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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Getting Encouragement From the Past on this Day of Destruction

Unfortunately, today, as I type, the community of Amona is being destroyed. The Israeli Judicial System adds another award of injustice to its already overflowing trophy case. We can only fervently beseech The Almighty and pray, "Return our judges as in the days of yore!"

We are, as it is written, a stiff-necked people, especially when it comes to Torah and Mitzvot. Settling the land of Israel is a mitzvah. This setback just means that we will redouble our efforts, receiving encouragement from the words of the prophet:

Thus saith the Lord GOD: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be builded. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say: This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD have builded the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate; I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD: I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed seasons, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the LORD.'
We can also receive much encouragement from recent history. I invite you to view this clip. See how setbacks, even an incredibly awful one, can be followed by a great victory:

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Price of Hubris

There are many lessons to be learned from the US Presidential Elections. One of them is that hubris is a bad trait. Check out this clip. These people were so sure of themselves! Now their excessive self-confidence has been recorded for posterity.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Elor Azaria Verdict

Any and every society has to have a judicial system. It is even one of the Seven Noahide Commandments. A nation without a strong judicial system and a strong government is in big trouble:
Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive.
Unfortunately, sometimes the judicial system can be corrupted. Here in Israel, one cannot help but feel that the verdict of "guilty" in Elor Azaria's manslaughter case was a miscarriage of justice. As Education Minister Naftali Bennett noted:
“We need to say the truth. The trial was corrupted from the outset,” continued Bennett. “The harsh comments by political leaders even before the opening of the army’s investigation, the removal of the soldier himself from the investigation process, the critical media coverage surrounding the case (including Army Radio) caused Elor irreparable harm.”
The verdict was based on fake morality, as one would expect from judges that lack the fear of God. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat had this to say about the verdict:
Judge Maya Heller and her colleagues must console themselves by saying that they at least acted according to their consciousness and morality when they see the chaos they have brought to the IDF.

Well, you should know that their verdict is, first and foremost, immoral, even if the judge read it for two and a half hours.

There is no morality in having mercy on enemies who come to kill our soldiers. There is no morality in breaking the spirits of the soldiers who risk their lives to protect us. How is it moral to give strength to a cruel and merciless enemy when there is nothing between us and ISIS except the strength of the IDF alone?

The Sages of Israel, who were a little bit smarter than you, said about morality and the excesses of self-righteousness: 'The great humility of Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkolos destroyed our home, burned our Temple, and exiled us from our land. The great humility which a rabbinic authority took upon himself in the middle of a battle against a foreign enemy caused the destruction of the nation and an exile which lasted thousands of years, the crucifixion of hundreds of thousands of Jews by Rome and the rape of hundreds of thousands of women. The Jews became prey for other peoples, being killed and robbed, for generations. Our Sages were wise men and all raised their objections to Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkolos, asking him to see the big picture as one might expect from a man of his status.

On this matter is is possible to say to Judge Maya Heller that her morality has broken the spirit of the soldiers. The heads of our attackers have been raised and the spirit of our enemies has been strengthened. There is no morality in a judgment which gives impetus to those who send boys and girls with numbers and knives. There is no morality in strengthening the killers and terrorists. There is no morality or self-righteousness which rests on the backs of the soldiers. They is no morality in trying to beautify hate. In the eyes of Ra'ed Saleh and his followers we all bake matzot with the blood of Palestinian Arab children. All of us. Even you, Judge Heller.

I pray that Elor will be pardoned for his "crime". He and his family have suffered enough. And may God return our judges as in the days of yore.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Aly Raisman Disappoints

Oy Vey!:
Five months after agreeing to go on a date with tight end Colton Underwood, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has let the cat out of the bag and revealed they are officially a couple!

The two walked the red carpet on Monday night at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony 2016 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn, New York.

Gevalt!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Donald Trump, Vulgarity and Intermarriage

This year's U.S. presidential elections and its aftermath have been interesting, and that is an understatement. It was an incredible upset, probably even more startling than the 1969 Miracle Mets. I just saw something over at Rabbi Pruzansky's Blog, which I had thought of myself:
Whatever offensive things he has said are actually tame compared to the lyrics of rap, the ranting of bad comedians, and what the tawdry culture celebrates. We should remember that New Yorkers first got to know Donald Trump as a real estate developer, but much of the rest of the country became familiar with him as an entertainer. This is the culture. What so many of his critics loathe in Trump is, perhaps, what they should loathe about American society but they don’t. They are just looking in the mirror and don’t like what they see.
And here is another worthy quote from the rabbi's post:
Perhaps it is worth mentioning a cartoon that has made the rounds in the last week, with the caption: “The difference between Donald Trump and most leftist American Jews is that Trump has Jewish grandchildren.” If only these groups would realize that intermarriage is the most serious crisis facing them today, and compared to that, politics is beanbag.
Mr. Trump seems to be just the right man to lead America in this generation. I wish him much success.
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