Beyond the Cusp

May 25, 2016

Israeli and IDF Morality Irrelevant

 

We read and hear of the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-IDF protesters all repeating that everything Israel is immoral, of lesser rights, unjustifiable, everything negative that those who hate us believe they can make stick and our responding to them only strengthens their arguments. They use our defensiveness as proof that they have hit a nerve, found some hidden nugget of truth and thus that makes all their hateful messaging correct and true. It had nothing to do with Israel or the IDF. Every Western nation has sent their representatives of the government or military to Israel since the last war in Gaza against Hamas to learn two things, how to effectively gather the necessary intel on the terror groups operating in their nations and how to fight a just and moral war. The first has to do with technical items which we in Israel have depended upon to keep us alive. The second, how to fight a war even close to the level of morality and at best at avoiding civilian casualties against a foe using innocents as their bunkers against attack as Hamas and their ilk have taken to doing. So, there is sufficient proof that Israel is a just and merciful society and the real world outside of academia knows it leaving only the anti-Semites and those they can sweep off their feet with lies are against the truth. The sad thing is that they too know what Israel represents and that scares them more than anything else.

 

That brings us to the crux of the matter, why then if they know that Israel is just, moral and so above the level in act and purpose do they desire to tear us down and destroy us. The reason is twofold and half of it is because we are just, moral and so above the level in act and purpose. The truth is proven by our actions that Israel in its new revival is proof that there is a Creator and that that Creator is Hashem. Our return as a nation built in a single day is proof of Hashem and that Hashem is real; His covenant with the people of Israel who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have returned to their Promised Land; and the covenant has again been verified. They are the equivalent of those who opposed the land of Israel back then and they too have survived unto this day. They live and breathe deceit and all those traits that Israel does not and our existence frightens them beyond belief. This is why they are sworn to tear us down.

 

If these are the modern idolaters and worshipers of the false gods such as the tribes that rose against Israel in the Bible, the Old Testament, then how is it they were not vanquished over time. The truth is their original societies did fall but the people continued on. Many were converted to modern faiths and the majority held no religious belief beyond the worship of man as the ultimate entity, the supreme beings above all else. To these heathens the human being is god and they are the leading example of this truth. They still have their pantheon of gods and it is they and they must tear down the proof of any Higher Creator which disproves all that they believe and hold as truth. If there is a Creator then their rules and beliefs all crumble before Hashem and Hashem’s covenant is the proof of Hashem’s existence. As long as there are inheritors of the land of Israel who serve Hashem and keep the covenant then there is a Creator, a Higher Being and man is but one of Hashem’s creations, perhaps His greatest creation, but still simply one of those created and placed here by Hashem. This they must destroy.

 

Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Dome of the Rock Jerusalem circa 1860 in disarray and in ruin after centuries of disrepair and lack of concerns or interest

Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem circa 1860 in disarray and in ruin
after centuries of disrepair and lack of concerns or interest

 

Thus the best way to destroy the fact that there exists a Creator is to cast those who serve and enjoy a covenant with Hashem down and make the holders of His covenant to be craven low beasts who are less than men and thus we are to be cast as jealous and weaker beings because of our false beliefs of which the most preposterous and most vile is this belief that mankind is not the highest of all life forms and that it is our weakness that we follow Hashem and his covenant to toil and care in the lands granted us by Hashem’s promise. They must divide up this land and steal as much as possible for as long as those who hold this covenant with Hashem do not possess all of the Promised Lands, then the promise has been broken. This is what is behind every attempt to establish two states for two peoples within the lands between the Jordan and the Sea as these are the lands Hashem did promise to Abraham and to Isaac repeatedly in the Bible, in Torah. Having taken Gaza is not sufficient as they know that the ancient Hebrew tribes did not necessarily have Gaza as part of the Promised Lands but they know without a doubt that Judea and Samaria were part of the Promised Lands and they know that Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, were crucial parts, the heart, one might say, of the Promised Lands. So they claim that these lands were never the holdings of the Hebrew People of the Bible as described in Torah as those are simply stories with no truth. They know as long as they cast doubt on the validity of the Bible and Torah in particular, then they have negated the covenant, denied the fulfillment of Hashem’s promise to return his children to the lands that Hashem had promised them as their inheritance. The covenant was that the Hebrew tribes would tend the land and the land would reward them as long as they served Hashem by keeping the laws and observing the words of Torah and thus receiving the rains and water for the land such that it would sustain them.

 

The fact that the IDF is such a moral fighting force is further proof that those serving Israel are also serving the will of Hashem as they guard the Promised Lands for Hashem’s people and keep them safe. Look at the first wars fought to reestablish Israel and there are miracles galore. Virtually any military historian will try and give a thousand and one reasons that the nascent Israeli Defense Forces which were nothing but some ragtag collection of groups which had been terrorizing and harassing the British to get them to leave as the land was no longer worth their time and efforts, a formula which worked but also saw some British officers from World War II recently decommissioned taking a new assignment upon themselves to aid the Arab armies of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and others and they did so even in some instances sharing command advisory positions cooperating with Nazi officers also from World War II. The Arab armies had air forces, armored divisions and thousands of men for every Israeli fighting and had many Arab villages behind the Israeli lines ready to strike at the rear disrupting the Israeli, the Jewish efforts and allow for an easy victory. This was not to be as Hashem had promised that we would return and tend the lands once again for Hashem and he would care for us and provide as long as we kept our side of the bargain.

 

The efforts under way using discrediting accusations of immorality of actions and impure acts by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in any effort, they have been forced to fight against a relentless set of foes. The Six Day War was just as much a miracle as was the wars of 1948 and 1949. The Yom Kippur War was an even greater miracle than was the Six Day War and there have been those miracles witnessed by so many IDF troops and some have become stalwarts known by many throughout the world. They must all be proven to be anything but the miracles they are so when they are recounted they are claimed and sworn by Israel’s detractors to be fables and Israelis nothing but boastful liars. Those making these accusations know who is doing the lying but as lies are the stock of their trade, what else could one think. They also use the traces of anti-Semitism to gain any additional following that will join just because they oppose Jews, that is another front to this entire assault upon Israel. These people who appear, and there is a concerted effort to achieve this result, to be a loosely strung groups of grassroots gathering is a highly organized and well-financed assault upon Israel and the love of Hashem. This is highly funded by the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, the European Union, Oxfam, numerous other NGOs, numerous governments from every corner of the globe and incorporating some of the most deeply pocketed nations on the planet and even some so far in debt they cannot see the top of the hole, and all from small to large, right to poor, apparently religious to completely secular, free to dictatorial, professing morality to the most hedonistic all group together as they all rely on the Hebrew Creator, Hashem, be proven false by breaking his covenant which requires the destruction of Israel.

 

Getting to the bottom and finding the dark core requires a long and often seemingly fruitless endeavor as one peels back the layers of this onion and at its core one will find a small number of individual seed cores, the Vatican, the Palestinian Authority backed by Sunni Muslims, Iran and Shiite Muslims, and a core group of secular humanist anti-religious NGOs. This would appear to be a group completely unrelated and potentially adversarial but they all have as their greatest enemy the covenant the Children of Israel have with Hashem as to each should that covenant and special relationship prove valid and true then their entire defining principles and core beliefs go up in a puff of smoke. For that reason and that reason alone these groups would stand with Satan, a nonentity in Judaism as there is no deity, even of sin and the underworld (hell), other than Hashem and all supreme power lies with Hashem, the Creator who came before and will be after and exists in all He Created and there is a truth to hang one’s hat (or yarmulke) on. Hashem promised the land to the seed of Abraham and Isaac for eternity and our exiles were punishments for not following the playbook, the Torah, and using it as our guide for a happy and fruitful life.

 

We are now being gathered as promised by the prophets and our ingathering is being facilitated by these anti-Semites who are spreading their virus of hate infecting the world. The Muslim World had this virus from their inception. So too the Roman Catholic Church and a fair number of the Protestant reformers and the idolaters too have had it from the start and others were gathered along the way all aligned to destroy Hashem’s jewel, a land that never gave its bounty up to any other but always favored the Children of Israel, not by accident. Has it never struck anyone as unexplainable that places on earth where there has never been a Jew for people to meet are still rank with Jew hatred and thus Israel hatred? Another item which is often called an anomaly as Jew hatred is considered the norm, almost every nations which has had a catastrophe which all but wiped their peoples off the map, the earthquakes in Haiti, Nepal and Japan, the typhoon in the Philippines and Viet Nam and countless other places where Israel was the first aid in and first hospital up and running and the last to leave and often leaving behind fully stocked clinics for remote places or particularly bad areas such as an orphanage in Haiti or a remote village deep in the interior in the Philippines and in each clinic they also left a few key people to train and when they left their final act was to assure that the monitors all worked, all the equipment was calibrated, the stocks filled, and then the tearful good-byes and these places who have met real Israelis love Israel, and that is how it will remain, where Israel touches the world it will heal. Where Israel is rebuked and maligned they will remain pitted in petty differences and hatreds and eventually eat their civilized world and all will be lost. It may sound insane but Israel is the world’s future or the world will become a place of perpetual darkness and that will end poorly for mankind. Learn to witness what Israel is and not the lies you have been told. Is Israel perfect, no, but Hashem is and in His service and in keeping His Torah we are slowly getting closer.

 

Doctor Tali Shaltiel of IsraAid an Israeli Humanitarian Relief NGO funded by donations and Israeli government as part of IDF relief efforts wades into the water to take a small Syrian child from drowning after her rubber raft she and other refugees had overturned

Doctor Tali Shaltiel of IsraAid an Israeli Humanitarian Relief NGO
funded by donations and Israeli government as part of IDF relief efforts
wades into the water to take a small Syrian child from drowning
after her rubber raft she and other refugees had overturned

 

One last point, what about those who are secular and fight against the religious inside Israel amongst her Jews? Their numbers shrink every year, every month, every week and every hour. The IDF is becoming an army of religious and believing Israelis who worship Hashem. This scares the top generals as has become evident in a small crisis centered around the General Staff and former Defense Minister Ya’alon. That is an example of the IDF moving in a correct direction and the top will change as those below it in the chain of command have changed. Israel still has a way to go but she is heading there as your read. We are getting there as well and the ride has had its challenges but it has also had rewards beyond description. A number of years ago while still in the United States this article would have been beyond our knowledge and now it is our daily lives. That itself is a testament to Hashem and the way Hashem permeates these lands. It may take centuries or it may already be happening. But all what Hashem promised will come to be, Period.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 11, 2016

Israel Remembrance and Independence Day

 

Today is Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), and tomorrow is Israeli Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut). On the Gregorian calendar it will be on Sunday, May 15, but on our Hebrew calendar it is tomorrow. There will be fireworks and celebratory activities all across this small but vital nation and the vitality will definitely be on display for all to see. But that independence came at a price which must be respected and have its day which is why we have Remembrance Day, or Memorial Day, one day before, today. Today we mourn all those lost to anti-Semitic terrorism, anti-Zionist terrorism and anti-Israel terrorism which have a shared root directly related to Independence Day and a more historic foundation, for some possibly remembrance also goes back in their hearts ever further than the official definitions. Officially we are remembering all those lost to terrorist strikes, all our soldiers lost in the battles and wars we have been forced to fight to continue to even have a nation, the six million souls lost in the Holocaust and for me the souls lost to the wars fought as recorded in the Bible and to all the pogroms, cleansings and other atrocities all but impossible to imagine from both sides of the great history of the Jewish People. Most people are familiar with only the modern anti-Semitic history of Europe and Russia and are unfamiliar with the similar history for those Jews who resided amongst the Arab world as well as Spain where when the Muslims were pushed back across Gibraltar and back into Northern Africa that the Jews too were cleansed from Spanish lands despite that the Jews were often victims alongside the Christians when there was persecution in Muslim lands against the non-Muslims. And then there was the particularly troublesome part in the Holy Lands.

 

The conquest of the Holy Lands by Islam, then the Crusaders, then Islam, then more Crusaders and finally Islam, took its toll on the Jews still residing in our homeland but powerless to free it of either curse. Both were a curse as when the Muslims attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Christians; and when the Crusaders attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Muslims. The one constant was whoever was trying to conquer the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular, the Jews were always on the wrong side as far as the attackers were concerned and often we were also seen as part of the enemy to whoever was defending against the attack; so the killing of Jews wholesale was always the outcome. These Jews I also remember because their only sin was to be living in our natural and ancient homeland. We had been thriving in this homeland when these forces of religious intolerance were still sacrificing their own to idols, before the Roman Empire, before Alexander the Great, before Darius and Cyrus and the Persians and before the Babylonians and Phoenicians and were only preceded by the Egyptians of that era, a different group than today’s Egyptians, the Minoans and the Hittites, Moabites and other peoples who existence has disappeared into the dust and only records stand in edifices still baffling modern engineers and archeologists. All the fallen throughout Jewish history should be remembered even if they also have their own holiday as they also were defenders of these lands.

 

 

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldier

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldiers

 

 

One might ask why dampen our spirits one day before our celebrating the wondrous miracle of the reestablishment of our ancient land into the modern world? The answer is so that we never forget and Never Again has additional meanings. And not to fret, the greatest transition in a national mood can be witnessed tonight as Jews across Israel go from somber remembrance to unbridled joy in a matter of seconds. We have had a history which has prepared us well for such shifts in our national mood. Remember Haman from the Megillah of Esther where we went from condemned to all be murdered across the Persian Empire in a single day and were instead decreed we would be permitted to defend ourselves without punishment from the King and we triumphed and survived by the thinnest wisp of smoke once again. We had faced similar threats before and would again and again as we are again today as most of the Islamic world has sworn to destroy us starting with our “partners for peace” the Arab Palestinians and Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic State and Iran and those are just for starters. Do not get us going down this road because it is not a road for great worry, we have faced these odds before and we are still here, and I do mean here as in right here in our ancient homelands where we belong no matter what the United Nations or the community of nations and a special shout down to the European Union and all the rest in Europe who support whoever is fighting against Israel despite our posing them no threat. We have survived threats just as severe before and we will very likely face others just as dire in the future. When your peoples have survived for over three-thousand-years you have some history and you have faced threats to end your existence and survived and thus are confidant, rightfully so, that you will continue to do so.

 

There are stories of rulers from France to Russia to the tips of Africa where they asked their wise men and advisors to define or explain such concepts as eternity, the Creator and a whole list of other things which defy definition as they imply that which is limitless and will last throughout the ages even well beyond their empire or other human measure of time and the answer given was always the Jews. Mark Twain once wrote, “The Eternal Jew” which reads:


If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him.

He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, and no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.
All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

 

His commentary is a good place to leave these thoughts. Today in Synagogue we will all say prayers of remembrance and tomorrow we will quote prayers which are triumphant, one of the rare moments we do so. Then again, after three-thousand-years we have good reason to celebrate the fact we are still here to attend services but first to the memory of all who made our continued existence their worthy sacrifice and to Hashem who has walked with them whether they knew so or not. And perhaps that is the thread that binds the Jew to their heritage and gives them their spark, Hashem and His Torah which has been the glue that binds every Jew to his brothers and sisters no matter their path through the ages. Our thanks to our soldiers, our defenders and a remembrance to those from amongst our midst, the great sacrifices that were made and to our future; and may it serve Hashem well, with pride and humility, another opposing set of ideals we Jews have learned to hold simultaneously, or are at least still mastering.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 10, 2016

Why Demand Palestinians recognize Jewish State?

 

The first definition which we need to understand is that under the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States defines the exact requirements which when met in sufficient qualitative and quantitative manner is considered to be a viable state and that is all that is required for a nation to be considered a state. Once a nation qualifies as a state it then has the right to define itself as it pleases. Israel easily qualifies as a nation, a state and thus has the right of a state to define herself. Israel decided at her founding what the definition of the State of Israel was, it is the Jewish State, the nation state where any Jew choosing so is welcome as a citizen, period. There is no question and this recognition as the Jewish State requires no recognition of any other nation, organization or group, fini. I hear some of you now asking, then why do so many Israeli politicians and statespeople demand that the Arab Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the Jewish State as a requirement for peace if Israel does not require their recognition to be the Jewish State? There is the crux of the argument and it is vital to understand. The Arab recognition, be it the Palestinians, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, or any Arab or Muslim nation being demanded to recognize Israel as the Jewish State is so as to establish their acceptance of the chosen definition taken by Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People and end the constant attempts to flood Israel with Arab refugees from anywhere and everywhere in the Arab world changing the demographics and ending Israel as the Jewish State. Once they recognize Israel as the Jewish State the Arab and Muslim worlds will necessarily need to then treat their refugee problems internally or anywhere outside of Israel. That is the importance and not the actual definition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People.

 

Another false concept is that defining Israel as the Nation State of the Jews is not a religious definition such as the Islamic State of Iran, the Saudi Arabian definition that Islam is the sole recognized religion permitted to actively practice within its borders or any of the other states declaring their religious base is Islamic. The declaration that Israel is the nation state of the Jews means the Jewish People as a peoples, a racial distinction and not necessarily a religious one, though the citizen permitted in for having Jewish roots though having these Jews as a people also practicing Judaism would be a huge plus, but it is not a requirement for citizenship. Do not worry if this confuses you as there are many Israelis who resent many of those allowed in because they have the correct maternal ancestral lines who are atheist and this drives them right up the wall. That does not change the fact that one whose maternal line can be traced to a maternal matron who was a Jew is sufficient for their entry into Israel as a Jew whether they practice or not. Those who are driven almost out of their tree over these non-practicing Jews who they place one step further removed from Judaism than the reform Jews in the United States or Europe should calm themselves and try to arrange marriages between marginally or newly returned to Judaism Jews, or even religious Jews, in relations with the non-practicing Jewish people whose parents may even feel extreme animosity towards the religious and were raised that religion is, as described by Karl Marx in his analysis and critique of religion and is perhaps one of the most famous and most quoted writings where he chimed that, “religion is the opiate of the masses.” We need remember that love conquers all and if a particularly religious person and one who never lived a religious life become close, more often than not the advantages of the religious life will likely win over the irreligious person if for no other reason than curiosity, especially if the religious person appears to be happier and seem to know some secret that their other has no knowledge over. Given some number of generations and one will find that Israelis will grow closer and more observant and religiously Jewish and believing in Judaism and not merely being a Jew by the religious links of their grandmother, great-grandmother or even more remote but maternally unbroken links.

 

 

A map of Israel should any of the nations of the world actually be honest and truly be seeking peace which can only be attained should Israel have the most defensive borders imaginable.

A map of Israel should any of the nations of the world actually be honest
and truly be seeking peace which can only be attained should Israel
have the most defensive borders imaginable.

 

 

You might be wondering why we keep referring to the maternal links over that of the paternal side of the family. This is because this is the link which Judaism values such that your father being Jewish would be due to his maternal links to the religion historically. For some reason the maternal link is the important linkage to being a Jew. Yes, this stands in contrast with most other religions where if either parent were of the religion, then the children must be of that religion. Of course that might be a bit conflicting if the mother was say Episcopalian and the father Sunni Muslim, this leaves a child who is both and neither and guaranteed to garner the ire of one group and the acceptance of the other. For Israel, they rely on the ancient preference and definitions of our society from as far back as three-thousand years past as it has been throughout the entirety of the time from them to the modern Jewish State of Israel.

 

Another truth about Israel as the Jewish State, it has existed for the past three-thousand years, for over one thousands of those years as an independent State of the Jewish Peoples. Small segments of time the independence of the Jewish State managed to reestablish itself throwing off the yoke of their occupiers. This was ended when the Roman Empire dispersed the Jewish People to the far reaches and throughout their empire in a concerted effort to destroy the Jews as a people. Torah was the glue which held our people as a people and continued our attachment to our ancient homelands no matter where we resided. There has never been a period in all of history where there has not existed a Jewish presence in the areas which made up Eretz Yisroel. Further, open any Jewish prayer-book and open it to a random page and read those pages and you will see reference after reference to Israel, our home for all times. The end of the Passover Seder, Jews throughout the world read the line, “Next year in Jerusalem.” So, Israel is and always was the home of the Jewish People and is defined as such in all the Jewish writings including prayer books, Torah, Talmud, commentaries and numerous other sources from all the creative arts. Studying the history of the Jews and one cannot help but find their links to the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The claims that the day will come when we reconnect with our lands titled Israel are finally being realized. This return was prophesied over two-thousand years ago and has been inevitable are proving correct. This return is the culmination of events put into place and predicted by our prophets making centuries back making ours the chosen generation who will witness the handiwork of Hashem’s reestablishment. We truly are the Chosen People who are being blessed to bear witness to the final return of the Jewish People to their land. This return is the placing of the muscles and outer skin upon the dry bones which first were gathered to the land and given sinew to hold together. This generation is witness to the ending of the physical construction being completed leaving only the mind to be renewed and out Jewish faith be reestablished. To witness even the smallest glimpse of this process is enough of a miracle, Dayenu.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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