Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pre-slichos kumztitz

Last night I sat in a pre-slichos kumztitz. There was a guitar and that usually means trouble. Whenever I see a guitar I know that the Zionism is close at hand. And sure, the rabbi went into a whole speech about the importance of living in Eretz Yisroel. He told us how he dreamed of this at a young age. He talked about having to give up materialism to do it. He seemed to think that everyone in America has a walk-in refrigerator. I don't know, maybe he lived like a king there. I didn't. The tuition payments alone soak up the income of most people I know. 

There are many idealistic people living chutz 'aretz. I know all kinds of kollel men in tiny apartments. I know Chassidic families in small homes struggling to feed their children. But this rabbi's remarks about people living chutz l'aretz were disparaging. To a rabid Zionist, these people are to be condemned because, you guessed it, they aren't living in the land. That's the most important mitzvah in the world to many Zionists. 

This is a black hat, black yarmulka rabbi. He would not call himself dati leumi. But he is dati leumi. He didn't talk about acquiring yiras shemayim before coming into Eretz Yisroel. He didn't talk about being punctilious b'mitzvos before coming into Eretz Yisroel. You have to be ready, be suitable, be on the level to come to EY.

Question: must one have a special spiritual preparation to go to Eretz Yisroel? And the an-swer is absolutely. (Yeremiah) HaNavi said,  וַתָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ וַתְּטַמְּא֣וּ אֶת־אַרְצִ֔י “You came and you defiled my land.” (Jeremiah 2:9) And therefore, it is of the most utmost importance that someone should be ready to behave, should learn how to conduct himself perfectly al pi HaTorah before he goes to Eretz Yisrael. And if he is good here, he must make a resolve to be even better there. There are no two ways about that. Well, it’s Eretz HaKodesh and it’s only for Jews who live b’kiddusah. Now if you’ll ask what about Arabs? And the answer is first of all Arabs don’t ask us any questions. And the second is an Arab we consider him just like birds. The birds that fly into Eretz Yisroel don’t have to have any kiddushah. An Arab or the gentile don’t have any tuma. They are like nothing to us. It’s like grass that grows there. But Am Yisroel they are pogem. When they do a sin, they cause great harm in the world. And therefore it’s of the utmost importance that a Jew before he goes to Eretz Yisroel, must make up his mind to be there b’kiddushah. Even just to visit. Nobody should go unless he’ll go b’kiddushah. If he takes along his wife, he must make sure that she is dressed completely properly because this is a land that vomits out the people who live there if they don’t suit her taste.  The land has to have something made to its taste. It’s אֶ֣רֶץ אֹכֶ֤לֶת יֽוֹשְׁבֶ֨יהָ֙ (Bemidbar 13:32) … Eretz Yisroel is finicky. It’s delicate. And only those people who behave properly can please the land.
Rabbi Avigdor Miller, “The Prophet Shmuel,” Tape #200 — 1:20 

Here is the order of life: first Torah, then Eretz Yisroel. If going into slichos, the rabbi talks only about the latter, then he isn't a rabbi. Don't we have teshuva to do? Isn't that the point of slichos? Maybe you want to say something about lashon hara, shmiras einayim, tznius, theft, selfishness, bitul Torah, or a 1,000 other sins. No, he talks only about living the land. And weirdly, he did it to people who live there. It was like he was playing a tape from years ago, a speech he gave in some American city. Would have been better to say, now that you live here, be careful in mitzvos. Remember mitzvos? Does anybody remember mitzvos?

Here is how a real rabbi talks:
It was not the land that Moses had been commanded to proclaim to his people at the outset of his mission as מורשה, as the inheritance they were to preserve (Ex. 6,8). The Law, to be translated into full reality upon that soil, was to be the true מורשה, the one true, everlasting inheritance, the one true center around which the nation and its leaders were to gather as one united community. Herein lay the goal and the destiny, the character and the significance of the people.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch "The Kehillah," Collected Writings, Vol. VI, p. 62

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Who isn't a Jew?

"whosoever is not merciful to his fellow-men is certainly not of the children of our father Abraham" (Babylonian Talmud, Beitzah 32b)

מי שאינו מרחם על הבריות בידוע שאינו מזרעו של אברהם - ביצה ל״ב ב

Friday, September 20, 2019

More anti-Charedi slant from the Times of Israel

Here's a brief article that appeared the day after the elections:

Litzman: We’re still with Netanyahu, still won’t serve with Lapid 
United Torah Judaism chairman Yaakov Litzman says his ultra-Orthodox party will stick with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “until the end.”
The deputy health minister, who police have recommended indicting for providing illicit assistance to alleged serial pedophile Malka Leifer, says he will not back down from his decision not to serve in a coalition with Blue and White MK Yair Lapid. 
“Lapid damaged and humiliated us. There is no apology for that,” Litzman says.
Now tell me, what is the relevance of the police recommendation to Litzman's intentions regarding a coalition? The article doesn't mention police recommendations to indict Netanyahu. Are we discussing coalition formations or indictments? They seize every opportunity to malign Charedim. 

Here's another one that appeared later in the day:

‘I’ll sit with him if he puts on tefillin,’ Litzman says of Liberman
United Torah Judaism chairman Yaakov Litzman mocks the election’s presumed kingmakers on his way into a meeting of right-wing faction heads at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Who is Liberman? Is he a minister?”
Asked for his reaction to Liberman’s take-it-or-leave it conditions that he would only sit in a coalition with Blue and White and Likud, the deputy health minister who police recommended be indicted for illicitly using his office to provide assistance to alleged serial sex predator Malka Leifer says he’s prepared to sit with the staunchly secular lawmaker if he starts putting on phylacteries and observing the Sabbath.

Evidently, Litzman's middle name is now "recommended for indictment." The TOA is incapable of referring to him without mentioning this. However, the TOA is able to mention Liberman's name with saying that he was convicted of assaulting a 12 year old boy in 2001 or that police recommended his indictment for corruption in 2010. His case actually went to trial.

See this article on Ehud Barak that appeared the same day as these articles the elections.  

Barak urges Gantz to form temporary minority government with Joint List support from outside
Democratic Camp candidate and former prime minister Ehud Barak urges Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to form a temporary minority coalition with his party, Labor and Yisrael Beytenu,with support from the Joint List from the opposition.
Barak tells Army Radio that this would last until the end of Netanyahu’s legal proceedings and then a further decision could be made as to whether Likud would be added into the government.
This article doesn't mention that Barak was photographed at the home of serial pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein.

Only when a Charedi politician is involved does the TOA add this other stuff. Even though they are a left-wing news outlet, they treat arch-conservative Liberman with more fairness than they do Charedim.