Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Time to Fight

Recently in my daughter's 8th grade art class the students had some free time.  So she and her friends were telling jokes to each other.  They were laughing and having fun, but the laughter abruptly stopped after one of the girl’s “jokes.”  She said, “What’s the difference between a cake and a Jew?  A cake doesn’t scream when you put it in the oven.”

My mouth dropped open when my daughter repeated the “joke.”  It was the same reaction my daughter had when she heard it.  The older she gets, the more she speaks her mind, but this time she was shocked and literally rendered speechless by such crudeness.  I'm sure her feelings were accentuated by the fact that she had been reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a book about the Holocaust.  But even more so because two of our dearest friends are Jewish.  In fact, they are more like family to us than friends.  "How could anyone make fun of such a tragic event?" she wondered out loud to me.  And then she said,  "All I wanted to do was cry when I heard it, so I sat there stunned trying to hold back my tears."

Thankfully, two of her best friends, who happen to be boys, jumped in and basically jumped down the girl’s throat.  They asked her how she could even let something like that come out of her mouth and told her that it was not funny on any level whatsoever.

After class, the girl who had told the joke was tripped by someone (whether inadvertently or on purpose, I don't know) causing her to fall down.  When my daughter saw her on the floor, she said, “I thought for a split second, ‘Good, you deserve to be on the floor.’ But then I saw that no one was helping her up.  So I reached out my hand and helped her up.”  And with that, she concluded her story.  At which point, I was the one trying to hold back tears. 

I used to be a Bible teacher and public speaker.  I stopped speaking though when I had my son.  That was several years ago.  I’ve frequently mentioned to God that the teacher in me was ready to speak again.  When and where though I haven’t a clue.  But I’ve felt the frustration of not “teaching” others what I know.  After hearing how my daughter had helped the girl up, I figured I’d been teaching more than I had realized and to the most important audience I would ever be privileged to be in front of.  My children. 

Yet as I write that last paragraph, I realize that it is a bit misleading.  Actually, very misleading.  And very pompous.  I doubt I would have offered a hand to help the girl up; back at age 14 or even now at age 45.  In fact I know I wouldn’t have helped her up.  So in reality, my daughter “the student” has quickly become my teacher. 

When I see the famous Martin Luther King, Jr. quote which says, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that," I cross my arms and say "Humph!"  I relate more to Bruce Cockburn who said, "Gonna kick the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight." 

It's people like my daughter, though, who remind me that sometimes offering a hand to lift someone up is a better "fight" than knocking them down.  And perhaps offering a hand is more than a physical act too.  Perhaps in some unseen cosmic way it helps lift that person's soul out of the mire and muck of ignorance that he or she is stuck in.

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a time to fight.  My daughter reminded me that there is more than one way to fight.  Also, the Hebrew translation of Psalm 89:3 says, "The world is founded (built) upon kindness."  I was humbly reminded by my daughter that it usually takes more strength to help a person up than to knock them down.  It takes strength to be kind.  And there is no doubt that she is much stronger than me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Out of all the places on earth, the G-d of Israel chose the Temple Mount as the place to reveal the fullness of His Presence on earth.

Jacob referred to the Temple Mount as the "Gateway to Heaven," yet few Jews express the desire to pray there today.

When all the nations desire to and are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, war will end, per Isaiah 2.

In 1967 when the Temple Mount was liberated by Jewish soldiers, hareidi rabbis went to Dayan and instructed him to tell Levi Eshkol to give the Arabs the Temple Mount since, "The People of Israel have no interest in the Temple Mount." They also said the UN should be notified that, "We have no interest in the Temple Mount."

Only a few thousand Jews per year show interest in the Temple Mount by going up on the Mount.  Meanwhile millions of Jews pray with their faces against a retaining wall known as the Kotel.

Many Torah-learned rabbis ascend the Temple Mount halachically and teach others to do so correctly.

Jews are arrested by Israeli police for praying or even moving their lips while on the Temple Mount.  For instance, recently an elderly Jew was arrested for saying a blessing before drinking his bottled water on the Temple Mount.

Arab kids play soccer on the Temple Mount.

Arab wakfs continue to routinely destroy artifacts and remnants from the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount.

Religious Jews are consistently prohibited from ascending the Temple Mount by the Israeli police.

Arab men and women purposely block Jews from ascending the Temple Mount, hence the Israeli police close the Temple Mount to Jews to prevent any "trouble."

The Prime Minister has failed to include the Temple Mount in the "Heritage Plan," which is a plan for sites of Jewish historical, cultural, and religious significance to receive funding for improvements for access, upkeep, and beautification of the sites.

Arab propaganda saying that a Jewish Temple never stood on the Temple Mount is gaining validity.

Do you care about any of this?  If so, what are you doing about it?

Learn more about the 4th Annual Temple Mount Awareness Day at: