Site Meter Yehudi Yerushalmi: December 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mass assimilation in Israel too

It is time for the ‘secular Zionists’ to admit failure in maintaining a ‘Jewish homeland’ for the Jews.

As the well known saying in Orthodox circles goes: “Intermarriage does not cause assimilation - assimilation causes intermarriage!”

I saw a very sad headline in Yediot Achronot, today. At least 20 Israeli diplomats have gotten married recently in the countries they have been posted to, to non-Jewish women! In one case, the wife of the Israeli ambassador wore a large crucifix necklace in diplomatic functions. Some of the local Jewish leaders have complained: “It doesn’t look good. Which message is this sending out? If Israeli representatives are marrying Christians, how are we to convince our youths to marry Jews?”

In Tel-Aviv around xmas time, there are a great number of shops and restaurants that have xmas trees.

Young secular Israelis have absolutely no knowledge of Judaism. They are assimilated!

Not only that, one of the stated purposes of the recent attempts to disband the Hesder units in the IDF was to 'secularize' or 'expose to secular culture those who have been raised isolated from it'.

As I commented recently on a post on Israel Perspectives, One of the leading proponents in the IDF for disbanding the hesder units, came out and said BIMFORASH that his purpose for this is for the above mentioned reason.I have several relatives who went into the IDF dati, and came out chiloni.

(Ze’ev then also brought this article about the values that the IDF seeks to inculcate in its soldiers to my attention!)

A secular Jewish State is a contradiction in terms! It is quite clear cannot work, and is failing badly.

Most secular/left-wing no longer even want a Jewish State. Beilin recently proudly adopted the division of Jerusalem as an election platform.

What I commented on that post bears repeating:

If it were not for Jews with a strong commitment to Jewish heritage and values, the State of Israel as we know it, a Zionist homeland for the Jews, would no longer exist. If it would have been established at all!

"Chareidi" Jews were the first ones to "make Aliya", and are the original "Zionists"!

The original secular Zionists only got their commitment to the Land of Israel from their exposure to traditional Jewish values.

The modern secular Israeli whose exposure to anything Jewish has been eroded to nothing, have no "Zionist" values, only post-Zionism remains.

The vast majority of them would not have moved to Israel had they been born in Chutz LaAretz, if they would have been aware of their Jewish identity at all.

It is ironic that the secular Israeli leaders call on the secular Jews from Chu'l to make Aliya in order to save them from assimilation.

The majority of those making Aliyah today from western countries are Jews with a strong connection to Jewish heritage!

Compare the way the (so called 'anti-Zionist') Chareidi Torah outreach institutions are always defending the State of Israel against anti-Israel propaganda, to secular "Zionistic" institutions who cannot attack Israel enough!

From Schindler's List to Munich

Spielberg and Kushner Smear Israel
by Andrea Levin,

Executive Director, CAMERA December 19, 2005

Steven Spielberg and an army of well-paid consultants and spinmeisters are pulling out all the stops to promote Munich and fend off damaging criticism of the movie about the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes and the effort to track down the crime's masterminds. The campaign has even included courting family members of the slain men for endorsements to blunt a gathering storm of negative commentary from the likes of David Brooks in the New York Times, Leon Wieseltier in The New Republic and Andrea Peyser in the New York Post.

. . . dispossessing Palestinians, we soon learn, lies at the root.

. . . In Munich there are no Palestinians clamoring for the destruction of Israel

. . . In all of this one sees the biases of Tony Kushner, the radical playwright brought in by Spielberg to reshape the script. Kushner has repeatedly called the creation of Israel a "mistake,"blamed Israel for "the whole shameful history of the dreadful suffering of the Palestinian people,"and advocated policies to undermine the state.

. . . During the movie's production, numerous Israelis with knowledge of the actual events disputed Spielberg's central themes. But the Hollywood director, along with Kushner, ignored them and insisted on their own dark story.

. . . In fact, historical accounts of Israel's decision to target leaders of Black September, the group responsible for Munich, emphasize that the assault at the Olympics was part of a worsening series of terrorist attacks against Israel in 1972. Lod Airport had been struck twice in May with 32 killed. Only days after the September 5 Munich atrocity, an Israeli official was shot in Brussels, and two weeks later a letter bomb killed an Israeli in London.

None of this common sense about self-defense and the context in which the Olympic massacre and Israeli reaction occurred are part of Munich. Instead, Israel's action battling its adversaries is cast as aberrant, bloody and counterproductive. It is no different from the assault of the terrorists and ostensibly spawns far greater violence.

. . .Munich is not fictionalized fact, but a falsehood at its core

. . .Munich offends on other counts. A leitmotif linking Jews and money will make more than a few viewers wince

. . . In other coarse invocations of supposed Jewish banter and attitudes, a team member demands a comrade drop his pants to "see if he's circumcised" when the teammate doesn't understand the need for Jewish violence. An argument among the team has one Israeli shouting: "The only blood that matters to me is Jewish blood!"

. . . Indeed, it is stunning to watch Munich and realize that its director brought Schindler's List to the world. Where that was artistry drawn from truth, Munich is cinematic manipulation rooted in lies. . .

Evidently, exploring essential truths about Jews murdered 60 years ago by a regime that no longer exists and is widely reviled is one thing. Defending the truth about Jews who, over the last half century, have continued to be targeted for murder by Palestinians, Arab states, and in recent decades Iran, and whose stalkers have enjoyed the support of the U.N., scores of NGO's, and perhaps attendees of Hollywood dinner parties, is quite another.

Andrea Levin is Executive Director of CAMERA

More American interference in Israeli internal affairs

Rice endorses Sharon

The Bush Administration does not hide its public support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even during the sensitive election campaign period.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lauded PM Sharon during an interview on CNN Tuesday, praising Israel’s leader for his courage

. . . Curiously, newly elected Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has to contend with an American support for his elections rival for the second time. In 1999, the Clinton Administration made every effort to assist the Labor party’s Ehud Barak, who emerged as the eventual winner.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How many agreements have the Arabs demolished?

Ex-IDF Officer: Bookshelf Full of Agreements'
11:11 Dec 20, '05 / 19 Kislev 5766

) Shimshon Arbel, former IDF officer in charge of Shechem, said on Israel Radio, "The bookshelf is already too full to contain the agreements" with the Palestinian Authority (PA). "There was not a single agreement which we signed...which I can point out and say, 'There! They stood behind it.'"

He also ridiculed the recent accord on re-opening the Rafiah border. "Tons of weapons, of missiles...are being brought in, and we are arguing over whether there will be, or whether there won't be cameras.... What is this nonsense? After all, the entire border can be breached."

Concerning rocket fire on the Negev and southern Ashkelon, he asserted, "We need to close the border from the Gaza Strip to the direction of the State of Israel, a total lockdown, and it does not interest us what could be there."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Pallywood II - Aldurah

Seconddraft has a continuation of the first movie examining al Durah

The Birth of an IconThis documentary, a continuation of the earlier Pallywood, examines the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the explosive footage about Muhamed al Durah and his father Jamal at Netzarim Junction, September 30, 2000.

Streaming video: aldurah.wmv
HiRes Download: aldurah.divx

Interesting Reads

Arab Member of Israels knesset calls for the dismantling of Israel (once again)!

Knesset Member Azmi Bishara in Lebanon: We are original inhabitants of Palestine, not ‘those who came from Poland, Russia; says Israelis should leave, take their democracy with them.


While Tommy Lapid complains (falsely) of the Hechsherim driving up prices, in America, the food manufacturers are falling over themselves to get a Hechsher.


Entire Region of Norway to Boycott Israeli Goods
SOR-TRODELAG (NORWAY), December 17, 2005 (WAFA-PLO news agency)- The Norwegian Provincial Government of Sor-Trondelag voted by a majority on
Saturday to boycott the Israeli goods.

In a press release issued by the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall
Campaign, said tha the government, includes Trondheim, Norway's third
largest city and comprises almost 20 percent of Norway's population, decided
to completely and totally prohibits the purchase or sale of Israeli products
in all municipalities in the province.


Beilin proudly announces he will divide Jerusalem

Yoram Ettinger writes an excellent article on Magen David Adom’s recent capitulation to the anti-Semites.
From Oslo to Red Cross
Israelis continue to disengage from their roots
"Another 'victory' like this and we've had it," wrote the Wall Street Journal – the most influential newspaper in the United States – about Magen David Adom's admission to the International Red Cross, in exchange for relinquishing the red Star of David in favor of a red crystal. . .

This atmosphere represents weakness as if it were strength, servility as determination, fear as restraint, and adherence and devotion to our roots and principles and national pride as extremist and iron-clad assets as liabilities.
Nations don't concede their national principles – certainly not the 3,000-year-old ones – for temporary advantages, but rather as an expression of caving in to pressure.
History shows that sovereignty and national security rest on ironclad assets, the nurturing of which exacts an immediate-term price, but bears fruit in the long term. . .

The current example of capitulation is just one more stage in the dramatic burnout in Israel's staying power and deterrent power, joining the steep, slippery slope of withdrawals and flimsiness: Negotiations about Jerusalem, coming to terms with a growing balance of terror with the Palestinian Authority and Hizbullah, ignoring hate education in the PA and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' central role in directing the escalation of incitement and terrorism, recognizing Hamas as a "political organization" running for elections, bowing to Condoleezza Rice's demand to open the Gaza crossings to terrorists, and much, much more. . .


Caroline Glick’s, Column one: Privatizing foreign policy

...As an Israeli, listening to [America's ambassador to the United Nations
John] Bolton I could not help feeling a deep sense of shame. True, it is
exhilarating to know that there is an American ambassador at Turtle Bay who
is going out of his way to defend Israel's rights. But I couldn't help
wondering where Israel's UN ambassador and Foreign Ministry fit into this

It seems that since he was elected vice president of the General Assembly,
Ambassador Gillerman has spent an inordinate amount of his time praising
Kofi Annan for the crumbs he throws in Israel's direction whenever he comes
under pressure from the US Congress to reform the endemically corrupt UN.

And truly, one has to wonder, what purpose other than irony is served by
having an official UN Holocaust Memorial Day? Every day the UN busies itself
facilitating a second Holocaust by advancing its agenda of delegitimizing
Israel's right to exist in every UN body except the Security Council where
Israel is protected by the US veto.

It is a source of embarrassment that the only reason the public became aware
of the UN's literal erasure of Israel from its official map is because of
the subterfuge of Bayevsky - a private citizen and human rights activist who
managed to smuggle a digital camera into the hall where the event took
place. Where was Israel's delegation when the UN officials were organizing
this event and printing up this map? Where was Israel's delegation when the
map was displayed? Where was Israel's delegation when Bayevsky was working
alone to show the world what the UN budget is being used to finance? And why
is the fact that the UN used a map with Israel wiped away not being
staunchly and resolutely condemned on the Foreign Ministry's Web site or
even mentioned there? Why are the ZOA's Web site and Bayevsky's UN Watch Web
site the only sites that posted word of the outrage?

WHAT IS prominently displayed on the Foreign Ministry's Web site is a report
on last week's vote by the Diplomatic Conference of all state parties to the
Geneva Conventions that will pave the way for Magen David Adom to finally
become a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
According to a statement by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom posted on the Web
site, the vote "reflects Israel's improved international standing in recent
years.. This is yet another achievement for Israel's diplomacy, joining a
long list of other successes in recent months."

Sadly, as in the case of Israel's treatment at the UN, what we see here is
yet another example of Israeli diplomats mistaking spit for raindrops.

The agreement that Israel reached with the International Red Cross is not an
achievement but a travesty. Israel's dispute with the organization was a
dispute over symbols. For 58 years Israel has justifiably demanded that the
Red Cross recognize the red Star of David - long the national symbol of the
Jewish people - as a symbol equal in legitimacy to the cross and the
crescent. But the organization's vote did not recognize its equality.
Rather, the symbol of the Jewish people was replaced with a bizarre diamond
shape. MDA delegations abroad may be permitted to stick a red Star of David
inside of the diamond, but then again, they may not be permitted to do so.
That decision lies in the hands of the government that MDA is deployed to

As The Wall Street Journal editorialized the day after the vote, "Israeli
diplomats celebrate this deal as a great victory. We'd hate to see a
defeat." The editorial continued, "If Israeli relief workers around the
world or army medical corps must hide their identity and wear some 'New Age'
symbol to be accorded the protection of international law, one might
consider this as just another example of the gradual delegitimization of
Israel as a Jewish state."

What the Journal's editorial, Bayevsky's activism and Bolton's actions at
the UN have in common is that in all cases, foreigners, rather than the
Government of Israel, are the ones protesting Israel's mistreatment by
international bodies.

Indeed, since the outbreak of the Palestinian terror war, as Israel's
international standing and the standing of Jews throughout the world have
deteriorated to a level not seen since the Holocaust, the most effective
actions taken in defense of Israel internationally have been conducted by
private organizations and private individuals, mainly in the US. These
actions run the gamut: from countering anti-Semitism on college campuses;
lobbying the US Congress and the EU to cut off funding to the Palestinian
Authority, Egypt and Saudi Arabia; exposing the finding arms of terrorist
organizations; to monitoring the US media for distortions in Middle East
coverage. The Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors and
translates the Arabic press, has done more to expose the anti-Westernism,
misogyny, anti-Americanism and genocidal anti-Semitism that is rife in Arab
culture than any government of Israel ever dreamed of doing.

In some cases, these organizations have been supported by the Foreign
Ministry. In others, they have been undercut by the Foreign Ministry. But
regardless, it is impossible to deny the fact that the incompetence of the
Israeli government in defending Israel in the international arena, and
particularly in the US, has been mitigated substantially by the valiant
efforts of these organizations and individuals, many of whom work as

RATHER THAN demand that the Foreign Ministry operate more effectively, the
time has come for Israelis to simply acknowledge that, for whatever reason,
the ministry is incapable of operating differently. The fact of the matter
is that since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993, the Foreign
Ministry has preferred fancy, empty ceremonies to actual diplomatic
achievements. Perhaps one day we'll get our own Bolton who will fix the
situation. But regardless of whether one ever appears, the time has come for
Israelis to start advancing private initiatives.

A reader from Florida sent me an idea this week that could potentially make
an enormous contribution to Israel's strategic alliance with the US.

It has been widely reported that the greatest drag on the morale of US
military personnel deployed in Iraq are their long separations from their
families. Divorce rates among US servicemen and women are skyrocketing. My
reader suggested that Israelis organize a program for housing US military
families in Israel while their fathers and mothers are deployed in Iraq. If
their families were comfortably ensconced in Israel, American soldiers,
marines, sailors and airmen could see their families once a month rather
than once a year.

It is true that the US Defense Department will not suggest that the families
of US military personnel in Iraq should move to Israel for the duration of
their family members' deployment. But no one could stop them from doing so.
There can be no doubt that the project would strengthen US-Israel ties and
there can also be no doubt that the initiative can be handled more
efficiently and effectively by private citizens than by the government.

We Israelis spend an enormous amount of time and energy criticizing our
government's incompetence. The time has come to stop complaining and start

Bolton ended his address by discussing the uniqueness of American foreign
policy. In his words, "Our foreign policy is not run by an elite group that
sits in its foreign ministry and dictates policy without regard to what the
voters and what our legislature thinks. The overwhelming characteristic of
our foreign policy is that it is ultimately determined by our citizens."

Yet another example of the lessons we can learn from our American friends

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jewish Values vs. IDF ‘values’

Thanks to Ze’ev of Israel Perspectives for bringing this article to my attention:

The Spirit of the IDF

Our Moslem neighbors called it the ‘cursed land’ of El G’erara

PA Farmers in Gaza: How Do Those Israelis Do It?

After years of producing bug-free lettuce and other vegetables for Jewish farmers, the sands of Gaza have reverted to their old ways. PA farmers report failure in keeping the bugs away.  

The Gaza Arabs who have taken over the hothouses of what used to be Gush Katif reported to the Israel-PA Coordination Office that they have failed in raising bug-free vegetables.

In addition, the PA workers complain that their wages from their compatriots and brethren are significantly lower now than what they received from the Israelis.

Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman reports that the Jews of Gush Katif operated 3,600 dunams (890 acres) of hothouses as of last year, of which the PA - with international help - has managed to activate three-fourths. The Arabs had hoped to build on the Jews' success, selling to the market the Israelis had built up over the years. The bug-free vegetables were particularly attractive to the religious and hareidi-religious publics, for reasons of kashrut.

The Jews who first arrived in Gaza some 30 years ago were repeatedly told by the Arabs who welcomed them that the land was "cursed" and that they would never succeed agriculturally. Benny Ginzberg, standing last May in the large Katif-Atzmona dairy he managed, pointed at the houses of the Arab city of Khan Yunis, several hundred meters away, and said,
"Those houses have been here since before the Six Day War. If they wanted this land, what stopped them from spreading out to here before? ... When we first came, they told us that we were crazy for even trying to build something here. 'The land is cursed,' they told us. Well, we built something, something very great..."

Ma'yan Yadai, a 27-year-old mother of two who was thrown out of Gush Katif - she was originally a Croatian Catholic who converted to Judaism, fled Yugoslavia, and moved to Netzer Hazani - spoke about Gush Katif before a gathering of the National Council of Young Israel in New York recently. She said,
"It is difficult for me to believe that this obviously blessed area is the very same area that our Moslem neighbors called the ‘cursed land’ of El G’erara. They have told me that nobody lived in this area from the time that the last Jews left because there was not enough rain, and nothing could grow properly. They were happy when the Jews returned because the rain started again, and the land began to produce."

Farmers in Gush Katif were considered among Israel's most successful; their total annual exports totaled $100 million, or 15% of Israel's agricultural exports. Of Israel's exports abroad, Gush Katif exported to Europe 95% of the bug-free lettuce and greens, 70% of the organic vegetables, 60% of the cherry tomatoes, and 60% of the geraniums. Israel's largest plant nursery was in the Gush Katif community of Atzmonah. Other Katif produce included spices, green, red and yellow peppers, celery and more.

Israel's Defense Ministry sources told Huberman that the Palestinian Authority farmers were unable to develop the techniques necessary for bug-free produce.

Some of the original Israeli greenhouses were damaged or destroyed by Arabs immediately after Israel withdrew, but the PA was able to rebuild them. As of now, the only crop the Arabs are raising successfully is strawberry

Monday, December 12, 2005

Kassam near Afula

Warnings Come True: Kassam Fired near Afula
Fatah said it fired a Kassam rocket last night at a town near Afula in the Jezreel Valley. The terrorists have long threatened that after Gaza, they would concentrate on attacking northern Samaria.

A Faulty Video Camera at Rafah Must Keep Al Qaeda at Bay

DEBKAfile Special Report

December 11, 2005, 2:05 PM (GMT+02:00)

Defense minister Shaul Mofaz may have talked from the top of his head when he threatened an economic siege of Gaza unless security measures at the Rafah crossing from Sinai started working. The prime minister’s office slapped him down in a trice. But the PMO did not contradict Mofaz’s assertion that the accords brokered by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to monitor the passage of terrorists were being trampled under the feet of incoming terrorists and their weapons.

An unnamed American diplomat made haste Saturday, Dec. 10, to dismiss Israel’s complaints as exaggerated. He admitted that the video camera installed at the Rafah from which the Palestinians had contracted to transmit data on incoming traffic to Israel, was on the blink. But he promised it would be fixed within days. Until then, of course, the terrorists may stroll through the Egyptian-Palestinian crossing as they have since Israel’s pullout, with no one the wiser – except for the European inspectors who are under instructions not to interfere.

In place of the ultimatum Mofaz and other Israeli officials broadcast last week, Amos Gilead, security adviser to prime minister Ariel Sharon, who led the negotiations over Palestinian passage into and out of the Gaza Strip, spoke reassuringly Sunday morning.

He said Israel would continue to insist on access to the full identities of entrants through Rafah before the next stages go into effect, chiefly the first experimental commuters’ bus due to open the shuttle road link between the Gaza Strip and West Bank Thursday, Dec. 15.

But, he said, more “staff work” remained to be done before the bus service could start running.

Much of this is posturing.

C. David Welch, the US assistance secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, was dispatched to the region last week to guarantee that Israel’s “exaggerated” security reservations do not obstruct progress on the deals the secretary forced through on Nov. 15. Welch knows as well as Jerusalem that, even after the video camera is “repaired,” there is no bar to the free passage of terrorists and weapons into the Gaza Strip, because -

1. No party in Brussels, Cairo or Ramallah exercises control over the international border at Rafah. Since Israeli troops pulled out, it has degenerated into a lawless enclave ruled by gangs of Palestinian and Sinai Egyptian-Bedouin weapons smugglers who buy passage with substantial bribes.

2. The Palestinian Authority official who signed the Rafah accords, civil affairs minister Mohammed Dahlan, has never honored a single pledge or commitment he signed off on, including the 1994 protocol in the 1993 Oslo Accords. His record is an open book to Washington too.

David Welch’s mission is not to satisfy Israel’s concerns but to ascertain that the Palestinian bus service starts on schedule. Just as the Sharon government gave way to Rice’s demand to sign on the dotted line in November, it is unlikely to stand in the way of the American insistence on daily bus convoys.

Israel would like the buses to go only as far as the Turkumiya roadblock near Hebron.

The Americans are adding stops in Ramallah and Tulkarm or Jenin in the north.

The Bush administration is shutting its ears to the prognosis shared by all Israel’s security and intelligence experts that even a single bus convoy per day without Israeli security control is a major hazard; tantamount to opening a highway for terrorists including al Qaeda incoming from Sinai to deploy with their weapons on the West Bank directly opposite Israel’s main cities, industrial heartland and population centers.

They have already gained access to the Gaza Strip; their unsupervised connection to the West Bank is only days away.

If Sharon and Mofaz appear to turn a blind eye to this terrifying prospect, it is only because it is the inevitable corollary of their heedless policy of evacuating the Gaza Strip four months ago without sustainable security safeguards. The danger is therefore systematically played down by domestic media. In consequence, 70% of Israelis canvassed in the last few days awarded high marks to Sharon’s handling of security matters, chiefly out of sheer ignorance.

By the end of this week, therefore, Palestinian convoys will start rolling out of the Gaza strip to the West Bank. Al Qaeda operatives, from the cell they were allowed to establish in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal, will be able to drive straight for Hebron, Ramallah and Jenin. The Al Qaeda express bus service will drop the “holy warriors” at convenient sites for striking choice targets in Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba as well as Hadera and Netanya, which are routinely battered by Palestinian suicide bombers

Thursday, December 08, 2005

$10 million bat mitzva

$10 million bat mitzva

How sad!  Sad not least of all for the little girl.  I wonder how happy she will grow up to be?

And what a Chillul Hashem!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Spiritual problems with receiving American aid

Rabbi Pinchas Winston
At night, G-d came to Lavan the Syrian in a dream. He told him, "Be careful and don't speak to Ya'akov either for good or evil." (Bereishis 31:24)
The Talmud makes an interesting statement, based upon this posuk:
Rebi Yochanan said in the name of Rebi Shimon bar Yochai: Any good from an evil person is evil for the righteous, as it says, "Be careful in case you speak to Ya'akov either good or evil." Bad is understandable, but why not good? Thus we learn that the good of the evil is evil for the righteous. (Yevamos 103a)
In other words, even the favors of evil people are far from that. Now, the Talmud does not mean that somehow and at sometime in the future the evil person will double-cross the righteous one and harm him in the end. It means that even if a righteous person receives and secures benefit from an evil person, it is still no benefit.
It's not that the money, or the gift, or whatever the evil person did for the righteous person has no objective value; it does. The problem lies not with that which was given, but with the giving itself. It is as if that which was received was stolen property to begin with ( even if it wasn't ( which makes using it honestly impossible.
This is because the process of giving and taking is not as finite as people tend to think, or treat it. On the contrary, what attracts us to possessions and even inspires us to surrender time and money for them is the potential for relationship with them, on whatever level is suitable for the "attainment" in question. Symbolism aside, we surrender part of ourselves when we sell something we previously owned, and the new buyer inherits it on some level.
This is why when a man marries a woman he gives a certain amount of value, usually in the form of a ring. On one level, an acquisition is being made, but on a deeper, far more esoteric level, they are both giving of themselves to each other, and opening a spiritual conduit between the two of them. They have the rest of their marriage to work on increasing the potential flow through that channel.
This is why the good of evil people is evil for good people. The moment you give something, anything, you create a relationship between giver and receiver. To what extent that relationship can go depends upon what was given and how, and though this may not be felt on an emotional level, it is certainly true in the spiritual realm, to such an extent that the spiritual impurities of the giver can go over to the recipient of an evil person's gift.
And evil doesn't always mean that a person is doing the worst things imaginable. Evil from a Torah perspective is also a lack of good, so that even misguided people can be doing evil, though somewhat unwittingly. No question that intention plays a major role in the evaluation of good and evil, but still, evil acts even with the best of intentions carry an aspect of that evil.
Thus, we see that even though Dovid HaMelech only killed with the permission of Torah, still the "blood on his hands" prevented him from being the builder of the First Temple. That honor fell to his son, Shlomo HaMelech, who didn't have to fight the wars that his father did. And, even though Ya'akov stole the blessings from Eisav for the sake of Heaven, it was still called a "ma'aseh geneivah" ( an act of stealing ) for which we have had to pay on some level. But that is all a function of Hashgochah Pratis ( Divine Providence. )
So, in the end it is not a simple case of simply buying something, paying for it, and checking out. There is room to be careful, not just about what you buy, but where and how you buy something. For, it might come with a spiritual dividend, and one that you might have preferred to do without.

Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem

Rabbi Frand on Chanukah.

Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem
I would like to share a beautiful insight from Rav Matisyahu Solomon relating to the popular Chanukah liturgical poem, Maoz Tzur. Perhaps the most familiar stanza of this poem (owing to the well known song using these words) is the stanza beginning Yevanim nikbetzu alay azai b'yemay Chashmonim (The Syrian-Greeks gathered against me in the days of the Chashmoneans). The song then relates that they made breaches into the walls of my source of strength (u'fartzu chomos migdalay). It continues that a miracle was performed for the sake of the shoshanim. The word shoshanim literally means roses. The poet metaphorically calls the Jewish nation "shoshanim".
Why, we may ask, was the name "shoshanim" seen as a particularly appropriate way to refer to Klal Yisrael at this time in history?
Rav Solomon's basic theme is an idea mentioned by Rav Yeruchum Levovitz in his work Daas Chochmah U'Mussar. Rav Yeruchum writes that if we are to seek out one theme that Moshe Rabbeinu constantly repeats throughout his life, it is the theme that Klal Yisrael should not assimilate with idolatrous societies and learn from their ways. Moshe's greatest fear was that after his death the nation of Israel would learn the ways of their non-Jewish neighbors and be pulled into the trap and the lifestyle of the nations of the world. Moshe first mentions this theme as soon as the Torah is given and he does not let up until the very day he dies.
Rav Yeruchum cites chapter and verse to prove his point. Here are just a few of many examples: "Don't make a covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land lest they cause you to sin to Me." [Shmos 23:33]; "Take heed lest you make a covenant with those who dwell in the land." [Shmos 31:24]; "When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the Land before you; and you shall destroy... and you shall demolish... but if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides..." [Bamidbar 33:51-55]. These same themes are repeated by Moshe again and again and again.
Unfortunately, in spite of all these warnings and exhortations, Klal Yisrael did not do a very good job of keeping away from assimilation with the nations. The history of both the early and later prophets is replete with examples of spiritual backsliding on the part of the Jewish people due to having learned from and copied the abominations of other nations. This occurs over and over in the Book of Yehoshua, in Shoftim, in Shmuel, and in Melachim. Not only did "the masses" of Jews learn from idolators, even Jewish Kings learned from them, to the extent that some of them tried to eradicate Judaism from the nation. Ultimately, the Jews paid the price of this spiritual backsliding and were exiled from the Land.
After seventy years, the Jews were put back into the land, having seemingly learned their lesson, only to return to their wayward behavior and to again learn from the Hellenists in the time of the Second Temple. Concerning this constant historical challenge to the preservation of unique Jewish identity, Dovid HaMelech [King David] says, "And they intermingled among the nations and they learned from their ways" [Tehillim 106:35].
If there is a way to sum up the essence of the battle between Klal Yisrael and the Yevanim [Syrian-Greeks] at the time of the Chanukah story in twenty-five words or less it is by describing this very issue. The Yevanim's battle with the Jews was not a physical battle to eradicate our people. Their vision was not that of Haman in an earlier era nor that of Rome in a later era. The Yevanim were not interested in killing Jews. The Greeks did not destroy the Beis HaMikdash even though they were certainly militarily capable of doing that. Their goal was not to destroy the Temple, but to de-sanctify it. They wanted to take Jewish culture and adulterate it. Their vision was to Hellenize Judaism and to blur the differences between Greek and Jewish culture. It was not a battle for the lives of Jews. It was a battle for their souls -- a cultural war.
Perhaps this is what the Mishneh is alluding to in Tractate Middos [2:3]. When detailing the layout of the Har Habayis [Temple Mount], the Mishneh mentions a ten hand breadth high fence known as the Soreg, just inside the perimeter of the Har Habayis. The Mishneh comments that the Soreg contained thirteen breaches that were made by the Greek Kings. The Mishneh says that the Jews were successful in mending the fences and instituted a corresponding number of prostrations, where visitors bowed when passing these places. The Rabbis enacted that when a Jew came to the Har Habayis and saw the mended fences, he should bow down in grateful thanks to the Master of the Universe for the successful defeat of the Syrian-Greek empire.
The Tosfos YomTov comments that the purpose of the Soreg fence was to separate the Jews from the non-Jews. When people of other nations came to the Har Habayis (which they had the right to do, as found in King Solomon's prayer at the Temple dedication [Melachim I 8:41-43]), they had to know their limits. If they wanted to join the Jewish nation, they could convert. But they did not have to. They could donate to the Temple and make offerings, but from "the other side of the fence", a small but symbolic separation between the Jews and the nations.
When the Greeks were successful in conquering Eretz Yisrael, what did they do? They did not destroy the fence or jump over the fence. They made breaches in the fence, in effect saying we are not different. We are no different from you and you are no different from us. We want to intermingle with you, and we want you to assimilate with us.
The mending of the fences was the symbol of the victory of the Jews over the Greeks. Therefore, how appropriate it is, for the liturgist to write - in describing the challenge that the Greeks presented to the Jewish nation: U'fartzu chomos migadalie [And they breached the walls of my Temple]. U'mi'nosar kankanim, na-aseh nes la'shoshanim [And from the left over vials of oil a miracle was performed for the 'roses'].
Why 'shoshanim' [roses]? The pasuk in Shir HaShirim [2:2] states, Like the rose (maintaining its beauty) among the thorns, so is My faithful beloved among the nations. Rashi there explains that the Jewish people are compared to roses. They live in a hostile environment. The delicate rose is in constant danger, lest the thorns puncture and pierce its beauty, destroying its pristine appearance. The Jewish people is under constant pressure to assimilate, and to replace Jewish values with those of the larger society around us.
This was the praise of the Jews who defeated the Greeks. They preserved their pristine beauty in the face of the hostility of the Yevanim who were trying to puncture and destroy their spiritually delicate essence.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another few things about Kislev and the Geulah

Thanks to Yaak for bringing this update from Hashem1 to my attention.

Hashem1 posted an update to his previous post on Kislev and the Geulah, which I translated below. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, I can only summarize the main points:

Another few things about Kislev and the Geulah.

I only have time for a few points about Kislev, without explanations, that can possibly hint to the future.

  • On the 25th of Kislev, the work for the Tabernacle in the desert was completed, but it was not erected until the first of Nissan.
  • One of the signs that the holy Zohar brings about the coming of the Mashiach (it is even written in one place that on should not expect the Mashiach until this sign arrives) is the appearance of a special rainbow in the sky, with brighter than usual colors . . . (source) . . . In the Book of Our Heritage it is written that the original rainbow was revealed in Kislev . . . (source) . . . The idea of a rainbow was also mentioned by Eli vis-à-vis Chanukah. See this post in English on (“Rainbow will tell the bad non-Jews to run away because Moshiach is here”)
    • The Book of Our Heritage writes that the 25th of Kislev is “a day that is prepared for greatness”.
    • The Ramchal brings an explanation according to kabbalah why Kislev (and also Adar) are months of Geulah:
      (In brief – Y.Y.) The months of the year go according to left right and middle. Nissan – Right; Iyyar – Left, therefore it contains the laws of the omer; Sivan – decisive, therefore it has the giving of the Torah; Tamuz & Av – Right & Left; Elul – decisive. Tishrei Cheshvan – Right & Left; Kislev – decisive, therefore it contained Geulah. Tevet Shvat – Right & Left; Adar – decisive, therefore it contained Geulah . . . .”

      This nevuah, as stated by the novi, took place on 24 Kislev. Note what the great commentator Metzudas Dovid says on verse 2:21 "I will shake the heavens and the earth": Meaning to say that this house will not be established forever because I shake the heavens, as if the stars of the heavens will war against them from their orbits and the kings of the earth will join to come against them.

      These words are especially suitable to the things mentioned earlier in the blog under the heading “Star Wars Soon”