From Passivity To Power

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “From Passivity To Power.”

Over the course of our history, the Jewish people have grown from a passive and helpless people during 2,000 years of exile to become, once again, an assertive and strong nation in the Land of Israel as we once were in the days of Joshua, King David and the Maccabees.

In the end, we need to be as faithful as “Jacob” and as strong as “Israel.” As we learn in the Torah and from the rest of Jewish history: inside every Jacob, who just wants to serve G-d in peace as the “People of the Book,” there is also a determined, strong, and brave Israelite fighter and innovator who can stand up for his people and his faith.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond.”

While David Ben-Gurion was the politically savvy founding father of the modern-day State of Israel, Menachem Begin was the military genius who brought the Jewish people from British subjugation to being a free people in our own land.

In the end, the Jewish people’s fight for freedom from oppression and for an independent homeland, even the willingness to accept a partitioned land along with the desire for peace, required both the political fight that Ben-Gurion brought to the world’s governments as well as the military struggle that Begin was expert at against both the British overlords who refused autonomy under the mandate and to the Arabs who refused partition. Further, this underscores the stark contrast between the Jewish struggle and that of the Palestinians who have incessantly rejected negotiation and any opportunities for autonomy and peace, including at Oslo, Camp David, and Taba, as well as after Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that was followed by Hamas’s terror tunnels, kidnappings, incendiary balloons attacks, and rocket barrages on Israel civilian population centers.

(Credit Photo: Israel Government)

When Compromise Means Death

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “When Compromise Means Death.”

The nations of the world look on with horror at the “plight of the Palestinians,” but they turn a blind eye to the chants of “death to Israel” and as the Palestinians turn billions of dollars of aid into relentless homicide bombs and send thousands of missiles into Israel civilian population centers. The compromise that Israel has shown would end the Palestinian “victim status” and thus endanger their endless money and support that flows freely from the UNRWA to prop up the corrupt Palestinian leadership. The reason that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want an agreement is that they want the Jews dead “from the river to the sea!”

Israel has shown that is willing to make difficult and painful decisions and support Palestinian autonomy for the sake of peace, but will the Palestinians ever compromise at all? As Golda Meir said:

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

Please G-d, the day will arrive soon, when reason will overcome hate, and peace will prevail over prejudice, and Jews and Palestinians can live side-by-side, as neighbors and as friends.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d’s Redemption Is A Promise

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “G-d’s Redemption Is A Promise.”

The Jewish people’s exile was only temporary and that is what G-d promised us. But the anti-Semites of the world somehow want to make us believe that G-d has forsaken the Jew permanently, and thus they chant “Free, Free Palestine!” and call the Jews occupiers.

In short, the worst punishment is not just being hurt, but also feeling exiled, abandoned, and hopeless. This is where we must look up to the Heavens for G-d’s salvation, and work to merit His bringing us back towards His divine presence. As with anyone who has experienced personal “exile” and suffering in life, we know those are the darkest of days when G-d’s face is hidden from us, and we may feel alone and abandoned. But G-d is always there, waiting for us to seek Him out and return to Him, and that is when we can finally not only see the light at the end of the darkest of tunnels, but also when we can feel G-d reach out to us and bring us back home again to Him.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel’s Last Stand

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Israel’s Last Stand.

It is the mere fact of our Jewish existence that irks our Anti-Semitic, terrorist enemies. This is why the world does not care, and may actually even cheer while Palestinian terror rockets fly overhead, hundreds at a time, into major population centers in Israel. From 5-year old, Ido Avigal, killed by shrapnel in Sderot to an 87-year old woman killed near Ashdod while running from rocket fire, nowhere seems safe, including in cars, homes, walking down the street, and even “safe rooms.”

Like it or not, every rocket, every suicide bomber, every attacker will be met and defeated—from north to south and east to west—because the Jewish people will not be driven out; this is our last stand and we will survive.

(Source Photo: Pixabay)

Sheep No More

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Sheep No More

In thinking about sacrifices as animal substitution for consequences to man, we can also reverse this logic to explore what sacrifices can teach us about consequences to man in their relationship to the Jewish people. In this particular case, I am thinking about Jewish responses to those who desire to be our friends and want to build kind and productive relationships with us or the opposite, to our enemies, who seek to persecute, attack us, and make the Jews their korban, victims.

In short, traditional korbanot in the Temple can teach us not only about how animals can substitute for people in our sacrifices to G-d for thanksgiving, communion, and acknowledging of consequences and teshuva (repentance) for our wrongdoing, but also how the Jewish people can relate to the nations of the world in everything from full peace, positive engagement, acts of guilt and sin against us, and even full-fledged war. Sacrifices teach us that while peace is always the desired state and fiery war a last resort in our self-defense and preservation, we know that after thousands of years of anti-Semitism, persecution, and Holocaust, we are no longer the sacrificial lamb on anyone’s Temple altar.
(Source Photo: Pixabay Free Image)

Fiery Star of David

Sharing this beautiful Magen David (Star of David). 

Saw it on Facebook and thought it’s really dazzling!

Man, we’re on fire  and in a good way–rebirth after the horrors of the Holocaust, redemption to and flourishing of the Promised Land of Israel, and what looks like many more incredible things to come.

Hence, my reading of the three stars: our past, present, and future. 

G-d’s plan for the world is happening, and it’s hopefully very bright indeed.  😉

Faith and Fight in Defense of Israel

 Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called “Faith and Fight in Defense of Israel.”

From Amalek to Iran, Israel can never be caught off-guard again and this means both operationally as well as from mistaken assumptions and thinking. Operationally, we need to always have the best technology, intelligence, planning, and training, as well as continually test those with Red Teaming to simulate enemy attacks and our readiness to counter with winning defensive and offensive operations. Moreover, we need to be on our guard in our thinking, as former Prime Minister Ehud Barak says in his book, My Country, My Life, that when he became head of Aman (Defense Intelligence), he sought to address the problem of misperceptions, overconfidence, and groupthink by strengthening “a unit whose sole function was to play devil’s advocate.” They would begin “with the opposite conclusion, and through a competing analysis of data and logical argument, try to prove it.”

Just as when we left Egyptian servitude, we defeated Amalek through a combination of our faith and fight, so too we will be successful in defeating those that threaten the modern State of Israel. Like Moses we all must turn to Hashem, and like Joshua, the Israel Defense Forces must stand ready to defeat all our enemies, as many times as it takes, to achieve a secure and lasting peace.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Rise of Anti-Semitism In America

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Rise of Anti-Semitism in America.”

From Antifa on the alt-left burning our cities this past summer to the storming of the Capitol this week by a mixed group, including those on the extreme right, a friend sent me this photo of the protester with a shirt that says “6MWE”.  Unbelievably, it means: Six Million Wasn’t Enough! I can only imagine our martyred men, women, and children from the Holocaust just over 75 years ago, rolling over in the graves at this disgusting, anti-Semitic and genocidal insignia.

To those evil haters who dare say 6MWE, I say: Am Yisrael Chai and absolutely Never Again!

(Source Photo: Twitter)

I Know He Exists

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “I Know He Exists.”

G-d, who is infinitely compassionate, did the most compassionate thing, which was to create us and give us the ability to be compassionate on others. The way we bring Hashem to reside with us is to transform the world (tikkun olam) “to make it a place that G-d can call home.” We do this by performing acts of loving kindness, making the mundane holy, and manifesting G-d’s divine providence. In essence, it’s not enough for us to know G-d exists, but we need to be a light unto the nations to reveal G-d’s unity, sanctity, and ongoing relationship with his creations to everyone in the world.

Like the story of the priest from the Holocaust, we don’t believe G-d exists, but rather, we know He exists. And when we perform our mission in this world by doing good deeds and manifesting G-d’s oneness and divine providence then we make this a place where G-d wants to reside with us in this world as well as in the world to come.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)