Breaking news-The idiots have done it- Full Coronavirus lockdown: Gov't approves three-week closure-Supporting Blacks, Ignoring Jews By Jerrold L. Sobel and Can Jews Remain in Coalitions with Radical Race-baiters? By Jonathan S. Tobin and Bye Bye, Dubai – On the Prohibition of Leaving Eretz Yisrael By Tzvi Fishman and a Unity Shofar blowing on 11 on Sunday Rosh Hashana and Full Transcript, Video of Remarks by Pres. Trump, Announcement of Normalization Between Israel and Kingdom of Bahrain By Hana Levi Julian and President Donald Trump Holds News Conference | NBC News
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.
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Beaking news-The idiots have done it- Full Coronavirus lockdown: Gov't approves three-week closure
Schools to close on Friday * Airport likely not to lockdown * Ministers spar of details of closure
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, and coronavirus commissioner Prof. Ronni Gamzu will address the nation on Sunday night after an hours-long cabinet meeting meant to determine the fate of the country over the next two to six weeks. The decision to impose a three-week closure from Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot was approved by the government after a meeting that lasted more than seven hours. The closure passed despite many ministers expressing opposition to the plan the coronavirus cabinet passed last week to help stop the spread of the novel virus.
The lockdown is expected to start at 2 p.m. on Friday. The plan was originally to start the lockdown at 6 a.m., but ministers pushed back that people needed more time to prepare for the holiday. "I will vote in favor of the closure with a full heart," Interior Minister Arye Deri said, "but we need to start the closure not at 6 a.m. on Friday, but later, to give people more time to prepare on the eve of the holiday."The government also approved that schools will continue to operate through Friday, the eve of Rosh Hashanah. The original plan called for the education system to cease operating on Wednesday. Netanyahu said that the school system will remain close for at least two weeks and then the government will consider opening up preschools and elementary schools, depending on the rate of infection.
The public will not be allowed to venture more than 500 meters from home and stores, restaurants and all places for recreation and leisure activities will be closed.
It is expected that private places of work will be allowed to continue operating, while an outline for the public sector will be established in the coming days.It was expected that there would not be a final decision about closing down Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday and that this decision would be pushed off. According to N12, the airport is likely to be excluded from the lockdown, but a decision will only be finalized after a small committee headed by Transportation Minister Miri Regev meets on Monday.Finally, grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential providers will be allowed to operate. After the vote passed, several ministers reacted, including Water Minister Ze'ev Elkin who said that "although the government's final decision on the nature of the holiday closure underwent significant changes for the better during the discussion, I was nevertheless forced to vote against it in light of the fact that the decision did not set clear criteria or deadlines for ending the closure policy."The meeting lasted more than seven hours and was heated, and ministers took their turns attacking the Health Ministry for not doing enough to stop the spread of the virus. Some, such as Science & Technology Minister Izhar Shay (Blue and White) and Economy Minister Amir Peretz (Labor), fought against the closure, saying the harm to the Israeli economy will be too severe for the country to recover.Finance Minister Israel Katz said difficult decisions were being made, because the Health Ministry did not do its job properly. He claimed that a general closure of the Israeli economy would cause heavy damage to businesses and hundreds of thousands of other unemployed. "It is nice that you are raising the red flag now, when hospitals are getting full, but you had to raise that red flag a month or two ago," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said.Elkin accused Gamzu of "zigzagging all the time" and not presenting clear criteria for how the lockdown will end."In the coronavirus cabinet, we were told that for a lockdown to be effective, it takes three to four weeks and not two," Elkin said. "We need to say this honestly to the public." Peretz called for a scaled back closure: "I support a night closure in which about 80% of the economy remains open," Peretz said Saturday night. "Hundreds of thousands of employees and the self-employed are in existential anxiety. The economic coronavirus pandemic is no less severe than the health pandemic."Minister Itzik Shmuli expressed opposition to a full closure because he claimed it would not stand the public test. "I propose to better balance health and the economy and strike harder at the centers of illness and not everywhere," Shmuli said. He also offered that instead of a furlough model, the government would move to a wage subsidy model. Regional Cooperation Minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) also warned that a full lockdown would be "a disaster for the Israeli economy." He said the economy needed to be restored as soon as possible after the holidays.Similarly, Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir (Blue and White) argued late Saturday night that "a full closure of the entire country during the holidays is too extreme a step and has economic implications that entire industries will not recover from." Zamir lashed out against "outrageous violations" of Health Ministry directives, from nightclub parties to weddings, and against the ministers who have failed to be role models."No one is a role model here, including some of my colleagues in the Knesset and government, and this is the result," he said. But he said that he will vote against the decision to impose the closure nevertheless. Even before the meeting, in the morning, Housing and Construction Minister Ya'acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) announced that he is resigning from the coalition, writing in his resignation letter that he believed Netanyahu intended from the start to have a full lockdown during the holidays out of a lack of appreciation for religious observance in comparison to other issues that are not being harmed in the fight against coronavirus."My heart is with the thousands of Jews who come to synagogue once a year and this year won't come at all due to the lockdown," Litzman wrote. "I warned against a lockdown during the holidays in every possible forum and emphasized that if there is a need for a full lockdown, it should not wait for a rise of infection to get to this pace."He said a closure should have been carried out a month ago and not during the High Holy Days. He added that when he made his original plea to Gamzu, the commissioner denied that this was his intention. Litzman said that in retrospect he was proven correct."That is why I cannot continue to serve as a minister and I decided to resign from the government and return to the Knesset," he concluded.Via the Norwegian Law, Litzman quit the Knesset and was replaced by the next candidate on the UTJ list, Eliyahu Baruchi, who will automatically leave the Knesset when Litzman's resignation letter becomes official.The resignation is not final. If carried through, it will take effect in 48 hours. "I am very sorry about the decision of Minister Litzman to step down," Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting. "I really value Litzman Ya'acov Litzman, but I also respect his decision. Nonetheless, we need to continue to make decision on behalf of the State of Israel."In addition to the battle over the closure, there was also a colorful debate over whether to allow protests to continue. "Gathering is gathering," charged Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud), "so it should be forbidden to everyone, including protesters."In response, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) said that the country could not stop people from protesting against it. Minister David Amsalem (Likud) actually yelled at attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit for saying that demonstrations should not be stopped."Take responsibility for the disease," Amsalem charged, "public trust is damaged by the demonstrations." Mandelblit responded: ""Demonstrations cannot be prevented. It is not a matter of quantity but of quality."Acting Police Commissioner Motti Cohen requested that the government design a clear outline for the demonstrations."The police officer at the end should receive clear instructions," Cohen said. "It is not his job to determine who will demonstrate and who will not.""The top officials of the Ministry of Health unanimously agree that the demonstrations as they take place today are a danger to health. Public trust is required here and we need one rule for everyone," Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish added.Gamzu said he could design an outline that would help make the protests healthier for their participants. The vote on Sunday is took place against the backdrop of another day of high infection: Some 2,715 people tested positive on Saturday. Israel reached a record high number of patients in serious condition with 513 patients, 139 of whom are intubated. The death toll stands at 1,108.Furthermore, the number of serious patients is increasing, which puts the country's hospitals at risk, according to a report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center."The hospitals' safety net has been significantly reduced, which creates a danger to the stability of the healthcare system," the report said.The total number of serious patients in the hospitals has increased by 51 in the last two weeks. The report further indicated that the average number of new patients per day has jumped to 2,651 and that the number of infected people is doubling every week.There are a growing number of patients between the ages of 40 and 50, the report showed. Still, only 12% of sick people in this wave of infection are over the age of 60, as opposed to 17% in the last wave.Despite the claims by the ministers as to why to prevent a lockdown, Edelstein stressed that from his perspective there was no choice, and if the ministers made more than "cosmetic changes" he would withdraw any proposal from the table. "I will not allow the program to be negotiated," Edelstein stressed at the start of the meeting. "I say clearly at the beginning of this discussion: if the plan is not accepted, I will withdraw it and not bring alternative plans."The coronavirus is neither a political or populist matter, it is a matter of life and death," he continued. "I suggest to anyone who claims otherwise, to tour coronavirus wards and see the situation for themselves."He added that if the plan is withdrawn, then by next Tuesday there will be no public restrictions, the price of which would be several thousand dead."I will not give in to pressure just to please such and such people," he stressed.At the same time, Gamzu said that the traffic light plan is no longer relevant."We have more than 60 red zones," he said. The commissioner stressed that the 500-meter restriction is not needed for epidemiological reasons "but because of the challenge of enforcement.""I do not want to use the word collapsing," Dr. Michael (Miki) Halberthal, the head of Rambam Medical Center, said at a cabinet meeting, according to The Jerusalem Post's sister paper, Maariv, "but the situation requires immediate closure."However, on Sunday, several of the hospital heads expressed different sentiments. "The solution is not to lock down tomorrow," the head of Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Ofer Merin, told the cabinet. The deputy director-general of Sheba Medical Center, Prof. Arnon Afek, also said that his hospital is not close to breaking down. Further, the head of Rabin Medical Center also contradicted Halberthal: "The trend has indeed changed since mid-August but this is not a collapse of the hospital system. There is unnecessary anxiety. A full closure is not required."
the three musketeers at the Kotel
Trip to the Machpelah
On the last day of August in the strange year of 2020, we take an afternoon drive to the Tomb, and pray and mincha and say some Tehillim and drive back home. With a car, Hevron is just a suburb of Jerusalem
The Cave of the Patriarchs or Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Jews as the Cave of Machpelah and to Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham, is a series of caves located in the heart of the Old City of Hebron in the southern West Bank.
Over the cave stands a large rectangular enclosure dating from the Herodian era. Byzantine Christians took it over and built a Basilica which after the Muslim conquest was converted into the Ibrahimi Mosque. Crusaders took over the site in the 12th century, but it was taken back by Saladin 1188 and reconverted into a mosque. Israel took control of the site in 1967, dividing the structure into a synagogue and a mosque. In 1994, the Hebron massacre occurred in which a Jewish settler killed 29 Muslims praying in the mosque.
The Arabic name of the complex reflects the prominence given to Abraham in Islam. Outside biblical and Quranic sources there are a number of legends and traditions associated with the cave.
The site is considered by Jews to be the second holiest place in the world, after the Temple Mount.
The rectangular stone enclosure lies on a northwest-southeast axis, and is divided into two sections by a wall running between the northwestern three fifths, and the southeastern two fifths. The northwestern section is roofed on three sides, the central area and north eastern side being open to the sky; the southeastern section is fully roofed, the roof being supported by four columns evenly distributed through the section. Nearly the entire building itself was built by King Herod and it remains the only Herodian building surviving today virtually intact.
Cenotaph of Abraham
In the northwestern section are four cenotaphs, each housed in a separate octagonal room, those dedicated to Jacob and Leah being on the northwest, and those to Abraham and Sarah on the southeast. A corridor runs between the cenotaphs on the northwest, and another between those on the southeast. A third corridor runs the length of the southwestern side, through which access to the cenotaphs, and to the southeastern section, can be gained. An entrance to the enclosure exists on the southwestern side, entering this third corridor; a mosque outside this entrance must be passed through to gain access.
At the center of the northeastern side, there is another entrance, which enters the roofed area on the southeastern side of the northwestern section and through which access can also be gained to the southeastern (fully roofed) section. This entrance is approached on the outside by a corridor which leads from a long staircase running most of the length of the northwestern side. The southeastern section, which functions primarily as a mosque, contains two cenotaphs, symmetrically placed, near the center, dedicated to Isaac and Rebecca. Between them, in the southeastern wall, is a mihrab. The cenotaphs have a distinctive red and white horizontal striped pattern to their stonework but are usually covered by decorative cloth.
Under the present arrangements, Jews are restricted to entering by the southwestern side, and limited to the southwestern corridor and the corridors that run between the cenotaphs, while Muslims may enter only by the northeastern side but are allowed free rein of the remainder of the enclosure.
The stone canopy above the more visible known entrance to the caves
The caves under the enclosure are not themselves generally accessible; the waqf have historically prevented access to the actual tombs out of respect for the dead. Only two entrances are known to exist, the most visible of which is located to the immediate southeast of Abraham's cenotaph on the inside of the southeastern section. This entrance is a narrow shaft covered by a decorative grate, which itself is covered by an elaborate dome. The other entrance is located to the southeast, near the mihrab, and is sealed by a large stone, and usually covered by prayer mats; this is very close to the location of the seventh step on the outside of the enclosure, beyond which the Mamelukes forbade Jews from approaching.
When the enclosure was controlled by crusaders, access was occasionally possible. One account, by Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela dating from 1163 CE, states that after passing through an iron door, and descending, the caves would be encountered. According to Benjamin of Tudela, there was a sequence of three caves, the first two of which were empty; in the third cave were six tombs, arranged to be opposite to one another.
These caves had been rediscovered only in 1119 CE by a monk named Arnoul, after an unnamed monk at prayer "noticed a draught" in the area near the present location of the mihrab and, with other "brethren", removed the flagstones and found a room lined with Herodian masonry. Arnoul, still searching for the source of the draught, hammered on the cave walls until he heard a hollow sound, pulled down the masonry in that area, and discovered a narrow passage. The narrow passage, which subsequently became known as the serdab (Arabic for passage), was similarly lined with masonry, but partly blocked up. Having unblocked the passage, Arnoul discovered a large round room with plastered walls. In the floor of the room, he found a square stone slightly different from the others and, upon removing it, found the first of the caves. The caves were filled with dust. After removing the dust, Arnoul found bones; believing the bones to be those of the biblical Patriarchs, Arnoul washed them in wine and stacked them neatly. Arnoul carved inscriptions on the cave walls describing whose bones he believed them to be.
This passage to the caves was sealed at some time after Saladin had recaptured the area, though the roof of the circular room was pierced, and a decorative grate was placed over it. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, the area fell into the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, and Moshe Dayan, the Defence Minister, who was an amateur archaeologist, attempted to regain access to the tombs. Ignorant of the serdab entrance, Dayan concentrated his attention on the shaft visible below the decorative grate and had the idea of sending someone thin enough to fit through the shaft and down into the chamber below. Dayan eventually found a slim 12-year-old girl named Michal to assist and sent her into the chamber with a camera.
Michal explored the round chamber, but failed to find the square stone in the floor that led to the caves. Michal did, however, explore the passage and find steps leading up to the surface, though the exit was blocked by a large stone (this is the entrance near the mihrab). According to the report of her findings, which Michal gave to Dayan after having been lifted back through the shaft, there are 16 steps leading down into the passage, which is 1 cubit wide, 17.37 metres (57.0 ft) and 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) high. In the round chamber, which is 12 metres (39 ft) below the entrance to the shaft, there are three stone slabs, the middle of which contains a partial inscription of Sura 2, verse 255, from the Quran, the famous Ayatul Kursi, Verse of the Throne.
In 1981 Seev Jevin, the former director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, entered the passage after a group of Jewish settlers from Hebron had entered the chamber via the entrance near the mihrab and discovered the square stone in the round chamber that concealed the cave entrance. The reports state that after entering the first cave, which seemed to Jevin to be empty, he found a passage leading to a second oval chamber, smaller than the first, which contained shards of pottery and a wine jug.
Bye Bye, Dubai – On the Prohibition of Leaving Eretz Yisrael
By Tzvi Fishman - 8 Elul 5780 – August 27, 20200
A few days after the news broke that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached a peace agreement, I telephoned a friend who runs a travel agency and asked if anyone had called wanting to fly to Dubai, the Emirates' most populous city. He reported that his office actually has been inundated with inquiries about visas to Dubai, the price of hotel rooms in the city, and more.
One of Israel's main TV channels recently aired a special report on tourism in "eye-popping" Dubai. Newspapers and websites run almost daily photo essays showing the material wonders Israelis will soon have a chance to see firsthand.
These media outlets, however, seem to have forgotten one thing: According to halacha, it is likely forbidden to leave the Holy Land for a vacation in Dubai.
When a Jew leaves the Land of Israel, he is essentially turning his back on the Shechinah. Our Sages have stated, "A person who lives in Eretz Yisrael is like someone who has a G-d, and a person who lives outside of the Land is like someone who has no G-d and is considered like someone who worships idols" (Ketubot 110b).
I recently asked Rav Shlomo Aviner, rosh yeshiva of Ateret Yerushalayim in Jerusalem, about the halachos of leaving Israel. He referred me to his Hebrew treatise, Responsa on Eretz Yisrael. Here is a very condensed summary of his words:
According to the Rambam, it is forbidden to leave the Land of Israel, even temporarily, except for three reasons: to study Torah, to find a wife, and to do business. Once a person has fulfilled his task, the Rambam emphasizes, the person must return to Eretz Yisrael (Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 5:9; see Avodah Zara 13a).
Commenting on this ruling, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook (1891-1982), head of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, said, "Baruch Hashem, today there is no need to leave the Land of Israel to study Torah, there are an abundance of women of valor to find here, and a livelihood can readily be obtained here."
According to the Shulchan Aruch, it is forbidden to leave the Land of Israel for vacation. The Magen Avraham rules that leaving the Land is permitted to perform a mitzvah, even meeting a friend, but leaving for vacation is prohibited.
The Maharit rules that leaving the Land for a short period is permitted, but his opinion stands in opposition to that of all other major halachic authorities.
Some people claim that leaving for a short trip is permitted if a person purchases a roundtrip ticket. Some also claim that leaving is permitted for psychological relief. Some claim further that leaving is permitted to see wonders of nature that will inspire reverence of Hashem. However, no sources in halachic literature back any of these claims.
Some people try to justify their trips outside Israel by claiming they performed a mitzvah while abroad, but this justification doesn't hold water because it is obvious that they didn't leave to perform this mitzvah, but rather did it once outside the Land to justify having left the Land.
A person may enjoy the sights of nature outside the Land if he left temporarily to perform a specific mitzvah, such as raising money for an Israeli yeshiva. It is even permissible to arrange a fund-raising trip outside Israel in order to see beautiful sights because a mitzvah performed not for the sake of heaven is still a mitzvah.
Some people take trips to chutz la'aretz to trace their roots ("tiyulim shoreshim"), but doing so is improper since a Jew's roots are not in Germany or Russia, but in Eretz Yisrael.
Leaving the Land of Israel to visit concentration camps is also not proper unless these trips are for youth who are totally estranged from Torah, Am Yisrael, and Jewish tradition, and a visit to Auschwitz, for example, will shock them into identifying with the Jewish people. Since pikuach nefesh is a factor in this case, leaving the Land is permitted.
The Sdei Chemed writes that leaving Israel to visit the gravesites of tzaddikim is permissible. Rav Avaraham Yitzhak Kook, however, disagreed. He argued that visiting the graves of tzaddikim is an exalted practice, not a mitzvah (Mishpat Kohen, 147).
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that if visiting the gravesite of a tzaddik in chutz la'aretz is personally important to a person's connection to Hashem, traveling to it is permitted.
When Rav Auerbach traveled to his yeshiva in Bayit Vegan, he would pass by the military cemetery on Mount Herzl and occasionally ask his driver to stop by the side of the road so he could pray near the gravesites of the Israeli soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. He would say there was no need to travel far away to pray at the gravesites of famous rabbis when so many holy tzaddikim are buried right here in the IDF Military Cemetery.
Wilt Chamberlin, Arnold, and Andre the Giant
Can Jews Remain in Coalitions with Radical Race-baiters?
By Jonathan S. Tobin - 8 Elul 5780 – August 28, 20200
In theory, a planned "Virtual March on Washington" should have united the country behind the idea of racial healing. The march was intended to commemorate the historic 1963 event best remembered for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, as well as to draw attention to ongoing concerns about racial prejudice and police brutality.
But when the march goes live, leading Jewish groups will be conspicuous by their absence. At one point, it appeared as if the Jewish Council on Public Affairs—the umbrella group of Jewish Community Relations Councils around the country—and the Anti-Defamation League were thought to be participants. Indeed, Tablet magazine's Liel Leibovitz blasted them for planning to do so in a scathing column.
But as it turns out, both have opted out of the march once they realized that veteran race-baiter Al Sharpton was the driving force behind it, rather than being just one more voice among many. The presence of Tamika Mallory, the former president of the Women's March and an open supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, on the platform, was also a deal-breaker.
While there is much to criticize about the organized Jewish world's eagerness to join forces with those pushing the radical agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement, the decision of these groups to stay away from the event is a positive development. If even the ADL understands that this event is a bridge too far for them, then perhaps the mainstream Jewish world can still be counted on to fulfill their responsibility to continue its battle against anti-Semitism.
The decision of these groups to stand apart from an event which, unlike its illustrious predecessor, is clearly tainted by the involvement of radicals comes in the context of the continuation of increasingly violent Black Lives Matter demonstrations and disturbing acts of intimidation by protestors, especially in the wake of a controversial shooting of an African-American man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. Jewish liberals are still determined to align themselves with the BLM concept and are eager to oppose Trump. But it may be possible that some of them are beginning to see that the shocking behavior surrounding the protests and the accompanying culture war aimed at suppressing free speech requires them to separate themselves from a movement that is antithetical to the interests of the Jewish community and the nation.
Jewish groups were inclined to join the march because it is in keeping with the community's legacy of support for civil rights and equality. Leading groups like the JCPA and the ADL are committed to the idea of building coalitions with African-American groups in order to pursue common agendas on social justice. They also want to have a place at the table when so-called "progressives" gather. That would allow them the opportunity to speak up, so as to prevent their traditional partners in the black community from joining forces with radicals who promote intersectional and anti-Semitic myths about Israel and Jews. Liberal organizations believe that they have a vital role to play in combating the trend in which African-Americans and other minority communities are drifting away from support for Israel, as well as the growing influence of prominent anti-Semites like Farrakhan.
The "Virtual March on Washington" is an example of how the rationale for coalition building can be stretched to the point where it no longer is viable. The presence of Mallory at the march, whose virulent anti-Semitism is a matter of record, left mainstream Jewish groups no choice but to stay away.
Groups like the ADL, which under the leadership of current CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has abandoned its former stance of nonpartisanship for a new approach in which they have become relentlessly partisan advocates for the Democratic Party and against President Donald Trump, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism deserve scorn for the way they have sought to legitimize Sharpton, a disreputable rabble-rouser who helped incite what amounted to a pogrom against Jews in Crown Heights in 1991 and engaged in other disreputable actions. Both ADL and the RAC have treated Sharpton as a partner in the anti-Trump "resistance." And as long as this only meant joining in left-wing activism aimed at defeating Trump, they could stick to that line.
But in the current atmosphere of violence and intimidation—and with a supposedly mainstream event like the March turned into a forum for the likes of Mallory—it's clearly time for liberal Jews to think again about what they are doing.
While concerns about whether specific police shootings are justified, the statistical evidence continues to refute the claims that there is an epidemic of illegal murders of African-Americans by police officers.
However, there is also an epidemic of shootings in this country by criminal elements preying upon minority communities that is being enabled by a BLM movement that is determined to defund law enforcement and that has led many in the police to back down in the face of the violence lest they be accused of racist misconduct. Jewish supporters of the BLM movement need to understand that continued support for these protests that are described as "mostly peaceful" but are often anything but, are enabling the slaughter of innocents in American cities.
And with the latest round of protests, they must also confront the fact that whatever they may think of Trump or the cases of George Floyd or Blake, the mayhem in cities like Portland, Seattle and Kenosha, which is a continuation of the riots that plagued so many cities at the start of the summer, is creating an atmosphere of fear that is antithetical to any notion of police reform, as well as exacerbating race relations. Indeed, the spectacle of mobs of woke protesters intimidating diners at restaurants into raising their fists in solidarity with the BLM movement is reminiscent of fascism, even though many of those participating in these disgraceful acts dub themselves "anti-fascists." Combined with the intersectional and Marxist ideology of those inciting these riots that causes them to demonize Israel and Zionism, the rationale for Jewish support for this movement has been thoroughly discredited.
It's time for Jewish liberals to acknowledge just how illiberal the BLM agenda has proved to be. Sympathy for victims of racism and a desire to correct injustices is one thing. But as the organized Jewish world learned about the Washington march, alliances that made sense when their partners were moderates can no longer be defended when their new interlocutors are anti-Semitic radicals.
President Donald Trump Holds News Conference | NBC News
By Jerrold L. Sobel - 8 Elul 5780 – August 27, 20200
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network supports the Movement for Black Lives and the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
To say we're living through a unique period of time is an understatement. Unfortunately, what's not unique is the pervasive anti-Semitism in certain sectors of the country and the failure of many Jewish organizations to tackle it.
In May, numerous synagogues and Jewish-owned buildings and stores in L.A. were defaced – in some cases, torched. Many were desecrated with vile anti-Semitic graffiti.
Paul Koretz, a Fairfax district councilman, said, "[T]he Kosher Mensch Bakery and Kitchen and the Jewish-owned clothing store Go Couture were destroyed. Stores on the fashionable Melrose Avenue, were also damaged, as were multiple Jewish institutions in the area: Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Tivereth Avi/Morasha Educational Centre, Shaarei Tefilah Synagogue, and the Shalhevet school for girls."
Jonathan Friedman, owner of Syd's Pharmacy, stood helplessly with his friends as a mob broke into his pharmacy on Beverly Blvd. As reported in The Forward, Friedman stated, "They stole all the narcotics and damaged the floors and entrance. I estimate the damage is over $100,000."
Absurdly, some would have you believe they were just memorializing George Floyd.
Marnina Wirtschafter, a 26-year-old Jewish resident of L.A. was outraged and felt it was her duty "to show up for others" because "it's the Jewish thing to do." Shamefully, she wasn't referring to the aforementioned anti-Semitic riot. Instead, she was referring to a Black Lives Matter (BLM) march at which Wirtshafter pontificated: "We need to continue to read and uplift black voices. We need to…let your own community knows that you are no longer willing to be complacent in racism."
Another Jewish woman, Kelsey Goldberg, 31, chimed in that she has attended many Black Lives Matter protests and has been involved with social justice activism for several years.
Why weren't these ladies outraged over the injustices their fellow Jews had just suffered by the very group they were marching with? Aren't Jews living in their own town also entitled to justice?
In a tweet, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, pointed out what should have been obvious to all: "BlackLivesMatter is an anti-Semitic, Israel hating, Soros funded, racist, Israelophobic hate group."
For expressing what only the willfully blind could deny, Klein was subjected to an anguished outcry of hate. Vociferously, he was denounced as a racist, bigot, and xenophobe. But if you think the recriminations came from BLM, you're once again sadly mistaken.
Sixteen of the 51 member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a letter condemning Klein's comments and calling for the ZOA's removal of the from the Conference of Presidents. Not one word was said by any of these 16 groups about the anti-Semitic riots just days earlier.
This past December, a black man named Grafton Thomas crashed a Chanukah party at the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, NY. Brandishing a butcher knife, he immediately began stabbing five people, one of whom, Rabbi Josef Newmann, succumbed to his injuries.
Investigators found handwritten journals expressing anti-Semitic views, including material about Adolf Hitler and "Nazi culture" among Thomas's possessions. With so much evidence and numerous guests at the party who could identify him as the assailant, you would think it was a slam dunk case. Guess again.
This past April, a federal judge ruled Grafton was incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be hospitalized in a mental facility. He certainly was competent enough to research Nazi culture, cross state lines, seek out the rabbi's address, and commit murder. But he evidently is not competent enough to stand trial.
There isn't a person on the planet who hasn't heard of George Floyd. Why isn't the name of Rabbi Newmann equally familiar? I think all unbiased, serious minded people know the answer to this question.
Too many Jewish leaders fail miserably to confront the scourge of anti-Jewish violence, opting instead to support groups such as Black Lives Matter that inspire the anti-Semitism we're now witnessing.
The opening paragraph of a recent news article reads: "More than 400 Jewish organizations and synagogues in the United States…have signed on to a letter that asserts unequivocally: Black Lives Matter." Regrettably, not one word about the outrages committed against Jews by members and supporters of this group.
Councilman Yeger rips 'militia forces' targeting Borough Park weddings
A city councilman Sunday blasted the law-enforcement "militia forces'' he says are patrolling his Brooklyn neighborhood to bust up large gatherings amid the coronavirus.
"They are just so happy to send heavily armed militia forces into our neighborhood because they're afraid of the size of our wedding party," Borough Park pol Kalman Yeger told Radio 620 AM, according to a clip of the interview circulating on social media. "We have skyrocketing crime in New York City, and we have an entire department, a sheriff's department — armed, uniformed police-style cars with lights and sirens. And what are they doing?
"They're coming to Borough Park to check out our weddings. They're standing on bridges, stopping motorists, asking them where they're coming from, where they're going. Is this really the best use of government resources?'' Yeger said. "Anyone who asks me, if you see them approaching a wedding hall — lock the doors and don't let them in,'' he said in the clip.
The pol later told The Post the short clip was taken out of context from an hour-long interview and that he was "not telling people to not comply with lawful orders of law enforcement. "We are a community of people when we receive an order from someone with a badge, we comply," Yeger said. [NYP]
Israelis around the country to blast shofar together simultaneously
"The most important thing in this initiative is what we lack most as a society, and that is unity."
THE SHOFAR, an integral part of Jewish heritage
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israelis around the country will blow the shofar, a ram's horn sounded on the High Holy Days, simultaneously on Rosh Hashanah at 11 a.m. to make sure that those who cannot arrive at services can still hear the traditional sound even amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Rabbi Israel Riani, the founder of the B'Noam organization which started the initiative, told Israel Hayom that "the most important symbol on Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar. The mass shofar blowing initiative addresses the need of tens of thousands across the country who are seeking to hear the sound of the shofar.
Riani added that the initiative shows that "the people of Israel are proud of the blowing of the shofar, which symbolizes the beginning of the Hebrew year."
"The most important thing in this initiative is what we lack most as a society, and that is unity," added the rabbi, according to Israel Hayom. "When all the people of Israel together hear the sounding of the shofar, they will all unite for one wondrous moment at the starting point of the year. I am sure that this will have a positive effect on the whole year and on society in Israel in general."
The initiative is similar to past initiatives in which people around the country simultaneously applauded medical workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak, recited the Kabbalat Shabbat service together before Shabbat, and said the Hatikvah anthem together on Yom Haatzmaut.
Full Transcript, Video of Remarks by Pres. Trump, Announcement of Normalization Between Israel and Kingdom of Bahrain
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN
September 11, 2020
1:02 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Just a few moments ago, I hosted a historic call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and King Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain. Both leaders expressed their condolences as well to the American people on this very, very tragic, horrible event that took place on September 11th. And they very much meant it. I want to thank them for that.
There's no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than the agreement that we're about to tell you. You will hear something today that's, I think, very, very important for not only the Middle East but for the world.
In the spirit of peace and cooperation, both leaders also agreed that Bahrain will fully normalize its diplomatic relations with Israel. They will exchange embassies and ambassadors, begin direct flights between their countries, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors, including health, business, technology, education, security, and agriculture. This is a truly historic day.
There have been two peace agreements with Israel in the last 72 years. This is now the second peace agreement that we have announced in the last month, and I am very hopeful that there will be more to follow. I can tell you there's tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of other countries to also join. And we think, ultimately, you'll have most countries join, and you're going to have the Palestinians in a very good position. They want to come in — they're going to want to come in because all of their friends are in. But we have tremendous enthusiasm for coming into the deal.
I want to thank the group of very talented people behind me, and you're going to be hearing from them in a second. But it's just a very historic day, a very important day, and so interesting that it's on 9/11. It's such a great time. We didn't know this was going to happen in terms of the timing, but it did happen, and we're very honored by it.
When I took office, the Middle East was in a state of absolute chaos. I've restored trust with our regional partners, and together we've eliminated the ISIS caliphate 100 percent; isolated the radicals who pervert Islam and sow instability. Today, nations across the region and throughout the world are joining together, united in their determination to build a better future, free from the evils which perpetuate terror. And I think you see that. I think you see that happening very, very strongly.
I also spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and we talked about this, and he is — he's a great gentleman. And what they've done in terms of fighting terror is a much different ballgame than it was before we attained this office. The fact is that Saudi Arabia was doing things that they're not doing anymore, and so are other countries and neighbors. They are doing things that they just would never have done. Their levels and their — all of the things — all of the many, many elements of fighting and hate, they seem to be evaporating. And we'll find out very soon. But they seem to be evaporating.
So things are happening in the Middle East that nobody thought was even possible to think about, and that's what's going on right now. Bahrain has agreed to join Israel and the United Arab Emirates for — and, by the way, I want to thank Mohammed, who's a great leader, a truly great leader — at the White House on Tuesday. So they'll be here on Tuesday for the signing of the Abraham Accords. The significance of the signing will be elevated from an already historic breakthrough to one representing a previously unthinkable regional transformation. And that's exactly what it is. It's unthinkable that this could happen, and so fast.
And, as you know, when we did the original signing with — and which will actually take place in terms of official on Tuesday — United Arab Emirates, people thought that was amazing. And now they're hearing this, and they're also hearing from other countries because they understand that other countries want to very much come in.
On this occasion, I want to thank the leaders of Israel and Bahrain for their vision and courage to forge this historic agreement. Their leadership is proving that the future can be filled with hope and does not need to be predetermined by conflicts of the past. You know all about the conflicts of the past; they're very legendary. There was a lot of problems going on, but we've been able to work things out to a level that nobody thought possible. This is really something very special — very, very special.
As more countries normalize relations with Israel — which will happen quite quickly, we believe — the region will become more and more stable, secure, and prosperous.
In the meantime, we're pulling most of our soldiers out. So we're doing it the opposite way. They were doing it with nothing but fighting and blood all over the place. The sand was loaded up with blood. And now you're going to see that a lot of that sand is going to be loaded up with peace.
The United States will continue to stand with the people of the region and work with them, and build a brighter and much more hopeful future.
So we're very proud of this. And as time goes by, I think you'll see more and more why. I think most of you realize how important it is. Even the New York Times, who was very generous in their praise of the original deal, and they never thought — I think nobody thought this was going to happen so quickly after the first.
But they'll both be here on Tuesday. They're going to be signing. Benjamin Netanyahu will be here. The Prime Minister will be here — Israel. And we look forward to that.
Just on this deal, because of the importance of the deal, we'll take some questions. But first, I'd like to ask Jared to say a few words and Mike Pence to say a few words and some of the folks. David, I'd like you to say something about it because it's so historic.
And these people have worked so hard and so long on it. This is really the culmination of a long period of time — let's put it that way. I don't want to say how long, but it's been — it's a long period of time. It's a great thing.
MR. KUSHNER: Thank you, Mr. President. And first, I want to thank you for your leadership on this issue. Your first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia, where you outlined a vision for the region. And all of the promises you made on that trip and all of the things that you foreshadowed have occurred.
It's been a strategy that you've stuck with, and I want to thank you for giving me the trust and confidence that you've given me in order to work on this file over the last years. And I think the results that we've achieved has been beyond anyone's expectations. And I believe that there's even more to come.
I just returned from the region last week. I was in the Middle East, where I took the first commercial flight that's ever flown from Israel to the United Arab Emirates. That flight flew over Saudi Arabian airspace. It was the first time in 72 years that Saudi Arabia has now waived their airspace to allow commercial flights to fly from Israel back and forth.
Bahrain then did the same thing. The United Arab Emirates waived a 48-year boycott on Israel, which was an incredible development. And there are now delegations moving throughout the Middle East, figuring out how to bring the people closer together.
What President Trump has done here is unthinkable. He's brought people in the Middle East together. There's been these barriers that have existed that have led to so much instability, so much war, so much loss, so much hopelessness. And we're seeing so much hopefulness now coming.
And I will say something that I never thought would be the case, which is that, on this last trip, the amount of optimism that has happened, that we're experiencing in the Middle East, is truly incredible.
So I just want to congratulate you. I want to congratulate the people of Israel. I want to congratulate the people from the Kingdom of Bahrain. I want to thank their tremendous leadership. And I also want to congratulate the people of the Middle East because the first deal that you were able to accomplish was so popular that things are really starting to move in a really strong direction.
And this makes America safer. It allows us to — to bring our troops home. It allows us to work on bringing prosperity to American communities.
So, really, thank you for your leadership.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jared. Great job.
MR. KUSHNER: And congratulations on this great success.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Thank you very much, Jared.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. President, I can think of no more fitting tribute to the heroes that were forged on this day 19 years ago, and all the heroes that were forged on battlefields ever since, than to see this peace agreement announced today.
And, Mr. President, you said from early on that we could stand with Israel and we could stand for peace. Your very first foreign trip was to the Arab world — to reach out, to create new alliances. You affirmed our support for Israel when you moved the American embassy to Jerusalem. And the strength with which you have approached this has made now this second historic peace agreement possible.
And I just want to — I want to congratulate you and thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership.
I also want to — I want to thank the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the people of Israel for finding a way forward to begin to take one more step toward peace in the Middle East and to know that, in this President and in the American people, they will have an ally with us.
The Good Book says, "Blessed are the peacemakers." And, Mr. President, I just want to congratulate you, I want to congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Hamad of Bahrain on bringing peace between their nations and widening the reach of peace in the world.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Congratulations.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Mike. Great.
Our wonderful Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who has been really something. He's been — I put him there. I knew him for a long time. He was one of the most successful lawyers in the country, by far. And at least, based on his paycheck, I can tell you that. (Laughter.) And he is a great lawyer. He's a great talent and a great dealmaker. And I put him there for a reason. I put him there to get it done, as in, just don't be a regular ambassador, like so many are. Just get it done; see if you can bring peace to the Middle East.
AMBASSADOR FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. And I will always be indebted to you for giving me that honor. It's one that I hold extremely dear.
But, as you know, Mr. President, people have thought about the Middle East, for the past 100 years or more, as a place of violence, of hopelessness, of suffering, of war. What we're seeing in real time, in this room today and last month, we're seeing the paradigm for the Middle East completely change. The world is turning in a very positive way. And it's all because, if I may say, because of the policy that you began in May of 2017 of trusting our allies, of empowering our allies; and in my case, of course, of being the greatest friend that Israel has ever had — of putting people on the job who share those values and convictions. And the fruit is now being borne in this incredible peace agreement.
Your policy of "peace through strength" has changed the world profoundly for the better. And I'm — as the Ambassador to Israel, I'm eternally grateful for the changes that you have made for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, David. Great job. Thank you.
MR. BERKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President. Congratulations.
THE PRESIDENT: He looks young, but he's not as young. (Laughter.) I will tell you, he's very smart. Go ahead.
MR. BERKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President. Congratulations on just a tremendous, historic, you know, achievement here today. I think I just speak for everybody in this room, all of my colleagues who have worked in your administration, that thanks to your leadership, there's just a tremendous sense of pride to be an American, to work on these issues under your leadership.
And I'm just so appreciative to you and so honored to be part of your team. So thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Avi. (Applause.)
MR. HOOK: Mr. President, I think historians will look back on these two peace agreements as the beginning of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. And you talked about the journey to get here. And I remember I heard you pledge, when you were in Riyadh and when you were in Israel — you pledged that you would strengthen America's friendships and to build new partnerships in the pursuit of peace. And you've kept that promise, and we see that very clearly today.
Rather than appeasing America's adversaries in the region, you've recruited America's allies. And you focused on shared interests and shared threats, but you also asked them to shoulder their part of the burden and to fulfill their end of the obligation. Nations rallied behind it, and as a consequence, the foundation has now been laid for great things in the coming years.
THE PRESIDENT: Great. Well said. Thank you very much.
Would you have anything to say?
MAJOR GENERAL CORREA: Mr. President, on behalf of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, thank you for your bold leadership and Sheikh Mohammed's bold leadership; Prime Minister Netanyahu's bold leadership; King Hamad's bold leadership; Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, again; your bold leadership. What we've tried for the last 100 years has not worked.
And I think it's very fitting that, on September 11th, we honor those special operators that we buried and lost with — with peace. And this is a way to beat terrorism at the end of the day. So we're honored and privileged. And thank you for your leadership.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, they had a lot of bad thinking, a lot of bad concepts, a lot of things that I never thought were going to work. These were the ones that we were relying on to make the deals, and they wasted 35 years; they wasted many, many years. And they're the ones that have been critical of us, and look what's happening: Now they're, all of a sudden, saying, "I think they made a mistake." They're all saying that about themselves.
So I just want to thank this group in particular for staying here and helping us out and doing things that nobody thought could've happened. And under the old concepts of national defense or whatever category you want to put it under, it — that wasn't working, and it was never going to work. And we changed things around very drastically, and then we started to negotiate.
And the good news — and I look at David because you know it, you see it, you hear it — the good news is we have many other countries now in the Middle East that want to be in this. And that means peace — because they're tired of fighting. You know, they can fight and they're all great fighters, and they're warriors, but even great warriors get tired of fighting, and they're tired of fighting.
And I can see things positively happening with Iran, ultimately. And I think that can all work out very well, and I think that so many great things are going to happen. And then we can also discuss the Palestinians. I think the Palestinians are going to end up doing something that's going to be very smart for them. And all their friends are coming into this, and they want to come into it — they want to come into it very badly.
And I can see a lot of good things happening with respect to the Palestinians, which would be really wonderful. Whether you are on their side or not on their side, people want to see it all brought to an end, and brought to an end quickly. So that's going to be very important.
But this is a very historic day. Would anybody else like to say anything? Please, go. Please.
MR. VANDROFF: Mr. President, I just want to thank you and Ambassador O'Brien for giving me the opportunity to serve on the National Security Council staff and be part of something historic and be part of a team. Avi and Jared are tremendous leaders, and the opportunity to work with them to do something important has been the highlight of my life. And thank you for letting me do that, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And you've been doing this for a long time. You never saw anything like this, right? (Laughter.)
MR. VANDROFF: No. No, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: A little — we take a little bit of a different approach.
MR. VANDROFF: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Anybody? Please. Come up, my friend.
MR. POTTINGER: Mr. President, 19 years ago today, my father and I almost got caught in the crosshairs of that first jet that hit the Twin Towers. That event changed the course of my life; it led me to become a United States Marine, which led to other things that brought me through a strange path here. And I want thank you for the leadership you've shown.
Walter Russell Mead recently wrote — he was quoting Churchill, who once said — he got a bowl of pudding, and he said, "Take it away. It has no theme." There's now a theme emerging in the Middle East.
THE PRESIDENT: There is a theme. That's good.
MR. POTTINGER: And it is a theme of what is possible from peace through strength, from not appeasing our enemies, and holding our allies and friends close.
So, congratulations, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And this is a very, very big day. Very, very big day. Would you like to say something?
MR. GREENWAY: Yes, sir. Like Matt and many others, 19 years ago, within a month of the attacks of 9/11, I and others were conducting operations in Afghanistan. As General Correa pointed out, it's a privilege to be in different historic circumstances today; to be part of a tremendous team with outstanding leadership, all of it possible, sir, because of your vision, because of your leadership and the relationships of everyone in this room. It's an enormous opportunity. It's something that no one could imagine, but it's an enormous privilege, and I'll always be grateful for it.
So, congratulations to you, sir. And thank you to you and everyone else here.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's an honor to have worked with all of you. You're really talented people — incredible. And you were willing to be flexible. The word "flexible" is a very important word because we weren't going by the old standards and norms; we were going by standards that can get things done. But not only get them done, get them done in a much better way.
MR. GREENWAY: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And this is just the beginning. A lot of things are happening, and they're happening very quickly. People want to be involved, and they want to be involved. For the first time, I think — some of you have told me, the first time ever, that you've ever seen anything like this, where they're rushing into an agreement. They want to be involved.
They're tired of fighting, as I said. They're tired of fighting. No matter how they are, no matter how great a warrior they are — and you have some great warriors. I know most of them. But it's time.
Thank you all very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
See you tomorrow bli neder
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Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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