Erev Shabbos in the Throes of Uncertainty

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18 Responses

  1. SA says:

    And if you cannot move here or even visit, PLEASE PLEASE call, email or Facebook your family and friends in Israel and ask if they’re OK!!!!!

    Even if they are not directly involved in any attack, the tension is high and your expressions of concern are truly appreciated.

    I live on the street where the shul was attacked last year. I was touched by those few who thought to inquire after our welfare, and rather shocked at the many, including first-degree relatives, who never bothered.

    It’s an easy mitzva. Do it.

  2. Micah Segelman says:

    “The dogs began to bark and the Arabs began to shake and as we drove by, the fear in their faces of our trained German Shepherds, was really nachas for the drivers.”

    “We pray for our government to observe the mitzvah of the destruction of ‘Amalek’ 24/7 here.”

    I’m very disappointed that these 2 lines were included in this essay. The author shepps nachas when he sees ordinary Arabs (these were not identified as known terrorists) suffering?

    The IDF doesn’t engage in mechiyas Amalek – it engages in pikuach nefesh.

  3. dr. bill says:

    A heartfelt essay. There is something about eretz yisroel that transform everyone. it is sad that these types of occurrences are needed to make it obvious. below the exaggerated voices and fanaticism of some, there is an increasing sense of unity. i told some friends that perhaps these all too frequent times of tzorot, will end when the unity they generate does not (quickly) dissipate. Though some will say that to explain God’s actions, it is much more powerful as a lesson to all of us.

  4. Smb says:

    So scary and sad. May our prayers and unity help to protect us and bring the Geula

  5. Raymond says:

    I find myself fighting back tears at this very touching article, and so perhaps it may seem somehow wrong to inject politics into it at this time. And yet in reading the above very moving article, as I read how the streets and the businesses of Israel are deserted due to very understandable fear, a voice inside of me had to wonder why every single Jew in Israel does not already carry some means of self-defense with him or herself. To me, one of the most important reasons for us Jews getting back control over our own Jewish homeland, is so that we would not be as nearly easily led to the gas chambers like sheep to their slaughter as we were only a few decades ago. Having control back of Israel is supposed to mean that finally, we Jews do not have run away from the antisemites of this world, but can stand up to them without fear, as we are fully able defend ourselves and our people.

    It is just so very sad to me how the world hates us Jews so much. Frankly, I find it incomprehensible. Yes, I am acquainted with both secular and traditional Jewish explanations as to why the world hates us, yet it all just does not add up to me. Maybe that is because I have met so many thoroughly good, decent Jews, that I just cannot fathom people hating us. Why do they hate us, for being good, decent, intelligent, successful, humane, hard working, family-oriented people who did the world a huge favor by bringing G-d and therefore true morality into our world? Why would this spark outrage in them? On the contrary, they should thank G-d every day that once upon a time there was a man named Abraham who so courageously stood up to the world, bearing the message that it is not Might that makes Right, but rather the very opposite of that, that it is Right that makes Might. The great President Abraham Lincoln would echo that same message so many centuries later, and yet he was so hated in his lifetime as well. Our world is upside down, and that both depresses me to no end, and frankly scares the living daylights out of me.

    • Sammy Finkelman says:

      >> Why do they hate us, for being good, decent, intelligent, successful, humane, hard working, family-oriented people who did the world a huge favor by bringing G-d and therefore true morality into our world?

      That was certainly the reason for a certain dictator of Germany and other places. He believed Jews had brought the concept of a “conscience” into the world, and he wanted to get rid of it because it meant he would be despised after his death and people wouldn’t want to maintain his architectyural monuments which he intended to build. Not to mention in the meantime interfering with his plans for wold conquest. So that’s a reason.

      And, with regard to Israel, every dictator in the Arab world wants to at least isolate Israel in order that ideas of democracy, or at least rotation in office, should not contaminate their people.

      Yes, of course, that’s exactly why they hate us and tell lies about us. They are bad people. Anti-semitisim Is virtually a litmus test for evil. Sooner or later anyone eil will attempt to at least take advantage of it.

      • Raymond says:

        So really, most of the world hates us Jews, because most of the world hates things like moral conscience, individual freedom, and democracy. So what does that say about our world? Do people not realize what our world would be like, if moral conscience would be obliterated from our world? It is as if there is a collective death wish among the antisemites of our world.

  6. Toby Katz says:

    Micah Segalman wrote:

    >> “The dogs began to bark and the Arabs began to shake and as we drove by, the fear in their faces of our trained German Shepherds, was really nachas for the drivers.”

    ….The author shepps nachas when he sees ordinary Arabs (these were not identified as known terrorists) suffering? <<

    Jews in Israel are shaking all the time when they see Arabs, let the Arabs shake for a change. The percentage of completely innocent Arabs is very small. The majority of them have been so indoctrinated with Jew-hatred that they rejoice when their fellow Arabs injure and kill Jews. Most are not killers themselves, but they cheer the killers on. A young couple with two babies were stabbed by an Arab in the Old City on chol hamoed Sukkos; the husband was killed, as was a rabbi who ran to help. There were numerous Arab shopkeepers and customers standing around smiling and enjoying the show. Not one of them responded to the wife's pleas for help. It is very important — a matter of life-and-death — that the Arabs should be afraid.

    The first time I visited Israel was in 1969, two years after the Six Day War. The Arabs in Jerusalem were humble and cowed and clearly afraid of Israeli police and soldiers. Thanks to the misguided liberal policies of the Israeli government since then — bending over backwards to show the world how humane and tolerant they are — the Arabs today are smug and arrogant, full of chutzpa and completely fearless. That attitude endangers the lives of all Jews in Israel.

    Liberalism is nice in the faculty lounge but in the real world it is deadly.

    • Raymond says:

      At least from my perspective, the islamoNazis can be said to be even more evil than the nazis themselves. After all, unlike the islamoNazis, the German nazis wanted to live. They did not send their children to be suicide bombers. They did not throw acid into their wive’s faces, nor murder their own daughters for no discernible reason. Certainly no sane person would have ever advocated showing any mercy for the German nazis. And so any time that we Jews show any mercy or compromise with the islamoNazis, we are being nothing but fools, with deadly consequences for our own Jewish people.

    • lacosta says:

      i have seen this time different ‘reasons’ the 3rd intifada has started— the sin of going on the temple mount, the sin of chillul shabbat . i am not sure why we are all so sure that it is not as simple as the sin of occupying another people , millions of them , against their will , after capturing them in a war. we know the settlements were built ‘so they could never re-separate the land ‘. how are we so certain that RBSO wants us to rule over another people ,like Europe and Islam ruled over us?
      [and especially in classic charedi theology [as Raymond’s ‘rabbis sons’ [see his comment here] would agree , it’s an entity that halachically should never have happened, what justification is there to rule over them?

      when someone jumps into the street in front of oncoming traffic, they die not because they violated shabbos or tznius, but for violating the laws of physics….

      • Cvmay says:

        In every country there is a government that rules over a diverse society. Israel as many other countries has elections where representation is enjoyed by its Arab citizens.
        A society can only function under laws, regulations & with a background of security measures.

  7. Ari L says:

    This was an invaluable read for those of us not zocheh to live in E”Y right now. I thank Harvey for taking the time to write and inspiring us to miss E”Y even more.

    I do have to take issue with one paragraph however.
    “We crossed Kikar Shabbat heading back to Meah shearim, and lo and behold there were two Givati soldiers in full gear walking in patrol passed ‘Feldheim’ store, and heading to the narrow street of Meah Shearim. I watched the faces of the Meah Shearim regulars, some of whom in the past may have shouted out “ZIONI or even “NAZI” to these heroes. Today, they were quiet and I even heard a ‘boker tov’ from some of the Meah Shearim Toldos Aharon chassidim to the two Givati soldiers.”
    Every culture is comprised of an array of people. The squeeky wheel gets the attention. I don’t think every Meah Shearim resident has a negative word to share when they see a soldier. I many times saw soldiers walking the area. Of course, tragedy breeds achdus, but I’m sure many of the locals have long been makir tov and would not have expressed a hurtful word to a soldier.

    • Raymond says:

      I wish I could agree with you, but reality may express otherwise. I will give you two examples of Rabbis here in Los Angeles. Both are mainstream Rabbis within the local Chareidi community, both speak English and are aware of the secular world (one is quite a student of history). In one case, I got into a discussion with the Rabbi’s youngest son, an aspiring future Rabbi who basically echoes the thoughts and beliefs of his father. Without going into detail, he gave an argument against the existence of the Jewish State of Israel that would have made any given islamoNazi or other antisemite very happy. And in the other case, the Rabbi had remarked how if they wish, that Chareidim can do volunteer work in hospitals, rather than serve in the Israeli army. His Rabbi son clearly had a problem with that, saying that it should be forbidden for Torah Jews to cooperate with the Israeli government at all. That may be only two examples, but again, these are not Rabbis on the fringe at all, but are central members of the local Chareidi community. And let us not forget that there are Chareidi Jews living in places like Mea Shearim who refuse to daven at the Kotel at all, plus there are all those Chareidi Jews, under the direction of their Chareidi Rabbis, who refuse to serve in the Israeli army, when really such helping of saving Jewish lives should be their priority.

  8. Micah Segelman says:

    Toby Katz wrote:

    “Jews in Israel are shaking all the time when they see Arabs, let the Arabs shake for a change. The percentage of completely innocent Arabs is very small. The majority of them have been so indoctrinated with Jew-hatred that they rejoice when their fellow Arabs injure and kill Jews. Most are not killers themselves, but they cheer the killers on. A young couple with two babies were stabbed by an Arab in the Old City on chol hamoed Sukkos; the husband was killed, as was a rabbi who ran to help. There were numerous Arab shopkeepers and customers standing around smiling and enjoying the show. Not one of them responded to the wife’s pleas for help. It is very important — a matter of life-and-death — that the Arabs should be afraid.

    The first time I visited Israel was in 1969, two years after the Six Day War. The Arabs in Jerusalem were humble and cowed and clearly afraid of Israeli police and soldiers. Thanks to the misguided liberal policies of the Israeli government since then — bending over backwards to show the world how humane and tolerant they are — the Arabs today are smug and arrogant, full of chutzpa and completely fearless. That attitude endangers the lives of all Jews in Israel.

    Liberalism is nice in the faculty lounge but in the real world it is deadly.”

    I won’t comment on whether this analysis is correct. I have heard others say the same thing. But it’s irrelevant to my point. Maybe the Arabs need to fear us. But what is the excuse to allow our own middos to be corrupted by taking pleasure in their pain?

    • Raymond says:

      No Jew is taking any kind of sadistic pleasure in any pain experienced by those who would destroy us. Maybe what is occasionally felt by our people, is temporary relief from the constant barrage of suffering that the islamoNazis and other antisemites of this world inflict on us Jews for our crime of being Jewish. The islamoNazi love of Jewish suffering is a far, far bigger problem than any joy that any Jew might feel when we Jews manage to at least temporarily defend our lives.

    • Cvmay says:

      Who takes pleasure at Arabs’ pain? Maybe satisfaction when justices is rendered.

  9. dr. bill says:

    Some of the discussion below is depressing; the protagonists take the opportunity to promote their ideologies with a certainty that only God can have. Please restrain yourself at least until this crisis passes.

  10. dr. bill says:

    After what YNET reported from a deputy mayor from R. Auerbach’s party and the (mistaken) killing of an Eritrean by a mob in Beer Sheva, might it be time for some rabbis of chareidi and ultra-nationalist and their supporters to think again.

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