Beyond the Cusp

June 30, 2017

Plans for Heterodox to Move Forward and Move On


Let us assume that times they have changed and the Jordanian Waqf has been sent packing back to Jordan and an area on the Temple Mount has been cleared and the foundation is being laid on a little more than two acre area sitting between and forward of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque as many things have changed. A small area of the Dome of the Rock’s Plaza will be used for the Third Temple. One might have thought that even this far after the end of the Palestinian problem being settled people might have given it a rest, but no. Some did claim it was quite satisfactory while many Arab leaders claim that the solution of buying the lands and granting every non-Jew an extravagantly generous relocation bonus was cheating the Palestinians and many from within Israel who took the offer of their heritage. Those who relocated claimed that no heritage was worth that much. So, here we are twenty-five years after the al-Aqsa War which began with Hamas’s coup in which Mahmoud Abbas was barely rescued by, unofficially, a rescue squad dropped in with a dozen CH53 helicopters taking out the leadership of Fatah and the Palestinian Security Forces including all of Force 17 and the helicopters were covered in the air by one dozen Osprey flying low support and a half dozen Harriers flying high cover, though against what Hamas aircraft would be a logical question. Hamas turned their coup right around into a two front war on Israel the second week of August after they had received a United Nations approved and protected transfer of security forces to serve as police in their Judea and Samaria controlled areas. They also sued in the United Nations to have their areas freed of any IDF interventions and for recognition as Palestine demanding they be granted free access between Gaza and Judea and Samaria. They received everything they requested from the General Assembly where less than a dozen nations opposed their demands, requests, whatever, but the United States vetoed everything in the Security Council. And for now, we can end with the proposed history thus allowing this story to continue.


The war was in its third day when the worst possible occurred and Hezballah joined the Hamas offensive believing they could make the critical difference, or maybe we should say that Iran thought they would make the critical difference. They did and Israel now holds almost all of the traditional lands of the Twelve Tribes with the Litany River as her northern border (see map below). The Russians in the name of Bashar al-Assad, yes he is still alive, took the northern parts of Syria so Hezballah is still on the northern border, just without any missiles as Russia reached an agreement with Israel to demilitarize the entirety of the Syrian-Israeli border, and the Russians have proven to be far more reliable than the United Nations. After the war, Israel made the offer to purchase any land, home, business, apartment, farm or other properties from any non-Jew within the enhanced Israeli borders and provide a generous relocation benefit along with the buyout plus airfare to any nation on the planet. Israel was even paying the price of any properties as they had been before the six-month war. Well over ninety-percent of Gazan, Judean and Samarian Arabs took the buyout, relocation benefit while almost seventy-percent of Israeli Arabs also took these options, and the three nations where the majority moved were Saudi Arabia, Canada and the United States with a relative few choosing Mexico. This was not surprising as Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia were the only nations the United States was able to pressure and bribe into accepting the refugees. The overwhelming majority of the Arabs who remained in Israel were Christian Arabs along with the Baha’I and most of the Druze decided to remain with Israel. The United Nations condemned Israel, demanded Israel share rule with the Arabs and when Israel instead formed the new Israel they decided to remove Israel from the United Nations. So, it was decided that the time had arrived to build the Third Temple in Jerusalem which was reached after heavy lobbying by The Temple Institute. Chief Rabbi Eliezer Melamed was also supportive as was the Beth El community. Once the United Nations and much of Europe and the West except the United States, Poland, Canada and Romania renounced their relations with Israel and removed their embassies, there was little to lose and no real consequences the world could threaten. Israel and her populations finally felt free and no longer burdened by needing to please the rest of the world, they had shown their true colors and done their worst, thus it was truly time to build the Third Temple as the people of Israel demanded.


Hypothetical Israel and Twelve Tribes of Israel

Hypothetical Israel and Twelve Tribes of Israel


Now with construction about to begin as the preparations were completing, there came the demand, the Temple had to have a courtyard area that would accommodate all of the many Heterodox Jewish communities. The claim came from the CEO of International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), UJA-Federation of New York, the chief executive of American Jewish Congress, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform movement), the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative movement) and a number of secular Jewish institutions who queried as to why any of the vast majority of non-Orthodox Jews would feel they have a place in Israel, acceptance within Judaism and would even desire to support Israel if the Third Temple was not inclusive of their sensitivities and practices. What was notable was their complete lack of mention or recognition of Halachic, or Jewish Law. The Third Temple was being built according to the instructions of how the Temple was to be constructed. And guess what? There was no place in the plans for anything other than a single courtyard for the Jews. The Israeli religious institutions, government and, after a group filed a complaint with the Israeli Supreme Court to force a second courtyard for the Heterodox Jewish communities, even the liberal Supreme Court Justices refused to allow a secondary courtyard and backed the religious community. So, the Third Temple proceeded to be built with a single courtyard and as closely as was understood to the biblical and Torah specified construction of the Temple.


End of the imaginary and now for a reality which I found after I made Aliyah and moved permanently to Israel. I was a relaxed Jew while living in the United States. Most of my life I barely went to services even on Shabbat or the High Holy Days. Often doing so was not even a possibility. The majority of places I lived the closest Synagogue was quite distant. If one existed, they were more often over an hour away and if there was one within twenty-five miles, I considered myself fortunate. I also had another problem with many Synagogues, and it was not distance in a literal and more usual meaning but rather political and sociological. Often people, including too often the Rabbi and definitely the men’s club and leaders of the synagogue would shun me once they found out that I did not believe in gun control unless you meant heading to the range for the day and practicing, that I seldom voted for liberal politicians, that I did not favor same sex marriage and instead believed that marriage should be a ceremony, with or without certificate, at a house of faith while the government should issue certificate of union and not marriage certificates. This way the government could have their secular rules, the religious institutions could do as their religious inclinations direct them, and the two should never dictate to the other what they must do. They were shocked when I did not support the courts demanding that bakers make a cake for a same sex marriage because they did not approve. They would claim I was a reactionary conservative monster. They were close but missed that I might be a realist libertarian conservative. I doubt most even know what one is.


Now I live in Israel. I make it to morning services as often as my aging body allows. Evening services, which includes afternoon, a short lesson and then evening, I attend in the winter as they are held early enough for me to attend before taking my evening medications. Spring and fall I am able to attend the evening first services which is the afternoon service, but then need to take my medications which allow me to start sleeping soon after taking them thus I stay home after taking them. This may appear to be strange as I also am keeping Kosher and light Sabbath candles, even if it requires my wife waking me to do so. There is something about the Land of Israel and the ease by which you are able to be religious and follow the Mitzvahs. I need to be honest and point out that I am still learning some of the Mitzvahs, but I am giving it effort. What originally surprised me were the levels of satisfaction and increasing belief in Hashem here in Israel. I have not reached the level that I am capable of hearing voices when near the Western Wall. The Temple Mount I cannot talk about not having been up on the Temple Mount, nor am I likely to do so until Jews have equal rights to walk and pray on the Temple Mount. This is a restriction which only Muslims are permitted to perform as the Jordanian Waqf still makes the rules for this holy site. They claim that their ever-stricter rules preventing people other than Muslims from having any right as a human being on the Temple Mount is because they decide it should be next to impossible and that makes complete sense because as Muslims they do not believe that anyone else is a human being.


The reason that the Third Temple (when built) and other holy sites in Israel, especially those which are outside and in general view of the public, one need act religious and not just to the level that one is comfortable committing but to the highest level in consideration for the religious who one would be offending by not obeying Halachic Law. One would not attend an Orthodox Bar Mitzvah and insist on having their girl friend sit in the main auditorium, not wear a Kippah because they do not wear them at the Reconstructionist Temple they belong to nor would one request a cheeseburger during the luncheon. When in Israel and outside you are, in many ways, in an Orthodox area. Walking into a Synagogue in Israel, unless you know for sure, simply believe that it will be an Orthodox Synagogue. The Western Wall is a form of Synagogue and one should simply assume that it is Orthodox area where such strictness applies. For fifty years the Kotel, as the Western Wall and Plaza are referred, has been treated as an Orthodox religious area and there have been numerous people who visit the site and they accept the men and women have separate areas and that the men will wear a Kippah. This has included quite a few non-orthodox and even non-religious men and women who have held to the restriction of an Orthodox Jew without any vociferous complaint.


When did the decency fall apart and the new demands become prevalent? The answer is in the very recent times, like the last decade at most. The next question has to be, why? Let us say it has something to do with our recent theme and the decision by the left that all things concerning Judaism (as well as Christianity) are evil and must be deconstructed, diluted and then destroyed. This includes the numerous secular leftist Jews, quite a few of which belong to non-Orthodox sects of Judaism or to the Oren-Orthodox, another sect which tries to fake being Orthodox by retaining the title without many of the rules, actually an ever increasing number of the rules have been dropped. All of these sects may not be in favor of destroying Judaism but they do contain a fair number of people who do favor such a destruction. What we do know about those on a mission to destroy Judaism, they are organized and will try to take over the control of ever more Jewish organizations in order to destroy our religion from the inside. What better place to destroy something than within. One perfect example is the Anti-Defamation League and their new Director Jonathan Greenblatt. Mr. Greenblatt is about as secular Jew as one can find and his politics as a Leftist Progressive outweigh his concern for Halacha. He supports LGBTQ rights, same sex marriage and believes that Israel must bend to accepting his ideas if the American Jews are to support Israel. The real question should be if these are the core beliefs of American Jews, how can they consider themselves Jews when they are really secularist progressive leftists. The two are separate and distinctly and mutually exclusive. It is not possible to ignore Torah and three thousand years of Jewish core beliefs and simply change them because your politics support the leftist secular irreligious views. Torah does not change and is what Hashem desires from us as Jews. If your belief in secular leftist progressive views outweighs your belief in Torah, then you are not Jewish and please do not try to dictate what makes a Jew to Israel, you will feel disappointed and rejected every time, though there are places in Tel Aviv where your ideas are acceptable, please feel free to visit these and you will find your stay in Israel pleasant. But should you visit my Synagogue or the Kotel or numerous other religious and holy places in Israel, please do us the courtesy of proper attire that includes wearing a Kippah for the men and separate access and possibly seating. Israel may be a modern nation but that does not make us any less Jewish and it is possible to be both. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and when in Israel, do as the Orthodox Jews so as such are the standard in Israel. Do not expect anything less and we will not bother you with your habits in America.


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