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Browsing through a news website, I noticed that the World Series is just two weeks away. I haven’t followed baseball for 30 years, ever since making aliyah. When I lived in America, and thought I was an American, I loved baseball, like everyone else. But baseball doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t even know what teams are in the running this year. The World Series has absolutely nothing to do with the Redemption of Am Yisrael, so who cares? But maybe we can borrow a few metaphors from baseball to help America Jews understand that Judaism in the Diaspora is the Little Leagues.
During the First Lebanon War, the IDF forced the PLO terrorists all the way to the Beirut port and then to Tunisia. The PLO, which had lost its stronghold in Lebanon, was shattered. Salach Taamri, the most senior and admired terrorist captured by the IDF, was imprisoned in the Ansar detention camp. He was a broken man.
We wonder about the endlessly volatile markets and also (not often enough) about plainly unequal distributions of national wealth, but are the nation’s official policy responses based on correct views of classical economic theory? In particular, what about Adam Smith and his oft-quoted arguments for “free market capitalism”? More than any other classical theorist, Smith has been embraced by conservatives.
During the Yom Kippur War, when the IDF was running out of ammunition in the middle of the fighting, and there was a need for an airlift but Nixon and Kissinger where not quick to respond at first, Wolfson employed every resource he had in the House and in the Senate, enormous resources. He later told me that he even desecrated Shabbat for the sake of his effort, anything to save the nation of Israel.
To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land. The Jewish people persisted through one of the most monstrous crimes in human history, and now this nation has come to take its place among the most impressive democracies on earth. Israel’s achievements are a wonder of the modern world.
Watching the ceremony last night, I had a profound sense of sadness for the hollow revelry. There was no dignified memorializing of the greatness, uniqueness, and courage of Britain’s past. There was “irreverent, idiosyncratic” entertainment, and a very long segment of writhing self-abasement before the shibboleth of socialized medicine.
No nation is perfect, and they all have skeletons in their closets. But the US does have a commitment to such things as individual rights, equality of opportunity, social mobility, democracy, rule of law, etc. Many other nations — perhaps most of them — don’t even pay lip service to these ideals, much less exemplify them.
Moshe's blessing to the nation of Israel is interesting in that a similar blessing, which Hashem had given Avraham and Yizchak, had already been fulfilled. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, observes that among the greastest blessings is abundant offspring, and therefore this blessing was particularly auspicious – even the third time around.
Few understand better than the Germans how economic self-destruction can bring a nation and the world to the edge of abyss. The crushing debt imposed on them at the end of World War I led to unprecedented hyperinflation as they monetized their obligations, running their printing presses to create millions of worthless marks.
We are not in the era of securing Kosher dogs, we are in the era of reestablishing a Jewish commonwealth and building a country. This project needs us to focus our collective energies so that we can overcome the multiple challenges that stand in our way. Instead of watching overpaid athletes run bases after hitting a ball, we need all those Kosher-eating “accomplished professionals” to “feel very strongly” about their place in the fight for Israel!
In the confrontation between Israel and Midian, the Torah reveals the great void of virtue that separated the two nations. While Israel had fallen to great depths in the challenge of the Peor, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, points out that it had risen again to great heights in the ensuing battle against a nation steeped in immorality.
During his weekly talk, the Ashlag Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevy, challenged politicians who promote the notion of an equal burden, describing them as imbeciles. He proposed a solution to the inequality: "Let every secular boy be forced to bear the burden of defending the homeland of Israel and fulfill his national duty to study Torah and keep the mitzvot." He also said, "The nation of Israel did not survive our brutal history by the deterrence of the IDF, nor by the might of the State of Israel, but by the merit of the study of Torah."
In the aftermath of the episode of Zimri and the Midianite women, Hashem struck down 24,000 Jews. Yet immediately afterward, Hashem reaffirmed his tremendous love for Israel. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that this is in character with Hashem's quality of chastising severely the nation he loves so dearly.
Online anti-Semitism in Spain doubled in volume last year, according to a Spanish Jewish community monitor. In a report on anti-Semitism in Spain in 2011,...
There's a big difference between a free country and a country of free things. You can have one or the other, but not both. A free country isn’t obsessed with free riders; only a country of free things obsesses over making everyone pay their fair share to the people who want the free things. The rugged individualism of Colonial America has given way to stifling crowds, co-dependent on each other, clutching at each other’s wallets, crying, “Take from him and give to me.”