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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Zion’

We Are Seeing Moshiach in Action!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Pillar of Cloud, otherwise known as the Clouds of Glory, or Amud HaAnan, protected the Jewish People in the Wilderness, and the “Amud HaAnan” Operation which Tzahal has now undertaken is intended to protect our beleaguered citizens in the south. But it is much more than that.

Rabbi Kook writes:

“When there is a great war in the world, the power of Moshiach awakens. The time of the song bird has come, with the weeding away of tyrants. The evil ones are obliterated from the world, the world becomes more perfected, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our Land.

“And after the war has climaxed, the world is revitalized with a new spirit, and the ‘Footsteps of the Moshiach  are exceedingly revealed. The greater the war’s measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the greater the expectation for the ‘Footsteps of the Moshiach’ which the war reveals…

“With great insight, incredible valor, with deep and penetrating logic, with true desire, and with clear understanding, we need to receive the exalted contents of the light of G-d which is revealed in wondrous action in the workings of precisely these wars.”

Rabbi Kook ends his essay by quoting from our morning prayers. Make no mistake. This is what Operation “Amud HaAnan” is really all about:

“The Master of wars, sower of righteousness, Who causes salvation to sprout, the Creator or cures, awesome in praise, the Master of wonders, Who renews His goodness every day the act of Creation, cause a new light to shine upon Zion, and may we all be privileged to see its light” (Orot, 2:1).

Hashem is the Master of wars. And now, as citizens in the south of Israel sit anxiously in their bomb shelters, Hashem is at war. Hashem is weeding out tyrants, the killers of Jewish men, women, and children. Hashem is obliterating evil ones from the world, the murderers from the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The Moshiach has awakened. He is sitting in the cockpit beside our pilots as they soar over Gaza, cleansing and perfecting the world. While the Israeli Army is fighting, Hashem is sowing righteousness. Hashem is causing salvation to sprout. He is causing a new light to shine upon Zion, and it is our task to open our eyes and see it. No, my friends, this is not a mere war – this is Moshiach in action!

The Mashiach is not only the ideal Jewish king, but a process which evolves over time. The Gemara informs us that, “There are 2000 years of Moshiach  (Sanhedrin 97A).  In Tractate Megilla, we learn that, “War is also the beginning of Redemption” (Megilla 17B). The Rambam tells us that one of Moshiach’s premier tasks is to fight the wars of Hashem (Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 11:4).

Yes, Operation “Amud HaAnan” has come to protect our citizens, to teach Hamas a painful lesson, and to return our power of detriment, but when you watch the footage on TV, know that you are watching the “Footsteps of Moshiach ” You are witnessing the Sanctification of G-d in the world. Let the word go forth, “There is a living G-d in Israel!”

Yes, war is hell. Yes, if war could be abandoned, the world would be a better place. But the Redemption of Am Yisrael also comes through wars. In the roar of our jets streaking over Gaza, Moshiach is on the way! When evil doers are uprooted from the world, the light of Moshiach appears. The greater the magnitude and force of the war, the greater the revelation of Moshiach which follows.

Our hearts and prayers are with the soldiers of Israel. May Hashem grant them and their commanders the holy courage and valor to finish the job and wipe out the evil in our midst, for the betterment of the world. And may we all be privileged to see and enjoy the new light shining on Zion!

 

Tzvi Fishman

Gentlemen, To the Land of Israel!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Rabbi Kook emphasizes that the true t’shuva of the Jewish People is in our return to Eretz Yisrael. Again and again, in his letters and speeches as Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, he urged the Jewish People to return home to Zion. One public proclamation, sent out all over the Diaspora, years before the Holocaust, was entitled, “The Great Call.”

To the Land of Israel, gentlemen, to the Land of Israel! Let us utter this appeal in one voice, in a great and never-ending cry. Come to the Land of Israel, dear brothers, come to the Land of Israel. Save your souls, the soul of your generation, the soul of the entire Nation; save her from desolation and destruction, save her from decay and degradation, save her from defilement and all evil — from all of the suffering and oppression that threatens to come upon her in all the lands of the world without exception or distinction….

Escape with your lives and come to Israel. God’s voice beckons us; His hand is outstretched to us; His spirit within our hearts unites us, encourages us, and obliges us all to cry in a great, powerful and awesome voice: Brothers! Children of Israel, beloved and dear brethren, come to the Land of Israel, do not tarry with arrangements and bureaucratic matters; rescue yourselves, gather, come to the Land of Israel…

From the time we were exiled from our Land, the Torah has accompanied Israel into exile, wandering from Babylon to France, Spain,Germany, Eastern and Central Europe, Poland, Russia, and elsewhere. Now, how happy we would be if we were able to say that the Torah has returned to her first place, to the Land of Israel, together with the People of Israel, who continue to multiply in the Holy Land.

Who is so blind that he does not see the Lord’s hand guiding us in this, and does not feel obligated to work along with God in this endeavor? A Heavenly Voice in the future will cry aloud on top of the mountains and say, ‘Whoever has wrought with God, let him come and receive his reward’ (Vayikra Rabbah, 27:2). Who can exempt himself from doing his part in bringing additional blessing and swifter salvation; from awakening many hearts to return to the Holy Land, to the Lord’s legacy, that they may become a part of it, to settle it with enterprises and buildings, to purchase property, to plant and sow, to do everything necessary for the foundation of life of a stable and organized settlement.

Another public proclamation was addressed to Orthodox communities to urge their aliyah to Israel. In establishing a movement called “The Banner of Jerusalem,” Rabbi Kook called upon all religious Jews to come to Israel to rebuild the Nation’s spiritual life, just as the secular Zionists were rebuilding the physical:

Jews! We call you to the sacred task of building our Jewish nation in our Holy Land, in Eretz Yisrael. Come to us, rally together under the “Banner of Jerusalem” which we now raise aloft before the whole Jewish religious public.

We all know the banner of Zion which unites a certain portion of our brethren on the basis of our Jewish secular interests in the Land of Israel. But there are many who have not joined the ranks of those who bear the Zionist flag, and a great many who feel it impossible to do so. We simply record the plain fact that this is so, without questioning its veracity.

Yet it cannot be that the largest, most natural, and earnest portion of Jewry, the majority of the Jewish religious public, should remain indifferent to the wonderful events of the present, and not lend a hand in the holy task of building our Nation on our sacred soil because of so-called objections….

Jews, all the loyal believers in the Jewish faith, there can be no doubt that the Divine power is now manifesting itself amongst us in the great world events of our time. We are certainly called to return to our ancient home in the Land of Israel, there to renew our ancient holy life….

We religious Jews must all profoundly know and believe that the Divine hand is now leading us openly to our highest, ideal destiny. We must make known to the whole world, the true meaning of the present wondrous happenings, whose purpose is so clearly the hastening of our Redemption and salvation, from which will also spring forth the Redemption and salvation of all mankind.

With the flaming, illuminating, Divine faith, with all the luster of our holy Torah, with the vitality of all of the most refined and devout Jews, we shall carry our flag, the ‘Banner of Jerusalem’ by which alone the banner of Zion will also be properly hoisted. For the value of Jewish secular power will be revealed to the world only in the light of our holy Jewish spiritual power, emphasized by the uplifted voices of the whole religious Jewish world community, who set out with holy enthusiasm to the task of our national construction, of our return to the Land of Israel, by the grace of the Divine and illuminating light, ‘O House of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.’

Tzvi Fishman

Focus on Israeli humanitarianism: Eye from Zion

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Eye from Zion, established in 2007 by Israeli businessman Nati Marcus, is a humanitarian organization dedicated to giving the gift of sight to poor people in developing countries.

Israeli volunteers travel anywhere they are needed to treat patients, sending experienced ophthalmologists, advanced equipment, and operating room nurses to cities in Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Myanmar and dozens of other countries around the world.

Eye from Zion doctors also instruct the local health professionals in developing countries they visit in modern medical techniques – while also donating medicine and equipment – enabling the local medical teams to eventually function independently.

Nati Marcus explained to me, via email, his motivation for starting Eye from Zion:

Each person to whom we restore sight, especially the children, is a world unto itself.

Along with my usual work, we built an organisation that has restored the sight of thousands of blind people across the globe by performing eye operations by instructing medical groups in developing countries. I succeeded.

I am a businessman, but four years ago I decided to something more serious with my life that could change the life of people across the world.

Video about Eye From Zion’s work:

Hagiang, Vietnam

Ethiopia

Careroon

Monks in Myanmar after surgery

Girl in Myanmar after surgery

Eye from Zion founder Nati Marcus

Visit CifWatch.com.

Adam Levick

Zionism, Neologism and Nationalism

Friday, August 31st, 2012

There has never been agreement about Zionism. Not only is the idea of Jewish nationalism controversial, the very word “Zionism” arouses unique passions, as a recent controversy highlights. It was recently reported that the Jewish Federation of North America had dropped the word “Zionism” from a planning document. In a vehement denial, the Federation clarified that this was not so: It was merely a single individual on a subcommittee who proposed dropping the phrase “Zionist enterprise.” The proposal, the Federation emphasized, went nowhere.

So, the word Zionism, uniquely among terms related to nationalist movements, arouses attacks and defenses. But is “Zionism” even a useful or relevant term in the 21st century? And what does the answer to this question say about the state of the Jews and the Jewish state?

The term Zionism was invented in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum in his periodical Selbstemanzipation! (Self-Emancipation!) to describe a national-political movement for the restoration of Jews to “Zion.” The term was popularized by Theodor Herzl, then used to characterize movements ranging from cultural to labor-oriented, from religious to secular.

The plasticity of the term is not just a modern phenomenon. The term “Zion” appears in the Bible over 100 times. It referred originally to the Jebusite fortress in Jerusalem conquered by David, then to a hill in Jerusalem. Most commonly, it was a synonym for the land as a whole, especially in exilic times. Israel and Judah were the names of the biblical-era kingdoms of the north and south, respectively, one destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.E. and the other by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. But, unsurprisingly, the exilic authors—like Birnbaum and his successors—found “Zion” a more encompassing term to describe the national movement, since it blends the religious, territorial, and national dimensions of the aspiration to restore Jewish sovereignty.

Zionism was among the last European-based nationalist movements. It had odd features, including the fact that it was based initially only in a diaspora. Even stranger was its success: A Jewish national home was created. The name “Zion” was rejected, and the state was named Israel; but the term for the national movement, Zionism, has remained. Thus the neologism invented to describe a national movement was retained after the nation-state was successfully created under a different name. The term Zionism is now an anachronism, only slightly less so than “self-emancipation.” But what could possibly take its place?

Most national movements do not have associated neologisms. There is no specific term for Brazilian nationalism, at least one known in the broader world. The Breton nationalist movement—Emsav—and Kemalism, the “six-arrowed” national ideology of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey—are equally unknown outside their countries’ borders. But Zionism is known globally, and reviled globally.

Since the beginning, Zionism’s enemies have made a uniquely concerted effort to wrest control of the term from its proponents, to besmirch the brand. The infamous 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution declaring that “Zionism is racism” was the culmination of over two decades of patient Soviet propaganda, eagerly consumed and amplified by the Muslim, Arab, and non-aligned worlds. Since then, Zionism has become the paradigm of “extreme nationalism,” imperialism, and “settler-colonialism” in the eyes of intellectuals and activists alike. The term “Zionist entity” so favored by Palestinian and Arab spokesman is an explicit statement that the idea and reality of a Jewish state are illegitimate. To defend Zionism is, in some circles, to defend an almost mythically evil concept.

Attacks on Zionism are thus clarifying. Enemies of “Zionism,” as a term and a concept, attack not just the actual state of Israel but the aspirational aspect of Jewish nationalism and Jewish sovereignty. That is, it attacks the very idea of a Jewish state as illegitimate, not simply the manner in which the state conducts itself. If such attacks were founded in uniform opposition to all nationalism, they would at least have some consistency and intellectual foundation—but, of course, they are not.

It should be said simply that attacks directed solely at Zionism and not at any other national movement are anti-Semitism. When Jewish—not Breton or Turkish, Irish or Iraqi—nationalism is deemed illegitimate and the actual state of Israel condemned to extinction in the name of “historical justice” or some other Orwellian euphemism, this is an especially pure example of anti-Semitism. So, too, is the relegation of Jews to a permanent diaspora and, thus, perpetual minority status. Whether or not such condemnations come from Jews is irrelevant. Jews need not live in Israel or even support Israel, but to deny the idea of a Jewish state is to deny Jews their past and future.

Alexander H. Joffe

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Ten: Rabbi Kook

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Good to his word, Aharon succeeded in securing the red immigration cards that the Jews needed to become foreign residents of Turkish Palestine. Theoretically, the permits allowed them to live and work in the country without fear of expulsion, but the permits could be revoked at the whim of a nasty official. When their one day of welcome at Rishon LeZion expired, the pioneers once again gathered their belong- ings and set off like gypsies on the road to Jaffa. Like a make-believe emperor, Dupont stood in his carriage at the entrance to the colony, making sure that all of the newcomers vacated his vassal state. The religious Jews headed for Zichron Yaakov to arrange for absorption in one of the “frum” religious JCA settlements, while the Zionists went off to find work in secular kibbutzim.

Tevye and his family set off for the historic reunion with Hodel. Ruchel and Nachman had been granted a two day vacation before they had to report back to Rishon, so they were traveling with Tevye to Jaffa. They had rented a Company wagon, and everyone crowded inside.

The morning after the wedding, it was impossible to tell what shone more brightly, Nachman’s face or the sparkling sun of the Holy Land. As the Rabbis of the Talmud had said, “When a man finds a wife, he finds a blessing.” Yesterday, Nachman was a youth. Today, he was a man. Ruchel too was all smiles. Now that she was married, she had to cover her hair with a kerchief, which gave her a special “grown up” status. All the morning, she kept her head lowered to hide her continuous blush.

Tevye sat between the bride and groom, at the helm of the wagon. He was in a jubilant mood. Not only had his Ruchela married a scholar, a real Talmid Chacham, but he himself had undergone a miraculous transformation. It seemed liked a dream, but here he was, holding a pair of reins in his hands, driving a horse and wagon, not in Czarist Russia, but in God’s chosen land! And who could tell what other wonders were in store? According to the great Bible commentator, Rashi, God’s promise to Abraham included not only the Land of Israel, but children, affluence, and fame. Though an aging widower like Tevye could not expect any more children, he certainly was not loathe to the prospect of receiving a modest fortune and world renown. Nonetheless, he was happy with what he had. With hardly a ruble in his pocket, Tevye felt like a very rich man.

So high were Tevye’s spirits, he didn’t seem to notice the desolation around him. All of the landscape was scorched. There were more rocks on the road than on the bordering hillsides. A shade tree could barely be found. The scant vegetation which managed to grow in the wasteland was shrouded in dust, like old furniture stored in an attic. Besides an occasional bedouin, not a human being could be seen along the entire stretch of their journey.

Nachman also felt joyously happy. With an unrestrained enthusiasm, he didn’t stop talking. He didn’t speak about his new wife. Nor did he chatter about his wedding. Nor about being in Israel. He spoke on and on about Rabbi Kook. With a look of mystical rapture, he confessed that meeting Rabbi Kook was the dream of his life. Any other woman besides Ruchel might have been jealous, but she was happy that his dream was about to come true. Tevye was more anxious to get on to the reunion with Hodel, but Nachman would not be dissuaded. Nachman insisted that they meet Rabbi Kook. First, he wanted to receive the exalted Rabbi’s blessing. Second, he wanted to hear everything he could from the respected sage. To understand the great spiritual adventure they were living, Nachman insisted, they had to meet the mentor of their generation, the rabbi of rabbis, HaRav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook.

Tevye was skeptical. He had met lots of rabbis in his lifetime, and though he respected them all, he didn’t see a big difference between one Torah scholar and the next.

“What great spiritual adventure?” Bat Sheva asked.

“The redemption of our people,” Nachman answered.

Tzvi Fishman

Rabbis Protest Mobile App of the ‘Protocols’

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

A European rabbinical group is protesting a mobile app of the notorious anti-Semitic text “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Brussels-based Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement Tuesday that he would contact Apple to urge that the company remove the app. JTA’s calls to Apple were not immediately answered.

The app, which was released earlier this year, is available only in Arabic and is attributed to the software developer Ahmed Elserety.

It costs $1.08 to download and is accompanied by a compact description of the “Protocols” stating that “according to many historians, these writings are a hoax.” The text describes a supposed Jewish plot to control the world.

The app notes a 1921 investigation by the Times of London and a series of French articles describing how the fraud was perpetrated.

Still, Goldschmidt said, it is unacceptable to have such an app on the market.

Goldschmidt believes it is “the first mobile version of the famous anti-Semitic work,” which was first published in Russia in the early 20th century.

“Although the Protocols of the Elders of Zion can and should be available for academics to study in its proper context, to disseminate such hateful invective as a mobile app is dangerous and inexcusable,” he said, warning that it could be “used by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and their fellow travelers to pursue their
racist agenda.”

JTA

The Speed of Progressivism

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/the-speed-of-progressivism.html

The transformation of Chick-Fil-A from a fast food place that most liberals had never even heard of into the “Enemy of the People” is a reminder of the speed at which progressivism travels forward and backward in time. A few months ago the CEO of Chick-Fil-A would have done nothing worse than echo a consensus so mainstream that it was adopted as a campaign position by the leftiest Democrat to sit in the White House. A few months later that same position is so outrageous that it leads to mass boycotts, threats of violence and mayors of dysfunctional urban centers threatening to drive the reactionary chicken franchise out of their cities.

One of the wonderful things about progressivism is that it defies the laws of physics and history. When the Democratic Party, a once notable national party that has been turned into a red shill for the sort of people who used to hang out in cafes and plot to blow things up in between free verse recitals, adopts a progressive position, that position instantly travels backward in time to alter history and create an entirely new past.

For example when the Democratic Party decided that its future lay not with racist white gerrymandered districts but racist black gerrymandered districts, its adoption of civil rights, formerly a Republican position that good Democrats had fought tooth and nail, actually traveled back in time transforming our nation’s history.

When the Democrats belatedly decided that black people were human beings, or at least a better bet for votes than Southern white men who were in danger of deciding that they didn’t have much in common with a party of corrupt Northern elites being painted by a corrupt Northern media as saints, the energy from this decision transformed Lincoln into a Democrat, segregation into an idea that Ike and Dick came up with in between dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the Trail of Tears, and turned the Community Organizers who had been busy torching black orphanages and Republican newspapers in New York City and Boston as part of an organized wartime campaign to defeat the Union, into a lost page of history.

Governor George Wallace, three-time Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” The real quote though it turns out is, “Progressivism now, progressivism tomorrow, progressivism forever.” History works and is revised so that the past agrees with the present.

The Democratic Party has always been at war with racism, in favor of gay marriage, illegal aliens and killing everyone over 50 to save on health care costs. The latter position hasn’t been articulated yet, but when it is, it will travel backward through time and since what will take place in the future has already occurred, it has already traveled backward in time to alter our history so that we now know that the Democratic Party has always supported killing people over 50 to save on health care costs.

This however is only a projection. History is notoriously unstable. What was the progressive pose yesterday may be an unacceptably reactionary position tomorrow. The French Revolution and the Communist Revolution and the Cultural Revolution spent a lot of time purging comrades who had failed to recognize that the new progressive position had been adopted tomorrow and had become reality yesterday and was subject to a loyalty oath today. Like Chick-A-Fil, many of them ended up being enemies of the people where they were subjected to worse things than the mayors of bankrupt cities declaring that anti-gay chicken was an unacceptable addition to the parts of their fair cities that aren’t on fire.

The Democrats borrowed their interest in black civil rights from the left, which was only working with urban minorities because it was hoping to include them in its revolutionary coalition of coal miners and lettuce pickers who would help overthrow the reactionary capitalist American Dream and replace it with a bunch of people shouting slogans and shooting each other. These days the NAACP does not look like a good bet for overthrowing America and the favorite progressive minority du jour actually keeps black slaves and hangs homosexuals.

Muslims have currently trumped blacks and gays, not to mention every other group, on the crush list of the left. And the Muslim world is one of the few places that still has slaves and kills black people in large numbers, whether it’s in the Sudan or the newly liberated Muslim utopia of Libya. The day may come when the Democratic Party and its leftist hag riders decide that slavery was progressive after all and that all men should have the right to own slaves. And then this new policy position will immediately travel backward in time and loyal comrades will turn to the little red books of DailyKos, Think Progress, the Center for American Progress and ProgressProgressProgress to learn the new official position they are obligated to learn and abide by.

Daniel Greenfield

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