Author: S A

Pray for Israel

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There are report in Israeli media that Iran is preparing to attack Israel. Jerusalem Post, “Iran is preparing a barrage of missiles to launch against Israeli military positions from Syrian territory”.

Is always a good idea to pray for the Jews in Israel, but news like this should spur us to greater prayer. No matter the outcome, a short or pronged hot war between Iran and Israel will be costly to Israel.

This is the prayer we say every Shabbos (if you don’t, ask yourself why not):

“Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace, and bestow Your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.

Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem, the abode of Your Name, as is written in the Torah of Your servant Moses: “Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.” Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your name and to observe all the precepts of Your Torah, and send us quickly the Messiah son of David, agent of Your vindication, to redeem those who await Your deliverance.

Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.”

Author: 004

Antisemitism in Germany: A Quick Update

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I wanted to update you on the situation in Germany, and  draw your attention to this video. I had previously touched upon Germany in this article, entitled,  “MUSLIM BAN: A JEWISH OUTLOOK” dated 2/13/2017. Discussing the settlement of Muslims in Europe, I wrote,

“Some markers I thought to be of interest…In Germany, in December, a terrorist drove a truck into a crowd of people at a Christmas Market. There were also several other planned terror attacks against Germany in that period. The unrivaled Mark Steyn, who has been prophesying and chronicling all this, writes: “The Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition dating back to the Middle Ages: Munich’s is over 700 years old. A society that can only hold three-quarters-of-a-millennium-old traditions behind an impenetrable security perimeter is a society that will soon lose those traditions.” There are some 5,000,000 Muslims in Germany.” (more…)

Sefirah: The Bar Kochba Revolt

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Death of Rabbi Akiva’s Students

The Shulchan Aruch, basing himself on the language of Tur, writes in Orach Chaim 493:

סעיף א נוהגים שלא לישא אשה בין פסח לעצרת עד ל”ג לעומר, מפני שבאותו זמן מתו תלמידי רבי עקיבא; אבל לארס ולקדש, שפיר דמי, ונשואין נמי, מי שקפץ וכנס אין עונשין אותו. הגה: מיהו מל”ג בעומר ואילך הכל שרי (אבודרהם ב”י ומנהגים).

It is customary not to marry a woman between Pesach and Shavuot until Lag BaOmer, because in that time, the students of Rabbi Akiva died. However, to do “erusin” and “kiddushin” (engagement and betrothal) is fine. And even for “nisuin” (marriage), if someone did so, we do not punish him. Rema: however, from Lag Ba’Omer onwards, all this is permitted (Abudraham, Beit Yosef & Minhagim).

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Chanukah Myths (4 of 8)

 

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Myth: The Hellenic Seleucids only waged war on the soul of Judaism. They were only trying to convert us to their pagan, hedonistic, Greek ways, and were not interested in hurting us physically. Rabbi David Addato writes, “It’s amazing that the Syrian Greeks never tried to kill us physically, they never even considered exiling us from the Land of  Israel…” Rabbi Joshua Bitton writes, “Their threat was not a physical one. It was an ideological aggression.” He writes further, “There was no physical threat to the Jewish people.” (Both of the aforementioned rabbis wrote articles in the paper “Veshinantam”, which is where the quotes are from.) (more…)

Jerusalem, Israel

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Te Deum laudámus. Praise be to God. Donald Trump, in his capacity as president of the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Candidate Trump had of course promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but so had candidate Bush before him, and so had candidate Clinton before him. In 1995 congress passed a law to that affect. Hitherto, a waiver embodied within the law was routinely exercised, rendering the law a dead-letter. (more…)

The Politics of Envy: a Jewish View

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Link to video of the protest

Yesterday I unwittingly became entangled in a political demonstration. No worries, I am safe and sound. It wasn’t Fascist Nazis or Fascist anti-Nazis. It was run-of-the-mill leftist protesters holding signs, and even waving the American flag. Would they accost me if they knew I was to the right of Genghis Kahn? I don’t think so, but I didn’t test it.

As can be seen in the video that I took, the crowd is protesting Trump’s proposed tax cuts. They were claiming that it hurt the poor and helped the rich. (more…)

The Rebbe’s Miracles

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The Biale Rebbe is a Chasidic leader who has gained in popularity in recent times. This is evidenced by the many people, some of whom are decidedly not Charedi, who turn to him for advice and guidance. He, like other Chasidic Rebbes who travel around, visit a city amidst great fanfare. Part of that is the posting of advertisements to announce and showcase the Rebbe. Enclosed is one of these advertisements. In case you have difficulty reading the picture, let me type the blurb:

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Ambassador Danny Danon at the JRC

Image result for danny danonAmbassador Danny Danon at the JRC

I had the honor to meet briefly Danny Danon at the Jewish Republican Coalition yesterday. Danon is Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, a post to which he applies his considerable energy and strength of will.  Those qualities, and a good sense of humor, were on full display last night at the event. He gave a lengthy speech, thanking the audience for their support of the state of Israel, as well lambasting Obama for his abandonment of Israel, especially at the UN.

All that was excellent. But he also devoted considerable time informing us about the progress Israel is making at the UN. From the way he was telling it, Israel is transitioning from being a pariah-nation on the level of Apartheid South Africa to being a respected nation, gaining friends and admirers at every turn. (more…)

Don’t Give Peace a Chance

Headline from Israel National News: “Report: Trump’s team drafting peace plan”. Further: “According to the report, the plan is intended to go beyond previous frameworks offered by the American government in pursuit of what the president calls “the ultimate deal.”’

Also detailed in the story in the goal of implementing the two-state delusion, or as some people call it, the two-state solution.

No. Let’s not go down this path. There is no pot of gold at the end of it. There is no happy ending to this story. Mainly, because this is not a fairy tale. This is reality. A cold and brutal reality.

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Must Women Cover up? Preliminary Observations on some Jewish Modesty Issues

 

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Must your wife cover her hair, her elbows, and her knees to be in accordance with Jewish law? Is it a fact, as I have heard since I can remember, that a married lady must, according to all opinions, cover all that and more. Indeed, the reaction of many is—woe to the woman who doesn’t cover up to a great degree, for she will be considered in breach of halacha. She will be considered to be dressed immodestly, if not promiscuously.

The preliminary answer—and this a preliminary piece—is no. Your wife needn’t.

You see, it all comes down to the idea of Daas Yehudis (Jewish Practice). “What is Daas Yehudis?, and why have I not heard of it before?” you may ask. And even if you have heard of it, you may not know it’s full significance. If you want to read at length on the issue, read Rabbi Michael J Broyde on the subject. If you aren’t interested in reading a document with 101 footnotes, read on here. (more…)

Response: Modern Orthodoxy from a Teenager’s Perspective

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Editor’s Note: The following is in response to this article by Eitan Gross.

Dear Eitan Gross,

I am writing to you in respect to your recent article on Modern Orthodoxy in the Times of Israel. I must congratulate you on a job well done. Your piece is very interesting. I hope you have not had so many responses that you won’t find time to read mine.

What is more, I probably don’t disagree with a single thing therein, pro tanto. I would just like to address what I consider the fundamentals of it all.

How is your argumentation positioned? Is it in context or in isolation? I mean to ask: are your criticizing this and that aspect of Modern Orthodoxy, in and of itself, or in contradistinction to other forms of Orthodoxy that are out there. By way of metaphor, one can criticize poverty under capitalism on its own, or in relation to other systems. The latter is foolish; any other system, such as feudalism or communism, produces more poverty. But, there is of course some poverty in a capitalist system. One could criticize it in isolation. (more…)

Purim: From Small Light to Grand Illumination

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וַיָּבוֹא, הָמָן, וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ, מַה-לַּעֲשׂוֹת בָּאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ
בִּיקָרוֹ; וַיֹּאמֶר הָמָן, בְּלִבּוֹ, לְמִי יַחְפֹּץ הַמֶּלֶךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת יְקָר, יוֹתֵר מִמֶּנִּי.  וַיֹּאמֶר הָמָן, אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ:  אִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ בִּיקָרוֹ.  יָבִיאוּ לְבוּשׁ מַלְכוּת, אֲשֶׁר לָבַשׁ-בּוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ; וְסוּס, אֲשֶׁר רָכַב עָלָיו הַמֶּלֶךְ, וַאֲשֶׁר נִתַּן כֶּתֶר מַלְכוּת, בְּרֹאשׁוֹ. וְנָתוֹן הַלְּבוּשׁ וְהַסּוּס, עַל-יַד-אִישׁ מִשָּׂרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַפַּרְתְּמִים, וְהִלְבִּישׁוּ אֶת-הָאִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ בִּיקָרוֹ; וְהִרְכִּיבֻהוּ עַל-הַסּוּס, בִּרְחוֹב הָעִיר, וְקָרְאוּ לְפָנָיו, כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ בִּיקָרוֹ. וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמָן, מַהֵר קַח אֶת-הַלְּבוּשׁ וְאֶת-הַסּוּס כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ, וַעֲשֵׂה-כֵן לְמָרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי, הַיּוֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ:  אַל-תַּפֵּל דָּבָר, מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ
And the king said, “Who is in the court?” And Haman had come to the outside court of the king’s house, to petition the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

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Muslim Ban: A Jewish Outlook

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Imagine a peasant who was brought up in some far-out rural village in ancient Egypt, disconnected physically and mentally from the unrivaled grandeur of Egyptian civilization with its impressive edifices and royal splendor. If he were to be blindfolded and transported to the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza, would he have any inkling of what stood before him? Would he have any notion that towering above him was 481 feet of the tallest man-made structure in the world (a title it would keep for some four millennia), an incredible testament to human genius and labor–and imagination and willpower? Would the blindfolded man be able to believe that before him stood a remarkable structure comprised of some 2.3 million blocks of stone, for a total estimated mass of 5.9 million tonnes? No. (more…)

Donald Trump and Israel

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Donald Trump has just announced his intention to nominate David Friedman to be the US ambassador to Israel. The press release signaled a dramatic change in US-Israel relations. Friedman is quoted as saying that he wishes to strengthen the relationship between the two countries “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem”. What a delight! (more…)