Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
We recently marked the start of a new year on the Jewish calendar, as good a time as any to sum up where things now stand.
* The net long-term effect of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America is not yet altogether clear.
In the past, once the United States went to war it abandoned politically correct nonsense
and took off its blinders. Before World War II, some Americans no doubt toyed with the idea that while Imperial Japan's politicians might be nasty, the vast majority of Japanese civilians were peace loving. But once the war started, it was clearly aimed against the Japs. Similarly, there surely were those who argued in the 1930's that most German civilians were innocent, but once the war began, the Krauts were the enemy.
I still have hope that the vast majority of Americans will rally behind the war against Islamism and Arab fascism, perhaps once the U.S. attacks Iraq. I concede, however, that the past year saw only renewed assaults on Jews and Israeli legitimacy in the aftermath of Sept 11 and an effort by the world to legitimize Palestinian atrocities and force Israel to commit national suicide.
* While showing occasional signs of awakening, the Israeli government is still dominated by the doctrine which holds that Israeli stupidity is the best way out.
Israel's defense policy is still based on waiting for the Palestinians to get tired of murdering Jews, while Israel does little or nothing. Israel refuses to adopt a serious anti-terrorist or anti-Palestinian defense policy. It refuses to adopt a death penalty for terrorists. It refuses to kill Arafat and his henchmen. It continues to pretend that cosmetic ''reforms'' of the PLO are all that are needed to get the “peace process” moving again.
Perhaps the best illustration of the continuing reign of stupidity in official circles is that the Israeli government still pays out survivor pensions and benefits to the immediate kin of suicide bombers if they are Israeli Arabs, including some who were involved in recent atrocities.
The government has reluctantly begun making some efforts, often blocked by the leftist Israeli Supreme Court, to ''expel'' kin of West Bank murderers to the Gaza Strip, itself a laughable demonstration of Israeli befuddlement. In a few cases Israel is demolishing homes of kin of suicide bombers, but this is much too little and much too late.
* The most Israel under Sharon is willing to do in the war against terror is to send troops into Palestinian towns for a few hours or a few days, and then withdraw them in ''goodwill gestures'' — making the next Palestinian atrocities inevitable. Sharon's people seem to believe that if goodwill gestures have failed to produce reductions in Palestinian barbarism the last 7,123 times they were tried, this does not mean they will not succeed if Israel tries them a 7,124th time.
* Sharon remains more afraid of Bibi Netanyahu than of Arab terrorism. This is why he prefers to sit as long as possible in a coalition government with the very same leftists who produced the Oslo debacle and its resultant bloodbaths in the first place — the same true-believing Oslo Leftists who even now are seeking ''dialogue'' with, and new concessions to, the Palestinians.
* Among the achievements of the Oslo cult has been the radicalization of the world's anti-Jewish media and the open support by much of the media for Palestinian suicide bombers and similar atrocities. In recent UN votes, most of the EU members present endorsed the Palestinian ''right to resist'', a thinly-disguised blessing for suicide bombers and other mass murderers of Jews.
Much of the media, particularly in Western Europe, continue to justify every Arab atrocity on grounds of ''Israeli Occupation'' of the Palestinians — an ''occupation'' that in fact ended almost 10 years ago. If there is one lesson that should be unambiguous and obvious from the past decade, it is that the removal of occupation produces atrocities and a bloodbath, whereas occupation and direct action against Arab fascism reduces violence.
* Public opinion polls in Israel are showing a partial collapse of the Left and an abandonment of support for Oslo by most Israelis, but none of this is as yet reflected in either the Knesset or the major Israeli political parties or the universities.
It is also not seen at all in the Israeli media, still under the near-totalitarian hegemony of the Israeli Left. University faculties are still solidly left-wing. Free speech by non-leftists is under constant assault on campuses.
* The Israeli Labor Party is weak and would implode if elections were held, although Sharon refuses to hold them because he fears squaring off against Netanyahu in the Likud primaries. Labor is for now headed by ''Fuad'' Ben-Eliezer, an ex-generalissimo who, being of Iraqi extraction, is less obsessed with Jewish self-debasement and defeatism than the typical Labor hack. But he's weak in the party, does not control the party machine, and faces internal opposition and challenges from Laborites to his Left, including Yossi Beilin and Amram Mitzna.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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parently an affront to J Street’s worldview, the focus of which appears to be the creation of a Palestinian State, whether or not that will bring peace.
The importance of the caucus on organ harvesting in China, sponsored recently by the Liberal Lobby in the Knesset, cannot be exaggerated. On the surface, the caucus’s topic seems odd. Knesset members and other VIPs were called together to discuss horrors being perpetrated by the Communist regime in China against what the government there calls “regime opponents.”
My mother, the eldest daughter of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, was niftar last month at the age of 92. She took her last breath in her home in Efrat, Israel, next door to the shul that was my father’s for 24 years before his passing in 2007.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, one crucial point will likely remain overlooked. The most loathsome aspect of this or any other terror bombing attack on civilians will always lie in the inexpressibility of physical pain. While all decent people will abhor the idea of bombs expressly directed at the innocent, whether here or in other countries, none will ever be able to process the very deepest horrors of what has been inflicted.
It’s only natural to see increasing evidence of Jerusalem’s glorious Jewish past being unearthed, quite literally, under modern Israeli sovereignty. The new archaeological finds are also very timely – as the Arab onslaught attempting to detach Jerusalem from its Jewish roots gains steam, the facts on the ground, or “under” the ground, show quite otherwise.
The Talmud (Berachot 26b) says, “tefillot avot tiknum” – “prayer was established by the avot.” The Talmud then uses the following verse (Bereshit 19:27) to prove how Avraham established prayer: “Vayaskem Avraham baboker el hamakom asher amad sham et pnei Hashem” – “And Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before God.”
Nearly 13 years ago, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak journeyed to Camp David to end the conflict with the Palestinians. With the approval of President Clinton, he offered Yasir Arafat an independent Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and in part of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.
The news that the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative groups has brought renewed spotlight on a 2010 lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel group Z Street, which alleges it was also singled out by the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status.
In an editorial last week (“Circling the Wagons”) we noted the efforts by the administration and its supporters to dismiss allegations that the government’s spin on the Benghazi attack was designed to shield the president and that the IRS was improperly used to stifle opposition to Mr. Obama’s reelection.
As the controversies besetting the Obama administration continue to grow in number and intensity, the prospect that President Obama would seriously consider military action against Iran, should that country continue its drive to become a nuclear power, becomes more and more remote. So we welcome the current enhancement of sanctions against Iran on the federal and New York State levels.
To his parents’ friends, he was “Mrs. Greenberg’s disgrace,” but to sports fans he is one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Jewish baseball players of all time. Long before Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg excited Jewish sports fans with his prowess on the baseball diamond.
To eat is to live – to keep our physical bodies alive. For without the body, there is nothing. No experience. No memory. No joy and no hardship. But man, unlike animals, eats to live and to enjoy. So how should a Jew respond when he is challenged as to why he imposes upon himself not just ceremonies dedicated to the enjoyment of eating but even more to the limiting of what he can eat?
April 16, 2013
Dear Mr. President,
My heartfelt sympathies to you and the American people for the acts of protest carried out in Boston this week during the Boston Marathon. This really is a wake-up call for us all.
Honest Abe used exactly the same blockade tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli Left is now sobbing its eyes out.
Quick. Name all the Israeli parties that did not run in the recent election on a platform focusing on lowering the price of housing and the cost of living. After that, name all the Israeli parties who understand what has produced the rapid increase in housing prices and have a plan for coping with them and lowering them.
There is a widespread misconception that the Middle East conflict is complicated. In fact, it is really rather simple.
Indeed, one can basically summarize and explain the entire conflict in the context of the words “occupation” or “occupied territories” and people’s beliefs about the effects of such “occupation.”
In 1999, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first go-round as prime minister, lost his reelection bid to Ehud Barak, much to the delight of Israel’s conscripted media and of many in its judicial system.
There is a species of radical leftist that believes the main purpose of taxpayer-funded universities is to indoctrinate students in radical left-wing ideology. Such people believe the only legitimate form of scholarly research and teaching is to force upon students the ideas and agendas of the left because only these represent correct thinking.
It is now official. Rachel Corrie, patron saint of the pro-terror radical left and its Islamofascist allies, essentially committed suicide in order to assist Palestinian terrorists. She was not killed in cavalier fashion by Israel. Israel had no particular reason to want her dead (as opposed to deported).
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