The Burnt offering as a Spiritual Public Act and Straight Talk About the ‘Deal of the Century’ By Naomi Kahn and Pope Disproves of Trump’s Mideast Peace Deal so that means it is good for us and Sanders and Bloomberg boosted Netanyahu election win
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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A Beautiful Talmudic Mind
After months of negotiation with the authorities, a Talmudist from Odessa was finally granted permission to visit Moscow.
He boarded the train and found an empty seat. At the next stop, a young man got on and sat next to him. The scholar looked at the young man and he thought: This fellow doesn't look like a peasant, so if he is no peasant he probably comes from this district. If he comes from this district, then he must be Jewish because this is, after all, a Jewish district.
But on the other hand, since he is a Jew, where could he be going? I'm the only Jew in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow.
Ahh, wait! Just outside Moscow there is a little village called Samvet, and Jews don't need special permission to go to Samvet But why would he travel to Samvet? He is surely going to visit one of the Jewish families there. But how many Jewish families are there in Samvet? Aha, only two -- the Bernsteins and the Steinbergs. But since the Bernsteins are a terrible family, so such a nice looking fellow like him, he must be visiting the Steinbergs.
But why is he going to the Steinbergs in Samvet? The Steinbergs have only daughters, two of them, so maybe he's their son-in-law. But if he is, then which daughter did he marry? They say that Sarah Steinberg married a nice lawyer from Budapest, and Esther married a businessman from Zhitomer, so it must be Sarah's husband. Which means that his name is Alexander Cohen, if I'm not mistaken.
But if he came from Budapest, with all the anti-Semitism they have there, he must have changed his name.
What's the Hungarian equivalent of Cohen? It is Kovacs. But since they allowed him to change his name, he must have special status to change it. What could it be? Must be a doctorate from the University. Nothing less would do.
At this point, therefore, the Talmudic scholar turns to the young man and says, "Excuse me. Do you mind if I open the window, Dr. Kovacs?"
"Not at all," answered the startled co-passenger. "But how is it that you know my name?"
"Ahhh," replied the Talmudist, "It was obvious."
The Burnt offering as a Spiritual Public Act
A Public burnt offering in Judaism (Hebrew: קָרְבַּן עוֹלָה, korban Olah) is a form of sacrifice first described of the sacrifices of Noah. As a tribute to G-d, a burnt offering was entirely burnt on the altar. A sacrifice (short for the sacrifice of well-being) was partly burnt and most of it eaten in communion at a sacrificial meal.
During the First and Second Temple periods, the burnt offering was a twice-daily animal sacrifice offered on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem that was completely consumed by fire.
The Hebrew noun Olah (עֹלָה) occurs 289 times in the Hebrew Bible. It means "that which goes up [in smoke]" It is formed from the active participle of the Hiphil form of the verb Olah (עָלָה), "to cause to ascend." It was sometimes also called Kalil, an associated word found in Leviticus, meaning "entire"
Its traditional name in English is holocaust and the word Olah has traditionally been translated as "burnt offering
There are several different etymologies given for the term Olah though all agree that it literally translates as (that which) goes up. Some classical rabbis argued that the term referred to the ascent of the mind after making the sacrifice, implying that the sacrifice was for atonement for evil thoughts, while others argued that it was a sacrifice to the highest because it is entirely intended for G-d.
This public sacrifice that was brought twice a day came from public funds, while the Torah allowed individuals who wished to, to donate this type of sacrifice. But the outstanding feature of this type of sacrifice was that no human being derived any physical benefit. Even when performing a positive commandment of the Torah, there always is an element of benefit and pleasure that accrues to the one performing the act.
This type of sacrifice represents the ultimate in human service to the Divine without it being tarnished by personal gain and benefit.
The Bible is aware of the difficulty of separating man from his money on the part of human beings. Physically, spiritually and psychologically, we always have factors that influence us even when we are engaged in doing noble deeds and fulfilling positive commandments.
The Torah comes to channel these factors but not to deny or to pretend that they are not part of the human makeup. As such, we see that in all other types of sacrifices that were offered in the Temple, there was some sort of physical human benefit, whether to the priest who officiated in bringing the sacrifice and even to the donor whose dollars brought the sacrifice to the Temple.
We humans get practice in the necessary restraint that makes us special and not just another form of the animal kingdom. However, the public sacrifices that were to be brought twice daily and would represent the Jewish people to its Creator, were meant to create an aura of altruism that would endow the Jewish public generally and the Temple service particularly with the required measure of holiness and devotion. And this could be achieved only by the constant repetition of offering the sacrifice of the Olah.
Visiting The Tomb of Joseph Under Cloak of Night With Gov. Mike Huckabee
If the army need to escort you to your holy place, then you know there's a problem!
I know, because not just Gov Huckabee has gone there, I have gone many times.
Joseph is one of the most well known figures of the Bible. The famous story when he was in Egypt during the famine, how his brothers came to find him and so forth. In fact, when the Jews were leaving Egypt they ensured to take Joseph's remains with them in order to bury them in the Holy Land. "The bones of Joseph, which the Children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, were buried in Shechem in a parcel of land Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of silver " Joshua 24:32.
Joseph is buried in Shechem, Nabulus in Samaria. Peoples grave sites are holy places in Judaism and often people will go the grave sites of holy, righteous people to pray. HOWEVER, in the case of Joseph's Tomb, Jews cannot go freely to pray there. Josephs tomb is located in the Arab city of Nabulus and it is dangerous for a Jew to go there alone. Instead they must go accompanied by IDF.
Too often we hear about the so called "Apartheid in Israel", where the Arabs are not allowed to go. Where, the Arabs are treated like "second class citizens". The world needs to wake up and know the truth of the reality. It is Jews that are not allowed to go to certain parts of Israel. It is Jewish lives that are at stake here and threatened, hence the need for the IDF. All we want to do is go and pray at a holy site and yet we can't. This is the reality of life for a Jew in the State of Israel in 2017. Things need to change! Watch More on https://www.IsraelVideoNetwork.com
Straight Talk About the 'Deal of the Century' By Naomi Kahn
Naomi Linder Kahn is director of the International Department at Regavim, an Israeli NGO dedicated to preserving Israel's land reserves and other natural resources.
The publication of the U.S. "Peace to Prosperity" plan has created tremendous confusion and uncertainty in both the Israeli and American political environments. Most of those in the business of analyzing and advising on matters concerning Israel and the Middle East have been hesitant to speak about the plan, either because they are afraid to criticize the right-wing leaders headlining it (and standing for re-election) or because the plan's implications are too convoluted for easy analysis.
The plan is a game-changer. For the first time, Israel's historic and legal rights have been not only acknowledged but embedded as the cornerstone of a vision for the future—a vision that aims to ensure Israel's security. "Peace to Prosperity" is a fresh approach to an entrenched conflict, and it has the potential to change the world—which is why it is so surprising that Israeli politicians at the forefront of this election cycle have been remarkably non-committal, issuing wishy-washy policy pronouncements that say both yes and no to the plan in the same breath. Sweeping the dangers inherent in the plan's current iteration under the rug until after the elections, Israel's politicos continue to rely on over-masticated campaign slogans to lull voters into a false sense of complacency.
Some on the right have been more vocal, but not more clear. The first statements by right-wing politicians began to surface more than a week after the publication of the U.S. plan, but even now, weeks later, the public hasn't been given much to go on. These politicians have "cherry-picked" the elements of the plan that dovetail with their own, embracing its green-light for the extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and portions of Judea and Samaria while rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state—neither approving nor rejecting the plan. Regavim, a non-government organization that for over a decade has been analyzing facts on the ground and using data to build maps that clarify Israel's shifting political realities and challenges, has done precisely the opposite. Analyzing the "conceptual" territorial division that lies at the heart of the Trump plan, Regavim has drawn a new map that reflects the reality that will result if the plan is implemented.
Regavim's conclusions are unequivocal: While the plan presents an important vision that should serve as the basis for future negotiations, there are a number of crucial adjustments to the maps at its heart that must be made before the Israeli government embraces it. A number of "red lines" are crossed that must be addressed: The plan currently provides a blueprint for a Palestinian state that will place nearly every inch of the Land of Israel in harm's way, and cedes significant sections of sovereign Israeli territory in areas bordering Gaza that are currently providing strategic depth and crucial land reserves for Israel's future security and development.
The failure of Zionist organizations, spokespeople and politicians to speak clearly about these dangers is nothing short of alarming. The false sense of complacency with which our leadership's silence has muted the discussion borders on malpractice.
Israel's and America's upcoming elections are fateful. Not only will these elections be considered a referendum on the Trump plan, they will determine who conducts the negotiations moving forward. The days leading up to these elections are a window that will close immediately after the ballots are counted and a government is formed—regardless of who wins. If no clear message is conveyed by Israel—immediately—negotiations after the elections will take this silence as tacit agreement.
A Netanyahu-led unity government, which seemed an impossibility before the Trump plan was launched, will become a welcome solution to Israel's political deadlock, and will be at liberty to negotiate with the Palestinians on the basis of the uncontested plan. Netanyahu will claim that the elections were a referendum on the plan, and the deal will be done. If Blue and White leader Benny Gantz becomes prime minister, the road ahead is even more clear.
The political situation in the United States is no less crucial a factor. American presidents are elected to protect American interests—and these often shift. For this reason, Israel should not adopt the Trump plan before the U.S. elections—just as the U.S. administration has asked the Israeli government not to implement sovereignty over any territory until after Israel's elections. The next U.S. president will be the one to determine whether the Palestinian Authority has made sufficient moves to indicate serious engagement in a peace process. The next U.S. president will interpret the grey areas of the plan; the next U.S. president will have to evaluate and approve Israeli actions on the ground. And there is a world of difference between the approaches of the candidates from the two major U.S. parties.
If Trump is re-elected, the version of his plan eventually ratified by Israel will serve as the basis for negotiations. It is therefore crucial that the threats to Israel's security are corrected before Israel embraces the "conceptual maps." If, on the other hand, Trump is not re-elected, the "Peace to Prosperity" vision may prove to be a dangerous black hole into which Israel will fall without a safety net of deniability: If Israel were to approve the plan now, enforcing a building freeze and essentially agreeing to the creation of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, the next U.S. president would begin the conversation from there, and not necessarily hold the Palestinian side to its obligations—which is precisely what happened under the Oslo framework.
There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians will not live up to their end of the deal, and every reason to believe that a Trump administration won't allow them to get away with it—but will Trump's successor, whenever he or she takes office, hold the Palestinians to the same standard of compliance? Israel could easily find itself in having traded things it cannot afford for promises that the Palestinians have never made. Now is the time for the public to educate itself. Israeli voters should be asking very basic questions: What will the map look like if the plan, in its current form, is implemented? Which of the parties asking for our votes will speak out against the dangers presented by the plan? Which of the candidates will articulate Israel's basic needs, and demand the necessary adjustments to the "conceptual maps" that will serve as the basis for negotiations?
American voters should be asking themselves even more basic questions: Who among the candidates supports Trump's policy, which acknowledges Israel's historic connection to the Land of Israel and recognizes Israel's legal rights in Judea and Samaria? Which candidates support the fictitious narrative of Palestinian victimhood that has fueled rejectionism, violence, bloodshed, poverty and ignorance for decades?
It's time for the public to demand clear answers. Israeli and American Zionist voters deserve to know who and what they are voting for.
Pope Disproves of Trump's Mideast Peace Deal
Pope Francis seemingly dismissed President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century" by calling it an "inequitable solution," reports Reuters.
According to the report, Francis was referring to Trump's peace plan when he spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a Sunday meeting in Italy with bishops representing all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
"The Mediterranean region is currently threatened by outbreaks of instability and conflict, both in the Middle East and different countries of North Africa, as well as between various ethnic, religious or confessional groups," Francis said.
"Nor can we overlook the still unresolved conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, with the danger of inequitable solutions and, hence, a prelude to new crises," he said.
This is not the first time Pope Francis expressed his disapproval over U.S. Mideast foreign policy.
Following a meeting at the Vatican between Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2018, a statement on behalf of the pontiff said the Vatican backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the status of Jerusalem to be decided as part of the peace process.
After Trump's decision in 2017 to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the pope said the city's "status quo" should be preserved, and the American decision could "[add] new elements of tension to a global panorama" that is already marred "by so many and cruel conflicts."
Sanders and Bloomberg boosted Netanyahu election win
By David Singer, 02/03/20
David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979
Democratic Party contenders for the American Presidency – Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg - have unwittingly given Israel's Prime Minister – Bibi Netanyahu – an unexpected boost to becoming Israel's next Prime Minister on 2 March.
During a nationally-televised Democratic Party Presidential contenders' debate - Sanders made this inflammatory claim:
"I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that, right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country."
This "reactionary racist" just happens to be Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister – victorious after six election campaigns conducted in fully democratic and openly transparent elections. Sanders' comment doesn't say much for his opinion of the majority of Israelis whose votes have kept Netanyahu there.
Bloomberg was motivated to chime in with his take on Israel:
"Well, the battle has been going on for a long time in the Middle East, whether it's the Arabs versus the Persians, the Shias versus the Sunnis, the Jews in Israel and the Palestinians, it's only gone on for 40 or 50 years.
"Number one, you can't move the embassy back. We should not have done it without getting something from the Israeli government. But it was done, and you're going to have to leave it there.
"Number two, only solution here is a two-state solution. The Palestinians have to be accommodated…"
Some accurate information would not hurt:
The conflict between Jews and Arabs in former Palestine has been going on for 100 years - not 40 or 50 years. Brainwashed by Arab propaganda - Bloomberg had erased the origins of the conflict which began with the San Remo conference and Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.
Bloomberg - in mentioning the need for a two-state solution – was apparently ignorant of the fact that the Palestinian Arabs had been allocated 78% of Palestine in 1922 - which subsequently became a sovereign state renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946 – today called Jordan.
For someone aspiring to be America's next President – Bloomberg displayed an appalling lack of knowledge about this long-running and unresolved conflict.
Had President Trump obtained a quid pro quo from Israel for moving America's Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem he would have risked impeachment by the Trump-hating Democrats. The Embassy was moved because American embassies are always located in the capitols of each country.
One major policy difference between Netanyahu and Gantz makes this Israeli election an especially historic and momentous one:
Netanyahu is offering – if re-elected and with Trump's approval - to immediately extend sovereignty into the Jewish People's heartland – Judea and Samaria – after a 3000 years absence
Sanders and Bloomberg's disparaging anti-Zionist rants could prove to be the catalysts needed to see the Jewish People turning this 3000 year dream into a living reality.
Sander's and Bloomberg's comments could galvanize tens of thousands of angry Israelis - who don't usually vote out of sheer apathy – into voting for Netanyahu.
Voter turnout at Israel's last election in September 2019 was a disappointing 69.83% - only slightly higher than the 68.46% in the February 2019 elections – given the huge incentive to vote to break the unprecedented February deadlock.
Latest polls indicated Netanyahu moved ahead of Gantz for the first time.
Sanders and Bloomberg ensured Netanyahu's late momentum continues - and let us hope we see Israel finally ending the political stalemate that has marked the previous two deadlocked elections.