April 30, 2008

The New Anti-Semitism...

by Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks
What it is and how to deal with it.

On 27 January 2000, heads of state or senior representatives of 44 governments met in Stockholm to commit themselves to a continuing program of Holocaust remembrance and the fight against anti-Semitism. Barely two years later, synagogues and Jewish schools in France and Belgium were being firebombed, and Jews were being attacked in the streets.

The distinguished Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, advised Jews not to wear yarmulkas in the street. The French Jewish intellectual Alain Finkielkraut wrote, 'The hearts of the Jews are heavy. For the first time since the war, they are afraid.' Shmuel Trigano, professor of sociology at the University of Paris, openly questioned whether there was a future for Jews in France. Never again had become ever again.

On 28 February 2002 I gave my first speech on the new anti-Semitism. Never before had I spoken on the subject. I had grown up without a single experience of anti-Semitism. I believed, and still do, that the whole enterprise of basing Jewish identity on memories of persecution was a mistake. The distinguished Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz reached the same conclusion at the end of her life. She warned of the danger of a whole generation of children growing up knowing about the Greeks and how they lived, the Romans and how they lived, the Jews and how they died. I wrote Radical then, Radical now, specifically to focus Jewish identity away from death to life, suffering to celebration, grief to joy.

The return of anti-Semitism, after 60 years of Holocaust education, interfaith dialogue and antiracist legislation is a major event in the history of the world. Far-sighted historians like Bernard Lewis and Robert Wistrich had been sounding the warning since the 1980s. Already in the 1990s, Harvard literary scholar Ruth Wisse argued that antisemitism was the most successful ideology of the twentieth century. German fascism, she said, came and went. Soviet communism came and went. Anti-Semitism came and stayed.

It is wrong to exaggerate. We are not now where Jews were in the 1930s. Nor are Jews today what our ancestors were: defenseless, powerless and without a collective home. The State of Israel has transformed the situation for Jews everywhere. What is necessary now is simply to understand the situation and sound a warning. That is what Moses Hess did in 1862, Judah Leib Pinsker in 1882 and Theodor Herzl in 1896: 71, 51 and 37 years respectively before Hitler's rise to power. To understand is to begin to know how to respond, with open eyes and without fear.

Today's anti-Semitism is a new phenomenon, continuous with, yet significantly different from the past. To fathom the transformation, we must first define what anti-Semitism is. In the past Jews were hated because they were rich and because they were poor; because they were capitalists (Marx) and because they were communists (Hitler); because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they held tenaciously to a superstitious faith (Voltaire) and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing (Stalin).

Anti-Semitism is not an ideology, a coherent set of beliefs. It is, in fact, an endless stream of contradictions. The best way of understanding it is to see it as a virus. Viruses attack the human body, but the body itself has an immensely sophisticated defense, the human immune system. How then do viruses survive and flourish? By mutating. Anti-Semitism mutates, and in so doing, defeats the immune systems set up by cultures to protect themselves against hatred. There have been three such mutations in the past two thousand years, and we are living through the fourth.

The first took place with the birth of Christianity. Before then there had been many Hellenistic writers who were hostile to Jews. But they were also dismissive of other non-Hellenistic peoples. The Greeks called them barbarians. There was nothing personal in their attacks on Jews. This was not anti-Semitism. It was xenophobia.

This changed with Christianity. As was later to happen with Islam, the founders of the new faith, largely based on Judaism itself, believed that Jews would join the new dispensation and were scandalized when they did not. Jews were held guilty of not recognizing -- worst still, of being complicit in the death of - the messiah. A strand of Judeophobia entered Christianity in some of its earliest texts, and became a fully-fledged genre, the 'Adversos Judaeos' literature, in the days of the Church Fathers. From here on, Jews - not non-Christians in general -- became the target of what Jules Isaac called the 'teaching of contempt'.

The second mutation began in 1096 when the Crusaders, on their way to conquer Jerusalem, stopped to massacre Jewish communities in Worms, Speyer and Mainz, the first major European pogrom. In 1144 in Norwich there was the first Blood Libel, a myth that still exists today in parts of the Middle East. Religious Judeophobia became demonic. Jews were no longer just the people who rejected Christianity. They began to be seen as a malevolent force, killing children, desecrating the host, poisoning wells and spreading the plague. There were forced conversions, inquisitions, burnings at the stake, staged public disputations, book burnings and expulsions. Europe had become a 'persecuting society'.

We can date the third mutation to 1879 when the German journalist Wilhelm Marr coined a new word: anti-Semitism. The fact that he needed to do so tells us that this was a new phenomenon. It emerged in an age of Enlightenment, the secular nation state, liberalism and emancipation. Religious prejudice was deemed to be a thing of the past. The new hatred had therefore to justify itself on quite different grounds, namely race. This was a fateful development, because you can change your religion. You cannot change your race. Christians could work for the conversion of the Jews. Racists could only work for the extermination of the Jews. So the Holocaust was born. Sixty years after the word came the deed.

Today we are living through the fourth mutation. Unlike its predecessors, the new anti-Semitism focuses not on Judaism as a religion, nor on Jews as a race, but on Jews as a nation. It consists of three propositions. First, alone of the 192 nations making up the United Nations, Jews are not entitled to a state of their own. As Amos Oz noted: in the 1930s, anti-Semites declared, 'Jews to Palestine'. Today they shout, 'Jews out of Palestine'. He said: they don't want us to be there; they don't want us to be here; they don't want us to be.

The second is that Jews or the State of Israel (the terms are often used interchangeably) are responsible for the evils of the world, from AIDS to global warming. All the old anti-Semitic myths have been recycled, from the Blood Libel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, still a best-seller in many parts of the world. The third is that all Jews are Zionists and therefore legitimate objects of attack. The bomb attacks on synagogues in Istanbul and Djerba, the arson attacks on Jewish schools in Europe, and the almost fatal stabbing of a young yeshiva student on a bus in North London in October 2000, were on Jewish targets, not Israeli ones. The new anti-Semitism is an attack on Jews as a nation seeking to exist as a nation like every other on the face of the earth, with rights of self-governance and self-defense.

How did it penetrate the most sophisticated immune system ever constructed -- the entire panoply of international measures designed to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again, from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) to the Stockholm declaration of 2000? The answer lies in the mode of self-justification. Most people at most times feel a residual guilt at hating the innocent. Therefore anti-Semitism has always had to find legitimation in the most prestigious source of authority at any given time.

In the first centuries of the Common Era, and again in the Middle Ages, this was religion. That is why Judeophobia took the form of religious doctrine. In the nineteenth century, religion had lost prestige, and the supreme authority was now science. Racial anti-Semitism was duly based on two pseudo-sciences, social Darwinism (the idea that in society, as in nature, the strong survive by eliminating the weak) and the so-called scientific study of race. By the late twentieth century, science had lost its prestige, having given us the power to destroy life on earth. Today the supreme source of legitimacy is human rights. That is why Jews (or the Jewish state) are accused of the five primal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and crimes against humanity.

That is where we are. How then shall we respond? There are three key messages, the first to Jews, the second to anti-Semites, and the third to our fellow human beings in this tense and troubled age. As Jews we must understand that we cannot fight anti-Semitism alone. The victim cannot cure the crime. The hated cannot cure the hate. Jews cannot defeat anti-Semitism. Only the cultures that give rise to it can do so.

European Jews in the nineteenth and early twentieth century made one of the most tragic mistakes in history. They said: Jews cause anti-Semitism, therefore they can cure it. They did everything possible. They said, 'People hate us because we are different. So we will stop being different.' They gave up item after item of Judaism. They integrated, they assimilated, they married out, they hid their identity. This failed to diminish anti-Semitism by one iota. All it did was to debilitate and demoralize Jews.

We need allies. Jews have enemies but we also have friends and we must cultivate more. I have helped lead the fight against Islamophobia; I ask Muslims to fight Judeophobia. I will fight for the right of Christians throughout the world to live their faith without fear; but we need Christians to fight for the right of Jews to live their faith without fear.

The most important thing Jews can do to fight anti-Semitism is never, ever to internalize it. That is what is wrong in making the history of persecution the basis of Jewish identity. For three thousand years Jews defined themselves as a people loved by God. Only in the nineteenth century did they begin to define themselves as the people hated by gentiles. There is no sane future along that road. The best psychological defense against anti-Semitism is the saying of Rav Nachman of Bratslav: 'The whole world is a very narrow bridge; the main thing is never to be afraid.'

To anti-Semites and their fellow travelers we must be candid. Hate destroys the hated, but it also destroys the hater. It is no accident that anti-Semitism is the weapon of choice of tyrants and totalitarian regimes. It deflects internal criticism away by projecting it onto an external scapegoat. It is deployed in country after country to direct attention away from real internal problems of poverty, unemployment and underachievement. Anti-Semitism is used to sustain regimes without human rights, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a free press, liberty of association or accountable government. One truth resounds through the pages of history: To be free you have to let go of hate. Those driven by hate are enemies of freedom. There is no exception.

Finally to all of us together, we must say: Jews have been hated throughout history because they were different. To be sure, everyone is different; but Jews more than most fought for the right to be different. Under a succession of empires, and centuries of dispersion, Jews were the only people who for more than two thousand years refused to convert to the dominant religion or assimilate into the dominant culture. That is why anti-Semitism is a threat not just to Jews but to humanity.

God, said the rabbis, makes everyone in His image, yet He makes everyone different to teach us to respect difference. And since difference is constitutive of humanity, a world that has no space for difference has no space for humanity. That is why a resurgence of anti-Semitism has always been an early warning of an assault on freedom itself. It is so today.

We must find allies in the fight against hate. For though it begins with Jews, ultimately it threatens us all.

This article first appeared in the Jewish Chronicle. Visit the Chief Rabbi's website at www.chiefrabbi.com.

April 28, 2008

Exile - Is it Temporary or Permanent?

Can we live in the Diaspora without wanting to go "home" and help build
the 3rd Temple? Do we care?
Are Orthodox Jews the only ones that care about the Temple?
If so, why are there any Orthodox Jews in the US?
Do you believe that Jews built a Temple according to HaShem's wishes?
Do you believe that the Shechinah resided there? Hashem wanted and received sacrifices there?
Do you believe that it matters whether we keep Shabbat and if so to what letter of who's law?

When did we get to decide? Does the Mishna hold the answer?
Have any Reform Jews read it?

What are your thoughts?

Can Israel withstand US pressure?

By Ted Belman

Recently we hear that Olmert offered to cede the Golan to Syria and I commented The Golan is safe for now. For now, because ultimately the US will be pressuring Israel to do the deal.

As Ami Isseroff points out in Territorial Integrity: American Middle East policy and what it means for Israel, it has always been US policy to force Israel to trade land for peace forever.

Pres. Johnson wrote on May 3rd ‘67, “the United States is firmly committed to the support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations of the area”. When this was uttered, it served as a balm for Israel as its enemies made ready to attack. After the war it proved to be a double-edged sword.

True, that Res 242 promised withdrawal from “territories”, not “all territories” to secure borders but the resolution also prohibited the acquisition of territory by force. Nevertheless it was the US that insisted omitting the word “all” or “the”. This policy was reinforced in Bush’s letter in connection with the Gaza Disengagement wherein he said it was “unrealistic” to expect Israel to give up the settlement blocks. The import of these letters was discussed recently in Israelis Claim Secret Agreement With U.S. Now it appears that Both Rice and Bush refused to talk about ‘67 borders in Abbas’ recent visit.

To accomplish this goal the US proceeded to make Israel dependent on it for military supply and diplomatic support in order to gain influence on Israel. Recently, in keeping with this policy, Rice advised Israel that the US would not send extra supplies to Israel but would keep them in the US.

Now keeping Israel dependent on the US would have no leverage value unless there was a threat to Israel providing the push. So the US did nothing about the Arab demonization of Israel and even supported Arafat as a means to terrorized Israelis. And the US has been building up Egypt’s military capacity to threaten Israel. Get the picture.

There are two factors that remain obstacles to US plans. The determination of most Israelis to not cede all the land required or to divide Jerusalem, is one. The other is the Arab rejectionist camp of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas who reject peace with Israel.

Obviously the US can’t deliver now. It has always wanted to prevent Israel from putting facts on the ground in the meantime, thus the settlement freeze demands. In my opinion the US also instructed Israel to allow Arabs to build in order to keep the pressure on Israel to withdraw.

The Saudi Plan that the US embraced and insisted be included in the Roadmap, held out the prospect of normalization with Israel but not until Israel withdraws. Once Israel withdraws, the US has no way to deliver on this. Israel should be insisting that arrangements with and recognition by the Arabs states be processed in parallel not sequentially. No sign of that happening.

As Isseroff points out in the below linked article which is a must read,

Peace in return for Israeli withdrawal would be a fair bargain, if it is really peace. Unfortunately, we should be well aware that the United States does not possess either the will or the means to guarantee continued peace after Israeli withdrawal, and on the other hand, pressures in the United States are growing to get any kind of settlement and call it “peace.”
Acute analysts will note that if Israel ever does return all of the conquered territories, then Israel would be of no further use in American attempts to ingratiate itself with the Arabs. At the same time, America would have very little leverage with the Arabs unless it pressed Israel for further concessions. Without doubt, there are those in the US diplomatic corps who would not be averse to exerting such pressure.

Israeli politicians therefore have to think ahead to what American policy might be two days after the peace treaty is signed, when some Arab states, or Muslim groups, inevitably, nonetheless declare their objections to the presence of Israel in the Middle East. From the Israeli point, we will have no more territory to concede, but that may not necessarily be the American view. After all, in the early 50s, the US was behind a plan to get Israel to make concessions to Egypt in the Negev.

Israel should abrogate the peace process. I realize that the US won’t take it lying down.

The ‘peace process’ is in need of a paradigm shift.

Let’s hope.

Ted Belman

April 26, 2008

Jimmy Cater is a man of peace? REALLY

Jimmy Carter...Shah of Iran?? Hmmmm.

It seems the Investors Daily "Jimmy Carter, Tomb Raider" was
pretty accurate.

Jimmy Carter was clearly the worst President in my lifetime and stands
for many things that expose him as a huge racist.

I am shocked that anyone can believe he is a man of peace..

Yeah little pieces of Israeli's at checkpoints and at elementary
schools and Pizza shops etc..

Please...tell me anything good about him!!!

Hitler dolls for sale in Ukraine

Nazi leader's dolls made by toy manufacturer sold for $200 a piece at Kiev supermarkets

Ynetnews.com 04.26.08, 16:27 /

An Adolf Hitler doll has hit the shelves in Ukraine recently, and the toy manufacturer that produces it says that similar products may follow should the new doll prove to be a success.

The Hitler figurine features movable arms that enable it to reproduce the Nazi dictator's infamous salute, and consumers are able to choose from a variety of outfits, including "early days Adolf" and "wartime Adolf" (A grey double breasted tunic, black trousers and simple Iron Cross medal), the Daily Telegraph said.

The box containing the doll features Hitler's birth date and date of death. Even though officially the distribution of racist of fascist materials is illegal in Ukraine, the dolls have reportedly already been put up for sale in local supermarkets.

A representative for the toy manufacturer did not attribute any political significance to the doll, saying it's "like Barbie." She added that if the company sees high demand for the Hitler doll, it will continue to produce a whole series of toys inspired by the Third Reich.

April 25, 2008

Jimmy Carter, Tomb Raider

Posted 4/16/2008

Diplomacy - Our worst ex-president honors the memory of Yasser Arafat while hugging Hamas-cidal terrorists. Instead of embracing terrorists, Jimmy Carter should be laying wreaths at the tombs of their victims.

Carter's world terror tour continued this week with the laying of a red-rose wreath at the West Bank grave site of Arafat, founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the man who's been called the "godfather of terrorism."

Palestinian officials who were present quoted Carter as saying Arafat was a "peace fighter and a clear friend of mine."

Arafat may have been Carter's friend, but so have some of the world's worst tyrants, including former Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, Cuba's Fidel Castro, North Korea's Kim Il Sung and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Arafat was a fighter, but not for peace.

At Camp David in 2000, Arafat walked away from what U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross called "the best deal he could ever get": a Palestinian state with its capital in a shared Jerusalem. Arafat not only rejected that astonishing offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, he also made no counteroffer. He didn't want a Palestinian state next door to Israel; he wanted a Palestinian state replacing Israel, and thus launched the "intifada" against the Jewish state.

His legacy was one of violence and corruption. While the Palestinian people languished in refugee camps, Arafat found himself ranked sixth on Forbes' annual listing of "Kings, Queens and Despots" in 2003, with a fortune estimated at $300 million. That year, "60 Minutes" said Arafat had squirreled away $1 billion in Palestinian funds.

In 1970, starting with the bombing of Swissair flight 330 bound for Tel Aviv, he pioneered the hijacking of airliners for terror. In 1973, decades before al-Qaida got the idea, Palestinian terrorists attacked the Saudi Embassy in Sudan, killing U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and others.

In 1985, terrorists reporting to Arafat hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair-bound American, before throwing him overboard.

In the northern Israeli town of Maalot in 1974, Arafat's PLO took over a school, threw children out of windows and killed 26 people in all, 21 of them students. That same year, despite his participation in the schoolyard massacre, Arafat became the first non-head of state to address the United Nations General Assembly, while holstering a gun at his hip — another first.

Before visiting Arafat's grave, Jimmy Carter hugged and kissed senior Hamas leader Nasser Shaer in Ramallah. Shaer, who served time in an Israeli prison for terrorist activities, served as deputy prime minister and education minister in the Hamas-led Palestinian government that was toppled last year.

It was reminiscent of the hugs and kisses Carter, patron saint of tyranny, gave Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev in June 1979 at the signing of the Salt II accords, shortly before Brezhnev invaded Afghanistan.

Carter's world terror tour is to culminate Friday in Damascus, Syria, where he's scheduled to meet with exiled Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshall, head of another terrorist organization that has killed Americans, starting with the three Americans who were among the victims of a 1996 Hamas bombing of a passenger bus. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., believes Hamas is responsible for the deaths of at least 26 Americans.

As retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis notes in the magazine Human Events, Hamas is also a threat to the U.S. Before his 2004 assassination, Hamas chief Abdel al-Aziz Rantisi wrote that attacking America was "a moral and national duty."

In August 2004, Hamas operative Osmail Elbarasse was arrested videotaping the cables and structural features of Maryland's Bay Bridge. FBI Director Robert Mueller has said: "Although it would be a major strategic shift for Hamas, its United States network is theoretically capable of facilitating acts of terrorism in the United States."

The man who set in motion the chain of events that overthrew the Shah of Iran and gave us Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still working feverishly to make the Middle East safe for tyranny and terrorism.

April 24, 2008


Editorial Of The NY Sun | April 23, 2008

It sounds like the plot of a Zev Chafets novel, or a
Purim spoof: An 84-year-old New Jersey man active in the Jewish
War Veterans and the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex
County is accused of being an atomic spy for Israel, run out of
an Israeli consulate in New York that is better known for the
hummus served at its annual Israel Independence Day party. The
feds say that the spy was compensated by being taken out to
dinner at a restaurant in Riverdale. What's next, the Israelis
recruiting Hadassah ladies as secret agents and paying them with

In all seriousness, Israel's friends in America have
long counseled her to look for spies elsewhere than in the
American Jewish community, which can be of most use to Israel if
its loyalty is not put in doubt. The details of the case have yet
to emerge fully, but it is easy to understand the exigencies
involved when the spying allegedly happened, in the early 1980s.
Israel, as it does to this day, faced an existential security
threat. Security cooperation between America and Israel was not
as well developed as it is today, and there was even personal
hostility to Israel among certain sectors of the Reagan
administration, even if the administration overall was

These are not excuses - there can be none for
breaking America's espionage laws - just context. America surely
faces graver threats in the current war than an 84-year-old
federation activist. But surely, too, the law needs to be
enforced impartially. The accused spy deserves due process of the
law, and he will have much to learn from the case of Jonathan
Pollard, who pleaded guilty to a single count in hopes of
leniency and landed instead a life sentence.

What's Really behind the Screaming Headlines about the Arrest of

By Lenny Ben David

American engineer Ben-Ami Kadish was arrested on Tuesday for
allegedly providing to an Israeli "handler" classified data on
nuclear weapons, F-15 fighter jets, and the Patriot missile air
defense system.

A few important points of perspective are vital: Kadish is 84
years old. The alleged crime took place some 25-30 years ago (!),
between 1979 and 1985. Today Mr. Kadish lives an open, active
life in a New Jersey retirement village where he and his wife
open their sukka every year to raise money for local charities
and for Magen David Adom.

Why now?

Do federal prosecutors really see octogenarian Kadish as a major
criminal? More likely, Kadish is being used by American officials
as a means to loosen support for Israel as the two countries
enter a tenacious period of negotiations. This is a pattern of
American pressure that repeats itself. The tactic is geared to
embarrass American supporters of Israel, particularly Members of
Congress, who oppose weapons sales to Israel's foes, dangerous
concessions to the Palestinians, or the abrogation of previous
commitments to Israel. The 2005 arrest of two AIPAC staffers is
more of the same, and they were charged under the creaky 1917
Espionage Act statute older than Kadish. For years, unnamed
American spy-hunters have been looking for an accomplice to
Jonathan Pollard. Leaks on these stories almost always took place
on the eve of some contretemps with the U.S. State Department.

Today's case against 84-year-old Kadish reflects more the
impatience of the U.S. Secretary of State with Israel's decision
to continue building in Jerusalem and to retain security

Manhigut Yehudit Supports Rabbi Kanievsky on Jewish Labor

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky recently issued a legal decision banning the employment in Israel of Arab workers by Jews. This decision followed the recent massacre of eight Jewish students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, which was perpetrated by an Arab part-time driver for the Yeshiva. It preceded another situation which also highlighted Israel's need to change its labor policies. Two weeks ago, a murder plot was uncovered in which Arab restaurant workers had tried to poison Jewish diners. Thank G-d this attack was foiled.

Not only has terrorism by Arab workers claimed Jewish lives in scores of attacks including the recent massacre, but giving jobs to Arabs encourages them to make the Jewish homeland - instead of any of the 59 Muslim countries - their permanent home.

Encouraging Jewish labor like Rabbi Kanievsky does is a position that Manhigut Yehudit has been advocating since our inception.

The Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has turned its back on the Rabbi's ruling - just as it does to all Torah values - by announcing that it is increasing the number of Palestinian Authority Arabs who will be permitted to enter Israel to work by 36%.

Additionally, the Olmert government has agreed to comply with the life-threatening requests of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to remove roadblocks which protect Jews, and also to provide the allegedly moderate Arabs - i.e. the "good" terrorists - with 50 armored vehicles.

It is clear that the implementation of Olmert, Bush and Rice's war against Jews who practice their faith in their promised land of Israel is forging ahead at an ever-increasing pace.

April 23, 2008

It is very quiet in this Jewish Community...

Why are there no local debates or political discussion's about Israel.

Galut Jews were not taught the names of the PM's of Israel, not taught
the heroes of modern Israel.

Do we know the names of any of the political parties that make up the
Knesset. Do we understand the way the Knesset works?

Can we name 10 towns in Israel and locate them on a map?


We know about the history of this host Country, but not the crucial figures that
were behind the scene in the building of Israel.


Where is the social action group that decides what is good for Israel, without
concern for if it will increase AntiSemitism here?

Fellow members of the exile, do you think of Israel as a place of last resort?
Is that why we donate money?

Or is it to help our Brohters and Sisters who live in Israel and are fighting
the good fight, some of them every day.

What can we do? Who wants to bat it around?

email me Rudofsky222@gmail.com

I want to hear form YOU!

A Learn Hebrew "Club" - Interested?

Perhaps we could find a teacher locally that would sit in or
give a small group an outline to follow to learn Hebrew.
You should know how to read Hebrew letters.

I have some books and I am sure we could muster an online
group that could learn conversational, vocabulary and
bounce things off one another.

We could even meet once a Month in person and 3X
a Month by chat room or emails ....

Anyone interested?

Syracuse area...

Email me!! Rudofsky222@gmail.com

What is the Omer?

By Rabbi Shraga Simmons (Aish.com)

In the days of the Holy Temple, the Jewish people would bring a barley offering on the second day of Passover (Leviticus 23:10). This was called the "Omer" (literally, "sheaf") and in practical terms would permit the consumption of recently-harvested grains.

Starting on the second day of Passover, the Torah (Leviticus 23:15) says it is a mitzvah every day to "count the Omer" -- the 50 days leading up to Shavuot. This is an important period of growth and introspection, in preparation for the holiday of Shavuot which arrives 50 days later.

Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven-week preparation period. The commentators say that we were freed from Egypt only in order to receive the Torah and to fulfill it. Thus we were commanded to count from the second day of Pesach until the day that the Torah was given -- to show how greatly we desire the Torah.

How to Count the Omer

The Omer is counted every evening after nightfall (approx. 30 minutes after sunset), which is the start of the Jewish 'day.' (In the synagogue it is counted toward the end of the Maariv service.) If a person neglected to count the Omer one evening, he should count the following daytime, but without a blessing.

To properly 'count the Omer,' you must say both the number of days and the weeks. For example:

On days 1-6, we say only the number of days. For example:

"Today is 4 days of the Omer."

On days which are complete weeks -- e.g. 7, 14, 21 -- we say as follows, for example:

"Today is 21 days, which is 3 weeks of the Omer."

On all other days, we say, for example:

"Today is 33 days, which is 4 weeks and 5 days of the Omer."

(Since you must recite the blessing before you count, don't mention the count for that night beforehand.)

Before counting, stand and say the following blessing:

Baruch ata Adonoy, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu be'mitzvo'sav ve-tzivanu al sefiras ha'omer.

Blessed are You, God, King of the Universe, Who made us holy with His commandments, and commanded us on the counting of the Omer.

The Omer may be counted with a blessing only if both of the following conditions have been met:

1) you count the Omer during the evening, and
2) you have not missed counting any of the days so far

This means to say that if a person neglected to count the Omer for an entire day and did not recall until the following evening, he should continue counting on subsequent days -- but without a blessing.

Why can't you "continue counting with a blessing" if you miss counting one day?

The reason is because regarding the Omer, the Torah writes: "Seven weeks, they shall be complete" (Leviticus 23:15). Thus according to many authorities, if one missed counting any day, the 7-week period can no longer be considered 'complete'.

Restrictions During the Omer

The Talmud tells us that Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 students who tragically died during the Omer period, because they did not treat each other with sufficient respect. Therefore, for the 33 days from Passover until Lag B'Omer, we observe these signs of mourning:

1) no weddings

2) not listening to instrumental music, either live or recorded (vocal music is permitted)

3) no haircuts or shaving, unless for business purposes

[Note: According to some customs, the 33-day mourning period begins a few weeks later -- on the first of Iyar, and ends on the third of Sivan.]

48 Ways

Each day of the Omer is related to a different level of the kabbalistic "Sefirot," the emanations through which God interacts with the world. (see:
Kabbalah 101) Each of the seven weeks is associated with one of seven Sefirot, and each day within each of the seven weeks is associated also with one of the same seven Sefirot -- thus creating 49 permutations. Each day during the Omer, we focus on a different aspect of the Sefirot, with the hopes of attaining spiritual improvement in that specific area.

Specifically, since Rabbi Akiva's students showed a lack of proper respect, during the Omer period we try to look for the best way to treat our family, friends and acquaintances, so that we may make a "tikkun" (spiritual correction) on the mistakes of the past.

The Talmud (Avot 6:5) says that "Torah is acquired through 48 ways." Thus during the weeks leading up to Shavuot, many have the custom to prepare to "receive the Torah" by studying the 48 Ways. One popular method is to learn a lesson each day of Rabbi Noah Weinberg's series, the "48 Ways"; there is both a text and audio version available online.

Lag B'Omer

Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer ('Lag' has a numerical value of 33), marks the date of death of one of the greatest Talmudic sages, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. This is a day of great celebration, because tradition says that on his death bed Rabbi Shimon revealed the secrets of the Zohar, the primary book of Jewish mysticism (kabbalah).

For centuries, Lag B'Omer has been a day of pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon in the Galilee town of Meiron. In one day, an estimated 250,000 Jews visit Meiron -- dancing, praying, and celebrating the wonderful spiritual gifts that Rabbi Shimon bequeathed to us. Many people camp out for days beforehand in anticipation.

To celebrate Lag B'Omer, Jews from around Israel light bonfires, to commemorate the great mystical illuminations that Rabbi Shimon revealed. For weeks before, Israeli children scavenge wood to arrange as impressive sculptures -- often 20 and 30 feet high. Great public celebrations are held and the wood towers are burned on Lag B'Omer.


Jews in Israel and the Diaspora follow the peace process closely and a majority of them favour the two-state solution. As Yoram Ettinger explains below, this is due in part to their fear of the alleged Demographic Time Bomb.

Yoram Ettinger explains.

1. Support – among Israeli Jews – for the proposed Palestinian state (“Two States Solution”) is soft and reluctant, according to a March 31-April 1 poll conducted by the Tel Aviv University Center For Peace Research.

2. The establishment of the proposed Palestinian state is supported by 68%, many of whom – other than the Israel’s traditional Left – subordinate their security and historical concerns to their demographic concern. However, the demographic scare has been debunked by the Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), as summarized below.

3. 55% of Israeli Jews define Judea & Samaria as “Liberated Territory,” compared with 32% who consider it “Occupied Territory,” in defiance of a 15 year old Political-Correctness promoted by Israel’s government, media, academic and k-12 education systems.

4. 57% of Israeli Jews do not accept the “Green Line” as Israel’s border, compared with 23% who accept it.

5. 49%:43% oppose an agreement, which entails painful concessions - a code name for substantial withdrawals.

6. 47%:40% of Israeli Jews consider the 1993 Oslo Accord a mistake.

7. 75% of Israeli Jews don’t believe that negotiation would lead to an agreement with the Palestinians. 75% believe that even if an agreement would be concluded, the Palestinians would not consider it an end to their conflict with Israel.

8. Most Israeli Jews oppose the tangible – potentially lethal - consequences of the “Two State Solution.” Their soft & reluctant support of the “Two State Solution” has been based on unfounded demographic fatalism. It has benefited from the absence of a systematic, full scale educational media campaign, highlighting historical, security and demographic aspects of Judea & Samaria mountain ridges (the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, surrounded by the conflict-ridden, volatile, violent, non-compliant Arab Mideast, which is yet to experience inter-Arab peace).

The American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG)

Key Findings
April 2008

Western taxpayers have provided, since 1994, a multi-billion dollar foreign aid to the PA, based on dramatically inflated Palestinian numbers. President Bush stated that Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert argued that Israeli territorial concessions were required, in order to spare Israel a demographic calamity. Really?

I. AIDRG documents a 1.1MN (46%) inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Gaza, Judea & Samaria (2.7MN and not 3.8MN) and a 53% inflation in the official number of Palestinians in Judea & Samaria alone (1.5MN and not 2.3MN). The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) includes in its census some 400,000 overseas residents, 200,000 Israeli (Jerusalem) Arabs who are also counted as “Green Line” Arabs, ignores about 200,000 emigrants (since 1997), etc. The World Bank documents a 32% gap between the PCBS and the Palestinian Ministry of Education - documented – number of Palestinian births.

II. A long-term 67% Jewish majority on 98.5% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (without Gaza). A long-term 60% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River compared with 33% and 8% minority in 1947 and 1900 respectively.

III. Arab fertility rate (within the “Green Line”) has declined 20 year faster than conventionally projected – due to modernity and integration - while Jewish fertility rate is rising.

IV. A 40% rise in annual Jewish births (from 80,400 to 112,000) and a stagnation of annual Arab births (39,000) in the “Green Line” during 1995-2007. Arab-Jewish gap of fertility (number of children per woman) reduced from 6 in 1969 to 0.8 in 2006. Arab fertility rate has declined, in Judea & Samaria, to about 4.5 since its peak (about 8) in the late 1980s.

V. Arab-Jewish fertility rates have converged in Jerusalem – 3.9 children per woman – for the first time since 1948.

VI. Net annual emigration of over 10,000 has characterized Judea & Samaria (mostly) and Gaza Arabs since 1950: 12,000 in 2004, 16,000 in 2005 and 25,000 in 2006.

VII. The Jewish State has benefited from annual Aliya (immigration) since 1882. Repeatedly, since 1948, Israel’s demographic establishment has projected no waves of Aliya.

VIII. Secular Olim (immigrants) from the former Soviet Republics experience fertility increase from the Russian rate of one child per woman toward the average secular Israeli rate of 2.2.

IX. Repeatedly, projections of demographic doom have been refuted by robust Jewish demography between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. For example, Ben Gurion was urged by Israel’s demographers to delay declaration of independence, lest the 600,000 Jews of 1948 become a minority by 1967!

X. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal, and the demographic trend is Jewish and not Arab. The demographic momentum is shifting from the Arab to the Jewish sector. Demography constitutes a strategic asset, not a liability, for the Jewish State.


As Israelis come to understand there is no demographic time bomb, they will be more inclined to vote against the two-state solution. But many will still favour the two-state solution because they do not want another 1.1 million Arabs in the country even if Israel gets to keep the Westbank and Jerusalem.

But what happens if that ratio is improved by a program to induce Arabs to leave with generous financial support and by expelling everyone connected to terror.

And what if a constitution is passed which protects Israel as a Jewish state and new citizenship rules are passed which require a loyalty test and knowledge of Hebrew and National service.

This suggests they will strongly support annexation of Judea and Samaria rather than painful concessions.

Ted Belman

April 22, 2008

Can Israeli Judaism survive?

Israel provides reasonable Jewish environment for seculars, but will it last?
Uri Orbach

I was on a short and fascinating tour of Jewish communities in the United States. When I landed in Ben Gurion Airport I declared that I returned with a bag full of experiences and insights. I was told they I do not have to pay any duty for that.

My main insight is as follows: Had I been a secular Jew, I would go to the synagogue near my home and thank God for making me a secular Jew in Israel.

Israeli seculars enjoy a Jewish existence that is more intense than that enjoyed by any non-Orthodox American Jew. In America, if you do not observe the mitzvahs and are not connected to your community, your religion has not expression in your daily life. If someone would remind you, there is a chance that you would mark Passover or Hanukah (it takes place around Christmas time.)

If you are a non-religious Jew in America, the probability that your children will marry gentiles is huge, and the likelihood that this won’t bother you too much is also quite high. Based on various estimates, the Jewish people lose about 50,000 Jews annually in the US alone. Even within Reform communities the struggle is no longer against intermarriage, but rather, focuses on guaranteeing minimal Jewish education for the children even if their parents intermarried.

In Israel, on the other hand, it is easy to spot the scope of secular Zionism’s achievement. The Zionism that established the Jewish State managed to create a reasonable Jewish environment for seculars. Israelis enjoy a Jewish atmosphere thanks to Hebrew and political mechanisms: The Hebrew language and culture, Shabbats and holidays, life in the land of the Bible, the Jewish environment and the army.

Only in Israel do seculars have the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat and the holidays a little bit, to eat kosher a little, to wed, and divorce, be born and die as Jews, and all that without observing the mitzvahs. Only in Israel nobody will tell you: What, you’re Jewish? I would have never thought that (unless you are a construction worker.)

Zionism’s great achievement is therefore the guarantee of a Jewish existence for secular Jews.

Judaism taken for granted in Israel
However, the essence of this great achievement also includes the seed of failure. The national-political framework and substance have been revealed to be fluffy and inadequate. Many seculars believe that it’s enough for them to be living in the Jewish State, and they count on Hebrew and their religious neighbors to provide them forever with all their religious and Jewish identity needs, in addition to Jewish atmosphere and character services.

An average secular Israeli trusts the State’s power to absorb and integrate within it masses of non-Jews from the former Soviet Union, and it believes that the Jewish State would not be hurt by lively commercial activity on Shabbat. Many Israelis make do with the basic Judaism package provided by the State.

In America, non-Orthodox Jews feel that they cannot do much to resolve the problem, and that the danger of assimilation is immediate and daily. Here in Israel, Israelis treat Judaism as something that is taken for granted. Yet there are certainly concerns that in less than a generation, and upon the immigration of more non-Jews, the growing separation of religion and state, and the Jewish-cultural weakening of the State, we will face a crisis reminiscent of the one faced by American Jews.

We already see the idea of a “state of all its citizens” trickling down, and we also see the growing values of a consumer society and the freedom to buy, while military reserve service and Zionism are not what they used to be.

internalization and education mechanisms have weakened, and the basic Jewish package provided by the State to its citizens is increasingly diminishing without them taking notice. When we wake up, lacking identity and solidarity, we will discover that we are not located between Canada and Mexico, but rather, among Syria and Egypt, Hizbullah and the Islamic Brotherhood.

For the time being, we shall thank the State of Israel for the Judaism is provides to the secular public. Yet I’m not sure that’s enough.

April 18, 2008

Make It a One-Way Ticket, Mr. Carter

by Dr. David Lazerson

The crazy world of politics.

It has often been said that in the world of sales, any form of publicity, including bad, is far better than nothing. As a kid, I remember driving to Florida from Buffalo during the wintertime with my grandfather. As we hit the warm southern states, there were a whole bunch of signs along the road that openly declared
some restaurant to have the “worst water in the world.” I was amazed when, after a good hour of driving, we passed the place - and the parking lot was packed to the gills.

In the crazy world of politics, one often finds “leaders” (the quotation marks are deliberate) doing anything to grab a headline. This is particularly true for ex-leaders who simply cannot carry on without being in the spotlight. And it might be even more so for ex-US presidents, who go from having every word and cough covered in the mass media to retirement obscurity on some speaker’s bureau. Kind of like professional ball players after leaving the limelight of the game and media worship; many go through some serious withdrawal symptoms and psychological issues.

Fitting this profile rather well is none other than our own former president, Mr. Jimmy Carter, who once again hits the media with yet another wacko endeavor. It’s not too surprising that good ol’ Jimmy has recently come out with all sorts of anti-Israel nonsense, including his recent book. After all, his organization, the Jimmy Carter Center, receives huge funding from Arab sources. But this time he may have gone a tad bit too far. His most recent trip to Syria and meeting face-to-face with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was something more appropriate perhaps for a Fellini movie. No, let’s make that The Three Stooges.

While under “normal” circumstances, this might not seem like such a bad idea at all. By normal, I mean of course, that things are good - people are communicating, sharing ideas over a cup of tea; governments are working together for the betterment of humanity; people are going “green,” helping to save Mother Earth. You get the picture.

Hamas, however, is a far cry from such noble efforts. This group has gotten the official State Department designation as a terrorist organization. Hamas has been responsible for the murders of thousands of people and for much destruction across the globe. Their track record reads like that of the worst serial killer. One thing about Hamas - it does not try to hide its intentions. Their honesty should send a chill down the spine of any decent human being. Hamas seeks to not only destroy Israel, the only truly democratic country in the entire Middle East - no, this would be a small feather in their cap - like the other Arabic terrorist groups, Hamas seeks a much bigger prize: to destroy America and all of Western civilization, and replace it with a new world order of Islamic rule

This time, Mr. Carter, you may have bit off more than you can chew. Make no mistake about it, we are at war. Despite the fools who believe America is always at fault, we did not start this war. Militant Islam’s war against us has nothing to do with our lack of understanding or love. In the USA, we do not teach our kids to hate. We don’t raise our kids to strap bombs on themselves and become “martyrs” by blowing up people in hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. And, unlike Hamas, we don’t celebrate the murders of others.

Hamas has declared war, a global jihad, against all “infidels.” Unfortunately, Hamas’s actions speak louder than words. Yes, it’s true that not all Arabs are terrorists. But almost every terrorist is an Arab with some pretty direct connection to an Islamic fundamentalist group, Hamas included. It makes no difference whether you call ‘em al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, al-Aksa, Hamas, or whatever new gang of Islamic hoodlums is out there, their agenda is one and the same.

And so we have the unbelievable and embarrassing scenario of a former US president paying respect to a country that sponsors terrorism and meeting with a leader of a terrorist organization that has openly declared war on the United States. If we let our guard down, there’d be a 9/11 event every day.

Mr. Carter said that he went to Syria not as a former president, but as the head of his organization, the Carter Center. He may fool himself, but he certainly isn’t fooling anyone else - especially not the Syrians or Hamas. Hamas itself has now declared that they have achieved a new level of legitimacy due to one huge booster shot; Jimmy Carter’s visit and actual physical embrace of a Hamas leader. They've got to be drunk with joy at the thought of bribing a US president. Now that’s a mighty lovely (eagle) feather in their war bonnet.

So, what’s to be done here? First, we need to take a good look at the Carter Center’s books and see where his funding comes from. We may all be in for an eye-opening surprise. Secondly, There has to be a law against visiting with an enemy leader of a designated terrorist organization during a time of war. Seems to me that Carter’s passport should be put on hold until he behaves like a responsible citizen of this great country of ours.

Thirdly, we better do the hard thing while it’s not impossible; and that means taking care of Syria and Iran before they get their hands on nuclear weapons. If that happens, we can kiss each other and planet Earth goodbye. The window of opportunity is shrinking, but still open. These decisions aren’t easy, but in this situation there’s no luxury of reacting after-the-fact. There’s only some slight room to be proactive. The US, perhaps together with Israel and other democratic nations, needs to stop the Iranian nuclear effort now. It’s beyond words and idle United Nations blabber. Only military action can stop this God-help-us scenario of terrorists with nuclear capabilities.

Fourthly, I suggest we offer Mr. Carter another trip to Syria. The sooner the better. Only this time, we should make it a one-way ticket.

Rabbi Walks the Walk - Home to Israel

by Ezra HaLevi

(IsraelNN.com) An American Jewish rabbi is making Aliyah (immigrating to Israel), inviting not only his congregation, but all of American Jewry, to follow suit.

Rabbi Shalom Rosner, rabbi of Congregation Bais Ephraim Yitzchak in Woodmere NY (known as “The Island Shul”) announced his decision last month. He will help establish a new community in the Beit Shemesh region called Nofei HaShemesh.

"This is not a sudden decision," Rabbi Rosner explained. "My wife and I and our six children have been dreaming and planning for this day for years. It is a highly personal decision yet part of a much larger mission… Nearly 20,000 North American Jews have moved to Israel in recent years. This is a dynamic, growing trend. We have much to add to Israeli society, and the community we are embarking to develop will, with G-d's help, be a model environment reflecting our ideals and our vision for centuries to come."

Nofei HaShemesh will take some of the hallmarks of American Jewish life – community rabbis and synagogue-centric communal life – and bring it to a region already populated by a large number of olim (immigrants to Israel). Located between the existing Anglo-rich neighborhoods of Scheinfeld and Nofei Aviv, 30 families have already purchased homes in the 400-unit neighborhood now being built.

Rabbi Rosner gave classes at Yeshiva University in Talmud, Jewish Law and Bible over the past seven years since being ordained and studying at the school’s RIETS Seminary’s Kollel Elyon Talmudic fellowship.

Calling on Others to Join
“Aliya is an ideal that we as Jews can all recognize as our common destiny,” Rabbi Rosner wrote to his congregants. “We hope to forge a path that will encourage other inspired Jews from around the world to become our neighbors, along with veteran Israelis who share our commitment to building a community based on a deeply rooted love of our people, our Torah values and service to our nation.”

He is not leaving due to any lack of success, having built a synagogue community of 15 families into 125 in just six years.

A Long Struggle Homeward
“On a personal level, [Aliyah] has always been a paramount - yet elusive - quest for our family,” Rabbi Rosner said. “Before we were married, my wife and I had decided in principle that Israel would be our home. Decisions in principle are often mightily slowed down by developments on the ground. Before we knew it, my wife’s medical school was upon us, along with my rabbinic training at Yeshiva University. Starting a family and many other considerations naturally followed, all creating a situation where Aliyah remained more a beckoning dream than an immediate step.

“Despite these ‘distractions,’ rarely did even one day pass in which we both didn’t express to each other our desire to make this move. Our hearts were heavy that we were not in Israel. Whether it was the chafing distance of witnessing miraculous developments in the land or yearning to raise our children in the environment of holiness that is only available in Israel, the gravitational pull of Aliyah was a constant presence in our hearts and minds.”

Rabbi Rosner knows that the struggle is not over.

“Even while I know the period ahead will not be without its fair share of challenges and the occasional difficult days, we relish the chance to play our very own part in our people’s historic renewal,” he said. “Most exciting of all, we welcome others both from our own community and from other communities across North America and around the world who will make the decision to join us as we create a truly ideal environment in Israel…Hashem has given us the remarkable historic chance to make this land ours…and so many wonderful people who went before us have done the ‘heavy lifting’ to get us newcomers to where we are today.”

Dr. Aliyah
Dr. Tamar Rosner, the rabbi’s wife, is taking part in the Nefesh b’Nefesh Aliyah organization’s special promotion seeking to bring doctors on Aliyah. The pediatrician told the Five Towns Jewish News last year that the Nefesh b’Nefesh grant played a role in making their consideration of Aliyah a reality. “Doctors don’t move [to Israel] because of a lucrative salary,” Rosner said. “We’re going because it’s the Jewish homeland, and this fellowship is making the move more do-able. We know we are going to live a less lavish life than in the US, but we are not going to starve.”

Dr. Rosner is one of a number of doctors to apply for the special grant, which will be granted to ten docters a year by the Legacy Heritage Foundation through Nefesh B’Nefesh. The grant, in the form of an initial fellowship upon arrival in Israel and monthly supplemental income for the first two years, totals about $60,000. It is available to doctors under the age of 45 willing to practice at least nine months a year in Israel.

Move Spurs Rabbinic Support for Mass Aliyah
Following Rabbi Rosner’s announcement, an ad was taken out in Jewish papers and magazines both in Israel and the US by leading rabbis of his various communities. “As his long-time teachers, friends and supporters, we take great pride in this momentous milestone for both the American Jewish community and Israel,” the ad reads, ending with a partially-committal: “Many of us look forward to joining him.”

Signing the ad were: YU Dean Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, YU President Richard Joel, Former RCA President Rabbi Kenneth Hain, Young Israel President Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Orthodox Union President Stephen Savitsky, Former RCA President Rabbi Hershel Billet, YU Rosh Yeshiva Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Eddie Reichman, Rabbi Jay Marcus (a Staten Island rabbi who has already left his congregation and made Aliyah), YU Spiritual Adviser Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rabbi Jacob J. Schachter and YU Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Reichman, Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig and Rabbi Meir Goldvicht.

The last pro-Aliyah statement issued by American Jewish rabbis also originated at Yeshiva University. Put forth by the Kumah Aliyah movement, it read: “The following Roshei Yeshiva strongly urge every Jew to seriously consider making Aliyah. We believe that a massive return to our eternal homeland will contribute greatly to an alleviation of all demographic, economic and religious problems in Israel today. We urge the entire Jewish Diaspora, particularly the younger generation, to begin viewing Aliyah as a goal rather than an option.”

Signing that declaration were many of the rabbis from the current one. In addition, it was signed by Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik, of blessed memory, and YU Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler and Rabbi Hershel Schachter.

The declaration can be viewed by clicking here


Chag Sameach

The Wise Son

Tomorrow evening is the first night of Passover, and I'll be the grandpa at a Seder, locked at some point in tense Afikoman negotiations with one of my grandchildren. Just like Mr. Shuldig in today's cartoon. It'll be life imitating art.

Happy Pessah to us all!!

April 16, 2008

Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America (Newsweek)

Here is the second annual version of the list—generated by Michael Lynton, (chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment), Gary Ginsberg, (executive VP, global marketing and corporate affairs, News Corp.) and Jay Sanderson, (CEO and executive producer, JTN/JTN Productions)—of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. In the fall of 2006, the friends, interested in the future of American Jewry and the evolving role of the rabbi, started a conversation that eventually became "the list." The machers ranked the rabbis based on the following unscientific criteria:

• Are they known nationally/internationally? (20 points)
• Do they have political/social influence? (20 points)
• Do they have a media presence? (10 points)
• Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points)
• Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points)
• Size of their constituency (10 points)
• Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points)
• Have they made a greater impact beyond the Jewish community and their Rabbinical training? (10 points)

The Rabbis

1. Marvin Hier (Orthodox)
(2007 Ranking #1)
Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
2. Eric Yoffie (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #12)
President of the Union for Reform Judaism.
3. Robert Wexler (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #7)
President of the American Jewish University.
4. Yehuda Krinsky (Lubavitch)
(2007 Ranking #2)
Global leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, a branch of Hasidism.
5. David Saperstein (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #16)
Director of the Religious Action Center and the co-chair of the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty.
6. Uri D. Herscher (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #3)
Founder and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
7. Irwin Kula (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #8)
Co-president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and bestselling author.
8. David Ellenson (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #6)
President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education.
9. Shmuley Boteach (Orthodox)
(2007 Ranking #9)
Author of the recently published "The Broken Male and How to Fix Him".
10. Mark Charendoff (Orthodox)
President of the Jewish Funders Network, an international organization of family foundations, public philanthropies and individual funders.
11. Yehuda Berg (Orthodox)
(2007 Ranking #4)
One of the world’s most popular authorities on the Kabbalah.
12. David Wolpe (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #18)
Tops the list of pulpit rabbis in America.
13. J. Rolando (Roly)Matalon (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #17)
The spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.
14. Harold Kushner (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #5)
Best-selling author, pulpit rabbi and speaker.
15. Peter J. Rubinstein (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #11)
Spiritual leader of New York’s Central Synagogue.
16. Zalman Teitelbaum (Hasidim)
(2007 Ranking #15)
Leader of the Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
17. Sharon Kleinbaum (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #19)
Senior Rabbi of the world’s largest synagogue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews.
18. Jeffrey Wohlberg (Conservative)
Rabbi at Washington, D.C.’s Adas Israel Congregation.
19. Harold M. Schulweis (Conservative)
(2007 Ranking #13)
Rabbi of Congregation Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, CA.
20. Dan Ehrenkrantz (Reconstructionist)
(2007 Ranking #20)
President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
21. Joseph Telushkin (Conservative/Orthodox)
(2007 Ranking #21)
Best-selling author and speaker.
22. Haskel Lookstein (Orthodox)
Head of New York’s Ramaz School and Rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun.
23. Art Green (Renewal)
Dean of Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School.
24. M. Bruce Lustig (Reform)
(2007 Ranking #10)
Leader of Washington Hebrew Congregation, the largest congregation in Washington, D.C.
25. Abraham Cooper (Orthodox)
(2007 Ranking #29)
Associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

go to the site for the rest!


by Daniel Pipes - Weblog - April 3, 2008

The effort is the first time since World War II – when the Germans bombed London, and London children were sent off to families in the countryside to be cared for until the German assault ended – that a "people-to-people" campaign has been organized to remove children from a war zone. Sadly, indeed embarrassingly, the children are those of S'derot, an Israeli town of 19,000 near the border with Gaza that has been under a missile barrage since the Israeli retreat from Gaza in September 2005, with thousands of missiles to date. These have causing damage to property and injuries and death to residents.

The national government of Israel has basically averted its collective eyes from this tragedy, leaving the citizens of S'derot and potentially other towns to fend basically for themselves.

Into the breach now has come www.SaveIsraelsChildren.com, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that matchmakes between "families wanting to send their children abroad, and families who are willing to provide a temporary ‘home' for these children."

Comment: The need for such a private initiative points to the moral and operational bankruptcy of the Olmert government in Israel. (April 3, 2008)

April 15, 2008

Summer in Israel

So two of my children are going to Israel this Summer.
They are so excited, what an adventure. A trip abroad to the holy land.

How do I feel?

I am very proud that they want to go, are not..afraid to go.
The underlying reason to go, whether for the sake of a cool trip,
or for the curiosity of one's heritage....

Sounds very safe according to URJ and Birthright.
Of course with the Norwich Temple desecration ...how safe is it here in Upstate NY? Today, next year?

I am also worried, that the trips could be canceled.
The chance of a "Summer War" looms large.
To cancel a trip so looked forward to..

But really, the prospect of another Olmert political war is beyond words.
More IDF soldiers (children) will die for him and his appointed MK cronies
to simply keep their jobs!

Many hands are against Israel. Even unknowingly the hands of the US work against the very survival of Israel as a Jewish State.
Rice and the checkpoint removals, land for peace nonsense, the road map, a 2 State Solution and the unending request for Israel to give, give, give.

Any neutral eye would see that Israel has always given way to much and should
shut the gates and cut the displaced Jordanians off.

GW needs to strong arm the King of Jordan to take his people back.
As Jews in the US, what is there to do?
If we open our mouths we fear increased Anti-Semitism, if we don't
we are not practicing Ahavat Yisrael.

Israel does not need US money, her economy is fine.
But both the US and Israel need allies and there are few.

Israel also fights from within as the Haredi stretch the politics one way,
and the ARAB MK's stretch it the other. Where do the people stand?

How many Russian immigrants are actually simply Russian Anti-Semites?

When has the UN ever had a vote on Middle East politics and not condemned Israel?

Is a proportional response to Gaza not simply sending 6 or 7,000 rockets at
their civilian centers?

How do you justify a Western style government in Israel and not a Government
run by the Sanhedrin?

Why does Israel continue to provide Gaza with any supplies?

Why does Israel not control the Temple Mount?

Olmert gives the PA Armored carriers? The PA is defunct, Hamas will kill them too.

But I digress, I am planning for my kids to have trips of a lifetime.
To return full of love for Israel and at least a spark of why don't I
go home and live in the holy land.


Europe or Eurabia?

by Daniel Pipes - The Australian - April 15, 2008

The future of Europe is in play. Will it turn into "Eurabia," a part of the Muslim world? Will it remain the distinct cultural unit it has been over the last millennium? Or might there be some creative synthesis of the two civilizations?

The answer has vast importance. Europe may constitute a mere 7 percent of the world's landmass but for five hundred years, 1450-1950, for good and ill, it was the global engine of change. How it develops in the future will affect all humanity, and especially daughter countries such as Australia which still retain close and important ties to the old continent.

I foresee potentially one of three paths for Europe: Muslims dominating, Muslims rejected, or harmonious integration.

(1) Muslim domination strikes some analysts as inevitable. Oriana Fallaci found that "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam." Mark Steyn argues that much of the Western world "will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries." Such authors point to three factors leading to Europe's Islamization: faith, demography, and a sense of heritage.

The secularism that predominates in Europe, especially among its elites, leads to alienation about the Judeo-Christian tradition, empty church pews, and a fascination with Islam. In complete contrast, Muslims display a religious fervor that translates into jihadi sensibility, a supremacism toward non-Muslims, and an expectation that Europe is waiting for conversion to Islam.

The contrast in faith also has demographic implications, with Christians having on average 1.4 children per woman, or about one third less than the number needed to maintain their population, and Muslims enjoying a dramatically higher, if falling, fertility rate. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are expected to be in about 2015 the first large majority-Muslim cities. Russia could become a Muslim-majority country in 2050. To employ enough workers to fund existing pension plans, Europe needs millions of immigrants and these tend to be disproportionately Muslim due to reasons of proximity, colonial ties, and the turmoil in majority-Muslim countries.

In addition, many Europeans no longer cherish their history, mores, and customs. Guilt about fascism, racism, and imperialism leave many with a sense that their own culture has less value than that of immigrants. Such self-disdain has direct implications for Muslim immigrants, for if Europeans shun their own ways, why should immigrants adopt them? When added to the already-existing Muslim hesitations over much that is Western, and especially what concerns sexuality, the result are Muslim populations that strongly resist assimilation.

The logic of this first path leads to Europe ultimately becoming an extension of North Africa.

(2) But the first path is not inevitable. Indigenous Europeans could resist it and as they make up 95 percent of the continent's population, they can at any time reassert control, should they see Muslims posing a threat to a valued way of life.

This impulse can already be seen at work in the French anti-hijab legislation or in Geert Wilders' film, Fitna. Anti-immigrant parties gain in strength; a potential nativist movement is taking shape across Europe, as political parties opposed to immigration focus increasingly on Islam and Muslims. These parties include the British National Party, Belgium's Vlaamse Belang, France's Front National, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Danish People's Party, and the Swedish Democrats.

They will likely continue to grow as immigration surges ever higher, with mainstream parties paying and expropriating their anti-Islamic message. Should nationalist parties gain power, they will likely seek to reject multiculturalism, cut back on immigration, encourage repatriation of immigrants, support Christian institutions, increase indigenous European birthrates, and broadly attempt to re-establish traditional ways.

Muslim alarm will likely follow. American author Ralph Peters sketches a scenario in which "U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's Muslims." Peters concludes that because of European's "ineradicable viciousness," its Muslims "are living on borrowed time" As Europeans have "perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing," Muslims, he predicts, "will be lucky just to be deported," rather than killed. Indeed, Muslims worry about just such a fate; since the 1980s, they have spoken overtly about Muslims being sent to gas chambers.

Violence by indigenous Europeans cannot be precluded but nationalist efforts will more likely take place less violently; if any one is likely to initiate violence, it is the Muslims. They have already engaged in many acts of violence and seem to be spoiling for more. Surveys indicate, for instance, that about 5 percent of British Muslims endorse the 7/7 transport bombings. In brief, a European reassertion will likely lead to on-going civil strife, perhaps a more lethal version of the fall 2005 riots in France.

(3) The ideal outcome has indigenous Europeans and immigrant Muslims finding a way to live together harmoniously and create a new synthesis. A 1991 study, La France, une chance pour l'Islam (France, an Opportunity for Islam) by Jeanne-Hיlטne Kaltenbach and Pierre Patrick Kaltenbach promoted this idealistic approach. Despite all, this optimism remains the conventional wisdom, as suggested by an Economist leader of 2006 that concluded that dismissed for the moment at least, the prospect of Eurabia as "scaremongering."

This is the view of most politicians, journalists, and academics but it has little basis in. Yes indigenous Europeans could yet rediscover their Christian faith, make more babies, and again cherish their heritage. Yes, they could encourage non-Muslim immigration and acculturate Muslims already living in Europe. Yes, Muslim could accept historic Europe. But not only are such developments not now underway, their prospects are dim. In particular, young Muslims are cultivating grievances and nursing ambitions at odds with their neighbors.

One can virtually dismiss from consideration the prospect of Muslims accepting historic Europe and integrating within it. U.S. columnist Dennis Prager agrees: "It is difficult to imagine any other future scenario for Western Europe than its becoming Islamicized or having a civil war."

But which of those two remaining paths will the continent take? Forecasting is difficult because crisis has not yet struck. But it may not be far off. Within a decade perhaps, the continent's evolution will become clear as the Europe-Muslim relationship takes shape.

The unprecedented nature of Europe's situation also renders a forecast exceedingly difficult. Never in history has a major civilization peaceably dissolved, nor has a people ever risen to reclaim its patrimony. Europe's unique circumstances make them difficult to comprehend, tempting to overlook, and virtually impossible to predict. With Europe, we all enter into terra incognita.

April 14, 2008

Poll Shows Israelis Agree With Moshe Feiglin

April 13, 2008...

According to a recent poll commissioned by SOS Israel, 65% of Israeli Jews oppose the State of Israel making any further withdrawals from Judea and Samaria (the land commonly known in the US as “the West Bank”), while only 24% support more withdrawals.

Divided by religious sectors, 95% of the Hareidi-religious oppose withdrawals, followed by 91% of the national religious and 57% of the non-observant public.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his fellow Oslo conspirators and continuers – Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Tsipi Livni, et al - all oppose the Israeli populace by supporting the giving away of more large tracts of Jewish Land. Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that he, too, supports creating an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, thereby continuing the failed policy of Land-For-Peace.

As the Oslo policies of appeasement have brought nothing but death, destruction, and a loss in the belief of the justness of our cause to the Jewish People, these so-called leaders must be called to account.

The people of Israel have spoken that they want leaders with Jewish values who will not negotiate away Jewish Land. They want leaders who will stop rockets from falling on their heads instead of handing over more territory from which to fire them. They want leaders who will protect Jewish lives instead of endangering them.

Moshe Feiglin, who finished second last year for head of the Likud party, is the only major-party candidate for Prime Minister who represents these values.

Tova Abadi
Media Spokesperson

April 11, 2008

FM - Livni Gives Away Northern Jerusalem

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Negotiations for Jerusalem continue apace, with a local Jerusalem paper reporting that Foreign Minister Livni has agreed to give away Atarot Airport. Shas says it's still not leaving the government.

The Kol HaZman (All the Time) paper reports that in ongoing secret talks with top Palestinian Authority negotiator Abu Ala, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has agreed, in the name of Israel, to transfer the Atarot airfield in northern Jerusalem to PA control. The paper states it source as "senior Foreign Ministry elements."

The Goal: Strengthen Fatah
Israel apparently recognizes Hamas control in Gaza as permanent, and therefore wishes to strengthen Fatah - perceived as more moderate - in Judea and Samaria.

Fatah terrorists, members of the organization's Al Aqsa Brigades, have carried out many murderous attacks against Israeli civilians in recent weeks, months and years. One of the most active terrorist forces in the area, it has been designated terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and Japan.

Alternatively, it is not clear that the Hamas-takeover scenario will not repeat itself in Judea and Samaria, thus leaving the Atarot Airport in Hamas hands - if Israel in fact relinquishes it.

Mayor is Against
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski is strongly against the loss of Atarot to the terrorists. His aides said he was "astonished" to hear of the secret agreement, and feels it will be a grave security failure and a significant concession on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

"It is inconceivable," the mayor reportedly said, "that while Israeli flights from Atarot have been stopped because of security fears, the threat will now become even more severe, with control of the entire area being given over to the PA." He warned of the dangers of "hostile airplanes" in the skies of Jerusalem.

Lupoliansky promises he will work even harder to advance his plan to build 10,000 housing units for Jews in Atarot, hoping to thus thwart the plan to give it to the PA.

Jerusalem Municipality officials said the agreement to give away Atarot represents a de-facto recognition of the division of Jerusalem.

Olmert Takes no Responsibility
Staffers in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said, "These are talks being handled by the Foreign Minister, and therefore answers must be received from her." Livni's press secretary said that the contents of the talks are not meant to be publicized.

April 10, 2008

What I Have Told Americans - Professor Paul Eidelberg

To radically change Israel’s dysfunctional system of government, which is leading to Israel’s demise, one has to know a little bit about Clausewitz’s concept of ‘the center of gravity.’

As I wrote thirty years ago in Sadat’s Strategy, an enemy’s ‘center of gravity’ is the necessary but vulnerable precondition of its strength. With respect to Israel, Clausewitz’s dictum that in “small states dependent on greater ones, it lies generally in the army of their allies would seem to apply. However, since the army or military power of Israel’s ally, the United States, cannot itself be directly attacked, it must be outflanked by an assault on public opinion”—in a democracy, a force more powerful than armies.

Clausewitz’s dictum prompted Anwar Sadat to shift his allegiance from Moscow to Washington in 1975. This enabled him to regain the Sinai without firing a shot after he won over American public opinion by his historic visit to Israel in November 1977, when, in a speech from the Knesset broadcast around the world, he intoned the word “peace” (salaam) almost one hundred times in 50 minutes!

Yes, Israel’s ‘center of gravity’ is public opinion in the United States. Hence we need to ask: What is there about American public opinion regarding Israel that endows Israeli government with legitimacy and its ruling elites—politicians and judges, academics and journalists—with respectability? The answer: Israel’s reputation as “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Indeed, it is precisely Israel’s reputation as a democracy that has sustained the corrupt government of Ehud Olmert despite its dismal failure in the Second Lebanon War, a failure that strengthened Iran, today America’s most dangerous enemy.

Suppose it was shown throughout the United States that Israel is NOT a democracy? And suppose that, contrary to 1977, when Israel was very much dependent on American military aid, the $2.28 billion Israel now receives from the U.S. in military aid is less than 1.3% of its $170.3 billion Gross Domestic Product. In fact, I have shown that the U.S receives far more in dollar value from Israel than Israel receives from the U.S.

Think of this and its potential consequences.

Passing over Passover

Passover will soon be here, and this year, apparently, we'll be chipping away some more at the Jewishness of the Jewish State.

Political Correctness is a Western concept which demands that we turn our brains off and accept a kind of "group thinking". In this case it leads us to turn on our roots and culture. A potential disaster for the Jewish State.

-Dry Bones- Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973

A Hug for a Betrayed Brother: By Moshe Feiglin

by: Moshe Feiglin
Founder and President, Manhigut Yehudit Nissan, 5768 (April, '08)

My lecture tour of America was very successful. But the best surprise awaited me back in Israel. As soon as I turned on my cell phone, I discovered that I would not yet be driving home to rest after two weeks of lectures and flights. Instead, I would be driving straight to Israel's Channel 2 television studio for an urgent interview on my visit to Jonathon Pollard. This was not my first visit to our brother, Jonathon Pollard. But this was the first time that my visit to him aroused media interest. The channel 2 interview was followed by more interviews. Official Israel's betrayal of Pollard continues. But it seems that the people of Israel are beginning to wake up.

The following article by Moshe Feiglin appeared in Hebrew this week in Makor Rishon and the Ynet website.

Nissan, 5768
April, ‘08

He almost never talks about himself. Throughout our conversation, he speaks about Israel, about the Jewish People, about me. But not about himself.

We hug. "You're banned from England, eh?" he chuckles, before we even have a chance to sit down. These were the first words out of his mouth when we met last Tuesday. It never ceases to amaze me how this man, betrayed by us and buried alive in prison 24 years ago, is always so up to date on everything. How clear he is and sharp as a razor.

In the hours leading up to the meeting, I feel distressed. A kind of uncomfortable collective guilt enfolds me before meeting with the betrayed captive. He probably senses it and tries to dispel the dark feelings with his smile.

Jonathan Pollard begins with a detailed analysis of what is going on in Israel. Of the 2 hours that have been allotted to us, Jonathan uses 90% of the time to discuss the problems we are facing as a nation. He keeps to a minimum any talk about himself, and that is why the few personal words which he does volunteer have such a tremendous impact.

When names like Yisrael Maimon (the former Cabinet Secretary who was previously responsible for the Pollard file) come up, it is hard for him to control his feelings, but he does. The names of other Israeli officials, like Ehud Barak who was the head of Israel's Military Intelligence back then, come up in the course of the conversation from time to time and produce a similar response. "They betrayed me 24 years ago, and they are still stabbing me in the back in prison now," he says.

The reaction to the Israel State Comptroller's decision to investigate the continuing failure of the government and its abandonment of an agent was to be expected. Too many top officials were involved in the espionage and they want to keep Pollard buried along with the operation. It is not just the Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. It is not just Minister Rafi Eitan, and not just the Supreme Court Justice Eliyakim Rubinstein, who was the Special Envoy at the Washington Embassy and who bears direct responsibility for throwing Jonathan out, into the arms of the FBI agents waiting outside of the gates. Not just because of Israel's refusal to make an official request for Jonathan's release, while at the same time peddling lies to the Israeli public claiming that "exhaustive efforts for his release are continuously implemented behind the scenes." 112 Members of Knesset signed a petition for Jonathan's release, but Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert prefer to ‘forget' to relay it to the President of the United States.

It was also to be expected that the State Comptroller's investigation of the case would generate a move to blacken his name. "This populist investigation is sabotaging efforts to secure the release of Pollard," allege unnamed "security" officials, close to the Prime Minister's office.

Simultaneous with the attack on the State Comptroller comes a co-coordinated attack on Jonathan himself. If we can trash Jonathan and his wife Esther and falsely portray them to the public as mercenaries lusting after luxury apartments and money, then public concern for their plight will evaporate. So we get a pack of lies published in Yediot Achronot [under the ‘respectable' byline of Nachum Barnea, a.k.a winner of the Israel Prize for Journalism.]

Esther Pollard doesn't live in a luxury apartment. For years, Esther rented a tiny room in a cheap motel close to the prison, to be near her husband. It was the best she could do. When she realized that the reason that her husband continues to languish in prison is situated in Israel and not in America, Esther relocated her place of residence to Israel. Not to a luxury apartment in Jerusalem either --- but to a small room in the apartment of a kindly Jerusalem widow who opened her home and her heart to the Pollards.

"If you come anywhere close to winning the primaries," Pollard switches the subject to talk about me, "they will simply murder you. Two weeks before he was assassinated, Ghandi (Rechavam Zeevi z"l) came to visit me. I tried to warn him. I told him what I feared was going to happen, but he just brushed aside my warnings. They did it to one of their own; do you think that they would have any trouble doing it to you?" This is not the first time that people have cautioned me about this possibility, but when the warning is coming from the mouth of Jonathan Pollard, the words take on greater meaning.

"How is Israel able to succeed in having the Americans keep you in prison?" I ask Jonathan, "Even the head of the CIA has been saying for some time that it is time to let you go."

"They have never given the Americans the slightest reason to officially begin the process," Pollard replies. In matters like this, there are no free gifts. As opposed to what Israel is telling its own citizens, it has been made clear to the Americans through every channel, that Israel has no interest whatsoever in the man who saved the State by providing vital intelligence to ensure its survival.

All it would take is a sign from Israel to bring about Pollard's speedy release. Israel has numerous ways to secure the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard, but prefers instead to seek his death in prison.

Only towards the end of the visit does Jonathan share what he keeps locked in his heart. He describes the hostile, violent and noisy atmosphere he lives in. He says that he spends most of his time alone in his cell with earplugs in his ears. He speaks of his deteriorating health and how he is no longer able to climb up into his top level bunk bed; he is now forced to carry a medical permit allowing him a bottom bunk. He speaks of his legal situation. "Legally speaking, my life sentence condemns me to spend 45years in prison. I am supposed to leave prison at age 75. They will never let that happen," he says with disgust.

"At a certain moment in time," I tell him, trying to encourage him, "these gates are just going to suddenly open, and you are going to walk out, a free man. That moment is closer than you think."

Jonathan Pollard is a mirror that reminds us of who we are; a mirror that Israel is trying to shatter.

When the Pollard case first broke, I was a young officer. Even back then it troubled me that Jonathan (the Jew) was thrown out of the Embassy, while his handler, IAF officer Aviam Sella (the Israeli), was given asylum and defended by Israel. Despite American pressure to hand him over, Israel stood firm for Sella. It looks like Israel is not a State of the Jews, I remember thinking at the time, but a State of Israelis.

Pollard is the Jew who saved the Israelis from American treachery. He did not save us because we are Israelis. He saved us because we are his Jewish brothers. The Pollard case imposes a Jewish identity upon Israel. Israel's current leadership prefers to keep its Jewish identity safely stored under lock and key, in a jail cell in Butner, North Carolina.

April 9, 2008

Fitna: the issues that are at stake


People concerned about the coming U.S. elections cannot put into
context what is at stake until they understand the wider, global
threat to our freedoms. This goes way beyond America, or Israel.

Before you decide what the issues are, and for whom to vote, I think it
is vital you view the film Fitna by Geert Wilders, a heroic
Dutch politician and filmmaker who has already received numerous
death threats. This movie can be seen online at the following

Very Graphic Movie!!!!


I will not debate any Obama supporter until they have seen this

Naomi Ragen