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Monday, January 26, 2015

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Judaism vs. Buddhism - Hinduism



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Judaism vs. Buddhism – Hinduism (link)

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Judaism vs. Buddhism – Hinduism

     The differences between our beliefs and theirs are not just social. There are major structural differences between our teachings. Yet, many Jews believe that they can follow those beliefs and not compromise the Torah's teachings. 

    A young man who had been learning in one of the local yeshivas announced that he was going to go to India to study the Eastern religions. The rabbi asked me to speak with him. Here is part of our conversation.

Judaism vs. Buddhism - Hinduism 

(video link)

 

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

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Why I Love YouTube


   by Reb Gutman Locks    

Why I Love YouTube

 

       Early this morning, as I was setting up for the minyan (quorum) at the Kotel, this boy from Argentina rushed up to me with a big smile.

     "I had to see you," he said with a thick Argentinean accent. "I saw your video with the pastor, and right away I broke off from my not Jewish girlfriend, and now I am here in Jerusalem in the Yeshiva for the next three months. Thank you very much." He shook my hand.

    "Answers to a Pastor", Answers to a Pastor  has been uploaded with Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Serbian subtitles. It has received well over one million views! 

Pastor Video Spanish 

     One of the answers that I gave to the pastor was, that every Jew who has followed that pastor's beliefs, his grandchildren are called Luke and John and not Moshe and Aaron. They have intermarried and their families are no longer Jewish.

     When this young man heard what I said, he called up his non Jewish girlfriend and immediately broke off their relationship. He showed me with his fingers that he tore the relationship apart.

     That boy was totally assimilated into Argentinean society. There was no way that he would have walked into a Jewish book store and buy a book explaining why he should not intermarry. Thanks to the internet, and YouTube, now we can get into his home and from there into his head. Look how his life has changed because of this modern technology. Thank G-d for YouTube.

 

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

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Go To Shul (synagogue)

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

  Go To Shul (synagogue)  

 

     A new survey of four large American Jewish urban communities by Baylor University found that "adult Jews who affiliate with a Jewish religious denomination and attend synagogue report significantly better health than secular or non-practicing Jews."

     Previous studies showed that Jews who daven (pray) in a minyan (quorum) are happier, more optimistic, and live longer lives than Jews who do not attend services, and now we see that these Jews are also healthier.

    The results of living a Torah observant life are not just reserved for the World to Come. If you want to live a longer, healthier, happier life, then, go to shul. It's for your own benefit. And if you pick the right one, its fun too. 

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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Children

​   by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Children

 

A Reader Asks:

     Could you please let me know what prayers you recommend for asking G-d to bless us with children?

 

Gutman's response:

     Not everyone is blessed with all of the wonderful things in life. Most of us would change something if we could. One of the obvious things we do is to beseech Hashem for what we want, but there are other things that we must do, too.

     Before we discuss prayer, make sure that you have taken care of all of the practical things that should be done. Have you sought out the fertility doctors' advice? There are many simple practical things that can be tried such as alternating schedules so every night of the available times are tried. There are medical tests to see if some very minor surgery is needed. Today there are procedures being commonly done that some 10 or 20 years ago were not available. So, first check with the standard medical advisors.

     Next, also check with the alternative medical practitioners. Sometimes they have procedures that can help.

     As to prayer, Hashem sometimes withholds the blessing of children to encourage prayer. You and your husband should pray every day for healthy children. The Talmud tells us that whenever we need something and seem to be unable to get it, we should sincerely pray for others whom we know who also need that very thing, and then Hashem will grant us our needs first.

     Also, put a charity box in your home and every day put a coin in it and ask Hashem for the blessing of healthy children.

     Finally, if G-d forbid, this blessing is not to be granted, I suggest doing what the Lubavicher Rebbe did. He was a man whose prayers often worked miracles allowing many apparently barren women to have children. Some of my dear friends tell me that they are in the world because the Rebbe beseeched Hashem for them. But strangely, his wife (the previous Rebbe's daughter) was barren! So the Rebbe took care of his loss by filling his family with hundreds of thousands of Jews whom he guided and loved in such a way that they felt like his children. If, G-d forbid, Hashem refuses our prayers for your natural children then see how many people you can help in a way that their own mothers can't.

    I will place your name between the stones of the Kotel when I return this evening, with the prayer that He will grant you your heart's desire. Please G-d, you will be able to send me good news.

 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

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Akiva’s Israel Election Primer–Part 4, G-d’s Vote #IsraElex

Jews moving to live in Israel usually find Israeli politics incomprehensible.  With these primers, I’ll attempt to simply what’s going on within Israeli elections – if that’s possible.

imagePrimer Topic #4 – G-d’s Vote

Before we dive right into the deep end of the synagogue, a few quick corrections…

- In Primer #1 I indicated that the Labor Party was not having primaries.  This was incorrect, Labor did have a semi-open primary.  Semi-open means, in their case, it did not include voting for the party leader or for about 1/2 the positions on their list.  Interestingly, in the available positions, peace-focused candidates lost and economic (put price controls on all common purchase products!) candidates won big.

- A commentor added to Primer #3, “The Likud is not conservative at all, e.g. Republicans(US) or Conservatives(CAN).”  I agree, Likud is still somewhat socialist and secularist compared to US or Canadian conservatives.  But “somewhat” instead of “completely” makes them right wing / conservative…by Israeli standards.

- The same commentor added, “the Bayit Yehudi primaries are also as 'semi-open' as the Likud. Bennet also has his reserved spots and there are other reserved spots as well. Likud has various reserved spots besides the leader choices.”  Correction accepted.

Israel’s “religious” parties, more specifically Jewish Orthodox focused political parties, have been narrow issue parties.  Through most of Israel’s history they advocated for the specific segments of society that they focused on representing, as well as on issues that affect the religious interaction with government, and moral standards of Israeli society.  Being the government was building the New Israel with the New Jew, the old antiquated Torah Religious Jew as shoved off into the corner – a minority who would, hopefully, fade away into modernity.

Sadly for them (thank G-d for us), “New Israel” failed.  Kibbutzim and strict socialism failed and faded into the background.  And the Torah Religious Jews grew into a significant percentage of the population, with the halls of power now worried about them growing into a majority over the next 3-4 generations. 

imageIn those early days this made the religious parties perfect partners for any government…as they didn’t really care whether the government was rightist or leftist, peace-niks or settlement building, socialist or more capitalist.  They cared about being left alone, being able to run their own educational institutions, and maintaining the religious standards of religious services (with as much government financial support as could be engendered for the latter two).  Some segment of or all the religious parties were members of most of the coalition governments in Israel’s history.  Rarely did they play any active role in the government beyond religious services (with United Torah Judaism explicitly saying in the past that they DID NOT WANT any minister positions).

Who supports the religious parties?  The religious parties were formed by rabbinical leaders within the ultra-orthodox communities – with the same leaders instructing their communities that there is simply no choice… your vote is owed to the leadership of the community to be directed, as a block, to where the community religious leadership feels appropriate.  While those of us from the U.S. may shudder at such an approach (though it’s also taken by the same groups in New York), it very effectively maximizes the voting impact of the ultra-orthodox as a minority group.  The ultra-orthodox parties receive over 90% of the ultra-orthodox community vote.  Because the rabbis, and by inference G-d, says so.

(It should be noted that while this maximizes the parliament seats the ultra-orthodox parties receive, it also eliminates the need of the large national parties to directly accommodate or attempt to represent or reach out to the ultra-orthodox communities… since the large parties know with certainly that the ultra-orthodox vote is already “owned”.  Rather, all they have to do is meet the basic funding and religious standards needs of the ultra-orthodox parties, and all the “needs” of the ultra-orthodox community are “met” – at least as far as their voting power/influence is concerned.)

imageUnited Torah Judaism is a merger of the two historical ultra-orthodox religious parties Degel HaTorah (the Flag of Torah) and Agudas Yisroel.  They represent the Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox Jews of Israel, with one sub-party (formerly independent party) representing the Chassidic segment and the other the Litvish segment.  Some of the members running on their list are appointed by their council of Torah sages, one sub-segment did an experiment this election with allowing each chassidic following to cast proportional votes for representatives in a strange form of primary.  They receive a strong 90%+ vote of their segments and maintain the highest community voting percentages within Israel.  They do this with both positive and negative influence within their communities.  Positive influence is sending the yeshiva students out to plaster the communities with election propaganda, having rabbinic authorities speak about the obligation to support the party, and helping everyone personally to get out to register and vote.  Negative influence is sending the yeshiva children to tear down any other election propaganda that enters their neighborhoods, warning that if you don’t vote appropriately you may be asked to leave your synagogue or have your children expelled from the community religious schools.  But that would be illegal according to Israeli electoral law, so we’ll just call that unfounded rumors.

Shas is the party started by HaRav Ovadiah Yosef, zt”l, to represent the ultra-orthodox Sephardim in Israel.  They focused on the duel purposes of representing the underclass Sephardim of Israel and the ultra-orthodox world from the Sephardi perspective.  It’s questionable (as far as I know) if they ever actually did anything for the Sephardi segment of the Israeli public – beyond standing tall.  Or maybe it’s that they built their educational network, an ultra-orthodox educational network Sephardi style, but freely admitted any member of the Sephardi public who came – regardless of financial means.  They did effectively create an educational feeder network that has built two generations of newly returned religious Sephardi Jewish public.  Their main focus as members of multiple governments was direct funding of their educational network – which when presented to the government was a top notch educational facility for underprivileged Sephardi citizens – but when built from the party perspective was more about reviving the traditional Sephardi religious observance.

Both parties state they operate according to rabbnical direction – though recent private videos released question how often the religious party parliament members are acting per rabbinical direction, askan (influential community members) influence, or their own political leanings.  As an example of the latter, the Shas party has taken diametrical positions regarding supporting the “Peace Process” and “Giving Land for Peace” when the party was run by former and returned to current leader Deri and former but now split-off party leader Yishai.  The Torah’s direction, political influence, or personal positions?  Only G-d can say.

The Shas party has had good success in the past, gaining support from both their religious segment and the Sephardi segment.  But with the passing of HaRav Ovadiah Yosef, zt”l, and the return of former and now returned party leader Deri, infighting has caused a party split.  The Shas party may lose half it’s support – or not, this election.

What about non-ultra-orthodox religious support?  Historically the National Religious Party represented the religious but not ultra-orthodox Jews of Israel, particularly those with a zionist settle all the land approach.  This party was folded into the National Union, which was folded into Bayit Yehudi…. which has de-emphasized religious issues over general representation for the Land of Israel – Settlement – No More Compromises for Peace segment of society.  So far their strategy has gained them more influence and representation, but definitely moved them out of the “religious party” category, though they are still holding firm on some religious principles (they were recently noted as refusing to support the legalizing of same gender relationships because of their religious stance).

An alternative position – standing alone among the ultra-orthodox communities in Israel is Chabad.  The Rebbe refused to have Chabad become part of United Torah Judaism or ANY political party – stating that direct religious involvement in the political parties would alienate Chabad from the people of Israel.  So while Chabadniks in Israel vote about 50:50 between the religious parties and parties that support “not giving land for peace” – a directive from the Rebbe, they do not support/endorse any party.

So if you’re part of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel, G-d says vote for an ultra-religious party – or so the party propaganda says.  Unless you’re Chabad, where the Rebbe says to vote for parties that support Shlaymius HaAretz – keeping the Land of Israel whole, first, and those with strong religious principles.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

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Astrology?

   by Reb Gutman Locks     

  Ilcho asked:  

       My question is what's the Judaism view on Chinese and Japanese astrology?

And what about the Chaldean astrology? Does Judaism accept it?

Best regards

 

Gutman's response:

    Astrology and its place in the Torah is a long conversation with a variance of authoritative opinions. What are you asking? Is it permitted? Does it work?

    Most briefly, a Jew is commanded not to follow the stars.[i] This is because only Hashem dictates what will come to a Jew. We find many times that the readers of the stars have said certain things will happen, but Hashem changed those judgments. For instance, according to the stars, Avraham was not to have children, but Hashem changed that and made Abraham the father of many nations.

     Many people believe that the stars and constellations have power over a person's life. For instance, they believe that their birth sign rules over them, that stars exercise power over people.

     A Jew is ruled over only by G-d, unless he or she delves into the mysteries of such things as magic and idolatry. In these cases Hashem, so to speak, steps back, and allows those "unclean" forces to rule over that Jew. They will rule his life until he vigorously discards them, and returns to a Torah life.

     Having said that, still, there are certain times of the year that are known to be auspicious for Jews, and certain times that are known to be dangerous. When we see historically that this is true, we listen to experience and act accordingly. For instance, when the month of Adar enters, Jewish joy increases and the times become auspicious for us. As opposed to this, when the month of Av enters, the times become inauspicious for us, and we guide our lives accordingly.

     Bottom line, do I believe that the constellations have power? No, not at all. But I do believe that the constellations, as all things, reflect the moment, and since they are so huge they do so in a way that is discernible.

     Perhaps stargazing is how worship of the stars came about, and that certainly is forbidden.

    Stargazers know that stars have no mercy, but thank G-d, our Creator does.

 

 



[i] Leviticus 19:26    "You shall not act on the basis of omens or lucky hours."

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

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Every Person

by Reb Gutman Locks

     Every person you meet is an opportunity to change the world.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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How I Angered 200,000,000 People

imageJAMIE WEINSTEIN – The Daily Caller - In the wake of the Islamist terror attacks in France against cartoonists and Jews, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s first reaction was to pin the motivation for such terrorism on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Appearing on “The Daily Show” Monday, Carter was asked by host Jon Stewart whether the violence the world saw on the streets of Paris was actually fueled by something else other than Islamic extremism.

“Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem,” Carter replied. “And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now — what’s being done to them. So I think that’s part of it.”

Carter didn’t explain how solving the Israeli-Palestinian issue would in any way resolve the violent conflicts currently engulfing the Arab world, including the Syrian civil war, the Islamic State’s takeover of part of Iraq and its brutal implementation of Islamic law, and the conflict between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood, just to name a few. Nor did he detail how the “Palestinian problem” helps explain why three French Muslims murdered innocent French Jews buying groceries for the coming Sabbath and cartoonists preparing the next issue of their paper.

Bill Maher didn’t hold back Wednesday night, blasting “hundreds of millions” of the world’s Muslims for allegedly supporting the Islamic terrorist massacre of cartoonists, writers, and editors at a Parisian satirical magazine that has mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

“I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this,  but here’s the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, ‘We don’t approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off.  That is mainstream in the Muslim world. When you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off. You get what’s coming to you. It’s also mainstream that if you leave the religion, you get what’s coming to you—which is death. Not in every Muslim country… but this is the problem in the world that we have to stand up to.”

Is Bill Maher right that “hundreds of millions of Muslims” support violence such as the attack in Paris?

This took some figuring. The Pew report, appears to be the best data currently available. There are approximately 1,083,021,825 Muslims in the 21 countries they polled—68% of the global total. Based on the country-by-country percentages in the Pew report, that means about 133 million support the suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians. Extrapolating the data—which is probably inaccurate since American and European Muslims probably support violence significantly less, while Iranian Muslims may support it more—that means about 195 million Muslims worldwide support suicide bombing and other acts of violence against civilians.

The global percentage is 12 percent. 

20141226_132313

This is where I live… and shows Jews, building homes, in Israel.  For which 1 in 9 Muslims is willing to blow themselves or their children up to stop (per the former U.S. president).  Why?  BECAUSE JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS.

200,000,000 muslims out to get me, and I’m still here.  In every generation…G-d saves us from their hand.

(In the picture above, the majority of the construction workers are actually Palestinians from the Shomron [aka West Bank].)

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

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Really? Exactly. Je Ne Suis Pas

Roost, meet chicken.

imageimage

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The Aleph Bet

by Reb Gutman Locks   

     

The Aleph Bet

 

     Jewish mysticism tells us that when Hashem formed the entire creation He did so with the letters of the Aleph Bet. The creation is a wonderful opportunity, and we can see this spelled out for us when we read the Aleph Bet as a sentence.

     Father, good fortune has come that the 7 (days) are grains of completion, traveling forward breaking forth rejoicing a precious foundation.

 

אב גד הו א  ז חטי  כלמ נסע פצ ה יקר שת ות

 

Father     אב

Good Fortune   גד

that הו א  

7 (days of creation)   ז

grains of  חטי    

completion    כלמ

traveling   נסע

breaking forth (rejoicing) פצ ה

precious[i] יקר   

put, foundation  שת ות

 



[i] Proverbs 17:27:  and precious  וקר    or construct of יקר

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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Akiva’s Israel Election Primer–Part 3, Rightist Explosions #IsraElex

Jews moving to live in Israel usually find Israeli politics incomprehensible.  With these primers, I’ll attempt to simply what’s going on within Israeli elections – if that’s possible.

Primer Topic #3 – Rightist Explosions

imageFirst a commentor question…  “Why is HaBayit HaYehudi the only party to hold primary election this Wednesday?” --- Because party primaries, if they happen at all, are PRIVATE events of each party.  Each party can decide whether or not to have primaries, and if so their own primary rules as well as when, where, and eligibility to vote.

The Meretz primary was an open one a few weeks ago.  The Likud primary was semi-open, with reserved slots controlled by the party head and the ability to vote only if you’ve been a paying Likud member for 2 years or more.  This Wednesday Bayit Yehudi is holding a mostly-open primary, where anyone can run contingent on being a party member, having 150 supporting member signatures, and paying a NIS 7,000 fee to qualify.  Any Bayit Yehudi paying member can vote… but there was only a 1 week window to join the party this election season, and that window is closed.

On to our primary topic…

The Likud party is Israel’s “right” “conservative” party with a long history in the nation.  They’ve been the ruling party in various governments since the 70’s.  What’s being “right” in Israel?

Economically - Over years Likud has moderated the socialist system, privatizing some industries and opening others to competition.  Some…not all, not even most.  They’ve moderated the tax system…slightly.  They removed currency controls, that was a big deal.  They reduced import controls and import duties on some goods, and private imports on small amounts (items under $200). 

Peace-wise – In peace moves, the right has been a FAILURE as rightists.  EVERY peace treaty with the Palestinians, as well as the evacuation of Gaza, started under a Likud / rightist leader.  (Similarly the settlements were started by the leftists – who now distain them.)

Religiosity – The right holds that the “status quo”, the current situation of synagogue and state in Israel, should be maintained.  Shabbat should remain a State sanctioned day of rest, with blue laws (restrictions on business practices on the day of rest) staying in place.  The State should continue to provide basic funding for religious services and religious education.

Perhaps 50% of the “Right” is STRONG RIGHT.  They are seriously religious Jews and/or staunchly pro-Land-of-Israel.  No giving away of Land for Peace, and serious about zionism.  The other 50% is center right… they’re more interested in economic loosening and just want national stability.

Similar to Labor, Likud has support of ~15% of the Israeli voting population, and floating / fluctuating support that can range from +5-15%.

BUT parts of Likud believe you can’t win elections in Israel being right, it scares the media and the centrists.  

imageBayit Yehudi seems to have grown into support of ~10% of the voters, and may grow higher in this election.  They are their own strange mishmash – a merger of a group of merged parties. Many of these smaller merged parties are or started as pure settler or ultra-zionist parties.  The current party head has been very successful in reducing the pure settlement focus and very-strong national-religious focus, and instead re-focusing the party as “just being strong proud Israelis”.  Doing so grew their support from a niche 5% to their current 10%, and prediction are they will net 15% in the next election.

BUT every time the Right starts to strengthen, a number of leading (but usually second string) politicians within it decide that they are the personal reason for the success of the Right – and bail out starting their own INSTA-parties.  And every time they do this, the sabotage the Right’s strength on the national stage.

In this election a leading MK from Bayit Yehudi bailed out to join with Eli Yishai in the new Shas-alternative party, and MK Kachalon from Likud bailed out to start Kulanu.

NEXT EDITION – The Religious Parties, where G-d tells you how to vote.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

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Akiva’s Israel Election Primer–Part 2, The Left Goes Middle #IsraElex

Jews moving to live in Israel usually find Israeli politics incomprehensible.  With these primers, I’ll attempt to simply what’s going on within Israeli elections – if that’s possible.

Primer Topic #2 – The Left…goes middle

The “traditional” large left and large right parties of Israel, namely Labor and Likud, have history behind them.  Though they have changed names, split, merged, and rotated, they are still around.  As such they have their die hard supporters who are going to vote for them no matter what.  Their parents voted for them, maybe their grandparents, and they are going to also!

imageThe Labor Party (HaAvodah in Hebrew) is the party of the founding ruling class of the State of Israel.  They’ve been strongly socialist, nowadays weakly socialist, and anti-religious, nowadays agnostic, and frequently been in power (their last Prime Minister just went to jail for corruption).  They have solid support from ~15% of the Israeli voting population, and floating / fluctuating support that can range from +0-15%. 

They suffer from a problem affecting “The Left” – their foundational ideas have petered out, been watered down, and faded into quiet retirement with their elder members.  Socialism is in retreat, and while the Left screams about income inequality – the only solution they present is increasing taxes (make everyone poor I guess).  Leftist Zionism, in the form of settling the land, has been deprecated as the Settlements (started by the Left!) have been determined (by the Left) to be more trouble than they are worth, leaving their Zionism with nothing more than to try to convince more secular Jews around the world to make aliyah…to Tel Aviv.  And “being ready to take risks on the Peace Process” has become somewhat unpopular as rockets from Gaza are fired at Tel Aviv.

Meretz, another long term Leftist party, is the party of extreme secularism and anti-religion (or lets be specific, anti-Judaism).  They’ve wandered a bit as well, losing their non-core support, and adding environmentalism and other socially trendy topics.  They have a solid 5% of the Israeli electorate in support.

Because of the dearth of ideals among the Left, and lots of party jumping / splitting / merging, another 15% of the Israeli electorate that lean in that direction are a floating “center-left” – looking for a new savior!  A good idea / ideal – ANY good idea or ideal (that’s not Rightist), they’re willing to give it a go.  Every election along comes an INSTA-party with the NEW HOT “CENTRIST” IDEA of the moment, and wham bam thank you electorate, a mid-sized center-left party is born into the parliament.

Last election it was Yesh Atid, this election it’s….Kulanu.

imageHow to Get Elected to the Knesset in Israel as a Leftist…

- The Labor Party has some arcane system of internal political committees which select the political hacks who will be presented on their list.  How one gets on the list or support is an issue of black magic and political muscle – subject to instant adjustment if conditions suggest changes will net the party extra seats.  Investing 10 years of political involvement and making the right contacts and moves…might do it. 

- The Meretz Party actually has a real open party primary.  Subject to some rules, any party member in good standing (for a period of time?) with support (signatures) and maybe a fee can run to get on the list.  People with the most votes in the primary are on the top of the list in order of votes. 

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Love of the Land

by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

Love of the Land

 

      A Chosid came to the Kotel to say "goodbye". His vacation was over and he was returning to America. He said, "It's not really goodbye, it's, "See you later," but still I know that I am going to miss this place."

    I told him, "There are one or two things you can do to bring the holiness that we have here with you wherever you go."

     He was very interested.

     I said, "Either right before you get on the plane, take a deep breath and hold it until you come back… or, wherever you go, try to help a Jew to do a mitzvah with joy. If you do either of these things you will bring Hashem's holiness with you wherever you go."

     He said, "That deep breath idea is not just a joke."

     He told me a story of the love that Jews who live far from the Land have for the holiness of the Land of Israel.

     He said that he was a guest for Shabbos and he watched his host get ready to make Kiddush Friday night (sanctify Shabbos with wine). He was surprised when the host started to open the bottle of wine and all of the children hurried and squeezed close to their father.

     He asked, "Why are all of the children standing so close to you?"

     The host explained, "This bottle of wine comes from Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). It's only ¾ of the way filled with wine. The space above the wine is filled with the air of the Holy Land and the children want to breathe in at least a drop of that holiness if they can."

    The story brought tears to my eyes, thinking of the blessing that we have here in Israel, and seeing the loving devotion that Jews have treasured and passed onto their children even after all these years of exile.

     May Hashem bring all of the Jews home soon.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

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Hostage Names–Terror Situation in France

As Shabbos is arriving here in Eretz Yisroel, we’re horrified to hear of an active hostage terror situation in France, involving (among multiple locations) a kosher supermarket with Jews shopping in preparation for Shabbos.

Among the hostages, the following names have been shared.  At least one hostage is reportedly an 11 month old baby…

Names for Prayers - Hostages in Paris:

- Shmuel Yitzchok Ben Sara
- Zerya Bas Susan
- Andra Bas Jusian
- Mordechai Ben Maya

The gedolim have stated one should say Tehillim (Psalms) 121, 124, and 130 at this time.

May we hear only good news regarding this terrible situation!

** History has shown it often starts with the Jews, but it NEVER ends with them.  May Hashem protect the innocent and the security forces at this difficult time. **

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