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31 December 2011

An Open Letter To The Beit Shemesh Spitter ...

Shavua Tov

The following is from Aish.com as viewed on Yeshiva World News An open letter to the Beit Shemesh Spitter

How dare you?
How dare you reject the Torah’s way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance

[after many 'how dare you's which I won't repeat,
the following I feel very worthy of reading]

Perhaps you should try following the example of a real Torah Jew, the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, of blessed memory.

A non-religious Israeli couple was married for 12 years and could not have children. They were distraught and decided to seek counsel from the renowned Rosh Yeshiva. It was a hot summer day and the couple knocked on the door. The woman was wearing her typical summer attire and was not modestly dressed.

Rebbetzin Finkel opened the door and greeted the couple. “How wonderful that you came to meet my husband!” Then she turned to the wife and warmly said, “You know, my husband is a great scholar – he learns all day. When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don’t you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match. And we’ll go in together to speak to him.”

They entered his study and told the rabbi why they had come. Rabbi Finkel had great difficulty talking due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s. He mustered his strength and said to the woman, “You and I have a lot in common. We both know what suffering is.” He began to sob, along with Rebbetzin Finkel. Then the couple started crying.

Rabbi Finkel spoke with the couple for a while, offering words of comfort. He then took their names, and vowed to pray for them.
No yelling, no threats, no spitting. Just love, respect and compassion of one Jew for another.

Maimonides writes (Laws of Character Development, 6:7) that the only way to draw people close is through love. That is how the Almighty relates to us, and that is how He wants us to relate to others.

Abandon your hate and choose the Torah’s path of warmth and understanding.

I dare you.

(Source: Aish.com, as viewed on Yeshiva World News

28 December 2011

Christian 'Feminist' Converts to Orthodox Judaism

The Back of the Synagogue is Not the Back of the Bus

By Amy Edelstein

Editors Note: The interviews below were conducted with two Orthodox Jewish women regarding the Jewish view of femininity for What is Enlightenment? magazine, a liberal, religiously unaffiliated publication.


"She converted to Orthodox Judaism after being a feminist!?" my colleagues exclaimed to me. "We have to speak with her!" Tamar Frankiel, who taught at Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley...led me to question many of my prior assumptions We were discussing the work of Tamar Frankiel, author and educator, whose book The Voice of Sarah portrays the purpose and meaning in the traditional roles for women in Judaism. Drawn by the spiritual depth she felt in the Jewish ritual observances for women and by the unusual strength of character of the Orthodox women she had met, Frankiel underwent the unlikely conversion from liberal Christian feminist to practicing Orthodox Jew.

"As I grew to know [Orthodox women]," she says in a candid description of her experience, my first feelings of condescending pity toward these victims of patriarchy changed to admiration and wonderment. I knew I could never live like that, but I appreciated that they were living a life of integrity with a spiritual richness of its own. That was ten years ago. Today I find myself speaking in much the same way to others as those women spoke to me then. . . . I don't expect such statements to be any more believable to feminists than they were to me ten years ago. I can only assert that there is truth behind their simplicity."

The fact that Frankiel, who has taught comparative religion at Stanford, Princeton and U.C. Berkeley, found the message of this gendered belief system so compelling that she left her liberal feminist freedoms in favor of a far more restrictive lifestyle led me to question many of my prior assumptions. And mainly, I began to wonder: Could Judaism, whose "faceless" G-d nevertheless seems to have a very masculine face, really offer women a spiritual life of equal depth and significance to the one it offers men?

The Judaic religion is built on traditional roles for women and men, with elaborate commandments governing all aspects of the observant Jew's life, from conjugal relations to time and place of prayer. Its very structure depends on man fulfilling his distinct duties and woman fulfilling hers. Men hold the positions of authority as the religious leaders and lawmakers while women are relegated to hearth and home. "Separate but equal," some may argue, but as far as feminist scholars such as Rita Gross are concerned, Judaism practically tops the list of patriarchal religious offenders. So when Tamar Frankiel, with her background in the feminist and equal rights movements, praised this "separate but equal" tradition primarily because of the position of women, we raised more than an eyebrow.

Could Judaism really offer women a spiritual life of equal depth and significance to the one it offers men?
Among observant Jews, the rabbi is meant to be the final authority on all issues spiritual and mundane, including everything from whom to marry to the finer points of theological debate. So I called Rabbi David Edelman, leader of the Lubavitch Orthodox congregation in western Massachusetts, to gain some insight into this gendered way of life. As presiding rabbi over a large Jewish community for the last forty-nine years, Rabbi Edelman, I thought, would be well-versed in both the theory and practice of the Orthodox tradition.

"Can you tell me about the traditional roles for men and women in Judaism?" I asked him last December. "You want to know how men and women should be?" he began. "All the answers are in the Torah." Then he proceeded to tell me about the great Biblical matriarchs and the exalted position of women in Judaism. "Women are more spiritual than men," he said, to my astonishment. They naturally have a closer connection to G-d. Men need to be reminded to pray. That's why they have to come to the synagogue. Women can pray by themselves because they pray deeper. And you know, it is said that when the Messiah comes, men will be raised to the spiritual level of women."

His description stood in stark contrast to the Orthodoxy I had pictured. I had expected Rabbi Edelman to explain why, in Judaism, women are prohibited from chanting the holy scripture; why they sit behind a screen during public prayer; why they are considered impure, unclean and not to be touched every month because of their physiology; and why men utter a prayer every morning thanking G-d for not making them a woman. But the rabbi then told me, "I have six daughters. They never missed out on anything. You should have seen them all together, walking down the street to the yeshiva school—what a picture! They were modest, but they were always nice-looking, with a little lipstick. You should talk to them; they'll tell you they never missed out on anything!" In Yiddish there's a special word, "nachas," used to describe the often less-than-objective pride parents can take in their children. So was Rabbi Edelman kvelling [gushing] with nachas? Or had this way of life actually given his daughters a deep sense of self-fulfillment?

I couldn't help wondering what Rabbi Edelman's daughters were really like. Would I find them to be meek or subservient, with a narrow scope of interests centered around teething and bread making? Would they be restless in their restricted sphere, with all the freedoms of the modern world tempting them from just around the corner? Would they be passive and accepting of their lot, reluctant to question, challenge or reform, fearful of retribution from an angry G-d or a conservative rabbi? Or was Rabbi Edelman accurate in saying they really hadn't missed out on anything? My curiosity piqued, I arranged to meet Esther Kosovsky, one of Rabbi Edelman's by now, at least to me, illustrious daughters.

Esther Kosovsky is the director of the Jewish Educational Resource Center in western Massachusetts, mother of eight and wife of a rabbi. We met in the Springfield yeshiva school, the very school that the rabbi had mentioned. Walking down the hallway, alive with sounds of children singing Hebrew songs, I was struck by her quiet confidence and self-assurance. She was all that her father had described her to be. Not only was she attractive, but there was a light in her eyes, an unusual serenity and vitality. As she spoke about her love, appreciation and respect for this gendered tradition, I found myself reflecting on the great Biblical matriarchs—the Sarahs, Rebeccas and Deborahs who had deep spiritual passion and had served G-d with valiant devotion, powerful faith and rare wisdom. As I glanced around the book-lined office, the white-bearded Lubavitch rabbis seemed to smile and twinkle at me from their picture frames on the wall.

Unlike Esther Kosovsky, most of the women I have known are women who grew up in the wake of the feminist movement, beneficiaries of many newfound and hard-won freedoms. But in spite of all the opportunities available to us, most of us have had to grapple with insecurity, confusion and self-doubt around our role, position and even spiritual path in a world of shifting values. In grocery stores and newsstands around the country, magazine racks sport colorful arrays of women's magazines, all eager to help us navigate our perplexity with "how-to" recipes for finding fulfillment in work, relationships, sexuality and motherhood. In light of the simple confidence of these Orthodox women, I began to consider what had been for me, at least up until now, an inconceivable question: Could it be possible that women adhering to a traditional feminine role in this patriarchal religion might actually end up having more inner strength and higher self-esteem than women free to explore an infinite number of lifestyles in the postfeminist world?

I listened carefully to what Esther Kosovsky and Tamar Frankiel had to say as we talked about some provocative and pointed issues. Their unswerving conviction in their own rich experience as observant Orthodox women speaks for itself.

Interview with Tamar Frankiel:

[Interview with Esther Kosofsky can be read here .

WIE: What led you to convert to Orthodox Judaism after being a feminist? That seems very unusual.

TAMAR FRANKIEL: Yes, it is. When I was teaching comparative religion at Stanford, I met the man who would later become my husband. A commitment to something that is deep and profound gives you a center from which you can do other things He was returning to the Jewish tradition after not having been an observant Jew. First, I found the practice of Shabbat very attractive. It was a richer, more meaningful way of life. I had no intention of becoming Orthodox and I still don't like the labels, but I undertook a Conservative conversion and then found that I was much more deeply attracted to the observance than even the rabbi who converted me! My husband was attending Orthodox services. I would go with him and really rage at what I felt was the inequality of women, but at the same time I felt the authenticity and the depth of the people who were there. So I started talking to the women who had been involved for a long time. They were very strong women. I was sort of shocked by their perspective on life, by their confidence and by their ability to manage their lives. They were not the oppressed, second-class citizens I had thought they would be. It was a process of coming to a depth in my own spiritual practice and reconciling that with what it means to be a woman and to fight oppression. I had to find a way to express my own voice. That's how I ended up writing The Voice of Sarah. It became clear to me that there was another way of seeing things besides women as "feminists and liberated" or "oppressed and religious."

WIE: You described being attracted by the confidence that the Orthodox women expressed. Did you not see the same confidence among women in the feminist movement?

TF: I didn't see much spirituality among the women in the feminist movement. The women whom I knew at that time were politically oriented, and even when I met women who were religiously involved in some way, it often seemed as if they were trying to be like men. After meeting Orthodox women who had a sense of their own being, I realized that we really have to think about whether there is a gendered quality to spiritual work and whether taking the man's role really serves women. The Hasidic women I met had a long tradition that's been passed down to them of how to be with G-d. Doing the simple rituals and observances that they did, which were private, not political, was extraordinarily satisfying to them. They had a sense of their own purpose, and they didn't seem to need to do what their husbands were doing. Of course I asked, "Are they just brainwashed?" But over a period of years of knowing many of these women, I realized that, no, they really weren't. They really did have a sense of deep satisfaction.

WIE: When I was describing your championing the Orthodox way of life for women after having been involved in the feminist movement to a feminist friend of mine, she commented, "I know what that's all about"--the implication being that you must be someone who has sold out or even gone off the deep end. Have you encountered that response before?

TF: Oh yes, sure.

WIE: How did you explain your attraction to this traditional and more restricted role to your feminist colleagues in a way that convinced them that you hadn't gone crazy?

TF: I've found that a commitment to something that is deep and profound gives you a center from which you can do other things. Sure, there are things you cut out of your life. But I found that once I cut them out, for the most part they really hadn't been nourishing me anyway. It's the spiritual work that's nourishing. And what I saw among the Orthodox women whom I respected was a realization that we are all in this together and if we don't help each other--men and women--none of us will advance. There is an organic sense among these women that we're all responsible for each other, for the community and particularly for the future, for the next generation. Judaism insists that women be involved in what is called "the redemption," which means the perfection of the world. It can't be done only by men. The tradition is that it was because of the righteous women that the Jews were redeemed from Egypt, so it's going to be because of the righteous women that the final redemption will come. It can't be done without the women, and that means that women have a crucial and unique role according to even the most traditional interpreters of Judaism.

WIE: By saying to women, "You have a responsibility for the redemption of the world," the tradition calls on women to take their spirituality and their own lives seriously. There's something very moving about this way of cultivating that sense of dignity and spiritual responsibility.

TF: Yes, absolutely. I've seen it among many of the Hasidic women. They take themselves seriously spiritually and see themselves as having a responsibility. Even if it sounds genderist or sexist, I think women do have to take seriously the question: If women are supposed to have a special role and it's not exactly what men are doing, and it is supposed to be helping the whole world, what is that role?

WIE: It's a complex question. In your book, The Voice of Sarah, you also wrote, "I think we need to face the potentially disturbing question, "Is it possible that some forms of spirituality are more feminine and some are more masculine?" What do you think about that now?

TF: I grew up with a strong belief in equality, and the feminist movement enhanced that. I'm not sure what it would mean if we took it seriously that there might be very different things that people need to do in order to grow spiritually. In Judaism, I think what's meant by "a woman's place is in the home" is that the inwardness or spirituality of women develops in a different way than the inwardness of men. My husband seems to think that men just wouldn't do any inner work at all if they didn't have to be out there in groups davening [praying], doing the more public thing. I think that's a little extreme, but—

A woman can't just do the rituals and take care of the kids and expect magically to feel as though she's living a spiritual life
WIE: Is that a Jewish view, to say that women would gravitate toward an active relationship with G-d even if they didn't have an outward structure, whereas men wouldn't?

TF: Yes, that's right. That wouldn't be true for everybody, but women don't seem to need those external structures to grow in their spiritual life the way men do, although they may be helpful.

WIE: Can you describe what it is about women's roles and their particular rituals, laws and prayers that brings the awareness of G-d into their lives and gives their lives a deeper meaning and a broader context?

TF: The rituals that are marked out for women have to do with directly bringing spirituality into the physical. Men have certain physical symbols that are supposed to help them do that, like putting on tefillin, [phylacteries, ritual prayer ornaments] and wearing the tzitzit, the fringes; whereas women's mitzvot [commandments] are directly connected to the body, to the physical, to giving birth and all the women's processes. It sanctifies these physical processes for women. Women don't have to set foot outside their own home to create everything that Judaism wants women to do. And when you do set foot outside your home, it's to expand that into the community. It's like an inward center that radiates outward. But a woman can't just do the rituals and take care of the kids and expect magically to feel as though she's living a spiritual life. If a woman is doing that, she's living a traditional life but not necessarily a spiritual one.

WIE: The laws governing marriage and intimate relations seem to be meant to foster a coming together between men and women that is based on each person independently worshipping G-d in everything they do. The relationship described is very beautiful—intimate, loving, respectful but not sentimental. You've explained the philosophical basis as, "When husband and wife unite at permitted times . . . their union reflects the union of masculine and feminine in the divine. This is a special kind of holy act: two people in their physical being and their natural energies reflect the culmination of the divine creative process, making a unity from what had been a duality. . . . Only in the union between man and woman can we touch with our own natures the process that the whole world is about: to come together, to overcome our separation, to be one." Can you elaborate on how this teaching for men and women helps us realize divine union?

TF: Judaism affirms that you can come together in these ways with respect and love and, yes, it is unsentimental. You are manifesting something that goes way beyond our ordinary consciousness. It goes into the depth that unites everything. The idea is to go beyond the personal and the feelings of the two people at any given moment. Maybe they've been doing really well. Maybe they've been having a lot of difficulties, but they're able to overcome them. It affirms that possibility of union even in the midst of all our conflict and division.

WIE: There are relative differences between men and women. When it comes to ultimate realization or union with G-d, how significant do you feel these differences between men and women are?

TF: These differences in conditioning don't mean anything when you get to the ultimate. An important part of the Jewish spiritual path is ratzo vashov, running and returning. You run to G-d and then you come back. This means you can achieve experiences of union, but you're always almost instantaneously brought back into your physical reality. So, even when a person achieves great heights in spirituality, when the person brings it back down, so to speak, they're going to again be speaking through their own conditioning.

WIE: Many different teachings, like Judaism, say that fully embracing our womanhood or our manhood will enable us to realize our full spiritual capacity. Could there be another approach that, without denying the differences between us, allows us to focus on our essential unity and then discover naturally and freely what the differences between the genders are?

TF: Experiencing unconditioned reality is one thing; gendered reality is another—whether you can "freely and naturally" discover it or not. But when I pray or meditate, I'm not the least bit interested in these issues. This has absolutely no relevance when I open up my prayer book or when I sit down to meditate. I am just concerned with either contemplation, speaking from my heart or the different kinds of work one can do in those contexts. I think being concerned with that kind of identity while I'm involved in a specific practice oriented toward my relationship with G-d would be completely distracting. I don't know why anyone would want to do that. When you're doing your spiritual work, contemplating the One, that's what prayer is supposed to be all about. But bringing it back down, then we have to realize that we are in gendered bodies and we do have societies that treat us in certain ways according to our gender and expect certain things of us. And then we need to deal with these issues again. We don't stay up there in a spiritual state. G-d wants us to create that state here on earth. I think the important question is: How can we best create a world where divinity is realized. Because from the Jewish point of view, that's ultimately our job.

25 December 2011

Putting Women in the Picture

For the Kavod of Torah .... Putting Women in the Picture

An ultra-Orthodox man suspected of cursing and spitting at a religious woman in the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh last week, was arrested Saturday night. According to the indictment, a number of men assaulted Alisa Coleman, who was helping girls onto a school bus to the religious-Zionist "Orot Banot" elementary school for girls. According to her attackers she was immodestly dressed......

"When God said 'it is not good for man to be alone' and made him a helpmeet, this is not what He intended," said Adina Bar-Shalom, daughter of Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

This is not the right behavior of frum men ... This 'acting out' is juvenile and irresponsible. This behavior gives credence and support to Mrs Horowitz's concern about the influence on young boys. "They are taught that they are lords who sit in the front. And they learn from this that it is possible to relate to women as though they are garbage. But where have they themselves come from? Didn't women give birth to them?"

Kol HaKavod Yocheved Horowitz

The following are quotes and selected portions of a Haaretz article titled, "The Original Israeli Rosa Parks," about why she [Mrs Horowitz] placed herself in the front of a Mehadrin bus. It's a long article and exceptional for Haaretz. I only hope that PM Binyamin Netanyahu gets to read this, and thus understands that the other female who thought she was emulating Rosa Parks actually resorted to provocation and nastiness and in her actions behaved as an ignorant fraud.

From her own words, Mrs Horowitz:

"I've done this so people won't say the Torah commands the scorning and humiliation of women."

"We're talking about an idea, a concept. About the fact that women are not marionettes. They have a body, a soul, a spirit. They have feelings. And a man is supposed to respect a woman more than his own body. The Rambam says something that is the basis of all peace in the home: 'He should honor her more than his own body, and love her like his own body,'"

"That people tell a woman to go to the back of the bus and repeat this like a mantra - 'Women to the back' - is outrageous..."

"What do you mean by 'men's area'? A geographical area?" she wondered. "What is mehadrin? Are you talking about an etrog, a lulav?" she queried, referring to two of the principal symbols used during the festival of Sukkot. "Nowhere in rabbinical law does it say that it is forbidden to sit behind a woman, not in the Shulchan Arukh and not in the Yoreh De'ah [two classical compilations of Jewish law]. What is written in the Torah and in rabbinical law is that it is forbidden to humiliate sons and daughters of Israel."

"And she adds: "I became a feminist when I witnessed the oppression of women."

"People cite all kinds of statements from the sages, and in that way cover their wickedness and hatred for women. And that is the worst of all, because women have not studied those things. And they don't know what is correct and what isn't."

Horowitz is a tall woman of 51 with comely features. Her personality combines a rare openness with stricter observance of rabbinical law than many "regular" ultra-Orthodox people. In ultra-Orthodox society, which is accustomed to labeling and cataloging people according to their social and religious affiliation and pedigree, most probably they would attribute her difference to the fact that she is European-born.

Horowitz was born in France, the daughter of a devout ultra-Orthodox family. Her father was a French-born rabbi; her mother was a teacher at an ultra-Orthodox seminary for girls in England. She grew up in a small ultra-Orthodox bubble of a few families that gathered around the yeshiva which her father headed in a small town some 60 kilometers from Paris. It was a Lithuanian yeshiva established in the Novardok tradition, known for its strictness. But the community's girls studied in a relatively lenient atmosphere.

"We studied everything. Alongside sacred studies and lessons about modesty we studied French and mathematics. History. All around was open nature and forest. It was a wonderful childhood and my girlfriends and I were like sisters,"
she reminisces.

When she was 13 her beloved father died, and her family immigrated to Israel. She was sent to the Rabbi Wolf seminary in Bnei Brak, but did not acclimate to the society of the Israeli girls there. After a year, she transferred to the Beit Yaakov seminary in Manchester.

Horowitz: "We mainly had Jewish studies: Torah, Prophets, morality, worldview and prayer. We loved it, because we had wonderful teachers. There were girls from Denmark, Russia, Belgium, France and of course England, and I tutored some of them because they had come from homes where they hadn't done Jewish studies.

"We were taught mostly by rabbis, and the director was a Gur Hasid. They instilled in us the idea that a woman has to be subordinate to a man and be a good wife. This was strong brainwashing, and it had an influence on me."

Horowitz married at the age of 17, in an arranged match with a boy from the extreme wing of Neturei Karta - an extreme Hasidic sect known for its opposition to Zionism. She has four children, all of whom were educated at Yiddish-speaking institutions. About a decade ago, she and her husband divorced, and she subsequently remarried.

Over the years Horowitz has worked as a lactation counselor for the women of Mea She'arim. She dismisses those who say that seating women in the rear of bus is designed to make it easier for them to nurse modestly: "Anyone who is nursing [already] knows to go to the back. She does this quietly. But I don't think that women tend to nurse on the bus. Usually there are screaming babies on a bus. In any case, that isn't a reason to put the women in the back like sheep and cattle. You have to rely on women's intelligence and their common sense."

"In ultra-Orthodox society, it's customary to think that woman are not worthy of being leaders," ... "But it's a fact," she goes on, referring to the Bible, "that Judith did a brave deed when she went out on Hanukkah to the military camp to kill the Syrian general Holofernes and saved the Jewish people. And Deborah was a judge. It wasn't customary for women to hold public positions then. So why did these women become leaders? Because there wasn't anyone else of stature. In Deborah's case, it never occurred to the wise men to choose a man as a judge in her place simply because he was a man. Also on the issue of separation, it can be said that if there isn't anyone else who will protest, then I am protesting."

"She says she is especially concerned about the influence of gender segregation on young boys. 'They are taught that they are lords who sit in the front. And they learn from this that it is possible to relate to women as though they are garbage. But where have they themselves come from? Didn't women give birth to them?'"

"I am acting because I can't stand to see other women humiliated," ... They have been educated to exist with their eyes closed and I say that where there isn't a man, try to be a woman," smiling, as she paraphrases Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers ).

"I don't, heaven forbid, have any interest in provocation. But I hope that what happened today will happen every day. At first, one woman will sit in the front of the bus and then a second one will join her and then a third will come. That gradually everything will return to normal, and that people will learn to relate to women."

Please read the full article in Haaretz, which they deserve a 'thank you' for being fair in reporting.


The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Views on Women Today,
by Susan Handelman, Ph.D.

Selected portions from Dr Handelman's essay:

The Rebbe saw within the stirrings of the Women's Movement a deep spiritual inner dimension and strong redemptive energies.

There are many forms of knowledge, and there is a certain dimension of understanding one gains only through an insider's position, and through having known one's subject "face to face." This is particularly true in relation to a "Rebbe," a figure who functions on many levels -- not just as a thinker, writer, teacher, rabbi or public leader, but also as an intimate, personal counselor. So I hope to add a personal perspective to the literature about the Lubavitcher Rebbe's relation to women's issues. While it is quite clear to me that the Rebbe understood and sympathized deeply with the yearnings and aspirations of women on many levels, it is important to first portray briefly here the larger theological-metaphysical framework in which he perceived their strivings, and their place in his over-all vision of Jewish history, the mission of the Jewish people and redemption.

"In an oft-quoted passage from a talk on Jewish education for women given in 1990, the Rebbe reinterprets the basic talmudic and halachic sources regarding women's Torah study, draws out the practical implications, exhorts women to increase their study and teaching, and asks for the community at large to support this endeavor. He further asks: why has this increase in Torah learning for women occurred specifically in the recent era?

On the one hand, the Rebbe answers, there is the traditional idea that each generation further from the Divine revelation at Sinai is on a "lower" level; and so there is an increasingly greater need to bolster it. Nevertheless, he continues, the result has been a great good, an increase in Torah study; and this increase in Torah study by women he emphatically describes as one of the "positive innovations of the later generations." 3/

Kabbalistic and chassidic teachings have a special understanding of the role of the feminine in the Era of Redemption and the World-to-Come. Then, say the classical sources, all the "feminine" aspects of the world will emerge from their concealment and diminution in the unredeemed world and rise to the highest stature. 5/

The Rebbe: Unity is more true than diversity; the real truth is the interdependence of all things into a unity, the Unity of G-d. The multiplicity of creation is no contradiction to the Unity of G-d; indeed this multiplicity comes from His Unity, as Chassidut explains at length.

The Rebbe has pointed out that science is approaching the same realization, so to speak. He explains that it was once thought that every natural force was an independent power, that the substance of every being was composed of many different elements. With the growth and progress of science, however, man is coming more and more to realize that this multiplicity and separation of elements is something external-merely the manner in which parts combine, the way they are broken down or expanded. Science has more and reduced the number of essential elements until it has come to the realization that the essence of the existence of the world consists in the unification of two aspects: "quality and quantity," or "energy and mass"; everything is a unity of these two aspects. What science does not yet realize or admit is that this unity is from G-d and is an aspect of His unity.

Women and Holiness

The Rebbe made a very interesting distinction between the kinds of kedushah, "holiness," the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs respectively brought into the world. The Matriarchs of Israel brought a different kind of kedushah into the world than did the Patriarchs, he maintained. The Patriarchs could draw into the world a "holiness" that would remain in the physical object after the mitzvah they performed was fulfilled -- but only in that part of the physical which had a connection to the Patriarchs themselves. For example, the mitzvah of circumcision which Abraham was commanded, drew kedusha into the body that fulfilled the mitzvah but not into the world outside. However, through Sarah, the first Matriarch, kedusha was drawn into a part of the world outside of her, and this power she bequeathed to all Jewish women. [Chayei Sarah (Gen. 23-25:18), 12/]

The Rebbe points out that the reason why this great reward is given to all Jewish women in all times, till the coming of the Messiah and after (and not just to the women of that one generation [who left Egypt and contended with the Golden Calf]) is because the power to withstand such a great test which even the men could not endure comes from an innate superior trait that all Jewish women in all ages possess.

3/ "Al Devar Chiyuv Neshei Yisrael B'Chinukh u-veLimmud ha-Torah 5750 [1990]." Sefer haSichot, Vol. 2 (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Kehot, 1992), pp. 455-459.

5/ That is the deeper meaning of the famous verse from Proverbs (12:4), "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband" and from the prophet Jeremiah (31:21), "the woman will encircle the man." The crown, symbolizing the highest kabbalistic sefira (divine attribute) of Keter, sits on top of and encircles the head. Similarly, in the prophecy of Jeremiah, "the woman encircling the man," signifies the highest level of divine revelation, in the mode of a "circle" (makkif). In a circle, all points are also equidistant from the center, as opposed to the hierarchical structure of a line. A circle also symbolizes what encompasses and can't be contained and delimited. There are hints to this in the wedding ceremony where the bride indeed encircles the groom, and in the language of the wedding blessings. See further the chassidic discourse of R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi in his Torah Ohr, end of Parshat Vayigash, and his commentary on the Siddur and the wedding blessings for the relation of male and female in the messianic era and World-to-Come.

12/ Likkutei Sichot, Vol. 5, pp. 336-353.

Another mention:

The Rebbe would often vigorously end his public discourses with the words "u-lematah me-assarah tefachim, b'karov mamash!" ("Below ten handbreadths, soon and really!"). In other words, to bring all the wishes for good for the Jewish people, for redemption, for tikkun of the world -- to bring this all down from abstract concepts and spiritual ideas to "below ten handbreadths." "Ten handbreadths" is the halachic measurement for a "private domain" on Shabbat, but more to the point, a reference to the rabbinic saying that "the shechinah (divine presence) never descended below ten handbreadths." [15/ Talmud, Sukkah 5a]

In other words, bring this all completely down to earth, to the ground, to our collective and individual literal, historical, physical, daily, mundane existence. And this, too, I believe, is what he tried to do in putting women "into the picture" of Jewish life, not just in theory, but pragmatically and actually -- "soon and really"!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was light years ahead

22 December 2011

Maccabeat Madness in Central Park

Maccabeat Madness in Central Park

"Over 1,300 people participated in Chabad of the West Side's Chanukah on Ice, described as the 'Biggest Chanukah party in New York City,' with entertainment by the Maccabeats"

All these pictures and VIDEO are from COLlive.com,
alot of stunning photography from Meir Pliskin

Hanukkah Samayach!



Happy Chanukah!

Found a new Latke Recipe:

Cauliflower Sweet Potato Lakes

1 large head of cauliflower, about 1 1/2 lbs
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 lightly beaten eggs
3/4 cup flour (or corn starch)
1 large sweet potato, grated
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Vegetable or grape seed oil

To get the lacy crunchy edges grate the sweet potato lengthwise so you get long strands, for neat round little patties, grate finely instead.

Chop up the cauliflower and microwave in a covered bowl without water until easily pierced by a fork. Mash the cauliflower, then toss with the remaining ingredients, except for the oil.

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat a goodly drizzle of the oil over medium-high heat. Make the pancakes by placing 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the hot skillet, flattening them with the back of the spoon. Saute until the bottom of the pancakes are nicely browned – between 3 and 5 minutes; flip the pancakes and cook for about 3 minutes longer. You will probably have to make them in a few batches, so keep the first ones warm in a 200 degree oven, on a cookie rack placed on a cookie sheet. From The Family Dinner Cookbook.

Traditional Latkes

Bunch of Potatoes
Someone to Grate them
Add eggs, olive oil, S&P
Then Fry Crackling Good in Olive Oil

No flour, they're great!
Can't have enough of them!

Now for the Sufganiot - English Cake Bakery

Megillas Antiochus

In Honor of the Brave Young Fighters:

",...When the five sons of Mattisyahu heard all this they rose up and came to Mitzpe Gilad where dwelt the remnants of the Jews from the days of Shmuel the Prophet. They decreed a fast, and they sat on the ground to pray for mercy from the G-d of Heaven, and a good plan came to their minds. Their names were: [...] Yehuda, my son, I compare you to Yehuda son of Yaakov who was compared to a lion. Shimon, my son, I compare you to Shimon son of Yaakov, who killed the people of Shechem. Yochanon my son, I compare you to Avner son of Ner, general of Israel's army. Yonason my son, I compare you to Yonason son of Shaul who killed the P'lishtim. Elozor, my son, I compare you to Pinchas son of Elozor, who was zealous for his G-d, and saved the Jewish People..."

Another Domino by the Wayside

I guess this is another one of those Dominoes that are falling by the wayside, leaving a door wide open for revolutionary change. I didn't read all the article on this man's disappearance from the world scene, but Michael Savage had something interesting to say:

'North Korea is the Obama administration on steroids'

Michael Savage reacted to the death of North Korea's tyrannical Kim Jong Il:

The interesting part is that one of the world's most brutal dictators has died, yet according to the vermin in the media, he was just another "world leader". Some called him a "rascal". According to NPR, Kim Jong Il was a "mercurial man".

They didn't call him evil. They wouldn't call him a Stalinist dictator, because then you're liable to ask the question, "What is a Stalinist?" And then you'd find out that Stalinism means communism. And after that, you might wonder: "But isn't that like the Democrats? Don't they believe in state control of everything?

Take a look at South Korea next door. You see a booming economy producing cars and other things the world really wants. You see booming cities full of fat and happy people.

Then look back at the North, a country that has been under the yoke of a Stalinist mentality ever since it was created.

What you see is what you'd get with the Obama administration if it was allowed to go on steroids: a state-controlled nightmare.

Remember: The media never wants you to think this through, because if you do you're liable to come to the right conclusion –

Which to them would be the "wrong one."

19 December 2011

A Comma Makes All The Difference

A little 'comma' makes all the difference:

Netanyahu Ditches Law, [in order] to Legalize Outposts


Netanyahu Ditches Law to Legalize Outposts!

Imagine losing your place in Olam Haba because of a 'comma'.

16 December 2011

Fear Motivates

"The TRUTH will set you free"

Gingrich tells the truth, the "Palestinians are an invention".
Clinton does not deny Gingrich's statement, she only views it as "not helpful".

Tamar Yonah and Caroline Glick say it like no one else.

In Caroline's Column One, "Violent Rioters and Media Goons," today, erev Shabbat Vayaishev, she writes:

"MUSLIM RIOTERS aren’t the only ones who use violence to force the government’s hand. Leftist rioters routinely resort to violence to get their way as well.

"When on Wednesday Netanyahu failed label the religious Zionist rioters a terrorist organization, he opted instead to liken them to the leftist anarchists. Every Friday these anarchists, supported by NGOs such as Gush Shalom, join Palestinians in violently rioting against IDF soldiers guarding construction of the security barrier in places such as Bil’in, Ni’lin, Nabi Musa and Neveh Tzuf.

"These organized, planned riots have been taking place regularly since 2002. Their organizers have spent next to no time in jail. The Justice Ministry has not asked to define them as a terror group. Their members have not been tried in military courts or placed in administration detention. Little intelligence has been gathered about them.

"...in June 2005, demonstrators led by Gush Shalom and by Arab MKs held violent protests in three villages. Protesters attacked IDF soldiers with rocks and clubs. At one such protest near Bil’in, IDF Cpl. Michael Schwartzman lost an eye. He and his comrades were stoned by Jewish and Arab protesters who called them “Hitler,” and “Eichmann.” None of the protesters apologized for injuring him. Indeed, in a radio interview the next week, MK Ahmed Tibi claimed Schwartzman brought his injury on himself."

"...In stark contrast, on Tuesday alongside its condemnation and demonization of Monday night’s violent national religious protesters, Haaretz published a eulogy to Palestinian rioter Mustafa Tamimi who was killed last Friday by IDF troops at Nabi Musa as he stoned their vehicle. The article lionizing Tamimi was written by Jonathan Pollack, the head of the anti-Zionist Anarchists against the Fence group that organizes the weekly anti-IDF riots. Violent riots against IDF soldiers at Nabi Musa are planned for this Friday as well." This another must read by Caroline (may G-d Bless her and keep her well).

The Zohar implies that the head of the "erev rav"
at the time when Moshiach comes will be
named Binyamin ....

Bibi Netanyahu might have found his backbone, but someone point him in the right direction, please.

The commotion in the news, the upset over the Land, the threats over the Mughrabi bridge, and the fear of Muslim rioting is creating chaos, the Government is fearful that they will not be able to control the possible uprisings and Arab rage surrounding the Temple Mount. So what do they do, they go after the boys who fight for the Honor of the Land that belongs rightfully to the Jews, instead of standing up against the "inventors", the hypocrites, and deceivers that only want to devour what belongs to the Jews and the G-d of the Jews.

But this type of chaos
is just what could bring everything to a
breathtaking climax
and lead us into the final days ....

Shabbat Shalom!

America in (more) Trouble

Criticism of Islam Could Soon be a Crime in America

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving domestically and abroad for 20 years in a variety of assignments. Now a private consultant, Lopez is a Sr. Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and Vice President of the Intelligence Summit. She is also a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund.

She writes:

"When President Obama delivered his much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University in June 2009, the free world trembled while the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) gushed with praise and begged for a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"The OIC is the largest head of state organization in the world after the United Nations (UN) itself and comprises 56 Muslim countries plus the Palestinians. It claims to be the 'collective voice of the Muslim world,' i.e., the ummah, and speaks on its behalf in effect as the seat of the next Islamic Caliphate. In 1990, the OIC membership adopted the 'Cairo Declaration,' which officially exempted all Muslim countries from compliance with the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and replaced it with Islamic law (shariah)...."

One of the fundamental laws of Islam deals with "slander ," which is defined in shariah as saying "anything concerning a person [a Muslim] that he would dislike...."

...the president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an Islamic organization that shares the jihadist agenda and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote an op-ed piece that was published in the Los Angeles Times on 19 October 2011. In his piece, Al-Marayati openly threatened the FBI with "collapse of a critical partnership with the Muslim American community." Later that same day, the Justice Department convened a meeting with Muslim shariah advocates at George Washington University in WDC, chaired by its civil rights division chief, Tom Perez. Dwight C. Holton , the U.S. Attorney in Oregon who was also present, announced that, after speaking with Attorney General Eric Holder ...

Please read entire article at

An Incredible Story

This was forwarded to me by a friend:

"An important story of humanity, survival and achievement. This man's inventions in areas of science, business, security and military advance are part of your everyday life. Dr. Zandman is unknown to the world, yet he is incredibly important to science and humanity." JM

The Final Victory: The Story of Felix Zandman
Dr. Felix Zandman, Ph.D. (1927 — 2011)

The story of Felix Zandman is an incredible tale of how a small Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust in a grave-like shelter pulled himself together and achieved a life of fame and success in business and scientific achievements. Dr. Felix Zandman was a world renowned scientist whose inventions in the fields of stress measurements and electronics have greatly contributed to science and industry.

The movie narrates the story of Felix's personal victory, survival in spite of the Nazis' attempts to murder him, to the foundation of a major multinational company named "Vishay" after the birthplace of Grandma Tema. His scientific contribution to the Israeli Defense Forces is yet another facet of his victory over Second World War Germany and its Nazi collaborators.

15 December 2011

Sicarii UPDATE

The Zohar implies that the head of the "erev rav" at the time when Moshiach comes will be named Binyamin (from Quotations of great Rebbes on the Geula)

Could this be Netanyahu?

This is an update to
Modern Day Sicarii And The Temple Mount

Please listen to the interview by Tamar Yonah. Daniella Weiss speaks about her eyewitness account of the supposed "attacks" against the IDF. "The army is controlling & managing the entire demolitions." The Prime Minister seems to be going against his own Likud Platform:

"Settlements - The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."

Additional gripes

That 12th C mosque on Strauss street should have been torn down and Jewish homes built thereon. Why was it still standing? It was used as a storehouse for the municipality.

It seems there might necessarily take place a 'sifting' of the Israeli political Govenment. This sifting hopefully will separate the evil erev Rav from the legitimate members that respect our Biblical heritage, value Eretz Yisrael and truly want to do the best for the Jewish People. As the erev rav sense that their dominion is being challenged they will try to intensify their control over the people.

Note the headline of the Jerusalem Post paper edition, today, Thursday, indicating that those that come to defend the land will be tried in military court. The Government has just increased it's militaristic hold on the Jews of Israel. They will be tried in a military court. Why would Ben-Eliezer want the IDF to shoot Jews who protest? No one is shooting at the "occupy" protestors. Who is this Ben-Eliezer? These are terrible words he uttered.

Again I point you to the Muqata who has a passionate post, Netanyahu vs Advocates of Civil War. I may not agree with his assessment of PM Netanyahu, but it is stirring nevertheless.

Is Facebook Immodest?

"800 million active [Facebook] users around the world"
know more about you ....
Doesn't that make you feel a bit over-exposed?

Even the wife of the President of France has learned to value privacy: "Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy has said she will fight to keep all images of the child away from the media..." - A legal team is said to be preparing letters to European media requesting and implicitly warning them not to intrude." (source).

In the NYT Technology section is an interesting article entitled "Facebook Resisters".

A college student "quit Facebook after a chance encounter on an elevator. He found himself standing next to a woman he had never met — yet through Facebook he knew what her older brother looked like, that she was from a tiny island off the coast of Washington and that she had recently visited the Space Needle in Seattle. 'I knew all these things about her, but I’d never even talked to her,' ... “At that point I thought, maybe this is a little unhealthy.”

Modesty and privacy still exists and life goes on without Facebook. While many give up Facebook however, they still use iPhone or Twitter to keep posted.

I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would have to say about all this? "Throughout his life, Bell had been interested in the education of deaf people." His work developed into the telephone. Everyone uses a telephone.

Then came along the next great inventor. Steve Jobs, as the pioneering leader of Apple he is/was responsible for a myriad of sophisticated creative communicating inventions, equiped with 'universal access features' that assist people in the areas of Vision, Hearing, Physical & Motor Skills, and the Learning Disabled. The "touch" features of the iPhone and iPad are recognized for their extremely valuable 'assistive technologies.' These features make it possible for the disabled to attain a sense of accomplishment and self value in being able to join the modern technological world and in being able to communicate in a way that was not available for them before Apple.

There are many ways and facets of communication without giving away your personal, intimate and most private details of your life.

Of course, this does not include Google and Yahoo! But even these do not publicize to other internet users your personal information.

I gave up Facebook a long time ago, and only joined originally because it was required for

Tamar Says it Straight

Kol HaKavod Tamar Yonah, who wrote

It's time for an Israeli Spring!

The Secular Left Israelis are fighting for their liberation. They came here to Israel to make a utopian communist/socialist state, devoid of the 'old religious world'. But what they got was a fraud, a sham!

The state turned out to be a "Jewish' one, with it's national anthem a testimony to the two thousand year 'hope' that the Jews would return to Israel to be a JEWISH state. Jewish Holy Days like Shabbat are a dagger in their travel and shopping plans, and Yom Kippur is a nuisance where just about everything is closed. Passover is a pain, having to go out of your way to find bread, as G-d forbid they should not eat leavened products for a whoooooole week.

The radio opens up every morning with the 'Shema Yisrael' prayer. The flag looks like a Jewish Prayer Shawl with a Jewish Star in it, and drat, 'That One' up in heaven keeps making miracles happen - with a 6 day war and the liberation of even more Holy Land being returned to and re-settled by Jews. And worse, the IDF is seeing a majority of Kippah wearing officers, and the population in Israel is moving towards being religious - due to their birth rate and the Tshuva movement.

...And now, the Settler-Jews are fighting back, not letting us make them homeless. The nerve!

Enough! A disgrace! It has to stop! If we are going to be a Jewish State, no one in the world will like us. We won't be part of the 'Boy's club'. We are the 'Enlightened ones'! How do we handle these 'Jews'?

It's time for an Israeli Spring!

The Arabs are doing it, so why can't we? We can now shirk off this Jewish baggage! Don't worry about there being a civil war, as a civil war is between brothers, and those religious settlers are not my brothers.

“It is a shame the army did not shoot [ the Jewish Youth].” Former Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer called them “terrorists” and said the IDF had an obligation to shoot at the attackers with live fire. "I am Prime Minister of 98 percent of the nation, and not of 2 percent." - Late PM Yitzchak Rabin

“Let them spin like propellers, for all the good it will do them" - Late PM Yitzchak Rabin - Source

Boycott the Settlements!

"Israel wants to be raped by the U.S." - Ha'aretz Editor David Landau - Source

“Soon, very soon, the anger (against the right) that fills our souls will seep into our veins, which will burst in fury. Soon, the silent majority will stop their own bleeding, and instead will spill (the right's) blood." And, “This will not be a war between brothers; because they are not our brothers,” Shem-or continued. “Technically this war could be termed a civil war, since we all carry the same blue Israeli identity cards. But those whom we will go to war against are only citizens on the outside; they are the bloodsuckers of the nation, the eaters of its flesh."
"They, with their peyot (sidelocks) blowing in the breeze of the 'holy spirit.' They, with the brightness of their eyes, focused on their 'truth.' They, with their Yeshivot where bloodletting is taught where they are taught before entering the army that the order of the Rabbi is superior to the order of the commander. Soon we will silence them; soon they will drown in their own blood." - Left wing journalist Yonatan Shem - Source

After Shimon Peres was defeated in the race for Prime Minister of Israel in 1996, he declared, "The Jews have won. The Israelis have lost." - Haaretz journalist Daniel Ben Simon the day following Shimon Peres' defeat. Source and another Source

"They hate the Sabbath and they hate the laws of Judaism and they hate the yeshivas and they hate the rabbis. And they hate being Jewish and they hate God and they hate Zionism and a Jewish state and the need to be different - and they hate Kahane for representing all this. And they hate the bitter reality of hundreds of thousands supporting and marching for and believing in all the things that they hate, and so they are prepared to use any and all means to destroy the Jews and Jewishness. And the most frightening and dangerous thing is that, in all this ugliness, I have seen and recognized the face of Hatred and Murder Past." -Rabbi Meir Kahane

Yes, the Left may indeed be marking the start of their 'Israeli Spring'. But if they don't succeed, maybe they'd like Miami or Boca Raton? They don't have to be Jews there, and they can leave their 'Jewish' baggage behind in Israel.

Michael Savage, Wake Up!

Good Grief!

Michael Savage: 'I'd sleep better at night with Ron Paul as president'

Something is terribly wrong here.

One just needs to listen to " some of Michael Medved's shows from 2008 about Paul's Nazi connections to mercifully bring an end to Ron Paul's aura. So why are Republicans now choosing Ron Paul over Michelle Bachmann who is clearly a decent woman? Perhaps there is a darkening in the American soul taking place as we speak. Plus, this is Iowa, and we see what Iowans think about Mr. Rubashkin," says DBL.

The Ron Paul Campaign and its Neo-Nazi Supporters, an American Thinker article on Ron Paul and his shady background.

Michael Savage, please wake up! What's happening with you?

14 December 2011

Modern Day Sicarii and the Temple Mount

The Mughrabi bridge walkway, a tinderbox of wood
that might ignite the war over the Temple Mount.

Monday: "The Jerusalem municipality is fuming (the mayor) over the prime minister's decision to repair walkway instead of building new one. 'Government's helplessness in dealing with this hazardous, dilapidated nuisance is regrettable,' read a statement issued by mayor Nir Barkat. 'Officials at the Jerusalem Municipality, who were in favor of demolishing the bridge and building a new one in its place, were not happy with Netanyahu's decision'...."

Tourists voiced their frustrations:

"The bridge should be open to everyone, not just Muslims," ... a German tourist who is visiting Israel for the fourth time, told Ynet.

"This is an unfortunate decision. It's a lovely place to visit but unfortunately we can't go there. There's much to see in Israel, but Temple Mount is one of our favorite places."

"Another tourist, a South African who is visiting Jerusalem for the first time, told Ynet he was disappointed by the decision: 'It was supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip. It's a shame we can't go there'."

The Arabs have threatened "a war" over any tampering with the Mughrabi, the only access for non-Muslims. With all the existing gates giving access to the Temple Mount, why is there only ONE for everyone else, including the Jews?

Tuesday: "unwillingness to exacerbate tensions with the Palestinians, Jordan and the Arab World as a whole, the bridge would not be destroyed at this stage, eight senior cabinet ministers decided Tuesday."

While this seems an isolated worry, I see the recent actions of a few Zealots possibly leading the way for a larger scorching confrontation. That may be why PM Netanyahu has ordered the walkway to be coated with fire-proofing material. If the Mughrabi bridge, which is wooden, goes up in flames it may well incite the insane fury of the Arabs over the Temple Mount. If such an occurrence would erupt, the police AND army might need to take control of the area and once that happens this just might be the match to ignite the flame.

The house of Yaakov will be fire, the house of Yosef will be the flame, the house of Eisav will be straw and the flame will go out from the fire and consume the straw" From the Haftora of the Navi Ovadia (1:18) from this past Shabbos of Vayishlach!

Today's zealotry involves the "torching of Arab property, Mosques" and other so-called "price tag" attacks, plus attacks on IDF soldiers. Are these Jewish extremists losing patience over the "land for peace" farce? Is this a re-enactment of the 1st Century Zealotry of the Sicarii?

The modern Sicarii: The Palestinians have reported that in another incident Tuesday night, two vehicles were set on fire near the village of Duma east of Nablus and in Hebrew "camaraderie Mitzpe Yitzhar" was spray painted.

Jewish terror in Jerusalem? Vandals attempted to set an abandoned mosque on fire. ... Once the fire was out, firefighters inspected the building and found that slogans defaming Islam, Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad had been sprayed on the walls.

The Prime Minister approved a series of steps to crack down on right-wing extremists that recently attacked IDF soldiers and carried out 'price tag' attacks. They are being called "Jewish extremists" and not labeled as a "terror group".

I suggest a read of Settler Violence; Wrong, Damaging and Depressing at the Muqata. He has a very good analysis of the situation with some of the background to it.

These events are troubling, alarming
and puzzling at the same time.
But there may be a hidden purpose yet to be discovered.

Interesting Architectural Design

Resembles the Twin Towers 9/11

The planned luxury residential towers scheduled to be built in Seoul, South Korea, has a "Cloud" structural design at the 27th floor, which is clearly a depiction of the collapse of the Twin Towers. While many will find this offensive and in bad taste, look at the architectural creativity.

The Dutch architectural firm MVRDV initially denied the look-alike, but then admitted it to their own Dutch news reporter.

When viewed from this angle, it is an interesting concept that may just spread around the world as more buildings go 'up' and 'out' into space, to bring some greenery to upper floors and enhance livability. The shape of the window areas also look interesting. Maybe US builders should look into this. But first consider the possibility of 'earthquakes' or mis-guided airplanes.

More About Newt

From Glenn Beck:
He epitomizes FDR, Wilson (Socialist), and Socialist Andy Stern
A "realpolitik Wilsonian"

Gingrich praises the SEIU head, who remains a close adviser of the President Obama. Pitching the need for conservatives to respect organized labor, while simultaneously pushing back against some of Labor’s more cherished legislative goals

America does not deserve Newt as President
So far, there is no man running that would be a good president.

13 December 2011

Outside the Door ... Inches From the Holy of Holies

I was on a thrilling mini-tour today. We traversed the outside walls of the Temple Mount, walked down into the Kidron Valley, and then into the Muslim Quarter via the Lions Gate.

We heard about the woman siting on the steps at the Southern Gateway to the Temple, who "held Court" with Holy Books in hand, gave Torah and words of mussar to those who entered. Huldah's Gates.

A futuristic restoration of Huldah's Gates

We visited the monument built by and to "remember" Avshalom, Dovid HaMelech's handsome rebellious son, and heard how Alexander the Great when he saw the defiant (against his father, Dovid HaMelech) hand atop the monument, took a sword and chopped it down.


Because he too knew some of the Ten Commandments, and remembered "Honor Your Father and Mother." Avshalom was a kid on the fringe who displayed disrespect, rebellion and anger toward his father. But Dovid HaMelech continued to daven for his son, even after he was killed.

Just a few steps from here is the Tomb of Zechariah. A recent archaeological discovery leads some to believe they have found the biblical tomb of Zechariah: "An empty underground tomb was also discovered at the site, which some scholars, among them archaeologists Dr. Uzi Dahari and Prof. Yoram Tzafrir, believe was venerated in the Byzantine period as the tomb of Zechariah the prophet, based on an inscription on the Madaba Map. The latter was a map of the Holy Land that was part of the mosaic floor of a sixth-century church in Jordan. It contains many names of sites and has been proven accurate in many cases." More at Haaretz

We stopped by each of the Shuls in the Muslim Quarter.
We visited the Zilberstein Family home who live in the midst of the Muslim Quarter.
In the Muslim Quarter, we stood at the bottom of many steps leading up to a huge door, guarded by Israeli Police, and inside that door, just inches away, was the area believed to be the Holy of Holies of our Temple. So close yet so far.

We said prayers at the Kotel HaKatan, just to the left of this Green Door.

It was a spiritually nourishing experience.

Everyone Should Have Access to Temple Mount

Arutz Sheva: MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad ... to ascend to the Temple Mount with a group of Temple loyalists through the Moughrabi Gate Tuesday at 8:00am. They will demand the Temple Mount accommodate Jewish worshippers, through one gate or another. The PM has decided to refurbish the Moughrabi gate bridge, so it will meet safety specifications. The MKs demand Temple Mount access during the repairs.

Update: MK Danny Danon (Likud) said on Monday that he plans to work towards ensuring equal access to the Temple Mount for Jews and Christians, just as Muslims have access to the area. Danon made the comments after Jews who arrived at the Temple Mount on Sunday were blocked by police, who told them that they cannot enter because the bridge to the Rambam Gate (also known as the Mughrabi Gate) has been declared unsafe and must undergo renovation. At the same time, Jews are not allowed to use another entrance to enter the compound.

I agree, all peoples should be allowed to visit our Temple. But first, we should be able to do some housekeeping, and make it presentable to all. I feel that we are inching our way to the day when we will once again have our Temple, with myriad peoples streaming in and out, giving thanks to HaShem.

11 December 2011

Glenn Beck ... Concerned About the Future of America

Listen to what Glenn has to say, he's a visionary:

Glenn Beck Has a Vision
Restoring Values
The Point of Singularity is Coming
There is No Solution from the Top
G-d is Forcing us to Stand Together
To Be Decent to One Another
Refuse to Follow the Rest of Society Going off the Cliff
We Have to do the Work Ourselves
Putting "Caring" back into your Life

Visit Glenn's Mercury One website

“To inspire, organize and mobilize individuals to improve the human condition physically, emotionally and spiritually with malice towards none and charity for all.”

It's Amazing how the Christians are being motivated by Glenn Beck to stand up and be accountable for what they think and what they are doing, to care about their fellow, to engage in COMMON DECENCY. I don't know how many are aligned with his thinking, but if it becomes what he envisions, it will be remarkable. They may become the righteous remainders of America if the worst happens, that people are fearing, that Glenn speaks about.

65% of Religious hate crimes in the U.S. were against Jews

Another of his passions: At the very end of the video he presents a video clip about a possible cancer cure that could revolutionize the way cancer patients are treated.

When is Blackmail ... Blackmail?

I go online and try to get into my bank, Leumi, but there is no access. Thinking that their site has been invaded by some crazies, I check the news sites for any indication. However, what I do find is that the 'leftists' have been on the warpath again. They have actually threatened an entire Israeli bank, and the bank caves in to their demands!

What kind of craziness is going on here?

Only Arutz Sheva gave me the "full" information I was searching for.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu writes for Arutz Sheva:

When is an NGO Political? ...When it is Right-Wing
The left-wing Peace Now group convinces Bank Leumi to halt a project because a participating right-wing group is allegedly political.

"Im Tirtzu was in second place in voting for the most popular non-profit organization when Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer issued his *threat* to Bank Leumi and warned that he also would encourage Peace Now members to close their accounts." (*emphasis mine*)

When is blackmail ... blackmail ?

"Left Wing" is not political ... ?


According to the POLITICAL peace now anarchists, only a Right Wing (read "zionist") non-profit organization is 'political'.

More hypocrisy!

Peace Now has taken on the persona of the enemies of the Jewish People, the Palestinian ideology mirrors the Nazi ideology, but those peaceniks don't understand that Hitler went back 4 generations in their attempt to eradicate the Jewish Nation, and if the Palestinians ever get their wish, it won't matter who is who, who is a zionist and who is an peacenik, they want to eradicate every Jew living West of the Jordan.

Bitachon on the Front Line