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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘letter’

Open Letter To An Anti-Semite

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

I am Jewish, and I know you hate me for that reason.

Can we talk about this in a rational way?

We have never met. I have never done anything to harm you. You probably wouldn’t even know I’m Jewish if you were to see me on the street (assuming my yarmulke was covered by a hat), so I feel like you are hating a stereotype, and stereotypes are not real people.

Maybe you hate me because you were taught that Jews are greedy.

Or maybe you hate me because you were taught that Jews are dirty or have horns on their heads.

Or maybe you hate me because you were taught that Jews are dishonest or drink the blood of Christian children.

I can assure you – the very fact that I still have to do so, in this day and age, is disconcerting, to say the least – that these and many other disparagements like them are utterly false.

You can argue that stereotypes are rooted in truth, but more often than not what some people hold to be “truth” can very quickly become distorted in the service of nefarious ends. Stereotypes, which can endure for hundreds or even thousands of years, are nothing more than spurious old tales or pernicious lies.

These tales and lies can grow out of the all-too-human human fear of the unfamiliar, and something as simple as one individual’s distaste for another can take on a life of its own as the individual harboring the distaste talks about it to a friend, and the friend tells an acquaintance, and the acquaintance mentions it to a family member, and on and on. Before you know it, a dangerous and even lethal stereotype is created.

Unfortunately, we Jews know from history what lies can do. As Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, put it, “If you repeat a lie a thousand times it becomes the truth.”

Now let’s look at the facts. I am a human being, just like you. But I am also part of a people, just like you are part of a people. The people from which I am descended goes back thousands of years and has suffered endlessly at the hands of anti-Semites.

Can you empathize even the slightest with our plight? Do you have no compassion at all for a people that has been stigmatized, quarantined, tortured, slaughtered, decimated?

I would like to think you do because we are all part of the human family and I have faith in the human family. But by singling out a group of people for opprobrium and worse, you reveal a mind that somewhere along the way was poisoned by any of a myriad of factors –propaganda, low self-esteem, jealousy, fear, narrow-mindedness, a need to find a scapegoat, etc.

And yet, I repeat my belief that as a member of our human family you have an underlying spirit of goodness in you. No doubt you exhibit that goodness in your personal relationships and in many other settings and circumstances. You weren’t born with hatred in your heart. Young children generally don’t trouble themselves over the differences among people and they tend to make friends with peers of every background.

I may be wrong, and heaven knows how many of my religious forebears had the same idealistic notion only to meet a harrowing demise, but as a Jew I’m an optimist at heart – it’s the only way my people have been able to endure, survive, and ultimately thrive, outliving our enemies and contributing so much to the world.

Maybe you condemn me because you condemn the state of Israel. Israel is not perfect – no nation is – but I defend it with every fiber of my being not just because it is the Jewish homeland but also because I fervently believe its actions are for the most part necessary, warranted, and fair. You can disagree, and that is your prerogative, but instead of channeling your anger into hate, wouldn’t it be better to engage in civil discourse, to make a sincere attempt at understanding why Israel sometimes needs to adopt policies you find difficult to accept?

Hating is such a waste of time and energy, and I am sure you could put yours to better use. Besides, whatever depraved ideas you may have about the eventual disappearance of Jews from the world, do you really think we will ever be eliminated?

We know from recent history that not even the mass extermination of the Holocaust succeeded in making the world judenrein. To the contrary: a mere three years after the defeat of the Nazis, the Jews rose from the ashes of Auschwitz and Treblinka and, in the face of an indifferent world and Arab armies bent on finishing Hitler’s job, reestablished the first sovereign Jewish state in two thousand years.

There is a divine element to the survival of the Jews through millennia of unquenchable hate and unspeakable persecution. So it is destined for failure and futility, this business of anti-Semitism, and really, the sooner you wake up to that the better it will be for all of us.

Harvey Rachlin

An Open Letter to the Pope

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blogsite}

Your Holiness:

I must start off by telling you that as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, I am not generally in the habit of writing to the Pope. However, these are special times in which we live and, as such, I believe I must reach out to you, for your assistance.

As you are no doubt aware, UNESCO recently voted in committee and then ratified at an Executive level that there is no historical connection between the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Judaism. And while this may seem like a trivial matter, I assure you that it is not in the least bit trivial.

Before I request your help, perhaps a national mea culpa would be in order. It has been pointed out to me and to many others: how in the world can we expect differently from UNESCO if Israel herself is not seen as claiming its natural dominance over the site. Yes, we have not done well at this at all, and that is a separate issue we need to grapple with here in Israel.

The vote by UNESCO is one of gargantuan anti-Semitic proportions. And while it is clearly anti-Semitic, their action does one other thing: It attempts to erase the historical connection of a people from its past. Since, we are speaking here about JEWISH history, why would I be contacting the leader of the 2 billion plus Catholics of the world? Simply put: the UNESCO decision is a slap in the face to you personally and not only to the Jewish people.

Since I am not well-versed in the Scriptures, as promulgated by the Church, I turned to the internet to gain some rudimentary language regarding the connection between Jesus and the Temple Mount. Here is an example of what I found.


The Temple Mount holds significance for Christians as the place where Jesus issued his challenge against the Temple authorities, an act which can be seen as leading directly to his arrest and crucifixion.
Jesus deplored the corruption of the authorities of that time, as well as the use of one of the Temple gates for trade. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus performed a “cleansing” of the Temple, whereby he chased away the merchants and money changers in the Temple’s vicinity.
 The Temple Mount also holds significance for Christians as the place where Jesus attended festivals as a child.

It seems that this vote not only attempts to erase JEWISH history, it also is erasing that which you hold near and dear to YOU, personally and to the 2 billion plus devotees of your church. While Pope Pius XII was given a bad rap about his action/inaction during WWII, the truth has come out, that he was responsible for saving over 850,000 Jewish lives.

It is now your turn to stand up for your people and the people from whom your roots sprung forth. This is not about good and evil. This is not about right and wrong. THIS IS ABOUT TRUTH. And the truth is that the statement that passed by UNESCO is a global slap in the face to Jews and Christians.

As the leader of the billions of Catholics on Earth, I implore you to take a stand and make a public statement. If you do not make such a statement, this will allow the re-writing of history and the acceptance of said changes. If you don’t think that to be true, then how is it that the Muslim world celebrates a holiday for the Binding of Ishmael…and not ISAAC as stated in the Bible. The re-writing of history by the Muslim world has indeed worked for them and to their advantage.

Please, join Jews from all ranges of the spectrum, and condemn unequivocally, the despicable resolution of UNESCO.

I thank you in advance and wish you Godspeed.

Rabbi Zev M Shandalov

Maale Adumim , ISRAEL

Rav Zev Shandalov

Einstein’s Letter to his Son on Solving Unified Field Theory on Auction

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

A letter written around 1929 by Albert Einstein to his son Eduard (nicknamed “Tetel”), discussing his progress in solving the Unified Field Theory will be auctioned by RR Auction in Boston, estimate yield: “$100,000+.”

According to the RRA website, in 1924, Einstein finished laying the essential groundwork the Unified Field Theory, an attempt to explain the nature of gravity in terms of the laws of electromagnetism. He published the theory in 1929. The ideas he put forward conflicted with the emerging understanding of quantum mechanics, which put him at odds with much of the physics community at large, and led to his famous falling out with fellow Nobel winner Niels Bohr. Although he continued to work on the Unified Field Theory for the rest of his life, Einstein was never able to satisfactorily master the problem, and it remains unsolved to this day.

The auctioned letter reveals Einstein as both an accomplished physicist and a caring father, making it an extraordinary historic document.

The one page letter in German, signed “Papa,” reads: “Your letter made me very happy, particularly your comment regarding the hotel. Just like you, I hate it and it is with delight that I am detecting here a deep inner kinship between us, which I treasure. It seems to me it has been so long since I have seen you and I am longing to have you around me once again.


Photo credit: RR Auction


Photo credit: RR Auction

“For Easter, Albert and his wife will be visiting here. You could be coming at the same time, no matter. I would make sure you have sleeping quarters at a friend’s house while Albert is here. By the way, there is still another hurdle. On the 14th of March I have to flee to escape from my 50th Birthday Party otherwise I would run the risk of perhaps getting seasick. But there is still a lot of time until Easter. At any rate, I certainly want to see you before you graduate from High School.

“I am now very happy because I finally solved to my total satisfaction, after immensely intensive work, my gravitation-electricity problem. This, in a way, concludes my life’s work—the remainder simply is bonus material. Remarkably, how through all this strenuous work I made it in good shape and am feeling quite well. I do, however, practically live the life of a recluse and follow a frugal way of live. When we see each other again, I shall try to explain to you and describe this lifestyle a bit. In no way do I expect your approval and perhaps desire to join this guild. I could not care less.

“Don’t get overwhelmed by that heavy volume of a book I sent you. One should read it in small segments, always keeping in mind that this represents chosen selections of intellectual work through the centuries, expressed by an unimportant, but decent and clear thinking human being.”

Einstein added a PS: “I have been reading with great admiration Bernard Shaw’s new book on Socialism and Capitalism. I will be sending it to you soon and strongly recommend you definitely read this remarkable book.”

Online bidding for the document began on September 27 and will conclude on October 12. Other offerings in the same auction: Albert Einstein’s letter to the widow of NY Dr. Isidore W. Held, who helped Jewish intellectuals escape from Nazi Germany; an Albert Einstein typed letter from WW2, in which he pledged “my influence” to a would-be Jewish refugee; and a vintage glossy press photo of Einstein in a candid moment, signed in the lower border.


Aaron Katsman Show – Have you Received the ‘Move your Account’ Letter? [audio]

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

If you are a US citizen living abroad there is a good chance that you have received a letter from your US brokerage firm saying that you have a month or two to move your account to another firm. If you have received this letter it’s important that you listen to the show, as Aaron will provide a solution. If you have any questions or comments email: aaron@lighthousecapital.co.il

Aaron Katsman Show 19Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

The Tamar Yonah Show – Another Angry Letter… [audio]

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Israel News Talk Radio received an angry letter from a listener saying that they did not want to hear about Jews moving to Israel after reading an article about a family found living in a succa hut. But, does the article give the whole story? Shifra Hoffman of VictimsOfArabTerror.org and Shuva.net dishes it out as she rebuttals the letter and points out the faulty outlook regarding making Aliyah (moving to Israel).

Also, Uri Kelman, a new immigrant from Los Angeles to Ashkelon, talks about his new community, the beautiful parks, and his job search in his new home. Check out his Facebook page here.

Also, Tamar reads a DARING speech from the book, “The Prime Ministers,” by former PM Menachem Begin as he lambastes the United Nations for condemning Israel for calling Jerusalem its eternal capital.

Tamar Yonah Show 07Aug – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Letter to the Nation

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Dear Friends,

 I think we’ve hit the end of the line. Since Rabin was murdered our outdoor political activity has waned. I think it’s time for renewal, for rebirth. I think our Prime Minister is waiting for the people to rise up. He works best under pressure.

True, we did not succeed with Gush Katif, that was because expelling Jews was Sharon’s personal decision, (perhaps to save his own skin) and he was out to succeed…no matter what. However, the situation with Netanyahu today is different. He isn’t out to kill, to expel, or to drive us out of Israel. He is with us, but not entirely, mainly because he is not convinced that he has a substantial majority behind him and in front of him.

This reminds me of the days when Gush  Emunim started. How and where did it start? On Rechov Ben Maimon opposite then P.M.’s residence Golda Meir after the Yom Kippur war. The youngsters (Chanan Porat and Levinger z”l, their wives, children and friends in arms) set up tents opposite Golda’s house. They lived in the street, davened in the street, and every time Kissinger hit town to talk “disengagement”, (mind you disengagement not return of Sinai, only Egyptian troop disengagement), every time Henry showed up at Golda’s residence, Golda took him to the window and said “Look here Henry, see what’s going on outside my front door…How can I agree to disengage?”

At this point I think what Netanyahu needs is a show of the people behind him, underneath his window, in front of his house, a solid grassroots movement of the Wise Women and Men of Zion that must band together, like the “four mothers” of yesteryear, to bring about dramatic change.

Mind you, I am not against our PM. I am grateful Bibi is PM and not Herzog or Lapid or Livni G-d forbid, but he works best under pressure. He works best when he knows he will garner applause for his efforts, he works best when he knows his place in history is assured. Thus it is imperative that we begin to build up pressure so that every Arab village that harbored or harbors a homegrown terrorist, will be evacuated, destroyed,  and rebuilt and settled with Jews.

I am not 19, and not 91, but I’m old enough to know that we’ve got to push Bibi into facing the world, and declaring that we are here, all over Israel and the West Bank and the Bika etc. we are here to stay, and we declare sovereignty over lands where we live and work. Any unhappy Arabs are welcome to leave our country. Unhappy Jews in France, leave France, Unhappy Brits leave Britain, same as unhappy people anywhere in the world including Israelis, leave their countries of origin and look to other places to start anew.

Please send this mail on to whomever you wish, whoever can help to get this movement started.

Yeshuat Hashem k’heref ayin, Let’s help make that happen.

Faigie Heiman

Faigie Heiman

Erdogan Apologizes for Downing Russian Plane in Condolence Letter

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

On the same week Israel and Turkey have reached the beginning of a rapprochement, following a formal apology by Prime Minister Netanyahu a few years ago for the IDF’s killing of 10 Turkish Citizens who brutally attacked Israeli soldiers, now Turkish President Erdogan appears to have taken a page out of Bibi’s playbook: he sent a letter to Russian President Putin urging the restoration of “traditional friendly ties” between their two countries, and spelled out how sorry he was for downing a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft and killing its pilot.

Turkey’s prime minister Binali Yildirim said late Monday that “the content of the letter is very clear. We express our regret. We say that we are sharing the pain felt by those who lost loved ones. We say that we will pay compensation, if needed.”

Now, was that so difficult?

“I suppose our president will have a phone call with Putin today, tomorrow, maybe Wednesday, maybe Thursday,” Yildirim said.

After the downing of the Russian plane last November, the Kremlin ordered sanctions on food products, an end to visa-free travel and a ban on Russian tourists taking package holidays in Turkey. Natural gas deliveries were in jeopardy as well. Suddenly Turkey was facing a raging enemy where none had stood before.

For its part, Russia’s Foreign Ministry viewed the letter with the apologies as a step in a right direction to normalizing ties, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told TASS on Tuesday.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying he was sorry for shooting down the Su-24 jet and stressing “readiness to make every effort to restore traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Turkey.”

Then, on Tuesday, Peskov said Putin and Erdogan would speak on the phone on Wednesday—at Russia’s initiative. “Tomorrow at the initiative of the Russian side a telephone conversation will take place between President Putin and President Erdogan,” Peskov stressed. The conversation will be held at approximately the middle of the day, he added.

Erdogan said late Monday that more than 10,000 tons of supplies will sail to Gaza from Turkey before the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday in early July, prompting Hamas to thank Erdogan for his efforts to ease the blockade.

And all it cost to get this swirl of good will going was for Israel to pay $21 million to the folks who attacked its soldiers with knives, axes, metal rods and whatever else they had on hand. A small price to pay, presumably, in exchange for this much peace.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-apologizes-for-downing-russian-plane-in-condolence-letter/2016/06/28/

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