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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.

       

      Tevet 24, 5768, 1/2/2008

      Bush, Read Your Bible!


      Yesterday, INN posted this article written by Baruch Gordon. Please circulate this poster wherever you can.

      In the upcoming days, billboards all over Jerusalem will be plastered with a new poster on the eve of U.S. President Bush’s visit to Israel. Pictured in the poster is a gigantic Bible, towering over the walls of the Old City.

      The caption says: “Bush, read your Bible. God gave Israel to the Jews.”

      This poster will welcome US President Bush to Jerusalem
      Photo: Am K'Lavee Organization

      Tzvi Fishman, of the Am K’Lavee organization, and an Arutz 7 blogger, says “The poster is designed to refocus Israel’s opposition to further withdrawals back to our Divine claim to the Land of Israel, as documented again and again in the Bible.”

      Am K’Lavee organizes the annual mass parade to the Kotel on Jerusalem Day, which is attended by tens of thousands. It is joining a broad spectrum of grassroots organizations that are planning protests during Bush’s three-day visit to Jerusalem.%ad%

      “The Biblical claim of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel was recognized by the British in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which called for the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine,” Fishman states. “The British believed in the Bible and what was written in it, and that was what guided Lord Balfour in winning the support of the British Parliament.

      "America also believes in the Bible,” Fishman says, “and therefore, it is totally unreasonable that America and its G-d-fearing President should act against the Bible, the pillar of Christian belief.” Through the poster, Fishman is embarking to remind President Bush that God’s plan for the world supersedes his plan.

      How to conduct its public relations campaign has long been a matter of debate among Jewish leaders in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Yesha). Am K'Lavee has chosen what they call "the irrefutable argument." Fishman explains:

      "I remember the day some twenty years ago when the leaders of the settlement movement decided that they weren’t going to speak any more about G-d’s gift of the Land of Israel to our forefather, Abraham. Instead they decided to base the importance of settling Judea and Samaria on practical military and Zionistic reasons. The trouble with this strategy is that when you bring a big general to warn the public about the dangers of surrendering portions of Yesha to the enemy, the political Left parades out their line-up of big generals who say the very opposite. That’s what happened with the 2005 Disengagement Plan.

      "People thought they could trust the famous military hero, Sharon, when he assured the nation that there was no security risk in evacuating the Jewish towns of Gush Katif. The military question can be argued this way and that, but our Biblical claim to the Land is irrefutable. Bush, America, Europe, and all the Christian world have to be reminded that in pressuring us to give up the Jewish towns of Yesha and divide Jerusalem, they are going against the Bible and G-d.

      Fishman says that Bible lovers all over the world have to join the fight to save the Holy Land. "It's not just about saving the Jewish villages of Yesha and safeguarding the unity of Jerusalem, but also preventing the wanton destruction of shrines and churches sacred to their religions as well," he argues.

      “It isn’t enough that this poster fills the streets of Jerusalem,” Fishman asserts. “It has to be circulated all over the Internet, on every Christian, Baptist, Evangelist, Catholic, and Jewish site. A vast part of the world still believes in the Bible, and if these hundreds of millions say no to the ‘Road Map’ and email the poster to the White House, they can help us save our Holy City and prevent the Holy Land from turning into a haven for Islamic terror.”

      Am K'Lavee invites activists to email the organization to receive a hi-rez version of the poster for distribution.



      Tevet 17, 5768, 12/26/2007

      Couch Potatoes, Bye Bye


      I never intended to become a therapist for Diaspora couch potatoes. From now on, we will be keeping a low profile, down at the bottom of the A7 blog line-up, just keeping things warm, like a Shabbos platter. Over the past year, we have focused on the two things that most people don’t want to hear: the imperative for a Jew to live in Israel, and the parallel imperative for a person to clean up his sexual life. For those who got the message, Baruch Hashem, and for those who didn’t, “Zoy gatis,” as my grandmother would say, “That’s the way it goes.”

      Couch Knishe - Some can even type with their toes!

      With Bush coming to Israel to keep Olmert in office, and with the nations of the world united against Jerusalem and Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land, the real battleground is here in Israel and not on the web. So I hope to turn my attention to the Hebrew-speaking public in Israel, write some books, put out some posters, make some movies, help some groups who are working in the field, and support the kids, which you can’t do by writing blogs for Arutz 7.

      Along with my blessings and a fond “L’hitraot,” here is an insight into this week’s Torah portion of Shemot. The whole purpose of the Exodus from Egypt was to bring the Jews to Eretz Yisrael, as it says, “And the L-rd said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of Egypt, to bring them up out of that land to a good and large Land, to a land flowing with milk and honey….” (Shemot, 3:7-8).

      With all of the tremendous importance of Sinai, receiving the Torah at Sinai was only a temporary station on the way to the Land of Israel. A Jew can only be true to himself and his destiny in the Land of Israel. For, as we have noted again and again, and as the Torah itself makes clear, the commandments were given to be observed in the Land of Israel. In addition, the Jewish People can only be a nation in the Land of Israel, and the Nation of Israel can only truly keep the Torah, in all of its entirety, in the Land of Israel, as it says, “From Zion shall come forth the Torah, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem,” and not from Virginia, or Monsey, or Manchester, England. In the Diaspora, we are scattered individuals and impotent communities with no power at all. For the nearly 2000 years that we were doomed to wander in exile, we had no choice but to live in foreign lands. But now that G-d has given us back our cherished Holy Land, there is no excuse for clinging to gentile lands. That’s the truth, and all of the whinings and rebuttals are just a lot of blah, blah, blah, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
                 



      Tevet 16, 5768, 12/25/2007

      Nationality Test


      Every Frenchmen knows French. Every Englishman knows English. Every Chinaman knows Chinese. Every Spaniard knows Spanish. Knowing one’s language is a measure of a person’s identification with his nationality and national culture.  This is one of the reasons that the Children of Israel did not assimilate into the foreign culture surrounding them during their bondage in Egypt, because they continued to speak Hebrew throughout their time of exile.

      Here is a passage containing 100 Hebrew words. If you know all of the Hebrew, then you have a 100% identification with your Jewishness. If you know 50 words, then you have a 50% identification. If you don’t know Hebrew at all, then your score is zero. It is a clear sign that you identify with your foreign gentile nationality and culture, and not with your Jewishness. Good luck on the test.

      שאלה 

      אני עוסק בחינוך ובייעוץ, בעל משפחה וחי באושר עם אשתי וילדיי, אבל אני חי בשני עולמות. מאז שגיליתי את האינטרנט, אני צופה באתרים לא כשרים. אני יודע שזה אסור, אבל כוחותיי לא עומדים לי. הקושי הגדול שלי הוא שתלמידים באים להתייעץ איתי, ואני נותן להם עצות איך לצאת מזה, ואני קרוע מהשקר שאני עושה בנפשי. אני מתחנן שתושיט לי יד לצאת לחירות

      תשובה

      בכל דור ודור הקב"ה שולח יצר הרע המיועד לאותה תקופה, והוא מפיל חללים רבים. בזמנו, היה זה יצר הרע של עבודה זרה. הגמרא מספרת על המלך מנשה שאמר לרב אשי בחלום: אילו היית בדור שלי, היית

      Hebrew speaking children identifying with their Hebrew speaking Forefathers in Hevron


      Tevet 15, 5768, 12/24/2007

      Announcing Shovavim!


      For the last several years, come this time of year, I try to invite friends to an uplifting night of "Shovavim" prayers designed to cleanse a person from the stains of sexual transgression, pornography viewing, masturbation, and the like. The people who come along always have a great time, but others reject the idea outright, saying, "That's Kabbalah," "That's Hasidut," or "Where is it written in the Shulchan Aruch?"

      The Big Bad Wolf Within

      Others say they will consider it, but never call back. My question is, why are so many people afraid when it comes to facing up to their sexual errors? It is like finding a spring of water in a desert and offering a drink to a friend, who shakes his head and says, "Who says that it's water? There isn't any spring on my map. Maybe it's all an illusion."

      On billboards throughout Israel, posters announcing the commencement of "Shovavim" are beginning to appear in an assortment of bright, attractive colors. The word "Shovavim" forms the initial Hebrew letters of the six consecutive Torah portions beginning with this Sabbath's reading of "Shemot." According to the Kabbalistic tradition, this six week period, paralleling the Torah's account of the Exodus from Egypt, is especially conducive to rectifying sexual transgressions, known as transgressions to the Brit (Arizal, Shar HaYichudim, 4:3). Because this year is a leap year, the Shovavim period will include an extra two weeks.

      An in-depth article on Shovavim can be found on our jewishsexuality.com website.


      The elder Kabbalist, Rabbi Leon Levi, shlita, will be leading the first all-night tikun of the Shovavim season this coming Thursday night, December 27, in the city of Holon, at the Suday Synagogue, 12 Rothschild Street, commencing at 11:30 pm. Bring towel for pre-dawn mikvah, and tefillin. Women’s section open.

      The tikun is to be broadcast live at www.suday.tv. But there is nothing like being there!

       



      Tevet 14, 5768, 12/23/2007

      Virginia Mike Strikes Out!


      Mike from Virginia keeps repeating his mantras and slogans that he is not coming on aliyah because he imagines it to be suicidal, and because “The mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael is not one of the three mitzvot for which we are commanded to accept martyrdom.”
       
      "You're out of there!"

      Mike is totally wrong. Lest his diatribes discourage serious Jews from coming on aliyah, we will quote Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook on this issue. Rav Tzvi Yehuda, the only son of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, was the founder of the Gush Emunim settlement movement in Israel, a giant of Torah, and Rosh Yeshiva of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva for more than thirty years.
       
      Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook (center) after conquest of the Kotel.

      “The situation is clear in Israel today,” Rav Tzvi Yehuda taught. “We are fighting a ‘milchemet mitzvah,’ a compulsory war. This is true in the mitzvah’s two meanings. Firstly, this is a compulsory war as defined by the Rambam, who states that a milchemet mitzvah is a war to save Israel from the hand of an enemy (Rambam, Laws of Kings, 5:1). Our army is called the Israel Defense Forces. Thank G-d, this is a very successful name. It would be wonderful if we didn’t require military engagement, but for the time being it is forced upon us.”

      “The second fundamental definition of a compulsory war is added by the Ramban, in the Torah obligation to conquer Eretz Yisrael in every generation (Ramban, Supplement to “Sefer HaMitzvot of the Rambam, Mitzvah #4). Among all of the precepts of the Torah is this military command. It does not enter our minds to choose which precept to do and which to ignore. This is a commandment of the Torah!”

      “The Ramban clearly determines that conquering Eretz Yisrael to ensure Jewish sovereignty here is the milchemet mitzvah of the Torah. This is a precept of the Torah and there is no way of getting around it. There is no nation without a land, and the concrete, living, here-and-now Israel is compelled to hold on to its Land. This precept applies in every generation, and the Ramban emphasizes this three times. The mitzvah includes possessing the Land and dwelling there. Possession of the Land means conquest, and from this the mitzvah of living in the Land is made possible, so that the Land will not lie in desolation.”

      “The danger of being killed (pekuach nefesh) exists in all wars. This is also the case in the milchemet mitzvah of keeping all of Eretz Yisrael in our hands. We enter into war knowing that lives will be endangered. This is the only precept of the Torah that demands this. With every other precept of the Torah which states: ‘Allow yourself to be killed rather than transgress,’ there is absolutely no justification to stand at the outset in the face of certain danger and be killed. If it is possible to escape, one escapes. But the precept to conquer the Land of Israel and rule over it, comes even at the risk of one’s life. As the ‘Minchat Chinuch’ states, danger is not a factor in this mitzvah” (Minchat Chinuch, 425).

      “Furthermore, the Torah commands us to conquer Eretz Yisrael and to establish our sovereignty here. There is no option to abandon any territory, for any reason whatsoever. It is well know that the principle understanding of the ruling of the Torah, ‘To be killed and not to transgress,’ only concerns murder, incest, and worshipping idols. If someone compels us to commit one of these sins at the threat of our lives, we are to be killed rather than do his bidding. This is true in normal situations, but in times of decrees and acts of compulsion against us, even a small matter assumes serious proportions, and one is to sacrifice one’s life. It doesn’t matter where the compulsion comes from, even if, G-d forbid, it comes from other Jews. When forced to violate a commandment of the Torah, a Jew is obliged to give up his life, even regarding a light precept. All the more so over a precept that is equal in weight to all of the commandments of the Torah combined – the mitzvah of living in Israel (Sifre, Reah, 12:29).”

      So, Mike, if you don’t understand what the Torah requires from us regarding the obligation of living in Israel, then listen to someone who does. And if you are afraid of living here, then stop discouraging others, as HaRav Tzvi Yehuda makes clear:

      “In our time, we are in a situation of war, and we must be careful of what we say. We must strengthen the conquest and settlement of the Land with wisdom, boldness, and strength, and by guarding our speech. We must guard against language that leads to discouragement. The Torah forbids this, saying, ‘Lest his brother’s heart melt like his heart.’ The Torah tells us, ‘Let your heart not be faint, fear not and do not tremble, nor be terrified because of them (Devarim, 20).”

      The Talmud states that Hashem gave three wonderful gifts to the Jewish People and all of them are acquired through sufferings: Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and the World to Come (Berachot 5A).  Mike, if you are not willing to suffer for your homeland, then stay in Virginia, but don’t spill out your diarrhea on us.
            
      (Quotes of Rabbi Kook were taken from the book. “Torat Eretz Yisrael,” Chapter Seven, “The Precept of Living in Israel.”)