Beth Tfiloh’s own Rabbi Ross Singer responds to Shira Lipkin’s article, Israel is Not My Birthright, in Meriting Our Birthright.
I really don’t like to speak during the summer, but what can I do when everyone seems to be speaking about the matzav – the situation in Israel. I cannot wait for the war to be over so that Israel can clean out the tunnels … and I can clean out the inbox on my computer! I have been inundated with people sending me articles about the matzav. Most all of the articles focus on how the world has been reacting to the war; the on-going criticism of everything Israel does. The world’s reaction is disgraceful … from John Kerry’s sarcastic “open microphone” comment regarding Israel: “Some pinpoint operation … some pinpoint operation …” Last year a group examined six drone attacks the U.S. conducted in Yemen. It discovered that at least 57 out of 82 people killed were innocent civilians! “Some pinpoint operation” … and the 133,000 civilian casualties in Iraq, also “some pinpoint operation. And then there is the United Nations Relief Works Agency, UNRWA, being shocked to discover that rockets were found in two of its schools and then turning the rockets over to their rightful owners – Hamas! Remember who this Hamas is – as one writer, Chemi Shalev, described them: “Hamas is a cruel, fanatic, fundamentalist, reactionary, totalitarian, misogynistic, Holocaust-denying, human rights abusing, anti-democratic, anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic movement that embraces terror, sanctifies martyrdom, glorifies death and condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden.” That is the people that people in the West cry for, protest on behalf of, and condemn Israel for trying to protect itself from. And the crazy part is, even the Arabs themselves seem to have come to grips with what Hamas is. You don’t see many rallies on Hamas’ behalf on the streets of Arab countries; most all the pro-Hamas rallies come on the streets of the Western countries – the so-called “civilized world.” READ MORE
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss “Critics of Israel at Home and Abroad” in my Shabbat sermon. But before then…
Want to know what it’s like living on the Gaza border right now? Dana Bar-On tells you:
There is one word – a Hebrew word – which over the years has taken on a specific meaning. The word used to be considered neutral but now it’s considered a negative. The word is “matzav” – literal translation: “situation.” The word used to be used quite innocently. One person would say to another, “Mah hamatzav – what’s up?” It’s a question that didn’t even need an answer! Or, one Israeli would say to the other: “Yesh matzav” which can mean, “Something’s going on.” If an Israeli Prime Minister were to deliver a State of the Union address, it would be called “Matzav ha-umi – the nation’s situation.” But today, the word “matzav” refers to only one situation … and that is Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. According to Ruvik Rosenthal, a language columnist for one of Israel’s newspapers, “The word “matzav” is a word with a negative connotation … according to the dictionary definition it is a neutral word, but in daily usage it has a connotation of tension, sadness, problems.” READ MORE
On Tuesday, June 17th, I was supposed to have a dialogue about the current landscape of Israeli politics with Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett. Regrettably, due to the current situation, that program has been cancelled.
If you are in the Baltimore area, please join us at Beth Tfiloh Congregation on Tuesday evening for the recitation of special prayers for the safe return of the three Israeli young men at Mincha/Maariv services, beginning at 6:40 pm in the Epstein Chapel.
What else can you do?
Petition the White House to help secure the safe release of these young men:
• Use all means necessary to facilitate the safe return of the 3 abducted teens in Israel, including one American citizen.
• Demand the release of 16 year-old American student Naftali Frenkel kidnappers by Palestinian Terrorists.
I saw this article last week, 88 Senators Sign Letter Calling Hamas-Abas Gov’t a “Setback to Peace”, describing the bipartisan letter sent to President Obama which was led by Senator Ben Cardin. It’s even more true — and more important for you to read — today.
It was the Gentile prophet Bilaam who proclaimed those immortal and, unfortunately, true words regarding the Jews: “Hein am levaded yishkon – behold they are a nation destined to dwell alone.” In many ways the state of Israel is the most isolated one on earth. It is surrounded by neighbors, many of whom do not recognize its right to exist, and who have no economic or diplomatic relations with it. And even with the two neighbors with which Israel does have a peace treaty, very few of their people visit Israel. On the international scene there is a movement to boycott Israel. Well known entertainers like Dustin Hoffman, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and, of course, Jane Fonda refuse to step foot in Israel. No member of Britain’s royal family has ever paid a state visit to Israel. So when popular international icons do visit, that is big news in Israel! In recent weeks, Israel has had three such visitors … there was Justin Timberlake, who immediately won over the hearts of all Israel when he paid a moving visit to the Western Wall and began his jam-packed Tel Aviv concert with the words, “Yalla balagan” – slang words known to all Israelis as meaning, “Let’s go for it … let’s get the show on the road!” And you don’t get much bigger than the Rolling Stones, and they won over the hearts of all Israelis when they delayed the start of their show, which took place on the first night of Shavuot … they delayed it so that their Orthodox fans would have time to drive to the concert when Yom Tov was over, and they introduced themselves by saying: “Anachanu ha-avanim hamitgalgalot – we are the Rolling Stones!” READ MORE