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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘National Religious’

For the Miracles, Thank You

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Our Sages teach that when Chanukah comes around, we are to thank Hashem, not only for the miracles that He performed for us in Israel long ago, but also for the miracles which He performs for us today. So, with your permission, I want to take this opportunity to thank Hashem for all of the uncountable miracles He has done for me and for the Jewish people in our time. Here are but a few.

First of all, thank you, Abba, for my life. After all, life is a miracle too. Some people think that life is coming to them, that it is some kind of automatic gift, that it’s theirs and theirs alone, and no thanks are needed. But, in truth, every second of life is a miracle. We don’t empower ourselves. Every breath, every heartbeat, is a gift from God. Seeing is a miracle. Hearing is a miracle. Put an eye on a table and it won’t see a thing. Without God’s gift of our souls, our eyes couldn’t see, our ears couldn’t hear, and we wouldn’t be able to think or walk or talk at all. It’s all a miracle! So thank you Abba for the miracle of life.

Thank you, Abba, for letting me know You are there. For almost 30 years, I didn’t know. I went about like a zombie without paying any attention. Then after I searched and searched for the Truth of life, trying everything there was to try, and doing everything there was to do, You revealed Yourself to me on a beach in California, and let me know that You are everything, hiding behind the movie set of this world, the Director of Directors.

Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of letting me realize that the Torah is true. So many people don’t realize it, especially in Hollywood where I was living when You came into my life. And thank you for opening my eyes to understand that its teachings are eternal and apply to our times as well, like a living Constitution for our lives, in each and every detail.

Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of understanding that a Jew is supposed to live in the Land of the Jews, our special Holy Land, the Land that you bequeathed to our Forefathers and all the Jewish People for all time, and not live in foreign gentile lands, with foreign languages and foreign customs, trying our hardest to be like everyone else instead of being our own proud and holy Israelite Nation in our Biblical Homeland. Why is this a miracle? Because so many of our brethren live in darkness, not understanding this great commandment of the Torah, and feeling perfectly content to live in other people’s lands, tragically missing out living the very heart and goal of the Torah, the establishment of Your holy Torah Kingdom in the Land of Israel.

Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel, and for the miraculous opportunity of returning to our Land after 2000 years of wandering and suffering in alien lands, lands of persecution and assimilation that have devoured the remnants of our People, leaving us so small in number, and now, You have miraculously answered 2000 years of yearning and prayers to return to Zion.

And, thank you, Abba, not only for the miracle of our own Jewish State, but also for the miracle of realizing how much I must thank you for it, for tragically there are many who have been blinded by the darkness of exile, and they don’t see the great light, and the great obligation to thank you for this incredible miracle and kindness.

And, thank you, Abba, for putting in my heart the flame to come to Israel, and the courage to leave everything behind, family, country of birth, a successful career, sports car, famous friends, the possibility of seeing my face on People Magazine and Good Morning America.

Thank you for the miracle of health, for healing me of a chronic illness in a miraculous fashion, without medicine or surgical intervention in answer to my fervent prayers, after I threw my cortisone pills into the Pacific Ocean and relied on Your salvation alone.

Thank you for the miracle of allowing me to use the talents You gave me in the service of Am Yisrael, to help spread the truth of Your Torah, and the importance of living a holy life in Israel, as it says over and over again in the Torah itself, in the words of our Prophets, and in the teachings of our great holy Sages.

Thank you, Abba, for the miracle of my Jewish wife and Jewish children, and from having watched over me all those dark years in America when I could have married a non-Jew, and lost all connection to You completely.

Thank you, Abba, for the miracle that my children grow up speaking Hebrew, and not some foreign gentile language, and for the miracle of their growing up in their own Jewish Land, proud Israeli Jews, without mixed-up dual identities, thinking they belong to some foreign nation, when we are really the Children of Israel, and not Egyptians, or Babylonians, or Romans, or Germans, or proud Americans waving the Stars and Stripes on the Fourth of July and thinking that George Washington was our founding father.

Thank you, Abba, for providing us with the Israel Defense Forces, and all of our victories over our enemies today, like in the days of the Maccabees, and for letting me understand the supreme mitzvah of serving in our army, and for allowing me to recognize the miracles you have done for us in our wars, not like those who think it was our military power alone that saved us, or those who foolishly claim that prayer and Torah are all that we need, and who don’t want to admit that their throats would be slit by the bloodthirsty hordes of Ishmaelites who would pounce on Mea Shaarim in five minutes if not for the brave holy soldiers of Tzahal.

Thank you, Abba, for all of your miracles, those that I recognize and those that I don’t, those that You do for me and my family, and those you do for all Clal Yisrael.

May the day come soon when I will merit to witness the greatest miracle of all – when the Jews of America will open their eyes and see the emptiness of Jewish life in a foreign gentile land now that You have renewed true Jewish life in the Land of Israel.

Amen!

National Union Chairman Calling on National Religious Voters to Avoid the Likud

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

National Union Chairman MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele) today commented on his Facebook page on the Likud primaries, encouraging voters from the National Religious camp to reserve their vote to the modern heir of the historic NRP, the combined list of National Union and Jewish Home.

Even if the Likud primaries were to elect people we feel they are “ours,” and even those were to be residents of Judea and Samaria, we have seen in the past as well as over the last four years of working together in the Knesset, that when tested, the Likud prime ministers have led the Knesset members, even the best among them, into regions that the forefathers and founders of the Likud could not have imagined.

Our very best friends in the Likud have failed to prevent the expulsion of Gush Katif, and could not prevent the shame of new construction freezes and the hundreds of demolitions of housing starts by Likud governments, and particularly the stinging declaration of the Likud leader about his vision and ambition to reach the “solution” of “2 states for 2 peoples.”

The only solution to this situation is running jointly as two sister parties, our own National Union and the Jewish Home led by Naftali Bennett, in one big and qualitative list that could bring in as many as 14 seats and will serve as a foundation beam for the next government, as the most senior coalition partner and the moral and national anchor of the next government.

Ketzele’s spokesman, Ariel Cohen, told The Jewish Press he was very optimistic about the chances of the new, combined list to increase significantly the number of Knesset seats occupied by National Religious MKs.

In light of the Netanyahu’s government’s failure to come out of the Gaza operation with reassuring results, it could mean that large numbers of National Religious voters who normally vote Likud would decide to send a message to Bibi by voting for the old-new NRP.

Cohen noted that Ron Dermer, the American born senior advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, has said before the elections in the U.S. that if President Obama were elected, there would be another freeze on settlement housing starts.

Cutest Time Bomb You Ever Saw

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

First, obviously, this has to be in the top 10 sweetest back-to-school or first-day-of-school images in the history of schools. These boys are lined up on a sidewalk in the ultra-Orthodox, super-Orthodox, mega-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah Sheaim, in Jerusalem, where even God has to show papers before they let Him in.

This year, as the Jewish Press has written recently, better than 50 percent of pre-school age children are religious.

Deputy Minister of Education Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) was quoted as saying that only 15 years ago the percentage of Haredim in Israeli educational institutions was only 12.6%. “Today we comprise 32%; and the National Religious are another 20%, and that included Chabad.”

First reaction: Yeah, more frummies!

Second reaction (half a shake later): Is the state of Israel going to come up with ways to make these children, in, say, 12 years, pull their share as soldiers and, later, as tax payers? Or are they going to be such a burden on the rest of the citizenry?

Third reaction: Yeah, more frummies, and God will provide. In 12 years who knows what will happen.

Fourth reaction: Seriously? That’s how you’re planning for the future? “God will provide”?

Fifth reaction: OK, G-d will provide. Feeling better?

Sixth reaction: You are a disgrace.

Final reaction: Oooh, look at the cute babies… Who’s a cute baby? Who’s a cute baby?

Been going on like this 150 years.

Israel’s New Reality: 52% of All Preschoolers Are Religious

Monday, August 27th, 2012

On Monday morning, approximately two million children started the new school year 5773 in preschools and schools across the country.

This year 270,000 children 3 and 4 years old are taking advantage of the implementation of the Trachtenberg Committee recommendations, and enjoy tuition-free kindergarten. The rest of children will have to wait longer until the rest of the reforms in education are employed.

The year 5773 (2011-12) is also be a watershed year in terms of the religious tone of the Israeli citizenry. A few weeks ago, Deputy Minister of Education Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) disclosed that for the first time the National Religious and Haredi sectors are represented by over 50% at the pre-school level children. “We are going to be 52% and they (secular Israelis) will be only 48%,” Moses announced.

Moses related that 15 years ago the percentage of Haredim in Israeli educational institutions was only 12.6%. “Today we comprise 32%; and the National Religious are another 20%, and that included Chabad. There is a discrepancy as to whether Chabad is six or seven percent, but it really doesn’t matter.”

At the same time, the Ministry of Education has decided to increase Jewish Studies in the secular state schools in the coming school year. Under the new program, there will be weekly “Jewish Culture Heritage” classes at the middle school level, with knowledge enhancement programs in the higher grades.

According to the new government decision, the state will provide free education for 3 and 4 year-olds in public nursery schools and kindergartens starting with the current school year. The total cost of this benefit is about $200 per student each month.

Jewish Press online correspondent Malkah Fleischer this morning ushered her first born daughter to preschool, and she had this to say afterwards (wiping away some tears):

“Mazal Tov to all the sweet little Israeli children who returned to school today! We are so proud of you, and bless you with the happiest, healthiest year, a year of growth, success, and friendship.

“And Mazal Tov to all you parents. You who treaded the treacherous waters of the seemingly endless summer vacation, planned fun activities, cleaned up after fun activities, peeled sticky, whining, overtired children off the floor after fun activities.

“You who bought a special outfit for your special school girl/boy, braved the wilds of school supply stores for the exactly-right backpack. You who pumped up your school child for another terrific year, planned the extra special first-morning breakfast, prepared the extra special first-day lunch, laid out the special outfit next to the special backpack of exactly the right color, and kissed your bursting-at-the-seems-with-excitement/anxious-about-leaving-you-and-making-new-friends little student goodnight, being called in for more than the usual number of last-one statements and cups of water.”

‘Jewish Home’ Chairman: Bennet Is an Opportunist, His Plans Are Empty Spin

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

“The zigzaggy conduct of Naftali Bennet is classic opportunism, and the public will judge him for it, his plan is nothing but empty spin,” said on Monday Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, head of the “Jewish Home” Knesset faction, during an online event held at the website of TheMarker.

Hershkowitz was referring to the candidacy of MKs Zevulun Arlov and Naftali Bennet, and quoted an opinion piece published last weekend by Makor Rishon’s pundit Sofia Ron-Moria, where she quipped that she “won’t buy a used car from Bennet or Orlov.”

In regard to the party, Hershkowitz noted that “the Jewish Home is not a sectoral list. Rather it is a movement that has something to say on every subject, but I see no contradiction between a general look and a concern for the National Religious sector which today carries this country on its back. And there is no other party that looks after the needs of this public.”

He noted that when he was called to head the party, three years ago, he did it in order “to usher it into becoming a wider and bigger movement that would have a say in every area of life, and at the same time take care of the needs of the National Religious public.”

In regard to the struggle between the Jewish Home and the Likud, Hershkowitz stressed that “The Likud is not concerned with religious education. The Likud was the leading partner in bringing about the Haredization of the religious courts, conversion process, religious councils. The social and national values of the Likud are not necessarily rooted in Jewish Heritage.”

According to the Kippa website, the Bennet camp responded to the above attack by saying that “Rabbi Professor Hershkowitz has a lot of good qualities and we appreciate his work.”

Poll: Majority of Israelis Want Prayers on the Temple Mount, But No Temple

Friday, July 27th, 2012

According to a poll commissioned by Makor Rishon, the majority of Israelis want Jews to be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount.

Of the 512 Jewish Israeli adults who responded to the poll, 52% were for permitting Jewish Prayers on the Temple Mount, while 37% were against it.

22% of those polled said they are fasting on Tisha B’Av, the holiday that commemorates the destruction of the Temple.

 

The final question in the poll was, “Do we need to now begin rebuilding the Temple?

The response to that question was more disappointing.

Unfortunately, 61% of all those polled said no.

Among those who designated themselves as Chardali (Chareidi National-Religious) or Ultra-Orthodox 71% said yes.

While most disappointingly, among those who designated themselves as National-Religious only 43% said yes. Among Traditional, 43% said yes, and among the Secular 9% said yes.

 

Do we need to begin rebuilding the Temple?

Overall: No: 61%,  Yes:17%

Secular Traditional National-Religious Chardali/Chareidi
No

91%

66%

57%

29%

Yes

9%

34%

43%

71%

Should Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount?

Overall: No: 37%,  Yes: 52% 

Secular Traditional National-Religious Chardali/Chareidi
No

61%

37%

5%

5%

Yes

39%

63%

95%

95%

What do you feel toward Tisha B’Av?

Overall: Nothing: 51%, Connected/not fasting: 22%, Fasting: 22% 

Secular Traditional National-Religious Chardali/Chareidi
Nothing

75%

36%

0%

0%

Connected but not fasting

22%

40%

10%

4%

Fasting

3%

24%

90%

96%

‘Jewish Home’ Blues

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Knesset’s Jewish Home faction is in danger of splitting, following the internal political maneuvering that has taken place in the National Union.

The National Religious camp has seven seats that are spread across six parties in two factions. The previous attempt at a merger before the 2009 elections failed and led to the formation of more political parties.

Jewish Home is made up of rookie MKs Daniel Hershkowitz and Uri Orbach that were brought in as compromise candidates to complement the National Religious Party’s veteran MK Zevulun Orlev. Hershkowitz and Orbach have been trading public attacks with Orlev over the course of the last few weeks, with an escalation yesterday when the NRP decided against some of the Jewish Home’s guidelines for internal primary elections to set up its list for the next general Knesset election.

Following leadership races in Likud, Labor, and Meretz, and with Kadima’s internal primary elections a couple of weeks away, many in the National Religious camp want their parties to get their act together. National Union Chairman MK Yaakov (Katzeleh) Katz and Jewish Home Chairman MK Hershkowitz have worked hard to bring their factions together in a joint list for the next elections.

MK Katz and MK Uri Ariel’s Tekuma party are settling their differences within the National Union with Hatikva Party MK Arieh Eldad and Eretz Yisrael Shelanu MK Michael Ben Ari. MK Eldad is secular, but his Hatikva Party does have a National Religious following. Eretz Yisrael Shelanu is a merger of Baruch Marzel’s Jewish National Front party and the Chassidic followers of Chabad’s Rabbi Wolpo. Analysts agree that National Union Faction Manager and Moledet Party front-runner Uri Bank still has electoral value, although it is not clear if he will be slated in a realistic spot for the next Knesset by the powers-that-be.

Over the years, many Israeli National Religious and Modern Orthodox national camp members have grown tired of keeping up with their communities’ smaller parties and have gradually lost votes to the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. There is hope among those who have stayed loyal to the smaller parties that they will overcome their differences and run on a joint list. Insiders have suggested that a new political superstar at the head of the list is needed to accomplish this.

Time will tell us who is in, who is out, and if there will be any room for fresh new candidates.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/knesset/knesset-corner/jewish-home-blues/2012/03/12/

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