Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moishele 8 Months Later














Moishi , the little miracle child of Shluchim Rabbi Gaby and Rivky Holtzberg, HY"D was caught in the camera lens at his aunt's chasene in Kfar Chabad.

Article and pictures at Shturem
Thank you Shturem.





B"H this camera, held by a very caring photographer, Meir Alfasi, from Shturem, caught some great poses. 



We thank him very very much for bringing these pictures to Moishele's caring 'family' all over the world.


Sandra is still very much a part of Moishele's life.













Get Rid of Lieberman!?



Sarkozy to Netanyah: 
Get Rid of Lieberman

During their meeting last week in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to replace FM Avigdor Lieberman with opposition leader Tzipi Livni. 


"With her and ... Barak you can make history,"  
Sark(astic)ozy told Netanyahu

Meanwhile the People of the World are Suffering

A passenger jet carrying 153 people from Yemen crashed into the Indian Ocean in bad weather early Tuesday while trying to land at the island nation of Comoros. Search teams rescued a child from the sea, officials said, but there was no word on other survivors. The Yemeni Airbus 310 was flying the last leg of a journey taking passengers  from Paris and Marseille to Comoros via Yemen. Most of the passengers were from Comoros, returning from Paris. Sixty-six on board were French nationals.

* * * * *
Freight train derails in Italy, kills 12, burns 50 The 14-car train was traveling from the northern city of La Spezia to Pisa when a rear car derailed and crashed into a residential neighborhood beside the train station in the Tuscan seaside town of Viareggio just before midnight Monday. One train car filled with liquefied natural gas exploded, collapsing five buildings and setting fire to a vast area. Homes crumbled or burned, killing residents as they slept. The exact death toll was unclear as hundreds of rescuers searched through the rubble for survivors.

* * * * *

Meanwhile:  

Obama Increasing Aid to Jordan, 
Other Muslim States

Obama allocates $150 million to Jordan. Regimes in Egypt, the PA, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have benefited from US policy shifts. (maybe what they agreed upon in their WH meeting?)

* * * * *

PA, Jordan Demand Total Settlement Freeze

Buoyed by support from the West – the U.S., the European Union, the G-8, and individual leaders – for a total or near-total freeze on Jewish construction in the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, too, are strengthening their stand.



Abbas also wants Netanyahu to withdraw his own demands for the establishment of a Palestinian state, namely, that it be demilitarized and recognize Israel as a Jewish state

* * * * *

Domestic Missionaries of the Muslim Variety?

Obama’s ‘Outreach to Muslims’ Prompts Mass Koran Distribution

An American Arab group, buoyed by Obama’s “outreach to Muslims” will hand out 100,000 Korans to “educate” local, state and national officials.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose officials in the past have been convicted for being associated with Muslim terrorist groups, said it will announce at a news conference Tuesday that it is launching an “education campaign” and will distribute 100,000 copies of the Koran to local, state and national leaders. The books will provide an English translation and commentary.



Must Read:  
By Our Rabbi Brody at LazerBeams

Monday, June 29, 2009

SQUEEZE AND FREEZE = ZERO

With passage of time, greater doubts emerge over values guiding the president … The whole world saw and understood [about Iran], with the exception of the American president YNetnews 

* * * * *
There is no QUID PRO QUO in this dispute: 
QUID PRO QUO - Lat. 'what for what' or 'something for something.' The concept of getting something of value in return for giving something of value. For a contract to be binding, it usually must involve the exchange of something of value.

DELAY TALKS ON SETTLEMENTS 
Defense Minister Ehud Barak to ask US to discuss settlement freeze only when talks with Palestinians begin … On Monday six ministers including Barak, Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met to discuss the issue of the settlements. During the meeting Barak said an accord must be reached in order to prevent conflict with the US. The prime minister supported his view. However Lieberman, together with ministers Benny Begin and Moshe Ya'alon of the Likud, said Israel should not compromise the future of settlements destined to remain within its borders.

WASHINGTON POST 
Columnists call on President Obama to relinquish tough stance on Israeli construction in West Bank … Jackson Diehl, deputy editor of the Washington Post, “...But, starting with a statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in May, the administration made the mistake of insisting that an Israeli settlement "freeze" -- a term the past three administrations agreed to define loosely -- must mean a total stop to all construction in the West Bank and even East Jerusalem.  This absolutist position is a loser for three reasons (click to read full article).

WP COLUMNIST
 David Ignatius quotes … a senior Arab diplomat: “We're not interested in confidence-building, or a step-by-step approach,”….

* * * * *
France says to get rid of Lieberman
[Shameless French Folies Bergere]
I guess Liberman is too principled for Sarkozy

* * * * *

STOP BUILDING HOMES!   
'The positions of the U.S. and Palestinian Authority are closer than ever' ...  The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority the "golden era" of Israeli construction in sections of Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank will soon come to an end … "The U.S. assured us that for the first time since 1967, we are going into a period where there will not be allowed a single construction effort on the part of the Israelis in the settlements, including in Gush Etzion, Maale Adumum and eastern Jerusalem," said the negotiator, speaking from Ramallah on condition his name be withheld.  [...]   "The U.S. used to differentiate between natural grown and adding new communities. Not anymore. No construction will be allowed, not even natural growth," the PA negotiator said.

SQUEEZE AND FREEZE    
Jordan: Settlement freeze condition for Arab initiative FM Nasser Judeh tells Yossi Beilin partial implementation of Arab peace plan hinges on total freeze of West Bank construction; says Fatah-Hamas deal imminent YNet news  The squeeze is on (again): Judeh wants syria and pales to hold simultaneous negotiations. Then Egypt and Jordan squeeze Israel to create a judenrein Somron and Yehuda!

Let’s see, first fatah-hamas, 
then syria-pales, 
then jordan squeezes in Xchange 
for ZERO


Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman



When I hear this tune my whole being starts jumping and there's an indescribable joy that fills my neshoma!


Read further down about the Secret of 
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman ! נ נח נחמ נחמן
by Joe Gallis and Robert Wolf of



The Secret Behind Na Nach Nachma Nachman

The phrase Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'Uman was revealed and taught by Rabbi Yisroel Ber Odesser. Rabbi Odesser was born in 1888 in Tiberias, and was among the first Breslover Hasidim in Israel. In 1921 on the Fast of Tammuz he became weak and hungry and broke his fast. He felt guilty afterwards that he was unable to overcome his physical temptation. He prayed continuously for 5 days until he heard a voice instructing him to go into his room. He did that and randomly opened a book. In the book was a piece of paper that he later called "The Letter from Heaven."

[...]

The Book of Torah containing more secrets about the end of days than any other is the Book of Daniel. Towards the end of this Book, Daniel asks G-d, מה אחרדת אלה, "what is the end of these matters?" G-d responds with the words לך דניאל, "go your way Daniel." 

G-d is not telling Daniel to stop inquiring about the end.



Saturday, June 27, 2009

Deeply Concerned ... but They Still Don't Get It Yet!



THIS IS WHAT GETS UNDER WHITE HOUSE SKIN?

Foreign ministers from Group of Eight (G8) powers 
re[gurgitate]iterate Sarkozy's call to halt Jewish construction in West Bank

Netanyahu has said on a number of occasions that he agrees that no new settlements would be built, but that he cannot tell families in the existing ones "not to have children."


MEANWHILE ROME BURNS...

FIRST IRAN
Iran's president lashes out at Obama… 
'Mask has been removed'...
Iran holds British Embassy workers ...  
Britain in a huff
Meanwhile, citizen bravery

THEN NORTH KOREA
SKorea getting US missiles to boost Defenses…

EGYPTIAN RIOTS
Protestors in the street: Egyptian anti-riot policemen prevent demonstrators from gathering in downtown Cairo

Obama: 'Deeply Concerned'… 

NOW HONDURAS ON THE BRINK
Army ousts Honduras president, protesters take to streets
Pres. Chavez Threatenes Military Action 

Obama: 'Deeply Concerned about expulsion'…


ATTACKS ON JEWS IN VENEZUELA 
escalating ... Chavez and Ahmadinejad 
speak with one voice when it comes to the Jews


Obama: So 'Deeply Concerned'…

Ahmadinejad warns Obama:  
'You will regret, be ashamed'
70 Academics 'Disappear' in Iran 
Crackdown on Dissidents

And Obama continues to be Deeply Concerned ...















Don't they get it yet?
Leave Eretz Yisrael alone!
Stop badgering the Jewish Nation!

A variety of sources, and of course the great political cartoon from Arutz Sheva

They make smooth their tongue .. against Your annointed ...







YOU WANT US TO STOP MAKING ROOMS FOR OUR CHILDREN?

DID I HEAR YOU SAY, 'NO NATURAL GROWTH'?

DO YOU MEAN WE MUST STOP 'BEING FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLYING'?

I DON'T UNDERSTAND!

Do the following have anything in common?
[theoretically]

George Mitchell
Hillary Clinton
France under Vichy
Nuremberg Laws 
Wannsee Conference
Reinhard Heydrich
Canada's Mackenzie King
The New York Times' Tony Judt

*  *  *

"When our ship came to Philadelphia...back in April 1944. This boat was the Serpa Pinto (one of the few Jewish refugee voyages that were successful) and, as my sister Sarah recalls in her memoirs, "The city arranged planks upon the docking area and had us under armed guards lest we step on American soil."

"None is too many?"


"No more children" ?

"... when the language gets to 'the number of Jewish births,' 
I'm not hearing Mitchell, but watching Leini Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will."




The quotes here are from a piercing article by Jack Engelhard that can be read in full here INNews , nevertheless read on:

"Those who've been there before, like me, are on alert for slippery talk like 'peace process' when we know the merchandise being sold is the yellow badge."

"They make smooth their tongue," wrote King David, "against Your anointed.... Save Your people and bless Your inheritance, Your children."



Triumph of the Will  (for those who can stomach this)

From The History Place
An American Journalist's personal visit from a 1934 :

"I was a little shocked at the faces," ... "when Hitler finally appeared on the balcony for a moment. They reminded me of the crazed expressions I once saw in the back country of Louisiana on the faces of some Holy Rollers... they looked up at him as if he were a Messiah,  their faces transformed into something positively inhuman."  


Similarities anyone?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shabbat Shalom!




Shabbos Kodesh 5 Tammuz 5769
A Sicha of The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Parshas Korach

The Rebbe says:

1. In this week’s Torah portion Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher) and Aharon Hakohen (Aaron the High Priest) plead with Hashem not to destroy Korach’s entire congregation; rather, Hashem should just destroy Korach because he was the one who incited and convinced everyone to rebel against Moshe Rabbeinu.

The Torah says, “Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon, saying: ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation and I will annihilate them in an instant’. They (Moshe and Aharon) fell upon their faces and they said, ‘Almighty, the G-d of the spirits of all flesh; if one man sins shall You be angry with the entire congregation?’”

Rashi comments on this verse and explains why Moshe and Aharon prefaced the words, “Almighty, the G-d of the spirits of all flesh”, before their actual argument of, “if one man sins shall you be angry with the entire congregation?”. Rashi explains that Moshe and Aharon were saying, “(Hashem You are the) Knower of thoughts. Your attributes are not like mortal attributes. A mortal king against whom some of his kingdom acted insolently does not know who the sinner is and therefore when he is angry he punishes them all. But You- to You all thoughts are revealed and you know who the sinner is. Therefore, “if one man will sin will You be angry with the entire congregation?”

Rashi ends this explanation by saying, “The Holy One, Blessed is He, answered Moshe and Aharon and said, ‘You have spoken well. I know, and I will make known, who sinned and who did not sin” .

2. The Rebbe asks a question on this:

Why did Moshe and Aharon have to add in the words, “(Almighty, the G-d of the spirits) of all flesh”? Surely their argument would have been the same without those words.

Furthermore, the Jerusalemite Talmud teaches us that in general the words, “of all flesh”, always include even non-Jews. If this is the case, the words, “of all flesh”, definitely do not fit in with the context here because Moshe and Aharon were trying to argue that Hashem only kill one Jew- Korach, and not the entire congregation of Jews (Korach’s followers)! Why would Moshe and Aharon add in the words, “(Almighty, the G-d of the spirits) of all flesh”, which means that Hashem knows the thoughts of all people, even non-Jews, when they were only trying to differentiate between one Jew and another Jew, and not between a Jew and a non-Jew?

3. The Rebbe begins to explain:

The crux of Moshe and Aharon’s argument was that since Hashem knows and watches over every single person with Divine Providence (Hashgacha Pratis), He surely knows who the actual sinner was (Korach) and who the mere followers were.

This is as we explained in a different talk regarding the example that Rashi gives, “A mortal king against whom some of his kingdom acted insolently does not know who the actual sinner is and therefore when he is angry he punishes them all. But You (Hashem)- to You all thoughts are revealed and You know who the sinner is”: The congregation of Korach were not all “sinners”; they were people who “acted insolently” because they were influenced and persuaded by Korach. There is however only one “sinner” (who incites the ones who “act insolently”).

And this is what Moshe and Aharon were saying to Hashem: “Just as You know the thoughts of man and therefore You know who was the “sinner” (the inciter) and who were the followers, so too You should differentiate in their punishment and only destroy the actual sinner (Korach)”.

4. Still on the road to answer our question, the Rebbe now quotes the opinion of the Rambam (Maimonides) regarding Divine Providence with wicked people (Resha’im):

The Rambam writes that while every one of the four types of beings in this world are constantly watched by Hashem, only one type has the privilege of having every one of its details monitored and scrutinized by Hashem, and this is humans. In other words, whereas every single human being is monitored by Hashem, the other three types of beings, animals, plants, and inanimate objects, are only watched as a general whole.
The Rambam continues and explains that not even every human being is always watched and monitored. Only those who connect their mind to Hashem are individually monitored. “Foolish rebels” and wicked people are watched like the other three categories of life; they are only watched in bulk, not individually.

5. Based on this Rambam, the Rebbe now asks a question on the abovementioned story in the Torah:

According to this opinion of the Rambam (that wicked people are only watched as a whole), we must say that just as Hashem only generally watches over the wicked people, so too does He punish them as a whole.

If so, how could Moshe and Aharon ask Hashem to differentiate between the actual sinner and the ones who were merely influenced and followed in the insolence? Hashem was indeed justified when he said, “I will annihilate them (all) in an instant”!

6. The Rebbe answers this question by first explaining how the opinion of the Rambam that animals, plants, and inanimate objects, as well as wicked people, are only watched generally and not specifically, does not disagree with the opinion of the Baal Shem Tov who holds that all things are monitored by Hashem:

The Mitteler Rebbe (the second Chabad Rebbe) explains that even though it may seem like the Rambam and the Baal Shem Tov argue about Hashem’s Divine Providence over the world, this is actually not the case; they agree with each other.

How is this so?

There are in fact two types of Divine Providence. One is the “Internal” Divine Providence where Hashem’s guardianship is revealed and can be clearly seen by us, whereas the second type, the “External” Divine Providence, is hidden and clothed in the “happenstance” of nature.

The first type, the “Internal” Divine Providence, is what the Rambam is referring to when he says that this is dependent on the person’s connection with Hashem, and animals, plants, inanimate objects, and wicked people, are not watched and guarded with individual Divine Providence.

The second type, the “External” Divine Providence, is what the Baal Shem Tov is referring to when he says that every single creation is watched by Hashem. And even the Rambam agrees to this.

7. With all of the above mentioned in mind, the Rebbe now answers our original question (as to why Moshe and Aharon said, “(Almighty, the G-d of the spirits) of all flesh”, before they argued that, “if one man sins shall you be angry with the entire congregation?”):

As we mentioned earlier, our Sages tell us that the words, “of all flesh”, include even non-Jews. As the Rogatchover Gaon (Rabbi Yosef Rosen) explains the verse, “I am Hashem, G-d of all flesh”, that Hashem is saying He has Divine Providence over everyone, even non-Jews.

And this point is the foundation of Moshe and Aharon’s to Hashem: Moshe and Aharon were asking Hashem to scrutinize each individual person of the wicked congregation even though they were all generally classified as “wicked people” and differentiate between the actual sinner and the followers. But this is not the way Hashem acts with wicked people, as we mentioned earlier. Therefore, they first told Hashem, “Hashem, You know the thoughts of all flesh, even non-Jews, and Your Divine Providence extends even to the non-Jewish people. How much more so then You must know the thoughts and have Divine Providence over every single Jew, even the ones who have for the moment torn themselves away from G-dliness”.

8. The Rebbe finishes off and explains Hashem’s answer:

As we said earlier, when Hashem heard Moshe and Aharon’s case He said, “You have spoken well. I know, and I will make known, who sinned and who did not sin”. Hashem was telling them that not only will He do as they said and scrutinize every individual of the congregation in a way of “External” Divine Providence, He will even “make known” to the world that He is watching and guarding over them with “Internal” Divine Providence.

Translated and adapted by Shalom Goldberg. Taken from Likutei Sichos volume eighteen, second Sicha.

The Role of a Leader








In tribute
to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, zecher tzadik livracha (1902-1994), who turned Lubavitch into a worldwide force for kiruv rechokim and Jewish support services. The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s 15th yahrzeit, the 3rd of Tammuz, falls this year today on Thursday, June 25, 2009.


"I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe"
VIN News Editorial By David Gold VosIzNeias

I am the son of a Communist victim. I am the brother of a Holocaust martyr. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a voracious talmid chochom. I am versed in the secular. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am the Old Country. I am the New World. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a Rogachover musmach. I am a college graduate. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am European. I am American. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am the son-in-law of a tzaddik in a shtreimel and black coat. I am a U.S. Navy civilian engineer in a suit and tie and gray hat. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a mysterious mystic. I am salt of the earth. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I saw the past. I see the future. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am fiercely tradition-true. I am an innovator. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am an open-minded tolerant liberal fanatically bent on communicating my unimpeachable Torah absolutes. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I dispense down-to-earth advice to the intellectual. I direct divine blessing to the infertile. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a dozen, a hundred, a thousand young rabbis worldwide. I am one rabbi in Brooklyn. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a man who made a movement. I am a man who rarely moved. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a beard and yarmulke in Pleasanton. I am a mikvah in Baranquilla. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a sheitel in Daytona Beach. I am a chupah in Moscow. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a sefer Torah in Oxford. I am a black hat and kapotah in Berlin. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a young dead couple in Mumbai. I am the tears of millions. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am generations restored to G-d. I am the Jewish world redefined. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am a Chosid. I am a Rav. I am a Misnagid. I am a Rosh Yeshivah. I am frum. I am not yet frum. I am a Jew. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am whatever a Jew needs, wherever a Jew is. I am Ahavas Yisroel, I am Klal Yisroel. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I am part of you. I am the Lubavitcher Rebbe.


More pictures and articles and videos commemorating The Rebbe:

From the Letters of The Rebbe

Excerpts from Letters of The Rebbe

“A Jewish person should put his or her faith only in G-d, the Creator and Master of the world, who guides all its destinies, who Is the Healer of the sick and the Source of Good.

“Because G-d is good, He wants everybody, and Jews especially, to be happy. It happens, however, that we, with our fleshy eyes, cannot see and understand His ways. But we must be firm in our faith that only good can come from the good G-d, and that the good will become apparent eventually.”

* * * *

“At a gathering shortly before his passing, the Previous Rebbe's father, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn, also known as the Rebbe Rashab (1860-1920), turned to his only son and soon to be successor and said “I am going to Heaven, and my writings I leave for you.”

Question: Isn't it obvious that when one passes away they go to Heaven and their writings remain in this earthly realm? What was the Rebbe Rashab's intention?

This can be understood by understanding the role of the Rebbe. If we look at the first Jewish leader, Moshe, we see before he left this world he asked the Almighty to appoint a new leader. Simply put, he could not leave his people bereft of leadership. This indicates that the mark of true Jewish leadership is to always care about the flock and reassure them that he will always be there to intercede on their behalf.

This is the meaning of the words of the Rebbe Rashab to his son prior to his passing, “I am going to Heaven and my writings I leave for you.” The Rashab's writings, the Torah that he taught, were where he had invested his essence. By reminding his son that he was leaving him his writings, he was reminding him that we wasn't really leaving because he was still to be found in his writings. On the contrary, his ascent on High with his passing represented an opportunity for him to achieve even more on behalf of his flock as he would no longer be encumbered by this physical world.

Concludes the Rebbe: This indicates that when a Rebbe passes away one should not lose their spirit. Undoubtedly, the Rebbe's effectiveness and ability to fulfill his role are better than ever.”

To understand more about the Rebbe, visit The Rebbe

* * * * *

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hillary is WRONG!



WHEN IT COMES TO
  • PERSIA/IRAN UPHEAVEL
  • NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR THREATS
  • SUDANESE GENOCIDE
  • PAKISTAN ISLAMIC TERROR
  • MEXICAN DRUGLORDS
  • SOMALI PIRATES
  • SRI LANKAN SLAUGHTER
  • PERU UNREST 
 
THE PREZ IS QUITE LAID BACK

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO CHILDREN, BABIES, WOMEN, MEN, THE CITIZENS OF THE TINY LAND OF ISRAEL ...

AS POSTED PREVIOUSLY:

Obama said "...the parties on the ground understand that if you have a continuation of settlements that, in past agreements, have been categorized as illegal,..."

LOOK WHAT MR ABRAMS, A SENIOR FELLOW FOR ME STUDIES AT THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (CFR), WHO HANDLED ME AFFAIRS AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL FORM 2001 to 2009 SAID:  (
VOSIZNEIAS)

HILLARY IS WRONG ABOUT THE SETTLEMENTS

Despite fervent denials by Obama administration officials, there were indeed agreements between Israel and the United States regarding the growth of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. As the Obama administration has made the settlements issue a major bone of contention between Israel and the U.S., it is necessary that we review the recent history.

In the spring of 2003, U.S. officials (including me) held wide-ranging discussions with then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem. The "Roadmap for Peace" between Israel and the Palestinians had been written. President George W. Bush had endorsed Palestinian statehood, but only if the Palestinians eliminated terror. He had broken with Yasser Arafat, but Arafat still ruled in the Palestinian territories. Israel had defeated the intifada, so what was next?

We asked Mr. Sharon about freezing the West Bank settlements. I recall him asking, by way of reply, what did that mean for the settlers? They live there, he said, they serve in elite army units, and they marry. Should he tell them to have no more children, or move?

We discussed some approaches: Could he agree there would be no additional settlements? New construction only inside settlements, without expanding them physically? Could he agree there would be no additional land taken for settlements?

As we talked several principles emerged. The father of the settlements now agreed that limits must be placed on the settlements; more fundamentally, the old foe of the Palestinians could -- under certain conditions -- now agree to Palestinian statehood.

In June 2003, Mr. Sharon stood alongside Mr. Bush, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at Aqaba, Jordan, and endorsed Palestinian statehood publicly: "It is in Israel's interest not to govern the Palestinians but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in their own state. A democratic Palestinian state fully at peace with Israel will promote the long-term security and well-being of Israel as a Jewish state." At the end of that year he announced his intention to pull out of the Gaza Strip.

The U.S. government supported all this, but asked Mr. Sharon for two more things. First, that he remove some West Bank settlements; we wanted Israel to show that removing them was not impossible. Second, we wanted him to pull out of Gaza totally -- including every single settlement and the "Philadelphi Strip" separating Gaza from Egypt, even though holding on to this strip would have prevented the smuggling of weapons to Hamas that was feared and has now come to pass. Mr. Sharon agreed on both counts.

These decisions were political dynamite, as Mr. Sharon had long predicted to us. In May 2004, his Likud Party rejected his plan in a referendum, handing him a resounding political defeat. In June, the Cabinet approved the withdrawal from Gaza, but only after Mr. Sharon fired two ministers and allowed two others to resign. His majority in the Knesset was now shaky.

After completing the Gaza withdrawal in August 2005, he called in November for a dissolution of the Knesset and for early elections. He also said he would leave Likud to form a new centrist party. The political and personal strain was very great. Four weeks later he suffered the first of two strokes that have left him in a coma.

Throughout, the Bush administration gave Mr. Sharon full support for his actions against terror and on final status issues. On April 14, 2004, Mr. Bush handed Mr. Sharon a letter saying that there would be no "right of return" for Palestinian refugees. Instead, the president said, "a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel."

On the major settlement blocs, Mr. Bush said, "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949." Several previous administrations had declared all Israeli settlements beyond the "1967 borders" to be illegal. Here Mr. Bush dropped such language, referring to the 1967 borders -- correctly -- as merely the lines where the fighting stopped in 1949, and saying that in any realistic peace agreement Israel would be able to negotiate keeping those major settlements.

On settlements we also agreed on principles that would permit some continuing growth. Mr. Sharon stated these clearly in a major policy speech in December 2003: "Israel will meet all its obligations with regard to construction in the settlements. There will be no construction beyond the existing construction line, no expropriation of land for construction, no special economic incentives and no construction of new settlements."

Ariel Sharon did not invent those four principles. They emerged from discussions with American officials and were discussed by Messrs. Sharon and Bush at their Aqaba meeting in June 2003.

They were not secret, either. Four days after the president's letter, Mr. Sharon's Chief of Staff Dov Weissglas wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that "I wish to reconfirm the following understanding, which had been reached between us: 1. Restrictions on settlement growth: within the agreed principles of settlement activities, an effort will be made in the next few days to have a better definition of the construction line of settlements in Judea & Samaria."

Stories in the press also made it clear that there were indeed "agreed principles." On Aug. 21, 2004 the New York Times reported that "the Bush administration . . . now supports construction of new apartments in areas already built up in some settlements, as long as the expansion does not extend outward."

In recent weeks, American officials have denied that any agreement on settlements existed. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated on June 17 that "in looking at the history of the Bush administration, there were no informal or oral enforceable agreements. That has been verified by the official record of the administration and by the personnel in the positions of responsibility."

These statements are incorrect. Not only were there agreements, but the prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation -- the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank. This was the first time Israel had ever removed settlements outside the context of a peace treaty, and it was a major step.

It is true that there was no U.S.-Israel "memorandum of understanding," which is presumably what Mrs. Clinton means when she suggests that the "official record of the administration" contains none. But she would do well to consult documents like the Weissglas letter, or the notes of the Aqaba meeting, before suggesting that there was no meeting of the minds.

Mrs. Clinton also said there were no "enforceable" agreements. This is a strange phrase. How exactly would Israel enforce any agreement against an American decision to renege on it? Take it to the International Court in The Hague?

Regardless of what Mrs. Clinton has said, there was a bargained-for exchange. Mr. Sharon was determined to break the deadlock, withdraw from Gaza, remove settlements -- and confront his former allies on Israel's right by abandoning the "Greater Israel" position to endorse Palestinian statehood and limits on settlement growth. He asked for our support and got it, including the agreement that we would not demand a total settlement freeze.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.

Mr. Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, handled Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009.

Inspiration from the great Dry Bones, Israel National News

Monday, June 22, 2009

Please scroll down for new posts. 
The Rebbe stays on top for a while.

Gimmel Tamuz 5769 - June 25

The Rebbe

Gimmel Tamuz is Wednesday night, Thursday. All week there will be trips to the Ohel for everyone to visit. The buses leave from in front of 770.

Rabbi YY Jacobson 
has prepared a week of special classes:



Monday, 22 June at 8:30 PM

"The Soul & Song of Our People: A Live Evening of Music & Inspiration"

Join 50,000 Jews In the Song & Soul of Our People, An Evening of Music & Inspiration Commemorating the 15th Yartzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe


Wednesday, 24 June 9:30 PM 

"Special Gimmel Tamuz Class"



And the Weekly Essay on Korach:

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe and His Opponents"

The Mutiny
The narrative is dramatic, tragic and unmistakably Jewish. Four individuals -- Korach, Dathan, Abiram and On -- lead a mass mutiny against Moses, the leader of the Jewish people, and his brother Aaron, the High Priest. What else is new, right?

"They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron," the portion of Korach records, "and said to them, 'It is too much for you! The entire community is holy, and G-d dwells among them, why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of G-d?"

Moses responds to Korach in brief and moving words. He attempts to persuade Korach, who happens to be his first cousin, that Aaron was appointed to his position by the instructions of G-d. Nepotism was not a factor.

"Then Moses sent word to summon Dathan and Abiram," the Bible records (1). "But they said, 'We won't come! Is it not enough that you [Moses] brought us out of [Egypt], a land flowing with milk and honey, just to kill us in the desert?! What right do you have to set yourselves above us? Even if you would gouge out our eyes, we shall not come!'"

These are bald and vicious words. Clearly, Dathan and Abiram won't surrender. They are determined, together with Korach, to overthrow Moses and Aaron.

As usual in the wilderness, G-d intervenes. He decides to wipe out the rebels who are attempting to invalidate Moses as the leader of the Jewish people and the communicator of G-d's law. G-d instructs Moses to announce to the entire community, "Withdraw from the pavilion of Korach, Dathan and Abiram." A tragic fate awaits them.

But before Moses moves to execute G-d's instruction, the Bible inserts an unexpected scene in the narrative:

"Moses stood up and went over to Dathan and Abiram."

Why? Didn't G-d instruct him to ensure that everybody withdraw from their dwellings? What exactly did Moses do when he approached them?

The Bible leaves the answer to our imagination, but the message is clear. Moses was attempting, one last time, to persuade Dathan and Abiram to terminate their crusade against him. He made one final attempt save their lives. It was to no avail. They would not budge.

The Talmud, commenting on this scene, states: "From here we learn that one should never keep up a quarrel."

Yet here is the simple question: Must we derive this noble injunction from this incident? Hasn't the Bible already stated explicitly, "You shall not hate your brother in your heart... You shall love your fellow as yourself." Does this straightforward commandment not teach us already that we ought never to maintain a quarrel or perpetuate a dispute, but must always attempt to eradicate the animosity and create love? Why would the Talmudic rabbis feel compelled to derive this injunction from the particular verse, "Moses stood up and went over to Dathan and Abiram"?



For the full shiur 
and to participate in this week's special commemorative classes, 
please join us at The Yeshiva


If you want to send a letter to The Rebbe, 
you can fill out a form here 

A beautiful video:  Return of the Souls - Yechidus


Jewish Hero




Jewish hero - Rabbi Yehoshua Fass  
- founder of Nefesh B'Nefesh 
- an organization 
that has inspired nearly 20,000 to make aliyah 
in the last decade. 
Israel is the home of all Jews. 

Don't be like Esav (Esau) 
Don't sell or giveaway your birthright for beans

In The Spirit of Prayer




Ana, Ana Hashem!

In the Spirit of Humanity!?



FREE GAZA WITH CRAYONS AND CEMENT:

"The pro-Arab “Free Gaza’ group is once again trying to challenge Israel’s sovereignty over coastal waters with two boats hauling 15 tons of dry cement, several suitcases of crayons and coloring books and 36 passengers. Among them are former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Hedy Epstein, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The activists wrote to the Defense and Foreign Ministries on Wednesday, "This letter serves as a formal notification to you, as the Occupying Power and belligerent force in the Gaza Strip, that on Thursday, June 25, 2009 we are navigating the motor vessel Spirit of Humanity, and the motor vessel Free Gaza from the Port of Larnaca to the port of Gaza City." (Arutz Sheva)

IN THE SPIRIT OF HUMANITY:

Let the so-called leaders in Gaza bring humanity to their people.
Let them stop fighting and start planting date/fig/olive trees.
Let them stop fighting and promote farming.
Let them stop fighting and begin feeding their people.
Let them stop fighting and heal wounds.
Let them stop fighting and clean their streets.
Let them stop fighting and start repairing buildings.
Let them stop fighting and start governing.
Let them stop fighting and promote happiness.
Let them stop fighting and start offering classes in 'getting along with your neighboring peoples'.
Let them stop fighting and take LIFE seriously.

What a farce you are former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Hedy Epstein, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor. Shame! Shame!