Dear Rabbi: With elections approaching in Israel, I am searching for a religious political party for which to vote. When I think about voting for Shas, I remember their support for Oslo, the surrender of parts of Eretz Yisrael, giving rifles to our enemies, and the terrible sea of Jewish blood that was spilled after the Oslo Accords were signed. That is not the Torah I am searching to find.
There has been a lot of discussion about young people abandoning Mitzvah observance (going off the derech) over the past few years. A lot of that discussion took place here. Indeed it has been declared a crisis by some. The focus of this issue in the religious media has been primarily in the Charedi world. Many theories have emerged as to why children go OTD. Among them: being sexually abused and the negative reactions to it by family and community, dysfunctional family situations, faulty educational environments, teachers unprepared to deal with questions of faith, or being overly sheltered from the world so that rebellion occurs when they are exposed to it unprepared.
Yisrael Medad's letter to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the true beginning of the movement for Soviet Jewry and what country the JTA said Medad resided in.
The most interesting aspect of the Guardian/AP report on Oct. 17, ‘Israel used calorie count to limit Gaza food during the blockade,' in addition to the extremely misleading headline, is that there is little if anything in the story which demonstrates that Israel did anything improper whatsoever.
It seems that the fad at The Jewish Press these days is for contributing writers to declare that Sarah Silverman’s trashy routine is a Chillul Hashem. That may be true, but there’s a bigger Chillul Hashem than Sarah’s. The biggest Chillul Hashem is when Jews choose to live in Chicago, and Dallas, and Los Angeles, and Lakewood, and Brooklyn, when they could live in the Land of the Jews instead. But why listen to me? Let an old writer for the Jewish Press explain it to you – Rabbi Meir Kahane. I turn this blog over to him. Let’s hear what he had to say about Jewish life in the Diaspora.
In its most recent edition, Ami Magazine has accused Professor Samuel Heilman - a distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College of hating Charedim. I am all too familiar with accusations like this as I am often accused of being a Charedi hater myself. But the truth is that neither I nor Professor Heilman are such a thing.
Hezbollah, by most calculations, is the military force that has the largest deployment of weapons pointed at Israel today. It's Iran's proxy, and is funded and armed by Iran and also by Syria. In much of the Arab and Moslem world, it has long been called a resistance movement [see this Asia Times analysis from 2006]. Among Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and of course Israel, it's been classified as a terrorist organization for years and remains so.
News item: Muslim Brotherhood leader Ahmed al-Hamrawy resigned from the group and its Freedom and Justice Party to protest a letter introducing the new Egyptian...
Barack Obama has a weak record in the Middle East, but one would not learn this from the debate, where Mitt Romney praised Obama's achievements ("It's wonderful that Libya seems to be making some progress"), agreed with Obama more than he disagreed, and rarely pointed out his failings. Presumably, Romney took this mild approach to establish his likability, competence, and suitability to serve as commander-in-chief.
In Turkey, the referee attacks the player. Seems in August, one soccer official decided enough was enough. During a low-league soccer match in Turkey between Altinorduspor (red) and Pazarspor (blue), a Pazarspor player was preparing to take a free kick when one of the linesman suddenly ran out onto the field and socked an Altinorduspor player right in the face.
The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) published a review, by film critic Philip French, of the film '5 Broken Cameras,' a documentary produced by a Palestinian about his “resistance” to Israel’s security fence in Bil’in. In in addition to the story’s predictable Palestinian narrative, French writes that "Inevitably, seeing this barrier going up in Israel we think of the wall surrounding the Warsaw ghetto, the one that appeared overnight in Berlin…."
There's a superstitious thought that when you invite tragedy, it happily walks through the door. A second, more pragmatic view, is that when you prepare for it, you are better able to cope. Israel takes the second view as today we once again take part in the Turning Point 6 nation-wide exercise preparing us not only for earthquakes, but several other disasters.
Give this week’s Torah portion, “Lech Lecha,” to an eight-year old to read, ask him where God wants the Jewish People to live and he will answer “the Land of Israel” right away. Give it to a gentile to read and ask him the same question. “The Land of Israel” he will answer without batting an eye. Give it to a Jew in the Diaspora and ask him the same question, and you’ll get a dozen different answers.
Just when you think you have everything pretty much figured out in the Middle East, someone throws you a curve. At least that’s what happened to me last week. In what has to be the most surprising development thus far in the so called Arab Spring - Egypt’s new freely elected President, Mohammed Morsi, has sent a friendly letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres on the occasion of the exchange of ambassadors.
Democrats do not have a great track record in the White House. The number of Democratic presidents who have won second terms is small and becomes much smaller with the second half of the 20th Century. Unlike Congressional shifts which reflect regional politics more than a national referendum, the Presidency is a referendum on the usages of the nearly unlimited power of its holder.
It's a news story that directly affects just one man, but the implications of what is being done to Prof. Cyril Karabus are horrific, and of particular note to air travelers planning to fly Qantas at some future time. Recently, Karabus has been released on bail, but cannot leave the UAE as his passport has been confiscated.
In my last blog, I called attention to a report that the US and Iran had made a secret agreement to end sanctions in return for a halt or pause in uranium enrichment. I suggested that this could be an “October Surprise:” the Obama campaign could claim that the President’s policy of partial sanctions and “tough diplomacy” had forced the Iranians to back down from their march toward nuclear weapons.
Jeremy Saltan's combined weekly poll average from Oct 14-20 shows the Likud with 28 seats, down from the prior week's average of 29 seats, Kadima remains at 6, and Yisrael Beitenu is down to just about 13 seats.
A writer in the Financial Times said Judea and Samaria was the cradle of Jewish civilization, even as he lamented the slow death of the two-state solution.
Definitely not on the standard list of tourist destinations in Israel, and less well-known than its counterpart in Yaffo (Jaffa), the flea market in down-town Haifa is well worth a visit whether you’re buying or just browsing. The market is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and of course it is best to get there as early as possible – with well-honed haggling skills!
I never liked comedienne Sarah Silverman. I never thought she was all that funny. Her humor is mostly vulgar and designed to shock people into laughing. Most comedians will tell you that if the only way you can make people laugh is with vulgar jokes, then you’re not really much of a comedian. But I digress. What upsets me the most about her is her very open self-identification as a Jew. Normally when successful people tout their Judaism, it makes me proud. But when she does it – it is an embarrassment. In fact I wish she would just change her name… or go away altogether.
The entire walk through the canyon lasts about an hour - you walk through it, sliding down in some locations, squeezing between rocks in others. Then, you have a choice - this way back to the parking lot; that way to go deeper into the canyon. The sun was setting and the colors were amazing; as the sun touched the mountains, the red stone deepened and the golden sons glistened. We turned back to the parking lot because I didn't want to be out there in the dark.
Can we expect an October Surprise this year? We may already have one brewing. A former CIA operative calling himself “Reza Khalili” and claiming to have been an agent inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards organization, who has previously made skeptically-received claims that Iran had already produced 90% enriched uranium, is now saying that the Obama Administration has struck a deal with the Iranian regime that will shortly be announced:
One of the world's respected associations of lawyers has just made a special award in honor of one of its deceased members. Her career was not long. But it was not the quality of her legal work that earned her the award. She received it for killing 21 civilians and injuring 50 in a Haifa restaurant. The award about which we are writing was presented in the form of a plaque to the family of Hanadi Jaradat, formerly from Jenin in the Palestinian Authority territory, "on the sweet anniversary of her martyrdom."
Modern government is fixated on depth of control over people. It plots to control every aspect of their lives with the goal of creating a completely harmonious whole. Technology has fed the illusion that such control has become more feasible than ever allowing for the rise of truly scientific government. This illusion is destroying the nation-states of modern civilization by overburdening them with massive governments flailing for control and destroying their economies in order to achieve that control.