Day Of Prayer Called On Friday For Ex-Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard To Come Home To Israel and The Media Hated Him, They Painted Him As A Madman’: A Interview in Honor of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s 30th Yahrzeit By Tzvi Fishman -and AOC Wants an ‘Enemies List’ of Trump Supporters By Hana Levi Julian and Democrat Anti-Semitism Cost Them Florida and Georgia By Daniel Greenfield and "The Jewish Algorithm" - A Commencement Speech from Rabbi Sacks
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.
"The Jewish Algorithm" - A Commencement Speech from Rabbi Sacks
As many young Jewish high school pupils and university students graduate after a strange and truncated academic year, I want to share a version of a 2017 speech I gave about "The Jewish Algorithm" because I believe it contains some crucial messages as you continue on your journey. Think of it as my commencement speech to you all! Mazal tov!
Day Of Prayer Called On Friday For Ex-Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard To Come Home To Israel
On Friday, November 20, the restrictions against former Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard are scheduled to be lifted. Pollard would like to move to Israel and settle there on Aliyah.
Israeli officials are reportedly looking into the option of asking US President Donald Trump to either commute or pardon the former spy. Meanwhile, Jews worldwide are holding an international day of prayer to help ensure that Pollard is indeed freed from the travel restrictions placed upon him and that he will return to the land of Israel to be with the nation who he saved from a potential WMD attack from Iraq. The day of prayer, which is scheduled to take place on November 20, will also be dedicated to Jonathan's wife, Esther, who is currently battling cancer.
In 1985, the FBI arrested Pollard, who worked as a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, on charges of selling classified material to Israel. Pollard pleaded guilty in 1987 to one count of providing defense information to a foreign government. He was then sentenced to life in prison despite agreeing to a plea deal.
Pollard maintains that he did not spy against America, but rather for Israel. He claims that the information that was in his possession was vital for Israel's security but it was being withheld by the Pentagon. Theis includes intel on Iraqi and Syrian chemical weapons, Soviet arms shipments to Syria, Libyan air defense system, and the Pakistani nuclear bomb project. He is also believed to have provided Israel with satellite photos of the PLO headquarters in Tunis, which Israel utilized to launch airstrikes.
It has often been reported that Pollard's life sentence was the most severe prison term ever given for spying for an ally,
Democrat Anti-Semitism Cost Them Florida and Georgia
Before the election, Brandeis University's Steinhardt Social Research Institute marked Georgia, along with Florida, as one of the states where the Jewish vote could help decide the election.
Georgia has 103,000 Jewish voters and Democrats had been counting on them to flip the state.
With a Senate election and special election, two Senate seats were up for grabs, and Democrats threw money at former Al Jazeera collaborator Ossoff and activist Warnock.
Jon Ossoff raised $32 million in the Senate election, outspending incumbent Senator Perdue by almost 50%, with much of the money coming from California. Over $50 million was spent on pro-Ossoff ads alone.
In the Senate special election, Democrats raised over $21 million for radical activist Raphael Warnock.
Warnock had signed on to a statement falsely accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, falsely describing Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, as an "occupied" territory oppressed by Israel, and falsely claiming that "Jewish" people engage in "segregation".
The letter signed by Warnock also ranted that, "Israeli fear… begets hatred" and demanded an end to weapons sales to Israel.
Warnock had defended Jeremiah Wright's bigotry, but now said he disavowed antisemitism.
Despite Warnock's hostility toward the Jewish State, he was backed by the Jewish Democratic Council of America over Matt Lieberman, Senator Joseph Lieberman's son.
Soros' Bend the Arc PAC aggressively supported Warnock as their man in Georgia.
"Raphael Warnock knows our Georgia Jewish community," an ad by the anti-Israel group, founded by a former sex club dancer who had participated in anti-Israel protests, claimed.
The Jewish community of Georgia knew Warnock all right. And it spilled over to Biden.
The Associated Press exit poll showed that 48% of Georgia Jews voted for President Trump and 49% for Joe Biden: a near split. While Trump's strong record on Israel and fighting antisemitism abroad and at home no doubt helped, it's hard to dismiss the Warnock factor.
Georgia Democrats had backed a candidate who had ties to a notorious antisemitic figure and who had signed a letter accusing Israel of apartheid and segregation, and Trump took home half the Jewish vote. The situation isn't likely to get any better as Warnock heads to a runoff.
In the other Senate race, Jon Ossoff tried to accuse his Republican opponent of antisemitism, claiming that an ad had given him a nose job, but Ossoff had collaborated with Al Jazeera, Qatar's violently antisemitic propaganda network, which backs Hamas, had featured calls for another Holocaust, and which had been sued by former employees for antisemitism.
His mentor, Rep. Hank Johnson, had even compared Jews in Israel to termites.
Ossoff is unsurprisingly anti-Israel and was backed by big spending from J Street: the anti-Israel lobby group. He's also a supporter of the Iran nuclear sellout which funneled billions to the Islamic terror state and signed off on its nuclear program with no inspections on the ground.
Democrats had hoped to use Ossoff, who has Jewish ancestry, to mobilize Jewish voters, but the AP exit poll suggests that Ossoff was as helpful as Warnock.
In New York, Governor Cuomo and local Democrats had decided to use the final months before Election Day to scapegoat Orthodox Jews for their failure to manage the pandemic. These false accusations were bolstered by deeply dishonest media smears and discriminatory enforcement.
What was the response to this systemic antisemitism by the Democrat establishment?
In a number of majority Chassidic Jewish areas in Brooklyn, President Trump won between 80% to 90% of the vote. That's not a new development. Republican presidential candidates usually walk away with the vast majority of the vote in Orthodox Jewish areas in New York.
In Rockland County, Trump won the majority of the vote even though registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1.
But no Republican can get to the White House through New York even if he's a famous New Yorker. It's a very different story in Florida where so many former New Yorkers ended up.
Florida has the largest Jewish population of any swing state and it has one of the largest Jewish communities of any state. And while there are plenty of Jewish conservatives in Florida, the Jewish vote out of Florida tends to favor the usual Democrat hacks. But not this time.
A J Street poll had claimed that Jews would go for Biden by 73% over Trump. Like everything the anti-Israel and pro-terrorist group founded by Soros money claims, it wasn't true.
As Jonathan Tobin at JNS notes, "Trump got about at least somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 Jewish votes. In a competitive state where he wound up winning by only 377,000 votes."
Before running for office, President Trump had almost as sizable a presence in New York as he did in Florida, and local Jews have stories of him opening up Mar-a-Lago to Jews and making its kitchens Kosher at a time when most private clubs on the island continued to bar Jews.
"No one called Mar-a-Lago a Jewish club, but especially in the early years, that's what it was," an otherwise negative Vanity Fair article noted.
And again there's no question that President Trump's pro-Israel policies were a game changer.
But the antisemitic incident that dominated local Jewish news in Florida this year didn't happen at a private club in Palm Beach, but in a high school.
William Latson, a high school principal, had responded to an email from a parent asking about Holocaust education by arguing, "Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened."
In its own October surprise, the Palm Beach County School Board voted to rehire the Holocaust denying principal and pay him six figures in back pay.
Racial tensions were stirred by the vote because Latson is black and of the four board members that initially voted to rehire him, two, Marcia Andrews and Debra Robinson, were black, and, more significantly, all four, had close connections to Democrat and leftist organizations.
Robinson had been endorsed by SEIU, NOW, the AFL-CIO, and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance. Marcia Andrews had been backed by SEIU, Barbara McQuinn and Chuck Shaw were backed by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.
Shaw, a former Democrat official, had blamed the scandal on reporters who "took over this entire conversation before the superintendent had an opportunity to even begin to address this."
After the public outcry, the board voted again, and rescinded the move, perhaps realizing that the last thing Democrats needed right before an election was an antisemitism scandal.
But by then it was too late.
There's no way to know what impact the scandal had on the Florida Jewish vote, but the spectacle of Democrats signing off on Holocaust denial could hardly have helped.
While the media trumpets national polls that claim that the vast majority of Jews voted for Biden, the AP's own exit polls in Florida and Georgia raise serious questions about those claims. And the state of the Jewish electorate in swing states is far more significant than national polls.
What happened in Georgia, Florida, and parts of New York shows significant fractures between the Democrat organizations trying to control the Jewish vote and Jewish voters in key areas.
President Trump's ability to win over around 1 in 2 Jewish voters in Georgia and Florida is a warning that Democrat antisemitism carries a price, and that throwing money at astroturf groups like J Street and Bend the Arc that don't represent Jews and never will, is not the answer.
If anything it only makes things worse.
Covering up antisemitism with Democrat candidates that have Jewish last names and a hatred for the Jewish state, with radical politicians who attack Jews and then expect astroturf lefty groups to bring in the Jewish vote, isn't working anymore. Neither is peppering ads with, "Oy", "Schlepp", and "Gevalt" in a condescending minstrel show effort to relate to Jews.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida had famously replied, "abortion", when asked why Jewish voters should cast their votes for Obama.
That's not going to cut it anymore. Neither are videos by Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen.
Democrats expected Jewish voters to help them flip Georgia and Florida. Instead, Jewish voters flipped them off and voted for President Trump.
If Democrats can't rein in their antisemitism, next time they may not split the Jewish vote in Florida.
New York City Democratic Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this weekend asked on Twitter if anyone is keeping a record of "Trump sycophants" who she accuses of being "complicit" in the current Trump Administration.
"Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future," she tweeted. She conveniently forgot some of her own deleted tweets, of course.
In response, former Obama Administration official Michael Simon mentioned the "Trump Accountability Project" and reassured AOC, as she is known, "Every Administration staffer, campaign staffer, bundler, lawyer who represented them — everyone."
So for readers who are not yet aware this is happening, here's a brief update on the Trump Accountability Project, which was launched at the start of this month to ensure "those who took a paycheck from the Trump Administration should not profit from their efforts to tear our democracy apart," according to a statement on the new website.
"The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement continues, with the following categories:
"We should not allow the following groups of people to profit from their experience:
Those who elected him.
Individuals who worked for the Trump for President campaign, Republican National Committee and affiliated PACs in 2016 or 2020.
Those who staffed his government.
Individuals who worked in any role as a political appointee in the Trump Administration.
Those who funded him.
Individuals who used their massive personal wealth and influence to bundle money for Trump.
Visitors to the website are encouraged to "sign up for updates."
Hari Sevugan, former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and senior spokesperson for Barak Obama's presidential campaign, is one of the people promoting the idea of making a list of Trump people.
"We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did," he tweeted.
According to an article published by The Federalist, a list of names was initially published on the project's website asking people to "remember what they did," and is now privatized, but captured by internet archives.
Attorney Leslie McAdoo Gordon managed to grab screenshots of the full "Trump Accountability Project" enemies list before it was hidden, and before the judges and donors tabs were removed in the privatized section. Gordon said in her tweet the list of administration officials was 1,202 names long, so she overlapped the images in order to include them all.
Does all this seem threatening, like AOC is out hunting people she considers her political enemies?
Consider this: The Trump Administration included more Orthodox and observant Jewish Americans than any other administration in the history of the United States, and President Donald Trump's policies in the White House reflected that, with a kitchen there that for the first time ever, remained kosher 24/7.
AOC is a strong advocate for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) economic war on the State of Israel, together with the rest of her partners in the so-called "Squad," which include two radical Islamist Congress members, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
At this point, the "project" is out gathering names and supporters, and trying to further its agenda.
It's not yet clear how much sway the "Squad" will have over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this time around.
But Pelosi has already shown multiple times during the past four years just how intimidated she can be in the face of intensive pressure from AOC alone. That's all it takes.
The Media Hated Him, They Painted Him As A Madman': A Interview in Honor of Rabbi Meir Kahane's 30th Yahrzeit
In advance of the 30thyahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane – assassinated on November 5, 1990 – The Jewish Press spoke with Lenny Goldberg, 62, a longtime Kahane student and author of The Wit and Wisdom of Rabbi MeirKahane. He lives in the Samarian community of Kfar Tapuach with his wife and eight children.
The Jewish Press: When did you first meet Rabbi Kahane?
Goldberg: I first saw him in 1983 when I was 25. I was a totally secular Jew, but my folks were Zionists. I was visiting a friend who was learning law at Miami University, and my mother called me and said Rabbi Kahane would be speaking on the campus of Miami U. "Maybe you should try listening to him," she said, worried that I would marry a non-Jewish girl I had been dating.
My friends and I decided to go. Among other things, there were demonstrations and lots of "action" around the event, which aroused our interest. Rabbi Kahane appeared with two bodyguards. Before he spoke, the Hillel rabbi of the campus, who didn't want him there, confronted Rabbi Kahane and said to him, "I'm not comfortable to see you with bodyguards. This is a peaceful college campus. I'm not comfortable with this."
Rabbi Meir responded, "There are threats on my life, so I'm comfortable." My friends and I cracked up, and continued to be mesmerized by his handling of the audience, the hecklers, the Arabs on campus, and the hardcore liberals. It was a great show for us, like watching a master debater and comedian at the same time.
From that point on, we were hooked by his genius. It also gave us a boost of Jewish pride to see an Orthodox rabbi handling himself so masterfully in a mostly hostile atmosphere. We had never been in contact with Orthodox Jews before and had stereotypes of them being square, etc. Rabbi Kahane definitely broke that image for us.
You say you were "hooked." Was there something in particular that grabbed you?
It was a combination of his convincing style, his certainty, his seriousness, his sense of humor, his erudition, his keen insight and his broad Torah understanding. On a non-Jewish campus in America, he convinced us from a logical point of view why we must embrace the religion of our forefathers and live in Israel.
We sensed his deep immersion in Torah because at one point in the speech, a girl said he was violating something in the Torah, and she quoted what she said was a Torah verse. He answered her, "You show me where that's written, and I'll swim back to Israel."
I saw the dumbest look on that girl's face. She couldn't answer. The point is: I knew he must have known a lot of Torah to say that to her. But he didn't quote passages with us that day; we wouldn't have understood.
Like many people who've heard him speak, I walked out of that room a different person than when I entered.
What happened subsequently?
As I continued to follow the rabbi, his message penetrated deeper and deeper. Basically, he was saying: Go to Israel and learn Torah. I started to read his Jewish Press column and books and became serious about making aliyah.
Then I read something he wrote: "I'm not disappointed with the people who disagree with me. I'm disappointed with the people who agree with me, but who are too mired in their apathy and inability to escape their tiny lives." That hit me hard. So, two years after I saw him that first time, I mustered up the courage to make aliyah and become a baalteshuvah.
My friends didn't go all the way with it as I did. But I know countless others who in the rabbi's merit either learned in yeshiva, broke up with their goyisha girlfriend, or made aliyah – often all three.
Did breaking from your past come easy?
I had an MBA in marketing, and was working for a big ad agency in Manhattan – "J. Walter Thompson" on Lexington Ave – but I knew that if I didn't make aliyah soon, it wouldn't happen because I'd become rooted, get married, get a promotion, etc., and it would be harder to leave.
My boss gave me a couple of job leads in Israel, but then I met Rabbi Kahane at a house party and told him he was the reason I was making aliyah and maybe he could give me an idea what I should do there. He told me, "Steep yourself in Torah."
I didn't understand the concept of going to yeshiva and learning, but that's what I eventually did.
How did your family react to your change?
My family is a bit unusual. They were the ones who turned me on to Rabbi Kahane in the first place. They donated to the JDL, they used to hear him on talk radio, and they religiously read his column in The Jewish Press. My whole family eventually became baalteshuvahs because of his influence.
What was your connection with Rabbi Kahane like in Israel?
When I made aliyah, I started to realize that just as he was right about the emptiness and hypocrisy of Jewish life in America, he was also right about the things that needed to be changed in Israel. The difference was, in Israel he was banned from the media and didn't have a platform to get his message across in an intellectual way.
In the States, he was formally debating Alan Dershowitz. In Israel, he was restricted to holding rallies in the street – speaking to the grassroots – a totally different kind of forum. But he was versatile.
I joined his Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea when it opened in 1987. As a Torah scholar and teacher, Rabbi Kahane was in his element more than anywhere else, quoting from sources with a computer-like memory, in the most simple manner, backing up his passion for truth by quoting Scripture and relying on the commentaries of the great rabbis from the past.
This was a very different side of Rabbi Kahane, not the public image of fire and brimstone or the crafty debater.
What was the yeshiva like?
We learned everything you learn in regular yeshivot with an added dose of Rav Kahane's teachings. During bein hazmanim, we would go to the political rallies to help the rabbi ignite the crowd.
What was your reaction to the banning of Rabbi Kahane's Kach party in 1988?
It was totally political. The rabbi's message of expelling the Arabs was catching on like brushfire because the Intifada broke out in 1987, and it was proving to everyone that Kahane was right.
The media hated him, painting him as a madman who wanted to expel the Arabs, but, ironically the headlines they gave him helped disseminate his message. All the surveys had his party winning 10-20 seats in the Knesset, making it the number three party after Likud and Labor. I have the newspaper clippings to prove it. You could feel the momentum in the air.
The whole rotten episode proved what the rabbi always said about the hypocrisy of Israeli democracy. It exposed the fact that democracy in Israel is a sham. Rabbi Kahane played by their rules and won the people over while keeping within the law. He was ousted from the playing field only because he was getting hugely popular.
The ban put an end to the hope that Israel's redemption could happen through the existing political mechanisms such as the Supreme Court and the Knesset.
What was your reaction to the murder of Rabbi Kahane?
The assassination shocked me like it did everyone else…. There was a terrible feeling of chillul Hashem right after the murder, knowing that a great and proud Jewish leader whose entire message was kiddush Hashem was killed by an Arab.
Very often, the students of a rabbi feel they have a unique attachment to him. Did you feel such an attachment?
I was blessed to see different sides of the rabbi. Even his closest students, because they were Israeli, never saw the rabbi in the forums I did, debating, answering phone calls on talk-show radio, and meeting the American press with his mastery of the English language.
Two years ago, I organized a yahrzeit for the rabbi in Tapuach, and I put together some of my favorite video clips with really good Hebrew translations. One of them was a two-minute clip where the rabbi was doing kiruv at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. The closest students of the rabbi were at the yahrzeit event, and they were stunned how powerful it was.
As well as they may have known him, an Israeli could only know him from the rallies, where he basically just yelled a simple message, or as a talmid chacham in the yeshiva.
The side of him doing kiruv and his uncanny ability to demolish a debate opponent were aspects of his personality never witnessed by the Israelis, even his students. I put the University of Pennsylvania clip on Facebook and it garnered 20,000 views in a week.
What was your relationship like with his son, Rabbi Binyamin Kahane, who took over the Kach movement after his father's assassination?
I was very close to him. He was a total student of his father, not diverting from his example. He was a prolific writer, and I translated just about everything he ever said and wrote into English. His writing was so good, it was a thrill to translate. I did this for 10 years on a voluntary basis until he too was assassinated.
What would you say is Rabbi Kahane's legacy?
Rabbi Kahane taught us that you have to say the truth, even if it's unpopular, in order to save Jews.
There is also an intrinsic value in speaking the Torah truth even if people won't listen, as G-d told Ezekiel, "Whether they listen or not, so they will know there was a prophet amongst them." You have to put G-d's word out there, so that the people will have the choice – so they won't be able to say, "We didn't know."
The rabbi warned us of the Arab danger, but he was simply repeating the verses of the Torah: "If you don't drive out the inhabitants of the land, they will be thorns in your eyes." Rabbi Kahane explained that this is one of the mitzvot that serve as a yardstick for our belief in Hashem. Will we fear the nations or will we fear G-d? When we say in davening, "Those with chariots and horses, but we come in the name of Hashem" – is that just lip service?
Judaism isn't a matter of merely performing private commandments, he taught. The Torah is our national constitution with national mitzvot that we have to obey – such as [expelling] the Arabs and conquering Eretz Yisrael. The national mitzvot are the ones that test if our faith in Hashem is truly genuine.
The other basic lesson he taught was Kiddush Hashem on a national level. The State of Israel came into being, not because we deserved it, but to wipe out the chillul Hashem of the exile, which reached its peak during the Holocaust. Any weakness on the part of Am Yisrael is a chillul Hashem, since we are His representatives in the world.
Thus, G-d brought us back to Israel and led us to miraculous victories in order to sanctify His Nname which was downtrodden by the nations for 2,000 years.
He taught us was to think in terms of kiddush Hashem and chillul Hashem. We must hold onto our Divinely-given homeland and defeat the Arab enemy, not for "security" reasons, but for kiddush Hashem, so the nations won't perceive us as weak, because that means the G-d of Israel is weak or that G-d has abandoned us, Heaven forbid.