The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Comments are closed.
Many of us simply don’t get the need for the Torah to list the exact same gift offering, 12 times!
There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.
Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.
This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah
Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]
God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.
So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”
The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?
In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.
Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.
The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard
The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God
Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai
The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
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.”
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/strengthening-am-yisrael/2011/11/30/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: