Beyond the Cusp

October 5, 2016

Too Many Leaves Have Fallen

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In these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, Jews spend much of their free time, and some of the not so free time, reflecting on their actions and shortcomings of the last year and also their entire lives where less than golden practices became habit. In this time I have too often strayed beyond my shortcomings and looked beyond to the shortcomings of my people and the entirety of the human race. Slavery has to be a practice which was carried on far too long nearly into modern times and even now exists in some measure. We were slaves and know its hardships which we recount every year at our Seders. Passover is one of the singular observances where traditions are pretty much set in stone. The odd thing is there are different stones for Jews of different backgrounds. I should know as my father was as Ashkenazi as one can be and my mother was equally Sephardim. Perhaps this was why we only got a half serving of rice at Passover and never enough for a meal. The Seder service which is said in the home in privacy closes with an important and universal hope of all Jews, “Next year in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). The Seder is far from the only set of prayers which end with this overriding and continual desire amongst all Jews no matter their individual customs, Jerusalem, as the Song of Babylon states, “If I forget thee may my right hand lose its cunning (strength) and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.” That is the seriousness a Jew or any Israelite feels for their eternal Capital City and why the Arabs so demand they control the Old City, the part of which that pleading relates for they know that is the Jewish heart.

 

Remembering our past no matter where your ancestry originates there were pogroms, purifications, jihad, and just simple hatreds which drove our ancestors from their homes with what they could carry. All too often the older children had to carry the younger while father and mother carried what meager belongings they could, the Shabbat table cloth, candle holders, challah plate and cover were mother’s load in addition to what kitchen utensils she could manage while father carried his Tallits, Tefillin, Prayerbooks, Siddurim, Haggadah, necessities for his trade (which may include leading a cow or two or sewing machine, threads, cloth, butchery knives, or whatever and the Rabbi and sons carried the Torah, as many as possible and a few more as leaving even one behind was unthinkable), and whatever other items mother or children could not continue without (his was the burden of family). These fleeing Jews were often the fortunate ones as behind them were those Jews who joined the too lengthy list of fallen leaves. Every Pogrom, Purification, Jihad, forced conversions, Crusades, conquest for Allah, blame for every calamity, blame for disease in the community, and all too often just because we were Jews the leaves fell. People ask how humans could treat their neighbor so cruelly. Well, look to Europe or the past hundred years in the Arab and Muslim worlds or to Russia and remember Nazi Germany and the reasons abound.

 

One need understand the enormity of the history of the Israelite people. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came from the time when agriculture and herding were just coming into their own and the city states were forming. At this point the first Jews were but a family and believe it or not we are largely still that very same family plus those we have married and the few converts over the ages, often these converts also married into the family and converted in order to do so. There are the claims that the Exodus from Egypt we brought numerous non-Jews with us and if one reads Torah they will see we know of this and these people were kept in a separate camp and were partially responsible for the sin of the golden calf. These others were sent on their separate way with many sailing to Greece with even some Jews who found our ways too difficult and desired a more earthy and pleasure seeking existence which was all the rage in those primitive times. Egypt saw us build a city to a Pharaoh who fashioned himself to be a god. The story of our exit from Egypt is chronicled in the best-selling book in history and one of, if not the, first books ever printed by the printing press. Our travels and travails of forty years in the desert are well chronicled and many youth learn of it early in their educations. The reason why is not so well noted. Put simply, we lacked faith in the promise from Hashem that the land would be granted us by His hand. Instead ten of twelve spies told of giants living in cities behind great and unbreakable walls. The illogic of giants needing walled cities never occurred to the Israelites who reacted to these recounting with great timidity and fear. The two who told of peoples in fear of the coming of the chosen of Hashem and a land flowing with goodness went unheeded as the Jewish people who had lived a life under slavery had not the bravery or independent spirit to conquer a land even with Hashem. For forty years we gave birth to a new people free of the yoke of slavery and filled with the miracles of Hashem such as the manna which fed them in the parched desert of the wastelands they traveled through.

 

Israelite Sin Worshiping of the Golden Calf

Israelite Sin Worshiping of the Golden Calf

 

Jericho put to rest the fears of the former generation as its great walls were no match for the formulae given by Hashem which brought them down. The following victory of Ai and then of the combined armies of the Kings of Canaan proved Hashem truly would grant us the land. What is often passed over is that the Torah gives the Jews the exact method we are to pursue when coming into our promised land with any tribes of people who reside within and it is a very simple method for selecting how one treats those tribes. We are to make them a simple offer. They have three choices of varying ease for their people. The most easy is to remain within the lands on the lands they hold and simply obey the Seven Laws of Noah, the Noahic Code and we will both live and prosper in peace. They can leave the lands and we will not pursue them and wish them well. The least favorable choice is they can choose to war with us at which time we will endeavor to kill every last inhabitant and member of their tribe and burn their crops, slaughter and leave for the buzzards their cattle and remove any and all record that they ever existed from the story of mankind. That was then and we no longer live in those times. What is not well known is that some of the Canaanites chose the first two options and were granted what was promised.

 

History passed and we had an expository period under King David and King Solomon who conquered lands until they reached the Euphrates River, the farthest we have ever reached and we desire far less today, only what was promised which is well documented and for the sake of my regular readers we will not go over this again. You’re welcome. The life went well until we had strayed from Torah and had practiced even idolatry and thus lost the guardianship of Hashem so we fell before the Babylonian sword. This was not our best of times but this exile ended when the Persians conquered Babylon and knowing of Hashem from their recounting of history beseeched that we return and rebuild our Temple and worship Hashem as we desired and simply pay our tribute to the Persians and we would be left in peace. Rather nice of them had that continued forward but there came an overachiever named Haman the Agagite and descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites and our saving grace in the form of the Persian Queen Esther. We built the Second Temple and in human history soon thereafter came such luminaries as Confucius, Buddha, Tao, and others who all founded various ancient religions of which a few continue into the modern era. The namedropping was more as making note in history when much of what we call a more modern age came into being and where much of Eastern philosophy had its roots. Eventually we once again gained our freedom, but wait, there’s more.

 

Eventually there was the inevitable family squabble and the Tribes of Israel chose sides with the ten northern tribes taking the name Israel and the southern two tribes being called after the far larger tribe, Judah and the Priestly tribe remained spread amongst the people and largely in Jerusalem under Judah. After the ten northern tribes were carried away as slaves by the Assyrians there were just the priests in Jerusalem and the tribes of Benyamin (a smaller tribe) and Judah the lion, the defenders of the southern borders, remained where most belonged to the tribe of Judah so we became Judeans and eventually simply Jews. The Assyrian Greeks eventually defeated Judah as well and then the Polemic Greeks and one more the Assyrian Greeks followed by the Romans. The Romans got a little put out after the Jews, the name had cemented by them, did which no other people managed, threw off the Roman yoke twice. They dispersed the Jews to the far reaches of their kingdoms and everywhere inbetween such that we would never again challenge Roman rule. That worked rather well and as the Roman Empire slowly crumbled the Jews spread even further but we had a secret weapon through which we remained attached to Jerusalem and our lands always hoping for the Messiah to return us to Eretz Yisroel, and that weapon is Torah. Torah is our history, our rules for life, our traditions, and our defining center which keeps us in touch with Hashem and our covenant and the promises Hashem gave to us. The Torah has kept us a family despite great distances and the stories abound of Jews traveling to a strange place often not by their choosing and upon arrival finding family there, finding Jews who greeted them as only family greets one they have never even known existed. This too was one of the many strands of string that when twined together make the rope which will eventually be spun in Israel, in Jerusalem.

 

Now, as we gather slowly from the far corners of the globe from America to Europe to Japan and the Philippines and India or Ethiopia as well as South Africa, Australia, even the outback and places even stranger and more remote, the time has come to stop believing we are Jews as we no longer are. Jew was the name we were given in captivity by the Greeks and Romans who shortened Judean to Judian to Juw which became spelled Jew. The actual spellings and pronunciations are not important but what Jew came to mean to the gentiles is important. The Jew was the reason for famine, for plague, for war they were always siding with the enemy on both sides as both sides saw Jews fighting for their enemy but were blind to the Jews fighting with them in their armies. The Jew was accused of every ill and even potential harm and the fact that the Jews lived in their own small area, ghetto, and practiced a different religion, often the parent religion to the one the others practiced, they had to be the reason as they were the other wherever they found themselves. When the time came to clean the lands of the disbeliever, the Jew too was cast out or burned at the stake, hung, crucified or whatever punishment was dealt the disbeliever. Often they were simply driven from the land and forced to travel through place after place before finding one which allowed them to settle and reside for the time being. The Jew always kept a number of suitcases packed and one special suitcase in which all their religious items were kept. They would be removed when required to observe the Sabbat or to do morning prayers or observe a holiday and then carefully and respectfully repacked in case they had to leave with little notice. This suitcase was the first one grabbed by the mobs of the pogrom, Crusade or whatever reason was for killing the Jews as this suitcase must have precious jewels to be so carefully guarded. Imagine the look when all they found were some candlesticks, candles, a special tablecloth and few other religious items and books but no jewels or gold or silver other than the few religious items, often only the Shabbat candlesticks. The main thing is the Jew was a temporary guest to be bullied and thrown away when hatreds overwhelmed the people and a frenzied mob sought a target.

 

We are now coming home and we are not going to be bullied or thrown from our lands. We may not be granted easy access to all our lands, even our most precious Biblical Lands in Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem will hopefully not allow to be divided and we again forbidden from visiting our Temple Mount which we built during the times of the Second Temple before Christianity and long before Islam came into this world. Allowing the Synagogues we so meticulously restored or even rebuilt to once again be defiled and destroyed would be a sin of great magnitude. Where we need to try and be accommodating and live with our neighbors on this little sphere orbiting an insignificant star in a moderately large galaxy soon to be merged with an even larger galaxy, we also must remain true to ourselves, our history and, most of all, to Hashem which means that Jerusalem’s old city must remain with the Temple Mount as an intricate and vital part of Israel. The Islamics know the importance of these areas which is the sole reason they demand them to be separated from the Jews. This is the same story which was the reason there were so many wars between Christian and Muslim over Jerusalem and only Jerusalem as that was the reason behind the Crusades and the Islamic conquests, they both wanted to hold the City of the Jewish holiest of places as that is the home of Hashem which both claim to worship (the validity of such claims cannot be covered in brief even in this article). But Jerusalem must remain a part of what is Israel and that should not ever be placed in doubt and slowly the Israelis are realizing this fact.

 

As for the name Jew, that needs change. Those of us residing here in the Holy Lands of Israel are no longer merely Jews even if we are of the seed of Judah, we are Israelites once again. With the airlift of Ethiopians and the Bnei Menashe community from India home to Israel we are once again to be known as the tribes of Israel. There is a group in southwestern India who call themselves the Tribe of Ephraim who were found when a Chabad couple shared a Passover Seder with them. With these tribes of the ten lost tribes of Israel reappearing, the people of Israel are not all but universally of the tribe of Judah, we are once again in transition and should recognize such and refer to ourselves as what we are, Israelites, the Tribes of Israel reuniting in our ancient and holy homelands.

 

Some may ask what should become of the Arab Palestinians. Well, we can offer them three choices. They can live in their own area under their own leadership in a semiautonomous area within Israel where we promise them security and to live in peace and in return they obey the Noahic Code, or they can leave and settle elsewhere in the world and we will wish them safe travels and the best of luck and promise not to pursue them or do them harm as they leave, or they may choose to treat us with violence and hate and do injury to us as a form of war for which we will do as we can to destroy their existence and to erase the fact that they ever resided amongst us. That is what any other people would do and for those who doubt such we would like to point to items such as Northern Ireland and the British.

 

Continuing on, other examples abound such as the Spanish and the Tribes of the Basque and Spain and even France, the many different tribes which made up Yugoslavia until they each went their separate ways, the Czech Republic and Slovakia which separated from Czechoslovakia and the numerous nations which were formed by the victorious powers after World War I that make up much of the Arab Islamic world today and which are now breaking even further into tribal regions, and the conquered lands which now live under the fist of their conquerors such as Tibet or those threatened by nations claiming their right to regain control of these areas such as Taiwan and Mainland China (Red China if your old enough to remember that term) and also Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and the currently challenged Ukraine all of which are currently under direct or indirect challenge from Putin the Invader’s Russian bear. The changing tides of war and the formation and dissolution of nations has not ended as many wished to believe and world wars are no longer unimaginable. The claim that after the fall of the Soviet Union that history had ended and everything was now at peace and in equilibrium leading Francis Fukuyama to write a piece titled, “The End of History?” which has proven as much folly as the claim once made by the Commissioner of the United States Patent Office in 1899 who it is (attributed) claimed to have said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

 

With all the turmoil in the world today, it is beyond reasonable but is yet true that the world considers what the Israelis do within the lands granted under international laws and treaties to them for their homeland dating from the early 1920’s and the numerous conferences, treaties and conventions which were signed by all the parties involved including the Arab League and King Farouk granting the lands west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to be the area for the land of Israel to be formed. We, the Israeli people ask for no more than that which all powers, even to include the Arabs and Japan, British, French, German, Ottoman, Russian, and eventually the United States, League of Nations and United Nations all recognized and gave their blessings and agreement and yet to this day this is contested. The facts are not contested, just the realization, and there appears to be an undercurrent which is driven by the concept that by ridding the world of Israel, and with it the Jewish people once and for all, will end their ever considering having a real home anywhere on Earth. This is considered a desirable and possible eventuality by the leaders of the Western World to appease and pacify the Arab World. There is one answer for such people, and it is what we promised, “Never Again!”

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

November 16, 2015

Blood Spilled is the Same Crimson Color Wherever it Flows

 

The Paris attacks were a horrendous and heinous act of barbarity which will be added to the ever lengthening list of civility slaughtered by barbarity. These craven acts will never end until the world of civil nations has determined that enough is enough. The world where law rules over men and life is precious must respond with strength and vigor against the spreading evil. There is an ancient saying which bears acknowledgement during the discourse on this latest act and the thousands that preceded it that goes, “Whatever starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews.” The only difference is simply a matter of time. Examples are found throughout history as is the truth of another even older saying found in Genesis 12:3 states, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse. Through you every family on earth will be blessed.” One is a slanted interpretation of the other and must be taken together which leads to a very strange concept which has proven true even in our day. Read on, it gets clearer, I promise.

 

Those who have assisted Israel, stood with Israel and felt the pains of Israel are blessed as they are acting in a manner that blesses Israel. Those who have threatened Israel, not stood stridently with Israel or have ignored the plights inflicting Israel or are demanding Israel give away that which Hashem has granted to them as their eternal gift and Hashem stated covenant with Abraham where said in Genesis 13:14-16, “After Lot had departed, the LORD said to Abram, ‘Look from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted.’” The lands which Abraham saw became the lands divided by the twelve tribes as the thirteenth tribe, some might say the first tribe, were the Levites and Cohans who lived amongst all the tribes and kept the Tabernacle and eventually the Temple in Jerusalem. The lands are pictured in the map below and show an Israel reaching from both sides of the Jordan River to the Sea and from the southern deserts to the Litani River in the north. The current borders of the State of Israel under that oft misused phrase often wielded at a weapon against Israel actually is no threat to Israel as ask any neutral legal authority who has studied and practiced International Law what the real current borders are of Israel and their answer would be that technically the Jordan River, the Negev/Sinai border, the border with Gaza, the Mediterranean Sea and the Blue Line with Lebanon. How does this differ from the map below? Well, the Blue Line is considerably short of the Litani River in Lebanon and it is doubtful they would desire to give us between a third to one half of their country. It is even more doubtful that Jordan would decide tomorrow to gift the lands east of the Jordan River containing the Reuben, Gad, Benjamin or East Manasseh. The odd thing is that Israel has no design on these lands and would welcome with simply the lands she liberated in June of 1967 in the Six Day War. As far as the Arabs, those willing to live in peace should remain and live in peace and the rest should be allowed to leave and even be financially assisted. Not so ridiculous, is it?

 

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

 

Meanwhile we are going to be struck for the next ten days to two weeks with wall to wall coverage of the Paris attacks as things play out and the terrorist perpetrators of this horrific waste of innocent lives and then it will slowly fade like reverberating echoes of a winding rock canyon. Within a half year, as long as no other attacks are perpetrated either in Paris or elsewhere in Europe as the authorities main interest and desire is not so much resolving the situation but rather appearing to have addressed the situation, shown the expected and responsible reactions and give the appearance of proper concern as well as be perceived as taking the proper remedial steps to address the future safety of all the citizens making Paris and other cities, especially in France, safe from such attacks be terror entities, be they Islamic State or Hamas or even forces trained by Iran’s special units of the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps). The quicker that everything can be allowed to return to normal, the faster the political leaders can go back to spending everybody else’s money on their reelection bid through government largess on projects onto which they can place their names or otherwise gain prestige in the electorates’ eyes and minds.

 

Of course the French have nothing which can compare to Israel when it comes to removing all signs of a terror attack in near nothing flat as Israel does with all too much consistent efficiency. Often after a terror assault in Israel every last drop of blood and every other vestige of the attack is cleansed and prepared for any potential end necessary, even if there were a resulting death requiring that the person’s corpse be made as whole as possible and every piece gathered at the scene is readied, identified and treated as required. A group of volunteers started the organization known as ZAKA (Hebrew: זק”א‎, abbreviation for Zihuy Korbanot Ason, Hebrew: זיהוי קרבנות אסון, literally: Disaster Victim Identification) who have since been recognized by the Israeli government. The members of ZAKA are religious, mostly Orthodox Jews, are volunteers doing some of the most difficult work imaginable and they do this extremely difficult and unfortunately all too necessary and potentially gruesome and made even worse as in at least one occasion some ZAKA volunteers have found they knew the victim and found they needed to stop performing their duty and gather their emotions and often decide or are told to take the rest of the duty day off in order to gather their thoughts, get a hold on their emotions, and do all that it takes to recover, though often many actually take their obligation to the deceased and the families of the deceased , injured and witnesses by also removing every sign that there had ever been a terror attack or even the slightest bloodletting as often the scene is cleaner and more, one might say holy, but not so much in any traditional aspect but more in an aesthetic or even spiritual as these members of ZAKA are doing a necessary and difficult service and doing so as volunteers.

 

 

Eiffel Tower Symbol for Peace Restored to All France and the World

Eiffel Tower Symbol for Peace Restored
to All France and the World

 

 

While comparing France and Israel, we would be remiss if we did not also mention the difference in the world’s reactions. As we pointed out earlier, what begins with the Jews never ends there. The Jews were slaves in Egypt and eventually slavery became a black mark in the Western World and partly thanks to the British navy, slave ships soon found themselves out of business and seeking more honorable cargo. This has been proven once more in too many instances as the terror which began in Israel, or actually well before Israel became a nation, there were terror attacks in 1929, 1936 and again in 1939 with these instigated before there was any Israel, before there could have been any occupied lands, before anything except Jews working the land and hoping to establish their state. Had there been no Arab terror attacks on the Jews or against the British, their arrangement, though very unofficial despite certain orders given by British commanders to their troops, then there might not have been a British so ready and almost glad that the United Nations took the Mandate and the forming of the State of Israel out of their hands as such had been nothing but a burden for them. The treatment received from the British almost might make one wish to quote to them their own Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, who wrote Merchant of Venice where the character of the Jewish money-lender, the precursor of a modern bank and one of the few professions left open to Jews as it was uncustomary for Christians to make loans in that period, who made one of the most famous soliloquies which begged the adverse treatment of the Jew and the pleading for the recognition of the Jew as an equal member of society and also given the equal respect any other many, especially a Christian, would receive in the same position. Below is his famous retort to why he deserves justice, and equal justice at that.

SHYLOCK: To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

 

Israeli Flag

Israeli Flag

 

 

We could make a similar pleading before the United Nations or before the European Union which has voted to make certain Jewish products be labeled such as a sign against European citizens purchasing these items. In response to all the United Nations’ inequities and the European Union’s sanctioning Jewish products including some of the world’s most excellent wines, luscious fruits, high technology products and software (including some of the greatest personal computer protection software) and these industries are the largest employers of the Arab Palestinians, the European Union et al, paying them wages which rival the wages paid by the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas to the terrorists imprisoned for their crimes in Israel, Israel has decided that instead of returning the sanctioning of select products, Israel will carry on business as usual. The reason, you ask? Because we are a light unto the nations and will treat others as we wish to be treated. Pretend our ancient lands are not ours. Are we to plead vainly before you? Were that to be of service, it would still demean us. Were we to shrink before our enemies, would that be sufficient to mollify you though you know as do we that our enemies cannot be mollified. When you single us out from amongst the world of nations for condemnations more deserved by others, are we not to decry the injustice. When you feed the hate of those who spread terror throughout our lands and you turn away, would we not be equally staid if we steeled our nerves and ignored your pain. But we did not any of these recourses. When terror licked your shores and sliced coldly through your metropolis we sent assistance and offered our hands to hold and help in your time of need. When you wronged us we cried out as who would not as to not decry such acts would prove us as inhuman as your actions have been inhumane. We have not dealt shame for shame nor have we turned our backs on those who have ignored our pain. When terrorists shoot our citizens, do they not bleed the crimson colored blood just as deep and red as your victims? And, when the blood had all been let, do our victims not die as had yours? Recognize that we are feeling humane beings and that our families cry salted tears as have yours. We also weep for your dead, could you at least not turn from ours? We will never change as you can read in our history that we once warred to take a land to have as our own almost thirty-five-hundred years ago, our known promised land. Since then our wars have been to defend those lands. We are not even demanding the entirety of that ancient lands so well described in the largest selling book on the planet and the stories are told, unlike other religions, with all the warts and pains and errant acts of even our most respected and beloved forefathers. We do not profess to be perfect or that our history has not always been as free of sin as we would have liked, but we still admire those who after their sin dropped to their knees and begged Hashem that they would not again commit that sin and they meant every syllable they uttered whether their acts measured up was for them and Hashem to recon. We claim a land which has stood unproductive for those who would hold it and it waited until we return to give up her fruits, not that it did not take a large and almost unimaginable amount of toil and large endeavors but Hashem smiled on these efforts and we have been rewarded with a land which once again flows with milk and honey. Those words, milk and honey, you probably remember those words and that means you remember Hashem made a covenant with Abraham and all his inherited line through Isaac, Jacob and then Joseph and his conniving brothers who all made their peace and settled their reckoning. We do not want that pound of flesh, we want just the portion which Hashem promised and we know our history, we know what the founders of our homeland said and what they were and the miracle which brought low the walls of Jericho and all else which Hashem blessed our ancestors with. We know of their failings and the exile in Egypt and the miracles when Hashem brought me out from bondage in Egypt and for many years my closing words at every Seder rang out like a clarion bell calling attention to our dream as a people, “Next year in Yerushalayim!” For me that dream has come true, and I live in my land that was promised me by the Covenant of Abraham. I endeavor to ever improve the parts I must hold to as Hashem had allowed me to return to my true home. And here is the strange part; I am more at home here than I ever believed was possible and my joys when I pray each morning at a house of prayer and the Sabbath when I make the effort to go to a synagogue in which I know I am appreciated as an equal despite my slight language problem as I am as far from literate in Hebrew as I am in French, as for my French speaking friends, I could never order fish in a French restaurant as my pronunciation would sound as if I might have ordered poison. My French speaking friends will understand. May we all reach out and make the world right for all to live in peace with dignity, mutual respect, love, tolerance, and most of all, forgiveness with understanding. Je Suis Paris et Je Suis Yisroel!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 7, 2015

Peter Beinart Lies Again and the Ramifications

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Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive Synagogue in Los Angeles hosted Peter Beinart who gave what has been termed a provocative, anti-Zionist speech on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. One quote from his presentation encapsulated the tenor of his entire presentation which repeated much of his leftist, borderline J-Street, refutable tripe where he claimed, “While we condemn Palestinian violence, we must recognize this painful truth: that Israeli policy has encouraged it. Israel has encouraged it by penalizing Palestinian nonviolence, by responding to that nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Hard as it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.” Some of the largest holes in his arguments are his definitions of nonviolence which he maintains the Israeli government overreacts was the weekly riots in the village of Bil’in, which involves such provocations as striking IDF soldiers, yelling curses in their faces, spitting on the soldiers, attempts to steal their weapons, pulling on arms, tearing at their uniforms, yanking on their equipment and other edgy but technically non-violent acts which take a well-disciplined, well-trained and well-ordered units of soldiers to take with only the mildest of self-defense and conservatively measured responses which does not include any of the reactions stated by Mr. Beinart. To rise to the level of simple response of teargas, and possibly detainment but not leading to any charges but simply detainment for a period until the riots are disbanded, these riots regularly rise to stone throwing which sometimes included rather large stones as in the second picture below and these rocks are more accurately described as small boulders. I would love to see Mr. Beinart placed within one of these IDF units and see his reaction to the kinds of provocations commonly utilized at this particular site as these provocations are most often orchestrated and led by the Bilal Tamini family who seek violent reactions and often will continue their provocations for hours in an attempt to provoke any video which can be used to claim IDF overreaction and often leave without film. Bilal Tamini have been known to use false videos which use Arabs dressed in IDF styled uniforms for some of his claims which have been debunked but are still shown as if they were accurate displays of IDF violent actions against innocent Arabs. Perhaps these are that which Mr. Beinart keeps referring to as they reinforce his perception of Zionist Israelis as all Nationalists in his views and are automatically violence prone fascists. Sorry that Mr. Beinart has a pacifist filter he uses when judging Arab actions making their antagonistic violence as respectable acts as they are the oppressed fighting against imperial colonialists which is likely his picture of Israelis, as if they were real Jews with proper values, they would live in the United States instead of stolen lands of the Middle East as if the United States was founded entirely in virgin lands free of prior habitation.

 

Peter Beinart Gave What has been Termed Provocative Anti-Zionist Speech on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive Synagogue in Los Angeles

Peter Beinart Gave What has been Termed
Provocative Anti-Zionist Speech on
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at
Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive
Synagogue in Los Angeles

 

 

Rocks, These are not Rocks, These are more Accurately Described as Small, Medium to Large Boulders Fully Capable of Murdering Somebody if Thrown Through a Windshield of an Automobile Going at Speed or if Launched from Above onto an Unsuspecting Crowd as not Unlike Thrown from the Temple Mount Down into the Kotel on Such a Day as when the Priestly Blessings are Given and the Plaza is Front to Back Completely Packed with Jewish Worshippers.

Rocks, These are not Rocks,
These are more Accurately Described
as Small, Medium to Large Boulders
Fully Capable of Murdering Somebody
if Thrown Through a Windshield of an
Automobile Going at Speed or if Launched
from Above onto an Unsuspecting Crowd
as not Unlike Thrown from the Temple Mount
Down into the Kotel on Such a Day as when
the Priestly Blessings are Given and the
Plaza is Front to Back Completely Packed
with Jewish Worshippers.

 

 

We will not bother to dispute Mr. Beinart’s speech line-by-line or even concept-by-concept, as such had been done on many occasions elsewhere, but instead a discussion of the situation in Israel which makes virtually all the criticisms by Beinart, J-Street and the other faux-peace, faux-pro-Israel, faux-pro-Zionist faux-pro-Jewish NGOs supported by the New Israel Fund points mute. Neither will we go item-by-item on the many European donors and governments which spend almost all their efforts criticizing Israel and forgiving any and all provocations and even terror attacks claiming that any Jews residing in Israel are guilty of heinous crimes against the Arabs and deserve whatever happens including being murdered by terrorist acts. Having lived across the United States, we have experienced leftist Jews who cannot find it in their heart to care for Israel unless Israelis are able to live up to some perfection beyond even the most righteous of prophets from Biblical eras. They set an unattainable expectation and then support any acts against Israel for not meeting their unhinged expectations. We have met Jews who question fellow Jews who are making Aliyah and simply state that such Jews are not mentally stable as they are leaving the real promised land which they define as anywhere where liberal policies are enforced by law and public expectations as peer pressure. Their view is the United States is the enlightened Nirvana which should be considered to be the new Promised Land while Israel should be a vacation resort like a holy land version of Disneyland. If they were to visit Israel they would likely stay in Tel Aviv, a city which can be favorably compared with New York or Los Angeles in the United States with malls, five star hotels, and a political leftist liberal progressive the American Jews understand and can maintain their comfort zone. Us, we reside in what is referred to as the periphery and loving it. What distresses the leftists is that Israel is turning back to our religion and the religious and the Jabotinsky Zionists are both sectors of Israeli society which are growing. The interesting reality is that the Jews making Aliyah when they arrive in Israel, most become more Zionist and nationalist and the majority begins to make a slow, or even a sudden sharp turn towards keeping the commandments and becoming more religious.

 

The United States is welcome to be the Nirvana the leftist Jews believe it to be, but it will never be the Promised Land as that title resides in Eretz Yisroel. There are things about Israel which if you tell people who are unknowing, they will at best laugh and at worse scorn, never speaking with you ever again as they will have permanently judged you as suffering some form of dementia or other mental disorder. Allow me to relate a story I once read about which tells a truth which any of the myriad of empires who tried to get the lands to produce and failed so miserably that many sent only their most cursed to assignments here as a form of punishment yet, as modern Israel had proven as did our forefathers proved long ago, Eretz Yisroel gives up her treasures and produce, her fruit and benefits, her grazing lands and fills her wells for the Jews and denies these gifts to others.

This story involves a family farm where the father comes in from tending their small farm and comments that the rains have been ample and they have a great crop coming in this year. He claims that Allah has been kind. His elderly grandfather clears his throat and starts to almost whisper in a hoarse throaty voice which comes from years of smoking kief mixed with tobacco. He starts telling about the years of the skies holding on to their rains refusing to feed the parched lands. He tells how his childhood they are the most poor quality grains and how his family, like all those who came before, were barely able to produce sufficient for their own consumption but then the rains began to return. But the rains fell mostly on the Galilee and it took a while before the rains fell in the Gaza. Finally, around the turn of the century the rains returned to the Gaza and the fields began to produce. The rain was reason enough to accept and believe that the old writings were true, this was the land of the Jews and would only produce for the Jews and those who befriend them. This was the take the old man told his grandson and he advised he too love the Jews or the rains would once again fail.

One wonders how the rains are on the family farm now under Hamas, but that does not matter as Israel provides enough water for the fields and cities of Gaza and does so without receiving payment. The same goes for two-thirds of the electricity in the Gaza. Perhaps it matters little as Israel allows for tons of food and medical stores and supplies to enter Gaza every day and even did so last summer the entire time of the offensive against Hamas. Where else does any nation provide food, medical provisions and other materials including construction materials while engaging in a fight for the safety of the entirety of the nation providing these goods to basically their enemy. Only Israel bothers and takes such care to differentiate between the people and the terror masters who rule over the people and intentionally endanger these same people by their tactics of firing their rockets often from immediately next to their safe buildings. One might expect the world or at least the Europeans would be able to observe that the Israelis and the IDF in particular, go to extremes to preserve life, both their own and that of the Arab foes, especially noncombatants. This truth was most brought to the foreground by the The Turkel Commission which included Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Vice–President of the Europa–Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt sitting as a member of the commission which found the IDF not only met standards of the International Rules of Warfare but went to such lengths to avoid collateral deaths and to limit damages when engaging targets such as using multiple methods to warn of coming military assaults such that Hamas and the other enemy force actually had time to prepare for the IDF assault knowing where they would be attacking, from what direction the attack would originate, the time the attack would commence and whether there would be any artillery or other softening of the target area before the assault. This has also been quoted by numerous other studies and actual formal complaints from separate western nations complaining that their militaries would be unable to meet the standards set forth by the IDF and that the use of IDF standards were counterproductive to their militaries as they might also be held to such standards. Despite such feigned praise, the United Nations and collected organizations still found reasons to claim that the IDF caused far too much damage, used collective punishment, and used disproportional force as well as there was an unhealthy divergence in casualties between the Arab combatants and civilians compared to those suffered by the Israelis which was largely, if not absolutely, the result of the use of shelters and the unbelievable accuracy and kill percentage of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and also, in at least one case, the hand of Hashem.

 

None of this really matters as the truth has become malleable in this age and people can introduce their own delusions as facts and if they match and support some groups feelings, whether warranted or not, then those delusions will take on the weight of truth. One need not look any further than the BDS movement which desires to economically cripple Israel, not help the Arabs living amongst the Jews largely in peace even beyond the Green Line. Their attempts to boycott all goods coming from Israeli owned companies beyond the Green Line in order to punish Jews for living and working beyond what these self-appointed harbingers of all that is righteous and lawful are actually robbing the Arabs they claim to be supporting as the Israeli companies they are boycotting employ large percentages of their staff from the Arab villages near their locations and the supermarkets serve the Arabs as well as Jews with some locations of these markets within Arab communities. These employers also pay at a far higher rate than do the Arab employers and provide better benefit packages, but why should the truth ever enter into the argument. These businesses actually are examples of what the likes of Roger waters claim to desire, Jews and Arabs working side by side as equals with both Arabs and Jews in management positions and such are awarded according to merit and not at all as Mr. Waters protests. Needless to say, Mr. Waters has never come to Israel and toured these companies to see the truth because he, like much of his ilk even to include the self-loathing Jews who protest right there with the other leftist extremists against Israel, do not care about the truth, they are haters of one of two of the greatest evils leftists have always hated, the Jews and religious people of any Judeo-Christian faith. That is the truth that so many refuse to state as doing so labels you as a hater which in this case means that it is permissible to hate one who holds such beliefs, it says nothing about that person, it says volumes about those making the accusations.

 

Maybe this would be a good time to explore the real reason that so much of the world is attempting to throw off the perceived yoke with which they view the Judeo-Christian ethic. Hitler stated his basis for hatred of the Jews and disdain for Christianity, the later he mollified later as the Christians were to become a necessary group if he was to achieve his ultimate goals, something which took the inhuman struggle and sacrifices to prevent his madness from eclipsing the entire globe. Others throughout History have also taken on the struggle to end the Jews and always for the same reason, morality. The introduction of Judaism, which gave the world the Ten Commandments and a code of laws which formed the basis for Western Civilization and its morality and was the impetus to end idolatry and the sexual perversions, child and human sacrifice, established the basis for economic transactions including the requirements which formed the prerequisite for selling and establishing deeds for the purchase of lands and residences which are still used to this day. The Jews also set up the required steps for business transactions and many other economic codes, requirements, documentation and financing manners. Further, as for much of their existence after the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman Empire in the year 73 and their eventual dispersion across the face of the Roman Empire and subsequently further dispersed by the Mongols and the Caliphate then by the European colonialists, the Jews though small in numbers, never acquired a population which exceeded one percent of the world’s population and managed to reside in every continent and in almost every nation throughout history. This gave the Jewish people two important items which both were important at some time during our history. The first was whenever the Jews were expelled from a nation as resulted from the Spanish Inquisition, the purging of the Jews by the British Isles, the pogroms of Russia and several exiles by different Islamic leaders over subsets of the Ottoman Empire at one time or another, there were always some Jews wherever they ended being able to rest their feet and resettle. It also gave the Jews different sets of knowledge and a broad understanding which resulted from these various cultures and their ability to take the different strengths while knowing which weaknesses and ill-advised paths to avoid allowing for Jews to succeed and flourish wherever they ended up residing. This success also helped the nation in which they resided as the Jews always seemed to find a way for increasing the wealth of their host nation while also enriching their own community which had the unfortunate result of jealousy and eventual expulsion or worse, violence against them during which their wealth was redistributed, to put it politely.

 

Ten Commandments Arranged in Hebrew Reading from Right to Left with English Translations Underneath the Hebrew

Ten Commandments
Arranged in Hebrew
Reading from Right to Left
with English Translations
Underneath the Hebrew

 

 

This effect of the Jews was also true of the early Christians and later for many Christians living outside the Western world. There were wars in the Western world fought between the different forms of Christianity but these eventually became less likely once the concept of separation between religion and the powers of the state became the norm. For the approximately first twelve to fifteen centuries when Judaism was the sole religion which believed in Hashem, an invisible and sole force which was the explanation for all creation and everything which preceded, currently was and ever would be and beyond even the end as Hashem was before the beginning, Hashem was the force behind all the triumphs and seeming invincibility of the Hebrews for as long as their lives kept the covenant and they followed the commandments laid out for them at Mount Sinai and taught them through Torah. Other nations feared that the Hebrews would war against them and this was one reason they were attacked but as the Hebrews would stray from their laws and the path of the straight and narrow, most often by engaging in idolatrous devotions and practices and the debauchery which often accompanied such observances which brought punishment of Hashem down upon them. Eventually, after the tribes split into the northern ten tribes known as Israel and the remaining two tribes and their priest class of Judea (which included the tribe of Benyamin), the Assyrians conquered the northern tribe of Israel around 740 to 733 BCE which became lost until recent times as they have been discovered residing in many numerous and disparate places on the globe and rejoined into the modern Jewish State of Israel. What spurred many to desire to destroy the Hebrews, and later the Jews as the remaining Hebrews became known, as the majority was from the tribe of Judah, was a desire to prove that their idols, reason, knowledge, codes or whatever they held sacred and based their civilization upon was superior to Hashem. Since there was no manner of attack which could be mounted against Hashem, the next best thing would be to destroy utterly his people, the Hebrews or Jews ending their covenant with Hashem and by destroying the people of Hashem, it would be proven that Hashem was false and belief in Hashem did not protect the Jews.

 

This concept of destroying the Jews to prove that Hashem was false may seem like an insane idea today yet the idea is as valid today as it ever has been. One of the promises made by Hitler was to free the German people from the conscience which was invented by the Jew and living a life guided by Christian morality as he would restore their individual rights where their sole loyalty was to the State and there was no higher entity than the State itself. Further, the Nazis promised a return to a more carefree society where hedonism would no longer be considered a sin and people would be freed from the Jewish presumably false concept of conscience and also from the Christian structured morality. The Nazis never relinquished their disdain for Christian morality but ceased emphasizing it as openly as this was not as well received as was the assailing everything Jewish including especially the Jews. Once again we witness the attempt to destroy Hashem but this time by the destruction of the Jews and the abandonment of Christian faith which would have solely been eradicated as well had the Nazis succeeded in their lust for world conquest. There was also over fifteen-hundred plus years where the Catholic, and subsequently the other Christian sects such as Protestantism, also attempted to eradicate the Jewish faith and people. They practiced forced conversions or pogroms, burning at the stake, drowning, witch trials, and a plethora of other manners of shaming, murdering or making an outcast of the Jew. The claim was often that one did not hate the Jews generally as they all had dealings with or a friend who was Jewish, it was the faith of the Jew which had to be eradicated and the Jew forced to accept Jesus that was all that was necessary for their lives to be spared. Then there was Communism which again, like Nazism, desired to murder Hashem so they forbid Judaism and Christianity, both the Orthodox Church and Catholicism along with the other Christian sects and any other religion as once again the state had to rule supreme and thus could not accept any person or deity to supercede the authority of the State. Once again we have an attempt to destroy Hashem that ended in failure.

 

The final chapter brings us to the challenge of the Twenty-First-Century where once again there are those plotting to destroy the faith in Hashem. This one may be the most insidious of all the attempts to end the rule of Hashem over the planet and beyond into the universe. We the believers in Hashem, the Jews and Christians, are the current targets and we are both in the same boat. What makes this latest attempt to destroy those whose faith is in Hashem is that the destroyers are selling a lie that they too believe in Hashem as their supreme being despite the obvious fallacy of their claims. Some of their fellow believers might honestly believe that they are worshipping the same deity as Jews and Christians but their true recipient of their prayers and supplications is not Hashem. Their deity is named Allah and is not simply another name for Hashem but rather an entirely different entity. This can be seen as Hashem is the Holy One of Abraham, Isaac and Yaakov while Allah is the deity derived from Abraham but not of Isaac or of Yaakov but rather Ishmael and Muhammad, an entirely different lineage. This is further proven by the desire of Muslims, the followers of Islam declaring their war towards the destruction of all Jews and Christians as well as their holy sites which will either be destroyed or repurposed solely for the use of Islam. The final strike is from the Torah, which Muslims believe the Quran replaced, not added to or even amended but replaced, and repeated in the Passover Haggadah where it says, “In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.” While it is written in a similar text, Exodus 17:16 it states, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.” Such it must be and if any group deserves to be the next incarnation of Amalek after the Nazis and have the all-fired hatred of that which is Holy in Torah, that title easily belongs to the most fanatical Islamists. Where we would not use a broad brush and color every member of Islam automatically guilty of such unbridled hatred against the Jews, and in this case also the Christians, and against the Bible, be it Old Testament or the New Testament or both together, and demand that all within has been bastardized over time, such is an assault on the word of Hashem and the direct assault on His peoples, the Jews. This is the fight which Israel must realize is the seminal struggle for the existence of the Jewish People and our renewed nation of Israel and if we love our land, brothers, sisters and the rest of the generations of our heritage and family, then we need to fight this like the struggle for survival that it is. Granted, not all Muslims are evil and desire us dead, but until they stand up and take their religion back and renew what they claim is an nonviolent religion and that the Quran teaches about Islam being the religion of peace, until then it must be assumed that Allah and Hashem are as different as their religious adherents actions and desires for the world make them out to be and that those not speaking out and retaking their religion must be taken as agreeing with the most ardent Islamist and treated as such. Should the presumed silent majority take that first step towards reconciliation, then the rest of the world can step up and give them all the assistance required, but until then their silence speaks all we need to know, and that is the sorriest thing of all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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