Monday, July 27, 2015

Would You Help These Jewish Refugees?

י״א לחודש החמישי תשע״ה

I saw this ad calling for donations to help families still struggling after their expulsion from Azza (Gaza), ten years ago yesterday.


Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Personally, I mixed feelings about helping these Jewish refugees.

When I first moved to the Shomron (Samaria), I was very surprised to learn that most of those living in Yehudah (Judea), Shomron, and, yes, even Azza were mamlakhtim (die-hard state loyalists). Only a handful of towns, and handfuls of residents in other towns were considered to be strongly connected to Torah taking precedence over Israeli law, whenever the two were in conflict.
"How could our government do this to us!"

"But, we love the State of Israel!"
...were only two of the many cries I remember hearing from the residents of Azza, who were shocked that the expulsion actually happened, and that their government of their Holy State would actually do something like this to them..

I say "Azza," because the area of Gush Qatif was actually only in the southern part of Azza. Four, if not five, of the towns, depending on who you ask, were nowhere near Gush Qatif.

Before the expulsion, members of then Prime Minister Sharon's Likud Party living in Yehudah, Shomron, and Azza, went door to door, visiting fellow Likud Party members, in order to convince them to vote against Sharon's unilateral move to expel Jews from Azza. At first, this strategy appeared to be successful, as the referendum failed. However, in true political form, Sharon went against his own party members' wishes, by pushing through the expulsion anyway.

He simply left the Likud, and formed his own, new, Kadima Party, with none other than Shimon Peres.

And the response from residents of Azza?

More than ten years ago, Efraim Tashnady, long time resident of Neveh Deqalim, approached his local rabbis to ask what they were doing to organize the struggle against their impending expulsion from their homes in Gush Qatif (Southern Azza).

The rabbi's response?
Rabbi: "Pray." 
ET: "To pray is good. But which practical steps are being taken?" 
Rabbi: "None. Pray. It is upon everyone to take personal inventory, with whichever rabbis he listens to. Not once in history have entire communities been led to such ruin." (What about Yamit?)
Most of the residents of Azza proceeded to follow this advice, and to remain in the same denial until it was too late.

And, what did other rabbis do?

Some rabbis actually aided in the expulsion. That's right. They actually told residents to leave their homes, and helped remove their belonging. Those "rabbis" included Shlomo Aviner, who is still prohibited from making rulings on niddah, yet continues to do so anyway, and Moti Elon, whose coercion of his students to engage in sexual acts with him was recently exposed by his peers.

The relationship between mamlakhti "settlers" and the Israeli government is like co-dependent spouse of an abusive alcoholic, who keeps going back, to be abused some more.

Sure, I feel for these Jewish refugees. But, it is high time to break this cycle of co-dependent, self-destruction, and let the co-dependents on the government which has continued to abuse them all these years to struggle on their own until they snap out of victim mode, and realize who is really on their side, and its not the Israeli government.

So, would you donate to help these Jewish refugees?

I'm not so sure that I would.

Think an expulsion of Jews could never happen again?

Guess again.
Arutz 7 Expert: Israeli Leaders Haven't Learned from Gush KatifProfessor Moshe Sharon says Israeli leaders are still thinking of another expulsion, despite the failure of the first one. 
Hezki Ezra, 7/27/2015 
Middle East expert Professor Moshe Sharon told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that, 10 years after the “Disengagement” from Gush Katif, Israeli leaders still have not learned a lesson. 
“It is obvious that the expulsion from Gush Katif was a very bad mistake, and I do not want to use harsher words. The mistake is not only because we abandoned the security of the State of Israel as a result of the expulsion of Jews and abandoned the control that we had on this area by the IDF," he said. 
"Once we left Gush Katif we gave the whole region to Hamas and gave them a free hand to act against us. Not only did Hamas humiliate the people of Israel when it burned synagogues, we also brought hundreds of thousands of civilians under the threat of terrorism,” added Sharon. (cont.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Is Women In Green's Progress Really Progress?

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ דברים/חזון תשע״ה

From a Women In Green e-mail update...

Something New in the Tisha b’Av Walk around the Walls – No Limitations by Police...

...The heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, note that contrary to previous years, this year the police have not placed any restrictions on the walk. As we may remember, in the past, certain elements within the Jerusalem Police tried to divert the route of the walk from locations that were defined as foci of friction with the Muslim population and they have even tried to have the walk cancelled. Actually, all of the previous walks ended without any confrontations at all. This year, as mentioned, the police refrained from any such attempts. Women in Green are pleased with this and see it as a testimony to the power of this great tradition to bring about changes even unto the top ranks among the police....
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
"...a testimony to the power of this great tradition to bring about changes?"

Because the police have not set any restrictions on the walk around Jerusalem's Old City?

Perhaps.

But, my money is on this being propped up illusion of progress. When we are allowed to ascend the Har HaBayith (Temple Mount) freely, whenever we choose, and pray there, then I will consider that success.

Nay! Rather when we begin building the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), and bringing qorbanoth (sacrifices), then I will join in the cries of victory (בלי נדר).

Furthermore, we still cannot rule out the possibility that the police and/or Arabs have some tricks up their sleeves planned for this Saturday night. So, I would like to recommend to Women In Green to be very much on their guard.

Israel's Big Helicopter Giveaway to Jordan!

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ דברים/חזון תשע״ה

YNET: Israeli Cobras gifted to Jordan for 'border security'
US source says about 16 decommissioned attack helicopters given to Jordan last year to fend off potential attacks from ISIS.

Reuters, 07.23.15

Israel has given retired US-supplied Cobra combat helicopters to Jordan to help the Hashemite kingdom fend off insurgent threats on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, a US official with knowledge of the deal said.

The handover, initiated last year, was approved by Washington, which provided mechanical overhauls for the aircraft before they were incorporated free of charge in Jordan's existing Cobra fleet, the official said.

"These choppers are for border security," the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.

Asked how many Cobras were transferred, the official said: "Around 16, though some may have been used by the Jordanians for spare parts" rather than kept intact.

Jordanian and Israeli officials declined comment, as did the Pentagon.

Israel and Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, this week hosted US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who offered reassurances about the regional fight against Islamic State and the July 14 international deal curbing Iran's nuclear program. (cont.)


Esser Agaroth (2¢):
And with U. S. approval to boot! How gracious of them!

And what business is it of theirs anyway? So, they overhauled them. So what?

Oh, yeah, and the U. S. has provided us with "reassurances?" Yeah, right! Those are worth absolutely nothing!

Israeli AH-1F Cobras flying over Masada.

Anyway, how much do you wanna bet that these helicopters, gifted to Jordan, will just be used against us, here in Israel?

Either they will be taken be ISIS, when Jordan falls. Or Jordan itself will use them against us, with or without an Islamist takeover first.

Seriously, I think our co-dependence on other nations is more of our enemies than other nations themselves.

We are making it just way too easy for them to destroy us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Same IDF Treatment Toward Jews as Palestinians? Not Quite.

ז׳ לחודש החמישי תשע״ה
YNET: IDF: Same treatment for Palestinian, Jewish rioters 
Soldiers ordered to respond to Jewish stone-throwers just as they do to Palestinians - with riot control measures, Krav Maga. 

Yoav Zitun, 07.13.15

Israel's security forces often find themselves in delicate situations that have led to harsh claims of racism and misconduct. But orders passed through the chain of command over the last year paint a different picture - one in which both Palestinian and Jewish rioters earn the same response.

"The command tells soldiers not to treat Palestinian or Jewish stone throwers differently," said a military source who expanded on the details of the order.

"In every case of Jewish attacks against Palestinians, the reaction has to be immediate," said the source, "And there are four red lines: One, damage to property or the body of a Palestinian; two, throwing stones at security forces; three, verbal violence against a soldier, police officer, or border police officer; four, damage to IDF property."

 The order has been revised several times in the past, first appearing as a result of several incidents between right-wing activists and IDF soldiers. In many of these cases, soldiers stood by in instances of violence against Palestinians.

"We explain to combat soldiers that there is no difference between a Jewish and a Palestinian who breaks the law," said a senior officer. "There are no special regulations for firing on a Palestinian." (cont.)
And thus there are no special regulations for firing on a Jew.

Anyone out there, worried about a "War Between Brothers" (civil war), this is your cue to start whining about it. (Hint: It already began ages ago.)

Just like the Jew hatred is pushing Jews in the direction of, the erev rav gov't is pushing settlers/religious Jews (including Haredim)

Towns like Yitzhar get it. But, what about towns like Ofra and Neve Daniel? Will they?

Jews and Arabs are to be treated the same, huh? Not quite.
Arutz 7: Jewish Minor Brutally Assaulted by Cops in Demolition Protest
Youth protesting Beit El destruction gets violently assaulted by cops, necessitating hospital treatment; now his case is in court.

Nir Har-Zahav, 7/20/2015

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court is to discuss on Monday the case of a Jewish youth who was arrested near Kiryat Arba in Judea on Sunday night, during one of a series of protests against the intended demolition of homes in Beit El located north of Jerusalem in Samaria.

The Honenu legal aid organization has revealed that the Jewish minor was brutally assaulted during his arrest by police officers, and was treated at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem on Monday night for wounds sustained during the beating.

Honenu has turned to the division for the investigation of officers, in a request for an investigation against those policemen who beat the youth. (cont.)
Yeah, good luck with that one!
PM Netanyahu
The Supreme Court ruled roughly a month ago that several buildings in the eastern part of Beit El are to be demolished by July 30.

In a stormy meeting last Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu admitted he intends to renege his campaign pledge to build 300 housing units in Beit El, saying he will allow the demolition to go ahead.

Netanyahu reneging on a campaign pledge? Please do not tell me that this comes as a surprise to you. 
He also clarified his intentions to continue a covert total freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria that his coalition governments have been enacting for roughly two years now.

Regarding Beit El, there has been criticism against the paradigm by which all non-state land in Judea and Samaria is automatically considered to be Arab-owned private land, even without any proof of ownership, and therefore construction on it is deemed illegal.
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Go figure. Since the Torah says that the Land is ours, and the government says that it is not, that means that the government is contradicting the Torah.

And, PLEASE, do not tell me that this comes as a surprise to you, and PLEASE to not throw one of those mamlakhti (diehard State loyalist) responses at me, like "it's more complicated than that" or "we have to be patient" or that "the K'nesseth is a stand-in for a Jewish king."

Haven't you learned your lesson yet?

Still think the Government Of Israel [GOI] is a Jewish government?

I think not.

Who could possibly forget this powerful photo taken at the expulsion of Jews from Amona in תשס״ו/2006?
Nili: “You see me in the photograph, one against many, but that is only an illusion – behind the many stands one man – [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, but behind me stand the Lord and the people of Israel.”


Nili is pretty optimistic when she says that there is only one person standing on the other side of the Yassa"m (Israeli riot police) shields. For she is actually up against the Erev Rav. But, she is right about one thing. She has got The Almighty and the People of Israel behind her. We just need to remember that those people calling themselves "Jews" or "Israelis," who are not with her, are against her.

Should we now expect the same IDF treatment towards Jews as Pseudostinians?

Of course not! It has never been the same, and it never will be. This report is simply code for...

It is going to worse for the Jews!

Is it John Kerry's Plan to Destroy Israel, or Barack Obama's?

ו׳ לחודש החמישי תשע״ה
PBS: Kerry: Iran 'won't be crushed by sanctions’ 
Larisa Epatko July 17, 2015 
Watch an excerpt from Secretary of State John Kerry’s interview on Friday about the recently signed nuclear agreement.

Despite what critics of the Iran nuclear agreement say, Iran is not allowed to spend its unfrozen assets on Shiite militias, said Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview airing on Friday’s PBS NewsHour. 
A landmark agreement that clamps down on Iran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon makes the region, and particularly Israel, safer, said Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview airing on Friday’s PBS NewsHour. 
He said critics have asked, “Why didn’t you crush [Iran] with the sanctions?”
“I’ll tell you why. Because they won’t be crushed by sanctions – that’s been proven – and because we’ll lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions. … So there’s a lot of fantasy out there about this, quote, ‘better deal,’” he said.

The deal, negotiated this week by Iran and six world powers, must be approved by Congress and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

John Kerry
U. S. Secretary of Snakes
Despite what critics of the agreement say, Iran is not allowed to spend its unfrozen assets on Hezbollah, Shiite militias in Iraq or Houthi rebels in Yemen, Kerry continued. 
“They’re not allowed to do that outside even of this (nuclear) agreement,” he said, adding that U.N. resolutions state as much. 
Kerry said when he meets with Gulf state leaders in Doha in two weeks, he will outline what steps the allies can take to “push back against this behavior.” 
U.S. intelligence “has done a full analysis of Iran’s fiscal needs,” and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “needs to deliver to the Iranian people,” he said. “They have high expectations from this deal for a change in their lifestyle.”
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
"Not allowed to spend its unfrozen assets on Hezbollah, Shiite militias in Iraq or Houthi rebels in Yemen?"

Seriously?

I have already addressed this countless times, but I will say it again.

This strategy has never worked, and will never work,  trying to fit a non-Western peg into a Western slot. Yet, the U. S., continues on this same, fruitless path anyway, and Israel even more so.

Even the traditionally left-wing PBS could not hide Kerry's ridiculous statements, although they definitely tried, and many Americans are going to fall for it.

Now Kerry is going to tell us how he is going to “push back against this behavior.”

Yeah, good luck with that!

I am not buying the "naive and stupid" defense of anyone in the Obama Administration ANYMORE!

They are not THAT naive and stupid. Rather, I believe that they know EXACTLY what they are doing.

The only question which remains is...

Is it John Kerry's Plan to Destroy Israel, or Barack Obama's?

Or is it someone else's higher up on the food chain?

Adapted from "Fiddler On The Roof."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

For Your "Three Weeks" Entertainment: A Dialog with a Rabbi

ג' לחודש החמישי תשע"ה

I recently engaged in the following back-and-forth on a Facebook thread. My concluding thoughts on this experience follow the transcribed dialog.

Friend: O No! I forgot to cut my hair again.... ‪#‎3Weeks‬ 
10ag: So? Cut it now. The Ramba"m says it's OK.

10ag: Nope. No mention of the 3 Weeks... 
רמב"ם, משנה תורה, הלכות תענייות ה,ו
ו משייכנס אב, ממעטין בשמחה. ושבת שחל תשעה באב להיות בתוכה, אסור לספר ולכבס וללבוש כלי מגוהץ, אפילו כלי פשתן, עד שיעבור התענית; ואפילו לכבס ולהניח לאחר התענית, אסור. וכבר נהגו ישראל, שלא לאכול בשר בשבת זו, ולא ייכנסו למרחץ, עד שיעבור התענית; ויש מקומות שנהגו לבטל השחיטה מראש החודש, עד התענית.
Ramba"m, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Fasts, 5:6One who enters the month of Av lessens in happiness. And the week in which Tisha b'Av falls, it is forbidden to cut ones hair, to wash clothing, and to dress in ironed garments, even linen ones (undergarments), until after the fast passes; and it is even forbidden to wash clothes and put them aside for after the fast. And Israel has already had the custom of not eating meat during this week, and going to the bathhouse, until the fast has passed; and there are places which have the custom to stop shehitah (slaughter for meat) from the first of Av. 
Beth HaMiqdash HaSheni
Illustration of the Second Temple
Rabbi: Friend is a vus-vus, he doesn't follow strange minhagim from the east  
10ag: "Vus-vus" and "Dossi" and the like are offensive terms. How can minhagim older than yours be "strange?"  
Rabbi: "Older"? Seems to me they're roughly the same age.  
10ag: How so?  
Rabbi: Rashi was the same generation as Rambam and he kept minhag Ashkenaz, cause btw, he was Ashkenazi. Do we really have to demonstrate that Ashkenzai minhagim have just as great authority and longevity as do Sfardi? Spare us...  
10ag: 1. I would be interested in seeing the source that Rashi kept customs associated with the 3 weeks, which are kept today, or even close. 
2. The Ro"sh and Ba'al HaTurim were Askenazim extraordinaire. Did they keep such customs? 
3. Of all people, I would not have expected you to use "Sfardi" to mean non-Ashkenazi. If you didn't mean this, then you left out a lot of other Jews. 
4. Although the Ramba"m was from Spain, it is well known that his work has had great influence on other Jews, such as Teimanim
Rabbi: 1-2) Habub, where did the custom come from if not from Rashi and the Ashekenazi Rishonim? Someone made it up out of thin air? 
Rabbi: 3-4) It's well known that Rambam's psak is based upon Rif, with a few exceptions and that he is considered authoritative among Sfardim, or if you will, "Eidot haMizrach." If you want to include other Jews such as Teimanim, that's fine, but Rambam's main influence was over "Eidot Hamizrach."  
10ag: You may have missed my point. There are more Jews in the world than Ashkenazim and Sepharadim
Rabbi: So what?  
10ag: To use Sepharadi to mean "non-Ashkenazi," is not only inaccurate, but completely leaves out many Jews from a Klal Yisrael with only "Sepharadim" and "Ashkenazim."  
Rabbi: Like I said, "so what?" Rambam poskins for Sfardim, for Eidot Hamizrach. What's your point?  
For all you Rambam fans, you should know that the Chida (R' Chaim David Azoulai) says in Avodat Hakodesh, in the customs/laws of chodesh Tammuz, "Be very careful during the days of Beyn Hameitzarim to minimize laughter, and pleasure and to say Tikun Chatzot." That's BEFORE hodesh Av, wise guys...  
Hauling away the Temple vessels to Rome after the Second Temple's destruction.
10ag: Um,...1. Not sure where the smarmy comments like "spare us" and "wise guys" are coming from, especially in public, and from a rabbi. 
2. I'm posing some legitimate questions, none of which have been answered with halakhic sources. Asking if something come out of thin air is not only not a halakhic response, but also inductive reasoning,...very poor inductive reasoning.  
Rabbi: What's your problem, "spare us" and "wise guys" is some kind of nivul peh? It's a straightforward response to guys who are making offhand remarks just because you can't find something in halacha, therefore dismissing it as if it has no source. That's called a "wise guy." You are correct that it is hard to find where the early rishonim kept the entire three weeks. It's not mentioned in the Tur. But it is brought in Shulchan Aruch, so I would not draw any conclusions from the fact that it's not in the Tur. Just be patient and keep looking. And btw I already pointed out that it's not straighforward that Rambam only held from Rosh HOdesh Av. Take a look at the source that I brought from the Chidah...
missed word 
10ag: nivul peh? It definitely [could] be conceived that way, especially in e-communication and and without emoicons or < >'s or something else to indicate kewana? 
Off handed remarks? One who asks a halakhic question is not entitled to a halakhic response? 
If something's not in halakha, then yeah, that's a problem, not satisfied by "da'as torah" (how it's misused today) or "Rabbi so and so said so, " or the like. These are not halakhic responses. 
Sorry, but I guess I missed something. How did you point out that it's not straighforward that Rambam only held from Rosh Hodesh Av? (There are hints to this, but explicitly he relates to the week in which 9 b'Av falls.) How does the Chidah support this? You're the one trying to show that I'm mistaken or that I've somehow missed the boat. I'm not the one who has to look anything up. 
Rabbi: Well, if you want to claim that there is no source for keeping the three weeks from 17 b'Tammuz, then you better be willing to support it. Rambam by himself is not sufficient. And if what you want to do is indicate that he is influential for a certain group of people, such as Eidot Hamizrach and others then the Chidah is also very influential and a later posek for the same population. And he poskins that bein hametzarim starts from 17 b'Tammuz.
10ag: I'm not trying to force my customs on anyone. All I was saying is that the Ramba"m does not mention the three weeks. That's it. 
Rabbi: If that were truly the case, you would have mentioned "According to the Rambam." You didn't - you just wrote, "Nope no mention of the 3 weeks," as if there is no need to consider it. So I pointed out that may or may not be true acc to Rambam and acc to the Sfardi custom, but there happen to be other poskim and other customs. That's all...for a friend of [name of our mutual friend] you seem to be over-sensitive to terms like "vus-vus" and "wise guy." Anyone who comments on [name of our mutual friend]'s threads knows that a lot of terms get thrown around loosely. Anyway, thanks for pointing out something interesting - that it's hard to find the source for the three weeks in the Ashkenzai tradition. But I guarantee you that it just needs more research. Magen Avraham already mentions it so it comes from somewhere...
Esser Agaroth (2¢Conclusion:
I am posting this not for the purposes of offending those who hold to mourning customs during the three week period between 17 b'Tammuz and 9 b'Av. but rather to provide an example of reasoning, which is not in the least bit reasonable, yet employed by rabbis, all of the time.

So much of what he says is irrelevant to a halakhic (Jewish legal) discussion.

The rabbi misses the point of the additions made by later posqim. However, I was not clear about this myself in my inquiries. He never answered the age question. The Magen Avraham lived 400 years after the Ramba"m. The Hid"a? Over 500 years.

He never answered the age question. The Magen Avraham lived 400 years after the Ramba"m. The Hid"a? Over 500 years.

"Had to come from somewhere?"

What kind of response is that?

I never even questioned the existence of these customs, during the "Three Weeks."

He never provided a source that Rashi kept such customs during "Three Weeks."

In face, he did not provide any reasonable explanation at all, regarding their development.

In all fairness to this rabbi, this an off the cuff conversation, sources not in front of him. But, still, how about at least a "I need to look into it" response?

He also never provided a satisfactory answer regarding his [at the very least] imprecise use of the term Sepharadi.

His end of the dialog just seems to be the same ol' boring, galuth (exile) oriented responses to me.

The only criticism I could possibly accept from this rabbi was that I neglected to add the phrase "According to the Rambam." So, I owned up it.

For more information on customs related to the period of the "Three Weeks," the "Nine Days," and the Fast of the Ninth of Av, see Machon Shilo's A Brief Guide to the Three Weeks and the Nine Days.

The Iran Deal

 ג׳ לחודש החמישי תעש"ה

At first, I saw little point in chiming in on the throwing of Israel under the bus by the U. S. in its "deal" with Iran.

There are plenty of other writers out there, including those with whom I rarely agree, already doing a very good job of reporting on

But, what the heck? Maybe I'll be able to add some details to this story, which you might not have thought about.
YNET: Israel warns of Iran's continued nuclear R and D, problematic inspection With only partial access to military sites and a 24 days warning period prior to inspections, Iran can continue to realize its nuclear ambitions unimpeded; world powers conceded on many of their main concerns during the negotiations. 
Itamar Eichner, 07.15.15 
Many Iranians rushed onto the streets of Tehran on Tuesday night to celebrate what they see as a great victory - an agreement on the country's nuclear program that would leave Iran a significant portion of its capabilities and remove the sanctions that are choking its economy. 
1,500 km away, officials in Jerusalem are warning that the agreement will preserve Iran's nuclear capabilities, while making effective supervision very difficult. An Israeli government official said Tuesday evening that "According to the agreement, Iran can be warned up to 24 days before being visited by inspectors. It's as if police who want to raid a drug lab would give the criminals 24 days warning – it is inconceivable." (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):


So, the bottom line appears to be that...

The U. S. Government has bribed Iran with a bazillion dollars and sanctions against weapons imports removed, help with its nuclear research and development, including a clause defending against an Israeli attack against it, and help to defend against Israeli cyber attacks, and for what?

A promise not to blow up the world?

Seriously? A promise?

Anyone else besides me feel like we are watching Jack And The Beanstalk here, but with only regular old beans, instead of magic ones?

President Obama has even dishonored his own, fallen U. S. troops, who were killed by Iranian forces. No surprises there.


This strategy had never worked, trying to fit a non-Western peg into a Western slot. Yet, the U. S., and Israel even more so, continues on this same, fruitless path anyway.

VP Joe Biden
Is the U. S. President really that stupid to believe that this time will be different? Could anyone in such a high position be that naive, or for that matter, that stupid? The Americans who voted for him, yes, and Vice-President Biden definitely, unless he has actually been giving an Oscar worthy performance all this time.

I do not know about you, but I am not falling for the naive and stupid defense of President Obama again.

This man in the White House either wants to control the Land of Israel, like everyone else in the world (Zech. 12-14), wants to assimilate the Jewish People into the non-Jewish, “progressive,” world, or just wipe us out in anyway he can.

And, now Germany's Foreign Minister is taking issue with Israel's objection to the agreement, which has its destruction written all over it. No surprises there, either.

Irans' Supreme leader has already come out in favor of "Death to the U. S." and "Death to Israel," and, by the way, had said that the deal must be scrutinized before agreeing to it,...as if it does not already include everything that Iran could possible have wished for.

Our only hope that the deal will not go through, is if The Almighty decides to show us mercy, save us again, by hardening the Persian (Iranian) leader's heart, like he did to Pharoah in Egypt, and like he perhaps did to Arafat in 1993, causing him to reject the deal.

Or perhaps, he will use Yair Lapid as a tool to bring down the Israeli Government. Unfortunately, I am afraid that Israel's voters will just elect the same ol' people, spouting off the same ol' promises, and we will be back to where we started, thanks to Israeli deMOCKracy.

Only time will tell.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

On My 18th Aliyah Anniversary, Here's My Story!

 מוצש״ק פר׳ מטות-מסעי תעש"ה

This post was inspired by Tomer Devorah's Aliyah Advice For Those Who Are Interested.

Coming up on my 18th anniversary of not only making aliyah, but arriving in Israel for the first in my life, I realized, thanks to Tomer Devorah, that I had never written about my personal aliyah story. Even though I have written tips on aliyah, before, during, and after, based on personal experience.

Eighteen years ago today, I landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport for the first in my life, and I stayed.

My flight took off from Los Angeles, where I was living for the last nine months of my life in the U. S. There was an hour stopover in Chicago, and then it was onto Israel. When we took off from Chicago, my thought was, "This is it!"

"Fly El Al - most of the pilots are former Israeli air force pilots who aren't afraid..." @ASoldiersMother
Periodically glancing at the real time, flight map at the front of the cabin, I saw when we were over international waters, and then past the half-way point of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. There was no turning back now. But, the truth was, I knew that I was never going back, at not permanently, and I never have. In fact, I only left for a two-week course in England, in 1998. That means I have not left Israel in 17 years. For years, I either did not have the money, or I did not have the time off from work. Now, I do not have any interest in leaving Israel at all.

My journey to Israel, however, actually began years before I actually landed here.

You see, I had already tried to come to Israel several times beforehand.

In 1985, I wanted to come for my junior year of study abroad. In 1994, I tried coming for a year of study in yeshivah. In both of these cases, I did not have the money to go. Remember that Birthright did not exist back then. Even though it is just over 10 years old, many Jews do not realize that it is...just over 10 years old.

In 1996, I visited with the shali'ah (State representative) in Los Angeles to "apply" for aliyah.

Taking his suggestion, I wrote several options as to what I would actually be doing Israel, to show how open and flexible I was. I wrote IDF service, yeshivah, ulpan (intensive Hebrew study) and work. I had already wrote to the Ministries of Health and Education to get my professional degrees and certifications recognized, and was in contact with the Israeli branch of my professional association.

But, in the end I was "rejected," for not being focused. Of course, the facts that I had never even visited Israel, nor knew anyone here, worked against me. But, what no one ever told me explicitly was that my only loss would be a paid flight, and help with a place to stay.

Finally, in 1997 everything fell in place very quickly. I believe very strongly that I was meant to come at this time, and not before.

A friend of mine found an ad for a teachers program in Israel, co-sponsored by the LA Federation, the City of Tel-Aviv, and the Jewish Agency. In April, 1997, I interviewed for the program, and was accepted. I was told not to worry about money. This program really took care of me. So, I must give credit where credit is due.

In June, I found a cheap, one-way ticket, from someone with whom I volunteered a couple times a month, who turned out to be a travel agent.

Only a week before I was to fly, I lost my passport. But, I was able to get a new one, with special, yet pricey, three-day service, and a cool boss who let me come into work late a couple of times, so that I could deal with this.

Although Nefesh b'Nefesh did not exist back then, and handouts of chunks of money had been cancelled, at least for Americans, and other olim (immigrants) from Western countries, I managed. The shali'ah in Los Angeles had told me that I should bring at least $11,000. with me, as a single person. Yeah, right! As if!

I stepped off the plane with just $300 in my pocket, a duffel bag, and one carry on bag. Of course, I had a job and a place to live lined up. Like I said, everything just fell into place. I might even say miraculously so.

I even had a place to stay in a merkaz qelitah (absorption center) for two years, which is unusual. Most olim do not even receive more than a year. Rent was only about $86. per month, as I distinctly remember that the rate of exchange was 3.5 sheqqels to a dollar back then.

I soon obtained a student visa, good for a year. Just over a year later, a came back to the Ministry of the Interior at 6:30am, yet I was still only 13th in line. Hours later, I met the same clerk who had given me my student visa. I brought my birth certificate, passport, and letter from my rabbi in San Diego, stating that I was Jewish. I had heard it recommended to bring in your mother's kethubbah (marriage contract) as well, but I did not, as I did not have access to it.

The clerk glanced over everything, but took only the letter and stamped my U. S. passport with my request, and told me to come back in 30 days. I did, and he gave me my te'udath zehuth (identity card), stood up, shook my hand, and said Mazal Tov.

One tip I discovered about the process, which I feel is important to share is that each rabbinical association has its own list at the Jewish Agency of recognized rabbis. The application is sent there for confirmation of ones Jewish status. I called the Jewish Agency in advance of my submission of documents at the Ministry of the Interior. When I mentioned the name of the rabbi who had signed my letter, I was told that his name was absent from the list.

I almost started to freak-out. But, then a thought came to me.... I asked the person on the phone which list she had checked. She said the Orthodox Union [OU] list. Then I asked if Young Israel had its own list. She said yes, and sure enough, found the name of my rabbi on this list. I made a point of telling this to the Interior Ministry clerk, just in case.

I believe this insured that everything went as smoothly as it did. So, check to make sure that your rabbi is listed. I believe that Chabba"d also has its own list.

Almost a year and a half ago, I renounced my U. S. citizenship. I know that this is not the choice for everyone. You can read about my experiences with this, including how the process works, and about reporting ones income, and assets, or lack thereof, for the final time to the IRS.

After living in Tel-Aviv for two years, I moved around. Jerusalem, Beth-El, Ofra, and eventually to K'far Tapu'ah for five years. For the past six years I have been back in Jerusalem.

I have been homeless in Israel, in debt, unemployed, and survived a suicide bombing. I have interviewed, worked, learned, lived, and dealt with government offices. I have job hunted, apartment hunted, friend hunted, and community hunted. It has not been easy. We are even warned in the Talmud that it is not easy. But, this is home, and it is where all Jews belong, not in the U. S.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Did Jews Kill Jesus? Should We Care?

כ"ט לחודש הרביעי תשע"ה

The short answers to these questions are...
Did Jews kill Jesus Jeezer Yoshke Yeshu*? Maybe. 
Should we care? No.
Here's why...
The Algemeiner: Jewish Groups Enraged After New 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Claims That Jews Killed Jesus 
Eliezer Sherman, July 10, 2015
Former Australian rugby player and 2014 NFL grab Jarryd Hayne grabbed headlines and angered Jewish groups over a tweet last week accusing Jews of killing

Jarryd Hayne Superstar!
“Jesus wanted to help people but was killed by his own people,” Hayne wrote through his Twitter handle, followed by over 120,000 Twitter users, on July 1. Unperturbed by the potential for backlash among some of his fans, Hayne went on to tweet the next day: “The Jews were the people who took him to the Romans n forced them to give the order because they couldn’t.”

Hayne, 27, described as a “Christian superstar rugby player,” ultimately deleted the tweets on Friday morning. The Australian native — twice a top player in the NRL — announced a $100,000 futures contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. 
The accusation that Jewish people killed Jesus led to antisemitism and violence against Jewish communities for centuries, mainly in Europe but also in other parts of the world. The Catholic Church signed a document just half a century ago recognizing that Jews were not culpable for Jesus’ death.

Chairman of the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission, Dvir Abromovich, criticized Hayne for bringing up the thousands-of-years-old accusation, thus “fueling antisemitism.” 
“We need sportspeople to be powerful voices in countering racism and Jewish-hatred, especially when attacks against Jews worldwide are on the increase,” he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

(Tip: Jews News)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I am sure that the likes of Dvir Abromovich still believe that combating hate speech, lies and vicious rumors, against Jews, and kissing up to non-Jews, will actually change the attitudes of the world.

But, they won't. Been there. Done that. Never worked.

עשו שונא ליעקב
Esau (the West) hates Ya'aqov (Jews)

How many times do I have to say it?

Now that we are [theoretically] in control of our own Homeland, and more and more of us are settling here everyday, it is high time to tackle this issue of the death of the Christians' false deity/messiah/ intercessor, whatever they're calling him these days, without hiding behind a rock and whimpering about it like fraidycats.

Some are even calling him their "rebbe." Gee, I wonder where they got that idea from?

Anyway, assuming that the man Christians portray as their superstar even existed...
רמב״ם, הלכות ממרים פרק ג,א
מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם. מאחר שנתפרסם שהוא כופר בתורה שבעל פה--מורידין ולא מעלין, כשאר המינים והאפיקורוסין והאומרין אין תורה מן השמיים והמוסרים והמשומדים: כל אלו אינן בכלל ישראל, ואינן צריכין לא עדים ולא התראה ולא דיינין; אלא כל ההורג אחד מהן, עשה מצוה גדולה והסיר מכשול.
Ramba"m, Laws of Rebellious Elders 3:1
One who does not believe in the Oral Torah (Law) is not the "rebellious elder," stated in the Torah, but rather he is a heretic, and his death is [carried out] at the hand of any man. After it has been publicized that he rejects the Oral Torah -- one pushes him down, and does not bring him up, when the heretics and apikoursim who say the Torah is not from Heaven and those who hand over [other Jews to non-Jews], and the apostates: All of these are not [the status of] Israel at all, and one does not need witnesses, nor a warning, nor [rabbinical] judges; rather whoever kills one of them, has performed a great mitzvah (Torah Commandment) and has removed an stumbling-block [from Israel].
So, when Hayne says, "By his own people," he is already making an inaccurate statement. No one should be surprised, though, because like his predecessors, he does not possess the Oral Torah, and thus could not possibly know what he is talking about. Well, assuming Hayne's false deity ever even existed,...we was certainly not part of the Jewish people. He lost the right to call himself one of Israel (See the Ramba"m above).

Hint to all those trying to change his title, Hebraicize their false religion, and latch onto the Jewish People and its Land, let this be a lesson to you.

The man Christians have been trying to Hebraicize to "Yeshu'a," is actually called Yeshu by the Jews, which is an acronym for ימך שמו וזכרו/May his name and memory be blotted out.

Have we so easily forgotten why this blessing was added to our daily prayers?

There is a reason why Shemonah Esrei (18 blessing) prayer does not have 18 blessings, but rather 19. Rabban Gamliel ztz"l added one:
למשומדים אל תהי תקווה, כל המינים כרגע יאבדו, ומלכות זדון תעקור ותשבור, מהרה בימינו. ברוך אתה ה', שובר אויבים ומכניע זדים.
Let there not be any hope for the apostates, may all heretics now die, and the kingdom of wickedness be may You uproot and break apart, speedily in our time. Blessed are You, the breaker of enemies, and the subduer of the wicked.
The versions vary among Jewish traditions, but the hathimah (ending blessing) is the same.

I know that my fellow Jews will want to make silly comments about being afraid of what the viscous goyim may do to you, outside of Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel).

Here in Israel, we put our lives on the line everyday, so I don't want hear it.

If you are a Jew, and are not living in Eretz Yisra'el, then you are not living in your Homeland. So, if you want to criticize, then get on the plane, and come tell it to me here.

To my fellow Jews who want to tell me how the Christians are "our friends," so we should [keep our opinions to ourselves], smile, take their money, and let them share our Land with us [thus putting our children, and less fortunate brethren in spiritual danger], what I have to say to you is, "Good luck," because you are going to need it.

And to Christians, who claim not to have any idols. Formulating the concept of Yeshu in your minds, while you have the audacity to "HaShem" out loud, and in front Jews, is even worse, as you are desecrating His Holy Name with your filth.

Who are you talking about anyway?

The Yeshu who went down to Egypt to learn magic?

The one with the Roman soldier, rapist father? Or was he a rapist?

Are you worshiping a composite figure? Or are you simply worshiping pure myth.

And which culture was Christian mythology begged, borrowed, or stolen from? Egypt? Babylonian? Assyrian? Take your pick.

I will say one thing for Jarryd Hayne. Unlike the Christians attempting to befriend, convert, and steal the Land of the Jewish People, Hayne at least appears to be honest in expressing how he feels.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Bitter and Endless Cycle of Arab Terror

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ פינחס תשע״ה
YNET: Settlers: IDF needs to do more for us
A wave of terror attacks since the beginning of Ramadan and easing of travel restrictions for Palestinians is causing anxiety among Jewish residents of the West Bank.

Itay Blumenthal, 07.01.15

Jews living in West Bank settlements say they fear for their safety and are frustrated by the authorities.

The last ten days have seen a rising wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli citizens and security forces. Danny Gonen was killed on June 19, and on Monday Malachi Rosenfeld was murdered. In between, there were numerous incidents in which people were stabbed and firebombs and stones were thrown.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the attacks were sanctioned and funded by Hamas in Turkey, while a senior IDF official said the attacks were carried out by isolated individuals.

Residents told Ynet of a sharp decline in the sense of security since the beginning of Ramadan, after restrictions were eased for Palestinians, and protested the failure to resolutely tackle terrorism.

Aharon Tavger, 33, a resident of Zeit Raanan in Gush Talmonim, said that alongside anxiety about incidents like those of the last few weeks, residents continue to live normal lives while hoping for stronger action by security forces. (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
The IDF aren't doing enough? Seriously? This complaint is so old and tired….

But, before I continue my rant criticism of all those involved in the murder of Jews, I must first acknowledge one recent murder in particular, the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld hy”d from Kokhav HaShahar. Yishma’eli (Arab) terrorists shot Malachi along with three other men, all of whom were coming home from a basketball game.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld hy"d
Now here is what I mean when I say that the complaint that the IDF do not do enough is old and tired.

Do I believe that the IDF are doing enough? No, of course not! They never do enough. The Israeli Government never orders them to do the job which needs to be done.

But, it is the settlers who have become old and tired with their complaints AND their inability to see that their complaints fall upon deaf ears, and will never be satisfied.

The complaints and demonstrations are often led by the Yesha (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) Council, the same council which collaborated with the Sharon government to throw out almost 10,000 Jews from their homes, 10 years ago on the day after Tisha b'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the First and Second Temples, among other tragic events.

Many have decried that the Yesha Council has been revamped, and "different" than it was before. When I first heard that, the Yesha Council made the former head of the Binyamin Area Council, Pinhas Wallerstein as it executive director. Yet, the settlers still bought into it.

The Israeli Government will generally give lip service, and some minimal action, to satisfy the settlers. Things then calm down, and then whole cycle repeats itself.

But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here is the picture I created, in order to explain fully the ridiculous cycle we stuck in...

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)


This week's Torah portion is named from Pinhas ben Elazar who turned The Almighty's "wrath away from the children of Israel" (Num. 25:10-11).

Nowadays, a Jew like Pinhas would undoubtedly be imprisoned for "taking the law into his own hands," and even demonized by his fellow, "Torah-observant" Jews.

And so, we remain in a bitter, and seemingly endless, cycle of tragedy and false hopes.
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