...For the most part we have created a plastic Yiddishkiet, Hashem yishmor. Our present Yiddishkiet for the average frum Yid stands somewhere between total Hellenism with a kipa and tzitzis, to a very small emesdik group trying with all their koach to pull Yidishkiet back to its true roots. In-between these two extremes most of the Frum Yidden are caught between adhering partially to the lie, which means to the modern technological monetary g-d on one side and the true Yidden who are trying to live a true Yiddishe life according to Torah and Mitzvos detached from the lies on the other side.
Woe to us Am Yisroel! Oy olainu! As it stands now, very few will be able to survive this time of judgment, this last Berur before the Geulah, the redemption.
...In order to bring the Geulah quicker we must make waves, so to speak, cry out to Shamayim with a heart wrenching scream, begging Hashem to bring the Geulah now because the longer it waits the more Yidden, Lo Alainu, fall by the wayside and adopt the Sheker as true Emes. I am not speaking of the non-Frum, non-religious, because they are very far already. There will be among the non frum those who will at the last moment accept the truth and be saved. We must cry out for them as well. But for those who are supposed to be Erlicha Yidden close to Hakadosh Baruch Hu for those we are screaming and begging Hashem to bring the Geulah and Moshiach Tzidkainu because every moment now that Hashem delays the coming of the Geulah more and more frum Yidden are pulled into the belief and trust in the g-ds of the Hellenistic world, the Olam Hazah of Mitzraim of the Agel HaZahav....
Merry Xmas at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University
While one can argue that non-Jews attend the university as well, this does not remove the pain experienced by many on the campus of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University by the display of a fully adorned Xmas tree, in the heart of the Jewish capital.
More than one student questioned by one must see such a sight in the Jewish Homeland, a sight that may be commonplace on a campus in Europe or the United States, but one that simply has no place in Hebrew U. a campus that exists on Jewish philanthropy and government funds, an institute of higher education that is located in Yerushalayim, the capital of the Jewish People.
Sadly, the university’s student union feels differently, and the tree is part of the campus reality now, and the Gregorian New Year will indeed by marked as a special day, as is the case in goyish countries.
Joining the sad reality was Israel Radio, the government-funded state radio that last week aired many Xmas songs, songs that one would expect to hear in a church or Christian radio station, but not in Eretz Yisrael.
And there is even more over at Jewish Israel.
If the rest of you frum Jews do not come and help us, we are fighting a losing battle here!!
"Rav Ya'acov Emden, in his commentary 'Beit Ya'acov', writes that 'not one in a thousand awakens to come to the Land of Israel, and because of that all our trouble in the exiles come about - because we do not come back to the Land of Israel.' "
Don Esposito writes to his students and supporters on Dec. 9, 2009:
"...I wanted to update you on the latest happenings here in the land and let you know that we have officially sealed the deal with the Jewish agency to be able to bring believers (i.e. Xians) over to Israel for anywhere from 9 months up to 2 years.
...(participants) will learn what it means to prepare to be a King and a Priest in Yahweh’s soon coming Kingdom,.... Those that are involved in professional or medical fields will have the greatest opportunity to stay on for a longer time."
You see, the so-called Xian "Zionists" who have hoodwinked so many religious Jews into believing that they are our strongest and most supportive "friends" are in actuality competitors for our heritage. While the traditional mainline Xians are back home making anti-Israel statements, the Evangelical Xian "Zionists" have come to stake their claim on the Land itself!
Excerpted from Don Esposito's "Return to the Land Program":
"Come and experience the fullness of learning about the land of our inheritance through the most unique program in all of Israel that will change your life forever.
Return To the Land is a program designed by Hayahad Bible Seminars in conjunction with the Jewish Agency...."
A separate section of the booklet is entitled "Become an Ambassador for Israel." Of course, the gullible people at the Jewish Agency and the ministry of Tourism think this means these good Xian "Zionists" will go back to their countries of origin after completing this lengthy program and become spokespeople on behalf of Israel to the nations; defending our cause. But those familiar with Xian double-speak understand. They quote the New Testament...
"2 Cor 5:20 - Then on behalf of Messiah, we are ambassadors, as Yahweh is exhorting through us. Rev 5: 20 and made us kings and priests to our Elohim; and we shall reign on the earth. Scripture clearly tells us that to be true believers we will be Kings and Priests of the Most High Elohim in His Kingdom and that we are now Ambassadors for Yahweh’s soon coming Kingdom (i.e., Yeshu rule). To this end, we will teach and train our students how to prepare for this most important job. Ambassadors are not just sent, but they must be trained for the position and country that they are going to. "
Translation: (According to their belief system) when Yeshu returns, he will be ruling the world from Jerusalem. As believers in him (good xians all) they are promised to rule alongside him as kings. Until then, they represent him and his message to the world, especially in Israel, which will soon belong to them.
They just can't wait for him to get here. They want to set up shop right now! And damned if they haven't!!
Eastern U.S. Digs Out From Record Weekend Blizzard
Big *freeze* brings misery and death to Europe
A major winter storm takes aim on the Central U.S.
Latest report: German mediator delays prison swap visit to Gaza
A German mediator said by a Hamas official to have arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for talks on a Hamas-Israel prisoner swap has postponed his visit, the Islamist group said later. A Hamas official told Reuters the mediator had not arrived in Gaza.
Another official close to the negotiations said the official would travel to the territory on Wednesday because Israel wanted to modify its reply to Hamas's demands and asked him to postpone his meetings. (Reuters)
No doubt, when it comes, it will be at the precise moment decreed by HKB"H.
(IsraelNN.com) The first anniversary of Israel's counterterrorism Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is set to be a catalyst for a series of anti-Israel protests worldwide. A mass march to the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel is to include several Western VIPs.
From December 27 through early January, the dates of Operation Cast Lead last year, international pro-Palestinian groups are set to hold "Gaza Freedom Marches" in North America, Europe and Israel. The Gaza Freedom March in Hamas-controlled Gaza itself is slated for December 31. Organizers of the latter event are expecting around 50,000 local participants, with over 1,000 from more than 40 countries, to converge on the Erez Crossing and demand it be opened to free movement by Palestinian Authority residents into Israel.
But what do we see today from these people? They seriously cut the child allowances. They've gone to war against the yeshiva rabbis. They are destroying the fighting spirit of the army with their shabby politics. And they are dismantling and bulldozing half the State.
Do you not see that they are taking apart their own merit brick by brick until Hashem will no longer have any reason to spare their feeble, empty lives?
As they dismantle and give away the State of Israel, they are unwittingly bringing the geulah shleimah closer to fruition. This is good news for those Jews who are faithful and loyal to HKB"H.
Here is another thought, although there is no silver lining in it. I was reading about the month of Tevet in the Eliyahu Kitov Book of Our Heritage. I've read it many times before, but for some reason it never struck me like it did yesterday that the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Tevet are called "The Three Days of Darkness." And day eight coincides with the biggest idolatry holiday of the year in Eisavland. Our sources say that Yeshu was a gilgul of Eisav. How ironic (and appropriate) is it that Eisavland celebrates their father's birthday every year in this way! And if Eisav is going to fall, how ironic (and appropriate) would it be for it to occur on this day of their calendar which coincides with "the three days of darkness."
If only all the Jews in Eisavland would come home to Eretz Yisrael without any further delay. What is Hashem to do when the Jews choose to remain in Egypt???
There are two kinds of people who reject the idea that we are God’s chosen people. There are the vast majority of gentiles who reject it, but with a certain percentage of them who agree that HaShem chose the Jews. And I am saddened to say that there are far too many Jews who do not agree that we are God’s chosen.
How can one test himself in this matter?
The litmus test is the declaration of Aleinu.
It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to exalt the Creator of the universe, who has not made us like the nations of the world and has not placed us like the families of the earth. Who has not designed our destiny to be like theirs nor our lot like that of all their multitude.
Now if you choose to live among the gentiles, by necessity their destiny will be yours. When the value of homes fall in Lawrence NY, the calamity does not affect the home of Reilly and the home of Colombo and then skip over Goldberg’s home; because they all live on the same street and their destiny is one.
If the impending military draft will call up Johnny from down the block, it will also call up your son Yankel. If the US limits the amount of dollars one may take out of the country, it will relate to you too.
If you believe that we are HaShem’s chosen people and hence our destiny is a privileged one, why are you living among the goyim?
You can have a unique Jewish destiny living in Hungary or Poland or Vermount, but only if you can also remain dry when jumping into a pool of water.
Do yourselves a favor. Ask your rabbi or rosh yeshiva how he can recite Aleinu while refusing to cast his lot and destiny with his brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael?
It was a truly modern-day miracle to see the debate regarding democracy vis-à-vis Torah law picking up steam and reaching the verge of explosion precisely in Hanukkah. So what is really more important for us? Which of these two values will prevail at the last moment? At the end of the day, I don’t think that the Greek invention will be chosen.
...It’s truly been a unique Chanukah experience to see the media storm over the question of hesder yeshivas. The Barak-Melamed conundrum in and of itself is not the most interesting issue here, the fascinating secular panic over these questions is less intriguing than a look into the religious sector, where we are also seeing certain panic.
Religious politicians, hesder yeshiva rabbis, religious writers, and regular folk who get into a conversation with colleagues are quick to allay the tensions: “We’re against insubordination, we condemn insubordination, we reject insubordination,” as well as “Rabbi Melamed is an anomaly, he does not represent us.” However, it’s impossible not to add “we’ll be supporting him” because…well, why? Oh, yeah, “freedom of speech and thought.”
And what a pity that is. What a pity that religious Zionists do not yet have the courage to put on the table, in the clearest way possible, the real discussion. The question of Torah law versus democracy. The issue of “rabbi versus commander.” Too bad that we continue to blur this question. Too bad that we keep on muttering that “in the army obviously the commander rules.” Why obviously? Why should we lie?
I, who as noted am not a Torah law follower, do not view a military commander as an unquestionable figure of authority. I certainly don’t view any politicians that way, and even democracy is not a sanctified value in my view in any shape or form. Democracy is a means. Is this a proper means in my view? At times. If this is my attitude to Torah law, why can’t I view democracy that way?
And if I have to choose, there is no chance in the world I would choose democracy over Torah law, or commanders over rabbis, or Barak over Rabbi Melamed.
(IsraelNN.com) Border police officials have admitted that a security office acted improperly for throwing out a recruit after asking him if he would expel friends and family from his own community in the southern Hevron Hills. Senior Border Police officials, after hearing the report about the youth, identified as “E” was, invited him for another interview and accepted him for basic training.
...After his son was thrown out of the recruiting office, his father called the military correspondent for Voice of Israel government radio, whose report caused Border Police officials to reconsider the case. Border Police spokesman Moshe Finsi explained to Israel National News that the question was proper but that the security official did not have authority to decide to reject "E."
The youth's family praised the Border Police for personally calling them and correcting the mistake....
Honenu: Govt. Has 'Declared War' Against Loyal Jews
Director of the Honenu legal rights group, Shmuel Medad, said Thursday that the government's petition against the release of Tzviya Sariel meant that the government, like the army, "has declared war against a Jewish community in Israel that is loyal to the state and the Word of G-d, and agrees that the army and the legal system are to be respected, even if they contradict Jewish law and work against their interests.
Someone needs to define "loyalty" for them. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! The war with the Erev Rav will not be won with coffee, cakes and hugs!! It is not possible to be loyal to BOTH the State AND Hashem and His Torah!
We are now enduring a period of deep darkness and it seems that in a matter of a few weeks, it could get darker still as we are sunk yet again into war with our neighbors. This war, by all accounts, will be an existential war. It is from this very darkness that the blazing light of the geulah shleimah will shine forth.
The heights we may attain are in direct proportion to the depths to which we have descended. From the heels of Mashiach may we merit by Hashem's great and abundant mercy to ascend to the level of Har Sinai...in this year and in these days.
May your joy in Chanukah neither waver nor fail and may it increase daily during these closing days with first a Chodesh tov and then Shabbat shalom!
In case you haven't been watching this Chanukah drama play out, I'll give it to you in a nutshell. Rabbi Melamed held a discussion with his students in which he shared his view of public protest by soldiers and refusal to obey orders to expell Jews from their homes. (Many calls have gone out to the politicians to avoid politicizing the army and causing unnecessary division among the troops and their commanders by involving the IDF in what should be a police matter.) The egomaniac, failure-of-a-Defense Minister was incensed that Rabbi Melamed would dare to refuse his order to sign a letter condemning such actions, so he "summoned" the rabbi to give an account.
The rabbi refused to appear under these terms and said that if he were invited, he would come and have a meeting to explain his position. The Deputy Defense Minister complied with the rabbi's suggestion and at their meeting, the rabbi was commanded to renounce his earlier ruling and sign a document saying that he condemns soldiers who protest and/or refuse orders. He was given Sunday night as a deadline. The rabbi failed to appear and the next day, the Defense Minister, as punishment, cut off the Har Bracha Yeshiva from the Hesder program. The national religious crowd is up in arms, as one might expect.
Read more here: Rabbi Melamed Puts the Facts on the Table
And we have another winner!
Chief Rabbi of Tzfat: All Rabbis Must Oppose Barak's Decision
"The Torah sages throughout the generations were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to maintain the independence of those who hand down Halakhic [Jewish legal] rulings," he said. "We expect the Chief Rabbinate to call upon all rabbis, from all camps, to stand in a united front against the Defense Minister's intentions."
YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva
25 Kislev 5770/11-12 December 2009
THE HIDDEN MESSIAH
"These are the generations of Jacob, Joseph was seventeen years old and was feeding the flock with his brothers."
Why was Joseph singled out from all the other brothers, so that the Torah lists him as the "generations" of Jacob? To teach us that everything that happened to Jacob happened to Joseph. The GRA in "Kol Hatur" goes further and writes that everything that took place in the life of Joseph will also happen to "Zion" - the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. In fact, it was the GRA who some 250 years ago compiled all the sources and expanded on the unknown topic -which is still unclear to most people - of the existence of two Messiahs, the long awaited Messiah Ben David and his counterpart, Messiah Ben Joseph. What, then, are the attributes of this Messiah and how does he play into the unfolding history of the return of the Jewish people to their Land in our days?
First, it will only be to Joseph and his offspring that wicked Esau, Rome and their descendants - the West - will fall. We find that when Jacob saw all the chiefs of Edom rising, he became frightened. G-d told him: "Do not fear, for I will give them all over to the descendants of Joseph". So when Joseph was born, Jacob said to Lavan: "Send me away that I may go to my own place and to my country." What did Jacob see that made him want to return to the Land of Israel, now that Joseph was born? Jacob realized that now that Joseph was born, he had the means to combat his brother Esau, and so it was time to pack it up and head home to Israel. This is what the prophet Obadiah told us: "The House of Jacob shall be fire and the House of Joseph flame, and the House of Esau stubble, and they shall kindle them and devour them and there shall be none remaining from the house of Esau, for the L-rd has spoken."
Another important aspect of Messiah Ben Joseph is that he is hidden from us and works for the benefit of the Jewish people and unbeknownst to them. As the Torah tells us, that "Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him." The GRA writes that this is the work of the "Satan", for if we were able to recognize the work of Messiah Ben Joseph, all of our troubles would be over.
The GRA continues and writes "that every aspect of the rebuilding and reclaiming of the Land of Israel, including the planting in all of its details and the settling of the Land, is the mission of Messiah Ben Joseph. For Messiah Ben Joseph is from earth -meaning, he works for the physical rebuilding of the Land of Israel and Messiah Ben David is from heaven - who works for the spiritual benefit of the Jewish people. They live in every generation!"
Crucial to understanding the work of Messiah Ben Joseph is the fact that Hashem is bringing the Redemption, and returning the Jewish people in our day to their Land in a totally natural way. Through our hands and the hands of the nations of the world, through the UN, wars that are fought and won, roads and houses are built, destroyed and rebuilt, all done with hard labor, sweat and many tears, and all done naturally with Hashem's help - but not with open miracles, for this is the way of Messiah Ben . Unfortunately, many religious Jews still lack the concept of Messiah Ben Joseph, for he is the "hidden Messiah", they sit in the exiles of the world, not taking part in the Redemption process, waiting for some sign or someone to knock on their door inviting them to come home, they wait and wait and wait.
The path of Messiah Ben Joseph is not an easy path, but this is the only way. The GRA writes that every good and every step in this process of Redemption that comes, comes only though hardships. The main thing is to understand this and know that this is the only way to move ahead - though hardships, but not to despair of them, for this is the path.
With love of Israel,
A test we cannot fail
Israel must curb lawbreaking settlers or it may find itself facing Jewish intifada
'Sanhedrin': Kill prisoners if Shalit doesn't return
After Tweedledummer told the press that he intended to "summon" Rabbi Melamed, this was the rabbi's response:
A dear commenter wrote: "What we need is a project where everyone is working towards a common goal, like chesed or tefila etc.
This is what is famously known as a galut mentality. That's all we had the power or the right to do in the Diaspora, but it doesn't apply in Eretz Yisrael.
Yehoshua would not have conquered the land without force of arms. David would not have conquered the Philistines without force of arms. And Mashiach will conquer by force of arms before peace will reign across the world.
Check out this quote from Rabbi Pinchas Winston's most recent article on Chanukah:
...Sometimes, even good people have to be shown the way. For example, the Chashmonaim had to be dragged into the crisis, because they had thought, as so many of us do as well, that it was the will of God that they hunker down and, in secret, keep Torah alive. Whenever possible, they sidestepped the open crisis taking place all around them in order to deal with the concealed one, learning Torah and keeping mitzvos in secrecy, until God saw fit to remove the Greek threat.
Well, they found out the hard way, Divine Providence saw fit to do so, but not the way the Chashmonaim had assumed, or had hoped it would happen. Like Ya’akov Avinu who was yanked from his tent of study into the wild and dangerous world of Eisav, Lavan, and Shechem, the Chashmonaim were drawn out from their secret caves and forced to wage a war against an army many times the size of theirs, and far better armed. It was a war against all odds and reason.
Justice minister wants return to Torah law
...The rabbis attending the conference reacted with thunderous applause, but others who heard the statement were less enthused.
"This is a disgusting vision that will place Israel squarely in the heart of the third world," said MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz). "Minister Ne'eman's speech totally negates the values of Israel and Zionism."
This is a war for "hearts and minds." This is an aspect of the War of Gog uMagog.
Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron said, "It is sobering to see the justice minister estrange himself from the founding values of the State of Israel, and show disloyalty to the basic principles of statehood and citizenship. His announcements attest to a worrying process of talibanization of Israeli society."
Hey! It's called Judaization. The Taliban got it from us back when we knew who we were and knew how to be real Jews!!
Take a ringside seat Nitzan Horrorwitch and Chaim Moron. What you are seeing today with the demonstrations in the military are the first cracks of the shell. Your unholy medina was only an incubator for the developing Kingdom of Israel (see the Maharal on this) which is now preparing to emerge, thank G-D!
Here is yet another example:
Jewish lobby wages war on Christmas trees
Fliers and ads distributed among the public read, "The people of Israel have given their soul over the years in order to maintain the values of the Torah of Israel and the Jewish identity.
"You should also continue to follow this path of the Jewish people's tradition and not give in to the clownish atmosphere of the end of the civil year. And certainly not help those businesses that sell or put up the foolish symbols of Christianity."
One respondent wrote:
Religious coercion rears its ugly head again. There are many christians coming to Israel for christmas and if a christmas tree is meaningfull for them, then whats the big deal. Why are the religious jews that insecure. At least at christmas people have fun and spread good will to all mankind unlike the ultra orthadox who only seem to be full of hatred not only to their fellow jews but also to any others who are not jewish. Good reminder i think we will go out and get a christmas tree this year as thankyou very much but i dont want anything to do with Jewish religion.
We'd better think long and hard about where all this heading and draw the appropriate conclusions.
That's a good question. If there is a semblance of unity, it certainly is not a true unity. And it is sure to break down as soon as any outside pressure is applied. When there is true unity, outside pressure seals the bond.
This is a time of birur. Everything and everyone is being tested and the bad is being separated out from the good, or you might rather say that the bad is separating itself out from the good. Free choice and all that. It is a necessary and desirable process before the complete geulah arrives. We can assist in that process and speed it along by holding very fast to the Truth and the Good, so that the klippot will want to separate from us.
(Unfortunately, there are very influential people who are doing the exact opposite and they are delaying the geulah shleimah. But that's a subject for another post.)
Here are a couple of examples of what I'm talking about:
The US and the EU bring pressure against the Erev Rav regime who rule that the "settlers" must cease fulfilling the mitzvah of conquering and settling the Land of Israel. The "settlers" dig in and cling fast to Torah and mitzvot. Their actions prompt two reactions,
This one: ‘Settlers Don’t Know How Much People Love Them’
A former Navy and Air Force officer, who also is a resident of the wealthy and predominantly secular city of Herzliya near Tel Aviv, has broken the image of secular anti-settler Jews.” In an interview with Arutz 7, retired Lt. Col. Danny Baz called settlers “modern Zionists.”
...“Settlers do not know how much the People of Israel love them.” Baz stated. He called them "modern Zionists...and our hope for tomorrow.”
In an impassioned letter to Shomron Brigade commander Colonel Itzik Bar last month, Baz accused him of turning settlers into a “new enemy"and told him that “[settlers] are an honored part of the defense system of the State of Israel.... They are a strategic non-conventional weapon of Israel.
Maybe not the best defense to be made, but considering where he's coming from, a defense nonetheless and likely the best he can do. At least his Jewish heart is in the right place.And then there is this one, as demonstrated by a Talkback written in response to this article on Ynet, Netanyahu: Settlers are our brothers :
"Not my brothers thank you very much - Heaven forbid settler thugs in our family!"
At the other end of the spectrum, there's the Hareidi battle for the sanctity of Shabbat, from a YWN article which was the original inspiration for this piece:
Another Front in Ongoing Battles Over Shabbos Yerushalayim?
Sadly, it appears that there may be another escalation in the battle against shmiras shabbos by chiloni anti-shabbos elements in Yerushalayim.
As is the weekly custom, chareidim already adorned in their shabbos clothing and shtreimals visit “The Shuk”, Machane Yehuda, shortly before shabbos, blowing a shofar and announcing the imminent arrival of the holy day, seeking to increase shopper awareness that shabbos is rapidly approaching and shoppers and vendors alike should head home.
This erev shabbos, the scene was quite disturbing, as a small group of secularists came, some wearing multi-colored Purim wigs, armed with flutes, whistles and anything that can produce sound, following the shabbos-announcers and seeking to interfere with their message, openly ridiculing them for their efforts, and most disturbing, mocking the arrival of the holy day.
So, as you can clearly see, the geulah process is chugging right along, everyday a little more and a little more, until one day, it will have arrived in its full force. Another good question is --- will we be happy with the new reality or will we long for "the old days." A question each one must ask of himself.
But I don't recommend it. What I do recommend are the Talkbacks. They are often more interesting than the articles and a whole lot smarter. Take this one for example---
Title: What the holiness of Jerusalem really means
by Chaia from Jerusalem
What the writer (and Haaretz) does not grasp, is the `energetic charge` of Jerusalem. Jerusalem isn`t called `holy` for no reason. There is an enormous outpouring of raw divine energy here, that is why it was called `the navel` of the world. This energy has to be channeled properly, in order to be beneficial to humanity. That is why the Temple was built, with very precise measurements, in order to contain this energy. The destruction of the Second Temple was like a melt-down on the scale of Chernobyl, energetically speaking. This energy needs to be contained again - which is what all orthodox people are trying to do with prayer and keeping mitzwot, greatly helped by a small number of tzaddikim (also female ones!) This raw divine energy is the reason both Jews and Moslims desire to live here, but the energy is dangerous if not contained properly. That is why the Turks and the British and any foreign occupiers did not manage to maintain their presence here!
...It was at the seudas mitzvah following the [Hachnasat Torah] procession that the assemblage heard a most poignant thought from the revered mashgiach, Rav Matisyahu Salomon. The mashgiach opened his address by publicly thanking HaKadosh Baruch Hu for the extraordinary progress that his rebbetzin has made since she sustained a heart attack this past summer. "I am in a situation of hodaah," he said, "and I wish to share something personal with you."
"One evening, when my rebbetzin was in the hospital, I dozed off as I sat by her bedside. I am not one who dreams, or remembers dreams, but I had the most vivid vision of the great rosh yeshivah, Rav Aharon Kotler. He looked exactly as he did when I saw him as a bochur in Gateshead, burning with fire and intensity."
...The mashgiach choked back a sob as he continued. "He looked right at me, and pointed his finger towards me. 'You...if you accept upon yourself to remain in Lakewood as mashgiach until Mashiach's arrival, then your rebbetzin will be cured and together with her, you will welcome Mashiach.'"
And the mashgiach turned to the awestruck audience. "Rabosai! he said until Mashiach comes! And I am not a young man anymore! Let's be prepared...."
The rabbi was walking home, when a car stopped beside him. The driver was Yankel, the town’s most infamous criminal, and he offered the rabbi a ride home.
While on the way, the rabbi saw his opportunity to try and enlighten Yankel to the idea of doing tshuva. The rabbi turned to Yankel and said," Yankel where is your Olam Hazeh (the pleasures of this world)? Yankel was taken aback and replied, "Rabbi, Olam Haze? Take a look at my beautiful home on Ocean Parkway. My country home in the Catskills with the olympic size pool and two tennis courts. My three cars, including this Porsche racing car. The yacht moored in the marina on Long Island. What do you mean where is my olam hazeh?
The rabbi, with tears in his eyes, turned to Yankel and said, "Yankel, your house, your car, your yacht - these things are not your Olam Hazeh - you are consuming your Olam Haba".
You can read about it here.
And if you can stomach it, you can see another video here and view the proud evangelical Xians of Westboro Baptist Church. (WARNING! Don't let it go past about halfway through, the images are defiling.)
The Maccabees and the Hellenists
Hanukkah as Jewish civil war
By James Ponet
...Read in its historical context, however, the Hanukkah story is really about a revolt against the Hellenized Jews who had fallen madly in love with the sophisticated, globalizing superculture of their day. The Apocrypha's texts make it clear that the battle against Hellenization was in fact a kulturkampf among the Jews themselves. Here is how the first Book of the Maccabees describes Jerusalem on the eve of civil war and revolt in the time of Antiochus (translation by Nicholas de Lange):
At that time there were some evil-doers in Israel who tried to win popularity for a policy of integration with the surrounding nations. It was because the Jews had kept themselves aloof for so long, they claimed, that so many hardships had befallen them. They acquired a following and applied to Antiochus, who authorized them to introduce the Greek way of life. They built a Greek gymnasium in Jerusalem and even had themselves uncircumcised.
Uncircumcision as the price of admission to the Jerusalem gym! When they were eight days old, the "sign of the covenant" had been carved in their flesh; now as young men, these Jews risked health and sacrificed sexual pleasure to "become one flesh" with the regnant beauty culture. In Judea, then, there were Jews choosing to die rather than publicly profane Jewish law—and there were Jews risking death to free themselves from the parochial constraints of that law. The historic Jewish passion to merge and disappear confronted the attested Jewish will to stand apart and persist.
That's the clash of Hanukkah. Armed Hasmonean priests and their comrades from the rural town of Modi'in attacked urban Jews, priests and laity alike, who supported Greek reform, like the gymnasium and new rules for governing commerce. The Hasmoneans imposed, at sword's edge, traditional observance. After years of protracted warfare, the priests established a Hasmonean state that never ceased fighting Jews who disagreed with its rule....
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
European Union foreign ministers are expected to officially call next week for the division of Jerusalem, to serve as the capitals of both Israel and Palestine. A draft document authored by the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, Sweden, and implying that the EU would recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, has been obtained by Haaretz.
Jerusalem is waging a diplomatic campaign to keep the EU from issuing such an endorsement, but diplomats close to the EU deliberations believe it is virtually inevitable.
EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on December 7 for a two-day meeting in Brussels on the peace process, after which a statement outlining the body's Mideast policy is expected.
It goes on from there. G-d forbid, we're gonna wake up one morning and there will be EU security checkpoints to pass before approaching the Kotel. And G-d forbid, if they deem it a provocation to the Arabs, they'll just turn us away. It's time to think about what you'll do if it comes to that.