Sunday, March 30, 2008

Resisting Evil


As China prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games, it is time to examine China's horrendous human rights record. The repressive Chinese regime intends to use the Olympic Games as propaganda, as a means of gaining worldwide recognition and legitimacy. It is also a perfect opportunity to showcase Chinese attrocities.

Darfur:

Since 2003, between 200 000 and 400 000 thousands black Africans have been murdered by the state-sponsored Arab janjaweed militiamen in Darfur. Thousands have been slaughtered or raped, villages have been razed and horrible war crimes have been committed. A strong UN force is needed to stop the genocide in Darfur. The Sudanese President has repeatedly refused to allow an international force into Darfur, preposterously claiming that it is an attempt to recolonize the country. He has been able to get away with this largely because China, a permanent member of the Security Council, continues to protect him with the threat of using its veto. China, in an attempt to fuel its booming economy, is desperate for new sources of resources. China is trying to diversify its oil sources beyond the crisis- prone Middle East, and Africa is one obvious alternative. Already, 7 percent of China's imported oil comes from Sudan.

Sending international forces to protect Darfur, over the protest of Sudan's government, conjures up fears in Beijing of a UN force intervening in Tibet. China's continued support for the Sudanese president and refusal to condemn the ethnic cleansing in Darfur is one of the primary obstacles in ending the wanton slaughter.


Organ Harvesting:

In 2006, a report emerged that China was harvesting organs- lungs, hearts, kidneys, livers, etc.- from healthy prisoners, and Falun Gong sect members, and selling them at exorbitant prices to keep its lucrative organ market operating. Some dismissed this as slander. In response, the Canadian government appointed two respected attorneys, David Matas and David Kilgour, to investigate the allegations. On May 8, 2006, their submitted report confirmed the worst: that thousands of healthy prisoners were being slaughtered in order to harvest their organs.

Rabbi David Druckman, the Chief Rabbi of the northern city of Kiryat Motzkin and an outspoken opponent of Land of Israel withdrawals, says Jews must take the lead in condemning China for its murder of prisoners of conscience in order to harvest their organs.

"The atrocity is so great," Rabbi Druckman says on a recently released video, "that there are simply no words to express it. From a certain standpoint it is even worse than what the Nazis did... to cut organs from people under the cover of medical help for other people is simply astonishing and shocking from every human vantage point."

"It is especially incumbent upon us as Jews to lead the campaign that expresses total disgust at this phenomenon," Rabbi Druckman says. "Especially us, the Jewish Nation, that suffered the crimes of the Nazis, may their names be blotted out, and those of the Communists under Stalin - who can stand by and comprehend the world's silence at all this?"


Burma:

Burma has one of the worst human rights records in the world. According to one report, "The Burmese military regime is allowing its troops systematically and on a widespread scale to commit rape with impunity in order to terrorize and subjugate the ethnic peoples" in the country's northeast. It is ruled by a brutal military junta and the people suffer tremendous repression. The international community has threatened to sanction the oil-rich kingdom but to no avail as the West has little leverage over Burma. But China does. China is the country's biggest investor, major consumer of its resources, and primary arms supplier, and thousands of Chinese laborers have flowed into the country. Because of Chinese economic interests in Burma, China supports a regime that oppresses its own people and has killed tens of pro-democracy protesters.

Tibet:

In 1949-1950, Chinese troops were sent in to occupy Tibet. In the following years, the Chinese set out to destroy and eradicate Tibetan culture and history. 1.2 million Tibetans, one-fifth of the country's population, died as a result of China's policies; many more languished in prisons and labor camps; and more than 6000 monasteries, temples and other cultural and historic buildings were destroyed and their contents pillaged. There has been a huge influx of ethnic Han Chinese into Tibet and in certain regions, Chinese outnumber Tibetans two to one. This population shift is an attempt by the Chinese to weaken Tibet's autonomy and identity and to erase Tibetan culture. Unarmed demonstrators have been shot without warning by Chinese police on five occasions between 1987 and 1989. Amnesty International believes that at least 200 civilians were killed by the security forces during demonstrations in this period. There are also reports of detainees being summarily executed. Chinese has replaced Tibetan as Tibet's official language. Tibetan speakers find it increasingly hard to find employment in Tibetan. Religious practice was forcibly suppressed until 1979, and up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed. Resettlement of Chinese migrants has placed Tibetans in the minority in many areas, including Lhasa, causing chronic unemployment among Tibetans. In 1990, the Chinese admitted that there were 44,000 Chinese in Lhasa and around 80,000 in the whole of the TAR. But independent observers believe the figure is in fact far higher. In the east Tibetan border provinces of Kham and Amdo, the Chinese outnumber Tibetans many times over. China is currently violently suppressing Tibetan protester.

***

China's human right abuses are really not surpising given China's atheist Communist ideology. Communism is doctrinally opposed to G-d and religion. [Consider China's campaign of repression against Tibetan and Burmese Buddhists or of Chinese Christians.] Communism believes that everything can be reduced to economic worth, therefore a human being has a purely economic value, and an undesirable such as a Falun Gong adherent, a Tibetan monk or a political dissident, has thousands of dollars worth of organs to be harvested. According to their perverted philosphy, humans have no inherent value and are disposable should an individual oppose the policies of the Chinese government.

Such was the belief on many ancient societies. The Greeks used to dispose of unwanted or weak babies by leaving them to die on abandonned mountains or forests. Thousands endured horrific conditions in Egyptian, Greek or Roman slavery. And along came the Jews with a new system of morality. This system was based on the Torah, which gives humans spiritual value due to their creation in the image of G-d. The sanctity of human life is inviolable because it is divine in origin.

Jews are commanded to disseminate the Universal Noahide Laws around the world. One is them is the prohibition against murder, which many have unfortunately forgotten. It is a religious duty for every Jew, and Noahide, to oppose China's evil human rights abuses.

Rabbi Druckman says: "When there is evil in the world, every person with a human conscience, and every person with intelligence, must protest against it... Jewish Law requires of us to spread values of faith in the Creator and of maintaining the human image throughout the world. The same Torah that tells us to keep the Sabbath and to eat only Kosher food, also requires that we influence all of mankind - as is written, 'From Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.'"

"We must also do whatever will result in a sharp condemnation of these animals that are doing these things in China. This will help raise the standard of the entire human race in the world, and the more the world improves and becomes more gentle, this will bring us closer to the Redemption and the arrival of the Just Redeemer."

As the Olympic torch travels around the world, let us light a different type of torch. Let us light a torch of human rights, of being "a light unto the nations". Let us illuminate the world with the timeless and eternal wisdom of the Torah. May the day come when nations shall not lift up swords against other nations, neither shall they learn war anymore. Amen.

Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fitna



I have nothing more to say.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thanks, Pastor, for Saving Me


I came across a very interesting article in a magazine of which I am not a very frequent reader, Christianity Today, one of the largest evangelical magazines in the US, which is a call to evangelize the Jews. While I obviously disagree with the author's sentiments, I appreciate his candor. Here it is: (My commentary in red.)

Why Evangelize the Jews?

by Stan Guthrie

Larry King is not known as a tough interviewer. Yet with smooth-talking pastor and author Joel Osteen, he went for the jugular, asking whether Jews and Muslims must believe in C to go to heaven. And Osteen blinked: "I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know." (A very mature pastor. I like him.)

While Osteen later apologized for seemingly downplaying the necessity of faith in C for salvation, the pluralistic pressure to waffle on this issue is intense. Several mainline denominations support a two-covenant theology, which holds that Judaism and Christianity are parallel, divinely guided paths to God. (I guess that Christianity's finally growing up. Now if they would just drop their belief in J...) In addition, in 2002 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a document, "Reflections on Covenant and Mission," affirming that "Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God."

Noting that many church leaders and theologians have "retreated from embracing the task of evangelizing Jews," in 1989 a global group of evangelical theologians (including Vernon Grounds, Kenneth Kantzer, J. I. Packer, and Tokunboh Adeyemo) drafted the Willowbank Declaration on the Christian Gospel and the Jewish People. They denied that "any non-Christian faith, as such, will mediate eternal life with God." (I'm sure Isaiah must have got it wrong when he said: "Your people are all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever; the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, wherein I glory." [60:21])

Such a statement, attacked when it was released, remains politically incorrect. Voices both inside and outside the church say that evangelizing Jewish people—calling them to repent of their sins and trust in J C as their Lord, Savior, and Messiah—is inappropriate. Rabbi David Rosen recently told CT that if someone relates to him "as someone who's going to burn in hell, then I can't really see that as genuine love toward my people and my faith." Duh!

I love and respect the Jewish people and their faith. (Only the parts that they got right, of course. Christianity is the way to go.) After all, J was a Jew (if he existed), and Christianity is firmly rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures (not quite true. Leave my Scriptures alone! I challenge any Christian to find one solid proof supporting the messiahood of JC. Not an ambiguous, unclear quote taken out of context, but the sort of proof that would stand up in a court of law.). Certainly the Holocaust and the church's horrific anti-Semitism have changed the context for evangelism. (Right... so since burning us at the stake didn't work, Christians should take a different approach to getting us to become Christian. Maybe like dressing up as Jews, worshipping "Yeshua", according to the "Brit Chadasha" and going to Messianic "synagogues", dropping Yiddish terms, supporting Israel and eating bagels and lox.) We have much for which to apologize. But we cannot apologize for the gospel, which is Good News for Jewish people precisely because they—like all human beings—need J. Paul, a Hebrew of Hebrews (not! Paul, who taught that JC saved the Jews from the "curse of the law", clearly violated Deuteronomy 13:1, which states that nothing can be added or subtracted to G-d's law. In opposing the Torah and in deifing JC, Paul's sins warranted the death penalty. That's why many Jews reacted violently to his teachings.), said plainly, "What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. for … all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin." (If you've sinned, do teshuva. “That every man will turn from his evil way, then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.” (Jeremiah 36:3). But, of course, Christians know the Torah better than us.)

Some believe that Romans, which states emphatically that "all Israel will be saved," teaches that Jews do not need to hear the Good News from us. (I really don't care what you believe. If you can do enough theological acrobatics to worship a man as G-d, you can surely fix this problem. Leave us alone!) (Along those lines, Rosen asks evangelicals to "suspend your proselytizing and allow the Almighty to do whatever the Almighty thinks is the thing to do in his own time.") Such interpretations remind me of the apocryphal story of the misguided churchman who condescendingly told budding missionary William Carey, "Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine." If Carey had sat down, the modern missionary movement might have died stillborn.

Ordinarily God uses people to spread his message. Good news is no news at all if it is not communicated. And it must be shared first with the Jews (Rom. 1:16). Their calling as God's covenant people makes our evangelistic obligation to them greater, not less. "The biblical hope for Jewish people," Willowbank says, "centers on their being restored through faith in C to their proper place as branches of God's olive tree, from which they are at present broken off." ("Thus saith the LORD: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD." [Jeremiah 31:36] We don't need Christianity to make us kosher- we got the Torah.)

Some people denigrate the methods and motives of people who evangelize Jews. They claim that focusing ministry on—or "targeting"—Jews is just plain wrong. "Billy Graham didn't target Jews," pastor John Hagee says. "Bill Bright refused to target the Jews. I'm not targeting the Jews." (Good for you! Interested in a little Noahide laws yourself? At least these are kosher.)

Others charge that those who evangelize Jewish people are deceptive or are attempting to snare the vulnerable in the Jewish community. These would include students, the aged, Russian Jews, the impoverished, those from dysfunctional or interfaith families, and the uneducated.
Strangely, other types of focused evangelism—such as among students or the homeless—seem to be acceptable. As Willowbank correctly notes, "The existence of separate churchly organizations for evangelizing Jews … can be justified … as an appropriate means of fulfilling the church's mandate to take the gospel to the whole human race." (Only ignorant Jews who are completely assimilated and desperately thirst for spirituality while being unaware of the beauty of Judaism succumb. Have missionaries had any luck in Meah Shearim or in Bnei Brak?)

Of course, deception and manipulation are always wrong. The ends do not justify the means when it comes to evangelism. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has rightly told Jewish audiences that he doesn't believe in coercion—though he does believe in persuasion.
So must we. As we continue the good works of dialogue and practical ministries among our Jewish neighbors, let's renew our commitment to also sensitively but forthrightly persuade them to receive the Good News. (Obviously, if you play good cop/ bad cop with us, we'll just chuck that whole 'Judaism' thing out the window. Get real. Study some Torah.)
***

Why are these guys our friends? If anybody wants to steal our souls, we don't need them. HaShem will protect us, so we have no need to rely on goyyim. They need us though, since those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.

Since the author seems so determined to evangelize to Jews, I'm gonna evangelize back. The path for non-Jews to achieve salvation is to follow the 7 Universal Noahide Laws. The only one worth worshipping is HaShem, the One and Only, and there is no need for an intermediary between you and Him.



Take a look at this video. It seems that some of these people (some- there are many good Christians out there who support us with no ulteriour motive) are using us as cannon-fodder for the Second Coming. Some Christians hold that before JC can come back, a certain amount of Jews have to accept Christianity. What will happen when Christians realize that we're not converting and JC's not coming back? What will they do when they realize that we're holding up his return? Will they forcibly convert us? It's not so far-fetched. Something to chew on...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Jewish State

There are over a hundred nations of Christian background, slightly less Muslim nations, and only one extremely small Jewish nation sitting on a narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean. While nobody seems to have a problem that the Queen of England, its head of state, is also the head of the Church of England, or that non-Muslims are forbidden from publicly worshipping in Saudi Arabia, the world nods in agreement that the idea of a Jewish state, a democratic, free state of Jews built on Jewish principles (hopefully), is something primitive, wrong or artificial. (As if a state of French people in France or Chinese in China is offensive!) Many believe it to be charitable for another leader or country to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, as if Israel's right to exist is suspended in mid-air until someone allows us to live. Nobody challenges the rights of Canada, Chad or Australia to exist but to the self-righteous liberals of the world, a Jewish state is intolerant and racist. One need not look far to hear calls for the dismantling of Israel, branding the state as illegitimate, born in sin. Such calls are not only dangerous, but they are plain anti-semitic, to deny Jews the right of self-determination which is extended to all peoples. It is also genocidal in nature because by marking the Jews in Israel as squatters, they give liscence to Arab excesses and murder in the attempt to "liberate" their land.


The Jewish people arose in the Land of Israel and since the time of the Conquest by Joshua, Jews have maintained a constant presence there. In 70 CE, the Roman armies of Titus and Hadrian marched through Judea, massacred its people, enslaved and exiled the remnants, razed Jerusalem and burnt the Holy Temple, rebuilt on its site a pagan city, and renamed the land Palastina. Millions of Jews, of Zionists, slaughtered, and the survivors were scattered to the four corners of the globe for two millenium. During these bitter years, the Jewish people suffered intense persecution, humilation, oppression, pogroms, Crusades, Inquistions, forced conversions and Holocausts. Thousands of Jews gave their lives in order to remain Jewish, as Muslim and Christian mobds demanded that they accept the truth of the revelations of Jesus or Muhammad. The Jews endured ridicule and ostracism, being a minority in hostile lands. It is little over 60 years ago when the Jews were taken from all over Europe (and the Jews of North Africa were only saved miraculously) and killed by the Nazis. The Jewish nation was weak, dispersed and defenseless. As the Jews suffocated and burned in Auschwitz, the world sat silently. The Pope turned a blind eye as all of the Jews of Rome were rounded up from beneath his very window. The message was painfully clear: never again to be a minority. We must be the masters in our own house.

From these ashes of the horrid destruction that engulfed the Jewish people 60 years ago, the nation regathered in its ancient homeland and reestablished itself. Jews had been living there since biblical times, and in the previous two centuries, settlements and aliyah flourished. Land that had been desolate and malaria-infested under the Arabs for hundreds of years suddenly bloomed when its rightful owners returned to reclaim it. Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of Israel, which had been a backwater outpost in the Ottoman Empite, had a thriving Jewish population. In 1948, the state of Israel was declared and it quickly accepted 600 000 Holocaust surivors and close to a million Jews from Arab lands who were expelled from lands which they had lived in for millenium. The state grew and in 1967, following Arab threats and belligerence, Israel liberated Judea and Samaria, Sinai and the Golan and the Jews were finally reunited with their ancient and eternal capital Jerusalem, which was forbidden to Jews under Jordanian rule. The Israeli army ran towards the Kotel and towards the Temple Mount, which has been used as a garbage dump by the Arabs, and the tears of the soldiers poured over the holy stones. The Jewish people had come home.

Some people naively argue today that since most countries guarantee Jews equal rights for the moment, we should waltz right back into exile. Little do they know that anti-Semitic acts are quite common in Europe, Canada and even the United States as synagogues are firebombed, Jewish schools and cemetaries vandalized, and Jews beaten up regularly. Anti-semitism is far from gone and is on a frightening increase. Nonetheless, even without anti-semitism or Jew-hatred, Israel is essential. The Jews are entitled, as are the Swiss, the Italians and the Cambodians, to self-rule, to have a country of their own in which to practice their faith freely, to develop their culture and to shape their own destiny.


Israel has always been at the center of Jewish conscious. Jews pray three times a day that "our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy". We have ended every Passover seder with the words, "Next Year in Jerusalem!". The Land of Israel is the heart of the nation (Or Ne’erav 5:4). All of the Jewish pilgrimage festivals are based on the agricultural cycle of Israel. "See how dear the Land of Israel is before the Holy One Blessed Be He, that most of the commandments are determined there" (Batei Midrashot 1). Judaism in exile is unnatural, existing like a spirit without a body. Only in Israel is Judaism healthy, natural, complete and uncompartmentalized. The Jewish communities in the Diaspora are shrinking, plagued by a 50% assimilation and intermarriage rate. The American Jew is quickly vanishing, through assimilation, country clubs, pork chops, intermarriage and public schools. Israel is the only Jewish community that is thriving and flourishing because it is where Judaism belongs. "There is no Torah like the Torah of the Land of Israel And no wisdom like the wisdom of the Land of Israel." (Sifri, Ekev) Just as the Swede is connected to Sweden, so to is the Jew connected with his heart and soul in Israel. "The Land of Israel is our inheritance from our forefathers" (Baba Batra 119:B) It belongs to us by virtue of inheritance, by Divine promise, by our never ending love-affair with this land. It is in Israel that the Jew is meant to create a holy society, to be able to practice the mitzvot freely, which is impossible in exile. Our Jewish destiny is to become a "light unto the nations", to teach the world of the Truth of HaShem, that there is none but Him, which cannot be done living in the humilation and enslavement of exile.


G-d said: The Land is Mine, and the People of Israel is Mine. I will give My Land to My People (Tanchumah, Bamidbar 34). Who dares fight against the Master of the Universe?

Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard and Jewish Vengeance

Monday, March 24, 2008

It is Not in the Heavens!


A friend of mine is seriously into karate and trains very hard. He almost ha a black belt. Once, he travelled to Japan for a tournament and on this trip, he was able to meet with old Japanese masters at karate. They were older men trained and raised in the ancient arts, devoted to teaching and spreading karate. They were treated with extreme respect as they, having lived their entire lives in the study of karate, were experts at it. These elders had been trained in the secrets of the martial art. As anybody knows, a discipline or art cannot simply exist in an academic level but must have leaders and masters.

Interestingly enough, while almost everyone would treat these karate masters with respect, many deride the rabbis as "a brood of vipers", "Pharisees" and taunt the Jews as following the laws of man as opposed to the laws of G-d. Some like to mock the rabbis and call them hypocrites who prefer to focus on the trivial aspects of the law as opposed to its deeper purpose: intimacy with G-d. Fools. Little do they know.

On Mount Sinai, G-d spoke to the entire Jewish nation and revealed to us His Torah, both the Oral and the Written. One is meaningless without the other, in the sense that one cannot learn karate from a book but only with a teacher. At Sinai, G-d taught to Moses His commandments, who transmitted it to Joshua, who transmitted it to the Elders, then to the Prophets, and then to the Men of the Great Assembly. Moses was taught of the many laws that are not found explicitly in the Torah, yet are alluded to. He was shown how to make tefillin, of what colour it should be, of what material, how to wrap it, etc. Moses was shown the precise way of wrapping tzitzit, the fringes that Jews wear on the corners of their garments. For 40 years, the Jews dwelt in G-d's womb and studied Torah from His mouth.

While many aspects of Judaism are from Sinai like kashrut, the 39 forbidden labours on Shabbat, or tefillin, many prohibitions or obligations are rabbinical in origin. The holidays of Chanukkah and Purim are nowhere in the Five Books of Moses yet they are equally incumbent on every Jew as the biblical holiday of Pesach. The prohibition against carrying on Shabbat is one a rabbinic one as well, to "build a fence around the Torah" and to prevent Shabbat desecration. Laws of man?

A fundamental principle in Judaism is that of lo bashamayim hi. In Moses' final oration and testimony to the Jews before he died (Deut 30:12), he summed his speech up with four magnifience verses: "Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it." From this we derive the principle that the Torah is no longer in heaven, but that G-d gave it to man to interpret and to follow. With this verse, G-d gave us the power and authority to decide halacha, matters of Torah law. Actually, G-d's opinion is no longer relevant as Torah law became the sole domain of the Jewish people. But the phrase "not in heaven" took on an extraordinary life of its own in the rabbinic era. It gave rise to a justly famous story in the Talmud (Baba Metzia 59a), one of the most radical and paradoxical in religious literature. It is the tale of another oven that needed to be declared kosher. This oven was a new invention created by a certain man named Achnai. Achnai brought his new oven to the rabbinical court at the house of study for them to give his contraption their imprimatur and deem it appropriate for Jewish use. With the exception of Rabbi Eliezer, every sage at the house of study declared that the oven was un-kosher. Rabbi Eliezer brought forward every imaginable argument to try and convince the other sages that the oven was kosher, but none of his colleagues was convinced. Rabbi Eliezer was getting frustrated, and he shouted at them: “If Achnai's oven is in fact kosher, as I say it is, then let this carob tree prove it!” And the carob tree flew out of the ground and landed a hundred cubits away. Unimpressed, the other sages retorted: “No proof can be brought from a carob tree.” Again Rabbi Eliezer implored them: “If the oven is kosher, then let the stream of water prove it.” And the stream of water flowed backwards. “No proof can be brought from a stream of water,” the rabbis rejoined. More frustrated than ever, Rabbi Eliezer cried out: “If the oven is kosher, as I say it is, let the walls of this house of study prove it!” And the walls began to fall inward. But Rabbi Joshua rebuked the collapsing walls saying: “When scholars are engaged in a disagreement over a point of Jewish law, what right do you have to interfere?” And the walls did not fall in honor of Rabbi Joshua, nor did they resume their upright position in honor of Rabbi Eliezer. Again Rabbi Eliezer said to the sages, “If the law agrees with me regarding the fact that Achnai's oven is kosher, then let it be proved by heaven.” And a heavenly voice cried out: “Why do you rabbis argue with Eliezer? He's always right in his interpretation of the law!" But Rabbi Joshua arose and exclaimed to the sky: “It is not in Heaven” (Deuteronomy 30:12). One must follow the majority!” At that moment, the sages say, God laughed, saying “My children have defeated me! My children have overruled me!”

With this, we became partners with G-d in creation. When the majority of rabbis in the Sanhedrin, and today in the beit din, decide the halachah, the law becomes the Words of the Living G-d and no Jew is free to oppose them. The Torah states: "If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, even matters of controversy within thy gates; then shalt thou arise, and get thee up unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose. And thou shall come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days; and thou shalt inquire; and they shall declare unto thee the sentence of judgment. And thou shalt do according to the tenor of the sentence, which they shall declare unto thee from that place which the LORD shall choose; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they shall teach thee. According to the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do; thou shalt not turn aside from the sentence which they shall declare unto thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. And the man that doeth presumptuously, in not hearkening unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die; and thou shalt exterminate the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." (Deut. 17:8-13) The Torah was given to man to interpret, to understand and to live by. The Talmud tells us, when the ministering angels come to G-d to ask when is the Festival of the New Moon, He tells them, "Why do you ask me? Let us go to the earthly court of the sages and ask them what they've decided. (Midrash Rabbah, Devarim 2:14)

The Torah is not in the heavens! It is near and dear to us, given to man to live by. G-d gave us the amazing priviliege of living by His Torah. What an amazing challenge! It is said that G-d is to found within the four cubits of the halacha. Will you meet Him there?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

You Shall be Holy!


YnetNews has published another article in a long series of articles on gays in Israel. I am not quite sure why they keep on broadcasting this smut but its really starting to bug me. This one's about OUT magazine publishing pickup lines for Israeli gays, coming after one calling for Jews to accept homosexuality (right after accepting chillul shabbat, of course) and about a website for "religious" gays. These come after the mayor of Tel Aviv pledged to promote gay tourism in Israel.

It sickens me to my stomach to believe that in the land of Sodom and Gomorah, there are calls for more gay tourism, gay "Pride" parades and gay acceptance. Israel is not the United States, it is not Europe, it is not Las Vegas. The Holy Land cannot tolerate this kind of debauchery. The Torah is very explicit: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their statutes... Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination... Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things; for in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out from before you. And the land was defiled, therefore I did visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land vomited out her inhabitants. Ye therefore shall keep My statutes and Mine ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations; neither the home-born, nor the stranger that sojourneth among you-- for all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were before you, and the land is defiled-- that the land vomit not you out also, when ye defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep My charge, that ye do not any of these abominable customs, which were done before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 18:2-3,22,24-30). The Canaanites who inhabited the land before the Jews were known for their promiscuity and debauchery. They worshipped their idols by way of sacred prostitution, child sacrifice and orgies, both heterosexual and homosexual. The land could not tolerate such sinful and perverse behaviour and the seven nations of Canaan were vomited out. If we continue to indulge in these evil things, our fate will be, G-d forbid, similar.

Unfortunately, the issue of homosexuality is not dealt with properly, with respect and compassion by the religious community. Sexual orientation should never be a reason to ostracize someone. At the same time, there is a widespread acceptance in both the religious and secular community of the gay activist claim that "gays are just born that way", which is unsupported by any scientific proof. G-d is not cruel enough to create someone in a way that is fundamentally opposed to His Will. Maimonides teaches: "Free will is bestowed on every human being. If one desires to turn towards the good way and be righteous he has the power to do so. If one wishes to turn towards the evil way and be wicked, he is at liberty to do so." (Laws of Repentance 5:1) Consequently this true, free will, described by Maimonides, is decisively all-powerful. Yet, in the laws relating to Moral Disposition and Ethical Conduct, Maimonides admits that: "Every human being is characterized by numerous moral dispositions...exceedingly divergent. One man is choleric, always hot tempered; another sedate, never angry...one is a sensualist whose lusts are never gratified; another is so pure that he does not even long for the few things that our physical nature needs...stingy, generous, cruel, merciful, and so forth." (Laws of Ethical Conduct 1:1) Maimonides adds: "Of all the various dispositions, some belong to one from the beginning of his existence and correspond to his physical constitution." (Ibid:2) True free will comes from choosing to overcome your physical desires and lusts.

Nonetheless, no one should be expected to live their life with unwanted urges or desires. To this, the Torah offers a brilliant solution. The Talmud (Avodah Zorah 3a) teaches that "ain HaKodosh Boruch Hu bo bitranina aim bitraninav" , the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not play tricks on His creations. Says Bar Kapparah (Nedarim 51a), "toeivah", abomination (Lev. 18:22) means "to'eh ata ba", "your have strayed from her." The verse is saying that the person with same-sex desires become lost because of it! The possiblity of teshuva is always open! In fact, there are organizations in Israel and the United States devoted to helping those who want to heal unwanted same-sex attractions like JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homsexuality) or Atzat Nefesh. Change is possible. G-d created sexuality holy and it is forbidden to defile it. The first covenant that G-d made with Avraham was the brit milah which begins with circumcision but continues with sexual morality.

G-d's desire is clear: "You shall be holy, for holy am I, HaShem your God" (Vayikra 19:2). Holiness is a prerequisite to HaShem being our G-d. The choice is ours. Let us strive for holiness.

Save a Life in Malaysia

PETITION

SAVE A LIFE IN MALAYSIA MOVEMENT


We, the undersigned, are in full support of your proposal to have the signs be placed right at our municipal, city and county boundaries that express that it is the official position of the municipal, city and county to save a life in Malaysia. We feel that the lives of the innocent in Malaysia such as the newly born babies being thrown out on the streets of Malaysia and Eurasian Christians like Mr. Arthur Samuel who was subjected of assaults and death threats are in great danger.

We deeply feel that there is a need of a positive public expression supporting the "Save a Life in Malaysia Movement", with no cost to government and help save many innocent lives in Malaysia. By signing, we give permission to have our support be made public through newspaper or television coverage.

We do understand that the signs will not create a traffic hazard, and that the final draft will be subject to official approval. We hope that all citizens will fully enjoy the benefits of a more united community, and we ask our elected leaders to make this movement come to reality.



NAME ORGANIZATION________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________

Proposed Resolution

It is the policy of the (community) to support "Save a Life in Malaysian Movement" in all aspects. The existence of cruelty in the country is unacceptable to the international community. It even affects the very existence of a human being living in such country. As a human being who shared this earth with the others for existence, it is but the sole responsibility of every individual to make sure that no one is deprived of his or her own right to live in a peaceful environment and in harmony.

While each has different beliefs and religion, we believe that all of us shared a common ground to live a life peacefully and with no fear. It is the main purpose of this resolution to encourage feelings of sympathy, compassion and love within our community to support the movement especially to the likes of Arthur Samuel, a Eurasian Christian.

The seeds of hatred for Christians and Jews were planted early and often in the minds of the Muslims, Hindus, and pro-communist Chinese. A verse from the bible, "not long before the second coming of Christ, the 'kings from the east' will play a prophetic role in the world", which is referred to the Muslim and Chinese, as stated on the London Times article dated August 6, 2007.

The pro-communist Malaysian Chinese with triads, drugs counterfeit goods, illegal activities aspect and the unholy alliance with the Malay/Muslim and with the 'barbarity' behavior by the Indian thuggish with drunkard illustration, wife beater, treating their children as animals and prostitute and profoundly display with the same manner by Astro and Airasia as a testimonial by a British administrator Sir W H Sleeman in the petition and the article because the readers has to understand that Bible and well-known publication clearly stated this concern .

The unholy opposition alliance with the pro-centric Chinese communist DAP party with forging synergy alliance with Jihards PAS party and former de facto gay and fraud Vice Prime minister Anwar Ibrabhim in his PKR party in winning 55% votes in the recent general elections in Malaysia and forming a defunct Taliban/communist regime country making the region unstable in their persuade in informing the next Fidel Castro and Taliban nation, the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange plugged to a 12 years low.

These are the different scenarios where cruelty is being shown in Malaysia. Malay, Chinese and Indian communities are in unity to spread evil and cruelty in Malaysia and soon to the world.

The Christian Eurasians, a great minority in Malaysia, are increasingly under threat from a violet regime that has a main intent of annihilating all non-Muslims from the Malaysian society. A worrying example of the escalating tightening of human rights is the recent redeployment in December 2007 of the Internal Security Act (ISA) to potentially detain protesters indefinitely.

Alongside with the racial discrimination and attacks against Christian Eurasians is the fact that Malaysia has been transformed as a main transit point for human trafficking to the USA and Europe, and the "middleman" in the global nuclear black market where Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, sold nuclear technology to countries that has supplied Iran, Libya, and North Korea with the technology to build a nuclear bomb. Malaysia is, in the words of one US official, "a perfect place for terrorists 'R' and 'R' where Islamic radicals from around the region and their al-Qaeda backers can meet.

The 9/11 bombing in the world trade towers, the Madrid train bombing and the London bombing was plan and care out from Malaysia by the fundamentalist leaders.

For other news pertaining to Malaysia and terrorism here are some news links for reference:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Terrorism_in_Malaysia
http://www.time.com/time/asia/features/malay_terror/cover4.html
http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=4401
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2116032.stm
http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/8361tstart=0 .http://www.worldpress.org/2298.cfm#down . http://www.dafka.org/newsgen.asp?s=4&pageid=1858
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/22/nation/18375022&sec=nation
These are the many faces of Malaysia of which have not been discovered by the world. But one has emerged to be brave enough to voice out what was really happening within the borders of Malaysia.
All Arthur Samuel wants to bring his message to the world. By doing so, he has revealed his exceptional courage and fortitude. Sadly without your urgent assistance, this gritted determination will end in his martyrdom.
Those are just a few, of the countless reasons, Arthur Samuel, seeks solace. He is determined to tell the truth, yet he fears, there are stories; he may not live to tell. What he needs is to be taken under the wing of a strong, stable nation. To be able to live, work and study freely, in a government that will grant him political asylum or a scholarship. He believes his humble request, will help him cope with the atrocities he has faced, and live life, anew, in the free world.
He desperately needs your help to secure his release and that of fellow freedom fighters, so they can bring this message and warning to the world. What he needs is to find sanctuary within the borders of a strong, stable nation. To be able to live, work and study freely, under the auspices of a government that will grant him political asylum. Arthur Samuel's hope of being granted a education scholarship to the US ,or UK and a citizenship that sustains him and if granted, will help him more effectively cope with the atrocities he has faced, and live life, anew, in the free world.
Please find the generosity to help support the fight against religious oppression and expose the radicalization of Malaysian Muslims before it is too late. Please help Arthur Samuel reveal the truth about what is going on in Malaysia. Sponsor his request for asylum and education in a place where he can continue the fight for racial and religious justice.
We therefore resolve and direct that the posting of such signs of declaration should take place. Said signs will be supplied by the (your group) at no direct cost to the city. Said signs will contain the phrase, "Save a Life in Malaysia Movement" and will include the seal of the City of (your city). Said signs will be directly posted by the county or city road departments, in accordance with all local laws or procedures. Community groups would then furnish replacement signs as deemed necessary.

We resolve that by doing this action, we affirm constitutional and other laws of our land which support to build a better society and relationship with other human beings from different countries such as Malaysia by supporting democracy, equality and unity. This is to save the lives of future newly born babies and every Eurasian Christians who formed the minority in Malaysia to be saved from the cruel acts of Malaysians, Malays, Chinese, and Indians. SAVE A LIFE IN MALAYSIA NOW!

Articles

Mayhem in Malaysia – The World's Greatest Masquerade

"Malaysia Truly Asia" as its ad campaign for its tourism industry has indeed captured a lot of investors and tourists to come visit this marvelous country with great prestige. But behind this beautiful fa├žade lies a dark secret that no one has ever told, a secret that once soon known to the world will bring Malaysia to its downfall.

Malaysia is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia. According to the recent reports, much of its success stems from the new Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who vowed to clamp down corruption by giving authority to anti-corruption agencies. The future of economy of Malaysia looked set to gather momentum while, according to OSK Investment Research, its GDP increased from 5.9% in 2006 to 6.2% in 2007. Currently, the United States ranks number one in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia, while Malaysia ranks tenth in FDI in the United States, which is more than countries like Brazil. Malaysia even attracted western companies and expatriates to seek their own fortune.

But little did these western companies, expatriates, and the international community know that Malaysia is a country in a grip of a brutal system of acute racism at the hands of Islamic extremists whose hidden agenda is to destroy Israel and its Zionist leaders with the backing of other extremist nations and groups. Malaysia's hidden agenda is backed up with other radical Islam groups with strong associations with Iran, Palestine, Hezbollah, Chechen terrorist from Soviet Union, Syria. Malaysia is the chair country for the organization for the Islamic countries.

One person who claims to have personally suffered at the hands of the Muslim extremists is Arthur Samuel. Eurasians and Christians are constantly being victimized and brutally suppressed. Huey Tan and Kenny Cheung, the corporate attorneys of Microsoft's Law and Corporate Affairs Department based in their attempts in eradicating counterfeit software's in South East Asia as a devious NEO-Nazi and pro-communist hidden agenda in elimination of minority races like Arthur, who is a Eurasian and a Christian. He tried to assist them with their eradication of the counterfeit software program but instead he was subjected to their cruel intentions in trying to run him over with their cars, paying of the police to detain him in the police cell.

On March 3, 2008, there was an attempted murder on the life of Arthur Samuel. He was left injured in the hospital by a Muslim/Malay assassination attempt. "I was beaten up so badly that now I suffer from amnesia and blurred vision, headaches and dizziness", he said. Samuel believes it is because he is a Eurasian, one of the minority races which resulted from the mixed marriages between the many people who settled in Malaysia 400 years ago and approximately there 10,000 Eurasians in the country.

Arthur Samuel's stay has been perilous in extreme. He is constantly forced to watch his back from the further attacks from the public officials or racial extremists. According to Samuel, there is no hope for his country and he intends to escape before he is murdered by the coalition parties. Even the local Kosmo newspaper, which is affiliated to UMNO, the ruling national party in Malaysia, has injured Arthur Samuel, causing his blurred vision and a fractured skull.

It is the purpose of this article to expose that the Prime Minister as head of an illegal organization along with the rest of his cabinet members. During his investigation, Samuel claims he was assaulted by a Malay newspaper cameraman and two Indian men who were determined to silence him once and for all. He firmly believes Malaysia is now a place of intense discrimination and political conspiracies which the world has yet to realize. This is what the authors, Johan from the Philippines and Jon from the US call the "The World's Greatest Masquerade".

The seeds of hatred for Christians and Jews were planted early and often in the minds of the Muslims, Hindus, and pro-communist Chinese. A verse from the bible, "not long before the second coming of Christ, the 'kings from the east' will play a prophetic role in the world", which is referred to the Muslim and Chinese, as stated on the London Times article dated August 6, 2007.

The pro-communist Malaysian Chinese with triads, drugs counterfeit goods, illegal activities aspect and the unholy alliance with the Malay/Muslim and with the 'barbarity' behavior by the Indian thuggish with drunkard illustration, wife beater, treating their children as animals and prostitute and profoundly display with the same manner by Astro and Airasia as a testimonial by a British administrator Sir W H Sleeman in the petition and the article because the readers has to understand that Bible and well-known publication clearly stated this concern .

The unholy opposition alliance with the pro-centric Chinese communist DAP party with forging synergy alliance with Jihards PAS party and former de facto gay and fraud Vice Prime minister Anwar Ibrabhim in his PKR party in winning 55% votes in the recent general elections in Malaysia and forming a defunct Taliban/communist regime country making the region unstable in their persuade in informing the next Fidel Castro and Taliban nation, the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange plugged to a 12 years low.

The 9/11 bombing in the world trade towers, the Madrid train bombing and the London bombing was plan and care out from Malaysia by the fundamentalist leaders.

For other news pertaining to Malaysia and terrorism here are some news links for reference:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mizmor L'David- HaShem is my shepherd



Psalm 23

"A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

That is the message of Purim. HaShem is always there, even when we cannot see Him. Trust HaShem and everything will be fine.

Chag Purim Sameach

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our Real Enemies


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is on her way to Israel and will be the first non-President/king to speak in the Knesset- in German. Her proposed German speech has ingited protests from numerous quarters and five MKs plan to boycott it. A surprising threat to boycott the Tuesday afternoon session has come from left-wing MK Shelly Yechimovitch (Labor), daughter of Holocaust survivors.

"I will not be present when Merkel speaks." Yechimovitch said. "A speech in German from the Knesset podium, when it is not an absolute must, is very insensitive towards the Holocaust survivors, for whom German is the language of their torturers."

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), as well as Likud MKs Limor Livnat, Yisrael Katz, and MK Yitzchak Levy (National Union) also plan to boycott the event.

This seems pretty pety and pointless. Merkel is very supportive of Israel, at least for a European. I am in no way trying to demean or minimize the Holocaust and yet, these boycotts do nothing but endanger the good relations between Israel and Germany. 60 years since the Holocaust, most of the criminals who killed Jews, as well as practically the entire shameful generation that supported Hitler and Nazism, are either dead or very old. Why should it offend these MKs if a German chancellor, repentant and regretful for the Holocaust, and supportive of Israel, speaks before the Knesset in German?

It seems like the Jewish people are stuck in the past and while this has often been one of our great strengths, today it seems to be a weakness. Today, there exist large groups and organizations devoted to our destruction, to bringing about a Second Holocaust with suicide bombings, hatchets, machine guns and terror attacks. The hatred of the Arabs, of Hamas and of Hizbullah, towards the Jews is no less than that of the Nazis. It is time for us not to forget about the Holocaust, but to concentrate on preventing it from happening again. If these MKs are upset about Merkel speaking before the Knesset in German, why do they not react when:

- Israel's first Muslim Arab government member - Minister of Science, Culture and Sports Raleb Majadle - refuses to sing Israel's national anthem, HaTikvah?

- No Arab member of the Knesset has condemned the massacre in the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva on Rosh Chodesh Adar? (Incidentally, the Nazis often waited for Jewish holy days to murder Jews.)

- Founder of the Balad Party (National Democratic Assembly) Azmi Bishara fled to Syria for supporting Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War?

- Balad leader, Jamal Zahalka, said, "Anyone who chooses to volunteer to the National Service will be considered (by the Israeli Arab society) a leper and the Arab society will have nothing to do with them." ?

Knesset members, instead of boycotting the speech of a foreign leader who in no way participated in the Holocaust, should demand the expulsion of Arab members of Knesset, many of whom have made statements against the Israel, incited Arabs to murder and shown quite clearly where their loyalties lie. We cannot bring the 6 million who perished in the Holocaust back but the best tribute to their memories would be to prevent more Jews from being murdered and by prosecuting those who encourage anti-Jewish attacks. No Arab member of Knesset has denounced the slaying of teenagers studying Torah in Mercaz HaRav. Such damning silence should ring loug and clear and prove without a shadow of a doubt that the Arab MKs are not loyal to the state and are instruments of terror and jihad. Merkel is no Nazi and it is really disgraceful to prevent her from speaking in her native tongue, despite any unpleasant mental associations. (I freely admit that the sound of spoken German sets my skin on fire.) Israel has permitted Arab leaders and permits Arab MKs to speak in Arabic, the language that thousands of Jews heard being screamed at them, Allah being praised, before being machine-gunned to death or blown up. Arabic is one of the official languages of Israel!

As I write this, Rabbi Yechezkel Greenwald, father of four, is in Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital after being stabbed in the neck by an Arab terrorist near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday morning. There are also warnings of attacks during the Purim holidays by Hizbullah since it coincides with the close of the 40-day Muslim mourning period for the Hizbullah terror organization’s second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh. Mughniyeh was assassinated in Syria. The 40-day mark is a favorite among terrorists for carrying out revenge attacks.

Ban Arabic from the Knesset. Do not let any non-Jew serve in Israel's government and expel the Arab fifth-column from the State. While the Holocaust is still very painful for us, we must destroy the new Nazis, those who danced and gave out sweets after hearing of the "glorious martyrdom operation" in Jerusalem. Let these MKs stop protesting symbols and save their outrage for our real enemies. "Never Again" does not just mean never again in Germany; "Never Again" means never again will we allow Jews to be murdered because they are Jews, for us to be demonized and dehumanized, for Jewish blood to be cheap. Let us recognize our foes: the modern day Nazis are the Islamofascist terror groups. They are the ones we should reserve our fury for.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Face Behind the Mask


by Dina Coopersmith

How do we find God when His face is hidden?

Purim teaches us how to relate to God in a time when seas don't split, when bushes don't burn, when plagues don't befall our enemies.

The story of Purim occurred after the destruction of the First Temple, when the era of prophecy was coming to a close. People no longer saw open miracles. It was a time of concealment.

Where do we find "Esther" in the Torah? In the verse: "And I will hide (astir) my face from them on that day." (Talmud - Chulin 139b)

Rashi: "In the days of Esther there will be hester panim (hiddeness of God's face
)."

GOD'S GUIDING HAND

Have you ever felt God clearly in your life? A time when you felt a force greater than yourself somehow shaping and leading events?

I remember a time when I felt that guiding force. I had just met the man who was to be my husband. But I didn't know it then. To make a long story short, we broke up because our lives seemed to be heading in different directions.

Shortly thereafter, I was called by a total stranger, out of the blue, and offered a job in a position completely outside my realm of expertise. I took the job simply because it aroused my curiosity.

To this day I don't know why I was called for this interview. But as a result of that job, I met up again with my ex-date. I also ended up changing my choice of career, some of my attitudes, and even one or two character traits. And two years after our initial meeting, I married my husband and embarked on a future with him that would never have been in my script, had my life gone according to my "plan."

We are not in full control even though we often imagine that we are.

Judaism posits that God shapes every single event in our lives with direct supervision. Nothing is pure chance. Our circumstances are not coincidences. Everything is directed.

AMALEK, THE NATION OF CHANCE

Others do not share this view.

Amalek was a nation that first battled against Israel on their way out of Egypt.

Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you left Egypt, that he chanced upon you on the way. (Deut. 25:17-18)

In the Torah, Amalek is described in Hebrew as a nation who karcha ("chanced"). This word comes from the root mikre, meaning "happenstance or coincidence." Thus we learn that the belief in chance is Amalek's essence.

How else could they have disregarded all the miracles that the Jews had experienced -- the Ten Plagues and the Exodus, culminating in the splitting of the Red Sea -- and have still dared to fight against those same Jews?! They must have said: "Mere coincidence!"

Haman, a descendent of Amalek, decided to get rid of the Jewish people of Persia. He cast "lots" (purim in Hebrew) to determine a date in which to kill them. He wanted it to be a random event.

The Jews, on the other hand, use lots to allow for Divine intervention to be revealed. Upon entering the Land of Israel in the days of Joshua, the division of land among the tribes was done by lottery. This allowed God's will to express itself without human choices getting involved in such an important endeavor.

When Mordechai sends a message to Queen Esther, telling her about Haman's plan, the text reads kol asher karahu -- "everything that happened." As the Midrash explains:

Mordechai called for Hatach and said, "Go tell her (Esther): 'The grandson of karahu, ("chance,") has come upon you!' As it says in the Torah: 'Who chanced upon you on the way.'" (Midrash - Esther Rabah 8:5)

That nation we know from our national past as believing in meaningless and randomness has again reared its ugly head.

PURIM STORY: ANTITHESIS OF CHANCE

Each event in the Megillah is natural and possible, and seems to be orchestrated entirely by human beings and their choices:

1) A king gets drunk and decides to call for his wife to appear before the guests. That could happen.

2) The wife, Vashti, refuses to appear before the king. The king decides to kill her. Esther is chosen queen. That's possible.

3) Haman chooses to kill Mordechai and ask permission from king. Could Be.

4) The king has insomnia one night and remembers an old favor he needs to repay to Mordechai. Possible.

But when ALL of these incidents happen to coincide, when ALL the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle come together in one huge "coincidence," they form nothing short of a miracle.

It may be hidden, but a directing force becomes obvious all the same.

Each event which Haman thought he controlled, turned out to bring about his downfall. His suggestion to kill Vashti, the queen, caused the positioning of Esther as redeemer. His suggestion to use the kings robes and horse -- born of his desire to honor himself by parading around on the king's horse -- became the perfect reward for Mordechai's deed. And the hand-built gallows he intended for Mordechai were those used for his own hanging.

Throughout the Megillah story, God directs events and takes advantage of people's free will choices to form a tapestry of purpose and destiny -- the redemption of the Jewish people.

THE ERA OF HIDDENESS

Throughout the entire story of Purim, the name of God isn't mentioned. It is an era of hiddeness of God's face (hester panim). But more than ever, it is clear how God is running the show. There are simply too many "coincidences." The links fit together too well.

Another point to keep in mind: The Megillah spans a nine-year period. When it is compressed into one book and we read it in half an hour, we see with perspective and hindsight how every painful event was working towards a purposeful end. However, when we're in the midst of a difficult situation, we tend to see only the darkness and confusion.

The particular message of the day, then, is to understand God's guiding hand in history and in the mundane affairs of this world.

Olam, "world," comes from the root ne'elam, "hidden." God's name doesn't appear. But when all is said and done, His presence is recognized everywhere. He is not concealed. He only appears to be. It is up to us to find Him in every event of our lives.

We need only read between the lines.
***

The Rabbis teach that during the Messianic Era "even though all recollection of pain and trauma will eventually become irrelevant, the days of Purim will never cease..." (Hilchot Megila, 2:18) What does this mean? This means that the message of Purim, that G-d is always there, even when He is hidden and not apparent, will become clear during the time of the Moshiach. May we merit that day very soon, Amen.

Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Arab Fifth-Column


The shiva week of mourning for the boys slain in the yeshiva massacre has ended and the home of the terrorist and his family's mourning tent is still standing. How is it possible that the government of Israel, which has destroyed thousands of Jewish homes in Gaza and plans, G-d forbid, to destroy thousands in Judea and Samaria, cannot bring itself to raze the home of this animal? No attack happens in a vacuum; the terrorist could only perpetrate this wanton slaughter in an atmosphere of hatred and violence. He was certainly raise by his parents to believe that a heavenly reward of 72 virgins to abuse and rape for all eternity would be his if he killed Jews. He grew up in a perverted society where the highest aspiration is death and murder, a society which emphasizes destroying others rather than helping or building.

Neither was the terrorist from a "Palestinian". He was a resident of East Jerusalem, with near-citizen rights. And yet it is painfully obvious that he did not consider himself Israeli. So why do we continue to pretend that the Arabs are equal citizens, to disdainfully believe that we can "tame" them? In 1980, when Israel annexed the entire city of Jerusalem, the Arab residents were given the right to full citizenship, just like the other Arabs of Israel, if they would learn Hebrew and pledge allegiance to the country; most of them refused. And why should they pledge allegiance to Israel, a state which they believe occupies their land? There is no Arab that can proudly support Israel! They are a fifth-column and have been involved in hundreds of terror attacks against Israel. Not only have the Arab Knesset Members not condemned or spoken out against the murder of the eight yeshiva students, other Israeli-Arab elements have actually implied praise of it. The main headline in the Islamic Movement’s Al-Mithaak weekly the day after the attack read, “The First Response to the Massacre in Gaza!!!” We have deluded ourselves into thinking that they are "our" Arabs, they they are loyal citizens, Israelies only differing in terms of language and faith. Little did we understand the Arab mind and we pretended that we could make them into good Israelies if only we raised their living standards. The Arabs don't want indoor plumbing or accessible health services- they want all of Israel, from river to sea, to themselves, judenrein.

One of the world's top authorities on halacha,Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, ruled on Sunday that it is forbidden to hire Arabs, especially at yeshivot, because it poses a mortal danger. According to halacha, it is forbidden to employ Arabs, especially in yeshivas," Kanievsky, a Lithuanian rabbi who lives Bnei Barak, told the paper. "It poses a mortal danger since we are at war with them." Rav Kanievsky added that he was amazed at the employment of Arabs when there were Jewish employees to choose from in the unemployment market. "How will Jews work and support themselves?" he asked. The state of Israel was built on the concept on avodah ivrit, Jewish labour and unfortunately, that concept has fallen by the wayside. Manual labour is not looked upon as an acceptable job for "a good Jewish boy" and so foreign labourers are hired. Often times, Arabs from East Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria are hired which strengthens their positions in the land puts us at risk for terror attacks.

Jews and Arabs cannot live together. To the Arab, all of Israel is his, and is only temporarily under Jewish control. He is biding his time until it will be his once again. We cannot let that happen. The only solution is expulsion. Otherwise, we risk repeats of the massacre at the yeshiva, endless attacks and pogroms. The status quo is a failure. The Jewish homeland is Israel. The Arabs have 22 other countries in which to exercise their political rights. I'll gladly pay for the flight ticket.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Parshat Vayikra


(Hat tip to Devash)

Excerpt from Rabbi Sitorsky's shiur on Parashat Vayikra. Hear it in it's entirety here.

"...we find ourselves now exactly like then [the first Purim] at a time when there's a tremendous hester panim, greater even than in the time of Purim. They had a Mordechai, they had an Esther, they had neviim---they had hester panim, but they had such great people. Today, we have none of that, so the hester panim is a lot greater.

... a person shouldn't think that Purim is something that happened in the past. It's NOW! What they did then is what we have to do NOW! And intensify our emuna and bitachon and know that there IS going to be a third Beit Hamikdash and we ARE going to bring korbanos and there IS going to be a yeshua and every Jew has to intensify his tzipiti hayeshua [expectation of redemption] and his emuna and bitachon in the geula which will come im yirtza Hashem very, very soon and this is a very special year and we really shouldn't, chas v'shalom, allow this year to pass with nothing happening. We don't know what's going to happen, no one knows what's going to happen, but this is certainly a very great year--- tav shin samech ches---- and its exactly... the way it was then, the year that...the nes of Purim occurred...."


Please listen to Rabbi Sitorsky's shiur and in the merit of our Torah study and emuna, may we be redeemed.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Eternal Hatred

"O foolish people and not wise" (Deut. 32:6) when will we ever learn? How long will we continue to put out faith in the Nations, in the UN, in the US, in the EU, in the Evangelical Zionists, in the "moderate" Arabs? Will we never wake up?

"Esau soneh et Yaakov- Esau hates Jacob", the Talmud declares. This is a rule and an eternal principle. It is the month of Adar when Haman decreed his evil plot to exterminate the Jews. When the proclamation came from Achashverosh to all 127 provinces of the Persian empire, nobody stood up and said: "that's not nice. You can't do that". They easily rationalized that the Jews were disloyal, that they lived by their laws and they disobeyed the laws of Persia. When the 14th of Adar came, thousands gladly took part in the attacks on the Jews. They were all too happy to finally solve the Jewish Problem.

60 years ago, as the Jews were being gathered up from every land for destruction, nobody stood up. The world was silent as our grandparents suffocated in the gas chambers of Auschwitz or were burnt. The Pope closed his eyes and stopped up his ears as all of the Jews of Rome were being rounded up, right under his window. The Poles and the Czechs, the French and the Latvians, the Lithuanians and the Russians were collaborators with the murderers and they joyfully informed on their former friends and neighbours. The world shrugged and said that Hitler was a Jewish problem. They told themselves that if the Jews hadn't been so rich, so powerful, so different, so poor, so weak, so assimilated, so universalist, so closed... they wouldn't have been killed. It was the Jews' fault. Many Christians argued that it was their just reward for rejecting their god. Other claimed that the Jews had brought it upon themselves unleashing Communism upon the world. Esau hates Jacob.

8 innocent teenagers studying Talmud and Torah, the very books that form the foundation of Western civilization, of ethics, of morality, were cut down by a cruel and barbaric Arab animal. And the world remains silent. Its a "cycle of violence". You see, Israel defending itself against Arab rockets brought this tragedy upon them. If Israel would have just allowed Qassams to rain down on Sderot, these boys would be still alive. Its the Occupation. Its the Apartheid. Its the genocidal policies of the state of Israel. The Jews! The Jews! They brought it upon themselves. The yeshiva was the flagship of the colonialist and racist settler movement. The Arabs don't know any better. What would you do if you had to live under the harsh circumstances that Israel imposed on them?

Excuses. Excuses, justifications and rationalization for murder. Those boys were murdered because they were Jews and the world closes its eyes because they were Jews. Esau soneh et Yaakov. Jews, are you still counting upon your friends in the UN? When they see how the Arabs danced at the bloodbath, they'll be on our side, right? Right? Right? No, Jews. You've been misled. Esau hates Jacob. He hates him with his utmost hatred, and dances when his blood is spilled. We have nobody to rely on except Avinu sheBashamayim, our Father in Heaven, and to have His help, we need to act first. We must protect ourselves and let the world condemn what it wishes. Let the goyyim wag their tongues and flap their gums. "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn." (Isaiah 54:17). They will get their due revenge from Borei Olam. Why should any Jew concern himself with the sanctimonious pronouncements of the assemble of United Jew-haters? We must put ourselves first and do the utmost to protect Jewish lives. And if the goyyim call us racists or denounce the Occupation? Let us laugh in their faces. "Why are the nations in an uproar? And why do the peoples mutter in vain? The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed: 'Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.' He that sitteth in heaven laugheth, the Lord hath them in derision.
Then will He speak unto them in His wrath, and affright them in His sore displeasure:" (Psalm 2:1-5). Jews, be strong and courageous. Do not fear, my servant Jacob!

One day, as Haman paraded through the streets, he noticed that Mordechai was not in his usual place. He asked around for him and he was told that Mordechai was in the school, in the beit midrash. When Haman entered the beit midrash, he saw Mordechai teaching children the Torah, studying and learning with them. It was then that he understood that he would not succeed, that the Jewish people could not be beaten. That is our strength. Even though the cursed murderer tried to silence 8 young voices learning Torah, he will never succeed. There is an empty void as there are no longer 8 sould engaging in G-d's law, doing mitzvot and acts of kindness. The murderer failed. Let us all commit to learning extra Torah, keeping more mitzvot and giving more tzedakah le'ilui nishmatam, in their memory. Let the goyyim scream and shout.

Am Yisrael Chai!



Cross-posted to Jewish Vengeance and Goat's Barnyard

Friday, March 7, 2008

Remember Amalek!

As the Jewish world was plunged into sorrow at the brutal slaying of 8 young boys, ages 15-26, in the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in the midst of Torah study, Arabs in Gaza waved flags, cheered, danced and gave out sweets in mosques. There is no moderation, no compromise, no compassion- those who cheer the murder of teenagers are pure evil and evil must be eradicated.

Just look at this picture. This is not a person but a barbaric bloodthirsty animal, rejoicing over the slaughter of boys, teenagers, cut down in a house of G-d. These cruel animals are not interested in peace or in negotiation but in the utter annhilation of the Jewish people. Smiling, flag waving- this is a people that worships death. Those that worship death and those that treasure life, the Living Nation, cannot coexist.






There can be no peace with evil. It is Rosh Chodesh Adar, the month in which we read the maftir of Zachor. "Remember what Amalek did to you by the way as you came forth out of Egypt; how he met you by the way, and smote the hindmost of you, all that were enfeebled in your rear, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not G-d. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your G-d has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shalt not forget." Evil cannot be tolerated or compromised with. It can only be wiped out. When HaShem finally commanded the king Shaul to wipe out Amalek, he had mercy on them and allowed Agag the king to remain alive. During the time that Shaul allowed him to live, his wife conceived a son who was the ancestor of the wicked Haman who plotted to wipe out the Jewish people. On this the Rabbis commented: "He who has mercy on the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the merciful".

Remember the deeds of Amalek and wipe them out from under heaven!

The names of the eight students murdered yesterday in Mercaz HaRav are:

Doron Mehereta, 26, of Ashdod
Ro'i Rote, 18, of Elkanah in Samaria (Shomron)
Yonadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kokhav HaShachar (Shomron)
Yochai Lipshitz, 18, of the Old City of Jerusalem
Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shilo (Shomron)
Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem
Segev Pniel Avichayil, 15, of N'vei Daniel in Gush Etzion
Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat, Gush Etzion


May their memories be a blessing and may HaShem avenge their holy blood speedily in our days.

Cross-posted to Jewish Vengeance and Goat's Barnyard

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Letter to HaShem


May the Rock of Israel have mercy on the souls of those murdered al Kiddush HaShem at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva and avenge their blood, speedily in our days.


HaShem,

Rock of Israel, You swore to our Father Avraham long ago that You would bless His descendants and make of them a great nation. You gave to him and his descendants after him the entire land of Israel and swore by Your great and holy Name that they would inherit the gates of their enemies. Abir Yaakov, You redeemed us in Your infinite mercy from Egypt and drowned our oppressors in the sea. You wrought great signs and wonders in Egypt and took us out of slavery with a mighty hand and an outsretched arm. You planted us in You Inheritance and there we lived according to Your Torah. Av HaRachamim, when we sinned and worshipped foreign gods, You sent the wicked ones to scatter and punish us and we were dispersed to the four corners of the earth, our Temple burnt and our homeland lost. And yet, amid this, Your Shechina left into exile with us. In all our suffering, You have been there with us. You were burnt at the stake and murdered in pogroms, You were oppressed and suffocated in gas chambers, along with Your precious children, seed of Your beloved. "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." (Isaiah 43:1-2) We were taunted, humiliated, disgraced, massacred and slaughtered, all for Your holy name. HaShem, we have not forgotten You, please do not forget us.

In Your eternal kindness, following the evil slaughter of millions of Jews by the cruel and barbaric foes in the lands of Europe, You returned us to our land and reestablished our sovereingty. HaShem, once again old men and women sat in the streets of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim habenuya, and the deserts bloomed once more. In six heroic days, Your children liberated their ancient homeland and we ran to the site of Your desolate Temple. You have been so kind and gracious to us, that the previous generation and our generation have merited to witness the first flowering of the Redemption.

And yet, G-d of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, "Thine enemies are in an uproar; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones. They have said: 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.'" (Psalm 83:3-5). Your enemies, foes of Your people, children of the wild ass of a man, oppress Your sons and threaten the Inheritance that You have given them. HaShem, they spill our blood like water and rejoice about it. The nation of Israel lives in fear as the evildoers kill and maim at will, and good men are hard to find. In these Chavlei HaMoshiach, the Birthpangs of the Moshiach, sorrow has increased, pain is abundant, the Torah is mocked and Your nation faces extermination. Rock of Israel, just as You have done to Pharaoh, do to them.

It is Rosh Chodesh of the month of Adar in which You reversed the council of Haman HaRashah and the day that was meant for sorrow and mourning became a day of salvation and rejoicing. HaShem, renew our days and turn our tears into laughter. Let us merit the fulfillment of the prophecy "He will swallow up death for ever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of His people will He take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 25:8) If not for our own sake, HaShem, if our sins be too great, the for the sake of Your great and glorious name which Your enemies blaspheme and curse, redeem us. Let not the nations ask mockingly: "where is their G-d?". Comfort the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and let them not know suffering any longer. Send us Moshiach Tzidekeinu to redeem us, to ingather our exiles, crush our enemies, bring us back to Your holy Torah, rebuild the Beit HaMikdash and reestablish the Kingdom of David. Fulfill in us the verse: "The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honour." (Esther 8:16) and may we see the glorious Geulah speedily in our days, amen.

With love of the Land, Nation and Torah of Israel,

Your Servant

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The One-State Final Solution- Part I


One of the proposals of the far Left to solve the Jewish-Arab conflict is a One-State Solution. According to this plan, Israel would be replaced by a binational state of Jews and Arabs, living in equality and harmony. In the Leftist utopia, Arabs and Jews would co-exist with equal rights and priveleges in the state of Israstine or Pali-el. The reality, however, is much more frightening. This One-State Solution is nothing but a herald of the Final Solution. Here's why:

1) The "Rwanda" Solution:

The dream of Jews and Arabs living together in perfect harmony is just that- a dream. Binational states have never succeeded without the occassional genocide or repression. In Rwanda, two seemingly similar tribes (to foreigners) massacred each other in a span of days, leaving 800 000- 1 500 000 people dead. If two groups who speak the same language, practice the same faith and are more or less similar, cannot manage to live together peacefully without slaughtering each other, we can derive a kal va'chomer that it would be impossible to have a binational state of groups as different as Arabs and Jews, who follow different faiths, speak different languages, different cultures, different histories and whose mindsets are light-years apart. Even if we look at cases where the groups differ in only one aspect, the pickings are slim. Belgium is composed of 58% Dutch-speaking Flemish and 32% French-speaking Walloons. Tensions between the two communities is very high and a significant portion of the population supports partition. In Canada, a binational state of sorts, with French Quebec a province in English Canada, there is the constant spectre of separation. While the conflict is today mostly peaceful, it has at times erupted violently. If Canadians, who are known for their calm nature, can resort to war, why should it be expected that the Arabs, whose history has shown them to have no such reservations, remain pacifistic? Such a proposal can only lead to prolonged war and eventual genocide between the Arabs and Jews. There is no guarantee that, upon allowing millions of Arab refugess into the newly created state, that they will not celebrate their state by murdering every single Jew that they can get their hands on, as was the case in the pogroms of 1920-21 and 1929.

2) Islam dominates and is not dominated:

The area that is today thought of as the heartland of the Islamic world was once Christian lands and many countries had large and prosperous populations of Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus. Just to illustrate the amazing level of Islamic tolerance, there are no Jews in any Islamic countries with the exception of a few thousand living in difficult conditions in Morocco, Iran and Turkey. This is in keeping with the Islamic doctrine of dhimmitude where non-Muslims are relegated to second-class status, according to the Qur'an's command that non-Muslims "feel themselves subdued". Non-Muslims face harsh discrimination and this is still apparent even in "modern" Islamic countries. Egyptian Copts have difficulties constructing new churches and are often attacked by Islamic fundamentalists. Churches in Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc. are often burnt down. Assyrian Christians in Iraq have been forced out because of Islamic renewal due to the US-led invasion. In traditional Islamic jurisprudence, Jews fall under the category of dhimmi and in the binational state, Islamic scholars will certainly demand that they comply with the debasing laws of dhimmitude. It is doubtful that the government of this new state will be secular as secularist movements have all failed in the Islamic world, and where they have succeeded, they have needed to repress Islam militarily. Islam is not meant to be equal to other faiths but to dominate and rule over them. In that vein, synagogues will need to be lower than mosques, will not be able to renovated and Jews will be subject to many difficulties. The creation of a binatinal state would mean Jews willingly accepting to become second-class citizens under Islamic sharia law, something that can never be allowed to happen.

3) The Death of Zionism:

Zionism arose out of the Jews' natural desire for self-determination, a right granted to all other peoples. Woodrow Wilson's famous 14 points affirmed each nation's right to self-rule. This dream was realized with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, a place where the Jewish people would no loner be oppressed by the gentiles but be masters of their own destiny. The creation of a binational state would signal the complete end of the Zionist dream and the renewal of the exile. Since the Arabs possess 22 states and the Jews one, it is ridiculous to demand that the Jews relinquish their singular state to create a binational country. Since the beginning of the exile in 70 CE, the Jews have hoped and prayer for a return to sovereingty, to build a new land, a Jewish state with a Jewish culture and character, in which to observe the mitzvot and become "a light unto the nations". Such national aspirations are impossible living as a minority under Arab rule.

Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard

Monday, March 3, 2008

Purim- Ve'Nahaphochu!


Rosh Chodesh Adar II is on Friday and Shabbat, inaugurating the month of the most joyous holiday of Purim. Purim, celebrated on the 14th of Adar (or the 15th of Adar in Jerusalem), commemorates the miraculous rescue of the Jewish people from near-annhilation as recorded in Megillat Esther (Book of Esther). It is marked by jubliation, masquerading, sending mishloach manot (food portions), festive meals, reading the Megillah, drinking and gifts to the poor.

In the days of the king Achasverosh, king of Persia, ruler from India until Ethiopia, 127 provinces, the Jews lived scattered. Achasverosh, a foolish king who enjoyed partying, decided to mark the third year of his reign with a lavish six-month orgy and revelry. Towards the end of the celebration, king Achasverosh summoned his queen Vashti to dance naked before his guests. The queen, of royal blood herself and very proud, refused such a humilating summon and, at the behest of the king's advisers, she was removed from queenhood and exiled. Accross the Persian Empire, officials are appointed to search for a beautiful maiden to succeed Vashti as queen. In the capital of Shushan, Esther, niece of the Jewish community leader Mordechai, descendant of the former king Saul, is brought before the king. Before appearing before him, Mordechai warned Esther not to disclose her origins. After many months of searching, Achasverosh was smitten with Achasverosh and chose her to be his queen. In the meantime, Mordechai uncovered a plot by the king's guards, Bigtan and Teresh, to assassinate him and informed Esther, saving the king's life.

Haman, descended of Agag, the ruler of Amalek, rose to become Achasverosh's Prime Minister. The king commanded that all bow to Haman and pay homage to him. Mordechai alone refused to bow to the wicked Hamas and, enraged, Hamas proposed a Final Solution to Achasverosh. "'There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it profiteth not the king to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed; and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those that have the charge of the king's business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.'" (Esther 3:8-9). A royal edict was disseminated throughout the empire that decreed "to destroy, to slay and to wipe out all Jews, young and old, both little children and women, on one day" (3:13), on the 13th of Adar. To determine this day, Hamas cast pur, lots, hence the name of the holiday. The decree was met with great sorrow and mourning in all the Jewish communitees.

In Shushan, Mordechai tore his clothing and donned sackcloth and ashes and sent a copy of the decree to Esther that she should intercede before the king. Esther replied that she cannoot under pain of death approach the king without being summoned. Mordechai warned her that she would not remain untouched by Haman's decree. "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place (Makom, the Omnipresent One), but thou and thy father's house will perish; and who knoweth whether thou art not come to royal estate for such a time as this?" (4:13). Esther told Mordechai to gather all of the Jews of Shushan together, that they should fast and pray three days along with her before she appeared before the king.

Miraculously, the king graciously accepted Esther's entry into the royal court and granted her virtually any request: that he and Haman join her for a banquet. At that banquet, Esther invites them to a second one. After the banquet, Haman saw Mordechai who again refused to bow. When he returned home, his evil wife, Zeresh, proposed that Mordechai be hung and Haman prepared the gallows.

That night, Achasverosh could not sleep and called in his attendant to read to him from the book of royal chronicles. Achasverosh is reminded of how Mordechai saved him from the assassination plot and he wonders how to repay him. That same night, Haman came to see the king about hanging Mordechai. The king asked is trusty adviser what the appropriate reward for someone with whom the king is pleased should be. Haman, thinking that the king is refering to himself, tells him that such a man should be clad in the royal garments and lead into the streets of Shushan on the king's horse and that they should call before him, "this is what shall be done to a man in whom the king is pleased". Happy with Haman's council, Achasverosh informed him that he should lead Mordechai the Jew down the streets of Shushan.

At the next banquet, Esther informed the king of Haman's cruel plot. "If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my peace, for the adversary is not worthy that the king be endamaged." (7:3) Outraged, the king hanged Haman on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai.

In a reversal of fortune, Mordechai was named Prime Minister in Haman's stead and a second edict was sent out empowering the Jews to fight back against anyone who dared harm them. On the 13th of Adar, the day that was designed for the annhilation of the Jewish People, the Jews destroyed their enemies and the 10 sons of Haman were hanged. Mordechai and Esther established the 14th and 15th days of Adar as the days of Purim to commemorate these miraculous salvations, days of festive meals, the exchange of gifts of food, and the giving of monetary gifts to the poor. With Mordechai as Prime Minister, Persia flourished greatly. The planned destruction was foiled and "the month.. was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day." (9:22) "And to the Jews, there was light and happiness, jubliation and glory."

From a series of seemingly unconnected events, the Jews were saved from the evil designs of Haman. Purim, in contrast to Pesach, for example, is a holiday of covert miracles, and as such, the name of G-d does not appear once in the Megillah. In keeping with this theme of concealment, Jews customarily dress up for Purim and masquerade. Purim is the prototype of Jewish survival as many have conspired to wipe us out but have never succeed. As the Pesach Hagaddah declares, "in every generation, they have stood up against us to annhilate us, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, saves us from their hands.. Haman is gone, and his memory blotted out (we drown out his name with our graggers when it is mentionned during the Megillah reading), and we are still here. Hitler murdered 6 million of us but he is gone and we are stronger than ever. And today, there is a new Haman from Persia who seeks to wipe us off the map. Just as HaShem stood up for us in those days, so will we see a great miracle and there will again be light, happiness, jubliation and glory to the Jews. Amen, selah!

Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard and Jewish Vengeance