12 December 2017

Hanukah - The 'Door' of Redemption

25 Kislev 5778
First Candle of Hanukah
"Chanukah signals the ultimate salvation and rededication of the entire world. Lighting the Menorah at the doorway demonstrates how the days of Chanukah are symbolically the 'door', the beginning of the ultimate redemption (Sfas Emet)."
[From Chanukah - It's History, Observance, and Significance / A Presentation Based On Talmudic and Traditional Sources]

The Hellenists Are Still With Us

24 Kislev 5778
Erev Hanukah

And their strength and numbers are growing every year. Today, Hellenism is more commonly known as Judeo-Christianity.

Signage in Jerusalem
And it unfortunately has not passed the yeshivah world by. I was walking behind two yeshivah bachurim in Jerusalem day before yesterday and overheard some snippets of their conversation.

"...Hanukah Harry? It's kind of like Secret Santa, but for yeshivah."

Hashem yerachem and raise up for us the Maccabees of old!

It Just Got Darker - BD"E

24 Kislev 5778
Erev Hanukah

Our Sages equated the Greek exile to darkness. The light of Hanukah came to dispel the darkness, at the darkest time of the year (longest nights) and the darkest part of the month (no moon at night). It just got even darker with the passing of one more Torah luminary.
Just moments ago, the terrible news arrived of the Petira of the Gadol Hador, the leader of Klal Yisroel, Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZATZAL, at the age of 104.
... he was taken from us at just before 8:00AM IL.
...The levaya for HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT”L will begin in Bnei Brak at noon. Egged has already announced it is stepping up bus service to Bnei Brak on the 402 line.
May HKB"H give comfort to his children by revealing for us the light of Mashiach without any further delay.

10 December 2017

Hanukah Message from Meir Yisroel

23 Kislev 5778


And if you clicked directly to this post, don't miss the new one preceding this one...

Hanukah: The Holiday That Celebrates "Extremism"

Hanukah: The Holiday That Celebrates "Extremism"

23 Kislev 5778

Of course, the Maccabees were not extremists really. They acted 100% in conformity with Torah and halachah. Their actions only seemed extreme by the Greek standards of their time and not coincidentally, by the Western standards of our time. 

President Donald J. Trump, from his speech "recognizing" Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel: "It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst."

From the Al Hanissim Prayer for Hanukah: "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah.

"The many" who desire peace at our expense so they can make more money and consume more goods without interruption are in for another big disappointment. There will not be peace until all the impurity has been cleansed from the Holy Land, because peace is a gift from HKB"H. There is no peace until there is peace between Him and us.
Chanukah: A Celebration of Zealotry
If the Maccabees were fighting today, how would the JEWISH world view them?
By: Donny Fuchs

The original hero of Chanukah, Matityahu the Kohen Gadol of Modi’in, was a true Jewish zealot and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He was an extremist by any definition. Make no mistake about it. I use these terms complimentarily, despite the fact that modern ears hear these terms and associate them with negative ideals. As the great Pinchas was a great Jewish zealot who rose up alone at the moment of truth, so too was Matityahu one of those rare men who seized the moment. Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism, and were it not for the heroic actions of Matityahu and his sons, the spiritual integrity of Judaism would have been destroyed on the treif altar of Greek idolatry and hedonism. True Jewish zealousness has no commonality with the “zealous actions” of your average hothead. To be zealous for Hashem is to be pure in Torah thought, and repulsed by the manifestation of chillul Hashem on this earth. Far from mindless rage, thinking leads to action. The faculty of emotion is fueled by reason.

Most self-identifying Jews today, regardless of denominational affiliation or ideological leaning, regard the Maccabees as true Jewish heroes. As is often the case over time, history became distorted, and the Chanukah of today has become something different than it once was. Most Jews celebrate a false Chanukah that has nothing in common with historical reality. It has become sanitized. In a warped sense of irony, modern-day Jews celebrate the Maccabees for everything they were not; multiculturalists, defenders of religious liberty, religious pluralists, etc. The stark reality is that most Jews would have deemed them terrorists by today’s standards. Chanukah isn’t a universal “festival of lights” for Jews to share with gentiles. The Maccabees were Jewish zealots who waged a brutal war against the Greeks who tried to destroy the Jewish soul. Chanukah is not a celebration of universalism. It is the very epitome of Jewish exclusivity.

From a contemporary context, one should consider the following:
  • Were the Maccabees around today, Netanyahu would send an army of Yassamnikim thugs to destroy them.
  • Being registered on the Maccabee internet mailing list, would mean a surprise visit from the Shabak.
  • Leftists would scream for Maccabee blood and applaud brutal crackdowns, as would Israel’s media elite and their morally relativistic peers in Israeli academia. Secular Jewish organizations worldwide would revile the Maccabees.
  • The Anti-Defamation League would use their vast resources to monitor the Maccabees and any Maccabee-affiliated offshoots. True to form, their intel would be shared with the U.S. State Department, CIA, FBI, and various Israeli government agencies.
The seculars wouldn’t be alone in their demonization of the Maccabees. Mainstream religious Jewish organizations would condemn them. Rabbis would declare that their actions constitute a chillul Hashem and are contrary to Halacha. They would argue that the Maccabees were guilty of incitement, and endangering the physical and spiritual welfare of Jews worldwide. 

Representatives of the Maccabee movement would be banned from speaking in religious institutions, and barred from entering most countries. In Israel, the state-worshiping religious loyalists would condemn them with the harshest terminology. Many chareidim would join in.

Because it wasn’t just the Greeks. The Maccabees fought violently against Jewish Hellenists who tried to destroy Torah. When Matityahu saw a Jew publicly defiling The Almighty’s name in the town of Modi’in, he didn’t stand by and tolerate the man’s freedom “to worship as he saw fit.” He slaughtered him with his sword and started a revolution. Yahadut lionizes him and his sons for sanctifying the Almighty’s name and saving Judaism from extinction. History is for the victors. We celebrate Chanukah because Judaism survived because of the Maccabees' actions. The irony is that Hellenists revised history, and needing heroes, they co-opted them, sanitized their legacy, and Chanukah is considered parve today. Hence, the Maccabees, the zealots of Masada, and Bar Kochba can be accepted as heroes by the State of Israel today.

Should You Keep Chanukah this year? The following TRUE or FALSE quiz will be helpful. Do you believe?…
  • That interfaith-dialogue with Christians is a noble endeavor that serves to bring the two faith communities closer.
  • That Jews should take any and all aid from Christian evangelicals and messianic Christians.
  • That Israel should continue to grant equal rights to all of her citizens and allow all faiths to worship as they see fit.
  • That in the absence of any danger to the mother, a woman should have the right to abort a fully formed fetus.
  • That homosexuals should have the right to parade through the streets of any city in Israel. Or that homosexuals should have the right to marry in Israel.
  • That a Halachic definition of “who is a Jew” has no place in state affairs.
  • That Israel should continue to endanger our own soldiers to protect Arab civilians in order to retain a moral high-ground.
  • That havlagah or “self-restraint” is a Jewish ethic that must be a part of the IDF’s ideology.
  • That even theoretically, a Halachic state (by truly G-d fearing people of Torah) is contrary to democracy.
If you answered TRUE to even one of these questions, then in the spirit of intellectual integrity, you should boycott Chanukah this year. Chanukah symbolizes Judaism’s complete rejection of the profane influences of the world. It represents the commitment to oppose those foreign ideologies that threaten the nation and if necessary, to use the sword in defense of the Jewish body and soul. This is the Chanukah that leftists want to destroy.

Missionaries In Our Midst

I have written several articles about the spiritual threat of missionaries in Eretz Yisroel, in particular, the danger of evangelical Christians who have infiltrated religious Jewish communities in the Shomron. Many kipah-wearing Jews have been actively bought by the endless sum of Christian dollars that the enemy is able to throw at Jews and their various projects, in exchange for a ticket into their daily lives. Some of these Jews are misguided and naive. Others are not so innocent. Hakadosh Baruch Hu knows what is in every man’s heart.

The problem is that these spiritual threats would have never been able to infiltrate into the Torah world without the aid of self-appointed leaders who will have to answer for their sins. Some are wont to spout the nonsense of a non-existent Judeo/Christian ethic, which by its very definition is an oxymoron and contrary to everything we stand for. The Jewish ethic is by its very nature contrary to Christianity. No such concept exists. And to align with idolatry in the war against the Arabs is to sacrifice the Jewish soul for the illusion of a united Christian front against the Arabs. There are two kinds of death for the Jew. And throughout history, the death of the Jewish soul is the greatest tragedy of all.

If you support interfaith dialogue with Christians, taking money from evangelicals, and allowing Esau to pick grapes in the liberated vineyards of Judea and Samaria, then you share the values of a Jewish Hellenist. I don’t care how well you know the laws of shmitah, or whether you attend a daily daf yomi. Those with seichal know precisely what's going on, and no Rabbi on earth can kasher a pig. To those who have befriended the notorious Waller family and their cohorts, they are aligning themselves with idolaters who want to harm Am Yisroel. The actions of such groups as Hayovel run by the Wallers are as dangerous an assault as anything Am Yisroel has ever faced. Those who support them are Jewish Hellenists. Matityahu would have loathed the Wallers, and he would have had no patience (to say the least) for those who are aiding them.

Mesirat Nefesh and Pragmatism

From a purely survival instinct, if someone demands that you worship Baal or have your throat slit open, the “pragmatic” thing is to save your throat and bow down to the idol. Judaism requires something else sometimes. The Halacha requires you to refuse, even if it costs you your life. The Halacha isn’t always pragmatic or “wise” from a conventional standpoint. At times, the Halacha requires us to fight to the death, even when the odds are against us. The battle of the Maccabees was neither smart nor pragmatic from a conventional standpoint. They made things worse in the short term. And in the long term we won, even if the later descendants of the Maccabees betrayed their own legacy.

The day will come when we extricate all physical and spiritual contagions from Eretz Yisroel. The legacy of the Maccabees lives on. One day soon, Jews will embrace it and incorporate the Maccabee model as the solution to destroying the Arab enemy, dealing with all spiritual threats, and sanctifying the State of Israel. Every truly religious Jew believes this. The challenge of the Maccabees looms before us. Will we join Matityahu and fight for the L-rd, or will we serve Baal, Asheirah, or the Erev Rav elite who deify themselves?

One day soon, a new generation of Maccabees will arise. Am Yisroel will never die, and there will always be a select few who rise up to define and defend the Torah truth.

With Fire and Blood. Chanukah Sameach!

Donny Fuchs
(and Devash!)

08 December 2017

07 December 2017

Who Was Donald J. Trump?

20 Kislev 5778

Yes, you read it right. Who WAS Donald J. Trump?

If we want to know who Donald J. Trump is today, it would be worthwhile knowing who Donald J. Trump was 'yesterday' - in a previous gilgul. Our sources tell us that all the important characters of the past will be reincarnated at the End of Days. It stands to reason that they will once again be important and influential figures.

Donald J. Trump campaigned for the US presidency on the slogan "making America great again." The concept of 'Greatness' seems to have a large appeal for him. It's also why he puts his name in giant letters at the top of his buildings and his books. (See here.) He also has a penchant for Greek architecture and Greek mythology. I wondered if he could be a gilgul of Alexander the Great. I have reason to believe that people look similarly from one gilgul to the next and I see a marked resemblance between Donald J. Trump and Alexander of Macedon.

I'm not the only one to draw connections between Trump and ancient Greece...
There is more, but you get the idea.

In examining Alexander's past relationship to the Jews maybe we can gain more insight into what is happening here today. I see some interesting parallels. What do you think?
Philip of Macedon
At the beginning of the fourth century BCE, in about the year 370 BCE, a king arose in Macedonia known as Philip of Macedon. ...Philip was a great warrior and organizer.
Most of all, he had the dream of empire in him. In seven years he was able to subdue all the Greek city-states and unite them, something that had not happened in almost five centuries. Of course, he united them at the point of the sword, but he united them.
Alexander the Great
Philip died but left a son, who would become one of the single greatest forces in history, Alexander the Great. He called himself that modestly, but the truth is that he was great.
Philip did not want Alexander to grow up to be a coarse and boorish Macedonian. So he gave him a tutor: the renowned philosopher Aristotle. It was Aristotle who implanted in Alexander the philosophic ideals of the Greeks.
Alexander was not a pagan because Aristotle was not a pagan. Aristotle’s concept of God was that a Creator exists. The Greek philosophers referred to God as the “First Cause.” He pushed the button, so to speak. However, once He did so He did not do anything more. What happened on Earth did not interest him. Therefore, there was no interference from Heaven as to what happened on Earth. It was another way of unburdening themselves of conscience – except now with the stamp of belief in God.
Nevertheless, the Greeks believed that God existed, which is very important because it will help explain one reason why Alexander was able to tolerate the Jewish religion, whereas many of the Persian emperors were not. Aristotle knew that all the stories of the gods – from Apollo to Zeus – were made-up. Alexander, as Aristotle’s student, also believed that. Thanks to Aristotle, therefore, the ideas of the Jews were much more acceptable to Alexander.
Alexander’s Encounter with the Jews
Alexander took over his father’s leadership position when he was yet a teenager. He would be dead by the time he was 29. In that short period he conquered the entire civilized world.
One of his campaigns brought him to the Land of Israel. He arrived during the reign of the great High Priest, the last of the Men of the Great Assembly, Simon the Just. Most historians say that he came in about the year 329 BCE. (He was dead by 323 BCE.)
The Jews were terrified of the now victorious Greeks, because they had backed Persia in the war. There were two choices. We will see this story repeated over and over again in the time of the Second Temple. One was to fight, which is what the Jews did later with the Romans. The second was to somehow come to an accommodation with the enemy.
Simon the Just chose the second course. The Jews were not about to defeat Alexander in battle; therefore, the correct way to deal with the matter was to come to an accommodation with him.
The Talmud describes the drama of that first encounter (Yoma 69a). Simon the Just came forth with other members of the priesthood, as well as the sages of the Sanhedrin, to greet Alexander at the gates of Jerusalem as he strode in on his famous white horse, which he rode all over the world in his conquests. According to the historians of the time, it was an enormously tall horse and Alexander was an enormously tall person. Plus, he always wore a plumed helmet. Combined, Alexander stood about 13 feet high on the horse. He was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
When Alexander saw the Simon he dismounted and bowed to him. When he was questioned by his advisors, he told them that whenever he went into battle he dreamed of an angel leading him to victory. The face of the Jewish High Priest, he said, was the face of the angel he saw in his dreams. That was why he bowed down to him.
Alexander the Great and the Jews
Because of Aristotle, Alexander was positively disposed toward the Jews. Instead of destroying and subjugating them, he made an arrangement with them. As long as they would be his loyal vassals and pay their taxes they could remain autonomous. That was an enormous concession because Alexander was rarely that accommodating to anyone.
Out of gratitude to Alexander, the Jews did a few things. First, they agreed to name every child born the next year “Alexander.” That is why the name Alexander, or Sender for short, became a common Jewish name even to this day.

At the same time, it also opened the door for Jews to give their children other Greek names such as Antigonus Tarphon, among other names of Greek origin one finds in the Talmud. Ironically, through showing Alexander their gratitude by naming their children after him they unwittingly opened the door to the Greek language. And with the Greek language automatically came the Greek culture.
The Jews also agreed to install a system of tax collection that would lead to terrible corruption. Indeed, it was so inherently corrupt that the Talmud held that anybody who was a tax collector was presumed to be a thief. This terribly pernicious system destroyed the morale of the Jewish community in the time of the Greeks long after Alexander was gone.  (Source)
Trump's speech yesterday is entirely in keeping with these characteristics of Alexander the Great. Just when I was ready to admit that I may have been wrong about Trump, he said...
Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.
Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This is in keeping with Western "democratic" ideals, pluralism, etc., but it is unacceptable to Torah Jews - those who refuse to assimilate - and it will most certainly be unacceptable to Mashiach. These statements put Trump on the wrong side of what's coming. And any Jews who align themselves with him are on the wrong side, too.

This Hanukah, more than ever, may we find the courage to fight against the assimilation of the Hellenists and may we be zocheh to hear the words from Mashiach's own mouth "Mi l'Hashem elai!"