Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parsha Re'eh/Shoftim, Ethics and Stories

Rachel Sarah bas Osnat young soul came to a rest on Shabbos Kadosh a week plus ago.

Sarah Rachel bas Mindel is an elderly lady undergoing a procedure please pray for her this week.

Please daven for Yehuda ben Chana Rivka that he makes a recovery from this. This toddler got an adverse reaction to an injection. It turns out that many injections contain aluminum. This has to be treated with Zinc and the child has to be on a glutton free diet along with less lactase.

Please note for you that read this Drasha from the links on the blog do not work but have be copied and pasted. Also do to the amount of material that I gathered in the two weeks including some Good Shabbos stories, Rabbi Jadidi stories and Halacha will be spread out over the next week or two.

Hashgacha for one Italian Family: HASHEM works miracles and wonders in many ways and this is one of them: NEW YORK (Aug. 8) - Italian tourist Paola Casali said she and her teenage son would have been on the ill-fated helicopter that crashed into the Hudson River on Saturday if the boy hadn't gotten cold feet.

Casali and her son, Lorenzo Bossola, had been scheduled to take the helicopter tour around the time of the crash. But Lorenzo was too scared to go, and by the time his mother convinced him, they were late getting to the heliport. The doomed copter had already left.

Bravos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips from Wise is now OU Kosher.

Philly’s Stix and Swirl Stix Product bears a “DE” OU Pareve designation. The product is actually Pareve. The manufacturer included the “DE” OU designation because of concerns about dairy allergens which may be present in the plant. At this time, the does not have a “DE” designation.


I personally want to thank all of you who prayed for my health and the heart reboot was 95% successful so I am back into shape and have to get rid of the 5 kilograms (11 lbs) I put on in my inactive month.

I want to further clarify a sentence I wrote in the last blog: “I am not the biggest Chassid of Barak Obama” – Chassid means pious. However, nowadays has come to mean a follower of a Rebbe who does not move to the left or the right without the Rebbe. Example in Israel there are two medical Rabbinical Specialists for whom to see regarding certain conditions. I had a choice of three excellent hospitals for doing my procedure. I asked these specialists Hadassah, Hadassah Mt. Scopus, or Tel HaShomer – for the electronic impulse of the heart, I was told Tel HaShomer is better perhaps for heaven forbid a transplant it might be Bellinson or Wolfson. An average Chassid might go to his Rebbe and ask should I date Pious Pennina or Modest Mayan?

EDITORIAL: A terrible phenomenon

A few weeks ago, I posted on Inyanay Diyoma how the Moslems are demographically taking over Europe. In the course of the years, I posted about how in Israel alone somewhere between 4,500,000 to 5,000,000 unnecessary abortions have occurred and why childless couples look for non-Jewish children around the world. Now I come to you with a frightening phenomenon: The lack of a good Shidduch Data Bank.

I am not talking about unrealistic expectations. Not every 68 year old is a Clint Eastwood who will impress a 28 year old report so much that they date and marry. I am not talking about men that think because of their salary and intelligence that they need a wife who is as rich as Solomon, as smart as Malka Sheva (Sheba), as pretty as Sarah our mother, cooks better than the TV Chefs and cleans the house spotless and helps him with the filing and his work. No I am talking about ordinary men and women who are seriously looking and find themselves wasting time with worthless characters.

I was at a Bar Mitzvah a short while ago where I met my friend with a PhD who was around my age or older. He was years ago a nice handsome and well built fellow religious fellow who was looking for a wife – or at least I thought. He seems to have liked the looking and dating more the finding. He is now in his 60’s still physically nice looking but wrinkled and no great handsome fellow any more for the ladies. His time to become a father is more or less passed. My e-mail friend M. is my son’s age and yet she has not found anybody – I don’t know her that well to figure out why – I only know that she is vibrant and intelligent but no Mr. Right. Then there was a buddy from work who was not well educated who just liked playing around and making a fool out of the women. Or the 51 year old woman who dated a 45 or 46 year old man who was looking for more children and she lied about her age and some financial matters. Of course the Shidduch Data Bank could not handle all characters.

After I divorce my first wife, I was looking for a wife and mother for my children I was dead serious. Y. was the daughter of a Rabbi and sister of a lawyer who helped my ex-wife and I make a divorce settlement. Both knew me. She had been married for a month and it was a disaster – from my understanding she had no reason to want to marry. There was A. who was divorced with two children but she was depending on a baby sitter for an hour and I didn’t even have time to take her for a coffee on a meeting to sit face to face only walk around Bnei Berak or Ramat Gan for a few minutes. Then there was a girl who was pressured by her father to put an advertisement in the paper. She either made purposely sure that her breath smelled like a sewer or something similar so that I would not be interested in her prior to our meeting. There was also the widow with two children who did not want five children and we had a short but sweet meeting or two. There was a bachelorette who did want to get married but did not want an instant family.

I have realized over the years that there are many characters both male and female out there who do not have a clue what they are looking for or realistically really need. I have a friend who is also no spring chicken and he has certain ideas about children, kitchen and Schul for the wife. A normal woman might have other ideas. He is also not in his 30’s or 40’s – so I spoke to him about a 42 year old – if that was her real age – in his city. He rejected her as too old.

Everybody has their own priorities – could a person with a many level house marry a former Polio victim – is age or color a personal barrier – is more frum or less frum a problem these are each and everybody’s personal choices. However, there are many average run of the mill Jews who just don’t find the correct person. I get prayer requests all the time. I wish I could match up everybody who requests these things. However, unfortunately more often than none the lady is in one continent and time zone and fellow in another or this one or that one is too fussy for their own good. When one realizes that a woman cannot be a be all end all solution and the man is not a knight in shining armor willing to live happily ever after in a fairy tale ending then a marriage can occur.

We could all pray for these people and perhaps a “dream” Shidduch will occur but I would pray for a real Shidduch with compromises. E. was one of those guys who wanted a beauty like Sarah, a baalabusta like Rebbitzen K., rich, intelligent, etc. and believe me he was a real Yeshiva special person. He went to Lakewood from Ponovez and married a nice frum women who was not ugly but nothing that I would turn my head around three times to view and yet as he compromised a little he found somebody. Suddenly, a Polio victim who is otherwise healthy, G-D fearing and intelligent doesn’t appear so bad or the black beauty in Baltimore is worth marrying in spite of the color barrier or the woman on Long Island/Australia/Yisrael/Lester Square would make a wonderful mother to have children by or maybe Rabbi who is diabetic is worth having children with or the chubby Chassid could be put on a diet and allow you to feel womanly. So my friends I ask you to say Psalms and “Shomaya Tephillah” add ons that these many Jews will find a Shidduch and have good frum Jewish families It is not for my personal request but for all of Am Yisrael and the well of souls that must be drawn out into our Nation so that Moshiach can come quickly.

Perhaps the unmarried person past thirty needs a review on what they really are looking for and a reality check about the other sex. One who is unmarried should be like one unemployed and start looking for work before he or she doesn’t have their next meal. The same is true for marriage make it your business to seriously search for a partner. You see immediately that the person is no good for a partner say it was nice meeting you, good luck and move on. At the age of 30 and above we cannot play teenage romance games but have to get serious and real about things. Men will not have crowns on their heads and on a white horse. Women will not be an Einstein with the looks of Marilyn Monroe. Compromise and be wise – The original play from the Sound of Music.

EDITORIAL: Planning for the inevitable also check this out:

After I wrote this, the US Senate dropped the mandatory end of life provision from the health bill but there are certain issues that should be addressed by each individual and their personal advisors that I thought to leave this in tact. The issue of health care and planning for death has come up. I personally think that it is ridiculous to council people at the age of 65. According to Social Security they will have to work until either 66 or in Israel 67 depending on their date of birth. I also think that the government has no business planning end of life decisions for individuals. I wrote out a will a number of years ago about end of life decisions. What Rabbi E. Davis Shlita calls “heroics” that is if a person becomes comatose should he be on life support or not. My mother had a section in her will “do not resuscitate”. Now as long as my mother had some sort of a quality in life within her – I asked for oxygen when she had pneumonia one year and she lived to say in Hebrew at her 90th birthday party “my son” (HABEN SHELI) even through she had not be taught the Hebrew before she had the series of strokes. So she had some sort of a quality life and looked at her great grandson, the baby, intently a short period before she passed away. Yet when the time came and she was terminally comatose, I asked the doctor if there was a 10% chance of her regaining consciousness if she was put on a respirator and I was told no and her last words that her aid heard were “Mom come to me!” I knew it was time for me to let go and follow her wishes.

Who helps one make the proper decisions are a combinations of your local Orthodox Rabbi or a more authoritive Rabbinical Authority or for non-Jews their clerics. Of course a will should be drawn up with a lawyer and if one plans to distribute the money or property other than the original Torah way as Rabbi Davis and I did by giving to our daughters in the will then one should go to a Beis Din and prepare a formula that our Rabbis made for this eventuality and put it with your lawyer in your will so that the Jewish Law part cannot be challenged by any of the survivors. (Wife gets so and so, first born shares everything instead of a double portion, etc.)

If one has children then a will should stipulate who will raise the children in the event that both parents pass on. We recently saw some problems with Michael Jackson raising two halachically Jewish children under the guidance of some anti-Jewish clerics upon his family. If parents with children did not make out a will yesterday for this provision do it today or without delay – even a handwritten note prior to visiting a lawyer.

Parsha Re’eh

I have set before you a blessing and curse, life and death choose life – is the beginning theme in our Parsha. Har Gerizim is also known as Har Bracha and Har Eval, the one where the cursing comes from, has nothing growing there and every once in a while gets an explosive device from the Terrorist of Schem below. Chapter 13:1 and 17:1 are like all the other chapters broken up into chapters by a non-Jew. However, this changes the whole picture so I decided to write them according to the traditional Pasukim.

11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him, 23 then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the hinder sea shall be your border.


25 There shall no man be able to stand against you: the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath spoken unto you.

My observant and non-observant readers please look at this closely. For my observant readers please make an effort to go out and spread the word to your non-observant friends and to my non-observant readers we are now in the month of Elul – the month for repentance before the High Holidays please take the following seriously:

Of course this will occur if you fulfill the Mitzvos otherwise any character will come against you. It is no joking matter to G-D that the majority of the Jews in Israel do not observe Shabbos and their Kashruth outside of the house is very questionable. People think a hard boiled egg cooked in a pot is OK even if the pot is not kosher. Guess what? – the egg absorbs the trafe via Osmosis as written in more simple words in the Halacha of Yeah Deah. I haven’t even gotten up to one of the hardest ones the laws of family purity which many husbands and wives – even religious ones do not observe according to the laws of Moshe and Yisrael. So is it any wonder why the Nations of the World join in with the Amalek against us in this generation? Nobody can change over night but work on it a day at a time. At the age of 62, I have taken up a hobby to learn Spanish a few words each day until I can speak the language. If I can try this you can try not to sow, reap, prune, sew, write, light fires (electrical switches are sort of sparks but also circuit building) build, etc. on Shabbos. If not all one week then one or two of the forbidden forms of Melacha each week until after 20 or 39 weeks one is Shabbos observant. The same with kosher – no pork or forbidden sea food, then only kosherly slaughtered meat, separate dishes etc. until one is fully kosher. PERKEI AVOS SAYS: All Yisrael is tied together as guarantors for one another. So if a Kibbutz near the Kassams or on the Northern Border wants to stand against the enemy they should follow the Torah and I in the Modiin area will help guarantee that along with my friends in Ashdod, Haifa, Yerushalayim, Betar Illit, etc.

Yaffa wrote about Elul in a different way – condensed: The month of Elul is meant to be the most favorable period for examination of conscience and Teshuva, (repentance), prior to Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment when, as stated in the Talmud (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 16b), "Three books are opened, the book of the righteous (Tzaddikim), the book of the wicked (Reshaim), and the book of the mediocre people (Benonim). The righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, the wicked are inscribed in the book of death. As to the third category, their judgment is left pending; they are granted a delay until Yom Kippur and are thus offered the possibility of taking a sincere and firm resolution of repentance.

26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if ye shall hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day;

Torah is called life: “Key Haym Chayanu Le Aruch Yamaynu” (They are our life the length of our days)

28 and the curse, if ye shall not hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Strange gods or turning aside. The strange worship for a Jew is any religion outside of that of your forefathers. Islam is close in some ways to Judaism but not the ways of our forefathers. Xtianity is not idolatry but has a partnership in the Trinity dividing up HASHEM from the DIVINE PRESENCE which rests upon non-sinners and the son (daughter or Neshama in Hebrew) “Bannim atem leHAMAKOM (children are you to the OMNIPRESENT) which are one within Judaism. In fact if a Jew were to interpret the book of Mathew when Peter talks to Yeshu and says, “You are the son of the living G-D” a Torah Jew would understand the meaning that by following the Mitzvos he was acting like a son joining all the components of the soul to do G-D’s will – and not as the Goyim interpret it. We have the principal Ayn Ode Bilado (nothing exists without HIM). Running to the internet, earning a Dollar, driving to the beach or hiking outside of the Shabbos limit on Shabbos constitutes turning aside. Eating bread made with milk and shortening constitutes a turning aside for Torah.

29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou go to possess it, that thou shalt set the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Eval.

12:1 These are the statutes and the ordinances, which ye shall observe to do in the land which the LORD, the God of thy fathers, hath given thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. 2 Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree. 3 And ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of that place. 4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

The destruction of all idolatry and Tuma was mandatory for purifying Eretz Yisrael. Note there is no Mitzvah to destroy nature thus we find wild boars, hyenas, foxes, rats, snakes, scorpions, dogs, cats, jackals, hedge hogs, wolves in the Golan, leopards – supposed one left alive after the Bedouin hunted them - and other wild animals living in Eretz Yisrael even through they are not kosher. G-D created the animals to serve man – a snake could be a protector for the Tzaddik and a death blow to an enemy. Of all the above, only rabid animals or scorpions are we allowed to kill if they come into areas where man lives. There are also kosher wild animals in Eretz Yisrael which may be eaten but nowadays the nature protection society guards them except if there is an over population of deer for example.

5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come; 6 and thither ye shall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill-offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 7 and there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

First it was Shilo and then eventually Yerushalayim where the festival gatherings were.

... 12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he hath no portion nor inheritance with you. … 15 Notwithstanding you may kill and eat flesh within all thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart. 16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water.

The problem with the wild animals is that they had to be captured unharmed in a trap and slaughtered kosherly then their blood covered over.

… 23 Only be steadfast in not eating the blood; for the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh. 24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water. 25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD.

The blood of any living animal is forbidden. The Torah did not forbid one sucking a finger that had a cut on it according to halacha or blood from the gums or mouth could be swallowed. I am not of course talking about the sanitizing of a cut with water and something to prevent infection but old ancient folk lore healing processes that were done.

... 28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

13:2 If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams--and he give thee a sign or a wonder, 3 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee--saying: 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them'; 4 thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God puts you to a test, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 5 After the LORD your God shall ye walk, and Him shall ye fear, and His commandments shall ye keep, and unto His voice shall ye hearken, and Him shall ye serve, and unto Him shall ye cleave. 6 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken perversion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, to draw thee aside out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

Sometimes people are tested. There have been among us many false prophets and Moshiachs. One was Shabbtai Zvi who upon be confronted to make a Kiddush HASHEM or convert to Islam, he chose the later and became a false Moshiach. The other Yacov Frank and his family were involved in a cult of orgies and converted to Catholicism in the end. Many Jews began to follow them and some were lost but most returned bitterly disappointed by these false characters and blemishes on our history. Most likely there were others in the past like Bar Kochba who remained Jews but disappointed the nation and perhaps false prophets who died. Any prophet who says to temporarily violate a Mitzvah like we read in 12:5 above like Eliyahu to sacrifice outside of the Temple to make a Kiddush HASHEM on a one time basis that is possible of course not a principle Mitzvah such as worshipping another G-D, murdering somebody or performing forbidden sexual unions. Thus our Rabbis ordained that one should not to a levirate marriage as the inheritance in Eretz Yisrael of the brother is unknown and there is in this behavior even 1000 years ago some mischievous behavior occurring. And in Ashkenazi in the year 4732 a ban was placed for 1000 years against taking a second wife except in rare circumstances. Otherwise Mitzvos of the Torah could not be changed. The Rabbis had the power to make these refinements because the Torah is not in heaven or over the sea but close to us to do.

14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be His own treasure out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.

Has anybody ever seen the films of a Hizballah ceremony where there do these things and the blood flows freely and everybody cheers. Then at the end of the ceremony they call the Jews monkeys and apes.

Now comes the laws of Kashruth reiterated with the third and final warning for not cooking meat and milk together. This time it is for not making use of such cooked meat like giving it to dog or a non-Jew. Nothing can be gained from this. The section below basically speaks for itself. If you don’t know what a Pygarg is Google it.

3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4 These are the beasts which ye may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 the hart, and the gazelle, and the roebuck, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the antelope, and the mountain-sheep. 6 And every beast that parts the hoof, and hath the hoof wholly cloven in two, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that ye may eat. 7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that only chew the cud, or of them that only have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the hare, and the rock-badger, because they chew the cud but part not the hoof, they are unclean unto you; 8 and the swine, because he parts the hoof but chews not the cud, he is unclean unto you;

I was in the Washington Zoo and saw the pig – he lay on the ground with his hooves forward like a tempter saying look my feet are kosher, but the other pig next to him was gulping down the slop like there was no tomorrow and no rumination like a kosher animal.

of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcasses ye shall not touch.

If you have a football made of real pigskin, it is forbidden to play with it on Yom Tov or handle it on Shabbos – however, during a normal weekday I did not hear from my Rosh Yeshiva a prohibition against playing football.

9 These ye may eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales may ye eat; 10 and whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye shall not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11 Of all clean birds ye may eat. 12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the great vulture, and the bearded vulture, and the ospray; 13 and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kinds; 14 and every raven after its kinds; 15 and the ostrich, and the night-hawk, and the sea-mew, and the hawk after its kinds; 16 the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl; 17 and the pelican, and the carrion-vulture, and the cormorant; 18 and the stork, and the heron after its kinds, and the hoopoe, (Now the National Bird of modern Israel) and the bat. 19 And all winged swarming things are unclean unto you; they shall not be eaten. 20 Of all clean winged things ye may eat. 21 Ye shall not eat of any thing that dies of itself; you may give it unto the stranger that is within thy gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it unto a foreigner; for thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk. …

15:1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he hath lent unto his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because the LORD'S release hath been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner thou may exact it; but whatsoever of yours is with thy brother thy hand shall release. … Non-interest loads should be given to your fellow bnei Yisrael.

It once happened that a very stingy rich Jew was approached by a Nebbish who was without anything. The Nebbish asked the man for a loan. So the stingy one asked him, “Who is your guarantor?” He said, “Only G-D can guarantee for me as nobody else will.” Some time later, the Nebbish came to pay back the penny-pincher but he replied that the guarantor had paid him back more than in full. Eventually the miser passed away and nobody wanted to deal with him or his funeral, and the news came to a famous Rabbi. The Rabbi gathered up his Talmidim or Chassidim and came to the funeral to give the penurious one a proper burial. The Rabbi said, “On the surface, the man was a mean miser who did not give to the many various institutions that everybody gave charity to, but deep down he was a Tzaddik who gave to the needy that nobody else would give to.” So think about that.

Parsha Shoftim

16:8 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God gives thee, tribe by tribe; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons; neither shalt thou take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, justice shalt thou follow, that thou may live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God gives thee.

I am not a Novi who get the message in a dream from HASHEM but an ordinary Jew who experienced on his own flesh or watched in his youth the decisions of the Earl Warren Supreme Court of the United States and how they warped the US Constitution. I don’t want to talk about the Israeli Court System or how a two time thief who ran over an Ethiopia parking fee collector was a candidate for Rabbinical Judge because his father was a Chief Rabbi of a town. I have heard rumors that the Rabbinical Courts of Nissim Koreletz Shlita in Bnei Berak and Rabbi Emmanuel Quint Shlita in Yerushalayim may even be the last of the Just Courts in Eretz Yisrael. As for the regular court system in Israel and the States, perhaps there are a few really just Justices. I have observed these things going on for years and have kept my peace. However, there sometimes is what we call the letter of the law vs. common horse sense and in the days of the horse and buggy some Judges used this. When some city clerk tickets a 10 year old girl selling lemonade on the street with a $250 fine for not having a license to operate a business it is time to put the brain into gear.

I know the Psalm for the Day that the Leviim used to say in the Beis HaMikdash was number 82 and before the Minyan, my radio alarm clock used to wake me up to the News from the Earl Warren Court or some of our Rabbinical Courts, I could not help think of this Psalm. 1 A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of God; in the midst of the judges He judges: 2 'How long will ye judge unjustly, and respect the persons of the wicked? Selah 3 Judge the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. 4 Rescue the poor and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.5 They know not, neither do they understand; they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are moved. 6 I said: Ye are godlike beings, and all of you sons of the Most High.7 Nevertheless ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for Thou shalt possess all nations.

Unfortunately only the first part of 16:8 occurs and Judges are placed in Israel on political connection and in the States some are elected by party machines. There is sometimes in either court system a lack of impartiality. If so and so is caught and brought to trial on stealing let us say socks from a store and a former general or police officer the same, usually the first average petty thief will get a larger punishment while the later will get a fine and community service. I have seen on US TV child rapists get 3 months to 1 year in Jail. I am not talking about a 13 year old boy forcing himself on a girl between the age of 11 to 12 years but a full fledged adult approaching middle age with a toddler or kindergarten child. For such a person with a sickness for little children, only the maximum jail sentence or even sterilization will prevent another child rape. Yet again and again these sick perverts just get a slap on the wrist for either male or female judges or the district attorney (elected official) wants to close the case quickly. What trauma the child will go through all his or her life or the parents of the child as the child hits its teenage years and begins to understand what happened, I don’t envy the hell on earth that they go through. Sometimes this stuff goes on to the husband or wife of the child in adult years through all sorts of problems - and this character is out on the streets in three months to a year to go out and rape again and perhaps not get caught.

I have been to a Rabbinical Court that dragged out my case for years and perverted my words and what I said originally. I did not want to continue onwards to fight them through the civil courts as it was too much for me in this world. How about the Chief Justice of the Rabbinical Court who lied that he was insane to get out of the Israel Army and he was stretching out cases with plenty of adultery for over 4 or more years. MY READERS THERE IS A TRUE JUDGE AND TRUE JUSTICE. I can wait until after the Judges and I are over 120 years and in the True Court – the real High Court receive my and their justice and the false complainant his justice. They do not realize when they judge that the pit of Gehennom and perhaps worst is open before them. Real Justice does receive a reward but in the generation before the Moshiach.

I received a letter this week about a person passed over for promotion (ever happen to you because of protection or what not). Luckily the fire season isn't as bad (k"ah = no evil eye) as it was last year. So “Aleph” is still at home B"H. He did have to go out to a large fire locally and help rescue a Fire Chief whose vehicle had become engulfed in flames and overturned when the winds shifted on him. He said it was very scary out there at the fire scene. He had to upright the vehicle and tow it out of harms way. The Chief B"H (thank G-D) was not harmed in any way, just very shook up.
So much for “Aleph” not being the boss, the other guy who got the promotion doesn't know even a third of the technical stuff that Ilan knows and he mostly stays in the office pushing paper... feh! The guy who got the promotion would never have gone out in the field and risked his safety the way Ilan does all the time. It really galls me.

21 Thou shalt not plant thee an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.

Obviously we are talking in the first part about the Temple Mount. You can see the land of Israel where the Arabs live a real barren place, but they have made it their business to put a grave yard before the Rachamim Gate though which the Moshiach is supposed to come. They also planted beautiful trees on the Temple Mount.

22 Neither shalt thou set thee up a pillar, which the LORD thy God hates. 17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God an ox, or a sheep, wherein is a blemish, even any evil thing; for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

I have kept this Pasuk together here as the Hebrew has a stop here and not as the Christian who broke up the sentences and paragraphs wrote it as the start different chapter.

We are not talking here about the pillar that Yacov Avinu set up in Beth El which was for a foundation stone for the house of G-D or the “Gal-Aid” hence Gilead between Lavan and Yacov which was a border marking. What we have here mentioned in this Pasuk is a cross-roads good luck stones thrown on a pile for a same journey to the ancient god mercury (see Tractate Sanhedrin). And when one does make a sacrifice one does not act like a cheapskate before the L-RD but brings a high quality perfect sacrifice. (This is what happened between Kayn and Hevel – Kayn brought an inferior sheep and Hevel brought the best of the best that he could offer).

2 If there be found in the midst of thee, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God gives thee, man or woman, that doeth that which is evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing His covenant, 3 and hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, or the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have commanded not; 4 and it be told thee, and thou hear it, then shalt thou inquire diligently, and, behold, if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 5 then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, who have done this evil thing, unto thy gates, even the man or the woman; and thou shalt stone them with stones, that they die.

Of course with two witnesses who warned such a person of the penalty involved. This would not apply to Islam or Christian beliefs today but the Beis Din would have the right to jail such a person if the Sanhedrin existed so as to prevent distortion of our tradition. Other religions and their beliefs would also have to be judged whether they constitute idolatry or not. Most likely a Sanhedrin would not kill such a person either. Now I can raise a question about atheism and perhaps this person would need an education and some proofs – it is as if the person is saying “If the sun, moon, planets, Buddha, Confucius, etc. are not real gods or religion how do I know that tomorrow there will not be a proof against the existence of your G-D?” Basically, we have convinced him/her about the former being false gods but we have left him/her without a reason or proof to believe in the true G-D. It would appear to me to be lack of understanding of the world from each different medical system in the body – the nerves, blood, digestive, brain, etc., the balance in nature on man and visa versa, atomic structure to the stars and galaxies and their influence in the universe, the understanding of the oral and written Torah and intertwinement of creation and mankind. Rabbi Avigdor Miller of Righteous Memory did a good job in his “Rejoice O’Youth”, “Behold A People”, “Torah Nation” etc. Rav Amnon Yitzchak Shlita has philosophical proof today but it goes over the heads of the average College Level person and I, myself, as a believer had to hear his tape a few times to grasp the significance of his proof.

6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee.

Two witnesses saw the adulterer and adulteress in the act. They yelled, “Cease and desist or we will bring you to the Sanhedrin for stoning to death.” If the couple disengages on the spot, they are not to be put on trial but the women is to get a divorce and cannot marry her lover in addition any child coming from this lover would be a Maumzer and forbidden to marry a Jew. However, if the couple continued to do such a hideous act because he was a big criminal chief, the court could go out and capture him. The people who threw the couple down from a height and then roll a heavy stone on them would be the witnesses. One would have to be very callous for a Sanhedrin to issue a death sentence in Israel. A ‘hanging’ Sanhedrin was one in 70 years. Of course sometimes something like witchcraft became predominant and the Sanhedrin had to go out and be proactive like the story of the Witches in Ashkelon and Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetach. Today it might be with homosexuality to stop the plague with a series of Gezaros. Yet sometimes it is as simple as finding a wife or husband for the participant in the act. Shabbos violation is too prevalent in the population today so that a whole re-education would have to take place. However, these and other blights such as adult swap places have to be purged from our midst. Close to 16 years ago, I heard of the swingers of Boro Park and I am in Eretz Yisrael and not running out looking for these things!

... 14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God gives thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me'; 15 thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou may not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother.

A leader must have proof of birth that he is a full Bnei Yisrael or at least from his mother. He cannot be a convert of the first generation and the same with a judge. However, a child of a Jew and a convert could become a judge or king. The best example is Abshalom who was the son of Chaggit and could have become king after David.

16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: 'Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.'

He cannot be like the Saddam Hussein boys who had more different cars than days of the year. He can have a few personal modes of transportation for himself and vehicles for his ministers and army with within a reasonable limit.

17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

The Rabbis ordained no more than 18 wives for a king as that was the number David had. Shlomo thought that he was such a wise man that he could avoid this but in the end, even he had his heart turned by the women. One cannot over tax the public and put the average Moshe or Yosef citizen into debit for the sake of his kingdom.

18 And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them; 20 that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

A miracle is being at the right place at the right time|main|dl1|link3|

Shlomo Bar and his wife Yael are facebook friends of mine. I received this beautiful song clip from the singer:

From Deborah M. a complete story about what I mentioned in passing a few weeks ago:

The First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice by Norman Cohen, Los Angeles

The media are crowing about President Obama selecting the "first Hispanic Supreme Court justice". I have news for the media. We already have had a Hispanic U. S. Supreme Court Justice. He was Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, U. S. Supreme Court Justice from 1932 - 1938, a Sephardic Jew of Spanish ancestry. His father, Judge Albert Cardozo, was Vice President and Trustee of the famous Spanish-Portuguese synagogue in New York City, Congregation Shearith Israel. Young Benjamin was Bar Mitzvah in that synagogue, and as an adult was proud of both his Jewish and Hispanic heritage.
It is the oldest congregation in the Western Hemisphere, having been founded in Recife, Brazil ca. 1630 and moved to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in 1654.

Its present location is at 70th St. and Central Park West. I spent some of my religious and social activity time there as a teenager in the 1950s, when the Rav was the famous Dr. David de Sola Pool.

One thing that surprised me there were the names on the memorial plaques ....... they were just like my Puerto Rican friends and not at all like my Jewish friends. Study of this history and culture has become a hobby of mine.

Most American Jews, who are of Ashkenazic origins, neither know of nor understand this important component of the Jewish people. Jews were a major component of the populations of Spain and Portugal for 800 years (~ 700 - 1500 CE). Ladino, the "Sephardic Yiddish" based on pre-1500 Spanish, is still spoken by 200,000 Jewish descendants around the world, mainly in Mediterranean regions. 45 of the 50 most common Hispanic family names are of Jewish origin. All Hispanic given names ending in "el" are Hebrew phrases with reference to G-d. Like Gabriel, Emanuel, Rafael, etc. Many Spanish words and names of places are of Hebrew origin.

If you represented all Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust by a crowded Dodger Stadium, just those Jews whose family names were Gamboa and Graciano would fill a whole section of box seats. Gamboas and Gracianos are in Jewish cemeteries all over the world.... even in Poland, Canada, South Africa and Israel. That's just two Sephardic-Jewish family names.

A recent analysis of the DNA of 20 statistical sample of men of Spain found that 20% have the Jewish genetic haplogroup, viz. they descend from Jews. The only way that this is possible is that there was already massive assimilation of the Jews of Spain in the centuries leading up to the Inquisition.

There are organized groups of b'nai anusim ---- descendants of Jewish victims of Inquisitions in Spain, Portugal and Latin America who were forced to convert, or who hid and abandoned their Jewishness out of fear of persecution ---- who are clamoring for acceptance as Jewish returnees.

It is estimated that a significant fraction of the Hispanics of the Southwestern USA and Northern Mexico are of Jewish ancestry and don't know it.

But the media would not think of, nor recognize, Benjamin Cardozo as a "Hispanic".
They want a "genuine" Hispanic, certainly not one who was also a Jew and was considered a "great justice".

Questions from G-D produced by Aish HaTorah and reposted here by Tsila:

This story was new to me: That a Cohen May Not Marry a Divorcee by Rabbi Shmuel Holshtein

Dedicated to the memory of R' Meir b"r Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld zt"l

There is a prohibitive commandment that forbids a Cohen from marrying a divorced woman, as it is written, "They shall not take a woman divorced from her husband" (Leviticus 21).

This was not just another one of the typical disputes between the Prague’s Maskilim ("enlightened") and the local rabbi, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau, the "Nodah Biyhudah." Bitter arguments were constantly arising between the Maskilim, who sought some way to lighten the yoke of the Torah and its commandments while maintaining the sense that they were nonetheless Torah-observant Jews, and the illustrious rabbi, who stood constantly at the dam in order to stop up any leaks in the wall of Torah law.

However, this time there was something different in the air. The argument related to a matter that was especially personal to one of the city’s prominent and wealthy residents, and it was clear that he had no intention of being flexible in this case. His only son had become engaged to a prestigious and well-to-do woman with excellent character traits. The match had not been easy to arrange, and only became possible after much effort.

There was, however, one problem. The bride was a divorcee, and because the groom was a Cohen, Jewish law forbade them from marrying. The rabbi, of course, would by no means permit such a marriage, seeing as it violated Torah law, and all attempts to convince him to conduct the marriage were unsuccessful. After a long argument, the rich man got up, furious, and shouted at the rabbi, "You will see that despite your stubbornness you will have no choice but to conduct my son’s marriage!"

A few days later, a royal emissary of the Empress Maria Teresa appeared at the rabbi’s home. The surprised rabbi realized that the wealthy Jew had broken the convention by which Jews did not involve non-Jews in their inner disputes. He had requested that the empress force the old-fashioned rabbi to marry the couple.

The rabbi was left with no choice, and he told the messenger that he would certainly fulfill the request of the empress. The elation of the enlightened Jews could be heard from afar. Wedding preparations went into high gear. The Maskilim rejoiced at the fact that the rabbi had given in to their demands and their hearts overflowed with a sense of victory. There was not a single person who did not lend a hand in the many preparations.

The rabbi’s many disciples, on the other hand, were furious at the insolence of the wealthy Jew, both at his outright disregard for the Torah’s commandments and at the disrespect he showed the rabbi by forcing him to take part in this disgraceful act. However, the rabbi did not allow them to take any action. To the contrary, his indifference was so great that it appeared as if the matter did not relate to him at all.

A great crowd gathered for the occasion. News of the wedding in which the greatest Torah scholar of the generation would marry a Cohen and a divorcee spread, and many "enlightened" Jews in the area came to see the event with their own eyes. There was complete silence when the rabbi took out the ring and gave it to the groom. As customary, the rabbi led the groom word by word, "Behold, you are betrothed to me with this ring according to the law of…Empress Maria Teresa."

A whisper of shock passed through the crowd, and then the rabbi said, "What is everybody so surprised about? After all, according to the Law of Moses and Israel there is no possibility whatsoever for this couple to marry; rather, Maria Teresa is she who has given this couple the ability to marry. This being the case, they are married according to the law of Empress Maria Teresa, certainly not according to the Law of Moses and Israel. Taken from: Tsila sent me this on a similar vein to the above post without knowing that Devorah had posted this:

Rebbitzen Shoshana Rivka sent me this:

I am all for modesty and for those who look for family background vs. the personality of the individual let them continue with their customs. However when Beis Yacov builds two schools on the same acreage – one for Ashkenazi girls and one for Sephardi girls that is going too far. G-D loves modesty but sometimes people go too far. When religion is used as a pickaxe to dig with:,7340,L-3761889,00.html

Yitzchak Ritz posted this on Facebook and I thought that it merited posting for all of you to read.

I must say that I was bewildered at first when I heard that you no longer believe in a Divine Torah. You struck me as a sincere truth seeker and one who would not easily be led astray due to your logical and curious nature. To hear that you don’t believe simply because your search has expired after the few short months or years of searching at the tender age of 19, is truly disappointing. It implies to me that the truth is not important enough to actively and continually seek it. I know that you have not covered a tenth of the possible logical approaches to this issue, nor have you read a hundredth of the wisdom and logical reasoning of many great scholars and sages who have spent lifetimes studying the questions that you have studied so briefly.

I don’t have any issue with doubt and seeking. That is the nature of man and to be highly encouraged. To give up seeking simply because no magic bullet has appeared on a silver platter smacks of hubris and laziness. From the time we briefly spent together you did not strike me as a person easily inclined to such character traits. So I am stepping away from my normal soft spoken ways to administer a swift mental kick to your normally logical and thorough seeking self. It is simply not acceptable, nor logical to conclude your search is over based on the time span and actual research you have done so far.

I pondered how to properly reply to your situation. G-d not only works in mysterious ways, but He also has a tremendous sense of irony.

This past week I found myself at a Reconstructionist establishment (which promotes as its primary theology the deconstruction of the Torah as Divine) which was having a book sale. One book (published in 1961) that I bought (for a dollar!) contained a translation of R. Saddya Gaon’s magnum opus, the Book of Doctrines and Beliefs which he wrote in the year 933.
(To learn more about the Saadiah, Saddya, Saadia Gaon see below)

His words directly respond to your seeking and confusion and particularly to your unfortunate abrupt conclusion. I hope his words will reopen your heart to honest inquiry and continued truth seeking.

He writes:

“The Purpose of the Book

Blessed be the Lord, the G-d of Israel, to whom the truth is known with absolute certainty; who confirms to men the certainty of the truths which their souls experience – finding as they do through their souls their sense perceptions to be trustworthy; and knowing as they do through their souls their rational knowledge to be correct; thereby causing their errors to vanish, their doubts to be removed, their proofs to be clarified, and their arguments well-grounded.

…I will first explain the reason why men are involved in doubts. [He gives a number of reasons among them the following] …Alternatively, he may know the right method of investigation, but is neglectful in applying them, and hasty in arriving at conclusions before having completed the work of investigation with regard to the matter he seeks to know. All the more is this the case if both deficiencies are combined in the same person, that is to say, if the person is not acquainted with the art of investigation, and, in addition, lacks patience to proceed even as far as his proper knowledge would carry him. He will remain far removed from the object of his investigation, or despair of attaining it.

…I further implore in the name of G-d all those of my readers who strive after wisdom to read this book with an open mind, to try honestly to see my point of view, and to clear their minds of partiality, hasty judgment and confused thinking…

If both the scholar and the learner follow this path in reading this book, the certainty of him that feels certain will increase; the doubt of him that is in doubt will vanish; the believer who blindly relies on tradition (the adoption of the utterances or actions of another as authoritative, with faith in their correctness without investigating reasons) will turn into one basing his belief on speculation and understanding; those who put forward erroneous arguments will be silenced; those who are obstinate and defy evidence will be ashamed; and the righteous and upright will rejoice…

The Nature of Doubt and Belief

One might ask: How can it be reconciled with the wisdom of the Creator that He allowed errors and doubts to arise in the minds of His creatures? We may answer this question at once by saying that the very fact that they are created beings causes them to be subject to error and delusion. For according to the order of Creation they require for every work which they undertake a certain measure of time in which to complete it stage after stage.

In its initial stage, their knowledge proceeds from a complex, vague and confused idea of things, but by their faculty of Reason they purify and clarify it in a continual process until, after a certain measure of time, their errors are removed, and a clear idea is formed without any admixture of doubt.

And just as every productive art is carried out by successive operations and remains incomplete if those performing it desist from it prior to its completion – such as sowing, building, weaving and the other kinds of productive work which can only be accomplished by the worker’s persisting in it patiently until the end – so the work of acquiring knowledge demands that one should start from the beginning and proceed chapter after chapter until the final stage is reached.

At the beginning there may be, for example, ten doubts; at the second stage they will be reduced to nine, at the third to eight, and if a man continues to reason and reflect, his doubts will in this way be further reduced until, at the final stage, there will emerge in full clarity the one proposition which formed the object of his search, and which stands out clearly defined, with no error or doubt attached to it.

…Let not therefore the fool in his impatience lay the blame for his own fault on the Creator by saying that He implanted these doubts in him, whereas it is his own ignorance or impatience which threw him into confusion, as we have explained. NOR IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ANY ACTION OF HIS CAN, BY A SINGLE STROKE, REMOVE ALL DOUBT. For if it could, it would transcend the sphere of created beings, to which he belongs.

Another person may not attach any blame for this fault of his to G-d, but desires G-d to impart to him the ability to know with a knowledge that is free from doubt. Such a one asks for nothing less than to be like G-d. For the one who possesses immediate knowledge is the Creator of the universe as we shall explain later.

The knowledge of all created beings, however, is only possible through the intermediacy of causes, i.e. through inquiry and speculation, which requires time as we have described. From the first until the last moment of this period of time they must remain in doubt as we have explained, and they are the praiseworthy ones who persist until they have cleansed the silver from the dross.”


That was just a little taste of the brilliance and incredible insight into human doubt and belief by R. Saadya Gaon. I highly recommend reading this dazzling work, the Book of Doctrines and Beliefs, as he takes us through step by step reasoning and logic that can lead us to faith without doubt.

There are many such books and tomes of wisdom that are essential reading before one can proclaim that s/he has searched and not found. Abraham Joshua Heschel’s G-d in Search of Man: A Philosophy Of Religion is another such book. I can give you a couple more if you are so inclined.

The bottom line is that you are too intelligent, too resourceful, and too honest to call off your search when you KNOW in your heart of hearts, that there is more knowledge, understanding and wisdom, than you have encountered to date.

My door is always open to you or anyone who is genuinely seeking and has doubts or problems with Jewish theology. May Hashem clarify your path and open the door of knowledge, truth and wisdom.


Yitzchak ;-)
I recommend to help understand who Rav Saadia Gaon was:

Y.R. In another Post debating Reform Rabbis: First I wanted to know why the Reform movement felt very comfortable with changing the Siddur to better fit in with its beliefs, why not change the Bible to better fit with its beliefs too? Clearly today there are some lines in the Bible that the Reform movement finds abhorrent. Why not do a little more redacting and remove those lines?

The response that I got was that the Bible is sacrosanct and we don’t mess with it. Some congregations won’t read certain parts, but no one feels comfortable actually deleting any part of it.

I persisted, “If it’s written and redacted by human beings, why can’t we redact it further to remove parts that are abhorrent to some? Where is this sacredness coming from? Can you be specific?”

They couldn’t really answer that beyond this vague notion of sacredness.

Then Louis challenged me a bit, albeit very gently. He wanted to know what do I do with the archeological evidence that proves Sinai never happened. I did not see the point in engaging in a conversation with the following premise. Since we did not find pottery shards from 3000 years ago at a particular spot that somehow proves that no one was at Sinai 3000 years ago. Huh? That’s evidence?

I actually read a book the following day from one of the strongest Sinai deniers based on archeology and found it mind boggling how much extrapolation and assumptions they make.
There is also evidence of a sea crossing from Sinai to Saudi Arabia along the Syrian African Rift and one can check this out on the internet.

A halachic Psak Din: Leading rabbis and settlement leaders have rejected the idea that a rabbi's decision to support voluntary evacuation of homes in an unauthorized West Bank outpost set a precedent for additional concessions by settlers. Halacha says that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people," Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yacov Ariel said on Sunday.

"But that does not mean it is never prohibited to evacuate [some of it]. Sometimes it is advantageous to evacuate in one place and build in another place according to needs and strategic reasons," he said.

Pinchas Wallerstein, director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, also rejected the idea that the rabbinic-backed move would serve as a precedent for further evacuations.

"Those modular homes were placed in Bnei Adam in recent months," Wallerstein said. "That can be seen as a type of provocation that we cannot afford right now."

Last week, Rabbi Haim Druckman, chairman of the Bnei Akiva Yeshivas, ruled that it was permitted according to Halacha to voluntarily evacuate three modular homes at the unauthorized Bnei Adam outpost, outside Jerusalem.

The evacuation of the homes, worth about NIS 100,000 each, would save them from destruction by the IDF. The portable homes could later be used in another settlement in Judea or Samaria. After much deliberation, Bnei Adam's residents accepted Druckman's decision. The ruling by Druckman, considered moderate in his stand on settlements and in favor of compromise and pragmatism, was not unexpected.

More surprising was the fact that former Chief Sephardi Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who was originally consulted by the residents at Bnei Adam, had recommended that Druckman rule on the question. Eliyahu, considered the most respected living halachic authority for the Orthodox Zionist community, was approached by Bnei Adam residents after a dispute broke out on whether it was permitted according to Halacha to voluntarily dismantle homes in the Land of Israel.

Some settlers argued that there was a religious prohibition against compromising on any piece of the Land of Israel. Assisting the government in evacuation was tantamount to committing a sin. Others said it was preferable to voluntary dismantle the modular homes instead of letting the IDF destroy them. Eliyahu was asked for his opinion. However, the 81-year-old rabbi, who was recently released from a prolonged hospitalization for heart troubles, said he could not rule on the issue. Instead, he referred the settlers to Druckman. Eliyahu's son Shmuel, who is the chief rabbi of Safed, said his father chose Druckman, 75, because he was experienced.

Initially, a group of settlement activists led by former Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss, who had come to Bnei Adam to reinforce opposition to a forced evacuation, rejected Druckman's ruling. Weiss, together with members of Land of Israel Faithful and Land of Israel Youth, were unwilling to accept Druckman's ruling in part because of his track record of compromise.

For instance, he opposed insubordination in the IDF ranks when Orthodox soldiers asked whether they should obey orders to evacuate settlements during the 2005 disengagement in Gaza and north Samaria. Weiss attempted to involve Rabbi Moshe Levinger, a veteran settlement leader known for his uncompromising stand on territorial compromise.

However, Levinger, one of the few rabbis respected by the more extreme settler youth, refused to get involved after Druckman had already ruled. "We are religious people and religious people are obligated to listen to the rabbi," said Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a leading Orthodox Zionist rabbi and head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva. "Rabbi Druckman did not ask anyone to involve him in the issue of evacuating those buildings," said Aviner. "But once you ask a rabbi a question, you have to accept the answer."

According to Immanuel Shiloh, editor-in-chief of B'Sheva, a weekly written by and for settlers and their supporters, there is a battle between two groups within the settler movement. "There are those who are more pragmatic and are willing to give in one place in exchange for gains someplace else," Shiloh said. "But there are also people who believe that any compromise, no matter how small, sets in motion a domino effect that is liable to topple the entire settlement movement.

"And there are rabbis who split into these two camps. Some are more pragmatic, others are more principled. The question is whom you ask. You can almost know in advance what the different rabbis will answer. But once a decision is handed down, people usually listen." Taken from:

My heart goes out to these people and is with Daniella Weiss but my soul and brain is with Rabbi Druckman Shlita.

More on the Taliban Bnei Yisrael:

David L.: Until relatively recently, it was not uncommon to find a Magen David on the doors of some Pathan houses. Up until early 1980s, some Muslim Pathans even attended services at synagogues in Afghanistan on Yom Kippur. There are still some of them who face Jerusalem to pray.

From R’ A.L.:

A young Torah Salesman:

Brenda P. sent me this book review “Gertruda’s Oath” ABOUT THIS BOOK

Trapped in the horrors of World War II, a woman and a child embark on a journey of survival in this page-turning true story that recalls the power and the poignancy of Schindler’s List.

Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was just three years old when war broke out and the family lost everything. His father, desperate to settle his business affairs, travels to France, leaving Michael in the care of his mother and Gertruda Bablinska, a Catholic nanny devoted to the family. When Michael's mother has a stroke, Gertruda promises the dying woman that she will make her way to Palestine and raise him as her own son.

Written with the invaluable assistance of Michael, now seventy-two and living in New York City, GERTRUDA’S OATH re-creates Michael and Gertruda’s amazing journey. Gripping vignettes bring to life the people who helped ensure their survival, including SS officer Karl Rink, who made it his mission to save Jews after his own Jewish wife was murdered; Rink’s daughter, Helga, who escaped to a kibbutz, where she lived until her recent death; and the Jewish physician Dr. Berman, who aided Michael and Gertruda through the worst of times.

GERTRUDA’S OATH is a story of extraordinary courage and moral strength in the face of horrific events. Like Schindler’s List, it transcends history and religion to reveal the compassion and hope that miraculously thrives in a world immersed in war without end.


"The Month of 'Elul' is Upon Us"

According to tradition, it was during the month of ELUL that for the third time Moshe went up to Mt Sinai, and remained in direct contact with G-d for forty days. At the end of this period, on the 10th of Tishrei, Yom Kippur, Moshe bearing the second Tablets of the Law, returned to the people announcing their final forgiveness.

Ever since, these forty days have remained the most favorable period for the purification of the children of Israel. During this period we proceed to a daily examination of our deeds leading to Teshuva (repentance) and Return to H-shem, amendment of our conduct, and our reintegration into Torah Life.

ELUL is the month preceding Rosh Hashanah, (the beginning of the Days of Awe), and is the most favorable period for Mercy from heaven. During this time of the year, G-d offers us special assistance in our struggle to free ourselves from our inner enemy which aims to ruin us. When a person is summoned to judgment, he chooses the best advocates and duly prepares in advance, all the arguments and the elements for his defense in a maximum endeavor to obtain a favorable verdict.

On the approach of the Day of Judgment, summoned not before a human judge, but before the Supreme Judge Who decides our destiny, our subsistence, our fortune, our joy and our sufferings, our life itself, for the whole coming year, surely we need a great deal of preparation so as to find favor in the eyes of the Al-mighty. The only advocates to whom we can appeal are the good and sincere resolutions we take, to amend our conduct, conforming it to the Creator's will and to purify our actions, eliminating all tendencies to arrogance, honor, lust or any other selfish urge.

It was G-d's Will to associate His Mercy to His Justice, so as to offer the transgressors a chance to amend their faults. No matter how distant we believe ourselves to be from our Creator, an opportunity is always offered to us, and it is never too late to repent. The call of Maimonides is full of meaning, "The Baal Teshuva (he who amends his conduct) should not think that on account of his past faults he is far from the degree of the righteous for, on the contrary, he is loved and cherished by the Al-mighty as if he had never trespassed.

Moreover, his reward is very great for after having tasted sin, he subdued his evil inclination. Our Sages said, "The place reserved to those who amend their conduct is not accessible to even the perfectly righteous, for they the Baal Teshuva, are on a higher level than those who never transgressed, for they strive more to overcome their evil inclination."

The month of ELUL is offered to us, so as to engage in action and increase the number of mitzvos. Even if we start to practice without conviction, the action of the mitzva itself will exert a spiritual influence (Kedushah) on us, strengthening our faith and converting the habit into a deeply felt observance. Success is assured if we are ready to involve ourselves in this task.

ELUL is the month in which H-shem comes down and 'meets with us in the field,' an analogy of His Divine Closeness to us on earth at this time. H-shem say's to us, "rid yourselves of the evil inclinations which obscure Divine clarity from illuminating your way, and I, your G-d, will rid you of the harsh Judgments written".

Thus beginning with the second day of Rosh Chodesh ELUL, the Shofar is sounded every day in the synagogue after the conclusion of the Morning Services (excepting on the Shabbat). The blowing of the Shofar acts as a solemn reminder that the Day of Judgment is fast approaching, and that we should take account of our spiritual life, our achievements and failures, and make amends to G-d and man for the errors made during the past year.

The Jewish person who heeds the ELUL reminder, experiences a great spiritual uplifting in every field of conduct, and thus brings a great correction to his being and the world at large.

Sources: Mishna Torah of Maimonides Laws of Teshuva, Chap. 7:4 A. Hassan, 'Emunah'.


Lana sent me this: My only concern is what will be of the Jews of Uruguay?

Inyanay Diyoma

How did Israel know all of Hizballah’s secrets?

The story behind the story:

From Ruth: Many Moons ago there was a possibility for a longshoreman to turn philosopher and even write for newspapers. One of these was Eric Hoffer. In 1968 he wrote for what was a fair and balanced paper in those days the following article for the LA Times:

From Joe:

ISRAEL AND THE ‘REALISTS’ by CAROLINE GLICK, JERUSALEM POST Aug. 6, 2009 forwarded by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator



Voices in America calling for downgrading US relations with Israel seem to multiply by the day. One of the new voices in the growing anti-Israel chorus is the Atlantic's well-respected military affairs commentator, Robert Kaplan. This week Kaplan authored a column for the magazine's online edition titled "Losing patience with Israel."

There he expressed his support for the US to downgrade its relations with Israel while pressuring Israel to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and to facilitate the establishment of a Judenrein Palestinian state.

Although Kaplan's piece adds nothing new to the current pile-on against Israel, it is a relatively concise summary of the so-called "realist" view of Israel, and for that reason it is worth considering his arguments.

As Kaplan sees things, the US's experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan in the eight years since the September 11 attacks have transformed America's interests and goals in the Middle East. The frustrations in Afghanistan and the combat losses in Iraq have rendered "the search for stability, rather than democracy, paramount, and created a climate in which interests are to be valued far more than friends."

The notion that friends and interests may actually not be in conflict is roundly rejected by Kaplan, particularly in the case of Israel. He gives three reasons why the US's alliance with Israel no longer serves its interests. First, he repeats the familiar "realist" claim that the only way for America to build good relations with the Muslim world is by distancing itself from Israel.

Second, he argues that after September 11, the US was wrong to believe that it shares common interests with Israel. Whereas Israel's interests would be served by preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in Kaplan's view, the US can afford to look on a nuclear-armed Iran with indifference. On the other hand, an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear installations can place US forces in Iraq at risk. Hence, as far as Kaplan is concerned, American interests are best served by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power and preventing Israel from doing anything to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The third reason why Kaplan views Israel as a strategic liability to the US in this new era of "realism" is because it is no longer a strong military power. As he put it, Israel's failure to defeat Hizballah and Hamas in its recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza "reduced its appeal."

LIKE HIS anti-Israel colleagues in Washington, Kaplan claims that his is a "realist" approach to the region. But this is untrue. The realist foreign policy doctrine assumes that all nations' foreign policies reflect their national interests rather than their sentiments. That is, in determining their foreign policies, states are not motivated by their passions, but by rational choice.

Beginning in the first Bush administration, Arabists like former US secretary of state James Baker began co-opting the realist label. In so doing, they sought to obfuscate their sentimental pro-Arab views of Israel behind the veneer of rational choice. Specifically, they popularized the anti-realist notion that due to their emotional rejection of Israel, Arab and Muslim states will not support America unless it puts the screws in Israel.

The realist foreign policy doctrine rejects this notion out of hand. Given its assertion that states base their foreign policies on unsentimental assessments of their national interests, true realists would argue that there is no rational bar to enemy states sharing the same allies if doing so advances their national interests. And they would be correct. Indeed, examples of such behavior abound.

India and Pakistan are enemies and yet they both ardently seek closer ties with the US. So too, China has massively expanded its ties to the US since 1971 despite US sponsorship of Taiwan.

The same is also the case with the Arabs and Israel. Contrary to the Arabists' impassioned claims, the waxing and waning of America's relations with Arab states over the years has borne little to no relation to the state of America's relations with Israel.

The US and the Saudis have been strategic allies for upwards of 70 years. These ties have been based on their mutual interest in the free flow of Saudi oil. US-Saudi ties have been consistently maintained regardless of the vicissitudes of Washington's views of Jerusalem, or even of Washington's views of Saudi Arabia.

In 1972, when President Anwar Sadat kicked the Soviet military out of Egypt and began moving his country toward the US, America was rapidly expanding its strategic ties to Israel. Sadat's decision to switch Cold War camps was a product of his own assessment of Egypt's national interests.

In December 2003, Libya paved the way to renewing its diplomatic relations with the US by agreeing to disarm from its illicit nuclear program. Libya's action came at a time of unprecedentedly warm US-Israel relations. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi made his move because of the US invasion of Iraq, not because of US ties to Israel.

All of these examples disprove the Arabists' most ardently held conviction. And the fact that this conviction is so easily refuted raises the question of why the belief that the US's alliance with Israel harms its ability to maintain and expand its alliances with Muslim and Arab states holds such currency today. The fact that President Barack Obama and his senior foreign policy advisers are themselves Arabists no doubt is a significant contributing factor to the increased popularity of fake realism. But their hostility toward Israel doesn't explain how Israel's adversaries continue to successfully hide their Arabist ideology behind the "realist" label.

THE SAD truth is that for the past 16 years, the greatest champion of the view that Israel is a strategic liability rather than a strategic asset for the US, and that the US gains more from a weak Israel than a strong Israel, has been Israel itself. Successive governments in Jerusalem, from the Rabin-Peres government to the Barak, Sharon and Olmert governments, all embraced the Arabist view that regional stability and hence Israeli security is enhanced by a weakened Israel.

Ehud Olmert's much-derided 2005 assertion that "we are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies," was simply a whiny affirmation of Israel's leaders' embrace of the Arabist world view.

Kaplan cited Israel's incompetent handling of the war with Hizballah in 2006 and its bungling of the campaign against Hamas in Gaza this past December and January as proof of the Arabist claim that it is a strategic burden.

What he failed to recognize was that the Olmert government made a clear decision not to win those wars. Doing so would have exposed as folly the government's central assertion that Israel is better off being weak than strong. In light of this, it is obvious that the Arabist desire to see Israel weakened is not supported by Israel's performance in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel's performance in Lebanon and Gaza was a consequence of its leaders' adoption of the Arabist world view. Had they rejected it, the results of those wars would likely have been much different.

So too, Israel's leaders' adoption of the Arabist view caused the Rabin-Peres government to empower and legitimize terrorists from Fatah and the PLO in the 1993 Oslo Accord. It similarly convinced the Barak government to surrender south Lebanon to Hezb’Allah in 2000, and it persuaded the Sharon government to surrender Gaza to Hamas in 2005.

In each case, buying into the Arabist view that stability is enhanced through Israeli weakness rather than strength, Israel exacerbated regional instability and imperiled its own citizens by empowering its enemies at its own expense. Most devastatingly, the Sharon and Olmert governments imperiled Israel's very survival by deciding from 2003 through 2008 to trust the US, Europe and the UN to prevent Iran from acquiring the means to destroy the Jewish state.

TODAY, WITH Iran on the cusp of a nuclear arsenal, Fatah openly calling for a renewal of the Palestinian jihad against Israel, Hizballah pointing its expanded missile arsenal at Tel Aviv and Dimona, and the Obama administration, with the help of an ever-expanding chorus of foreign policy "realists," advocating full-blown appeasement of both Iran and the Palestinians at Israel's expense, it is clear that the time has come for Israel to end the Arabist charade. The time has come for Israel to stop being an engine of its own demise.

The Netanyahu government has a clear choice before it. On the one hand, it has Defense Minister Ehud Barak calling for business as usual. This week Barak recommended that Israel preemptively surrender to the Obama administration and accept its demand that Israel capitulate to Fatah.

On the other hand, Ministers Yuli Edelstein and Yisrael (Katzaleh) Katz pointed out that at its leadership conclave in Bethlehem, Fatah exposed itself as an implacable enemy of Israel. Both Edelstein and Katz demanded that the government stop pretending Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate who is interested in peace and expose him for the fraud that he is.

Edelstein and Katz are right. It is vital for Israel to stop catering its foreign policy rhetoric to the preferences of its Arabist camp. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must courageously acknowledge that Fatah remains a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's violent demise.

But more important than harsh words about Fatah are actions against Iran. With a growing international consensus that Teheran has passed the point of no return on its nuclear program and will produce nuclear bombs in the next six to 12 months if left to its own devices, it is clear that as far as Iran is concerned, words are of no value today. Only actions count.

Israel's willingness and capacity to effectively strike Iran's nuclear installations will be the ultimate proof that Arabists like Kaplan are wrong to castigate Israel as a strategic burden. By freeing itself, the region and the world from the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, Israel will strike a blow not only at Iran's ability to wipe it off the map, but at the threefold contentions of the false realists.

An Israeli strike would prevent a regional nuclear arms race by freeing Arab states of the need to develop their own nuclear arsenals and so prove that a strong Israel enhances regional stability. An Israeli strike will rebuild Israel's eroded deterrent posture and put paid to the notion that Israel is no longer a military power to be reckoned with. And the destruction of Iran's nuclear capacity will weaken its military posture throughout the region and so weaken its terror proxies from Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza to Afghanistan.

In short, a successful Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear installations will demonstrate to real rather than fake realists that a strong Israel is indispensable to regional stability and international security.

In 1995, Kaplan published a critical book about the Arabist elite at the State Department in which he condemned their simplistic foreign policy outlook. No doubt an Israeli body-blow to the Arabist world view will compel Kaplan and other new members of the anti-Israel camp to reconsider their views.



forwarded with comments by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Clearly, assassination of Terrorist leaders is the preferable option and should continue each time one makes himself known and visible. As for Israelis who conspire to divest the Land of Israel from her Jewish people, they too should accept the consequences of a public trial by the people. Note! I exclude the judgement that might be rendered by the Leftist Party that the Israeli Supreme Court has become.

Such recent leaders of Israel who have surrendered vital parts of Israel’s ancient heartland deserve the harshest punishment for their perfidious betrayal of the people with those like Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert leading the list. As for Israel’s current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, there is that queasy feeling that he might shortly join that infamous list as we wait for the next American plan to complete the betrayal of their most valiant, faithful ally. We need Bibi to redeem his damaged reputation for his abandonment of 80% of Hebron, one of Israel’s four most ancient holy cities.




Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report
Sunday, Aug. 09 '09, Av 19, 5769

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who voted with the Sharon government four years to expel 10,000 Jews from their Gaza and northern Samarian homes, told the Cabinet on Sunday he will not repeat the same mistake. His support for the expulsion plan, known as the 2005 Disengagement, was critical until the Sharon government had enough backers, allowing Netanyahu to vote against the program after its execution was assured.

"[We] won't repeat that mistake. We won't create new evacuees," The Prime Minister told ministers while recalling the expulsions from the Gush Katif region of Gaza and four communities in northern Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that turning over the Gaza region to the Palestinian Authority did not leave Israel with peace or security while the government “ruined” the lives of expulsion victims.

Promising not to surrender communities in Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, the Prime Minister said there will be no unilateral expulsions. "We want a bilateral agreement," including recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the PA and secure security agreements, he added.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to describe Israel as a Jewish state, which would implicitly void his demand that five million foreign Arabs, claiming ancestry in Israel, be allowed to enter the country and create a de facto Arab majority.

The rhetoric appears to be more and more theoretical as both Israel and the PA have drawn opposing red lines. The convention of the Fatah party, led by Abbas, issued a resolution that calls for Jerusalem to be part of the PA, either by peace or by force, which it said is legitimate under international law. However, the Fatah policy paper did not specifically name eastern Jerusalem, leaving open a claim for sovereignty over the entire city. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who also is chairman of the Labor party, said that the Fatah convention rhetoric is "unacceptable". He added that any solution to the Middle East conflict demands a comprehensive peace agreement.

Last week, the Defense Minister claimed that the United States will present a step-by-step plan for a peace agreement and that Israel should accept it, although its contents are not yet known.


The Fatah party headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, re-elected in the fractured party convention in Bethlehem Saturday night, concluded all of Jerusalem is a "red line" for the PA.

"Fatah will continue to sacrifice victims until Jerusalem will be returned, clean of settlements and settlers," according to a Fatah "all-or-nothing" policy paper, which did not distinguish between the part of the capital that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967 and the section that was recognized by the United Nations as part of Israel in the 1949 Armistice Agreement.

Abbas, who previously has said he will not extend his term of office as head of the Palestinian Authority, which Fatah leads, was re-elected unanimously for another five-year term. He was the sole candidate who stood for the position. The de facto Hamas government in Gaza prevented Fatah delegates from leaving the region for Bethlehem, but several of them voted by telephone.

The convention, marked by scuffles and mud slinging, is being extended to Tuesday as it tries to rejuvenate itself following years of corruption, which opponents say remains rampant.

Abbas warned at the opening of the convention that Israel faces violence from the PA if it does not agree to its terms for a new Arab state on the land of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He claimed that attacks on Israelis are valid under international law.

"Although we have chosen peace, we maintain the right to launch an armed resistance, which is legitimate as far as international law is concerned." he told approximately the 2,000 delegates.

At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, a member of Fatah Central Committee, said following Abbas's re-election, "Fatah is still a liberation movement, and since we have not achieved our goals, we have popular resistance.... If peace efforts are thwarted, there will be no security, nor stability in the region."

A Music Icon passes away at 94 – perhaps he lived long as a reward for giving us something.|main|dl7|link3|

If this can happen in democratic Israel, it can happen in the USA too:

Assad tells Obama go take a hike:

Shona posted this article from Caroline Glick: Fatah's message

A central pillar of the Obama administration's Middle East policy paradigm was shattered at the Fatah conference in Bethlehem - but don't expect the White House to notice.

At the conference, Fatah's supposedly feuding old guard and young guard were united in their refusal to reach an accommodation with Israel. Both old and young endorsed the use of terrorism against Israel. Both embraced the Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror group as a full-fledged Fatah organization.

Both demanded that all Jews be expelled from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem ahead of the establishment of a Jew-free Palestinian state.

Both claimed that any settlement with Israel be preceded by an Israeli withdrawal to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and by Israel's destruction as a Jewish state through its acceptance of millions of foreign-born, hostile Arabs as immigrants within its truncated borders.

Both demanded that all terrorists be released from Israeli prisons as a precondition for "peace" talks with Israel.

Both accused Israel of murdering Yasser Arafat.

Both approved building a strategic alliance with Iran.

In staking out these extremist positions, both Fatah's old guard and its younger generation of leaders demonstrated that Fatah's goal today is the same as it has been since the its founding in 1959: Liberating Palestine (from the river to the sea) by wiping Israel off the map.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's decision to remove both his own mask and that of his organization should cause the Netanyahu government to reassess its current policies toward the group. For the past four months, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have quietly barred all Jewish construction in eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem neighborhoods, as well as in Judea and Samaria. The government's unofficial policy has been implemented in the hopes of pleasing the Obama administration, which argues that by barring Jewish building, Israel will encourage the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority to moderate its policies and so engender an atmosphere conducive to a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The Fatah conference put paid to that fiction.

Fatah's message to the Netanyahu government is important. But even more important is the message it conveys to the Obama administration. For Netanyahu, the Fatah gathering bore out his prior assessment that the group is a wolf in sheep's clothing. For US President Barack Obama, the message of the Fatah conclave was that his administration's assumptions not only about Fatah, but about terrorists and terror-supporting regimes in general are completely wrong.

FOR THE Obama administration, Fatah was supposed to be the poster child for moderate terrorists. Fatah was supposed to be the prototype of the noble terrorist organization that really just wants respect. It was supposed to be the group that proved the central contention of the Obama White House's strategy for dealing with terror, namely, that all terrorists want is to be appeased.

But over the past week in Bethlehem, Fatah's leaders said they will not be appeased. To the international community whose billions of dollars in aid money and boundless goodwill and political support they have pocketed over the past decade and a half they sent a clear message. They remain an implacable terror group devoted to the physical annihilation of Israel.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration is already making clear that it is incapable of accepting this basic truth. As Abbas and his cronies were exposing their true nature in Bethlehem, Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, was giving a speech in Washington where he demonstrated the administration's ideological inflexibility.

Speaking before the Center for Strategic and International Studies last Thursday, Brennan declared that appeasing terrorists and terror-supporting regimes and societies by bowing to their political demands is the central plank of the administration's counter terror strategy. As he put it, "Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent."

To this end, Brennan stressed that for the Obama administration, the now-discredited Fatah model of conferring political legitimacy and funding on terrorists in a bid to transform them into good citizens must be implemented for every terror group in the world except al-Qaida. In furtherance of this goal, the US government will no longer refer to America's fight against terror as a "war on terror" and it will no longer refer to the enemy it fights as "jihadists" or the cause for which these "violent extremists" fight a "jihad."

As Brennan explained it, referring to terrorists as terrorists is unacceptable because doing so sets the US against terror-supporting regimes that the Obama administration believes are all amenable to appeasement. And referring to Islamic terrorists as jihadists gives the jihadists the "right" to define what jihad is.
Since the Obama administration perceives itself as a greater authority on Islamic law and tradition than the likes of Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri, Ayatollah Khomeini, Khaled Mashaal and their fellow jihadists worldwide, Brennan unhesitatingly asserted that "'Jihad'... means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal."

Building on the false Fatah model of appeasable terrorists, Brennan indicated that the Obama administration believes that Hizbullah is well on its way to becoming a respectable political actor. As he sees it, simply by participating in Lebanon's political process, the Iranian proxy has earned the right to be viewed as a legitimate political force. Brennan cited the fact that in addition to active terrorist elements, Hizbullah members today include "members of parliament, in the cabinet; [and] there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hizbullah organization" as a reason to celebrate the group. He further claimed that Hizbullah members who are not actively involved in terrorism "are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion."

As The Jerusalem Post's Barry Rubin argued on his Web site, The Rubin Report, Brennan's assessment of Hizbullah is not merely factually wrong. It also exposes a deep misunderstanding of why Hizbullah entered the Lebanese political fray - and why Hamas entered the Palestinian political fray - in the first place. Brennan's analysis is factually wrong because at no point has any Hizbullah member ever condemned or in any way criticized its paramilitary or terror cadres. To the contrary, Hizbullah's nonmilitary personnel have gone on record repeatedly praising their terror brethren and have expressed disappointment that they are not among the movement's fighters.

Like Hamas - which Brennan in the past has expressed support for recognizing - Hizbullah entered Lebanese politics with the intention of taking over the country. It wishes to control Lebanon both to protect its military forces, and to advance its jihadist aim of spreading the Iranian revolution and destroying Israel. Like Hamas, Hizbullah's political empowerment has not moderated it. It has strengthened its military arm and made it politically impossible for its domestic rivals to oppose its war against Israel, its ties to Iran and Syria and its independent military force.

Unfortunately, as Brennan made clear last Thursday, the Obama administration is intellectually wed to the notion that terrorists like Hassan Nasrallah, and terror-supporting regimes like Bashar Assad's Syria and his overlords in Iran just want to be accepted by the West. They cannot accept any evidence to the contrary.

THIS WEEK the Obama administration dispatched senior military officials to Damascus for yet another round of friendly talks with the Iranian satellite. According to media citations of Pentagon and State Department officials, the administration is looking to cut a deal where in exchange for Syrian agreement to curtail its support for jihadists in Iraq, the US will put pressure on Israel to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.

As for Iran, the administration has officially given the mullahs until next month to decide whether they are interested in negotiating a deal with the US regarding their nuclear program. Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her colleagues in the administration are beginning to acknowledge that Iran will not meet their deadline, the administration has no Plan B.

The White House continues to oppose placing additional sanctions on Iran. State Department officials said this week that they fear that additional sanctions - including widely supported Congressional bills that would limit refined petroleum imports to Iran - would cause the Iranian public to rally around the regime. The fact that the Iranian public is in large part now begging Western countries to reject the legitimacy of the regime has made no impact on the Obama administration. Indeed, top US officials are unanimous in their willingness to accept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the legitimate president of Iran. Appeasement remains the only option the administration is willing to consider.

The Obama administration's unswerving efforts to accommodate terrorists and terror-supporting regimes wherever they are to be found demonstrates that for the administration, appeasement is not a tactic for achieving US policy aims. Appeasing terrorists and regimes that support them is the aim of US policy.

All of this makes clear that in spite of its reasonable desire to reach a deal with the Obama White House, the Netanyahu government must abandon any plans to do so. The Post reported this week that the government is now negotiating a six-month extension of its unofficial ban on Jewish construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria with US officials. These negotiations must be ended immediately.

Indeed, the proper response to the Fatah conference is for the government to announce that it is approving all building requests it has held up for the past four months. It should also declare that from now on it will treat all requests for building permits in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem in the same manner that it treats such requests from everywhere else in the country.

The Obama administration's devotion to appeasement shows that even if it wished to reward Israel in some way for going along with a construction freeze, it has nothing to offer. The only play in its game book is further concessions to terrorists and regimes that sponsor them. A settlement freeze will lead to a demand to accept a Lebanese "unity" government where Hizbullah reigns supreme, or a Palestinian "unity" government that paves the way for Hamas's international legitimization. An Israeli willingness to discriminate against Jews in Jerusalem will lead to a further demand that Israel cede the Golan Heights to Damascus, and accept Iran as a nuclear power.

For the Obama administration there is but one way of looking at terrorists: Just as Fatah can be appeased, so the mullahs can be accommodated.

Fatah's message that it will not be appeased is a message the Obama administration will never receive.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

This is an opinion of Liberty vs. Socialism from my friend Pamela:

From Shona: Marines try a woman's touch to reach Afghan hearts ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU 08/15/2009
KHAWJA JAMAL, Afghanistan — Put on body armor, check weapons, cover head and shoulders with a scarf.

That was the drill for female American Marines who set out on patrol this week with a mission to make friends with Afghan women in a war zone by showing respect for Muslim standards of modesty.

The all-female unit of 46 Marines is the military's latest innovation in its rivalry with the Taliban for the populace's loyalty. Afghan women are viewed as good intelligence sources, and more open to the basics of the military's hearts-and-minds effort — hygiene, education and an end to the violence.

"It's part of the effort to show we're sensitive to local culture," said Capt. Jennifer Gregoire, of East Strasburg, Pennsylvania. She leads the Female Engagement Team in the Now Zad Valley of Helmand province, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency.

"If you show your hair, its kind of like seeing a nude picture here, because women are very covered up," she said.

Women are technically barred from combat units in the Marines, and some infantrymen have been surprised to see them in brightly colored head scarves under their helmets, deployed in the most intense combat zones in the country.

"But ... I think they understand that what we're doing is vital to operations and vital to the counterinsurgency program they want to run," said Gregoire.

Women soldiers were assigned to search women at checkpoints in Iraq, and the experience fed into the Afghan effort, said Cpl. Sarah Furrer, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who served in both war zones.

"I'm not married and I don't have children, so they think that's awkward because I'm 24," Furrer said of her Iraq experience. But as a result, "we're not so much afraid of engaging the women" in Afghanistan, she said.

"I've found you get great intel from the female population," said Capt. Zachary Martin, who commands the Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, stationed in Now Zad. "The women don't want their men out there conducting jihad and getting killed."

Martin said units have frequently received tips from women about weapons caches or hidden bombs.

But just to find the women is a challenge. There were none in sight as Gregoire's team entered Khwaja Jamal, a village of mud brick homes with no electricity or government presence.

While heavily armed Marines fanned out, the four women started by trying to strike up conversations with the few old men and young children who ventured outdoors.

The several hundred villagers grow wheat and opium poppies in the crossfire between Marines and Taliban fighters who are in the woods less than a mile (about a kilometer) away.

"They look at us through binoculars. They'll kill anybody who talks to the Americans," said Abdul Gayom to explain why the villagers were so wary of meeting the patrol.

1st Lt. Victoria Sherwood was undaunted, talking to him through her Afghan translator. She gave him painkillers for his back, and small presents for the children timidly clustering around. Some of them begged to try on her sunglasses, and promptly made off with them.

Sherwood, from Woodbury, Connecticut, got Gayom to promise he might let her into his compound to meet his wife, who he said with a shrug is "so old, the Taliban probably won't care."

But there was a snag: The translator was male. Could he be in the wife's presence? "No way," said Gayom, who then asked the Marines for more medicine and goods.

Deeper in the village, an elderly woman eventually appeared on a doorstep. Gusha Halam claimed she was 120 — so old she could do what she pleased. Her black head scarf left her wrinkled face uncovered and revealed some hair, dyed bright orange with henna.

"The Taliban took everything from us. Make them leave," Halam said, before her sons and grandsons arrived, stopped the conversation and hustled her indoors.

UFO info released:,2933,539901,00.html?test=latestnews

From Pamela Geller the danger of an honor killing:

Now for M. Wolfberg’s: A stroke of luck and Shabbos joy.

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s parsha Eikev the Torah tells us of how Moshe came down from Mt. Sinai and found that the Bnai Yisroel (Children of Israel) had made a golden calf. Moshe was disappointed with the behavior of the Bnai Yisroel who had violated one of the Ten Commandments, by bowing down to the golden calf.
The Midrash tells us that Hashem had in fact wanted to destroy the Bnai Yisroel for worshipping the golden calf. However, instead of smashing all the Jews, Hashem let Moshe smash the first set of luchos – tablets on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments. Moshe then climbed Har Sinai once again, later to present a second set of luchos – tablets to the Bnai Yisroel. We see from this parsha that Hashem gives Jews a second chance.
The kabbalistic work Tomar Devorah explains that the essence of Man is the struggle to imitate Hashem’s character traits. Man – “Odom” – in Hebrew is related to the word “Adameh” – meaning “I will become similar.” Thus, the purpose of life is to work on our character traits so that we become more like Hashem. We saw above how Hashem gave the Bnai Yisroel a second chance. Thus, we too must always try to give our fellow Jews a second chance. The following story illustrates the power giving another Jew a second chance.
Dov Hager* is an exceptionally busy person. Aside from being a devoted husband and father to his six children, he is involved with local community affairs (yeshivah, Bais Yaakov, and the eiruv) as well as with national and international tzedakah organizations. Dov runs a successful curtain and window treatment business with offices in his home and in downtown Boston. At times his phones seem like a blaring out-of-sync orchestra, as his house seems like a raucous whirlwind of activity.
One night he had an appointment with a Mrs. Silver* in the neighboring town of Lowell, to show her swatches of fabric for curtains and to discuss various options of draperies, valances, Chinese shades, blinds, and screens.
Much to Mrs. Silver's dismay, Dov did not keep the appointment; he simply forgot about it. His many responsibilities had become chaotic and he had neglected to enter the appointment in his calendar. At 10 o' clock in the evening, Mrs. Silver called his office and left a blistering message on his answering machine. The next morning when Dov retrieved his messages, the wrath of the woman's voice on the phone was almost tangible.
Immediately, Dov called Mrs. Silver to apologize. "I have no excuses," he said honestly. "I am simply overworked. I must have lost the note where I had penciled in our appointment. Please forgive me."
Mrs. Silver was not in a forgiving mood. "You're a business- man," she said. "It's your job to have a better system of recording things. My time is just as valuable as yours."
"I am truly sorry," said Dov in embarrassed humility, "Please give me another appointment and let me make amends." He paused a moment and added," And this time I promise I will be there on time."
Mrs. Silver was not a religious Jew and Dov was concerned that his failure to show up at her home, aside from being poor business practice, was a chillul Hashem – a desecration of Hashem’s name.
There was a long pause on the phone. For a moment Dov thought Mrs. Silver had disconnected him, but then he heard her sigh and say reluctantly, "One Jew should always give another Jew a chance. You can come Monday morning at 10 o' clock and I expect you to be on time."
"You can count on it," Dov said confidently. On Monday morning, at five to 10, Dov arrived at Mrs. Silver's beautiful home on Spring Lane in Lowell. He rang the doorbell and waited. Suddenly the door opened in a flash and a teenaged girl started screaming hysterically, "What are you doing here? I didn't call you. You don't belong here!"
Dov was shocked. "I have a 10 o' clock appointment with Mrs. Silver. Is this her home?"
"My mother just collapsed in the kitchen," the girl cried. "We're waiting for an ambulance. I think she had a stroke!"
"I'm a medic," Dov said as he ran back to his car. Dov was a mainstay of Hatzolah (volunteer medical squad) of Boston. He was the most experienced of the crew. He grabbed his medical
kit, and ran back into the house. He saw at once that Mrs. Silver was barely breathing. Her neck muscles had become paralyzed and her tongue, which had fallen back, was not allowing her to breathe. Dov quickly opened up an air passage and got her to resume breathing. He saved her life!
A few days later when Dov visited Mrs. Silver in the hospital she said to him, "I thought I was the one giving you one more chance, but I realize now, that it was you who gave me one more chance - at life."
And it happened because Mrs. Silver understood that in the interest of harmony, a Jew should always give another Jew -one more chance. (Echoes of the Maggid, p.103 R. Paysach Krohn) Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s portion Reeh, Hashem tells us “For you are a holy people to Hashem, your G-d, and Hashem has chosen you for Himself to be a treasured people, from among all the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Devarim 14:2)
Joe Velarde became the fencing coach of Columbia University in the 1940's-50s and was an early advocate of civil rights in sports, eventually retiring to California. He now tells his story of his contact with Jewish neighbors growing up in the 1930's and early 1940's, which illustrates the power of the chosen people behaving as they should.

Snow came early in the winter of 1933 when our extended Cuban family moved into the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. I was ten years old. We were the first Spanish speakers to arrive, yet we fit more or less easily into that crowded, multicultural neighborhood.
Soon we began learning a little Italian, a few Greek and Polish words, lots of Yiddish and some heavily accented English. I first heard the expression Shabbos is falling when Mr. Rosenthal refused to open the door of his dry goods store on Bedford Avenue. My mother had sent me with a dime to buy a pair of black socks for my father. In those days, men wore mostly black and Navy blue. Brown and gray were somehow special and cost more.
Mr. Rosenthal stood inside the locked door, arms folded, glaring at me through the thick glass while a heavy snow and darkness began to fall on a Friday evening.
"We're closed, already", Mr. Rosenthal had said, shaking his head, "can't you see that Shabbos is falling? Don't be a nudnik! Go home." I could feel the cold wetness covering my head and thought that Shabbos was the Jewish word for snow. My misperception of Shabbos didn't last long, however, as the area's dominant culture soon became apparent; Gentiles were the minority. From then on, as Shabbos fell with its immutable regularity and Jewish lore took over the life of the neighborhood, I came to realize that so many human activities, ordinarily mundane at any other time, ceased, and a palpable silence, a pleasant tranquility, fell over all of us. It was then that a family with an urgent need would dispatch a youngster to "get the Spanish boy, and hurry."
That was me. In time, I stopped being nameless and became Yussel, sometimes Yuss or Yusseleh. And so began my life as a Shabbos "Goy," voluntarily doing chores for my neighbors on Friday nights and Saturdays: lighting stoves, running errands, getting a prescription for an old tante, stoking coal furnaces, putting lights on or out, clearing snow and ice from slippery sidewalks and stoops. Doing just about anything that was forbidden to the devout by their religious code. (ed note: Within certain guidelines as detailed in the Shulchan Aruch, a non-Jew under certain circumstances may perform certain acts which are beneficial to Jews but would be forbidden for them to perform.)
Friday afternoons were special. I'd walk home from school assailed by the rich aroma emanating from Jewish kitchens preparing that evening's special menu. By now, I had developed a list of steady "clients," Jewish families who depended on me. Furnaces, in particular, demanded frequent tending during Brooklyn's many freezing winters. I shudder remembering brutally cold winds blowing off the East River. Anticipation ran high as I thought of the warm home-baked treats I'd bring home that night after my Shabbos rounds were over. Thanks to me, my entire family had become Jewish pastry junkies. Moi? I'm still addicted to checkerboard cake, halvah and Egg Creams (made only with Fox's Ubet chocolate syrup).
I remember as if it were yesterday how I discovered that Jews were the smartest people in the world. You see, in our Cuban household we all loved the ends of bread loaves and, to keep peace, my father always decided who would get them. One harsh winter night I was rewarded for my Shabbos ministrations with a loaf of warm challah (we pronounced it "holly") and I knew I was witnessing genius! Who else could have invented a bread that had wonderfully crusted ends all over it -- enough for everyone in a large family?
In retrospect, my innocent exposure to a different philosophy was the starting point of a journey that would also incorporate the concept of Tzedakah in my personal guide to the world. In what historians would later call.
My tenure as the resident Shabbos Goy came to an abrupt end after Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941. I withdrew from Brooklyn College the following day and joined the U.S. Army. In June of 1944, the Army Air Corps shipped me home after flying sixty combat missions over Italy and the Balkans. I was overwhelmed to find that several of my Jewish friends and neighbors had set a place for me at their supper tables every Shabbos throughout my absence, including me in their prayers. What mitzvos!
My homecoming was highlighted by wonderful invitations to dinner. Can you imagine the effect after twenty-two months of Army field rations? As my post-World War II life developed, the nature of the association I'd had with Jewish families during my formative years became clearer. I had learned the meaning of friendship, of loyalty, and of honor and respect. I discovered obedience without subservience. And caring about all living things had become as natural as breathing. The worth of a strong work ethic and of purposeful dedication was manifest. Love of learning blossomed and I began to set higher standards for my developing skills, and loftier goals for future activities and dreams. Mind you, none of this was the result of any sort of formal instruction; my yeshiva had been the neighborhood. I learned these things, absorbed them actually says it better, by association and role modeling, by pursuing curious inquiry, and by what educators called "incidental learning" in the crucible that was pre-World War II Williamsburg. It seems many of life's most elemental lessons are learned this way.
While my parents' Cuban home sheltered me with warm, intimate affection and provided for my well-being and self esteem, the group of Jewish families I came to know and help in the Williamsburg of the 1930s was a surrogate tribe that abetted my teenage rite of passage to adulthood. One might even say we had experienced a special kind of Bar Mitzvah. I couldn't explain then the concept of tikkun olam, but I realized as I matured how well I had been oriented by the Jewish experience to live it and to apply it. What a truly uplifting outlook on life it is to be genuinely motivated "to repair the world." And, when I argue issues of human or civil rights and am cautioned about showing too much zeal, I recall how chutzpah first flourished on Williamsburg sidewalks, competing for filberts (hazelnuts) with tough kids wearing payess and yarmulkes. Along the way I played chess and one-wall handball, learned to fence, listened to Rimsky-Korsakov, ate roasted chestnuts, and read Maimonides. I am ever grateful for having had the opportunity to be a Shabbos "Goy." Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Be well and have a great Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli