24 June 2017

Don't Confuse Us With the Facts! - R' Binyamin Kahane, zz"l

1 Tammuz 5777
Hodesh Tov uMevorah!

Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Binyamin Kahane- Parshat Korach

R' Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, zz"l. Wikipedia
 Edited by Barbara Ginsberg
published by permission
[Editor's Note: Please remember to pray for Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d and Rebbitzen Libby Kahane’s daughter (and R' Binyamin, zz"l's sister - CDG), Tzippora Feige bat Liba.  She had a stroke and is in a coma and on a respirator.  Please pray for a complete recovery and pray with all your heart.

CDG Note: You can pray Tehillim b'tzibur for her neshama here and here.]

UPDATE: Shortly after posting, I received the following message:  
Baruch Dayan HaEmet....Dear friends, it pains me deeply to inform you that Tzippy Kaplan [Tzippora Feige bat Liba - CDG] passed away in hospital... Funeral is tonite ...
I will post shiva details as I receive them.
May the memory of this righteous Bat Israel be a great comfort to her grieving family and to all who knew her.... 
So, this post is now dedicated to the rising to Shamayim of her neshama. We can still pray Tehillim, whether alone or as above.

 with light editing, linking and emphasis -CDG
In the introduction to Eim HaBanim Semeichah, a book written during the Holocaust by one of Hungary's great rabbis on the obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael, the following disclaimer appears:
"My words in this book are intended only for those who wish to know the truth the way it really is; they will lend an attentive ear to the words written here I am not declaring, 'Accept my views'...Rather, whoever would like to refute what I say, let him refute it, but only with direct proofs from the words of our Rabbis like I have done. Only then will I debate him, with the help of G-d."
Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, the author of this book, was caught in a strange situation. His efforts to persuade religious (!) Jews to move to Eretz Yisrael met with failure. His lack of success was not due to a shortage of proofs or convincing logic, but rather to the fact that people simply did not want to confront his arguments.
That is why he prefaced his book by saying that his words are intended "only for those who wish to know the truth." We generally assume that everyone wants to know the truth -- the only argument being what the truth is. However, this is not so. There are some people -- and many times they comprise the majority -- who do not want to be convinced.
Korach was one such person. Our Rabbis state, "Korach was prudent. What, then, caused his folly?" The famous answer is that "his eye deceived him" (see Rashi to Numbers 16:7). However, the Midrash gives another answer. It states, "You do not find Korach answering any of the arguments Moses presented to him. This is because he was clever in his wickedness. He said, 'I know Moses is a wise man, and if I debate him I will lose and be forced to agree with him. Better that I not talk to him.' When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him" (Tanchuma, Korach 6).
This Midrash is both amazing and shocking. Korach knew that if he talked to Moses, he would soon realize the error of his ways. He therefore avoided speaking to him. His need for honor burned in him so strongly that his greatest fear was being convinced he was wrong since it would force him to abandon his dream of taking power.
One may think that such an attitude is unusual and only characteristic of the extremely wicked. However, deeper reflection will reveal that it is actually very common. Very often a man sins and is well aware that his behavior is wrong, but he represses this knowledge so that it won't interfere with his everyday life. He knows that if he listens to someone -- even to his own inner voice -- he is liable to be convinced. Therefore, he clogs all his senses and continues on his merry way.
This is the sickness our Rabbis referred to when they said that "truth will be absent" in the days preceding the Messiah's arrival (Sotah 49b). It is important to realize that they did NOT mean that the truth ITSELF will be absent. G-d forbid!!! The truth will EXIST and will be ACCESSIBLE. What the Rabbis meant is that we will create a world WITHOUT TRUTH -- by ignoring it, concealing it, mocking it, and banning it from being heard by the masses....
Never before in our history was there a period of time when the truth was so obvious and necessary, yet at the same time so absent. This is because our leaders are terrified of it. It is obvious to them that if the truth were heard, it would conquer the hearts of the masses. Those in power, therefore, exercise all measures necessary to silence the truth. Disqualification, mockery, defamation, harassment, and imprisonment. With these tools, they avoid the painful truth so as not to get "confused by the facts."
"When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him." The moment Moses saw that the problem was not Korach's error but rather his WILL to be in error, he left him alone and let the ground swallow him up.
But people do not always wish to remain in error. Sometimes a person harbors false beliefs and attitudes due to his education and environment but is willing to listen and learn. He has no special interested in remaining mired in falsehood. For such a person, there is hope!

Darka Shel Torah 1998
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!
The last paragraph above, which I emphasized, is highly appropriate for introducing my next post, which I hope will be ready soon. -CDG

21 May 2017

Pray for the Complete Redemption Tomorrow!

25 Iyyar 5777
40th Day of the Omer

UPDATE: English Below!
The text of the prayer (much larger if you click here).

To anyone who can do this tomorrow, the 26th of Iyyar (22 May) beginning at 5PM, my heart, thanks and blessings go out to you.

From the Sod 1820 site (translation mine, with the help of Google):

We are organizing a World Day of Prayer concerning the Final Redemption on the day of the passing of the RaM"Hal (Rav Moshe Hayyim Luzzato, zz"l) this coming Monday, the 26th of Iyyar. Attached here is the text of the prayer [in Hebrew - CDG], and we ask everyone to say it 13 times, beginning at 5PM on Monday.
This makes it close to the 42nd Day of the Omer Count. I will be working tomorrow at that time and I pray slowly! So I guess that if I start at 5 in the afternoon, it doesn't matter how long it takes. And I don't know whether it means 5 here in Israel or 5 your time, wherever you may be in the world.

UPDATE: But pray, anyway and either way. I believe they really want as many people beseeching haShem as possible throughout the 42nd Day of the Omer! And why not pray it more if you can? And afterwards as well, until we see results?!

May Geulah Shlemah come swiftly and may haShem defeat the plans of our enemies, amen!

Many thanks to Chaya Shaina Chana bat Itcha, who sent me the link; thus, in her merit I am posting. May every blessing of healing and redemption be on you, my dear (please see the link I have on the right sidebar above for her - I thank G-d she still lives)! 
UPDATE: She also helped by providing a smoother translation (now below) from someone she knows.

Rough Smoother English Translation:

"May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our fathers, that You will accept with favor the prayers of Your nation Israel who have prayed to You in all generations, in every place in the world, and especially in the holy Land of Israel.  And in the merit of these prayers, may You tip the scale to redeem Your nation Israel as a complete redemption with kindness, with mercy, with miracles, and with wonders.  

"And subjugate underneath You the blood - which is the Kingdom of Edom - and the fat - which is the Kingdom of Yishmael. 

"In the merit of all the truly righteous people who lived until today, and in the merit of all the truly righteous people who are among us today, and in the merit of the hope that we hope to see Your complete redemption, and in the merit of Your mercy and kindness, please Hashem, send to us immediately Eliyahu Hanavi Your servant, and reveal to us the King Mashiah, and make him king over the nation of Israel and over the entire world.

"Please Hashem, do not return us empty-handed from before You because we rely upon You.  Answer us and do not delay.  It is toward Your salvation that I hope.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favor before You, Hashem, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Many thanks to one of my precious readers, who wishes to remain anonymous, for prompting the translation.

12 April 2017

The First Son: Why Wise, and not Righteous?

16 Nisan 5777
1st Day of the Omer

Featuring the top 2 in this picture. Thanks to Yaakov Kirschen.

Last night, Erev Pessah, my husband and I were seated across from a couple who were the son and daughter-in-law of our gracious hosts, along with their lovely children. The husband of this couple gave over an interesting question from The Rebbe concerning the Four Sons of the Seder.

A little background: The family we ate with is a large Halabi Syrian Hebrew-speaking (and Arabic-speaking, at least for the Seder), with Sepharadi origins and Mizrahi practice. At least two of their many sons have aligned themselves with Chabad, that I know of. The elder of these two is the one whose rendition, given in Hebrew, I am writing about today. It is more a transfer of thought, which is probably as much as I can expect from myself, than a translation.

Disclaimer: I have never read anything this question in Hebrew or English, and I find it difficult to find search terms on the Internet in Hebrew or English that would reveal it; so, my understanding of it comes from this d'var Torah. Any failure to give this over properly is mine.

And a reminder that in Israel we have only one night of seder. It is now hol hamo'ed — weekday during a holiday — for us.

The original was, of course, not recorded because we don't record on Hag. Therefore, it is hard to tell the difference between my thoughts and what the Rebbe said. My Hebrew, both understanding and speaking, is improving but isn't perfect. Perhaps when haShem flips the switch to give us all a common, clear language as He did when He confused the languages...😉

So...The Rebbe asked: Why does the Haggadah call the first son the Wise Son (hakham חכם) and not the Righteous Son (tzadiq צדיק)?

[After all, if one were to make a list of opposites, Wise would go across from Foolish, and Righteous would go across from Wicked. But in this case, Wise is across from Wicked (rasha' רשע). Which is why I think the Rebbe is asking the question; it intrigues him.]

The Rebbe's answer: The Righteous Son would always be correct in everything he said. But not everything he said would be listened to, because, while he is smart and knows all the answers, he doesn't know how to say what he needs to say because he does not understand the Wicked Son's need for a frank, uncompromising, real answer.

The Wise Son knows how to deal to everyone at the table. He knows to ask his parents questions, when to speak and when to keep silent. He knows how to deal with everyone, even (and especially) to his brother the Wicked Son. He even understands the Wicked Son because he has a little of him inside — but he knows how to handle himself so that he doesn't have to give in to it. [How did he get there? Maybe he decided that leaving himself out in the cold when it comes to the Jewish People's destiny is not a good idea.]

May Eliyahu haNavi (Elijah the Prophet) come to bring the good news of Mashiah's revelation and our complete redemption swiftly in our days!

Happy Festival of Freedom to all ! חג חירוטנו שמח לכולם

07 April 2017

Purim isn't only for fun.

11 Nisan 5777

(This post was begun on 
Shushan Purim (15 Adar) 5777)

For Adi, for Shiri, for Natalie, for Sivan, for Keren, for Nirit, and for Ella.
(Thanks to Paula R. Stern also for the names of these girls. I have no idea whether they're in order or not.)

Even weeks afterwards, I'm still stuck on this past Purim, and not only for joy and happiness. I'm fortunate that I can post this before Pessah...and I'm hoping that we'll be getting a visit from a certain prophet of renown before Mashiah is revealed.

Some people take Purim very seriously. Mainly, they would be non-Jews who love nothing more than to keep us Children of Israel unhappy during our happy times, emotionally far from our redemption and our redeemer.

The nation of Jordan is an appropriate example: Earlier that day, while it was still Purim for most of the Jewish world (and when I started this article, it still was...but I delayed all this time, while work practically ruled my life afterwards...), they released none other than Ahmed Daqamseh, the Jordanian "soldier" who murdered seven Israeli Jewish schoolgirls from Beit Shemesh, students who were on a field trip, in the Island of Peace massacre 20 years ago the next day. Memory is kept of these girls at the school where they attended (One of Mystical Paths author R' Akiva Marks's daughters attends there.).

The Island of Peace, as noted in Wikipedia (link above), was a joint Israeli-Jordanian tourist resort that was under Jordanian rule. So much for peace efforts. Showing no remorse, this murderer still dares to say that he considers himself and his sons "soldiers in the armed forces." Perhaps if he knew what real soldiers do, he wouldn't say such a thing. Killing unarmed schoolgirls who have not come to kill him is not soldiering; he is a cowardly murderer, as are the people he served under, and apparently he intends to continue in that path. He lives in the spirit of Amalek and the Philistines.

How can we tolerate the freedom of this murderer? Let me be clear: The schoolgirls who have been in their graves because of him for the last 20 years were not shielding criminals or terrorists. They were not "collateral damage" that happened to be in the way of a legitimate target (as dehumanizing a phrase as can be!). They had no weapons in their hands with which to harm. THEY WERE THE CIVILIAN PREY OF THIS FIRST-DEGREE MURDERER. Think about that. People have been in jail longer than he for far less!

I stand with Yaffa Shoukroun, the teacher who was also seriously injured by Daqamseh, but fortunately not killed. She told Arutz 7,  "I heard this morning about the release and I feel that they ruined our Purim celebrations...The Jordanian government did not coordinate with us the decision to release him...[t]hey released terrorist like robbers in the night. In the past there were attempts to release him but we made a fight so that the terrorist would never again see the light of day. I never imagined that one day this terrorist would be set free. The terrorist should have served a sentence for every pupil he murdered, he didn't even serve a sentence for one and was released after 20 years."

King Hussein actually offered condolences after the attack; but today's Jordanian leadership has taken his gesture back, substituting for it a warm welcome home for the terrorist.

Personally speaking, I feel that we need to not be so accepting when it comes to the actions of our so-called friends. Remember, this murderer was not in jail here in Israel, but in Jordan, and was released there. A decent Israel cannot have (or continue to have) good relations with them under these conditions; no one needs to remind me that we're not quite there yet. I am painfully aware of how imperfect we are; however, it doesn't give others the right to take advantage of us and our profoundly dysfunctional state. But I digress.

I was, and still am, upset by this release precisely because I clearly remember when he went to jail! His own mother doesn't believe the "mentally unstable" excuse. Wikipedia quotes from Al Jazeera: In May 2001, Daqamseh's mother said,

"I am proud of my son, and I hold my head high. My son did a heroic deed and has pleased god and his own conscience. My son lifts my head and the head of the entire Arab and Islamic nation. I am proud of any Muslim who does what Ahmad did. I hope that I am not saying something wrong. When my son went to prison, they asked him: 'Ahmad, do you regret it?' He answered: 'I have no regrets.' He treated everyone to coffee, honored all the other prisoners, and said: The only thing that I am angry about is the gun, which did not work properly. Otherwise I would have killed all of the passengers on the bus."

She clearly does not think her son is mentally unstable or a madman. Far be it from me to contradict.

But. I have some good news for my gentle readers today, thanks to Rivka Levy of Emunaroma (whom I suspect also translates the Shuvu Banim website into English for them. I could be wrong; it could be some other British-English writer.):

RAV ELIEZER BERLAND WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON YESTERDAY. This is truly big news that isn't getting around, and I hope that the other innocent Jewish prisoners of Zion, as well as those whose sentences have long passed and yet they languish, will also be freed as well. Frankly, it will take completely freeing ALL of these prisoners, with NO ONEROUS CONDITIONS, to even begin to balance the freeing of this FIRST-DEGREE MURDERER OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS...HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS...right in front of everyone there.

Complete Redemption, perhaps?

Abba HaShem, are You listening? Who is Mashiah and where, oh where, is his forerunner Eliyahu?

Sorry, I don't have time to gather more links. Maybe next week after the Hag, be"H, b"n. There are tons of them.

03 March 2017

A Heart's Cry for Help

5 Adar 5777
Erev Shabbath Terumah

Please also pray for Ezriel ben Shifra (עזריאל בן שפרא), who has just been found to be in such a bad way that his wife won't talk about it; no medical treatments have helped him.
Some of my readers are probably familiar with the following cry for help:

"Please read and please help me!!! Someone started a Chesed Fund for me to raise the money needed for Rabbi Eliezer Berland to help me. I'm suffering so much from antibiotics I never needed and the doctor knew I was allergic to! I swelled up all the nerves in my brain to my mouth throat and neck into my body causing constant non stop burning fire and paralysis l!!

"Please read all about me and my situation below!! Please help me!!😢😢😢😢

"Very Urgent help for a miracle needed desperately to survive!! Please help me!!😢😢😢😢(caused by doctors giving antibiotic that was never needed and allergic to) my case is very very rare!!

"I, my husband and our families are all natives of Lakewood, NJ. My husband is a cousin to the 4th Belzer Rebbe and a family member had a health miracle 60 years ago. Please help me! I need a health miracle! I have cranial neuritis cause by doctors giving me an antibiotic that I never needed and am allergic to! Please, I beg with tears for help! My case is extremely rare!! 

"I beg with tears for help, please help me! I need a decree to restore my health!! Please help me!! Rav Amram Vaknin, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Meir Shechter, Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz .... Please help me get to them!! Please I need to get help from a great Tzadik please!!! I cannot feel my entire mouth throat or neck (my skull is swollen and face from the nerves being swollen) my chest shoulders back into spine and stomach and burn on fire non stop causing paralysis! Please help me! Here is my story!!

"I have an autoimmune disease set off by Keflex 30 years ago and biaxin for a tooth infection in February 2015 that threw me under the bus! (My father passed away as well and taught everyone from Lakewood to NY to Israel for free not to studder)

"My body is attacking my trigememinal and glossopharngeal nerves (cranial nerves) vagus too, neck into my spine in neck down back! My entire mouth throat palate tongue sinuses cheeks occipital (I can feel the swelling of all the nerves in brain and brainstem! I have atrophy in my face from the nerves inside my mouth and swelling near my ears and atrophy with my ears as well! Please help me stop the autoantibodies from attacking my central nervous system (cranial nerves and spine)!

"Looking for natural treatment only! Big Pharma ruined my life!!

"I need a miracle now please HaShem!! I cannot do this anymore! I'm suffering so much!! Help me now! Answer me now and send me my messenger now and do not forsake me please! I beg with tears for your help! I need to live!! Too much to do!! I want to save lives and help everyone!! Help me please!! Save me now and send my miracle of health completely now!!! Send Moshiach for the entire living world now please!! Peace and health for all life on earth!!"

Chaya Shaina Chana Bas Itcha [update: "Itcha" is pronounced like "scratch your itch," straight from Chaya Shaina Chana.  -CDG]
Here is a little more background on our sister in Israel:
I first read about her in my local N’shei e-newsletter about a year or so ago. She wrote me the following after I responded to her email, which she wrote following my last post.

She was a medical lab technician and a nurse before her illness. She is extremely and painfully aware of her condition and plight, making her suffering worse than can be imagined by anyone not in the medical profession, or otherwise in the healing arts. She told me:

I'm written off!! It is an inflammatory Demylinating disease of the cranial nerves and spine!! (Central nervous system brought on by Big Pharma!) if the swelling would stop, the pain and non stop burning would stop and do would the damage (paralysis). Any nerve that gets inflamed, loses function (paralysis). You cannot live without eating or breathing! The largest of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves are all affected! Words along cannot describe my suffering! I use to drink coffee and tea and ate organic vegan , saved animals, and walked 21 miles a week up until February 2015 after taking another antibiotic that threw me under the bus swelling the nerves even more so! I need a miracle!... I need a Tzadik to make a decree to remove this evil disease!

"By the way, being that the nerves are the largest in the brain, the swelling of them doesn't kill you immediately! The longer you have the swelling , you lose the myelin sheaths that conduct signals. Once the myelin is completely destroyed, paralysis takes place! You have no idea what it means to burn on fire non stop until you feel no more!! I cried plenty over the years and now my worst fear happened!! You can live without a leg or arm not your head neck mouth throat, etc!!

"I'm on fire in the largest cranial nerves. My face is swollen , atrophy, cannot feel my mouth or throat anymore and it's hard to breath because the vagus is the longest cranial nerve and that too is affected. It's my entire head throughout. I burn and tingle non stop and feel like I'm being choked and I am! Cannot live without your cranial nerves!”

Did she say she needs a miracle?

Please help. CLICK HERE AND DONATE…large or small. Erev Shabbat is a good time to start! And don't forget to pray for Chaya Shaina Chana Bas Itcha to be healed with all the sick of Israel.

Thank you!!!!
P.S. When this post gets pushed down, the link to her Chesed Fund page will still be in the upper-right corner of my blog until the situation is resolved, with the help of G-d, in her favor. May our fight for her healing bring merit to Am Yisrael and hasten geulatenu hashlemah (our complete redemption)!

26 February 2017

Candidates for Mashiah: Clarification or Confusion?

 30 Shevat 5777
Rosh Hodesh Adar Alef

(compiled by CDG. In case the links above don't work, R' Berland | Meir Ettinger )

[NOTE: The word "candidate" is NOT meant to imply that the office, post, or position of Mashiah is won by election, as are the many democratic countries' heads, whether presidents or prime ministers. Neither is it meant to state that it is a dictatorship that one person succeeds in imposing on his (or her) people.]

To summarize many, many sources as I understand them, Mashiah is a man, 100% a human being, a direct descendant of King David of the tribe of Yehuda (Judah), appointed by haShem and ratified by the Jewish people through a process that has us observe him completely fulfill the qualifications we have been given through our great sages of old. Please let me know if there's anything I've left out. Sanhedrin 20b of the Babylonian Talmud says a king must be appointed before we annihilate Amalek and build the Beit haMiqdash (HaShem's chosen house).

What the word "candidate" refers to in this post is the perception (I can't really say 'reality' yet) that we have at least two people living in Israel who are imminent possibilities for the role of Mashiah the descendant of King David. Both of them have leadership qualities, lead many people in one way or another, and have been in jail or are currently in jail; at least one of them has a name included in a list of King David's descendants' names (I don't know whether the other also does, or not.). And, last, but not least, both are being persecuted because of who the authorities think they might be. There are possibly more candidates; and some people here even claim they know for sure who he is. One, or neither, of the people I am writing about today could be the person the Jewish people have been waiting thousands of years for. But this is as far as it seems to have gotten so far.

No voting, please. We only must want Mashiah, whomever haShem might choose.

I am referring to these two possibilities: Meir Ettinger and Rav Eliezer Berland. I have written about them both, but am not the primary source for either.

Reb Dov Bear bar Leib of the End of Days/Years of Awe blog, commented the following on his blog post, Piercing (Pirtzah) the Darkness that is (Tzarfat) at the End of Days, Part One on learning that the Israeli General Security Services (Shaba"K) officially banned Meir Ettinger from teaching Torah (Hebrew):

 The odds of him being Mashiach ben David just jumped to at least 50%. They are so afraid of him that he is now not allowed to teach Torah.
He explains further, "OMyG-d, they are forbidding him from teaching Torah to talmidim. They are unbelievably afraid of him. This is a siman about whom they at the very least think he is. Would HaShem send Mashiach into the world so that the Yetzer HaRa would prevent him from teaching Torah?? In one way, the answer might be Yes. But if HaShem wants to trick the Satan like He did with David by making him have questionable Yichus because of Ruth's conversion as a Moaviyah, then the answer would be No. So the odds of him being Mashiach are 50/50."

>>UPDATE: Our colleague, Neshama, sent me (and apparently him) a link to the above report, and reported it herself. 

>>UPDATE 2: The Kol haYehudi article linked above has been translated to English by Myrtle Rising. See for yourself.

UPDATE 3: It looks like both of these gentlemen are direct descendants of Melekh David (but then half or more of the Jewish world is; so, haShem has all that many more to choose from.).

Rivka Levy, of Emunaroma, wrote the following concerning R' Berland recently:

...on one side, an ever-growing list of lamed vav Tzaddikim and undisputed leaders of the generation...telling us that Rav Berland is Kodesh kodeshim, completely innocent of any accusation, and that we need to be VERY careful to not even think a bad thought about him...And on the other… a bunch of hardcore, mentally-ill psychos.

As far as righteous people being in jail is concerned, or being constricted so that complete freedom is impossible for them as it is for the rest of us, whether Mashiah-in-waiting or not, this is absolutely a desecration of G-d's Holy Name and clearly evil. I don't have words and I cannot pretend to understand people who knowingly choose this path to give our lowly people breathing space and merit; I can only be grateful that we still have such individuals among us. The order these comments are written in has nothing to do with what I think about these two gentlemen; I have no preference or any special knowledge about these people, and I am not pitting them against one another. It is just what came up in my limited view of the world. But that this sort of thing is happening right now is extremely important. Great efforts are being made to keep effective Torah that could change the world from the masses of Jews in Israel! HaShem Yishmor!

It has been said of us that we are the most traumatized people on the planet. On top of that, like our ancestors in Mitzrayim (Egypt), we are short of breath due to hard work. We may not exactly be slaves nowadays, but most of us work long hours for low salaries and get paid monthly (I was shocked when I found out that, not only management, but EVERY Israeli employee gets paid monthly. In my admittedly limited experience, the "worker bees" get paid bi-weekly. Are Americans spoiled rotten, with the rest of the world getting paid as Israelis do? Or, is there a flaw in the image of Israeli prosperity? I don't have an opinion on it because I honestly don't know.).

So, to get back to the point, since Israel became self-ruling AGAIN in 5708/1948 (we were called Yehuda, or Judea, before, but both names are ours, as far as the world is concerned), we Jews have never had a chance to rest from our enemies and recover from our multiple traumas; and we need all the breathing space we can get and all the merit we can get; but if we are aware that people are taking a lot of our burden for us, we should try to help out, even if only a little. It is hard to think when one is trying to survive in a world where most of it is rooting for us to die; but we must make every effort to have calm, settled minds and never, never, never give up (thanks, Mr. Churchill, for that one).

Let's not be confused. The order of appearance in the post does not indicate anything about my preference because being Mashiah is a matter outside my hands, as it is for all of us; and will be a fact, rather than an opinion. The two do not mix. Either, or neither, could be haShem's choice.

May the chosen Mashiah, King of Israel, succeed at fulfilling all the qualifications, in whatever manner they may be completed, and be revealed and crowned imminently, whoever he may be!


Read my articles about:

Meir Ettinger:
Free the Jewish Political Prisoners Now! | Meir is Free. But. | Meir Ettinger: Worst Criminal on Earth? | On the freeing of Meir Ettinger... | Repost: More Are With Us than With Them |

R' Eliezer Berland:
"We are Character Witnesses..."

More about R' Berland; also here.

Hodesh Adar mevorah!

06 February 2017

Let's take responsibility and clean house!

10 Shevat 5777

Ofra before destruction. Photo Credit: Lior Mizrahi/Flash90

It surprised me somewhat to discover recently that the Israeli problem of throwing Jews out of their properties goes at least as far back as the prophet Yehezkel (Ezekiel). He conveys a very important message from haShem in perek 45, pasuk 9:

9 So said the Lord God: Enough, princes of Israel; remove violence and plunder, and perform justice and righteousness; take away your evictions from My people, says the Lord God.
ט כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה רַב לָכֶם נְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חָמָס וָשֹׁד הָסִירוּ וּמִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה עֲשׂוּ הָרִימוּ גְרֻשֹׁתֵיכֶם מֵעַל עַמִּי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה:

RASHI: take away your evictions: Take away [your practice] of evicting My people from their inherited property.

This, after describing how we are to take a portion of land from what we were given and, in the process of dividing it amongst the Twelve Tribes, setting aside a portion for Him and His sanctuary. Apparently, the separation of Holy Ground from the Jewish people is keeping us separated from haShem - which, of course, is what the enemies of Israel want with all their hearts!

The book Yechezkel, from the Artscroll Tanach series, comments further (pages 710-11):

Enough for you, princes of Israel!
This is a call to the former kings of Judah, who have been demoted to the level of princes by the Babylonian conquerors. The robbery and rapine (plundering -CDG) which you have practiced in the past must cease; instead, you must practice justice and righteousness (Metzudos).

Malbim offers an interpretation which looks to the future: You will have ample property, O princes of Israel...There is no need for you to practice robbery and rapine. My dispositions are such that you can practice justice and righteousness.

Desist from your evictions of My people [lit. remove your evictions from My people].
[Artscroll's translation -CDG]: Stop evicting My people from their properties (Rashi).

Radak and Metzudos hold that [the root letters -CDG] גרש can mean to throw or to impose. The meaning is: Desist from imposing [unfair] taxes upon My people.
How relevant this is today, both the taxes and the evictions! Israelis even refer to the gerush of Gush Katif. Hitnatkut (self-disconnection -CDG), the official designation for this event in 2005, which everyone knows by now was totally the wrong way to go, is far too sterile a term for us.

Amona was just the latest (and hopefully, the last) in a long series of summary evictions of Jews in Israel (or in the terms of the evictors, near Israel but in what they consider to be Palestinian territory, after many years of Arabs never reporting about it), which would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.

It turns out that many factors were brought to bear in this latest tearing out of Jewish roots (and its upcoming continuation within Ofra, may it be erased. Can we make up our mind as to what we are doing?). Among these are:

1. The insistence of Israeli politicians and media that we must depend on military support, and therefore take orders, from the United States.

2. At least one leftist Member of Knesset asserts that our High Court of Justice (definitely not the right name for them!) makes laws rather than forming their judgments around laws made by proper lawmakers (in our case, the Knesset). Both of these factors are further discussed here.

3. The demonization of the settlers of Yehuda and the Shomron - making settler a dirty word; in the words of former US consul in Yerushalayim Phillip Wilcox, Jewish settlers are niggers (longtime investigative journalist David Bedein's recently-published interpretation) with no human rights (see there for the exact quote, from 1990.). There, I've written it. (It's the first time I've used this highly pejorative term in more than 50 years. We don't like it any more than black people do!)

4. The established fact that the above-mentioned High Court places anti-settlement justices in charge of settlers' cases in order to prejudice the outcome.

5. We have been internalizing everyone else's narratives that we forget we are even a nation.

6. We have spent so much time fighting for our survival in little communities, ghettos and mellahs as well as in the big cities of just about everywhere, outside our land. We can't internalize what real sovereignty means, for us. To make it worse, our government, particularly the High Court, indulges in political warfare against a certain segment of Israeli society: the settlers (who actually prefer the term mitnahalim, inheritors).

7. We are easy to divide and conquer. No need for links on this one. I think we all know it; we have a term for it: sinath hinam, literally hatred of those who are free (and thus, our own freedom). The questions are: Why? and How do we stop it? Do we dare NOT trust HaQadosh Barukh Hu???

I agree with many others greater than I that we must dare to trust Him. It is the only way out of the morass we have been living through these last couple of thousand years. As Moshe Feiglin, whose new party Zehut focuses on life with Jewish identity, says, ultimately it isn't the fault of the High Court or the Left — it is we ordinary citizens who must divest ourselves from our ongoing dysfunctions that we have become so used to that we can't recognize when we are giving in even when we don't have to (my words, but see here - video, 11:52. If you don't understand Hebrew, turn on Closed Captions for English. Here is another opportunity to identify some of the points listed above). Internal corruption also plays a prominent role, as the program there points out. And so far, we haven't been able to stop the calling of the Jewish desire to simply survive as Jews an extremist view! What happened to "live and let live"?

But, Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher says, in the video below, that the High Court (he calls it the Low Court 😉) are for the most part Erev Rav; they showed it most recently by fighting the government itself for the destruction of Amona, and they show it every time they arrogate to themselves the right to make up law as they go.

Take courage, faithful Jews! Geula is almost here!

Current Events in the Haftarah: Bo 5777

Even more reading & listening:

BULLETPROOF: What will happen now to the Residents of Amona? | The Most Heroic at Amona - The "Violent" Youth | Whoever Strikes a Jew Strikes G-d | Jeremy Gimpel's son Lavi is planting 1,000 trees in Gush Etzion for his Bar Mitzvah |