web analytics
January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘House’

Emes Ve-Emunah: A House Divided

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

One of the most troubling developments in recent years is the creation of yet another movement in Judaism. I wish we could all just be Jews. Some more observant. Some Less. Some not at all. Our beliefs formed mostly by our Jewish educators who have traditionally relied on what was handed down to them from their teachers and parents – going all the way back to Sinai. When the Torah was given at Sinai, it was given to the entire nation. All of us. We were all one standing there K’Ish Echad B’Lev Echad – as one person with one heart listening to the word of God as transmitted through His greatest servant – the ultimate Eved HaShem, Moshe.

There were no denominations or even Hashkafos. No Reform. No Conservative, No Orthodox. There were no Chasidim. No Sefardim. No Ashekenazim, No Modern Orthodox. No left. No right. We were one people, united. In short there was Achdus. Something that is becoming increasingly out of reach.

The truth is that there have been movements in ancient Israel in the past. Going as far back as Temple era times and continuing to arise throughout Jewish history. But it is also true that only those movements that followed the Torah as interpreted by the sages and rabbinic leaders throughout the generations has survived, and even thrived despite adversity.

Recent history has also give us not only denominational differences but Hashkafic ones. But there is a qualitative difference between a denomination and a Hashkafa. A denomination is a break from one group whose differences are so fundamental that they can not be accepted as legitimate by the parent group.  There can be no reconciliation between the two because their fundamental principles contradict each other.

A Hashkafa is simply a way of looking at Rabbinic Judaism while not departing from it. It is a world view of the same fundamentals that other Hashkafos have. So a Yeshiva, a Chasidic, and a modern Orthodox mentality are all part of the same Orthodox Judaism. Derived of the same traditional beliefs as their forefathers transmitted to them via their parents and teachers. Differing Hashkafos only mean that we have differing world views. But we still have the same basic traditions and follow the same basic Halacha that is Rabbinic Judaism.

That should not create divisions. Unfortunately it does. There are far too many Orthodox Jews on the right that want to separate from Orthodox Jews to their left. And there are far too many Orthodox Jews on the left that have the same feelings about anyone to their right. Thankfully there are also many Jews in both camps that do embrace each other. Which gives me hope that some form of Achdus still exists within Orthodoxy.

To that end (in part) a new group has been created called TORA. It consists of a group of rabbis from both the right and the left (or more technically –the center) that have joined forces. It was formed to counter yet another new movements that call themselves Orthodox even though they have departed from the teachings of their forefathers by entering new territory against the rulings of today’s rabbinic leaders. They have been rejected on those grounds by rabbinic leaders across the spectrum of Orthodoxy. More about them later.

They might believe that their differences are only Hashkafic – since they do follow Halacha meticulously. But when they rebel without a single rabbinic leader supporting them, they have in essence created a new denomination. A group of lower tier rabbis cannot depart from the great traditions of the past without support of even their own rabbinic leaders.  No matter how learned they may be at their own level. And no matter how much sense those departures may make to them.

But this is what is increasingly happening – thus causing yet a further divisions in Klal Yisroel. They will of course argue that they still remain within the Orthodox fold because of their meticulous observance. But that isn’t enough if your all your mentors rejects them. You can’t define yourself belonging to a group it that group’s leadership  rejects you.

One might ask, why get so exercised over this? Let them go. Who cares if there is yet another illegitimate movement in Israel? They will eventually go the way of all illegitimate movements. Besides they are minuscule in number. They are not big enough to impact Orthodoxy. Just ignore them!

I can’t. The people doing this are good people. I know and admire some of them. And I admire others among them I don’t know. Even though I might disagree with their Hashkafos – there is not a doubt in my mind that they have accomplished much for Judaism in the past. Even now they have the best of intentions. They are trying appeal to the broadest cross-section of Jewry they can. Something we should all be trying to do. By creating innovations to accommodate the spirit of the  times they are able to appeal to people that are strongly influenced by that.

No one can argue with their motives. They are noble. But it is the steps they have taken to achieve it that is so problematic. One cannot rebel against all rabbinic opinion in order to reach a goal no matter how noble. Because that takes you out of the very goal of inclusion you are trying to accomplish.

Instead of making Judaism more inclusive, you have made it more divisive. It isn’t the rabbinic leadership  that is dividing Jewry in this instance. They are just ‘sticking to the rules’ as handed down by their own teachers. It is the innovators that are causing the divisions. Even though they have good intentions in doing so.

Which is why I agree with a recent statement that has come out by TORA. They have criticized the latest ordination of women by a man that I have truly admired in the past, (and still do in many ways) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. This phenomenon is increasing and it seems that Orthodox Shuls are increasingly hiring them. As much as I understand Rabbi Riskin’s motives I cannot agree with that kind of rebellion. Rabbi Riskin is a highly educated rabbi. But he is not in a category of rabbinic leader.

This is not a Charedi versus Modern Orthodox battle. While it is true that most rabbinic leaders are Charedi, there are some, like Rabbi Hershel Shachter that are not. They too have rejected the ordination of women. Which is why the RCA, a body that has thousands of Modern Orthodox rabbis as members has rejected it. Nor to the best of my knowledge have any of the elder religious Zionist rabbinic leaders in Israel accepted it. This cannot be ignored!

There are many people on the left who feel that this phenomenon will grow. That it is organic.  That it serves the greater good of creating a much bigger Halachic tent within Orthodoxy. But that is a mistake. Because while they may believe they are still under that tent, they are not. Whether they realize it or not their actions have removed them from it. As long as there is universal rejection, there will never be reconciliation. And yet another division in Judaism has been created at the hands of good people with good intentions.

Harry Maryles

House Condemns UN Anti-Settlements Resolution

Friday, January 6th, 2017

The House on Thursday voted 342-to-80 in favor of a resolution calling to the repeal of the UN Security Council Dc. 23, 2016 resolution against Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, which the US allowed to pass last month by abstaining, rather than voting against it.

Most of the Nay votes came from Democrats, including Keith Ellison (D-Mn), who is in the running to head the Democratic National Committee. It can be safely assumed that, should Ellison, in his role as DNC leader, introduce agenda items in the spirit of UN resolution 2334, this could cause a serious rift within the party.

Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky said she voted against the condemnation of the UN anti-Israel resolution “as a proud Jew,” and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), one of the lone Republicans who crossed the aisle on the measure argued that “this Congress has allowed our chamber to be used as an Israeli campaign rally.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told the House that the resolution “was about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the resolution puts Congress on the record as “objecting to the recent UN Security Council resolution that hurt our ally.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called 2334 the “shameful Security Council resolution.”

The Senate is expected to vote on a similar anti-2334 resolution soon, especially since the new minority leader is the fervently pro-Israel Senator from NY Chuck Schumer – who led the Democrats who opposed the Obama administration’s Iran deal.

A few senators would like to punish the Security Council for its relentless attacks against Israel by both defunding the United Nations and withholding foreign aid from countries that supported the 2334. Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) proposed the US start punishing the UN by defunding its Human Rights Commission, which features among its members some of the world’s greatest human rights offenders.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement after the House vote:
 
“Today’s vote was an important first step to reversing the damage caused by President Obama’s actions toward Israel, most recently by not defending Israel at the United Nations. Now, President-elect Trump and the GOP majorities in Congress mark a new direction, one of rebuilding the important bonds between the two countries.
 
“The overwhelming support for this resolution shows that there is a strong commitment to fighting back against the UN’s persistent targeting of Israel. As President-elect Trump has signaled, the time has come to reevaluate U.S. funding of the U.N. and let them know we will not stand by their anti-Israel policies.”

JNi.Media

Will Israel Finally Have a Friend in The White House with Trump?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

I caught a short clip on United with Israel that has Donald Trump say something one doesn’t usually hear from American leaders. The Clintons and Obama have been heard to say many times that they’ll “stand by Israel” or have its “back,” but here Trump says something else:

 

There’s a big difference between those terms/phrases.

So far it’s not official, but there’s talk that the Trump team wants to invite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the Inauguration. So far it’s just talk, but considering the amount of pro-Israel Jews Donald Trump has appointed to important positions, anything is possible.

I wonder how long it will take, if ever, for Trump to seriously reduce the amount of support the American Government gives to the PA-Palestinian Authority.

humanitarian-aid

 

TOP 20 GOVERNMENT DONORS IN 2014*
Donor Contribution (US$)
United States of America 408,751,396
European Commission 139,402,221
Saudi Arabia 103,519,499
United Kingdom 95,328,127
Sweden 79,975,260
Germany 54,838,742
Norway 35,911,782
Japan (including JICA [Japan International Cooperation Agency]) 28,278,535
Switzerland 27,158,461
Australia 23,707,542
Netherlands 22,474,045
Denmark 22,339,767
Kuwait 17,000,000
France 16,800,000
Italy 10,775,259
Belgium (including Flanders) 10,772,636
Finland 8,865,753
Ireland 8,464,730
Palestine 8,453,349
Turkey 8,129,618

 

The Trump team has a lot of work to do to fix things in terms of Israel and our security.

Batya Medad

This Makes Up for Everything: Happy Hanukkah! Chag Sameach from the White House!

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

President Barack Obama issued a Hanukkah greeting on Friday – one day ahead of the start of the Jewish holiday, and at about the same time his UN envoy abstained at a Security Council, throwing the Jewish State to the dogs for the first time since his spiritual predecessor President Jimmy Carter had done in it 1980. Obama explained that “the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom.”

 


Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after it had been desecrated by Helenized Jews and their imperial patrons in Damascus. Obama, who hosted more than 1,000 people during two Hanukkah receptions at the White House last week, on Friday afternoon addressed how the values of the holiday apply to everyone, regardless of their faith.

He did not mention that, had the Maccabees redeemed the Holy Temple today, they would surely have been condemned by the UN Security Council, with the US abstaining, because said Holy Temple stood in “Occupied East Jerusalem.”

“For more than two millennia, the story of Hanukkah has reminded the world of the Jewish people’s perseverance and the persistence of faith, even against daunting odds,” the president said. “For more than two centuries, the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom – one codified in the Bill of Rights and chronicled in the enduring promise President George Washington made in his letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island: that the United States ‘gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.’

“May the flicker of each flame in every Menorah remind us all of the profound miracles in our own lives. And may the light of hope we shed continue to drive out darkness and brighten the futures we build for our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world.

“On behalf of Michelle and my family, Chanukah Sameach. Happy Hanukkah!”

It can be safely said, to paraphrase the late Winston Churchill, a man who never pretended to like Jews but nevertheless sacrificed tens of thousands of his countrymen’s lives to end their mass murder, Never has a smaller man said so much and meant so little.

JNi.Media

Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

{Originally Published in FrontPageMag}

Barack Obama has two faces. After Trump’s victory and Hillary’s defeat, the public Obama has been gracious and diplomatic. His lectures to Trump, directly and indirectly, are couched in praise. He echoed the feeling of millions on both sides when he said, “We are now all rooting for his success”.

That’s a lie. Or rather a disguise.

Obama and his aides had, in one insider narrative, decided to don the “mask of decorum”. The contempt for Trump still seeps through the mask. And the mask hides Obama’s next big move.

President Obama is over. He knows that. There are still some things that he can do before he leaves office, but everything except the most destructive, can be undone by his successor. The next phase of his campaign will not be fought from the White House. It will be fought against the White House .

The other Obama is emerging in conference calls with his supporters. “One of the challenges that I’ve discovered being president is I’d like to be organizer-in-chief, but it’s hard,” he said in one call.

Obama can no longer be commander-in-chief. Instead he’s plotting to become organizer-in-chief.

The infrastructure for the organization was put into place long before anyone thought that Hillary might lose. Organizing for Action gave him his own organizing hub. If Hillary had won, it would have been a pressure group.  Now that Trump won, it’s an axis to build a personal counterrevolution around.

In his post-election conference call with his OFA troops, Obama told them, “I’m giving you like a week and a half to get over it”. Then it would be time to “move forward not only to protect what we’ve accomplished, but also to see this as an opportunity”. What opportunity could there be in Trump’s win?

Obama is now the only major national figure still standing among the Democrats. After Hillary’s defeat, he’s worked hard to attribute the loss to her shortcomings, not his policies and decisions.  That’s not just to soothe his ego. If he’s going to dictate the future of his party, he can’t afford to be blamed for its latest disaster. And Obama is still determined to dictate the future of the party and the country.

In conventional politics, Obama is done. There’s no way back into the White House. And Hillary’s fate won’t leave much enthusiasm for nominating the uncharismatic spouse of a charismatic ex-president.

But Obama is not a conventional politician. He’s an organizer and a campaigner at the vanguard of a radical movement that seeks to control traditional institutions, but doesn’t feel bound by them. Unlike Bill Clinton, his plans don’t begin and end with the White House. As an organizer, Obama is equipped to build bases of power outside traditional institutions. And that is exactly what he is doing.

The demoralization of the Democrats is, as Obama put it, an opportunity. Social chaos is a time for the left to overthrow and undermine traditional institutions. Fear, anger and despair are radicalizing. The left has always operated by throwing bombs and then profiting from the fallout. That’s Obama’s agenda. Having wrecked the country and the Democrats, he sees that not as a setback, but as an opportunity.

“The network that you represent, you’re perfectly poised to do that,” Obama told his OFAers.  “In other words, now is the time for some organizing.”

While the leftist rioters in the streets are garnering the most attention, the real threat comes from the network of staffers dubbed Obama Anonymous which are beginning to organize and coordinate. OFA is Obama’s equivalent of the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons built Clintonworld around staffers, but its goal was harvesting money. Obama Inc. is being built around organizing and activism. Like Clintonworld, it will be a network encompassing a variety of political and non-profit institutions. Unlike them, it will be much less focused on directing money to its bosses in preparation for an election. Instead it will function like a traditional leftist movement, merging influence operations with crowdsourced mobilization.

OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was. The Clintons hoped to ride back to power on a giant wave of money. Obama is taking a much more radical course.

The staffers exiting government are being wired into Obama Inc. whether or not they take jobs directly working for him. The OFA alumni are building networks across organizations while taking their marching orders from him. They expect Obama to lead them back from the wilderness and into the halls of power.

 He’s told them so.

“I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen.  But that’s not so far off,” he assured them. “I’m still fired up and I’m still ready to go.” His next comments promised that radical political change could and would take place.

Obama isn’t going to retire. He’s not going to spend years puttering around with a presidential library. He’s not even going to set up a Clintonesque slush fund and try to make his wife president. Instead he wants to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built.

While the public Obama wraps up business at the White House, concludes yet another world tour, alternating between praising Trump and offering him condescending advice, the other Obama is preparing to deploy a network that will dominate the Dems and set the agenda on the left.

If Obama succeeds, then he will get another shot at picking his White House successor. But beyond that, he’s been handed the keys to an organizing machine that will allow him to set even more of the agenda for his party than ever before. And he has a cause that is sending the party reeling back into his arms.

Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House. And he might be right.

Political norms and old rules have been falling faster than leaves in an autumn wind. If Obama sets out to move the center of power outside the White House and into an organization that will control national politics through the left, it would be dangerous to assume that he can’t and won’t succeed.

The Democrats didn’t respond to their defeat, one of a sequence, by trying to move to the center. Instead there is every sign that they are moving further to the left. Keith Ellison, a radical leftist with an anti-Semitic past, is tipped to head the DNC. Schumer still has the Senate, but Elizabeth Warren may have it before too long. Combine that with Obama as the president-in-exile and the Dems will be more radical and extremist than they were even when Obama was sitting in the White House.

The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.

Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.

Barack Obama is still being vague and coy about his plans. He informs reporters that he will attack Trump when it comes to “core questions about our values and ideals”. But the “faithful” are getting much clearer signals. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff to do.”

The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.

Hillary’s defeat removes the Clintons, his only real internal rivals, off the stage. Trump’s triumph in working class areas cuts more ties with the traditional Dem base and transforms it into a party of left-wing urban elites and their radical agendas. And the popular figures on the left, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Keith Ellison, lack his national stature, speaking skills and organization.

Obama will move to consolidate the left. And then the Democrats. He will function as a president-in-exile heading up the opposition to Trump. When it comes to verbally challenging Trump, Obama will be more likely to be interviewed and heard than Ellison or Schumer. And his people will coordinate responses across the left from street level organizing to think tanks and policy moves.

Some of it is ego.

Obama believes that he can find the key to beating Trump in the traditional tactics of the left. But most is ideology and power. Obama is not done transforming America. And America isn’t done with him yet.

Daniel Greenfield

Eisenhower And Nasser: The Alliance That Wasn’t: An Interview with Former White House Adviser Michael Doran

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

 If the U.S. were only more understanding of Arab grievances, our position in the Middle East would vastly improve. So goes a popular theory. Crafting foreign policy based on this premise has repeatedly failed, but many politicians seem mysteriously drawn to it nonetheless.

One of the first to chase this chimera was President Dwight Eisenhower. As former White House adviser Michael Doran writes in a new book, “Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East” (Free Press), Eisenhower believed that propping up Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s at the expense of Great Britain and Israel would convince him to ally with the U.S. against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Nasser had other ideas, though. He took all the U.S. aid he could get and then turned to the Soviet Union. A decade later, he tried destroying Israel in the Six-Day War.

Doran, a senior director in the National Security Council under George W. Bush from 2005-2007, currently serves as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute where he specializes in Middle East security issues.

The Jewish Press: According to your book, the United States essentially built Nasser into the powerful Arab leader he became. Please explain.

Doran: When Eisenhower came to power in 1953, there were 80,000 British troops in the Suez Canal zone and the Egyptians and the British were on the brink of a war. The United States thought if war broke out, it would find itself on the side of a dying European imperialism suppressing Arab nationalism, which would be disastrous, it thought, for the Cold War. So, to make a long story short, what Eisenhower did is force the British to get out of Egypt, which handed Nasser his first big political victory.

Two years later, during the Suez Crisis in 1956 – when Israel, Britain, and France attacked Egypt – Eisenhower again handed Nasser a victory by bringing Britain to the brink of economic ruin. Nasser had very cleverly filled boats with concrete and sunk them in the Suez Canal, and then, working with his allies in Syria, he blew up the oil pipeline running from Iraq to the Mediterranean. Sixty-six percent of Europe’s oil went through the Suez Canal and the other 33 percent went through this pipeline, so Nasser managed to cut off all the oil to the British. But when Anthony Eden, who was the prime minister of Britain, asked Eisenhower for North American supplies of oil, Eisenhower said “No.” The markets got wind of this and the bottom dropped out of the pound.

So Eisenhower used extreme economic measures to force the British and French out of Egypt and then put very powerful diplomatic pressure on the Israelis to evacuate the Sinai with almost no concessions by the Egyptians. These moves handed Nasser an incredible political victory over the three enemies of Arab nationalism, if you will, and turned him into a figure of mythic power in the Arab world.

You write that we didn’t just support Nasser diplomatically; we actually provided him with propaganda expertise.

Yes, that’s one of the most surprising and fascinating aspects of the miscalculation. Behind the scenes, the CIA started treating Nasser as a close ally of the United States even before the agreement between the British and the Egyptians of October 1954. Nasser duped the Americans. He understood how important he was to them – that they really needed an Arab ally who would help them organize the Arab world [against the Soviets], and he led the Americans to believe that he was going to play that role.

So Eisenhower and Dulles, the secretary of state, started giving Nasser all kinds of support that they should’ve withheld until they really knew where he stood in the Cold War. They gave him beneficial press in Western outlets we had influence over; they gave him the most powerful broadcasting equipment in the Middle East; and they actually sent Paul Linebarger, who was an expert on black propaganda, to Egypt to help develop the content of Nasser’s propaganda.

There was a revolution in communications taking place in the Middle East at the time, and the transistor radio allowed an Arab leader with a powerful broadcasting system to beam his voice into every household in the Arab world. Nasser was the first to capitalize on that, and the United States helped him.

And despite all this help, Nasser nevertheless turned to the Soviet Union.

Correct. By September of 1955 – that’s just one year after the Americans helped Nasser get all the British troops out of Egypt – Nasser brokered the Soviet-Egyptian arms deal and received a huge amount of weaponry from the Soviet Union. Then Nasser turned his propaganda machine to the Arab world and said that we, the Egyptians, are working with the Soviets to drive the British from the region and defeat Israel. In general, Nasser took our broadcasting equipment and used it to broadcast anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda, which destabilized the Arab allies of the West in the Cold War, particularly Jordan and Iraq.

So the theory Eisenhower had when he first came into office – that by distancing himself from his allies he was going to open up a space for cooperation between the United States and Egypt – [was incorrect] and what actually happened was he opened up a space for Soviet-Egyptian cooperation and destabilization of the whole Middle East.

We didn’t turn off our propaganda support for Nasser, though, until March of ’56.

Why did we wait so long?

One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the role Nasser’s anti-Israel policies played in his relations with the United States. When Nasser made the arms deal with the Soviets in September of 1955, he managed to convince the Americans that it wasn’t a move against them, and he does that by playing the Israel card. He tells them he has to get weapons from the Soviet Union in order to defend himself against Israel, which he depicts as extremely aggressive.

He says, “Look, I’m a moderate, but I’m surrounded by extremists and the extremists expect me to defend Egypt against Israeli aggression. If I don’t accept these arms from the Soviet Union, they will topple me, and you’ll get then somebody’s who’s more extreme than me. So you should play along with me and allow me to do this.”

And the Americans bought it because they themselves came into power with the sense that Israel was an albatross around their neck and that Israel was the source of their problems in the Arab world. They bought it to such an extreme that their response to the Soviet-Egyptian arms deal in ’55 was funding for the Aswan High Dam, which was Nasser’s flagship development project. So Nasser aligned with the Soviet Union, and the United States responded by offering him a huge gift.

Nasser may have ultimately duped us, as you put it, but he is hardly the only Arab leader to have done so over the years. Time and again, Arab leaders have smiled while saying one thing to U.S. officials and then doing something completely different afterward. Don’t Western leaders realize Arab leaders operate in what might be called a culture of deviousness?

Elliot Resnick

“A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 1858

No matter who wins today, it is clear that by all accounts America is heading towards the 21st Century version of 1860.  True there is no longer chattel slavery, yet the feeling of deep divisions within the country can no longer be ignored or dismissed.

Millions of Americans feel the federal government is too involved with personal decisions.  These same people see an economy that only works for the 1%. Factories have closed, skills are outdated, and new jobs pay far less than before. Blue collar workers, inner cities, and millennials feel disenfranchised.

As a dual American/Israeli citizen who grew up in the USA, worked in politics,traversed the country and now lives in Israel’s biblical heartland, I look at the country where I was born and grew up in from a different vantage point.  For me looking in from the outside, America is a radically different place. It has strayed far from the compass that the Founders built for it.

It is true the United States has been on the edge before, but there were always external forces that unified the nation or a cause that empowered one side to over take the other.  With nothing of the sort, America heads for a long era of division and social disintegration.

Yet, despite all of this, the ideals  of the Founding Fathers and a moral electorate live on.  Perhaps not within the confines of a single country, but rather in those individuals seeking to strive for a better world through personal freedom based on biblical roots.

The way forward as America and the West transitions into unchartered and dangerous waters is to cling to the Creator and his light.

David Mark

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/a-house-divided-against-itself-cannot-stand/2016/11/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: