Join the Neo-Zionist

  • Receive our Kummunique:
    unique and informative emails
    about events, articles, and info
    to keep you in touch.

Kumah Mascots

Kumah Awards


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Aliyah and Israel: A Closer Look (Part I)

PART I: Why aren't more people making Aliyah from North America?

By Pinchas Orbach for KUMAH

This is the first part of a series that takes an in depth look at North American Aliyah, Israel and what the future holds for the Jewish People.

The title used for Part I was an inquiry posted to a Jewish online discussion board. Many of the "traditional answers" were offered. Life is good in the U.S. and Canada. It's hard to leave friends and family behind. It's easier to stay put. They see no pressing reason to make Aliyah. They can better support Israel both politically and financially from North America. Army service. Terror Attacks. Unstable jobs. You name it - they named it. Each one of these is an entire topic on its own. And they can all be addressed but that is beyond the scope of Part I. (Interestingly most of these "problems" were actually identified by individuals that made Aliyah.)

But perhaps we could offer an entirely different response.

Why aren't more people making Aliyah from North America?

Answer: More people are making Aliyah!

Indeed North American Aliyah is at a 20-year high! Five years ago the numbers were half of where they are today. Steadily, the Aliyah Revolution Kumah and Arutz-7 have been proclaiming for years, advances. To appreciate this progress, one must look at the past, like a child tracks his growth by comparing marks drawn on the wall from long before with a current mark. So let us take a step back in time.

A Revolutionary Idea

Perhaps you have heard of the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization (NBN) by now? In the days before NBN (and yes, even still today) North Americans turned to organizations such as the AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) or Tehilla to help them achieve a successful klita or absorption in Israel. Like NBN today, the AACI and Tehilla organize all types of events that give prospective olim pointers on Aliyah. Let's go back to the days just after September 11, 2001. (Yes, not that long ago at all.)

On November 14, 2001, Tehilla hosted a session in Queens, NY with Akiva Werber, Director of the North American Section of the Aliyah Department of the Jewish Agency. Werber provided Tehilla members with insightful Aliyah advice. Then, at the end of his talk, he briefly mentioned Rabbi Fass and Tony Gilbert. Details were still sketchy but he advised the small group present that Fass and Gilbert "have started up something new called Nefesh B'Nefesh - and they plan to give olim grants to help out financially- so that might be something worth looking into." In fact NBN had gone public just one week prior, and honestly, at the time it was viewed by the Aliyah community solely (yes, bad pun intended) as something to help out, a bit, with the financial burden of Aliyah. At the time it was simply not seen as an organization that would ever revolutionize Aliyah.

Let's Talk Numbers

According to the Jewish Agency in 2001 - before NBN was around, only 1378 North Americans made Aliyah. (Actually that was down a percent or so from 1401 American and Canadian olim in 2000.)

The historic first NBN chartered flight of July 9, 2002, flew with around 400 olim on board. Others came on regular El-Al flights. In all, NBN reported that 519 North Americans made Aliyah with them in 2002. Aliyah from North America rose 21% to 1,664 that year according to the Jewish Agency.

The next full NBN Aliyah plane landed in Israel exactly one year later in July of 2003 with 330 new olim. But there was also a second flight that summer that held roughly the same number, and still more North Americans on "spill over flights" bringing the grand total of NBN olim in 2003 to around 1000. Incidentally, the Jewish Agency reported a total of 1873 olim from North America - up another 13%. Notably well over 50% of olim used NBN's services in 2003. The year before only one third of all North American olim did. This clearly showed Jews quickly embraced NBN as the best way to make Aliyah from North America.

And as NBN kept making Aliyah easier, and by now they provided a whole range of support services from social services to employment services and including everything in between, the demand for Aliyah rose even more. So NBN arranged 3 full summer flights and helped 1500 olim come home in 2004.

A Growing Demand

Are you following the trend here? 1500 olim in Summer 2004 alone equals the number that came with NBN in all of 2002 and 2003 combined!

As the demand kept growing, NBN opened up, for the very first time, a winter flight. This carried another 250 North Americans home to Israel. Including the number of NBN olim that came on regular flights would bring the 2004 total to over 2000. In fact, the Jewish Agency reports that, in all, over 2,800 North Americans made Aliyah in 2004 - the highest number since 1983!

We have thus seen that more North Americans are making Aliyah today than ever did in the past two decades. What's more? This Aliyah renaissance has occurred over a short three year span. In the next part of this series we will take a look at the new efforts being made to bring the Aliyah Revolution "mainstream."
Full post and comments...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A few letters I have received lately.....


We spoke in January on your show about my Aliyah. As you can see below, I'm on my way. I'm on the double flight arriving on the 13th of July.

Would be happy to speak on the radio a few more times if you need a guest. I'm moving to Maaleh Adumim.

Your Kumah website has been truly inspirational and a source of good information for me during this Aliyah process.

Shlomo G.

Dear Yishai

The pictures were interesting, especially the one with Malkah standing outside what must be your karavan. It really compares favorably with the old-style Conestogas. You are braver than I thought.
It is almost like being there when you have those pictures. I was especially interested in the Ethiopians in the picture. It is refreshing that they view "their people" as Jews.

In one picture, there was an arm wrapped in a tight tourniquet of leather. Please explain. The picture was the one having to do with the Torah.

It is good at the beginning to let people know what they will be facing when you show pictures of the heroes from the roadblocking protest.(Hmmm...Road Block vs. Road Map. A little cheesy, but..)
To stop rambling, everything in your site has the aroma of Aliyah. The fragrance is all over this computer. May it bring many here to their real Home.

Mark W.

Dear Yishai and Malkah,

Thanks for such a wonderful show (Aliyah Revolution) on Thursday May 19th morning (evening - for you). It felt very "responsive" when your seemed to be addressing my "IMs" almost as fast as I could type them... It was especially touching when you ended the show addressing the "guilt" factor of not (always) being able to make Aliyah. Although I can't do so, I try, through my volunteer work, to do as much for Eretz Yisroel as I can.

And it was an added pleasure to speak to you on the phone right after the show's ending, as well.

At the beginning of the show, you were "experimenting" with opening music - so I've given it some thought and let me convey that thought to you with a personal experience... It may be too slow for the lead-in to your Aliyah Revolution show - but think about it for the lead-out!

A little narrative first:
This June 19th will be my 6th time to Eretz Yisroel. When I go, I usually do so for approximately 6 weeks at a time for a very good reason: Academically, yes, I KNOW that I'm am on vacation, but MENTALLY, it's like I am living here for a short time. Being that I have a limited amount of vacation days, I cannot take such "long" vacations every year, since I have save some for the Yomim Tovim.. So, I save as much as I can during the year and come every other year for that time if I can. This means a long wait until I can return "HOME".

The last time I was leaving Eretz Yisroel, I was waiting for my EL-AL flight departure at Ben Gurion Airport for my flight back home to New York. Being plugged in to my MP3 player while ascending the stairway to the plane, the following song sounded through my headphones.

Although this romantic song was (probably) not written for this purpose, it sounded like ISRAEL WAS SINGING THIS MESSAGE TO ME on my departure, and tears were rolling down my cheeks through swollen eyes... (What can I say, I am an emotional kind of guy).

Look at the lyrics and tell me what you think. Enclosed is also an mp3 file of the song (I don't know if you're allowed to play it on-air --- I mean if you need copyright permission, etc... Check with INR.

Your Friend,

(Barry Manilow)
We had the right love
At the wrong time
Guess I always knew inside
I wouldn't have you for a long time

Those dreams of yours
Are shining on distant shores
And if they're calling you away
I have no right to make you stay

Somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours
will come to see
That you belong with me

Sometimes goodbyes are not forever
It doesn't matter if you're gone
I still believe in us together
I understand more than you think I can
You have to go out on your own
So you can find your way back home

Somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours
will come to see
That you belong with me
Letting go is just another way to say
I'll always love you so

We had the right love
At the wrong time
Maybe we've only just begun
Maybe the best is yet to come

Somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours
will come to see
That you belong
With me

Yishai and Malkah,

Listening to your lovely Aliyah program, and the one's who will be coming soon, I enjoyed hearing it, but there again.... I feel that is my home and I miss me so much there. Tell me please, could I have been a Jew in a previous life? Does Judaism, do you , believe in re-incarnation?

One more thing that was so very uncanny, on your Kumah page dated May 23rd, under the caption of the pictures, Jewish moms, there is me!!! I really looked at it and even felt it was me, showed the picture to my son, and he could not believe it. nevertheless, he said its just the profile, and maybe the face itself would be different.
Look at the picture of the woman with straight short hair and wearing glasses, its me... Also I weep because I miss me there, I hear you and Malkah talking of welcoming people, and I wish it could be me too. How I miss Israel, how I miss me there. Maybe i am just plain stupid, I do not know... but I am so lonely for Israel.

What can this be?
stella c.
Full post and comments...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Not Prisoners, but Free Men

Jews arrested for civil disobedience davening Shacharit in an Israeli prison.

So long as the Jewish People know where to seek their redemption, than no prison walls will be able to knock the spirit of the Jewish People down. Once again, the Jewish People have displayed their uncanny ability to raise up a place that is generally filled with filth and crime, and to imbue it with a sense of Kedushah.

May the Kedusah found this past week in these prison walls spread forth to the entire Land of Israel.
Full post and comments...

Pesach Sheini - the 'Second Pesach' - at the Kotel

Today was Pesach Sheini. But what is Pesach Sheini?

One who was ritually unclean, ta'me, was not allowed to bring and partake of the Korban Pesach, the Paschal Offering. In Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:6-8, we find that a group of people approached Moshe and Aharon at the time the first offering was brought after the exodus. They, because of the fact they were ritually unclean from contact with a corpse, were not able to bring the offering. This group asked Moshe and Aharon "Why are we being prevented to bring the offering with the rest of Israel, in the proper time?' The response from Moshe was "Stand and hear what Hashem has commanded you." Then, the Torah relates the laws concerning Pesach Sheni, an opportunity for all those who missed bringing the Korban Pesach in the proper time through no fault of their own, to bring this offering, and fulfill this special mitzvah. (by Rabbi Yehudah Prero)

There were tons of Bar-Mitzvahs at the Kotel today

Jewish Moms looking on their sons

Beautiful Bukharin Jews

Aliyah to the Torah

The 'Big Shofar' will be sounded soon

Today's Torah reading ended with the word Kommemiyut
Hashem promises to walk us Upright to our Land.
Upright means with pride, with choice.
American Jews who make Aliyah aren't running from anything, they CHOOSE Israel because they want to, because they know it's home.
Kumah, Arise, is the root of Kommemiyut.
Kumah folks are Kommemiyutnikim (Ezra's chiddush) - folks who choose to Arise and to walk uprightly to out Land.

Pesach Sheini represents a second chance - a second Exodus. If you got stuck in the past, if you couldn't break out of the exile for one reason or another, G-d tells you: you have a second chance, you too can break out of the shackles that bind you and Arise and walk upright to your Home.

Got Home? Got Milk and Honey?
Full post and comments...

Friday, May 20, 2005

At The Parade This Year Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve

Project SingOlim is proud to support this incredible Jewish unity project!

Announcing the "Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve" Salute To Israel Parade Extravaganza!!!

The details are announced on the SingOlim website here.

Also visit for more information.

We are looking to turn the Salute to Israel Parade into the coolest event ever!!!

The Parade is June 5th. So help us spread the word today!

As I'll Bez"H be making Aliyah a month after the parade I'll be wearing a "blue heart." (Check out the details - the different colors mean different things.)

Hope to see you there!
Full post and comments...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Ani Lo Yehudi"

Through Israel National Radio, I am priviliged to participate in 3 shows:
1. The Eyshet Chayil Show (a show for women, though most of the people who e-mail me are men)
2. The Aliyah Revolution (about Aliyah, a show I do with Yishai)
3. The Weekend Edition (a weekend news wrap-up/ newstalk show that I do with Tamar Yonah)

We do all of these shows with Jews in mind, but we get a lot of feedback from non-Jews. Some of these people are EXTREMELY dedicated to Israel, to the Land and to the people, and I would say that many of them would classify as b'nei Noach. Many of these are very loyal listeners, and frequently write with questions or comments.

One such person is Mitch, a man who frequently reminds us "Ani Lo Yehudi" - I'm Not Jewish. He sent me the following letter concerning his experience at a Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration:


In Los Angeles I went to the IL Independence Day festival, held on the 15th of the Roman month of May, to distribute orange merchandise. Probably 15,000 plus were there at Woodley Park in the Sepulveda Basin on the hottest San Fernando day of the year so far.

JNF had the biggest displays, but the orange was all around. There were several stands distributing stickers and shirts. One group was distributing several hundred orange shirts, with black lettering only, for free. But they weren't as nice as's with the palm tree at the beach.

So I have your merchandise and also two big reels of orange ribbon. I survey the booths and find the Consul General for LA's booth. I ask if the current consul says as the previous one did that"Israeli's have internalized the fact that there will be a 'palestinian' state." They respond "go ask him he is about to speak." I walk towards the stage and find a tree with string tight around it and start to put up a Rav Kadourie poster that packs their shipments in which I had preserved. A big Consul General security guy comes over and tells me I can't place the poster there. I ask why and he says it is in front of their booth. It turns out they have two and the one I was going to put the poster up in front of was abandoned with no activity. I did not argue with the bigger guy. I take the poster down and he says thank you. I say Rav Kadourie thanks you. He says I know of him...

I then find the biggest B/W IL flag vendor and ask if I can tie the orange ribbon onto their dozens and dozens of flags and the lady said yes. She turned out to be the publisher of the major Hebrew paper in LA. I finish that and then ask her if I can place more ribbon on the streamer of flags and the posts. She's says do what you want. Very nice lady with a dozen+ people working for her there. I finish redecorating and hawk wares on my body like I was an arab water merchant.

After several hours I stop at an abandoned booth to display the merchandise. I put an orange shirt over the label for the booth who happened to be the LA Times. Spread stuff out and sell a little give more and two ladies from the Federation organizers come yelling at me saying I have to pay for all the time I am here, I can't be doing this ...I gather things up while they are berating me and looking through the stickers and I ask if they would like one, they say they are not interested. I say you keep looking through them like you are interested. Take one. They say no we are not interested.
Many Chabad Hasidim nod to me as I go by and if they spoke to me I mention that ani lo Yehudi. They were always amazed and one said that it was a Mitzvoth and it counts anyway. I showed one the Rav Kadourie poster hoping to find a home to display it and while talking, a lady comes over and says I love him and kisses it like a Mezuzah. I said this is a real crowd pleaser so I should keep it out. I tried to find a home for it at a Katif support booth but since Chabad paid for it they didn't have room (didn't want another Rebbe displayed). Now I use it as a placard in front of me. I see a Hasid climbing a rock wall 40 feet tall very skillfully. He gets down and I offer him a flag. He seemed to have been a Rebbe for a group of kids with him. I offer them some buttons, stickers and wristbands. But while doing so I drop the Rav Kadourie poster. One of the eight-year-olds picks it up, kisses it and tells me not to let it touch the ground. We think of him as the Mosaiach. I later talk with the wall climbing Rebbe to say your students are very smart. I was told I can't let this touch the ground because it is of the Mossaiach but that I thought the Lubavitcher Rebbe was considered to be the Mosaic? He indicates that this image is of a Tzadich and the image of any Tzadich must not touch the ground.

I walk for several more hours and find the main information booth deserted with trash on the tables. I clean off the trash and set up shop. After 45 minutes of selling a little and giving more the Federation police come by in a golf cart. A man and one of the women from before. He tells me I have to get out now, that he will be back in two seconds and he doesn't want to see me here.... As he is going on I am gathering the stuff but turn to him and say look, I am getting out. How can I do this if you keep expecting me to listen to you? He drives off cackling, head back and mouth open laughing. About this time a guy comes up asking why are you doing this. You are like me. We are both here and they are there. I tell him expelling Jews is immoral, the land is the defense for the whole country. He says they are being paid. I say what is money for 25-35 years of your life. Money is irrelevant. Is it right for me to forcibly remove you from your home and say here is pennies on the dollar for the worth of those years of investment as compensation? And he baits me by stating so you are in favor of violence...

There were many irrational/immoral people. Sorry to say the majority were. They were there to see the pop music and wanted nothing to do with the politics of building Jewish communities on Jewish land sewn with Jewish blood. But at the same time there was a sea of orange and many Hasids who appreciated nationalistic goals. Those who support sovereignty and not suicide. The land is the defense. It save lives. One must desecrate the Sabbath and political laws to protect the land since it saves lives. And the kids, who were ravenous for the orange wrist bands, ate that up to. To a one, the kids agreed as I explained it that way. But as I spoke my jingle while hawking the orange merchandise, I got mostly sneers and blank stares. "Flags, shirts, hats, wrist bands, stickers and buttons. Support Gush Katif and Northern Shomoron. Don't let their murderer's live in their homes!"

Ani lo Yehudi
Full post and comments...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Israel-related links

There's a lot of good stuff going on throughout the Internet that you should know about.

Babaganewz is a very cute Jewish website for kids. While I believe I've caught them in the throes of some leftiness, I still refer to this site as a terrific asset to Jewish parents and concurrently to their little Jewish offspring. Right now, Babaganewz has 2 cute little games going on - one is called Jewpardy, which is about answering questions about Israel. When you finish the game (and I got one wrong), you can also opt to play other versions of the game. If you or your kid are already spending time vegetating in front of the computer, might as well make it educational and fun. The other game is called Celebrate Israel, and it harkens to Wheel of Fortune. While not a game per se, there are all kinds of things you can learn about Israel from this click-through - even crafts.

Aish is running a Jewish historical series, and it is now offering a "Crash Course" in the History of the State of Israel.

I admit that I have only as of yet skimmed through this one, but it seemed pretty good and succinct. I imagine the rest of the lessons are also worthwhile.

A reminder: Nefesh b'Nefesh applications for Fall Aliyah are due by June 1. Download yours now!!
Full post and comments...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

New Aliyah Blog

Batsheva Neuer has started a wonderful new Aliyah Blog! Here are a couple of her beautiful posts:

Herzlya Beach, Yom Ha'atzmaut 2005

Wishful thinking...
I often wonder if Israel isn't some distant fantasy that deep down I wish to remain just as such. That now that I have seen its realness I'm scared. Scared to face its harshness, to step into the icey waters alone. I want it to be about its music, its holiness, about Jerusalem. I want it to be magical, to lift me to a world where reality doesn't exist, or at least not Israel's difficult one. I want the soldiers to be but just to be. No wars, no danger. Just to be those young, romantic heroes with the stubbly cheeks and serious glares. I want to feel the importance of Har Habayit to be prevalent without it coming from the constant threat of the enemy, only emanating from it's inherent holiness. I want the youth-including myself- to forever remain idealistic, and for them not to grow up. Perhaps to create my very own Neverland, can it be? For there to be those promising few, sincerely swearing to die for their land should the time come. But, not for them having to, for them doing so. By choosing Israel as my life I must overcome this wish of maintaining the fantasy. I must grow beyond the hills of Hebron and its inhabitants and the orange waves of Khatif. Into the Israel of finance, of chaos, of war. Of reality... of its lower moments. But to keep in mind the higher ones. With every downfall there will be an up. With every crash, economic or sociological, there will be a rise. This is the challenge. This is Israel. And, with G-d's help, I'll make it my own.

You can visit Batsheva's blog at or by clicking on the Kumah Aliyah Blog Link (soon to be added.)

If you have or know of an Aliyah Blog please let us know at arise at kumah dot org!

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Little Perspective on Israel

57 years young. Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov on another year of miracles.

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, the noted Kabbalist and modern day Torah scholar, reminds us that with every breath we take, G-d is creating us. He says that we should take time to meditate on breathing, and thank G-d with every breath. And so with each celebrated year of the existence of the modern state of Israel, we remember that our nation, our state is still being formed, and we must thank G-d with every day that goes by. Sometimes, when we're sick, or if we're old and weakened, our breath is labored. Some people are conscious of every breath they take, because they have to do so deliberately. But even in sickness, even in old age, we are continually formed by G-d. We must remember, we must celebrate, that G-d continues to create us, no matter what the circumstances.

You might think this is going to be another one of those writings where the author tries to tell you to hang in there, that despite the difficult times we find ourselves in, despite the painful adversity that Jews in the Land of Israel find in their own Jewish government, that we must go on. You were wrong.

This is a blog about a few things that are damned well fine in Israel. For example: I have a book called "Those Were The Years... Israel's Jubilee", obviously a history book on the first 50 years of Israel's existence. In my role as an aliyah activist, I've dealt with a lot of people who tell me that it's just too hard to live in Israel. I humbly suggest that those people develop a little bit of courage, and even more perspective. For help on the perspective element, let me submit to you a few excerpts from this very nice book by Yediot Ahronoth:

"26 April, 1949: The cabinet declared a state of national austerity and rationing of basic food products... The citizens received their rations by means of a local grocerty stores. Minister Yosef provided a detailed program, according to which each citizen would receive a monthly supply of food worth IL6. The national austerity menu designed by the new minister was made up of the floowing daily rations: an unlimited amount of standard bread; 60 grams of corn; 58 grams of sugar; 60 grams of flour; 17 grams of rice; 20 grams of legumes; 20 grams of margarine; 8 grams of noodles; 200 grams of skim-milk cheese, 600 grams of onions, and 5 grams of biscuits. The meat ration was 75 grams a month per person."

Israel today:

I had the incredible fortune a couple of shabbatot ago to acquire a Wonder Pot from the mother of a friend in Hevron. I had seen a picture of the Wonder Pot in this same book, under the date 1949. The origin of this invention is unknown to me, but it is an aluminum pan which resembles a bundt pan. You place a small round thing underneath the pan and place it on the stove, and can thereby bake cakes. Now, you may not be too impressed at this point - what's the big deal about baking a cake? But in the early years of Israel, no one could bake cakes, because no one had an oven (unless you consider the public ovens, where people would take their cholents before shabbat and pick them up shabbat day - you could also take cakes there). But when the wonder pot came around, anyone (anyone, that is, who could afford the luxury of a Wonder Pot) could bake a cake right there in their home!! This mother of my friend gave me the Wonder Pot she had saved for years - because it doesn't compare with her oven. In fact, the Wonder Pot is so obsolete in Israel (everyone has a stove and an oven... and maybe a microwave, blender, food processor, mixer, toaster, water boiler, water urn, coffee pot), that as much as I scoured the internet, I could not find one picture to place on this blog. I, however, plan on baking a cake in honor of the Independence of the State of Israel tomorrow morning.

By the way, the austerity plan ended in 1959.

"31 May, 1955: For the first time in Israel, a direct phone link has been established between the three major cities - Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem."

Israel today:

"7 June 1967: "At 10:00am, the paratroopers broke through Lion Gate and liberated the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Motta Gur sood near the wall with his officers and announced on the radio: "Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, Temple Mount is in our hands!" After hours of fierce battles, the sweaty and weary paratroopers burst into tears. Major General Shlomo Goren, chief military rabbi, arrived at the site, blew the shofar and said a prayer: "This is the day we have been yearning for: let us rejoice in it."

Israel today:

"4 January, 1985: Operation Moses, in which thousands of Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel, was made public for the first time."

Israel today:

1990: "Some 200,000 immigrants, most of them from the USSR, arrived in Israel during 1990. The state had to deal with a wave of immigration the size of which it had not faced since 1951. The most serious problem was housing. The immigrants were placed temporarily in IDF camps, hotels, recreation facilities and mobile home neighborhoods. The other problem was employment. Mos of the immigrants were professionals - physicians, engineers, scientists and economists - but had to settle for odd jobs such as cleaning streets or working on production lines in factories."

Israel today:

I could go on and on. But just to prove that Israel is a great place to be on the day to day, a place of perpetual growth, a piece of good news, a piece of Israeli history, from this week's front pages:
New Israeli Plane Makes Successful Test Flight

Happy Independence Day.

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kumah's Yom Haatzma'ut Pizza Bash!

This summer SIX full flights of olim will be making Aliyah from North America with NBN. In honor of this joyous occasion Kumah will be throwing a Pizza Party!

If you're going to be among these lucky olim join us and let's chat about our Aliyah plans!

If you're thinking of making Aliyah, or even if you just admire those that do, please come!

If you like FREE Pizza, be there!

Come to Kumah's Yom HaAtzma'ut Pizza Bash!

Date: Wednesday Night, May 11th (When Yom HaAtzma'ut is observed!)

Time: 7:00 PM

At: Broadway's Jerusalem II

1375 Broadway - Between 37th & 38th St in Manhattan

Please RSVP by e-mailing Pinchas at Kumah dot Org!

Hope to see you there!
Full post and comments...

Sunday, May 08, 2005


The above picture is from Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

What a poor attempt to make Disengagement attractive. There is nothing engaging about Disengagement - the name itself represents a regressive spirit of cutting and slashing, retreat and loss. The people leading the Disengagement are the same people who are building a wall - a scar - unto the beautiful landscape of Israel. They believe that the cancer of our enemy has spread so much that we must cut off parts of our own body. Yet these same people couch their radical retreat surgery in the language of 'peace' and 'process' and 'moving forward.'

The Torah tells us that while Abraham was preparing animals for the Covenant of the Parts with Hashem, vultures came down to peck away at the carcass. Undeterred, Abraham shooed away the vultures and proceeded with the ceremony. The Disengagement and the Wall are merely vultures trying to disrupt Israel's progress. Our mission is to calmly shoo away the vultures, and to proceed with our mission.

Those who are shocked by the state of affairs, and those who think everything is falling apart, need to remember the lessons of the Tanach. Jewish history is long, kings come and go, as do periods. Ours is a period of transition and growth - not destruction. Gush Katif and Northern Shomron have only grown since the announcement of the evil edict. Hashem works in mysterious and unorthodox ways. With the help of G-d, Gush Katif and the Shomron, as well as the whole Land of Israel will remain in our hands and will be passed to our children.

This is no time for despair, rather, it is a time of action. Better than a pessimist, is an optimist, and better than an optimist is an activist.

Happy Israel Independence Day!
Full post and comments...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Be Like A Gazelle

On Shabbos-Pesach (which fell out on the 7th day this year) we read from Shir Hashirim, The Song of Songs. The following was taken from the introduction to the Yalkut Me'am Lo'ez on Shir Hashirim, translated and adapted by Dr. Zvi Faier:

In chains
She sang
The Song of Songs.


The soul.

The soul of my people.

But even as the eyes of the Raya-Israel are riveted on the veil that conceals the Divine Presence, the Beloved "stands behind our wall, looking through the windows, peering through the lattices."

"Be like a gazelle." Just as a gazelle may race to the ends of the world, but always returns to her place of origin, so the Jewish people will all return from the lands of their dispersion.
Full post and comments...