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"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

Best Chanukah EVAR!

Chanukah Wrapup:

1 "Shema Yisrael" necklace: EXCELLENT.
4 Sarit Hadad CD's: FABULOUS.
300 Hamas terrorists bombed out of Gaza: PRICELESS.

There are some things gelt can buy.
For everything else, there's the Israeli Military.

Great Resources for Staying Updated on Israel:

Israeli Bloggers in English is a complete listing of Israeli bloggers who blog in English-- most are olim from North America.

Israel Matzav a favorite, this blog is managed by Carl in Jerusalem, an olim from Boston.

Sabra @ Heart A New Yorker who lives in Israel.

Many of these blogs have linked a post by Niv Calderon, who is starting a "Help Israel on Social Media" movement: go to his homepage for details. Basically, the idea is to stand up for Israel on social networking tools like facebook, myspace, twitter, etc., especially when these forums are referenced by major news sources-- i.e. Rick Sanchez's 3 pm EST spot on CNN. It's a great idea. With the protests going on worldwide, we need to get our pro-Israel voices heard.

And here's a Chanukah present to you: Hanukkah Hey Ya!

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posted by Shoshana @ 5:27 PM

Of Miracles and Lights

The greatest Hanukkah lesson I heard taught this year was from Rabbi David Wolpe, who remarked on the idea that miracles begin when human beings step out in faith. Were it not for the faith of the person who hid the oil, or the faith of those who lit the menorah on that first night, HaShem would never have been given the opportunity to reveal Himself in Spirit and in Truth. Miracles happen because we are willing to step out in faith; they do not drop from the sky upon our asking or manifest because we wish for them to happen.

We have grown soft in our comfortable, modern existence. We have grown susceptible to anti-Biblical ideologies because we are so distanced from the lives of the men and women written about in Scripture. We are cushioned by our own construct of reality, a structure that has carefully boarded out any remnant of the discomforts of our past. We fool ourselves into thinking that talking is action, forgetting that actions testify to the words we speak. We congratulate ourselves for forging alliances over breakfast tables that begin to decay by dinnertime. We have created for ourselves a very silly, sad and foolish world. Most frighteningly, we have put our faith in our creation.

Miracles happen because we are willing to stand up for what is right. The Maccabees had a false reality imposed upon them, one that contradicted everything they knew to be true and right. The Greek reality was the antithesis of who they were as Israelites. So, they fought back. It meant blood, injury, death. It was gruesome, ugly, fearful. It lasted more than a half hour, day, week, or month. It was not ended by third party negotiation or compromise. Judah Maccabee and his ragtag guerilla army of rebels, out-manned and out-flanked, won because they believed in a reality greater than any human being could ever create and couch themselves in. They won because they stepped out in faith--politically, religiously, and culturally.

And when the Jewish people can once again step out in that kind of all-encompassing faith, we will win, because our G-d has already claimed the victory.

Chanukah Sameach. This year, don't just light the lights. Strike a spark in your neshama and fight back.

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posted by Shoshana @ 11:15 AM

Why Should She Apologize?

Sarah Palin's church in Wasilla, Alaska, was set on fire. According to the Greta Van Susteren report, "About $1 million worth of damage has been done to the Wasilla Bible Church. An accelerant has been found at the scene." Women and children were in the church at the time the fire was set. Now, investigators are looking into a possible case of arson.

And Sarah Palin apologizes to the Assistant Pastor for any negative attention the church may have garnered as a result of her VP bid.

Why? Why should Sarah Palin apologize? She didn't cause this. She didn't cause Tina Fey's asinine impression to become the Top Quote of 2008. She didn't cause nasty t-shirts to be printed that said "She puts the C*nt Back in Country". She didn't cause the McCain staffers to badmouth her after they lost the election. She didn't cause any of the foul, cruel things that were said about her and her family. Sarah Palin didn't do one thing to cause any of the foul behaviors that have been unleashed upon her since she came on the national stage.

The Governor also commented on the current Illinois governor situation, stating: "You cannot be in this business of public service with anything but a servant's heart. Otherwise, you know, you need to get out."

Man, what class. I want to hear more from this woman, sans apologies. As far as I'm concerned, Sarah Palin is the one public figure in this election who has absolutely nothing to apologize for.

My heart and prayers go out to the Wasilla Bible Church. This Jew wishes them the Happiest Christmas on record.

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posted by Shoshana @ 10:00 PM

One Nation, Thanks to God

U.S. now only 2 states away from rewriting Constitution [WorldNetDaily]

Will it happen? My guess is, probably not. A Constitutional Convention would be way too public a place for such radical changes in legislation to be made. The Obama camp will just wait until their man is in office and start pummeling encryption through Congress during Byrd's endless repartee on the Magna Carta, no doubt. Seriously, though, a Constitutional Convention. Half of Obama's voters don't even know what that is, let alone what it could mean. "Hope won" all right: Hope in Destruction.

What the WND article does point out are some valuable facts regarding Obama's ideology of "redistribution" and how that will impact his administration's interpretation of the Constitution and makeup of the Supreme Court. A rep from the American Policy Institute remarked on the possibilities of a new Constitutional Convention, stating:
"This is a horrible time to try such a crazy scheme," the policy center said. "The majority of U.S. voters just elected a dedicated leftist as president. … Our uniquely and purely American concept of individual rights, endowed by our Creator, would be quickly set aside as an anachronistic relic of a bygone era; replaced by new 'collective' rights, awarded and enforced by government for the 'common good.'
The article also notes that an associate of one of Obama's cohorts published a paper on eliminating the "natural born citizen" clause regarding the Presidency just two years after Obama won his Senate seat. Given the fact that a dozen or so lawsuits regarding Obama's questionable citizenship status are now on the books- 2 of which hit the Supreme Court to no avail- it's no wonder the Obamites are arguing:
"The natural born citizen requirement in Article II of the United States Constitution has been called the 'stupidest provision' in the Constitution, 'undecidedly un-American,' 'blatantly discriminatory,' and the 'Constitution's worst provision,'" Herlihy begins in her introduction to the paper titled, "Amending the Natural Born Citizen Requirement: Globalization as the Impetus and the Obstacle."
You know, I once thought of becoming an English major. I psyched myself up, reading all of this Brit Lit and remembering how much I despised Chaucer and loved Shakespeare. To keep up my momentum, I rented a couple of Lit Studies-related movies: Educating Rita and The Student Prince. The former, a character study starring Michael Caine and Julie Waters, ended with the protagonist- a working class woman who sought to "better" herself through education- realizing that putting her faith in Lit was never going to make her happy. Of course, this was after her bohemian roommate attempted suicide and her alcoholic professor lost his job for seeking solace in the bottle between classes. The latter, a Masterpiece Theater deal starring Robeson Green, ended with the fictitious Prince of Wales renouncing his throne, proclaiming himself "a citizen of the world" and becoming a hyper-absorbed tree-dweller, dressed like a maniac and screaming, "More trees, less people!" from the limbs. Needless to say, I lost all my motivation. Not because of the movies, but because of the ideology behind them. "Life is meaningless." "Citizen of the world." What garbage. The last thing I needed to do was join that school of thought.

The same goes for the school of politics. You can follow as much news as you like, but at the end of the day, you really have no power to change anything. In fact, you wind up getting sick of people more often than not, and how helpful is that mentality? Even the high-powered bloggers mainly just report other peoples' news. Sure, it's good that the news is getting out there, and that we've still got a free soapbox to stand on, but in the end it won't affect real political change.

Something struck me in that API quote re-printed above. It went something like this: "Our uniquely and purely American concept of individual rights, endowed by our Creator,". Here, let me re-word it for you: "Individual rights" being "Endowed by a Creator" is a "uniquely and purely American concept". Not many people will argue with that statement. Hardcore conservatives will call you un-American if you say anything to the contrary, and nutbag leftists will argue that conservatives are "misinterpreting the statement for their own nefarious purposes" (thereby employing a grand Marxist tactic: blaming your enemy for your own faults). However, neither group will argue that this concept began with American democracy.

But, what if the idea of a benevolent Creator who bestowed freedom on all human kind didn't begin with America? What if that idea began long before America was established as a nation, or even as a group of colonies, or even as a known land mass? That would make the concept more eternal than the nation itself, wouldn't it? And separating the concept from the nation would also negate the notion that by changing the way the nation governs you could change the nation's perception of God and free will.

Conservatives need to stop seeking American salvation through political methodology. Politics is nothing more than the waging of human power. If conservatives believe that we are endowed by a Creator with individual rights, then why are they seeking their salvation from human beings? Right now, the voters have put into power a man who believes in the power of men to rule over other men. This is the way our nation will be governed for the next four years. But that does not mean that our Creator-endowed rights will be thrown out the window. Our Creator and our rights existed long before Obama or any of his cronies came into this world. You want to talk globally? Fine. Our Creator who gave us our rights knew you would long before the History Channel ever encouraged anyone to "globalize" themselves, which technically would indicate that He coined the term long before Karl Marx, the Student Prince, or B. Hussein took their first goose-step.

Over the course of the next Presidential administration we will see more than many legislative attempts to take away our rights. However, what this administration will continue to fail to realize is that our rights are not theirs to take away. Our rights are Divinely endowed as is our freedom to say so. The only one taking away any of their individual rights will be the individual who is foolish enough to grant that Higher Authority to an elected official instead of God.

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posted by Shoshana @ 4:12 PM

Current Events: Israel Shall Rise Again

While Obama is "is "feigning" a centrist position on some issues so he can ultimately push through a radical agenda" the IDF is "drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the United States" according to the Jerusalem Post. In the meantime, Bibi Netanyahu is preparing for the February elections in Israel. Many worry that Bibi will seek to form a more left-leaning coalition, possibly to make his ticket more palatable to Israelis worried about working with an Obama administration. Of course, it is well known that there is no love lost between Netanyahu and the right wing Moshe Feiglin of the Manhigut Yehudit party, who is running for a seat in Likud. Feiglin gave a patriotic interview, detailing his Torah-based outlook regarding Israel and Jewish identity to the Jerusalem Post, in which he said:
The watershed dividing Israeli society today is not territorial. Nor is it a question of Right vs Left, religious vs secular or security vs peace. It is a question of Jewish identity. Do we want to connect to our Jewish identity on a national and cultural level? Do we want it to be fundamental - the national wellspring - or do we want to escape it and treat it as some kind of burden?
The point is that we can explain to the world over and over again how Western, modern and enlightened we are, and how we do everything in our power not to hurt women and children, etc., but it makes no difference. Because the other side says, “It’s mine,” and we are unable to say that. And if we’re not able to say that, we will lose it all - not Judea and Samaria, but Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Sderot. So, we have to educate the younger generation on the source of our right to live here at all. That source has to be based on Judaism. Basing it on the past 100 years is not enough. We have to base it on our history that goes back 4,000 years. We have to base it on the Book of Books from which the entire world derives its moral base. If we don’t do that, we’re lost.
Which I totally agree with. However, the Manhigut Yehudit platform advocates extremely strong Rabbinical views, including:
The Jewish leadership that we strive to establish is not the Messiah. But it is an immensely important step in the right direction. It is the forerunner of the Messiah and clears the way for his arrival.
In order to address these issues [of Jewish Justice], the Torah directs us to appoint a king. The king institutes and presides over laws to govern his people in the areas not addressed by the Torah. The caveat of this principle is that any law passed by the king must be in strict accordance with Torah law. The Sanhedrin presides over rulings dealing with the laws of the Torah.
Which are more Rabbinic than they are Biblical in nature (Torah does not "direct" Israel to appoint a king. In fact, the reality is the complete opposite. Deuteronomy 17:14-15 states: "When you have entered the land Adonai your G-d is giving you, have taken possession of it and are living there, you may say, "I want to have a king over me, like all the other nations around me.' In that event, you must appoint as king the one whom Adonai your G-d will choose."

Later, in Deuteronomy 28:36, this king is referred to as, "your king whom you have put over yourselves".

In fact, the only time Israel is praised for having a king in Torah is in Numbers 23:21 which states, "...Adonai their G-d is with them and acclaimed as King among them...".

So, how is appointing an earthly king a Torah commandment? It isn't. G-d is pretty clear in I Samuel 8:6-9 about what He thinks about Israel's desire for a "king like other nations":
Adonai said to Samuel, "Listen to the people, to everything they say to you; for it is not you they are rejecting; they are rejecting Me; they don't want Me to be king over them. They are doing to you exactly what they have been doing to Me, from the day I brought them out of Egypt until today, by abandoning Me and serving other gods. So do what they say, but give them a sober warning, telling them what kinds of rulings their kings will make.
and, let's not forget I Samuel 10:19, "But today you have rejected your G-d, who himself saves you from all your disasters and distress. You have said to Him, 'No! Put a king over us!'"

Feiglin's Jewish Leadership party wants to pave the way for a Jewish monarchy because their Rabbinic-informed vision relies on the belief that Torah commands a King. They believe their actions will pave the way for the Messiah's arrival. How can enthroning a Jewish monarch pave the way for Messiah?

You tell me.

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posted by Shoshana @ 7:53 PM