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Friday, April 28, 2006

Well, at least we have a security fence III

Continued from here.

Well, after spending $1,000,000,000 on a security fence and destroying the lives of 10,000 precious Jews, Katyusha rockets have been smuggled into Gaza (from jpost):

Palestinians have smuggled a number of Katyusha rockets into the Gaza Strip, potentially threatening towns well inside Israel, a senior Israeli military official said Friday.

The official, initially said several dozen Katyushas have reached Gaza, but later said that he had meant to say "a few."

The official said Israel is prepared to re-enter Gaza in response to the threat of the rockets, but has no plans to do so in the immediate future. He spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines.

Now both the Gaza "border" with Israel and the border with Egypt are pretty small and are one of the most guarded areas around the world yet the Arabs managed to smuggle heavy weaponry that looks like this:

Now, besides the actual problem of the Katyushas, are we really expected to believe that these fences which can not stop the smuggling of heavy artillery will stop a single dedicated suicide bomber from entering Israel???

Does the government of Israel think we are all that stupid? Well, since Kadima won the last election, maybe we are.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beit Chalutz

Pun intended

Monday, April 17, 2006

Well, at least we have a security fence II

Continued from here.

Well, after spending $1,000,000,000 on a security fence, we get another attack with at least 9 dead and 66 wounded. So the modern day version of the Maginot line is a failure once again.

Now, before anyone jumps up and brilliantly declares: "but has not the security fence prevented dozens of attacks," let me respond that the sages z"l inofrmed us many years ago that "techilat nefila nissa" - "the beginning of the fall is the retreat". The fence, just like the expulsion plan represents nothing less than shameful retreat from enemies which justice demands we should defeat. Such a policy will never save lives in the long run but only motivates our enemies and puts more lives at risk.

On this Chag HaGeula, may Hashem send us leaders who will raise the banner of Klal Israel up high and no longer will our national honor be dragged through the mud!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Rav Kook and the Documentary Hypothesis

GH posts that he has found sources where Rav Kook supposidly allowed for the DH. Here was my response in the comments section:

This is a misrepresentation of Rav Kook's hashkafa. He never accepts the Documentary Hypothesis, he labels it irrelevant.

He refused to speak at the opening of Hebrew U. unless they promised not to open a department of biblical criticism. They promised and then broke their promise which caused Rav Kook MUCH pain.

Also, the mystical concept of continuous revelation applies ONLY to esoteric thought and Torah SeBeAl Peh (which includes INTERPERTAION of the Written Torah), NOT to the text of the written Torah.

On the Written Torah, Rav Kook wrote (Orot HaTeshuva, chapter 1):

The Written Torah we receive through the highest, most expansive channel in our soul. We feel from it the living, general light of all existence. Not the spirit of the nation created this great light – but the spirit of G-d.
In the Oral Torah we begin the descent to life. We sense that we receive this light through the second channel of the soul, the channel which approaches practical life. We feel that the spirit of the nation molded the Oral Torah in its distinct image. Here the Torah of G-d and the Torah of Man converge.
And these two lights make a complete world, in which heaven and earth kiss.

I would like to add that none of the sources really support GH's claim. Rav Kook actually writes quite strongly against the relevancy of the DH to anyone who has a healthy connection to the Jewish nation. I don't have time to write more about this now, but perhaps I will put together a post on this topic in the future.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Service of Hashem

The passuk in last weak's parsha said (VaYikra 1:2):

דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַיהוָה--מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת-קָרְבַּנְכֶם.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock.

The English translation does not reveal an anomaly in the pasuk. The words אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם is very odd. The normal way to say this would be אָדָם מִכֶּם כִּי-יַקְרִיב. When such an anomaly occurs, it begs for us to find the lessons the Torah intended us to learn. I found two beautiful chassidishe explanations I would like to share.

The first is from Rav Yehoshua Heshel of Apta - the Ohev Yisrael, explains that when a person sacrifices for Hashem in a manner of מִכֶּם - From his very self. That is, when a person is prepared for self sacrifice of the highest order for his Creator - then it is considered a קָרְבָּן לַיהוָה, a sacrifice to Hashem. However, if a person only sacrifices from הַבְּהֵמָה מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן - from his material possessions then it falls into a different category - קָרְבַּנְכֶם - Your korban, not the korban of Hashem. The lesson is clear - when we perform mitzvot, we must do so from the very essence of our being. It can NOT be simply a matter of habit or a dry fulfillment of an obligation. We must do so with the hope that we are using all that Hashem has given us to perform our service of Him to its fullest capacity.

The second explanation comes from the Alter Rebbe explains that when a person comes to bring a sacrifice to Hashem, it must be אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם - the בְּהֵמָה he brings to Hashem must come from his אָדָם - the Animal within his humanity. He must sacrifice to Hashem his own Animal soul - his evil inclination - his yetzer hara and use it as well to serve Hashem.