Showing posts with label Zionism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zionism. Show all posts

April 29, 2020

Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations."
Natan Sharansky showed tremendous personal strength and integrity to respond with humor and wit while suffering under the Soviets in prison, separated from his wife, deprived of all outside contacts, placed in “punishment cells” cold, hungry, and sleep-deprived, and regularly interrogated to try to get him to incriminate himself and his fellow refuseniks and human rights activists. Sharansky is truly a hero who stood up as a Jew persecuted in the Soviet Union and as a human rights activist leading the way to help other refuseniks to get released, with eventually millions escaping through the “Iron Door” to emigrate to freedom in Israel and the United States.

Yesterday, we celebrated Israel’s 72nd Independence Day, so I will add that for too many years since the founding of the State of Israel that the Soviets armed and supported the Arab League nations in warring against Israel and in seeking its destruction. However now, Israel and Russia not only have an anchoring of social idealism in common, but also Israel has 15% of it citizens from there. Further, as Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan decades ago, and has a warming of relations with the Gulf States, perhaps Russia will also continue to come around to growing a mutually beneficial friendship with Israel.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 10, 2020

A Vision of Jewish Strength

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Vision of Jewish Strength."
With the rebirth of the State of Israel came the rebirth of the Jew. No longer the Jew cowering in the face of pogroms, Inquisition, Crusades, persecution, expulsions, and the Holocaust. The new Jew, as epitomized by the brave men and women of IDF, would be remade in the image of Moses who led the Jews out of Egyptian slavery, and King David who vanquished our enemies in our land, as well as the Jews of Purim and Hanukah, who fought ever so valiantly and to victory against the great empires of Persia and Greece or for us, whoever rises against us as the modern day equivalent.

But as important to the new Jew as our physical survival is that of our spiritual wellbeing. The persecution of Jews over thousands of years was not just a physical attack, as horrible as it was, but also a spiritual, religious, and cultural one, where Jews were prohibited from learning Torah, worshiping, and practicing as Jews. Thus, the second point of criticality in having the State of Israel is that it provides for Jewish sovereignty and ensures "the Jew as actor, determiner of his or her own destiny." The Jewish people to truly thrive must be able to express themselves through their own language and history, religiously and culturally, and practically through their own leadership and decision-making to forge their own future.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 14, 2019

Another Week, Another Anti-Semitic Attack

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Another Week, Another Anti-Semitic Attack."
From The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh to the Poway Synagogue shooting in California to the shooting at the kosher market in Jersey City this week. The latest shooting occurred literally just the day before President Trump issued an executive order at a White House Chanukah celebration to cover anti-Semitic acts under the civil rights laws that ban discrimination based on national origin. Yet, despite the Constitution and all the protective laws and orders on the books, we are getting to the point where it is starting to look and feel awfully like there is nowhere safe anymore if you are a Jew, even in this great land of freedom.

What anti-Semitism, G-d forbid, will the next week bring, and the week after that, and after that? This vile behavior coming from people that hate us just because we are Jews, because we are Jacob and not Esau. May our eyes be open to what is happening around us, and may Hashem have an abundance of mercy on us.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

October 1, 2019

The Founding Of Zionism

Key Person Year Published Work Main Idea
Avraham Mapu 1853 The Love of Zion Longing of Jewish people for their ancestral homeland
Moses Hess 1862 Rome and Jerusalem Europe's welcome to Jews is tenuous, and Jews should seek return to homeland
Leon Pinsker 1882 Auto-Emancipation Jews are not accepted in European host countries, and are urged to seek national rebirth
Nathan Birnbaum 1890 Self-Emancipation Coined the term Zionism referring to a movement to re-create a national Jewish home in Israel
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1892
El Hatzipor      (To The Bird)
Poem on longing for return to Zion
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1898 Mikra'ei Zion (Assemblies of Zion) Poem of hope and expectation of return to Zion
Theodor Herzl 1896 The Jewish State Jewish State will usher an end to rabid anti-Semitism everywhere
Theodor Herzl 1897 Launched Zionism as political movement and convened first Zionist Congress
Theodor Herzl 1902 Altneuland Envisions idyllic future Jewish state
Ze'ev Jabotinsky 1923 Samson Nazorei Ideal of active, courageous, Jewish warrior

I am reading the book Israel: "A Concise History of a Nation Reborn" by Daniel Gordis.

I've prepared this summary of the founding of Zionism, which I have briefly summarized above.

Hope this is helpful to those interested in the origins of the founding of the modern State of Israel. 

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 8, 2019

Democrats and Anti-Semitism

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "From Belgium To The Democratic Party."
There are terrible anti-Semitic events happening in parallel in Europe and right here in America. This past week, Belgian hosted mocking and hateful caricatures of Orthodox Jews in their carnival procession. And right here in Washington, D.C., the Democratic Party made a complete farce of the handling of one of its own, anti-Semites, Rep. Ilhan Omar. Omar continues to vent her hared against Israel even going so far as to denounce its supporters as having "dual loyalty."

It is so disheartening to see the Democratic party reverting back to its ugly days and roots of hate just like during/after the Civil War when they were the party of "opposition to civil and political rights for African Americans."  

The question is how far down this evil path will things go again?  ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 14, 2018

Dreaming of Zion

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Dream of Zion."
To flourish in the land of milk and honey.
To celebrate the Shabbat and holidays as in the days of old.
To revere the bravery and heroism of the defenders of Israel.
To live and worship as a Jew without discrimination, racism, and hatred.
To fulfill the promise of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Hope you enjoy and we can all one day live the dream! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 16, 2018

Terrorist Murders Ari Fuld in Israel

I am completely shocked and saddened by the murder of an American citizen, Ari Fuld, by a radical Islamist terrorist in the Holy Land of Israel. 

Ari is the father of four and the brother of my friend and classmate Moshe Fuld.

He is also the son of Rabbi Yonah Fuld, the former Vice Principal of Hebrew Studies at SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York. 

Ari had served in the IDF and was an outspoken defender of Israel's right to exist and for a Jewish homeland in the Promised Land of Israel. 

Even after he was stabbed from behind by the cowardly terrorist, Ari managed to chase and shoot the terrorist. 

Ari is a true hero!

He died of his wounds just a few days before Yom Kippur, and he will be remembered for his deep love of the land of Israel and the Jewish people. 

I am honored to know the Fuld family and call them my friends. 

I wish them my deepest condolences on this tragic loss. 

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet!

May Hashem protect Israel, it's defenders, and the Jewish people and let us live finally in peace and security. 
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 12, 2018

Israel To Space

Please see my new article in Times of Israel, "Israel's Ladder To Space."

So proud of Israel's planning to join the Big 3 countries (U.S., Russia, and China) to land on the moon.

Amazing what even a relatively small in size and new nation like Israel can set their sights on and please G-d accomplish with G-d's help.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 3, 2018

Going Back To Ulpan

So yesterday, I started Ulpan classes to improve my Hebrew language skills (currently, I'm not very skillful with it).

It was 2.5 hours and it was such a joy for me and my wife and one of my daughter to have the wonderful opportunity to participate in this. 

It wasn't like in Yeshiva where we focused on learning the Biblical and prayer book Hebrew, and on Aramaic from the Talmud, but was more focused on modern-day conversational Hebrew. 

I loved learning and speaking the words, for example to describe a large cosmopolitan city like Tel Aviv. 

We also listened to recordings of others speaking, read the text, and learned verbs. 

It reminded me of my mom, who also used to love to take Ulpan, and carried around her notebook with the Hebrew words and their translation and the many descriptive verbs--she was so happy learning and practicing. 

Given my horrible language skills, it was funny for me that I was asked if I wanted to join the advanced class...ah, no!  (or at least not yet...)

While so many languages (and cultures) have died over the ages, Hebrew and the modern State of Israel is a complete revival--it's truly miraculous!

There were people in the class from Asia, South America, and all over the world!

And from all the people there, I felt a tremendous love not only for the language, but for the land of Israel, and the Jewish people. 

I wish like this beautiful language we all embraced, everyone could love and not hate us anymore!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 2, 2015

The HaTikvah By Andy Blumenthal

Trying my hand at singing the beautiful HaTikvah tonight. 

Thank you to my wife, Dossy, for her patience with me. ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 23, 2015

Denouncing Anti-Semitism



Heroic remarks from NYC Councilman Greenfield after pro-Palestinian activists protested the commemoration of 1.1 million people murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp in the Holocaust. 

Calling a spade-a-spade...anti-semitism is once again alive and well due to acceptance and even promotion of anti-Semitism/Zionism, and unfortunately, it some cases, it seems like it's coming from the top-down!

The words and actions are fanning anti-Semitic terror attacks around the globe and even setting the stage for a regional war in the Middle East. 

What a shame that we need to remind some of the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, whatever your practices. 

Protestant pastor, Martin Niemoller, famously said:

"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out 
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."

I believe, I know, that there are many true decent human beings and real leaders out there that will speak out against the very ugly head of blind hatred and bigotry in this world. 

May G-d show mercy on all his creatures and instill love, tolerance, and genuine respect for all races, colors, and religions. 
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 20, 2014

To Be A Free People

This week we saw an absolutely horrific terroristic attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Two Palestinian cousins brutally hacked and stabbed to death 4 Rabbis's (3 American citizens) while at prayer and killed a policeman trying to stop them. 


I read  how one Rabbi actually had his arm wrapped in the holy Tefillin (phylacteries) completely severed from off his body. 


By the time the attack was done, the synagogue was filled with pools of blood of those in the middle of prayer to the Almighty G-d. 


I thought to myself of the Israel anthem, the Hatikvah, that speaks to the Jewish hope of being a free people in the land of Zion and Jerusalem (where this attack and many others have been happening):


"As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, 
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem."

I wondered where is the yearned for "freedom" of our people post slavery; jailings and torture; destruction, rape, murder, and exile; from Crusades to Auto-da-fes, Pogroms, and Holocaust.


Indeed, our history is not only punctuated by discrimination, blind hatred and anti-semitism, but also by extermination and genocide.


Now in a beautiful Middle East democracy called the State of Israel--where the deserts bloom and technological innovation thrives, where people of three major religions worship in their Holy places, how can so much terror still exist:


- Tens of thousands of missiles targeting population centers
- Tunnels streaming with terrorists trying to kidnap and murder the innocent
- Suicide bombers striking buses, cafes, pizzerias, and more.
- Terrorists driving into crowds of pedestrians, stabbing people with screwdrivers, hitting them with lead pipes, throwing stones and firebombs, slitting the throats of babies, taking and murdering children from the bus stops, and hacking to death Rabbis at prayer...
- Moreover, with Iran, there is a stated existential threat from them to annihilate Israel [via Nukes]...the clock is ticking down.

No nation on Earth would live with this, and neither should the Jewish people!


Israel cannot have Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad as well as nation state terrorists striking at their heart from near, far, and from within. 


The immediate response should be a declaration of Jerusalem as the united Capital of Israel, period.


Subsequent decisions of borders, boundaries, and terms to be decided by the State of Israel to meet their security needs. 


Freedom to live, work, play, and worship without terror, non-negotiable. 


Peace underwritten with security by G-d's promise to the Jewish people...end of discussion. 


Finally, as to Iran (and others) who openly threaten Israel with WMD--Israel and the U.S. must preempt and hit them staggeringly hard--the best defense is an striking offense.


The terror must end here and now, once and for all. 


O' Lord, give us freedom from bigotry, hatred, and terror--O' Lord, give us peace. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to zeevveez)

Share/Save/Bookmark