Gang rape in Eilat

I still do not thing  that this would happen in religious  Zionist or Chareidi circles, certainly not on such a large and public scale ,but am very aware that the situation in private when it comes to  individual  or even chronic cases of abuse, is far from healthy in “frum” circles either.

We have harbored known  abusers of the worse kind and even harrased their victims and those who fight them with threats of defamation suites.

The fact that such an unspeakable event can happen amongst any of the “tribes of Israel” should leave us no rest.

The only 2 words that come to mind unfortunately  are “פלגש בגבעה”

Petira of the גרז”ן

Baruch Dayan haEmes
תורה תורה חגרי שק
מורינו הרב הגרז”ן זצק”ל

This has been a year of aweful losses around the word, and in the world of Torah leadership, it has been just devastating.

Rav Zalman Nechemya was a legend throughout the Torah world, one of a few giants in all areas of Torah who was able to find himself equally revered in both the Chareidi and religious Zionist worlds.

For those of us who received our semicha from him, enabling us to achieve so much in our lives of spreading Torah, the sense of grief and loss is immeasurable.

May his family and thousands of talmidim and musmachim be comforted in his tremendous legacy and continue to spread Torah in his merit.

יהי זכרו הקדוש ברוך.

Conversion therapy ban

All we need now is another coalition crisis.
Can parties not just respect the understanding that divisive changes to the religious/secular status quo will be avoided during this national emergency?

I have heard mainly terrible things about conversion therapy, and would never recommend it, but I have heards lots of bad things about gender reassignment therapy too, particularly in minors, and THAT is physically irreversible, not to mention abortion on demand .

Either people need to be given the democratic choice to make educated decisions about controversial treatments or government has to protect people from them, but picking and choosing based on religious and ethical debates that divide a population almost in two, is not democracy, it is simply exploitation thereof.

And even if I am wrong, and some argue that it is an essential feature of democracy, now is just not the time.

We are at war, and in war, we are supposed to unite against those who threaten us till we have neutralized the threat.

Right now, Corona is neutralising us while we bicker amongst ourselves.

One doesnt need to be a prophet to make the connection between this and the time of year we are in.

A 9 Av call from Nizaar

A 9 Av call from Nizaar

Tonight, my wife took a phone call from “Jack”, who when I answered the phone, introduced himself as Nizaar.

I realized that the man “STOP THE BDS” had publically condemned for threatening to “petrol bomb ” the Cape Town Israel rally, had found my phone number, which is no secret, and knew that I was an admin of the South Africa “STOP THE BDS” page, which is also no secret.

He was calling in panic to tell me that someone had posted all his details and his wife’s details on the comments threade and he feared not only for his legal situation but for his and his family’s safety, which of course none of us had any intention of threatening.

He assured me that he was not serious, and pointed out that he had used the FB suffix “lol” after the threat.

We had a long, frank, and constructive conversation and I offered to convince STOP THE BDS international and regional groups to remove the post if he publically committed to renouncing hate-speech and violence and debating in a civil manner only.

He agreed in writing via FB message to one of the admins, and the post was removed.

shows how powerful FB is, how a civil and calm conversation can bring about desired results, albeit after much pressure, and how We live in an age where Hashem gives us the tools to stand up for ourselves.

We might just meet for coffee at the Cape Grace, or maybe even the King David, one day.

השבינו ה עליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם

A 9 Av thats feels

Reading Eicha tonight was somehow more meaningful to me than ever

There was no need to try and think back 2000 years- the events of the past weeks, however miniscule in comparison to the Holocaust described in this moving book, all seemed to be described here so poignantly and prophetically.

Almost every possuk had immediate relevance.

Here a few that jumped out at me ,leaving me either in tears or numbed with cold.

קלים היו רדפינו מנשרי שמים

“Our pursuers were swifter than eagles of the sky”

Eicha 4/19

I thought about missiles and 15 second warnings in Sederot.


על אלה אני בוכיה עיני עיני ירדה מים

Over these I do weep, My eyes keep flowing with water

Eicha 1/16


I thought of our boys, our murdered teens, our fallen soldiers, our dead


כל איבי שמעו רעתי  ששו

All my enemies heard of my plight and rejoiced

(Eicha 1/21)

I thought of those who hate us, in the Middle East, in Europe, in South Africa, in America , around the world, who are being targeted by the same terrorists as us, but hate us so much, they still have to condemn us.


כל רעיה בגדו בה

All her friends have betrayed her

(Eicha  1/2)


I thought of Obama and Kerry and the Brazilian government and some of our “allies”  in Africa  and South America who voted against us in the U.N. and some of whom even recalled their ambassadors.


חטא חטאה ירושלים

Jerusalem has sinned greatly

(Eicha 1/8)


I thought of our own Sinas Chinam (causeless hatred) for one another and for other people and how we were so busy fighting amongst ourselves since the last election that we didn’t pay attention to what Hamas was digging under our noses.


פקד עונך בת אדום גלה על- חטאתיך

He remembers your iniquity, daughter of Edom, he will uncover your sins

[Eicha  4/22]

I thought of all those who cover their inbred anti-Semitism with “concern for Palestinians”


השבינו ה עליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם

Bring us back to you, Hashem, and we shall return, renew our days as of old.

[Eicha 5/21]


We need this now as much as ever!


As we go into Gaza

And Yaakov was very afraid and he was distressed- afraid that he might be killed, and distressed that he might kill others.”
וַיִּירָ֧א יַעֲקֹ֪ב מְאֹ֖ד וַיֵּ֣צֶר ל֑וֹ – ויירא שמא יהרג, ויצר לו אם יהרוג הוא את אחרים
(Beraishis 32/8 and Rashi, according to Midrash Rabbah.)

The Torah tells us that when Yaakov went to meet his estranged brother Eisav, he was afraid that he might get killed by him or his men, but was also afraid that he might land up killing Eisav or his men.

When the Jewish people are attacked, we are commanded to fight the enemy with all our strength in order to defend ourselves, and if that involves killing them in the process, that is the sad and unavoidable cost of war.

However, we do not enjoy killing people- on the contrary, the thought terrifies us.

It does not stop us from defending ourselves in any way, but it does show that our preference is always peace, and we would much prefer to be able to achieve our objectives without having to kill.

As our beloved soldiers enter Gaza on foot, by air, and by sea, to stop the brutal and insane indiscriminate rocket fire at all parts of our land, and to destroy the terrorist tunnels and infrastructure being used to kill our people, we daven for their success, their safe return, but we do not sit eating popcorn while the enemy is dying- we are hurt and distressed by every person we have to kill, how much more so innocent young children who get in the way or are used as human shields by the barbaric Hamas overlords.

לשועתך קויתי ה