Monthly Archives: February 2018

From Israel: Threats and Victory.

    Wednesday night and Thursday we celebrate Purim (with the celebration a day later in Jerusalem, a walled city).  As we read the Megillat Esther, we relate the story of the machinations of Haman, in the Persian court, whose goal it was to eradicate the Jews. And we celebrate …

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Exploiting the Right of Return.

  Albert Einstein was initially opposed to the concept of Zionism, fearing it could stoke Jewish-Arab conflict, but with the rise of Nazism and the concomitant antisemitism he experienced in Europe, he became convinced of the need for a Jewish State as a haven from persecution. Einstein was at the California …

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Oz Torah: The genesis of Purim.

THE GENESIS OF PURIM. The popularity of Purim is taken for granted. As the Jewish carnival of fun and frolic it has a universal appeal. Purim spiels, Purim deals, Purim meals … all are part of the celebration. No-one can imagine the Jewish year without it. In fact it has …

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From Israel: Without Shame.

It’s a fascinating phenomenon, a paradox: Muslim Arab (and thus Palestinian Arab) culture is an honor-shame culture.  Honor is the ultimate value. But in this context “honor” means receiving appropriate courtesies and respect – being viewed positively by others.  It’s an external thing, not having to do with an internal …

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From Israel: The World as Whirlwind.

  It feels as if there is flux everywhere: whether with regard to politics, diplomacy or security issues. And so, let us turn away from the tumult and begin with the good news – for, indeed, we are also blessed with good news. ~~~~~~~~~~ The Israeli Defense Ministry, working with …

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“Poor Palestinians”

“Poor Palestinians”.  Yes, some Arab Palestinians and Gazans are poor, but many are mega wealthy. In 2012 the estimated the number of ‘Gaza millionaires’ was said to be 800.  As of July 2014 there were some 1,700.  See ‘Luxury in the world’s largest prison !‘ Front Page Magazine says:  Fatah, …

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The BOOM I heard from Haifa.

It was Saturday morning.  I woke up to the sound of the Red Alert siren app ringing, announcing in-coming missiles somewhere in Israel. Where?  I knew it wasn’t in Haifa (yet) because the municipal siren wasn’t screaming outside but elsewhere in Israel, people were running to their bomb shelters. In …

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Palestinian children: Soldiers, criminals or what?

What you should know about Palestinian juvenile offenders The law, international and domestic, apparently only recognises two groups who may be imprisoned, soldiers and criminals. Is Ahed Tamimi a child soldier?  Is she a political prisoner?  Is she a juvenile delinquent?  Is she Joan of Arc?

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Into the Fray: Coup d’état?

Netanyahu was elected as the Prime Minster, not as the Pope.  Accordingly, he should be judged primarily on the basis of his political and strategic accomplishments, not his personal morality. What we are witnessing is, in effect, little less than an attempt at a bloodless coup d’état – conducted, not …

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When Israel fired back .

On Saturday morning (Saturday evening in Australia), news began to filter through about an incident in Israel’s north – an Iranian drone flying into Israeli sovereign territory, a downed F-16 jet.  It was not clear straight away, but the IDF did post a timeline of the events and how the drama all unfolded: …

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From Israel: Clarity and Fog.

  Today I begin by following through on the events of this past Saturday, with regard to our contending with Iran and Syria.  There is so very much being said, so many different opinions as to the implications of what has happened. If there is any clarity I can bring …

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Abusing the Holocaust.

Cynicism, insecurity and opportunity abound on Holocaust Remembrance Day This year’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was at once illuminated and overshadowed by extraordinary statements on the Holocaust emanating from Europe and the Middle East. The first came from a familiar …

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Oz Torah: Fur coats – Ask the Rabbi

FUR COATS. Q. What does Jewish law say about wearing fur coats? A. The late Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Chayyim David Halevi, deals with this issue in his volume of responsa (“Mayim Chayyim”, vol. 2, 1995). He reports that a member of the Israeli public approached him after …

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The New Israel Fund (NIF) has crossed the red line.

Bereft of popular support, government support, and the support of the Supreme Court, the NIF has decided to engage in a smoke and mirrors pseudo-populist uprising. For shame!   The American-based New Israel Fund (NIF) has never hidden its mission to save Israel from itself, and its bedrock conviction that …

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Anti-Zionism is the new Antisemitism.

This is what branding looks like: You have a product to sell. You must convince the market to buy. The problem is that the product is old. It’s been seen before and has been rejected by many as faulty. The average person will not buy the product, as is. What …

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