Dispelling Darkness with Light

This past November a group of Jews had gathered for communal prayer at their synagogue in Santa Monica, California.  Suddenly a menacing man entered the synagogue and shouted “Heil Hitler”.  Then he mimicked shooting a machine gun at the parishioners.  Before they could catch him, he ran away.


On the first night of Chanukah, they assembled again to light the menorah, intending to share the “light” of the commemoration with the public.  What they found on arriving was that someone had smeared food and feces about the entrance to their synagogue.

About the same time, someone in the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona were distressed to find that someone had run a truck into their large, custom, menorah.  It appeared that they then tried to tear it down.


In so doing, the vandals did an estimated $7,000 damage to the menorah.

One of the synagogue’s members is a 104 year old survivor of the Holocaust.  Needless to say, it brought back ancient, but vivid, memories to pain that poor old man.  Mission accomplished, I suppose.



Meanwhile Mr. Obama and his ilk conspired to embolden some of the most vile regimes & organizations on Earth, by attacking Israel in the United Nations.  Hardly a new plan.  Merely a new gambit.

It should be noted that while the General Assembly is mostly a bloviating mass of deviates and moral midgets, and of little true effect, the Security Council is an altogether different animal.  A supra-government with military powers.

This is a very serious move.

Fortunately, in response, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, of the American Friends of Lubavitch, (who had quite recently koshered the White House kitchen for an early, and embarrassing, “Chanukah” celebration) diplomatically gave reproach to the betrayal in the UN, saying:

“I know that some of us are so sad at what happened there with regard to Israel. We must remember that the way to counter any darkness, any disappointment is not with harsh rhetoric, not with anger, but when we create light, the darkness dissipates. Secretary Szubin (*)spoke before of fighting darkness with light … I remember those words being spoken to a particular man by the Rebbe [The Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe; Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] many, many years ago on Simchat Torah. The Rebbe told him you are working in a place where there is great grief and darkness, but remember that in that place of darkness, you can only counter it by lighting a candle. By creating light. … That man was Benjamin Netanyahu, and he was at the time the Ambassador to the United Nations.”


What a contrast.  I wish I could be so calm in the face of the behavior of the outgoing U.S. President and his toadies.

* Adam Szubin, an “Acting Undersecretary at the Department of Treasury”, was Mr. Obama’s mouthpiece for the occasion.  I think B.H.O. was off in the “rough” at the time looking for his sliced golf ball.   A “Slazenger 1”,  perhaps?



8 thoughts on “Dispelling Darkness with Light”

  1. “Suddenly a menacing man entered the synagogue and shouted “Heil Hitler”. Then he mimicked shooting a machine gun at the parishioners. Before they could catch him, he ran away.”

    Maybe not only in selectively inclusive California, but ’round here, he would have left in an ambulance or coroner’s wagon.

    1. Yes. Note that the vandals in Arizona felt the need to do their dirty-work under cover of darkness. By contrast, the idiot “Heil Hitler” guy, in California, had no such need.

  2. “Meanwhile Mr. Obama and his ilk conspired to embolden some of the most vile regimes & organizations on Earth, by attacking Israel in the United Nations.”

    The Israeli regime bases its “legitimacy” as a state on the 1947 UN partition resolution.

    Furthermore, Israel is a signatory regime to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    Both of those say that the Israeli regime doesn’t get to sponsor, endorse, and protect Israelis in the enterprise of seizing and squatting on other people’s property in occupied territories outside of Israel.

    Suggesting that perhaps Israel’s government should abide by, instead of violate, the laws and agreements it claims to support is hardly an “attack.”

    1. The following public address was given by Menachem M. Schneerson, the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, prior to the Sixth World Rabbinical Gathering, in 1978. It was prefaced by a Letter to the Gathering, addressing their silence on the critical issue of so-called “Land for Peace”. The Letter read:

      With regard to the timely matter, to receive maximum publicity – the decision of the Grand Rabbinical Council – Elul 1936:

      “The Holy Land, the Holy One Blessed be He has set her borders in the Holy Torah, given to the Jewish Nation, the Eternal Nation; any surrender whatsoever with regard to these Holy Lands given to us by the Holy One Blessed be He with regard to her borders, are utterly void”.

      Especially since that time, the situation in this regard has become more severe in the most fundamental way, and any surrender whatsoever is actual life-threatening. This is a clear Halachic ruling in the Code of Jewish law, laws of Sabbath 329, may G-d protect us, that the land not be conquered by them with ease. G-d, who protects his People Israel – may He protect each and every one, both in the Holy Land and Diaspora. And speedily, actually in our time, may He put an end to the darkness, the re-doubled darkness of the generation of the footsteps of Moshiach. That He redeem us from our bitter darkness, that he (Moshiach) battle the wars of G-d and succeed, and build the Temple in its rightful place, and bring about the ingathering of the dispersed ones of Israel and the world be filled with the knowledge of G-d.

      Here is the address given to the Gathering:

      There gather together many tens of Jews all of whom observe Torah and Mitzvos, read the portion of the week regularly, also on those weeks when the true borders of Eretz Israel are delineated. Some read newspapers and know the present world [dangerous] situation. The purpose of this convention is in order to strengthen Torah and Judaism. If this is so, how is it possible that they sat together for three days discussing matters of high importance, accepted good decisions, yet the situation of threat to life of great numbers of Jewish people in Israel is not mentioned? Nobody raises any voice of protest! Thereafter they print an account of the proceedings and good decisions accepted by all and yet not one word is mentioned of the life threatening danger to Jewish life! You respond that you do not want to make public this situation? What does this mean “not make public?” The entire world knows of this situation! You cannot make a secret of this! The only response, which I received, is that since those involved are already over Bar Mitzva, ask them directly! I did so. They replied: “We have already taken action”. I asked: “What action was taken with regard to this situation of danger to Jewish Life?” They replied: “Now is not the time to speak at length about this. On another occasion we will take up the issue. In the meantime there are many good decisions that were accepted and activated.”

      I responded: “Could you ask: there is a Jewish law that a Rabbi who remains silent or who waits until asked on a matter pertaining to Pikuach Nefesh [life threatening danger] is classed as ‘shameful’. “He himself knows of this law! Now, since he is a Jew who knows how to learn, he responded: “The Talmud states: Just as it is a Mitzva to say that which will be listened to, it is a Mitzva to refrain from that which will not be listened to.” They know that they will not be listened to, so they didn’t make a statement.

      I further responded: “This is contrary to Jewish Law! There is an injunction: “Do not stand on your brother’s blood”, meaning, that according to Jewish law when Jewish life is in danger, even if there is only a very slight chance that the warning will help, one is obligated to declare a warning!”

      We are not speaking theoretically. In times gone by, they argued about which way the stamp was glued to the envelope. At the time of the judgment of Beilis in Russia, even after a complete investigation they argued whether or not to punish him. They confronted the prosecution: “You received a letter in which all proofs for conviction were categorically annulled!” Having nothing to answer, he replied: “You know full well that the letter had its stamp stuck [with the head of the Czar] upside down!” This was the response of the prosecution of Beilis.

      With regard to our issue– who is talking of a stamp whether the stamp head is up or down?! Here there is no room for discussion; no one needs to be asked. The Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish law] was printed in Tzfas by the leading rabbinical authority of Israel, the Bet Yosef. There we have the clear halachic injunction. The law is not written without the reason, which would leave a loophole to argue “on what is the basis for the Law?”! The reason is given: “lest the land be opened up before them [the enemy]”.

      The classifiers of Jewish law state that this law applies outside of Israel. [Only in the tractate Eruvin, regarding an eruv can it be argued as to whether this applies to Jewish cities only within Israel or also in the Diaspora.] However, commentators of the Talmud and Code of Jewish Law state that this ruling [regarding life threatening danger] is pertaining both to the Diaspora, and in our times without any difference, and brought this ruling into the laws of Shabbos with the reasoning “lest the land be opened up before them [the enemy]”.

      This being the case, there can be no argument whether this applies to this or that area of land, whether it was conquered land or liberated land, given that this ruling applies also with regard to the Diaspora which is not “our country” or “our land”, that which never belonged to the Jewish People. Nevertheless, the ruling is that, given that there are so and so many Jewish People there, [in the event of life threatening danger, this would apply even to one solitary Jewish life], in such a case, even if the land ownership belongs to others of the Diaspora, nevertheless since there dwells there a Jew and “the danger of the land being opened up”, therefore this ruling stands with full force.

      Fear of the Nations is holding back the Redemption!

      In this week’s Torah reading Balak, we are told that the Jewish People already stood on the banks of the Jordan River. All that remained was to cross the Jordan and enter into Eretz Israel.

      The very same is true of our time. We find ourselves at the final moments of the Exile, truly just before the Redemption. We must not be intimidated by the enticements and devious claims of the Nations and of Jews, and we should keep the Land intact. Due to their perverse and dishonest reasoning, they have not yet comprehended the truth; that the entire Land of Israel with all of her borders belongs to the entire Jewish People.

      Even according to international law, not one of them has the domination, the ability nor the right to enforce us to abandon parts of the Land of Israel. If this Jew imagines that by hiding the truth (regarding the connection of Eretz Israel to the Jewish People) he is fooling anybody, he should know that aside from himself he is not deceiving anyone.

      Already since the prophecy of Bilaam, the nations of the entire world know that in the end of days the Land of Israel will belong to the Jewish People. They see without doubt that we find ourselves already at ‘End of Days’ by G-d performing open miracles in the Holy Land. Had we merited, the Exile would have ended and the true and final Geula would have begun after the victory of the Six Day War.

      Since however we have not merited, there have come along men of timid hearts, fearful-ones, who have an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the nations. They immediately sent a delegation to Washington to inform them of their preparedness to give back the conquered territories because they do not want to incite the ‘gentile’ (USA), only to please them. This prevented the Redemption! In the meantime the multi-fold darkness of the Exile continues its path because these faint-hearted ones do not have the tenacity to hold on to the open gift G-d gave to them. They only have the strength to weaken the hearts of Jewish People as their own hearts are weak. G-d has bestowed on the Jewish people all the available strength. He has also given them the power to choose how to use it and not to be ashamed before those that mock. This was meant amongst Jewish People, how much more so not to be ashamed before gentiles that mock. ‘The Gentiles storm and plot’ all of which will come ‘to naught’.

      Instead, they use these G-d-given powers to weaken other Jews! The fear of the Gentiles is the very factor which has prolonged this difficult and bitter Exile and the multi-fold darkness for so many years!

      Public address on Moitzo’ei Shabbos Parshas Balak 1978

  3. The religious argument is unanswerable — if someone believes that’s what their deity hath decreed, that would seem to be the end of any discussion. I would not expect anyone to knowingly go against such a belief.

    As to the secular argument that the occupied territories are actually part of Israel, fine — when the Israeli government offers everyone living in them a vote and representation in the Knesset, as well as taking down the checkpoints that stop them from traveling freely to other parts of what that argument claims is part of the same country, I’ll take the argument seriously.

    I don’t care much for the UN. I also don’t care much for states, including Israel, although if I had to grade on a curve, Israel would not fare as poorly as many states. But why not be honest? The Israeli government wants all the benefits of e.g. UN membership with none of the obligations. Whenever it’s suggested that the two things go together, it gets characterized as an attack — and not just an attack on Israel, but an attack on every Jew on Earth, including those who don’t live in Israel, who don’t want to live in Israel, and who may not even support Israel.

    1. I always find it a bit disingenuous when people call it the occupied territories. Funny, I don’t remember anyone ever referring to the United States as the occupied territories. The comparison is quite similar. The only difference is that the native Americans that live here are not trying to kill everyone of the rest of the people that live here at every chance they get, and the casinos are not reimbursing the families of those who are killed trying to murder us, or rebuilding their homes.
      To say that the government of Israel wants the benefits of membership of the UN but none of the obligations is pure fiction. All that the government of Israel wants is the right to exist, in peace, in the land that is rightfully theirs. Without constantly being told that they must give some of it up to another group, simply because the United States, ever since LBJ, has had that as it’s policy, and also the UN.
      Imagine if Mexico suddenly started lobbing rockets into San Diego and parts of Texas, and illegal immigrants started trying to do nothing but kill any American that they could, with little regard for their own life. And if the Mexican government payed the families of those who died doing so an amount of money as tribute. Now take it further, and imagine that the UN says that the only way that the United States can stop the bloodshed is to give part of California and Texas to Mexico, back to the middle 1800’s. Oh, and if we shoot back at the rocket attacks, we are condemned at every turn.
      Far fetched? Poor choice of comparison, perhaps, but it is not really that much different from what is happening in Israel.
      The sad thing is that there are so many who are so blind that they see only what they want to see. Are there atrocities committed by Jews towards Palestinians? Of course, we all know that. It is a large group, and a hot bed of angry people. Is Hamas, like I was told on a social network today, a totally peaceful group committed only to helping the Palestinians receive the supplies that the international community sends them? I don’t think that I have to answer that question here.
      Am I right about everything that I have an opinion on? No. Am I right that the Palestinians are the aggressor and the people of Israel are only trying to defend their homes, and they have the right to build on their own land without judgement or condemnation from an international body whose makeup now makes it irrelevant? Absolutely.

  4. pigpen,

    OK, let’s take your analogy and add an important part to it:

    “Imagine if Mexico suddenly started lobbing rockets into San Diego and parts of Texas” …

    After the US had annexed Juarez and Tijuana, kicked the people there out of their houses, and started razing those houses and building apartments for retirees from Poughkeepsie to move into.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *