Monday, January 19, 2009

Ceasefire Notes

Well there is a ceasefire now, a week Hamas says, a very brief reprieve for the horrible routine of war and nobody has gotten in. The government is out of touch with reality--Jewish reality that is. We aren't going to solve this problem until we return to Hashem, become real Jews, observe the Sabbath, the dietary laws, the Ten Commandmants, the whole nine yards. G-d isn't interested in a secular Jewish state lead by pseudo goyim like Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni. He is erech apayim, patient, more than us, and He has tolerated this for sixty long years, but now it is enough, time for the Israelis to become Jews. Tzhal isn't going to solve this for us. We have better weapons than them, more sophisticated ones but we havent been able to stop the fire of homemade rockets and we won't. Nothing will get better until we go back to being the people we are supposed to be.
And there isnt anywhere to run to. Here in Israel we are living in a state of Purim, in danger of physical extinction but in the US the Jews are living in a state of Hanuka, losing our souls to the corrupt materialism of the West. Which is better? I'd chose the former because at least if we go, it is Al Kiddush Hashem, as Jews, a sanctification of the Divine Name instead of melting into the ether of nothingness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Learn and Pray for a Soldier

There is a wonderful new program to allow us to help our men in green with our Torah learning and tefillos.
Email.maortlmo@gmail.com to sign on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We're Getting It

This afternoon, I chanced to hear, on Gal Galatz again. that school children in Jerusalem and Bnai Brak gathered in synagogues to recite Psalms for our soldiers. That was just what Mordechai did in ancient Shushan and even the "secular" radio announcer said that it couldn't hurt. Meanwhile , our soldiers foiled a possible suicide attack and missiles fell on the Western Negev without hurting or killing anyone. Coincidence? You decide.

Because of Our Sins

It is the tenth of Tamuz , not a happy day in our history and this morning I awoke to learn of another Jewish tragedy, the horrific news that yesterday our troops accidentally killed four of our own men mistakenly believing them to be Hamas terrorists .

A father of one of the dead soldiers was interviewed and like so many other anonymous people whose voice is now suddenly heard during these hard times, he spoke with simple faith. "Baruch Hashem, Baruch Hashem" , thank G-d he said over and over.

Thinking more deeply into this tragedy , it is neither fair nor accurate to differentiate between these soldiers and other casualties whose wounds were inflicted by our enemies., as if these guys were unfortunates that the others heroes.

They are all the same, all of the fallen soldiers, and anyone in any place who is suffering on account of this war all of them on some level victims of friendly fire. We brought this upon ourselves. Yes, it wasn't some external enemy, it is us. We are the ones who caused this war and it wasn't because of bad political choices thought those may be part of the bigger picture.

We are the heirs to that covenant that Abraham made with G-d and it includes penalty clauses. Its all written clearly in the Torah and in our prayers, that "due to our sins we were exiled from our land." G-d has a plan for us, and that includes fealty to the 613 commandments and though He is merciful and He will hold back His wrath giving us umpteen opportunities for self correction, ultimately He punishes, especially in His land . We in Israel are living in G-ds own living room and He expects us to follow his plan here, or else. Our rabbis says that this is a period of Din, divine justice when G-d is calling in the accounts We've got work to do, hard spiritual work, both as individuals and as a collectivity. Each of us can make his own list, myself included.

That is what Jews do when hard times come . Our sages have declared today as a special day of prayer a time to introspect and re make ourselves into, the people that G-d wants us to be thus opening the way for and end to all of this suffering.
Just in case this is all sounding too gloomy, I just wanted to add that there were numerous miracles yesterday, one false alarm and several dozen missiles exploding without killing or maiming anyone including one that fell in a kindergarten.
Hashem is with us. He is taking us by the hand through this, showing us tremendous miracles.He just wants to bring us all back to Him so that we can be His people as we once were. That is the only reason why all this is happening and the sooner we get this, the better it will be.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Silver Lining

In my previous posts, I bemoaned the Israeli government’s decision invade Gaza, but now that Cast Lead is a fait accompli, I only offer my sincere prayer for its success. I'm not intending to join Bianca Jagger and Annie Lennox on the anti war anti Israel barricades. They can and probably will go to hell, but leaving them aside, what we are seeing here is an unprecedented outpouring of faith.I just want to report two miracles I learned of in the past 12 hours (I'm sure there were many others) 1) recital of Psalm 20 on the army radio. Apparently Gal Galatz (local slang for the ultra hip ultra secular army station) was so flooded with SMS messages demanding the recital (the traditional Jewish response to adversity is to say the Psalms) that its commentators relented and albeit with some reluctance uttered King David's ancient verse about how they (our enemies) fight us with horses and chariots but we call to the name of our G-d.(2) During this mornings broadcast I heard an interview with the wife of a wounded Golani battalion commander(the infantry unit fighting in the strip) , hurt in yesterday's fighting. She herself lives in a building in Ashdod that was hit by Grad mortar shells. Rather than despairing this remarkable woman whose name I failed to catch she spoke of miracles both in her town and on the battlefield and used the words "Baruch Hashem" (thank G-d) so many times that she sounded like a biblical character reincarnated. Perhaps that is who she was.At its core the Zionist movement was a rebellion against the G-d of Israel. The founding fathers wanted to create a free (read free from the commandments) people in the land. Their antipathy to religion was so strong that in the declaration of independence (1948) Ben Gurion and his cohorts couldn't bring themselves to add the traditional Jewish appellation, "With G-d's help" to the document and after numerous back room negotiations came up with the more ambiguous "with the help of the rock of Israel" which crowns the "Scroll of Independance" (Israel's declaration of independence)But those days are gone. When they are reciting the Psalms on the army radio, the Mashiach is surely on his way.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Doom and Gloom for a Sunday Morning

Well we did it. We landed our ground troops in the Gaza strip. As if we were the US army landing on the beaches in Normandie. Everyone I know seems glad, even relieved that we're finally showing them, but my question is showing them what?What in the world does anyone expect except a giant bloodbath, with the blood of our poor soldiers running in like water in the casbah's of Khan Yunis and Raffiach.

Won't we ever learn? We just can't win a war on their turf. And what if they start a third intifada and open a second front, as Hassan Nasrallah, may his name be blotted out is threatening to do. Do we all become refugees? The people from the North fleeing South and those from the South fleeing North all of us crashing into one another? I shudder to think. We are still in Golus. We have to act like Golus Jews which means, tread carefully, don't incite the nations. Yes read that again. We are still in Golus. The Golus hasn't ended despite all the Zionist rhetoric. We need to remind ourselves of the old rules, the way that we survived for 2000 years in the diaspora.

We aren't cut out for the offensive role. We never have been. Every time we've tried this kind of a think (pretending to be a superpower going into their turf to restore order) we have failed miserably. Need I bring up memories of the Lebanon Wars one and two or going further back, the Sinai Campaign.

Yes, I know that Cast Lead is ultimately defensive and that we are right. I'm not justifying their rocket attacks but sometimes it is wiser to be smart than to be right. I fear that this foolhardly campaign will loose more Jewish lives than all the Kassams and Grad and Katyusha attacks put together and jeopardize our very existence as a sovereign state.

If we want to survive we really need is a spiritual initiative, massive teshuva, no more chilul shabbos, no more pork stores, no more immodesty in all of its derivations so that we can bring down massive Siyata Deshamaya, heavenly assistance, our only true secret weapon (not the nukes in Dimona in case you were wondering)

G-d expects something from us if we want to continue to stay in this land and He isn't keeping it a secret. Just open up the second paragraph of the Shema and it says it all. Unless we go that route, I'm afraid that this third independent commonwealth will go the way of its predecessors.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Something Borrowed

It's Friday and I'm pretty tired so here is something borrowed from Laser Brody. Note the bit about the apartment building. Amazing right?

Friday, 02 January 2009
Serenade, Ashdod Style

We usually feature music clips here at the Beams on Fridays, to welcome the Shabbat. But this week, we'll let you share in the "music" of the south of Israel.
Just imagine that you hear the Red Alert siren; the system in Ashdod is fantastic, and there has not been a single false alarm. You know what that means? In 30-45 seconds, a lethal devastating Grad Missile will fall in your vicinity. Just imagine what you feel like in the interim.

As you see in the above map, Ashdod - a city of 240,000 - is about 5 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide. The southern side of Ashdod is 24 km from the northern border of Gaza. From where we live on the south side of Ashdod, the Red Alert system gives us 30-35 seconds to take cover in a missile attack. Image Courtesy of Israel Civil Defense.
Many folks have left town. But not the Brodys. We know that Hashem is doing everything for the best. People ask me how in the heck can missile fire from Gaza be for the best? Here're a few reasons:
1. Hashem wants us to strengthen our emuna fast in order to prepare us for Moshiach, otherwise we won't be able to stand the dazzling spiritual light.
2. Hashem wants to teach us to fear only Him, and not to fear anything else.
3. Hashem is showing the pro-disengagement folks that scoffed at us anti-disengagement folks (when we said that missiles from Gaza would rain on the south of Israel) that they owe us an apology.
4. Hashem is showing the politicians that the doctrine of territory for peace will expose Tel Aviv to missile fire from the PA in the West Bank.
5. Hashem is showing us fantastic miracles. Today, for example, the entire top floor of an 8-story apartment building was destroyed by a missile, and no one suffered a scratch.
View of the 8th floor of the apart-ment building in Ashdod hit by a Grad missile yesterday. Image by Avi Rocca, courtesy of ynetnews.com
6. Many people are seeking emuna - especially Rebbe Nachman's teachings. In times of peace, they'd have never bothered.
It's all for the best. Once Moshiach comes, we'll see how Operation Cast Lead was just another stepping stone toward the Geula, the full redemption of our people, soon, amen. Have a wonderful Shabbat .
Postscript: Nizar Rayyan, the Hamas Head Honcho that got blown away yesterday, was behind the Ashdod port bombing that killed 10 people in our city in 2004. He got his due...
Friday