13 December 2017

It Could be Worse

26 Kislev 5778
Second Candle of Hanukah

I don't buy into the idea that America is full of chesed and the "good side" of Eisav. Everything it does, it does for its own self-interest. Every bit of humanitarian aid comes with missionaries attached and all foreign loans carry American price tags. If America was such a nation of chesed, it would have opened its doors to more Jews fleeing the Holocaust (see St. Louis). They refused even to fill the existing quotas!

I also don't like US President Donald J. Trump. I think he is an egomaniac and a narcissist and does nothing except out of self-interest and self-gain. In that respect he is the perfect representative for his country. But, it could be worse.

No one ever pays any attention to the US Vice President. He really doesn't wield any power. He stands in the President's shadow, the understudy in reserve "just in case." But, when the President is already 70 years old and is as opposed by so many as the current US President is; when there has been talk from the very beginning about "getting rid" of Trump and replacing him with VP Pence, you should be aware of some important facts.

According to a JPost article this week, it was VP Mike Pence who was behind the plan for the US to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Over the course of six weeks, as staff for US Vice President Mike Pence consulted with Palestinian officials in Washington to plan meetings and fashion an itinerary for his December trip to the West Bank, Pence was quietly pushing President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
...Pence proved instrumental in Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to initiate the relocation of America’s embassy there from Tel Aviv, despite opposition from the rest of the world and much of the president’s National Security Council. Trump’s announcement was intentionally correlated with Pence’s upcoming travel to Israel, an administration official said, where he will tout the move as a historic achievement for Christians and clarify its meaning in US policy terms.
Last week, the vice president stood beside Trump as he made the announcement in the White House diplomatic reception room, and offered praise for the move that aides say comes from the heart. He was one of the most enthusiastic advocates of the move – one warmly welcomed by the Israeli government. His trip to the Jewish state will be a triumphant tour and defense of the policy from a true believer who has supported recognition of Jerusalem for many years.
To understand the real significance of this, as well as what it might portend for Jews both in Israel and in the US in the near future, it is important to assess VP Pence's brand of Christian faith. In short, Mike Pence is a zealot and an extremist - a Dominionist Evangelical Catholic.
Pence’s ascent to the second most powerful position in the U.S. government is a tremendous coup for the radical religious right. Pence — and his fellow Christian supremacist militants — would not have been able to win the White House on their own. For them, Donald Trump was a godsend. “This may not be our preferred candidate, but that doesn’t mean it may not be God’s candidate to do something that we don’t see,” said David Barton, a prominent Christian-right activist and president of Wall Builders, an organization dedicated to making the U.S. government enforce “biblical values.”
...Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington.
“The enemy, to them, is secularism. They want a God-led government. That’s the only legitimate government,” contends Jeff Sharlet,.... “So when they speak of business, they’re speaking not of something separate from God, but they’re speaking of what, in Mike Pence’s circles, would be called biblical capitalism, the idea that this economic system is God-ordained.”
...How the GOP foisted Pence on Trump is undoubtedly a fascinating story that hopefully will some day be revealed. Obviously, Pence gave Trump badly needed credibility with evangelical voters and the GOP establishment, but Pence’s selection portends a governing apocalypse. While Trump has flip-flopped on a variety of issues, from abortion to immigration to war and health care, Pence has been a reliable stalwart throughout his public life in the cause of Christian jihad....

Contrary to popular opinion, US President Donald J.Trump did not recognize ancient "unified" Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He said...
It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem....
At that time, Jerusalem consisted only of what is known as "West" Jerusalem and did not include the Old City or what is today called "East" Jerusalem.
Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.
All of these places are located in "West" Jerusalem!

The following statements reveal that Trump's "historic" decision to "recognize" Jerusalem arose from his hubris in desiring to make the ultimate Deal.
I've judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.
Now pay very close attention to this...
...In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians.

We are not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders.

... I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.
Vice President Mike Pence is due to arrive in Israel on Sunday, 17 December 2017, the fifth day of Hanukah. The JPost reports that he intends to visit the Western Wall that day "soon after his arrival."

If VP Pence is really the driving force behind making a deal over Jerusalem, then it looks all the more likely that the Vatican will be seeking control of the Old City.

Because "West" Jerusalem has been recognized as Israel's capital by the US, there are now voices rising among the rest of the nations to recognize "East" Jerusalem as the capital of "Palestine." If they do that, who will complain about the unfairness of it?

And you can bet that all of them will agree that the Holy Places (i.e., the Old City) must be protected for all! That would appear to take the redemption "process" backwards. But, bear in mind Zechariah 14.1-2...
"Behold, a day is coming for Hashem when your spoils [property taken in a war] will be divided in your midst. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the war; the city will be captured..., half the city will go out into exile, but the rest of the people will not be eliminated from the city."
Whatever happens, HKB"H is in ultimate control and all of this maneuvering on the part of the nations, including and especially the United States, will see His will performed. Only don't be fooled into thinking the goyim are doing us any favors or acting in our best interests!! We don't owe them anything.

12 December 2017

Hanukah - The 'Door' of Redemption

25 Kislev 5778
First Candle of Hanukah
"Chanukah signals the ultimate salvation and rededication of the entire world. Lighting the Menorah at the doorway demonstrates how the days of Chanukah are symbolically the 'door', the beginning of the ultimate redemption (Sfas Emet)."
[From Chanukah - It's History, Observance, and Significance / A Presentation Based On Talmudic and Traditional Sources]

The Hellenists Are Still With Us

24 Kislev 5778
Erev Hanukah

And their strength and numbers are growing every year. Today, Hellenism is more commonly known as Judeo-Christianity.

Signage in Jerusalem
And it unfortunately has not passed the yeshivah world by. I was walking behind two yeshivah bachurim in Jerusalem day before yesterday and overheard some snippets of their conversation.

"...Hanukah Harry? It's kind of like Secret Santa, but for yeshivah."

Hashem yerachem and raise up for us the Maccabees of old!

It Just Got Darker - BD"E

24 Kislev 5778
Erev Hanukah

Our Sages equated the Greek exile to darkness. The light of Hanukah came to dispel the darkness, at the darkest time of the year (longest nights) and the darkest part of the month (no moon at night). It just got even darker with the passing of one more Torah luminary.
Just moments ago, the terrible news arrived of the Petira of the Gadol Hador, the leader of Klal Yisroel, Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZATZAL, at the age of 104.
... he was taken from us at just before 8:00AM IL.
...The levaya for HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT”L will begin in Bnei Brak at noon. Egged has already announced it is stepping up bus service to Bnei Brak on the 402 line.
May HKB"H give comfort to his children by revealing for us the light of Mashiach without any further delay.

10 December 2017

Hanukah Message from Meir Yisroel

23 Kislev 5778


And if you clicked directly to this post, don't miss the new one preceding this one...

Hanukah: The Holiday That Celebrates "Extremism"

Hanukah: The Holiday That Celebrates "Extremism"

23 Kislev 5778

Of course, the Maccabees were not extremists really. They acted 100% in conformity with Torah and halachah. Their actions only seemed extreme by the Greek standards of their time and not coincidentally, by the Western standards of our time. 

President Donald J. Trump, from his speech "recognizing" Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel: "It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst."

From the Al Hanissim Prayer for Hanukah: "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah.

"The many" who desire peace at our expense so they can make more money and consume more goods without interruption are in for another big disappointment. There will not be peace until all the impurity has been cleansed from the Holy Land, because peace is a gift from HKB"H. There is no peace until there is peace between Him and us.
Chanukah: A Celebration of Zealotry
If the Maccabees were fighting today, how would the JEWISH world view them?
By: Donny Fuchs

The original hero of Chanukah, Matityahu the Kohen Gadol of Modi’in, was a true Jewish zealot and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He was an extremist by any definition. Make no mistake about it. I use these terms complimentarily, despite the fact that modern ears hear these terms and associate them with negative ideals. As the great Pinchas was a great Jewish zealot who rose up alone at the moment of truth, so too was Matityahu one of those rare men who seized the moment. Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism, and were it not for the heroic actions of Matityahu and his sons, the spiritual integrity of Judaism would have been destroyed on the treif altar of Greek idolatry and hedonism. True Jewish zealousness has no commonality with the “zealous actions” of your average hothead. To be zealous for Hashem is to be pure in Torah thought, and repulsed by the manifestation of chillul Hashem on this earth. Far from mindless rage, thinking leads to action. The faculty of emotion is fueled by reason.

Most self-identifying Jews today, regardless of denominational affiliation or ideological leaning, regard the Maccabees as true Jewish heroes. As is often the case over time, history became distorted, and the Chanukah of today has become something different than it once was. Most Jews celebrate a false Chanukah that has nothing in common with historical reality. It has become sanitized. In a warped sense of irony, modern-day Jews celebrate the Maccabees for everything they were not; multiculturalists, defenders of religious liberty, religious pluralists, etc. The stark reality is that most Jews would have deemed them terrorists by today’s standards. Chanukah isn’t a universal “festival of lights” for Jews to share with gentiles. The Maccabees were Jewish zealots who waged a brutal war against the Greeks who tried to destroy the Jewish soul. Chanukah is not a celebration of universalism. It is the very epitome of Jewish exclusivity.

From a contemporary context, one should consider the following:
  • Were the Maccabees around today, Netanyahu would send an army of Yassamnikim thugs to destroy them.
  • Being registered on the Maccabee internet mailing list, would mean a surprise visit from the Shabak.
  • Leftists would scream for Maccabee blood and applaud brutal crackdowns, as would Israel’s media elite and their morally relativistic peers in Israeli academia. Secular Jewish organizations worldwide would revile the Maccabees.
  • The Anti-Defamation League would use their vast resources to monitor the Maccabees and any Maccabee-affiliated offshoots. True to form, their intel would be shared with the U.S. State Department, CIA, FBI, and various Israeli government agencies.
The seculars wouldn’t be alone in their demonization of the Maccabees. Mainstream religious Jewish organizations would condemn them. Rabbis would declare that their actions constitute a chillul Hashem and are contrary to Halacha. They would argue that the Maccabees were guilty of incitement, and endangering the physical and spiritual welfare of Jews worldwide. 

Representatives of the Maccabee movement would be banned from speaking in religious institutions, and barred from entering most countries. In Israel, the state-worshiping religious loyalists would condemn them with the harshest terminology. Many chareidim would join in.

Because it wasn’t just the Greeks. The Maccabees fought violently against Jewish Hellenists who tried to destroy Torah. When Matityahu saw a Jew publicly defiling The Almighty’s name in the town of Modi’in, he didn’t stand by and tolerate the man’s freedom “to worship as he saw fit.” He slaughtered him with his sword and started a revolution. Yahadut lionizes him and his sons for sanctifying the Almighty’s name and saving Judaism from extinction. History is for the victors. We celebrate Chanukah because Judaism survived because of the Maccabees' actions. The irony is that Hellenists revised history, and needing heroes, they co-opted them, sanitized their legacy, and Chanukah is considered parve today. Hence, the Maccabees, the zealots of Masada, and Bar Kochba can be accepted as heroes by the State of Israel today.

Should You Keep Chanukah this year? The following TRUE or FALSE quiz will be helpful. Do you believe?…
  • That interfaith-dialogue with Christians is a noble endeavor that serves to bring the two faith communities closer.
  • That Jews should take any and all aid from Christian evangelicals and messianic Christians.
  • That Israel should continue to grant equal rights to all of her citizens and allow all faiths to worship as they see fit.
  • That in the absence of any danger to the mother, a woman should have the right to abort a fully formed fetus.
  • That homosexuals should have the right to parade through the streets of any city in Israel. Or that homosexuals should have the right to marry in Israel.
  • That a Halachic definition of “who is a Jew” has no place in state affairs.
  • That Israel should continue to endanger our own soldiers to protect Arab civilians in order to retain a moral high-ground.
  • That havlagah or “self-restraint” is a Jewish ethic that must be a part of the IDF’s ideology.
  • That even theoretically, a Halachic state (by truly G-d fearing people of Torah) is contrary to democracy.
If you answered TRUE to even one of these questions, then in the spirit of intellectual integrity, you should boycott Chanukah this year. Chanukah symbolizes Judaism’s complete rejection of the profane influences of the world. It represents the commitment to oppose those foreign ideologies that threaten the nation and if necessary, to use the sword in defense of the Jewish body and soul. This is the Chanukah that leftists want to destroy.

Missionaries In Our Midst

I have written several articles about the spiritual threat of missionaries in Eretz Yisroel, in particular, the danger of evangelical Christians who have infiltrated religious Jewish communities in the Shomron. Many kipah-wearing Jews have been actively bought by the endless sum of Christian dollars that the enemy is able to throw at Jews and their various projects, in exchange for a ticket into their daily lives. Some of these Jews are misguided and naive. Others are not so innocent. Hakadosh Baruch Hu knows what is in every man’s heart.

The problem is that these spiritual threats would have never been able to infiltrate into the Torah world without the aid of self-appointed leaders who will have to answer for their sins. Some are wont to spout the nonsense of a non-existent Judeo/Christian ethic, which by its very definition is an oxymoron and contrary to everything we stand for. The Jewish ethic is by its very nature contrary to Christianity. No such concept exists. And to align with idolatry in the war against the Arabs is to sacrifice the Jewish soul for the illusion of a united Christian front against the Arabs. There are two kinds of death for the Jew. And throughout history, the death of the Jewish soul is the greatest tragedy of all.

If you support interfaith dialogue with Christians, taking money from evangelicals, and allowing Esau to pick grapes in the liberated vineyards of Judea and Samaria, then you share the values of a Jewish Hellenist. I don’t care how well you know the laws of shmitah, or whether you attend a daily daf yomi. Those with seichal know precisely what's going on, and no Rabbi on earth can kasher a pig. To those who have befriended the notorious Waller family and their cohorts, they are aligning themselves with idolaters who want to harm Am Yisroel. The actions of such groups as Hayovel run by the Wallers are as dangerous an assault as anything Am Yisroel has ever faced. Those who support them are Jewish Hellenists. Matityahu would have loathed the Wallers, and he would have had no patience (to say the least) for those who are aiding them.

Mesirat Nefesh and Pragmatism

From a purely survival instinct, if someone demands that you worship Baal or have your throat slit open, the “pragmatic” thing is to save your throat and bow down to the idol. Judaism requires something else sometimes. The Halacha requires you to refuse, even if it costs you your life. The Halacha isn’t always pragmatic or “wise” from a conventional standpoint. At times, the Halacha requires us to fight to the death, even when the odds are against us. The battle of the Maccabees was neither smart nor pragmatic from a conventional standpoint. They made things worse in the short term. And in the long term we won, even if the later descendants of the Maccabees betrayed their own legacy.

The day will come when we extricate all physical and spiritual contagions from Eretz Yisroel. The legacy of the Maccabees lives on. One day soon, Jews will embrace it and incorporate the Maccabee model as the solution to destroying the Arab enemy, dealing with all spiritual threats, and sanctifying the State of Israel. Every truly religious Jew believes this. The challenge of the Maccabees looms before us. Will we join Matityahu and fight for the L-rd, or will we serve Baal, Asheirah, or the Erev Rav elite who deify themselves?

One day soon, a new generation of Maccabees will arise. Am Yisroel will never die, and there will always be a select few who rise up to define and defend the Torah truth.

With Fire and Blood. Chanukah Sameach!

Donny Fuchs
(and Devash!)