Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Expulsion

Unspeakable.

An outrage of immense proportion, perpetrated by evil, corrupt, Torah-hating "Israeli leaders"
on the Jews of Eretz Yisrael. Using a Jewish army and police force to forcably deport Torah-loving, God-fearing, hard-working Jews from their beautiful synagogues, greenhouses and homes. Uprooting children, families, neighbors, decades-old communities. For peace? Please.

In a war on terror, do you rip out your own terror-victimized citizens from their own land, discard them, and then give their land to the ones who swear to destroy you? To the ones who swear that this insane giveaway will never result in peace, only in more voracious demands for all Jews to be removed from Israel forever, God forbid? And who brazenly announce even as the homes in Gush Katif and the Shomron are being torn apart, and the bodies exhumed from the cemetaries, that Jerusalem is next?

Jerusalem!

Although it is unspeakable ... this is clear evidence that Hashem is moving us toward the final redemption at breakneck speed, to fulfill his plan for creation. Our enemies, Hashem's enemies, are destined to come up against Jerusalem: Esau (USA-Europe) and Yishmael (Arabs). This will be their demise. Our prophets guarantee that Hashem will personally crush these enemies, Esau and Yishmael, in the End of Days.

Those days have begun. May they end speedily.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

War Of The Worlds

The steel wheels of the large behemoths screech in the setting sun, the light glistening off their twisted yellow bodies as they lurch forward, mercilessly cutting swath after swath into the striated rocky hills. It is a scene eerily reminiscent of the Orson Welles 1938 doomsday hoax, War of the Worlds (now a Tom Cruise remake), which featured a broadcast radio simulation of mechanized Martian invaders destroying our planet. Today, it is not a simulation.

Today's destroyers are cutting through the hills of Yesha and Jerusalem, laying the foundation for the "Separation Fence," which is supposed to prevent Arab terrorists from infiltrating inside the Green Line to kill Jews. Although Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and all their brothers have promised that they will simply fire rockets, missiles and whatever else over the nice little wall into Jewish towns and cities, (not to mention simply entering through it's openings) -- why stop such an important project? What's a few hundred million shekels of our taxes between friends?

But right now, this is the wrong script. We passed that act. War of the Worlds 2005 has moved through scene after scene after scene, at dizzying, frightening speed. The color orange has become illegal for Jews in Israel, and Jews sporting an orange bracelet, T-shirt or shmata have been barred entry from everyplace from the Kotel to the Jerusalem Mall. Yes, the separation fence fiasco is old news.

The War of the Worlds has now come to Gaza, to Gush Katif, to it's climactic scene, centered around an unbelievable, evil plot to forcibly expel innocent Jewish families from their homes and shuls and schools and farms and businesses and beaches. A plot cooked up by our friends in the U.S. State Department and spoon-fed to a desperate and corrupted old dictator. Why? To give these places to the Arab terrorists who promise to destroy Israel once and for all.

This doesn't make sense? You mean it bothers you that Palestinians, Saudi Arabians, and the vast majority of Arabs on this side of the planet had a huge party on 9/11, celebrating their murder of over 3,000 New Yorkers, Pentagon workers, flight passengers and best of all, the destruction of the two most important symbols of American wealth and defense in it's two greatest cities? So you don't understand why the U.S. would want to make the Old Bulldozer give the Arabs anything? And you can't fathom why the Old Bulldozer, a former three-time war hero, would readily comply, and sacrifice 8,000 of his people, who he encouraged to move there in the first place? You're astonished and dumbfounded that the Old Bulldozer, the Commander-in-Chief, would give the enemy a gift of miles of seafront for fleets of Karina-A's to arrive even more easily on our shores with weapons of death and destruction? A move that IDF leaders and military strategists consider horrendously ill-conceived, not to mention suicidal? To create a huge terrorist world headquarters right inside the tiny Jewish state?? And, at this minute, while Palestinian terrorists are raining down rockets into towns inside and out of Gush Katif, killing innocent Jews, that the Old Bulldozer is NOT stopping these Arab attacks, but instead, is dedicating some 20,000 police and armored forces solely to stopping Jews from walking and entering areas miles away to pray and to protest this incredibly evil national suicide plan?

He can't stop them, or himself. They gave it away before. He is a tool, corrupt and faithless. In the aftermath of the most miraculous war in modern history, when the Jihad of 1967 vowed the total destruction of Israel and the slaughter of all it's inhabitants for a month before the three-country Arab attack in June of that fateful year, Sharon then had to watch Abba Eban actually defend Israel in front of the world court against the Arab charges that Israel committed aggression, atrocities and stole Arab land while saving itself. And Nasser's lies that the U.S. and England provided air support and defense during the attack on Israel, while they, and the world, actually did nothing in anticipation of the obliteration of Israel. And Israel, after saving itself in miraculous fashion, ran after the fleeing Arabs to coax them back to Tulkarm and Jenin and Ramallah, and then, they, the Israeli leaders, relinquished the Temple Mount. They have since given away the graves of our forefathers and have offered to return to the Auschwitz borders, but alas, the Arabs would not have it.

If you had read this screenplay you might be interested for a minute or two. But then you'd toss it in the garbage. Because it's just not believable. Pure fantasy. The writer has a good imagination, but please, we're supposed to believe all this, even for a moment?

However, this story, The War of the Worlds, is real. The war has actually been raging for over three millenium, on three fronts. The war against the Jews, the war among the Jews, and in a new incarnation, the war among the goyim, now against the Arabs. The Arabs, who hold the world ransom with the oil that was bequeathed to them here in the final generations, are bent on the eventual destruction of all infidels, all non-Muslims, and even a lot of Muslims, for that matter. Israel, with it's perennial Hellenist leaders, has allowed itself to be used as a dangerous pawn in this war, selling itself out to the threats and bribes of the leading world power, the United States, whose interest is oil, money and the maintenance of it's top slot in the world. So it plays games of righteous attack of it's enemies and at the same time, treacherous appeasement of the same mortal enemy at Israel's expense. Israel does the same, except when it comes to protecting itself from this same relentless enemy, it is pitifully inadequate and impotent. When it does assert itself in response to the slaughter of it's innocent civilians, it is slapped down and demonized by the anti-semitic and Arab-fearing world court, resulting in the pathetic cycle of events that we witness here year after year.

And now, the latest response in the concurrent war among the Jews: stop these Jews, besiege them, forcably deport them from their homes inside of Israel itself. This is a continuation of the internal wars harkening back to Korach, back to the Jews who drank with Achashverosh from the Temple vessels, to the Hellenists of Greek servitude, to the strenous efforts of Ben Gurion to stop the religious Jews from assuming power at all costs, to the Hellenists of this very day.

The War of the Worlds is real. And there is a Writer, and a Director. We haven't seen the whole screenplay, but every fiber of our being says that we are in the final five minutes of this movie. The Movie. The Author, The Director, has promised that we would be implanted in our Land, never to be uprooted again. In 1938, Orson Welles created a brilliant hoax that everyone believed. In these days, at this time, we are surely witnessing things that no one could believe -- but may be far more real than anything else we have ever seen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Divine Providence Notebook

We are blessed every day with countless instances of hashgacha pratis, divine providence. Sometimes we see 'em, sometimes we don't, and sometimes we don't want to see.

But whether we are aware of these instances or not, or whether we want to see them or not, or whether we attribute these instances to "other" causative factors, the fact is ...

Hashem controls everything, every moment, every second. Everything that we encounter happens for a reason, and comes to teach us something, or to atone for something (kapara) we did wrong.

My family and I try to tune in on these instances of hashgacha pratis every day, and this notebook is an effort to force us to do more of it, and to share some of these examples of how Hashem guides us, teaches us, wakes us up, and loves us ... every moment of our lives.



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Feb 15, 2005 "Breakdown"
It was 11:10 pm, and we were leaving the office after a late night meeting in Jerusalem. I had 3 passengers from the office with me who worked in another division. As I rumbled out onto to S'dei Golda Meir on a chilly night, the old Toyota seemed to be moving smoothly, zipping down the hill toward Ramot. I turned right onto Yigal Yadin, past the Begin overpass, beginning the climb toward Ramat Shlomo and French Hill.
My friend in the passenger seat began to launch into a description of something that the company was doing wrong. He pointed out that they had adjusted the problem, but he kept harping on the "problem" with the company. I was feeling like I wanted him to stop complaining, as I had heard all this from him before. In fact, almost every interaction about the company, which he usually initiated, was negative.
It was then that the car suddenly lost power, sputtering, missing. I stepped on the gas, but the car was losing power, and it was happening just as we approached the merge from the Begin, at the base of the long, uphill climb to French Hill. Without thinking, I stopped my friend in mid-sentence. "Stop!" I turned to him and to the couple in the back seat and said just as quickly, "Say a tefillah, right now," as I pulled over into the right lane and slowed. I heard a prayer immediately being murmured from the backseat, merging with the one in my head, which was now moving almost inaudibly from my mouth.
Seconds later, I shifted to second gear, pressed on the gas, and moved forward. There was power! I was worried we would not make it up the steep hill ahead, but steadily, within moments, there was full, reliable power as we continued our tefillos. The scare was over. Hashem had heard, and He responded, on the spot.
The message was clear: Stop the negativity, don't talk badly about those who are providing your livelihood, your parnasah. Instead, find a way to be positive, to be grateful, and to thank Hashem.
April 13, 2005 "200 Shekels"
Our friends were here in Israel, having just called us out of the blue to go out to breakfast with them in Jerusalem. Great, Esther and I love going out for breakfast. Only one problem this time, we had no money. Esther had just finished davening (praying), including the usual prayer for parnasah (livelihood). After she heard about the breakfast plan, and realizing that we had no cash to pay for it, she decided that she would go upstairs and look under the mattress, hoping that 200 shekels would mysteriously appear. Although she had previously used up the cash that she had put there before, she was quite confident that Hashem would provide 200 shekels for some reason. So, she went upstairs, felt under the mattress, and pulled out a crispy new 200 shekel bill. The eggs tasted especially good that day!
The message was clear: Ask Hashem for anything you need, and he will give it to you! It may not be as straightforward as that everytime, because what we think we need and what Hashem knows we need are often not the same. But, if we have sufficient emunah and bitachon (faith and trust), we will see that Hashem in fact gives us everything we need.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Moon Over Migron

Originally Written during Chanukah 5763 - Dec 17, 2003

I wrote this in response to the threatened forced evacuation (panui) of our neighboring hilltop community, Migron, Israel, a little over one year ago.

Happily, Baruch Hashem, the plans of the Hellenists did not come to pass, and the moon has, in fact, risen over Migron. Many times since.

With the threatened mass deportation planned in Aza looming, chas v'shalom .. this article may as well have been written today.

Rosh Chodesh Adar 1, 5765 - Feb 8, 2005

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When I walk out my front door here in Kochav Yaakov, nestled in the Judean Hills, just minutes from Jerusalem, I look to my right, and from our high vantage point, I gaze over at the beautiful and growing community of Migron, located on a neighboring hilltop, a few kilometers away, on the other side of a deep wadi. Migron is home to 43 young Torah-observant Jewish families, with over 60 young children. They are professionals, teachers, students, soldiers, people who work there or in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. You can see Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount, from there, as well as from Kochav Yaakov.

Every month, a beautiful strawberry full moon rises over Migron, seemingly emerging from the mountain itself. Every month I walk outside my front door and gaze wonderously at this site, happy that the hilltop below this moon is now full of Jewish life, Jewish children, and Jewish people praying and studying Torah. They are building a Jewish community in the shadows of Jerusalem, much like our thriving community did some 20 years ago. Our yishuv, Kochav Yaakov/ Tel Tzion, now contains some 800 families, almost 5,000 Torah observant Jews of all colors.

Our neighbor, Migron, emerged two years ago, first with a cellphone tower from Orange, a major cellphone company in Israel. Some guard quarters followed, then some caravans. We witnessed many neat, white mobile homes, finished with Jerusalem stone, being added over the following months, along with a beit knesset (synagogue- study hall); a branch of kupat cholim (national managed care health clinic); ganim (kindergartens and nurseries), and the paving of a three-kilometer long approach road leading up to the gated yishuv. I was astounded at the rapid progress of this fledgling community. Over 40 homes are there now. This cannot happen without the blessing and permission of many government agencies.

The army acknowledges that this previously uninhabited hilltop is of great strategic importance, as it looks down and over at several Jewish communities and two Arab villages. It looks down at the ancient city of Michmash, stronghold of Yonason HaMaccabee, who re-established Jewish sovereignty there during the era of the Chanukah wars. Those wars were waged against a foreign occupying force, the Syrian-Greeks (amazingly enough, Syrian president Assad is now inexplicably on a state visit to Greece, on the eve of Chanukah). These wars were also waged against another enemy trying to destroy Israel as a Jewish entity, an enemy within. The Hellenized Jews of the time of the Chashmonaim were a persistent and dedicated group of "worldly" Jews drawn to the "beauty" of Greek culture and alienated from their own heritage and from the God of Israel. They existed to ingratiate themselves by serving the whim of their foreign conquerors and to eliminate the yoke of their own heritage -- the Torah. They longed to be like the other nations of the world, free to indulge in whatever they wished, and to eradicate any vestige of what makes a Jew Jewish in the first place: The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Land of Israel, and the Holy Torah itself.

Today, we are faced with the same enemies: world powers that are pushing the tiny Jewish state, pushing hard to divide and give away large portions of the Jewish homeland, the Land given to us eternally and irrevocably by God. The same enemies are still here, including the enemy within. They have existed in every era, from the time of Moshe, the time of the Chashmonaim, in Israel, in the diaspora, until this very day. This insidious enemy necessitated the institution, almost 2,000 years ago, of an additional blessing in the thrice-daily recitation of the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, against heretics (bircas haminim) in response to the internal enemies of that day, who became Sadducees, Christians and other heretical sects.

Today we see it is no different. Like then, the enemy within has the political power in our Land, cowtowing to the world powers that urge the weakening and dimunition of our tiny nation. And for what reason? Astonishingly, to appease and reward a vast multitude of Arab terrorist hordes who strive daily to destroy Israel along with its peaceful citizens. Make no mistake: these are the same Arabs who cheered the destruction and massacre at the Twin Towers, and who today, weep because of the capture of Saddam Hussein, as he cowered like a rat in a filthy hole in the ground. Their other role-model and hero, Yasser Arafat, also cowers like a rat in his decaying compound in Ramallah, but, alas, he is dangerous. This enemy continues to order and organize the murder of Jews in Israel, inside and out of the absurdity known as the 'green line." Is he brought to justice for these atrocities, is he stopped, is he captured or killed? No. Instead, he is courted by Peres, Beilin, and those of their ilk, the Hellenists of today. Homicide bombings and shootings of innocent Jewish people, women, children, babies, occur in the heart of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. Just a few short years ago, then prime minister Ehud Barak offered the Arab murderers over 95% of our biblical heartland, Yesha (Yehuda, Shomron, Gaza)- the so-called West Bank, and they rioted and screamed it's not enough!

For the non-Jew to ignore this and try to placate these murderers- who again, seek the destruction of America as well- might be understandable in a depressing and existential sort of way, which has unfortunately been borne out repeatedly throughout the bloody histories of Christianity and Islam. After all, as our sages have made clear: Esau hates Jacob. But how can it be, after decades of unrelenting Arab violence; clear attempts to utterly destroy Israel; that a Jew today can differentiate between so-called 'Israel proper' and the 'West Bank?' In 1967, the Arab press of the early days of June of that fateful year gnashed their teeth with open proclamations of the impending destruction of the Jewish state and the slaughter of its inhabitants. You can check the Egyptian and other Arab newspaper accounts of those days.

At that time, there were no Jews in Yesha, yet they sought to destroy us anyway, in an unprovoked attack. Thank God, as we know, it didn't turn out that way -- God intervened and "worked a great victory and salvation as this very day." A friend of mine in the US Army tells me that this victory was so miraculous, that he was told by a commander at West Point that they do not teach the tactics of the Six Day War, because it follows no known or replicatable military strategic logic. The commander stated that they 'do not teach miracles' at West Point. Israel's victory saved itself; unified its most holy city; gave us back the holy Western Wall, denied by the British and the Arabs for decades; and it gave us the ability to reclaim the ancestral Jewish homeland in the West Bank- in Yesha.

Now, how can it be that a Jew today, after the incredible reality of the Six Day War, along with constant and repeated clear demonstrations by the Arab enemy that they are not interested in peace or in land, think that giving away our Land is ok? That this will actually result in 'peace'; that this is good for the Jewish people; good for Israel; and that this is what God wants us to do? I can only say that as a psychologist, I have seen delusional states, even psychotic illnesses, that reflected a higher grasp of reality than this.

Just outside our door, there are families living peacefully and productively on Migron, our beautiful and growing hilltop neighbor. Are they worried about Arabs? No. They have guns, and they know how to defend themselves should a terrorist try to infiltrate. But today, the children of Migron, who regularly play with soldiers who come up daily to enjoy the free coffee shop set up there specifically for cold and weary soldiers -- these children are now awaiting the roaring of bulldozers and cranes, along with an entire battalion of IDF soldiers, who have been ordered by today's hellenists, the government of the state of Israel, to come and forceably take away their homes -- without legal recourse, without compensation, without a home to go to elsewhere. Why? Because the United States, the Europeans, and the Hellenists inside the Jewish people itself, want it that way.

Today, we will go up to Migron. In the coming days, there will be thousands of us. The residents there need support. The government needs to see that our people -- Am Yisrael -- will not accept the deportation of fellow Jews from their homes in their homeland, homes that they were assured by this same goverment will be safe and secure. Homes that this government encouraged them to build and develop. Now, because of the latest ill-fated attempt at political machinations, today's Hellenists have decided that this community is expendable, and that families and young children will be forceably removed, something this government steadfastly refuses to consider to do to illegal Arab settlements in Israel.

We are in a twilight zone. As our sages and gedolim have told us, the world will be turned upside down in the End of Days. Surely, we are coming closer. It is also said that the Jewish people are compared to the moon. We may seem to be ebbing away, to be losing ourselves, to be disappearing. And just like that, we come back, and we thrive. It has been this way for over 3,000 years. We wax and we wane, but we have always known that "many designs are in man's heart, but the counsel of Hashem -- only it will prevail. For Hashem selected Zion, he desired it for His dwelling place. For God selected Jacob as his own, Israel as his treasure. For Hashem will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His heritage."

We have borne witness to many miracles wrought for our forefathers, in those days, at this time.

And, surely, the moon will rise again over Migron.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Who'll Stop the Rain

'Long as I remember,
The rain's been coming down
Clouds of mystery pouring
Confusion on the ground

Good men through the ages
Trying to find the sun
And I wonder, still I wonder,
Who'll stop the rain?'

Centuries before the ringing words above, our sages wrote, and we say,
even till today, three times every day:

Mashiv ha'ruach u'morid ha'geshem!

Who makes the wind blow and the rain descend.

Hashem brings the rain, and Hashem stops the rain, when we need it.
Today it looks like clouds of mystery
pouring confusion on the ground, vadai.
But in Israel, we look skyward, and scream out with tears of joy:

Mashiv ha'ruach u'morid ha'geshem !!

Who makes the wind blow and the rain descend..