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.
This week Israelis observed Memorial Day and celebrated Independence Day. I have believed for years that the best way to commemorate these days is by turning them into a battle against the loss of perspective.
Memorial Day is the more troubling of the two days. The problem is that Israelis have lost their sense of Jewish perspective to such an extreme extent, and this becomes glaringly evident on Memorial Day. Israelis are incapable of viewing their problems and that of the state within the perspective of Jewish history, in large part because of the efforts of the secularist Israeli Left, which dominates civil discourse, the media, and academia and seeks to detach the state from Jewish history and deny any connection between “Israeli-ness” and Judaism.
This is reflected in a defeatism that is blindingly apparent on Memorial Day, whose atmosphere resembles that of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, in nearly all things: the same siren, the same closing of cafes and restaurants, the same conversion of the media into
official mourners. The timing is also suggestive – Memorial Day is a week after Yom Hashoah.
If anything, Memorial Day is the more dramatic of the two days, as there are two sirens sounded on Memorial Day but only one on Yom Hashoah. And this is not because the loss of soldiers is more recent. The bulk of the soldiers killed in Israel’s wars, more than half, died in the 1948-9 War of Independence, only three years after the Holocaust.
All sense of proportion has been lost. If you add up the numbers from all of Israel’s wars,
roughly 21,000 soldiers and civilians have been killed. That’s similar to the number of Jews
murdered every two days at Auschwitz at the height of its “efficiency.” In other words, had
Auschwitz operated just two days longer than it actually did, the loss of Jewish life during that
two-day period would have equaled all of Israel’s military and civilians losses over more than
half a century. (The soldiers killed in Israel, of course, died in valor, defending their people and
Here we are, 56 years after the Holocaust, and Israel is still operating under the Grand
Oslo Delusion, still trying to “negotiate” with the Palestinians instead of achieving total military
victory over them. In modern Israel, the fact that one or two soldiers were killed per week in
Lebanon was cause for a panic-stricken retreat out of Lebanon to Israel’s “international border.
Two deaths a week of soldiers in Lebanon – deaths that could have been prevented but for the lack of courage among the country’s leadership – were thought to be sufficient reason for
abandoning all rationality and determination, and for putting all of northern Israel under threat of massive bombardment. On the other front, Palestinians tossing rocks at soldiers in the 1980′s was sufficient reason for Israel to fall for the Oslo swindle of the 1990′s and invite an Islamofascist terrorist army to sit in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Oslo Israel is post-survivalist Israel, defeatist Israel, exhausted Israel. Oslo was based on a total loss of the ability to reason rationally, a loss of historic proportions, a relinquishment of reality for a make-pretend imaginary universe, and a complete loss in the Jewish determination to survive as a nation.
First and foremost, it was a complete loss in Jewish self-respect and dignity in Israel. Here we had the spectacle of Israeli leaders meeting, back-slapping and kissing the same Arab
fascists who murdered Jewish children and only yesterday denied there had ever been a
Holocaust, but at the same time insisting that if there had been one, the Jews deserved it.
The Israeli media continue to be the occupied territory of Israel’s extremist Left; the
Independence Day issue of Haaretz a couple of years back featured a banner op-ed by columnist Akiva Eldar entitled “To the Glory of the States of Israel and Palestine.” Eldar explained that Israel will never be truly independent until Palestine has pushed Israel behind its 1949 borders and liberated East Jerusalem.
In Oslo Israel, defeatism became the greatest form of triumphalism, cowardice became the highest form of courage, and McCarthyism was the greatest expression of democracy, at least
in the first few years after the Rabin assassination.
The Israeli military was as blinded by the loss of perspective as the rest of the country. The military leadership has been McClellenist since 1992, and was if anything ahead of the rest
of the country in saying amen to the vision of Oslo and backing the suicidal ambitions of Israel’s surrender-at-all-costs Left. The military brass was even louder than the media in demanding the unilateral, unconditional surrender of Israel in Lebanon and the abandonment of the Golan to Syria.
Meanwhile, now it’s Ariel Sharon who’s trying to capitulate his way into tranquility. Just
what does he think the PLO-Hamas terrorists will do in Gaza once Israel has ethnically cleansed it of Jews and abandoned it?
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at
Amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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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.
The importance of the caucus on organ harvesting in China, sponsored recently by the Liberal Lobby in the Knesset, cannot be exaggerated.
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.
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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