Thursday, January 22, 2009

Parsha Va'era, stories within the commentary, miracles

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Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama, Zev ben Miriam and Shlomo Yacov Yonatan ben Chana Raizel.

Parsha Va’era

6:2 And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: 'I am the LORD;

He called him to account since he [Moses] had spoken harshly by saying, “Why have You harmed this people?” (Exod. 5:22)-[from Tanchuma Buber, Va’era 4] and He said to him, I am the Lord. [Meaning: I am] faithful to recompense all those who walk before Me. I did not send you [to Pharaoh] except to fulfill My words, which I spoke to the early fathers. In this sense, we find that it אִנִי ה is interpreted in many places [in Scripture] as “I am the Lord,” [meaning that I am] faithful to exact retribution. [It has this meaning] when it is stated in conjunction with [an act warranting] punishment, e.g., “or you will profane the name of your God; I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:12). When it is stated in conjunction with the fulfillment of commandments, e.g., “And you shall keep My commandments and perform them; I am the Lord” (Lev. 22:31), [it means: I am] faithful to give reward.

The Chiddush of Rashi (new knowledge) is that up until this time none of the Patriarchs or Tribes did any Mitzvah for reward but just as commanded. The whole concept of Mida kenegged Mida (measure for measure) was not known as part of the philosophy of the Bnei Yisrael. Everything unto now was for the sake of heaven now there was a reward, accountability and punishment involved.

3 and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them.

I made promises to them, in all of which I said to them, “I am the Almighty God.” but [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them. It is not written here לֹא הוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “but My Name YHWH I did not make known to them,” but לֹא נוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “I did not become known.” [I.e.,] I was not recognized by them with My attribute of keeping faith, by dint of which My name is called YHWH, [which means that I am] faithful to verify My words, for I made promises to them, but I did not fulfill [them while they were alive].

NOTE THE FOLLOWING I HAVE TRIED TO BRING DOWN TO THE LAYMAN’S LEVEL: The NAME Yod-Kay (Kay = Hay but we do not say it or write it so according to modern custom) and Tetragramation Yod Kay Vav Kay, the three 42 letter NAMES and the 72 letter NAME were unknown in the past. The Patriarchs and Tribes knew Kale Shadkai which one can translate as ALL MIGHTY or OMNIPRESENT.

With the full NAME(S) of the L-RD, Moshe learned about other things about the physical and spiritual universe around him. First he learned that what we see with our eyes is only a fraction of the spectrum. The spiritual world is capable of seeing the Gamma Rays, X-Rays, Ultra Violet and infra-red spectrum and with that many spiritual things on the same plane. With ones eyes closed or on a physics graph one can imagine this. The same for sound, smell, taste and touch. (The amazing thing about all this to me is that long before science caught up, the children of Israel knew about these extra wave lengths.) Then HASHEM taught Moshe how he ruled over the four forms of matter Air (gases), Fire (Plasma), Earth (solids) and Water (liquids). For everything on earth Moshe learned there was a spiritual value. If we were to break down the four forms of creatures or things that are on this planet we would start with the lowest such as inanimate. Thus metals like gold, silver, iron and copper have different grades of spiritual values. (Moshe was not shown the periodic table but only the known metals of his time). I might add that the properties of each stone of the Ephod of the Cohain Gadol were shown to Moshe at this time and then repeated later on when the placement and tribe to be inscribed were made known to him. The next level is the plant kingdom where oak, cedars and other plant life were shown for their spiritual levels. Then came the animal kingdom and lastly the “Midaber” kingdom or mankind. The basic principles of reincarnation were made know to Moshe and he learned that in most cases a Bnei Yisrael will reincarnate depending on his merits as another Ben Yacov either as a Yisrael, Levi or Cohain depending on his Mitzvos and Avairos. A blind person we might look on as a poor person but he might be a big Tzaddik who had a Yetzer to go after his eyes and traded them in for the short time of 120 years in this world so has not to be tempted and then he could go to heaven. Of course for greater sins (when HASHEM told Moshe of the 613 Mitzvos) one might become a non-Jew so as not be tempted to violate the ban on pork, chelev (forbidden fat) or creeping things. [Recently one of the Israeli TV stations had a survivor type program where they had to eat these things – being ignoramuses. However uneducated as they were the program planners and the participants violated these negative commands. Since they were so boorish the sin was by shogeg (unintentional) and they will have to bring a Korban (Sacrifice) when the Temple is rebuilt speedily in our days. ]

Of course for other more serious sins, one would reincarnate as an animal. Years ago it used to be a domesticated animal so as to serve mankind. Recently as these animals became scarce it has turned to dogs and cats. Rav Shlomo Shwadron, the Magid (story teller), of righteous memory told the story of the cat in Shaarey Chessed in Yerushalayim who used to rub against the Talmidei Chachamim. The cat was a nuisance going from Rabbi to Rabbi or student to student crossing in front of their legs. One of the persons being bothered by the cat went to a well learned Rabbi to ask what to do. The Rabbi explained to him that the cat was bothering the Tzaddikim for a Tikun. If you go and say to the cat that the repentance or Tikun is complete, he will disappear. One day, one of the Tzaddikim said, “Your repentance is complete”. You see the cat was a Gilgul (reincarnation) of a man who did not honor Talmidei Chachamim. His Tikun (spiritual repair) was to honor Talmidei Chachamim. Chabad has the story about the businessman who used to go to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Ladi Zatzal. One day the businessman came before his trip and the Alter Rebbe told him to bring along three Challos for Shabbos. He traveled and returned home. Again he went to the Rebbe for a blessing for success in business and again the Rebbe told him to bring along three Challos. This went on for a few weeks until in the middle of traveling on Thursday, the carriage on the way home broke down and the man tried to pull it out of the mud or fix the wheels but to no avail. So he decided to wait over-night in the carriage and continue the next day. Now he hoped that another carriage or local would come to help him but the road was completely deserted. So seeing that Shabbos would be approaching and he had no way to go home, he remembered the three Challos and went looking for a place to stay. By and by he came upon he came upon a house where the owner appeared friendly and invited him in. Inside the house, the owner changed his tune. With him was a large furious dog who growled at the hapless businessman. The owner with the aid of a knife and the dog threatened him and all his money and jewelry was stolen and he was locked in the room with the growling dog. The sun was setting so growling dog or not, he began to pray Mincha and the introductory prayer for Shabbos. To his surprise the dog stopped growling but stood guard at the door. Having no choice, the man prayed Maariv for Shabbos and made Kiddush over the Challos. He then began eating and threw some Challah in the direction of the giant dog. Again in the morning, he prayed, made Kiddush and gave the dog more Challah. At the end of the third meal as Shabbos ended the owner of the dog came back. This time the Chassid motioned to the dog to “sic the owner” without much ado the dog attacked him and eat his fill. The dog then pulled on the pants of the businessman and he followed the dog to a tree where the dog began digging down until a large box was found. Immediately, the dog died! In the box were money, jewels and other valuables. The Chassid managed in the morning to find a carriage going in his direction and immediately went to the Rebbe to ask what the meaning of this was. The Rebbe explained to the Chassid that dog was a Gilgul of a frum Jew who had not waited for making Kiddush upon returning from Schul but ate Challah immediately. His Tikun was listening to Kiddush and then eating which the businessman provided for him. The taking the businessman to the buried treasure was the soul’s way of thanking him for the Tikun. – As told to me by Rabbi Barak Kockavi Shlita.

Moshe learned also that one other Tikun for the soul was turning into an inanimate object such as marble that would be made into an entrance to a Synagogue or a kosher kitchen counter for those who never when to a Synagogue or kept Kosher, etc. Moshe was implanted with spiritual knowledge of each direction on earth and that of our solar system, galaxy, etc.

Moshe was taught by HASHEM the rule of the heavenly court starting with the Throne of Ayn Sof ruling over the spheres of the 10 Sefiros: Chochma, Bina, Daas, and the seven which we mention when we count the Omer. Each and every property was explained to Moshe from Tzion Malchus within Malchus to Malchus within Chochma all the 100 possible combinations of the properties of these attributes of HASHEM. Armed with this knowledge, Moshe went out upon his mission to liberate the Bnei Yisrael from bondage and bring them as a free Nation into their own land. It would be the people who would prevent themselves from occupying the land for another generation but Moshe educated them and prepared them. In this vain David HaMelech prepared the people for the Beis HaMikdash even though he never succeeded in building the Temple.

4 And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojournings, wherein they sojourned.

And also, I established My covenant, etc. And also, when I appeared to them as the Almighty God, I established and set up a covenant between Myself and them. to give them the land of Canaan. To Abraham in the section dealing with [the commandment of] circumcision (Gen. 17), it is said: “I am the Almighty God… And I will give you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings” (Gen. 17:1, 8). To Isaac [it is stated], “for to you and to your seed I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham” (Gen. 26:3), and that oath which I swore to Abraham was spoken with the [name] “Almighty God.” To Jacob [it is said], “I am the Almighty God; be fruitful and multiply, etc. And the land that, etc.” (Gen. 35:11, 12). So you see that I vowed to them [many vows], but I did not fulfill [My vows yet].

It was now time for the Bnei Yisrael to receive the promises that G-D had made with their forefathers.

5 And moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant.

Just as I established and set up the covenant, it is incumbent upon Me to fulfill [it]. Therefore, I heard the moans [complaints] of the children of Israel, who are moaning. whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage. I remembered. that covenant [which I made with Abraham], for in the Covenant between the Parts, I said to him, “And also the nation that they will serve will I judge” (Gen. 15:14).

Don’t get mixed up by the words of remembrance. There is nothing hidden or forgotten from HIS eyes or memory.

6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel: I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments;

Therefore. according to that oath. say to the children of Israel, I am the Lord. [I am] faithful to My promise. and I will take you out. for so did I promise him [Abraham], “and afterwards they will go forth with great possessions” (Gen. 15:14). the burdens of the Egyptians. The toil of the burden of the Egyptians.

7 and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the LORD.'

I raised My hand. I raised it to swear by My throne. [following Onkelos]

9 And Moses spoke so unto the children of Israel; but they hearkened not unto Moses for impatience of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

They did not accept consolation. I.e., they despaired completely of ever being redeemed. because of [their] shortness of breath. Whoever is under stress, his wind and his breath are short, and he cannot take a deep breath. Similar to this [interpretation, namely that what is meant by I am the Lord is: I am faithful to fulfill My word] I heard from Rabbi Baruch the son of Rabbi Eliezer, and he brought me proof [of this explanation] from this [following] verse: “at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My name is the Lord” (Jer. 16:21). [Rabbi Baruch said,] We learn from this that when the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfills His words-even [when it is] for retribution-He makes it known that His name is the Lord. How much more so [does this expression apply] when he fulfills [His word] for good [because the Tetragramation represents the Divine Standard of Mercy]. Our Rabbis, however, interpreted it (Sanh. 111a) as related to the preceding topic, [namely] that Moses said [verse 22], “Why have You harmed…?” (Exod. 5:22). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “We suffer a great loss for those [the Patriarchs] who are lost and [whose replacement] cannot be found. I must lament the death of the Patriarchs. Many times I revealed Myself to them as the Almighty God and they did not ask Me, ‘What is Your name?’ But you asked, What is His name? What shall I say to them?’” (Exod. 3:13). [4] And also, I established, etc. And when Abraham sought to bury Sarah, he could not find a grave until he bought [one] for a very high price. Similarly, [with] Isaac, [the Philistines] contested the wells he had dug. And so [with] Jacob, “And he bought the part of the field where he had pitched his tent” (Gen. 33:19), yet they did not question My actions! But you said, “Why have You harmed [the Israelites]?” This Midrash, however, does not fit the text, for many reasons: First, because it does not say, “And My Name, ה they did not ask me.” And if you say [in response to this] that He did not let them [the Patriarchs] know that this is His name, [and nevertheless they did not ask Him, (and we will explain לֹא נוֹדַעְךְתִּי like לֹא הוֹדַעְךְתִּי, I did not make known,) I will answer you that] indeed, at the beginning, when He revealed Himself to Abraham “between the parts” (Gen. 15:10), it says: “I am the Lord (אֲנִי ה), Who brought you forth from Ur of the Chaldees” (Gen. 15:7). Moreover, how does the context continue with the matters that follow this [verse]: “And also, I heard, etc. Therefore, say to the children of Israel”? Therefore, I say that the text should be interpreted according to its simple meaning, [with] each statement fitting its context, and the midrashic explanation may be expounded upon, as it is said: “‘Is not My word so like fire,’ says the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?’” (Jer. 23:29). [The rock it strikes] is divided into many splinters.

While Moshe was learning all the spiritual elements and reinforcing his own belief and inner strength, the Bnei Yisrael were suffering worst than ever. The first thing a person does is to attack his leader. Withdrawal and humbling before Pharaoh would have been the popular public opinion thing to do if Moshe was a politician serving the people. However, Moshe was a servant of the Holy One Blessed be HE. He is called “Eved HASHEM” or slave unto the L-RD. A slave must do the will of his master. That was Moshe’s task. The Bnei Yisrael did not know what miracles and wonders were coming their way. (The people were ready to sing ‘Hit the road Moe and don’t you come back no more.) Yet they could not see beyond the bricks of the Pyramids before their noses they could not imagine anything out of their own Egyptian black box.

10 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 11 'Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.' 12 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying: 'Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?'

Heb. עִרַל שְׂפָתָיִם, Literally, of “closed” lips. Similarly, every expression of (עָרְלָה) I say, denotes a closure: e.g., “their ear is clogged (עִרֵלָה) ” (Jer. 6:10), [meaning] clogged to prevent hearing; “of uncircumcised (עַרְלֵי) hearts” (Jer. 9:25), [meaning] clogged to prevent understanding; “You too drink and become clogged up (וְהֵעָרֵל) ” (Hab. 2:16), [which means] and become clogged up from the intoxication of the cup of the curse; עָרְלַתבָּשָָׂר, the foreskin of the flesh, by which the male membrum is closed up and covered; “and you shall treat its fruit as forbidden (וְעִרַלְךְתֶּם עָרְלָתוֹ) ” (Lev. 19:23), [i. e.,] make for it a closure and a covering of prohibition, which will create a barrier that will prevent you from eating it. “For three years, it shall be closed up [forbidden] (עִרֵלִים) for you” (Lev. 19:23), [i.e.,] closed up, covered, and separated from eating it. How then will Pharaoh hearken to me? This is one of the ten kal V’Chomer inferences mentioned in the Torah. — [from Gen. Rabbah 92:7] [I.e., inferences from major to minor, such as in this case. I.e., if, because of my speech impediment, the children of Israel, who have everything to gain by listening to me, did not listen to me, Pharaoh, who has everything to lose by listening to me, will surely not listen to me.]

There is a Medrash of Moshe putting on Pharaoh’s hat as a child and the Egyptians giving him a choice of a jewel or a hot coal. He put the coal into his lips and deformed them. Another interpretation is that he spoke with a stutter. It could also be that he spoke similar the way I speak Hebrew – unless I prepare an explanation in my head beforehand, I appear vague, uncertain and difficultly in speaking. Although I am not a Winston Churchill, I can speak well enough in English. This might have been Moshe who was at least 40 years outside of the country and was not used to speaking the language and the new nuances.

13 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. …

Because Moses had said, “I am of closed lips,” the Holy One, blessed be He, combined Aaron with him to be for him as a “mouth” [i.e., speaker] and an interpreter. and He commanded them concerning the children of Israel. He commanded regarding them [the Israelites] to lead them gently and to be patient with them. — [from Sifrei Beha’alothecha 91] and concerning Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He commanded them concerning him [Pharaoh], to speak to him respectfully. This is its midrashic interpretation (Mechilta, Bo, ch. 13; Exod. Rabbah 7:2). Its simple meaning is that He commanded them [Moses and Aaron] concerning Israel and concerning His mission to Pharaoh. What the content of the command was is delineated in the second section [verses 29-31], after the order of the genealogy [that follows this passage]. [This second section should be here] but since [Scripture] mentioned Moses and Aaron, it interrupts the narrative with “These are the heads of the fathers’ houses” (verse 14) to inform us how Moses and Aaron were born and after whom they traced their lineage.

Aaron was like a barrister representing Moshe in the Court of Pharaoh. Moshe would speak and Aaron would put the words into a recognizable language flowing and firm.

A miracle within a miracle

On the night of Pessach as we sit at the Seder we hear the Rabbis arguing how many miracles there were at the splitting of the sea. On the last day of conflict after Israel had declared a unilateral cease-fire the Hamas and friends sent 30 rockets into Israel. One Katyusha to Ashdod hitting a three story building and damaging apartments to the right and left of it. Most of the families were not home. However, one boy who was home hanging up the wash remembered something urgent to send via e-mail and the computer was in the sheltered room. When the Katyusha hit, he remained safe despite that there was no siren that day.

What sparked the second miracle was a simple sign on one building to the left side of the house where there was no damage at all! The building had a sign on the porch like a flag: Yom HASHABBOS zeh HaYom HaKadosh sheli. (The Sabbath day that is my holy day.)

NO Atheists in fox holes: The past few weeks, because of the large number of religious soldiers fighting their fellow soldiers suddenly felt bad to be without Talisim, Tephillin, Siddurim and Tzitzis. The phenomena was over whelming. I received this site showing 233 photos of non-religious Jews putting on the religious items that were distributed. The site thanks to Cheryl:

Natural Gas in commercial export quantities were found off the coast of Haifa. (90 Trillion Cubic Meters worth) The head of the Delek Company blessed G-D maybe if we start exporting Gas to Europe they will learn to sing a less anti-semitic tune.

Finally an update on Aaron Yehoshua who was injured that the doctors saw no hope for him. The prayers of Am Yisrael and tears of his bride must have helped; one doctor broke down with tears of joy as he began to respond. His eyes are now open and he his regained consciousness. It is still hard for him to communicate but there is such potential and hope for him still. As for the doctor that saved Aaron’s life though a field operation, Dr. Rotem Konet, was injured moderately a few days later but the prognosis is very good for him.

From Zvi: Rabbi Jonathan Sachs Shlita speaks out:

From Annie: An amazing article about the war in Gaza ...
It is written by Rick Magder, who is a co-founder of Project Sinai, an exciting new online, interactive learning project, that JET is a part of.

May Hashem bring peace to Israel soon. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Zev Kahn


We Wanted to Do Something Rick Magder January 14, 2009

Toni, Ezra and I are in Israel.

After the war broke out, our Rabbi Klibanoff in Atlantic Beach, went on a short trip with one of our community members, Alex Usopov, to support our young soldiers in Gaza. In 48 hours he raised $100,000 for Yad Eliezer to help with the war effort. Together, they and others packed thousands of care packages, which they personally delivered to soldiers on the front line. Last Shabbat, the Rabbi and Alex shared some of the incredible stories from their 3 day mission. So inspired by Rabbi Klibanoff, my wife, Toni, and I decided we would show our support and booked tickets to Israel, leaving the next day.

Although not all we've been doing has directly involved the soldiers, just being here and connecting with the people has been very meaningful for us.

Today was an especially exciting one for us. We started our day working in a soup kitchen in Jerusalem. This is an unusual place that on the outside appears to be a typical Agripas St restaurant. However, looking closer you find that the patrons don't to pay. The food is free. Everyone is treated as they would be in any other restaurant except there is no check. They simply get up and leave.

We began peeling lots, and lots, and LOTS of vegetables which we then shuttled to the kitchen where the chef was preparing a delicious lunch menu for the soon to be arriving guests. Once prepared, we traded in our kitchen aprons for cleaner ones that would identify us as waiters and busboys and we began serving.

The patrons arrived in shifts and it was hard to keep up with all the requests. Luckily, several seminary and yeshiva students arrived to help. What was most interesting was the diversity of the patrons of the restaurant. Some, as you would expect, looked very worn and tattered as if they had not seen a bed or a shower in months. Others though, were dressed fashionably. As we worked, I wondered what they thought of us cushioned Americans who showed up to serve them lunch until I realized that our differences are inconsequential because being part of the same family we gave each other strength. Their appreciation and their smiles said it all. Am echad b'lev echad. One nation in one heart. We are all here together.

Our next stop was the Ayalon Institute in Rechovot. This was a kibbutz founded several years before Israel became a state. Built right under the noses of the British, the Kibbutz was a secret munitions factory that made bullets for the Hagganah. For three years, 14 young men and woman, descended a secret staircase under the laundry room and painstakingly made 4000 bullets a day, continuing into the war of Independence after the British left. It was miraculous that during those years, no one was injured and no one got caught. Now some 63 years later, we are still fighting for our right to exist.

Though there was a good possibility that the hospital wouldn't let us in, as was the case with others, we decided to go to Tel HaShomer hospital near Tel Aviv, after the tour, and try to visit with wounded soldiers. We had no idea of what to expect. Armed with only a bag of cakes and hope, we decided to try. To our surprise, the hospital staff let us in and directed us to a wing with many soldiers. Once on the floor, we asked a nurse to supply us with a list of soldiers that would appreciate a visit. She willingly obliged.

Our first stop was Zev, a young officer who commands 15 soldiers. He was so happy to see us. He told us how he and a few of his men were surprised by a terrorist outside a house in Gaza only hours before we met him. The terrorist shot him and two other members of his team. Zev was shot in the leg but still managed to kill the terrorist. He and the others made it out and were rushed to the hospital. Zev told us it was a miracle that he was alive but was more concerned for his friends’ well being. And there we were, all together. Zev was being visited by another soldier and the two shared stories of their experience in Gaza.

Zev's father brought chairs for us and offered us food and drinks and made us feel right at home. They took a special interest in my 13 year old son Ezra and insisted he eat. We laughed and cried and felt in an instant we were one big family. Zev's father gave us his number and insisted that if we needed anything while we were in Israel we call him. What was astounding was how much Zev and his two wounded team members who were sharing the same room appreciated our coming. They were so moved when we told them that we came from America to say thank you and that the Jewish community in America was praying for them. It was very emotional. They could not thank us enough.

How ironic.

After visiting with these young boys, we stopped in to see Noam. There he was in a room by himself with his father at his side. He had just lost part of his leg on the battlefield. He too was so appreciative of our visit. We talked for a while (thanks to my wife's command of Hebrew). When we told him why we came and that we are praying for him, he got all choked up and he said "I have been feeling so down, and now that you have come, I am so happy in my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you." His father held back tears. They want everyone to know how much our prayers and wishes mean to them. We gave them cake but of course they would not let us leave without making sure they reciprocated with a handful of treats for Ezra.

As we left Noam's room, two women standing outside asked that we visit their mother in the next room. She is in her 80's, lives in Ashkelon and lost part of her leg in an explosion. She cried when she saw us and could not stop blessing us. Her two daughters insisted that they take our picture with their mother. They hugged my wife and could not thank us enough for coming. Not one of them could understand why we would travel thousands of miles to visit a country at war. All we kept asking was, how could we not?

At dinner the night before, a friend told us a story reported by a Rabbi in the military. The Rabbi had decided the soldiers could take a Sefer Torah with them to Gaza last Shabbat. But because there was no eruv present, they all formed a long line so they could move the Torah by passing it from one to the other. As the Rabbi waited on the other end for what seemed like too long he left the tent to see if something had happened. The delay was a result of each soldier hugging and kissing Torah and reluctant to pass it over to the next soldier in line. "These are our boys", he said like a proud father. This is our army.

In all our experiences and through all the people we met a single theme repeated itself. There is a unity of purpose. The people and the young soldiers realize God is on their side and they are not fighting this battle alone. Morale amongst the soldiers and throughout the country is extremely high and we must do what we can to give them strength and support any way we can.

Today my son along with my wife and I learned something important. Sometimes we avoid doing for others because we think that our efforts won’t mean much. But we are all part of Klal Yisroel. We are all one family, and each seemingly small act of chessed, of kindness, can have a significance beyond anything we could know or expect. I think the biggest impact was on me and for that I am forever grateful. Am Yisroel Chai!

Rick Magder is a freelance multimedia consultant, videographer and co-founder of Project Sinai.

Terrorist and innocent girls: Dr. Abu Aiyish's house was under fire because some terrorists were hiding in buildings near-by. The IDF upon hearing that the Dr's house was under fire stopped shooting at the area. The next day the terrorists started trying to kill soldiers and took over the house. The result from the shooting was that three of the good doctor's daughters were killed. It was not a matter of wanting to kill innocents but a result of the terrorist trying to take advantage of the Israeli recognition for the doctor using that to try to kill us.

From Rabbi A.L. Harry Truman after the presidency-

Harry Truman, from Missouri, was a different kind of President. He probably made as many important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. Historians have written the only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. On top of that, his wife inherited the house from her Mother. When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There were no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, 'You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.' Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, 'I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.'

He never owned his own home and as president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale.

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, 'My choices early in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.'

From Newt Gingrich: When General Eisenhower left the presidency, a three car motorcade drove from Washington to his farm in Pennsylvania. He waited for the staff or secret service to open up the gate to his farm house. Nobody opened it up. He then realized that he was neither a five star general or Commander in Chief any more and got out and opened his gate and then waved the motorcade through as a host.


It's good to give Tzedakah - charity - before praying. This is hinted to in the verse (Psalms 17:5) "I will behold Your countenance with Tzedek"
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 12:2 – After eating the Shabbat meal one may nap. However one may not say "I am going to nap in order to be able to do something on Motzei Shabbat". Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 77:23 This week is Shabbat M'vorchim of Chodesh Shvat. Rosh Chodesh Shvat will be on Monday. - Danny

Inyanay Diyoma


Great News for Moslem Pedophiles: The senior Saudi Arabian cleric, the ol' grand mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, decreed that contrary to the critics of child marriage, it would be an injustice to prevent 10-yr-olds from enjoying the benefits of holy matrimony. Daily Mail (London)

To Dream the Impossible Dream

Less than 100 years after Abraham Lincoln said, “All men are created equal.” I first saw Martin L. King Jr. in the 50's if it was 54 or 55 I can't remember as I was somewhere between 7 and 8 then. Nobody would think that a black could ever be much better than a shoe-shine boy, porter, janitor, policeman or sports player. In High School my friend Maynard had ambition to become President but I sort of laughed at him because a Jew and a Black could never be President.
We have come a long long way since those years. Despite my Conservative Republican philosophy, I am proud to see Barak Obama take the steps into becoming the 44th president. It does mean a lot to me as one who fought for equality for (at that time Negros) and Jews died for civil rights in Mississippi Burning. We have a great country and be proud of it. Nobody could ever imagine then a Jewish or Black Secretary of State! Could there be an Inauguration of President with a female Jewish Senator introducing a Black President or even a Black Oboe Player, Female Pianist combining with Yitzchak Pearlman and Yoyo Ma together!

My fellow American Citizens be proud to be an American as the USA is a land of opportunity and to all freedom loving people that a woman can be leader of England, Germany, India and Israel and barriers that were there in the past have fallen.

The Minnesota Recount Was Unconstitutional

There's still plenty of time for the state to get it right. By MICHAEL STOKES PAULSEN

You would think people would learn. The recount in the contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for a seat in the U.S. Senate isn't just embarrassing. It is unconstitutional.

A disputed ballot in Minnesota.

This is Florida 2000 all over again, but with colder weather. Like that fiasco, Minnesota's muck of a process violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the controlling Supreme Court decision is none other than Bush v. Gore.

Remember Florida? Local officials conducting recounts could not decide what counted as a legal vote. Hanging chads? Dimpled chads? Should "undervotes" count (where a machine failed to read an incompletely-punched card)? What about "overvotes" (where voters punched more than one hole)? Different counties used different standards; different precincts within counties were inconsistent.

The Florida Supreme Court intervened and made things worse, ordering a statewide recount of some types of rejected ballots but not others. It specified no standards for what should count as a valid vote, leaving the judgment to each county. And it ordered partial recounts already conducted in some counties (but not others) included in the final tabulation. The result was chaos.

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By a vote of 7-2, Bush v. Gore (2000) ruled that Florida's recount violated the principle that all votes must be treated uniformly. Applying precedents dating to the 1960s, the Court found that the Equal Protection Clause meant that ballots must be treated so as to give every vote equal weight. A state may not, by "arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another." Florida's lack of standards produced "unequal evaluation of ballots in several respects." The state's supreme court "ratified this uneven treatment" and created more of its own, and was unconstitutional.

Bush v. Gore is rightly regarded as controversial -- but not because of its holding regarding the Equal Protection Clause, which commanded broad agreement among the justices. The controversy arose because of the remedy the Court chose for Florida's violation, which was to end the recount entirely. The majority thought that time was up under Florida law requiring that its results be submitted in time to be included in the Electoral College count. That aspect of Bush v. Gore commanded only five votes. Two justices thought Florida should get more time and another chance.

The problem with the remedy was that it arguably violated the same principle that led the Court to invalidate the recount: the need to treat all votes equally. It had the practical effect of awarding the election to Bush (though subsequent media counts confirmed that Bush won anyway, under any uniform standard). This has led to enduring partisan criticism of the case, some fair and some unfair.

But no matter: Bush v. Gore is the law of the land. On the question of how the Equal Protection Clause applies to state recounts, the ruling, which reflected a 7-2 majority, controls.

Minnesota is Bush v. Gore reloaded. The details differ, but not in terms of arbitrariness, lack of uniform standards, inconsistency in how local recounts were conducted and counted, and strange state court decisions.

Consider the inconsistencies: One county "found" 100 new votes for Mr. Franken, due to an asserted clerical error. Decision? Add them. Ramsey County (St. Paul) ended up with 177 more votes than were recorded election day. Decision? Count them. Hennepin County (Minneapolis, where I voted -- once, to my knowledge) came up with 133 fewer votes than were recorded by the machines. Decision? Go with the machines' tally. All told, the recount in 25 precincts ended up producing more votes than voters who signed in that day.

Then there's Minnesota's (first, so far) state Supreme Court decision, Coleman v. Ritchie, decided by a vote of 3-2 on Dec. 18. (Two justices recused themselves because they were members of the state canvassing board.) While not as bad as Florida's interventions, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered local boards to count some previously excluded absentee ballots but not others. Astonishingly, the court left the decision as to which votes to count to the two competing campaigns and forbade local election officials to correct errors on their own.

If Messrs. Franken and Coleman agreed, an absentee ballot could be counted. Either campaign could veto a vote. Dean Barkley of the Independence Party, who ran third, was not included in this process.

Thus, citizens' right to vote -- the right to vote! -- was made subject to political parties' gaming strategies. Insiders agree that Mr. Franken's team played a far more savvy game than Mr. Coleman's. The margin of Mr. Franken's current lead is partly the product of a successful what's-mine-is-mine-what's-yours-is-vetoed strategy, and of the Coleman team's failure to counter it.

The process is not over yet, since the state court decision in effect kicked the can down the road. The candidates can revisit these issues by contesting the legal validity of the election under state law -- which Mr. Coleman's team did last week.

But as matters stand now, the Minnesota recount is a legal train wreck. The result, a narrow Franken lead, is plainly invalid. Just as in Bush v. Gore, the recount has involved "unequal evaluation of ballots in several respect" and failed to provide "minimal procedural safeguards" of equal treatment of all ballots. Legally, it does not matter which candidate benefited from all these differences in treatment. (Mr. Franken did.) The different treatment makes the results not only unreliable (and suspicious), but unconstitutional.

What is the remedy? Unlike Bush v. Gore, there is no looming national deadline. Minnesota can take its time and do things right.

This means two things: First, the process must conform to Minnesota election law. Second, it must conform to Bush v. Gore. Whatever standards Minnesota uses must be applied uniformly, consistently, and under clear standards not admitting of local variation. Discrepancies between machine counts and hand recounts, and between numbers of recorded votes and signed-in voters, however resolved, must be resolved the same way throughout the state.

The standards for evaluating rejected absentee ballots likewise must be uniform, with decisions made according to legal standards, not by partisan campaigns. If the Minnesota Supreme Court fails to assure these things, the matter could go right up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And what if there is no reliable way to determine in a recount who won, consistent with Bush v. Gore's requirements?

The Constitution's answer is a do-over. The 17th Amendment provides: "When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct."

In a sense, a vacancy has already "happened." The U.S. Senate convened on Jan. 6 with only one senator from Minnesota. Still, the seat is perhaps not "vacant," just unfilled. But if the contest proceeding does not produce a clear winner that passes constitutional muster, a special election -- and a temporary appointment by Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- may be the only answer.

For now, the only thing certain is that the present "certified" result -- which is that Mr. Franken won by 225 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast -- is an obvious, embarrassing violation of the Constitution.

Mr. Paulsen is professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minn. He is formerly associate dean of the University of Minnesota Law School.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that Israel relayed a warning to Hamas through Egypt that any more Iranian or Syrian attempts to smuggle rockets or other heavy weapons into Gaza by land or by sea would be deemed a breach of the ceasefire and generate Israeli military action to stop them.

Our sources further disclose that Iranian marine experts and engineers, after making a study of submerged Mediterranean currents, have designed special containers for the clandestine shipment of arms to Gaza by sea.

The containers are dropped from freighters out at sea, plummet to a calculated depth and carried by the undercurrent to a point close to the Gaza shore. A built-in mechanism then shoots them up to the surface, where Gazan fishermen pick up the bobbing containers. A marine expert on deck of these Iranian freighters guides the captain to the exact location for dropping the container.

This is only one of Tehran's covert tricks for shipping arms to Gaza. To beat them, the United States, Israel and Egypt will need to set a special military-marine intelligence outfit.

Iran's huge investment of money and brainpower in this task is a measure of the strategic importance it attaches to its ties with Hamas and through them its presence in Gaza.

Also try this for size: ( This week's momentous news events were the withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza and the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but nothing changed for American prisoner Jonathan Pollard and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Howard is not a coward by Eti: America, Canada , all Europe ..... need a President like this *Prime Minister John Howard - Australia**
**Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians'. *
'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'. 'We speak
mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society
. Learn the language!' *

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.' *
'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.' *
'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.' *

*Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths.*
If you agree, please SEND THIS ON.*

ANOTHER "ISRAEL SUCCEEDS IN SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY" - AGAIN forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

Before the Media gets all delirious in the "Gotcha" Doctor story, there’s something that has been revealed. Doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gaza physician works at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv. A bomb exploded at his house in Gaza, killing his 3 daughters and other family members. An MRI or CT done on his daughter’s skull showed a small round object in her brain.

It looks like a ball bearing. IF it turns out that it is a ball bearing, the world will know that the girl was NOT killed by the Israelis, because the Israeli shells contain no ball bearings. But, the Hamas Arab Palestinian Terrorists do use ball bearing in most of their shells and explosive bomb vests, in order to cause as much maiming and damage as possible to their civilian victims.

Bomb residue from the doctors clothes and body reveal the substance is not military grade, not used by the IDF but used by Hamas. Investigators believe the doctors home was booby-trapped or contained explosives.

It is entirely possible that the Doctor was targeted by Hamas for crossing the line by working with the Israelis at the Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv. Regardless, Hamas admits to (brags about) firing from civilian areas, even using the civilians as their "human shields" while claiming they (the Hamas Terrorists) are the civilian population.

Its also possible that the Doctors home

Granted, the Israelis were quick to admit guilt when accused of anything - especially by the Media. We all recall the "Al Dura" fraud by the French Media. So lets see what develops.



From: Rav Rachamim Pauli January 17, 2009


The Israeli government is ordering a cease-fire. Minutes before the press conference two Grad Katyushas fell in Ashdod hitting a building and an intersection, knocking out power for a short time. In Ashkelon another fell - totaling about 20 missiles today. Five soldiers were wounded by friendly fire out of 10 and of the total 5 seriously. Battles raged between Hamas in 10 story high refugee shanties of concrete and Israeli soldiers. Poor refugee in their high rise shanties.

A major tunnel network and Kassams and a front line headquarters were captured and exposed without much of a fight today.

IDF: Shots fired from doctor's home

Army says it fired at Gaza doctor's home, killing three daughters, after troops were targeted by sniper fire; meanwhile, IDF says that shell hit fuel tank near UNWRA compound Thursday, but facility itself was not targeted,7340,L-3657646,00.html

Not so innocent? The daughters of a Gaza doctor were killed by the IDF after sniper fire from the family's home targeted Israeli soldiers, the army said Saturday. Earlier Saturday, Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish convened a press conference at Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv, where he works, and demanded to know why the army targeted his home.

P.S. As you may or may not know, I put out a news update when I feel that it is necessary and have a direct list whom I send to. I purposely left my e-mail above for my blog for those who wish to subscribe to the news. (Right now silence due to a calming down of the situation) What is a calming down a shooting incident and some Molotov Cocktails in the Shomron, 4 mortars lobbed into Israel from Gaza and the reconstructing of the Lincoln, Holland, Fort McHenry Tunnels, La Manche, etc. between Egypt and Gaza. There is one correction to news copy and pasted above is that he used to work at the Sheba Medical Center and he was on the phone with Gaza. What had happened was that there was a shooting incident a few days before the daughters of the doctor were killed and due to intervention by our Radio and TV people, the shooting near the home stopped. The terrorist thought that his home was ex-territorial and a great place to kill Israelis from.

I received this for Hannah, Yacov and others it was the great help of Rafael that got this up at this site for downloading about why we went to war in Gaza:

BUSH’S PARTING LESSON by CAROLINE GLICK forwarded with comment by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

The unsurpassable stupidity of Olmert, Livni and Barak has broken all previous records of incompetence and malfeasance of office. This is a government bent on National Suicide - just to stay in power.




Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's diplomatic spat with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been a bonanza for strategic minded gossips. Olmert says that Rice was "embarrassed" because she planned to vote in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1860, which calls for an immediate cease-fire between IDF forces and Hamas terrorists. But, Olmert brags, he wrecked her plan by getting outgoing President George W. Bush to force her to abstain.

As far as the commentators are concerned, Olmert's puerile attack on the American secretary of state in the midst of a war shows that the he is still the same prideful, vain, motor-mouth that Israelis have come to know and despise over the past several years. Then, too, by responding with borderline hysteria to Olmert's statement, Rice has demonstrated, once again, that she remains a thin-skinned whiner.

These insights make for piquant news analyses. But they miss the most important truths that the Olmert-Rice slap-down brought to the surface. Their fight tells us two crucial things. First, it tells us that when President-elect Barack Obama enters office next week, Israel's relations with the US will be at a low point.

The US's abstention from the vote on Resolution 1860 is a stunning statement of hostility toward Israel. As former UN Ambassador Dore Gold wrote in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Resolution 1860 is drafted in a manner that presumes moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Both Israel and Hamas - an illegal terrorist organization - must stop fighting, it says. The resolution also draws a false moral equivalence between Hamas's illegal rocket campaign against Israeli civilians and Israel's assertion of its right to close its borders to enemy traffic.

While Olmert presents the US's abstention in the vote as a major diplomatic victory for Israel, in truth it is a stunning defeat. The US was a cosponsor of Resolution 1860, along with Britain. The fact that the US sponsored such an anti-Israel resolution in the first place is a major rebuke of Israel. And the fact that Washington then allowed the deeply adversarial and dangerous resolution to pass only compounds the failure.

The second aspect of the US abstention on Resolution 1860 that is deeply disturbing is the fact that Israel's leaders say they were taken completely by surprise by the move. On a simplistic level, the fact that apparently until the last moment, Israeli officials were certain that the US was planning to veto the resolution or, at a minimum force a significant delay in voting on the measure, bespeaks a remarkable incompetence on the part of Israel's UN mission and in particular, it bespeaks a personal incompetence on the part of Ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

What were Israel's representatives at the UN doing in the days preceding the vote? Whom were they talking to? What messages were they communicating to their UN colleagues and back home that the government could have been blindsided by the US action?

And while this fiasco provides just cause for recalling Shalev to Israel, the buck on this one cannot stop with her. Shalev is not a professional diplomat.

She had no notable experience in international affairs or public diplomacy to speak of before Livni - who insisted that she would only appoint a woman to the post - sent her to Turtle Bay. Shalev receives her guidance on how to deal with the US from Livni. And throughout her tenure as foreign minister, Livni, together with Olmert has insisted that Israel's relations with the US have never been better.

But this has been anything but the case. On the issues of the most urgent importance to Israel, the US has repeatedly, and with an ever growing degree of contempt and hostility, adopted positions diametrically opposed to Israel's interests.

FOR INSTANCE, this week The New York Times reminded us that the US has refused to sell Israel refueling planes and bunker-buster bombs necessary to attack Iran's nuclear sites. The US has also consistently refused Israeli requests to overfly Iraqi airspace. The Times story reports that the administration answered Israeli requests to this effect with a hearty, "Hell no!"

And it isn't just that the Bush administration has in recent years preferred to indulge the Iraqi leadership's knee-jerk anti-Semitism over supporting Israel's need to preempt threats of national annihilation. The Bush administration has also belittled those threats and so allowed them to grow. Rice pushed the US on the road toward accepting Iran as a nuclear power when she opted to join the EU-3 in their feckless negotiations with the mullahs in May 2007. Her decision was followed by the deeply mendacious US National Intelligence Estimate released in November 2007, which claimed wrongly that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

The US's coddling of Iran at Israel's expense has also included its preference for the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese government and military over Israel's national security. In the 2006 war between Hizbullah and Israel, the US forbade Israel from attacking Lebanese government targets, and so left Israel with few good options for fighting Hizbullah to victory. The reason the US acted in this manner is because Rice wished to prolong the fiction that the pro-Western March 14 movement was in charge of the Lebanese government when, in fact, it was subservient to Hizbullah.

When Israel became bogged down, the US forced Jerusalem to accept a cease-fire that left Hizbullah in charge of southern Lebanon and allowed it to rebuild its arsenals and present its campaign against the Jews as a strategic victory for the forces of jihad. After Hizbullah staged a putsch against the pro-Western forces in the Lebanese government last May, rather than acknowledge that Hizbullah is now in full control over the government and the

ftlinemilitary, the US has showered Lebanon with money and guns.

As for the Palestinians, over the past three years, the US has been expansive, indeed obsessive in its support for Fatah - and through it for Hamas - at Israel's expense. Rather than recognize that the Palestinian voters' decision to elect Hamas to lead them in January 2006 constituted a rejection of the notion of a two-state solution on the part of Palestinian society, the Bush administration judged the move as an act of civil disobedience reminiscent, in Rice's view, of the US civil rights movement.

Far from cutting the Palestinians off, the US massively increased its assistance to the Palestinian Authority. For the first time US taxpayers began financing the PA's budget and so, indirectly paying the salaries of both Fatah and Hamas terrorists. Moreover, the USJordan. With Fatah terrorists in GazaIsrael alongside their Hamas terror buddies today, it is unclear what good can come of these US-trained Palestinian special forces.

IN THE face of all of this clear US hostility toward Israel, marked as well by the continued criminal prosecution of former AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, and former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin for their "crime" of discussing their concern about Iran's nuclear weapons program, Israel has played the role of Chicken Little.

Israel has offered no significant protest against the US's moves. It has treated Rice and her colleagues at the CIA as friends and trusted allies. And Livni and Olmert have repeatedly boasted that Israel's relations with the US have never been better, when in fact they have arguably never been worse.

It is because of the government's refusal to contend with difficult truths that Israel was caught by surprise at the Security Council last week. And due to the government's refusal to acknowledge the true state of Israel's relations with Washington, the government has given little consideration to either how to improve them, or to how to work around Washington's hostility.

This situation is liable to only get worse next week with the inauguration of President-elect Obama. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton pledged in her Senate confirmation hearings that the new administration will immediately seek to engage IranUS intends to actively pursue better relations with Iran's Arab satellite-state, Syria. Moreover, she pledged that the Obama administration will make an immediate push to establish a Palestinian state.

Clinton's testimony makes clear that Obama's major initiatives will all involve forcing Israel to pay a price. According to a source in close contact with Obama's transition team, the first price that
Israel will be pressured to pay will be the Golan Heights.

Obama has pledged that soon after taking office he will make a major speech in an Islamic capital to strengthen US ties to the Muslim world. And the source asserts that Obama intends to make that speech in Damascus. Moreover, he intends to pressure Israel to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria as "payback" for any Syrian indication that it will weaken its ties to Iran.

While Israel must treat the US with diplomatic deference, it must also base its policies toward the US on how the US is actually treating Israel and not on fictions. There is no doubt that Israel would have handled the cease-fire diplomacy at the UN and elsewhere differently if its leaders were willing to notice that official Washington views Israel's defense of its citizens and Hamas's assaults on Israel's citizens as morally indistinguishable actions. Certainly, Israel wouldn't have been taken by surprise by America's decision to allow Resolution 1860 to pass.

THROUGHOUT HIS tenure in office, Bush has been outspoken in his warm statements about Israel. Both his advisers and the many people who have come to know him over the past eight years are unanimous in their belief that Bush truly cares about Israel and views Israel as an important US ally. He recognizes that Israel and the US share the same enemies and that our enemies seek to destroy us because we represent the same thing: freedom.

But as many of his friends and advisors have ruefully noted over the years, Bush never learned how to translate his personal views into policy. As former Pentagon official Richard Perle wrote in an article this week in The National Interest, Bush was undercut on the most crucial foreign policy issues he faced by the State Department and the CIA, which either ignored his policies or openly sought to discredit them.

As Perle described Bush's presidency, "For eight years George W. Bush pulled the levers of government - sometimes frantically - never realizing that they were disconnected from the machinery and the exertion was largely futile. As a result, the foreign and security policies declared by the president in speeches, in public and private meetings, in backgrounders and memoranda often had little or no effect on the activities of the sprawling bureaucracies charged with carrying out the president's policies."

This reality has been apparent since at least the middle of 2003, and yet, Israel's leaders stubbornly refused to acknowledge it. They preferred instead to believe that Bush would never let anything bad happen to us. As if he had the power to stop it.

The passage of Resolution 1860 could be a blessing in disguise if Israel is capable of learning its principal lesson: No one, not even our friends, will fight out battles for us.
began a massive effort to train Fatah commandos in shooting missiles at diplomatically. She also stated that the

This article can also be read at:

TZIPI LIVNI’S "BIRD" COSTUMES by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni once again displayed her numerous "bird" costumes. (Note: Tzipi is a nickname for Tzippora, which means "bird".)

First, she flutters her wings as a "dove". She never was a "hawk".

Then, in a twinkling she becomes a "tweety bird", chirping about a "cease-fire" in a righteous war that leaves the Muslim Arab Palestinian Hamas Terrorists fully loaded with long range missiles and no closure of the smuggling tunnels which are enabled by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak.

One is reminded of the sophomoric President George W. Bush, looking into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and seeing his "good soul".

However, when you look into Tzipi Livni’s eyes, all you may see is the back of her skull, with no visible brains to interfere. Livni may be the dumbest Foreign Minister Israel ever had.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the malicious friend of the Muslim Arab Palestinian Terrorists, loves Livni because for her it’s no trouble to insert into the vacuum of Livni’s mind, any deal Rice wants.

We all recall the stupid bumbling of Livni agreeing to the Summer 2006 Lebanon War cease-fire UN Resolution 1701, which put HezbAllah into the hands of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and the immediate re-building of HezbAllah arms and Terrorist militia, without a peep from the empty-headed Livni.

Instead of learning from her egregious errors, Livni has signed on to the same useless deal to end the Gaza War, UN Resolution 1860, which was prepared by Rice.

Livni is a clear and present danger to the Jewish nation, her soldiers, civilians - even to herself.

Now, if you should look into the eyes of Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (resigned due to imminent criminal indictments but, still in power) and Defense Minister Ehud Barak (whose election campaign posters proclaim he isn’t "nice"), you could see twisted wires, short-circuiting their thinking - except for a few remaining connections which are connected to their self-serving drive to survive with the power of their offices.

No sacrifice of others would be too great.

This group of uglies act as if they were infected by the dreaded Ebola virus that liquefies brains, among other bodily organs.

Have a peaceful and healthy Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli