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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘stop’

Obama and Kerry Cannot Stop the Redemption

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

The light of Hanukkah is shining.  Its light cannot be contained because unlike other light, its light is drawn from the first light of Creation.  The light of Hanukkah is the Light of Redemption.

John Kerry told us we have to choose between being Jewish or Democratic. He means to say that in order to”save ourselves” we have to give up our traditions and beliefs for the world’s greater good. This, in his mind is the stumbling block to peace.

We have seen this show before. When the Maccabees revolted against the Greeks and their Jewish allies, Israel was being told to become Greek or else. We said no and the impossible happened. The Maccabees defeated the Greeks and the Hellenized Jews that fought with them. They cleaned the Temple and lit the Menorah.  The light of Redemption burst forth forward into history.

The Zionist movement did not begin in the 20th Century.  In a way it began when the Maccabees picked up arms and liberated the Jewish homeland from the Greeks.  In fact, Shimon the Maccabee said the following to Antiochus when the latter asked the Jews to pull back from the Lands they occupied in the war:

“We have not taken strange lands, nor are we ruling over foreign territory. We have returned to our ancestral inheritance, from which we had been unjustly expelled by our enemies. And now that we have been blessed with the opportunity, we will hold onto our ancestral land.” – 1 Maccabees ch. 15

Over a century and half ago Jews from all over the world began to come home to Israel and join the fledgling communities found in Jerusalem, Tiberius, and Tsfat. This movment of Jews grew and drew non-observant Jews. The masses of Jews yearned to be home and it was this yearning and crying that lit the flame of redemption in each of them.  The movement kept growing until it burst forth and could not be contained.

As World War 2 came to an end and the UN was created the global elite knew they had to find a way to contain the Jewish liberation movement. So they partitioned the Holy Land and with teary eyes the movement seemed to stop. With the light contained the world order would be safe.

19 years later the light of redemption burst forth again with the complete liberation of Israel by the Jewish Nation in six days.  The light was uncontrollable and no vessel could contain it.  The Jewish Nation was not ready for its mission and the light was used by the counter culture, leftists, socialists, and globalists. It was bent and harnessed for evil.

It is 50 years later and now the light is about to make its final push back to its original purpose, redemption. The light of Hanukkah cannot be contained.  Not by the UN, not by John Kerry, and not by Obama. The Creator wants to fulfill his promise to his children and return them home.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov likens redemption to the game of dreidal played during on Hannukah. We have no control over the spinning.  Only the Creator knows when it will stop and what letter it will land on. Sometimes the letter is favorable and other times it is not.

Redemption is about understanding how to latch onto the light and go with it; being ready just in case the dreidel of redemption lands on your letter.

The world is surrounding us, ganging up on us one last time, yet it is Hanukkah and the light of redemption wants to return home.  When our enemies tell us to choose between their culture and being Jewish the light rises within us, drawing us to our destiny.  This cannot be stopped; not by Obama and not by John Kerry.

We were not stopped by the Turks nor the British. We could not be stopped by the five Arab nations that attacked us in 1948 or the UN which divided us. We burst forward and now we are home. We  have built and inspired., changed the world and led a hi-tech revolution and a spiritual rebirth. No one or no nation can prevent the Almighty’s light from shining.

Every Hanukkah we say: Praised are You God, Source of Life, who performed miracles for our ancestors in their day at this season. 

Hanukkah does not stop. Its light is forever.  Those miracles are for then and for now.

The Redemption cannot be stopped, it is upon us.

Get ready the dreidel of redemption has spun…

David Mark

How the Trump Administration Can Stop IRS Abuse of Political Groups

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

For more than six years, the Internal Revenue Service has been trying to fend off accusations that its process for granting tax-exempt status discriminated against applicants expressing political views at odds with those of the Obama administration. This discrimination against political viewpoints the Democrats disapprove of is a clear, even astonishing, violation of the First Amendment. For that reason, the IRS has lost many more of these battles than it has won. It’s lost battles not only in court against the victimized non-profits; it’s even lost against the Treasury Department’s own inspector general, which conducted a detailed study and concluded that many of the most serious accusations of discrimination were true.

In its court battles the IRS has been represented by the Justice Department, whose job it is to represent federal agencies when they are sued. No one will be shocked to learn that under the Obama administration, and Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, DOJ lawyers have used every tool at their disposal to defeat the IRS’s accusers even when those accusers are agreeing with Treasury’s inspector general. That means that, according to the Obama administration’s own inspector general report, those victimized non-profits are right in claiming that they were discriminated against because of their political views.

That litigation strategy needs to change.

Upon President Trump’s inauguration, the Justice Department will get a new boss: Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. The moment he takes office, General Sessions should direct the Justice Department lawyers—all of whom report to him—to change their litigation stance to reflect an important adage about how government lawyers should do business: “the government wins when justice is done.”

It’s time to see that justice is done in these cases.

Up until now, the government’s strategy has been to make the IRS cases take as long as possible and to resist every demand for discovery—the process by which litigants can request that their adversaries produce documents, or provide testimony, revealing what was really going on inside the IRS.

I represent the plaintiff in one of these cases—Z STREET v. Koskinen—which challenges the IRS’s six year delay in processing the application for tax-exempt status by an organization whose views on the Middle East were at odds with President Obama’s. In discovery, we’ve asked for information about how the IRS went about deciding what to do with (and to) our organization. But the IRS has produced virtually nothing that sheds light on its decision-making process. Other organizations in court against the IRS have been given the same treatment by the Justice Department’s litigation teams.

All of the members of those government lawyer teams report to the U.S. Attorney General. That means that when the new sheriff arrives in town he can give new orders on how these cases ought to be handled.

Attorney General Sessions should direct these lawyers to stop resisting discovery, and to stop trying to prevent the litigants—and the public—from finding out what the IRS was really doing to all of these organizations for all these years. This is not a matter of political payback, like the question whether Hillary Clinton ought to be prosecuted for what many think are her misdeeds, at the State Department and with the Clinton Foundation. It’s just a matter of letting the truth be told. Z STREET, like many of the plaintiffs in the other cases against the IRS, is not seeking money damages. We just want to know the truth about what the IRS was doing to us, and why, and at whose direction.

Another Supreme Court justice, a hero of the left, knew exactly what was called for in these cases: “Sunlight,” Justice Louis Brandeis said long ago, “is the best of disinfectants.” The nation, and the IRS itself, needs sunlight to shine on the internal doings at that agency. And letting in that light is an easy way for the new administration to fulfill one of its key promises to the electorate.

The government and the people will win when the sun is let in. Mr. Attorney General Sessions, that should happen at 12:01 pm on Friday, January 20, 2017.

Jerome M. Marcus

Democratic Congresswoman Introduces ‘Stop Arming Terrorists Act’

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Hawaii Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard last week introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” after visiting New York’s Trump Tower and meeting President-elect Trump. Gabbard, an Army veteran and a member of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services, wrote: “If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Why does our government get a free pass on this?”

She told NPR on Friday that the US government has been “quietly supporting allies, partners, individuals and groups who are working directly with al-Qaida, ISIS, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and other terrorist groups by providing them with money, weapons and intelligence support in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

As a result, Gabbard said, “we will end up with a situation where not only will the Syrian people be under greater human suffering and an even more dire situation. We will end up with al-Qaida now having far greater military capability, far greater strength and posing a greater threat not only to the region but to the United States and the rest of the world.”

Host Scott Simon noted that “the Assad regime has used chemical weapons and has committed what a lot of people consider to be war crimes against its own people.”

“You really think the Syrian rebels would be worse?” he asked.

“My statement stands,” Gabbard answered. “If those who are calling for the removal of this regime are, in essence, accepting the fact that al-Qaida would take over that country, whether it’s al-Qaida or ISIS or other terrorist groups – and for people to think that that would somehow improve the lives of the people there in Syria or that it would somehow better secure the American people – I think that’s a crazy notion.”

A supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, Gabbard sees a common approach by Sanders and Trump regarding US intervention in Syria. “It was a clear difference between Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton,” she said. “I am hopeful that this new administration coming in will change these policies so that we don’t continue making these destructive decisions, as have been made in the past.”


Stop the Prayers!

Monday, December 5th, 2016

It’s the event you’ve awaited all week and you’ve just arrived. As you enter, a friend is smiling from across the room as he is incapable of containing himself. As you make your way through the crowd, he approaches. “Did you watch the game?” he asks excitedly, thus setting the stage for a long and intricate discussion. Before you can respond, another fellow rests his hand on your back. “Hey, how’s the family?” he bursts. You look around the room, mindful of the children running about while youths and adults alike are in the midst of casual conversation.

But something is different. Everyone is dressed in their finest and a book rests in the hands of each fellow present. Even stranger, every so often a man up front interrupts the conversations and, tarnishing the mood, reads aloud from his book. Though his interruptions are frequent, the crowd tolerates it quite well. This has been going on for some time as no one has attempted to halt the uncivil man. Ordinarily, a crowd this patient would be worthy of extraordinary praise, but one detail will deprive them of any such: they are in synagogue, and the “inconsiderate” fellow at the front is the chazzan (cantor).

Far be it from comical, we have turned our miniature “temples” – those centers which symbolize all that is holy and divine – into communal lounges, bland and lacking spirit. Casual conversation, business talk, one-liners, antics, low-grade jokes, slander, gossip and all sorts of disregard for the sanctity of a structure that was intended as a spiritual refuge in a mundane world. During the weekday, one can hear an array of ringtones as the atmosphere of the synagogue becomes no more revered than that of the local bar. It is not just a disregard for the divine, but a complete lack of respect for our fellow man as the conversations and distractions disturb both the rabbi (or lecturer) and fellow congregants alike.

But let us be honest. It is of little use to chastise, for any request for quiet and decorum is likely to be mocked. Therefore, this is a direct plea toward those who seek to turn our synagogues into social parlors: stop coming! You’d be a superior Jew if you’d simply stop attending services, for it is far better to stay home and not pray than to attend synagogue and desecrate it in such manners (Vilna Gaon). While Jews of all backgrounds and levels should, ordinarily, feel welcome in any synagogue, this assumes they display basic respect within its walls.

So next Shabbat morning, if attending shul entails your debasing it with conversation throughout, read the paper in bed instead. If you’re ashamed to remain home, try observing (from without) services at the local church or Reform synagogue, where you can see firsthand how actual respect for a sanctuary is manifested. If you’ve already arrived at synagogue and the urge to disrupt arises, it is not too late to pick yourself up and leave. You’re absence will be both acknowledged and appreciated.

But because I have little hope in reforming those stiff-necked among us, I turn to those congregants who do care; those who respect both the sanctity of the synagogue and the dignity of their fellowmen along with their right to pray with clarity: If your services are being abused by individuals who dishonor them and they are unwilling to leave, then you leave, for in reality, all the prayers of such a congregation are rejected, including those of the most devout (Ya’arot D’vash).

Therefore, if there are other congregants who are equally perturbed (and there are bound to be), find them and speak with them about forming a serious minyan in a separate room. Those who don’t wish to join will remain in the main sanctuary, but if they turn out to be the minority, then justly they should be moved to a different room, preferably one without an ark. A notice should be posted in the synagogue’s bulletin that a new minyan has been formed dedicated to quiet, meaningful and respectful services and in whose merit members hope to have their prayers answered. It will be much easier to control decorum in a minyan where all the members thereof stand together on this issue. This is the ultimate solution and can eventually lead to similar services across the globe, yet in the meantime, a few tips:

·        Try to avoid tightly packed synagogues. Ideally, a larger venue with a smaller crowd will guarantee large gaps between attendees which will make engaging one another difficult. Yeshiva minyans are more or less free of disturbances, especially when the head rabbi and/or staff is in attendance. Early bird minyanim are also a good choice as the congregants are often too tired to gab.

 ·        If someone approaches you to talk, smile and nod toward the text. If you fear offending others, pretend to be in the midst of the amidah or pull out a card in memory of a loved one describing your pledge to keep silent during prayer in their merit.

·        If there is only one prime individual who disturbs, make him chazzan as often as possible. As long as he is preoccupied, he will be unable to disturb others.

·        If there are a number of speakers, try to move to another location within the room, far from those who speak, in an attempt to hint at quiet in a non-confrontational manner. With enough people withdrawing and those disturbing being left with no one within proximity of them, hopefully they will grasp the hint.

Jewish sources and leaders have constantly stressed the severity of this matter. The Shulchan Aruch (Code of Law) refers to speech during prayers as an “unbearable” crime, the only time such harsh wording is used in the entire work. It is said to parallel the worst of sins (Chatam Sofer), prevent the redemption (Yesh Nochalin) and condemn synagogues to deterioration (Mishna B’rura). Individuals who disturb are asked to avoid coming to services entirely (Chida) and even be outright banned (Piskei T’shuvos) as they have no share in G-d (Zohar). But foremost, such behavior defeats the entire purpose of one’s prayers, which will inevitably go unanswered.

To be fair, it is important that synagogues not drag on services. The average attention span of individuals today no longer meets that of goldfish and that must be noted. Synagogues with unnecessarily long, drawn-out services can no longer expect congregants to keep still and silent for extended periods. When no other option exists, services should be streamlined and made shorter rather than faster. (Maimonides should serve as a guiding light, as he abolished chazarat hashatz from his synagogue’s services after seeing that it led to indifference and conversation on part of the congregants.)

You can make this a reality. Those lobbying for more members should direct their efforts at returning G-d to the synagogue first. Then, and only then, can we expect to give others a good reason to join. So start the discussion with your rabbi and fellow congregants and let’s begin to make prayer meaningful once again.

Mark Cohen

Stop the Presses: Abbas Reelected Fatah Chief

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

In an astonishing move that caught the world by surprise, about 1,250 Fatah party politicians opened their seventh conference in Ramallah on Tuesday by reappointing Mahmoud Abbas chairman. At 81, an invigorated Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was voted in unanimously, despite speculations that this time the ruling party of the PA would entertain serious discussions of a post-Abbas future.

Fataḥ, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Abbas was elected in January 2005 as President of the Palestinian National Authority until January 2009, but in December 2009 was voted into office indefinitely by the PLO Central Council.

An estimated 75 Fatah representatives from Gaza were not granted permits by Israel to leave the Strip to attend the conference. But its doubtful the vote in Ramallah would have been any different had they been allowed to go through.

The date picked for the conference, as it is done every conference, was November 29, the anniversary of the last time the Arabs in the Land of Israel had a real chance for statehood, which they blew, in the spirit of the late Abba Eban, who said, The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. For the record, Eban did not focus solely on the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, since he made his immortal observation after the 1973 Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries (which Syria refused to attend).

November 29 was commemorated by the UN on Tuesday, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. UN General Assembly president Peter Thomson honored the occasion by wearing a Palestinian flag scarf, just like the one Yasser Arafat wore when he first appeared at the General Assembly back in 1974 as the chief of Fatah – which was established back in 1959 to “organize the armed resistance against Israel,” almost a decade before the 1967 war.

Which brings to mind another Abba Eban immortal observation, from 2004: If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

David Israel

Goldstein on Gelt: Financial Fitness and How to Stop Stressing About Money

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Financial fitness isn’t only about staying within your budget and savings. It’s also about monitoring your stress level on financial issues. Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym, discusses financial health and why every individual needs their own personal “diet” and “workout.” Find out why it’s important to work on your money habits while you are still young.

Should you sell your house when you retire?
Doug Goldstein, CFP®, answers the question of whether it’s a good idea to sell your house before you retire. He also gives tips on when you should hand over financial control to the next generation.
Watch the 12-minute video of a recent seminar on this subject at: http://www.profile-financial.com/letting-go
The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Bennett: If Law to Save Amona Fails, We’ll Stop Voting with Netanyahu Coalition

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

As the Arrangement Act, compelling Arab claimants against government initiated Jewish settlements to accept market value for their lands, comes up for an initial vote at the Knesset plenum, two coalition partners — Kulanu and Habayit Hayehudi — have accused Prime Minister Netanyahu and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) of attempting to sabotage the vote. Bitan announced on Tuesday that there may be some difficulties in rustling support for the bill.

In response, Habayit Hayehudi faction informed Bitan that should the coalition partners not honor the coalition discipline rule and help defeat the government-supported legislation, Habayit Hayehudi would no longer vote in support of future coalition bills.

The threat was intended to pressure Likud to make sure all the coalition partners indeed show up to support the bill. As of Tuesday night, there have been rumors that Kulanu and the Haredi parties were considering a no-show during the vote. Now it appears those rumors were manufactured on behalf of the PM, who never was in favor of the proposed law.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected a coalition request to postpone the demolition of Amona, in Samaria, on December 25.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-if-law-to-save-amona-fails-well-stop-voting-with-netanyahu-coalition/2016/11/16/

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