Archive for December, 2008

Why Bombing Ashkelon is the Most Tragic Irony

December 30, 2008


Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.

Both Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres said back in the 1990s that they wished Gaza would just go away, drop into the sea, and you can see why. The existence of Gaza is a permanent reminder of those hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who lost their homes to Israel, who fled or were driven out through fear or Israeli ethnic cleansing 60 years ago, when tidal waves of refugees had washed over Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War and when a bunch of Arabs kicked out of their property didn’t worry the world …

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-bombing-ashkelon-is-the-most-tragic-irony-1216228.html

Also related, from Mondoweiss:

Skyredoubt translated portions of a piece in Hebrew by Benny Tziper, in Haaretz, only Haaretz, and posted it on his flickr site.

[…]A nice man was there at the entrance to the museum, an invalid of IDF from the Yom Kippur War, who was born and lived all his life in Ashkelon. From his knowledge and enthusiasm one could tell that he loves the city very much. He had no problem telling me how in 1953 the Arabs were expelled, and the long process of looking for a new name for the place started (the Arab name was Majdl), till it was decided to call the place Ashkelon. The entire communications between the authorities regarding the cleansing of the city of Arabs and Hebrewisation of the name is exhibited in the museum. I think that nobody makes the connection today between the fact that the Qassams land on Ashkelon and the fact that poor Arabs who did nothing wrong to anybody were put on trucks and expelled from their city to Gaza fifty five years ago, and since then they are there and Ashkelon is here. And this did not happen in wartime or as a result of hostilities, but from a cold calculation that the area must be cleansed of Arabs. There is a picture in the museum that shows the Arabs sitting and waiting in front of the of Israeli military government building. It sends shivers down my spine because it happens in the year I was born. And it is really, really hard for me to realize that at the time that my parents were happy with my birth, other people were put on trucks and expelled from their homes.[…]

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Why Bombing Ashkelon is the Most Tragic Irony

December 30, 2008


Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.

Both Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres said back in the 1990s that they wished Gaza would just go away, drop into the sea, and you can see why. The existence of Gaza is a permanent reminder of those hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who lost their homes to Israel, who fled or were driven out through fear or Israeli ethnic cleansing 60 years ago, when tidal waves of refugees had washed over Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War and when a bunch of Arabs kicked out of their property didn’t worry the world …

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-bombing-ashkelon-is-the-most-tragic-irony-1216228.html

Also related, from Mondoweiss:

Skyredoubt translated portions of a piece in Hebrew by Benny Tziper, in Haaretz, only Haaretz, and posted it on his flickr site.

[…]A nice man was there at the entrance to the museum, an invalid of IDF from the Yom Kippur War, who was born and lived all his life in Ashkelon. From his knowledge and enthusiasm one could tell that he loves the city very much. He had no problem telling me how in 1953 the Arabs were expelled, and the long process of looking for a new name for the place started (the Arab name was Majdl), till it was decided to call the place Ashkelon. The entire communications between the authorities regarding the cleansing of the city of Arabs and Hebrewisation of the name is exhibited in the museum. I think that nobody makes the connection today between the fact that the Qassams land on Ashkelon and the fact that poor Arabs who did nothing wrong to anybody were put on trucks and expelled from their city to Gaza fifty five years ago, and since then they are there and Ashkelon is here. And this did not happen in wartime or as a result of hostilities, but from a cold calculation that the area must be cleansed of Arabs. There is a picture in the museum that shows the Arabs sitting and waiting in front of the of Israeli military government building. It sends shivers down my spine because it happens in the year I was born. And it is really, really hard for me to realize that at the time that my parents were happy with my birth, other people were put on trucks and expelled from their homes.[…]

"No One Accuses Us"

December 30, 2008

Israel is not to be accused of pederasty. (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 82a)

In 2002 Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, slaps ABC reporter Brian Ross when asked about pederast founder of the Legionaries “of Christ” Marcial Maciel

"No One Accuses Us"

December 30, 2008

Israel is not to be accused of pederasty. (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 82a)

In 2002 Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, slaps ABC reporter Brian Ross when asked about pederast founder of the Legionaries “of Christ” Marcial Maciel

"No One Accuses Us"

December 30, 2008

Israel is not to be accused of pederasty. (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 82a)

In 2002 Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, slaps ABC reporter Brian Ross when asked about pederast founder of the Legionaries “of Christ” Marcial Maciel

Benedict to Bless Counterfeit Israel in May

December 28, 2008

The politicians and rabbis of counterfeit Israel have issued repeated invitations to Benedict XVI for a visit to that evil state since his election in 2005. Benedict and his spokesmen repeatedly replied that the conditions in “Israel” weren’t right for a papal visit. The gullible may have taken this to mean that the pope opposed the humanitarian disaster taking place in the occupied territories, but now we know for certain that this wasn’t even a consideration for the pope. He was merely holding out due to Israeli financial chicanery related to Vatican properties which he apparently has been led to believe will soon be settled after 14 years.

Note that days after the Vatican confirmed that it was planning for a papal visit to counterfeit Israel that the Israelis began showering the people of Gaza with U.S.-supplied bombs from their U.S.-supplied F-16’s. And yes, these are the same people of Gaza whom the Israelis had prepared for these atrocities by confining them to a ghetto and depriving them of all basic life necessities for many months beforehand, cruelty which the Vatican has been quite mute about as far as I am aware. Benedict, in a grotesque mockery of papal diplomacy, has responded to these Israeli bombings with fake neutrality, equally condemning “violence” on both sides as if there were some parity between Gaza and “Israel” in these events and the conditions that preceded them. Benedict’s response in essence would be somewhat similar to telling the Warsaw ghetto-confined “Jews” and the Nazis to stop fighting with each other (imagine the Judaic shrieking if that had happened!), and this from a man who is so often praised for his keen intellect. What a boost Benedict has given the Israelis who desire so much to exterminate the Palestinian people from Palestinian land and to accomplish this with the world thinking well of them for it.

There will be a Benedict XVI papal visit to that pit of evil which he calls the “Holy Land” and it seems that, now that their real estate issues may be close to a settlement, no war crimes or humanitarian disaster could stop it.

Pope trip to Holy Land still possible despite Gaza

Sun 28 Dec 2008

By Phil Stewart

VATICAN CITY, Dec 28 (Reuters) – A possible trip by Pope Benedict to the Holy Land should not be written off because of the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Vatican’s chief spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

A papal trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, expected in the spring, would be significant for political and religious relations in the Middle East. It would also be the pope’s first trip to the Holy Land since his election in 2005.

Rev. Federico Lombardi said that speculation in the Italian media that the Vatican was rethinking the trip because of the violence was “premature”, even as the death toll neared 290 from the two-day Israeli offensive in Gaza.

“It’s clear that (the Vatican) is following the situation, but it seems premature to say this incident is a determining or definitive factor,” Lombardi said.

He added that the idea of a papal trip to the region had always been addressed “with a certain understanding that the situation is still a risky situation”.

“The pope wants to make this trip. There have been contacts to prepare a draft programme and now we must wait to learn if there is a decision” to go ahead with it, he said, adding the final decision was up to the pontiff himself.

Benedict has repeatedly called for an end to the fighting in recent days, including during a high-profile appeal at Christmas. On Sunday, he pressed for all sides to abandon the “perverse logic of conflict and violence”.

“The native land of Jesus cannot continue to be witness to so much bloodshed, repeating itself without end. I implore an end to that violence … and for a renewal of the truce in the Gaza Strip,” he told crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican supports Israel’s right to exist within secure borders alongside an independent Palestinian state and hopes a papal trip can help political and religious dialogue aimed at Middle East peace.

Two of Benedict’s predecessors in modern times, John Paul II and Paul VI, also visited the Holy Land.

A trip by the pope to Israel could also help improve Catholic-Jewish relations, strained recently over wartime Pope Pius XII, accused by some Jews of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust.

The Vatican says that while Pius did not speak out against the Holocaust, he worked behind the scenes to help Jews because direct intervention would have worsened the situation by prompting retaliation from Hitler. (Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnLS338318.html

Israel, Vatican eager to finalize talks before papal visit

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

Dec-22-2008

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Israeli and Vatican negotiators appear eager to finalize negotiations on fiscal and property matters prior to the pope’s visit to the Holy Land, a source close to the negotiations said.

“Both the state of Israel and the representatives of the Holy See are very interested to finalize this,” he said, adding that though he was unaware of any official policy, the pope’s visit, reportedly in May, might be acting as an impetus for both sides to finish up negotiations.

In a statement following a plenary session at the Vatican Dec. 18, the negotiators said they have scheduled another plenary session for April 23 and four meetings of their working group which will take place starting in January with “the intent on both sides of accelerating the process and reaching an agreement as soon as possible.”

The statement called the December meeting “significant and useful.”

“Everybody is tired,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous. “The visit by the pope may be the time to finalize it.”

Full article:

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0806392.htm

Liars and thieves

Benedict to Bless Counterfeit Israel in May

December 28, 2008

The politicians and rabbis of counterfeit Israel have issued repeated invitations to Benedict XVI for a visit to that evil state since his election in 2005. Benedict and his spokesmen repeatedly replied that the conditions in “Israel” weren’t right for a papal visit. The gullible may have taken this to mean that the pope opposed the humanitarian disaster taking place in the occupied territories, but now we know for certain that this wasn’t even a consideration for the pope. He was merely holding out due to Israeli financial chicanery related to Vatican properties which he apparently has been led to believe will soon be settled after 14 years.

Note that days after the Vatican confirmed that it was planning for a papal visit to counterfeit Israel that the Israelis began showering the people of Gaza with U.S.-supplied bombs from their U.S.-supplied F-16’s. And yes, these are the same people of Gaza whom the Israelis had prepared for these atrocities by confining them to a ghetto and depriving them of all basic life necessities for many months beforehand, cruelty which the Vatican has been quite mute about as far as I am aware. Benedict, in a grotesque mockery of papal diplomacy, has responded to these Israeli bombings with fake neutrality, equally condemning “violence” on both sides as if there were some parity between Gaza and “Israel” in these events and the conditions that preceded them. Benedict’s response in essence would be somewhat similar to telling the Warsaw ghetto-confined “Jews” and the Nazis to stop fighting with each other (imagine the Judaic shrieking if that had happened!), and this from a man who is so often praised for his keen intellect. What a boost Benedict has given the Israelis who desire so much to exterminate the Palestinian people from Palestinian land and to accomplish this with the world thinking well of them for it.

There will be a Benedict XVI papal visit to that pit of evil which he calls the “Holy Land” and it seems that, now that their real estate issues may be close to a settlement, no war crimes or humanitarian disaster could stop it.

Pope trip to Holy Land still possible despite Gaza

Sun 28 Dec 2008

By Phil Stewart

VATICAN CITY, Dec 28 (Reuters) – A possible trip by Pope Benedict to the Holy Land should not be written off because of the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Vatican’s chief spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

A papal trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, expected in the spring, would be significant for political and religious relations in the Middle East. It would also be the pope’s first trip to the Holy Land since his election in 2005.

Rev. Federico Lombardi said that speculation in the Italian media that the Vatican was rethinking the trip because of the violence was “premature”, even as the death toll neared 290 from the two-day Israeli offensive in Gaza.

“It’s clear that (the Vatican) is following the situation, but it seems premature to say this incident is a determining or definitive factor,” Lombardi said.

He added that the idea of a papal trip to the region had always been addressed “with a certain understanding that the situation is still a risky situation”.

“The pope wants to make this trip. There have been contacts to prepare a draft programme and now we must wait to learn if there is a decision” to go ahead with it, he said, adding the final decision was up to the pontiff himself.

Benedict has repeatedly called for an end to the fighting in recent days, including during a high-profile appeal at Christmas. On Sunday, he pressed for all sides to abandon the “perverse logic of conflict and violence”.

“The native land of Jesus cannot continue to be witness to so much bloodshed, repeating itself without end. I implore an end to that violence … and for a renewal of the truce in the Gaza Strip,” he told crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican supports Israel’s right to exist within secure borders alongside an independent Palestinian state and hopes a papal trip can help political and religious dialogue aimed at Middle East peace.

Two of Benedict’s predecessors in modern times, John Paul II and Paul VI, also visited the Holy Land.

A trip by the pope to Israel could also help improve Catholic-Jewish relations, strained recently over wartime Pope Pius XII, accused by some Jews of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust.

The Vatican says that while Pius did not speak out against the Holocaust, he worked behind the scenes to help Jews because direct intervention would have worsened the situation by prompting retaliation from Hitler. (Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnLS338318.html

Israel, Vatican eager to finalize talks before papal visit

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

Dec-22-2008

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Israeli and Vatican negotiators appear eager to finalize negotiations on fiscal and property matters prior to the pope’s visit to the Holy Land, a source close to the negotiations said.

“Both the state of Israel and the representatives of the Holy See are very interested to finalize this,” he said, adding that though he was unaware of any official policy, the pope’s visit, reportedly in May, might be acting as an impetus for both sides to finish up negotiations.

In a statement following a plenary session at the Vatican Dec. 18, the negotiators said they have scheduled another plenary session for April 23 and four meetings of their working group which will take place starting in January with “the intent on both sides of accelerating the process and reaching an agreement as soon as possible.”

The statement called the December meeting “significant and useful.”

“Everybody is tired,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous. “The visit by the pope may be the time to finalize it.”

Full article:

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0806392.htm

Liars and thieves

What Does Christmas Have To Do With The Hanging Of Saddam Hussein?

December 24, 2008

According to Benedict’s elder brothers in the faith, quite a lot. More arcana of the hateful rabbinic desecration of Christmas eve “Nitel Nacht” (Nativity Night of the Hanged One) is revealed here amidst many pious rationalizations for this extreme hatred based in delusional allegations of “not rivers, but oceans” of “Klal Yisael’s blood” spilled by “Yeshu’s” followers over the centuries “just because they were ‘Jews'” (“Yeshu” being the hateful acronym for “may his [Jesus’] name be blotted out”). The depth and intensity of the rabbis’ hatred for Jesus Christ strains credulity. What a solid basis for religious relations! What a fraud Benedict and the bishops are involved in.

Teves And Saddam

BY RAV ARYEHZ. GINZBERG

CHOFETZ CHAIM TORAH CENTER

Timing is everything. As Torah Jews, we accept certain beliefs of ours as the ultimate truth. One of these is that everything that happens in the world happens for Klal Yisrael—“ha’kol bishvil Yisrael.” Another truth is that every-thing that happens is all for the good of Klal Yisrael—“kol d’avad Shemaya, le’tav avad.” While at times it’s hard to see the “good,” especially in painful times, we know and believe in the depths of our collective neshamos that it is truly and completely good (and we will surely one day soon merit to finally understand all these painful events).

What is not that well known is that everything that happens to Klal Yisrael, for the good of Klal Yisrael, happens at a specific moment in time that also has great significance for us. A prominent example of just such timing is the selection of the month of Adar by the evil Haman to carry out his plan for the “final solution” of Klal Yisrael. But the choice of Adar, a significant month for the good mazal of Klal Yisrael, actually worked against him and helped turn around his plan “from yagon to simcha.”

The hanging several days ago of Saddam Hussein, a decades-old enemy of Klal Yisrael, was not only an event of great significance, but its very timing was significant, as well.

We should never forget even for a moment the depth of this rasha’s hatred for Klal Yisrael. Recall the raining down of Scud missiles on Eretz Yisrael more than a decade ago during the first Gulf War and the terrible fear that every Jew in Eretz Yisrael lived with day in and day out for weeks at end. Then there was the reward of $20,000 paid to every family of a suicide bomber after their murderous acts were performed, as an incentive for others to follow. The largest construction project for a new mosque built in one of the Arab villages in years was financed by this rasha as a reward for their having provided the most suicide bombers from one town (yemach shemam).

And so while we can take a deep sigh of relief (at least for the moment) at his death, it is important for us to focus briefly on the timing of his death. The Ramban writes that we can learn more about HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s plans for Klal Yisrael from the timing of events than from the events themselves.

My son Dovid Simcha came home on Asarah B’Teves, a day when Klal Yisrael remembers the day when a siege was laid upon the Beis HaMikdash by Nevuchadnetzar’s army, which finally destroyed the Beis HaMikdash three and a half years later, on Tishah B’Av.

This rasha, Saddam Hussein, made the very arrogant and frightful claim years ago that he is a reincarnation of his ancestor Nevuchadnetzar and will complete the job of removing Klal Yisrael from the face of the earth. How from yeshiva on Asarah B’Teves and shared with us an insight from his wonderful rebbi (Rav Shimon Finkelman), the sixth-grade rebbi at the wonderful Yeshiva Darchei Torah. The rebbi commented on the timing of Saddam’s burial befitting to have his burial on the very day that we remember the evil of his infamous ancestor of more than two thousand years ago!

Allow me to share an insight of my own. The actual day of Saddam’s hanging was an auspicious day, as well, for Klal Yisrael. The pre-dawn hanging took place on the day of the Jewish calendar known as tes Teves, the ninth day of Teves. The Mishnah in Maseches Ta‘anis mentions three consecutive days of ta‘anis, the only days of the year of consecutive fast days: the 8th, 9th, and 10th days of Teves. Today we only fast on the third of these days, which is Asarah B’Teves.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 580:2) in describing the difficult fast days of the year makes reference to these three days, and when it comes to the 9th day of Teves, the mechaber writes “it’s not known which terrible events took place on that day to warrant a fast day.” (The same language is to be found in the Tur and in the Behag). The Mishnah Berurah, in quoting from the Magen Avraham, comments that we find in the Selichos which we recite on Asarah B’Teves that Ezra HaSofer died that day. (As to why the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch did not make reference to this fact of Ezra HaSofer’s death, see Derashos Chasam Sofer and Sefer Ohr Gedalyah on Asarah B’Teves for an insightful explanation).

However, there is another explanation found in rishonim as to what the tragic events of the 9th day of Teves were, that makes it easier to understand why the Shulchan Aruch chose to write the words “we do not know what tragic event took place on that day.”

The Tosfeos Chadashim (on Maseches Ta‘anis) explains that the birth of “Yeshu HaNatzri” took place on tekufas Teves, which on the year of his birth fell out on the 9th day of Teves. Our Chachamim decreed a ta‘anis on that very day for all the pain and suffering that Klal Yisrael would go through at the hands of his followers over the millennia. Not rivers, but oceans of blood have been spilled by the followers of the church in every corner of the world—through blood libels, pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, and forced conversions. Taking all of this suffering into account, the fast of the ninth day of Teves has that much more significance to us.

We can now understand why the Tur and Shulchan Aruch wrote that the tragic events of this day are not known, for it would be instant death at the hands of the Christian censors to write such “blasphemy,” and so they instead chose to write that the events of that day are not known to us.

While there is no direct source for this being the date of Yeshu’s birth, the sefarim ha’kedoshim reveal it to us in the acronym of his description itself. He is referred to in sifrei rishonim (see Terumas HaDeshen, Meiri in his introduction to Avos, and Tosefos HaRosh in Sotah 47a) as the “Nitel one” (meaning the one who was hanged). The four letters of the Hebrew spelling of “nitel” spell out the words “Nolad Yeshu Tes LeTeves” (“Yeshu was born on the 9th day of Teves”).

As to the specific year of his birth, there is much discussion in the rishonim, as well. Some rishonim claim that he was a student of Rabbi Yehoshuaben Perachia, who lived about 180 years before the churban Bayis Sheini (see Raavad in Sefer Kabballah, Sefer Eshkol, Tosefos Chachmei Angliah on Sanhedrin 77a), and others claim he lived in the days of Hilni Hamalkah around 70 years before the churban (see Tosefos HaRosh Sotah 47a; Hagahos HaYaivetz, Avodah Zara 17a) (A more detailed explanation of Yesha’s life and death in the words of Chazal are beyond the purview of our discussion, and will iy’H be discussed in greater detail in a subsequent article.)

So tekufas Teves is a period in the Jewish calendar that not only ushers in the winter season but brings along a dark period where the world is filled with what the Chachmei Kabbalah refer to as “Klipas HaTumah.” It is during this period that the negative forces of spiritual impurity are allowed to penetrate even the atmosphere of
kedushah in Klal Yisrael, hence the ancient minhag of Chassidim of not learning Torah on nitel nacht. And it is only in such a period of Tekufas Teves, of spiritual impurity, that such a powerful force of tumah could be created that would wreak havoc and destruction on Klal Yisrael for 2,000 years.

There are various minhagim as to when nitel nacht actually is. Some hold it’s December 25; others hold January 6 (some, like the Minchas Elazar, hold both); however, the early mekubalim actually hold it’s on tekufas Teves itself, which has been identified by the date of the 9th day of Teves.

And so I wondered, what is the message to us that the Nevuchadnetzar of our day—that evil, Jew-hating rasha, Saddam Hussein—was hanged on the very day of tes Teves, the day recorded in sefarim as the birth of the Nitel one (the one who was hanged)!

While Hashem’s ways are hidden from us, I see a possible message of chizuk to us. Over the generations, as our forefathers were murdered and butchered just for being Jews, what did we do? We davened the words “dam avadav yikom,” retribution shall be exacted by Him, by HaKadosh Baruch Hu himself.

Over the last 20 or so years, we suffered Scud attacks and suicide bombers financed by that evil person, and we were unable to respond. Our only response was taking siddur in hand and crying out in unison, “dam avodov yikom.” And what has happened?

In just a few years, without our firing a shot, HaKadosh Baruch Hu has placed one of the chasidei umos ha’olam in the highest position in this country, and that rasha in Iraq has been brought to his knees, humiliated, and finally hanged on the gallows—not just at any time, but on tes Teves, the day of the birth of the “Nitel one.”

Just maybe the hopeful message to us is that HaKadosh Baruch Hu will continue to be yikom, to exact retribution on all the evil forces that have caused us so much suffering over so many years. The navi promises us that the very day of Asarah B’Teves, which is referred to as the day of “aschalta deperunsia” (the beginning of our punishment) will one day be turned into a day of yagon, sasson, and simcha for all eternity. May it happen speedily in our day!

http://www.5tjt.com/pdfs/20060105_Issue.pdf.pdf

What Does Christmas Have To Do With The Hanging Of Saddam Hussein?

December 24, 2008

According to Benedict’s elder brothers in the faith, quite a lot. More arcana of the hateful rabbinic desecration of Christmas eve “Nitel Nacht” (Nativity Night of the Hanged One) is revealed here amidst many pious rationalizations for this extreme hatred based in delusional allegations of “not rivers, but oceans” of “Klal Yisael’s blood” spilled by “Yeshu’s” followers over the centuries “just because they were ‘Jews'” (“Yeshu” being the hateful acronym for “may his [Jesus’] name be blotted out”). The depth and intensity of the rabbis’ hatred for Jesus Christ strains credulity. What a solid basis for religious relations! What a fraud Benedict and the bishops are involved in.

Teves And Saddam

BY RAV ARYEHZ. GINZBERG

CHOFETZ CHAIM TORAH CENTER

Timing is everything. As Torah Jews, we accept certain beliefs of ours as the ultimate truth. One of these is that everything that happens in the world happens for Klal Yisrael—“ha’kol bishvil Yisrael.” Another truth is that every-thing that happens is all for the good of Klal Yisrael—“kol d’avad Shemaya, le’tav avad.” While at times it’s hard to see the “good,” especially in painful times, we know and believe in the depths of our collective neshamos that it is truly and completely good (and we will surely one day soon merit to finally understand all these painful events).

What is not that well known is that everything that happens to Klal Yisrael, for the good of Klal Yisrael, happens at a specific moment in time that also has great significance for us. A prominent example of just such timing is the selection of the month of Adar by the evil Haman to carry out his plan for the “final solution” of Klal Yisrael. But the choice of Adar, a significant month for the good mazal of Klal Yisrael, actually worked against him and helped turn around his plan “from yagon to simcha.”

The hanging several days ago of Saddam Hussein, a decades-old enemy of Klal Yisrael, was not only an event of great significance, but its very timing was significant, as well.

We should never forget even for a moment the depth of this rasha’s hatred for Klal Yisrael. Recall the raining down of Scud missiles on Eretz Yisrael more than a decade ago during the first Gulf War and the terrible fear that every Jew in Eretz Yisrael lived with day in and day out for weeks at end. Then there was the reward of $20,000 paid to every family of a suicide bomber after their murderous acts were performed, as an incentive for others to follow. The largest construction project for a new mosque built in one of the Arab villages in years was financed by this rasha as a reward for their having provided the most suicide bombers from one town (yemach shemam).

And so while we can take a deep sigh of relief (at least for the moment) at his death, it is important for us to focus briefly on the timing of his death. The Ramban writes that we can learn more about HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s plans for Klal Yisrael from the timing of events than from the events themselves.

My son Dovid Simcha came home on Asarah B’Teves, a day when Klal Yisrael remembers the day when a siege was laid upon the Beis HaMikdash by Nevuchadnetzar’s army, which finally destroyed the Beis HaMikdash three and a half years later, on Tishah B’Av.

This rasha, Saddam Hussein, made the very arrogant and frightful claim years ago that he is a reincarnation of his ancestor Nevuchadnetzar and will complete the job of removing Klal Yisrael from the face of the earth. How from yeshiva on Asarah B’Teves and shared with us an insight from his wonderful rebbi (Rav Shimon Finkelman), the sixth-grade rebbi at the wonderful Yeshiva Darchei Torah. The rebbi commented on the timing of Saddam’s burial befitting to have his burial on the very day that we remember the evil of his infamous ancestor of more than two thousand years ago!

Allow me to share an insight of my own. The actual day of Saddam’s hanging was an auspicious day, as well, for Klal Yisrael. The pre-dawn hanging took place on the day of the Jewish calendar known as tes Teves, the ninth day of Teves. The Mishnah in Maseches Ta‘anis mentions three consecutive days of ta‘anis, the only days of the year of consecutive fast days: the 8th, 9th, and 10th days of Teves. Today we only fast on the third of these days, which is Asarah B’Teves.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 580:2) in describing the difficult fast days of the year makes reference to these three days, and when it comes to the 9th day of Teves, the mechaber writes “it’s not known which terrible events took place on that day to warrant a fast day.” (The same language is to be found in the Tur and in the Behag). The Mishnah Berurah, in quoting from the Magen Avraham, comments that we find in the Selichos which we recite on Asarah B’Teves that Ezra HaSofer died that day. (As to why the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch did not make reference to this fact of Ezra HaSofer’s death, see Derashos Chasam Sofer and Sefer Ohr Gedalyah on Asarah B’Teves for an insightful explanation).

However, there is another explanation found in rishonim as to what the tragic events of the 9th day of Teves were, that makes it easier to understand why the Shulchan Aruch chose to write the words “we do not know what tragic event took place on that day.”

The Tosfeos Chadashim (on Maseches Ta‘anis) explains that the birth of “Yeshu HaNatzri” took place on tekufas Teves, which on the year of his birth fell out on the 9th day of Teves. Our Chachamim decreed a ta‘anis on that very day for all the pain and suffering that Klal Yisrael would go through at the hands of his followers over the millennia. Not rivers, but oceans of blood have been spilled by the followers of the church in every corner of the world—through blood libels, pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, and forced conversions. Taking all of this suffering into account, the fast of the ninth day of Teves has that much more significance to us.

We can now understand why the Tur and Shulchan Aruch wrote that the tragic events of this day are not known, for it would be instant death at the hands of the Christian censors to write such “blasphemy,” and so they instead chose to write that the events of that day are not known to us.

While there is no direct source for this being the date of Yeshu’s birth, the sefarim ha’kedoshim reveal it to us in the acronym of his description itself. He is referred to in sifrei rishonim (see Terumas HaDeshen, Meiri in his introduction to Avos, and Tosefos HaRosh in Sotah 47a) as the “Nitel one” (meaning the one who was hanged). The four letters of the Hebrew spelling of “nitel” spell out the words “Nolad Yeshu Tes LeTeves” (“Yeshu was born on the 9th day of Teves”).

As to the specific year of his birth, there is much discussion in the rishonim, as well. Some rishonim claim that he was a student of Rabbi Yehoshuaben Perachia, who lived about 180 years before the churban Bayis Sheini (see Raavad in Sefer Kabballah, Sefer Eshkol, Tosefos Chachmei Angliah on Sanhedrin 77a), and others claim he lived in the days of Hilni Hamalkah around 70 years before the churban (see Tosefos HaRosh Sotah 47a; Hagahos HaYaivetz, Avodah Zara 17a) (A more detailed explanation of Yesha’s life and death in the words of Chazal are beyond the purview of our discussion, and will iy’H be discussed in greater detail in a subsequent article.)

So tekufas Teves is a period in the Jewish calendar that not only ushers in the winter season but brings along a dark period where the world is filled with what the Chachmei Kabbalah refer to as “Klipas HaTumah.” It is during this period that the negative forces of spiritual impurity are allowed to penetrate even the atmosphere of
kedushah in Klal Yisrael, hence the ancient minhag of Chassidim of not learning Torah on nitel nacht. And it is only in such a period of Tekufas Teves, of spiritual impurity, that such a powerful force of tumah could be created that would wreak havoc and destruction on Klal Yisrael for 2,000 years.

There are various minhagim as to when nitel nacht actually is. Some hold it’s December 25; others hold January 6 (some, like the Minchas Elazar, hold both); however, the early mekubalim actually hold it’s on tekufas Teves itself, which has been identified by the date of the 9th day of Teves.

And so I wondered, what is the message to us that the Nevuchadnetzar of our day—that evil, Jew-hating rasha, Saddam Hussein—was hanged on the very day of tes Teves, the day recorded in sefarim as the birth of the Nitel one (the one who was hanged)!

While Hashem’s ways are hidden from us, I see a possible message of chizuk to us. Over the generations, as our forefathers were murdered and butchered just for being Jews, what did we do? We davened the words “dam avadav yikom,” retribution shall be exacted by Him, by HaKadosh Baruch Hu himself.

Over the last 20 or so years, we suffered Scud attacks and suicide bombers financed by that evil person, and we were unable to respond. Our only response was taking siddur in hand and crying out in unison, “dam avodov yikom.” And what has happened?

In just a few years, without our firing a shot, HaKadosh Baruch Hu has placed one of the chasidei umos ha’olam in the highest position in this country, and that rasha in Iraq has been brought to his knees, humiliated, and finally hanged on the gallows—not just at any time, but on tes Teves, the day of the birth of the “Nitel one.”

Just maybe the hopeful message to us is that HaKadosh Baruch Hu will continue to be yikom, to exact retribution on all the evil forces that have caused us so much suffering over so many years. The navi promises us that the very day of Asarah B’Teves, which is referred to as the day of “aschalta deperunsia” (the beginning of our punishment) will one day be turned into a day of yagon, sasson, and simcha for all eternity. May it happen speedily in our day!

http://www.5tjt.com/pdfs/20060105_Issue.pdf.pdf

St. John The Baptist Contra Benedict XVI

December 22, 2008

“And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, [John the Baptist] said to them: Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of penance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:7-10; Luke 3:7-9).

St. John the Baptist said these words to people who were true physical descendants of Abraham. He chastised them for their racial pride telling them that their descent from Abraham profits them nothing without repentance and good fruits and that God can raise up anyone–even stones–to be Israel if it pleases Him to do so.

Now, let us turn to Benedict XVI seeing many Pharisees of counterfeit Israel coming to him who claim to have Abraham for their father but do not, who produce rotten fruits in abundance and who are notoriously unrepentant. Benedict revels with them in their delusion telling them:

Dear friends, it is with great pleasure that I meet with you this evening … we share a relationship that should be strengthened and lived … we know that these fraternal bonds constitute a continual invitation to know and to respect one another better … the Catholic Church … respects the children of the Promise, the children of the Covenant, as her beloved brothers and sisters in the faith …

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080912_parigi-juive_en.html

Learn how many of Benedict XVI’s beloved elder brothers and sisters in the rabbinic faith who he calls “children of the Promise,” and “children of the Covenant,” secretly express their hatred towards Jesus Christ and His followers on Christmas Eve:

How Benedict’s Elder Brothers Observe Christmas Eve