction, for charging that the Trump plan does not suit the Right’s ideology enough, though they were also willing, according to Netanyahu, to talk to Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz about the possibility of joining a government coalition that would have included left-wing parties.

“To get lectured by those who nearly joined a government with Benny Gantz?” said Netanyahu, adding that “there are things in the Trump plan to which the Left here [in Israel] object, such as not dividing Jerusalem, rescinding the right of return [of Palestinian refugees], and the establishment of a Jewish state.”

Referring to the title of ‘Deal of the Century’ given to the Trump plan, the prime minister warned that Israel would miss the “opportunity of a century” if he did not form the next government.

Israel's Election: What Do the Iranians and Palestinians Want?

by Bassam Tawil 
  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip seem to have endorsed the banner of Netanyahu's political rivals in Israel: "Anyone but Bibi (Netanyahu's nickname)." The two Palestinian groups ' perceive Netanyahu as a major threat to their dream of destroying Israel and as someone who has further strengthened Israel's standing in the international arena. 
  • The Palestinians are apparently convinced that it would be easier to extort concessions from inexperienced politicians such as Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya'alon and Gabi Ashkenazi. For the Palestinians, Netanyahu is a hard nut to crack. His strong stance against their tactics of intimidation have been, for them, a source of concern.
  • Abbas and his officials, in short, are telling the Israelis: "Look, we have a problem here. This man, Netanyahu, will not surrender to us -- and that is why you need to elect a new leader." 
  • Abbas, not surprisingly, would doubtless prefer Israelis to replace Netanyahu with a weak leader who would comply with all his demands and take Israel back to the indefensible pre-1967 armistice lines -- a move that would most likely result in the militias of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran sitting on the West Bank hilltops overlooking Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport. 

The Palestinians are doing their absolute utmost to ensure that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party do not win in Israel's general election on Monday, March 2. Pictured: Netanyahu casts his ballot a polling station on January 22, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The Palestinians are doing their absolute utmost to ensure that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party do not win in Israel's general election on Monday, March 2.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, seem to have endorsed the banner of Netanyahu's political rivals in Israel: "Anyone but Bibi (Netanyahu's nickname)." The two Palestinian groups perceive Netanyahu as a major threat to their dream of destroying Israel and as someone who has further strengthened Israel's standing in the international arena.

In a last-minute, apparently desperate attempt to undermine the current Israeli prime minister's chances of winning another election, the PA has launched a public relations campaign to explain to the Israeli public why they should not vote for Netanyahu.

The Concept of Sacred Space

by Rav Binny Freedman

Sixteen hundred Jews, mostly elderly and families with children, protected by barely two hundred fighters; the odds for the besieged Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, were beyond impossible. The Jordanian Legion, by far the best fighting force in the Middle East, committed an entire division of 3200 men, their most elite fighting force, to winning this battle. Approximately thirty thousand Arab irregulars, local Arabs with a gun and a cause, supported them; the Jews were in desperate straits.

There were no reinforcements to be had, but the Israeli fighters, against all odds, refused to give up. They had only three heavy machine guns between them, and one of them was set in a sandbag position on the edge of the Churvah Synagogue, a stone’s throw away from the Muslim quarter. Sitting at the strategic juncture of the widest alleyway into the Jewish quarter, the Jordanians mounted daily and often twice-daily attacks, in full battalion strength, against this three-man Israeli machine-gun position.

Because of the strategic sensitivity of the position, the three men posted there were given very specific orders: they were not allowed to leave the position under any circumstances unless someone came to relieve them. As such, a runner who would dash between the positions avoiding the Jordanian snipers brought their meals to them.

One afternoon, the men manning the position realized that their lunch had not arrived. With no radio, and no way to contact the runner, they had no option other than to wait and hope their lunch would arrive sooner rather than later. But, as the afternoon wore on and the sun sank lower on the horizon, they began to worry: what if the Jordanians had somehow circled around behind them and cut them off?

Finally, as darkness approached, one of them decided to venture out into the street and see if he could get a better picture of what was going on. And that was when he discovered Nissim Ginni, the youngest Israeli soldier ever to fall on active duty.

Hit by sniper fire not far from where they were sitting, Nissim, a runner whose mischievous grin and flashing eyes had shored up the men on the most desperate occasions, was only ten years old.

The most puzzling part of his death was that he had been hit in the stomach and quite obviously bled to death. A stomach wound is an extremely painful injury, which left the men wondering why Nissim had not at the very least called out to them for help.

The theory was that Nissim understood what calling out to his comrades would have meant. Sniper fire is the most surreal type of warfare; you don’t realize at first what is happening, because with all the normal noise of warfare, and the distance of a good sniper, you don’t even hear the shot. Realizing that if he cried out the men would come to his aid, Nissim Ginni, a ten-year-old boy, chose to bleed to death all alone in an alleyway, rather than risk the lives of his comrades.

Was it worth the price? A ten year old boy, and countless others, gave their lives for a hilltop city smaller than the size of most University campuses, and the question so many pundits are asking is: can a piece of land ever be worth such a price? Is there anything we can say, standing over the grave of Nissim Ginni, re-buried on the Mount of Olives in 1967, that makes sense of all this?

What, indeed, is the seemingly incomprehensible preoccupation we seem to have with land and can any piece of property ever be worth fighting, much less dying for?

This week’s portion, Terumah, introduces us to one of the most challenging concepts in Judaism.

“Ve’Asu’ Li’ Mikdash, Ve’Shachanti’ Be’Tocham.”
“And they shall make for me a sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst.” (Shemot 25:8)

Hashem wants… what, exactly? A home? A sanctuary? The most obvious difficulty with this idea is why, and in fact, how G-d, the endless unlimited One, can or would be confined to a limited space? One of the first things we learn about G-d as children is that G-d, Hashem, is everywhere.

Why is the building of the Tabernacle, clearly the forerunner of the Temple, one of the most central ideas in Judaism?

It is interesting to note that the Ramban, in discussing the goal of building this sanctuary for G-d in the desert, says that the essence of this Mishkan (Tabernacle) was to recreate the Sinai experience, wherein G-d’s presence dwelled on the mountain. (19:20).

In other words, the mitzvah to build a physical space on earth for G-d’s presence stems from the first physical place where G-d chose to ‘dwell’ on earth: Mount Sinai.

Why did we, as a people have to go to a specific mountain in order to receive the Torah? If G-d is everywhere, what difference did it make where we were when we received the Torah?

And why does the idea of a heightened relationship with G-d almost always occur in connection with space?

Moses’ relationship with G-d begins at the burning bush on Mount Chorev, which is very clearly the same mountain we will later refer to as Sinai.

And all of the forefathers have intense spiritual experiences associated with specific spaces. Abraham has to take his beloved son Yitzchak all the way to Mount Moriah (which Jewish tradition has as the same mountain where the Temple will one day stand), and Yitzchak, just prior to his marriage with Rivkah goes out to pray “in the field”. Why does he need to be in the field? What difference does it make where you are when you pray? Shouldn’t it be all about who you are? And Yaakov has his famous dream of angels and ladders in Beit El, where he ultimately declares:

“Indeed G-d is in this place!” (Genesis 28:16)

But isn’t G-d in every place?

In fact, the very dawn of Judaism carries this same challenge: the first command G-d gives Abraham is to go “…to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) Why does Abraham even need to go to a specific land? If his mission is to bring G-d into the world, why can’t he get started right away in Mesopotamia?

This mitzvah forces us to confront one of the most basic themes in Judaism: the seeming need for creating sacred space. This central position in Judaism is one we are confronted with every time we go to pray in a Synagogue.

It is worth noting that Rashi feels that the need for a temporary physical sanctuary for G-d in the desert was necessitated by the sin (or mistake ) of the Golden Calf.

Think about it: people often assume that the Golden Calf was such a great transgression on the part of the Jewish people because six weeks after hearing the Ten Commandments, including: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, the Jews seemingly ‘forgot’ all about G-d, and sank back into their Egyptian habits and idolatries. But in truth, that would be incomprehensible. Could anyone, after hearing the word of G-d directly, and while still at the very foot of Sinai, forget such a basic truth as the Oneness of G-d?

No, the Jewish people’s mistake at Sinai was not that they forgot about G-d; it was that they weren’t quite sure what to do with G-d. If the challenge we received at Sinai was to make this entire physical, temporal world a sanctuary for G-d, how are we meant to do that? How can we, as physical beings, create a relationship with something as endless and intangible as G-d?

One might think that Sinai’s message was to rise above the physical world in order to develop a spiritual and meaningful relationship with G-d.

But the message of Sinai was that the Torah (tablets) had to come back down to earth. Can we infuse the physical world with the spiritual essence of G-d? This is the ultimate question posited to us as a people at Sinai. And this is why the Jewish people attempt to infuse the very spiritual experience of Sinai, which began with three days of separation and purification (19:10-11,15), with the very physical experience of the Golden Calf.

But they were sadly mistaken, because in the end, they were not infusing the physical with the spiritual, they were merely creating a purely physical experience alongside a purely spiritual one.

So often, when we speak of the value of the physical world in Judaism, we mistakenly believe that physical experiences are as important as spiritual ones. And we separate the two, by assuming the one or the other. We consider eating to be a physical experience, and prayer or Torah study to be spiritual in nature. But Judaism suggests that the very physical act of eating needs as well to be a spiritual moment, and the act of prayer needs to be wrapped up in the physical as well.

There is a beautiful Mishnah in Ethics of the Fathers, which teaches that a person who interrupts his Torah study by exclaiming: “How beautiful is this tree!” literally is worthy of forfeiting his life. Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch points out that this does not mean a person should not interrupt his Torah study to wonder at the beauty of the trees. Rather, it means that if the beauty of nature and the world is an interruption of one’s Torah study, then there is something wrong with said person’s relationship with Torah. Because the beauty inherent in all of creation is not an interruption of one’s relationship with G-d, it is part of it.

Which is why the response, according to Rashi, is to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle ). Specifically in such a spiritual place we recognize the challenge and the value of synthesizing both the physical and the spiritual into one, with the aim of bringing G-d into the world, through us.

And this is the concept of sacred space. Every great idea and every worthy goal needs a focal point, and if the mission of the Jewish people on this world is to bring G-d into the world, then the challenge of infusing the physical world with spiritual beauty begins with that rock where tradition has it the world was first created, because the entire purpose of physical creation, was to allow us as human beings to be partners with G-d in creating a holy world. And the definition of holiness is seeing G-d in every physical reality, every flower and every tree, every bug and every grape.

And this is the essence of peace or Shalom, which also means complete or whole. Because only when the entire world sees the spiritual beauty of G-d in all created and all living, and especially all human beings, will we all be together, in a truly whole and complete world.

Shabbat Shalom, from Jerusalem

The Simple Art of Ecstasy: How to See Divine Presence Here and Now

by Rabbi David Aaron

“ And let them make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell amongst them.”
— Exodus 25:8

In this week’s Torah Portion we encounter the precise design and magnificent beauty of the holy tabernacle and its’ vessels. What is the relationship between this physical construct and feeling the presence of G-d dwelling amongst us?

Once I was giving a seminar, and I asked everyone to look around the room and point to beauty. The first interesting result was that everyone pointed to something different. One man pointed to his wife. A woman named Bea pointed to a glass menorah (a Hanukkah candelabra) that was sitting on a windowsill. I asked Bea how she saw beauty in that menorah. Did she see beauty with her physical eyes? “Well,” she answered, “the glass is translucent, and its delicacy has an ethereal quality. The shape is pleasing to the eye and because it is glass you can see the blue sky through it.” But that was only her intellect giving meaning to the raw data of what she was seeing. Really, her physical eyes could only see glass molded into a nine-pronged shape. It was her soul that saw beauty and knew that it was beauty.

Another man, named Herb, pointed to a ray of sunlight shining on the white stone floor. “You think that’s beauty?” I asked Herb. “That’s just photons bouncing off minerals. What made you see beauty?”

Beauty is really a Divine quality that we see with the eyes of the soul. According to Kabbalah beauty is one of the ten manifestations of G-d referred to as sefirot. The incomprehensible divine is manifest in the comprehensible experience of beauty. The divine endless light shines through the quality of beauty expressed in that finite light ray bouncing off that finite stone floor.

Then I asked the seminar participants to point to the quality of power. Jackie pointed to a painting hanging in the room. We all acknowledged that it was a powerful picture. But how did we know that? It was just canvass with lines and forms painted on it. The eyes of the soul see power. Sometimes we meet a powerful person. We know this person is powerful, because our soul perceives the manifestation of intrinsic power, another one of the 10 sefiros [manifestations], even if the person is just sitting drinking a cup of tea.

Once I was having lunch with Kirk Douglas, who at the time had grown a beard for a movie and was not so easily identifiable by his trade-mark dimpled chin. Yet heads turned when he walked through the room. The other diners might not have known who he was but they knew for sure he was somebody.

If you want to have an instant glimpse of how easy it is to identify the sefiros, take a minute to close your eyes and try to picture life. What do you see? A baby? A field of flowers? A forest alive with birdsongs? Whatever it is you are envisioning, you know it is life. You know it not with your analytical brain, but with your soul. Your soul has the capacity to see the Divine quality called life. Now close your eyes and picture love. What do you see? Perhaps you picture a mother kissing her baby. Again, what part of you recognizes that as love? Your physical eyes see only a big creature pressing moist lips on the cheek of a little creature. But your soul knows that that is love.

When you see life, beauty, power, love, you are seeing G-d. This is because G-d is life, although we can’t say that life is G-d, because G-d is not just life, He is also beauty, power, truth, wisdom, kindness, justice and all the other sefiros. And even if you added them all together, you could not say that G-d is the sum total of these qualities because G-d is so much more — above and beyond all this.

Now we have a better sense, through the eyes of experience, what the sefiros really are — qualities of reality.

The endless light of G-d, shines through the qualities of love and life and beauty and kindness and power and truth. These qualities are no-thing. That’s why they are eternally real. All things pass away, but these qualities are timeless.

Kabbalah teaches that what really attracts us, what really confers value, is precisely this no-thing quality. What makes art attractive and valuable? Technically, it is just a bunch of paints smeared on a canvas. But the Divine quality of beauty is channelled into the world through this painting. That’s what attracts me to it. The artist knows the right combination of lines, colors and contrasts that allows G-d’s beauty to flow into this world. That’s why it has value. My soul is attracted to the no-thing quality, G-d’s beauty in the painting. The artist didn’t create beauty, beauty already existed, but he created a vessel for its expression.

Here lies the secret to precise construct of the tabernacle and it’s vessels. G-d revealed the exact design and dimensions that would channel His presence in the world.

What is it about a person that truly is attractive? Kabbalah says that it’s the quality of G-d. A beautiful man or woman is a channel of G-d’s beauty in the world, just as a kind man or woman is a channel for G- d’s kindness in the world.

Every human being is a unique vehicle of various Divine qualities. That’s what attracts people. We are attracted to the special quality of G-d in the person that we love. That’s really what’s going on. Therefore Kabbalah claims that all love essentially is directed only to G-d.

When I’m standing in front of the Grand Canyon, am I in awe of that big pit in the ground, or am I encountering the grandeur of G-d through the Grand Canyon? Am I in awe of the stormy sea, water surging up and down, or is it the quality of power, which is manifesting through the sea? The Kabbalah teaches that all awe is really only directed to G-d.

Particularly with human beings, we become confused about the real source of the qualities we love and admire. I hear an eloquent, brilliant speaker, and I am in awe of her wisdom. Did the speaker create wisdom? Did she give it its worth? Does she own it? Is she the master of it? Did it start with her? Will it end with her?

Her wisdom is really not hers at all, it’s actually a ray of G-d’s endless wisdom. When I see an athlete accomplish an incredible feat, I am in awe of his strength. But that strength is really a manifestation of G-d’s power.

This confusion, between what we think we love and its true Divine essence and source, is what idolatry was all about. When you read the Torah, you see that the sternest condemnations are reserved for the sin of idolatry. You think, “What’s the big deal about idolatry? Those primitive people liked to bow down to trees and stones, but when humanity evolved, they left behind that nonsense.”

When was the last time I felt an urge to bow down to a tree? Or to a rock? Have you ever had an urge to bow down to the sun? Do you know why you and I have no such urges? Because idolaters were on a much higher level of sensitivity to G-d than you and I are. They were so acutely aware of the Divine qualities shining through the phenomena of nature that they felt compelled to worship that tree and that rock as a manifestation of G-d. Of course, the confusion, which the Torah warns us against, is to mix up G-d with His manifestations. The sun really does express the power of G-d. So worship G-d, don’t worship the sun!

We, sophisticated, modern people, make the exact same mistake. We are attracted to something — the opposite sex, art, jewelry — and we could spend our lives chasing these things. We suffer from confusion. It’s really G-d we want. But we confuse G-d with His manifestations. We confuse the presence with the packaging.

Let’s look at sexuality. Sexuality is a cosmic drive. According to Torah, it’s not something to be renounced. When a person has a sexual urge to unite with another person, it’s not an urge for a body; it’s a spark of the Divine yearning to unite with another spark of the Divine, an urge to become a channel to manifest Divine oneness. Precisely because sexual energy has such a powerful potential, it can be dangerous when it gets out of control, when it is misdirected. It’s easy to forget that sexuality is meant to be directed to the service of G-d, to life, to revealing the connection to the All and the Ultimate.

This also explains why sometimes Albert is attracted to Gigi, he’s blown away by how gorgeous Gigi is, but when he gets to know her, he loses interest. Why? Because at first glance Albert is attracted to the Divine beauty of which Gigi is a manifestation. But as they start to interact, Albert realizes that Gigi is missing so many other Divine qualities. She might have beauty, but she lacks wisdom, she lacks truth, she lacks kindness, she lacks love. So Albert loses interest, because he wants a full manifestation of G-d. Or Albert might meet Henrietta, who doesn’t embody beauty, and at first he is not attracted. But when he gets to know her, and becomes aware of her kindness, then he becomes attracted. Did Henrietta invent kindness? Is she the source of kindness? No, Henrietta is a vehicle for G-d’s kindness. That’s really what Albert is attracted to.

When the Israelites built the Tabernacle and dedicated it to channeling G-d’s presence into our lives — the world and its’ physical pleasures would all glow with ultimate divine radiance.

The Yishai Fleisher Show: Washington Zionism

Just in time for CPAC and AIPAC Rabbi Yishai is off to America's capital to lobby for Jewish rights in Judea. Join him after a long day on the Hill as he contemplates the Tabernacle in light of DC.

Bernie the Jewish Fool

by Victor Rosenthal

As Purim approaches, Bernie Sanders, the Jewish front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said:

[Moving the US Embassy back to Tel Aviv is] something we would take into consideration …

I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months, but what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country …

Our foreign policy in the Mideast should be about absolutely protecting the independence and security of Israel, but you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people.

If there was any doubt before, we know now where Bernie stands. Jerusalem is always a litmus test. The American Congress demanded that the US government recognize reality about Jerusalem all the way back in 1995. That was a quarter of a century ago. Until Trump cut the Gordian Knot, three presidents withheld that recognition. The waivers supposedly related to “national security,” but everyone knew that it was a nod to the Arabs and others who opposed any Jewish sovereignty, not just our control of Jerusalem. Proof of that was the ridiculous opinion of the State Department that Israel was not sovereign in any part of Jerusalem, even the Western part that it has held since 1948 and in which its Knesset is located. And the fact is that there have been no adverse consequences for “national security.”

It’s important to note that Trump’s declaration did not break new ground. It did not determine the precise borders of Jerusalem, and left open the possibility that some parts of it would become part of a future Palestinian state. To go back to the pre-Trump situation – if indeed it is even legally possible, given the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 – would simply be absurd, and the only reason for doing so would be to kick Israel in the teeth.

Which is also the only reason to insult our Prime Minister, by calling him a “reactionary racist.” Maybe that’s the way American politicians have learned to talk recently, and maybe it gets Bernie points with some stupid or antisemitic supporters, or maybe it meets some psychological need of his own, but to the (minimal) extent that the accusation is meaningful, it is entirely untrue. “Racist” is a particularly unhelpful term. The US has a long history of conflict based on the ill-treatment of dark-skinned Americans, a history including slavery, Jim Crow, and other manifestations, and this is what the word is intended to evoke. It simply has no application for Jews and Arabs, whose conflicts have religious and political origins.

Probably Bernie would justify his accusation of “racism” by referring to Bibi’s famous comment that Arab voters are going to the polls “in droves,” something seized upon by his left-wing opposition here. It is supposed to imply that Bibi thinks Arabs should not exercise their right to vote, just like blacks in Mississippi in 1960. But in fact it was an attempt to turn out his own voters by telling them that Arabs were going out to vote in droves against him. There is nothing prejudiced about his pointing out that the Arab parties are part of the opposition, and warning that they were getting large numbers of their voters to the polls.

As far as “reactionary” is concerned, it is correct that Netanyahu has always favored free-market economic policies over the socialist ones that characterized Israel’s early years. He has nothing to be ashamed of – the results speak for themselves. If Bernie thinks the USA would be better off with government monopolies like the Histadrut’s enterprises, good luck with that.

Sanders’ reference to the “suffering of the Palestinian people” brings to mind Barack Obama’s Cairo speech, in which he drew a direct comparison between the Holocaust and the Palestinian nakba. I’ll just note that Palestinian “suffering” is primarily a result of the continued rejection of any Jewish sovereignty by their leadership and their allies, their refusal to accept legitimate offers of statehood, their readiness to use Arab refugees and their children as hostages in their war against the Jews, and their adoption of terrorism as their main political tactic. It is very wrong to treat the moral case of Israel as equivalent to that of the Palestinians, led as they are by the PLO and Hamas. Indeed, the groundbreaking aspect of Trump’s policy in the region is that for the first time, he has broken away from this false equivalence.

I would like to think that Bernie is taking positions that are as different as possible from those of the Trump Administration simply in order to attack Trump. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case: Bernie’s anti-Israel positions have been consistent throughout his career, and his choice of advisors and surrogates, who include Linda Sarsour, Cornel West, Michael Moore, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Amer Zahr, AOC, and others – some of whom might be given important positions in a Sanders Administration – does not inspire confidence.

But even if Bernie were not anti-Israel as a matter of principle – and I am convinced that he is – there is an important tactical reason that he could not support the Jewish state in the way that Harry Truman could. As a Jew, he is open to the accusation that he would prioritize the interests of Israel over the interests of the US. Certainly that accusation will always be made against any Jewish politician at any level who takes a pro-Israel position (even non-Jewish politicians who are pro-Israel are accused of being bought by the Jewish/Israeli lobby). And therefore he will avoid taking such positions.

He is a fool, an enemy of his own people, the most useful of useful idiots. Linda Sarsour said she would be proud to “elect the first Jewish American president this country has ever seen – and for his name to be Bernard Sanders.” That says it all, doesn’t it?

I hold an unpopular opinion: I don’t think a Jew should be President of the US. Any Jew. One reason is the difficulty of being pro-Israel; but there is another. The president is a lightning rod. Look at the abuse heaped on Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Do you doubt the form it would take with a Jewish president, even an anti-Israel one? Do American Jews need another stimulus for antisemitic attacks?

Look, there are more issues in this election than Jewish issues. American Jews are Americans, most of them see themselves as liberals if not progressives, and they are concerned about jobs, healthcare, immigration, student debt, the cost of living, drugs and crime, terrorism, and everything else. I get that. But if they are still Jews, then Jewish issues, including support for Israel, have to count. And there has to be a point at which a candidate disqualifies himself for someone who cares about Jewish issues. Bernie’s gone past that point. He’s made the calculation that calling Israel’s PM a “racist” will help him more with the voters who are important to him than hurt him with others who apparently are not.

Nevertheless, many American Jews will support Bernie if he is nominated. They will do it despite their misgivings, because they have elevated anti-Trumpism to the greatest mitzvah of their progressive “Torah,” and because they have been conditioned to only see antisemitism when it comes from the Right. They will do it because they have become disconnected from the Jewish people and their state, and have adopted Tikkunism as their religion in place of any form of Judaism. I suspect they’ll be sorry.

"I will dwell in their midst"

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.… (Shemos 25:8)

AS I WALKED home from Mincha today as I normally do at this time, I was confronted once again by a large construction crane. It’s been there for a least a half a year, if not longer. It’s beyond my street and down a hill somewhat where they are in the middle of building new apartments. So, from my street, I only see the upper two-thirds of it, making it seem a lot closer.

Though I have studied the crane somewhat now over 100 times, today was the first time I realized what a good analogy it is for the message of this week’s parsha. This week’s parsha is “Parashas Hashgochah Pratis,” the parsha of Divine Providence, because it is the one where God tells us that He dwells among the Jewish people.

The thing about the crane is how it is so massive, and responsible for so much of the building going up. Yet to look at it from a distance it doesn’t look so, because you can barely see the wires between the crane and all the heavy things it moves around to help the construction crew do their job. It’s hard to believe that so much gets done because of the structure.

It occurred to me today that this is how Divine Providence works as well. Heaven is massive and pulls all the strings that make everything happen down here. We can see Heaven, so-to-speak, and we can see what gets accomplished down here in the world “below.” What we can’t see is the “strings”—like angels for example sent by God to do His bidding—that attach both worlds, and how they allow Heaven to guide what happens below it.

The truth is, Rabbi Noach Weinberg, zt”l, already used this analogy in a similar way. While explaining to someone who had asked him how he could be so successful at outreach when greater people failed to bring back a single Jew, he used the crane as an example. He explained to his questioner that the crane was like God bringing back Jews, and he was like the foreman who kept his hand on the heavy load as it moved, making it look as if was the one doing the work, and with one hand yet!

Here’s the interesting part. This week’s parsha tells us that if we want to be the “wire” connecting Heaven and Earth, and we work on meriting it, we can be it. This is essentially what God told the Jewish people about Pinchas the Zealot, who killed Zimri in the midst of his sin. The people wanted to kill Pinchas for killing a Jewish leader, but God told them that Pinchas had only acted on His behalf:

Pinchas ben Elazar, the son of Aharon the kohen has turned My anger away from the Children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the Children of Israel because of My zeal. (Bamidbar 25:11)

How does this work? The Torah tells us the preliminary steps that a person must first take:

Pinchas benElazar the son of Aharon the kohen saw this, arose from the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. (Bamidbar 25:7)

Pinchas SAW? Of course he SAW! How else could he have known what was going on and how to respond?

It means that though the nature of many people is to look the other way during times of crisis, as if doing so frees them of any responsibility, Pinchas did not. On the contrary, he LOOKED specifically to be able to assess what was happening and what to do. He was like Moshe Rabbeinu, who went out of his way to see why the bush wasn’t burning.

The next thing Pinchas did was he “arose.” Some people allow themselves to look, perhaps even show concern about the unfolding crisis, but that is it. They are moved, but not moved enough to MOVE. The idea of “getting involved” in something for which they can not perceive a personal benefit is too abstract for them. For Pinchas, it was never an issue, since wrong was being done and so far, no one was righting it.

And finally, Pinchas took his spear, which in his case he needed to complete the halachah. But everyone’s situation is different. It is the crisis at hand and the tools available at the time, that define what needs to be “taken” to act on behalf of God, to end the crisis in the proper way. The main thing is that a person has some kind of plan for following through with his good intention.

All of this impresses God. It shows Him that He has partners down here on Earth who care about His world too. He sees that He has messengers upon whom He can rely even in the most difficult of situations. That is when God Himself imbues the zealot with added koach and ability to get the job done, supernaturally, if need be. The Talmud says it took SIX miracles to make Pinchas successful (Sanhedrin 82b).

At that time, Pinchas truly became a “place” in which God could and would dwell. And once he did, there was no turning back. This is why it was only natural for Pinchas to become a kohen, the spiritual conduit through which God shares His light with the rest of mankind. The Shechinah descends and flows through the kohanim to the rest of the nation.

The truth is, the Torah called the ENTIRE Jewish people a “Kingdom of Priests,” and this makes it clearer why. The rest of the nation may not have the same laws or privileges as actual kohanim, but in this one very important aspect, we do. We may not be able to officiate in the Mishkan, but the Mishkan is able to “officiate” within each and every Jew. We can treat our bodies like temples, but in the Mishkan sense of the term, and if not ALL of the time, at least PART of the time.

We do it all the time with people and businesses. It is possible to become so devoted to something that it can literally take over our mentality. We can come to look at our personal lives and issues in terms of the people or organizations to which we have become extremely loyal. We begin to make decisions with them in mind, and only do that which we think they would approve of.

It is more than just doing what someone else wants because they are afraid of the consequences of doing the opposite. That means, that they do not really buy into what they are doing, just into not getting caught doing the punishable thing. You don’t become much a “Mishkan” for the Divine Presence with that way of thinking.

The higher level of course is that the person not only wants to fulfill the will of their object of loyalty, but they also enjoy doing it because they know it is the best way to live. Instinctually, the person may still tend to the opposite direction. But intellectually, they’ve bought into God’s idea of good and bad, and doing the good thing becomes self-serving inasmuch as pleasing God pleases them as well.

That was Pinchas in his time, and Mordechai in his. It’s called Megillas Esther, and so much of the focus is on her. But it was Mordechai, from start to finish, who took charge and devoted himself to saving the Jewish people, spiritually at first and physically in the end. He saw, he arose, and he took his “spear” in his hand. Consequently, God made him a partner, and caused miracles to happen for and around him.

We’re born into this world selfish, and spend the rest of our lives grappling with the trait of selflessness. Everyone can be selfless at some points, and a few can be that way a lot. For some, it seems like a natural product of their upbringing, but for others, the upbringing seems to make selflessness the most UNNATURAL way to act.

We all have different struggles in life, but they’re all about the same thing: “cleaning house.” We’re supposed to be refining our personalities in order to make our bodies more suitable for the Divine Presence to dwell on and within. We’re here to try and become personal and human mishkans. And believe it or not, this is really what Purim, which is fast approaching, is all about, as we will discussion, b”H, next week.

Rabbi Ari Kahn on Parashat Terumah: Preserving Holiness

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Building of the Tabernacle

by HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

G-d commanded, “They shall make me a sanctuary and I shall dwell amongst them” (Exodus 28:8). The building of that sanctuary represents the climax of redemption, the pinnacle of our success as individuals, as a people, and as human beings. As Moses said in Az Yashir (Exodus 15:17-18):

“O bring them and plant them on the mountain You possess. The place You dwell in is Your accomplishment, O G-d. The shrine of G-d, Your hands have founded. G-d will reign forever and ever” (Exodus 15:17-18).

G-d’s revealing to us His divine presence in the Temple, and through us, to all mankind, is the goal of mankind and of all Creation, and it will occur in the future, as Jeremiah said (3:17): “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the L-rd. All the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the L-rd, to Jerusalem.” It will occur through the establishment of the Third Temple in the State of Israel, which constitutes “G-d’s throne on earth,” as Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, zt”l said, “The State of Israel is the foundation of G-d’s throne on earth. Its entire goal is to make G-d One and His name One” (Orot 160).

Today, how fortunate our generation is that we have merited to see the rebirth of the Jewish People in their land, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, along the way towards the rebuilding of the Third Temple – may it be soon in our day! This is all true despite the darkness of the exile and our country’s birth pains, and our nation’s tribulations of rebirth, which sometimes conceal the purpose for which we returned to our land. This is the goal that has never left the hearts and eyes of the fathers and leaders of our people down through the generations. It has never ceased to find expression on the lips of the Jewish masses who daily recite the words, “Restore the worship to Your abode... and may our eyes see Your return, in mercy, to Jerusalem. Blessed be Hashem, who restores His presence to Jerusalem.”

Looking forward to complete salvation,
Shabbat Shalom.

The Shamrak Report: The Doctrine of the Qur'an is Clear and more..

by Gaye, a Christian subscriber of this editorial.
Those who say that Israel (Jews) should get out of Palestine because it is not Jewish land, you are nuts! It was the Muslims who occupied Jewish land in the first place, and there were many other enemies that also forced Jews to leave their land before them.
The Qur'an shows very clearly the pride taken by Mohammad and his merry men at killing Jewish men and chasing the Jews from their land. They were pirates on land! It is very clear from the verses of the  Qur an:
Qur'an 33:26 - Allah made the Jews to leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captive. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. He gave you a country you had not traversed before. - This land had not belonged to Muslims !
Qur'an 59:2 - It was Allah who drove the People of the Book (Jews) from their homes and into exile. They refused to believe and imagined that their strongholds would protect them against Allah&
Islam also has warned all infidels:
Bukhari: V5B59N516 - "When Allah's Apostle fought or raided people we raised our voices saying, 'Allahu-Akbar! Allahu-Akbar! None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.'"
Mohammad went on 23 RAIDS himself and ordered over 70 others to rid the world of evil. Hence, his modern followers-terrorists are willing to fulfill their esteemed leader's commands. Now they have suicide bombers, rockets and are attempting to build a nuclear bomb. They feel that time is right to implement this prophecy:
Qur'an 8:59 - "The infidels should not think that they can escape. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy and Allah's enemy."
Notice the words: that infidels are "Allah's enemy".  Allah also said that Muslims were to kill all their enemies. This of course means endless war against all non-Muslims.
When people start saying that Jews should leave Israel, just ask them when they are going to leave America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any other country where people have taken over. But Jews didn't!  (We took some of our land back!)
I do not think we can convince people, who do not believe in the Torah or the Bible, that G-d promised the land to the Jews. They do not have the knowledge of God and his promises, but it is a different matter when we are dealing with the idiots and hypocrites who claim that they are acting in the name of G-d, acknowledge that Jews are indeed the "People of the Book" but simultaneously have been brazen and fierce try to destroy them. Self-protection is the only reason for little Israel to fight the billions of Muslims!
When will it be Enough - 22 Rockets Fired at Israel!
Israeli Air Force retaliates after terrorists launch 22 rockets at Israel from Gaza on Sunday, targeting dozens of the terrorist bases in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Islamic Jihad sites south of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Welcome to Shamrak Report!
Zionism is Jewish National Independence Movement!
Jews have Right to live on all Jewish Ancestral Land
We need unity of Jewish people and have true Zionist Jewish leadership 
Please Support Shamrak Report!           
Presented by                             
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
There are many genuine peoples/nations around the world, who are still suffering from occupation by others - Kurds, Armenians, Tibetans, Chechens, Western Saharans, Basques and many others. The so-called Palestinians are a mix of people from various lands; most of who have arrived to Palestine after Jews began rebuilding it, are not one of them. This fake nation was forged by Soviet Union/KGB and Arab countries in 1964 to destroy Israel! Actually, they and other Arabs of the Hashemite tribe in Jordan, who were expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1922, are true occupiers of Jewish land Eretz-Israel!
Dutch parliament approved decision calls on government to object to EU court s ruling as discriminatory, unless similar standards are applied to all disputed territories around the world. Recently, the European Court of Justice has ruled that any product manufactured by Jews in Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights must be marked just like the Jews who were forced to wear yellow badges in Europe during the Holocaust.
Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and commander of the Southern Command Herzi Halevi paid a secret visit to Qatar to discuss situation in Gaza. Qatar has played a major role in mediation attempts between Israel and Hamas, providing tens of millions of dollars in aid money. (Hopefully, they discussed the Sinai Option - removal of the hostile population from Gaza to Sinai!)
Egypt has begun building a concrete wall along its border with the Gaza Strip. The wall is being built along the lines of an old, lower barrier that includes an underground structure designed to curb smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. (No 'outcry' from international anti-Semites!)
France and Germany both condemned Israel on Friday following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu s announcement of new construction in Jerusalem. We are deeply concerned about the Israeli announcement to build 5,000 housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. This would further separate occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank and undermine possibility of a Palestinian state, the German Foreign Ministry said. (He is not "deeply concerned about" about rise of Nazi inspired violence in Germany or increase of anti-Semitism in Europe - perpetrated by Left, Right and Muslim Jew-haters!)
Majdi Al-Saleh, PA minister of local government , threatens to approve construction plans for Area-C in Judea and Samaria next month. Under the Oslo Accords, Area C is under full Israeli control.
The left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz political alliance says it will relaunch the Oslo peace process and renew the partnership between Jews and Arabs if it s part of a future government led by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. (Why are so many Israeli voters still supporting those traitors?)
A woman, resident of East Jerusalem, was shouting 'Allahu Akbar' meaning God is great, as she attempted to stab a passer-by before being overpowered by people at the scene. Earlier this month a resident of East Jerusalem rammed his car at a group of soldiers in Jerusalem, wounding 12, one of them seriously. ( It does not matter where they live or what is their gender - they are still Jew-hating enemies!)
Gaza Restrictions - Playing Idiotic Yo-Yo Game
Israel Defence ministry reinstated concessions to Gazan civilians again, including the extension of the fishing zone to 15 nautical miles and 2,000 new permits for Gaza traders and workers to enter Israel. The restrictions were eased despite the continuing Palestinian rocket fire and incendiary balloons assaulting Israeli communities across the border from the Gaza Strip. DM Bennett removes ban on PA agricultural imports after PA agrees to lift boycott of Israeli cattle.

Anti-Semitic the World Council of Churches

The WCC views Trump's Peace plan as the equivalent of an act of war against the Palestinians. The umbrella world body was founded in 1948 with the mission of unifying Christian witness. However, with conflicting theologies, the only thing that it shares is political defamation of the Jewish state of Israel! The WCC also operates in a dhimmi-like pose to Islamic supremacism in the Middle East because of threats to dwindling Christian minorities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. The WCC is fearful of sectarian riots and pogroms against minority Christians.
Former MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) was arrested by the Israeli police on the Temple Mount, because he was walking too slowly". By walking too slowly, the police suggested Glick violated the rule which forbids Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount to even appear as if they are engaged in spiritual meditation. In the past, police arrested Jews for making a blessing on an apple before biting into it!
Abbas Fatah urges its followers on Facebook to share a video of a small Jordanian boy, The child soldier, Amir, who is wearing a military uniform, carrying a slingshot in one hand and holding a toy rifle, explains to his mother that he wants to shoot the Jews who shot Omar - the Palestinian terrorist murderer - and if necessary to die for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque ! ( As usual, the UN, the EU, even the US are silent! This is happening all the time. No 'Progressives', no Human Rights groups and NGOs are concerned!)
Quote of the Week:
"We have not stopped being committed to peace, but demand that it be done on our own terms. Over the years, we have only lost from US intervention, including in the Oslo Accords. There is no need for the Americans, anything that will be done directly in closed rooms between the parties away from all, will succeed... The Palestinians do not want violence and it is very important for us that the Israelis know this and understand that our path is not violent." Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the senior adviser and spokesperson of Mahmoud Abbas - They do not care about the lies they say! For years the PA rejected direct negotiation with Israel; Rejected all offers Israel made; Still using terrorism as negotiation toolHe said: "on our own terms" it means non-existence of Israel!
Blame Jews for Everything!
by Steven Shamrak.
Throughout history, Jews have been blamed for almost everything. We were responsible for the Black Death during the Dark Ages and responsible for the exploitation of working classes by Capitalist society and spreading the ideals of Communism around the world. Jews were slave traders and were fighting against slavery; we are branded as Imperialists and human rights activists; we destroyed the rule of the Tsar in Russia and created and obliterated, 70 years later, the Soviet Union. We are Anarchists and Socialists, Hippies, gay and women s right s activists, as well as neo-Conservatives!
All this stupidity began after a Jewish guy, Jesus, started preaching a basic Jewish law - LOVE - for fellow human beings! Several hundred later his followers, with the blessing of a Roman Emperor, alleged that Jews are responsible for his death. After two thousand years most people, mainly Christians, still have not asked or even want to know about the facts. Crucifixion was the Roman way of punishment of criminals , people who opposed the brutal Roman occupation and Judea and Samaria were the hot spots of resistance to the Roman Empire. It is only after Rome adopted Christianity that Jews were blamed for the killing of the Jewish guy. After all, the Romans and the early Church could not admit killing their own chosen god!
There used to be a saying in the Soviet Union: If there is no water in a tap, it must be Jews who have drunk it all in a word, that means, blame Jews for everything! Paranoid accusations and anti-Semitic propaganda that Jews are in control of the world have now spread from the Christian to the Muslim world.  This technique has always been used by kings, dictators and even by democratically elected governments to control and divert the attention of the mob, sorry population, from the problems that a kingdom or country has been experiencing and their true causes. We have even been accused of using the blood of Christian children in preparation of Matzos for Passover, with complete disregard for the fact that the Torah explicitly forbids Jews from using or eating any blood in food.
Jews have persistently been used as the most effective scapegoat! Some say: If there were no Jews, they would be invented.
If all these innuendoes that a nation, which numbers less than 0.2% of world population, has so much power over all Humanity are true, Jews must be really the Chosen people! Therefore, it would be a clear sign to any Christian or Muslim person, who believes in the Jewish teachings, as the Christian Bible and Koran claim, that they must worship Jews and allow us to gain full ownership of all Jewish land. Otherwise, they are not true believers! But we do not ask for any of this. The only request we have is: please leave as alone and let us live in peace on our land, Eretz-Israel!
And finally, I wonder if Jews are so powerful and such a world-controlling nation, as our admirers say, why aren t we yet, almost 60 years after declaration of independence of Israel, in complete control of the land of our ancestors? Furthermore, all of us must ask: what a low level of self-esteem and/or heightened hate for Jews those idiots, who blame Jews for everything, have? Aren t they able to do anything significant at all, good or bad, on their own? At the same time, I sincerely wish that they were right!