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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘psalms’

Letter Reveals Rav Ovadia Retracted ‘Land for Peace’ Ruling in 2003

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reversed his famous “Land for Peace” ruling of 1993 after the Palestinian Authority literally exploded in Israel’s face a decade later with large-scale terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.

The revelation of the letter, seen below, explains Rav Ovadia’s incredibly strong statements in recent sermons, such as one of the most famous ones three years ago when he said of the Palestinian Authority, “All these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

In 1993, when the prospect of peace turned into a mantra that mass media used to blind themselves and wishful-thinkers, the idea of Israel’s surrendering Judea, Gaza and Samaria for peace with Yasser Arafat was pushed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The Israeli government was split, and the Shas party, which obeyed whatever Rav Ovadia said, withstood arguments from nationalists and kept the Rabin-Peres coalition government alive with his famous ruling in favor of giving up “land for peace” because it is a matter of “pikuach nefesh,” saving the lives of Jews.

After Rav Ovadia died, Israel’s populist but rather ignorant media turned the funeral into a peace festival that obliterated the greatness of the rabbi, who wrote 50 books and who was cited all over the world as one of the greatest Torah sages ever.

The “expert analysts” on Israel radio and in the mass media explained that Rav Ovadia was a great man, but not because of  his brilliant mind that lived and breathed Torah and not because of the Shas party that he founded and turned into a kingmaker in Israeli politics.

“Land for peace” was the reason 800,000 Jews from all sects of Israeli society came to the funeral.

What they did not say is that 10 years after Oslo, during the Second Intifada that also is known as the Oslo War, Rav Ovadia ruled exactly the opposite.

Instead of “land for peace” being an issue to save the lives of Jews, it had become clear that it was a concept that endangered Jews.

Arafat’s “peace,” which murdered more than 1,000 Jews, wounded thousands others and which continues until today under the invisible hand of Mahmoud Abbas, is not the peace Rav Ovadia had in mind.

He wrote, “My dear brothers of Israel, residents of Judea and Samaria:

“It is my intention to make clear my position concerning Judea and Samaria. I have explained more than once since my Halachic ruling, that giving up land for peace has no validity in light of the current situation.

“I intended there be a true peace, in which Jerusalem and its surroundings will be secure in peace and quiet. But now, our eyes see that surrendering our holy land causes a danger to life.

“This is not the peace for which we prayed. Therefore, the Oslo Accords are null and void.”

Rav Ovadia then cited the verse form Psalms that states, “I speak peace and they speak war.”

Just as populist media falsified Rav Ovadia’s ruling, it has turned Jews in Israel and all over the world into victims of ignorant and slanderous reporting of Rav Ovadia’s Saturday night sermons. They took phrases out of contact and without any understanding that the rabbis was speaking the language his constituents understood, which is not the style of the pseudo-sophisticated Ashkenazi elite and certainly not that of the bleeding-heart media.

The Aish HaTorah website once quoted Rav Ovadia with comments that stated much clearer his idea of land for peace.

It quoted Rav Ovadia as saying, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated: “If the heads and commanders of the army, together with the government, state that saving of life is involved; that if areas of Israel are not given back, the danger exists of immediate war on the part of our Arab neighbors;

“And if the areas are returned to them, the danger of war will be averted; and that there is a chance of permanent peace; then it seems that according to all opinions it is permitted to return areas of Israel in order to achieve this aim, since nothing is more important than the saving of life.”

The Palestinian Authority war or terror on Israeli in the 1990s, after the Oslo Accords did not satisfy Arafat’s appetite to swallow up Israel, took a breather towards the end of the decade when the Barak government was on the verge of giving Arafat almost everything he wanted.

In Hebrew: ‘Connected’

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

מְחֻבָּר, מְחֻבֶּרֶת From the Biblical book of Psalms:

יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַבְּנוּיָה כְּעִיר שֶׁחֻבְּרָה לָהּ יַחְדָּו. Built-up Jerusalem is as a city that was joined together with itself. In case we get lost in the obscurity of that statement, the psalm goes on to explain that Jerusalem is the place of gathering for the diverse tribes of Israel. It is also the home of justice. The psalm then implores the reader to seek out the peace of Jerusalem, for the sake of brotherly love – it seems as if brotherly love depends on peace in Jerusalem (see Hebrew and English here).

The word used to mean it (Jerusalem) was joined is חֻבְּרָה, a passive-intensiveפֻּעַל verb, expressed in the past tense. חוברהalso means it was connected.

To describe someone as connected, you’d use the word מְחֻבָּרin the masculine and מְחֻבֶּרֶתin the feminine.

An example, in the plural:

אֲנַחְנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ מְחֻבָּרִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֲנַחְנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם. We are connected since we’re all human beings. Jerusalem is the city of peace. I venture to say that it’s also the city of חִבּוּר- connection.

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

A Pilgrimage to Shiloh, Like the Days of Old

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Centuries before Jews trekked to Jerusalem for prayer, Jewish pilgrims came to the Mishkan Tabernacle in Shiloh to pray to God on chaggim, holidays and whenever they could.  Yes, the Shiloh where I live is the same Shiloh, which was the spiritual and administrative Capital of the Jewish Nation for almost four hundred years, from the time of Joshua until Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet.

Yesterday,  a group of women came from all over Israel to visit and pray at the ancient site, Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.  They have been in touch with me via social media, mostly Facebook  and we have been planning this trip for months.

They traveled from various parts of the country by bus and car for the opportunity to pray where Chana prayed and see the modern Jewish community that has grown on the same site where our ancestors lived and visited.

No doubt that it was due to the holiness of the spot, but everyone managed to find the strength and agility to hike all over Tel Shiloh.

The highlight, of course, was the chance to pray and say T’hillim, Psalms to God, in the very spot most experts, archaeologists and Biblical scholars believe the Mishkan had once stood.

Everyone agreed that the visit was spiritually exhilarating, despite all their time traveling.

Afterwards, we spent some time in the Visitors Center, where you can buy drinks, snacks, local crafts and souvenirs, including  wine and olive oil from the area.

Pilgrims can’t leave hungry, especially Jewish pilgrims to Shiloh.  The last stop of the group was the local dairy restaurant, pizza place, where everyone ordered a delicious meal,and we even skyped with a member of the group who presently lives abroad. Thank God for modern technology.  Of course, the entire group is due to modern technology, internet and social media.  Almost all of us are writers, bloggers and photographers, so there should be more posts in various sites and blogs in the internet about this visit.

For information about Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh, contact visit@telshilo.org.il or call 02-994-4019.  They cater to both groups and individual visitors besides running large public events during Jewish Holidays.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

I’m Not Voting for Obama, that’s for Sure

Monday, January 21st, 2013

People can stop reading my blog if they like. They can unfriend me on Facebook, and remove me from their groups, but I will continue to write the truth. Believe me, I don’t write to upset my fellow Jews. I write, bezrat Hashem, to help them to see through the darkness that surrounds us in foreign lands.

Once again, let me try to explain. The plague of darkness in Egypt is described as darkness “mamash,” meaning darkness so thick and tangible that you could literally reach out and physically feel it. Up until the plague, there was darkness in Egypt, the usual darkness of the galut, but the Jews had become so accustomed to it, they didn’t sense it anymore. So Hashem had to turn it into a physical darkness as thick as glue to remind them that they were in an impure place where they didn’t belong.

Why were they blind to the darkness? Because when people grow up in darkness, they don’t experience it as darkness at all. That’s what they’re used to. In fact, to them it seems like light. If you tell them they’re living in the dark, they are liable to get angry. “What do you mean?” they exclaim. “It isn’t dark here at all. You’re crazy. You don’t know what you are talking about. You’re an agitator, that’s all.”

How do I know that the exile is darkness? Because I lived there, and now that I’m in Israel, I can see the enormous difference. And should you ask, “Who is Tzvi Fishman that I should believe what he writes?” The answer is that it isn’t Tzvi Fishman at all.

In this week’s Torah portion, Rashi informs us that only 20% of the Jews left the Diaspora during the Exodus (Shemot, 13:18). 80% of them told Moshe to get lost! That’s right, 80% preferred to stay in America, I mean Egypt, not wanting to give up the delicious Egyptian bagels, the gala Federation dinners, their college studies at Cairo University, and their careers.

Our Sages also teach us about the darkness of chutz l’Aretz (outside of the Land of Israel), as it says in the tractate Sanhedrin, on the verse in the Book of Lamentations, “He has set me down in dark places, like those who are long ago dead” (Eichah, 3:6) – “Rabbi Yirmeya said: ‘This refers to the learning in Babylon,’” which doesn’t have the same illumination as the Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael (Sanhedrin 24A).

Yes, my friends, there can be a Torah learning that is shrouded in darkness. For example, the spies in the wilderness were the leaders of their tribes, the most prominent Torah scholars of the nation, but they didn’t understand that Eretz Yisrael is the foundation upon which the entire Torah and nationhood of Israel stands, as the Gemara teaches: “There is no greater bittul Torah than when the People of Israel are removed from their place” (Chagigah 4B). Like the 80% who wanted to stay in Egypt, and who died in the plague of darkness, these scholars and leaders of the Jewish People wanted to stay in the wilderness and not make aliyah as Hashem had commanded again and again. The Gaon of Vilna teaches that this same myopic understanding of Torah, which denies the centrality of the Land of Israel to the life of the Jewish Nation, is a sin which reappears in every generation, and even Talmidei Chachamin are caught in its darkness (“Kol HaTor,” Ch.5).

In our time, there were three great visionaries who taught us to see the truth of the Torah in the events of our times. Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook; his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook; and Rabbi Meir Kahane, may their memories be for a blessing. Certainly, many other Rabbis shed light on our era, but along the path of my return to Torah and to Eretz Yisrael, these three Torah giants have been shining beacons of wisdom and truth, illuminating the world’s darkness. Each had his own style and individual stamp, with differences of emphasis and approach, but each one taught the Nation to see the Redemption that was taking place in our time, and to recognize the great light of Torah and tshuva contained in the ingathering of the exiles, the abandoning of galut, and the rebuilding of the Nation in Eretz Yisrael. It is a synthesis of their teachings that I am expounding, in my own inadequate way, and it is their genius in Torah, not mine.

Let me try to give you another simple example. Last night, I attended a wedding. There is nothing like a wedding in Israel, where there is concrete meaning to the saying that the holy union of the hatan and kallah (the groom and the bride), and the house they will inhabit, is an additional stone in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. When the band plays the verse of the song, “There will yet be heard on the hills of Judea and in the courtyards of Jerusalem, the voice of gladness and the voice of joy, the voice of the hatan and the voice of the kallah,” these words of the Biblical prophecy are coming true in front of your eyes.

And when everyone sings out the Psalm, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, withered be my right hand! May my tongue cleave to my palate, if I ever not think of you, if ever I not set Jerusalem above my chiefest joy!” everyone present in that wedding hall in Israel means it. The words are not some abstract dream, spoken in some faraway land, but a living reality.

My friends, King David didn’t pen these words as just a pretty poem. On the wings of divine inspiration, he is teaching us that our love for Jerusalem is to be the guiding principle of our lives, even greater than the joy of our wedding, more cherished than our spouses, families, our villas, our Audis and Mercedes, more valued than our bank accounts, professions, and university degrees. We are to set Jerusalem above our chiefest joy, to struggle in its behalf, and to dedicate ourselves to its holy rebuilding.

“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” King David asks.

The answer is that we can’t.

To sing the Lord’s song, you have to sing it in Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/im-not-voting-for-obama-thats-for-sure/2013/01/21/

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