For every parent the question of G-d and the Holocaust demands a bit of thought. Here in this video, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks tackles the issue and brings amazing clarity to the subject.
Is there something wrong here?
So today I took my family for a bar-b-que to celebrate our Nation’s holiday: Passover. Look at the picture above, is there something strange going on? It’s an Arab family enjoying the beautiful Israeli spring weather next to mine. Israel is the future of peace in the world despite the lies you here from the BDS.
Today I was disheartened deeply when I saw that my country was being labeled as Occupying again.
When you call Israel an Occupying State, what does that mean exactly in relation to where you are in America. How long have you lived in your home, how far back can you trace your family history in comfortable America. Where were they before? Who settled America, and who was in America before the White Man? The entire country is Occupied by settlers who came to make it big financially in the new world. How did they get the land? Through eradicating the Native Indian population. Doesn’t sound so nice, but you’ll get over it, right? It won’t change anything, because you didn’t actually do the dirty work. But you still will enjoy your country.
The area which is being talked about in the News now is called Samaria. This is Ancient Israel land according to the bible. When our country was surrounded by all sides in 1967 a war started and this area was captured by Israel. The question is, who started this war? Can you imagine Arizona being surrounded by California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico and each of those states were crying out for the death, murder and rape of every citizen in Arizona? That every Arizonan was going to be pushed into the Grand Canyon? Let’s say that Arizona went to war as a defensive act and captured some of that land. Let’s say that to keep the peace and protect their citizens they didn’t return that land. Would anyone say anything about Arizona being to blame?
Some politicians ridicule our Prime Minister with witty catch phrases like when it comes to Israel, “It’s all about the Benjamins.” Sad. Our people, can proudly trace our Nation’s history back for the past 3,300 years. Just yesterday I visited Shiloh, one of our Nation’s most revered sites in Judaism which is located in beautiful Samaria. Are people that daft to say that the Jewish Nation is occupying a place foreign to our people? Whereas we can honestly claim that this is Our land based on our Torah which has been kept for over 3,000 years, people in America should be more cautious with their words, pointing fingers and claiming we are in the wrong. Take a look in the mirror yourself.
In the meantime, as Jewish parents you have to know that this is a huge test for you. How much effort will you put into educating your kids about their own heritage. Get involved and don’t take the lies they spill on us. The Jewish People are here to stay –
How can you help?
Now is the time to start prepping for the Seder night. As father’s we need to be ready with plenty of things to say and activities. If you want a meaningful Seder get started now. A few things you can do to get ready:
- Buy awesome Hagaddah’s with cool pictures like the one I listed in the post previously. If you order soon they will arrive to your home with plenty of time for you to scan through them ahead of time. Start picking out the main areas you want to focus on during the Passover night, ask yourself ‘what will connect most with my kids.’
- If your kids like art try setting 15-20 minutes a day with them in making their own mini Hagaddah that they can show off at the Seder night. To keep it simple, think about the 10 plagues. Have each kid make a mini booklet with each page depicting a certain plague. You can download pictures of the internet or make up your own. Give them responsibilities for the Passover night, it can make it so much more enjoyable.
The main idea here is to start thinking ahead, how do you want the night to go, if you want your kids to stick around- you are going to need the tools. But remember it’s okay if they aren’t into it the way you’d like them to. Keep up your positive role model influence and let them see how much you put in the extra effort to make it something special.
Despite the recent accusations of the ICC and various threats in America against the Jewish people, we as fathers need to draw upon the wonders of our ancestors faith. In no generation have we had it so good materialistically. Homes, cars, credit cards, etc. Yet for some reason there also hasn’t been such a disconnect between today’s generation and the previous. Some questions to ask ourselves are:
How could my relationship be with my child if I were to spend an extra 30 minutes alone with them doing something they enjoy?
For our nation to continue and prosper the connection between parent and child needs to be at the forefront. There will always be the temptation to invest more in our jobs. The question is then how healthy is my connection with my child?
Ask yourself what kind of vibe do you bring to the connection?
Are you a critique or a cheerleader?
The next question is how much of an effort are you showing the gems of Judaism? If you are trying to figure things out, start with the Shabbat as being the day you simply enjoy being together. Make it so that you have your favorite food, new clothes and some awesome activity or discussion are ready. Try finding a story that resonates with you from our ancient or recent past. IDF stories such as Operation: Entebbe
In one more month we have Passover! Time to get ready- here is an awesome Hagaddah you have to pick up at amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Katz-Passover-Haggadah-Redemption-Bilingual/dp/1583306005/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Haggadah+Baruch&qid=1614814487&sr=8-1
As I look back on my own personal journey, now close to 12 years of living in Israel. I am relieved yet disturbed. Making Aliyah was the best thing I ever did in my life. I was inspired by a trip to Israel and began to think where do I want my future? I came back to America, graduated college and thought. Wow, at this moment there are guys my age serving a mandatory 3 years in the IDF. Here I am with all the world before me, where does G-d need me. I know it sounds maybe different. G-d doesn’t need anything, but maybe the question was what would G-d want from me in this situation. Where could my strengths be best used. At that moment I realized and was able to focus my path.
The Land Of Israel, yearned and desired for throughout the exile, that was my calling.
Israel is our home and our future. With everything happening in the US, are you still convinced that you belong there? Are you expecting it to get better?
It’s time to come home.
This past week has been disturbing as a father, former soldier, teacher and Jew. Since the light of Chanukah has gone, a soldier has been dismissed from his unit after failing to fire on a terrorist who was attacking him. This same week a murder took place on a woman who lives in one of the most beautiful places in Eretz Yisrael, Samaria.
There’s so many unsettling feelings I don’t know where to begin. People are complaining about being vaccinated, and our country is facing a third national lockdown. After hearing about the murder of a Esther Horgan a mother of six, I had to seek advice from a Rabbi. I contacted Rabbi Menachem Listman, head of the Machon Meir English Department.
We are a nation struggling to identify ourselves, but there is so much work to do.
Under no situation should our soldiers fear repercussions for defending our nations citizens. This unfortunate young man was in the line of duty and totally trained to do his job. But fear from his own future by his own countries court system made him freeze. I can relate, as a soldier off duty I was once caught off guard driving as a passenger to our beautiful complex Ma’ale Zeiteim just outside the Old City. Suddenly I saw rocks being thrown at Jews just a few hundred feet in front of me. I opened up the door and began to run toward those threatening the lives of my neighbors. My rifle was swinging from my shoulder and as I was about to start shooting warning shots, a camera man out of no where wearing a helmet ran into my face and started filming me. At that moment, I too froze, but luckily at the same time so did all the rock throwers.
I met hundreds of soldiers while serving and never met one of them that ever said he enlisted “to kill”. I only heard things like, it’s my duty, or I want to protect our country, things of this sort.
The gut wrenching tragedy of Esther Horgan should only cause us to strengthen our resolve of living and inheriting the land that is rightfully ours as promised in the Torah. No one wants to openly fight, but let’s make the fight to make our own families:
Live Torah in Joy
Make our wives feel more appreciated
Increase our resolve in strengthening our identity as Jews
This photo was taken last week just before the end of Chanukah from Mount Gerizim in Samaria. The blue square located on the left side of the picture is where Yosef HaTzadik is buried. May his merit intercede on our behalf and for all of Israel.
Thank you for the wonderful review about my book Not Alone Soldier!
I appreciate your comment and feedback in getting the word out about my book! Thanks so much! For anyone who wants to know more about Yosef, check him out here at:
Chanukah was awesome, what made it even better this year is that I finally made it out to Modi’in where the Maccabean graves are. Just outside the town of Modi’in there is a forest called Park Canada. When I was in the IDF, they took us here during Chanukah and our tour guide told us that here is where some of the battles took place against the Greeks. Well for the past few years Chanukah has been overwhelmingly been about the doughnuts as wells as stories about the great holiday. But I felt that this year I needed to do something more. So we made the trip to the area of Park Canada as well as Modi’in and had an amazing time.
Something I have noticed is that by just getting out of the house, you can reduce so much stress of the bickering that takes place between siblings. Getting out and seeing new places is also refreshing and builds memories between you and your kids for a lifetime.
Here’s a cool idea: Get a durable bag and wherever you go with your kids for the next month, collect dry wood. After a month of collecting, find a great place to make a small fire, your kids will love it.
Learning Torah is an absolute pleasure for most of us who are trying our best to live our Judaism, but as my old Rosh Yeshiva from Machon Meir would emphasize, it is a mitzvah to know the land. Eretz Yisrael is our inheritance sometimes we need to get out and discover the beauty that resides all throughout Israel, learn and live the Torah.
Raising kids in general is not easy, try adding on 613 commandments and doing it with joy.
Before we continue, you have to realize that what you are trying to do as a father is beyond comprehension in this day in age. It’s a special time indeed, more and more countries are doing peace with Israel, and the Shomron is prospering. More and more Jews are returning to their faith, their roots, their inheritance in the land of Israel.
But what about the next generation, you have all the stress of bills, and making your marriage work, how do you bring the traditions to your own children? Well you are not alone
Now that your pumped up, just remember take it one breath at a time. You and your kids don’t need to be the biggest tzaddikim in one day. Just start by making peace your priority. Try your best to keep anger out of the house, and do what you can. A mitzvah while angry is worthless, while a mitzvah though not perfect but done in peace is worth more than anything.