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Chelm Revisited

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         We recently returned to Israel after a short visit to the United States. We love living in Israel and firmly believe that every Jew should come live here. Maybe if more religious Jews would come, life here would even be better than it is today.


         Waking up to the day’s news made my head spin and my mind disbelieve. I wondered if I really was in the fictional town of Chelm where “wisdom” is practiced by fools. Item after item kept reinforcing the feelings of disbelief. What is going on?


         The first item concerned the “slip of the tongue” of our savvy prime minister who “forgot” that Israel officially denies its atomic power. In an interview (in Germany, of all places) he mentioned Israel as one of the atomic superpowers in the world. This, of course, encouraged our infamous atomic spy, Vaanunu, to demand that he be released from any limitations because the prime minister had already spilled the beans. Will the Israeli Knesset vote the prime minister out of office because of incompetence and inexperience? Of course not, no one wants to make waves.


         The next item concerned Israel’s own anti-Israel Supreme Court, still under the influence of that ultra-liberal, Aharon Barak. The court knocked down a law passed by the Knesset in 2005 granting immunity to the State of Israel from civil suits for damages to Palestinians when the Israeli Army is attacking terrorists. There are more than 1,000 cases, brought by Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Samaria that will be opened and reopened to sue Israel for collateral damage during its strikes against terrorist targets.


         Can you imagine Israeli judges giving Arabs who support Hamas and terror the right to sue Israel for damage caused by the army because “war was not legally declared”? Shouldn’t the Palestinian Authority compensate its own victims, just as Israel does? Barak and the court say, “NO, the Jews should pay!”


         Large headlines proclaim the results of the latest investigation into the blunders of the Lebanon War and every investigation seems to have concluded, as did this one, that the chief of staff was responsible for the confusion and mismanagement of the war. Our soldiers were endangered and killed by the conflicting and irresponsible orders handed down. Will the chief shoulder responsibility and resign? Of course not! Will the prime minister fire him? Shh, no, let’s not make waves. So what if the army wasn’t prepared? Conflicting orders, or orders rescinded an hour after being given, are not so terrible.


         Of course, the lovely pictures of Neturai Karta representatives kissing the president of Iran didn’t help improve our mood. Our own brothers are our worst enemies. Now all of the goyim can point to these haters of their fellow Jews and say, “The Holocaust is all a political story to raise money and is not true. See, even your very ‘religious’ Jews agree with Iran.”


         The Halachah that gives these pagan Jewish ‘Jew haters’ permission to give support and encouragement to those who openly wish to destroy all of Israel is not in the same Torah that G-d gave to the Jewish nation. Let us pray that G-d “rewards” them as they so richly deserve.


         Leaving politics aside, MK Pines is intent on protecting our innocent 13 to 17-year-olds from, G-d forbid, becoming baalei teshuvah. He has proposed a law to make it a crime for anyone to try to influence anyone under 18 to think about becoming religious. No more Chabad tefillin on “innocent” 17-year-old children and no more inviting non-religious 13-year-olds to help form a minyan. Here is another Jew who just wants to protect Jewish children from the “evil” of the Jewish religion.


         The five rockets that were fired December 12 into Israel (along with the other 12 in the past two weeks) are all part of the Arab style “cease-fire.” Olmert, in the name of the government, proudly proclaims that Israel will not respond. Hey, why should we break the cease-fire just because the Arabs do? Real intelligent logic!


         And finally today, we have that important event, the boycotting by religious Jews of El Al Airlines because they flew four planes on Shabbat. Yeah, let’s support the gentile airlines because they are allowed to desecrate the Sabbath. Who cares which Jews will suffer, or the effect on the economy of Israel? We will teach those irreligious Jews a lesson by hurting ourselves and our country. Great logic!


         All of the above, added to the sexual harassment cases against the president of Israel and against MK Ramon (a Labor leader), just strengthened our feelings of being in Chelm. Chanukah is really not a time for tears of frustration and anger – but what can we do? G‑d, we need Moshiach NOW! This cannot continue. Please pray for the State of Israel. We really need your prayers.


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