East Meets West In The Holy Land

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Israel, Where East Meets West

The modern State of Israel is truly the embodiment of this oneness and this diversity. The Jewish Nation-State Law embodies this concept where Israel is defined as the national homeland for the Jewish People, yet it is democratic, open and welcoming to everyone. For Jewish people, there are Ashkenazi Jews and there are Sephardi Jews. And at the same time, there are people of faith, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and others from all over the globe.

Hope you enjoy.   

(Photo credit: Andy Blumenthal)

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Controlling The World, Really?

So, unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and hate out there. 


Often, I see, hear, or read lots of anti-Semitism. 


People don’t like what I write in my blog, that I eat Kosher, Keep Shabbat, or that I wear a head covering or whatever. 


I get things like “Dirty Jew!”


Sometimes, “Get out! Go back to Israel!”


Or when I try to express myself, “Uh, the Jews control the world,”


The funny thing is if Jews control the world, why do I feel like I don’t control anything!


I feel so small and insignificant in a way in the realm of G-d’s great universe. 


Where I am but a speck of dust.


I see tall skyscrapers.


Huge mountain ranges. 


The deep oceans.


The rolling plains. 


The infinite stars in the sky. 


I see a world with hundreds of countries. 


And billions of people. 


And I see me, and I am just a person. 


And I see the Jewish people–a tiny minority.


One that has been subject of pogroms, inquisitions, exiles, destruction, and genocide–over and over again. 


I grew up pretty poor and watching my parents work so hard trying their best to support the family. 


I think Jews don’t control the world. 


I certainly don’t think I control even my day. 


The reality is only G-d is in control. 


And for that, I am most humble and grateful to the L-rd above. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To Be A Free People

Hatikvah Herzl Stamp
This week we saw an absolutely horrific terroristic attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.



Two Palestinian cousins brutally hacked and stabbed to death 4 Rabbis’s (3 American citizens) while at prayer and killed a policeman trying to stop them. 



I read  how one Rabbi actually had his arm wrapped in the holy Tefillin (phylacteries) completely severed from off his body. 



By the time the attack was done, the synagogue was filled with pools of blood of those in the middle of prayer to the Almighty G-d. 



I thought to myself of the Israel anthem, the Hatikvah, that speaks to the Jewish hope of being a free people in the land of Zion and Jerusalem (where this attack and many others have been happening):



“As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”



I wondered where is the yearned for “freedom” of our people post slavery; jailings and torture; destruction, rape, murder, and exile; from Crusades to Auto-da-fes, Pogroms, and Holocaust.



Indeed, our history is not only punctuated by discrimination, blind hatred and anti-semitism, but also by extermination and genocide.



Now in a beautiful Middle East democracy called the State of Israel–where the deserts bloom and technological innovation thrives, where people of three major religions worship in their Holy places, how can so much terror still exist:

– Tens of thousands of missiles targeting population centers

– Tunnels streaming with terrorists trying to kidnap and murder the innocent

– Suicide bombers striking buses, cafes, pizzerias, and more.

– Terrorists driving into crowds of pedestrians, stabbing people with screwdrivers, hitting them with lead pipes, throwing stones and firebombs, slitting the throats of babies, taking and murdering children from the bus stops, and hacking to death Rabbis at prayer…

– Moreover, with Iran, there is a stated existential threat from them to annihilate Israel [via Nukes]…the clock is ticking down.



No nation on Earth would live with this, and neither should the Jewish people!



Israel cannot have Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad as well as nation state terrorists striking at their heart from near, far, and from within. 



The immediate response should be a declaration of Jerusalem as the united Capital of Israel, period.



Subsequent decisions of borders, boundaries, and terms to be decided by the State of Israel to meet their security needs. 



Freedom to live, work, play, and worship without terror, non-negotiable. 



Peace underwritten with security by G-d’s promise to the Jewish people…end of discussion. 



Finally, as to Iran (and others) who openly threaten Israel with WMD–Israel and the U.S. must preempt and hit them staggeringly hard–the best defense is an striking offense.



The terror must end here and now, once and for all. 



O’ Lord, give us freedom from bigotry, hatred, and terror–O’ Lord, give us peace. 



(Source Photo: here with attribution to zeevveez)