Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New blog on the block

Yet another victim of the j-blogosphere.

May you have a speedy recovery from this addiction.

VeImru Amen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The generals as 'experts'

Joe settler has an important post for anyone who is still naive enough to think that the current set of Army brass in Israel are experts whose top concern is the safety of the population in EY:

Nine different Generals came to visit my friend’s reserve army unit after the war.

The Ramatkal (Chief of Staff) was also supposed to visit but after the hard time the 9 generals got he chickened out.

General Gantz (the head of all IDF ground units) came to the unit to explain what happened and to tell them we won the war (since it wasn’t obvious to anyone that we did). At the end he asked if anyone had questions.

One soldier got up, and said, “I have 2 questions for you, a personal question and an operational question.”

He continued, “My personal question is regarding the statement you made a year ago. You see I am a settler and I volunteered to fight in the IDF, and I want to know if after 100% of us settlers showed up to fight and die, do you still stand by your statement that "settlers are worse than Hizbollah"?”

For his second question he asked, “How come you sent in us ground units without first destroying all the enemy sniper positions and houses overlooking us?”

For the first question, he actually denied he said what he said, adding that “Aryeh Eldad is just trying to get brownie points”, but then he said that he doesn’t take back a word of what he said. I guess that means he did say it and still thinks its true.

Regarding the second question, he answered the tanks destroyed most houses marked as Hizbollah sites.

Unfortunately Gantz forgot to mention that most of the houses were apparently not marked.

At this point, the flustered Gantz had enough and ran away like all the other generals that visited this elite reserve unit.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bitter defeat

So, it looks like the evil imps that run the Israeli government are planning to surrender to the enemy monster and therefore declare that Jewish blood is worthless and that all those soldiers died for nothing.

The only question is what change in attitude can all of us implement so that the deaths of those holy martyrs will not have been in vain. The only think I can think of is the words of the Navi (זכריה ד:ו):

וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי, לֵאמֹר, זֶה דְּבַר-יְהוָה, אֶל-זְרֻבָּבֶל לֵאמֹר: לֹא בְחַיִל, וְלֹא בְכֹחַ--כִּי אִם-בְּרוּחִי, אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת

Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying: 'This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying: Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The Mahral in his introduction to Netzach Yisrael explains that the term כִּי אִם in the tanach is never used to completely reject one idea in favor of another - rather it is always used to create a primary secondary relationship between the phrase that is before and that which is after.

In other words, the Navi is telling us that military power in and of itself is useless when the spirit of Hashem is missing. This is so clear in the pathetic leadership we have today. They have all the weaponry in the world but lack the spiritual strength to use it less they offend the perverted moral sensibilities of the nations of the world. Thus they waste Jewish lives accomplishing NOTHING and put millions of Jews in extreme danger out of their spiritual weakness and fear of the nations.

Every Jew to whom the nation of Israel and their mission is important should know: we will not have any peace until those who carry the spirit of the LORD take the reigns of leadership. As long as the power is in the hands of those who reject all that is holy and good, we are insuring the continuing suffering of the entire world. Forget the machloket. Forget reishit tzmichat geulateinu or not. Forget all the excuses. We are talking about pikuach nefesh of the most direct kind. If all of us who hold the Torah as our banner do not stand up and take control, we will ensure the continuing pointless death of precious Jews. If we do not take control, we will not be able to declare: "Our hands did not spill this blood"

So the next question is: What can a simple Jew such as myself do? I really don't know the full answer, but if all of us demand that our leaders and rabbanim drop everything that divides them and come to some agreement so that we can all be united as one political block. We must DEMAND unity! If 100 years ago, the litvaks, chassidim, and yekkes managed to get together and form agudat Yisrael as an umbrella organization to represent them all, why in the worlds can we not do the same today??? We must stop seeing ourselves as satellites and shtadlanim in the political process in Israel - We ARE THE NATION! The Torah is our banner and anyone who does not rally around their banner and their flag will always be stepped upon.

I pray that someone out there, just one person will read these words and do something - anything to increase Torah unity in this world. If even one person does - Zeh Yiyeh Sechari.

May the souls of the fallen soldiers shake the heavens and demand our speedy redemption. May their memories be a blessing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nachamu, Nachamu

From Orot (Translation by Rav Bezalel Naor):

"The redemption continues. The redemption from Egypt and the complete redemption of the future are one unending action: the action of the strong hand and outstretched arm, which began in Egypt and works though all eventualities. Moses and Elijah are redeemers in a single redemption; the beginner and the ender, the opener and closer together fill the unit. The spirit of Israel hears the sound of the movements, the redemptive actions, brought about through all eventualities until the sprouting of redemption will be complete, in all its plentitude and goodness."
May Hashem send us Torah leaders, gedolei Torah, proficient in the entire Torah, both esoteric and exoteric. Leaders that have vision and are proactive and not only reactive. Leaders that can relate to all the various types of souls which exist in klal Israel. May they raise the potential of the entire nation to the holy level it deserves. May we merit to see the full redemption speedily in our day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Guest post from Raglei Mevaser

Formula to fight a war and win it, too:

The way to end the current mess is to recognize, as doresh does, that all "good" (i.e. religious) Muslims hate Israel and want to destroy it, as they and their leaders have been saying very publicly.

Acting with that enlightening knowledge firmly in mind, the next step is to announce that any village from which a rocket is launched will be flattened from the air, regardless of civilian presence. If civilians don't want themselves to be killed, let them police their own village and make darn well sure that not a peep escapes their area.

Of course any government leader who opens his mouth in hatred of Israel and calling for its destruction is found dead in his bed the next day. After all, guys, Hashem has given us our own army and intelligence. We're not supposed to go like sheep this time.

To defeat one's enemy, you've got to understand him. Arab culture is very much based on honor (refer to “honor killings” if you will). When the Arabs respected the Jews, after the awesome miracles of the previous wars, notice how quiet and subdued they were.

Once they sense weakness in Israel (stemming from lack of belief in G-d and twisted Christo "morals" like "tohar haneshek" rather than Torah-true morals) they are emboldened to raise their eyes from the ground and lick their lips hungrily. Like predators, they attack where they see vulnerability.

The beginning of the end (chas v'shalom) was after the War of Independence, when the leaders of the army and state of Israel begged the Arabs (who fled in anticipation of a post-victory bloodbath along the lines of what the Arabs would have done had the situation been reversed) not to flee for their lives but to come back and live peacefully with the Jews side by side.

The root of our present problem and the "middle eastern cycle of violence" is that we never declared unequivocally, as the Jewish people, that G-d gave this land to us, and only to us, and we will live here forever, with the Arabs living peacefully not among us, but in their 21 other countries. If we had annexed the “territories,” I doubt we would be in this situation today.

We are past due to claim what is rightfully ours, given to us by G-d Himself, and we’re paying in Jewish blood, which has become cheapened considerably lately in light of our reluctance to defend ourselves with overwhelming force born of conviction.

Important post from Jewish Worker

The pathetic leadership of Israel

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hashem Yishmor!

Report: Olmert favors German forces

Money quote:

"There is at the moment no nation that is behaving in a more friendly way toward Israel than Germany," he added. "If Germany can contribute to the security of the Israeli people, that would be a worthwhile task for your country. I would be very happy if Germany participated."

Well folks, there you have it. We are back full circle. Secular Zionists basically want to dismantle the state. Return to a situation when we are subjects of the nations of the world

(they have been behaving this way for a while, now they just want to make it official - and GERMANY nonetheless - boy, Freud would have a field day)

In truth, many chareidim would be happy with such a turn of events. It would prove to them that Jews really are supposed to be nebuch cases and that we should strive to be bigger nebuchs at every opportunity as they believe Hashem commanded.

So who is left? A she'erit pleita of national-religious Jews who have neither made the state into an avoda zara nor have they sold out the ancient hope of having a country of our own like the chareidim. The question is whether there is anything we can do to stop these people from completely destroying the vessels that were created in the past 50 years.

I am really not sure. I pray that Hashem sends us worthy leadership quickly. We need to be saved from evil hacks like Olmert.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Important post from Avi

JoeSettler posted the following on his blog. I believe that everyone must read this in order to understand what is really happening in Israel:

"I have not read any of the comments posted about my action on any of the lists and nor do I intend to. However, I did get some updates as to what was posted and I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you what made me take the drastic action that I did. (I do not plan on making any more posts or replies on this matter to any list).

First of all Olmert and Chalutz have already publicly declared that they can not promise that they will be able to stop the Hizbullah rockets falling on Northern Israel.

In addition, the UN is now working on a draft resolution that will allow a multi national force to patrol South Lebanon and give Lebanon a protected country status – which means that if any other country attacks it, the international community can then attack back.

Basically, put together, this all means that once the multi-national force is in South Lebanon and the Hizbullah continue to shoot rockets on Israel, Israel can NOT defend itself because, if it did, the international community would have the “legal” right to attack Israel. This is the ceasefire Israel will be forced to accept with the direction of the current political leadership.

What does this all have to do with my refusing to serve in the war up North?

Because the best of our soldiers are fighting and dying in house to house combat in Lebanon and millions of Israelis are refugees because our government places the lives of the enemy civilians over the lives of our own – this is not a way to fight, period, and definitely not a way to fight a war that must be won.

Because our government no longer intends to stop the rockets in the North, just like it has made peace with the fact that the rockets in the South are a fact of life that Israelis have to live with as well. Because Olmert is already on record saying that this war is being used to ensure that an international recognized border is implemented on the East as well, via the destruction of more yishuvim and the expulsion of more Jews from their homes in Yehuda and Shomron. Because this war is allowing Olmert to assist the Hizbullah in setting up rockets in destroyed communities in Yehuda and Shomron to then fire on Tel Aviv and the Mercaz.

I’m all for beating the Hizbullah, but wake up and realize that is not what Olmert is trying to do! He already admitted that dismantling the Hizbullah is no longer a demand in any future ceasefire and Israel is not even demanding that the international force disarm them – but the demand concerning the Hizbullah will be some lukewarm demand that basically means the Hezbullah will stay put in Lebanon (maybe a few kilometers away from the border - a lot of good with rockets that fly 150 kilometers)!

So why are we fighting this war?

Our brave soldiers are dying STAM fighting house to house in a war so that Olmert can prove to Israelis that we need to destroy yishuvim in Yehuda and Shomron in order to place a border on the West Bank – an act that will then allow the Hizbullan to fire rockets from the hills of Yehuda and Shomron on the rest of Israel.

I have taken the very uncomfortable step of refusing to serve in this war in order to give across a message to the rest of Israel – wake up! This war is more about disinformation and public statements (JUST LIKE THE GERUSH) and less about actual victorious results.

The government has already given up the fight, the fighting now is just to “look victorious” before a cease fire is implemented, but the Hizbullah has already won – they have proven to the Arab world that rockets could be shot on Israel and Israel WON’T do what is necessary to stop it.

Israel CAN do what is necessary, but Israel’s current leadership is focused making ourselves look good in the eyes of the world and not about protecting its citizens or soldiers. The political echelon and the army leadership no longer have the moral capacity to defend us as a country.

This is what I protest!

Unless the leadership leading this war changes and the target becomes to beat the Hizbullah so that NO more rockets fall on Israel in the future from the North (or from the South) using all military means necessary (and NOT placing the lives of civilians protecting the enemy before the lives of our own civilians and soldiers) then I call on the Israeli government to stop this war now instead of using Israeli civilians and soldiers as pawns in the war to ensure re-alignment, that will put all of Israel in danger.

Somehow this message has to get across because not enough of us are seeing through the media spins, so I took it upon myself to take this drastic action so that people can hopefully start to wake up.

Olmert’s public statement on his real purpose of the war (to ensure the re-alignment plan) allowed me to finally get up the guts to take off my uniform. He finally revealed the truth for everyone to hear and I thought it would be an immoral act to let it get by without any upblic outcry against the way this war is being manipulated.

I know many of you will disagree with me, but I have had enough of the years of derelict Israeli policy that has made Jewish lives hefker in our own country.

With all the justification to fight this war – please realize that the way our current leadership is running it, it is yet another derelict policy proving how Jewish blood is hefker – the government has already gone on record that it doesn’t intend to win the war, rather cause as much damage as possible to the Hizbullah before a ceasefire. Hence the Hizbullah (who will continue to get rockets from Iran and Syria after a ceasefire) will have won regardless of the media spins our politicians will come up with.

Yes, we must beat the Hizbullah, AND Syria AND Iran (the real handlers behind the Hizbullah) – but that is not what this war is about unfortunately.

I pray for the safety for all my friends and comrades who are up North fighting – for those who disagree with my action and for those who agree with me but told me that they are too afraid of the consequences for joining me in my act.

Screaming this at the top of our lungs after the war would be too late – Am Yisrael needs to hear this now to hopefully help stop this from all happening and sometimes drastic actions are necessary to get messages across. Believe me, this step is most painful for ME and not for any of you who have the luxury of throwing your two cents into an email and not paying any consequences. This is a well thought out life decision that will have repercussions on my life today and in the future in ways that are impossible for me to know today – but I took the decision anyway because I thought it was the correct thing to do.

Disagree with me if you must but also please show respect for a fellow Jew, neighbor and possibly friend who took a life effecting decision for the benefit of Am Yisrael.

Achdut is very very important, it is what I strive to achieve day in and day out as a Jew, but when that feeling of “achdut” and our actual LIVES, as civilians and soldiers, are being manipulated and used cynically by politicians and army generals, then I believe it is better to cause a ruckus to help people realize that true achdut will only come when the leadership in the country is true and moral then go along with the charade. The current “achdut” that everyone wants to preserve in this time of war is only bringing the country to an even lower level of security and morality than it was at before.

As a little kid in New York City I dreamt of one day serving as an Israeli soldier and defending the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. I fulfilled that dream by becoming an infantry soldier in Golani. I have now taken a decision that stops me from being able to serve again to defend my country on the battlefield. I cry as I write these words, it is not something that I'm proud of, not at all. I will have to explain this act to my children whom I hope will one day be proud soldiers in an Israeli army based on true morality and Jewish pride. But I will no longer be a pawn of a crooked establishment that has, and continues to make Jewish lives hefker.

No more.

I'm willing to act and pay the price for my decision - what about you?

Avi Abelow"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What vibrated in my mind all of the 9th of Av

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם

Plural - not singular. We must return to Hashem as a nation. We must function as a society that brings the light of Hashem to all corners of the world. It is not enough to simply work on ourselves as individuals. Every Jew must make sure that he sees all other Jews as his brothers - peshuto keMashmao.

It is only when every Jew understands that each individual CAN NOT BE COMPLETE as long as the klal is not operating as it should that we will merit the final redemption.

May Hashem send a new spirit into our generation - one which will redeem us and the whole world in its wake.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Is there an end to the stupidity?

חכמה בגוים תאמין

No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies. -Dean Acheson

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. -Winston Churchill

No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. -Franklin D Roosevelt

Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian. -Heywood Broun

The one sure way to conciliate a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured. -Konrad Adenauer

You may gain temporary appeasement by a policy of concession to violence, but you do not gain lasting peace that way. -Anthony Eden

חכמה בישראל (בלי תורה) - אל תאמין
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that he believed that a victory over Hizbullah in Lebanon would give momentum to his Convergence plan.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The foundations of learning, Part III

continued from here.

Another foundational skill that needs to be acquired in learning is the ability to recall that which was learned – otherwise known as chazara. I often heard how important chazara is but what really hit it home for me was when I read a letter that Maran HaRav Kook Ztvk”l wrote to his brother in which he expressed horror about the fact that he heard that his brother only review each chapter of gemara three times before advancing to the next chapter. Rav Kook rebuked his brother and explained to him that in his experience, it is impossible to have any success in learning without reviewing each chapter at least ten times (!) before advancing to the next one.

Well, to put it mildly, I don’t exactly review each chapter I learn ten times. Frankly, I don’t even review it three times. I just don’t have the time to review so much with the 3 or so hours I can learn every evening. What I have employed a system of chazara that takes up little time and if very effective. Anonymous also emailed me his own personal system of chazara which I will also add to this post.

My system is not really my own. It really belongs to a certain talmid chacham who used to learn at the local beit midrash. He introduced me to a wonderful book called “מפתח סוגיות ועניני הש"ס” which was written by a talmid chacham in Eretz Yisrael by the name of Elhanan Kohn. (If your local sefarim store does not carry it, you can order it from the author at 03-6773393). This book is basically an topical index of the entire shas bavli. The most valuble part, however is not the index itself but rather the section in the back of the book title “מפתח לסדר הש"ס – לשינון ולזכרון הלימוד”. What this section does is list the sugyas of each massechet in the order they appear in the gemara in as manner as follows:

A dayly review of the sugyas you have learned in the past month or two is more valuable than you can imagine. It keeps the sugyas fresh in your mind and at the same time allows you to remember which page the sugya is located on. It is a quick way to attain a fairly high level of knowledge of the structure of the tractate you are studying. Of course, this type of chazara does not five you a great grasp of the shakla veTarya of the sugya but it is good within its own scope and is very valuable to baal-batim. I recommend to make a copy of the chapter you are studying and keep it in the gemara so that you can quickly review it before and after you start your seder.

Anonymous emailed me his own method of chazara:

The following is a suggestion for retaining a bit of the Torah that one learns. More accurately, it is the outline of a system that can be modified to one’s own taste. First and foremost, so many rabbanim stress the value of writing things down. They say that making summaries of mishnayos or gemara is an extremely important practice. However what type of summaries are they referring to? How long and how inclusive should they be? These types of questions must be answered, and IY”H, will be addressed in due course.
The first action that should be taken once having finished an amud, for example, is to break down the amud into its various meimras and sugyas. The breakdown ideally should not be the shakla v’tarya of the amud, but rather a four/five line (max.) summary of each sugya. So, if there are four sugyas or subjects on the amud, then what one should write down are four brief summaries. Preceding each summary should be an underlined phrase that sums up the entire summary. So if the topic, for instance, is yehareg v’al ya’vor (Sanhedrin 74a), then the summary title would be exactly that: yehareg v’al ya’vor, or any other phrase along those lines. The summary would then be something like the following:
Three mitzvos are yehareg v’al ya’vor: Shfichus Damim, Gilui Arayos, and Avodah Zarah. Machlokes by A”Z, but chachamim say from “b’chol nafshecha” that A”Z is one of the big three. The makor of S”D is a sevara of mi yeimar d’dama etc. which is then applied to G”A by the hekesh between S”D and A”Z.

Now, another beneficial step that can be taken is keeping a notebook where each side of a page represents a blat or an amud. This might be bit tough at first to fit all the necessary information in one page, but the advantage is that once the daf number is known (more on that in a moment), then the summaries can be quickly accessed.
A special effort should not be made to remember daf numbers, but rather where the major sugyos are located. This step will actually lead to one knowing the number of each daf, since the major inyanim will then act as mental notes, indicating one’s place in the perek.
Once one has the aforementioned two or three word (or more if necessary) summaries memorized or at least knows them very well, he can think about them wherever he goes. After a bit of repetition, the outline of a blat can be reviewed in under a minute. If one is in a place that affords him a bit of quiet, he can go over the full summaries, once he feels comfortable with them.
There is much more to say about the topic, but hopefully this introduction will encourage others to find a chazarah method in gemara that works for them. IY”H, a sample outline of a blat will be provided in the near future.

If you have your own methods, please let us know in the comments section. May everyone who reads this blog go from strength to strength and make a real kinyan on the Torah which they learn (beAhava!).