Kol HaTor Monthly
5 Shevat 5769
30 January 2009
* Azah (refers to Gaza)
It is vital that readers and especially associates and supporters of KOL HA’ TOR (KHT) read and take to heart this Disclaimer before jumping to any conclusions of the underlying intentions of KHT in providing this information from various unrelated sources.
The editors and especially Rabbi Feld, do NOT necessarily agree with all the contents and/or statements of articles used in this Newsletter or with the views expressed by any of the authors in the Links that we may quote in this Newsletter. As with any reference to any source whatsoever, the reader should be aware that such references are only a small part of the overall views and proclamations of such authors and we specifically apply this disclaimer to such other views or materials of the sources and authors that we refer you to. Please receive these references in the spirit that we present it, i.e. as a service of presenting information only, about the controversial factors affecting this prophesied Reconciliation of the two Houses of Israel and in no way as a confirmation of any such teaching or statement or an attempt by the publishers of this News letter, or by the KHT Vision to influence the theological beliefs of any reader. The ONLY guidelines of agreement for Reconciliation formulated and prescribed by the Kol HaTor Vision are contained in the “Uniting Factors” as published on the official Web Site of KHT at http://www.kolhator.org.il
To our Jewish Associates – Articles in this Newsletter with Messianic content are identified with a label Messianic content in conformation with KHT’s formal strategy NOT to evangelize Jews. It therefore contains no proselytizing intent. This Messianic content being non-relevant to Jews, mainly has importance for Returning 10-Tribers in the process of working for Reconciliation between Judah and the re-identifying House of 10-Israel.
THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER WILL BE ALL ABOUT THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE REALITIES OF THE CONFLICT IN GAZA.
We share with you a very important document that can be read online at the web link below:
Areas in blue are highlighted by the KolHaTor editor for emphasis.
“THIS LAND IS MY LAND
Mandate for Palestine
The Legal Aspects of Jewish Rights”
By Eli E. Hertz
Table of Contents
Map: 1920—Original territory assigned to the Jewish National Home.................. 1
Map: 1922—Final territory assigned to the Jewish National Home....................... 1
“In Palestine as of right and not on sufferance”..................................................... 2
The legal aspects of Jewish rights to a National Home in Palestine..................... 5
The two most significant events in modern history leading to the creation
of the Jewish National Home................................................................................. 5
The founding of modern Zionism........................................................................... 5
The Balfour Declaration......................................................................................... 5
The origin and nature of the “Mandate for Palestine”............................................ 6
Recognition of historical connection to Palestine.................................................. 7
Map: Jewish Palestine........................................................................................... 8
Palestine is a geographical area, not a nationality................................................ 9
There has never been a sovereign Arab state in Palestine............................... . 11
The “Mandate” defined where Jews are and are not permitted to settle............. 12
Political rights in Palestine were granted to Jews only........................................ 13
Jewish Peoplehood in Palestine.......................................................................... 14
Jerusalem in “Mandate” time............................................................................... 14
Jewish rights to Palestine were internationally guaranteed................................. 15
United States Government and the “Mandate” policy.......................................... 16
The “Mandate for Palestine” is valid to this day................................................... 17
Futile efforts to challenge the “Mandate for Palestine”........................................ 19
Myth: The “Mandate for Palestine” is a Class “A” Mandate................................. 19
Myth: The “Mandate” violates Article 22 of the Covenant of the League.... ........ 20
Myth: Palestine was promised to the Arabs by Sir Henry McMahon........... ....... 22
Myth: The 1949 “Green Line” is Israel’s internationally recognized border…...... 23
Myth: Palestinian Arabs seek peace with Israel.................................................. 24
Appendix A - The “Mandate for Palestine”.......................................................... 25
Appendix B - Article 25 of the “Palestine Mandate” was realized................... ... 33
Appendix C - Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations..................... 35
Appendix D - UN Resolution 181 – Recommendation to partition...................... 37
Map: The Recommendation to Partition Palestine.............................................. 38
Appendix E - Israel’s Declaration of Independence............................................. 44
“Redemption of Palestine”................................................................................... 46
Appendix F - Israel’s Government position......................................................... 47
Ever ask yourself why during the 30 year period—between 1917 and 1947— thousands of Jews throughout the world woke up one morning and decided to leave their homes and go to Palestine? The majority did this because they heard that a future National Home for the Jewish people was being established in Palestine, on the basis of the League of Nations obligation under the “Mandate for Palestine” document.
The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the
Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.
The “Mandate for Palestine” was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries—the entire League of Nations—unanimously declared on July 24, 1922: “Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
It is important to point out that the political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates—in Lebanon and Syria (The French Mandate), Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].
Any attempt to negate the Jewish people’s right to Palestine—Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations is a serious infringement of international law. The “Road Map” vision, as well as continuous pressure from the “Quartet” (U.S., the European Union, the UN and Russia) to surrender parts of
Eretz-Israel are contrary to international law that firmly call to “encourage … close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” It also requires the Mandatory for “seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the government of any foreign power.” In their attempt to establish peace between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, the nations of the world should remember who the lawful sovereign is with its rights anchored in international law, valid to this day: The Jewish Nation.
And in support of the Jewish people, I sat down and wrote this pamphlet.
Eli E. Hertz
Appendix F—Israel’s Government Position
Yehuda Z. Blum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to the
United Nations. At the Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner of the Zionist
Organization of America. (Washington D.C., 11 June 1979)
“A corollary of the inalienable right of the Jewish people to its Land is the right to live in any part of Eretz Yisrael, including Judea and Samaria which are an integral part of Eretz Yisrael. Jews are not foreigners anywhere in the Land of Israel. Anyone who asserts that it is illegal for a Jew to live in Judea and Samaria just because he is a Jew, is in fact advocating a concept that is disturbingly reminiscent of the ‘Judenrein’ policies of Nazi Germany banning Jews from certain spheres of life for no other reason than that they were Jews. The Jewish villages in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district are there as of right and are there to stay.
“The right of Jews to settle in the Land of Israel was also recognized in the League of Nations ‘Mandate for Palestine’ which stressed ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and … the grounds for reconstituting’ - I repeat, reconstituting ‘their national home in that country.’
“The Mandatory Power was also entrusted with the duty to encourage ‘close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.’”
SOME EARLY HISTORICAL MAPS:
Map of Israel/Canaan during the reign of King David.
Map of Israel during the Period of the Judges
The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
From the Penguin Atlas of World History Volume One, 1974
The United Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
“Old Testament Gaza”
by Wayne Blank
Israelites have long been familiar with the area of Gaza. Its location along a coastal highway near the Mediterranean Sea in southwestern Israel made it a major economic and military route between Syria and Egypt.
A RECAP SINCE THE GAZA DISENGAGEMENT IN 2005:
From an article “Politicians Swore “No Rockets”” by Israel NN Staff.
Arutz Sheva 13 January 2009
Comments in blue highglighted by KolHaTor editor for emphasis.
Politicians Swore "No Rockets"
by IsraelNN staff
Channel 2's political correspondent Amit Segal has gathered together statements made by many of Israel's leading politicians prior to the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. Politicians rejected warnings of rocket fire from Gaza as "absurd," and many of those who now blame the retreat from Gaza for attacks on the south, actually voted for the withdrawal.
Can't see video? Click here.
Then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated the purpose of the Disengagement from Gaza in his December 2003 speech to the Herzliyah Conference. He said:
“The purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible (KolHaTor editor: which history has now proved: it didn’t!), and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security…These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
December 18, 2003
In the above video, the
following members of Knesset are shown making statements from the Knesset
MK Meir Sheetrit, Kadima (Formerly Likud): There is an argument according to which there will be a threat… a threat and a fleeing… a threat on the Negev communities… I have never before heard such a ridiculous argument (KolHaTor editor: this is exactly what has happened during the past few years.)
MK Ran Cohen, Meretz: The disengagement is good for security. The right wing people stood here and talked about Kassams flying from here to there…(KolHaTor editor: history has proven since then that the Kassams did fly in the Negev) I'm telling you, whoever wants to spare not only Sderot but also Ashkelon, both of them, must understand: if we don't go out of the Gaza Strip in two or three years, maybe after one year, the range will reach Ashkelon.
MK Orit Noked, Labor: I want to believe that, as a result of the evacuation, and the exiting of Gaza, the moderate Palestinian leaders will become strong, and terror will be reduced. (KolHaTor editor: history has proven terror escalated)
MK Shaul Mofaz, Kadima (Formerly Likud): I am convinced the act is necessary and right, it can grant greater security for the residents of Israel and can reduce the burden on the security forces, it can break the current stalemate and open a door to a new reality that will enable, when the day comes negotiations for coexistence.
MK Pines-Paz, Labor: Honorable Knesset Chairman, before I arrived in the Knesset today, I brought my son to the Tel Hashomer base, he received his first call-up order to the IDF. I must thank Ariel Sharon for the hope he gives me and my wife that my son, when he is recruited, will not have to serve the nation of Israel in the Gaza Strip. (KolHaTor Editor: Current reality – the IDF is serving the nation of Israel NOW in the Gaza Strip in “Operation Cast Lead”.)
MK Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud Chairman: Make no mistake, in a referendum I will support the (disengagement) plan
MK Yuval Shteinitz, Likud: I think that this plan, under the conditions, is appropriate for our confidence. It's not a simple plan, but it has a high probability of improving our geo-strategic situation. (KolHaTor editor: current reality – Israel is engaged in WAR in order to counter act the disaster of the geo-strategic situation)
Film of Knesset roll call in one of the votes on the Disengagement
MK (Likud) Silvan Shalom – In favor
MK (Likud) Yisrael Katz – In favor
MK (Likud) Limor Livnat – In favor
MK (Likud) Binyamin Netanyahu – In favor
From an article:
Timothy J. Sakach, Ph.D.
Posted on June 19th, 2007
What is happening now in the Middle East and Gaza? Could we be looking at a fulfillment of the prophecies about Palestinians (Philistines)? Here are the prophecies written long ago, but meant for our time.
(Written and posted on June 6, 2007)
The Palestinians or PLO are the Philistines written about in the Scriptures from the time before the people of Israel were a nation. The Iranians call them “Philistines.” So do the Russians. But we made an icon out of the name “Palestine” without knowing what we are talking about. Understand that we are talking about the Philistines that Samson and others fought, and King David went to war against.
Note: The modern Hebrew word for Palestinians is “Philashtinim”
Who are the Philistines?
Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Out of them came all the people who lived and died on the earth since the great flood. The Philistines came from a tribe called the Casluhites. These were descendants of Mizraim (the Hebrew word for ‘Egypt’), one of the sons of Cush, the son of Ham. They are not Semitic, which some assume.
For a while after the flood, the sons of Noah and their sons set up camp wherever they felt comfortable. But a change came shortly. The sons of Shem also grew and set up nation tribes in different places. Shem was the ancestor of Eber from which the name “Hebrew” came. Eber had two sons: Peleg and Joktan. Regarding Peleg it is written:
Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg [Division] because in his time the earth was divided. Genesis 10:25
Most readers simply skip over that phrase as nothing more is said about it. This is a key to understanding the Bible: the Bible raises more questions than it answers. A wise person will seek out the matter. This phrase is explained elsewhere, but not in the Torah or the Prophets.
In chapters 8, 9 and 10, The Book of Jubilees explains how the earth was divided and who received what. Noah gathered his sons and his sons’ sons together, and, in the presence of a Messenger [Angel] who served as a witness, divided the earth by the drawing of lots. After that Noah’s sons divided, by lot, the land they had received, to their sons. Then they made an oath to the effect that if any of their descendants tried to take land that was not given to them by the drawing of the lots, they would fall under a curse:
And thus the sons of Noah divided out to their children, in the presence of Noah their father, and he caused them to swear an oath cursing him who endeavored to seize a portion which had not been allotted him. And they all said, “So be it! So be it!” for themselves and for their descendants to eternity in their generations, until the day of judgment on which the L-rd G-d [HaShem G-d] will judge them with a sword and with fire for all the wickedness of uncleanness which they have committed in that they filled the earth with transgressions, uncleanness, fornication, and sin.
The Book of Jubilees 9:12
“The colder northern region went to Japheth. The hot central region to Ham. And the moderate land between Egypt and Turkey was assigned to Shem by the drawing of lots.
But Canaan, a son of Ham, moved into the land from Lebanon to Egypt, to the land belonging to Shem. Ham and his other sons, Cush and Mizraim came to Canaan, and said,
“You have settled in a land which is not yours and did not fall to us by lot. You should not do this. For if you do this, then you and your children will fall by condemnation in the land and as cursed ones by sedition. For by sedition you have settled and by sedition your children will fall and you will be rooted out to eternity. Do not dwell in the dwelling place of Shem, for to Shem and his children was it given by lot. Cursed are you and cursed shall you be above all the sons of Noah by the curse which we covenanted with an oath between us in the presence of the holy judge and before Noah our father”
But he did not listen to them and dwelt in the land of Lebanon from Emath to the entrance of Egypt, he and his sons until this day. And on this account this land is called Canaan. Jubilees 10:23-27
Later Canaan’s tribes were joined by Mizraim’s descendants including the Philistines. Thus they also came under a curse to this day!
Now here are the prophecies concerning the Palestinians (Philistines) and “Philistia [Gaza].”
Here we read from the Prophet Isaiah:
“Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken. From the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent. The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine. It will slay your survivors.
Wail, O gate! Howl, O city!
Melt away, all you Philistines!
A cloud of smoke comes from the north and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? “HaShem has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.” Isaiah 14:29:32 (NIV)
And another from Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 25:15-17 "This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: 'Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, 16 therefore this is what the Sovereign HaShem says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. 17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am HaShem, when I take vengeance on them.' "
Jeremiah also received a message concerning the Philistines:
“Thus said HaShem “See, waters are rising out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood [symbol of an army]. And they shall overflow the land and all that is in it, the city and those who dwell within. And men shall cry and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail. At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and the rumbling of his wheels, the father shall not look to their children, because of weakness of hands.
Some Rabbis also interpret the ‘waters’ to refer to a Tsunami which could flood Gaza.
“Because of the day that shall come to ravage all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon [Lebanon] every helper that survives. For HaShem is ravaging the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Kaphtor. Baldness shall come upon Gaza. Ashkelon shall be silenced. O remnant of the plain, how long will you cut yourselves?
“O you sword of HaShem how long till you rest? Put yourself into your sheath, rest and be still!
“How shall it rest when HaShem has given it a command, when He has ordered it to attack Ashkelon and the seacoast [Gaza]? ” Jeremiah 47:2-7
Prophecy does not depend upon us either to believe it or to fulfill it. It does not rely on us and our knowledge about it. These prophecies have remained buried in the Scriptures for years only to come now to show what is about to take place and which we will observe with our own eyes! These are end time prophecies that will be fulfilled before the end of our age.
Comments in blue highlighted by KolHaTor editor for emphasis.
Excerpt from an article: “GAZA 2007!”
"Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful; And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation. The king shall perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited." Zech. 9:5
Every nation supporting Israel in history is blessed, but any nation that comes against her is
cursed. Remember G-d's promise to Abraham: I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and
make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:2-3.
An important key to understanding Gaza is given in Zephaniah 2:1-7. The timing of this prophecy is repeated in verse 2 and 3, as "the day of the L-rd's anger." Before we will see true world peace, we will see the judgment of G-d against violence and evil.
Amos 1:6-7 speaks of G-d's limit in what He is willing to put up with in Gaza. The prophesied destruction of Gaza mentions "fire on the wall". This suggests that fire may be the means of her
final defeat. There wasn't even a wall around Gaza in history until Israel recently built it! But let's go back to Zephaniah 2:5, which identifies Gazans, as "Cherethites" or literally: ASSASSINS! It would seem to be a simple step to understanding this reference as an ancient way of describing the suicide/homicide bombers of today! Hamas, in Gaza, and particularly Ahmed Yassin, was the father of suicide bombing. Yassir Arafat cleverly used this weapon, but kept it at arm's length. His death clears the way for Gaza’s judgement. Hamas won the Palestinian election last year. Pray!
Everyone wants to know about the (Coming of Messiah), but pertinent scriptures about Gaza need to be considered. We are still living in Bible times. No more books will be added to the Bible, but many last days prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes. It is exciting to see these Biblical "mileposts" passing by us almost every day now. Concerning Gaza and Israel's withdrawal, we are still completely opposed to Israel giving up any of the land, but G-d has a prophetic purpose beyond the obvious. Were the recent killings ofHamas leaders Yassin and Rantisi prophesied? Was the death of Yassar Arafat part of G-d’s final judgment on Gaza? This essay is designed to provoke a deeper look at Gaza in the Bible. This tiny strip of land on Israel's southern coastline has been moving up the list of G-d's datelines. Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, may face the same justice as Yassin and Rantisi who were killed in the streets of Gaza.
Check out Zechariah 9:4-6, which says the king shall perish from Gaza. You may already know that the Gaza based terrorist group Hamas is named from an Arabic acronym that forms the word pronounced "hamas" in English. What you may not know is that hamas is actually a real Hebrew word used in the Bible. It means violence. It is precisely the word used in Gen. 6:11 & 13. The acronym was chosen to intimidate Hebrew speaking Israelis. The real name of Hamas in English is Violence, the exact thing that brought Noah's flood.
The political correctness obsession of Western nations purposely obfuscates the sharper definition of our true enemy (Obfuscate means to confuse, make unclear or to darken.) We don't translate certain Arabic words, so as not to offend Muslims. Another example is our Western insistence on translating the war cry of "Allah Akhbar!" simply as G-d is Great. They are not saying G-d is great. They are saying Allah is! Don't be deceived by this obfuscation. The god of Islam is not the same as our G-d. A billion+ Muslims of Islam are in bondage to a pagan Arabian deity called Allah. There is abundant historical background to support this point.
Muslims trace their genealogy through Abraham and Ishmael. The Judeo Christian heritage follows the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Bible unquestionably traces the blessings of God through Jacob/Israel. Finally, Zephaniah pictures Gaza after the judgment as a place where shepherds tend their sheep and a place for the remnant of the house of Judah. How will this happen? When will it happen? Stay tuned to the guidance by His Spirit yourself, as you study these important passages. The more we see Hamas dominating Gaza, the closer we get to the restoration of Gaza to Israel! At the end of the day (as the modern cliché' goes) Israel will possess
all of the Land G-d has promised. It will not matter even if all the nations of the earth are opposed.
G-d's will and His promises are being kept.
Excerpts from “The Expulsion of the Jews from Gaza by the Government of Israel” by Robert D. Mock. MD.
Areas in red highlighted by KolHaTor editor for emphasis.
PM and Chabad Rabbis in a "Very Charged Meeting" – June 29, 2005
A delegation of Chabad rabbis met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his Jerusalem office yesterday - the first meeting of its kind since he announced his expulsion/withdrawal plan.
Israel National News - The meeting began in a friendly
atmosphere, but tensions gradually rose, and at certain points it was
"almost on the verge of an explosion." So said today one of the participants,
Chabad Spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod, to Arutz-7's Yosef Meiri. Participating
in the meeting were Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner, who was the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s
secretary, Chabad Israel Rabbinical Court Director Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda
Yaruslavski, his deputy Rabbi Menachem Glocobosky, Binyamin Regional Council
Rabbi Shimon Elituv, and other senior rabbis. The 90-minute meeting began with
the recounting of stories about Prime Minister Sharon’s meetings with the
Lubavitcher Rebbe and the warm ties between them. Left unmentioned was the fact
that the Rebbe once advised Sharon not to enter politics altogether.
The Chabad representatives told the Prime Minister how strongly the Lubavitcher Rebbe always opposed any concession over any part of the Land of Israel. “While we do not have your experience and knowledge," Rabbi Brod told him, "we do have the Rebbe and we are certain that he is right." Prime Minister Sharon explained what he felt were the advantages of his plan, the circumstances that led him to initiate it, and the importance he ascribes to the settlement movement. He spoke against violence - with the full agreement of his guests - and against refusal to fulfill disengagement-related orders. Some leading Chabad rabbis have called for such refusal. "True, it is difficult and painful," Sharon said, "but the State of Israel has decided - we are leaving Gaza. Even if it is difficult, the Plan will be implemented. The Plan will be implemented because it is the right thing for the State of Israel.”
Rabbi Brod told Arutz-7 that the rabbis decided to meet with Sharon after he said that if he could speak with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, he would persuade him of the correctness of his plan. "We showed him that the Rebbe's opinion, which is the opposite of Sharon's, corresponds perfectly to the situation and dangers as we see it now," Rabbi Brod said. Sharon asked to see the Rebbe's words in writing, and the rabbis said they would send him the relevant passages. Sharon himself admitted that the Rebbe had been more precise and accurate in his analysis of the shortcomings of the infamous Bar-Lev Line [a chain of fortifications built by Israel along the Suez Canal after the Six Day War, which was easily overrun by attacking Egyptian forces on the first day of the Yom Kippur War - ed.] than IDF experts.
Rabbi Groner told Sharon, "You feel that the plan will be beneficial to Israel, but you yourself cannot be certain that things will develop the way you want them to. We tell you with absolute certainty, in light of the Rebbe's clear words, that this plan will cause the exact opposite." "It will lead to a most grave security deterioration, will bring terror to inestimably high levels, and will increase international pressure on Israel," Rabbi Groner continued. "If you think that giving up Gush Katif and northern Shomron will save the settlement blocs, the exact opposite will occur; it will serve as a precedent and proof that it is possible to dismantle even the large settlement blocs."
Asked if there were any arguments that seemed to make Sharon more uncomfortable than others, Rabbi Brod said, "When we talked about the danger to Jews that the plan was likely to bring, we could see that this was not pleasant for him to hear." The Prime Minister said, "The country cannot accept violence against policemen and soldiers, and Chabad people who do this cause damage to Chabad." The rabbis responded that the disengagement plan causes such great pain and unrest in the public that they can barely exert their authority over them in these areas.
Rabbi Levinger Stands Trial, Verdict Monday – June 17, 2005
Hevron elder Rabbi Moshe Levinger, arrested for blocking traffic as part of the massive coordinated “dry-run” civil disobedience protest, appeared in a Be’er Sheva court Thursday.
Israel National News - He spoke with Israel
National Radio's Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher on his way to the
courtroom, unsure whether he would be allowed to go home or be placed in
prison. The rabbi, founder of the Jewish community in Hevron, was arrested last
month for participating in the “dry-run” nationwide road blocking, meant to
offer the public and police a taste of the civil disobedience to be expected if
the expulsion of nearly 10,000 Jews from their homes goes ahead as planned. Though
the rabbi was released at the time, he later received a summons informing him
that he must sign a commitment to remain under house arrest until the end of
legal proceedings against him. He refused to sign, and was ordered to appear in
a Be’er Sheva court on Tuesday of last week - at which time he was told to come
back Thursday, June 16, after the Jewish festival of Shavuot. On his way to
court, Rabbi Levinger said he is not scared at the prospect of being sent to
jail: “I am not worried, thank G-d. I will be happy because I will be in jail
in the Land of Israel, and because I will be going into jail due to my protest
of the awful thing which the prime minister wishes to do.”
The longtime activist, who induced the government to allow Jews to resettle in Hevron via a long-term rental of an Arab-owned hotel there for Passover in 1968, says that now is the time for Jews to come out to the streets and show they are willing to sacrifice for what they believe in. “We have to show the nations of the world that a Jew will not, G-d forbid, expel a Jew from his home.” He is facing trial for blocking a major highway near Be’er Sheva, while at the same time as more than 500 others filled the country’s holding cells for blocking over 40 intersections and highways. Rabbi Levinger says, however, that there are a myriad of ways to successfully combat the government’s plan. He declined to mention specific tactics, but said they were all non-violent and would be used when the time was right.
Asked by host Yishai Fleisher whether the looming expulsion and other events caused him to doubt that the nation of Israel stands at the beginning of its redemption, Rabbi Levinger emphatically stated that it does not. “We have still not lost faith that we are at the beginning of the redemption,” he said. “Although the road is a windy one, we still see many of the signs – we must simply deal with the problems along the way.” Host Eli Stutz compared today's situation to that of the Biblical sin of the Golden Calf. He noted that Aaron the Priest appeared to be taking the "democratic" position of following the popular will, while Moses said that the Divine Law overrules democracy. "Do you see your actions as parallel to those of Moses?" he asked Rabbi Levinger. “First of all,” said Rabbi Levinger, “I have nothing in common with the lofty level of Moses our teacher. Second of all, whereas in the Bible, Aaron said, ‘these people have an evil inclination,’ today, most of the nation has their eyes opened, seeing that this is a ridiculous plan and that the prime minister’s considerations were for his own personal gain.”
Rabbi Levinger said that though he realizes the goal of the government is to silence him, they will not succeed in shutting the mouths of the myriads of people saying the same things. “We cannot be shut up – the truth is too loud,” he said.
The rabbi advises the general public to follow a three-pronged strategy in explaining the truth to the nation:
to explain that the security dangers will be increased – that after we, G-d
forbid, leave Gush Katif, there will be rockets in Sderot, Ashkelon, the Negev
"Two, do not shy away from speaking out about the fact that this entire plan is meant to distract the public from Sharon’s private crimes and corruption. The Channel Two program yesterday made that clear to everyone.
"Three, the people of Israel must shout out that there is no way we will leave even one millimeter of the Land of Israel. Just like you can’t remove even one word from the Torah, you can’t remove parts of Israel. To cut away parts of the Land of Israel is like cutting off a limb from a person.”
After a trial session lasting several hours, Rabbi Levinger was told to return to the Be’er Sheva court on Monday at 1 PM to receive the decision as to whether he will be imprisoned or not.
Excerpts from an article: “The Expulsion of the Jews from Gaza and the Land of Israel by the Government of Israel” By Robert Mock
The fall of 2005 will be a year that will go down in Jewish prophetic history. According to the Chassidic rabbinic sages, the “Geula” or the days of redemption started on the day that the Jewish people were forcibly expulsed from Gush Katif in Gaza. As Rabbi Arie Shechter, a specialist in the computer analysis of the Torah hidden codes recently stated, the signs of Geula b’ito, the coming of the redemption by God in their own time during days of disasters and catastrophes, began on Rosh Hashannah 5766. The Gaza Disengagement according to the rabbis triggered the opening days of coming redemption, called Geula, of the Maschiach of Yisra’el. Israel has now entered into a new era of redemption.
A Clearer Picture – August 21, 2005
Lekarev - This map will hopefully give you a clearer picture of what is at stake. Gaza is –(below left) for all intents and purposes - gone. The region commonly called the "West Bank" is the large area in yellow. You immediately notice that its western edge at one point leaves a very narrow strip of land between it and the Mediterranean Sea - something like 9-10 miles! That's all!
The dark brown areas are already Palestinian Authority regions. The darker yellow contains Palestinian villages but is under Israeli control. In between - in lighter yellow - are dozens of Jewish communities growing and building in keeping with the scripture from Jeremiah quoted in the previous article.
Please notice also that east Jerusalem is considered by the Palestinians as part of the "West Bank". The very term "West Bank" is such a misnomer and gives a very distorted impression. It is supposed to designate the 'west bank' of the Jordan River. Even a casual glance at this map makes that appellation ridiculous. The Jordan River runs along the eastern border of the 'West Bank' but to consider that the bank of the river extends several miles west is a bit much, don't you think? The true name of the area in yellow is Judea and Samaria or in Hebrew, Yehuda and Shomron.
Given that all of Israel is about the size of the state of New Jersey in the US, can you grasp what it means that Abbas is demanding ALL of the "West Bank"? It's a huge chunk of land in relation to the total territory! Not to mention the biblical covenant!
Court Orders Demolition of Gaza Synagogues – September 9, 2005
Lekarev - The High Court of Justice yesterday paved the way for the State of Israel to defile Jewish history by blowing up 38 synagogues in Gaza, including this beautiful one in Neve Dekalim. The destruction was scheduled to be accomplished today - Friday - on the eve of Shabbat. In a 4-3 decision,judges rejected a request to hold another hearing. The Chief Rabbis of Israel both decreed that the destruction of synagogues is a descecration of Jewish law.
Naomi Ragen writes, Never in the history of the Jewish people -- or any people--have holy places and houses of worship been deliberately destroyed by their own people. Even when Jews left or fled countries during their long diaspora, they left their synagogues behind, the way the Moslems have left hundreds of mosques behind that are cared for and protected by the Jewish state.
Following outrage throughout the country, the destruction has been postponed and will NOT take place today, but will be further discussed at a government Cabinet meeting on Sunday. Hundreds of us are ashamed and heart-sick that such a decision could come out of the Supreme Court of Israel. Of all times, during this month of Elul - the month of repentance - how could such a decision be handed down? Is there no spark of Jewishness in our Court any longer? It is particularly noteworthy that this week's Torah portion is entitled "Shoftim" which means 'Judges' and begins with the commandment to appoint righteous judges! Coincidence? Not a chance! It's not the cement and plaster - it's everything that a synagogue represents for the Jewish people - the place of worship, of the study of Torah and the Prophets, of community life. May Hashem forgive us and send a wave of true teshuva/repentance across this nation.
The Prize Sharon is Looking For – August 9, 2005
Lekarev - Sunday, August 7, the Israeli cabinet approved by a large majority the evacuation of the first three Israel locations in the Gaza Strip, Morag, Netzarim and Kfar Darom. Similar approvals will follow for the remaining eighteen. But that did not make Sunday Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s big day, according to an indepth analysis by Debka.
The important date for him is tomorrow, Wednesday, August 10. He will then find out if his huge gamble in pushing ahead, through thick and thin, with Israel’s pull-out from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank, comes up trumps. He has staked painful concessions, national unity and personal credibility on winning a big prize, but clearly believes it is worth the candle. That prize is a US- British-French initiative for a UN Security Council resolution declaring the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip at an end. He is counting on this reward’s delivery as soon as he hands the territory to Palestinian sovereignty free of an Israeli presence.
For the prime minister, this prize would make all the setbacks and humiliations he has suffered in the last year or two since launching his unilateral disengagement plan worthwhile. His advisers tell him that he would emerge from the battle powerful enough to pick and choose the party he leads in the next general election and be assured of a third term as prime minister.
But WHY is a UN Security Council Resolution so important to Sharon? Why is the approval of the world such a big issue? Does not the Torah say clearly that Israel is called and destined to be 'a nation apart', different from the rest of the nations of the world? That Israel is to be 'a light to the nations', not a nation seeking the approval of the other nations? Call me simplistic if you will, but I believe with all my heart that the Torah, the Bible is true and if Hashem called Israel to be unique, different and 'apart' from the rest of the nations, then seeking the world's approval is a futile and even foolish aspiration.
I've heard all the arguments and rationales as to why Israel 'needs' it. Argue if you will - everyone is free to have their own opinion. As for me, my 'opinion' is what is written in the Torah. Here are but two of several verses that convey the same message:
Leviticus 20:26 - “For you are a holy people to Hashem your G- d; Hashem your G-d has chosen you to be His own treasure, out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. Hashem did not set His love on you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people - for you were the fewest of all peoples - but because Hashem loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, has He brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 6:6- 8) and You shall be holy unto Me; for I Hashem am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations, that you should be Mine.”
You need to understand what's going on behind the scenes and I strongly urge you to click here to read the full story.
Debkafiles - International coordinator James Wolfensohn and Israeli vice premier Shimon Peres are pushing hard for a Palestinian link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They argue that without this link, Gaza will be a Palestinian prison. Wolfensohn prefers an overland road link – and has recruited US president George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to his plan, while Peres likes the idea of a railway.
Both look away from three facts:
1. Either one would cut Israel in two.
2. The Gaza Strip is no prison without this link: wide open to the neighboring Sinai region and Egypt to the south. But the Palestinians, including the Palestinian Authority, have made no productive use of their unrestricted access. Aside from a few family visits, this opening is used for nothing but the accumulation of a mountain of war materiel and the passage of terrorists.
3. According to DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, while Israel defense minister Shaul Mofaz was discussing arrangements for the border terminals with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak last week, Palestinian arms smugglers began digging dozens of fresh tunnels under the Philadelphi border which Egyptian troops were supposed to police. The Palestinians were simply overwhelmed by the quantities of weapons waiting to be moved in from Sinai and dug alternative routes to speed up the process. The Egyptian special police did not interfere.
An Israeli officer told DEBKAfile that the Palestinian stockpile of weapons and explosives is far bigger than Palestinian security forces’ entire arsenal and in excess of their own terrorist requirements in the Gaza Strip. It has been piled up therefore for three purposes:
1. As a reserve in case the IDF should invade the Gaza Strip;
2. To arm the Palestinian militias due to arrive from Lebanon via Sinai. They are getting organized to exit the refugee camps of S. Lebanon, and will be joined by Palestinian fighting units Syria is pushing out across the Lebanese border.
3. The stocks will be held ready for transportation to the West Bank as soon as the Palestinian overland link by road or train is finally approved. It is obvious to everyone except the international coordinator and Israel vice premier that this link will go the way of the Philadelphi border route. It is destined to be a logistical facility for the free, unfettered transport of terrorists, war materiel, weapons and explosives from Sinai to the West Bank which will be deployed opposite Israel’s coastal cities.
Excerpt from an article: “The Restoration of the House of Joseph and Ephraim and the Latter Rain” by Robert D. Mock. MD.
“For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been.
“But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob (Judah) shall possess their possession. The house of Jacob (Judah) shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau (Saudi) shall be
stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ for the Lord has spoken.
“The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the lowland shall possess Philistia (Palestinian’s Gaza). They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captives of this house of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far a Zaraphath (Sidon). The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South. Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion (Jersalem) to judge the mountains of Esau (Islam’s Kingdom of Saud), and the kingdoms shall be the Lord’s”
The City States of Philistia (Palestinians)
The Peleshites, Heb. Pelesheth, known as the Palestinians after the Roman times, was routinely known as Philistia in the days of the Israelites, (Psalms 60:8, 87:4, 108:9) during the era of the United and the Divided Monarchies. This included the coastal plain of southwestern Palestine lying southward from Joppa and including Gaza.
Though their origins are still debated by archeologists, their cultural heritage has been linked to the ancient Mycenean culture in Greece and identified as the part of the naval confederation called the “Sea Peoples” in the era of Pharaoh Ramesses III of the 20th dynasty (1180-1150 BCE). Here we find their first archeological identity as the “Peleset” or Philistines, that appeared on the walls of the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu near the modern city of Luxor, Egypt.
Acquainted with the life as a maritime people, they linked their roots with the ancient maritime people called the Phoenicians.
The land was fertile with important seacoast harbor sites that included five largest cities: the Pentapolis that included; Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod on the coast and Ekron and Gath in the inland areas, that were earlier Egyptian cities in 19th century dynastic Egypt. Here we find the Hebrew names of Sampson, Samuel, King Saul and King David associated with the bronze-aged Hebrews who were in defensive wars against their iron-aged warrior neighbors, the Philistines. A signal defeat came by their one-time ally, the Hebrew fighter, King David, who once was a mercenary warlord for Achish of Gath, that turned on his allies and conquered them.
Today this land is in part known as the Gaza Strip that was under the political control of
Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and later the Palestinian Authority. Coveting the land formerly called the Province of Judea that was occupied by the Jewish people until after their expulsion by the Romans from the Province of Judea in after the First Jewish Revolt in 70 CE and later the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 CE, this land is called Palestine after the land where some of their ancestors dwelled.
Called Roman Palestine, the ancient Palestine (Palestinians) took on the cultural heritage of the ancient Philistines. The Gaza Section of the Palestinian Authority and now under the control by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas Palestinian Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The office of the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza City lies in ruins after Israeli strikes in current Gaza War.
and article: “Understanding Gaza
Pain and Perfidy Under International Law”
January 28, 2008
Professor Louis René Beres
Areas in blue highlighted by KolHaTor editor for emphasis.
It is easy to feel sorry for the Palestinians in Gaza. Televised and print images of their apparently unrelieved misery suggest Israeli cruelty in the creation of shortages and in the use of armed force. Exactly the opposite is true. The moment that flagrantly illegal Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants cease, no harms of any kind will be imposed by Israel.
Hamas commits other egregious violations of international law. It is always a codified war crime to use civilians as "human shields." This cowardly act even has a precise legal name - "perfidy." By persistently placing their most impoverished women and children in harm's way - especially in those areas from which they launch terrorist rockets into Israel - Palestinian terrorist leaders deliberately create Palestinian casualties.
There is more here than meets the eye. Several Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas, are forging conceptual and tactical bonds with al-Qaeda. These criminal organizations are now actively planning for mega-terror operations against Israel. If they cannot be stopped - perhaps because of continued one-sided and selective coverage of Palestinian suffering in Gaza- such attacks would involve (at a minimum) chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction. Over time, especially if Iran should begin to transfer portions of its growing inventory of nuclear materials to selected terror groups, Israel could also face Palestinian-directed nuclear terrorism.
What government could be expected to sit back passively and render its population vulnerable to instantaneous mass-slaughter? Would we, in the United States, sit quietly by as rockets rained down upon American cities from terrorist sanctuaries somewhere on our southern borders? Would we allow such carnage to continue with impunity? Can capitulation and surrender ever be the proper or excusable reaction of a sovereign state sworn to protect its populations? For as long as political philosophers have written about the essential obligations of sovereignty, no state responsibility has been as important as the fundamental assurance of protection.
Although not widely recognized, Israel has always been willing to keep its counter terrorism operations in Gaza consistent with the settled standards of humanitarian international law. Palestinian violence, on the other hand, still remains in violation of all civilized rules of engagement. And all this after Israel very painfully "disengaged" from Gaza on the US-backed promise that the Palestinians - finally - would put an end to their relentless barrage of terror. Significantly, this barrage also remains strategically senseless, as it does absolutely nothing to advance any vital Palestinian interests.
International law is not a suicide pact.
International law is not a suicide pact. Rather, it offers an authoritative body of rules and procedures that permits states to express their inherent right of self-defense. When terrorist organizations celebrate the explosive "martyrdom" of Palestinian children, and when Palestinian leaders unashamedly seek religious redemption through the mass-murder of Jewish children, the terrorists have no legal right to demand sanctuary. Anywhere.
Under international law terrorists are always hostes humani generis, "Common enemies of humankind." Even according to the most ancient sources of international law, such murderers must be severely punished wherever they are found. For their arrest and prosecution, jurisdiction is "universal."
Palestinian terrorism, even during its present "slow" period (when contending Hamas and Fatah factions are too busy attacking each other), is far worse than most people ever imagine. Using bombs filled with nails, razor blades and screws dipped in rat poison; the killers maim and burn Israeli civilians with abundant cheers from their neighbors and with warmest blessings from local clergy. As for those "commanders" who actually direct and control the suicide-bombers, they typically cower for protection in assorted hiding places. At times they issue loud calls for their wives, mothers and daughters to stand between themselves and the Israelis.
This is the documented "heroism" of Palestinian terrorism. What is unknown to most observers is that carefully trained IDF counter-terrorism units operate in exactly the opposite fashion. These Israeli soldiers always identify and target only the terrorist leaders. Always they seek to minimize collateral harms. There are times, of course, when such harms simply can't be avoided. Even the IDF, which follows its code of "Purity of Arms" far more stringently than any other nation's army, including our own, cannot undo the deliberate barbarism of Palestinian perfidy.
Deception can be legally acceptable in armed conflict, but The Hague Regulations forbid placement of military assets or personnel in heavily populated civilian areas. Further prohibition of perfidy is found at Protocol I of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It is widely recognized that these rules are also binding on the basis of customary international law. Perfidy represents an especially serious violation of the Law of War, one identified as a "grave breach" at Article 147 of Geneva Convention IV. The critical legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist leaders is to immunize Israel from any responsibility for inadvertent counterterrorist harms done to Arab civilians. Even if Hamas and Fatah and Islamic Jihad and their several sister terror groups did not deliberately engage in perfidy, any Palestinian-created link between civilians and terrorist activities would always give Israel full legal justification for defensive military action.
International law is not a suicide pact. All combatants, including Palestinian terrorists, are bound by the Law of War of international law. This requirement is found at Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and at the two protocols to these Conventions. Protocol I applies humanitarian international law to all conflicts fought for "self-determination," the stated objective of all Palestinian fighters. A product of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1977), this Protocol brings all irregular forces within the full scope of international law. In this connection, the terms "fighter" and "irregular" are charitable in describing Palestinian terrorists. These fanatics are plainly criminals who intentionally target civilians, and whose characteristic mode of "battle" is not purposeful military engagement, but primal religious sacrifice.
In the final analysis, Israel faces a Palestinian terrorist enemy who embraces violence not for land, and not for national self-determination, but for God. For this determined Jihadist enemy, terrorism is now a plainly sacred expression of worship. Israel, like every other state, has the indisputable right and obligation under international law to protect its citizens from such an enemy.
LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law, including some of the earliest major books on nuclear terrorism.
TESTIMONIES OF MIRACLES IN THE CURRENT GAZA WAR:
Current Events and Torah Portion Newsletter from Shorashim Shamash Insight 9-01-2009
1) BEFORE BATTLE
Rabbi Avi Berman
January 08, 2009
I just got off the phone with Rabbi Asaf Azriel, the rabbi of the Kfir Battalion.
On Wednesday they had a gathering of the chativa, the battalion, to which he is assigned. The commander of the chativa, Itai, spoke to the men about the operation, giving directions, instructions. What to do, what not to do. Training is over and everything they learned now goes into practice. This is the live thing, the real thing. There are no fake bullets. It is dangerous. We have to stay alert.
Rabbi Asaf has a little card, a prayer he wrote up to say before they go out to battle. When Itai was finished, Rabbi Asaf gave the card out to the soldiers. A Mem-Peh ( – a high ranked commanding officer, with 90 soldiers under his command) by the name of Ro’i Rosner came over to the rabbi as the gathering was finishing. He had heard the rabbi speak to the group 3 weeks earlier, a week before the war started. Ro’i holds the rabbi’s hands tightly and asks for the rabbi to come over to his פלוגה, to his company, his group of 90 boys. 90 men. And asks if he would mind saying the prayer with them, together. I want you to say the card and the words together with the boys before they go into battle, to give them strength. Ro’i is not a religious boy. 27 years old. But he asked the rabbi to please come and to say some words to strengthen his boys.
The rabbi came over to the company and he says over a few words to the group. They all say together with tremendous emotion the prayer from the little card the rabbi prepared for before battle. Rabbi Asaf doesn’t know what possessed him, but after reciting the prayers, he was moved to call out " Hear O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One. He was met with an answering call. Ro’i, the commander, together with all the soldiers screamed back "Shma Yisrael Hear O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One".
The rabbi shouted, God reigned, God reigns, God will reign forever.
The words echoed back from Ro’i and the soldiers, seven times, gaining power, gaining strength, gaining fervor God reigned, God reigns, God will reign forever. Rabbi Asaf then screamed " Ana HaShem please God bring us salvation, please God bring us success and the resounding response of the company, please God bring us salvation, please God bring us success. The soldiers put on their gear and walked into battle.
This morning Rabbi Asaf got a phone call telling him that he should get on a chopper and fly to Siroka hospital because there were a number of wounded soldiers. Shortly after his arrival he was told that Ro’i had just passed away.
Ro’i was married 10 months ago and two weeks ago he was given the keys to his new apartment.
Ro’i and his soldiers were shot at by an Arab anti-tank missile. He was hit with a piece of shrapnel in his neck. He died on the operating table.
The soldiers are thirsty. Thirsty for Torah, for a connection to God. Thirsty to develop a relationship with the One who decides who will live and who will die. Rabbi Asaf and other rabbis call me constantly asking for pairs of Teffilin (phylacteries), for pairs of Tzitzit (fringes), books of Psalms,"Grace After Meals" cards. As we have seen throughout history, the Jewish people cannot be defeated when we all stand together.
As I write these words, I have just been notified that two more soldiers were killed. May our prayers, unity and love of Israel , love of our fellow Jew, make sure that these will be the last ones we have to say goodbye to.
If you would like to make a donation to help send the requested items to soldiers, you can make a donation on the Sderot form and write “Soldiers” in the comments field
Rabbi Avi Berman is Director General of OU Israel.
MARCHING INTO BATTLE WITH THE SEFER TORAH
Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness and Rabbi Avi Roness
January 08, 2009
Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness writes the weekly "Chizuk v’Idud" column in the OU’s Torah Tidbits and is an NCSY alumnus. His son Zev was with the troops last Shabbat as they prepared to enter Gaza. Zev told this story to his brother Avi, who wrote it up in Hebrew and Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness translated.
This evening, my brother, who serves as a career military rabbi, told me the following story, which took place this past Shabbat, when the IDF entered Gaza.
He was one of three rabbis who spent Shabbat on a base not too far away from the border, together with a few hundred soldiers who were preparing for the ground incursion. After spending the day delivering shiurim and motivational speeches, the rabbis wondered if they should perhaps travel with the soldiers from the base to the staging location, in order to boost the soldiers' morale. They deliberated and finally decided – with some hesitation – to go along with the soldiers.
Hoping to arrange a minchah prayer service, the rabbis took a Sefer Torah with them. When it was time to get off the bus, my brother asked someone to pass the Torah to him (in order to mitigate the halachic issue of bringing something into a karmelit and avoid the prohibitions of carrying on Shabbat). However, when he got off the bus, the Torah stayed behind. He looked back into the bus and saw that the soldiers were passing the Torah from hand to hand. Each soldier took the opportunity to embrace it tightly.
Afterwards, a group of soldiers approached two of the rabbis. (The bearded rabbis stood out; one was holding the Sefer Torah, and the other was wearing his talit.) The soldiers asked the rabbis for a blessing. Since giving blessings isn't included in a military rabbi's standard job description, my brother told the soldiers that he would recite the blessing he uses for his sons on Leil Shabbat. To his amazement, more and more soldiers began approaching him. (According to him, most of them were traditional – i.e. not outwardly observant. The bnei yeshivot seemed less interested in receiving a blessing from the rabbis.)
Soon, so many soldiers had amassed that the rabbis could no longer give personal blessings. Instead, they spread out a talit – as is customary on Simchat Torah – over the crowd's heads and blessed everyone in unison. With great emotion, several soldiers exclaimed that the rabbis' presence gave them strength and boosted their spirits. One soldier even added that the rabbis' blessing was more significant and meaningful for him than all the training sessions he had heard in the period leading up to the operation.
As the sun began to set, the long infantry columns set out towards the Strip. Meanwhile, the rabbis stood near the crossing with the Sefer Torah in their hands and called out words of encouragement and blessing to the soldiers. ("May Hashem be with you," "may Hashem bless you," and other phrases inspired by the Rambam's writings on fear during a battle.) The soldiers, in turn, kissed the Sefer Torah as they marched along.
Ashreichem Yisrael! (How fortunate are you, O Israel!)
My brother wanted to hear what I thought about the story, in terms of the Shabbat laws. He and his colleagues had been reprimanded by the brigade rabbi for permitting themselves to take the Sefer Torah with them. In fact, the brigade rabbi claimed that the entire trip was problematic. (For instance, he rejected their argument that they were in a similar position to a husband who travels with his wife to the hospital on Shabbat when she is about to give birth in order to give her emotional support.)
The commanding rabbi's words caused my brother to second guess himself. Although he was confident that he had acted in accordance with the worldview of IDF Chief Rabbi Rav Ronsky, he wasn't sure if he had acted properly. I immediately assured him that in my opinion, his behavior constitutes an incredible Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of Hashem's Name).
How could anyone disagree?
(Thanks to Ariella Gold of Nof Ayalon for providing the English translation)
“The Land of Miracles”
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Friday at noon is a time of hustle and bustle in Israel - people are coming home from work and/or from the marketplace, having made last-minute purchases of fresh challas, fruit, and fish for Shabbat. Despite the ongoing war, people here continue to live their lives. There were plenty of pedestrians and vehicles in the area when the Red-Alert alarm sounded; the pedestrians ran for cover. The motorists pulled over to the side of the road. Usually when a terrifying Grad rocket falls, it makes a tremendous boom (from the crash of the missile on the ground), followed by an afterblast from the explosion of its warhead. This missile landed, shaking the earth with an enormous thud, but the afterblast never came. The missile failed to explode. No one was scratched...
Another missile landed near a gas pipeline. The pipeline was undergoing maintenance and had been emptied of gas a few days previously.
Just now, right after midnight on Saturday night, an emotional father from Jerusalem called me and said that he had something important to tell me. His son is an NCO is a special forces unit operating in Gaza. He and his squad were about to storm a house with suspected Hamas terrorists inside. A woman in long black local attire came out and pleaded with them not to storm the house. During the fierce house-to-house fighting, the same woman appeared to the NCO and his unit in three other houses. It turned out that all four houses were booby-trapped.
Who was that woman? Sounds to me like Rachel Imenu...
Hashem is surely giving us wake-up calls, but He's also showing us just how much He loves us.
We had a quiet Shabbat night, but two missiles were fired at us right before Mincha, a 4:10 and 4:15 PM on Shabbat. Both landed in non-populated areas.
Every cloud has a silver lining with Hashem's signature on it. Have a wonderful week.
Ashdod has joined the ranks of those cities in the front line of battle. We have earned the (dubious) distinction of being one of the country's cities under direct attack from the Kassam and Grad missiles "sent" to us "courtesy" of our Arab neighbors in the Gaza strip.
The city of Ashdod is only 28 kilometers! from the Gaza strip (as the crow, and missiles fly), and Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling the Gaza strip (at present) has been shooting missiles at us since Shabbos.
Ashkelon, our neighboring city has been in the direct firing line for a number of months but we in Ashdod have always felt "safe" because the longest range missiles the terrorists organizations had up to now could not reach us. Over a period of time however the terrorists have quietly accumulated a large number of missiles with a longer range than the ones they have had till now which are able to reach to Ashdod, and even beyond; these are now being fired at us.
Although we always felt for our brothers and sisters in Ashkelon there is absolutely no comparison between hearing about something in Ashkelon to feeling it yourself in Ashdod.
It's a completely different kettle of fish when you yourself are the one in constant fear of attack. It colors every waking moment (and your sleep as well), as you walk around all day on super-alert with your ears pricked….. waiting, waiting for the wailing of that siren. Any sound that remotely resembles a high-pitched whistle is instantly analyzed as the adrenaline surges in our bodies and we go into "fight or flight" mode.
One is constantly weighing up the consequences of whatever one wants to do in light of the fact that one might have to run down to the air-raid shelter at a moments notice; and of course before one goes anywhere the most important priority is to find out where the nearest air-raid shelter is.
It all started on Shabbos afternoon when without any warning in the middle of the seudah the sirens went off.
Now we in Eretz Yisroel are very used to sirens, but those are the sirens that announce that Shabbos has arrived; they sound one long steady blast, and as it fades you know that it is Shabbos and peace and quiet descends on all our homes.
So you can imagine the initial shock on hearing that siren on Shabbos itself. It took a few seconds for those of us adults sitting round the table to register that this was no erev Shabbos siren (or the all-clear in times of war), but a rising and falling siren, i.e. a warning of an impending attack.
When it registered that this was a warning siren we couldn't decide at first whether to take it seriously or not; in the end we decided that perhaps it was better to take it seriously and go down to the air-raid shelter "just in case". But by the time we had gathered all the grandchildren together at the front door (they were playing in various rooms) the sirens had stopped (they only sound for about 15 seconds).
Without knowing what to do we simply huddled by the door and waited for one minute (because those had been the instructions during the Gulf war). When we didn't hear anything else we decided that it had probably all been a mistake, and we returned to the seudah.
As it was Shabbos nobody in the block or the vicinity knew anything, so life carried on (almost) as usual till Motzei Shabbos. After all we rationalized it was probably a mistake or a failure of one of the switches that activates the alarm; even switches can malfunction sometimes because they're not human, (and perfect) as we are.
After Shabbos, news filtered in to me (heavily censored by the Rov who didn't want to frighten me) that there had been one stray missile. Without the Rov saying anything I was left with the impression that this had been a one-off occurrence; that we were still "safe" and there was nothing to worry about.
On the strength of that I went to sleep that night calmly and peacefully and boruch Hashem the night passed uneventfully.
The rude awakening came the next morning when the sirens went off again. You can imagine my thoughts as I heard the dreaded rising and falling of the siren. "WAIT A MINUTE, this is no mistake or malfunctioning switch!! This is for real; "they" are out to get "us"!! This is no stray missile that went off at a tangent (as if that's not bad enough)!! We're actually being shot at!! They want to kill us!!"
And suddenly in a split second the whole scenario changed. "It's deadly serious! Nobody's playing games here! Our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at stake!"
Outside in the communal hallway of the building I heard women and children beginning to run down the stairs, with the children crying and screaming in a panic. Some of the husbands, who had been davenning in the shul nearby were running up the stairs to help those of their families who had not yet begun to come down and this all added to the sense of panic and urgency in the building.
Whilst this was going on the sirens faded away and there was a deathly silence outside the building as families continued running down the stairs. 30 seconds later there was a bang as the missile landed, Boruch Hashem "somewhere else". The tremendous feeling of relief and release cannot be imagined after having endured those 30 seconds of waiting; during that "eternity" the world stops and one just exists in deadly fear of where that missile will land.
Families had congregated inside and near the air-raid shelter (those who hadn't managed to get inside in time) and slowly people started coming out. After we had all calmed down a bit I went back up to my flat on the first floor – to a new world and a new reality. Gone forever is the complacency that it can only happen to "them" in Ashkelon, because it's just happened to us.
Twenty minutes later the sirens started wailing again, and the families that were able to ran down the stairs again. There was somewhat less panic though this time because all the husbands were at home by now and they helped their wives organize the family. Even so the feeling of helplessness and terror that you are at the mercy of a deadly missile which even at this very second is speeding towards you is indescribable.
Once we had heard the thump of the landing missile and we knew that we were not in immediate danger, we relaxed and started slowly walking up the stairs again to our homes. This time though because there had been two attacks in close proximity to each other there was a terrible fear that chas ve'choliloh we were in a war-zone and that we would be under constant attack from now on.
Boruch Hashem that fear has not materialized, but it took us many, many hours to calm down that day. At present Ashdod is "only"! attacked on average twice a day.
Even so the thought that you've only got 40 seconds from when the sirens start wailing to get to a safe place is terrifying! For mothers with children it's not even possible to go anywhere because it takes them longer than 40 seconds just to gather their children together in their own home. The worst part though is when the sirens die away and everyone waits with bated breath for 30 seconds to know "who will live and who will die".
Four days have passed since that initial attack and we've calmed down somewhat and settled into a "routine" of sorts. We go about our daily household tasks with an ear cocked all the time and continuously assessing how near we are to a "safe place".
There is no school or cheder for children and their mothers are going crazy. The children are cooped up all day in the house because the mothers cannot even let their children down into the gardens (the usual playground and escape from home).
As for me what can I say?
I'll tell you what I can say; once again I'm saying “Mi Ke’amcha Yisroel” – who is like Your people Israel!?
As people have begun to "calm down", i.e. take the new reality in stride there's a marked shift in mood and emphasis.
Families have more or less organized themselves: those who are fearful have left Ashdod and moved their families to "safer" cities that are beyond the range of the missiles (in the centre of the country).
Those of us who have remained have quickly learnt the rules of this deadly "game". Stay at home and go out as little as possible. If you do have to go out make sure you walk as near to buildings as possible so that at the first sound of a siren you can run into the nearest building and look for the safest place to stand in.
If you're at home as soon as you hear the siren run into your "secure room" if you have one. (A "secure room" is a room that has been built to withstand a missile attack and is automatically built in each flat in all the newer blocks). If you live in one of the older buildings, as I do, run to the air-raid shelter in the building; if you are unable to do even that then run into the most "inside" room in your home, where there is the least danger of deadly pieces of flying missile and debris getting in through the outside walls and windows.
About three minutes after the sirens have stopped you can come out of wherever you are even if you haven't heard the missile landing. It has most definitely landed but it was probably too far away for you to hear it.
And those of us who are still here are boruch Hashem in an upbeat mood and continuously talking about the nissim that we are hearing about and seeing on a continuous basis.
We're hearing of the bus driver who walked away from his bus without a scratch (there were no passenger in the bus at the time) even though all his windows and doors were blown out by the blast of a nearby missile; even one of those flying shards could have been lethal.
And we're hearing of the rocket that fell next to a petrol station instead of scoring a direct hit (need I say more).
We've heard of the Chabad shaliach who went to his parents-in-law with his family for Shabbos and decided to stay there till Monday morning. On Sunday a missile landed in his apartment utterly destroying it and severely damaging the surrounding apartments.
And what of the missile that landed in the parking lot of a major factory right on the outskirts of one of the chareidi sections of the city. Had it landed in the factory the damage would have been tremendous; had it landed just one hundred metres further into the section it would have exploded right in the middle of blocks of apartments.
And more than that: no-one was in the factory at the time; the employees had been away for a training day and were due back just at the time the missile fell. "Unfortunately" the buses with the returning employees were slightly delayed……..
Everywhere you go both frum and non-frum Yidden are talking about the yad Hashem that is very clearly evident.
And let me explain what I mean by that. When you think that each one of those missiles carries a 22-lb warhead filled with explosives that is capable of demolishing a complete apartment building, (and badly damaging the surrounding area), and that it can also kill up to 120 people you can only marvel at the way Hashem is taking personal care of us; it is clear hashgochoh protis.
Of the 400! missiles that have fallen to date, the vast majority have fallen into open fields instead of built-up areas. So far, as tragic as it is, there have been 2 deaths and less than 20 people injured.
Of the 60 missiles that have so far fallen today, every single one of them has fallen into open fields and no-one has received so much as a scratch! If that is not Hashem personally taking care of us I don't know what is!
In the meantime the army in Ashdod has been mobilized – the "army" of Hashem that is!
Amongst the actions the ''army" has undertaken is to set up vigils for Tehillim. In addition most women have accepted upon themselves to say a few extra perukim of tehillim a day for the safety of our beleaguered people and everyone is more careful about shmiras haloshon and the mitzvos particular to us women.
Neighbours in each building are helping each other out in whatever way they can. Those who live on the lower floors of a building are hosting their neighbours who live on the higher, and more dangerous floors.
Families who live on the North side of the city (the safer side) have taken in families who live on the South side of the city (the side that is nearer to the Gaza strip)
But first and foremost because we realise full well that only Hashem can help us it is to Him that everyone's heart is turned to, and to whom we pour our teffilos out to, to protect us and save us.
And Hashem I'm asking you – look at Your people and see who they are; is there another nation in the world who in times of trouble turn only to You. You chose us to be Your nation and You chose wisely because we have remained faithful to You throughout the generations, to this day. We still cling to You and You alone after two thousand years of a difficult golus of hester ponim because we know and recognise that only You can help us.
In the zechus of all this:
Please Hashem save us and deliver us from our enemies!
IDF Soldier in Gaza Speaks Out
(IsraelNN.com) An IDF soldier in Gaza speaks of enemy attempts to kidnap soldiers into tunnels, the special boost that letters from back home give him and his friends, the incredible motivation displayed by his comrades-in-arms, and more.
Aryeh, a former hesder yeshiva student and a soldier in reserves who spent a week fighting terrorists deep inside northern Gaza, spoke with IsraelNationalRadio’s Yishai and Malkah Fleisher on Thursday about his personal experiences during the war.
I’ve been in Gaza for a week;
medics and others in my unit went in a week earlier to get the lay of the land.
We’re in an armored reconnaissance unit, which means we are infantry that goes
in front of the tanks, first of all to clear a path, either in open area or
clearing houses in built-up areas, making sure there are no anti-tank forces
against us, and secondly, we scout ahead and point out targets for the tanks…
The army was very tight with us about security – they took away our cell phones, made sure we don’t have cameras, etc.
No Atheists in Foxholes
[Asked what it is like when they actually enter Gaza:] Right before we went in, there were a lot of jokes, black humor, like, ‘I’ll leave you my boots,’ etc. And you know how they say there’s no atheist in a foxhole - it’s really true. Rabbis were giving out Tehillim [little books of Psalms], and every soldier took one, or two, or three, or four - even the guys who just two days ago were arguing with me against religion. They act as if the Tehillim are bullet-proof, and they put them all over their body, saying I don’t want to get hit here, and here, and here… Anyway, before we went in, there were jokes - but then, when we actually start going on, it gets very, very quiet, people thinking their own thoughts, like who might not be coming back, or about their families, or whatever.
When we actually went in, it was very surreal. On the Israeli side, even with all the rockets and shells falling around us, you sort of feel safe - but when you cross over, you feel like you have left the safe cover of Israel. … You hear a lot of booms, mostly from our jets and copters and tanks and things. The first kilometer or two was open area, and then, when we got to the built-up areas, it really was pretty scary. There are snipers and stuff – but there were two things that were particularly hard for me. One is that almost every single house is booby-trapped – even with families inside! Because it looks good on the news [against Israel] to have a whole family killed… the people are forced to stay there, or sometimes they stay on their own – this is insane, we can’t comprehend this… It’s scary kicking in a door and thinking that the entire house might collapse on you.
Fear of Being Snatched
But even more scary is the fact that there are tunnels everywhere in Gaza – not just the ones that people know about in southern Gaza. I don’t know how many there are, but there are tunnels between houses and headquarters and the like, not only for reinforcements but also because one of their main goals is to kidnap soldiers. That is really terrifying. You see a bush and suddenly the bush moves and a hand sticks out, trying to grab a soldier’s leg and pull him inside. It happened a lot… Or we’re in a house trying to get some sleep, and you don’t know if a floor tile will suddenly move and someone will try to grab you. So on the one hand, you try to sleep very little, but we also work very closely together, looking after each other, helping each other, and certainly not doing anything by oneself…
The Old-Man-and-the-Cane Trick
The top Hamas guys are dug-in and hiding pretty well under hospitals and schools, and they don’t even know what’s going on outside. We’ve cut their phone lines, including cell phones, and they communicate by sending children with notes to each other; we’ve caught kids carrying notes. We once saw an old man hobbling down the street with a cane, looking very bent over and wretched, and when he saw Israeli soldiers, he suddenly threw away the cane, ran over to them and tried to blow himself up on them; the soldiers were able to shoot him first.
No Concern for Life
[Asked what the feelings seem to be among the Arabs:] The mindset of the enemy is so alien to us; by us, the death of any one soldier is terrible, a national tragedy – but by them, it seems that they want as many deaths as possible. In Israel, schools even dozens of kilometers from Gaza are closed in order to minimize the risk, which is pretty small – but in Gaza, where there are bombs all over the place all the time, we’ve seen kindergartens filled with 150 or 200 children, and the kindergartens are boobytrapped! They even shoot rockets from inside mosques and these places…
We Want to Finish the Job
The soldiers’ morale is very high, and all of them definitely believe that the war is just and important. No one likes fighting; people want to be with their families. I’ve seen some 35-year-old guys almost crying about how much they miss their families – but at the same time, no one wants to leave now. Of all sectors, it’s the soldiers who do not want a ceasefire, not because we want to fight but because we know the job is not finished yet. We don’t want to have to go back again in a year or two or three. The soldiers want to stay and finish the job, they really do… I think there has to be a hard push against Hamas, even harder than we have done until now; this will take a real sacrifice, we know - but to think that we might leave and the rockets will still fall, what did we do??! Killing 900 terrorists out of 20,000 is just not enough, we have to really decimate their ranks in order that they should know that they should leave us alone…
True, Gaza is now largely in ruins, but they’ll get lots of money to rebuild, and they’ll use a lot of the money to get more weapons as well. We have to go in deeper and stronger, and make them understand that it’s just not worth it. In addition, I think we can’t leave without Gilad Shalit; it would be terrible if not.
We Feel the Hand of G-d
[Asked about how spirituality and faith in G-d plays out:] Well, I would say that everyday religion is one thing; we take things for granted, we pray every day, some people concentrate more and some concentrate less… But here – you live it, you absolutely live it. Secular soldiers are whispering prayers, everyone wants G-d to be there, and we do feel it - we have seen the hand of G-d; we have been very fortunate, you can see it and feel it… [Regarding packages of sweets that the soldiers receive from the home front:] Even though we’re often hungry, the first thing a lot of soldiers go for in the packages that is not the food, but rather the letters and words of support. You can’t imagine what it does for us to read them… I have about nine of the really special ones, and when I had a little time, I would go over to some corner and pull them out and read them… They give so much strength…
I just want to tell this really special story that happened to me: Some of the letters have phone numbers on them, so I called one of them to thank her for her letter - an 8-year-old girl named Eden. Eden told me that she was so happy I called and that she had just been in the hospital for an ear operation… But then her mother got on and she was all emotional and told me, “It’s so amazing that you called because Eden’s two older sisters received calls of thanks from soldiers, and she was feeling sad that no one called her - and now you called!”
We are Yisrael Torahwalk Newsletter 16 January 2009
The article below is from a very special lady, a citizen of Yisrael. She wanted to share with people the onderful testimony coming out of the conflict in Gaza while Yisrael takes steps to ensure our own safety.
The Holy One of Yisrael is at work among His People in the midst of war. After all, The Holy One of Yisrael is a maker of miracles...While the media in the West are lambasting Yisrael for killing women and children,and are saturating their viewers with horrific photos of bloodied corpses, Yisrael as a nation is undergoing an astonishing spiritual awakening as a result of this conflict. It is a pity that the world is unable to be witness to the miracles that are occurring here daily. Even the most jaded person would be amazed at the transformation of the people in this country. After many years of feeling the underdog and fearful of the approbation of the outside world, Yisrael is undergoing an absolute renaissance on a personal and national level. First and foremost, Yisrael as a nation has finally decided to throw aside the fear of being rejected by the nations and embrace its sovereign right to defend it's citizens from terrorist attacks. What is so astonishing, for those who know Jews and particularly Yisraelis, is that a whopping 92% of Jewish Yisraelis actually AGREE that the war is necessary and just. The adage of 2 Jews, 3 opinions and 4 political parties has vaporized in the face of the national crisis we are in. Not only is there agreement among the populace, but also the left wing and the right wing of the political spheres agree. Even more amazing is the ncordance among the various religious factions: Ashkenazi, Sephardic, reform and conservative, Zionists and anti-Zionist Jews are all joining together in prayer and supplication to the Almighty for salvation, protection and victory over our enemies. There are calls to prayer everywhere, regardless of denomination or ethnic background, everyone is united in looking towards the Holy One of Yisrael to keep our soldiers safe and help us win against an evil enemy who has sworn never to stop until Yisrael as a nation is destroyed.
The soldiers themselves seem to have a huge spiritual hunger, and are unified in not only asking for prayer but also praying themselves, wearing tzitzit (prayer tassles) into battle and carrying the book of Psalms with them. The Rabbis are calling the tzitzit "heavenly flak jackets!" Tent synagogues on the battlefield have no less than 10 sessions every morning, and it is reported that soldiers who never attended synagogue are now praying with tefillim. They have reason to cry out to Elohim, since everyone is aware of the years of preparation of the bloodthirsty Hamas militants, their desire to kill, maim or kidnap Yisraeli soldiers is greater than their desire to live; they have been financed by Iran and supported by Syria and Hezbollah. Yet, we are defeating them, and there are reports daily of amazing miracles of protection and Divine direction during the battle. The following are just a few examples: A Hamas map was found, with booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions clearly spelled out. The IDF was able to counter each installation due to the information given. A large platoon of soldiers not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, (discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night), disarmed the bombs with no one hurt. A single soldier successfully fought off several Hamas terrorists trying to drag him into a tunnel, and all were captured. Hundreds of tunnels, hidden in homes under beds and kitchen cabinets, all full of live explosives and ammunition, yet none have exploded with IDF soldiers inside. While there have been soldiers wounded, there are miracles there as well. A young man who moved here alone from England less than 2 years ago to serve in the army was in an explosion, and thrown into the air. After being carried off the field by other soldiers and transported on a tractor to helicopter and then to hospital, the doctors were utterly stunned when they saw that a piece of shrapnel that went completely through his neck, missed the carotid artery, the jugular vein and the spinal cord by millimeters. After they removed it, he needed only stitches.
Another soldier was shot through the back but the bullet missed his spinal cord and exited from the front.
A young newlywed, in grave condition, inexplicably turned for the better and will recover to go home to his wife. On the ground level, bombs continue to fall, but here again, miracle after miracle is reported even on the local news. One hears the word "nes" (miracle) over and over by the reporters and the bystanders. A bomb heading toward 4 apartment buildings goes into a sewer pipe and explodes underground, damaging nothing above ground. An elderly woman caught in an apartment completely demolished by a bomb, walks out with scratches on her ankle. The mayor of Beersheva felt he should cancel school one day, and a rocket completely destroys an empty kindergarten. The elder housing complex that was hit in Nahariya had the sleeping quarters destroyed, but everyone had just gone to breakfast, so no one injured. A man leaves his car with his young daughter,and the car is blown up moments later after they entered a bomb shelter. If they had taken a few more seconds, he and his daughter would have been burned to a crisp. He was televised saying again and again it was a miracle. Similar stories like these were heard during the second Lebanon war, reported on Yisraeli radio and television, but no one in the west ever heard; only negative propaganda from the terrorists was reported, whose aim was to malign YIsrael and make us look like a nation of bloodthirsty killers. One has to grieve over the terrible destruction of the cities in Gaza and the horrific human tragedy going on there, but the responsibility for the suffering and death is directly on the doorstep of the Hamas leadership. These deluded people think that their god, Allah, will give them victory, and have entered into a battle with the true Holy One of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob that they will never win.
We are literally living in times like those of the scripture, when The Almighty told Elisha all the plans of the enemy, until they began to wonder if there was a spy in their ranks.
"If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face,
and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
LETTER FROM THE SANHEDRIN:
Decision of the Court of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem
10 Tevet 5769 , January 6, ?2009
Regarding the Military Action in the Gaza Strip
The entire country must share
joint responsibility for the current military action in the Gaza Strip and for
the likelihood that it will end without a clear defeat of our enemy.
Consideration by Israel to signing a ceasefire agreement with the PLO/Hamas terrorist organizations under the aegis of international or local proposals testifies to the short-sighted political view of the Israel government and its clouded horizon of the country’s future. Conclusion of battle must come only when the enemy is unable to fight.
The remark by President Elect Obama regarding the reciprocal responsibility of the current fighting shows a lack of moral understanding and bodes ill for fundamental Israeli and world interests.
If the present military action is not concluded categorically, the Israeli population will suffer the severe results of continuing attacks and from the inept handling of the political side of this battle. This responsibility falls on Jewry as a whole who did not come out in mass to prevent the 2005 destruction of the Jewish villages in the Gaza Strip and northern Shomron. They allowed themselves to be lulled by empty promises of “Peace in our Times” repeated by corrupt politicians, often, to find favor in the eyes of “post-Zionist” law-enforcement officials, who were pleased to delay the pressing of criminal charges.
A Crime took place: The destruction of thriving villages in the Gaza Strip and northern Shomron and deportation of their populations.
The Punishment came in its time: The Arab bombardment of cities and townships from Ashdod to Beer-Sheva, loss of Jewish lives, disfiguring injuries, and destruction of Israeli property, paralysis of life in most of the southern third of the country – and the lack of will to restore the destroyed communities to their past glory.
As Joseph’s brothers said to one another: ‘We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us’; And Reuben answered them, saying: ‘Spoke I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore also, behold, his blood is required.’ [Gen 24,21-22].
In addition to our responsibility, the current military action in the Gaza Strip reflects a series of mistakes in all fields: in policy making, media relations, military planning, and moral cognition. Beside the obvious need to destroy Hamas, which caused the opening of the current military action, it is obvious to the objective observer that political considerations also had their say. The upcoming elections were a primary factor, since it was clear to the Minister of Defense that his party was losing electoral support and he could not allow rockets to continue to spoil his chances of strengthening his party’s position. [In fact, the popularity of the Minister and his party increased by more than 50% since the beginning of the war.]
However, we foresee political failure if a premature ceasefire is adopted because the government did not coherently formulate the goals of its military action:
The government did not clearly identify the enemy;
B: It did not commit to defeat and remove the enemy;
C: It did not define “victory”; and
D: It did not describe how to consolidate the war’s achievements.
The present Israeli government — in ignorance — calls the civilian populace in the Gaza Strip “innocent bystanders”. But this populace voted overwhelmingly to be ruled over by the Hamas, whose fundamental, well-publicized doctrine is the destruction of the state of Israel and the killing of Jews as a “religious” Islamic goal. Israel’s people have the full right of engaging in a war of self-defense against a political entity with such aims, especially after this entity shoots, shells and targets rockets at the Israel populace for over eight years.
Indeed, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has modified one of the self-imposed limitations that characterized its previous engagements: in the current battle, Israel has attacked all places from which the enemy has attacked our people, and all places in which enemy munitions are stored — even mosques (which is in accordance with international laws). Nevertheless, the IDF still behaves as if the blood of Arabs is worth more than that of Israeli soldiers or civilians. This attitude lies at the basis of the decision — against the advice of eminent military experts — not to purchase the Vulcan-Phalanx electrically powered Gatling gun for Israeli troops or the Israel-US-developed Nautilus Tactical High Energy Laser System, known to be successful in downing rockets and projectiles. Such ordinance would have proved very useful and saved many IDF and civilian casualties.
Necessary Action and Prevention
To act according to the lesson taught by King David [Psalms 18,38]: I have
pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them; neither did I turn back till they
were consumed, namely, there is no ceasefire until every city and town of the
B. No placing of international forces in Gaza to enforce security;
C. No Egyptian forces to be permitted into the Gaza Strip;
D. Temporary Military Rule should be established to maintain order;
E. The local population will be encouraged to undertake voluntary emigration from the Gaza Strip to whichever countries are willing to accept them. The travel costs will be paid by the Military Rule. This will be a humane solution for the difficult economic situation.
F. A basic constitution will be established, based upon the seven Noahide Laws, which will also be a central aspect of the educational system. This legal foundation includes, among other things, the prohibition against murder or suicide, as well as theincitement to these crimes.
G. All areas of the strip that had Israeli homes and villages will be rebuilt and annexed to Israel, as written in Deuteronomy 11,31-32: For ye are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein, And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.
We encourage, strengthen and bless the Israel Defense Forces and the other security personnel in their efforts on behalf of Israel, and pray that no harm will befall them. May they recover our country from our enemies; and enable us to live in the whole of the Land promised by the Almighty to the Jewish people.
Rabbi Dov Stein – Secretary
AFTER THE WAR:
Security and Defense: Post mortem dues
By Yaakov Katz
Whenever OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin enters his office in IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, he passes the pictures of his 15 predecessors.
On the photo-lined wall are well-known former generals, such as the country's sixth president, Chaim Herzog, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former chiefs of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon and Amnon Lipkin Shahak.
But there are also pictures of five Intelligence chiefs who were forced out of their positions prematurely, some for providing inaccurate predictions that led to disasters, like that of the Yom Kippur War.
On Sunday, when Yadlin arrived at work, he couldn't help but think about how Hamas - like five of his own predecessors - had inaccurately read its enemy in the run-up to Operation Cast Lead, which came to an official end on Wednesday with the full withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip.
Since its violent coup d'état in the summer of 2007, Hamas had been preparing for a showdown with the IDF. To meet the challenge, it called on Iran for assistance in creating a comprehensive defensive and offensive plan to fight Israel and strike deep inside its cities.
The plan had three pillars. The first rested on defensive structures and measures in Gaza, including dozens of kilometers of tunnels and bunkers, and thousands of roadside antipersonnel and antitank bombs planted next to booby-trapped homes.
The second rested on rocket capability, and the third on obtaining a "victory image," in the form of a burned-out Merkava tank or an abducted soldier.
Despite the tens of millions of Iranian dollars poured into Gaza, Hamas's plan failed. The tunnels and booby traps were unsuccessful in stopping the IDF as it pushed into the Strip on January 3. The 401st
Armored Brigade, for example, succeeded in crossing and cutting the entire Strip in half in less than five hours.
Hamas also failed to exact a heavy toll through rocket attacks. Though its missiles did hit cities within a 40-kilimeter range, they went no further. This, according to Israeli intelligence, is because the operation caught Hamas as it was finalizing plans to obtain rockets that could reach Tel Aviv.
Military Intelligence believes that Hamas had initially planned to fire 100-200 rockets a day, but after losing most of its underground launchers and missiles in air strikes, the average number per day - throughout the three weeks of fighting - was closer to 40.
Hamas would have been willing to overlook all of this had it succeeded in creating a victory image. But this, too, it failed to accomplish.
In total, the IAF bombed more than 2,000 targets. These included more than half of Hamas's rocket arsenal, 200 homes of Hamas commanders, all of its government offices and 80 percent of the hundreds of tunnels it had dug under the Philadelphi Corridor.
BEFORE THE operation, Hamas was considered by Israel's enemies as reliable in its reports to the press. But as the operation escalated, Yadlin created a "lie meter" which showed the growing increase in Hamas fabrications. During the first week, which involved only strikes from the air, Hamas released the numbers and names of its dead. But by the second week, when the ground offensive was launched, it began to hide this information. By the time the cease-fire went into effect, it announced that only 48 of its fighters had been killed, as compared with the 49 IDF soldiers whose deaths it took credit for.
The facts are much different. Ten soldiers were killed during the fighting and, according to IDF estimates, of the Palestinians killed, at least two-thirds were Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives. The "official" Palestinian total of 1,300 dead is now being widely disputed.
ACCORDING TO intelligence assessments, when predicting what Israel would do after the previous cease-fire expired, Hamas made five critical mistakes.
The first was to assume that the Israeli government - supposedly paralyzed by the upcoming elections - would not launch an operation in Gaza, in spite of the rocket attacks. The second was to predict there wouldn't be a ground offensive. The third was its failure to anticipate that so-called moderate Arab countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, would turn a cold shoulder.
The fourth was its inability to predict accurately what the radical axis in the Middle East would do. It was certain that Iran, Syria or Hizbullah would come to its rescue by opening up a second front. None did.
Its final mistake was misreading the Palestinian street. Military Intelligence believes many Palestinians have become disenchanted with Hamas, blaming it for the devastation in Gaza, caused by what they consider an unnecessary war.
Now that the operation is over, it is this devastation that is turning into the main story. Israel is doing its best to counter the difficult images emerging from the Strip, but knows that there is nothing it can really say when faced with pictures of little children crying near piles of rubble that used to be their homes.
CHIEF OF General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi does not believe that the IDF used disproportionate force. It dropped hundreds of thousands of flyers warning about imminent incursions, at the risk of losing the element of surprise. It also made more than 250,000 calls to land lines and cellphones to warn Palestinians about air strikes.
In closed-door meetings this week, Ashkenazi defended the use of force, saying that Israel did not choose the urban centers as the theater for the war. "Had Hamas fired at us from the beach, we would have fought against it there," a senior official said. "It is not our fault that Hamas decided to fire at us from inside mosques, homes, hospitals and UN facilities." Had Israel not responded with force to Hamas attacks, the official said, the alternative would have been to lose a lot more than 10 soldiers.
Ashkenazi has no doubt who won this round. In comparison to the Second Lebanon War - which he calls a "missed opportunity" - Operation Cast Lead was a grand success. A relatively small force - just larger than a division - was employed in Gaza, as opposed to the four divisions that were used in Lebanon in 2006.
AS IT prepares for the next round - which it has no doubt is only a matter of time in coming - the defense establishment is focusing its efforts on obtaining the release of Gilad Schalit. A month before the war, a top member of the General Staff said military pressure was the only effective way to get Hamas back to the negotiating table. "We need leverage," he said. "And there is no better leverage than military pressure."
Now that Hamas is badly beaten, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is hoping that by the elections on February 10, he will succeed in clinching a deal for a prisoner swap. The IDF believes that Hamas, in an effort to win back Palestinian public opinion, will take this opportunity to demand the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Its original demand of 1,400 is unlikely to change. But defense officials this week raised the possibility that the type of prisoners would be negotiable, which means that hundreds of those with blood on their hands might not have to be considered for release.
Until next MONTH from the Kol HaTor team!
PEACE AND BLESSINGS
Compiling editor: Agatha van der Merwe
Content control: OvadYah Avrahami
Participating editors: Dr Robert Mock, Geoffrey Messervy-Norman, Stephen Spykerman
Torah Guidance: Rabbi Avraham Feld
Subscription – Regular subscription to this News letter is for Active Participating Associates of the KOL HA’TOR VISION only – who may freely forward and distribute it as they wish.
To register for KHT association, please complete your registration details at http://www.kolhator.org.il/join_us.php