Thursday, May 28, 2009

Parsha Bamidbar 2, Eruv Tavshillin, Stories

Good News Asaf Dror ben Leah Shulamit is recovering very nicely. However, he will need for the rest of his life medications against kidney rejection. I am praying for him for another week. A slight turn to the worst though for Esther bas Chana.

Last week I reported the following but:
MIG 31 E to Syria is no longer being funded by Iran:
SNUBBED!!! Am Yisrael disgraced!
When I was an assimilated Jew I was told by my father who fled the Nazis not to make waves but the anti-semites on my block knew that I was different because I neither attended mass in a Catholic or Protestant Church. The Witnesses tried to convert my mother from time to time and an old foolish friend of my father was baby sitting me one day and wanted to walk me over to the Catholic church 3 blocks away to have me baptized. However, in NY in the summer time, sudden thunderstorms occur and G-D was about to release a kosher Mikvah from above on my carriage so the man who offered to send me to an out of town College for free lost out on the deal. Instead I went to CCNY and met my first intellectual Orthodox Jews and that is why I am here today. As for my father, he had the merit of driving his son to learn in a Yeshiva three days before he passed away and his old foolish friend was out of his life and my life forever.
Still being the only Jew on my block and being beaten up by tougher and more numerous kids, I was out numbered an d became a coward. I’ll admit that if six young men with muscles that would make Jessie Ventura look weak and over 2 meters tall or about 6’8’’ I would try to avoid a fight too but if attacked, I would fight like a trapped mouse.
Barak Obama invited Benyamin Netanyahu to come to the US. However, the first lady snubbed Sarah Netanyahu – I bet she would not have done so to Carla of France or Mrs. Brown of England. The fact that Obama visited Turkey and is going to visit special Egypt right next door to Israel ups my blood. I am from King David and I know that a child of a King does not take this organic fertilizer from a ‘Friend’. I would be like letting me know you are coming to the Modiin area or Grandview Terrace in FL when I am there and visiting my next door neighbor or the apt one floor down and not stopping in to say hello. What type of a friend are you? I visited my cousin in NJ for the Bar Mitzvah of his son; I made it my business to visit by friends Del & Barbara and my old Chavrutha Avraham even though they both were many miles away. Those who understand will understand and those who do not all the better still.
What came out of the meeting? “Illegal Israeli Settlements” to be torn down and a six month delay in dealing with Iran with their Nuclear Program running at 24/7 full speed ahead.

Parsha Bamidbar part 2

2:32 These are they that were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers' houses; all that were numbered of the camps according to their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. 33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses. 34 Thus did the children of Israel: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, each one according to its families, and according to its fathers' houses.

My thesis on the numbers listed here 603,550 and at the end of Bamidbar in Parsha Pinchas 26:51. These are those counted of the children of Israel: six hundred and one thousand and seven hundred and thirty. 601,730 is as follows: There were a certain amount of males destined to enter Eretz Yisrael. The higher number was what was needed so the discrepancy of 1,820 should bother me. In order to keep the numbers balance in the desert 1257.4 people on the average must reach their 60th birthday and the same amount their 20th birthday or via death like Zimri to keep the population the same. Now Zimri perished followed by the war of Midian and the wars of Og and Sichon which took some time. The difference in the amount until Moshe Rabbaynu’s death and the 30 days of mourning made up for the 1,820 men short by having less people dying as some of Zimri followers were close to retirement and more young people were entering. Why do we count in small numbers like units of 50 or 30? The answer is to show us how valuable each and every ben Yisrael is before G-D.

3:1 Now these are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the LORD spoke with Moses in mount Sinai. 2 And these are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the first-born, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
These are the descendants of Moses and Aaron: Yet only the sons of Aaron are mentioned. However, they are considered descendants of Moses because he taught them Torah. This teaches us that whoever teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man, Scripture regards it as if he had begotten him - [Sanh. 19b]

3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests that were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office. 4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children; and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father.
Again with the Leviim and the first born children they become very valuable before the L-RD. Now the Leviim were broken up into three sections and each one was on one side of the camp with Aaron and sons on the remaining forth side. The three families had different functions in the carrying and building of the Mishkan in the wilderness each time.

15. Count the children of Levi according to their fathers' house according to their families. Count all males from the age of one month and upward.< /b>
From the age of one month and upward: When he is no longer in the category of [possible] premature birth, he is counted among those called, “keepers of the holy charge.” R. Judah the son of R. Shalom said: That tribe is accustomed to being counted from the womb, as it says, “whom she bore to Levi in Egypt” ; as she entered the gate of Egypt, she bore her [Yocheved], yet she [Yocheved] was counted as one of the seventy souls. For if you count their total, you find only sixty-nine, but she completed the number. [Mid. Tanchuma , Bamidbar 16]

… 17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. 18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei. 19 And the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 20 And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses. 21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimeites; these are the families of the Gershonites.
For Gershon, the Libnite family: That is to say, from Gershon, those counted were the Libnite family and Shim’eite family; their numbers were so many and so many.

22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred. 23 The families of the Gershonites were to pitch behind the tabernacle westward;
10. For the children of Joseph: for Ephraim, Elishama' the son of 'Ammihud; for Manasseh, Gamliel the son of Pedazur. Along with the tribe of Benyamin under the protection of the Angel Gavriel.

24 the prince of the fathers' house of the Gershonites being Eliasaph the son of Lael, 25 and the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting the tabernacle, and the Tent, the covering thereof, and the screen for the door of the tent of meeting, 26 and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the court--which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar, round about--and the cords of it, even whatsoever pertaineth to the service thereof. 27 And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites; these are the families of the Kohathites: 28 according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, eight thousand and six hundred, keepers of the charge of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath were to pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward;
The families of the sons of Kohath shall camp to the south: Near20them was the division of Reuben, who camped to the south. Woe to the wicked, woe to his neighbor! This explains why Dothan, Abiram, and two hundred and fifty men were smitten with Korach and his congregation, for they were drawn into the dispute along with them. [Tanchuma, Bamidbar 12]
This is the side protected by the Angel Rafael corresponding with the other two tribes not mentioned in Rashi were Gad and Shimon.

30 the prince of the fathers' house of the families of the Kohathites being Elizaphan the son of Uzziel, 31 and their charge the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith the priests minister, and the screen, and all that pertaineth to the service thereof; 32 Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest being prince of the princes of the Levites, and having the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.

Moses, Aaron and his sons: Near them was the division of the camp of Judah, next to whom camped Issachar and Zebulun. It is good for the righteous, and it is good for his neighbor; because they were neighbors of Moses, who was engaged in Torah study, they became great Torah scholars, as it says, “Judah is my lawgiver” (Ps. 60:9). The descendants of Issachar were those “who had understanding of the times” (I Chron. 12:32)… the two hundred heads of the Sanhedrin, “and from Zebulun came those who wield the scribe’s quill” (Jud. 5:114). [Tanchuma 12] This is protected by the Angel Michael.

33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites; these are the families of Merari. 34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred; 35 the prince of the fathers' house of the families of Merari being Zuriel the son of Abihail; they were to pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward;
1;25. The legions under the division of the camp of Dan were to the north. The prince of the children of Dan was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. Along with the tribes of Asher and Naphtali under the protection of Uriel.

36 the appointed charge of the sons of Merari being the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the instruments thereof, and all that pertaineth to the service thereof; 37 and the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords. 38 And those that were to pitch before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrising, were Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary, even the charge for the children of Israel; and the common man that drew nigh was to be put to death. 39 All that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, by their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand. 40 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Number all the first-born males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.
Count every firstborn male aged one month and upward: From the time he is no longer categorized as possibly a premature birth.

41 And thou shalt take the Levites for Me, even the LORD, instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.' 42 And Moses numbered, as the LORD commanded him, all the first-born among the children of Israel. 43 And all the first-born males according to the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.
In 1:49 we did not count the Leviim with the rest of the tribes but now they were counted this is the Rashi on the previous section: Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number: The legion of the king deserves to be counted on its own (Tanchuma). Another explanation: The Holy One, Blessed Be He, foresaw that a decree was destined to be enacted against all those counted from twenty years and upward [condemning them] to die in the desert. He said, “Let these not be included, for they are Mine, since they did not err in [the sin of] the [golden] calf.” - [B.B. 121]

44 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 45 'Take the Levites instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be Mine, even the LORD'S. 46 And as for the redemption of the two hundred and three score and thirteen of the first-born of the children of Israel, that are over and above the number of the Levites,
As for the two hundred and seventy-three of the children of Israel who required redemption: The firstborn among them who require redemption-these are the two hundred and seventy-three in excess of the Levites; from them you shall take five shekels per head. Such was the sale [price] of Joseph, the firstborn of Rachel, [for the price was] twenty silver pieces [i.e., twenty dinarim, four of which equal a sela]. [Gen. Rabbah 84:18]

47 thou shalt take five shekels apiece by the poll; after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them--the shekel is twenty gerahs. 48 And thou shalt give the money wherewith they that remain over of them are redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons.' 49 And Moses took the redemption-money from them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites;
50 from the first-born of the children of Israel took he the money: a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
in excess of those redeemed by the Levites: Those remaining after the Levites had redeemed them with their very selves.

51 And Moses gave the redemption-money unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Rallying Round The Flag

In the beginning of Parshas Bamidbar [2:2], the pasuk [verse] says, "The Children of Israel shall encamp, each man by his flag (banner) according to the insignias of their fathers' household..." In addition to the census that begins the Book of Bamidbar, the Torah describes the method and order by which the Children of Israel traveled in the Wilderness. The 12 Tribes were divided into four camps. Each camp had its own flag. Today there are some who might think that the idea of a flag is a Gentile concept. However, we see that on the contrary, this idea has roots in the Torah. Each tribe had its own flag and each of the four camps had its own flag.

The Medrash in Bamidbar Rabbah states that the Almighty demonstrated great love for the nation of Israel by making them flags like those of the ministering angels, so that they might be easily recognizable. "And from where do we know," the Medrash continues, "that this was such a great demonstration of love for the Jewish people?" The Medrash cites the pasuk in Shir HaShirim [2:4]: "He brought me to the chamber of Torah delights and clustered my encampments about Him in love." (Heviani l'beis hayayin v'Diglo alai Ahavah).

The Medrash further states that when G-d revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai, there were 22 myriads of angels with him and all of the angels had flags (as is written -- "Dagul m'revava" [Shir HaShirim 5:10]). When the Jews saw tha t the angels had flags, they too had a strong desire for flags. They said "If only we too could have flags like the angels." G-d then swore to them that the time would come when they too would have flags. That time came in Parshas Bamidbar, when the tribes and encampments were each assigned flags (degalim).

A flag is a very physical item. Angels are entirely spiritual. Why would angels need flags? Furthermore, what was the strong desire that the Jews had for flags? The Nesivos Shalom writes that flags demonstrate the mission (tachlis) of every single group. This is true. We are not necessarily very conscious of the military, but think about it: The army has its own flag, the navy has its own flag, and the air force has its own flag. Every branch of the service has its own flag. Every flag somehow identifies what the unit or group is all about.

When Chazal say the angels came down with flags, it is a way of saying that every angel has its own mission and purpose of existence. The flag demonstrates what the angel is all about. This also explains the tremendous passion that Klal Yisrael had for flags. When the Jews saw the flags that proclaimed that every angel had a mission and purpose they proclaimed "Halevai (if only) we too would have such flags!"

Is there anything greater that a person wants out of life other than to know what his 'tafkid' (mission) is and what his purpose is and what he should do with his life? They strongly desired some thing which would testify to the fact that each of them ha d a defined purpose, as was the case with the angels. The Almighty responded "Yes. Every tribe will have its flag. Every camp will have its flag. "Even though physically, every Jew does not walk around with his own personal flag, he does have his 'tafkid' (mission). He has his purpose (tachlis). That is what the flags are all about.

This is perhaps why Parshas Bamidbar always precedes Shavuos. The Halacha teaches: "Manu V'atzru" - Count then observe the Holiday of Atzeres. First experience Parshas Bamidbar and then experience Shavuos. One of the conditions of receiving the Torah was that "Israel encamped (singular verb) opposite the mountain." When the Almighty saw that Israel rejected disputes and loved one another, He concluded that the time had arrived to give them the Torah. Unity amongst Klal Yisrael is a prerequisite for Kabalas haTorah. There can not be competition and jealousy. There can not be "I want this guy's job. I want this thing. I want that thing. "People will not be jealous of one another if they know they are fulfilling their purpose in life. In order for that to be true, they must know why they are here and what purpose they are fulfilling. Only when there is confusion of personal mission does dispute enter into the picture.

Therefore,20first count, then celebrate Atzeres. When we learn the lesson of the flags -- that every angel has his purpose and every Jew has his purpose (every Jew counts) -- then we can arrive at Kabbalas HaTorah (receiving the Torah).

The Message of the Book of Ruth

I found the following idea in Rabbi Mirsky's sefer on the Jewish holidays:

On Shavuos, we read the book of Rus [Ruth], written by the prophet Shmuel. Rus is one of the 24 books of the Bible. It is a beautiful story. But what is so vital about this narrative that it must be part of Tanach? Furthermore, why do we specifically read it on the holiday of Shavuos?

Rav Shlomo Alkabez, in his commentary to Rus, writes "This Megillah was written to authenticate King David and to publicize the concept that a Moabite woman may marry a Jew. Shmuel wrote this book to preempt any murmuring that might threaten the monarchy of the anointed king (David)."

There was indeed controversy as to whether Boaz was permitted to marry Rus. Rus was from Moab. The simple reading of "Neither an Ammonite nor a Moabite shall enter the Congregation of the L-rd" [De varim 23:4] would seem to preclude her ability to marry Boaz or any other native born Jew for that matter. There e was a dispute that raged for generations whether the prohibition included female Moabites or just the males. Boaz made a bold move to demonstrate the permissibility of such a union, even though the closer relative (a man named Tov) refused to enter into such a marriage out of fear that it was prohibited.

Shmuel, the prophet who anointed David as King, decided to set the record straight and recorded Boaz's public decision to marry this woman -- in Tanach. This explains, perhaps, why Rus is read on Shavuos. The story of Boaz's bold decision to marry Rus dramatizes his faith in the veracity of the Oral Tradition. Boaz had faith in the "Halacha of Moshe tracing back to Sinai" that the interpretation of the above cited pasuk in Devarim is "An Ammonite male is forbidden, but not an Ammonite female; a Moabite male is forbidden, but not a Moabite female. "

When a Jew sits down on Shavuos, the holiday marking receipt of the Torah, he is confronted with the question of why Boaz did marry Rus. Why was he so confident that he was allowed to marry her? The answer is that he knew it was permissible because of the Oral Law. Shavuos is not merely the holiday celebrating receipt of the Written Torah. As indicated by the story of Rus, Shavuos is also the holiday when we celebrate the receipt of and the veracity of the Oral Torah.

The issue of the20veracity of the Oral Torah was an issue in Talmudic times and it is an issue in modern times as well. When we tell people "the Torah says such and such," they question us because they cannot find it in the Written Torah. So much of the divisions that we have with our non-observant brethren boil down to this point: Is there an Oral Law or not?

On Shavuos, we come to this clear understanding that Torah means the Written Torah PLUS the Oral Torah. There is no better narrative than the Megillah of Rus to drive home this lesson.

The Vilna Gaon reads this whole idea into a few pasukim in Tehillim [119:161-162]: King David writes: "Princes have pursued me without cause, but my heart has feared Your word (m'devarcha pachad leebi). I rejoice over Your Word, (sos anochi al imrasecha) like one who finds abundant spoils." The meaning of M'devarcha pachad leebi is I was afraid of the words of Your Torah, which seems to imply that even a Moabite woman may not marry into the Jewish people. But sos anochi al imrasecha -- I rejoiced over your Oral Teaching, which taught to the contrary, that the prohibition was limited only to the Moabite males.


Aaron Benyamin wrote on the Torah Forum the following: ; p; nbsp;
are seven reasons why we read the Megillah of Ruth on Shavuos: 1. The events occurred during the harvest season. Shavuos is the harvest festival.

2. Ruth was a convert to Judaism. Conversion is an individual Kabbalas HaTorah. 3. Ruth the Moabite was permitted to marry Boaz, based on a Drasha (a teaching of the Oral Law) of the verse, "A Moabite may not marry into the Congregation of Hashem" (Devarim 23:4). This hints at the unity between the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. 4. David Hamelech was born on Shavuos. The Megillah of Ruth concludes with David's lineage. 5. To teach the greatness of Gemillus Chassidim - acts of loving-kindness. 6. To teach that the Torah is acquired only through affliction and poverty. 7. The name "Ruth" has the numerical=2 0value of 606. At Har Sinai the Jewish People accepted 606 mitzvos, in addition to the 7 Noachide Laws which were incumbent upon them already.

This week’s lecture and essay are dedicated in honor of *Eda Schottenstein *With much appreciation and respect, by her husband *David Schottenstein*
-- Rabbi JB Soloveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Two Layers Covering the Tabernacle.

The Modern Jew in Wilderness By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

A Can of Beans

Three guys are alone on a desert island: an engineer, a biologist and an economist. They are starving and don't have a thing to eat, but somehow they find a can of beans on the shore.

The engineer says: "Let's hit the can with a rock until it opens."

The biologist has another idea: "No. We should wait for a while. Erosio n will do the job."

Finally, the economist says: "Let's assume that we have a can opener".

The Desert

What was the significance of the fact that Torah was given in a wilderness, in a barren and infertile desert, not in a civilized terrain, nor on soil conducive to human living and nature’s blessing. Why did G-d communicate His blueprint for life and enter into an eternal covenant with the Jewish people in the aridity and
desolateness of a desert?

In a past essay, we discussed three explanations. 1. The Torah was given on soil not owned by any particular people or community, to signify that the Torah belongs to every single Jewish soul. 2. The giving of the Torah in the wilderness represents the idea that Torah is not a product of a particular culture and genre. It enriches all cultures, but transcends them. 3. The function of Torah is to confront and refine the barren wilderness within the human psyche and the world.

Today we will explore a fourth and deeper dimension, articulated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in a pre-Shavuos address, 37 years ago. It is a message that may be particularly relevant to the modern Jew.

Feel-Good Religion

One of the errors that a Jew living in the modern era is likely to make is that Judaism makes no existentially profound demands on its believers. Judaism is a feel-good religion, and its objective is to make one feel comfortable about ones self. For many religious leaders and teachers today, the primary objective is to present a version of Judaism that will fit nicely in to the mind-set and living patterns of their constituents and will reassure them that they are wonderful people. Many rabbis are committed above all to teach a Judaism that will not shake up our comfort-zones.

In many ways this has become the hallmark of the American version of Judaism designed to conform to the paradigms of modernity. In the image of the modern, American Jew, have we created Judaism.

My goal is to study and practice a Judaism that does not interfere with my conveniences,a man once told me. I have my lifestyle, philosophy, schedule, habits, and social patterns; as long as Judaism can fit into this, I will make room for it and enjoy it too.

But if we communicate a Judaism just to make people feel good, why do we really need it? Why not just figure out what works best for our lives and pursue /that/? Therapy, yoga, exercise, suburban living, meditation, nutrition, sports, the arts, music, etc. If Judaism is merely here to nurture my pre-defined identity and satisfy my ingrained appetites, why bother with it all together?

And can the feel-good Judaism inspire a future? Can such a type of Judaism take root in the hearts of the youth? Can it appeal to the idealistic dimension of the human soul, searching to touch the Divine?

A Tale of Two Images

But suppose that Judaism was real -- it was the au thentic blueprint for life from the living G-d -- then the question should not be, How do I find a Judaism that does not disturb me too much, but rather what does Judaism really say about my calling? What does Judaism believe about life, death and everything in between? What does Torah have to say about the most important question and dilemmas facing the human mind and heart? The question must be not how I can mold Judaism
in my image, but how I can mold myself in the image of Torah? How can I revisit my image and recreate myself based on the visage of man articulated in Judaism?

If Torah is true, I must have the courage to take a hard, deep look at my preconceived notions, thoughts and behavior patterns, ready to discover truth that may challenge me.

This is why Torah was given in the barren desert, in uncivilized wilderness, where it had no predefined culture to contend with and to be compared with. Only in the physical and artistic silence of the desert can we open ourselves to a radical search for truth. Only in a desert, can we walk into something with our whole being, ready to find anything.

If Torah would have been given in a city or amidst a beautifully natural terrain, it would have, by definition, conformed to the culture prevailing in those particular areas. In the great river lowlands where civilization began (the Tigris-Euphrates rivers and the Nile), the eye is captivated by the shifting scenes of nat ure; in
cities, the eye is overtaken by the works of man -- art and architecture. In such environments, the Israelites would only be able to absorb a religion that would fit into their psyches, patterns, and sensibilities, like all the Pagan religions of the time. The Jews could never attune themselves to the word of a G-d who transcends

Sinai challenged the Jewish people to revisit all of existence from its deepest genesis; to reexamine life and history from its very nucleus; to see the world not from the human perspective, but from the perspective of G-d who cannot be confined in human modalities. A revolution of this magnitude cannot take place in a populated environment, not even in an environment where life blossoms and nature flourishes. Only in the emptiness and desolateness of the wilderness is the ego subordinate to the search for truth. Only in the silence of the desert, can a person bid farewell to all of his or her paradigms and allow his soul to absorb radical transcendence.

A Rash People

This explains a deeply enigmatic episode which occurred at Sinai.

The Bible relates that when Moses presented the covenant before the Israelites, they responded, "We will do and we will listen" (Exodus 24:7). This expression has always been a source of wonderment and surprise to rabbis and a refutation of the anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews as calculating and self-protective. "We will do and we will listen" implies a commitment to observe th e covenant even before the Jews heard its details and understood its ramifications.

The Talmud (Shabbos 88b) tells a story about a Sadducee who once saw one of the great Talmudic sages, Rava, so engrossed in learning that he did not attend a wound in his own hand. The Sadducee exclaimed, "You rash people! You put your mouths ahead of your ears [by saying "we will do and we will listen"], and you still persist in your recklessness. First, you should have heard out [the covenant details]. If it is within your capacity, then accept it. If not, you should have rejected it!

His argument was logical. Imagine somebody offers you to invest a large some of money in a developing company. To respond, Sure, here is the money, and then afterward I will listen to the details, is ridiculous. If you do not know what the company is all about, why subject your money to possible loss? And yet, in this case, the Jews declared that they were ready embrace a life-altering covenant, even before they heard all the details and knew what Judaism was all about! Why? How?

Rava answered the Sadducee with these words: "We walked with our whole being.

What Rava meant was this: By definition, a relationship with G-d cannot be created on our terms; it must be on His terms. If there is something called Truth, if there is something called Reality, we cannot define it; it must define us. We cannot accept it on condition that it suites our senses and expectations. On the contrary, we must realign our condition to it. Once the Jewish people knew that G-d was communicating with them, they did not want to fit religion into their imagination; they had no pre conditions for a relationship with truth. It was in the desert that the Jews can declare, We will do and we will listen.

This process must occur each year anew. To receive Torah, we must have the courage to walk into a desert; we must strip ourselves from any pre-defined self-identity. We need to be ready to hear the sound beneath the sounds we are accustomed to. Torah is not merely a cute and endearing document filled with rituals, to satisfy nostalgia or tradition. Torah demands that we open ourselves up with our whole
being and declare, We shall do and we shall listen!

(This essay is based on a talk delivered by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, on Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar, 29 Iyar, 5732, May 13, 1972.)

Springtime and Romance for the unmarried or newly weds

YITZCHAK MARRIED RIVKA - MARRIED HER - WAS COMFORTED FOR HIS MOTHER - THEN HE LOVED HER. If you have romance it could blind you. First look for qualities, personality traits, compassion, charity, understanding, kindness, etc. or heaven forbid anger, brutality. Don't go for the he-man or 44D-24-36 types that Hollywood CA sells us. Go for somebody you could love for 50 years or at my age 30 to 40 years. Love is developed. Romance is blind infatuation. Love is caring and sharing. Romance is an idea one has of a stranger. One Rabbi wrote recently: ‘People spend more time planning the wedding than checking out their romantic partner.’


The daughter of the Rabbi Hafetz Haim (may his memory be blessed) one day asked her father if he could play hide and seek with her. Despite the Hafetz Haim’s greatness in Torah and how busy he was he agreed to play with his daughter just to20make her happy.

Excited, his daughter went to find a place to hide. She was soon hiding in one of the bedrooms. The Chafetz Chaim went to look for her but after many attempts he gave up and sat down to continue learning. Fifteen minutes passed and he heard his daughter crying. The mother heard the crying and went to look for her daughter. She saw her sitting on the floor and crying.

“No one is looking for me…” When the Chafetz Chaim heard this he started crying too. “Why are you also crying” his wife asked him. He said “Didn’t you hear what she said”? He asked his wife. “Well she is upset because no one is looking for her” his wife said “That’s why I am crying the Chafetz Chaim said “Hashem asks us the same question

Why aren’t you looking for me??????? WHY? I am waiting and waiting anticipating for you to find me, but everyone is busy, busy with their own things... and they don’t find time to look for me…” There are many people out there who are pressuring us and making circumstances very uncomfortable just for the sake that we look for Him. Let’s all look for Hashem then they’ll all go away. Binyamin Jadidi

As we learnt, one may light fire from an existing flame on Yom Tov. One may not chop wood on Yom Tov, not with an ax and not by hand. On Yom Tov one may not collect firewood that is scattered. On Yom Tov one should not use bellows, however the custom is to use non-commercial bellows by turning them upside-down.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:4
The Minchag is to eat food made from milk products on the first day of Shavuot, for various reasons. One should also eat foods with honey since the Torah is compared to honey. One should also eat meat, since - like every Yom Tov - there's a Mitzva to eat to meat on a Chag. One needs to plan the meals carefully since one may20not eat milk after meat, and one may not eat both together at the same meal. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:7
In the Torah, Shavuot does not have a fixed date, but happens on the day after finishing counting 7 full weeks - 49 days - of the Omer. Since we currently have a fixed Jewish calendar, with Nissan always 30 days long and Iyar always 29 days long, so Shavuot is always on 6 Sivan. Outside Israel it's 2 days long - 6 and 7 Sivan. Source: Vayikra 23:15 - 19

IMPORTANT ******* One may not prepare from Yom Tov to Shabbat unless one does Eruv Tavshillin before Yom Tov. Since the first day of Shavuot is on Friday, everybody needs to do Eruv Tavshillin on Thursday. One takes a Challah one is going to use on Shabbat and a cooked or baked food that will be eaten on Shabbat and one says the Bracha:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ ה ָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנו בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל מִצְוַת עֵרוּב BLESSED ARE YOU L-RD G-D KING OF THE UNIVERSE WHO HAS SANCTIFIED US IN HIS COMMANDMENTS AND HAS COMMANDED US ON THE MITZVAH OF THE ERUV.

One continues with the following, which must be said in a language one understands:

בַּהֲדֵין עֵרוּבָא יְהֵא שָׁרֵא לָנָא לַאֲפוּיֵי, וּלְבַשּׁוּלֵי וּלְאַטְמוּנֵי, וּלְאַדְלוּקֵי שְׁרָגָא וּלִמֶעְבֵּד כָּל צָרְכָּנָא מִיּוֹמָא טָבָא לְשַׁבְּתָא,,

"With this Eruv we are permitted to bake, cook, keep things warm and light fire and do all that is needed from Yom Tov to Shabbat".

The Challah and food should be kept in a safe place; if they are eaten before Shabbat, a Rabbi should be consulted how to proceed. Even those who don't have to cook for Shabbat, still need to do Eruv Tavshillin in order to light Shabbat candles (from an existing flame.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 102

This year - 5759 - Shavuot will be on Friday. Outside of Israel Shavuot will also be on Shabbat. It's customary to read Megilat Ruth on Shavuot, between Hallel and the Torah Reading. In Israel Megilat Ruth will be read on Friday and in the Diaspora most places will read Megilat Ruth on Shabbat. One has to remember to leave a flame burning (like a Yahrzeit candle or gas range) from before Yom Tov (Thursday afternoon) so that one can light Shabbat candles on Friday afternoon
.- Danny

Inyanay Diyoma
I consider this almost a ‘must’ read it was in the papers this week:

Alan send me this: PA Rep Says 2-State Solution Will Kill Israel by Hillel Fendel
( Palestinian Authority representative in Lebanon Abbas Zaki says the two-state solution is his preferred approach, as it will lead to Israel’s collapse.

Speaking with Lebanese ANB Television on May 7, Zaki said that any ceasefire, or hudna, deal with Israel is not desirable. Instead, the long-time PLO member said, “we must go towards the two-st ate solution, a solution that even [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmedinajad supports.” “In my opinion,” Zaki explained, “with such a solution, Israel will collapse. Because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will be left of all their [the Jews’] talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen Nation? What will be with all the sacrifices they gave and then they are told to leave?”

The two-state solution, supported by the United States and most of the world, calls for a Palestinian Authority state in Judea and Samaria, leaving Israel barely 11 miles wide in some areas. Zaki said that Jews and Israelis “perceive of Jerusalem as having a spiritual status. They relate to Judea and Samaria as a historic dream. If the Jews leave these places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse of itself – and then we will move forward.”

The interview was brought to the Western eye by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Zaki has made similar points before. In 2008, the former Palestinian Legislative Council member for Hevron, former Fatah operations head, and current PLO Central Council member said, “When the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine." Zaki also headed the PLO Lebanon Committee and the Palestine National Liberation Army's political commissariat.

Asked then if he believes in weapons or negotiations, Zaki replied, “The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide. We talk politics, but our principles are clear. It was our pioneering leader, Yasser Arafat, who persevered with this revolution, when empires collapsed.”
While catch ing up on back mail I saw the following that Brooklyn wrote: Dear President Obama:
I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally.
You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the United States. You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.
I personally resent that you go around the=2 0world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century?
Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States? This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?
Your bowing to the king o f Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia. You don’t show Great Britain, our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!
You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey. You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?
I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.
You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I seriously doubt it.

What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely didn’t!

I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities.
I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.
Every real American

THE RETURN OF PRESIDENT OBAMA TO THE ISLAMIC FAITH OF HIS FATHER by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

Some will say President Obama never left, despite his seemingly temporary adopting the Christian faith useful in Chicago politics.
It appears that President Obama, in his public re-connection to Islam or, as he calls it, "outreach" can be construed to fulfill the pledge of Islamic "Jihadists" (warriors for Islam) to turn all America over to the Islamic faith.
When astronauts or astrophysicists study the cosmos, looking for invisible black holes which cannot be seen, even with the most powerful telescopes, they look for other clues. Those clues are more solid objects, like stars, planets - even light being drawn into this black hole by its irresistible gravitational forces. The behavior of these solid objects can be studied, especially when they behave erratically.
If one looks, even casually, at the people (objects) who Obama has selected to be drawn into his force field, those are the clues which can tell you there is a seemingly "black hole" in the Washington cosmos. (I’m not speaking of personal coloring.)
For example: Look at the solid crowd of Arabists swirling around Obama, leaving little doubt Obama is the center of a pro-Islamic - anti-Israel/Jewish vortex. Granted, the charismatic Obama, with his charming smile and his come-hither speeches that flow like warm chocolate, makes it hard to see his invisible gravitational force. His magnetic force is so strong that, even when the light of truth manages to escape, most of the people observing still ignore the reality of the danger he poses. We delude ourselves that his forceful, smooth speeches are solutions - rather than the emptiness they offer.
If you have any doubt that Obama has returned to the Muslim Islamic faith of his father, look at what he doing as he re-connects with some of the most evil terrorist Islamic, anti-America/anti-Israel nations on the Planet Earth. But first, he needed to select a cabal of Arabists to do his bidding. Some are called appointees, while others are called advisors but all are Arabists and virulently anti-Israel - even (perhaps especially) the Jews among them.
We observe such people as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker III, Baker’s former Jew-boys: Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, Daniel Kurtzer with Martin Indyk circling the group.
We watch Susan Rice, appointed to the post of America s ambassador to the United Nations, well-known for her earlier recommendations to use force against Israel.
Obama made General James Jones his National Security Advisor (who led Melanie Phillips to use the old phrase: "Obama prepares to throw Israel under the bus". (What does that mean as a practical matter? Is Obama to be Israel’s High Executioner?)
Rahm Emanuel is Obama’s Chief of Staff (an Israeli whose father fought in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence) but Rahm is now very anti-Israel - or at the very least pro-Arab adopting Obama’s doctrine.
In his run for President, Obama had Syrian-born Tony Rezko assisting his campaign funding but, he is temporarily out-of-the-loop and sitting in prison for financial misdemeanors. We have yet to hear about the financial assistance to Obama in full through the Justice Department.
All had a well-defined history of being pro-Muslim Arabs and virulently against the Jewish State. Needless, to say, the U.S. State Department has acquire d the confirmed reputations of being the most dedicated anti-Israel "Shadow Government" since Israel was partitioned over the State Department’s objections.
One might say the U.S. State Department is like another satellite nation of the Muslim block of 57 Muslim countries (only 22 of which are also Arab).
Note! I recommend that you obtain the May issue of THE OUTPOST by AFSI (Americans For a Safe Israel) to get a more complete description of President Obama’s inner circle.
One might ask the questions:
Is Obama a selected plant to alter America’s democracy and its support for an ally who actually fights Islamic Terror?
Is President Obama supposed to alter the U.S. Constitution to accommodate Koranic Sharia Laws as practiced by the Saudi Wahhabism or the Taliban or al Qaeda, ‘et al’?
Is it Obama who is the invisible "Black Hole" in the Washington cosmos or is he merely a "useful idiot", guided by the "Shadow Government" which cannot yet declare themselves to the public lest they are swept out of power by the citizenry, reclaiming their constitutional rights as in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?
Under Obama and his scurrilous cabal, Americans are losing their precious freedoms daily.
Something else has just come up. In the Chicago Tribune of May 24th, there’s a column by Josh Meyer, entitled "FBI Role In Fighting Terrorism To Expand". If the FBI is actually allowed to fight Terrorism, so much the better. However, in the past the FBI was under excessive influence from the Arabist State Department. Woe unto the FBI agent who began to seriously track radical "sleeper" Muslim Terrorists in the U.S.
If they didn’t back off, they were soon assigned a post to nowhere Nebraska.
Clearly, the CIA is to be reduced in purpose and efficiency, particularly when it comes to hars hly dealing with the Arab-Muslim Terrorists who plan to target American interests and America herself.
Why is President Obama erecting a shield for Global Islamic Terrorism while claiming he is going to do a better job than the CIA?
Will the sleeper Islamic cells in the U.S. and suspicious Muslim "Jihadists" be mostly un-investigated under Obama’s ideology of reaching out to Muslim "Jihadists" nations well known as Terrorists and enemies of the U.S. (because they so proclaim themselves to be).
Obama appointed Leon Panetta as Director of the CIA. Is he supposed to now roll over and play dumb to the Obama FBI ploy? Does Obama and his crowd of Arabist consider the CIA an impediment and, therefore, expendable?
Is the "New" FBI to be a covert policeman - not so much against Muslim Terrorists but, as a friendly organization to protect Muslims in America? That would mean suppressing investigations with the State Department and Obama’s Arabist cabal overseeing the program. That would also mean threatening any TV or radio news channel, any newspaper, any commentator who speaks out against Muslim extremism to include Obama’s frequent apologies for America so Muslim Arab "Jihadists" will ‘like’ and forgive us white Judeo-Christian folks.
IF the ‘sleeper’ Muslims allowed into the U.S. by the Arabist State Department happens to blow up an American city or release bio-agents, who will Obama then blame?
Will he fall back on the age old excuse for government failure and to re-direct the anger of the American people against his passive appeasement doctrine and blame the Jews of Israel - and America?
He has put Israel into the position of either attacking Iran (which Obama refuses to do) or waiting for a nuclear explosion over Tel Aviv. Then he could absolve himself of blame as the Muslim Islamists continue their attack against non-Muslim governments all over the world, including and especially America.
So, President Obama, who are you really?
Is it merely bad judgement, naiveté, a fellow traveler of Islamic ideology or are you a ‘sleeper’ yourself, now come awake as the infamous Manchurian Candidate in a movie by the same name?
Let us hope this speculation is nothing more than that!
Perhaps the reality that Muslim "Jihadists" cannot be appeased, actually grow stronger if imprisoned where they convert other inmates to Islam and Terrorism. Will Obama abandon his father’s Islamic faith and start protecting America and her Judeo-Christian heritage?

The Spectator SPECTATOR.CO.UK Wednesday, 6th May 2009
As predicted here repeatedly Obama is attempting to throw Israel under the Islamist bus, and he’s getting American Jews to do his dirty work for him. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly told the Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Sunday that efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. General James Jones, National Security Adviser to Obama, reportedly told a European foreign minister a week ago that unlike the Bush administration, Obama will be ‘forceful’ with Israel. Haaretz reports:
Jones is quoted in the telegram as saying that the United States, European Union and moderate Arab states must redefine ‘a satisfactory endgame solution.’ The U.S. national security adviser did not mention Israel as party to these consultations.
Of course not. If you are going to throw a country under the bus, you don’t invite it to discuss the manner of its destruction with the assassins who are coordinating the crime. As I said here months ago, the appointment of Jones and the elevation of his post of National Security Adviser at the expense of the Secretary of State was all part of the strategy to centralize power in the hands of those who want to do Israel harm.
Yesterday Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Foreign Relations Committe e Chairman John Kerry turned the thumbscrews tighter, telling Israel to stop building more settlements, dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.
This is all not only evil but exceptionally stupid. The idea that a Palestine state will help build a coalition against Iran is demonstrably absurd. The Arab states are beside themselves with anxiety about Iran. They want it to be attacked and its nuclear program stopped. They are desperately fearful that the Obama administration might have decided that it can live with a nuclear Iran.
The idea that if a Palestine state comes into being it will be easier to handle Iran is the opposite of the case: a Palestine state will be Iran, in the sense that it will be run by Hamas as a proxy for the Islamic Republic. The idea that a Palestine state will not compromise Israel’s sec urity is ludicrous.
It is of course, by any sane standard, quite fantastic that America is behaving as if it is Israel which is holding up a peace settlement when Israel has made concession after concession – giving up Sinai, giving up Gaza, offering all the territories to the Arabs in return for peace in 1967, offering more than 90 per cent of them ditto in 2000, ditto again to Mahmoud Abbas in the past year -- only to be attacked in return by a Palestinian terrorist entity, backed in its continued aggression, let us not forget, by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which has made no concessions at all and is not being pressured to do so.
It is not the aggressor here but the victim of aggression that America is now choosing to beat up. In any sane world, one might think the Americans would be piling the pressure on the Palestinians to renounce their genocidal ambitions against Israel, to stop teaching and training their children to hate and kill Jews, to adhere to the primary requirement in the Road Map that they must dismantle their infrastructure of violence as the first step in the peace process; one might think, indeed, that they would view Mahmoud Abbas’s repeated statements that the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state to be the main impediment to peace.< /span>
But no. The repeated professions that America will never jeopardize Israel’s security are stomach churning when Obama is actually blaming Israel for measures it has taken to safeguard its security – the settlements were always first and foremost a security measure, and the travel restrictions are there solely to prevent more Israelis being murdered – and trying to force it to abandon them. Today comes further news that Obama will also try to force Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would force it to dismantle its nuclear arsenal – which it only has as a last ditch insurance against the attempt to annihilate it to which more than a billion Arabs and Muslims remain pledged.
Of course Obama doesn’t care that Hamas would run any Palestinian state. Of course he doesn’t care that Israel would be unable to defend itself against such a terrorist state. Because he regards Israel as at best totally expendable, and at worst as a running sore on the world's body politic that has to be purged altogether (see this bleak assessment by Sultan Knish). His administration is proceeding on the entirely false analysis that a state of Palestine is the solution to the Middle East impasse and the route to peace in the region. What that state will look like or do is something to which at best the administration's collective mind is shut and at worst makes it a potential cynical accomplice to the unconscionable. So Israel is to be forced out of the West Bank. Far from building a coalition against Iran, Obama is thus doing Iran’s work for it.
None of this, however, should come as the slightest surprise to anyone who paid any attention to Obama’s background, associations and friendships before he became President and to the cabal of Israel-bashers, appeasers and Jew-haters he appointed to his administration, with a few useful idiots thrown in for plausible deniability.
Almost eighty per cent of American Jews voted for Obama despite the clear and present danger he posed to Israel. They did so because their liberal self-image was and is more important to them than the Jewish state whose existence and security cannot be allowed to jeopardize their standing with America’s elite.
But the ordinar y American people are a different matter. They do value and support Israel. They do understand that if Israel is thrown under that bus, the west is next. And it is they to whom Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu must now appeal, over the heads of the politicians and the media and America’s Jews and everyone else. He must tell the American people the terrible truth that America is now run by a man who is intent on sacrificing Israel for a reckless and amoral political strategy which will put America and the rest of the free world at risk.
This is shaping up to be the biggest crisis in relations between Israel and America since the foundation of Israel six decades ago. Those who hate Israel and the Jews will be gloating. This after all is precisely what they hoped Obama would do. To any decent person looking on aghast, th is is where the moral sickness of the west reaches the critical care ward.
* An earlier version of this post linked to a story in the Jerusalem Post which said an AIPAC delegation to Congress was asking it to lobby for a two-state solution. This story appears to have been wrong.
** Further update: It now appears from this story and this that the AIPAC position may be more ambiguous still.
The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London, SW1H 9HP. All Articles and Content Copyright ©2007 by The Spectator (1828) Ltd. All Rights Reserved

24 JUDEA, SAMARIA TOWNS FACE DESTRUCTION by Maayana Miskin ARUTZ 7 forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator

Have you ever wondered why Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu first tried to get Tzipi Livni to join his Likud National Party. She refused so he insisted that Ehud Barak a deeply, even radical Leftist, to be his (Israel’s) Defense Minister.
One would think the Arabist "Shadow Government" now gathered around President Barak Obama insisted that Barak be kept on as an extension of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert’s policy as outlined (ordered/dictated) by President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and continued now by Obama’s team.
Is Netanyahu also reporting to Washington or, at least, those powerful people who drive the "Shadow Government"?
Netanyahu has certain weaknesses which his own Nationalist Coalition must restrain.
24 Judea, Samaria Towns Face Destruction by Maayana Miskin (
( The IDF Central Command has warned residents of 24 Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that they face eviction in the near future. Thousands of people who resid e in the communities could find themselves homeless.
The list of communities facing demolition includes towns that were built up to 10 years ago, such as Migron and Givat Assaf. Senior members of the Ichud Leumi party were informed by IDF officials that the towns will be evicted either peaceably or by force before June 6, the date on which United States President Barack Obama plans to give a historic address to the Muslim world from Cairo.
Soldiers and police officers will be called up as early as Tuesday to prepare for the evictions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Monday in defense of his decision to evict Jews from unauthorized towns. "Even during the election campaign I said that we are a law-abiding country, and that we would deal with illegal outposts," he said.
"My role, first and foremost, is to secure the future of the state of Israel," he added. Israel's ties to the U.S. are very important, according to Netanyahu, as is maintaining a broad national unity.
Earlier on Monday, the Likud Knesset faction held a meeting to discuss the issue of unauthorized Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Most faction members expressed opposition to the eviction of the residents of those communities, and called on the government to allow construction in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.
Minister of Information and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein hosted Jewish leaders from Judea and Samaria in his office on Monday. Edelstein told his guests that he and fellow Likud ministers would work to get approval for the threatened Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.
Edelstein reassured the Judea and Samaria residents that Likud ministers would torpedo efforts to demolish unauthorized outposts. "I understand the Defense Minister's need to talk a certain way to his faction and his party, but it doesn't need to come at the expense of thousands of residents of towns that the government established, but for whatever reason insists on calling 'outposts,'" he said.
Ichud Leumi head Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz criticized the decision to destroy the Jewish towns, which he warned would lead to the government's downfall. "Netanyahu is continuing with the same fraud perpetrated by Sharon and Olmert," he said, "and will bring about the collapse of his own government before it's been in power for even 100 days."
Katz called on those who voted for the factions currently in the coalition, such as Shas, Likud and the Jewish Home, to pressure their parties to support a no-confidence measure against the government over the demolition orders. If the orders are not stopped, he warned, "Bibi's war against his own people could tear the nation apart completely."
The communities facing destruction are, in no particular order: Havat Gilad, Chazon David, Migron, Havat Shaked, Givat Assaf, southeast Ofra, eastern Ofra, Mitzpeh Yitzhar, Yitzhar Darom, western Shalhevet, Mevo Horon, Givat Salfit, Ohel Orna, Mitzpeh Lachish, Aynot Kedem, Ashael, Givat Avigayil, Givat Haroeh, Givat Hadegel, Keidah, northern Neve Daniel, southwest Yatir, Maaleh Rechavam, Nofei Nechemia, and northern Susia.
OBAMA'S GREEN LIGHT TO ATTACK IRAN by Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST forwarded by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East analyst & commentator
Once again, as in times past, an evil has arisen to challenge the existence of the Jewish people and the sovereignty of the State of Israel. The Bible prophesied the coming of Gog, followed by Armageddon (the war between Gog and Magog). Christians speak of a terrible figure they call the anti-Christ - also initiating Armageddon.
I fear for Israel and I fear for America. Hopefully, sanity will prevail before we all pay a catastrophic price.
Arctic winds are blowing into Jerusalem from Washington20these days. As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's May 18 visit to Washington fast approaches, the Obama administration is ratcheting up its anti-Israel rhetoric and working feverishly to force Israel into a corner.
Using the annual AIPAC conference as a backdrop, this week the Obama administration launched its harshest onslaught against Israel to date. It began with media reports that National Security Adviser James Jones told a European foreign minister that the US is planning to build an anti-Israel coalition with the Arabs and Europe to compel Israel to surrender Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians.
According to Haaretz, Jones was quoted in a classified foreign ministry cable as having told his European interlocutor, "The new administration will convince Israel to compromise on the Palestinian question. We will not push Israel under the wheels of a bus, but we will be more forceful toward Israel than we have been under Bush."
He then explained that the US, the EU and the moderate Arab states must determine together what "a satisfactory endgame solution," will be.
As far as Jones is concerned, Israel should be left out of those discussions and simp ly presented with a fait accompli that it will be compelled to accept.
Events this week showed that Jones's statement was an accurate depiction of the administration's policy. First, quartet mediator Tony Blair announced that within six weeks the US, EU, UN and Russia will unveil a new framework for establishing a Palestinian state. Speaking with Palestinian reporters on Wednesday, Blair said that this new framework will be a serious initiative because it "is being worked on at the highest level in the American administration."
Moreover, this week we learned that the administration is trying to get the Arabs themselves to write the Quartet's new plan. The London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi pan-Arab newspaper reported Tuesday that acting on behalf of Obama, Jordanian King Abdullah urged the Arab League to update the so-called Arab peace plan from 2002. That plan, which calls for Israel to withdraw from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights and accept millions of foreign Arabs as citizens as part of the so-called "right of return" in exchange for "natural" relations with the Arab world, has been rejected by successive Israeli governments as a diplomatic subterfuge whose goal is Israel's destruction.
By accepting milli ons of so-called "Palestinian refugees," Israel would effectively cease to be a Jewish state. By shrinking into the 1949 armistice lines, Israel would be unable to defend itself against foreign invasion. And since "natural relations" is a meaningless term both in international legal discourse and in diplomatic discourse, Israel would have committed national suicide for nothing.
To make the plan less objectionable to Israel, Abdullah reportedly called on his Arab brethren to strike references to the so-called "Arab refugees" from the plan and to agree to "normal" rather than "natural" relations with the Jewish state. According to the report, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was expected to present Obama with the changes to the plan during their meeting in Washington later this month. The revised plan was supposed to form the basis for the new Quartet plan that Blair referred to.
But the Arabs would have none of it. On Wednesday, both Arab League General Secretary Amr Moussa and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas announced that they oppose the initiative. On Thursday, Syria rejected making any changes in the document.
The administration couldn't care less. The Palestinians and Arabs are no more than bit players in its Middle East policy. As far as the Obama administration is concerned, Israel is the only obstacle to peace.
To make certain that Israel understands this central point, Vice President Joseph Biden used his appearance at the AIPAC conference to drive it home. As Biden made clear, the US doesn't respect or support Israel's right as a sovereign state to determine its own policies for securing its national interests. In Biden's words, "Israel has to work toward a two-state solution. You're not going to like my saying this, but not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts and allow the Palestinians freedom of movement."
FOR ISRAEL, the main event of the week was supposed to be President Shimon Peres's meeting with Obama on Tuesday. Peres was tasked with calming the waters ahead of Netanyahu's visit. It was hoped that he could introduce a more collegial tone to US-Israel relations.
What Israel didn't count on was the humiliating reception Peres received from Obama. By barring all media from covering the event, Obama transformed what was supposed to be a friendly visit with a respected and friendly head of state into a back-door encounter with an unwanted guest, who was shooed in and shooed out of the White House without a sound.
The Obama White House's bald attempt to force Israel to take full blame for the Arab world's hostility toward it is not the only way that it is casting Israel as the scapegoat for the region's ills. In their bid to open direct diplomatic ties with Iran, Obama and his advisers are also blaming Israel for Iran's nuclear program. They are doing this both indirectly and directly.
As Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel made clear in his closed-door briefing to senior AIPAC officials this week, the administration is holding Israel indirectly responsible for Iran's nuclear program. It does this by claiming that Israel's refusal to cede its land to the Palestinians is making it impossible for the Arab world to support preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Somewhat inconveniently for the administration, the Arabs themselves are rejecting this premise. This week US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the Persian Gulf and Egypt to soothe Arab fears that the administration's desperate attempts to appease the mullahs will harm their security interests. He also sought to gain their support for the administration's plan to unveil a new peace plan aimed at isolating and pressuring Israel.
After meeting with Gates, Amr Moussa - who has distinguished himself as one of Israel's most trenchant critics - said categorically, "The question of Iran should be separate from the Arab-Israel conflict."
Just as the administration is unmoved by objective facts that expose as folly its single-minded devotion to the notion that Israel is responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East, so the Arab rejection of its view that Israel is to blame for Iran's nuclear program has simply driven it to escalate its attacks on Israel. This week it opened a new campaign of blaming Israel directly - through its purported nuclear arsenal - for Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Speaking at a UN forum, US Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller said, "Universal adherence to the [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea... remains a fundamental objective of the United States."
As Eli Lake from The Washington Times demonstrated convincingly, by speaking as she did, Gottemoeller effectively abrogated a 40-year-old US-Israeli understanding that the US would remain silent about Israel's nuclear program because it understood that it was defensive, not offensive in nature. In so doing, Gottemoeller legi timized Iran's claim that it cannot be expected to suspend its quest to acquire nuclear weapons as long as Israel possesses them. She also erased any distinction between nuclear weapons in the hands of US allies and democratic states and nuclear weapons in the hands of US enemies and terror states.
The Israeli media are largely framing the story of the US's growing and already unprecedented antagonism toward Israel as a diplomatic challenge for Netanyahu. To meet this challenge, it is argued that Netanyahu must come to Washington in 10 days' time with an attractive peace plan that will win over the White House. But this is a false interpretation of what is happening.
Even Ethan Bronner of the The New York Times pointed out this week that Obama's Middle East policy is not based on facts. If it were, the so-called "two state solution," which has failed repeatedly since 1993, would not be its centerpiece. Obama's Middle East policy is based on ideology, not reality. Consequently, it is immune to rational argument.
The fact that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, all chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world will disappear, is of no interest to Obama and his advisers. They do not care that the day after Hamas terror-master Khaled Mashaal told The New York Times that Hamas was suspending its attacks against Israel from Gaza, the Iranian-controlled terror regime took credit for several volleys of rockets shot against Israeli civilian targets from Gaza. The administration stills intends to give Gaza $900 million in US taxpayer funds, and it still demands that Israel give its land to a joint Fatah-Hamas government.
REGARDLESS OF the weight of Netanyahu's arguments, and irrespective of the reasonableness of whatever diplomatic initiative he presents to Obama, he can expect no sympathy or support from the White House.
As a consequence, the operational significance of the administration's anti-Israel positions is that Israel will not be well served by adopting a more accommodating posture toward the Palestinians and Iran. Indeed, perversely, what the Obama administration's treatment of Israel should be making clear to the Netanyahu government is that Israel should no longer take Washington's views into account as it makes its decisions about how to advance Israel's national security interests. This is particularly true with regard to Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Rationally speaking, the only way the Obama administration could reasonably expect to deter Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear installatio ns would be if it could make the cost for Israel of attacking higher than the cost for Israel of not attacking. But what the behavior of the Obama administration is demonstrating is that there is no significant difference in the costs of the two options.
By blaming Israel for the absence of peace in the Middle East while ignoring the Palestinians' refusal to accept Israel's right to exist; by seeking to build an international coalition with Europe and the Arabs against Israel while glossing over the fact that at least the Arabs share Israel's concerns about Iran; by exposing Israel's nuclear arsenal and pressuring Israel to disarm while in the meantime courting the ayatollahs like an overeager bridegroom, the Obama administration is telling Israel that regardless of what it does, and what objective reality is, as far as the White House is concerned, Israel is to blame.
This, of course, doesn't mean that Netanyahu shouldn't make his case to Obama when they meet and to the American people during his US visit. What it does mean is that Netanyahu should have no expectation that Israeli goodwill can divert Obama from the course he has chosen. And again, this tells us two things: Israel's relations with the US during Obama's tenure in office will be unpleasant and difficult, and the damage that Israel will cause to that relations hip by preventing Iran from acquiring the means to destroy it will be negligible.