Israel survives miraculously
By Charles Krauthammer
Before sending Lewis and Clark west, Thomas Jefferson dispatched Meriwether Lewis to Philadelphia to see Dr. Benjamin Rush. The eminent doctor prepared a series of scientific questions for the expedition to answer. Among them, writes Stephen Ambrose: "What Affinity between their [the Indians'] religious Ceremonies & those of the Jews?" Jefferson and Lewis, like many of their day and ours, were fascinated by the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and thought they might be out there on the Great Plains.
They weren't. They aren't anywhere. Their disappearance into the mist of history since their exile from Israel in 722 B.C. is no mystery. It is the norm, the rule for every ancient people defeated, destroyed, scattered and exiled.
With one exception, a miraculous story of redemption and return, after not a century or two, but 2,000 years. Remarkably, that miracle occurred in our time. This week marks its 60th anniversary: the return and restoration of the remaining two tribes of Israel - Judah and Benjamin, later known as the Jews - to their ancient homeland.
Besides restoring Jewish sovereignty, the establishment of the State of Israel embodied many subsidiary miracles, from the creation of the first Jewish army since Roman times to the only recorded instance of the resurrection of a dead language - Hebrew, now the daily tongue of a vibrant nation of 7 million. As historian Barbara Tuchman once wrote, Israel is "the only nation in the world that is governing itself in the same territory, under the same name, and with the same religion and same language as it did 3,000 years ago."
During its early years, Israel was often spoken of in such romantic terms. Today, such talk is considered naive, anachronistic, even insensitive, nothing more than Zionist myth designed to hide the true story, i.e., the Palestinian narrative of dispossession.
Not so. Palestinian suffering is, of course, real and heart-wrenching, but what the Arab narrative deliberately distorts is the cause of its own tragedy: the folly of its own fanatical leadership - from Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem (Nazi collaborator, who spent World War II in Berlin), to Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser to Yasser Arafat to Hamas of today - that repeatedly chose war rather than compromise and conciliation.
Palestinian dispossession is a direct result of the Arab rejection, then and now, of a Jewish state of any size on any part of the vast lands the Arabs claim as their exclusive patrimony. That was the cause of the war 60 years ago that, in turn, caused the refugee problem. And it remains the cause of war today.
Six months before Israel's birth, the UN had decided by a two-thirds majority that the only just solution to the British departure from Palestine would be the establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state side by side. The undeniable fact remains: The Jews accepted that compromise; the Arabs rejected it.
With a vengeance. On the day the British pulled down their flag, Israel was invaded by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Iraq - 650,000 Jews against 40 million Arabs.
Israel prevailed, another miracle. But at a very high cost - not just to the Palestinians displaced as a result of a war designed to extinguish Israel at birth, but also to the Israelis, whose war losses were staggering: 6,373 dead.
One percent of the population. In American terms, it would take thirty-five Vietnam memorials to encompass such a monumental loss of life.
You rarely hear about Israel's terrible suffering in that 1948-49 war. You hear only the Palestinian side. Today, in the same vein, you hear that Israeli settlements and checkpoints and occupation are the continuing root causes of terrorism and instability in the region.
But in 1948, there were no "occupied territories." Nor in 1967 when Egypt, Syria and Jordan joined together in a second war of annihilation against Israel.
Look at Gaza today. No Israeli occupation, no settlements, not a single Jew left. The Palestinian response? Unremitting rocket fire killing and maiming Israeli civilians. The declared casus belli of the Palestinian government in Gaza behind these rockets? The very existence of a Jewish state.
Israel's crime is not its policies but its insistence on living. On the day the Arabs - and the Palestinians in particular - make a collective decision to accept the Jewish state, there will be peace, as Israel proved with its treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Until that day, there will be nothing but war. And every "peace process," however cynical or well-meaning, will come to nothing.
YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva
5 Iyar 5768/9-10 May 2008
And What Do They Do With This Day?
(Continued from last week)
Rashi, in his commentary on Ezekiel, teaches us: “The lowliness of
Israel is a Chilul Hashem - a desecration of
G-d’s great Name. The Jewish people are the vessel in which Chilul or
Kiddush Hashem is measured in this world. In the eyes of the nations, we
represent the Almighty- if the nations are able to have domination over the
Jewish people and we are weak in their eyes - so to speak - Hashem is
lacking in strength and weak. As we have experienced time and time again
during our two thousand years in the exile.
As King David stated in the book of Psalms: “Help us Oh G-d of our
salvation, for the sake of the glory of Your Name. Why should the nations
say: Where is your G-d?” What greater Chilul Hashem could there have been
for the Jewish nation than during the Holocaust, as the Germans poked fun at
us, saying: “Where is your G-d now”?. Two understandings come out from this:
1) if there is a G-d of the Jews, why does He not help you; and 2) it must
mean that we are stronger than Him, for He is unable to help.
On the other side of the coin, when the Jewish people have the upper
hand against the nations, all stand in awe and wonder how it is that this
same nation, that just a few years ago was on the brink of destruction, now
can stand tall and beat seven Arab nations fully armed. Could there be a
greater Kiddush Hashem than this? This is the greatest proof that the living
G-d of Israel is alive and well.
It was exactly for this reason that Hashem in His great mercy returned
the Jewish people to their Land. As the prophet Ezekiel tell us (chapter
36): “They came among the nations where they came, and they desecrated My
Holy Name, when it was said of them: These are the people of Hashem, but
they departed His Land? I took pity on My Holy Name which the house of
Israel has desecrated among the nations, therefore say to the House of
Israel: It is not for your sake that I act, but for my Holy Name, I will
take you from among the nations and gather you from all the lands and will
bring you to your own soil.”
This is the key to understanding why 60 years ago Hashem returned us to
our Land, for His Great Name's sake. Tragically, so few do understand, and
at best they ignore this day as if nothing has happened. We are taught in
the Talmud that if one put his hands in his pockets, thinking he has three
coins, and it turns out that he only has two coins - this is a form of
suffering, and it is from Hashem. How much more so, then, in our day, when
Hashem has returned us to our own Land after two thousand years, exactly as
prophesied by His prophets - that this is the Hand of G-d. Who could think
But how do they, the Charedi community, understand these events? How do
they explain them? Mostly by ignoring the day, and in recent years this
phenomenon is getting worse. Some extremist elements from the Satmar
Chassidim will say this was the handwork of the Devil, that the Jews have a
country before the coming of the Messiah. True, they are very mistaken, as
we do not believe the devil has powers to work independently. But still,
they have an answer for these events, mistaken as they are. But the great
majority of the Charedi world just ignore the historical homecoming of the
In fact, it is they who are more Zionist than we are, for they believe
the State was formed by Ben-Gurion & company, while we believe the State is
the hand of the Living G-d. Do not get me wrong: one must recognize the
greatness of the day, but at the same time fight tooth and nail to throw out
this non-believing government. But to just ignore the events is tragic, and
lacks understanding of this historical day. Let them face up and confront
this day head-on, so as not to be like the monkey who sees no evil, hears no
evil and speaks no evil.
With love of Israel,
Today we all know that Rabbi Kahane was right! Help spread the Jewish Idea -
Join the Jewish Idea's E-mail list and spread the word!
Written by Joseph Dana
June 7th, 1967, Jerusalem, Israel. Israel is in the midst of the 6-day war. Lt. Gen. Mordechai “Motta” Gur is leading the paratroopers reserve brigade, the assault force that liberated Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and Har Habayit from the Jordanians. Lt. Gen. Gur was also the man who proclaimed on the army radio “Har Habayit BeYadenu”- “The Temple Mount is in our hands”.
Importance of Temple Mount to Jews and Muslims
The city of “Yerushalayim” or Jerusalum in english, is mentioned 669 times in the Tanach, and “Zion” which is another name for Jerusalem is written 154 times. To Muslims, Har Habayit and Jerusalem as a whole are never mentioned in the actual Koran. It is only mentioned in their commentary or Hadith. Har Habayit is the holiest site in Judaism, while only the 3rd holiest site in Islam. In book of Tehillim of Psalms, David Hamelech (King David) said “ Im eshkachech Yerushalayim tishkach yemini1”- “If I forget Jerusalem I should forget my right arm”. According to Aggadah in the Talmud the world was created from the foundation stone on Har HaBayit2. Har Habayit, is also the spot where Hashem tested Abraham to see if he would sacrifice his own son like the ritual lamb. When Yaacov was running away from his father's house, because Esav was looking to kill him, he seeked refuge on Har Habayit. The Beit Hamikdash, the paramount site of holiness in Judaism rested on the temple mount. In Islam, Mohammed is believed to have arrived at the Temple Mount by the wings of a horse or angel, and was then taken on a tour of heaven by the angel Gabriel. To Muslims Har Habayit was a rest stop for Mohammed.
According to Halacha is it permitted to step onto Har Habayit?
Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, and Rabbi Shlomo Goren, two former chief rabbis of Israel, have strongly proclaimed that Jews are allowed according to Halacha, and should be encouraged to enter Har Habayit, but only to the areas where the Beit Hamikdash wasn't. On August 15, 1967 Rabbi Shlomo Goren led a group of fifty Jews onto the Temple Mount. They faught off a Muslim crowd, and had a minyan there. The Rambam specifically states that there are areas of the Temple Mount that Jews are allowed to pray, and that he himself prayed there. Sefer Hacharedim says “On Tuesday, 4 Heshvan 5026, we left Acre to ascend to Jerusalem amidst danger and I entered the great holy place and prayed there on Thursday, 6 Heshvan. These 2 days I vowed would be holy days of prayer and joy in G-d and of drinking and drinking. May G-d help me in these endures and may I be able to fulfill my vow to G-d. Amen. And just as I merited to pray there in its ruins, so may all Israel and I see it consoled speedily. Amen.3” The Radbaz also ascended the mount and prayed there, and he offers advice on how to properly ascend the mountain.4
Is the land really ours?
Breishit Rabba says “And he bought the parcel of ground, where he had spread his tent...for a hundred pieces of money." Rav Yudan son of Shimon said: ‘This is one of the three places where the non-Jews cannot deceive the Jewish People by saying that they stole it from them, and these are the places: 1) Ma’arat HaMachpela, 2) the Temple and 3) Joseph’s burial place. Ma’arat HaMachpela because it is written: ‘And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver,’ (Genesis, 23:16); the Temple because it is written: ‘So David gave to Ornan for the place,’ (I Chronicles, 21:26); and Joseph’s burial place because it is written: ‘And he bought the parcel of ground...Jacob bought Shechem.’ (Genesis, 33:19).” Har Habayit is without a doubt property of the Jews.
Why do the majority of the rabbis, not allow Jews to go onto the temple mount?
The majority of living rabbis prohibit Jews from ascending the Temple. You may ask why, if many halachic sources allow it? The reason is because there exists a dispute whether you are allowed to step onto the site where the Beit Hamikdash was on not. Many rabbis say that certain spots are permissable, while other rabbis either dont see a reason for the need to start a conflict with the arabs, or simply are against it halachiclly.
In the late 1980's, 6 Knesset members wanted to visit Har Habayit. For, those 6 members of Knesset, 800 security guards were required. What a travesty! In the Jewish homeland, Jews arent allowed to visit their holiest site safely? In the year 2000, opposition leader Ariel Sharon, leader of the Likud ascended Har Habayit with hundreds of guards, who had to fight off arabs, and protestors. Let me get this straight, in the one and only JEWISH homeland, Arab MUSLIMS, are protesting a Jew going onto the holiest Jewish site. Jews are allowed to go onto Har Habayit only certain times? A tremendous Hillul Hashem.
On June 7th 1967, Israel liberated the temple mount. Once they captured the Mount, what did they plan on doing with it? Building a Jewish institution on top on the mount such as a synagogue, or the Beit Hamikdash? Nope. Two mosques, the symbol of the religion that is fighting the Jews on all fronts, are on the site of the holiest place for Jews. If this isn’t a hillul Hashem, I don’t know what is. And so I ask “Har Habayit BeYadenu”-“Is Har Habayit REALLY in our hands?
1 Tehillim 137: 4
2 Talmud Babel Yoma 54b- for more information see the Radbaz’s reponsa 691, and Binyamin Tzion’s respona 2
3 Sefer Hacharedim Mitzvat Tshuva Chapter 3
4 Shaarey Teshuvah, Orach Chaim 561:1; cf. Teshuvot Radbaz 691
At War With History - Friday, May 18th 2007
By Charles Krauthammer
Arab revisionists must admit: Egypt was agressor in Six-Day war
There has hardly been an Arab peace plan in the past 40 years - including the current Saudi version - that does not demand a return to the status quo of June 4, 1967. Why is that date so sacred? Because it was the day before the outbreak of the Six-Day War in which Israel scored one of the most stunning victories of the 20th century. The Arabs have spent four decades trying to undo its consequences. The real anniversary of the war should be now, three weeks earlier. On May 16, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded the evacuation from the Sinai Peninsula of the UN buffer force that had kept Israel and Egypt at peace for 10 years. The UN complied, at which point Nasser imposed a naval blockade of Israel's only outlet to the south, the port of Eilat - an open act of war.
How Egypt came to this reckless provocation is a complicated tale (chronicled in Michael Oren's magisterial history "Six Days of War") of aggressive intent compounded with fateful disinformation. An urgent and false Soviet warning that Israel was preparing to attack Syria led to a cascade of intra-Arab maneuvers that in turn led Nasser, the champion of pan-Arabism, to mortally confront Israel with a remilitarized Sinai and a southern blockade.
Why is this still important? Because that three-week period between May 16 and June 5 helps explain Israel's 40-year reluctance to give up the fruits of the Six-Day War - the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza - in return for paper guarantees of peace. Israel had similar guarantees from the 1956 Suez War, after which it evacuated the Sinai in return for that UN buffer force and for assurances from the Western powers of free passage through the Straits of Tiran.
All this disappeared with a wave of Nasser's hand. During those three interminable weeks, President Lyndon Johnson tried to rustle up an armada of countries to run the blockade and open Israel's south. The effort failed dismally.
It is hard to exaggerate what it was like for Israel in those three weeks. Egypt, already in an alliance with Syria, formed an emergency military pact with Jordan. Iraq, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco began sending forces to join the coming fight. With troops and armor massing on Israel's every frontier, jubilant broadcasts in every Arab capital hailed the imminent final war for the extermination of Israel. "We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants," declared PLO head Ahmad Shuqayri, "and as for the survivors - if there are any - the boats are ready to deport them."
For Israel, the waiting was excruciating and debilitating. Israel's citizen army had to be mobilized. As its soldiers waited on the various fronts for the world to rescue the nation from peril, Israeli society ground to a halt and its economy began bleeding to death. Army Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, later to be hailed as a war hero and even later as a martyred man of peace, had a nervous breakdown. He was incapacitated to the point of incoherence by the unbearable tension of waiting with the life of his country in the balance.
We know the rest of the story. Rabin recovered in time to lead Israel to victory. But we forget how perilous was Israel's condition. The victory hinged on a successful attack on Egypt's air force on the morning of June 5. It was a gamble of astonishing proportions. Israel sent the bulk of its 200-plane air force on the mission, fully exposed to anti-aircraft fire and missiles. Had they been detected and the force destroyed, the number of planes remaining behind to defend the Israeli homeland - its cities and civilians - from the Arab air forces' combined 900 planes was ...12.
We also forget that Israel's occupation of the West Bank was entirely unsought. Israel begged Jordan's King Hussein to stay out of the conflict. Engaged in fierce combat with a numerically superior Egypt, Israel had no desire to open a new front just yards from Jewish Jerusalem and just miles from Tel Aviv. But Nasser personally told Hussein that Egypt had destroyed Israel's air force and airfields and that total victory was at hand. Hussein could not resist the temptation to join the fight. He joined. He lost.
The world will soon be awash with 40th anniversary retrospectives on the war - and on the peace of the ages that awaits if Israel would only return to June 4, 1967. But Israelis are cautious. They remember the terror of that unbearable May when, with Israel possessing no occupied territories whatsoever, the entire Arab world was furiously preparing Israel's imminent extinction. And the world did nothing.
Impeaching Carter Ex-Prez wouldn't debate me on his error-strewn
book - so I'll set the record straight
BY ALAN DERSHOWITZ
President Jimmy Carter's appearance at Brandeis University this week should have been a real exchange of ideas; indeed, Carter was initially invited to debate me about the contentions made in his book, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid." Instead, he gave a speech, followed by prescreened questions and no rebuttals. Had Carter allowed the dialogue he says he wants to provoke, we all could have learned something.
President Carter and I agree on many things. We both want a two-state solution to the conflict. We both want an end to the occupation. We both oppose new Israeli settlements. We both wish to see a democratic, viable Palestinian state emerge.
But President Carter and I have our differences, too. I favored a compromise peace based on the offer by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000-2001. Carter defends Yasser Arafat's refusal to accept these generous terms, or to make a counteroffer.
In fact, Carter never mentions in his book, or in his speech, that the Palestinians could have had a state in 1938, 1948, 1967 and on several other occasions. Their leaders cared more about destroying Israel than about creating Palestine. That is the core of the conflict. It is Palestinian terror, not Israeli policy, which prevents peace.
Why does Carter cling to his version of history? We know from Carter's biographer, Douglas Brinkley, that Carter and Arafat strategized together about how to improve the image of the PLO. Did Carter advise Arafat to walk away from a Palestinian state? That is an important question - one I would have asked Carter had I been given the chance.
President Carter told the Brandeis audience that he wants to reduce America's role in the peace process in favor of Russia, the United Nations and the European Union. To me, that is not a serious proposal. As Carter himself showed during his presidency, American leadership is both positive and necessary.
And President Carter continued to make the kinds of inaccurate claims that run throughout his book. He said that Hamas began a 16-month ceasefire in August 2004. What about the Hamas rocket attacks in the weeks and months that followed, which killed innocent Israeli women and children?
He claimed that Israel's security barrier was designed to seize land, when in fact it was proposed by liberal and left-wing Israelis to protect civilians from bombings and sniper fire.
And Carter's omissions speak volumes. Not once in his speech did he mention the Palestinian refugee problem, which the Arab states still exploit against Israel. And not once did he mention Iran and the nuclear threat it poses - not just to Israel, but to the entire world.
I give President Carter credit for the concessions he made at Brandeis. He at last apologized for an infamous passage in the book that condones Palestinian terrorism. He acknowledged that the use of the word "apartheid" in the title might have caused offense.
I would like to join with President Carter in working for peace in the Middle East. But peace will not come if we insist on blaming one side in the conflict. And real dialogue, at Brandeis or in the Middle East, means talking with people with whom you might not agree.
Dershowitz is a professor at Harvard Law School.
Originally published on January 28, 2007
New Population Survey: 6.4 Million Jews in America
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
According to a new American Jewish Year Book survey, there are currently 6.4 million Jews in the United States - about a million more than in Israel.
The results are significantly higher than the total of 5.2 million American Jews identified in a 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey. The researchers involved were careful to note that because population estimates are not an "exact science," population changes did not necessarily occur in just the last few years. "Rather," the survey concludes, "[they] most likely occurred over a long period of time, but [have] only recently been substantiated."
About 2.2 percent of the US population is Jewish, according to American Jewish Year Book statistics. Published by the American Jewish Committee and conducted by Professor Ira Sheskin of the University of Miami and Professor Arnold Dashefsky of the University of Connecticut, the study was based on a tally of individual Jewish communities across the country.
New York, as in years past, was found to have the largest Jewish population of any state, at 1,618,000. California (1,194,000), Florida (653,000) and New Jersey (480,000) had the next largest numbers of Jewish residents. These four states account for more than 60 percent of the entire national Jewish estimate.
Regionally, 44 percent of Jews live in the Northeast; 11 percent live in the Midwest; 22 percent live in the South; and 24 percent live in the West.
San Francisco, California, showed the largest single reported growth nationally among Jewish communities, increasing from 107,900 in 2001 to 227,800 in 2006 - or 10% of the local population. Other areas showing growth of 70,000 or more were Atlanta, Georgia (33,900 to 119,800); San Diego, California (19,000 to 89,000); Montgomery and Price Georges County, Maryland (16,500 to 121,000); and South Palm Beach Florida (14,500 to 107,500).
In reporting 24,000 fewer people than in 2001, Detroit, Michigan, showed the largest single decrease nationally; Miami, Florida, followed with a decrease of 11,700.
Data on the various communities were derived, where available, from studies that have been conducted in those communities, many through scientific methods such as random digit dialing (RDD) telephone surveys. In communities where no scientific study had been completed, information was culled from the mailing lists of local organizations and synagogues. To ensure greater accuracy, the survey instituted a new category of "part- time" residents, in order to eliminate "double counting" of retirees or students in both their home communities and in secondary communities where they lived part of the year.
According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, as of late 2006, there were 7,077,000 Israelis, including 5,368,000 Jews.
Not easy time being Green
On Jewish holiday, hit with dilemma
By Filip Bondy
Shawn David Green is right smack in the middle of the high holidays now. Rosh Hashanah ends today at sunset. Happy New Year, No. 5767. Not a problem. But then there is Yom Kippur around the corner in October, the somber period of atonement, always threatening to play tug of war with his sense of duty, his conscience, his very essence. What is it that makes a Jew, Green is forced to ponder around this time each year. If it is ceremony and family tradition, then he is on the outside looking in. He wasn't bar mitzvah'd. His parents didn't really practice the religion. He never knew his grandfather, a welder, who shortened the family name from Greenberg, another step toward assimilation. Shawn would go to an occasional Passover seder around Southern California, that was about it.
His mom, Judy, would have preferred at one time for Shawn to become a doctor, and he was planning pre-med studies at Stanford if the baseball thing didn't work out. But his father and coach, Ira, thought he should be a ballplayer, thought his son should take the $725,000 bonus from Toronto in 1991, sign right out of high school and try his luck.
He did just fine with that sweet swing, moved up the ranks quickly. Green survived one or two incidents in the minor leagues of borderline anti-Semitism, always in that gray area between teasing and taunting. He was with the Blue Jays for good by age 23, in 1995. He has since amassed more than 300 homers, 1,000 RBI, won a Gold Glove in the outfield.
Shawn married a Christian, Lindsay, and the family is raising two kids in a multicultural household. So this is nothing out of the time-honored playbook of Judaism. Truthfully, Green doesn't always feel very Jewish. But then, Green will find himself again front and center in the outfield of some big-league stadium, and suddenly he is supposed to be the next Sandy Koufax, the next Hank Greenberg. One of maybe a dozen Jewish players in the league, he is supposed to represent everything to everybody.
He has played for teams in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, cities with enormous Jewish populations. Organizations, communities reach out for him, for this lanky, soft-spoken athlete. He is earning more than $10 million a year, which carries certain moral and professional obligations.
And then this time of year will come around, and Green must cross-check the calendar with the baseball schedule. This year, he can breathe a sigh of relief. Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Oct. 1, the evening after the Mets' final game of the season in Washington. The holiday and the fast he intends to keep will be done before the first playoff game.
"I've had two conflicts with Yom Kippur in 12 years," Green says by his locker at Shea. "The first time it was easy, in 2001, I just missed one game. But then we were in a tight pennant race in 2004, and there were two games, and it was all very difficult."
That was a famous tight-wire act, resolved to nobody's satisfaction. He played on Friday night, slamming a two-run homer in a 3-2 victory over the Giants, while some Jews attended Kol Nidre services. He skipped the Saturday game, another 2-1 victory for the Dodgers. Green isn't presumptuous enough to say these triumphs were a signal from on high that he had done something right. The compromise came after considerable soul-searching, and was in some ways unsatisfactory.
"I talked to a lot of people," Green says. "People take out of it what they will, pick and choose how to celebrate holidays. Everyone takes different things out of the culture. Whether or not it's hypocritical, I wanted to show my respect to my culture. I knew a lot of people were paying attention. At the same time I felt it was not fair. I'm not Orthodox. I played, and I felt a little weird when I played. But it worked out, and I probably would do the same thing again."
He doesn't have to make the decision this year. Green will fast and he will contemplate and that will be fine. Next season, he says, he probably will move to Manhattan, become more involved in local functions and in New York City's Jewish community, population nearly one million.
Green knows there will always be a line waiting for him, when he is ready.
"I've been very fortunate with the reception. People come up and say, 'We're happy there's a Jewish ballplayer here,'" he says. "But this year, there's no way I can just come over for a month and dive into that. My top two priorities are my family and my performance in the field."
Jay Horwitz, vice president of media relations for the Mets, says there were 11 Jewish newspapers and organizations on the phone for Green the day he was acquired by the Mets on Aug. 23 from Arizona for minor league pitcher Evan MacLane.
"He's been invited to everything from Brises to bar mitzvahs," Horwitz says. "It was just too soon."
Horwitz, who also is Jewish, has taken his own share of ribbing over the years in the clubhouse. When Pedro Martinez is in a playful mood, he will call the Met official "the best-looking Jewish man in New York City." So far, Green has been immune from the jokes at Shea. He has a good friend, Carlos Delgado, near his locker as protector. He doesn't mind the ribbing, anyway, if there is no meanness behind the comments.
Green is accustomed to being a bit different, a spiritual holdout. If a Christian teammate asks him to join in one of the growing number of chapel services prevalent these days in the majors, Green has a standard reply at the ready: "Old Testament or New?"
That usually is enough to deflect an uncomfortable moment, to remind everyone there is enough room in a baseball clubhouse for an outfielder who throws left, bats left, wrestles righteously with his own Judaism.
Originally published on September 24, 2006 - NY Daily News
Analysis: From 9/11 to 9/13
By "Fundamentally Freund Blog"
From the streets of Ramallah to the caves of Afghanistan, terrorists around the world were celebrating this week, as they commemorate the anniversary of not just one - but two - of their biggest coups against Israel and the West.
This past Monday, of course, was 9/11, the day upon which Osama Bin-Laden declared war on America. With a few sharp instruments in hand, and a lot of fanatical determination, Bin-Laden's henchmen succeeded in carrying out the largest act of mass murder ever committed on US soil, killing over 3,000 innocent human beings.
They set a chilling new standard for international terrorism, both in terms of the audacity of their assault, as well as the insolence of their aim: to undermine the very pillars of Western civilization. For that alone, Bin-Laden and his cohorts have earned a central place in the annals of infamy.
But September 11 is not the only significant occasion appearing on the terrorists' calendar this week.
There is another date as well, one that embodies just how crafty the practitioners of terror have become. It is 9/13, the date on which Yasser Arafat stood on the White House Lawn 13 years ago and signed the Oslo Accords, professing peace even as he was pursuing war.
With just a pen and a smile, Arafat succeeded in fooling the government of Israel and much of the West into believing that he had cast aside his boundless hatred and replaced it with a newfound yearning for reconciliation and peace.
Arafat's ultimate goal, as the ongoing Palestinian terror campaign has amply demonstrated, was no less lethal nor depraved than that of his Saudi-born colleague: to kill as many people as possible, all in the hopes of bringing his foes to their knees.
Though different in form and in substance, 9/11 and 9/13 do share one important trait in common: they both exemplify the danger of Western inaction when confronting an implacable enemy.
Remember: 9/11 was the second, not the first, attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in Manhattan. In 1993, a truck bomb exploded underneath one of the towers, killing six Americans. Had the Clinton Administration reacted as it should have, and launched its own war on terror, had it hunted down the perpetrators and refused to rest until Osama Bin-Laden was behind bars, who knows how much pain and suffering and even death might later have been averted?
Once Bin-Laden had joined the ranks of international terrorists, he should have been treated accordingly. But the sad fact is that he wasn't, and on 9/11, we all learned just how shortsighted and deadly that decision proved to be.
The same can be said for Israel's willingness in 1993 to sign an accord with Yasser Arafat, treating him as a lofty statesman rather than a lowly killer. Brushing aside three decades of PLO terror, the government of Israel handed Arafat the keys to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and allowed him to create a corrupt, authoritarian terrorist entity straddling the Jewish state's narrow boundaries.
It was a sad exercise in self-delusion. The desire to appease the enemy led Israel's leaders to think that yesterday's murderer could serve as today's peace-partner.
Instead, had Israel acted as it should have, arresting Arafat and trying him for murder, rather than transforming him into a head of state, who knows how much turmoil and bloodshed might have been prevented?
All told, over 1,000 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since the signing of the Oslo Accords, which is nearly twice the number that were killed in the 25 years that preceded the agreement. Clearly, the decision to accommodate Palestinian terror, rather than eliminate it, has proven to be a grave and fateful error on Israel's part.
The lesson, then, of this week's two anniversaries should be clear: the only way to get rid of terrorism is to get rid of the terrorists.
Apathy and appeasement may buy a few years of quiet. But in the end, the price of refusing to respond forcefully to terror is, inevitably, still more terror, and on a much larger scale.
With a little more foresight, and a lot more courage, the events of 9/11 and 9/13, and the destruction that was wrought as a result, might never have come to pass.
Let us hope and pray that Washington and Jerusalem will at last act to ensure that they never again recur.
Michael Freund served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under former premier Binyamin Netanyahu. He is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. Click here to comment on this article.
Even those who aren't particularly sympathetic to Bibi Netanyahu could get a
good measure of satisfaction from his interview with the British Television
I guess it can be attributed to his days studying history at Harvard.
The interviewer asked him: "How come so many more Lebanese have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?" (A nasty question if there ever was one!)
Netanyahu: "Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?"
Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?
Netanyahu: "Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the war was caused by Germany's aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima.
Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children's hospital, killing 83 little children . Perhaps you have another question?"
By Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l
It appears that you are hard to please. I understand that you are upset over us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry and outraged! Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset over us. Today, it is the brutal repression of the Palestinians; yesterday, it was Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War campaign.
It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily. Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we, the Jewish people - upset you.
We upset a German people who elected a Hitler and we upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset.
We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us. We upset, for centuries, a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions. And we upset the arch-enemy of the Church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.
It is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish State. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you, disturb you.
What better notion, then, than to leave you and thus love you - and have you love us? And so we decided to come home - to the same homeland from which we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.
Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state - we continue to upset you.
You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
Moscow is upset and Washington is upset.
The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset. Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs.
Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron - in 1929.
Dear World, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset then?
The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them.
Dear World, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres.
You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction. And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us.
In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.
Israel Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Entebbe Rescue
By Hillel Fendel
Thirty years ago today, while the U.S. was celebrating its bicentennial, Israel was carrying out a daring trans-continental rescue of 100 hostages held in Entebbe, Uganda.
The Knesset will mark the day this afternoon with a special session commemorating the heroic rescue. Among the participants at the Knesset ceremony will be family members of the four Israelis who died in the operation, many of the hostages themselves and their family members, former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Shomron, who oversaw the operation, as well as officers and soldiers who took part in the rescue.
Originally called Operation Thunderbolt by its planners, the mission was renamed Operation Yonatan in memory of its commander Yonatan Netanyahu (former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's brother), whose life was one of the prices Israel paid.
The incident began on June 27, 1976, when an Air France jet on its way from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of German and Palestinian terrorists, who embarked in Athens. They first flew the plane to Libya, and then to Entebbe, the capital of Uganda, 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from Israel.
At the Entebbe airfield, the hijackers separated the 100 Jewish passengers from the 150 non-Jewish ones, freeing the latter - though the plane's pilot Michel Bacos refused to abandon the Jewish passengers. (He was later temporarily suspended by Air France for his troubles.)
Uganda was ruled at the time by dictator Idi Amin, who had had some ties with Israel years before. Israeli officials made contact with Amin, who had been helped by Israel in the past but who was now cooperating with the hijackers. At the same time, the Israelis were making very detailed plans for the bold rescue plan, based on knowledge of the airport in which the hostages were being held - because Israel had helped build it.
After receiving the final go-ahead from then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, four large cargo planes carrying over 100 Israeli commandos took off for Entebbe. They landed under the cover of darkness, rolled out a black Mercedes of the type used by dictator Amin, and proceeded to the airport lounge and killed the hijackers with grenades and gunfire. One hostage was killed when he jumped up to greet the rescuers, and another hostage - Dora Bloch, 75, who had been taken to a Uganda hospital when she choked on food - was later murdered at Amin's behest.
The hostages and army forces were greeted joyfully by thousands of Israelis upon their return.
Three movies were later made of the Entebbe rescue. The official IDF account of the operation can be read here.
Israel's Ambassador to the UN and later to be its President, Chaim Herzog, told the UN at the time:
"It has fallen to the lot of my small country, embattled as we are, facing the problems which we do, to demonstrate to the world that there is an alternative to surrender to terrorism and blackmail. It has fallen to our lot to prove to the world that this scourge of international terror can be dealt with. It is now for the nations of the world, regardless of political differences which may divide them, to unite against this common enemy which recognizes no authority, knows no borders, respects no sovereignty, ignores all basic human decencies, and places no limits on human bestiality.
"We come with a simple message to the Council: we are proud of what we have done, because we have demonstrated to the world that in a small country, in Israel's circumstances, with which the members of this Council are by now all too familiar, the dignity of man, human life and human freedom constitute the highest values. We are proud not only because we have saved the lives of over 100 innocent people—men, women and children—but because of the significance of our act for the cause of human freedom.
"We call on this body to declare war on international terror, to outlaw it and eradicate it wherever it may be. We call on this body, and above all we call on the Member States and countries of the world, to unite in a common effort to place these criminals outside the pale of human society, and with them to place any country which co-operates in any way in their nefarious activities..."
Families of "Holocaust Marching Rabbis" to Meet in Jerusalem
By Baruch Gordon
Children and grandchildren of 400 rabbis who marched on the White House during World War II to demand U.S. Government action to save Jews from Hitler will meet in Jerusalem this Sunday.
The 1943 rally was the only demonstration for Holocaust rescue held in Washington, D.C. during World War II.
Since the famous march, the Rabbis and their offspring have never convened. The event is being sponsored by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, a U.S.-based educational institute that focuses on America's response to the Holocaust. Speakers on Sunday will include Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff, Holocaust scholar Prof. Monty Penkower of the Machon Lander Graduate School, and Dr. Rebecca Kook, daughter of Hillel Kook, organizer of the 1943 march.
Rare film footage of the march will be shown at the gathering. Relatives of the marchers and the general public are invited to attend; see details below.
Most of the marching rabbis were from the New York area, but others came from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere.
The rabbis who marched that day included some of the most prominent rabbinical figures in the American Jewish community, such as Eliezer Silver and Israel Rosenberg, co-presidents of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis; Solomon Friedman, president of the Union of Grand Rabbis; Bernard Dov Leventhal, known both as the chief rabbi of Philadelphia and one of the leaders of the Orthodox rabbinate nationwide; and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who would later come to be regarded as the leading authority in America on matters of Jewish religious law.
The marchers also included an array of both hassidic and mitnagdim rabbis protesting side by side.
The idea of Jews marching through streets of the nation's capital in 1943, specifically promoting Jewish causes such as rescue, especially during wartime, was anathema to mainstream Jewish leaders. Some of them advised U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to ignore the demonstration. President of the American Jewish Congress Stephen Wise, for example, condemned "the orthodox rabbinical parade" as a "painful and even lamentable exhibition." He derided the organizers as "stuntists" and accused them of offending "the dignity of [the Jewish] people."
The reunion will be held this Sunday, July 9 at 7:00 PM at the Machon Lander Graduate School for Jewish Studies, 8 Am V'Olamo St., Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, in the fifth floor conference room (accessible by elevator). There is no admission charge. For more information, call: (052) 805-9561 or write to: email@example.com
For further reading on the Rabbis' 1943 march, click here.
Farce As Fact By Charles Krauthammer
Spielberg's 'Munich' humanizes terrorists
as victims become extras in an untrue tale
If Steven Spielberg had made a fictional movie about the psychological disintegration of a revenge assassin, that would have been fine. Instead, he decided to call this fiction "Munich" and root it in a real historical event: the 1972 massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Once you've done that - evoked the actual killing of innocents who but for Palestinian murderers would today be not much older than Spielberg himself - you have an obligation to get the story right. The only true part of the story is the few minutes spent on the actual massacre. The rest is invention, as Spielberg delicately puts it in the opening credits, "inspired by real events."
By real events? Rubbish. Inspired by Tony Kushner's belief (he co-wrote the screenplay) that the founding of Israel was a "historical, moral, political calamity" for the Jewish people.
It is an axiom of filmmaking that you can only care about a character you know. In "Munich," the Israeli athletes are not only theatrical but historical extras, stick figures. Spielberg dutifully gives us their names - Spielberg's List - and nothing more: no history, no context, no relationships, nothing. They are there to die.
The Palestinians who plan the massacre and are hunted down by Israel are given - with the concision of the gifted cinematic craftsman - texture, humanity, depth, history.
The first Palestinian we meet is the erudite poet giving a public reading, then acting kindly toward his Italian shopkeeper - before he is brutally shot in cold blood by the Jews.
Then there is the elderly PLO man who dotes on his 7-year-old daughter before being blown to bits. Not one of these plotters is ever shown plotting Munich, or any other atrocity for that matter. They are shown in the full flower of their humanity, savagely extinguished by the Jews.
But the most shocking Israeli brutality involves the Dutch prostitute - apolitical, beautiful, pathetic - shot to death, naked, of course, by the now half-crazed Israelis settling private business. The Israeli way, I suppose.
Even more egregious than the manipulation by character is the propaganda by dialogue. The Palestinian case is made forthrightly: the Jews stole our land and we're going to kill any Israelis we can to get it back. Those who are supposedly making the Israeli case say ... the same thing. The hero's mother, the pitiless committed Zionist, says: We needed the refuge. We seized it. Whatever it takes to secure it. Then she ticks off members of their family lost in the Holocaust.
Spielberg makes the Holocaust the engine of Zionism, and its justification. Which, of course, is the Palestinian narrative. Indeed, it is the classic narrative for anti-Zionists, most recently the president of Iran, who says that Israel should be wiped off the map. And why not? If Israel is nothing more than Europe's guilt trip for the Holocaust, then why should Muslims have to suffer a Jewish state in their midst?
It takes a Hollywood ignoramus to give flesh to the argument of a radical anti-Semitic Iranian. Jewish history did not begin with Kristallnacht. The first Zionist Congress occurred in 1897.
The Jews fought for and received recognition for the right to establish a "Jewish national home in Palestine" from Britain in 1917 and from the League of Nations in 1922, two decades before the Holocaust.
But the Jewish claim is far more ancient. Israel was their ancestral home, site of the first two Jewish Commonwealths for a thousand years - long before Arabs, long before Islam, long before the Holocaust. The Roman destructions of A.D. 70 and A.D. 135 extinguished Jewish independence but never the Jewish claim and vow to return to their home. The Jews' miraculous return 2,000 years later was tragic because others had settled in the land and had a legitimate competing claim. Which is why the Jews have for three generations offered to partition the house.
The Arab response in every generation has been rejection, war and terror. And Munich.
Munich, the massacre, had only modest success in launching the Palestinian cause with the blood of 11 Jews. "Munich," the movie, has now made that success complete 33 years later. "Munich" now enjoys high cinematic production values and the imprimatur of Steven Spielberg, no less, carrying the original terrorists' intended message to every theater in the world.
This is hardly surprising, considering that "Munich's" case for the moral bankruptcy of the Israeli cause - not just the campaign to assassinate Munich's planners but the entire enterprise of Israel itself - is so thorough that the movie concludes with the lead Mossad assassin, seared by his experience, abandoning Israel forever. Where does the hero resettle? In the only true home for the Jew of conscience, sensitivity and authenticity: Brooklyn.
Originally published on January 13, 2006
Observers across the world were shocked by the recent Palestinian destruction of Gaza synagogues ― and its treatment in the media. Click here to view a short online video on this topic:ABSOLUTELY MUST WATCH VIDEO ON EFFECTS OF DEPORTATION OF JEWS Please watch ALL of this - to really understand the ongoing problem of
fanatical Muslim terrorism, starting here in Israel but if not stopped
here, eventually destroying the way of life YOU know.
Legendary YU Basketball Coach Bernard "Red" Sarachek Dies at 93
By Ezra HaLevi
Bernard "Red" Sarachek, the beloved coach of Yeshiva University's basketball team in its hey-day, passed away on Monday.
Sarachek, a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and the longtime coach of the Yeshiva University basketball team, died after a lengthy illness in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Although not necessarily the cause of his death, Sarachek was left without food, water and electricity for five days following the hurricane that struck Florida last month.
"Red" was known as a coach of coaches, and of players. "He taught more high school and college coaches in [the New York metro area] than anybody," former St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca once said of Sarachek. "Red is the guru."
Each year, Yeshiva University holds a high school basketball invitational named for Sarachek. The Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament, which takes place each spring, attracts Jewish high school basketball teams from as far away as Los Angeles and Toronto.
Marvin Hershkowitz, one of the legendary coach’s former players, who now lives in Israel, said that Sarachek "was the most influential person in my life. He was an excellent teacher and he was like a parent to me. He took care of his players off the court as well as on it, and if we needed anything he would work for us tirelessly to make it happen."
Although not strictly observant, "Red taught us to be good Jews and to be gentlemen." Hershkowitz, who last spoke with Sarachek two weeks ago, recalled the coach's private crusade to enforce the Orthodoxy of his Flatbush synagogue. "They had a vote on the Mechitza - divider separating men and women during prayer – and Red called up all of his buddies and brought them all to the meeting to vote on it."
Several of Sarachek's former players have moved to Israel. "He loved Israel, and many years ago when we played an Israeli team in Madison Square Garden he was thrilled to play them," Hershkowitz said. "He was very proud of several of us when we decided to make Aliyah [immigrate to Israel]."
Sarachek coached the YU team from 1942 to 1943 and again from 1945 to 1969. When professional basketball was in its infancy in the 1940s, Sarachek simultaneously coached the Scranton Miners of the American Basketball League and a team representing Herkimer, NY in the New York State League. Sarachek led both teams to championships at the same time he was coaching the Yeshiva University team.
With the Scranton team in the late 40s, Sarachek broke the league's segregation rules by playing Dolly King, William "Pop" Gates, and Eddie Younger at the same time. Pop Gates went on to a stellar pro career that led to international fame with the Harlem Globetrotters and eventual enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame.
The current YU basketball coach, Jon Halpert, now in his 34th season as coach, played for Coach Sarachek from 1962-1966. Halpert said the key thing to know about Sarachek was that he believed in the truth. "If you made a bad play, you heard about it," Halpert said. "He did what he thought was right and he said what he thought was right. That was Red."
Nazi-Hunter and Holocaust-Conscience Simon Wiesenthal, 96
By Hillel Fendel
Simon Wiesenthal, who survived a dozen Nazi concentration camps and then spent his life hunting down and bringing Nazi war criminals to justice, has died at the age 96.
Wiesenthal, whose wife of 67 years, Cyla, died two years ago, is survived by their only child, Paulinka Kreisberg of Herzliya, and her children and grandchildren. He died in his sleep at his home in Vienna.
Wiesenthal is credited with ferreting out over 1,000 Nazi war criminals. Among them were Franz Stangl, who commanded the prison camps at Treblinka and Sobibor and had a role in at least 900,000 deaths, and Queens housewife Mrs. Hermine Ryan, who supervised the killings of several hundred children at Maidanek. Both were extradited to Germany and received life imprisonment.
Weisenthal was saved from death by firing squad on three different occasions - once because the executioner heard church bells, stopped shooting and went off to pray, and another time when a German officer ordered him freed at the last moment.
A third time, towards the end of World War II, a German officer decided that live Jews, and their need for guarding, would provide an excuse for him and his soldiers not to have to go to the eastern front and fight - and so he let them live.
Wiesenthal was barely alive when he and the other inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp were liberated by an American armored unit on May 5, 1945.
Several biographies were written about him, and he wrote an autobiography entitled "The Murderers Among Us."
Asked once why he didn't pursue his chosen career of architecture after the war and instead went into the Nazi-hunting business, Wiesenthal answered, "When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?', there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler', Another will say, I have smuggled coffee and American cigarettes', Another will say, 'I built houses', But I will say, 'I didn't forget you'."
"The history of man is the history of crimes," he once said, "and history can repeat. So information is a defense. Through this we can build, we must build, a defense against repetition."
For more information on Simon Wiesenthal, click, for instance, here or here.
Kabbalist Urges Jews to Israel Ahead of Upcoming Disasters - 9/15/05
By Baruch Gordon
Israel's leading known Kabbalistic Elder, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri called upon worldwide Jewry Tuesday night to return to Israel due to natural disasters which threaten to strike the world.
In a class between the Mincha (afternoon) and Maariv (evening) prayers at his Jerusalem yeshiva seminary, Rabbi Kaduri issued the following call: ”This declaration I find fitting to issue for all of the Jews of the world to hear. It is incumbent upon them to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.
In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will bring about great disasters in the countries of the world to sweeten the judgements of the Land of Israel.
I am ordering the publication of this declaration as a warning, so that Jews in the countries of the world will be aware of the impending danger and will come to the Land of Israel for the buliding of the Temple and revelation of our righteous Mashiach (Messiah).”
Rabbi Kaduri also stated that the upcoming year would be a year of "secret and revelation" in the world. The Jewish year 5766 begins in less than three weeks, with the holiday of Rosh Hashana.
The Rabbi explained that the numerical Hebrew abbreviation for 5766, taf, shin, samech, vav gives insight into the nature of the upcoming year. "This will be a year of secret (or sod, from the letter samech) and revelation (or v'giliu from the letter vav).
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio show host Yehoshua Meiri first publicized the declaration on his Hebrew radio show late Tuesday night. Meiri typed out the words of Rabbi Kaduri's declaration and presented them back to the Rabbi who signed on the document.
Associates of Rabbi Kaduri were dispatched to communicate the Kabbalistic Elder's call to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before the latter's departure to the United States later the same night.
Meiri says he will publicize the signed declaration after Prime Minister Sharon delivers a speech in the U.S., in which he is expected to call upon the Jews of the Diaspora to make Aliyah (immigrate) to Israel.
During a visit in 1990 with the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (of blessed memory), Rabbi Kaduri was told by the Rebbe that he would live to see the coming of the Mashiach.
Earlier this Jewish year, Rabbi Kaduri predicted great tragedies in the world. Just two weeks before the devastating tsunami in southeast Asia, Rabbi Kaduri was quoted in the Yediot Acharonot newspaper as saying:
"We are now in the fourth year of what could be the seven-year Redemption period, according to the calculation of the Vilna Gaon. [However.] in the coming three years, uncertainty about the future will hang over our heads, unless we work and strive that the Mashiach be revealed.
The Mashiach is already in Israel. Whatever people are sure will not happen, is liable to happen, and whatever we are certain will happen may disappoint us. But in the end, there will be peace throughout the world. The world is mitmatek mehadinim (or becoming sweet from strict justice).
Great tragedies in the world are foreseen, that's the thing of the Jews going to the East. But our enemies will not prevail over us in the Land of Israel, 'fear and trembling will fall upon them,' in the power of Torah."
Rabbi Kaduri said in the week prior to the interview, "What can save the world from calamities is real repentance by Jews, who must increase acts of kindness towards one another... The cry of the many poor in Israel and the expulsion of Jews from their homes shakes the world... It's not for naught that this place was hit, where many of our compatriots went to look for this-worldly lusts."
The month of Elul, which immediately preceeds the Jewish New Year is traditionally a month of teshuva, or repentence by the Jewish people, in anticipation of the judgments that are incurred on the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Kaduri has told his students that the current government will be the last one of the "old era." He is on record as saying that Sharon will be the last prime minister in Israel, and that the new government will already have leadership of the Messianic era.
SHABBAT SHALOM FROM CYBERSPACE
SEPTEMBER 9-10, 2005 6 ELUL 5765
Entering our 11th year, with more than 13,000 and growing. Remember, if you have a list of friends who "might" be interested in reading the newsletter each week, please send us the names to add to the list. Participate in the incredible Misvah of spreading Torah. Please subscribe by writing to David@shabbat-shalom.com
Last week, my friend Michael Wagner forwarded an article suggesting a direct link between Katrina and the Gaza disengagement. My initial reaction was, “who are we to read G-d’s mind”. When I discussed it with Rabbi Abittan on Shabbat, I mentioned some parallels.
America's population is about 50 times Israel's. That would make the ten thousand Jews forced out of Gaza equivalent to the half million Americans displaced by Katrina.
Gaza is located along Israel's southern coast; the Gulf region is located along America's southern coast.
George Bush is from Texas, Condoleezza Rice is from Alabama. Both supported the Gaza evacuation. Hurricane Katrina struck the sates that are right between Texas and Alabama.
Many residents of Gaza climbed to their rooftops to escape the Israeli army; many residents of New Orleans climbed to their rooftops.
My feeling was and still is that although there may be parallels, it’s impossible to comment on a painting when you are inside it. One needs some separation to possibly interpret a situation and sometimes we never understand what or why in a single lifetime.
As I was driving home yesterday, I was amazed at what I heard from Dave Ross, a nationally syndicated talk show host with a daily report on CBS radio. He pointed out each of the above parallels and then ridiculed the connection.
And although repeatedly quoted out of context, Hacham Ovadia Yosef, did mention during his weekly class on Tuesday., that the storm was God's retribution. God does not shortchange anyone.
But it is American preachers who are really stressing the connection. A North Carolina pastor has expressed his concern for the future of the United States should the Bush Administration insist on the implementation of the “Road Map.” In comments made after witnessing the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last week, Jesse Stines of the Blue Ridge Mountain Church in Elk Park, NC warned that America’s insistence on the implementation of its land-for-peace plan could see worse disasters hit the US.
Stines, a staunch supporter of Israel who has visited the Jewish state almost every year since 1981, said since the institution of the Road Map and the announcement of the planned “disengagement” he had been “preaching everywhere – warning the people” that this policy would see “the wrath of God released upon our nation.”
Rabbi Joseph Garlitzky, of Chabad’s Tel Aviv synagogue stated: "We don't have prophets who can tell us exactly what are God's ways, but when we see something so enormous as Katrina, I would say [President] Bush and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice need to make an accounting of their actions, because something was done wrong by America in a big way. And here there are many obvious connections between the storm and the Gaza evacuation, which came right on top of each other. "
I think that my friend Michael put it best in a quick reply to me last Friday when he said, “ I keep thinking how Rabbi Abittan always says that America is blessed because it has never officially discriminated again Jews.
People justify the disengagement for all sorts of reasons, but this much is clear: Whatever the reason, Jewish communities were destroyed, and Jews were made refugees. Ethnic cleansing. This operation was ordered by the US State Department, as Sharon himself has said.
America in its history has had an ambivalent relationship with the State of Israel. We've pushed away with the left hand even as we've brought close with the right. But I cannot recall America ordering the destruction of Jewish communities on such a scale before.
Finding a direct connection between Gaza and New Orleans may be speculative. The connection between America's well being and its behavior toward Jews is not.
Responding to reports of an official investigation against the Shulhan Arukh (Jewish Law Code) in Russia, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said the Knesset will show "zero tolerance" for anti-Semitism. 6/27/05
The Moscow State Prosecutor has ordered an investigation into possible anti-Russian and racist material in the famous and authoritative Jewish Law Code. The work was authored nearly 500 years ago by famed Rabbis Yosef Karo and Moshe Isserles, and is the fundamental binding religious law code for both Asheknazi and Sephardic Jews.
The Moscow prosecutor ordered the investigation after 500 public figures signed a letter urging outlawing of Judaism and all Jewish organizations operating in Russia. Prosecution attorneys last week questioned Rabbi Zinovy Kogan, chairman of the Congress of Jewish Organizations, about the contents of the law code, especially regarding its attitude toward non-Jews.
Jerusalem sources following the affair, Haaretz reported, said this was the first time since Stalin's regime that Russian officials have described holy Jewish scriptures as "prohibited incitement." The affair has been covered widely by the Russian news media, and has elicited sharp reactions from Jewish organizations there. Russia has seen a rise of late in anti-Semitic incidents.
"We are aware of official condemnations in Russia, including by both houses of parliament, against this sharply anti-Semitic invective," Rivlin told the Knesset today, "but condemnations - thus it seems once again - are not enough. I am convinced that all MKs join me in my hope that these reports are fundamentally mistaken and that no official source in the democratic Russia of 2005 is involved in a new blood libel against the Jewish People."
"Anti-Semitism is, first and foremost, a malignant disease that damages the society in which it develops," Rivlin said. "Democracies that fear to defend themselves, democracies that fear to stop those who abuse the freedoms that they provide, democracies that show forbearance for fascism, racism and anti-Semitism - will not last."
Rivlin added that the Foreign Ministry has demanded clarifications from Russia on the matter.
Marlins Win at Jewish Heritage Day Baseball Event - 5/29/05
Yesterday was Jewish Heritage Day at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, and for probably the first time in baseball history, Israel's national anthem was sung at a major league baseball game.
The event brought together the entire Jewish community of southern Florida in support of Jewish day school education, the World Champion Florida Marlins baseball team, kosher food, Jewish music - and a game between the New York Mets and Marlins.
The Marlins won, 6-3, ending a four-game losing streak.
Sixteen Jewish schools in southern Florida took part in the special event, as well as Tekiah Orchestras (which played Jewish music at Gate G West Stage), Dov Levine (who sang The Star Spangled Banner and HaTikvah), and American and Israeli flags.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Mr. Gene Greenzweig, who served for 24 years as the Executive Director of the Central Agency for Jewish Education. Kosher food including pizza, falafel, hot dogs, and Chinese cuisine was served in several areas of the stadium during the game.
Tickets sold through the Jewish Heritage Day Foundation helped raise much-needed funds for the 16 participating local Jewish day schools from Miami to West Palm Beach.
PA Perpetuates Myth on "Catastrophe Day"
Palestinian Authority Arabs are commemorating Catastrophe Day today: the establishment of the State of Israel. They vow not to forget their "national identity," which many experts say never existed.
The Arabs commemorate Catastrophe Day, known in Arabic as the Nakba, on the anniversary of the event that led to the establishment of the State of Israel. The British mandate ended on Saturday, May 15, 1948, and in order not to clash with the Sabbath, David Ben-Gurion convened the Jewish provisional government the day before to declare the new state.
The Nakba commemorations began at noon today with a minute-long siren wailing throughout the PA areas, reminiscent of Israel's Holocaust Day and Memorial Day sirens of the past two weeks. The theme of this year's commemorations: the refugees of 1948 and their assumed "Right of Return" to the Land of Israel.
"We will never forget our identity and we won't forget the refugees," PA chief Mahmoud Abbas' said today in a speech from Tokyo, Japan, where he is beginning a three-day visit. "We have a homeland called Palestine that belongs to our forefathers... Today is the day of the crime of the expulsion of our nation all over the world."
In fact, however, Palestinian "identity," "homeland," and "expulsion" are all concepts that have little basis in fact. The name "Palestinian" referred to Jews before 1948, the Land of Israel was historically a homeland only to Jews, and the Arabs who left Israel in 1948 did so, generally, at the behest of Arab countries, not Israel.
Palestinian Arab nationalist claims have often been called nothing more than a myth, and, as Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby has written, "They have repeated it so often and so loudly that much of the world has come to believe it." Jacoby sums up:
"The truth is that there was never an Arab country of Palestine and that Palestinian Arabs were never a nation. The truth is that Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab state or province. The truth is that in all of recorded history, only one people has ever made Palestine west of the Jordan a sovereign nation-state with Jerusalem as its capital: the Jews. So closely was Palestine associated with Jews, in fact, that in the years before Israel's birth, those who spoke of "Palestinians" were usually referring to the region's Jewish residents. Arab leaders rejected the notion of a unique Palestinian Arab identity, insisting that Palestine was merely a part of "Greater Syria." Not that they saw Palestine as much of a prize in any case. Until the Zionist enterprise got underway, Palestine was stagnant and mostly barren. Its Arab population was small and declining. With Jewish development, however, came economic opportunity and better living conditions, which, in turn, attracted huge numbers of Arab immigrants from beyond Palestine's borders.
"Yet, if the Arabs didn't consider themselves Palestinians, they nevertheless ended up with most of Palestine... Three-fourths of historic Palestine is sovereign Arab territory, and has been barred to Jews for 80 years. Arabs displaced by war from one part of Palestine have always had the rest of Palestine to resettle in - if only their Arab brethren would permit it.
"The Arab myth of an ancient homeland stolen by Jews is dramatic and affecting, but it is still a myth. The Jews, meanwhile - the real Palestinians - try to live on just the sliver of land that lies between the river and the sea. Yet even that is too much for their neighbors, who cannot abide a Jewish state of any size. On the day it was born, they tried to wipe it out. They have been trying ever since."
In "From Time Immemorial," author Joan Peters similarly shows that the concept of an Arab Palestinian people is a myth and that Jews did not displace Arabs here. She writes (p. 168-9), "The peoples who roamed the country in the 19th century were not... indigenous to the land. They did not stay on the land. Of the sparse population who were later counted as 'original' settled 'Arabs' in the 19th century when the arriving Jewish immigrants united with the native Palestinian Jewish population, many were in fact imported Muslim peoples from Turkey and other lands... Kurds, Turcomans, Naim, and other colonists arrived in Palestine around the same time as the Jewish immigration wave began. 18,000 'tents' of Tartars, the 'armies of Turks and Kurds,' whole villages settled in the 19th century of Bosnians and Moors and 'Circassians' and 'Algerians' and Egyptians, etc. - all were continually brought in to people the land called Palestine."
The Removal of the Arab Inhabitants Was Voluntary
Peters also quotes (p. 13) a research report by the Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut finding that "the majority" of the Arab refugees in 1948 were not expelled, and that 68% left without seeing an Israeli soldier. On April 27, 1950, the Arab National Committee of Haifa stated in a memorandum to the Arab States: "The removal of the Arab inhabitants... was voluntary and was carried out at our request... The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries."
Speaking from Tokyo today, Abbas also said that the presence of the refugees in their current locations is "temporary," and that the PA "rejects all ideas of housing the refugees in their current locations... [Until a permanent solution is found], we hope that their present living conditions will be improved."
Arab Countries Perpetuate Refugee Camps
PA statistics show that 42% of the 3.76 million Arabs in the PA areas are "refugees," living in 27 refugee camps. Another 59 such camps exist in other Arab nations, with 900,000 people in camps in Lebanon and Syria. Israel has long criticized the Arab host-countries and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for perpetuating the camps and their sub-human conditions, instead of finding permanent homes for the residents. "UNRWA remains the only refugee agency in the world whose apparent purpose is to perpetrate the status of refugees as refugees," wrote John Hagee for WorldNetDaily. "There is no intention of solving the problem, only creating perpetual suffering for the world media to criticize Israel for its abuse of the poor Palestinians."
Zuheir Muhsein, the late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council, told the Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977, "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity... Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people... to oppose Zionism." Click here for other similar quotes.
Forbes: Israeli Web Site "Best Innovation in Years"
The prestigious Forbes magazine has termed Israeli startup GuruNet "the best Internet innovation in years."
The company's software enables users to click on any word on their screen - whether in an e-mail, Word document, or even PDF file - to receive an instant pop-up box full of relevant information.
For example, clicking on the word “Intel” - or typing it in - turns up a single page with a brief company history including pictures of the founders, a company profile, annual sales, employees, office phone numbers, executive's names, stock charts and recent news.
"I defy you to go to Intel's own website and find all that information within five minutes," Robert Rosenschein, chief executive of GuruNet told Forbes magazine.
The company is expected to announce an agreement with search-engine Google, which started directing traffic toward GuruNet's answers.com last week.
"Let me just come right out and say it. Answers.com is the most useful, smartest, coolest, easiest-to-use Web innovation to come around in years," Forbes Senior Editor Lisa DiCarlo concludes.
GuruNet's Research-and-Development office is located in Jerusalem Technology Park, Jerusalem.
Abbas' words sound like Arafat's - Charles Krauthammer
Has no one learned anything? On Sept. 13, 1993, I was on the White House lawn watching the signing of the Oslo accords. I also watched the intellectual collapse of the entire Middle East intelligentsia - journalists, politicians, "experts" - as they swooned at the famous handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin and refused to recognize what was obvious: that Arafat was embarking on the next stage of his perpetual war against Israel. Why was this so obvious? Because Arafat said so - that very night (in an Arabic broadcast to his own people on Jordanian television) and many times afterward. The Middle East experts refused to believe it. They did not want to hear it. Thousands of dead later, they now believe it. The more honest ones among them even admit they were wrong.
Now Arafat is dead, Mahmoud Abbas is poised to succeed him, and the world is swooning again. Abbas, we are told, is the great hope, the moderate. The peacemaker cometh. Once again, euphoria is in the air. Once again, no one wants to listen. How has President-to-be Abbas been campaigning?
Dec. 30: Abbas is hoisted on the shoulders of Zakaria Zbeida, a notorious and wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist. Abbas declares that he will protect all terrorists from Israel.
Dec. 31: Abbas reiterates his undying loyalty to Arafat's maximalist demands: complete Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines, Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and - the red-flag deal-breaker - the right of return.
Jan. 1: Abbas declares that he will never crack down on Palestinian terrorism.
Jan. 4: Abbas calls Israel "the Zionist enemy."
What of Abbas' vaunted opposition to violence? On Jan. 1, he tells Hamas terrorists firing rockets that maim and kill Jewish villagers within Israel, "This is not the time for this kind of act." This is an interesting "renunciation" of terrorism: Not today, boys; perhaps later.
Some of the American and Israeli responses to Abbas are enough to make you weep. Spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Israel: "We don't think it is useful to focus on every statement by every official; what's important is the process." Official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office: "Words don't count in the Middle East; what counts are actions." Have we learned nothing? In the Middle East, words are actions.
During the decade of Oslo, Arafat's every statement of hatred, incitement and glorification of violence was similarly waved away. Then bombs began going off in cafes and buses, and the Middle East wise men realized he meant it all along. Now once again they are telling us to ignore the words. Abbas does not really mean it. Believe us.
Does Abbas mean the things he says about Israel now? I do not know, and no matter what you hear from the experts, neither do they.
But we do know this. In Abbas' first moment of real leadership, his long-anticipated emergence from the shadow of Arafat, he chooses literally to hoist the flag of the terrorist al-Aqsa Brigades.
Can Abbas turn into an Anwar Sadat, who also emerged from the shadow of a charismatic leader, reversed policy and made peace with Israel? I'll believe it when I see it. And hear it.
Chanukah may be over, but this video is so very special.
Please go to the site & view it.
May God bless the United States of America and the President.
And may we continue to enjoy the precious freedom to enjoy Jewish life as symbolized by the lights of Chanukah.
'If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
'His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.
'The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.
'The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal, but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?'
-- Mark Twain, "Concerning the Jews,"
Harper's Magazine, 1897
Communique: 11 November 2004 YASSIR ARAFAT: 1929-2004
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
With the death of Yassir Arafat, media outlets are releasing a torrent of information on his life and times. While some reports are accurate, others distort the historical record.
To enable subscribers to respond effectively at this time, HonestReporting has produced two original works:
1) A one-minute online film: Arafat's Legacy
Please view the film, then forward the link to friends, family, local media outlets, and community leaders.
2) A detailed biography of Arafat's life, chronicling his corruption and terror activities ― with a wealth of links to online sources.
You are encouraged to use this biography to respond to distortions of Arafat's legacy in your local media outlets.
Observers are well aware that Yassir Arafat's passing could mark a significant watershed in Israeli-Palestinian relations. A key to moving forward is the acknowledgement that Arafat's violent and dictatorial methods were responsible for crippling the peace process. An accurate representation of his legacy, therefore, is the first step to a more hopeful future.
NEW SYNAGOGUE GROUNDBREAKING MARKS 66TH KRISTALLNACHT ANNIVERSARY - November 10th
Last night and today mark the 66th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night of broken windows, fire and looting in which thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses throughout Germany and Austria were destroyed. A total of 101 synagogues were destroyed on this date in 1938, in what later was seen to be just a harbinger of the Holocaust to come. Over 150 more were partially burned, almost 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, and 26,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Among the Jews physically attacked and beaten, 91 were killed.