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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘destruction’

Jerusalem And The Three Weeks

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Mourning, repentance – and love of the Land of Israel. These are arguably the major themes of these Three Weeks of Mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple.

The first two are well known and require little elaboration. But how does love and concern for Eretz Yisrael fit in to the picture?

The answer is based on a watershed event in Jewish history: the notorious sin of the spies, a result of disdain for the Land of Israel. Moses had sent them to scout out the Promised Land, but the Jews, fresh off being rescued from the bondage of Egypt, seemed only too eager to hear and accept their negative report.

What was the divine punishment? The Talmud puts it this way: “You cried for no good reason, so I’ll give you something to cry about. On this day – the 9th of Av – many centuries from now, the Beit HaMikdash will be destroyed.”

And since we are bidden to recognize our mistakes, learn from them, and often go to the other extreme, it is clear there is no better time than these Three Weeks to increase our love and solidarity with the Land of Israel, the holy city of Jerusalem, and the site of the Beit HaMikdash.

We must do this, first of all, by learning about them and their importance – and about the contemporary threats they face. The Beit HaMikdash compound, for instance, is currently facing a multi-pronged attack. Let us briefly list the most recent fronts of hostilities:

* The Temple Mount is under the de-facto control of hostile Muslims who restrict the entry of Jews and do not allow them to pray there.

* The Muslims are currently desecrating the site of the Holy of Holies by placing scaffolding atop the Foundation Stone, so that they can carry out “renovations.”

* Possibly most egregious of all is the ban placed by Israel’s police on Rabbi Yisrael Ariel – head of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem and one of the original liberators of the site during the Six Day War – from even entering the Temple Mount.

The first, of course, has been the case for many decades. Arab control over the Temple Mount became more pronounced right after the Six-Day War when Moshe Dayan literally “returned the keys” to the Muslim Waqf, arousing little Jewish protest. Since then, the Waqf has embarked on a campaign of destruction of all archaeological evidence of Jewish claims to this site. A Waqf sign at the entrance to the site of the Beit HaMikdash reads, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”

Can we truly claim Jewish sovereignty over a united Jerusalem if we allow this situation to continue without protest?

Supporters of Jewish Jerusalem were outraged last week when they learned the Waqf had turned the area of the Temple’s Holy of Holies into a construction site. The Temple Mount Loyalists filed suit in the Supreme Court on Sunday. They asked for an immediate restraining order to close the site, prevent those responsible for the desecration from entering, and enable the Chief Rabbinate to remove the scaffolding and end the desecration.

The petition states that the Waqf has taken advantage of its position to “harm the very heart of the Mount, in deepest offense to the emotions of the Jewish Nation…. Since the Early Prophets, the Foundation Stone has been the site of the High Priest’s exclusive service on Yom Kippur – the center of the world, according to Jewish faith, and the site on which the Ark of the Covenant was placed.”

Once again, without an international outcry from world Jewry, it is feared the request for judicial redress in the form of “quick and firm action and intervention” to put an end to this grave religious offense will once again fall on deaf ears.

And finally, many rabbis and other public figures have protested the unexplained police decision to prevent Rabbi Yisrael Ariel from visiting the Temple Mount. How ironic that Israel boasts freedom of religion and access to holy sites but bans a rabbi from Judaism’s holiest site – a rabbi who is the founder of the Temple Institute, which seeks to disseminate the principle taught in The Kuzari that “Jerusalem will be built when the Jews truly long for it.”

Shopping For Priestly Garments

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I receive letters and e-mails every day from all parts of the world. Sadly, there is no shortage of problems. Pain and suffering abound. How to navigate the turbulent waters of the world we live in is a challenge for everyone.

Every once in a while, however, I receive a letter that seems so outlandish I suspect it’s fictitious – someone playing a prank. Such was the case with the following e-mail.

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I am so confused and troubled. I am scheduled to get married in two weeks. Two months ago, my father announced he had to go to Paris for a very important business deal. My mother loved the thought of going to Paris and decided to accompany him. Although we hadn’t finished our shopping for the wedding, we scrambled to find the right gown and while we couldn’t decide which one to take, we did settle on a certain designer.

“Anything that you choose there,” my mother assured me, “will be stunning.” As for Mom, she decided to get her gown in Paris.

When my parents returned, my mother took a look at my dress and thought it was awful. I had already paid most of the money – a huge sum – and they refused to give a refund. It’s now two weeks before the wedding, and it’s doubtful whether they can have a new gown in time. I am miserable. I have nightmares about looking ridiculous at my own wedding.

As I mentioned, my mother bought her gown in Paris and, frankly, it is embarrassingly tasteless. My mom and I have been fighting. We keep blaming one another. So what do we do?

I’m curious as to how many readers think the letter is authentic. Well, the fact is – I made it up. Why did I do it? Sometimes, in order to drive home a point, you have to draw a graphic illustration. We, you and I, we are the kallah and the mishpachah. The greatest day of our lives, the ultimate wedding, is quickly approaching, and to our chagrin we are unprepared.

You and I went to a couturier for a specially designed dress. We spent a small fortune on it only to discover we won’t be able to wear the dress on which we lavished so much money. At the end of the day, G-d forbid, we will stand like schnorrers begging for entree to a great wedding hall.

We, the children of the 21st century, are victims of an obsession with money. We idolize the latest in fashion and turn to Paris, Milano, and Madison Avenue for guidance. We will discover too late, G-d forbid, that what we dedicated our lives to is an abominable waste. The wedding is just around the corner, and we are totally unprepared.

We are in the midst of the Three Weeks, which signal the destruction of Yerushalayim that culminated in the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, when our Temple was reduced to ashes.

The Talmud teaches us that when the great sage Rabbi Akiva saw the site of the destruction, with wild animals roaming the holy grounds, he smiled and comforted us: “Even as this prophecy of destruction has come to pass, so too, shall we behold the prophecy of redemption and rebirth fulfilled. Messiah will come and the Temple shall once again glow in all its splendor and majesty, illuminating the entire world with the Word of Hashem.

Many centuries have passed. Our blood has flowed freely over the face of the earth, and it was not only sword and fire that consumed us but assimilation as well, swallowing up our children in the melting pot of the nations. And now we have entered a time in our history when the footsteps of Messiah are audible – that is, if we know how to listen. Soon we will have to go to that “great wedding” and, as in my fictitious letter, we will be mortified. Our garments will be ridiculously inappropriate.

So let us stop for a moment and ask ourselves how will we feel at that wedding when we meet the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. How will stand before our King, our Heavenly Father? Will we say we had to attend to our business or that we were searching for haute couture and therefore forgot the proper dress code? Will such rationalizations fly? How will we explain it all?

Uninvited: Border Police Storm Migron Outpost During Wedding

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

On Tuesday afternoon, a Border Guard police force raided the outpost of Ramat Migron in the Benjamin region, where two minors were detained without being arrested.

Border Guard police also raided the nearby outpost of Maoz Zion.

The raid, as has become a habit with the Border Guard, took place while a wedding was being conducted in the small village of Ramat Migron.

Local residents complained in the past that the police intelligence service’s ritual of arriving with an intent to destroy property during these celebrations stems from a desire to weaken the outpost residents and ruin their celebrations. But every destruction will be followed by construction, they vowed.

My Pleasant Dreams – 851 Of Them

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Prior to the Knesset vote on the Regulation Law, which was defeated on June 6, I visited the protest tent where people were on a hunger strike and I realized we are again going through what we went through in the days before the destruction of Gush Katif.

The destruction of five buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, as ordered by the High Court, could set a precedent for more destruction. (The Regulation Law would have set a time limit for Arab claims and would have substituted compensation for destruction.)

A day before the vote I thought, What can I do to help? I suddenly began daydreaming and saw a letter from Dov Shurin to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the front page of the Jerusalem Post urging him to allow Likud Knesset members and ministers to vote their hearts so that the law might pass.

“Yeah, right,” I said to myself.” You aren’t going to pay big money for that.”

But I’m sure many of my readers can look back at important events and accomplishments in their lives and remember it all started with a dream.

So I came up with the following idea: I write for The Jewish Press, which would be a great place for the Jerusalem Post to advertise for subscribers to its International Edition.

I started making a series of calls, and a barter deal was worked out between these two important Jewish papers. I was given nearly a quarter of a page for a letter to the prime minister:

An Open Letter To Our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu From New York radio personality And composer of the song “Zachreni Na,” Dov Shurin:

Dear Binyamin,

Zachreni Na! Remember me, your friend Dov. Know that my love for you is unshakable. That is why I beg you to allow fellow Likud Knesset Members and Ministers to have a free vote according to each one’s conscience on the important Regulation Law.

As in the Song of Shimshon, “Ach hapa’am hazeh HaElokim!” – just this ONE time, our leader!

I assure you, my dear friend, that the victory will be OURS – yours, mine, and all of the nation’s.

Do this, and you will reap the reward of leading our nation for many years to come.

With love, Dov Shurin I went to sleep that night and had another dream: I met our president, Shimon Peres. I showed him my letter to Netanyahu and said, “It’s not really going the help…”

“No, no,” he interrupted, “It will help!”

Great dream, right?

Now it was morning and I went out to buy the Jerusalem Post. The headline story was about the new law having “no chance” of passing, and underneath it, on page one, was my letter.

Well, the president told me my letter would help, but how?

I went to the protest tent across from the Knesset. The hunger strikers I’d met earlier were still inside; protesters were outside; and everyone was talking about how the prime minister had said any minister who voted for the bill would be fired. Things looked bleak.

I fell into a daydream:

Netanyahu is sitting by his desk and all the morning papers lie in front of him. He glances at the headlines and makes and receives calls. The clock on the wall is ticking hypnotically; he’s tired from a long night. His wife calls to urge him to take a nap.

“Everything will be all right,” she says. “The leftists paid legal fees to help an Arab prove his ‘ownership’ of the land. The High Court ordered the destruction, but you will build ten houses for each one destroyed, 50 more houses.”

Netanyahu finishes on the phone and takes the Jerusalem Post with him to the couch for a quick nap.

My inside sources tell me he was snoring with my letter resting on his nose.

At any rate, it was just before the Knesset vote and journalists wanted a statement from the prime minister. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he told them he’d decided to build 851 new houses in the settlements. Some 300 in Bet El, 100 in Kiryat Arba, some in Maale Adumim, Adam, and other places.

Big Men, Little Man

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Combat Engineering Corps is greeted by a jubilant little fellow after completing their treacherous trek for their gray berets.

The Combat Engineering Corps symbol features a sword on a defensive tower with a blast halo on the background.

The Combat Engineering Corps official motto is “Rishonim Tamid” (“Always First”). Its unofficial motto is “We’ll do the hard stuff today, the impossible tomorrow.”

The corps’ roles include mobility assurance, road breaching, defense and fortifications, counter-mobility of enemy forces, construction and destruction under fire, sabotage, explosives, bomb disposal, purifying nuclear, biological and chemical threats, and special engineering missions, which include identifying and demolishing smuggling tunnels.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Alternatives in Givat Ulpana

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Jeremy Man Saltan, Knesset insider, joins Yishai to discuss the situation and potential destruction of five buildings in the Givat Uplana neighborhood of Beit El. Rather than discussing the legality of the destruction, they talk about the attempts to find solutions through two laws that are currently in the Israeli Knesset. Don’t miss this riveting segment that presents an insider’s view to what is going on in the Knesset!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher Yishai on Facebook

Can We Stop The Peace Train?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

It is difficult for some to accept the connections being made between Manhigut Yehudit and those who, when push came to shove, voted in favor of the Expulsion from Gush Katif. Both MK Miri Regev, who works tirelessly on behalf of every nationalist issue – be it the Ulpana Hill or the African infiltrators – and Minister Silvan Shalom, who has been a very positive force for the settlements and other national interests, were not in the right place at the critical hour. Many find our renewed friendship hard to swallow.

Since the governments of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres put the “peace train” on the Oslo tracks, the sand in the settlement hourglass has been running out. The recognition of the “Palestinian nation and its rights” means the loss of recognition of the Jewish state and its rights. It’s as simple as that.

The Israeli Right did not have the tools to counter the alternative promoted by the Left because it never really had an alternative. All that the Right had was healthier national feelings. But feelings don’t stop trains – and they certainly cannot place them on a different track to a different destination. Inside the train, the Likud MKs will do all they can to help, but they are incapable of changing its direction.

When it gets to the point that continued support of the settlements will be deemed political suicide, the Likud MKs will need an alternative support that will provide them with a different ideology and leadership. That is the only way that they will be able to continue to fight. As long as that support does not exist, nobody can expect them to do more than they are doing now.

Have we at Manhigut Yehudit created that alternative support? There is no doubt that we have been creating an alternative for the past 15 years. We are now in the critical stage of establishing grass-roots connections. Without those direct connections between the various Likud activists, our alternative will remain ungrounded. But there is no connection between the factions without connections and the faction leaders. And the faction leaders, sadly, have failed in the past.

Those who want to make life easy will once again repeat the erroneous Effie Eitam paradigm. Once again they will register for their own small party that will split up yet again and run in the next election under a different name. As the old saying goes: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me! Religious Zionist politics is once again leading its voters down the same, fallacious path. The same mistakes have been made over and over again, in innovative variations, beginning from the days of the Techiya Party. Whoever is duped again has only himself to blame.

Now back to the settlements. The Oslo train cannot be turned around without true leadership and an alternative track. There will be no new settlements in Judea and Samaria, no return to the glorious pioneering days, no new Ma’ale Adumim or Ariel, and no new neighborhoods inside those towns until the change is made. But the destruction can be stopped. The strategic change that is necessary entails establishing new, faith-based leadership that is not dependent on the established powers that be.

The Left is working wisely. It is progressing incrementally, fully synchronized with its people in the state’s attorney’s office and the High Court. They know that too great an achievement all at once could torpedo all their gains. But after the destruction of these small settlements, we will once again be hearing from Peace Now in Ofra, Shilo and the rest of the towns in the Binyamin region.

We must continue the struggle. If the decision makers believe that the threat of a real struggle is not hanging over their heads, their fear of the Left will naturally be greater than their fear of the settlers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/can-we-stop-the-peace-train/2012/06/14/

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