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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘day’

Did Morocco Help Win Six Day War?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

As Israel prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War next year, it might seem that the basic narrative is already well-known. As Egypt and Syria massed to launch a war to annihilate the Jewish state, Israeli forces pre-emptively struck, destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground and seizing the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip. King Hussein II’s decision to join in the war in order to perhaps have a share of the spoils led to Jordan’s defeat and ultimate expulsion from the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel’s campaign was militarily bold and brilliant. It was a complete victory and reshaped the Middle East to the present day.

Now, it seems, there is more to the story. From the Times of Israel:

Israel largely has Morocco to thank for its victory over its Arab enemies in the 1967 Six Day War, according to revelations by a former Israeli military intelligence chief. In 1965, King Hassan ll passed recordings to Israel of a key meeting between Arab leaders held to discuss whether they were prepared for war against Israel. That meeting not only revealed that Arab ranks were split — heated arguments broke out, for example, between Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Jordan’s King Hussein — but that the Arab nations were ill prepared for war, Maj. Gen. Shlomo Gazit told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper over the weekend.

A few thoughts:

The revelations, if true, reinforce that the divisions within the Arab world often trump hatred of Israel. Many Arab leaders recognize that Israel is a moderating influence in the region. This makes the obsession of successive U.S. administrations that have tried to force Israel to make concessions curious.

The revelations also reinforce just how much of an ally Morocco has been over the decades. Much is known publicly about what Morocco does to counter extremism and promote peace, but that seems to be the tip of the iceberg. This makes the current White House’s repeated efforts to undercut Morocco even more scandalous.

And, last, the appearance of the story is an indication of how counter-productive ego can be. A Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party—the Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD)—just won a plurality in Morocco’s parliamentary elections and will likely form the next government. Needless to say, the PJD is anti-Israel and dubious of the United States as well. General Gazit’s revelations will bring no benefit but may give Islamists a tool with which to try to undercut the Moroccan monarchy. Sometimes the value of having secrets remain secrets should trump the desire to tell war stories to grandchildren or eager reporters.

Guest Author

RASG Hebrew Academy Middle School’s Community Service Day

Monday, October 10th, 2016

RASG Hebrew Academy Charlotte Rohr Middle School held a Day of Community Service on Thursday, September 22. The Rosh Hashanah-inspired event was used as an impetus to highlight the attribute of chesed – kindness –which Jews try to emulate all year but particularly during the holiday season.

Activities included packaging and delivering meal baskets to the Kosher Food Bank, visits to local senior centers to deliver cards and flowers and sing songs with residents, and visiting early childhood classrooms at the Hebrew Academy to help the teachers and play with the younger children.


Hebrew Academy students participating in Day of Service.

Hebrew Academy students participating in Day of Service.


RASG Hebrew Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school, serving students through 12th grade through the light of Torah and academic excellence and inspiring each child to improve the world.

The school is located at 2400 Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach. For more information visit www.rasg.org or call 305-532-6421 ext 105.

Shelley Benveniste

First Annual Grandparents Day Bike-a-thon

Monday, October 10th, 2016

On Sunday, September 11, South Florida residents marked Grandparents Day in a unique and meaningful way. Over 150 people participated in the first annual Grandparents Day Bike-a-thon, with over 50 bikers raising awareness for senior citizens.

The first of its kind, the Grandparents Day Bike-a-thon was a celebration honoring the senior community.

Corporate sponsors included Hampton Court Nursing and Rehab, South Florida Kosher Market, SilverOak Home Health Care, Florida Jewish Funerals, Sapoznik Insurance, City Bikes, Chen Med, and Walgreens.


Grandparents Day Bike-a-thon participants

Grandparents Day Bike-a-thon participants

“We are so blessed to have an older generation we can learn from,” said Rabbi Menachem Smith, director of United Jewish Generations. “We hope this will change the trend and make people think more about honoring and visiting seniors.”

United Jewish Generations brings happiness, enjoyment, and inspiration to senior citizens through various services and events. UJG promotes Jewish pride, practice, and values with educational lectures and events. Under the auspices of Chabad, UJG serves as an oasis of strength, hope and purpose.

Check out the UJG website at www.UnitedJewishGenerations.com.

Shelley Benveniste

Rosh Hashanah: The Real Election Day

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

We are living through unusually challenging times at the cusp of the year 5777. The manner in which secular society is evolving poses numerous challenges for us as Torah-observant Jews. In addition, the general political and social state of the world is one that engenders deep pessimism.

The decay of American society as we have known it for so long is deeply troubling. The institutions we have come to rely on to maintain an open, democratic society are crumbling before our very eyes. Government is less trusted now than ever before. The rule of law and the ability of law enforcement to do its job has been undermined by the elites of society, the press, and many elected officials. This has led to rioting and anarchy in several American inner cities. Rabble-rousers are waiting for the opportunity to inflame passions and light the powder keg of race riots with all that this entails.

It is not just America that has been affected. The world order as we know it is changing before our eyes. American power is not what it used to be. As America pulls back somewhat from the international stage, new actors fill the void. Regimes that have histories of repression and violence such as Russia and Iran are making pacts with each other.

A world from which America retreats is a dangerous world indeed.

To add to all of this, it appears the candidates running for the coveted office of president of the United States are the least popular to ever face the American voter. The qualifications, policies, temperaments, and ethics of the candidates leave much be desired – to the extent that many astute observers are truly afraid about the future of America and by extension the world.

These are the sobering thoughts that engulf us as we prepare for another Rosh Hashanah when Hashem will judge the world and seal the decree for the upcoming year.

So how can we strengthen ourselves? Is there a silver lining in the ominous clouds darkening the horizon? Most important, what can we do to invoke Divine Mercy on behalf of ourselves, our families, and all of the Jewish nation as we seek His favor and beg Him to inscribe us for a year of blessing and success?

* * * * *

Let us seek inspiration and insight from a fascinating pasuk in this week’s parshah. In the preceding parshah, the Torah enumerates the profound blessing we will receive for following Hashem’s commandments and conversely the terrible tochachah, punishment, we will undergo if we do not listen to His commandments. The pasuk in this week’s parshah continues by stating, “It will be when all these things come upon you – the blessings and the curse that I have presented before you – then you will return in your heart among all the nations where Hashem your God has dispersed you. And you will return to Hashem your God and listen to His voice… you and your children with all your heart and all your soul” (Devarim 30:1-2).

There are a number of words in this pasuk that require analysis. The pasuk states, “Vehasheivosa el levavech b’chol hagoyim – You will return in your heart among all the nations…” The simple understanding of this concept is that in the parshiyos of Ki Savo and Bechukosai Hashem enumerates the terrible curses and punishments that will befall the Jewish people if they stray from the proper path. The Torah is telling us that in order to stop the pain and suffering caused by the retribution or even to avoid it in the first place, Bnei Yisrael should engage in teshuvah and return to Hashem.

Certainly that is true, but we must still understand why the pasuk adds two seemingly extra words. The pasuk says, “Vehasheivosa el levavecha b’chol hagoyim – You will return in your heart among all the nations…” Where do the two words “bchol hagoyim” come into the picture? What is the connection between the nations of the world and the teshuvah that Klal Yisrael does after receiving the tochachah?

Perhaps we can suggest that there is an additional component that spurs bnei Yisrael to return to Hashem. When we engage in teshuvah, it is not solely because we wish to receive the infinite blessings of Hashem and avoid the terrible retribution heaped upon those who rebel against Him. There is another vitally important catalyst for returning to Hashem, and wanting to be part of the am Hashem, the nation of Hashem. This occurs when we come to the irrefutable realization that the nations surrounding us and in whose midst we live have nothing to offer us.

When looking at the host culture, we observe its modes of “recreation,” what people do for “fun,” and we realize they have little of lasting benefit to offer us. When we think about where society is headed, we realize that with all of the advancements and the tremendous strides – industrial, technological, medical – that humanity has made, the host culture is characterized by moral decadence combined with unbridled hedonism. Not only is it the diametric opposite of the way the Torah desires that we conduct our lives, but it also fails to bring the happiness and joy that is its purported purpose.

Engaging in the unrestrained pleasure seeking that has become the norm in the host culture does not satisfy our soul. Rather, it is akin to a thirsty person drinking saltwater and wondering why he is even thirstier than he was before, after the passing of the momentary feeling of satisfaction he feels as the wet liquid touches his mouth.

The pasuk is thus teaching us that another motivation for “vehasheivosa el levavechafor returning to Hashem, refraining from aveiros, and performing His mitzvos – is “b’chol hagoyim,” by looking around and seeing how the moral conduct of a society such as the one that surrounds us cannot guide us. This is a culture to which we do not really belong.

Rav Dovid Hofstedter

Former Deputy Chief of Staff: Every Day Sgt. Azaria Is on Trial Damages the IDF

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Former Deputy Chief of Staff Gen (Res.) Uzi Dayan, who at one point was head of the IDF Central Command and is a nephew of the late Moshe Dayan, told a military court in Jaffa on Monday it should not have been involved in the case of shooting medic Sgt. Elor Azaria in the first place.

“I don’t know if the soldier sinned or not,” Gen. Dayan, a witness for the defense, stressed. “I’m concerned about the soldiers on the ground. Every such [court trial] day is causing more damage to the IDF.” He then turned to the judges and said, “It’s still not too late to reach a plea bargain, the damage to the Army is enormous.”

Gen. Dayan testified that, in his opinion, “every terrorist has a death sentence on his head, regardless of whether or not they pose a risk at the moment.”

The man who commanded the Hebron region at one point and served as National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, said there should not have been a military police investigation of the case, nor a consequent involvement of the military prosecution, and certainly no trial. He also told the court that in his entire career he never permitted the military police to investigate an operational event.

“The military police does not have the tools needed to investigate operational events,” Gen. Dayan told the panel of three military judges. “It’s a shame that instead of using the tool of an investigating committee, they rolled it straight to the criminal arena. If a warrior makes a mistake, we don’t roll it over to the criminal realm, unless an insidious motive is involved.”

When the prosecutor asked if the rules of engagement don’t forbid killing a terrorist simply because he is a terrorist, Gen. Dayan responded, “This is patently wrong. What’s relevant are the mission instructions. I ordered to kill terrorists simply because they were terrorists, regardless of whether they endangered or didn’t endanger. … Terrorists must be killed. Is it under any condition? No, that’s true. But as to the question of whether terrorists should be killed, the answer is yes.”

At the end of his testimony, Gen. Dayan told the judges, “Many eyes are trained on you. The issue is under an unprecedented public debate, which means that your decision bears an enormous significance.”

Gen. (Res.) Dan Biton, who also testified for the defense, warned the court in a written affidavit that “there was a command failure on the part of the brigade commander, battalion commander and company commander.” He added, “In my opinion the company commander was in a trauma as a result of the shooting. This case represents a fault line. A wrong decision would lead to a situation whereby every soldier would be afraid to open fire to save a life.”


Mortar Shell Strikes Golan Heights Third Day in a Row

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Another round of mortar fire from Syria reportedly struck the Golan Heights in northern Israel from Syria. The IDF located four artillery shells in the northern part of the Golan Heights by Wednesday night, Ynet reported, allegedly more of the “spillovery” from the raging civil war taking place across the border.

If the report is confirmed, it will be the third day in a row for what has become a continuing series of mortar fire despite Israeli military efforts to deter, or at least, contain an escalating situation on the northern border.

This is the eighth time the region has been hit by “spillover” action from the raging civil war taking place on the Syrian side of the border.

The attacks have continued despite retaliatory Israeli Air Force air strikes and IDF artillery fire intended as a warning to prevent further shelling.

On Tuesday, the IDF closed Route 98 in the north after the third mortar shell of the day came whistling into the region from across the border.

That attack came just 24 hours after two projectiles landed in Israel from Syria.

The Golan Heights also was attacked on Monday, and over the weekend as well.

The Israeli government has issued a statement after each attack, warning that it holds the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for all activity that takes place within its territory, military and otherwise.

Hana Levi Julian

The First Day of School [photos]

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

It’s not clear who is having more fun on this first day of school in Israel, the politicians or the students.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Photos by: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO First Day of School First Day of School


Prime Minister Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett Photo by: Flash90

First Day of School

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Photo by: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense
First Day of School

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-first-day-of-school-photos/2016/09/01/

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