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29 March 2023

Rabbi Weissman – Civil War in Israel & What Helps and Doesn't Help Singles

 Some people have asked for my take on all the brouhaha in Israel about judicial reform, civil war, etc.  I wonder how many more times your pretend leaders and their stooges in the media — all of whom lied to you and betrayed you over and over again — will be able to push the same buttons and get hordes of useful idiots rallying behind them to fight their friends and neighbors.  

Did you learn nothing the last three years about the pretend leaders and controlled media? 

Why do you think this time the narrative they are weaving is what's really going on?  

Why do you think it matters which tyrannical branch of the sold-out government gets to be more tyrannical when none of them give a hoot about the people and the system is rigged?  

Why do you think this time they are fighting for all that is good and just?  

Why do you think this time they care one iota about you and your wellbeing? 

I'll say it again: Did you learn nothing the last three years about the pretend leaders and controlled media?  Why do you forget so quickly and fall for their act so easily?

There is no war between right wing and left wing, religious and secular, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, or any other artificial color war divisions.  The war is between the God-hating deep state and all of us.  Stop filling your head with lies and spin from the controlled media, and tap into the Torah's pure truth instead.  Speaking of which...

This week's Torah class, Civil War in Israel, is available here.

What Helps and Doesn't Help Singles – Part One

This entire article is a lengthy introduction to the article that will follow. It's unfortunate that this introduction is necessary, but so be it.

I generally discourage singles from publicly sharing bad-date stories – doing that is rule #17 in How to Not Get Married: Break these rules and you have a chance – but there is a time and place for judicious sharing.

Many years ago I was fixed up with a young lady – we'll call her Lana – by someone who was acquainted with me – we'll call her Sarah – and good friends with Lana. While it should be self-understood that being personally acquainted with both people (the more the better) should be a prerequisite for making an introduction, this minimal standard is rarely met in the shidduch world, where singles are introduced for purposes of marriage. You can try to rationalize this as much as you want, but it will never make sense.

Anyhow, I traveled from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to meet Lana. About fifteen minutes into the date I got the strong sense that she had “checked out” and was just going through the motions (I've developed a sharp radar for such things). For this and a couple of other reasons, I thanked Sarah for the effort, but said it wasn't a great match.

She wanted to know why. I shared my concerns, and she spoke with Lana. Here is part of what she replied

I really don't want to offend you or make you upset- but there are a few things that Lana mentioned to me which are worrisome (from my point of view) and I think I would be doing you a disservice to sweep them under the rug (unless you actually want to remain single).

She said that you were correct that she shut off early on in the date. The reason being that you mentioned you wrote a book about dating. I hate to break it to you Chananya- but to most people it seems very bizarre and ironic for someone having trouble finding their mate to have written the book on it...Not surprisingly it was a major turn off. I would venture to say that most women would feel like that. Who wants to marry someone who thinks they know everything about which they actually know nothing???

There was more, and we had a spirited correspondence (which ended, surprisingly enough, with Sarah agreeing with me and apologizing), but this is what's relevant for now. Although her highness Lana was willing to “give me another chance” despite having nothing positive to say about me, and contributing nothing to the date (not even a thank-you for traveling three hours round trip to take her out), I had already started seeing someone else, and wasn't interested regardless.

I share this story because Lana's reaction to learning that I had written a book about dating (at that time only one) typifies much of what is wrong about the shidduch world, and the world at large. She assumed that because I was unmarried, I “knew nothing” about finding one's mate, and was totally unqualified to write about the subject. And her friend agreed! Even to the point of claiming that “most women” would share this sentiment!

(One wonders if these single women themselves believe they know a thing or two about dating, and, if so, what makes them more qualified. One also wonders why they would want to date any man, even if he is self-aware enough to acknowledge his complete ignorance of the subject. I can't imagine going on a date with someone who knows nothing about finding one's mate could be a positive or productive experience.)

(Another side point: women really need to stop telling men that “most women” or “all women” would think or feel a certain way about anything. There are billions of women in the world. They don't all think alike, and they didn't appoint any particular woman to speak on their behalf. It doesn't strengthen your case to pretend otherwise.)

As I explained to Sarah, “the bookstores are filled with books by married people and professionals who write utter nonsense about dating. No one seems to have a problem with this. Nor do they have a problem with editors who can't write, coaches who are fat and out of shape, mental health professionals who are crazier than the people they treat, nutritionists who are fat and unhealthy, or doctors who smoke. But a single person with many years of dating experience and a good head on his shoulders should keep his mouth shut because he hadn't yet met the right person? Give me a break.”

The truth is that, when evaluating a person's opinions, we should take into account their background, experience, and personal success. It's most sensible to learn from people who have already faced and overcome the same challenges we are facing, not those who are still stuck in the mud.

Then again, it's quite possible that someone who has yet to see personal success in a given area can still speak very intelligently about it. Many people who are struggling to get married, or make a living, or make the team, are just as capable and worthy as the next person, but they didn't catch a break. Even if we do everything right, our success or lack thereof is ultimately in the hands of God. As I've often said, if things worked out a little differently, many people who are married today would still be single, and many people who are single would be married.

Had I written a book on parenting, it would be more reasonable for people to be skeptical. (That said, it's quite possible that I learned some valuable insights about parenting without having personally experienced it, just as many parents are awful, and have no business giving advice to others.) But I didn't write a book about parenting; I wrote about what's wrong with the shidduch world and what needs to be done to fix it. A 19-year-old who married the first girl he dated is less qualified to write about this than someone who really experienced the shidduch world in all its glory.

Over the years many people have disparaged my worthiness to comment on the shidduch world, merely because of my personal status. That says a lot more about them than it does about me. I'm confident in saying that no one in our time has tackled the problems in the shidduch world more thoroughly, with a practical roadmap for addressing the root of what's wrong, not merely treating the symptoms. But because I don't fit some people's image of what an “expert” on the subject should look like, they are quick to dismiss whatever I have to offer. They ignore the substance and mock the person. It's the easy way out.

It's also a great way to prevent the many serious problems in the shidduch world from ever being addressed. If you're going to disparage feedback from the very people who are most directly affected by the shidduch world, who actually have to go through all the unpleasant dates, haphazard suggestions, insensitive, cruel remarks, and then be marginalized in the community for not being married, then you're not astute for rejecting their feedback – you're part of the problem.

Needless to say, the young lady from Tel Aviv didn't read my book before concluding that I knew nothing and being turned off by my initiative. Did I mention what she did for a living?

She was a midwife.

She spent her days guiding women through pregnancy, labor, and delivery, despite never having experienced any of it herself.

The irony alone made it all worth it.

In part two I will offer razor-sharp pointers on how you can help singles and what most definitely does not help them. That will conclude my series of articles in celebration of twenty years since I started EndTheMadness.

Maybe, just maybe, some people will be willing to listen, even to a know-nothing like me.




Download Tovim Ha-Shenayim as a PDF for free!

If you received this from someone else and want to receive future articles directly, please send a request to endthemadness@gmail.com.

Ben Shapiro – Political Analysis

 Ben Shapiro: “Judicial Reform Fight Is A Proxy For The Actual Battle”

“The judicial reform fight in Israel is a proxy for the actual battle, which is really over the changing nature of Israel’s political landscape,” Shapiro wrote in the first of a series of tweets.

“The Right’s case is procedural. The current coalition is fighting to prevent the Israeli judiciary from acting as a de facto dictatorship, selecting its own successors and providing few or no limits to its authority. This has been the case since Aharon Barak’s ‘judicial revolution’ of 1995. And that was a result of the rising power of both Likud voters and religious voters. The Right is correct about the judiciary’s overweening power, and the insanity of an Attorney-General who can act without actual authority. Many in the center and even on the Left agree with these critiques.

“The Left’s case is consequentialist. They’re fighting against a loss of control in pure power terms. That’s what Barak’s judicial reform was about in 1995, and that’s what the current fight is about now. The Left sees the judiciary as a bulwark against a rising demographic tide that places a lot of power in the hands of groups that disagree with the secularism of the Left, as well as groups that disproportionately do not serve in the military and receive a lot of social welfare.

“This isn’t a fight between democracy versus authoritarianism. If anything, the Right is calling for more democracy and has an elected coalition, while the Left is using extra-legal measures like shutting down airports and highways to guarantee minority protections.

“In the end, this situation is really about Israel negotiating its future. The only way to move forward, as nearly everyone will agree in principle, is with more procedural power-sharing, including some judicial reform, combined with more compromise in terms of actual policy. The alternative is a pitched battle in which the Left-wing and secular-oriented try to hold back the rising tide using non-electoral means, and in which the Right tries to ram through its agenda via electoral means.

“That second option is what we’re seeing right now. And it’s untenable. It leads to a loss of trust in the value of electoral democracy from the coalition voters, and a belief that pressure from outside the system is the most effective tactic from opposition voters. If the first option is to be pursued, that means negotiation and talking and incrementalism. The question is whether any of the political leaders are willing to do it.” https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/2177642/ben-shapiro-judicial-reform-fight-is-a-proxy-for-the-actual-battle.html

Interesting Headlines - and Surprises UPDATES

Interesting Headlines. Someone commented that the protesters were being “played” by those who are paying them to protest. Think OWN! (with links)


A new red line was crossed at the left-wing protests on Monday, with videos appearing on social media showing protesters burning photos of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in downtown Tel Aviv. Another frightening video, broadcast on Channel 12 News, shows left-wing protester Giora Chamizer, a well-known TV producer and screenwriter, inciting Netanyahu’s murder.

“His end will be like that of every dictator in our history,” he said to the newscaster, who asked him: “You mean?” The protester responded: “Look on Wikipedia, see where dictators end up, that’s where Bibi will end up.”

The Likud party filed a complaint to the police about both incidents.

“The Likud filed a complaint with the police against Giora Chamitzer for serious incitement to violence and murder against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and against left-wing protesters who burned the image of the prime minister,” the Likud spokesperson said. “We expect the police and the prosecutor’s office to act immediately and with all their power against the manifestations of incitement and violence against the prime minister and elected officials.” https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/2177737/leftist-protesters-burned-photos-of-netanyahu-incited-murder.html

With reference to OWN, see this: Tensions between Diaspora Jews and Israeli government on display at summit of European Jewish leaders in Berlin. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/369372 The NWO is making a move neged EY.

Insubordinate Pilots’ Ground Crews Won’t Serve Until Judicial Reform Is Fully Implemented

By David Israel

More than 200 Air Force ground crew reservists on Monday sent Defense Minister Yoav Gallant a letter warning: “If anyone in the Israel Defense Forces and the government thinks that the pilots are worth more than us, let them come down to the air force bases and take care of the planes themselves.”

On March 19, 180 reservist pilots and navigators, more than 50 flight controllers, and about 40 drone remote operators informed their units that they won’t be showing up for training in the coming week because of the judicial reform. They said they would devote most of their time calling for a dialogue and the defense of democracy, and noted that they continue to serve in operational activities in the army – just not in the following week. [letter viewed at https://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-vs-right/insubordinate-pilots-ground-crews-wont-serve-until-judicial-reform-is-fully-implemented/2023/03/28/]

IDF Reservists Suspend their Protest: ‘We Decided to Give Talks a Chance’

By David Israel

The “Brothers in Arms” group of IDF reservists who demonstrated in recent weeks against the judicial reform, on Tuesday announced that they are suspending the protest following the statement of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday night that he is suspending the legislation to give an opportunity for negotiations.

Brothers in Arms, estimated at several hundred IDF reservist soldiers and officers, published a letter signed by its members declaring they won’t serve in the reserves if the judicial reform is passed. Read more at https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/idf/idf-reservists-suspend-their-protest-we-decided-to-give-talks-a-chance/2023/03/28/

Anarchists Plan Chametz ‘Tik Tok’ Protest

One of the Israeli anarchist groups is planning a new protest for the Passover holiday. According to a report by Nir Dvori of Channel 12, the group is planning to bring Chametz into hospitals in Israel and then upload pictures of themselves with the Chametz onto the internet. They are doing this latest street theater protest in response to the recent law that allows for hospitals administrators to decide if they will or won’t let Chametz into their hospitals during the Pesach holiday.

The plan to film and upload their attacks on Jewish sensibilities sounds very reminiscent of the Jerusalem Arab attackers who make and post Tik Tok videos of themselves hitting and harassing Jews walking around Jerusalem. Read more at https://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-vs-right/anarchists-plan-chametz-tik-tok-protest/2023/03/28/

They Mean Business: Coalition Submits Judicial Reform for Plenum Vote in Case Talks Go Haywire

By David Israel

On Monday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was suspending the judicial reform legislation to allow negotiations with the opposition parties to hopefully reach a common ground during the Knesset’s summer session. But on Tuesday morning, the opposition parties discovered that the coalition submitted the first phase of the bill, dealing with the composition of the committee to elect judges, to a plenum vote. The bill had been finalized in committee on Monday.

There was a practical, largely technical reason for this move: the Knesset protocol requires that a bill would be submitted at least 24 hours before the plenum can vote on it. So, now, anytime the coalition decides to submit the original bill – it can. And, naturally, there was a psychological component to the move, a message to the opposition parties, if you will, that should they pull away from the talks – the bill becomes a law in an instant. Read more at https://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-vs-right/they-mean-business-coalition-submits-judicial-reform-to-plenum-vote-in-case-talks-go-haywire/2023/03/28/

Israel’s Reformers Look to US as Model for Selecting Judges

By David Isaac

(JNS) Israel’s government wants to adopt a system of selecting judges more in keeping with the American model, which means politicians will be in charge. It’s a key element of the coalition’s judicial reform plan and one it hopes to vote into law by the end of the month.

Currently, judges in Israel are chosen by a Judicial Selection Committee made up of three Supreme Court judges, two government ministers, two Knesset members, and two lawyers from the Israel Bar Association. More at https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/israels-reformers-look-to-us-as-model-for-selecting-judges/2023/03/27/

Two Sides Won, and the Anarchists Lost

By JoeSettler

Yesterday was a day of reckoning for Israel. A small group of anarchists and power-elites held the entire country hostage, shutting down airports, hospitals, and malls. Chain stores shuttered their gates. Unions went on strike, and the economy and security of the nation hung in the balance.

But while this criminal extortion requires its own analysis, discussion and solution, there’s another group that’s been held hostage for far too long: the Zionist-Left. The truth is that while most of the Right are not pleased with Bibi’s decision to slow down the passing of judicial reforms, they understand the importance of consensus-building as a stable way to run a country.

Meanwhile, the Zionist-Left has been unable to break free from the leadership of the anarchists Barak, Lapid, and Michaeli (BLM), who have held them captive for months.

It’s time to call out the hypocrisy of demanding the Right negotiate, only to refuse to come to the table while trying to impose anti-democratic preconditions.

Bibi slowed down the reforms until the summer Knesset session, giving Gantz’s Zionist-Leftwing party a chance to escape BLM’s clutches and openly negotiate (he had been forced to negotiate in secret until now).

Thanks to Bibi’s leadership, the anarchists are now on the defensive. Their indefensible actions yesterday infuriated and scared every sane person in the country.

Their hostage-taking was a wake-up call for the need for even broader and deeper reforms.

Moreover, yesterday’s massive demonstration of public support for the reforms was undeniable.

This morning, Netanyahu had Rothman’s judicial reform bill moved to the Knesset for immediate voting in case talks break down, sending a clear message that he hasn’t accepted any preconditions, while he is still willing to talk, as has been clear all along.

And this is acceptable to Gantz, who hasn’t even complained about the “technical” move.

Because Bibi liberated Gantz who is now free to negotiate and fight for his own policies, without being chained to the anarchists and Ehud Barak.

Gantz is the head of the alt-opposition, out from under Lapid’s thumb.

Let’s be clear: Two sides won. The Zionist-Right and the Zionist-Left, and most importantly the anarchists lost.

It’s time to move forward with consensus-building and constructive dialogue, rather than allowing a small group of extremists to hold the entire nation hostage.

We all know real judicial reforms are needed to end the judicial oligarchy and the tyranny of the Legal Advisors and save our democracy.

Hopefully, Gantz, will approach the negotiations with the needed courage and foresight that the moment requires.

And if not, Rothman’s watered down bill is ready to be voted on. Read more at https://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/two-sides-won-and-the-anarchists-lost/2023/03/28/


28 March 2023

What Would A Week Be Without an Attack in Huwara??

OK, These Yassam special forces Need to be Reprimanded and/or Relieved of Duty if they Cannot Protect Jews! (Are they even Jews themselves??)

Is This a Leftover Command Of Gallant??  Something must be done about this!

Dozens of Arab terrorists rioted for hours on Monday night on the main road leading through the town of Huwara in Samaria, the setting for three shooting attacks in the past few months, one of which was fatal in the cases of Hallel and Yagel Yaniv Hy"d.

Multiple Jewish-owned cars driving through Huwara in order to access their homes were targeted by Arabs throwing rocks. One driver, Yaakov, is a volunteer with United Hatzalah who lives in the area and was making his way to the Tapuah Junction when he found himself under attack. Dozens of rioters surrounded his vehicle and began to hurl rocks at the car. One hit the windshield, which shattered.

Yaakov was forced to stop his car. He reported the attack to security forces and then documented it on his phone. "Just got hit by a rock in Huwara," he wrote in the caption to a video taken mere seconds after the rock hit his car. Shards of glass can be seen all around.

But that was just the beginning. Another Jewish family passing through Huwara a few minutes later on their way to a family wedding found themselves surrounded by Arabs. "Dozens of Arabs blocked our path and started throwing rocks, pieces of scrap metal, and other objects at us," the mother related. "We were hit on all sides. It was a miracle that no one was injured.”

IDF soldiers were summoned to the scene but failed to bring the rioters under control. Meanwhile, additional Jewish-owned cars were being pelted with rocks, causing a considerable amount of damage. The drivers started to make their own attempts to drive the Arabs away, and began calling Jewish residents from nearby communities asking them to come and help.

The entire incident unfolded just meters away from where Hallel and Yagel Yaniv were gunned down by an Arab terrorist a month ago, and where David Stern was shot and wounded a few weeks ago. According to multiple eyewitness accounts, IDF soldiers called to the scene stood to the side of the road, near to where the Arab rioters had gathered, and did nothing to stop them from throwing rocks and then violently confronting the Jewish drivers.

Worse still, instead of taking determined action to disperse the rioters, soldiers instead used violence against the Jews under attack, beating anyone who arrived on the scene to help. Yaakov, whose windshield had been shattered, now found himself handcuffed and thrown into a police car.

Other Jews driving through who stopped to see if they could offer assistance also found themselves under attack by special forces officers (Yassam) who had been dispatched to the scene. 

One Yassam officer took his helmet and smashed it into the face of a 40-year-old father of five from Yitzhar, breaking his nose. 

Another Jew was knocked to the ground and surrounded by police who began punching him before dragging him to another police car. Only later was he taken to Beilinson Hospital for medical treatment, still handcuffed and accompanied by police officers. 

Three other Jews were also arrested. 

"It's just unbelievable," one eyewitness said. "You're driving through Huwara and someone throws a rock at your car - and all the soldiers care about is making sure you keep driving, even though all around you, other cars are getting pelted with rocks as well. 

What are we supposed to do? 

How can we live like this? 

And not only that - they're arresting us too. What's going on here? It's just impossible to describe the insanity. 

The security system has entirely collapsed.” 

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement Monday night . . . it continues

Is there anything from Mitzrayim special about the 5th of Nissan?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t be more clear about who were the good guys in Israel’s struggle over the judicial reform, and who were not. He opened his speech to the nation Monday night with a reference to the two women who came to King Solomon, each claiming she was the mother of the same baby. Netanyahu reminded his listeners that the wisest king took out a sword and offered to cut the baby in half.

The PM didn’t complete the parable but instead explained that both halves of the nation who are fighting for and against the judicial reform love their country. He then went on to condemn what he called an extremist minority who are not concerned with the wellbeing of the country.  https://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-vs-right/citing-solomons-trial-netanyahu-suspends-judicial-reform/2023/03/27/


Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement Monday night about suspending the judicial reform legislation, the “Struggle Against Dictatorship” organization announced shortly after his speech: “There is no removal – we continue the struggle! As long as the legislation continues and is not removed, we will be in the streets. This is another attempt to weaken the protest in order to enact a dictatorship.”

The announcement used the Hebrew word “genizah,” meaning to store away, meaning that as long as the coalition does not completely abandon its plan to revamp the judicial system – the troops would stay in the streets.

And so it appears that, maybe, Netanyahu has succeeded in dividing the opposition, although conquering may not be within reach yet. 

While National Camp Chairman MK Benny Gantz responded eagerly to the PM’s proposition and has already formed a team (led by former Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar) to go to the presidential residence to start negotiating; and Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid is also on board, albeit more reluctantly – the anarchists, fueled by former PM Ehud Barak and the powers that fuel the “struggle,” continue to disrupt the country.

Netanyahu is betting that their fury and zealotry will alienate the majority of Israelis. Without the legitimacy of the two major opposition parties, it can be hoped that they would become little more than a nuisance.

Their tweets are beginning to sound shrill. They tweeted overnight Monday: “The announcements by the prime minister and his extremist partners are an admission of their intention to re-enact the dictatorship’s laws in the next session, thus harming the economy and the security of the country.”

In other words, those few thousand hardcore protesters mistrust not only Netanyahu and his coalition partners but also mistrust Gantz and possibly Lapid as well. They fear what every revolutionary is afraid of: that the fix is in, and the politicians would use their energy and faith to their ends. It’s an admirable sentiment, but to the average Israeli who still can’t be sure when he gets on Ayalon Highway that it would take him to work or back to his home without suddenly being stopped for hours by some protesters who ran down the overpass and invaded his highway – that’s no longer a legitimate protest, it is more like, well, anarchy.

This change in the national mood was already evident Monday night, after Netanyahu’s speech. The Tel Aviv police, which up to that moment had tolerated the demonstrators and allowed them to take over the highway for hours at a time (even as long as nine hours), suddenly lost their patience. After the speech, the police evacuated all the protestors on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv. 

The protestors tried to break into the Ayalon Highway, and the police stopped them, this time using real force. And this time the police fired many stun grenades, at the protestors rushing down the highway exit and up at the Kaplan intersection. It was almost as if the Tel Aviv police were trying to impose law and order.

In addition to making everyday Israelis’ lives a little messier, the anarchists have announced that harassment teams are being assigned to coalition MKs and ministers. Claiming to possess “intelligence” about the movements of these elected officials, they promised unexpected meetings that would “paralyze and disrupt their routine and agenda.”

[TODAY]  Tuesday will see a step up in the protest. “We will have a day of widespread paralysis throughout the country, which will be a step up from the previous days of resistance,” the protest headquarters announced.

Expect parades, attempts to block thoroughfares and intersections that will cause severe disruptions and heavy traffic congestion, as well as clashes between protesters and police and drivers who will get stuck in traffic, and right-wing activists who support the judicial reform.

On Wednesday, the anarchists are planning significant paralyzing events in various parts of the country in the morning and then they will go up to Jerusalem and hold a huge demonstration in front of the Knesset. Protests are also planned for Thursday, but the organizers announced that at this stage they cannot reveal them.

And then they declared this: “In the face of the attempt to turn Israel into a dictatorship, millions will take to the streets and defend the State of Israel and the Declaration of Independence.”

There, at the point where they start hallucinating about millions in the streets, that’s where the first cracks are appearing. And that’s how you carry out a divide-and-conquer operation.


Keeping Our Eyes Focused on the Goal: A Temple Mount ...Moment

 A Temple Mount Moment: The Royal Portico

Afterthoughts – 'Birth Pangs' of a Nation

Israel’s newly proposed Judicial Reform Bill is all over the news, both in Israel and abroad, for all the wrong reasons. Thousands of protestors in Tel Aviv claim that its passage would change the character of the State from a liberal democracy to an unyielding theocracy. [Theocracy]

Prominent media outlets and left-leaning pundits are rending their garments over the corpse of Israeli democracy, mourning the end of the State of Israel and the demise of Judaism itself. 

None of this is even remotely true. In actuality, not only does the Judicial Reform Bill not herald the end of times, it may even usher in the beginning of a stronger, leaner and more focused Jewish people. 

Let’s be honest, Israelis never cared much about democracy. The forced evacuations of thousands of Jews from their Gaza homes during the Sharon-led government, a policy supported by only a small minority in the Knesset, pulled the mask off any such pretensions in Israeli society. The brutal crackdowns on protestors and the warrantless jailing of minors that followed, gleefully supported by the secular Israeli press, underscored how little Israelis really value their freedoms. 

The Gaza debacle was hardly a one-time event. Since its conception in the late 1800’s the founders of the State always valued socialist policy and conformity over human rights and democracy. 

The familiar saga of Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the State of Israel in its early years and tried to observe the Jewish traditions they had been accustomed to in their native lands was a harbinger of things to come. For the double sin of being both Sephardi and traditional, they were greeted with contempt, discrimination, forcible secularization and even open hatred while trying to seek jobs, benefits and healthcare. 

The Yemenites fared even worse. Their ancient community who resettled in Israel after the establishment of the State with great hope and anticipation were not met with the understanding and tolerance you would expect from a democracy. Instead, they were forced into anti-religious kibbutzim foreign to their way of life, often made to eat non- kosher food, given jobs compelling them to work on Shabbat, and some even had their precious children torn away and placed in secular hands.

And so it was with the barely tolerated hareidi minority. As an American yeshiva student in the early 1980’s I vividly remember watching a peaceful, albiet loud, protest in Jerusalem’s Kikar HaShabbat, when Mayor Teddy Kolek disembarked from a black sedan and the police, who were mostly passively observing up till then, swung into action. 

They punched, beat and shoved the protestors mercilessly. I’ll never forget the look of triumph on Kolek’s countenance as he watched a policeman bloody the face of a young hareidi student until the blood ran down his white shirt and onto the ground. I recognized that look; it was terrifying. I had seen it often in pictures from my parent’s time, but never on a Jewish face. 

Purim is over, so we don’t need to masquerade any longer. The anguish at the proposed changes in the Israeli judicial system has nothing to do with the demise of a system of government that was always foreign to the Israeli pysche. What Israelis, and all Jews, do care about, what they have always deeply invested in, is ideology and identity. Israel is currently facing a profound identity crisis, not a judicial crisis. It is wrestling with the confluence and contradiction of being an Israeli together with being a Jew. 

History has shown that all movements that seek to redefine Judaism and Jews and divorce Judaism from its traditional sense, have no Jewish future. There has never been a successful adaption of the Jewish religion, since the foundations of Christianity and Islam, that has maintained its Jewish identity. These breakaway movements are usually lauded and embraced at their inception as a new and dynamic form of Judaism, but ultimately, they drift away from their Jewish core and their adherents are lost to the Jewish people forever.

 In modern times, one needn’t look further than the Reform movement and its fraternal twin, the Conservatives. Once hailed as the very future of Judaism and the logical adaption of Jewish practice to contemporary custom, now, they only manage to sputter along because their numbers are artificially inflated by non-Jewish members. With their rabbinical and cantorial schools in serious decline, the shuttering of many of their synagogues and temples across America and the majority of their members marrying non-Jews, they are the very definition of assimilation and Jewish obsolescence. 

The demise of the Reform and Conservative movements abroad and the great religious revival over the past four decades throughout the Jewish world places the Israeli secular public squarely in the center of an existential dilemma.

Israel’s Founding Fathers tried to fashion a Jewish identity based upon fealty to the State but not to the religion. “Israelism” was to become the new Judaism. 

This was the Israeli nationalist version of the Reform and Conservative movements. This new Israelism embraced Jewish culture, just as Reform does. There’s nothing unsettling about placing a Chanukah menorah in the window or enjoying a knish or a pastrami sandwich, but anyone who crossed the line into Jewish religion was met with the full wrath of the new Israeli . 

The inherent contradictions embodied in a philosophy promoting a “Jewish” State devoid of Judaism, although apparent to religious Jews, were actively ignored by secular Israelis. Thus, the strong-arming of the highly traditional Sephardic and Yemenite immigrants, the shunning of hareidim and the disrespect for religious-Zionists were not met with democratic outrage. Instead, they were welcomed as a necessary component in fashioning the modern identity of a Jewishless Israeli man.

Today, with the political rise of hareidim, Sephardim, religious Zionists and the many secular Israelis who revere Judaism and all that it encompasses, their desire to ensure a Jewish future for their children and grandchildren by espousing Jewish values can no longer be beaten down and pushed to the side like a protestor in Kolek’s Jerusalem of old. 

Today’s protests are not against Judicial reform, which any liberal-minded citizen should happily champion. It’s about the guilt and contradiction that all Jews feel when confronted with Judaism. Secular Israelis are feeling the sharp pressure of their own faith bearing down on them and they correctly view the Supreme Court and its disdain for religion (e.g. former Chief Justice Aharon Barak recently admitted that he does not even know the words of Shema Yisrael, but felt capable of making judgments on religious issues during his tenure, ed.) as the last bastion of Israelism and the only remaining firewall against the onslaught of Judaism. 

They are greatly encouraged by American reform and conservative movement leaders who see this battle as their final prospect to transgender the Jewish religion into the modern oblivion of Western ideas, transient culture and anti-religious secularism. 

The civil unrest has opened very deep wounds in our national soul which at once hurt badly but give us the opportunity to peer into ourselves as we never have before. If we look honestly we can come out more focused and stronger than we were before. If we don’t, we should bear in mind that this epic battle has a preordained victor. The Jewish Nation will ultimately choose Judaism over any innovation as it always has. Judaism is immortal and will survive and even thrive. The great question of the day is, will the anti-religious left in the State of Israel realize that in time. 

Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes is the Dean of the Hollywood Community Kollel in Hollywood, FL, and is Southern Regional Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values. 



*Notice the author’s use of the words “Birth Pangs”. 

27 March 2023

PM Freezes the Legislation Til Summer . . . The Question Is . . .

"The question is, 

of course,

 if the right-wing coalition government cowers 

before the leftist mobs 

what do we need 

a right-wing government 



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have reached an agreement that the judicial reform legislation will be frozen for the time being and brought up again during the Knesset's summer session to allow for negotiations on the reforms, the Otzma Yehudit party announced Monday evening.

At the same time, the two agreed that as a step to keep the peace in Israeli cities, the establishment of s National Guard under the auspices of the National Security Ministry will be approved at the next cabinet meeting.

Ben-Gvir said: "I agreed to remove my veto on the postponement of the legislation, in exchange for a commitment from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the legislation will be brought to the Knesset for approval in the next session, if no agreements are reached during the recess.”

The announcement comes as tens of thousands of right-wing Israelis are converging on the Knesset from across the country to demonstrate in favor of the judicial reforms and to demand that the government not freeze the legislation. 

Prime Minister Neyanyahu had reportedly planned to give a public address this morning (Monday) announcing the freezing of the judicial reform legislation following the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and the mass demonstrations which subsequently broke out across the country Sunday night. He decided to hold off on making a public statement after the Religious Zionist party issued a statement demanding the immediate passage of legislation altering the Judicial Selection Committee.

Above quote from David Israel at https://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-vs-right/netanyahu-tells-coalition-heads-i-will-stop-the-judicial-reform/2023/03/27/

Martin Sherman – Obviating Elections

The starkest indicators [of erosion of democracy] which presumably underlie the country’s downgrading in international democracy ratings, involve elite decisions about rejecting election resultsJames N. Druckman,  Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University, Misperceptions, Competition, and Support for Democracy, p. 24, Dec 2022

* * *

If the copiously funded mob succeeds in compelling the Israeli government to back away from its much-needed policy of reigning in the rampant legal establishment in general, and the unbridled judiciary, in particular, it will be the end of an era in Israel.  


Blatantly absurd 


For if they succeed, democratic rule will have been replaced by mob rule, in which a highly motivated and abundantly financed minority can impose its will on the elected majority and compel it to abandon a policy, which in the elections, it pledged to implement. In this regard, the accumulating signs of the government buckling under the relentless pressure of the increasingly raucous and unruly street demonstrations are profoundly perturbing.    


There are at least two remarkable aspects of the ongoing protests. One is just how manifestly ludicrous their professed motivation is; the other is how astonishingly effective their well-oiled, well-executed, and well-funded promotional campaign has been in hoodwinking well-off, well-educated echelons in Israeli society. 


As for the alleged motivation—defense of democracy from descent into dictatorship—the demonstrators have yet to present a persuasive causal chain linking the proposed changes in the judicial system to the demise of democracy in Israel. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that they—or anyone else—could. 


After all, it is plainly absurd to claim that a system, in which a dozen or so unelected officials, with no accountability to the public, have the ultimate authority on matters of vital importance, is more democratic than one, in which that authority is vested in the hands of 61 (or more) elected parliamentarians, regularly answerable to the public.   


“Democracy is Dictatorship”: Decent into dystopia? 


So, are the opponents of judicial reforms claiming that, if the reforms are implemented, Israel will metamorphize into a “dictatorial democracy”…or is that “democratic dictatorship”? Indeed, the allegation is no less oxymoronic than “tolerant tyranny” or “treacherously trustworthy”.   


Disturbingly, the opposition’s calculated abuse of language is strongly reminiscent of the abuse of language chillingly depicted in Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen-Eighty-Four. In it, “Big Brother, the totalitarian regime, imposed the use of a contrived language, NewSpeak,designed to diminish the range of thought“. Typical of the elements employed in NewSpeak is the juxtaposition of diametric opposites as in the official motto of the totalitarian regime: War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.   


In perturbingly similar vein, the promoters of the anti-reform protests are in effect asserting that  “democracy is dictatorship“, when decisions are shifted to accountable democratically elected forums from unaccountable, unelected ones. 


Thus, although the opponents of the judicial reforms are in the Opposition, their modus operandi is imposing a dystopian aura on the dispute over those reforms, in which truth is cast to the wind—precluding any chance of sincere dialogue to reduce acrimony and reach some consensual resolution. 


Brazen, blatant hypocrisy   


Of course, the claim that the implementation of the proposed judicial reforms will imperil Israeli democracy is clearly the pinnacle of hypocrisy. After all, those who today vociferously oppose the reforms, previously endorsed precisely the same measures. 


Arguably, the most brazen, blatant display of barefaced double standards behind the anti-reform demonstrators is that of Opposition leader, Yair Lapid. On February 27, 2023, during a plenary debate on judicial reform,  Lapid railed: “Stop this insane legislation.” 


However, in a 2016 address to Kohelet Policy Forum, the organization that played a pivotal role in the formulation of the proposed judicial reforms, Lapid laid out his views on the legal system, which mirrored almost identical measures to those in reforms put forward by today’s coalition: “I have opposed, and I still oppose, judicial activism of the sort introduced by [former Supreme Court President] Justice Aharon Barak. I don’t think it is right that everything is justiciable. I don’t think it is right for the Supreme Court to change fundamental things in accordance with what it refers to as the judgment of ‘the reasonable person.’ That’s an amorphous and completely subjective definition that the Knesset never introduced to the legal code. It’s not right in my mind that the separation of powers, the sacrosanct foundation of the democratic method, should be breached by one branch of government placing itself above the others.” 


No accommodation possible   


From the foregoing analysis, one thing should be depressingly clear: There can be no consensual resolution to the ongoing clash—because the clash itself is not only contrived, but is, in fact, the objective of the demonstrators—rather than a means to achieve an end.    


Paradoxically, there can be no consensual resolution to the dispute because there is no real substantive difference on the issues in dispute—as evidenced by the prior support for the reforms by those who now oppose it—see for example here, here, here, here and again here.   


This absence of real substantive differences is underscored by the fact that, although opponents of the reform almost uniformly concede that the judicial system does need some form of overhaul, they assiduously refrain from stipulating what measures they have in mind—thus averting any chance of comparing what the differences are between their proposals and that of the current coalition. 


Democratic rule replaced by mob rule 


It should thus be clear that the ongoing dispute, allegedly about a substantive difference of opinion is nothing but a façade, a stage prop in a visceral fight for control of the reins of power, in which there is no place for any rational debate. Nothing will be acceptable other than abject surrender. (For greater detail on this, see my recent article here


This is why the government must not, and cannot, back away from the reform proposal. For if does, there will be no point in any elections in the future. Indeed, every time the elected government decides on something of which the opposition disapproves, they will take to the street until it yields to opposition demands—and democratic rule will have been replaced by mob rule. 

Rabbi Weissman – Civil War in Israel & What Helps and Doesn't Help Singles

  Some people have asked for my take on all the brouhaha in Israel about judicial reform, civil war, etc.  I wonder how many more times your...