Tag Archives: Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av. From Within

Tisha B’Av is the saddest day of the Jewish year. The Jewish calender, unlike the Gregorian one doesn’t change. The date an event falls on the Jewish calender will be the same every year, the date it falls on the Gregorian will change. Tisha B’Av this year is Saturday the 21st. But since only Yom Kippur will alter the joy of Shabbat, it will be observed on Sunday the 22nd. How Tisha B’Av is observed and how it is observed when it falls on Shabbat.

Why is it the saddest day of the year? Plenty, and I mean plenty of reasons. Chabad has a list of Tisha B’Av history. In addition to what is listed, Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven mentioned this week in Temple Talk radio it is also the date the gas chambers started up at Treblinka.

Jews have paid a fearsome price, horrific, down through the ages for their faith and for their race. I realize that last one is citing a AP source, so not necessarily reliable. There has been a price indeed for the people that brought knowledge of G-d into the world. The world resisted from the beginning. From Parshat Balak when the King of Moab hires Balaam to curse the Jews, and he can’t, he only blesses them. He then advises the King of Moab, find something to separate them from their G-d, how you ask?

As the Torah tells it (see Numbers 25; Rashi ibid.; Talmud, Sanhedrin 81b–82b and 106a), the wicked prophet Balaam, having failed to undermine the people of Israel’s special relationship with G‑d by harping on their past sins, had an idea. “Their G‑d abhors promiscuity,” he said to Balak, the Moabite king who had hired him to place a curse on Israel. Corrupt them with the daughters of your realm, and you will provoke His wrath upon them.

And as the Jews assimilated the Midianite women, sure enough, they began to worship Baal Peor. This and more is in the Parshat after Balak, Parshat Pinchas. Pinchas skewered a couple of them, very publicly. And,,,,,,it brought peace and a cessation of the plague.

Pinchas’s deed evokes many associations—courage, decisiveness and religious passion are several that come to mind—but peace hardly seems one of them. Pinchas, after all, killed two people. True, what he did was condoned by Torah law, and his doing so saved many lives; still, one does not usually think of homicide as a peaceful act.

During the teaching that week Rabbi said that while many think that open borders, anyone can live anywhere, we’re all just one big family of human beings is a very liberal compassionate attitude, it is not. Because innocent people will pay the price for this, it is the innocent that are harmed. The opposite is true, that borders and sound policy are the more compassionate.

We’ll come back for Matot-Massei more. But I’ll just touch on this point. The Moabites feared the Jews, they saw the big victories and the Jews were going to settle near them. The Midianites just flat hated them. They weren’t going to settle near the Midianites, they just had a baseless hatred of the Jews. i

There are histories, cases, incidents and evidence that nations and people have wanted to destroy the Jews and separate them from G-d since G-d had a word with Avraham. There is a clear difference in what the message is coming from Torah and the liberal segment of Judaism. Rabbi Tovia Singer talks in one of his lectures about how they train secret service agents to know real from phony currency. He thought they examined tons of the fake stuff so they could spot it. No, his friend who trained the agents told him. They have them examine the real thing, to know how it feels, what it looks like, all it’s special characteristics. Then when you know the real thing, you can much more easily spot a fake. He talks about how the Jews that are easily pulled away from Judaism don’t have a firm foundation, they don’t know their roots. He urges parents and grandparents to make sure that their children and grandchildren have a good Jewish education so they are harder to pull away from the faith. And this is not a new lecture series I’m listening to. From references made in the lecture on the Slander of Israel and it’s trigger for antisemitism he mentions Senator HilLIARy Clintoon, when she called for a disasterous two state solution. She was in office from 2001-2009, so somewhere in there. He also cites the death of Chezi Goldberg, 2004 Nava Applebaum, September 9th 2003 and the butchering alive of two IDF reservists by Arafat’s Police the Wiki article doesn’t tell you what happened to those two young men, Rabbi Tovia in the linked audio, does. Why would I tell you to listen to something so appallingly gruesome? Because when you read this next part I want you to keep it in mind. Here is a list of terror attacks from 1993-1999, just a few years worth and before the intifadas.

Tisha B’Av, from within. The attempt to destroy Jews and Judaism coming from within. Just like the 300 Spartans and King Leonidas, molṑn labé dude were betrayed by a bucket of chum. Aforementioned bucket of chum wanted favors and acclaim. He sought personal recognition above the good of his people, and those he should have given his loyalty towards.

So why am I off on this tear? Well, as Bear wrote in Tikkun Olam, we received a letter citing this column, Liberal Jews are destroying their own religion. Here is the book referenced in the column.

So let’s take a look at that, shall we? Let’s start with Ze’ev Jabotinsky and his timeless words and wisdom.

“The Ethics of The Iron Wall,” a timeless document which simply and rightfully argues that morality comes before everything else – and along with that the simple concept that Zionism is “moral and just.”

…..

“It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not “meet halfway” those who do not want to meet you.”

…..

Israel is right to have demands for safety and survival above all else. Jabotinsky’s timeless essay continues, “…there is no morality, no ethics that concedes the right of a glutton to gorge, while more tempered people die of starvation.”

He continues, “And the Talmud quotes a very instructive legal action – which has a direct bearing on this matter. Two people walking along the road find a piece of cloth. One of them says: ‘I found it. It is mine:’ But the other says: ‘No: that is not true: I found the cloth, and it is mine:’ The judge to whom they appeal cuts the cloth in two, and each of these obstinate folk gets half. But there is another version of this action. It is only one of the two claimants who is obstinate: the other, on the contrary, has determined to make the world wonder at this magnanimity. So he says: ‘We both found the cloth, and therefore I ask only a half of it, because the second belongs to B But B. insists that he found it, and that he alone is entitled to it. “

“In this case, the Talmud recommends a wise Judgment, that is, how very disappointing to our magnanimous gentleman. The judge says: ‘There is agreement about one half of the cloth. A. admits that it belongs to B. So it is only the second half that is in dispute. We shall, therefore divide this into two halves: And the obstinate claimant gets three-quarters of the cloth, while the ‘gentleman’ has only one quarter, and serve him right. It is a very fine thing to be a gentleman, but it is no reason for being an idiot. Our ancestors knew that. But we have forgotten it. We should bear it in mind. Particularly, since we are very badly situated in this matter of concessions.”

Clearly, there are people not keeping this in mind. First up the Israel (Jewish state) hating Bernie Sanders. I have to admit, I feel humor when I see a brand new expensive car with “Feel the Bern” bumper stickers on it as I drive past in my 1997 model car. Redistribute the cars. Bernie much beloved by the liberal left, doesn’t seem to have moral roots, meaning something anchoring to convictions or positions. For example

“Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal,” Bernie Sanders snapped. “You’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that.”

“What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy,” he continued. “You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?”

That was three years ago.

Bernie’s final surrender came after dodging a question on CNN about abolishing ICE. After the backlash, he went even further, issuing a statement urging that we “abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today”. Open borders had gone from a right-wing position to a Bernie position.

Or how about his position on Guns?

Bernie 2.0, the formerly poor politician who has earned over $1 million for two years running, is a very different political animal than the crusty old socialist that Obama’s old lefty allies dug up in Vermont.

The left’s favorite Senator owes his seat to the NRA. He voted against the Brady Bill and was listed as the only non-Republican among the 25 top recipients of money from gun-rights groups. Hillary Clinton quickly zeroed in on gun control as Bernie’s weakness. And his response to her was praised by the NRA. And then, as usual, the flip-following followed the leftist backlash in the media and on social media.

After telling the New York Daily News that firearms manufacturers shouldn’t face lawsuits from victims of crimes committed with firearms, he flipped his answer completely around at the debate. It only took a few weeks for Bernie to go from, “No, I don’t” to “They have a right to sue, and I support them.”

These days Bernie is hanging out with David Hogg and blaming a “three letter word” for gun violence.

“It’s the NRA,” Sanders recently sneered. “And it’s Trump and the Republicans who don’t have the guts to stand up to these people and that’s pretty pathetic.”

Bernie is the the type of Jew that Rabbi Tovia talks about. They don’t adhere, or follow Judaism and they hate Israel, so the media loves to quote them, or use them as sources for their anti-Israel diatribes. That way they can’t be accused of antisemitism. The open borders thing? Go back up and see what Rabbi said in the teaching of Pinchas. A bit different from Bernie.

And a group of 50 young gullible political pawns, naw, let’s just say what it is, liberal Jews craving attention with no love of Judaism, Torah or Israel, and yes that’s my opinion but not mine alone,

This gathering was less about a genuine empathy for dead Palestinians. It was more an exhibition of Jew hatred for the Jewish state.

decided to daven Kaddish ….for the hamass terrorists trying to kill Jews from Gaza. In Parliament square in Londonistan. That apparently doesn’t run afoul of Londonistan’s mulim mayor Kahn (#FreeTommyRobinsonNow). Hamass has admitted that 50 or so of the 65 killed in the day of question were their people. People who had stated:

Hamas Gaza chief, Yahiya Sinwar, incited his people by telling them, “We will tear down their borders and then tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

Nice, in addition to that, the baby they named was not killed by tear gas (WHO takes a baby to a riot) but by a congenital heart defect. A cousin of the family told the IDF the family was paid two grand by hamass to claim Israel killed the baby. The gullible sops fell for it, naw, they didn’t care for the facts or truth, they cared for the camera and “social justice”. What crap. What is “just” about a people flat out telling you they want to kill you and you side with them?

What sanctimonious hogwash! What they were doing was feeling sad for Palestinian who set out to murder Jews.

As for their “morality,’ Seth Frantzman asked in his Jerusalem Post article, “had these fifty Jews ever held a Kaddish for the dead of the Rwandan genocide or the thousands of Yazidis machine-gunned to death by ISIS, or for the hundreds of Israelis killed during the Second Intifada” or since by Palestinians? Or the Jewish victims of antisemitism? Highly unlikely.

Did they spare any of those prayers for the Israelis murdered by hamass? For the IDF attacked by pieceful Falestinians and hamass? Nope. There was backlash. The chief organizing twit-ette, she being a she, as opposed to the male, twit, was removed from her position as a leader on the Reform youth movement’s Israel Tour this summer. Apparently this was too much for Reform Judaism. So her sister posted an appeal on facebook asking all her Jewish friends to contact leadership and express their disappointment. Reading the comments is priceless, enjoyable and entertaining. All the comments I saw run to the line of thinking you daft bint, do you not understand these people want to kill Jews? Kaddish is a Jewish prayer said for Jews, not hamass. Actions have consequences, this sort:

Perhaps u can point out to us an instance when she has said Kaddish for any of the Jewish men women or children butchered by Hamas terrorists?

Please don’t ignore the truth there was only one reason for her being removed from her post and that was because she was unfit to lead as she proved by her naive and repulsive actions.

These stunts are more than just childish. They provide succour to our enemies. It has been retweeted many times by the likes of Electronic Intifada , Ben White, BDS / PSC etc .These individuals and orgs would not dream to post anything remotely disadvantageous to their cause and so they quote you. I have studied their motivation and strategy. A key component is to seed fund dissent within the Diaspora in order to undermine the global Diaspora support for Israel . It’s one more long term element within the bds armoury to dismantle the Jewish state .

And honestly, Israel doesn’t need another Israel hating twit-ette involved with a tour.

Anti-Israel Birthright Brats Beg For Money After Getting Kicked off Program

Oh, but it’s not what you’re thinking, they walked off the tour. And it’s not the first time that the left wing activists from the Israel hating IfNotNow have accepted free trips to Israel only to use them to push their “liberal” ill-liberal narrative. Even Haaratz #FakeNews was miffed. They wanted to go visit an Arab family facing eviction. And so Birthright kicked them off the tour after they walked off. They did what any good liberal who pitched a hissy fit would do when confronted with consequences, they opened a Go Fund Me and begged money. And, they got it.

An, as in one, arab family facing eviction. Wow. They didn’t ask to visit Amona, or Netiv HaAvot. Nor did the ask to help repair some of the thousands of acres of land burned by their Gazan heroes. Nor did they offer to try to stop them from killing innocent animals in an attempt to destroy even more Israeli land and kill more Israelis and animals. Nope, none of that interested them. Being political pawns for hamass, that’s their jam. I think Birthright should have stuck them in a helmet and sent them to the border so they can get a real idea, a Falcon’s eye view of what it’s like to be an Israeli. Let them go spend some time in one of the villages close to the border, talk to the residents there. Let them go spend a few days in Sderot, and find out how long 15 seconds is. I’m actually kind of shocked Birthright hasn’t offered to hire me.

And then there was the IDF hating leftist Hannah Berg who attempted to deceive the good people of Yitzhar into thinking she was sane and giving her a tour. They gave her Tzvi Sukkot, Otzmah Yehudit, Jewish Power Director as a “tour” guide. It’s a short story, but I like it a lot and you might as well.

But the always brilliant Tsvi Sadan points out, it’s like the Head of the IDF hates them as well. Well, he didn’t put it like that, exactly.

Eizenkot: I don’t think that shooting at children and youth who sometimes fly balloons and kites [that set fires in Israel’s south] is the right thing to do.

Yeahhhh, I think I know how Elor Azariya wound up in jail. Really, go read it.

I think Howard Sachs sums it up very nicely in Leftism and liberalism: Private property

What a tragedy for America. Millions of intelligent but highly unwise Jews are replacing liberal Judaism with illiberal Leftism.

Hundreds of thousands of our young across America, now, almost fully indoctrinated into this terrible ideology, demand all this free stuff like free college, healthcare, maternity leave, daycare, retirement care, eldercare – wretched socialism.

This Leftist value system , this new religion, has taken over our media, universities, the Democratic party, Hollywood, and much of our non-orthodox Jewish and Christian institutions. And with the dogma of this religion, these men and women essentially yearn to return to our oppressive past, to Egypt, to the false comforts, idols, and destructiveness of slavery and tyranny.

The whole article is worth reading, really.

I said we would come back to Parshat Matot-Massei,

But of course, they were wrong. If one is to throw caution to the wind and risk everything, it should be in the opposite direction, to combat evil, as Pinchas graphically demonstrated. Although we should not shun the challenge of engaging the materiality of this world directly, we must be duly aware of its potential to divert us and corrupt our intentions. Hence the pertinence of the laws of vows and oaths: through these laws a person can set up boundaries for himself where he feels they are needed, as we will explain further on.

But like training the secret service agents by teaching them the nuances and subtleties of real currency to be able to tell fraud, these new brave daring Jews, foolishly fooled political pawns and spoiled brats going against the hopelessly outdated old ways of thinking have no idea of real justice, of real kindness or compassion. They want their idea of social justice forced upon you, and they want the government to do it.

But Tisha B’Av, we grieve the loss of the Beit Hamikdash, both of them. The attempt to destroy the heart and soul of Judaism, the place where G-d chose to rest his presence and would meet with the people. The world has been trying to destroy it for millennia, and now there are those who choose to try to destroy it from within. Yet another reason to mourn.

But Tisha B’Av isn’t just about mourning what’s been lost, it is suppose to put us in a frame of mind, in a place to want to rectify, to rebuild. And so I will leave you with a little video playlist, each of the 8 videos is only a couple minutes long.

But this is my favorite. It’s not the most recent one though.

I watch it and the tears run, but they are tears of hope. May your Tisha B’Av be meaningful.

iNotes from the Stone Chumash on Parshat Pinchas and Mattot citing Rashi, Rambam and the Or HaChaim.

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אש –Thoughts on Tisha B’Av

The 9th of Av this year was observed on Tuesday, the saddest day of the year, with plenty of reason. The following is from Chabad.

The 9th Day of Av (the 11th Jewish month) is first mentioned in the book of Zechariah 7:3.  One of four Jewish fast days, it commemorates dramatic national catastrophes (related to the destruction of Jerusalem), in an attempt to benefit from history by avoiding – rather than repeating1 – critical, moral and strategic missteps.  It concludes the 21 days of predicament and lamentation, which began when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzar (1st Temple) and Titus (2nd Temple), launching a seven-week period of consolation, ingathering and renewal.

There are many major Jewish calamities are commemorated on the 9th Day of Av:

* Unlike Joshua & Caleb, the other “ten spies/tribal presidents” slandered the Land of Israel, preferring immediate convenience and conventional “wisdom” over faith and long term vision, thus prolonging the wandering in the desert for 40 years, before settling the Promised Land;

*The destruction of the First Temple and Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (586 BCE) resulted in the massacre of 100,000 Jews and a massive national exile;

*The destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem by Titus of Rome (70 CE) triggered the massacre of 1-2 million Jews and another massive national exile, aiming to annihilate Judaism and the Jewish people;

*The Ten Martyrs – ten leading rabbis – executed by the Roman Empire;

*The Bar Kokhbah Revolt was crushed with the killing of Bar Kokhbah, the fall of his Beitar headquarters south of Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria (135 CE) by Hadrian, who still afflicts us to this day by having changed the name of the land to “Falestine” as a poke in the eye to the Jews referencing their ancient enemy the Philistines. The plowing of Jerusalem, and the killing of 600,000 Jews by the Roman Empire;

*The pogroms of the First Crusade (1096-1099) massacred tens of thousands of Jews in Germany, France, Italy and Britain;

*The Jewish expulsion from Britain (1290);

*The Jewish expulsion from Spain (1492);

*The eruption of the First World War (1914);

*The beginning of the 1942 deportation of Warsaw Ghetto Jews to the Treblinka extermination camp.

This year was in some ways a more horrible than usual observance. It was just a few short days ago that the Knesset voted to take down the magnetometers. I touched on that in Neve Tzuf, but Caroline Glick does an excellent job of explaining how that decision was made. Turns out Bibi caved to….wait for it….the IDF and Shin Bet. No, I’m not kidding. This column is well worth reading. Losing and winning the Temple Mount. It actually makes a lot of sense if you remember the column Moshe Feiglin of the Zehut party wrote last year about “The Soldier Who Fired A Defense Minister”. It appears some of the people at the top levels in the IDF attended the John Kerry school of military studies. School motto “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”~~George Orwell

So let’s take a quick look at that “sacred” tenet often referred to “Status Quo”. This data comes from this week’s episode of Walter’s World with Walter Bingham. This episode he had two security experts on, one of them is Alan Baker, the former Israeli Ambassador to Canada. The topic of the show is what is the status quo? Meaning what does the term itself mean.

Originally, the status quo began in the 19th century with the Turkish Ottoman Sultan who issued a decree that involved seven holy places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and affected only Christians. It gave priority to the Orthodox. Then in 1967 when Israel won control of Jerusalem in a war it did not start a new status quo arrangement was made. Israel decided to remove the Israeli flag, army units and Rabbi Shlomo Goren from the Temple Mount and give control back to the wafq-kos. Because administering the site brings in income for them, it’s another reason they want it. Then the Chief Temple Rabbi approved Jews being sent to the Kotel to pray instead.

So about this sovereignty, Abu Mazen claims they have sovereignty, Israel claims they do. No one has had sovereignty since the Ottoman rule ended in 1922. The Jordanians didn’t have sovereignty when they took control of it by hostile take over either. Only Pakistan recognized Jordanian control, the international courts and the U.N. never did. The status quo was an informal, non-binding arrangement to enable the day to day functioning. Israel was in control after it took over control from Jordan and extended it’s laws and administration over all of Jerusalem. While it guarantees freedom of access and worship, issues of sovereignty were never mentioned. The same laws apply in Jerusalem as do Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva. The peace treaty with Jordan made no mention of the status quo, and Jordan did not ask. Israel has FULL responsibility for security. The status quo NEVER regulated security, it regulates day to day events, like prayers. Even if you take the lowest U.N. (necessary) opinion of Israel, that they are “occupiers”, that Jerusalem is occupied territory, according to the laws of occupation, and the Hague rules of 1907 it would be Israel’s duty to maintain the public order and security. That is the opinion of International law as well.

So, how did Tisha B’Av go this year on the Temple Mount? Well, according to another one of my favorite programs, Temple Talk, it was…amazing. Rabbi Chaim said he arrived at 0610 and there were already hundreds of Jews lined up waiting to visit through the one gate non-Muslims are allowed to use. There had been speculation and trepidation that after the shameful caving of the Knesset and Prime Minister Netanyahu that the pieceful Falestinians would riot or incite violence because when they’ve done that in the past, the police reward them by shutting down the Temple Mount to……the Jews. But this year, this year was different. Very different. There is speculation that it’s the new Police Commissioner. The TT show said the police now greet you, it tends to be the same crew and they are polite and encouraging. They want everyone that comes to get to go up on the Temple Mount. The TT hosts said they were expecting the wafq-kos to really be following everyone closely and up in their faces, but it didn’t happen. The police kept the wafq-kos at a distance, there were very few muslims on the Temple Mount and the ones that were there were not allowed to cause problems. While no open prayer was allowed, the police did an outstanding job of maintaining order. The hosts of the show said that there is a Spiritual upheaval and renewal afoot, and everyone knows it, that it’s been building for decades. As it turns out, 1,263 Jews, an unprecedented number visited the Temple Mount this Tisha B’Av this year. I saw in another report the wafq-kos also said it was unprecedented, as well as unacceptable. The Israeli police have shown the way. It is possible to maintain principles, order on the Temple Mount and not cave in to terrorist demands.

I saw a movie recently, in a theater. A real one. I don’t go to many/any movies usually. I don’t think they make very good movies any more, and I’m not inclined to give my money to actors/actresses that will use it to further their bully pulpit and denigrate my values, culture and self-defense rights.

But there was a good reason I went to this one. It was made in 1977, so not a new movie. It’s called מבצה יונתן or Mivtza Yonatan. It’s about the raid on Entebbe that happened on 4th July 1976. An Air France plane was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Falestine. There are some interesting points I’d like to bring out. One, the movie was made only a year after the event. Two, the movie was pro-Israel and pro-IDF. While it was an Israeli made movie, do you think such a thing would happen today? I don’t. Then there were some of the lines that were said in it that struck me. One was when the doctor that was on board asks one of the German female terrorists “Why? Haven’t we done enough to the Jews?” She answers they are fighting for world freedom, they aren’t fighting the Jews, they are fighting the Imperial Zionist. Another line is when Sayeret Metkal begins to plan the potential rescue options. After Yoni comes back from a meeting with the powers that be, Yitzak Rabin was P.M. at the time, his staff asks him what happened and the remark is made nothing will happen because their government will never go for it because of world opinion. After the Jews have been separated out from the other passengers one of them asks a male German terrorist what he hopes to accomplish with all this. He says the world is dirty and it needs to be destroyed and rebuilt. That the Israelis stole Falestinian land and used German money to do it. And the last line is two newspaper reporters that are waiting in Israel reporting the events. One says to the other that if the Jews give in, no one will be safe, there will be an epidemic of sky-jacking. Now, I know these are all lines in a movie, but the female German Terrorist sounds like a modern day spokesperson for the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement. I think the male German terrorist is a bit confused, if German money was used, what was “stolen”? Not all the terrorists were German, some were pieceful Arabs. And despite this, Rabin signed the Oslo accords. He didn’t learn, and things have been worse since. And despite knowing that was the Falestinians and their supporters have been doing for a very long time, Bibi still caved. He didn’t learn either.

And what was the fallout from the “world”?

From Wikipedia

The United Nations Security Council convened on 9 July 1976, to consider a complaint from the Chairman of the Organization of African Unity charging Israel with an “act of aggression”. The Council allowed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Chaim Herzog, and Uganda’s foreign minister, Juma Oris Abdalla, to participate without voting rights. UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim told the Security Council that the raid was “a serious violation of the sovereignty of a Member State of the United Nations” though he was “fully aware that this is not the only element involved … when the world community is now required to deal with unprecedented problems arising from international terrorism.” Abdalla, the representative of Uganda, alleged that the affair was close to a peaceful resolution when Israel intervened while Herzog, the representative of Israel, accused Uganda of direct complicity in the hijacking. The US and UK sponsored a resolution which condemned hijacking and similar acts, deplored the loss of life arising from the hijacking (without condemning either Israel or Uganda), reaffirmed the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States, and called on the international community to enhance the safety of civil aviation. However, the resolution failed to receive the required number of affirmative votes due to 2 abstentions and 7 absences. A second resolution sponsored by Benin, Libya and Tanzania, that condemned Israel, was not put to the vote.

Western nations spoke in support of the raid. West Germany called the raid “an act of self-defence”. Switzerland and France praised the operation. Representatives of the United Kingdom and United States offered significant praise, calling the Entebbe raid “an impossible operation”. Some in the United States noted that the hostages were freed on 4 July 1976, 200 years after the signing of the US declaration of independence. In private conversation with Israeli Ambassador Dinitz, Henry Kissinger sounded criticism for Israeli use of US equipment during the operation, but that criticism was not made public at the time. In mid-July 1976, the supercarrier USS Ranger and her escorts entered the Indian Ocean and operated off the Kenyan coast in response to a threat of military action by forces from Uganda.

I never did like Kissinger. But the point is, not much has changed has it? The Falestinians are terrorist, a majority of Israeli Jews believe at least half of the F.A. residents are terrorists or support terrorism a new study shows. Israeli/Jewish life appears to be cheap to the world. The world gets it’s panties in a twist when Jews defend themselves be it in Entebbe or the Temple Mount.

But while the Temple still has not been, I hope and pray Rabbi Chaim and Yitzchk Reuven are correct and there is a spiritual awakening afoot, that the Temple Mount really will stay “In our hands”.

At the start of the movie Operation Yonatan, Yoni is training “The Unit” to rescue hostages from a skyjacked plane. The movie is in Hebrew, but it has subtitles. The command to enter the plane simultaneously through multiple windows was “אש” “esh”, meaning “fire” because they were going to commence firing upon gaining entry to the plane. Those men were willing and able to put boots to windows and boldly enter and take control for the safety and very lives of those held hostage by terrorists. That I think my friends, is the attitude we should have. We should be willing to put boots to the barriers that separate us from those people, places and things held hostage by old, timid, outdated, erroneous or terrorist beliefs or threats. Not necessarily with guns and RPGs, but with courage, knowledge and conviction in our hearts and our minds.

I will leave you with this beautiful, beautiful Tisha B’Av movie made by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. It’s only a couple minutes long.

אש

1Rather than repeating? How many times have how many people given away the Temple Mount. Perhaps it should be apply, not just read.

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We Are A Miracle

August 13, 2016 was the 9th of Av, or Tisha B’Av 5776. Since nothing is to mar the joy of Shabbat, it was observed on the 14th of August.

I realize, that’s yesterday, but I can’t let it go without sharing a couple things.

The first is something wonderful I got from my teammate, Y.B. a wonderful true story honoring the spirit and commitment of  Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam.

Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam
Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam

 Defiance on a Death March
The Klausenberger Rebbe z’tl on 9 Av

Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam became one of the youngest rebbes in Europe, leading thousands of followers in the town of Klausenburg, Romania, before World War II. His wife, eleven children and most of his followers were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

In the summer of 1944 the Russian Army moved west and pushed the Nazis further and further back across Poland into Germany. The Germans, in an effort to cover their crimes forced thousands of slave labourers on death marches across Poland. The Rebbe had previously spent time in Auschwitz and on a work detail in Warsaw, sifting through the rubble of the now vacant Warsaw ghetto on his hands and knees, forced to look for anything that might be of value for the Nazi war effort.

As the Russians moved closer the Rebbe along with 6000 other prisoners were forced to march for twenty miles a day, in the scorching Polish summer. The death camp of Dachau in Germany was to be their final destination of which just 2000 made it.

On the march, the prisoners were starved of food and water and any stragglers were shot immediately. On the day of Tisha B’Av (9th of the Jewish month of Av), Jews mourn the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem as well as many other disasters that have happened on this painful day. One of the signs of mourning of Tisha B’Av is that Jews remove their leather shoes (leather shoes being an inappropriate sign of comfort and luxury on this solemn day).

On this day and on this march, the Rebbe removed his shoes. Despite all that had happened to him, he refused to give up on the Jewish observances that made him who he was. The Nazis saw this as a sign of rebellion and decided to have some fun at the Rebbe’s expense. They made him march alongside the column on broken stones and gravel. They joked as his feet became bloodied and bruised.

At one point they thought he was trying to escape down the embankment so they shot him. He was hit in the arm and tumbled down the embankment. In an effort to stem the bleeding, he took bark and leaves from a tree and wrapped it around the wound. It was at that point in his life, when faced with such unimaginable pain, hatred and adversity that the Rebbe demonstrated forever that there is no depth from which the human spirit cannot rise.

It was at that point that he swore to God that should he survive he would build an institution based on the Jewish values of love, peace, equality and tolerance, all of the values the Nazis despised. He swore that he would build a hospital in the land of Israel that would epitomise everything the Nazis tried to destroy.

Today, that hospital is Laniado in Netanya.The hospital was built in 1974. After the maternity unit was opened, the Rebbe asked the nurses and staff to call him immediately when the first baby was born. A few days later he received the call with the good news. Upon hearing, the Rebbe said in a broken voice, ‘zeh ha nekama sheli’, ‘this is my revenge’. This is my revenge – life will defeat death, hope will defeat pain, compassion will overcome hatred.

May this Tisha B’Av be the last before our mourning is turned into joy and celebration.

And this one I have for you.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have some dust in my eye.

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