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Thursday, May 25, 2006

39 Years Later...

Below are photos and a video from the Old City of Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day 5766!

39 years ago miracles happened here:

If the video doesn't work check back later... it will soon.

Full post and comments...


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 30 "Jerusalem Day - Yom Yerushalayim" 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Nice Try, But Not Torah" Malkah's comment to an AISH article
2. "That's So Israeli" By Jonathan Udren
3. "Yom Yerushalayim" by Rabbi Yehudah Prero
4. "First And Foremost A Jew" by Yossi Beilin

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jerusalem Day: Broadcast of the Liberation of the Temple Mount and Western Wall by the Israel Defense Forces

On the 28th of Iyar, which falls out this coming Thursday night, the Jewish People will give thanks to G-d for the liberation and unification of Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capitol, which took place on the 3rd day of the Six-Day War, June 7th, 1967.

In the historic live broadcast on Voice of Israel Radio (courtesy of IsraCast), one will hear arguably the three most significant words uttered in the last 2,000 years of Jewish History, and perhaps the most significant since the Jewish People uttered the words of "Na'aseh V'Nishma" ("We will do and we will listen") prior to their accepting of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, nearly 3,500 years ago.

Of course, I am referring to the words uttered by Colonel Motta Gur Z"L, "Har HaBayit B'Yadeinu!" ("The Temple Mount is in our hands!").

Below you will find the complete transcript of the historic live broadcast on Voice of Israel Radio, June 7th, 1967, of the Liberation of the Temple Mount and Western Wall by the Israel Defense Forces (courtesy of IsraCast):

This is Mordechai Twersky reporting from Jerusalem:

What you are now about to hear is perhaps one of the most riveting recordings in the modern-day history of Israel. I refer to the dramatic sounds of Israeli Defense Forces entering and liberating Jerusalem's Old City and the Western Wall on June 7th, 1967. You hear the sounds of gunfire. You hear the footsteps of Israeli soldiers, as they draw closer and closer and as General Uzi Narkiss instructs them and asks to be shown where the Western Wall stands. We hear a triumphant Brigadier General Shlomo Goren, later to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel, as he recites the memorial prayer and sound the shofar, as Israeli soldiers weep with sorrow over their comrades killed in combat.

Listen closely to this piece of history, which is housed in the archives of the Avi Yaffe Recording Studio in Jerusalem.

Colonel Motta Gur [on loudspeaker]: All company commanders, we're sitting right now on the ridge and we're seeing the Old City. Shortly we're going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City. Eitan's tanks will advance on the left and will enter the Lion's Gate. The final rendezvous will be on the open square above.
[The open square of the Temple Mount.]

[Sound of applause by the soldiers.]

Yossi Ronen: We are now walking on one of the main streets of Jerusalem towards the Old City. The head of the force is about to enter the Old City.


Yossi Ronen: There is still shooting from all directions; we're advancing towards the entrance of the Old City.

[Sound of gunfire and soldiers' footsteps.]

[Yelling of commands to soldiers.]

[More soldiers' footsteps.]

The soldiers are keeping a distance of approximately 5 meters between them. It's still dangerous to walk around here; there is still sniper shooting here and there.


We're all told to stop; we're advancing towards the mountainside; on our left is the Mount of Olives; we're now in the Old City opposite the Russian church. I'm right now lowering my head; we're running next to the mountainside. We can see the stone walls. They're still shooting at us. The Israeli tanks are at the entrance to the Old City, and ahead we go, through the Lion's Gate. I'm with the first unit to break through into the Old City. There is a Jordanian bus next to me, totally burnt; it is very hot here. We're about to enter the Old City itself. We're standing below the Lion's Gate, the Gate is about to come crashing down, probably because of the previous shelling. Soldiers are taking cover next to the palm trees; I'm also staying close to one of the trees. We're getting further and further into the City.


Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!

All forces, stop firing! This is the David Operations Room. All forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over.

Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.

[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]

Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn't anybody like you. You're next to the Mosque of Omar.

Yossi Ronen: I'm driving fast through the Lion's Gate all the way inside the Old City.

Command on the army wireless: Search the area, destroy all pockets of resistance and make sure to enter every single house, especially the holy places.

[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing "Jerusalem of Gold".]

Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?

Yossi Ronen: I'm walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I'm not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I'm touching the stones of the Western Wall.

Soldiers: [reciting the "Shehechianu" blessing]: Baruch ata Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this day]

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and builds Jerusalem]

Soldiers: Amen!

[Soldiers sing "Hatikva" next to the Western Wall.]

Rabbi Goren: We're now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:

[Soldiers weeping]

El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha'arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma'aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba'al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya'amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!

[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.]

Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b'nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]

Mordechai Twersky,

Cross-Posted at Israel Perspectives
Full post and comments...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Few Recent Pictures...

Yom Hazikaron at a Government Office

Elan Manning the BBQ

Our Neighbor Rabbi Ori

Our Roses - We Are Very Proud Of Them!

Our Neighbor Elisheva

New Store In Jerusalem

Aish HaTorah's New Building

At The Men's Section Kotel Tunnel

High-Class Overhaul Including Women's Section On Upper Left

Policeman Stands At Kotel

Waiting For All Of Us....

Loving The Good People Of Israel - That Is The Key!
Full post and comments...

Friday, May 19, 2006

How To "Do" Lag B'Omer Right!

Step 1: Get friends together.

Step 2: Build the largest bonfire you could.

Step 3: Throw in your neighbor's door - he doesn't need it anyway!

Step 4: Repeat. Remember you are not yotza [haven't fulfilled your obligation] until there is a solid ring of fire around the whole Har Nof and it looks like the whole forest is burning down.

Step 5: Repeat again.

Step 6: After fighting traffic of course, attend a Masa Gala Event at the Latrun.

When does the party start?

Right now!

Now a word from our Prime Minister. I'll sum up his speech like this. "All you Masa participants just had a great year! Now go back home pack your things come Home and make Aliyah!" (That's really what he said. You could see for yourself by clicking here! It was almost entirely an apolitical event aside from some uncalled for, and completely out of place, political remarks by one JA/MASA executive.)

And now let's rock the house with some Carlebach songs sung by Shlomo Simcha! Am Yisrael Chai!

Back to Har Nof where the fires are ablazing!

And off the Meron! Tomb of Rav Shimon Bar Yochi, what Lag B'Omer is all about!

The Meron Pics continue: click here for more!
Full post and comments...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Dear Gilead" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Never Again?" By Charles Krauthammer
3. "Olmert To Diaspora Jews: Come Home" by Attila Somfalvi
4. "Daniel Wultz Remembered In J'lem" By Joshua Brannon
5. "Israelis And American Jews: Still Talking Past Each Other" by Abraham Foxman

Full post and comments...


If you've never seen the movie, the entire movie can now be found for free on the internet. It was placed there by the star of the movie, Shuli Rand and he introduces it himself. Sadly, no English subtitles. I think it's one of the best movies of all time...

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Here is the original letter that I posted earlier:

Dear Yishai,

I'm really hurting.

I have filled my Aliyah papers for my family and I, yet the more I read the news the more sick I become.


>From Gilead

Please give me some words of chizuk!



This is Simcha Shapiro from The Aliyah Revolution show. My friend, I am afraid that you seriously misunderstand the nature of Aliyah. Do you think that the money that you pay in taxes where you live now, do not go to your enemies?! Our obligation and right to live in Eretz Yisrael is completely independent of Midinat Yisrael. I would hope that our government would be straight and honest, and Torah minded. That being said, even if it were the most corrupt and destructive government in the history of the world, we would still have an obligation and right to live in Eretz Yisrael. You are needed here! The greatest thing that you can do to counteract the actions of our enemies and those who support them, is to LIVE HERE IN SPITE OF THEM!

Hatzlacha in doing what is right!



Dear Gilead,

Shalom! I received your e-mail from Yishai, and thought I would reply.

Look - none of us want our taxes to feed our enemies. But ultimately, that's not what life in Israel is about!

There are many ways to think about your aliyah:

1. You can think about how your aliyah serves YOU - your children's significantly advanced Jewish/Torah education, raising them with a sense of community and belonging, never being without a minyan, signing your checks with the date on the Hebrew calendar, eating special milk and honey flavored yogurt around Rosh Hashanah time.

2. You can think about how your aliyah serves ISRAEL - increasing the Jewish presence, adding to feelings of Jewish pride/growth/strength, growing children who will grow their children, and their children, and their children... adding to the brain trust and the spiritual power of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

3. You can think about how your aliyah serves THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE - Showing Him that you choose His land, that you buy into His Torah, that you love His people, and that you would rather spend your life fighting and struggling to bring His light into this world than sitting comfortably in America, far away from the birth pains of a growing Israel.

This is not a time for despair. Frankly, we don't have that luxury, and you should not allow yourself to give into those feelings (believe me, I know how much they want to suck you down into their vortex sometimes). When faced with such an evil impulse, you should smash those feelings and renew your determination to keep your eyes on the prize, to fully invest yourself in the biblical events we are undergoing.

Never forget the incredible love that brought you to consider making Aliyah in the first place - that revelation is one of the greatest truths you have ever experienced.

Good luck, and G-d speed. We look forward to seeing you soon.

All the best,

Full post and comments...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

There's no place like home - Part I

I still owe West Bank Mama a post on why I made Aliyah, but until I get around to writing that one, here is the first (of at least 2 posts) that will focus on why (native) Israelis consider Israel, despite all of the challenges that go along with living here, to be their one and only true home.

Memorial Hall in Sanders Theater at Harvard University started to fill up half an hour before Tal Ben-Shahar's lecture was due to begin... When Ben-Shahar, 35, who is bespectacled, lean and inclined to smile, enters, he does not look like a guru who attracts hundreds of students... It's a pleasure to listen to him. He is intelligent and funny and his remarks are rich with a profusion of details. The students are plainly riveted. When the class ends, they applaud. Afterward, a long line of students forms to exchange a few words with him. He sits at the front of the stage and speaks patiently with everyone...

Ben-Shahar is a genuine star on the Harvard campus... Indeed, the demand by 850 students to take the course ("Positive Psychology") compelled the university to allocate this hall, the largest on campus. The demand outside the university, which is equally intense, is met by a television crew that films Ben-Shahar's lectures for broadcast on the Internet...

Tal Ben Shahar has it made. At the age of 35 he is one of the most popular professors at Harvard University; people around the world listen to his lectures, he has a book deal all lined up, and his course has been covered by media outlets including The Boston Globe, CNN, Fox News, National Public Radio, and the New York Times.

(To view Tal Ben-Shahar's lectures, go to and click on "Lecture Videos.")

And yet, despite all of the above, he is preparing to walk away from Harvard University at the end of the year.

What could possibly compel Tal Ben-Shahar to walk away from a situation where he seems to be set for life?

"We are coming back to Israel in July. I am obligated to give one more semester-long course at Harvard in two years, and that is all. After so many years away, I want to return home. I want to be with my family and friends. I just miss it. I have a boy of 22 months, Davidi, who wants to be with the family in Israel.

Despite all the problems, we have a wonderful country. Israel is my home and I love the country. When I ask myself what will bring me personal happiness, happiness for my family, the answer is to live in Israel. The Israelis are very authentic. In no other place have I experienced the bond I have with the state and with the people who live in it - and I am not the first Israeli to say this."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Cross-posted at Israel Perspectives

Full post and comments...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A.B. Yehoshua versus Diaspora Jews

From Haaretz

At a recent symposium in the U.S., author A. B. Yehoshua said that only Israel, and not Judaism, can ensure the survival of the Jewish people. Haaretz has invited public figures, community leaders, academics and opinion makers in Israel, the U.S. and Europe to take part in the debate sparked by his statement. In an article in the Haaretz Magazine of May 12, Yehoshua elaborates on his initial remarks.

Full post and comments...


Dear Yishai,

I'm really hurting.
I have filled my Aliyah papers for my family and I, yet the more I read the news the more sick I become.

From Gilead
Please give me some words of chizzuk!



Aliyah is just like any other mitzva and we fulfill G-d's commands despite obstacles in our way. Your Aliyah is no favor to Olmert, it is a favor to you and your Family. It is a blessing for your family for generations to come. It is the fulfillment of our nation's dream of two-thousand years. It is G-d's will. If you are able to make it in the Land despite the challenges - you will be rewarded accordingly in this world and the next.

Other than all that, very cool people live here in Israel, and we know that we are heading towards something much much greater - and nobody will stand in its way. You have one life to live, live it fully in Eretz Hachayim!!!


PS I have sent your email to a few of my friends - so expect some more Chizzuk soon.


dear gilead,

yishai fleisher forwarded your email to me and gave me the opportunity to respond to your email.

i'd like to try to pick apart at your argument because i think you have a good one.

first, if it is a bad thing to give your taxes to an "enemy" government, aren't you allowing the good (as in not your enemy) jews like myself who are already living in israel to do such a thing? by this line of thinking, the more undesirable paying your taxes is, the more of a duty you have to come here to make sure that other jews won't be giving money to the enemy.

to stop them from doing so is really an easy thing to do. all we need is enough people to put the proper piece of paper in an envelope during election time. and if you were here before election time you could have tried to convince other jews to put the right piece of paper in an envelope. i think that there were efforts that did so and that's why kadima isn't as powerful as it was predicted to be.

next, i think this generation and me included are guilty of greatly underestimating the incredible miracle and blessing that israel is today. i go to jerusalem at least three times a year, little ole me. i live in a country that the majority of the population is jewish. i never have to explain to a boss what it means that i can't work friday night and saturday. if i want to eat out, chances are more often than not that the food is kosher and tasty. my daughter was born in israel. she will speak perfect hebrew. imagine telling a rabbi in poland two hundred years ago that there will be a guy like me with such privileges. it would make his heart burst.

now you have to ask yourself what incredible force of good made all of these blessings possible? that's right, your enemy, the state of israel. this government hasn't changed so much. probably the only difference is that it is running out of gas, secular zionism is showing its limitations. it has run out of ideas. luckily, the jews are armed with something filled with boundless vitality, the torah. we need soldiers like yourself to implement the true peace plan, the sinai accords.

looks like an impossible mission? too difficult? tune into next thursday to the yishai and malkah show and with god's help, i'm going to explain how easy it is.

good luck. and by the way, you hurting is a good sign, it means you are alive. don't become numb like i see all too often around me. made for the right reasons, making aliyah can help that hurt in a big way.

oh yeah, almost forgot, all too often i hear from jews what they want to do. what ever happened to doing what god wants you to do? am i missing something or isn't that supposed to be the attitude of a believing jew?

chazak venitchazak,

aaron fox
Full post and comments...

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 28 "Pesach Sheini" 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Pesach Sheini" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "The New Book of Exodus" by Jenna Portnoy
3. "Better Than We Thought" by Yair Lapid
4. "Alienated Jews" by Amiram Barkat

Check it out at: THE KUMMUNIQUE HOME
Full post and comments...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Life in an Outpost on the Edge of the Judean Desert. V'lo Yinatshu Od!

Check out what happens when the ingathering of the exiles is combined with making the desert bloom in the footsteps of a Biblical prophet-shepherd...

Click here for my Arutz-7 feature on Maaleh Rechavam and let me know what you think.
Full post and comments...

More Comments to JPost Editorial

12. Diaspora Down D Drain
Aryeh Yehuda - USA

I agree with Mr. Yehoshua! C'mon people, we in the American Diaspora are dwindling faster than we want to admit!! The AJCC survey population numbers are certainly inflated (those who actually consider themselves Jews according to the survey itself, is just over 4 million), intermarriage/assimilation is AT LEAST 60% (wake up!), and most American Jews (with the notable exception of the Orthodox), exhibit birthrates that are WAY below replacement levels, and most have a dwindling personal connection to Israel and Judaism. American Jewry of the future will be much smaller and paler reflection of its current overblown sense of self. Israel is the home and center of the Jewish People, NOW, not someday in the far future. Paradoxically, the American Jewry of the future will likely be MORE connected to Israel & Judaism because the Orthodox will be the only ones left standing after this demographic catastrophe! My wife & I have a plan to get off this sinking ship & make aliyah - do YOU??
Full post and comments...

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Few Talkbacks To The JPost Editorial

Check out some of the comments that have been logged to the article posted below:

1. Post Zionist Revisionist nonsense
Stepehn Duke - United Kingdom

Why are A.B. Yehoshua's statements being spun as 'nativist neo-triumphalism'? Yehosuhua merely states what many zionists know (and has sadly become unfashionable to say) that is, the best way to secure the future of the Jewish people is to live in Israel and this amply demonstrated by the fact that Israel has the only growing Jewish population in the world. The fact is that despite the contribution of the galut to Israel, the diaspora will, as predicted by the zionist movement, shrivel and eventually die. I don't want to say that Judaism outside Israel is worthless, however, Jewish life (whether religious or secular) is more complete in Israel than anywhere in the galut.

8. Kumah

Sorry Kumah, but if the Jews of Israel do not care about the Jews overseas, then Israels future is bleak, because then each Israeli will not care about his neighbor either. All jews are important and vital even those so apathetic that they do not care.If they dont, we need to care more.

9. kumah is cool

my attention was drawn to this article by the web site. i agree with kumah.

10. Re: Kumah
Shulamis - USA

Dear Kumah( love ur site), Your comment has a very strong point, however, I think that investing in the future of Israel, can be attained by also investing in Diaspora Jews. For example, I was raised in an American school, which put no emphases on Israel and its importance to me as a Jewish person. If investments are made to help Diaspora Jews feel connected to Israel, they will be more amenable to visiting and maybe even alyiah.

And here is my yet unpublished retort:

Save Jews, Not Diaspora

All Jews must care for one another. There is NO question that we must care for and invest in Diaspora Jewry. However, that does not mean we must try to perpetuate the Diaspora as if on life support!!! We should invest in educating Diaspora Jews to love Israel, connect to Israel, and eventually immigrate to Israel. We must invest in Israeli infrastructure and future absorption capabilities. Yet all this is predicated on the understanding that the Diaspora-demise is a good thing to be encouraged and celebrated. Let us not throw away millions of dollars and millions of hours trying to save the dying Galut - let us build a living Israel!
Full post and comments...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bittersweet Milestone

A Jerusalem Post Editorial

Two population milestones were attained this Independence Day: Our total population topped seven million, and Israel's Jewish population, as The Jerusalem Post reported exclusively on Wednesday, surpassed that of the United States to become the largest Jewish community in the world.

These achievements represent success beyond, perhaps, the wildest dreams of the founders of the Zionist project a century ago. Yet they also reflect trends that, taken together, do not bode well for the Jewish people as a whole.

In the 58 years since its establishment, Israel's population has increased 8.7 times: from 806,000 to 7,026,000 today, of which about 76 percent, or almost 5.4 million are Jews and 20% are Arabs. Since last Independence Day, 138,000 babies were born and 21,000 immigrants arrived.

At the same time, according to Hebrew University demographer Sergio DellaPergola, the last survey of American Jewry measured that community at 5.3 million in 2001, but that number has probably shrunk somewhat in the last five years.

The birth rate of American Jews is lower than Americans generally and lower than replacement level. So American Jewry would be shrinking even without taking into account that intermarriage rates are estimated to be well over 60% among non-Orthodox Jews, and that most children with only one Jewish parent are not being raised as Jews and are themselves even more likely to marry non-Jews.

Israel, by contrast, with negligible intermarriage rates and Jewish birth rates above replacement level and among the highest in developed nations, is "the only country in the world where the Jewish population is naturally increasing," notes DellaPergola.

As the Diaspora shrinks and Israel grows, DellaPergola projects that by 25 to 30 years from now, an absolute majority of world Jewry will live in Israel. Such trends seem to have led some, like author A.B. Yehoshua, to a sort of nativist neo-triumphalism.

Speaking at the 100th anniversary celebrations of the American Jewish Committee, Yehoshua stunned the audience by implying that Jewish life can never be lived in its totality outside of Israel. "For me, Avraham Yehoshua, there is no alternative... I cannot keep my identity outside Israel. [Being] Israeli is my skin, not my jacket. You are changing jackets... you are changing countries like changing jackets. I have my skin, the territory."

Yehoshua's glorification of a secular, land-based, cultural Israeliness - largely divorced from Jewish observance - is ironic given that the demographic woes of Diaspora Jewry seem tightly linked to a similar faith in non-religious engines of continuity. The last two generations of American Jewry seem somewhat dumbfounded by their difficulty in translating their passion for causes such as Soviet Jewry, Israel, communal and social activism into a commitment among their children to maintain Judaism as a critical influence on life choices, such as whom to marry and how to raise their children.

Yehoshua seems to assume that the Israeli secular majority - which in some ways is much more Jewishly connected and knowledgeable, in others more ignorant and alienated - is immune to such unpleasant surprises.

At the AJC, Yehoshua called for "looking honestly at our failure" to take advantage of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, after which millions of Jews headed West to America rather than to Eretz Yisrael to found the Jewish state. He implied that if Jews acted differently, the Holocaust could have been prevented or at least would not have taken a third of world Jewry as its toll.

To us, however, a debate in which Israel and the Diaspora point fingers or strut their respective advantages misses the point and illustrates the new failure of vision that is upon us. Without dismissing for a moment the physical threats to the Jewish people, as proudly proclaimed by such enemies as Iran and Hamas, a greater failure of will exists with respect to the opposite threat: that of losing our identity to the embrace of the modern world.

A growing Israel is not sufficient to compensate for a shrinking Diaspora. Israel and the Diaspora need each other, differently than in the past, but more than ever. Israel may not rest or celebrate unless the Jewish people as a whole has reversed its demographic decline, and is contributing to our survival as a people, a culture, and a positive influence on the world.


My response to the JPost Editorial Staff:

Regarding editorial: "Bittersweet Milestone"

"Israel and the Diaspora need each other" - why? This statement is not backed up in this article, or by people who think this way. The Diaspora is shrinking, and Israel is growing - and that is fine by me. G-d is bringing the Jews back Home. Let us not swim against the tide: instead of investing in the Galut, let us accept the reality of Diaspora demise and invest in the future of Israel.

Yishai Fleisher
Full post and comments...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Israel Calls" by Riva Pomerantz
2. "Move-to-Israel Filters" by Amy Eisenstein
3. "A. B. Yehoshua Sparks Uproar In US" By Nathan Guttman
4. "Report: More Jews in Israel Than In Any Other Country" by Seth Freedman

Check it out at KUMMUNIQUE HOME

This is one of the stories you may be interested in:

A. B. Yehoshua Sparks Uproar In US

Author A.B. Yehoshua stirred controversy at the opening panel of the centennial celebration of the American Jewish Committee after saying that only the State of Israel can ensure the survival of the Jewish people. Yehoshua's passionate presentation took other panelists by surprise and became the talk of the conference, which is taking place in Washington all week long.

"For me, Avraham Yehoshua, there is no alternative... I cannot keep my identity outside Israel. [Being] Israeli is my skin, not my jacket. You are changing jackets... you are changing countries like changing jackets. I have my skin, the territory," the author told the audience, adding that Israeli Jews live a Jewish life in a totality that the American Jews do not know.

Yehoshua's statements echoed through the other sessions with many participants expressing their disagreement with the Israeli author's views. On Wednesday, former head of the Mossad, Efraim Halevy, also speaking to the AJC, distanced himself from Yehoshua's arguments and said that the fact that Israel goes to great effort to help Jewish communities around the world proves that Israel sees importance in the Jewish Diaspora.

Yehoshua himself told The Jerusalem Post that he was surprised by the uproar over his arguments. "It seems to me obvious that our Jewish life in Israel is more total than anywhere outside Israel," he said, adding, "I think this is common sense. If they were goyim they would understand it right away."

An activist in a major Jewish organization who attended the opening panel said Yehoshua's arguments "took us back to the Fifties and Sixties," adding that "we are not used to hearing this kind of approach any more."

The American Jewish Committee's centennial events will culminate Thursday with a gala event honored by US President George W. Bush, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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