Showing posts with label Biblical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biblical. Show all posts

November 9, 2019

Making The Impossible, Possible

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Making The Impossible, Possible."

Even though the Jewish people are a tiny minority in the world, through our faith, determination, and the help of G-d, we are able to survive against all odds, contribute to the world far beyond our mere numbers, and succeed in truly incredible ways. From Einstein, Freud, and Marx to Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison, we are a people that punches way above our weight.

I believe the lessons of faith and determination is one that we can all take away from the tests of our forefathers in the Bible to the flourishing modern State of Israel and to how we live our own lives today. G-d tests all of us, and if we go forward and answer His calling with a full heart and perseverance, G-d will help us to succeed above our wildest of dreams and even beyond the very laws of nature.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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April 21, 2019

And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph."


As we commemorate Passover, we remember that:
In Egypt, the Jews rose to the highest ranks, with Joseph being second only to the Pharaoh, and “Israel settled in the land of Egypt in the region of Goshen; they acquired property in it and they were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” (Genesis 47:27) But then: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8) Similarly, in Europe, the Jews had risen to the highest ranks of society, they were free and prospered. They prospered and thrived religiously, and built synagogues and yeshivas to worship and learn in. Moreover, the Jews thought they were Germans (and other European nationalities), like everyone else, and that they were fundamentally safe. That is, until there arose a “new king,” Adolf Hitler (may his name be cursed forever), “who knew not Joseph.”
What will happen in America that we all love--will the pendulum swing once again to hate and anti-Semitism, where there comes a new king that does not know Joseph? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 13, 2018

Beautiful Song On Being A Jew


This was a beautiful song that we learned this week in Ulpan.

I love it--being Jewish and the song!  ;-)
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August 12, 2018

Aliyah: To Go Up

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, The Aliyah Connection.
"As Jewish people yet around the globe plan for their futures, they need to consider carefully “the place that G-d has chosen” and where they and their families will be at the fateful conclusion of the Redemption and the arrival of Mashiach. Perhaps, while the road to Jerusalem requires our dedication and hard work, the choice is not that difficult as the Land of Israel flourishes and the people of Israel yet lives–Eretz and Am Israel Chai!"

Hope you enjoy. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Ochayon) 
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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)
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July 7, 2018

Supporting Israel is Right

Please see my new article in Times of Israel called, "Dialogue with a Former Israel Supporter."

Israel is not only the biblical and historical homeland for the Jewish people, but it is the only Jewish country in the entire world. 

Nations and terrorists have attacked, again and again, denying the United Nations declaration for the State of Israel and the modern-day geopolitical reality of its existence--and it is flourishing!

The State of Israel has successfully made peace with its neighbors Egypt and Jordan, and they seek the same with the Palestinians.

Let us hope and pray for coexistence speedily in our times. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 5, 2018

My First Article in the TOI - The Samson Dilemma

My first article in The Times of Israel.

"The Samson Dilemma"

I was struggling with what to say.  

And then the words came pouring to me when I awoke at 4 am. 

It comes from my heart, and I am grateful to G-d for bringing me to this time. 

Hope you enjoy the article. 

Andy 

(Source Photo of Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 21, 2018

Happy 70th Birthday to Israel

What a beautiful Shabbat today at Magen David Synagogue celebrating the 70th Birthday of the State of Israel. 

Prayers, blessings, song, waving flags, and a lovely Kiddish feast following services. 

Immediately after the genocidal Holocaust that exterminated six million Jews - 1 out of every 3 in the entire world - the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. 

With thriving cities, arts and culture, flourishing farming, science and innovation, Holy religious sites, a rich history everywhere, and a formidable military. 

There is so much to be proud of and to thank G-d for.

Oh G-d, we praise you in that you have returned your children to Zion as you promised from Biblical times and breathed fresh life into their dry bones. 

Only you can revive an entire people and a land.

Only you can create a blooming Garden of Eden from barren desert. 

Only you can make a strong and just a nation from one that once was carted away of crowded train cars to the death camps and crematoria 

Throughout 2,000 years of exile, we remembered your promise and we prayed for redemption, and you showered your gracious mercy on us and brought us back on wings of eagles. 

For 70 years now, nations have risen up against Israel to try to destroy it, but only you have saved it through the brave arms of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 

Praise to G-d Almighty.  Praise be to G-d in Heaven and on Earth. Praise be the creator and sustainer.  

We honor you through keeping your Holy Torah commandments and remembering that you Hashem, are our G-d and you are One. 

It is our job to live a life of integrity, to do good whatever we do and wherever we go, as your children and as a light along with America unto the other nations. 

As we sang in the Holocaust, "I believe with a full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and thou he tarries, I will never-the-less wait."

The waiting was over 70-years ago, and we are living in the age of redemption. 

Miracles abound and the world progresses scientifically and technologically and with a spirit of doing good and justice. 

The nation of Israel lives!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 31, 2018

Iran Had Better Look To The Haggadah

On Passover, we recite the Haggadah to remember how G-d redeemed us from being slaves in Egypt. 

At the Seder, many also recite the Hatikvah--the Israeli National Anthem--to remember that our suffering and redemption didn't end almost 3,500 years ago in the Exodus from Egypt, but has continued to this very day post Holocaust with the establishment of the modern-day State of Israel. 

One thing that I will tell you is that if Slavery in Egypt and all the anti-Semitism, Inquisitions, Pogroms, Expulsions, and the Holocaust taught us anything is that:

- One, our faith in G-d Almighty and his love and promised redemption for us will never cease, and 

- Two, that we will never, ever, go like sheep to the slaughter again.

Already in 1981 and 2007, with the help of Hashem, Israel rid the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons of destruction from the hands of tyrannical Middle Eastern dictatorships in both Iraq and Syria. 

And I would venture to say that neither of these enemies were as completely hateful, ruthless, and vowed to Israel's destruction as Iran is today. 

In the Haggadah we recall the eternal fight of good over evil:
"For not only one enemy has tried to destroy us, but in every generation, nations have tried to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, always saves us from their hands."

As sure as we celebrate Passover today, I am confident that G-d will once again make a tremendous miracle and save us from the hands of the maniacal mullahs in Iran who pose an existential threat to the Israelites today. 

Israel's Operation Babylon and Operation Orchard in Iraq and Syria were successful actions in and of themselves, but they were also practice runs for what is yet to come to the spinning centrifuges in Axis of Evil, Iran. 

G-d's promise to Abraham to bless the Israelites and give them the Holy Land--whether by the ten plagues in Egypt or the Allied victory over Adolf Hitler--redemption will soon be coming again delivered compliments of the heroic Israeli Defense Forces.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 23, 2017

A Time For Everything



Being in Israel this week has reawakened the essence of my Jewish soul. 

Today, we took a long Shabbat walk--winding through the beautiful and ancient streets to reach the beach of Tel Aviv.

It was awesome seeing and hearing Hebrew everywhere--just like in the Bible/Torah.

The street names of famous people and things like Menachem Begin, Shaul HaMelech, Weizman, Ben Yehuda, Shalom Aleichem, Bar Kokhva, Ha-Nevi'im, Yona HaNavi--it all had so much historical and identifying meaning as a proud Jew and Levite servant of the L-rd. 

Already, when I awoke this morning--my brain was reciting and my voice signing from Ecclesiastes 3: "There is a time for everything."

And I don't know why, but I was humming it and mouthing over an over again:
"A time to love.
A time to hate.
A time for war (shuttering).
A time for peace (extended and deep longing)."

I pray to you my G-d to protect, guide, and show us--your faithful servants--the way ahead.

In my head, I understand that we do not choose the situations and challenges we face, but that they, in a very strong sense, choose us.

And we must rise to each and every occasion, even as our soul longs for a true and lasting peace. 

May G-d grant us to utterly confuse, scatter, torment, and defeat our enemies.

And may we merit a time when we will fully achieve and forever experience and dwell in love and peace, Amen. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 13, 2017

Today Is 6/13

So today is 6/13.

Yes, check your calendar. 

It only comes once a year. 

613 is the mystical and holy number of commandments in the Torah. 

For more than 2 years (this is not a short-term phenomenon), my family and even some friends have been seeing an inexplicable number of 613 everywhere. 

Here is one from a stock I follow from the other week: Twitter was up exactly 6.13%...and I don't follow that many stocks. 

Just yesterday, another stock (that been doing terribly...it's a startup!) is down an enormous 61.3% since I started following it. 

And yet another major stock--of the largest company in Israel and the largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world--Teva--is down 16.03 year-to-date.

Nearly every day, we see an endless barrage of license plates, roads, train and plane schedules and physical or URL addresses, get purchase receipts or invoice totals, see number of posts, views, likes, or emails, and even the other day almost booked a hotel with the address....that's right and only 613!

I am a rational person...maybe almost to the extreme, and what I initially laughed off as a lark or someone's OCD thing, is beyond any reasonable explanation that I can fathom at this point.

I am left with faith that there is truly some message being sent from the One Above...the question is what is the meaning of the message?

I continue to hope and pray that the message is one of blessings and redemption for mankind...I hope you will join me in this prayer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 10, 2017

Jerusalem - Happy 50 Years!

Just wanted to wish a very happy anniversary to Jerusalem.

It is the 50th year since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, the beautiful and eternal capital of the State of Israel. 

Today in synagogue we celebrated with a special kiddush. 

72 years since the holocaust, and Israel doth live!

In song and dance, in prayer and devotion, in doing good deeds and charity, we celebrate our survival and G-d's redemption and return of the Jewish people to his promised Holy Land. 

With still so much evil in the world--from brutal dictators, terrorists, human rights abusers, and bullies--it is always time to celebrate the freedom and democracy of America and Israel--who serve as a light unto the nations.

Surely as light can drive out darkness, those good people of faith and integrity can overcome the remnants of evil in this world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2017

Love For Every Reason

So in synagogue, there was a bat-mitzvah today.

And the 12-year old girl spoke to the congregation. 

She quoted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and said:


"If you can hate for no reason, 
then why not love for no reason."

This seemed like a very smart idea to me--we have a choice between hate and love, so why not choose love!

Later at the luncheon after services, I sat and made a new friend with this very nice person who happened to be an Evangelical Christian preacher. 

I asked about his faith and learned more about the Evangelical belief in the strict words of the Old Testament/Torah. 

This wonderful man had taught in a Jewish school in South America, been to the Holy Land, was friends with our Rabbi, and spoke so highly of the Jewish People, Israel, and his faith in G-d. 

I asked about the differences from his perspective between the different sects of Christianity, and he told me a bit of the history of the movements.

But what was also really interesting was that in contrast to the Evangelical's strong support for Israel, he explained that there still to this day was some anti-Semitic remnants in the Catholic Church, even though the Pope, himself, has called it "wrong and unjust"

I asked why some still then blame the Jews for the murder of Jesus (who was Jewish himself), when it was the Romans that actually tortured and killed him and also, why the historical animus to the Jews if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and this was his divine mission?

He explained that it was wrong and unfair, and that it was misguided scapegoat thinking that "someone had to take the blame."

He then went on to tell me about this great shirt that he liked that had a chart of all the various nation empires of the world that had risen against the Jewish people (from the Egyptians to the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Nazi's) and next to each one it said, GONE!  And then it said, Iran with a TBD--Yep! 

And even Venezuela's, hateful Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said, "I want to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts, damn you State of Israel," and then by 2013 he was dead from stomach (gut) cancer!

So from their day until ours, the One G-d of Hosts continues to looks after Israel and manages the destiny of man--and this is evident throughout the Bible and the prophecies. 

I was so impressed how he was emphatic about the strong Judeo-Christian shared values, beliefs, and faith and that this was the true future for Christianity.

It was understood from the conversation that in all religions, we share more in love of G-d and of each other, and in doing good then in hate, bias, bigotry, and discrimination...and together, we can make it a better world. 

Together, love can conquer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Twitter)
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April 10, 2017

Tunnel From Egyptian Bondage

On Passover, we celebrate G-d's redemption of the Israelites and the great miracles he wrought in bringing them from slavery to freedom, giving them the sacred Torah, and taking them to the Holy Land of Israel. 

His mercy and kindness endures forever!

While many people think that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the desert...

Little do most people know that there is also this miracle tunnel that many Israelites took when G-d took them out of Egyptian bondage and exile. 

It connected them from Egypt and straight to the IRT subway train, which took them to the shuttle that then got them to John F. Kennedy International Airport and on to El Al planes to the State of Israel.

In G-d's world, there is no limitations of time and space...and He literally brought them on wings on eagles to live in Israel and worship at his holy Temple in Jerusalem. 

For 3,500 years, the Israelite Jewish people have inhabited the land of Israel--from their days and until ours, may Judah be saved and may Israel dwell securely, and let us bless and thank G-d, and say Amen!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2017

The Utterly Useless United Nations

The Unjust, bigoted and hate-filled UN once again falsely condemns democratic Israel calling her an Apartheid state, when to the contrary, she is the one under perpetual attack by war and terror by those who seek her utter destruction.

Of no surprise, the report was generated by an anti-Semitic Arab-led group at the UN.

The cursed authors of the hateful report are Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley, along with their anti-Israel benefactors at the farcical United Nations.

The tiny-sized State of Israel (the size of New Jersey) is surrounded by radicalized enemies with more than 50 of their own countries yet that is not enough for them as they are obsessed with and seek the destruction of the one State of Israel.

The United Nations is comprised of 193 members, with the largest block being the 119 non-aligned members, of which 57 are made up of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Some have put it this way, "1 despot-1 vote!"

I am confidant that the biggest problem for the Anti-Semites in and out of the UN--aside from the formidable Israel Defense Forces (IDF)--is that Almighty G-d protects the Children of Israel.

As it says in Zechariah 12:3,

"On that day, when all the nations [the United Nations] of the earth are gathered against her [Israel], I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves."

So UNjust, evil, United Nations, enjoy your bias and hateful reports and resolutions, Israel will remain the Jewish Homeland, as promised by G-d over 3,000 years ago, and you will remain destined to rot in the you-know-where. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 22, 2017

Pardon Elor Azaria

This is an open letter to Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin.

And the purpose is to ask for the kind consideration of a pardon for Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria. 

Elor has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing a terrorist that had stabbed an Israeli soldier last year. 

The terrorist had already been incapacitated and lay on the road when Elor, just aged 19, fired the final shot to the terrorist's head. 

While I certainly don't condone excessive use of force, I think it is important to take into consideration the context of the times when this happened, which was virtual daily terrorist attacks, including stabbings, shootings, vehicle rammings, and homicide bombings across the country, and especially in and around the eternal capital, Jerusalem. 

No one knows how to fight terrorism better than Israel, which has suffered since it's founding in 1948 by enemies who have sought its destruction and throwing it's entire populace--dead or alive--into the Mediterranean Sea.

The IDF soldiers who defend the people and country are heroes not only to Israelis, but to all of us around the world who support the Holy Land, and especially the establishment of a homeland for Jews, 70 years after the Holocaust wiped out 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children. 

As Jewish people, we follow the Torah's commandments and pride ourselves on the adherence to the highest standards of morality, in all situations. 

Yet even as we cling to the strictest of moral compasses, G-d commands us to "utterly wipe out Amalek," and the oral law teaches us the general dictum that "If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first."

The IDF is known as one of the most humane armies in the world, despite the circumstances where they are literally fighting for their existential survival every day.

While perhaps, we can sit in judgement and exclaim that Elor should not have taken that fateful shot that day, surely under the circumstances of the time, we can understand why he would want to fully neutralize the enemy, who very possibly could've been hiding explosives for a suicide bombing, which are common terrorist tactics that Israelis have suffered more than their share of.

Growing up, I remember many of the major Israeli wars as well as the Intifada, wars of attrition--and throughout, we around the world worried most anxiously, prayed to the L-rd for his mercy, and gave charity as the dead and wounded piled high to the point where basically every Israeli family has been personally and profoundly impacted. 

For a year now, Elor has suffered through the courts and the press and has also been demoted to a private...he has suffered enough in defense of his people. 

Yes even terrorists have rights, but we must remember that the victims must have more rights, and the IDF need to be given the benefit of the doubt in their self defense and the latitude to do their most difficult of jobs defending the people of the Promised Land and by extension all people of faith. 

If we don't defend the defenders, then in essence we are aiding the terrorists and those that seek our own destruction.

I ask for the sake of people all over the world under attack by the wave of global hate and terrorism that Elor be pardoned, so that we uphold the IDF in the highest esteem and with the utmost gratitude for protecting us from the true evil that targets and threatens all of us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 11, 2017

Standing With Our Ally, Israel



Everyone knows we need to stand with Israel, our ally and friend, and the Holy Land!

Enjoy the video by Diamond and Silk!
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January 6, 2017

G-d Bless House Speaker Ryan



I just wanted to thank (and bless) House Speaker Ryan for calling out the Israel-hate and anti-Semitism of the Obama administration.


"I am still stunned by what happened last month. This government—our government—abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most...We were there for her when rockets rained down on Tel Aviv. We were there for her by passing historic legislation to combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. And we’ve been there for her by ensuring Israel has the tools to defend herself against those who seek her destruction. And in every one of those instances, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to get these things done. That’s because our historic alliance with Israel transcends party labels and partisan bickering...It’s time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN. It's time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security. And it's time to show all of our allies that, regardless of the shameful events of last month, the United States remains a force for good."

The House of Representatives voted overwhelming (342-80) to condemn the crooked, lopsided UN resolution against our friend and ally, Israel--in which the Obama administration shamefully let pass. And the Senate is anticipated to also condemn it. 

As Speaker Ryan and the many good, decent member of Congress who support Israel reiterated yesterday, "the United States [is and must] remain a force for good."

This is a historic battle and we can shape world events, as guided by G-d, and help good to defeat evil. ;-)

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October 19, 2016

Sukkah Surprise



I'm in Washington D.C. and I look towards the World Health Organization (WHO) a specialized agency of the United Nations. 

And lo' and behold, what do I see? 

It looks like a sukkah!

A sukkah is a small temporary hut that is put up on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) which we are celebrating now. 

The sukkah commemorates when the Jewish people left Egypt and journeyed through the desert for 40 years until they reached the promised land of Israel. 

Sukkot is traditionally one of three times a year of historical pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, and this was fascinating to see this in DC just as the UNjust UNESCO failed history by erroneously declaring the Temple Mount in Jerusalem only sacred to Muslims. 

So while I'm thinking how cool is it that the WHO has a sukkah for the celebration--I've never seen a sukkah in Washington DC before.--I'm realizing this is something much more.

As I get closer, I see there are pictures of impoverished people with names of diseases like chagas and elephantiasis caused by parasites. 

As I then learn, this is not like any traditional sukkah--usually decorated, happy, and celebratory for the redemption from slavery and the founding of Jewish nationhood. 

I stop by some people outside and ask what this structure is and they tell me it's a favela (like a shanty town hut from Brazil).

The WHO had this put up as a display for an important meeting of public health officials, and they said I am welcome to take a look. 

So what is to some a sukkah for celebrating the holiday of redemption to another is a favela for learning about critical health conditions around the world. 

People are so connected all over the world in more ways than we normally realize. 

Either way, this temporary shelter is no place to call home, even though seeing it from a distance made me feel just that way.

Unfortunately, the UN does not duly recognize and respect the Jewish homeland, it's ancestry and religious connections to G-d, the Temple, and the Holy Land.

To the unfortunate bigoted and hateful UNESCO, I'm sure a sukkah is just another favela--that is the disease so prominent in their hearts and minds. 

But with hopefulness, perhaps even they can be miraculously redeemed like the symbolism we get from the sukkah. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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