Monday, January 28, 2008

Israel Rabbinate rejects messianic convert

"Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v'Rabbeinu Melech haMoshiach l'olam vo'ed! (Long [shall]) Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, the King Messiah, for ever and ever."

One of the most intense controversies within Judaism is the question of whether or not it is permissible to believe that the late Chabad Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson, was the true moshiach (anointed messiah), and is himself divine despite his (alleged) death in 1994. If this belief is not permissible, is it full blown heresy or perhaps just a misguided belief that falls short of being a true avera (sin)?

Now, for the record, I consider the belief that the Rebbe is/was the king moshiach to be pure bunk. He failed to build, or herald the building of, the Third Temple in Jerusalem; he did not lead all of world Jewry to Eretz Israel; and, most tellingly, he really is dead (though a substantial number within the Lubavitch movement don't believe he died at all and instead insist his presence is being "divinely concealed").

Look, he certainly was a brilliant scholar, and made a huge impact upon the Jewish people as a whole with his incredibly successful mission of outreach (sending out an army of Rabbis to bring secular Jews back to Torah). But, to believe he is actually divine? God forbid we should endorse the idea that an omnipotent "mangod" lived who will soon be resurrected to lead us into the true messianic age. Such beliefs are essentially Christian in concept, and entirely antithetical to Judaism.

Anyway, I want to add that I was brought from secular Judaism to observant Judaism in large part because of the kindness and warmth of the outreach from the Chabad movement. While I don't accept the "Rebbe HaMelech Moshiach" concept whatsoever, I do believe the movement has done incredible good for am Yisrael, and have nothing but affection and love in my heart for the Chabad rabbis I have encountered over the years. They do so much good, I only pray that they don't destroy themselves by following their false Messiah off the edge of the cliff.

Your thoughts? Do you feel that the Israeli Rabbinate was in the right to reject a messianic conversion? Did they over-react to a harmless error in judgment from a convert who otherwise observes the mitzvos? Is this a decision that was long overdo, and a needed message to the "Yechi" movement? I want to know what you think.

I tend to agree with the Israeli Rabbinate.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lieberman dumps Olmert

It took a looooong, loooooong time, but at last faux-rightwing political opportunist, Avigdor Lieberman, took his Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the Olmert concessionist government.

Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Is Our Home) party head Avigdor Lieberman announced at a Wednesday morning press conference that his party is quitting the government.

Lieberman informed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Wednesday that he would resign his position as Minister for Strategic Affairs and lead his party out of the ruling coalition to protest the begin of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over so-called "core issues": Jerusalem, final status borders and the influx of descendants of Arabs who left their homes during Israel's 1948 War of Independence.

Addressing a press conference at the Knesset, Lieberman praised Olmert for being forthright and open with him whenever they differed on issues, but said Yisrael Beiteinu had set clear red lines for remaining in the coalition.

"On October 27, 2007, a month before the Annapolis Conference, we published our red lines for staying in the government. We were absolutely clear about what it would take to keep our party in the government.

"I met with the prime minister two days before he left for the conference, and 10 days ago I reiterated our red lines yet again: If the government opens negotiations on core issues with the Palestinian Authority, we would leave the government," he said.

Olmert is likely to now move his government even further to the left, probably adding the radical leftwing Meretz Party to strengthen his coalition. Ehud should have the necessary backing in place to make still deeper capitulations to the arabs now without risking new elections. Still, we can hold out a tiny glimmer of hope that the SHAS party will follow Lieberman's exit from the government and cause Olmert's government to possibly fall...still, that seems very remote. The Hareidi parties are basically just corrupt welfare whores looking to sponge off whatever government is in place regardless of the ramifications to Eretz Yisrael.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Olmert grants arabs "right of return"

It is stunning to watch from the outside looking in how the State of Israel steadily slides down the path of self-destruction. Olmert granting 50,000 arabs the "right to return" to Israel is akin to a suicide mission, though it's probably more like the final slash of the wrist that has been cut repeatedly since 1967. My hope now turns to what will arise in Eretz Yisroel AFTER Medinot Yisroel inevitably implodes to the arabs. The modern state of Israel is surely in its final throws...may what arises from its ashes be an improvement.

( The issue of "Arab refugees" has long been a matter of widespread consensus in Israel, with even left-wing parties declaring that allowing them into Israel would endanger its very existence as a Jewish state. Nevertheless, the subject does not appear to be going away. Reports are that Prime Minister Olmert has now agreed to allow 50,000 Arabs who left Israel in 1948 - or are descendants of those who did - to enter and live in Israel.

Channel Ten reported Thursday night that in a private meeting between Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen, the two agreed that in the final-status agreement, Israel would withdraw from 92% of Judea and Samaria, including all the non-Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. It was also agreed that 50,000 "refugees from 1948" would enter and live in the State of Israel.

Staffers in Olmert's office did not deny the report, and even hinted that it was at least partially accurate.

Yisgadal vyisgadash sh'may rabah...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Olmert Gov't Bans Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

The self-loathing, Hellenized Jews of today's Israeli government would have been made very dead Jews by the armies of Mattasyahu and Yehudah during the time of the Maccabees's. Oh, to long for the good old days...

( Public Security Minister Avi Dichter announced on Tuesday the government's official policy regarding Jewish prayer on the site of the Holy Temple: "Jews may pray on their holiest site - but only in their heart; no lip-moving allowed."

Dichter explained that government policy on the Mount is dictated by the wish to ensure that bloodshed not occur. He said that Jews moving their lips in prayer on the Mount, which the Moslems have sanctified as their own, can be seen as a Jewish provocation that could lead to bloodshed.

Knesset Members Aryeh Eldad and Uri Ariel - both of the National Union party and both residents of Kfar Adumim in the Jordan Valley - had submitted a request to pray on the holy site, and Dichter's response was the result.

Though the two had pledged not to perpetrate "group prayer" or "demonstrative prayer," both of which have been banned for Jews at the Temple Mount, Dichter said that the "outer trappings" of private prayer - namely, moving of lips - render even that forbidden. In his response to the MKs, Dichter noted that the only option for Jews who wish to pray on their most sacred site "is to exchange thoughts with his G-d in his heart."

The New Jewish Congress responded with barely-controlled fury, issuing this statement:

"Minister Dichter's comments demonstrate his, and this government's, total disconnect from the reality of the Temple Mount, from the Jewish people, and from the government's obligations towards both. This is yet another indication that the government of Ehud Olmert has ceased to be a Jewish government altogether, having not the slightest connection with the Jewish people."

Just two weeks ago, the government did nothing when Fatah allowed Hamas to broadcast its anti-Jewish incitement directly from the Temple Mount. The New Jewish Congress noted the irony of the juxtaposition of the loud and clear Hamas broadcasts and the banned silent Jewish prayer emanating from the same site - that of the Holy Temple.

"In reality," the statement continued, "the Jewish people enjoy freedom of religious expression, including prayer and Torah study, everywhere - except on the Temple Mount, their only holy site."

"Minister Dichter's comments convey hatred and discrimination towards the Jewish people," the New Jewish Congress stated. "In due time, this government will be held accountable for its actions and will stand trial in a Jewish court of justice that will be established by the Jewish people."

Calling all Maccabees!! Come in Maccabees!! We sure are ready for you!!!