Wednesday, July 22, 2020

It Can’t Happen Here! Oh Yes It Can!


Spain, Germany, America; where are Jews going to run to next, China?

Better to be a refugee in the Jewish State, than a prince in the Midbar HaAmim (Desert of the Nations).

Every Galut (place of exile), comes to an end. Egypt came to an end. Babylon/Persia came to an end. The Soviet Union came to an end. American will come to an end.

Every Galut comes to an end, and it’s never pretty...

Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen of Dvinsk (1843-1926), is known for his renowned works the, “Ohr Somayach,” a commentary on the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, and the “Meshech Chochma,” a commentary on the Torah.

Rabbi Meir Simcha was a strong supporter of the resettlement of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, and greeted the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and later, the San Remo conference in 1920, with great enthusiasm. He saw them, that the nations recognized the rights of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael, as signs of the beginning of the Geulah, the redemption of the Jewish people.

In a famous, near-prophetic passage in his Meshech Chochma, written before 1926, he predicted the Holocaust. “If a Jew thinks that Berlin is Jerusalem...from there will come the storm winds that will uproot him by his trunk, a tempest will arise and spread its roaring waves, and swallow, and destroy, and flood forth without pity,” (Meshech Chochma, Leviticus 26:44).

Every Galut comes to an end, and it’s never pretty…

In this week’s Torah Reading Devarim (Deuteronomy), Moses reminds the generation of children that grew up in the Sinai Desert (and are about to enter Eretz Yisrael), how their parent’s generation sinned.

“Then all of you [their parents] came to me and said: ‘Let’s send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we’re to take, and the towns we will come to.’ The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it.”

“Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, ‘It’s a good land, that HaShem (the God of Israel), our God, is giving us.’ But you didn’t want ‘LaAlot’ (to make Aliyah, to go up); you rebelled against the word of HaShem, your God. You spoke slander in your tents and said, ‘HaShem hates us. He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us,’” (Deuteronomy 1:22-27).

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato in his book, Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Just), chapter 11, discussing ‘The Lust for Honor’ states, “According to our sages of blessed memory, what caused the spies to utter evil speech on the Land, leading to their death and the death of an entire generation? They feared that others will take over their position when they enter Israel thereby diminishing their honor, namely that they will no longer be princes over Israel,” (Zohar on Numbers 13:3).

Rabbis, federation heads, presidents of major American Jewish organizations, lawyers, doctors, hedge fund guys and gals, millionaires, billionaires and Indian chiefs...They won’t be big “Machers” (important people) in the community anymore, in Eretz Yisrael.

Better to be a refugee in the Jewish State, than a prince in the Midbar HaAmim (Desert of the Nations).

It Can’t Happen Here! Oh Yes It Can!

The CoronaVirus pandemic, out of control anti-Semitism from the far Left, far Right and Muslim Jihadists, and economic collapse in most of the countries of the Golah (exile) where Jews reside, is speeding up the inevitable, unfolding process of redemption of the Jewish people.

See my articles: “The God of Israel’s Hand in Nature and History,” and “BLM and Black Nazis are Evil Like White Nazis,” where I explain this in more detail.

The God of Israel is carrying out Kibbutz Galuyot (the ingathering of the exiles), just as He promised in the Book of Ezekiel, “...So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and I will bring them to their land,” (Ezekiel 36:21).

I listened to a recent podcast by Josh Wander (BringThemHome.org.il) entitled, “American Hasidim are Secretly Organizing to Make Aliyah!!!” The interviewee Yehuda Singer, spoke about groups of Hasidim (that he’s a part of), on WhatsApp, discussing Hashkafic (philosophical) issues related to Eretz Yisrael, the Redemption, the growing problems in America and practical steps to make Aliyah.

Massive waves of Jews, are planning to come on Aliyah, to Israel, in the next few years.

For example, Nefesh B’Nefesh, which assists in immigration to Israel from North America and the United Kingdom, announced at the end of June, that it had signed a contract with El AL Airlines for 14 “Group Aliyah Flights,” from New York to Tel Aviv, over the course of the next three months. Nefesh B’Nefesh reported that the number of applications in May 2020, was the highest since the organization’s founding in 2002.

In Parshat Haazinu, Moses sings/prophecies, “He found them [Israel] in a desert land, and in a desolate, howling wasteland...As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over its fledglings, it spreads its wings, taking them and carrying them on its pinions. He made them ride upon the high places of the earth...” (Deuteronomy 32:10-11, 13).

Rashi explains “He made them ride [upon the high places],” [referring to] the Land of Israel, because it is higher [spiritually] than all other countries. — (Targum Onkelos, Sifrei 32:13).

The eagle carrying the Jewish people on his wings, is symbolic of the unfolding messianic process of redemption, the Kibbutz Galuyot promised by the prophets. In the Torah portion of Yitro (Exodus 19:4), HaShem also refers to the redemption from Egypt, as redemption, “on the wings of eagles.” Clearly, the eagle and his wings have messianic implications. The redemption of the Jewish people continues…

Better to be a refugee in the Jewish State, than a prince in the Midbar HaAmim (Desert of the Nations).

By the way, Israel isn’t a third world country anymore, if you haven’t noticed…

The streets are paved with gold,” for those who can see, “Tovah HaAretz Meod Meod,” The Land is very, very good! (Numbers 14:7).
 
With the CoronaVirus Pandemic, Growing Anti-Semitism, Economic Collapse; What Will It Take To Become Jew-woke, And Move Back to the Homeland, To Israel?

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Real Reason The Beit HaMikdash Was Destroyed


“Any generation in which the Beit HaMikdash [the Temple] was not rebuilt in their days, it’s considered as if they destroyed it,” (Talmud Yerushalmi Yoma 5a).

As we enter the Nine Days, before the fast of Tisha B’Av, commemorating both Temple’s destructions, we need to investigate deeper into this situation.

If we’re responsible, we need to ask, what’s the real reason the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, why it hasn’t been rebuilt and, how can we fix it?

They’re hard questions to deal with, and even tougher answers, but if we (the Jewish people), want Geulah Shleima, complete redemption, the total truth must be confronted, and the real reason must be rectified.
 
To do the Tikkun (to fix, heal, repair) the sins of our forefathers and foremothers, we must know precisely, not just in a general way, exactly how they damaged their relationship with HaShem (the God of Israel).

What exactly caused the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, Jerusalem, and the long exile of the Jewish people?

The rabbis in the Talmud Bavli ask, “Due to what reason was the First Temple destroyed? [And answer] It was destroyed due to the fact that there were three things that existed [were out of control] during the First Temple era: Idol worship, forbidden sexual relations, and bloodshed,” (Yoma 9b)

Then the rabbis of the Talmud ask, “But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah study, Mitzvot, the [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity and kindness?”

They answer, “Because there was Sinat Chinam, wanton hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered equivalent to the three grave sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together,” (Talmud Bavli 9b).

Then we are taught by the rabbis, that the Sinat Chinam was, brought on by the Lashon HaRa, slander of Jews by other Jews, that actually caused the destruction of the Second Temple, and relate the story of Kamtza and bar Kamtza. (Talmud Bavli, Gittin 55b–56a).

That’s what we’re taught every year, senseless hatred and slander, caused the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple…

But what caused the Lashon HaRa and wanton hatred?

There are many, many Shmirat HaLashon (be careful with your speech) groups operating around the Jewish world today. Many, many articles and books have been written, audios and videos made, since the big push of the Chafetz Chaim, almost 150 years ago, which put Shmirat HaLashon on the Jewish radar. Sincere people, try to watch their words and speak positively. Many work on loving all Jews regardless of affiliation.
So, why haven’t the Jewish people fixed the sin yet? Why hasn’t the Beit HaMikdash been rebuilt? Why hasn’t Mashiach, the messiah come?

I believe it’s because we’ve been focusing too much on the Talmud of Galut, exile, the Talmud Bavli’s explanation, and haven’t learned well enough, the Talmud of Geulah, the Talmud of Redemption, the Talmud Yerushalmi.

We begin with the Talmud Yerushalmi (Yoma 4a) which comes to the same conclusion about the destruction of the Second Temple as does the Talmud Bavli — namely, that it was due to Sinat Chinam.

However, the Yerushalmi whose text is identical till this point with the Bavli, goes on to quote on Yoma 4b, R. Yochanan ben Torta, who adds three important words, that explain everything, what Sinat Chinam really came from, “Ohavin et HaMamon,” having too much of a lust for money.

The 18th century commentator, from Germany, Rabbi David ben Naphtali Frankel, (his Korban Edah, is like the Rashi on the Bavli), explains this further in his glosses to his Korban Edah, the “Shirei Korban.”

“It comes to teach, that their love for money, led to being jealous of each other, it wasn’t that they lusted for money to buy necessities for themselves, and, they were careful to give their tithes [charity] etc...But, they lusted for the money [possessions] of their friends,” and this is what led to the jelousy and senseless hatred.

It wasn’t a lust for money per se, as anti-Semites have accused Jews of historically, but they were obsessive, in what’s commonly called today “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Simply put, they broke the Tenth Commandment, as stated in Parshat Yitro, at Mount Sinai, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor,” (Exodus 20:14).

Then repeated by Moses, in the upcoming Parsha, Va’etchanan, “And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor shall you desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor,” (Deuteronomy 5:18).

There you have it, the real reason for the Beit HaMikdash’s destruction and why it hasn’t yet been rebuilt. Instead of being joyful, about what they had received from HaShem, they wanted more, until it led to jelousy and hatred.

Are we any better today?

Talking about Lashon HaRa and Sinat Chinam out of context, doesn’t help us repair the sin. We need laser beam focus on the real reason.

Modern marketing and advertising’s main goal is stimulating the feeling of lack in people. Two minutes earlier, someone didn’t feel anything missing in their life, and now they do.

And, what about when the neighbor rolls up in a new car… How do you feel?

Now that you know the cold hard truth; in a nutshell, beware of modern advertising’s influence and the values of international consumer culture today, which leads to, if unchecked, covetousness, jelousy, dissatisfaction, Lashon HaRa, and finally Sinat Chinam…

Maybe, if we learn quickly enough, God-willing, instead of fasting for Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av) this year, we’ll be too busy, rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash instead.

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Needed: More Daughters of Zelophehad in Israel Today


In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Pinchas, we find some uppity Jewish women. Some say, the first Jewish feminists. But what did they demand? That they be treated equally in inheriting a part of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), promised by HaShem (the God of Israel), to their ancestors. Their love for Eretz Yisrael burned in their hearts.

“The daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, came forward, and his daughters’ names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah,” (Numbers 27:1).

On the words “of the families of Manasseh, the son of Joseph,” Rashi asks why is this necessary? Has it not already said earlier, “the son of Manasseh?” To inform you that Joseph cherished the Land, as it says, “and you shall bring up my bones…” (Exodus 13:19), and his daughters cherished the Land, as it says, “Give us a portion,” (later in verse 4), (Sifrei Pinchas 10).

“They stood before Moses, before Eleazar the Kohen, and before the leaders and the entire congregation at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, saying: ‘Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the assembly that banded together against HaShem, during Korah’s rebellion, he died for his own sin, and he had no sons.

Why should our father’s name be eliminated from his family [tribe], because he had no son? Give us a portion along with our father’s brothers,’” (Numbers 27:2-4).

So Moses brought their claim before HaShem. HaShem spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Zelophehad’s daughters speak righteously. You shall certainly give them a portion of inheritance [in the Land], among the brothers of their father, and you shall transfer their father’s inheritance to them,’” (Numbers 27:5-7).

Eretz Yisrael was so dear to them, that they risked everything, demanding from Moses, that they too acquire a portion in the Land.

The Talmud, Sotah 11b says,“Rav Avira taught: In the merit of the righteous women who were in that generation, [the children of] Israel were redeemed from Egypt.”

There are many reasons given, as to what constituted their righteousness. But certainly, their trust in HaShem’s promise, to the Forefathers and Foremothers, to redeem them from Egypt and bring them back to Eretz Yisrael to inherit the Land, is one of them.

According to the great 15th century kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, the Ari’zl, the souls of the final generation before the Messiah’s arrival, are reincarnations of the souls of the generation of the Exodus. (Shaar HaGilgulim, Hakdamah-Introduction 20).

And, we’ve seen these women’s righteous actions, filled with Gevurah (Holy Strength) in our days...

Last summer, a ceremony marking the fourth year since the passing of Rabbi Moshe Levinger, and the 40th anniversary of the entry and resettlement of Beit Hadassah, inside Hebron, was held.

Rabbanit Miriam Levinger, and Daniella Weiss, spoke. Daniella Weiss is a former leader of the resettlement movement, Gush Emunim, a former mayor of Kedumim in Samaria, and currently the Secretary-General of the Nachala Settlement Movement.

Gush Emunim spearheaded the resettlement of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, in the 1970s and 1980s, that has led to almost a million Jews living in the areas liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.

For those who don’t know, Rabbi Levinger (student of Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook) was the founding father of the Jewish resettlement of Hebron, along with his wife, Rabbanit Levinger, after the 1967 Six Day War, and a leader of Gush Emunim.

In the spring of 1968, Rabbi Levinger put an advertisement in an Israeli newspaper, for a Passover Seder in Hebron, at an Arab owned hotel that he had rented out. Refusing to leave after Passover, he and his group negotiated with the IDF and the government, first moving to the Military Headquarters building (the Memshal), and eventually getting the Israeli government to agree to develop an empty hilltop just outside Hebron, what became Kiryat Arba, where about 7,500 Jews live today.

Eleven years later, in the spring of 1979, his wife, Rabbanit Miriam, Sarah Nachshon [wife of famed artist Baruch Nachshon], along with several other women and children, entered the till then, abandoned Hadassah Hospital building. It had been unused since the infamous 1929 massacre on the Jewish community of Hebron, by Hebron’s Arabs. After which, the British authorities expelled the surviving Jews from Hebron “for their own good.”

After a protracted struggle with the Israeli government to get the women out, the government agreed to the development of Jewish resettlement within the city of Hebron itself. Which has led to nearly a thousand Jews living in Hebron today.

Then Deputy Foreign Minister, and now tipped as the next Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzippi Hotovely, speaking at the ceremony, praised Rabbanit Levinger, Sarah Nachshon, and the other righteous women, for setting an example to her generation of women, fighting for the Jewish people’s right to Eretz Yisrael today.

Hotovely said she hoped that this government of Israel (after the 1st elections in Sept. 2019) would apply Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, and that all future governments of Israel would put to rest, the idea of dividing the land, and giving away part of it to others.

Hotovely earlier, in her inaugural speech in 2015, as the then new Deputy Foreign Minister, said that Israel had tried too hard to appease the world. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that…We expect as a matter of principle, the international community recognize Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere.”

Other righteous women of our generation include, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover, founders of Women in Green. They have spearheaded Ribonut (The movement to apply Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria), and put the issue of sovereignty onto the political agenda.

We need more Bnot Tzlaphchad (Daughters of Zelophehad), like these women. Jewish women seem to get it, even if the men don’t always. Maybe there should be a new organization started, called Bnot Tzlaphchad, a Jewish women’s organization, encouraging Jewish Moms to teach their children and husbands, the love of Eretz Yisrael, importance of Aliyah, re-settlement of the Land, and to push their husbands and grown children to take practical actions, as the Jewish women do.

With Parshat Shlach just behind us, and the three weeks and Tisha B’Av coming, now is a good time to do the Tikkun (fixing/healing) on the “Sin of the Spies.” “Vayotziu Dibat HaAretz,” they said Lashon HaRa, slander on Eretz Yisrael, (Numbers 13:32).

Just as it was in the merit of faithful Jewish women then, that Israel was redeemed, so too, it will be in the merit of the righteous women of our generation, and their unwavering faithfulness to Eretz Yisrael, and the coming Final Redemption, that the Jews will be fully redeemed once again.
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Balak: The Blessing of Isolation for Israel


“Hen Am L’Vadad Y’Shkone...” (from the root BaDaD*). “Behold, it is a nation that shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations.” *More on this later.

And so, Balaam’s attempted curse comes out of his foul mouth, as one of the biggest blessings in the Torah. Only with historical/messianic hindsight will the people of Israel fully understand it. But, let’s see what we can understand even now.

In this week’s Torah reading, the king of Moab frightened by Am Yisrael’s movement into the region, wants to hire a “prophet,” the renowned professional curser Balaam. Balak sends messengers and makes him an offer.

Balaam tells them, that he can only say what God wants him to say. He tells them to stay the night and “let’s see what God wants.”

God comes to Balaam and says, “You shall not go with them! You shall not curse the people because they are blessed,” (Numbers 22:12).

After rebuffing Balak’s messengers a few times, God comes to Balaam and tells him, “If these men come to call for you again, go with them, but only speak the words I tell to you say...” (Numbers 22:20).

Knowing that Balaam intended to flout His command, the God of Israel then puts an obstacle in his way. An angel with a drawn sword that his donkey can see, but he can’t, to impress upon him, his lowly stature as a “prophet.”

Finally he gets to the mountaintop, overlooking the Israeli encampment, sets up shop and begins.

He [Balaam] took up his parable and said, “Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, from the mountains of the east [saying], ‘Come, curse Jacob for me and come invoke wrath against Israel.’

How can I curse whom God has not cursed, and how can I invoke wrath if the Lord has not been angered?

For from their beginning, I see them as mountain peaks, and I behold them as hills; it is a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be reckoned among the nations,” (Numbers 23:7-9).

Rashi explains, “It is a nation that shall dwell alone.” To dwell alone (BaDaD*), is in the merit of their forefathers – as the Targum [Onkelos] renders it [it is a nation that is alone/in solitude, destined to inherit the world]. *More on this later.

“...and not be reckoned among the nations.” As Targum [Onkelos] paraphrases, they will not perish along with the other nations, [when God finally judges the nations] as it says, “for I shall make an end of all the nations...” (Jeremiah 30:11); but Israel will be safe.

We have seen this in our time, with Israel’s early closure of it’s borders, and low CoronaVirus fatalities.

The Midrash HaGadol explains the verse a little differently, this refers to Israel’s mission to remain separate and distinct from the nations. From this blessing, that Balaam gave against his will, we understand what he really intended (see Sanhedrin 105a and the end of the parsha, where Balaam later sends in Moabite prostitutes to de-moral-ize the Jews, Numbers 25:1-9), so that the Jewish people assimilate into the nations, and be stripped of their religious values.

*I want to look at the word BaDaD, (to be alone/isolated/separate) further, through two dimensions. Starting with the Prat (individual/specific) level, and then moving toward the Klal (national/general) level.

1. The word BaDaD is related to the word BeDuD, which is the Isolation Ward in a hospital. A hint to our times?

2. The word BaDaD is related to the word BaD, a pole or staff. The carrying poles for the Aron HaKodesh (Ark of the Covenant), were called BaDim (pl.). Once inserted into the rings on the Ark, they were forbidden to be removed. They were separated from every other use, and dedicated to one purpose, carrying the Ark. So too, the Jewish people are separated from the nations and dedicated to the service of God.

3. The most common word for Jewish meditation is HitBoDeDut, from the root BaDaD. Popularized by Breslover Hasidim, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, taught the importance of going out to the fields, or in some other manner, to isolate yourself, to be alone to talk to God. HitBoDeDut, is commonly understood that way.

But as Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (in Jewish Meditation, Meditation and the Bible, and elsewhere) explains, HitBoDeDut, is the reflexive form of the verb, really meaning, to isolate yourself internally (from your sense of self, so you can tune into God). Jewish meditation was an integral part of preparation to receive prophecy, something that will return to the Jewish people in messianic times, (Maimonides – Rambam, Igeret Taiman/The Epistle to Yemen).

4. This meditative process, it is said, is what led Avraham Avinu (Abraham our father) to discover and connect to God. It gave him the courage of his convictions, to stand up to Nimrod and the entire world, to declare there is only one God. He was BaDaD, alone in the world.

5. In discussing the newly founded State of Israel, Israel Eldad, Jewish philosopher and former ideologist of the pre-state LECHI underground, wrote in his book, “The Jewish Revolution,” about Abraham, and then described his decendents, the Jewish people, as a “nation of non-conformists.” This Eldad argued, is what kept them (BaDaD) separated from the nations, preserved their identity over the millennia, and gave them the ability, through their single minded dedication, to stand up to the world and declare independence.

6. I wrote in, “Israel, Stay Out of Entangling Alliances,” “Jews really don’t need to look beyond their own tradition for policy guidelines that warn not to get into “entangling alliances.” Traditional Jewish commentaries to these verses [about Balaam] explain that the Jewish people get their strength and prosperity not from alliances with other nations and cultures, but from their single-minded adherence [BaDaD – dedication] to their own unique Torah culture – Judaism, their single-minded worship of the God of Israel, their single-minded control over their own land and lives, and their single-minded defense of their own interests. In a nutshell, liberty, freedom and national independence.”

7. Rabbi Meir Kahane, used to always teach this parsha, through the Yalkut Shimoni (Balak 23), emphasizing, the halachic injunction to national isolation [BeDuD]. “Not only must the Jew not be afraid to be isolated [BaDaD], he is commanded to choose isolation. That is why all Jews must live in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), so as to be isolated from the nations and their cultures.”

He stressed that “...the Jew is not allowed to seek allies, that the very act of seeking allies is one of faithlessness to God. Thus we find the prophet Isaiah condemning the Jews of his time for turning to Egypt for aid against the Assyrians who were threatening them, “Woe to rebellious children,” says the Lord, who take counsel but not from Me; and who prepare a plan [MaSeCHa*], but not of My spirit, in order to add sin upon sin. Who go down to Egypt, but did not inquire of My mouth, to seek strength in Pharaoh’s stronghold and to take shelter in the shade of Egypt (Isaiah 30:1-2),” (Seek No Allies, Jewish Press, 1989).

*Interestingly, the word MaSeCHa, is also the word for mask, in Hebrew, like those being used today during the CoronaVirus pandemic. So the Jews were covering themselves, protecting themselves, by allying with Egypt against Assyria, so they thought, and today against viruses.

Rabbi Kahane was known to always ask during speeches, “Who’s stronger HaShem (the God of Israel) or Ronald Reagan?” Today one could ask, “Who’s stronger HaShem or Trump?”

8. Which brings us to the issue of Sovereignty and the Trump Plan. According to polls, a clear majority of Israeli Jews support extending sovereignty to at least parts of Judea and Samaria. But the religious public is divided, even the “settler” public is divided. Opinions diverge, whether to accept the Trump Plan and apply sovereignty to towns in Judea and Samaria, even though that implicitly accepts the idea of a Palestinian state; or, to apply sovereignty to towns in Judea and Samaria but reject the Palestinian state part of the plan; or to reject the Trump Plan entirely and apply sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, ignoring the American plan completely.

PM Netanyahu has said he will bring up the sovereignty issue to the Knesset after July 1st. But what, is his plan? All of Eretz Yisrael belongs to God, and He gave it to the Jews to live in and rule over.

HaShem through Balaam blessed the Jewish people, “Behold, it is a nation that shall dwell alone, and pay no attention to the nations.”

So I ask you, who’s stronger HaShem, or Trump, Johnson, the EU and UN?
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko
 
 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Korah: Democracy or Divine Aristocracy for Israel?


Winston Churchill said, that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time...” implying that they were even worse (speech in the House of Commons, 1947, quoting an unknown source).

I’m not sure that the God of Israel agrees, we’ll see.

But, that does seem to be the conventional wisdom of the modern era. Democracy rules. There have been some failed attempts at other forms of governing, but it’s never turned out good for most of the people under that type of authoritarian regime.

Yet we find today, in the CoronaVirus pandemic era, China has been pushing its model of governance, with one party rule, as more responsive to the crisis. They are claiming to meet the true needs of the people (public health), over what governments in the democratic west, are capable of providing their citizens.

With the threat of a possible second wave of infections growing, with the lockdowns, forced business closures, contact tracing, drone and robotic patrolling, facial recognition technology used, immunity certificates, and other invasive methods taken or being discussed by democratic governments, to control the outbreaks, we find elements of China’s model spreading like the virus itself, from east to west, eating away at citizen’s privacy and civil rights.

Citizens in western democratic countries, might awaken soon, to find themselves in many ways, living in countries, with surveillance and restrictions, much closer to China’s regime, than the democracy with its lawless protesters and rioters, they lived in, before the pandemic.

That said, in the Book of Exodus, we find The God of Israel, just before the revelation at Mount Sinai, commanding Moses, to tell the people of Israel, “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests [teachers of spirituality and morality-leaders to bring the world to God] and a holy [separated and elevated] nation [because of their special mission]...” (Exodus 19:6).

In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Korah, we find a rebellion brewing against Moses and Aaron’s leadership, instigated by Korah, their cousin. Korah comes to Moses and Aaron with a mob of 250 community leaders and puts forth the pro-democracy argument, that they’ve taken too much power for themselves, “Why do you think you’re so much better than everyone else? We’re all part of the God’s holy people, and he’s with all of us. What makes you think you’re the only ones who should be in charge?” (Numbers 16:3).

What’s really bothering Korah?

Commentators discuss that. Both the Ibn Ezra and the Ramban, agree it took place about a year after leaving Egypt.

The Ibn Ezra argues that the rebellion took place, right after the inauguration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), when Aaron and his sons were designated a Divinely created Aristocracy, to replace the firstborn, as the ones to perform the sacrificial service. Korah, a firstborn (Exodus 6:21), was embittered by this, and the 250 leaders with him, were also firstborn. Korah easily stirred them up.

Nachmanides, the Ramban, says that the rebellion took place right after the failed spying affair, described in Parshat Shlach. People resented the decree to stay in the desert [isolation?] and die off for another thirty nine years, and that only then, the next generation (of under twenty year olds) would enter the Holy Land. Again, easy pickings for Korah’s “democratic” rhetoric.

A series of proofs that Moses and Aaron were indeed the divinely chosen leaders now ensues.

Moses claiming everything he said and did was God’s will, declares that to prove it, the earth should open and swallow Korah and others with him, and it does. Then a fire from God breaks out and consumes the 250 community leaders. But that only postpones the rebellion.

The next day, the mob still inspired by Korah’s democratic vision, protests to Moses and Aaron saying, “You have killed the people of God.” God tells Moses to get away from them and He’ll destroy the rebels. But Moses and Aaron instead, pray for mercy. Then, Moses tells Aaron to run and get the incense pans for atonement, as a plague [like the CoronaVirus] breaks out. By the time Aaron stands between the living and the dead, and the plague is quelled, 14,700 democratic activists have died (Numbers 16:28-17:15).

Note the huge spike in infections, with the protests in America.

God now orders Moses to tell the remaining 12 tribal leaders, to take bare almond staffs and place them in the Tent of Meeting, along with the staff of Aaron. The next day when Moses goes into the Tent, and removes them to show the leaders, their staffs are still just sticks, but Aaron’s has blossomed, sprouted buds, and grown ripe almonds. God then tells Moses to put Aaron’s staff back into the Tent and keep it as eternal proof of Aaron’s legitimate priestly line.

The people are frightened and complain to Moses, “We are lost. Everyone who comes close to the Mishkan will die. Will we ever stop perishing? [when will these draconian regulations and the pandemic end?]” (Numbers 17:16-28).

As if to rub salt into an open wound (of the democrats), or maybe better put, God re-enforces the lesson of Aaron’s legitimate priesthood and divinely chosen aristocracy, and that He, God, is in charge, not the mob of democratic activists. God now talks to Aaron about him, and his descendants service in the Mishkan, and later at the Temples in Jerusalem. He then describes the gifts the people will need to bring to the Kohanim (priests), and the tithes given to the Levites. Then God tells Moses about the tithes that Levites will give the Kohanim (Numbers 18:1-32).

These gifts and tithes, are a tax, to provide a salary for the priests and Levites national service, at the Mishkan, and Temples, in lieu of not receiving any portion in the Land, like the other tribes will, when they enter Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).

So, a “democratic” rebellion was forcefully put down, and the primacy of divine aristocracy, through the Kohanim and Levites was preserved, and Moses continued as leader. But was Korah really a democrat? Did he really worry about “all the Holy People,” or was he a demagogue out for self-interest and self-aggrandizement, parading as a democrat?

In, The Republic, (Book VIII), Plato discusses five types of regimes. These five regimes progressively decline from Plato’s Ideals. Starting from Aristocracy at the top, his ideal, which is lead by a philosopher-king, to the lowest form, Tyranny led by a demagogue-dictator.

For Plato, the ruling class in Aristocracy, is made up of the philosophers-kings, with the aid of the soldiers and others in the government administration, whose job it is to force onto the majority of the people, the order established by the philosophers. What Plato calls, the Good. They are forbidden from owning property, in order to preclude, that the policies they undertake be tainted by personal interests.

The majority of the people are allowed to own property and produce goods for themselves, but are also obliged to sustain their rulers through contributions, i.e. taxes.

According to Plato, the aristocratic mindset of a just ruler, can be achieved through an intensive educational training, designed to produce intellectuals that are selfless and upright, aware of the absolute Good, by learning the Truth, based on the Platonic Ideas. Wealth, fame, and power are just shadows of the Good, not the True Good, therefore, the philosopher, who learns metaphysical contemplation, is not tempted to abuse his power in his pursuit of material goods, and his state policies are dedicated to establishing only the Good in the state, not his personal interests.

This sounds very similar to what we’ve just read in the Torah. The Torah promotes the idea that the Kohanim (also a teaching class), Levites, king and his administration, are to guide, and if necessary even force, the Jewish people into observing the Mitzvot (Commandments) of the Torah, to achieve God’s ideals. This was the system God was setting up, through Moses and Aaron’s leadership.

Maimonides, the Rambam, writes in his Mishneh Torah, Book of Kings And Their Wars 11:4, about the future Messiah (ideal Jewish leader), “If a king will arise from the House of David, who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its Mitzvot, as prescribed by the Written Law and Oral Law, as David his ancestor did, will compel all of Israel to walk in the ways of the Torah, rectify the breaches to its observance, and fight the wars of God, we consider him possibly the Mashiach.”

About Democracy, Plato says, it is where freedom is now the highest value (not the Good), and the lowest classes grow bigger. The poor become the winners. People are free to do what they want and live how they want. The democratic man, in Plato’s scheme, takes great interest in all the things he can buy with his money. Modern international consumer culture.

Plato believes that democratic leaders are more concerned with money and power, than how one can help the people. We certainly see that today, among politicians. Democratic man does whatever he wants, whenever he wants to do it. His life has no order or priority.

Then finally at the bottom, Plato descibes Tyranny, where no one has discipline and society exists in chaos. Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. People can even break the law if they so choose. This appears to be very similar to anarchy, and what we’ve been seeing in America and around the world recently, with the Black Lives Matter-led “George Floyd” protests and riots.

We’ve all seen this recently in the US, where radical leftists have promoted the idea to “Defund the Police.” They’ve created police-free “democratically led” autonomous zones, like CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle. According to Plato, power must be seized by a strong man, to maintain order (as again we’ve seen happen in CHAZ/CHOP, with gun-toting leaders) which will cause them to become tyrants.

Interestingly, the Torah reading starts off, “And Korah took...” (Numbers 16:1).

What did he take? He took himself and his “democratic activists” aside, to separate themselves from the community (shades of CHAZ/CHOP), to argue against the system, the Divine Aristocracy, and against Moses and Aaron. Korah took advantage of the chaotic moment after the spying affair, to attempt to seize power.

Plato explains, the tyrannical mindset creates the worst form of man, due to his being the most unjust and thus the furthest removed from any joy of the true kind, the Good. He is consumed by desires, which cause him to do terrible things such as murder and plunder, there is complete lawlessness. The tyrant becomes a law unto himself.

There have been reports of shakedowns on local businesses, extorting money from shopkeepers in CHAZ/CHOP and the abuse of its own “citizens.” And, during the Black Lives Matter-led “George Floyd” protests and riots (although protesting supposedly for equality, democracy, and against police abuse); there have been many reports of specifically anti-Semitic epithets, graffiti, violence, and destruction being done. See my last article, “BLM and Black Nazis are Evil Like White Nazis.”

Korah too, like BLM, wants mob rule in the name of “democracy.” He was a demagogue, willing to sacrifice everyone else to achieve his power grab, as BLM and the far Left in America are doing today.

Yet, the God of Israel said, “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests [teachers of spirituality and morality-leaders to bring the world to God] and a holy [separated and elevated] nation [because of their special mission]...” (Exodus 19:6).

God wants to create a Holy Society in Israel, led by a Divine Aristocracy, with the Kohanim and Levites teaching and serving in the Temple, not a democracy. And, the Jewish king, who eschews all self-aggrandizement, writes for himself two Torah scrolls, one of which, he keeps with himself at all times to, “...read all the days of his life, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees, and not consider himself better than his brothers, and turn away from Mitzvah observance…” (Deuteronomy 17:16-20).

The Rambam continues, about the future Messiah (ideal Jewish leader), “If he succeeds in all the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach.

He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Zephaniah 3:9 states: ‘I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.’” In a sense to achieve Plato’s idea of the True Good, which he must have gotten from the Torah.

God wants a Divine Aristocracy for Israel, not a Democracy.
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko


Monday, June 15, 2020

BLM and Black Nazis are Evil Like White Nazis



I’m color blind, I don’t look at the color of someone’s skin, but the content of their character, through their speech and actions; let me tell you, Black Jew-hating Nazis are just as bad as White Jew-hating Nazis.

It started with Rev. Louis Farrakhan, calling Judaism a “gutter religion,” and Rev. Jeremiah Wright describing Israel as “state terrorism against the Palestinians.”

Or, did it?

No actually, starting in 1961, the Nation of Islam, under Elijah Muhammad’s leadership and with Malcolm X’s help, the NOI developed ties with the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.

This policy continued under Farrakhan’s leadership of the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan’s past statements are well known, for example, “Here the Jews don’t like Farrakhan and so they call me ‘Hitler.’ Well that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man. He wasn’t great for me as a Black man but he was a great German...”

It seems, black and white separatists have common cause in hating Jews.

For a while, in the 1960s, the Black Panthers insisted they were not against Jews, but only against Zionism. Until 1970, when Connie Matthews, international coordinator of the Black Panther Party, declared in the BPP official organ, that Jewishness, Zionism and racism were identical, she claimed that most Jews involved in the Left were Zionists.

She accused the Jews involved in the Chicago 8 Conspiracy trial, to have been “...willing and did sacrifice Bobby Seale (a Black Panther), and his role in the conspiracy trial, to gain publicity.”

Later she declared, “The one-eyed bandit from Tel Aviv (General) Moshe Dayan must be hunted down and killed.”

In fact, threatened attacks by black radicals on synagogues and the daily attacks on Jews in the streets of New York (similar to today), is what gave rise to Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Jewish Defense League in 1968.

Lest you think they’re just isolated, radical black preachers and militants, think again. Think about how modern black pop culture is inundated with Jew-hatred.

Rap and Hip Hop singers have expressed anti-Semitic views since the beginning of the genre. Follower of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Professor Griff, former member of the hip hop group Public Enemy, then serving as their “Minister of Information,” said in 1989 that, “Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world.”

In 1990, Public Enemy issued the single “Welcome to the Terrordome,” which contains the lyrics: “Crucifixion ain't no fiction / So-called chosen frozen / Apologies made to whoever pleases / Still they got me like Jesus,” belittling the chosenness concept in Judaism and reinforcing the Christian accusation of deicide by the Jews.

Even during these tense and riotous times in America recently, following George Floyd’s seemingly unjust murder by a policeman, with many liberal Jews marching along, some are still stoking the flames. As with Ice Cube’s recent behavior, “Ice Cube Tweets Out Star of David With Apparent Occult Reference”.

When called out on his anti-Semitism he said, “What if I was just pro-Black? This is the truth brother. I didn’t lie on anyone. I didn’t say I was anti anybody.”

And, whether on purpose or through “osmosis,” Judeopathy continues to infect much of black pop culture today, “Nicki Minaj Criticized for Using Nazi Symbolism”

Its not just radical black preachers and pop culture, but even more mainstream black activists and politicians have spouted anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric. Both Jesse Jackson and former US Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young supported the PLO’s cause (independence through the murder of Jews). Don’t forget, Jackson’s “Hymietown” remark in 1984.
As late as 2006, Andrew Young in an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, when asked about Wal-Mart hurting independent businesses, replied, “You see ‘those are the people’ who have been overcharging us, and they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they’ve ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews...”

During the Crown Heights riots of 1991, when blacks attacked Jews, Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death, and other Jews in the neighborhood were beaten up. Jewish stores were looted, and cars and homes (identified by their Mezuzah), were damaged.

On the third day of the riots, Rev. Al Sharpton and activist Sonny Carson led a march. The marchers proceeded through Crown Heights carrying anti-Semitic signs and burned an Israeli flag.

Sharpton and about 400 blacks marched through Crown Heights chanting “No Justice, No Peace!”, “Death to the Jews!”, and “Whose streets? Our streets!”

Now you know from where the recent Black Lives Matter-led rioters got their slogans…

And what did the recent rioters do? Attack Jews, synagogues, and Jewish property of course.

America’s Kristallnacht has happened already, do liberal Jews recognize it?

But this isn’t new for Black Lives Matter, they’ve expressed anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views since their beginning. In their 2016 Platform, they called Israel an “apartheid state,” and claimed it commits “genocide” against the Palestinians. See: “In platform, Black Lives Matter accuses Israel of ‘genocide,’ backs BDS”.

And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Black Lives Matter and other black radicals are in bed with PalestiNazi Hamas, see: “Hamas and Black Lives Matter: A marriage made in hell” and “Has Black Lives Matter alienated pro-Israel voices?”

Black Lives Matter has gone international, during a recent protest in Paris, some of the protesters chanted “dirty Jews” and “Jewish whores,” and carried signs that read, “Israel: the laboratory for police violence” and “Enough of Israel’s massacres! Justice and freedom for Palestine.” See: “France: Black Lives Matter demonstration marred by anti-Semitism”
What does Jew-hatred and Israel have to do with a call for racial equality and protesting the murder of George Floyd?

It seems to me that Black Nazis take every opportunity to spit their venom at Jews and Israel.

But not all blacks are anti-Semitic. ADL surveys conducted between 2007 and 2013 found that the vast majority of African-Americans when questioned, rejected anti-Semitism. For example, in their 2009 study, the ADL reported that 28% of blacks surveyed displayed antisemitic views, while a 72% majority did not. But, they consistently found that negative attitudes towards Jews were stronger among African-Americans than among the general population of America at large.

More recent polls such as “African Americans Have Mixed Opinions and Often No Opinions on Israel”, conducted in 2019 by LifeWay Research, also show about 30% of blacks hold anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views.

But, when asked, about Louis Farrakhan claiming that Jews have a “tremendous” influence in the US government and as a result “black people in this country will never be free until they are free of that kind of control,” 41% of blacks agreed.

Still it means the majority of blacks do not hold such views.

When Black Lives Matter published their platform in 2016, the Ecumenical Leadership Council of Missouri, a black church group, said that while Black Lives Matter plays an important role in addressing violence by police, it “...rejects without hesitation any notion or assertion that Israel operates as an apartheid country...” See: Black church group in Missouri condemns Black Lives Matter statement on Israel”

Also, many black conservatives have been criticizing Black Lives Matter, condemned the rioting, insisting on personal responsibility instead of the victim mentality, and the “systemic racism” narrative.

People such as Candace Owens, a former Democrat Party activist, “Candace Owens: I do not support George Floyd”. She points out that Jews don’t riot when another Jew is arrested or incarcerated. Neither do other ethnic groups. Then she goes on to blame, blacks themselves, pointing out that black on black murder is much more severe than what’s done by whites.

Al Sharpton, addressing a group of Reform Jewish leaders in 2019 shared with the audience, the rebuke he received after the 1991 riots by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King. She was known for her closeness to the Jewish community.

“One of the things she said to me, she said, ‘Al, the purpose of our movement has never been to just get civil rights for us, it’s to protect and stand for civil and human rights for everyone,’” he recalled.

“She said that ‘sometimes you are tempted to speak to the applause of the crowd rather than the heights of the cause, and you will say cheap things to get cheap applause rather than do higher things to raise the nation higher.’” Implying that his anti-Semitic vitriol during the riots was wrong.

It seems that Black Lives Matter is following in the violent confrontational path of the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, and other radicals, rather than the racially reconciliatory Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King Jr. and those like-minded.

Now we read that, “Black Lives Matter mural painted on block-long stretch of Brooklyn’s Fulton Street”, just like in many other American cities.

Imagine how Jews feel when they see that. Imagine how Jews feel when they see a swastika painted on a wall, or their home.
I repeat, Black Jew-hating Nazis are just as bad as White Jew-hating Nazis.

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

Monday, June 1, 2020

The God of Israel’s Hand in Nature and History


Just recently, the Jewish people experienced the Revelation of God at Mount Sinai, AGAIN!

The holiday of Shavuot just occurred. Jewish holidays are called a Moed, a private appointment time with the God of Israel, the God of their fathers and mothers.

Fifty days after Pesach/Passover, leaving slavery, leaving the Egyptian exile, the exile of the spirit behind; Moses leads the people to Mount Sinai, where they experience an unimaginable, synesthesiatic revelation, “seeing” God’s voice, the thunder, and sound of the shofar.

And all the people saw the voices...”

The voices: They saw what was audible, which is impossible to see elsewhere. Voices emanating from the mouth of the Almighty. Many voices, voices coming from every direction, and from the heavens, and from the earth,” (Rashi on Exodus 20:15, from Mechilta d’Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai).

A spiritual experience, of a magnitude never encountered by any other nation, before or after. As Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi, author of “Sefer HaKuzari” said, all other religions started with a “prophetic revelation” to one individual, who told others about it, and then believers started to follow the “prophet.” Not so with Am Yisrael, the Jewish people, an entire nation experienced the prophetic revelation of God at Mount Sinai, it was so powerful, that the Jews have remembered it for over 3,300 years.

And what did they SEE? “I am the Lord Your God [the God of creation], who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage [the God of history]” (Exodus 20:2).

The Rambam (Maimonides), in his Sefer HaMitzvot, lists Positive Commandment #1, the First Mitzvah, to believe in the Divinity: to believe that there is a cause and a reason, which is the maker of all creations. As The Exalted One has said, “I am the L-rd, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

Rambam then asks, Why does God identify Himself as the One who took us out of Egypt? Why not as the Creator of the universe? Certainly the creation of the universe, is a far greater feat than the Exodus from Egypt.

He answers, We did not witness creation, but we did witness the Exodus from Egypt. Because of this, we owe it to God to believe in Him and follow His commandments.

When God created the world, He created nature. When He took us out of Egypt, He broke the
system of nature, and we saw this happen. Every day we must remember that God not only
created the universe, but that He continues to create it ex nihilo every single moment, and can transcend nature at will. The fact that the First Commandment is given in the singular (“I am
your [singular] God”), tells us that God cares about the welfare of each individual person, and
therefore continues to bring us out of our personal Egypt, our constraints and challenges, every
single day.

The Rambam then points out, that the fact that God mentions the Exodus from Egypt in His First Commandment, reassures us that just as He took us out of the Egyptian exile, so will He take us out of this final exile [as He is doing in our day] with the coming of Mashiach, the Messiah.

Just as the God of Israel is Redeeming the Jewish people from its global exile and suffering today, showing how He is constantly involved in Jewish history and destiny, so too, is he punishing those who most oppressed the Jewish people, throughout the ages.

Recently I saw the data from John Hopkins University, for the CoronaVirus pandemic, the total number of confirmed cases has exceeded 6.23 million globally, almost 30% in the United States. The top seven infected countries are the US, followed by Brazil (about 8%), Russia (almost 7%), the United Kingdom (about 4.5%), Spain (almost 4%), and Italy (almost 4%), and France (about 3%).

The number of deaths in the top six countries, as a percent of all the deaths worldwide, is the United States (about 28%), the United Kingdom (about 10.5%), Italy (almost 9%), Brazil (almost 8%), France (about 7.75%), and Spain (just over 7%). Russia is in 14th place and has about 1.5% of the total deaths.

Three other countries near the top, who receive dishonorable mention are Germany, Iran, and Turkey.

After China, the first major epicenters of the virus outbreaks were in Korea, Iran and Italy.

It was very evenly spaced out across the globe by-the-way, to go into all Asia, E. & W. Europe, and from Europe and China ==> into USA. God’s Hand could be seen again.

But why Korea? North Korea has been helping Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas for years with, nuclear, missile, and tunnel technologies. North Korean pilots flew Egyptian MIG-21s against Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and always supported the PLO, i.e. Palestinian statehood. See my article, “North Korea: There is an Israeli Connection.”

Why Iran? Well threatening Israel’s destruction for over 40 years, and then a nuclear holocaust for the last 10 years, means something. The God of Israel “neither slumbers nor sleeps,” (Psalms 121:4).

And Italy? The Romans burnt down the Second Temple, robbed the temple treasury, destroyed Judea, murdered over a million Jews and dragged countless others off to slavery. The Coliseum in Rome, was built by Jewish slaves with money from the temple treasury. Christianity set up headquarters in Rome at the Vatican, and the Catholic Church has persecuted Jews for 1,600+ yrs.

Notice, most of the worse CoronaVirus outbreaks, have been in Catholic areas of Europe. The God of Israel is remembering the Church’s millennia long persecution of Jews, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, etc. For example, Italy (the Vatican), France (Burnt Talmuds), Spain (the Inquisition). The Catholic areas of Germany, have been hit worse than the Protestant areas, and we know what Germany has done to Jews in the past.

But why Brazil? As a Portuguese colony, Catholicism was the official religion, and anti-Semitic persecutions followed the Jews from the old world to the new world. Brazil was not free of the inquisition until Brazilian independence in 1822. Roman Catholicism remained the state religion, but the constitution proclaimed some tolerance of other religions, yet anti-Semitism persisted.

Anti-Semitism grew in Brazil in the 1900s, and reached its peak during 1933–1945, with the rise of Nazism in Germany. Brazil locked its doors to Jewish refugees from Europe during the Holocaust. Between 1937 and 1950, more than 16,000 visas to European Jews, most attempting to escape the Nazis, were denied by Brazilian governments.

England, the United Kingdom, Britain? Well that one’s obvious, they were pretty bad to us too...

The first blood libel in Europe occurred in England in 1144. The English participated in the Crusades, killing and looting Jews, in England itself, on their way to the liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims. Then, Jews were forcibly thrown out of England from 1290 until the 1650s.

The British declared the Balfour Declaration in 1917, to support the Zionist goal of establishing a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, and received the Palestine Mandate from the League of Nations to carry out that mission.

Yet, during the mandate period, they perfidiously helped the Arabs living in the mandate to thwart Jewish national aspirations. They allowed many Arabs from the surrounding countries to enter the mandate area, while limiting Jewish immigration to it, even during the darkest days before and during the Holocaust. Their policies toward Israel have been lukewarm at best, since.

Russia, the former Soviet Union, why them? Again obvious, pogroms, persecution, and the Pale of Settlement, under the Czars, and things only went downhill from there under the communists. The Soviet Union persecuted Jews, for wanting to learn Hebrew and practice Judaism. They supported the Arab states politically and militarily during the Cold War period, against Israel, and denied Jews the right to make Aliyah, i.e. leave the Soviet Union and move to Israel.

Even today’s Russia, is playing a two-faced game. Although Putin has had better relations with Israel than during Soviet times, he’s been allied with Iran and Turkey in Syria. Certainly no friends of Israel.

Which brings us to the United States. Why has God hit America so hard? Hasn’t America been good to the Jews, isn’t it the “Goldene Medina?” Maybe that’s the problem?

First of all, America refused entry to the MS St. Louis, a ship laden with Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Then, America did nothing in particular to save Jews during the Holocaust. Roosevelt even ignored all requests to bomb the railroad tracks leading into the murder camps.

On one hand, America has been so good to the Jews that they’re assimilating in record numbers (a Silent Holocaust), yet anti-Semitism has sizzled under the surface for decades, and has been boiling over more recently. How long before the current riots turn anti-Semitic?
President Trump has been good to the Jewish people, and done God’s will, in recognizing Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and towns in Judea and Samaria. But Trump went too far (something HaShem, the God of Israel, didn’t want), in talking about a “Palestinian” state, and Netanyahu has sinned also, in agreeing to recognize other’s “rights” to our/HaShem’s Land.

Like an overconfident poker player, Trump has overplayed his hand... “Deal of the Century” get it?

He’s also made his biggest blunder, in talking about keeping the status quo on the Temple Mount, i.e. denying Jewish rights, when we all know that God’s House, the Third Temple, is going to be built there soon.

If you think about it for a moment, there’s definitely a pattern here. Starting in mid-January 2020, each weekly Torah reading, since the beginning of Sefer Shemot (the Book of Exodus), has related HIGHLY to what had been going on in the world at the time. The plagues, the exodus, the golden calf, building the Mishkan (Tabernacle), and soon the “Sin of the Spies.”

Back at the beginning of February, I was telling people out here, in Israel, that the Coronavirus hit America at about the same time, as the ten plagues had been being read in the weekly Torah readings, and the announcement that Trump’s partition plan, was going to be unveiled the following week, on January 28th. See my article, “The Likud and Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook.”

The exact chronology is: on Tuesday of that week – the first announced case of CoronaVirus was found in Washington state (no coincidence, note the name). On Thursday of that week, the White House announced that they were inviting Netanyahu, the following week, to unveil the “Deal of the Century.”

Do you see God’s Hand?

The return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the redemptive process, as promised by God, through his prophets (see the Hebrew Bible), has been unfolding in the last couple generations, it won’t be stopped by the Trump Plan, the CoronaVirus, or anything.

Many Rabbis have given three causes, for the CoronaVirus, (a slightly too GALUT/EXILE-CENTRIC perspective, because it ignores the most important reason) in my humble opinion.

1. The World's Sexual Promiscuity (Health)

2.LaShone HaRa (Slander/Evil Speech) (Hate)

3. Excessive Materialism (Money)

I've been telling people similar things, for the last several months...

But, let me end with this, and what about you? The Jews still in Galut?

HaShem is shaking the YIDDEN up worldwide!!! He’s brought:

1. Disease – the CoronaVirus ==> Health.

2. Rising anti-Semitism ==> Hate.

3. Economic collapse ==> To end Money/Power Idolatry & Jews’ false sense of security.

Interestingly, we read about the Golden Calf during this period too, and what symbolizes, modern idolatry, more than money today!

Now, the biggest reason (in my humble opinion) for this pandemic, and all that’s occurred in the last six months.

The God of Israel is carrying out Kibbutz Galuyot (the ingathering of the exiles), just as He promised in the Book of Ezekiel, “...So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and I will bring them to their land,” (Ezekiel 36:21). The redemption of the Jewish people continues.

All this will lead the Jews in the exile to:
4. Think really seriously, about moving to Israel ==> a massive wave of Aliyah is brewing.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog recently said, “...We are preparing for increased Aliyah once the crisis is over...”

Aliyah, is itself TSHUVA, it is the Tikkun (repair) for the “Sin of the Spies,” who despised the GOOD LAND! That Torah reading by-the-way, Parshat Shlach, is coming up in less than two weeks.

Pesach (Chag HaGeula – the holiday of redemption) culminated in the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, on Shavuot. But the plan was to bring the Jews into the Land of Israel, if not for the “Sin of the Spies.” Remember, 80% of the Jews never even made it out of Egypt...

Don't get left behind! Make Aliyah NOW!!!
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
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