The biggest obstacle to changing ourselves is discouragement. (Chochmah Umussar, vol.2, p.218)
By adopting the optimistic attitude that you are able to improve, you automatically overcome your greatest obstacle. Believe you can improve and you certainly will be able to. If you are skeptical about your ability to change, your greatest enemy is your skepticism. Once you have overcome that obstacle, the rest will be easier.
Love Yehuda Lave
UNESCO, and the Final War on Jerusalem By: David Mark
It is written in chapter 12 of Zecharia:
1 The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The saying of the LORD, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of staggering unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it fall to be in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.
and again in chapter 14:
1 Behold, a day of the LORD cometh, when thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fighteth in the day of battle. 4 And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, so that there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the LORD my God shall come, and all the holy ones with Thee.
UNESCO has finally gone ahead and used its majority Arab membership to rewrite history and erase the deep and unwavering connection between the Jewish nation and Jerusalem. While it states in the text, which can be read in full here, "Affirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions…" it clearly and unequivocally only acknowledges Jerusalem's Old City as having Palestinian heritage. Instead of viewing the Jewish return to Jerusalem and the national rectification of receiving back that which was stolen from it during the years of forced Arab occupation as legitimate these regrown Jewish roots are seen through the veil of increased "occupation".
Being a world body UNESCO has opened the first shot in the world's war against Jerusalem as prophesied thousands of years ago. Israeli politicians, religious leaders, and activists have responded with anger and declarations. After all, nearly all Jews that have some sort of connection to the broader national belief set hold a bond that is unbreakable with Jerusalem. Despite the outcry, there is not much on a political level we can do. That in of itself may be the most painful aspect of all.
The Long-Short Path
In the Talmud, tractacte Eruvin it states that Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah was traveling and saw a child at a fork in the road. He asked the child which way was the best to the city. The child said that one path was a short-long path and the other was a long short-path.
Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah took the short long path and very quickly came to the outskirts of the city and found that it was surrounded by gardens and orchards. He returned to the child and and said: "My child you said this was the short path." The child responded to him: "No I said it was the long path." Rebbe Yehoshua ben Hanniyah then said the following: "I kissed him on his head and I said to him, happy is Israel that all of them are with from the big to the small."
This passage has tremendous lessons for our time. We the Jewish nation returned in great haste to our ancient homeland. Miracle after miracle has guided us and yet we insist on playing by the rules of the nations of the world. We rushed back so fast we have gotten lost in gardens and orchards of world politics and forgotten the surest way of crossing the proverbial finish line of redemption. The Jewish people wanted to so much to be back in Jerusalem we set out on the short-long path and cannot truly enter our city in a way that feels lasting. We have been forced to return to the fork in the road and take the other path no matter how long it seems it may take.
UNESCO has no power to change the truth. In fact, it is telling that the sons of Ishmael who are supposedly faithful to G-d rely on earthly political constructs to erase our history. If they have stooped that low, we have only to reach inside ourselves to rise past them. That is our task and of course let G-d do the rest.
About the Author:David is the CEO of the Cahil Group (www.cahilgroup.com) a leading Israel advocacy strategy group focusing on the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in the Holy Land. The Cahil Group specializes in using new media outreach across an array of platforms and services to help position Israel as a 21st century global leader. David is also the founder of Israel Rising (www.israelrising.com), an online magazine that stakes out an alternative approach to the geopolitical situation in Israel and the surrounding region. He lives in the Southern Hebron Hills with his wife and 5 children.
Cohen blessing from the wall on Succout
Excavation Reveals Spot Where Romans Breached Jerusalem's Wall 2,000 Years Ago
Exciting evidence of the breaching of the third wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in the Russian Compound at the city center. The discovery was made in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the location where the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is slated to be built. In the course of the excavation, archaeologists discovered the remains of a tower jutting from the city wall. Opposite the tower's western facade were scores of ballista and sling stones that the Romans had fired from catapults at the Jewish guards who were stationed at the top of the tower.
According to Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, "This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple. The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city's defenses."
The historian Josephus, an eyewitness to the war, provided many details about this wall. According to him, the wall was designed to protect the new quarter of the city that had developed outside its boundaries, north of the two existing city walls. This quarter was named Beit Zeita. The building of the Third Wall was begun by King Agrippa I; however, he suspended its construction so as not to incur the wrath of Emperor Claudius and to dispel any doubts regarding his loyalty. The construction of the Third Wall was resumed some two decades later by the defenders of Jerusalem, as part of fortifying the city and the Jewish rebels' preparations for the Great Revolt against Rome.
Josephus described in detail the route of the wall that began at Hippicus Tower, which is now identified with David's Citadel. From there the wall continued north to the enormous Psephinus Tower, which defended the northwestern corner of the city wall. At that point the wall turned east and descended toward the Tomb of Queen Helena, which is identified with the place known as the Tombs of the Kings.
It seems that the new discovery has resolved a debate among researchers reaching back to the early twentieth century, as to the location of the third wall and the question of Jerusalem's boundaries on the eve of the Roman onslaught led by Titus. According to the dig in the Russian Compound, we now have proof of the wall's existence in that area.
The excavation findings will be presented at a conference entitled "New Studies in the archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region," Thursday, October 27, at the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.