Beyond the Cusp

April 24, 2018

Religious Zionism is Alive and Flourishing

 

Religious Zionism was claimed to be on its death bed according to Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz. His article is somewhat disingenuous as he makes it sound like he was born and still resides in Eretz Yisroel with his being younger man living in Efrat and having joined his brothers and sisters to create a human chain stretching from Jerusalem to Gaza. It is not until late in the article he mentions that he has left Eretz Yisroel and now is an Open Orthodox Rabbi living in the United States. His claims about the problems with the Religious Zionists in Eretz Yisroel are actually easily understood by any Olim who resided in the United States and because of their intense Zionism came to Eretz Yisroel to live. He has adapted to his new home and this has caused him to have clouded vision. Please allow us to explain using our experiences after having come here to our little nest in Eretz Yisroel. It is a story about having gone in the opposite direction from Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz.

 

The first confession we need to explain is that despite being Zionist, we had little connection to Judaism despite having been born into a Jewish home. This home went from Orthodox to Reform Judaism before we had reached Bar Mitzvah age. Our connection to Judaism was restarted due to a death in the family. Still, our return was to a Conservative Synagogue as that Synagogue’s Rabbi was a better fit from the Reform Synagogue. The odd thing is the Conservative Synagogue services were very similar to the Reform we knew in our teens. It was coming to Eretz Yisroel where we were actually introduced to Orthodox, a Traditional Sephardi Orthodox Synagogue. This Synagogue has a mix of every form of Judaism in the congregants from Ashkenazim to Sephardim to Jews from India and throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America with the main numbers from Romania. Needless to say, we found a flourishing and very colorful mix of Judaism and Jews and we are all friends and as a family. We still have much to learn about Judaism and Torah and the other major writings from the Rabbis over the ages. This experience has strengthened our Zionism and we have joined a political party which supports religious Zionism and every form of Zionism is practiced by the party members, again a mixture of every kind of Jew from every corner of the globe. For one of us it feels so much like home as their mother was an Iraqi Jew raised in Bombay, India and father was a British Jew from London, England with Ukrainian and Prussian ancestry. Yes, we have a rich mixture there as well.

 

May the Temple be Rebuilt Speedily in Our Days

May the Temple be Rebuilt Speedily in Our Days

 

Where our making Aliyah was due solely to Zionism, the religious part of our beliefs has truly begun since arriving in Eretz Yisroel. Can we yet claim to be Religious Zionists, well, probably not yet. Are we working in that direction, yes. But Rabbi Yanklowitz makes complaints with which we are very familiar. His complaints are purely leftist American centric complaints. His complaints center around the central tenets of the far left of the Democrat Party. This is to be expected from one who practices Open Orthodoxy which is actually another way of saying Reform Judaism, as their beliefs are very much similar. These Jews follow the socialist wealth redistribution and the minority rights over everybody else’s rights. They believe that borders are not real lines between nations and sacred as they want anybody crossing any border to have full rights in their new nation. This was exemplified by his problem with Israel’s desire to deport the illegal immigrants from Africa who only came to Israel for economic reasons. But as Israel is a wealthy nation, Rabbi Yanklowitz believes that anyone who arrives from a poor nation has an economic right to the better life in the wealthier country no matter the problems and threats to their presumed new nation they may pose. The only thing we would like to tell the good Rabbi is, if you desire the leftist utopia which you envision and likely find the United States currently lacking with President Trump, perhaps you would be best to live in a real socialist utopia like Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea.

 

But you probably are too attached to your wealthy life in the United States where you can criticize Israel of not being that socialist utopia you envision will ultimately save the world. We know the crime Israel has committed is choosing to move from its socialist roots to a capitalist economic model and make it work. Let us set your mind at rest on one subject, the people of Israel give more to the needy than can be measured as most of this assistance is given by one Israeli to another without any need for the government to enact welfare and other forced charity. The charity in Israel is beyond measure because there is no need for the government to take from one Israeli and give to another because the Israelis are perfectly capable of performing this deed on their own. Until you decide to leave your comfortable palaces in the United States, and we realize here in Israel our homes are necessarily smaller and we adapted, and return to Eretz Yisroel, then work to make the United States that perfect land as you have stated that the Diaspora should be the great place for the Jewish People. We disagree and we further promise not to tell the United States how to run their business and you can promise not to attempt to foist your politics upon us. And what we realize from your other writings is that you do not view the Temple as a positive thing while we see the building of the Third Temple as probably the greatest event we have yet to undertake. As our text translates in our morning prayers, “May it be the will before you, Hashem, our G0d and the G0d of our forefathers, that rebuilt shall the Holy Temple be speedily in our days.” We would like to thankyou for your impatience.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 26, 2017

Merkel and a Plethora of Passionate Pacifists Against Trump

 

Granted, President Donald J. Trump presented a strong and definitive speech which outlined precisely where the world sits and what the future potentially holds. Chancellor Angela Merkel was really put out by what she determined that President Trump has threatened to eradicate the twenty-five million plus North Koreans in order to remove Kim Jong-un from threatening, well, according to Ms. Merkel, virtually nobody as he simply was acting slightly inappropriately and sanctions should suffice. There are a few slight problems, distortions and misunderstandings within Chancellor Merkel’s objections. President Trump did not threaten to annihilate the population of North Korea simply to kill their man-deity leader Kim Jong-un. To clear the air, allow us to present the exact words from President Trump’s speech to the United Nations, which can be viewed and read here.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.
We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.
If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.
It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.
The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved.
But we must do much more. It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.

 

President Trump only stated that if the United States were forced to defend itself, any of the United States allies, actually attacked or otherwise placed with no other alternative, then the United States is capable and potentially willing and have “no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” There was a long line of prerequisites before President Trump would, theoretically, be tempted to take such desperate and drastic action. What President Trump actually stated was a threat to the rest of the world, Chancellor Merkel in particular, to take the threats, nuclear tests and missile firings of Kim Jong-un seriously and take some actions to bring an end to Kim Jong-un and the very real threat he poses to the remainder of the world. President Trump also included on his list the Mullahs in Iran, President for life Maduro of Venezuela and, as a side comment, Cuba, that their socialist governments and the threats posed to their people and the world as a whole are, as President Obama would say, on the wrong side of history. The threat was more to those nations who would turn their other cheek to companies trading with North Korea and these other threats to the free world. President Trump was ringing the alarm bell and he did not do so any too early. This alarm has actually been ringing for a very long time and administration after administration simply kicked the can down the road hoping to outlast the problem having it explode in somebody else’s face, just not their face. President Trump has decided not to risk kicking the can down the road and has instead rested his foot over the can and asked the world to help before he has to stomp down and crush that can. Now we just have to see if the world will act to contain the problem or instead act like Chancellor Merkel and blame the messenger.

 

Chancellor Merkel

Chancellor Merkel

 

President Trump has put his faith, for now, in the United Nations, the Free World, the allies of the United States and the rest of the world to act in good faith and do the right thing. He has asked a bunch of people suffering from avoidance of reality with a propensity to push off responsibility for their actions and ignoring any sign that might require their actually taking action to address the actual, real threats of our world which they would rather smooth over with words and blather usually using meaningless phrases such that all mean that they do not have to actually decide and act in any significant way. President Trump was making a cry for help, a last ditch final plea for the world to act before there are no other options other than an actual strike on North Korea exactly as described in the speech. This was not a threat sent to Kim Jong-un, though he is the one person who could heed the warning and save the world relying on a group of unfortunately weak-willed leadership from across Europe and beyond to actually do something righteous. The entire parts of Trump’s speech relating to Kim Jong-un, North Korea and the failures of socialism were warnings that many who believe in socialism who are ready to do everything necessary to undercut and destroy Western Judeo-Christian based civilization will need to be opposed meaningfully before they are permitted to succeed. We have written extensively about the war against Judeo-Christianity and how it is succeeding simply because those who have been tasked to defend the Western World and Judeo-Christianity have been asleep at the wheel for far too long. Chancellor Merkel will never understand that she herself was one of the major contributors to a possible end of Europe as a hospitable home for Judeo-Christianity. Her policies have placed the future of European culture in jeopardy just as much as the leftist ideology which has led to the abortion of the necessary children to continue European culture into the future. Instead, most of Western (Old) Europe has joined the parts of the world which have negative growth reproductive rates. Other nations with negative growth rates include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Croatia, Slovakia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Yemen, Venezuela, United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and a host of others. Most of them are Western nations where abortion is legal, socialist nations and dictatorships. The one name noticeable by its absence is North Korea, that is a frightening thought.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 7, 2017

The Death of Venezuela

 

Seemingly, things could not get any worse in Venezuela until they do. Maduro has taken the final steps and initiated himself as their dear leader. The Venezuela legislature, the National Assembly, being held by the pro-democracy opponents to Maduro, as the citizens, in a recent polling, were eighty-percent anti-Maduro are being sidelined as Maduro has taken steps using the Supreme Court which he appointed to bypass the will of the people and their elected legislature. Maduro simply gathered five-hundred-forty-five supporters to be the members of the Constituent Assembly with which he will present a new constitution for Venezuela making him its sole holder of power. So, things are not going to improve in Venezuela until they get worse and until Maduro will no longer be capable of bribing the military. Of course, that situation may not be as far off as Maduro hopes as the military recently was proudly handing out toothpaste, soap and toilet paper as rewards to grateful soldiers as such items are actually prized in today’s Venezuela. Imagine a military handing out toothpaste, soap and toilet paper and being proud enough that they distributed pictures of these “awards” (see below). Despite claims that the voters demanded he write this new Constitution, all observers counted a vote total cast at best at half of the votes Maduro claims his side received. That absolutely reeks of fraud, yet as he has the military, and thus all the guns, he will get away with this. Venezuela is the proof positive that in the United States it is the Second Amendment which keeps everything closer to legal, absolutely legal.

 

Official Venezuelan Military Awards Photograph

Official Venezuelan Military Awards Photograph

 

Official Venezuelan Military Awards Photograph

Official Venezuelan Military Awards Photograph

 

In the past, the military was accepting, or demanding, bribes from citizens to hand out paltry amounts of food, and the people accepted this as it was the only source for food. For now, Maduro has the support of his officers but should he falter in providing them with the comforts they are accustomed to, they are just as likely to turn on him and serve the people the current Constitution requires of them. One only has to wonder how far this can go with the soldiers being satisfied with the little tokens which they are being “lavished” with by their superiors. The military were very efficient the night of the big announcement about Maduro and his five-hundred-forty-five supporting members of the Constituent Assembly when they arrested the leadership of his opposing parties. Leopoldo Lopez, the outspoken leader of the Popular Will Party as well as the former mayor of Caracas, and Antonio Ledezma, supporter of the failed 2015 coup, were both dragged from their homes in the middle of the night claiming they had “violated the terms of their house arrest” by having contacts outside their homes criticizing the steps being taken by Maduro and his custom built slavish government. As Antonio Ledezma was being taken there are reports of a woman risking everything yelling out, “They’re taking Ledezma! Please neighbors! It’s a dictatorship!” Fox News reported last May about the arrest of at approximately sixty-five lower-ranking military officers by the regime charging some of them with “instigating rebellion.”

 

It will not be long before there will be a new Constitution which will probably dissolve the National Assembly and replace the elected legislature with the Maduro appointed Constituent Assembly. The new Constitution is likely to allow, or at least not forbid if not instruct, their to be a special military group which will operate as the regime’s secret police arresting opposition leaders in the middle of the night never to be seen again. Eventually they get to arresting even lower level pro-democracy people eventually overstepping their permitted authority, after all, we are talking about a nation in South America where once upon a time, not that long ago if memory serves, the people watched governments change with the calendar year. Eventually the people reach a point where, when all too many people know of a person who disappeared in the deep morning under the dark before the dawn. Eventually, there will be a new dawn which will come to Venezuela, as Maduro has another problem, he will never overcome, he is no Hugo Chavez.

 

Hugo Chavez could give speeches which left the people mesmerized and upon which they could feel that everything was going to be perfect if they just allowed him the time. Maduro is more of the bull than the matador. Where Hugo Chavez could dodge the rushing bull, Maduro is the charging bull. Every bull will eventually meet a matador which has his number and he ends up as just another trophy, a picture of the awful past. How long before Maduro meets his matador is impossible to know as the matador will be the man who can rally the people while remaining silently in the background thus beyond the reach of the secret police. This might not take as long as some will predict, as over three-quarters of the Venezuelan public are pro-democracy and desire to resist Maduro. They very likely are more than simply concerned about the direction of their governance and should, as suspected, the new Constitution dissolve the elected legislature the people might rise up and save Venezuela from Maduro and escape the socialist trap which holds their economy in meltdown. We will hope that the people of Venezuela will be saved and soon as they have been through far too long a period of being deprived of a decent life and any economic opportunity as the government has taken over more and more of the private sector and running these industries one-by-one into the ground forcing the next take-over. For now, Maduro will continue his running roughshod over the people of his nation.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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