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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.


      Kislev 21, 5768, 12/1/2007

      You Are What You See

      When a Jew gazes at an immodestly dressed woman, or looks at an erotic image on the Internet, he blemishes his holiness. Just as a radio stops working when you pull out its plug from the electric socket, when a person looks at a forbidden image, he or she shortcircuits the connection to G-d.

      You are what you see

      In the Torah reading fo Shabbat, Yehuda goes astray after Tamar, who has disguised herself as a prostitute. Living up to his agreement with her, he sends a messenger with her payment. When the messenger can't find her, he asks the people of the place, "Where is the prostitute, the one at the crossroads by the road?" (Bereshit, 38:21)

      The Kabbalist, Rabbi Leon Levi, explains that the word for prostitute, "kedasha," can be read as "kedusha" meaning holiness.The word for "at the crossroads" is "b'anayim," which also means "in the eyes."

      איה הקדושה הוא בעינים

      According to the inner understanding of the verse, the Torah is teaching: "Where is holiness?" and it answers, "In the eyes."

      Shavuah tov.


      Kislev 19, 5768, 11/29/2007

      In The Merit of Eretz Yisrael

      This evening, Chabadniks the world over will celebrate their “Holiday of Geula” which marks the day that the founder of Chabad, Rebbe Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the “Tanya,” was released from a Russian prison.

      The “Ba’al HaTanya,” as he is known, was imprisoned when informers accused him of treason against the state. After a thorough investigation, he was set free from captivity. In a letter to the Rebbe of Berditchev, telling him of his release, he writes: “Hashem has arranged my release by virtue of the merit of the Holy Land and its inhabitants. This is what stood by our side and will always assist us in rescuing us from the oppressor and delivering us from distress.”

      Rabbi Shlomo Yisachar Teichtal explains in his book, “Eim HaBanim Semeichah,” that the Land of Israel has the power to save us though G-d’s  blessing to our Forefathers, as it says, “And I will remember My covenant with Yaacov, and also My covnant with Yitzhak, and also My covenant with Avraham I will remember, and I will remember the Land” (Vayikra, 26:42). This means that even should the merit of the Patriarchs run out, then Hashem will remember the Land of Israel and save us! From this we learn that the merit of the Land of Israel is even greater than the merit of our Forefathers.

      May the merit of the Land of Israel stand by us in these difficult and dangerous times and save us from our fears, our confusions, our enemies, and our doubts.


      This morning, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, one of the principle founders of the settlement movement in Israel, and the father of the renewed Jewish settlement in Hevron, fell ill and had to be hospitalized. In the merit of Eretz Yisrael, to which he has devoted his lifework and energies, may the Almighty grant him, HaRav Moshe ben Tirtza, a complete and speedy recovery.

      Kislev 19, 5768, 11/29/2007

      Dear Ophra

      I can accept your invitation to appear on you TV show only if you film it in Israel. Also, please don't be offended if I don't look at you during the show. Also, I request that our couches be separated by a moat five meters wide and filled with alligators and piranah fish....

      Be careful, Tzvi

      Do you think she will agree?

      In the meantime, you are invited to see the interviews with your humble blogger at the Jerusalem Post today:


      and at our own Arutz 7 INN.com:


      "Look, Mom, I'm famous!" From Hollywood to the Holy Land

      I also have home movies of when I was a baby if you would like to see those too.


      Kislev 18, 5768, 11/28/2007

      Olmertus Bans Celebration of Hanukah

      Returning to Jerusalem from his triumphant appearance at the Annapolis Follies, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehudas Olmertus, pushed through an emergency Knesset bill outlawing the upcoming celebration of Hanukah.

      The holiday of Hanukah celebrates the miraculous victory of Yehudah the Macabee and his band of settlers over the powerful Greek army and the Jewish Hellenists who joined them in their drive to de-Judenize Israel. Olmertus said the extraordinary measure was being taken to prevent the rise of nationalist fervor that the holiday traditionally triggers, and “To give a clear warning to the opponents of Annapolis that the Government of Israel will use all means necessary to prevent settler uprisings and to insure that the Annapolis roadmap isn’t sabotaged by extreme national fanatics.”

      Olmertus said that the word Annapolis is the Greek term for a police state, “And if that is what it takes to make Israel a land of peace for all peoples, that is what we are ready to create.”

      Reactions from Israel were swift in coming. Merchants were up in arms, claiming that the ban would leave them with millions of unsold candles on their shelves.

      Avi Schwartz (pictured), who usually lights his Hanukah candles outside the entrance to his house to publicize the Hanukah miracle, says he will light his candles inside the house this year, even if it means going to jail.

      Avi Schwartz - "Even if it means going to jail."

      Israel Cabinet member, Avigdor Liebermann, a known hawk on settler issues, said that the measure was no big deal. “We lived without lighting Hanukah candles in Russia for decades,” he asserted. 

      A spokesman for the religious Shas Party said that the Council of Torah Sages would meet to discuss the development, but since the celebration of Hanukah was an enactment of the Rabbis and not from the Torah, the surprise move probably would not cause Shas to leave the government coalition.

      Opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the overnight legislation “a despicable, cowardly move that sends a clear signal to our enemies, but since the Knesset has approved the bill, I will call on my followers to abide by the law.”

      “For the first time in 20 years, I am glad to be sitting in an American prison,” Jonathan Pollard exclaimed. “At least here I will be able to celebrate Hanukah.”

      A background photo essay follows this article:

      Olmertus Triumphantus met by followers upon his return


      The Knesset
      Israel's Cabinet
      Israeli Police Evacuate Settlers
      U.S. Secretary of State, Condoliza Rice
      You write the caption yourself.




      Kislev 17, 5768, 11/27/2007

      Annapolis, Shannapolis

      Never underestimate the power of prayer. When Sanheriv’s massive legion of soldiers surrounded Jerusalem on the verge of  waging a devastating attack, King Hezkiahu turned to Heaven and prayed: “Dear G-d, I don’t have the power to defeat all of the enemies that have gathered against us and Your Holy City – please, while we sleep, You do it or us.” When Hezkiahu awoke in the morning, two-hundred-thousand enemy soldiers lay dead, stricken by a mysterious plague.

      Recite this prayer. Send it to friends. Annapolis, Shannapolis. We shall overcome!

      MAY IT BE THY WILL, L-rd our G-d, G-d of our fathers, G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzhak, and G-d of Yaacov, for the sake of our Forefathers who performed Thy will, for the sake of our teacher, Moshe, Your servant, and for the sake of Your Holy Torah, for the sake of King David and all of the Prophets of Israel, for the sake of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and all of the Sages and Tzaddikim and holy Martyrs, pioneers, soldiers, and victims of terror who sacrificed their lives for the Torah, for Your honor, and for Your Land,
      Recite this prayer. Send it to friends. Annapolis, Shannapolis. We shall overcome!

      That You, in Your infinite compassion, in this hour of danger and need, when all of the nations of the world have gathered together against us at Annapolis to once again steal our Land and divide our Holy City, as they have treacherously done in the past, that You stand by us and save us, just as you have stood by us in every generation and saved us from their deception, slaughter, thievery, murder, and rape.

      Please, dear Father, overthrow their schemes and evil plans. Overthrow their evil intentions just as You did to the evil Haman when he rose up against your People, the Jews of Shushan. Plunder them just as they would plunder us. Shatter their lands as they seek to shatter ours. Destroy their communities and evacuate them from their houses, just as they long to do to us.

      If not for our sake, do it for the sake of Your Name which is called upon Israel. For the nations do not only rise against us to steal our heritage – they have assembled together against the Covenant that You sealed with our Forefathers to give the Jewish People all of the Land of Israel; they have gathered together to proclaim that the Torah isn’t true; brazenly they have united at Annapolis to declare that there is no G-d in Israel. They mock and desecrate Your Name, saying that You don’t have the power to uphold the promise that You made to Your People that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews. They scoff at Your Kingship, arrogantly acting as if they were the masters of the world, and not You.

      Let the words of the Psalm be fulfilled: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the L-rd and against His anointed, saying, ‘Let us beak their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’ But He who sits in Heaven laughs; the L-rd holds them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and terrify them in burning anger” (Psalms, 2).

      Please, G-d, fulfill the words of the Psalm we recite every Wednesday at the conclusion of our prayers: “O L-rd G-d, to whom vengeance belongs, G-d of revenge, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the earth, render to the arrogant their recompense. L-rd, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter blasphemy, and the workers of iniquity boast proudly. They crush Thy People, O L-rd, and afflict Thy heritage. And they arrogantly say, the L-rd does not see, the G-d of Yaacov does not understand” (Psalms, 94).

      Do it for Your sake, if not for ours. For we know that we have sinned and gone astray from your Torah. We have abandoned our heritage and followed after the way of the nations, seeking their favor more than Yours. We have abandoned faith in our Maker, putting our fortune in the hands of the godless, and not in Yours. We have chosen leaders who are empty of Torah. We have strayed after false ideologies and creeds, copying the immodest ways of the nations and polluting our Holy Land. We have taken foreign wives, and clung to foreign lands. We have failed to return en masse to our Holy Land, and now, because of our shameful procrastination in not making aliyah, You are threatening to turn our cherished Land over to our enemies, may G-d have mercy and forgive us for our lapses and sins.

      Not intentionally did we do all of these transgressions, nor to rebel, rather we did all of these things because of the terrible confusion and tribulations of the long and nightmarish exile, which shattered our faith and polluted our brains, making us think like gentiles instead of Jews. Please, G-d, have mercy on us like a father has mercy on his children. Give us the strength and wisdom to correct our ways and turn back to You with a full heart. Save us for Your Name’s sake and turn your wrath on the nations that gather against You and against Your chosen at Annapolis, as it says:

      “Shall the seat of iniquity, that establishes lies and deception through laws, have fellowship with Thee? They gather themselves together against the souls of the righteous and condemn innocent blood. But the L-rd has become my defense, and my G-d has become the rock of my refuge. And He brings upon them their own iniquity, and He cuts them off in their wickedness; the L-rd our G-d cuts them off (Psalms, 94).”
      Amen. Selah.