Va'Etchanan: With All Your Soul


By Rabbi Chanan Morrison

Rabbi Akiva's Martyrdom

When the Romans decreed that teaching Torah is a crime punishable by death, Rabbi Akiva's reaction was not surprising. The pre-eminent scholar, who had supported Bar Kochba in his revolt against Rome, gathered people together and gave public Torah lectures.

Before long, Rabbi Akiva was charged and convicted. When the rabbi was taken out for public execution, it was the hour for reciting the Shema prayer. As the executioners flayed his skin with iron combs, Rabbi Akiva recited the Shema, concentrating on fulfilling its words: to love God "with all your heart, soul, and might."

The Talmud [Berachot 61b] records Rabbi Akiva's final conversation before his death. His students questioned him, "Our master! Even to this extent?"

The scholar responded:

"All my life I have been troubled by this verse, "You shall love God.. with all your soul." As I have explained its meaning: "all your soul," even if they take your life. I have always wondered: will I ever have the privilege of fulfilling this mitzvah? And now that the opportunity has finally arrived - shall I not seize it?"

This exchange between Rabbi Akiva and his students requires clarification. What exactly did his disciples mean when they asked, "Even to this extent?"

The Purpose of Shema

One might think that the daily recitation of Shema is a preparatory act. Each day we accept upon ourselves the reign of Heaven, and prepare ourselves to love God, even at the cost of our lives. This daily declaration ensures that we will have the necessary reserves of courage and commitment should there arise a need for the ultimate sacrifice of martyrdom.

Therefore, the students were surprised. Their teacher had already withstood the test. He had accepted martyrdom with a noble and resolute love of God. Even the cruelest instruments of torture had not deterred him. What need, then, was there for Rabbi Akiva to recite this final Shema? Why prepare for that which he was now already fulfilling?

Rabbi Akiva, however, understood the intrinsic value of Shema. This declaration of love for God and acceptance of His rule is not just a tool to train the spirit. Each recitation of Shema is in itself a wonderful act. Every time we whole-heartedly declare God's unity, our souls are uplifted in holiness and closeness to God. The Shema is not just a means by which we prepare ourselves; its very recitation brings a spiritual elevation.

Until his final declaration of Shema, Rabbi Akiva had recited the Shema with the thought that he was willing to sacrifice his life - "with all your soul" - for love of God. His entire life, he had wondered whether he would be able to fulfill the mitzvah of Shema in its most extreme, most demanding, form. "Will I ever have the privilege of fulfilling this mitzvah to its utmost?" At the hands of the Romans, he was able to accept the reign of Heaven while sacrificing his life - not just as a mental vision, but in real life.

His Soul Departed With Echad

The Talmud relates that as Rabbi Akiva concentrated on the last word of Shema, his soul departed.

Rabbi Akiva breathed his last with the word Echad - "God is one." A master of Jewish law, the scholar was able to infer legal rulings from the smallest markings in the text of the Torah [Menachot 29b]. In the final analysis, however, all the detailed laws and myraid explanations that he had propounded during his lifetime were all part of a single harmonious system. Everything Rabbi Akiva had taught shared the same underlying theme: how to live life according to the supreme principle of God oneness. It was thus fitting that his final word should be Echad.

[adapted from Ein Eyah vol. II, pp. 344-345]

The Holocaust That Is Overshadowed by the Destruction of the Temple


Written by Rav Binyamin Zev Kahane z"tl h"yd (1996)

Translated by Lenny Goldberg

The revolution against the Romans and siege on Jerusalem which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple, produced one of the worst holocausts in Jewish history. According to the testimony of Yosef Ben Matitiyahu (Yosefus Plabius), about one million Jews were killed in Jerusalem, and 100,000 prisoners were taken captive to Rome.

Despite this chilling fact, it is only a footnote in the history of this era. While every child knows that on Tish A B'Av the Temple was destroyed and we were exiled from our land, many Jews are less aware of the physical holocaust which accompanied it.

And how puzzling are the words of our sages, who tell us that that G-d had mercy upon the Jewish People, pouring out his fury on wood and stones (the Temple) instead of on the Jews themselves who had sinned. If this is so, the question is two-fold:

1. One million Jews killed shows us that "G-d poured his fury on wood and stones"? 2. Why has the death of so many Jews become marginal in our Tisha B'Av mourning? Is human life less important than the wood and stones of the Temple?

To answer these questions, we must free ourselves from our western mindset. For according to the Jewish idea, physical existence is NOT the ultimate value, but rather there is a purpose to the life of a Jew, and without this purpose, the reason for his existence becomes less significant.

This is the reason that the massive slaughter of Jews that took place during the siege is dwarfed in importance when compared to the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Jewish People from their land. Because when the People of Israel are not in the land of the living, Eretz Yisrael, and when their Temple is destroyed, the Jew can no longer properly fulfill his destiny in the world. His life, so to speak, loses its meaning.

This explains the startling stories of many Jews who lost their faculties upon seeing the Temple burning in flames, and simply cast themselves into the fire, burning themselves alive! They could not grasp a reality of "Am Yisrael" without the Holy Temple.

After 2,000 years of exile, this idea seems a bit extreme. Is it really the end of the world when the Temple is burned down? Don't we at least fulfill mitzvot in the exile? Can't we fulfill our destiny as Jews without a Temple? The answer to this is clear: No. The entire reality of observing mitzvot in the exile is "B'diavad" - that is, it is undesired, but must be done because of lack of choice. For the Torah was given to the Holy People to be performed in the Holy Land, and in the exile we became a mere religion comprised of individuals. For this the sages tell us that the purpose of fulfilling mitzvot in the exile is only so that we won't forget them when we return to the Land of Israel, where the fulfillment of mitzvot take on their full significance.

Now we can answer the two questions we posed: When Israel sinned,desecrating the Holy Temple and turning it into a "discotheque", G-d wasreally supposed to destroy us all, G-d forbid. But since G-d loves us and ties His Name (His existence, so to speak) to the name of the Jewish People, He determined that we will never be totally wiped out. Therefore, he destroyed the wood and stones of the Temple instead of destroying those who desecrated it. But this does not negate the possibility that the Jewish People will be severely punished with the likes of holocausts and exiles (which is the harshest punishment of them all). Indeed, total annihilation will never be, and in the end there will be redemption, with the Jewish People returning to fulfill it's destiny in a complete way in its land and Temple.

Now it can be understood how the massive killing of Jews in Jerusalem can be viewed as a marginal event in relation to the destruction itself. Because the moment the Jewish People are exiled from their land and there is no Temple - life itself becomes less significant. More than that, all the tragedies of the exile - the Inquisitions and Holocausts, are secondary to the exile and the destruction itself. In fact, the spiritual vacuum of the Temple is the reason for the physical tragedies that befall us, for one is dependent upon the other!

Therefore, all efforts for "Eretz Yisrael", for the building of the HolyTemple and for the purifying of the Temple Mount which is the life-center for "Am Yisrael", are not reserved just for "those interested in politics". All those who fear G-d, love Israel and are pained by the exile of the Divine Presence must make these issues the center of their lives. For the fulfillment of the mitzvot are dependent on them. The return of the Jewish People to life is dependent on them!!

The "Crybaby Culture" of Modern-Day Israel


Reading Ynet doesn't usually feel like a breath of fresh air. In fact, I usually finish off wondering why I bothered reading such an anti-Jewish piece of trash. But finally I can breath a sigh of relief, knowing that I have not been completely wasting my time looking for there a worthwhile read.

How right this man is when he states:

Crybabies don't win wars

I don't know who this "Ron Ben-Yishai" guy is, and it would probably be safe to assume that he is himself no "Kahanist." But the simple fact is that practically everything in this article is spot on.

How many times have I pointed out and lamented the fact that almost every single form of PR/propaganda that is emitted by Jews from left to right (both politically and religiously) consists mainly of sad music, crying, and an undeniably effeminate focus on how sad just about everything is!? ...Oh yeah, and it always seems to end off with an almost laughably-weak attempt at optimism. Something along the lines of: "Baruch HaShem we're still existing"!

Of course, that's all we ever aspire to as a nation nowadays: "existing." Victory? Yeah right! That's far too brutal and would mean way too much killing for our delicate collective Jewish stomach to handle!

So when this guy makes the observation that the Lebanon War of last summer was "the war of evacuating the wounded," he is 100% correct - but the worst thing is that so many Jews are proud of that fact! It's almost as if we have grown so accustomed to being oppressed, that - in an almost never-ending orgy of masochism - we have come to revel in it somewhat. The ailment of which Rav Meir Kahane spoke so long ago - of the knee-jerk Jewish reaction to feel guilty every time we win - still exists and is our not-so-secret shame. In fact, it is so "not-so-secret" that just about everyone knows about it, and thus we can now understand why Hizbollah would ever think of launching their war in the first place. Quite simply: not only did they know that we didn't have the stomach for it, but they knew that - whilst they would settle at the very least for a symbolic victory over the IDF - the Jews would be more than happy to weep over some brave, dead soldiers, and get all teary-eyed over all those stories of their "heroism under fire." To be honest, losing doesn't bother us all that much. It wouldn't be so bad if this attitude was limited to the realm of sports and such. But, needless to say, when this attitudes pervades the entire national spirit and is inherent within our national policy, we must realise that it is destined to bring us one tragedy after another...

This is a national ailment, and it's time we got rid of it once and for all. I'm, sick and tired of hearing Israelis talk like Golda Meir, who once said "It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don't want victories any more." Olmert has said similar things many times - as have many other "leading" Israeli establishment members; but it seems that this attitude has long ago filtered through down to the average Israeli, and even the average Jew. In fact, judging from the way that we consistently act as a nation, it has probably been there since the beginning of our long exile...

My answer to such people is simple: If you don't like winning then by all means commit suicide - just don't take the rest of us with you!

But let's forget the leaders for one moment. For better or for worse, we have reached the stage where everyone hates those who hold the reigns of power. Whether it is because of their corruption, their immorality, their ineptness at leading the nation, or their policies in general. They are already discredited.

I am talking about the Jewish PEOPLE!

Another thing I've often expressed such confusion over, is how in Israel a minority community (the Arabs) can be so aggressive towards the majority (the Jews), and yet suffer little (if anything) in the way of revenge attacks or some kind of grassroots backlash. There is something seriously wrong when we just take the punches like such good xtians (and let me just remind you - we aren't xtians...!)

If the establishment and leadeship - religious, political and even military - will not work to change this mentality, then perhaps it is time we did so ourselves.

59 Years Since the Sinking of the Altalena


The story of the massacre of the crew of the Altalena is a very important one which must never be forgotten. It reveals the hypocricy of the left when they talk of how terrible "the murderer" Yigal Amir was for killing one man (who, as it so happens, was one of the murderers who opened fire on the Altalena), whilst at the same time they whitewash and even glorify the actions of the Marxists within the Palmach, who killed so many good Jews on the Altalena; it reminds us of the lengths that these people will go to prevent the rising of a real, proud Jewish State; and it shows us how naive and stupid some people are for their overwhelming belief that pacifist actions will suffice when fighting against the injustices perpetrated by these people.

Never forget.

Time To Arise From The Ground


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT DEVARIM/SHABBAT CHAZON
6 Av 5767/20-21 July 2007


TIME TO ARISE FROM THE GROUND

If our sages of old were alive in our generation, certainly the laws of mourning, that vast quantity of laws limiting our joy up to the Ninth of Av - the destruction of our holy Temple - would not be needed. All one would have to do would be to listen to the latest news broadcast to get into the spirit of Tisha B'Av. From Shimon "the man behind Oslo" Peres becoming President of the State of Israel, to Olmert releasing 250 murdering terrorists, to the brilliant new plan of "Pucker lips" Ramon to throw out some 100,000 Jews from their homes in Yesha and give it over to the Arabs. Based on the same model of the"disengagement" that worked out so well in Gaza, just ask anyone in Sderot today. To President Bush’s address on the Middle East, telling Israel to remove illegal building from Yesha and that
the Jews should instead build up the Negev (that’s nice of him). To the giving of some 190 million dollars to the PA's "moderate" terrorists, and the planning of a regional conference this fall to tighten the noose around the neck of Israel.

Yes, during these days one can become very disheartened, as they see the great dangers threatening the Jewish State and how our leaders walk blindly into the darkness. Still, in bygone days, when there was not much people could do to help their situation, such as leaving the exiles and returning home to the Land, or the building the holy Temple in Jerusalem, our sages imposed upon us many decrees to help us feel the mourning period. Starting from the seventeenth of Tammuz throughout the three-week period until the Ninth of Av, our sages added decree after decree, from no shaving and haircuts to no wedding bells, to no swimming, all the way to no wine and meat. For, in any case, a Jew who was thousands of miles from his Land, and with no means to return, could only sit and weep.

But if our sages were here today, when a flight to the Land of Israel is only hours away and takes place daily, or where millions of Jews already live in the Land, even if each one would bring just one small stone to the Temple Mount, they could build the Temple today. What would our sages tell us today: To continue to sit on the floor - or to get up and act?

The holy Vilna Gaon teaches us in "Kol Hator" that one needs to know in advance that this period before Redemption will have a lot of hardships, but from these very hardships will come forth salvation. So one must not become disheartened when the difficulties arise or if his path is blocked, but he must overcome them and continue to work towards Redemption.

What, then, are we waiting for? Could there be a clearer path of the Redemption process that is unfolding before us today? Does one sit in the exiles of NY or LA and mourn the destruction, when he could get up and come home in a few hours? What does he think, that Moshiach will be a travel agent giving out tickets to El-Al flights? ("Hi, this is Moshiach, I booked you on the Monday night flight to Tel Aviv")??!!

It's in our hands to act and make the change. Certainly, we have to feel the loss of our holy Temple, but more important - much more important - is to start the rebuilding process. This is what the Torah wants and demands of us. Don’t be left out, for time waits for no one. It is time to get up off the floor and act!

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

Returning To Chomesh!!!



This will take place this coming Motzei Shabat 21 July and Sunday 22 July. You can get a head start by spending Shabbat in the area.

You MUST MUST MUST register beforehand for buses:



Jerusalem 0525802274
PetahTikva 0524239940
Raanana 0526771719
Rehovot 0509866046
BetShemesh 0544995023
BatYam 0507855134
RamatGan 0528434263
NofAyalon 0524088650
BetEl 0546713704
Hasmonaim 0525789704



0524627118Haifa&North 0524295132KiryatArba

Nitzan 0542240931




*For Shabat hospitality in the yishuvim close to Homesh: 1599544444 (teens, separately for boys & girls, and also adults)

*For rides from cities and locations other than those listed above: 1599544444



*For contributions to Homesh (very very important since money does not grow on trees): 052-6302222

*Can't come? Then please take the time -- starting right now -- to call the police and army and express your support for the march to Homesh (public pressure really works in getting the police and army to be more fair -- every phonecall or fax of yours can save some kid from getting beaten up or arrested so please...take the time):

02-9970200 Tel. 02-9970436 Fax of Commander of Judea & Samaria (Ugda in Hebrew)

02-5305333 Tel. 02-5305741 Fax of General of Central Command (Aluf Pikud Merkaz)

Judea & Samaria District Police Station Tel. 02-6279279 Fax 02-6279297

Talking points:

a. "As a mother of a soldier, I think that..."

b. "The settlers were right about the hitnatkut and the country was dead wrong -- so why does it make sense to go against the settlers??"

c. "Yes I know the Hitnatkut law says these people, as Jews, aren't allowed to be in Homesh -- there used to be a law against homosexuality too, did anyone ever enforce that one??"

d. ""From where I'm sitting in (name of city), I don't understand why you people are going after the settlers..."

Devarim: Moses Speaks!



By Rabbi Chanan Morrison



The Salesman and the King

The Book of Deuteronomy consists mainly of Moses' farewell speeches, spoken to the Jewish people as they prepared to enter the Land of Israel. The eloquence, passion, and rhythm of Moses' discourses are breathtaking. And we cannot but wonder: is this the same person who claimed to be "heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue" [Ex. 4:10]?

The Sages were not unaware of this anomaly. The Midrash [Devarim Rabbah I:7] explains that eloquence is a relative matter, using the following parable to explain:

"This is like a man selling purple cloth, who announced, 'Here is purple for sale.' Hearing his voice, the king peeked out and called the salesman over. 'What are you selling?' asked the king. 'Nothing.' 'But before I heard you say, 'Here is purple for sale,' and now you say, 'Nothing'?


"Oh no!" exclaimed the salesman. "I am selling purple, but by your standards, it is nothing."

This same concept, the Midrash concludes, may be applied to Moses and his speaking abilities. When standing before God, Creator of faculties of speech, Moses announced, "I am not a man of words" [Ex. 4:10]. When it came to speaking to the Jewish people, however, the Torah records: "These are the words that Moses spoke..."

Who May Be a Prophet?

In order to properly understand Moses' claim of inferior oratory skills, we need to first examine a basic question regarding the nature of prophets and prophecy.

In chapter 7 of Yesodei HaTorah, Maimonides describes those character traits and intellectual qualifications necessary to be a prophet. He then writes:

"One who has perfected himself in all of these traits and is in perfect health, when he enters the Pardes [i.e., he studies esoteric wisdom] and is drawn to those lofty and distant matters .. Immediately the prophetic spirit will come to him."

This description seems to indicate that prophecy is purely a function of one's moral and spiritual preparation. Once one has attained the necessary spiritual level, he automatically merits prophecy.

However, Maimonides later writes that those who strive to attain prophecy are called "the sons of prophets" [see 2 Kings 2:15]. "Even though they direct their minds, it is possible that the Divine Presence will inspire them, and it is possible that it will not" [ibid. 7:5]. This second statement indicates that attaining prophecy is not dependent only upon one's initiative and efforts. Even those who have attained the appropriate spiritual level are not assured of receiving prophecy.

How can we reconcile these two statements?

Natural or Supernatural?

Many aspects of the spiritual realm corresponds to the ways of the physical world. We find that the physical world is governed on the whole by set laws of nature and physics; only on occasion does Divine providence require that the laws of nature be overridden. The same holds true for the hidden resources of the soul. There are set, general rules that govern their functions. But there are also situations that are beyond the natural faculties of the soul.

We may thus rephrase our question as follows: is prophecy a natural spiritual talent (for those who prepare themselves appropriately)? Or does it fall under the category of the supernatural, and is only a matter of Ratzon Hashem, God's will at that time to perfect the world by way of prophetic message?

Ruach HaKodesh and Nevu'ah

To resolve this dilemma, Rav Kook distinguished between two levels of prophecy. The first is an inner revelation in thought and mind, called Ruach HaKodesh. This is Divine knowledge attained naturally, a result of the soul's greatness and its concentration on lofty matters. This form of prophecy is a natural talent that God established in the soul in its initial formation.

There is, however, a second, more external level of prophecy. This is Nevu'ah, from the word niv, meaning expression or utterance. Nevu'ah is the completion of the prophetic experience; prophecy goes beyond thought and is concretized in letters and words. This form of verbal prophecy is not a natural faculty of the soul. It reflects a miraculous connection between the spirit and the physical, the supernatural phenomenon of Divine Will commanding the prophet to relay a specific message to the world.

Now we may resolve the apparent contradiction in Maimonides' writings. When he wrote that the prophetic spirit will immediately come to him, Maimonides was referring to the prophetic knowledge of Ruach HaKodesh. From his description, it is clear that he is speaking about prophecy of the mind: "His thoughts are constantly attuned to above; they are bound under God's Throne, to understand those holy and pure images, perceiving God's wisdom (in all aspects of creation)."

When, on the other hand, Maimonides referred to Nevu'ah, he wrote that even though the prophet directs his mind, the Divine Presence will not necessarily dwell upon him. This form of prophecy is dependent upon God's Will and not on the soul's natural talents.

Moses' Mistake

Now we can better understand Moses' claim that he was not "a man of words." Moses was certainly aware of his stature as a prophet. Maimonides teaches that a prophet "recognizes that he is no longer as he once was; but rather that he has been elevated above the level of other wise individuals." Moses was aware of his spiritual state - but only as one worthy of Ruach HaKodesh in prophetic thought. He assumed that the greater level of Nevu'ah would be similarly recognizable by one who merited such a level. Since Moses did not feel within himself this level of prophecy, he stated that he was not a "man of words" - i.e., one meriting verbal prophecy.

Moses' assumption, however, was flawed. Since the inner prophecy of thought is a natural talent of the soul and the result of the prophet's spiritual efforts, the prophet is aware that he merits Ruach HaKodesh. The external prophecy of Nevu'ah, on the other hand, is dependent upon Ratzon Hashem, according to the dictates of Divine providence at that time. While the first level is comparable to the laws of nature in the world, the second is like the supernatural miracles performed on special occasions. Thus it does not reflect any inner quality of the prophet's soul.

God's response to Moses is now clearer. "Who gave man a mouth? .. Who made him blind? Was it not I, the Lord?" [Ex. 4:11] The world has two sides, the natural and the supernatural. The mouth belongs to the natural, whereas blindness is a special condition. Both, God explained, come from Me. Just as you attained the natural level of Ruach HaKodesh, so too it is My will that you will attain the supernatural level of Nevu'ah.

The Prophetic Nature of Devarim

We are left with one last issue to resolve. Why is it that the Midrash only clarifies Moses' oratorical skills in the book of Deuteronomy? The answer to this question is to be found in the difference between the prophetic nature of Deuteronomy as opposed to the other books of Moses.

Regular Nevu'ah occurs like this: the prophets would first hear the Divine message; then the Divine Spirit would come to them and they would relate what they had heard. The prophecy of Moses, however, was totally different. The Shechinah would 'speak through his throat,' even as he spoke to the people. Moses was just a mouthpiece for the Divine Presence.

As a result, the other books of the Pentateuch do not reflect Moses' oratory talents. Unlike other prophets, his speeches were not even a repetition of what he had heard. The book of Deuteronomy, on the other hand, is a reflection of Moses' talents in the same way that the prophetic books of other prophets reflect their personal talents.

Were it not for Deuteronomy, we could have taken Moses' claim at face value and understood that he was literally "heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue." But after reading the eloquent discourses of Devarim, we realize that Moses was in fact referring to his prophetic capabilities. Moses meant that he was unworthy of verbal Nevu'ah. As in the Midrashic parable, only with regard to the King was Moses "heavy of mouth."

[adapted from Otzarot HaRe'iyah vol. II pp. 131-133 (originally published in Itur Sofrim)]

Fact: And I Will Do To You What I Wanted To Do To Them!

I've not been able to post for a while, but I'm back for now, and, although it's from last week's parsha, I think that the following Devar Torah by Rabbi Levi Chazen is extremely important for all of us. Once again it is another shining example of the insightful and valuable writings of this Jew of such pure and simple faith and Ahavat Yisrael.




BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT MATOT-MASE'I
28 Tammuz 5767/13-14 July 2007


FACT: AND I WILL DO TO YOU WHAT I WANTED TO DO TO THEM


We like to think, as Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D would sometimes say, that G-d is like a "Santa Claus": A big, loving man with a long white beard,going around and giving away presents. The truth is far from this, although G-d is full of mercy. Still, whoever says that G-d overlooks certain things and acts - his life is overlooked.

In our parsha, the Torah lays down the law, the only law that there is, and one from which there is no escape. "Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: 'When you cross the Jordan to the land of Cana'an, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the Land before you. And you shall destroy all their prostration stones, all their molten images shall you destroy, and all their high places shall you demolish. You shall posses the Land and you shall settle in it, for to you have I given the Land to possess it. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, those of themwhom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and a surrounding barrier of thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell'".

This, then, is the bottom line. Try as you might to hide from this fact of nature, but you can never run from it, for so has Hashem spoken. Rashi teaches us: "You shall take possession of the Land from its inhabitants and then you will be able to remain in it, and if not, you will not be able to remain in it." Plain and simple: If you take the Land and remove the inhabitants that live here, then you will be able to live here, and if not, you will not be able to survive in the Land.

In this fashion, the Talmud teaches us that, while still in the Jordon River, Joshua call upon the Jewish people with this message: If you destroy the inhabitants of the Land, fine, and if not, the waters of the Jordan will come and wash you and me away. Clear enough, there is no other option. At the end of the day, the Torah is telling us the law - it's either them or us; the inhabitants of the land and the Jewish people cannot live together!

The holy Or Hachayim takes it a step further and tells us that, even in your cities where the foreigners do not live, you will not be secure as long as the foreigners are living in any part of the Land of Israel. The Abarbanel adds that without a doubt, the inhabitants of the Land will always seek to harm you. When they have no power to do so, they will desist, but when they believe they can harm you, they will rise up and do it. All one has to do is to open up the Tanach to see that time after time, when the Children of Israel let the nations of the Land live among us, they quickly turned into acancer and rose up to destroy us.

How true are the words of our rabbis in our own day, but then, the Torah already lay down the law, a law that cannot be broken. Just this week on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in this world, Islamic digging goes on unabated. Without permits, the Wakf of the Temple Mount does whatever they want, without anyone stopping them. In fact, when two archaeologists tried to question them about the digging, they were detained by the Israeli police. Here, on our holiest site where we, the Jewish people, should be doing the digging to find out where the Altar stood, so we can bring sacrifices to the Most High, it is the arch-enemy of the Jews, the Wakf, who is in control of the Mount. "What I wanted to do to them I will do to you".

This past week, on bus route #1, which runs to the Kotel, three Arab youths started up with a Jewish girl. Only one fine man stood up for this girl and tried to stop them from "hitting upon her". The Arab youths on a Jewish bus going to the Kotel beat up this Jew, unabated. Imagine for a moment if it was the other way around and it would have been a Arab bus: Do you know what would have been left of the Jew? Not much!

I could go on and on and talk of the thousands of illegal buildings that the Arabs build in the Negev or the Galilee, which today has a majority of Arabs, and nothing is done to stop them, or how city after city is gaining an Arab majority, like Jaffa, Acco, Lod, Ramle, and Haifa. Still, the message of the Torah is clear: "What I wanted to do to them, I will do to you". As with all Torah laws, this one can also not be broken. It is the way it is, we must awaken to this reality and rise like a lion up to the only path that is open to us: To remove the enemies of the Jewish people from the Land.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

Not Everyone is Included in the Four Species

From The Writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane in honor of Sukkot Organs of power at home joining the side of our enemy requires us t...