The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Posted on: August 5th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
We learn from Moshe that the true meaning of Haredi is someone whose fear and reverence of God so fills his being that he rushes to do every mitzvah as speedily and completely as he can. We also find this Haredi quality in Moshe’s great desire to live in the Land of Israel. Moshe wanted to make aliyah more than anything else. This is a sign of a true Haredi Jew – a towering love for the Land of Israel and a passionate desire to live there.
Posted on: August 2nd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
And so it was, every 9th of Av, the men would enter the mass grave for the night and another 15,000 would perish by the morning. The night of the living zombies. 15,000 men for 40 years. In the 40th year, the remaining men entered the mass grave but nothing happened. They remained there through the 15th of Av, when they realized that nothing was going to happen. The decree of the plague had ended! So they climbed joyously out of the grave. This was on Tu B’Av.
Posted on: July 31st, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
In our previous blog, we mentioned that Moshe Rabainu offered 515 prayers to Hashem, at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, begging Hashem to let him enter the Land of Israel. Some people have trouble making up prayers if it isn’t written out for them in a siddur. So here’s a prayer I wrote for coming to the Land of Israel. Print it out and say it every day for the next 515 days. If it doesn’t work, crumple up the page, send it to me, and I’ll eat it.
Posted on: July 30th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Moshe Rabainu didn’t say any of the other 515 excuses you usually hear. Just the opposite. Moshe begged again and again and again, 515 prayers, to be granted the incomparable blessing of entering the Land. Today, there are people frummer than Moshe. The Land of Israel isn’t glatt enough for them. Or they don’t like the government. Or they’re worried about finding jobs, as if the hand of Hashem is too short to feed them. They prefer to rely on Uncle Sam instead.
Posted on: July 27th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Meir Kahane published this in The Jewish Press 40 years ago. Some things just don’t seem to change: A religion which develops a split personality is a religion in danger. A faith whose adherents begin to merely pay lip service to its tenets is in the first stages of atrophy. When individuals create a dichotomy between what they believe and what they practice, it calls for serious re-evaluation. The dream of settling in Israel is a basic part of the Jewish faith. It is an obligation, but it is more than that; it is a dream.
Posted on: July 25th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Rabbi Kook explains that a weakening of the will is due in large measure to a lack of physical energy and strength. When a person’s willpower is weak, he can fall into many bad habits. As part of his overall mending, he must improve his physical health, as well as his moral and spiritual worlds.
Posted on: July 24th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
On Tisha B’Av, we mourn over the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, over the destruction of Jerusalem, and over being exiled from our Land. Unfortunately, because of the great length and darkness of the exile, there is a totally mistaken and distorted understanding of what exile is. Instead of experiencing it as a terrible punishment, it is all too often experienced as fun.
Posted on: July 22nd, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The roots for the Destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem were planted long before the Destruction itself, on the night the Spies in the Wilderness returned from their ill-fated mission and convinced the Jewish People not to journey on to live in the Promised Land. That night was the 9th of Av. Their rejection of the Land of Israel was the rotten foundation which brought about our later National Destruction as an independent Nation in our own Land.
Posted on: July 19th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
No, I’m not talking about those famed Brooklyn Bums, I’m speaking about the Aliyah Dodgers, the Diaspora Giants, the Ultra-Orthodox Williamsburg White Sox, the Assimilated Cardinals, and the OU Washington Nationals.
Posted on: July 18th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
When I look at the pictures of Brooklyn and Toronto, and Boca and Beverly Hills, I pray with all my heart that God open their eyes, and give them a heart of flesh to feel the horror of their plight, living in strange impure lands, living make-believe identities, as if they are Americans and Frenchmen and Australians and Germans, when they are really the descendents of Israelites displaced from their Homeland.
Posted on: July 17th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Doing my best to copy Sholom Aleichem’s gifted portrayal, and adding a bit on my own, I transformed the downtrodden Jew of galut into a proud pioneer in the Holy Land and a brave fighter for Jewish freedom. It’s a saga that I am sure you and your children will love. And now, thanks to The Jewish Press, it’s free!
Posted on: July 15th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
With the Golden Gate Bridge symbolically in the background, the nuptial union between the pioneer Jewish anthropologist and the stunning, white wedding-gowned gorilla marked a historic bridge between mankind and the world of the primates, and another one of Judaism’s great contributions to human culture. Rabbi Christine Christy, dynamic leader of California’s Progressive Democratic Liberal Reform Jewish Movement, officiated at the tear-filled ceremony.
Posted on: July 13th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The Rambam himself, in his famous, “Letter of Teman,” writes: “Those who seduce themselves and say that they will stay in their places until the king, Mashiach, comes to the lands of the West, and only then will they depart and go forth to Jerusalem – I don’t know how the decree of destruction will be stayed from them. Rather, they are transgressors, and they cause others to sin."
Posted on: July 12th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Make no mistake. I am not criticizing any of the dedicated directors or employees of the Jewish Agency. Certainly, I have nothing but praise for Mr. Sharansky. But the Jewish Agency is obsolete. It is destined to failure so long as the Rabbis, and Roshei Yeshivot, and parents, and the heads of Jewish organizations in the Diaspora don’t urge their students and children and members to go on aliyah.
Posted on: July 11th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
The task of the Mashiach is to save the Jews from its enemies and rebuild the Nation of Israel, yet the followers of Jezeus have slaughtered millions and millions of Jews and done everything in their power to keep Israel lowly and weak.
Posted on: July 10th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Some people don’t realize that Mashiach’s coming is a process that evolves over time. These people want everything to be finished at the start. They say that when Mashiach comes and does all the work of rebuilding the Land of Israel, and gathers all of the exiled Jews to Israel, and fights the wars of Hashem, and rebuilds the Beit HaMikdash, then they will come on aliyah. First, everything has to be perfect. First, the Mashiach has to do all the work.
Posted on: July 9th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
An amazing thing happened to me last night! While I was sleeping, an angel appeared in a dream and told me to start a new Jewish religion. “A new Jewish religion?” I asked, bewildered. “That’s right,” he replied. I was certain that I was hallucinating because I had fasted yesterday and that my mind was playing tricks. So I went back to sleep. But the angel appeared once again and told me to start a new Jewish religion.
Posted on: July 8th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
That’s right. I love Jews. All of them. I love good Jews and I love bad Jews. I love fat Jews and I love skinny Jews. I love reform Jews and deformed Jews, progressive Jews and regressive Jews. I love assimilated Jews and Jews who have married gentiles. I love homosexual Jews and lesbian Jews. […]
Posted on: July 6th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Our Sages tell us that HaKodesh Baruch Hu, the Holy One Blessed Be He, weeps when a Jewish home is torn apart by of divorce. Unfortunately, He must be crying quite a lot these days, judging from the vast number of divorcees you discover on the pages of Facebook.
Posted on: July 5th, 2012Blogs → Felafel on Rye
Surveys reveal that only about 15% of Diaspora Jews have visited Israel. To me, that’s simply shocking. How can it be that God gave us back our homeland and so many Jews don’t come? You can say it is hard to move to a country far away, but what’s the big deal about coming for a visit? It certainly isn’t because of the money. Snorkeling in the Caribbean, and enjoying a gondola ride along stinking, garbage-filled sewers of Venice, cost about the same.
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