Rabbi Yehuda Lave to speak this Shabbat for the Yellow Lady in Sheri Hesced and Gmail censorship yesterday and The Complicated History of Jews in America By Gatestone Institute -and Unique Sites of Israel: Biblical Beit Shean By Nosson Shulman and The Massacre That Never Was: The Myth of Deir Yassin and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem By Alex Grobman PhD. and therapy jokes
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.
Rabbi Yehuda Lave to speak this Shabbat for the Yellow Lady in Sheri Hesced and Gmail censorship yesterday
For those of my readers in Jerusalem (and only those who have been in Rahavia and Sheri Hesced -neighborhoods in Jerusalem-will know what I am talking about)- I will be the scholar in residence for the Yellow lady in Shari Hesced-for woman only at 3:00 Pm; Please come if you can, so we can have a full house.
Only some of my readers yesterday got my email. It was censored by those that have a Gmail address, for reporting the truth about Abbas stating that the Palestinians should kill Jews because the IDF killed Palestinian terrorists. This is after our defense minister Gantz continues to go to him to curry favor. What a Country!!
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Massacre That Never Was: The Myth of Deir Yassin and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem By Alex Grobman PhD.
photo Credit: courtesy author
*Editor's Note: The following is a review by Jewish Press columnist, Dr. Alex Grobman, on Eliezer Tauber's recently published book, The Massacre That Never Was: The Myth of Deir Yassin and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem
Masters of Deceit
When it comes to propaganda, the Arabs have become masters of deceit. To demonize and delegitimize Israel, they attempt to undermine the legal, political and moral justification for the Jewish state by portraying Israel as the obstacle to peace, and a repressive government with no historic or legal claim to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem its capital. To foster Israel's image as an immoral and illegitimate state, the Arabs created a number of myths. One of the most pernicious is the alleged massacre Israel committed against the villagers of Deir Yassin, ostensibly a peaceful Arab village that lived in harmony with their Jewish neighbors. On April 19, 1948, the Jews, they claimed, deliberately massacred 254 members of the village as an act of ethnic cleansing. For the Arabs and their supports throughout the world, Deir Yassin has become a rallying cry against the state of Israel.
A number of books have sought to dispel this insidious lie. None has been as successful in achieving this objective as has Professor Eliezer Tauber, a former dean in Bar-Ilan University. Tauber is an expert on the emergence of Arab nationalism, the formation of the Arab states, and the early phases of the Arab Israeli conflict. He has once and for all systematically, methodically and completely destroyed this myth by proving there never was a massacre.
What makes this study an indispensable and irrefutable resource, is that Tauber incorporated the testimonies of Jews and Arabs into one narrative by using an extensive amount of testimonies and records from 22 archives (including Israeli, Palestinian Arab, British, American, UN and Red Cross). Many of them had not yet been available to the public. Additionally, there were hundreds of other sources that helped him provide a comprehensive account of the event.
Where was Deir Yassin?
Deir Yassin was located 700 meters south-west of Givat Shaul, and one kilometer west and north-west of Kiryat Moshe, Beit ha-Kerem and Yefe Nof. A group of Jews had bought the land from the villagers of Deir Yassin and Lifta, an Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Tauber calculated there were about 1,000 inhabitants living in Deir Yassin in 144 houses. Most of the villagers worked in the stone industry, in one the seven stone quarries, since Deir Yassin lands contained high quality limestone.
Deir Yasin was Not a Peaceful Village
Deir Yassin "was not the peaceful village many later claimed it to be." Relations between the Jews and inhabitants of Deir Yassin, which dated back to 1906, Tauber said, involved Arab thefts and burglaries. Protection money to the mukhtar, (head of the village), bought some temporary relief, until the eve of WWI depression, when the thefts resumed. In March 1914, the villagers attacked Givat Shaul with guns, robbing and injuring. On Simchat Torah in 1927, Arabs from Deir Yassin attacked Jews in Givat Shaul. In August 1929, Arab villagers from Deir Yassin and other villages attacked Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The Arabs of Deir Yassin played a central role in the assault. An attempt was made to block the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv road, the city's only supply route.
During the Arab revolt of 1936—1939, "rebels" from the village murderer Jews in Jewish neighborhoods, leading to the British conducting raids, confiscating weapons, and incarcerating villagers. Some villagers joined the Arab "irregulars" to fight against the Jews. After the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Partition Plan for Palestine on November 29, 1947, the resolution led to "a civil war," especially in Jerusalem, which was under siege. As a result, Jews were starving and forced to ration their food and weapons.
Why Was Deir Yassin's location Important?
The village controlled four to six kilometers of the road from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv, less than a mile from the Jerusalem suburbs. From December 1947, Arabs began ambushing Jewish convoys and reinforcements to prevent them breaking the siege. Deir Yassin's "strategic location provided a base for the Arab siege of Jerusalem." Seizing the village would achieve Jewish continuity in western Jerusalem. To quash the siege, the Haganah launched Operation Nachshon, lasting from April 5-16, 1948.
The Battle of Deir Yassin
Tauber concluded that there was no massacre, which cannot be disputed or challenged, since he traced the exact circumstances of death of each of the Arabs killed, proving for each of them individually that they were not massacred. Instead, he said there was "a ten-hour fierce battle, in the presence of a significant number of civilians," which ended in the victory of the Jewish underground military forces of Etzel and Lehi. When the battle concluded, the killing ceased. "I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters," one Arab survivor testified. Moreover, "the Arab villagers were warned in advance to vacate the village. Seven hundred listened and evacuated the village."
An additional "200 villagers were taken captive and later freed in Arab Jerusalem." Only 101 Arabs were killed, a quarter of them active combatants and most of the rest in combat conditions," Tauber said. The Jewish assailants also suffered casualties.
"For psychological warfare considerations, Etzel reported 200 Arabs killed," he noted, "twice more than the actual number, enthusiastically adopted by the Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem, which increased it to 254 and added rapes and other gender-oriented atrocities."
Hussein Khalidi, the senior Arab authority in Jerusalem in 1948, asserted, "We must make the most of this." As his assistant Hazim Nusayba reported in a 1998 interview, Khalidi said "we should give this the utmost propaganda possible because the Arab countries apparently are not interested in assisting us and we are facing a catastrophe….So we are forced to give a picture – not what is actually happening – but we had to exaggerate."
In other words, Tauber adds, "the Arab leadership of 1948 Jerusalem was a main cause for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. In accordance with "the rule of al-`ird qabla al-ard (women's honor before land), the moment the Palestinians heard about rapes they started to leave. Whole families decide to leave. Although tens of thousands of Arabs had left Palestine before Deir Yassin affair, their numbers dramatically increased after it." Yet we know there were "no rapes or gender-oriented atrocities," Tauber asserts.
One refugee survivor summed up the responsibility for fabricating the canard about Deir Yassin, when he said: "Dr Hussein Fakhri Al-Khalidi was the one who caused the catastrophe."
"It happened the next day, when the Philistines came to plunder….they found Saul and his three sons, fallen on Mt Gilboa. They severed his head….and they hung his remains upon the wall of Beth-Shan (Beit Shean). The (Jewish) inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead heard…what the Philistines had done to Saul and all the daring men arose and went through the night, and took the remains of Saul and…of his sons from the wall of Beit Shean…and buried them (1 Samuel 31: 8-13)."
Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world, is fairly well visited by tourists who come here to see its impressive ruins. However, visitors often skip the older Biblical Beit Shean, located on top of the hill. That means one thing: they are missing the best part!
Today we will bypass the relatively new, 1600-year-old Roman ruins and climb up 180 steep steps to visit the older part of the city. Here we see incredible ruins, some of which are more than 3000 years old!
Starting as a local Canaanite city state, the town will be conquered by Pharaoh Thutmose 3rd during his legendary conquest of Israel circa 1550 BCE (approximately the time when the Biblical Hebrews started to become enslaved in Egypt). He will make Beit Shean the capital of Northern Israel and bring an Egyptian Governor to administer this part of the Pharaoh's Kingdom.
Why, of all places, was this city chosen to be the regional capital? This was because the most important international routes of the ancient world went through here. To get from Egypt to Mesopotamia (the two largest superpowers of the time), the main road crossed through Beit Shean. If one wanted to get from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gilead Mountains in present day Jordan, the easiest route went through Beit Shean. In the ancient world, controlling the routes meant controlling the land. In fact, the city became extremely wealthy from collecting poll taxes from travelers.
After climbing to the top of the hill, we are immediately treated to a beautiful panoramic view which includes Biblical Mountains of Israel and present-day Jordan (the border between these countries is only about 3 km east from us).
During the Exodus from Egypt (circa 1150 BCE) Pharaoh's army drowned, causing them to lose Israel overnight. The vacuum allowed the various Canaanite city states to regain their independence temporarily. After 40 years in the desert, the Children of Israel (led by Joshua) entered the promised land, and on G-d's command they fought the city states. This land was given to the tribe of Manasseh, but they were unable at that time to drive out the inhabitants of this city (Joshua 17:11-12).
In King Saul's time, the Philistines attacked his army at nearby Mount Gilboa, killing Saul and three of his sons including Jonathan (King David's best friend) and hung his remains on the walls of Beit Shean. In a daring operation, King Saul's remains were rescued and re-buried according to Jewish custom (1 Samuel 31). When King David became King, immediately upon the death of Saul, he finally conquered Beit Shean, and his son Solomon built up the city as a major administrative center (1 Kings 4:12).
Circa 732 BCE, Assyria will conquer Beit Shean and destroy it.
In the Hellenistic (Greek) times and Roman times, the bulk of the city was rebuilt on the bottom of the hill, becoming an important city in the Roman Empire. The top of the Tel itself lost its importance.
The Roman City was destroyed by a devasting Earthquake in 749 CE, and until modern times, not much was here.
In the early 1900's, the Ottoman Turkish Empire who controlled most of the Middle East, including Israel, built a railway going from Constantinople (today's Istanbul) to Mecca in Saudi Arabia (which went through Damascus). From Syria, a new connecting route was built on the line which went to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea. One of the stops was Beit Shean, and a newer city developed around the train station.
Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, the route connecting Syria to Israel was discontinued. The train continued to operate within Israel until the 1950's, until the high costs and low usage didn't justify continuing the route. As a result, Beit Shean was relatively isolated from the main economic centers of the country, and while the housing was cheap, unemployment was high.
In 2017, the old route from Beit Shean to Haifa was re-established as a high speed route. Now people living in this economically depressed city could easily commute to the major centers, making this city (with low costs of living, great climate all year round and low crime rate) desirable once again. Currently, the city is undergoing a major construction boom.
This has been a mere sampling of what this amazing site has to offer! On your next trip to Israel, let us explore here together! For a sample itinerary which includes Beit Shean and it's surrounding area, click here.
(Written by Michael Finch, President of the David Horowitz Freedom Center)
The Jewish historical narrative in America has, for the most part, been written and shaped by the great wave of Jewish immigrants that arrived in our nation around the turn of the 20th Century. That this wave has had a huge impact on American life and culture is undeniable. But it is not the entire history of Jews in America—far from it. Jews arrived on the heels of the earliest American settlers, primarily making their homes in Charleston, South Carolina, which was a religiously tolerant city, welcoming various Protestant sects, Catholics, and Jews alike. Today that seems common enough, but it certainly wasn't in the 1600's, especially in the Massachusetts Bay Colony where even many Protestants were not welcome, much less Catholics and Jews.
The Jews that settled in the South were primarily Sephardic, with roots going back to Spain and the Mediterranean area. They assimilated and became part of Southern society; some became landowners or became prosperous enough even to own slaves. We can indict those Jews for this sin as we can indict anyone and everyone who also owned slaves, but it was part of American society at that time.
Out of this culture rose a singular man: Judah Benjamin. His family were English and resided in the West Indies. They immigrated to South Carolina when he was still a child. He was a brilliant student and was accepted to Yale at the age of 14, although he did not graduate. Instead, he left Yale early and settled in New Orleans, where he was to make his mark as a man. A self-taught lawyer, he rose to great heights and became very wealthy. He founded the Illinois Central Railroad, served in the Louisiana legislature, and eventually was appointed to the U.S. Senate, representing Louisiana.
During the Civil War, Benjamin supported the Confederacy. He served in Jefferson Davis' cabinet, first as Attorney General, later as Secretary of War, and then as Secretary of State. After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, many in the North accused Benjamin of being behind the plot. After all, he was the "brains of the Confederacy" and subject to libelous attacks from the North. Here antisemitism truly reared its ugly head. Trailed by these rumors, Benjamin would later escape to London, where he made a fresh start, becoming a highly successful barrister and author until his death in the 1880's.
Despite this impressive personal history, many historians over the years have reviled Judah Benjamin. Why? Partly because he was a slave owner, but mainly because he was a Confederate.
Writer Diane Cole, who reviewed James Traub's new book about Benjamin for the Wall Street Journal, is no exception — but she finds a unique reason to discredit this American statesman. Cole finds Benjamin unworthy of admiration because, as a Jew, he owned slaves. She claims it is a mark of hypocrisy for any Jew to defend slavery since the Jewish people themselves escaped slavery when Moses led them out of Egypt. Additionally, she argues that possessing slaves does not "jibe" with her understanding of Jewish tradition. Cole, however, fails to mention that possessing slaves also does not "jibe" with anyone's understanding of Christian tradition.
Cole's criticisms reveal a gross misunderstanding of Jewish history and amount to a crude slander against Benjamin or any Jewish Southerner. You can certainly condemn someone for owning slaves, but to single out Jews while disregarding the centuries of non-Jews who owned slaves is unfortunately antisemitic.
In the ancient world, virtually everyone owned slaves: Romans, Greeks, Persians, and yes, Jews. Slavery was as common to the ancient world as people waking up and going to work is today. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had slaves; they were nonetheless, in other respects, great men. We may not like it, we may find it morally repugnant, but it is fact, and it was a part of those societies and has continued for thousands of years, into the modern era.
Moses led the Jews out of bondage; he did not lead every slave in the world to freedom. That Moses and Jewish tradition were eventually to set an example for all people in all times is very true. But that was not what the Exodus, when it occurred, was about. The Torah does not call slavery an evil; in fact it instructs one on how to treat someone held in servitude: If you knock out the tooth of a slave, the slave must go free to compensate for the loss of the tooth. If you have only one cloak, you must give it to your slave. It provides a more humane template for slavery than many other ancient societies, but it is hardly an abolitionist tract. This is not to condemn anyone, certainly not these ancient Jewish texts written thousands of years ago. The Torah planted the seeds in Jewish tradition that would ultimately engender the call for all people to be free. Meanwhile, Jews, like everyone else on earth, lived in their own historical time and culture, one in which slavery was ubiquitous.
The Jews in the South lived as other Americans lived in the South in that time, "warts and all." Leaving aside their possession of slaves, the fact that Jews had assimilated into American society at the level that they did is a testament to the American tradition, even if some of that tradition is stained. Consider by contrast the lives of Jews in the Russian Empire in the mid-1800's, faced with the constant threat of pogroms and death by sweeping Cossack hordes. The ability of Jews like Benjamin to embody the American dream and gain prominence in the American South was a striking achievement.
For reviewer Diane Cole, Benjamin's assimilation into Southern society and particularly his leadership in the Confederacy is also an unforgivable sin. She slams Benjamin for his "appalling political loyalties," but again fails to consider his actions in the light of their historical context. Consider an issue that applies to not just Benjamin but any office holder, military officer or frankly anyone who served in the Confederacy: why do we fight in wars in the first place? One reason, at least at that time, was that we fought to defend our homes, our families and loved ones, our land and our community.
Prior to the Civil War, an American's loyalty to their home State was often paramount and superseded one's loyalty to the United State as a country. We may not like that, may find that ridiculous or even treasonous, but we are not living in the mid-1800s. General Robert E. Lee, much to the derision of many today, conservatives and liberals alike, turned President Lincoln down when he was made the offer to command the Union army. But how could Lee consider leading an army to march on his home, his family, and his home State? Is that really so difficult to understand?
Another slander thrown at Benjamin is the claim that he tried to hide his Jewishness. Critics note that he married a Christian woman from New Orleans and was not overly religious; many have criticized him because he did not keep the Sabbath and he apparently ate pork. While Benjamin may not have been overtly religious, the charge that he attempted to hide his Jewish heritage appears baseless. There are — and were — many Jews who may not attend synagogue or who may eat pork or shellfish but who nevertheless consider themselves Jewish, just as there are many Christians who may not attend church services but who nevertheless consider themselves Christian. He did not change his name to John Smith, and he never tried to deny his heritage. Benjamin was not the first U.S. Senator of Jewish heritage to serve in the Senate. David Levy Yulee of Florida was, but Levy Yulee had converted to Christianity; Judah Benjamin never converted.
The perception of the South today is one where Jim Crow, the KKK, cross burnings, and Jew-hatred feature prominently in the public imagination. For many decades, that perception was of course based on a reality, at least for segments of the South. That perception, however, was born out of the late 19th and early 20th Century. The South can also claim a tradition of religious tolerance dating back to before the Civil War that allowed a man such as Judah Benjamin to thrive. Indeed, the members of the "Lost Cause" in the South have not so much turned their backs on Judah Benjamin, as they have simply ignored him.
The pre-Civil war South was very different, and history, as anyone who studies it knows, is complicated. Antisemitism has always existed and certainly existed in America throughout its history. One could also argue that prior to the Civil War, antisemitism was more pronounced in the North than in the South. Diane Cole in her review gets this right, at least somewhat, when she cites General Ulysses S. Grant's infamous General Order No. 11, issued in 1862, to expel all Jews from his military district. This order came after there was a supply problem and Grant blamed Jewish merchants.
Despite whatever intolerance existed in that time, Benjamin was, not once, but twice nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, by Presidents Fillmore and Pearce in the 1850s. This occurred more than 60 years before Louis Brandeis would be sworn as the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice in 1916. Benjamin turn these appointments down to keep his position in the U.S. Senate, but that is the level of respect that he garnered at that time, not just in the South but nationwide. Pearce and Fillmore were both Northerners. Benjamin's success is a testament to America, and our ideals. That a Jewish man could rise to these heights of power at that time is something to be admired and celebrated. There are not many other examples from that era where Jews were able to advance to such heights of power. As the saying goes: only in America.
Benjamin's is a quintessentially American story, one in which all Americans, and especially American Jews, should take pride.
RABBI SCHWARTZ'S TERRIBLE THERAPY JOKES OF THE WEEK
Gravity is such a disappointment. It always lets me down.
I planned to go to a class on how to deal with disappointments. But it was cancelled.
I'm broke, sad and a disappointment to my parents. But at least I'm not in debt. That's the one thing I'm given credit for
Me: I'm terrified of random letters!
Therapist: U R?
Therapist: I C….
On the way to the therapist, I said to my wife, "You're going to bring up my obsession with predicting the future, aren't you?"
She said, "Yeah."
I said, "I knew it!"
The therapist said I can get over my fear of buffets…
But first, I've got to want to help myself .
A man is talking with his therapist.
The therapist says, "It seems you have a severe phobia of marriage. Do you understand the symptoms?"
The man replies, "Can't say I do."
The therapist says, "Yeah, that's the main one."
Why did the Latino man go to the therapist? To talk about Hispanic attacks.
Patient: I'm afraid of the vertical axis.
The therapist said to me, "Your wife has complained that you never buy her flowers, what do you say to that?"
I said, "To be honest, I had no idea my wife even sold flowers."
My therapist refused to help me with my fear of backing up my car. She said she would under no circumstances perform reverse psychology.
Studies show regular patients of chiropractors are less likely to need to see therapists due to being so well adjusted.
What did the therapist say to the depressed dog? Life is ruff.
My girlfriend was born without her little toe and the sight of her foot makes me physically ill. My therapist said I'm lack toes intolerant.
My dad is a Star Wars fan and my parents are in couples therapy over it.
Therapist: So why do you want to end your marriage?
Mom: I'm sick of all of the Star Wars puns.
Dad: Divorce is strong with this one.
My new therapist is British; the first thing he asked me was…
"Doctor," said the receptionist over the phone, "there's a patient here who thinks he's invisible." "Well, tell him I can't see him right now."
THERAPIST: What's the problem with your marriage? WIFE: He replaces words with animal names just to annoy me.
ME: I don't do it on porpoise
Why should you never try to start an argument with your child on picture day? They are not in the right frame of mind.
My therapist recommended that I write in a diary to help my low self-esteem.
Dear Diary, Sorry to bother you again.
Therapist: So what brings the two of you here today?
My wife: It's impossible to live with him. He's too literal.
Me: My car
Blind Man: "Please help me, everyone keeps making nasty jokes about how my disability means I'm somehow inferior to them. I'm constantly hearing thoughtless, heartless reminders about how I'm different from other people, and lacking a sense they have."