Baruch Dayan Emmet: Yisroel Noah ben Hinda!
Yod Aleph Shevat: With great pain and sorry please be informed about the passing this morning of the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Yisroel Noah Weinberg, ztz"l of Aish Ha Torah at the age of 79 from a terrible disease.
May we all be comforted in this great loss for his Rebbitzen, his family, and extended Aish HaTorah family and Klal Yisroel – he almost got my friend Howard to go to his Yeshiva on a trial basis.
Kashruth Notice: The OU has long maintained that raisins packed and stored under normal industry conditions do not pose a halachic infestation concern and may be consumed without further checking on the part of the consumer.
Recent public reporting of widespread infestation in packaged raisins has led the OU to reexamine its prior held position vis-A-vis raisins. Following careful investigation, extensive testing and consultation with our Halachic authorities, the OU upholds its original position that raisins, when stored under normal conditions (cool, dry and clean environments) do not require checking for the presence of worms or insects.
Editorial: The following public opinion poll was published on Friday prior to the Katyusha attack on Shabbos:
Likud 34 seat, Kedima 22, Yisrael Betaynu 16, Labor 13, Shass 10, HaBiet Ha Yehudi 3, Yadut HaTorah 5, Meretz 5, National Union 2, Arab Lists 10 and a later poll published on Wednesday shows: The poll showed Israel Beiteinu receiving 19 seats. The Likud led with 26 mandates, followed by Kadima at 23 and Labor with 13. National Union 6, HaBiet Ha Yehudi possibly 2 with Aguda and Shass remaining the same and the fact the Arabs are apathetic this election means that one of their parties may not make it into the Knesset.
The problem is that National Union may not make the minimum of 70,000 votes to get in and then the other parties would split the spoils. Yadut HaTorah and Shass may have one more seat a piece depending. There is a factor that the polls don’t take into account and that is the religious Aliyah and demographics during the last few years. Also the massive return to Judaism by the soldiers may not play out in a religious party but a mixed party like the National Union Party.
I recommend the following parties that are almost 100% guaranteed to protect Eretz Yisrael and maybe not in the order I plan to vote. National Union, Yadut HaTorah, Shass. All three parties will defend both Eretz Yisrael and the Torah and not give into a PLO State and will join the Likud in a government. See also: http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1374
There is a custom of putting out bread crumbs for the birds this Parsha (My Grandfather Yosef Levy used to do that daily – and the neighborhood cats whom I feed think it a great idea). However we have to be concerned with the sanctity of the Shabbos. House pets or any other animals that depend on you for their food, may be fed on Shabbat. Animals that do not rely on you for their food may not be fed, and you may not even throw them leftovers, with the exception of stray dogs. One may not feed pigeons as they are capable of fending for themselves. The Kitzur says that the custom to put out grain for the birds on Shabbat Shira (this week) is incorrect as birds do not rely on humans for their food. (One may put out grain for them before Shabbat.) Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 87:18 Shabbat Shalom - Danny
Further to the Halacha that Danny reminded me of, we have Parshas Ha Mann (Manna) and the fact that on Friday a double portion fell and on Shabbos no Mann fell. The Parsha though starts out with the Egyptians hurrying the Bnei Yisrael out of the country a forceful population transfer out. But a few days later after the embalming process starts on Pharaoh’s first born, his advisors remind him of his cheap Labor supply. He then begins the process of trying to bring them back after all Moshe mentioned going 3 days into the desert for their holiday. Now it is time for Egypt to round up the slaves and murder Moshe and Aaron in front of the slaves.
However, our Pasha starts off on a different note. Instead of taking the easy route into Eretz Yisrael which would be “Derech Eretz Plishtim”, the freed slaves are to avoid conflict. That is the start of the Parsha but the Parsha ends with the war against Amalek which appears throughout every generation. There are certain Arab families who behave completely Amaleki and others may hate us but not to the point as to sacrifice all they have and their family. The four wives and the seven children of the terrorist refused to leave the building with him. Had he left with them, he might be alive today but instead they hated us so much they used their bodies as human shields on the Katyushas and they failed.
13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: 'Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.'
that God did not lead them. Heb. וְלֹא-נָחָם, and did not lead them, similar to “Go, lead (נְחֵה) the people” (Exod. 32:34) [and] “When you walk, it shall lead (תִּנְחֶה) you” (Prov. 6:22). for it was near. and it was easy to return by that road to Egypt. There are also many aggadic midrashim [regarding this]. when they see war. For instance, the war of “And the Amalekites and the Canaanites descended, etc.” (Num. 14:45). If they had gone on a direct route, they would have returned. Now, if when He led them around in a circuitous route, they said, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt” (Num. 14:4), how much more [would they have planned to do this] if He had led them on a direct route? [According to the sequence of the verse, the headings appear to be transposed. See Mizrachi, Gur Aryeh, and Minchath Yehudah for a correct solution of this problem.] Lest…reconsider. They will have [second] thoughts about [the fact] that they left Egypt and they will think about returning.
18 But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.
led…around. He led them around from a direct route to a circuitous route. the Red Sea. Heb. יַם-סוּף, like לְיַם-סוּף, to the Red Sea. סוּף means a marsh where reeds grow, similar to “and put [it] into the marsh (בַּסוּף)” (Exod. 2:3); “reeds and rushes (וַסוּף) shall be cut off” (Isa. 19:6). armed. Heb. חִמֻשִׁים וַחִמֻשִׁים [in this context] can only mean “armed.” (Since He led them around in the desert [circuitously], He caused them to go up armed, for if He had led them around through civilization, they would not have [had to] provide for themselves with everything that they needed, but only [part,] like a person who travels from place to place and intends to purchase there whatever he will need. But if he travels a long distance into a desert, he must prepare all his necessities for himself. This verse was written only to clarify the matter, so you should not wonder where they got weapons in the war with Amalek and in the wars with Sihon and Og and Midian, for the Israelites smote them with the point of the sword.) [In an old Rashi]) And similarly [Scripture] says: “and you shall cross over armed (חִמֻשִׁים)” (Josh. 1:14). And so too Onkelos rendered מְזָרְזִין just as he rendered: “and he armed (וְזָרֵיז) his trained men” (Gen. 14:14). Another interpretation: חִמֻשִׁים means “divided by five,” [meaning] that one out of five (חִמִֹשָה) [Israelites] went out, and four fifths [lit., parts of the people] died during the three days of darkness [see Rashi on Exod. 10:22]. — [from Mechilta, Tanchuma, Beshallach 1]
What is G-D illogical? No G-D had a master plan to forge Am Yisrael into an independent nation but not with the rule of Derech Eretz (way of the land) but Hanchaga of Nissim v’ Niflaos (but under the rule of miracles and wonders) based on the Mitzvos that would be given at Mt. Sinai and afterwards but the oral law and the written law. Often I am asked: Where can we find a hint to the Oral Law? This week I received a message asking me to explain how the Oral Law is written about in Chapter 24 and I plan to hopefully attack that question. The few examples of Oral Law needed to explain the written Mitzvos are Tzitzis, Tephillin, Slaughter, color of the Nega (mistranslated leprosy) as the knots of the Tzitzis, sections and writings of the Tephillin, blessing – knife – where to slaughter etc. and many more are not given in the written Torah. The normal world run on Derech Eretz goes “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line” or “the shortest distance between two points on the globe is a great circle” but not the apparent route taken by the Bnei Yisrael. Making a nation by G-D is not vetting people by a President only to find out that they did some real blunders like not pay taxes. Funny that when John Doe does not pay taxes he gets fines, interest and at times threat of imprisonment.
19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straightly sworn the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'
for he had adjured. Heb. הִֹשְבִּיעַ הַֹשְבֵּעַ. [The double expression indicates that] he [Joseph] had made them [his brothers] swear that they would make their children swear (Mechilta). Now why did he not make his sons swear to carry him to the land of Canaan immediately [when he died], as Jacob had made [him] swear? Joseph said, “I was a ruler in Egypt, and I had the ability to do [this]. As for my sons-the Egyptians will not let them do [it].” Therefore, he made them swear that when they would be redeemed and would leave there [Egypt], they would carry him [out]. — [from Mechilta] and you shall bring up my bones from here with you. He made his brothers swear in this manner. We learn [from this] that the bones of all [the progenitors of] the tribes they brought up [out of Egypt] with them as it is said “with you” -[from Mechilta]
Instead of collecting the neighbor’s jewelry and fancy things like gold and silver, Moshe is busy trying to find where Yosef is buried somewhere in a tomb at the bottom of an off shoot of the Nile. Moshe has to put the 72 LETTER NAME on parchment in the river in order to find Yosef’s bones and cause the sarcophagus to float. Moshe personally takes charge of removing Yosef’s bones from Egypt as promised along with the 11 other brothers. Yehuda is buried in Yahud and Dan near the Shimshon Junction with Yosef in Schem and other brothers in other parts.
20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.
21. to cause it to lead them on the way. Heb. לַנְחֹתָם. [The “lammed” is] vowelized with a “pattach,” which is equivalent to לְהַנְחֹתָם, like “to show you (לַראֹתְכֶם) on the way on which you shall go” (Deut. 1:33), which is like לְהַרְאֹתְכֶם. Here also, [it means] to cause to lead you (לְהַנְחֹתָם) through a messenger. Now who was that messenger? [It was] the pillar of cloud, and the Holy One, blessed be He, in His glory, led it before them. In any case, it was the pillar of cloud that He prepared so that they could be led by it, for they would travel by the pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud was not [meant] to provide light but to direct them [on] the way.
22. He did not move away. [I.e.,] the Holy One, blessed be He, [did not move away] the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire at night. [This verse] tells that the pillar of cloud transmitted [its light to] the pillar of fire, and the pillar of fire transmitted [its light to] the pillar of cloud, for while one had not yet set, the other one would rise. — [from Shab. 23b]
Sun down did not mean the stopping point of the journey or time to eat and go to sleep but time to sit and learn the Torah and Mitzvos with the pillar of fire providing light.
Chapter 14 deals with the splitting of the Sea of Reeds and Chapter 15 with the song by the sea and the bitter waters found in the desert. The path the Bnei Yisrael took in the Desert is discussed in Chapter 16. We return to Chapter 17 where the Bnei Yisrael became weak handed towards Moshe’s leadership and complained.
17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said: 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them: 'Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try the LORD?' 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said: 'Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?' 4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying: 'What shall I do unto this people? they are almost ready to stone me.'
If I wait just a little longer, they will stone me. This is precisely what happens with mob rule and when it is over there is collateral damage and sometimes illogical and irrational rule instead of the law and order way. When the mob rules chaos prevails.
5 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smote the river, take in thy hand, and go.
Pass before the people. And see whether they stone you. Why have you slandered My children?-[from Tanchuma Beshallach 22] and take with you [some] of the elders of Israel. for testimony, so that they shall witness that through you the water comes out of the rock, and they [the Israelites] will not say that there were water fountains there from days of yore. — [from Mechilta] your staff, with which you struck the Nile. Why must Scripture state "with which you struck the Nile"? [To point out what] the Israelites were saying about the staff, [namely] that it was ready only for retribution. With it, Pharaoh and the Egyptians were smitten with many plagues, both in Egypt and by the sea. Therefore, it is stated: “with which you struck the Nile.” Now they will see that it [the staff] is ready for good as well. — [from Mechilta, Exod. Rabbah 26:2]
This is the second time that Moshe speaks lashon hara against the people of Israel. The first time was “they will not listen unto me”.
6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it that the people may drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Heb. וְהִכִּיתָ בַצּוּר. It does not say עַל-הַצּוּר, upon the rock, but בַצּוּר, [lit., into the rock]. From here [we deduce] that the staff was of a hard substance called sapphire, and the rock was split by it. — [from Mechilta]
7 And the name of the place was called Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried the LORD, saying: 'Is the LORD among us, or not?' 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
He [God] juxtaposed this section to this verse, ["Is the Lord in our midst or not? "] implying: “I am always among you, and [I am] always prepared for all your necessities, but you say, Is the Lord in our midst or not?’ By your life, the dog will come and bite you, and you will cry out to Me, and [then] you will know where I am ” This can be compared to a man who mounted his son on his shoulder and set out on the road. Whenever his son saw something, he would say, “Father, take that thing and give it to me,” and he [the father] would give it to him. They met a man, and the son said to him, “Have you seen my father?” So his father said to him, “You don’t know where I am?” He threw him [his son] down off him, and a dog came and bit him [the son]. — [from Tanchuma, Yithro 3; Exod. Rabbah 26:2]
9 And Moses said unto Joshua: 'Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.' 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.' 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-nissi. 16 And he said: 'The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'
10. and Moses, Aaron, and Hur. From here [we deduce] that on a fast day, three people are required to go before the ark [to lead the prayers], for they were fasting. — [from Mechilta] Hur. He was the son of Miriam, and Caleb, her husband. — [from Sotah 11b]
11. when Moses would raise his hand. Did Moses’ hands then make them victorious in battle, etc.? [Rather this is to tell you that when the Israelites looked up and subjugated their hearts to their Father in heaven, they would prevail, and if not, they would fall,] as is found in Rosh Hashanah (29a).
12. Now Moses’ hands were heavy. Since he had been lax in [the performance of] the commandment [of warring against Amalek] and had appointed someone else in his stead, his hands became heavy. — [from Mechilta] so they took. [I.e.,] Aaron and Hur. a stone and placed it under him. But he [Moses] did not sit on a mattress or on a pillow, [because] he said, "Israel is in a state of pain. I too will be with them in pain."-[from Ta’anith 11a] so he was with his hands in faith. And Moses was with his hands in faith, spread out toward heaven in a faithful and proper prayer. until sunset. For the Amalekites calculated the hours [i.e., the time] with their astrology [to determine] in what hour they would be victorious, but Moses caused the sun to stand still and confused the hours. — [from Tanchuma 28]
13. Joshua weakened. He decapitated their [the Amalekites’] strongest warriors, and he left over only the weak among them, but he did not slay them all. From here we learn that he did this according to the mandate of the Shechinah. — [from Mechilta]
14. Inscribe this [as] a memorial. namely that Amalek came to attack the Israelites before all [other] nations [dared to do so]. and recite it into Joshua’s ears. [Joshua] was destined to bring Israel into the land [of Israel and] to pay him [Amalek] his recompense. Here it was hinted to Moses that Joshua would bring Israel into the land. — [from Tanchuma 28, Mechilta] I will surely obliterate the remembrance of Amalek. Therefore, I admonish you in this manner, because I want to obliterate him.
15. and he named it. The altar. — “The Lord is my miracle”. Heb. ה נִסִּי. The Holy One, blessed be He, wrought a great miracle for us here. Not that the altar is called “The Lord,” but whoever mentions the name of the altar remembers the miracle that the Omnipresent performed: The Lord is our miracle. — [from Mechilta]
16. And he said. [I.e.,] Moses [said]. For there is a hand on the throne of the Eternal. Heb. כִּי-יָד עַל כֵּס יָ-הּ. The hand of the Holy One, blessed be He, was raised to swear by His throne, to have a war and [bear] hatred against Amalek for eternity. Now what is the meaning of כֵּס [as opposed to כִּסֵא and also [why is] the Divine Name divided in half? [I.e., why is the Name יָ-הּ used instead of י-ה-ו-ה ?] [The answer is that] the Holy One, blessed be He, swore that His Name will not be complete and His throne will not be complete until the name of Amalek is completely obliterated. And when his name is obliterated, the Divine Name will be complete, and the throne will be complete, as it is said: “The enemy has been destroyed; swords exist forever (לָנֶצַח)” (Ps. 9:7); this [who they are referring to] is Amalek, about whom it is written: “and kept their fury forever (נֶצַח)” (Amos 1:11). "And You have uprooted the cities-their remembrance is lost" (Ps. 9:7) [i.e., Amalek’s obliteration]. What does it say afterwards? “And the Lord (וַיהוה) shall sit forever” (Ps. 9:8); thus [after Amalek is obliterated] the Name is complete. "He has established His throne (כִּסְאוֹ) for judgment" (Ps. 9:8). Thus the throne is complete [i.e., thus the throne, here spelled with an “aleph,” is now complete]. — [from Midrash Tanchuma, end of Ki Theitzei]
Renaud sent me this since I mentioned the drought: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/readmessage.php?t=1009661209250&mbox_pos=0#/group.php?gid=60445378695
Monday will be Tu B’Shevat and customarily lots of fruit will be served. Which fruit should you choose as the one to hold and make the Bracha on?
- If one has a favorite fruit and it's being offered, it should be used to make the Bracha on.
- If one has no preference, then one of the "7 species" has preference.
- If there are none of the 7 species, then one should pick a whole fruit, as opposed to a cut one.
- A Boreh Pri HaEtz has precedence over Boreh Pri HaAdama (e.g. strawberries and bananas)
The 7 species are (in order of Bracha-precedence): Bread from wheat, cakes from wheat, Wine, Olives, Barley (baked or cooked), Dates, Grapes (in solid form), Figs, Pomegranates
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 55:1 – 3
One may not wander into a Schul for no reason. One may not even enter a Schul in order to protect oneself from the weather.
If one needs to enter a Schul to talk to somebody or give them a message, one should enter and first read a few verses or say a short prayer or listen to something being studied or simply sit for a while (since sitting in a Schul is a Mitzvah).
Only then may one approach ones friend to talk to him.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 13:3 – Danny
Festival of the New Year of Trees (15th of Shvat - February 9, 2009)
Tu B'Shevat, sometimes called Jewish Arbor Day, is a minor holiday, but one that is filled with festivity and meaning. The name of the holiday comes from the day on which it occurs on the Hebrew calendar, the 15th of Shvat. The Hebrew letters that spell the number fifteen can be pronounced as "Tu".
Just as Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, Tu B'Shevat is like a birthday for trees. In texts dating from the first centuries of the Common Era, we learn that Tu B’Shevat was the day that separated one agricultural year from the next. Today we celebrate Tu B'Shevat to thank G-d for the gifts of creation, especially goods that grow on trees and the beauties of nature we enjoy. The holiday also reminds us of our responsibility to care for Mother Earth that G-d created in order to preserve it for future generations.
One of the ways Tu B’Shevat is celebrated is with a special ritual called the Seder of Tu B'Shevat. The seder is a special celebration that was first practiced in Tzfat, 450 years ago by the students of the holy ARI (Rabbi Isaac Luria). They saw the seder as an opportunity to renew their connection with the Four Worlds of the kabbalah. It was set up along the lines of the Passover Seder. White Tablecloths were placed on the tables with candle light flowing all around. Incense, preferably myrtle, which is taken during Succoth is placed on the tables. Similarly flowers were used to decorate the tables and to give the air a pleasant fragrance. Mentioned in the writings of the great Sephardic scholar, the Chidah, it involves studying throughout nearly all of the night, while partaking of all the fruits available, in particular the fruits of the seven species of the Land of Israel.
"A land of wheat and barley and vines (grapes) and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and (date) honey. And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the L-rd your G-d for the good land which He has given you." (Deut. 8:8-10)
Special prayers (not penitential prayers) and songs are recited along with words of Torah from the Tanach and Zohar. The book, Pri Etz Hadar is a compilation of all of the texts utilized, it is comprised of the many sections from the bible, Mishna, Talmud, and Zohar which speak of fruits, produce and trees.
It is also a custom to plant trees in the Holy Land of Israel. You will find many children spending the day digging and planting, tree ceremonies taking place. Many people purchase trees to be planted in the Land of Israel in honor or memory of someone dear to them. It is a beautiful custom.
This beautiful little holiday of Tu B’Shevat expresses the renewal and awakening of the trees for the spring. Which ever way you celebrate the festival, enjoy the wisdom of our creator and the glory in His creations. There is a season for everything.
Sources: Taanit 25b, Psalms 92:13, Brochot 34b, Zohar, Pri Etz Hadar, Deut. 8:8-10, Ari' Rabbi Isaac Luria, Chidah. - Yaffa
"Beyond all of the differences that stand between us, we are all the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are all one family, with one land, and one destiny."
"PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF ISRAEL"
Natalie Cohen Susson a just in time miracle
Natalie was going to drive her kid sister to school in Ashkelon. The girl was to go to class early as Natalie had to work. The time was 7 AM. Suddenly there was a siren and they ran back in the stairwell of the house for cover. Guess where the Katyusha fell less than 45 seconds later. Right where Natalie was standing and it punctured her gas (petrol) tank. A very thankful and shaken Natalie told reporters of the big miracle that occurred for her and her kid sister.
A great film called Let’s Pretend from Chaim B. send this out to as many people as you want: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5eKXOBf5_w
Bishop Richard Williamson expressed regret to the pope after his excommunication was rescinded not about his anti-holocaust comments but for disturbing the pope in the mean while a priest : Priest - Gas chambers were for disinfection - Conservative Italian priest compares Holocaust to other genocides like 'that committed in Gaza' Conservative Catholic priest Floriano Abrahamowicz said Thursday that "the only thing certain" about the gas chambers "was that they were used for disinfection." http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3664042,00.html
Viva Israel helped me find the site about the attack on a Synagogue: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/31/venezuela.synagogue/
Sharon G. sent me this one: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/02/01/1002660/concern-criticism-follow-venezuelan-synagogue-attack
From Yacov B: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28953460/
Dutch Jewish center attacked http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3666852,00.html http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304685408&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Seth sent me this so if you have an Arab friend or know Richard Williamson help them boycott Israel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7O61c71Fuo
From Robert the Preacher: Our World: The Israeli solution February 3, 2009 Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST
Operation Cast Lead caused many people to reassess the viability of the sacrosanct "two-state solution." A growing number of observers have pointed out that Hamas's Iranian-sponsored jihadist regime in Gaza is proof that Israel has no way to ensure that land it transfers to the PLO-Fatah will remain under PLO-Fatah control. This reassessment has also provoked a discussion of the PLO-Fatah's own failures since it formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994. Despite the billions of
dollars it received from Israel and the West, its Western trained armed forces numbering more than 75,000 and the bottomless reserve of international political support it enjoys, the PLO-Fatah regime did not build a state, but a kleptocratic thugocracy where the rule of law was replaced by the rule of the jackboot. Instead of teaching its people to embrace peace, freedom and democracy, the PLO-Fatah-led PA indoctrinated them to wage jihad against Israel in a never-ending war. These reassessments have led three leading conservative thinkers - former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, and Efraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies - to all publish articles over the past month rejecting the two-state solution. Bolton, Pipes and Inbar not only agree that the two-state paradigm has failed, they also agree on what must be done now to "solve" the Palestinian conflict. In their view the failed "two-state solution" should be replaced with what Bolton refers to as the "three-state solution." All three analysts begin their analyses with the assertion that Israel is uninterested in controlling Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Since the Palestinians have shown they cannot be trusted with sovereignty, the three argue that the best thing to do is to return the situation to what it was from 1949 to 1967: Egypt should reassert its control over Gaza and Jordan should reassert its control over Judea and Samaria. Bolton, Pipes and Inbar acknowledge that Egypt and Jordan have both rejected the idea but argue that they should be pressured to reconsider. They explain that Egypt fears that Hamas - a sister organization of its own Muslim Brotherhood - will destabilize it. Jordan for its part has two reasons for refusing their plan. The Hashemite kingdom is a minority regime. A large majority of Jordanians are ethnic Palestinians. Adding another 1.2 million from Judea and Samaria could destabilize the kingdom. Then too, both the PLO and Hamas are themselves threats to the regime. The Hashemites still remember how with Syrian support, the PLO in 1970 attempted to overthrow them. As for Hamas, its popularity has grown in Jordan in tandem with its empowerment in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. By integrating the west and east banks of the Jordan River, the chance that Hamas would challenge the regime increases dramatically. If we add to the mix Syrian subversion and sponsorship of Hamas, and al-Qaida penetration of Jordan through Iraq - particularly in the event of a US withdrawal - the danger that merging the west and east bank populations would manifest to the Hashemite regime becomes apparent.
IT IS OFTEN NOTED that Hamas's popularity among Palestinians owes in part to the corruption of the PLO-Fatah-controlled PA. It has also been noted that due to the PLO-Fatah-controlled PA's jihadist indoctrination of Palestinian society, the population's transfer of political loyalty from PLO-Fatah to Hamas was ideologically seamless. What has been little noted is the strategic significance of the nature of Hamas's relations with the PLO-Fatah from the establishment of the PA in1994 until Hamas ousted it from Gaza in 2007. When the PA was established in 1994, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin argued that the PLO-Fatah shared Israel's interest in fighting Hamas because Hamas constituted a threat to its authority.
What Rabin failed to recognize was that Hamas's threat to PLO-Fatah was and remains qualitatively different from the threat it poses to Israel. PLO-Fatah never had a problem with Hamas attacks against Israel, or with its annihilationist ideology as regards Israel. This ideology is shared by PLO-Fatah and is widely popular among the Palestinians. Consequently not only did the PLO-Fatah never prevent Hamas from attacking Israel, it collaborated with Hamas in attacking Israel and did so while disseminating Hamas's genocidal ideology throughout the PA. PLO-Fatah did crack down on Hamas when it felt that Hamas was threatening its grip on power, but in all other respects, it supported Hamas - and continues to do so.
THE SAME UNFORTUNATELY is the situation in both Egypt and Jordan. Hamas's Nazi-like Jew hatred is shared by the vast majority of Jordanians and Egyptians. Islamist calls for the extermination of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel dominate the mosques, seminaries, universities and media outlets in both countries. Popular opposition to the peace treaties that Egypt and Jordan signed with Israel stands consistently at more than 90 percent in both countries. In spite of repeated Israeli demands for action, PLO-Fatah never ended its support for jihadist anti-Semitism. The PLO-Fatah never believed – as Israel hoped it would - that its best chance for remaining in power was by teaching Palestinians to reject hatred, embrace freedom, democracy and the blessings that peace would afford them. So too, neither the Hashemites in Jordan nor President Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt have ever believed that the best way to stabilize or strengthen their own
regimes is by preaching openness and peace and rejecting jihadist anti-Semitism. To the contrary, in recent years, Egypt has become the center for jihadist anti-Semitism in the Arab world and Jordan has one of the highest rates of Jew hatred in the world. The situation on the ground in Jordan, Egypt, Gaza and Judea and Samaria make two things clear. First, a Jordanian reassertion of control over Judea and Samaria and an Egyptian reassertion of control over Gaza would likely increase the chances that the moderate regimes in both countries would be weakened and perhaps overthrown. Second, like Fatah-PLO, neither Egypt nor Jordan would have any interest in protecting Israel from Palestinian terrorists.
Bolton, Inbar and Pipes take for granted that Israel is uninterested in asserting or retaining control over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. This is reasonable given the positions of recent governments on the issue. However, the question is not whether Israel is interested or uninterested in asserting control over the areas - and most Israelis are uninterested in giving up control over Judea and Samaria in light of what happened after Israel withdrew its forces and civilians from Gaza. THE SALIENT QUESTION is now that it is clear that the two-state solution has failed, what is the best option for managing the conflict? Not only would Israel be unable to trust that its security situation would improve if the areas were to revert to Jordanian and Egyptian control, Israel could trust that its security situation would rapidly deteriorate as the prospect of regional war increased. With a retrocession of Gaza, Judea and Samaria to Egyptian and Jordanian rule, Israel would find
itself situated within indefensible borders, and facing the likely prospect that the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes would be destabilized. Today Israel has the ability to enter Gaza without concern that doing so would provoke war with Egypt. It has minimized the terror threat from Judea and Samaria by controlling the areas with the massive help of the strong Israeli civilian presence in the areas which ensures control over the roads and the heights. IDF forces can operate freely within the
areas without risking war with Jordan. The IDF controls the long border with Jordan and can prevent terrorist infiltration from the east. If the current situation is preferable to the "three-state solution" and if the current situation itself is unsustainable, the question again arises, what should be done? What new policy paradigm should replace the failed two-state solution? The best way to move forward is to reject the calls for a solution and concentrate instead on stabilization. With rockets and mortars launched from Gaza continuing to pummel the South despite Operation Cast Lead, and with the international community's refusal to enforce UN Security Council resolutions barring Iran from exporting weapons, it is clear that Gaza will remain an Iranian-sponsored, Hamas-controlled area for as
long as Hamas retains control over the international border with Egypt. So Israel must reassert control over the border. It is also clear that Hamas and its terrorist partners in Fatah and Islamic Jihad will continue to target the South for as long as they can. So Israel needs to establish a security zone inside of Gaza wide enough to remove the South from rocket and mortar range. From an economic perspective, it is clear that in the long run, Gaza's only prospect for development is an
economic union of sorts with the largely depopulated northern Sinai. For years, Egypt has rejected calls for economic integration with Gaza. Cairo should be pressured to reassess its position as Israel stabilizes the security situation in Gaza itself. AS FOR JUDEA and Samaria, Israel should continue its military control
over the areas in order to ensure its national security. It should also apply its law to the areas of Judea and Samaria that are within the domestic consensus. These areas include the Etzion, Adumim, Adam, Ofra and Ariel settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley. Israel should end its support for the PLO-Fatah-led PA, and support the empowerment of non-jihadist elements of Palestinian society to lead a new autonomous authority in the areas. These new leaders, who may be the traditional
leaders of local clans, should be encouraged to either integrate within Israel or seek civil confederation with Jordan. Jordan could take a larger role in the civil affairs of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, by for instance reinstating their Jordanian citizenship which it illegally revoked in 1988. At the same time, Israel should end its freeze on building for Israeli communities in the areas. It is obvious today that for the Palestinians to develop into a society that may be capable of statehood in the long term, they require a period of a generation or two to rebuild their society in a peaceful way. They will not do this in environments where terrorists are ideologically aligned with unpopular, repressive regimes. The option of continued and enhanced Israeli control is unattractive to many. But it is the only option that will provide an environment conducive to such a long-term reorganization of Palestinian society that will also safeguard Israel's own security
and national well-being. While it is vital to recognize that the failed two-state solution must be abandoned, it is equally important that it not be replaced with another failed proposition. The best way to move forward is by adopting a stabilization policy that enables Israel to secure itself while providing an opportunity for Palestinians to integrate gradually and peacefully with their Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian neighbors.
The White House and Pentagon issued strong statements Tuesday, Feb. 3 about the dangers posed by the launch of Iran's first homemade satellite into space while working toward developing long-range missile capability. DEBKAfile notes that none of the leading contenders in Israel's Feb. 10 general election, including the defense and foreign ministers - or even prime minister Ehud Olmert - saw fit to react to the event.
In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said any effort to develop missile delivery capability, continue an illicit nuclear program, threaten Israel and sponsor terror is an "acute concern to this administration." Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that Iran poses "a real threat and a growing threat." He said: "It is certainly a reason for us to be concerned about Iran and its continued attempts to develop a ballistic missile program of increasingly long range."
DEBKAfile's Washington sources report that the Obama administration is beginning to get fed up with Tehran continually laying down hard facts ahead of any dialogue begins between the two governments. An official in the national security council commented wryly: Now that the Iranians have proved they have ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe and our bases there, what else have they up their sleeves before we start talking?
Our Iranian sources have seen no sign that Tehran proposes to soften its attitudes on nuclear or missile issues ahead of those talks. At a joint news conference with UK foreign secretary David Milliband, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced William Burns would join the six major powers in Germany Wednesday to discuss the next steps on Iran's nuclear designs which she called a threat to the world. "We are reaching out a hand, but the fist has to unclench," she said.
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak held off responding to ten days of missile-mortar salvoes from Gaza in the hope of Cairo successfully negotiating a long-term truce deal with Hamas.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that Egypt's announcement Wednesday, Feb. 4, that as of Thursday, its only border crossing with Gaza at Rafah would be closed down for all traffic, signaled the breakdown of those negotiations. Cairo gave people who entered Gaza through Rafah and wished to leave 24 hours to do so. Egypt also discontinued all humanitarian operations for the Gaza population, including care for the war wounded and sick.
Egypt finally resolved to segregate the Gaza Strip Tuesday night after discovering that Hamas was under orders from Tehran to keep the truce talks dragging on aimlessly together with daily missile and mortar fire against Israel.
Cairo hopes that slamming the Rafah gate shut will bring Hamas to heel, although most doubt this will happen.
This breakdown has also shut the door on Barak's solo policy of relying Egypt to reap the results of Israel's three-week operation in Gaza in the form of Hamas surrender to a long-term ceasefire. Most of the Israeli government as well as the opposition were skeptical of this result. To avoid sending the military in to finish the job against Hamas, defense ministry sources tried claimed that the nagging fire from Gaza came from non-Hamas sources. Tuesday, a long-range, heavy Grad rocket from Hamas' stock hit Ashkelon center and put paid to this claim. Hamas is expected to respond to its cutoff from Egypt by stepping up cross-border attacks against Israel.
Wednesday, Christopher Guinness, spokesman of the UN Relief and Works Agency, UNWRA, complained that Hamas police raided its warehouse in Gaza City and made off with 3,500 blankets and nearly 500 food packages that were to have been distributed to poor Gaza families. UNWRA demanded their immediate return.
Israel regularly opens at least two of the crossings on its side to regular supplies of essential goods and fuel for Gaza unless Palestinian fire escalates and targets those very crossings.
El Al jet nearly crashes into Modin by Nitzana: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061118.html
This week's Good Shabbos Story is "No Chance" thanks to M. Wolfberg
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's Parsha, we read about the remaining plagues which Hashem brought down on the Egyptians. We see how the hand of Hashem punished the Egyptians and at the same time guided the Bnai-Yisroel (the Children of Israel). We see from here how Hashem guides our lives. The concept of Hashgacha Pratis – divine intervention, which is one of the foundations of Jewish belief. As the Rambam teaches us in the first of his 13 Principles of Faith: “I believe in perfect faith that the Creator blessed is His Name, is the Creator and the Guider of all creations…”
Believing in Hashgacha Pratis – divine intervention means believing that Hashem guides even the minutest details of the universe. From this belief stems the belief that life is not random. Rather, everything that happens in life is for a purpose.
In January 2006, Mrs. Chaya Levinson of Toronto was told by her doctors that she would need a kidney transplant. Her kidneys were functioning at a mere 17 percent of capacity, and she had to either find a kidney donor or begin regular dialysis.
Together with her husband, R' Yehuda, she began trying to find a donor among her family. Unfortunately those who might have been suitable had incompatible blood types. Though the Levinsons were willing to advertise in the media for a donor, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy, of Agudas Yisrael in Toronto, counseled them against it.
"Rather," he said, "talk to many people about it. Let everyone know you need a donor and word will spread that way." A while afterward, a donor was found and the transplant was scheduled. Less than a week before the date of the surgery, the donor was found to be medically unfit.
Over the next few months this would happen again and again. As upsetting as it was, Mrs. Levinson never lost her faith and kept praying to Hashem for a miracle. A few weeks later, Mrs. Levinson's husband was invited to give a Motza'ei Shabbos shiur (Torah Class) on Likutei Maharan to about 30 people in the home of Chaim and Mindy Halper Oliver.
At first Mrs. Levinson was reluctant to go, she had too much on her mind, but R' Yehuda convinced her to attend. That decision would profoundly change her life, for, after the shiur as people were socializing, Mrs. Levinson mentioned to someone that she was in desperate need of a kidney donor.
"Did you say you need a kidney donor?" a voice came from across the room. Mrs. Levinson looked up and saw that it was Mindy Halper, the hostess, who had asked the question. Mrs. Levinson walked over to Mrs. Halper and said, "Yes, I do need a donor. My kidneys are not functioning. Do you know anyone who would be willing to be a donor? "
"Yes," said Mrs. Halper emphatically. "Me! You can have mine!" It was spontaneous, sincere and without any hesitation. And so began a deep friendship and bonding as the two women pursued the possibility of one being a donor for the other. Monday morning Mindy called Toronto General Hospital to begin testing to determine if she was a suitable donor. She underwent a battery of medical tests and she was cleared. She consulted with her rav, Rabbi Yehoshua Weber of the Clanton Park Shul, and a date was set for the operations.
An article appeared in the Toronto Jewish Tribune about Mrs. Levinson's need for a kidney. A donor came forward, but by that time the Levinsons were working with Mindy. The operation was held in Toronto General Hospital in May 2006 and within weeks both patients were doing remarkably well. Shortly after the surgery, Mindy approached R' Yehuda and said, "I have been having problems getting my Canadian immigration papers. I understand you are an immigration lawyer. Can you help me?" "What is the question?" exclaimed R' Yehuda.
"After what you did for my wife, I would do anything to help you or your family." Mrs. Halper explained that it was very important for her to be recognized as a Canadian citizen and that she would greatly appreciate R' Yehuda getting involved and helping her attain her papers. R' Yehuda assured Mrs. Halper again that he would do anything and everything he could. For the next few months, R' Yehuda worked diligently cutting through red tape and dealing with the authorities. Finally the process was on the verge of success. Only one more requirement remained. By Canadian law, applicants for citizenship must be tested to see that they are not carrying any contagious diseases. Mrs. Halper assured R' Yehuda that she was healthy and that she could get her family physician to attest to that.
"I am sorry," said R' Yehuda, "but that would not be sufficient. We need an exam conducted by a doctor who is approved by "Immigration Canada." I know a very fine woman doctor who is thorough, capable, caring and sensitive. She will take care of it immediately, if I ask her."
When Dr. Iris Shannon saw the results of the lung X-rays she called Mrs. Halper and her husband to her office. Tactfully and compassionately, she told them the frightening news that there was a tiny speck on her lungs that appeared to be malignant. That was followed by a CT scan, MRI and biopsies. Within days she received a second opinion that confirmed Dr. Shannon's findings. She had stage one lung cancer. Mindy and her husband were understandably shocked and frightened by the diagnosis. She was operated on in January 2007 and the tiny tumor was completely removed. Because the cancer had been found in its earliest stages there was no need for subsequent chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Today, with the Hashem's help both women are enjoying full lives with their families. Thanks to her Ahavas Yisrael (love of another Jew) and Hashgachah Pratis (Divine Providence), Mindy Halper's magnanimous act not only saved the life of a fellow Jew - it also saved her own!" (From In the Spirit of the Maggid p.55) Good Shabbos Everyone
Mr. Wolfberg' s stories not mine are sponcered by: In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi
Have a wonderful Shabbos and a safe & peaceful one.
www.RabbiPauli.blogspot.com Please note: You may have to copy and paste
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