Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Non-Jewish Boyfriend

I am really happy that Aish HaTorah puts up articles like this about intermarriage. You can see from the comments that they generate that they really strike a chord. Here's a taste of the article:
“So, Dad, if our heritage is so special, and we have to be a light among the nations, and my entire future depends on it, why do I eat McDonalds, and why on earth don't we keep Shabbat?!”

More silence. This time, it was my father that spoke. “I don’t know. I guess I never thought that far,” he admitted, somewhat ashamed.

For the first time ever, I had stumped my brilliant lawyer father.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sivan Rahav Meir Interviews Tamar Fogel

Tamar Fogel, the 12-year-old girl from the Jewish settlement of Itamar who discovered the murders of her parents and three siblings when she came home last Friday night from her youth movement, speaks with Israel's Channel 2 during her shiva for her family:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gene Simmons and Signs of Redemption in the Land of Israel

One of my favorite Haftarot, perhaps my favorite, is the haftara for Parashat Parah, which we read last Shabbat. Here's the whole thing in English (Ezekiel 36: 16-38):
16 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying: 17 'Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings; their way before Me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 Wherefore I poured out My fury upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; 19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20 And when they came unto the nations, whither they came, they profaned My holy name; in that men said of them: These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of His land. 21 But I had pity for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, whither they came. {P}

22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord GOD: I do not this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye came. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then shall ye remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. {S} 33 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. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all that passed by. 35 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. 36 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. {S} 37 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. 38 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.' {P}
To sum things up: The nation of Israel sinned and God scatters us among the nations. However, this causes a desecration of God's name. The nations see the Jews among them, and they misinterpret this as God lacking the ability to save His nation and land(see Rashi). Therefore, in order to sanctify His name, God brings us back to the land of Israel. Has not this prophecy been fulfilled in our time?

However that is not all! God purifies us and gives us a new heart to keep His commandments. This is also in the process of being fulfilled! Little by little, it is happening before our eyes! If you don't believe me, maybe you will believe rocker Gene Simmons. He visited Israel recently and this is what he had to say:
“One thing that’s striking is that I never remember seeing so many yarmulkes here. It’s all of a sudden teeming with hassidim – hassidim, but I don’t believe ’em,’ said Simmons, like a rapper. “I’m used to Israel as a secular place where people just are Israelis.

I much prefer it as a modern, not-so-archaic-looking place.”
Well Gene(or should I call you by your real name, Chaim), like it or not, that's the way things are. God is giving us a new heart, and we are coming back to our roots. The Teshuvah revolution is underway. Chaim, it's time to return home!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Purim and Responding to the Itamar Massacre

Here's a great article. I particularly liked the following:
Suddenly my mind screeched to a halt. I realized that all efforts to make sense out of this Jew-hater’s canard missed the basic point: Causes A, B, and C do not result in Jew-hatred. Rather Jew-hatred is the cause, and the result is the distorted, often baseless, and even absurd accusations that the Jews are guilty of this or that crime.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kissinger Calls For Pollard's Release

Here is the text of Henry K.'s letter to President Obama:

March 3, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I would have written this letter sooner but for a long trip abroad, from which I have just returned. While I was gone, I gave much thought to the question of clemency for Jonathan Pollard. At first I felt I did not have enough information to render a reasoned and just opinion. But having talked with George Shultz and read the statements of former CIA Director Woolsey, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman DeConcini, former Defense Secretary Weinberger, former Attorney General Mukasey and others whose judgments and first-hand knowledge I respect, I find their unanimous support for clemency compelling.

I believe justice would be served by commuting the remainder of Pollard’s sentence of life imprisonment.

Respectfully yours,
Henry A. Kissinger

Check out Kissinger's biography at Wikipedia. Here is something that I never new about him:
Kissinger underwent basic training at Camp Croft in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he was naturalized upon arrival. The Army sent him to study engineering at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, but the program was canceled, and Kissinger was reassigned to the 84th Infantry Division. There, he made the acquaintance of Fritz Kraemer, a fellow emigrant from Germany who despite the age difference, noted Kissinger's fluency in German and his intellect, arranged for him to be assigned to the military intelligence section of the division. Kissinger saw combat with the division, and volunteered for hazardous intelligence duties during the Battle of the Bulge.[11]

During the American advance into Germany, Kissinger was assigned to de-Nazify the city of Krefeld, owing to a lack of German speakers on the division's intelligence staff. Kissinger relied on his knowledge of German society to remove the obvious Nazis and restore a working civilian administration, a task he accomplished in 8 days.[12] Kissinger was then reassigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps, with the rank of Sergeant. He was given charge of a team in Hanover assigned to tracking down Gestapo officers and other saboteurs, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star.[13] In June 1945, Kissinger was made commandant of a CIC detachment in the Bergstraße district of Hesse, with responsibility for de-Nazification of the district. Although he possessed absolute authority and powers of arrest, Kissinger took care to avoid abuses against the local population by his command.[14]

In 1946, Kissinger was reassigned to teach at the European Command Intelligence School at Camp King, continuing to serve in this role as a civilian employee following his separation from the Army.[15][16]
He was a fighter, not just an academia geek.
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