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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Tu B’Av’

Why I Look At Israel And Don’t See Tragedy

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

I’m confused. I want to write about the tragedies occurring in Israel, where our brothers and sisters are forced to endure torment as rockets rain down on them, but I can’t go to that place. I want to connect all of the terrible things that are going on with Tisha B’Av, but my mind sends me a couple of days further, to Tu B’Av.

Because with all of the terrible things that are going on in the world, especially in Israel, it’s hard not to see the Hand of Hashem guiding this whole thing. And when I see Hashem guiding us, even into and out of tragedy, I feel instantly better about our place in the world.

Let’s start from the beginning. This crisis began with the tragedy of our fallen brothers in Israel, our three boys who were taken from us simply because they were Jews. It was a tragedy of the greatest degree, but in that tragedy something unusual happened.

The old joke is that there was an old Jewish man who was rescued from a desert island, and when the search party found him they saw two buildings. “Why two buildings?” the rescuers asked him. “Oh,” the old man replied, “the first one is the shul I daven in; the second one is the shul I won’t set foot in.”

The point is we don’t have the greatest history when it comes to achdus, Jewish unity. Yet when those boys were taken from us there was a level of unity that had been dormant for years. And when Hashem sees us united, He will not fail us.

Which leads me to Moses. Moses sole, to be precise. There is a fish in the Red Sea called moses sole (or pardachirus marmoratus). This fish has an amazing ability to escape predators, including sharks.

The moses sole has toxins it releases so that when a predator gets too close its jaws actually freeze up and it cannot chomp down on the fish.

What’s the point? Right now we can choose to see our situation as dire. We can see our situation in Israel and the world as tragedy. Or we can see that Hashem is ready for our salvation if we’ll only unite and believe in Him – believe He wants us to succeed in a war and in a world where it seems we cannot win. Even when we are in the jaws of the enemy, Hashem is looking out for us, enabling us to survive catastrophe.

Consider the following: Last week Israeli security sources told the Israeli daily Maariv that Hamas had been preparing a massive assault on Israeli civilians this coming Rosh Hashanah. The plot was uncovered by Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza.

Who knows what battles Hashem is fighting for us behind the scenes? Who knows what kind of catastrophes have been aborted as a result of Israel’s incursion into Gaza? Hashem had been planning our salvation before He planned the tragedy that caused it.

Every Shabbos we say Mizmor LeDovid. Every Shabbos we reaffirm our belief that Hashem will protect us. We quote the words of King David: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” He doesn’t say he’s staying in the valley of the shadow of death but rather that he is walking through the valley. In our lives we will often walk through the valley but Hashem doesn’t want us to stay there. He wants us to walk out of it. It’s more than His “desire” – Hashem is planning our redemption, if we would just unite and believe in Him.

Alec Borenstein

Rav Ovadia: I Love Knitted-Yarmulke Jews – But Not their MKs

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Shas party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Saturday night he really loves knitted-kippa Jews,” but it’s just their political leaders who are “Amalek” – the eternal enemy of Jews.

The national religious community in Israel now can breathe easier and know that Rav Ovadia really loves them.

Sure, the distinguished  rabbi said last month that national religious Chief Rabbinate candidate Rabbi David Stav is “evil” and an “enemy to Judaism,” but, heck, that was just meant to cheer up Shas’ favorite clientele, the dwindling Sephardi community that still feels oppressed by the elite Ashkenazi community. Indeed they are, but they are equally oppressed by their own leaders. So what better way to keep the common people in line by telling them that the Rabbi really loves Jews, even those who wear a knitted kippa.

But what about Shas Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who said in a sermon a week ago that “as long as there are knit kippot, the [divine] throne is not whole?  That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kippa.”

If a listener thought Rabbi Cohen, who is a member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, meant that knitted-kippa Jews are Amalek, he did not understand correctly God forbid he should say such a thing.

Rav Ovadia, who sat silently on the podium as Rabbi Cohen spoke, knows exactly what he really meant.

Sure, Rabbi Cohen said some things against” those rebellious national religious Jews with knitted kippot, but he was only referring to their political leaders, opined Rav Ovadia.

Love, love, love, he said. Love for everyone – with one small exception. It is the political leaders of the knitted-kippa crowd who are problematic.

They not only are problematic. They are the true Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy dating back to the days of  the Exodus from Egypt.

And who is the real knitted-kippa modern Amalek  of the Jews? None other than Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, which, unlike Shas, took the daring move in the last elections to  welcome secular Jews as Knesset Members and put the emphasis on nationalist instead of religious.

Rav Ovadia has his grounds for considering Bennett Amalek.

The Jewish Home party is against exempting Haredi youth from IDF service forever. That means that Shas yeshivas would have less youth learning , or at least registered as learning, in their institutions,

If there are less students, there is less money from donors, especially from the Israeli taxpayer whose hard-earned money has been going into black-hat yeshivas for years with the payback that the future Torah scholars and eternal voters for Shas are defending the nation by learning Torah, even if they are just listed as learning and actually working or stashing home.

Now that Rav Ovadia has explained  Rabbi Cohen and has mended ties with the national religious community, except for those enemies of Jews like Bennett, Israel is ready for Tu B’Av, which begins Sunday night.

The Talmud lists it along with Yom Kippur as the most joyous days of the year when, according to the Talmud, that the daughters of Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards and said, “Young man, consider who you choose (to be your wife).” Tu B’Av is the same day of the 40th yearin the desert when the ban was lifted on female orphans marrying into another tribe.

It is the perfect day for a daughter of a Shas rabbi to become engaged to the son of a national religious politician.

And God willing, Rabbi Cohen and Rav Ovadia will perform the marriage ceremony.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rav-ovadia-i-really-love-knitted-kippa-jews-except-their-mks/2013/07/21/

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