Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Zionism is Over

From Arutz-7:

Manhigut Yehudit Leader: Zionism is Over
16:09 Mar 29, '05 / 18 Adar 5765

"The era of Zionism has ended, and the State of Israel will soon be built upon Judaism." So said Moti Karpel, a leader of the Likud's Manhigut Yehudit faction, at the Jerusalem Conference on Monday.

Karpel, a founder of the Manhigut movement and former editor of its bi-weekly publication, said that he notes the end of Zionism "not with joy, but rather with concern. If we don't find the way to deal with this, we are liable to deteriorate to destruction."

"Leaders are openly trampling on Zionism," he said. "They have no answers of substance... Zionism not only does not know how to deal with the problems, but it actually creates the problems. [For instance,] we don't have a real problem with the Arabs – the problem is caused only by the psychology of the Jews."

How does he view the future of the State of Israel? "In the future, the basis of the State will be Judaism. I am not referring to a religious state. I don't think that the entire nation can observe the Shulhan Arukh [the Code of Jewish Law], based on the current situation; it's not realistic. But most of the Jewish public recognizes its Jewish identity. There are certain mitzvoth [Torah commandments] that are considered 'mitzvot of identity' that obligate everyone to test the level of his Jewish identity."

To strengthen Israel's Jewish identity, Karpel said that the State of Israel must "imbue its youth with Jewish consciousness, and not to suffice merely with Zionist ideology. The basis of Zionist ideology has slipped away; it was relevant to specific conditions before and after the Holocaust."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Aliyah Quote #22: Lacking Nothing!

"And when you come to the Land, and plant all (kinds of) fruit-trees [kol eitz ma'achal]." (Viyikra 19:23)

These three words, explains the Ba'al ha'Turim, have the same numerical value as 'zehu pilpelin' (this is pepper). Indeed, the Gemara in B'rachos (36b) infers from these very words, that the Pasuk is coming to incorporate in the laws of Orlah, a fruit which tastes like the tree, and that this is a pepper. To demonstrate, the Gemara concludes, that Eretz Yisrael lacks nothing, because even pepper grows there. (Taken from Midei Shabbos BeShabbato)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Aliyah Quote #21: Made For Each Other

From Ohrnet:

The unique relationship between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel is expressed in two Biblical passages: "This inheritance is suited to me." (Tehillim 16:6) "I clothed myself in righteousness and it clothed me." (Iyov 29:14)

Sometimes there is a person who is of pleasant appearance but his garments are unsightly, and sometimes there is a person who is unsightly but his garments are of a pleasant appearance. The People of Israel and the Land of Israel, however, are both pleasant and suited to each other. (Midrash Rabba Bamidbar 23:6)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Bunch of New Movie Clips!

From the makers of "Shofar, So Good" comes a host of new movie clips!

Just in time for Purim, Jewish Impact Films has redone their website and added lots of new material. So which clip is your favorite?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Anyone Notice An Entire Bus Stop For Sale On E-Bay Lately?

It must be Purim season.

From Ynetnews.com:

Entire bus stop stolen
Thieves load bus station onto truck – cement surface and all
By Eli Senior

A bus stop located on Sanhedrin St. in Yavne was stolen in its entirety early Monday.

The perpetrators loaded the bus station, including the cement surface the station was situated on, onto a truck in the middle of the night, according to the Yavne Municipality .

A number of residents who live near the station said they noticed the truck and the thieves but did not report the incident to the police.

Yavne Mayor Zvi Gov-Ari, who ordered city administrators to file a complaint with the police, said in response “only the citizens can prevent such acts.”

“I call on every citizen who cares to immediately report every unusual incident to the police so the criminals may be put on trial and to prevent unnecessary municipal expenses to repair the damage,” he said.

The Yavne municipality recently completed the construction of 50 modern bus stations in the city’s streets.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Onlytzaras.com: The Next Big Thing

If you haven't already seen it, check out Onlytzaras.com (Just in time for Purim!)

I found out about it though Hashkafah.com. And it's already been blogged about on chakira. But I wanted to point out (that's what I do) that if you pay close attention to detail you will see just how much work was put into this effort. For example the "Yeridah of Gedalia and Ruth Blumenkranz" page on Onlytzaras.com has a corresponding "Aliyah of Gedalia and Ruth Blumenkranz" page on Onlysimchas.com itself. Talk about taking parody to the extreme! Onlysimchas.com may not even be aware they have "been punked" and are in on a joke about themselves. Or perhaps they are just good sports about it. (If by chance, OnlySimchas now realizes it was a bogus gallery and are not good sports about it they will likely remove the gallery. In which case you'll just have to take my word for it that it was there and it was VERY funny!)

Friday, March 18, 2005

SIX Summer NBN Aliyah Flights!

Just Announced:

Nefesh B'Nefesh is proud to announce the flight dates for the most exciting summer of aliyah from North America, in history.

Opening the summer- a Double Event
From Canada and the USA
1)Dept JFK July 12, 2005
2)Dept Toronto July 12, 2005

3)Dept JFK July 26, 2005
4) Dept JFK Aug 2, 2005
5)Dept JFK Aug 16 or 23, 2005 (not final)
6) Dept JFK Sept 6, 2005

I'm in the "July 12 JFK flight pool."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

You Heard It Here First!

Via Yeranen Yaakov:

Israel Insider reports on a Nigerian scam using Suha Arafat's name.

This was reported right here in January.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Aliyah Quote #20: Better Than Monsey

A person should live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city which is mostly Nochrim; he should not live in Chutz la'Aretz, even in a city which is mostly Yisrael. (Kesuvos 110b)

Monday, March 14, 2005


It's officially a hit. Be sure to also check out all the others.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

So I was on my way to the Siyum HaShas at Continental Airlines Arena a week and a half ago with my two brothers. My older brother was driving and I had shotgun. My father let me borrow his new – and very cool – digital camera, which I highly recommend. We were planning on arriving at the Meadowlands early so we could "tailgate." No such luck as 1/9 has got to be one of the worst marked highways in the tri-state area; we ended up taking a tour of Jersey City. By the time we found our way towards the Arena it was getting late – and that meant traffic.

As we ever so slowly inched our way forward I noticed a very large chopper (security?) hovering over the area with search lights and to make the most of the situation I whipped out the camera and started snapping photos of it.

Then I started taking pictures of the traffic – which actually turned out to be a lot trickier than it sounds because it was getting dark and the cars were moving (albeit slowly). Anyway after playing around with the settings, I stuck my hand out the window as high as I could reach and snapped away. Other cars must have thought we were nuts.

At the last second, as we passed under that “SIYUM HASHAS” highway sign my bother in the back seat said, “hey, get that!”

“I did already – but okay I’ll take another one.”

It would make a nice picture anyway, especially with the “RACETRACK” sign lit up next to it and I didn’t know if the other shots I took came out either. And sure enough most of those other shots were blurry.

So I posted 40 of the 117 pictures I took of the Siyum online a few days later. And the photo (above) known as “IMG_0931.jpg” turned out to be a hit. Very sweet! It is still circulating around the world via e-mail. I received it from five different people myself. It was posted on several blogs. (It even made the cover of "The Five Town Jewish Times!") The most popular caption for it is of course – “Onu Ratzim Veh'em Ratzim” – which is what we declare as we make the Siyum – “we run” toward spiritual everlasting matters - and “they run” towards worldly vanities. (Of course in the more zoomed out shot you can see the racetrack arrow points in the same direction.)

Though I think there is another appeal to the picture. This is America! You don’t see the words “SIYUM HASHAS” lit up on the highway every day. It’s like spotting someone in the Daily News wearing a yarmulke. It makes you stop and point and say “hey, look!” Of course nobody opens a Jerusalem Post and starts pointing out every yarmulke they spot. And I think there’s an important lesson in that. “SIYUM HASHAS” is something unusual on Route 3 - West in New Jersey. But it wouldn’t be so strange to see it posted on the Begin-North highway in Israel.

Because in one country we are guests and in the other we are Home.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sanhedrin: Disengagement "is a crime."

From Arutz-7:

The Sanhedrin´s Declaration Concerning the Disengagement
Tuesday, March 8, 2005 / 27 Adar 5765

The reestablished Sanhedrin has concluded extensive deliberations on the disengagement plan, rejecting it as a contradiction to the Torah of Israel.

The current format of the Sanhedrin is the renewal of the historic Sanhedrin, Judaism's highest legal-religious tribunal during Holy Temple times. The 71-man assembly convened in one of the Holy Temple chambers, and existed from several decades before the Common Era until roughly 425 C.E. The renewed body was launched last year in Tiberias, and convenes in Jerusalem.

Following an intensive study and debate on the issue and its halakhic [Jewish legal] implications, the Sanhedrin drafted a declaration Monday, stating inter alia:

* The disengagement plan, involving the uprooting of Jewish communities in Gaza and Samaria and the abandonment of these areas to a foreign entity, is in direct contradiction to the Torah of Israel, and is null and void. Future governments of Israel will have to re-conquer the areas in question.

* The decision to implement the uprooting will cause large numbers of Jews to transgress many of the Torah's commandments.

* The Government of Israel and the Knesset, in their present form and power structure, are institutions that have no authority according to Jewish Law to render decisions that contradict the Torah of Israel.

* No Jew is permitted to cooperate with the program of uprooting, in any way whatsoever.

* Any Jew – including a soldier or policeman – who supports the uprooting, whether directly or indirectly, whether by voting in its favor, or by giving counsel, or by supplying vehicles or materials, and certainly anyone who actively participates in the uprooting, thus transgresses a large number of Torah commandments, such as not standing idly by one's neighbor's blood (Lev. 19,17).

* The uprooting of the residents of the Gaza Strip and Samaria is a crime and an injustice to the residents, and places many other communities – in fact, all citizens of the State of Israel – in mortal danger.

* By this declaration, the Sanhedrin, as the link of continuity of the Torah received by Moses at Sinai, hereby expresses the stance of Israel's Torah... The Sanhedrin, as the representative of the Jewish people throughout history, hereby affirms that the Jewish people -- regardless of this or that government -- does not relinquish, and is not entitled to relinquish, so much as the span of a solitary man's foot of the Land of Israel according to its Biblical boundaries, for it is G-d's land.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Aliyah Quote #19: The Merit of not Slandering the Land

This Rasha [Sancheriv] merited to be called "Osnapar Raba v'Yakira (the great and dear)" because he did not speak bad about Eretz Yisrael - "V'Lakachti Eschem El Eretz k'Artzechem" (he merely did not say that this new land would be better than Eretz Yisrael.)(Sanhedrin 94)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Pictures of the Siyam HaShas at the Meadowlands

Here are some pictures I took at the Eleventh Siyum HaShas taken on March 1, 2005 at Continental Airlines Arena.

The link is: http://siyamhashas.fotopic.net/


Edit: So as the offical spelling of "Siyum" is actually with a "u" I fixed to link to http://siyumhashas.fotopic.net/

(The other link will still get you there too.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Aliyah Quote #18: Paths to Settle to Land

One who buys a city in Eretz Yisrael, we force him to buy paths to it from all four directions, to promote settlement of Eretz Yisrael. (Bava Kama 80b)