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...

LGBT UPDATE: Kedushah Under Siege

17 Menachem Av 5778

Unless HKB"H intervenes, the Jerusalem Pride March will take place, God forbid! in four days time - August 2, 2018. It is being advertised on Secret Tel Aviv's facebook page as an an "all-day" affair, Hashem yerachem!

Earthquake rumblings have not stopped - Fri: 3.7, 2.3; Today: 3.1, 2.5, 2.2, 2.2...
“Particularly in Jerusalem, there’s a big significance to Gay Pride events. Especially if we want an equal and pluralistic city,”... (Source)
RABBIS TAKE A PUBLIC STAND
'Aggressive Terror': Over 200 Israeli Rabbis Slam LGBT Groups as 'Deviants'

More than 200 rabbis, including Orthodox local chief rabbis and yeshiva heads, signed an open letter on Thursday in support of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who had come under fire for his scathing criticism earlier in the week against the practice of same-sex couples raising children. The rabbis blasted organizations fighting for LGBT rights, calling them “deviants” and an abomination, and labeling their conduct “aggressive terrorism.”

...The open letter in support of Stern said he had spoken “bravely and simply about our holy Torah’s eternal truth and of human normality, which the healthy majority in Israel identifies with and is outraged by the provocations of the abomination organizations...even on Tisha B’Av, a national day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, which was destroyed among other things over incest and baseless hatred.”

The open letter states that LGBT groups have engaged in violent behavior and “terror” and that they have silenced and attacked anyone who supports family values. “The aggressive terror accompanied by media brainwashing day and night” was intended to “destroy the institution of the family and turn the deviants into heroes.” This attempt, the statement said, will not succeed, “nor will gagging rabbis and sane people, turning them into crazy radicals.”

Stern had come out in defense of Israel’s children “who will be miserable if they aren’t adopted by normative families,” the statement said, adding that the rabbi had issued a cry on behalf of children “who have no voice, to save them from a miserable life and give them the basic right to live in a natural, normative family so they grow up to become normal, mentally healthy people.”

Uri Keidar, the executive director of Be Free Israel, an organization that promotes pluralism, said in response to the rabbis’ statement: “The rabbis’ letter is a clear call that can only be seen as incitement to attacks on the entire LGBT community. A large part of this group of lunatics’ wages are paid by the state, and Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Shaked’s silence is testimony akin to that of 1,000 witnesses that they have no intention to do anything to stop these people of religion, who have no God.

“Every minute these people are not behind bars is a serious failing on the part of law enforcement authorities. The large number of people who will flood Jerusalem’s streets at the Gay Pride Parade [on August 2] will show all those stuck in the Middle Ages that their time has passed and that their place is in the ashcan of history.”

The Liba organization, which helped to organize the letter, and whose website states in part that it is dedicated to preserving Israel’s Jewish character, said: “It’s not surprising to see the rapid mobilization of more than 200 rabbis to support Rabbi Stern and strengthen the healthy, normal family. Israel’s rabbis reflect the position of the healthy majority in Israel, which loathes this violent, hysterical campaign in recent years, especially in the past week, seeking to destroy the family and continuity of the generations.”
INFO UPDATE
A coalition of LGBT groups, riding the current wave of protests against an amendment to the surrogacy law that discriminates against gay men, on Wednesday announced plans for a march next week to begin in Tel Aviv and end in Jerusalem on the day of the capital’s annual Gay Pride Parade.
THEIR "DEMANDS"
The coalition also demanded that the government outlaw “conversion therapy” for LGBT minors, extend the right to surrogacy services to gay men, and budget at least 50 million shekels ($13.7 million) for the needs of the gay community.

The groups are also demanding harsher punishment for hate crimes against the community, state coverage for the cost of procedures in sexual reassignment surgery not currently covered, and a means of changing one’s gender as cited on Israeli identity cards.

The coalition of groups includes the LGBT Task Force, Israeli Gay Youth, Open House Jerusalem and gay community centers in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva, the Orthodox lesbian association Bat Kol, the gay Orthodox men’s organization Havruta, the transgender association Ma’avarim, the AIDS Task Force and other groups.

...Eran Globus, chairman of Open House Jerusalem said: “The public and the whole economy is with us. We can’t make possible the next murder. We call on the public to join our protest tent opposite the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. Globus was referring to the murder of Shira Banki, 16, during the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem in 2015.

A representative of Ma’avarim added: “We are dealing with an unbearable reality. Thirty percent of us are homeless, 19 percent are working as prostitutes, and 41 percent have tried to commit suicide at least once. (Source)
This already took place, but it's telling...
US ambassador to host surprise LGBT event
David Friedman, who is considered to harbor religious and conservative views, surprises LGBT leaders in Israel with invite to black tie ceremony at his private Herzliya residence to celebrate Pride Parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
...One senior LGBT member commented on the unexpected invitation.
“During Barack Obama’s tenure, Gay Pride events had been conducted but a ceremony which celebrates Pride Marches, and especially the one in Jerusalem, is very good news for us,” he said.
“Hosting an event like this before the Jerusalem Pride March is an important statement ... We thank the ambassador for his openness and willingness,” concluded the senior member.
Davka they want to conquer Jerusalem!!

26 July 2018

"The Three Abrahamic Monotheistic Faiths"

14 Menachem Av 5778

Yes, that's what the interfaith interlocutors repeat like a mantra. All of them, Jews, Christians and Muslims lay claim to the heritage of Avraham Avinu. But only Bnei Yisrael are the rightful inheritors of Avraham Avinu's mission, destiny and promises through Yitzchak Avinu and Ya'aqov Avinu.

The children of the Divinely spurned Yishmael and Eisav brazenly come and take a seat at the head of the table, self-assuredly and self-righteously proclaiming that "all mankind" are equal, all are the same. But, secretly, in their heart of hearts, they believe in their own superiority. They have an additional revelation of God's will from their prophet/messiah. 

Not only is their "faith" not "Abrahamic," it's also not monotheistic. 

You might be familiar with the Christian "Trinity" - the three gods in one - but, did you know that they ascribe god-like power also to the Satan? Did you know that according to Christian belief, the Satan is fighting a war against God and sometimes he wins!??

It would appear to be true that the Muslims believe in only one god, but what good is that when the "one" they worship is the wrong one? Their god is recorded as doing and saying and commanding things that HKB"H never did or ever would.

These people, like their forebears, have abandoned the path Avraham Avinu trod - the path that ends (and begins) at Har Sinai. With such people, the true Bnei Avraham have nothing to talk about.

Shifting gears here, although the passage of the Nation-State law by the Knesset changed nothing in reality currently, and might even have the potential to make things worse for us in the future, it did provide a very interesting test for the non-Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

For all my time here, I've only ever heard from religious Jews that the Druze are gerei toshav. They are gentiles that are allowed to live in Eretz Yisrael because they are monotheistic and loyal to the State and serve in the army. 

While I would debate the issue of their religion from the standpoint that they have still created something apart from the Noahide laws, they did exhibit a most unfortunate reaction to the passage of the aforementioned Nation-State law.
...The Nationality Law has one more dubious achievement: it undermines the very important relationship between the Jewish majority and the Druze in Israel. Brig. Gen. (res.) Amal Asad sent a letter to the prime minister four years ago, stressing that the legislation offends all members of the Druze community. There is no one who represents the close bond between the Druze and the Jewish state like Asad. But Netanyahu never bothered answering.
The Druze never disputed the determination that Israel is a Jewish state. But not just Jewish, it's also a state that grants full rights to its non-Jewish citizens. Now, Asad and many other Druze like him feel like Israel is rejecting them. They already announced their intentions to petition the High Court of Justice against the law. (Source)
Besides being required to formally accept upon themselves to follow the Noahide laws, a non-Jew allowed to live in Eretz Yisrael must accept tribute and servitude. They can have no rights of citizenship to determine the destiny of the Jewish nation. Yes, they must agree to live as an underclass. So declared the Creator of the World in His Torah.

If they are unwilling to accept these Torah-mandated conditions, they must find another country to live in. These non-Jews who have benefited from being allowed to remain in this Land for generations had a golden opportunity now, to declare openly their willingness to accept that the Jewish State belongs only to the Jews, and that they appreciate being allowed to remain under whatever conditions the Creator has ordained for them as non-Jews. (Remember, there is nothing stopping them from becoming Jews after all.)

Obviously, they firmly believe that they are equal to Jews with equal rights as Jews, maybe even more equal than some (especially those who don't also serve in the army). They have thereby declared themselves ineligible to remain in this Land when the Redeemer comes to enforce God's laws here.

How ironic that it is the head of the party calling itself "Jewish Home" that rushes to their defense!

Bennett: Government must ‘heal wound’ caused to Druze by nation-state law 'These are our blood brothers, who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us on the battlefield,' education minister says
In this week's parashah, Va'etchanan, we read the Ten Commandments. There is a joke about the rabbi, mimicking the doctor's oft-repeated instructions, recommending to his students to "take two tablets (luchot) and call me in the morning." 

This is a very bitter pill for the non-Jews to swallow.

25 July 2018

Erdogan Better Zip His Lip and Duck!

14 Menachem Av 5778

On 23 July 2018...

Erdogan: New Israeli law is fascist, Hitlers spirit re-emerging

ISTANBUL - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Israel's Nationality Law, which declares that only Jews have the right of self determination, legitimizes oppression and shows that Israel is a fascist and racist country.

By 9 am on 24 July 2018...

43,388 lightning strikes in 24 hours hit Istanbul region



24 July 2018

"My Children Do Not Fear!"

13 Menachem Av 5778

Last week, three unusual things happened...

1)  The Knesset passed a surrogacy law that denied gay couples the right to have a child by surrogacy;

2)  The Knesset passed a "Nation-State" law declaring Israel to be the Nation-State of the Jewish people;

3)  The Haifa police arrested a Conservative rabbi for failing to heed a summons to a beit din of the Haifa rabbanut to answer for performing an illegal wedding involving a mamzer.

That, in turn, produced phenomenal results...

1)  Tens of thousands, and possibly more, LGBTs and their supporters spent the whole of Tisha b'Av protesting in public on a National Fast Day;

2)  The "Israeli" Arabs, Druze, Bedouin, Christians, foreign leaders and US Jews rushed to condemn the "threat to democracy, the racist, fascist, apartheid" ideology behind the new Basic Law;

3)  The non-Orthodox and some quasi-Orthodox Jews, both here and abroad, went crazy, saying things like, Israel is no longer a country for all Jews, etc.

Now, you can agree or disagree, but in my opinion, the Creator has stepped out into the open and taken sides on these issues.

1)  The earthquakes around the Kinneret started about the time the first of eleven scheduled Pride Parades kicked off in Israel. Some were big enough to shake people up, but without causing any injuries. There was a 3.6 'quake on Tisha b'Av itself! And our mesorah already told us that earthquakes are associated with this particular sin. It's a method of Heavenly stoning.

2) The week the whole world erupted into condemnations of Israel over the Nation-State law, HKB"H increased the temperatures worldwide. I guess He figured if they wanted to raise hell, He'd make 'em feel like they were really there.

3)  Then, the day after Tisha b'Av, a 400-lb Herodian stone fell from the Western Wall into the mixed-gender prayer area set aside for the non-Orthodox. B"H, no one was injured there either.

I took strong exception to the title of an article in the online Jewish Press. It read: "Divine Rage? Kotel Stone Falls on Reform Prayer Platform." 

"Divine rage" indeed! Look around at what is lying on the ground there and you'll perhaps see something approximating Divine "rage." But, these acts of God, if they are such, are warnings, gentle slaps from a loving Father meant to arouse us from our interminable spiritual slumber and inspire us to do teshuvah while we still can. Because time is running out!!

This coming Shabbat, Parashat Va'etchanan, Shabbat Nachamu, there will be a "blood moon"...

...coupled with the closest approach of the Red Planet of War - Mars...


...and with totality centered over the entire Middle East. I was expecting this to signal an all-out war about to begin in the days following. But, now, I wonder if it will even wait til Shabbat.

You see, something else phenomenal is taking place. There was a simmering pot on our northern border a month ago. Today it is boiling over. 

So much is happening and so fast that I can't even keep up with it all!

"...And HKB"H 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 time of your redemption has arrived!"

NOTE: Most recent message from Meir Yisroel

War Against Torah - War For Control of Jerusalem

12 Menachem Av 5778

An ad recently appeared on the Jerusalem Anglos' website - Janglo - requesting an administrative assistant to work from home "to keep the engine running." Two different people noticed it and sent me emails asking that I address this organization in a blog post.

So, let's look at the Elijah Interfaith Institute...
The spirit of Elijah is wisdom, inspiration, friendship and hope across religious traditions. Elijah deepens understanding among religions. Elijah’s mission is to foster unity in diversity, creating a harmonious world. 

The Elijah Interfaith Institute is a bridge-builder:
  • between the theoretical study of religion and the quest for wisdom and spirituality.
  • between theoretical study and action oriented programs, geared at creating social change and advancing the long term goals of peace-making.
  • not only between the Abrahamic religions but also between them and the religions of the East.
  • of dialogue and collaboration between world religious leadership, scholars and thinkers of diverse religious traditions and lay leadership.
  • between thinkers and religious teachers in different parts of the world through its international programs and networks.
  • between religious thinkers, policy makers and educators, allowing the best of our religions to serve as an inspiration to society. (Source)
According to our Holy Torah, mankind is forbidden to create new religions for themselves. Those who do are rebels against Hashem's sovereignty and thereby, enemies of God.

There is only one "religion" or system of relating to the Creator, and that is described and defined in the body of instructions entrusted to Am Yisrael at Har Sinai, that which we call TORAH. 

Humanity consists of two groups of human beings - Jews and Gentiles. The Jews have 613 mitzvot and the Gentiles have seven. The Jews are sons and daughters of God and the Gentiles are His creations. A Gentile is allowed to elevate himself to the higher status of a Jew, but only in accordance with TORAH law.

Unfortunately, much of humanity rejects these fundamental truths which in no way nullifies them. By insisting that we are all the same and working night and day with all their strength to bring the Jewish nation down to their level, to assimilate with them against the Creator's will, and to put a kosher stamp on their false and illegal religious traditions, they are warring against the Almighty Himself.

In every case I am familiar with, it is a Jew who opened the door for the enemy to enter in...
Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Founder and Director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute

Goshen-Gottstein underwent religious training and was ordained a rabbi in 1978. For the following thirty years he served as a reserve chaplain in the Israeli army, but he has never practiced as a communal rabbi.

Goshen-Gottstein attended Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a concentration in the fields of Talmud and Jewish Thought. He also studied at Harvard University Christianity and religions. He received a PhD from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1986. His thesis was on the subject "God and Israel as Father and Son in Tannaitic Literature." His PhD was supervised by Ephraim Urbach. He has taught at a variety of Israeli universities. Goshen-Gottstein headed the Institute for the Study of Rabbinic Thought at Bet Morasha College, Jerusalem, from 1997 till 2013, and oversaw conferences and publications in the field.

For a decade, Goshen-Gottstein was a member of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Advanced Studies. Here, he engaged with contemporary existential issues and became versed in public interfaith conversations, for which he was in charge for several years on behalf of the Hartman Institute.

Besides his academic training, Goshen-Gottstein has drawn from other Jewish and non-Jewish resources. He is affiliated with several Hassidic communities and has been deeply influenced by Hassidic teaching and spirituality.

Goshen-Gottstein's spiritual education has included formative relations with non-Jewish spiritual masters and in–depth relations with a broad range of Christian monastic communities. He has shared in the spiritual lives of Christian and Hindu communities and enjoyed the friendship, wisdom, and counsel of teachers from the Buddhist and Muslim traditions. (Source)
What's worse is that this outright rebellion is being waged in Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh right under our very noses. And they mean to conquer Har Habayit for Humankind and in the name of all the false religions of the world, God help us!

From their website...

I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isaiah 56:7)

The HOPE vision – a House of Prayer and Education – the first interfaith center in Jerusalem.

HOPE draws from an ancient Biblical vision, spelled out by Isaiah, a vision of harmony and unity in the divine presence: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.”
HOPE seeks to translate this vision into a reality of sharing prayer for peace by Muslims, Christians, Jews and others, praying in their respective spaces, under one roof.
HOPE is an educational complex that seeks to set new standards in interfaith relations and sharing of wisdom.
HOPE is a place of communal encounter for scholars, religious leaders, pilgrims, spiritual seekers and the community at large. The Center of Hope will be a safe space, belonging fully to participating faiths.
HOPE is a community of communities, a welcome for pilgrims, a home for all.

The House Of Prayer and Education is a means of training hearts and minds to openness to the other and to the ultimate other, a symbol and model for interfaith relations, and an invitation to jointly express in prayer the deepest aspirations of humanity and, above all, the aspiration for peace… in Jerusalem and the entire world.

There is not a single institution in all of Jerusalem in which its religions share and come together. There is no interreligious center anywhere in the Holy Land that is frequented by members of the three religions and there is absolutely no sense of the possibility of sharing a site or a place of worship, as a means of seeking to express and deepen the quest for peace and harmony between Jerusalem’s religions. In fact, there is no such center anywhere in the world.
Once such a center is created, it would provide a powerful symbol of the potential that Jerusalem has to be a city of peace, rather than one of tension. It would inspire people outside Jerusalem, worldwide, to both support the collaborative spiritual vision of Jerusalem and to seek to emulate it and to extend it to their various localities.
Thus, a Jerusalem-based project is actually quite international in its ultimate vision. It also seeks to involve members of all religions, East and West, in the creation of the world’s most visible interfaith center, in a city that more than any city globally represents the coming together of different faith traditions, thereby providing a symbol for the potential of a better future.
The Center of HOPE will include learning opportunities, a museum on prayer and the spiritual life, a pilgrims’ center for interreligious pilgrimage and parallel prayer spaces for all major faith traditions, modeling collaboration and the continuing quest of prayer for peace, in Jerusalem and worldwide.
Jerusalem sat bereft and forlorn and neglected for centuries, unwanted and undervalued, until the Jews came home. Now, suddenly, mankind knows at some soul-level that Am Yisrael is about to be redeemed. Somehow, they understand in some deep spiritual place that they are unworthy and yet they are at the same time unwilling to admit their errors and repent. Thus, they are trying to exert their own will over that of their Creator.

[See Prayers for HOPE.]

Some will look at this and rejoice, thinking it is proof that the entire world is about to be redeemed together - all peoples, all religions, all faith traditions - at peace. 

When mankind goes to war against their Creator, there will only be peace when the rebels have been utterly destroyed. 

Redemption comes only for - not the religious, but - the righteous among both Jews and Gentiles, those who remained faithful and loyal to the Holy Torah.
___________________________

A good way to judge an organization is to look at who their sponsors and financial backers are...

UNESCO
John Templeton Foundation
Fetzer Institute
Geurrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Udo Keller Stiftung Forum Humanum
Henry Luce Foundation

23 July 2018

Who Is Really Guilty of Sinat Chinam?

12 Menachem Av 5778

Those who remain on the 4,000-year-old proven path to righteousness or those who purposely turn aside to one that leads to all kinds of heresy?


"Red-Hot Planet"

11 Menachem Av 5778
“In the future, the Lord God will bare [the sun] from its sheath and will use it to enflame the wicked; as it is written: ‘For the day is coming, burning like an oven… and that coming day will burn them up’ (Malachi 3:19).” See also, Bereshit Rabbah 26:6 on that verse, and BT Baba Metzia 86b, which states that “God removed the sun from its sheath,” in the days following Abraham’s circumcision, so that he would not be bothered by guests. Obviously, this is a metaphor for the extreme heat at the time (additionally, the term “remove it” is used, rather than “bare it” as quoted above). (Source)
(Temperatures for 23 July - 24 July 2018)



Record heat broils Japan, prompting warnings

Officials said last week that the heatwave had killed at least 15 people and forced the hospitalisation of over 12,000 others in the first two weeks of July.

But the death toll may be more than double that, with Kyodo News agency reporting 11 people died on Saturday alone across Japan.

An updated official toll is expected later this week.

The heatwave has toppled temperature records across the country, with Kumagaya in Saitama outside Tokyo setting a new nationwide record on Monday with temperatures hitting 41.1 Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit).

And in western Tokyo's Ome, temperatures hit 40.3 degrees Celsius, the first time temperatures over 40 have been recorded in Tokyo's metro area.

Records fell at 13 other observation stations across the country, with more than a dozen cities and towns seeing temperatures around 40 degrees, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

UK weather forecast: Summer 2018 on track to beat ALL RECORDS as HOTTEST day loom

UK WEATHER's blowtorch temperatures could soon have Britain break several weather records as a new wave of scorching heat engulfs the country until the end of the month.



Could the Message Be Any Clearer?

11 Menachem Av 5778


Ancient boulder dislodges from Western Wall, crashes onto egalitarian plaza

"Three Watches of the Night"

11 Menachem Av 5778

Guest post by Yitzchok

On June 4, a year ago, I posted the following comment to the article Is Child "Sacrifice" Still Practiced in Eretz Yisrael?:
For further explanation on the "third watch of the night," the Maharal (Netzach Yisrael, ch. 18) says the allegory of night describes the bleak, gloomy exile, in which Israel is sinking in darkness and despair.
The initial phase is symbolized by a donkey braying because galus begins when our oppressors treat us like a beast of burden.
In the second phase antisemitism increases violently and our enemies want to eradicate us.
But the most terrible threat of the exile appears in the third phase. Those enemies who failed to destroy us with their hatred will adopt a new approach; they will try to kill us with love!
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall not be a priest to me; seeing that you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)
This morning I received an email containing the following comments by Rav Avraham HaCohen Kook, ztz"l:

Tisha B'Av: The Three Watches of the Night

Anguished Roars
All over the world there are flourishing Jewish communities, blessed with thriving synagogues, bustling schools, and prominent yeshivot. But with all of this Torah study and mitzvah-observance, do we feel the absence of the Beit HaMikdash? Are we aware of our state of exile and dispersion?
The anguished roars of a lion - that is how the prophet describes God’s constant grief over the loss of the Holy Temple: “God roars from on high; He calls out from His holy dwelling, roaring over His habitation” (Jeremiah 25:30).
The Sages were able to hear these roars and translate them for us:
“Woe to My children! On account of their sins, I have destroyed My House and set fire to My sanctuary and exiled them among the nations of the world.” (Berachot 3a)
Three Watches
The Rabbis also knew at what hour these heavenly cries may be heard. These roars, they taught, take place during the three watches of the night. (The darkness of night is a common metaphor for the exile.) And there are even signs that indicate the exact time of these anguished cries:
“The night consists of three watches, and during each watch the Holy One sits and roars like a lion.... The sign for this: in the first watch, a donkey brays; in the second, dogs howl; and in the third, a baby nurses from its mother and a woman converses with her husband.”
What is the meaning of these strange signs - donkeys braying, dogs howling, babies nursing, and early-morning conversations?
The Flawed Service of Israel in Exile
We must first understand the significance of these night watches. The watches are a metaphor for underlying spiritual mechanisms in the universe. Each watch corresponds to the elevation of higher realms, an elevation that is a result of Israel’s service of God in this world. Since the Temple’s destruction and the exile of Israel, however, the Jewish nation has been reduced to an atrophied spiritual life. This decline has diminished the overall level of Divine providence in the world. The roars of heavenly anguish during the night watches are an expression of the cosmic pain caused by this spiritual decline.
Why are there three watches? The three watches correspond to the three basic levels in which we serve God: (1) through our actions, (2) by refining our character traits, and (3) by deepening our understanding and knowledge.

Sadly, all three aspects have been adversely affected by the exile and the absence of the Beit HaMikdash.
Deeds and Traits
The first form of serving God is through deeds and actions. When the Jewish people are on an elevated spiritual plane, their mitzvot and acts of kindness are guided by a profound awareness of God’s presence. Due to the detrimental influences of exile, however, all of our actions are tainted by an overall atmosphere of self-centeredness and materialism. This causes our service of God to lose its reparative quality of tikkun. Lacking the guidance of Divine wisdom, materialistic tendencies are reinforced. This phenomenon is particularly apparent regarding mitzvot that involve physical pleasures, such as the mitzvah to rejoice on the holidays.
For this reason, the sign of the first watch is the braying of a donkey (in Hebrew, chamor), indicating the awakening of materialistic tendencies (chomriut). This is a basic aspect of human nature - “For man is born a wild donkey” (Job 11:12) - that is bolstered by the negative influences of exile and its limited spiritual life.
The second night-watch corresponds to our service of God through the acquisition of positive character traits, such as kindness, generosity, and humility. The current state of the world, however, with its lack of holy influences, fosters various negative traits. This is not due to the body’s physicality but rather because we lack an accurate image of pure and refined traits, as we are unable to faithfully model ourselves after God’s traits of kindness and compassion.
The sign for the distortion of this service is the howling of dogs. Dogs symbolize negative traits, especially insolence (see Isaiah 56:11). Greed and brazenness are the source for many other flawed traits.
Service of the Intellect
The final watch corresponds to the highest form of serving God: using our cognitive powers. There are two levels in this avodah: those who study Halachah and the revealed parts of Torah, and those who delve into deeper esoteric studies. Unlike the service of God in actions and character traits, Torah learning cannot be debased. As the Sages taught, “Words of Torah cannot contract ritual impurity” (Berachot 22a). Therefore the signs of the third watch are positive ones, signs of Divine intimacy and beneficence: a baby nursing and a wife conversing with her husband.
However, even this level is detrimentally influenced by the exile. What is the heavenly sign for those who study the revealed parts of Torah? “A baby nursing from its mother.” This indicates a state that is incomplete, an intellectual service not fully developed; it is therefore symbolized by a nursing baby.
Those who study on a deeper level, contemplating the nature of God with philosophical and mystical inquiries, are blessed with a revealed love of God. The sign for this level is one of love and affection - “a woman conversing with her husband.” Nonetheless, even this holy service appears to be deficient, as the Sages described it as a ‘conversation’ (mesaperet), the relating of stories without deeper and truer content. Once again, this state is due to our current lack of Divine inspiration and prophetic wisdom.
[Silver from the Land of Israel (now available in paperback). Adapted from Ein Eyah, Vol. I on Berachot 3a (1:6).]

If this was true in his day, how much more so in ours.

Is HaShem is still looking for a man? 
Tanach - Isaiah Chapter 63
1. Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This one who is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
2. Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who tramples in the wine press?
3. I have trampled the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I have trampled them in my anger, and trampled them in my fury; and their blood was sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my clothing.
4. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed has come.
5. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I was appalled that there was none to uphold; therefore my own arm brought salvation to me; and my fury upheld me.
6. And I trampled down the people in my anger, and made them drunk in my fury, and I poured out their lifeblood to the earth.
If not now, when.....

Yitzchok

20 July 2018

Most Important Blog Post of the Year!

8 Av 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Rabbi Yehudah HaCohen Richter said at the beginning of one of his shiurim on pride parades that LGBT is the "issue of our day." Current events would seem to bear out the truth of that statement.

It appears that Heaven, through Divine timing, is bringing this issue front and center in a manner that forces everyone to take some kind of a stand. I had not intended to post anything else today, but felt impressed to get this out as quick as possible. I'm sorry it's getting out so late, especially since the rabbi also said, this could be "the one big test of our time."

This could be the Tisha b'Av when HKB"H decides we have suffered enough and it's time to send the Redeemer to lead us out of Spiritual Egypt for all time.

I already explained in a previous post about the background for the wicked event that is taking place "nationwide" on Sunday - the day we are observing Tisha b'Av.  It is significant that the entire nation has been called upon to make a decision where they stand in this matter. Perhaps the timing is meant to impress upon us that this decision may have consequences as far-reaching as the one we made upon hearing the evil report of the spies in the Midbar.

I should remind you that the original date given on the LGBT website for the Jerusalem Parade was -  yes - Tisha b'Av. And then the final date posted was August 2, 2018. I had the feeling that this year, more than any other year, it was going to be very important to take some kind of stand on this matter. The way it has turned out, it is not just about Yerushalayim, but it concerns the entire nation - the entire Land of Israel!

We can learn from the story of Pharaoh's three advisors that there are three possible responses to evil.
  • Agree and participate.
  • Disagree, but keep silent.
  • Protest and distance oneself from it.
The Talmud in (Sotah 11a) tells us that Pharaoh had three advisers: Yisro, Iyov and Bilaam. When Pharoh was deciding the most prudent method to exterminate the Jewish people, he sought the opinion of each of his three advisers.
Bilaam, the grandson of Lavan, was an evil man and relished the prospect of eradicating the Jewish people. It was he who advised Pharaoh to kill the male Israelites.
Iyov was opposed to any plan to destroy the Jewish nation. Rather than display his true feelings on the issue, he refrained from offering any opinion. Perhaps he knew that his objections would be met with resistance. He most likely rationalized that he could do more to help the plight of the Jewish people at a later date by remaining in his position as advisor. As a result, he decided not to oppose or accept Bilaam’s proposal, but remained silent.
Yisro, on the other hand, vocally rejected Pharaoh’s idea of exterminating the Jewish people. Yisro believed it was wrong that these people should be made to suffer for no crime other then being Jewish. Yisro’s loud protests angered Pharaoh and Yisro had to flee Egypt in order to save his life. (Source)
We see many examples throughout our history when we were called upon to come apart from the evildoers and maintain a physical separation between us. Moshe Rabeinu called "Mi l'Hashem elai" and "all the sons of Levi gathered around him." In the incident of Korach:
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying,"Dissociate [הִבָּ֣דְל֔וּ] yourselves from this congregation.... Speak to the congregation saying, 'Withdraw from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.'" He spoke to the congregation saying, "Please get away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you perish because of all their sins. (Bamidbar, Chapter 16)
You will recognize the word hivadlu, translated "dissociate," as having the same root as havdalah. It's not only about creating physical distance, but a separation in essence as well.

Back to the subject at hand. All of the news sites are reporting on this today and included in these reports is the fact that at least 60 companies, many or most from the hi-tech sector, have formally signed on as supporters of this LGBT strike for "rights" which are forbidden by our Holy Torah.
Israel-wide Strike Slated as Tech Firms Protest anti-LGBT Legislation
A day after the Knesset voted to exclude same-sex couples from a law expanding Israel’s surrogacy rights, large swathes of Israeli business took the unusual step of entering the political fray and coming out forcefully for LGBT rights.
Over the course of the afternoon on Thursday support for a protest strike on Sunday on the issue spread rapidly, with dozens of major companies and Israel’s main labor federation announcing that they would join the strike called by the Aguda LGBT task force, to protest the amended law. Israel’s Histadrut labor federation also came out in support of the strike.
The list of workers backing the strike included unions at Ben-Gurion International Airport, who warned that there would be flight delays on Sunday “after many Israel Airports Authority workers requested to absent themselves from work on Sunday due to the protest activities of the LGBT community.”
Meanwhile, two major tech companies, Mellanox and Microsoft Israel, vowed to help their employees fund surrogacy.

Mellanox, which employs 2,055 people in Israel, on Thursday promised to give 60,000 shekels ($16,400) and a month’s maternity leave to any employee, male or female, irrespective of their sexual orientation, to fund surrogacy. The company said it opposed the amended surrogacy law because it discriminates against the LGBT community and hoped that the Knesset would change the law to make it fully equitable.
A day earlier Microsoft Israel, which has about 1,000 employees, vowed to give 60,000 shekels to any employee seeking to create a family through surrogacy.

“My heart is with each and every employee in their desire to create a family,” said Assaf Rappaport, CEO of the Microsoft research and development center in Israel, who spearheaded the move.
A year ago, another tech company, Tel Aviv-based Natural Intelligence, offered 50,000 shekels to any LGBT employee who undergoes a surrogacy procedure outside of Israel. The company, which is known for its activity on behalf of the gay community, employs 300 people in Israel.
Microsoft Israel, Mellanox, eBay Israel and Natural Intelligence have also agreed to join Sunday’s strike.
Other local tech companies and Israeli units of multinationals that agreed to give their employees the day off on Sunday to protest include Matrix, SAP, IBM, TowerJazz, 888, Fiverr, Minute Media, Webpals, Soluto, Cybereason, MyHeritage, Winward and Daka90. Together they employ thousands of people.
Outside the tech sector, food maker Strauss Group, apparel retailer Castro, Israel Post, the Haifa Port workers committee, supermarket chain Super-Sol and pharmacy chain Super-Pharm said they backed the strike.
Among other employers that announced that workers could take the day without deduction of a vacation day were Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, SodaStream International, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Partner Communications, Procter and Gamble, the Tel Aviv and Givatayim municipalities, and Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute. The airline Israir also threw its support behind the protest, although it said it did not expect any disruptions in its flight schedule. It added that employees who did not want to strike could wear a black shirt to express support, instead of a company uniform.
The Israel Hotels Association, meanwhile, asked its members to allow employees who want to join the strike on Sunday. Two major hotel chains – Fattal and Dan – both announced they would support the strike.
For its part, however, Check Point Software Technologies said the company "has never expressed a position on public issues of this nature, on any subject, either for or against."
On Thursday the head of the Histadrut labor federation, Avi Nissenkorn, called on all employers to allow their workers to strike on Sunday in protest of the law. “The struggle for equal rights of the LGBT community is an important struggle for Israeli society,” he said, adding that the Histadrut opposed all forms of discrimination.
The Aguda task force noted that the strike on Sunday coincided with Tisha B’Av, a fast day marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, traditionally held to have been caused by “baseless hatred.”
The strike is a protest against the baseless hatred of the ultra-Orthodox and conservative politicians against the LGBT community in Israel,” the group said. We call on members of the community to be absent from work, to close their businesses and take part in public protests.”
[See how they cast themselves in the role of the righteous, r"l!] 
Until now Israel’s surrogacy Law enabled only married couples to benefit from surrogacy services in Israel. The amendment passed on Wednesday allows single women who cannot conceive to opt for surrogacy as well -- but excludes same-sex couples and single men from having access to a surrogate.
Despite voicing public support for surrogacy for same-sex couples, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday voted against the amendment that would have given LGBT people access to surrogacy as well.
Government employees, other than staff at the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry, who wish to strike on Sunday will need to take it as a vacation day, the state service commission has said. "We are not interfering in the content that an employee gives to his day off," the commission told Haaretz.
But government ministries said staff will be able to take the day as an optional floating holiday for which they will be paid despite their absence. Next Sunday is on the list of optional days off in any event because it is Tisha B'Av. Municipal government authorities said staff could also make use of the day as a floating holiday, but when Haaretz contacted national government ministries to ask if they would allow staff not to come to work, only the Labor Ministry said it would "welcome" it.
The Justice Ministry issued a letter from the Israel State Attorney Association stating that in accordance with Histadrut labor federation directives, "lawyers who belong to the LGBT community" who wish to participate in the protest events will be able to do so as a vacation day or floating holiday.
THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED!! It's completely over the top! And it is the surest indicator that something BIG in the geulah process is taking place here! 

After all the discussion over the past few blog posts about what we should or should not do in order to protest this evil, Hashem has made it really easy for us. He has brought about a huge test on a day when everything has already been laid out for us. All we have to do is what the halachah requires of us on Tisha b'Av. And that will make havdalah between us and them. 
  • They will be out in the streets, demonstrating - we will be either in the home or the beit knesset or at the Kotel HaMa'aravi, fasting.
  • They will be yelling about their "rights" to rebel against their King, HKB"H - we will withhold greetings from our friends and engage in mourning practices and prayers of repentance.
  • They will be angry and proud - we will be saddened and humbled and penitent.
What is "normal" for the most serious public fast day of the year will be the deeds and actions which "protest" the evil running rampant across the Land. And every single Torah-loving Jew can do it wherever they are!

I would not be a bit surprised if the Jerusalem "Pride Parade" never takes place. This could be the final sifting before the war that destroys the Erev Rav and their reign of terror forever.

Our observance of Tisha b'Av this year may save Yerushalayim this time around and contribute towards the building of the Beit Hamikdash Hashlishi. May HKB"H accept our offerings, meager though they may be, and may it be His will to turn our mourning into joy - THIS YEAR!