Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Israel Is Tops.”
In just 73 years, with G-d’s miraculous help, we have a Jewish State that is top-ranked in the entire world: Israel is ranked overall #30 in Best Countries in the World.
In our 4,000 year history as a people, we suffered long and painful exile at the hands of the Babylonian and Roman Empire, but then in 1948, we were given another miraculous chance for the Jewish State of Israel. So far, we are doing great by all measures; now we have to make sure to keep it up for good.
Since Iran has rejected any new negotiations or participants to the Iran nuclear deal, we must assume that the flaws of JCPOA will not be resolved and that Iran’s existential threats remains unabated. Further, Iranian elections this coming June 2021 are forecasted to bring more dangerous Iranian hardliners to power. Therefore, regardless of whether the US reenters the deal with Iran now, it will only mean a short term stopgap for restrictions placed on the Iran’s dangerous program for weapons of mass destruction. The end game for the Ayatollahs has not changed in gaining nuclear destructive capability and threatening Israel, the Sunni Muslim states, and the western world with this.
While reentering the Iran nuclear agreement buys the world some time, and not that much frankly, the US, Israel, and other key allies will need to continue planning in earnest for what comes after the failings of the JCPOA deal, and that will most assuredly bring us back to the massive and devastating bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities with the Mother of All Bombs (MOABS) and other highly advanced weapon systems fitted for this. (Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal of Jane’s Combat Simulation for Israel Air Force Video Game)
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)
In essence, the Jewish Temples have been not only physically buried over, but also the site has been historically Islamicized despite the Temple Mount’s intrinsic holiness to all three major religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). In short, this is a very sensitive issue that is likely anchored in facets of intolerance and religious rivalry, as well as pretenses of superiority and dominance, rather than ultimately on the shared connection we have through both our genetic and spiritual lineage as Abraham’s decedents.
We absolutely want to have a peaceful and productive coexistence with all people, but just as Israel has risen from the Valley of Dry Bones, so too the day is coming soon when the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in shinning glory and we can worship G-d just as we did in times before. What will be special about the 3rd Temple is that it will not only be for the Jewish people, but for all the world’s people to come together harmoniously to recognize and worship the one true and faithful G-d of us all. 😉
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.
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!
I was overjoyed this week when the IDF captured the sick murderer of Esther Horgan. Esther, a wife and mother of six children, was jogging in the forest near her settlement of Tal Menashe in Shomron, when the bloodthirsty Palestinian attacker in waiting came upon her and smashed her head in with a rock.
Thank G-d, now there are over 400,000 settlers in the West Bank and another 200,000 around East Jerusalem. Esther Horgan and her family represent the best of the Jewish people giving of themselves, and putting themselves at the front line, in order to fulfill G-d’s commandment to us to settle the land and safeguard the country for the rest of the Jewish people.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Forever Together: Peace and Security.”
For Israel, we’re turning the corner towards peace and how wonderful it is, yet even as we do, we must never relax on the safety and security of our people.
Yes, in earnest, we hope for peace, we crave it, and we even sacrifice (sometimes painfully) for it, but also we know that we must safeguard that peace and our lives though the best, most advanced and relentless security, in case that often illusive and miraculously achieved peace at any time fails or falters. Strength, along with undying faith in the Almighty, is the constant and enduring safeguard of the peace that we so yearn for with our every fiber. This is why peace and security must always go hand-in-hand together. (Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
For two thousand years, the Jewish people exiled from their land, widely dispersed, and inhumanly persecuted among the nations developed passivity and learned helplessness. They eagerly awaited, year after year, G-d’s salvation and redemption. As a tiny minority attempting to hold firm to their religious beliefs amongst the world’s powerful majorities, the Jews found themselves a convenient scapegoat, suffering landlessness and joblessness, taxation to the point of near-starvation, conscription of their Jewish children for military service of 25-years, forced conversion on pain of torture and death, horrible violent pogroms that sparred no one, and expulsions from country after country. During these times, the Jewish people learned passivity in the hope of not inflaming the hate and anger of the goyim that would make things “even worse!”
Certainly, there is no mitzvah to being passive and helpless, and this was undoubtedly in large measure a result of being homeless and suffering under the weight of relentless and brutal anti-Semitism for 2,000 years. Yet, as we each roll up our sleeves to actively work and fight for the modern State of Israel, our independence, and our right to practice our religion freely, we must do so with full knowledge and thanksgiving to G-d, our creator and sustainer! Whether King David against the giant Goliath, Samson against the mighty Philistines, or our modern-day strong and brave soldiers in the IDF defending the borders of Israel from historical enemies’ roundabout, they stand strong against all the natural odds, because G-d stands right there with them and us.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we know that everything is in the hands of G-d, including life and death, but there is no question that President Trump has been an instrument of the Almighty in delivering genuine and consistent support—recognition, annexation, aid, sanctioning our enemies, fighting BDS, anti-Semitism, and biased resolutions, and the advancement of peace—to Israel and for the Jewish people.
What the New Year and the upcoming election brings, no one knows, but Hashem. However, let us recognize the good and thank President Trump for everything that he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, and let us pray that G-d brings us continued blessings for the upcoming Jewish year of 5781 and beyond towards our final redemption.