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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.