Beyond the Cusp

July 31, 2019

The Redefiners of Judaism Take Insult as Usual

 

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz stated in a cabinet meeting that the rate of assimilation among the Jewish community in the United States is “like a second Holocaust.” His reference was in respect of the facts known that over fifty-percent of Jews in the United States, Canada and Europe are intermarrying with Christians and secular humanists leaving their Judaism behind ignored and in tatters. Immediately after his comments were leaked, a problem in Israel just as it is in the United States and other Western governments, many Conservative and Reform Jews in the United States. Their insistence is that Rabbi Peretz is ignorant and insensitive to Jews in the Diaspora. This is far from the first time that an Israeli has been accused with lacking the proper attitudes and totally misunderstanding the true reality of what it means to be a Jew in the modern age. This is always how the condemnation of the insistence by Israeli Jews, largely the Orthodox community, for their insensitivity and lack of knowledge of what modern Judaism has evolved into. Their claims are simple, they should define what is a Jew and what Judaism actually believes and means as they call it, in this modern age.

 

We thought that perhaps as av graduate of this United States Diaspora Jews inculcations by which Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism have redefined the Halacha to fit their social constructs making them estranged from Torah. The main terminology one would hear from these New Age Jews is Tikkun Olam which they define as repair the world. They take this idea and instead of it meaning that they need to perfect and improve themselves in order to make the world right, they think that they need to make everyone else come around and believe as they do in order to repair the world. They have redefined the Commandments of Torah bending them in order to align them with the platform of the Democrat Party and the beliefs of Secular Humanists. Their reactions to anybody who does not fall in line with their beliefs and definitions are immediately considered to be any of any number of stock names, racist, homophobic, sexist or any other of the plethora of labels thrown around to slam their opponents making them easily discarded as ignorant and uninformed boors. So, how is it that things changed to the point that I not only support Rabbi Rafi Peretz and most of what he has stated, all of which has perturbed the Diaspora Jews and their Tikkun Olam warping of the Commandments of Torah and Judaism.

 

The first thing which probably made my transition to Traditional Orthodoxy since making Aliyah returning home to Eretz Yisroel was our coming home with absolutely no preconceived notions of what to expect of Israel, the societal means or almost anything at all. We came with a wait and see what it is we had come into and exactly what the effects were going to be. It took about six months before finding out that it is far easier to be a practicing Jew in Israel than it was in most places in the United States, especially since I often resided in places like north-central Wyoming where the closest Synagogue was over four-hundred-miles distant and Kosher foods were next to impossible outside of Hebrew National salamis. Then began regular attendance to services, joining classes about Talmud, Torah, Haftorah and other things which covered Judaism and the Commandments giving it straight and without bending, twisting, spindling and otherwise mutilating these writings. This led to noting that most of Judaism was very different from what had been instructed and far more self-centered with the intent for self-improvement. Judaism also had no desire to change other people from outside of Judaism but to improve ourselves to such a degree that others will desire to strive for self-improvement. Judaism, as it has been explained, provides Commandments by which Jews can improve their interaction with others and make of themselves people living an enviable life while not proselytizing others and never even attempting to make converts of others. Judaism is to be practiced by the Jewish People and also converts, despite Judaism making conversion fairly difficult. Often, true conversion takes at a minimum two years of intense studying, and then passing queries posed by a panel of Rabbis.

 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

 

Conversion brings us to another point which we will utilize to show the difficulty facing the Jews of the Diaspora and the Jews within Israel. The Chief Rabbinate set the rules for which one is considered Jewish, including how to convert to Judaism. Needless to point out, conversion to Judaism has strict rules before it is accepted by the Chief Rabbinate. This has brought great amounts of condemnation from largely leftist Jewish groups and the leadership of the Conservative, Reform and other non-Orthodox folds of Judaism. Their complaint is that many conversions they have performed are unacceptable within Israel and one who converts to Judaism under many of their systems are not acceptable as being a Jew unless they again convert in Israel under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate. The Chief Rabbinate is often labeled as being overly strict, restrictive and narrow-minded in their recognition of conversions and they need to become more liberal allowing for these New-Age Judaism and their open-mindedness allowing for an open definition as to who is Jewish as after all, there should be little difference between conversion to Judaism and conversion to any other religion. They are totally aware that their critics are based on falsehoods as the Israeli Chief Rabbinate accepts conversions conducted by the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America), the Orthodox Union (OU) and here is a list of approved conversion performed outside Israel. The list is relatively extensive and approved conversions can be readily found by any desiring to convert and ready for a minimum of two years of intense learning.

 

But those Jewish groups and other non-Orthodox branches of Judaism refuse to accept that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate uses identical rules and requirements to those used by every of those listed as approved which in the United States include the RCA and OU conversions. Again, those in the Diaspora insist that Israel bend their rules and accept their definition of Judaism simply because they are more enlightened, open-minded free-thinking and tolerant. That is partly the problem as Judaism must remain strictly defined and steeped in traditions as well as kept honoring, respecting and following the exact rules of Torah given by Moses during the Exodus. Judaism is not to conform to the ideas of the Justice Democrats, the New Israel Fund, IfNotNow and numerous other Jewish leftist groups who all demand Israel accept their unarguable perfect and correct definitions of Judaism and what it means to be a good person. Their vision is an Israel as a subordinate to the Democrat Party platform and the leftist agenda based on their concepts of justice, LGBTQ rights, human rights, and demanding that Israel sacrifice whatever it takes to reach peace with the Palestinian Authority. Basically, these Diaspora Jews refuse to accept Torah Judaism as it has been defined for over three-thousand-years and instead supplant Torah with their LGBTQ, international justice, human tights and numerous other leftist central beliefs replacing Torah. Having lived in both communities, it can honestly be stated that Torah Judaism is centered and planted firmly in Jewish history and practice while the leftist justice warriors who insist that they can make and define a batter Judaism would not be planted and continue into the future with anywhere near the practicality of Torah which has steadies and defined Judaism for three-thousand-years plus. Judaism must remain centered on Torah which has been its anchor and the rock upon which it was founded. This does not mean that Judaism should ignore modernity, Judaism just need remain set in Torah while moderating these other new liberal and leftist concepts and ideas which Diaspora Jews are so enamored. We in Israel need not fear these Jews redefining Israel as the odds for their ever-making Aliyah, if what has been experienced when we decided to make Aliyah, the number of Conservative Jews from our congregation dumbfounded asking why would we ever desire to go to such a forbidding place. After moving here, we can inform these Jews, though they will not believe us, but they are the ones residing in what is rapidly becoming a forbidding place and Israel is the little wonder of the world.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 26, 2019

Why the World Refuses to Believe Israel

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:57 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

It does not often matter what statement, claim or observation comes from Israel, the world will turn everything inside-out, upside-down, twist and torture, spindle and mutilate and then complain that everything is unintelligible. Shakespeare’s sonnets could not survive such treatment without coming back sounding like something from Chaucer. If Israel were to claim that daytime is bright and sunny and the nights dark and mysterious, the UN and EU would get together, work with the Arab League and appoint a committee to study the Israeli commentary. Their assignment would not be to verify its veracity but to find some ulterior motive hidden inside with which to reject the entire commentary. When Israel argued that the Temple Mount rules were being altered and Jews were being denied rights to go upon one of their holy sites, the UN through UNESCO decided that the Temple Mount had no connection to Judaism and threw in the rest of Jerusalem for good measure and then stated they only belonged and were attached to Islam. This probably came as a bit of a shock to the world’s Christians because if the Temple Mount was never in the hands of the Jewish People, then Jesus would not have had any moneychangers’ tables to overturn amongst numerous other items. This was the same thing concerning Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs along with Shiloh and Hevron. Currently the EU is building cities and communities across Area C, the region supposedly under complete Israeli control, placing EU emblems and Palestinian Arab deeds of ownership. These communities are being positioned such that they cut off all of the Shomron from Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. One can only predict that eventually the EU, along with whomever they can wrestle up, will build structures for the Palestinian Arabs around the Tel Aviv city limits so they can claim even Tel Aviv.

 

Illegal European Union structures bearing obvious EU Identification signs

Illegal European Union structures bearing obvious EU Identification signs

 

But the world will not listen as they do not see how any of this relates to their problems. This is where it starts to get stranger than weird. Israelis have been telling the world that the Arabs do not desire an actual state for the Palestinian Arabs, they want Israel destroyed by the Palestinian Arabs. The entire idea is to terrorize and attack Jews until they get tired of the difficulties and leave. There are a few holes in their theory. First and foremost, we Jews do not desire to leave and are not the slightest way interested in departing our ancestral lands. The world thinks that means we are packing and will be leaving soon if only they continue to apply pressure. We warn the world that the Arabs main goal is not building anything but the tearing down of Israel destroying everything and either driving the Jews into the Sea or murdering them on the land. To this we are told we are overreacting and need to calm down. Even when translated documents and videos are displayed where they are caught saying these exact things in Arabic, the world becomes too frozen in ignorance to translate these for themselves while dismissing every translation as pro-Israel no matter what researchers provide. It often appears as if the intent of the world’s actions are intended to remove the Jewish State no matter the cost to humanity. Such is the foolishness Zionists face when attempting to explain the Jewish People’s love for their Jerusalem and all of Eretz Yisroel, all of Eretz Yisroel.

 

Israel primarily is the one place on the planet where a Jew is accepted and taken at face value and granted safety. The safety is not yet perfect, but neither is the world, and that is something which requires additional efforts. Jews have not had a singular place which they could call home with complete certainty. After the Roman Dispersion, the Jews never had assured safety whether they resided in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. Things were not necessarily improved with the discovery of the new world, the Americas. Even the presumed security Jews felt with the United States has developed some serious flaws. Synagogue shootings, attacks on streets even in New York City area, hate on many college campuses, academia turning against Israel and that is becoming simply anti-Semitism. Even the halls of Congress have been breached and contaminated with anti-Semitism. Europe is not any better with a distinct possibility that an anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic candidate will be elected as Prime Minister of Britain in the coming elections. Should Jeremy Corbyn become the next Prime Minister, will there remain anything which the Jews could claim as a reason for remaining within Britain? Many believe that the answer is a definitive, no. Other nations within Europe have outlawed shechita and some have outlawed circumcision claiming any variation of reasons for these actions. Some of the reasons include gaining the child’s permission, humanitarian reasons, kindness for animals and anything other than making Jews unwelcome. These actions are historic in their precedence and have been used with the same excuses to drive Jews from nations since the beginning of history and even before. The Greeks, Babylonians, Persians and Romans all forbade circumcision and many forbade reading of Torah or saying the Shema, all in the aim of wiping out Judaism and the practice thereof. There is nothing new under the sun, if we may quote King Solomon.

 

The world desires not to believe that the Jewish People have begun to return to their ancestral homelands fulfilling prophesy. This stands in direct opposition to the modernist secular humanist view of the world. Secular humanism refutes the existence of a supreme being and places everything as under some discipline of science, either physics, mathematics, biology, philosophy and the rest of the hard and soft sciences. There are no mysteries, only things not yet discovered. This is strange as many a physicist and other practical scientific discipline are starting to believe that the universe could not have occurred by accident. This has led some to believe there was a creator while others believe there are infinite universes and this one just happened to turn out just right which explains our existence. The one problem with secular humanism is that it gives life no meaning beyond the physical aspects of life which leads one to believe that there are no universal rules or ultimate entity and thus ultimate goodness or evilness. Life becomes but a series of acts without any meaning beyond what the person felt. This leads quickly to the, if it feels good-do it, philosophy of life. Should the Jews really establish Israel, then the Bible is again validated and thus there are actual principles and reality has good and evil and they have definitions. Life is meant to pursue goodness and to improve oneself and thus make the world a better place. The Jews reestablishing their ancestral homelands just as put forth in scripture fulfills that prophecy which told of the redemption in some future where Jerusalem and the Jewish homelands became the central location for these events. Just as the people found the means through which they were returning to their former lifestyle where there was only the morality of the moment and nothing had any real meaning beyond that which one assigned it. Gender was variable, not defined biologically. Pleasure was the ultimate goal, not virtue. Now the return of Israel means that there is a Supreme Being and thus a moral code meant for mankind. If one believes in Israel, then they believe in Hashem and thus there exists morality and self-discipline becomes expected of every human being. This is the same fight the Jews have faced since the days when their opposition was Baal and the evil was child sacrifice. Today that same fight is facing Planned Parenthood and the remainder of the meat market which is the abortion industry. The new priests wear the garb of a physician but is no different than the priests of Baal.

 

Israel is equated to mean the Jews. The Jews are equated with morality, self-control, limitations upon actions, kindness between one another and the golden rule. The one item people have which is a misconception is that the Jews demand that the world live by their strict standards. That is not true. The only thing we expect is for anyone living within Israel to follow at a minimum the Noahic Code, the Seven Noahide Laws. The commandments of the Torah and other Jewish doctrines are for the Jews and are not expected of non-Jews. What we hope is through our following Torah we will have an enviable life which will cause others to act more nobly, more kindly and attempt to attain a righteous life emulating the success of the Jews. We hope our actions and interactions lead people to find our ways pleasing and inviting and thus people will improve but only if we, as Jews, get our act together and follow the life dictated in Torah. Have the Jewish People yet attained such a standard? Unfortunately, not yet but many are trying and with any success their actions will lead to others also improving themselves and living a more righteous life. This is why so many want Israel to disappear, to fail, to be destroyed once and for all and the Jewish People with it such that the Torah and the Bible can be said to be false. It is the morality which accompanies Judaism and the humane laws of the Torah which the refounding of Israel affirms and this means that the Biblical morality is real, Hashem is real and secular humanism is simply another blind alley leading mankind nowhere positive. Israel reaffirms the Jews and everything which that entails. Conscience is a Jewish invention was once stated by one of the most hateful towards the Jews and responsible for the murder of over six-million Jews and of an equal number of Roma, Polish, Russians and others Hitler found undesirable. That is the end which godlessness leads to and it has with every godless society ever established by mankind.

 

Conscience is a Jewish invention

 

The return of Israel has far deeper implications and mankind can only hope that they all come to fruition so that the human race can advance around a moral core. Israel can be the hope of mankind and a source of inspiration as well as a spring which whets one’s appetite to work for mutual advancement bringing people together harmoniously. Morality leads to love while immorality feeds one’s lusts leaving them lacking any real or honest emotions. That is the difference of living to meet a standard set high so aspiring to fulfill these expectations make one grow swelling with a sense of purposeful accomplishment. Judaism, the child nestled as Israel, is a cradle filled with potential and a granted set of guidelines through which to develop a sentient and compassionate person who is capable of imparting a message of Torah as their guiding light even in a world of darkness. Torah is what kept the Jews during their prolonged dispersion which spanned two millennia and is only now in the past century and a half started coming to an end. The spreading anti-Semitism will only act as an accelerant in bringing the Jewish People back home. Sure, there will be Jews who never do return and may even refute their Jewishness. We have lost family such as these before and will lose others as the future unfolds, but we retain a central core which demands we remain true to the original words from Hashem to Moses. Those words Moses taught the Israelites to be their Torah, their law, is the same as the Torah found in any synagogue. These are the unaltered words spoken at Mount Sinai during the Exodus to the best of any recollections. This is what all the fuming and fussing is over, who has the proper definition for the world to follow. The Jews do not demand or even request that others need follow Torah and its six-hundred-thirteen Commandments, or even the Seven Noahide Laws as outside of Israel is your world and you can do with it as you please. We only demand or expect certain actions for our fellow Jews and for those who choose to reside amongst us. If anyone desires to be free of living with the Jews, just avoid Jerusalem and the rest of Israel and then do as you wish, we only wish to serve as an example of one more meaningful way to live. Our aim is to inspire and encourage, and the world finds that to be annoying to such a level as to desire the destruction of all things Jewish beginning with Israel. It should be obvious that one refuses to believe those they desire to destroy.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 12, 2019

Roller Coaster Pre-Election Ride Begins

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Where to start, why not with the good, the bad and the beautiful. The good is easy but also will prove difficult to mediate. The good comes from the United Right’s current number two, Bezalel Smotrich, who has spoken the truth which the vast majority of the religious right pray for at services every day, that Israel live and keep the Torah and its commandments throughout the land. This does not mean what the media paints it to mean, as it does not demand anything from anyone who is not Jewish. They are only requested to follow the Noahic Code with seven laws. The Jews, on the other hand, have a mere six-hundred-thirteen laws in Torah. Somewhere over one-third of these refer to the service of the Cohanim and the Levites and their duties and expectations serving in the Temple. We do not currently have a Temple nor has any government Minister really pursued such a venture in the Knesset, thus it is not on the drawing boards, not in the planning stage and likely nowhere on the horizon. This means that these laws will have to await the people of Israel demanding the Temple be built, something prayed for every morning, afternoon and evening but not expected any time too soon. The rest of the laws are largely basic decency, common sense and the dietary laws of Kashrut. The majority of grocery stores sell only kosher food and are certified to have taken out the appropriate tithes and everything meets the high standards of the law. Restaurants are a separate issue but there are sufficient kosher restaurants even including some fast food establishments. What may amaze many people is that it may be likely, unless your favorite lunch location is not kosher, that the vast majority of people, Jews and non-Jews alike, probably lead lives that, outside of prayers they may ignore saying, are close to or within the demands of Torah. So, when Bezalel Smotrich spoke of his desire for Israel to become a nation whose laws and people kept to the Torah, he was speaking of a desire held by many and not transgressed by more than most might believe. He could just as easily spoken of the desire for the coming of the Mashiach, and we bet that would have drawn just as much scorn from any in the left-wing media, unfortunately that is the majority of the media. Their scare mongering will dredge up more hatred and mistrust between the people which is their intent. But speaking of such desire for Israel to become a Torah observant society is a very nice though and natural desire for the religious Zionist as well as other observant groups such as the Haredi. Nobody would even think twice had a Haredi leader made the same statement as that is acceptable from them as their voters mostly do not include the secular community. The entire flap over this was due to the attempt by the media to frighten the secular community, specifically the secular Zionists, into fearing the religious right parties over an event which was far more innocent than portrayed. Hopefully, the media feeding frenzy will be seen for what it was, an attempt at voter manipulation. It is really sad that the media here in Israel resorts to such tactics, but they will do whatever it takes to try and push the voting public into electing a left-leaning government.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

The bad is an internal desire which was expressed largely within the Blue White Party but which did receive some mention by the media. This was a request, perhaps a demand, for Yair Lapid to lay low and quiet over his otherwise normal denunciation of the Haredi community. Are some of the views expressed by Yair Lapid accurate and in need of a solution? The answer is of course some of these complaints necessary, but his solutions would actually be detrimental to the desires he expresses. The Haredi community are people, believe it or not, people just like all other people. As a normal community, they will adapt to changing needs and other factors at their own speed. On the other hand, if such a community believes they are being pressured, pushed and manipulated to change, they will resist such change just because people resent being pushed into change. What Yair Lapid is ignoring is simply because his vision is clouded by his personal apparent dislike for the Haredi community and their favored treatment due them legally under laws and appropriations made by the Knesset. Part of their favored treatment comes due to their guaranteed number of Ministerial positions they receive in every election from a devoted and unified community. The thing is some Haredi are already voting outside their dedicated voting bloc. This makes them what are called king makers as their bloc is necessary to reach the sixty-one mandates to form a coalition whether that coalition is left-wing or right-wing. Due to their crucial voting bloc, the Haredi will receive an identical set of concessions from either side, over the tantrum which would likely be thrown (in private) by Yair Lapid. The demand that his Blue White Party run with part of their platform for the forcing of the Haredi to allow more of their youth to be drafted for IDF service and their being coerced into joining the workforce in larger numbers would be a guarantee to never have the Haredi join them in a coalition. Their insistence that Yair Lapid tone down his Haredi rants is a purely political measure as they know that if they would ever be chosen to form a coalition, they would absolutely be required to include the Haredi parties.

 

Ayelet Shaked

Ayelet Shaked

 

The beautiful is easy as former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (pictured above) has made a semi-official announcement that she will be running for a position in the Knesset in the coming September elections. This semi-announcement about her return left out one important item; she forgot to mention exactly which party she intended to make her run with and what position she wished to take in their list. There have been those claiming she will be part of the Likud Party and others have called for her to replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the United Right Party list. Which one is the most likely? Well, I have doubts that she will replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the list with the United Right and Bibi Netanyahu has stated that he is not considering inviting Ayelet Shaked into the fold with Likud. So, where does this leave Ms. Shaked now as the leader of one list is not expecting to be replaced and the head of the other party simply is not interested in having her join the party. Perhaps we can find a small hint from her statements at the small ceremony given when she left the Justice Ministry. One of her comments was that she expects to return to the Justice Ministry. The interesting thing about her desire to return to the Justice Ministry does not require that she head any party’s list. She was not the leader of Jewish Home when she received the Justice Minister posting. She was number two behind Naftali Bennett. She was the number two behind Naftali Bennett on the list for the New Right Party which she and Naftali Bennett founded right before the last elections where that party did not quite pass threshold to make it into the Knesset. When Bibi Netanyahu was unable to reach an amicable agreement with Avigdor Lieberman who was making the same demands which he had pressed leading to the call for new elections in the first place, that situation is most likely not going to change with Avigdor Lieberman which means that should Bibi Netanyahu be tapped again, he will be relying on the right-wing, religious and, of course, religious Zionist parties. The good news for these elections is that such is very probably what will happen as long as the Haredi Parties also join the government coalition, something which is largely expected. So, the situation with Ayelet Shaked will depend on which party’s list she lands within. We can probably safely bet that she will not be placed atop of either Likud or United Right. There is still the possibility that she will remain with Naftali Bennett if the New Right is reformed for another attempt to pass the threshold this time around.

 

We can provide some free advice for Naftali Bennett, if he reforms the New Right, he should place Ayelet Shaked in the number one slot and take the second slot himself which would be more probable to put them over the threshold. There is one item which is the biggest guarantor of failure in politics such as in other professions, that is an overly inflated ego believing that they are the answer that the people are craving and if only you present yourself then they will flock to your banner. When you are Bibi Netanyahu and have been Prime Minister for the past decade and lead the strongest party, or at worst the second leading party, and may become the longest serving Prime Minister by the time of the coming elections, then you can have such an ego. No, we are not claiming that Bibi has an over-inflated ego. This is about all the actual excitement we have seen over the coming elections in Israel. More over the weeks to come and perhaps things will heat up. We can tell that the Blue White Party is confident that they should receive the nod from President Reuven Rivlin to form the next coalition. They are confident that with the Haredi Parties they will be able to form a coalition. There may be some questions as to this confidence. The Labor Party is in a tailspin and hoping primary elections for what they hope, and as Avi Gabay has decided that he will resign from leading the party and dropped from the primary list, will be a new leader as the latest polls showed that the Labor Party, the party which led Israeli politics for decades until 1979 when they lost the coalition making position, was not polling sufficient to pass threshold. Labor has also sought to join another party as a joint list, either Blue White, Meretz or another left-wing party but they have not had any takers as of yet. As the elections grow closer, they will have a better chance for this alternative. But with the left polling lower and lower, there may be doubts about the optimism of the Blue White Party. We will try and find more fun things concerning the September 17th elections in future articles.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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