Monday, September 26, 2011

Only a Rock

As a whole, we humans are easily desensitized. We log onto the internet or turn on the TV and daily, if not hourly, we are given a menu of tragic stories to choose from. Horrific images keep our attention. That is, until the next story comes along. Or we hear the same story for so long, the seriousness of the story is lost on us. Example: Arabs throwing rocks. No big deal, right?

How often have we heard or seen on the news that Arabs are throwing rocks? I did a word search on the web. “Arabs throw rocks” brought up 11,000,000 results. Arabs in Israel have been throwing a lot of rocks for a lot of years. Which unfortunately gives us, the outside world, a ho-hum attitude whenever we hear of such an event. Arabs throw rocks; crickets chirp around the world. A Kardashian breaks a fingernail; the world is inundated with coverage of the details.

To undo the desensitization, imagine these scenerios with me. G-d forbid you ever really experience anything like them.

You are a woman dressed up in your finery. You buckle your toddler in her car seat. You get behind the wheel and breath a little sigh of relief. You’re on time. You’ll get to your friend’s wedding with time to spare. That is until you hear a crash. You slam on the breaks. Your heart stops. You can’t turn fast enough to check on your baby girl. And your worst fear has just been realized. Blood covers your baby’s face. Broken glass covers the rest of her. The rock was thrown hard enough. Fast enough. Accurately enough, to hit your baby in the face. You and your baby experience first-hand what a rock can do. The rest of the world will think it was only a rock. You know the rock was intended to be a deadly weapon.

Or G-d forbid, imagine this. You are a young father. While your wife works her shift as a nurse, you share in the wonderful duties of taking care of your one-year old son. Family members describe you as a "quite and special man." That’s easy to see when you are with your son. You gently buckle him in his car seat. Perhaps you even say, “We’re about to see Mommy,” as you start on your way to pick her up. It happened so fast, you probably didn’t see it coming. The rock crashes through the front windshield and hits you in the head. Hopefully, your death happened instantly so you wouldn't have time to think, even for a split second, what was going to happen to your son as the car flipped. He would die too. The first “responders” to arrive on the scene stole your gun and your wallet. Animals arriving upon the carnage they just created. With rocks. The rest of the world will think, it was only a rock. It was a deadly weapon.

May G-d bring a complete recovery from Heaven for Dorit Tehallel bat Shlomit.

May G-d bring comfort to the family and avenge the blood of Asher Palmer and young Yehonatan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Antidote to the U.N.

Let me say this as delicately as possible. I hate the United Nations. With a passion. My hatred stems from the fact that I'm an ardent supporter of Israel. And if you know anything about the U.N.'s bias against Israel, then my hatred hardly needs to be explained.

But, just in case you're not in the know about the U.N., here are a few examples of the asinine dealings of the U.N., not just regarding Israel, but in its non-dealings and blind eyes to real atrocities being committed around the world. And too often, the atrocities are committed by the U.N. itself:

Israel is the only country in the world that is not eligible to sit on the Security Council, the principal policymaking body of the U.N.

The U.N. has repeatedly held "Emergency Special Sessions" focusing solely on Israel. Originally conceived in 1950 for emergencies like the Korean War, Emergency Special Sessions over the past 15 years have focused only on Israel. Wars. Genocide. Suicide bombers. Yawn. No emergency. Yet, Emergency Special Sessions have been held over Jewish construction in Jerusalem.

A one-time Nazi, Austrian Kurt Waldheim served as the UN Secretary General.

Sierra Leone and Sudan, both of which have records of extreme human rights abuses, including slavery and the forced use of children as soldiers, were asked to sit on the U.N. Commission for Human Rights. Did you pause to really get that? Children. Soldiers. Countries where kids are "recruited" and guns are shoved in their hands were the replacements for the United States who was kicked off the U.N. Commission for Human Rights in May 2001. By the way, China and Saudi Arabia also sit on the Commission for Human Rights. Have I already used the word "asinine?"

During the 61st Session of the General Assembly (2006-2007), 22 anti-Israel resolutions were adopted, yet not a single resolution on Sudan's genocide in Darfur was adopted.

Iran was elected to the U.N.'s commission on women's rights. Nuff said.

United Nations peacekeepers in Ivory Coast enticed underage girls to exchange sex for food, according to a United States Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks. United Nations spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux confirmed the allegation following an investigation. And no it was not an isolated case. Sexual misconduct by U.N. troops has been reported in a number of countries including Congo, Cambodia and Haiti. One of the most horrific instances of sexual misconduct involved UN peacekeepers, the UN- hired military contractor (DynCorp), and the local police in Sarajevo where underage female sex slaves were trafficked into Sarajevo from Eastern European countries and Russa. Inhumane treatment of the girls included routine torture, gang-rape, semi-starvation, overwork, and primitive living and “working” conditions.

Goldstone Report. Asinine times infinity.

Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Ahmadineja publicly called for Israel's destruction, meaning they wanted all Jews dead; both leaders were invited to be guest speakers at the U.N. Jews wake up in the morning and breathe; all hell breaks loose at the U.N.

And now, the U.N. will hold the hands of Abbas and the Palestinians in their bid for "statehood" within the borders of Israel.

Like I said, I hate the U.N. It is the epitome of uselessness. Of hypocrisy. Of evil dressed-up in suits.

But there is good news. Very good news. I don't know if you've heard, but a replacement council is coming. A council that will put the U.N. to shame. A council that will teach the world what truth and justice really is.

Good bye U.N. Hello Sanhedrin.

Watch this video to get a sneak-peek of what is coming to the world soon. And before you call me crazy, read Isaiah 2. Not exactly how you thought things were going to happen? Things seldom happen the way we think they will happen. And in that vain maybe the posted video isn't exactly how events will work out. But I happen to think it's the closest modern-day view of what the Prophet Isaiah foresaw in chapter 2. "For from Zion will the Torah come forth," is a reference to the Sanhedrin.

Jews, do you really think Israel can solve it's problems without returning to the Torah? Christians, do you really think you can reinterpret the word "Torah" to "Law" in the writings of the Prophets and make the Torah go away? Not a chance; on both accounts.

"It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of the God of Israel will be firmly established and exalted, and all the nations will stream to it. Many people will go and say, 'Come, let us go to the Mountain of the God of Israel and to His Temple, and He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths.' For from Zion will the Torah come forth and the word of God from Jerusalem. He will judge among the nations, and will settle the arguments of many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare," Isaiah 2:1-4.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Elul Effect

I'm a poet at heart. So I'm warning you up front that Elul tends to bring out the poet in me. Quite frankly, I'm still in that "romantic stage" with Elul. I love Elul. Why? Simple put, Elul helped save my life.

I had been slowly dying. We all have things that break us. Leaving my childhood and most-of-my-adult religion broke me. I discovered Torah. And obviously the truth of Torah undid a lot of my previous beliefs. That was a very good thing, to say the least! But it was the reaction of Bible-belt-born-and-bred family and friends that broke me. No matter how tough you think you are, being ostracized by family and life-long friends and being told, "You're going to hell and dragging your children with you," doesn't make for the most pleasant of days.

So, as I said, I found Torah. But in the process, I lost a lot of myself. I was born under the sign of Cancer. Any other crabs out there? We crabs tend to have a hard shell even on our good days. And we love being alone. On bad days? We have to be alone. I pulled away from the world, but mainly, I pulled away from who I was. But low and behold, I was about to be pulled into the vortex of Elul.

Who knew that Elul is the supremo time to "relocate ourselves." A time, "To get back into the playing field." I certainly didn't know that. But I was about to find out. It all started on Rosh Chodesh Elul.

I'd been skirting a few little issues like relationships, G-d, responsibilities, talents, self. So I decide on a "whim" to celebrate a custom I had recently discovered called Rosh Chodesh. Little did I know at the time that the nail-thin light of the new moon was ushering in Elul. Below is what I journaled regarding what happened to me on that Rosh Chodesh.

"Elul. It was a shock of love. After skirting issues and hardening myself to emotions, it actually felt good the way He jerked my arm and pulled me in. Not just in; all the way in. Sit down, it's time to talk kind of in. The heart-to-heart began gently and ended up with my insides on the table. Spilled guts. Not pretty, but necessary to get on to potential. Which is nice to be reminded you have before you are hugged 'til you can barely breath, kissed on the head, and then told, "Either get in the game and play hard or go home."

"I was awed at the moment. Awed of how something so good could happen in the blink of an eye, yet knowing the blink was the zillionth thread being pulled into place in the tapestry of my life. Awed that there are such pristine places for us to return to. Awed of the gift of being conscious at birth."

Yep. That's why I love Elul.

Shortly after this experience I began to hear teachings on Elul. "Ohhh, no wonder that happened to me," I said to myself. It was the perfect time to be reborn, to be awakened, to be shaken out of my slumber. No wonder Rabbi Richman refers to Elul as "the emergency room of life" and as the time of "anti-somnambulism."

So why did I, a very private person, decide to share such a personal experience? Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Imagine, Hashem took the time to meet a non-Jew in the field. Took the time to resuscitate me. Took the time to save me from myself. Took the time to remind me that I have potential and that it's not meant to be wasted anymore. If He would do all of that for me, imagine what can happen to a Jewish heart and soul during Elul.

It is said of the Jewish soul that all it takes is the smallest of sparks to get a flame burning in him or her that can light the entire world. On the one hand, it is so easy for a Jew to be drawn back to Hashem and to be drawn back to who they were really meant to be. On the other hand, since the Jews are meant to be The Light to the world, there is a bit of a cosmic fight trying to prevent that from happening.

It's a big prayer. A bold prayer. But I pray that more than any other time in history more Jews will be drawn back to Hashem and that this will occur without them having to go through hardship and/or tragedy. Elul is the perfect time for this prayer to be answered. The King is in the field so ready to make contact; so ready to reintroduce all of us to who we are. He is waiting for all of us. But especially for the Jews. The King needs His emissaries to come back to Him. Come back to Him for reinforcements, for an armor of truth and love, for a bold reminder of all of your potential. Then go back out to help save the world.