Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Mummy in Jerusalem

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Enter The Other's World When talking to someone who thinks very differently than you, especially when the person is being irrational, enter the other person's world and answer him according to his line of reasoning. If you have any hope of your communication being accepted, you must try to reply in a way consistent with the other's way of thinking -even if you feel it is distorted and illogical. This is the principle of entering the world of the person you are communicating with.

Love Yehuda Lave

By Error yesterday I sent out two pieces. Since I am in the process of moving I have had to set up my computer to time my pieces and I made a mistake and scheduled two for yesterday. I hope you enjoyed them both, but you were only were supposed to get one at a time. Let me know that you saw them both  and if you enjoyed one more than the other. My goal however, is to give you daily enjoyment. The advantage of the computer is that you can view my pieces at your leisure and I do it for your learning and your enjoyment. I wish everyone a beautiful Summer and as we just finished the Friday of love going into the Shabbat of comfort, please have a wonderful rest of the summer. While I have accomplished a new temporary move, I am still alone without a mate, anything you can do to help on this issue is gratefully appreciated.

Love Yehuda Lave




Are You Listening, Jew?


Rabbi Ya'akov Emden (Yavetz) was one of the great halachic authorities of his time.  He lived in Hamburg at a time when – despite general belief – the Jews were already beginning to acclimate to society and live comfortably.  And in the introduction (Sulam Beit El) to his famous siddur (Prayer Book), he wrote the following remarkable words – a cry to the Jew in the Exile:


            Not one in a thousand arouses himself to dwell in the Land (of Israel), to live there.

            Only one from a town and two from a family.  No one seeks its love, desires its peace

            and good and waits to see it.  It appears to us as we sit in comfort in the Exile that we

have already discovered another Land of Israel and another Jerusalem.  And that is why there came upon us all the evils when we sat in Spain and other lands in comfort and great honor since the time of the Destruction … until we were later driven from there and not a trace was left of Jews in those countries.


And he concludes with words that shake the firmaments of the Jewish world:


            How long will you sleep, O lazy one, in the bed of laziness … until the foundations of

the universe shall be uncovered!  And why shall you not acquire for yourself wise counsel to flee for your life while you yet may?


Stunning, powerful, awesome words from a halachic giant, Rabbi Ya'akov Emden!  And the Jew hears nothing.  And why should we be surprised?  Why should we be astonished that the Jew fails to hear the words that echo from the eighteenth century, from Hamburg, German, when he cannot hear the cry of Bensonhurst?


I arrived in the United States for two weeks in time to see and hear the awesome cry of Rabbi Ya' akov Emden – this time from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  And I look about me at the Jew who apparently is blind to what is so obvious; so deaf to the screeching sounds about him, and so dumb – both in inability to express the reality and to understand it.


In the cold-blooded murder of a black youth in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, lies the reality of America, and the impossible dilemma for the Jews of that country who, like those of so many generations of Exile past, thought, in the words of Rabbi Ya'akov Emden, that "they had discovered another Land of Israel and another Jerusalem."


Bensonhurst lies in White America, attacked to Boro Park – land of Jewish certainty and assurance that herein lies yet another Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem.  Bensonhurst is an almost all-white enclave that, incredibly, brings comfort and security to the Jews who live there or who border on it.  And in Bensonhurst a young man was gunned down because he was black – and the Jew heard nothing and understood nothing and felt not the slightest alarm.  Indeed, G-d help us, there were not a few who agreed with the white gentiles that blacks who come into the neighborhood risk receiving what the murdered black man got.


Does no one see?  Does not the Jew understand what the lesson of Bensonhurst is?  Does not one look at the faces and souls of the Bensonhurst whites who stood jeering and taunting blacks and shouting "niggers," and understand that the bells toll for him?  Is there not a Jew who saw the hate and venom and willingness to murder, and understood that those same faces and same haters and same people could, tomorrow, just as easily and willingly do the same to the Jew?  Does the Jew not understand what he is hearing?  Is the Jew listening?  Does he want to listen?  Does he want to understand that haters are not capable of being limited in their hatred to one particular people that is different?  That those who hate blacks hate Jews, too, and perhaps even more?  That hatred is a disease that enters the marrow of the bones and emerges in all its horrors whenever social or economic or psychological conditions drive it out into action?


What is it about the Jew that fails to make him understand that the hater, the bigot, the murderer of the black man today will be the destroyer of the Jew, tomorrow?


There is a host on a large New York City radio station.  He is immensely popular with Jews, especially those of Brooklyn.  He is a bigot and a hater – albeit a clever one.  And how the Jews love it when he, in his viciousness, goes up against a "shwartzer."


And I remember once, driving in an automobile and listening to the man as an Hispanic caller phoned in.  How the radio host-bigot ridiculed the man's accent!  How he humiliated the man because of that accent that was different from the "American" one.  And the very next caller fairly fell over himself in delight and congratulations to the host for how he handled the foreigner.  The caller who was so delighted was from Brooklyn and had a Hungarian accent thick enough to serve with goulash under the light of his chandelier and the happy smiles of his wife under her sheitel


It is more than blind and needless hate that I cry out against.  It is the fact that the Jew hears the haters of Bensonhurst crying out their bigotry and does not hear the unspoken word, "Jew!"  For those thugs and gross hooligans and ignoramuses hate Jews with more passion than they do blacks.  For what they really feel about blacks is fear, but they hate Jews.  They are jealous of them and envious, and no greater hate emerges than from that .  What did Solomon say: "Wrath is cruel and anger is overwhelming, but who is able to stand before jealousy?" (Proverbs 27:4).


The same ones who murder blacks, and hate and fear them and curse them and  "make the neighborhood safe," are those who sit in their bars muttering about Jews in frightening envy and jealousy that breeds the most awesome hatred of them all.  They are a danger to the very survival of Jews and G-d help us all should there be an economic collapse that will drive them into unemployment and desperation and loosen the social chains that bind them.


And that is the dilemma.  For the black community is one that is riddled with Jew-hatred.  Real hard-core hatred of Jews.  And much more open and much more "legitimate" than the kind that is endemic to whites.  Not only is a Jesse Jackson capable of making outrageous anti-Jewish comments and yet remain a legitimate national figure and candidate for the Presidency, but on every campus in American the local black student group can issue openly anti-Jewish statements and not be condemned, let alone lose its college funding.  Black papers and radio

stations can spew forth anti-Jewish hate, and the FCC and political leaders are strangely silent.  The fact is that, despite the obscene refusal of Jewish liberals to condemn black Jew-hatred but rather to rationalize it away, blacks in great measure and in huge numbers hate Jews.


And that despair grips a Jew from Israel as he sees, on the one hand, the mindless, ugly faces of the Bensonhurst whites with their Jew-hatred barely beneath the surface, while at the funeral of the black youth, Farrakhan and his black-faced brownshirts arrived.  The fact that they allowed the black Nazi Farrakhan to speak, and not one black leader protested (and naturally not a white politician dared to), underlies the despair and the hopelessness of the situation for the Jew.


On the one hand, a black community that has made anti-Semitism an integral part of its existence.  On the other, far more dangerous white majority Jew-hating class.  And that for the Jew is the real meaning of Bensonhurst and America that is riven, polarized, riddled with hate and violence that is held back only by economic prosperity.  But behind that dam lie the waters of hate and envy and jealousy.  And it is the Jew who is the target.


The Jew who saw and heard the faces and voices of Bensonhurst, the hate and violence and taunts, and who saw nothing and heard nothing.  And the voice of Rabbi Ya'akov Emden comes across the ages, crying:  Are you listening, Jew?   And the Jew does not even hear that.

Written September 1989


Editor's note:  Jacob Emden (1697-1776), rabbi, halachic authority, kabbalist.  Emden was regarded as one of the outstanding scholars of his generation.  Despite his distinguished descent and his remarkable Talmudic attainments, Emden occupied no official position, with the exception of a few years as rabbi of Emden, Germany.  This made it possible for him to be exceptionally critical toward the society and the tradition of his time.  In addition, he published an important edition of the prayer book (whose parts had different names) with a valuable commentary (1745-48.  There were six Jews living in Emden in 1967.

(Source: Encyclopedia Judaica, 1972 edition)


Summertime in Jerusalem

Jewish settlements are legal

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative" 
"Israel Hayom," August 18, 2016, http://bit.ly/2aZBbTo 
The popular assumption that Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria are illegal does not stand up to scrutiny.
"Prof. Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of Yale University Law School, Undersecretary of State and a co-author of the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242. resolved that under international law: "Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa."  
Prof. Rostow determined that according to Resolution 242: "Israel is required to withdraw 'from territories', not 'the' territories, nor from 'all' the territories, but 'some' of the territories, which included the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights."  Moreover, "resolutions calling for withdrawal from 'all' the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly…. Israel was not to be forced back to the 'fragile and vulnerable' [9-15 mile-wide] lines… but to 'secure and recognized' boundaries, agreed to by the parties…. In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai… [which amounts to] more than 90% of the territories occupied in 1967…."
Former President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, stated: "[The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive rather than aggressive… [as] indicated by Egypt's prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the amassing of [Egyptian] troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of the UN Emergency Force…[and] Jordan's initiated hostilities against Israel…. 

The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following authoritative, binding, internationally-ratified treaties:

Please click for the complete article

A Mummy in Jerusalem

The Lie Of The Occupation

If you repeat a lie often enough, you begin to believe it's the truth.

Although their positive contributions to society are nil to zero, the Palestinians do present two societal models. First, they have perfected a blueprint for perpetual victim-hood; second, they have become masters at PR. The latter talent was no doubt adopted and well learned from the days of that infamous paragon of propaganda, Yasir Arafat.

They have, in fact, learned these lessons so well that they have been able to pass them on not only to their own children but to the rest of the world as well.

Not only have righteous activists throughout the Arab world adopted their "Free Palestine from the Israeli Occupiers" mantra, "infidels" from other religions have joined them in their courageous struggle.

So good are the Palestinians at propaganda, they have even won over significant numbers of hapless progressive liberals, including members of the Jewish tribe whose legendary compassion for the downtrodden extends mainly to those outside of their own religion.

These noble souls have joined the Palestinians in their chants of "From the River to the Sea Palestine Shall be Free." Thus, in their eagerness to appease the Palestinians –notwithstanding the fact that the stated purpose of those Palestinians is to drive the Jews out of their own land through vicious campaigns of bombing, shooting, stabbing, and car-ramming – these Jewish activists have jumped on the "freedom train," opposing any Jewish settlement activity while applauding and encouraging Palestinian expansion on Jewish land, which of course they insist on calling Palestinian land.

The big lie, however, is obvious to anyone willing to see the simple truth.

Ancient Israel never was the land of an Arab population known as Palestinians, which in actuality was a name given to the Jews of Israel when it was occupied by the Romans.

Israel always was and still is the promised land of the Jewish people, hence the name of the Jews has always been "Bnei Yisrael," sons of Israel. For thousands of years Jews have lived in Israel, loved Israel, prayed for Israel, and died for Israel – long before the present-day Israeli Arabs, reinventing themselves as the true indigenous people of Israel, began calling themselves Palestinians.

In 1948 the Jews of Palestine accepted the UN mandate to live side by side with the Arabs of Palestine. The Arabs rejected the offer. Arab leaders urged Muslims living in Eretz Yisrael – many of them from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon – to flee until the Arab armies achieved their objective of destroying the newborn Jewish state.

Of course, things didn't work out quite the way the Arabs planned, and there has not been peace ever since.

The Palestinians have proved time and again that what they live for, and what they are willing to kill and even die for, is to throw the Jews out of Israel – just as, between the years 1920 and 1970, Arab and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East expelled 900,000 Jews from places where they'd been living for twenty centuries.

The Palestinians will never be happy with two states side by side. What they really want is one state – a Palestinian state, free of Jews. By persistently repeating the lie of Israeli occupation, Jews flying the banner of movements such as Peace Now and J Street are helping the Palestinians in their quest to achieve this goal.

Though Israeli "settlers" are accused of promoting anti-Semitism, the Jews who accuse Israel of being "occupiers" are the ones promoting and excusing anti-Semitism. It is these Jews the Palestinian protesters point to as proof they are not anti-Jewish, just anti-Israeli aggression, even as they freely compare "Israeli occupiers" to Nazis and even as not a few have been heard on college campuses yelling "Go back to the ovens, Hitler didn't finish the job…"

Thus Jews who help promulgate the myth that the land of Israel belongs to the Palestinians rather than the Jews are not promoting peace at all. Rather, they are validating a lie in their unfounded belief that this will lead to peace, when in actuality nothing could be further from the truth. What they are doing is enabling more hatred and violence. Israel needs their support, not their unjustified condemnation.

Ettie Kryksman

About the Author: Ettie Kryksman is a longtime yeshiva and public-school teacher living in Brooklyn. Her articles on a variety of subjects have appeared in several newspapers and magazines.

Rabbi Sprecher speaks on a Mummy in Jerusalem--is it Kosher for a Cohen to go see it?