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.
If there is a hell, then you can bet that Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is roasting there now. And if there is a heaven, then rest assured that whether or not he wins the November election, President George W. Bush has earned his place in it.
What a week for contrasts. A so-called religious cleric whose principal contribution to his people was to inspire them to blow themselves up, taking as many innocent civilians along with them, dies and is hailed by the Arabs as a hero. But the principal savior of Arab life alive, a man who rescued more than 20 million Muslims from the clutches of Saddam Hussein, continues to be excoriated by the Arab press.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing, may indeed have been a Muslim cleric. But let’s not forget that Joseph Stalin was an ordained priest. And yet, even when it killed a cold-blooded murderer like Yassin, Israel came under a barrage of international condemnation. Among the inane arguments proffered was that eliminating Yassin would only inflame Palestinians and provoke Hamas.
Provoke Hamas? Really make them angry? You gotta be kidding. What are they going to do now? Kill hundreds of Israelis? They are already doing that. Dismember pregnant women? Been there, done that. Blow the arms and legs off children? Ditto.
Rather than excuse cowardice, let us all applaud courage. The man who is most attacked for having incited the Islamic militants to real shows of anger is Bush with his war of liberation in Iraq. Perhaps there is something redeeming about being the most powerful yet most vilified man on Earth. I would assume it keeps one humble. But let’s not ascribe that virtuous motivation to the president’s critics, the latest of whom is a former counterterrorism official in the Bush
White House, Richard Clarke, who has written a book alleging that the Iraq war actually made the U.S. more vulnerable by fomenting anti-American feelings and taking military resources away from the hunt for Al Qaeda.
In truth, Clarke strikes me as an opportunist with myopic vision. Terrorism in the Middle East is a direct outgrowth of Arab tyranny. If Arabs lived – like their Western counterparts – in open, prosperous, and democratic societies, then there would be no need on the part of their corrupt leaders to scapegoat Israel and the United States as the source of all Arab problems; Muslims wouldn’t be signing up by the truckload to attack Western targets.
While we may, from time to time, eliminate terrorist leaders like Yassin or even Osama bin Laden, a total end to Middle East terror will not come about until there is complete Arab democratization in the Middle East. And President Bush, in a sharp departure from his father, who lacked “the vision thing” and left Saddam Hussein in power, understands this. Iraqi citizens are now the first Arabs in modern history who don’t have to be afraid of their own government. But bureaucrats like Richard Clarke, who cannot see the forest for the trees, would have us focus only on individual terrorists instead of the governments that create, harbor, fund, incite, and inspire them.
How can anyone take Clarke’s criticism seriously when we have already seen the immense dividends of the Iraqi war, such as Moammar Khaddafi publicly disavowing his nuclear weapons programs and Syrian citizens being brazen enough to hold public demonstrations in Damascus for the first time, a fact that even The New York Times conceded would have been unthinkable prior to the toppling of Saddam.
It is time that I said in print what I have long felt in my heart: I not only support President Bush, I revere him. At a time when so many other world leaders want to paint September 11 as a terror attack, President Bush saw it for what it was: a clash of civilizations, a war to the death between two systems – one open, democratic, and respectful of human life; the other oppressive, tyrannical, and deeply contemptuous of human life.
Bush understands that the only way to defeat such a grave threat is by tumbling the dominoes that support terror one by one, even if he becomes the most criticized man on Earth for doing so. This week a liberal friend of mine called me to say that he was surprised that a man as “intelligent” as I could like Bush. I thanked him for the back-handed compliment and said, “You’ve heard Edmund Burke’s famous quotation that ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ Why, then, do so many people hate Bush for simply doing something?”
And for all those who hate the Patriot Act and believe that the war in Iraq was a terrible mistake, isn’t the biggest proof of the correctness of the president’s vision the simple fact that, unlike Israel, which suffers daily from terror, the U.S. has not had a major terror attack on American soil since September 11, 2001? And shouldn’t the Sharon government, which finally toppled one of its leading enemies in a gutsy move, learn from the total war tactics employed by the American president?
The Bible says that when Moses first encountered G-d, He appeared in the form of a burning bush. Moses was commanded by G-d to be careful lest he tread on that bush. I have no problem with the president’s critics attacking his economic, environmental, or other such policies. Indeed, like any mortal, he is far from perfect as are some of his policies. But the part of his leadership that burns with virtue and blazes with uprightness, that protects the innocent and punishes the wicked, assails tyranny and upholds democracy, and puts the fear of G-d into cold-hearted killers – at least that part of him, let his critics refrain from trampling.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s newest book is “The Private Adam: Becoming a Hero in a Selfish Age.”
About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.
You must log in to post a comment.
France 2 and Enderlin must have their press accreditation revoked and be thrown out of Israel.
Slaughter is a routine, widespread practice among many Moslem families.
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.
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.
It comes down to his being famous.
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.
Are we to believe that these Jews who were devout and pious were being punished?
The growing revelations that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack in order to cleanse them of any mention of al Qaeda and terrorism is a travesty.
When in 1948 President Harry Truman recognized the new Jewish State of Israel, Einstein declared it ‘the fulfillment of our dream.’
In the Hebrew Bible everyone is flawed and everyone makes mistakes.
Forgetting how to hate can be just as damaging as forgetting how to love.
Let us also not forget that Adelson criticized many of the social values of the Republican Party before it became fashionable to do so.
Whatever your feelings about how permissive or repressed our society is, certainly not in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s ,or 90’s was the sexualization of women this young.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dont-tread-on-this-burning-bush/2004/04/28/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: