Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Life Of Lies
It was fitting that the terrorist Arafat was the leader of the so-called Palestinian people. Arafat lied his whole life about being born in Israel when in fact he was born in Cairo. He lied just like most of the Muslim world is lying when they say the Jewish land of Israel is really the so-called Palestinians’ land.
The reason I say “so-called Palestinians” is because they are descendants not of people who lived in the land of Israel but of people from Arab countries who moved to Israel because of the jobs available there from Jews who were turning a desert wasteland into an economic powerhouse. The Arabs invented the so-called Palestinian people because they could not tolerate Jews living among Muslims in the Middle East. They used the Palestinian lie as an excuse to attack Israel and as a ploy to distract the world from their goal of destroying Israel.
The land the so-called Palestinians want back is the land from which they launched attacks on Israel prior to 1967 – attacks meant, as they said at the time, to “finish Hitler’s job.”
New York, NY
France And Arafat
One can perhaps understand France’s offer to treat Arafat in a French hospital for humanitarian reasons. France’s treatment of Arafat after his death, however, is another story. The French president, Jacques Chirac, stood over Arafat’s coffin for ten minutes to pay his respects. He described him as “a man of courage and conviction.” What dribble – unless he meant Arafat’s conviction for jihad and homicide bombings.
Furthermore, Arafat’s remains were given a ceremony usually reserved for heads of state on the sendoff from Paris to Cairo, complete with military honor guards and the playing of the French national anthem. That a Western country could honor Arafat in such a way is simply mind-boggling.
I’ve wondered why anti-Semitism is growing at a faster pace in France than anywhere else in the civilized world. Now I know. We must protest the actions of the French government and boycott French products. France in Hebrew is Tzar-fat. It’s not by chance that it rhymes with Ara-fat. For both Tzar-fat and Ara-fat, the “fat is in the fire.”
Time To Close The Account
By what authority does a brutal, alleged national leader and a corrupt, incompetent UN secretary-general hold on to their positions for so long a time? A time filled with crimes and misdeeds, and they never had to face a consequence or give an accounting. If you guessed that I refer to Yasir Arafat and Kofi Annan, you know the answer.
What disturbs this taxpayer is the knowledge that my country’s tax dollars helped finance these swindlers with virtually no controls over the supposedly legitimate purpose for which the money was intended.
Arafat has checked out, but his lovely wife and loyal band of leeches are scrambling and searching for all the scattered cash and positions of power.
President Bush, wield your mandate to establish ironclad control over who earns future assistance with our tax dollars and who controls how it is spent. There is no justifiable reason for our government to continue financing corrupt foreign entities such as the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations.
Mr. President, please establish an “eagle-eye” finance control commission charged with putting the squeeze on future foreign aid grants and loans. Finally, order a swift termination of all the other ungrateful, undeserving takers.
Singles And Inertia
Once again Chananya Weissman has written an honest, accurate and heartfelt examination of the Orthodox singles scene (“The problems with Singles Events – and How to Fix Them,” front-page essay, Nov. 5).
Maybe I’m just an incurable pessimist, but I fear that all of Mr. Weissman’s advice and good efforts will be for naught. Nobody likes to be told that things aren’t working, especially if the things in question have assumed almost sacrosanct status in a community as tradition-bound as ours. Once a practice in the frum world becomes widespread – and I refer not to a minhag or a chumra, but to mere social habit – one risks being castigated as an am haaretz or worse for daring to suggest that it wasn’t always this way.
Despite my belief that the problems afflicting Orthodox singles are symptomatic of a much wider dysfunction in the community – a dysfunction that won’t be ameliorated any time soon, given the state of inertia that has Orthodoxy in its iron grip – I urge Mr. Weissman to keep writing and fighting on behalf of those of us who long ago threw away the rose-colored glasses.
Still More On Water
You may have done a disservice to your readership by publishing Dr. Yaakov Stern’s latest letter (“In Defense of Chumros,” Nov. 12).
Dr. Stern seems unable to differentiate between a prohibition that is d’oraisa, d’rabanan, and a chumra. Chumros are not legislated. To add gravitas to his pompous mishmash, Dr. Stern then throws in mamorei Chazal which are totally irrelevant to the subject at hand.
While the learned individual would dismiss this discombobulation of hashkafa, the less learned could be left with a misunderstanding of the issues brought up by Dr. Stern.
I must add one caveat: I happen to have filters on my water faucets and may have been among the earlier adherers to the p’sak. Although some of us may disagree with the p’sak, we are
nevertheless required to follow the p’sak of our rabbonim, especially when so many have come out requiring the filter.
Nevertheless, this does not take away my prerogative to verbalize a dissenting opinion.
A Rabbi’s Open-Door Policy
My daughters and I would like to thank Rabbi Yehuda Levin for opening the doors of his shul, Kehilas Mevakshai Hashem, during the Yomim Noraim. I was turned down by a nearby shul when I offered to pay fifty dollars a seat for my daughters and myself for Yom Kippur. No, I was told, the seats are a hundred dollars each. I explained that I would only be there one day and could afford to pay one hundred and fifty dollars for the three seats. I was treated quite rudely by the person with whom I was dealing.
Yes, I understand a shul has bills to pay, but squeezing money from those who can’t afford it is not the answer.
When I saw Rabbi Levin’s letter in The Jewish Press (“Free Yom Tov Seating,” Sept. 10), I called him, and he kindly invited my daughters and me to daven in his shul on Yom Kippur. We really enjoyed being there. Although Rabbi Levin was in Israel at the time, everything went well and we were able to daven and fast comfortably.
Thank you again, Rabbi Levin, and may you continue your good work ad meah v’esrim shanah.
Shanie R. Stern
Controversial Front-Page Photo
Causing Sinat Chinam?
Why would an Orthodox publication like The Jewish Press place in the center of its front page a photo of actors in distinctive chassidishe garb performing as enemies of the Jewish people? (You are aware, I’m sure, that they have no constituency or credibility in any Jewish community.) This can only cause sinat chinam as Jews will unfortunately think ill of community members who look like the meshugoyim in the picture.
I feel you used poor judgment in choosing the picture for last week’s front page. By publishing that photo you played into the hands of these publicity seekers by providing them with the very thing they crave the most: publicity.
The Jewish Press reaches a broad spectrum of the Jewish population, and many may be unfamiliar with the Jews Against Zionism “organization,” not realizing that it consists of a handful of deranged and misguided individuals.
The very thought of any Jew, particularly an externally Orthodox Jew, keeping vigil for the arch-enemy of our people – the murderer of thousands of our brothers and sisters – is loathsome, to say the least.
The fact that such shameful things do occur is tragic enough. Do we have to publish them on the front page of a prominent newspaper, thereby doing ourselves irreparable harm? The ignorant masses will surely be tempted to conclude that Jews who wear traditional chassidic garb sympathize with Palestinian terrorism and Muslim fundamentalism with all its horrific implications.
Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. It is your responsibility to put the record right, to portray chassidim in the correct light, and to apologize to all those who were disgraced by that front-page photograph.
Rabbi Pinchos Jung
Partners in Torah
Let’s Not Pretend
Several people I spoke with last weekend were upset with your Nov. 12 front-page photo of some chassidic Jews keeping vigil for the monster Arafat. I disagree with those who feel such photos should not be published in a Jewish newspaper.
First, let’s not pretend that members of the public – Jews and non-Jews alike – are unaware that we have such traitors in our midst, and that somehow by seeing it in The Jewish Press they will suddenly start believing that frum Jews hate Israel.
Second, let’s not whitewash the fact that while demonstrating with our enemies and on their behalf is something that is done by only a very small number of religious Jews, thank G-d, the atmosphere that breeds such contempt for Medinat Yisrael is all to pervasive in large portions of the Torah world, both chassidish and yeshivish.
I invite those who disagree with putting a picture of anti-Israel chassidim on the front page of The Jewish Press to examine the long record of extremely critical pronouncements against the State of Israel by numerous chassidic rebbes and other prominent rabbinical figures. I am not, G-d forbid, saying these gedolim were wrong to harbor such animosity against a secular Jewish state and its leaders, or that they would countenance standing shoulder to shoulder with supporters of Palestinian terrorism. But let’s not pretend that the anti-Israel militancy of a small number of religious hotheads just sprang up out of nowhere.
‘Religious’ Jews Who Align Themselves With Our Enemies
Further to our public announcement dated 21 April 2002 (9th Iyar 5762), we hereby reiterate and declare that haredi/chassidic/Orthodox Jews everywhere absolutely reject the treacherous and contemptible conduct of that insignificant and irrelevant group of misfits and mechalelei Hashem (desecraters of G-d’s Name) who have again raised their ugly heads and
besmirched and blackened the reputations of observant Jews worldwide.
Their joining in vigils and “prayers” for the arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat (may his name be blotted out) with Jew-haters of all manner, is an outrage that we cannot ignore and will not forgive.
We again demand that rabbis and community leaders of all communities ensure that members of this group are refused entree to all houses of prayer.
These nefarious associates of Jewry’s enemies have unfortunately again succeeded in their crazed hunger for publicity and are being depicted in local and international media – outfitted in their religious attire – bewailing the impending demise of a mass-murderer side-by-side with Palestinian Jew-haters. The shame and embarrassment to decent religious Jews worldwide is unbearable.
We repeat: this contemptible and minuscule gang of traitors to Judaism were decades ago barred from our synagogues and communities. Their refusal to abide by the pronouncements of religious and lay leaders of our communities has made them persona non grata.
Under no circumstances should the media insinuate that any of their actions are associated with the haredi or chassidic community. We urgently request all media outlets to highlight this fact in any report on this group’s actions and to clearly state that the Neturei Karta and their advocates have been excommunicated by virtually the entire spectrum of Jewry.
United Orthodox Communities of New York
(The United Orthodox Communities of New York is a coalition of major Orthodox Jewish congregations in New York City, upstate New York, and New Jersey representing: Anshei Sfard, Satmar, Bobov, Emunas Yisroel, Ger, Belz, Bnei Yehuda, Nitra, Viznitz, Munkacz, Vien, Klausenburg, Viznitz, Torah Vodaas, Novominsk, Torah Temimah, Chasan Sofer, Kiryas Joel-Monroe, Pupa, Young Israel of Brooklyn, Cong. Shomrei Shabbos, United Lubavitch Organizations of Crown Heights, Kamenitz, Agudath Israel 14th Avenue, United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, Boro Park Jewish Council, Debrecin, U.S. Friends of the Edah Charedis, Lakewood Yeshiva.)
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