Gaza War Diary 8 Wed-Thu. Feb. 22-23, 2017 Shabbat Shalom Day 1263-1264 8 2am
Dear Family & Friends, Yes, Jonathan Pollard & Manny Winston do look alike. Manny had those same eyeglasses, plaid shirt & “Schlakes” (suspenders). We knew Jay from very early on in his 30 years of prison. We received a FAXed 17 page letter from him in prison…the first FAX on our new FAX machine. We met his parents, z”l; they were at our daughter’s wedding in 1989. We organized a rally by Soviet Jewish (former) Prisoners of Conscience for his release. We did many other things – in addition to writing indefatigably – to bring the truths of his vicious incarceration to the public eyes, hoping their angry clamor for his release & true justice in his case, would speed his release.
His 30 years in maximum security, including 10 years in solitary, would have broken a lesser man, but Jonathan Jay Pollard was immensely strong & brilliant – about geo-politics as well. Now that he’s technically out of jail but still under draconian restrictions, we must still lobby & pray fiercely for his true release. Note the heavy ‘watch’ on his left wrist. I think that’s his GPS (electronic ball & chain) that keeps him from going to shul on Shabbat because it needs to be charged more often than 26 hours (Shabbat length).
May G-d’s “Wings of Eagles” bring him home to Israel, very soon & speedily & in our time!
Emanuel A. Winston, z’l, wrote his first of dozens of stories about Jonathan J. Pollard on the day he was arrested. Why? Because this was the 4th major headlined, front-page scurrilous story in a long series of nasty, dirty newsprint. Every story of that year involving Israel was front-page scandal – until it was dis-proven in the back pages.
Please look up some of Manny’s commentaries of Jonathan’s ‘broken bones’ on our Website: WinstonIsraelInsight.org. Click on “Books” in the title: “POLLARD BOOK”. Here is a very short list #s1-4 of some major media sources plus 10 of Manny’s key articles:
1. “Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People/
1920-1992″ by John Loftus & Mark Aarons St. Martin’s Press 1994
2. “Room With A View of virtually every Jewish citizen, organization & charity in the
world” by Geoffrey Paul London Jewish Chronicle Oct. 28, 1994
3. “Defense Dept. Imposes Loyalty Test on American Jews” INSIGHT Magazine of the
Washington Times June 27 to July 4, 2006
4. “Operation Scope” Wall St. Journal January 17, 1992
List of articles (10 key ones listed out of 68) by E. Winston re: “Shadow Government:
A. “Spying on Friends…Or Enemies” December 20, 1988 Chicago Sun-Times
B. “The Agony Of The Pollards” June/July 1988
C. “Jonathan Pollard Discovered A “Shadow Government” 11/11/88
D. “In The Shadows Of Jonathan Pollard” January 15, 1993″
E. “Bias In U.S. Foreign Policy” December 24, 1998
F. “Why Won’t Clinton Release Pollard?”December 9 & 30, 1998
G. “Treason At Highest Levels: A Story That May Never Be Told” Jan. 10, 1999
H. “Israel Spies On Arabs In America” December 15, 2001
I. “Trolling For Jews” June 26, 2005
J. “A Jew Who Subverts Jews” December 8, 2002
I can only hope & pray that the full story of America’s ongoing betrayal of Jonathan Pollard will someday be fully revealed, justice will be done & he will come home to live in freedom in Israel!
All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta x 2/Mom
IsraPundit by Ted Belman February 21, 2017
Pollard’s disproportionate punishment is a powerful expression of official, state-sanctioned anti-Semitism in America.
Esther & Jonathan Pollard
Speaking to his ministers on Sunday about his visit last week to Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heralded a new era in US-Israel relations. To a degree, he was correct.
When US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greeted Netanyahu & his wife Sara as they alighted from their car at the southern entrance to the White House, Trump demonstrated that the 8 years of hostile treatment Israel suffered at the hands of his predecessor Barack Obama were no more.
But unfortunately, Obama wasn’t the only thing that was wrong with US-Israel relations.
There is also a problem with anti-Semitism.
Rather than confront the problem head on & where it does Israel & American Jewry the most damage, Netanyahu shied away from contending with the issue.
This was a mistake.
Just hours after he left town, another American Jew was targeted by an anti-Semitic slander of the sort Netanyahu failed to address during his Trump meeting.
Thursday afternoon, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee held a confirmation hearing for Trump’s ambassador designate to Israel, attorney David Friedman.
Friedman is a Jewish attorney. He is unapologetic about his support for Israel. The fact that unlike his liberal Jewish predecessors, Friedman does not make his support for Israel contingent on Israel’s willingness to appease the territorial & other demands of the PLO , made him the subject of withering criticism at the hands of several Democratic lawmakers.
While unpleasant, the scathing criticism Democratic senators leveled against Friedman was within the bounds of legitimate debate. They support a different, less supportive policy toward Israel than the policy that the Trump administration is developing. They receive support from ‘Liberal’ Jewish groups that insist there is no contradiction between funding Palestinian terrorists (in the name of the chimerical 2-state solution) & supporting Israel.
What was NOT within the bounds of legitimate debate however, was a question that Democratic Senator Robert Menendez posed to Friedman. Noting that Friedman is “very passionate about Israel”, Menendez asked Friedman to assure the senators that his loyalty & commitment lay with the US, rather than with Israel.
Menendez’s query was beyond the pale because it wasn’t about Friedman’s positions. It was about his Judaism. Inherent to Menendez’s question was a barely disguised insinuation: Jews who are passionate about Israel cannot be trusted by their fellow Americans.
There are many distressing aspects to Menendez’s decision to use an anti-Semitic line of questioning against Friedman. It is distressing, for instance, that liberal Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League did not condemn the liberal lawmaker for trafficking in anti-Semitism.
But by far, the most distressing aspect of Menendez’s allegation that Jews who support Israel passionately & unapologetically are inherently disloyal to the US was its familiarity. The canard that Jews are inherently disloyal has been the bane of the Jewish community in America for generations.
It doesn’t matter how much you love America. It doesn’t matter how much of your life you devote to advancing the interests of America. If you are a Jew & you support Israel, then your loyalty to America will be questioned.
This brings us back to Netanyahu & his failure to address the issue of anti-Semitism in his meeting with Trump.
There is one issue where Netanyahu is uniquely positioned to fight the canard that pro-Israel Jews are disloyal to America.
That issue is the plight of Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for transferring classified materials to Israel. He was paroled in 2015.
Pollard’s plight is important for two reasons that bear direct relevance to Menendez’s anti-Semitic behavior at Friedman’s confirmation hearing & to the problem of anti-Semitism in America.
First, Pollard is proof of American anti-Semitism.
To be sure, Pollard failed the loyalty test. America trusted its secrets to Pollard 35 years ago when he served as an analyst in US Naval Intelligence. He betrayed that trust when he revealed American secrets to Israel.
[Gail Sez: I disagree with Caroline on this issue. We forget, 35 years later, that several US Presidents had signed an MOU Memorandum of Understanding, with Israel to exchange vital information for Israel’s defense against hostile actions by the Arab & Muslim world. Under then US Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger & Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, Deputy CIA Director (who was furious that Israel had successfully bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1991). From that point on, they deliberately withheld this life-&-death information from Israel. Weinberger tried to insure a “Level Playing Field” for the combined Arab confrontation States arrayed against Israel. (What exactly was the Weinberger – Inman relationship with Saddam which enraged them?)
Saddam was already manufacturing WMD. Oh, is that supposedly an “urban legend”? No, it is true & was admitted to publically by Caspar Weinberger on January 16, 1991. Weinberger revealed his knowledge of Saddam Hussein’s intentions to use gas capability against Israel during a radio interview at 3:49 AM – which we heard in our sealed room in a Jerusalem suburb during the first SCUD attack on Israel, January 16, 1991. Weinberger said: “It’s a shame that Saddam is using poison gas against Israel.” In 1983 when Pollard protested the embargo of this information from Israel, he was told by his superiors: “Don’t tell the Jews. They’re too sensitive about gas.” These vicious lies were probably Jonathan Pollard’s first motivation to tell Israel – to blow the whistle!
BTW, during that 1991 Gulf War when Saddam lobbed 39 SCUD missiles at Israel, from January 16, 1991 until Purim of that year, Israelis carried with them their own personal Gas Masks & baby anti-gas tents. We knew Jonathan Pollard’s leak of this information was the reason Israel created their own designs & manufactured millions of Adult & Children’s gas masks & plastic baby anti-gas tents for infants & very young children to be held in to breath safely while the air raid sirens blared. We were very grateful to Pollard for his historic, beneficial leak of this vital life-&-death information &, in his honor, we called our gas masks: “Pollies”. As in: “Don’t forget your Polly.”
America began to withhold these types of information from Israel: Life & Death issues of Arab/Muslim arms that could kill Israeli Jews. As a civilian American Naval Analyst, Jonathan saw arms being supplied to Israel’s sworn enemies: like Yasir Arafat. In fact, at some point in the Pollard IN-justice case, we learned Jonathan saw a large shipment of arms by America in the Middle East. Jonathan thought these were Arms to Arafat in his declared War against the Jewish State.
However, we later learned that, in fact, these arms were part of the American “Arms for Hostages” in the Iran-gate Scandal. George Herbert Walker Bush was then Vice President & heavily involved in this illegal shipment. We believe to this day Pollard was the “Whistle-blower” who exposed this drastic scandal & for that reason, all (or at least, almost all) officials in this ‘deadly deal’, felt they needed to bury this Jewish Whistle-blower 3 floors deep, for Life without Parole.
Weinberger requested this sentence from Judge Aubrey Robinson, by accusing Jonathan of far greater exposures of military secrets than were actually true. They also threw every possible false accusation against him to destroy his reputation to the American, Jewish & Israeli public – should some of his knowledge emerge in his self-defense. They accused him of being a drug addict, alcoholic, homosexual, in it for the money (which he refused), & more – all false, of course. Yes, the Americans running him did eventually bribe him with wedding gifts, promises of positive recognition but, the amounts allegedly given him &/or promised him never were actualized.
BTW, Jonathan never had a trial…just a ‘Grand Jury’ investigation because Pollard agreed to a plea bargain. In exchange for adequate medical care for his very ill first wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, he would tell ‘all’; she would receive proper care; & Pollard would receive a light sentence. The officials lied. By Gail & Emanuel Winston, z’l.
[Now back to Caroline Glick’s article of Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017]
Pollard though, is not unique. Korean Americans, Japanese Americans, Italian Americans, French Americans, Irish & German Americans have also transferred American secrets to foreign governments with which they felt a kinship. To the extent they transferred secrets to states that are allies of the US, they received prison sentences ranging on average between two to five years, served their terms in minimum security prisons until they were released back into society & free to leave the US.
Pollard, in contrast, was railroaded by the US justice system. [Gail Sez: He was indicted for passing classified information to an ally, NOT FOR SPYING, although that charge is almost always mentioned in even the current media reports. The officials in charge of his ‘case’ wanted to ‘break’ him – as a ‘lesson’ to deter any other Jews who cared passionately about Israel.]
He was given a life sentence & served for 30 years in maximum security prisons. He spent his first 10 years in prison in solitary confinement. Over the 30 years he sat in prison, US national security officials & lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide called for successive presidents to commute his sentence. They all refused.
When Pollard was finally paroled in November 2015 his nightmare of persecution didn’t end. Instead he was given draconian parole conditions that no prisoners are subjected to in state or federal prisons. Not only is Pollard barred from leaving the country, he is barred from leaving Manhattan.
He cannot practice Judaism because he is confined to his apartment from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. so he cannot attend morning & evening prayers. He cannot keep Shabbat because he is required to wear a GPS tracking device that he must charge in an electrical outlet every few hours, including on Shabbat when such activities are prohibited. He cannot get a job because anyone who hires him will be required to allow the government total access to their computer network.
Pollard’s disproportionate punishment is a powerful expression of official, state-sanctioned anti-Semitism in America. Since 1985, it has served as a warning to American Jews & as a license to anti-Semites like Menendez to discriminate against American Jews.
For 30 years, as Pollard served out his life sentence at a maximum security prison, no one needed to do anything more than mention his name to put fear into the hearts of American Jews. The message was clear. It doesn’t matter what you do. We will destroy your life if you are too supportive of Israel.
As for US relations with Israel, successive administrations have held Pollard over the heads of Israeli governments. On the one hand, they would dangle the prospect of his release in front of their Israeli counterparts to exact concessions. The concessions were invariably made & the promise to release Pollard was always withdrawn.
On the other hand, Pollard’s crime & his incarceration, afforded successive administrations the ability to use anti-Semitism as a political tool against Israel domestically. Every few years when public support for Israel hit a new high, a mid-level national security official would give a background briefing to reporters & raise allegations of Israeli ‘spying’, along the lines of Pollard’s actions. The subsequent reports would instigate a public debate about Israel, riven with anti-Israel & anti-Jewish vitriol.
During his meeting with Trump, Netanyahu chose not to bring up Pollard & Pollard’s scandalous parole terms. Instead, Netanyahu sufficed with discussing Pollard’s plight at his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. According to media reports, the two men agreed that Ambassador Ron Dermer will work with the administration on the issue. What that means was left open to interpretation.
Given the devastating role the Pollard affair has played in US-Israel relations, it is understandable that Netanyahu wouldn’t want to bring up Pollard at his first meeting with Trump. Who wants to bring up unpleasant subjects when you’re trying to build a new relationship with a new US president?
But while understandable, Netanyahu’s decision to minimize his discussions of Pollard’s plight & then delegate the issue to the VP Pence & his ambassador, Ron Dermer, was the wrong way to build that relationship.
Every day Pollard is subjected to prejudicial treatment by the US justice system is another day that the US is officially persecuting an American Jew, not because he breached his oath to protect US secrets, but because he did so as a Jew.
As Menendez’s bigotry toward Friedman made clear, every day that this continues is a day when it is acceptable to slander loyal American Jews simply because they passionately support Israel. Every day that Pollard languishes under effective house arrest is another day when it is acceptable to question the good intentions of America’s greatest ally in the Middle East.
In other words, to rebuild its alliance with the US, Israel needs more than a warm embrace at the White House. It needs to receive Pollard at Ben Gurion Airport.
President Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington
Netanyahu praised Trump a day after the US president condemned the many bomb threats against Jewish community centers throughout the US.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed appreciation on Wednesday for President Donald Trump’s recent condemnation of anti-Semitism.
“It’s very important that President Trump took a strong stand against anti-Semitism,” said Netanyahu, while speaking at Sydney’s Central Synagogue on Wednesday to the city’s Jewish community.
On Tuesday, Trump spoke out unequivocally against the many anti-Semitic bomb threats on Jewish community centers throughout the US. Trump made his remarks after touring the National Museum of African-American History & Culture.
“We have a battle against those who seek to demonize our people & the resurgent anti-Semitism that we see in many parts of the world,” Netanyahu added. “It is something that we need to fight together.”
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News
3.’Attack on free speech’ as Irish university cancels Israel event by 4.Trump condemns ‘painful’ anti-Semitic incidents היום, 5:26 PM
Hilary Clinton calls on US President to speak out against bomb threats against JCCs & other US anti-Semitic acts.
By Tuesday 2/21/17, 4:10 PM
6.’No Jews’ posted in Toronto condo building/ Anti-Semitic notes found on doors of
several units at condo building in Toronto. By , 5:16 AM
7.At least 10 JCCs in US targeted in 4th wave of bomb threats 4th time in 5 weeks.
Monday 2/20/17 9:19 PM
9.Trump condemns ‘painful’ anti-Semitic incidents
US President says bomb threats against JCCs ‘reminder of work to root out hate & evil.’ Arutz Sheva Staff and AFP, Tuesday 21/02/17 17:26
Donald Trump – Reuters
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday decried anti-Semitic threats against Jewish community centers as “horrible” & painful” promising to work to bridge divisions in the country.
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance & hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said in remarks after visiting the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community & community centers are horrible & are painful & a sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate, prejudice & evil.”
Nearly a dozen Jewish community centers received bomb threats that prompted evacuations on Monday.
At the weekend, more than 100 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri, the facility’s director said.
The White House issued a statement condemning “hatred & hate-motivated violence” in response to a question from an NBC reporter about the anti-Semitic incidents without mentioning anti-Semitism or the specific incidents.
Earlier, Hilary Clinton called on Trump to condemn the anti-Semitic incidents.
Bayit HaYehudi Party leadership calls on its MKs to force government to fulfill promise to Amona residents or renounce coalition.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 23/02/17 20:59
Tour of site of potential new town – Jewish Home Party
The executive board of the Bayit HaYehudi/Jewish Home party held an emergency meeting Wednesday night over the failure to begin construction on a new town for the residents of Amona despite the promises of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
The executive board, which consists of 13 party members, demanded that the elected representatives of the Jewish Home party in the Knesset, Minister Uri Ariel & MK Bezalel Smotrich, force the coalition to fulfill its commitment to implement the promise made to the residents of Amona.
Minister Ariel and MK Smotrich met with Binyamin Regional Council head Avi Roeh to see the site where the evacuees from Amona may be asked to move.
They also visited the seminary dormitory in Ofra where many of the former residents of Amona are being forced to say & witnessed the hard conditions with which the evacuees are forced to cope.
At the emergency meeting, the executive board announced that if “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu renounces his commitment to the establishment of a new settlement for the displaced residents of Amona, the elected representatives of the Jewish Home Party must renounce their commitment to this coalition on every issue & act in accordance with their commitment to their constituents.”
The board members also wrote that the “respect for government decisions is as important as the decisions of the Supreme Court. The establishment of this new community is demanded from the government following the devastation & destruction of a community in the land of Israel.”
“As those who are opposed to creation of a Palestinian state in the heart of our country, expect our elected officials to stand firm on renewing planning & construction in Jerusalem & throughout Judea & Samaria & to make sure that the government of which we are a part does not leave certain areas with a construction freeze or limited construction.”
Returning from Washington, Netanyahu refuses to address report that he’s backing down from new community to replace Amona.
Arutz Sheva North America Staff, 17/02/17 21:37
Netanyahu on the flight from Washington to Israel – Arutz Sheva
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday afternoon would not discuss reports that he was reconsidering his promise to establish a new Jewish community in Samaria for the former residents of Amona.
A report by Channel 2 on Thursday claimed that the Prime Minister was reassessing the viability of his obligations under the agreement and was weighing his options in the matter following his meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, in which Trump said, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements a little bit.”
But on Friday, as he landed in Israel following his visit to Washington, Netanyahu made no reference to the report.
“We have set up a joint mechanism & I believe there will be cooperation between the parties,” he said.
Netanyahu told reporters that the visit to the United States “was a great visit. We have a common strategic vision & cooperation & there are things we want to upgrade.”
Earlier on Friday, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett called on Netanyahu on Friday to fulfill his promise to the residents of Amona.
US President Donald Trump announces Lt. General H.R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser. By Gary Willig, 20/02/17 22:24
Trump & McMaster – Reuters
US President Donald Trump announced Monday that he had chosen Lt. General H.R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Trump made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Trump said that Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has served as the acting national security adviser since Flynn’s resignation last week, will continue to serve as the chief of staff for the National Security Council.
“That combination is something very, very special.” Trump said of the two generals.
McMaster currently serves as the is Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center & Deputy Commanding General, Futures, of the US Army Training & Doctrine Command.
Trump said that he has “tremendous respect” for all of the candidates he met with, including former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that a number of White House officials who are loyal to Flynn wanted Bolton to replace him as national security adviser. Trump said that Bolton will work with his administration in a “somewhat different capacity”.
Arutz Sheva’s popular Italian columnist spent a week in Judea and Samaria, visiting Jewish communities and speaking to residents. He has given us the record of his impressions.
By Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva 22/02/17 09:59
Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter and of “J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel” published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
At night, the “settlement” of Elkana has the breath of an invisible city. Come morning, Jewish children are everywhere. Trees have been planted by the thousands, as if the earth, once rough & sterile, had been forced to turn green & fruitful. Elkana was my base for a week to discover the “terra incognita” of Israel, Judea & Samaria, the territories which the whole world would like to take away from the Jewish State.
The “settlers” are the hawks who do not want to lower their wings, those about whom the UN passes resolutions, those whom the labels of Europe & Obama’s admonitions have tried to drive away from their homes. In June, they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their presence in Judea & Samaria.
Everybody speaks of Israel, few to Israel, fewer still to the “settlers”. Their towns look like fortified American suburbs, as if these pieces of Western civilization had fallen victim to some absurd storm in the middle of nowhere.
These Jewish towns are a kind of silent & tidy Switzerland.
Elkana dominates the view of Petach Tikva (literally, the beginning of hope) which is located inside the Green Line & is the first purposely established village of Jews who came to Palestine in 1878, not to die or be buried in the “land of the fathers”, but to fight & live.
You turn the corner & you see the “gederot”, the barbed wire fence which literally surrounds the community. Out of the gate it is really another world.
Outside the security fence, you find the most idealistic “settlers”. In the “territories”, moving towards the east, towards Jordan, is a way to demonstrate your firmness on the subject. We talk about 100,000 Israelis living outside the thousand kilometers of barriers, walls & fence that seal the other part of the Jewish State.
The geography of fear has been generous with Israel: from the northern border with Lebanon to the last centimeter in the south, the lives of Israelis every day are tied to insecurity.
In the “territories” you are always close to the border, close enough to have it sneaking into homes, cars, dreams & the nightmares of those who live there.
The “West Bank”, as the world calls it, is the most contested land in the world. It covers 5,600 square kilometers, like Liguria, one of the smallest Italian regions. The Israelis now control 40% of this region, according to the Oslo accords. The Palestinian Arabs use these roads, there are no roadblocks & almost no checkpoints, while Jews cannot enter the Palestinian villages. They would be lynched, as were 2 reservists who strayed into Ramallah. Is this “apartheid” the world talks about daily? No? Why not?
Scattered limbs without a soul Arutz Sheva 21/02/17 21:07
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: “The Kuzari For Young Readers” and “Tuvia in the Promised Land”. His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, “Stories of Rebbe Nachman.”
In our previous article, we began to explain the need for a deeper comprehension of Emunah (Faith) & Torah, in order to understand the rebirth of the Nation of Israel in our time. This deeper learning has the power to lift ourselves up to a higher level of existence – the transition from Galut to Geula, from a grave-like existence of dry scattered bones in gentile lands, to our full revitalized life of being a united body & Sovereign Nation in our own Land.
In his book, “Binyan Emunah”, Rabbi Moshe Bleicher explains that the Torah defines the parameters of existence & not the beliefs & opinions of man. An example is the definition of work (Malacha) on Shabbat. The notion of work which is forbidden on Shabbat is not determined by the concepts of man. For instance, human reasoning could maintain that if a person were to perform some difficult labor on Shabbat, this would be forbidden, & if he were to do some work without any effort, this would be allowed. But this is not the case. A person can carry heavy crates from one room to another in his home all day long without transgressing the laws of Shabbat, while if he were to carry a weightless needle in his hand from his house to his neighbor’s house across the street, in a place where there is no ‘Eruv’, he will have violated the Malacha of carrying an object from one domain to another, whose punishment is most severe. It is the Torah which determines the definition of work on Shabbat & not the definitions of man.
When we understand this idea, we can acknowledge another truth. Just as the activities of life are defined by the Halacha (Jewish Law), all of the events of life, large & small alike, are defined by the Torah. If the Prophet Ezekiel, along with Torah giants like Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi & the Gaon of Vilna, define the exile as death, even if the Galut seems in our eyes to be filled with flourishing Jewish life, one must recognize that it is the Torah which determines the definition of a situation & that the Galut is indeed a graveyard, because the essence of the Jewish People, our being Hashem’s holy NATION, does not exist there. Of course, we have to explain why this is so. How can it be that a situation which appears to be thriving, materially & even spiritually, for example, Jewish life in New York, with an abundance of Torah learning & observance, is nevertheless defined by the Torah & by our Prophets and Sages, as death?
In order to understand why the Galut is death, we have to first meditate on the meaning of life. True life is when an organism functions as a whole. For example, no one would say that a severed limb is alive. Or, if you were to place an eyeball on a table, of course it couldn’t see. Without being connected to the soul, the life-force of the body, an eyeball obviously won’t function. The eyeball by itself is dead. Only in its connection to the general body & life-giving soul, can it function & see.
Rabbi Bleicher explains that the reason that the eye cannot function without it being attached to the body is because the eye isn’t a private organ which exists by itself. This is also true for the other organs of the body – the ear, the brain, the heart, etc. If you were to take out all of the organs of the body & connect them together, a man wouldn’t result – only a big, lifeless doll. The thing which gives man his essence as a man is the general life force inside of him. This is what enlivens & operates all the organs of the body, determines their function & also gives man his consciousness as a man. From this general life force, the different parts of the body receive their value & importance.
Just as a life force animates an individual, the same is true for the Clal, the general community of all the Jewish People, past, present & future. As we previously mentioned, the Nation of Israel is the earthly vessel which testifies to the Kingship of Hashem in the world. We declare His praise & bring His Word to mankind. While there are individual Tzaddikim (righteous people) who influence the world with their spiritual greatness, the universal Sanctification of Hashem in the world comes through the Israeli Nation as a whole & not through individual Jews, however holy they may be (Ezekiel, 36:23-24).
There are nations of the world which also call upon the Name of G-d & praise His greatness, but in the very same breath, they are capable of murdering millions & carrying out the most savage, bestial acts. In contrast, when Am Yisrael calls upon the Name of G-d, it is to reveal & establish the Divine Ideal & Morality in the world, with the altruistic aspiration of bettering the life of all mankind.
Rabbi Bleicher writes: “While the world has greatly advanced in scientific & technological spheres, when it comes to morality, the improvement is far less noticeable. Much of mankind is still enslaved to primitivism, to idol worship & its seemingly more sophisticated offshoots like Christianity, without the awareness that that the world has a single Soul, the Source of Ideal Unity, which gives value to everything. Lacking this understanding, the majority of the world lives an illusion & walks like a blind man in darkness.
In contrast, recognition that the world has an Ideal Goal & the forces of life derive their value from a universal, unifying Divine Truth, gives existence a new exalted stature & reveals it is possible to live a life of purity, holiness & nobility, on a lofty & transcendental level” – not only for an individual, but for nations as well & for humanity as a whole.
“This lofty moral recognition is the innovation which Am Yisrael brings to the world. ‘This Nation have I created for myself, they will declare My praise.’ The ability of Am Yisrael to declare the praises of Hashem, to illuminate the world & liberate it from its truncated framework of private interests & egotistical concerns, from its bondage to individual lusts, by attaching all of the forces of life to their ideal Divine Source through the Torah. This stems from the unique vision of Am Yisrael that recognizes the existence of a single unifying Divine Goal which stands at the foundation of the world – the recognition that there is a single unifying force of life that lends ideal meaning to all of the details of life. This is a great Kiddush Hashem, the ability to reveal in life the Universal Unity which gives life to everything.”
The Nation of Israel was created to illuminate this Universal Truth of Divine Unity, to declare the Universal Kingship of G-d. When all of Am Yisrael gathers in its Land, with the Beit HaMikdash rebuilt on Har HaBayit, this Divine life-force appears in the life of the Israelite Nation, in all aspects of its national existence, in their most ideal & healthy format.
But even before the Beit HaMikdash is built, the return to the Land & the Nation’s rebuilding, even in its early, outwardly secular stages, injects the dry bones of the Jewish People with a mighty national vitality that astonishes all other nations in the miraculous nature of its rebirth.
Rabbi Bleicher continues: “Like with an individual man, whose soul gives life to all of his organs & limbs, so too, when Am Yisrael returns to Eretz Yisrael, its unique, national life-force, which only comes to life within the Nation when it dwells in its Land, radiates its powers to all of the national faculties of the Nation & to every vista of its life. The more the Nation is true to its inner essence & draws vitality & strength from the Divine Source of its life, the healthier it will be & it will succeed in achieving its mission in the most complete & ideal fashion.”
This is a life of national Kiddush Hashem, where the Divine Presence is revealed in our midst, through the realization of the ideal, universal, Divine Goals & Aspirations in the life of the Nation, a holy Nation living its national life guided by the Torah.
However, when the Nation of Israel is exiled from its Land & its general, national format is lost, along with the national life-force that goes with it, then its very essence undergoes a drastic descent. To protect itself from the impurity of exile, its general (Clalli) soul ascends to the celestial heights & no longer functions as the battery source of the now scattered & splintered Jewish People.
Exiled from its Land & unable to exist in its national format, the individual (prati) side of life becomes dominate & the forces of life appear separately, seemingly independent, one from the other, like scattered dry bones. In this way, the level of life changes & the entire observance of Torah & its Commandments falls into a totally different category of performance – the practice of the precepts without their inner national essence. Scattered throughout the Diaspora, the Jewish People lack the vivifying Divine Soul of the Nation – like a body without a head or a heart. We become scattered communities, like dismembered organs, without any true, national Israeli life of our own. To be continued.
19.Pres Malcolm Turnbull of Australia greets PM of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, together with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull & his wife Lucy, today (Thursday, 23 February 2017), visited the Moriah College Jewish school in Sydney. They were welcomed with cheers by the pupils, who played musical instruments & sang “Jerusalem of Gold” as well as the Australian & Israeli national anthems. The prime ministers & their wives attended a Hebrew lesson & spoke with the pupils. PM Netanyahu called on the children to visit Israel.
After the school children had sung & played the national anthems, Netanyahu told the children: “When you come to Australia, you feel warmth. First of all, the sun is shining, like in Israel. Secondly, people are completely informal, like in Israel. Third, there is just this vibrant friendship, a feeling of kindred spirits & it’s on this occasion that I come here with a great privilege with my wife Sara. It’s not the first time we’ve been to Australia, but it’s the first time that I come in the capacity of prime minister of Israel to extend the hand of friendship. That friendship, as Malcolm Turnbull had just said, extends for a century. A hundred years of friendship & we’re celebrating now the beginning of the next one hundred years of friendship between Israel & Australia.”
“Now, Prime Minister Turnbull has spoken of a great Jewish warrior, a great Jewish soldier, John Monash. But Monash was the exception. It’s important to understand what happened to our people, what happened to our people throughout our history & the great transformation that took place in the rebirth of the State of Israel.
“I was born one year after the establishment of the state. You all were born later. Probably your parents were born after the State of Israel and maybe some of your grandparents even. But it’s hard to imagine what the world was like for the Jewish people before the rebirth of the Jewish state.
“We take things for granted today, but they’re not obvious. You see, the fact is in modern times there were very, very few Jewish soldiers – almost non-existent. This is a great change compared to our antiquity. You know the story of the Maccabees, yes? They were great warriors. You know the story of Joshua? Great warrior. King David? The other kings of Israel? You know that story. So in antiquity, our people, though we were small, were known for their fierce courage, their ability to fight. We didn’t always succeed but we always resisted the attempts to oppress us & enslave us & we produced some of the greatest heroes that mankind has known.
“This is the story of the Jewish people in antiquity, but because we lost our independence against mighty powers, including the Roman empire, we were able to fight for our independence, able to muster our courage, able to show gallantry in the battlefield as long as we kept our land. But once we were driven away from that land, we were stripped of our powers.
“Century after century, the Jews were stripped of the power to resist the various attacks on our freedoms, on our very existence. And over the centuries in the Diaspora, the Jews who had been known as gallant fighters in antiquity were known essentially as a rootless people unable to fend for themselves, unable to demand the basic rights & respect that any human being & any human group deserves.
“So we were transformed from this fierce, fighting people in antiquity gradually to a people unable to defend themselves & this progression of calamities took place over the centuries – first massacres & pogroms & mass expulsions & then finally culminating in the greatest tragedy of all, in the Holocaust.
“There is a book, a film actually, that was produced by Claude Lanzmann, a French Jew, called Shoah. Have you heard about it? Yes. Well, in Shoah, in the Warsaw Ghetto, the darkest days of the Warsaw Ghetto, one of the survivors, one of the last occupants of the ghetto escapes through a sewage tunnel & he goes to seek help in Warsaw. He meets some Polish resistance people, non-Jews. He said, ‘Please help us. Help us. Bring us some help.’ The Polish resistance responded, ‘We cannot help you. We cannot help our Jewish brethren.’
“This person goes back through the sewage tunnel, exits in the heart of the Warsaw Ghetto & he sees no life around him. Everything is silent. Everything is dark. He says to himself, “I am the last Jew on Earth. The Jewish people are finished.”
“But it is a fact that we weren’t finished. It is a fact that we mustered that ancient courage that characterized our people, that we reestablished our independence in our ancestral homeland, that we rebuilt a state & formed an army that brought the courage of the Maccabees back to life. You see it in the soldiers of Israel. You see it in their courage, young men & women, who time after time stand up & defend our state. The world wonders & they say, ‘What is this Israeli army? Where did it come from?’ It’s been there all along, but we had to come back to our State. We had to come back & rekindle that spirit.
“So I spent 5 years in the Israeli army. I had a lot of training, walking around the country, hiking through it. It’s not a hike, you know? You carry a 50 kilo pack on your back. It’s not the most pleasant of experiences. Yet I remember that as we were doing these marches, I still would look at the country & I said there is something magical about it.
“I remember one time we came to the foothills of Masada, after a very lengthy trek & you think… You’d go to sleep, rest your body, but I couldn’t sleep. I was looking at that fortress & I was thinking of the great defeat that we had here, which also seemed to be the end of Jewish history. Then I looked up & I said, well, we’re here. The Romans are gone. The Jewish people & the Jewish State are resplendent, back to life, able to defend themselves, able to create a future for ourselves, able to contribute to mankind.
“This is the rebirth of the Jewish state & the amazing thing is the transformation that this created for Jews everywhere, because Jews everywhere drew power, strength, conviction & pride from the rebirth of the State of Israel. Natan Sharansky told me that when he learned of the Entebbe rescue, it gave him enormous, enormous conviction & enormous confidence in resisting the mighty Soviet empire. Jews were transformed as the Jewish state transformed Jewish history & Jewish destiny. You are part of that destiny. You are part of the reborn Jewish people.
“If there’s one thing that I could tell you here today: Be proud Jews. Stand up. Be proud. Stand with Israel. Stand with our people. Be proud Jews. Do this in Sydney & do it in Jerusalem. Come this year to Jerusalem.”
During the visit, one of the teachers of the school gave Sara Netanyahu a letter addressed to her.
Mrs. Netanyahu has participated for several years in events for lone soldiers & Garin Tzavar – which brings immigrants to Israel for IDF military service as lone soldiers. In the summer of 2015, at a Garin Tzavar event, they surprised a soldier & brought his mother from Australia. The soldier met with Sarah Netanyahu who embraced him & expressed appreciation for his decision to serve as a lone soldier in the IDF.
This morning the circle was closed, when the mother wrote in her letter as follows: “Dear Sara, as you embraced my son I would also like to embrace you with all my heart. Lone soldier’s mother, Janna.”
The mother thanked Netanyahu in her letter for her support & said that she was moved by the encounter with her son & Mrs. Netanyahu’s interest in him. “Much of the great longing has eased knowing that my son gets such a warm welcome.”
Sara Netanyahu was moved by the letter & is appreciative of the privilege of accompanying lone soldiers in their difficult decision to drop everything & go to Israel for IDF service. She said that when she meets with lone soldiers she always thinks of their mothers & salutes them in her heart.
Sara Netanyahu – Haim Tzach, Inc.
/22/Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Visits Sydney – Day 1