17 January 2020

Politics & Mysticism in Parshat Shemot

Politics and Mysticism in the Weekly Torah Portion 
Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Originally written and published in 2010.

Ask Pharaoh, Taxes Lead to Slavery

Yes, that is right, the first step taken to enslave a free population is to first tax their wealth. Wealth leads to power. Power leads to independence. Strip away wealth and power, and independence are stripped away with it. This is not a modern concept, nor are modern governments the first to practice this. The practice of taxing a free population into outright slavery began long ago in ancient Egypt and Pharaoh was the first “tax-man.”

This revelation about economic manipulation and socialist enslavement is clearly written in the Bible, verse by verse, in the first chapter of the Book of Exodus. Let us review the relevant verses and see or ourselves.

“Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we are. Let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they increase, and a war befall us, and they join our enemies and depart from the land." So they appointed over them tax collectors to afflict them with their burdens. . . But as much as they would afflict them, so did they multiply and so did they gain strength, and they were disgusted because of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel with back breaking labor.” (Exodus 1:9-13)

When we look at the above verses we discover an apparent contradiction. In verse 9, it states “the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we [the Egyptians] are.” Yet, in the next verse Egypt wants to act shrewdly to prevent Israelite growth, “lest they increase,” a problem, which from the previous verse, already seems to have happened. This apparent contradiction is resolved when viewed in light of the following verse.

“So they appointed over them tax collectors to afflict them with their burdens.” In order to prevent Israel from growing stronger, Egypt placed over them tax collectors. Tax collectors, as we all know, are authorized by the ruling government to take other people's money. So, apparently Egypt's first attack on the children of Israel was not against their persons or their freedoms, but rather against their money. Remember, wealth provides both power and independence, two things that the average Egyptian did not have at all.

Why did the Egyptians act in this way? Because, we must remember, (as recorded in Genesis 47:13-25), that previously Joseph manipulated the Egyptian economy to enable Pharaoh to take possession of all the wealth and property in the country. Even the population became indentured servants to Pharaoh's government. The only ones left with any freedom in their persons and property were the Egyptian priesthood and the foreigners, the children of Israel.

Now, the wealth of the priesthood was that of Egypt itself. But the wealth of Israel, that was another story. For the children of Israel were only temporary residents in the land of Egypt, and when they would leave they would take their money with them. So, originally the children of Israel came down to Egypt wealthy and stood out in contrast to the enslaved greater Egyptian population. This is why the Egyptians plotted against them. For Israel was more numerous and stronger financially that the rest of Egypt. This is why the Egyptian government acted with guile to find subtle ways to equally enslave the children of Israel and to thus “legally” rob them of their possessions and to lower them to the indentured position of the rest of Egypt.

Taxation in ancient Egypt, (and in some more recent socialist/communist regimes), was not only of the people's physical possessions but also of their personal time and efforts. Not only did one have to hand over 30% or more of one's financial wealth, one would also have to surrender over 30% or so of one's time during the year to physically work on government projects, without any compensation for time or effort. Eventually 30% or so expanded, until it became an all inclusive 100%. Thus, the people were left with no freedoms, no wealth, no hope and no future. Slavery to government, be it in ancient times or in modern times, always begins with subtle social manipulations and ends with total destitution.

In ancient Egypt, national service began as a patriotic duty, but over time it degenerated into comprehensive form of government enslavement. Even today we have many modern forms of this government enslavement disguised under many different cloaks of acceptability. All these forms of enslavement, regardless of whatever names they fall under, contradict the very foundation of all Biblical teachings.

The message of the Bible has always been clear. When God brought forth Israel from out of Egypt and led them to Mt Sinai to receive His Law, the first of the Ten Commandments clearly states, “"I am the Lord, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:1). God is our Lord, true, but this part of the commandment is only the preamble. What follows after this is the actual commandment, “who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

God's Law is clear and applicable to all who want to walk in His Ways. The only only way we make God to be our Lord is when we accept that He has taken us out of the land of Egypt, with all its mental defilement, and out of the house of bondage, which refers to governmental restrictions over personal freedoms. The entire purpose of God's Law is to set man free to be independent, self sufficient, responsible, productive, righteous human beings. When we live by God's Law we rise up to become that which we were created to be (Genesis 1:27), beings created in the image of God.

When however, we submit ourselves to the servitude of others, we surrender our internal spiritual Divine image and instead take upon ourselves the internal psychological image of our new master, be that of a government, a leader or a political system. These more than anything else today have become our modern false gods. This is why the second commandment says right after the first, “you shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2). God is warning us right in the beginning of His Law, that in order to serve God, one cannot serve another in his place.

Later, in the days of Samuel, (1 Samuel 8:5-8) when the people approached the prophet requesting that God place over them a King, God responded, through the prophet, that such a request was tantamount to rejecting God's rule and replacing it with that of mortal men. “They have rejected Me from reigning over them. Like all the deeds which they have done from the day I brought them up from Egypt, and until this day, and they forsook Me and served other gods” (1 Samuel 8:7-8).

Although God acquiesced and gave the people their king, Biblical history documents that the entire period of Kings, be it in the Southern Kingdom of Judah or the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was an unmitigated disaster. Even the best government of Kings brought with it trouble, adversity, wars and conflict. Not even the best of them ever established the dream of true human freedom, peace and tranquility.

In retrospect, centralized governments, guided by human hands, have always tried to bend and brake the human spirit, and force people and the societies that they create to submit and be molded into forms and images foreign and strange to both Heaven and the human spirit. Not for nothing is the Hebrew term for idolatry, Avodah Zarah, which literally translates as “foreign/strange servitude.” There is no greater idolatry that being true to man and at the same time being false to God. “It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9).

Man without freedom is dead. The Egyptians sought to kill the spirit of the children of Israel and indeed did succeed to a great extent. Even when God did bring the people out of Egypt, it soon became apparent with the sins in the wilderness that not even God could take Egypt out of the hearts and minds of the enslaved people. God is our redeemer to free our bodies from servitude, but it is we ourselves, by our obedience to God's Law that we redeem our souls. Essentially, redemption is two-fold and we are partners with God in accomplishing it. This has been the message of religion even since its inception. God does His share, but we must our ours!

Charity begins at home, slavery begins with government. The Egyptians dealt subtly with the children of Israel. They tricked them into becoming slaves. In this way, the Egyptians avoided creating any animosity, or opposition.

The children of Israel were duped and blinded into becoming willing slaves. Little by little they gave up their wealth and then their freedoms until they had nothing left and then found themselves in the most desperate of situations. As it was then, so is it still today.

Evil empires never come out and say that they want to enslave their populations. On the contrary, they always proclaim messages of freedom. Yet, when viewed in the light of honesty and inquiry, the messages of freedom presented by government are always subtle deceptions that lead to slavery.
Governments, even ancient Egypt, use the ploy of class struggles to manipulate and misguide the public. It is always an “us verses them” battle. In Egypt, it was the Egyptians verses the Israelites.

Today, the class struggle is usually presented as the rich (symbolic of Israel) and the poor (symbolic of Egypt). This is why fascist states that seek to enslave their populations always seem to have an edge of anti-semitism (hatred of Jews). These enslavers of freedom cannot escape from their spiritual origins in Pharaoh’s Egypt.

These deceptive government philosophies always proclaim how the evil rich take advantage of the innocent, hard working poor, and that therefore the poor have the right to overthrow the rich and to take all their wealth. The rich are viewed as evil so that stealing from them becomes justified in the minds of the thieves. This is only one of the many modern forms of lies and evil that permeates and poisons our society. Yet, it is again, nothing new. This was the same mentality the Egyptian government used to turn the Egyptian people against the children of Israel. Then and now, the government created jealously in the hearts of the poor, then aroused the poor masses with anger and resentment, to the point where the average Egyptian citizen viewed it right and proper to subjugate the children of Israel.

Change the name of the characters and we still see the same story being played out today, over and over again. The battle between good people and bad government is simply the age-old battle of good and evil being fought out in the public arena. Like Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Those who truly want to stand up for what is right and righteous therefore have a hard choice before them. The righteous, like Moses in ancient Egypt, must stand up to corrupt government and demand, “let my people go.” The first step towards human freedom is the freedom from harsh and cruel edicts, the first of which always attacks one's personal wealth. Taxation is the first step to socialist, fascist slavery. Ask Pharaoh, he'll tell you! Today, we have many Pharaoh’s, what we need today is a Moses, at least one! God will redeem us, this is His promise, but we too must do our share.

When we choose to live by God's Law then we will also merit God's grace. The two always come together. Freedom from tyranny begins with revolt against taxation. Needless to say the powers that be consider such a revolt to be a provocation to war. To avoid such a conflict, the Egyptians struck first to enslave the Israelites. For those of us unfortunate enough to already be slaves, maybe we need a subtle silent revolution against the modern day oppressive systems we all suffer under, one that can bring about upheaval and change with the same subtly used by the Egyptians. Remember, Moses said it best, “let my people go.” Granted, Moses had God on his side, but with the help of Heaven, so do we.

Copyright © 2010-2013 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Parshas Shemos – We Should Not Be Surprised

By Roy S. Neuberger

Am Yisroel now descends into Golus. We have said goodbye to the Avos and Imahos, and now we say goodbye to the generation of Yaakov’s children, as we read: “Yosef died and all his brothers and that entire generation.” (Shemos 1:6)

Immediately, the Children of Israel are in danger. Two things happen.

First, “the Children of Israel were fruitful, teemed, increased and became strong” in the land. You might think that is good, but it may be very dangerous to be “strong” in the land of our exile if “strength” implies that we are comfortable there and expect to be included in their culture.

Secondly, “A new king arose … who did not know Yosef… [and] they appointed taskmasters over [Am Yisroel], in order to afflict it …” (Shemos 1:11) This is what inevitably happens if we become comfortable in the land of our exile.

Mitzraim is the prototype Golus; it provides vital lessons to us as our own Golus becomes increasingly ugly. The danger of feeling comfortable in the lands of our exile is increasingly evident. We consider it natural for Jews to be respected in Golus and we want to assert our “right” to live in these lands just like anyone else.

We are shocked and surprised that we are being attacked. 

My friends, we have just fasted on Asara b’Teves, the day on which Nebuchadnezzar established a siege around Yerushalayim“This is such a severe and important fast day that it is observed even if it falls on erev Shabbos, while our other fast days are arranged by calendar adjustments as never to fall on a Friday, so as not to interfere with Shabbos preparations.” (Rabbi Berel Wein on Aish.com) 

There is a reason we are in Golus, and we are required to do teshuva in order to ascend from here. In Mitzraim, Hashem sent Moshe Rabbeinu to elevate us to the madreiga necessary for our redemption. We need to re-enact that scenario now in order to try to meritMoshiach. This will take a supreme effort of will on our part. There is no short-cut.

“The Sages of every generation desired to know the secret [time of Moshiach’s advent’ and pushed [to hasten] it, but then they heard [Hashem cry out], ‘I adjure you, Israel, not to attempt to force Moshiach’s arrival,’ and they sealed their mouths.” (Kinnah 14, Tisha b’Av)

This cryptic but extremely weighty reference is to a Midrash (Shir Hashirim 2:18) which describes the “four oaths” Hashem imposed uponAm Yisroel concerning Golus: not to rebel against the governments of the surrounding nations, not to try to hasten the arrival of Moshiach, not to reveal the Torah’s secrets to other nations and not to attempt to ascend from Golus by force.

We have to address the root of our problems.

In order to merit the Geula, we need to remember that our only priorities are Torah and Chessed. There is nothing else. When we remove the causes of our exile, then Hashem will quickly send the Redeemer, may we greet him soon in our days!

*             *             *             *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2020 by Roy S. Neuberger

Rabbi Winston: Parshas Shemos – Waring Against the Sitra Achra

Get ready, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they increase, and a war befall us, and they join our enemies and wage war against us and depart from the land.” 
(Shemos 1:10)

BACK IN PARASHAS Mikeitz, when Ya’akov sent his sons down to Egypt in search of food, he warned them to take care:

But Yosef’s brother, Binyomin, Ya’akov did not send with his brothers, because, he said, “Lest misfortune befall him.” (Bereishis 42:4)

Ya’akov warned [them] about all [potentially harmful] matters [that might befall Binyomin, not merely one particular form of catastrophe]. (Kesuvos 30a)

On one hand, it is understandable that Ya’akov Avinu, as a father, should be concerned about the potential dangers that could occur to his sons. The roads down to Egypt were filled with all kinds of thieves and murderers. Though Yosef’s brothers had special Divine Providence, Ya’akov had already suffered the loss of Yosef, which put their entire providence in question.
On the other hand, with everything we know about Ya’akov Avinu, a true ba’al bitachon—G–D truster—it does not seem correct that he should worry about his sons like any other father. Give them a brochah for a safe and successful trip? For sure. Worry about their welfare? Hmm.
Fast-forwarding to Parashas Vayigash after the great reveal, it was time for Yosef to send his brothers back home, to tell their father of his survival and greatness. Like his father much earlier, Yosef too warned them in advance of their journey:

And he sent off his brothers, and they went, and he said to them, "Do not quarrel on the way.” (Bereishis 45:24) 

Who was Yosef talking to? We are constantly being told that, as “normal” as the brothers were, sibling rivalries and all, they really weren’t that ordinary. They were the “Shivtei Kah,” the “Tribes of G–D,” living on a VERY high spiritual level. So why would Yosef feel a need to tell them to behave themselves? 

Rashi gives this answer:

Do not quarrel on the way: Do not engage in a halachic discussion lest the way cause you to stray. Another explanation: Do not walk with large steps, and enter the city while the sun is shining (Ta’anis 10b). According to the simple meaning of the verse, we can say that since they were ashamed, he was concerned that they would perhaps quarrel on the way about his being sold, debating with one another, and saying,“Because of you he was sold. You slandered him and caused us to hate him.”

Doesn’t sound like such a high spiritual level, does it?
The answer has to do with redemption. Redemption is tricky business. It’s everything WE want, but everything the Sitra does NOT want. When the Final Redemption finally comes, the Sitra Achra’s job will be over. In fact, the SITRA ACHRA will be over.
The Sitra Achra exists to be an agency of evil. He is the “Great Tempter,” the one designated by G–D to test the spiritual resolve of people. Any time a person feels an urge to do that which they know is morally wrong—especially when the morally wrong thing goes out of its way to present itself to a potential sinner, so-to-speak—the Sitra Achra is doing his job.
Without the Sitra Achra, there would be no free will. Without free will, there would be no way to earn the eternal pleasure of the World-to-Come. Without a way to earn the reward of the World-to-Come, there would be no point to Creation. 
But the period of earning reward is a limited one. Once Moshiach comes, then the period of free will is over. G–D will reveal Himself to the ENTIRE world, and evil will be impossible. The music will stop, and wherever a person finds themself spiritually, that is how they will be presented before the Bais Din on their final day of judgment. 

And the Sitra Achra? 
A distant memory.
No one knows this better than the Sitra Achra himself. Therefore, no one fights against redemption more than he does, trying to undermine even the smallest aspect however it might occur and by whomever it might occur through.
There can be all kinds of “technical” reasons why something redemption-related might have failed, but there is only ONE spiritual reason: the Sitra Achra. It may not be recognizable to the average onlooker, or even to the people who did not succeed. But it was him alright, and he is VERY good at covering his tracks. VERY good.
Which brings us back to Ya’akov and his sons. Everything about Ya’akov and his family was about redemption. EVERYTHING. That’s why it was so important for all the rocks to come together and become one under Ya’akov’s head, crucial for redemption. His fight with the Angel of Eisav was ONLY about exile and redemption.
That is why he wanted to reveal the End-of-Days to his sons before he died. If he couldn’t BE Moshiach, he would help his descendants to bring him as soon as possible. 
He knew it meant going to war against the Sitra Achra. The earlier people try to bring Moshiach, the harder it is to win that war, and the more the Sitra Achra fights to make all redemption efforts fail. It doesn’t matter how great the person, as long as what they plan to do can contribute, even in the smallest way, to redemption. It will get the Sitra Achra’s attention, and he will fight for failure.
This is what concerned Ya’akov and then Yosef. They both knew that whatever was going in their lives, it was for redemption. They both knew that the Sitra Achra was watching every move they made, waiting, looking for any opening to undermine their redemption efforts. The smallest mistake for them could have resulted in something catastrophic for history.
But you don’t have to be special to turn the Sitra Achra’s head. You can be a “simple” person, a relatively nobody. But if you are real with the idea of redemption, and want to participate in its development and arrival, you put yourself on the Sitra Achra’s “WANTED” list, and…
For years I did not travel outside of Eretz Yisroel. Just before I decided not to, I began a program called “Geulah b’Rachamim—A Merciful Redemption.” After years of learning about redemption, I decided to embark on a program designed to raise redemption-awareness. It is key to a MERCIFUL redemption.
At first, not much out of the ordinary happened. But as I became more involved in the redemption picture, bizarre things occurred, eventually “forcing” me to curb my redemption efforts. They could be explained one way or another, of course, but the net result was the same: interference in a redemption effort.
The entire reason I decided to travel again was to reignite the program. A lot of history has occurred over the last 10 to 15 years, and all signs point to a rough transition if we don’t get our redemption act together soon. I was even invited to speak on this very topic, “Geulah b’Rachamim.”
My entire passport fiasco could have occurred for a number of reasons (I’m still waiting for it, as my departure date looms). But it is a redemption-effort I am trying to make, and that’s all that counts. My battles with the Sitra Achra usually don’t end favorably for me. And as Ya’akov and Yosef knew, and the Jewish people found out over the next few parshios, without G–D’s help, we CANNOT succeed. 
The good news, as the Talmud says, is that we just have to ASK for that help (Kiddushin 30b), and G–D will be happy to give it. The moral of the story? If you’re going to do anything to further the cause of redemption, be sure to ask G–D to back you up.

Smotrich on Netanyahu —

Et tu Brute

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in closed talks on Thursday that he fears the leaders of the Yamina faction, Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Bezalel Smotrich, will join Blue and White after the elections and form a government with Benny Gantz, Channel 12 News reported.

Smotrich responded to Netanyahu with a sarcastic comment on his Twitter account.

"Netanyahu in closed talks today fears that Smotrich will vote in favor of the expulsion from Gush Katif, deliver the Bar Ilan speech, release thousands of terrorists in the Shalit deal, freeze construction in Judea and Samaria, defend the justice system for ten years and physically prevent any necessary amendment to it, will prevent the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar. That Smotrich is quite the leftist..." he wrote.


16 January 2020

. . . Only Two Meters

The Water Authority reports that Lake Kinneret/the Sea of Galilee rose three centimeters from yesterday and stands at 210.81 meters below sea level this morning. arutzsheva

A full lake needs only 2.01 meters

All the numbers show the sign below sea level. The water level of the Kinneret is 2.01 meters lower from the upper red line and 2.19 meters higher from the bottom red line and 4.06 meters higher from the historic lowest water level ever measured in the Kinneret. forecast

Upper red line
This sign shows that the Kinneret is full (maximum capacity). When this level is reached, the Dganya Dam is being opened.

Lower red line
The line height is 213.0 meters below sea level. According to ecology experts with the decline of the water level under this line starts a damage to ecological balance and water quality begins to decline. After the arrival of water to this level it is forbidden to pump or use water from the Kinneret.

Historical minimum water level
This level is below the pipes, so taking water from Lake Kinneret becomes impossible in terms of performance.

Water level information is obtained from the Water Authority

Cause of Autoimmune Diseases

Vaccines Containing Animal, Plant, Fungal Proteins Cause Autoimmune Diseases and Cancer

Here is the conclusion of my recently published paper, Analyzing 23000+ Epitopes Covering 82 Autoimmune Diseases in the Immune Epitope Database; There’s an Unmistakable Signature of the Role of Vaccines in Their Etiologies:

Vaccines containing animal, plant or fungal proteins are extremely dangerous and cause numerous autoimmune diseases and cancer. All non-target proteins in vaccines must be immediately removed using processes such affinity chromatography.

Here is an explanation in layman’s terms:
Proteins are a chain of amino acids. Proteins can have up to several hundred amino acids. Snippets of proteins (peptides), 7-15 amino acids in length are important in immunology. There are 20 types of amino acids. Each is assigned a letter (1 letter code).

Antibodies are proteins that can bind to peptides that have a specific amino acid sequence. Such a target peptide is known as an epitope. When an antibody binds to a peptide (which is part of a protein, which in turn may be part of a cell surface), it can trigger an immune attack on the cell. If the cell were a bacterium, the bacterium would be killed.

Humans (like all organisms) are made of numerous proteins (self-proteins). So, we have self-proteins, self-peptides and self-epitopes. In a healthy person, the body will not make antibodies that bind strongly to self-peptides (self-tolerance).

DNA is a chain of base-pairs. The DNA base-pair sequence determines the amino acid sequence in the protein produced. If there is a mutation that alters a single base-pair, the resulting protein will have a single amino acid that is altered. To prevent cancer, the immune system is capable of making antibodies against such altered peptides. Such antibodies can also weakly bind (cross react) to the unaltered normal peptide thus resulting in destruction of some healthy cells.

Say a normal protein has the following peptide (10 amino acids, each represented by its 1 letter code):


Say DNA in a cell mutates due to a carcinogen exposure and it alters the protein thus resulting in this peptide with a single amino acid change:


When the immune system makes antibodies targeted at ALSTLVVSKI (to attack the cell with the DNA mutation), the same antibodies can weakly bind to the normal ALSTLVVNKI peptide.

ALSTLVVNKI is an epitope associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

So, as a result of the immune system defending against cancer, the person can develop RA.

Now consider vaccines containing animal proteins. Animal proteins are very similar to human proteins, containing only occasional amino acid differences. An animal peptide could therefore have the ALSTLVVSKI sequence. Such a vaccine would fool the immune system into creating an anti-cancer immune response, creating antibodies targeted at ALSTLVVSKI. The result is vaccine induced RA

Therefore, one can predict that analyzing epitopes associated with autoimmune diseases, such single amino acid difference compared to animal peptides present in vaccines, would occur more frequently than can be expected merely by chance. The analysis confirms that this prediction is valid.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sponsors the Immune Epitope Data Base (IEDB). IEDB contains epitopes identified from the medical literature and organized by diseases and categories of diseases. All epitopes (23000+) associated with 82 autoimmune diseases in humans were analyzed.

The role of animal, plant, fungal proteins contained in vaccines in the etiology of autoimmune diseases have been described in humans and animals. BLASTP (programs that search protein databases using a protein query) was used to analyze IEDB derived epitopes for sequence alignment to animal, plant, fungal (APF) proteins present in vaccines and biologics. Specifically, the search was performed against bovine, chicken, porcine, guinea pig, African green monkey, Chinese hamster, murine, peanut, soy, wheat, corn, sesame and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly known as baker’s yeast) proteomes.

The results show that 57% of epitopes differed by exactly one amino acid residue from an APF peptide. 78% of the epitopes differed by up to two amino acid residues from an APF peptide. The rest of the epitopes were either identical or differed by more than two amino acid residues.
A majority of IEDB epitopes analyzed were 9-mer peptides. Comparing randomly selected 9-mer human peptides with APF proteomes, the probability of single amino acid residue difference (SAARD) outcomes was derived. This was used to estimate the probability that actual IEDB SAARD alignments to APF peptides were merely a chance outcome. The estimates show that the probability that the observed IEDB alignments to APF being merely a chance outcome are vanishingly small.

So the results make it absolutely clear that APF proteins in vaccines cause all these autoimmune diseases.

15 January 2020

Bagatz Tells Jewish Family to Apply to the PA for a Building Permit!?

High Court Justices Urge Settlers to 
Apply for PA Permit (to build their home?) 
as Bulldozers Raze 2 Homes
By David Israel -
*Interpret this as defacto areas of Eretz Yisrael ‘have-been-given’ to the Arabs

As of Wednesday morning, large Border Police forces, armed with tractors, have spread through the settlement of Yitzhar and its Kumi Ori neighborhood. Many residents have come to protest the destruction and are calling on the general public to join them – which would be difficult, seeing as the major arteries have been blocked by the IDF. The residents believe the evacuation would take several hours.

Large police forces raided the Kumi Ori neighborhood in the settlement of Yitzhar in Samaria on Wednesday and began demolishing the homes of the Zarug and Gozlan families there, Hakol Hayehudi reported. IDF forces at the same time blocked major intersections in Samaria to Jewish motorists. Two residents were arrested and a few more were detained and released. The Jatt Junction in Samaria was closed to traffic, as were other main junctions.

Last week, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition filed by Neria Zarug and his brother-in-law Aaron Gozlan against demolishing their homes, on the grounds that the authority for building enforcement in the territory in question, which is in Area B, rests with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

The justices ruled that the army is allowed to enforce planning and construction laws in the area only against Jews. However, according to Hakol Hayehudi, the same justices did strike a hopeful note, urging local residents to apply to the Palestinian Authority for building permits.

Who said Bagatz doesn’t have a sense of humor?

As of Wednesday morning, large Border Police forces, armed with tractors, have spread through the settlement of Yitzhar and its Kumi Ori neighborhood. Many residents have come to protest the destruction and are calling on the general public to join them – which would be difficult, seeing as the major arteries have been blocked by the IDF. The residents believe the evacuation would take several hours.

Source: JewishPress

* isn’t this according to that awful ‘Oslo’ accords? Didn’t Abbas say that Oslo doesn’t apply anymore? If The Deal of the Century gives our land to Arabs, they are in deep trouble.

UPDATE - Australia Still Needs Our Help and Prayers

UPDATE:  One Billion
The number of wildlife feared to have died in the bushfires ravaging Australia has soared to over one billion. Chris Dickman, an ecologist at the University of Sydney, said his previous estimate of half a billion was ‘conservative’ and only covered the state of New South Wales (NSW), where the fires began three months ago. The fires have ripped through the neighbouring state of Victoria and beyond as temperatures of 48C and 50mph winds caused the crisis to worsen. Professor Dickman said this and groups of wildlife for which there was no population data means the original figure has more than doubled. (Metro.co.uk)

Rescuers tend to burnt koalas in Australia

Koalas Need Help Surviving Australia's Fires | The Dodo

Koala and baby drinking

One hot droughty day a wild koala and its baby came down from a gum tree in our back yard at Crafers and accepted a drink and gum leaves

How the size of the Australian bushfires compare to California 

When you’re out driving, you may see kangaroo corpses by the side of the road and if the bodies are not marked, it’s really important to stop and check pouches
Rescuing Kangaroo Pouch Joey

Baby Kangaroo Joey burnt in Bushfire rescued


by Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

Q. What is your response to the Reform movement allowing recognition of people as Jewish who have a Jewish father, but not a Jewish mother?

A. Someone said that the poor will always be with us. That may or may not be true, but as far as Jews are concerned there are certain questions that are always with us: God and man, life and death… above all, the question of Jewish identity.

In other words, Who is a Jew?

Yitzhak Rabin asked, “How many faces has Judaism got?” Fair enough, but if we are going to ask questions why not ask, "How many parents does it take to make a Jew?"

One is reminded of the Sukkot question: how many walls does it take to make a sukkah? The answer? Ideally, four – but three will also do, and in certain circumstances two and a half. So, how many parents does it take to make a Jew?

It depends on whether either or both parents are Jewish themselves. Ideally, two Jewish parents make a child Jewish. Traditionally, one is also acceptable, provided it is the mother. And thereby hangs the tale.

What if the one parent who is Jewish is the father? (One could of course also ask what happens if neither parent is Jewish and the child wants to enter Judaism by conversion. But that’s another story).

The matrilineal principle – Jewishness by maternal descent – has been the rule throughout history.

When in 1958 David Ben Gurion wrote to scholars in many countries asking for their definition of a Jew, most respondents, whatever their personal affiliation, endorsed the traditional definition and said that "only one who is born to a Jewish mother or who is converted to Judaism according to halachah” could be regarded as Jewish (B Litvin, Jewish Identity, ed. SB Hoenig, 1965).

The Biblical source of the principle is Deut. 7:3-4, which refers to “your son” as the child of an Israelite mother, implying, according to rabbinic exegesis, that a child is not “your son” in a religious sense if the mother is non-Jewish.

This conclusion found in the Talmud (Kidd. 65b, 68b) is cited and accepted by all halachic authorities, including Maimonides and the Shulchan Aruch. There are no dissenting opinions, either in the Talmud or from later rabbis. This has been the unbroken rule throughout history.

Lord Jakobovits offers this rationale (The Timely and the Timeless, 1977, pages 198-217):
1. The certainty of maternity must be set against the possible doubt of paternity.

2. Even in nature the mother’s bond with her child is firmer than the father’s.

3. The mother has the superior influence on the child’s religious development.

4. In a mixed marriage, Jewish law technically regards the child as having only one parent, the mother.

Outside orthodoxy, in an age in which our numbers are not increasing whilst mixed marriage is, both the rule and the rationale are questioned.

David Goldberg, a British Liberal rabbi, argues that the halachic definition "cannot be justified biologically, eugenically, genetically or educationally" and that "can only be defended on the basis of tradition" (Jewish Chronicle, 27 August, 1982).

It is also argued that commitment to Judaism is a more important pointer than whether or not the mother happens to be Jewish.

The outcome is that the Reform movement is prepared to accept as Jewish the child of a couple of whom either parent is a Jew, on the basis that this will make Judaism more inclusive. There are many good reasons why this policy must be opposed:

1. A person who wants to be accepted as Jewish has the option of conversion.

2. It is a counsel of defeat to confer Jewish status upon people for the sake of increasing our numbers; the constructive option is to make better Jews of the Jews we have, and to encourage them to have larger families of Jewish children.

3. The policy would encourage mixed marriage and threaten our survival, especially since twice as many Jewish men marry out compared to women.

4. Since the Jewish character of the home is still largely in the hands of the woman, a non-Jewish mother is unlikely to create a Jewish atmosphere for her children.

5. If Jewish law can be unilaterally turned on its head, why maintain other possibly inconvenient principles or practices of Judaism?

6. Since orthodoxy will not join in the Reform policy but remain pledged to the halachah, Reform will have irrevocably split the entire Jewish people.

7. The policy is not fair to the next generation, who will find that their parents have saddled them with an unnecessary identity crisis.

Source: ArutzSheva

14 January 2020

Another Miracle . . .

Jersey City Terrorists’ Bomb ‘Could Have Killed People as Far as *Five Football Fields Away’
By Hana Levi Julian

JewishPress Law enforcement officials say a bomb found in the van registered to one of the two suspects in the horrific attack on a Jersey City kosher grocery last month could have killed or maimed people as far as five football fields away – and there was enough material in the van to create a second bomb like it. [...]

There but for the grace of God and the courage of Jersey City’s finest, it could have been infinitely worse.

Suspects in Jersey City shooting attack had powerful bomb in van JPost

"There's no organization to look into. There's nobody to infiltrate. There's no undercover work we can do. There's no phone we can tap. There's no anything, our usual techniques to get inside the minds of these people," added Ehrie.

*Some put it as “up to a mile away, with enough explosives to make another bomb.” Either way, a tremendous tragedy.


Bennett is doing such a good job as DM and the former PM Netanyahu threatened to fire him and Smotrich, against the betterment of Eretz Yisrael, and as a desperate political egotistical maneuver.

This proves he puts his political aspirations before the safety and fullness of Eretz Yisrael and the Jews of Israel.

He most definitely will not be PM anymore. If the Israelis have had enough, they should vote only for  the New Right, and Bennett, in order to make him PM, Shmotrich as DM, and Shaked in her former position. That is, if there will even be an election.

Bennett Preventing Establishment of Palestinian State IY”H

PA envoy to the Arab League blasts Bennett's decisions on Area C, says Israel planning to Annex this area.
[see "illegal arab building" (below)]

Diab al-Louh, the envoy of the “State of Palestine” to the Arab League, accuses the US and Israel of a coordinated policy, as part of the “Deal of the Century”, aimed at separating the northern and southern areas of Judea and Samaria and harming the Palestinian Arabs.

Map showing Areas A, B and C, east of the Green Line
Speaking at a press conference in Cairo on Monday, al-Louh said that an annexation of territories in Judea and Samaria by Israel would not change the legal and historical status of these territories, nor the eternal right of the "Palestinian people" to the land, the right to self-determination, the “right of return” and the establishment of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem.

The only deterrent to stopping the crimes of the "settlement", he claimed, is the prosecution of the leaders of the "occupation" at the International Criminal Court. arutzsheva

Who’s Funding Illegal Palestinian Settlements in Area C—Nearly 10,000 Cases

JewishPress. According to Israeli activist watchdog groups such as Regavim, during the last five years, illegal Palestinian settlements and infrastructure have sprawled across more than 9,000 dunams in more than 250 Area C locations, supported by more than 600 kilometers of illegally constructed access roads and more than 112,000 meters of retaining walls and terracing. This massive works project is being conducted in broad daylight, often heralded by tall announcement placards and proud press releases.

"Area C —also called Judea and Samaria—comprises roughly 60 percent of the West Bank. The majority of Area C residents are Israelis—an estimated 325,000 alongside some 300,000 Arabs. Under the Oslo Accords, only the Israeli Civil Administration can authorize new construction in the zone—for Israeli and Arab alike."

"To create a de facto Palestinian State without further negotiation or even diplomatic consultation with the Israelis, European countries, individually and through the EU, have pumped hundreds of millions of euros annually into scores of illegal state-building and related projects—called Area C “interventions.” Just one cluster of the “European Union Area C Development Programme” boasts a €300 million annual commitment, and within three years, is budgeted to reach about €1.5 billion. A single 1650-meter roadnear Jenin in Area C was funded with a €500,000 allocation.”

Most of new Area C settlements are not natural Arab urban growth or urban sprawl. Rather, they are often strategically scattered to effectively carve up Area C, sometimes surround Jewish villages, and sometimes push onto Israeli nature or military reserves. In many instances, Arab residents from Areas A and B are bused in, encouraged by incentives to relocate or start a second home in the new settlements. Some structures are makeshift festooned with the logo of the European Union. Some are multi-floor office centers. Other times, palatial homes are built. The gamut of construction styles can be seen.

In several cases, the illegal constructions are deliberately established on Israeli military reserves. Since the 1970s, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have maintained military training and firing ranges, such as Firing Zone 918. That zone now has illegal settlements.

Pompeo: A Broader Strategy of Deterrence

Pompeo: Soleimani Elimination part of a Broader Strategy of Deterrence
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy of deterring challenges by US foes that also applies to China and Russia, according to Channel News Asia.

In a speech at Stanford Univesity, entitled "The Restoration Of Deterrence: The Iranian Example", Pompeo focused on what he called an administration strategy to establish "real deterrence" against Iran, following earlier Republican and Democratic policies that encouraged Tehran's "malign activity”. ArutzSheva

Pompeo: Killing of Soleimani marks beginning of new US policy to deter enemies
Assassination of Iranian general part of larger policy aimed at pushing back on Iranian aggression, reestablishing deterrence, says Pompeo. Speaking at The Hoover Institute, a conservative think-tank at Stanford, on Monday, Pompeo laid out the administration’s case for eliminating Soleimani.

“There is no terrorist, except for Osama Bin Laden, who has more American blood on his hands than Qassem Soleimani. He killed 600 of our American patriots. I knew some of these young men. He is the mastermind of the most recent attacks on our forces in Iraq,” including a deadly rocket attack by pro-Iranian militias on an Iraqi base housing US forces in December, and the subsequent assault on the US embassy in Baghdad.” arutzsheva

Unidentified aircraft strike Iranian militias in Syria
Militias along the Iraq-Syria border have been on high alert since the strike that killed IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani two weeks ago.

Dozens of militants and Syrian regime forces have defected and Iranian militias are on high alert after a series of airstrikes targeted their positions in areas near Al-Bukamal in the Deir Ezzor area of eastern Syria in recent days.

Airstrikes last Thursday targeted warehouses storing weapons belonging to Iranian militias in a village near Al-Bukamal, according to the STEP news agency. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), drones flew over the area to monitor the movements of pro-Iranian militias in the region.

On Friday, ammunition depots and vehicles belonging to Iranian militias in Al-Bukamal were targeted by airstrikes. On Saturday, unknown aircraft destroyed the headquarters of Iranian militias in the villages of Majawda and al-Abbas in the area that were holding weapons and ammunition. JPost

Israel Hebrew Language Week

Only in Israel

In Honor of Hebrew Language Week,
the Academy of the Hebrew Language,
together with City Pass and
the Jerusalem Municipality,
created 25 Hebrew Language Posters
for display at the Light Rail Stations in Jerusalem

13 January 2020

The Miracle of Trump. . . explained

[one thing I have noticed about Trump, the man, is that when you have an opportunity, you take it; otherwise he will enforce his will upon you]
The Miracle of Trump
By Yishai Fleisher

Most people think that miracles are supernatural events. But the greatest miracles are actually when something unnatural happens which then leads to a massive and unexpected turn of events. The greatest miracle in history is, of course, the splitting of the Red Sea. But what made this miracle so amazing is the change it wrought—the Jewish people were about to be annihilated by Pharaoh’s army, and suddenly that very army was annihilated before their very eyes.

Similarly, in the dramatic Purim story, the Jewish nation was saved from what had seemed the foregone conclusion of Haman’s genocidal government decree. And on Hanukkah, we celebrate the unlikely victory of the tiny Maccabean army over the overwhelming force of the Seleucid Greeks.

Some would argue that the greatest miracle since the Splitting of the Sea was the establishment of the Jewish state. Here too, it wasn’t just that a nation returned to its original homeland and declared independence. Rather, it was that the Jewish people had just come out of Auschwitz, burned and devastated by the Nazi extermination machine. To come out of that and then turn around and fight a physical war against seven armies and win against all odds… the birth of Israel is indeed a miracle on par with the Exodus.

Yet more miracles were in store: In the Six-Day War, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and his cronies wanted to finish off the work of the Holocaust and “push Israel into the sea.” Instead, the enemies watched as Israel liberated the biblical heartland, the Golan Heights and the Sinai.

These were all instances in which the Jewish people were afforded jaw-dropping turn-around victories—with ramifications that changed the course of history.

of course, the Miracles were given by HKB”H

Similarly, just a few years ago, Israel was groaning under the weight of the antagonistic administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, who did everything he could to empower the enemies of Israel and set the stage for the serious reduction of Israel’s size and security.

And then, when it seemed Obama had changed America’s policy toward Israel and the steam engine of history was barreling down the track toward the Jewish state, America made a 180-degree turn and we experienced the miracle of President Donald Trump.

Ruthlessly reversing years of careful crafting by the left, Trump tore up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s nuclear empowerment of Iran, defunded the murderous junta of the Palestinian Authority and set the teeth of the United Nations on edge for spewing its hateful narrative against the Jewish state.

He did all these coming off the presidency of Obama, who had been leading the most powerful country in the world to empower Iran with money and nuclear arms, to legitimize the “struggle” of the Palestinian Authority and to use the United Nations to strike at Israel.

So it’s not just that Trump is doing great things to bring sanity, and the will of the American people, back to American foreign policy. It’s that he came just in the nick of time, miraculously as it were, to reverse the deeply anti-Israel stance of the previous administration—an administration which would have brought to a boil the anti-Israel hate movements in Europe, at the United Nations and in the Muslim world.

Instead, it is the United Nations, the P.A. and the Iranian regime which are being discredited and disempowered, while Sunni Arab states are coming closer to Israel. And, critically, Jewish rights in the ancestral heartland of Judea and Samaria are being defended by the U.S. administration, as unabashedly enunciated by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump is indeed a kind of miracle in our time. However, Jewish miracles are always about God’s intervention together with human action. If Trump wins a second term, it is up to Israel to walk through the door, or through the Red Sea, as it were.

In the Trump era, Israel needs to be like Trump: bold and confident. Israel should boldly move forward with asserting Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Israel should unflinchingly dismantle the repressive and corrupt P.A.. The Jewish state should deal a decisive blow to the homegrown jihadism that has taken root in the Israeli territories, in Israeli Arab cities and even in the Knesset. The Trump era is an opportunity to take big, bold steps.

Indeed, if the sea is split, let us not stop until we’re all the way across.

When we get to the other side, we’ll see even greater miracles.