Friday, January 23, 2009
Rabbi Frand on Parshas Va'eyra
These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 621, Kosher Cheese Continued – Cottage Cheese and Butter. Good Shabbos!
Listen To Your Messages
The plague of Hail is foretold in this week's parsha with the following words: "Behold at this time tomorrow I shall rain a very heavy hail, such as there has never been in Egypt, from the day it was founded until now. And now, send forth; gather in your livestock and everything you have in the field. All the people and animals that are found in the field and will not be gathered into the house – the hail shall descend upon them and they shall die." [Shmos 9:18-19]
The Torah testifies in the very next two pasukim [verses]: "Whoever among the servants of Pharaoh feared the word of Hashem made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses. And whoever did not take the word of G-d to heart – he left his servants and livestock in the field."
In the Medrash, Chazal state that the expression "whoever feared the word of Hashem" refers to Iyov and the expression "whoever did not take the word of G-d to heart" refers to Bilaam (both of whom -- we learn elsewhere -- were advisors to Pharaoh).
We previously mentioned that the pasuk "and whoever did not take the word of G-d to heart..." provides a fundamental insight into the personality of Bilaam. Hail was already the seventh plague. By this time, one would have to be very obtuse in order to not understand that Hashem means what He says. If Moshe Rabbeinu threatened a catastrophic hailstorm that would kill all animals and livestock left out in the open, one could bank on that storm coming. After six previous plagues, how could anyone, at this point, doubt that what Moshe predicted was certain to occur?
The answer lies in the words "did not take the word of G-d to heart". There is a capacity among humans to be totally immune to stimuli. People can totally shut themselves out from messages that are constantly occurring. A person has the ability to be so insensitive to obvious facts that if someone banged him over the head with a baseball bat, he still would not get it! He simply does not take the words of G-d to heart.
If Bilaam is the personification of this type of individual who just does not get it no matter what he sees, Moshe Rabbeinu is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
The Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yakov Weinberg, zt"l, once noted the following: From Parshas Shmos through Parshas Zos HaBracha (which is the bulk of Chumash), the Torah's main narrative centers around the personality of Moshe Rabbeinu. With the exception of Parshas Tezaveh (as is discussed by the commentators) Moshe's name appears prominently in each of the parshios of the last 4 books of Torah. However, there are very scant details in the pasukim of the Torah that introduce this central figure in our religion. In fact, we are told very few details of the first 80 years of his life! Therefore, said Rav Weinberg, every time the Torah DOES tell us some detail about Moshe's life and about how he became who he was, the detail must be significant.
One of the first times the Torah mentions anything about Moshe is at the Burning Bush. After describing the phenomenon of the thorn bush which was burning without being consumed, the Torah states: "And Moshe said: "Let me go and investigate this great sight – why will the bush not be burned?" [Shmos 3:3]. Rav Weinberg said that we see from this incident that part of what made Moshe Rabbeinu the great person who he was, was his sensitivity to stimuli that are constantly occurring. Moshe Rabbeinu stands in stark contradistinction to Bilaam. Moshe was always seeking out messages from G-d. Whenever a noteworthy event took place, Moshe was certain to investigate, analyze and see what meaning and interpretation he could draw from that event.
The Chofetz Chaim once pointed out something unique about Parshas Balak, which is really the story of the wicked Bilaam. There is not a single "break point" (indicated by a Samech ["closed break"] or a Pay ["open break"]) in the entire narrative from the time Balak invites Bilaam until the time Bilaam leaves and returns home. Uncharacteristically, approximately four consecutive columns of Torah script do not contain a single "break" in the flow of the text.
The Chofetz Chaim explained that the "Samechs" and "Pays" in the Torah mark the places where Moshe was given time to reflect when the Torah was transmitted to him on Har Sinai. Moshe needed time between sections to reflect and introspect, to pause and digest the material just covered. Moshe Rabbeinu – the personification of "let me investigate what this (burning bush) is telling me – needs pauses in the text. Bilaam, who is so obtuse that he is characterized by the expression "the one who does not take to heart" (in connection with the plague of Hail), Bilaam who is so insensitive to Divine messages that he can have his donkey talk to him and still not react to it, does not need pauses in the text. Regardless of whether pauses were present or not, Bilaam would run right through them without pausing to reflect and introspect.
This is what the Torah is trying to teach us here. A person must be open to stimuli. He has to listen to his messages.
A woman recently wrote a nice letter to me in response to my book ("Listen to Your Messages"; Mesorah 1999):
"This year, the week after Succos, I was in Newark airport to see our son and his family off to Eretz Yisrael where they live. We have a daughter that was in need of a shidduch. Standing ahead of our son, waiting for security clearance stood a young man with his father. A few people had proposed this young man as a possible match for our daughter. Somehow, however, it was always felt that it was not a good match and promptly disregarded. For some reason the security setup at the El Al counter in Newark Airport that day was different than I had ever seen it there, either before or after. I was standing in position to observe this young man and since security was exceptionally slow, I observed him for quite some time. I began to think of your book and its title and maybe this was a message to listen to. The rest is history. We called one of the shadchanim who gave us the details. Everything sounded wonderful. It did not take long for the shidduch to take off, for the couple to get engaged, and for the wedding to take place."
I don't mean to say this as a plug for my book, but there certainly is a concept that a person must be open to what is happening around him. Like everything else in life, it can be overdone. If the checkout bagger at a local supermarket compliments one on his tie, he should not necessarily waste a lot of time trying to figure out what that means. It probably means nothing more than that he has a nice tie on.
On the other hand, one cannot be obtuse. One does not want to find himself in the category of the person "who does not give heart to the word of Hashem." One who – when the occasion warrants it – will seek to determine what Hashem is telling him, will be following in the footsteps of our great teacher Moshe, about whom it is written "let me go and investigate the meaning of this great wonder I am seeing."
This write-up was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tape series on the weekly Torah portion. The complete list of halachic topics covered in this series for Parshas Va'eyra are provided below:
Tape # 039 - Shabbos Emergency: Who Do We Call?
Tape # 082 - Astrology: Is It For Us?
Tape # 130 - The Issur of Entering a Church
Tape # 177 - Magic Shows: More Than Meets the Eye
Tape # 223 - Learning in Kollel: Is It Always Permitted?
Tape # 267 - Do Secular Names of G-d Have Kedusha?
Tape # 313 - Converting a Church Into a Shul
Tape # 357 - Birchas Hamotzi
Tape # 401 - Kadima B'brachos -- Hierarchy of Brochos
Tape # 445 - Shoveling Snow on Shabbos
Tape # 489 - Denying Jewishness
Tape # 533 - Shin Shel Tefillin & Ohr Echad
Tape # 577 – Davening For Non-Jews
Tape # 621 – Kosher Cheese Continued – Cottage Cheese and Butter
Tape # 665 – Checking Out Families for Shidduchim
Tape # 709 – Kavod Malchus & Secular Kings
Tape # 753 – Making Hamotzei – Not As Simple As It Seems
Tape # 797 – Sheva Brachos at the Seder
Tape # 841 – Serving McDonalds To Your Non-Jewish Employees
Tape # 885 - Va’eyra -- Davening Out Loud - A Good Idea?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston
God told Moshe, “I am Y-H-V-H. I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Ya’akov, by the name of E-l Shadd-ai, but by My name, Y-H-V-H, I was not known to them.” (Shemos 2:1)
Many people have pondered the all-profound question of, “What’s life about?” For the most part, life is distracting enough that people do not even have to ask the question, let alone answer it. However, once in a while, in a somewhat rare philosophical moment, the question does get asked by many people, and in an even rarer philosophical moment, it gets answered.
Answered, yes, correctly, unlikely.
Well, at least very watered down, but that is not their fault. Rather, it is the result of the Jewish people not having enough clarity themselves about the reason for Creation, and therefore, not getting the message out to the rest of the world, to each person on the level of understanding he can comprehend. We are the light unto nations, and it is this light, in particular, that we are supposed to emanate, and with which we illuminate.
It is, in two words, Gilui HaShechinah—the revelation of the Divine Presence, as this week’s parsha indicates. The Divine Names, to which this week’s parsha refers, are ways to measure the level of intensity of the revelation, which, ideally, is supposed to become increasingly brilliant with each successive generation. The unfolding of history, ideally, should be the uncovering of the Divine Presence that inhabits and enlivens every single aspect of Creation.
That was really the entire exercise of the 10 Plagues. As God had told Moshe Rabbeinu in Parashas Shemos, Pharaoh was not going to be moved to free the Jewish people until the 10th Plague, that of the death of the first born. If so, then why go through all the previous nine? What were they meant to accomplish, besides act as the build up to the 10th plague itself?
The answer is, that each subsequent plague was a turn of the valve, soto- speak, that allowed more of the light of God to enter the world, and hence, a greater revelation of the Divine Presence. As the Leshem explains, by the time the 10th plague came, the revelation of God was so strong that, had the Jewish people stayed any longer, it would have destroyed all of evil for good (Sha’arei Leshem, p. 408). At that stage, freedom was an automatic reality.
As we see from the journey in the desert, though a slave may dream of freedom, he can’t always live it after having been enslaved for so many years. The oppression wears him down, until he can’t help but look at the world in terms of his work, and the powers-that-be in terms of those who oppress him. He becomes blind to the reality of God.
The switch back is not an overnight process. Thus, when it came to the Akeidah, God requested, in stages, that Avraham perform the test (Rashi, Bereishis 22:1). The shock of asking Avraham all at one time, to sacrifice Yitzchak, would have made Avraham Avinu jump to a yes answer immediately, without having worked through the issue, not much of a test. The gilui— revelation—had to happen at a pace that Avraham could adjust to, so that he could maintain his senses in the face of such a level of revelation.
On the other hand, the Midrash teaches, when God spoke to the Jewish people who stood at the base of Mt. Sinai, the revelation was so overpowering, the nation died as a result. God then revived them with a special dew used for resurrecting the dead, but after hearing the second commandment from God Himself, they died again, only to be revived once more. At that point, they appointed Moshe Rabbeinu to speak on their behalf and to receive the rest of the Torah for them.
It is the same with entering the realm of Pardes—Pshat, Remez, Drush, and Sod. Each level of Torah is a higher revelation of God, and should a person delve deeper into Torah than he is ready to, it can damage him, either killing him, as happened to Ben Azzai, or causing the person to lose his sanity, as in the case of Ben Zoma, or, making him into a heretic, as in the case of Elisha ben Abuya (Chagigah 14b).
Where there is kedushah, there is revelation, and where there is revelation, there is kedushah. To be exposed to either is to be impacted by it, and if the vessel is not prepared to receive such exposure, the results can be very damaging. Just as some materials must be treated before being exposed to extreme heat, the body must be treated before it can be exposed to high levels of holiness and revelation.
Hence, all the preparation that the Kohen Gadol went through in advance of his entry into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. He remained holy all the time, all year round. However, on Yom Kippur, by going into the Holy of Holies, the additional level of revelation could kill him, and did, at least those who became Kohen Gadol through less worthy means. Not being true high priests, they could not go through the proper preparation, and therefore, their bodies could not handle the exposure to such an intense level of holiness.
This was not only true of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, but for all of us as well since then. As we know, all year round, when saying the Shema, we say the second verse silently to ourselves, because, as tradition teaches, it really belongs to the angels, and should they hear it, well, who knows what they’ll do to us!
However, on Yom Kippur, we bravely and lovingly shout out the verse without fear of any Heavenly repercussions. For, we are told, due to our preparations, fasting, and prayer, we become like angels for the day, and earn the right to say that which belongs to the angels. When the real angels hear us call out their line, and they look down to see who is saying it, they are satisfied with what they see, and we can continue on with the rest of our holy activities for the day.
However, what is really going on is that, as a result of all the Yom Kippur laws and traditions, we become spiritually refined. Kabbalistically, this is one of the reasons why the Kohen Gadol took the regular incense mixture from the rest of the year, and ground it up extra fine for Yom Kippur. It symbolized the refinement of the judgment, because we ourselves became more refined.
It is not our soul that requires refinement, for it is Divine light already. Rather, it is our body that is refined, and by becoming a better vessel for the Divine light that is within it, it becomes a better vessel to receive the Divine light that is outside of it, that is, for Divine revelation. And, if a person keeps moving down this path, then eventually, he will reach the level of prophecy:
Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair said: Diligence leads to cleanliness, cleanliness leads to purity, and purity leads to separateness, and separateness leads to holiness, and holiness leads to humility, and humility leads to dread of sin, and dread of sin leads to piety, and piety leads to the Holy Spirit … (Sotah 49b)
Hence, when the revelations/plagues began, they did so with the Plague of Blood, which in Hebrew is spelled: Dalet-Mem. These two letters are the final two letters of the word “adam,” the Hebrew word for “man,” because the physical source of man’s life is the blood running through his veins and arteries. Therefore, blood represents the physical component of man, which can be no different than that of the animals around him.
That leaves the letter Aleph, which stands for God, because it is comprised of two Yuds and a Vav, the gematria of which of 26, that of God’s holy four-letter Name. It also represents the number one, and since God is one, it alludes to His Presence in Creation, and within man, that is, his holy soul.
Since, we are told, the Jewish people, while being spiritually submerged in Egyptian exile, descended to the 49th level of spiritual impurity, they had all but obliterated the Aleph part of their being. Therefore, each subsequent plague, from the first one, which was the Plague of Blood, to tell them what they had become, until the eighth one, which was the Plague of Locusts, was to resuscitate the Aleph, and restore it, giving those who were affected the status of an adam.
The ninth plague, the Plague of Darkness, was to remove those who would not let themselves be impacted, because they wanted to stay behind in Egypt. Eight plagues, apparently, as the number itself indicates, should have been enough to elevate the Jewish people out of the mundane reality of hester panim, to the revealed reality of a true adam, the gematria of which is equal to 45, the same as the word geulah, which means “redemption.”
For, this is the true path to redemption. Redemption is a light, it is a revelation of God in the world, and for those who can withstand, it is elevating and redeeming. For those who are not able to receive the light of redemption, it can damage them (Nedarim 8b). Therefore, all that happens in advance of a redemption is to warn us of its impending arrival, to increase our ability to be exposed to such a high level of Divine light.
It accounts for what has been occurring down in Gaza for the last few weeks. The Israeli leadership may not be impressed, but the Israeli casualties have been far less than was projected before the war, and this is impressing many of the soldiers, and some of the media. The words “miracles” and “wonders” re being used quite frequently, thank God.
But something else is happening. The religious world has become more unified amongst itself, and with many of the secular soldiers, many of whom have asked for tzitzis, and have put on tefillin before going to the front. As the expression goes, there are no atheists in a foxhole, and even less so when the foxhole belongs to the Jewish people.
Not everyone may understand what it is that they are feeling, or they may simply assume that it is just the fear of harm, or worse, that is driving them towards mitzvos. However, to those who understand how God runs His world, all of it is because of the increasing spiritual light that is being allowed to enter Creation, as it makes the final turn into the direction of the Final Redemption.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
ZIAD ABU EIN, UNO DE LOS LIDERES DE AL FATAH EN CISJORDANIA, ACUSA DURAMENTE A HAMAS.
Ziad Abu Ein es Vice Ministro en la Autoridad Nacional Palestina, a cargo del tema de los presos en cárceles israelíes. Ha dicho meses atrás que debe buscarse un estado binacional judeo árabe y dejar de lado la idea del estado palestino independiente.
Pero ahora, concentra sus esfuerzos en una dura discusión con Hamas.
Este es parte del diálogo mantenido.
P: ¿Qué sabe sobre el comportamiento de Hamas durante la guerra con Israel, respecto de los propios palestinos-tanto de Al Fatah como simplemente civiles?
R: Durante esta guerra Hamas ha asesinado palestinos y colocado gente en arresto domiciliario . Sabemos de 19 palestinos-tengo todos sus nombres- que han sido asesinados y más de 100 a los que se disparó a las piernas. Cientos han sido hostigados por Hamas, arrestados, secuestrados, de todo.
P: Usted ha lanzado una acusación pública al respecto en una rueda de prensa ¿no es así?
R: Exactamente, a través de los estudios de Ramattan.He dado públicamente los nombres de todos los asesinados y he exhortado a la prensa, especialmente a los medios árabes que están trabajando en la Franja de Gaza, que hablen, que vean este tema, que reporten la verdad. El problema es que todos los medios en Gaza tienen miedo y Hamas los amenaza. Hamas usa su poder para matar e intimidar gente y si alguien los critica dicen que están cooperando con el enemigo. Hay problemas entre ellos mismos, gente de adentro que habla en forma oculta, pero Hamas acusa de todos sus problemas a Al Fatah.
P: Hamas dice que ha habido colaboradores con Israel..
R: Hamas cree que tiene derecho a matar a cada persona que no está con ellos. Es la mentalidad de esos grupos religiosos. Los que no pertenecen a su Hermandad, ellos creen que pueden asesinarlo.
P: ¿Ha oído testimonios de civiles palestinos sobre la forma en que Hamas los usó durante la guerra? Ha habido testimonios que en general no salen con nombre y apellido, por temor, de gente que dijo que miembros de Hamas dispararon misiles desde sus casas, que escondieron armas..
R: Si, sin duda. Es exactamente así. No es por accidente. Ellos saben exactamente de dónde tiran. Y le cuento que tanto de civiles comunes como , con especial énfasis, de lugares donde saben que vive gente que trabajaba con el régimen anterior, tanto en seguridad como hasta en la televisión.. Disparan desde allí los misiles porque quieren que los israelíes ataquen en esos sitios. Que esté claro que no estoy justificando en absoluto que Israel mate civiles, pero sí estoy diciendo que Hamas dispara intencionalmente especialmente de zonas donde vive gente de la OLP. Pero que esté claro que no estoy excusando para nada a Israel .
P: Ziad, en un destacado periódico europeo., el italiano Corriere Della Sera, se publicó un informe desde Gaza, de un enviado especial, comentando entre otras cosas que médicos en el hospital Shifa admitieron que Hamas les obligó a exagerar los informes sobre la cantidad de muertos y heridos durante la guerra...
R: Yo espero que la cantidad sea la menor posible, porque es sangre palestina.
P: Eso está claro..La pregunta es si cree que Hamas puede haber hecho eso....En ese diario el cronista cuenta que aunque los palestinos decían todo el tiempo que los hospitales están abarrotados, él vio una situación totalmente diferente..
R: Esto fue una guerra y puede ser que hayan hecho propaganda, claro, pero sobre eso no puedo decir nada porque no tengo el número real de los muertos o heridos. Recordemos que nosotros no estamos controlando ahora la Franja de Gaza.
P: Usted tiene amigos y familiares en Gaza, conoce gente allí. ¿Qué dicen sobre esta guerra?
R: Claro que acusan a Israel por los muertos, pero mucha gente también acusa a Hamas y dice que hubo una razón para todo esto. Se preguntan por qué estalló esta guerra y dicen que fue resultado de todos los misiles disparados por Hamas contra Israel. Se preguntan para qué esa lucha, acusan a Hamas por los resultados. Claro que acusan también a Israel, pero también a Hamas, preguntando por qué tenía que hacer todo lo que hizo.
P: Hamas dice que los misiles eran contra el bloqueo, "contra las fronteras cerradas"..
R: ¡ Pero no es verdad.¡ Las fronteras estaban abiertas! Estaban abiertas en el 2006, en el 2007. Pero ellos hicieron el golpe. Israel no cerró el pasaje de Rafah en la frontera ni tampoco Egipto. Fue Hamas que lo cerró porque quiso imponer allí su presencia . Fue Hamas que cerró la frontera porque no querían reconocer los acuerdos que las partes habían firmado. No quieren que otros estén allí y así lo que pasa es que toda la población de Gaza es rehén de Hamas.
P: Lo que usted comentaba antes sobre cómo la población de Gaza-o parte de ella- ve también responsabilidad por la situación en Hamas ¿lo dice en base a lecturas en la prensa palestina, a cosas que le hayan contado palestinos de la Franja?
R: Yo he recibido cientos de llamadas telefónicas de la Franja de Gaza, de gente que está en distintos ámbitos, gente que sabe la realidad de lo que sucede en el terreno. Pero el problema es que si alguno de ellos habla con las televisoras árabes que transmiten desde Gaza , si critican en algo a Hamas por televisión y los culpan de algo , Hamas va enseguida a arrestarlos y castigarlos.
P: Por eso no salen las acusaciones en los medios en forma abierta...
R: Por supuesto. Mucha gente me llama porque sabe que estoy en el liderazgo de Al Fatah. En más de una oportunidad pregunté a esa gente si puedo mencionar su nombre o dar su teléfono a periodistas, para que puedan contar la verdad sobre lo que está pasando en la Franja de Gaza. Pero todos tienen miedo. Hamas ha asesinado a mucha gente .
P: Ziad ¿no puede ser que usted me esté diciendo todo ésto porque es de Al Fatah? Está claro que hay una gran enemistad y hostilidad entre ustedes y Hamas...
R: Entiendo lo que me dice, pero no es esa la razón. Yo puedo dar cientos de teléfonos de gente que vive en Gaza y piensa todo lo que yo estoy diciendo. Si hay libertad de prensa, que vayan a entrevistarlos allí, que digan la verdad. Pero no se puede. Cualquiera de Hamas va a venir a matar a quienes los critican y revelan la verdad.
Most of the spanish Jews or lost tribs of Israel ended in the Americas.That is reason the Spanish Inquisition was working hard to bring the Jews back to the old world,But they fail!The GOD almighty has set us free and free indeed.
.הכי מרגש שיש ביו טיוב
Treinta parlamentarios buscan sacar de prisón a hijo de Sharon
Varios parlamentarios firmaron un pedido para ser entregado al Presidente Shimón Peres para que el hijo del ex Primer Ministro Ariel Sharon, Omri sea perdonado y liberado de prisión. Omri Sharon cumple seis meses de prisión por haber violado la ley que prohíbe conseguir más financiación de lo permitido para la campaña política de su padre en las elecciones del Likud. Entre los parlamentarios que aducen que Omri debe ser liberado “para ocuparse de su padre” que está en coma desde el 4 de Enero del 2006 están, el Vice Ministro del Exterior Magali Wabe y parlamenarios de Shas e Israel Beiteinu.
La advertencia cumplida
Este panfleto apareció pocos días antes de la implementación del plan de desconexión del Primer Ministro Ariel Sharon en la que fueron expulsados de sus hogares casi 10.000 judíos y sus viviendas fueron destruidas en más de 20 asentamientos en Agosto del 2005. Ver nota completa de Es-Israel.org aquí
Video sobre niño de Sderot que le fue amputada una pierna
En el video a continuación podemos ver a Osher Tuito, el niño de Sderot que fue herido gravemente y perdió una pierna en un ataque de Kassam hace algunas semanas en la cama del Hospital donde se está recuperando. El hermano de Osher también resultó herido aunque levemente. La familia habría decidido dejar Sderot. Ver nota completa de Es-Israel.org aquí
Reclamo de Justicia, en el aniversario del atentado a la embajada de Israel en Argentina
Representantes de los gobiernos de Argentina e Israel recordarán hoy en un homenaje a las víctimas del atentado que, en 1992, destruyó la embajada israelí en Buenos Aires, en el que murieron 29 personas y otras 242 resultaron heridas. El encuentro se realizará en el marco del 16o. aniversario del atentado, cuya investigación aún no ha concluido. El embajador de Israel en Buenos Aires, Rafael Eldad, encabezará hoy el acto central de recordación de las víctimas del atentado. La conmemoración se realizará a partir de las 14.45 locales en la plaza Estado de Israel, ubicada en la calle Arroyo al 900 de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, donde funcionó la sede diplomática israelí hasta su destrucción por el atentado. Eldad reconoció en declaraciones radiales los “esfuerzos y gestos” de parte de los gobiernos de Cristina Fernández y de su predecesor, Néstor Kirchner. “Le hemos expresado muchas veces que en los últimos años se perciben claramente esfuerzos, gestos y avances en estas causas. Se percibe una buena voluntad de llegar a avanzar en esta investigación. No es fácil, pero hay que seguir, redoblar esfuerzos, y espero que podamos ver resultados concretos muy pronto”, indicó el Embajador. También participarán en el homenaje el ministro de Seguridad Interior israelí, Avi Dichter, y el ministro de Justicia y Seguridad, Aníbal Fernández. Adnmundo
Merkel en Israel: Los Kassam y los asentamientos son los escollos de la paz
La Canciller alemana Angela Merkel que visita el país por tres días dijo hoy durante una conferencia de prensa conjunta con el Primer Ministro Olmert que los disparos de Kassam por parte de los palestinos y los asentamienos judíos son escollos para llegar a la paz. La líder alemana está en Israel junto a todo su gobierno en muestra de apoyo por el 60 aniversario del Estado de Israel. Merkel visitó hoy Yad Vashem, el Museo del Holocausto junto al Primer Ministro Olmert y por la mañana llegó al cementerio del Kibbutz donde está enterrado el primer líder del Estado de Israel David Ben Gurion.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ's New Executive Director
The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism Welcomes its New Executive Director, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Esq.
The IMPJ would like to introduce its new Executive Director, Rabbi Gilad Kariv. The appointment was officially approved by the IMPJ Board on January 7, 2009 and began on January 15, 2009.
For the last 11 years, he has been an active and committed member in the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). During the last four years he served as the Associate Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).
He served in the Israeli Defense Forces’ special Talpiot project of the Intelligence Corps. He thereafter graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, earning a combined degree with a BA in Law and Jewish Philosophy. After earning his law degree, he spent a year clerking in the State Attorney's office, at the end of which he successfully passed the Israeli Law Bar exam, earning his license as an attorney. Recently, he earned an LLM in Public and International Law from the Northwestern University School of Law.
While in the Hebrew University, he joined the national staff of the IMPJ and founded the Young Adult Leadership Forum, which he headed for three years. As a representative of the Forum, he served on the Board of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). He thereafter studied in the Israel Rabbinical Program of the Hebrew Union College and was ordained as a Reform Rabbi in 2003.
He first joined the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), which is the legal and public policy arm of the IMPJ, as the Director of the Public Policy and Social Action Department, later becoming IRAC’s Associate Director. As IRAC’s Associate Director, he was responsible for guiding the legal and public policy work, as well as the social action activity of the IMPJ.
He is a very active member in the Constitution Committee, which is working on formulating a constitution for the State of Israel. Moreover, he serves as a Board member of the Joint Institute for Jewish Studies, established by the Jewish Agency following the recommendations of the Ne'eman Commission on conversion. In addition, he is a Board member of Hemdat: The Israel Association for the Promotion of Freedom of Science, Religion and Culture. He also represents the IMPJ at the Forum for Social Organizations in Israel.
He has written numerous articles and position papers on Judaism, religion and state, and community empowerment. His articles appear in leading Israeli newspapers and his opinions are frequently quoted in articles on legal issues, public policy, and social action. He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife Noa and their two daughters.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Iri Kassel, IMPJ’s outgoing Executive Director, for his great contribution to the development and progress of the IMPJ during the last six and a half years. The IMPJ cherishes Iri and sees in him an important leader of the Reform Movement in Israel and worldwide.