To have skin in the game-what it takes to be Jewish and ‘Iran Continues to Build its Nuclear Program,’ Pompeo Warns in Munich and Moses a Fanatic and Extremist? and Bernie Sanders Articulates Nightmare Middle East Vision: US Must Support Hamas, TehranBy David Israel
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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Yeshiva University decided to field a crew team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last..
The Rosh Yeshiva finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team. So Yankel shlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bullrushes off the Charles River, from where he carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced.
Yankel finally returned to Yeshiva. "I have figured out their secret," he announced.
"They have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."
To have skin in the game-what it takes to be Jewish
To have "skin in the game" is to have incurred risk (monetary or otherwise) by being involved in achieving a goal.
In the phrase, "skin" is a phrase for the person involved, and "game" is the metaphor for actions on the field of play under discussion. The phrase is particularly common in business, finance, and gambling, and is also used in politics.
The origin of the phrase comes from derby races. The owners of the horse have "skin" in "the game". As the owner, they have the most riding on the outcome of the derby event.
It has commonly been attributed to Warren Buffet referring to his own investment in his initial fund
The Torah, however, originated the perspective many thousands of years before at the Covenant at Sinai.
Indeed, it is a commitment –consecration ceremony, which can be ratified only after the Israelite's publicly accept the challenge – or the gift – which God is placing before them, "And (the Israelite's) said, 'all that the Lord has spoken we shall perform and internalize' –
Moses took the blood (of the earlier sacrifices) and sprinkled it upon the nation , and he said, 'behold, the blood of the Covenant, which the Lord has cut with you on all these words.'" (Ex. 24:7-9)
As should be expected, this ratification comes after the lengthy Torah portion of Mishpatim, with a sampling of the moral and ritual commandments which have always been seen by our Sages as part and parcel of the Revelation at Sinai.
This ratification of the Covenant includes the youth of Israel who brought whole burnt offerings and peace offerings – and a celebratory meal for the leadership (Moses, Aaron, Nadav, Avihu and the Seventy Elders), at which they ate and drank in the presence of the Divine. (Ex. 24:11). Biblically, sacrifices of whole burnt offerings and peace offerings are generally identified with Festival celebrations (for example, Numbers. 10:10).
As we have seen, there is also the sprinkling of blood upon the nation, which is reminiscent of the circumcision ceremony, by which every male baby enters into the Covenant of Abraham and must include the loss of some blood from the male sexual organ of propagation; so it is that every single birth, male and female, is accompanied with the significant loss of blood: our Talmud teaches that "women are considered to be naturally circumcised," because with every birth they put their lives on the line and shed much blood! The profound reason for this is difficult, but very true.
Every worthwhile idea or ideal requires commitment even commitment unto death.
It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said that anyone who has not found an ideal for which he would sacrifice his life is not living a worthwhile life!
As the prophet Ezekiel taught, "And I see that you are rooted in your blood, and I say to you "by your blood shall you live, by your blood shall you live" (Ezek. 16:6).
The great paradox of the biblical story of the binding of Isaac was God's telling Abraham that only if he was willing to risk his future through his son Isaac would he be worthy of having a future with covenant al seed. God Himself (as it were) is invested in Israel's commitment, even commitment unto death, to the Covenant, because unless Israel succeeds in teaching the world ethical monotheism, our global village will have no future! That is why in picturing God's participation in the celebratory meal at Sinai, what I believe the Bible is trying to express metaphorically is that God has chosen us as His partners, to be His witnesses to the world, to help Him save humanity from self-destruction.
The Talmud records (B.T. Tamid 32a) that "Alexander of Macedon asked the Elders of Tzfat: 'What ought a person do if he wishes to die?' They responded, 'Let him attempt to keep on living,' because he will surely die sooner or later; nobody has yet left this world alive!
'And what ought a person do if he wishes to remain alive?' They responded, 'Let him slay himself' for the sake of an eternal value, of a lofty ideal, and he will continue to live as long as the value or ideal remains alive in the world."
To be a committed Jews means that although you may be engaged in a dangerous occupation, there is no more privileged way to live your life. Yes, it is a great joy to be Jewish Why, because we get to be G-d's representatives on Earth.
Amount Taken By the Germans in Total Physical Assets Must be Enormous -- Wonder if it was ever quantified?
Nine plagues have descended upon Egypt. Pharaoh, reeling under pressure from his noblemen and servants, capitulates. He tells Moses: "Go, worship the L-rd; only let your flocks and your herds stay behind" (Exodus 10:24).
Consider, dear Jew. After 210 years of slavery, the Hebrews have been told that they can leave! FREEDOM, AT LAST! Pharaoh has capitulated! All he gives is one small condition, so unimportant in view of the fact that he has agreed to Jewish freedom. Go, he has told the Hebrews; all I ask is that you leave your flocks and your herds.
The Hebrew, bursting with joy and anticipation, wait for the "official" acceptance by Moses, the sage and stable leader, his agreement that will open the door to freedom. And Moses? He replies: "You must also give into our hands sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may offer them to the L-rd, our G-d. And our livestock, as well, will go with us; there shall not be a hoof left behind" (Exodus 10:25-26).
Picture the Hebrews! Picture the Jewish leaders of TODAY, had they been there! "Moses! Have you LOST YOUR MIND??? We have been slaves for 210 years and now we can go free! Give him the animals! Agree to his unimportant condition. Make the insignificant compromise so that we can enjoy freedom and peace. Moses, what is this extremism and fanaticism? Freedom now, peace now! Give him the flocks!"
But, no. Moses, the greatest of Jewish leaders, refuses. There will be no compromise. There cannot be a compromise, for we are not speaking here about mere "freedom." The Jewish people is not a nation like all others with nationalistic strivings for independence and freedom. The liberation of the Jew was not a nationalist struggle for secular freedom. The entire breaking of the Egyptian yoke of bondage was a RELIGIOUS struggle, the war of the L-rd, G-d of Israel, against Pharaoh who mocked Him and refused to recognize Him as the one and only G-d.
From the first moment that Moses came into the palace and told the Egyptian emperor, ruler over the mightiest of all the empires of his time, "Thus says the L-rd, G-d of Israel: Let My people go..." and Pharaoh replied, "Who is the L-rd that I should obey His voice...? I know not the L-rd, and I will not let Israel go!" (Exodus 5:2), the battle was joined. The battle against Chillul Hashem; the battle against the arrogance of the nations who dare to proclaim, "I know not the L-rd"; the battle for Kiddush Hashem, the recognition and acceptance of the L-rd, G-d of Israel, as the one G-d, as the G-d of the universe.
Kiddush Hashem! That is what the story of the Exodus is about! And Kiddush Hashem brooks NO COMPROMISE, NOT THE SLIGHTEST!!! There MUST BE TOTAL SURRENDER, TOTAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE L-RD AND HIS PEOPLE'S SOVEREIGNTY AND POWER.
There is more.
The tenth and final plague now strikes Egypt. In every home, the firstborn dies; there is not a house in which there is no dead. It is midnight but Pharaoh rushes through the streets and cries out to Moses: "Rise up and leave from the midst of my people, both you and the Children of Israel, and go serve the L-rd as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, AND BE GONE!" (Exodus 12:31-32). AT LAST, TOTAL CAPITULATION! Unconditional surrender! But leave NOW, immediately, in the middle of the night!
Dear Jew, surely the moment has come. What could even the worst fanatic and extremist want after this surrender?
Moses says to Pharaoh: "Are we then thieves that we should leave in the night? We will not leave except with a mighty arm before the eyes of all of Egypt!" (Tanchuma, Bo 7).
Ah, the fanatic and extremist...He lays down yet another rule of Kiddush Hashem. Sanctification and the proclamation of G-d's omnipotence and sovereignty CANNOT BE A HIDDEN, SILENT, DISCREET THING. It MUST be done OPENLY, with a proclamation before the nations, with trumpets and drums. NO FEAR, NO ATTEMPT TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE, NO EFFORT TO "AVOID ANTAGONIZING THE NATIONS." Openly, loudly, with a public majesty that proclaims the majesty and kingship of the L-rd, G-d of Israel, who is one!
If Moses were alive today and were he to lay down these iron rules of Kiddush Hashem, what would the gentilized Hebrews of Israel and the Hellenists of the Establishment in the Exile say?
The lesson is clear: Their gentilized thoughts are not those of the G-d of Israel. What to them is a "fanatic" and "extremist," in Torah eyes and to authentic Judaism is the principle and the iron rule of Judaism. Those who believe in nothing but themselves will always be "flexible"- except when their own interests are threatened. Those who believe in nothing will always be ready to "compromise," since they stand on no principle that is stable and untouchable. Parshat Bo teaches us about the greatest of all Jewish concepts, Kiddush Hashem, and the greatest of Jewish leaders, Moses- the fanatic and extremist. The Jewish Press, 1988
Bernie Articulates Nightmare Middle East Vision: US Must Support Hamas, Tehran By David Israel
elow, I've enclosed a transcript of Senator Bernie Sanders' February 18 appearance on CNN's Presidential Town Hall. It is a fine example of leftist thinking about reality in the Middle East that is so mired in the 1970s it would take a force as big as Yoko Ono, perhaps, to break it up. Point by point, Sanders reveals his deep ignorance about a region which has undergone breathtaking changes over the past decade – but said changes, alas, have made no impression on Bernie's consciousness. And then there's Bernie's old lefty line about the Jewish State's involvement in all this that goes: It all began when Israel retaliated. It's a classic.
Oh, and he makes it all glide good into the oven on a thick shortening agent he calls "as somebody who is Jewish."
We know you're Jewish, Bernie, we just don't know why God did it to us.
So, here are the full quotes, courtesy of People for Bernie, in response about a question from the child of Israeli yordim regarding US-Israel relations under the Sanders Administration. Bernie said:
"To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support rightwing racist governments that currently exist in Israel."
This is a repeated argument by Sanders, which is yet to be challenged: should the US withhold its support from governments it deems rightwing and racist? Is that the President Sanders doctrine? Would the Sanders administration revoke its 10-year, $38 billion military aid contract with Israel, signed by the last Democrat in the White House, whom so many of us believed was anti-Israel?
Of course, it can't be done, because that particular aid package is anchored in Congressional legislation, which would take a majority in both houses to dismantle. But Bernie, right off the bat, announces his intent to go to war against the Israeli government, should it be led, once again, by PM Benjamin Netanyahu or someone like him.
Good to know.
"And let me tell you this also, and I feel strongly about it, as somebody who's Jewish, and knowing how much our people have suffered over the years…"
This line, folks, is taken directly from the PLO propaganda manual about the Jews who survived the Holocaust in Europe only to come home to Israel to start tormenting the "indigenous people." Because the Jews suffered in the past, goes this deeply anti-Semitic logic, then all suffering endured by their Arab neighbors is by default the Jews' fault. There are no other factors: tyrannical regimes, terrorist gangs usurping the hard-earned pennies of the working population, tribalism, illiteracy, Arab on Arab violence, the domination of women – none of that catches Bernie's attention. Trust him, as a Jew himself, when he tells you: it's the Jews.
"Take a look at what's going on in Gaza right now. You got youth unemployment 70%, you know people can't even leave the area."
Again, an Arab hardship without a cause. Bernie knows nothing about the fact that Israel in 2006 uprooted 8,000 Jewish settlers in a unilateral move out of the Gaza Strip – a move that was followed, predictably, by tens of thousands of rockets fired at civilian population centers in Israel, complete with terror tunnels and explosive-carrying balloons which continue to terrorize the same civilians to this day. This is why Gaza is paralyzed. And people can't leave the area because the Hamas government won't let them, unless they pay upwards of $5,00 per capita for the right to cross over to Egypt.
Bernie knows his audience is made up of partially educated Americans whose knowledge of the world around them is limited. He need not worry about being challenged by his audience. Perhaps Mike Bloomberg—a true friend of Israel—will give him a run for his money (pun not intended) when they meet in the next debate. One can hope.
"What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East, bringing the Israelis bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice."
OK, I admit, I have no idea what he means. The banner of justice is the last thing you want to be under if your aim is to achieve a measure of modus vivendi for Arabs and Jews. You really don't want both parties to start airing out their grievances about the injustices of the past, because we here in Israel have a bloody trail of dead men, women, children and babies who were murdered for no reason other than their being Jews. Let's see you figure out justice for this one, fellow Jew Bernie.
"We could do it, we have the wealth to do it. It cannot just simply be a one that we're just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people."
We have the wealth to do it? Bernie, you're touting a $30 trillion Medicaid for All idea that would restructure the US economy in a way that would make the New Deal look like a summer picnic (I admit, I didn't find a really good metaphor here, I'm open to suggestions). You have the wealth to cover the cost of an Israeli-Arab peace deal? Even Donald Trump didn't dare put American money on the line with his deal of the century peace proposal – he banked on rich Arab countries and the Europeans to lend a hand. And what do you really know about the needs of "the Palestinian people" that you weren't fed by your friends at the PLO?
At this point, Bernie turned to President Barack Obama's other horrendous failure in the region:
"We've got to pay attention to both and by the way, it's not a dissembler situation with regard to Iran and Saudi Arabia. For years, we have lovveeedd (sic) Saudi Arabia wonderful ally. Only problem is the people run the country on murderous thugs. Alright? I believe that instead of being really cozy with Mohammed bin Salman the billionaire dictator of Saudi Arabia, I believe, President Obama made good progress in this way to build on that, that we can bring the Saudis and the Iranians together."
Bernie, please, take a look at the "good progress" which was left by Obama in the Middle East: Syria has had a bloody civil war for nearly a decade, with more than half a million dead and millions uprooted; Libya is no more; Egypt is back to being ruled by a strong military dictator; Iran is sinking into chaos while spreading terrorism and death across the region.
You must have heard of the repression of mass anti-regime demonstrations in Iran where government forces have so far killed more than 1,500 civilians. You really have nothing to say about Iranian murderous thugs? Only the Saudis catch your ire?
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are engaged in positive endeavors in the region, a good deal of which have to do with collaboration with the rightwing government of Israel. Of course they are "murderous thugs," so are the Russians and the Chinese, and occasionally the French and the British, and, I've been led to understand, so is the United States of America.
In conclusion: Bernie Sanders is the worst possible populist candidate for president the US since Huey "The Kingfish" Long, and if he wins, God forbid, we are in serious trouble. As to his ideas concerning the Middle East: it's time to cringe in fear and vote for someone else.