Friday, May 30, 2008

Helter Smelter

King Oil is rising in western Sibieria, according to a recent National Geographic article. Formerly pockets of isolation and desolation, dilapidated slum-villages are now turning into thriving suburban areas. Nightclubs, museums, fancy schools, sports centers sprout in the towns. With better housing and job opportunities, they attract newcomers, and in sharp contrast with the rest of the country –the rest of Europe, in fact- there is positive population growth. The article barely pays lip service to the ecological and environmental impact of more than 70 billion barrels of crudie being exploited, often forcing out local nomadic tribes. One town even boasts a statue of an oil drop – I don’t think anyone in the Western World would get a free pass on that one. And even the fact that they are harsh on immigrants (mostly Muslims from FSU, lured by the low wages –but wages nonetheless- at the oil fields) doesn’t seem to bother the Geographic.

Of course, we here in the mighty US of A aren’t doormats either – two weeks ago ICE agents raided Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacker in Iowa, and apprehended some 400 illegal immigrant workers. The action was carried out almost as brutally as the apprehension of 400 dangerous children from the “LSD” church, because they were severely abused by their Mormonic polygamist parents. (Side note: an American veteran sent an angry letter to the NG editor saying he worked menial jobs all his life, contrary to their claim in their article “Mexico’s Other Border”, that illegal immigrants are an absolute necessity for the survival of the USA, and that Mexico treats its illegal immigrants from the south so nicely that they’re dying of overfeeding and excessive leisure. In fact, most find this decadence so repugnant that they prefer continuing to the US, where economic hardship forces people to face a harsher –but sane- reality). So why aren’t the other 20 million illegal immigrants raided as well? Ah, you don’t understand – we just don’t want to raise their suspicion. It has absolutely nothing to do with denunciations from far-left hatemongers. A few words criticizing Agri’s slave-oppression and eco-unfriendly methods couldn’t have aroused the ire of ICE.

ICE, of course, has nothing to do with Iceland’s new aluminum smelter, amply lambasted in the Geographic’s March edition. True, the smelter and the power supply necessary to operate it have far larger ecological impact than oil drills, and Western man has already triggered an ecological disaster or two. (Mentioning that nearly all such disasters have been foisted by the USSR and its satellites is beside the point.) However, the smelter was built with all the ecomaniacs’ rules, regulations and restrictions, far, far away from any civilization. But the Geographic and its green goblins still want the smelter stopped and prevent future plants. Instead, they suggest Iceland fire up its economy by selling postcards, opening museums displaying ancient Nordic art, and promote tourism. These are all wonderful ideas, but I don’t think it could stabilize a country’s economy like aluminum production & export.

Let me please jam you with one more gem: Scientists, (genius genius emeritus, a supra-species of humans who have the undisputable right to determine what’s good for the rest of humanity – with that humanity’s money.) are hard at work in the LHC – Large Hadron Collider, a 17 mile long tunnel, some 60ft in diameter, located on the French-Swiss border. The tunnel is equipped with mega-magnets and other mammoth gizmos and computers. It is a particle collider, which scientists hope will help discover the Higgs Particle – a component of protons and neutrons whose existence is still a mystery. And what will they do once they find it? Jack. Scream eureka. Know it exists. But more seriously, the prospective discovery has no immediate goal. It would be one of the many important scientific discoveries that weren’t all that important, yet led to technological improvements- iPods, blue-ray disc etc. The article gloats about the USA finally losing its 1st place in physics, due to the LHC, yet forgets to mention any safety concerns.
The scientific community has an affinity to see the world as a mass of matter only, definable by a set of equations, completely excluding the spiritual. But G-d has an affinity to remind man that he has crossed the line in a rather tragic way. The Challenger and the Discovery space shuttles are but few examples of disastrous negligence prompted by conceit, often occurring when man forgets he’s still not big enough to “touch G-d’s face”.
And unless the mega-magnet cause an implosion of such mega-magnitude that would swallow the LHC with the twenty villages about it, you’ll never hear of its dangerous effects.
Forget all the doomsday scenarios; the mere fact of mega-magnets, unprecedented speeds and temperatures coupled with radiation and all those electro-magnetic fields are reason enough for concern. Yet the roughly 23 mi2 populated area of the LHC seems to be of no concern to anyone. But the ecomaniacs, in cahoots with the scientific establishment fight nuclear energy, and additional exploitation of natural reserves tooth and nail. Shut Indian Point, don’t drill in ANWR, don’t build new refineries.

When senator Harry Can’t Reid (but O’Bama Can Wright!) was asked to consider stopping the use of corn for biofuels (as we sleazy right-wing gun nuts been telling you, [look at end of last para], using corn for fuel drives up the price of corn – in turn, farmers grow corn instead of other basic foods, creating a shortage, obviously resulting in higher prices – and the avalanche goes on) he said he couldn’t believe there was any truth to those claims – but that he’d consider it nonetheless.

And guess who are the only ones not affected by the inflated prices? You’ve got it right – the leeches who live off welfare, foodstamps, section 8 and other government grants. They’re concerned with neither food nor oil prices. And they will invariably vote in the hand that feeds them.

The obvious conclusion is that both politicians and scientists see human beings as lab roaches. Your life means nothing to them. They’ll be kept in power by an illiterate populace that enjoys living for free, while the rest of us can drop dead as far as they are concerned. More and more rules and regulations will keep the undesirables who stand in their way weakened and vulnerable. Of course, we could rediscover local farming and start living a little more responsively. But the immediate reaction can only be tshuva and a lot of prayers. And stock up on ammo.

A lot.

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wake Up (Set Your Sights)

The well-known Meshech Chochmah (Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk) on the posuk “ואף גם זאת בהיותם בארץ איביהם לא מאסתים ולא געלתים לכלותם להפר בריתי אתם” in our Parsha, Bechukosai, explains the inevitable advent of destruction when Jews abandon the Torah and become assimilated and depraved. Many see this as a prediction of the Holocaust, which occurred less than two decades after his passing.

I, however, disagree with this approach. A prediction should be much more precise and focused. Rav Meir Simcha in fact points out the difference between the cyclical history of Gentiles versus that of the Jews; whereas Gentile empires, after “ripening” in might, size and glory, become degenerate, narcissistic, interested only in their enjoyment and material well-being lose their determination for survival, they are struck down by an inferior, yet determined and ferocious nation. This chain of events is observable in all major civilization-empires known to us: Assyria, Media, Persia, Greece, Rome, et al.

In contrast, whenever the Jewish nation follows a similar path, they incur immense retribution and suffering (I assume this is what is taken as prediction of the holocaust, in light of his extremely descriptive language), but aren’t annihilated; they survive as a nation despite the terrible calamity.

The really puzzling item, to me, is how the author throws together all Jews – Orthodox, secular, reform, etc. - in his criticism. Of course all denominations are deserving of ample criticism, but there are huge differences between these groups. How can one criticize great talmidei chachomim, reformers, common folks, secularists in one sentence – and for the same thing? Is it possible to say “יחשוב כי ירושלים היא ברלין – he shall imagine that Berlin is Jerusalem”, as a combined repudiation for both the lamden and the atheist? How could this be?

I think the answer is simpler than expected – perhaps when our link to the creator becomes so external, so routine, so “מצות אנשים מלומדה”, there is no more difference between frum and not frum. When we, as a whole, exercise our Yiddishkeit so outwardly and routinely that it becomes just a matter of culture or communal adherence – we’re no different than secularists, atheists and reformers. When real yearning for bais hamikdosh is no longer burning in us, when we feel so at ease in golus, when we feel too comfortable in front of the gmora, that’s when Yiddishkeit is truly in danger. When even the sincere ones aren’t so sincere – it’s not for G-d but for the clan or the self, then there is no other way but to fulfill the contract through extermination and calamity, which ultimately results in a phoenix-like revival.

It may seem contradictory to the Torah/Yiddishkeit's uniqueness – consisting in being every Jew’s lot, as imperfect as he may be- but there is a great difference between the average people being imperfect and the entire nation being soaked in gashmius and “self-ism”. We don't live the Torah anymore. The frum seem to ignore bain odom lachvero’s existence, while the self-righteous falsifiers sanctimoniously use this as an excuse for their trampling of the Torah. This is our great problem today.
The writing is on the wall. Neo-Communism (officially named ‘progressivism’) from the West, massacre (officially named “the religion of peace”) from the East, and economical havoc from everywhere, disaster looms while we await the impending doom.

There is no other way but to wake up, repent and unite.
So wake up, wake up and set your sights.

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter

Every evening, after coming back from work, he would sit down at the piano and play the beautiful, uplifting sonatas of Beethoven. He was a hard working, ethical man, who did his best for the advancement of science and health research. He did his utmost best to be loyal to his country and advance its might and its goals. You’d have never guessed in what his work consisted, if you looked in the cruel yet handsome eyes of Dr. Josef Mengele.

And I bet you’d never guess what constitutes Dr. Norman Spack’s work, even if you look very deep in those cruel yet handsome eyes. This is no grim reaper but a soft-spoken professional who takes pride in a job well done. He specializes in sex change “therapy” for childrenlittle children as young as seven years old! (

We just spoke about what ideology can do. And there you are. Avrohom Mondrowitz and his enablers are really idiots. Instead of hiding, they should have just declared that Mondrowitz only offered “therapy” for children. But maybe that would have been too progressive at the time. Outrage anyone? You gotta be kidding – if there are parents willing to do this to their children, is there anything anymore to say? Of course the “Jewish” blogs are already all over Herr Speck, citing his Reform rabbi saying that tranvestites were created in the image of G-d. Yes darling, and Adolf Hitler was also created in G-d’s image. He wasn’t born a monster, mind you. He could have been an ordinary guy, whose name wouldn’t send shivers down peoples’ spines decades after his death. He could have maybe even done some good for mankind, inventing something useful. But he didn’t, dear “Jewish” and “liberal” bloggers. Like Lenin and Stalin, he chose the path of massacre and annihilation. And thus does Herr Dr. Norman Speck Kevorkian as well. You justify and praise him. But you have nothing but rage and hatred for all those who dare disagree with you – Romney, Bush, Savage, Limbaugh etc etc.

Turns out I was right to say the children of the LSD church were illegally abducted. (Actual verdict here.) Back then, everyone was shocked, horrified and appalled by the horrible child abuse that was going inside the church. Have you heard as much as one word in the media about this new Mengele truncating 10 years old children? Nothing, zero, zilch, nada. But it's no surprise, as the compassionate gay-lovers never told you about a 10-years old raped and murdered by homosexuals, who were saved by NAMBLA and the ACLU.

Teddy Kennedy who murdered Mary Jo Kopechne, ripped our borders open, favors homosexual marriage, opposes firearms ownership (so when the cops come to take your kids, or take you to a concentration camp you should be unable to defend yourself. Well, he has a good mentor to take example from) and advocates partial-birth abortion, is about to cross the river - all of a sudden he becomes a saint! Hey, dude, you loved death and murderers all your life, why aren't we allowed to criticize you?

What do you expect from people who advocated pulling the plug on Terry Schiavo but oppose the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal and Tookie Williams. People who love Arafat and hate Cahane? This is tolerance today. Tolerate or die.

Of course, don't expect any rabis to condemn this, chas vesolem. We're safe here in New Sewer, Borrow Park and Fakewood. We're closed and sheltered, aren't we? It's enough to ban Shmeltzer, why anger our dear liberal benefactors who give us foodstamps, sexion 8, welfare, kollel gelt, peanut butter, building permits against the townspeople's will and what not? We can't have it all, can we? So we compromise on a thing or two, vat do vee kare if some meshigana goyim vant to cut dere sons pikel? To ve it vill never happen, jost as six abuse and drogs never happin here. I guess it's a good thing the Muslims are about to take the country over. Only problem they cut everything, kinda closer to the throat. And they don't ask for parental consent.

So next time your kid starts crying, bring him up to a well-reputed Boston hospital for a little truncation therapy. Will sure make him happy.

So bring, bring your daughter to the slaughter. Let her go, let her go, let her go…

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Script For A Jester's Tears

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

If the joke wouldn’t be on us, I’d be laughing.

Barack “I have no middle name” O’Bama has again reinstated his staunch support for Israel. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, even after the affirmative action candidate has abundantly thanked Hamas for their endorsement.
Politicians excreting from both sides of their mouths is nothing new. Every candidate sees it a sacred duty to pander to every single minority, ignoring core issues pertaining to the whole nation.

* *


The king of Judea goes to visit his mechutan, the king of Israel. “Will you come with me to war against Aram?” asks the Israelite monarch. “Absolutely! We be of one blood, ye and I. Thine war is mine war, mine troops are thine troops and mine horses are thine horses.”, agrees the Judean. What a sight! The two Jewish kings sitting side by side in perfect harmony, donning their royal garments, and all the prophets prophesizing before them! What a sight! Ahead steps the prophet Tsidkiyohu ben Cnaanah, with two iron horns in his hands: “with these shall you belt Aram until their demise!” he thunders. Who wouldn’t be inspired by this sight! What wouldn’t you give to see it as it happened! But along comes Michiyohu ben Yimlo, telling Achav he would die in the war.
Achav goes to war despite the true prophet’s warning, and is killed in battle. The dogs lick his blood and the prostitutes bathe in it, as G-d’s predicted by Eilyohu.
Michiyohu wasn’t loyal; he disobeyed the king and bade him evil. Tsidkiyohu was loyal to the king, the kingdom and the mission at hand. The righteous king Yehoshafat, for the sake of unity and the nation’s integrity, went along with Achav. Maybe he saw beyond the present moment, and wished to end the schism and reunite the Jewish nation under one kingdom. Seemingly, this was the wrong decision – there are, perhaps, certain principles that cannot be forfeited even for very lofty ideals.
Achav’s kingdom eventually vanished, its people exiled never to return. The Davidian dynasty lasted a few more centuries; but after returning from an exile earned by bloodshed, giluy arayos and idolatry, they were finally exiled for vain hatred.

* *


Ideologies were the plague of the twentieth century. Ideologies rose and fell, and in their names millions were starved, tortured and exterminated. Brother was pitted against brother, family against family, entire clans and nations were lost amid terrible suffering and bloodshed. “In my own time, governments have taken the place of people. They have also taken the place of God. Governments speak for people, dream for them, and determine, absurdly, their lives and deaths”, says Ben Hecht. Ideologies have replaced G-d and truth, and the loyalty to them has replaced one’s loyalty to truth, honesty and decency.
A short while before a pack of Russian brutes overthrew a tyrannical regime, every single enlightened Jewish intellectual would have sworn on his head that he’d never harm those black-cloaked bigots who believe in some medieval mumbo-jumbo. A few years later, these learned intellectuals were torturing their Jewish “brothers” in horrible dungeons, sending their families to gulags and reeducation camps.

Every German would have given his honest word that he’d never harm a Jew, under any circumstance. Along comes a vulgar subhuman ignoramus, and sweeps an entire nation after him - needless to mention the aftermath.

The benevolent ideology of two German “Jews” living in London caused over a hundred million horrible, brutal deaths. That ideology’s party is legal in Israel – Kach isn’t. In the name of an ideology, everything is permissible and acceptable – as long as it’s for the good of that ideology, - meaning, for the corrupt ideologues who live off of it.

And this is how rabbis, dayonim, judges – leaders of the people, people who are supposed, nay obligated, to be the most righteous, honest and veracious men, living examples of truth and justice – are corrupt beyond belief, put down one another, rule according to their ideology, putting truth and the good of the nation aside, and their affairs become public domain. That is how they abandon their flock and see only their agenda and themselves. Blind faithfulness to idealisms and a mad rush to put it above all else was the downfall of many a righteous leader – and their nations.

The prevalent ideology of loving depravity and “social justice” is but a mask for power grab and tyranny, as well as a magnet for Islam – the ideology of achieving the same end in the name of piety, purity and slaughter. The danger is real, and the danger is here. And while unprincipled, empty presidential candidates chase unprincipled empty voters, your holy leaders giggle in the shadows to see which liar will win and give them a bigger jar of peanut butter, or release one of their buddies from jail.

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008


Dr. Marc Shapiro’s article about the controversion of the Supereme Rabbinical Court’s annulling all the giyurs done by Rav Druckman’s bais din best reflects how Modern Orthodoxy sees the issue. There are two separate yet intricately intertwined subjects at hand; the purely halachic aspects of the ruling, and the ideological conflict, with many social-judicial issues deriving from them. The latter is obviously the main issue, as far as the spectators are concerned.

Shapiro makes many a salient point, and raises the painful and complicated question of the haredim’s legitimacy in dealing with a State they reject. He concludes that Religious Zionists and Modern Orthodoxy should totally divest from haredim. Not a bad idea in itself, but not too practical either. Though I sympathize with a systematic purge of all haredi rabbis from the rabbinate, this runs contrary to the democratic ideology of ראשית צמיחת גאולתינו.
But more realistically, the Agudists would probably join ranks with the Aida Charedis and all collaboration with the rabbinate would cease. This would cause a major rift within Religious Zionism itself. When all is said and done, most would condone that the State – even if its existence and functioning are a tremendous mitzvah – does not supersede the Torah. This would leave the left-wing RZ/MO drifting to Conservatism and Reform, finally creating two completely segregated nations – probably ending in civil war. (Which is not very civil, come to think about it.)

He also makes a few largely true, but somewhat wily statements. “The haredi community survives due to Israeli government subsidies,” he states, forgetting that the heiliga Medinah survives due to American subsidies. In fact, Patrick Buchanan claims Israel intervenes too much in American affairs - I’m not sure Shapiro agrees with him. Haredim don’t serve in the army, he charges – an army that recently dragged Religious Zionist Jews out of their homes and systematically refuses to protect its citizens. On the other hand, he is not in the least bothered by the fact that Rav Goren served in the Hagana – the military arm of the Leninist Mapai (Labour) that carried out the establishment of the state with an assassination or two. (De-Haan, 17 people of the Altalena, not to mention the passengers of the Patria…)

The claim that the dayonim were disqualified only because they are Religious Zionists is not entirely false. Shapiro in fact openly acknowledges that the source of the conflict is a collision of ideologies, and that the RZ courts admittedly base their rulings on ideology. And this is the very core of the problem: people blindly following ideologies and placing them above everything else. That is how distinguished rabbis call other dayanim “apikorsim”. Haredim are a tad bit disingenuous in claiming that their way is no ideology, but it is safe to claim that at least in theory, "haredism" consists in living the Torah in the most undiluted way possible. Once other avowed ideals are woven into the Torah fabric – be it evolution, the State of Israel or baseball – there is nothing stopping these external ideals from overriding and finally replacing it. When בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך and כי הם חיינו are starting to be taken allegorically, all the rest goes through the window.
The very same Torah that states ואהבת לרעך כמוך also says לא תחוס עינך עליו. The Torah cannot be made into some wishy-washy, touchy-feely ding dong school just to conform to someone’s ideology – be it lofty as it is.

An oft-recurring argument is that haredim use and abuse “orthodox unity” to force their view on everyone else, and he is right about that. There is no such thing as “orthodox unity”, there is only Jewish unity. The haredi rabbinate doesn’t give a hoot about any kind of unity. But venal and sold-out as they are, there still is a flicker of a yiddishe neshome in them, a vestige of the most primal loyalty to the Torah, to G-d (as opposed to some ideology) their peers lack. So far, even completely unobservant Jews can somehow belong to the Jewish nation, despite being sinners. This is possible by anchoring the laws that pertain to the coherence and continuity of the nation –marriage and conversion- in the hands of halachic authorities. Once that is gone, secular Jews are gone with the wind, like the ten tribes, and with it the excuse for the state's existence. Yet specifically those whose ideology is that non-Torah Judaism is valid and legitimate, and halocha should be bent to accommodate such “Judaism”, now demand control of these key elements.

Had the same exact annulling occurred between two courts of the same ideology, we’d all witness haredim and Religious Zionists unite against the Stalinist left. But since someone’s ideology did get hurt, they now prefer to run with the tramplers of the Torah, murderers, adulterers and idolaters, whose ideal is to become עם ככל העמים.

The power of ideology.

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Red Barchetta

The hate-and-smear race is on again (not that it ever went away…). Often times it seems as if giyur is but another excuse to flare up feuds.

Some claim that full acceptance of all mitzvos at the time giyur has never been a fundamental condition for conversion. They may be right, but as I have mentioned many times before, there is a huge difference between the situation today and that of sixty years ago or more. Back then, joining Judaism could hardly be attributed to ulterior motives. One wishing to join a nation despised, persecuted, massacred and locked in ghettos was indication enough of sincerity. In that context, perhaps there was less of a need for immediate and complete acceptance of Mitzvos. But after the great destruction of European Jewry, when “Jew” became a term describing everyone wishing to cash in on the Holocaust, Zionism, or the State of Israel, a few thing changed – now didn’t they. The situation got even more problematic with the influx of immigrants from the FSU and intermarried couples from around the world.

But aside from the complex halachic and practical implications, came the “Green Manalishi” factor – in other words, corruption. The higher the demand for conversion, the higher the possibility and temptation for fraud. Fraudulent giyur scandals began to gain public awareness in the early to late 90’es, coinciding with the great immigration wave from the FSU. Rabbis of all denominations were implicated in many frauds and in many ways.

There is also a great ideological war here;
The “charedim”, have a traditionally hard-liner approach to halocha. Although an over-generalization, compared to the MO and Mizrachi, this generally holds true.
As far as giyur is concerned, until fairly recently all Orthodox currents were more or less in agreement on the conversion process. In fact, no other than rabbi Steve Riskin, who is known for a controversial statement or two, has voiced support for acceptance of all mitzvos at the time of conversion. But then ideology started to interfere with halachic process. The Religious Zionists see the settlement of the State of Israel as a mitzvah in and on itself, while some Left-Wing MO rabbis heading borderline-Orthodox congregations have spearheaded the idea of purposely lax rules of conversion. Whether this stems from a desire to enlarge their ranks or for their unconditional love of diversity and the Cult of Multiralism, I know not, and is beside the point. In the USA, this is not a big problem. 95% of such converts do not stay in the system, and those who do, if and when they wish to get closer to more mainstream Orthodoxy, may undergo a more acceptable conversion.
But in Israel the situation is different; if invalid conversion practices become ubiquitous, any secular Jews would de-facto become intermarried, eventually causing a complete rift between religious and secular, radicalizing the already painful schisms in the nation (if there is such a thing at all).

The dishonesty of the proponents of strict conversions, who recently started waving the flag of ‘universally accepted conversion guidelines’, is that they ignore the abysmal corruption in the giyur business.
Equally dishonest is the unending hand wringing of the Modern Orthodox and Mizrachi “victims” oppressed by the bloodthirsty charedim. The paragons of nuance, balance, and inclusiveness can’t have enough shedding crocodile tears for Rav Druckman and those converted by the batei-din he oversees. So far I have not read a single article taking Sherman’s ruling on its own merits, shocking and drastic as it is. Furthermore, they all turn this into an absolutely black-and-white (they love this term – especially when they apply it to others) situation, conveniently forgetting that the Rabanut does not recognize conversions by the Aida Charedis or Rav Nissim Karelitz’s batei-din, for example - not to mention the many different Moatzot Datiot (regional “Religous Councils”) fraught with power-plays and feuds over jurisdiction and funds etc.

Most appalling and repulsive are the secular journalists who feign to respect Rav Druckman. It wasn’t ten years since they all smeared him in chorus, accusing him of covering up for Ze’ev Kopolevitch. (Later convicted of sodomy and molestation. After serving his sentence he was reinstated in his former position of Rosh Yeshiva.) I guess their idealism made them (as well as the honest bloggers who bring up the molestation cases in the charedi sector even in the giyur issue) forget this.

To the best of my knowledge, so far, no one has even considered the halocha of “כשיד ישראל תקיפהת אין מקבלון גרים” (“when Israel is powerful, converts are not to be accepted” – the reason being that under such conditions the intentions of prospective converts cannot be trusted to be genuine). This should be considered especially by those who see the State as part of the ultimate redemption. In fact, none other than Shlomo HaMelech was harshly criticized for marrying converts against the Sanhedrin’s will, and it ultimately led to splitting the kingdom.
Since the corruption factor isn’t mentioned by anyone, neither the sharp rise in conversions, I have reasons to doubt all sides’ real motives. If it’s really Clal Yisroel’s and geirim’s benefit on everyone’s mind, I have a great solution for everyone: for five years, no geirim, period. During those five years, when there’s no money, fame, congregants or other benefits to be made, let all denominations sort out all the halachic differences. After such a long period, I am convinced that so many wise men will sure find a way. If there’s still no solution, anyone wishing to join such a nation is completely mad, and since he has no da’as to decide on such a drastic step, he can’t become a ger. (Though personally, I’d apply this logic today.)

this is convertible

this isn't!

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hotel California

An article strongly criticizing the trend of going to a hotel for Pessach upset Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz. His main objections were calling the trend ‘the greatest threat to Yiddishkeit’ and rebuking too harshly. He pointed out that there are scores of other grave problems afflicting our communities, and it would be far more beneficial to concentrate on those problems.

It seems to me that Rabbi Horowitz forgets a fundamental principle. I'm sure there are millionss of legitimate reasons to go to a hotel for Passover. Maybe it is true that declaring going to hotels as the ‘greatest threat to Yiddishkeit’ is exaggerated. But maybe we should not take this statement so literally after all. Maybe that fire and brimstone thundering rabbi meant to say, in a broader perspective, that letting modern western culture – a euphemism for unbridled materialism and hedonism – to become part of Yiddishkeit, is indeed an existential threat.

When a kid goes on drugs or off the derech, when a child is abused, it is a tragedy. Not only a personal tragedy of that individual and his family, but a tragedy of all Clal Yisroel. Nevertheless, it doesn’t endanger Judaism.

The Torah warns us, numerous times and in no uncertain terms, that when we start sinking in gashmius, we forget G-g, we rebel, and all hell breaks loose. When every kind of lust and desire is available in a glossy, fancy, Glatt Kosher Veyosher package, rubber-stamped by several corrupt narcissist “rabbis” who buy new Cadillacs yearly, do shidduchim exclusively with rich businessmen, and no one says a word, than Yiddishkeit itself is sick, from head to toe and down to the marrow.

Rabbi Horowitz accuses the author of being too harsh, instead of using soft, fatherly rebuke. Rabbi Horowitz is absolutely right – fatherly, gentle rebuke is indeed necessary. But since it has been missing in the past thirty years, it’s high time someone finally slams his fist on the table and calls a spade a spade, a fat slob a fat slob and a fresser a fresser. How can we go on whining about at-risk kids while we are the ones putting them at risk? We learn about mesirus nefesh, self sacrifice, yet all our kids see is lip-service Daf Yomi and Micha/Maariv –if at all-, in sharp contrast to the true burning love for fancy-shmancy houses, cars, designer clothing and gourmet restaurants.

Too many children are practically raised by Mexican cleaning ladies, barely see their parents, their fathers and mothers never sit down with them to learn some gmora, to do homework, to talk a bit, to read a book, even to play a board game. Then they go to a lavish Hotel for Pessach, – not Tu Bishvat, Chanucah or summer break, but on our Chag HaCheirus!- that’s a tragedy and a serious threat to Yiddishkeit. When our glossy kosher frum magazines boast nauseating adverts for these fressathon hotels side by side with divrei mussar, our kids sense the circus and mockery full and well. The tatte drowns in the schmorg, the in-house lecturer is all smiles amid the miniskirted chassidishe mames, and a week later the kid starts learning Pirkei Oves פת במלח תאכל, מים במשורה תשתה ועל הארץ תישן. Yeah right! Do we really expect little Moishi to take this charade seriously? We oughtta be real surprised when he tries pot, or when he switches mommy’s Cosmopolitan for Playboy, I guess.

Had those in-house lecturers more self esteem than a $2 prostitute, they’d turn down all invitations to such hotels. They could explain, on a gentle, fatherly tone, that if someone is absolutely constrained to spend Pessach in a hotel, it is his responsibility to prepare for the seder and holiday to the best of his ability, but such vacations are anathematic to Yiddishkeit, especially on Pessach.
Housing, clothing and food can all be explained away and justified with klotz teirutzim – but vacation in a spa is pleasure and sloth for the sole purpose of pleasure and sloth. That’s מבזה את המועדות deluxe. Something tells me that when Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reminded that the time for קריאת שמע has come, they weren’t at the Moulin Rouge in Las Vegas. And something tells me also that no one in a hotel would ever be caught telling Yetzias Mitzrayim at daybreak…

© Joseph Izrael 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Raining Blood

On this day, the 27th of Nissan, the state of Israel celebrates the deaths of six million Jews with different ceremonies, the most important of them a minute of silence to remember the murdered.

The greatest celebration, however, is reserved for a group of misfits, - long-time splinters in the enlightened throat of the enlightened secular Israelis – who refuse, even in public, to stand still for one minute, trampling the martyrs’ memory.

The “alternative media”, i.e. extreme-leftist bloggers, can’t have enough harping about how the Belzer rebbe gave a speech promising that all will be well, while he fled Hungary in Januray ’44. With this story, which the mainstream media has dropped a while ago, they cunningly imply that the Belzer is in fact responsible for Hungarian Jewry’s massacre. (Because they know for a fact that all Hungarian Jews – including the anti-religious and anti-Zionists- would and could have escaped otherwise.[1])

Judging the Belzer rebbe is not my objective right now; for the moment, I’ll focus on what happened between the time the Belzer fled and the end of the war.

In March ’44, Hungary was invaded by their German allies. Eichmann immediately sets his death machine (which, in his trial, he dubbed “a medical experiment”) in motion.[2] The Hungarian population voluntarily packed the Jews from all over Hungary and Transylvania on cattle-cars and shipped them off to Auschwitz-Birkenau, to be gassed and burned.

But Eichmann is not the kind of guy to take chances – he needs the oven-fodder itself to take part in his medical experiment. So he summons Rudolf Kasztner, a Jewish Agency Rescue Committee factotum, befriends him, and trusts him with placating the Jews and keeping them docile. For the sake of fairness, and as hard as it may be, it shall be stated that this was an unnecessary precaution; the Jews loved pleasing their Hungarian masters. In mass graves discovered after the war, searchers found photos of Horthy in dead Jews’ pockets – the heiliga Horthy who oversaw two Jew-killings between the wars, and who authorized the transports (under Allied threat he had the power to stop them). This is the Horthy who is now hustled by Yad Vashem as a חסיד אומות העולם. But Israeli academia and its chihuahuas on the internet need to blame all the Jews’ (including the anti religious ones) docility on the Belzer. Now that’s what I call stellar honesty!

But let’s look at a few more facts:

Fact: Kasztner was possibly the only one who knew exactly what was going on and how. He knew of the gas chambers, the crematoria and where and how the transports were going. He was the only Jew in Hungary to have a private telephone line and an automobile. Yet not only he warns no one – he tells them that they are being relocated to Kenyérmező – literally meaning “Breadfield”, a non-existing 'transition camp'. The Klausenburger Ghetto (also known as Cluj or Kolozsvár), was guarded but by twenty arrow-cross guards, and is three miles from the Rumanian border. In short, Kasztner was a Holocaust denier[3], and still historians and medias are whitewashing him and his handlers.

Fact: The day before deportations begin, Eichmann sends Joel Brand to Palestine to negotiate a deal with the British to free Hungary’s Jews against trucks, coffee, tea and sugar. Is Eichmann serious? Would the British –now hell bent on ending the war- give it even a consideration? Probably not. But one thing is sure: Horthy caved in to allied pressure and stopped the deportations on June 8th. The heads of the Jewish Agency (Ben Gurion, Sharet, Kollek[4], et al) knowingly and purposely delivered Brand to the British’s hands. Brand was arrested and prevented from returning to Hungary. Had they concentrated all their efforts on rescue, the Allied could have possibly pressured Hungary to stop the deportations. They didn’t.

Fact: Scores of people testified in the Gruenwald case, accusing Kasztner of different degrees of collaboration with the Nazis and neglected his efforts to help Jews. Anna Szenes’s mother charged he gave her the cold shoulder when she begged him to intervene on behalf of her daughter. He refused to do as much as let her get a package to her daughter.

Fact: Even the Supreme kangaroo court, which was split on whether Gruenwald was guilty of libel, unanimously agreed Kasztner knowingly exonerated Kurt Becher and Hermann Krumey, saving them from the noose. (Note: the two Supreme Court Judges who reversed all of the district court’s other findings have sons now serving as supreme court justices. Mere coincidence, no question. Note: Becher later owned a grain company and traded with Israel. He died a rich man. Many Israelis accused Kasznter of splitting a suitcase full of gold -from teeth pulled out in death camps- with Becher.)

Fact: Joel Brand was ostracized, vilified and denied employment during the rest of his life.

Fact: Moshe Sharett refused to testify about the Brand affair during his entire life. Instead, he staged an idiotic memorial ceremony that ended in tragedy.

Fact: The Yishuv, the Jewish Agency and their media knew well what was going on in Europe (In fact, Chaim Weitzmann explicitly declared that the Jews of Europe must be abandoned to their fate[5]) yet refused to participate in any and all ways of rescue and raising awareness. In fact, in several instances they actively prevented rescue efforts[6].

Fact: At the onset of the war, Ben-Gurion declared that there was nothing they could do for European Jewry, hence there was no point wasting efforts and resources on them. Whatever subsequently happens to the Jews should be treated as “natural disasters”. The war should end by giving [the Jews] their own state. That should be the “political compass” to guide the Zionist movement during the war. [7]

All of these facts are unknown to the average Israeli, for they are not taught in schools and colleges, and the books dealing with the affair from an undesirable angle are all blacklisted from academia and bookstores. This, however, shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Israelis are largely ignorant of their own heritage (Tana”ch, Gmora) and history, for similar reasons. And these people and their political descendents have the gall to blame others for not resisting or not encouraging Aliyah prior to the war!

When you hear the siren wail, know that you hear the sound of murder, coverup, coercion and vilification. When you hear the wail, know that it is meant to suppress the wail of the gassed martyrs who have been used by the Labour for their own game.

So next time you hear the siren wail, don’t just stand there like an Isra-zombie. Walk, head held high, and defy the lie, defy the coverup, defy the betrayal.

Endnote: ‘Raining Blood’ is a stage classic of American thrash metal band ‘Slayer’. The band has been accused of Nazism, due to their image, logo and lyrical themes. They half-heartedly denied the accusation, stating that they are merely “interested” in the subject of Nazism and the holocaust ודי למבין.

© Joseph Izrael 2008