29 December 2013

"...neither will I let Pollard go."


26 Tevet 5774

At the conclusion of Shabbat, when I checked the news, my breath caught in my throat when I saw this story:

Report: Kerry Offers Pollard's Release to Israel
Kerry has offered Israel the release of Pollard as part of discussions about an upcoming release of terrorists, says Channel 10 report.
But, almost immediately, suspicions crowded into my thoughts. Secretary Kerry is not President Obama.  And didn't even former President Clinton go back on his own word to release Pollard?

Today, this is the headline:

White House Denies Option of Pollard's Release
The White House has announced that Jonathan Pollard will not be released despite the request of the PM to condition terrorist release and progress with negotiations with Pollard's pardon.

But, gam zu l'tova, because where have we heard this before? Parshat Va'eira: "So Pharaoh's heart stiffened and he would not let the Israelites go." It is certainly no coincidence that this matter has arisen during the weeks that we are reading about Pharaoh and his insistence on keeping the Israelites enslaved to him. Obama's insistence on keeping Jonathan Pollard in prison is no less astounding.

So what is coming in Parshat Bo? 

"Pharaoh's courtiers said to him, "How long shall this one be a snare to us? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Are you not yet aware that Egypt is lost?" 

In this week's Torah Tidbits, I read the following insightful commentary:

In warning about HAIL, G-d says (through Moshe) that this time, I will send ALL My plagues... The Vilna Ga'on explains that G-d uses 3 main weapons, so to speak, to punish those who violate His commands - Fire, Water and Wind. For example, to destroy Dor HaMabul, G-d used Water. Dor Hap'laga, He used Wind, and to destroy S'dom, His main weapon was Fire. The plague of blood used Water.  Plague 6 was the burning Fire of Boils on the skin. The locust came on the Wind. But Hail consisted of the whole arsenal.  The Hail itself was Water, it had Fire in it, and the Hail was accompanied by strong Wind - hence the phrase: All My plagues.

 Beware, Modern Egypt, what is to come! Parshat BO may be coming for Barak Obama!!

25 December 2013

Lights of Redemption


23 Tevet 5774

A soldier is stabbed and another killed.  Another bus is bombed and another car stoned.  The Iron Dome rolls into place near Sederot. Yet, still, there is talk of a "peace process" while another terrorist release looms and secret deals are being struck in which more Jews will be expelled from their homes and our holiest places will be turned over to the Vatican, G-d forbid!

But, from the roiling storm clouds overhead, a ray of light shines through.

For the First Time: Arab MKs Join Calls for Pollard's Release
One hundred Members of Knesset demand release of Jonathan Pollard following US spying allegations.
MKs from across the political spectrum attended a special Knesset session Wednesday, in a public call for the release of Jonathan Pollard to the administration of US President Barack Obama.
Jews and Arabs, left-wing and right-wing politicians, secular and religious parties alike came together in solidarity to call for Pollard's freedom.

It was yet another campaign on behalf of the Israeli prisoner, who has been held in the US for over 28 years on spying allegations.
Much of the criticism was directed toward US President Barack Obama. White House spokespeople declared Monday that the President has "no intention" to respond to the mounting calls for Pollard's release.

Yes, and neither did Pharaoh have any intention of letting G-d's people go free. 

...MK David Azoulay (Shas) asked the Jewish people to pray for Pollard's release.

MK Gila Gamliel (Likud), said, "We need to cry out now: this is the hour that opportunity calls for Pollard to be released." She stressed that "all of the Jewish people" feel that they are in prison with him.

The lights of redemption want to break through and flood the world. Time to prepare is running out.  Make sure your vessel is holy and pure and strong enough to make it.

Here's hoping,

24 December 2013

Is There a Snowden-Pollard Connection?


21 Tevet 5774

This morning, I clicked on a Washington Post article entitled Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished. Something about that title nudged me, so, as I read, my mind raced ahead and began to play connect the dots.

For the first time in all my reading about Edward Snowden, an article mentioned his full name - Edward Joseph Snowden. Immediately, the thought occurred to me that, even though he is not a Jew (as far as we know), he has done something so high and so righteous that he is a hint to Mashiach ben Yoseph; a part of that entire process and hopefully a part of the successful conclusion to it.

To the world, Snowden is the whistleblower who exposed rampant and unchecked NSA spying on the American public and US allies, for the sake of public discourse on the subject. He says, “All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed.”

But, to me, Edward Snowden is the tool that the Master of the World used to expose and humiliate the evil entity that buried Jonathan Pollard alive. It was while he worked for the NSA, that Pollard collected and shared information with Israel. They both did what they did for ideological reasons and at the same age! I also find it interesting that Snowden was born and raised in North Carolina, which is where Pollard has spent the majority of his time behind bars.

The major difference between them is that Snowden turned to Russia for help and escaped American 'justice' while Pollard turned to Israel for help and was buried alive.

Though it certainly was not his intention, I believe that Snowden's revelations have brought Jonathan Pollard closer to being released from prison than at any previous time. All week, as new information has been made public about NSA spying on Israel, Pollard's name has been popping up. Although Jonathan no doubt would be appalled at the linkage, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that Netanyahu may condition advancing peace talks on Pollard['s] release.

The White House responded typically with "President Barack Obama has no current plans to release Jonathan Pollard, despite recent revelations that the United States conducted surveillance on Israeli leaders."

However, I take heart from the phrase "mission accomplished." To my way of thinking, it's Heaven's way of letting us know what's really going on behind all the public bluff and bluster. I really believe we will see Jonathan Pollard return to the land of the living very, very soon!

Please G-d!

19 December 2013

When Mashiach Comes...


16 Tevet 5774

...not only will the Poop be unwelcome in the Holy Land, he will face a very severe punishment for having mislead so many people into the lie of the Christian religion. G-d forbid that the Prime Minister of Israel will go and bow before the chief idolater! G-d forbid that the chief idolater will disgrace the sanctity of the Western Wall with his presence! G-d forbid that he will even set foot on holy soil!

Hashem, your children are begging you!  Please put an end to our suffering and humiliation.  Pleeeeease send us Mashiach before the evil Poop will arrive in all his impurity.

Pope's plans for Bethlehem Mass disappoint Israel

Pope Francis will arrive in the Jewish State for a whirlwind visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 25, 2014. The trip will last less than 48 hours, as the Roman pontiff will arrive in the morning hours on Sunday and leave the following night.

...The visit to the Jewish State is essentially the first one initiated by Francis, though there is much disappointment in Israel because of the brief nature of his stay.

(I don't know anyone who would be disappointed if he never came.)

...Francis will be in Jordan on Saturday and fly on a helicopter Sunday from Amman to Ben Gurion Airport where he will receive the official State reception. During his visit, the Pope will meet with President Shimon Peres and with various religious leaders in Israel.

The pope will tour Yad Vashem, the Western Wall, and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. Unlike previous pontiffs, Francis will not visit Christian sites in northern Israel.

To the disappointment of many, Pope Francis will not host Mass for believers within Israel. The plan to host Mass in Jerusalem was cancelled because of the short nature of the visit. However, the pope will host a large Mass in Bethlehem – the headline event of his trip to the holy land.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet the pope at Notre-Dame Church in east Jerusalem. At the Prime Minister's Office, officials are not pleased with the fact that Netanyahu has to come to the pope, but they have been told that this has been done for previous popes.

Hashem, have mercy and turn this World of Sheker into a World of Truth!!

16 December 2013

Rumors in the Air


13 Tevet 5774

Rumors, like the whispers of angels, are floating in the air.  

Allow me to refer you back to a post of Rav Fish's work at Yeranen Yaakov's blog from six weeks ago...

8 Tevet, 5774 - Similarly, immediately after Hanukka, we will have reached the 9-month point after the "Government of Apostasy" which will rule before Mashiah comes. This government began on 7 Nissan, 5773.  Nine months later is 8 Tevet, 5774.
On 8 Tevet 5774, right on schedule, a magnificent and mighty storm struck Eretz Yisrael and the government is taking some very severe criticism for its performance or lack thereof.  The rumors that I am hearing are that as of 8 Tevet 5774, the geulah process has jumped up a level. The unconfirmed rumors that I am hearing are that from this point onwards, things may never really go completely back to 'normal.'

Strengthen your faith and prepare yourselves,

09 December 2013

"To Sleep, Perchance to Dream"


6 Tevet 5774

Now that winter has finally arrived, you may enjoy these interesting insights about this time of year from Jerusalem Connection:

...What happens in the physical world is a parable for what's going on in the spiritual realms. Everything in the physical world is an expression of something spiritual. During the summer, there is an expression of revelation, of enlightenment in the creation. Therefore, it's a time of brilliant sunlight and warmth. The winter is just the opposite; it's a time of retreat and hiddenness. The power of revelation and enlightenment in the creation seems to be completely missing, and this is expressed as cold lifelessness.

The two winter months ... of "Tevet" and "Shvat" [b]oth ... contain in their names the Hebrew letters "tet" and "veit", the foundation of the word "tov", meaning good. Apparently, there is hidden good in these months.

The month preceding Tevet, Kislev, is the month of dreams. Almost every weekly Torah portion of the month of Kislev (roughly corresponding to December), contains some sort of dream narrative, while the kabalistic sense of the month is sleep. Dreams are made to be realized. A person who doesn't attempt to actualize his dreams, is like one who is sleepwalking. It takes time to realize a dream. It takes courage, and very often it takes struggle.

...Why go through all this struggle just in order to realize a dream? Or better yet, can't our dreams be realized in an easier way? The answer, though, is: that's what we were put down for here. Our dreams represent what we were meant to achieve in this world, and this world is a place where the highest dreams have fallen into the deepest places. We're meant to recover them, and to piece them back together again. It's not easy, but the soul-rewards are great. The lower the soul descends, the higher it will go back up!

Dare to dream and awaken your deepest potential.

27 November 2013

Eight Days of Hanukah


25 Kislev 5774
First Day of Hanukah

In the middle of August (mid-Elul), Moishe'la said the following:

"...I would even predict that by the time Succos is over, by time they put back the Torahs after dancing on Simchas Torah and say Havdolah it will be a different world."

And lo and behold, the world went from being on the brink of WW3 and an imminent attack on Syria to a 'brilliant political stroke' that saved the world and put a final time limit on Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. 

Now, in the middle of November (mid-Kislev), Moishe'la has made another time prediction:

"In the next month we are going to realize how important that statement is for us - "Mi l'Hashem elai!". We're missing only the one to say it."

Is this a hint that we will get "the one to say it," i.e. Mashiach Tzidkeinu, "in the next month"?

Keep watching. Keep praying and keep preparing. It could be sooner than we think!

Remember, the light grows brighter every day and it will be at its strongest on the eighth day; the number above nature - the number of Mashiach! The final day of Hanukah which even has its own name - Zot Hanukah!

...The very fact that Chanukah lasts for eight days, already distinguishes it as an unusual holiday. Other holidays such as Pesach and Sukkot are seven days long. (Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah,which falls at the end of Sukkot, is considered by the Talmud to be a holiday unto itself.)
Chanukah, however, is different. It lasts eight days rather than seven. What is the significance of the number eight? Chanukah reaches just beyond the seven-day structure, which signifies the creation of the world. The seven-day week is universally accepted—beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday—the cycle then repeats itself.
The fact that Chanukah extends beyond these seven days and lasts for eight indicates that Chanukah originates in an extremely high and exalted place. It wasn’t taken from this world at all, but rather from the future perfected world. From there, G-d drew down a type of light to give us a certain momentum—a yearning and hope—to exit from this long exile. This is the essential message of Chanukah, and it is a completely new concept having nothing to do with what transpires during the regular annual cycle. 
Chanukah draws its power from a place far beyond our conception, infusing us with such great hope, despite our inability to see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” This gives us a point of faith from which to draw, infusing us with a spirit of life. The light of Chanukah is a completely different type of light, since its source is higher than the seven days of creation. It is an eternal and everlasting light beyond any familiar concept of light where darkness inevitably follows. This special light, and its hope, is what Chanukah imparts to us, especially on Zot Chanukah, the eighth day of Chanukah which is the culmination of the festival.
According to the Arizal, the eight days of Chanukah correspond to the thirteen Attributes of Mercy. How does this work if Chanukah is only eight days? The first seven days each correspond to the first seven attributes: Keil rachum v’chanun erech apayaim v’rav chesed v’emet. “[1] God, [2] merciful, [3] compassionate, [4] slow [5] to anger, [6] abundant in kindness and [7] truth.”
Zot Chanukah, however, encompasses the remaining six attributes in a single day: notzer chesed la’alafim nosei avon va’pesha vi’chata’a vi’nakeh. “[8] Preserver of kindness [9] for thousands of generations, [10] forgiver of iniquity, [11] [forgiver of] transgression, [12] [forgiver of] sin, and [13] Who cleanses.” It is written that these last six attributes of mercy hold the mazal, the heavenly influence, of Israel. The Gemara states, “Israel has no mazal,” meaning that Israel is not subject to the regular zodiac influences like the rest of the world, but is influenced from a much higher plane, specifically from these six attributes of mercy.
...on the last day of Chanukah, six attributes of mercy are activated simultaneously to govern over us. If only we had the ability to contemplate this properly, or perhaps even the desire to grasp it correctly, it would bring such an influx of light and divine mercy into the world that we would immediately exit from exile into the wide open space of redemption, geula.
...We should never give up or become tired! Instead, we must awaken ourselves more and more.
...Don’t catch yourself saying, “How long have I been praying over and over again for the same thing?!” Whatever happened in the past is over. Begin from this moment with refreshed strength. Say, “HaShem, we have absolutely no complaints against You. Everything is undeserved chesed. You promised redemption. Please bring us the complete redemption!”
With the sheer number of prayers, there can be no doubt that G-d will be left with “no choice,” as it were, except to bring the redemption. He will be “compelled” to redeem us because, the truth is, this is exactly what He desires. He only wants us to show how serious and ready we are for the redemption. Our prayers for redemption should not be from a place of force and demanding the end, but rather with chesed (kindness), rachamim (mercy), and much pleading. G-d will most certainly help us. He won’t leave us much longer in exile. He will hasten the redemption, soon speedily in our days, mamash, Amen.

Oh, and one final thought... Zot Hanukah falls "in the next month" - the second day of Tevet!

Hanukah Sameah everyone,

20 November 2013

Dreaming of Mashiach


18 Kislev 5774

Dreams figure very prominently in this week's parshah - Parshat Vayeishev.  At the beginning, Yosef tells of two dreams which prophesy his future mission and station in life and then at the end, two dreams are told to him which prophesy the outcomes for Pharaoh's baker and cupbearer.  In all instances, it is Yosef who understands the deeper meanings of the dreams and this sets the stage for the most important dream interpretation of his life in next week's Parshat Miketz when he will decipher Pharaoh's dreams about the corn and the cows.

His ability to understand and interpret dreams is what earned Yosef his Egyptian name - Tsafnat Paneach - Revealer of Hidden Things. And this is a hint.  Because the dreams were dreamt in order to deliver a message, but only Yosef understood his dreams and had the G-d given ability to interpret the dreams of others. Had he not, the Egyptians would never have been able to prepare to withstand the long famine which the dreams would warn about.

Dreams are also linked to the ultimate redemption.  There is a well-known pasuk which we say from Tehillim (taken from Rav Kook Torah.org):

"A Song of Ascents. When God brings about the return to Zion, we were like dreamers. Then our mouths will be filled with laughter and our tongues with joyous song." (126:1-2)

This psalm offers an inspiring description of the redemption of the Jewish people and their return to the Land of Israel. The verb tense, however, is confusing. Presumably, this is a vision of the future redemption, when "our mouths will be filled with laughter." Yet the psalmist also speaks of the past — "we were like dreamers." Is this taking place in the past or the future?

Dreams of Redemption

We need to understand the significance of these dreams and their connection to our national redemption.

Several times in history, dreams served as a means to redemption. Joseph became viceroy of Egypt and saved his family from famine through the dreams of Pharaoh. Daniel attained his position of importance through the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. What is the function of dreams in the world?

Every soul has certain special segulot, hidden talents or qualities that seek to be realized. The more intense the segulah, the greater it will struggle to be fulfilled. One of the ways in which these inner qualities express themselves is through dreams.

The nation of Israel also has special segulot — a unique potential for spiritual greatness. As it says (Ex. 19:5), "You will be a segulah among the nations." When the Jewish people are exiled and downtrodden, this segulah quality seeks ways to be realized. It is this inner drive for national greatness that is the source for our dreams of redemption.

Anticipating the Redemption

After death, the Talmud teaches, the soul is questioned by the heavenly tribunal: "Tzapita layeshua?" "Did you anticipate the redemption?" (Shabbat 31a) The fact that the soul is judged by this trait indicates the great importance of anticipating the redemption. We also find that the Sages spoke of the obligation to pray for our national return to the Land of Israel. Yet the logic of this approach is not obvious. What purpose is there in yearning for that which is beyond our control, dependent either upon the actions of the entire Jewish people, or a divinely-ordained hour?

To understand the significance of our dreams and prayers, it is instructive to recall the Talmudic saying, "Do not disregard any blessing, even that of an ordinary person" (Megillah 15a). Why should we take note of the simple wishes of a neighbor or friend? The Sages, however, are imparting an important lesson: do not underestimate the power of a few encouraging words, for they may awaken and help realize our hidden potential.

The concept is valid for both the individual and the nation. Secreted in the national soul of Israel is a potential for greatness. By mentioning and anticipating this national destiny, we strengthen it and prime it to be realized. The value of looking forward to the redemption lies in its power to help bring it to fruition. This is not a mystical notion, but a plain historical fact. Without a doubt, the unprecedented return of the Jewish people to their homeland after thousands of years of exile could not have occurred without the continual yearnings and prayers over the centuries. The Zionist movement could not have convinced millions of Jews to uproot themselves if not for the people's deep-rooted longings for the Land of Israel. It is our faith and anticipation of redemption that enables the realization of the national segulah of Israel.

Now we can understand why the verse says that "we were like dreamers," in the past tense. This refers to our dreams of redemption during the long years of exile. "God brings about the return to Zion" because, throughout the ages, "we were like dreamers." Our dreams and trust in God's promises of redemption enable our return to the Land. Just as our private dreams are an expression of our inner talents, inspiring us to develop them, so too, our national dreams, even in the darkest hours, facilitate the return to Zion and the future fulfillment of our complete redemption. (adapted from Midbar Shur pp. 226-227 )

We should all be directing our dreams towards the ultimate redemption until the dreams have become our new reality!

Keep dreaming,

15 November 2013

The New World Order


12 Kislev 5774

At a speech before Congress on September 11, 1991, then President George H W Bush famously announced: "It is a big idea, a New World Order...." 

It's the stuff of conspiracy theories and looms large in the background of world politics. It is purportedly what is behind the global push for the elimination of national boundaries with free-trade agreements and security "cooperation" agreements and exercises. According to one major religion, it will be the vehicle that brings the "Antichrist" to power.

I'm here to tell you that there IS a New World Order coming and there is only ONE mind at the top of it's hierarchy.  You already know who it is.  We call him HaKadosh Baruch Hu - the Holy One of Israel, Master and Creator of the entire universe.

Because of the nature of free will and how it is maintained in our present reality, very deep and important truths need to be disguised in order to protect them until they are able to stand on their own feet, so to speak. Long before they are ready to be revealed, they are very vulnerable to distortion and destruction.  But, in order not to prolong the time of revelation, HKB"H gets a head start, so to speak, by masking His true end goals.

Take the return to Zion, for example.  That which we call 'Evil' knew what time it was on the cosmic clock and sought to prevent the attainment of this crucial milestone in human history. 'Evil' decimated world Jewry with a holocaust. In actuality, it brought about the very thing it had wanted to prevent, but was satisfied to see that the Torah world's two-thousand-year-old dream would be corrupted into the modern democratic secular state of "all of its citizens," including those who would murder Jews in their own beds.

But 'Evil' is not the One who Created it.  Its vision is limited to what the Creator allows it to see.  So, it was blissfully unaware of a seed taking root deep in the darkness of that time or that it would one day blossom and bloom in such profusion.  I'm speaking, of course, of the Torah-observant world that renewed itself quietly and steadily in Eretz Yisrael while the secular government was preoccupied with fighting wars and terrorism.

Suddenly, from the corner of its eye, Evil caught a glimpse of the true reality that had been hidden from it until now.  And what happened?  The war immediately shifted to "The Chareidim." The rest of the story is being carried in today's headlines. The conclusion to be drawn here is that the time for the revelation of all truth has arrived at long last. The product of that tiny seed has finally grown to the point at which it is unstoppable.

On a much larger scale, the same thing has been going on outside of Eretz Yisrael. Again, a very deep truth took root which the Creator in His Wisdom desired to disguise and keep hidden until the time of revelation would arrive.  However, revelation must be a gradual thing or its sudden light would blind us.  Before truth can stand naked before our eyes in complete revelation, which by the way is the herald for the complete redemption, human beings must be exposed to its light bit by bit.  At some point, light and dark become equally mixed.  This can be compared to 'erev' - evening.  (So, it is no wonder then that the 'Erev Rav' hold full sway at this time.)

Prophet Zekharya (14.7) said of this time period:
"It will be on that day, the light will not be either very bright or very dim.  It will be a unique day; it will be known as Hashem's day, neither day nor night, but it will happen towards evening time that there will be light." 
In the normal course of events evening would give way to night, but in this case, we are talking about the closing period of free will, so when evening is done, it becomes DAY with the full revelation of the light of God's truth. Prophet Malachi also describes it (3.19-20):
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the wicked people and all the evildoers will be like straw; and that coming day will burn them up,.... But a sun of righteousness will shine for you who fear My Name, with healing in its rays, and you will go out and flourish...."
At this time, everyone will see and acknowledge that all of these preparations which we see today for a New World Order with a one world ruler have been for the sake of Mashiach himself and the Kingdom of God on earth.  It will be as if the world had turned completely upside down from what it is now.

Shabbat shalom,

14 November 2013

Mashiach Thinking - Adjusting to a New Reality


11 Kislev 5774

There is going to be a very noticeable and for some a very uncomfortable transition to a new reality when the monarchy is restored to Israel. Some adjustment in thinking will have to take place in a very short time if you have not already begun to do so.

Here are some examples to get you started:

1) The Housing Minister will not be subjected to public censure for announcing a decision to build houses.
Netanyahu Reprimands Ariel for New Construction
...This is...an action that creates an unnecessary confrontation with the international community at a time when we are making an effort to persuade elements in the international community to reach a better deal with Iran.

2) No Jew will seek "permission" from any gentile to serve HKB"H on Har Habayit (or anywhere else for that matter).
Report: Israel Asked Jordan to Permit Tefilos on Har Habayis
...Israeli officials have asked Jordan permission for Jewish tefilos on Hay Habayis. ...the Jordanians denied the Israeli request. ...a Jordanian delegation is expected to arrive in Israel in the coming days to address “Israeli violations of the status quo pertaining to Har Habayis”.

3) Murderers of Jews will no longer be kept alive and well and educated and entertained until such time that they will be freed in some perverted "confidence building measure" with the enemies of Israel. (Efforts will instead be invested in building the confidence of the Jewish people in their monarchy and in HKB"H's justice.)
Op-Ed: The Case for the Death Penalty for Terrorists in Israel
Shock and outrage have resonated through the pro-Israel world after a thinly-veiled threat was directed at Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week. As part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing effort to strong-arm Israel into coughing up harmful concessions to the Palestinian Authority, Kerry warned that if the present negotiations fail Israel will face an “intifada”.... 
The core assumption in Secretary Kerry’s remark is that Israel lacks the self-respect and confidence to carry out justice, and shall instead willingly suffer some measure of Palestinian-Arab terrorism. Though Kerry is certainly seeking to prey upon it, this is a weakness of Israel’s own making.
A bill must immediately be filed in the Knesset to institute capital punishment. Such a bill will serve two important purposes. 1) Even the mere prospect of its passage will command respect and deter the possibility of terrorist violence against Israel; and 2) It will launch an important conversation within Israeli government and society about one of the key reasons for the State’s very existence – the protection of Jewish life.
What Secretary Kerry has helped to highlight is that among Israel’s most pressing domestic problems remains the systemic failure of justice and law enforcement in governing the Arab residents living within its jurisdiction. Israel does indeed have the ability to prosecute and punish crime. The prohibition against its actually doing so, however, is an informal but key aspect of the “peace process” that has been translated into judicial, military and police operational culture.
Proponents of anti-Zionist, appeasement policies refer to this restraint as “the price of peace” as if there were something noble about it. The result is that the Arabs have little reason to expect that law will be enforced and crime duly punished.
... the Arab terrorist who commits murder can expect that his release is only a matter of time, dependent simply upon the next prisoner exchange or “goodwill gesture” that will be forced upon Israel.
I don't know about you, but I am more than ready for this.

12 November 2013

What's Taking So Long?


9 Kislev 5774
(Re-posting from Kislev 5770)

I've received some interesting questions via email. I am not at liberty to answer all of them, but I'm happy to answer those which are permitted.

Someone asks: "Why the delay and the evil edicts against us?"

These are two questions. In answer to the first, as is well known, we have not merited redemption in haste, so now we must work our way through the slow and prodding and painful process of redemption in its time. It only seems "delayed" because we want it right now. But "in its time" means that it is set, like an appointment, for an hour and a day and a year. And when that moment arrives, nothing can stop it, not even our unworthiness.

In answer to the second, I take a bit of exception to the use of the word "evil." It connotes something in opposition to "good." However, these decrees are obviously from Hashem and we know that everything that comes from Hashem is for the ultimate good. It's time we grew up spiritually and stopped thinking in terms of evil vs. good and understand, as is known at the highest levels, that all is good---gam zu letovah! (I say this to myself, first and foremost.)

Our beginning and our final destination are set and unchangeable, but the route by which we choose to reach our destination---or our destiny,which is the same thing---is where our free will comes into play. We can choose the quick, easy route or the long, hard way. This idea is most notably illustrated in yetziat Mitzrayim. We were an eleven day journey from the Promised Land, but because of our sins, it took us forty years and countless heartaches.

Rabbi Mendel Kessin explains it this way:

"A mitzvah is not an end in itself, it is a tikun device for fixing creation. If we don't do mitzvoth, there is a second device which accomplishes the same thing. That's teshuva. But if we don't do teshuva, then there is yet a third device that will get the job done and that is yisurim---suffering. Suffering is not for punishment. It is for tikun."

Yeranen Yaakov asks a very deep question on his blog today (7 December 2009): "...is it true that FFBs could not become Mashiah?"

I'd like to offer my response to that question here. In a way, isn't every "FFB" who has a real and dynamic relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu, also a "BT." A personal and ongoing relationship with Hashem, which is what He desires most from each of us, is not something one can be born into or which can be passed down. We have to discover it and develop it for ourselves. The great advantage of being "FFB" is that all the raw materials for building this relationship are already provided for you and the foundation has already been laid. The classic "BT" has to go out and find the materials, drag them back home and build his own foundation from scratch before he can begin to build upon it.

Mashiach could very well come from a traditional family with a very strong and positive Jewish identity, but with an emphasis on secular knowledge and menschlikeit, rather than Torah learning and observance of mitzvot. He was/is very attached spiritually and emotionally to Eretz Yisrael, like Moshe Rabeinu before him, Mashiach was likely placed into an environment which would enhance his ability to both reject anti-Torah values and to relate to every Jew.

Missing him and wishing he were here already...


08 November 2013

Which Mashiach?


5 Kislev 5774
(Re-posting from Kislev 5770)

... Judaism originated the concept of Holy War. No other people on the face of the earth had ever gone to war in the Name of Hashem until the Israelites did. In fact, a case might be made for Levi and Shimon’s decimation of Shechem being the first instance of such a war. It wasn’t just that their sister had been violated, but that this was the daughter of Yaakov, the father of the Jewish nation, who represented Hashem in the world.

Our situation will be similar to what occurred when Moshe Rabeinu first returned to Mitzrayim. Things got much worse before they began to get better.

And so it will be when Mashiach arrives. Anyone who thinks that immediately upon his arrival, everything will turn wonderful is in for a rude awakening.

Mashiach will himself be a cause for division. People will either love him or hate him. Under his leadership, all the dire consequences which the Erev Rav warn about will surely come about. Yes, we will be perceived by many as “Taliban” Jews; reverting to a “third-world country.” They will call us “racists, “bigots” and worse. There will be religious coercion since “religious” law is the law of the land and we coerce civil law. It is only in the minds of westerners that religion is a private matter and not a communal one. Tolerance and pluralism and democracy, which are nice words for society- and soul-destroying concepts, will no longer be used to undermine Torah in the Jewish land. False religions will be abolished from the holy land along with their unholy places and their followers, propagators and sympathizers. But anyone who believes that following Torah will lead to practicing Islam does not know the Torah or the G-d of the Torah.

This is all in the beginning, of course, because as the world slowly begins to see how the ways of Torah lead to peace and pleasantness among brothers, the remnant of the nations will praise us and thank us. As it says in Tehillim (97):

“When Hashem will reign, the world will rejoice; numerous islands will be glad. …Humiliated will be all who worship idols, who pride themselves in worthless gods;…. Zion will hear and be glad, and the daughters of Judah will exult, because of your judgments, Hashem.”

Were you expecting something different? Another kind of Mashiach maybe? If what I’ve written disturbs you, then I would suggest that your Judaism needs a check-up. Your pure and unadulterated Torah may be coated with layers of assimilated ideas, even to the point of being unrecognizable.

Everyone must take a good, hard look into his own soul and judge for himself, if he is really ready to receive Mashiach.

Praying that we all get ready quickly ...

31 October 2013

"Watching and Waiting"


27 MarHeshvan 5774

I am full of thoughts of Mashiach today. Hanukah begins in one month. That is the time when the Light of Thirty-six, the Primordial Light that Hashem set aside for the righteous, begins to shine in the world. I am full of hope that Mashiach will soon arrive and all of us will gaze on his sweet face and know without any doubt that Hashem fulfills all of His promises.

You should understand, however, that it's possible many good, religious Jews will not recognize him at first. He is perhaps not what most religious people are expecting as their Mashiach. Unfortunately, we look too much to externals, especially clothing (remember “Mashiach’s Hat?”) and we misjudge many people because of this. It will be no different with Mashiach. Those whose hearts are completely and unreservedly set on Truth will know him immediately. But that’s ok. There will be time. Hashem wants Mashiach to prove himself through his good deeds on behalf of Am Yisrael. And he is so eager to get started!

Mashiach has a heart for every Jew and he connects with every Jew on some level. He stands right in the middle of it all like the hub of a wheel around which all the many spokes turn, pulling us all together as one nation. And we will be one nation again, as Hashem intended, and this is only one of the wonderful things Mashiach will accomplish.

Watching and waiting…

17 October 2013

The Last Birur


14 MarHeshvan 5774

We lost a wonderful source of chizuk and learning when Nava stopped blogging at Dreaming of Mashiach. Occasionally, I go back there and find very special things like this blog post which I urge all of you to go and read:

Mashiach ben Yosef; The Last Birur

And please daven this prayer by the Holy Ramchal for the success of MBY..

בספר תפילות לרמחל תפילה ל"ז

בעלות מלך המשיח לדרגת קן ציפור יעלו עמו כל תקוני ישראל
אל אחד יחיד ומיוחד
הרי מלך המשיח ממתין לקן ציפור להתעלות שם
שבו כי יקרא קן צפור לפניך
ומיד לא תיקח האם על הבנים
שהרי בשעה שיעלה שם - יעלה עמו כח כל התקונים
שתיקנו ישראל בגלות שנאמר בהם הזרעים בדימעה
ומיד שיגיע לשם מיד תהיה השכינה שורה על כולם - על כל אחד כפי עבודתו.
באותו הזמן והאם רבצת על האפרוחים ותוקף הכל על אותם הבנים.
לא תיקח האם על הבנים ודאי.
שהם אותם שמשתדלים ליחד יחוד שלך באמת.
שנאמר בהם קרוב השם לכל קוראיו לכל אשר יקראוהו באמת
גלה אמתך למיחלים לך - גם כל קויך לא יבושו לדעת שבאמת בטחו.
ולא יכזב מצד שקר של ס"מ הרשע וגם נצח ישראל לא ישקר.
לישועתך קויתי השם.


09 October 2013

Making Way for Mashiach


5 MarHeshvan 5774

Though Maran HaGaon HaRav Chaim Ovadia Yosef ztz"l had to leave us, it is only for a short time - until tehiyat hameitim. He had to leave us now to make the way clear for Mashiach Tzidkeinu. As much as we love and revere our rabbis, it will be much easier for the tzibur to rally to Mashiach if there is no other "strong man" in Torah to whom we feel we owe our allegiance.

I am trying to put this as delicately as possible and perhaps my meaning will remain unclear. Hamevin yavin.

The unity and respect shown during the levaya has also pushed us closer to the end of all suffering and pain. It's very, very close now. Take heart.

Be strong and courageous,

18 September 2013



14 Tishrei 6774
Erev Chag Sukkot
Zeman Simchateinu

By Rav David Silverberg

The haftara for Shabbat Chol Ha-mo'ed Sukkot is the prophecy of Gog U-Magog, found in Sefer Yechezkel (38). Yechezkel foresees the time when a certain empire named Magog, led by a ruler named Gog, will descend upon the Land of Israel to wage war against the Jewish people that had been assembled from across the globe to its ancient homeland. God warns that He will respond with vengeance and defeat Gog and his allies through a host of supernatural disasters (see 38:22). Some commentators associate the war foreseen here with the final prophecy of Zekharya (chapter 14) that is read as the haftara for the first day of Sukkot, and which similarly tells of an alliance of nations that will descend upon Jerusalem and ultimately suffer a crushing defeat.

The connection between this war and the festival of Sukkot, as noted by Rav Menachem Bentzion Zaks (in Menachem Tziyon – Yerach Ha-eitanim), emerges from a passage in the Yalkut Shimoni (653). Commenting on the verse, "You shall dwell in sukkot for seven days" (Vayikra 23:42), the Yalkut states that the mitzva of sukka alludes to the sukka spoken of by the prophet Yeshayahu (4:6): "And there shall be a sukka for shade by day and for refuge and shelter from downpours and rain." The Yalkut explains that at some point in the future, nations will wage war against Am Yisrael in the Land of Israel, and the Almighty will fight on Am Yisrael's behalf while providing a protective "sukka" over them all throughout. Our observance of this mitzva thus relates to the supernatural protection God will provide during the battles and bloodshed that will precede the Messianic era, and for this reason, perhaps, we read the prophecies describing these wars as the haftarot on Sukkot.

Rav Zaks suggests an additional basis for this connection, as well. He cites the Radak (without providing a source) as suggesting that the names "Gog" and "Magog" are etymologically related to the Hebrew word gag, or "roof." A roof is a firm, sturdy, man-made structure that offers a person protection and a sense of security and comfort. The thematic symbolism of gag directly contrasts to that of a sukka, a makeshift, temporary structure that offers no protection from the elements. ... The empire of Magog, as depicted by Yechezkel, is characterized by an arrogant sense of self-sufficiency, and overconfidence in man's independent capabilities, achievements and prowess. It is a nation that believes it can achieve its goals through its own resources of talents and willpower, that it can survive and endure under the sturdy, robust "roof" it has built for itself.

The mitzva of sukka, of course, conveys the precise opposite message, as it brings to mind the period of wandering in the wilderness, when Benei Yisrael lived entirely under God's supernatural protection. The fragility and instability of the sukka remind us that our efforts and initiative, while certainly indispensable, are worthless without God's ongoing support and protection. Thus, the apocalyptic confrontation between Magog and Am Yisrael is, essentially, a reflection of the ever-present conflict between the notion of gag – human self-reliance – and that of the sukka – our sense of dependence on the Almighty – and this perhaps accounts for the connection between Sukkot and the battle of Gog U-magog.

May we see the ultimate fulfillment of all the prophecies for good! Have a wonderful, joyful holiday!!

11 September 2013

On Yom Kippur We Are Like the Angels


8 Tishrei 5774

Who doesn't already know that we fast on Yom Kippur - a very strict no water, no food fast of 25 hours duration. And we abstain from other bodily pleasures like bathing, applying lotions, engaging in marital relations. And we wear all white - no leather, no gold, no reminders of the golden calf.  Because on this very special day we are not men and women, but angels, with no physical concerns whatever.  The entire focus is on reclaiming our innate spiritual purity.

(Excerpted from Yom Kippur: Of Angels & Men by Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene )

...what do the abstentions from our physical daily activities have to do with the pursuit of atonement for our sins? Indeed, how can the Jew hope to achieve forgiveness from G-d for his many sins on this awesome day? There is an important principle in Jewish thought that the contamination of sin comes from without. The essence of a Jew, his inner soul, remains pure and can never be tarnished. The soul is "a spark of the divine" placed within each Jew. In the morning prayer we say "O G-d, the neshamah, soul that you placed within me, is pure?" Sin is therefore an unwelcome intrusion. It is where the physical temptations of the body pull in the opposite direction to the spiritual urgings of the soul.
The literal translation of the word teshuvah, repentance is "returning to oneself". Where a person has deviated from the pathway of life by not observing the Torah laws, to achieve forgiveness, it is imperative that he "returns back on track". This means identifying himself with his soul and not associated himself with his body.
Sabbath, as the seventh day of the week, is where the physical world of creation "returns" to G-d its Creator, the Ultimate Source of everything (the word Shabbat rearranges to spell shov, return). Yom Kippur is a "Sabbath of absolute rest" where atonement for man's misdemeanors similarly demands returning to one's spiritual roots, in repentance and coming close to G-d.
The day's atonement and focus calls for man to rise above his bodily needs. He is prohibited from activities that involve his body or express his physicality such as eating and drinking, because, as explained by the Maharal, this is a day whose entire emphasis is on returning to his spiritual and pure essence. As such, Yom Kippur is when man metaphorically becomes an angel. (On this day, like the angels, we recite aloud the verse "Blessed is your Name, the glory of your Kingdom for eternity").
Identifying himself exclusively with his pure essence, means disassociation from sin.

Wishing you g'mar chatimah tovah, an easy fast and chag sameach! May all our sins be forgiven!!

03 September 2013

Welcome to the Coronation!


29 Elul 5773
Erev Rosh Hashanah

It seems to me that when we focus so much on "judgment" on Rosh Hashanah, we miss a major aspect of the Yom HaTeruah celebration - primarily the coronation of HKB"H as King of Kings.  By living in a world of democratic governments, we miss out on the nuts and bolts of malchut - of monarchy and kingship.  Without some understanding of that, it is very difficult to relate properly to this day.

Rabbi Yossef Carmel writes:
Much of the focus of the day of Rosh Hashana, both in terms of time and energy, is on tefilla. At the center of the tefillot is Musaf, and at the heart of Musaf there are three very unique berachot: Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot. What are the main themes of these three berachot and how do they find expression in the activities of the day?
Malchuyot is a vehicle to reconfirm the coronation of Hashem as King of the Universe, on this day that commemorates the beginning of the world’s existence. We invoke the concept of kingdom, the most grand and powerful position in human hierarchy, in order to try to capture something of the awe-inspiring nature of Hashem. Of course, the metaphor can take us only so far, as Hashem’s grandeur and omnipotence cannot be fully described in human terms or grasped by the human mind.
After reaching some type of picture of Hashem’s greatness, we are hit with the question: could Someone so great be interested by and involved in the lives of lowly humans? Through the p’sukim in Zichronot, we are reminded that Hashem was and will continue to be involved in the course of human history. He recalled and acted mercifully with Noach in the ark and with Bnei Yisrael in the depths of their servitude in Egypt and remembers for our benefit our belief in Him as we ventured out to the wilderness.
Other questions still linger on. He exists and leads us through history. But isn’t He too distanced to communicate with? To deal with this question, we are introduced to an ancient yet contemporary form of communication, the precursor l’havdil to the dots and dashes of Morse Code, which far surpasses even the codes of modern computers in its power. That is described in Shofarot. Hashem has used the shofar to communicate with us at Har Sinai and He has instructed us to use it communicate with Him. The sound of the shofar contains our emotions, in sounds that are more profound and versatile than words could ever be.
It is interesting that each of the three elements is the center of a different part of the day’s religious activities. Malchuyot is the center of our tefillot, taking over the main beracha of the day ("melech ...mekadesh ...v’yom hazikaron") and appearing prominently in many of our piyutim. Zichronot is highlighted in the Torah reading, where we read of Hashem’s remembering Sarah and the akeidat Yitzchak, two of the main themes of that beracha. Of course, Shofarot is carried out in the main, active Torah mitzva and the only motif of the day that the Torah mentions explicitly, the blowing of the shofar (Bamidbar 29:1). Thus, the three pillars of our spiritual existence, our tefilla ("service of the heart"), Torah study, and our performance of mitzvot, are all utilized to give proper expression to the concepts of the day.
Sometimes, we look at ourselves and see so much need for improvement and so little progress since the last accounting that we feel defeated before we ever get started. We feel too humbled and too ashamed to approach the Great King.  Teshuvah!  What does it even mean!? It feels so hard and so hopeless!

On this day of all days, I think we should begin simply by deciding where we stand in the kingdom of HKB"H.  Despite our shortcomings and failures, are we basically a loyal servant of the King or have we entered into rebellion against His kingship, actively working with those trying their best to topple Him from His throne, even though it's an impossibility!  

If we have joined the rebels, nothing can help us but to throw ourselves on the King's mercy and beg another chance to prove our loyalty and faithfulness.  Outright rebellion against royal authority is punishable by death, God forbid!

If we have remained loyal and faithful through the preceding year, we have nothing to worry about. The King desires all his good and faithful servants, but if we've done a poor job and become lax in our duties, this might bring a reprimand or encouragement to do a better job in the year ahead.  It all depends on our circumstances, with which our King is well familiar. 

You see, the month of Elul which is now nearly finished was for the purpose of approaching the King while He was in the field - to get to Him before the big day and to make a private arrangement with Him so that we will not be ashamed and unable to joyously celebrate this very auspicious day. But, if you have already waited to the last minute, it's not too late.  

Stop whatever you are doing right now and give HKB"H your complete and undivided attention and tell Him that you want more than anything in the world to be the best and most loyal servant in the kingdom and more than anything else, you'd really like another chance - another full year of life and health and parnassah to be able to do just that.  Meditate on the Greatness and Awesomeness of our Great King - the King of all Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He and just wait for Him to respond to you - He will!!

And you will take that with you into the New Year and you will celebrate the renewal of HKB"H's Kingship with ecstatic joy!

May this be for all Am Yisrael the realization of the final and complete redemption when Hashem will be acknowledged as King over the entire world by its entire population and every living thing will bow to Him alone.

L'shanah tovah!

29 August 2013

Are Current Events a Fulfillment of Ancient Prophecy?


23 Elul 5773

"Seir" is another name for Edom. It is the traditional home of Eisav. And Bozrah was its ancient capital. Since our sages have told us that Western Civilization is the modern domain of Eisav, it stands to reason that the leading nation and its capital will be the "Edom" and "Bozrah" spoken of by the Hebrew prophets during the time of the final and complete redemption. That would be Washington, DC, the United States of America. "Bozrah" and "Edom" are destined for utter destruction at the End of Days.

From the Song of Deborah...

"Lord, when You went forth out of Seir, when You marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled...." (Shoftim 5.4)

"For My sword has become sated in the heaven. Behold, it shall descend upon Edom, and upon the nation with whom I contend, for judgment. The Lord's sword has become full of blood, made fat with fatness, from the blood of lambs and goats, from the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the Lord has a slaughter in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. ...For it is a day of vengeance for the Lord, a year of retribution for the plea of Zion." (Yeshayahu 34.5-6,8)

"Who is this coming from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah — who is this, majestic in attire, pressing forward in His great might?   'It is I, who contend victoriously, powerful to give triumph.' Why is your clothing so red, your garments like his who treads grapes?  'I trod out a vintage alone; of the peoples no man was with Me. I trod them down in My anger, trampled them in My rage; their life-blood bespattered My garments, and all My clothing was stained. For I had planned a day of vengeance, and My year of redemption arrived. Then I looked, but there was none to help; I stared, but there was none to aid — so My own arm wrought the triumph, and My own rage was My aid. I trampled peoples in My anger, I made them drunk with My rage, and I hurled their glory to the ground." (Yeshayahu 63.1-6)

"And Edom shall become a desolation; whoever passes by her shall be astonished and shall hiss at all her plagues. Like the overturning of Sodom and Gemorrah and her neighbors, said the Lord, no man shall dwell there, and no man shall sojourn there. ... Behold like an eagle he shall ascend and soar, and he shall spread his wings over Bozrah, and the heart of the mighty men of Edom on that day shall be like the heart of a travailing woman." (Yirmiyahu 49.17-18,22)

(See also Prophet Ovadia) - vss 6,8,15: "How Esau was searched out, how his hidden things were revealed!

(I wonder if this could refer to Wikileaks and Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA spying.)

 ... Shall I not in that day-says the Lord-destroy wise men from Edom and discernment from the mountain of Esau? ... For the day of the Lord over all the nations is close; as you have done shall be done to you; your recompense shall be returned upon your head."

"So said the Lord: For three sins of Edom, yea for four, I will not return them: For pursuing their brother with a sword, and they destroyed their mercy and grasped forever their anger and kept their fury forever. And I will send fire into Teman, and it shall consume the palaces of Bozrah." (Amos 1.11-12)

I find it more than a little bit interesting that in some of the same verses where the destruction of Edom is described, the prophet also refers to the burning of two other cities - the capital of Syria and the capital of Jordan - Damascus and Amman (ancient Rabbah).

"And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of the Ben-hadad." (Yirmiyahu 49.27)

"The harsh prophecy concerning Damascus; Behold Damascus shall be removed from [being] a city, and it shall be depth of ruins." (Yeshayahu 17.1)

"...behold days are coming, says the Lord, and I will cause an alarm of war to be heard against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burnt with fire, and Israel shall possess those who have possessed their possessions, says the Lord." (Yirmiyahu 49.2)

"And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall consume its palaces, with a shout on the day of battle, with a tempest on the day of the whirlwind. And their king shall go into exile, he and his princes together, said the Lord." (Amos 1.14-15)

Today, the whole world is sitting and waiting to see what will be as Edom threatens to bomb Damascus while its soldiers shelter in Rabbath Ammon. The middle east is a tinder box just waiting for the first match.  It appears that it will be HASHEM who lights them up.

As for us...

"...the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Announce to Fair Zion, your Deliverer is coming! See, his reward is with Him, his recompense before him. And they shall be called, 'The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord,'...." (Yeshayahu 62.11-12)

If this confrontation between the United States and Damascus goes badly and it's all blamed on faulty intel from Israel, this would explain why they turn on us and how Russia allied with Iran, Turkey etc (as prophesied in Yechezkel 38-39) can attempt to invade Israel.

Just a thought,

25 August 2013

Shirat Devorah


19 Elul 5773

Excerpted from Dreaming of Mashiach:

...Devorah Hanevia said her song to Hashem contains secrets and multiple hints for quickening the Geula and Moshiach's arrival.

Sing the song for Moshiach's arrival. Sing it now, prior to Moshiach's arrival. Sing it now when everything is topsy turvy and the world is being threatened by nuclear bombs, and leaders cannot be trusted and there's disunity between Jews.

THIS IS THE TIME to sing to Hashem, the song of the Redemption and thru our singing to Hashem, HKB'H will hasten Moshiach's arrival.

She said that in the words of her song, ביום ההוא - on that day, is prophecy and connected to hasten Moshiach's arrival:

Please add the SONG OF PROPHET DEVORAH to your daily prayers and we will soon all merit to praise Hashem and say "ברוך הטוב והמטיב - Blessed are You, Hashem, makes good and improvements" for sending us Moshiach speedily, AMEN!!!

Saying it is a segula for the individual redemption and for Klal Yisrael:

You can find the Song of Deborah (Shirat Devorah) in the fifth chapter of the book of Judges (Shoftim).

I am going to try to sing it every day, won't you join me?

16 August 2013

"Restore our days as of old..."


10 Elul 5773
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Jonathan Pollard: Restoring Israel to greatness

Speaking up for the first time in 28 years...

When tragedy strikes anywhere in the world, the State of Israel is always among the first to offer help, sending experienced rescue teams, portable hospitals and world-class medical experts to the scene. Israel is a world leader in medical research, farming technology, and military innovation. The country that made the desert bloom is the undisputed champion of hi-tech innovation, all of which it generously shares with the world.

Unfortunately, when it comes to morale, the State of Israel has the distinction of holding a number of world records which no other country would want.

Over the last six decades, Israel’s leaders and its judiciary have practiced the art of political expedience to such a degree that Israel is now the first and only country in the world to hold the following dubious “honors”:

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily expel its own citizens from chunks of its homeland in order to hand over the land to its enemies.

• It is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily destroy the homes and businesses of its own citizens, leaving them with shattered lives and broken promises.

• Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily dig up and transport the graves of its dead so that the land could be turned over to its enemies.

The State of Israel also holds unenviable world records for betraying those who serve the state, including the following:

• Israel is the only country in the world to restrain its military from rescuing a wounded soldier, for fear of provoking the enemy and risking its approval ratings with the world. The soldier, injured by enemy gunfire at a Jewish holy site, slowly bled to death needlessly while the IDF stood by and watched.

• Israel also remains the only country in the world ever to voluntarily cooperate in the prosecution of its own intelligence agent, refusing him sanctuary, turning over the documents to incriminate him, denying that the state knew him, and then allowing him to rot in a foreign prison for decades on end, cravenly forgoing its right to simple justice for the nation and for the agent.

• Additionally, Israel is still the only country in the world ever to violate its own system of justice by repeatedly releasing dangerous, unrepentant murderers and terrorists back into the civilian population with impunity. No other country in the world has ever done this! In summary, Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world so befuddled by moral ambiguity that it is willing to dishonor its dead, betray its bereaved, and disgrace its citizens for the sake of political expediency.

Earlier this week, the State of Israel began the staged release of some of the worst murderers and terrorists the world has ever seen. Twenty-six out of the 104 murderers scheduled for release went free on Tuesday. Many are serving multiple life sentences for their heinous crimes and their many victims.

The blood of their victims cries out from the grave at this affront to human decency. Their cries go unheard.

The bereaved families of the victims beg and plead not to free the savage murderers of their loved ones. Their entreaties are ignored.

All the polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens are opposed to the release of the murderers. It is a strange kind of democracy that pays no heed whatsoever to the will of the people.

No Israeli official has advanced a single compelling reason in support of the wholesale release of these murderers and terrorists. The claim that it “serves national interests” is spurious. There is no national interest that supersedes morality.

The second-most touted excuse is that the government of Israel was given three existentially threatening choices by its best ally, and the least damaging choice of the three was the release of murderers and terrorists.

Did anyone at the helm ever consider that given three life-threatening choices, the only response is: “No, no and no!”?

Overriding all objections, the government of the State of Israel is bound and determined to release the murderers, whose victims are not all dead. Some have been maimed, crippled and disfigured for life. Others show no external scars but have had parents, children and loved ones amputated from their lives. No one sees the broken hearts that will never stop bleeding for their loss.

Authentic Jewish tradition teaches in great detail how to relate to the dead with honor and reverence. The dead are not only keepers of the past; they are our teachers, our moral guides and our inspiration for the future. A country with no respect for the dead has no respect for the living.

A sovereign state which is capable of dishonoring its dead by freeing their murderers and tormenting their bereaved loved ones has, in essence, discarded all of the moral underpinnings of its own existence.

Nor should it come as any surprise – as any student of history knows – that no country can survive without a clearly defined moral infrastructure.

The Land of Israel is eternal and the State of Israel has temporal stewardship over the land. The corrosive moral ambiguity that has brought us to this dreadful day is relentlessly eating away at the legitimacy of the state’s continued role as legal guardian of the land. The prognosis is dire.

Only a reawakening of national resolve and a rebirth of ethical politics rooted in national selfrespect, moral rectitude and courage of conviction can guarantee the future. No political process devoid of these fundamental values will ever end the agony or the fear for the State of Israel.

It is clearly time for an historic restoration.

...otherwise known as the Geulah Shleimah!  May the new year 5774 which is fast approaching upon us for good see the speedy release of Yehonatan Ben Malka from his prison and the release of Mashiach's Neshamah from the Kan Tzipor.  Ken, yehi ratzon!  (H/T to Yeranen Yaakov for the referral to Shvilei Pinches.)

Shabbat shalom,