Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rabbis to US Ambassador: Biblical Solution the ONLY Solution for Israel


I love this! FINALLY SOMEONE SAID IT!!! If you follow what G-d says, if you follow the BIBLE, if you pay attention to the scriptures, you can’t possibly think the pretend “palestinian” people have anything resembling “rights” to our land.

The true path to peace is in the Word of G-d, not in the lies of diplomats and politicians.

I just wish that the rabbis had answered the ambassador's question a bit differently. When he asked, "So what is your solution to the problem?"

They should have answered, "It is not our solution, it is G-ds!"

In Bamidbar 33:53, Hashm says:


Rabbis to US Ambassador: Time to 'Go Biblical' with Arabs
by Gil Ronen

( A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel.

"The past 17 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that every square inch ceded by Israel to the Palestinians was transformed into a platform of hatred and terrorism," RCP Director Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin told the ambassador. "In other words, the 'land for peace' formula in the Israel-Palestinian context, besides being a formula that goes against the Divine will, is ineffective, obsolete, and an exercise in futility. Most of all it is a dangerous policy that only leads to bloodshed and instability in the region and harms vital American interests in the region as well," Lewin said.

'Land for peace doesn't work'
The delegation was headed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, who is also the Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv where the US embassy is located. Rabbi Gerlitzky presented the ambassador with the Halachic (Jewish legal) ruling signed by over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel that it is forbidden to give up even one inch of territory controlled by Israel today because it will bring bloodshed and instability to the region.

"In the name of the overwhelming majority of rabbis in Israel," he said, "we request of you Mr. Ambassador, to convey our Halachic message to President Barack Obama that it is time for a complete reversal and reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The 'land for peace' policy never worked and harms U.S. interests in the region and the world at large."

The Rabbis handed the ambassador a Halachic Ruling signed by over 350 rabbis in Israel that forbids giving up land controlled by Israel today.

The ambassador was visibly moved by Rabbi Sholom Gold, a leading rabbi in Jerusalem, who described the suffering that the Jewish People have endured ever since the implementation of the Oslo Accords and the agreements that followed. "It's all a play of words, there is no peace process," he said. "From the day that we started conceding and withdrawing we did not have one day of rest and peace. Why should our enemies want to make peace with us when they see that with terrorism they get what they want? Even the U.S., Israel's supposedly best friend, sides with them in demanding a freeze and evacuation of settlements. Is the triumph of Arab terror one of American interests?" Gold asked.

Going Biblical
"Who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment."

Rabbi Dov Lior, the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, said: "G-d gave the US the power and influence to affect the rest of the world and supporting Israel is the key to America's success."

Ambassador Cunningham told the rabbis that he does not see how the problem can be solved “without taking into consideration the Palestinians,” to which Rabbi Gold remarked: "Ever since we started taking the Palestinians into consideration the situation only worsened."

The ambassador asked the rabbis, "So what is your solution to the problem?"

Rabbi Gerlitzky replied: "You must switch the entire approach to the situation. We all believe in the Holy Bible and up until now we tried every formula except for that which is delineated in the Bible. Let's try it and who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment, that G-d Almighty has placed you in this capacity in order to precipitate a new course which will bring a true peace to the entire region."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hundreds of Greek Christians Stand in Solidarity With Greek Jews Against Neo-Nazi Attacks


I was touched by this simple, beautiful, and very human extension of support and kindness between two strong groups of faith.

Deeply religious people, no matter their creed, understand the significance of the sanctification of G-d, and the dignity of Human life.

Those without G-d, or those who have twisted G-d's image into something that represents hatred and evil, cannot comprehend the significance of a religious artifact, a religious holiday, or a sacred space.

There is no agenda here beside that of one group of religious people supporting another group of religious people against the evil actions of neo-nazi thugs.

G-d bless them.

Christians Rally to Support Greek Jews
by Hana Levi Julian

( A week before what is arguably the most lucrative and religiously important event in the Christian calendar, hundreds of Christians in a small Greek town turned out in the winter cold to express support for their Jewish neighbors.

Joining hands in a “human chain against racism and violence,” Christians in the small northwestern Greek city of Ioannina, surrounded the city’s Jewish cemetery to protest repeated acts of neo-Nazi vandalism there. In the past 12 months Ioannina, not far from the Albanian border, has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents perpetrated in the Jewish cemetery by neo-Nazis in town – a trend the protest organizers decided was intolerable.

'Duty of Every Citizen'
“The Jewish cemetery is not only the religious space of the Jewish community but also a cultural monument of our city, the protection of which, like other historic monuments of our city, is the duty of every citizen… Let the world know that we value our Jewish presence, one of the oldest in Greece, and will not allow callous, hateful acts to define us as a community or as a people,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

“Letters and emails of anguish, hurt and recrimination” were sent to local and national Greek authorities over the incidents, said Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, president of the Association of Friends of Greek Jewry and director of the Kehila Kedosha Janina Museum. “Our intention was to bring to worldwide awareness what had happened.”

That appeals succeeded brought immense joy to the community, she said. “Our pleas did not fall on deaf ears… What then can be more emotionally rewarding than to pass on the news of a recent mass demonstration against anti-Semitism?” Ikonomopoulos commented.

Many of those who showed up for the demonstration held public office, she noted. Organizers stressed that politics was not the issue, and public officials were not identified by their political parties. “All major parties were represented,” she noted. “Let us all applaud the good citizens of Ioannina who organized and took part in this historic event.”

Ancient Jewish Community Dates Back to Second Temple
The Jewish presence in the small Greek town goes back thousands of years, to the destruction of the Second Temple, according to the Kehila Kedosha Janina Museum web site. Those who lived in the city were Greek-speaking Jews who had absorbed the Hellenistic culture of the time.

The community was not a wealthy one; sons succeeded their fathers in their trades, and daughters married and became wives and mothers. If they worked at all, it was in the professions deemed acceptable for the women of the time, such as seamstresses. Education ended at high school or even earlier.

Approximately 2,000 Jews lived in Ioannina at the beginning of World War II, but it came under direct German control in September 1943. The Nazis, on Greek Independence Day just before Passover in March 1944, rounded up the community's Jews and deported them to Auschwitz-Birkenau, almost all of whom were murdered.

Their names are engraved in stone on the walls of the community’s synagogue.

Iraq's "Restoration" of Tomb of Ezekiel Destroys All Connection To Jewish Roots, Replaces Jewish Holy Spot with Mosque


You had better be sure that Obama and his administration know about this abomination, and they have signed off on it.

I don't believe there is one thing going on in Iraq that the US government doesn't know about and hasn't approved.

Where do you think the Iraqi government has gotten the money for such a project? Obviously, the American people are paying for the Islamic rape of this Jewish site.

I would say, "Turn to your congressman and senator" about this, but I am so discouraged by anything coming out of that cavity of courage, that cestpool of citizenship, that I fear such an action is practically useless.

Perhaps turning to AIPAC, to the ADL, to the JDL is the right action right now. Maybe if we can convince our elected idiots that this is important to the Jewish people, and that it could cost them some campaign cash, they will wake up and smell the Baklava.

Meanwhile, I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach.


Islamists Erase Jewish Identity from Ezekiel's Tomb in Iraq

By Shelomo Alfassa


NEW YORK (December 29, 2009) - The Iraqi news agency Ur News has revived fears that under pressure from Islamic political parties, the original Hebrew inscriptions and ornamentation on the walls around the tomb of Ezekiel are being (or have been) removed, this under the pretext of restoring the site.

According to sources, the Antiquities and Heritage Authority in Iraq has been pressured by Islamists to historically cleanse all evidence of a Jewish connection to Iraq--a land where Jews had lived for over a thousand years before the advent of Islam.

Four months ago a German-based Iraqi journalist tipped off the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq in Israel that plans were afoot to build a mosque on the site of the shrine of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel at al-Kifl, this was first reported on the "Point of No Return" news blog.

The rumours were investigated by a philo-Semitic Iraqi Shi'a, Dr. Jabbar Jamal al-Din, a lecturer in Jewish Thought at the Kufa University. They were denied by the shrine's director.

Now a report by Ur News revives fears that in the absence of Jews on the ground, nothing, not even UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), stands in the way of politically-motivated plans to erase all Jewish traces of this ancient holy site.

Drastic changes taking place currently at the tomb of Ezekiel will change its character and prompt UNESCO to delete it as a protected site on the World Heritage List, similar to what happened to the historic city of Babylon, where old buildings were demolished and new layers of construction added.

Prof. Shmuel Moreh, the Chairman of the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraqi, Israel Prize Laureate in Arabic Literature and emeritus Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has indicted that the Arabic news stories have tipped him that the Archeological Authority in Iraq has started a campaign to erase the Jewish aspects of the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel and the original inlay Hebrew inscriptions have been destroyed and covered by new Arabic inscriptions and Islamic symbols.

Here is an extract, paraphrased from an Arabic translation of the Ur News agency report:
  • The officials of the Department of Antiquities and Heritage say that their restoration programme will continue until 2011 and is designed to carry out essential maintenance and prevent the dome and roof from collapsing. But their hidden purpose, sources say, is the removal of features that emphasize a historical connection with the Jews who built the shrine and lived in the city for hundreds of years after the Babylonian exile.
Hebrew writings will or already has been erased from the site and from the room that houses the shrine.

Restoration work includes skimming the walls, 3 metres high in the yard, 2 metres high inside the shrine.

Sources say that the media are not allowed to take pictures and visits to the shrine are limited to pilgrims.
The city of Kifl contains tens of thousands of acres of land belonging to the Jewish community before their displacement from Iraq in the last century.

The majority of tenants' shops around the shrine still pay rent to their original Jewish owners through accredited mediators.
Iraq - the Biblical Mesopotamia -is almost as rich in Jewish history as the Land of Israel.

The tomb of the prophet Ezekiel dates back to the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE. It was there in Iraq that Abraham discovered monotheism, and it is where the prophets Ezra, Nehemiah, Nahum, Jonah and Daniel are all buried.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What is the difference between extremist Jews burning down a Mosque and extremist Muslims burning down a synagogue?



What is the difference between extremist Jews burning down a Mosque and extremist Muslims burning down a synagogue?

When extremist Jews burn down a Mosque, Israel condemns the act, Jewish leaders apologize and express remorse, and Jewish citizens come out to support those who have been harmed.

When extremist Muslims burn down a Synagogue, Muslim leaders congratulate the extremists, Imams call for more violence, and Muslim citizens dance in the street and hand out candy.

Israel Condemns Mosque Vandalism
by Hillel Fendel

( Condemnations from Jewish leaders continue to stream in of the vandalism perpetrated against a mosque in the Shomron late Thursday night - though it is not yet known who did it.

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said on Sunday, “I was shocked. Burning mosques is not our way, this is not the proper way to fight, and we condemn this in every sense.”

Rabbis of Judea/Samaria towns, such as Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh, Rabbi Avi Gisser of Ofrah, and others, also condemned the vandalism, saying that mosques and religious sites are not legitimate targets in our national struggle.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Places, similarly said the vandalism is "contrary to all values of Judaism and is worthy of condemnation. Places that are considered holy by followers of all religions must remain outside the framework of political conflict. This is a serious matter that must be investigated, and its perpetrators must be found quickly.”

Many cabinet ministers, including Prof. Rabbi Herskovitz (Jewish Home), Yisrael Katz (Likud), Eli Yishai (Shas), Uzi Landau (Israel Our Home), and Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) also condemned the vandalism, but Edelstein added: “Let’s not take things out of proportion. Not a day passes that a Jewish target is not attacked somewhere around the world, yet we don’t hear condemnations from Foreign Ministries. We’ve been hearing about the mosque all day on the radio – but hardly anything about the Jewish girl who was stabbed by an Arab in Gush Etzion.”

A group of Jews from Gush Etzion plans to visit the site of the targeted mosque in the village of Yasuf in the Shomron on Sunday afternoon. They will meet with village leaders and express their opposition to such acts of vandalism.

A carpet in the mosque was burnt in several places, as were some holy books. Graffiti reading “Price tag – Regards from Effie” was written on the floor. Price Tag is the name of a Jewish protest campaign in which unknown elements respond to the increased law enforcement against Jews and the freeze on Jewish construction by lashing out at Arabs in the area.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the security forces to seek out those responsible for the vandalism. “This is an extremist act,” Barak said, “designed to block the government’s efforts to promote processes for the sake of Israel’s future.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Bostoner Rebbe, May His Memory Be a Blessing!

Rate This Article!


This is a beautiful write-up in the Jewish Week about the Bostoner Rebbe. I didn't know him myself, but I had friends in the Boston area who attended the colleges around Boston, and many of them owe their observance to this man's very grounded and loving view of Judaism.

In a time when Hassidim are increasingly attacked for their non-Zionist, judgemental ways, the Bostoner Rebbe reminded them all that you could be Hassidic, Zionist, and encouraging to non-religious Jews to up their observance level. He did it with a light touch (as recalled in this article), and he did it with humor and humanity.

He practiced Kiruv beautifully with a non-judgemental, open, welcoming, and firm view of what was right, wrong, and moving in the right direction (as recalled by my friends).

He was also not afraid to stand up for Israel. He knew Israel was important, and he made a great effort to perform the Mitzvah of Aliyah, finally completing his move last April (even though this reporter gets this one fact wrong it is still a great story).

I am sorry I never knew him.

The Rebbe With A Common Touch by Steve Lipman
Staff Writer

A story has circulated in Orthodox circles for a long time about a chasidic rabbi who was invited to speak to an auditorium full of Jewish students at a major American university. The bearded rabbi, according to the story, stepped up to the lectern, outfitted in typical chasidic garb – shtreimel fur hat on his head, and long black coat — and began droning about the Talmud in Yiddish.

The uncomprehending students, most from secular backgrounds, looked at each other, totally confused — until the rabbi stopped after a minute and asked, in English, “Had you worried, didn’t I?”

Then he had a captive audience.

The story sounded apocryphal — until Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz, the chasidic figure in the story, confirmed it.

I had the opportunity to escort the rabbi between two New York wedding ceremonies where he was officiating two decades ago, and related what I had heard.

He smiled. All true, he said. He shrugged. “I knew I looked foreign to the students,” he explained. “I had to show them I understood.”

Rabbi Horowitz, better-known as the Bostoner Rebbe — the first American-born leader of a major chasidic group — died Dec. 5 at 88 in Jerusalem, where he had lived for a decade after splitting time for several years between Israel and his home in Brookline, a Boston suburb. He had been in ill health since suffering a heart attack this summer.

The rabbi, who won over the university students that day, was a pioneer in the kiruv, or outreach movement, in the United States, opening his home and his Beit Pinchos New England Chassidic Center synagogue to Jewish students from the Boston area’s universities, and to other members of the non-Orthodox community. In one-on-one encounters or in group settings, he proved false the stereotypes of a cloistered, unworldly chasidic leader. He was a serious Boston Red Sox fan, and he spoke English eloquently, albeit with a Boston accent. His shul, named for his late, European-born father, offered the same combination of personal warmth and erudite education that he did.

The rabbi was the scion of a chasidic dynasty that originated in Eastern Europe.

Upon becoming head of a small group of followers in 1944, after his father’s death, Rabbi Horowitz developed a chasidic community in the United States that featured a uniquely American flavor – rigorously observant, but open to the culture, sports and pastimes familiar to most American Jews. Under his leadership, branches of the Bostoner chasidim opened in Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey and Israel.

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, called Rabbi Horowitz “a transition between the European model and the American model” of a chasidic leader.

The most visible sign of this was Rabbi Horowitz’ decision to be known as the Bostoner Rebbe, not to adopt the name of the European town whence came his forebears, as other chasidic communities have done.

Rabbi Horowitz had a significant influence in many Orthodox circles; he remained accessible to his congregants and students and members of the wider Jewish community, discouraging the type of cultish behavior found in some other chasidic groups.

Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, who met the Bostoner Rebbe while studying in Boston four decades ago and became a prominent professor of philosophy and Jewish educator, said: “He told me once that being a rebbe meant that you were there when someone needed to make a big decision and needed spiritual guidance.

“There were times when I was motivated in my religious life by false piety and he always insisted on clear logic,” Rabbi Gottlieb told the Jerusalem Post.

Rabbi Horowitz was the founder of Rofeh International, a Brookline-based organization that offers free medical referrals, support services and home hospitality to the infirm and their families.

A member of Agudath Israel’s Council of Torah Sages, he held right-wing political views that sometimes deviated from many haredi leaders’ more apolitical positions. He served as a prominent Orthodox proponent of maintaining a Jewish presence in the West Bank, and took an outspoken position against Israel’s disengagement from Gaza three years ago.

A leading figure in the part of the Orthodox community that usually favors tacit, back-channel approaches to controversial political issues, he was a participant, as a recently married rabbinical student, in the 1943 White House march of 400 Orthodox rabbis, who urged President Roosevelt to rescue Jews from the Holocaust.

The demonstration took place three days before Yom Kippur. “Going to Washington that week certainly made it more difficult for everyone but we all understood how important it was to do something in that situation,” the rabbi said in an interview with Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

In 1967, after the outbreak of the Six-Day War, Rabbi Horowitz organized buses to bring Jews from Boston to Washington for a rally urging the U.S. government to support Israel.

Rabbi Horowitz maintained conciliatory relations with representatives of other Jewish denominations.
He and Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, the late spiritual head of the Modern Orthodox movement who also lived in the Boston area, were “part of the reason why there is very little political divisiveness among the Jewish groups in Boston,” said Rabbi Waldoks, whose “independent” congregation is not Orthodox. “They both were people who understood that there was nothing to gain by Jewish sectarianism.”

I got a glimpse of this while escorting Rabbi Horowitz that afternoon two decades ago. A clean-shaven, newly Orthodox stranger, I was made to feel immediately accepted. Sharing a ride for more than an hour, he asked about my life and my career. I didn’t hear a single negative word about my secular interests or my non-Orthodox writing assignments.

I understood how he had captivated those nervous university students.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just for fun: The Jewish Husband Store

Rate this article!


If you are a regular reader, you might have noticed I haven't posted for a few days. I'm a professor, and it's finals week! EEK!

I need something light, so I have revised the widely circulated “New Husband Store” e-mail for a religious Jewish audience. I hope you like it!


Michelle Nevada
The Jewish Husband Store

A store that sells new Jewish husbands has opened in New York City , where a Jewish woman may go to choose a Jewish husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are seven floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights.

The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but she cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a Jewish woman goes to the Jewish Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men are well learned and pray with great kavona.

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 – These men are well learned, pray with great kavona, and Have Jobs.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

Floor 3 - These men are well learned, pray with great kavona, have jobs, and Love Kids.

So she continues upward. The forth floor sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men are well learned, pray with great kavona, have jobs, love kids, and are extremely Good Looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men are well learned, pray with great kavona, have jobs, love kids, are good looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, Baruch Hashm!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 6 - These men are well learned, pray with great kavona, have jobs, love kids, are good looking, help with housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the seventh floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 7 - You are visitor 31,456. There are no Jewish men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that Jewish women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Jewish Husband Store.



To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Jewish Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that are all under 25.

The second floor has wives that are all under 30, but have fathers with money.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.