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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Third Temple’

Analysis: Herzog Mocks Netanyahu, Israel’s SpongeBob SquarePants

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

In a witty speech, riddled with poisoned arrows, the leader of both the Zionist Camp and the Knesset opposition MK Isaac Herzog used his keynote address on the third and final day of the 16th annual Herzliya Conference to paint a grotesque image of the failures of the Netanyahu government, coupled with promises for a better future under his own party’s rule. Despite his repetition of ideas that have already proven themselves to be dangerously delusional, Herzog’s heartfelt bitterness was almost delightful:

“Finally we have a Right wing government,” he began. “Finally we have a right-wing prime minister, right-wing defense minister, right-wing Minister of Education, right-wing justice minister, right-wing Minister of Agriculture and even right-wing Minister of Transport… Now there is no one on the left to litter the agenda!”

And yet, he persisted, even without a shred of leftwing involvement, “look at what is happening around us: the waves of violence are stronger. An Intifada of stones has turned into terrorism of Kalashnikovs and Carl Gustavs and the citizens are scared to walk around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion.”

“What’s the greatest mistake of the right wing government?” he continued to joke, answering his own trick question: “That there is no real left wing to blame. It really is a tragedy: even I thought we were getting a bunch of heroes with super powers – but it turns out we got SpongeBob leaders.”

SpongeBob SquarePants is the hero of an animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon, chronicling the adventures and endeavors of SpongeBob and his friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series has been involved in several public controversies, including one centered on speculation over SpongeBob’s sexual orientation.

Herzog, who is often self deprecating regarding his own effeminate public persona in Israel’s macho political jungle, obviously picked the SpongeBob imagery to suggest his seemingly macho political enemies were, in fact, the effeminate ones. Not a sure-win choice on the week of the Orlando gay club massacre.

Herzog reminded his audience that “for years the Right preached that we had to remain in Lebanon, and had to sacrifice hundreds of soldiers every year to secure the northern border. Then came Ehud Barak and he took us out of Lebanon and created a political situation that is not ideal but the number of our fatalities decreased dramatically, and Northern agricultural workers and tourism are thriving…. For years the Right has preached that talking with the other side would be the end of the state, the end of the Zionist enterprise, the destruction of the Third Temple. Then came Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin z”l who talked with Arafat, the head of a dangerous and deadly terrorist organization, and they reached understandings that turned the other side and its leadership from one of hijackings and murdering civilians indiscriminately to a diplomatic organization that worked with us on political and diplomatic issues.”

Delivered outside the context of the several thousand murdered Israelis who have been the casualties of the Rabin-Peres-Arafat peace deal, Herzog’s ideas sounded outright reasonable. He did fail to mention the rivers of blood that ensued each time Israeli leaders on both sides of the aisle have attempted to ply Arafat et al with territorial concessions.

Herzog continued to list his perceived highlights of the various governments and leaders of Israel, again without the benefit of knowing what followed those brave men’s best plans: “Begin, Rabin, Peres and Sharon were not afraid to put their personal fate on the altar for the good of the country and won spots in the Hall of Fame of Israeli leadership.”

He did say that “in the context of the current wave of terror in which dozens of Israelis were killed and hundreds injured, I identified a new path… an opportunity for peace… I worked toward this solution with international and regional leaders directly and indirectly.” Presumably, his planned territorial concessions would not end in more bloodshed, possibly because the polls at this point predict a drop in Herzog’s party’s Knesset mandate from 24 to the low teens.

Herzog insisted, however, that although the idea of cooperation between Israel and the moderate Arab states was not new, the time was ripe for such collaboration, “it’s a unique and rare opportunity.” He continued, “Unlike the previous generation of Arab leaders, nowadays many Sunni leaders have less of what I call an ‘Israel complex,’ which their predecessors suffered from. They are bolder, younger, more independent and willing to work with Israel, as long as it serves their national interests. These leaders are willing to engage on issues important to both sides.”

Except that those same younger Arabs out there, as was seen from a poll commissioned by the Herzliya Conference in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, no longer care about the fate of Israel’s Arabs on either side of the green line. But Herzog plowed on: “Today there is a golden opportunity. The United States must take the lead and the international community should support it along with the regional leadership of the Middle East. With bold leadership and bold steps, we can realize this opportunity and create a better future for us and for our children. I and my partners in the Zionist Camp see this as a window of opportunity that could ultimately bring about a two-state solution.”

Herzog concluded, “I opened the door for Netanyahu and offered him my hand saying that he was the engine of the Right, I was the engine of the Left and behind us was a wagon” of citizens. “But the Right did not succeed in turning on his engine… Netanyahu preferred to think of his political survival.”

Indeed, Herzog’s own failure to lead his party to political victory, and his failed coalition negotiations with Netanyahu will likely not bode well for his own political survival.


Where Did the Holy Temple Really Stand?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) The following paragraph has raised the ire of many Jews and forced the NY Times to apologize and retract. It read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is whether the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was also the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The Times, realizing belatedly that what the paragraph actually suggested was placing in doubt millennia of Jewish teachings, posted a retraction:

“An earlier version of this article misstated the question that many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered concerning the two ancient Jewish temples. The question is where precisely on the 37-acre Temple Mount site the temples had once stood, not whether the temples had ever existed there.”

Obviously, if you’re to the right of the Times you know they wanted to get away with delegitimizing the Jews’ claim to the Temple Mount, and if you’re left of center you don’t get what the whole brouhaha was about. The Times amended the offending paragraph to read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is where on the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The article itself points the finger of blame for all this uncertainty at the Jordanian Waqf, saying “the Waqf has never permitted invasive archaeological work that could possibly yield proof.”

“That’s where you get to the Catch-22,” Jodi Magness, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told the Times. “The logical thing would be to dig.” But she acknowledged that “if you did that, you’d probably cause World War III to break out. It’s not even in the realm of possibility.”

Another expert, Jane Cahill, said “nobody knows exactly” where the temples once stood, although “pretty powerful circumstantial evidence” suggests they were on the site, and bewailed the fact that “because there have been no organized excavations there, and not likely to be, circumstantial evidence is probably all we’re going to have.”

Any discussion of the geography of the Temple Mount begins and ends with Even Hashetiah, the Foundation Stone, whose location marks the precise site of the Holy of Holies. The Mishna Yoma (5:2), dealing with the labors of the High Priest in the Temple on Yom Kippur reads:

“After the Ark had been taken away, there was a stone from the days of the earlier prophets (Samuel, David and Solomon), called the Hashetiah (the word means foundation, as in the foundation of the world), three fingers above the ground, on which he (the High Priest) would place [the pan of burning coals]. He would take the blood from [the priest] who was stirring it, and enter [again] into the place where he had entered (the Holy of Holies), and stand [again] on the place on which he had stood (between the two staves), and sprinkle (the sacrificial blood).”

In simple terms: the Mishna offers testimony that during the First Temple, aka Solomon’s Temple, which was sanctioned in 832 BCE and destroyed in 587 BCE, the Holy Ark, complete with the Ten Commandments, stood on the Foundation Stone. Then, in the time of the second Temple, between 516 BCE and 70 CE, with the Ark gone, the High Priest used the same Foundation Stone as a resting place for his pan of burning coals for the sacred incense.

The golden Dome of the Rock, located at the very center of the Temple Mount, is, according to the vast majority of Jewish and Muslim stories, built right above the Foundation Stone. This is the spot where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, and, according to the Zohar, the stone was brought there by our third patriarch, Jacob, on is way from Canaan to Haran.

Naturally, there are competing Muslim narratives, and the Jewish Foundation Stone doubles there as the spot from which the prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven, although there are disputes over whether this happened in reality (modern version) or in a dream (original version).

The walls around the Rock are adorned by anti-Christian statements, written in mosaic stones, expressing doubt in their dogma.

The NY Times has, actually, gone farther than many in rebuking the Muslim Waqf for forbidding an architectural examination of the Dome of the Rock. Over the years, Israeli media have reported of many attempts by the Waqf to degrade whatever archeological remnants of the former Temples have remained beneath the Dome. It could be said that the vehement response of Muslims in and out of Israel to provocative incitement regarding Jewish plans to start visiting the Temple Mount more regularly reflect deep anxieties about the true origins of the place, which must be hidden in the rubble underneath.

Trying to explain “why is the shrine so important?” AP noted Monday that while Jewish believers say that Jewish religious practice would only be complete once the Third Temple has been rebuilt, “leading rabbis, citing religious purity laws, have banned entry to the compound since Israel captured it in 1967, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza,” and “Israel’s chief rabbis reaffirmed the ban in 2013,” so that “most Jews continue to worship exclusively at the adjacent Western Wall, a Temple remnant.” Of course, the Western Wall is not a remnant of Solomon’s Temple, or even Ezra and Nehemia’s Temple, but was most likely built, judging by recent findings, by King Agrippa II, Herod’s great-grandson, as a supporting wall for his grandfather’s renovated Temple, which was destroyed only a few decades later.

There is no mystery, according to Jewish sources, about the precise location of the Holy of Holies, God’s Sanctuary. It lies directly beneath the golden dome which can be seen from practically every corner of Jerusalem. The true mystery is: why are the Muslims in Jerusalem and elsewhere so anxious, to the point of starting a wave of suicidal violence and terror against Jews — when so few Jews–a mere few hundred–show an interest in the Temple Mount?


The Arab Spring of Anarchy Has Come to Israel

Friday, October 9th, 2015

There are no predictions here of what will happen tomorrow, or next week when the United Nations flies its peace process into Israel, or next month.

Calm might be restored today, or maybe not, but two things are for sure:

1. Israel, the most stable country in the Middle East, will remain Israel.

2. The Palestinian Authority will remain an unstable prop until the time comes when the world no longer sees it as an effective tool against Zionism.

Until then, it is important to understand events without blinders.

The Palestinian Authority is an organization of murderers, not terrorists.

World leaders and media, including ourselves, will continue to report on “terror,” but in fact, the Palestinian Authority is not sponsoring terror, a word which no longer has a clear definition. It used to mean the use of violence and coercion to achieve political gains. The Irgun, led by Menachem Begin during the British Mandate, was labeled as a terrorist gang because it bombed British positions with the clear motivation of re-establishing the State of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority does not want to create a new Arab state because it wants one. Its objective, and the only aim of the Arab world since the re-birth of Zionism, has been to destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

Everyone will continue to report on terror, but in fact, the Palestinian Authority is a criminal entity that is rife with drug smuggling, arms smuggling and corruption. It is a mafia that encourages and often is directly involved in murdering Jews.

–The Palestinian Authority can’t exist without Israel.

The regime in Ramallah is a state on paper. It has institutions, all of them corrupt; it has a flag at the United Nations, which is bankrupt morally; it is a welfare state dependent on the European Union and the United States; and it would be in a civil war if it weren’t for Israeli intelligence that helps Abbas stay alive.

The current violence is destroying whatever is left of the Left.

There has been a clear change in the tone and content counter-terror of Israel’s major media outlets, which successfully campaigned for the Oslo Accords, for the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and for the release of thousands of terrorists in order to receive of dead bodies and a few that stayed alive, such as Gilad Shalit

The major media outlets do not run the country but they certainly reflect the voice of the “government of Tel Aviv,” best represented by the old Labor party that now calls itself the “Zionist Camp.”

Even before this week’s attempted murders of Jews in Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah and Kiryat Gat, Yediot Acharonot, Israel’s largest daily, and the so-called Voice of Israel Radio (Reshet Bet), the most popular radio network, had changed their tune.

The Palestinian Authority propaganda and lies concerning the Temple Mount, have been too much for the center-left to swallow.

Secular as they are, they are sincere Jews who cannot justify or ignore the blatant anti-Semitism and racism among Israeli Arab Knesset Members who claim that the Jews have absolutely no rights on the Temple Mount and that the holy site belongs to Muslims and only to Muslims.

The only ones left on the left are the tiny minds, such as that of Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On, who this week condemned violence by Arabs and Israelis but in the end concluded it all is because of the “occupation.”

The Left exists as a small minority. The center-left is leaderless, as proven by Herzog’s pitiful and shameful arrogance this week in his insistence that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should resign because of the wave of violence.

Our worst enemy is ourselves.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s order that not only Cabinet Ministers but also all Knesset Members cannot visit the Temple Mount is infuriating to religious Zionists but is smart. With all due respect to Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Minister Uri Ariel, one of the most intellectually honest politicians alive today, the Third Temple will not be rebuilt by politicians and right-wing media, so just keep praying.

Netanyahu also sent the “settler” movement into a rage Thursday night with his statement that “this is not the time to build new settlements.”

But the man has a bit more on his shoulders than we do. The right-wing certainly should protest and demand that Jews can build wherever they want in Judea and Samaria, but the demonstrations should start and end there. No Jew should bully himself onto a hilltop and clash with the police or soldiers.

Yes, a new Jewish community is the right answer to every terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria. It can be done only if there is full backing of the country, and we are not there yet.

Whether the chicken or egg comes first, Israel does not live alone. Yes, we need a stronger spine, but it has to be a spine that is not propped up with an artificial brace. Like it or not. Netanyahu is right. [This is not necessarily the position of the Jewish Press.com.]

This is not the time to throw sand in the eyes of the United Nations and President Barack Obama, but keep protesting so that Netanyahu does not forget that being right today does not mean he is right tomorrow.

And when will the violence end?

It began more than century ago, and it comes and goes in waves. A generation and a half of Arabs, both within and beyond the Palestinian Authority, has grown up with an education of hatred of Jews and Zionism.

Thank God, Israeli security forces have caught almost every terrorist, make that murderer or attempted murderer. Those that were killed won’t attack again.

The more the police and the IDF educate the rioters, the safer we will be and the sooner they will learn that their hate hurts themselves more than anyone else.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Third Temple – A 3D Walk-Through

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

This is a walk-through the main sanctuary of the Holy Temple, showcasing decades of research and tens of innovative Halachic solutions to various perplexing issues that were resolved to create fully functional, ready-to-use plans. As the visual tour sweeps through the sanctuary, one can see the menorah, incense altar and showbread table, all of which have already been prepared by the Institute, among 70 other sacred vessels. The presentation was specially released to coincide with the Ninth of Av, the Jewish national day of mourning which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

This is not a ‘virtual’ representation, but a portion of a complete and highly detailed architectural plan which has been prepared for the immediate construction of the Holy Temple. The plan includes all of components that will be used in building: marble, stone, concrete, wood, flooring materials, overlay of gold, etc.

The external view presents the openings, windows, chambers, the outer hall, the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies.

In the first stage we are moving through the hall’s entrance. As we continue we arrive at the golden chains described in Tractate Middot, which the young priests-in-training would climb in order to view the decorative crowns that were placed in unique windows above the entrance to the Sanctuary. The visit continues on to the 38 chambers that surrounded the Sanctuary. The door opens and we find ourselves within the first chamber. We turn left and enter into the Sanctuary. From the right we see the three major vessels of the Sanctuary: The golden altar, the table of the showbread, and the menorah. We also see the curtain with its depiction of the two cherubim.

This curtain is actually a double curtain, that separates between the Holy area (the Sanctuary), and the Holy of Holies. We look up to the ceiling of the Sanctuary, which reaches a height of 40 amot. Near the ceiling are the ‘narrowing windows’ (Kings I 6:4) which direct from the Temple outwards.

Turning behind us, we see the doors of the Sanctuary towards the east, as they are opened each morning by the priests, revealing the blue skies of Jerusalem at sunrise.

From the Sanctuary, we turn back to the chambers and go out to the long passageway known as the ‘mesiba.’ We ascend stairs that lead to the roof of the chambers. We continue moving, encircling the Temple from the north and west, afterwards turning east.

At the end of the passageway stands a special ladder that is used to ascend to the upper level. This level has a very high level of sanctity. One opinion maintains that it is only entered once in seventy years (for maintenance purposes).

In summary, this is a highly-detailed building plan which includes room for further innovation by professionals and craftsmen, including decoration, heating and electric etc. According to the decisions of the steering committee that will be established to oversee the construction of the Third Holy Temple, which can be begun immediately.

The video comes one year after the Temple Institute appealed to its supporters to take part in an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign that raised over $100,000 for the architectural plans. The video was first released to supporters of a current campaign to raise the first kosher Red Heifer in Israel in over 2,000 years. Over the past five years, the organization has released its most ambitious campaigns and poignant videos to reframe the mourning period into one of active preparation for the Third Holy Temple.


Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of The Temple Institute noted: “One third of all Torah commandments pertain to the building of and service in the Holy Temple. Today, we not only mourn the destruction of the two Holy Temples, but also our inability to fulfill one third of the Torah. Over the last three decades, the Temple Institute has done everything in our power to research and prepare for the Third Temple. As world Jewry sits on the ground mourning the first two Temples, we have taken a huge leap towards the rebuilding, by releasing a 3D architectural rendition of the Third Temple”

Video of the Day

Palestinians Irate As ‘Third Temple With Underground Parking’ Crowdfunding Raises $105,000

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Republished from Jewish Business News

The new Jewish Temple will offer millions of pilgrims underground parking, according to a new plan that just received the endorsement of hundreds of supporters who put their money where their faith is.

An Israeli right wing organization known as the Temple Institute has announced on Sunday that its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to support modern architectural plans for the third Jewish temple in Jerusalem has concluded successfully on Rosh Hashanah, having picked up $104,814 in 60 days. The campaign’s goal had been $100,000.

The first Jewish temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BCE; the second in 70 CE.

The Temple Institute campaign began on August 5, which was the first day of the Jewish month of Av, the time of year associated with the destruction of both temples.

According to the Institute press release, nearly 900 pledges have come in from more than 30 countries. The indiegogo campaign page received 10,000 shares on Facebook, and their pitch video, depicting a digital rendition of the way the Temple would look in modern Jerusalem has received 160,458 views.

Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, of the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, has told Vice News that the plan is “illegal” according to international law.

“Israel is the only country in the world that considers East Jerusalem to be part of Israeli state territory,” she stated. “Under international law, Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem is illegal, and no state in the world recognizes Israeli sovereignty there. Numerous UN resolutions affirm that East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its religious sites, are part of the occupied Palestinian territory, where sovereignty belongs to the Palestinian people.”

According to Vice News, Gassner called on Indiegogo to remove the campaign from its site. “The project clearly promotes conflict, destruction and hatred, and not peace,” she said. “Indiegogo should be informed that this is an illegal campaign as defined by their terms, violating international law and human rights, resulting in the destruction of property, inciting for religious intolerance, hatred and violence.”

According to the Temple Institute press release, the funds raised via Indiegogo will be used to continue regular research at the Institute, as well as to commission additional architectural plans.

“The architects will fuse Jewish law with modern technology to prepare for a fully modern third Temple, Kosher to the letter of the law, but including mod-cons like underground parking, heating and computerized washing stations that minimize water waste.”

Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, was delighted with the success of his crowedfunding campaign: “We are constantly looking for ways to include as many people as possible in our mission to rebuild the Holy Temple, this is not about one group or organization, it’s about bringing about a spiritual reunification of mankind, today with the help of the internet our message is resonating across the globe. Our decision to use Indiegogo for this campaign was an extension of our success on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”

The Third Temple campaign comes against the background of increasing clashes on Temple Mount, where Palestinian demonstrators have been facing Israeli police since last Wednesday. And while Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) declared that Israel should “know how to strengthen sovereignty” over Temple Mount, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned his declaration, stressing that he is working to mobilize regional and international condemnation of plans to divide the compound between Muslims and Jews.

Perhaps he should try crowdfunding…

Tibbi Singer

Police Lock Arab Rioters inside Al Aqsa Mosque

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Jerusalem police locked dozens of masked Arab rioters inside the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning after they attacked Jewish visitors and police with firecrackers, bottles and large blocks.

Several arrests are expected, but the first person to be detained was a Jew who was suspected of “disrupting the public order” by praying on the Temple Mount.

The Arabs were well-prepared to violently attack police, and their “green light” was a visit by the Mughrabi (Rambam) Gate by Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party. He vowed that the Third Temple will be built.

The rioters immediately attacked at the same time that Public Interior Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch was visiting the holy site. He bragged on Wednesday how the number of rock-throwing attacks has declined by one-third and that firebombing is almost non-existent. Aharonovitch praised police, as if they were responsible for the decline, which more likely can be attributed to the end, for the time being, of the war against terror in Gaza.

Four police officers were treated for wounds suffered on the Temple Mount. Faced with a massive barrage of blocks being thrown in their faces and firecrackers hurled at them, policemen managed to direct rioters inside the Al Qaeda Aqsa mosque before chaining it for several hours

Visits to the Temple Mount by Jews and foreigners were banned during the riots.

Rock-throwing continued in Jewish area in eastern Jerusalem, and police arrested a non-year-old Arab for hurling rocks at Jews. The boy was turned over to his parents, for whatever that is worth, but can you imagine what police would do to a nine-year-old boy and his parents if he were caught throwing rocks at Arabs? Don’t try, because you don’t want to start Rosh HaShanah that way.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

When This is Finally Over….

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Today is the 17th of Tammuz; a day devoted to national self-reflection.  So let’s pause and reflect on the very intense month our nation has been through.

So many things have happened, and so much has changed.

It began on Friday morning, the 15th of Sivan (June 13) when we learned that three of our children had been kidnapped.  Within hours, Jews across the spectrum and across the world were united in worry and prayer for these boys, whom almost none of us knew personally.  Those emotions – pain, worry, faith and solidarity – followed us for the next 2-1/2 weeks until one evening we heard the dramatic and devastating news.  The national worry turned immediately to national mourning, mixed with fury as we heard the audio recordings of the evil monsters laughing as they murdered our three holy, innocent children.

From the bereaved families to the Prime Minister, cabinet members and Chief Rabbis who spoke at the funerals, down to pretty much every blogger and facebook commenter I saw, the sentiments were just about universal.  Like many others, I also wrote about this a few weeks ago: the evil is unfathomable and the tragedy is devastating, but something positive did come from all of this – we learned that in spite of our many differences, we really are one family and we can come together for the most noble of purposes.

No sooner were the boys buried, though, then we learned about the horrific murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and a few days later the unthinkable was confirmed: some of our own people are capable of the exact same level of evil.  This shook us to our core and unleashed a flurry of condemnations from political leaders, rabbis and ordinary people – again with almost complete wall-to-wall unanimity.

But before we had a chance to digest that, rockets started flying, sirens began to blare, tens of thousands of our men were called up for emergency reserve duty (known as “tzav 8” here in Israel), and all Israelis found themselves constantly asking where the nearest bomb shelter would be. From our brothers and sisters abroad, the prayers resumed and expressions of genuine solidarity flowed in.

For a few hours this morning it looked like there was a cease-fire; by now it is clear that the fighting continues, and a ground operation may be just around the corner.  If so the prayers will certainly intensify, as we once again worry about the safety of our young men.  At some point, though, this round of fighting will come to an end (hopefully with a complete victory for the IDF).

And then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to return to our normal lives for at least a while (although by now it should be clear that nothing involving Israel and the Jews is ever “normal”).  That would be a real blessing.  We all have important things to do in our personal and communal lives and it would be wonderful to be able to actually focus on those again.

And at that point, the differences, disagreements and emphatic disputes will return in all of their intensity.  The arguments will continue, and that’s actually a good thing.  Our rabbis tell us (Avot 5:17) that “an argument for the sake of Heaven is destined to prevail”.

The problem is that it might look like the unity is quickly dissolving.  But it doesn’t have to.  When we return to routine, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

In fact, that’s really what this time of year is about.  Our Rabbis also tell us (Yoma 9b) that the present exile was caused by “baseless hatred”.  Anyone who studies the history of that time understands that this is a reference to the many factions among the nation.  They were divided religiously, politically and ideologically, and they didn’t conduct those disputes as “arguments for the sake of Heaven”; instead there was civil war.

Rabbi Alan Haber

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/when-this-is-finally-over/2014/07/15/

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