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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘wanted’

WANTED: Rabbis with Knives between Their Teeth

Monday, August 29th, 2016

When I contemplate the future of the State of Israel and its inhabitants, I realize more and more that religious Judaism must become its primary driving force so as not merely to survive but to actually flourish.

Without Judaism, Israel will not make it. It will slowly disintegrate and eventually cease to exist. No army or government, however powerful and brilliant, will be able to guarantee Israel’s future unless Judaism is its central component.

Israel cannot continue to live on a borrowed identity. In the long run, it will not thrive and keep its citizens happy and motivated by means of a lukewarm relationship with religious Judaism, or by constantly emphasizing that it is the nation state of the Jewish people. It simply won’t work, because Israel must first show that there is a superb reason for the Jewish people to exist. It must reveal why it was able to survive against all odds; how it gave birth to a magnificent concept called ethical monotheism; and why it was able to make an indispensable contribution to humankind and turn the world on its head.

It was Judaism, and only Judaism, that brought this about. The land and State of Israel was never and can never be the goal of the Jewish people. It is a means to carry out a great mission, and unless werediscover and accept this calling, Israel will eventually collapse.

But in order to achieve this rediscovery, a powerful outcry on the part of its citizens is required. We need a huge showdown for the soul of Judaism; an uprising by hundreds of thousands of secular Israelis demanding an honest and genuine Judaism. No political parties, no embarrassing financial deals, and no religious coercion. A Judaism that will inspire them, lift their spirits, and make them burst with pride to be Jewish.

I imagine a spiritual revolution by secular Israelis who are fed up with the religious establishment and, instead, demand rabbinical leadership that will hear their longing for a Judaism that speaks to them. A leadership that will
admit it has played its cards wrong for years and has continually misread the minds and hearts of these Israelis.

I envision rabbis who dare to take a stand; who stop looking over their shoulders and start thinking out of the box; who show courage and do not act out of fear; who stop worrying about the influences of other denominations
of Judaism and instead are prepared to have an honest dialogue with them. I picture a rabbinate that introduces prophetic Halacha, which uses not only the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch but also the vital teachings of our prophets and great thinkers – Jewish and non-Jewish – so as to find new spiritual solutions that will convince all of us how much more Judaism has to offer than we ever imagined.

I wait for the moment when young secular Israelis will realize there is no future for the State of Israel without Judaism, but that this Judaism must become a spiritual protest movement that entrusts a mission to its own people and to humankind at large.

A Judaism that steers its people to once again become “a light to the nations”; one that fully appreciates the prophets’ right to nonconformity; and one that does not admire complacency but rather shatters it.

I look forward to the time when religious leaders will consist of people who encourage a genuine dialogue with the secular population; when they will respond to the people’s demands to produce major Jewish thinkers and highly inspiring personalities.

A time when yeshivot will cease to be institutions of mass production in which vital issues of faith are shunned; a time when looking to trivial substitutes for refuge will once and for all be taboo. The supreme need of the hour is not rabbinical intervention, or religious political parties, but a grassroots movement demanding a Judaism that has risen above all denominations and will fight for a renewed personal attachment to Jewish thinking and living; a Judaism that realizes and appreciates “secular” Israelis’ complete awareness that life cannot be lived with an empty heart.

There is no denying that many Israelis search for the imponderable quality of their souls as well as for communication between the world of the spirit and between the inner world of the individual and its outer manifestations.

Israelis look for a Judaism that is not just a mood, feeling or sentimental attachment to some old-fashioned customs and ceremonies, but one that will dare them to take a serious look at its teachings vis-à- vis their own lives, and for which they will have to sweat instead of receiving it on a silver platter.

They seek a Judaism that is a source of cognitive insight, a way of thinking, and a genuine course of action, not just a form of religious behaviorism; a Judaism that will demand intellectual confrontation rather than evasion.

Israelis should demand religious leaders that earn great respect in the eyes of Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals; rabbis who demonstrate how Judaism has an important role to play in world affairs and in the intellectual community; rabbis who are invited to lecture at Harvard and Columbia; and religious thinkers who can appreciate but also challenge general philosophy, who admit that there are serious intellectual clashes with the Jewish faith
and practice, and who are not afraid to suggest new responses.

Israelis should insist on rabbinical leaders and thinkers who will kick up a storm that will overturn the whole of Israeli society. A storm that will prove these religious leaders have freed themselves from the quicksand in which
they are stuck.

In a completely unprecedented shift, these rabbis should lead the ship of Torah at full sail right into the heart of Israeli society, causing such a shock that it will take days, weeks, even months before it can get back on its feet.

With knives between their teeth, and like the prophets of biblical days, these religious leaders should be known for their impeccable and uncompromising conduct, and should create an ethical-religious uproar that will scare the moral wits out of the secular and religious societies and weigh heavily on their souls. Members of the Israeli government and its many institutions should be trembling when reproached by these towering personalities.

Real religious leaders should not be “honored,” “valued,” or “well respected.” It is not their task to give nice, sweet drashot, or participate in high-society gatherings and official government functions. As people of truth, they should be feared.

Israelis should be shaking in their boots at the thought of meeting with them but should simultaneously be incapable of staying away from their fascinating personalities.

The time has come for secular Israelis to hold mass demonstrations for the sake of their souls. If they don’t, no one will do it for them.

Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

3 Justice Department Field Offices Wanted to Investigate The Clinton Foundation.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

One of the greatest sins of the Obama administration has been the absolute destruction of the Department of Justice. Once the agency tasked with keeping American government honest, the DOJ has now become a designated political hit squad led by the White House. The latest evidence: three separate DOJ field offices wanted to fulfill the FBI’s request to investigate the Clinton Foundation, but the DOJ turned them down.

The Clinton Foundation has, of course, been under heavy fire for its significant coordination with the State Department. The Clintons used the Foundation as a slush fund; big donors were then granted special access to Hillary and her aides at the State Department.

And the DOJ doesn’t care.

Most Americans now shrug at such improprieties.

That’s because Barack Obama has hollowed out whatever moral core was left at the DOJ. As early as 2011, former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams revealed that the DOJ had dumped its investigation into the Black Panthers for voter intimidation for racial reasons. According to Adams, “The end result when racial extremists dominate such a powerful division of federal law enforcement is, in a word, lawlessness.” Adams reported that the DOJ hierarchy implemented a “long campaign of political resistance to the Panther lawsuit that ultimately resulted in the dismissal of most of the case – after we had effectively won it.”

And of course, the DOJ, headed by Eric Holder was involved in corrupt dealings from Fast and Furious gunwalking to the racially-motivated investigations into the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Michael Brown shooting. The Holder DOJ spied on journalists from both the Associated Press and Fox News. They refused to prosecute the IRS’ Lois Lerner for clearly abusing her power in targeting conservative 501(c)3 applicants. In June 2012, Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress, and Obama promptly defended him by utilizing executive privilege.

Now, Loretta Lynch’s DOJ has become the rightful heir to Holder’s dishonorable legacy. But that’s no surprise: when government is this big and this powerful, Democrats will use that power to their own advantage.

No wonder Hillary Clinton can sleep well at night. She knows that no matter what she does, her defenders at the DOJ will shield her from harm.

Ben Shapiro

FBI Arrests ISIS Supporter Who Wanted to Attack JCC

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

FBI agent Benjamin Trentlage said that Mahin Khan, 18, who has been charged with plotting a terrorist attack on a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix and instructed undercover FBI informants on building homemade grenades, told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to attack a Jewish community center in his hometown, AP reported Wednesday.

Trentlage testified that Khan expressed a desire to attack the Jewish community center in October 2015, in conversation with an undercover FBI informant. According to Trentlage, Khan wanted to use pressure cookers to make homemade bombs, inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings.

On the day of his arrest, Khan left a voicemail for an undercover FBI informant expressing his admiration for the attack that killed 49 in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trentlage testified. The FBI has charged that Khan wanted to inspire an Islamist insurgency in the US to carry out attacks similar to the ones in Paris and Brussels, and communicated online with a member of ISIS and with a Pakistani Taliban, requesting weapons and instructions on homemade explosive. But it isn’t clear whether those really were members of the two groups.

According to Trentlage, Khan described the Motor Vehicle Department in Mesa, Arizona as a soft target, saying “it would have a lot of people and relatively low security.” Khan preferred that office over a DMV office in Tucson because the sheriff’s office was located nearby.

Agent Trentlage testified on Tuesday at a bond hearing for Khan, who pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons. Khan was denied bail following his July 1 arrest. His bond hearing continues on Wednesday, when his attorneys will probably question the FBI agent.


Meet a 19-Year-Old Explosives Expert

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Growing up, it was uncommon for students from Corporal Dylan Ostrin’s International school to join the IDF, let alone stay in Israel. However, she had a specific vision for herself: she wanted to be in the Combat Engineering Corps.

Corporal Dylan Ostrin made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) from the US at the age of seven with her family. After moving from Texas and California, Cpl. Ostrin spent much of her school years at an international school where the students were children of foreign residents, such as diplomats, who did not have a connection to the land, history or culture and did not plan on making their lives in Israel. Tailoring to this crowd, her school provided an education devoid of Israeli identity, including the idea of joining the IDF. “My school’s point of view was to graduate and go as far away from Israel as possible for college,” said Cpl. Ostrin.

For her, joining the army was not the norm, unlike most people who grow up in Israel. “I see it as a privilege to be able to serve my country and I was not prepared to give that privilege up.”

Today, Cpl. Ostrin is an explosives instructor in the Combat Engineering Corps. She teaches all things explosive: from how to handle the explosives themselves to utilizing them in operations, such as gaining access to buildings. The soldiers she leads are mainly reservists who come back for their annual duty, ranging in age from 22 to 40 and sometimes more. Cpl. Ostrin loves working with reservists because it is satisfying to see reservists relearn things they might not have done in years.

“[Reservists] come out of their everyday life to do this, [leaving] their family, their work,” she explained. “They don’t have anyone to force them to listen. So I really have to show them how much I know in order to keep their attention.”

Though she loves her job, Cpl. Ostrin has dealt with hardships during her service. First, due to a filing error, she was placed in the wrong course for several months. She fought for what she wanted, including writing letters, making phone calls, begging her higher ups and even spending a whole day trying to convince different placement officers. They finally agreed to correct the situation.

After all the stress of trying to get into the right training track, Cpl. Ostrin received some hard news that would affect every aspect of her life. Due to a job promotion, her parents were leaving Israel and moving to the U.K. When her mother presented the situation to her and her brother, Cpl. Ostrin at first told them they should not leave. However, she later realized she is independent enough to thrive on her own, thanks to the new sense of independence she learned from serving in the IDF.

“If my parents would have told me they were leaving before I entered the army, I don’t know how I would have dealt with it. But the army teaches you certain skills that force you to become your own person and be independent,” she said.

Since her parents moved, Cpl. Ostrin has been getting by as a lone soldier, especially thanks to her fellow soldiers. She said have become more like family than just friends. They have invited Cpl. Ostrin and her brother over holidays, weekends, and when she was sick, her fellow soldiers picked her up from to take her to doctor appointments.

Now that things have settled down, Cpl Ostrin is enjoying every minute of her job. She has already begun receiving job offers to work on bomb squads and similar security-related teams both in Israel and abroad, but is focusing on the present. “Serving in the army, in a job I wanted to do, is more rewarding than anything else. I’m doing it for the good of the people around me and the good of the country.”

IDF Spokesperson's Office

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/meet-a-19-year-old-explosives-expert/2013/08/08/

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