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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘response’

My Response to the Monsey Rabbi

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

An American orthodox rabbi in Monsey recently wrote a response on Facebook to a post about the importance of living in the Land of Israel. His response was as follows: “You’re in exile, too. Last I checked, there is still a mosque on the temple mount, with Arabs shooting rockets [at you].”

This is my response to him and to every orthodox Jew who shares that mistaken view.

1. There are more mitzvot here in Eretz Yisrael (E”Y) than in chu”l (the diaspora). In all other facets of life, orthodox Jews prefer to put themselves in a position to perform more mitzvot, and in a more mehudar way. Unfortunately, when trying to find a heter to not have to live in E”Y, Jews in chu”l irrationally choose gashmi’ut over ruchni’ut (materialism over spirituality). I’ve had long discussions with my American orthodox friends, and though it usually takes an hour or more, eventually they all admit that that’s exactly what they are doing. I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that truth as well. You don’t choose to live in America as a matter of religious principle, but rather out of convenience and inertia.

2. No religious Zionist claims that the galut is over, or that it is entirely over for Jews residing in E”Y (though Rashbi said that only one kicked out of E”Y is called an exilee). Rather, the question is one of where a Torah-observant Jew should choose to live. There has always been only one legitimate reason for not living in E”Y: pikuach nefesh (preservation of life). It was indeed dangerous to travel, and dangerous to live in E”Y. But that has changed with the emergence of the State of Israel and modern travel standards, such that the pikuach nefesh argument actually supports living in Israel, which has the 3rd highest life expectancy in the world (and 2nd for men)! By contrast, according to Wikipedia, the U.S. is number 37 on the list.

As you can see, the issue of missiles, terror and war, are blown out of proportion by the media. In fact, American men on average live 4.4 years less than their Israeli counterparts. If we look at stats for just Israeli Jews, life expectancy jumps 1-2 years for men and women, while for American Jews, the stats are the same as the general population. Life here is just plain healthier than in the States, and on a number of levels. I hope one day America will be as safe and healthy a place to live as Israel, but certainly one cannot justify refusing to make aliyah based on safety or health issues.

3. I presume you are familiar with the Gemara’s position on where to live when pikuach nefesh is not a factor. If not, here is the key passage from Ketubot 100b:

“Our Rabbis taught: One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a god, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no god. For it is said in Scripture, To give you the Landof Canaan, to be your God. Has he, then, who does not live in the Land, no god?  But [this is what the text intended] to tell you, that whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who worships idols. Similarly it was said in Scripture in [the story of] David, For they have driven me out this day that I should not cleave to the inheritance of the Lord, saying: Go, serve other gods. Now, whoever said to David, ‘Serve other gods’? But [the text intended] to tell you that whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who worships idols. ” 

4. Pikuach nefesh aside, there is a philosophical question of whether the Jews should be passive or pro-active in the redemption process. Rather than make the case myself, take the time to read the Vilna Gaon’s position as presented in the first chapter of Kol HaTor (found here).

Robert Klein

Decision Time: Netanyahu Cabinet to Discuss Israeli Reaction to Gaza Shelling

Monday, November 12th, 2012

As preparations are on the way for a harsh response in Gaza, the campaign to present Israel’s position in the world is already being waged, and the prime minister appears to have divided his day between monitoring the military and the PR efforts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet today, Monday, with a host of foreign ambassadors to prepare them for the possibility of an all out Israeli attack in Gaza. Sources close to the prime minister said that “Abu Mazen (nom de guerre of PA President Mahmoud Abbas) says he is the sole representative of the Palestinian people, but at the same time he is refusing to take responsibility for what is happening in Gaza.”

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz Dan on Monday morning discussed the appropriate response to the continued rocket fire from Gaza, against a backdrop of many public figures calling for a severe IDF response.

“The Palestinians interpret the Israeli restraint as weakness,” a senior officer told Walla News, expressing the feeling among the IDF leadership. Meanwhile, the Egyptians are pressuring Israel to avoid broad attack in the Gaza Strip.

Ganz began his discussions very early this morning, with Chief of Operations Major General Yoav Har-Even, head of military intelligence Aviv Kochavi and Southern Command Chief Tal Russo. They reviewed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip, as terrorists continued launching rockets at Israel, and examined the variety of responses available.

A senior officer said this morning that the time lag between rounds of violence in the Gaza Strip has decreased dramatically in recent months, and that “terror organizations in Gaza believe they have a tail wind from Turkey and Egypt.”

A security official said this morning that the accumulation of events, in addition to the explosive charge along the perimeter fence igniting the tunnel inferno last week, and events not yet released for publication, require a clear response to deter the other side.

Meanwhile, other voices within the security apparatus have argued that the last two rounds of fighting in the south came as the IDF responded to attacks on soldiers, but finally it was civilian residents in the South who paid the price.

“It’s time to change the equation,” said another senior officer, saying Israel should attack “despite the pressure exerted by the Egyptians not to retaliate for shooting, just because no one has died yet on the Israeli side.”

While the shooting continues, on Sunday night the prime minister held a meeting with top security officials, including Chief of Staff Gantz, to assess the Gaza situation, as well as the heating up of the border with Syria. In a follow-up to what he had stated during his cabinet meeting, Netanyahu reiterated that the world must understand that Israel cannot sit back and absorb the attacks on its civilian population.

Yori Yanover

PM, Israeli Officials Respond to Gaza Attacks

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

At the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said terrorists would be “hit hard” in response to attacks on Israeli soldiers on civilians over the weekend.  “The world needs to understand that Israel won’t just sit by… we’re ready to heighten our response,” Netanyahu said.  “The IDF is acting, and will act, with force in Gaza.”

In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon said “There’s no doubt that in the past two weeks we’ve been witnessing an intensification, which Hamas is responsible for,” Ya’alon said. “We are not going to let this stand… if need be, the IDF will know, with the instruction of the government, of course, what to do to keep exacting such a price that these provocations won’t pay off for them.”

Ya’alon recalled that targeted killings of terror leaders had been known to secure periods of quiet at the border.

When asked about entering Gaza in the style of the successful mission Operation Cast Lead, Ya’alon replied that  “everything is being weighed and will be weighed.”

On Sunday morning, Palestinian terrorists at least nine rockets into southern Israel, a total of over 40 since Saturday.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak also promised to respond to Hamas’s latest wave of aggression. “We will not let these incidents at the border go unanswered,” said Barak.

Malkah Fleisher

IDF Jeep Hit, Soldiers Injured, IDF Hits Back at Gaza City (Updated)

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

The IDF reports is reporting that Gazans hit an IDF jeep that was patrolling along the Gaza border with an anti-tank missile on Saturday night.  The jeep went up in flames. Four IDF soldiers were injured in the attack.

In response, Israel launched either artillery or tank fire at the Zeitun neighborhood in Gaza City.

Palestinians medical sources are reporting 20 injured, and 3 dead, but it is not clear how reliable their reports are, as different Gazans organizations have been the reporting exaggerated numbers of dead and injured.

Abu Ahmad, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad threatens escalation within hours.

There has been a serious escalation in Gazan attacks against the IDF over the past few weeks.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Famed IDF Rescue Team in Ghana After Mall Collapses

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The Israel Defense Forces galvanized its internationally-recognized emergency response team to assist in a search and rescue operation in Ghana Wednesday night, after a shopping center collapsed in the country’s capital.

Doctors, engineers, and others, along with Magen David Adom staff, were sent to establisha  field hospital in the area.  So far, 51 people have been pulled from the rubble, with one confirmed death.

Malkah Fleisher

Sderot Mayor Collapses from Hunger Strike

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

David Buskilla, mayor of the beleaguered town of Sderot collapsed on Sunday. Buskilla has been holding a hunger strike opposite the Prime Minister’s office to protest the rocket attacks against his town, its failing economy as a result, and what he feels is the government’s ineffectual response to fix the situation.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Probes Launched Into Alleged Police Brutality

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The NYPD and Brooklyn district attorney’s office have both opened investigations into the October 8th beating of 21-year-old Ehud HaLevy by two Brooklyn police officers.

The officers, Luis A. Vega and Yelena Bruzzese, entered the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults Center in Crown Heights at 5 a.m. in response to a call by Zalmy Trappler, a center volunteer. Trappler had apparently found HaLevy sleeping naked on a couch in the center’s lounge and asked him to leave. HaLevy refused, which prompted the phone call to the police.

As caught on surveillance video, available online, Vega and Buruzzese woke up HaLevy – who by now was wearing pants – and engaged in conversation for about a minute. They then tried to handcuff him, which he resisted by turning around and shifting his arms. After about 20 seconds of this stand-off, Vega began pummeling Halevy, hitting him in the face 25 times over the next two minutes.

“Those two officers behaved like animals,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind in comments to Vosizneias.com. “How can two police officers who are sworn to uphold the law break the law like that? I have been close with the NYPD for years, and there are so many fine officers, but clearly these are two bad apples.”

Hikind held a press conference on Monday in Crown Heights, joined by State Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Karim Camara, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and City Council members Letitia James and David Greenfield.

According to a criminal complaint, the police officers warned HaLevy they would arrest him for trespassing. In response, he said, “Go ahead and try it. I am going to hit you.”

HaLevy claims he had permission to sleep in the center. Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, a director at the youth outreach center (and cousin of the Likud politician of the same name), confirmed to The New York Times that HaLevy was telling the truth. He needed “a place to crash for a short period,” Feiglin said.

In response to a request for comment, the police department e-mailed the following statement to The Jewish Press: “The officers used force to affect the arrest, in which Ehud Haleavy M/W/21 was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau opened an investigation of the incident yesterday, after having seen a video of it. The matter was also referred by IAB to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. One of the officers, M/H/49 and assigned to the 71st Pct, has been placed on modified assignment while the incident is under investigation.”

“M/H/49” refers to Officer Vega.

Elliot Resnick

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/probes-launched-into-alleged-police-brutality/2012/10/17/

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