Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to become a Suicide Bomber


Radical directions in Islam, like the Hamas in Gaza, educate young Palestinians in a very professional way for their own ideological goals.

Here are three movies by
Pierre Rehov, who interviewed some radical Palestinians and has been researching about the whole subject for some time.

The first movie shows how suicide bombers really believe that Allah is going to provide them with 72 virgins after their "heroic death". As a matter of fact, there is a question about what kind of a "present" female suicide bombers receive.

The second movie shows how young boys are trained to become suicide bombers, and the third movie is a trailer about of Rehov's latest movie, the liberation of Irak.

It is interesting that in the first two movies, Muslims admit the true goals of radical Islam: spreading their religion all over the world and kill everyone who refuses to become a Muslim.

The movies should be watched anywhere, as not too many people know about these goals !

Not all Muslims are fundamentalists and radical ! However, everyone has to know about the violent side of Islam as well, and, unfortunately, the wider masses still underestimate this kind of extremism.

How to become a suicide bomber

72 Virgins

The Liberation of Irak


Arutz 7

Chasene in Toldot Aharon, Part 2

More pictures from the Chaseneh (wedding) in Chassidut Toldot Aharon. The wedding took place on January 28, 2009, in Williamsburgh / New York.

Photos from the wedding Toldot Aharon, Spinka, Kretchnif, Melitz, Zidichov

Under the Chuppah

Friday, January 30, 2009

Chasene in Toldot Aharon


Toldot Aharon Wedding in Williamsburgh, 28th January 2009

The Toldot Aharon Rebbe David Kahn

Kabbalat Panim Kretchnif - Rehovot

The Satmarer Rebbe Zalman Leib Teitelbaum

The Toldot Aharon Rebbe David Kahn at the Mitzve Tanz

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Being in Egypt


At the moment, we are reading the "Book of Exodus - Sefer Shemot" in the Synagogues on Shabbat. We study and hear about the Israelites being slaves in Egypt. After Yosef died, life went down the drain and happiness and freedom turned into depression and slavery. There was no hope but one family represented the opposite. The family of Yocheved and Amram and their three children Miriam, Aharon and Moshe. They belonged to the few people who never gave up hope.

When we read all this today, it seems like nice stories. Something romantic and many times even tragic. But we may ask ourselves: "What does this all have to do with me ? Okay, the Jews were in Egypt, then got out, became real Jews through the Torah and walked around in a desert. But am I in a desert ? Isn't this rather old stuff although I don't deny the Torah fact ?

As we already know, the Torah was given from G - d to the Jews forever. The Torah is valid eternally and it is forbidden to make any changes. Until this day, the Torah is, besides the general concepts, teaching each of us something personal as well. And when we look deeper into the matter and try to understand "Egypt", we come to the conclusion that "Egypt" can be a whole concept. Of course, I am not physically there but what about my own personal Egypt ? Am I really that free in any kind of sense ?

Each of us has his or her own personal Egypt. The physical Egypt by being caught in the material world. All our dependencies, habits and addictions. Furthermore, the even much worse "spiritual" Egypt. When you have lost all hope, don't care anymore and when you are locked up into your own thoughts which don't let you any freedom and escape.

This is today's Egypt and we can learn this from "Sefer Shemot". This is the message the Torah is giving us now ! Next week, Parashat Beshlach, is telling us about the Exodus and maybe we should use the time preparing our own Exodus from OUR individual Egypt !

Facts about anti - Semitism

The latest facts about the new wave of anti - Semitism as well as the actions of the present Pope provides the "Anti - Defamation League".

Hamas Heroism


A poster showing dead Hamas terrorists is being handed out to the Gaza population. Some people like to hang up posters showing Brad Pitt or some rather immodest girls. However, the Palestinian population seems to prefer a different kind of a hero: terrorists.

Those who are pro - Palestinian and would love to join hanging up such a poster: I am sure that you can get in touch with the propaganda channel "Al Jazeera" and they will provide you with one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rabbinate versus Pope


Israel's Chief Rabbinate (Rabbanut) and the American Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel are not impressed by the Vatican's attempt of looking for excuses to rehabilitate Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson.

Last year, the Pope reintroduced an old anti - Semitic church prayer for the Jews finally seeing the "light" in Christianity, and now he brings back a vicious Holocaust denier into the Catholic Church.

Not that we are too surprised in Israel, as the present Pope from Germany has a certain Nazi reputation due to his participation in the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War. "Nazi Pope" is he often called and with his actions, he seems to prove his reputation of being correct.

Richard Williamson and his interview

Jewish Music Report


Something to swing:

Great Pictures from famous Graves


A haredi forum published some great pictures of Rachel's grave, the Ma'harat HaMachpela in Hebron as well as the grave of Shmuel HaNavi (the Prophet Samuel).

At Rachel's grave (Kever Rachel)

Israeli security wall between Rachel's grave and Bethlehem (Beit Lechem)

The "Maharat HaMachpela - Grave of our forefathers / mothers" in Hebron

It says on the curtain: Yitzchak and Rivka (Rebekka)

The grave of Shmuel HaNavi (the Prophet Samuel) near Jerusalem

Jerusalem surrounding

All pictures view here !

Nadvorna Rebbe stoned by Palestinians


Last week, the Nadvorna Rebbe (Bnei Brak) went to the Mount of Olives (Har HaZe'itim) in order to visit his mother's grave due to her Yahrzeit. As soon as his car stopped near an Arab school, some Palestinians threw stones onto the Rebbe and his followers. No one was injured, the Rebbe's car left and Israeli security forces were informed. Last Shabbat, the Rebbe organized a special Kiddush were he thanked G - d for the miracle of not suffering from any injuries.

Link: Nadvorna Homepage

The Nadvorna Rebbe (Bnei Brak) on Tu be'Shevat

Yahrzeit in Lelov

The grave of Rebbe David in Lelov


Chassidut Lelov is marking the 195th Yahrzeit (7th Shevat) of its founder Rebbe David Biderman of Lelov. Tomorrow, Thursday, the present Lelover Rebbe is traveling together with 400 Chassidim to Lelov in Poland. There, a Tish will be held this Mozzaei Shabbat.

Rebbe David was a student of Rabbi Elimelech of Lejansk and of the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin., as well as a close friend of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshis'cha.

The trip is being financed by donations. The present Lelover Rebbe is leaving on a private plane tomorrow - together with a limited amount of Chassidim. All the other Chassidim are due to arrive for the Tish in Lelov on Mozzaei Shabbat. It is said that the Tish is going to last for 5 hours !


Photos from Lelov / Poland

Chadrei HaCharedim

The Jews strike Back


The world seems to have gone completely nuts these days. There are still some good and objective people; people with a mind and don't just get caught up in Arab anti - Semitic propaganda. Nevertheless, when you look around the world and see all those anti - Israel demonstrations where Gaza is compared to Auschwitz or the Warsaw Ghetto, you can only be disgusted by such primitive, not to say, stupid comparisons. Don't people don't have any brains any more ?

Here a striking back video from the Simon - Wiesenthal - Center:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bibi and his Image

Election propaganda of the LIKUD


Opposition leader Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu from the LIKUD is the only Israeli politician who understands the importance of today's communication technology. He knows how to use the Internet whereas other Knesset members just consider the computers as an alien and rather continue their "good connections" with some of Israel's mass media such as local radio channels, newspapers, etc.

"I will be back soon" !


The grave of Rachel Imenu (Yaakov's wife).
You can enlarge the picture by clicking on it. The sticker on it (just a sercastic joke appearing on the computer) was "written by Rachel".

"I will be back soon !"

Rachel's grave near Bethlehem (Beit Lechem)

Not too many Ashkenazic Haredim go for the "Rachel Imenu War Story". They themselves say that this is more for the Sepharadim, as they believe in all kinds of miracles.

It is said that during the last Gaza War, a group of Israeli soldiers wanted to enter a house in Gaza, as a woman, dressed in white, appeared and warned them not to go inside. The Hamas had set up a trap.

The soldiers went to the next house and, miraculously, the same woman appeared. Again, she warned them and the soldiers finally asked for her name: "Rachel Imenu - Your mother Rachel", she responded.

True or not true ? Who knows ?
However, the photomontage is funny !

Rabbi Avraham Ravitz passed away


Rabbi Avraham Ravitz, the head of the "Degel HaTorah" party (merged with "Yahadut HaTorah"), passed away last night at the age of 75. Already about three weeks ago, he was hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, as he was suffering from a severe heart problem. The funeral is going to take place at 1 pm today; from his house in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Vagan to the Har HaMenuchot Cemetery.

Knessetmember Avraham Ravitz z"l

Ravitz was born in Tel Aviv and after his yeshiva studies, he joined the "Lechi" (fighting against the Brits for an independent State of Israel). Later on he worked for Israel's anti - missionary organization "Yad Le'Achim" and then joined the Knesset.

Ravitz also suffered from severe kidney problems and received a donor kidney from his oldest son Moshe. However, this kidney stopped working and Ravitz had to go for a diaslysis.
He is leaving behind his wife Avigail, 12 children and 77 grandchildren.


Chadrei HaCharedim

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Forgetting how to live ?


Sometimes the variety of Halacha really strikes me. It may not even be the variety but rather the conclusions many Orthodox Jews draw. Conclusions where I, many times, don't know if they are right or wrong. They just seem to sound so incredible that, to me, they become totally irrational.

Not that G - d exclusively provided us with rationality - this is not what I mean and I better tell the story happening to me last Shabbat in order to express myself clearly.

I was at a rabbi's house and at the end of the meal we said Bircat HaMazon (Grace after the Meal). I reached out for a Bencher (book with prayers and songs) but the Bencher I grabbed was full of some sauce; apparently from the meal. My hand was dirty and sticky and I asked one of the rabbi's daughters if she can pass me a napkin.
She did.
However, the napkin alone didn't really clean my messed up hand and I could have just finished benching and then, on my way out, wash my hands in the kitchen. However, as there were at least 70 guests in the house, I thought about the line - up on the way out and that I may have an easier solution. I handed the napkin back and asked another daughter if she could wet the napkin so that I could clean up my hand with it. This time, the second daughter refused making the napkin wet. Her response was that she wasn't sure if she is allowed to do this on Shabbat.

This is the whole incident and it may just sound as nothing has happened. I don't know if the teenage girl was right and if there is such a Halacha. However, it simply came into my mind how "obssessed" people can be with all the laws.
G - d gave us the Torah and all the Mitzwot, no doubt about that. But, in many cases, it just seems far too exaggerated what humans did to Halacha. I mean making a napkin wet on Shabbat, does this fall under soaking and is forbidden ? But why then use wet rags or anything like that ? Or why use a napkin at all when it automatically may become wet or dirty or whatever ?

I am not complaining about the girl but I think that sometimes we just have to be more human and enjoy our lives instead of getting caught in millions of Halachot. Halachot made by us because of setting certain fences in order no to violate anything else.
If G - d really wanted us to become so obsessed with laws that we don't see anything else in life anymore ?

A Hero called David Shapira


Last year, David Shapira shot the Palestinian terrorist who killed several students inside the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

In this video, David Shapira is giving his first interview to the well - known Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan. He also participated as an army officer in the last Gaza war.

Emergency call from March 6th, 2008. Seconds later, David Shapira shot the terrorist inside the Yeshiva after a policeman had refused to go in with him and help him saving the lives of the students.

Rosh Chodesh Shevat - שבט


Tonight (Sunday), we celebrate the beginning of the new Jewish month of Shevat. Thus, the entire Monday will be Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

The month of Shevat always starts introducing spring and many plants begin to blossom. The sad thing this year is that, so far, it hasn't rained too much in we desperately need water in Israel. If it doesn't rain much much more, we are forced to import water from Turkey. The Kinneret has been drying out for years and we just don't have another source.

To me, Shevat means getting a year older, as I am celebrating my birthday during this month. To those of you who also celebrate their birthday in the upcoming new month: In Judaism we don't find a firm definition about birthdays. The Torah only lists Paraoh's birthday. Nevertheless, our commentators say that each of us celebrating his birthday has a special power on this particular day. If he asks G - d for something, chances are high that the wish may be fulfilled.

Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the new month) was the first Mitzwah given to the Jewish people as a nation (see this week's Parashat BO and the Ramban). A new months can also mean a new beginning in our lives. Shevat is the 11th month in the Jewish calendar. On the first of Shevat, Moshe began to read the entire Book of Deutoronomy (Sefer Devarim) to the Jewish people. Later on, in the month of Adar, he passed away.

According to Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), every Jewish month stands for a certain letter, tribe, horoscope, colour and organ: The colour of Shevat is blue - green, the letter is Zaddik(צ), the tribe is Asher, the organ is the stomach and the horoscope is Aquarius ("Dli - bucket" in Hebrew).

Furthermore, Shevat symbolizes the senses of eating and taste. It says that a Zaddik (righteous person) eats in order to satisfy his soul. Hence, he only eats so much that he can survive.

Auqarius symbolizes water, which, on the other hand, is a metapher for Torah. Without Torah and water we cannot exist and therefore, the month of Shevat is also a new beginning for Torah studies.
Aquarius is an "air sign" and those born in this month are rebellious, like changes and stand for spontanious decisions. They always search for their own identity, are open to new ideas, hate the rat trap and are love to communicate.

Many famous rabbis passed away during the month of Shevat:

4th Shevat: Rabbi Israel Abuchatzeira, the Baba Sali, 1890 - 1984

5th Shevat: Rabbi Aryeh Yehudah Leib of Ger, 1847 - 1905, the Sefat Emet and founder Chassidut Gur (Ger)

14th Shevat: Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, 1935 - 1983

22nd Shevat: Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, 1787 - 1859

25th Shevat: Rabbi Israel Salanter

29th: Rabbi Nosson Zvi Finkel, the Alter of Slobodka, 1849 - 1927

Additionally, many early rabbis of Chassidut Lelov and Zanz passed away.

Adding the "Yaale ve Yavo - prayer" into the Amidah and into the Bircat HaMazon.
It is customary for women not to do any housework on Rosh Chodesh.

Chodesh Tov - A great, happy, successful and healthy new month to all of you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shabbat Shalom


Spending this Shabbat in Jerusalem will be a change. After two weeks in Tel Aviv and just relaxing, I am finally back on the chassidic stage. Nevertheless, the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Rabbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn seems to give his Tish in Boro Park and I am not sure if the Toldot Aharon Rebbe is still in Jerusalem or if he already left for Monsey and Williamsburgh.

Hopefully Kretchnif, Dushinsky or something else will be on.

I wish you all a great Shabbat - Gut Shabbes - and try to concentrate on the positive things in life.

Barcelona is banning "Holocaust Day"


The Prophets were right !
Wherever we Jews go and whatever we do, we just can neither escape our religion nor G - d. We can try to assimilate or hate our identity as much as we like, there is always a certain point when the Gentiles remind each of us Jews who we are.
Bad news: This will go on until Meshiach comes.

Barcelona / Spain now canceled its "Holocaust Memorial Day" on January, 27th. This is the date when Auschwitz was liberated more than sixty years ago. This is the reason why many part of Europe officiallt remember the Holocaust victims on January 27th.

Barcelona canceled due to Arab protests about the war in Gaza.
Who would have thought sixty years ago that such an anti - Semitic act could happen again. Who would have ever thought that anything like that would be possible ? People keeping on claiming we should put the Holocuast aside and continue life have been proven wrong a long time ago.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Banned UN speech concerning Israel


Everyone should watch this video in order to understand UN policy.

Who is guilty of War Crimes ?


As expected, the UN General Secretary, who is not ashamed of shaking hands with Achmadinejad, is officially accusing Israel of War Crimes. Does such a statement causes us a shock or is it a surprise ? No, not at all, as we know that the UN is anti - Israel.
It is just strange that especially the UN has never accused the Palestinians of war crimes during those eight years, the Hamas fired its Kassam rockets on Sderot.

Israel and War Crimes - an interesting as well as important article !

Is there anyone to vote for ?


After all the American election excitement, Israel is now going through the same procedure: Knesset Elections on 10th February 2009.

The great question for me is "who to vote for". It is well - known that the majority of Israeli politicians is either corrupt or just doesn't care about anything but himself, reputation and money. However, if there is a new election coming up, the same old politicians are showing up on the voting lists; again and again. For years, this has been going on and no change is at sight.

The past two times, I voted for the National Religious Party. Twice is enough and this time I need a change. The NRP transformed into a new group but I am anything but interested in them. Their political actions are running towards ZERO and the entire party is just a waste of time. Except for my favourite politician Aryed Eldad.

Aryeh has to manage without me this time.
But for whom to vote ?
Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud ? - Netanyahu accepts millions of Dollar from radical Christian missionary groups; and Bibi ? We already had him as prime minister and he is no great change compared to Kadima. Wasn't it him giving Hebrion back to the Palestinians ?
No, Bibi doesn't mean a great change to what we are facing now.

How about the haredi party "Yahadut HaTorah" ?
As a religious person I need to be aware of my identity and show some solidarity with the Kipa and wig (sheitel) life.
I definitely would but Yaakov Litzman and his colleagues only stand for their own haredi society.
Where do I fit in ? As a person not particularly dressed in haredi clothes and not belonging to society. Do they represent me as well ?

Who else is there ?
Last night at work, I asked around if all of the colleagues are going to vote. Yes, they do and gave me bad looks when I took into consideration not to vote at all. There simply is no politician I trust.

"We all have to go and throw out this catastrophe called government", my colleagues said. True, so I will go but vote for whom ? Then another colleague told me for whom she is going to vote. For Avigdor Lieberman.
She is Israeli and I was surprised, as Lieberman mostly stands for Russian immigrant interests. However, my colleague claimed that all we need in Israel is Lieberman. A strong hand or better "fist". Show the Arabs their limits and fight terror.

Avigdor Lieberman - The new Me'ir Kahane of our times ?

I had never taken Lieberman into any consideration but will think about the idea. Why not him ?
It cannot be much worse and let's be honest, besides a social agenda, we need someone our enemies fear and respect. Maybe more fear. And Lieberman is a great character fulfilling this kind of position.

But wait a second ?
Wasn't Lieberman, despite all his extreme right - wing - talk part of the Olmert government ? At least for a few months ?
So, where is his credibility ?

I see, I could go on and on and on.
Is there anyone out there to vote for ?

What "Economical Crisis" ?


America in an economical crisis ? Who says ?
Have a look at Obama's new car for 5 million Dollar.

(Click to enlarge)

Rare Photos of the "Pnei Menachem"


The previous Gerrer (Chassidut Gur) Rebbe, until 1996, was Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter (June 9, 1926 - March 7, 1996), also known as the Pnei Menachem. He was the Gerrer Rebbe from 1992 - 1996, and is the uncle of the present Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Alter.

I found some rare pictures of the "Pnei Menachem" on the Internet and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


All photos can be viewed here.

Shabbat with the Gerrer Rebbe ?


Would you like to spend a Shabbat with the Gerrer (Gur) Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Alter ? Then you need to pay 250.000 $ entrance fee !

The present Admor of Gur

For Parashat Yitro, the Rebbe Rebbe is going to France in order to spend the Shabbat with at least twenty wealthy donors.
I don't know the reaction about showing up with no money but an empty stomach but you can try.

Chadrei HaCharedim

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dana Bar - On from Kibbutz "Nir Am"


This video is going around the world these days:

21 - year - old Dana Bar - On talks about the rocket attacks on her Kibbutz "Nir Am".

"Sesame Street" is becoming Jewish


"Sesame Street" - or in Hebrew "Rehov Sumsum" is becoming Jewish. In order to bring a Jewish religious atmosphere into the series, the American production company is about to invent and introduce new Jewish characters. Ernie and Bert with a Kipa or maybe even as Chassidim ?

But what about the Muppets ? Is Miss Piggy becoming a "kosher pig" ?

The origial version of "Sesame Street will continue as usual !

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

… and the angels live upstairs


Whom of us, at least once in a while, doesn't imagine an angel coming and solving all one's personal problems ?
Angels have a task and help humans. Guardian Angels for example and wouldn't we be glad meeting our own Guardian Angel who is supposed to protect us all the time.

Angels are already mentioned in the Torah, the Talmud, in the Zohar and the Midrash. The Baal Shem Tov said that the angels are sustained through our prayers to G - d.
Anyway, how does this work ? Sustained through our prayers ?
Don't they have the power to live alone ? Why do angels need us humans ?

The conclusion is that this concept is only an illusion, as the angels themselves are nothing more than G - d's garments.
According to the Baal Shem Tov and some other sources, the angels are part of G - d. Him acting with different powers just like the Sefirot (G - d's attributes).

On the other hand, the Talmud as well as the Mezritcher Maggid (Rabbi Dov Baer Friedman) state that angels don't have Free Will as we humans do. Each of them only has one task and fulfills the will of G - d. And angel cannot change his task or interfere in a different way.

We, on the other hand, have a Free Will and thus, have a choice in life. Furthermore, the Maggid said that humans are even on a higher level than angels, as their souls (Neshamot) come from the world of Beriah. The angels only come from Yetzirah, one level below Beriah.

The concept of angels in Judaism is anything but easy to understand, and there are quite a few opinions. Most commentators say that when it says in the Torah that an angel spoke to Moshe etc., it was really G - d who spoke. G - d on a certain level and revealing one of His attributes. Usually people, myself included, get confused when it says that an angel doesn't have Free Will or only has one task. Then I do think that certain angels do actually exit. Some kind of a spiritual being.

And when the Maggid of Mezritch claims that the angels come from the World of Yetzirah - there are also angels in the upper world of Beriah where our souls come from. Only the highest World of Atzilut (above Beriah) is pure thought where only G - d "exists".

Remark: Please take into consideration that all the above mentioned upper worlds are only spiritual entities and not at all physical.

"FITNA" by Geert Wilders


Due to the new / old wave of anti - Semitism in the world:

Those demonstrating against Israel should take the following pictures and ideologies, shown in the movie below, into consideration. If you demonstrate in favour of Hamas and many Palestinians, you should at least be aware of what you are supporting.

The short movie "FITNA" produced by Geert Wilders may be extreme but, nevertheless, it shows of what radical Mulims are able and willing to do.

Monday, January 19, 2009

And where were "You" ? - Haredi Society and the War


In times of war, it becomes much more obvious to everyone. To secular Jews as well as to haredi society itself: Haredi men study in Yeshivot (religious institutions) and don't go to the army.

Actually I am not too keen on writing or commenting on the subject why Haredim don't go to the army and why some do. First of all, it doesn't change anything in reality and secondly, some people could use my reports in a negative sense. Pointing their fingers at the Haredim and say: "Look, they are lazy and just hang around the whole day !" People making that claim should know that no one in Israel discussed this subject during the last war in Gaza.

Today, we have the "Chok Tal - the Tal Law" in Israel. It stipulates that male Haredim who are enrolled in a Yeshiva, don't have to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Usually young men serve for three and women for two years in the army. Those who refuse have to go to jail.

National religious girls do a social service instead called "Sherut Le'umit". Their haredi counterparts often marry at the age of 18 - 20 and whoever is married, doesn't have to join the army anymore. Men likewise.

"Sherut Le'umit" is organized by several Israeli institutions and the girls have the choice. Sometimes the service lasts longer and sometimes the opposite is the case.

While the Israeli population has been extremely concerned about the well - being of its soldiers, haredi populations seems to be somewhere outside. Should Haredim show their solidarity and if so, how ? Especially Haredim seem to ask why things are happening and for what reason. They like to analyze and the question was, how they should behave and deal with the war in Gaza.

Countless litvish - haredi Yeshivot organized additional Torah studies and prayers for the soldiers. There is no doubt, lots of solidarity was shown and those who don't believe it can simple have a look into the haredi forum world.

On the other hand - how do Haredim deal with the war ? How does it effect them internally ?

Chabad and Breslov are known to be everywhere; mostly at the front. They usually help soldiers putting on Tefillin and there actually was a campaign run by ALL kinds of Haredim. Zizit were donated for the soldiers going to the front line. Those soldiers joining were afraid and asked themselves if they ever come back safe and sound. So, the Zizit also served as a private emotional protection shield.

Last week, a colleague of mine told me a certain war story. She emphazised that everything is true and really took place this way. A day later, I read the ame story in a secular Israeli newspaper mentioned in an article about Haredim and the war in Gaza.
The story goes that a group of soldiers was about to enter a house in Gaza in order to search for terrorists. Before they could enter, suddenly a woman dressed in white appeared and warned the soldiers not to enter the house. It was a trap.
The soldiers went to the next house and the same women re - appeared. She made the same claim and the soldiers began to wonder who this woman was. "Rachel Imenu - Your mother Rachel (biblical Yaakov's wife)", she responded.

Haredi society loves to quote and see miracles in everything. G - d gives us a sign and actually does interfere to our very best. At the same time, society never seems to get tired of investigating why this and that is happening to us. Does everything only happen without any reason because it appears to be so rational ?
No, as G - d rules about everything. It is Him making ALL decisions and not us. But why does He go against us Jews ? Why is there Good and Evil in this world ? Why do Israeli soldiers die and the Hamas rejoices ? Shouldn’t it be the other way around ?

When G - d created this world, He enabled us having our "Free Will". And in order to have Free Will, we need Good and Evil in this world; otherwise there wouldn't be a choice. Evil is going to exist until Meshiach comes and then it will be "slaughtered" (in a symbolic sense).

In Judaism, and our own history proves it, we follow the concept that if the Jews move further away from G - d and don't keep the Torah Mitzwot, G - d is punishing us. And here we have found the reason of how haredi society argues: More and more Jews are becoming secular or marry a non - Jewish spouse. The result is that G - d is punishing us for our misbehaviour. A collective punishment (e.g. Diaspora). In case someone doesn't keep Shabbat, he doesn't only effect himself but the entire Jewish nation.

Many Haredi argue that G - d is sending us all those hostile nations in order to do Teshuva (repentance). Find our way back to G - d and He will help us; send the Meshiach. But as long as we follow our evil ways, the nations are going to pick on us and force us into wars. This exactly is the reason why there is evil in the world. Our task is to overcome it and thus bring Meshiach.

And now, our corrupt government, once again, made an agreement with the nations. The government decided for a cease fire or in other words "gave up". How does our interpretation now look ?
Again, we or better, the government, didn't trust in G - d but relies on the nations. Instead of using our own strength, Israel gave in.

It looks like Meshiach has still a long way to go.

Speaking about myself, I am not too much into all those predictions of why things happen this or that way. In fact, only G - d decides and it is Him who knows all reasons, and we shouldn't get lost in too many unnecessary speculations.

A statistic:
In the 50ies, when the former prime minister David Ben Gurion agreed to free the Haredim from the arme service, there were only 400 Haredim. Today we have 35.000 not joining the army.

Today we also have quite a few Haredim who do joing the army (in the special unit Nachal HaCharedi). Those who refuse are often afraid of going against their own society and thus facing disadvantages by the rabbis and society as a whole.

The Palestinians and their manipulated Photos


In our times, not only regular weapons decide a war. Today, the winner is also stipulated by his propaganda machine. Youtube and the Internet as a whole make everything possible.

And it was actually the Internet (Facebook) helping me to find a great website showing how the Palestinians manipulate their war pictures. Many of those pictures went around the world and caused people getting tears into their eyes. Due to the pictures, Israel became the center of hatred but are those pictures always telling the truth ?

Is this photo real ?

This picture shows us a man, obviously the father of the young injured boy. Nevertheless, the picture either seems to be a fake or manipulated. Edited by the Palestinian propaganda machinery.

The boy's head is bleeding but how come the hand of the "father" doesn't show any signs of blood while he his hugging the boy ?
And doesn't a concerned father takes care of his injured son right away ? Giving First Aid instead of letting themselves being photographed in a "pitiful" position by the press ?

The "Obamas" are coming


With the Democrat Barak Obama, a new US President is moving into the White House tomorrow. Not too many people seem to be bothered by the fact that originally, Obama comes from a Muslim family.
His father was a Muslim.
Not even Hillary Clinton seems to be bothered anymore although she once, during her election campaign, published a picture showing Obama praying like a Muslim.

However, there are some negative signs already before Obama is coming into office:

He already announced that he doesn't see a need anymore to kill the main terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Furthermore, Obama is planning a "dialog" with Iran, hence with its vicious President Achmadinajad.

Israel has any reason to ask what is going to happen with the American soldiers stationed in Irak. What about Bin Laden and Iran who are the main threats to Israel ?
Is Obama entering a Muslim brotherhood ? And haven't the Saudis invested lots of money into Obama's election campaign ?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The "Undercover Islam"


In it's last weekend edition, Israel's daily MAARIV published a very interesting article. The article which was a few pages long, obviously dealt with Salman Rushdie but when you had a closer look, a tremendous important question was asked.

How independent is the world and especially Europe from Islam ?

Twenty years ago, the modern free world did everything in its might to support and protect Salman Rushdie from the fanatic Mullah system in Iran. Today, however, an American or other airlines "recommend" the famous writer ("The Satanic Verses") to rather use a different airline, as they themselves don't want to get into trouble with Muslim organizations let alone being the target of terror attacks.

No, there is nothing to worry, as Rushdie still has his bodyguards and has enough plane tickets. The main concern is that more and more publishers in Europe refuse to print anything controvertial about Islam. Editors want to avoid a second Denmark.
The mass media as well as editors try to avoid too much criticism about Islam. Keep quite and don't upset the fanatic Mullahs in Iran, Afghanistan oder elsewhere.

And the public ?
The wider public obviously agrees to the "Undercover Game" and calls every rebel a racist.

Who would have imagined such a horrifying reality twenty years ago ?

Alone with G - d


For the past few weeks, I haven't written too much about my usual subject: the Chassidut.
And I admit that I haven't even answered all the e - mails I have received regarding the subject.

My first excuse is that I have been very busy with the "Hasbara - Movement (explaining the Israeli point of view about the war in Gaza). I was busy collecting some material and explaining to German speakers, what is going on in Israel and who Hamas is.
Not everyone in Germany, Switzerland or Austria understands English and is able reading all the English sites. Furthermore, it is always a matter of mentality. Germans like to get some information from other Germans who speak their language and know their mentality. The same as every other nation in the world.

I hope that I did succeed a little, as I had a massive amount of hits on the Hasbara articles. On the other hand, I neglected my other blogs and now decided to use the time and catch up.

The second reason why I haven't written about Chassidut lately is that I simply needed a break. Not from G - d, not from Chassidut, but use some time for myself. Spend Shabbat in a different way; without all the chassidic Tishes and even seeing Haredim. Instead, I spent my past two Shabbatot with long walks at the beach in Tel Aviv. Enjoying the sound of the waves and being with myself and with G - d.

I enjoy those quiet moments very much and I think that everyone should get away or take a break once in a while. It is good to think and not only rushing from one Shabbat event to the next, having no time for oneself.

This upcoming Shabbat I am going to spend in Jerusalem and I will see at what Tish I am going to end.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shabbat Shalom


SHABBAT SHALOM (Gut Shabbes) to all readers from Tel Aviv.

The weather here is not too nice although it is pretty warm. I was planning to walk over to Bnei Brak but I am still not sure. Rain had been predicted and I may cancel the trip.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eastern European Chassidim during the Holocaust

Israel Government Portal


Important information for tourists and Israeli citizens can be found here.

Knesset Elections in February 2009

Details about the upcoming Knesset elections next month can be viewed on the same Website.

Knesset elections - background information, information, ministries, peace process, history of the State of Israel, atomic threat from Iran, Jerusalem and many more topics can be found here.

I haven't decided yet for whom to vote. Twice I voted for the national religious party MAVDAL but they now exist under a different name and don't interest me anymore anyway.

Maybe the haredi party "Yahadut HaTorah", but there are many issues upon I don't agree with them. On the other hand, who does this at all with his party ?

The LIKUD under Benjamin Netanyahu may be an alternative.
Or rather not ?

The basic problem is that every time, the same politicians appear on the voting list and the majority of those guys are corrupt.

We still have another month and maybe, due to the war, the date for the elections will be delayed. This would give us even more time to think.

Rocket Collection

Collection of Kassam - Rocket debris in the Negev town of Sderot.


The Hamas continues firing Kassam - Rockets and Grad - Missiles onto the cities of Beer Sheva, Sderot and Ashkelon.

The RAMBAM and the Intellect

"Moreh Nevuchim - Guide for the Perplexed"


The Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, Maimonides) was born in Cordoba / Spain in 1135. He was one of the greatest Torah scholars we ever had in Judaism. Furthermore, he was an expert in physics, was a philosopher and medical doctor.

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1135 - 1204)

In his "Guide for the Perplexed – Moreh Nevuchim" we can find him as a philosopher. On the one hand, the Guide serves Jews getting some understanding of the symbols of the Torah but at the same time, the Guide is written for highly intellectual people understanding the hidden messages in it.

After a highly productive life, the Rambam died in 1204, and was layed to rest in Tiberias in northern Israel.
Many times we hear a claim that the Rambam actually converted to Islam when the Almohad (a radical Islamic group) invaded Spain. However, this claim was never confirmed and a conversion of the Rambam seems to be very unlikely. Why would he then call Mohammad a madman ?

The grave of Rambam in Tiberias

The "Guide for the Perplexed" was originally written in Arabic and caused lots of criticism in those days. The book was even banned or burned. The main reason for the ban was the Rambam quoting the Greek philosopher Aristotle. How could someone dare quoting a Greek philosopher and confirm some of his opinions (e.g. creation of the world) ? On the other hand, the Rambam also proves Aristotle wrong in many further issues. Not all of Aristotle's statements went hand in hand with Judaism.

Throughout the entire Guide, the Rambam always comes back to his main issue:
G - d gave us all the intellect so that we may use it in the best and highest way we can. It is the intellect making us different from an animal. Our intellect enables us to differ between Good and Evil. Man can perfect himself by using his intellect and the more intellectual a person is, the more likely he may receive prophecy. The Rambam claims that prophecy is only given to perfected highly intellectuals. Those statements are rejected by a later Jewish philosopher from the 14th century; by the famous Chasdai Crescas.
According to Crescas, nothing depends only on the intellect of an individual but G - d created all of us out of love. And wouldn't all those ideas about the intellect leading people away from taking the Torah Mitzwot seriously ? Doesn't a high intellect only become an excuse ? Just like: "If I have enough intellect, I am automatically closer to G - d".

Despite all the bans and book burnings, the Guide became one of the most famous and most studied Jewish book. Besides the "Mishna Torah" and other works, the "Guide for the Perplexed", once again, shows the greatness of the Rambam.

Why are People unable to accept Reality ?


Gaza in yellow surrounded by all the Israeli locations where the rockets hit.

Source: Muqata

Map of the former Israeli settlements (Gush Katif) in the Gaza Strip. Im August 2005, the Gush Katif area with its Jewish settlements was handed over to the Palestinian Authority; a deal turning out to be a catastrophe.

Source: Muqata

For a week or so, I have been hearing some national religious, especially from the settler movement, the idea that the Israeli soldiers should remain in Gaza. Thus, the settlements given up in August 2005, could be re - established. This would be the best solution, as all those towns in the Negev weren't attacked anymore.

Already in 2004, when the whole public discussion about the end of Gush Katif started, I wasn't really sure if the Gaza Strip was really a part of Israel. Or call it "Eretz Israel", if you like.
Already the Prophets let us know that the former area of the Philistines was anything but peaceful. Just look at King David and all the wars he had with them.
Is Gaza really part of Israel ?
Many say NO and others told me that so many miracles happened while the Israelis were settling there. Too many miracles to just be ignored. Bombs didn't go off or miraculously, not many Jews got hurt. Wasn't this a sign from G - d that we should stay and settle there ?

Until the very end, the inhabitants of Gush Katif (not all of them were religious, as there were also secular Jews among them) believed that G - d would rescue them. Just make another miracle.
When this didn't happened, many people started looking for other solutions. I think it was a Chabad site publishing a Kabbalist who claimed that in a few years or so, a deadly earthquake is going to take place in Gaza. And this is why G - d actually took us out of there - to save us.

Why can't people just accept reality ?
I know that it is not always too pleasant but this is the world we momentarily live in.
The army won't re - conquer the Gaza Strip. This is not its mission but weakening Hamas and destroying all their ammunition.
No one wants to re - settle Gaza, as the whole Strip is referred to as nothing but a burden.

A link for those interested in the former Gush Katif settlements:

Gush Katif Net

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Confusion in Jerusalem


About an hour ago, confusion broke out in Jerusalem, as all the city sirens went off for about a minute. People thought that there might be a rocket attack from Gaza and didn't know what to do.
In a way, we knew that it couldn't be an attack, as it is rather unlikely that the Hamas from Gaza is shooting rockets to Jerusalem. The terrorists don't have any control about where the rocket may land and thus, they could hit the Arab Quarter or their Al - Aksa - Mosque. This would be fun seeing the whole idol - worship mosque just blowing into a thousand pieces.

However, as far as I heard, the sirens were just a practice and there is nothing to worry about.

Fixing Rabbi Shimon's Grave


The grave of Rabbi Shimon HaZaddik in Jerusalem underwent some reparations and here are a few pictures of the new site. Maybe one of you can see any new changes, however, I don't. Although I have been spending so many years in Jerusalem, unfortunately, it never turned out for me visiting the grave.

Rabbi Shimon HaZaddik was a "Cohen HaGadol - High Priest" during the time of the Second Temple and he is considered to be the last righteous Cohen HaGadol; after he passed away, all his successors just ended up in corruption.

The grave can be found across the Ma'alot Dafna neighbourhood. Cross the main road coming from the Old City and leading to the French Hill. Today, the site is controvertial because the Arabs claim that the site belongs to them. Don't ask me why, as I am unable of following their weird propaganda ideas.


All pictures can be viewed here !

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Something Funny for a Change


The cartoon world and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Kosher Flights


The Haredim (Ultra - Orthodox) are in the middle of negotiations with Israel's airline ELAL. After demanding "kosher" busses from the state - owned bus company EGGED, the Haredim are now asking for kosher planes.

At least for the past two years, Jerusalem's Haredim as well as others from the nearby haredi towns of Beitar, Kiryat Sefer and partially Ramat Beit Shemesh, have been asking EGGED to provide kosher busses with separate seating for men and women.

EGGED can not afford changing all its busses into something kosher but doesn't want to loose customers. Neither from the haredi nor from the national religious or secular population. The number 402 bus from Jerusalem to Bnei Brak has a strict Mechitzah (separation) but on other busses like the one to Beitar (185 to Jerusalem) or Ramat Beit Shemesh (417 to Jerusalem), the customers themselves seem to care less about the strict modesty rules. As EGGED isn't too helpful in this matter, the Haredim found another solution. They organized a private bus company called "SUPERBUS" and there, men and women are seated separately.

Now there is a demand for kosher flights on kosher planes, and ELAL seems to be more flexible than EGGED. After all those haredi boycotts on the airline (mostly organized by Chassidut Gur because ELAL partially works on Shabbat), the airline may be fed up arguing and agreed to the haredi demand. Thus, the first kosher planes are already supposed to fly on Pessach.

Besides the separate modest seating, on those kosher planes, men will be served by males and women by males and females. Moreover, NO movies will be shown during the flight !

Where is all the modesty supposed to end ?
Did our forefather have separate seats from Sarah, Rivka (Rebecca), Rachel and Leah ? And what about our souls (Neshamot) once they go up to the upper worlds ? Is G - d standing there and taking all those modesty rules into consideration ?
Female souls to the right and male souls to the left !

Media War


Not only Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists are leading a war in Gaza; another war, maybe even more significant, is led in the media and especially on the Internet: the "Propaganda War".

The Hamas loves to show pictures of crying children and women. The world starts crying as well and everyone is feeling so terribly sorry for the "poor" Palestinians. Nevertheless, there is a second side to reality and this, Hamas doesn't like to publish. Otherwise TV - channels like "Al Jazeera" could be finally marked as what they really are: Tools of Terrorism.

These kind of pictures the Hamas loves to present all over the world and the local media publishes them without questioning.

The following pictures you won't see too often ... The Hamas - Youth in Action.
Where are the UN or those organization claiming to protect children ? Do we hear any kind of outcries ?
No !