Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Third Candle of Hanukah
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....
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!
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.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."
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.
"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.
"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]
|Signage in Jerusalem|
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.
Philip of Macedon
At the beginning of the fourth century BCE, in about the year 370 BCE, a king arose in Macedonia known as Philip of Macedon. ...Philip was a great warrior and organizer.
Most of all, he had the dream of empire in him. In seven years he was able to subdue all the Greek city-states and unite them, something that had not happened in almost five centuries. Of course, he united them at the point of the sword, but he united them.
Alexander the Great
Philip died but left a son, who would become one of the single greatest forces in history, Alexander the Great. He called himself that modestly, but the truth is that he was great.
Philip did not want Alexander to grow up to be a coarse and boorish Macedonian. So he gave him a tutor: the renowned philosopher Aristotle. It was Aristotle who implanted in Alexander the philosophic ideals of the Greeks.
Alexander was not a pagan because Aristotle was not a pagan. Aristotle’s concept of God was that a Creator exists. The Greek philosophers referred to God as the “First Cause.” He pushed the button, so to speak. However, once He did so He did not do anything more. What happened on Earth did not interest him. Therefore, there was no interference from Heaven as to what happened on Earth. It was another way of unburdening themselves of conscience – except now with the stamp of belief in God.
Nevertheless, the Greeks believed that God existed, which is very important because it will help explain one reason why Alexander was able to tolerate the Jewish religion, whereas many of the Persian emperors were not. Aristotle knew that all the stories of the gods – from Apollo to Zeus – were made-up. Alexander, as Aristotle’s student, also believed that. Thanks to Aristotle, therefore, the ideas of the Jews were much more acceptable to Alexander.
Alexander’s Encounter with the Jews
Alexander took over his father’s leadership position when he was yet a teenager. He would be dead by the time he was 29. In that short period he conquered the entire civilized world.
One of his campaigns brought him to the Land of Israel. He arrived during the reign of the great High Priest, the last of the Men of the Great Assembly, Simon the Just. Most historians say that he came in about the year 329 BCE. (He was dead by 323 BCE.)
The Jews were terrified of the now victorious Greeks, because they had backed Persia in the war. There were two choices. We will see this story repeated over and over again in the time of the Second Temple. One was to fight, which is what the Jews did later with the Romans. The second was to somehow come to an accommodation with the enemy.
Simon the Just chose the second course. The Jews were not about to defeat Alexander in battle; therefore, the correct way to deal with the matter was to come to an accommodation with him.
The Talmud describes the drama of that first encounter (Yoma 69a). Simon the Just came forth with other members of the priesthood, as well as the sages of the Sanhedrin, to greet Alexander at the gates of Jerusalem as he strode in on his famous white horse, which he rode all over the world in his conquests. According to the historians of the time, it was an enormously tall horse and Alexander was an enormously tall person. Plus, he always wore a plumed helmet. Combined, Alexander stood about 13 feet high on the horse. He was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
When Alexander saw the Simon he dismounted and bowed to him. When he was questioned by his advisors, he told them that whenever he went into battle he dreamed of an angel leading him to victory. The face of the Jewish High Priest, he said, was the face of the angel he saw in his dreams. That was why he bowed down to him.
Alexander the Great and the Jews
Because of Aristotle, Alexander was positively disposed toward the Jews. Instead of destroying and subjugating them, he made an arrangement with them. As long as they would be his loyal vassals and pay their taxes they could remain autonomous. That was an enormous concession because Alexander was rarely that accommodating to anyone.
Out of gratitude to Alexander, the Jews did a few things. First, they agreed to name every child born the next year “Alexander.” That is why the name Alexander, or Sender for short, became a common Jewish name even to this day.
At the same time, it also opened the door for Jews to give their children other Greek names such as Antigonus Tarphon, among other names of Greek origin one finds in the Talmud. Ironically, through showing Alexander their gratitude by naming their children after him they unwittingly opened the door to the Greek language. And with the Greek language automatically came the Greek culture.
The Jews also agreed to install a system of tax collection that would lead to terrible corruption. Indeed, it was so inherently corrupt that the Talmud held that anybody who was a tax collector was presumed to be a thief. This terribly pernicious system destroyed the morale of the Jewish community in the time of the Greeks long after Alexander was gone. (Source)Trump's speech yesterday is entirely in keeping with these characteristics of Alexander the Great. Just when I was ready to admit that I may have been wrong about Trump, he said...
Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.
Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.This is in keeping with Western "democratic" ideals, pluralism, etc., but it is unacceptable to Torah Jews - those who refuse to assimilate - and it will most certainly be unacceptable to Mashiach. These statements put Trump on the wrong side of what's coming. And any Jews who align themselves with him are on the wrong side, too.
|"Behold, I am making Jerusalem a cup of poison for all the peoples all around...."|
~ Zechariah, chapter 12
President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday, while also delaying moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, officials told NBC News.
Though Trump will not relocate the embassy any time soon — one White House official told reporters it could take years — the president still intends to fulfill that promise made early in his administration.
Senior administration officials called Trump's expected recognition of Jerusalem an affirmation of "reality" — both historical and current, pointing out that the city is already home to Israel's parliament, supreme court and other government sites.So, today is the big day for the "yuuuge" announcement. But, it's apt to be a bit anticlimactic considering the pre-announcements going out in the media.
The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions.
...In New York, only six countries out of 193 UN member states fully supported Israel’s ties Jerusalem: Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and Israel itself.
The nine countries who abstained were: Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan and Togo.
The resolution stated that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”
As Israelis and Palestinians watched the hours tick by on Friday, waiting to see whether US President Donald Trump would once again sign a waiver delaying a move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a State Department official clarified that Trump actually has until Monday to make up his mind.
The formal deadline for the waiver is December 1, but since that date fell on a Friday this year, the deadline was extended to December 4, after the weekend,....
Speculation about what the president will do has intensified since multiple reports surfaced this week that he would either order his team to prepare to relocate the embassy, or delay the relocation again but formally declare that he recognizes the holy city as Israel’s capital. Axios reported on Friday that Trump will give a speech Wednesday in which he makes that latter declaration — a claim the administration did not confirm.
Defying longstanding American policy, US President Donald Trump will give a speech Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to an Axios report on Friday.
A White House spokesman, contacted by The Times of Israel on Friday afternoon, would not confirm the story. “The president has always said it is a matter of when, not if,” the official said. “The president is still considering options and we have nothing to announce.”
The Axios report cited two sources with direct knowledge of Trump’s intentions.
Multiple reports surfaced this week that the president would for the second time waive a congressional mandate requiring the US embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but that he would take the dramatic step of formally recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital.
Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would provoke extremists and cause anguish across the already volatile Middle East, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned on Friday.
“Moving the embassy at this stage will have repercussions in the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic arenas and threatens the two-state solution,” King Abdullah told U.S. congressmen during a meeting, adding that the decision would be exploited by terrorists and used “to stoke anger, frustration and despair to spread their ideologies.”
Amid mounting speculation about the possible consequences of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the move of a single American Jew from the US to Israel should arouse no controversy. Now would be an appropriate time for US President Donald Trump to allow Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel.
...Commuting Pollard’s parole would bring Trump a win/win deal. It would be both a praiseworthy human gesture that would boost relations with US Jews and Israel, but it also would give him another victory over the perceived injustices of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Obama’s treatment of Pollard stands out in cruel contrast to the pardon he gave to former US soldier Chelsea Manning, who leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but Obama commuted her sentence in January, just three days before leaving the White House, from 35 years to just over the seven years Manning had already served.
Letting Pollard move to Jerusalem as Israel celebrates 70 years of independence would demonstrate Trump’s commitment to Israel while relieving some of the pressure as he evaluates the eventual embassy move.Letting our brother come home would be a much more meaningful gesture than a political statement which would change nothing on the ground, but could cause more bloodshed. My prayer is that Jonathan Pollard, for the first time in his life, will be lighting Hanukah candles at his new home in Eretz Yisrael next week.
- Yet another KIKE... Anyone connecting the dots yet?!?!?!
- Jews, Jews, Jews in the news. Lauer, Franken, Weiner, Weinstein, Epstein, Kreisberg, Ratner. Truly exceptional . . . sexual predators.
And that is the mildest of the lot on just one site reporting.
- Are these people inherently corrupt because of their Jewishness, or is the Jewishness incidental to their corruption?
All eleven Shas MKs voted against the plan, on the orders of the party's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, as did six National Religious Party members, six National Union MKs and five United Torah Judaism MKs.You can read an entire breakdown of the voting results right HERE.
...If there is forced conscription of the ultra-Orthodox, Yishai vows, there will be chaos.
..."There will be marches and processions of thousands, tens of thousands, in the streets," he said. "Thousands of yeshiva students will fill up the jail cells. Military Police officers will be running around aimlessly in Bnei Brak. You'll have a civilian uprising, pandemonium. Worst of all, those who are enlisting today will refuse to enlist en masse."
..."The Jewish people have been persecuted for decades," Yishai said angrily. "What haven't we been forced to endure? Expulsion, inquisition, Holocaust. Still, despite all of this, we have an identity, and this is all due to our Torah. If this wasn't preserved in every corner of the world, we would have disappeared, erased just like the empires that disappeared. We came to the State of Israel. Yet, here, of all places, in a world in which there are no rules as to who studies Torah and who doesn't, here people want to put quotas. Such a thing is unprecedented, and it will not ever come to pass."
Yishai shifts the conversation to changes that are already taking place. "This concept of 'the ultra-Orthodox don't serve in the army' is nonexistent," he said. "The figures show that there are thousands who are waiting to enlist in national service and the haredi Nahal infantry unit. There's even a huge influx of ultra-Orthodox youths going to college. Since the passage of the Tal Law, there's been a steady increase ? and the percentages are climbing quickly ? of ultra-Orthodox who are integrating into these frameworks. What happened, however, was that the quotas stipulated in the law by the state were never met because the treasury and the defense establishment did not take sufficient action to meet them."
"The Defense Ministry doesn't want a lot of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the army because it needs to make the necessary contingency plans and this costs a great deal of money," Yishai said. "When the ultra-Orthodox public was offered a platform that met its needs as they pertained to kosher food, the presence of female soldiers, and the content of what they are taught, it agreed to go for it. This was mainly because this was done through agreement and consensus, not by coercion."It's really worth reading the whole thing HERE.
Nechama has left a new comment on your post "A Personal Message":Thank you for your honest and heartfelt questions, Nechama, but for answers all I can give you are my own thoughts and opinions based on my learning.
Everything is the will of Hashem, but doesn't Hashem work through people and nature? I don't have an opinion about army or Torah learning...I think everyone has to do what he feels is right for his soul. As a baal teshuvah, what's confusing to me is what exactly are the differences between the religious-zionists and the chareidi? Obviously their dress, degree of integration into secular society, and army service vs.Torah learning. But isn't that due to people choosing what they need to satisfy their Jewish souls in fulfilling their tasks in life? Both groups are still Torah Jews..I see more articles available in English explaining the religious-zionist views. Would you be willing to explain the chareidi view? I understand living apart, dressing more modestly, and from your comment, it seems that everything is betachon in Hashem...so does Israel need an army at all? I lock my door at night, but then I say shema to keep me safe?? Can you just offer insight into the approach of the chareidi world. I feel better knowing that there are yeshivas filled with learners of Torah. I have 2 nephews who are learners. I am very proud of them. I also have 2 nephews who are religious/yeshivish in the army. and I am proud of them also. Does Israel need an army? Does Hashem want us to have one? what are the chareidi views. I'm being sincere in my questions because I do hear chareidi bashing over the protests and I think it's terrible. If someone wants to learn, he should be able to and if someone wants to serve in the army, in a religious unit, he should be respected as well. So what's going on? You're a wonderful blogger, please help with information so people can respond to the negative criticism going on back and forth...even within families.
...Rivlin’s office said that the president believes that any further reduction of the sentence would “harm the strength of the Israel Defense Forces and of the State of Israel,” adding that “the IDF’s values, including purity of arms,” are fundamental to the Israeli army’s strength.According to another report, yeshivah students who arrive to register for the draft are being asked unusual questions like what would they do if they found themselves in a situation similar to Elor Azaria? And what would they do if a commander issued an order that conflicted with Torah law?