16 June 2007

Help from Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

As I was struggling on Friday afternoon to explain why a Shomer Mitzvahs and Shomer Torah Jew should be Prime Minister of Israel, on Shabbos I found this commentary in sefer Vedibarta Bam. This sefer is made available online at Sichos In English.

"G-d said to Moshe, 'Bring back the staff of Aharon before the holy Ark as a safekeeping.' " (17:25)

QUESTION: Aharon's staff that bloomed was placed in front of the holy Ark together with a flask of manna (Shemot 16:33). When the Ark was hidden, so was the jar of manna and Aharon's staff (Yoma 52b). What is the connection between the Ark, the staff, and the manna?

ANSWER: The Ark represents Torah. In it were the Tablets and the sefer Torah written by Moshe (Bava Batra 14a). Aharon's staff symbolizes the human craving for peace. Aharon was the ultimate peace lover, and through his staff Korach's rebellion was put to rest. Manna, which was the source of sufficient nourishment for all, on the other hand, represents economic security. Thus, the storing of manna and the staff near the Ark conveys the message that the staff of Aharon and the jar of manna go together with the Ark of Hashem; there can be no economic security or enduring peace in the world without the moral and ethical standards of the Torah.
When the Ark is "lost" — when its sacred influence is eliminated from the arena of life — the staff of Aharon and the jar of manna and all that they represent, disappear. All deliberations and plans for economic security and enduring peace come to naught because they are neither enshrined in the Ark, representing Torah, nor guided by the teachings of the Tablets contained therein.

As we can see the Torah teaches us that there can be "no economic security or enduring peace" without the Torah's ethics. There can never be a "morality" without the word of G-d.

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What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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