THE MIGHTY MERKAVA IV

What an amazing birthday gift from my beautiful kids. 


A model of the awesome Merkava IV battle tank from Israel. 


They know how much I love this tank which the brave soldiers of the IDF use to protect the Holy Land of Israel. 


As a son of Holocaust survivors, this gift left me so emotional and literally brought tears to my eyes. 


One of the real tributes of the Merkava is that unlike almost every other tank in the entire world which has its engine in the rear to protect it from enemy fire…


The Merkava IV has the engine in the front to protect the lives of the Israeli soldiers who man it. 


To the Jewish people, it’s not the tank that is important in and of itself, but it is its ability to protect each and every sacred life behind it. 


That is the noble creed of the Israelite people–nothing is more valuable than human life. 


70-years after the founding of the State of Israel–established from the very ashes of the 6,000,000 murdered in the Holocaust–I am so proud to say that IDF, despite being under almost constant threat from enemies near and far, protects the people and country with the utmost bravery, human dignity, and as a true light unto the nations. 


They are true heroes! May G-d Almighty bless each and every defender who stands watch over the Holy Land, and may He speedily bring a true and lasting peace to us all. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy 70th Birthday to Israel

What a beautiful Shabbat today at Magen David Synagogue celebrating the 70th Birthday of the State of Israel. 


Prayers, blessings, song, waving flags, and a lovely Kiddish feast following services. 


Immediately after the genocidal Holocaust that exterminated six million Jews – 1 out of every 3 in the entire world – the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. 


With thriving cities, arts and culture, flourishing farming, science and innovation, Holy religious sites, a rich history everywhere, and a formidable military. 


There is so much to be proud of and to thank G-d for.


Oh G-d, we praise you in that you have returned your children to Zion as you promised from Biblical times and breathed fresh life into their dry bones. 


Only you can revive an entire people and a land.


Only you can create a blooming Garden of Eden from barren desert. 


Only you can make a strong and just a nation from one that once was carted away of crowded train cars to the death camps and crematoria 


Throughout 2,000 years of exile, we remembered your promise and we prayed for redemption, and you showered your gracious mercy on us and brought us back on wings of eagles. 


For 70 years now, nations have risen up against Israel to try to destroy it, but only you have saved it through the brave arms of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 


Praise to G-d Almighty.  Praise be to G-d in Heaven and on Earth. Praise be the creator and sustainer.  


We honor you through keeping your Holy Torah commandments and remembering that you Hashem, are our G-d and you are One. 


It is our job to live a life of integrity, to do good whatever we do and wherever we go, as your children and as a light along with America unto the other nations. 


As we sang in the Holocaust, “I believe with a full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and thou he tarries, I will never-the-less wait.”


The waiting was over 70-years ago, and we are living in the age of redemption. 


Miracles abound and the world progresses scientifically and technologically and with a spirit of doing good and justice. 


The nation of Israel lives!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Holocaust Bar-Mitzvah

Little Boy Holocaust.jpeg

So there was a bar-mitzvah in synagogue today. 


It was very memorable, I think not only for the young man and his family, but for many of the congregants–and frankly, it brought me to tears.


The family was from the Israeli embassy, and they did something that I had never seen before. 


When the father got up with his wife and son at the pulpit to speak, he didn’t talk about how great his son was.


Instead he spoke about a young boy from the Holocaust who never made it to his bar-mitzvah.


The father told of the just 12-year old that lived in Europe and was murdered by the Nazis in the Jewish genocide that killed 6,000,000!


The father presented a certificate from the Remember Us program with the name and information of the murdered boy to his son. 


The message of this father and Israeli official on his son’s bar-mitzvah was very clear–Never again!


Never again–the hate, prejudice, discrimination, and murder of Jews just because they are Jews.


The people that were murdered by the evil Nazis and other hating bigots throughout history showed no mercy towards G-d’s creatures–in fact, quite the contrary–they relished in the absolute torture and killing of each and every one.


Never again, is not just a phrase, but it is a determination and a commitment to be a “light unto nations” not to forget how some can fall under the evil influence and not to allow it to happen again that people engage in the most outrageous and vile atrocities against their fellow man. 


Unfortunately these days, hate and bigotry comes in many colors, races, genders, orientations, and affiliations–and the haters may often pretend–like the Nazis did as the “Aryan Nation”–that they are superior, better, and even righteous in their (evil) cause. 


However, we have to know better–we have to be able to discern good from evil–raise up good over evil–and fight for good to win against evil. 


It is not just a single battle, but a long intergenerational war, and one that will be won.


G-d Almighty will most assuredly see to it that those who hate on and perform the vilest of deeds against their fellow man, they will end up paying the ultimate price not only with their rotting flesh, but with the eternal burning of their sickening souls. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to the Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team–HEART)

United Jerusalem Of Gold, Of Bronze, And Of Light

Israel

We had a beautiful Shabbat service today at Magen David Synagogue. 

It was in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, which starts tonight. 

The day commemorates the reunification of Holy city of Jerusalem after the 1967 War.

The Rabbi read from Naomi Shemer’s poetic song called, “Jerusalem of Gold.”

And then we all sang the song together…

“Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light,

Behold I am a violin for all your songs.”

What was amazing to learn was that Naomi Shemer wrote this song in honor of Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’Azmaut) three weeks before the 1967 War and reunification. 

She later added a stanza to turn the song from purely one of the longing for the holy city to one that rejoices in being reunited with it. 

Some people from the shule who actually fought in the 1967 War were called up to the bimah, in front of the Torahs, to recite the Psalms and lead us in joyous and moving prayer for the Holy Land of Israel. 

After almost 2,000 years of exile, G-d fulfilled his promise to the Jewish people. 

As the Prophet Amos said (9:14-15): 

“‘I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land that I have given them,’ says the Lord your G-d.”

And as Prophet Ezekiel said (37:10-14) and  (37:21-22)

“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesize and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign L-rd says: O my people, I am going to open up your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel….I will put my spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land…”

[Note: Israel was reestablished in 1948 just three years after the end of the Holocaust where six million Jews perished.]

“I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them, and there will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.”

We are truly living in miraculous times when the words of the prophets are fulfilled, and there is not only a State of Israel, but a united Jerusalem of gold, of bronze, and of light. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Held Hostage To Hate

Hostage.jpeg

So isn’t it bad enough that the radical Iranian regime is the #1 state sponsor of global terrorism and human rights abuses, and threatens the West with nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and genocidal actions.


Iran continues to spread disgusting hatred and bigotry–against the West, and journalists, and gays, and Sunni Muslims, and Jews. 


Now Iran is conducting 2 vile and despicable anti-Semitic cartoon contests

– Making fun of, desecrating, and denying the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and

– Threatening and terrorizing the people of the Holy Land of Israel. 


Yet, this is the Iran we lift sanctions on and free $100+ billion to pour into yet more hate, weapons, and terror. 


The results of tolerating disrespect, hate and bigotry is no doubt more of the horrible same. 


What then will be the result of acquiescing to and attempting to appease threats, terror, and weapons of mass destruction?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Responding To Foolish Holocaust Denial

Holocaust Remembrance Candle

So I just watched a video where the radical Muslim speaker tries to explain how it is not the Earth that rotates around the Sun, but rather how really the Earth is fixed in space, and it is the Sun which rotates around it. 


His logic and proofs include things like the following:


– If the Earth was really moving, and you tried to fly to China, the plane shouldn’t have to move, since China would just come to the plane. 


– Also, if the Earth was moving in the same direction as the plane, and you were flying to China, then you would never get there, because you’d just be chasing a moving China. 


This is how people’s inner darkness, ignorance, and evil can attempt to extinguish the light. 


Similarly, this past week, the “leader” of Iran took the opportunity on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27)–of all days –to once again express his vile denial of the Holocaust.


Khamenei declaring: “It’s not clear if the Holocaust is a reality or not.


And calling for the “dear people of Iran” to “stand up to the ignorance” of the West.


Wow, who is calling whom ignorant and trying to brainwash the good people of Iran. 


It’s funny, but there are so many nice people from Iran that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and befriend, and one of them is an elderly man who is a swimming buddy of mine– and he is such a nice person–I really enjoy talking with him (despite some of our differences of opinion). 


The point is that when the leadership is corrupt, evil, and insecure, then they try to extinguish the good in the masses of the people, so that the people stay in the dark, blinded by scare tactics, scapegoats, and hatred–this is how they stay in power


When it comes to Holocaust denial though, I think this is definitely going way too far, and I imagine the souls of the Six Million righteous who perished in the Holocaust–under the worst genocide the world has ever known–that they are watching and they are listening. 


And Khamenei and his cohorts of evil doers will most certainly have to contend with all these very real martyred righteous souls. 


So in their warped ignorance, foolishness, and hatred–where the sun rotates around the earth and with utter darkness they attempt to extinguish the light of the good people–I imagine with the strongest and most vivid of images and sounds that certainly Heaven does not await them…but a very fiery Hell of their own making indeed. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to slgckgc)

BDS Just Another Terrorist Attack

Star Of David

There over 200 land disputes around the globe, but on Wednesday, the European Union singled out the one Jewish State of Israel and targeted them over the dispute with the Palestinians.

The EU insists that goods produced in Israel–on land seized from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in The Third Arab-Israeli War of 1967–be labeled as “Made In Settlements“–thereby supporting the anti-Semitic movement of Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) against the democratic State of Israel.


Just two days later, the EU got their sincere thank you from extremist Islamic terrorists who mercilessly struck Paris with attacks at the concerts halls, restaurants, and sports stadiums brutally killing at least 129 people and wounding over 350 others.

All loss of life is terrible, and especially innocent victims of terror, and my heart goes out to the victims of these evil attacks in Paris. 

Unfortunately, Europe is getting just a taste of what Israel has been living with for 67 years surrounded by hordes of violent extremists willing to inculcate generational hatred and wage unending terror and war–from missiles and suicide bombs, rocks and molotov cocktails, guns and knives to BDS, they are more than happy to use whatever it takes to kill all Jews and Zionists and throw every last one into the sea.


So perhaps Europe may finally awake from its deep slumber and long Anti-Semitic history, and instead of targeting Israel with BDS just 70 years after the Holocaust where six million Jews were murdered in Europe, the EU will recognize who is attacking them and is the true enemy of western civilization, democracy, and their very national identities.

High time for Europe to embrace Israel as their brothers in faith and allies in the battle against terrorism, hate, and extremism.


BDS is just another terror tactic by the extremists who want to terrorize and murder Jews and other “infidels.” And labeling products from Israel like labeling Jews in the Holocaust with the Star of David is anti-Semitism and evil. 


It’s time to reject BDS for the terrorism it is and instead Buy, Invest, and Promote (BIP) the Holy Land…and those that bless Israel will be blessed. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to zeevveez)