READ it hear First!! NO SHUTDOWN over Chanukah and Free Chabad Chanukah download book and The Portion of Vayeshev and The prospective return of global appeasement by Melanie Phillips and Being thankful for the Left by Daniel Greenfield and Seven Years Later… She Called Me By Irwin Cohen and Chanukah at home this year on the First day of Chanukah, 2nd candle tonight
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.
Chanukah, the festival of lights, begins this coming Thursday evening, December 10. Jews worldwide will kindle the first flame on the menorah in the cozy company of dear family and close friends.
On Chanukah, we gather around the menorah and share stories of strength and survival, recalling the miraculous victory of the few over the many, the G‑dly over the profane, and the weak over the mighty.
For many, this Chanukah will be like no other, celebrated alone or with family. Yet Chanukah is a time of miracles, when we remind ourselves and the world that G‑d is present in our lives, that miracles happen, that we are never truly alone and that anything is possible.
To help Jews everywhere celebrate a most uplifting and joyous Chanukah, Chabad.org has published Eight Lights for Eight Nights, a night-by-night program to be printed and enjoyed. Each night, readers will be treated to uplifting teachings, heartwarming stories and fun crafts for children to enjoy.
The Ultimate Chanukah Celebration A DIY Guide to Hosting Your Own Chanukah Celebration
We'd like to invite you to download this free booklet for you and your family to enjoy.
Chanukah, the festival of lights, traditionally celebrated in the cozy company of dear family and close friends. Chanukah, when we gather 'round the menorah and share stories of strength and survival. Chanukah, when we celebrate the miraculous victory of the few over the many, the G‑dly over the profane, and the weak over the mighty.
For many, this Chanukah will be like no other, celebrated in isolation, either alone or only with close family members. Yet Chanukah is a time of miracles when we remind ourselves and the world that G‑d is present in our lives, that miracles happen, and that anything is possible.
Ready to make this Chanukah the most memorable, festive, and spiritually uplifting ever? Read on to discover our top tips for an amazing Chanukah at home.
1. Light the Menorah Each Night
Even if you will be the only one to witness it, it's a mitzvah to light the menorah every night of Chanukah. If you have a hard time getting out, be sure to order candles (or oil and wicks) in advance, so that you can bring the light of Chanukah into your home, chasing away any gloominess you may be feeling. But beyond fuzzy feelings, the menorah is an actual mitzvah, which must be performed in a specific manner (the time and place matter, as does the fact that you need to use real flames, not electricity).
2. Stop and Think!
That's right, we are sometimes so busy running to Chanukah parties or preparing to host and bring Chanukah joy to others, that we barely find time to contemplate the candles and the message they impart. In the words of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, the sixth Chabad rebbe, "We must listen to what the flames tell us," and think deeply into the story of Chanukah, the sacrifices our ancestors made to preserve Judaism, and the miracles G‑d performed—and still performs—for us.
With the extra time our seclusion has afforded us, let's focus on these messages and how they apply to us today.
3. Fry Up Some Delicious Latkes
There is a centuries-old custom of frying (and eating!) foods such as doughnuts or latkes, pancakes of cheese or potato. They remind us of the miracle of Chanukah, in which a small quantity of oil, enough for just 24 hours, lasted for a full eight days. Not used to cooking in small quantities? No problem. Make extra, pack up the surplus, and drop off your greasy goodies on the doorsteps of fellow quarantiners.
4. Invite Friends to Zoom Parties
Aside from Shabbat, the rest of Chanukah we are free to enjoy the gift of wireless technology. So be sure to schedule some virtual zoom celebrations with loved ones and friends. Book your calendar in advance, and see if you can spread out the joy over the course of the 8-day holiday.
Pro tip #1: Add a tangible element to your shared celebration by having some Chanukah goodies delivered to your "guests."
Pro tip #2: If everyone has a dreidel at home, you can play a long distance game, with someone keeping tally on the whiteboard.
Pro tip #3: Read a Chanukah story aloud, to add some inspiration to the socialization.
5. Join (or Organize) a Car-Top Menorah Parade
A beautiful new iteration of the age-old imperative to spread the Chanukah message to the masses is the car-top menorah parade, where people with menorahs attached to their cars drive around, spreading awareness, good cheer, and hope.
Since you can do this from the safety of your closed car, this is the ultimate socially distanced Jewish ritual. Call your local Chabad to join their parade. If there isn't one, go online, order a menorah, create an online event for people to sign up, and start your own.
6. Make Shabbat Chanukah Special
Celebrated for eight days, every Chanukah contains (at least one) Shabbat. Although we do not kindle the menorah on Shabbat (taking care to light it on Friday afternoon before kindling Shabbat candles, and then again on Saturday night after the holy day has ended), Shabbat Chanukah is a special time. Make this Shabbat more festive by adding something special to your menu, printing up extra Torah thoughts to read during the long, quiet evening, and singing Hallel (Psalms of praise we say every morning of Chanukah) aloud with extra fervor and joy.
7. Learn Extra Torah
On Chanukah we celebrate our victory over the Syrian Greek interlopers, who wished to squelch the study of "G‑d's Torah," although they were more than fine with those who wished to read the Jewish texts in the name of intellectual curiosity or research. Got some extra time on your hands? Log onto Chabad.org (OK, you are here already), pull a Jewish book off the shelf, call a study-buddy, and learn the very Torah that the Greeks wanted us to relegate to the dusty back of the library.
8. Make a Chanukah Craft
The isolation of the last nine months has given birth to a burst of creativity, as people learned to paint, bake, craft, and draw their worries away. Even before the holiday begins, get into the spirit by creating unique Chanakah art to decorate your home. Paintings, dreidels, and even menorahs can all be made at home.
9. Give Extra Charity
Did you ever notice that two major Chanukah customs, giving gelt and playing dreidel, both mean that our kids receive some extra cash? There's a good reason for this. The infusion of funds allows our children (and us) to give extra charity (tzedakah) to those in need. During the events of Chanukah, the Greeks confiscated money from charity funds, and we celebrate by giving even more than usual, an act that refines the soul, symbolized by the light-giving menorah.
Give extra charity each day of Chanukah, depositing the share for Shabbat on Friday afternoon.
If you have a physical pushke (charity box) at home, put the coins or bills there. If not, you can donate online to the deserving destination of your choice.
10. Tell (or Read) Heartwarming Stories
Chanukah is the season of miracles—the ideal time to read inspiring stories of Chanukahs past and of G‑d's miraculous presence in our lives, "in those days [and] in this time." If you are with someone else, take turns reading stories to each other. If you are alone, read them to yourself or call a friend to join you.
11. Play Chanukah Music
The Code of Jewish Law tells us that it is appropriate to make our meals on Chanukah a bit more lavish and to use the time to praise G‑d for His kindness. One way to do this is to sing songs of praise. From the dreidel song to 'Oh Chanukah,' Chanukah music has a way of warming the heart and bringing light to the darkest of evenings.
12. Play Dreidel
With just a small plastic spinning top and a pile of coins, nuts, beans or the token of your choice, you can play a fun or competitive round of dreidel, the traditional Chanukah pastime.
If you are alone, you can play against the house. To do so, you need to modify the gimmel and hei to win you a smaller amount than normal, so that the game does not end immediately after you get your first gimmel. Feel free to fiddle with the amounts and have fun with this one. And if you are with others, invite everyone for a grand tournament.
By Menachem Posner
Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor at Chabad.org, the world's largest Jewish informational website. He has been writing, researching, and editing for Chabad.org since 2006, when he received his rabbinic degree from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch. He resides in Chicago, Ill., with his family.
The Portion of Vayeshev
Joseph's Roller Coaster
Jacob returns from Charan and settles in the land of Canaan with his wives and children, seeking nothing more than peace and tranquility. But also in Canaan peace and tranquility is not to be found.
Joseph dreams that his father and brothers bow to him, a dream which arouses the anger of his brothers as it came after being bestowed by his father a coat of many colors. Joseph was clearly his father's favorite son.
The brothers seize the first opportunity, strip him of his coat, throw him into a pit and ultimately sell him as a slave to be brought to Egypt. Joseph soon finds himself as a servant to Potifar, one of Pharaoh's chief ministers, where he quickly advances to the position of head of Potifar's household.
Following Joseph's rejection of Potifar's wife's flirtatious advances Joseph is thrown into prison. "From a high rooftop to a deep pit."
Time passes, and after Joseph's successful interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh's chief butler and baker, he is brought before Pharaoh himself and charged with interpreting his two dreams. Pharaoh is so impressed that he appoints Joseph to the position of Viceroy.
We find a similarity that is made between Joseph in his moment of despair and in his moment of triumph. When describing Joseph's sorry plight the Torah writes the words "Bet Sohar" (prison) six times:
And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were bound; and he was there in the prison (Genesis 39;20).
But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison (39;21).
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it (39;22)
The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand, because the LORD was with him; and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper (39;23).
And when the Torah describes Joseph's new and exalted position we read six descriptive terms: the giving of the ring, fine linen clothing, a gold chain, the second chariot, calling him "avreich" and being in charge of the entire land of Egypt:
And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from
Only in This Stupid Worlddo people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke
Only in This Stupid World do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
Only in This Stupid World do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage. Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?
Why is it that Doctors call what they do 'practice'?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
Decision is final: No new coronavirus restrictions on Hanukkah
Is Israel about to open up after the second national lockdown?(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)AdvertisementAfter an hour-long meeting between government ministers a final decision was made: There will be no new restrictions on Hanukkah. Instead, the government agreed that restrictions would be tightened if the reproduction rate reaches 1.3 or the the number of new cases per day hits 2,500 or more. The government also agreed that if three weeks after restrictions are tightened the reproduction rate remans over one, then the country will lock down. Read More Related Articles
"Tightening restraint," as coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash has called this first stage of new restrictions, includes closing all street shops, shopping centers and marketplaces. However, different than during previous lockdowns, the education system and non-customer facing businesses will remain open.
The decision came after a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz on the sidelines of the larger government meeting."We will give up on the matter of more restrictions in the coming week," Edelstein said to the ministers after returning from the privte meeting. He added that his ministry would launch an information campaign to help convince the public to better keep the restrictions. The government meeting on Thursday came after its attempt to enact a night curfew earlier in the week was shot down by the attorney-general."We are trying as little as possible to harm the economy, but we must prevent the spread of the disease," Edelstein said at the start of the meeting.
Likewise, Netanyahu warned: "We can very quickly get to the point of a lockdown, and we want to avoid that."The Health Ministry and the National Security Council originally recommended tightening restrictions when infection holds at around 2,000 new cases per day and the reproduction rate (R) stands at around 1.3 and lockdown at 3,500 new cases per day and an R of 1.4.Also on the table at the start of the meeting was the idea of shuttering stores early in the evening and asking people not to congregate in each other's homes or at synagogue after around 5:30 p.m. - though an exact time is under discussion. Finance Minister Israel Katz pushed for the time to be no earlier than 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. Economy Minister Amir Peretz proposed an alternative, too. He said that instead of closing at 5:30 p.m., why not 8 p.m. until 5 a.m."That way commerce can operate for a few more hours and we will still avoid crowds," he said. Movement in general would not be restricted. Takeaway would also still be available. It is unlikely that these restrictions would apply to Eilat or the Dead Sea resort area, both part of the "green island" program."This partial closure is meant to prevent as much mobility and gathering as possible," said Health Minister director-general Chezy Levy in an interview with Kan News on Thursday morning. In contrast, the Association of Public Health Professionals said Thursday morning in a statement that a night closure or the imposition of any "sweeping and disproportionate decrees on the public, undermine public trust and the ability to handle the coronavirus."The association said that "the new proposal that emerged at the last minute before Hanukkah is in fact 'the same lady in a new coat' and is therefore unjustified and offensive." It is understood that the restrictions will only apply to Jewish neighborhoods and that a set of similar restrictions will be placed on Arab municipalities during the Christian holidays. Blue and White ministers responded to the idea of having restrictions on Jewish areas when the largest amount of infection is on Arab communities by calling the move "illogical." The fine for breaking the restrictions is likely going to be NIS 500. Originally, some members of the government wanted to push to have the new restrictions start Thursday evening, but that option was relatively quickly removed from the table. "You cannot just surprise the public and start Hanukkah restrictions today," Higher Education Minister Zeev Elkin pressed. The prime minister said he agreed.In an interview Thursday morning with Army Radio, Science and Technology Minister Yizhar Shay said that he would oppose the current proposal, as the original intention was to make these rules for orange and red cities and not cities across the country."It does not make sense to close people in green localities," he stressed. "Logic needs to be found." He said with four months until the masses are vaccinated, it does not make sense to close the economy now. Recall that thousands of Pfizer vaccines arrived in Israel yesterday and more are expected this week and before the end of the month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that people would begin being vaccinated on December 27. The meeting is taking place against the backdrop of rising infection - 1,828 new cases in the last day, 2.6% of those screened for the virus (3% without survey tests). There are 318 people in serious condition, including 100 on ventilators. The death toll stands at 2,934.The government voted in favor of two additional regulations brought before the ministers Thursday morning: allowing the cabinet to decide on how to handle returnees from abroad and to decide the functioning of the education system.The government also voted in favor of allowing youth group activities to resume according to new Health Ministry guidelines.
In 2013, I wrote a column in The Jewish Press under the title, "The Tragedy of Herb Gorman." Gorman, a Jewish baseball player, suddenly fell ill in the sixth inning of a game in 1953 and died before the game was over. His young wife, Rosalie, watched him being helped off the field by teammates.
I always wondered what happened to Mrs. Gorman. Well, she recently learned of my seven-year-old column and contacted me. I had a lengthy phone call with this most interesting 88-year-old woman who fielded all my questions and filled in all the blanks of the story.
Let's dial back about 70 years ago to Los Angeles. At the time, professional baseball teams in the big West Coast cities belonged to the Pacific Coast League, one rung below the major leagues. L.A. had two teams: the Hollywood Stars and the Los Angeles Angels. Herb Gorman played on the Stars and enjoyed immense popularity with Jewish fans as he was one of the team's best players.
In 1951, Rosalie Bloom, who was 19 years old at the time, was set up with Herb, who was 26, on a blind date. The date turned out to be a double date, and Rosalie was actually initially more excited about the other fellow, Robert Merrill. Seven years older than Herb and already famous for being part of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Merrill had played semi-pro ball years earlier and had used his salary to pay for voice lessons. (Many years later, he would sing the national anthem for big games at Yankee Stadium.)
Rosalie enjoyed being in the company of Merrill, but her date, Herb Gorman, eventually won her heart and the hearts of her parents, too. "Everybody loved him," Rosalie said. "He was such a kind, loving, man." In 1952, Rosalie Bloom and Herb Gorman were married at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Rosalie remembers seeing many celebrities – or stars – at Hollywood Stars ballgames, including Gene Autry, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster, Barbara Stanwyck and others. One celebrity fan that stands out in Rosalie's mind all these years later is Danny Kaye. "When Herbie came to bat, Danny would stand up and yell, 'Give it a klop, Herbie, give it a klop,'" she said.
After three seasons with the Stars, Gorman was obtained by the St. Louis Cardinals. Herb busied himself during spring training in Florida trying to make the roster while Rosalie met the players' wives and hit if off with the wife of star outfielder Enos Slaughter. But when Slaughter found out the Gormans were Jewish and that his wife was friendly with Rosalie, he ordered his wife to stop seeing Mrs. Gorman.
"Enos Slaughter was an anti-Semite and the meanest son of a gun," Rosalie said. "The biggest star on the team was Stan Musial, and he was the opposite. He was the kindest, sweetest, nicest man."
Gorman's efforts in spring training paid off and he headed north with the big league squad. The Gormans sublet an apartment in St. Louis and Herb patiently waited for a chance to play in his first major league game. Finally, on April 19, 1952, Gorman made his major league debut in the seventh inning at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Pinch-hitting for the pitcher, Gorman grounded out as the Cubs went on to thrash the Cardinals 8-1.
It would be his only major league appearance, as he was sold to the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League as April ended and went on to play in 108 games for San Diego in 1952 while batting .261, well below his career average.
On April 5, 1953, the Padres were playing a big doubleheader against rival Hollywood in their home park downtown, only a short walk from the Pacific Ocean. Gorman played left field in the first game. It was the last game of his life.
The first game was going great for Gorman as he rapped two doubles in two at-bats. But within minutes after trotting back to his left field position in the sixth inning with his wife watching, Gorman called "time" and staggered toward the infield. Teammates helped him to the dugout where he walked unaided to the clubhouse. The team trainer quickly applied oxygen and sent for a doctor who called for an ambulance.
Gorman, who fell unconscious, was rushed to the hospital still wearing his baseball uniform. Upon arrival at the hospital, the 28-year-old Gorman was pronounced dead. A massive blood clot that reached the heart would later be ruled as the cause of death.
Rosalie tries not to think of that day, but two things pop into her mind: seeing her husband lying on a hospital gurney and asking for a rabbi after learning of his death.
Teammates learned of Gorman's death in the ninth inning while losing 4-2. When the game concluded with the same score, the almost 4,000 in attendance were informed of Gorman's fate and that the second game would be cancelled in accordance with a vote of his teammates.
Gorman's young widow made sure a rabbi would officiate over a proper Jewish funeral. At the service, while looking at Gorman's grieving parents and widow, Rabbi Morton J. Kohn of San Diego's Temple Beth Israel, said, "Herb Gorman had learned to play the game of life equally as well as he had learned to play the game of his profession."
"We were only married for 14 months," Rosalie recalled. "I was 21 when he died and went back to my parents' home. For six months, I hardly left my room." After three years, Rosalie found love again. "I met a real nice man and we have been married for 64 years and have two sons."
Now 88, Rosalie is more active than people half her age. She loves traveling and driving around whatever country she's visiting. She prefers to be behind the wheel instead of being a passenger in a tour bus. Borneo is on her radar and she's toying with the idea of becoming a political volunteer.
One thing's for sure: She gets my vote as one of the most interesting people I have ever met over the phone.
Being thankful for the Left by Daniel Greenfield
When we celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, after being thankful for family and friends, for health and comfort, for food and shelter; we shouldn't forget to be thankful for the left.
There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.
It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left.
I have seen far too much despair and defeatism, too many comments that suggest there is no hope for America and the only thing left to do is pour a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. But those comments testify to how sheltered Americans are from the struggles against tyranny around the world.
Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That's what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they've given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they've given up hope.
There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.
Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.
We face a hard fight, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of the world. The international left has made America its special project. It knows that if it can extinguish the hope of liberty in this land then it will drive the rest of those who hope for freedom across the ocean deeper into despair. And it wants your despair. It wants you to give up so that the rest of the world gives up too and bows under its chains.
And yet this fight is a glorious one. This fight is our birthright. And we should be thankful for the fight.
It would be more pleasant if there were no Obama or Biden. If Alinsky had never been born and Marx had never been whelped. It would be nice if we lived in a world where red was just a color and the Democratic Party was a rural movement suspicious of the Federal government and dreaming of an agrarian utopia. But then so would never having to work for a living or getting up out of bed.
Life is challenge and we face all kinds of different challenges. We get up early out of bed in the morning and drive to work. We rise in the middle of the night when the baby cries and we go to the hospital when our loved ones need us there. We do dreary things and terrible things that seem so different from the life we imagined as children. And we do them not only because they are duty, but because these challenges, the daily ones and the once in a lifetime ones, make us who we are.
Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It demands more of us and it ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.
Good emerges in response to evil. We need our enemies to remind us of who we are and what we can do when our backs are against the wall. We need evil to remind us of the good that we are capable of. As a whetstone sharpens a sword, so evil sharpens us into a weapon against it. It makes us morally stronger and teaches us the stark truths that we cannot take refuge from evil; we must confront it.
If there were no left, would there be nearly as much patriotism among true Americans as there is now? And if there were no left, how many of us would really contemplate the core principles of freedom and free enterprise? If there were no left, how many of us would ponder what we truly believe and what compromises we are willing and unwilling to make? If there were no left, would we be the same people that we are today?
For those of us who believe in the Bible, the Lord created both darkness and light. And if it were not for the darkness, would the light be nearly as precious to us? Imagine a world without sunrise or sunset, where the sight of rays of light clearing away the darkness would have no meaning? And then remember that things are treasured to the extent that they can be taken away from us.
Would we value freedom as much if we did not have to defend it? Would we hold it as dear if we did not fear that it would be taken away? Would we even be aware of what freedom is and what a free people must be if not for the dark hand of those who wish to strip us of those freedoms?
It is the left's opposition that has added urgency to a hundred issues, from the national debt to the War on Terror to freedom of speech and of religion. It has made us think about those issues, to take them out of the back of our minds and hold them up to the light as a reminder of how important they are and what must be done about them.
The left's corruptions remind us of the need for purification. As it gathers the worst of all around it, we find ourselves called to be better than we are. As the left works to doom our country, and as we suffer defeat after defeat, these defeats only serve to remind us that we must be better, that we must do more, learn more and become more in order to save our country.
War is the great teacher and this is a political war, short on bodies and heavy on minds, it is a war in which casualties are not taken in the chest or the arm, but in the mind, in reason and emotion, and against these weaknesses, we can and will prevail.
As we fight the left, we become stronger, more dedicated and more purposeful. We become the men and women that we were meant to be.
As you sit around your tables, thinking of all that you have gained and lost this year, remember and be thankful for the left, for though the winter ice gives way to the summer sun and bitter defeat gives way to sweet victory, it is defeat and hardship that teaches better than comfort and ease. We can learn more from our defeats than we ever could from our victories. Our defeats teach us endurance and fortitude, they teach us that defeat can be borne and that its sting can be turned into the weapon that unseats the foe. And our foes make us who we are.
Their evil teaches us to find the good within ourselves. Their strength teaches us to find our own strength. And their plots against what we have teach us how many treasures we have, not least of these being the full value of our freedom and our happiness that they wish to take from us.
Their war on America is teaching us to be better Americans. It may not feel that way right now, but we are privileged to have this opportunity and this fight.
We should be thankful for the left, its assaults on us are teaching us how to fight and its plots against our freedom are teaching us how to be free.
Daniel Greenfield is a well known New York City based freelance commentator and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He blogs at sultanknish.blogspot.com
The prospective return of global appeasement by Melanie Phillips
A foreign policy delusion of 'appeasement' means that tyranny is incentivized and war more likely. But Biden seems to be going there.
An all-too-familiar voice in foreign-policy circles has yet again been heard seeking to influence a potential U.S. president.
Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State whose advice has been sought by successive American presidents for more than six decades, has now recommended that if Joe Biden becomes the 46th president, he should end President Donald Trump's bullish approach to China and make nice with it instead.
Kissinger is the apostle of the strategy of realpolitik, otherwise known as "realism" or achieving a "balance of power." Its aim is not to see right triumph over wrong but, as he has put it, "to establish commodious relations where that is possible, and stalemates where that is not."
The foreign-policy and national security administration that Biden is assembling around himself chimes with Kissinger's advice—and not just because of Biden's already questionably close relationship with the Chinese communist regime.
It's because Kissinger's "realpolitik" is actually a strategy of appeasement. And Biden's team amounts to a resurrection of the liberal universalist establishment, one of whose foundational beliefs is that western power is illegitimate and should not be exercised.
Starting from the premise that the Western nation-state is intrinsically bad, liberal universalists privilege trans-national institutions such as the United Nations despite its institutionalized hostility to the West.
Taking refuge in the fantasy politics of "conflict resolution" and "peace processes," they believe that all conflict can be ended by the application of reason and that war must be replaced by law. In a knockdown fight between good and evil, liberal universalists split the difference and call that justice.
This doctrine forms the unchallengeable orthodoxy of the foreign-policy establishment, which has been eclipsed over the past four years by the orthodoxy-busting deal-maker in the White House who believes in the heresy of putting his country first.
Trump believes that to avoid war, the United States needs to display maximum strength. Liberal universalists hold instead that to avoid war, you befriend those who threaten you. The outcome of that profound delusion is that tyranny is incentivized and war becomes much more likely.
Under former President Barack Obama's 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which at best would delay its ability to build nuclear weapons by only a few years, billions of dollars poured into Tehran while the regime steadily increased its power across the region and continued to ramp up its terrorist activities.
Only when Trump took America out of the deal and reimposed sanctions did the regime start to totter and hopes began to grow that it might implode without the need for war.
Under successive American presidents, whether or not they were well-disposed towards Israel, Palestinian appeasement took the form of an endless peace process.
In order to keep the Palestinians in this process, the United States, United Kingdom and European Union refused to bring up anything that would cause them to walk out.
This meant ignoring their incitement to violence, their incendiary anti-Semitism and their declared aim of using a Palestinian state as means of destroying Israel in stages. The result of this surrender to blackmail was not peace, but endless Palestinian attacks against Israel through terrorism, murder and war.
When Trump ended this lethal appeasement strategy and instead moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as a defiant statement of the Jews' right to the land, the foreign-policy establishment confidently asserted that this would cause the region to go up in flames.
Not only did this not happen, with no one other than the Palestinians and their acolytes turning a hair, but the Gulf states started to normalize relations with Israel. This ended the Palestinian veto on peace and advanced the prospect of an end to the Arab war against Israel more than at any time since the 1920s.
But now these gains may be put into reverse. Biden's nominee for Secretary of State is Antony Blinken, the Jewish stepson of a U.N. lawyer and the ultimate foreign-policy establishment insider.
Blinken served as President Bill Clinton's chief foreign-policy speechwriter, a national security adviser to Biden and deputy to Secretary of State John Kerry. He is said to be a centrist who won't make aid to Israel conditional on its policy choices, will keep the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and will support Israel at the United Nations.
But the label "centrist" means he is a liberal universalist, and thus committed to policies that ultimately rest upon the appeasement of evil people.
He was closely involved in creating the Iran nuclear deal and has claimed that America's withdrawal from that agreement in May 2018 placed Israel in more peril from Iran rather than less. That is emphatically not the view of Israel's government, which views Trump's resumption of sanctions as key to weakening the Iranian regime and hastening its collapse.
Asked in August what Biden would do if he was elected president, Blinken said he would "seek to build on the nuclear deal and to make it longer and stronger if Iran returns to strict compliance."
That, he claimed, would put the United States in a much better position to push back against Iran's other destabilizing activities "because we would once again be united with our partners instead of isolated from them."
But that would mean being united with partners such as Britain and the European Union, who are desperate to resume lucrative deals with Iran that would fund the regime's war against Israel and America.
Once again, the West's billions would pour into Iran, boosting the regime's power grab against all pro-Western regimes and enabling it to expand its terror networks in the Middle East and around the world. It would also abandon the Iranians suffering so grievously under the regime's violations of human rights, ostensibly the liberal internationalists' signature cause.
This week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Biden's prospective team for living in a "fantasy world." He said, "They led from behind, they appeased. I hope they will choose a different course."
Biden's choice as ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was an assistant Secretary of State under Obama, declared this week that multilateralism and diplomacy were back.
In response, Pompeo snapped that the Trump administration had developed "coalitions that actually deliver real results and reflect the the reality on the ground," and that America's best interests were not served by "multilateralism for the sake of hanging out with your buddies at a cool cocktail party."
Opponents of appeasement are often called warmongers. Winston Churchill, who during the 1930s fruitlessly warned that Hitler's aggression needed to be curbed was dismissed as such until his country realized almost too late that Hitler had Britain in his sights, as well as half of Europe.
The fact that Biden's team consists of so many Obama-era retreads is causing concern among those Americans who understand the harm Obama inflicted upon their nation's foundational principles.
They are alarmed about the likely internal damage to the rule of law by Biden's almost certain refusal to hold to account those who appear to have acted illegally in conspiring to lever Trump out of office through the bogus "Russia collusion" claim. And they are no less concerned that Biden would essentially continue Obama's strategy to reduce America's standing in the world and thus weaken both the United States and the West that it leads.
It was a strategy that, under Obama, empowered those bent upon evil. Rational people everywhere, in the developing world no less than the West, should shudder at its prospective return in America.
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for "The Times of London," her personal and political memoir, "Guardian Angel," has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, "The Legacy," in 2018. Go to melaniephillips.substack.com to access her work.
See you Sunday bli neder. Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the First day of Chanukah today and the 2nd night tonight. Your candles must be lit before Shabbat and last 30 minutes after Shabbat starts so you have to use longer-lasting candles or more oil than any other night.