Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Missing Photo by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach
The current craze among Jewish children of collecting picture cards of
Torah scholars and leaders will probably remind many of their American
parents and grandparents of the days when they collected cards of
sports stars. There was, however, one youngster of that generation who
collected photographs of great rabbis and pasted them into an album.
One place in that album was left blank and in it was written:
"Mordechai, if you learn seriously, some day your picture will be
here with the other gedolim."
The youngster took his self-imposed challenge seriously and eventually
became the Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshivat Telshe in Cleveland, Rabbi
Mordechai Gifter of blessed memory.
(C) 2006 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The pernicious myth that the State of Israel has been an Occupier of “Arab lands” since the Six-Day War, comprising Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Golan and Sinai, originated, astonishingly enough, with the legal establishment of the State, which could not fathom the fact that all these territories were either integral regions of the Jewish National Home or historically connected with the Land of Israel. The jurist whose thinking on the subject principally led to the spread of this evil myth was Meir Shamgar, the Military Advocate-General from 1961 to 1968, subsequently the Attorney-General and President of the Supreme Court. In the early 1960s he conceived of a plan of action to be implemented in the event that Israel conquered what he called “enemy territory” from the surrounding Arab states. Under that plan, it was decided that the rules of international law concerning warfare would be applied to any such territory instead of Israeli law. To this end, he conducted special training courses for platoon officers of the Military Advocate’s Corps to familiarize these officers with the laws of war, particularly the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which they carried with them in “movable emergency kits”. In addition, Shamgar prepared a manual for the military advocate giving precise instructions and guidelines for the IDF to follow.
Shamgar’s plan came to fruition in the Six-Day War when it was adopted by the Levi Eshkol National Unity Government. A four-pronged military government was set up to administer all the Jewish territories liberated from Arab rule in 1967. The decision to set up a regime of military government for these territories rather than to apply Israeli law is the reason why the territories were logically considered “occupied territories” by neutral or even friendly foreign opinion, as well as by a large segment of Israeli society. The irony of the situation created by the Six-Day War was that Israel was never obliged to apply the laws of war to what were constituent parts of the Jewish National Home and Land of Israel, since several international law documents dating back to 1920 and 1922 had already recognized exclusive Jewish legal rights over them. Moreover, two important Israeli constitutional laws required the immediate application of Israeli law to all liberated Jewish lands, namely, the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance of 1948, as well as the Law of Return of 1950. In ignoring these constitutional laws and the leading precedent established in the War of Independence when Israeli law was automatically applied to areas beyond the U.N. Partition lines repossessed by the IDF, Shamgar committed a staggering violation of the Rule of Law.
Two recent Supreme Court judgments have taken Shamgar’s folly to new heights of absurdity. The President of the Court, Aharon Barak, has ruled that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are indeed governed by the rules of belligerent occupation without naming the state or people whose land has been occupied or noting when that state or people were recognized as the sovereign of the land. As a result of his rulings, Barak has completely undermined the Jewish legal case for the retention of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The only way to undo the tremendous legal and political harm committed by Israel’s most eminent jurists is for the Knesset to pass special legislation declaring that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are not occupied territories, but rather the national patrimony of the Jewish People in whose name the State of Israel acts.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Leftist poet Chaim Guri: Palestinian trees humanitarian concern, Jewish evacuees politics
Aaron Lerner Date: 12 February 2006
In a live interview broadcast on Israel Radio this morning, leftist author and poet Chaim Guri responded to criticism that while the Israeli Left is concerned about Palestinian olive trees that they express no humanitarian interest in the fate of the Jews who were evacuated from the Gaza Strip and have suffered greatly because the Government has failed to provide the compensation and other services.
Guri explained that the "plight of Palestinians is a humanitarian concern while the settlers removed from Gush Katif is politics."
Guri went on to explain that the Palestinians were the "poor of one's own city" - thus qualifying for priority.
The phrase "poor of one's own city" is a phrase from Jewish law regarding priority in the distribution of limited resources in humanitarian cases.That, other things being equal (in terms of critical nature of need, etc.), one first takes care of one's own poor.
Settler leader Bentzi Lieberman responded on the program that when Guri says that he considers Palestinians who genuinely desire the eradication of Israel to have the same standing - if not higher standing - than fellow Jews - that this illustrates a seriously distorted morality on the part of this representative of the Israeli Left.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Were the buildings "ticking bombs"
Israel Television Channel One Mabbat evening news reported that
100,000 attended the rally that had been organized over the course of two
days. This is a phenomenal success given both the time and the possible
chilling effect of fear of police violence.
For some reason, the bulk of the coverage has not focused on a very
straightforward issue: the Yesha Council put its reputation on the line
when it offered to commit to move or demolish the buildings within two weeks
in order to avoid a clash. This proposal constituted a major and dramatic
concession on the part of the settler community - something that the Yesha
Council leadership were able to offer only after long and painful
discussions with the people at Amona. The buildings at Amona were hardly
"ticking bombs" that had to be demolished within hours. So the very harsh
questions remains for the Olmert team to answer: even if you thought that
Yesha Council would not "deliver the goods", why did you deny them the
chance? Why, despite all the spins to the media that you want to work with
"moderate" Yesha leaders, did you send them back empty handed?
In the absence of any other explanation for the critical need to demolish
the buildings within hours rather than 14 days, one is only left with a
simple explanation: Olmert's polls found Kadima lost seats for the
compromise in Hebron earlier that week. His political advisors projected an
even greater drop in the polls if he "compromised" at Amona and postponed
the demolition for two weeks.
|Thursday, February 2, 2006|
|Weekly Commentary: Breaking bones for Kadima victory? |
Aaron Lerner Date: 2 February 2006
There is no denying the logic behind the advice that acting prime minister
After all, overnight polling certainly would have shown that many potential
Heavily covered bone breaking no-nonsense "law enforcement" at Amona more
And to make matters worse for the Kadima campaign team, accepting the Yesha
The numbers definitely favored confrontation over peaceful resolution.
But with Kadima enjoying a huge lead in the polls was it really necessary
Is it really so critical that Kadima polls 43 seats instead of 39?
Perhaps Mr. Olmert's campaign advisors can't be faulted for wanting to
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
Thursday, February 02, 2006
A Simple Jew posted the famous story of "Reb Zusia is hungry". A recommended read, I have always liked that one.
I have two others I would like to share, but the second one will have to wait for some other posting, as I don't have too much time now.
Reb Zusia lived a very hard life, even by the standards of poverty stricken Poland. The shirt on his back was the only one he owned. He had no teeth, was always sick and never saw a doctor or took painkillers. He just learned Torah, and served Hashem with Bitachon.
Despite everything, Reb Zusia was continually happy.
A person once came to Reb Zusia's teacher, the Maggid of Mezerich, and asked him how can the Gemorah say that one has to say the Bracha on hearing bad news (Baruch Dayan HaEmet) with the same joy as when saying the Bracha upon hearing good news (HaTov VeHaMeitiv)? (Brachot 54a).
How is it possible to have the same joy upon hearing bad news as when hearing good news?
The Maggid told him to go ask the question to his attendant, Reb Zusia.
The person asked Reb Zusia the question, and Reb Zusia replied "You must have the wrong person."
"You are Reb Zusia right?"
"The Maggid said that you could answer the question concerning how one can say the Bracha over bad events with the same joy as a Bracha over good events."
"Then you must surely have the wrong person."
"Because I never understood that statement either. You see, nothing bad has ever happened to me."
This was the same Reb Zusia who had no money, no clothes and no teeth. He had absolute Bitachon in Hashem and knew that whatever happened to him, was for the good.
In a 1959 letter to Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote:
It was once fashionable in certain circles to suggest that the Jewish religion and religious observances are necessary for those living in the Diaspora as a shield against assimilation. But for those who can find another "antidote" in the place of religion, particularly for those living in Eretz Israel, within their own society, where the atmosphere, language, etc. (apparently) serve as ample assurances, the Jewish religion was superfluous what need had they to burden themselves with all its minutiae in their daily life? But the trend of developments in Eretz Israel in the last seven or eight years has increasingly emphasized the opposite view: That however vital the need for religion amongst Diaspora Jewry, it is needed even more for the Jews in Israel. One of the basic reasons for this is that it is precisely in Eretz Israel that there exists the danger that a new generation will grow up, a new type bearing the name of Israel but completely divorced from the past of our people and its eternal and essential values; and, moreover, hostile to it in its world outlook, culture and the content of its daily life; hostile in spite of the fact that it will speak Hebrew, dwell in the land of the Patriarchs and wax enthusiastic over the Bible.
(This from rotter.net)
Find the difference
The top picture says "lynch of a Jew in Ramallah"
The bottom picture says "lynch of a Settler (Jewish resident of The Land of Israel) in Amona"