19 August 2018

The Chagim: A Light in the Darkness

8 Elul 5778

From the Introduction to the book The Spirit of the Seasons, Insights into the Yomim Tovim by Jonathan Shooter...
The man stumbled through the forest in the pouring rain. Thick darkness enveloped him. He had a torch, but the rain had extinguished it long ago. The noise of the howling wolves petrified him. The crackling of the branches snapping underfoot frightened him. Soaking wet, he continued. Was he getting deeper in the forest, or was he on the way out of it? Would he even make it to daybreak, who knows what was lurking in the trees. Suddenly, through the puddles he noticed that he was on a pathway, which led to a crossroads. But which of the four directions was the right way to go? Then he stumbled upon a signpost pointing to all four directions, it would surely point him in the right way. The pitch black of the night however rendered the sign useless. He couldn't remain still for long, the driving rain was chilling him to the bone. He didn't want to carry on as he might get deeper and deeper into the thick forest. What was he to do? And then it happened. A bolt of lightning struck and lit up the night sky. He read the signpost and with renewed knowledge that he was on the right path, he continued on his way.

Throughout the year we are at a crossroads in the darkness looking for guidance as to the way to conduct our lives. A thick spiritual darkness covers the world preventing us from seeing clearly. Then we experience the festivals which show us the way. Their messages give us guidance and even when they have passed, we are spiritually uplifted and sure of the way to continue....
Shavua tov!

16 August 2018

"Time to Eradicate the Arrogance"

6 Elul 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Shoftim

Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky

Parashat Shoftim: Elul - Time to Eradicate the Arrogance



~ Shabbat Shalom ~

A Fight to the Death

5 Elul 5778

The Americans don't plan on giving up. What will Hashem have to do to them to stop their meddling?

The Three Wannabe Peacemakers receiving award from Master Missionary Mike Evans


'NO ONE WILL BE FULLY PLEASED' WITH TRUMP PEACE PLAN, OFFICIALS SAY
WASHINGTON -- Senior Trump administration officials working on a proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace issued a joint statement on their work on Wednesday, cautioning a world eagerly awaiting their plan that "no one will be fully pleased" with its contents.
The statement was issued amid intensive discussions within the administration over when to release the plan to the public.
"No one will be fully pleased with our proposal, but that's the way it must be if real peace is to be achieved. Peace can only succeed if it is based on realities," said the team, comprised of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser; Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations; David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel; and Nikki Haley, his envoy to the United Nations.

This initiative is doomed from the start. There will never be peace between the Jews and Arabs here because neither one can compromise on the issue of who has the rights to this Land. It is a fight to the death. It's either Us or Them. 

15 August 2018

Basic Concepts: "Life and Death"

4 Elul 5778

[How appropriate that we should arrive at this subject in the month of Elul.]

Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Eleven: "Life and Death," pp. 231 - 232...

Life was not meant for tranquility, rest or relaxation. Our sages said of Jacob (Bereishit Rabbah 84:3):

     When the righteous dwell in tranquility and seek to continue doing so here on earth, Satan comes and accuses them: "Is it not enough for them that their future reward is assured, but they seek tranquility here on earth as well?" Be aware that this really occurs. Because Jacob sought tranquility, he was punished with Joseph's disappearance. It says, "Jacob dwelled" (Gen. 37:1), and "I was not at ease, neither was I quiet, neither had I rest, but trouble came" (Job 3:26). "I was not at ease" because of Esau. "Neither was I quiet" because of Laban. "Neither had I rest" because of Dinah. "But trouble came": Joseph befell me.

Life was meant not for tranquility or for our own pleasure, but for difficult and even dangerous missions through which man can ascend spiritually and suppress his evil impulse and ego. He can accept upon himself the heavy yoke of G-d and mitzvot and emulate his Creator until he ascends just short of the angels, and in fact, surpasses them because he conquers his evil impulse. Life on this earth is short and limited. It is a narrow vestibule leading to a heavenly banquet hall. "The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength, eighty, yet their pride is but trouble and wretchedness. It is soon cut off and we fly away" (Ps. 90:10).

A Jew's duty, during this short period, is to live, and there is no life but that of Torah. As we recite each evening in Ma'ariv, "[Torah] is our life and the length of our days."

The day of death is the end of life, the end of man's time to do mitzvot, serve G-d and praise Him. On that day, he ceases his role, and the opportunity to be spiritually elevated, to serve G-d and praise Him comes to an end....

14 August 2018

12 August 2018

Kinyan Eretz Yisrael - A Unique Opportunity

1 Elul 5778
Rosh Chodesh II

Guest post by Chaim...



The Land of Israel is now in your hands

Rabbi Akiva said: “Ma'aseros help one to become wealthy.” (Avos 3:17)

Have you ever thought about doing all Mitzvot related to the Land of Israel?

This idea seems very remote to many people, but nowadays it’s a much closer concept than you imagine. Why?

As it turns out, today you don’t need to be a farmer to perform these Mitzvot.

Kinyan Eretz Yisrael is a non-profit organization that does just that: it allows Jews to own plots of Land and acts as their shluchim (agents) in performing all their 28 Mitzvot.

Have you ever heard of such a possibility?

Created by a team of halachic experts, including the founder, HaRav Meir Leibowitz, and HaRav Shaul Reichenberg, Kinyan Eretz Israel has 12 years of field work with farmers, mediating sales of land. Each sale consists of 4-amot, in which all agricultural work is taken care of by the farmers, while the Mitzvot are done by the Rabbis. The entire transaction is 100% in compliance with halacha.

But this should come as no surprise, seeing that Kinyan Eretz Israel has received haskamot from Gedolei Israel, including HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv ZT"L, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT"L, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlita, HaRav Yehuda Ades Shlita, the Admor of Belz Shlita and many others.

How to acquire your Mitzvot

Rav Avdimi the son of Rav Yosef said: “From here you learn that whoever properly gives to the poor leket, shikechah and pe'ah is considered as if he built the Holy Temple and brought sacrifices there (see Rashi, Vayikra 23:22).

Those who are interested in being a part of this holy project can go to Kinyan Eretz Israel’s website and choose between grapes (tirosh) or grain (dagan), whether for 1 year or 3 years. After the secure transaction is finalized, you will literally (and halachically) own a piece of the Land which will be identified with your name and a registry number.

This is an incredible opportunity for the Jewish People, as it opened the doors to no less than 28 Mitzvot related to the Land of Israel that were exclusive to farmers. Now, anyone can have a shaliach from Kinyan Eretz Israel do the Mitzvot on their behalf, from the comfort of their homes! 

Alternatively, they can also go to the farm and to the Mitzvot themselves with their own produce (provided they notify beforehand).

It’s worth noting that this initiative is not new. The Vilna Gaon himself seems to have thought of such an idea, as is evident from letters he exchanged with his disciples who settled in the Land of Israel. The last years of the life of the Gaon were dedicated almost solely to bringing the redemption and, in his great love for Eretz Israel, he ventured to travel there. Unfortunately, as we know, he was not granted permission min hashamayim. The time was not ripe.

Nevertheless, according to the Ramban on Bamidbar 33:53, settling and possessing the land is a Positive Commandment. We also find in Rambam’s Sefer Hamitzvot (Addendum to Positive Commandments 4) that:

“The fourth Mitzvah which was commanded to the Jewish people was to inherit the Land… and not to leave it in the hands of one of the other nations or desolate… and this commandment in one which applies at all times.”

Besides doing the Agricultural Mitzvot of the Land of Israel, it’s evident that, in purchasing even a small plot of Land one also fulfills the above commandment to possess it.

While inheriting our full portion of Eretz Israel might need to wait until the coming of Mashiach, may we all be zoche now to purchase our own plots of Land and be found tzaddikim in the eyes of Hashem.

“From here we learn that whoever purchases four amos in Eretz Yisroel is guaranteed a portion in the World to Come." (Midrash Zuta, Koheles 7)

FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO SIGN UP, SEE HERE.

11 August 2018

It's Time for Iran to "Put Up or Shut Up"

1 Elul 5778
Rosh Chodesh Bet
Shavua tov! Chodesh tov!

For the first time ever, the world is ripe for the fulfillment of this medrash...
...Rabbi Yitzchok said: The year that Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed, all the kings [leaders] of the nations will be struggling against each other. The leader of Persia [Iran] will contest with the leader of Arabia [Saudi], and the leader of Arabia will go to Rome [the leading modern-day Western superpower] to get counsel from them. The leader of Persia will respond and act to destroy the entire world. All the nations of the world will be trembling and shaking and falling on their faces. They will be seized by labor-like pains.
The Jewish people will be trembling and quaking and saying: “Where can we go? Where can we go?” And [Hashem] will say to them: My children do not fear! Everything I did, I did only for you! Why are you frightened? Don’t be afraid-— the days of your redemption has arrived!”     (Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshaya, 499)
Only now have the conditions been met to effect the fulfillment of this medrash.
  • Iran's back is up against the wall: 1) its citizenry is being incited to revolt against the Islamic ruling regime, and 2) renewed US sanctions are crashing its economy.

Facing the dual threat of an American economic war and public protests, the ruling elites in Tehran are at each other’s throats. This is hardly surprising considering all that’s at stake: the survival of President Hassan Rohani’s technocratic government in the short term and succession after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the longer term.    (Source)
  • It's "put up or shut up" time for Iran. If they lose their credibility, the regime is finished.
...Washington said the imposition of new sanctions is in part due to Iran's continued programme of manufacturing and testing ballistic missiles.
Sunday's actions by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was thought to be the first time in a year that Iran has test-fired a ballistic missile.
The US was concerned by the drills, which were said to simulate the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping channel for oil.
Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the straits to shipping due to the new US sanctions, something that would likely trigger a war with Washington and Tehran's Arab neighbours if this happened.     (Source)
When reading that medrash, did you ever wonder how Iran could possibly respond in a way which would "destroy the whole world"? Well, this is how and the global economic situation only became ripe for this kind of collapse now...



The West worships the Almighty Dollar. This idol must fall. How ironic if its demise should be brought about, not by another secular democratic power, but by the actions of an Islamic regime that rules by religious law.


10 August 2018

"Are We Obligated to Love Every Jew?"

29 Menachem Av
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Erev Rosh Chodesh Alef
Parashat Re'eh

This video came out yesterday and is very timely to coincide with yesterday's post...



~ SHABBAT SHALOM, CHODESH TOV ~

09 August 2018

Basic Concepts: "Love and Respect for One's Fellow Jew"

28 Menachem Av 5778
Yom Kippur Katan

[This excerpt is long, but it is a very important concept to understand, especially since it has been so misunderstood by so many for so long. Therefore, my plan is not to post anything that supercedes it until the first of the new week (and new month). So, please, accept my sincerest wishes now for a peaceful Shabbat and a good new month.]


Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Ten: "Love and Respect for One's Fellow Jew," pp.222-226...

G-d made us swear a great oath to love and respect our fellow Jew like ourselves, as it says. "Love your neighbor as yourself, I am the L-rd" (Lev. 19:18). Commenting on this command, R. Shimon ben Elazar said (Avot DeRabbi Natan 16:5):

     "This involves a great oath. G-d said, "I am the L-rd Who created him. If you love him, I am sure to reward you handsomely. Otherwise, I am a judge to punish you."

Nonetheless, although we must love every Jew, this does not apply to one who has brazenly rebelled against the Torah. First we find (Torat Kohanim, Kedoshim 8:4):

     "The stranger who sojourns with you shall be unto you like the native among you. You shall love him as yourself" (Lev. 19:34): Israel were told to love as themselves not only the native-born Jew [in v. 18], but the convert as well [in v. 34].

Here we have explicit proof that "Love your neighbor as yourself" applies only to love of Jews. Likewise, Avot DeRabbi Natan teaches (Ibid.):

     To what extent is hatred forbidden? One should not say "Love scholars but hate students, love students but hate ignoramuses." One must love everyone, hating only heretics, inciters to heresy, and informers. As King David said (Ps. 139:21-22), "O L-rd, do I not hate those who hate You? Do I not strive with those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred. I count them among my enemies."

     Does it not say, "Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the L-rd" [i.e., how can one hate these when it says we must love our neighbor]? The answer is that G-d said, "I am the L-rd Who created him." If he conducts himself in the way required of our people, you must love him. Otherwise you must not.

Our sages further said (Sifri, Re'eh 89):

     "If your brother incites you.... Do not accept him or listen to him. Have no pity on him.... You shall surely kill him" (Deut. 13:7,9-10): Since it says, "Love your neighbor as yourself," I might think one should love this person, too. It therefore says, "Do not accept him."

Even if the inciter's life is in danger, one is forbidden to save him, as Sifri teaches (Ibid.):

     Since it says, "Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" (Lev. 19:16), I might think one is forbidden to stand by when [the inciter's] life is in danger. It therefore says (Deut. 13:9), "Have no pity on him."

Likewise, R. Nachman bar Yitzchak said that it is "permissible to hate" the insolent (Ta'anit 7b), and Rashi commented, "Even though it says, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Rambam writes (Hilchot De'ot 6:3):

     It is a mitzvah for every Jew to love every other Jew like his own self.... Therefore a person must praise his fellow Jew and be careful with his property the same way he is careful with his own property and desires to be treated respectfully. Whoever seeks honor through his neighbor's shame has no portion in the World-to-Come.

Sefer HaChinuch writes (Mitzvah 243 [219]), "It is a mitzvah to love every Jew deeply," and Hagahot Maimoniyot (Rambam Ibid., letter 1) teaches:

    We specifically must love the Jew who shares our commitment to Torah and mitzvot. As for the evildoer who does not accept rebuke, it is a mitzvah to hate him: It says, "Fearing the L-rd means hating evil" (Prov. 8:13); and, "O L-rd, do I not hate those who hate You?" (Ps. 139:21)

[See Pesachim 113b]

The respect one is obligated to give his worthy fellow Jew likewise stems from the mitzvah of loving him. Our sages said (Eliyahu Rabbah 28):

     So said G-d to Israel: "My children! Have I failed to give you anything? What do I ask of you? Only that you love, respect and revere one another, and that you avoid all sin, theft and unseemly behavior."

Our sages also said (Avot 2:10), "Let your friend's honor be as dear to you as your own." Clearly, this is part of "loving your neighbor as yourself" (as is also clear from Rambam quoted above).

We also learn (Bereishit Rabbah 24:7):

     Ben Azzai said, "'This is the book of the generations of Adam [In the image of G-d He made him]' (Gen 5:1) is a major principle of the Torah." R. Akiva said, " 'Love your neighbor as yourself' is a major principle of the Torah. Do not say, 'Since I was ridiculed or cursed, let my neighbor suffer the same.'"

     R. Tanchuma said, "If you do speak that way, be aware that you are ridiculing one made 'in G-d's image' (Gen. 5:1)."

The Jerusalem Talmud (Nedarim 9:4) has the following version:

     R. Akiva said, "'Love your neighbor as yourself' is a major Torah principle." Ben Azzai said, "'This is the book of the generations of Adam' is even more major."

(The same appears in Torat Kohanim, Kedoshim, Ch. 4)

Clearly, the Jerusalem Talmud's point is not, as the distorters would have it, that the mitzvah of loving everyone, including the gentile, is greater than that of just loving one's fellow Jew. Were this the case, how could Ramban and Sefer HaChinuch have restricted "Love your neighbor" to love of our fellow Jew?

Rather the source means as follows: There are two reasons why G-d commanded every Jew to love and respect his fellow Jew. The first is that every Jew was created in G-d's image, hence if a person hates or ridicules his fellow Jew, it is as though he hates or ridicules G-d. R. Yehoshua ben Levi said (Devarim Rabbah 4:4):

     A contingent of angels walks before a person and criers proclaim, "Make way for the image of G-d! Observe how many guards guard over you! When? When you guard over the Torah."

The second reason is that all Israel constitute one lofty portion chosen from mankind to be G-d's unique and holy nation. Being this way, they were marked by G-d for special affection. They alone are called "adam," because they took the place of Adam, the first man, as standard-bearers of G-d's mission here on earth. Since all Israel constitute "adam," and were created in G-d's image and chosen to be His firstborn, it is a special mitzvah to love every Jew, assuming he shares our commitment to mitzvot and to serving G-d.

Surely man's having been created in G-d's image is the most important factor here. Whoever was created in the image of the King bears on his person the glory of the King Himself. Whoever ridicules him is ridiculing G-d, as it were, and who would dare to do such a thing? Nonetheless, there is no need here for a positive act of love and respect. All that is required is a prohibition against degrading, cursing or otherwise harming anyone created in G-d's image, as long as he has not become an enemy of G-d.

Nonetheless, from the moment Israel was born as G-d's holy elect, the mitzvah of loving and respecting every single Jew was born as well. Every Jew, besides having been created in G-d's image, was also chosen to be part of G-d's special people.

It follows that there are three types of human beings, and each must be related to differently.

The first is the Jew who shares our commitment to mitzvot. It is he we are required to love and respect via G-d's command to "love your neighbor."

The second is the non-Jew who was created in G-d's image, yet who is not dear and special to G-d and not classed as "adam." After all, Adam's mission in the world passed on to Israel. Although we are forbidden to hate or denigrate such a non-Jew as long as he does not become an enemy of G-d and as long as he keeps the seven Noahide laws, there is no mitzvah to love and respect him.

The third is the person, even a Jew, who becomes an enemy of the Jewish People. It is permissible, and even a mitzvah, to hate and degrade him.

All the same, as long as a Jew remains on good terms with G-d, His mitzvot and His teachings, it is a supreme mitzvah to love and respect him with all our heart and to make great sacrifices for his sake in order to save him and help him....

08 August 2018

Basic Concepts: "...Contentment With One's Portion"

27 Menachem Av 5778

Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Nine: "Wealth and Contentment With One's Portion," pp.190, 196...

Whoever rids himself of covetousness and lust can be assured that he will also be rid of the unsavory acts resulting from these unsavory attributes. A person who does not desire or covet, will not be caught by the long arm of the evil impulse. He will not be taken captive by his own selfishness, engrossed at all hours in thoughts of how to become rich, how to derive pleasure, how to receive and take and acquire. Ultimately, he will achieve the tranquility of one who is content with his portion.

No trait assures tranquility more than contentment with one's portion, and it is worthwhile to pray for this, as did Kong Solomon: "Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me my allotted bread. Lest I be full, and deny, and say, 'Who is the L-rd?' Or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my G-d" (Prov. 30:8-9); and, "Weary not yourself to be rich. Cease your own devices. You set your eyes on it and it is gone" (Ibid., 23:4-5).

The wealth a person toils so hard to attain, fretting and scurrying and losing sleep over it, passes in a flash. What is life on this earth if not the blink of an eye? Ultimately, rich and poor meet the same fate.

...Lust and jealousy magnify man's selfishness and ego. If these traits take control, a person can ultimately begin to destroy the world through theft and murder. Such a person becomes so egocentric that he views his fellow man's person and property as worthless. Anyone obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure, honor, and wealth destroys the world by destroying its whole purpose - submission to G-d, acceptance of His yoke, and suppression of the evil impulse.
The fact that so many "religious" people, both Jews and Gentiles, admire the current President of the United States who, more than anyone else I can think of, embodies these bad traits, is an indicator of how spiritually impoverished this generation has become and how much we've failed to internalize these truths.

06 August 2018

"The Almighty Dollar"

26 Menachem Av 5778

Financial incentives and economic sanctions are the American "CEO's" weapon of choice...
Trump administration releases millions in frozen aid to PA security forces

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration recently released millions of dollars of frozen aid money to the Palestinian Authority, but only for Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation,....

Trump reimposes Iran sanctions, says goal is ‘maximum pressure’

WASHINGTON — US Donald Trump has signed an executive order to restore nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, increasing economic pressure on Tehran and renewing his criticism of what he called a “horrible, one-sided” nuclear deal, the White House announced Monday.

The sanctions, which will go into effect at midnight, target the use of dollars in Iran, the automotive sector and trade in gold and precious metals. A second round of more comprehensive sanctions will go into effect on November 5.

Trump said US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country, while hoping for new negotiations between Iran and the United States that would result in another, more wide-ranging, accord.
Don't think for a moment that he would hesitate to use the same tactics with Israel should he decide it is in "America's interest," like if we balk in any way at any point in making the "Deal of the Century"...
White House Mideast team staffing up for peace plan rollout

WASHINGTON - US officials say the Trump administration is staffing up a Middle East policy team at the White House in anticipation of unveiling its long awaited but largely mysterious Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
But, I promise you, this power is weakening and soon this weapon will be removed from their arsenal.

05 August 2018

04 August 2018

Another Kind of To'eivah in the Streets of Jerusalem

24 Menachem Av 5778
Shavua tov!

This is why Israel needs stronger anti-missionary laws...




And this is why it will never happen under the current leadership...



That missionary video was from two months ago. The one with Pence was last week. The US does not believe the official charge of spying. They believe Brunson was arrested for missionary activity in Turkey. That's why there is so much mention of religious freedom.

The same, or worse, treatment would be in store for Israel if we ever tried to really outlaw what is more like missionary harassment rather than just proselytizing. They try to force it on Jews who just want to be left alone in their own home. If a Jew can't be free from Christian supercessionism in the Jewish State, where can they?

In addition to disturbing the public peace and refusing to obey the orders of law enforcement, these missionaries filmed innocent bystanders without their permission and have now held them up to international ridicule and made them the object of obscene comments on Youtube.

Ad matai, Hashem!?

03 August 2018

Forty Years in the Wilderness - A Time of Testing

22 Menachem Av 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Eikev

Moshe Rabeinu continues to speak to Am Yisrael, 3290 years down the road...
The entire commandment that I command you today you shall observe to perform, so that you may live and increase, and come and possess the Land that Hashem swore to your forefathers. You shall remember the entire road on which Hashem, your God, led you these forty years in the Wilderness so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not. He afflicted you and let you hunger, then He fed you the manna that you did not know, nor did your forefathers know, in order to make you know that not by bread alone does man live, rather by everything that emanates from the mouth of God does man live.  (Devarim 8.1-3)
He might just as well say to us today, "Your God has been leading you these 70 years of the State of Israel 'so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not.' "

We have been through a time of testing and it's not over yet, but I am very heartened by the recent response. I think Moshe Rabeinu would have been pleased. Today as well, we are afflicted with hunger - a hunger for real Torah leadership and a hunger for a life of authentic Judaism in a society and a culture stamped kosher by Hashem

But, here is the promise. We need only recognize the hunger and know to Whom to turn to be fed and we will have our hunger satisfied in a way that we could not possibly have anticipated or imagined. Who in the desert could have conceived of manna falling from the sky?

As the haftarah for Eikev recounts...
And Zion said, "Hashem has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." [And Hashem answered], Can a woman forget her nursing infant, withdraw from feeling compassion for the child of her womb? Even if she could, still I will not forget you....
Your children shall hasten to repent, [every real Jew will repent and be saved] but your spoilers [Erev Rav] and your destroyers [Eisav and Yishmael] must depart from you.
HKB"H has not forgotten us, He wants to be with us even more than we desire to be with Him. What we are experiencing now is the prelude to the best of times, the clarification which proves which group each person belongs with when the righteous are separated out for redemption.


 GOOD JOB THIS WEEK!  

~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

02 August 2018

WE ARE NOT AMERICA!

22 Menachem Av 5778

America's biggest problem is that it wants to force everyone else to be American, too. Unfortunately, American Jews are mostly more American than Jews.
US Jewish federations slam nation state law as ‘a step back for all minorities’
In unusual rebuke, umbrella Jewish organization urges government to address 'very real' concerns of Druze community

...“Jewish Federations stand shoulder to shoulder with the Druze community and urge Israeli legislators to work with the community as soon as possible to address their very real concerns,” it said.
And speaking of the Druze, a lot of Jews are in for a very rude awakening as to the true nature of this decades-long relationship.
Druze leader accuses Netanyahu of leading Israel to an ‘apartheid state’
Netanyahu cuts meeting with community leaders short after accusations; Druze activist calls author of legislation a 'Nazi'

"WE PROTEST"

21 Menachem Av 5778

[NOTE: Updates in the comment section throughout the day as needed.]


WE PROTEST

We, the undersigned Jewish bloggers, hereby protest – in the strongest terms possible – the parading and glorification of an “alternative lifestyle”, one that is classified in the Holy Torah as an abomination, especially through the streets of the holy city of Jerusalem. 

The Torah demands that we live by a certain code of sexual morality, and as such, we are forbidden from certain relationships that a moral society cannot tolerate.  These include incest, adultery, bestiality, and homosexuality.  All these are considered grave sins in Judaism and incur the punishment of Karet, or excision from the Jewish people.  An act performed with witnesses during the time of the Sanhedrin would incur an even worse consequence – namely, capital punishment. 

And this is only on an individual level.  When the sin is committed on a societal level, it is much worse.  The Torah and our sages record how these acts were catalysts for both the Great Flood during Noah’s lifetime and the destruction of the Five Cities of the Plain.

As such, we consider any attempt to glorify acts that the Torah vehemently forbids by parading any such lifestyle through the streets with horror and utter disdain.  Such parades in New York and San Francisco would be bad enough, but through the streets of the Holy Land of Israel is a thousand-fold worse.  The Torah specifically warns us not to act in sexually abominable ways lest we be vomited out of the land.  One can only imagine how it is viewed in Heaven when people brazenly display to G-d how abominable one can be.  And if the Land of Israel cannot tolerate such acts of utter gall, all the more so in the holy city of Jerusalem, a city that is overwhelmingly religious. 

We in no way wish to minimize the struggles in temptation some may have in this area and view with positivity those who have such inclinations and bravely overcome them.  But those are not the people irreverently parading through the streets with rainbow flags, who show utter contempt for the Holy Torah and all we hold dear.

We therefore vehemently protest the “Pride” Parade in Jerusalem and everywhere else in the world where they may occur.  We hope and pray that those who take part in such parades do a complete Teshuva for their actions, and may we see a rebuilt Jerusalem, speedily in our days, Amen.

Signed,
(in alphabetical order)

CDG from Hava HaAharona

Cosmic X from Cosmic X in Jerusalem

Dassie from Myrtle Rising

Devash from Tomer Devorah

Dov Bar Leib from End of Days

DS from Israel Truth Times

Goldie ZP from Geula613

Rabbi Lazer Brody from Lazer Beams

Yaak from Yeranen Yaakov

Yechezkel Hirshman from Achas L'Maala V'Sheva L'Matta

Requested to be added: Yehudi Yerushalmi, Orna Nitzevet, Jerusalem Cats, Realidad Tora

01 August 2018

Final Details for Thursday

20 Menachem Av 5778

I understand that not everyone can make it to one of the protest points for various reasons. But for those who can and will, know that those who can't are with you and praying for you. For those who simply can't, for whatever reason, please say Tehillim between 5 pm and 6 pm or 6 pm to 7 pm, whichever period you can cover, for the sake of those who are out there in the vicinity for the sake of Hashem's Name and His Holy City. 

I'll be so glad when we can move on to speak of better things...
Traffic Closures For The Pride March Thursday

The annual pride march takes place in Jerusalem this Thursday. The following streets will be closed from 3PM: Keren Hayesod - Plumer St., King George St., Hillel St., Menashe Ben Israel Street.

Streets leading to those streets will also be closed, include Agron Street, Hillel, King George from Keren HaYessod to Be'eri, Elhanan, Shalom Aleichem, Mapu, Ahad Ha'am, Gaza (Arlazarov to Paris Square), Avida, KKL, and Histadrut.

Parking and entrance for disabled marchers- the southern parking area of Liberty Bell Park- entrance from Bethlehem Road.

The roads will open according to the progress of the marchers.

In view of the expected crowds, drivers are asked to be patient and listen to the instructions of police officers, and follow media updates. Waze will also have updates.

For questions, you can contact the police at 110.

Marchers will gather in Liberty Bell Park from 3:45PM. At 5:30PM the march will begin, going from Liberty Bell park - Keren Hayesod - King George Street - Hillel Street - Menashe Ben Israel Street - Independence Park. At 8PM, there will be a concert at Gan Ha'atzmaut with Dana International, Ninet and Miri Mesika.

31 July 2018

Language Hijackers

20 Menachem Av 5778

Common, ordinary language which has served us all our lives until now, has been hijacked as a tool for reinventing the world order. Everything is being redefined without any connection to reality. We are now forbidden to use pronouns. A "family" can be any group combination that wants to define itself as such and can even consist of people who bear no blood relation to each other at all in today's world. We used to know what it meant if someone called themselves religious or Orthodox. How can we hope to accomplish anything through public discourse if the language is so fluid? What it means today may not be what it means tomorrow.

Ordained Orthodox woman to open synagogue in Philadelphia


30 July 2018

THE GAME PLAN

19 Menachem Av 5778

So, at the moment, there are two opportunities on offer for the good Jewish citizens of Israel to make their opposition to the public desecration of our Holy City known and witnessed.

1) Join Bentzi Gopshtein and the Lehavah organization's protest at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center near the Liberty Bell Park on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

2) Join Rav Tzvi Tau and the LIBA organization's protest at the Strings Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

NOTE: There will be a place for women at both events.

I hope that each person reading this will take some time to consult with Hashem and work out a schedule of fasting and prayer suitable for them in order to give strength to the side of righteousness and holiness.

And may all the efforts of the righteous sanctify Hashem's Name and serve to uphold His honor as well as that of His Chosen City.

POLICE STEP UP PREPARATIONS FOR JERUSALEM PRIDE PARADE

As rainbow flags go up around the capital ahead of Thursday’s annual gay pride parade, Israel Police has stepped up its security preparations for the event....

...According to the Jerusalem Police spokesperson, Alsheich received an extensive briefing on the “long and thorough work carried out by the Israel Police,” which included, “the deployment of thousands of policemen, both overt and covert, comprehensive intelligence preparation work and the use of intelligence technologies.”

...LGBT organizations announced Monday they were calling off a planned protest, fearing it would detract from the Jerusalem Pride Parade set for later in the week, which they expect to be the largest the city has ever seen in the wake of widespread anger over a law that bars gay men from surrogacy parenthood rights.

...Instead, they would drive a convoy to from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the day of the march, Aguda said, adding that they had police permission to do so.

Last year some 22,000* people took part in the parade according to police estimates, under the watchful eye of 1,000 police.
__________________________________

* Many, if not most, of these are brought in from other places outside the city. And some, if not many, are not even Jews. I once met a young woman pushing a baby in a stroller in the parade who said she was the spouse of a CNN employee in Jerusalem!

American Financial Aid - the Nations' Drug of Choice

18 Menachem Av 5778

While Europe lay in ruins after WWII, America became rich and powerful off the spoils of that war - rebuilding and rearming those nations. She became a superpower and used her riches to enslave smaller and weaker nations. 

Like the local neighborhood drug pusher, the American government 'gave away' money in the beginning (with a few strings attached) and when the nations were 'hooked' on it and could no longer function normally without it, America began to dictate their policies. 

As long as the nations obeyed without question, the supply of 'aid' continued, but if they tried to make any independent decisions or moves based on their own interests, especially if it conflicted with America's interests, either perceived or real, they threatened to pull the 'aid.' 

Few have been able to resist, but some have. You can find them listed on the US State Department's list of "rogue" nations. And despite the fact that many of them (all of them?) are Israel's proclaimed enemies, in no small part due to the perception that Israel is the US mob-government's enforcer in the region, they have to be admired for their courage and self-respect. Israel could learn something from them.

And this is just another reason why America is destined to go broke.

29 July 2018

Rav Tzvi Tau: "Such An Abominable Parade In The Holy City Requires Protest"

18 Menachem Av 5778

For the record, I want to state that my problem is not only with LGBT, but with any public celebration of sin, which is outright rebellion against the Creator. I would have the same problem with it if it were an Adulterers' Pride Parade, which carries the same criminal penalty I might add.

In my ruminations about the best way to make our opposition to the desecration of Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh known, a couple of things occurred to me. 

1. Instead of making it against the LGBT parade, which brings with it accusations of "hate" and "homophobia," neither of which is truly the case, perhaps a better approach would be to make it a demonstration in favor of HKB"H, His Torah and the sanctity of the city. After all, Moshe Rabeinu did not call out, "Whoever is against the Golden Calf, come to me!" He said, "Whoever is FOR Hashem, come to me!"

2. Instead of coming into close proximity to the parade itself, perhaps a better idea would be to pick a more central, easy-to-reach location "at the entrance to the city, on the western dividing line" where our sources tell us the power of the Erev Rav is concentrated. Someplace like the wide plaza under the Strings Bridge. All of our examples instruct us to distance ourselves from the proximity of the sinners, i.e. Korach et al.

Lo and behold, today, I learned that such a demonstration has already been organized by Rav Tzvi Tau.

Following is a rough Google translation of a Srugim article...
Rabbi Tau at the head of the demonstration: "The abomination parade"
Rabbi Tzvi Tau, head of Yeshivat Har Hamor in Jerusalem, takes part in a demonstration against her LGBT platform in Jerusalem: "Such an abominable parade in the holy city requires protest."

A protest rally is taking place this Thursday against the LGBT parade in Jerusalem.

The demonstration, which will take place under the string bridge at the entrance to the city, includes Rabbi Zvi Tau and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner.

Yossi, one of the organizers of the demonstration, told Srugim that "we deliberately asked the police to hold the protest not next to the parade. Because our statement is not on a personal level with regard to those who march in it, and also because we do not want to be a tool for provocations and riots."

He says: "We want to make a healthy voice of naturalness, a healthy voice of Torah that a family is a father and a mother. We believe that the people of Israel are better off, religious and secular, feel offended by their feelings from the march."
[I've emailed them for the times. See the one from last year HERE.]

There will be, iy"h, another more traditional demonstration at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, near the area where the parade usually ends at Liberty Bell Park. If I'm not mistaken, they will be gathering 4:30pm - 5:00pm. Srugim reports...
In anticipation of the parade in Jerusalem, Lehava threatens the police 
"Any arrest, delay or illegal activity against any activist or citizen on his way to a demonstration against the parade will be met with a large and double financial claim"

In anticipation of the LGBT parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, Lahavah announced that it was preparing to protest against the Jerusalem police.

"There is no doubt that following the storm surrounding the surrogacy law, and the other things that are causing the LGBT issues to be frequent recently in the media, this year's parade will be more blatant, more extrovert, with more and more provocative attempts to stick a finger in the eye of the sane majority in Jerusalem, which opposes the marches that are defiant against Judaism and the Jewish holy sites. "

Every cop will be sued with a double claim
The organization is threatening the police: "We are planning to prepare for this year's protest, with the understanding that if we do not do so, no one will do so, and we also send a legal warning to the Israel Police: any arrest, of an activist or citizen who will be on his way to a demonstration against the parade, and as the police have done with bullying since the march in which the late Shira Benki was assassinated, will receive a large and double financial claim: both against the police and against the policemen involved in the same detention."

"I am sorry to see that the ultra-Orthodox public and the national religious public are not joining us in a demonstration against that parade," said Bentzi Gopstein, chairman of the Lahavah organization, "and we can see many condemnations of the LGBT terrorism that are positive, but the real test is in the field. We, in any case, we will be there."
Everyone knows that these demonstrations will not stop the parades, because the current law is on their side. HKB"H only holds us responsible for what we are capable of doing. And vocally and publicly protesting is within our power, so that is the least that we can do. We also know that just like prayer without action in this world accomplishes little, so does action without prayer. In that spirit, I propose that the modest women who wish to protest do what they do best and assail the heights of Heaven with holy prayer and Tehillim while the men take the public stand. [Iy"H, more on this a bit later.]

 A Very Sad Commentary

You should be aware that many religiously-garbed (kippah and kisui rosh) "Orthodox" Jews actually participate in the Jerusalem parade...
...Rabbi Eli Sadan, co-head of the yeshiva at Eli, recently authored a manifesto of sorts titled “A call for direction for Religious Zionists,” in which he acknowledges the ineptness of religious political movements in creating a state in years past and the triumph of secular Zionism.

He concludes that it is time for Religious Zionism to take charge of the country through key positions in the military, state institutions, the judiciary and education.

“We should do today what we didn’t do a hundred years ago,” he writes.

“This is the real solution for the problems of the hour.”

One of the chief “problems” according to Tau’s adherents is homosexuality.

In his manifesto, Tau condemns last year’s gay parade in Jerusalem, which brought together a record number of participants and was overwhelmed by kippa-wearing men and head-covered women.

A running joke during the parade was that it had been turned into a religious party. What perhaps drove so many religious men and women to protest [in favor of] LGBTQ rights in Jerusalem were previous events promoting the parade and gay rights.

Two years ago, a religious extremist stabbed to death 16-year-old Shira Banki during the parade, justifying his deed by his understanding of ultra-Orthodoxy.

A few months before last year’s parade, Sadan’s partner in heading the pre-military academy at Eli, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, was filmed expressing a heavily unfavorable attitude toward gays in a talk later nicknamed by Israeli media as “the perverts speech,” since he defined homosexuality as a perversion.

“For some of the religious participants, myself included,” activist Tehila Friedman told the Post, “joining the parade wasn’t about supporting LGBTQ rights. The event took place a week after an important public figure [Levinstein] held a hateful speech against homosexuals, calling them perverts. I came to the parade to protest against spreading hate in the name of God. I consider such speech blasphemy.” (Source)
I doubt very much that the onlookers could discern that distinction in Ms. Friedman's "protest."

Stay tuned...