Land Day

“But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass that those whom you allow to remain shall be as thorns in your eyes, and stings in your sides, and shall distress you in the land where you dwell”. A verse in Parshat Masay. A verse in parshat “Land Day”. A verse in parshat Har Homa. A verse we refuse to listen to.

Twenty-one years ago (editor note: actually, in 1976), a day was determined as “Land Day” in the State of Israel. This important day was set down by the Arabs of the territories and the Arabs within the state of Israel – the “loyal” ones. They are so loyal, that they determined on “Land Day” that the land of Israel belongs to them. To them and not to us. But we learned nothing, and continued emphasizing how the Israeli Arabs are loyal to us. We forcibly covered our eyes. “Who is blind as my servant”, the prophet Isaiah already told us. We want to be blind. The Arabs say that the land they dwell in belongs to them, and it doesn’t interest us. What does land mean to us? After a 2,000 year exile andbeing cut off from our land, we don’t begin to grasp what land means to the Arab. We have lost our national instincts, even when we are talking about the only land we have.

This past week, Moshe Katzav, who is certainly one of the more worthless ministers in the Israeli government, got up and declared that the Arabs of Israel have lived with us for 49 years, and they will continue to live with us for hundreds of years. What does Katzav, who is considered a religious man, really think? Does he believe in the coming of the Messiah, for example? If so, does he think that the Messiah is some Mafdalnick who will leave the Jew-hating Arabs amongst us? Does he think that in the final war with Gog and Magog, when vengeance will be exacted against all those gentiles who distressed the Jewish People – does he think that the Arabs, who are the major enemy in this generation, will be let off scot-free for the “chesed” they have shown us? But such concepts are too deep for a shallow politician like Katzav, who is mainly concerned with his political standing.

This insanity is not a joke, but rather expresses the overall approach of the Israeli leadership. The time has come where we stopped kidding ourselves, and realize that the Arabs of Israel represent the most concrete danger facing the State of Israel. Each one sees himself as a Palestinian. Can we not understand that the use of the expressions “Land Day” and “We are Palestinians” signify that they believe all the land is theirs? And even if today they realize they don’t have the ability to actualize their dream and therefore adopt pragmatic political means, in the end they believe that the day will come where the State of Israel will be a passing episode. More importantly, the Arab understands that since Israel is a democracy, he can simply rely on his natural growth rate to eventually bring him to his destination. He need not be a majority. It is sufficient for them to be a third of the Knesset, so that they may team up with the treasonous left and cancel the Jewish State. And all this through “peace”, with the support of huge chunks of the Likud and other right-wing parties.

Obviously, we can go on and on. But we’ve said enough. For all this was said by my father, HY”D, twenty-five years ago, and they are obvious to any sane person. And he who doesn’t understand it, simply does not want to understand it, and any further discussion of the issue is a waste of time.

The real war is an internal one. It is between those who are willing to accept upon themselves the concept of “Havdala” between Israel and the nations, and those who are not willing to adopt this concept. It is interesting that in the past, when one spoke on transfer or expulsion, it was opposed by use of practical arguments. (“It isn’t realistic”, “We won’t get money from America”) But today the struggle centers around “racism”. That is, they are saying that even if you are right, it is forbidden since it is “racism”. This is where the war between the Jews and hellenists lies. Between those who believe in the gods of democracy and western culture, and those who believe in the G-d of Israel who gave us Torah and separated between us and the nations. As we come down to the wire, each one of us will have to decide where he is holding. We will no longer be able to straddle both sides of the fence.

Lebanon

In the aftermath of the tragic helicopter crash, journalists and politicianshave written about and discussed the subject of Lebanon non-stop. Two major points of view are being presented and debated:The first point of view says to leave Lebanon entirely. Chayim Rimon (Labor) and Yehuda Harel (The Third Way) are two of the most prominent spokesman for this position. One of their claims is that the blood of Israeli soldiers isno less red than the blood of Israeli citizens in the northern settlements. Most of the “Bitchonistim” like Yizchak Mordechai insist we must remain in Lebanon, since the moment the IDF withdraws, the Hizbollah will continue sending Katusya rockets to the northern settlements. Then there is the Minister of Internal Security, Avigdor Kahalani, who says something normal: Either go in and fight the Hizbollah, or leave entirely, but don’t continue the policy of being sitting ducks for the Hizbollah. In this week-end’s Israeli newspapers, many generals testified to the fact that there is no real policy in Lebanon, there is no order or goal to liquidate the Hizbollah, and all initiatives taken are after the fact, in reaction to whatthe Hizbollah does. Again, what we have here are the babblings of politicians without solutions. Those who want to pull out completely out of Lebanon, know full well that the Katyushas will once again explode in Kiryat Shmona, but are relying on the fact that people will forget. Just as in the aftermath of a bus explosion, when they put a closure on in the territories to calm down the public rage and to show they are doing something, and then they eventually remove it when the Arabs get angry and the public fury passes with time, so too, in Lebanon, they try the same methods. Politicians like Yehuda HarEl are blatanly motivated by political considerations only. After all, the entire reason for HarEl’s political being is the issue of the Golan Heights. Thus, he leads the lobby to withdraw from Lebanon, because he knows that this will improve relations with Syria, and thus increase the chances of reaching an agreement with the Syrians that does not jeapordize the Golan Heights. Not only is that where he lives, but his political career depends on it. Those who are in favor of staying in Lebanon also act out of political motives. After all, the number of citizens who would be killed or injured by Katyusha missiles in the northern settlement would never be a miniscule fraction of the number of soldiers who have been killed in Lebanon. But the politicians realize that the Israeli public can more easily accept the death of IDF soldiers than the death of a small girl in Kiryat Shmona – and so they keep the soldiers there as human cannon fodder. Why don’t they just bomb the hell out of the Lebanese villages that harbor the Hizbollah, and drive the entire population northbound? (As they did so easily in Operation Din ViHeshbon): You got it. They have one fear: What will the goy say? And so our soldiers continue to be sitting ducks. Eventually, (it might take a month, it might take a year), Israel will pullout completely. The only thing preventing them from doing so is that they don’t want to give the Hizbollah the pleasure of knowing they they won.

Botched Assassination Attempt in Jordan

The attempt to liquidate Khaled Mishal (Y”mach Sh’mo) in Jordan epitomizes the entire Netanyahu administration. Every once in a while, Netanyahu decides to do something grand. But each time, Netanyahu gets cold feet and botches things up.

This time as well, after making the important decision to knock off the Sultan snake who was taking cover in the calm and tranquillity of Hussein’s domain, Netanyahu proceeded to trip over his own feet as only he knows how.

The problem is not the blunder that occurred during the mission itself, as the media tries to force down our throats. Because the simple fact which the media works so hard to make us forget, is that the operation itself was a success, executed exactly according to plan! True, those performing themission were caught. But that is always liable to occur. Certainly it is not THE problem.

The real problem is that after the plan succeeded, and they poisoned the Sultan snake (as Netanyahu coined him), Netanyahu rushed to send medicine to revive the dying snake, all because of the insolent threats of Hussein, who provides the Hamas with comfortable lodging and snug accommodations in his country. Not only that, but he releases Yassin, Y’mach shmo, and tens of terrorists along with him!

This is not a one time thing. It absolutely characterizes Netanyahu’s “fear of goy” policy. Over and over again, he starts out on the right track, but when the going gets tough and the condemnations from outside and (especially) inside begin, he feels his world collapsing, and hurries to wipe out any achievement, or to pay off the Arabs for his action. Such was the case at the Kotel tunnel, where the payoff was Hebron. So it was in Har Homa, where the payoff was the first phase withdrawl. So it was in Raas El Amud, where the payoff was obscene promises which led to a renewing of the talks.

Conclusion: Even if Netanyahu wants to do the right thing, he hasn’t the courage to stand up for what he believes in, but rather puts his tail between his legs and backs out.

Beshallach: Don’t Cry to Me – Go Forward

It was exactly five years ago when the Gulf War broke out, and scud missiles started landing in Israel. Then, too, it was Parshat BeShallach, and it became quite popular to quote the verse in our parsha: “The Lord will fight for you, and you will remain keep silent” (14:14). Indeed, so many religious Jews found this verse both appropriate and symbolic of the Gulf War. After all, here were Israeli cities getting bombarded by Iraqi missiles, and the official government policy was one of “self-restraint”, or as the Hebrew term goes, “havlaga”. Jews equipped with gas masks and cages for their small children sat crouched in their sealed rooms, as missiles rocked the country. “Everything will be O.K.”, they proclaimed. “Hashem will fight for us”. That is, America and its president George Bush will take out those scud lanuchers and all will be fine.

A closer look at what the Torah and sages tell us regarding this verse reveal that those who interpreted this verse in the aforementioned manner took the words entirely out of their true context, and by doing so completely distort the awesome lesson that is to be learned regarding the splitting of the Red Sea.

“A Time To Do – Not to Pray”

Firstly, let us see what the Torah says. Immediately following the verse, “The Lord will fight for you and you will remain silent”, is the verse, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Why do you cry unto me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward”! Already, without even delving into any of the commentaries, we see that the picture has changed entirely. The verse is not telling us that God will fight for you and so in the meantime you can “kick back” and let Him “worry about it”. What is said here is that the Lord will fight for you if you prove to Him that you truly believe in His Omnipotence, and so instead of crying to Hashem, simply obey his commandment and “go forward” into the stormy sea.

The commentator the “Eben Ezra” writes the following: “You shalt keep silent” – to counteract the (verse) “And the children of Israel cried (to Hashem)!” For those whom this is not clear, the commentary on the Eben Ezra explains: “Do not cry anymore (to Hashem) because He will fight for you. And the meaning is not that you should refrain (keep silent) from fighting”. Yes. The exact opposite of the distorted interpretation that is constantly given, where the verse “and you shall keep silent” means self-restraint and inaction. The Eben Ezra comes to tell us that “and you shall keep silent” means to stop crying to Hashem. What should you do instead? Act! — with “Bitachon” in Hashem. This is in essence the idea that Rashi brings down: “This teaches us that Moses was standing and praying. The Holy One Blessed Be He said: Now is not the time to prolong in prayer, when Israel is placed in distress.” This is also the meaning of the Gemorah in Sota, page 37: “Moses was engaged for a while in prayer, so the Holy One Blessed Be He said, “My beloved ones are drowning in the sea, and thou prolongst in prayer before me? He (Moses) spoke before Him, “Lord of the Universe, what is there in my power to do?” He replied to him, “Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward. And lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thy hand, etc.”

Nachshon – Faith In Action

The sages tell us that the children of Israel stood trembling by the shores of the Red Sea until God commanded them that they “go forward”. They remained paralyzed with fear and did not move. Only Nachshon did not hesitate to carry out Hashem’s commandment. He sprang forward into the raging waters, but nothing happened. Nachshon was not taken aback. He descended deeper into the water – up to his ankles, knees, stomach – and still nothing happened. Nachshon continued until the water reached his neck, and then he cried to Hashem, “Oh God, save me because the water has come into my soul. I sink deep in mire where there is no standing…” Only then did the miracle of the splitting of the sea occur. (Ibid.)

The lesson is crystal clear. Together with prayer, Hashem demands maximal effort, for it is only through actual deeds where one’s faith is tested. Was Nachshon’s faith put to the test when he recited psalms on the seashore? No. Even jumping into the stormy waters was not sufficient, for he still had an opportunity to back out. Only by going all the way in fulfilling G-d’s will did he prove he is a true believer. Nachshon understood that saying, “I believe” and then waiting for the salvation is not authentic faith. G-d demands of us that we prove our faith by way of our actions, and not just with our mouths. Only by being willing to fulfill difficult, and what may appear to be “dangerous” mitzvot, do we prove our faith is genuine.

This is the mistake of those religious Jews who sanctified the self-restraint policy during the Gulf Crisis. He who saw the Chosen People scurrying like roaches into their sealed-off closets while the modern day Goliath blasphemed Hashem and His people for 40 days (and 40-1 missiles), and viewed it as a positive thing, self-righteously proclaiming that “G-d will help” , does not begin to grasp the Jewish concept of what faith is all about.

Not only did we lose our deterrent factor and our dignity during the Gulf War, but we also proved our lack of faith. It is this same lack of faith that has prevented us from expelling the Arabs, and annexing the territories. And it is only a lack of faith that has brought us to the pathetic and desperate situation we now find ourselves in today. These national mitzvot were never “politics”, but rather the true yardsticks for faith and redemption in this generation.

News And Commentary

As the trial of Yigal Amir grinds on, one can observe the obsessive hate and hysteria of the Israeli media. Unable to even feign the slightest bit of responsible objective journalism, the Israeli newspaper reporters cannot hold themselves back from viciously cursing and abusing Amir. Words like “scum” and “vermin” are some of the more commonly used terms used to describe him.

Such lanugage is usually not used when dealing with political assassins. In a normal society, words like “scum” are generally reserved for rapists or child beaters, and not for political criminals. If this uncontrolled hate was caused by an overwhelming love and sense of loss for Yitzchak Rabin, then perhaps their attacks on Amir would be understandable. But we must understand that there is something much deeper going on here.

Yigal Amir in their eyes is a symbol of all religious Jews. He is educated, and idealistic, and represents to them the Judaism that they so despise. Since it would be difficult still to defame all the religious Jews and rabbis without compunction, they find Yigal Amir an easy target for them to unleash their venom in their filthy tabloids.

Unfortunately, many religous Jews don’t grasp this. Instead, they try to find favor in the eyes of the left by coming up with even “jucier” adjectives to describe Amir. In their pathetic hope not to be viewed as “extremists” and to create “unity”, they attempt to outdo the left in their condemnations. Alas, it is a pity that none of this will help. Because the hellenist left in Israel looks upon these Jews as “scum” as well. For them, anyone who feels that the “halacha” is the ultimate authority, and places it over their hallowed democracy is a criminal.

Therefore, let us not try and gloss over the fact that we are in the heat of a cultural war with the Hellenists, and the gap between them and us is unbridgable.

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