Sunday, May 22, 2005

July 12!!!

Shalom Pinchas,

Your participation on the July 12 - JFK Nefesh B'Nefesh charter Aliyah flight, has been confirmed.

Please arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to the flight. There will be a departing ceremony at the airport, where you will be able to say goodbye to family and friends.

There will be a ceremony at Ben Gurion airport, upon your arrival, prior to passport control, which will be approximately one hour long.

And tomorrow I pick up my Aliyah Visa!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Anti-Semitism Hits Queens

As if I needed another excuse. In any case if I get my NBN flight choice I'll be landing in Israel on July 13, 2005 so I won't be around Queens the 14th...

From Arutz-7:

Request for Increased Patrols in Queens Following Anti-Semitic Vandalism
16:10 May 19, '05 / 10 Iyar 5765

( After a number of vehicles and mailboxes were marred with anti-Semitic graffiti on Wednesday, Jewish community leaders called on New York City Police (NYPD) to step-up patrols in the borough of Queens.

The graffiti, which was scrawled across at least 17 cars along 164th Street in Fresh Meadows, reads, "Kill all Jews on 7-14-05." It was on July 14th, 1933 that the Nazi's took power in Germany.

Police have assigned the investigation to the Hate Crimes Unit

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Not Spielberg: Kabbalist Blesses Jones to Uncover Holy Lost Ark

From Arutz-7:

Exclusive: Kabbalist Blesses Jones to Uncover Holy Lost Ark
23:39 May 18, '05 / 9 Iyar 5765

An unnamed Kabbalist has granted blessing to famed archeologist Dr. Vendyl Jones, to uncover the Holy Ark of the Covenant. Jones plans to excavate the Lost Ark by the Tisha B’Av Fast this summer.

The famed archaeologist, who is the inspiration for the “Indiana Jones” series, has spent most of his life searching for the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the resting place of the Ten Commandments written by Moshe (Moses) on Mount Sinai, and was hidden just before the destruction of the First Temple.

The Talmud says the Ark is hidden in a secret passage under the Temple Mount. Jones says that in fact, the Ark was brought through a secret passage beneath the mount – and that same natural tunnel in fact continues 18 miles into the Judean Desert.

Throughout the many years of his quest, Jones has been in close contact and under the tutelage of numerous Rabbis and Kabbalists. Jones, who is extremely knowledgeable in Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah, has now received permission from both known and hidden Kabbalists to finally uncover the lost ark.

Dr. Jones, who divides his time between Texas and Israel, has been here since March 9th ready to finally reveal the Ark. However, Jones has been waiting for permission from a mysterious Kabbalist, as well as for project funding to come through.

Jones’s daughter Sarah converted to Judaism many years ago and currently lives in the Shomron. She has been in touch with a great unnamed Kabbalist from whom she requested a blessing on behalf of her father to merit finding the ark.

As recently as last month, the rabbi, who only communicates via messenger, told Jones that the time was not yet right to discover the Temple vessels.

Last Thursday, Dr. Jones received a communication from the rabbi reading, “The time is right.”

Noahide guru Jones, who predicted the Six Day War, says that the State of Israel is passing through the same biblical straights as the generation that entered Israel for the first time after the exodus from Egypt. “If history repeats itself, the history itself is prophecy,” Jones says.

“Israel is different from all other nations in a lot of ways, but more than anything else, Israel is the only nation whose history was written before it happened.”

Once a Christian pastor, Jones left his post to become a leader of the growing Noahide movement. Noahides are G-d fearing non-Jews who observe the seven laws of Noah, which are obligatory upon all of humanity.

The explorer and teacher, published a book in 1959 predicting the precise outbreak of the Six Day War, based on his analysis of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt up until the First Temple Period. He says that employing biblical analysis to modern times points to major events that will “turn the world right-side-up.”

Jones calculated the war in 1967 by analyzing the sequence of events in the First Temple Period and transposing them onto “the Third Temple Period” – the period beginning with the Jews’ foundation of an independent State in the Land of Israel in 1948.

“It fits just like tongue in groove,” he says.

Jones, analyzed the following passage from the book of Bamidbar: “So from 20 years old and upward, all that are able to go, went to war in Israel.”

“Well ’67 was the 20th year,” said Jones who received acclaim for fighting as an unlisted soldier in the Six Day War. Jones was the only non-Jewish American to take part in the combat.

“Two years at Mt. Sinai and then the Jewish people went to Kadesh Barnea,” he says referring to the time immediately following the exodus. Transposing the Jewish people’s first entry into Israel via the Jericho region and the re-entry to those areas in 1967, one can find striking similarities.

“Then they [the Jewish Nation] sent in those [twelve] spies who gave the evil report, and because they believed the evil report, they were sentenced to wander for 38 years before they could come into Gilgal,” – an ancient city near Jericho.

“1967 was a repetition of Kadesh Barnea,” Jones says. “If Israel had come in and taken this place, the Arabs would have fled like they did in 1948. But no, because of the evil report of Golda Meir and Motta Gur and Moshe Dayan, who said ‘We cannot do that, world opinion will be against us.’ So Israel was sentenced to 38 years more – and June the 7th [2005], Jerusalem Day, will be the 38th year.

Jones believes that the Jewish prophecies regarding the greatly anticipated redemption are occuring in front of our eyes.

Jones' escapades and explorations were the inspiration for the blockbuster movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' of the 'Indiana Jones' trilogy. The man who wrote the first draft of the film, Randolph Fillmore, was one of the volunteers who worked with Jones in 1977.

“I agreed to help him write the movie,” Jones said, “as long as – number one – he wouldn’t set it here (In Israel). Some people believe the ark is in Ethiopia or Egypt, some believe its in Constantinople or Rome. I just didn’t want it to be portrayed as being here. The second thing was, 'Don’t use my name.' So he didn’t. My name is Vendyl – V-E-N-D-Y-L. So he just dropped the first and last letters and it ended up Endy Jones.”

Although at the time of the film, Jones was far from pinpointing the location of the Ark, he has come a long way since then. With the help of an ancient document found in Qumran together with the Dead Sea Scrolls, known as the “Copper Scroll”, Dr. Jones has pinpointed the location of the Ark of the Covenant.

This is what we have been looking for all these years and I’ve walked over those boulders thousands of times without really stepping back and looking – realizing ‘hey, those boulders have been brought in here, they’ve been placed in here, they didn’t come off a mountain. And they’re huge.’”

Jones recounts his early explorations into the tunnels which lead from the ancient Old City of Jerusalem to the foot of the Dead Sea. “My son and I went an hour and 20 minutes into the tunnel. There were so many branches and we didn’t have anything to mark the route, so I said, ‘We better get out of here and come back with a roll of string.’ Then I made the mistake of asking permission to do it. That was before I learned that Israel is a lot like heaven - it is a lot easier to get forgiveness than it is permission.”

Now after receiving the blessings of Judaism's top Kabbalists and Rabbis, Jones is excited to uncover his life's pursuit. He believes the ark will be discovered by Tisha B'Av, a day of repeated tragedy in Jewish history, the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Holy Temples.

Dr. Jones, wearing an orange anti-disengagement bracelet, dismisses the current Israeli governments plan to uproot the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria from their homes, saying “there will not be any disengagement, nor will there be any Palestinian State.”

“Chapter One in Isaiah,” Jones, who has a photographic memory, quotes. “'How has the holy city become a harlot? Righteousness filled the street but now murderers. The ruler is a friend of thieves and the ministers desire bribes.'”

“The prophet wasn’t talking about his day – he was talking about now. ‘Therefore, says the L-rd, I will restore them to their beginnings. I will set judges up as at the first, and counselors as in the beginning.’”

According to Jones, The Sharon government will soon be history and the Sanhedrin (the Jewish High Court of 71 judges) will take its place and lead the Jewish people. “The Sanhedrin was established October the 13th of last year. Now all we have to do is have an election to elect counselors. The Sanhedrin is like a Senate and the elected counselors are like a House of Representatives.”

Dr. Jones says the discovery of the lost ark will “flip the whole world right-side-up.”

“I just gotta drill a bore-hole into the chamber, drop a pin-camera in and there it is. And everything is gonna change, believe me. The Jewish people are gonna come back.”

Listen to an exclusive interview with Dr. Jones on the Noahide Movement, on IsraelNationalRadio's brand new show: 'Light Unto the Nations.'

Learn more about Dr. Jones' excavations online at

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The 1.5 Million Population Gap

Again posting this so I know where to find it later.

Jewish Population Older Than Average

I am posting this here because I am working on an essay about the future of Israel and the Jewish people and this is a very important source. (I don't know if JPost will keep this online and I didn't want to lose it.)

From The Jerusalem Post:

May. 17, 2005 1:10 | Updated May. 17, 2005 16:33
Jewish population older than average

The Jewish population, particularly in the Diaspora, has a far higher proportion of elderly than the rest of the world, according to statistics to be released by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute Tuesday.

In 2004, 11.5 percent of the Jewish Israeli population was over the age of 65, as was 18% of the Diaspora. The Jewish population average of 16% is more than twice as high as the world's proportion of elderly, which stands at 7%.

Report co-editor Jenny Brodsky attributed the large proportion of Jewish elderly primarily to a relatively low birthrate among Jews as compared to the rest of the world. Birthrates also explain why Israelis, with more young children per family than Diaspora Jews, have a lower percentage of elderly than other Jews.

Brodsky also pointed to assimilation in the Diaspora as a partial explanation for the large number of older Jews. "The youngest sectors are those which tend to assimilate, leaving you with a higher proportion of the elderly population that identifies as Jewish."

An additional factor – though not a major one, according to Brodsky – could be the greater affluence of Jews in comparison to other world populations. "There is a significant relationship between life expectancy and socioeconomic status," she said.

The data, culled from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the ministries of health and social affairs, research institutes and other institutions, also indicated that Israeli males are among the world leaders in lifespan.

The life expectancy of men here, 77.5, places Israel approximately fifth in the world. The life expectancy of women, 81.5, puts Israel in 18th place. Jewish men live on average three years longer than Arab men, and Jewish women generally live four years more than Arab women.

Brodsky said that she does not have concrete explanations for why Israeli male life expectancy is comparatively better than women's, but noted that Israeli women have higher mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases than their European counterparts, which isn't true for men.

The report also projected that by 2020, about 21% of the entire Jewish population will be over 65. Currently, some 24,000 Israelis are aged 90 or more, and 800 are over 100.

Aliyah Can Be Hazardous to Your Blog

Yes. Lots to worry about. Little time to blog. But every once and a while I get to come up for air. So here's a quick Aliyah update. The latest news is I'll be sticking to my original plan which I think makes the most sense. Ulpan Eztion for the first several months and take it from there. (I was strongly considering finding an apartment and taking some job interviews but I don't want to get stuck living in an American bubble because I skipped some important klita steps. Their will be plenty of time for that later. Now I have to land safely, learn some Hebrew and make some friends.)

So today I submitted my application for Aliyah to the Israeli Consulate. And it really wasn't all that bad. The trick seems to be knowing exactly what forms you are supposed to use and exactly what the nice lady behind the window is going to do with those forms. Hamavin Yavin!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The smartest thing Ha'aretz EVER wrote?

On a stupidity scale of 1 to 10, the Palestinians seem to have this inborn tendency to score 10.

I know it's old but still... that's Ha'aretz talking?

Hat-tip: shifi

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why Do So Many Religious Jews Live In America?

From Arutz-7:

Why Do So Many Religious Jews Live in America?
Thursday, May 12, 2005 / 3 Iyar 5765

This excerpt from an Arutz-7 publication, "Ask the Rabbi," deals with a question asked on the backdrop of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, ushering in an Ingathering of the Exiles.

In honor of Israel Independence Day, Arutz-7 provides its readers with the following selection from the new book, "Ask the Rabbi," by Rabbi David Samson.

This article is excerpted from "Ask the Rabbi"
Ask the Rabbi, by Rabbi David Samson, can be ordered by clicking here.
While the book deals with a wide variety of topics, an entire section is dedicated to questions about the Land and State of Israel.



If it is such a clear mitzvah to dwell in the Land of Israel, why do so many religious Jews live in America? I’ve asked around and was told that the obligation to live in Israel will only apply when the Mashiach (Messiah) comes and brings us there. What is your response?


The very special relationship between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel was made clear with G-d’s very first words to Abraham: “Get yourself forth to the Land that I will show you.”[1]

The Ramban writes that the commandment to settle the Land of Israel is one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.[2] He bases this on the language of the Biblical verse, “And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the Land and dwell in it.”[3] We are enjoined with two tasks: first to conquer the Land, and secondly to dwell in it. The Ramban states that this mitzvah (commandment) applies in every generation. Furthermore, all of the early and later Torah authorities (Rishonim and Achronim) who formulate Halacha agree on this matter.[4]

In his sweeping Halachic (Jewish legal) compilation, the Mishna Torah,[5] the Rambam quotes the Talmud: “In all times, a Jew should live in the Land of Israel, even in a city where most of the inhabitants are idol worshippers, and not live outside of the Land, even in a city where most of the inhabitants are Jews.”[6]

Our Sages stated that the mitzvah of living in the Land of Israel is equal to all of the commandments of the Torah combined.[7]

These weeks, in the weekly Parsha readings in the Book of Deuteronomy, we are being treated to an explanation of the Torah by Moses himself, as it says:
“Moses began to explain this Torah, saying, The L-rd our G-d spoke to us in Horev, saying, You have dwelt long enough in this mountain….”[8]
The time has come to journey on into Israel, Moses teaches. The Torah is to be kept in Eretz (the Land of) Yisrael, not in the wilderness.[9]

Again and again, Moses emphasizes this fundamental principle upon which all of the Torah rests:

“Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the L-rd my G-d commanded me, that you should perform them in the Land whither you go to possess.”[10]

“And the L-rd commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you may perform them in the Land which you go over to possess.”[11]

“But as for thee, stand here by Me, and I will speak to thee all of the commandments and statutes and judgments which thou shall teach them, that they may do them in the Land which I gave them to possess.”[12]

“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the L-rd thy G-d commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the Land into which you go to possess.”[13]

“All the commandments which I command you this day shall you observe to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the Land which the L-rd swore to your fathers.”[14]

The commandments were given to be performed specifically in the Land of Israel, as the Ramban states:
“The essence of all of the commandments is that they be performed in the Land of G-d.”[15]

Understanding the centrality of Eretz Yisrael to Torah and G-d’s plans for the Jewish People, we can appreciate the enormity of the Sin of the Spies for not wanting to live in Israel. The Zohar teaches that the Spies, who were the princes of Israel, were worried about their honor. They feared that upon entering the Land, new leaders would be chosen, and they would lose their positions of authority and prestige.[16] As was highlighted in last week’s answer by the words of the Gaon of Vilna, this failure to put Eretz Yisrael in the forefront of Jewish life continues tragically until today.[17]

Regarding your question regarding Mashiach, a Jew is called upon to fulfill the commandments whether Mashiach has arrived or not. As the Rambam writes:
“The obligation of the commandments is not dependent on the coming of Mashiach. Rather we are to busy ourselves with Torah and its precepts, and to strive to fulfill everything we can… However, if a man remains in a place where he sees that the Torah is waning, and where the Jewish People will be lost with the passage of time, and where he cannot stay true to his faith, and say. ‘I will stay here until Mashiach comes and survive where I am,’ this is nothing but an evil heart and a great loss, and a sickness of reasoning and spirit.”[18]

Today, thank G-d, the Land of Israel is once again the thriving heart of the Jewish People. Jerusalem is once again the Torah center of the world. While there are many great challenges and problems in returning an exiled people to its ancestral homeland, Jewish life in Israel continues to grow in a miraculous fashion. So if you want to fulfill the mitzvah of waiting for Mashiach, the best place to do it is Israel.

May the words of the Prophet soon be fulfilled:
“The L-rd G-d who gathers the outcasts of Israel says, ‘Yet I will gather others to him, besides those of him who are already gathered.’”[19]

Click here to order the book "Ask The Rabbi"

Rabbi David Samson
Rabbi David Samson is one of the leading English-speaking Torah scholars in the Religious-Zionist movement in Israel. He has co-authored four books on the writings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook available on-line at Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Rabbi Samson came to Israel and learned for twelve years under the tutelage of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook. He served as Rabbi of the Kehillat Dati Leumi Synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, and teaches Jewish Studies at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva Institutions.

1. Genesis, 12:2.

2. Supplement to the Sefer HaMitzvot of the Rambam, Positive Commandment #4.

3. Numbers, 33:53.

4. Pitchei T’shuva, Even HaEzer, Section 75, Sub-section 6.

5. Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 5:12.

6. Ketubot 110B.

7. Sifre, Ekev, 10:1.

8. Deut, 1:6.

9. Ibid, 1:7.

10. Deut, 4:5.

11. Ibid, 4:14.

12. Ibid, 5:27.

13. Ibid, 6:1.

14. Ibid, 8:1.

15. Ramban on the Torah, Leviticus, 18:25.

16. Zohar on Numbers, 13:3. Also Mesillat Yesharim, On Cleanliness.

17. Likutei HaGra, at the end of Safra D’Tziniuta.

18. Rambam, Igeret Teiman. See, Kuzari, 2:24.

19. Isaiah, 55:8.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Aliyah Quote #26: Don't Wait Any Longer!

Rav Zeira says: "A land which Moshe and Aharon did not merit to enter - who knows if I wait any longer that I will have the privilege of entering it!" (Kesuvos 112a)