Monday, November 23, 2020

Pollard for President of Israel

Recently, five years to the day, after Jonathon Pollard was paroled (with severe restrictions) from the federal penitentiary, the US Parole Commission issued a certificate terminating parole and removing the restrictions that were imposed on him. He had served an excessive thirty years, of his injust life sentence, for transmitting classified information to Israel (convicted of Espionage, not Treason), in helping a friendly state.

It’s been claimed that Pollard only turned over to the Israelis, intelligence information that the Americans were obligated to pass on to Israel, under their security and defense cooperation agreements, but were holding back.

As such, Jonathon Pollard is now, “free to travel anywhere, including Israel, for temporary or permanent residence, as he wishes,” said his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman.

Details of his case, and the campaign to free Pollard, can be found at Justice for Johnathan Pollard.

But even with his release, the Americans and Israelis still have some Teshuva (repentance) to do, more on that later...

Lauer after the decision, told Israeli Channel 12 TV, that Pollard was “ecstatic” and determined to move to Israel but that it would take some time, because Pollard’s wife is undergoing medical treatment for cancer. Channel 12 TV speculated it could take several weeks.

Many public officials and personalities have expressed gratitude that this day of liberation has finally come. Some have even raised the issue of the cruel treatment, by the Americans, and betrayal by Israeli officials in the past.

The Women in Green movement, which struggled for Pollard’s release for years, welcomed the American decision not to extend Pollard’s restrictions.

Movement leaders, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, emphasized that the decision marks long years of injustice imposed on Pollard by the American legal system. “Every day that Pollard was imprisoned or confined was a day of grave injustice...The day Pollard comes to Israel will be a holiday for the entire Jewish people.”

“The entire State of Israel owes him a lot and it is doubtful whether it will be able to return to him a little of what it received from him, but it is its duty to do everything to give him all the best it has, they stated.”

That’s why I propose nominating Pollard for President of Israel. Elections by the Knesset members will be held in July 2021.

Katsover and Matar also said, “The State of Israel accepts Jonathan with great love...this slightly reduces the moral flaw, that clung to it, when it abandoned him and closed its gates to him.”

Former Defense Minister and Yamina Party Chairman Naftali Bennett welcomed the removal of restrictions on Jonathan Pollard. Bennett said, “V’Shavu Banim L’gvulam, ‘and the sons return to their borders.’ The State of Israel owes a deep debt to Jonathan Pollard who gave us over 30 years of his life, and we are waiting to welcome him and embrace him here, in the land of Israel which is his home, as soon as possible.”

So, I assume that Bennett would back a movement to draft Pollard for President of Israel.

Yamina Knesset Faction Chairwoman MK Ayelet Shaked also spoke out, “In the 19th Knesset, I served as Chairwoman of the lobby for the return of Pollard and as Justice Minister, I continued my activities until his release and thereafter. I sincerely hope that in the near future he and Esther will establish their home in Israel.”

Petach Tikva’s mayor, Rami Greenberg, quickly promised to name a square in the city center, “Jonathan Pollard Square.” Greenberg also expressed gratitude to the Trump administration, for terminating the limitations of Pollard’s parole.

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who visited Jonathan Pollard in prison in the United States over the years, told Kan Moreshet, “I think that American Jewry should perhaps ask him for forgiveness. In an attempt to be considered kosher Americans, they simply ignored him. They forget that we are each other’s guardians and it’s not possible that they would turn their backs on someone who gave so much of himself for the people of Israel, what a waste.”

It’s true, organized American Jewry, fearful of the duel-loyalty accusation, pretty much hid their heads in the sand, while Pollard rotted in prison.

Rabbi Eliyahu then added, “If it were not for the people in Israel who sold him to the Americans, he would not have sat in prison. All the evidence that indicted him and put him in prison for so many years, was given by people in Israel. I heard these things directly from him when I was with him...There are people who were ministers in the government, two of them, who committed this crime, which is why Pollard was in prison. He did everything he did for the people of Israel, for the State of Israel. We should have lain on the fence for him but people preferred to save their skin and sell him out, which is a very serious matter...I did not name names, we are now in a happy time, but there were two people who could have saved him and they did not,” he added.

I’m sure that Shaked and Rabbi Eliyahu would support a movement to make Pollard, President of Israel. That would be the real Teshuva, the State of Israel could do for him.

Asher Mivzari, an activist prominent in the movement to free Jonathan Pollard, also blamed the Americans, “On the one hand, there is great joy and we are thankful to God that he survived all these thirty difficult years in prison, and another five years under restrictions. On the other hand, it’s late, because he should have been released long ago, even in terms of simple justice. For what he did in the US, you usually get five years in prison, but here there was such a severe punishment, that was out of all proportion. Even American officials [including those involved with his case] have stated that he should have been released long ago in terms of American justice,” Mivzari pointed out.

That’s why I say America still has a day of reckoning to come...

Mivzari also noted, the frequent visits of the late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu to Pollard, “The rabbi visited Pollard ten times and this is something that gave him a lot of strength to hold on and survive throughout all those years. All these years he also did not think only of himself, he was very concerned for the people of Israel, for the State of Israel, for people who were hurt, injured in terrorist attacks and other things. His thoughts were not only about himself. He knew the problems and failures that had happened, but mostly his thoughts were on how to help the people of Israel and the State of Israel and his dream was to come and join the people of Israel and contribute all he can with the rest of his strength and do everything he can.”

What a fine concerned and selfless example to young Israelis, Pollard would be, as President of Israel. But not everyone is even happy that Pollard was finally released from all restrictions.

Former PM Ehud Olmert blasted the US government’s decision to nullify Jonathan Pollard’s parole restrictions. He argued, “With all due respect, I would prefer that he not move to Israel. We don’t owe him anything. He was a spy who worked for a lot of money. He was not a Zionist volunteer who came and sacrificed his life."

Olmert is one to talk about taking money, the jailbird.

He continued, Pollard “was an American who loved Israel and worked for a lot of money, spying for Israel. His spying was beneficial [to Israel], but when taking a full account, the damage caused to Israel’s interests, as a result of revealing his involvement, was the harshest in the history of US-Israel relations.”

“The danger of increasing this damage has not ended. If the prime minister will act like he does and have a festive welcoming ceremony for Pollard, we will pay a heavy price when there will soon be a new administration in America, worried Olmert.”

This is a non sequitur, because an incoming Biden administration already is planning a tough time for Israel. Just take a peak at the likely appointments Biden’s going to make, many of them Clinton operatives. A moderate-Left Democrat administration, will return Israel to the tone of the Obama years, with new problems. For example, the Trump Plan’s vision of a Palestinian state, encapsulated in policy for the first time, and for the first time, formally agreed to, by the current Israeli government.

Yisrael Beitenu leader, Avigdor Liberman, has also criticized Pollard, in an interview with KAN Radio. He said that Israel should not have drafted Pollard as a spy, and that his moving to Israel should not be celebrated.

What has Lieberman ever done to promote Israeli security?

How far Lieberman has fallen, from his Hebrew University student days, as a campus activist for Rabbi Meir Kahane’s far-right pro-Jewish Kach Movement.

And, idiot, pardon my English accent, Yedioth Ahronoth columnist, Nahum Barnea, who seems to have learned nothing since the Oslo War (Second Intifada), even with losing a son in the war; wrote, “Pollard does not have the heroism of the Nili organization, not even that of Eli Cohen. Have some proportion.” He, also opposes making Pollard a “national hero.”

Well, I don’t agree with Olmert, Lieberman, and Barnea, so much so, that I believe Pollard should be elected President of Israel.

Recently in an interview with 103 Radio FM, former PM Ehud Barak commented on the possibility of Netanyahu trying to get elected as the country’s president, to avoid facing criminal charges, calling it a “black day in Israel’s democracy.” This idea has been bandied about for awhile already. Barak also accused Netanyahu of tending to his personal affairs, while the country found itself mired in the “worst crisis in its history.”

I can agree with Barak, that Netanyahu should step aside from the race. Netanyahu’s often been accused of being Machiavellian, and politically very self-serving, this is his chance to go beyond that. I suggest to Netanyahu, since he’s claimed for years, that he’s done all he could to free Jonathan Pollard, he take the bold and courageous step, to throw his weight behind Pollard for President of Israel.

The position is largely ceremonial, as head of state, Pollard would represent Israel at conferences, state festivities, etc. The most significant action the president can take, is to grant pardons to prisoners, similar to the American president. Its the perfect “non-partisan” position for him, within the Israeli political constellation.

Who could best empathize with the pain of prisoners and their families, to give them a fair shake, and possibly overturn an injustice, than someone who sat in prison unjustly for thirty years, for the security of the Jewish people, and State of Israel?

Pollard for President of 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) 2020/5781 Pasko

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Toledot: Jewish Genealogy

“And these are the generations of Isaac, the son of Abraham; Abraham begot Isaac,” (Genesis 25:19).

That’s how this week’s Torah reading, Toledot, starts out. Genealogy is important to Jews. We know who our progenitors are, and we honor them.

Then the Torah goes on to tell about Jacob’s birth, his blessing from Isaac to continue the family traditions, and later, Isaac instructs him not to intermarry with the Canaanites, but to go to uncle Laban’s house and marry a cousin. (Genesis 25:26, 26:28-29).

Before he leaves to find his bride, Isaac blesses Jacob a second time, “And may the Almighty God bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you, and you shall become a multitude of people. And may He give you the blessing of Abraham [to be a great nation], to you and to your seed with you, that you may inherit the land of your sojournings [the Land of Israel], which God gave to Abraham,” (Genesis 28:1-4).

In contrast, Americans are “rootless cosmopolitans,” (a term I might add, that was frequently used incorrectly by Europeans against Jews in the past). By rootless cosmopolitans, I mean to say that America is made up of people from all over the globe. Most Americans are descended from earlier arrivals to its shores, from more than one country, and many don’t know who their relatives were, beyond a few generations back, or where they come from, in the “old country”.

Remember Elizabeth Warren’s mistaken claim to be part Native American?

Thus, the explanation for the popularity of genetic testing and ancestor searching in America today.

The New York Times, back in 2006, ran an article entitled, “Who’s Your Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy?” about the then, new fad.

Well, mine are the famous Biblical prophets, chosen of the Lord, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jews, by the way, also know where they come from, Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), the Biblical “Promised Land” (and the rest of the world knows it, too).

So, while Americans are scurrying around to determine if they have some of Genghis Khan’s DNA (probably raped their maternal progenitor), have some connection to Marie Antoinette and her infamous “Let them eat cake” rant, or some other famous historical figure, Jews the world over can pride themselves in their descent from such moral pillars as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah).

To this day, the world reads about them in the Hebrew Bible, and tries to learn lessons from their lives on how establish a relationship with God, how to organize society and how to live life more fully.

In Judaism, there’s a concept called “Ma’ase Avot, Siman L’Banim,” the deeds of the fathers are guides for the children. Having such illustrious ancestors puts a heavy burden on Jews. Unlike someone who discovers he’s descended from Robert E. Lee (what’s he going to do, start a new slavery movement?), Jews have a responsibility to live up to our past.

Positive that there was a way to understand God’s creation using the language of modern physics, Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” and went about studying it. Freud tried to “heal the soul” through the modern techniques of psychology. Karl Marx, a descendent of the great 12th century Biblical and Talmudic commentator Rabbi Shlomo Ben Isaac (Rashi), worried about the oppressed worker and the poor.

Whether they’re involved in left-wing movements for social justice, or science, medicine and the arts, many Jews are trying (often unconsciously) to express these eternal Torah values of “fixing the world,” (sometimes properly, other times in mistaken ways), that they’ve inherited from their forefathers.

Spiritually inclined, morally precocious and always inquisitive, Jews established universal public education in Judea for their children about 2,100 years ago. Always literate, besides the Bible and Talmud, the Jewish bookshelf contains a university library of works on morality, philosophy, mystical pursuits, science, medicine, history and law.

There are well over 200 very serious super-commentaries on Rashi’s biblical commentary alone. Jews as translators, were a main transmission link between the classical Greek and Latin scientific and medical texts, and the early Islamic world.

Learning enough Torah to become a rabbi (a moral, legal and spiritual guide), has always had an honored place in Jewish life, a reminder of the days of prophets and kings.

But, it’s not just for rabbis, but for all Jews to learn Torah, their cultural-spiritual inheritance, and to live in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), to fully participate in Jewish Civilization.

If your last name is Cohen or Kahn, Katz or Kagan, genetic testing has proven what most already knew from tradition: you’re a direct link to Aaron the High Priest. Jews have always guarded their lineage and many kept intricate records. Today, more descendants of King David walk the earth than one might realize, and they often know who they are.

But whether they’re descended from Moses or Aaron or King David, any number of biblical prophets, great rabbis like the Rambam or Rashi, or not, every Jew knows he’s the great-great-great-great-great...grandson or granddaughter of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the chosen of the Lord.

I wish others, all the best in finding out about their beloved ancestors from Africa, Europe, Asia, or from wherever they may be.

By the way, I can go and visit the family burial plot (Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron, Israel, anytime I want, to say hello to Buby and Zaidy, my forefathers and foremothers, Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.

In fact, last week, Parshat Chayei Sarah, Jews worldwide read about Abraham’s purchase of the family burial plot for Sarah. And in pre-CoronaVirus times, tens of thousands would flock to Hebron, for Shabbat Hevron every year.

Is there any other nation, that knows where its illustrious progenitors lived, died, and are buried?

Is their any other nation that has such inspiring role models of behavior? Jacob’s descendants, the Jewish people, are truly blessed. 

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) 2020/5781 Pasko

 

Rabbi Kahane, the Sarah Solution, and Peace

This past week’s Torah reading, Vayera, coincided with the 30th remembrance of the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. He was the founder of the Jewish Defense League in America (JDL), a former member of Knesset, and leader of the later outlawed Kach party; Rabbi Kahane fought to protect Jews from anti-Semitism in America, increase Jewish identity and national pride, and to free Soviet Jewry.

But he was probably best known for advocating the transfer of Arabs out of Israel, to a nice life somewhere else, to put an end to the Arab-Jewish conflict in Israel, and bring true peace there.

Something else happened recently, the serial liar, Saeb Erekat, died. He was the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization and chief “Palestinian” negotiator, and he often claimed that he was “indigenous” to “Palestine.”

He had claimed at various times, to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, to be an Arab, a Palestinian, and a Jordanian. As for example, in a February 2014 interview with “Dunya al-Watan” where he said, “I am honored to be a Bedouin, to be Arab, to be Arab, to be Jordanian…I am the son of the Canaanites, the foundation of this country, who were here thousands of years ago.”

Yet, thanks to the “Elder of Ziyon,” and his investigations, we know that his family actually came from the Huwaitat region of the northwestern Arabian Peninsula. On the Facebook page of the Erekat family, it also says that before Huwaitat, their ancestors emigrated from Medina, today in Saudi Arabia.

Many Palestinian family names actually reveal their true family origin. For example, Mograbi, indicates that the family migrated from the Morocco area (Maghrib in Arabic). The name Masarwi, comes from Misr, which is Egypt, in Arabic.

The whole Palestinian narrative, is similarly fabricated on such outright lies.

So to Saeb Erekat and his lies, I say good riddance.

Now that “Peace” is breaking out all over the Middle East, between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and with proposed countries such as Morocco and Saudi Arabia to be included in the near future, let’s examine a creative solution to the “Palestinian” problem, something long ago suggested.

True peace cannot be built on falsehood...

But first, one should ask, was Rabbi Kahane, even the first one to advocate expelling violent enemies, for attacking Jews?

In this past Torah reading, Vayera, we find Sarah, telling Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son [Ishmael – father of the Arabs], for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac,” (Genesis 21:9-10). Sarah had seen Ishmael constantly picking on little Isaac, and setting a bad example for him.

The Torah continues, “The matter greatly distressed Abraham regarding his son [Ishmael]. But God said to him, ‘Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.’” But they can not live together in the same land. So Abraham listened to God and expelled him and his mother, (Genesis 21:11-14).

There you go, right from the start of the Jewish people, the solution to attacks on Jews, is to expel the perpetrators. Mother Sarah in her woman’s wisdom, sees the future, that the Arabs and the Jews can’t live together, and God backs up her demand on Abraham, to expel Ishmael.

Later, God codifies it in the Torah, “You shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you...You shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” And then warns, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides; they shall trouble you in the land where you are settling,” (Numbers 33:52-53, 55).

Even the nations understood this, in the 20th century, several internationally sanctioned population transfers were implemented, to separate warring peoples.

Most notably, the Greco-Turkish agreed mutual expulsion in the 1920’s, of about 1.6 million people, and the Pakistani-Indian exchange, after British decolonization in 1947, where 10-12 million people were displaced.

Then there was the forced expulsion of about 12-14 million ethnic Germans (between 1944-50), from central and eastern Europe, to create more homogeneous states, after the war.

So, as Rabbi Kahane documented in his book, “They Must Go” (1981), population transfers and forced expulsions had been being used, long before his proposal to transfer the Arabs out of Israel. In fact, his plan was quite merciful, by international standards, since he proposed offering money to the Arabs to leave.

Even some Arab leaders had previously suggested transfer as a solution to the conflict.

For example, in 1939, Mojli Amin, a member of the Arab Defense Committee for Palestine put forward a proposal for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine. This proposal was published in Damascus and distributed among Arab leaders. Amin proposed that all of Palestine be given to the Jews.

“Furthermore, I hereby propose that all the Arabs of Palestine will leave and be divided up among the neighboring Arab countries. In exchange for this, all the Jews living in Arab countries will leave and come to Palestine,” Amin stated.

Amin proposed that this exchange of populations, should be carried out in the same way as the Greco-Turkish population exchange, and that special committees should be established to deal with the liquidation of Jewish and Arab property. He realized that at first there would be great difficulties, but he hoped they would be finally solved. (Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, (New York, 1984), p.25, and Proposal, 21 May 1939, [CZA S25/5630]).

Later, in 1946, Britain awarded Transjordan (what had been 75% of the Palestine Mandate) independence, and Abdullah ibn Hussein became its King. His Prime Minister was an Arab jurist named Ibrahim Pasha Hashem.

In July 1946, Alexander Kirkbride, from the British Legation in Amman, reported on his meeting with King Abdullah and the Prime Minister. Various ideas for the future of the Palestine were discussed and Kirkbride wrote that Abdullah was, “for partition and he feels that the other Arab leaders may acquiesce in that solution although they may not approve of it openly.”

In Kirkbride’s meeting with Ibrahim Pasha, Pasha proposed a population transfer, to avoid future conflict in Palestine. Kirkbride reported that, “He [Pasha] went on to say that, in his opinion, the only just and permanent solution lay in absolute partition with an exchange of populations; to leave Jews in an Arab State or Arabs in a Jewish State would lead inevitably to further trouble between the two peoples. Ibrahim Pasha admitted that he would not be able to express this idea in public for fear of being called a traitor.”

About a month later, a telegram sent from Amman to the British Foreign Office stated, “King Abdullah and Prime Minister of Transjordan both consider that partition followed by an exchange of populations is the only practical solution to the Palestine problem. They do not feel able to express this view publicly because having regard to the possibility of the Arab area of Palestine being joined to Transjordan they would be regarded as prejudiced.”

We can see from this, that King Abdullah had now joined his Prime Minister in favoring population transfer. (Kirkbride to Wikeley, 29 July 1946, p.1-2,[PRO FO 816/85], and Telegram, Prodrome to Foreign Office, 23 August 1946, [PRO FO 816/85 C208213]).

For an excellent review of the subject, check out, “A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895 – 1947,” by Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons (2004 – it can be found at chaimsimons.net).

So with “Peace” breaking out between Israel and multiple Arab states, why not raise the suggestion of Mother Sarah, the Sarah Solution, to compliment the Abraham Accord, to end the conflict with the so-called Palestinians. Let the Arab countries, reabsorb their Arab settlers, who unjustly invaded and colonized the Land of Israel. Now is a wonderful time to propose an international conference to carry that out.

True peace must be built on truth, not falsehood, otherwise it’s not true peace, and will collapse.

An expression in the midrash and early Torah commentators, is “Ma’aseh Avot Siman l’Banim,” the deeds of the fathers are signs/guides to their children. Mother Sarah was teaching her children, us, the Jewish people, an important lesson.

When will we learn it?

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) 2020/5781 Pasko


 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Shoftim: Tzedek, Chasidut and the Tzadik State of Israel


This week’s Torah reading, Parshat Shoftim, teaches “Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof...Justice and Righteousness shall you pursue, so that you may live and possess the land HaShem (the God of Israel) your God is giving you,” (Deuteronomy 16:20).

Whether as a judge, leader, or as an indiviual, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz of Peshischa (1766–1813), a Hasidic Rebbe, also known as the Yid Hakadosh (the Holy Jew), taught, you must pursue justice with justice. The means by which you seek to attain justice must be righteous also. Not like the godless principle of some, that the end justifies the means.

Let’s take a look at what one should do as an individual to live a righteous and saintly life, and then we’ll look at the structure of a saintly political state...

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal, 1707-1746), in his book Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Just), chapter 19, describes what true Chasidut (Saintliness) is, “The true motivation which is found among the Pious, who have exerted themselves and strove to attain it, is for one to serve solely in order to magnify and increase the honor of the Master, blessed be He.”

How does one achieve this Kavanah – intention?

“This intent will come only after the love of HaShem has intensified within him, that he longs and lusts for the raising of His honor and is pained by any diminishing of it. For then he will perform the divine service for this purpose, so that at least, through himself, God’s honor will increase. He will lust that all others do the same. And he will be pained and grieve when they diminish His honor.”

The Ramchal continues, “This Saintly attitude was clarified by Elijah the Prophet, in Tanna Devei Eliyahu (Chapter 4): ‘Every wise person of Israel who has attained true Torah knowledge, and grieves over the honor of the Holy One, blessed be He, and over the honor of Israel all his days, who longs and feels pain for the honor of Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash (the Holy Temple), and for the swift sprouting of the Redemption, and the ingathering of the exiles, immediately merits Ruach Hakodesh (the Divine Spirit) within his words...’”

“Thus we learn that this is the ideal intent. For it is completely removed from all consideration of personal benefit, and is only for the honor of God and for the sanctification of His blessed Name, which is sanctified by His creations when they do His will.”

“A Chasid like this, besides the service which he does, in performing his Mitzvot (commandments) with the proper intent, will constantly feel real pain over the exile and the destruction [of Jerusalem and the Temple], because they cause a diminishing (so to speak), of the honor of the Blessed One. He will long for the Redemption, because then the honor of God will be exulted.”

“This is what the Tanna Devei Eliyahu we brought earlier meant: ‘And he longs and feels pain over the honor of Jerusalem. He prays always for the Redemption of Israel and the return of God’s honor.’”

“If one would say: ‘Who am I, and what importance am I, that I should pray on the exile and Jerusalem? Will the exiles be gathered in and the Salvation sprout because of my prayers?!’ “

“The answer to him, we learned in Sanhedrin 37a: Thus man was created alone, so that each person should say: ‘for my sake the world was created.’ Already it brings gratification to HaShem, that His children desire and pray for this. And even though their request may not be fulfilled, because the proper time has not yet come, or for some other reason, nevertheless, they have done their part and the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoices in this.”

“Thus we learn from here, that we are obligated in this matter, and cannot exempt ourselves due to our lack of power. For on all such matters, we learned: ‘It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to abstain from it,’” (Avot 2:16).

“It is impossible for the honor of HaShem to grow except through the Redemption of Israel and the growth of their honor, since in truth, one depends on the other, as the prophet said in Tanna Devei Eliyahu: ‘And he grieves over the honor of the Holy One, blessed be He, and over the honor of Israel.’”

“Thus we learn that there are two matters in this. One, that the intention behind every Mitzvah and act of divine service be to increase the honor of God, which comes from His creations’ giving pleasure to Him.”

“Two, that one feel pain for His honor, and longs that it grow through the magnification of Israel’s honor and their well being…To what is this analogous? To that of a father who loves no one more, than he, who sincerely loves his sons.”

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) said something similar in his book, Orot (Lights), “When Israel grows mighty, holiness grows stronger. Wherever the activity of Israel is alive, the light of the True God bursts into flames and shines bright,” (section, Orot Ha-Techiya, Lights of Renaissance, 69).

“This intention [for the honor of God and for the honor and Redemption of Israel] needs to be included in his divine service and also be an actual part of his prayers, namely, to pray on behalf of his generation, to atone for he who needs atonement, to bring to repentance he who needs to repent, and to plead in defense of his entire generation…”

It is proper for every Chasid to be motivated in his deeds, for the good of his entire generation, to bring merit to them...See then, that it is a duty incumbent on the Saintly to plead and exert themselves on behalf of their generation…These are the true shepherds of Israel, which the Holy One, blessed be He, greatly desired in, who sacrifice themselves for His sheep, seeking and striving for their peace and well-being in all matters,” (Mesillat Yesharim, chapter 19).

And what greater matter for self-sacrifice can there be, than to help bring about the full Redemption of all Israel?

In our generation, that HaShem is redeeming before our eyes, besides prayers and longings, it’s possible to do actual physical acts, for example make Aliyah (move to Israel), build up the Land, etc.

What can be done, like work to re-establish the Sanhedrin, and prepare everything, including all the materials, to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash, should be done.

Parshat Shoftim provides the blueprint to build the Tzadik State of Israel at the time of Redemption.

What is a Tzadik State?


Just like the Torah sets out the structure, of how an individual Jew can best relate to his Creator (through the Mitzvot), and express his/or her personal example of Kedushah (holiness) in the world, it also does it for the Jewish People on the national level. This national structure sets up the framework for individual Jews and the nation as a whole, to reach their full potential.

“You shall be for Me a kingdom of priests [teachers] and a holy nation,” (Exodus 19:6).

The Torah shows the Jewish People the institutions needed, to build a holy society in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), that will then become a shining example for the nations, on how to express Tzidkut (righteousness) on the national level.

In the parsha, we encounter the Mitzvot to appoint a king, and the laws of war (Deut. 17:14-20, 20:1-20); to establish a Torah-based Legal System (Deut. 16:18) and recognize G-d’s prophets (Deut. 18:15); and issues dealing with the Priests and Levites (Deut. 18:1).

The Mitzvot, map out the ideal national structure for the Jewish people in their homeland. The parsha describes the central elements of full Jewish life in their own country. Jews today should be working towards bringing about: Malchut/Kingdom, Sanhedrin/Torah, Nevuah/Prophecy, and Kehunah/Temple.

When one is held back from actual deeds, the Ramchal teaches us, what our prayers and longings should be for. And, when the time of Redemption sprouts, as is the situation today, what Kavanah we should have, as we strive to build the Tzadik State of Israel.

As the prophet told Israel, “...be a light unto the nations, that My salvation may come to the ends of the earth,” (Isaiah 49:6).

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

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Re’eh: God’s Chosen Place for the Temple in Jerusalem

Has anyone noticed the irony of what took place this past week. While on Thursday, President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu both made televised announcements of a peace agreement, being called the Abraham Accord, between Israel and the United Arab Emirates; the Torah reading, Parshat Re’eh, on Shabbat, mentioned fifteen times about building the Beit HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, “...the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to establish His Name...”

Where’s the irony you ask, let’s take a closer look at what they actually said: “As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths,” (from the Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, posted on the website of the US Embassy in Israel and tweeted by Trump in announcing the accord).

The Temple Mount is meant to be exclusively under Jewish control, and the Jewish people are commanded in the Torah to build the Beit HaMikdash there (that includes even now), replacing the Dome of the Rock.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has referred to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. Which means in practice, allowing the Muslims to continue to occupy and control the Jewish people’s most holy site in the world, and deny their religious rights.

Notice Trump said, “...Jerusalem’s other holy sites...” Making a distinction between the Muslims on the Temple Mount and...what? The Western Wall (of the Temple Mount complex) down below, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City?

Then during his announcement he said, “This deal will allow much greater access to Muslims from throughout the world to visit the many historic sites in Israel, which the Muslims want to see very badly and have wanted to see for many, many decades. And to peacefully pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is a very special place for them,” (from Trump’s White House announcement of the Abraham Accord).

“...Al-Aqsa mosque, which is a very special place for them.” Has Trump converted to Islam? Why is he so concerned for the Muslim thieve’s “rights” to be upheld?

He made no reference to how special the Temple Mount is to the Jews, how HaShem (the God of Israel) commanded the Jews to build His House, the Beit HaMikdash there, or even to equal prayer access for Jews on the Temple Mount. Something the Israeli government denies till this day.

  “A lot of the extremists have used these conflicts to recruit people and to say that the mosque is under attack and that Muslims don’t have access to the mosque. And now this will enable people to take flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi directly to Tel Aviv. Muslims will be welcomed in Israel, and this will create a better interfaith exchange,” (from Jared Kushner’s statement on the Abraham Accord).

What I hear is everyone rubber stamping the dominant position of the Muslim occupiers, on the Temple Mount, without concern for Jewish rights, to their own holy place. Kushner should be ashamed of himself.

Then Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke live to the Israeli people, and deceived them. He said, “...true peace, not a slogan, peace from strength, peace for peace...” (from Netanyahu’s Hebrew statement on the Abraham Accord).

In Hebrew “Shalom Tmurat Shalom – peace for peace,” is a slogan in part’s of the Israeli Right, used to differentiate between previous peace agreements with Egypt, Jordan, and the peace process with the Palestinians, in which Israel always made concessions, and some mythical “peace” of the future, without any more concessions on the part of Israel.

But that’s simply not true. Netanyahu has implicitly accepted the possible outcome of Trump’s plan, a Palestinian State in parts of Judea and Samaria. Actually, quite a high cost, for “peace.”

Netanyahu continued, “This is the greatest advancement toward peace between Israel and the Arab world in the last 26 years and it marks the third formal peace between Israel and an Arab nation.”

26 is the numerical value of HaShem’s name in Hebrew, I think He’s “Winking,” sending a message about how we’re messing up again, and he’s watching... and this just after Tisha B'Av (that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples).

In fact, most of the major turning points in the "peace process" have been around Tisha B'Av or Rosh HaShanah.

Then after speaking in Hebrew, and fielding reporters questions, Netanyahu gave a summary statement in English and said, “And today, I am honored to announce a formal peace agreement with [the United States], the United Arab Emirates…” (from Netanyahu’s English statement on the Abraham Accord).

Netanyahu’s Freudian Slip, saying the United States, then correcting himself, and saying the United Arab Emirates, was later cleaned up, i.e. removed from the official transcript posted on the Prime Minister’s Office website.

I can understand his slip. The Americans have been calling the shots. Netanyahu’s happy he has peace with Trump, compared to the situation with Obama, and he’s happy to be doing Trump’s bidding, to help Trump out before the November presidential elections with a PR victory.

Yet in this week’s Torah reading, Re’eh, Moses tells the Jewish people fifteen times, how HaShem will direct them to the place He wants them to build the Beit HaMikdash, and there they shall serve Him.

“But only to the place which the Lord your God shall choose from all your tribes, to set His Name there; you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there,” (Deuteronomy 12:5).

“And it will be, that the place the Lord, your God, will choose in which to establish His Name there you shall bring all that I am commanding you: Your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the separation by your hand, and the choice of vows which you will vow to the Lord,” (Deuteronomy 12:11).

Rashi here states: “It will be, that the place [which the Lord your God will choose… there you shall bring all that I am commanding you]:[At that time,] build for yourselves the Temple in Jerusalem. And so [Scripture] states concerning David, ‘And it was, when the king sat in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies surrounding him, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, see now, I dwell in a house of cedars, but the Ark of God dwells within the curtain’” (II Sam. 7:1-2) [i.e., the temporary Mishkan].

“But only in the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes; there you shall offer up your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you,” (Deuteronomy 12:14).

“But you shall eat them before the Lord, your God, in the place the Lord, your God, will choose you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, and the Levite who is in your cities, and you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God, in all your endeavors,” (Deuteronomy 12:18).

“If the place the Lord, your God, chooses to put His Name there, will be distant from you, you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat in your cities, according to every desire of your soul,” (Deuteronomy 12:21).

“However, your holy offerings which you will have, and your vows, you shall carry, and come to the place that the Lord chooses,” (Deuteronomy 12:26).

“And you shall eat before the Lord, your God, in the place He chooses to establish His Name therein, the tithes of your grain, your wine, and your oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep, so that you may learn to fear the Lord, your God, all the days. And if the way be too long for you, that you are unable to carry it, for the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to establish His Name therein, is too far from you, for the Lord, your God, will bless you. Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and you shall go to the place the Lord, your God, will choose,” (Deuteronomy 14:23-25).

“You shall slaughter the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, your God, [of the] flock, and [the Festival sacrifices of the] cattle, in the place which the Lord will choose to establish His Name therein,” (Deuteronomy 16:2).  

“Except at the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to establish His Name-there you shall slaughter the Passover offering in the afternoon, as the sun sets, at the appointed time that you went out of Egypt. And you shall roast [it] and eat [it] in the place which the Lord, your God, will choose, and you shall turn away in the morning and go to your dwellings,” (Deuteronomy 16:6-7).

“And you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God, -you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your cities, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are among you, in the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to establish His Name therein,” (Deuteronomy 16:11).

“Seven days you shall celebrate the Festival to the Lord, your God, in the place which the Lord shall choose, because the Lord, your God, will bless you in all your produce, and in all the work of your hands, and you will only be happy. Three times in the year, every one of your males shall appear before the Lord, your God, in the place He will choose: on the Festival of Matzoth and on the Festival of Weeks, and on the Festival of Sukkot, and he shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed,” (Deuteronomy 16:15-16).

The only other time the Hebrew word for chosen is used in Re’eh, is when Moses says, “For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a treasured people for Him, out of all the nations that are upon the earth,” (Deuteronomy 14:2).

Rashi there, quoting the Sifrei states, “For you are a holy people: Your holiness stems from your forefathers, and, moreover, ‘the Lord has chosen you.’”

The Chosen People, are to build the Beit HaMikdash, the God of Israel’s Chosen House of Prayer, in the Chosen Place, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There is no point to allow the historical scam of the Muslims to continue. See the Irony 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.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

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