Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let 'Em Boycott Israel! Who Cares?!

כ"ט לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

Arutz 7: MKs: Israel Cannot Ignore ASA Boycott
MKs: Israel must take threats of academic boycott seriously – or it will get worse.

Maayana Miskin, December 24, 2013

The American Studies Association (ASA) decision to support an academic boycott of Israel was a subject of debate in Knesset on Tuesday. The Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee discussed the decision and its implications for Israel and the world.

Committee head MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) expressed the opinion that all such boycotts are a bad idea. “There is no place for an academic boycott or for any involvement of politics in academia,” he declared.

“It’s important for Israel, but no less so, this principle is important for the advancement of humanity,” he continued. “Political debate should take place elsewhere.”

MK Nachman Shai (Labor), who called for Tuesday’s discussion, expressed concern over the lack of a coordinated Israeli response to the boycott.

“The phenomenon of boycotts against Israel is not a new one, and in practice, has been around for more than a few years,” he said. “Israel must not brush aside or ignore this latest occurrence.

“This could take on new dimensions, because one act can lead to action from other organizations as well,” he warned.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) argued that the main cause of the boycott phenomenon is Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), which he termed an “occupation” that leads others to question Israel’s legitimacy.

The Chancellor of Ariel University, former MK Yigal Cohen-Orgad, argued, “Whoever encourages harm to, or a boycott of, Ariel University harms scientific research in general, but also the Palestinian scientists and researchers who are working with us to improve all of our lives.” Ariel University in particular has faced boycotts due to its location in Samaria, east of the 1949 armistice line.

The ASA's boycott decision has been controversial among its members. Several universities have withdrawn from the organization over the boycott. No universities have actually come out in support of the boycott, which remains purely symbolic.

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Let's take these MKs' statements one by one:
MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ): “There is no place for an academic boycott or for any involvement of politics in academia,”
He may be correct in theory, but he is either naive, or being careful with his words. I believe that it is time to stop being too careful with our words. This causes confusion among our audiences, for the sake of the safety of our positions. (Was I careful enough?)
MK Nachman Shai (Labor): "Israel must not brush aside or ignore this latest occurrence."
Why not? Well, I am afraid to tell you that the Will of The Almighty does not appear to be at the forefront of his thoughts, if we take his words at face value. Western values and sensibilities, and concern over what the goyim (non-Jews) will say, seem to be more up his alley.
Chancellor Yigal Cohen-Orgad: “Whoever encourages harm to, or a boycott of, Ariel University harms... the Palestinian scientists and researchers...."
He plays the "Peace with Palestinians" card, which is just as co-dependently whiny as MK Shai.

The following may be beyond the grasp of these last two, but I will post it here anyway:

וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.
(בראשית יב,ג)
 And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)
In other words, what are you worried about what "they" think?

I saved...
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz): ...the main cause of the boycott phenomenon is Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), which he termed an “occupation” that leads others to question Israel’s legitimacy.
 ...for last.

Whereas the above three are not as in touch with their souls' connection to Eretz Yisra'el, through the Torah; "Meretz" MK Horowitz is just representing the sheretz* party line.

U. S. President Ronald Reagan threatened then Prime Minister Yitzhaq Shamir with the withholding of loan guarantees, if he did not stop "settlement activity" in Yehudah, Shomron, and Azza (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). Shamir refused, and we are still here.

I only wish that we would truly occupy these Divinely promised lands.


 *sheretz = insect, bug; vermin

This Week's Haveil Havalim Is Up!

כ"ח לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

This week's Haveil Havalim is up at A Soldier's Mother.

If you would like to get more involved in this Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, join our Facebook Group.

If you would like to submit a post, please use our on-line submission form.

Monday, December 30, 2013

President Shimon Peres's "Valley Of Peace Initiative"

כ"ז לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

President Shimon Peres
The Valley Of Peace Initiative is an excellent example of a project resulting from and contributing to the "Piece Process."

Yes, I spelled that correctly: P-I-E-C-E. Valley Of Peace Initiative does nothing less than confirm the belief of some Israeli politicians, "Israel no longer needs borders," let alone a Jewish State.

Many Jews always feel they have to outdo the goyim in everything, and globalism does not seem to be any different from any other endeavor.

Oh, sure, money will supposedly be made by some, under the pretense of helping to boost Israel's economy,...and peaceful interaction with Israel's neighbors.

See the video below for yourself. Do you hear any mention of security after for this project or for this border at all? Is there really an assumption that there will not be any need for such security? If there is such a need, then why isn't it mentioned?

Of course, Israeli President Peres's pet Valley Of Peace Initiative does not stop with the "Dead Sea to Red Sea" canal, train route, joint Israeli-Jordanian international airport, and business district. German and Arab investors have been invited to participate.

Another joint project, one between Israel and the Pseudostinian Arabs is on the drawing board for a university and medical center between Jenin and Afulah in the center-north of Israel. A Turkish professor is involved with this segment, and has the support of Turkish Government.  How many terrorist attacks against Jews do they forget to mention to expect as a result of this portion of the project?

The forsaking of the Land and attempting to join Esau (eg. Germany) together with Yishma'el (eg. Arabs/Muslims) are only two of the apparent signs of the Erev Rav afoot.

You do the math.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas, Israel!

כ"ז לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

The following is a work of fiction,...unfortunately...

JERUSALEM, December 26, 2013 -- Christmas Day in Israel is usually filled with the hustle and bustle of a regular work day in the predominantly Jewish nation of Israel.  In the pockets.  With the increase in openly Christian, Russians and Ukrainians, claiming the right of free, religious expression, the appearance of Christmas Day in Israel has changed. This Christmas, though, there was a sharp change.

Yesterday morning great rumbles were heard throughout the Old City of Jerusalem. Various reports still coming in suggest that the Center Region of Israel experience a series of earthquakes. Yet, many Jewish residents and tourists, were dumbfounded to hear this, as they reported feeling nothing of the sort. A tour of Jerusalem's Old City revealed a random pattern of destruction of ancient, as well as recently renovated, structures. However, upon closer examination, the layout of damage was not at all random.

Churches throughout Jerusalem's Old City incurred the brunt of the destruction. Only scattered reports have been coming into through Israeli news media regarding injuries. So far, it appears that there has been more abandonment of places, considered holy to Christians, than anything else.

Catholic, Russian, Greek, Armenian, and Ethiopian Orthodox structures were all equally affected throughout Jerusalem, and not limited to within the walls of its Old City. The German Colony, the Russian Compound, eastern portions of the city were just a few of the vast areas affected.

(Fictional Illustration)

The once imposing Russian Orthodox church on the Mount of Olives has been almost completely buried under an apparent mudslide.

(Fictional Illustration)

The Valley of the Cross Monastery was also seen to be sinking steadily into the depths of Sakker Park, where it is used to be located.

The Jerusalem Post was surprising silent about yesterday's remarkable events.

Korean Christians singing, once heard emanating from Downtown hostels apartments has been silences. The Japanese Christians usually present and singing Saturday nights Ben-Yehudah Street have been conspicuously absent. In fact, Christian missionaries have not been sighted in the popular Ben-Yehudah shopping district in quite some time.

The transformation of Downtown Jerusalem's Klal Building (97 Yaffo Street/Davidka Light Rail Station) into a Christian Headquarters has been halted. Spaces once housing the King Of Kings rooftop offices, the Pavilion church auditorium/worship center, "messianic" art school, and the Christian Café have all been abandoned!

The Baptist Church on Narkiss Street also appears to have been abandoned.

The heavy influx of devout Christian guest workers from the Philippines, the appearance of Christmas Day in Israel has not only changed, but has changed quite profoundly.

However, this year seems to have marked a drastic change in the opposite direction, and have included many unusual incidents, incidents which do not appear to have any tangible explanation associated with them.

As has been reported weeks ago already, Israel's historical snowstorm has damaged this year's Christmas tree crop.

The demand for flights to the Philippines is unprecedented.  According to confidential sources, many of those Philippine nationals attempting to leave Israel for home, have expired work or tourist visas. Yet, why there has been a sudden rush to leave Israel, praised as their "Holy Land, too," no one has been able to guess.

Christmas Fair, Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station, 2006

The once flourishing Christmas fair on the ground floor of the Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station Mall, was deserted this year. One of Tel-Aviv's infamous "messianic" Christian coffeehouses has closed, and has a "For Rent" sign pasted to the window.

North in the Shomron (Samaria), Christian volunteers have also disappeared suddenly. Their residences in the City of Ariel are reportedly empty. The Churches there have stopped advertising, and may have gone back underground, if they continue to exist at all. Arab intervention has not been ruled out. However, Arabs have reported being as dumbfounded as the Jews, who will now have to pick this year's second (mid-rainy season) olive harvest by themselves.

Farther north, the planned location for the giant statue of the Christian false deity/messiah (or whatever they happen to be calling him these days), expected to rival Corcovado in Brazil, has been rejected due to the instability of the area. A new location has yet to be announced. However, it does not appear that one will be found anytime soon due to the apparently very disappointing geological survey reports.

In the south, "messianic" Christian centers in Arad and Be'er Sheva have closed up shop. No forward numbers nor addresses have been left.

Various rabbis have already started meeting to discuss the halakhic (Jewish legal) implications, of the destroyed and abandoned properties.

Which materials used in Christian worship, and in the buildings which housed them, are permissible for re-use?  Which materials must be destroyed according to halakhah?

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has yet to make any official statements regarding these matters, or on yesterdays unusual events on the whole.

Israel really did have a Merry Christmas this year!

Surely, the Merriest ever!

President Peres's Political Personage

כ"ו לחודש העשירי תשע"ד 

Arutz 7: Peres to Gazans: You're Playing with Fire
President Shimon Peres issues stern warning for the residents of Gaza in the wake of the latest terror attacks.

Elad Benari, December 25, 2013

President Shimon Peres had a stern warning for the residents of Gaza on Tuesday evening, in the wake of the latest escalation in terror attacks from that region.

“You are playing with fire,” he told Gazans, after a fatal shooting of a civilian IDF worker by terrorist snipers.

"If Gaza wants quiet then they should act accordingly and if not then it will bear the results,” added Peres.

“Gaza is not under any occupation. If they think the world will continue to support them while they create more victims then they are wrong. We will guarantee our security," he stressed...

...The latest Arab terrorist attack is the most recent in five consecutive days of violence. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, c. 2005
Three Former Prime Ministers (Kadima Party)
Has President Shimon Peres crossed the line [again] of the symbolic nature of his presidential position?

Maybe this is not the greatest example, as he does not seem to be saying anything against the government's party line. But, is it his place to make such statements? Is it not more appropriate for the prime minister to do so?

Before Shimon Peres was president, what was his position? He was in favor of expelling Jews from Azza (Gaza) and handing their homes and lands over to the hostile, Arab enemies of Hamas, believing that it would lead to peace.

That decision has obviously not led to peace, and was just another repetition of the same old mistakes, expecting different results (...or was it?).

He was then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's partner, and has yet to express any regret for that decision.

Perhaps that is because he would not want to violate the apolitical nature of his current position as president.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

John Kerry's New Plan: Bring U. S. Troops into Israel

מוצש"ק פר' וארא תשע"ד

U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry
Giving orders
For years, I have been warning of the possibility of U. S. Troops entering Israel, and causing HaShem only knows what kind of, problems for the Jewish People.

I have felt like Cassandra from Greek mythology. Cassandra was "blessed" with gift of prophesy, and yet cursed that nobody would ever believe her.

Well, it seems like it may finally happen this time, although I pray that is does not: U. S. Troops in Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel).

Debka: Kerry’s Revisions: US Troops on Jordan Valley Border...
December 25, 2013

In the face of stiff Palestinian opposition, US Secretary of State John Kerry has stepped back from the American security plan for Israeli troops to secure the Jordan Valley border for an agreed period, in favor of deploying US forces, DEBKAfile’s exclusive Washington sources report....

American and Israeli security experts agree that the revised Kerry security proposals would in practice enlist US soldiers out for the first time to defend Israel’s eastern border, a task for which the IDF is perfectly capable, only to gratify the Palestinian demand to remove any Israeli military presence from its potential territory.

The US would also find itself responsible for monitoring Israel’s border crossings to the new Palestinian state as well Palestinian-Jordanian border stations....

*Continuing reading this report for a list of all the cave-ins to Pseudostinian Arab demands, including some additional slicing and dicing of Eretz Yisra'el.

(Tip Credit: Tomer Devorah)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
There is no doubt in my mind that HaShem has been hinting to this possibility for quite some time, not to mention the possible prophetic hints to this.

Tomer Devorah points to Yehezqel and to Yo'el:
"'Son of man, set your face toward Gog, [toward] the land of Magog,...And you shall say; So said the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Gog,... I shall put hooks into your jaws and bring you forth and all your army...And you will ascend upon My people Israel like a cloud to cover the earth; at the end of days it will be, and I shall bring you upon My land in order that the nations recognize Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.'" (Yehezqel 38.2-4, 16) 
"I will gather all the nations and I will take them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will contend with them there concerning My people and My heritage, Israel, which they scattered among the nations, and My land they divided. ...The nations shall be aroused and shall go up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations from around. (Yo'el 4.2, 12)
PA President Mahmud Abbas's vision of a
Pseudostinian state: Yishma'el wants it all!
I also suggest reviewing Zekhariah 12-14. Jerusalem is the prize.

Yishma'el (Arabs/Muslims) wants it; Esau (The West) wants it. Whoever possesses Jerusalem, and even more so Har HaBayith (Temple Mount), will be in a position of great power. This is why I often express frustration over the Israeli Government's complete lack of effort, and emunah (faith), when it comes to Har HaBayith. It belongs to us, and to no other nation. If we would only increase our emunah, and take it now, it may ease the Ge'ulah (Redemption) process then if others were to take control over it, and additional parts of our Land. But, most of us have not been paying attention.

Red: Missile routes, Blue: Potential routes for foreign troops to enter Israel.
(Click to enlarge)

Coming from Iraq through Syria did not happen. Although coming directly into Israel in order to "protect" us by operating an antimissile defense system did. Did the U. S. troops ever leave? All of them?

Coming into Syria directly, and then heading south has yet to happen. Attacking Iran, and sending in more troops to "protect" us, has yet to happen.

So perhaps coming into the Jordan Valley will be their route to Jewish towns in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria), and then onto to Jerusalem.

This will all backfire, of course. The only questions which remain are how many lives will have to be lost first; how painful will the "birth pangs" of Mashi'ah (Messiah) have to be?

If U. S. troops do end up entering Eretz Yisra'el, and I still pray that they do not, complications will arise with Muslim American troops as a wild card, and all of the U. S. Government''s pandering to them. Will they be just a little bit too "enthusiastic?"

And what will devoutly Christian American troops do? Will they switch sides, and help the Jews? Will Jewish settlers allow them into their towns to help fend off those attackers? Then what happens to them afterwards?

sheep + people = "sheeple"
Meanwhile, this action could provide Jewish American soldiers with the opportunity to make aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel). Those who wake up,...and join with the settlers (those settlers who remain), instead of doing the Israeli Government's dirty work of throwing them out of their homes, will have a free ticket here.

But, will they wake up, realize their amazing opportunity, and where their loyalties should be focused? I pray that they do, along with the rest of our people remaining in Galuth (exile).

Let us not repeat the mistake we made before the Romans (Esau/Edom) invaded the first time. If more of us had only heeded the call of Ezra to return to our only true Homeland, then perhaps we would have been able to hold them back.

No doubt HaShem will intervene in one way or another. But, like I have said again and again, it doesn't have to be as painful as we continually make it for ourselves. Instead, we we can be proactive, and finally take the necessary steps not only to ensure our safety for good, but to ensure the integrity of our borders, once and for all.

Isn't that what Zionism is supposed to be about?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bath-Ayin Caves into the State's Demands

כ"ה לחודש העשירי תשע"ד 

Yeshiva World News: Yishuv Bat Ayin Sends a Stern Message to the Extremists
YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem, December 25, 2013
For many, Yishuv Bat Ayin is synonymous with extremist behavior and a total disrespect for law enforcement agencies. According to the [leftist] daily Maariv, quoting the head of the community council Elchi Fine, things are changing for the better.

There have been many attacks against Arabs and even IDF soldiers attributed to residents of the community. In one case, a number of residents were arrested in connection with a firebomb attack against an Arab taxicab. According to Fine, the straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident that took place a number of weeks ago in which masked men attacked an Arab truck driver at the community entrance. IDF soldiers responding to the incident were then attacked by the same people.

Fine says residents are fed up with the bad reputation, so much so they are now cooperating with police of the National Crimes Unit, providing information which will lead to the arrest of some of the extremists. The community is taking action to oust those families that identify with the extremist, but it appears this effort is only partially successful at best.

“We are willing to do what it takes to halt the violence” Fine is quoted saying. In addition, the community has finally announced a willingness to have a security fence built around parts of the yishuv, which to date has been contested by the so-called extremists, who feel such a move exhibits weakness and defines a community’s boundaries, which they did not wish to do.

(Tip: Tomer Devorah)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
A friend of mine and his family were living in Bath-Ayin temporarily. They did not get accepted through va'ad haqelitah (absorption committee). During the process, this friend of mine was asked if he was a "Kahanist," and told that...
"It's OK to be a Kahanist."
He said that no, that he was not, because, like many of Jews including myself, he does not fit neatly into a box.

Either there is still some conflict within this town regarding hashqafah (Torah perspective), offers and/or threats from the government. Probably all of the above.

What tipped me off in the above report was the issue of the fence. In the eyes of the so-called "extremists," the fence surrounding a town does not send the message to the Yishma'elim (Arabs) that the land inside of it belongs to us. Rather it sends the message that what is outside of the fence does not belong to us.

Eretz Yisra'el (The Land of Israel) is Divinely promised to Am Yisra'el (The People of Israel). Bath-Ayin is not any less Eretz Yisra'el than Tel-Aviv is.

Artificial lines whether drawn by non-Jewish, international organizations, or counter-Torah declarations by Jews themselves are irrelevant. They have meaning, only when we allow them to have meaning; they have power, only when we allow them to have power.

The results of the Israeli Government attributing meaning and power to those elements undeserving of meaning and power? Last month's bulldozers plowing through Bath-Ayin.

Rabbi Binyamin
Kahane hy"d
And speaking of being a"Kahanist," whatever that is supposed to mean, and "reputation," Rabbi Binyamin Kahane hy"d said that one should not be concerned with ones reputation, only with doing the right thing (paraphrase).

The town council of Bath-Ayin has made its choice, as have several other Jewish towns in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria).

Towns in Azza (Gaza) made similar choices. These towns no longer exist. Some communities have tried to stick together, and to rebuild their lives together. After eight years, some still do not have permanent housing.

The residents of these former border towns have yet to find to comfort (TB Sanhedrin 97a).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

No Difference Between These Arabs and Those Arabs

כ"ג לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

Arutz 7: Latest 'Trickling Terror,' 2 Jerusalem Arabs Run Over Cop
In latest of series of terror attacks, 2 Jerusalem Arabs arrested after car chase for running over police officer.

Ari Yashar, December 25, 2013

In the latest attack in what MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) has termed "trickling terror," two Arab residents of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya ran over a police officer who stopped them following a car chase Tuesday night.

Hebrew University and adjacent Isawiya neighborhood

The driver had ignored police orders to stop while driving near Issawiya. In the ensuing car chase a police car managed to stop the car at the southern entrance to the neighborhood.

Immediately after the car was stopped, it drove in reverse to hit an officer who had stepped out of the police car.

The officer, still conscious, was evacuated to nearby Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital, while the two suspects were arrested and brought in for investigation.

In early December Arutz Sheva reported on Hebrew University students' complaints of increasing attacks emanating from adjacent Issawiya. One student said Arab residents had turned the campus into a "war zone." Indeed, the attacks and harassment have been reported on for years.

The attack comes amid a wave of terror attacks, which statistics show have spiked since November with the resumption of peace talks....

...Following the [Bat Yam bomb] attack Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has been placed in charge of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), said the terrorism should be ignored and talks should continue.

On Saturday and Friday IDF forces clashed with terrorists on the Gaza border, as the terrorists threw rocks, fired mortars and tried to plant explosives on the security fence.

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I have no idea what MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) means by "trickling terror." But, then again, I rarely understand what MK's from the Jewish Home Party say anyway.

"student said Arab residents had turned the campus into a "war zone." Indeed, the attacks and harassment have been reported on for years."

This sounds like a heck of a lot more than a trickle, especially considering recent events.

How many times must we repeat the cycle of beefing up security after a terrorist attack, become complacent, and then BOOM! There goes another one.

Only 12 years ago, a bomb was set off in the Hebrew University Commons, killing Jews. The bomb was placed there by Arab employees. How much do you want a bet that Hebrew University continues to employ Arabs? Two months before this bomb attack, there was a suicide bomb attack around the corner in French Hill, which killed seven Jews.

An artificial line drawn by some goyshe (non-Jewish) international organization does not cause a distinction to be formed between the Arabs one side of the line and the Arabs on the other side of the line.

There are one and the same. Being from one warring clan or another, or originating from Syria or Egypt, does not make them any less our enemy.

It seems that MK Limor Livnat knows there isn't any difference, at least deep down inside she does. Her nephew from Elon Moreh in the Shomron (Samaria), not far from Shchem, was murdered by one. Here in this recent video, albeit unrelated to the recent terrorist attacks, she rails on Arab MK's.

(Video Tip: Life In Israel)

Arab MK's have continually shown their support for Israel's destruction.

Does the Government of Israel have the Authority of a King?

כ"ג לחודש העשירי תשע"ד


Rabbi Baruch Efrati
This coming Friday December 27th we will, please G-d, go to Shdema to hear a Shiur (in Hebrew) at 9:00am, by Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Rabbi of the Zayit Raanana congregation in Efrat, chair of “Derech Emuna Rabbis”, an organization of Rabbis looking to strengthen Torah in Israeli society. We wish Rabbi Efrati good luck in his new and important position.

*The Shiur can be translated into English if people register for translation.*

*Rabbi Efrati will speak about the question: Does the Government of Israel have the Authority of a King According to Halacha?*

*Shdema* is a military base located between Har Homa and Tekoa.

Shdema is accessible by private vehicles.

*Organized rides will be provided based on preregistration.*

*Women in Green*.* and the Committee for a Jewish Shdema*

Be partners. Donate to help us continue in our daily activities to safeguard the Land of Israel:


For information and registration:


Esser Agaroth (2¢)
I would be interested to hear what Rabbi Efrati says. He would not be the first to speak on this issue, and I would assume that he will not be the last.

I believe that overall, Women In Green is a good organization, and its head Nadia Matar has certainly put herself through the ringer for the sake of Jewish sovereignty over the Land.

Rabbi Efrati's recent comments regarding the role of women certainly did not deter "Women In Green," nor cause them to rescind their invitation to him to address their members and supporters. Food for thought.

But, I digress...

Rabbi Meir Kahane hy"d was know to quote the following halakha (Jewish Law) on more than one occasion:
רמב"ם: הל' מלכים ומלחמות ג,י [ט]....ואין צריך לומר אם גזר המלך לבטל מצוה, שאין שומעין לו.
Ramba"m: Laws of Kings and Wars 3:10 [9]...and one does not need to say that the king who decrees the cancellation of a misswah (Torah commandment), that one does not pay attention to him.
Rabbi Meir Kahane hy"d
No wonder why Rabbi Kahane was not terribly popular with Israeli Government officials, including self-identified right-wing and religious, Israeli Government officials.

I have heard rabbis say that the Israel Government is likened to a king. I have heard rabbis say that the Israel Government is like the temporary stand-in for a king.

But, anyway you slice it, the above halakhah addresses very clearly the stiroth (conflicts) which exist between halakhah and Israeli law, conflicts which seem to increase in number almost every time the government passes a new law.

Sure. There are rabbis out there who hem and haw, and try to tell us that we cannot really understand something as delicate and complicated as such issues can be in this day and age.

These rabbis are the "mamlakhtim," the undying State loyalists.

Well, guess what. I don't have to understand these "delicate and complicated issues."

The Ramba"m has already done that for me.

So, when the Israeli Government decrees that its soldiers or its citizens ignore, or even violate a misswah, or force us to stand idly by while others do so, such as kicking Jews out of their homes and off their lands, and hand them over to hostile enemies, then it should be a no-brainer.

Should be.

Only In Israel: Train Station Armored Against Missile Attacks

כ"ב לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

Arutz 7: Sderot Train Station Dedicated; Armored Against Missile Attacks
Prime Minister, Transportation Minister, Israel Railways officials dedicate station, which is the first to be armored against rockets.

Tova Dvorin, December 24, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Transportation Yisrael Katz dedicated the first train station to be armored against missile attacks in Israel in the southern city of Sderot. The ceremony was also attended by the Chairman of Israel Railways, Doron Weiss, and its CEO, Boaz Tzafrir.

The Prime Minister said at the ceremony, "Today we mark a holiday, a landmark in realizing the vision to connect all of Israel - from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat."

"Everything is accessible, everything is connected and it's changing the face of transportation on a practical level," he continued. "Everything we wish we manage we can do only if we keep our security."

The Transportation Minister added, "There is an atmosphere here of sincere celebration because Sderot is a national icon."

S'deroth Train Station

Sderot has been pummeled by rockets and mortar shells from Hamas terrorists in Gaza over several years. The Western Negev city was the target of a barrage of missiles during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Despite this, the city continues to rebuild - even thrive.

"The Prime Minister and myself have decided to connect the Negev and Galilee to the heart of this country," Katz continued. "With every train [we build] we always say that [the decision] is 'not economic.' Maybe to the Finance Ministry it is not economic, but to the residents here it is very economic!" (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
In addition to S'deroth residents, those benefiting from the new station include students and lecturers at Sapir Academic College. The continuation of the above report includes mention of the kilometer long bike and pedestrian path which leads to the college.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has been a long time supporter of the railways and moves to extend it. Personally, I have

I do not believe that those outside of Israel realize just how many Israelis along benefit from Israels railways. Slowly, but sure, the railways have been extended inland, first to K'far Saba, then a refurbishment of the old curving route from Tel-Aviv, through Beth Shemesh to southern Jerusalem, and most recently to Modi'in.

Soon, we hope to have our highly anticipated speed train from Jerusalem's Central Bus Station to Ben-Gurion International Airport and Tel-Aviv.

Plans are also underway to connect Haifa with Beth Sha'an on the Jordanian border, via Afulah. The completion of the extension from Ashqelon to Be'er Sheva, through the new S'deroth station, and the addition of a station at Qiriyath Malachi are also expected in the near future. Will the future stations at Netivoth and Ofaqim also be armored? These towns have also been targets of Hamas rockets.

Israel Railway Map, Southern Portion

Prime Minister Netanyahu's vision of nation wide rail connections "from Qiriyat Shemona to Eilat" actually has a chance of coming to fruition. There still may be some concerns over the environmental sensitivity of potential routes south to Eilat, Israel's port city on the Red Sea. When will this finally happen? Will it be in competition with President Shimon Peres's pet "Valley Of Peace" project, which is expected to include a railway from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea?

Will all of the hints to the [God forbid!] abandonment of the Galilee be combated by the railway extensions in the north of the country?

Also on the political front, could Transportation Minister Yisra'el Katz's jab at the Finance Ministry have really been intended for the finance minister himself, Yair Lapid, who has been rumored to be looking into options for political party alliances other than his current Likud partner?

We will hopefully received the answers to these questions and more in the future.

Stay tuned, as Israel's political saga continue.

In the meantime, hop on the train, and go for a ride!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Crucial Festivus Shailos

Festivus, 2013

Photo Credit: DRosenbach
Dear Admo"r Shlit"a from Kalashnikov,

I have some pressing Festivus Shailos to ask you. Please get back to me ASAP, as I only have a couple of hours. before Festivus goes out here in Israel.

1. Tonight I had Saigon Chicken at Sushi Rechavia, instead of the traditional Paellla, and without proper kevanna. I am embarrassed to admit that I actually forgot that it was December 23, and thus Festivus. Must I repeat the se'udah?

2. I was nice to everyone at dinner. I completely forgot to air my grievances with them. May I e-mail them b'di'avad, or must I call them now, and scream into the phone? Or, should I be mahmir, and go over to their houses personally?

3. Should I perform the feats of strength, even it disturbs the neighbors? Must I try to pin my roommate to the ground, since he is the lease holder, making him the defacto ba'al habayith, even if it means that kicks me out on my tuchus tomorrow?

4. I regret that I did not erect the Festivus Pole this year either. Maybe if I had, I would have remembered that it was Festivus, and I would not be in this current predicament. My Sukkah lights, which I finally took down Erev Shabbos, are in a pile stuffed away under the coffee table in the living room, and are not turned on, nor even  plugged in. Do they count anyway, b'di'avad?

5. Am I allowed to accept donations to the Human Fund (me) tomorrow, or is tonight my only possibility to do so?

Thank you for getting back to me.

It's Festivus for the rest of us!

Esser Agaroth (2¢)

Netanyahu and the Reform Movement

כ' לחודש העשירי תשע"ד
Anniversary of the Passing of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon

Arutz 7: Anger at Netanyahu for 'Embracing' Reform Judaism
Hareidi leaders quoted as saying PM 'deepened the damage to the hareidi public' with address to Reform movement.
Gil Ronen, December 17, 2013

Unnamed hareidi leaders expressed their anger Tuesday at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for what they said was his public recognition of the Reform Judaism Movement.

"Bibi folded up" ie. caved in
(Image Credit: Baruch Marzel)

Netanyahu addressed the Reform movement's US conference through a live video link, and said that “Israel needs to be the home of all the Jews, including Reform ones, and I will do all I can so that everyone feels we accept them.”

The hareidi leaders, who are quoted in hareidi newspaper Hamevaser, claim that previous prime ministers have always resisted Reform leaders' “heavy pressure” to address the biennial conference. “It is too bad that Netanyahu is adding fuel to the raging fire and pushing the cart further into the abyss,” they said.

"This is even more serious because these are very sensitive days, in which hareidi Jewry is fighting for its life because of the decree for forcibly enlisting yeshiva students. On days in which the tension needs to be lessened, the prime minister elects to deepen the damage to the hareidi public, and strengthen the Reform movement that has led to grave assimilation in the Jewish people.”

"By so doing, Netanyahu proves that the struggle is not for 'equality in bearing the civil burden' or other cliches. This is a clear plot to destroy religion, Torah and the mitzvot [commandments]. That is the true aim and there is no other.”

Reform leaders expressed great satisfaction with Netanyahu's speech, calling it “a historic shift in the relationship between Israeli prime ministers and the Reform movement.” They added that the change does not satisfy them and that they demand equality in status with the Orthodox Rabbinate.

Naftali Bennett
Minister of Religious Affairs

Unlike most previous coalitions headed by Likud, the present Coalition does not include hareidi parties. It does include the religious Zionist Bayit Yehudi, headed by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who forged a surprising alliance with secularist Yesh Atid's leader, Yair Lapid. Bennett initiated the construction of an extension of the Western Wall (Kotel) Plaza, especially for use by Conservative, Reform and other non-Orthodox streams, called Ezrat Yisrael. The move was a compromise deal to diffuse tension at the Kotel amid agitation by the Women of the Wall organization for non-Orthodox prayer arrangements. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Compromise? More like pressure influence,...in my opinion.

And yet, from Bennett's own party, and not only that, but from his own Deputy Minister...

Arutz 7: 'Reform Jews have Gone Too Far'
Dep. Min. Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan says only Orthodoxy can keep Jews in Israel from being split in two.
Gil Ronen, November 13, 2013

Rb. Ben-Dahan
Deputy Religions Minister, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home/Bayit Yehudi), criticized Reform Jews, whose representatives sat with him in a panel on the Jewish People at the conference of Jewish Agency trustees Thursday.

The Reform representatives attacked Israel's attitude toward the Reform Jews living in it, and called on Israel to learn from the American government and allow the same kind of freedom of religion.

"Here in Israel, there is no separation of religion and state," answered Ben-Dahan. "Rather, the religion is part of the state. Therefore, the attempts to compare Israel and the US on matters of religion are incorrect."

Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, he said, "was from the Labor party, not from a hareidi party," yet he "decided that he wants to bring about a situation in which all of the Jews coming to Israel can live together in the state, with the aid of the widest common denominator, and that is the Orthodox common denominator. Unless it remains that way, we will turn into two nations," he warned.

Rabbi Ben-Dahan criticized the Reform movement. "I want to stress," he said, "the only place in the world where the Jewish nation is growing and not shrinking is the state of Israel, unlike America, where the Jewish nation is shrinking. You wanted to be liberal, but you went too far."

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Again, in my opinion, Rabbi Ben-Dahan was much too nice when relating to these Galuth (exile) oriented, assimilationists.

After all, Reformism is not even Judaism.

Apparently, the Prime Minister never received the memo.

Or, maybe, just maybe, it was covered  up by something else, like a check.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Azarath Yisra'el: The New Prayer Space at the Kotel

כ' לחודש העשירי תשע"ד 
Anniversary of the Passing of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon 

Life In Israel: Interesting Psak: Davening in the Azarat Yisrael
Here is an interesting halachic discussion that one could say is fairly new...

The Israeli government created a new section along the Kotel for egalitarian prayer. Some people have found that this is a nice quiet place to pray, and much of the time it is fairly empty. Some people have held family get-togethers and simchas in this "azarat yisrael" section, others just go there to pray privately and on their own, while occasionally a small group might form a minyan in this quiet section.

Someone sent a question to Rav Asher Weiss asking if a religious person is allowed to pray there, since it is designated for prayer services to be held by Women of the Wall..

"Azarath Yisra'el"

Rav Weiss's answer is to consider this place like any other Reform synagogue. Rav Weiss said that the gedolei hador have already prohibited, for a few reasons, for a frum Jew to go and pray in shuls of those organizations. One must stay far away from them, as they are disbelievers, and one is not even allowed to rent a room in their buildings to be used for making a minyan.

Even, Rav Weiss continues, if there is no issue of "maris ayin" - if it becomes public knowledge all around town that there is a private haredi minyan there, it would still not be allowed.

After trying to suggest possible justifications, Rav Weiss concludes by sticking to his guns that it is prohibited for a frum Jew to pray in the azarat yisrael. One must stay away from that area, as it is clear that they will use it in their propaganda showing how many people use the area under their control. One cannot do anything that can be used in a way that will strengthen them.

Rav Weiss concludes by adding that one should do everything in his power to put an end to this program of them controlling this area, as it is a desecration of the holiness of the place from where the shchina never left. (Source: Kikar)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home)
Minister of Religious Affairs
After reading and hearing about the Azarath Yisra'el, I finally saw it, when the photo above was sent to me by Tomer Devorah.

The Azarath Yisra'el was built rather quickly, as Naftali Bennett's so-called "compromise solution" to the Women Of The Wall problem.

Oh, I am sure that it might be a nice place to pray, away from the crowds. Still, when I saw the Azarath Yisra'el, I was hoping that it would buckle under the weight of the snowfall, or that the mouth of the earth would open, and swallow it up like Korah and his minyons, and that would be that,...without anyone on it or underneath it getting hurt, of course. But, no such luck.

Rav Asher Weiss's p'saq din (ruling) should certainly not come as a surprise to anyone. As he himself said, the gedolim have, in a way, already ruled on this matter.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ztz"l, Chief Sepharadi Rabbi during the 1980's, said that one should not even pass in front of a [so-called] Reform Synagogue, its doors being the mouth of Gehino'am. He was even said to have avoided the entrance to where such a group was praying, by entering the building where he was to speak at a kosher minyan, by the backdoor and through its kitchen.

Silly Christians! Israel Is For Jews!

כ' לחודש העשירי תשע"ד
Anniversary of the Passing of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon

Texans for Israel Blog: A Reflection of Sukkot
Mike Isley, September 26, 2013

Sukkot ended at sundown Sept. 26. I have learned so much more this year about the Wonderful Feast of Sukkot. It has been great fun learning how to build a sukkah. I have shared food and drinks with friends in my sukkah; I have slept in my sukkah. I am so proud of all my friends, Jew and Non-Jew that are making an effort to learn more about the Feast of the Lord!

The eighth day of the festival, which began Sept. 18, is known as Shmeni Atzeret. On this day, prayers are recited. This wonderful celebration and joy has so much to do with Harvest and Thanking the Lord for His provision! Shmeni Atzeret is the day to thank God for the harvest and yield He has bestowed upon His people.

My friend Tommy Waller and HaYovel, his non-profit group, are in Israel right now during the High Holy Days. By picking grapes for the Israeli farmer, they are fulfilling Biblical prophecy. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Most people in the world already know that Yishma'el wants Israel for itself.

PA President Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) shows his vision of a Palestinian Psuedostinian State's borders.

"Palestine" is based on a very old lie. The lie began with the Roman extension of the name "Philistia," to most all of Israel, in an attempt to the Jewish People's connection to their homeland. Yet, "Philistia" was located in the area of Azza (Gaza). The Romans changed the names of many cities, such as Shchem to N(e)apolis, which became Nablus, since Arabs cannot pronounce the "p" sound.

And we know that you (Esau) want Israel too, believing that following of your false deity/messiah, or intercessor, or whatever you are calling him these days, makes you the true inheritors of OUR Land.

Silly Christian! Israel is for Jews!
There isn't any mention of Esau on this map!

Although the rabbit is not kosher, a midrash on Parashath Shemini teaches that the pig is the most appropriate symbol for Esau/Rome/The West/Christians.

א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן, לֵאמֹר אֲלֵהֶם. ב דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  זֹאת הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ. ג כֹּל מַפְרֶסֶת פַּרְסָה, וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע פְּרָסֹת, מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה, בַּבְּהֵמָה--אֹתָהּ, תֹּאכֵלוּ. ד אַךְ אֶת-זֶה, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ, מִמַּעֲלֵי הַגֵּרָה, וּמִמַּפְרִסֵי הַפַּרְסָה:  אֶת-הַגָּמָל כִּי-מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הוּא, וּפַרְסָה אֵינֶנּוּ מַפְרִיס--טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ה וְאֶת-הַשָּׁפָן, כִּי-מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הוּא, וּפַרְסָה, לֹא יַפְרִיס; טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ו וְאֶת-הָאַרְנֶבֶת, כִּי-מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה הִוא, וּפַרְסָה, לֹא הִפְרִיסָה; טְמֵאָה הִוא, לָכֶם. ז וְאֶת-הַחֲזִיר כִּי-מַפְרִיס פַּרְסָה הוּא, וְשֹׁסַע שֶׁסַע פַּרְסָה, וְהוּא, גֵּרָה לֹא-יִגָּר; טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם. ח מִבְּשָׂרָם לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ, וּבְנִבְלָתָם לֹא תִגָּעוּ; טְמֵאִים הֵם, לָכֶם. (ויקרא יא, א - ח)

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying to them:  2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying: These are the living things which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parts the hoof, and is wholly cloven-footed, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them which only chew the cud, or of them which only part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but does not part not the hoof, he is unclean for you. 5 And the rock-badger, because he chews the cud but does not part the hoof, he is unclean for you. 6 And the hare, because she chews the cud but does not part the hoof, she is unclean for you. 7 And the pig, because he parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud, he is unclean for you. 8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you. (Leviticus 11:1 - 8)

The list of non-kosher, four-legged animals represent the four kingdoms which have ruled over Israel. The first three, the camel, the rabbit, and the rock-badger (hyrax) are not kosher due to their limbs; whereas the pig, the fourth and final kingdom of Edom (Esau), is not kosher, due to its insides.

Not only that, but the pig is known sit with its front hooves out, showing its "kosher" attributes. It also makes a chewing motion, even though it is not really chewing its cud. In other words, it lies!

And, while Jews run around either concerned that you are trying to convert us to your false beliefs, or to assure us that you are not, and that we should accept your volunteers into our homes, these same Jews forget that you want our Land, or at least portions of it.

Whether you believe that you are from lost tribes and will inherit the northern kingdom (Israel, including Ephraim), and take on misswoth (Torah commandments), while we Jews reside in the southern kingdom (Judea), and take on your avodah zarah (foreign/forbidden worship), or that you will take it all, mixing in with us or not, it does not matter.

The only misswoth you need to worry about are the Seven Misswoth B'nei Noa'h, which include the rejection of your avodah zarah. (...and certainly do not include tzitzith)

Funny how the title of the above is "A Reflection of Sukkot." There is an interesting midrash about goyim (non-Jews) and Sukkoth, one that is apropos.

Toward the time of Ge'ulah, the goyim (non-Jews) will try, and subsequently fail, to fulfill the misswah of Sukkah. The relevant component of this misswah, is that it is fulfilled with the entire body, just like the misswah of residing in Eretz Yisra'el.

The failure of the goyim to fulfill this misswah will show them, once and for all, that the Land of Israel does not belong to them, but only to us.

Does this sound like a challenge? I would advise caution. Do not test His Will.

Is this midrash literal? Or, like the Ramba"m might suggest, is it metaphorical?

Either way, I pray that I live to see the day when the Holy Land is finally rid of unholy beliefs and practices.

Nelson Mandela: The Ultimate Insult

 י"ט לחודש העשירי תשע"ד

Life In Israel: Thamsanqa Jantjie becomes an icon in Israeli discourse
December 22, 2013

Thamsanqa Jantjie
Who would have thought that some unknown signer from South Africa would have such an impact on our country - and maybe the entire civilization?

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the guy standing next to world leaders during the Nelson Mandela funeral and translating the speeches to sign language, had his cover blown when deaf people complained that he was not signing in any known language and was seemingly making it up - just gesticulating randomly. Jantje later admitted that he is schizophrenic and was hallucinating at the time.

Jantjie has since become the example of a prime insult... (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Hasn't anyone mentioned how "coincidentally" his hallucinations occurred at Mandela's funeral?

Talk about the ultimate insult! Mandela's funeral will not be remembered for the honor paid to him, but rather the lack of it.

Mandela's funeral will be remembered for the hallucinating, sign-language interpreter, as well as the U. S.'s first African-American President Obama's joking around around with the British and Danish prime ministers.


Nelson Mandela was hardly a fan of Israel, quite the opposite, in fact.
וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה.
(בראשית יב,ג)
 And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)
 Food for thought....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Meanwhile In Iran...

מוצש"ק פר' שמות תשע"ד

The following is a stringing together of reports from the traditionally left-wing YNET News (Yedioth Aharonoth). After reading these reports, you should know why I mention YNET's leanings.
Obama: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
Reuters via YNET, Deember 20, 2013 
U. S. President
Barack Obama
Obama, who has warned that new sanctions could scuttle the negotiations, said that "if we are serious" about seeking a final nuclear agreement, the United States has to act in ways that do not increase Iranian suspicions.... 
...On Thursday, Obama said he would veto legislation imposing new sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program, , after a group of senators introduced such a bill. "If it were to pass, the president will veto it," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. 
The bill attempts to secure automatic sanctions should Iran break the deal, a key Israeli demand, and promises Israel support if it feels the need to launch such an attack. 

"If the government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapon program, the United States government should stand with Israel," the bill states. It calls for "diplomatic, military and economic support" to Israel in such an eventuality.
Senators from both parties introduced the legislation on Thursday, despite appeals from the White House, which wants to avoid implementing new penalties while the US is holding nuclear negotiations with the Islamic republic....
This is "deal" we have so far,...that is, if you can call it a deal.

Image Credit: Positively Republican

So, when will a Western leader finally admit that Arabs and Persians are not Western, do act process things like Westerners, nor will they ever become Westerners?

Talk about repeating the same mistakes over again expecting different results!
Obama: Strengthen sanctions only if Iran reneges on deal 
Yitzhak Benhorin, YNET, December 21, 2013 
At an end-of-the-year White House press conference, President Barack Obama reiterated his position and strategy for dealing with Iran's nuclear aspirations: "It is my goal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon… I'm keeping all options on the table, but if I can do it diplomatically, that's how we should do it." 
Obama said that he believed his strategy was supported by the voters: "I would think that would be the preference of everybody up on Capitol Hill, because that sure is the preference of the American people..." 
...The final press conference of the year took place moments before the president and his family boarded Air Force One on their way to a Christmas vacation in Hawaii....
I sincerely doubt that this is really "the preference of the American people." Who knows? Maybe it is, considering the information it is spoon-fed, while pumped up on high fructose corn syrup and preservatives.

Meanwhile in Iran...

The Iranian threat to Israel
(Click to enlarge)

Iran successfully launches long range missile
 (YNET, December 21, 2013) 
The Iranian air force has successfully launched the Qadr long range ballistic missile, which can reach distances of over 200 km*, the Fars news agency reported.
(*See comments below on this reported figure)
This development really makes one wonder. Is President Obama just naive or stupid? Or he is focused on ulterior motives?


The following are excerpts from an Op-ed, which provides an excellent analysis of the "Iranian Situation." It is worth reading in its entirety. The excerpts below, are provided here to emphasize the Iranian threat.
An Iranian Victory
Op-ed: US, EU seen as enablers to long-lasting Iranian expansion in Middle East, Central Asia and Southern Caucasus
Riccardo Dugulin, December 21, 2013

On December 16, an article published on the New Yorker quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as follows: "If our centrifuges do not continue to turn, no other wheel shall turn for our dignity, independence, power and security."

Such a stance has to be understood as part of the Persian wider revolutionary strategic positioning. While many analysts argue that Tehran is not a rational player due to the apocalyptic messages a majority of its leaders have been pronouncing since 1979, it may be possible to speculate that the Islamic Republic has a set of clear foreign policy objectives.

In addition, due to the current show of weakness by the Western world it is likely that Iran’s establishment considers these political, military and economic objectives highly attainable. To put it in a simpler way, Iran feels it is a step closer to winning a war that has been lasting for almost three decades...

...four objectives shaping Iran’s foreign policy, and ultimately Tehran’s understanding of victory.

(1) ...the first objective of the Shiite revolutionary country is to undermine Israel and the United States’ security and presence in the region. This objective goes beyond simple ideological boundaries and is in itself a structuring element of the Iranian military and political establishment. The drive for the nuclear bomb has to be understood as a central element in this credo...

(2) Tehran has relentlessly advocated a territorial expansionist agenda. Teheran claims sovereignty over Iraq’s Shatt-al-Arab, on Bahrain, on the Abu Musa islands and the Strait of Hormuz. It is important to note that Iran has no intention of converting Sunnis into Shias, however it maintains the goal of becoming a hegemonic power over Muslim populations in the region.

(3) The third purpose is defined by the Iranian protracted effort to increase its power projection capabilities. The best example can be found in the political and human capital it invests in Lebanon and Syria. Through Hezbollah, its support for Hamas and a number of other para-military organizations in Iraq and the Gulf, Iran intends to effectively impose its regional views by challenging state sovereignty and creating parallel structures meant to weaken central institutions and implement revolutionary policies...

(4) The fourth Iranian goal, which is today at the forefront of the Persian PR campaign, is found in Tehran's ambition to normalize its image. For this, it has been expanding its economic influence throughout its direct neighborhood...

... it must be highlighted that the current US administration, along with its European partners, is giving Tehran all the signals stating that its regional ambitions will not be challenged...

This situation sees the US and the EU as enablers to a long lasting Iranian expansion in the Middle East, in Central Asia and in Southern Caucasus. As President Obama virtually surrendered the threat of a military action, Iran is now free to keep on enriching uranium while increasing its armed presence in the Near East.

As a portion of US and EU lobbyists see in the Iranian market a dreamt investment land, they veil their judgment and keep on being charmed by Rohani’s smile.

As Western societies are increasingly numbed by anti-Israeli and revolutionary rhetoric, they are not able to push for diplomatic moves aimed at countering Teheran’s destructive messages....
Iran is most definitely a threat. But, is Iran also being used to distract us from other sneaky things going on in the U. S. and/or Israel? Either left-wing YNET is towing the  right of center party line against Iran, its part of the distraction force, or both.

The Jewish and Israeli Blog Round-Up Parshat Shemot Edition is Up

מוצש"ק פר' שמות תשע"ד

This week's edition of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Round-Up (AKA: Haveil Havalim) is up at It's My Crisis, and I'll Cry if I Need To.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rabbi Baruch Efrati on the Role of a Woman

ערב שבת קודש פר' שמות תשע"ד

Life In Israel: The Role of a Woman
Rabbi Baruch Efrati
A Dati Leumi (chardal, perhaps) rabbi, Rav Baruch Efrati, from Efrat, has said something that would get him skewered if he were a Haredi rabbi.

Rav Efrati was asked what is a woman's role in the world - to work? learn? raise children? business? feminisim? simple?

Rav Efrati's answer was that a woman's role in this world is to raise children and grandchildren to be wise, God fearing and God loving people who do good deeds and toil in Torah.. for that she should give up her life, along with davening and learning Torah on her level - halachos of women and issues of emuna.

After that, if she still has any time available, a woman could get a job to help bring parnassa home, develop hobbies, develop talents, etc. This is the order, and it should not be changed.
(source: Moreshet)

There are some people who need a job or a hobby or some other focus in order to better themselves and it can help them raise their kids. There are others who cannot have kids. There are some people who have a special talent in a specific field and develop that as their role, and everything people do can be incorporated into their personal lives and help them raise their kids properly.

Surely raising children has been, historically, the focus of the mother, and until recently it was her main role in the family. Even if one believes that to be true today, I don't think it necessarily must mean that a mother cannot look for fulfillment and expression and development of her talents. I'd say the opposite - doing all those things helps her function better in all her roles, including in her role as a mother.

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I'm surprised he hasn't been skewered by the modern orthodox!

He said,...
"learning Torah on her level - halachos of women and issues of emuna"

I'm surprised that you think that he would be skewered if he were Haredi. Feminism has already infiltrated the Litvish community, as the the English speaking segment,...heavily so. The above statement does not seem in the least bit contradictory to those women teaching in seminaries, or giving shi'urim on the parashah or Tehillim on Shabbath.

But, that he did not include "Talmud," "intricacies of divorce proceedings" (as his own town's Rabbi Riskin teaches to women), nor "issues not directly related to women."

When this gains more publicity in English, we will probably see Rabbi Efrati hit with a great deal of criticism.

Collaboration with the hierarchical patriarchy which bears responsibility for all aggression in the oppression of women, and the silencing of the feminine voice...

...comes to mind.

No, these are are certainly not my words, nor in the least bit connected to my opinion.

I am just trying to take the wind out of "their" sails, by beating "them" to the punch.
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