03 July 2015

Parshat Balak 5775

16 Tamuz 5775
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Balak and the 17th of Tammuz
by Daniel Pinner

Parashat Balak begins with Balak, king of Moab, confronted with the Children of Israel approaching his territory, turning in panic to Midian, desperate for an alliance. Together they sent their representatives to call on Bil’am (Balaam), the heathen prophet and charmer on the banks of the River Pethor, hundreds of miles to the north in Aram, to hire him as a spiritual mercenary.

Four times this spiritual hit-man tried to curse Israel and failed when God turned his curses into blessings. The Midrash interprets the phrase “Hashem put the word in Bil’am’s mouth” (Numbers 23:5), as Bil’am was about to utter his first curse-turned-to-blessing, to mean: “He twisted his mouth and tore a hole in it, like a man who drives a nail into a wooden board” (Bamidbar Rabbah 20:18 and Tanhuma, Balak 12).

The Midrash interprets “Hashem encountered Bil’am, and put a word in his mouth” (Numbers 23:16), Bil’am’s second curse-turned-to-blessing, just as graphically: “Like a man who puts a bridle on the mouth of an animal and guides it to wherever he wants – so God pierced Bil’am’s mouth” (Bamidbar Rabbah 20:20 and Tanhuma, Balak 13).

Having tried twice to curse Israel and having failed both times, Bil’am realised that his mission was hopeless. Nevertheless, he tried a third time:

“Bil’am saw that it was good in Hashem’s eyes to bless Israel, so he did not go – as in both previous times – towards witchcraft, but instead faced the desert” (Numbers 24:1). He faced the desert either in order to face Israel, who were then in Arvot Moab (Ibn Ezra), or to recall Israel’s sin of the golden calf (Targum Yonatan), or to ensure that, even though he would be forced to bless Israel, “he would bless them with a parched blessing” (Sforno).

Even though he was constrained to bless Israel, this third blessing was designed to hurt us:

“Rabbi Shmuel bar Nahmani quoted Rabbi Yonatan: What does the verse, ‘The wounds of a friend are faithful, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful’ (Proverbs 27:6) mean? – The curse with which Ahijah the Shilonite cursed Israel is more beneficial than the blessing with which the wicked Bil’am blessed them. Ahijah the Shilonite cursed Israel by [comparing them to] a reed, as it says ‘And Hashem will smite Israel, just as a reed is shaken in the water’ (1 Kings 14:15). Just as a reed flourishes where there is water, it re-grows even after being cut down, its roots are numerous, and even if all the winds of the world come and blow upon it they cannot move it from its place, rather it bends to and fro with them; and when the winds subside the reed remains in its place, [so is with Israel]. But the wicked Bil’am blessed them by [comparing them to] the cedar [‘…like cedars by the water’ (Numbers 24:6)]. Just as the cedar cannot flourish where there is water, its roots are few and its branch does not re-grow after being cut down, and even though all the winds of the world which blow upon it they cannot move it from its place – but when the south wind blows upon it, it immediately uproots and overturns it on its face” (Sanhedrin 105a-106b).

Rabbi Yonatan, a 4th-generation Tanna, was Rabbi Shmuel bar Nahmani’s main teacher (Pesachim 24a), and Rabbi Yonatan was a student of Rabbi Akiva (Yerushalmi Ma’asrot 5:2).

Hence this Talmudic teaching, contrasting Ahijah’s curse with Bil’am’s blessing, was inspired by Rabbi Akiva – the master, one of the greatest of all the rabbis in the Talmud, the man who fought with all his physical and spiritual might to restore Jewish sovereignty to Israel after the Roman conquest, the man who inspired and spiritually led the Bar Kochba Revolt, the man who was eventually tortured to death by the Romans and who, upon seeing the sun rise as he was drawing his final breath, cried out “Shema Yisra’el – Hear O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One” (Berachot 61b and Yalkut Shimoni, Deuteronomy 837).

Ever since the yearly cycle of Torah readings was standardised towards the end of the Second Temple era, and the fixed calendar as calculated by Hillel II (Hillel ben Yehudah, Nasi or head of the Sanhedrin) was adopted in 4119 (359 C.E.), Parashat Balak invariably falls around the 17th of Tammuz; indeed, and this year, Shabbat Parashat Balak falls precisely on the 17th of Tammuz.

(This is by no means unusual: it is the 18th time in the last 100 years.)

“Five things happened to our fathers on the 17th of Tammuz… The Tablets of Stone were smashed; the Tamid [the twice-daily Burnt-Offering of two sheep, one in the morning and one at dusk] was stopped; the city-walls [of Jerusalem] were breached; Apostomos burnt the Torah; and set up an idol in the Holy Temple” (Ta’anit 4:6).

This is the reason that the 17th of Tammuz has been ordained as a fast-day for the generations. Of course, since the joy of Shabbat over-rides mourning, we do not fast this year on the 17th of Tammuz. In previous years, whenever the 17th of Tammuz has fallen on Shabbat, the fast has been postponed by a day. (Whether or not we will still be fasting this coming Sunday we will only know on Sunday.)

The first of these disasters, the smashing of the Tablets of Stone, happened when Moshe came down from Mount Sinai and saw the Jews worshipping the golden calf.

The second, the cessation of the Tamid sacrifice, happened both during the First Temple and the Second.

According to the Rambam (Laws of Fasts 5:2) and the Mishnah Berura (549:1), the Mishnah speaks of the Tamid having ceased in the First Temple, under the reign of Tzidkiyahu (Zedekiah), the last king of Judea, who was besieged by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. “All the priests’ officers and the nation betrayed greatly, like all the abominations of the other nations, and they defiled the House of Hashem” (2 Chronicles 36:14). The Divine punishment was the invasion of Judea by the Babylonian army – and the rest is history.

According to Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura, the Mishnah speaks of the Second Temple period, when there were no sheep to sacrifice when Jerusalem was besieged.

The Talmud describes the situation vividly: “When the Hasmonean kings fought against each other, Horkenos was outside [of Jerusalem besieging it], and Aristobolos was [besieged] within. Every day, [those inside the city] would send money out [and those outside would send sheep in; and those inside Jerusalem] would sacrifice [those sheep] for them as their Tamid offerings. There was a certain old man [inside Jerusalem] who knew Greek philosophy. He mocked them…telling those [who were outside]: As long as they occupy themselves with the Temple Service, they will never fall into your hands. The next day, when they sent their money out, they sent in a pig" (Sotah 49b, Baba Kama 82b, Menahot 64b).

Horkenos and Aristobolos were brothers, sons of King Alexander Yanai. Both claimed the throne, and led Israel into civil war. Horkenos, commanding the forces outside of Jerusalem, made a pact with the Romans, and a contingent of Roman soldiers collaborated with him in besieging Jerusalem. With the help of the Roman army, Horkenos eventually defeated his brother Aristobolos; Horkenos became king, the monarchy became incorrigibly corrupt and Roman control over Israel increased until the ultimate destruction of the Holy Temple.

The third disaster, the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls, occurred when Rome invaded in the Second Temple era, the result of a Jewish civil war.

(As Jeremiah 39:2 records, the Babylonian army breached the walls of Jerusalem on the 9th of Tammuz, which was commemorated as a day of mourning at the time. After the Romans breached the walls on the 17th, the two commemorations were combined.)

The fourth disaster, Apostomos’ burning of the Torah, occurred during the Greek-Hellenist occupation of Israel. The Tiferet Yisrael explains that Apostomos, the Greek ruler, burned the Sefer Torah which Ezra the Scribe had written, and which was kept in the Holy Temple. This Sefer Torah was the most accurate and reliable one in existence, and all others were copied from it – which is why its destruction was so catastrophic.

And the fifth disaster was the erection of an idol in the Temple. The Talmud (Yerushalmi Ta’anit 4:5) quotes two opinions. According to one, it was Apostomos who erected it upon conquering Jerusalem in the Hasmonean period (Second Temple); according to the other, the reference is to King Menashe, in the final century of the First Temple (2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33).

The last four of these disasters reflect the sin of and punishment for the golden calf very clearly: they were violations of the Holy Temple and its sanctity. It is central to Judaism that our sins are always punished measure for measure, and these disasters were indeed appropriate punishments for the original sin of 17th Tammuz – the original perversion of worship of Hashem. For the fathers’ distortion of the Temple sacrifice, the sons were punished – on the same day, centuries and millennia later – by having the Temple sacrifice brutally ripped from them.

After forgiving the sin of the golden calf, God told Moshe: “Now go and lead the nation to where I have told you; behold – My angel will go before you. And on the day that I will remember, I will remember the sin for them” (Exodus 32:34). Rashi, based on a long narrative in Sanhedrin 102a, comments: “Currently I hearken to you, not to destroy them all together. But forever, forever, whenever I will remember their sins to them, I will exact from them part of the punishment for this sin, together with their other sins. And every punishment that ever comes upon Israel includes some of the punishment for the sin of the calf”.

The three-week period of mourning which the 17th of Tammuz ushers in concludes with the 9th of Av – the day which commemorates, among other disasters, the destruction of both Holy Temples and the fall of Beitar (Ta’anit 4:6).

The defeat of Israel by the Roman Empire began on 17th Tammuz when, after a four-year siege, four Roman legions (the Fifth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth to the west, and the Tenth on the Mount of Olives to the east), commanded by Titus (who nine years later would become Emperor of Rome) and his lieutenant, the renegade Jew Tiberius Julius Alexander, breached the First (innermost) Wall and captured the Antonia Fortress.

The defeat culminated with the destruction of the Holy Temple three weeks later, on the 9th of Av 3830 (70 C.E.).

But even then the Jews were not defeated, and continued fighting for their freedom for generations.

The final defeat only came on 9th of Av 3895 (135 C.E.). Bar Kochba’s forces retreated from Jerusalem to Beitar, a town in the foothills of Judea, 11 km (7 miles) south-west of Jerusalem, which became their final stand against the might and fury of Rome.

In Bil’am’s fourth and final curse-turned-to-blessing, this heathen prophet declaimed: “I will see him, even if not now… A star has stepped forth from Jacob and a sceptre has arisen from Israel…” (Numbers 24:17).

This is a prophecy of Israel’s restoration of sovereignty in the future time yet to come, a prophecy of the Mashiach (see for example Targum Yonatan ad. loc.). Rabbi Akiva applied this prophecy to Bar Kochba – “the son of the star” (Yerushalmi Ta’anit 4:5, Eichah Rabbah 2:5).

Indeed, Bar Kochba could have defeated the Romans and restored Jewish sovereignty to Israel – if only he and the generation would have merited it. Rabbi Akiva didn’t live to see the Bar Kochba Revolt defeated: he was murdered in 3880 (120 C.E.), fifteen years before the destruction of Beitar (Sifrei, Vezot ha’Berakhah 357:7 and Seder ha-Dorot).

But Rabbi Akiva and his teachings, and the spirit of Beitar, yet live on in the Jewish nation today.

02 July 2015

The Illicit Love Affair Between the Jews and America

15 Tamuz 5775

July 4th - An Immoral Celebration

We Torah-Jews know that "Eisav soneh et Ya'aqov." And we know that America is Eisav and that Yisrael will only rise when Eisav falls. 

We know how they refused to bomb the rail lines to the camps and how they refused to even fill the existing quotas for Jewish immigrants, much less open their borders to those fleeing the Nazis. 

We know how they sponsored the Oslo agreement and oversaw the exchange of land for no-peace and how they not only continue to insist that we create a terror-state in our midst, but are even now enabling Iran to acquire nuclear weapons to use against us. We know all of that. And yet...

Israeli heads of state attend a 4th of July celebration of America and its independence every year at the US Ambassador's residence in Jerusalem. Some of the comments made at this year's celebration held yesterday include:

PM Netanyahu addressing Ambassador Dan Shapiro: "...we are family. Let me translate. We are mishpucha. And we are partners,” ... “President Obama, the United States Congress and the people of America. I want to thank them for their continual support of the State of Israel. Across the length and breadth of the United States, Americans of all stripes stand with the Jewish state. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again tonight: Israel has no better friend than America and America has no better friend than Israel.”

President Rivlin: "Our relationship is first and foremost an emotional one. Growing up in the years after the Second World War, when the world was divided between East and West, and defined in terms of good versus evil, the ‘Stars and Stripes’ represented in our eyes, freedom and progress – the American Dream as we saw it,... For the first time in centuries, perhaps for the first time in history, we the Jewish nation, and later on the State of Israel, felt we had a true friend standing beside us."

American olim have traditionally lamented the dearth of American culture to be found in the Holy Land - sports, certain foods, etc., (well, no longer!) and nearly half of the Jewish population of the world is so enamored of the life it affords them that they ignore all her evils and continue to provide the spiritual energy that ensures her survival.

This year, we even have a reminder that the establishment of the United States of America was not good for the Jews, else it would not have fallen out on Shivah Asar b'Tamuz in 1776, the beginning of the Three Weeks of calamities for Jews throughout history. And if only we could see with spiritual eyes the terrible, unspeakable spiritual holocaust which American assimilation has wrought, we would be ashamed of all the Jewish praise and love that has been heaped upon this Edom - land of Eisav.

It is a common refrain throughout the prophets - Yisrael has been an unfaithful wife to HKB"H. And yet...

The word that came to Jeremiah (chapter 30) from the Lord, saying:

So said the Lord, the God of Israel, saying: Write for you the words that I have spoken to you, on a scroll. For, behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will restore the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will restore them to the land that I gave their forefathers and they shall possess it. 

And these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For so said the Lord: A sound of quaking we have heard, fear, and there is no peace. Ask now and see whether a male gives birth. Why have I seen every man [with] his hands on his loins like a woman in confinement, and every face has turned to pallor? Ho! For that day is great, with none like it, and it is a time of distress for Jacob, through which he shall be saved.

And it shall be on that day, says the Lord of Hosts, [that] I will break his yoke off your neck, and I will break your thongs, and strangers shall no longer enslave them. And they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will set up for them. And you, fear not, My servant Jacob, says the Lord, and do not be dismayed, O Israel, for behold I save you from afar and your seed from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall again be silent and at ease, and no one will frighten them. For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you, for I will make an end of all the nations where I dispersed you, but of you I will not make an end, but I will chasten you in measure, and I will not completely destroy you. 

For so said the Lord: Your injury is painful, your wound grievous. No one deems your wound to be healed, you have no healing medicines. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you, for I have smitten you with the wound of an enemy, cruel chastisement, for the greatness of your iniquity; your sins are many. Why do you cry about your injury [that] your pain is severe? For the magnitude of your iniquity, [since] your sins are many, I have done these to you. 

Therefore, all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your adversaries, yea all of them, shall go into captivity, and those who plunder you shall be plunder, and all who prey upon you I will give for prey. For I will bring healing to you, and of your wounds I will heal you, says the Lord, for they called you an outcast, that is Zion whom no one seeks out.

So said the Lord: Behold I am returning the captivity of the tents of Jacob, and his dwellings I will pity, and the city shall be built on its mound and the palace on its proper site shall be established. And thanksgiving and the voice of those making merry shall proceed from them, and I will multiply them, and they shall not be diminished, and I will increase them, and they shall not become few in number. 

And their children shall be as of old, and their congregation shall be established before Me, and I will visit [evil] upon all their oppressors. And their prince shall be from them, and their ruler shall emerge from their midst, and I will bring him near, and he shall approach Me, for who is it who pledged his heart to approach Me? says the Lord. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 

Behold a storm from the Lord has gone forth [with] fury, yea a settling storm; on the head[s] of the wicked it shall rest.The kindling of the Lord's anger shall not return until He has executed it, and until He has fulfilled the plans of His heart. 

At the end of the days you shall consider it. At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.

Mind vs. Heart (Emotions)

15 Tamuz 5775

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is ways of death." (Mishlei 14.12)

We hear everywhere, every day - "a war for hearts and minds." It means that both your heart and your mind - both your corporeal and your spiritual self - are being wooed away from your Creator by the Satan and his minions, whoever they may be and wherever they may be found.

But, difficult as that is, there is still another aspect of it and that is the battle that's going on between your heart and your mind - the battle of mind over emotion - and in this generation the mind is losing badly.

We are fortunate above all people because we have The Law. We are not left moorless in the ocean of emotion that leads other peoples astray. We are not left leaderless and guideless to determine by our own inadequate feelings what is right and what is wrong. We are not left alone in a hefker world where everyone has his own "truth" and his own "path" to some amorphous god. We have The Law or more precisely The Instruction Manual for Life given by the Creator of the World and it tells us everything we need to know to live a successful and directed life.

In a directed world, the highest value is Truth. In a "hefker" world (and I put it in quotes because while that is it's appearance, it is far from the reality), Personal Happiness is the highest value and the measure by which every action is judged. In the directed world, mind rules over emotion and in the hefker world, emotion rules. Each person is free to and must do whatever "feels" right to him/her.

But, know, however, that the mind is no more reliable than the heart unless it is rooted in the Holy Law - the Torah of Hashem. That is how we have seen in this past week, the Law of the Land of Eisav become enslaved and subservient to the debased heart of mankind.

Last week, we read in Parshat Chukat about the most mysterious law in the Book of the Law - the ashes of the red heifer, while contaminating all who prepare it, purifies those on whom it is sprinkled. Even the wise Shlomo HaMelekh reportedly could not fathom it. And we learn from this law that we obey whether it feels right to us or not - the mind must rule the heart. This week, in Parshat Balak, we read the opposite. This week we see the words of Shlomo Hamelekh from Mishlei come alive before our eyes as Zimri allows his heart to take over and it leads not only to his own death, but also to the deaths of 24,000 of his fellow Jews.

We have to do teshuvah every single day - examining our actions, their motivations, any errors that were made that need correcting. Today, when you sit down to finish the books at the end of the day, check to see which one is controlling your decisions - your mind or your heart.

"The heart is deceitful above all..."  (Yirmiyahu 17.9)

01 July 2015

"It Will Begin in the South..."

15 Tamuz 5775

"...the evil will begin at first from the south - afterwards from the north - after that from the center...."

The earthquake last Shabbat which was felt first in the south and then moving to the north was a sign...

בעת גילוי אליהו הנביא במערת אליהו הנביא בזמן העליית נשמה אליהו הנביא הזהיר את עם ישראל דרך רבי עמרם ואמר לו "שהרעה תתחיל בהתחלה מהדרום - לאחר מכן בצפון - ולאחר מכן במרכז...השם נתן לנו סימן ותזכורת ברעידת אדמה שפקדה את ישראל ביום שבת ב-י' בתמוז התשע"ה. וכמו שאנחנו יודעים שמרכז הרעש היה בדרום..(אזור סיני ואילת)...

קודשא בריך הוא כועס מאוד על מצעד התועבה שהיה בחיפה. ובכלל על כל הנשוא הזה של משכב זכר

Since Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, the news hasn't stopped for a moment. I expect it will only increase with the onset of Shivah Asar b'Tamuz.

All-Out War South of Israeli-Sinai Border
Egypt attacks jihadists with F-16 warplanes. Israel closes borders to Gaza and Egypt.

The northern Sinai Peninsula south of the border with Israel is engulfed in an all-out war.

Egyptian F-16 warplanes attacked Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadists’ positions for several hours Wednesday afternoon and killed more than 90 jihadists following massive ISIS attacks.


15 Tamuz 5775

...Rabbi Amram asked [Eliyahu HaNavi] from where will go out the coming future decree [against Am Yisrael] ("From the south, from the north and from the center")  spoken of in organizations (ISIS, from Hamas and Hizb'allah) that they're planning to attack us soon.

DebkaThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant moved ominously close to Israel’s borders Wednesday, July 1 – not as predicted in the north, but in the south, from the Sinai Peninsula. There, ISIS followed up on its Ramadan terror outrages in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Kobani, with a massive assault on Egyptian forces and reportedly capturing the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwaid close to the Israeli and Gaza Strip borders.

...Not just a terrorist attack, ISIS launched a full-scale military offensive, starting with mortar fire and suicide bombings against five Egyptian military checkpoints.
Using a tactic similar to that employed in the capture of the Iraqi town of Ramadi last month, ISIS gunmen followed this initial assault by riding in on minivans, backed by heavy mortar fire, to storm the positions held by stunned Egyptian troops. Altogether some 20 Egyptian army positions were attacked in and around Sheikh Zuwaid.

...The Islamists are additionally said to have taken Egyptian prisoners as hostages.

As the fighting grew fierce during Wednesday, Israel shut its border crossings with Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and sent reinforcements south in case the jihadis launched an attack on Israel from northern Sinai.

Our military sources also report that US Middle East forces located in Jordan and at Sharm el-Sheikh are on the ready in case the Islamic State decides to attack the US officers and men at the Multinational Force (MFO) facility in Sinai, which is located near the Sheikh Zuwaid battlefield.

Demoralization: A Tactic of the Psy-Ops War

14 Tamuz 5775

The typical "Zionist" leadership via the usual "Zionist" propaganda media outlets is calling on the "Zionist" public to issue a strong "Zionist" response to the most recent murder of a Jewish resident of the Binyamin region of Eretz Yisrael. And what would that be? "BUILD!" "Building", or more settlement construction, has become the accepted and appropriate response to any act of terror against the so-called "settlers". 

I don't know when this actually started or whose bright idea it was, but it was a masterful stroke of genius. All that public anger and outrage funneled into contruction rather than into protesting failed government policies or what's worse, perhaps perpetrating revenge attacks against the enemy. 

In a few months' time, when all has returned, once again, to business as usual, the IDF will come out and bulldoze away all traces of the puny structures thrown up as a "response" to terror, but the anger and the outrage will have already been spent and the people will have moved on to other things.

For those who care - who really care - the feelings don't diminish. They don't go away. They go underground. They simmer and boil within the heart and they provide the seasoning for earnest prayer demanding justice and retribution from on high.

But, for too many of us, these events - the attacks as well as the lame and ineffective response - lead to a feeling of helplessness, demoralization and failure which leads to discouragement, apathy, and even surrender. Some will become depressed and turn to some method of distraction. Some will discourage aliyah in general or even get up and leave the country themselves. And this is the ultimate goal of all these sorrows - the terror attacks, the ineffective responses, the fostering of feelings of uselessness - they're all meant to demoralize the Jews into leaving (or not coming to) Eretz Yisrael. It's a major part of the War for Hearts and Minds - the psy-ops (psychological operations) war waged against us by Eisav, Yishmael and the Erev Rav.

Understanding this is a major part of the battle. If you get nothing more than this, you're already halfway to winning the war. And isn't it also comparable to an externalization of the same war the Yetzer HaRa has been waging against us all our lives?

By this, we learn how to combat it. We must strengthen our minds through learning and listening to words of Torah, which alone can straighten and purify our thoughts and attitudes, and we must strengthen our hearts by drawing closer to and connecting with HKB"H by way of our prayers which build our emunah and bitachon.

Tefillah and Torah are the weapons in the War for Hearts and Minds


30 June 2015

It Has Begun...

13 Tamuz 5775

16 Facts About The Tremendous Financial Devastation That We Are Seeing All Over The World

As we enter the second half of 2015, financial panic has gripped most of the globe. Stock prices are crashing in China, in Europe and in the United States. Greece is on the verge of a historic default, and now Puerto Rico and Ukraine are both threatening to default on their debts if they do not receive concessions from their creditors. Not since the financial crisis of 2008 has so much financial chaos been unleashed all at once. Could it be possible that the great financial crisis of 2015 has begun?

Don't miss these...



28 June 2015

What Took Them So Long?

11 Tamuz 5775

It's been three days already - time enough for the whole world to go rainbows and organize massive parades with spectators numbered in the millions, literally. I'm surprised it waited three whole days...
Lutheran pastor says Jews to blame for destroying Christian values after US approves gay marriage
Mark Dankof, a Lutheran pastor and political activist, declared the Jews to blame for the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday which declared any law to ban gay marriage unconstitutional.

..."It should not be ignored that the victories for abortion on demand and LGBT rights are reflective of the disproportionate influence of Jewish power, money, and activism in the United States," he declared.
Three of the five votes in favor were cast by Jews. That's very high-profile. And then the news coverage is focusing on non-Orthodox Jewish groups out celebrating with the masses, so it leaves the Torah-observant Jewish community in a quandary.

The ground is heating up and getting a bit shaky. I hope and pray that everyone is prepared.