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.
Yesterday, in what smacks of a Middle Age witch hunt and blood libel, I was ridiculed and attacked by two supposedly liberal Jewish bloggers. This is all the more interesting since their attack on me falls on the 4th of July, which for them is a cherished holy day, honoring the American principles of equality, pluralism, and freedom of speech, which obviously don’t apply to “idiot lunatic Zionists” like me who disagree with their leftist, anti-Torah opinions.
In my family alone, except for my brother, all of my cousins and second cousins married out of the faith – all of them. Finished. Kaput. The end of the line. After 5000 years of clinging to being Jewish, generation after generation, through times of harsh and often murderous oppression, the candle was snuffed out in the love boat of America.
Being Jewish is a nationality, not merely a religion. We Jews are the Children of Israel. We are members of the Nation of Israel. It doesn’t matter where we live. Only because of having been exiled from our own Jewish Land and scattered to foreign countries for the last 2000 years do we mistakenly think we are members of those foreign, gentile nationalities. Yes, a Jew may have citizenship in the United States or France, but he is still, first and foremost a Jew.
To all of my beloved Jewish brothers and sisters in America, go ahead and eat your hot dogs. Drink your beer. But don’t think that the Fourth of July is really Independence Day for you. Remember that your nation is Israel, not America. Your hearts should beat proudly when you see the Star of David blowing in the wind, not the Stars and Stripes. And always remember that you are only in America, temporarily, because of the curse of galut.
"Word came that hundreds of Arabs were gathering in front of the Hevron police station, demanding the dismantlement of the Shoshana settlement. Not wanting to miss the action, the reporters scattered like roaches to their cars. For all of his supposed extremism, Caleb Cohen was right. It seemed that all the brewing tension of the Middle East had surfaced in Meir's backyard."
"How can it be that in Israel, in the middle of Jerusalem, at the site of the ancient Temple, in the very spot where the House of G-d had stood, that a Jew wasn't allowed to pray?" It didn't make sense. It was racist, undemocratic, completely absurd.
Normally I hate the Germans, but I have to give them credit on this one! Let their banning of brit milah be a reminder to our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Diaspora that we don’t belong in foreign lands. Unfortunately, I doubt whether the new law will affect the Jews of Germany in any meaningful way. After all, if the slaughter of 6 million didn’t make them think twice about living in that polluted, blood-stained gentile land, this new measure isn’t liable to wake them up either.
In spite of the fact that the Chofetz Chaim was vehemently opposed to the non-religious spirit of the secular Zionists, he encouraged the aliyah of God-fearing Jews. He saw the surge of mass aliyah from Russia as “the footsteps of the Mashiach,” and the beginning of the ingathering of the exiles which precedes the Mashiach’s coming.
When Moshe led the war against Amalek, he didn’t just pray on the mountain – he sent Yehoshua to lead the soldiers of the Molech Israelite Army to fight down below on the battlefield. Yehoshua didn’t merely blow shofars in conquering the Land, he cut off the heads of the enemy. And who was a greater scholar than Rabbi Akiva? To defend the Land of Israel from the Romans, he closed his Gemorah, rushed to the battlefield, and accompanied Bar Kochba into battle!!
How can it be that outstanding Torah scholars in Europe, before the Holocaust, and even after it started, were against the Zionist movement and told their congregations not to uproot themselves from where they were and flee to Eretz Yisrael? Even today, there are Torah leaders who tell their followers that the time has not come to go to Israel. The question arises – can Gedolim err?
As the first wave of bombers reached the shores of Tel Aviv, a wall of rain clouds appeared in the sky. Jerusalem vanished in an impenetrable fog. In the lead French bomber, the dials on the instrument panel were spinning wildly in circles. The mysterious fog darkened the cockpit. An unworldly thunder shook the plane like a toy. The terrified pilot tried to swing the giant bomber around, but the steering was jammed.
Imagine that a camera was recording your every move on the computer – would you still click on immodest sites? Would you still go astray after your eyes if you knew that a video of your doings was going to be posted on Youtube for the world to see? You may not be caught in This World, but up in the big Movie Theater in the sky, when you come before the Heavenly Tribunal, your Youtube history is going to be presented on the Big Screen for all of the Celestial Judges to see.
The Jewish Press reports that Kosher Delight is closing its doors in New York, the third Manhattan kosher emporium to do so this year. The real question is: when will “Galut Delight” close up shop? When will the exile lose its delight in the eyes of Diaspora Jews? When will we understand that we don’t belong in gentile lands, no matter how delightful and kosher our Jewish communities may be?
"I've come for my house," the man said. "My family wants to move back tonight." Ehud's voice stuck in his throat. He felt dizzy. He felt weak. Giving up his house was too much. Ehud felt his sons' eyes upon him, watching to see what he would do. "It isn't your house," Ehud said. "Yes it is," the man answered. "We bought it. We have a deed," Ehud insisted. "I have a deed too. The people you bought the house from weren't the legal owners."
Now that I think about it, I made a big mistake. Instead of bringing Tevye to the Promised Land, I should have brought him to Las Vegas to meet up with Meir Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in building the town’s first casino. First he throws off his embarrassing tzitzis, then his milkman’s cap, then he shaves off his beard and finds himself a shicksa. Now that would have been a bestseller!
Though my parents were not happy when I told them that I was moving to Israel, I made aliyah anyway. While honoring one’s parents is an essential tenet of Judaism, if parents do not want a child to move to Israel, the child does not have to listen to them, since going on aliyah is a mitzvah, and parents are not allowed to prevent a child from carrying out a commandment of God.
During the night, the Holy One Blessed Be He sits and roars like a lion, saying, “Woe to the children who I have exiled among the nations of the world” (Berachot 3A). It’s like a King who builds a beautiful palace for his children, but they don’t want to live there. They prefer to hang out with the harlots.
Shimon Peres had the decency to ask Mr. Obama to finally free Jonathan Pollard. The White House refused. But now that Shimon Peres, the symbol of Jewish Recognition and Acceptance, has been so accepted and embraced by the President of America, you would think that the Jews of America would finally raise their long silent voices and scream out for his release.
Starting this coming Monday, don’t miss The Jewish Press serializing of the novel, Tevye in the Promised Land, a wonderful faith-filled adventure for the whole family, covering the Tevye’s unforgettable journey to the Promised Land.
We mustn't forget that the gentile nations do us a favor by allowing us to stay in their lands - until they expel us. One must realize that we are on foreign soil there. It is not our society, nor government, nor culture. Nothing is ours. Only in Israel are we at home with family, living according to our customs, and our uniquely Jewish year, living in the one place designed for our holiness, for our psychological health, even for our physical wellbeing.
Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal was one of the respected leaders of Orthodox European Jewry before World War II, the head of the Beit Din in Budapest. Witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust, he discarded his fierce anti-Zionist ideology, and wrote a brilliant scholarly treatise on the vital necessity for Aliyah, titled "Eim HaBanim Semeichah."
Written in the form of a conversation between a Rabbi and a gentile king who is looking to find the true religion, The Kuzari lucidly explains the foundations upon which Judaism is based. What better time than “Book Week” to take another look at this wonderful classic? If you never studied its teachings, you’re missing a building block in your understanding of Judaism which the Gaon of Vilna made top priority for his students.
For any reader who may be confused about the obligation to live in the Land of Israel, this sweeping halachic and Talmudic overview of Rabbi Kahane will surely put all uncertainty to rest. Because of its vital importance to each and every Jew, we will be presenting it in two installments.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, perhaps the most dynamic Jewish orator of our time, a speaker capable of inflaming hearts and inspiring the masses, a par-excellence TV debater who chopped the glib intellectual banter of opponents into tiny insignificant scraps, he had a bothersome stutter in his youth, which had to be mastered in order to fulfill his dream of reaching out to the Jewish People.