More than 200 rabbis are calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and are accusing Omar of inciting attacks on American Jews, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
“We reiterate that the mob attacks on American Jews today are directly attributable to the rhetoric of Rep. Omar and those who stand with her within and beyond Congress,” the rabbis wrote in a letter sent to Pelosi and quoted by Fox News. “To protect Jewish Americans and, moreover, safeguard the integrity of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we thus insist upon the removal of Rep. Omar from her appointment.”
“Rep. Omar’s unfounded assertion that Israel committed ‘unthinkable atrocities’ by defending lives against an openly genocidal terror organization is not merely offensive, it is pernicious – for it is grounded in the blood libel and the calumny that Jews poisoned wells during the Black Death,” the rabbis wrote. “Without anything resembling a forceful response from the Democratic Party, tolerance of anti-Jewish hatred has proliferated.”
The rabbis said they had warned against putting Omar on the Foreign Affairs Committee in 2019 and accused her and her allies of “playing identity politics.”
“When 12 Jewish Democrats in the House rightfully denounced Rep. Omar’s abhorrent bigotry, the Congressional Progressive Caucus stooped to playing identity politics, cravenly claiming that the motivation for the condemnation was opposition to Rep. Omar as a ‘Black, Muslim woman’ rather than her anti-Semitic animus,” they wrote.
A total of 212 American rabbis and 12 rabbis from overseas, including Canada and Israel, signed the letter sent by the Coalition of Jewish Values and its president, Rabbi Pesach Lerner. The letter pointed out that the group has also condemned a Republican, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for what they called “insensitive statements.”
Omar, who is notorious for past anti-Israel statements, caused an uproar last week when she equated Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
In response, 12 of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives published a statement said the grouping of the United States and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas in remarks about pursuing war crimes prosecutions gives “cover to terrorist groups” and called on Omar to clarify her earlier statements.
Omar then fired back at her Jewish colleagues and said, “It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call.”
“The Islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable,” added Omar.
“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” Omar said. “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
Pelosi said Friday that Democratic leadership won’t take further action against Omar over the claims.
Pelosi was asked at a press conference on Friday if House leaders should take further action against Omar, who has a history of inflammatory remarks.
The speaker did not even let the reporter finish asking the question before answering in the negative.
“I think that she clarified her remarks and we accept that, and she has a point that she wanted to make and she has a right to make that point,” Pelosi said. “There’s some unease about how it was interpreted.”
I read your latest article [Citizenship Based on Torah: The Alternative] and say that I can’t agree with you more. The Zionist State is not the Jewish State.
While your article discussed the non-Jewish citizenship of Arabs in the modern state of Israel I think you might have been remiss in not discussing the concept of the Ger to-Shav (resident alien) as it relates to the December 1948 Jericho Conference wherein the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael voted by delegates for Abdullah I to be their sovereign and were thereafter “collectively naturalized” as citizens of trans-Jordan. (The fact that King Hussein de-naturalized the Arabs is of no consequence because international law classifies the Arabs (of the PLO and Hamas factions) as unprivileged enemy combatants due to the “Black September” 1970-1971 Jordanian Civil War… as well as the unchanged 1964 PLO Charter. See: https://johnmhummasti333455225.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/3938/ )
Since Jews never left Eretz Yisrael but rather have maintained a 3,000+ yrs continuous presence in the land, the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Eretz Yisrael extends to all of M’dinat Eretz Yisrael. That is since Jews never left they possess sovereignty over all of Israel including over all of Judea and Shomron. Please read “Self-Determinism” –
Call me crazy, nuts, meshuggena, whatever. But in American jurisprudence, the law recognizes a class of one as well as personal sovereignty (sui generis) especially where such sovereignty is unclouded.
And then there is recognition given to the Holy See as a non-territorial state…. So I have done nothing unusual. Now if I were to make a claim that Rabbi Dayan should be king in Eretz Yisrael since he is a direct descendant of King David, that would be unusual.
Aboriginal or indigenous title is thus a sui generis concept. Like the Native American or Canada’s First Nation, the Jewish people possesses a unique status as an indigenous body politic. Thus, Jewish sovereignty permeates Eretz Yisrael…. kol tov, Yochanan Ezra 503-327-4268
The word “Allah” comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article “the” and ilah is an Arabic word for “god”, i.e. the god. We see immediately that (a) this is not a proper name but a generic name rather like the Hebrew El (which as we have seen was used of any deity; and (b) that Allah is not a foreign word (as it would have been if it had been borrowed from the Hebrew Bible) but a purely Arabic one. It would also be wrong to compare “Allah” with the Hebrew or Greek for G-D (El and Theos, respectively), because “Allah” is purely an Arabic term used exclusively in reference to an Arabic deity.
The Encyclopedia of Religion says: “‘Allah’ is a pre-Islamic name … corresponding to the Baylonian Bel” (ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1908, I:326).
I know that Muslims will find this hard to believe so I am now going to make many citations and present the archaeological evidence to prove conclusively that is true. Though this data will be painful for many of our readers, it is necessary to face the truth. Facts are facts, and unless you are willing to desert all logic, reason and common sense, and the evidence of your eyes, they must be faced.
“Allah is found … in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam” (Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643)
“The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called allah” (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Houtsma, Arnold, Basset, Hartman; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1913, I:302)
“Allah was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities” (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb, I:406)
“Ilah … appears in pre-Islamic poetry … By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry” (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1971, III:1093)
“The name Allah goes back before Muhammed” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, “The Facts on File”, ed. Anthony Mercatante, New York, 1983, I:41)
The origin of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning “G-D” (or a “god”), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1908, I:326)
Scholar Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University stated:
“Allah was already known by name to the Arabs” (The Bible and Islam: or, the Influence of the Old and New Testament on the Religion of Mohammed, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897, p.102)
Dr. Kenneth Cragg, former editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Muslim World and an outstanding modern Western Islamic scholar, whose works were generally published by Oxford University, comments:
The name Allah is also evident in archaeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia” (The Call of the Minaret, New York: OUP, 1956, p.31)
Dr. W. Montgomery Watt, who was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at College de France, georgetown University, and the University of Toronto, has done extensive work on the pre-Islamic concept of Allah. He concludes:
“In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the origins of Islam great importance must be attached to the existence in Mecca of belief in Allah as a “high god”. In a sense this is a form of paganism, but it is so different from paganism as commonly understood that it dererves separate treatment” (Mohammad’s Mecca, p.vii. See also his article, “Belief in a High God in pre-Islamic Mecca”, Journal of Scientific Semitic Studies, vol.16, 1971, pp.35-40)Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:
“There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews” (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York: Barrons, 1987, p.28)According to Middle East scholar E.M.Wherry, whose translation of the Koran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Baal, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Osnabrück: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p.36).
“In ancient Arabia, the sun-god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars as Alfred Guilluame, the moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah (op.cit., Islam, p.7)
“The name Allah was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to the other titles that could be given to him.
“Allah, the moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called ‘the daughters of Allah’. These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.
“The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as “high” gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities” (Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House Publishers, 1977, pp.50-51). The Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend records:
“Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and “daughters of Allah” (op.cit., I:61).It is a well known fact archaeologically speaking that the cresent moon was the symbol of worship of the moon god both in Arabia and throughout the Middle East in pre-Islamic times. Archaeologists have excavated numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on the top of the head of the deity to symbolise the worship of the moon-god. Interestingly, whilst the moon was generally worshipped as a female deity in the Ancient Near East, the Arabs viewed it as a male deity.
In Mesopotamia the Sumerian god Nanna, named Sîn by the Akkadians, was worshipped in particular in Ur, where he was the chief god of the city, and also in the city of Harran in Syria, which had close religious links with Ur. The Ugaritic texts have shown that there a moon deity was worshipped under the name yrh. On the monuments the god is represented by the symbol of the crescent moon. At Hazor in Palestine a small Canaanite shrine of the late Bronze Age was discovered which contained a basalt stele depicting two hands lifted as if in prayer to a crescent moon, indicating that the shrine was dedicated to the moon god.
The worship of stellar deities, instead of HaShem, was always a temptation faced by the Israelites (Dt.4:19; Jer.7:18; Am.5:26; Ac.7:43). But HaShem is at the zennith of the heavens (Job 22:12).
“The Quraysh tribe into which Mohammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah, the moon god, and especially to Allah’s three daughters who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah.
“The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant rôle in the worship at the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah.
“The literal Arabic name of Muhammad’s father was Abd-Allah. His uncle’s name was Obied-Allah. These names reveal the personal devotion that Muhammad’s pagan family had to the worship of Allah, the moon god” (op.cit., Morey, p.51).History proves conclusively that before Islam came into existence, the Sabbeans in Arabia worshipped the moon-god Allah who was married to the sun-goddess. We have also seen that it was a matter of common practice to use the name of the moon-god in personal names in Muhammad’s tribe. That Allah was a pagan deity in pre-Islamic times is incontestible. And so we must ask ourselves the question: why was Muhammad’s god named after a pagan deity in his own tribe?
It is an undeniable fact that an Allah idol was set up at the Kabah along with all the other idols of the time. The pagans prayed towards Mecca and the Kabah because that is where their gods were stationed. It made sense to them to face in the direction of their god and pray since that is where he was. Since the idol of their moon god, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed towards Mecca.
As we have seen, and as is acknowledged amongst all scholars of Middle Eastern religious history, the worship of the moon-god extended far beyond Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile crescent was involved in moon-worship. The data falls neatly in place and we are able therefore to understand, in part, the early success Islam had amongst Arab groups that had traditionally worshipped Allah, the moon-god. We can also understand that the use of the crescent moon as the symbol of Islam, and which appears on dozens of flags of Islamic nations in Asia and Africa, and surmounts minerets and mosque roofs, is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshipped as the moon-god in Mecca.
Likud, allies revive petition launched by Yesh Atid against changes to Basic law which allowed formation of previous Netanyahu-Gantz govt.
Tags:LikudSupreme Court Arutz Sheva Staff , Jun 15 , 2021 3:56 PM Share Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu,Knesset spokesperson
The Likud and the member factions of the “Netanyahu Supporters’ Bloc” intend to file a petition with the Supreme Court against the amendment to the Basic Law: The Government that allows for the establishment of the “change government” of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.
The exact same petition was submitted to the Supreme Court last year by the Yesh Atid and Telem parties against the government headed by Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu. This petition still exists and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on it next month.
In a discussion held last year on the sections concerning the alternative government in the Basic Law: The Government, the Likud movement claimed that the court has no right to criticize and invalidate basic laws.
At the time, Attorney Mordechai Ravillo argued on behalf of the Likud: “The sovereignty of the people must be recognized and the court removed from the political field. The position of the Likud and the Prime Minister is there is no room to overrule the Knesset’s Basic Laws. Even if it’s wrong. Even if it does not seem acceptable to have it in the law book.”
“Everyone is wrong, but who has the authority to repeal a Basic Law without any source of authority in the law? If we accept the petitioners’ arguments, we will lead the country to anarchy. Of course there are extreme cases, but then the public is expected to express its opinion,” he said.
Islam is a false religion and we should not be legitimizing it by making it into a valid religion:
Muhammad got historical facts wrong and therefore could not be a prophet:
1) He claims Miriam, the sister of Moshe was the mother of Yeshki (Jesus);
2) he claims Haman of Megillat Esther was in the “court” of Pharaoh; confusing Nimrod & the building of the Tower of Bavel with Haman and Pharaoh;
3) and he claims that Pharaoh used the Roman method of crucifixion as a method for the death penalty;
4) and conflicting Islamic sources claim either Isaac or Ishmael was offered on the Altar by Avraham.
Muhammi had sex with Ashia when she was nine and still playing with her dolls. No, a Pedophile like Muhammad could not be a prophet.
Muhammi claimed Yeshki was a prophet “like all other prophets” but it can be demonstrated that Yeshki was a false prophet: Yeshki falsely prophesied the restoration of the Kingdom of David within the lifetime of his disciples. Matthew 16.28, Luke 9:27. That did not happen as Acts 1.6-7 demonstrates which makes Yeshki a false prophet.
The Torah (Shmoth – Exodus 23.13) states specifically “you shall not mention the names of other (false) gods.”
It should not come as a surprise that the word “Allah” was not something invented by Muhammad or revealed for the first time in the Quran.
The well-known Middle East scholar H.A.R. Gibb has pointed out that the reason that Muhammad never had to explain who Allah was in the Quran is that his listeners had already heard about Allah long before Muhammad was ever born (Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey, New York: Mentor Books, 1955, p.38).
Dr. Arthur Jeffery, one of the foremost Western Islamic scholars in modern times and professor of Islamic and Middle East Studies at Columbia University, notes:
“The name Allah, as the Quran itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Indeed, both it and its feminine form, Allat, are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Africa” (Islam: Muhammad, and His Religion, New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1958, p. 85).
The word “Allah” comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article “the” and ilah is an Arabic word for “god.” It is not a foreign word. It is not even the Syriac word for God. It is pure Arabic. (There is an interesting discussion of the origins of Allah, in “Arabic Lexicographical Miscellanies” by J. Blau in the Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. XVII, #2, 1972, pp. 173-190).
Neither is Allah a Hebrew or Greek word for God as found in the Bible. Allah is a purely Arabic term used in reference to an Arabian deity. Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics I:326, T & T Clark, states:
‘”Allah” is a proper name, applicable only to their [Arabs’] peculiar God. ‘
According to the Encyclopedia of Religion:
‘”Allah” is a pre-Islamic name . . . corresponding to the Babylonian Bel’ (Encyclopedia of Religion, I:117 Washington DC, Corpus Pub., 1979).
For those who find it hard to believe that Allah was a pagan name for a peculiar pagan Arabian deity in pre-Islamic times, the following quotations may be helpful:
“Allah is found . . . in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam” (Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643).
“The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called Allah” (Encyclopedia off Islam, I:302, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1913, Houtsma).
“Allah was known to the pre-Islamic . . . Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities” (Encyclopedia off Islam, I:406, ed. Gibb).
“Ilah . . . appears in pre-Islamic poetry . . . By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to Allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry” (Encyclopedia off Islam, III:1093, 1971).
“The name Allah goes back before Muhammad” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:41, Anthony Mercatante, New York, The Facts on File, 1983).
“The origin of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning “God” (or a “god”), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, I:326, Hastings).
To the testimony of the above standard reference works, we add those of such scholars as Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University who has stated:
“Allah was already known by name to the Arabs” (The Bible and Islam: or, The Influence of the Old and New Testament on the Religion of Mohammed, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897, p. 102).
Dr. Kenneth Cragg, former editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Muslim World and an outstanding modern Western Islamic scholar, whose works are generally published by Oxford University, comments:
“The name Allah is also evident in archeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia” (The Call of the Minaret, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956, p. 31).
Dr. W. Montgomery Watt, who was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor of Islamic studies at College de France, Georgetown University, and the University of Toronto, has done extensive work on the pre-Islamic concept of Allah. He concludes:
“In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the origins of Islam great importance must be attached to the existence in Mecca of belief in Allah as a “high god.” In a sense this is a form of paganism, but it is so different from paganism as commonly understood that it deserves separate treatment” (William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad’s Mecca, p. vii. Also see his article, “Belief in a High God in Pre-Islamic Mecca”, Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. 16, 1971, pp. 35-40).
Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:
“There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews” (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York, Barrons, 1987, p. 28).
According to Middle East scholar E.M. Wherry, whose translation of the Quran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Ba-al, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Osnabruck: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p. 36).
In Arabia, the sun god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars such as Alfred Guilluame, the moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah! (Islam, p. 7).
The name Allah was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to other titles that could be given to him.
Allah, the moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called “the daughters of Allah.” These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.
The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as “high” gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities.
“Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and “daughters of Al-lah” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:61)”.
The symbol of the worship of the moon god in Arabian culture and elsewhere throughout the Middle East was the crescent moon.
Archaeologists have dug up numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on top of the head of the deity to symbolize the worship of the moon god. In the same fashion as the sun is pictured above the Egyptian deity.
While the moon was generally worshiped as a female deity in the Ancient Near East, the Arabs viewed it as a male deity.
The Quraysh tribe into which Muhammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah, the moon god, and especially to Allah’s three daughters who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah.
The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant role in the worship at the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah.
The literal Arabic name of Muhammad’s father was Abd-Allah. His uncle’s name was Obied-Allah. These names reveal the personal devotion that Muhammad’s pagan family had to the worship of Allah, the moon god.
An Allah idol was set up at the Kebah along with all the other idols. The pagans prayed toward Mecca and the Kabah because that is where their gods were stationed.
It only made sense to them to face in the direction of their god and then pray. Since the idol of their moon god, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed toward Mecca.
The worship of the moon god extended far beyond the Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile crescent was involved in the worship of the moon.
This, in part, explains the early success of Islam among Arab groups that traditionally had worshiped the moon god.
The use of the crescent moon as the symbol for Islam which is placed on the flags of Islamic nations and on the top of mosques and minarets is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshiped as the moon god in Mecca.
While this may come as a surprise to many who have wrongly assumed that Allah was simply another name for the God of the Bible, educated Muslims generally understand this point.
During one trip to Washington D.C., I got involved in a conversation with a Muslim taxi driver from Iran.
When I asked him. “Where did Islam obtain its symbol of the crescent moon?” he responded that it was an ancient pagan symbol used throughout the Middle East and that adopting this symbol had helped Muslims to convert people throughout the Middle East.
When I pointed out that the word Allah itself was used by the moon-god cult in pre-Islamic Arabia, he agreed that this was the case.
I then pointed out that the religion and the Quran of Muhammad could be explained in terms of pre-Islamic culture, customs, and religious ideas. He agreed with this!
He went on to explain that he was a university-educated Muslim who, at this point in his life, was attempting to understand Islam from a scholarly viewpoint. As a result, he had lost his faith in Islam.
The significance of the pre-Islamic source of the name Allah cannot be over estimated.
In the field of comparative religions, it is understood that each of the major religions of mankind has its own peculiar concept of deity. In other words, all religions do notworship the same God, only under different names.
MK Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra’am party, explained in a statement issued on Monday his reasons for joining the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid coalition and his party’s short- and long-term goals.
According to the website of the Kul al-Arab newspaper, Abbas noted that his party’s top goal was to enter the political arena as a major player and to that end it is important to break out of the subordination to the left and the opposition and become an independent force operating solely in the interests of the Arab sector.
Following that, Abbas wrote, he adopted a pattern of action that moved away from populism that did not help the political representatives of the Arab sector, but rather provided a justification for the authorities to take a discriminatory approach.
“We must know very well that today is to some extent only the end of the first phase, and the beginning of a new phase with new goals,” Abbas wrote.
The goals of this new phase, according to Abbas, will be first and foremost to preserve the ability to influence in the political arena and internalize that achieving all the demands of the Arab sector will require a long time.
“I have therefore stated several times in the past that the coalition agreement, although it includes key and burning issues for our society and unprecedented achievements and budgets, is the starting point and not the end point, and therefore we must continue to work to achieve all our society’s demands and address the historical injustice that has been our lot for years due to discrimination, based on a clear vision and long-term strategy,” Abbas explained.
On Sunday, Abbas said that in the first meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to be held this week, he intends to raise the issue of home demolitions in the Negev in order to change the policy from demolition to planning and construction.
In an interview with the Panet.co.il website and the Hala TV channel, Abbas said, “This government was formed based on our will, and we will influence it at every moment. Today we have proven that the Arab community is a strong player in the political arena in Israel.”
He clarified, “This government is dependent on us and on our decision, and if there is a decision that contradicts our national principles and our religion we will not be there.”
Asked if he intended to overthrow the government, Abbas said, “We will act responsibly and not childishly.”
“We have a very strong opposition and we will work together to overthrow this fraudulent government quickly,” said the former prime minister.
By World Israel News Staff
On Monday, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed again to take down the new “change bloc” coalition, which coalesced around its constituents’ desire to remove Netanyahu from power.
The former prime minister served in the post for 12 consecutive years, in addition to a previous term in the 1990s. Bennett’s new government was voted in with a razor-thin 60-59 vote in the 120-seat parliament, with one lawmaker abstaining from the vote.
Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett conducted a 30-minute-long handover meeting on Monday afternoon with Netanyahu. Traditionally, the handover is accompanied by a ceremony, however, Netanyahu and Bennett eliminated that formality.
On Monday, Netanyahu also presided over the first meeting of the opposition, calling on faction members to depose “this dangerous leftist government.”
Netanyahu posted a video of his remarks online, stating, “We have a very strong opposition and we will work together to overthrow this fraudulent government very quickly.”
Netanyahu’s comments referenced the fact that Bennett made alliances with far-left lawmakers, in addition to inviting into the coalition the Islamist Ra’am party.
Of all the experiences of life, nothing engages us, moves us, shakes us, reaches as deep inside us, churns our guts, molds us and defines for us who we are—as the act of love.
If we are heartbroken, love is most likely the culprit. When we sing a song, chances are it’s about love. Our most precious words, our most cherished memories, our most delightful fantasies, our agony, our ecstasy, our most deeply felt needs are those revolving about that elusive charm of life, that welcomed spirit of insanity, that which we call love.
If anything must sit at the core of our reality, all signs point to this. And since G‑d is just that—the core of reality—it follows that G‑d, too, must be obsessed with the act of love. Not out of any need, not out of any nature. At the core, there is no need; there is only freedom. All that exists emerges out of G‑d’s free choice to love.
Take a look at life on this planet He made, a place where nothing can survive without making more of itself. And how does it do that? By finding another that is mostly like itself, but in certain ways the opposite of itself—and then becoming one with that same-other being.
If life were purely about survival, this process would be madness. Propagation is far better served by parthenogenesis, the simple process of one divided by two equals two. If life were purely about survival, this process would be madness. Plenty of simple plants do it, so do quite a few fleas and bees, even some reptiles and fish (including some sharks)—and a certain kind of turkey, too. No, the turkey doesn’t divide in half, but its cells do—as they do in all organisms we know of. Except that in this case, they do it in such a way that the turkey can lay a perfectly viable egg without the need of a member of the opposite gender. Less resources wasted, less energy expended, far less risk, and very little time consumed.
So, perhaps there is more to the miracle of life than survival. Perhaps life has a more profound meaning, as a work of art has more meaning than strokes of color upon canvas. Perhaps, as art provides a window upon the soul of the artist, life provides a window upon the soul of G‑d. Only that the core essence of G‑d cannot be known except through the window of paradox, of an insane union of opposites becoming one, while all the time remaining opposites.
Love, Life and G‑d
G‑d chose that life should occur through love, because love is where G‑d can be found. And that is what He chose to desire—to be imminently found within His own creation. It follows, then, that the paradigm of all love affairs is the one between each one of us and the One who made us.
Which explains why, from the romance of Solomon’s Song of Songs to the admonishments of Isaiah and Hosea, from the lurid imagery of the Zohar to the mystical poetry of Tzfat, no metaphor has played as central a role in the transmission of the inner wisdom as the union of male and female.
In the teachings of the Ari, the focus of every act of Torah, whether in study or in practice, is in essence this: To unite the cosmic forces of feminine and masculine. There is nothing else.
The Divine Image
Once the Creator had set all the background parameters of His cosmic program, He set to work on the core code of a creature that would serve as something of an avatar for Himself—a character that would represent all that He desired from His creation, within the creation. He said, “Let us create Adam in our image . . .”1
“Us,” because G‑d was speaking to all that He had created so far.2 All of them would be found, in some way, within this avatar. That way, whatever would happen with this creature would affect all of them.
But what’s with the image? Everyone knows G‑d has no image. No form, no definition, no way to be grasped.
So the Magid of Mezeritch explained:3This image is not a form. It is a vision. Read: “Let us create Adam according to our vision.” A vision that lies at the heart of the entire drama of G‑d’s creation. The divine image is a vision, one that lies at the heart of the entire drama of creation.
And G‑d created man in His image; in the image of G‑d He created him; male and female He created them.4
. . . and He took one of his sides,5 and . . . built the side that He had taken from man into a woman. Then He brought her to Adam. And Adam said, “This time, a bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh . . .” Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and he shall bond with his wife, and they will become a single body.6
Adam was initially created as a man and woman in a single body. Then this Adam was hewn apart, to become two separate beings.7Now one has become two. Two separate beings, each seeing the other as other. But not so that they should remain two others. Rather, so that those two others should return back together into yet greater union, face to face, with love and passion, and thereby generate life.
That is the divine image: a singularity torn apart and then pulling back together. Not a static form, but a drama; less a resolution than a sustained paradox. In miniature terms, it occurs in the marriage of two human beings. In cosmic terms, it is the drama of G‑d’s desire to fall in love, to give love, to be loved, to create life through love. And to be present in His world through love.
So, just what is this cosmic love story? What’s its screenplay? Because if we will understand how it plays out in the cosmic stage, we will have a better idea of how to play it out in our private lives.
The cosmic love story is part and parcel of the act of creation. To create art, whether a story, a painting, a song or a dance, you must slice yourself in two, and those two must dance in harmony. All of human creativity depends on this self-bifurcation. Without it, one cannot be said to have created anything at all. All of human creativity depends on a kind of self-bifurcation.
The Talmud calls this bifurcation machshavah, literally meaning “thought,” or da’at, “consciousness.”8It is something that develops in stages throughout childhood, blossoming around the age of puberty—a sentience of self as an entity distinct from the other, an incessant voice narrating its own story in its own mind, as a sort of sentinel viewing from above. Without this reflective self-knowledge, we can only respond and react. Our acts do not belong to us, and we are not invested within them. Once we have gained this sentience, our acts become deliberately creative acts, original acts, acts that express our very being in that which lies outside of ourselves.
Take the two roles of the storyteller: You have a story, one that conveys meaning, an expression of your inner self. But to convey that story, you must hide yourself behind the story by making that story vividly real for the audience. Try putting yourself in that position, being inside in the story and outside it at the same moment.
Let’s say your story is about a chicken. To play the part convincingly, you immerse yourself into the experience of that chicken, as it pecks seeds from the ground. You have no words, not much memory, not much more than sensation and instinct. Your entire being is consumed with the taste and texture of the different seeds that you find and swallow. Little more exists other than the sensations of dirt, pebbles and grains of sand mixed with the seeds, the wind furrowing your feathers, and occasionally another feathered fellow pecking in your way.
If you can become entirely absorbed in that role, your audience will become engaged in it as well, suspending reality for a while, allowing themselves to believe that you are not a person like one of them, that you are a dumb little chicken. Yet more, they themselves will identify with you, experiencing the world of a chicken as you do.
So far, I am writing the script for your story. At this point, I’ll hand it over to you. What will happen next? What adventures will our chicken hero encounter on its pecking expedition? What new sorts of seeds will it discover? What ominous hazards lie portentously before it? What is it, really, that you wish to convey with this story?
Hold on! Where did the chicken go? Are you still being it? The two roles—author and actor—appear mutually exclusive. Yet the storyteller must play both at once.
No, you’re not. And if you are not being the chicken, the chicken can no longer be. It has no substance other than your experience of being it. As soon as you switch over to being the author of this chicken, the chicken no longer exists as a chicken. True, it exists as a concept in your mind. But a concept is not a chicken. I mean, if you were a chicken, how would you feel if we offered you to be a concept instead?
Under the microscope, the two roles—author and actor—appear mutually exclusive. As we saw, it seems impossible to fulfill the requirements of both at once. Yet, to be a great storyteller—or musician, or artist, or dancer, or teacher, or master of any expressive art form—you must do just that: play both in tandem. You must immerse entirely within the realism of your art while simultaneously standing above it, observing it from beyond and directing it from there. Like the artist with his canvas, you must follow a rhythm, moving in to brush your strokes as though you yourself stand within the scene you are painting, then standing back to view the entirety, and then moving in once again to invest yourself in the details.
The musician spends years mastering his instrument, practicing scales, honing technique, disciplining the smallest finger muscle until every movement is under control—all so that the music will be clean and consistent. Yet, the soul of the musician remains wild and untamed. The two, married together, make for the greatest performances.
So, how does the artist do it? How do we all do it? How do all of us carry around this sentience of self, this self-bifurcation, while remaining a single person?
It seems there is something yet deeper within the human psyche, a solid core that breathes within all that we do and all that we let ourselves be. That which can neither be said to be standing without or sitting within, for it is neither standing nor sitting, neither observing nor observed, neither beyond nor within, but enveloping all these at once. The quintessence of self of which we can never be aware, just as our eyeballs cannot see themselves. Because it is who we are. We are the actor and we are the scriptwriter, the story and its narrator, the self and its sentinel—there is something of us that encompasses all these opposing dyads and is found within all of them. Something that is not us in any particular form, but us absolutely. It is this who we are that glues us together and holds these two parts as a single whole. There is something of us that has no particular form, but is us absolutely. That is the glue.
And in that sense, we are all in a marriage with ourselves. The better your internal marriage, the better you will be able to unite with others. And the more you allow yourself to unite with others, the better your internal marriage will be.
Preschool with Marlon Brando
Here are two wonderful examples of that exquisite harmony of two parts within a single human being:
First, a preschool teacher. To teach children is a profound art, one that demands a ceaseless fount of creativity. Your materials are not clay or paint or musical vibrations (okay, you probably have those in your classroom as well), but the minds, the hearts and souls of these small children. You are a gardener, nurturing their growth, and a craftsperson, crafting an environment in which they can grow.
I observed this particular preschool teacher at the Child Study Center of the University of British Columbia. He was a slight yet confident young man of Japanese origin. Teachers stood on the reverse side of a one-way glass to observe and learn from him, but I was privileged to sit right there in the classroom, with one of my own children who just didn’t want to let go that day.
It was an open classroom, with many activities running simultaneously, children moving on a whim from one workstation to another—the dread of the old-style teacher, and a daunting challenge for new ones, as well. I watched as he sat on the floor with a circle of children, playing a simple card game. If it were not for his size, you could have mistaken him for one of the kids. He kvetched when he lost, showed excitement when he won—he was truly part of the game.
Yet at the same time, his eyes continually scanned the entire room, with focus, noting each activity. And even within the game he was playing, if you listened carefully, you heard how he was subtly guiding its progress, teaching the children how to stick to the rules and be fair to one another.
At one point, three children came rushing over. “He took it from me!” “No, I had it first!” “She’s being mean!” “Gimme it now!”
There was no transition period. He was immediately the adult, paying attention to each one, imbuing some calm into their frenzy, settling the matter as only an adult could do—and within minutes, he was back in the game. What made him a teacher? The marriage of child and adult within himself.
What made him a teacher? The marriage of the child and the adult within himself.
Next is a great artist of the 20th century, Marlon Brando. They tell this story of Marlon when he was in acting school. The instructor instructed all the students to become chickens. The room was filled with caws and screeches as nutty student actors pecked around on the floor, flapping wings without inhibition.
Then the instructor informed them all that a nuclear bomb was about to fall on their heads. As you can imagine, pandemonium broke out. Chickens were jumping, screaming, hiding, generally going insane—all except for Brando. Brando was calmly sitting on the egg he had just laid.
“Marlon!” the teacher exclaimed, “Didn’t I say that a nuclear bomb is about to fall on your heads? Why are you just sitting there?”
“I’m a chicken!” Brando replied. “What do I know from nuclear bombs?”
Here’s what had happened: The other students were not acting. They had just taken themselves to some middle ground between human being and chicken-being. They had neither the experience of truly being a chicken, nor the common sense of a human being.
Brando was in a bifurcated state. He was totally a chicken. And at the same time, totally aware of himself being a chicken. And the two were in utter harmony. That’s an artist.
And we are all artists. As Oscar Wilde liked to say, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
The Cosmic Love Story
Now about your own chicken-being: Truth be told, and I hate to break it to you, but you never really created anything to begin with. But then, neither did Marlon Brando. Chickens, seeds, taste, texture—all these were pre-existing resources your mind gathered for its scenario. And, sorry for the news, but you weren’t really a chicken either—at least, not in the eyes of others who may have been watching in dismay as you were pecking around on the floor.
The one and only real Creator has a somewhat more difficult job. As you did (sort of), He must be entirely invested within the experience of those phenomena and sensations as a reality exclusive of any other reality—entirely forgetting (so to speak) that there really are infinite possibilities, no real rules, and that He can do whatever He wants. As described in the essay on tsimtsum, He must put aside His own boundless presence to make space for this reality. Because if it is not real for Him, it is not real.
Simultaneously, in that very same space of His creation, He must be there as the boundless source of all isness, conjuring up the chicken, its feathers, the seeds, the dirt, the other chickens, the air, the space, the time, along with all forms of sensation, whether palpable, visible, audible, olfactory or whatever else—along with the plot of this story and its place in the overall picture of the entire creation—all from the infinite nothingness, and sustaining the isness of it all at every moment. Because if He is not there sustaining it at every moment, nothing else will. Because there is nothing else.
Now get this:
Without the presence of the Creator, the created being cannot exist.
Within the presence of the Creator, the created being has no reality. The Creator must be both at once: There and not there, bounded and infinite, is and is-not. Without that paradox, creation cannot occur.
So the Creator must be both at once: There and not there, bounded and infinite, is and is-not. Without that paradox, creation cannot occur.
The schism results in two distinct aspects at every level of being. In English, you would call them the transcendent and the immanent—that which remains intrinsically elusive, and that which invests itself within the creation in all its details, giving life and unfolding within time and space. In simple terms: G‑d as He is beyond, and G‑d as He is within. In classic Jewish imagery, the transcendental is the male aspect of this schism. The female is the immanent.
We have many other terms for these two modalities of G‑d. Often the male aspect is called The Holy One, blessed be He. Think of holiness as transcendence. This is G‑d as He is all-powerful and awesome, who “spoke and the world came into being.” G‑d as we address Him in prayer, praising Him and beseeching Him. G‑d who commands us from above, and whom we serve with love and awe.
The feminine is commonly called The Shechinah. Shechinah שכינה is derived from the word shochen שכן, to dwell within. Think of the Shechinah as G‑d’s presence, dwelling within His creation. Only that, in this sense, He is not He, but She. This is G‑d as nurturer, sustaining the life of every creature, pulsating within every cell, every organism, every moment of time.
In Her most pristine form, the Shechinah is G‑d breathing within the human soul, as the verse goes, “. . . and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” As blood flows from the heart to every limb, as consciousness emanates from the brain to all the body, so the Shechinah breathes within us, and from there seeps out to nurture all else that must be.
The cosmic drama, then, is to unite these two aspects of G‑d within the creation. Not to merge them, but to unite them, as a sort of pas de deux or duet, where each part brings out the beauty of the other through its counterpoint with the other.
What unites them? As with us, His avatars, this duality points to a third, overarching and quintessential element, one that cannot be described, defined or known in any way—other than through the window of this very paradoxical duality. It is this third element that provides a context in which two can be one. Through drawing this third element into play, harmony can exist and the cosmic love drama can be fulfilled.9 Before the soul descended, it was neither male nor female, but both. Apparently, there’s a soul-splitting device on the way down.
We play out this entire drama at the wedding ceremony. Before the soul descended, the Zohar tells us, it was neither male nor female, but just as the primal Adam, it was both. Apparently, there’s a soul-splitting device on the way down. Now, the two have each found their other half. But they remain opposites. So we reunite them under a chuppah—a wedding canopy that encompasses them both. Marriage is forged only within a higher context, and endures only within that context—as the chuppah endures as the home that these two set out to build.
If you have a Jewish prayerbook, it’s quite likely you’ll find at least one instance of some version of the following phrase:
For the sake of the unity of the Holy One, blessed be He, with His Shechinah, in the name of all Israel.
Some say it only once a day, near the commencement of prayers. Others say it before the performance of any mitzvah. The intent is the same: Everything we do is meant to effect this reunion. When we pray, the two enter into a communion of mind, heart and soul. When we study Torah, the two enter into a communion of words, as a couple may converse and kiss. When we do mitzvahs and acts of kindness, or simply find G‑d in the everyday things we do, the two embrace. In our union, all the creation communes, kisses and embraces its Creator, until a perfect whole is achieved.
In that wholeness, the ineffable quintessence of G‑d is found. So too, as a fractal image, in every marriage between two human beings.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with the Trump Administration and the government of Saudi Arabia, undermined the stability of the regime of King Abdullah II of Jordan, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
The affair culminated in the arrest in April of Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abdullah, according to the report.
The Post claimed that the efforts to undermine the king began with the Trump Administration’s frustration that Abdullah was not compromising on the issue of Jerusalem and other issues relating to Palestinian Arab demands. The administration allegedly felt that Abdullah’s stance was jeopardizing their attempts to finalize a wider Middle East peace deal and would contribute to the hardening of the Palestinian Authority’s positions.
The administration also felt that Jordan was standing in the way of a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which would have been the feather in the cap of the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan which the Trump Administration brokered in 2020.
Officials in the administration made their displeasure known, a factor which is alleged to have contributed to instability in Jordan.
“Trump believed the king was an obstacle to the peace process,” a former CIA official said.
The report stated that Trump, Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “did not act to overthrow the king but their actions certainly weakened him and encouraged his enemies,”
In April 2021, the Jordanian government announced that it had foiled a coup attempt against King Abdullah, including the arrest of Prince Hamza as well as Hassan bin Zaid and Basem Ibrahim Awadallah.
Meyer Habib, a member of the French National Assembly, announced Tuesday that he will be chairing a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the dysfunctions of the justice system and police in the case of the brutal murder of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman who was thrown from the window of her Paris apartment by her Muslim neighbor in 2017.
“It is with great pleasure and great emotion that I announce that the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the dysfunctions in the Halimi affair will be established in a few weeks!” Habib announced in a Facebook post.
“I will do everything in my power to bring the truth to light in the Sarah Halimi case,” he added.
Habib’s motion to create the commission of inquiry collected nearly 80 signatures from six political parties, including the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), of which Habib is a member.
However, he pointed out the glaring absence of support from the political left. “Don’t waste your time looking for a left-wing signature: there isn’t one!” he stressed.
Habib, who has long been working for justice in the Halimi case, also posted the resolution on Twitter and expressed his excitement. “Finally!” he wrote.
On April 4, 2017, Halimi was brutally beaten and thrown from her apartment window by 27-year-old Kobili Traore, her Muslim neighbor, as he shouted, “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic).
The court ruled that Traore was not criminally responsible for the murder because he had carried it out during a psychotic episode, brought on through the prolonged use of cannabis.
In a video message to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Virtual Global Forum on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the rage that many feel towards the court’s decision.
“I understand the emotion provoked by the recent court ruling in the case of the murder of Sarah Halimi,” said Macron.
“I would like to clarify that this decision did not, in any way, deny the anti-Semitic nature of this act,” he added.
Macron said that the minister of justice is seeking to modify the “current legal framework, where the perpetrator deliberately takes toxic substances” in order to place more responsibility on the perpetrator.
“It is indeed shocking that someone who takes drugs in order to change their mental state is not held accountable,” he concluded.