web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

All You Need Is Breslov

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

A planeload of frum guys made its way on Wednesday to Uman, in the Ukraine, for the Rosh Hashanah festivities, despite some unexpected delays (wildcat strike) at Ben Gurion airport. As most everyone visiting these pages knows, Uman is the burial place of Reb Nachman of Breslov.

Reb Nachman, the great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of modern chassidut, taught us how to speak to God in regular conversation “as you would with a best friend.” And he taught us about hitbodedut – self-seclusion, through which we can establish a close, personal relationship with God and gain an understanding of ourselves.

I don’t expect there will be much room for seclusion in Uman this coming holiday, what with thousands of Breslovers roaming the streets and packing every standing edifice. But, maybe, if you’re really good at it, you can find yourself even in a huge crowd.

US Must Drop Obsession with Peace Accords or Drop Israel

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The “Special Relationship” between America and Israel that trips so easily off the tongues of politicians addressing Jewish groups, in between mentions of their affection for Jewish deli food and Fiddler on the Roof, may be coming to an end. The relationship has gone through an extremely rough patch over the last few years, but even before that it had foundered on one impossible problem. The problem of peace.

Arab kings and dictators have used the existence of Israel as an excuse for everything from terrorism to totalitarianism and attributed it all to the regional instability caused by the Jewish State. An American diplomat, politician or general who visits with Saudi, Qatari or Kuwaiti leaders is told repeatedly that most of the problems in the region revolve around the Jewish State and the Occupation. Even pro-Israel Senators and Congressmen can’t help walking away from meetings like these feeling that Israel is the key to solving all the problems in the Middle East.

The United States expects Israel to make peace, not just with the groups of terrorists squatting in the West Bank and Gaza, but throughout the region, to avoid alienating Washington’s Muslim allies. Those same allies turned Israel’s existence into a problem for the United States and the United States turned it into a problem for Israel. Israel has tried to solve the problem of Muslim enmity with negotiated peace accords and territorial concessions, without ever achieving anything more than glorified truces.

The Israeli problem has become more urgent for the United States after September 11 when winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world became a diplomatic and military obsession. But for Israel, the American problem is that the “Special Relationship” has shifted from a strategic alliance based on mutual interests to a single issue. The only thing that Washington wants to hear about from Jerusalem is progress in the peace process.

Israel has signed treaties, parceled out crucial strategic territories, evicted its own citizens from their homes and polished a battalion of chairs around negotiating tables. The undoing of the Camp David Accords and two decades of terror stemming from the Oslo Accords have destroyed the credibility of the peace solution. And Israel no longer has the breathing room for strategically risky peace experiments.

Only the fading threat of regional war made it possible for Israel to risk turning strategic border zones into an autonomous territory run by the terrorist clients of its enemies. With the Muslim Brotherhood at the helm in Egypt, the old specter of regional war is back and that transforms Gaza and the West Bank from domestic terrorist threats into weak points in Israel’s defense lines against an external invasion.

Under the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian tanks in the Sinai are likely to eventually show up in Gaza and they may not stop there. And that prospect may achieve what two decades of bus bombings could not. If Egypt shifts into the enemy camp, then an autonomous Gaza run by the Muslim Brotherhood’s local arm may be a political luxury that Israel can no longer afford. And what is true for Gaza will eventually be true for the West Bank as well.

The time may be approaching when the United States will be forced to decide whether it is willing to accept a relationship with an Israel that is no longer committed to a peace process with its enemies. Ever since Oslo, the American relationship with Israel has revolved around the pursuit of a Two State Solution, and few in Washington seem to realize that the process expired a while ago and has been running on fumes, facts on the ground and foreign aid.

No country and no people have been more hopeful that a new era of peace had come than the Israelis. The sheer number of peace songs that thrived in Israel during the 90s would embarrass a Woodstock reunion. But Israelis have been forced to accept that just because you want something, does not mean that you can have it. And the United States will have to either accept that as well or end its relationship with Israel.

Israel’s relations with the United States have declined notably each time a peace accord was signed. After the brief euphoria of handshakes and congratulatory press releases, frustration sets in on the Potomac that the latest accords have not noticeably changed the situation in the region. Israel’s attempts to make peace have only raised expectations that are doomed to end in disappointment.

Each president has come into office wanting to stand where Carter and Clinton stood in those famous photos. They will now have to decide whether they want to stand with Israel or whether without the illusion of peace, the special relationship between America and Israel will turn out to have only been a brief affair.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York and Potential Solutions

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by alternative peace activist Baruch Widen. Together, they discuss the declining relationship between the United States and Israel and how the relationship between both countries is being strained due to Iranian aggression. They move on to talk about how Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s upcoming visit to the United States in order to attend United Nations General Assembly should be cancelled and how there is an inequity between the handling of Israel and Iran within the UN. The segment ends with a discussion about how there are many within the United States, including Jews, that are actively working to prevent Jews from moving to the Land of Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

The End of U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation?

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

“I don’t want to be complicit if they (Israelis) choose to do it (attack Iran’s nuclear program),” said Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey.

News flash, General Dempsey: You are complicit in the way that counts; you are trapped: the Iranian leadership does not care what we say — or what we do — about our military relations with Israel. The Iranian leadership needs the U.S. as its adversary and will not allow you deniability. If there is a strike on Iran, they will need for it to have been the U.S. – will need, General Dempsey, for it to have been you.

It is unlikely, General, that you spoke on your own hook as you are still wearing your stars. The last General who spoke to journalists out of turn and out of the country was Stanley McChrystal – and he lasted only as long as it took to arrive in the Oval Office. Your Commander in Chief appears to have used you to hammer another nail in the coffin of a relationship that had, until he got here, been remarkably productive for more than 30 years.

Since the Reagan administration, U.S.-Israel military relations have generally been buffered from US-Israel political relations. They were not always smooth, but the military establishments were largely left to determine their interests together and separately. The late Caspar Weinberger was not enamored of Israel (certainly he was not enamored of the late Prime Minister Begin nor of the 1982 war in Lebanon), but the designation and early growth of “U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation,” and the designation of Israel for Major Non-NATO Ally status came in those years.[1] The Sixth Fleet came to Israel and the Haifa USO was built then to handle the enthusiastic crowds of American sailors and Marines.

Israel had the first wartime operational drones in 1982. The war that Weinberger opposed was a catalyst for U.S. thinking about remotely piloted vehicles. I took a small group of retired American military officers (including the former head of DIA, the former commander of US Air Forces Europe and the former commander of NATO’s Southern Command) to Israel in September 1982 so they could put their hands on the drones that emerged from an Israeli model-airplane-flying club. The officers compared it to the US Army’s then-unsuccessful drone program and the rest is history. U.S. conceived and built drones carry the weight of the Afghan war, but they also carry the history of 1982.

The First Gulf War complicated the relationship when President Bush (41) built a broad Arab coalition to rescue Kuwait. Israel withstood Saddam’s rocket barrage without retaliation because that was what the U.S. wanted, setting into motion deterrence difficulties for Israel that played out later as its closer neighbors acquired and used rockets and missiles. But it also set in motion Israel’s rapid quest for missile defense capabilities, which became an area of close U.S.-Israel cooperation.

After 9-11, Americans instinctively understood that we had been hammered by something with which the Israelis were familiar. “We Are All Israelis Now” was the headline in a major American paper. The Israelis “opened their closets” to help the U.S. deal with Islamic terrorism, urban warfare and counter-terror operations. Israel taught members of the U.S. Army to train bomb-sniffing dogs. While the work was going on, Israel loaned I.D.F. dogs to the Americans – Hebrew-commanded dogs were in Baghdad.

As the U.S. has become more adept in the ways of Middle East ground warfare, it is the Americans who have technology, tips and training to share with Israel.

“Complicity” is the wrong word for a relationship between countries that was grounded in the most fundamental agreement on democratic governance, civil liberties, minority rights, rule of law, and what constituted the enemy – at least until now.

General Dempsey meant Iran, but there is more than a divergence on Iran going on here. There has been a determined shift of emphasis in the current administration. President Obama has elected to focus on how and where the U.S. might find partners in the Arab/Muslim world – not itself a bad thing, but dangerous if it means a) eroding the definition of an ally to mean anyone with any set of political/religious/strategic beliefs that does not involve killing Americans outright; and b) throwing the Jews down the well (to channel Borat).

Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Israel and its Neighbors

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a scholar of Arabic literature and academic expert on the Israeli Arab population.  Together, they discuss Israel’s relationship with it’s neighbors, especially Turkey, Egypt, and Iran and how the rapidly changing situations in each of these countries affects Israel.  Keep informed and listen to this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

From Aliyah to Turkey to Israel and Iran

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Alternative peace activist Baruch Widen joins Yishai. For the segment, they discuss how Widen’s son recently made Aliyah to Israel and Widen describes the shopping experience to help his son prepare for school.  They move on to talk about the relationship between Israel and Turkey and end the segment by discussing the need for the Israeli government needs to act to end the threat from Iran.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

‘I Want to Get Married Too!’

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

“Is it possible for my disabled child to get married?” This is a question that parents often ask. Their son or daughter may often convey the sentiment, “I also want to get married, just like my sister or my brother or my friend.”

It is painful for persons of disabilities to see others get married while they are left behind. At the same time, there are naturally, additional challenges in marriage amongst those with disabilities.

How can we navigate the best path?

Everyone needs hope. People with disabilities need to feel that it is possible for them to achieve and accomplish their life goals, up to and including enjoying the companionship of a relationship and marriage.

Considering how to help a child with disabilities prepare for marriage, there are many challenges that parents and adults face. Sometimes parents have difficulty learning to let go and allow their child to make their own decisions. Since they have been managing their child’s life for so long it is hard for parents to envision their child functioning without their assistance. Dealing with one crisis after another for many years, has accustomed them to constantly being on alert. It is understandable that it can be very difficult to view such a “child” differently. Often, someone from outside the family, such as a mentor or coach can see things more objectively. A dating mentor can make an assessment as to whether the child is capable of learning the socialization skills necessary to have a relationship and get married. A dating mentor can coach the individual in skills that are basic to having a strong foundation in a relationship, such as how to communicate, solve problems, compromise, show and give respect and how to have empathy.

Of course, there are serious concerns and obstacles. Many such couples will require ongoing supervision and support in order to maintain a stable relationship. Furthermore, while most marriages include an expectation of establishing a family, these couples in consultation with a posek and mental health professional may need to think along different lines. In the short and long term, there are no “one-size fits all” solutions.

Recently, David Mandel, CEO of OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services invited some of OHEL’s married couples for dinner to talk about how to help more individuals inside OHEL and in the larger community improve their chances for having meaningful relationships, and possibly getting married.

The couples had the opportunity to share what helped them get married and what helps them successfully remain married. Their case managers and resident managers were also present at the dinner.

Many shared how the support of their case managers has been helpful to them in addressing problems before they escalate, as well as their assistance with being connected to appropriate resources, such as marital counseling in order to deal with the typical and not so typical stresses of married life.

Some participants shared their joys and struggles, making the listeners laugh and cry with them. One couple invites friends every Shabbos in order to increase their chances for finding someone to befriend. Stigma is still an issue many struggle with, especially when trying to find a shadchan to set them up. Their experiences have been that many shadchanim are unfortunately very dismissive of individuals who seek to marry and who are effectively managing their mental illness – an understandable disposition that requires much more community education. One person offered to be a shadchan in order to fill that void. Another suggested joining online websites and having a special section for individuals with psychiatric diagnoses. Such discussions are important to break down the barriers that prevent individuals from pursuing their goals for establishing meaningful relationships and getting married.

Chesed is a cornerstone of the Torah, and the chesed of helping Adam find his mate was the first recorded chesed in the Torah – performed by none other than Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Persons with disabilities have the right to enjoy as much of life as typically developing people do, and it is great chesed to help those who need the extra support and guidance to achieve their goals. We are embarking on a new frontier to give individuals with disabilities some of the same opportunities the mainstream population appreciates. There are no easy answers and the road can be long and bumpy; however, we need to join together and ask, “what are the obstacles that we need to overcome” until we reach our goal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/i-want-to-get-married-too/2012/09/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: