Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taliban nation?

Yes. This is how they describe the events that are transforming Israel, the country I was born and raised in, into another Afghanistan, or Iran.

There is the phenomenon of Israeli women who cover their heads and faces with borkas like cover called "schal." There is the phenomenon called "exclusion of women," were women are forced to be separated from man in any public place. This is not exclusive only to the Haredi society, but it is creeping into the day to day lives of secular Israel, such as segregating women in to the back of buses. It is taking over even the Military. In acts of politically correct, or maybe I should say "religiously correct," the exclude women from singing in front of man soldiers. The Haredi community is eager to force Israel to become a halacha nation.

I rely here on Chaim Elbom's article in YNET:

How did this Minhag of "segregation of women" came about? Well, we don't have to go far. it is right there in the Shachrit prayer in the Siddur: ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם שלא עשני אשה --"Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, for not having made me a woman." Not withstanding the many "different" excuses, who can or cannot explain this "blessing," the bottom line is that this is not written in the Torah. Maybe at the time this prayer was constructed this "blessing" was the conventional thinking, but, today, it does not fit at all.

What is hard to understand is how today women, Haredi as they are can let this go unheeded, or why modern Rabbis are not willing to change this prayer. It is hard for those who do not live in Israel and do not experience the changes concerning the status of women, to feel the frightening connection between the words and the deeds.

What can be expected from a kid who grows in this society? How does chanting this blessing every morning effects his relationship with women? How Will he treat his wife? How would he treat his sister? How Will a boss promote a woman worker? And how does this "blessing" effect women who grow into it?

Sadly, the "blessing" "...not having made me a woman" is the source of all these new diseases who are threatening to engulf us with "Exclusion of women." It started with raising the Mechitza in the synagogue, it continued with removing the screen, and ended with changing it from a cloth mechitza to a sealed wooden one. It gotten worse when they started separating boys and girls in the youth groups of the modern Orthodox. The women in Jerusalem were moved to the back of the bus, and there is a push to repeat it in other cities. women were forbidden to wear strong pastel colors, they were not allowed to sing with men around, and were not allowed to speak in public in some Haredi circle. from there, to the "Taliban women" phenomenon it was a short walk.

We are exhorted to love the Gerim. Not to cause them sorrows, because we were also Grim in Egypt. But what about our women, what about ourselves?

I suggest to all of us who pray Shachrit from the Siddur to drop this "blessing" from our prayer. It has no place in Judaism that honors its women. Let's not wait until the rabbis will wake up and change this "blessing." By excluding this blessing we can show that we are not contributing to transform our Judaism from a love your neighbor religion to a Taliban nation.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On James Pyles blog "Morning meditations"-
the other day, the discussion turned to mysticism. James wrote this:
"Actually, that’s a good question. We’re not prophets certainly but do “ordinary” human beings have the ability to have an “information exchange” with God? I don’t mean a conversation the way we see Abraham or Moses talking with God, but can we make “contact”? Are our prayers in vain or does God hear us? Are our requests to hear from Him in vain or does God, in some manner or fashion, “speak” to us? Can we hear Him?" He asked me to write a blog telling my thought on this subject. So here it is, I rely here on Tim Hegg's teachings.

It is a given that there is a mystical aspect to our faith. A spiritual (something that is not physical) reality. It is something We cannot physically observe, investigate, experience or experiment with. James asked: ..." Are our requests to hear from Him in vain or does God, in some manner or fashion, “speak” to us? Can we hear Him?" Yes He spoke to us in His Word.

When we pray and wait for an answer how are we as humans sure that what we "got" is what God really meant for us to "Get?" Is the divine meaning go beyond what we can understand? Are we to look for a "deeper, hidden meaning" that go over our head with its literal understanding? Christianity made an art of this. For the Christian Church the "fuller sense" is far and better than the "literal sense." But what is the criteria that determines what is and is not a "deeper sense?"

Paul writes, that " The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom. 8:16. He describes here the mystical nature of the relationship between the Spirit of God and the spirit of the believer. We cannot base our understanding of this relationship on our experience or any esoteric writing, we can only base it on the Word of God. We have to judge our experience by what the word says, not visa versa, because we believe that the Spirit will lead us according to the very Scriptures He inspired. The Kabbalists say no. They say that one comes to know God best through the mystery of ecstatic, mystical episodes with the divine, therefore, one can find the meaning of the Biblical text through their experience. This is rampart withing Christianity and Judaism alike, "theosophy" in Christianity and "Pardes" in rabbinical writings.

To sum up,I believe, when one "get" an answer to his/her prayers, one has to evaluate the answer against the Scriptures, not against one's life experience.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Progressive revelation

Is progressive revelation biblical?

If so, then why it is so destructive?

If new revelation come by way of progression, are then earlier revelation anulled?

What do you think?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Modern Sicarii?

From Wikipedia:

"Sicarii is a term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, (probably) to an extremist splinter group of the Jewish Zealots, who attempted to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea using concealed daggers (sicae, in Latin). the Sicarii used stealth tactics to obtain their objective....At popular assemblies, particularly during the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, they stabbed their enemies (Romans or Roman sympathizers, Herodians, and wealthy Jews comfortable with Roma rule), lamenting ostentatiously after the deeds to blend into the crowed to escape detection."

A new unknown group titled "sicariikim" is throwing havoc in Jerusalem, scaring the secular, and Haredi communities alike. This small group of a few dozens Haredi youth, is defined today as the most radical and violent collection of thugs who operate in Jerusalem today. The Haredi community is expressing reservation about their activities, and the ultra-Orthodox newspapers and websites who usually refrain from criticizing any activities of the "Haredi community," are going out of their way to be clear how infuriating they are when it concern the Sicariikim. Stories about their deeds are transferred in a whisper, and accompanied by "it did not come from me."

The Sicariiki group began to take shape ten years ago. Synagogue "Ohel Sara" in Jerusalem is considered the stronghold of the group, and sometimes they are called "the chavurah of Ohel Sara." They were named "Sicariikim" by some of their rivals.

It is a most violent gang, Some of their rivals have already tasted their blows and were severely beaten. Shopkeepers in Meah-Shearim and other Haredi areas, were marked by them and are regularly disturbed. Lately they held several demonstrations in front of "Or Hachaim"-Light of life bookstore located in Meah Shearim, because they were opposed to the store "being full of shady people, and especially women prostitutes" as was printed in adds they published. The sicariikim also do not hesitate to attack Haredi Kenesset members. The last time was about two months ago. Then they attacked the Kenesset Finance Committee chairman and MK (Member Kenesset) Moshe Gafni, and MK Uri Maklev, during their visit to Meah Shearim. The two were forced to flee to a nearby synagogue, and were rescued with the assistance of the Police.

Like other members of the Haredi community, the Sicariikim are also espousing anti-zionism. But unlike them, the Sicariikim will not spare any means in their fights, violence reigns. Funding for their activities comes from contribution abroad, mainly from the US and England. In both countries there exists flourishing communities of anti-zionists, which the Sicarrikim visit to do their "Shcnor" (begging for money), mostly by distorting their real activities.

The Sicariikim are a sect that espouses violence to further their cause. like the Islamic Jihad, they have no ideology or any religion motive. Like the Mafia they are interested in control, they want to control the area. The Police prefer to stay away and not handle them, every time a police car enters Meah Shearim it is being attacked. Lately, though, the police began to take some action. Two months ago they arrested One of their members, Chaim Minzberg on suspicion he harassed some of the managers of the Israeli Antiquities authority. The sicariikim oppose any digging that might damage Jewish graves). The IAA refused to address the issue, and indicated that they rather let the police handle the case. It is alleged that the Sicariikim used to puncture the tires of members of the IAA, to break the locks in their houses and throw stink bombs near their homes.

The sicariikim legal Representative is Yair Nehorai, who represent them almost exclusively. Nehorai who is not Haredi nor Orthodox, claims that "within the Haredi community there is a large group with very extreme religious outlook, who essentially will not recognize Israel. This group will do its out most to avoid contact with any body who represent the state of Israel, whether it be Hospitals, Social workers and so on. For them any connection with the state is out of bounds. the group has great power which comes from the moral imperative in whose name it operates."

One of the leaders of the gang who was confronted by Journalists refused to be interviewed initially, saying "I do not speak with journalists." Later on he claimed " Who said that there exist a grope? There is no such group, it is all just fantasy and invention." Nehorai claims the opposite, "there is a group like that in existence, but it is very limited. There is a combination of real elements and myth in the way this group is dealt with."

So, what do you think? A new phenomenon, or just a newer more dangerous model of the Yad leachim gang?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Musing on the aftermath of Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is past us for this year. We dwell on the meaning, the practice, the rituals. We inject spirituality where spirituality is needed. But we need to open our eyes and look at reality all around us.

Take Israel for example, and welcome to the theater of the absurd. Murderers, rapist, and common thieves wear a Kippa a minute before they enter the court to go in front of the judge. They think that to demonstrate how frum they are maybe will trick the judge to lessen the verdict.

This "show" of the scum of the earth is not working for a long time, but they still try.

Enter Yom Kippur and the millions of "klal Israel" in the Land and the diaspora, who don't have any connction to Judaism but one day a Year, on Yom Kippur, they take out from the glove compartment the Kippa they received in the last funeral they attended, bring the Talit that they did not touch since last year and is a bit smelly. They take the Tefilin they bought the kid ten years ago, clean the dust off the old Siddur, put the whole disguise, and they are off to the Synagogue that they haven't seen since last year. In one day they want to Iron up the suspect credit they carry, and receive a new clean and pure one. Isn't it special?....

How are these people different from the criminal who wears a Kippa a second before he meets the judge? What is the different between criminals "Show" and the "Good Jews" "Show?"

If the judge in court is not impressed with the criminal's trick of wearing a Kippa, why should the Judge of all the earth, who in my opinion is quite busy see it differently? He is probably in stitches when He sees the a majority of Am Israel that in 364 days carried out every imagine sin in the book, now within 24 hours wanting a total Kaparah in the form of a light fasting, and chanting in the freezing Synagogue (air conditioning). Is the Holy One Be He really thinks that just like that without any effort a person can "cleanse" himself with a few hours of Shokeldink (Bending back and forth)?

Yom Kippur for this majority is akin to Catholics who go to the priest for confession and think they come out white as snow. Either one is a believer and keeps the Mitzvot, or they are not. There is no such thing as being "Masorti" (traditions)and keep only the Mitzvot that are easy for them to keep. If one is an apikors (non-believer), then let him have the courage to stay that way and not making a show of the whole thing. I don't think God approves of this.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Like Turkey---Like Rooster

Every year as Thanksgiving comes close the turkeys in the US are starting to shake. Here comes the men with the knifes...As far as I know only one gets pardon by the White House.

Every year Yom Kippur arrives in Israel, it is the turn of the roosters, being the victims of the kapparot. A Minhag-custom that as far as we know was a familiar and a known practice of Slashing the rooster's throat to make a blood atonement.

Please note that even though this custom is noted in the written Jewish tradition, as early as the 6Th century many Rabbis tried to stop it. In the 11Th century Rabbi Hai Gaon, who lived in Babylon, stated that this custom is "the ways of the Amorites," ie, originated in an act of idolatry, but the public ignored the Rabbis who opposed and continued the Minhag.

In recent years, following the growing awareness of the suffering experienced by most of the chickens that are used for making atonement, animal rights activists in Israel began to call on the religious public to replace the roosters with money, pointing to the halacha.

The activist in Israel are putting up posters that read: "saving life, not life for life," and "Judaism--a religion of compassion rather than cruelty." The posters, and leaflets are citing many prominent religious scholars of all times who were strongly opposed to the practice because the cruelty to animals that involved in it. The adds also state the abuse that these animals are suffering along the way as they are being transferred without food or water.

Dr. Yael Shemesh, a professor of Bible study in Bar-Illan University and an activist says: " The suffering of the kapparot roosters starts with the way they are raised, continues with them transferred to the markets in small cages for a long time, and ends with them being circled around someones head followed by the slaughter itself. Opposite the slaughter of the roosters, there is a custom of using money given as tzdaka to the poor. We believe that the day of atonement, a day when a person does some soul searching and asks forgiveness should not be marked with an act that contains cruelty to animals."

According to Dr. Shemesh some of the major Poskinm of all time like the RASHBA and the RAMBAN saw this custom as faulty. Joseph Karo, who wrote the "Shulchan Aruch," wrote in this regard: " The Minhag of Kapparot at the eve of Yom Kippur, where they slaughter a rooster for every male child, should be avoided."

Some within the Orthodox community in Israel are having reservations regarding the ritual: " It is inconceivable for God-fearing Jews to participate in an act like this."

If they only knew that their atonement was made already...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


By now, you all know who this Delek character in my previous blog is. So let's call him by his name, Derek Leman. The "notorious" Derek Leman, as Judah likes to say.

Since birds of feather stick together, Derek usually likes to do the dirty work for another so-called "convert," Boaz Michael. Case in point, Derek's attack on Tim Hegg in his blog. You see, when FFOZ came out with their "divine invitation" doctrine, Hegg sought out to refute this bizarre teaching and wrote an article in which he just slam-dunks this doctrine. Since FFOZ could not refute Hegg's article theologically, exegetic ally or historically, they elected to so-called "remain above the fray," they announce that they will not discuss this anymore. But beneat this "holier than thou" facade, it is OK for them to use hired assassins, and Derek of course just wallows in that.

So this Derek, the "Jew," writes that he wanted to sit in the front row at Tim's seminar wearing a T-shirt that says: "Noah ate pork." Which amounts to the same thing as: "Jesus is a superstar." Both phrases can have a different interpretation, but Derek sticks to Noah and pork because with all the Judaism he acquired, his mindset is still of a Gentile Christian. But go tell him that....

Our lovable Derek is miffed at Hegg for "refuting the competition," as if on his own blogs (and he has about 38 of them, he has a lot of Jews to teach...) he embraces the competition every-single-time...Never mind of-course that the main theme of Hegg's conference was "identity, "Duhh," and was advertised as such, but Derek in his smartness wants to convince us that 200 people are just idiots for not understanding what they have spent their hard earned money for.

Derek writes about Hegg self serving, being completely blind to his own doing. I guess having 38 blogs is not at all self serving...Oh, well... Derek says that one-law gives people "pseudo-Jewish" identity. I wonder what kind of "pseudo" identity cutting his shwantzel gives him. (hey Derek, you are Jewish now, you must of course understand Yiddish, don't you? If not, then e-mail me, for a price I will help you).

More Derek:
"what is my complaint? well, it is that with all that is wrong in the world, with all that God wants us to do, be and know, when I speak to groups of people i don;t waste any of that precious time deconstructing others in order to built myself up."

Say what? you could have fooled me, and many others, self -righteous derek. all we need is to read your 38 something blogs to see how self promoting you are, so please stop playing Jacquelin Kennedy and come down to earth.

"I should point out, the attendance at Hegg's seminar gives an idea how small his constituency is."

one wonder how many "constituance" the first MJ seminar attrated, 13? 14? I gues Jesus had a large group behind him, right derek? All the theologians and scholars of the day where His supporters, right?

"If you have a viewpoint like Hegg's" you are isolated from the Jewish world becuae you don't have a meaningful definition of Jewish identity but instead replace Jews with Hebrew Root Christian in a new kind of supersasseionism the Church fathers never dreamed of."

Coming from one that would be kicked out down the steps from any Jewish Denomination he will try to be a member of, all because he of course has the right meaningful definition of what Jewish identity is. The Goy wants to tell us Jews how it is done, how do you likw them apples? Never mind that Derek did not take the time to try and really explore what Hegg is really teaching. But, then why work so hard? Everyone else in his circle is bashing Tim Hegg, why not jump on the bandwagon? But that is Derek's motto. He noisily defends BE when it is obvious he really did not study it.

Much air and no substance, this is Derek for you--עבד כי ימלוך -the slave becomes a king. ENOUGH ALREADY!

Disclaimer: Tim does not know that I am doing this. In a matter of fact, I asked him in an e-mail if he had seen derek's blog, I have never received a reply.

And a convert shall lead them part II

Once upon a time there was a nice Gentile Christian boy by the name of Delek. Every Sunday he went to church with his parents. He set proudly in the pew and tried to understand what was going on. He went to Sunday school with the rest of the kids, and learned how to pray to Jesus.

One Sunday on the way to Church with his folks, Delek saw a man walking. The man was dressed with black attire, had a long gray beard and glasses, and was wearing a black wide brim fedora. Right then and there, Delek made the most important decision of his young life, he wanted to be just like the man he saw. He begun searching and found out the man he saw was Jewish. "What is Jewish?" he asked himself. When it was explained to him what a Jew is he said to himself "wow, I want to be a Jew.

Years past, Delek grew up became a nice Christian man, and had a nice family. But the old dream to become Jewish was still on the top of his desires, so he set out to pursue his dream. To his chagrin, the first thing he was told was that in order to become Jewish he needs to drop Jesus. "No way" Delek said, "this I cannot do." He kept going from one Jewish denomination to another but to no avail, everywhere he went, he was told "you have to denounce "this man." As strong will as he was, Delek would not give up his dream, so he kept searching, and then he discovered Messianic Judaism. "Hey, those people believe in Jesus, this is the perfect home for me" he said to himself and dived into it hook, line and sinker.

Along the way there were some bumps. He was not allowed to make עליה לתורה - Going up to read from the Torah- it was only for Jews they told him. He was not allowed to wear Talit, Tzitzit, or a Kipah they told him. He is there to serve the Jewish people...All this can change if he will undergo conversion. In the beginning, Delek accepted the verdict, but as time passed he started to see himself not as sitting in the pews, he wanted to become a Rabbi. What a wonderful sound this title has, he thought. But there he encountered even a stiffer opposition. They told him that even though their denomination has Gentile Rabbis from past time, the new laws and regulation specifically state that if you are not Jewish you cannot become a Rabbi.

But that of course will not stop our Delek, heck, not with all leaders withing the denomination who are masquerading as Jews. "What got into those people?" He asked. So he went on a mission to find some Jewish organization that will convert him. Lo, and behold Delek found an organization who was consistent of 3 1/2 Rabbis who were willing to convert him. Never mind that his own denomination did not accept his "conversion," so were any other Jewish denominations and branches. Never mind that Delek's "conversion" papers are not worth the paper they were written on, Delek does not care. He is a Jew in his own mind, which of course is quite a small body of approval, don't you think so?

And then came the flood. Delek was convinced that his small mind approval will give him the authority to tell, us Jews, how to be Jews. He was sure that he was now authorized to teach the father how to make children. After all, he wanted to become Jewish from a young age, and in his small mind he is entitled to tell us what and what not to do. He is Jewish now, you see... They cut his shwantzel and POOF he is a Jew.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real Characters are purely co-incidental....And if you believe that, I have a beach front property in Arizona I can sell you.....

Will continue...