Thursday, 10 September 2009

Israel Matzav: Video: Joint exercise between Israeli and German SWAT teams

Israel Matzav: Video: Joint exercise between Israeli and German SWAT teams

For Zion's Sake: Does Everybody Really Want Peace?

Does Everybody Really Want Peace?

Image: A Palestinian man making the traditional Middle-Eastern symbol for peace.

Cal Thomas writes that the failure to understand that the Arabs are more interested in destroying the Jewish state than building a Palestinian one has "been the fundamental flaw in American foreign policy for decades". The American government simply does not understand that the goal of the so-called Palestinians is not to create a 23rd Arab state but rather the elimination of the Jewish state, and the massacre of its people. For those who would dispute this honest assessment of the conflict, a look at the history that is all too often ignored, denied and revised, is in order.

In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Mandate for Palestine. Recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine," Great Britain was charged with supporting the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in the Land of Israel. Shortly thereafter, the British severed four-fifths of Mandatory Palestine from the Jewish people in order to create a new Arab entity, Transjordan. The Arabs now had one state in eastern Palestine, and the remaining fifth on the west bank of the Jordan would be divided among Arabs and Jews. If the goal of the Arabs had been to have a state, four-fifths of Palestine would have sufficed.

Following WWII, seeking a solution for the refugees of Hitler's Final Solution, the UN established a Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP). The Commission recommended the division of Palestine, with the Jewish majority areas becoming part of a Jewish state, while Arab majority areas would be part of an Arab state. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted this partition plan, giving Jews a tiny, disconnected piece of land, severed from the holy city of Jerusalem. Despite being unsatisfied with the dimensions of this new state, Jews worldwide rejoiced in the knowledge that for the first time in 2000 years, there would be an independent Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The Arabs, on the other hand, rejected any notion of compromise. The chairman of the Arab Higher Committee said the Arabs would "fight for every inch of their country." Two days later, the holy men of Al-Azhar University in Cairo called on the Muslim world to proclaim a jihad (holy war) against the Jews. Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee's spokesman, had told the UN prior to the partition vote the Arabs would drench "the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood . . . ." Following the UN vote, the Arabs called a general strike and rioting followed. Immediately after the declaration of the State of Israel, one million Arab soldiers from 5 Arab armies invaded, their intentions quite clear. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, made clear that this was not a conflict about the territory or land: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." If the Arabs had wanted a "Palestinian" state in 1948, they would have accepted Partition. Instead, they went to war and were defeated.

From 1948 to 1967, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under illegal Jordanian and Egyptian control. This would have been a perfect time for the "Palestinians" to fight for their independence, yet not such thing happened, especially since there wasn't even a concept of a "Palestinian" people before the 1960s! Right before the Six Days War, the Arab rhetoric against Israel reached a fever pitch, and again, the aim of the Arab armies was not the creation of a "Palestinian" state. As Nasser told the United Arab Republic National Assembly March 26, 1964: "Israel and the imperialism around us, which confront us, are two separate things. There have been attempts to separate them, in order to break up the problems and present them in an imaginary light as if the problem of Israel is the problem of the refugees, by the solution of which the problem of Palestine will also be solved and no residue of the problem will remain. The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel as it is in the present and in what she represents."

In 1993, at the Camp David Accords, Ehud Barak made the most generous offer any Israeli prime minister ever made to Yasser Arafat. He offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. In exchange for the 5 percent annexation of the West Bank, Israel would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third. Israel would also agree to the division of Jerusalem, with east Jerusalem becoming the capital of Palestine, and allow the Palestinians sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Muslim holy sites. At the time, Prince Bandar ibn Sultan, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia, who was present when this offer was made said: “If Arafat does not accept what is available now, it won’t be a tragedy, it will be a crime.” Arafat rejected this most generous offer, presented no counter proposal and instead went home to stir up the Oslo War, popularly known as the Second Intifada. As always, the Arabs presented their goal quite explicitly. "We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. . . . We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem,” Arafat explained. What about peace? “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.”

In 2005, Israel decided to completely evacuate its soldiers and citizens from the Gaza Strip. This would give the Palestinians a chance to build a viable society there, on the road to a Palestinian state. Israel presented the Palestinians with the state-of-the-art greenhouses that had made Gush Katif such a successful agricultural enterprise. The Palestinians, instead, destroyed them, as well as desecrated synagogues left behind by the Jewish residents. Rather than work for peace, Hamas, a terrorist organization which aims to destroy Israel, was elected. They used the former Jewish towns as rocket launch sites, using them as bases to attack southern Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon. If the Palestinians had truly wanted a state, they had a golden opportunity to demonstrate this after 2005, when "Israeli occupation" could no longer serve as an excuse in Gaza.

After ending his term as prime minister, Ehud Olmert offered details of his secret "final deal" proposal to Abbas. Olmert claimed to have offered "to make concessions more painful than those offered by Ehud Barak at Camp David.” Olmert offered the eviction of thousands of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, as well as the redivision of Jerusalem. "There was one point when I put things on the table and offered Abbas something that had never been offered and dealt with the crux of the problem, with the most sensitive issues that touch the most exposed nerves and historical obstacles," Olmert said during conference in Herzliya. "I told him – 'let's sign.' It was half a year ago and I'm still waiting," he said. Of course, no deal was reached.

Much has been written about the supposed Saudi peace proposal of 2002. This plan is "quid, but no quo", to quote Thomas. Israel must surrender Judea and Samaria, expel half a million Jewish residents, and return to its indefensible pre-67 "Auschwitz borders". Israel must redivide Jerusalem, removing hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents from their homes. Israel must also surrender the Golan Heights, liberated from illegal Syrian occupation in a defensive war. Israel must also allow itself to be flooded with millions of Arab refugees who fled during the War of Independence and the Six Day War, making Jews a minority in their own country and effectively marking the end of Israel as a Jewish state. All of these painful compromises all for the Arabs recognizing the simple fact that the State of Israel has existed for 61 years. Of course, there is no reason for most of these Arab states not to be at peace with Israel now, since Israel does not hold the territory of any of them, nor does it pose any threat to them.

The goal of the Arabs has never been "a Palestinian" state. As Arafat explained, it is a Trojan-horse plan to make Israel withdraw to indefensible borders and weaken it, as a first stage to its elimination. This is the main difference between the "extremist" Hamas and the "moderate" Fatah: Fatah still believes in a two-state solution as a means to destroy Israel. Article 12 of the Fatah Charter makes it abundantly clear that they have no interest in compromise with Israel: "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence." The Hamas Charter also negates compromise: "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it... The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! "

Again and again, the Arabs have announced their intentions. A Palestinian state would not change the generations of Arabs raised on a steady diet of hate, the demonization of Jews and anti-semitism displayed in the Islamic media. It would not change the insatiable Arab desire to destroy the State of Israel, but only encourage it, interpreting compromise as weakness. Israel has made the mistake of believing the Arab lies before- let us hope that we learn from history.
Originally posted by For Zion's Sake: Does Everybody Really Want Peace?

ADL Joins Jewish Leaders in Raising Awareness of Iranian Threat During Daylong Fly-In to Washington, DC

ADL Joins Jewish Leaders in Raising Awareness of Iranian Threat During Daylong Fly-In to Washington, DC

Love of the Land: B'Tselem Jumps on the Bandwagon

B'Tselem Jumps on the Bandwagon

09 September 09


B'Tselem, an advocacy group known for its harsh but unreliable criticism of Israel, has jumped on the bandwagon with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, issuing its own critique of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza . B'Tselem -- not to be outdone by the other groups -- comes up with the same conclusion -- that most of those killed in Israel's military operation were Palestinian civilians. Unsurprising, given that all three groups rely on the same sources - Palestinian NGOs operating under the thumb of Hamas in Gaza.

Just how reliable is B'tselem? The organization's track record does not exactly inspire confidence in its methodology, rigor and accuracy. CAMERA has repeatedly found that B'tselem's casualty reporting is undermined by its strange definitions of combatants and civilians. For example, many of those characterized in B'tselem reports as civilians were killed while they attacked Israelis, like opening fire at a bat mitzah celebration in Hadera, setting off bombs, infiltrating Israeli communities and killing or wounding residents. (For more on this, see here and here).

The Israeli government has released its own casualty figures disputing the claim that most of the fatalities were civilians. Several private research organizations, like theInternational Institute for Counter Terrorism and CAMERA examined casualty figures provided by these same Palestinian NGOs and showed that the majority of Palestinian dead were males of ages typical for combatants and uncovered numerous examples where those identified by the NGOs as "civilians" were identified and commemorated by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups as fighters.

All this leads one to wonder...why do Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and now B'Tselem devote so much time and energy to producing report after report that repeats the same thing again and again?

Human Rights Watch's recent fundraising jaunt in Saudi Arabia might offer a clue as to the answer.

Love of the Land: B'Tselem Jumps on the Bandwagon

Love of the Land: Re: Getting to “No”?

Re: Getting to “No”?

Jennifer Rubin
10 September 09

This report suggests that the administration doesn’t comprehend that the U.S. and “international community” have been given the brush off by the Iranian regime—or they do and they aren’t yet ready to answer the “What now?” question. Laura Rozen reports that Dennis Ross, NSC Middle East adviser, and William Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, met with a few hundred Jewish activists. Here is the gist:

Essentially, Ross and Burns reiterated that the administration’s objective is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The strategy has been “engagement without illusions.” But the President will take stock in September and revisit further at year’s end, the conference was told.

They are engaging countries around the globe to help the effort. Burns did say they are starting the planning of the tough sanctions steps now, so that if/when the President decides to take that decision, they are ready to go.

Did you catch the “year end” part? Well, that September deadline is now, it seems, a December 31 deadline. The attendees told Rozen that the bottom line is, aside from the fact that there isn’t really a bottom line, that “it’s time to get the wheels of tough sanctions turning.” But the president is going to take stock. And check back at year’s end. And so it goes. One imagines the Iranians are not exactly quaking in their boots.

Love of the Land: Re: Getting to “No”?

Israel Matzav: Jewish liberalism and American exceptionalism

Jewish liberalism and American exceptionalism

A couple of readers sent me Norman Podhoretz's Wall Street Journal article on why Jews are liberals and asked me to comment on it. In the article, Podhoretz writes of his hopes that 'buyer's remorse' will lead some of the 78% of American Jews who voted for Barack Hussein Obama to become conservatives. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that he hopes in vain.

Much of the article is taken up by Podhoretz's description of Liberalism as Judaism. That's an issue I have discussed many times, and he does a nice job of summarizing it. He makes one small mistake about Jewish law. There are three sins that a Jew must allow himself to be killed rather than commit: Idol worship, forbidden sexual relations (not just incest) and murder.

But I'd like to discuss something toward at the end of the article.
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Israel Matzav: Jewish liberalism and American exceptionalism

Israel Matzav: Israeli Supreme Court orders illegally built homes destroyed

Israeli Supreme Court orders illegally built homes destroyed

There's nothing new about the Israeli Supreme Court ordering illegally built homes destroyed except that this time - for the first time ever - they're 'Palestinian' homes.

In Wednesday's decision, Justices Edna Arbel, Elyakim Rubinstein and Hanan Meltzer ordered the state to implement demolition orders that the civil administration had issued against two Palestinian houses near the villages of Sauya and Yatma in the West Bank. It also ordered the state to prepare a schedule for demolishing other illegally built Palestinian houses against which it had issued but failed to execute demolition orders.

The decision came in response to a petition filed by Regavim, which describes itself as "a non-political movement whose aim is to protect national lands and properties and to prevent other elements from illegally taking over national land resources."

It is the first time that the High Court has ordered the state to demolish Palestinian buildings against which demolition orders have been served. Regavim's lawyer, Amir Fisher, said in the wake of the ruling that "as of tomorrow, we will file more petitions pointing to illegal construction and Palestinian outposts [a reference to clusters of illegally built housing] in Judea and Samaria."

The court has already ordered the state to submit timetables for the demolition of illegal construction by Jewish settlers in many settlements and outposts.

Just imagine what would happen if the court got more right-wing judges.


Israel Matzav: Israeli Supreme Court orders illegally built homes destroyed

Israel Matzav: Whose side is Spain on?

Whose side is Spain on?

Back in the good old days of the Bush administration, there was moral clarity. As President Bush so famously put it, "are you with us or are you with the terrorists"? Today, with a new administration in Washington, any questions that are put are more muddled. And some countries are having difficulties articulating an answer. Take Spain for instance.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos was in Israel this week, and was scheduled to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who just returned from a trip to Africa. But on Thursday morning, Moratinos was summoned back to Spain in a hurry to meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who had just come from promising a supply of sanctions-busting gasoline to Iran. Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad know where they stand. Do Spain and its foreign minister know where they stand?

Moratinos' office said Chavez had advanced his arrival in Spain and this was the reason he cut short his visit to Israel, but the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem expressed amazement at the cancellation, saying the time of the Venezuelan president's arrival in Spain was known in advance.

Moratinos has been in Israel for several days and has already met President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry said that Moratinos called Lieberman and apologized for the need to shorten his visit and explained he did so at the behest of the Spanish prime minister. The office of Moratinos also said that Lieberman and his Spanish counterpart have talked over the phone several times this week on current issues and will continue the good communications between the sides.

MK Robert Tibayev, No. 20 in Kadima, said that "despite our differences with Lieberman, the fact that the Spanish foreign minister cancels a meeting with the Israeli foreign minister in order to be present at a meeting with the dictator from Venezuela, testifies first and foremost to the distorted priorities of the Spanish government."


Israel Matzav: Whose side is Spain on?

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

This is from David Ignatius' column in Thursday's Washington Post (Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin):

One Iranian political figure has told a Western intermediary that the Obama administration may have unwittingly encouraged the regime's power grab by sending two letters to Khamenei before the June election. The first, delivered through Iran's mission to the United Nations, was a general invitation to dialogue. Khamenei is said to have taken a month to answer, and then only in vague terms. A second Obama administration letter reiterated U.S. interest in engagement. According to the Iranian political figure, this may have emboldened Khamenei and Ahmadinejad to think they had a free hand on June 12.

In other words, seeing how weak Obama is, Khameni and Ahamdinejad figured they could get away with stealing the election.

But Iran is taking advantage of what it perceives as Obama's weakness in another way. Writing in the New York Post, Amir Taheri explains why Iran may 'talk' to the United States.
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Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election#links#links

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election#links#links

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Hariri resigns

Breaking: Hariri resigns

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Sa'ad Hariri has resigned after failing to form a cabinet. The culprit in bringing about the resignation is apparently Hezbullah.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said Thursday he is abandoning efforts to form a new government after the Hizbullah-led parliament minority rejected his list for a national unity cabinet.

Hariri's move takes Lebanon into more political uncertainty, with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman now forced to start consultations with lawmakers from scratch over naming a new premier.

Hariri's step-down comes two days after the militant Hizbullah and its allies rejected his proposed team for the 30-member cabinet.


Hariri said Thursday the conditions set by the Hizbullah-led bloc sought to undermine the entire election, which his Western-backed coalition had clearly won.

The only thing the rival factions agreed on during the negotiations over the cabinet makeup was a government formula. It gave Hariri's parliament majority 15 seats, the Hizbullah-led minority 10 seats, while Suleiman would pick the remaining five government members, likely from among independent politicians.

Continued instability in Lebanon only works to Hezbullah's - and Iran's and Syria's - advantage.

Given that Hariri's side won the elections, it is not clear to me why they are insisting on a national unity government. But it is likely an effort to forestall violent opposition by Hezbullah. In other words, Hezbullah continues to prevent Lebanon from functioning as a normal country by using violence and threats of violence.

And it is the Lebanese people who will likely pay the price for their inability to function normally.

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Hariri resigns

Israel Matzav: Bipartisan panel urges Obama to prepare military option for Iran

Israel Matzav: Bipartisan panel urges Obama to prepare military option for Iran

Israel Matzav: Former Mossad head says Iran can only be stopped militarily

Israel Matzav: Former Mossad head says Iran can only be stopped militarily

Israel Matzav: Watch The Third Jihad online for free

Israel Matzav: Watch <i>The Third Jihad</i> online for free

Israel Matzav: Hamas children's television mocks Gilad Shalit

Israel Matzav: Hamas children's television mocks Gilad Shalit

Israel Matzav: Human Rights Watch tries to duck

Human Rights Watch tries to duck

Human Rights Watch has issued a response to the discovery that Marc Garlasco, their chief military researcher for Israel, is a collector of Nazi memorabilia. The response tries to avoid the issue by claiming that Garlasco collects war memorabilia generally.

HRW emphatically denied that Garlasco was a Nazi sympathizer because he "collected German [as well as American] military memorabilia."

HRW said the "accusation is demonstrably false and fits into a campaign to deflect attention from Human Rights Watch's rigorous and detailed reporting on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the Israeli government."

Garlasco, HRW said in a statement, "has never held or expressed Nazi or anti-Semitic views."

According to the statement Garlasco's grandfather was conscripted into the German army during the war and served as a radar operator on an anti-aircraft battery.

"He never joined the Nazi Party, and later became a dedicated pacifist," the statement said, adding that his Garlasco's great-uncle was an American B-17 crewman, who survived many attacks by German anti-aircraft gunners.

"Garlasco own family's experience on both sides of the Second World War has led him to collect military items related to both sides, including American 8th Air Force memorabilia and German Air Force medals and other objects [not from the Nazi Party or the SS]," the statement said.

HRW said Garlasco was the author of a monograph on the history of German Air Force and Army anti-aircraft medals and a contributor to Web sites that promote serious historical research into WWII.

"To imply that Garlasco's collection is evidence of Nazi sympathies is not only absurd but an attempt to deflect attention from his deeply felt efforts to uphold the laws of war and minimize civilian suffering in wartime," the statement read. "These falsehoods are an affront to Garlasco and thousands of other serious military historians."

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Israel Matzav: Human Rights Watch tries to duck

Israel Matzav: Where is the 'pro-Israel' American Left?

Where is the 'pro-Israel' American Left?

Hundreds of American Jews will arrive in Washington on Thursday to push for strong American sanctions against Iran. The activists will be addressed by Congressman Howard Berman (D-Cal), the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, whose bill calling for a cutoff of refined oil products from Iran has been on hold since May to give the 'diplomatic process' an opportunity to work. The group will also be addressed by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va). After the addresses, the group will break up to lobby individual Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill.
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Israel Matzav: Where is the 'pro-Israel' American Left?

Stop Raping Israel: Mad Scientists

Mad Scientists

'The time has come,' the Walrus said, 'To talk of many things:"

In the crunk and disorderly world of academia -- the 'Cult of Irrelevance" -- there is a particular field called IR. Meaning Internat'l Relations, IR exists counterminously with real time - historical and current events sweetly mingle with future projections and the foreign policy theories theoretically theorized therein can actually drive one batty.

As in mad.

While decorum prohibits (think a thong at church) listing all the wicked, weak minded warping tomes, scrolls and syllabi that defeatist succubi and incubi imbibe -- here's one of several Mad Scientists to be on the lookout for.

Palestinian fanboy Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi is a down right mean Little Satan hating agent.

Dr K routinely enjoyed sucking up to the old school Palestinian terror cats like the Palestine Loseration Organization at the same incredible instant PLO was doing anti-Western terrorism and earned an especial place on Great Satan's Official Enemies List.

Specifically -- rowdy revisionist Rashid doubled as director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982

Despite Palestinian Sympathy Fatigue

"Although the Palestinians have no state, they have two toothless governments. The behavior of both sides has been disgraceful."

The real cause of all the world's ills are in fact Great and Little Satan's fault.

Such bass ackwardsness is risible in extremis

"It is high time that we speak out against the immoral and undemocratic policies of our government in the Middle East. U.S. policy in the Middle East will never be successful if it does not base itself on universally respected principles of international law and universally recognized values."

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Stop Raping Israel: Mad Scientists

Love of the Land: When Dictators of a Feather Flock Together It Threatens U.S. and Western Interests

When Dictators of a Feather Flock Together It Threatens U.S. and Western Interests

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
10 September 09

The little stories are often more important than the big front-page headlines. Always look for wider significance in the details.

So here’s a news item which few people would read yet tells us a great deal: “Venezuela recognizes Georgian separatist regions.” Readers could understandably say: What? Yawn! Or even think that the article is about Atlanta and Savannah (cities in the U.S. state of Georgia).

But why should Venezuela, which is in South America, care about a land so distant and totally unimportant for its interests? Simple.

First, the background. As part of its assertion of power and efforts to regain (however indirectly) its old empire, Russia has seized two areas in the country of Georgia called Abhazia and South Ossetia. For all practical purposes, these have been annexed though the puppet regimes claimed to declare independence.

So when a moderate, pro-Western democratic country is attacked by a neighbor which seized and annexes part of its territory might the United States and Europe rally in its defense? Of course not, where have you been the last ten years or so? They should but they don’t.

So why Venezuela? Because the "bad guys" help each other more cooperatively than the "good guys." In fact, that's one of the world's--and especially America's--biggest problems right now.

Well, that country’s dictator Hugo Chavez is riding on an anti-American, anti-Western, pro-Axis of Evil platform. (Which, unfortunately, doesn’t stop the Obama Administration from treating him like a buddy.) In this case, Venezuela is backing an act of aggression by Russia, just as it is moving steadily into a tighter embrace with Iran.

Ok so why are you reading my article right now? Because this seemingly insignificant step is of tremendous importance. And here’s the point:

Radical and aggressive regimes are pulling together in an increasingly strong alignment, to some extent alliance. These include: Iran, Syria, Hamas’s Gaza Strip, Hizballah’s state-within-a-state in Lebanon, Libya (though it’s always very individualistic), North Korea, elements in the Pakistani government (the kind that help Iran get nuclear arms, protect the Taliban, and launch terrorist attacks on India), Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

I predict that this alignment will become increasingly important in various ways over the coming years. Can the West carve away parts of it? That’s unlikely, unless one or more of these regimes is overthrown. Western democratic states will have to work harder than they are to ensure the list doesn’t become longer.

On Chavez's growing relations with Iran see here and here and also here.

Love of the Land: When Dictators of a Feather Flock Together It Threatens U.S. and Western Interests

Love of the Land: Ma'ariv: Netanyahu Worried About Feiglin's Growing Power in Likud

Ma'ariv: Netanyahu Worried About Feiglin's Growing Power in Likud

Opposition to the Bibi's proposal to nullify the Likud bylaw that requires new members to wait 16 months before being allowed to vote is growing daily. Every Likud member who does not have something very specific to gain from this tactic, which will effectively re-instate vote buying in the Likud, the manipulative and artificial inflation of the number of voters, is disgusted by Netanyahu's attempt artificially inflate the Likud electorate in his favor, also known as vote buying. Everyone still remembers the days of the Likud under Sharon. They know where tricks like these have led the Likud and (almost) nobody wants to go back there.

Netanyahu apparently realized that he cannot simply revert to vote-buying and that the media would not remain silent. So he came up with a brilliant spin:

Ma'ariv:"Binyamin Netanyahu worried about the growing strength of Feiglin and the settlers inside the framework of Likud"
Click here to read an English translation of the Ma'ariv article. Please note that the article was "suggested" to the paper by Netanyahu, himself.

Bibi will present his vote-buying as the best way to fight the Feiglinites: "Netanyahu prepares to battle a takeover in his party." That way, Bibi gets the kid-glove treatment from the press.

"If the Feiglinites succeed," the prominent source of the news item lectured the journalist, "they will gain enormous influence over Israeli society." In other words, because of those pesky Jews who took Manhigut Yehudit seriously and registered for the Likud, Netanyahu will not manage to establish a Palestinian state. That is why we have to fight against the Feiglin Phenomenon.

Does anybody still doubt the importance of registering for the Likud? Two possible scenarios will greet new members of the Likud: If Netanyahu gets his way and nullifies the 16 month waiting period, then the new member can immediately vote against Netanyahu's plans to establish a Palestinian state and expel Jews from their homes. In other words, the new member will be the counterpoint to the Arab clans and workers' unions who will be registered en masse - for a price.

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Love of the Land: Ma'ariv: Netanyahu Worried About Feiglin's Growing Power in Likud

Love of the Land: New Dawn, New Year

New Dawn, New Year

Marc Prowisor
Yesha Views
10 September 09

Back in 1982, Shimon Peres traveled to the USA to speak in opposition of Israel’s then war against terror from Lebanon. He managed to gain US support and increased international pressure on Israel amidst the fighting causing a premature cease-fire and in essence prolonging Israel’s presence in Lebanon. We as soldiers were in the middle of battle as we were listening on the radio how one of our own Government officials was gathering support against us. Most of us in our late teens and early twenty’s, we simply cared about doing our job, protecting Israel and stopping the enemy and then going home. We didn’t understand how a government official could speak out against what we were doing, and worst, take it to the outside world. Was it the world’s business anyway, were they getting bombed? We knew in our hearts that we were stopping the terrorists from continuing to fire on the North, and we were stopping our enemies.

I remember watching the terrorists of Fatah traveling safely from Lebanon, because of a brokered cease fire and the confusing feeling among us, how could we let our enemies leave so they would attack us again?

After Oslo, we let these same terrorists back into our country, rearmed them only to see those weapons turned against us and we watched as waves of bombings against the innocent took their toll in lives, again the result of the same team from 1982.

Even today, opposition leader Tzippi Livni will travel to the US to gain support against the present government and attempt at keeping her job. Peace Now, Human Rights Watch, Rabbis for whatever and so many others will do the same.

Continuing to travel outside the country to gain support and funds, these movements and politicians that put the security and safety of the Jewish people here in jeopardy and roam freely without regard to the Jewish lives they endanger.

People of the world look at us, the Jewish people, in amazement how we endanger ourselves and our nation by capitulating to outside pressures and give in to an enemy that has one goal in mind, that of destroying us. How come everybody understands this but our own officials and so called peace movements? How can we expect any sort of unity among our own people, or the attempt of unity, when our own representatives choose to air their dirty laundry outside?

These politicians and others hold a grudge against the new growing strength in Israel. The new Israel is that of a strong Jewish identity, this new Israeli, is not ashamed of who he or she is. They know they are in their land, and will defend it and fight for it. They grow vineyards and orchards and produce world renowned goods. They are creating technologies that are saving lives around the world. They are not ashamed of lighting candles Friday night and they are proud of who they are and where they live.

This is what frightens our dear Knesset members and supposed intelligentsia who oppose our presence in Judea and Samaria. They go so far as to seek out and create more opposition because they cannot find enough support at home. These same people ignore democracy and justice while attempting to create their own rules and double standards. They are racists, discriminating against their own.They do not believe in equality, only their way, at the expense of Jewish life. They will adopt an enemy rather than make peace at home and they will bend laws without regard to justice.

Most of the nations of the world do not really care what happens to us, they care what happens to them, quite normal. This applies to most people in the world, again, normal. By creating and bringing opposing views outside the country, we weaken and confuse our people and ourselves. This in turn creates the exact atmosphere needed to harm us, and what are enemies seek and this is forbidden.

Every nation and country in the world has its problems, we all agree and disagree with each other, we talk, we yell and eventually work things out, you might say this is the democratic process. Our job in Israel regarding the Jewish Communities outside the country is to keep them strong, and protect them when needed, they are the minority there. Our job here in Israel is to keep our country strong and safe and to be able to provide a place to live for all Jews around the world, when needed.

So I turn to our people, who bear this grudge against their own, and embrace values that are foreign to us and our people, come home, look inside, you will be proud of who you are and who you are becoming.

There is a new dawn, and it is beautiful.

Love of the Land: New Dawn, New Year

Love of the Land: BBC Newsnight Plumbs New Depths Of Bigotry

BBC Newsnight Plumbs New Depths Of Bigotry

Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
10 September 09

I have just caught up with a quite disgusting item by Katya Adler, transmitted on Monday evening's Newsnight, on military rabbis in the Israel Defence Force. She presented as deeply shocking the fact that these rabbis are trained officers who carry arms and are now deployed in the front line of combat. Worse still, they actually seek to inspire and fortify Israeli soldiers by using the Jewish religion and the words of the Hebrew Bible! How shocking is that?! No mention of the fact that the British army has military chaplains who are also officers. True, they don’t bear arms – although some chaplains in Afghanistan are now saying they think that should change because it is too dangerous not to when on a battlefield that is far more lethal to them than any other on which they have served: the sole reason the IDF rabbis are armed.

But the really disgraceful element was Adler’s suggestion that that these rabbis were somehow the equivalent of Islamic jihadi fanatics who were transforming the mission of the IDF into ‘holy war’. Jewish religious belief, she implied, was the equivalent of the jihad. This appalling equation of course ignored the crucial difference between the jihad and the wars waged by the Israel Defence Force: that the jihad is aggressive and seeks to conquer, colonise, murder and enslave while the sole rationale for the IDF is to defend Israel against precisely such aggression.

Adler made this leap because to her, all orthodox Jewish religious observance is extreme, right-wing and aggressive; all settlers are orthodox and therefore extreme, right-wing and aggressive; thus all orthodox Jewish soldiers are settlers and therefore they are all extreme, right-wing and aggressive. Every aspect of that is tendentious, distorted, ignorant and bigoted.

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Love of the Land: BBC Newsnight Plumbs New Depths Of Bigotry

Love of the Land: Now I'm a Believer

Now I'm a Believer

And Hashem your G-d will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will do good for you, and multiply you above your fathers. And Hashem your G-d will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your offspirng, to love Hashem your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul so that you may live.
And Hashem your G-d will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, that persecuted you.
And you shall return and hearken to the voice of Hashem, and do all His commandments which I command you this day.

(From this week's Torah portion, Netzavim, Deuteronomy 30:5-8)

G-d has already drawn up the story board. First, we are brought back to the land that we inherited from our forefathers. Within a short time we enjoy abundance. We have hi-tech, highways, skyscrapers and supermarkets filled with everything imaginable. True, we manage to create the largest gap between wealth and poverty in the developed world. We waste money on walls and fences instead of investing in education; we give our money to terrorists instead of investing in the poor; we give oil to the Egyptians and water to the Jordanians. Nevertheless, G-d's promise in these verses to shower us with good has been fulfilled over and above what we would have dared dream.

Following the abundance, G-d promises that we will draw near to Him. The verse says that G-d will circumcise our hearts. The barrier of estrangement will crumble and every day another cultural icon will discover his Father in Heaven. Suddenly, Judaism will be "in". This is also taking place before our very eyes.

Now we are looking forward to the speedy fulfillment of the next two stages: How Ahmadinijad, Obama, Haniya, Mubarak and the entire gallery of enemies of Israel in Europe and throughout the world will be recipients of the curses that they planned for Israel. At that point, complete return to G-d will be the order of the day: And you shall return and hearken to the voice of Hashem, and do all His commandments which I command you this day.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moshe Feiglin

Love of the Land: Now I'm a Believer

Love of the Land: the Tricky Part (1999)

the Tricky Part (1999)

the Tricky Part of Negotiations (1999) Dry Bones cartoon - .

Today's Golden Oldie is from September 6, 1999.

A cartoon from ten years ago that is as fresh as the latest pressure on us coming out of the Obama White House.

Love of the Land: the Tricky Part (1999)

Getting Lost

Getting Lost

There has been quite a kerfuffle this week around an ad screened on Israeli TV about Jewish youth being lost to the Jewish people. You can see the ad here, and if you understand Hebrew you may agree that it doesn't say much of what its detractors say it says. But that, of course, is standard: most reportage about Israel is non-factual, so why should this be any different?

There's an old Yiddish saying about how folks who protest their innocence too loudly often have something to hide; on that level, the uproar about the film is very indicative of what different people feel they need to be apologetic about.

I don't have the time today for a full expose, alas, as it would have been fun. I will however make one serious comment.

Until the late 18th century there wasn't any problem of telling who was or wasn't a Jew. The Jews were the ones living as Jews. Since then things have gotten a bit more complicated, and there can be many parameters for identifying Jews. Yet no matter what parameters one uses, I don't see how to get around the fact that large numbers of descendants of Jews outside of Israel no longer are Jews.

Read that sentence carefully before you bark at me. Like the ad everyone got so mad about, it's carefully calibrated, and your responses may tell more about you than about me.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono is a Thinking Guru, I suppose you could say. An intelligent fellow who has done lots of thinking about the practice of Thinking. His fundamental insight is that if people think in thoughtful ways rather than merely jumping all over, they'll get better results. He has developed various techniques to help them do so.

I recently read his Six Thinking Hats. It's a short book, a couple-hour read. He tells us there are six types of thinking, each of which he has tagged by color.

White hat thinking is about facts. It's neutral, often numbers: sales are up by 12.3%, unemployment is down to 2.4%, investments in the stock of XXX have had returns of 14.6% annually for the past 18 quarters. (Remember those days?) White hat thinking does not allow for opinions ("I expect the economy to boom forever"), but reporting the fact of other people's opinions are allowed ("Senator Such-and-Such says the economy will boom so long as he doesn't get unseated").

Red hat thinking is purely about emotion. "I think that idea you just carefully presented is pure bunk. My proposal is superior in all ways." De Bono's point is that if a group sets aside a specific segment of time for articulating emotions (red hat), it will be legitimate to put on the table all the ulterior messages that inevitably cloud any discussion.

Black hat thinking is by far the most pervasive. It is giving all the reasons why something won't work (with the exception of the emotional reasons, which were given legitimacy under the red hat). Your idea may be worthy, but it will be too complicated, too expensive, no-one will buy it, the Bad Guys will ride it's coat-tails and screw us, the boss will never let us get away with such a scheme, the voters won't either, the voters will love it but we're a company not a democracy..... and so on. We all excel at this type of thinking.

Yellow hat thinking is the section of the discussion where all participants must think sunny positive thoughts. (If not they'll be shot, I expect). So while you detest the promulgator of the idea (red hat), and you're convinced it will swallow all available resources for a decade with no possible return on investment (black hat), and you recognize there are dry facts in favor of it (white hat), yellow hat is the part of the discussion where everyone offers happy thoughts about all the good things that could happen if only...

I imagine some people might not easily participate in the yellow hat part of the discussions, but maybe that's just me.

Green hat thinking is the part where folks have to be original and innovative. Where they offer new ways of looking at things, new possible solutions, new ways out of a bad situation. (Names of potential new bosses to replace the bastard we have - ah, sorry about that). Actually, Jews tend to do this very well, after a couple thousand years of living by their wits in less-than-optimal conditions, but I'm here to report that the ability to come up with new ideas of value is not easy. Some folks know how to do it, others don't, and I'm not certain how you train people. To give him credit, de Bono has some concrete suggestions.

Blue hat thinking is what the project manager does. He (or she) runs the process, tells everyone else when it's time to switch color and ensures compliance; the blue-hatter also thinks about matters such as meeting deadlines, running logistics, ensuring quality and all those edifying things.

It's an interesting way of looking at the world and how we get things done in it. It's also quite irrelevant to many parts of the human endeavor. Listening to music, for example. Interpretating history. Writing a novel. Falling out of love (well, there's red hat thinking there).
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Gas Bonanza Investors Ready to Dive in Dead Sea for Black Gold - Business & Economy - Israel News - Israel National News

Gas Bonanza Investors Ready to Dive in Dead Sea for Black Gold - Business & Economy - Israel News - Israel National News

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Report: Bibi Took Secret Trip to Moscow - Politics & Government - Israel News - Israel National News

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RubinReports: How Reuters Rewrites an Israeli Intelligence Analysis to Ignore its Conclusions and Use it Against Israel

How Reuters Rewrites an Israeli Intelligence Analysis to Ignore its Conclusions and Use it Against Israel

By Barry Rubin

The pervasive media slant on Middle East issues is so obvious that it’s funny, and also transgresses the proper rules of journalism.

Here’s a headline on a Reuters dispatch today:

“Israeli official doubts Syria's clout on Hezbollah.”

So, you’d think, Syria isn’t that responsible for what the Lebanese Islamist organization does. In fact, the purpose is shown in the lead:

“Syria may not be able to curb Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday, casting doubt on the feasibility of a long-standing Israeli condition for a peace deal with Damascus.”

Get it? So Israel cannot ask Syria to stop providing Hezbollah (I prefer Hizballah but I’ll stick with Reuters transliteration here) with advanced arms or not urge it periodically to attack Israel. The poor Syrians are just innocent little lambs.

But what was Amos Gilad, former military intelligence chief and today an advisor to Israel’s defense minister actually saying?

He was saying first that Syria has less influence because Iran is the main sponsor of Hezbollah; second that Hezbollah practically controls Lebanon; and third that Hezbollah can start a war when it chooses and drag in Lebanon, as happened in 2006.

So the headline and lead might have been:

Israeli official says Hezbollah is an arm of Iran.


Israeli official says Hezbollah now dominates Lebanon.
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RubinReports: How Reuters Rewrites an Israeli Intelligence Analysis to Ignore its Conclusions and Use it Against Israel



By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Torah Reading: NITZAVIM: Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

VAYELECH: Deuteronomy 31:1-30.


"Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying 'My counsel shall stand and all My pleasure I shall do' " (Isaiah 46:10).

Parshas NITZAVIM is always read on the last Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah (New Year) and is often (though not always) coupled with its sister parshah of VAYELECH, with which it shares the same theme. According to tradition, these and all the remaining parshahs of the Torah were delivered by Moses to the assembled Children of Israel on the very last day of his life (Rashi on Deut. 29:9). As the climax and summing up of the whole Torah, the stark reproof and sublime poetry of these parshahs make them appropriate reading prior to and during the coming Days of Awe. In this period, we must make a very honest reckoning about time past and take the necessary lessons to heart in order to fortify ourselves for the New Year. We stand poised to face its challenges, just as Israel stood in the Plains of Moab, poised to enter the Land.

ATEM NITZAVIM -- "You are standing". The Hebrew word NITZAVIM, translated as "standing", has the connotation of firmly founded stability. This is the stability and fortitude that come from the knowledge of the Torah that we internalize in our hearts. Here, as we stand at the end of the Torah, we ought to be much wiser than we were at the beginning. Shortly, we will be "entering the Land", starting all over again from the beginning, BEREISHIS. Just before we "enter the Land", the New Year, Moses tells us to stand and reflect on the lessons we have learned so far, in order to be able to start over again on a better footing.

Moses explicitly addressed this section of the Torah to all Israel in all the generations: "those who are here with us standing this day before G-d, and those that are not here with us today" -- the unborn souls of all the later generations. The Torah's lessons were not only addressed to the time of Moses, the ancient world, the Middle Ages or only the generations preceding the "Enlightenment" and the birth of modern science and technology. Our parshah is explicitly addressed to "the last generation, your children who will arise after you" (Deut. 29:21). This is the generation that faces the consequences of the mass abandonment of the Covenant, the anger and concealment of G-d, the many evils and troubles. This is the generation that will say, "Is it not because my G-d is not within me that these evils have found me?" (Deut. 31:17). Those standing at the end of time are in a position to look over the entire span of history all the way back to the beginning. Then they can testify that everything foretold thousands of years ago in these parshahs, including the loss of the Land, the tribulations of exile, the "hiding" of G-d from the world, the return to the Land and today's Teshuvah movement, have all come to pass.

These lessons are addressed not only to Israel, on whose very flesh they have been taught again and again. The stark lesson of G-d's righteousness is addressed to "the stranger who will come from a distant land" (ibid.) and to the entire world. ".And they will see the wounds of that Land and the illnesses with which G-d has afflicted it. Sulfur and salt, conflagration. And all the nations will say, Why has G-d done this to this Land, what is this great burning anger? And they will say, Because they abandoned the Covenant."

As we daily witness the fires that have been ravaging Israel and its people in front of our very eyes, Moses tells us bluntly to be in no doubt whatever about one thing: "Lest there be among you a man or woman or family or tribe whose heart is turning away today from HaShem our G-d to go to serve the gods of the nations. And when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself in his heart saying I will have SHALOM even though I go in the stubbornness of my heart. G-d will not desire to forgive him" (Deut. 29:17-19). We are to have no doubt whatever that it is impossible for Israel to enjoy SHALOM in the Land of Israel except through embracing G-d's Covenant and His Torah.

We may ask what we can do if we ourselves want to keep the Torah but others do not. Why should the righteous and innocent suffer collective punishment because of the sins of those who have abandoned the Covenant? Moses addresses this question in the deep, deep teaching that says: "The things that are concealed belong to HaShem our G-d, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever to carry out all the words of this Torah" (Deut. 29:28). Only G-d knows what is in the heart of each person, and G-d's dealings with the entire world contain mysteries that we cannot understand because we do not possess His perfect knowledge of all things, past, present and future. These mysteries do not belong to us -- we cannot understand the way G-d deals with each one of His creatures in accordance with His perfect knowledge. Our province is what has been revealed to us in the Torah. The Torah teaches us what G-d asks US to get up and do in this world, without looking at what others may or may not be doing.

In the words of Rashi (ad loc.): "If you say, What is in our hands to do? You punish the many because of the wicked thoughts of the individual. Surely no man knows what is in the hidden depths of his friend? G-d answers: I do not punish you over what is concealed, which 'belong to HaShem our G-d', and He will exact payment from that individual. It is what is revealed that belongs to us and our children -- to eradicate the evil from within us, and if justice is not carried out on them (for known wrong-doing) the many will suffer."

Immediately following this comes what is known as PARSHAS HA-TESHUVAH, the "Chapter on Repentance" (Deut. 30:1-10), which some people have the custom of reciting daily in order to keep it constantly in mind. Lest we be disheartened by the harsh words and dire threats contained in the preceding and following sections, Moses here emphasizes G-d's unstinting compassion and kindness as he calls on us to return to Him with all our hearts. Moses promises us that G-d will definitely turn around the captivity and exile and gather in the exiles from all the nations, even those outcast to the furthest reaches of the heavens. Moses promises that "G-d will bring you to the land of your fathers and you will inherit it, and He will benefit you and multiply you even more than your fathers! And G-d will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love HaShem your G-d with all your heart and all your soul in order that you should have life!" (Deut. 30:5-6). The initial letters of the four Hebrew words for "your heart and the heart of your seed" (ES LEVOVCHO V-ES LEVAV) spell out the name of the present month, ELUL (Baal HaTurim). For this self-circumcision of our hearts is the essence of the work we must do this month.

The Torah is not in the heavens or over the seas. It is right here: "For the matter is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to DO IT" (ibid. v. 14). Moses wants us never to forget our existential situation in this world as agents possessing free will. In order to win the battle of free will, our work here in this world is first and foremost with our mouths and in our hearts. Again and again Moses reminds us that we are faced with a blessing and a curse -- the blessing if we follow the ways of the Torah and the curse if we do not. Our task is to use our mouths in prayer and self-empowerment in order to fortify our hearts in the path of Torah and service of G-d. "Life and death I have put before you, the blessing and the curse. And you shall choose life in order that you should LIVE, you and your seed" (ibid. v. 19).

* * *


With the Torah almost complete except for the concluding Song (HA'AZINU) and Moses' Blessings (VE-ZOS HABRACHAH), it was necessary to ensure the transmission of authority from Moses to his divinely-appointed successor, Joshua and the transmission of the Torah to the nation as a whole and to all the later generations.

Parshas VEYELECH describes how the leadership of Israel was transferred to Joshua in the eyes of all Israel in order to give him perfect legitimacy after Moses would be gone. Having instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous in leading the people into the Land, Moses wrote the Torah and gave it to the Cohen-Priests and the Elders of Israel. (According to tradition, on the last day of his life, Moses wrote the Torah scroll that was to be kept in the Sanctuary as well as a Torah scroll for each of the Twelve Tribes, a total of thirteen scrolls.)

Moses then gave the commandment known as HAKHEL after the first Hebrew word of Deut. 31:12. "ASSEMBLE the people, the men, the women and the children and the proselyte that is in your gates, in order that they should hear and in order that they should learn and revere HaShem your G-d and take care to perform all the words of this Torah." This mass assembly is to take place in the Temple once every seven years during the festival of Succos of the year immediately following the Shemittah (Sabbatical) year. Everyone is to assemble in the "Women's Courtyard", where the king is to read publicly extensive sections of the book of Deuteronomy setting forth G-d's Covenant with the Israel and the blessings and curses (Sotah 41a). The HAKHEL Assembly was undoubtedly a formidably powerful experience for all who took part, and so it will be when it is restored. The effects of the public reading of Deuteronomy are described in the Book of Kings (Kings II, chs. 22-23), which tells how in a time of deep crisis in Eretz Israel, King Josiah solemnly renewed the Covenant and brought the people to rededicate themselves to the Torah and its commandments.

* * *


"And now, write for yourselves this song and teach it to the Children of Israel, put it in their mouths." (Deut. 31:1).

This verse is the source of the very last mitzvah contained in the Torah: that each Israelite should write his own Torah scroll. One who is unable to write a scroll himself can appoint a scribe as his agent. When a person contributes money for the writing of a Torah scroll, it is attributed to him as if he fulfilled this mitzvah. The Codes state that in our generations, the mitzvah is also fulfilled through the acquisition of printed Torah literature for use in Torah study.

In the words of Rabbi Nachman: "The Talmud teaches us that 'The day will come when the Torah will be forgotten' (Shabbos 138a). Therefore many books are printed and bought, with people building up their own libraries. Since even the simplest tailor has books, the Torah is not forgotten. As each book is published, people rush to buy it, building up respectable collections. In this manner, the Torah does not fall into oblivion.

What people do not realize is that these books are of no help unless people look into them and study their teachings. How can books prevent the Torah from being forgotten if nobody studies them?" (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom #18).

Shabbat Shalom!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel

The Timeless Gift -



Living in our fast paced world, it is very difficult for us to think of anything that has remained the same. Before we can enjoy what we have, we are bombarded by a new car model or an updated cell phone that has become the new trend. Even many beliefs and ideas that were accepted for many years and given credence to are also changing before our eyes.

As I was reading through Parshat Nitzavim and Vayelech I came to a great realization about the greatness of our holy Torah. As we know these last few parshiot are part of Moshe’s last words to the Jewish people before he passes away. In addition to reviewing many of the torah concepts that he taught them, Moshe also uses this opportunity to strengthen them before they go in Eretz Yisrael. Moshe as Hashem’s messenger tells the Jewish people that all the mitzvot that Hashem has commanded them to do “is not in the heaven”, meaning that it is within their reach. In addition, we are told that the Torah is timeless and no matter where we Jews live and what time period we are living in, the Torah will still remain the same. In addition, as we were told in previous parshiot how we can not add or subtract from the Torah, because Hashem has given it to us. I think that not only was this applicable to strengthen the Jews then but it can also be a source of strength for us in our times. The same struggle that the Jews went through in their times is still a struggle for us today. As I read this I felt a great sense of happiness that we were given such an important gift from Hashem that helps us navigate our way is such a rapidly changing world where nothing remains the same. It is amazing to me how our Torah that was written down thousands of years ago is still applicable and relevant as it was when the Jewish people were given the Torah. Though at times the Torah may be viewed by some to be restrictive, outdated and unattainable in our times, we must remember that unlike many other things in life where one needs certain prerequisites and certain privileges to get a job of be part of a certain group in Judaism it is very different. As we have seen Torah is not unattainable but is accessible to all of us no matter what our life situation is and Hashem has given us the perfect guide to help us succeed in this world of confusion.

As we approach Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we need to realize that instead of fearfully approaching them, we can be comforted by the words from this week’s parshiot and realize that even if we have lowered ourselves spiritually throughout the year, we are still given another chance to improve and change our ways for the better. May we all be inscribed in the book of life and for great year!

Originally posted by :

The Timeless Gift -

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Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

I love this tune.

The words are Psalm 121, which is often used when praying for people who are ill. I ask that when you finish watching the video you please go back and say this chapter for the full recovery of Nechama Malya bat Chana Machla, the 19-year old daughter of close friends who R"L (God save her) was told this week that there is nothing more that the doctors can do for her from the cancer that has been ravaging her body for several years now.

Psalms Chapter 121

א שִׁיר, לַמַּעֲלוֹת:
אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי, אֶל-הֶהָרִים-- מֵאַיִן, יָבֹא עֶזְרִי.
1 A Song of Ascents. {N}
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?
ב עֶזְרִי, מֵעִם יְהוָה-- עֹשֵׂה, שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
ג אַל-יִתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֶךָ; אַל-יָנוּם, שֹׁמְרֶךָ. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
ד הִנֵּה לֹא-יָנוּם, וְלֹא יִישָׁן-- שׁוֹמֵר, יִשְׂרָאֵל. 4 Behold, He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep.
ה יְהוָה שֹׁמְרֶךָ; יְהוָה צִלְּךָ, עַל-יַד יְמִינֶךָ. 5 The LORD is thy keeper; the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
ו יוֹמָם, הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֹא-יַכֶּכָּה; וְיָרֵחַ בַּלָּיְלָה. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
ז יְהוָה, יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל-רָע: יִשְׁמֹר, אֶת-נַפְשֶׁךָ. 7 The LORD shall keep thee from all evil; He shall keep thy soul.
ח יְהוָה, יִשְׁמָר-צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ-- מֵעַתָּה, וְעַד-עוֹלָם. 8 The LORD shall guard thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and for ever. {P}

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Israel Matzav: Overnight music video
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