Rosh Hashana 5770: Halacha, Teshuva and Communal “Norms”

by Moshe Burt

There seems to be a mistaken perception that an action or derech commonly done and accepted in society therefore is proper. The fact that actions or derech commonly accepted in society don’t necessarily make them automatically permitted by Halacha.

Toward the end of Parsha Nitzavim, Moshe Rabbeinu informs the B’nai Yisrael about Teshuva:

For this commandment that I command you today — it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in heaven, [for you] to say, “Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it?” Nor is it across the sea, [for you] to say, “Who can cross to the other side of the sea for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it?” Rather, the matter is very near to you — in your mouth nad in your heart — to perform it. (Parsha Nitzavim, Sefer Devarim, Perek 30, posukim 11-14)  [...]  Click here to read more.

Rosh Hashana 5770: Unesaneh Tokef: Al Kiddush Shaim Shemayim vs Mental Coercion by Israeli Governance

by Moshe Burt

Each Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we daven the Unesaneh Tokef as part of the Mussaf tefillah.

The story behind the Unesaneh Tokef tefillah (expressing the seriousness of the day): relates the Gezeira Rah (evil decree) faced by R’ Amnon of Mainz and his Kehilla of forced conversion to Christianity dating back about 1,000 years.

R’ Amnon who, with his Kehilla, faced dread coercion as well as mortal, imminent threat of death, gave the perception of consideration of possible compliance with the demand to convert to Christianity and, as a result, became distraught at even having given the impression that he could betray Hashem. [...]  Click here to read more.

Wednesday, Thursday War News: Gaza Simmering to a Boil — Infiltrations, Drug Smuggling, Explosive Devices, IDF Under Fire; IDF Nabs 18 Terrorists — Some With Knives, Guns, Other Weaponry, Police Foil PA Events in Jerusalem

Shabbos Thru Tuesday War News: More Mortars From Gaza Fall in Eshkol Region, 5 Gaza Palestinians Nabbed for Planting Bombs, Hamas Commander Threatens Schalit; 4 Terrorists Nabbed; 4 Stoning Attacks, 1 Molotov Attack

Parsha Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5769: Communal Responsibility and Hashem’s Covenant of Unity

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Nitzavim begins:

“Atem Nitzavim HaYom…Today you are standing before Hashem, your Lord… You are thus being brought into the covenant of Hashem, your Lord, and [accepting] the dread oath that He is making with you today. He has established you as his nation, so that He will be a G’d to you…” (Devarim, Perek 29, posukim 9-12

L’l Mode U’Lamed comments on these first few p’sukim of Nitzavim noting;

That all members of Klal Yisrael, from the greatest of leaders to the simplest woodcutter, stood together as equals before Hashem…. Thus the poor woodcutter who is devout in his ways and who raises his children as true Jews is elevated to the same level as the wealthy supporter of Jewish causes. No man should consider himself too insignificant to be a partner in the covenant between the Jews and Hashem. (L’l Mode U’Lamed on the Weekly Parsha, Parsha Nitzavim, page 183) [...]  Click here to read more.

State Comptroller’s Report: More Cover-up of Israeli Government Criminal Negligence Regarding Pollard


The months of pre-publicity regarding Israel State Comptroller Lindenstrauss’s investigation and report regarding what the government of Israel did or did not do on behalf of Jonathan Pollard were not promising and the accounts of the investigation report bear out the previous impressions.

This author is not even so surprised at the sham report as regarding the comments of Jonathan’s Israeli representation attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner as published in the Jerusalem Post: [...]  Click here to read more.

If Bibi Only Had Nerve…


Manhigut Yehudit’s US Program Director, Yocheved Seidman, recently wrote a piece citing a recent lead editorial on Israel from “The Economist” magazine. Seidman views the magazine, perhaps like president Barack Hussein Obama, as presenting a perception of “the elected prime minister of Israel as an irrelevant article.”

As this author read Seidman’s entire piece, it brought to mind the Cowardly Lion from from the theatrical and movie productions of “The Wizard of Oz” who sang a song about lacking courage; “If I Only Had The Nerve.” One can only hope that Bibi gains nerve, gains courage, gains emunah in The Creator very fast or is replaced quickly by someone who has the above. (MB) [...]  Click here to read more.

Bibi’s Greatest Weakness; Inability to Withstand US Pressure: May Again Prove Downfall


Elyakim Haetzni, noted lawyer and champion of Jewish residence throughout Ereat Yisrael writes the piece below noting prime minister Netanyahu’s serial weakness against US pressure. He notes that Bibi mistakenly has no such fear of domestic pressure fear similar domestic pressure, “nowing that the ‘National Camp’ will refrain from again toppling a “rightist” government in favor of a party such as Kadima.”

It is important to note Haetzni’s observation: [...]  Click here to read more.

Wednesday Thru Friday War News: 5 Mortars Hit Western Negev, IAF Bombs a ‘Kidnap Tunnel’ Near Gaza Border; Chemical Weapons in July Explosion of Hezbollah Arms Cache; IDF Nabs 6 Terrorists, Police Nab 3 Terrorists, Rock Attacks Near Ramallah, Hevron, North Shomron

Monday, Tuesday War News: Gaza Kassam, Mortar Attack; Hezbollah Plot Against Ashkenazi Foiled, Yeshiva Hit by Hezbollah Computer Hackers, IDF Nabs 19 Terrorists, Police Nab 97 Illegals in Tel Aviv, Arab Rock Attacks, Pipe Bomb Disarmed at Bus Stop