Monday, April 15, 2024

Staten Island Jews rally against growing antisemitism

Mendy Mirocznik, president of COJO, highlighted the distressing climate of fear experienced by Jewish students, parents, faculty, and staff at Wagner High School. “No Jewish person on a public school campus should ever face antisemitism, hate, and intimidation,” said Mirocznik. He stressed the need for clear and unequivocal action against antisemitism, mirroring the intolerance shown towards other forms of hate, bigotry, and racism.

Ramban :Everything is a miracle

 How do you understand the Ramban's view of miracles

One common understanding is that there is no nature - but everything is a miracle

An alternative is that Ramban only believes reward and punishment is miraculous but Nature and its laws exist

Chinuch (132) The thing is known amongst us and among every sage that the great miracles that God does for people in His great goodness, He always does hiddenly. And these matters appear a little as if they were truly done by way of nature, or close to nature. As even with the miracle of the splitting of the sea — which was an open miracle — it is written there (Exodus 14:21), “and the Lord moved the sea with a powerful Eastern wind all of the night, and He made the sea into a dry place and He split the waters.” And the enlightened ones will understand that this matter of concealment is because of the loftiness of the Master and the lowliness of the receiver. And due to this matter did He command us to burn fire on the altar, even though fire descended there from the Heavens — in order to hide the miracle. 

Rabbeinu Bachya (Shemos 30:12) In fact it is axiomatic to remember that a person is not a true believer, i.e. does not really have a share in Moses’ Torah unless he is absolutely convinced of the fact that G-d performs such hidden miracles all the time, that there is no accident and no coincidence in the universe. G-d is aware of all that occurs and has had a hand in it 

Ramban (Toras HaShem Temima) And when we take a good look, we see that a person has no part in the Torah of Moses until he believes that all our words and actions are miracles  there is no worldly nature in them. That is because the essence of the Torah is complete miracles and wonders, because there is no difference for those who take a good look between a righteous man and his days and he lived eighty years quietly and safely and without illness, ... and between the splitting of the Red Sea. …The general rule is everything in the Torah are either miracles or potential miracles and that is why G-d specifies them in the Torah. ..For example, , no man knew that the deliverance of so-and-so from an illness was from charity he gave, and the death of a healthy person was due to eating prohibited fat, but both are equivalent. That is why astonishment was expressed regarding the Rambam because he is always minimizing miracles and emphasizing the natural. He also claimed that miracles are only temporary aberrations when in fact they are permanent – as he himself admitted in his  Letter on Resurrection of the Dead. 

Ramban (Bamidbar 11:19) When G-d does signs and wonders for Israel, they are deeds of kindness from Him, and they are all for their good, for The Eternal is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works, except when there is wrath gone out against those who transgress His Will, when He acts towards them with anger and the attribute of judgment to their complete punishment. Thus miracles can only be manifestations of complete and perfect goodness in mercy, or retribution by the attribute of judgment.

Ramban (Devarim 11:13) G-d does not always perform miracles — every time giving the rain of the Land in its proper season, -the former rain and the latter rain, increasing the corn, wine, and oil, and providing also abundant grass in the fields for the cattle, or, on the contrary, shutting up the heaven and drying up the Land — except according to the deeds of the majority of the people. The individual, however, lives by his own merits, and he dies in his iniquity. Thus he is saying that upon their performance of all the commandments out of perfect love, He will do all these miracles with them for the good. And he further says that when they worship idols He will perform with them a sign for bad to indicate to them the need to repent. Know further that miracles for good or bad are performed only for perfectly righteous or utterly wicked people. For average people, however, He visits good or bad upon them in a natural manner according to their way and by their doings.

Relying on a miracle for Parnossa is prohibited

 Igros Moshe (OH 2:111): We see clearly from the gemora that it is prohibited to depend on a miracle to provide livelihood without us doing any action or having an occupation. Even though it is necessary to know that all the profit which comes from working or business is only from G d according to what was fixed on Rosh HaShanna - but this is only when we have some occupation or business dealings. This necessity for effort is stated in the Torah “by the sweat of your brow you will eat bread” and is discussed at the end of Kiddushin. Even according R’ Nehorai who only taught his son Torah and not a trade - indicating that there is no need to teach a trade to one’s son - agrees that one cannot rely on a miracle. His view is that the majority of people cannot learn Torah and a trade at the same time while young. Thus his position is that when a person is an adult, G d will provide him some way of earning a living and supporting his family - even if he didn’t learn a trade while a child. However as an adult even R’ Nehorai would agree that it is prohibited to do nothing and rely on a miracle. This understanding is seen in the Rambam who rules like R’ Nehorai that there is no need to teach a trade and rules in Hilchos Talmud Torah (3:10) that it is necessary to have an occupation….

Iran’s Ominous Attack on Israel

White House theories of escalation management don’t work against a regime that thinks a U.S. President fears escalation more than Iran does. U.S. restraint since the Oct. 7 massacre has encouraged Tehran to see how much more it can get away with.

Chapter 24: The Protective Power of Mitzvot

 The Rebbe clarified that:This is not to say, heaven forbid, that a mezuzah-less home or an unkosher mezuzah is a cause of harm. Heaven forbid saying such a thing! However, like a helmet at war, a mezuzah adds protection to the “bullets” of life. If someone who wasn’t wearing a helmet was hit by a bullet, G‑d forbid, it’s the bullet, not the lack of helmet that harmed him. It’s just that were he wearing the helmet, catastrophe could have been averted.5

Mitzvos protect if danger is not common

 Chullin (142a) Those engaged in the performance of a mitzva never come to harm.  When returning from the performance of a precept it is different. But did not R. Eleazar say that those engaged in a mitzva never come to harm, either when going to perform it or when returning from the performance thereof?  It must have been a broken ladder that was used, so that injury was likely; and where injury is likely it is different, as tt is written: And Samuel said: How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me.

Kiddushin (39b) Those who are engaged on a precept are never harmed, either when going or returning  and where injury is likely one must not rely on a miracle. 

Orchos Tzadikim (10:15) If a rabbi and Pious Man is far from his city he should not hold himself back from going there to study because of his fear of the roads, as does the lazy man who excuses himself by saying "There is a lion without; I shall be slain in the streets" (Prov. 22:13). But a man should keep in mind that many people travel and are not injured. So he too should not restrain himself from the journey out of fear, for those who are sent to fulfill a command of the Torah are not injured.

Pesachim (8b) Those sent to perform a religious duty do not suffer harm? — Where the injury is probable it is different, for it is said, And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with thee, etc.

Yoma (11a) Messengers engaged in a mizvah do not come to harm? — Where danger is to be expected, it is different, for it is written: And Samuel said: How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said: Take a heifer with thee, and say: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord.

How the US shifted from rapping Israel over Gaza to defending it against Iran

While a majority of those launches were intercepted by the IDF, it was the US that tipped off Israel to the attack once it began. US forces were also responsible for shooting down 80 of the UAVs and at least six of the ballistic missiles, according to US CENTCOM. Dozens of other launches were also intercepted by the UK, France and Jordan, working under a regional defense umbrella recently established by Washington.

Ninety-nine percent of the launches were ultimately thwarted, and only one Israeli was injured as a result of shrapnel from an intercepted missile, while an IDF airbase incurred just minor damage.

Biden gets pushback over telling Israel to avoid counterattack on Iran

The big picture: The pushback — mostly spurred by Republicans — comes as Biden and his senior advisers are concerned that an Israeli response to Iran's recent attack would lead to a regional war with catastrophic consequences, Axios' Barak Ravid reports.

US army: We destroyed more than 80 drones during Iranian attack

“On April 13 and the morning of April 14, US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces, supported by US European Command destroyers, successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAV) and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen,” said the CENTCOM statement.

“This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs destroyed on the ground in Iranian-backed Houthi controlled areas of Yemen prior to their launch,” it added.

“Iran's continued unprecedented, malign, and reckless behavior endangers regional stability and the safety of US and coalition forces.”

“CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel’s defense against these dangerous actions by Iran. We will continue to work with all our regional partners to increase regional security,” concluded the statement.

National Security Expert: Biden is a remarkably good president for Israel

Dr. Freilich says that “Trump hasn't said a single good thing about Israel since the war began. He hasn't called to strengthen Israeli security. He hasn't said anything about what he would do in a second term, so he did some very good things for Israel in his first term, for which he certainly deserves credit, whether it's the Golan and Jerusalem. He also made the catastrophic decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear program and here the proof is in the pudding. All you have to do is look at where Iran was in 2015 and where it is today, where it is a threshold nuclear state. In effect it's just about a nuclear state and can cross that final threshold pretty easily, at a time of his choosing. So, I believe that Biden has both been a remarkably good president for Israel and, compared to the alternatives, he is certainly a better one.”

Once a tolerant haven, Holland sees antisemitism surge as Jews across Europe scent danger

A record number of hate crimes reflects a post-Oct. 7 reality that’s making the continent’s Jews question their futures, but they no longer see Israel as their ‘insurance policy’

Rabbi Cherki: I recited Hallel after Iran's attack

Rabbi Cherki says that he recited the Hallel without the blessing. "I told that student, and that's what I did myself, I said the full Hallel without a blessing, because I didn't want to complicate matters. But reciting Hallel on the day on which Israel had salvation, there is certainly room to do so."

Adam Kinzinger Slams Donald Trump's 'Insane' Reaction to Iran Attack

"This is insane. It did happen!" he wrote. "Iran struck and injured 100 Americans in Iraq and Trump responded with nothing but fear. He's a small man."

‘The Antisemitism Is Absolutely Disproportionate’

If it was any other group, we wouldn’t do it. We’re not seeing on college campuses, attacks and questioning every student of Russian heritage because we take issue with the Putin administration, and what they’ve done in Ukraine and other places around the world. We’re not seeing where we’re attacking every Muslim student, because we take issue with what Hamas did on Oct. 7. One can debate the space between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. But one would have to have serious blinders not to recognize that what’s happening on college campuses, UCs included, is a series of activities that are targeting Jewish students because of their identities, making them feel unsafe and apart from the rest of the community in a way that really should have no place in our society and no place on our college campuses.