June 30, 2011

Rabbi Lior and the "Rule of Law" : By Moshe Feiglin

Editor's note: Approximately a year ago, Rabbi Dov Lior, venerated Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, gave his approbation on a book on the Jewish laws of war written by Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira. Among other issues, the book deals with the legal ramifications of the Israeli army taking action to kill terrorists even when enemy civilians may also be killed as a result. Rabbi Shapira cites numerous Jewish law sources to prove that this is permissible. The Left immediately accused Rabbi Shapira and the rabbis who gave their approbation on his book of incitement to murder. On Monday, Rabbi Lior was arrested and questioned. Heated demonstrations by the Rabbi's students ensued. The following is Moshe Feiglin's take on this issue.

First of all, I would like to salute all those people who participated in the protest against Rabbi Lior's arrest. An evil cabal has taken control of some key positions in the Ministry of Justice and has transformed its public service positions into a tool of destruction. It makes no difference if the reason for their hostility is ideological or an almost religious hunger for "enlightened" approval, or a combination of both; we must put an end to this despicable behavior.

Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan and his accomplices implement their evil actions within parameters determined by ideology and violence. "Law enforcement" is totally irrelevant to their actions. Just one week ago, extreme leftist Uri Avneri publicly called for the killing of settlers. He was not called in for any type of questioning. Why not? Avneri and other "lovers of Israel" are on the correct side of the political divide. 

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef will not be questioned for remarks that would have brought Nitzan's legions to the doorstep of any Religious Zionist rabbi because Nitzan and his accomplices are actually a gang of weaklings who attack only those weaker than them. They would never dare "enforce the law" against those who know how to exact a price in the public domain.

When these are the rules of the "enlightened" game, the public that sees Rabbi Lior as its spiritual leader has no choice but to go out to the streets and protest. The protesters are not protecting Rabbi Lior alone; they are also defending the liberty of the State of Israel from a hostile and destructive takeover by an aggressive gang that crushes our society, makes large swaths of our population miserable and endangers the lives of many. The youth protesting in the streets do not know this, but they are the true defenders of Israeli democracy in the face of a wanton takeover by a tiny and belligerent minority.

A legalocracy has taken over Israel. This enlightened idol worship has made it impossible to free Gilad Shalit by making the conditions in which terrorists are incarcerated in Israel less comfortable. It is impossible to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and authorize massive construction of new homes for young couples. It is impossible for a Jew to pray on the Temple Mount, for the police must protect the rights of the violent Arabs instead of those of the Jews. It is impossible to fight our enemies without an attorney for each solder. The Israeli "justice" system does not include itself in Israeli life, but sees itself as an external factor; not just elevated above the Nation, but actually disconnected from it.

If we want to return the justice system to the Nation, we must return the Nation to its own justice system. At this point, we still do not have a relevant Jewish legal codex for our modern reality, but we certainly have an excellent foundation. As soon as we seriously take Jewish law out of its exile and apply it to all facets of our current existence, it will become the most pertinent justice system for Israel; just as the Hebrew language was reborn from its exile to become the natural language for Israel - and just as the Jewish Nation emerged from 2000 years of exile to return to its Land.

Jewish Values for Israel's Codex

For the past twenty years, former Chief Justice Aharon Barak and his associates have been working on a self-contained legal codex for Israel. There is no doubt that the existing situation in which the Israeli legal code relies on a disjointed cornucopia of court decisions and Roman, Ottoman and British laws must change. Israel deserves a genuine codex of Israeli law.

But there is a poison arrow lurking here. The group that undertook this monumental task made sure to completely purge itself of any person who may have furnished the new codex with even a hint of Jewish law.

Barak and his cohorts are not stupid. Nobody understands better than them that even when a law seems logical and good, there is a spirit of the law that goes above and beyond the specific, technical legal solution for a given problem. Every body of law - and certainly a harmonious legal codex - is predicated on values. It is no coincidence that Barak and his cohorts did not even open a crack for Jewish values to infiltrate the Israeli codex.

A Jewish legal codex would highlight our connection to our Jewish sources and Jewish roots here in the Land of Israel. And that is something that the extreme Left cannot stomach - not even a little bit.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moshe Feiglin


June 28, 2011

Why I am not believed - by Barry Chamish

      It's a question that has haunted me for years. I use traditional journalistic methods, I demand corroborated testimony, seek only solid, indisputable evidence, don't fall for rumors and yet, the mainstream seldom, if ever, believe me.

     I don't get it.
Now, one piece of research has made things so much clearer to me. I speak of ("We Can't Handle the Truth"), a National Magazine Award nomination for Chris Mooney.  Finally, I understand why people don't want to believe the objective truth.


"A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point." So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger...
And since Festinger's day, an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called "motivated reasoning" helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal:
It's a "basic human survival skill," explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.
Or that we never change our minds­we do. It's just that we have other important goals besides accuracy­including identity affirmation and protecting one's sense of self­and often those make us highly resistant to changing our beliefs when the facts say we should.
And that undercuts the standard notion that the way to persuade people is via evidence and argument. In fact, head-on attempts to persuade can sometimes trigger a backfire effect, where people not only fail to change their minds when confronted with the facts­they may hold their wrong views more tenaciously than ever.

       For Israel, this analysis is really bad news. For those who have a serious Jew problem, the facts be damned, Israel is an occupier, Arabs are its victims, and no amount of appeasement by Israel will ever change their minds. Caroline Glick was once a gung-ho Bush rooter, sent to Iraq to praise the American army for its unquestioned good intentions. She has clearly grown up since then and asks why American Jews primarily vote Democratic, even when the Democratic President clearly means no good for them or Israel:

Caroline B. Glick

Obama went on to say that he expects his
American Jewish supporters to take his side in his attacks on Israel...
What does Obama have to do for these liberal American Jews to accept
that he is no friend of Israel's?

       And liberals are not the only ones wearing blinders. Everyone is wearing them:

They would cite the findings of the 9/11 Commission, as well as a statement in which George W. Bush himself denied his administration had "said the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and Al Qaeda."One study showed that not even Bush's own words could change the minds of Bush voters who believed there was an Iraq-Al Qaeda link.
As it turned out, not even Bush's own words could change the minds of these Bush voters­just 1 of the 49 partisans who originally believed the Iraq-Al Qaeda claim changed his or her mind...

      I was invited to speak at the 5th alternative 9-11 conference in New York. My lasting effect was to make Building 7, the unarguable, indisputable issue proving that the WTC was blown up, not by airplanes, but via pre-planted explosives. At 5:20 PM, 47 storey Building 7 was ordered collapsed in a perfect controlled demolition. It was supposed to have been hit by UA 93 but it didn't show up for the world's first event where 3 skyscrapers all fall down in an hour. So Building 7 was destroyed all by itself before the explosives within were discovered.
      How much more logic is needed to prove internal foul play? But if you're convinced that the Americans are incapable of such treachery, that fact slides down like water on a duck's back. It simply cannot be accepted, barring a change in worldview, which know-it-all people from all political stripes are incapable of doing.
      And I speak not just of what we call the mainstream left or right. I have entered the worlds of "extreme conspiracy," and they're just as stubborn and blind as anyone else. The really bad anti-semites believe Jews are Khazars, based on one speculative book by Arthur Koestler before the days of DNA. But DNA has proven beyond doubt that Jews are a unique people with no Khazarian genetic traits. But as Mooney's study proves, the bigots along with mainstream get their feathers up and hang on to wrong opinions as if their lives depended on it.
      And those who are certain that Masons are behind the push for a third world war, cite as proof the purported letters of 19th century masons Pike and Mazzini, outlining the ultimate plot. Unfortunately the letters were a figment of the imagination of author William Guy Carr, a former Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. My message to these believers is a simple challenge; show me a copy of the letters. Since they are a hoax, they can't be found. Like that matters!
      Just for the money, at first, I investigated a group of Israeli women who, in 1993, insisted they were visited in their homes by almost human giants. The women were middle of the roaders who gave the same description of the beings and who did not know each other. It was impossible that they hatched a plot. The reaction of Israelis, common to all sectors of the public, was the women were hysterical and Chamish is a known conspiracy nut. The facts be damned.
      Mooney notes: 

"People who have a dislike of some policy­for example, abortion­if they're unsophisticated they can just reject it out of hand," says Lodge. "But if they're sophisticated, they can go one step further and start coming up with counter-arguments." These individuals are just as emotionally driven and biased as the rest of us, but they're able to generate more and better reasons to explain why they're right­and so their minds become harder to change.  

     I wrote a book called Bye Bye Gaza. Within, I documented how the Israeli government utilized the weaknesses described by Mooney to break up all dissent to its expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes without even having to provide compensation to the new refugees. In its last great act of defiance, the Women in Green gathered over 2000 protesters at a Gazan hotel. Then, on assignment, an infiltrator named Itamar Ben Gvir arrived at the hotel with his gang of thugs. They provoked civil disobedience from local Arabs, providing the police with an excuse to expel the protesters from the hotel, while imprisoning hundreds of them, some for months on end. Protest leader Nadia Matar called Ben Gvir "a Shabak agent" sent to destroy her protest.
      Now look who the sophisticated Matar has hired as her attorney:

> We appealed to the court to investigate the event, that smelled of an Argentinean kidnapping, and to act against the illegal arrests and violence by the police. We came to the court this past Thursday, this time as plaintiffs and not as defendants, but this was not what was so dazzling, but our lawyers, Noam Federman and Itamar Ben Gvir. The sight was uplifting. Itamar came to the courtroom with a sal-kal baby carrier, holding a baby, in order to aid his neighbor, the plaintiff Avishag Leibman. It was a pleasure to see how the attorneys Itamar and Noam exhibited such outstanding mastery of the material. They stood like lions against the immaculately dressed State's representative.

      This most unsophisticated fit of blindness got me so angry that I sent Matar a letter: "Itamar Ben Gvir is your attorney? Remember Gush Katif. What, are you nuts? He wrecked the WIG demonstration and got dozens of women arrested. WiG has been infiltrated. No wonder barely anyone supports you."
      All, however is not lost. I had a recent success:

If you want someone to accept new evidence, make sure to present it to them in a context that doesn't trigger a defensive, emotional reaction...In other words, paradoxically, you don't lead with the facts in order to convince. You lead with the values­so as to give the facts a fighting chance.

       I managed to get the country, and the diplomatic world, to finally find out if Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier kidnapped to Gaza, is dead, as I more than suspect, or with a faint glimmer of hope, is somehow alive. But I had help from unknowing allies by expressing my views on an Israeli television interview. Now, with no credit, acknowledgement or thanks, the search for Shalit's life has begun anew:


The International Committee of the Red Cross has called on Thursday
to provide evidence that Shalit, captured by the movement five years
ago, is still alive.
The committee said, in an unusual public appeal, that the Shalit
family has the right under international humanitarian law to
communicate with her son, aged 24 years and held since June 25, 2006.
The Committee added "because it did not show sign of life about two
years since Shalit, requests the International Committee of the Red
Cross now prove that Hamas to be alive."

      Mooney's article can't help itself asserting the Right's information delusions. But he doesn't leave the Left unscathed:

Seth Mnookin, author of the new book The Panic Virus, notes that if you want to find vaccine deniers, all you need to do is go hang out at Whole Foods.

      And I had my problems with the liberal/Left in Israel over the crock of lies disseminated about the Rabin assassination. In the last poll of the issue taken seven years ago, conducted by Maariv, over half of religious Israelis but fewer than a third of the secular, thought that my book Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin was accurate. Taken to its conclusion, whether the pollees realized it or not, President Shimon Peres organized the murder of Rabin. And it only took me some 300 lectures with rock solid evidence, in the face of often hysterical crowds, to get the message through the blinders. According to Mooney that is because I was a secular, Hebrew-speaking Israeli with no apparent motive other than the truth. And my work will not just go away. This recent news item is self-explanatory to Israelis, Left and Right:

Yigal Amir, in prison for the murder of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, has filed an appeal that seeks to have him released from solitary confinement. The appeal is based on similar appeals by Arab terrorist prisoners who have successfully appealed in similar circumstances.
Shlomo Amir, Yigal's father, said at the beginning of his son's hearing that the family “has no faith in the courts, which issue rulings just to please the public. Yigal is kept in isolation because the authorities do not want him to spread his ideology, they say. What ideology? Yigal has never hurt anyone. He did try to murder the Prime Minister but these is no evidence that he succeeded in doing so,” Shlomo Amir said.

        However, the American radical liberal mindset will not be moved by beliefs in Israel. A few months ago, the editor of the New Yorker, Hendrik Hetzberg, yes, a Jew, wrote a disgusting and ignorant article on Amir and the Rabin assassination. I sent him and the New Yorker a complaint and a revision. Here is the result; in the June 6 edition, Hertzberg goes at it again, declaring that, "Yitzhak Rabin, whose assassination in 1995, by a right-wing fanatic..."
        Thanks to Mooney, I realize, you can't change Hertzberg nor most American liberals, no matter what the objective facts. If God Himself appeared on Hertzberg's death bed and told him Amir didn't do it and Peres did, he would die believing that God was a right-wing fanatic.


June 27, 2011

The real battle for Israel - Yigal Walt

Monday’s riots in Jerusalem may be harbinger of inevitable secular-religious clash

In recent months we are increasingly hearing it in living room conversations, talks between friends and workplace discussions. What was once only whispered is now being uttered more openly and vehemently: The greatest threat faced by Israel today is not external, but rather, domestic; the wars of the Jews may be more dangerous than any battle waged by our enemies.

Monday’s riots in Jerusalem following Rabbi Dov Lior’s arrest were a wakeup call for those still clinging to comforting slogans of Jewish unity. The State of Israel at this time is home to distinct population groups that are drawing further apart. The gap will soon become unbridgeable; some say we are already there. 

The hundreds of religious rightist protesters who blocked the entrance to Jerusalem, burned tires in the capital’s streets and raided the Supreme Court, made their views clear: The Torah, as they interpret it, takes precedence over law and order. Israeli courts have sent a former president to jail and are currently hearing a case against our former prime minister, but a rabbi is above the law, we are now told.

Secular Israelis would not imagine the possibility of staging riots in the capital because of an “unjust arrest.” At most, they would launch a Facebook protest against the rising prices of cottage cheese. But some of the Jews living in this country, and an increasingly sizable group at that, are committed to other rules. The fact that on Monday they were being led by Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari is even more frightening.
Rioters in Jerusalem were chanting “Torah has been arrested,” implying that a human being, Rabbi Lior, symbolizes the essence of Judaism. For a religion that throughout history sanctified traditions, ideas and God, rather than people, this is a tragedy. Just look at Moses, arguably the greatest figure in Jewish history, an imperfect, stuttering man who was not glorified despite leading the Jews from slavery to freedom. We do not worship Moses, yet today some of us have taken to worshiping rabbis.

Intolerance and fanaticism

Indeed, the Jewish religion that for so long symbolized wisdom and humanism is increasingly sinking into darkness, crude intolerance and boorish fanaticism. One illustration of this is modesty becoming a focal point of Jewish belief here, as if one dress code or another is what Judaism is all about. Religious youth groups that were once mixed are now gender segregated. Religious soldiers walk out of performances as not to hear a woman singing. In some neighborhoods, women are confined to one side of the road. Segregated buses have become the norm. The list goes on and on.

The last time Israel’s secular public felt threatened we saw a secularist party, Shinui, sweeping 15 Knesset seats, becoming Israel’s third-largest party and keeping Shas out of the government. Times have changed since then, Shinui is long gone, but the sentiments that led to its rise are again brewing under the surface. This time, the outbreak of frustration and anger may be much worse; this time, both sides may be more reckless than ever.
It is still too early to tell where Israel is headed, but a secular-religious clash - the kind we had not yet seen in this country - may gradually become inevitable. If Monday’s events in Jerusalem are any indication, we may indeed be in for a very hot summer. May God grant us the wisdom to change course before it’s too late. 


Dovber Halevi: Rabbi Wallerstein and the El Al Ticket

On the eve of the 2008 presidential elections the Jewish community was in an uproar.
The United States was about to elect its first Muslim president. It could have catastrophic consequences for Israel and the Jewish people.
That night the Rosh Yeshiva of Torahanytime.com, Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein spoke. He expressed no fear in the upcoming ascension of Barrack Obama to leader of the free world.
But he was very concerned about the election results.
On the ballot in one of the states was a referendum on legalizing gay marriage.
Authorizing licenses for a man to legally wed another man meant the breaking of the final boundary of civilization. This was far more dangerous than anything the next president could do.
The Torah recounts the horrible consequences of past peoples who tried this.

Rabbi Wallerstein and the El Al Ticket

Here Comes Another Lost Tribe!

Thousands of kilometers to the east, in the furthest reaches of northeastern India, a long-lost community continues to nourish its age-old dream of returning to its ancient homeland, the land of Israel.The Bnei Menashe, or "sons of Manasseh," are descendants of one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, which were exiled by the Assyrian empire more than 27 centuries ago.

The community, which numbers 7,232 people, resides primarily in the Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh."


'The State of Irresponsibility' - Obadiah

       Affluent societies are inherently irresponsible. They duck even the most
challenging issues rather than confronting them. People with many possessions
have many attachments, and cling to them for as long as they can while closing
their eyes to real dangers. The behavior seems irrational: why not deal with the
problem, remove the threat, and return to enjoying one’s possessions? The
answer is, cowardice is contagious. Once people are afraid of something, they
will be afraid of everything. They hysterically embrace worthless solutions if
only the solutions will make them safe in the short run. Americans thus eagerly
sent their army to remote Afghanistan to fight an imaginary threat rather than
to Mexico to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking

       Enter the proliferation of proxy wars. American society clung to its affluence
and the Soviet gerontocracy clung to its power. Too cowardly for an open war,
the two societies clashed on the periphery. The United States fought in Vietnam
for a single reason, to stop Soviet expansion. An honest and manly way of
deciding such a conflict would be to attack the Soviet Union. Instead, the
Americans killed millions of Vietnamese who had little to do with Soviet
imperial ambitions. The USSR responded in kind by arming the Arab states against
their American client, Israel.

       Today, Syria arms Hamas and achieves its aim of fighting Israel while remaining
safe. Why does not Israel retaliate against Iran, the Hezbollah state of
Lebanon, and Syria for the terrorist attacks? Fifty years ago, Israel routinely
retaliated against Egypt for fellaheen attacks from Gaza. Nothing has changed
legally or geopolitically the Jews are in the same state of ceasefire with
Lebanon as we have been with Egypt. The real change came from affluence; having
matured, the society grew cowardly.

       The trend toward irresponsibility is all-encompassing. Take bankruptcy, a legal
way to steal and defraud. Or corporate limited liability: any number of people
can form a company, damage others through defaulted loans or factory pollution,
and close down the company with no harm to themselves.

       Governments are happy with this irresponsibility. Democratic politicians want
their short terms of office to be marked by welfare. They have no problem with
the unfortunate fact that welfare now often comes at the cost of delaying
solutions, making them much more painful later. What happens later is not the
incumbent politicians’ problem.

       Having irresponsible subjects is still better. They shirk personal
responsibility and pass all their responsibilities onto the government. Just
think of it: the state took upon itself such a basic responsibility as that of
an individual to care for his family. A wife knows that she depends for her
income not on her husband but on the welfare office. Retirees depend for their
livelihood on social security rather than on their children. In only a century,
states totally changed the societal framework: they cut family ties and
short-circuited what used to be family connections with government institutions.
Attachment is a matter of dependence; people used to depend on family members,
but now they depend on politicians and bureaucrats.

       Who can imagine such a state will persist?

Obadiah Shoher

June 24, 2011

Israeli Goverment same as 1989...

Kahane writes the prior post - A BLOODY DAY IN JERUSALEM 1989.

He states how the problem with Israel is not the Arabs it is the Leftist Jews in power.
Has it changed? Supposedly the right wingers won the 2009 election...
Where is the evidence that Bibi is respecting the mandate that has him in power?
Speeches of all kinds from Bibi that sound strong and then...he endorses the final (2 state) solution...

When will the Jewish Country get a Jewish leader that will carry out the Torah and respect HaShem's wishes? When?

What will make the people take power ???

When is the Jewish Spring? 

Now remains the time....since 1948 it has been the time.
So I guess you would have to say:

Israel - attempting world acceptance since 1948...


I have just spent two days of my life in an Israeli prison.  Two more days.  And I say, unequivocally, that what happened in Jerusalem last week, as two Jews were murdered and the police protected the murderer and other Arabs even as they tear-gassed Jews, is the clearest evidence that this Jewish government can never say, “Our hands did not shed this blood.”  For surely they did, by a policy that is not only un-Jewish, but sheer madness.

I arrived shortly after the two murders.  But first consider its circumstances.  The murders took place in broad daylight, a little before 11A.M., with tens of people in the street.  It took place in Jerusalem’s main street, Jaffa road.  It took place across the street from the main Post Office.  And it took place around the corner from the main police station, in the Russian Compound.

And there is more.  The murderer, according to the police has “a security background.”  Meaning, he was arrested in the past for terrorist and nationalist involvement.  Arrested, freed, and allowed to remain in the country.  He had spent the night before at the Al Aksa Mosque that desecrates the Temple Mount and, there, listening to the Moslem hate and incitement, decided to murder Jews.
The Arab approached the bus station on Jaffa Road and without warning pulled out a knife and stabbed Nissim Levi and Kalman Vardi as well as three other Jews.  Kalman Vardi died on the spot.  He was 76.  Nissim Levi also died there.  He was 91.  One of the seriously wounded was a woman of 81.  As the Arab fled, he was caught, and as an infuriated Jewish crowd attempted to get him, a policeman fell on the Arab, covered him with his body and saved his life.  Police then physically beat up Jews and drove the Arab away.   

When I arrived shortly thereafter, furious Jews were milling about, frustrated, bitter, impotent.  I climbed on a railing and spoke to them.  I said that things could not continue this way.  I said that Arabs were not the problem but rather the Jews in power, the government that was so impotent, the leftists who give such moral, financial and legal support to the Arabs, the Israeli news media that so encourages them.  I said that until Arabs are dealt with with a heavy hand, Jews will continue to be murdered in their own land in increasing numbers.   

I began marching east, towards the Old City.  But now hundreds, if not more, had gathered and walked behind me.  The police reinforcements were arriving, and as we reached the end of Jaffa Road, the police official in charge of the operation, Natan Kremersky, stopped me and said: “If you go further there will be blood.”  Thinking he meant that the Jews would shed Arab blood, I said: “If you had done that, things might have been different.”  “No”, he said, “I mean that we will use force against you.”

When I informed the crowd, they were so furious that they shouted, “Go ahead.  We will follow you.”  We began marching toward the Old City and as we neared the walls, a solid line of police horses and others with helmets and clubs barred the way.  More ominously, they had their gas masks on and we could see the gas guns aiming at us.

As we came face to face with the police, the head of the Jerusalem Patrol, known as “Velvel” (from a religious family in Jerusalem, though he is no longer so), raised a portable bullhorn and shouted: “This is an illegal gathering.  I will give you a reasonable time to disperse.  You have three minutes.”

I approached him and said: “If your grandfather would be here, he would slap you in the face.”  Velvel reddened but did not reply.  At that point, with not more than a minute elapsed, I saw Kremersky approach Velvel and say something to him.  Suddenly, without warning, the horses charged the crowd with tear gas blasting.  I received a full blast in the face and the police began hitting Jews.  My people dragged me away; I could hardly breathe.  The nearest building was the one used as a court by the municipality and the people inside opened the doors, giving us water and muttering against the police.  

We remained for about half an hour and then, with my eyes burning but able to see, I walked down Jaffe Road with a number of Kach people.  The police were there, in force still, and as I passed they arrest us.

I spent the next 48 hours, two full days, in a small cell with six other Kach members.  The fact that the Jewish prisoners and the police inside treated us as kings made no difference.  Inside with us were some 80 Arabs, eating, drinking and being kept there at Jewish expense.  The police told me that they were afraid to mistreat them because the news media and the Red Cross would immediately intervene and they (the police) would be reprimanded and suspended.  Their frustration was evident as was their growing weariness.

It was clear to me sitting in that foul-smelling cell with a toilet in the room (a “Turkish toilet,” as it is known, with only a hole over which the person much perch) that the State of Israel was collapsing and that the prime culprits were the “elders,” the leaders, the government.

It was also clear to me that there must be a change, a fundamental change in the very system of the government, from the present fraudulent democracy (which is, of course, not democracy at all) to strong government that will save us from ourselves.

As I was freed, a few hours before Shabbat, I heard over the radio that Shamir had visited the wounded and said, “Jews must defend themselves and not leave the attackers in one piece.”

I thought to myself:  How long will we continue to accept this paragon of hypocrisy and disaster?  And when a Jew does defend himself and shoots an Arab, what does the government of Shamir do to him?  It arrests him and places him on trial.  The problem is not Arabs; it is Jews.  Jews such as Shamir and Arens and Rabin – not to mention the leftists – whose babbling lack of policy allows an intifada to continue for 18 months (!) and for Jews to be murdered in their own cities.  They must go.  Or there will be terrible things in Israel.   

Written May 12, 1989

The Rabbi (Sotah 46) comment on the Biblical law concerning the finding of the body of a murdered Jew with his murderer unknown.  The law decrees that the respected elders of the nearest town or city come out to the place of the murder and declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood!”  Meaning: the elders, the leaders, must declare before man and G-d that they did everything possible to insure that this Jew would not be murdered.

June 23, 2011

Stand Up For Israel, or Lie Down with the Wicked

Just recently, the State of Oklahoma came out with a proclamation that they are allies of Israel, are spiritually and culturally linked to Israel

PA Will "Tolerate" Limited Israeli Construction


Of course they should allow construction. They are so ignorant that if they believe they will get all of this land like they in Gaza....why not let Israel improve...after where will they steal their building materials if Israel doesn't build?

Netanyahu: "The Party is Over" for Terror-Prisoners

Grow some Bibi!!!


What If Jews Had Followed the Palestinian Path?

Postwar Jewish refugees left everything they had in Europe—no 'right of return' requested.


In The Wall Street Journal....

Community is what Counts - MOT.

Let your home be a meeting place for the wise; dust yourself in the soil of their feet, and drink thirstily of their words. -Yossei the son of Yoezer of Tzreidah

The World stands on Three Things....

Shimon the Righteous - The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.

Be Cautious...

Be cautious in judgment. Establish many pupils. And make a safety fence around the Torah

Israel's Mistakes & Vascillation...

1) By not destroying the enemy, they have created an arms race that the Arab/Muslim/Nazi's have pursued.
2) By not destroying the enemy, they have allowed Arab/Muslim/Nazi's to cement their "coalition".
3) Not understanding the combination of legitimate Arab/Muslim/Nazi fear of Israel's miltary and the Arab/Muslim/Nazi's leaders rabble rousing to terrify their people and make them hate.
4) By not completing the recent wars, they have let the enemy become enboldened.
5) All of the above actions are negatively affecting the IDF and the citizens. They feel the feckless actions of their leaders are taking them down a path of weakness and possibly inevitable destruction. By simply not negotiating a so called peace or not going in an taking Gaza and the annexing the 67 conquests....they hurt the public by their indecision.
6) Israel gave up the entire Sinai...probably could have kept some for military reasons. The Israel haters kept hating and the so called moderates understood reality and would have agreed to a peace anyway...
7) Israeli wavering damages her image before the world opinion. Foreigners know very little about the history or subtleties of the Jewish-Arab conflict. Israeli indecisiveness proves to them that she is wrong, that even she doubts her policies.
8) All compromises that Israel makes only spurs the enemy to ask for more.
9) What is the point of settlements in the occupied areas? They were introduced on the assumption that
no Israeli government would abandon so much investment. New settlements on the West Bank. They will not
anchor the occupied territories for Israel but rather make the territorial question worse, as previously useless land becomes investment property. Strange how progress on the territories makes the land valuable?
Settlements, in need of defense, will become liabilities in a major conflict. Take GAZA, Jdea and Samaria by military means and be done with it.
10) If Israel abrogates her biblical claim, refuses to use force, and acquiesces in the establishment of a
Palestinian state, what’s to keep the Palestinians from driving Jewish settlers out? In other words, most people object to the settlements because they undermine the 1948 U.N. territorial mandate. I object to them because they are ineffective and provocative and strengthen support for the U.N. two-state plan.

Most of these concepts were listed in Obadiah Shohers book - Samson Blinded

Displaced Jordanians State?

So if in September the Arab United Nations votes to give the displaced Jordanians their own Country along side Israel...will:

1) Israel be admitted to NATO?
2) Peace Treaties be signed with all Arab/Muslim Countries?
3) They guarantee an undivided Jerusalem?


June 19, 2011

Gilad Shalit....

Gilad Shalit....it has been so long. Where is the Red Cross? Where is Peace Now? The UN? Where is anybody that cares about Gilad Shalit? Bibi? Shimon Peres (HA, HA), Why does Israel do nothing?  Where is the pressure? Who has the weapons? Who has the land? Who has Control? THE ISRAELI'S - Use it already you feckless bunch of Scaredy Cats...What could happen? Intifada? Negative World Opinion?

One Last Chance, Life After Death

After a near death experience Alon Anava has changed his life from one end to the other.
Alon Anava is a man blessed with a wide scope of talents. He has an artistic as well as an entrepreneurial spirit that have allowed him to be successful as an artist and as a businessman. He possesses vision paired the ability to realize that vision through focus and determination.

Alon Anava - One Last Chance, Life After Death

POTUS - The Audacity of Anti-Semitism...

The US POTUS is a citizen of the world and clearly so sympathetic to the Muslim cause, that if he does not think he is Muslim...he might as well be. All of his policies thus far have been orientated towards a ME situation where the US does not treat Israel as a valued Ally.

The POTUS's background and benefactors seem to always have been Black or Arab Anti-Semites. These guys have always been there and the POTUS has surrounded himself now with truly vile people and self hating Jews to help him in his cause.

What is the POTUS's cause?   You tell me...........................

Assad Kills Syrians...

Where is the UN? Where is peace now? Where are the cries of Human Rights violations, genocide of Syrians?

Can you imagine if all of these violations were perpetrated by Bibi and Israel?
The frantic rush to condemn Israel...
The cries of anguish from all of the ....Well...you know who they are?

Time for Assad to go. But then what madman will take over?



Thomas Friedman - Wrong, Wrong Wrong.....

NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman is a good writer and talented. He is of course misguided. He suffers from the same mistaken leftist ideal that believes the Arabs can be negotiated with.

In his latest column, he advocates for the return to UN Resolution 181 and wants to update it to using 1967 borders...with a minor land exchanges to fix a final border and create the Final solution with a terror state alongside Israel.

Mr. Friedman simply does not understand that all the reasons that the Arabs give are simply BS.
He is wrong, wrong, wrong. If we did what he said they would continue to try to drive us to the Sea. He does not understand the Arab. He is wrong, wrong, wrong. 

If he were right then it would mean there would have been peace in the region when they had the pogrom of 1929, when they attacked after Israel declared statehood....1956 etc....
This all happened when the borders were what he wants ...He is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Very foolish and the usual Leftist idea that we have to try something.

Israel has the land, weapons and ability to destroy Hamas, Hezbollah and the displaced Jordanians whenever they want.

Israel needs to set surrender terms for the Hamas, Hezbollah and the displaced Jordanians.

Otherwise it is time to go on the Offensive, all out, no advance warnings, spare nothing and nobody! Win the war and end them.

Game over


June 13, 2011

Jewishness is a question of Religion - Obadiah Shoher

Jewishness is a question of religion, yet many Jews are atheists, perhaps unwittingly. They seem unaware of theist arguments to respond to skeptics, such as the statistical impossibility of evolution by mutations. The rabbinate must try to explain Judaism to Jews, not just command them to believe.
The Talmudic tradition should not be static. It postulated originally that later rabbis’ opinion prevails. There is no reason to say tradition stopped developing centuries ago and left Judaism as a fossil. Even the opinions of the sages are open to argument. Ancient theologians cannot dictate for modern humanity. Arcane food laws, for example, are confusing and impede acceptance of core teachings.[1] Kashrut may remain a valuable tradition for those willing to accept it, just like the other people’s revulsion for eating dogs and roaches, but not an absolute rule on equal footing with the commandments.
Sages greatly expanded the rules to protect the core commandments from inadvertent violations. That created wide no-man’s land around Judaism, preventing violation but also impeding enjoyment by making legitimate actions like eating cheeseburger off-limit to Jews.No-man’s land, deliberate desolation of some territory to protect another, is just one measure against violations; there are other, less wasteful. People build fence before starting a house; religion also requires a fence of additional prohibitions. They should be, however, minimized, so that the fence does not become a tall wall, closing the outside world to the house’ inhabitants, the Jews. They concentrate on auxiliary Talmudic prohibitions rather than the commandments.
Three forces drove the rabbis to heap the legislation: curiosity, ambitions, and the obsessive fear of breaking the law. That fear long crossed a border to superstition. Priestly authors of the Leviticus rooted out pagan superstitions and gave the Hebrews simple rites to expunge fears of inadvertent violations of taboos. An enlightened society is difficult to maintain. The all-too-human superstitions came back with vengeance in rabbinical teachings. The simplicity of cleansing from inadvertent sins is central to the priestly doctrine. Judaism recognizes that inadvertent sins do happen, cannot be easily avoided, and cause no trouble if promptly regretted and expiated. Rabbis went the opposite way and tried to prevent any and all inadvertent sins. In just one example, the rabbis expanded a simple prohibition of a pagan rite of cooking a kid in his mother’s milk and equally clear prohibition of certain kinds of meat into the huge and arcane system of kosher laws. Yes, the Talmudic legislation helps decrease the number of inadvertent violations. But what is the cost/ benefit ratio of the Talmudic protection? The costs are huge: every prohibition reduces the opportunities to do what one wishes, to enjoy his life by whatever non-prohibited means. Thousands of minute prohibitions make Jewish home a monastery. And the benefits are none: inadvertent sins do not contaminate their subjects or the community. Judaism requires not sinning voluntarily. There is no demand to take every possible precaution against sinning incidentally. Every act may cause unintentional sin. The desire to limit involuntary sins at any cost leads to prohibiting more and more actions, and forfeiting many opportunities of enjoyment. Talmudic law imprisons Jew in moral cells; superstitions act as their bars.
Judaism is about practicality; no need to legislate practically unimportant cases. To attempt to foresee and legally explain every case is futile. Every law has boundary effects. The more laws, the more boundary cases are there. Scholars see many such cases only because they search specifically the gray areas.
Rabbinical attempts to explain every commandment created a mass of legalisms, similar to civil jurisprudence. As formal laws, genuine observance degenerated into rituals, some of which verge on idolatry. Blowing kisses to the mezuzah is no different from kissing statues; rabbis and priests rationalize both as symbolism, as did the ancient pagans. Jews hypocritically kiss Torah scrolls but disregard its content, the ostensibly antiquated commandments. Even ancient religious legislation, much less developed than the current one, allowed many people to neglect the spirit of Judaism while claiming to be good Jews who follow superficial rules which led one famous reformer to proclaim, “Hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matter of the law: justice and mercy.” The saying is especially relevant in the communities that emasculated famously efficient Jewish courts into powerless arbitrages that tolerate all kinds of evil.
Otherwise efficient complex adaptive systems are hugely deficient when practiced inconsistently; government regulation of free markets provides typical example. Judaism, an extremely complex ethical system, is excellent in its entirety, but uncompetitive piecemeal. That makes superfluous religious regulation dangerous: adherents of rabbinical Judaism obey many insignificant and non-systemic rules, and have no time left to build a society based on essential Judaic rules.
Overregulation unwarrantedly limits one’s choices, available time and income, thus reduces enjoyment of life, violating a major purpose of human existence. Super-observance of idealists is attractive, but counterproductive because it sets the standard most people cannot and should not attain. Rabbinism saw in the mass of Jews not a nation of priests but people who could not understand the law and had to rely on rabbinical guidance. It is better that people think and err about the commandments then mindlessly follow instructions of other humans. Unthinking people cannot be free. The Talmudic heritage includes many sensible rules not expressly stated in Torah but indispensable for keeping the commandments, yet the Talmud is not binding law but expert opinion on divine revelation. A Jew does well to keep the commandments as he understands them from Torah and to ask the rabbi for help when he is confused. Modern Jews do not study the Talmud, nor do they consult rabbis at every step. Rabbis equate Talmudic rules with Torah; to ignore Talmudic regulations is to ignore Torah. Overdeveloped rabbinical laws destroy Judaism’s practicality, turning it from a teaching for living in the real world to ascetic religion. For many Jews, the alternative to the practical religion of Torah—equated with the Talmudic law—is apathy, atheism, or assimilation. Secularism undermines the Jewish community metaphysically and practically: non-religious people dismiss the decisions of rabbinical courts since they do not fear excommunication.
It is ludicrous to demand rigid observance from people who tolerate Christian and Muslim sanctuaries in the Promised Land. If they consent to that, lesser rules and rabbinical interpretations mean little. Strict Orthodox observance seems no less radical than closing down the Christian shrines in Jerusalem.
Few Orthodox rabbis demand rebuilding the Temple at once, neither because there is no clear prophetic command to build it nor because the Aqsa and Dome of the Rock are political problems, but because keeping the Levitical rituals precisely is impossible: not even a Chicago slaughterhouse could sacrifice enough sheep to keep the principal festivals.
The Talmud’s weaknesses are well-known. Only slightly based on Torah, it is theological speculation by ancient rabbis which often requires far more than could be inferred from the commandments—most of which, in their turn, interpret the revelation to Moses. Though Talmudic sages claimed to interpret the divine will, that claim presupposes direct communication with God: impossible since the line of the prophets failed. The Talmudic opinions were often majority decisions or scholarly opinion, not revelation. De-emphasizing the Talmud would make learning Judaism—Torah or Tanakh at most—accessible without professional, full-time study—and eliminate the clerical class that usurped the priestly privileges. Jewish laymen are often content to let rabbis interpret the law as mediators with the divine. The tendency to avoid the responsibility to think is natural, but a priestly nation cannot afford it.
Excessive religious requirements make observance impossible and lead to a cynicism which erodes Jews’ consciousness. Many of the restrictions lost their significance as precautions against unintended transgression, such as extending the prohibition of cooking a kid in its mother’s milk to all animal meat. Only doable laws could be observed, and only law-abiding people live comfortably. To relieve Jews of an undue sense of guilt caused by seemingly continuous transgression, the Law must be cut back to its pragmatic, practical biblical dimension. Judea would probably observe the full Talmudic law, while Israelis would exercise less rigor.
What many Jews believe are religious excesses, are in fact questionable human opinions. Torah sets no punishment for blasphemy and desecration of Sabbath other than karet, some kind of expulsion from the offended community.[2] Punishments for sexual deviations are only priestly interpretations of You will not defile yourself by adultery.
Attempts to tighten the Law beyond reason inevitably lead to legal evasion, a problem ancient scholars spotted in the Pharisaic penchant for legislation. The Talmud (Sotah 22) says the worst kind of Pharisees seeks legal ways to circumvent the Law. Excessive laws are bad enough; but circumvention is hypocrisy, and the more radical the Orthodoxy, the more hypocritical the evasion.[3]
The proliferation of rituals and obligatory prayers led to the emergence of synagogues, houses of worship other than the Temple, prohibited in Torah; the explanation that every place of prayer is a Temple would also validate the high places the prophets condemned. Giving the Temple a monopoly on worship prevented the Jews from slipping into pagan rites simpracticality of Orthodox observance led to the emergence of Reform Judaism, which disregards both, alters Torah and Talmud, shares buildings withtrance fees, and other indecencies. Modern rabbinism turns Jews away from the Temple-centered religion of Torah. If animal sacrifices are outdated and the Levites have vanished, then the old Law has gone, and rabbinism is no less a substitute than Christianity.
The impracticality of Orthodox observance led to the emergence of Reform Judaism, which disregards both, alters Torah and Talmud, shares buildings with Christian churches, and lets women serve as rabbis. Jews might cooperate with Christians in secular matters, and Judaism respected women rights millennia before they came on political agenda,[4] but religious matters should be closed to innovation, unless Jews deny the divine origin of Torah and opt for man-made laws and interpretations instead. In that case, the issue of Israel is moot, since Jews are better off materially in New York than in Tel Aviv.
The intellectual methods of Orthodox and Reformist Judaism are similar. Both believe they can interpret scripture correctly, which is a claim to understand the divine will. From there it is only one small step to modifying the divine will to suit one’s objectives. A reasonable person might doubt the man-made parts of Torah, including some specific regulations, but Torah’s authority is so high and our knowledge of the intentions and ideas of the priestly authors so slight that often seemingly meaningless commandments prove profound. The burden of proof is very high for anyone wanting to abrogate the commandments. The Reformists use the opposite approach, dismissing regulations they cannot justify, rejecting reasonable commandments because they do not square with political conventions or comfort. No restriction is perfectly comfortable, and the Reform approach dilutes religion into a set of pronouncements instead of a way of life. Reform Judaism nevertheless upholds modern state legislation, which says a lot about their real loyalty.
Today’s Orthodox Chassids were the Reformists less than three hundred years ago, and today’s rabbis were the Pharisaic reformers at the first century C.E., and invented the Temple-less Judaism. Modern Reformists have some sensible ideas, but they must prove themselves through the barrier of hostility which preserves the religion against unworthy innovations popping up all the time.
Modern Reformism is a political, not religious movement. It advocates political correctness with Judaic tint. The involvement of women proceeds not from a careful evaluation of the Torah and honest attempt to distill the religious principles and apply them to the current situation. Virtual abrogation of Sabbath is tribute to convenience. Gentilized Jewish reformers dislike even the concept of the religious chosenness: it is so intolerant and illiberal. They call on the Jews to melt culturally, and offer no reason to avoid melting ethnically, assimilating and ceasing to be. True reforms must be fundamentalist, a return to the fundamentals of Judaism buried under the heap of the Talmudic legislation.
The Orthodox put themselves on a par with the priestly authors, introducing rites and regulations neither explicit nor implicit in Torah. The Pharisaic rabbis sometimes flout the commandments by substituting and circumventing the law instead of rejecting it head-on. For example, the prozbul avoids forgiving debts in the seventh-year by transferring title into the public domain. Torah does not require the release of public debts. Reconstructionists employ the worst of the two approaches, rejecting the commandments like the Reformists and inventing new laws beyond the Pharisaic excesses.
Opening ancient religion to discussion transforms it into philosophical theory, with conflicting schools of thought creating confusion, apathy, and cynicism. Religion rests on authority—which is why the new laws pose as revelations. Innovation strips religion of its ethical authority. The Law’s shortcomings are often exaggerated: human nature remains unchanged over the ages, and new circumstances are not so new. People who suggest abandoning the commandments are on shaky ground and in no position to force their views on others. Interpretation is a matter of individual conscience.
People naturally lean toward liberalization: from hard-core Essenism to the Sadducees to the Pharisees. Atheism is the simplest of all. From that, one might expect simple, Torah-only religion to thrive, yet it does not, as the Karaites’[5] fate shows. Atheism masquerades as modernity. Opting for liberal religion, people observe no daily rituals at all and lose their religious identity. This is why fundamentalists win: many people want a clear identity, as well as high and important reasons to oppose secularism. Fundamentalists build a Manichean barrier against the material world. Judaism, however, is arguably not religion but a prescription for a happy life in the real world. Torah does not tell us how God looks and offers little advice on spiritual matters, is even unconcerned with afterlife. Most of Judaism’s religious commandments relate to the Levites only and were hardly realizable even in the past. Torah defines a just society compatible with modern liberalism, and Jews need not be fundamentalists to observe the ethics of Judaism. If Judaism is not about ethics, why obey the religion? People endowed with free will should not be puppets or slaves even of God. Commandments serve not a divine purpose, but practical needs of the communities. Daily observance of religiously termed social rules would make Jews contemptuous of others and prevent assimilation. High religion, as high art, is elitist.
Jews might structure their opposition to gentiles as happens in the fashion business: a qualitative advantage without a perceived fundamental difference. Most people do not like to be at odds with others, yet they like to be better than others in the same system of values. People won’t wear odd clothes but will wear unusual clothes if they are top-of-the-line. Similarly, Jews who prefer to accommodate Christian or secular beliefs rather than be loyal to odd Judaism would wear their Judaism proudly if it were seen as part of both Christian culture, where Jews are senior partners, and of secularism, where Jews are the most senior liberals.
Reevaluation might go beyond the Talmud to numerous innovations, such as the Feast of Purim, which anti-Semites call an example of Jewish animosity to gentiles. The holiday, celebrating Marduk and Astarte disguised as Mordechai and Esther, is a part of Jewish tradition but not of Judaism.
Public charity for religious Israeli Jews is morally questionable and costly and prompts some to join yeshivas to get income security, government benefits, and tax and military exemptions—while voting for expensive settlements and war stuffed by the cannon fodder of second-rate Jews. Religious studies, however, should come second to productive living and defending one's community. Some eminent rabbis were poor; the obligation to earn one’s living knows no exceptions. Living at the expense of hard-working people is corrupt. Government sponsorship, moreover, suppresses charitable support for scholars—should they accept charity which Jews have an obligation to avoid, taking any work to avoid becoming a public charge. That scholars cannot even charge for teaching but must support themselves is not incidental: Judaism insists on productive living in the real world. Some connect the whole matter to the biblical tithe, but modern rabbis are not Levites. Others say subsidies replace the income religious scholars would have earned otherwise; but such compensation has been paid only to the few full-time rabbis communities specifically invited. Rabbi Karo overruled Maimonides, who worked himself and insisted that rabbis should work for living, by surmising that the people must have supported a teacher as famous as Hillel. Not only does Rabbi Karo's opinion contradict the Talmudic tradition that Hillel worked arduously, but the argument does not apply to ordinary rabbis and seeks to turn charity into obligation. People often degenerate without disciplined productive labor, and certainly not all rabbis work or learn assiduously.
Many rabbis may well reconsider their attachments: they often were loyal to Christian colleagues rather than Judaism. Jews have been respected for their firm beliefs, but collaboration with former persecutors, a snobbish reaction to their advances, undercuts that strength. The rabbinate has even declared Christian icons somehow different from idols. The commandment calls any chiseled image an idol, even if the prohibition deals specifically with objects of worship. The church is inherently hostile to Jews, claiming to replace them as true Israel. Christian incitement led to the Holocaust, and willing executioners were good Christians. Peaceful coexistence is one thing; Jews do not have to wage jihad. Passive intolerance of Christian religious theory is another, and the difference should not be blurred.
Israel observes a number of religious holidays unprecedented in free market societies. Most Israelis, however, do not keep most of them. If they followed the Bible, Israelis should work six days and rest only on the Sabbath. The two-day weekend is, however, common. Superficial religiosity damages the economy.
[1] Shrimps illustrate the point: their chitin cover is similar to scales, and tentacles are essentially fins; they neither swarm, nor creep, yet prohibited.
[2] Death sentence for Sabbath violation was introduced only in the context of the Tabernacle construction. Moses’ ad hoc punishment of the wood gatherer hardly qualifies as a case law.
[3] For example, implicitly inviting gentiles to work on Shabbat contradicts the commandment that no one should work in Jewish homes. Rabbis must honestly define unavoidable, thus acceptable work instead.
[4] Jews invented mandatory marriage contract before the Common Era. The reasons for divorce were light then as now—people cannot be made to live together—but compensation made men cautious about divorce.
Menstruation or childbirth make women unclean, but so do nocturnal emissions to men. Uncleanness relates to loss of life force, not to sex. Uncleanness implies no despise: priests could be unclean, and valuable camels are unclean for food.
Males and females distract each other, and prohibition of praying together is practical, not offensive. Maimonides declared that women do not have to pray because they are closer to divine than men, not inferior.
The politically correct advocatnot separated from gentiles by minutely prescribed behavior. Dilution of Judaism with metaphysical speculations, added to assimilation. Literal adherence to commandments/div>
[5] Jewish sect that rejected the Talmud, fundamentalist in rejecting Pharisaic innovations, and liberal in releasing its members from the Oral Law. The sect has almost dissipated because it was not separated from gentiles by minutely prescribed behavior. Dilution of Judaism with metaphysical speculations, added to assimilation. Literal adherence to commandments is doable and guards against innovations that blur religious identity.

June 10, 2011

Interpreting the Commandments - Obadiah Shoher

Understanding the commandments is practically important to avoid unnecessary guilt when someone sees others observing them strictly. Torah’s recommendations are practical, natural, and easy to follow: no need to look for loopholes. Laborious interpretation makes them unrealizable, like the prohibition of killing instead of murder, or hypocritical, like having goyyim children work in Jewish houses on the Sabbath, though no foreigner may work in Jewish homes on that day. Interpretation is arrogant, since elucidation requires reading the mind of the one who wrote the book. Torah speaks a language of man, and that language is Hebrew. The depth of meaning is lost in translation.

There is little need to dwell on the first commandment. What could be clearer than the unity of God? But look deeper and you will see society competing for your unconditional allegiance and replacing the Mosaic law with human codices. The demands to worship the state come clad in the guise of national interest. People who lose religion wander around bowing to anything superficially suitable: stones in India, communism in Russia, movie stars in America. Universities opened on Sabbath, judges requiring an oath on the New Testament, sport events where crowds stand motionless listening to a national anthem—all whisper to forget religion. Secular requirements contradicting Jewishness need not be discarded, just not followed wholeheartedly. Remember your primary allegiance.

The second commandment does not prohibit images; it prohibits treating any object, a book of scripture, a flag, as a god by swearing by it or dying for it, for example.
The commandment against wrongful use of the name prohibits emptying it, dissipating its sacredness through impious or frivolous, to say nothing of profane, use. Idle speculations or doubts shared with those who would interpret uncertainty as disbelief fall under the prohibition.

Shabbat is the most pleasant and the most difficult commandment, since there are many opportunities and temptations to break it. Torah does not say expressly what work is prohibited, but the Hebrew text shows the meaning. Not physical work, oved, is prohibited, but creative work, oseh, work so important that it could be likened to the supreme act of oseh, the creation. Not any amount of work is prohibited, but only melaha, exhausting work or mission. To program a microwave before Shabbat to cook on the Saturday or to drop a hint to a gentile about doing it would be both ludicrous and hypocritical. But refusing only unpleasant work is still more dangerous. Good and pleasant things should also wait. The day is for unalloyed enjoyment. Most people are used to work discipline, and many – to discipline of physical exercises and meditations; both are certainly positive qualities. Judaism goes further and mandates the discipline of rest. Stop and smell the roses—every week.

The requirement to respect—love cannot be mandated—one’s parents is an evident consequence of the commandment of reciprocity: the children will in turn become parents and hate disrespect from their children, the people closest to them. Respect, however, is a mistranslation of do not burden.
The prohibition of adultery is an inexact translation that misses an important qualification: the injunction prohibits defiling oneself with adultery. A contemporary analogy might say that we may drink but not get drunk. Adultery was prohibited not for its own sake, but because it was a part of pagan worship. No other reading is possible, since neither concubinage nor prostitution were prohibited. The commandment is unrelated to inheritance and avoidance of bastards: female infidelity in small patriarchal villages is low, anyway; the prohibition is universal, not limited to neighbors as are the other commandments of specifically communal significance.
Torah establishes what could be termed the relativity of ethics. One must avoid deliberately harming others. The greater the harm, the wider the circle of protection. Stealing is prohibited for everyone, and murder—even for animals. The order of the two commandments indicates that the second is not absolute but rather subject to the first: one may steal if not stealing results in murder, even of oneself.
Evil thoughts (you shall not covet)—as opposed to actions—are prohibited only toward neighbors, other Jews included in the circle by default, but not exclusively. While medieval cultures condoned murder, advanced modern societies hesitate to kill even criminals. The mass media turn distant strangers into perceived neighbors, entitled to forbearance and charity.
Many commandments deal with animal sacrifices, extraneous to the Decalogue. It is unlikely they were observed; the thrice-annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem from afar would have disrupted the sustenance economy, and such a large number of sheep could not have been slaughtered during the brief festivals.
Sacrificial offerings are beneficial only if repentance precedes them. They are a kind of chastisement, a sacrament of regret. Talmudic scholars rightly concluded that charity replaces offerings: both prove the regret by actual expenses. Legal fiction qualifies repented sins as unintentional, since repentance presumes good inclination and allows for forgiving sinners.
Civil commandments provided for mutual accommodation, and sacrifice rituals were personal ethics dressed in religious garb. Rites cannot right wrongs; only coming to terms with the offended does that. Delaying that is sin as well. Torah prescribes rectification through repentance—under the threat of punishment.
Modern people whose life is permeated by rituals, from fashion to elaborate use of crockery, should not laugh at ancient rites. People ready to die in meaningless wars should not despise religious Jews who hold their values dear.
Observing the commandments does not make people perfect. Perfectionism is not only futile but also detrimental, draining energy that could be put to more productive use. Being good to oneself and tolerable to others is enough. No need to love everyone as oneself, an impossible feat. The love of neighbors and resident aliens Torah requires is opposed to oppression. People must not love others in the sense of doing something for them but rather as abstaining from harming them. Hillel avoided this ambiguity by negative reformulation of the commandment. Torah prescribes love only to neighbors and resident aliens—essentially neighbors too because they accepted the rules of community. People compete with other groups and cannot love their opponents.
Torah does enjoin doing good when minor efforts produce big results. For example, help an enemy unload his fallen donkey, and make an enemy a friend. The mechanisms of social beneficence are self-correcting, reaching an equilibrium between effort and result reminiscent of economic processes. The more time a person spends for others, the more he resists spending more.
The mass media raises public consciousness of sufferings and increases the value of preventing it while technology and modern transportation lower its cost. Military hegemony can promote human rights with little more than a threat. The world is replete with opportunities for the Torah charity.
Sharing a tithe is a milestone of biblical ethics. One can distribute charity at his discretion to those who positively cannot sustain themselves. Torah does not prescribe welfare; charity is a means to prevent starvation, not equalize incomes. Only staple foods are therefore tithed, not all income. The act of giving can inspire compassion and become second nature, not an obligation. Some people skimp on charity, but many more on taxes. People would have paid their dues if charity remained only a means to escape starvation and ten percent tax were imposed on basic food consumption only.
Prescription of reasonable charity releases the people from the sense of guilt they naturally feel for homeless or hungry. One can never do enough to help everyone, and yet must live his own life, and care about himself and his family. Tithe strikes the balance between enjoyment and compassion.
Prohibition of usury does not apply to business loans; interest-free loans are charity, as the restriction on pledging personal items proves. Seemingly superstitious, the commandments might be rational. Prohibition of intercourse for fourteen days from the start of menstruation is adjustment to human fertility: animals, on the contrary, are fertile during menstruation. Forehead baldness, covered with scull-cap, occurs because of testosterone; the cap covers sexually demonstrative spot. Obeying religious commandments develops discipline and teaches people to trust their wisdom. Someone who does not eat pork simply because the commandment forbids it will likely not question the prohibition of stealing.
Judaism has three major types of food prohibitions. One is unhealthy food, such as suet. Another is swarming and creeping creatures. While some peoples with limited access to other forms of necessary protein eat them, the revulsion they cause universally across cultures suggests that the Judaic prohibition is not arbitrary.
The prohibition of eating all but four animals is unrelated to filth; highly valued camels and horses are also prohibited. People are not filthy, but eating them is prohibited and filthy. Pig was originally a respectful animal, and for that very reason eating it was disgusting. Eventually, that disgust passed on the pig itself.
Pigs might be tasty, and we lose some enjoyment when refuse to eat them, but humans are possibly no less tasty, yet we do not eat them. Judging by the number of criminals, it must be enjoyable to rob and to rape. Ethics is about refusing some enjoyment for the common benefit.
Torah, unlike totemic religions, does not prohibit “sacred” animals but establishes the criteria of hoofs and chewing, likely related to animals’ intellect. The animals permitted for food are folklore examples of silliness: cows, sheep, goats, and gazelles. Similarly, the truly scaleless—prohibited—fish are sea mammals, smart compared to other fish. Landlocked Hebrew knew neither dolphins nor that pigs are anatomically close to humans. Judaism prohibits swarming creatures, and see how incredibly smart are the truly swarming ants and bees. Jews do not eat creeping creatures, because the creeping creature par excellence is serpent, an archetype of wisdom. Life is sacred, and people are not allowed to kill even animals, but humans must eat; the concession is made, therefore, allowing the people to kill a few intellectually less advanced animals, and even that killing was limited to domestic animals whom the people gave life in the first place, and rigidly regulated to minimize suffering.

June 9, 2011

Gilad Shalit is Still in Captivity Because of Us: By Moshe Feiglin

The lineup of ex-generals and security officials who over the past few weeks have demoralized the country by urging us to roll up our sleeves for the cyanide shot - hundreds of murderers to be injected straight into the bloodstream of Israeli society in exchange for Gilad Shalit - raises some grave questions. Is there some sort of ideological filter on the way up the ladder to the senior command posts in Israel? How could it be that so many senior security officials hold views that are so antithetical to Israel's security?

We all know that the hundreds of terrorists released in the 2004 Tannenbaum deal have sown death and destruction in Israel. So how could people who are supposed to be responsible for our security encourage the same scenario all over again?

Plainly, Gilad Shalit's release is not a military issue. It is simply a question of the willingness of Israeli society to pay the price. The army may not know where Shalit is - a damning admission in and of itself. But it does know the whereabouts of the Hamas leaders responsible for his captivity.

We could make those Hamas terrorists desire to release Shalit. But we do not want a rocket war here and we do not want international pressure, either. That is why Shalit is still in captivity. We could cut off their electricity, but we do not want demonstrations throughout the world and pictures of the hospitals in Gaza working by candlelight. We do not want to pay that price, so Gilad is still in captivity.

We do not want to face off against the bleeding hearts in our justice system, so Israel's Hamas prisoners will continue to receive visitation rights, academic studies and deluxe conditions that they could never dream of getting elsewhere. That is why Shalit is still in captivity. And possibly the most amazing fact of all: We insist on continuing our payments and monthly salaries to Gilad's captors. That is why Gilad is still in captivity.

With just a bit of creativity, we could employ countless actions that would bring Gilad Shalit home without firing a single shot or endangering a single Israeli soldier. But every action bears a price and Israel's leaders assume that our society is not willing to pay it. That is why Gilad Shalit is still in captivity.

The easy solution is to surrender and release terrorists. It seems, though, that Israeli society is beginning to wake up and understand that the release of terrorists also carries a price that it is not willing to pay.

The Shalit campaign has finally understood that they must change their strategy. We are beginning to see some of those changes in the demonstrations that they hold and we can only hope that they will not stop. After all, Treasury Minister Yuval Steinitz has already clearly stated that it is possible to stop the cash flow from Israel to the Hamas. He even stopped it for a short period of time after the unity agreement between the PLO and Hamas.

Now, Steinitz should explain to the Shalit family why he does not withhold that money on a permanent basis until their son is released. Is it because of some sort of ultimatum of the Hamas? A threat to continue to fire missiles at Israel?

Can our leaders explain what price they are not willing to pay to free Gilad?

The time has come to switch strategies. Block the Brinks trucks carrying money for Gaza. Cut off the electricity to Gaza. Cut off the water. Protest against visitation rights for jailed terrorists. Announce it in public and encourage the huge crowds that participated in pointless marches to get involved. This is the type of activism that the entire nation - both Right and Left - will join.

When Israel's leaders will understand that the people are willing to pay the price of Gilad's release but are not willing to send hundreds of others to their deaths in his stead, we will finally see real action to bring him home.

Self-Destructive Jewish Guilt By Rabbi Meir Kahane

Self-Destructive Jewish Guilt

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
{May G-d avenge his blood. Has history proven him wrong?}
(January, 1988)

There is a specter haunting Israel and its American Jewish supporters. It is called guilt. Guilt over the "repression of Palestinian human rights". Guilt over the refusal to remove "the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East - the occupation of the Arab land seized in 1967". Guilt over the unwillingness to give the "Palestinians" their own state in the "occupied lands". And now, guilt over the killing of "Palestinians" and innocent civilians in the "Occupied territories". It is a powerful weapon, this guilt; Jews have a difficult time coping with it.
A people that has been the most debased of losers for 2,000 years finds it difficult to cope with victory. It finds it extraordinary difficult to remain normal. It inherits insecurities, complexes, guilt. It begins to believe its enemies' slanders. It loses its self-respect and longs for the love of a hating world. That is especially true for the Jewish liberal! It is important that those who have retained their self-esteem and sense of Jewish survival speak out against the disease of guilt and moral insecurity. No guilt.

Are the lands of 1967, "occupied" by the Jews, the main obstacle to peace? Is the year 1967 the origin of the conflict? How peaceful it must have been in 1966 when Sinai and Gaza were in Egyptian hands and the Golan was possessed by the Syrians to shell, for 19 years, the Jewish settlements below, and when Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem were in the hands of the "moderate" King Hussein. Why did they go to war? What did they want then? When they had all the "occupied lands" before they were "occupied"? When one has East Jerusalem and attacks Israel, can it be that he desires West Jerusalem? And Tel Aviv? And can it be that that is what they really want again? Now? And why did the "innocent Palestinian women and children" take to the streets then, in 1967, when Jordan and Egypt ruled them to call for "Israel in the sea"? What "occupied lands" did they want back then? And could it be that that is what they want now?

And what did they wish in 1947 when they rejected the "Palestine" state offered them by the United Nations and went to war, killing fully 1 % of the Jewish population? And what did they wish in the riots of 1936-38 when there was no country called Israel and they murdered more than 500 Jews? And in 1929 when no "Zionist occupation troops" were in Hebron, why did the "Palestinians" rise up to murder 67 Jews in one day? And why the pogroms in Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1920 and 1921?
What troubles the Arabs is the very presence of large numbers of Jews in the land, and Israel of any size. Zionism. That is what troubles the Arabs. That is the obstacle to peace. Let us inscribe that on our hearts lest we open the doors to a repetition-on a grand scale-of that which the Arabs have done to Jews since 1920. A horror of slaughter by knives and axes. And the bearers of guilt would do just that.

No guilt. There is one sublime reason why we should not give up a centimeter of land...it belongs to us. If we have no right to Judea and Samaria and Gaza, then we indeed have no right to Tel Aviv. Abraham did not walk on Dizengoff Street nor did our ancestors live in Israeli cities that were built in the 20th century. But Abraham, who lived in Hebron, and Jacob who lived in Shechem, now Nablus, and David in Bethlehem are the sole legitimate reasons that Jews can lay claim to a Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim of the guilt-ridden Left. The land belongs to us because the G-d of Israel, creator and Titleholder of all lands, gave it to us. No guilt.

There is no such thing as a "Palestinian people". They are Arabs, part of the Arab nation, possessor of 21 lands. Let them live in peace in any or all of them. But there are no "Palestinians". It was the Roman emperor Hadrian who, after the Jewish revolt against the Romans, angrily erased the name of the state, Judea, and invented the name "Palestine" after the Philistines. In every normal case, an existing people gives its name to a land. The Franks named it France and the Angles, England, and the Germanics, Germany. Only in this ludicrous case does a Roman invent a name, give it to a land, and the arriving Arab trespassers become "Palestinians". One presumes that had Hadrian not changed the name, Israel today would be fighting Yasir Arafat and the Judean terrorists. There are no "Palestinians" and there is no "Palestine" in the land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael. No guilt.

The "Palestinian" civilians in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Lebanon cheered and supported every P.L.O murder and terror of Jews. They are united in hatred of Israel. It would be nicer if they did not stone our soldiers and try to kill Jews. It would be nicer if they did not rise up in revolt in order to force us out of Judea, Samaria and Gaza as the first step to the elimination of the State of Israel. But since they do, let Jews not allow themselves to be destroyed by "Palestinian" women and children. And if the only way to survive is to take the lives of people who attack us we have no choice. I wonder how many Americans and British and French mourned and protested the killing of German civilians during World War II bombings of Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden?

There is nothing ethical about dying or anything moral about another holocaust. There is nothing immoral about winning and nothing necessarily noble in a loser. Let us cast off the chains of guilt and reject the accusations of its bearers. The greatness of Judaism is its spirit, but no spirit can survive without a living body. If we do not want to kill Arabs--and we don't; and if we want to put an end to the nightly television pictures of violence; and if we do not want to see those pictures tomorrow inside Israel itself, with Israeli Arabs fighting soldiers; and if we do not want to see the threat of Arab demography destroying the Jewish State--then let us have the courage to take the one difficult but immutable step that will free us of all this and guarantee a Jewish State: Remove the Arabs from the land and let them live with their brothers and sisters in any of the 22 Arab states. Anything short of that will see the horrors of today escalated a hundred-fold tomorrow. And let us not fear the world. Those who stood by during the Holocaust and when Israel faced destruction in 1948 and 1967 have nothing to tell us.

Faith in the G-d of Israel and a powerful Jewish army are the only guarantors of Jewish survival. Let us not fear the world. Far better a Jewish State that survives and is hated by the world, than an Auschwitz that brings us its love and sympathy. No guilt Rather faith in G-d and a return to authentic Torah laws; rather pride and strength, and the love of our people rather than the enemy that would destroy us. That is sanity; that is Judaism.