Thursday, July 16, 2020

Breaking news: We have had enough suffering this year so Mourning for the three weeks is canceled and the fast of Tish A'bov cancelled for those over 60 and health challenged and Lessons From Pinchas For The Coronavirus By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Jews Against themselves and Thousands of Israelis mistakenly ordered to enter quarantine due to monitoring errors.

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

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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We have enough grief this year, so mourning is canceled and fasting on Tish A'Bov is optional

We have enough grief this year, so mourning is canceled

Jews are now commemorating what is known as the Three Weeks.  It is when Jews express grief for the destruction of the Holy Temple in ancient Israel.  The Temple was breached by the Romans in 69 C.E.  The mourning period concludes with a fast to remember when both Holy Temples were set aflame.  Thus, Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar.

Between the two fasts (the 17th of Tammuz which passed last week) and Tisha B'Av is called the three weeks of mourning. During this period, we don't listen to live music (taped and the radio is ok according to some) eat meat or drink wine (except on Shabbat, when we are not to mourn), and reduce our joy.

Hershel Schachter (born July 28, 1941) is an American Orthodox rabbi, posek (religious law authority), and Rosh yeshiva (dean) at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), part of Yeshiva University (YU) in New York City.

Schachter is a halakhic (Jewish law) advisor for the Orthodox Union, and has rendered notable decisions in a number of contemporary topic areas.

Rav Schacter says in the pdf attached, that because of the trauma of the virus, the entire world is in a state of uncertainty and concern. He, therefore, says that if one needs to listen to live music so that they are not depressed, this year is different.

The Rav doesn't say it, but I will, this obviously applies to the rest of the mourning procedures that Jews follow during the three week period. The world has suffered tremendously from the loss of their income and jobs to the loss of their freedom to travel freely. Even at home, the buses are not running at night, they pass you by in the heat if they have over 20 people (happened to me last week -after waiting 30 minutes in the heat for a bus in Safed, the bus passed me right by, with no concern that the next bus might be just as full). The world has changed this year and if we can't go to our synagogues as usual, which is a big sacrifice, anyone who is suffering doesn't have to suffer anymore.

As I wrote yesterday, One doesn't have to be more religious than G-d. The Jews' job is to follow the bible as the Rabbis tell us what it means. Going to the hospital when you are hurt IS keeping Shabbat, and eating on a fast day, so that your resistance doesn't drop when you are over 60 is keeping the three weeks.

It will be very strange for people who are in jeopardy (and the medical experts say that anyone over 60 is at much higher risk as well as younger people with pre-existing conditions) to skip the fast of Tisha B'Av this year, but they must to protect their health. Someone can be machmor (strict) on something that doesn't affect their health, like reading more Tehillim or doing more prayers, but if they put themselves at risk by reducing their resistance, they are breaking the Torah not keeping it.

It was for this reason, even on Yom Kippur, which is not a Rabbinic fast but a biblical one, Rabbi Salanter CANCELED YOM KIPPUR FAST. 

Now let us turn to the current issue, not just of health, but of an epidemic condition (Bibi has told us enough times in the Paper that this is an epidemic Condition-good enough for me).

Following Shacharit on Yom Kippur of 5610, in September 1849, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, the famous and pious Vilna rabbi -founder of the Mussar Movement, dedicated to injecting the pursuit of ethical excellence into traditional Jewish observance, ascended to the bimah of the Vilna synagogue.

He explained to the congregation that because of the raging cholera epidemic in Vilna, they must not spend the day gathered together in the synagogue, but should leave the building and walk outside. Fresh air was believed to prevent the spread of the disease. (My oh My nothing seems to have changed-same advice today!)

Furthermore, he said, it was imperative that everyone maintains their strength so that they would not fall, victim, to disease. And so, on that Yom Kippur, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter explained, everyone should break they're fast, eat and drink so that they could protect their health and survive the disease.

Cholera is a horrific disease. It is painful, terrifying, and deadly. The Hebrew word for cholera- רעחולי sounds similar to "cholera" but more literally can be translated as "evil disease."

Over the course of the 19thcentury, modern medical science learned how to prevent the spread of cholera, and also how to effectively treat cholera. We don't yet know how to treat Coronavirus, but we do know that people with preexisting conditions or being over 60 makes them at higher risk. 

Now, when a person doesn't fast on a fast day, they are supposed to eat and drink in private and not celebrate. This Year if you are over 60 or have pre-existing conditions, you don't have to apologize if you are eating, but it is still better to it in the privacy of your home, to respect those that are fasting.

Jews against Themselves

Jews are now commemorating what is known as the Three Weeks.  It is when Jews express grief for the destruction of the Holy Temple in ancient Israel.  The Temple was breached by the Romans in 69 C.E.  The mourning period concludes with a fast to remember when both Holy Temples were set aflame.  Thus, Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar.

These calamitous events, among others, came from outside the Jewish world but have impacted it for centuries.  What is happening today in America and abroad is that Jews are deliberately working against themselves.  Why are so many Jews joining forces with a known anti-Semitic group such as the Black Lives Matter?

In his 2015 book titled Jews Against Themselves, Edward Alexander examines the various strains of thought that many Jews have adopted.  The ultimate aim of each strain is the hollowing out of Judaism and the obliteration of Israel.  These approaches pit Jewish particularism against Jewish universalism, the latter which results in undermining Jewish interests and lives.  In essence, it is "Jewish suicidalism [sic]."

For example "Judith Butler who urges progressive people to fight anti-Semitism ... maintains that it is 'wildly improbable that somebody examining the divestment petitions signed by herself and her co-conspirators might take them (as hundreds on her own campus already had) as condoning anti-Semitism.'"  In short, Butler dismisses actions such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and cannot comprehend that they are overtly anti-Semitic.  She is wearing blinders while maintaining the alleged moral high ground.

Thus, while Jews have faced variations of anti-Semitism throughout the centuries, the latest manifestation occurs when the "new anti-Jewish Jew embraces his Jewishness [sic] by attacking Israel" either directly or indirectly.  Consequently, "he claims to be more authentically Jewish than those ... fellow Jews who somehow fail to follow him in his tireless efforts to delegitimize and thus destroy the only Jewish state."

These Jews are "great moralizers," using Jewish concepts in a perverse way to delegitimize Israel and other Jews who will not join the chorus of support for groups who are publicly anti-Semitic.  For example, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice "claims it is inspired by Jewish tradition to dismantle racism and economic exploitation [and] on its website, the organization highlights its work with Black Lives Matter and its efforts to fight Islamophobia and dismantle ICE."  In fact, this group is letting anti-Semites be its guide.

Thus, we see more than 400 Jewish organizations and synagogues signing on to a letter that asserts "unequivocally: Black Lives Matter."  Do these folks know that Black Lives Matter was

"founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013, [and] Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that depicts the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism, and homophobia"?

Demonstrators at BLM events have been known to smear white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent upon killing innocent, unarmed black males; taunt, and direct obscenities at, uniformed police officers who are on duty; throw rocks at police and threaten to kill them; and celebrate in the streets when a police officer is killed."

  • At a BLM march in August 2015, protesters chanted : 'Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon.' ('Pigs' was a reference to police officers, and 'blanket' was a reference to body bags.)
  • On a BLM-affiliated radio program ... the hosts laughed at the ... assassination of a white Texas deputy; boasted that blacks were like lions who could prevail in a 'race war' against whites; happily predicted that 'we will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before'; and declared that 'It's open season on killing white people and crackas.' ...

BLM was established as an online platform in 2013 by Patrisse CullorsAlicia Garza, and Opal Tometi. In a July 2015 speech at the annual Netroots Nation convention in Phoenix, Cullors exhorted fellow blacks to 'rise the fuck up,' 'shut this shit down,' and 'burn everything down!' In 2015 as well, Cullors openly acknowledged BLM's revolutionary Marxist objectives, proclaiming on video: 'We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we're trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.

In fact, they applaud "Eric Mann, a communist revolutionary and a domestic terrorist who in the 1960s and '70s was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground, whose shared objective was to launch a race war against the 'white' United States on behalf of the nonwhite Third World.  Mann trained Cullors in Marxist-Leninist ideology and the tactics of political organizing."

In short, the murder of white people of all ages is the BLM approach to ending racism!  For those Jews who are so concerned with slavery, please note that some corporations that are pouring in money to support Black Lives Matter "are using modern day slave labor."  Tikun olam, anyone?[1]

Zoe Strimpel explains how Black Lives Matter, which claims to be an anti-racist movement "often fosters anti-Semitism.  This is because the most committed anti-racists see Jews [as] part of an imperialist racist Zionist conspiracy, represented by Israel."  Consequently, Strimpel "was dismayed, but far from surprised to see, that the Black Lives Matter protests have gone on producing potent outbreaks of anti-Semitism."

A few weeks ago, rioting in Los Angeles following the murder of George Floyd saw a number of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues vandalised with 'Free Palestine' graffiti, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from being murdered by the Nazis, daubed in anti-Semitic slogans.

Back in America, Ice Cube, the rapper, chose to advance the cause of George Floyd by posting a caricature of Jewish figures with the caption: 'All we have to do is stand up [against them] and their little game is over.' The image was nearly identical to one used by Nazis in the 1930s to incite hatred and violence against Jews. Ice Cube also praised Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, one of the world's most rabid anti-Semites. All in the name of racial justice, naturally.

Alex Winston explains how "Black Lives Matter UK called several times for parliamentarians and governments to implement 'sanctions, effective measures and an end to Israel's impunity.'"  Thus, a "major UK Jewish watchdog has called out the UK chapter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for anti-Semitism after a series of anti-Israel tweets[.]"

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) responded to the tweet, writing that 'Black Lives Matter movement should embrace solidarity from Jews.  There have been calls for violence against [Jews] from prominent BLM supporters with no official condemnation. Now from the official UK BLM account, we hear ... that fighting anti-Semitism has 'gagged' legitimate debate.

CAA "wrote on its website. 'BLM is treading a well-worn path walked by many extremists and abhorred by real civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once told a student in Boston who had made a comment attacking 'Zionists': 'When people criticize 'Zionists' they mean 'Jews' You're talking anti-Semitism!'"

So while Jews think they are engaging in a Martin Luther King march for civil rights, they are in complete denial about the true nature of BLM.

And it should never be forgotten that the Marxist BLM and the radical Islamic forces are allies.

This is not the first case where what may be a jihadist attack took place amidst a larger anti-police Black Lives Matter narrative being pushed by the radical left.  Following protests in Ferguson, MO in response to the death of Michael Brown, Islamist groups played a public role in organizing and spreading propaganda.  Multiple incidents targeting police involved individuals with Islamist links, like Zale ThompsonJaleel Abdul-Jabbar, and Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

As the goals of the left and the radical Islamists are similar, it is no surprise that they have joined forces.  Jews, wake up!

Why have so many Jews forgotten the words of Emma Lazarus, who said, "A study of Jewish history is all that is necessary to make a patriot of an intelligent Jew"?  How have Jews become so naïve that they do not see that they are the pawns of a group that will use them and then discard them as useful idiots?

Some Jews are beginning to be roused. According to Yair Rosenberg, "... an alliance of groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement unveiled their first official platform.  The 40,000-word manifesto contained many recommendations, including concrete policy proposals, for rectifying the wrongs perpetrated against America's African-American citizens in the past and present. Unfortunately, the platform also contained a vicious bigoted slur against the Jewish state, which the document's foreign policy section accused of perpetrating 'genocide' against Palestinians.  (The platform also labeled Israel an 'apartheid state' and joined with the BDS movement in calling for the total academic, cultural, and economic boycott of the country — a demand made for no other state.)[2]  This did not go over well with Jewish groups — including some of Black Lives Matters' hitherto staunch progressive allies."

In 1988, Aharon Appelfeld wrote that "[t]he Jewish ability to internalize any critical and condemnatory remark and castigate themselves is one of the marvels of human nature." Appeasement by any nation leads to its demise. That Jews in this day and age abandon their own self-interest and give anti-Semitism a pass is breathtaking. That these Jews under the mantle of self-righteousness would permit the defamation, abandonment, and harm of their own people whether here or abroad means they need to better heed the prophet who wrote, "Awake, awake, Put on thy strength, O Zion" (Isaiah 52:1).

Eileen can be reached at

[1] The term "mipnei tikkun ha-olam" (perhaps best translated as 'in the interest of public policy').

[2] For the record, apartheid is quite apparent in the Middle East, except it is not Israel where it occurs.

Thousands of Israelis mistakenly ordered to enter quarantine due to monitoring errors.

watch the video


The Power Of Our Words By Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman

In their book Words Can Change Your Brain, Drs. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman describe research they conducted on the harmful impact negative words have on our brains.

They used an fMRI scanner to record the brain activity of research participants while the participants were being exposed to negative words like "No!" Stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters were released by the amygdale – a small part of the brain – interrupting regular brain activities that assist with logical thinking and effective communication.


Even a single negative word or phrase, when focused on for extended periods of time, can damage key brain structures that regulate memory and emotion. Verbalizing the negativity causes even more stress chemicals to be released, in both the speaker and the listener. Words and speech can change the structures in our brains, changing how we perceive and relate to ourselves and the world.

Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin points out that the three haftorot read during the three weeks preceding Tisha B'Av each begin with related, but different words. The first week begins with "Divrei," the second with "Shimu," and the last with "Chazon."

These three words correspond to dibburshemiyah, and re'iya – speech, hearing, and seeing. The message and task of the first week is recognizing the importance of speech and improving how we utilize it in our daily lives.

Famously, Onkelos translates "nefesh chaya" – which the Torah says G-d blew into man's nostrils – as "ruach memamela," a speaking spirit. Speech defines and distinguishes humans from other creatures. The Maharal explains that speech acts as the synthesis of our body and soul. That's why, Rabbi Akiva Tatz writes, our voice generates in the neck, at the junction of the head, representing the soul, and the rest of the body.

The centrality of speech to our spiritual lives is alluded to in Parshat Pinchas and the surrounding parshiyot. In Parshat Balak, we read about Bilaam's attempt to curse the Jewish people with words. While that particular endeavor fails, he tries to lead the Jews to the licentious actions described at the end of Parshat Balak, which in turn leads to Pinchas's act of zealotry, the aftermath of which is presented in this week's parshah.

As a punishment for his actions, we are told that Bilaam was killed "be'charev" – with a sword. Rashi comments that Bilaam originally came to provoke Bnei Yisrael using our specialty, speech. Bnei Yisrael worship G-d through prayer and Bilaam tried to use the power of negative speech – a curse – to destroy them. As a consequence, Bilaam is killed by Bnei Yisrael, not with their usual weapon of speech, but with the sword.

Toward the end of Parshat Pinchas, we are presented with details of various sacrifices to be brought in the Mishkan. One important function of the sacrifices was providing atonement for sins. In a fascinating passage, the Talmud presents a dialogue between Avraham and G-d, where Avraham is concerned with what would happen if the Jewish people sin.

G-d reassures him that they will not be destroyed like the generation of the flood because they have sacrifices to provide atonement. Avraham retorts, "That is well and good when they have a Temple to bring the sacrifices, but what about afterwards?" G-d answers that learning and reciting the passages related to the sacrifices will provide the requisite atonement.

While our words have the power to change our brains, their significance doesn't stop there. Our recitation of Torah provides atonement. Our prayers make us the Jewish people. Our speech defines us as human beings.

As we approach the first of the three weeks, let us work on improving our speech and utilizing our words for meaningful purposes.

Lessons From Pinchas For The Coronavirus By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The coronavirus pandemic raised a series of deep moral and political issues. How far should governments go in seeking to prevent its spread? To what extent should it restrict people's movements at the cost of violating their civil liberties? How far should it go in imposing a clampdown of businesses at the cost of driving many of them bankrupt, rendering swathes of the population unemployed, building up a mountain of debt for the future and plunging the economy into the worst recession since the 1930s? These are just a few of the many heartbreaking dilemmas that the pandemic forced on governments and on us.

Strikingly, almost every country adopted the same measures: social distancing and lockdown until the incidence of new cases had reached its peak (Sweden was the most conspicuous exception). Nations didn't count the cost. Virtually unanimously, they placed the saving of life above all other considerations. The economy may suffer, but life is infinitely precious and saving it takes precedence over all else.


This was a momentous victory for the value first articulated in the Torah in the Noahide covenant: "He who sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of G-d He created man" (Bereishis 9:6). This was the first declaration of the principle that human life is sacred. As the Sages put it, "Every life is like a universe. Save a life and it is as if you have saved a universe."

In the ancient world, economic considerations took precedence over life. Great building projects like the Tower of Babel and the Egyptian pyramids involved huge loss of life. Even in the 20th century, lives were sacrificed to economic ideology: between six and nine million under Stalin, and between 35 and 45 million under Chinese communism. The fact that virtually all nations, in the face of the pandemic, chose life was a significant victory for the Torah's ethic of the sanctity of life.

That said, the former Supreme Court judge Jonathan Sumption wrote a challenging article in which he argued that the world, or at least Britain, had got it wrong. It was overreacting. The cure may be worse than the disease. The lockdown amounted to subjecting the population to house arrest, causing great distress and giving the police unprecedented and dangerous powers. It represented "an interference with our lives and our personal autonomy that is intolerable in a free society." The economic impact would be devastating. "If all this is the price of saving human life, we have to ask whether it is worth paying."

There are, he said, no absolute values in public policy. As proof he cited the fact that we allow cars, despite knowing that they are potentially lethal weapons, and that every year thousands of people will be killed or maimed by them. In public policy there are always multiple, conflicting considerations. There are no non-negotiable absolutes, not even the sanctity of life.

It was a powerful and challenging piece. Are we wrong to think that life is indeed sacred? Might we be placing too high a value on life, imposing a huge economic burden on future generations?

I am going to suggest, oddly enough, that there is a direct connection between this argument and the story of Pinchas. It is far from obvious, but it is fundamental. It lies in the difference – philosophical and halachic – between moral and political decisions.

Recall the Pinchas story. Bnei Yisrael, having been saved by G-d from Bilam's curses, fell headlong into the trap he then set for them. They began consorting with Midianite women and were soon worshipping their G-ds. G-d's anger burned. He ordered the death of the people's leaders. A plague raged; 24,000 died. A leading Israelite, Zimri, brought a Midianite woman, Cozbi, and cohabited with her in full view of Moshe and the people. It was the most brazen of acts. Pinchas took a spear and drove it through them both. They died, and the plague stopped.

Was Pinchas a hero or a murderer? On the one hand, he saved countless lives: no more people died because of the plague. On the other hand, he could not have been certain of that in advance. To any onlooker, he might have seemed simply a man of violence, caught up in the lawlessness of the moment. The parsha of Balak ends with this terrible ambiguity unresolved. Only in our parsha do we hear the answer. G-d says:

"Pinchas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the Priest, has turned back My anger from the Israelites by being zealous among them on My behalf, so that I did not wipe out the Israelite people in My zeal. Therefore say: I am making with him My covenant of peace." (Bamidbar 25:11-12)

 G-d declared Pinchas a hero. He had saved Bnei Yisrael from destruction, showed the zeal that counterbalanced the people's faithlessness, and as a reward, G-d made a personal covenant with him. Pinchas did a good deed.

Halachah, however, dramatically circumscribes his act in multiple ways. First, it rules that if Zimri had turned and killed Pinchas in self-defense, he would be declared innocent in a court of law (Sanhedrin 82a). Second, it rules that if Pinchas had killed Zimri and Cozbi just before or after they were engaged in cohabitation, he would have been guilty of murder (Sanhedrin 81b). Third, had Pinchas consulted a Beit Din and asked whether he was permitted to do what he was proposing to do, the answer would have been, No (Sanhedrin 82a). This is one of the rare cases where we say halachah ve'ein morin kein: "It is the law, but we do not make it known." And there are many other conditions and reservations. The Torah resolves the ambiguity but halachah reinstates it. Legally speaking, Pinchas was on very thin ice.

We can only understand this by way of a fundamental distinction between moral decisions and political decisions. Moral decisions are answers to the question, "What should I do?" Usually they are based on rules that may not be transgressed whatever the consequences. In Judaism, moral decisions are the province of halachah.

Political decisions are answers to the question, "What should we do?" where the "we" means the nation as a whole. They tend to involve several conflicting considerations, and there is rarely a clear cut solution. Usually the decision will be based on an evaluation of the likely consequences. In Judaism this sphere is known as mishpat melech (the legal domain of the king), or hilchot medinah (public policy regulations). Whereas halachah is timeless, public policy tends to be time-bound and situational ("a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build").

Were we in Pinchas's position, asking, "Should I kill Zimri and Cozbi?" the moral answer is an unequivocal No. They may deserve to die; the whole nation may be eyewitnesses to their sin; but you cannot execute a death sentence without a duly constituted court of law, a trial, evidence and a judicial verdict. Killing without due process is murder. That is why the Talmud rules halachah ve'ein morin kein: if Pinchas had asked a Beit Din whether he were permitted to act as he intended, he would be told no. Halachah is based on non-negotiable moral principle, and halachically you cannot commit murder even to save lives.

But Pinchas was not acting on moral principle. He was making a political decision. There were thousands dying. The political leader, Moshe, was in a highly compromised position. How could he condemn others for consorting with Midianite women when he himself had a Midianite wife? Pinchas saw that there was no one leading. The danger was immense. G-d's anger, already intense, was about to explode. So he acted – not on moral principle but on political calculation, relying not on halachah but on what would later be known as mishpat melech. Better take two lives immediately, that would have been eventually sentenced to death by the court, to save thousands now. And he was right, as G-d later made clear.

Now we can see exactly what was ambiguous about Pinchas's act. He was a private individual. The question he would normally have asked was, "What shall I do?" To which the answer is a moral one. But he acted as if he were a political leader asking, "What shall we do?" and deciding, based on consequences, that this would save many lives. Essentially, he acted as if he were Moshe. He saved the day and the people. But imagine what would happen anywhere if an ordinary member of the public usurped the role of Head of State. Had G-d not endorsed Pinchas's action, he would have had a very difficult time.

The difference between moral and political decisions becomes very clear when it comes to decisions of life and death. The moral rule is: saving life takes precedence over all other mitzvot except three: incest, idolatry and murder. If a group is surrounded by gangsters who say, "Hand over one of you, or we will kill you all," they must all be prepared to die rather than hand over one. Life is sacred and must not be sacrificed, whatever the consequences. That is morality; that is halachah.

However, a king of Israel was permitted, with the consent of the Sanhedrin, to wage a (non-defensive) war, even though many would die as a result. He was permitted to execute a non-judicial death sentence against individuals on public policy grounds (le'takken ha-olam kefi mah she hasha'ah tzerichah). In politics, as opposed to morality, the sanctity of life is a high value but not the only one. What matters are consequences. A ruler or government must act in the long-term interests of the people. That is why, though some will die as a result, governments are now gradually easing the lockdown provisions once the rate of infection falls, to relieve distress, ease the economic burden, and restore suspended civil liberties.

We have moral duties as individuals, and we make political decisions as nations. The two are different. That is what the story of Pinchas is about. It also explains the tension in governments during the pandemic. We have a moral commitment to the sanctity of life, but we also have a political commitment, not just to life but also to "liberty and the pursuit of happiness." What was beautiful about the global response to Covid-19 was that virtually every nation in the world put moral considerations ahead of political ones until the danger began to recede.

I believe that there are moral and political decisions and they are different. But there is a great danger that the two may drift apart. Politics then becomes amoral, and eventually corrupt. That is why the institution of prophecy was born. Prophets hold politicians accountable to morality. When kings act for the long-term welfare of the nation, they are not criticized. When they act for their own benefit, they are. Likewise when they undermine the people's moral and spiritual integrity. Salvation by zealot – the Pinchas case – is no solution. Politics must be as moral as possible if a nation is to flourish in the long run.

See you tomorrow bli neder We need Mosiach now

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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