Can thin skinned be excused for ahavas Yisroel? Can the national interests of the State of Israel be confused with causing hatred amongst Jews? Is the accusation itself a form of anti-Jewism? INN ran THIS STORY: American Jews Take Issue with 'Come Home' Campaign describing the angst of the The Jewish Federations of North America; unhappy that the State of Israel is trying to bring home ex-patriots - those who have descended from Israel (yireda) back to Israel. I thought that we, as Jews - lovers of Israel, supporters of Jewish ownership of the land and concerned for its well-being - were supposed to be upset when Israel's national interests were struck from the outside?
That is only true, of course when the issue is secular. Jewish Federations (sounds like an organized labor movement, no?) are held hostage to Identity Jews, those lacking in yiras Shomayim, married to the culture of Edom - and well off. The money flowing in to and its counter threat to be withheld (even a perceived and not real threat) determine the positions taken by The Jewish Federations of North America not what is in the interests of Torah or Israel.
Even worse is the contradictory nature of the culture of The Jewish Federations of North America. Millions of dollars are contributed every year to the Jewish Federations for the purpose of advocating for and educating about the importance of Israel. Teens and others are sent on free exploration style trips or junkets to learn about the land and build attachments. Yet for Israelis living abroad - living in North America, its different. One the one hand, organized efforts are made to advocate for building connections to Israel, on the other hand and to the contrary - opposing the efforts of that very same nation to reach out to its home born overseas.
This quote tells the story
"We fear this campaign will only backfire, and rather than simply bringing Israelis back, will alienate and divide Diaspora Jews from Israel. Rather than playing Israeli Jews against American Jews, we should be seeking to reinforce our shared love of Zion and to build the bonds of Jewish people hood worldwide." What they are saying is that we don't want our donors to see the truth of living in exile. We are concerned that upon realizing that Chanukah Bushes and children knowing more about the other cultures in which they inter-mingle than their own - one in their eyes which is backward, repressive, anti-woman, racist and overall inferior to the wonders provided by the "modern" world will be offensive and result in a loss of donations (HaShem yirachem). After all Jewish Federations represent all Jews - even those who need the most Jewish - (read Torah) influence, education and enlightenment. We don't want to offend anyone - even at the risk of mis-representing what our our holy Torah teaches us and what our tradition demonstrates for us. The children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov have a unique culture and law. It is not to be held hostage to The Jewish Federations of North America and their kowtow to its donor base.
In this weeks parashah Vayeitzei, Yaakov is sent away by his parents - away from the hatred of his "brother" Eisav and to find a wife. As he lay down to sleep, he protects his head with a set of stones. In one of my favorite Torah commentaries Vedibarta Bam, Rabbi Bogomilsky quotes Rashi explaining the rocks are to protect Yaakov from "wild animals". He then brings this gem "Yaakov knew that in the world at large there are many forces that are alien to Torah and mitzvot and hostile to the religious Jew. These forces influence the mind of the Jew and try to persuade him to leave the path of Torah. Therefore, Yaakov made a great effort to protect his "head," to prevent negative influences from interfering with his yiddishkeit." Further Rabbi Bogomilsky brings another explanation:
"He took of the stones of the place, and he placed them around (under) his head, and lay down in that place to sleep." (28:11)
QUESTION: Why did Yaakov rest his head on a stone?
ANSWER: The Gemara (Bava Kamma 30a) says: "He who wants to be a chassid should observe the laws of nezikin — damages" (being careful not to hurt anyone or damage property). Rava says that he should follow the teachings of Avot (Book of Ethics), and others say that he should be observant in the laws of berachot (recognizing the supremacy of Hashem and thanking Him for everything). The word "even" — "stone" — is an acronym for "avot, berachot, nezikin."
As Yaakov was preparing to enter the "outside world," his first resolution was to be a chassid. The placing of the placing of these three stones as the guidepost for his "head," was, as though to say, that his thoughts would always be directed to exceling in these three matters.
The three stones united to emphasize that each approach is equally important and that through these three things one can make the world a "beit Elokim" — a "house of G-d."
It may also be said that "berachot" — recognizing the supremacy of Hashem and thanking Him for everything — is an allusion to the relationship between man and Hashem. Being careful not to hurt or injure a fellow man, "nezikin," represents inter-human relationships. To be exemplary, one must conduct himself within these two realms, in accordance with the guidelines and teachings conveyed by "avot" — our ancestors.
To answer the criticism that my opinion is too negative, note the above paragraph. We must balance our approach to our relationships with fellow Jews (and all mankind) with recognition of Hashem's supremacy and the lessons of our Avos - whose actions lead us still. And to fend off "wild animals", one needs to live within fences.
In other words, the actions to oppose Israel's interests in bringing back Israelis to Eretz HaKodesh by the Jewish Federations is contrary to the needs and interests of the Jewish people and is being espoused for the wrong reasons.
Israel Matzav posts the videos of the advertising campaign
And here is the contrary view: Israeli ad campaign suggests Israelis shouldn’t date Americans (VIDEO). What this article sarcastically points out is an all true phenomenon that many an observer of the Jewish world can point towards as the best reason why the Israeli absorption effort is needed. I have known far more Israelis than I care to remember - who came here for "a short time" to "make some money" or "learn a professional" with the goal of returning to Israel later. Most of them become very comfortable in America and decide "for their family's ie. children" to stay in America. Really? For the children? They have learned from the politics of America how any policy choice can be advocated - its for the children. The same justification of the Jewish Federations to fund Israel programs... I'm confused.
02 December 2011
20 May 2011
To my most holy Jewish brethren - those who still worship at the feet of the idol O'Ba'alma and who drink from the bitter waters flowing from Jstreet, the time has come for you to do teshuva, if you still can.
Yesterday, in what must have a been like removing a load of bricks off his back, (not to be confused with the fallen ruins of the Twin Towers), the president of the United States of America shrugged off national interest and the hard and painful lessons learned from history in favor of his latent anti-Jewism, born of his early-years Medrassa education. How much of a relief it must have been for him to express his real inner feelings of despise for the lives of the Jewish people in the land of Israel?
Perhaps due to the frustration of having wasted two full years of solitary liberal rule in DC, the emir in chief has finally decided to "be himself" and express his true intentions. Israel, he told us must be reduced to the size it once was when former Ambassador Abba Eban coined the phrase, "the Auschwitz lines".
Since yesterday afternoon's Obamaism, many pundits have made reference to the 1967 "lines" where both friend and foe of the Jewish people have not justly explained what this means. On the surface, it merely means the pre-Six Day war line separating arabians and Jews. What it really means is the 1949 armistice line - the line separating between the Jewish army and the retreating arabian armies who attacked Israel immediately following Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. The "green-line" as it was known became the Berlin wall of the middle east - demarcating not between freedom and tyranny as in Europe but between civilization and barbarism. So in reality Obama the terrible is calling for re-do, back to 1949, back to the Auschwitz line, back to the time before the humiliating defeat of the arabian armies at the hands of the descendants of monkeys and pigs. Sultan Hussein Obama's inner muslim is on display.
The next few days should be interesting to say the least. This Shmuly Boteach story kinda says it all. Obama will arrogantly speak at AIPAC and tell the Jews and supporters of Israel, that his recommendations are in Israel's best interests and that America's support for Israel is unshakable - just like he said in his Middle East speech on Thursday.
So let's backtrack a little to yesterday and look at just one paragraph of Obama's speech:
For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them. For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own. Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people.
We could really hours on every word, every innuendo, every inflection, etc. But with better things to do, lets be brief. In the eye's of the president, the conflict is about death to the Jews vs. humiliation. Plain and simple it is what Obama said. I don't know that many Israelis that are constantly worried about buses blowing up or a rocket falling on their home - not to belittle these things are say they are not serious. But they are not worries. What does worry Israelis is having the carpet, (a prayer carpet, perhaps) pulled out from underneath them the way Obama did yesterday. What worries Israelis is the possibility of a major regional war with missiles flying in from Iran along with a newly muslimized Egyptian army attacking from, not in, the Sinai joined with a Syrian-Hizbollah offensive in the north. That is a worry. The pali-terrorists are a thorn in the side in comparison.
To equate the two ideas of death to the Jews and humiliation is of course, a demonstration of how little Jewish blood must be valued by the president. And as to the idea that the poor palis have never had a nation of their own, well who is to blame here? I wonder if Obama expressed this same concern to the little King Abdullah II who rules as a minority tribal sultan over millions of "palis" living on the east bank of the Jordan river? I wonder if Abdullah, in the midst of protests in Jordan, feels any safer today? One could argue of course that no arab living in an arabian land today has a country of his own unless he is prince or of royal ancestry. In those lands where an Emir or King or Prince or even Colonel or someone acting like one without the title rules, is the country really theirs? Where tyranny rules, one cannot be free. And where arabians rule, freedom is stifled and only those in power or support those in power can claim any form of ownership.
What is the nature of this statement by Prince Hussein Obama: "Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people". Is he saying that the US and arabians are suffering diplomatically and strategically because of "the conflict"? Really? Is peace in the middle east contingent upon the palis building a thug-terror state in Judea and Samaria? He could mean something else but knowing the president and his historically cold view of Israel which is well-documented on this blog and other places, it is a fair assumption to read between the lines and expect the least from Obama's intentions.
When PM Netanyahu speaks to the Obama today, what will he say? More importantly, when Bibi speaks to the joint session of Congress on Monday, what will he say. If I were Obama, I would be very careful how I treat Netanyahu today and with what I say at AIPAC. Netanyahu may not be the perfect Israeli Prime Minister but I would not want anyone else speaking at AIPAC and more importantly before the Congress of the United States of America. My hope is that Bibi will clearly state before Congress that Israel is under no more moral or legal compulsion to negotiate with the terrorist thugs of a party which honors and trusts Hamas as an equal party than the US has a moral need to negotiate with al-Qaeda. Any party which routinely calls for the destruction of Israel and cannot even draw a map where Israel can be found is no partner for peace - only a partner for war. My hope is that strongly and unequivocally states "Jerusalem is not for sale" while calling upon the US to once and for all move the embassy to Jerusalem, not because it is Israel's capital but because it is Hakadosh Baruch Hu's capital.
See Ketzaleh's speech he wishes PM Netanyahu would deliver.
What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.
(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."