web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Strengthening Am Yisrael


The Jewish Press is proud to announce a new monthly column by the founder of the Shas Party, Member of Knesset Rabbi Nissim Zeev. In 1983, Rabbi Zeev, principal of Nevat Israel, Jerusalem’s first Sephardic Girls’ Seminary, initiated the creation of the “Sephardi Torah Guardians” as a local political party in Jerusalem with the aim of becoming a national party in 1983. Since that day his name appears as in the official registrar documentation as the Chairman of Shas, although he has delegated that role in the political sphere to Rabbi Peretz, then Arieh Deri and later to Eli Yishai. M.K. Rabbi Zeev is the “voice of Shas” worldwide. Upon the establishment of American Friends of Shas, M.K. Nissim Zeev joins the cadre of Jewish Press columnists to bring our readers insights and inside information on Shas activities and policies.

* * * * *

The weekly Torah portion “Vayeitzei” recounts the journey of our Patriarch Jacob who departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran on a journey which would lead him to start a new family in a personal exile.  On the way, he encountered “the place” which the Midrash says is Mount Moria, the site where Abraham bound Isaac on the altar and where the Beit Hamikdash would later stand.  It is there that the Almighty appeared before him in a dream and said: I am Hashem, G-d of Abraham, your father and G-d of Isaac; the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendant. Your offspiring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your offspring…Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoke to you about”.

 

In these few verses, the Torah outlines the story of the history of the Jews and the times of exile from the Holy Land. Sforno comments that Hashem’s reference that the Jewish people will be “as the dust of the earth” is connected to the text in Isaiah 51:23 – only after the Jewish people have become as degraded as the dist of the earth – “shall they spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward”.

 

As the founder of Nevat Israel, the first Sephardic Girl’s Seminary in Jerusalem in 1979, I realized that without political influence, the Sephardic community in Israel would not be able to develop its educational institutions. I established the Shas Party in 1983 as a national movement which at first ran very successfully for the elections in the Jerusalem Municipality, where I served for many years as Deputy Mayor, and later became national and ran for elections in the Knesset. The goal of the Shas Party from the onset was to be under the spiritual guidance of  the Rishon Letzion, Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph and the Council of Rabbinical Sages under his leadership. Rav Shach z”l was instrumental in agreeing to this initiative and supporting it.  This is what differentiates the Shas party from previous Sephardic movements. The goal of the Shas Party is to serve the interests and all edot hamizrach, Sephardic Jews – while striving for unity among all of Am Yisrael. As noted by the journalist Abraham Rabinovich in a feature article in the Jerusalem Post:  “Shas represents an indigenous product sprung from the religious-political soil of modern Israel”.

 

While Shas has had great achievements in its goals for the Sephardic Jews in Israel in all areas of education and education and social justice, may challenges lie ahead in its activities in Israel.  At the same time, Am Yisrael in the diaspora is facing great spiritual and physical threats and Am Yisrael is again being degraded as noted in the Sforno commentary.. The Jewish identity of the young generation needs to be strengthened through education and spiritual guidance, and the Jewish communities face renewed threats of anti-semitism and the rise of fundamentalist Islam.  It is time for Shas to spread its wings and work with its brethren who are spread in the “west, the east, the south and the north” of the globe. We are taking the first step with the launching of American Friends of Shas in New York this week.  I invite all our brethren to join forces with us “so that the nations of the world shall bless themselves through Am Yisrael” in the words of the Torah…..

 

Inquiries and comments: friendsofshas@yahoo.com

About the Author: Member of Knesset Rabbi Nissim Zeev is a founding member the Shas Party and a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Strengthening Am Yisrael”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The Quran
Dawa* at Chautauqua
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Nissim Zeev
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

The 10-day period from Rosh Hashanah-Yom Kippur is, as is well known, a time to begin personal introspection – an occasion to look back at one’s mistakes of the past year and plan the needed changes to improve oneself in the New Year. In the U.S. it is also a time for Americans to make positive “resolutions.”

Shas MK Nissim Zeev

In our time we must always take advantage of the opportunity for a second chance to revive our identity as Jews in Eretz Yisrael, for without the identity of Israel as a Jewish state, we are truly at a spiritual and physical loss.

The American Jewish Orthodox community has probably been overwhelmed by the events of the past few weeks in Israel regarding the extremely hostile attacks that have been aimed at the haredi community by the secular press and politicians from across the political spectrum.

The Jewish Press is proud to announce a new monthly column by the founder of the Shas Party, Member of Knesset Rabbi Nissim Zeev.

As Jews in Israel and all over the world prepare to celebrate Shavuot, it is incumbent upon us to take the time to reflect on the meaning of our traditional values and history with regard to our current challenges and goals.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/strengthening-am-yisrael/2011/11/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: