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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My comment not being approved on cross-currents

Yaakov Menken wrote a post called Who Are We Kidding? with which I partially disagreed. You can see the thread. Unfortunately, my last comment was not accepted so I am posting it here:

>Where they are at age 18 is remarkable, but where they are by age 25 is as well.

But that is my point. It is not particularly remarkable. Most do not have even one masechet fully under their belt – much less any serious bekius. And it is even more amazing that most do not have it by 25 (except for in the Israeli Sephardic chareidi world where they stress bekius and learning aliba deHilcheta). This is to a large extent a subjective judgment but R’ Moshe Feinstein once remarked that no yeshiva student in Europe would have dreamed of learning less than 400 blatt in a year – and that it is impossible to become a talmid chacham with anything less. The average American does nothing close to that either at age 18 or 25. And their abilities in other Torah subjects are on average completely sub-par as I wrote above. Their abilities in tanach, kinnot, etc. as mentioned above are below what should be expected. The excuse of a busy schedule simply doesn’t fly. Something is extremely inefficient in the way their learn if after 12 years of education they are not fluent in Hebrew in all its forms. most gentile American high school students can learn a foreign language properly in 2-4 years. Why should we expect less from our boys and girls?

>Living in an English-speaking community doesn’t prevent a person from becoming an outstanding scholar of traditional texts,

No one suggested this! We all know brilliant scholars who live in America! But it IS a great handicap and for the masses, the immersion in English language and thought has a negative effect on their learning abilities. It seems foolish to deny this.

In an email, Yaakov justified his decision with the following abrasive email:

I was going to accept your comment, as inappropriate as I thought it was, until I got near the end. I took French for 7 years at an elite prep school in the American Northeast. Not one member of that class was anywhere near fluent. That's just completely unrealistic. You have no clue. And I have 2 sets of Tisha B'Av Kinnos which translate them -- into modern Hebrew. For Israelis. So again, you have no clue. Don't submit something this silly, please.

To which I responded as follows:

Unfortunately, it is you who have no clue.

I am sorry that you and your classmates could not become fluent in French after 7 years - but that is probably simply because it was not an immersion program - as Hebrew for Americans SHOULD be. Any immersion program can produce fluency within a couple of years. My grandmother was in an immersion program in Poland before the war - and became fluent in Hebrew. My chavrusa was in an immersion program German high school - and became fluent after a few years. My old neighbors were in a French immersion high school - fluent.

The fact that non-immersion language programs are a waste of time is old news and just because there are good and bad ways to acquire languages does not mean that the whole thing is a waste of time.

The fact that there are various aids to help Israelis access kinot is also meaningless. I am not claiming that any Israeli can simply pick up kinot and understand them fully - just like I don't claim that the average American can pick up Shakespeare and understanding it fully. But Israelis, with a relatively SMALL amount of effort, can get a working knowledge of that style and genre of Hebrew - and appreciate it in a way that Americans simply can not appreciate - even after years in a yeshiva.

You are the one without a clue since you have such low expectations for what Jewish education should achieve. The current Jewish education curriculum simply does not produce talmidei chachamim - those who do become talmidei chachamim do it in spite of the educational system.

Of course, I don't expect you to let such a comment through. You have in the past consistently stopped threads that were not going your way. I remember several years back when I showed how your "proofs" for the gedolim's view of Zionism were wholly taken from a neturei karta website which in turn took their data from a translation of Dovev Siftei Yesheinim which in turn is a notorious forgery of rabbinic letters. Of course, despite all my efforts - going so far as scanning an entire book dedicated to exposing Dovev Siftei Yesheinim, you did not let the comments through - which is of course reflected in the complete intellectual dishonesty of your system of comment moderation.

You can continue living in your fantasy world and imagine that English Torah literature, engagement and interest in sports and entertainment, rampant materialism, general education in schools, etc. are NOT functions of American influence (aka assimilation) on the orthodox American community. But people on the outside looking in see the truth. The wise will learn from them and the foolish will continue to stumble.

In other words, I am not impressed.


Here is Menken's latest pathetic response (basically an appeal to authority combined with some argumentum ad hominem all the while ignoring any real issues that might lead to self analysis and self criticism):

I'm glad that you know so much more than the Gedolei HaTorah in so many areas, and it's unfortunate I suppose that they, rather than you, are the Eynei HaEidah, and that they believe the immersion program should be in Gemara rather than modern Hebrew. But such is life.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Continuing the Mapai traditions

From ben-chorin:

Event 1: At 10:00 PM, PM Livni announces that negotiations with Shas have reached a deadlock and we are headed to elections.
Event 2: At 1:00 AM, by order of DM Barak, hundreds of troops destroy Noam Federman's house near Hevron with no warning and a maximum of violence and cruelty (press barred) predictably leading to local hotheads making an ugly scene (press invited) predictably leading to the usual suspects condemning all settlers and fanning the flames of hatred.

If you think this is a coincidence, ask yourself: cui bono?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

וּנְתַנֶּה תּקֶף

We shall ascribe holiness to this day.
For it is awesome and terrible.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in mercy.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
In truth You are the judge,
The exhorter, the all‑knowing, the witness,
He who inscribes and seals,
Remembering all that is forgotten.
You open the book of remembrance
Which proclaims itself,
And the seal of each person is there.
The great shofar is sounded,
A still small voice is heard.
The angels are dismayed,
They are seized by fear and trembling
As they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment!
For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment.
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes
And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop.
As a shepherd herds his flock,
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,
So do You cause to pass, count, and record,
Visiting the souls of all living,
Decreeing the length of their days,
Inscribing their judgment.
On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed,
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by wild beast,
Who by famine and who by thirst,
Who by earthquake and who by plague,
Who by strangulation and who by stoning,
Who shall have rest and who shall wander,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low,
Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished.
But repentance, prayer and righteousness avert the severe decree.

For Your praise is in accordance with Your name. You are difficult to anger and easy to appease. For You do not desire the death of the condemned, but that he turn from his path and live. Until the day of his death You wait for him. Should he turn, You will receive him at once. In truth You are their Creator and You understand their inclination, for they are but flesh and blood. The origin of man is dust, his end is dust. He earns his bread by exertion and is like a broken shard, like dry grass, a withered flower, like a passing shadow and a vanishing cloud, like a breeze that blows away and dust that scatters, like a dream that flies away. But You are King, God who lives for all eternity! There is no limit to Your years, no end to the length of Your days, no measure to the hosts of Your glory, no understanding the meaning of Your Name. Your Name is fitting unto You and You are fitting unto it, and our name has been called by Your Name. Act for the sake of Your Name and sanctify Your Name through those who sanctity Your Name.

וּנְתַנֶּה תּקֶף קְדֻשַּׁת הַיּום
כִּי הוּא נורָא וְאָיום
וּבו תִנָּשֵׂא מַלְכוּתֶךָ
וְיִכּון בְּחֶסֶד כִּסְאֶךָ
וְתֵשֵׁב עָלָיו בֶּאֱמֶת.
אֱמֶת כִּי אַתָּה הוּא דַיָּן וּמוכִיחַ וְיודֵעַ וָעֵד
וְכותֵב וְחותֵם וְסופֵר וּמונֶה.
וְתִזְכּר כָּל הַנִּשְׁכָּחות,
וְתִפְתַּח אֶת סֵפֶר הַזִּכְרונות.
וּמֵאֵלָיו יִקָּרֵא.
וְחותָם יַד כָּל אָדָם בּו.
וּבְשׁופָר גָּדול יִתָּקַע.
וְקול דְּמָמָה דַקָּה יִשָּׁמַע.
וּמַלְאָכִים יֵחָפֵזוּן.
וְחִיל וּרְעָדָה יאחֵזוּן.
וְיאמְרוּ הִנֵּה יום הַדִּין.
לִפְקד עַל צְבָא מָרום בַּדִּין.
כִּי לא יִזְכּוּ בְעֵינֶיךָ בַּדִּין.
וְכָל בָּאֵי עולָם יַעַבְרוּן לְפָנֶיךָ כִּבְנֵי מָרון.
כְּבַקָּרַת רועֶה עֶדְרו.
מַעֲבִיר צאנו תַּחַת שִׁבְטו.
כֵּן תַּעֲבִיר וְתִסְפּר וְתִמְנֶה וְתִפְקד נֶפֶשׁ כָּל חָי.
וְתַחְתּךְ קִצְבָה לְכָל בְּרִיּותֶיךָ.
וְתִכְתּב אֶת גְּזַר דִּינָם:
בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה יִכָּתֵבוּן
וּבְיום צום כִּפּוּר יֵחָתֵמוּן
כַּמָּה יַעַבְרוּן וְכַמָּה יִבָּרֵאוּן
מִי יִחְיֶה וּמִי יָמוּת.
מִי בְקִצּו וּמִי לא בְקִצּו
מִי בַמַּיִם. וּמִי בָאֵשׁ
מִי בַחֶרֶב. וּמִי בַחַיָּה
מִי בָרָעָב. וּמִי בַצָּמָא
מִי בָרַעַשׁ. וּמִי בַמַּגֵּפָה
מִי בַחֲנִיקָה וּמִי בַסְּקִילָה
מִי יָנוּחַ וּמִי יָנוּעַ
מִי יִשָּׁקֵט וּמִי יִטָּרֵף
מִי יִשָּׁלֵו. וּמִי יִתְיַסָּר
מִי יֵעָנִי. וּמִי יֵעָשֵׁר
מִי יִשָּׁפֵל. וּמִי יָרוּם
וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה
מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה
כִּי כְּשִׁמְךָ כֵּן תְּהִלָּתֶךָ
קָשֶׁה לִכְעס וְנוחַ לִרְצות
כִּי לא תַחְפּץ בְּמות הַמֵּת
כִּי אִם בְּשׁוּבו מִדַּרְכּו וְחָיָה
וְעַד יום מותו תְּחַכֶּה לּו
אִם יָשׁוּב מִיַּד תְּקַבְּלו.
אֱמֶת כִּי אַתָּה הוּא יוצְרָם
וְאַתָּה יודֵעַ יִצְרָם
כִּי הֵם בָּשָׂר וָדָם.
אָדָם יְסודו מֵעָפָר, וְסופו לֶעָפָר
בְּנַפְשׁו יָבִיא לַחְמו
מָשׁוּל כְּחֶרֶס הַנִּשְׁבָּר
כְּחָצִיר יָבֵשׁ וּכְצִיץ נובֵל
כְּצֵל עובֵר וּכְעָנָן כָּלָה
וּכְרוּחַ נושָׁבֶת וּכְאָבָק פּורֵחַ
וְכַחֲלום יָעוּף.
וְאַתָּה הוּא מֶלֶךְ אֵל חַי וְקַיָּם
אֵין קִצְבָה לִשְׁנותֶיךָ. וְאֵין קֵץ לְארֶךְ יָמֶיךָ
וְאֵין לְשַׁעֵר מַרְכְּבות כְּבודֶךָ.
וְאֵין לְפָרֵשׁ עֵלוּם שְׁמֶך
שִׁמְךָ נָאֶה לְךָ. וְאַתָּה נָאֶה לִשְׁמֶךָ.
וּשְׁמֵנוּ קָרָאתָ בִּשְׁמֶךָ.
עֲשֵׂה לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ. וְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ עַל מַקְדִּישֵׁי שְׁמֶךָ
בַּעֲבוּר כְּבוד שִׁמְךָ הַנַּעֲרָץ וְהַנִּקְדָּשׁ
כְּסוד שִׂיחַ שַׂרְפֵי קדֶשׁ
הַמַּקְדִּישִׁים שִׁמְךָ בַּקּדֶשׁ
דָּרֵי מַעְלָה עִם דָּרֵי מַטָּה
קורְאִים וּמְשַׁלְּשִׁים בְּשִׁלּוּשׁ קְדֻשָּׁה בַּקּדֶשׁ.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some common ground

There is not much common ground between my approach to Torah and that of, let's say, a yeshiva student from Ponovitch. However, in the spirit of Elul, I do think that there is common ground. In 1990, Rav Shach zt"l gave a famous speech which became known as the "speech of rabbits and pigs." In this speech, he gave what has been called the single clearest expression of the gulf between the identity of the chareidi world and that of the secular one. Now, there is little common ground between my hashkafa and that of Rav Shach. In approaches to nationalism, military strength, politics, chabbad, secular studies, and many other areas, we are on opposite ends of the spectrum. However, I find myself agreeing with the main thrust of this speech:

"אלפיים שנה אנחנו לבד בידיים ריקות, אין לנו נשק. איך אפשר לעמוד? ואנחנו ניצחנו - אנחנו עומדים וקיימים. מה הסוד בזה?... המופת היא: אני יהודי ואני חזק יותר מהם. יהרגו אותי, אבל בניי יישארו בחיים. אני לא ניתקתי מורשת אבותיי... אני אלך בדרך האבא, בדרך הסבא ובדרך הסבתא... אני אלמד את חוכמתי שלי, את הקולטורא שלי"
"אתה גם יהודי, אתה נימול, אבל אתה יודע את הקולטורא שלך? מה הקולטורא שלך? אנגלית? זה הקולטורא שלך? ... אתה פותח את החומש אתה יודע פירוש המילות?"
"אם יש קיבוצים שלא יודעים מה זה יום כיפור, לא יודעים מה זה שבת ולא יודעים מה זה מקווה. מגדלים שפנים וחזירים. יש להם קשר עם האבא שלהם? ... מערך? מערך זה דבר קדוש? הם ניתקו את עצמם מכל העבר שלנו ומבקשים תורה חדשה. אם אין שבת ואין יום כיפור, אז במה הוא יהודי?"
"יש כאלה שיאמרו שהדברים שאני אומר הם דברים של פאנאטיקער, דברים אלטע זאכן. אבל התורה הקדושה אומרת: 'כי היא חוכמתם ובינתכם לעיני העמים' ומעידה שהתורה היא חוכמת היהודים בעיני האומות".

For 2000 years we were alone with empty hands and without weapons. How can one stand [in such a situation]? And yet we were victorious - we are alive and standing. What is the secret? ... the wonder is: I am a Jew and I am stronger than them. They can murder me, but my children will still live. I have not cut myself off from my heritage... I go in the ways of my father, in the ways of my grandfather and my grandmother... I will teach MY wisdom, MY culture
You are also Jewish, you were circumcised, but do you know your culture? What IS your culture? English? That is your culture? when you open the Torah, do you understand the words?
If there are kibbutzim who do not know what Yom Kippur is, don't know what Shabbat is, and don't what a mikva is. They raise rabbits and pigs. Do they have a connection to their father? ... Labor [the political party]? Labor is something holy? They have cut themselves off from our past and they want a new Torah. If there is no Shabbat and no Yom Kippur, what makes them Jewish?
There are those who will say that my words are those of a fanatic - of an old man. But the Holy Torah says: 'She [the Torah] is your wisdom in the eyes of the nations' and testifies that the Torah is the Jewish wisdom in the eyes of the nations.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

'84% of Palestinians back Mercaz attack'

How dare the Jerusalem post publicize such a racist article that makes such gross generalizations about Arabs? In case, you don't know what I am talking about, please see the following article:
'84% of Palestinians back Mercaz attack'

Don't they know what advertizing such racist drivel will do? It will reinforce the right wing's delusional assertion that the Arabs as a nation are at war with the Jews and make peace IMPOSSIBLE, c"V, c"V, c"V.

Please write to jpost and to the NYT and tell them how you are disgusted that they would advertize such racist articles! Well at least the US commander in chief still understands that Islam is a religion of peace and that the real obstacle to peace is Israeli insistence on defending her citizens. b"H that Israel has such a good friend in the white house! One who truly understands that the 16% of Arabs who are against the murder of Jewish kids represent the true tradition of the noble Arab people. b"H.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On the Kedoshim from Merkaz HaRav

I have delayed posting regarding the massacre in Merkaz. Its very painful to me every time I begin to think about it. I have even avoided as much as possible joining in on the blog discussion on the matter - emotions run too deep. There are those Jews out there who want to see everything through a universalist lens. I can never be one of them. I see the universal as well, but only through the particularism of being a member of a chosen nation.

This is my symbolic system, my truth, the way I look at the world is through the divine as communicated to me by the Torah as understood by the tradition of the Jewish people - and I refuse to make even the smallest of concessions to western sensibilities that would strip me of this way of seeing the world.

I am not a great poet but I am a great lover of poetry and the poem which best captures my feelings regarding the martyrs of Merkaz HaRav is one written by Uri Zvi Greenberg in 1948, presumably with regard to the fallen soldiers of the war of Independence:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Ponevezh of old

I visited heichal shelomo last week for my eldest daughter's celebration for the recieving of her first sidur. While there, I visited the museum which includes among other wonderful things, an exhibit on Rav Itzchak Isaac Herzog zt"l. I found there a wonderful treasure:

Here is my translation:

A certificate of honor

to the brilliant chief of the all the Rabbis of Israel

Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac HaLevi Herzog Shlit"a

~ on his seventieth birthday (and many more to come) ~

our holy yeshiva proudly and with honor bequeaths

A gift from the sanctuary of the Torah

A place of honor reserved for his name next to the holy ark in the sanctuary of the yeshiva


Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman

Wow, I wonder if this will make it into the artscroll biography.

New Biography of Rav Kahane

Here are some excerpts from the back cover of Libby Kahane's wonderful new 761 page biography of Rav Meir Kahane zt"l hy"d, Rabbi Meir Kahane - His Life and Thought, Volume One: 1932-1975:

"When the chips are down. you know who's going to fight for the Jew? Only the Jew. And it's about time we understood this." (1971)

"Jewish survival and redemption are proof eternal and ultimate that the world is not governed by logic, by sanity or by man. It is controlled and decreed by God." (1975)

"...The Jew who makes his body bend to his will is a man who has no chains on his arms. The Jew who hears the cry of fellow Jews and casts off from himself the vanities and nonsense of money and sterile status ... and leaps into the waters of duty - this is a man who has come out of Egypt." (1975)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

R' Moshe Shternbach: The majority of gedolim supported the creation of a Jewish state

R’ Moshe Shternbach, one of the leading rabbis of the extremely anti-Zionist edah haHereidit in EY, actually admits in one of his books that the majority of Gedolei Israel supported the idea of a Jewish state even before the state was created. Yes, another instance of Chareidi historical revisionism is contradicted by their own internal sources (תשובות והנהגות ח"ב סי' ק"מ):

"... ולכן טען אז ואמר (הגרי"ז זצ"ל מבריסק) הרי בכנסיה התאספו רוב גדולי הדור, והקב"ה נוטה בתר רוב, והרי הסכימו על עצם מדינה, רק חלקו אם מותר לוותר על חלקי ארץ-ישראל, ואמר אז (בשנת תרצ"ו) חוששני שיתקיים שהרי אינו קשר רשעים והם מן המנין"

"And thus he (the Brisker Rav – haGriz) said, in the convention met most of the gedolim of the generation, and Hashem tends to go after the majority, and they all agreed regarding a state in essence, they only disagreed whether it is allowed to give up parts of the land of Israel. And then he said (in 1936) ‘I fear that [the state] will be established since it was not a convention of the wicked and they are counted as part of the congregation."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Say what?

From jpost:

Israel has informed foreign diplomats that it would reoccupy Hamas-ruled Gaza if necessary, though it prefers not to do so, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, as the IDF operated against defiant Gaza rocket squads.

So my question is: WHY THE !@#$% did you kick 10,000 Jews from their homes and destroy whole cumunities?!?!?

Can you losers ever admit you were wrong?

When we made aliya, a certain high ranking polititian got up in the welcome cerimony and started pontificating on the importance of aliah. I didn't have the guts to heckle him but if I did I would have yelled out that we are making aliya in spite of this disgraceful governement and that he has no right to preach about Jewish values to anyone.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The absurd war imagined by Natan Alterman

Continued from here.

Here is a poem by Natan Alterman which forshadows the tragedy that is sderot. As a friend pointed out to me, alterman was a Jeremiah in a country which was enamored only with the prophesies of Isaiah:

נתן אלתרמן, הטור השביעי, תשט"ו (1955)

נְשַעֵר כִּי תּוֹתָח עַרְבִי אֶחָד,
תּוֹתָח קָט, בֶּן-בְּלִי-עֵרֶךְ, יוֹרֶה נִים-לא-נִים
יְרִיָּה רַק אַחַת, לְשָבוּעַ בִּלְבַד,
אֶל שֶטַח מַעַרְכוֹת הָעִתּוֹנִים.

נְשַעֵר כִּי עוֹרְכֵי-עִתּוֹנִים לִישִיבָה
מִזְדַּמְּנִים בְּמִקְרֶה, וּבְשוּבָם לְעֵת-עֶרֶב
אִיש רֵעוֹ שוֹאֵל: אֵיךְ אֶצְלְכֶם בַּסְּבִיבָה?
וּמֵשִיב הַנִּשְאָל: הַטְרָדוֹת קַלּוֹת-עֶרֶך…

הַטְרָדוֹת שֶל שִגְרָה. הַסְּבִיבָה דּוֹמֵמָה.
רַק מִפַּעַם לְפַעַם, בְּאֶמְצַע הַמְּלֶאכֶת,
יוֹרֵד אֵיזֶה פָּגָז עָלוּב שֶל מַרְגֵּמָה
בְּשֶטַח מַזְכִּירוּת-הַמַּעֲרֶכֶת.

חוּץ מִזֶּה כִּמְעַט אֶפֶס. מָטוֹס מַנְמִיךְ-טוּס,
וְעִם-שַחַר צְלִיפוֹת אֲחָדוֹת אֶל הַדְּפוּס.

וְאוֹמֵר הַשֵּנִי: סְבִיבָתֵנוּ גַם לָהּ
אֵין עִילָּה לִתְלוּנוֹת. רַק אַחַת לִשְבוּעַיִים
יוֹרָה אֵלֵינוּ מִין בָּזוּקָה אֻומְלָלָה
הַיְשַר בַּחַלּוֹנוֹת וּבַדְּלָתַייִם.

לִפְעָמִים אֵיזֶה הוֹביצֶר בָּנוּ הוֹלֵם.
אַךְ אֵינֶנּוּ עוֹשִׂים מִזֶּה עֵסֶק שָלֵם.

וְאוֹמֵר הַשְּלִישִי: כֵּן, אַחִים, יִהְיֶה רַע
אִם נַגִּיב הֲגָבוֹת עַל מִקְרִים שֶכָּאֵלֶּה.
תְּמוֹל אֶצְלֵנוּ כִּמְעַט נֶהֶרְסָה הַתִּקְרָה, -
אֲבָל מֵילָא.

כַּךְ דִּבְּרוּ הָעוֹרְכִים, וְלִבִּי (שֶנִּימַת
אַקְטִיבִיזְם-מֻובְהָק לא נִימַת יְסוֹדוֹ הִיא)
סָח לִי חֶרֶש: רְאֵה כִּי שֻוכְנַעְתִּי כִּמְעַט
מִן הַיַּחַס הַזֶּה הַסְּטוֹאִי.

וְרַק רַחַש סָפֵק בִּי שָאַל, אִם אָמְנָם
לֹא הָיָה מִתְעַרְעֵר מְעַט קַו הַשִּכְנוּעַ
לוּ שָכְנוּ בֶּאֱמֶת עִתּוֹנֵינוּ אֵי-שָם
וְהָיוּ מְקַבְּלִים "רַק" פָּגָז לְשָבוּעַ…

רַק פָּגָז לְשָבוּעַ – לֹא כֵן? – עִם צְלִיפוֹת
אֲחָדוֹת בְּכָל-יוֹם אֶל חֲדַר הַיְשִיבוֹת…

יִתָּכֵן כִּי הָיוּ הֵם דּוֹרְשִים אָז בְּקוֹל
לְסַלֵּק וִיהִי-מָה כָּל עֶמְדָה שֶל טִיוּוּחַ…
יִתָּכֵן וְהָיוּ דּוֹרְשִים זאת בְּלִי כָל
הִסְתַּיְּיגוּת… מִי יוֹדֵעַ אֶת דֶּרֶךְ הָרוּחַ…

הָעִיקָּר לִפְעָמִים (זאת הִרְגַּשְנוּ מִכְּבָר)
אֵינוֹ כֵּן-אַקְטִיבִיזְם אוֹ לֹא-אַקְטִיבִיזְם…
הָעִיקָּר הוּא שֶקְּצָת בְּרִחוֹק מִן הַסְּפָר
קַל לָדוּן בַּדְּבָרִים מֵעֶמְדָה שֶל כְּתִיבִיזְם…

זֶה מַשְפִּיעַ.. מַשְפִּיעַ אוּלַי עַל שָורְשָן
שֶל דֵּעוֹת. טוֹב דִּיוּן שֶצָּלוּל וּמַקִּיף הוּא,
אַךְ נִקְבַּעַת אוּלַי הַשְקָפַת הַפַּרְשָן
גַּם לְפִי הַמָּקוֹם שֶמִּמֶּנּוּ מַשְקִיף הוּא.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Shofar Blower

From God's Middlemen: A Habad Retrospective : Stories of Mystical Rabbis:

By Reuven Alpert

He was known in Jerusalem simply as the "baal tokeya," the "shofar blower."
When the British forbade Jews from blowing the shofar at the Wailing Wall, he was the young man who had the guts to sound the traditional ram's horn at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. He was promptly imprisoned by the mandatory authorities and subsequently freed only after the personal intervention of Rav Kook, the chief rabbi. Rav Kook threatened not to break his fast until the "offender" was set loose.

When I became acquainted with Rabbi Moshe Segal, he was already an old man, but none of the idealism of youth had left him.

I had been sent by Rav Zevi Yehuda Kook to meet someone at a demonstration at Hakirya, the seat of the Israeli government. The small crowd outside Prime Minister Begin's office were mostly students of Rav Kook's yeshiva, there to protest Begin's ceding Jewish land to surrounding Arab nations. On the platform, spoke a slight man with a white beard. He had about him all the intensity of an Israelite prophet of old. Imagine my surprise when the "prophet" actually began to speak the ancient Hebrew words from the Book of Kings concerning Ahab, King of Israel and Ben Haddad, King of Aram. I never found the person I was supposed to meet, but my encounter with the prophet was more than sufficient reward.

Toward the end of his days, Rav Segal worked as a civil servant in Jerusalem's religious council. His relationship to the office was nothing less than Kafkaesque. The dreamer and fighter for Israel's independence, the ideologist of Berit ha-Hashmonaim ("Covenant of the Hasmoneans"), a religious offshoot of Jabotinsky's Revisionist movement, was reduced to politely listening to the idle chatter of his fellow civil servants.

In the privacy of his cubicle, he unburdened himself. Like so many of Israel's pioneers, he had come from Russia. What hadn't he done for his country? He had dried her swamps, paved her roads. But this was a pious pioneer. He had been one of the original founders of Kefar Habad, the Habad village near Lod, in the first years of the state.

His home town of Poltava, as many Russian towns, contained a mixed population of hasidim and mitnagdim. The rabbi of the hasidic community had been Jacob Mordecai Bezpulov, study companion to the Rebbe Rashab. The mitnagdim were led by Rabbi Elijah Akiba Rabinowitz, editor of the anti-Zionist Ha-Peless. In his youth, Segal knew Rabbi Hayyim Eliezer Bichovsky, who in the teens published in Poltava several important works of Habad hasidism. Torah Judaism was given a morale boost when, as a result of the upheavals of the First World War, the Mirrer Yeshiva, one of Lithuania's finest Talmudic academies, relocated to Poltava, Ukraine. The earnestness of the students, with whom he became intimately acquainted, made an indelible impression on Segal.

Yes, Segal was a Habadnik, but his love for Erets Yisrael came first. He had never seen the Rebbe, unwilling to leave the land for even a visit of such importance. He had seen the previous rebbe, Joseph Isaac, on the latter's pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1928.

In 1967, right after the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem, he moved in. At first he was a lone Jew sleeping in the rubble of the former Jewish Quarter. His only neighbors were Arabs. Later, other Jews arrived, and today the area throbs with Jewish life.

He was thoroughly disillusioned with Begin. "I knew something was wrong when he formed a coalition with the Liberals. What has happened is that he is totally caught up in his mythos of peace."

He remonstrated with me to revive the vision, to go out to secular, leftist Israeli youth and implant in them the spirit.

"When I was young, we had none of the vessels but we had the light. Today, we have the vessels, all the trappings of statehood, but we have lost the light."

Rabbi Moshe Segal was no longer the kinetic youth. Old age had descended upon him and he broke down crying old man's tears.

Fittingly, Rabbi Moshe Segal passed away on Yom Kippur. As his grandson expressed it, those lungs that had suffered so much sent heavenward their last shrill note, "Tekiyah!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

An open letter to the world

Cross currents has a post written by R' Avi Shafran responding to the anti-Semitic piece written by Arun Gandhi for the "On Faith" blog. The response is ok but the article by Gandhi brought to my mind a letter written in 1988. In 1988 an open letter to the world was submitted anonymously to various Jewish press outlets. Most of them ran the piece. After the letter was already published, Rav Meir Kahane Zt"l Hy"d came out as the author of the letter at which point all these outlets apologized for running it. Funny how the content of the letter seemed fine to them before they found out who wrote it. In any case, here is the text of the open letter:

Dear World,

It Appears That You Are Hard To Please.

I understand that you are upset over us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry and outraged? Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset over us. Today, it is the brutal repression of the Palestinians; yesterday, it was Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War campaign. It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily. Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we, the Jewish people - upset you. We upset a German people who elected a Hitler and we upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset. We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us. We upset, for centuries, a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions. And we upset the arch-enemy of the Church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

It is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish State.

The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you, disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you and thus love you - and have you love us? And so we decided to come home - to the same homeland from which we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset. Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state - we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Moscow is upset and Washington is upset.

The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset. Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron - in 1929. Dear world, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967?

And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset, then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them..............

Dear world, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres. You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction. And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us. In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And we are supposed to make peace with these people?

'93% of Palestinian kids suffer domestic violence'

Will all you insane so called "moderates" PLEASE give me a break.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Random thoughts

I have been reading/learning several books at once lately. I found a couple of passages that shocked me even though I should of seen it coming.

The first I will title "Rav Soloveitchik the mystic???" (from Lonely Man of Faith p. 40-41):

The Covenantal faith community, in contradistinction to the natural work community, interprets the divine pronouncement "It is not good for man to be alone," not in utilitarian but in ontological terms: it is not good for man to be lonely (not alone) with emphasis placed upon "to be." Being at the level of the faith community does not lend itself to any equation. "To be" is not to be equated with "to work and produce goods" (as historical materialism wants us to believe). "To be" is not identical with "to think" (as the classical tradition of philosophical rationalism throughout the ages, culminating in Descartes and later in Kand, tried to convince us). "To be" does not exhaust itself either in suffering (as Schopenhauer preached) or in enjoying the world of sense (in accordance with ethical hedonism). "To be" is a unique in-depth experience of which only Adam the second is aware, and it is unrelated to any function or performance. "To be" means to be the only one, singular and different, and consequently lonely. For what causes man to be lonely and feel insecure if not the awareness of his uniqueness and exclusiveness? The "I" is lonely, experiencing ontological incompleteness and casualness, because there is no one who exists like the "I" and because the modus existentiae of the "I" cannot be repeated, imitated, or experienced by others.
Wow! I have noticed that many of the rationalists bloggers reject the reality of a spiritual realm. A realm which is separate from both the intellectual and emotional. It seems to me that Rav Soloveitchik is discussing just such a reality.

Second and unrelated. I am once again going through the classic Greek philosophers. My current project is Plato's "The Republic", here is a passage which really illustrated to me the gulf between "Chochma" and "Torah" (Part Three, Book Three, 410):
This then is the kind of medical and judicial provision for which you will legislate in your state. It will provide treatment for those of your citizens whose physical and psychological constitution is good; as for the others, it will leave the unhealthy to die, and those whose psychological constitution is incurably corrupt it will put to death.
Don't know why it shocked me. I knew both these things before but sometimes a gap forms between your knowledge and your expectations and things which you already knew can shock you anew!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה

ישעיהו פרק סב
א לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה, וּלְמַעַן יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֹא אֶשְׁקוֹט, עַד-יֵצֵא כַנֹּגַהּ צִדְקָהּ, וִישׁוּעָתָהּ כְּלַפִּיד יִבְעָר. ב וְרָאוּ גוֹיִם צִדְקֵךְ, וְכָל-מְלָכִים כְּבוֹדֵךְ; וְקֹרָא לָךְ שֵׁם חָדָשׁ, אֲשֶׁר פִּי יְהוָה יִקֳּבֶנּוּ. ג וְהָיִית עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת, בְּיַד-יְהוָה; וצנוף (וּצְנִיף) מְלוּכָה, בְּכַף-אֱלֹהָיִךְ. ד לֹא-יֵאָמֵר לָךְ עוֹד עֲזוּבָה, וּלְאַרְצֵךְ לֹא-יֵאָמֵר עוֹד שְׁמָמָה--כִּי לָךְ יִקָּרֵא חֶפְצִי-בָהּ, וּלְאַרְצֵךְ בְּעוּלָה: כִּי-חָפֵץ יְהוָה בָּךְ, וְאַרְצֵךְ תִּבָּעֵל. ה כִּי-יִבְעַל בָּחוּר בְּתוּלָה, יִבְעָלוּךְ בָּנָיִךְ; וּמְשׂוֹשׂ חָתָן עַל-כַּלָּה, יָשִׂישׂ עָלַיִךְ אֱלֹהָיִךְ. ו עַל-חוֹמֹתַיִךְ יְרוּשָׁלִַם, הִפְקַדְתִּי שֹׁמְרִים--כָּל-הַיּוֹם וְכָל-הַלַּיְלָה תָּמִיד, לֹא יֶחֱשׁוּ; הַמַּזְכִּרִים, אֶת-יְהוָה--אַל-דֳּמִי, לָכֶם. ז וְאַל-תִּתְּנוּ דֳמִי, לוֹ: עַד-יְכוֹנֵן וְעַד-יָשִׂים אֶת-יְרוּשָׁלִַם, תְּהִלָּה--בָּאָרֶץ. ח נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה בִּימִינוֹ, וּבִזְרוֹעַ עֻזּוֹ: אִם-אֶתֵּן אֶת-דְּגָנֵךְ עוֹד מַאֲכָל, לְאֹיְבַיִךְ, וְאִם-יִשְׁתּוּ בְנֵי-נֵכָר תִּירוֹשֵׁךְ, אֲשֶׁר יָגַעַתְּ בּוֹ. ט כִּי מְאַסְפָיו יֹאכְלֻהוּ, וְהִלְלוּ אֶת-יְהוָה; וּמְקַבְּצָיו יִשְׁתֻּהוּ, בְּחַצְרוֹת קָדְשִׁי. {ס}

י עִבְרוּ עִבְרוּ בַּשְּׁעָרִים, פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ הָעָם; סֹלּוּ סֹלּוּ הַמְסִלָּה סַקְּלוּ מֵאֶבֶן, הָרִימוּ נֵס עַל-הָעַמִּים. יא הִנֵּה יְהוָה, הִשְׁמִיעַ אֶל-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ, אִמְרוּ לְבַת-צִיּוֹן, הִנֵּה יִשְׁעֵךְ בָּא; הִנֵּה שְׂכָרוֹ אִתּוֹ, וּפְעֻלָּתוֹ לְפָנָיו. יב וְקָרְאוּ לָהֶם עַם-הַקֹּדֶשׁ, גְּאוּלֵי יְהוָה; וְלָךְ יִקָּרֵא דְרוּשָׁה, עִיר לֹא נֶעֱזָבָה. {ס}

Isaiah Chapter 62
1 For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her triumph go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch that burneth. 2 And the nations shall see thy triumph, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall mark out. 3 Thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the open hand of thy God. 4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called, My delight is in her, and thy land, Espoused; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be espoused. 5 For as a young man espouseth a virgin, so shall thy sons espouse thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. 6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, they shall never hold their peace day nor night: 'Ye that are the LORD'S remembrancers, take ye no rest, 7 And give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.' 8 The LORD hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength: Surely I will no more give thy corn to be food for thine enemies; and strangers shall not drink thy wine, for which thou hast laboured; 9 But they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD, and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of My sanctuary. {S} 10 Go through, go through the gates, clear ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones; lift up an ensign over the peoples. 11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth: say ye to the daughter of Zion: 'Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.' 12 And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD; and thou shalt be called Sought out, a city not forsaken. {S}

Were coming back home!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What I look like

Some people asked me who I am so I decided to drop a hint by posting a picture of myself (see here):

Monday, July 23, 2007

שיבנה בית המקדש

יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו, שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו ותן חלקנו בתורתך. ושם נעבדך ביראה כימי עולם וכשנים קדמוניות

Monday, July 02, 2007

Well, its a start

[UPDATE: Apparently, the source for the YNet article was an article in Arutz 7. It has more quotes which are more complete and have the relevant sources. You can see it here.]

Well, its a start:

Journalist Ilana Dayan: How is it that we all blindly followed Oslo?...Why didn't we ask whether disengagement was the right step?"

TV personality Avri Gilad: I supported the disengagement plan and I was wrong…the orange (pro-settlement camp) was right.

Journalist and political commentator Yaron London: Nothing has been built on the ruins except terrorist training camps…"

Playwright Yehoshua Sobol: I wouldn't like to see us folding from Judea and Samaria once again and to see Qassam rockets being fired on Kfar Saba, Ra'anana and Herzliya…"

Major-General Yiftah Ron Tal: (Commander of the land forces during the disengagement): I cannot understand why Israel relinquished parts of its land voluntarily and passionately, and how it turned settlers connected to the land into criminals…

Journalist and TV personality Yair Lapid: The calmest front at the moment is in Judea and Samaria. Heretic thoughts are suddenly occupying the minds of the staunchest leftists: Perhaps it's not the occupation?

Alon Gershon Hacohen (in charge of disengagement in the Gaza Strip): The disengagement was a crime, and I was a partner to a crime against the Jewish people…the Second Lebanon War is the punishment…"

Journalist Dan Margalit: I had hoped that it would be possible to achieve bi-national peace between the River Jordan and the Sea; however, there is nothing to discuss…a man should not be expelling another from his home; moreover, a Jew should not be expelling another Jew.

Journalist Yoel Marcus: It appears that the extremist settlers …were the ones who were right. The Palestinians turned Gush Katif into a base for ongoing fire…"

Now lets see if any of the bloggers in bloggerland who supported this crime will fess up and admit their mistake. Come on, you know who you are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Israeli Western

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Monday, April 30, 2007

In more news...

Olmert, Peretz, Halutz failed in their roles, war report says

In more news...

The Allies won WWII.


The sun rose this morning.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Did Ben Gurion want a Jewish state?

Ben-Bayit has an important post which I will reproduce with some translation:

Amnon Lord in a recent column claims the answer is NO. In a wide-ranging discussion of the recent "revelations" that Teddy Kollek served as a British "informer" prior to 1948, Lord comes to the conclusion that what drove the Mapai during the 1940's was enabling absolute political hegemony over the "Yishuv" and in order to do that they cooperated with the British in 2 crucial areas: 1) keeping the local Jewish population quiet insofar as to what was happening to Jews in Europe. and 2) cooperating in uprooting the Jewish underground groups such as the Irgun and the Lehi.

According to Lord, the Mapai's purpose in all of this was to maintain political control - not necessarily to advance the cause of an independent Jewish state. For that matter he claims that Mapai was perfectly happy remaining in political control as a British vassal - as long as they had political control.
ב-1945, נוכח המאבק המתפתח בין בריטניה לבין המעצמות העולות - ברית המועצות וארצות הברית - על ארץ ישראל והמזרח התיכון, היה האינסטינקט הפחדני של הנהגת הסוכנות, קרי בן-גוריון ושרת, לקבל חסות ופרוטקשן מהשלטון הבריטי הקיים. מפא"י בכלל לא חתרה להקמת מדינה יהודית, אלא עודדה את הבריטים להישאר; המדינה היהודית הוקמה כמדינת אין-ברירה כאשר היה ברור שהבריטים זונחים את בן-גוריון וחבריו ומפקירים אותם לגורלם, אולי בציפייה שאלה יזעיקו אותם חזרה כדי להינצל משחיטה.

In 1945, in light of the conflict which was forming between Britain and the rising superpowers, the USSR and the USA, it was the cowardly instinct of the Agency leadership, that is Ben Gurion and Sharet, to receive protection from the British regime. Mapai made no efforts to establish a Jewish state, rather it encouraged the British to stay; the Jewish state was created as a "no-other-choice" state when it became clear that the British are abandoning Ben-Gurion and his friends and are leaving them to their own fate, perhaps with the hopes that this group [Ben Gurion] will call [the British] back in order to same themselves from [Arab] slaughter.
מבחינה מדינית, התנהגות כמו ההלשנה של טדי קולק יכולה לקבל צידוק רק אם האוריינטציה החד-צדדית לכיוון בריטניה מוכיחה את עצמה. אלא שהנהגת היישוב לא קיבלה שום דבר בתמורה לשיתוף הפעולה שלה במשך שנות המלחמה. עד 1942 ניתן היה להעלות ארצה אלפי יהודים כדי להצילם מידי הגרמנים, אך הבריטים לא אפשרו זאת, והנהגת הישוב המפא"יניקית לא לחצה עליהם ואפילו סייעה לעצור ספינות עולים. אותה אוריינטציה בריטית לא הניבה שום פרי גם אחרי המלחמה, באותה תקופה גורלית שבין מלחמת העולם למלחמת העצמאות. בניגוד למיתוס האקדמי התעמולתי הנפוץ היום, כאילו "העולם" שהרגיש אשם בגלל השואה הקים את המדינה היהודית, הבריטים, שהיו חלק קובע ב"עולם" הזה, בלמו עלייה לארץ והתנגדו נחרצות להקמת המדינה. הם גם עודדו את הערבים לתקוף את מדינת ישראל לאחר הכרזת העצמאות. לא ברור אם כך איזו תועלת לאומית ומדינית יכלה לצמוח ממדיניות הסזון. נראה שבאותה תקופה פוסט-מלחמתית שיתוף הפעולה של תחילת שנות ה-40 כבר הפך לעסק מושחת, לסימביוזה שארוחה אנינה של צדפות, רוסט-ביף ויין טוב, כפי שמופיע בדיווח על הפגישות בין קולק למפעיליו, מסמלת את מהותה.

From a political perspective, behavior such as the informing on Jews by Teddy Kollek can only receive legitimacy if the one-sided orientation towards Britain proves itself. Unfortunately, the leadership of the settlement receive nothing in return for their cooperation during the years of the war. Until 1942 it was possible to bring to Eretz Yisrael thousands of Jews in order to save them from the Germans, but the British did not allow this, and the Mapai leadership of the settlement did not pressure them and even aided them in capturing [illegal] immigrant ships. The same pro-British orientation did not give any fruit even after the war - during that fateful period between the world war and the war of independence. in contrast to the propagandistic academic mythology which is so popular today, as if the "world" which felt guilty because of the Holocaust established the Jewish state, the British, who were key players in this "world" obstructed immigration of Jews and firmly opposed a Jewish state. They also encouraged the Arabs to attack the state of Israel after the declaration of independence. It is thus unclear what kind of political or national benefit could have arisen out of the policy of informing on Jews [the "season"]. It seems that in that same post-war period, the cooperation of the early 40s had been transformed into a corrupt enterprise. [It transformed] into a symbiosis whose essence is captured by refined clam dinners, roast beef and good wine (as meetings between Kolek and his operators are described).
It is worth noting that not only was Kollek involved in informing on underground fighters, but he was also the one, as Lord points out, who handed over Joel Brand to the British - thus preventing his attempt at rescuing Hungarian Jewry.
באוטוביוגרפיה של שמואל תמיר, שיצאה שנים לאחר מותו, יש תיאור מפורט של "קליטתו" של יואל ברנד בקושטא על ידי אהוד אבריאל וטדי קולק. מי שקורא את הקטעים האלה לא יכול שלא להגיע למסקנה שמעצרו של ברנד על ידי הבריטים באחת מתחנות הרכבת בוצע בעזרתם הפעילה של קולק ואבריאל, כלומר שהם תפקדו כסוכנים בריטים. הסגרתו של יואל ברנד, שבא להציע לבריטים את העסקה של אייכמן להצלת יהודי הונגריה, נועדה קודם כל למנוע ממנו לקומם את דעת הקהל בארץ ובעולם היהודי. אפשר להתווכח אם היו סיכויים כלשהם לביצוע עסקת ה"משאיות תמורת דם"; אבל ודאי שניתן היה, בעזרת יואל ברנד, לבצע הרעשת עולמות על טבח יהודי הונגריה. זה בדיוק מה שהנהגת היישוב פחדה ממנו לאורך כל תקופת השואה, שמא דעת הקהל היהודית בארץ תצא משליטה.

In Shmuel Tamir's autobiography, which was published years after his death, there is a detailed description of Joel Brand's "absorption" in Istanbul by Ehud Avriel and Teddy Kolek. Whoever reads these sections can not help but arrive at the conclusion that Brand's arrest by the British in one of the train stations was achieved through the active aide of Kolek and Avriel, that is, that they acted as British agents. The handing over of Joel Brand, who came to offer the British Eichman's deal for the rescue of Hungarian Jewry, was intended primarily to keep him from stirring public opinion in Eretz Yisrael and in the Jewish world. One can argue whether there was any chance of success for the "trucks for blood" deal; But it is certain that it was possible, with the help of Joel Brand, to create a world-wide shakeup regarding the slaughter of Hungarian Jewry. This is precisely what the leadership of the Yeshuv feared throughout the entire Holocaust, lest the Jewish public opinion in Eretz Yisrael will move beyond its control.
So on this Holocaust Memorial Day and Independence Day period all I could think about was two things: 1) How the leaders of the Zionists (and later the State) will often do anything to maintain political power - and thus can't be trusted with our welfare and 2) How miraculous it is that the Jews have a state despite of all this.
Chag Sameach!!!