Holocaust/Heroism Day Begins Tonight
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) Jews around the world, and particularly in Israel, will commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as those who were able to fight back, beginning Wednesday evening....
ALSO: Yad Vashem Channel on YouTube
Prayer Rally for Rabbi Eliyahu
(IsraelNN.com) A mass prayer rally will be held on behalf of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kotel (Western Wall). Rabbi Eliyahu, a leading rabbi in the national-religious community, was in serious condition this week after suffering a heart attack on Friday night. His Hebrew name is Mordechai Tzemach ben Mazal Tov.
A second leading rabbi, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of the hareidi-religious community, was hospitalized on Tuesday night. Rabbi Elyashiv is in good condition, doctors said Wednesday.
Blair Pressures Israel for More 'Good Will' Measures
(IsraelNN.com) Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair, formerly Prime Minister of Britain, is presenting Israel with a new list of travel and trade restrictions he wants removed. Among the items, which he argues is damaging to the status of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is a key roadblock between Ramallah, headquarters of the PA, and the nearby Jewish town of Beit El. Defense Minster Ehud Barak has refused to remove the roadblocks because of the ensuing damage to security, which would be endangered by easier accessibility by terrorists trying to reach Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and urban centers.
Don't think that his recent conversion to Catholicism and the Pope's recent visit to the US where he was met personally by Bush at the airport and had a special birthday party is just coincidental. Romulus and Remus, uhm, I mean, Bush and Blair, no doubt have plans to make a present of Jerusalem to the Pope (G-d forbid!). Just wait and see!
What strikes me about all of this is our ability and even affinity for choosing to preserve the status quo at all costs. This is not a good trait. Hashem is not pleased. And this is precisely why He keeps shaking up the status quo. Sinai, Gush Katif, threats against Yehuda v'Shomron and the Golan... For forty years, we lived as "occupiers" on "occupied" land. For forty years, we lived on land that was never annexed to the State of Israel and under military administration. Did we think that situation could go on forever? or should go on forever? We found a comfort zone and there we settled down to rest and enjoy life. But the battle wasn't done.
The intifada came along and we rock-proofed car windows and set up emergency response teams and perimeter defense on the yishuvim, etc. Why in forty years did we not demand that these reconquered lands be recognized as a permanent possession and put under civil administration like every other part of the country? Why after forty years were we satisfied to take up defensive positions only and to allow the perpetrators of terrorism and murderers of Jews to continue living amongst us?
When I hear on a radio interview a prominent resident of S'derot say that after seven years of missile attacks, if the Arabs stopped today and made peace, they would be willing to live side by side with them, I have to ask myself what kind of sickness is this? The sick do not even know that they are ill with a terminal disease??
Hashem is trying to wake us up, to make us see the Truth, to force us to see reality through Heaven's eyes, to know how abnormal we are and to turn to him for a refuah shleimah. Hashem have mercy on us all and help us to do true teshuva and to wake up from this never-ending nightmare!
1 --- US has made a very public case against Syria and N Korea with regard to the construction of a nuclear installation which Israel bombed.
1 --- The very public arrest of Ben-Ami Kadish after 20 some years.
The US is preparing to widen the war in the Middle East and Israel is on the short end of the deal.
Will it be before or after or during the Busha's next planned visit?
Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!!
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) With Jerusalem bustling with visitors - Israelis and tourists alike - who have come to take part in the Passover festivities, one of the sites they won't want to miss is Zedekiah's Cave.
Run by the East Jerusalem Development Co., with the participation of the Municipality of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Tourism, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Foundation, the cave dates back to the days of the First Temple period, at least some 2,500 years ago. Much larger now than it was then, it runs under the Moslem Quarter of the Old City, from near Damascus Gate (Shaar Shechem) to Via Dolorosa, not far from the Temple Mount. Some historians say it once reached all the way to the Temple Mount; it is now blocked off by tremendous boulders.
King Zedikiah (Tzidkiyahu), the last of the kings of the First Temple period Jewish state, used the cave to escape towards Jericho from the conquering Babylonians, who later caught, tortured and killed him.
The cave begins just to the north of Damascus Gate, and runs for 320 meters (1,050 feet, nearly 1/5 of a mile), with a total area of some 9,000 square meters (over 2.2 acres). It was used during many different periods as a quarry - its stones were used for Temple Mount structures, the clock tower that stood at Jaffa Gate for several years at the turn of last century, and more - and is now the largest man-made cave in Israel. The ceiling and walls are clearly sliced where rock cutters of the ages removed stone of various sizes.
Zedekiah's Cave is mentioned by Josephus Flavius, as well as in the Talmud (Eruvin 61b), the Medrash (Tanchuma Bamidbar 1,9), and the commentator Rashi.
After the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel liberated the Old City from the Jordanians, Israel cleaned the cave and opened it for visitors. It was closed for a period during the first intifada, but was reopened in 2006.
Once available only for group visits, Zedekiah's Cave can now be accessed by individuals throughout the day. Some visitors walk atop the Old City walls - another Old City attraction - from Jaffa Gate to Damascus Gate, descending into yet another attraction, the Roman Square, and from there walk to the cave.
Other sites in the Old City include the Archaeological Gardens, adjacent to the Western Wall and Temple Mount, and the state-of-the-art Davidson Center, near Dung Gate. For information on tours and hours, call 02-627-7550, or send email to Davidson@pami.co.il.
Pesach Events: Tours, Concerts, and More
(IsraelNN.com) In rememberance of the Jewish people's crossing over to the Land of Israel and conquoring the city of Jericho, a special event reenacting the events will take place Friday.
"As documented in the Bible (Book of Joshua), the entrance of the Children of Israel into the Land of Israel as a nation led by Joshua occurred during the month of Nissan, and the conquest of the city of Jericho during Pesach (Passover)," the Organization for the Heritage and Culture of Jericho wrote in its invitation to the general public. It notes that the entire conquest culminated on the seventh day of Pesach.
Transportation to Jericho will be provided from Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUma conference center at 11:30 AM Friday, April 25; private cars will meet at the Almog Junction at 12:30 PM.
Paticipants are asked to bring Shofars (rams' horns) to be blown during the four stops throughout the march around Palestinian Authority-controlled Jericho. The event is set to concluded at about 3 PM and the public is invited to stay at the small Jewish ranch of Beit Hogla, just outside the ancient city. For more information, contact Erna at 052 869 9300
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
PART ONE – On the Wings of Eagles (and F-16s)
You saw what I had done to Egypt, and I have carried you on the wings of eagles and I have brought you to me (Shemot 19:4)
The great commentator of the Torah, Rashi, explains the phrase "and I have carried you on the wings of eagles." Except for eagles, birds carry their fledglings under them for fear that atop the wings would make the fledglings vulnerable to attack from higher flying predators. But eagles have no such fear, since they fly the highest. The danger to eagles is from Man who could shoot an arrow at them from the ground, so the eagle carries the fledglings on its wings with the thought that better the arrow should pierce its body but not the fledglings.
So too HaShem, when He stood between the Israelite camp and the approaching Egyptian army at the Red Sea, the holy cloud absorbed the enemy projectiles.
This week I was privileged to enter the inner sanctum of the army of Israel - an air force base of F-16 jet planes.
The scenes you see in the movies are quite real. The briefing and de-briefing room; the super secret computers and maps; the camaraderie between the pilots and crews; and the indescribable atmosphere of elitism formed from the awareness of the huge, huge historical mission which rests upon their young shoulders.
At 9 AM the entire unit gathered to "toast" the coming festival of Pessach. The rav of the base spoke as a rav should. Next to speak was the commander of the "tayesset", he held a Tanach and read excerpts dealing with the Exodus from Egypt. He then held up a very large, framed photograph of the most fantastic scene I have ever seen which occurred several years ago on and above the blood drenched soil of Poland.
It showed the train tracks leading into the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, with its maddening, sadistic inscription "arbeit macht frei" - work makes one free," while overhead flew Israeli war planes, piloted by sons and grandsons of survivors of the Auschwitz gehennom (hell). It was the strongest assertion of 'Am Yisrael Chai' our country could make!
The commander, a man in his late thirties, who I was later told is one of Israel’s top pilots, explained the enormous responsibility which rest on Tzahal and on the air force in particular, because the alternative to victory - for all Jews in the world - is the train tracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The commander then asked me to speak. I knew that I had about 30 seconds of concentration time because of the duties awaiting each soldier, so it had to be "short and sweet."
I said that there is one night in our calendar year when we all sit together for a very orderly and calibrated feast. Upon seeing this and comparing the order to the usual disorder in the home, the young children ask "ma nishtana" - why all this order tonight? When I entered the closed doors of the squadron, order and discipline was so very real - even tangible. There was "order" but without "orders," because every one there is aware of the importance of his task. This awareness comes from the internal "order" in their minds and hearts, which house the values of our 3500 year old nation. I salute you! May HaShem continue to give you the courage, strength, intellect and faith to keep the skies safe from the enemy in our beloved Eretz Yisrael".
We then went to the hangar to witness a "take off." It does something to the Jewish soul to see and touch the Magen David on the wings of an F-16 and on the pilots’ flight suits. It was then I felt what the Jews felt at Mount Sinai - (וכל העם ראים את הקולות (שמות כ:יד And the entire nation saw the voices.
The engines and noise were so overpowering and gripping as to make them a real entity.
In our generation we have merited to experience again, as in the exodus, and I have carried you on the wings of eagles and I have brought you to me. The "wings of eagles" are the instruments of defense which HaShem has put to our use. The "eagles" are the men who fly and service these instruments, who are now carrying the holy people who have returned home. These holy sons are saying in their souls to the God of Israel, to themselves and to us: "Let the arrows pierce our bodies but not the holy Jewish people who have returned to Eretz Yisrael."
PART TWO: The fifth son
The hagada gives expression to the Torah’s directive to explain to each child the miracles of the exodus from Egyptian bondage. The wise son according to his understanding, down to the one whose simplicity make him disinterested in the past and future of our nation.
This is the obligation of a father on the seder night, but it is the obligation of every rav to teach the belief in the Jewish God to all Jews every day of the year.
For years I have taken the intellectual initiative to convince "stragglers behind the camp" of the truth of the Torah; of our being chosen by HaShem as His people and of our historic right and obligation to Eretz Yisrael etc.
But, as I view things today, I am convinced that in this upside down world in which we live, even this activity is distorted. It is not for us to convince Jews of the truth in our heritage, quite the opposite, the onus of proof is upon the "break away" to justify his rejection of 3500 years of Halachic Judaism and the 175 generations of unbroken conviction that HaShem revealed Himself at Mount Sinai and there He gave us His Torah. It is not I who has to prove that God created the world, it is the break away who has to explain the origin of all existence.
The break away is the one who has to prove that the ham sandwich and the marriage to a gentile is true, whereas Avraham, Moshe, King David, the Bet Hamikdash are fiction. That the teachings of his professor of philosophy 101 can stand over the TaNaKh, Mishna, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, tens of thousands of talmidei chachamim who have dedicated their lives to the study of Torah, and the many millions of Jews who have stood steadfastly in their beliefs.
The same applies to my efforts in convincing Jews in the galut that the time has come to return home. The truth is that we do not have to convince them. It is they who have to justify their remaining in the galut, when the hand of HaShem is shown daily here in Eretz Yisrael and the dangers in galut loom ever greater with each passing day.
Our generation has added another "son" to the Hagada - the blind and deaf one - blind to the miracles in the Holy Land and deaf to the dangers to his Judaism, and very life, in the galut.
So this year, set a place at the seder table for the fifth son - the spiritually blind and deaf mute of the 2000 year old galut - whose status is inferior to even that of the aiyno yoday’a lish’ol (he who does not know how to ask).
Shabbat shalom ve’chag samayach
Wishing you and all of the Children of Israel a wonderful, beautiful, memorable celebration of the Pesach. May we all merit to live and see the korban Pesach brought in holiness and purity on the Temple Mount speedily and in our days. May Hashem see fit to bless us with the revelation of our righteous redeemer---Mashiach ben David---and cause him to deliver us from this long exile. May He remember us with mercy and fill every empty seat at every seder table with techiyat hameitim and with those who have been freed from captivity and from every infirmity. May we yet celebrate in perfect unity, all together, in the rebuilt Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh---THIS YEAR!!
With love and expectation of the geulah shleimah,
Mashiach is coming to establish Hashem's kingship over the entire world. If one is going to rebel, so he will be kicked out and won't be allowed to stay and mess it up for everyone else. A situation like this is meant to test certain individuals who need to have their position clarified. This is part of the Great Birur of the Final Days.
Someone close to me gave a dvar Torah in which he explained how a birur is like sifting flour (davka "flour" with regard to Pesach!). Anyway, he said that the fine flour falls through to the bottom while the foreign substances get stuck inside the sifter which is lifted up above the fine flour which fell through. In this position, those things which are being sifted and separated and clarified as to whether it is part of the flour or something foreign believes that it is superior to the fine flour since it is raised above it, but it just doesn't know that it has been left behind and is destined to be thrown away as useless.
This is applicable to those who are perceived as "leaders" today, lifted up above the people who are considered "lowly" by them, of whom the Holy GRA said they are the Erev Rav.
Hashem wants to know who is faithful and loyal to Him, not submitting to any authority other than Torah, worshiping no other god but Hashem, who, despite personal failings and shortcomings, desires to see the Beit Hamikdash rebuilt and to see the entire world recognize His Kingship over His creation.
Yechezkel 20: 38 -- And I shall separate from you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; from the land of their sojournings I shall take them, but to the land of Israel they shall not come, and you will know that I am the Lord.
So whenever hard situations develop, just remember that it is just a test, a necessary part of the process of birur. Never forget that Hashem knows it all and sees it all and has ultimate control over events. Trust Him to be in charge and believe that it is all for our ultimate good.
(IsraelNN.com) The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, which frequently has been accused of conducting illegal missionary activities, has urged to police to arrest people who are violent against missionaries. It is illegal to conduct messianic activities for Jews to convert, but the law often is not strictly enforced.
The groups made its appeal following last month's attack on the teenage child of a Christian missionary in Ariel. His father is a prominent messianic pastor.In case, you didn't already know, the missionaries OWN Ariel. The mayor is bought and paid for. Ten years ago, they were sending the children of Ariel out of Israel to attend a church service in Texas. Today, there is a building dedicated to John Hagee...
It's very worthwhile to read Penina Taylor's article on the Ariel attack---Harassment and Freedom. She is the new director of Jews for Judaism in Jerusalem.
If you think this incident might have turned the tide between Jews and "xian-zionists," just wait and see what happens when Mashiach comes to power and kicks them all of the country and the xians begin to believe he is their anti-christ!
Be sure you make some time while you're doing the last of your Pesach cleaning to listen to Mina Fenton on the issue of accepting bribes, uh, um, I mean donations from xians. Listen to "Is Judaism Under Attack by Christianity?"
(Listen from the 29:10 minutes mark til the end.)
Tuesday 15 April / 10 Nissan:
Anniversary of (1) The taking of the paschal lamb by the Children of Israel in Egypt without the Egyptians daring to attack them even though the lamb was their god; (2) Death of Miriam in the 40th year of wandering in the Wilderness; (3) Miracle of the splitting of the River Jordan when the Israelites entered the Land under Joshua.
We are now in the final count-down of days before Pesach. As we work to clean out the Chametz and make our other preparations for the festival, let's remember to offer our personal prayers from the heart for all that we need personally and collectively.
Thursday 17 April / 12 Nissan:
The customary Fast of the Firstborn commemorating the delivery of the Israelite firstborn in Egypt is this year brought forward to today. In many synagogues it is customary to complete the study of a Talmudic Masechta (tractate) and celebrate the siyyum with a festive meal, giving the firstborn the opportunity to waive their fast in order to participate in this mitzvah-feast.
Thursday evening 17 April / 13 Nissan:
Searching for Chametz (Bedikat Chametz): Since this year the eve of Pesach falls on Shabbat, the customary "Search for Chametz" in our homes by the light of a candle is performed this evening after the evening prayer service, as soon as possible after nightfall. For detailed guidance on how to perform the search, click here.
Friday morning 18 April / 13 Nissan:
All remaining Chametz besides the food for Friday and the Shabbat challah loaves and other Chametz foods must be burned in the earlier part of the morning. For detailed guidance on procedure in a year like ours when the eve of Pesach falls on Shabbat, click here.
Friday night-Saturday 18-19 April / 14 Nissan:
Pesach Eve and Shabbat HaGadol:
Torah reading: ACHAREI Special haftarah for Shabbat HaGadol Malachi 3:4-24 prophesying G-d's coming Day of Judgment.
Consumption of Chametz is permitted only in the earlier part of the morning. Consult your local rabbi for the time limit in your area. All remains of Chametz Shabbat foods should be disposed of (e.g. flushed down the lavatory) at this time.
It is customary to read the main narrative portion of the Pesach Haggadah on Shabbat afternoon in preparation for tonight's Pesach Seder. Many also have the custom of reciting special readings about the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, which was performed in the Temple on the afternoon of 14 Nissan.
Saturday night 19 April / 15 Nissan:
The Pesach Seder: For a complete guide to the Pesach Seder on this most important night in the Torah calendar, click here.
Sunday 20 April / 15 Nissan:
First day of the Pesach festival.
Sunday night 20 April / 16 Nissan:
Second night of Pesach.
In Israel at the end of the evening prayer service ... we commence the Counting of the Omer in which we will count 49 days until the Festival of Shavuos, time of the Giving of the Torah, which was the main purpose of the Exodus from Egypt.
Monday 21 April / 16 Nissan:
Second day of Pesach. Chol HaMoed in Israel; Second day Yom Tov in Diaspora.
Tuesday-Friday 22-25 April / 17-20 Nissan:
Chol HaMoed -- intermediate days of the Pesach festival.
Friday night-Saturday 25-26 April / 21 Nissan:
Seventh day of Pesach. Yom Tov commemorating the miraculous Crossing of the Red Sea and looking forward to the Final Redemption soon in our times. In Israel the Feast of Mashiach is celebrated today at the Third Meal of the Shabbat with the customary drinking of Four Cups of wine. At this meal, the Breslover Chassidim customarily tell the story of the Baal Shem Tov's attempted pilgrimage to Israel and his miraculous delivery from shipwreck and kidnap.
Saturday night-Sunday 26-27 April / 22 Nissan:
In Israel today is Issru Chag, the day after the festival, when we still wear festive clothing and eat a festive meal to allow the Pesach joy to linger with and strengthen us as we return to our weekday lives.
Friday night-Saturday 2-3 May / 28 Nissan:
Shabbat Parshat KEDOSHIM:
Torah reading Leviticus 19:1-20:27 giving the essential "heart" of the Torah code of law. Haftara: Amos 9.7-15 (Sephardi ritual: Ezekiel 20.2-20). Blessing the coming month of Iyar. The Molad (junction of the sun and the moon) will be on Monday 5 May at 11:18 a.m.
Written by The Media Line Staff
Published Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and United States President George W. Bush will host an Israeli-Palestinian summit next month, which will also include Jordanian King 'Abdallah II.
The summit, according to Israeli media outlets, is expected to take place in mid-May, during Bush's visit to Israel. Bush is arriving at Israel on May 14 for its 60th anniversary celebrations and is scheduled to stay in the country until May 16.
By calling for the summit, the American administration is attempting to push forward the American-brokered peace talks, which began 100 days ago in Annapolis, Maryland.
YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva
7 Nisan 5768/11-12 April 2008
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
“Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon, saying: When you arrive in the land of Cana'an that I give you as a possession, and I will place tzara'at - affliction - upon a house in the land of your possession....”
Last but not least, the Torah in our parsha discusses the laws of houses that were afflicted with tzara'at. Interesting to note that the tzara'at disease only breaks out in Jewish homes in the Land of Israel. Jews living outside the Land do not have to concern themselves with this plague. What is so unique the about tzara'at that it only affects the Jews living in the Land of Israel?
Before we can answer this question, we must understand the scope of devastation of how this disease leaves its mark on the person afflicted. Suddenly, a dark spot appears on one of the walls in his house. He tries to clean it using all types of cleaning agents that are on the market, from Mr. Clean to Fantastic, but to no avail. With no choice, he calls over his neighbor Mr. Cohen, who tells him that before he can come to see the “spot”, he first has to take all of his belongings out of the house in order to be prepared for the worst scenario, that the spot is tzara'at and that everything in the house would then be tamei - spiritually unclean. Slowly, with the help of a few friends all of his household items are taken out of his house and placed in the yard. Finally, after a few good hours of work the job is done, and Mr. Cohen enters the house to check the spot.
The tension is high as Mr. Cohen slowly checks the spot, looking up and down on the wall going over it time and time again. The Mrs. of the house and the children are all gathered outside to hear his verdict. Suddenly, he comes out with a stern face, telling them how sorry he is, but it is definitely tzara'at, and the house must be torn down, all of it - do not leave a stone unturned!
The cries from the afflicted family can be heard all the way down the block. What will we do now? Where will we live? What will be with us? Why did this happen to us?
No other option being available, work on dismantling the house starts the very next day. Slowly the cranes come in and the roof is taken off and then layer by layer the walls come down. For the Mrs. and the children of the house, it's just too much to bear, and they go away so as not to see the destruction of their beloved home. But even the owner cannot bear to see his house come down, and he faints in the midst of the devastation. Suddenly, someone yells out: Hey, what’s this behind the wall over here? It looks like gold! Well, if it looks like gold and it smells like gold, then it must be gold, they cry out. And there is more, much more gold than they have ever seen before. Well, needless to say the owner and his Mrs. are beside themselves with joy over this newfound treasure, that came about only because of the tzara't!
The question is: If Hashem in His great mercy wanted to give to the owner of the house this great treasure, why did He make them go though such hardship first? Why didn’t Hashem just let them have the treasure right away?
There is one answer to both of our questions: To teach us the lesson that the Land of Israel is acquired only though suffering, as the Talmud teaches us. Or, as we say in our day: “No pain, no gain”. Only by first tearing down the house, can the gold be found.
In this day and age of instant pleasure and gratification, the Torah is teaching us the opposite - that anything of real value sometimes has a price to it, sometimes requires self-sacrifice and even pain. For quite often, what comes easily leaves just as easily, and what is acquired though sweat stays forever - the Land of Israel being one of them. Many people today prefer the comforts of living in the exile, rather than the hardships that prevail in the daily life of the Holy Land. Still, the real treasures of life in this world and the next lie in back of the "tzara'at wall", and it's only though tearing it down, that one can get to them. Don’t think there is any other way around it: You either aquire it though suffering now, or you do not aquire it at all.
With love of Israel,
The tried and true wisdom of the past is no longer heeded---"there's no such thing as a free lunch" and "you don't get something for nothing."
If you are one of those who has joined this party, then I'm sorry to burst your balloon, but Torah has some exceptional things to say on the subject that you had better take to heart if you call yourself a Torah-observant Jew.
Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim, 10:1---
We may not draw up a covenant with idolaters which will establish peace between them [and us] and yet allow them to worship idols, as [Devarim 7:2] states: "Do not establish a covenant with them." Rather, they must renounce their [idol] worship or be slain. It is forbidden to have mercy upon them, as [Devarim, ibid] states: "Do not be gracious to them."
Accordingly, if we see an idolater being swept away or drowning in the river, we should not help him. If we see that his life is in danger, we should not save him. It is, however, forbidden to cause one of them to sink or push him into a pit or the like, since he is not waging war against us.
To whom do the above apply? To gentiles. It is a mitzvah, however, to eradicate Jewish traitors, minnim (informers), and apikorsim (heretics), and to cause them to descend to the pit of destruction, since they cause difficulty to the Jews and sway the people away from God, as did Jesus of Nazareth and his students, and Tzadok, Baithos, and their students. May the name of the wicked rot.
Note that this places Xianity squarely in the category of idolatry as defined by the Rambam.
Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim, 10:4---
Why is it forbidden to sell them [land or anything attached to the land? Because [Devarim 7:2] states: "Do not be gracious with them." [This phrase can also be interpreted:] "Do not give them a resting place in the land." As long as they do not have a resting place in the land, their stay will be a temporary one.
[This prohibition also] forbids speaking about [idolaters] in a praiseworthy manner. It is even forbidden to say, "Look how beautiful that idolater's body is." How much more so is it forbidden to praise their deeds or to hold their words dear as [the phrase states]: "Do not be gracious with them." [This phrase can also be interpreted:] "Do not look at them graciously," for doing so will cause you to draw close to them and learn from their wicked behavior.
[Also implicit in the above phrase is that] it is forbidden to give them a present.
Consider what a spiritually poor generation we are and how assimilated we have become.
TSHUVA, TSHUVA, TSHUVA!
OPEN LETTER TO MR. MOSHE KATSAV, FORMER PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL
First, I want to say that I have believed you to be innocent of these charges from the very beginning. All of the Jews in Israel understand well how this system works. Peres coveted your position and had his minions go about getting it for him in the usual way. They want corrupt politicians in office because it makes it easier to blackmail them, but if there is an honest man, that detail won't stand in their way. They will just invent a crime.
While I believe you are innocent of the crime for which you are accused, I believe that you are suffering this disgrace because of another crime---a crime against Heaven. You are guilty of the public desecration of Hashem's name while you held your high office and so you were removed and you are being disgraced as you have disgraced your Maker. Here is the proof:
Pres Katsav in a letter to the Pope, 10 Apr 2002:
(INN) "The State of Israel has the highest esteem for all religious communities within its borders. Therefore, in the current context, all members of the Israel Defense Forces have been ordered not to fire upon or violate the sanctity of church property."
Pres Katsav on Illegal Orders, 25 Oct 2002:
(INN) "Speaking to Israel Radio this morning, President Moshe Katsav explained that soldiers are compelled to carryout all orders unless they are "illegal orders from the onset". He further explained that evacuating of a Yesha encampment or the desecration of the Sabbath do not constitute illegal orders."
Q&A with Pres Katsav, 17 April 2001:
(JPost) "I don't see Palestinian autonomy as a danger to Israel's existence. We have no interest in returning and conquering Gaza.
... For the first time in history, there is in Jerusalem, freedom of religion, a total freedom, for all religions, thanks to Israeli rule since 1967. To my sorrow, the Moslem Wakf is destroying archeological remains on the Temple Mount. To prevent any escalation in tensions, we let this go by. I believe that its possible to find a formula for honorable coexistence for Jews and Moslems on the Temple Mount, just as we found in the Machpela Cave in Hebron, which is also holy to Jews and Moslems.
I'm a religious person. But my religious beliefs are my private, intimate domain, and they don't have an effect on my work as president. I believe in the saying "each to his own beliefs" and I respect all individuals as individuals. ...other citizens of Israel with other religions, have the right to live here in total freedom, there is equality of rights for all by law, and this is true for Christians and Moslems.
Katsav promises protection for Muslim holy places, 27 July 2004:
(JPost) "President Moshe Katsav has come out sharply against any real or imaginary plan to blow up the Temple Mount.
Speaking at Beit Hanassi on Tuesday at the signing ceremony of the Covenant of Brothers, Katsav said that anyone contemplating such a measure is acting in contradiction to the laws of Judaism. ..."I promise you in the name of the State of Israel and in the name of the Jewish religion that we will vigilantly protect all the Muslim holy places," he pledged.
Katsav: I'll put my life on the line for Al Aksa mosque
Jerusalem Post May 14, 2001
..."I swear to you, there is not even a shred of an idea among Israel's leadership to insult Islam's holy places in any form or manner.
"I will put my life on the line in order to protect the holiness of the Al Aksa mosque, at any price, under any condition," Katsav said.
The only remedy for you, Mr. Katsav, is teshuva and a public apology to the People of Israel whom you MIS-represented and to HASHEM, whose Name you desecrated with these false, anti-Torah statements.
I wish you hatzlacha raba,
1. The citizenry of Israel joined in the national emergency drill about twenty minutes ago. My participation consisted of opening the window to be sure I wouldn't miss hearing the alarm. Even so, it wasn't very loud. Then, I did what I probably would do in the event of the real thing. I remained in my chair and kept working because where am I going to go? I haven't seen any bomb shelters in my neighborhood since I moved here almost a year ago. In my old neighborhood, they were either all locked up or in use by shuls, youth groups, etc. I imagine everyone else did the same thing. I looked outside but didn't see anyone hurrying for cover. Hashem, tishmor aleynu!
2. I read today on INN that the level of the Kinneret, which supplies our national water carrier, is at record lows: "The dams have not been opened since the winter of 1991-92." This was the last 'normal' year in Israel... before the "Peace Process" started.
3. I also read there about a memorial rally planned today for the murdered Mercaz HaRav students. It says that " leading rabbis of the yeshiva will speak and singers will perform " at Teddy Stadium. It makes me want to cry. How does this bring us to the kind of teshuva that will put an end to such tragedies forever?
4. Bar Kochba (For Zion's Sake) has written an excellent article entitled Separation and Redemption. I highly recommend it. Among the comments, one finds that there are still Jews who have bought into the myth that the so-called Xian Zionists are our greatest friends and we can have relationships with them because they have promised not to proselytize us. Here is my answer to that...
"FYI, all xian aid has one goal only and that is to make the Jew beholden to the xian so that his defenses against the xian and the xian faith will be weakened. They admit as much on their websites and also discuss this strategy among themselves in their congregations.
The xian definition of "proselytizing" requires the xian to initiate an encounter. However, if they merely do a good turn for the non-xian which will make him feel obligated and lead to his asking the xian about the motivation for his generosity, this opens the door for him to "share his faith" and is not proselytizing by their definition. By this method, they can deny any intent to proselytize with a clear conscience.
Ask any xian "supporter" of Israel what he would do if a Jew came to him and asked him about converting to xianity. If the "xian" answers that he would advise the Jew to consult a rabbi about any doubts he harbors regarding his faith and encourage him to remain a Jew, then he is a true friend of the Jewish people.
But, I can tell you right now that not even one professing xian would consider such a thing. They are xians because they believe in that path and they believe it is for everyone, both Jew and gentile."
5. As the old saying goes, "even a broken clock is right twice a day" :
(INN) "Meretz Knesset Member Prof. Yossi Beilin, relating to the visit of evangelical pastor John Hagee, said, "In my eyes there is nothing more ridiculous and tragic than to see in this man a friend to Israel."
6. A short time ago, the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem cancelled a free concert after it was discovered that a missionary had organized it. (See Community Alert 18 Mar 2008) Now, it's happened even in Berlin!
"Berlin's Jewish Museum has cancelled a concert by a Jewish pianist after it was discovered he was planning to use to event to spread his missionary message. The pianist, Sam Rotman, defines himself as an orthodox Jew who believes in Christianity, and he has used his piano concerts to convey his religious transformation."
Wake up, Jewish People! This is a war with Eisav!! And they aren't letting up!
"This is like building a synagogue in the midst of Umm al-Fahm," said one of the outraged residents. "This is set to be the first institute in the country to be openly operated by Messianic Jews. This center will be erected over our dead bodies," he proclaimed.
7. Ominous report: IDF collecting settlers' weapons
Destroyed twice like the two Batei Mikdash...
Heard in a shiur last night with Dr. Dan Altura:
David Hamelech conquered Jerusalem, but he was not allowed to build the Beit Hamikdash. He ruled forty years and then Shlomo became king and he built the Beit Hamikdash at the beginning of his forty-year reign.
We re-conquered Jerusalem in 1967. Forty years ended with Rosh Hashana 5768, so now we can expect it anytime.
"According to British media, the US is set to attack Iranian military facilities."
From Rosh Chodesh Nissan until Pesach, many have the custom of not eating Matzot in order to eat the Pesach matzot with relish. Don't forget to spare a thought for the many who cannot afford Matzot and other Pesach needs. In this period it is customary to give Kimcha d'Pischa -- special charity to the poor to cover their "flour" and other Pesach needs.
The Sanctuary in the wilderness was inaugurated on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and this auspicious day has ten crowns: (1) On that day the Creation was complete; (2) Nachshon Prince of Judah brought his offering to Moses' wilderness Sanctuary; (3) Aaron began his duties as High Priest; (4) The first communal offerings were brought; (5) Fire came down from heaven to the altar; (6) Sacrificial portions were eaten within designated limits; (7) The Shechinah dwelt among the people; (8) The Cohanim blessed the people; (9) It was henceforth forbidden to sacrifice on private altars; (10) This day was designated as Rosh Chodesh. Numerous sections of the Torah were revealed on 1 Nissan.
Since the Princes of the Twelve Tribes of Israel brought their inaugural sacrifices to the Sanctuary day by day on the first twelve days of Nissan, many have the custom of reading the corresponding passages from Numbers 7:1-89 each day after the morning prayers, starting with verses 1-17 on the first day and concluding with vv. 78-89 on the twelth day. Some study the lengthy Midrashim on how the identical sacrifices of the twelve princes had different allusions for each one (Midrash Rabbah NASO and see Me'Am Lo'ez).
Each of the first twelve days of Nissan corresponds to one of the twelve months of the coming year. "And those with clear vision can see how the events on each of these days allude to what is to come in the corresponding month" (R. Menachem Mendel of Riminov).
Blessing of the trees (Birkhat Ha-Ilanot): This special blessing is recited only once a year at any point during the month of Nissan on seeing at least two blossoming fruit trees, whether of the same or different species. "Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the universe, for He left nothing lacking in His universe, and He created in it good creatures and good trees, to give mankind pleasure in them." Birkat Ha'ilanot is available in most Siddurim. Sepharadic and some Chassidic Siddurim include extended readings of the Psalms and a special prayer for the elevation of the souls.
1 Nissan was the birthday of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who once said, "When somebody thinks of me they become like a newborn babe".
Friday night-Saturday 12 April / 7 Nissan:
Shabbat Parshat METZORA (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) concluding the Biblical laws of Tzora'at ("leprous" marks on the human skin and head, garments and houses) and the purification ritual. Leviticus 14:1-15:33; Haftara: II Kings 7:3–20.
From 7 Nissan onwards it is proper to avoid defilement from the dead where possible so as to be ritually pure to offer the Pesach sacrifice if and when the Temple is rebuilt.
"And God said to Moshe and to Aharon in the Land of Egypt saying: This month shall be the first of months for you, it is the beginning of the months of the year for you." (Shemot 12:1-2)
It is the time of our redemption!
CHODESH TOV! SHAVUA TOV!
Bank of Israel bought $600 million to prop up Dollar
The Bank of Israel said Wednesday that it purchased a total of $600million on the foreign exchange market over a 2-day period last month, in order to prop up the plunging U.S. Dollar against the New Israeli Shekel.
Following the purchases on March 13-14, the central bank announced that Israel's foreign currency reserves totaled $29.415 billion - an increase of $930 million.
The move surprised almost everyone in the financial markets....
...The Bank of Israel also announced plans to buy $10 billion over the next two years, in daily installments of $25 million. The bank has already acquired $100 million under that scheme.
Speaking at a hastily convened news conference several days after the foreign currency acquisition, Fischer said a sharp plunge in the dollar's value had prompted him to take action....
What are we going to do with all these worthless dollars and why ruin our own burgeoning economy to save those who are forcing the expulsion of Jews and the creation of a terror state in Eretz Yisrael?
Exclusive: Barak calls off German trip next week as Damascus raises war alarm
Israel’s security cabinet convened Wednesday, April 2, to examine the homeland’s preparedness for war. It decided to redistribute the bio/chemical warfare masks a few months after they were called in....
It's as bankrupt as
Hillel Jewish Campus Org Opens Doors to Gentiles
(IsraelNN.com) According to a report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Hillel organization, which runs the central Jewish facilities on most campuses in North America, has decided to open its doors to gentiles and downplay its Jewish identity. Hillel leaders told the JTA that the move "has been forced upon them by this generation's altered social landscape."
According to the report, "the organization is throwing open its doors to everyone, designing programs that appeal to Jews and non-Jews and hyping its contribution to university -- not only Jewish – life." Reportedly, more and more non-Jews are serving on Hillel boards. Whereas the group's mission statement before 2006 was to increase the number of Jews "doing Jewish with other Jews," it now seeks to "enrich" Jewish student life, the Jewish people and the world.
"Most of the students that we have are not interested in doing Jewish with other Jews," a Hillel campus head told JTA. "They're interested in doing Jewish with their friends who are doing Catholic and Puerto Rican and Turkish -- their friends and their family. The challenge for us is how do you create expressions of Jewish life that students will deem to be authentic at the same time as they are not exclusive or tribal."
Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and
All the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
~Children's nursery rhyme
The current rate of disintegration in the Zionist institutions is the surest indicator of how close we stand to the complete redemption. The "State of Israel" was always just an incubator (and a disguise) for the developing Kingdom of Israel.
Researchers Investigate Pre-‘Disengagement’ Mental Training
by Maayana Miskin
(IsraelNN.com) The Jabotinsky Heritage House in Tel Aviv recently completed a study on the psychological training given to IDF soldiers before the 2005 “Disengagement” and its effect on subsequent IDF operations. The psychological training given to soldiers had a serious impact on soldiers’ performance in later conflicts, researchers found.
Dr. Gadi Eshel said the research team managed to collect a vast amount of material on the mental preparation for the eviction and the eviction itself. The material showed that the army put a great deal of effort into creating terms that would help soldiers to feel that they were doing the right thing, said researcher Ruthie Isakovich. Isakovich labeled the training given to soldiers to mentally prepare them to evict Jews “brainwashing.”Another clue...
Cracks Discovered in Jerusalem's Troubled Bridge
(IsraelNN.com) Engineers have discovered cracks in the "Bridge of Strings" at the western entrance to the capital, and damage may delay the scheduled opening ceremony of the bridge in May. The cost of the towering project, which is designed to support the light rail system under construction, soared even before the defects were detected.
One engineer told Army Radio that the cracks are an enormous flaw, but the company that heads the building project claimed that the bridge will adhere to all safety standards and will be opened on schedule.