Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Dangers of "Half" or "Partial" Sovereignty

Yesterday our local senior citizen whatsapp group was full of panicky posts trying to make sense out of the rumors, incomplete leaks, incomprehensible maps and news about possible "half-sovereignty," sic.

Deja vu the old United Nations Partition Plan, this partial or half-sovereignty will cause major inconvenience at best and more death by terrorism for sure. A splattering of Jackson-Pollock style splashes in the Land of Israel makes no sense. There's no legal, security or moral reason for such a thing.

"Half" or "Partial" Sovereignty will only fill more cemeteries 

Shades of Barack Hussein Obama and his predecessors, the latest threats by United States officials are no different from FDR's refusal to allow Jews fleeing Hitler to get refuge in America and Truman's State Department which had recommended not recognizing the Jewish State in the UN vote.

Nothing has changed. We're on our own, and we're best off like that. Remember that the State of Israel had no foreign allies during the Six Days War, and that was the best. Let the world butt out, including Trump and Kushner.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Synagogues Reopening in Israel

For the past couple of months, outdoor uncrowded aka keep your distance minyanim, Jewish Prayer groups, have been gathering all over our neighborhood and other places in Israel. That's because synagogues have been closed, padlocked even. From what I've heard, this has been the situation in Israel and all over the world. Too many people have caught the dreaded corona virus, COVID-19 when at religious gatherings.

As the rate of infection began to lessen here in Israel, outdoor prayers became permitted with masked (not everyone followed that rule) attendees standing a couple of meters from each other.

My husband favored the minyan in the park across the street. Besides the location being so close to the house, it's comfortably shaded and even has a few benches. Though he brought a chair or stool for the longer prayer services.

Apparently the new regulations permits men to pray indoors, but not women. The advantage is that the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Section will also be available for the men allowing them to spread out even more.

Gd willing a refuah shleimah, speedy and complete recovery for all the sick and the end of this corona virus, COVID-19 ASAP.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Parshat Shavua Bahar, The Connection of Shmitta to Mt Sinai





I'm certainly not competing with the venerable and respected Rashi, but a half a century after making aliyah, moving to Israel, I definitely see a strong connection between Shmitta and Mt Sinai.

The connection between Shmitta and Mt Sinai is very simple. It's the paramount centrality of the Land of Israel to the foundation of Torah and Mitzvot. Since there are mitzvot that can only be observed in the Land of Israel, all Jews should be living here.


Vayikra - Leviticus - Chapter 25

1And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,
אוַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה בְּהַ֥ר סִינַ֖י לֵאמֹֽר:
on Mount Sinai: What [special relevance] does the subject of Shemittah [the “release” of fields in the seventh year] have with Mount Sinai? Were not all the commandments stated from Sinai? However, [this teaches us that] just as with Shemittah, its general principles and its finer details were all stated from Sinai, likewise, all of them were stated-their general principles [together with] their finer details-from Sinai. This is what is taught in Torath Kohanim (25:1). [And why is Shemittah used as the example to prove this rule, especially since the very fine details are not even specified here (Sefer Hazikkaron)?] It appears to me that its explanation is as follows: [At the plains of Moab, Moses reiterated the majority of the laws of the Torah to the Israelites before their entry into the land of Israel, this reiteration comprising most of the Book of Deuteronomy. Now,] since we do not find the laws of Shemittah [“release”] of land reiterated on the plains of Moab in Deuteronomy, we learn that its general principles, finer details, and explanations were all stated at Sinai. Scripture states this [phrase] here to teach us that [just as in the case of Shemittah,] every statement [i.e., every commandment] that was conveyed to Moses came from Sinai, [including] their general principles and finer details [and that the commandments delineated in Deuteronomy were merely] repeated and reviewed on the plains of Moab [not originally given there].
בהר סיני: מה ענין שמיטה אצל הר סיני, והלא כל המצות נאמרו מסיני, אלא מה שמיטה נאמרו כללותיה ופרטותיה ודקדוקיה מסיני, אף כולן נאמרו כללותיהן ודקדוקיהן מסיני, כך שנויה בתורת כהנים. ונראה לי שכך פירושה לפי שלא מצינו שמיטת קרקעות שנשנית בערבות מואב במשנה תורה, למדנו שכללותיה ופרטותיה כולן נאמרו מסיני, ובא הכתוב ולמד כאן על כל דבור שנדבר למשה שמסיני היו כולם כללותיהן ודקדוקיהן, וחזרו ונשנו בערבות מואב:

2Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them: When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord.
בדַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם כִּ֤י תָבֹ֨אוּ֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֖י נֹתֵ֣ן לָכֶ֑ם וְשָֽׁבְתָ֣ה הָאָ֔רֶץ שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
a Sabbath to the Lord: For the sake of the Lord, just as is stated of the Sabbath of Creation (see Exod. 20:10) [i.e., just as every seventh day is a holy Sabbath day, acclaiming that God Himself rested on the seventh day and thus acclaiming that God is the Supreme Creator of all existence, likewise, man must rest from working the land on the seventh year, for the sake of God, not for the sake of the land, so that it should gain fertility by lying fallow for a year]. — [Sifthei Chachamim ; Torath Kohanim 25:7]
שבת לה': לשם ה', כשם שנאמר בשבת בראשית:

3You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce,
גשֵׁ֤שׁ שָׁנִים֙ תִּזְרַ֣ע שָׂדֶ֔ךָ וְשֵׁ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים תִּזְמֹ֣ר כַּרְמֶ֑ךָ וְאָֽסַפְתָּ֖ אֶת־תְּבֽוּאָתָֽהּ:

4But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard.
דוּבַשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗ת שַׁבַּ֤ת שַׁבָּתוֹן֙ יִֽהְיֶ֣ה לָאָ֔רֶץ שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה שָֽׂדְךָ֙ לֹ֣א תִזְרָ֔ע וְכַרְמְךָ֖ לֹ֥א תִזְמֹֽר:
Yes, I understand that for even the most Torah observant and learned Jew living out of the Land of Israel, the Laws of Shmitta appear theoretical and even irrelevant. This was certainly even more so a thousand years ago, the time of Rashi, when nobody could seriously envision fruitful Jewish agriculture and a Jewish State in the Holy Land, Land of Israel. Christian crusaders had been invading and destroying much of the Land of Israel in the name of their god. Jewish Life was under attack all over the world, especially in the Holy Land. Christian and Muslim theologians needed to prove that Judaism was dead and they were the god appointed replacements. Of course, they would then have to fight each other for the ultimate title.

A hundred and fifty years ago the Zionist Movement brought a new relevance to Shmitta and all other Torah Commandments, mitzvot that can only be observed in the Land of Israel. Close to three years ago I reviewed Rebels in the Holy Land - Mazkeret Batya - An Early Battleground for the Soul of Israel, which tells of how the pioneers who established Mazkeret Batya risked everything to revive the mitzvah of Shmitta.

Poskim, rabbis who are considered as qualified/learned to make decisions based on the Torah, must look seriously at the new realities of today and not base their decisions on Jewish Life of a thousand years ago, a hundred years ago, before the Establishment of the State of Israel and even before Israel's miraculously victory in the Six Days War. The Establishment of the State of Israel and the post-Six Day War were major game-changers for the Jewish People. Gd gave us the Torah to be lived in our world, not to be rooted to the past. We are now sovereign in the Land of Israel, and it's time for all Jews to come home. Otherwise, you may miss the boat.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Likud Voters Voted Bibi But Got Benny Gantz

This is my local synagogue, locked and blocked during the corona lock-down. This is used for illustrative purposes only. BTW it may remind you that during the corona crises, Naftali Bennett has worked hard, efficiently and effectively for the health of the State of Israel.
Israel's new government, soon to sworn in, led yet again by Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu will have an outrageously large number of ministers to satisfy/tempt/pay off the politicians and parties Bibi wanted in his coalition. Chareidi party leaders were even surprised at how easy it was this time to get the assignments they wanted. In addition, Blue and White's Benny Gantz was given crucial positions which had been promised to the Right, meaning Likud or Yemina. According to reports Gantz has veto power.

Something stinks.

Yemina leaders Naftali Bennett and crew have spent the past few months working hard showing their loyalty to the bloc Bibi had been touting. But what did Yemina get from Bibi? Zilch! Nothing. The publicized offers aren't even worth mentioning, so insulting. There seems to be something "personal" in it. One can insult and malign Netanyahu as Gantz has been doing the past couple of years, and Bibi will forgive. But if someone works hard and well and is a generation younger, Bibi feels threatened so "off with his head."

Quite a few people wanted Yemina but voted Likud. What a shame. They got the other Binyamin,  Gantz instead of Netanyahu.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Good Corona COVID-19 News is Conditional



Prime Minister Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu made a major announcement last night that Corona  COVID-19 restrictions will be eased-not erased here, but...

Yes, but if three things happen, we'll be back to the lock-down.
  1. 100 new cases of Corona  COVID-19 in a day, not counting those returning from abroad or living in one of the high risk communities. 
  2. Doubling of new cases of Corona  COVID-19 within ten 10 days.
  3. The daily number/count of those seriously ill with Corona  COVID-19 is two hundred and fifty 250.
This makes sense to me. Gd willing, 1- wear a mask, 2- keep one's distance and 3- basic good hygiene will keep us all healthy.


We must still be masked, or the virus will spread, and we'll be back to lock-down restrictions. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Disgusted With The Latest Coalition News in Israel

I really am disgusted, and that's why I haven't blogged about it of late. I had been hoping that Bibi-Likud would have just made a tighter coalition. He could have made Gantz beg, certainly not offer so many ministerial posts and power.

Would you prefer another round of elections?

To be perfectly honest, I would have preferred a fourth round of elections.

Considering all that's going on with corona aka COVID-19 and security, the State of Israel is doing so much better than other countries.

My guess is that the Judicial is conspiring against Bibi, and he needs the backing of Gantz and crew. Latest news is that Mandelblit says that Bibi Netanyahu is legally permitted to form a new government. That's after Bibi got Gantz, Ashkenazi and Labor to join up with him.

Something stinks. It's that simple. Eventually we'll find out more of what's behind this.

What do you think?