Redeeming Israel in the public affairs world with Alan Dershowitz and US National Library of Congress to accept book of Talmud for first time and Israel is first country to urge halt to all overseas travel
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 Better Boycott
A Rabbi is walking down the street in New York when he is shocked by a sign hanging in front of a building.
The sign reads, "WE WOULD RATHER DO BUSINESS WITH 1000 HAMAS TERRORISTS THAN WITH ONE SINGLE ISRAELI"
Enraged, the Rabbi walks up to the building to go inside and yell at the owners, but he is stopped by a smaller sign saying, "THE CHEVRA KADISHA (Hebrew Burial Society)."
Israel is first country to urge halt to all overseas travel
In an unprecedented move, Israelis advised to avoid all travel abroad over virus Health Ministry warning sees 'high probability' pathogen has now spread worldwide and is no longer containable; Israelis returning from Italy ordered to a 14-day quarantine
In a dramatic statement Wednesday, Israel's Health Ministry urged Israelis to seriously consider refraining from traveling abroad, as the country looked to isolate itself from the novel coronavirus outbreak rapidly spreading across the globe.
"If you don't genuinely have to fly — don't do so," the ministry said in a travel warning.
In making the announcement, Israel became the first country to urge its citizens to refrain from international travel entirely because of the outbreak, which started in China in December and has since infected over 80,000 worldwide and claimed well over 2,000 lives, almost all of them in China.
The move comes after a series of additional countries announced they had identified cases of the virus on their soil over the past two days, including Brazil's announcement of the first confirmed case in Latin America and uncontained outbreaks in Germany, Italy and other European countries.
Tuesday marked the first day since the start of the outbreak that more new cases were recorded abroad than in China, which has been the epicenter of the epidemic.
The statement also expanded a previous travel warning for northern Italy to the entirety of that country and ordered all Israelis returning from Italy to a 14-day home quarantine, effective immediately.
Israel has already banned the entry of any foreigners who have been to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand Singapore, South Korea, and Japan in the 14 days prior.
Israeli officials said the new reports of coronavirus cases in Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia, all announced over the past two days, appear to have arrived in those countries from travelers originating in Italy.
Other hotspots have been identified in South Korea and Iran.
"The current assessment is that there is a high probability that the pathogen has spread to additional areas in Europe and in many other places around the world," the travel warning said.
The Wednesday statement advised the cancellation or delay of all international conferences and gatherings in Israel in the coming months, and to refrain from traveling to such events abroad, where the threat of contagion from multiple countries is higher.
It also urged the avoidance of travel to "events of a religious character at which people from many different nations gather together," an apparent reference to Hajj, which falls in July.
Israel's Health Ministry has taken an active approach to combating the spread of the virus here, going far beyond other countries in banning visitors from some countries and forcing Israelis returning from there into self-quarantine.
The ministry has faced some criticism for unnecessarily panicking people and causing economic and diplomatic damage to the country.
Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov told Channel 12 News that the ministry preferred to take harsher measures now than be sorry later.
The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on how the new directives could affect diplomatic work in Israel and abroad.
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a question on whether the measures would affect any planned exercises with international partners.
So far, there have only been two confirmed cases in the country — both of whom were on a cruise ship where hundreds were infected and were already in quarantine when diagnosed.
However, over the weekend South Korea informed Israel that several members of a group of pilgrims who returned from a recent visit to the country were found to have the disease. Another four Israelis were being treated in Japan, where they were diagnosed as having the virus while still on the ship. On Tuesday one of the Israelis was given the all-clear to leave the hospital.
On Saturday authorities instructed some 200 Israeli students and teachers to self-quarantine due to their contact with the group of South Korean pilgrims. It is not clear whether the Korean tourists were already infected while in Israel.
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
Skill Compensation: People who are exceptionally good at one thing tend to be exceptionally poor at another.
Redeeming Israel in the public affairs world
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) is an Israeli research institute specializing in public diplomacy and foreign policy founded in 1976.
Currently, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs' research portfolio consists of five primary initiatives: the Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA), Defensible Borders Initiative, Jerusalem in International Diplomacy, Iran and the New Threats to the West, and Combating Delegitimization. More broadly, the think-tank concentrates on the topics of Iran, Radical Islam, the Middle East, Israel, the Peace Process, Jerusalem, Anti-Semitism, and World Jewry.
Its publications include the academic journal Jewish Political Studies Review and the email-distributed Daily Alert, a daily regional news summary.
Combating delegitimization and BDS
A core component of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs concerns efforts by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to delegitimize Israel.
According to the organization's website, the initiative "is a major multilingual public diplomacy program" which seeks to expose those who undermine Israel's very legitimacy.
This programme entails reinforcing the connection between "the Jewish people and their historical homeland including Jerusalem."
Many of the institute's scholars, including Dan Diker and Ambassador Alan Baker, have published extensively on subjects pertaining to this initiative. This includes Dan Diker's BDS Unmasked: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends as well as Ambassador Baker's Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community.
On Wednesday night (02/26/20), the Center sponsored a discussion with Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, of Harvard Law School, Ben-Dro Yemini, Israeli Journalist at Yediot Ahronot, and moderated by Dan Diker, Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare and BDS at the JCPA on Dan Diker's new book, "Israelophobia: The Dangerous Dance between BDS and Anti-Semitism.
The program was held at Mishenot Sha'ananim Conference Center.
Dan, as the primary author of the new book, moderated the discussion. Professor Dershowitz, who contributed to the book with one of its chapters handled most of the points and Ben-Dror Yemini held his own in the discussion.
Ben-Dror pointed out that much of the Anti-Israel Anti-Semitism comes from our own Israeli Professors who work oversees at many major colleges, in both their regular programs, but especially in the Colleges Jewish Studies programs.
He gave the simile of the Talking Dog. Because of the fact that not too many dogs talk, when one does he is special. Many of these professors in these oversees colleges, make it their bread and butter to attack Israel.
Since they are Jewish and Israeli themselves, they feel they have the right to do so and because they are "talking dogs" they get a job and important status at the Universities where they work. Ben-Dror felt these Israeli traitors were as important as the Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel American Colleges that have crossed a line in the modern world.
Professor Dershowitz talked of his long history in fighting Anti-Semitism. As a liberal Democrat, he is like a fish out of water, among his peers. As he was a main participant in the recent Trump Impeachment trial, he is now considered a traitor to the Anti-Trump Jewish media and establishment. His wife and daughter are shunned because he had the audacity to Support Trump in his Impeachment fight.
Professor Dershowitz warned, that his experience has taught him that the world has become so polarized that no one looks at the arguments anymore, they just advocate by insulting the other party. This is especially difficult for Israel and Jews, because we rely on Truth to win our arguments. Once emotion takes over, we no longer will be to defend ourselves.
For that reason, he said we have to not rely on the US always having our back and we have to be able to defend ourselves.
RABBI MEIR KAHANE "CHANGE THE SYSTEM"
CHANGING THE SYSTEM
Let it be clear as it could possibly be: The main motivation behind the extraordinary, demonic drive for a change in the Israeli political system is the desire and passion to destroy the political power of the religious parties and community in Israel.
Disgust with the present system of corruption and bribery and stealing from the public trough? Indeed, there is that and more, but for thirty years as Mapai and Labor-Left and its Mapam and kibbutz allies ruled the country with all the arrogance and contempt of some Stalinist Boss Tweed, corruption ran rampant and bribery was the order of the day, and they stole shamelessly by the light of the day. The Histadrut ran the country and ran the money and took the money and created a cadre wealthy arrogant political leftist labor leaders. The kibbutzim received the best land in the country and fully 30% of the water despite the fact that they totaled three percent of the population, at best. Parties decided how much money to take for their expenses and needs – at will. Never in Israel's history was there ever a single party able to form a government without a coalition, and how much political bribery was paid then! Knesset members switched parties, and all that the liberals and leftists suddenly find disgusting began and flourished for decades under the liberals and leftist. And no one shouted:
Change the system!
More, in those days they not only stole money, the stole people. They not only killed democracy, they kidnapped children and destroyed souls. The Sephardic immigrants who came to Israel were treated with contempt and with strong-arm tactics that were worthy of the Bolshevik Mafia that ran the country. The earlocks that were ripped from Yemenite children's heads went along with the forced irreligion that was thrust upon them in the Kibbutzim and Youth Aliyah institutions so proudly boasted of by the same Hadassah which, today, demands a change of the system. Six hundred Yemenite children, kidnapped after being born, and given to elite members of the political Mafia establishment, are still missing, and the results of the deliberate destruction of Judaism within hundreds of thousands of Sephardic Jews by the left-liberal Mafia can be seen today in the crime, violence, pornography and general destruction of values of the grandchildren of the Jews of Spiritual genocide. And no one shouted then: Change the system!
What was done to the religious Sephardic Jews then was deliberate, just as what is being done today is deliberate. Just as then the left-liberal Mafia feared the growth of the religious political power in the "democracy" that was Israel and so they went about destroying it, so, too, today the motivation behind the hypocritical call for change in the system in the name of "democracy" is an obscene fear that in a democracy the religious will win the day because of their population growth.
And so, the Nazi-like caricature that appear in the papers and the blatant incitement to hate against the religious. And the outrage over ten of millions of shkalim to religious institutions when the kibbutzim just had debts of billions wiped away, and the Histadrut's corrupt institutions are bailed out with hundreds of millions of shkalim from the Treasury, and the Likud – a partner in corruption ever since it got a taste of power – decides to raise the amount of money for the parties since it is deeply in debt.
If all that was troubling the "moralists of democracy" was the power of small parties, there is a simple solution to it and that is to raise the percentage of votes needed for a Knesset seat from the present 1% to three or four or five. That would eliminate all small parties and produce four major ones, as blocs are formed – right, left, cent and religious. Ah, but that is the problem. The religious would still be there and still be in a position to grow, through babies, and become more and more powerful and that is what disturbs all the "moralists" of the left. If instead of the black-garbed Rabbi Shach and others, the small parties that held the government captive were those of Ratz and Mapam and Shinui – that would have never led to the hysterical demands of "Change they system!" But it was the religious. And that brought out all the hate and racism that the moralists so deplore when used against Arabs.
It is difficult to understand the sheer bile that possesses the left-liberal secularists when they discuss the religious. It is an obsession with them. It is a war – not of culture but of belief, of being. Those who destroyed Jewish values and found themselves with a morally rotting state and children who are neither religious nor Zionist, but empty of all values except "Me," can never admit their failure. And so they hate the religious and they hate Judaism and they hate themselves. What did the Rabbis say (Psachim 49b)? "Greater is the hatred of the ignoramus for the scholar than the of the gentile for the Jew." And we see it daily in Israel.
Are the religious parties corrupt? Of course they are; shamefully so! Are they a disgrace to Torah? Of course they are, and in the words of the prophet Isaiah (1:6): "From the sole of the foot to the head, there is no soundness." And let the wise man understand . . . . But Labor and Likud make them look like pikers in comparison.
Change the system? And then things will be better? Has not history proven a thousand times over that it is not the system but the people who bring evil and corruption into the world? The same thieves and corrupt politicians with their money and power will create the same abomination in Israel under any system.
Do you know what they wish to do? They wish to create districts from which individuals can be elected. Districts that will guarantee that the religious, despite their larger population, will always be limited to 3-4 seats since they live together in 3-4 districts. Districts that make the vote infinitely less democratic (if that is what bothers you) than the present system of proportional representation. For under the present system, every vote counts. Under district voting, all those who did not vote for the winner see their votes go down the drain. Indeed, that is why in England today there is a great demand to change the system from district voting to proportional representation, as in Israel . . . . Democracy? They are not interested in democracy except that it will help them keep or get power.
And they tie all this to a demand for a constitution that de facto will turn Israel from a Jewish state into a Western democratic one in which Jewishness will not matter, and it will be "Israeliness" that will be the equal common denominator, with the non-Jewish Israeli equal common denominator, with the non-Jewish Israeli equal to the Jewish one and the very reason for a "Jewish" state destroyed.
When the All Mighty created the Torah He understood that it is not the "system" that makes things good or bad. It is the people. And that is why the same Torah that is so stringent concerning seemingly minor matters in a person's life has no definitive system for political organization or economic structure. For these things are not the important ones in building a society. Times change and structures change, but good and evil in the world come from Man. And the same corrupt, hypocritical thieves will continue their dirty business in any system. For a cesspool by any name remains just that.
And one final word.
As I watch the enormous success of the liberal-left drive to change the system. I will never forgive, until my dying day, those thousands and more "supporters" of mine who helped us lose Israel when we had a divine opportunity to save the land.
Watching the large rallies demanding a "change," I know that it is Kach that could have had the crowds and the rallies and the momentum in a demand for a Referendum. The disgust of the people with all the parties, our unbelievable popularity as the only clean and honest group – all this made for a golden opportunity to demand People Power, a Referendum! But we did not have the money that the liberal-left has, and so we lost the opportunity and I doubt if it will ever come again. And the reason we had no money was that the ones who cheer me and condemn the Left and the traitors and Peres and Likud, and thus get their pious preaching jollies so that they can feel pure and good and righteous, never made the sacrifices. Never gave me the money at a time when I saw the events coming. Again. Once again, the betrayal by the supporters and cheerers.
The country is falling apart. As small people haggle over seats and money and power, Iraq speaks of missiles and chemical warfare and Egypt nears a nuclear bomb and I sit in frustration knowing what might have been if my supporters and cheerers had cared enough to do more than gleefully condemn Peres.
And for that, for what they did to Israel, I will never forgive them.
Written: May 1990
US National Library of Congress to accept book of Talmud for first time
US National Library of Congress to accept the book of Talmud for the first time
The translation from Hebrew to English took world-renowned Rabbi Steinsaltz 8 years to complete. By CELIA JEAN
For the first time ever, a book of Talmud will be accepted into the US's National Library of Congress, the largest library in the world. The book of Talmud, translated by world-renowned scholar Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz, will be released to the library in a celebratory event due to be held on Thursday. The translation from Hebrew to English took Rabbi Steinsaltz 8 years to complete. Read More Related Articles
The event, first of its kind, will feature Jewish elected officials Congressman Eliot Engel, member of the United States House of Representatives, and Carla Hayden, Principal Director of the Library of Congress. During the event, representatives of Steinsaltz's family will grant the library the full volume of the translation, followed by a certificate of honor which will be given in return to Steinsaltz's family which is said to be one of the most influential in contemporary Judaism. According to Rabbi Steinsaltz's legacy knowledge is something that connects and mediates cultures and peoples. Translating the Talmud became the center of Rabbi Steinsaltz's life after he founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic publications in 1965, together with the Israeli government.
Steinsaltz is considered by the Chabad as one of the most important rabbis of our time. His work is devoted to addressing education, the study of Talmud, Chassidism and philosophy. He has published over 60 books in many languages, and won the Israel Prize, as well as the President's medal and the 'Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem' award."It's a great honor for the both Diaspora and Israeli Jews to receive such honor from a great institution as important as the US National Library of Congress. For all the Talmud's thousands of years of existence, it is very exciting and meaningful for us, especially during times like these, when Judaism suffers from antisemitism," announced Mani Even Israel, the head of the Steinsaltz center. The library is a research library that serves members, committees, the staff of the US congress and offers general lectures, concerts and exhibitions to the general public.