25 June 2019

Any Time Now

23 Sivan 5779
Clamping sanctions down on Ayatollah Khamenei is more than a personal affront: it is a demeaning assault on his honor. Now that the two leaders of the US and Iran have taken off the gloves and entered into a personal duel, the standoff between their two countries is likely to gain in violence. (Source)

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Iran that an attack on US interests would trigger an “overwhelming” response and could bring “obliteration.” (Source)

24 June 2019

How to Face Your Enemy

22 Sivan 5779

US President Donald Trump made a very serious miscalculation when he announced to the world that he had canceled an attack on Iran because he considered the proposed US response to Iran's act of aggression to be "disproportionate."
"...regarding Israel's war against its enemies, also enemies of G-d, our sages said (Tanchuma, Shoftim 15): “When you go forth to battle against your enemies” (Deut. 20:1): What do the words, “against your enemies” add?  G-d said, “Go forth against them as enemies.  Show them no mercy, just as they show you none.”  Our sages said, “Go forth against them as enemies,” not as friends.  These evildoers will never care about your welfare, so you should not care about theirs. This is the ethical, philosophically based law of G-d.  Regarding one's enemy, there is no room for love and forgiveness.  On the one hand, he will not show loving pity for Israel if he has the opportunity to dominate it.

As our sages said (Yalkut Shimoni, Devarim 20:923, quoting Eileh HaDevarim Zuta): “When you go forth to battle against your enemies”: If you take pity on them, they will go forth to battle against you.  It is like the shepherd who used to watch his sheep in the forest.  He found a wolf cub and took pity on it, letting it suckle from the goats.  His employer saw this and said to him, “Kill it! Take no pity on it or misfortune will strike the flock.”  The shepherd did not heed him.  When the wolf was grown, it would see a lamb or kid and kill it.  His employer then said, “Did I not tell you to show no pity?”  Moses said the same to Israel: “If you take pity on them, then 'Those that you let remain shall be as thorns in your eyes' (Num. 33:55).”
The Israeli government follows the same warped standard of 'fairness' with regard to attacks emanating from Gaza.  Every decision is guided by a tit-for-tat strategy.  It's immoral, demoralizing and cruel.  If a country is attacked and has the power and the means to deal their enemy a mortal blow, it is the very height of stupidity not to do so.

(See War of Attrition)

23 June 2019

20 Sivan: A Good Day For A Fast

20 Sivan 5779

It's here - the 20th of Sivan.  If you don't know what the significance is just listen to Rav Richter's recent shiur on the subject: Be Prepared for June 23, 2019 (20th of Sivan).  In short, this is "a date on which the Jewish communities of Europe repeatedly suffered calamities and annihilation."But there's no need to look back generations to find a reason for fasting on this date.

Together with yesterday's Torah reading which featured the "national hysteria"2  surrounding the report of the meraglim and given the quickly approaching month of Tamuz bringing with it the Three Weeks culminating in Tisha b'Av, one can be forgiven for feeling a bit on the down side this morning.

I found the following article to fit this mood nicely...

WELCOMING THE JEWSRAELIS
...the creation of the State of Israel has led to a new type of Israeli Judaism that is like no other form of Judaism that existed before.

...Jewsraelis, explains Rosner, are the people who observe both Jewish and Israeli rituals and customs, and espouse beliefs that combine Judaism and Zionism. “Most Jews in Israel believe that being Jewish means observing festivals, rituals and customs, and a majority believe that being a good Jew means raising one’s children to serve in the IDF,” Rosner writes. “Jewishness means both observing festivals (tradition) and serving in the IDF (nationality).”


...“These are people who are not inclined to follow Halacha or a rabbi’s advice or a school of thought that is rigid,” he says, but is a much more flexible and relaxed sense of Judaism. Rosner explains that for the new generation of Jewsraelis, there is a sense of ease and identification as a Jew that comes simply from living in Israel and doing Jewish things. In Israel, he says, “you are just being Jewish. You don’t have to make a special effort.”


...Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, professor of liturgy and midrash at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem, says, “People used to say, ‘I am not a good Jew and I don’t observe Judaism as I should, but the people in Mea She’arim do it for me.’ People don’t talk like this anymore. Now, many people are saying, ‘We want to take charge of our Jewishness. We want to experience and express Judaism as we think we should.’ I think that this is a very positive thing.”


...“Many secular Jews are proud of their Jewish identity, and they want to know what it means to be a Jew, though not necessarily to be obligated,”....


... “There is a strong Jewish sentiment, even if it is not religious. It is a mixture of Judaism and Israeliness. More and more Israelis are becoming connected to it from their own points of view.”
Of course, the author sees this as a positive development while I view it as befitting the atmosphere required for a fast day like the 20th of Sivan.  In some quarters, "Israeli" is synonymous with "Jewish," but when I read in the news that an "Israeli" woman was injured in an accident or an "Israeli" man was arrested for a crime, I have to ask myself if she/he was Jewish or Arab or Christian or Muslim.  Anyone who becomes a citizen of the State of Israel is properly called an "Israeli" and not necessarily Jewish at all.  And what of the Filipinos, Eritreans, Sudanese Ghanans, Koreans, etc. who settle here as foreign or migrant workers, have children, put them in Israeli schools and then claim they need to stay because their children are Hebrew-speaking and have become accustomed to "Jewish" holidays?

This is a kind of reverse assimilation.  In the Diaspora, Jews become like goyim while in Israel the goyim become "like" Jews. Either way, the end result is the same.  And Judaism, remade into whatever each person chooses for himself, without "obligation," becomes just another alternative world religion and not the unique Divinely-mandated path to G-d that the Torah claims.

Which brings me to this...


POMPEO ANNOUNCES EFFORT TO ADVANCE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WORLDWIDE

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday his decision to elevate the Office of International Religious Freedom along with the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism within the State Department.


...The Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom is submitted in compliance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.


According to the State Department, “It describes the status of religious freedom in each foreign country, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations, and individuals, and US policies to promote religious freedom around the world.”


...“The mission [of advancing international religious freedom] is not just a Trump administration priority – it’s a deeply personal one. For many years, I was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon at my church,” said Pompeo.


“But in much of the world, governments and groups deny individuals that same unalienable right. People are persecuted – handcuffed, thrown in jail, even killed – for their decision to believe, or not to believe. Go into any mosque, any church, any temple in America, and you’ll hear the same thing: Americans believe that kind of intolerance is deeply wrong.


“That’s why the Trump Administration has promoted religious freedom like never before in our foreign policy agenda,” he continued. “Given our own great freedoms, it’s a distinctly American responsibility to stand up for faith in every nation’s public square.”


Speaking about the findings of the report, Pompeo said, “It’s like a report card. It tracks countries to see how well they’ve respected this fundamental human right.”
And on this point, we are fundamentally at odds.  Just like with their promotion of LGBT "rights" around the world, "religious" freedom is at odds with the Torah, the only standard of Truth that exists in the world.  So-called religious freedom works for Jews in the Diaspora where they would be forced into the idolatrous religions of the gentiles without it, in Israel, where the ONE TRUE "JEWISH" religion is the majority, it is actually forbidden for us to allow the practice of other religions which are false.  

The extent to which the world loves Israel is the extent to which we are self-destructing by way of this secular, democratic State. 

It's a good day for a fast. I've lost my appetite anyway.
____________________
1 Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov
2 Stone Edition Chumash Commentary on Parashat Sh'lach L'cha

21 June 2019

UPDATE IRAN II

18 Sivan 5779
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Sh'lach L'cha

Trump orders military strike on Iran – then pulls back

"We Were Cocked and Loaded": Trump Explains Why He Called Off Strikes

"FATAL ERROR"

18 Sivan 5779
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Shelach – Fatal Error - Rabbi Meir Kahane

All the Children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the entire assembly said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this Wilderness! Why is Hashem bringing us to this Land to die by the sword? Our wives and young children will be taken captive! Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?” (Num. 14:2-3)
It is a mitzvah, a Divine decree, that we must live in Eretz Yisrael under G-d's dominion, sanctifying His name, in order to create a holy state and society which clings to mitzvot completely and properly, uninfluenced by the alien, false culture of the nations.  At the same time, it is an unforgivable, loathsome sin to refuse to live in Eretz Yisrael, and to prefer the depravity of the exile and foreign rule.  It is a chilul Hashem, and Israel are, thus, exposed to the influence of the nations and their abominations.

G-d, therefore, was angry at our ancestors in the desert when they refused to go up to Eretz Yisrael and called out, “Let us appoint a new leader and go back to Egypt” (Num. 14:4).  Surely the spies Moses sent out were prominent and righteous, as our sages said (Tanchuma, Shelach, 4):  “Send out men” (Num. 13:2): This is in line with, “He that sends a message by the hand of a fool, severs his own feet and imbibes damage” (Prov. 26:6).  Were the spies fools? Surely the Torah said, “Send out men (“anashim”),” and “anashim” always refers to righteous persons...  Rather, they were called fools only because they slandered the Land...  All the same, they were great men who made themselves into fools.

[As Rabbi Meir Kahane puts it in Peirush HaMaccabee – Shemot, Ch. 3]:  Incidentally, this also teaches the bitter lesson that even the greatest of men can become a “fool” in the Torah sense of the word, if he lacks faith.  As the Talmud says:  What can cause the tzaddikim to have less than their full share in the World to Come? – Their lack of faith (Sotah 48b).  Here, their lack of faith caused the spies to put out an evil report of the Land of Israel, and G-d therefore said:  For how long will this nation fight against Me and for how long will they refuse to believe in Me? (Numbers 14:11).  The leader of the generation has to be perpetually on guard, to ensure that his fear of heaven is greater than his wisdom, because without fear of heaven, his wisdom will not endure.  He has to work to ensure that his faith is securely anchored in his fear of heaven.  And we all have to be aware that even a leader of the generation can err – especially in matters of faith.  

Likewise, Num. 13:3, “All the men were leaders of the children of Israel,” was rendered by Targum Yonatan as,  “All were wise men who had been appointed heads of the children of Israel.”  Thus, they were great and righteous men, yet they sinned in turning their backs on Eretz Yisrael and wishing to settle down in the exile, in Egypt.  As King David said,  “They scorned the Desirable Land, they believed not His word” (Ps. 106:24).

Ostensibly, they had a good argument, pikuach nefesh, i.e., they wished to prevent loss of life.  The spies said of the Canaanites,  “We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so were we in their sight” (Num. 13:33).  They were certain that the war against the Canaanites would be severe, and it would be hard to defeat the giants.  Moreover, even if they defeated them, a few Israelites would fall.  After all, we do not rely on miracles.  For that reason, these great and righteous men rendered a halachic ruling that pikuach nefesh overrides all areas of Eretz Yisrael; it overrides Eretz Yisrael in its entirety.  They certainly did not intend to abandon G-d's Torah, but rather to return to Egypt and keep it there.  This, however, was their sin, because G-d had decreed that it was forbidden for them to dwell outside the Land, and that only in Eretz Yisrael could they sanctify His name and live in the isolation of Torah.  For that reason, no danger to the nation overrode Eretz Yisrael, the only place the Jewish People could keep the Torah completely and properly.  A war over the mitzvah of living in and conquering Eretz Yisrael is a milchemet mitzvah, which no danger to life overrides.  Quite the contrary, this mitzvah overrides such danger, as Ramban wrote in Sefer HaMitzvot, Ibid., Mitzvah 4):  This is what our sages call milchemet mitzvah. In the Talmud (Sotah 44b) Rava said, “Joshua's war of conquest was an obligatory duty according to all opinions.”  One should not make the mistake of saying that this mitzvah only applies to the seven nations we were commanded to destroy... That is not so.  We were commanded to destroy those nations when they fought against us, and had they wished to make peace we could have done so under specific conditions.  Yet, we cannot leave the Land in their control or in the control of any other nations in any generation Fear of the nations is just one dismal reason the Jewish People treat the Desirable Land with contempt (longing for the good life is another).  Precisely because of this delusion that the exile is safe but Eretz Yisrael is dangerous, G-d became angry and decreed death in the desert for the generation that left Egypt, adding, “You said your children will be taken captive, but they will be the ones I will bring there, so that they will know the land that you rejected” (Num. 14:31).  Those who feared that they and their children would die in Eretz Yisrael died precisely in the desert, whereas their children entered the Land and lived.  This teaches that the only security for the Jewish People is in Eretz Yisrael, whereas the exile is their burial place.

Our sages said (Torat Kohanim, Bechukotai, Ch. 1): “'You will live securely in your land' (Lev. 26:5): In your land you will live securely, but not outside it.”  Likewise, Obadiah said (v. 17), “Upon Mount Zion there shall be deliverance.”  In other words, in Zion but not in the exile.  G-d, Who knows His people's mind, knew, as well, that Israel would always prefer the non-Jewish life of the exile, whose abominable depravity is so sweet to the sinner among us.  As King Solomon said, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant” (Prov. 9:17).  G-d, therefore, decreed that Israel would never find safety and security in the exile.  Bereshit Rabbah 33:6 teaches:  “He sent out the dove...  It could find no place to rest its feet” (Gen. 8:8-9):  “Had it found a place to rest, it would not have returned.  Just so, it says,  'She dwells among the nations; she finds no rest' (Lam. 1:3); and;  'Among the nations you shall have no repose; there shall be no rest for the soles of your foot' (Deut. 28:65).  If Israel found rest in the exile, they would not return.”

Thus, G-d decreed that Israel would never find permanent rest (“manoach”) in the exile, and whoever says that they really can find it is an “ignoramus” [in Berachot 61a, R. Nachman calls Samson's father Manoach an “ignoramus”].  Not in vain did our sages (Mechilta, Bo, 1) compare the exile to a cemetery, for if Israel refuse to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, if they spurn it for the depravity of the exile, they have no future, but suffering, tragedy and annihilation.

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from “The Jewish Idea" and "Peirush HaMaccabee- Shemot" of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D   (Source)

~ SHABBAT SHALOM! ~

20 June 2019

UPDATE IRAN!

17 Sivan 5779
"...I shall put hooks into your jaws and bring you forth and all your army,...." (Yechezkel 38.4)
The race is on to retrieve the U.S. spy drone brought down by Iran
Analysis: Pieces of the world's most advanced intelligence gathering UAV are now lying at the bottom of the sea in the Strait of Hormuz; if the Iranians get there first, they could sell the technology to America's enemies and reverse engineer the technology, something they have done before

The MQ-4C Triton - the drone brought down by Iran over the Straits of Hormuz - is the naval version of the Global Hawk RQ-4, the most technologically advanced intelligence-gathering drone both in U.S in particular and the world in general. This is the first time that the advanced UAV has ever been intercepted.

...This of course will also interest China, North Korea and Russia, making the interception of the UAV an extremely serious matter indeed.

...Equally important, the interception of the UAV and the need to prevent it from falling into Iranian hands, as well as the need to take punitive and deterrent steps to the attack on their aircraft in international air space, could lead the Americans to send the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and the massive naval task force accompanying it, into the Persian Gulf.

Israeli "Apartheid" Government

17 Sivan 5779

JEWS are second-class citizens!!!!

Rav Richter on Destruction at Tapuach West Hill


Meantime, twenty years + after the process to evict these land squatters and water stealers started winding its way through the Israeli court system and MONTHS after the HIGH COURT upheld the eviction...


Netanyahu Postpones Evacuation of Khan Al-Ahmar to Please US

KHAN AL-AHMAR EVACUATION TO BE POSTPONED ANOTHER SIX MONTHS

The State of Israel requested a postponement for the evacuation of the city of Khan al-Ahmar another six months.  The community petitioned the High Court for a sixth time, demanding the state explain their initial decision making.  The State submitted a postponement until after December 16, due to the dispersal of the Knesset.
To top it all off, this is today's headline...
Source: Police may drop charges if no movement on rape case
Investigators apparently believe there is a connection between Palestinian suspect and his alleged 7-year-old victim but are beginning to question validity of case; source says investigation never saw this as nationalistic crime
The nation was in shock at this horrendous crime, to say the very least, but the government was equally shocked by the public expression of outrage.  Anti-Arab feelings are not productive for the "peace process" so the fire has to stamped out quickly and this is their way of doing that.  

No doubt this is also on orders out of the American Master as just everything is.

US 'deal of the century' delayed until 2020: report