Skip to main content

The Dread of Menachem-Av Has Arrived

Menachem-Av is upon us and the current government of Israel is helping us to feel the dread associated with the loss/absence of the Beth HaMiqdash (may it soon be rebuilt).

Today it was announced that there is an amnesty for 180 shedders of Jewish blood in an effort to prop up the current leader of the Amelikite kingdom of Arafatistan. As I told a friend at lunch, I feel better when we're fighting a war and doing the "right thing" rather than "making peace" and doing the wrong thing. These terrorists have not done tshuva, nor have the orchestrators of Oslo and the Destruction of Gush Katif. Tshuva requires a confession and a regret of one's sins. Neither group has done this.

And we can only hope that rumors of a "piece deal" on the Golan are only smoke and mirrors designed to keep a crooked Prime Minister out of the slammer. My friend thought that losing part of the Golan in a war would be an easy way for the government to "buy off" Syria without public debate about retreating. That's even too cynical for me to have imagined.

Not ironically, the mastermind of Oslo, Shimon Heres, is being coronated as President of Israel. The media are giddy as they explain how he won't fulfill the ceremonial office to which he was elected by the Knesset but will instead assume a partisan political agenda that will bring peace to the region (and maybe even an end of world hunger).

All is all, it's enough to create a pit in your stomach, a sinking feeling, and the desire to tear your clothes put on sackcloth and ashes and recite loads of Tehillim, especially:

Former Prime Minister Moshe Sharett captured the spirit of the day when he wrote in his diary in 1957:
I have stated that I totally and utterly reject [Shimon] Peres and consider his rise to prominence a malignant, immoral disgrace. I will rend my clothes in mourning for the State if I see him become a minister in the Israeli government.

As a believing Jew, I would agree and request of the Creator, using the words of quote King David (Psalm 83):
Fill their faces with shame and then they will seek Thy name, HASHEM.

Comments

Anonymous said…
B'ittah or achishena.
Robert Stein said…
We are become a taunt to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us... Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name.

Popular posts from this blog

The Custom of Tefillin

The custom of Tefillin is very ancient, even predating the custom of kitniyot. In the USA, tefillin are commonly worn during Chol HaMoed. When making aliyah, most olim from the USA adopt the the "Minhag HaMakom", a.k.a. the local custom, and stop wearing them during Chol HaMoed.

What makes this so interesting is that: Most olim continue to abstain from eating kitniyot during Pesach under pretense of following "Minhag Avoteinu", commonly understood as the custom of their parents, rather than the local custom. Most olim adopt what they believe to be the local custom despite the fact that their Fathers wore tefillin during Chol HaMoed. And this is the really interesting part--wearing tefillin is not actually a Minhag (custom), but a Mitzvah D'Oreitah, a commandment dictated by HaShem in the Torah.  Ironically, the first source in the Torah that commands us to wear tefillin has a Pesach theme: And it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial bet…

Good News for Chocolate Lovers!

Rav Eliezer Melamed is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Bracha in Beit El and is a prolific author on Halacha. His series of clear, yet comprehensive, Halachic works called Pninei Halacha are mainstays of baalei batim and yeshiva students alike.

Chapter 9 of his Pninei Halacha: the Laws of Pesach has recently been posted to Scribd and it offers good news for chocolate lovers:
Chocolate and candy labeled “Kosher for Pesach only for those who eat kitniyot"  are technically permissible even for those who do not eat kitniyot, because the kitniyot in these products are added before Pesach and are batel be-rov. In addition, these products generally contain kitniyot oils, which, according to several leading poskim, are not included in the custom to prohibit kitniyot.
He goes on to write that kosher certification agencies label them as "Kosher for Pesach for kitniyot eaters" because "people are stringent".

I disagree and believe that this is really due to the Charediz…

Don't Go Nuts Over Peanuts

Rav David Bar-Hayim responded to a question about eating kitniyot and quinoa:
It is tragic that so many Jews have been bamboozled into avoiding foods that are both permissible and healthy. The good news is that it is simple to set yourself free. All that is required is a healthy determination not to be hoodwinked, a refusal to allow persons driven by commercial interest, fanaticism or a misconceived piety to distort Tora Judaism and recreate it in their own image.More from his tshuva:
Peanuts may be consumed during Pesah even by those who choose to refrain from qittniyoth (or are still working up the courage…). At some point in the 1960’s, a campaign was launched by certain individuals to ban peanut oil so that they could sell their four-times-the-price substitute. Rav Bar-Hayim was informed of this by a Rabbi from NYC who served his community for over 40 years. It was a scam for profit.
Exactly 29 years ago Rav Bar-Hayim heard the very same opinion expressed by HaGaon HaRav Shaul Yisrae…