Tuesday, September 27, 2005

List of Organizations Helping Gush Katif People


You may ask what is the connection between helping Gush Katif People and Shemittah. The answer is that just like in Shemittah we give with an open hand (Patoach Tiftach ) not worrying that we may never get paid back, helping the Gush Katif people with an open hand, and seeing to it that all their needs are met is what now needs to be done.

This Beatle song sums it up.

"Is there anything that you want? Is there anything I can do? Just call on me and I'll send it along, with love from me to you".

I received the following list from Marvin Belsky who heads a Coalition to Help the People of Gush Katif.


Here is a (partial) list of some of the most active volunteer organizations and individuals helping the displaced people of Gush Katif. There is also an active email list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gush_Katif/ for up-to-date postings in English of offers and requests for help.

Many of the requests are for cash, since hundreds of families have still not received any compensation at all and still have to pay for food, travel, clothing, tuition, medicine etc. (Please remember that these families were formerly independent and themselves very charitable. They are very uncomfortable at having been placed in a situation where they are temporarily reliant upon the goodwill of others.)

1) The Council of Gush Katif Settlers - is the central umbrella organization representing and assisting the evacuees and headed by Rabbi Yigal Kaminetsky (Chief Rabbi of Gush Katif) in conjunction with Lemaan Acheinu.

Lemaan Acheinu is responsible for coordinating volunteer activities and distributing practical aid throughout the country. To volunteer or donate, call 02-509-0111 between 9:00 AM and 11:00 PM. Fax 509-0110. Donation hotline: 1599-55-77-78. Direct deposit: Bank Account: Bank Mizrachi, Branch 491, Account number 11296

2) Keren HaTzaddik (in memory of Rabbi Aryeh Levin):

Food distribution to tent cities and other evacuee groups around the country. To donate, telephone: 02-6513111 or 1800-203-320 . www.tmicha.orgjewish@netvision.net.il

3) Lemaan Achai Ramat Bet Shemesh
www.lemaanachai.org - Establishing a free-loan fund for evacuees from all communities, plus counseling and other activities. Currently assisting evacuees from Atzmona housed in Shaalvim dormitories through provision of food and practical supplies. Also, Israel Tax Deductible Donations should be made out to "Lema'an Achai", earmarked "Gush Katif Fund", and sent to: Lema'an Achai (RBS), 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh 99093, ISRAEL.

US Tax Deductible checks to: "American Friends of Lema'an Achai"; on Memo Line indicate: "Gush Katif Fund" c/o Simon Fleischer,35 West 96th St #1F, New York, NY 10025 and 24hr Credit Card donations through (9722)999-9933 or Contact Yehudit Shaulzon (+9722)999-1553. creditcard@lemaanachai.org.

4) One of the main problems is unemployment. A list has been set up to try to find new employment for evacuees.

To post a job vacancy, email jobkatif@hotmail.co.il or call 08-6727703 .

5) Rachel Sapperstein (ex-Neveh Dekalim and currently in the Jerusalem Gold Hotel) has established a"Band-Aid" Fund to provide anonymous cash donations of 500-1000 shekels to meet immediate expenses of evacuee families: To contribute, send checks to: The Central Fund of Israel, Jay Marcus, Rehov Hagoel 13, Efrat, Israel 90435; earmarked for Rachel-Operation Band-Aid.

6) Ruthi Brenner is seeking sponsors for evacuee university students who were unable to work this summer to put themselves through college and may have to forfeit their studies as a result. Brenner says that $5,000 paid directly to the university would cover a full year of college tuition and she would be happy to put sponsors in contact with their "adopted" students. Contact her at: luveretz@netvision.net.il or telephone: 972-2-561-1962

7) Bracha Jaffe is helping the mostly secular families who were or still are housed in the Green Beach Hotel, near Netanya. She can been contacted for offers of help and donations for the families, at (054) 761-7988 or bracha@tdsoft.com.

8) Katherine (Gita) Weiner is helping those in for the City of Faith - a tent/trailer city set up by 35 Atzmona families, needs help with construction and caravan repairs, microwaves and or toasters to give at least some independence to families as far as food is concerned,equipment for preschool/kindergarten and monetary donations. Contact Katherine Gita Weiner at izgnanie@yahoo.com

9) Barbara Silverman (02) 623-2548 and attorney Jan Sokolsky (02)566-6388 are raising funds for new winter coats for evacuees in Jerusalem (so far they have purchased 275), plus more winter clothing, winter shoes and prayer books for the upcoming Jewish holidays. They also need volunteers to take groups of children away from confining hotel rooms and to parks.

10) Sarah Alpert is working together with Anita Tucker to provide financial help for the families of Netzer Chazani in the Golan and elsewhere, for the purchase of winter clothing, travel expenses and other practical needs. She can be contacted at salpert@jfsisrael.org

11) Seeking used (but working) laptops, preferably with word, excel and wireless ability to assist community leaders in their administrative work and enable the physically scattered evacuees to reconnect and coordinate with one another through virtual communities. Please contact wisemon@actcom.net.il

12) In the US, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Director of the National Council of Young Israel has agreed to assist in this effort and made a recent trip to Israel in order to see the situation for himself. Checks can be make out to YOUNG ISRAEL CHARITY FUND. Gush Katif Fund, NCYI, 3 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011.

Monday, September 26, 2005

a few things

There's lots going on here in Israel. As bad as things seem, sometimes I notice ruach, spirit, faith in the strangest places. And yes, there are some very important discussions going on especially about how to relate to the state and the army. Here's an email discussion between two blogging Israeli mothers.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Up to my nose


Rabbi Schachter who is quite entertaining, had more to say about the nose. Someone once asked a Tzaddik. People suffer so much with Shidduchim. What can we do to shorten the process. The Tzaddik answered as follows. Shidduchim is Kasheh Kekriat Yam Suf (As difficult as crossing of the Red Sea) What happened at the red sea? Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped in. The water came to his knees, then it came to his waist, then to his neck and finally to his nose. At this point he said Rebono Shel Olam I can't continue anymore. A human being needs air to breathe. It is now up to you. When he put his entire being into Hashem's hands that's when the water split. the Tzaddik said if you want the shidduch to go quickly keep your nose down. Think that you are grateful to settle with someone who is willing to put up with your shortcomings. If your nose is up it will take much longer for the water to get up there.

On a personal note, I jumped into the Shemittah experience like one jumps into water. I had no idea where it would lead me. The revelations were many. What was my driving force? It was the words of this weeks Parsha in Nitzavim. "For this commandment that I command you today - it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in heaven [for you] to say "Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it? Nor is it across the sea for [you] to say, "Who can cross to the other side of the sea for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it? Rather, the matter is very near to you - in your mouth and your heart - to perform it."

The Torah speaks to each and every Jew. Here I am basically a nobody. If the Torah assures me that it is doable than it must be so. It is Emunah Peshuta, like one of a small child. So in my own naive way I attempted to keep Shemittah. Now I am telling Hakadosh Baruch Hu that it's up to my nose. It's time for Him to reveal the Moshiach! Moshiach who will guide us in the ways of Torah and in the Mitzvoth so that we will be worthy of all the Brachoth.

A Kesiva Vechasima Tova to all.



I just came back from a Selichos Drasha in our shul given by Rav Fischel Shachter a well known speaker and Magid Shiur in Torah Vedaas. Among his many topics he touched upon the proclamation that the farmer makes at the end of the 3 year cycle that he has fullfilled the commandments of Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni and Maaser Ani as Hashem has commanded. Rav Schachter then brings the question why is this proclamation called Vidui Maaser? The Farmer talks about all the Mitzvos that he has fulfilled. Not his Aveiros. He answered that question by talking about the nose. He mentioned that Titus demise was through his nose. Why his nose? Apparently Titus, came into the Kodesh Kedashim and pierced the Paroches and blood spilled out. Titus then said, Now I am dead. Why did the blood spill out. Rav Schachter said that the blood is the lifeline of the human being. When a vein is cut and blood starts to leave the body externally then the person expires if the outflow of blood is not checked. As long as the blood stays within the body this is still a chance of life. When blood spilled out from the Paroches it was a sign that the Jews themselves were split by not caring for one another and not showing respect for one another. When Titus entered the Holy of Holies and performed this desecration he was demonstrating that there was no G-d in the picture. Up till that point he was simply a messenger of G-d doing G-d's will and perhaps there was still value to his life. Once he disengaged from G-d and put G-d out of the picture and took all the power to himself that was the beginning of his downfall. So why the nose. Rav Shachter says that the nose did not have any part in the Chait of the Aitz Haddaas. All the other senses did. The eyes, the ears, touch, the mouth all were part of the chait. Not the nose. This gives the nose extra spirituality and the power to be the one to act as the medium for Titus' downfall. What happened to Titus? He went by sea back to his country and there was a terrible storm. He was told by his crewmen that there was no chance of survival. He concluded that G-d of the Jews only had power over the water since the water was the medium that defeated Pharoh. Hashem then let him get to dry land. The smallest of insects went into his nose and that ultimately resulted in his death. His Gaava, conceit, which is reflected in the nose (the expression stuck up nose etc) was his downfall. Coming back to Vidui (Confession) Maaser we still have the question so what is the confession. Rav Shachter answers that the confession is that perhaps the farmer had a stuck up nose, a feeling of arrogance about his generosity for all his gifts to the Kohanim the Leviim and to the poor. In this declaration he proclaims his recognition that his wealth comes only from Hashem. The tables could turn on him in an instant and his success is because he kept these commandments carefully and not because of his own strength and power.

Tonight, I wore the T shirt Yehudi Lo Megaresh Yehudi. Is it still appropriate to wear it after the fact. I believe it is. Because as believing Jews we have to believe that the Sharon's gov't were messengers of G-d. G-d allowed it to happen. Yehudi lo Megaresh Yehudi Aval Hashem ken Megaresh Yehudi. But why did G-d disengage us? This is the question I am struggling with. I watched the video crying of the young girls and boys crying so bitterly "Al na Tastir Panecha, Beyom Tzar Li...". These young girls and boys for sure were not guilty of anything. Adam Yefashfesh Bemaasav.

Did we bring Bikurim, as a communal act, with rejoicing and with Simcha? Did we do Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni and Maaser Ani not only symbolically but as close as possible to the actual Mitzva given the reality that we have Richmana Litzlan no Beith Hamikdash. And did we say Vidui Maaser with the proper intent and with Simcha.

The Brachoth and the Kelaloth are contingent with the performance of Mitzvoth.

This concept is repeated in Parsha Kisavo again and again, Devarim Perek 26 Pesukim 16-19 and again Perek 28 Pasukim 45-47, again Pasuk 58, again Pasuk 62 and again Perek 29 Pasuk 8. Hashem must know how hard it would be for us to get the message.

In this weeks Parsha, Parshath Nitzavim Hashem says Devarim 29 Pasuk 13 "Not with you alone do I seal this covenant and this curse, but with whoever is here standing with us today before Hashem, our G-d , and with whoever is not here with us today. " (that means us)

Tonight in Selichos we said Vayikra 26 Pasuk (42) "Vezacharti as Brisi Yaakov, Veaf as Brisi Yitzchok, Veaf es Brisi Avraham Ezkor, Vehaaretz Ezkor". I will remember My Covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the Land. (43)The Land will be bereft of them; and it will be appeased for its sabbaticals having become desolate of them; and they must gain appeasement for their iniquity, because they were revolted by My ordinances and because their spirit rejected My decrees.

What was the covenant promised individually to each of our Forefathers? The Covenant of Yaakov is in Breishis Perek 28 Pasukim 13-16. The Covenant to Yitzchok is Breishis Perek 26 Pesukim 2-6. The Covenant with Avraham is Breishis Perek 15 Pesukim 18-21. The Covenants and promises to the forefathers share three points. 1. Land is promised to them and to their children afterwards 2. The Nations of the world are blessed through them and 3. the children must keep the commandments in order to be worthy of the Land.

The Torah in Nitzavim Perek 29 Pasuk 23 says And all the nations will say, "For what reason did Hashem do so to this Land; why this wrathfulness of great anger?" (24)And they will say, "Because they forsook the Covenant of Hashem, the G-d of their forefathers, that He sealed with them when He took them out of the Land of Egypt, and they went and served the gods of others and prostrated themselves to them, gods that they knew not and He did not apportion to them. So G-d's anger flared against that Land to bring upon the entire curse that is written in this Book; and Hashem removed them from upon their soil with anger, with wrath, and with fury and He cast them to another land as this very day! The hidden[sins] are for Hashem, our G-d but the revealed [sins] are for us and our children forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.

B"h we were expelled in Gush Katif by our loving brothers. (Tears were flowing on both sides) We are not yet expelled out of our entire Land. We still have a chance of Teshuva. A chance to reclaim our Land. Let us delve into studying the Mitzvoth and may Hashem do as He promises at the end of this Parsha Perek 30 Pasukim 7-10

"Hashem, your G-d will place all these imprecations upon your enemies and those who hate you, who pursued you. You shall return and listen to the voice of Hashem, and perform all His commandments that I command you today. Hashem will make you abundant in all your handiwork - in the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your animals, and the fruit of your Land - for good, when Hashem will return to rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your forefathers, when you listen to the voice of Hashem your G-d, to observe His commandments and His decrees, that are written in this Book of the Torah, when you shall return to Hashem your G-d, with all your heart and all your soul.

May that day be eminant and may we all be zocheh to Moshiach speedily in our days.

Shavua Tov!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sovereignty of Land is a function of keeping Mitzvoth. Being supreme and not the underdog.


The silence on behalf of Eretz Yisroel has been deafening.

How come no one is proclaiming that Eretz Yisroel is our Land. This weeks Parsha is not so silent.

It's pretty obvious that Eretz Yisroel was given to Am Yisroel. Moshe repeats it and repeats it again and again in this weeks Parsha. Moshe even sounds like a broken record.

Wouldn't once or twice be enough? I started going through the Parsha looking simply at pshat for sentences that mention "Eretz Shehinchalta laavoseinu" or "Eretz Shehinchalta Lanu" etc. I'm only in the middle. So far in Perek 26, it is mentioned independently in pasukim 1,3, 9,15. In Perek 27 in Pasuk 2,13. That is 6 times alone in a Perek and a half. It's like a father trying to drum something important into a child's deaf ears.

But the Parsha is also very clear on our obligations in the Land. I also started tracking the various Mitzvot that the Bnei Yisroel are required to do in the Land. The Brachos and the Klalos are contingent on the performance of Mitzvoth. That concept is drummed in again and again in the Parsha as well.

Here is a list of Mitzvoth that we are to do in the Land. The list is only in the beginning.

Pesukim 1-11 - Mitzva of Bikurim
Mitzva to be Happy with all the good that Hashem gave us

Pesukim 12 it mentions Maaser Rishon
Pasuk 12 mentions Maaser Ani.

In the Stone Chumash Commentary it says "By the day before Pesach of the year after each three year cycle, an owner must make sure that he has delivered all tithes to their proper destination and then on the last day of Pesach of the fourth and seventh year, he recites the confession in this passage (vs 13-15)."

This is the fourth year of the Shemittah cycle. Can anyone see if there is any connection between Pesach of this year and the decision to go through with the disengagement? Can we focus and evaluate on how well we fulfilled the Mitzvot of Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni or should we simply say it's not relevant to our day and age and let us not make any connection to the performance of Mitzvoth and to events that occurred.

Before you continue reading this I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not putting the blame on the people of Gush Katif and say that they deserved what happened to them because they did not keep the Mitzvoth. It is very painful to hear this especially in their current pain and grief. This is like pouring salt on a fresh wound. Let me preface my remarks by saying that the people of Gush Katif are the creme de la Creme. G-d expects alot from them. He knows what they are capable of doing. However we must get to the root cause of the problem. If we don't, more expulsions are scheduled to occur Chas Veshalom. New settlements like Ir Emunah are to be built. How can we prevent another expulsion? We can blame Sharon for carrying out the decree but still G-d allowed it to happen.

Every night I have a Chavrusa with my seven year old son. Before going to sleep I try to read to him and translate a portion of Parashat Hashavua. So this week I am reading from Shlishi to Revei to him. It says in Pasuk 16 "This day, Hashem, your G-d commands you to perform these decrees and the statutes, and you shall observe and perform them with all your heart and with all your soul, You have distinguished Hashem today to be a G-d for you, and to walk in His ways and to observe His decrees, His commandments, and His statutes, and to hearken to His voice. And Hashem has distinguished you today to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all His commandments, and to make you supreme over all the nations that He made, for praise, for renown, and for splendor, and so that you will be a holy people to Hashem, your G-d as He spoke."

So how can I explain to my seven year old son the desecrations of the synagogues in Gush Katif following the expulsion. If we were keeping all the Mitzvot (the ones previously mentioned before this passage about bikurim and Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni) would G-d have allowed such a desecration?

G-d is very explicit in this weeks Parsha that the blessings are a function and contingent on the performance of Mitzvoth. If that is the case, are the farmers of Gush Katif examining their performance of these Mitzvoth. Did they in fact recite the declaration in vs. 13-15 on Pesach this year? Did the poor people (Ger, Yasom and Elmana and Leviim get extra from Maaser sheni?) I cry when I even mention this because the precious Jews of Gush Katif are more worthy than I. Who am I to bring up a possible fault on their part? Yet it is a collective reckoning that is required. All those of us that are not farmers have we declared that Eretz Yisroel was given to us and that we in turn are required to keep the commandments or else we forfeit our right to sovereignty.

It is a time to review our actions. It is the time for Teshuva. Let us be circumspect.

Maybe this is all Hashem is waiting for. When we focus on the Mizvoth, and in our desire to keep them, Hashem will make us supreme rather than the underdog.

Let us break the silence.....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Helping Disengagement Victims

We can't help the victims of Disengagement until we figure out what the government was really trying to do. This is what I think.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ir Emunah - Socialism or Shemittah?


It is my belief that the kibbutz lifestyle, the lifestyle that allows growth from almost nothing, the lifestyle that built up Eretz Yisroel after the Holocaust has its roots from the Torah, from the Shemittah year. Shemittah predates socialism. It is no wonder that Karl Marx was a Jew. Capitalism also has its roots from the Torah. The Torah economic and political model is a union of Socialism and Capitalism.

Stay tuned for an elaboration.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Read about a Gush Katif Refugee Camp

A friend of mine wrote of her experiences visiting a Gush Katif refugee camp. Read it. It's amazing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Nice to meet you

I'd like to take this opportunity to say hell and thank Shmitta Rediscovered for inviting me to post here.
In the interum, just look at me. I have some other blogs, too.

Shavua tov

Hebrew Law - Manhigut Yisroel (Not the Party)

Please note that all mention of Manhigut Yisroel in this blog is referring to the concept of Manhigut Yisroel and not the political party of Moshe Feiglin.

The reader might be interested in an article in Azure, a publication of ideas for the Jewish Nation, no. 13, Summer 5762/2002 called "The Jewish Roots of the Modern Republic" by Fania Oz-Salzberger. She describes "political Hebraism in the 17th century and the abandonment of biblical and post biblical sources of political thought by Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers - in particular modern liberals". She talks about John Selden , who lived in the 1600's , who was an English jurist who devoted his entire life to the study of ancient Hebrew law. She writes that it is likely that Selden never met a Jew in his lifetime.

The reason I refer you to this article is because it blew my mind. Today it is not politically correct to talk about Manhigut Yisroel, a gov't based on Torah and Mitzvoth. It sounds "too Messianic". But here is a very respectable, very academic written article that shows that in the 17th century the Bible was used as a political text. She suggests that even modern liberalism may "well have some of its strongest roots in the books of Exodus. Judges, Samuel, and Kings, in the Talmud and in Maimonides: Tangible roots though tightly coiled around the other, non Hebraic sources of Western ideas about liberty."

Perhaps, articles such as these, would help raise the consciousness of our own people that the Torah has been a source of political and economic systems of today. A government based on Torah and Mitzvoth sounds revolutionary. It sounds like an idea for religious fanatics. Perhaps an effort is required on our part to make the concept more palatable for people in politics, academics, philosophers, economists, and the like. It requires education and much research and discussion not only in the Yeshivas but among academics, philosophers, economists. The proper presentation can make the difference in selling the idea of Manhigut Yisroel. More than that, the combined input of all this brain power is required in order to work out the details (or shall we say halachos) of a true Manhigut Yisroel.

Let us not be hard on our political leaders, religious leaders or law makers. This is a revolutionary form of gov't. It is scary for people. Change must come carefully and with thought and discussion, unifying all people. Each person has what to contribute. If we can find how each person can contribute, regardless of their political or religious orientation, that is a step in the right direction. The religious need to really start thinking in terms of "Mamlechet Kohanim". This comes with deep Emunah that the Mitzvot are indeed the answer.

Keeping the Shmitta year as specified in the Torah is truly revolutionizing. It requires an upheaval in the way government is run for that year. The truly observant and believing Jew will find that even though he would like to be modest in his observance, and not bother anyone to be religious like him, or keep the Mitzvot like him, will find it impossible to do so in the Shmitta year. Because Shmitta requires everyone to participate. It is socialism for one year. The Rosh Yeshiva and the typical Yeshiva student is not involved with the day to day running of the government. They would be required to consult with people who do run the government, about how such a system could be put into place. Even if the discussion is theoretical it is a start. The act of doing, will bring about unbelievable revelations. It will bring about the necessary confidence that is required for a Mamlechet Kohanim. it will convince us and the world that the Torah is indeed Emes and the nation of Israel is "Am Chachom Venavon".

Here is a scenario. If a person knows that he is required to loan money and not receive his loan back he will say to himself, "What is the point of me working like a dog, just to give my hard earned money to someone else that needs it (like the farmer). Hey, I need a break too. I'm going to take a Sabbatical this year and work on a project of my hearts desire. I and my family won't starve since we'll get food from the farms. I'll share my money with others and I'll ask around for loans to get my idea up and running. I'll approach my colleagues and convince them to take a Sabbatical as well. We'll share our resources and come up with some innovative ideas. My wife has a break since everyone is sharing their food so she doesn't spend that much time in the kitchen (only if she enjoys it). She'll be creative and start to clean out our basement. She finds junk that others find are treasures. There will be one big flea market so that everyone can give to the others whatever they need and take what they need in return. Lots of people will take Sabbaticals. Now there will be the time to fix all those broken radios and computers and give them away to people who need them or simply junk them. In fact there will be so much stuff that it might get to be overwhelming. So we start selling it all to the non Jews as specified in the Torah. Best of all we'll finally clean out our clutter. Talk about freedom! Picture the scenario?

Please keep the dialogue going!

Taking off work to help Jews of Gush Katif. Reminds me of Shemittah

A Daily Dose of Kindness
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

* A local charity organization in Ramat Beit Shemesh has been helping to organize volunteers to help our brothers who were recently evicted from their homes in Gush Katif, Gaza. It has been amazing to hear of professionals taking time off from work to spend full days helping these people. Psychologists and social workers have gone to counsel both adults and children. People have gone to a variety of locations to assist in any way possible – packing, unpacking, schlepping, entertaining displaced children, etc., etc.

A handyman recently apologized on a local e-mail list to any customers who had been trying to reach him – he was temporarily unavailable as he was in Atzmona in Gush Katif, helping former residents dismantle their hothouses so that they could salvage as much as possible to try to rebuild their livelihoods.

The residents of Gush Katif are not used to being on the receiving end. The director of the aforementioned charity organization, which until now has serviced only local, Ramat Beit Shemesh residents, said a couple of weeks ago that he asked the truck driver who delivers donated vegetables why that week he only had cucumbers and potatoes when he usually brought so much more than that. The driver replied, "All the other donations used to come from Gush Katif. Tons and tons. Literally ten trucks a day…"

If anyone is able to contribute to help the former residents of Gush Katif, who until now, had been helping to feed the poor across Israel, donations can be made through Lema’an Achai, as follows:

Israel Tax Deductible Donations should be made out to "Lema'an Achai", earmarked "Gush Katif Fund", and sent to:

Lema'an Achai (RBS), 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh 99093, ISRAEL.

Secure Online Donations: Go to: http://www.lemaanachai.org/donate.asp#Online

Credit Card Donations: Call (+972-2) 999.99.33 for Credit Card Donations 24 hours a day

US Dollar Check requiring US Tax Deduction:
Please make checks payable to:
"American Friends of Lema’an Achai"; on Memo Line indicate: "Gush Katif Fund"
c/o Simon Fleischer
35 West 96th St #1F
New York, NY 10025

UK Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "The Jewish Aid Committee" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.

Canadian Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "Shaarei Tefillah" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Moshe Feiglin's Mistake


This blog is in response to Moshe Feiglin's articles in Arutz7 entitled "If We Desire Life - Part 1 and 2"
Part one of this article can be read at http://www.israelnn.com/article.php3?id=5540.]

In his article Moshe Feiglin writes

The basic assumption was that the State of Israel has sufficiently strong democratic foundations, making it possible to wage a democratic struggle without violence. Many people, headed by this writer, erred in this assumption. (I was mistaken regarding other things that I will specify later.)This assumption led the public to expend tremendous resources on demonstrations that changed nothing.

On December 22, 2004, I, (Faigerayzel) responded in opposition to David Wilders letter to support the Wallerstein Proclamation. http://www.petitiononline.com/eretzyis/petition.html.

In this letter, it was apparent to me that civil disobedience was not the solution. The following letter reveals how I came to this conclusion. It was simply from the strong desire to keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah specifically the Mitzvah of Shemittah.

Re: Thank G-d For Pinchas - The Wallerstein Proclamation: Sign petition today...
12/22/04 12:21:40 AM Eastern Standard Time


Dear David, amv"sh

I don't believe civil disobedience is the solution. A stronger declaration needs to be made that Judea, Samaria is not subservient to the laws of the gov't of Israel. They are subservient first and foremost to the laws of the Torah. Last weeks Haftorah, Parsha Vayegash in Yechezkel talks about the Nevua of Malchei Yehudaha and Malchei Yisroel being joined as one. Before two entities are joined they are separate. I believe that now is the reversal of the original Galus of Malchus Yehuda and Malchus Yisroel. I don't believe now that there is presently a division of Yehuda and Yisroel. We are slowly coming out of Galus where The Kingdom of Yisroel was by enlarge lost. Many say that the gov't of Israel is now the product of the Eruv Rav which I believe is true. I believe that the Jews first need to assert their Jewish identity which can only come from true Manhigut Yisroel. I am for Yesha ceding from this gov't if the gov't chooses to abandon them. It is for their survival. I don't believe the civil disobedience will work. The American colonies fought for the right to practice their religion and against religious persecution. By agreeing to being placed in jail you are bowing to the underlying premise that the gov't has the legal authority to put you in jail. If you imply that you will not fight for what you believe in, than it will be seen as a sign of weakness.

I strongly believe that now is the time for leaders of Yesha to seriously think and plan of ceding. Of course the ultimate goal is reunification but only as it says in Pasuk 24, 25 etc in the Haftorah in Yechezkel.

The Leaders of Yesha first have to proclaim that they wish to keep the Mitzvot of the Torah and not to break away from the gov't. Being that there is so many Mitzvot Teluyot Baaretz, it is impossible to keep them if they have no Land. So they have no choice but to insist on keeping the Torah, and will abide by the Torah law before any gov't or international law at any cost. They are staying put at any cost and nobody dare try to fight them. Let us pray that Hashem will do as He promised, "Anochi alacheim lachem Veatem Tacharishu".

I believe a strong declaration such as the above along with Tefillah, Matana and preparing for war as did Yakov Aveinu with his dealings with Eisav.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Yoveil - Jubilee Year - President Bush's Inaugural Adrress 2005


In my last Blog I touched upon the Jubilee year. It is noteworthy that the President of the United States focused on the Jubilee as well in his Inaugural speech 2005.


Below please find a letter I wrote to President Bush following his speech. I don't know who his speechwriter was but there are many references to the Bible either directly or indirectly.

President Bush's Inaugural Speech 2005
1/21/05 2:23:50 AM Eastern Standard Time
President@WhiteHouse.Gov, Vice.President@Whitehouse.gov

President's Inaugural Speech 2005

President Bush's Inaugural Speech 2005 talks about freedom, liberty and democracy.

May I preface my remarks by praying that G-d Bless America and May G-d Bless the President of the United States of America and May the President continue to lead the Nation so that they continue to put their Trust in G-d the Master of the Universe and do His will.

This essay will bring down references in the Bible as well as commentary to President Bush's speech.

President Bush uses the word Sabbatical."After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire." This isn't exactly the same context as the Jewish Sabbatical year (aka Shmita), but there are similarities in the sense that a Sabbatical is a time of relative quiet and repose. President Bush says"From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth."This comes from the Bible the Book of Breishis/Genesis Chapter 1 verse 27. "So G-d created man in His image, in the image of G-d He created him, male and female He created them."

President Bush says:"We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies."

Examples of Freedom Fighters*
*******Yifat Alkobi, Miriam Fleishman and Elisheva Federman*******

I do not think President Bush knew of the following heroes in an article by David Wilder of Hebron, but if he understood the situation correctly he would most definitely put them in the category of freedom.
News from Hebron The Hebron Press Office
Sunday January 09, 20051.

Three women sentenced today
Yifat Alkobi, Miriam Fleishman and Elisheva Federman were today sentenced to three to five month conditional prison terms, having been convicted of 'child neglect' and 'causing a police officer to fail in performing his duty." The conditional sentence will be in effect for three years. This means that if any of the women are convicted of a similar 'crime,' i.e., 'child neglect' or 'causing a police officer to fail in performing his duty', they will be subject to an additional three to five month jail sentence. However, according to Israeli law, sentences of up to a half a year are converted to community service. Therefore, there is no immediate danger of actual imprisonment. A Hebron spokesman issued the following statement:It is quite ironic that on the same day that our Arab neighbors are electing a veteran terrorist, Abu Mazen, to head the largest Arab terror organization in the world, three Hebron women were sentenced by an Israeli judge to conditional jail terms, because they dared protest eviction of a widow and her five children from their home in the middle of the night, followed by the brutal destruction of their house. It was not enough that the Uzeri family lost its father to Arab terror, in their home, in front of their eyes. They also had to witness the bulldozing of their home and all their property into the ground.Yifat, Miriam and Elisheva had the gall to protest this horror and for that they are being punished. The Hebron Jewish Community extends gratitude and blessings to these three heroes, who could not sit quietly and watch others suffer such Israeli terror. All must learn from their bravery, and should the need arise, be willing to make the same sacrifices as these Hebron women.
******Freedom Fighter Pinchus Wallerstein*******
I don't know if President knew specifically about the Wallerstein Proclamation but if he doesn't I hope this will enlighten him as to another force for freedom.The Wallerstein Proclamation"I want a large part of the public that I believe are willing to go to prison to say so today so the decision-makers will understand where we are going," "If someone were to try to pass a law for a transfer like this of some Arab village... all the knights of justice and civil rights would immediately protest and scream their hearts out to the heavens. But when it concerns Yesha residents, there is no justice and there are no rights,?""The evacuation/compensation law which has already passed its first reading, and with the new government has nothing standing in its way, is an immoral law. This is not only because of the Stalinist way in which it was formed, and not only because of its inhumane clauses such as those that negate compensation from whoever objects to being thrown out of his home, but primarily because it legalizes an unspeakable crime: the forcible uprooting of Jews from their homes." "Only if there will be a large population already today that is committed to be in Gush Katif and northern Samaria (if and when there is forced evacuation) and bodily resist transfer, only then is there a chance that this government will understand the gravity of its steps. I'm not scared of going to prison, and I hope that many people will understand, like me, that this is the price we must pay in order to object in a non-violent manner to this unethical crime." "There won't be enough prisons in the country to hold them all, and something will have to give."Pinchas Wallerstein – Mayor, Benyamin Regional Council, Former chairman of the Yesha Council

*******Freedom Fighter Yosef Pilent*******

Does President Bush know the story of Yosef Pilent? Read the Story in Arutz7.Soldier’s ‘Fictitious’ Trial To High Court 22:07 Jan 09, '05 / 28 Tevet 5765 As the government continued to probe those who have called on soldiers to refuse orders to evict Jews from their homes, a soldier who was sentenced to jail said he is appealing to the High Court. Sgt. Yosef Pilent, who faces one month imprisonment for protesting the IDF’s removal of two trailers near Yitzhar, said his trial was “completely fictitious.” Pilent, an immigrant from the United States who has lived most of his life in Israel in Yitzhar, claimed in his appeal that he was not given an opportunity to consult with his lawyer before he was sentenced and that the army did not allow him to bring proof that the order to destroy the two empty trailers was illegal.“The whole process took no more than five minutes when the adjudging officer ruled according to what he saw on television without checking the facts,” said Pilent’s lawyer Shai Galilee.Pilent was on furlough last week when he saw his own unit destroying the homes at Givat Lehavah, a community near Yitzhar. His brother and fiancee were considering moving to one of the destroyed homes after their wedding this spring.Pilent was charged with “unbefitting behavior” after he explained he could not be charged with refusing orders that he had not received. “Their main goal is to use me as a scapegoat and put me in jail,” he added.The government continued its campaign against others who have claimed that it is illegal for army to issue orders to remove Jews from their homes, as the government proposes in its goal to dismantle 25 Jewish communities.Police interrogated Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss Sunday on suspicion that she violated the law by her call last week that soldiers refuse to carry out eviction orders.The army is expected to decide Sunday night or Monday on the fate of 34 IDF officers who wrote a letter last week concerning the illegality of eviction orders. Their commander had demanded they retract the letter or face expulsion from the army. The officers, reservists in the Binyamin Brigade in Samaria, wrote a second letter to their commander in which they declared they had not proposed that they or other soldiers should refuse orders.But the officers did not retract their claim that “every order to execute the disengagement is a blatantly illegal order” and that “soldiers are forbidden to carry out such orders.”They are to meet Major General Moshe Kaplinski, commanding officer of the Central Command, Sunday night when he may decide whether they remain in the armed forces. At an earlier meeting Sunday, the officers rejected a modified letter presented to them by their brigade commander Col. Miki Edelstein. “We had a thorough debate that was very difficult. Edelstein presented a modification of our modified letter and asked that we sign it. However, we could not accept,” said Lt. Col. Yitzhak Shadmi.************************************************

President Bush says.

"We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery."

The root of this statement comes from the Bible the Book of Vayikra/Leviticus chapter 25 verse 10 whereby all slaves are freed in the Jubilee year. "You shall return each man to his ancestral heritage and you shall return each man to his family".

President Bush says: "The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it".

Let this be a warning to the Sharon Gov't as the examples above are proof of a gov't denying freedom to its citizens.

President Bush Says:
"America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.
In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal."

President Bush has a clear agenda for America. It is good and just and very worthy. The Nation of Israel and the Land of Israel has a different agenda. They are chosen by G-d to be a "Kingdom of Priests". They find their potential by the commandments of the Torah which differs from the Constitution. If they recognize their unique role, and act upon it, other freedom loving nations such as the United States will in turn be able to achieve their lofty ideals and aspirations.
"In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever."
As the President points out we move forward by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before. The character of the Nation of Israel is defined by their ability to adhere to the "Truths of Sinai". When the Nation of Israel adheres to their Bible their character is strong. When they stray from the commandments in the Bible their character is weak.

President Bush says:
Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills.
When the President says "not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills", the President accepts the reality that it is G-d that chooses.
The Bible in the Book of Shemos/Exodus spells it out very clearly in Chapter 19 verse 5. The following verses precede the revelation at Sinai when G-d gives the Nation of Israel the Ten Commandments.

"And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. "You shall be to Me a Kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.
Being the beloved treasure of all peoples is contingent on observing the covenant. Being a Kingdom of ministers (Priests) is contingent on listening to G-d and observing His covenant. The language in Hebrew "Ki Li Kol Haaretz" can be also translated because the entire Land belongs to Me.. This concept is the underlying premise of the commandment of the Sabbatical year (Shmita) where the Land of Israel lies fallow thereby demonstrating that we, the Nation of Israel is giving back the Land to her rightful owner which is the Creator of the World.
President Bush says:
When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.
President Bush mentions the Liberty Bell. Engraved on the Liberty Bell is the quote from the Bible "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof"
In the Book of Vayikra/Leviticus Chapter 25 verse 10 it says
"You shall sanctify the fiftieth year and proclaim freedom throughout the land for all it inhabitants; it shall be the Jubilee Year for you, you shall return each man to his ancestral heritage and you shall return each man to his family. It shall be a Jubilee Year for you. In verse 17 it states "Each of you shall not aggrieve his fellow, and you shall fear your G-d; for I am Hashem your G-d. You shall perform My decrees, and observe My ordinances and perform them, then you shall dwell securely on the land. "
President Bush says:
And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
This thought has a common denominator with the concept in the verse "and you shalll return each man to his family". President Bush talks about the "soul of a nation" that results in customs and traditions different to each other. So too, the individual tribes of the Nation of Israel each represented a different soul. In the Jubilee year, the land was returned to the original tribe and each enslaved family member was returned to his family. The proper ownership of the Land was determined via lottery during the conquest of the Land of Israel in the time of Joshua. Each one of the tribes of Israel have a unique character and unique soul. The unique character and purpose was defined by the blessings of their forefather Jacob in the Book Of Breishis/Genesis Chapter 49. In addition, each tribe was assigned a specific parcel of Land which would enable them to actualize their unique role. Together, the tribes together form one complete unit.
This is a model for the world. To recognize the unique soul of each individual nation that is a composite of the uniqueness of each individual family member. The Jewish people have always known "Ein Lecho Ben CHorin Ela Me Sheosek Batorah". True Freedom of the world will come only when the Jewish people will occupy themselves with adhering to the H-ly Torah. The time has come for the Nation of Israel to focus very seriously on the commandments in the Torah such as the Sabbatical year (aka Shmita). This will lead us, with G-ds help to the ultimate redemption and the precious freedom we so desperately love and yearn for.
NOTE:. All Biblical Translations are from the Stone Edition. Publisher Artscroll/Mesorah

We Want Moshiach Now?


We davan everyday for Moshiach. But if we really thought about it carefully I'm not sure if we truly would say it with such Kavana if we really believed the ramifications. Let me preface by saying YES! After much thought, I still really want Moshiach NOW!

My child has a book called When Moshiach Comes. What it doesn't say is that when Moshiach comes he will tell each member of Am Yisroel which Shevet, tribe, they are from. Somehow, the nation, each and every member, will once again know which piece of inheritance actually is theirs. This sounds nice in theory but in practice it means that most probably we will all have to relocate. That's what the Yovel year is about. Not such an easy thing to do as we see with the misplaced people of Gush Katif and Katrina and New Orleans. But being that this will be in the time of Moshach we will joyfully accept this relocation with love and knowledge that it is in our best interest and we are moving to a life of Meeyn Olam Haba.

My parents are Holocaust survivers. My father's first family, his wife and daughter were slaughtered in the Shoah. My mother's parents and many of her siblings likewise. They were ruthlessly displaced. Recently I viewed a video called "The Silent Exodus" a film produced by Pierre Rehov. http://www.pierrerehov.com/. This documentary vividly shows how Jews in Arab speaking countries such as Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq etc were forced sometimes at a moments notice to evacuate leaving their entire lives behind them. The alternatives they faced were progroms and riots. I was in shock because all this was happening in MY lifetime and not even my parents. And I had no idea of its magnitude. The film depicted country after country expelling the Jews in Nazi like fashion. Each time Israel gained the upper hand, 1948, 1967, Entebbe etc the Jews in these countries suffered a retaliation forcing a Silent Exodus. Why do I bring this up? It is in order to suggest a possibility. Our heroes of Gush Katif are Creme de la Creme. Why were they displaced? Without fingerpointing except to our Master in Heaven, I would like to suggest the following. The message we learn is that we can never really feel secure in our dwelling. Life on this earth is a temporary one. We are all in G-'d hands and His infinite mercy. Sukkos to a small degree and the Jubillee year,Yovel brings this message across but without the trauma. Please G-d, bring the Moshiach NOW!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Comments of "Refugees from the Storm" from Aish.com

The following is a fabulous first hand report from a refugee of Hurricane Katrina. From Aish.com

Refugees from the Storm: http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society/Refugees_from_the_Storm.asp


There are many parallels here to the Shemittah year. It sounds crazy but is this the message? Keep the Shemittah year properly and then there would be no need for disasters to teach us what we need to know? We very much need to brainstorm. Each and every persons perspective is necessary. Shemittah by definition is a social dynamic where the contribution of each and every individual is valued and sought after. Each person is intimately involved and each person undergoes a very individual transformation of character traits. It is a year of personal growth and a year where we value what each and every individual has to offer. It is a year of faith where we live hand to mouth not knowing from where our sustenance will come tomorrow but believing fervently that it will come. G-d sent us 9/11 and the outpouring of good will and love of humanity became apparent. Hashem allowed the expulsion of Gush Katif and the refugees are being embraced by their brethren with everything they own. Now this story demonstrates our dependency on Hashem and how all belongs to Hashem. Do we really need disaster, destruction, pain and suffering to bring us to this realization? Shemittah is a relatively painless homeopathic alternative.

In response to video "Torn Together" and Torah Article in Arutz7 by Dani Isaac


Torn Together (You can view it by visiting> http://tinyurl.com/csn7k ) shows Ahavas Chinom in the highest degree. It will be Ahavas Chinom that will bring the 3rd Beis Hamikdash. I wish to add a different dimension.

I remember reading that Hashem asked in what merit will my children be redeemed. He asked the Torah and the the Torah couldn't defend them. He asked the Avot and the Avot also couldn't defend them. He asked others. Finally it was Teshuva that came to their rescue, that was what was able to redeem them.

If you believe you can destroy, believe you can repair (Rav Nachman of Breslov)

(If you have a more accurate version of the above, please send it to me because I can't recall where I heard or read this).

Examples where unity doesn't work
9/3/05 11:57:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time
info@beitorot.org, nissan@IsraelNationalNews

Shavua Tov!

There are examples in Parshas Reeh where the Mitzva seems to portray the exact opposite of brotherly love but apparently it is an expression of saving the people and ultimately leads to unity and brotherly love and blessing. Devarim Perek 13 Pasuk 7. If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is like your own soul will entice you secretly saying "Let us go and worship the gods of others" that you did not know, you or your forefathers, from the gods of the peoples that are all around you, those near to you or those far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth - you shall not accede to him and not hearken to him; your eye shall not take pity on him, you shall not be compassionate nor conceal him. Rather you shall surely kill him, your hand shall be the first against him to kill him, and the hand of the entire people afterwards. You shall pelt him with stones and he shall die, for he sought to make you stray from near HASHEM, your G-d, Who takes you out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. All Israel shall hear and fear , and they shall not again do such an evil thing in your midst.

Doesn't sound very much like brotherly love to me.

The Torah continues

If, in one of your cities that Hashem, your G-d, gives you in which to dwell, you hear, saying "Lawless men have emerged from your midst, and they have caused the dwellers of their city to go astray, saying "Let us go and worship the gods of others, that you have not known you shall seek out and investigate, and inquire well, and behold it is true, the word is correct, this abomination was committed in your midst. You shall surely smite the inhabitants of the city with the edge of the sword. You shall gather together all its booty to the midst of its open square, and you shall burn in fire completely the city and all its booty to Hashem, your G-d, and it shall be an eternal heap. It shall not be rebuilt. No part of the banned property may adhere to your hand, so that Hashem will turn back from his burning wrath; and He will give you mercy and be merciful to you and multiply you, as He swore to your forefathers, when you hearken in the voice of Hashem, your G-d to observe all his commandments that I command you today to do what is right in the eyes of Hashem your G-d.

This doesn't sound very merciful and forgiving way to treat our brothers who have sinned yet it evokes mercy from Heaven above. Here we are not discussing how to treat our enemies. These are discussions about how to treat our fellow brothers even our wives and husbands, sons and daughters if they lead us astray. G-d forbid we should ever have to come to this but if we fail to act strong to stand up for Hashem's Torah and Mitzvot it will lead us to hate our brothers. We will be resentful of them and resentful of what they have done to us.

Other examples of the Torah where brother fought against brother and was sanctioned by Hashem was after Chait Haegel. Shemos Perek 32 Pasuk 26. Moses stood at the gateway of the camp and said "whoever is for Hashem, join me." and all the Levites gathered around him. He said to them. So said Hashem the G-d of Israel. Every man, put his sword on his thigh and pass back and forth from gate to gate in the camp. Let every man kill his brother, every man his fellow, and every man his near one.' The Levites did as Moses said, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Moses said, Dedicate yourselves this day to Hashem - for each has opposed his son and his brother - that He may bestow upon you a blessing, this day."

So the Torah sounds very much like extreme religious fanaticism. Very politically incorrect. Very cruel. Very barbaric, Very inhumane. One thing I am convinced. Acts such as these, killing members of our family, killing our brothers, go against the very grain of the nature of the Jew. We are Rachmanim Bnei Rachmanim. But there are certains Mitzvot that require us to go against our nature. Avraham Aveinu's ultimate test was the Akeida. His whole life he was preaching about the depravity of the idol worshippers who sacrificed their children to the G-ds and then he himself was in the situation where he was required to do so. However, I believe that even though deep down he was willing to do whatever G-d commanded him, he believed that G-d would somehow come through and not require him to actually kill his son. Breishis 22/5 (And Avraham said to his young men, "Stay here by yourselves with the donkey, while I and the lad will go yonder; we will worship and WE will return to you.")

We have to stand up for the Torah. We are committed to the Torah. Sometimes when we stand up for the Torah it is perceived as an act against our fellow Jew. It is not. Declaring our independance from the State of Israel when they brazenly defy the Torah is not an act of war against our brothers. It is simply and expression of Mi Lahashem Ali. Hashem knows how desperately we do not wish to harm our brothers and our knowledge of the intrinsic value of each and every Jew and his contribution to the whole and our loss when his contribution is missiong. However, it is those that defy the Torah that are the part of our whole that is diseased and if not agressively dealt with, will spread to the healthy part. Not visa versa. In Gush KAtif there was never a declaration of war to our brothers. There was also never a declaration of allegience to Hashem and to His Holy Torah which by definition should have not allowed us to willingly give away our Land. It is my belief if we would have declared allegience to Hashem and His Holy Torah and showed a willingness to stand up to any aggression be it Arab or Jewish, there would have been an outpouring of support among the generals, the soldiers and citizens that it would have stopped the disengagement in its tracks and would not have caused a war among brothers. Where was the simple declaration that this Land belongs to G-d and it is an everlasting inheritance to the children of Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov? The State of Israel is secular. Apparently, the nation as a whole is not yet ready for a gov't based on Torah. Therefore, let us then live peacefully side by side and let us try to set up a gov't based on the Torah. We love you. You are our brothers. Nevertheless, our love for G-d and His holy Torah supercedes the love we have for any human being.

Re: Moshe Belogorodsky Coming From Shilo to U.S.


The civil rights abuses of those that are jailed including minors, unfortunately did not suprise me. It it for this reason I didn't agree with civil disobedience approach of Pinchus Wallerstein and Manhigut Yehudit. These civil rights abuses are sadly to be expected in Sharon's gov't. The reason I raise this is because it's important to know what we are up against.

The following scenario is for sure a possibility:

I would not be surprised if Shabak would pick (or plant) a few settlers ( and make sure they receive adequate compensation for the expulsion). Then show these settlers complaining that they did not have pocket money for basic necessities. The media will then portray the refugees as doing whatever they can to take advantage of the gov't and as exploiters.

Comments to video "Torn Together" and Moshe Gelogrorodsky Coming From Shilo to U.S.

I received this email:

Friends,>> Something truly heartrending and beautiful. I highly> recommend you watch this.>> My thanks and my congratulations to> Tzvi Freeman for his touching photo> essay and to Chabad.org for trying to> bring the people of Israel together.>> You can view it by visiting> http://tinyurl.com/csn7k>> Naomi>

Here are my comments about this video.

I think that there were mistakes that were made initially by Yesha that allowed the disengagement to eventually occur. These mistakes need tikkun. The desire for unity was fed by a legitimate fear of acting independently. The fear was that Gush Katif would never survive Arab agression without support of the Gov't of Israel and Zahal. This fear led to the decisions of Yesha not to take a stand with backbone (peaceful resistance). The video Torn Together allows us to feel good about ourselves which we deserve to feel. However, it does not confront the root of the expulsion.

I would not be surprised if the teenagers who have been in jail (especially the ones that suffered civil right abuses) are resentful of their parents for allowing them to fight a battle that adults should have fought and in fact actually encouraging them (under Pinchus Wallerstein's direction as well as others) to be put in jail.

The pain is too raw. However, this call for unity with a heretical gov't is bringing us to Moshiach through much pain and suffering. (We will all be redeemed but be Chayav as opposed to we will all be redeemed because we are Zakai). I believe separating ourselves as did Avraham from Lot is the temporary solution. After the separation Hashem spoke to Avraham because while Lot was behaving as a Rasha in Avraham's company (greedy, stealing etc), Hashem was unable to reveal Himself. It is important to note that Moshiach comes from both Avraham"s seed Yehudah, and Lot's seed Ruth. The ultimate goal is unity among all of Am Yisroel and no Jew will be left behind.

Initially it is simply too difficult for most of the nation to have a gov't based on Torah. It will be plenty difficult and revolutionary for the Gush Emunim to follow laws that are rediscovered. Most of the nation will say that they do not wish to be coerced.

Another forwarded message I received:
-----------------Forwarded Message:
Moshe Belogorodsky Coming From Shilo to U.S.
9/4/05 11:44:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Miriam Adahan has sent the following plea to the American Jewish community: PLEASE INVITE Chaya and Moshe to speak in your shul or community center. The situation is very desperate in terms of civil rights here. Signed: Dr. Miriam Adahan. Email: Emett@netvision.net.il. For those not familiar with the case, Chaya, a 14 year old, was arrested in Kfar Darom during a demonstration against the expulsion, for speaking with chutzpah to a soldier. Her father Moshe had to publicize the case, full of atrocities, in order to get her out of jail after 50 days. Moshe will be coming from Shilo on a speaking tour from Sept. 15 to October 6. The purpose of his trip is twofold: A. Raise the awareness of the American Jewish community regarding the civil rights abuses that have been and still are going on in Israel, with tens of teens languishing in jail. B. Raise funds for Honeinu, and organization which provides political prisoners with legal help. Today's "BeSheva" newspaper finally reported about the forced strip searches being performed on female anti-disengagement protesters, some of who are minors, by the Maasiyahu prison authorities. Honeinu is the only organization standing up to protect these peoples' civil liberties in court, as well as bringing their plight to public attention. For example, Etti Meidad and her 8-month-old baby have spent the past 3 weeks in jail on trumped up charges. It was the Special Prosecutor Shai Nitzan himself who gave a personal order, immediately after Etti's arrest, to place Zangi's 2 youngest boys in forced adoption. Please help make this trip a success by helping us arrange speaking engagements, parlor meetings, and meetings with prominent figures who can warn the authorities that their activities are under public scrutiny. To help, please contact: HavaNehama@aol.com. I will pass on your message to Moshe. Or you can email him directly at ydf@013.net.ilThank you for caring. (posted Haya Hava Shulman)

Lettter I sent to Hebron@hebron.org December 2004

I wrote to David Wilder suggesting that the Yesha Leaders seriously consider the possibility of refusing to accept this gov't authority over them if this gov't chooses to abandon them. This means that they seriously start thinking about setting up a governing authority in line with the Torah. David's response was that this course would cause divisiveness and would possibly be a fatal mistake. My response to his response is that choosing not to adhere to the Torah would be a fatal mistake. I refuse to be subservient to a gov't that defies G-d's Law in the Land of Israel. I will be subservient to a governing body who accepts G-d's Law of the Torah and the fundamental precept that The Land of Israel was given to the seed of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov and the Nation of Israel who in turn are obligated in adhering to the Mitzvot specified in the Torah regarding the Land for the benefit of mankind. The Truth when spoken will be heard and respected.

Standing up for the Torah can only bring Shalom.
12/24/04 12:41:57 AM Eastern Standard Time

Dear David, amv"sh

I believe my position will bring peace and not chas Veshalom divisiveness. It's a case of Mi LaHashem Elai. The Leviim obeyed Hashem's command. If one desires to do the Mitzvot Teluyot Baaretz with all his heart and soul there is no alternative but to say very simply that the Land is Fundamental to the Torah. There is no discussion. The Torah is quite explicit about the curses awaiting us when we fail to do the Mitzvot specifically like Shemita. It doesn't make a difference to me whether the Yesha Council is against civil disobedience or not and that your position is somewhat of a compromise. On the position of Eretz Yisroel there is simply no discussion. I can not support a gov't that does not agree on this fundamental truth. It is equivalent to be being Kofer BeIkar. I do not believe that G-d brought us back to the Land after 2000 years so that we can give it away or compromise. The split or division among the Jews is a result of not standing up strongly for our beliefs. Why not suggest to the world that within Israel there are 2 fundamentally different camps. The fundamental Jews wish to keep the Law of the Torah which is quite explicit. The Land belongs to G-d. G-d in turn chose the Nation of Israel to keep it's commandments. These commandments such as Shmita require us to let the Land go fallow in the Seventh Year as well as Teruman, Maaser, Leket Shikcha UPeah to name a few. This in turn makes the Land H-ly. (It is called the HolyLand for a reason). Keeping these commandments is what gives us the right to the Land of Israel. When the Nation of Israel abide by the Torah, the entire world benefits. They are the violinists. When they play, beautiful music is heard. There is no discussion because if you wish to hear music it can only be through the Commandments of the Torah. Palestinians know nothing about this. In fact they hate the music and wish to destroy. Even a democracy will not play the music. When the desire to truly keep the Mitzvot of the Torah is so strong, there is the knowledge that it can only result in good and not Chas Veshalom in divisiveness.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How it began... How I became interested in shemittah.

My discussion about Shemittah began in the year 5747. But my personal story that brought me to focus on Shemittah began years before. I remember as a young girl how my parents would consistently send packages to Israel for my Aunt and her family. Any time we heard that someone was leaving to Israel my mother would shop and prepare a care package. My aunt would gratefully receive all the care packages and would value every item as if it was the greatest gift. It felt good to be on the giving end. I was in my 20's, single and was working as a computer programmer in Young and Rubicam. I had joined a Bnei Akiva Garin called Moreshet Avot and the plan was to eventually make Aliya to Kiryat Arba. In the summer of 1980 I decided to take an extended vacation leave and went to Kiryat Arba as a volunteer for the Social Services Dept. of Kiryat Arba. I lived in an available studio apt. in Kiryat Arba. I helped in the Maon Keshishim, and befriended an elderly Yemenite women in her 80's, helped take care of 2 adopted Downe Syndrome babies whose adopted mother was pregnant and on bed rest and I tutored a young girl who had epileptic seizures. It was a very productive summer and at the end of the summer one of the families of the Garin mentioned that an apt in their building was for sale and perhaps I was interested. Being that the apt cost $16,000 and with the lawyers fee would amount to no more than $17,000, I bought it with the agreement that I would work the following year in the States and pay it off in installments. It took a year and then I was ready to make aliyah. I had an apt and decided not to use my zechuyot because I had what I needed b"h. In December 1981 I made aliyah. I was determined to be independent and not be a "shnorrer". I was going to work, and not live off of handouts. It hurt me that people of Israel had the reputation of being shnorrers.

Soon my parents began to send me care packages. My nature did not allow me to be on the receiving end. It seemed to me that in America they considered themselves as rich and if you lived in Israel it meant you were poor. I still preferred to be the giver and not the receiver. I didn't like the attitude of Magia Li, it's coming to me because I live in Israel. I was a proud human being and felt that Israel should be a proud State. Within time I made a vow to myself not to accept gifts from others even if it meant rejecting gifts from my own parents. In retrospect the vow was a mistake but I only came to that realization through a very long and agonizing process. I did understand the seriousness of breaking a vow. Therefore even though my parents were heartbroken on my decision not to accept gifts from them, I persisted. My life became unbearable. Because not only wasn't I not accepting gifts from my parents in America, I felt that it would be an insult to them if I did accept from others in Israel. By the end of 1986 I was in a terrible bind. I could not continue living this austere lifestyle and yet I was very afraid to break this vow. Because the purpose of the vow was leshem shamayim, to correct what I perceived to be an a Chillul Hashem. The Chillul Hashem was the fact that many in America and all over the world thought we were "the poor people in Israel", Aniyee Eretz Yisroel and they felt sorry for us and therefore wanted to help us. In reality we were the opposite and should be perceived to be the opposite.

Then I started to read about Shemittah. It was a year that everything belonged to Hashem and we relinquished all our loans and the Land was "returned" to its rightful owner. I saw a way out of my Neder. The produce did not belong to anyone and it had special Kedusha. Farmers declared their fields Hefker and the produce had Kedushas Shviis. What I was eating belonged to what another designated as their Mitzva. So others were returning what they had to Hashem. The Mitzva gave me the right to eat from this produce which had special sanctity. It was then that I perceived a key to the Tikkun of the Chillul Hashem. The Tikkun was the way one gave and the way one received. If one gives in the spirit that I am doing a Mitzva and giving to Hashem than that is the right way to give. The person receiving was not receiving directly from the one that gave. The person receiving was receiving directly from Hashem. Hashem created a Mitzvah which gave him the opportunity for his sustenance. The receiver would desire that Am Yisroel do the Mitzvoth of the Torah and thank Hashem for his livelihood. Others examples of this besides Shemittah are the Mitzvoth of Leket, Shikcha and Peeah. The landowner would do these Mitzvoth and the poor person thanked G-d for his livelihood and be grateful that the landowner was a righteous human being that fulfilled the Mitzvoth. The Kohanim and Leviim are other examples. The Nation is obligated to give Terumot and Maaserot. The proper attitude in performing these Mitzvoth is to say I am fulfilling Mitzvoth. One is not chas veshalom allowed to think I am giving you the Kohen a personal gift and you in turn owe me something. Because if the Kohen took this as a personal gift and even tried to pay it back in some way it was an insult to his Kehuna. The correct way to give is that I am performing a Mitzvah of Terumah and Maasrot. The Kohein and Levi are recipients of other peoples Mitzvoth. They in turn would pray that the people keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah because their sustenance depended on it. This was a tremendous revelation to me and one of many. I understood that I misjudged how people were giving and misjudged how people were receiving. Or perhaps there were flaws in the way people were giving and receiving. If one was embarrassed from receiving that indicates that the giver perhaps had the wrong intention or perhaps the receiver had the wrong intention.

The Shemittah year was a personal tikkun of my character traits. I by nature was a giver. In the Shemittah year I learned how to receive. I by nature did not like to borrow money. In the shemittah year I learned how to borrow. Prior to the Shemittah year I was fasting on a regular basis in order to come closer to Hashem. In the Shemittah year I ate. The list goes on and on...

I cannot describe to you the resistance however to this years experience. If this experienced would be implemented large scale it was no less than a political, social and economic upheaval. The reaction was totally unified agreement against these ideas. I reached the summit but I was alone. At the end of the Shemittah year I went to Hakhel and was thrilled to start anew with the beautiful Mitzvoth of ownership, the laws of tithes, etc. But I was emotionally drained and very alone. I borrowed money from my family in America to pay my overdraft (in retrospect a mistake). I came to America for family Simchas and was unable to withstand family pressure not to return to Israel especially because in Israel these ideas of shemittah were met with such resistance alienating me from almost everyone I held dear, friend, family and rabbinic leaders.

So I was in Golus and the pain was unbearable. But recognizing that perhaps the world was not ready for these ideas about Shemittah I was quiet. It was only after September 11, 2001, 14 years later, which occurred immediately following a shemittah year did I begin to once again speak about shemittah. I saw the nuclear, biological and chemical threat against mankind and thought to myself that no matter how scary implementing shemittah might be, these alternatives were way scarier.

I started writing about Shemittah and my article was eventually posted by Arutz7 in 2004.

Dear Robin, We posted your article on Shmitta under the above title on our Torah page. The URL is http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=3743 Thanks, again (after a few years, no?), Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

18 years later I am still focused about Shemittah. When Shemittah is kept, we declare the Land belongs to G-d. Only the Nation of Israel has the obligations to keep the commandments thereby bringing sanctity to the Land. No other nation even a nice "democratic PA" has the inclination to keep the commandments. If we truly had the desire to keep the commandments in the Torah we would simply say "Sorry, but only we are the violinists that can bring out the music of the Land for all to enjoy. G-d promised the Land of Israel to the Nation of Israel, via His Covenant with our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed thereafter. We in turn have obligations. Every seven years and every 50 years we return the Land to G-d declaring that all that we have is His. (The Yovel year can only be observed when the 12 tribes are back in the Land of Israel.)

I am convinced that the moment we declare that we wish to stay on the Land and keep the commandments of the Torah, such as Shemittah, G-d will come to our rescue.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shemittah Rediscovered by Faigerayzel


70 years of exile following the destruction of the First Temple were for the 70 years Shemittah was not observed properly.

What does Hashem expect from us when the Torah says that debts are cancelled after seven years in the Shemittah year? (Shemitath Kesafim)

Learn about the adventure of Faigerayzel as she ventured into frontier territory uncharted for thousands of years. A year of Shemittah without Pruzbul and without Heter Mechirah. The year was 5747 in the Jewish Calendar 1987 C.E. The journey began several year before...