To influence others positively , you need to fear G-d.

To influence others positively , you need to fear G-d.

ואמר רבי חלבו אמר רב הונא: כל אדם שיש בו יראת שמים – דבריו נשמעין, שנאמר: סוף דבר הכל נשמע את האלהים ירא וגו’.

“and Rabbi Helbo said in the name of Rav Huna: Any man who has fear of heaven- his words will be heard, as it says [Kohelet 12] “at the end of the matter, everything will be heard, Fear G-d…”

(Brachos 6a)


Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook זצ”ל once sent one of his students to convince the government not to destroy a Jewish settlement. He came back unsuccessful.

Rabbi Kook admonished his student, telling him that he must lack fear of heaven, as the Talmud clearly says that someone who has real fear of heaven will be able to convince people to do the right thing.

[Heard from Rabbi David Samson]

Whether one agrees with Rav Zvi Yehuda or not on the matter discussed , the message is clear.

If we want people to listen to us, we need to believe. We need to be genuine.

If people don’t listen to me even when I am right , I obviously have only myself to blame.

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!


Bringing Ebola to America



Now this is a tough one- bringing an Ebola patient back to the U.S. for the first time ever for treatment.

Is this wise?

On the one hand, with the number of flights coming in and out of West Africa, it seems inevitable that some-one will come back infected, and this might be a unique chance to work on a cure and heal with dedicated man at the same time.

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


Jew don’t do that-Innocence lost again


Innocence Lost again

When the Jewish underground bombed Arab Civilians, we said “Jews don’t do that”

When Baruch Goldstein massacred innocent Muslims while they were praying, we said “Jews don’t do that”

When Yigal Amir murdered Rabin, we said “Jews don’t do that”

When a mob of 400 rushed down Yafo street beating up Arab citizens, we were too preoccupied and angry to say “Jews don’t do that”

When a gang of Jews is arrested for burning a 16 year old boy alive in a savage fashion equal to that of ISIS, we still would love to be able to say “Jews don’t do that”

how long can we carry on kidding ourselves with self-righteousness? There are some pretty awful Jews out there, and unfortunately, they “do that.”

They are not the norm, thank God, and our society is not proud of them, but they exist, and might well be growing.

As our enemies continue to taunt us and the government continues to show paralysis, I fear that they will only grow and grow, as they try to show our enemies that they are not the only savages on this planet.

Make no mistake-they are worse than our worst enemies, for because of them, we can no longer say that ” Jews don’t do that .”

That is the victory Hamas has been waiting for, that all the rockets in the world cannot deliver: the death of our innocence



A red line crossed?

If the savage burning alive of an innocent Arab teenager was indeed carried out by Jewish extremists, something which seems highly unlikely and has certainly not been proven yet, it would represent the crossing of a new red line, the likes of the Rabin assassination and Baruch Goldstein’s Hebron Massacre, a deed too horrendous and ghastly for a Jew to even contemplate doing.

We should all be hoping that it wasn’t.