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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.
Sivan 11, 5767, 5/28/2007
The reunion engagement of Simon and Garfunkel, 2 lost brothers who sold their souls to the goddess of American success, reminded me of one of my short stories...
Prophets of Assimilation
Listening to the lecture in the Yeshiva University classroom, Johnny's gaze was drawn almost mystically eastward. Across the street, a police car was stationed by the pizza parlor that anti-Semites had shot up two weeks before, slightly wounding two students. Over the drab brick buildings of Amsterdam Avenue, Johnny pictured the busy expressway leading out to Long Island where his engagement party was to be held that evening. As usual in his afternoon classes, the lecturer's voice grew dim in his ears. Magically, the New York cityscape vanished like a movie set that workers disassemble the day after filming is finished. Call it a daydream or a spark of something Divine, Johnny was back in the land of his forefathers, riding in an Egged bus on the road to Hevron. There, gazing out the bus window at the Biblical hillsides of Judea, he had realized that to be true to himself, he had to make Israel his home.
Remembering those two months in the Holy Land, Johnny felt the same shiver of love he had experienced on the bus. It was a shiver he had never felt with Linda, his fiance, the girl he was going to marry. What was it about vineyards and terraced hillsides that could affect someone in such a powerful way? It was something that words couldn't capture – the feeling that he had been there before, in a different lifetime, the feeling that he had found his way home. The land seemed to whisper, to call out, to sing with a voice of its own. Branches of olive trees seemed to be raised upward in prayer. Over these hillsides and down these same valleys, King David had strolled as a youth. Gazing out the bus window, Johnny felt that time had stood still. As if David was still grazing his sheep beyond the next orchard, around the next bend. The love that Johnny felt toward this land was beyond any doubt. Beyond any question. Not like his feelings towards Linda. Or towards New York. Or towards getting a Masters in Business. On that bus ride to Hevron, an unmistakable feeling of love had illuminated his being, creating him anew.
"More visions of King David today, Johnny?" the instructor of Talmud inquired. "Or perhaps I've interrupted you from building a new yishuv in Samaria?"
At first, Johnny didn't notice that the rabbi-professor was speaking to him. But then the laughter of fellow students shattered his revery, yanking him two-thousand years forward through time. With a cry of silent protest, his soul shrunk back into the oppressive four walls of a classroom in New York and his final month at Y.U.
"I'm sorry, sir," he said.
"Would you like to share your tiyul with us?" the teacher asked.
"No, sir," Johnny answered.
"Then would you care to summarize the argument that we have been discussing?"
Johnny looked around the room for the answer, as if it were scribbled on the forehead of one of his friends.
"I'm sorry, sir," he repeated.
"So am I," the instructor replied. "If you make a concerted effort to join us back here in America, you may still be able to pass this course and continue on toward a Masters Degree next year. Otherwise, you may find yourself in Tzahal faster than you think."
Once again, his classmates shared a good chuckle. A friend summarized the argument between Hillel and Shammai, two of the great rabbis of the Mishnaic era, even though neither had graduated from Y.U. The respected institution had been his home for four years – a place where a young Orthodox student could enjoy the best of both worlds, Judaism and America; Shabbos in shul and Motzei Shabbos on Broadway. Throughout his four years, Johnny had loved it. And Part II was just beginning – Columbia Business School, just a couple subway stops away. What he would lose in Gemara, he would gain in a leap up the ladder of corporate success.
"It isn't the end of the world," his realistic grandmother had noted. "Going to a goyisha school isn't such a terrible thing. After all, studying in Yeshiva doesn't put bread on the table."
When the afternoon class finally ended, Johnny hurried back to his dorm room and changed into his best Sabbath suit. Posters of Israel were scotchtaped to all of the walls. The engagement party was scheduled for eight o'clock that evening. Since his younger brother had smashed up his car, he had to catch a train out to Long Island. He had known his fiance, Linda, for years. They had practically grown up together in the same Great Neck community, attending the same shul, going to the same parties. Their parents were good friends. Johnny had never felt a great flame for the girl, but everyone said it was birshert, "a heavenly match." True, she was pretty, and her family was loaded, and she was crazy about him. But for his part, for someone who was getting married, he felt strangely unmoved.
"Love isn't like in the movies," his father said. "You have to work at it."
"If you don't love her now, you'll love her in time," his mother assured him.
As for his grandmother, she had a way with words that couldn't be beat. "Love, shmov," she said with a shrug. "Love doesn't put bread on the table."
Before he hopped into the subway heading downtown, he stopped into the now-famous pizza parlor to wolf down a slice.
"With olives, nachon?" the Israeli who owned the place asked.
"Nachon," Johnny answered.
Ever since he noticed that the owner used olives from Israel, Johnny had become hooked on pizza with olives.
"Going to a wedding?" the owner asked, commenting on Johnny's attire.
"I'm getting engaged," Johnny told him.
"Mazel tov!" the man said. "In that case, the olives are on the house!"
Sitting in the subway car, dressed in his Sabbath suit, Johnny started to squirm. Across the aisle, a row of Blacks, Hispanics, and Poles from the Bronx were all staring at him with cold looks of hate in their eyes. Ever since returning from Israel, Johnny made it a point to wear his kippah wherever he went, even on late-night subway rides back to Y.U. after seeing a film with Linda in the city. Opposite him, the train's passengers glared at him like attack dogs ready to pounce. The word "JEW!" seemed to flash in their pupils. Johnny realized that G-d, for the moment, had switched their kill buttons to off. If not for that Heavenly Kindness, they surely would have torn him apart to the bones.
That was one of the reasons why Johnny wanted to go live in Israel. Intifada or not, that was the home of the Jews. At least there, the Jews had an army. Johnny had spent a month on an army base in the Negev cleaning warehouses and washing down tanks. Wearing a Tzahal uniform had done more for his Yiddishkeit than all of his years at Y.U. After his summer in Israel, the difference was clear. America was great for Americans. Israel was the land of the Jews.
The problem was Linda. She wanted to live near her parents.
Johnny agreed that her parents were nice people. They were wealthy, they lived in a beautiful house, they gave Linda everything she wanted. After the wedding, they would buy them a house and set Johnny up with a job in a top Wall Street firm when he finished his Masters in Business.
"Our children can be bar-mitzvahed in Israel," Linda agreed.
"I want my children to grow up in Israel," he said.
"Then find them some other mother, not me."
For months, he had dropped the issue completely. But now, as the train stopped at 72nd Street, and a man stepped into the crowded subway car holding a copy of the Hebrew newspaper, Israel Shelanu, Johnny was reminded of the sensitive subject again. For a split moment, their eyes connected in recognition, fellow travelers in a foreign land. Across the ocean, a car bomb had exploded in Tel Aviv, leaving three people dead.
"Is that the future you want for your children?" Linda would say. "Car bombs and wars?"
Johnny knew she meant well. Perhaps she was right. Maybe when things settled down, when peace came, or when Israel defeated the Arabs in an all-out encounter, maybe then his wife would consider making the move. Not that New York was a haven for Jews. The drive-by shooting at the pizza parlor on Amsterdam Avenue proved that a Jew wasn't safe anywhere. But attacks like that didn't take place every day. Linda's fears weren't groundless. He couldn't fault her for that.
At 34th Street, posters of Simon and Garfunkel were plastered all over Penn Station. In another week, they would appear at the Garden for a historic reunion. Sure, they had married shicksas, but man could they sing!
As usual, the train to Long Island was packed with an army of laptop and newspaper Jews. They were an army of lawyers, accountants, brokers, and businessmen flocking back to their suburban fortresses after a pressured day of work in the city. It wouldn't be long until Johnny joined their ranks. He could picture himself now, riding on the train with his Toshiba, Bloomingdale sport jacket, and button-down shirt, heading home to Linda, a hevruta, and a flick. It certainly wasn't the worse fate in the world. And if he hit the jackpot on Wall Street, like Linda's father assured that he would, Johnny could drive home in luxury, listening to Torah tapes in his Jaguar after rush-hour traffic had ended.
A taxi took him the rest of the way to Linda's. The three-story mansion was lit up like a cruise boat. There were spotlights all over the lawn. Lively, Hasidic pop music filled the air. A fleet of expensive, sleek cars lined the block. Johnny recognized his parents' modest Buick sticking out amongst the Cadillacs and Lincolns. Linda promised it would be a small affair, just for relatives and their families' very best friends. Next week, they would be having a separate party in the city for their classmates. But from the line-up of cars on the street, it seemed like Linda's father had invited all of his Nasdaq and Dow Jones accounts.
Johnny paused outside on the street, feeling butterflies swirl in his stomach. No doubt, the glass table in the foyer had turned into a Mount Sinai of presents – silverware, candlesticks, kiddush cups, mezuza cases, lithographs, Smith Barney checks, and everything a young couple needed to set up a frum Jewish house.
"Johnny's getting his Masters in Business at Columbia," Linda's father would say a dozen times, introducing him to each new account.
"Communication hardware," one guest would tell him. "Internet is a thing of the past."
"Keep your portfolio mixed," another CEO would advise. "Never put all of your eggs into one basket."
"My present to you, boy, is two words. Zenith Optics. Its a sure-fire winner," a big smile would say, handing over an envelope with stocks.
Johnny would nod his head and answer with his best Columbia Business School smile, "Yes, sir, thank you, sir, that's really good advice."
And of course, Linda would look beautiful. And his parents would be so proud. And his young brother would make faces while he recited the short Dvar Torah that he had prepared.
And all of the while, Johnny would be thinking of the car bomb in Israel and the fate of the wounded.
"Is something the matter?" Linda would ask.
"No, of course not," he'd answer. "Everything's great."
They would be happy. They would be rich. He would donate lots of money to Israel. When their son grew up, if things were quiet, they would make a big bar-mitzvah party at the King David Hotel.
As his future spread out before him, a bus rounded the corner and came down the street. When he saw it, the words of a Paul Simon song rang in his ears....
"Just get on the bus, Gus. No need to discuss much. Just get yourself free."
The bus stopped in front of him and the bus driver opened the door.
"Where to?" Johnny asked.
"Kennedy Airport," the bus driver replied.
Johnny turned back for one last look at the house. Linda stood in the brightly lit doorway, as if searching for a boat lost at sea. In her engagement gown, she looked like a queen.
"I ain't got all night, pal?" the impatient bus driver prodded.
Quickly, before Linda could spot him, Johnny climbed on the bus.
"Coming from a wedding?" the driver inquired.
"I'm getting engaged tonight," Johnny answered.
"Congratulations!" the bus driver said. "In that case, the bus ride is free."
Back down the street, the band continued to play... "Once again will be heard on the mountains of Judea and the streets of Jerusalem, the song of joy and happiness, the song of the hatan and the kallah."
Excited, a happy Johnny sat down on a seat. Outside the bus window, the hills of Judea rose up to greet him.
Sivan 10, 5767, 5/27/2007
Ehud was a happy man, truly content with his lot. He had a lovely wife, three lovely children, and a lovely house in a lovely community. He had a good job and good friends. He liked and respected all people, and all people liked and respected him. He was friendly, optimistic, and always tried to see the good side of things, believing that everything that happened in life was for the best. He did whatever he could to help people, and he avoided quarrels and fights, believing that peace was life's most precious value. He was a smart man, an educated man, but humble, never thinking he was better than anyone else. He had his opinions, but he respected all points of view, except for the radical. He kept to the middle path in life and followed the rule, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." He wasn't a religious man, practicing rituals and the like, but he lived a very moral, principled life.
It was only a house. There were other houses. What did it matter where they lived? It was only walls, floors, and furniture. The main thing was that everyone should live somewhere and that there shouldn't be a fight.
One quiet evening, while Ehud was reading his newspaper, there was a knock on the door. A man stood outside. He was a tall man, a big man, with a nondescript face. He might have been a Gentile, or an Arab, or a Jew.
Ehud greeted him with a smile and a pleasant hello. The man seemed surprised that Ehud didn't recognize him.
"The other day in town, I lent you twenty shekels," he said.
Ehud didn't remember. He thought and thought, but he couldn't remember a thing. It wasn't like him to forget, but the man seemed quite certain. It wouldn't be polite to argue, Ehud thought. It was only twenty shekels. And apparently he had given the man his address. Ehud apologized for forgetting, gave the man twenty shekels, and said goodnight.
The very next night, he returned. The same man. He appeared at the door while Ehud's wife, Tzipora, was cooking dinner in the kitchen.
"I came for my television," the man said.
"Your television?" Ehud asked.
"The television set that I lent you," the man said. "I want it back. My children don't have a TV to watch."
"What will my children watch?" Ehud asked.
"I'm sorry, but that isn't my problem," the man replied.
"But the television is mine," Ehud protested. "I bought it, and I have a warranty to prove it too."
Ehud walked to the cabinet where he kept all of his papers in alphabetically arranged files. But the television warranty wasn't there. He searched through his old bank statements, phone bills and medical records, but the warranty was nowhere to be found. Embarrassed, he returned to the door.
"For the moment, I can’t seem to find it," he said.
"That proves it then," the man said. "I’m sorry, but I don’t have much time, and I really don’t want to fight. Please give it to me now."
Ehud didn’t want to fight either. Ehud didn’t like fighting. Fighting was barbaric. Fighting was cruel. Perhaps the man was too embarrassed to admit he was poor. And maybe the man’s children really didn't have a TV to watch. If so, the situation truly wasn’t fair. After all, Ehud's children watched every night. It was, Ehud finally decided, the right thing to do. So he walked to the den, pulled out the television plug from the wall, and to the cries of his startled children, he carried the set to the front door and handed it to the man, feeling in his heart that he was doing something noble, something majestic, something good.
When the man left, Ehud sat down with his unhappy children to explain why it was so important to have done what he did. Everyone in the world was equal, he told them, and it was important for everyone to share things equally. When there were differences between people, there was envy, and envy led to fighting, and fighting brought an end to peace. Just as they had enjoyed watching television, so would some other children now. Ehud's wife stood listening in the doorway, a soft smile on her lips. This was the reason she loved her husband so much. He was so caring, so open-hearted, so good. More important than the television was the example her husband was setting for the children, and the valuable lesson they would learn.
"But what will we do now?" the older boy asked.
"Read," Ehud said. "From now on, I'll read you books."
The very next evening, Ehud sat in his armchair, reading a book to his children, almost awaiting a knock on the door. When it came, he sprang up and hurried across the room.
"Good evening," the man said. "I came for my clothes."
For a moment, the two men stared at each other. Ehud sensed his wife and his children behind him, watching to see what would happen.
"They are upstairs in the closet," Ehud said.
He invited the man inside. He felt he was being tested. To see if he could really practice what he believed; that all men were brothers; that everyone was equal; that his claims on the world were the same as all other peoples, without firsts or seconds, better or worse.
Ehud led the man upstairs to his bedroom. Maybe, he reasoned, the man really didn't have any clothes besides the same very nice suit he wore every night. Maybe he had no job, and no money to buy what he needed. Ehud opened his closet, took out his clothes, and spread them out on the bed: pants and shirts, sweaters and jackets and shoes.
"A suitcase would help," the man said.
Ehud gave him two. The man filled them both. Ehud wasn't worried. He was glad. He had a job. He could always buy more clothes. And even with all the man took, Ehud still had more than he needed. Magnanimously, Ehud helped him carry the suitcases downstairs. With smiles on their faces, Ehud, his wife, and his children said goodnight to the man at the door.
The next night, the children were waiting at the windows, but the man didn't come.
"Where is he, Dad?" one son asked
"I don't know," Ehud answered.
"I wish he would come," the girl said. "I like him. I think that he's fun."
His wife also seemed disappointed. She had even prepared something for the visitor to eat. Ehud felt glad that they all liked the man, but when the man didn't come, he felt unquestionably relieved.
But the very next day he was back.
"He's coming! He's coming!" the boy called from his post at the window. The little girl ran to the door. Ehud greeted him with a cordial hello.
"I've come for my house," the man said. "My family wants to move back tonight."
Ehud's voice stuck in his throat. He felt dizzy. He felt weak. Giving up his house was too much.
"He wants to take our whole house, Mommy!" the little girl yelled, running to tell her mother.
Ehud felt his sons' eyes upon him, watching to see what he would do.
"It isn't your house," Ehud said.
"Yes it is," the man answered.
"We bought it. We have a deed," Ehud insisted.
"I have a deed too," the man answered, and he reached in his pocket and pulled out a deed. "The people you bought the house from weren't the legal owners. I lived here before with my family and have the original lien."
How could it be, Ehud thought? Hadn't he received the house from its original owners? Quickly, he examined the man’s deed. Superficially, it seemed all in order; including the right address and plot number, the name of the builder, the seal of the notary, and signatures of lawyers and witnesses. Once again, Ehud felt faint. Little white dots swirled in his brain. The man had to help him into a chair.
"I’ll bring you some water," Tzipora said.
She returned with two glasses and offered one to the man.
"The deed seems all in order," Ehud said. "But I'm not a lawyer. Of course, on something like this, I'll have to have legal advice."
"I really don't care for lawyers," the man said. "I'd much prefer to solve this ourselves. Lawyers always get ugly, and I really don't want to fight."
"Of course we don't want to fight," Tzipora said. "But..."
"I'll handle this," Ehud said. He stood up from his chair and told his children to go up to their room.
"We want to listen," his older boy said.
"Let's give him the house. Dad," the younger added. "We can all live outside in my tent."
Ehud looked at his wife.
"We could go to my mother's," she said.
His wife really meant what she said. Ehud’s heart moved toward her with a surging of love. She was so beautiful. She was so pure. He remembered how happy he had been on their wedding day to have found a partner who believed in all the principles that he cherished.
It was true, Ehud reasoned. They could go to her mother. It wasn't as if they would be out on the street. And maybe the man didn't have his own home or anywhere to live. And it was also true that lawyers could get ugly. And it was only a house. There were other houses. What did it matter where they lived? It was only walls, floors, and furniture. The main thing was that everyone should live somewhere and that there shouldn't be a fight.
Ehud reached into his pocket. With trembling fingers, he handed over his key. In the morning, he would decide what to do about lawyers. Now the important thing was for his children to learn the great lesson of kindness and fairness and peace.
He told his family to gather what they needed for the night. He collected his important papers, including his mortgage and deed to the house, a change of clothes for work, pajamas, his toothbrush, and the small handgun in his bedside table, which he was afraid to leave in the house lest the man's children find it. He handed the man his mother-in-law's phone number in case he had any problems. Then, carrying two small bags, he led his wife and his children out from their home.
The next day, Ehud was typically busy at the office. He spoke to his lawyer, but there was nothing to do on the phone, except to schedule an appointment for some time later in the week. For the moment, Ehud decided not to go to the police.
Life at his mother-in-law's apartment was crowded, but the elderly woman seemed happy with the unexpected visit. That evening, Ehud was trying to distract himself with the newspaper when he heard a familiar knock on his mother-in-law's door. Tzipora glanced up from the television. Husband and wife exchanged looks.
"He's back!" the girl said, running to open the door.
Tonight, the man was dressed in one of Ehud's nicest suits. He stood in the doorway and said with a big happy smile.
"I've come for my wife."
His wife? Had Ehud heard right? Tzipora?
Slowly, Ehud stood up. Again he felt dizzy. Again he felt weak. His mind struggled to reason. Of course every man deserved a wife. But Tzipora was his wife.
"But I married her," Ehud said.
"I married her too," the man answered.
"I have a ketuba to prove it," Ehud argued.
"So do I," said the man.
"Her ring," Ehud gasped.
"Anyone can buy a ring."
"But we have pictures from the wedding."
"Pictures can be faked."
"Our children," Ehud said. "What about our children?"
"The children are mine," the man answered.
Ehud trembled. He was speechless. He was afraid to talk, afraid to reason. He would say white, and the man would say black. He would say up, and the man would say down. Both things were true. But his wife. He looked at his wife. His beautiful wife. She too was silent. She too was confused. Why belong to one man? Why not belong to two? Why should she be Ehud's wife and not someone else's? All people were the same, weren't they? And weren't all men brothers?
"I'm afraid I don't have much time," the man said. "Are you coming, Tzipora?"
Ehud looked at his wife. He knew she was his. More than that. She was him. He didn't need a deed or a document to prove it. She was like a piece of his body. She was like his heart. Would he give the man his heart? That was what the man wanted. He was demanding that Ehud give up his heart. Ehud grasped the gun in his pocket. Slowly he raised it into the air. He intended to point the gun at the man, but he couldn’t. Instead, he pointed it at himself. He closed his eyes, and he fired.
That was the lesson that Ehud taught his children that night.
Sivan 7, 5767, 5/24/2007
Upon the giving of the Torah, we became the "People of the Book." Among other things, we love to read. So here is a short story for your enjoyment, from my book, "Days of Mashiach." Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught that the deep of messages of Redemption sometimes have to be disguised in stories. While this story is about the lone soldier, Izzy, it could also be about the town of Sederot. In both instances, the source of our impotence is the same.
ORDERS ARE ORDERS
Orders are orders
Sivan 3, 5767, 5/20/2007
Though my birthday was last month, my bar mitzvah portion is read this week. You see, back then, my family belonged to a Reform synagogue that had its own schedule of Torah readings. For this reason, and because Shavuot, the holiday marking our acceptance of the Torah, is just two days away, I think it’s a fitting time to post this INN interview about my personal exodus from the material emptiness of Hollywood and how I became hooked on the Torah.
THE SECRET OF TZVI FISHMAN
One of the revelations found in the Zohar is the doctrine of reincarnation. From his days as a Hollywood screenwriter, to the recent publication of his new book, "Secret of the Brit – Torah, Kabbalah, and Sex," author Tzvi Fishman has gone through several reincarnations in this lifetime alone, and also some incredible miracles. We spoke with him in his Jerusalem apartment, where he took time from writing his INN blog, "Hollywood to the Holy Land."
Behind him are bookshelves crammed with books on Torah. In the middle is a glossy, black-and-white photo of Fishman in his Hollywood days, looking like a sexy Tom Cruse, a far cry from the full-bearded baal t’shuva sitting before me. Fishman says he keeps it there to remind him that no matter how far he may sometimes fall in his service of G-d, he is still life-years ahead of the tinsel town role he was playing in Hollywood.
Travolta or Fishman?
Reunion with Daniel Dayan in Israel
"Jerusalem My Chosen"
It was waiting for me in my mailbox
A Mikvah a Day
"You shall honor thy father and mother."
Kabbalist Elder, Rabbi Leon Levi
Iyar 29, 5767, 5/17/2007
One of the major problems in Israel today is that nobody has a vision or plan. We react to events rather than taking the initiative. If I were Prime Minister, here is what I would do:
Next Prime Minister
# First and foremost, any enemy attack on the soldiers, civilians, or cities of Israel would be avenged with a devastating counter attack and the total destruction of enemy infrastructure. Both the perpetrators and their leaders would be killed. All foreign governments leaders, terrorist organizations and parties aiding the perpetrators will be placed on a "hit list" for immediate termination. For example, when the Israeli soldiers were kidnapped at the start of the recent Lebanon War, Israeli warplanes circled the offices of Syrian President Assad in Dasmascus, as a warning. If I had been Prime Minister, those offices and Assad would have been rocketed and destroyed.
# Upon taking office, I will immediately order the Israeli Air Force to destroy the atomic reactor in Iran, and to deploy a small nuclear bomb on the city of Teheran, to prevent retaliation, and to serve as a warning and deterrent to surrounding Arab states.
# I will establish a Prime Minister’s Office Advisory Board, comprised of Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Shapira; Former Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu; and the Elder Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi. I will meet with the Advisory Board twice weekly to formulate national policy.
# All of the Arabs in Israel will be relocated to other countries. An international transfer plan will be negotiated and implemented whereby the Jews of the Diaspora will immigrate to Israel and live in the cities and refugee camps abandoned by the Arabs, and the Arabs leaving Israel will be given the villas and luxury apartments of the Diaspora Jews.
# In order to insure the successful immigration of Diaspora Jews, golf courses would be built in the Galilee, the Gaza Strip, and in the proximity of Ramallah, areas where the majority of Diaspora Jews will be housed. The Israel Ministry of Commerce will encourage discount chain stores like Marshall’s and Ward’s to open branches in Israel. Diaspora Jews over the age of 30 will not be required to serve actively in the Israel Defense Forces. Instead, they will receive training in Civil Defense to be available as back-up manpower in cases of national emergency, G-d forbid. All foreign savings accounts of Diaspora Jews will be closed, and a 20% government tax on their savings will be levied with funds earmarked to the poor in Israel. A large, modern, motion picture studio under the technical directorship of Steven Spielberg, will be built in the Negev, along the model of Universal Studios, to provide employment for the Jews of Hollywood, who will be put to work making Torah films for world distribution. Also in the Negev, the world’s biggest Hi-Tech Industrial Park, to be called the "City of Vision," will be built for the relocation of Diaspora brain power. To speed Israel’s transformation into the world’s dominating superpower, facilities will also be constructed for research and development projects in the fields of computer engineering, nuclear science, space communication, medicine, military technology, and the like. The work on building the city and its infrastructure will provide jobs for both Olim and veteran Israelis, erasing unemployment. Before coming to Israel, all Jewish men from the Diaspora who are married to non-Jews will be forced to leave their wives, as in the days of the prophet, Ezra. Halachic conversions will be available for serious candidates only.
# Israelis who had direct participation in formulating and implementing the Oslo Accords will be brought to trial before juries comprised of Israeli victims of terror and their families. Persons convicted will be given life sentences and imprisoned in former detention facilities for Arab terrorists. Similarly, the politicians responsible for the Evacuation of Gush Katif and Shomron Settlements will be tried and sentenced to hard labor, rebuilding the very communities that they destroyed and building a network of new settlements throughout Judea and Samaria. All textbooks published by the Israel Ministry of Education which glorify the Oslo Accords and the so-called "Peace Process" will be shredded. New, accurate textbooks will be written and published in their place.
# Israel will embark on a five-year isolation policy in order to cleanse itself from foreign influences and ideologies. During this inner healing period, an Israeli Constitution will be formulated based on the Torah. The Israeli judicial system will be revamped and based on Torah Law. The Sanhedrin will be re-established. Shabbat will be enforced nationally, along with compulsory Torah education. Adult Torah education classes will be mandatory, accompanied by heavy fines for non-attendance. New modern mikvaot will be built in every neighborhood, and married women will receive generous stipends to safeguard the laws of family purity. An education campaign on the laws of modesty will be initiated nationally with a yearly budget equaling anti-smoking and traffic-safety campaigns. Women who violate the laws of proper dress will be fined. Prostitution will be eradicated in the Holy Land. The six-meter high dividing wall, which is presently being constructed to separate Arab sectors and Jewish sectors, will be dismantled and set up all along the country’s coastline beaches in order to prohibit women from frequenting the seashore in immodest swimwear.
# The leftist-controlled media will be terminated. The Israel Broadcasting Authority will be governed by a board of Rabbis. Cinemas and theaters will be converted into lecture halls for adult Torah education classes. Internet will be banned. A special satellite scrambling system will be developed to prevent cyberspace reception in Israel. Concurrently, a network of powerful satellite dishes and space transmitters will be developed in preparation for the conclusion of the five-year isolation period. At this time, Israel will return to being the healthy heart of the nations, as in the days of King Shlomo, when Torah shall go forth from Zion to all of the world, along with unsurpassed scientific and medical knowledge. A special World Outreach Department will be established to prepare vast amounts of media material in all mediums for worldwide distribution, to instruct non-Jews in the Seven Commandments of the Sons of Noach. Israeli leftists who worked in all branches of Israeli media for the last 30 years will be tried as national traitors and sentenced to forced labor, pasting the bindings and book covers of Bible translations that will be distributed globally.
# The Israel Defense Forces will be revamped and placed under the command of Nachal Haredi and Hesder Yeshiva officers. Haredim will be drafted and serious Torah scholars will be allowed to continue learning Torah on Army bases. In times of battle, half of these students will continue to learn on the base, and half will accompany troops into the field where they will continue with their learning at the site of the battle, as in the times of King David. At the appropriate time, to be determined by the Prime Minister’s Advisory Board, and with the approval of the Sanhedrin, all territories comprising the Biblical borders of Eretz Yisrael will be conquered and placed under Jewish sovereignty. Also on the approval of the Sanhedrin, selected oil fields in neighboring Arab countries will be conquered and put under Israeli control.
# In the matter of Jerusalem, a step plan will be initiated for the development of the Temple Mount. Mosques will be dismantled and shipped in pieces to Saudi Arabia. A synagogue will be built in a permitted area on the Mount until the renewal of prophecy, when the exact site of the Altar can be determined. At this time, if not sooner, may it be the will of G-d, the Beit HaMikdash will be built. In preparation for the mass aliyah to Jerusalem of pilgrims attending the three major Jewish Festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, East Jerusalem will be converted into a Festival Park to house visitors to the city. A monorail system will be built to transport passengers to the Old City. Dozens of luxurious ritual baths will be constructed, along with a palace for the Mashiach, may he come soon. In conjunction, the genetic engineering of a pure red heifer will be given top priority.
# I will send a personal emissary to meet with the President of the United States with the message that until Jonathan Pollard is pardoned, Israel will not share with the US any of Israel's secret Mossad and military intelligence regarding Al Qaida activities, terrorist organizations, and Middle Eastern regimes.
# Teacher salaries will be increased tenfold. Stipends for families with multiple children will be reinstated and doubled. Haredi Jews who avoided active military service will be enlisted in a national work project to repair and renew the decrepit sewer system in Israel’s major cities. The nation anthem, "Hatikva" will be replaced by the 13th Principle of the Rambam, the song, "Ani Ma’amin," expressing our national yearning for the coming of Mashiach, may it be soon. Amen.
# Finally, to insure that my government will be a government for and by the people, I invite all readers to send additional suggestions and policies that you would like to see implemented during my tenor in office.