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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘victory’

A Soldier’s Mother: What Victory Should Have Meant

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

The end of the US presidential election has finally come but hasn’t quite left. I remain so sick of this election and what got many of us through it was the knowledge that it would end. In most elections, each side knows there is a chance they will win and a chance they will lose. There is a danger in certainty, in not being prepared for other possibilities.

The danger is that if the other side wins, the side that was so certain will not adapt, will not accept. All along, quite unfairly, Trump was repeatedly pressed to confirm that he would accept the results if/when the US population chose Clinton. I might have missed it, but I don’t remember them asking Clinton the same question.

The end of the US presidential election has finally finally finally come. I am so sick of this election and what got many of us through it was the knowledge that it would end. In most elections, each side knows there is a chance they will win and a chance they will lose. There is a danger in certainty, in not being prepared for other possibilities.

The danger is that if the other side wins, the side that was so certain will not adapt, will not accept. All along, quite unfairly, Trump was repeatedly pressed to confirm that he would accept the results if/when the US population chose Clinton. I might have missed it, but I don’t remember them asking Clinton the same question.

I think Trump was wrong for not immediately stating that of course he would accept the results and what a silly question it was. Instead, he blew the issue up by trying to sidestep it. He was, I believe, viewing his acceptance of that possibility, an admission that he believed it could happen, and he didn’t want to allow for that. More, he didn’t want his supporters to allow for that and be weakened into not voting or for voting for someone else in order to be on the winning side.

Clinton supporters, by contrast, never really accepted that there was any other possible outcome but for her to be elected. The result was not just shock and despair, but anger and violence. Riots broke out in several places, fires set, the American flag burned.

I am saddened by the anger and despair and I think that is the result of people allowing themselves to be fooled by polls that were slanted, inaccurate, and most likely taken with a predetermined assumption to its results.

In short, the media wanted Clinton and so the results were more a reflection of what they wanted than what the American people wanted. And, in the post-election analysis, I watch the media scrambling to explain…never once accepting their own role in the violence, despair, and anger spreading across America.

In the weeks to come, there must be several “investigations”:

The Democrats have to study why and when and how they lost the confidence of so many. Clinton was, everyone clearly must accept, an unacceptable choice as a candidate. For that matter, so was Bernie Sanders. And, if we are to be brutally honest, so was Donald Trump.

This vote, long ago, became an issue of who was less inappropriate and that fact that the popular vote showed how close an election this was, I think stands as further proof that neither should have been picked.

But…

But there has always been one great truth in all American elections – that the day after the elections, no matter how disappointed one side is, everyone turns their backs on the election and looks forward. This time, the pettiness, the anger, the violence are shocking. While Clinton’s speech was well spoken, it took her too long to come forward. No one doubts that had she won, she would have come forward immediately to claim victory.

She chose to wait until the next day. She chose to delay that speech by an hour at least. Each delay caused further damage by building the level of resentment among her supporters.

Another investigation that has to be made is into the media’s role. I believe they were a key factor in handing Trump victory. The more they pushed for Clinton, the more the American people got angry at being treated as though they were too stupid to make the choice. Trump spoke to the people; Clinton spoke to the cameras.

She is clearly the more polished debater (especially when they hand her the questions in advance). But America didn’t want polish; it wanted someone to talk to them…TO THEM…and that’s what Trump did.

And the Democrats missed that. Washington missed that, and the media missed that. More, if you listened to what Trump said, more, what he meant to say, and not the spinned interpretation, and then compared that to how it was reported by others, you realized that what he was saying was truth.

No, he is not Hitler and the comparison infuriates me. I live with what Hitler did on a regular basis. My husband is the child of Holocaust survivors. His uncle still wears the tattoo the Germans put on him. My mother-in-law was put IN a gas chamber and pulled out at the last minute before the gas was dropped into the room because the Germans needed more workers. His grandparents were rounded up, stripped and marched to gas chambers where their lives were stolen, their bodies burned to ashes.

Don’t tell me that Trump is Hitler.  And yet, the media kept that comparison alive. He’s a bigot, a racist, a misogynist. Actually, he’s not any of those. What he is, is a product of his age and his upbringing. He certainly does not hate women – he’s married three of them and if anything his problem is more his attraction to them.

What he is, is not particularly polished, not particularly Washington. He’s not smooth. He’s a doer more than a talker and I think ultimately, that’s what America voted for.

He didn’t say that he would ban Muslims from entering the US. What he did was put forth a challenge to those responsible for ensuring the security of the United States. Tell me you can separate out the terrorists who have and will seek to hide among the refugees you want the US to accept. And, if you can’t vet them, then your first responsibility is to the American people – and Americans accepted that while the media and the Democrats tried to spin that into an anti-Muslim statement.

It’s not. Every nation must first and foremost protect its people. That was the message that Trump tried to deliver, but the media worked very hard not to deliver it. And now, because of the media and the Democrat’s handling of the campaign, a huge portion of the American population refuses to accept the results of the very democracy they should be celebrating.

Where is the spirit of America? Where is the call for unity? Oh, the Democrats are mouthing the words but their actions speak otherwise. Clinton’s speak was conciliatory but she delivered it with a deep sense of mourning and a challenge to women that was condescending, at best. Do what is right, continue the fight. Sounds good, but what she was really saying was don’t accept defeat, fight on until you get a woman in the White House.

And that attitude is what got America where it is – in a very negative sense. It put a Black man in the White House – for the wrong reason – because he was Black. What America needs is the BEST person in the White House – not a man or woman, a White or a Black or Oriental or Jew or Muslim…a  person.

If the reason that you voted for Clinton was because she was a woman, it’s time to reevaluate.

Two things need to happen – for the good of America – first, all Americans have to look forward, accept the results and work towards unifying the country. And second, the media has to be called to task for its role in this election and in American life in general. For too long, the media has been allowed to not just present the news, but frame it, influence it, create it, manipulate it. That has to stop.

 

Journalism is more than just reporting what is happening. In that, the media is correct. If that is all that the media did, it would have ceased to exist with the advent of social media. The citizen journalist can report the news faster via Twitter and Facebook, Google+, Instagram, etc. than the media ever could.

But with the growing popularity of social media, the “old time” media has been challenged, their very existence called into question. And the answer they have found is not acceptable to the American people. That is what this election showed.

The media can present the story behind the images easily shared on Twitter. The problem is that the media is not willing to accept that role and work to make the story, influence the people’s thoughts.

Victory in this election means a Trump mandate for the next four years. It should also mean a renewed examination into the behavior and actions of the media. The camera was always meant to share the picture, not create it.

Paula Stern

On Trump’s Victory

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

A year and a half ago, when the Republican primaries were just getting started, I landed at the Miami airport with my friend Shmuel Sackett. The televisions were broadcasting a CNN report on Donald Trump’s sweeping victory in one of the outlying towns in the U.S.

“He is going to win the primaries,” I said to Shmuel.

Shmuel, an ex-New Yorker and astute observer of the American political scene, smiled at me forgivingly and explained: “You don’t understand, Moshe. The real race has not yet begun. The Republicans have serious candidates, the party will not let him win…”

“He will win the primaries,” I repeated, “and he will also win the presidential elections. And, because of Netanyahu’s irresolution, that will create a very dangerous situation for Israel.”

Our short discussion ended with a bet (a large, juicy steak). Ever since that bet, I have repeated my evaluation, both in the media and on Facebook.

What made me understand then what is happening now in far-away America? When I heard the enthusiastic crowd cheering for Trump’s then-negligible victory, I sensed the beginning of a backlash against the post-modern identity grinder that we have been witnessing for the last three decades. I realized that the pendulum of history had reached its apex and was beginning to move in the opposite direction.

Technically, Shmuel was absolutely right, as were the pollsters who predicted that Hillary would win. They did not forge any results. The reason that I, a total novice in American politics, could foresee the results better than the experts is not because of any special wisdom or professionalism. It is because I did not take models of the past into account. Instead, I analyzed the trends of the future.

Every poll-taker (and every person, for that matter) must create models in order to try to forecast the future. It is impossible to choose to interview 500 people from the ultra-Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood and expect results relevant to Israeli reality. There must be a model according to which the interviewees and the questions are chosen. When the models that worked in the past do not change, the results of the polls will continue to be precise. But when the models do change, the polls become worthless.

In my conversation with Shmuel, my model was different. If the elections in the U.S. had been held five years earlier, Trump would not have even been elected to the Home Improvement Committee. But when the process of identity-grinding had exhausted itself and the pendulum began to swing in the opposite direction – when the historic gate of the new flow opened – Trump’s flaws became his great advantage.

The new model is the return to identity. This is the new direction that history is taking. England wishes to return to its identity and voted for Brexit; America is returning to its identity and voted for Trump (“Make America Great Again); and, with G-d’s help, Israel will also return to itself and vote for Zehut.

But since Begin and the destruction of Yamit, since Netanyahu and his hug for Arafat, and since Sharon and the destruction of Gush Katif, we have learned to treat these victories with great caution. When historical opportunity falls into the hands of someone who is not capable of taking advantage of it, it is liable to turn into a destructive force. So although we are pleased that Trump has won, Israel, for its part, needs leadership that knows how to rise to the occasion. If that leadership does not further Israel’s interests, the danger is as great as the opportunity.

Read the following transcript of this not-so-imaginary phone call:

(Trump): Hi, Bibi, it’s Donald.

(Netanyahu): Hi Donald, congratulations, friend. I am so happy that you were elected!

(Trump): Yes, it’s good that we got rid of all those rotten people. Okay Bibi, let’s get down to business. Do you have a good location in Jerusalem for our embassy?

(Netanyahu): Ummm… Look Donald, let’s talk about that when we meet… There are all sorts of considerations that you must understand… Ummm…

It will not take Trump long to understand whom he is dealing with. In business, time is money and one doesn’t waste it on people who cannot make decisions.

The next imaginary phone call will be to Putin.

(Trump): Hi Vlad, what’s happening?

(Putin): Donald! It’s good you got rid of that carcass! What do you say? We’ll turn over a new leaf?

(Trump): Of course, Vlad. I really don’t care about Crimea. As far as I’m concerned, you can stay there. The sanctions are over. Come for a visit and we’ll do business.

(Putin): Excellent, Donald! By the way, there is a small matter with the Golan Heights.

(Trump): What is the Golan Heights?

(Putin): It’s territory Israel captured from Syria. Now we are the sovereign in Syria. In the past, Bibi agreed to retreat from there until the Sea of Galilee. We’ll discuss it when I visit.

(Trump) …Quiet for a moment… Ummm, okay, Vlad. Come and we’ll work something out.

Just as only the Likud (whose heart is in the right place) is capable of destroying Israeli towns, only Trump (who likes Israel) is capable of causing it significant damage. Because when there is no partner in Israel for Trump’s good will, he will go forward. When there is no opposition to destructive moves – not in Israel, because the Opposition is ruling and not in the U.S. for the same reason – the danger becomes very great and tangible.

Does it sound complicated? Are you confused? Do you remember how hard Sharon (who had previously said that the fate of Netzarim in Gush Katif would be the same as the fate of Tel Aviv) had to work to convince President Bush to agree to expel the Jews from Gush Katif?

Where does all of this find us, the Zehut party? The first conclusion that came into my mind when I heard the results of the U.S. elections was that it doesn’t matter how much your struggle seems hopeless. If you reach the point in history at which your “merchandise” is what the market wants, nothing can stop you. Not the media, not the establishment, not the justice system – nothing!

Zehut has the “merchandise.” There was no error in the poll that predicted that Zehut would win 15 mandates in the next elections. It identified an authentic, deep trend. If, with G-d’s help, we will proceed with wisdom and be there to present the Israeli public our message at the moment of truth, then what happened in England and what is happening now in the U.S. will repeat itself in Israel – in a much deeper and more significant way.

At that point, the potential of the friendship between Israel and America will be to the great benefit of both countries.

Moshe Feiglin

Freier Scores Historic Victory In Brooklyn Judicial Primary

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Attorney Rachel (Ruchy) E. Freier last week won the highly contested Democratic primary for Civil Court judge in Brooklyn’s fifth judicial district. She is the first Orthodox woman from a chassidic background to win a primary for a judicial position.

Endorsed by The Jewish Press, Ms. Freier essentially ran against the Jewish political and organizational establishment.

“She had an overwhelming outpouring of support from the entire district,” said communal and political activist Rabbi Shlomo Braun.

“There was a feeling among the people who voted for her that she would certainly be an outstanding asset,” he added. “She has the proper judicial temperament for being a judge, and her background encompasses understanding, humility, common sense, and good moral judgment.”

In an Aug. 12 editorial The Jewish Press announced it was “enthusiastically” endorsing Freier, noting that in addition to being a successful attorney she serves as director of Ezras Nashim, the first all-female volunteer EMT corps, which responds to emergency calls from women, and was the founder of B’Derech, a GED program for chassidic young men.

“Ms. Freier’s activism,” the editorial stated, “stems from her admiration for Sarah Schenirer, the pioneer of the Bais Yaakov movement. Her election to the civil court would be an inspiration to all frum girls, from chassidic as well as non-chassidic backgrounds.”

Jewish Press Staff

“Yonathan Victory March” for Yoni Netanyahu

Monday, July 4th, 2016

The “Yonathan Victory March” song was performed in memory of Yonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu by David Ben-Reuven for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his office on April 14, 2013. David Ben-Reuven wrote the lyrics and music shortly after the Entebbe Raid. This music video is the original arrangement and performance by Richard Peritz and his group.The Prime Minister was given a copy of the original recording in his office.

David Herman

Victory is Ours

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The Nation of Israel and Operation Protective Edge by Uri Shachter – Deputy Brigade Commander Nachal (Res.)

After almost a month of fighting in the Gaza Strip, with all the reactions, I find it important to clarify to the Nation of Israel that we won, decisively. Both from a military and civilian point of view, we have been victorious. From a military perspective we can begin the victory parades. Hamas is on the ropes, the most they are able to do is poke their heads out of their hidey-holes for a second to declare victory (until it gets struck by the next missile). They are unable to rearm from Egypt (something they were able to do with a free hand during the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood). For years Hamas has been building tunnels beneath our towns to use to attack them and we have been able to destroy all the tunnels. Every military goal Hamas set for itself has failed, on land, in the air and by sea.

So why are we giving them the idea that they won?!

Every contact with the enemy resulted in our overwhelming victory.

Every town we wanted to conquer, we conquered within a few hours with the help of our air force and artillery. During the Yom Kippur War (1973) we too were on the ropes having lost 2,656 soldiers in battle. We won, but unfortunately it was perceived in the national mind as a failure. In the current war, our warriors and their commanders who lead from the front, unlike Hamas who prefer to command from behind, went out to battle with a level of motivation that is hard to understand. Soldiers who, even after being wounded, refuse to leave the field of battle just so their comrades won’t have to go into battle without them. Our men continue to fight courageously, even after losing dozens of our best and brightest, knowing that we have returned the IDF to what it was meant to do, protect our civilians.

There are those soldiers and commanders who feel that we haven’t finished the mission and they want to keep striking at the terrorists. That is as it should be. If they left feeling satisfied and complete, that would be a problem. I also don’t accept the perception that the IDF is retreating. Keep in mind that there is a broader and more encompassing picture in the hands of the upper echelons and not every pundit who writes a hysterical article understands the big picture.

The army is free to fire on any position they think is necessary and positions itself wherever it needs to. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are running to Egypt to beg for a ceasefire while we haven’t even sent a representative. It’s not that they haven’t achieved anything in the current fighting, but they have lost a considerable amount. All the residents in Gaza will return to their ruined houses, destroyed for no gain or reason on their part.

It’s no less important, from a military perspective, to highlight what Israel has gone through during this period. The home front, in all its myriad of peoples, also stood like an unmoving rock (Tzuk Eitan in Hebrew can also be translated this way). It has provided the soldiers and their commanders the support that is so essential to their success. That is the true victory of the nation.

The goal of terrorists isn’t to conquer land, rather to break down and dissolve the society that it attacks. A month and a half ago, before our sweet, wonderful boys (Naftali, Ayal, Gil-Ad) were kidnapped, the nation was more fragmented than it has been for a long time. The verbal flames between groups had been whipped up to unprecedented levels.

Jameel@Muqata

Vision Your Pathway to Victory

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

In the second half of this week’s podcast, Gordon d’Angelo, author of the bestseller Vision: Your Pathway to Victory, discusses how having a vision helps you to realize your goals. Follow the dream and listen to this interesting interview on The Goldstein on Gelt Show.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

What Would Stalin Say?

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Originally published at Chabad.org.

By Rabbi Berel Lazar

My relationship with Reb Shmuel Rohr started about twenty years ago, in the early 1990s. He was visiting Russia on a business trip, looking for investment opportunities.

Truth to tell, I looked at him kind of quizzically: “Investment? In Russia!?” This was a country that everyone was trying to get out of, figuring that it had no future. A dank and dreary place, where the store shelves were empty and there was nothing to eat; the only kind of economic activity was that of émigrés selling their goods and leaving the country with the little money they had gotten for them. Now this man is coming to invest? When does he ever expect to see any profits from this?

So I asked him, “Reb Shmuel, what are you doing?”

“I myself may not see any profit from it,” he replied, “but my children and grandchildren will. I’m investing for their sake. Now, when everything is collapsing here, when no one sees a future for the country—that’s the time to enter the market here. It’s a window of opportunity that opens only once in many decades. So, yes, it’s unlikely that in the near future I’ll see any benefits from this investment, but my grandchildren will see it.

“And this is just as true in spiritual matters, in matters of Judaism, as it is in business,” he continued. “On the face of it, there seems to be no future here: everyone is getting out as fast as possible, going to Israel, or America, or Western Europe. But I do foresee a future here—a bright future. Again, I may not get to see it, but my grandchildren most definitely will. Time will come when Russia gets back firmly on its feet, both economically and Jewishly!”

As Reb Shmuel spoke, I saw before me a Jew with great vision, a person with enormous foresight. He envisioned a revolution—and he took a leading role in making it happen. He was the Nachshon ben Aminadav who jumped into the swirling waves, into a sea where no firm footing could be seen—yet he walked into it with head held high and eyes affixed ahead, toward the future.

He encouraged, cajoled, pushed and worked on having shluchim sent to Russia. He not only talked the talk, but walked the walk—supporting them financially from the start.

In the many conversations I had with him, he’d often refer to his underlying inspiration. What indeed motivated him to spend such a fortune on behalf of Russian Jewry? His yardstick, he said, was simply this: “If Stalin could see this, he’d roll over in his grave!”

This idea was expressed in the wide variety of activities he funded, in each of which he saw the ultimate revenge against Stalin. A few come to mind now:

Return of Synagogues

Whenever Reb Shmuel would hear about a synagogue that had been nationalized by the Communist government and that there was a chance to have it returned to the Jewish community—he’d exert all possible efforts to make it happen.

That was his sweet revenge. A building that was seized by Stalin’s goons en route to ensuring the ultimate defeat of the Jews—to think that in that same building Judaism would be rebuilt and blossom anew—that would definitely make Stalin roll over in his grave, if he could only see it. So it must be done!

Bris Milah (Circumcision)

During that early period of Jewish awakening after seventy years of communism, there was a particularly urgent need to find mohalim who could arrange circumcisions in an orderly fashion.

One day I approached Reb Shmuel excitedly and told him that we identified an expert mohel, who was also a credentialed surgeon, who would be perfectly suited for performing adult milah.

After committing certain funding, Reb Shmuel told me, “The real revolution, the real Jewish victory, is performing a bris on an eight-day-old infant, a bris in its proper time. That’s what will make Stalin roll over in his grave.

“You see,” he continued, sounding like a sagacious chassid, “Stalin wanted to break the Jews’ intrinsic connection to G‑d. When an adult undergoes a bris milah, that’s on his own initiative: he’s weighed the pros and cons, and decided rationally that he needs to be circumcised. He’s taken Stalin’s view into consideration and ended up rejecting it.

Chabad.org

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