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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yishai Fleisher’

Analysis: Two Funerals

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

By Yishai Fleisher

In the last two weeks I had the painful privilege of attending two big funerals.

The first was the funeral of Irving Moskowitz, the wealthy American doctor who, along with his wife Cherna, became the patron of building in eastern Jerusalem, Hebron, Akko, and Ariel, and was involved in countless building projects, reclamations, charities, and educational institutions. By one unofficial estimate, Moskowitz gave half a billion dollars to these causes – but it might be much more. He was interred on the Mount of Olives facing the Temple Mount, close to the graves of Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Kook, and first IDF Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, in the heart of eastern Jerusalem where he helped pioneer Jewish life. His funeral, while sad, was not marred by an atmosphere of a tragedy, rather, it was a kind of celebration of his mission and success.

Less than two weeks later, I was standing at the funeral of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a lively 13-year-old girl who had been murdered by a 17-year-old Jihadist from Arab village Bani Na’im. He scaled a wall and jumped through a window of the Ariel’s family home set within the vineyards of Kiryat Arba. The murderer found little Hallel sleeping in her bed defenseless, so he stabbed her tens of times and then ran looking for a next victim until a member of the Rapid Response Team ended his life with a bullet. Hallel was buried in the ancient cemetery of Hebron, where many other Jewish victims of Jihad terror rest along with Jewish luminaries, not far from the Machpela, the Tomb of the Founding Fathers and Mothers of the Jewish people. Unlike the Moskowitz funeral, this one was not a celebration of the life well lived, but rather the epitome of tragedy, loss, and bitter questions. The contrast between the two funerals was stark. Irving Moskowitz lived his life fully. He was a loving family man and a rags-to-riches success (his wife Cherna told us that at their wedding, the bottom two layers of the wedding cake were faux – only the top tier was real cake, because that’s all they could afford). Moskowitz dedicated his life and wealth to increasing Jewish presence and asserting Jewish rights in the Land of Israel. His funeral was a Who’s Who of activists, ministers and mayors who came to honor the successes and contributions of a man who kept pushing the Zionist revolution into the heartland of Israel liberated in the Six Day War.

Hallel Yaffa’s contributions were, on the other hand, more modest. She was the oldest girl in her family, a natural leader to her siblings and many cousins, and a dance performer — her dance teacher’s eulogy at the funeral was a painful testimony to her young life. Yet at her funeral some of the very same activists, ministers, and VIPs that were present at the Moskowitz funeral attended. This time, they came not to celebrate, but to commiserate with a salt-of-the-earth family, a victim of a despicable crime perpetrated by forces dedicated to eradicating us from our country. And many more came to say goodbye to little Hallel, whose body and potential were destroyed forever. No dancing, no children, no life.

At the Moskowitz shiva, modern day Zionist heroes streamed in. As I sat next to Cherna, I translated for Yigal Cohen-Orgad, the Chancellor of Ariel University who talked about how Moskowitz saved the budding college from going into bankruptcy with a fifty-thousand dollar donation to cover debt. Then I translated for an Arab man who works with reclamation organizations in Jerusalem. He blessed Cherna for a long life and urged her to continue with strength, saying that though he has been the target of many assassination attempts, he believes his efforts on behalf of Israel protected him. He promised Cherna that he will continue his work, and that his sons after him will as well, “all the way until the Temple is built in Jerusalem” — yes, I heard it myself. Finally, I translated for Ze’ev Hever (Zambish), the famous CEO of Amana (the housing organization of Judea and Samaria), who told the story of how Moskowitz gave him money for the first mobile homes for new immigrants from Russia.

Zambish recalled that it had taken only ten minutes to convince Moskowitz and that they reconvened to phone the mobile homes factory owner to close the deal that very same evening. Through the stories, we learned that Moskowitz was a quick decision maker, that he was very hands-on with the legal minutia, that he saw clearly the importance of acquiring the land of Israel. Moskowitz did not wait for the government to lead – indeed, I got the impression that Moskowitz formed a shadow government of activists around him — they ran ahead, created facts, and then allowed the government to catch up.

At Hallel Yaffa’s shiva, there was frustration and pain. Important politicians, the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the President, all came into the family home but somehow their proclamations rang hollow and shallow. The greatest questions asked in today’s Israel were right on the surface, but the politicians did not have clear answers: what is the nature of this Jihadist Jew-hatred and how do we stop it? Do Jews have a right to live in this (part of the) land, and if yes, is it a smart thing to do? What is the Palestinian Authority and how is it that our country awaits them at the peace table yet they are the source of the greatest incitement?

But the politicians had more blandness than answers and even seemed more culpable than capable. The government response to the murders seemed tepid at best: restricting Arab work permits for a limited time, and announcing the approval of 42 housing units in Kiryat Araba which had already been approved once before. Local Arab Jihadis recently murdered Yitzchak Chasno, two members of the Litman family, gardener Gennady Kaufman, and now Hallel Yaffa and Rabbi Mark – but there was no sense of rage or urgency in the government actions in the Hebron region. At the shiva house, the Prime Minister and the President were received warmly and respectfully, but not with confidence that they will bring real change in response to these crimes and these times.

Yet, overtly, what was common to both funerals and shiva houses was an abiding faith in the right of the Jewish people to live in freedom and security anywhere in this great, but tiny land. Irving Moskowitz and Hallel Yaffa Ariel both exemplified the struggle to actualize Jewish life in the Jewish ancestral homeland. Both Moskowitz and Hallel Yaffa stood for Jewish courage that will not succumb to bullying from outside forces or yield to slothfulness from within.

May their memory be a blessings and an inspiration to all of us.

JNi.Media

“Entebbe Operation” Commando Speaks

Friday, July 1st, 2016

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Shai Ish-Shalom, an Israeli commando from the fabled Sayeret Matkal unit, participated in the daring Entebbe rescue operation 40 years ago this week. He joins Yishai at the Caliber 3 anti-terror tactical school in Gush Etzion.

Shai is one of the people who have made the Israeli security and military establishment world famous – don’t miss this interview.

But first, Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to discuss the mutiny within the ranks of the Levites.

What did Korach “take”? And how can a mere flower signal a time of peace and God’s eternal connection to the children of Israel?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Israel’s Heroes – Caleb, Moskowitz, and Weinkrantz

Friday, June 24th, 2016

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First, on Spiritual Cafe, Rabbi Mike Feuer and Yishai discuss the Death that was let into the world with the rejection of the Land of Israel, and the heroic alliance between Caleb and Joshua that saved the Jewish people. Then, Yishai brings you to the funeral of Dr. Irving Moskowitz, a great Jews who was the patron of Jewish re-settlement in the whole Land of Israel. Finally, Alan Weinkrantz was a tech PR guru who was tragically killed last week in a Tel Aviv car accident. Hear Yishai’s interview with Alan from only a year ago.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

No More Quail – We Want Manna!!

Friday, June 17th, 2016

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First, Rabbi Mike Feuer is reunited with Yishai on ‘Spiritual Cafe’ where they comment on last week’s show in asking whether homosexuality should be a topic of Jewish discussion? Then, the dichotomy of those who want to eat the “quail” (to complain against God) and those who a Second Passover, that is, be closer to Him. Finally, Yishai’s controversial talk in Scottsdale Arizona – “Is Two State Dead?”

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Arab Jews & Gay Jews

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

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First, after a horrific terror attack which claimed four Israeli lives in Tel Aviv, Yishai speaks with Noam Arnon, Spokesman of Hebron about the Jewish origins of the Arab terrorists. Then Yishai wrestles with the controversial issue of homosexuality in the Jewish community with veteran gay rights activist Mordechai Levovitz of Jewish Queer Youth. Finally, Torah from On High as Yishai speaks with Rabbi Jesse Horn about Shavuot and choosing God while flying on the El Al 747-400 on the way home to Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

From Hebron to Hollywood

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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First, is it too late for the American campus? Yishai speaks with Ron Krudo, Director of Campus Affairs at “Stand With Us” – the premier pro-Israel advocacy organization, about winning back the Israel narrative. Then, Yishai visits the LA Museum of the Holocaust with Randol Schoenberg, the U.S. attorney and genealogist who helped recover Jewish artworks stolen by the Nazis, as depicted in the 2015 film, Woman in Gold.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

The Fire of Kabbalah & A Political Firestorm

Friday, May 27th, 2016

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Fire in the hole! First, Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai for Spiritual Cafe to discuss the fire of God’s anger as expressed in the Biblical curses, and the fire of God’s love, as expressed in the bonfires of the Lag BaOmer holiday which celebrate the revelation of the mystical Torah. Then, Knesset Insider Jeremy Saltan on the political firestorm which led to the firing of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, a shuffle in the coalition of Binyamin Netanyahu, and the surprise appointment of Avigdor Lieberman.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/the-fire-of-kabbalah-a-political-firestorm/2016/05/27/

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