Sunday, April 17, 2011

Israel Nabs the Murderers of the Fogel Family

Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) lifted a gag order on the investigation of the massacre at noon Sunday (5 a.m. EDT). The terrorists were indentified as Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, residents of Awarta, an Arab village neighboring the Jewish community of Itamar, where the Fogel family lived.

The teenage terrorists, who are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), were assisted by at least six others, four of them from Awad’s family.
It seems that the Awad family has a rich history of terrorism:
The father of one of the murderers of the Fogel family at Itamar had served in jail for terror, and an uncle involved in the 2002 terror attack on same community.

Two teenagers were arrested for the massacre of five members of the Fogel family. The father of high school student Hakim Mazen Awad was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization and previously had been jailed in Israel.

Awad and Amjad Awad carried out the brutal murders at Itamar, the same community where Hakim Awad’s uncle was involved with the 2002 terrorist attack that killed five people. He was killed the following year in a clash with IDF forces.

After the murders of the Fogel family, another uncle of Awad, who also was a PLFP terrorist and had served a prison sentence for terror, enlisted other relatives to burn the attackers’ bloodstained clothes.

Passover, Jewish Identity and Freedom

Passover is the holiday of Jewish continuity and identity. The retelling and reliving of the Exodus from Egypt is a ritual that has been conducted annually by the Jewish people for over 3,300 years. It is deeply ingrained in our psyche and being. Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to ask ourselves how much we know about Torah, our nation and history. How is it that a Jew can be a well learned in many areas but completely in the dark with regards to Jewish learning? How can a Jew be an expert in cosmology or microbiology and be an ignoramous with regards to himself? How can one neglect his very essense and waste his time watching baseball/football/basketball games on television?

Passover is also the holiday of freedom. It's a good time for one to check how free he really is. Are we free to do what we really believe? Or do we alter our behavior because we are afraid what the neighbors/gentiles/co-workers/etc. will say? Are we enslaved to bad habits and/or character traits? Are we prisoners of physical desires or passions? It is time to break free of such shackles of bondage!

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Judge Goldstone and the Metzora

This coming Shabbat we will read about the purification of the Metzora. The Hebrew word Metzora is commonly translated as leper, and Tzara'at as leprosy. However, the affliction, as described in the Torah, seems to have nothing to do with leprosy.

Our sages taught us that one who engages in slander contracts tzara'at. They saw the word Metzora as an acronym: Motzi Shem Ra, a disparager.
How is such a person to be dealt with?:
45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall go loose, and he shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry: 'Unclean, unclean.' 46 All the days wherein the plague is in him he shall be unclean; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his dwelling be.
He is sent outside of the city to dwell alone, where he will have nobody to socialize with except for others of his ilk. Then he will have time to comtemplate the damage that he caused and hopefully repent.

It is hard not to see the similarity between Judge Richard Goldstone and the Metzora. He has been ostracized by most of the Jewish community because of the outrageously defamatory "Goldstone Report". He was sent out of the camp, where he dwells with his supporters, a diverse collection of Jew-hating slanderers, the filthiest dregs of humanity.

Unfortunately, Goldstone remains "unclean". His so-called retraction of his libel is a vain exercise in disingenuousness:
We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.
Nonsense! He willingly took part in an openly impartial investigation by an openly biased group. This was not a problem of not knowing the facts; the problem was not wanting to know the facts. Judge Goldstone, who exactly are you trying to fool?

The damage has been done. Goldstone's half-hearted reconsideration of his "report" is far too little, far too late. Judge Goldstone will go down in imfamy, a paradigm of one that chased honor, only to have it flee from him.

Extra credit: Read this!
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