Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shlomo Riskin To Speak On Jewish-Christian Dialogue

12 of the Eleventh Month 5770

Shlomo Riskin

will be speaking on...

"Jewish-Christian Dialogue, is it permissible?
If so, is it desireable?"

Bet Kenesset HaTzvi
Hovavei Tzion Street 14

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 8:00 PM

Question and Answer Session Following

Some of you will remember Riskin's recent shenanigans, otherwise known as "The Rabbi Jesus Incident," not to be confused with Frank Herbert's science fiction novel The Jesus Incident. You can refresh your memories by clicking here.

But, I digress....

I encourage all of you to come. Fill the house, and ASK your questions. Be prepared with your halachic sources, too. Let's see how he responds.

Just for kicks, does anyone have the guts to ask him if he or any of his institutions receives any money from Christian organiztions. And, if so, how much?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haveil Havalim #252 Is Up Plus A Special Message From Your Fearless Leader!

4 of the Eleventh Month 5770

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, is being hosted by Jack on the Random Thoughts blog.

It's "The Year Of Jack Edition".

Incidentally, Haveil Havalim contributors received the following e-mail from Jack, who also happens to be the current Haveil Havalim Fearless Leader (coordinator). My Esser Agaroth (commentary) follows.

Hello friends,

It is your semi-friendly neighborhood HH admin, Jack. We are in need of hosts for the rest of the year. Many of you have been spectacular and have helped carry the torch on a regular basis. I am grateful for your assistance.

Some of you who are receiving this note have speculated that you might want to host one day. I am here to ask that you do so now.

Hosting doesn't provide you with fame or fortune, but who wants that anyhow. It might however get you a waffle breakfast from our friend Jameel. Might I add that the waffle breakfast he cooked for our tiyul to Hamat Gader was amazing. You haven't lived without waffles at an alligator farm, but I digress.

Anyway, your help as always is appreciated.


In my humble opinion, hosting Haveil Havalim does have the potential to increase your blog's exposure, and my experience is that you will get a bump in hits that week, two additional incentives.

I, myself, have met plenty of interesting people, and have been introduced to several new and interesting blogs through hosting. So, you can receive the same, it that's your bag.

However, regarding a waffle breakfast from our friend Jameel, DO NOT BELIEVE IT!

Jack's use of the modal word “might,” indicating less than 100 confidence that the speech event will occur in the future, is an understatement.

The waffle breakfast bait is nothing less than a sham. Do not make the mistake of falling for it like I did!

Just some friendly advice from a your fellow blogger.

If you would like to host an edition, please contact Jack at talktojacknow@sbcglobal.net.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Perhaps An Apology?

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wa'eira 5770

Yoel Meltzer

17 Teveth 5770/January 3, 2010

*Appeared on YNET as "A Feeling Of Déjà Vu."

A few days ago the top story on nearly every Israeli news site was the possible involvement of a teenage relative of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane in the arson attack last month on a mosque in the Palestinian village of Yasuf. With the well-known family name splashed across the home page of most major web sites, not surprisingly this story generated lots of interest and reactions.

As I browsed from site to site, both in Hebrew and in English, I was amazed at some of the reactions that were simply seething with hatred. Never mind the fact that the kid denied all involvement in the incident, that he claimed he had an alibi as to where he was at the time of the attack, that according to his lawyer he had a clean record, or that he was being investigated without a family member present despite being a minor, his family name alone was enough for him to be considered guilty in the eyes of many.

Where was the sympathy, the compassion for a kid whose mother and father were both murdered in a terrorist attack nearly ten years ago? How can it be that the hatred his family name evokes is stronger than the attribute of compassion, supposedly one of the defining characteristics of the Jewish people?

For many there was a sickening feeling when this story made the news, a feeling of déjà vu. In light of the recent freeze on building in Judea and Samaria and the near warlike preparation to enforce the freeze, it appeared that this was simply another well-planned attempt to create incitement against a particular population. Forget about the lack of evidence or simple human compassion for an orphaned kid, his family name and the powerful antagonism it elicits appeared to be too hard to resist.

Although no one knows for certain what is being planned for the future of the Jews living in Judea and Samaria, the gut feeling of many is that it is something in the direction of what was done to the Jews formerly living in Gaza. Of course following the Lebanon War, the Gaza War, and the overall horrendous treatment of the Jews who formerly lived in Gaza, removing even part of the Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria will not be an easy sell to the Israeli public. For this reason it appears that the incitement card is once again being employed. The more they are made to look extreme, the easier the sell to the Israeli public.

Although such a tactic is horrible enough in and of itself since we’re talking about turning Jew against Jew, it is beyond despicable to drag the Kahane kid into this just because his family name happens to be very, very useful. Once again we’re talking about a kid who together with his five sisters lost their parents when they were just children.

As it turned out, the kid was released after seven hours of investigation for both lack of any evidence and for verification of his alibi, a chain of events which only strengthened the belief amongst many that this was in fact an attempt to create incitement. Whatever the case, both those responsible for arresting him as well as all those who spewed hatred towards him, should do some soul searching and offer this kid and his family a public apology.

When will we finally learn that such internal hatred only brings upon us more and more calamities?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hey, Jews! Still Want To Live In America?

26 of the Tenth Month 5770

I bumped into to a couple of young men at the laundromat the other day. They had just finished their "Birthright" tour, and had extended their trip for another week or two.

I asked them if they were ready to come live here. Both said that they were enjoying their trip, but gave a rather strong "no" to my question. One, who identified himself as an "Orthodox Jew" said that he felt it was "very different here in Israel.

I suggested that perhaps some of those "differences" he noticed might actually be the preferred way for Jews to live, and that even in New York there was too much of a non-Jewish (Western) influence on what he saw as being Jewish.

Again, the answer was a strong "no."

He came back with,...well,...let's just say several sentences which included the word "money."

I then suggested that there were more important things in this world than money, albeit money is important. As a teacher, I made only one fourth of my California salary, paid the same amount in rent, yet had less money problems in Israel. Go figure.

He came back with how much easier he thought it was to live Jewishly in Broolyn than in Israel.

To this, my mouth dropped. Huh?

I countered each of the reasons he provided to support his claim with ease. But, he just did not want to hear it.

This guy was polite, but stubborn, yet he was not as defensive as one might think.

I introduced the, now cliche, "what about significantly cheaper cost of Jewish education in Israel?" argument.

Without missing a beat, he retorted, "You get what you pay for."

What I forgot to point out was how total strangers, like ourselves, strike up conversations, conversations which generally have more substance that the "weather and sports" conversations in America. But, I have no doubt that would be struck down by scenarios of the close commoradary within the Flatbush Jewish Community.

Probably the best thing I did was NOT to try to convince him. I knew I wouldn't be able to anyway, so why spoil a pleasant conversation? I maintained an attitude of just providing information. This was certainly not a Jew who was ready and willing to hear that it was a misswah for Jews to reside here. I did not even think of going that route. Yet, in retropect, perhaps it was a mistake for me not to proclaim this truth to him.

Now check out the video below (Tip Credit: Tomer Devorah). It was suggested that I watch the first five minutes. However, I suggest that you watch the entire video, and pay particular attention after time marker 4:35.

No doubt, I will be called an alarmist and/or conspiracy theorist. But, it's coming. There is no doubt about it. Actually, it's already here.

5:33 - "Whether we want to be involved in fighting Israel's wars in the future is something the Americans should be able to talk about. They may vote yes. They may want to see their kids killed in Iraq...." (Is that REALLY what they think??)

5:54 - "Israel has no strategic importance to the United States."

6:02 - "Israel's association with us is a negative for the United States.

And those are just the highlights.

Haveil Havalim #251 Is Up!

26 of the Tenth Month 5770

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, is being hosted by Ima blog.

It's the Mazal Tov Chavi Edition.

If you're interested is hosting, just contact Jack at talktojacknow@sbcglobal.net.

If you'd like to submit a post, just use the handy dandy on-line submission form.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Why I Am Canceling My Likud Membership

20 of the Tenth Month 5770
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon ztz"l: 805th Anniversary of his Death

Well, I was going to write an extensive post on why I am canceling my Likud membership, until I realized that I didn't have to. The Jewish Fist already covered the points I wanted to make in On Feglinites Part I and Part II.

Almost 10 years ago, I was convinced to join the Likud by a couple of activists whom I trusted. (I still trust them; I just don't agree with them on absolutely everything.) They stationed themselves in front of the miqwah, Erev Shabbath, a clever strategy.

The goal was to overwhelm the Likud Party with supporters of Moshe Feiglin, who would vote him onto the party's list of candidates in the primaries. If he was voted high enough on the list, it would be a cinch for him to enter the K'nesseth. The idea was that by being an MK in a major political party, more influence, publicity, and resources would be at his disposal than by being the member of a minor party.

By flooding the Likud Party with his supporters, the other Likud MK's would have no choice but to negotiate with him, and align with him on some issues. Feiglin's power base would also embolden those MK's already inclined to be supportive of the settlements and hard on the Arabs to remain as such, instead of arbitrarily voting according to whichever view would keep their seats safe.

Meanwhile, those in the National Religious Party [NRP] were none too happy with Feiglin. After laughing at all of us who joined the Likud Party did not work, they starting crying foul at the top of their lungs. They simply did not understand how and why ALL religious Zionists could not see that the NRP was the only party for them. Left-wing Meimad had broken off from the NRP, right-wing Tequmah had broken off from the NRP, and religious Zionist Rabbi Benny Elon was on his way to lead the Moledet Party. Yet, they were, and still are, blind and clueless.

I, too, could not stand (nor understand) where the NRP was going. The strategy of Moshe Feiglin's “Manhigut Yehudit” (Jewish Leadership) faction made a hell of a lot more sense than the NRP's repetition of the same mistakes over again, expecting different results. At least it did at the time. Finally, someone had the hutzpah to try something new,...sort of. I was sold!

Well, it has been 10 years. Thousands of supporters have joined the Likud Party, and Feiglin is still not in the K'nesseth. The first snag was his “criminal” record. The next snags came directly from Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, one after the other. Last year Feiglin's success in the Likud primaries was easily dashed to the ground by Bibi's very own brand of sneakiness.

Working from within does not work. (Working from within a minor party does not work either.) The Israeli government has proven that time and time again. When anyone starts moving into a position with the potential to threaten the powers that be, even while playing by the government's own rules, the government (eg. K'nesseth, Israeli Supreme Court, Party Leaders, etc.) simply changes the rules.

The same thing happened to Rabbi Me'ir Kahane hy”d. His Ka”ch Party was expected to win 14 K'nesseth seats in the 1988 elections. Enter MK Ge'ulah Cohen (Tehiyah) and others from the so-called “right” to take him down. Did they really think he was “racist,” or were they just protecting their own precious K'nesseth seats? You be the judge.

If and when Feiglin ever does gain the upper hand within the Likud power structure, and changing the rules is not enough, Bibi and his pals will just get up and leave, form their own party, call it “The New Likud Party,” and leave Feiglin holding the bag. I mean that literally, too. Once Bibi's out, and Feiglin is the Likud Party chief, I guarantee you that any number of “surprise” bills will start popping up. Friends of Bibi, Limor Livnat, Danny Danon, and others, who were previously willing to forgive food, party favors, rental space, and more will suddenly “find” those billing orders, thought to be lost. (This is just speculation, of course.)

If they don't stick him with the proverbial bag, they will definitely stick him with something else.

Hasn't Feiglin figured that out, yet?

Let us not forget the Likud Party's increasing chumminess with Christians.

First, there is MK Danny Danon's plan to help Christians make “aliyah,” exposed by The Key To Redemption Blog. Sagiv Asulin was already called on his funny business with the Christians, last year before the Likud primaries, resulting in his supposed teshuvah (penance). Well, I don't see him doing anything to stop anyone else from falling into this same tricky trap set by Esau (The West/Christians).

Likud MK's Ayoub Kara, Yuli Edelstein, Gidon Sa'ar, and Gila Gamliel were all participants in the grand opening of the center in Sha'ar Binyamin, just north of Jerusalem. Yep! You got that right,... within the mostly Arab-occupied, Yehudah & Shomron (Judea & Samaria). See the disgusting video for proof, if you must. I have provided screen shots from the video, before it has the chance to "disappear," which often happens to Christian videos featuring Jews.

The so-called left has been siding with Yishma'el (Arabs) and the so-called right has been aligning itself with Esau. When will we ever learn??!!

To Feiglin's credit, he has come out against such interaction and co-operation with Christians. Nonetheless, what the hell is he still doing there??!!

Continuing his “Work from within to facilitate change,” no doubt. (Rabbi Benny Elon said that one already,...ages ago. Remember, Moshe?)

Well, I am sure as hell not stickin' around to find out what happens. I am not THAT curious. Nor, am I interested in having my annual Likud membership dues (60 sheqqels - about $16.00) even buy a Christian couple a shwarmah dinner, and thus violating the negative misswah “Lo Tehonem” (Do not have mercy - on ovdei avodah zarah). The Likud is scheduled to yank out my next “dues” at the end of February, 2010. So, I had better move fast.

Actually, it might be worth losing this year's 60 sheqqels, if I could video tape my attempt to resign my membership at Likud Headquarters, in order to get a closer look at just what kind of wool all Israeli political parties are trying to pull over our eyes.

Who wants to lend me a video camera?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Do You Support The Jerusalem Post?

18 of the Tenth Month 5770

I recently received the following email from the Jerusalem Post:

I'm XXX, the Traffic Manager for Jpost.com
You are receiving this message after being handpicked by me for this project.

Our new site (coming January 2010) is going to have a 'friends list', featuring sites based on common interests, referring traffic, worthy causes & our personal appreciation.

Appearing on this list means more visitors for you, brand exposure, and a personal cooperation with the Jerusalem Post.
If interested, our friends will also be able to receive our premium content updates for free (this is a paid service), customized with the material that interests you.

To become a friend of Jpost and appear on our list, we're asking you to place our widget on your site, or a banner linking to us.
We also encourage you to use more of our content, and we'll gladly supply you with updates that interest you.

The main feature of this project is a special iFrame that we'll place on our master page (it will appear on every single page in the Jpost site). This box is going to showcase our top referring sites, meaning it will be immediately visible to our many millions of monthly visitors.

If you'd like to take part in this initiative, please contact me for more details.
I will gladly answer all of you questions, and guide you in case of technical difficulties.

You can also give me your IM messenger, so things go a tad quicker.

I hope this found you well, and I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail.

Happy holidays,

(What holidays? This email was dated December 22, for goodness sakes! Hanukkah was over a few days ago.)

My Response:

I have absolutely no interest in supporting the Jerusalem Post.

Too much religious bashing, friendliness toward Christians, as well as fawning over Netanyahu.

But, cancel your Christian edition, and maybe we'll talk.

Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah

Haveil Havalim #250 Is Up!

18 of the Tenth Month 5770

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, is being hosted at the Tzedek-Tzedek blog.

If you're interested is hosting, just contact Jack at talktojacknow@sbcglobal.net.

If you'd like to submit a post, just use the handy dandy on-line submission form.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Me'ir David Kahane, The Young

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wayehi 5770
Kahane Grandson Arrested by Shin Bet for Mosque Arson
Gil Ronen, 14 Tevet 5770/December 31, 2009

(Israelnationalnews.com) Police and Shin Bet operatives arrested a Jewish youth from Kfar Tapuach in Shomron, a grandson of former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, on Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses said the youth was not told why he was being arrested, but only that he would be taken to Tel Aviv. Police stated later in the day that he was suspected of involvement in an arson attack on a mosque at Kafr Yasouf in Samaria three weeks ago.

His father, Binyamin Ze'ev, and his mother, Talia, were murdered in a terror gun ambush on December 31, 2000. His grandfather, MK and fiery rabbi Meir Kahane, was assassinated ten years earlier.

Nationalist activists reacted to the arrest by saying: “We hope the Shin Bet and police do not abuse the boy the way they usually abuse settlers. He is an orphan without a mother and father, who were murdered in a terror attack.”

Security forces have been busy trying to identify and arrest the people involved in the mosque arson at Kafr Yasouf in northern Samaria on December 11. Unknown people entered the mosque in the pre-dawn hours, set alight a carpet and bookshelves, and scrawled some graffiti on the floor in Hebrew promising revenge for Arab terror.

What a coincidence...

...that his parents' yartzeits were on 5 Teveth.

...that the Westernized/assimilationist government and government lackeys probably went by the Gregorian date, December 31, happily waiting for the Hebrew calender finally to fall out of disuse.

I do not believe in coincidences.

Did Me'ir David do it? He had an alibi, an alibi which could easily have been checked out without the harassment, so, mostly not.

As politically-incorrect as it may be, neqamah (revenge, and when involving goyim) IS a misswah. So you will not find me shedding any tears for a burned-down mosque.

I must admit that I do not know Me'ir David very well at all. We have spoken only a handful of times. His family took care of that, as they did not approve of my associations with certain other Tapu'ah residents. However, I can say that Me'ir David is a very gentle young man who works hard at his learning and at building up the land with the rest of his family.

That being said, I also believe very strongly that he is being raised, ...shall we say..., specifically NOT to grow up to be exactly like his father, Rav Binyamin HY"D.

Years ago, two of his uncles (one the gabbai, and the other ba'al qore') both voted to work toward removing the "Kahane stigma" from the [now] Central Tapu'ah beth k'nesseth (...whatever the hell that was supposed to mean). Both Me'ir David and another uncle voted against the resolution. What was he supposed to do?

This gabbai has continued to insist that the meaning of the word "stigma" in Hebrew has a much weaker connotation than its usage in English. Then why was such a vote necessary, if the "stigma" was not so strong? No response.

But this single example is only one of the many reasons for the above belief. I am afraid that other reasons cannot be listed here.

Try as they may, though, they will not succeed. Every time I bring up having lived in Tapu'ah, the reaction is always the same, from secular, left-wing Jews, to Haredim, to mamlachtim, to Kahane followers and sympathizers.


The only difference is the tone. Positive or negative, everyone believes the same thing: K'far Tap'uah is an "extremist" town. No matter how many mamlachtim and "mind their own business in exchange for cheap housing" college students the "powers that be" bring into the town to live (and to vote, thus keeping them in power), it will always be Rav Binyamin's town, Rav Binyamin who once said:

"Who cares what people think? Let them think we're crazy settlers. Then maybe they'll leave us alone."

By letting you in on this secret, I expect to get more than a few perturbed emails from my former neighbors, who feel strongly about Rav Binyamin's strategy.

I'll just tell them not to worry. No one blog post has the power to break the so-called "stigma," let alone influence of the Rabbis Kahane HY"D, Me'ir David's father and grandfather.

So, what was the Shin Bet (Shabba"k/secret police) doing in Tapu'ah? Oh, it's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Just another opportunity to make a nasty attack on the Kahane family?

Just the usual general harassment meant to toy with settlers, in an attempt to break them?

Just more of the usual encouragement to create and maintain divisions amongst the settlers?

A ploy to get Kahane sympathizers to come out of the woodwork, due the outrage of such treatment of an orphan?

Take your pick. Personally, I stopped trying to figure out the motivations of the Shabba"k, and focus more on the more important issue, the motivations of those giving the orders, the Israeli shadow government of Peres, Beilin, and Baraq.


In the meantime, you may want to attend the memorial concert being held in K'far Tapu'ah, next Mossa'ei Shabbath, starring Bini Landau. If you cannot make it, then you will be able to enjoy it on the Voice Of Judea YouTube Channel, the following week.


Read another neighbor's take on the arrest in Now I Am Angry at The Torah Revolution.