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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Wanted: Rowers for Maccabi USA to Compete at the Maccabiah Games

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Maccabi USA is seeking rowers to compete at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel in July 2017. But international-level boat racing is only part of the of the Maccabiah, where Jewish athletes from around the world will have the opportunity to connect with each other, while enjoying Israel’s sights.

Maccabi USA is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization which endeavors, through sports, to encourage Jewish pride, strengthen Jewish bonds and generate a heightened awareness of Israel and Jewish identity.

According to Row2k, the ideal athletes will have competitive sculling experience in the single and double, and are currently training either with their university, or in a competitive club environment. Strong ergometer scores are “desirable,” but recent racing performances will be given “greater weight when identifying the best candidates.”

The Maccabiah games are organized into four distinct divisions: Open, Junior, Masters, and Paralympics.

The Junior Maccabiah games are open to any qualifying athlete aged 15–18.

The masters games are designed to accommodate older competitors; these games are divided into a number of different age categories

The open games are generally unlimited in age and are intended for the best athletes from each

The paralympic games are generally open to all athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities.

David Israel

Shiloh Musings: The USA is Not a Jewish Country!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

I was born and raised in the USA, the United States of America. And in the second half of the twentieth century, post-World War Two, it was very much a Christian country. The Jewish population was an extremely vocal minority, and if there were any other religions, one rarely if ever heard from them. And although there certainly were quite a few races other than Caucasian aka white, standards of beauty were primarily WASP, emphasizing straight, light-colored hair, small nose, light eyes, thin eyebrows and oval faces. Shoes were made for narrow feet, and the classic sheath dress was most flattering on narrow hips.

When I took on Jewish Sabbath observance and couldn’t take important standardized tests on Saturdays, at least others had already successfully fought that battle, and there were places designated for Sunday testing, PSAT, SAT, College Boards etc.

After Thanksgiving, public places and public schools were decorated for Christmas, even including religious Nativity scenes. And schools had very Christian religious assemblies/pageants. That is until the local Jewish populations got strong and confident enough to stop it. Sometimes all that was done as a “change” was to add a dreidel and Chanukah Menorah to the Nativity Scene and sing “Dreidel Made Out of Clay” along with “Silent Night.”

And many localities which have never had much of a Jewish presence, things never changed. They stayed unabashedly Christian.

Now, America is changing. Local authorities, schools and universities have to deal with the fact that there is religious diversities and the “minorities” aren’t willing to stay silent or quietly assimilate. Isn’t it all so deja vu? That’s how I felt when I saw the following:

Georgia Jewish students riled by homecoming on Yom Kippur

I, personally, solved the dilemma by becoming more Jewish and not trying to live in two separate worlds simultaneously. I also moved to Israel, where not only are the Jewish Holidays the official ones, but the shoes are wider, too.

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: USA Kerry, Terrorists aren’t Misbehaving Innocent Children!!

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

In another one of his proof of idiocy, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry said:

Kerry to the Media: Cover Terrorism Less, So ‘People Wouldn’t Know What’s Going On’
Remember this: No country is immune from terrorism. It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on. (Applause.)

Again, Kerry shows the world how he misunderstands terrorists. They don’t just murder and attack for the attention. It’s an act of war, another genre in the military lexicon. That’s why it must be fought with force, not words or kindness. And considering the applause that apparently had greeted his statement, many people do agree with him. They are all wrong.

There’s a lot of terrorism going on in the world that is being ignored by the media, and it’s growing, not shrinking. It’s a relatively cheap way to attack one’s enemies. It bypasses the super-expensive international military industries.

International media and diplomats have been focusing more on the massive numbers of refugees fleeing parts of the Middle East and Africa but less on the terror they are trying to leave. Those who do the actual terrorizing aren’t ogling themselves  and how they look on the media. That isn’t what’s driving them to murder.

Kerry’s request that there would be less terror if the terrorists got less media attention is like the pedagogic principle that one must give more attention for good behavior than bad. Terrorists aren’t bullies in nursery schools. They are more like mass-murderers.

Batya Medad

Graveyard USA

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

In our previous article, we began to explain the need for a deeper comprehension of Emunah and Torah, in order to understand the rebirth of the Nation of Israel in our time, and to lift ourselves up to be a part of this higher level of existence – the transition from Galut to Geula, from a grave-like existence of dry scattered bones, to our full revitalized life of thriving national strength and rebirth.

In his book, “Binyan Emunah,” Rabbi Moshe Bleicher explains that the Torah defines the parameters of existence, and not the beliefs and opinions of man. An example is the definition of work (Malacha) on Shabbat. The notion of work which is forbidden on Shabbat is not determined by the concepts of man. For instance, human reasoning could maintain that if a person were to perform some difficult labor on Shabbat, this would be forbidden, and if he were to do some work without any effort, this would be allowed. But this is not the case. A person can carry heavy crates from one room to another in his home all day long without transgressing the laws of Shabbat, while if he were to carry a weightless needle in his hand from his house to his neighbor’s house across the street, he will have violated the Malacha of carrying an object from one domain to another, whose punishment is most severe. It is the Torah which determines the definition of work on Shabbat and not the definitions of man.

When we understand this idea, we can acknowledge another truth. Just as the activities of life are defined by the Halacha, all of the events of life, large and small alike, are defined by the Torah. If the Prophet Ezekiel, along with, Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi, and the Gaon of Vilna define the exile as death, even if the Galut seems in our eyes to be filled with flourishing life, one must recognize that it is the Torah which determines the definition of a situation, and that the Galut is indeed a graveyard, and that we are dead there. Of course, we have to explain why this is so – how can it be that a situation which appears to be thriving and prospering, materially and even spiritually, with an abundance of Torah learning and observance, is nevertheless defined by the Torah, and our Prophets and Sages, as death?

In order to understand why the Galut is death, we have to first meditate on the meaning of life. True life is when an organism functions as a whole. For example, no one would say that a severed limb is alive. Or, if you were to place an eyeball on a table, of course it couldn’t see. With being connected to the life-force of the body, the soul, an eyeball obviously won’t function. The eyeball by itself is dead. Only in its connection to the general body and life-giving soul, can it function and see.

Rabbi Bleicher explains that the reason that the eye cannot function without it being attached to the body is because the eye isn’t a private organ which exists by itself. This is also true for the other organs of the body – the ear, the brain, the heart, etc. If

you were to take out all of the organs of the body and connect them together, a man wouldn’t result – only a big, lifeless doll. The thing which gives man his essence as a man is the general life force inside of him. This is what enlivens and operates all the organs of the body, determines their function, and also gives man his consciousness as a man. From this general life force, the different parts of the body receive their value and importance.

Just as a life force animates an individual, the same is true for the Clal, for Am Yisrael. As we previously mentioned, the Nation of Israel is the earthly vessel which testifies to the Kingship of Hashem in the world. We declare His praise and bring His Word to the nations. While there are individual Tzaddik who influence the world with their spiritual greatness, the universal Sanctification of Hashem in the world comes through the Israeli Nation as a whole, and not through individual Jews, however holy they may be.

The nations of the world also call upon the Name of G-d and praise His greatness, but in the very same breath, they are capable of murdering millions and carrying out the most savage, bestial acts. In contrast, when Am Yisrael calls upon the Name of G-d, it is to reveal and establish the Divine Ideal and Morality in the world, with the altruistic aspiration of bettering the life of all mankind.

Rabbi Bleicher writes: “While the world has greatly advanced in scientific and technological spheres, when it comes to morality, the improvement is far less noticeable. Much of mankind is still

enslaved to primitivism, and to idol worship, and its seemingly more sophisticated offshoots like Christianity, without the awareness that that the world has a single Soul, and Source of Ideal Unity, which gives value to everything. Lacking this understanding, the majority of the world lives an illusion, and walks like a blind man in darkness. In contrast, the recognition that the world has an Ideal Goal, and that the forces of life derive their value from a universal, unifying Divine Truth, gives existence a new exalted stature, and reveals that it is possible to live a life of purity, holiness, and nobility, on a lofty and transcendental level.

“This lofty moral recognition is the innovation which Am Yisrael brings to the world. “This Nation have I created for myself, they will declare My praise.” The ability of Am Yisrael to declare the praises of Hashem, to illuminate the world and liberate it from its truncated framework of private interests and egotistical concerns, from its bondage to individual lusts, by attaching all of the forces of life to their ideal Divine Source, this stems from the unique vision of Am Yisrael that recognizes the existence of a single unifying Divine Goal which stands at the foundation of the world – the recognition that there is a single unifying force of life that lends ideal meaning to all of the details of life. This is a great Kiddush Hashem, the ability to reveal in life the Universal Unity which gives life to everything.”

The Nation of Israel was created to illuminate this Universal Truth of Divine Unity, to declare the praises and Universal Kingship of G-d. When all of Am Yisrael gathers in its Land, with the Beit HaMikdash rebuilt on Har HaBayit, this Divine life-force appears in the life of the Israelite Nation, in all aspects of its national existence, in their most ideal and healthy format. But even before the Beit HaMikdash is built, the return to the Land and the Nation’s rebuilding, even in its early, outwardly secular stages, injects the dry bones of the Jewish People with a mighty national vitality that astonishes all other nations in the miraculous nature of its rebirth.

Rabbi Bleicher continues: “Like with an individual man, whose soul gives life to all of his organs and limbs, so too, when Am Yisrael returns to Eretz Yisrael, its unique, national life-force, which only comes to life within the Nation when it dwells in its Land, radiates its powers to all of the national faculties of the Nation, and to every vista of its life. The more the Nation is true to its inner essence, and knows how to direct its varied endeavors to draw vitality and strength from the Source of its life, the healthier it will be, and it will succeed in achieving its mission in the most complete and ideal fashion.”

This is a life of national Kiddush Hashem, where the Divine Presence is revealed in our midst, through the realization of the ideal, universal, Divine Goals and Aspirations in the life of the Nation.

However, when the Nation of Israel is exiled from its Land, and its general, national life-force is lost, all of its life undergoes a drastic descent. Its general, Clalli soul ascends to the celestial heights, and no longer functions as the battery source of the now scattered and splintered Jewish People. Now, exiled from its Land, and unable to exist in its national format, the individual, private side of life becomes dominate, and the forces of life appear separately, seemingly independent, one from the other, like scattered dry bones, without stemming from a unifying, general life-force. In this way, the level of life changes, and the entire observance of Torah and its commandments falls into a totally different category of performance – the mere practice of the mitzvot without their inner soul, just like the Jewish People themselves lack the vivifying Divine Soul of the Nation – like a body without a head or a heart, like dismembered organs without any national life of its own.

To be continued.

Tzvi Fishman

State Dept. Approves $300M Sale to Israel of Sea Hawk Helicopters, Military Parts

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

The U.S. State Department has notified Congress that its Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved a proposed $300 million sale to Israel of excess SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter equipment and technical support.

Israel has been approved to receive eight (8) SH-60F Sea Hawk Helicopters via the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program under a separate notification. “That separate notification included only the SH-60 airframes, thus this transmittal includes all the major components and customer-unique requirements requested to supplement the EDA grant transfer,” the agency said Wednesday in a statement.

General Electric and Science and Engineering Services are to serve as principal contractors for the sale.

The Sea Hawks are to be used on board four new frigates purchased by the Jewish State for use in securing the mammoth Leviathan natural gas field beneath the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Spares and repair parts were to be sold, as well as test and commuication equipment, ferry support, publication and technical documentation.

“The Government of Israel has requested to procure twelve (12) T-700 GE 401C engines (ten (10) installed and two (2) spares), eight (8) AN/APN-194(V) Radar Altimeters; eight (8) AN/APN-217A Doppler Radar Navigation Sets; eight (8) AN/ARN-15l (V)2 Global Positioning Systems; eight (8) AN/APX100(V) Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transponder Sets; eight (8) OA-8697 A/ARD Direction Finding Groups; eight (8) AN/ARN-118(V) NAV Receivers; eight (8) AN/ARN-146 On Top Position Indicators; sixteen (16) IP-1544A/ASQ-200 Horizontal Situation Video Displays (HSVD); eight (8) AN/ARC-174A (V)2 HF Radios; sixteen (16) AN/ARC182(V) UHF/UHF Radios; eight (8) PIN 70600-81010-011 Communication System Controllers; eight (8) GAU-16 50 Caliber Machine Guns; eight (8) M-60D/M-240 Machine Guns; eight (8) Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks; sixteen (16) External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks; and eight (8) C-11822/AWQ Controllers, Armament System. Also included are spares and repair parts, support and test equipment, communication equipment, ferry support, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support,” the agency said in its statement.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner, which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the statement said.

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Hackers Post ‘Hit List’ of US Military Staff, Says ‘Kill Them, Behead Them’

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The U.S. Pentagon is becoming concerned about the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group hacking activities after the terrorists posted a “hit list” online of 75 U.S. military staff it claims were involved in drone strikes in Syria.

A few days earlier, Da’esh posted the personal details online of more than 3,000 ordinary New Yorkers, along with various threats. The FBI is still visiting the 3,600 New Yorkers on the apparent “hit list” which was apparently intended to instill fear in the U.S. population, but said although people should use caution, there is no reason to be especially afraid.

The group urged its supporters to target those on the list, proclaiming “we want them #Dead.” Most are residents of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, although some live in Staten Island and other surrounding areas.

The Pentagon has expressed concern over the latest list, however: the group allegedly hacked and circulated online the names, home addresses and photographs of American military personnel, including some top staff members.

“Kill them wherever they are, knock on their doors and behead them, stab them, shoot them in the face or bomb them,” urged the ‘Islamic State Hacking Division.’

The hackers also allegedly have a possible mole in the British Ministry of Defense, according to a report in The Sunday Times. The group threatened to publish “secret intelligence” that could in future identify the Royal Air Force (RAF) drone operators.

The “hit list” was published under the ISIS flag, entitled ‘Target – United States Military,’ circulated via Twitter and posted on the JustPaste website.

But according to a report by PTI, the hackers may not have actually “hacked” their information, but rather were smart at researching the information. They “gleaned the names of Reaper and Predator drone operators from news articles and military newsletters, before matching them to addresses, photos and other personal details from publicly available sources on the internet,” the London-based site contends.

The document states: “You crusaders that can only attack the soldiers of the Islamic State with joysticks and consoles, die in your rage! Your military has no courage, neither has your president as he still refuses to send troops. So instead you press buttons thousands of miles away in your feeble attempt to fight us.

“A nation of cowards that holds no bravery as you resort to sending your remote-controlled unmanned Reaper and Predator drones to attack us from the skies. So this is for you, America. These 75 crusaders are posted as targets for our brothers and sisters in America and worldwide to hunt down and kill.”

“In our next leak we may even disclose secret intelligence the Islamic State has just received from a source the brothers in the UK have spent some time acquiring from the Ministry of Defence in London as we slowly and secretly infiltrate England and the USA online and off.”

The bottom of the document features a graphic of a beheaded Statue of Liberty.

Hana Levi Julian

U.S. to Buy Heavy Water from Iran

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The United States has cut a deal with Iran to purchase heavy water from the Islamic Republic, according to a report posted on the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar website.

The report quoted PressTV as saying Iran will sell 32 metric tons of heavy water to the U.S.

Heavy water is used in certain types of nuclear reactors, where it acts as a neutron moderator to slow down neutrons so they are more likely to react with the fissile uranium-235 than with uranium-238, which captures neutrons without fissioning.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, Abbas Araqchi told PressTV in Vienna on Friday the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran reached an agreement on the sale with a U.S. company before a joint commission meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group.

The agreement was reportedly signed following three months of negotiations.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/u-s-to-buy-heavy-water-from-iran/2016/04/25/

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