31 July 2019

"How to Put An End to the Fast of the 9th of Av"

28 Tamuz 5779

How to Put An End to the Fast of the 9th of Av  - Rav Yehuda Richter

"A Night to Remember..."

29 Tamuz 5779

"...Rabbi Reuven, Rabbi Mizrachi and Rabbi Anava on one stage"

"To Be A Normal People In Our Land"

28 Tamuz 5779

This is the Noam Party's election slogan.  It focuses on the main assault being perpetrated upon the holy people today - the "normalization" of same-sex relationships. 

As is evident from our historical narrative, this corrupt behavior is a red line for the Creator of the World.  It was central to the destruction of the pre-Flood world and again, to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  

During the Great Flood, the entire planet was essentially immersed in a giant mikvah and in Sodom and Gomorrah, fire rained down.  Water and fire - the two ways to kasher the impure. 

Both events stand forever as testimony to the seriousness of the consequences of turning a blind eye to this destructive campaign to normalize homosexuality. 

Some people like to point to occasions of homosexual behavior allegedly observable today among some animals as proof that this is natural and normal behavior, but in truth, it is a result of mankind's behavior which has negatively impacted the creation to such an extent, which is why, during the Flood, everything had to be destroyed.
"And God saw the earth, and behold it had become corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth.  (Bereishit 6.12)
Today, it comes to thwart the path to Mashiach ben Yosef, who, like his forebear, Yosef HaTzadik, will be a master of guarding the brit.  

It is no less a war than the one waged against us by the Midyanites, of which we only recently read.  We have to fight back and defend ourselves and then Mashiach will come and lead the war to avenge Hashem's Name!


Binyamin Netanyahu - America's Prime Minister

28 Tamuz 5779

(Excerpts taken from Traitors and Carpetbaggers in the Promised Land by Investigative Reporter Barry Chamish and published in 1997.)
Who Is Binyamin Netanyahu?
(The Conventional Story)

...When Binyamin moved to America at age fourteen after his father accepted a teaching post in Philadelphia, his hero became JFK.  Netanyahu felt very alienated being away from Israel and took waitering jobs to earn the money to spend his summers back home. There his greatest pleasure was working on left-wing kibbutzim with his pals from Jerusalem. 
...He was a straight-A student who graduated fourth in his class at Cheltenham High School, one of the most academically competitive schools in America.  But he didn't attend his graduation ceremony.  War broke out on June 5, 1967, and Netanyahu flew to Israel to volunteer for the army. 
...After five years of soldiering, Netanyahu returned to America to study architecture at...MIT.  ...Netanyahu interrupted his studies only once.  In October of 1973 war broke out in Israel and he flew back to fight in the Sinai.  When he returned, he became a student activist on behalf of Israel, a fact that was noted by the Israeli consul of Boston, Collette Avital, the dovish consul of New York during the Rabin/Peres administration who arranged Netanyahu's first television appearance, a debate with PLO activist Prof. Edward Said. 
...The loss of his brother Yoni during the Entebbe raid put a stop to Binyamin's plans to become an architect.  Instead he settled for an MA in business administration and took a post at the Boston Consulting Group. 
...Already earning $100,000 and with a splendid career before him, Netanyahu decided to give it all up and return to Israel to act as marketing manager of a furniture concern. 
...In 1979, Netanyahu organized an antiterrorism conference in Jerusalem, dedicated to his fallen brother.  He managed to attract the likes of George Bush, George Shultz, and Richard Perle (President Reagan's chief arms negotiator) to the meeting and was thrust briefly onto the world stage.  But when the conference ended, it was back to work at the furniture factory. 
...That all changed in 1982 when Israel's Washington ambassador, Moshe Arens, invited Netanyahu to be his deputy.  This unprecedented career rise has been a subject of much speculation.  
...In 1984, after two visibly successful years as Arens' deputy, Bibi was named Israel's ambassador to the U.N.  In another of those ironies that follow him, he was appointed to the post by Shimon Peres against the objections of Yitzchak Shamir.  Once again, it was a leader of the Labor Party who promoted his early career.
This was the true turning point in his quest to become prime minister. Netayahu's good looks, fluent English, and controversial opinions made him a media star. He became a frequent presence on Ted Koppel's "Nightline" and "Larry King Live."

...During this period, Netanyahu wrote his book, Terror: How The West Can Win. The book made a tremendous impression on the Reagan administration.  In fact, whenever George Shultz visited New York, and that was often, he would call on Netanyahu.
By 1988,  Netanyahu had made powerful allies in the American media.  He received strong support form Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, Abe Rosenthal of the New York Times, and Ellie Weymouth, daughter of Katherine Graham, the publisher of Newsweek.  When he returned to Israel, he was too powerful a figure to be ignored and was appointed first deputy foreign minister and later the prime minister's spokesman.  In this capacity, CNN made Netanyahu an international media star during the Persian Gulf War. 
Netanyahu was ready to challenge the Old Guard of the Likud.  The combination of youth, determination, and powerful allies abroad led to a resounding victory in the Likud primaries of 1993 and in the general elections of 1996.

(The Secret Life of Binyamin Netanyahu)

Even within the conventional story, it is clear that Netanyahu was groomed for leadership by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York.  In 1979, 27-year-old Netanyahu called a conference on terrorism and the ruling elite of the CFR - Bush, Shultz and Perle - answered his summons.

...Netanyahu's decision to quit his lucrative Boston job is almost inexplicable. Netanyahu sought a high-paying job at a prestigious consulting firm, yet not two months later he gave it up to fly back to Israel and sell sofas.  He was barely settled back home when he decided to organize an antiterrorism conference and invite the most powerful people in Washington to attend. 
It is possible that Netanyahu was told to quit his job, return to Israel, and arrange the conference.  Perhaps there is a connection to the fact that a year later Shultz made fighting terrorism a first priority of the Reagan administration and that Vice-President Bush was appointed to head a front for illegal covert activities called the Anti-Terror Task Force. 
Arens' offer of a deputy ambassadorship to salesman Netanyahu made no political sense.  Israeli diplomatic aides and deputies typically rise slowly through the Foreign Ministry bureaucracy.  They are not thrust into the second highest position at the most vital embassy in the world.  It is far from impossible that Arens was directed to bring in Netanyahu by the very people in the Reagan administration who attended his conference three years earlier.
Once in New York in 1984, CFR-affiliated media such as CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and CFR members Koppel and King turned Netanyahu into a major political figure; so much so that George Shultz became a close friend.  ...What did Shultz, twenty years Netanyahu's senior, find so amusing about the Israeli U.N. ambassador that he had to pay him a courtesy call every time he flew to New York?  In 1985, Shultz chaired another Netanyahu-organized conference on terrorism, this time in Washington.  The resulting publicity and prestige was a significant factor in Netanyahu's fast-rising political career.  Clearly, the secretary of state had a major stake in Netanyahu's future.  Which means, so did George Bush.  
...Since taking office, Netanyahu has fueled fears of international control by his actions.... [like his] decision to allow Yaacov Frenkel to run the country's economy single-handedly. Frenkel worked for the World Bank between 1971 and 1990.  After nineteen years away from "home" Frenkel was unexplainably appointed head of the Bank of Israel. ** 
His policies mirrored the worldwide debt program of his previous employer documented by numerous researchers.  The plan involves raising interest rates beyond what the public or industry can afford, and forcing the government to borrow lots of money from American banks to keep the populace pacified.  When the debts have to be repaid from an empty treasury, the International Monetary Fund bails out the country with schemes guaranteed to impoverish the people. 
Frenkel was a proponent of Israel borrowing $10 billion in loans guaranteed by the American government and he kept his interest rates as high as he could in the face of opposition from then-Finance Minister Avraham Shohat who suspected Frenkel "was playing politics with the Bank of Israel."
Binyamin Netanyahu...appointed Yaacov Frenkel to be his minister of finance.  The only thing that prevented the disaster was party opposition to an appointee who had never publicly supported the Likud. 
Dan Meridor got the post instead.  But as the Maariv headline read: "Meridor Will Act, Frenkel Will Lead."  On his first day in office Meridor announced that his policy would be to lower the standard of living in Israel.  Not a week later, Frenkel raised the interest rates by a whopping 1.5 percent with Meridor's "approval." 
___________________________________________ 
** The same thing happened with Stanley Fischer...
Stanley Fischer is an Israeli American economist and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Born in Northern Rhodesia, he holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States. He served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. He previously served as chief economist at the World Bank. On January 10, 2014, United States President Barack Obama nominated Fischer to be Vice-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors.  (Source)
Haaretz reported at the time...
...One must admit that at first, it did seem somewhat strange that of all places he could have gone, Fischer ended up here full-time. He was a renowned economist who’d served as chief economist at the World Bank between 1988 and 1990 and as first deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001. As an MIT professor, he taught a generation of central bankers and other important economists, advising current Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on his doctoral thesis and teaching incumbent European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. His last job before agreeing to serve as governor of the Bank of Israel was vice chairman of Citigroup, where he reportedly made $100,000 a month. He is a multiple attendee of the Bilderberg Group, the highly secretive annual conference of very, very important people.

An illustrious career, no doubt. So why give it all up and move to Israel?
"Why?" indeed!  This is already too long and I have already cut it down as far as I can and still give you an adequate picture, so we'll end the excerpts here. 

There Is Good Basis to Suspect Binyamin Netanyahu (and all others of his ilk) of Dual Loyalties

Fortunately, I came to Israel before it came under the Americanized influence of Binyamin Netanyahu's "leadership" (and World Bank/IMF governors!)  It was a different place then, ask anyone.  Today, it has truly become an American outpost - their bridgehead in the Middle East - a Little America in all but name.  God help us!

All of this is to offer you the most cogent explanation for the "Why?"....
PM said to float plan for Palestinian building permits in West Bank’s Area C

The high-level security cabinet is debating a plan introduced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to grant building permits to Palestinians in Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank, alongside such approvals for neighboring settlers, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday.
The answer to this conundrum and every other one like it is ...

He is under orders from above (small "a").
Israel plans Palestinian housing construction in apparent gesture to U.S.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting a new plan to build 700 housing units for Palestinians alongside 6,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, in an apparent response to American pressure.
The only explanation I can think of for why even the so-called religious and "extremist" right-wing parties will still recommend this man for the premiereship is sheer ignorance.  Hopefully, this blog post will go some way towards alleviating that, especially if all of you help by informing your own family and friends.

You realize in reading this short history that by the time Jonathan Pollard had been arrested in November 1985, Netanyahu had already sold his soul to the Satan; therefore, despite all his protestations to the contrary, he was never going to advocate on Pollard's behalf to the American government!

Binyamin Netanyahu's death-grip on the reins of this country is an existential threat to the Jewish nation. God have mercy on us and bring us Mashiach now!!
__________________________________

By the way, if you'd be interested in what has become of our illustrious Stanley Fischer who "made aliyah" and then only lived in Israel long enough to be head of the Bank of Israel before trotting right back to his master's den in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported back in February...
Former Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer to Join BlackRock
RelatedNetanyahu: Darling of the Christian RightCFR Membership; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); CFR Gives the Orders

30 July 2019

Messianic Moves (Part 2 of 2)

27 Tamuz 5779

(Part 1)

As I've explained in the past, my philosophy is to support those trying to do good, trying to do the right thing by the Torah and by HKB"H and the Jewish people.  I do not believe in the political process per se, so I do not advocate "choosing the lesser of two evils."  If, as happened last election, there is no one I perceive (with G-d's help) as presenting a clear-cut Torah path forward for the country, I abstain from voting altogether, which is exactly what I did then and what I will do in the future, if the only party I can support is ruled ineligible to run.

Presently, the party that I can support wholeheartedly is called "Noam."  And I was very pleased to read that Otzma Yehudit is joining them rather than the so-called United Right Wing Party which is not Torah-directed.
Noam (Hebrew: נעם, lit., Pleasantness) is an Orthodox Jewish religious, right-wing political party in Israel, established in July 2019 by a very conservative faction in the Religious Zionist community inspired by Rabbi Zvi Thau and his Har Hamor Yeshiva. The party's goal is to advance policies against LGBT rights and what its backers have called "the destruction of the family".

The party's basis is in Rabbi Zvi Thau and his Har Hamor Yeshiva. Rabbi Thau and his followers believe that Bayit Yehudi, led by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, and Tkuma, led by Bezalel Smotrich, have not sufficiently advanced Jewish values – particularly in the realm of opposition to LGBT rights, protection of the Shabbat as a day of rest, and the protection of the Orthodox conversion process. Following Rabbi Thau's disappointment with the parties of the United Right, he and his followers decided to form the Noam party. While Rabbi Thau is the party's spiritual leader, Avi Maoz is the political leader of the party. Another student of Thau that is involved in the creation of the party is Rabbi Shlomo Aviner. He said that: "The party will fight against the destruction of the family, against the destruction of conversion, against the destruction of Shabbat, against the destruction of the Western Wall, and against the use of deviant content in the IDF and the Education Ministry."

The Noam party was reported to be in talks with the Otzma Yehudit party, which split recently from the United Right, for a possible joint run. In 2015, Otzma Yehudit allied itself with the Yachad party of former Shas chief Eli Yishai, running on a joint ticket for the elections for the 19th Knesset. Rabbi Thau endorsed the joint ticket, marking the first time the Har Hamor dean had explicitly endorsed a political party. (Source)
The point here is not that Mashiach will come through elections. It is to assist Mashiach, whoever he may be, by preparing a Torah-based infrastructure in anticipation of his arrival - a vehicle, if you will - which will serve to launch him into national prominence at the appropriate time. If we want to replace the regime we have, something must be prepared in the wings to take its place. THAT is the point!

The State itself is just a vehicle for bringing Mashiach.  It is the very "donkey" that he is riding in on, but the day will come when he will ascend something better than a lowly donkey. 

One of the greatest things about Judaism is that it leaves no aspect of life without the influence of Torah law.  Anyone who wants to say our religion has no place in the political world, who prefers to abdicate any responsibility for it, is really advocating "separation of religion and state" per the Western model.  But, this is not our Judaism. 

Whoever is faithfully lifting the Torah banner over our nation deserves our support.  And more than that, we have an obligation to support it.  On the other hand, should the powers that be make that impossible by using a corrupt court to disqualify every Torah-based option, we have an equal obligation, I believe, to abstain altogether.

This is another step forward to our long-awaited geulah.  Someone very wise once said, "The only thing that evil needs to succeed is for good men to stand by and do nothing."  Everything we are reading in the weekly parashah proves how much WE have to be DOING in partnership with HKB"H.  

I'll finish here with some quotes from this article...

...Bennett has taken on a sometimes combative tone against some of the more extreme elements in the national religious community. Before he handed the keys to the New Right over to Shaked last week, the party championed the notion of secular-religious partnership. Bennett claimed that the Hardal (an acronym for “national Haredi”) flank of the Jewish Home had prevented his previous attempts to promote such cooperation.

While Otzma Yehudit and URWP each have a base of that increasingly religious, increasingly nationalist subgroup, the Noam party was established earlier this month to appeal to Hardal Israelis who want a stronger emphasis on “traditional family values.”

Noam kicked off its campaign with a series of provocative highway billboards and video ads with the slogan “Israel chooses to be normal.” The party claims that the LGBT community has “forced its agenda” on the rest of Israeli society, which believes in a “normal” (heteronormative) family structure.

The extremist party enjoys the express backing of Rabbi Tzvi Tau, the founder of the Har Hamor yeshiva in Jerusalem. The 81-year-old has been a leading voice in the national religious community against LGBT acceptance. In 2017, he wrote that homosexuality is the “ugliest deviation, which breaks down family life… and contradicts the first basis of human existence.”
The following comment posted in response to this article is proof that the Birur is still on track...
This is great news, if the racist Otzma Yehudi party and the hateful Noam party run together, it means that the more moderate Religious Zionist camp can return to its traditional values, and the majority of people in the Religious-Zionist community can vote for a party which represents their values without worrying about their vote going to a handful of haters who have hijacked the Religious-Zionist agenda in recent years.

If Otzma Yehudi and Noam run together, they have almost zero percent chance of breaking the threshold (they represent a tiny minority of the Religious Zionist community, which in itself make up less than 20% of the general population). If (Heaven forbid) they did break the threshold, I hope that Netanyahu, the Knesset, and the Media would treat them as pariahs in the same way that the Knesset and media treated Meir Kahana.
Funny how what used to be moderate and central has become "extremist" as the world keeps shifting further and further away from Hashem's expressed will.

29 July 2019

Messianic Moves (Part 1 of 2)

27 Tamuz 5779

I introduced my readers to Rabbi Tzvi Yisrael Tau in this Tevet 5778 blog post:
HARDAL: Bringing Together The Best From Both Worlds?
As I mentioned near the end of that post: "In my considered opinion, these are the people to be watching for a glimpse of Mashiach."  I still believe that and this is why I believe his formation of a political party called "Noam" is worth talking about.  But first, some more background.
Zvi Yisrael Thau ... was born in Vienna to parents who emigrated from Galicia at the end of the First World War. His father, Avraham Adolph Thau, was a banker, and his mother, Judith Yutah Meisels, was a chemist. After the Anschluss, the family left for the Netherlands, and during the Holocaust they were hidden by a local family in Hilversum. They were saved, among other things, due to his mother's resourcefulness.

His sister Eveline related: "In June, 1943, there was a large Aktion [round-up of Jews to be deported] and we were saved thanks to our mother, who was a chemist. She managed to disguise us as measles patients and hung a sign on the door: 'Beware. Contagious disease'."

After the end of the war, Thau studied in a public school, where he was exposed to philosophy. At the age of 17, after his mother's death, he immigrated to Israel despite his father's objections, due to his refusal to complete a matriculation certificate prior to immigration. His father and sister moved to the United States during this period.

After making aliyah to Israel, he studied at Yeshivat HaDarom under Rabbi Yehuda Amital. He related that Rabbi Amital invested a great deal in his absorption and introduced him into the world of Torah and specifically to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook's teachings. After one year, he went to study at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav in Jerusalem.

From the 1960s, Thau held a position of influence at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav. He is considered by many to be the leading disciple of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the dean of Mercaz HaRav.

In 1997, Thau strongly opposed the introduction of an academic framework - plans to integrate a teaching institute - into Mercaz HaRav. As a result of the disagreement, he, together with six senior lecturers and many students, left the yeshiva and established the Har Hamor yeshiva. (The name "HaMoR" is also a Hebrew acronym for "Successor to Mercaz Harav".) While he is not involved in Har Hamor's day-to-day management, Thau is the ultimate authority in ideological matters.  (Source)
Who is Rabbi Zvi Tau and why is he so essential for understanding the growing rifts between extremists and centrists in the Zionist-religious sector?
BY NATAN ODENHEIMER      MAY 25, 2017

Until a decade ago, leaders of the hardal – an acronym for haredi dati leumi, or haredi national-religious – community, representing some 15% of the Religious Zionist public, did not take serious steps toward realizing their political vision for the country, but many seem to think that they are stepping up their game.

Yoav Sorek, a former editor at the Makor Rishon daily, points his finger toward Rabbi Zvi Israel Tau, the spiritual shepherd of the hardal sector, who was often quoted making harsh statements against the way the state is run. He described Israeli reality as a “cultural war” and said his public is under “existential threats” by the secular world.

...Over the past 20 years, Tau has built what some call a small “empire.” Other than Har Hamor, there are few other institutions where Tau’s leadership is taken very seriously, such as Yeshivat Midbara K’Eden in Mitzpe Ramon or the pre-military academy Bnei David at the Eli settlement, nicknamed “the military wing of Har Hamor.”

It is thus nicknamed because it is not as rigorous as other yeshivot and is directed toward making the young men into good soldiers and, indeed, it is regarded as very successful in this regard.

These institutions are not officially part of his so-called “empire,” but are perceived as carrying his ideological line.

TAU RARELY directly intervenes in politics, but indirectly is a different story.

He makes sure that his opinion is heard on specific politicians and topics. According to sources who prefer to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issues, Tau holds weekly meetings with his closest followers where he lays out his agenda.

In a lesson he taught in 2013, he harshly criticized the head of the Bayit Yehudi Party and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, saying he “doesn’t have the smell of Torah. You can easily tell that he didn’t pass through the gates of Torah. This is the man who would guard the Torah?” Tau also made a point of clarifying his position on Jerusalem’s annual gay parade, explaining in a pamphlet circulated online and in synagogues, why and how homosexuality is an “abomination.”

During the past three years, a movement arose among yeshiva graduates that, according to many people, acts under his leadership. These graduates have created a number of organizations that not only focus on self-education in their own communities, but also aim to “educate” a greater share of the public.

Among these organizations, LIBA stands out.

LIBA’s official purpose is to “augment the holiness of the state so that the Torah and the mitzvot will lead the path.”

It is run by Rabbi Yaakov Dvir of Yeshivat Midbara K’Eden, which publishes articles on topics such as Reform Jews’ religious rights, military service by religious women, and the status of the state’s rabbinical courts.

LIBA activists have told The Jerusalem Post Magazine that many of those who participate in the organizations and campaigns see themselves as followers of Rabbi Tau. Bar-Ilan University political science professor Asher Cohen told the Post that “these activists are not only working together, but they are all the same people.”

By “same people” he alludes to those who are behind LIBA’s sister organizations, Hotam (Teach First Israel or TFI), launched in 2010, and Tzav Ehad – that monitors violations of Jewish religious rights in the army, and runs a hotline for soldiers’ complains – and the Brothers in Arms campaign – a handsomely funded short-lived campaign that called for limiting female soldiers’ service options in the army. Hotam made headlines this year after it uploaded an animated video allegedly showing the hardships of being a religious woman in the army that was clearly aimed at discouraging women from serving in the military.

...The sudden appearance of these organizations during the past two or three years and their strategic choices to impact the general pubic discourse perhaps have something to do with the change in Tau’s reading of Israeli reality....

...Asked the same question he raised two years ago, Sorek said that, “The Religious Zionist camp is still driving toward a crisis. Nothing too dramatic has happened yet. The mainstream Religious Zionist leaders haven’t yet spoken out against the hardalim. There is a desire to hold things together, at least from the point of view of the mainstream leaders. On one hand, it looks like we are heading toward an unavoidable, deep division; on the other hand, this very much depends on Rabbi Tau.”

Tau himself doesn’t speak with the press. One of his closest followers, Rabbi M., told the Post that he cannot be interviewed or answer any question, since this is against Tau’s orders and that no one from Tau’s inner circles would talk to the press. He also insists that “it’s impossible to understand anything about Tau’s aims,” since he exists on a “higher sphere of being,” a different reality of sorts, incomprehensible to anyone without “at least 10 years of study.”

Nonetheless, Tau and his followers are trying to affect the everyday lives of Israelis who didn’t choose to study with him. In a recent pamphlet funded by real-estate mogul Yisrael Zaira and distributed in synagogues, Tau articulated his position on various toxic topics and explained the steps needed so that the Jewish people realizes its anticipated redemption.

In this sense, his Jewish political thought is far from ultra-Orthodoxy, which by and large believes that Jews shouldn’t rush the coming of redemption, but only wait for it patiently. In the pamphlet, Tau states that the Zionist secular ideologists and leaders such as Ahad Ha’am and David Ben-Gurion were infidels, that today a small group of lefty fanatics is trying to sabotage the process toward redemption, that the IDF is “in bad hands” and that it is time to respond to trends that are corrupting society. Curiously, despite his purist opposition to Western culture, Tau draws comparisons between Israel and ancient Athens and quotes from Plato’s Republic.

According to the political theology of Religious Zionism, the creation of the State of Israel was the first step toward redemption, even though it was made possible by secular Zionists. Rabbi Kook and his son, Zvi Yehuda, believed that it is crucial to join forces with the secular Zionists in order to ensure the Jewish state’s success. 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.”

...Rabbi Tzvi Kustiner, a student of Tau’s who heads Yeshivat Midbara K’Eden, also teaches in the official military course for IDF rabbis. A Ynet article from this January reported that he preaches against military service by women, that it is okay to shoot uninvolved citizens in a time of war (which is against open-fire regulations), and that non- Jews should be kicked out of the army.

It’s difficult to determine the magnitude and impact of these changes.
Some see this newly forged alliance as an unprecedented threat to the pluralism of Religious Zionist society. Hanan Mendel, the director of Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah, told the Post that never before had ultra-Orthodox and hardal rabbis seen things eye-to-eye like this.

Sorek, however, maintains that, “while the hardal is a loud voice heard among Religious Zionists, and that many educational institutes and teachers share their ideology, it’s important not to exaggerate. It still doesn’t mean more people are turning to them.”
With the abdication of Yachad (whom HaRav Tau supported) under the leadership of Rabbi Mazuz and Eli Yishai just prior to the most recent (failed) election, those Torah Jews who share this vision were left politically homeless.  But now, Rabbi Tau has formed "Noam" which we will talk more about in Part 2.

28 July 2019

THIS is Kiddush Hashem!

26 Tamuz 5779
“People think if you give up your money, you’re either religious or crazy,” he says. “This is the golden calf: people worshiping money above everything, people selling their values and ethics.” (Eric Ben-Artzi)


Deutsche whistleblower Ben Artzi moves on after spurning award

From Sanhedrin to Beit Hamikdash

25 Tamuz 5779

"...We're not at liberty to do nothing.  Doing nothing comes with a heavy price, just like doing the wrong thing comes with a heavy price."

25 July 2019

"War and Vengeance"

23 Tamuz 5779
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Mattot – War and Vengeance - Rabbi Meir Kahane

Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, “Take vengeance for the Children of Israel against the Midianites; afterwards, you will be gathered unto your people." (Num. 31:1)
Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among yourselves for the legion that they may be against Midian to inflict Hashem's vengeance against Midian." (Num. 31:3)
Great is revenge for it resurrects G-d, proves His existence, and humbles the arrogant sinner so that the righteous and the world joyfully declares (Ps. 58:12), “Verily there is a reward for the righteous.  Verily there is a G-d Who judges on earth.”  In this regard our sages said (Tanchuma, Matot 4), “Moses yearned to see G-d's revenge on the Midianites before his death, and he would ask G-d to let him see it with his own eyes.  Of Moses it says (Ps. 58:11), 'The righteous man shall rejoice when he sees vengeance.'”  It says here, “Moses yearned.”  He did not merely wish or hope, but he yearned.  The righteous yearn to see revenge against the evil, for it proves that “there is a G-d Who judges on earth.”  By contrast, whoever relents from revenge against Israel's enemies is actually giving up on avenging G-d, for whoever attacks the people of Israel is actually attacking the G-d of Israel by showing that he does not fear Divine retribution.  Our sages said (Sifri, Matot 157): “The L-rd spoke to Moses saying, 'Take revenge for the Children of Israel against the Midianites'...  Moses spoke to the people saying, 'Detach men for armed service against Midian, so that the L-rd's revenge can be taken against the Midianites'” (Num. 31:1-3):  This is in praise of the righteous.  They do not depart from the world until they take revenge on behalf of Israel, which is the revenge of Him Who brought the world into being."

G-d told Moses to take revenge “for the Children of Israel," and Moses called it “G-d's revenge,” to inform us that the two are the same.  Our sages also said (Sifri, Beha'alot'cha, 84): “Arise, O L-rd, and scatter Your enemies!  Let Your foes flee before You” (Num. 10:35):  Can He Who created the world be said to have “enemies”?  Rather, the verse informs us that if someone hates the Jewish People, it is as though he hates G-d.  Elsewhere Sifri teaches (Matot 157):  Moses told them,  “You are not taking the revenge of flesh and blood, but of Him Who brought the world into being, as it says, 'The L-rd is a zealous and avenging G-d' (Nachum 1:2).”  To forgo such revenge is wrong, indeed, abominable!  The issue here is not personal revenge, which is not only permissible to forgo, but forbidden to carry out (Lev. 19:18):  “Do not take revenge nor bear a grudge against the children of your people.”  Our sages said (Torat Kohanim, Kedoshim, 4), “You may take revenge and bear a grudge against others [i.e., non-Jews],” and Yalkut Shimoni (Vayikra 19:613) states, “Do not take revenge nor bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you may do so against non-Jews.”

As Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane points out in his commentary on the Parasha: ...when Pinchas and the Israeli army return from battling Midian, Moses angrily questions Pinchas“Have you saved all the women alive?!”  Concerning this, the Ramban quotes the “Sifri”: “Pinchas answered Moses: As you commanded us, so we did!”  Pinchas assumed that this war was the same as any other obligatory war (milchemet mitzvah) or permissible war (milchemet reshut), whose laws are outlined in Deuteronomy 20:10. In most of these wars, only males are to be killed (with the exception of obligatory wars against Amalek or against the nations who dwelled in the land previously, where all are to be killed, including women and children).  We can now understand what Pinchas meant when he said, “as you commanded, so we did.”  He meant, as you commanded us in the Torah.  And so when Moses saw that Israel left the females alive, he explains, “Behold, these (specifically the females) caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Bilaam, to revolt against the L-rd in the matter of Pe'or, and there was a plague among the congregation of the L-rd.”  Moses is teaching us a vital lesson here: There is another category of war – a war of vengeance.  As opposed to the regular wars, where the laws are pre-set regarding who is to be killed or spared (see Rambam, Hilchot Melachim, Ch. 6), the wars of vengeance are a direct response to what was done to Israel.  It takes into consideration specific actions of the enemy in the past.  Therefore, the way in which the enemy is treated varies from one war to another, depending on the specific circumstances.  In the case of the war against Midian, which was fought to avenge what the women of Midian did, it would have been proper for the Jewish army to make the women of Midian the very first victims.  And so, we have learned a principle regarding a war of vengeance – that the type of vengeance which is exacted, depends on what or who is being avenged.

[As Rabbi Meir Kahane continues in The Jewish Idea]: The Torah dons sackcloth over the distortion of the concept of revenge, which has become a a target for the arrows of all Jewish Hellenists and worshipers of the [Western] alien culture, as if revenge were negative and evil by nature.  The very opposite is true!  No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.  G-d, Himself, is called “Nokem”, Avenger: “The L-rd is a zealous and avenging G-d.  The L-rd avenges and is full of wrath.  He takes revenge on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies” (Nachum 1:2).  Our sages also said (Berachot 33a), “Shall we say that even revenge is great because it appears between two names of G-d?  'A G-d of vengeance is the L-rd' (Ps. 94:1).  R. Elazar responded, 'Indeed.  Where revenge is necessary, it is a great thing'” [see Rashi].  “It is a great thing!”  It is a great mitzvah to take the revenge of the righteous and humble from the evildoer.  Whoever forgoes or rejects such an opportunity is cruel, and he denies belief in G-d.  The evildoers' presence in the world and their taking control of it constitute a challenge and threat to G-d's exclusive sovereignty.  It is thus imperative to rid the world of them.  Therefore, 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).”

A curse upon those who falsify G-d's attributes!  Hillel clearly gave us a great principle when he said,  “That which is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man – this is the whole Torah.”  Yet he concluded,  “The rest is commentary.  Go learn it!” (Shabbat 31a).  The principle has a commentary and only an ignoramus, fool or charlatan would ignore it and intentionally conceal the end of Hillel's utterance.  Does this great principle apply to the way we must approach a non-Jew who is an enemy of the Jewish People?  Must a Jew put himself on equal terms with a cursed, wicked non-Jew who thirsts for his blood?  Anyone with the least bit of Talmud under his belt, anyone who has studied even a small measure of Shas [Mishnah] and Poskim [halachic authorities], will understand how ridiculous this is.  Love thine enemy?  Is he our “neighbor,” our “re'a”?  Read not “re'a” but “ra”, evil!  He is an evildoer, an enemy.  There is no obligation to be friendly to him.  Quite the contrary, our sages declared (Bamidbar Rabbah 21:4): “'Harass the Midianites' (Num. 25:17):  Why?  'For they harass you' (Ibid.).  Our sages accordingly said,  'If someone comes to kill you, kill him first.'”  We must kill him, not love him.  At the same time, we must not relate lovingly and forgivingly to those who rise up against G-d, and the law is that any enemy who rises up against Israel is considered to have risen up against G-d.  The rule is this:  Whoever conquers his evil impulse and his false thinking, will go on to uproot evil and take revenge on evildoers because of G-d's command, clinging to G-d's traits and without any personal interest.  Then he will be called merciful and saintly for having eradicated evil.  To our sorrow, and once more due to the terrible exile in which we were blinded by the alien culture, G-d's attributes have been corrupted and distorted, deliberately so by those who cast off G-d's yoke and with depressing ignorance by a large portion of the holy camp. It has reached the point in which war and revenge against the nations and the sanctification of G-d's name through Jewish victory have entirely disappeared from our agenda.  Yet, in the original Jewish idea, precisely as we received from Sinai laws of the Sabbath and of separating meat and milk, so were we given laws of war and revenge, which are practical laws during this pre-Messianic era in which we live.

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from 'The Jewish Idea' of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY"D, and from 'The writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, HY"D'.

Legal disclaimer: This article relates to the weekly Parasha and is posted for purposes of study.  This week's Parasha (Mattot) deals with the concept of national vengeance in the framework of a war (against the Midianites) and the article explores the opinion of Rabbi Meir Kahane and Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane on the matter.  The article is absolutely NOT meant to encourage any readers to resort to individual acts of "vengeance" or vigilantism or any activity that is against the law.   (Source)

~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

24 July 2019

Kiddush Hashem or Chillul Hashem

21 Tamuz 5779

The following popped up on my screen when I opened my laptop at 9 am...
KIDDUSH HASHEM: Anne Neuberger, Shomer Shabbos, Bais Yaakov Graduate Appointed As NSA Cybersecurity Directorate
My initial reaction was to physically pull back in horror and my second reaction was to feel pain and sorrow over how differently we Torah Jews can view the same event depending upon which side we live on - HKB"H's side or the nations' side.  Make no mistake about it.  When you make your home in the Diaspora by choice, you have chosen to side with the nations of the world over HKB"H.  Living in the Diaspora itself is a terrible Chillul HashemAs the prophet says...
I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. According to their way and their misdeeds did I judge them. And they entered the nations where they came, and they profaned My Holy Name, inasmuch as it was said of them, 'These are the people of the Lord, and they have come out of His land.'
But I had pity on My Holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they had come. Therefore, say to the house of Israel; So says the Lord God: Not for your sake do I do this, O house of Israel, but for My Holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations to which they have come. And I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord - is the declaration of the Lord God - when I will be sanctified through you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your land. (Yechezkel 36.20-24)
If our being forced into exile is a Chillul Hashem, how much more so when it becomes our preference and choice???  And the only "cure" for this massive Chillul Hashem, which every Diaspora Jew is perpetrating simply by his living and breathing among the nations of the world, is his removal from there.  As the prophet says...
As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with poured out fury, will I reign over you. And I shall take you out of the peoples, and I shall gather you from the lands in which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with poured out fury. (Yechezkel 20:33-34)
Setting aside the fact that the NSA is the very lion's den of an evil, corrupt, increasingly oppressive regime, the willingness of a Torah Jew to serve this master instead of HKB"H (because you certainly can NOT serve BOTH!) and their fellows bragging about it and presenting it as a gift to HKB"H is perhaps the greatest Chillul Hashem of all.

23 July 2019

A World Divided - A World United

20 Tamuz 5779

The world consists of seventy nations equally balanced between two opposing forces - 35 are under the influence of "Eisav" (Christianity) and the remaining 35 are under the influence of "Yishmael" (Islam).  Above them stands the unique "all-inclusive" nation of God - Yisrael.  Only Torah Judaism unites all mankind in the service of God - each in their own God-given space.

Christianity says you have to become a Christian in order to approach God.  Islam claims you have to become a Muslim in order to rightly relate to God.  Only Judaism says everyone has his own designated path to knowledge and service of the Creator in accordance with the directions contained in the Torah - God's own revelation of His will to mankind.

Here at the End of Days, the time has come for the two Dividers of the world to cancel each other out, leaving Yisrael as the Divinely ordained leader of a world united in submission to the King of the Universe.
Peace Is About To Be Taken From The Earth, And World War 3 Could Literally Start At Any Moment

...A full-blown war with Iran would be the stuff that nightmares are made out of, and it would unleash death and destruction on an unimaginable scale all over the planet. Perhaps it is already too late to stop what is going to happen,....
Many of the survivors of WW3, particularly the ruling elite, will not want to live in a world under the rule of God's representative - Mashiach Tzidkeinu. They will say to each other, "Have we not thrown off religious rule? Is it not religion which has been the cause of all the world's problems, and don't all religions have their source in Judaism?  Now that we have endured so much to eradicate it forever, will we sit by while Yisrael brings us under one yoke?"

Then will come Gog uMagog.

21 July 2019

The Fast of the 17th of Tamuz

18 Tamuz 5779
Ta'anit Shiva Asar b'Tamuz

"The main purpose of a fast is teshuvah."



May this fast day soon be turned to one of feasting and joy!

Rabbi Nachum Scheiner


Why We Fast 17 Tammuz Nidcha - The 3 Weeks

19 July 2019

"Peace Through Vengeance"

16 Tamuz 5779

Parashat Pinchas – Peace through vengeance – Rabbi Meir Kahane

Pinchas son of Elazar the Kohen turned My wrath away from the Children of Israel by zealously taking up My cause among them, so that I did not consume them in My own zeal [kin'ah]. Therefore say, “Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace.” (Num. 25:11-12)
Precisely he who takes G-d's revenge merits an “everlasting covenant” and a “covenant of peace”.  Zeal [kin'ah] is a Divine trait: “I, the L-rd your G-d, am a zealous G-d” (Ex. 20:5).  Kin'ah is a Divine attribute, and it is the trait of any Jew who zealously takes up G-d's cause.  It always involves revenge, as Rashi explains (Num. 25:11):  “By zealously taking up My cause”:  By executing My vengeance, by displaying the anger that I should have displayed.  “Kin'ah” always denotes glowing with anger to execute vengeance for a thing.  For this G-d praised Pinchas Revenge is zeal for a good cause.  By switching the order of letters, “lekanot”, to be zealous, becomes “lenakot”, to cleanse.  Whoever is zealous on G-d's behalf cleanses the evildoer through his revenge.  Until he does so, the evildoer remains unclean.  G-d is also the “G-d to Whom vengeance belongs” (Ps. 94:1), and “a zealous G-d” (Ex. 34:14).  Likewise, He is a G-d Who does not clear the guilty until He takes revenge on His enemies:  “He will by no means clear the guilty” (Ibid., v. 7). 

Yet besides fulfilling G-d's command, Pinchas also saved Israel from destruction.  After all, Israel were duty-bound to take revenge and they did not do it.  Following is S'forno (Num. 25:11):  “By acting zealously in their midst for My sake”:  He avenged Me for all to see, so that when they saw his deed and did not protest, they would find atonement for having seen the sinners and not having protested.  In this way, he turned My wrath away from them.  Ibn Ezra wrote,  “He was zealous like his Maker, Who is described as being zealous on this earth.  Had Pinchas not acted zealously, G-d would have annihilated Israel with a pestilence in His zeal.”  Passing up the opportunity to carry out zealous, halachically mandated revenge is such a terrible sin that whoever refuses to do so deserves annihilation!  Such was King David's intent in (Ps. 106:30), “Pinchas rose and wrought judgment, and the plague was stopped.”  The avenger, Pinchas, merited not only a covenant of peace, but that the priestly gifts should be named after his deeds.  Our sages say (Chulin 134b):  Those who expound on unclear verses would say,  “The shankbone corresponded to the hand [of Pinchas]:  'He took a spear in his hand' (Num. 25:7).  The jowls corresponded to [his] prayer:  'Pinchas rose and prayed' (Ps. 106:30).  The stomach corresponded to the belly in “[He drove the spear] through the woman's belly” (Num. 25:8).

Since G-d leaves it to good men to further the cause of goodness, after Pinchas took G-d's revenge against Zimri ben Salu and Kozbi bat TzurMoses appointed Pinchas leader when he sent G-d's hosts to take His revenge against the Midianites (Num. 31:6): “Moses sent forth the thousand men from each tribe as an army, along with Pinchas son of Elazar the Kohen.”  Who won the “covenant of peace”, the everlasting reward of peace, if not PinchasPinchas acted zealously on G-d's behalf, taking G-d's revenge, and becoming the first “mashuach milchama”, or Kohen anointed to lead the nation in war (Deut. 20:2-4). 

Yet G-d said (Num. 25:12), “Tell him that I have given him My covenant of peace”.  Here we have a reward well-suited to the deed.  Precisely he who gives up his peace and tranquility, devoting himself to G-d's battle and to taking G-d's revenge, merits everlasting peace.  And precisely he who rebels against G-d, treating His command to fight and root out evil and evildoers with contempt, will never have peace, for there is no peace for the wicked, those who cast off their yoke.

Today, people have risen up to destroy us who are smitten with the alien [Western secular] culture.  Tragically, these include even Torah scholars and learned Jews who have pronounced that, halachically speaking, there is no state of war between us and the Arabs in our land, hence we are forbidden to treat them as enemies.  They have gone so far as to rule that if an Arab tries to attack or even to kill a Jew with a stone or weapon and flees, one may not kill him, but may only catch him and deliver him to the authorities, our impoverished regime which is better off ceasing to exist.  If someone renders a halachic ruling that there is no state of war between us and the Arabs in our midst, that we are obligated to treat them with mercy, and that it is forbidden to kill one of them even after he tries to attack and kill a Jew, that person is nothing but a “rodef” [one who attacks with the intent to kill], who collaborates with the gentiles in the killing of Jews.

[As Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane puts it in his commentary on Parashat Pinchas]:  Pinchas' act of killing Zimri and afterwards meriting the peace covenant teaches us that the Torah's way of bringing peace is by making the world a better place.  The first step towards this goal is the uprooting of evil and evil-doers from the world.  “Depart from evil” (Ps. 34:15) – this is the first step in making the world a better place.  On the other hand, making peace with evil, or even worse, giving in to it, is the very opposite step that one can take if he wants to arrive at peace.  Peace is not the mixing of good and evil and the attempt to create a co-existence between them, as we have been trained to think!  The very opposite. There is no co-existence between good and evil, nor is there partnership between good people and evil people!  The Master of the Universe demands of the righteous that they burn out the evil from the world - “and you shall burn out the evil from thy midst”, the Torah commands us in so many places, for only in such a way will peace reign in the world.

[See also Peirush HaMaccabee on Shemot, Chapter 1]:  To burn evil out of our midst – this is the greatest compassion for the world, for all who are compassionate to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the compassionate (Tanchuma, Metzora 1); because this convoluted compassion allows the wicked to continue to commit evil.  Can clay say to he who forms it, What are you doing?! (Isaiah 45:9); rather, we willingly accept upon ourselves the yoke of His Kingdom in love, in understanding and faith that He is indeed truth, and all His words are truth and justice.  On the commandment to walk in all His paths and to cleave unto Him (Deuteronomy 11:22), the Ibn Ezra comments:  And cleave unto Him – ultimately; and this is a great secret.  The Avi Ezer (super-commentary on the Ibn Ezra, written by the Gaon Rabbi Shlomo ha-Cohen of Lissa) explains:  The words of the Rav [i.e. the Ibn Ezra] are true, for Hashem's secret is given to those who fear Him (Psalms 25:14), who cleave unto His attributes, as Chazal said: Cleave unto His attributes.  And in the cleaving itself there is a great secret: not to confuse one person’s task with another’s, to show compassion in a place where one must be angry (for instance against a student or a sinner), or to be humble in a place where one must garb himself with pride or vengeance, as with the actions of Pinchas.  And few indeed are the people of greatness who cling to the attributes in truth and do not stumble in them.  Are these not the greatest people in the world…?  Engrave these words deep on your heart.

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from 'The Jewish Idea' and 'Peirush HaMaccabee on Shemot' of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY"D, and from 'The writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, HY"D'.  (Source)

~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

18 July 2019

Only a Matter of Time

15 Tamuz 5779

For every US citizen calling for Muslim, former-Somalian, currently US citizen, congresswoman to "leave" America, there is another one who wishes the same for the Jews, maybe even more.  It's only a matter of time before this picture features a prominent Jew.

Just in time for the beginning of The Three Weeks...
Iran Revolutionary Guard seizes foreign oil tanker, crew...

US deploys 500 troops plus Patriots at Saudi airbase facing Iraq border...

Judging the Source

15 Tamuz 5779

One of the hallmarks of eastern spirituality is the enigmatic pronouncements of their 'tzadikim'.  Some people feel that their spiritual leaders are demonstrating their superiority by speaking in riddles.  In fact, I don't think it would be remiss to say that all false religions bear this hallmark and rely on it to keep their followers attached to them.

In Christianity, for example, when one asks the logical question, "How can God be One and 'three' at the same time?"  The answer provided out of 2000 years of 'scholarship':  "It's a mystery."  Many times throughout the gospel stories it is recounted how the people could not understand what Yeshu was getting at as he spoke to them in parables.  When his 'chasidim' asked why he didn't speak more plainly to the people, he answered by quoting Isaiah and saying this was in fulfillment of the prophecy:
And He said, "Go and say to this people, 'Indeed you hear, but you do not understand; indeed you see, but you do not know.' This people's heart is becoming fat, and his ears are becoming heavy, and his eyes are becoming sealed, lest he see with his eyes, and hear with his ears, and his heart understand, and he repent and be healed."
In other words, it was their low spiritual level which caused their lack of understanding. The problem lay within them and required repentance.

Curiously, false religions often claim that one may only approach God through a spiritually superior mediator, a 'tzadik', if you will.  Yeshu's followers believe this until this very day -"No one comes to the Father except through me."  They even claimed his lineage back to King David.  Though he hinted at it broadly, Yeshu never came right out and said he was mashiach, but they came to that conclusion anyway.  They expected him to ascend David's throne and rule over Israel in their lifetime which is why the Romans mockingly attached a sign at the top of his cross proclaiming him "King of the Jews."

The greatest leaders in Judaism were notable for their desire and ability to take the most esoteric topic and bring it down to the level where the common people could understand.  The Rambam (Mishneh Torah) and Ramchal (Derech Hashem) are particularly noted for trying to simplify learning in order to make it more accessible to more people.

This is the hallmark of Judaism and it is the hallmark of all Truth, that those with knowledge do not purposely obscure their words so as to produce more uncertainty, doubt and confusion in the world.  Just the opposite.  So, this is a good way to judge the source of a controversial teacher or leader.

True or false?

17 July 2019

"Fast of 17th Tamuz - Fasten Your Seat Belts"

14 Tamuz 5779

This is from one year ago.  Parashat Balak is read in the Diaspora this week, but in Eretz Yisrael we are reading Parashat Pinhas.

17th of Tamuz - Fasten Your Seat Belts - Rav Yehuda Richter