Wednesday, November 23, 2005

PARSHAH IN A NUTSHELL: Week of November 20-26, 2005 (Chayei Sarah)


Cheshvan 22, 5766 * November 24, 2005


TORAH PORTION: Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

Torah Reading for Week of November 20-26, 2005

On the Web:

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Sarah dies at age 127 and is buried in the Machpeilah Cave in Hebron, which Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite for 400 shekels of silver.

Abraham's servant, Eliezer, is sent laden with gifts to Charan to find a wife for Isaac. At the village well, Eliezer asks G-d for a sign: when the maidens come to the well, he will ask for some water to drink; the woman who will offer to give his camels to drink as well, shall be the one destined for his master's son.

Rebecca, the daughter of Abraham's nephew Bethuel, appears at the well and passes the "test". Eliezer is invited to their home, where he repeats the story of the day's events. Rebecca returns with Eliezer to the land of Canaan, where they encounter Isaac praying in the field. Isaac marries Rebecca, loves her, and is comforted over the loss of his mother.

Abraham takes a new wife, Keturah (Hagar) and fathers six additional sons, but Isaac is designated as his only heir. Abraham dies at age 175 and is buried beside Sarah by his two eldest sons, Isaac and Ishmael.

* * *


--And the life of Sarah was one hundred years, twenty years and seven years (Genesis 23:1)

At the age of twenty she was like age seven in beauty, and at the age of one hundred she was like age twenty in piety. (Rashi; Midrash Rabbah)

--I am a stranger and a resident amongst you (Genesis 23:4)

The Jew is a "resident" in the world, for the Torah instructs him not escape the physical reality but to inhabit it and elevate it. At the same time, the Jew feels himself a "stranger" in the material world. His true home is a higher, loftier place -- the world of spirit, the world of holiness and G-dliness from which his soul has been exiled and to which it yearns to return.

Indeed, it is only because the Jew feels himself a stranger in the world that he can avoid being wholly consumed and overwhelmed by it, and maintain the spiritual vision and integrity required to elevate it and sanctify it as a "dwelling for G-d." (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

--Isaac went out to meditate in the field… and behold, camels were coming (Genesis 24:63)

Sometimes a person must go to his soulmate, and sometimes his soulmate comes to him. In the case of Isaac, his wife came to him, as it is written, "And he saw, and, behold, there were camels coming." Jacob, however, went to his wife as it is written, "And Jacob went out of Be'er Sheva…" (Genesis 28:10). (Midrash HaGadol)


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LESSONS IN TANYA: Thursday, November 24, 2005


Cheshvan 22, 5766 * November 24, 2005


Today's Lesson:

Iggeret HaKodesh
(Conclusion of Epistle Twenty-Nine)

[The Alter Rebbe now focuses on the distinctive quality inherent in the halachot of the Oral Torah.

It is these halachot that reveal the Supernal Will, by defining what it actually requires of us in the performance of the mitzvot, in order thereby to draw down this lofty level of Divinity].

Now, as is known, the Supernal Will as vested in the 613 commandments of the Written Torah, is hidden and covered, secreted and concealed. It is manifest only in the Oral Torah. [53]

For example, the precept of tefillin:

In the Written Torah it is stated, [54] "And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes."

This is an indistinct and obscure statement, for Scripture did not explain how and what to bind, nor what frontlets are, nor where is "between your eyes" or "on your hand," until the Oral Torah explicates [55] that one needs to bind a single box on the hand, and four boxes on the head, containing four Scriptural passages.

Moreover, the boxes are to be made of prepared leather, and necessarily square, and to be tied by means of leather straps which need to be black, [56] with all the other detailed rulings governing the making of tefillin, that were stated orally, [i.e., that are found in the Oral Torah].

Also, "on your hand" refers only to the arm, and not to the palm of the hand; [57] and "between your eyes" refers to the scalp, and not to the forehead. [58]

[It is thus only the detailed halachot of the Oral Torah that enable us to perform this mitzvah in keeping with the Supernal Will].

Likewise all the commandments of the Torah, whether they be positive precepts or prohibitory precepts, are not revealed and known and made explicit except through the Oral Torah.

For instance, the prohibitory precept that has been stated with respect to the Sabbath, "You shall do no work": [59] [the Written Torah] does not specify what constitutes work.

In the Oral Torah, however, it is explicated [60] to refer to the well-known 39 forms of work, and not (only) to the carrying of stones or heavy beams, which is only Rabbinically prohibited. [61]

[Though carrying rocks and beams is more tiring than some of the 39 prohibited forms of work, it does not fall into any of the categories of work that the Torah prohibits on Shabbat.

According to the alternative reading of our text ("and not only to the carrying of stones or heavy beams"), this work is prohibited by the Torah.

Thus the Ramban on Parshat Emor [62] states that the term Shabbaton ("a day of rest") that is used with regard to Yom Tov - and the same applies with regard to the commandment tishbot ("you shall rest") of Shabbat - refers also to those activities that do not formally fall within the 39 defined categories of prohibited work, but are nevertheless prohibited by the Torah since they rob a person of his rest and tranquillity.

In the first of his comments on this subject, the Maggid Mishneh argues that the Rambam [63] also holds that "you shall rest" forbids even strenuous work that does not fall within any of the 39 categories governed by the prohibition, "Do not do any work ."

(Though the Lechem Mishneh refutes this argument, this remains the view of the Maggid Mishneh.)

Others hold [64] that both readings are valid.

Each corresponds to one side of a debate in the Yerushalmi [65] as to whether or not the Torah prohibits certain forms of work during the Sabbatical year (and by extension, during Shabbat as well) because it is a time of rest, even when there is no additional specific prohibition].

And as it is with these - [with the above examples of tefillin and Shabbat] - so it is with all the commandments, whether they be positive precepts or prohibitory precepts: they are indistinct, and are explicated and revealed and known only through the Oral Torah.

This is why Scripture says [66] of the Oral Torah, "And you shall not cast off the teaching of your mother," as stated in the Zohar. [67]

Metaphorically speaking, just as all the organs of a child are comprised, very latently, in the sperm of the father, and the mother brings this out into a state of manifestation when giving birth to a child complete with 248 organs and 365 sinews, exactly so, do the 248 positive precepts and the 365 prohibitory precepts emerge from obscurity to manifestation through the Oral Torah, [which is therefore called the "teachings of your mother."

This is an instance of the [68] "superior measure of Binah that was granted to woman," the power to make latent gifts manifest and corporeal].

Whereas the beginning of the verse, "Heed, my son, the admonitions of your father," alludes to the Written Torah, which derives from the Supernal Chochmah which is called "father".

This, then, is the meaning of the verse [quoted at the outset of the present Epistle], "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband."

For the Oral Torah is termed a "woman of valor" who gives birth to, and raises many legions.

As it is written, [69] "and alamot (`maidens') without number": Do not read alamot but olamot (`worlds')," [70] [these innumerable worlds] alluding to the halachot that are without number, as stated in the Tikkunim. [71]

All of these [halachot] are manifestations of the Supernal Will which is hidden in the Written Torah.

[The Oral Torah is thus called a "woman of valor," for it gives birth to multitudinous legions of laws.

The Alter Rebbe will now answer one of his opening questions:

Why is it that specifically halachot are referred to as the "crown of the Torah"? Also, why is the individual who studies specifically halachot every day assured of a share in the World to Come]?

The Supernal Will [which belongs to the Sefirah of Keter, lit., "crown"] is exceedingly more sublime than the level of the Supernal Chochmah, just as a crown or wreath is higher than the brains in the head.

This is why the halachot are referred to as a "crown" and the "crown of the Torah," [for they reveal the Supernal Will, which is at the level of Keter].

Likewise, "Whoever studies [specifically] halachot is assured of a share in the World to Come," by investing his Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah in the Supernal Will, as stated above - [that the garments for the soul in the World to Come are the mitzvot; these embody the Supernal Will, which is clarified and delineated by the halachot].


53. In an intricate Kabbalistic analysis (in the Glosses on the
Tanya published in Likkutei Levi Yitzchak), R. Levi Yitzchak
Schneerson, father of the Rebbe, relates the above
four expressions ("hidden and covered, secreted and
concealed") to the correspondence between the 613 mitzvot of
the Written Torah and the four letters of the Divine Name

In summary: The Name Havayah is merely written, but not
given manifest articulation; it finds expression only
through its variant pronunciation of Ad-nai, which, however,
contracts it and conceals its Essence.

In the Written Torah, the Supreme Will underlying the
mitzvot is likewise hidden; it becomes revealed
("pronounced") only insofar as it is contracted in the
Oral Torah, which corresponds to the Name Ad-nai.
54. Devarim 6:8.
55. See Menachot 34b ff., et al.
56. Note of the Rebbe: "See Rambam, Hilchot Tefillin
3:14, as well as other codifiers."
57. Note of the Rebbe: " it means in other places."
58. Note of the Rebbe: " was [the position of] the
headband [of the High Priest]."
59. Text emended according to Shmot 20:10 and Devarim 16:8.
60. See Shabbat 73a, et al.
61. Rambam, Hilchot Shabbat 24:12.
62. Shmot 23:24.
63. Hilchot Shabbat 21:1.
64. Likkutei Haggahot LeSefer HaTanya on this Epistle, p. 84.
65. Sanhedrin 7:5.
66. Mishlei 1:8.
67. In the Hashmatot to Zohar II, 276b, the phrase "your mother"
is related to the Oral Torah, whereas in Kanfei Yonah 1:4
the Written Torah is called the "admonitions of your father"
and the Oral Torah is called the "teachings of your mother."
68. Niddah 45b.
69. Shir HaShirim 6:8.
70. See Shir HaShirim Rabbah 6:12; Avodah Zarah 35b.
71. P. 14b (in the Introduction which begins Patach Eliyahu).


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DAILY MITZVAH (Maimonides): Thursday, November 24, 2005


Cheshvan 22, 5766 * November 24, 2005

D A I L Y M I T Z V A H (M A I M O N I D E S )

Today's Mitzvot (Day 83 of 339):

Positive Mitzvah 217

Positive Mitzvah 217: Allowing a Childless Widow to Remarry

-Deuteronomy 25:9 "And she shall remove his shoe off his foot"

If a person does not wish to marry his late brother's childless
widow (see Positive Mitzvah 216), he must follow a special procedure
in court to allow her to remarry.

This procedure is called Chalitzah and includes removing the
man's shoe.


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"TODAY'S DAY": Thursday, November 24, 2005


Cheshvan 22, 5766 * November 24, 2005

"T O D A Y ' S D A Y"

Shabbat, Cheshvan 22 5704

Torah lessons: Chumash: Chayei Sara, Shevi'i with Rashi.
Tehillim: 106-107.
Tanya: Now, it is (p. 583) stated above. (p. 585).

One of the teachings of the Maggid of Mezritch, heard by the Alter Rebbe when he was in Mezritch for the first time, from late summer 5524 (1764) until after Pesach 5525 (1765):

"I (Anochi) have made the earth, and upon it created man." (1)

Anochi, He who is the true "I", (2) unknown to and concealed
from even the loftiest emanations, clothed His blessed Essence
through numerous condensations to give rise to the emanations
and creatures, (3) to Serafim, Chayot, Ofanim, (4) angels and
"worlds" beyond number.

Through countless condensations, "I made this (physical) world
and upon it created (Barati) man."

Man is the end-purpose of Creation, and Barati is the end-purpose
of man.

(Barati, "I created," has the numerical equivalent of 613, the
number of scriptural commandments). (4)

As (the book of) Pardes quotes Sefer Habahir:

`Said the attribute of Chessed (kindness) before the
Holy One Blessed-be-He, Master of the Universe, since
the days Avram has been on earth, I have not had to
perform my task, because Avram stands and serves in my

Because Avraham - a soul clothed in a body, occupying himself with
hospitality to strangers as a means of disseminating the idea of
G-d in this lowly world - is actually on a higher plane and level
than the attribute of kindness of Atzilut.

The complaint ("Said the attribute of Chessed before the Holy
One etc.") is an expression of envy of Avraham's service by the
attribute of kindness of Atzilut."

Footnotes: 1.Yeshayahu 45:12.
2.Lit.: "I, Whoever I Am."
3.The phrase defies accurate translation;
in Hebrew the verb-form corresponding to "emanations,"
Le'Haatzil, is used to describe the coming-into-being
of the Ne'etzalim ("emanations"), and the verb
Livra for the Nivra'im ("creations").

Awkward, but perhaps slightly more accurate, would be
" separate off (or ("emanate") the emanations and
to create the creatures."
4. Three forms of angels.
5. I.e. the end-purpose of Man is (that he perform) Mitzvot.


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Compiled and arranged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 5703 (1943) from the talks and letters of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe. Note: day of week and Torah lessons indicated are from 5703 (1943).

For a glossary of terms used in "Today's Day" please click here:

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TODAY IN JUDAISM: Thursday, November 24, 2005


Cheshvan 22, 5766 * November 24, 2005


* Laws * Customs * Jewish History * Daily Quote * Daily Study *

Today is: Thursday, Cheshvan 22, 5766

Today in Jewish History

• Lisbon Earthquake (1255)

A great earthquake struck Lisbon, Portugal, destroying much of the city including the courthouse of the Inquisition.

Daily Quote

It's not the mouse who's the thief, but the mousehole

- Talmud, Gittin 45a

Daily Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Chayei Sarah, 5th Portion Bereishit 24:53-24:67 with Rashi
• English Text:

Tehillim: Chapters 106 - 107
• Hebrew text:
• English text:

Tanya: Iggeret HaKodesh, end of Epistle 29
• Lesson in Tanya:
• RealAudio:
• Windows Media:

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
• 1 Chapter: Gezelah va'Avedah Chap. 14
• 3 Chapters: Yibbum vaChalitsah Chap. 3, 4, 5

Hayom Yom:
• English Text:


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Coming Home From Ramallah

By the grace of G-d

Coming Home From Ramallah
by Zev Roth
Coming Home From Ramallah by Zev Roth
The son of a Jewish woman and an Arab man struggles with his identity. A true story.

After the concluding prayer, Dan quickly walked to the front of the shul in Jerusalem, said "Good Shabbos" to the rabbi and a few other people he knew, and at once made his way toward the back. Time to get home and make Kiddush for the family.

On his way out, a sudden impulse struck him and he turned around to watch the people filing out. His eyes slowly scanned the shul. Was there anyone who needed a place to eat? "Who's that sitting toward the side wall? I know almost everyone here, and I don't believe he's been here before."

Dan approached the young man, scanning him with an experienced eye. Dungarees, backpack, dark skin, curly black hair -- looks Sephardi, maybe Moroccan.

A moment more for consideration, and he was moving toward the boy with his hand extended in welcome. "Good Shabbos. My name is Dan Eisenblatt. Would you like to eat at my house tonight?"

The young man's face broke in an instant from a worried look to a toothy smile. "Yeah, thanks. My name is Machi." The young man picked up his backpack, and together they walked out of the shul.


A few minutes later they were all standing around Dan's Shabbos table. As soon as the family started singing Shalom Aleichem, Dan noticed that his guest wasn't singing along. "Maybe he's shy, or can't sing," he surmised. The guest gave another one of his toothy smiles and followed along, limping badly but obviously trying his best.

Even after the meal began and the guest had relaxed somewhat, he still seemed a bit fidgety and was mostly silent. Dan picked up the signal and kept the conversation general, and centered his remarks on the weekly Torah portion, mixed with small talk about current events.

After the fish, Dan noticed his guest leafing through his songbook, apparently looking for something. He asked with a smile, "Is there a song you want to sing? I can help if you're not sure about the tune."

The guest's face lit up, a startling change. "There is a song I'd like to sing, but I can't find it here. I really liked what we sang in the synagogue tonight. What was it called? Something 'dodi.'"

Dan paused for a moment, on the verge of saying, "It's not usually sung at the table," but then he caught himself. "If that's what the kid wants," he thought, "what's the harm?" Aloud he said, "You mean Lecha Dodi. Wait, let me get you a siddur."

Once they had sung Lecha Dodi, the young man resumed his silence until after the soup, when Dan asked him, "Which song now?"

The guest looked embarrassed, but after a bit of encouragement said firmly, "I'd really like to sing Lecha Dodi again."

Dan was not really all that surprised when, after the chicken, he asked his guest what song now, and the young man said, "Lecha Dodi, please." Dan almost blurted out, "Let's sing it a little softer this time, the neighbors are going to think I'm nuts," but thought better of it.

Finally it got to be too much for Dan. "Don't you want to sing something else?" he suggested gently.

His guest blushed and looked down. "I just really like that one," he mumbled. "Just something about it -- I really like it." In all, they must have sung "The Song" eight or nine times. Dan wasn't sure -- he lost count.


Later, when they had a quiet time to talk, Dan said, "I was just wondering, we haven't had more than a few moments to chat. Where are you from?"

The boy looked pained, then stared down at the floor and said softly, "Ramallah."

Dan's heart skipped a beat. He was sure he'd heard the boy say "Ramallah," a large Arab city on the West Bank. Quickly he caught himself, and then realized that he must have said Ramleh, an Israeli city. Dan said, "Oh, I have a cousin there. Do you know Ephraim Warner? He lives on Herzl Street."

The young man shook his head sadly. "There are no Jews in Ramallah."

Dan gasped. He really had said "Ramallah"! His thoughts were racing. Did he just spend Shabbos with an Arab? Wait a minute! Take a deep breath and let's get this straightened out. Giving his head a quick shake he told the boy, "I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused. And now that I think of it, I haven't even asked your full name. What is it, please?"

The boy looked terrified for a moment, then squared his shoulders and said quietly, "Machmud Ibn-esh-Sharif."

Machmud was looking even more terrified now; obviously he could tell what Dan was thinking. Hurriedly he said, "Wait! I'm Jewish. I'm just trying to find out where I belong."

Dan stood there speechless. What could he say?

Machmud broke the silence hesitantly: "I was born and grew up in Ramallah. I was taught to hate my Jewish oppressors, and to think that killing them was heroism. But I always had my doubts. I mean, we were taught that the Sunna, the tradition, says, 'No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.' I used to sit and wonder, Weren't the Yahud (Jews) people, too? Didn't they have the right to live the same as us? If we're supposed to be good to everyone, how come nobody includes Jews in that?

"I asked these questions to my father, and he threw me out of the house. Just like that, with nothing but the clothes on my back. By now my mind was made up: I was going to run away and live with the Yahud, until I could find out what they were really like."


Machmud continued:

"I snuck back into the house that night, to get my things and my backpack. My mother caught me in the middle of packing. She looked pale and upset, but she was quiet and gentle to me, and after a while she got me to talk. I told her that I wanted to go live with the Jews for a while and find out what they're really like, and maybe I would even want to convert.

"She was turning more and more pale while I said all this, and I thought she was angry, but that wasn't it. Something else was hurting her, and she whispered, 'You don't have to convert. You already are a Jew.'

"I was shocked. My head started spinning, and for a moment I couldn't speak. Then I stammered, 'What do you mean?'

"'In Judaism,' she told me, 'the religion goes according to the mother. I'm Jewish, so that means you're Jewish.'

"I never had any idea my mother was Jewish. I guess she didn't want anyone to know. She sure didn't feel too good about her life, because she whispered suddenly, 'I made a mistake by marrying an Arab man. In you, my mistake will be redeemed.'

"My mother always talked that way, poetic-like. She went and dug out some old documents, and handed them to me: things like my birth certificate and her old Israeli ID card, so I could prove I was a Jew. I've got them here, but I don't know what to do with them.

"My mother hesitated about one piece of paper. Then she said, 'You may as well take this. It is an old photograph of my grandparents, which was taken when they went looking for the grave of some great ancestor of ours. They went up north and found the grave, and that's when this picture was taken.'"

Dan gently put his hand on Machmud's shoulder. Machmud looked up, scared and hopeful at the same time. Dan asked, "Do you have the photo here?"

The boy's face lit up. ""Sure! I always carry it with me." He reached in his backpack and pulled out an old, tattered envelope.

Dan gingerly took the photo from the envelope, picked up his glasses, and looked carefully at it. The first thing that stood out was the family group: an old-time Sephardi family from the turn of the century.

Then he focused on the grave they were standing around. When he read the gravestone inscription, he nearly dropped the photo. He rubbed his eyes to make sure. There was no doubt. This was a grave in the old cemetery in Tzfat, and the inscription identified it as the grave of the great Kabbalist and tzaddik Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz -- the author of "Lecha Dodi."

Dan's voice quivered with excitement as he explained to Machmud who his ancestor was. "He was a friend of the Arizal, a great Torah scholar, a tzaddik, a mystic. And Machmud, your ancestor wrote that song we were singing all Shabbos: Lecha Dodi!"

This time it was Machmud's turn to be struck speechless. Dan slowly stood up from the bed, still in awe about what had happened. He extended his trembling hand and said, "Welcome home, Machmud. Now how about picking a new name for yourself."

Postscript: Machmud changed his name and enrolled in yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he studied diligently to "catch up" on his Jewish education. He got married to a nice Jewish girl, and gained popularity as a lecturer, recounting his dramatic story. He eventually had to flee Israel, due to threats against his life by members of his Arab family.

Reprinted with permission from "Monsey, Kiryat Sefer, and Beyond," ( by Zev Roth (Targum Press, 2002). The story is true; the names have been changed.

Author Biography:
Zev Roth is an author living in Israel.

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DAILY DOSE: Faith & Intellect


Faith & Intellect

They say that someone once asked the Rebbe's wife what she thought of her husband. "I'll tell you one thing," she replied. "My husband believes in G-d."

Great faith of a simple mind is not so impressive. Simple faith of a great mind is. Perhaps the simple person just hasn't asked the right questions. Perhaps faith is convenient for him. Perhaps he's afraid of what others would say if he one day announced that he no longer believes.

A truly great mind is not swayed by such concerns. Nothing forces him to believe --he believes because it is the truth. And since his faith is not self-serving, but founded on a truth beyond the self, therefore it is absolute, it is unshakable, down to the detail. And very infectious.

A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
-words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
Cheshvan 21, 5766 * November 23, 2005


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A7news: Israel Didn't Approach AIPAC on Pollard

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Election Date to be Set for March 28
Final details of the election compromise are expected to be completed today. It will enable the setting of the date of the elections and the manner in which the interim government will function.
Full Story Below

 1. Election Date to be Set for March 28
 2. Charge: Israel Has Not Approached AIPAC on Pollard
 3. Massive Pollard Rally in Jerusalem
 4. Hesder Student Saves Soldiers From Hizbullah Abduction
 5. National Union´s Desire for Unity, Unity & Unity - and Anglos
 6. Dov Shilansky: Sharon’s Views are Close to Those of Yossi Sarid
 7. Hevron Arabs Ask Jews For Help in Banishing Leftist Activists
 8. Evening of Study to Honor Anniversary of Nechama Leibowitz

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Editor: Hillel Fendel
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
21 Cheshvan 5766


1. Election Date to be Set for March 28
By Hillel Fendel

Final details of the election compromise are expected to be completed today. It will enable the setting of the date of the elections and the manner in which the interim government will function.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has confirmed the agreement furiously hammered out yesterday among representatives of the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Bureau, the Knesset, and Mazuz. There was some wrangling over details even between the Knesset Speaker and the Law Committee.

The issue in dispute was not only who would actually dissolve the Knesset - the President or the Knesset itself - but also the date of the elections and the authorities of the interim government. As it stands now, the date will be March 28, as the Knesset wanted, while Sharon will be empowered to appoint new ministers to his government.

Sharon fears that following the resignation of the Labor Party ministers, which goes into effect today, and the possible resignation of the Likud ministers, he will be left with only five ministers - Olmert, Hirschson, Sheetrit, Livny and Ezra. The Knesset, on the other hand, fears that he will appoint ministers only out of political considerations.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, who is not only remaining in the Likud but has declared his candidacy for the party leadership, said today he will not resign his Cabinet post before Election Day.

Within Sharon's new party, named National Responsibility, a measure of tension has already been noted. Figures within the days-old party accuse Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, one of Sharon's chief allies for the past two years, of attempting to shape the party's list of Knesset candidates to suit his political preferences. Olmert, according to the charges, is attempting to place in high positions his allies Ze'ev Boim, Ruchama Avraham, Eli Aflalo and Avraham Hirschson. Other sources said, not necessarily contradictorily, that Ariel Sharon himself will formulate the list of candidates.

The Likud and Labor Party lists, in contrast, will be determined in internal primaries.

Olmert has also come under fire from the Likud for his plans to convene a group of mayors this coming Sunday. Likud members allege that he plans to pressure the mayors - especially those of the Likud - to join his new party by threatening to withhold municipal funding. Olmert denies the charges, saying he is planning to discuss "only general issues."

Likud MK Gilad Erdan has requested of Attorney General Mazuz to order Olmert to call off his meeting with the mayors. "This is an attempt at political bribery," Erdan said, "forbidden at this politically sensitive time."

Outgoing Minister Chaim Ramon plans to announce this morning that he is leaving the Labor Party and joining Sharon's new party. Ramon is, so far, the only Labor MK to make the switch. He is considered to have been among the first to publicly foresee the current re-arrangement of political parties in Israel. Ramon's decision was greeted with satisfaction within the Likud, as it signifies the Sharon party's leftward tilt and, as such, may even lead some of those who "defected" to return to the Likud.

Minister Yisrael Katz, another candidate for Likud Party chairman, said, "A vote for Sharon is a vote for Ramon. It's now clear that only the Likud can lead the nationalist camp in Israel."

It has been rumored that Shimon Peres may also join the new party - or at least a government formed by Sharon.

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2. Charge: Israel Has Not Approached AIPAC on Pollard
By Hillel Fendel

Yitzchak Oren, the man responsible for the Pollard file on behalf of Israel's Washington Embassy in the late 1990s, says the key to Pollard's release lies with AIPAC - and that it's not too late.

Oren, who was the Israeli liaison to the U.S. Congress in 1997, said, "I tell you with total certainty, as an expert on the matter and as someone who dealt with the subject on behalf of the government for a long period, that he could have been released. Very simple. One word: AIPAC."

Oren, who studied all the material on Pollard and visited him in prison seven times, spoke with Ben Caspit of Maariv.

AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Community, has been termed by The New York Times "the most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel."

Oren said that in 1996, then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to recognize Pollard as an Israeli agent and work to secure his release. The instructions were relayed to the Embassy in Washington, but the late then-Ambassador Eliyahu Ben-Elissar chose not to deal with it, and instead transferred it to Oren.

Oren explained that the long-time efforts by Pollard supporters to pressure the American President were in vain:
"Only Congress can force the release. The president [Clinton] tried, and we saw how it ended with [Clinton and Netanyahu] at Wye Plantation - the intelligence community forced the president to change his mind, with [CIA head George] Tenet threatening to resign. But with Congress, it's the opposite. The intelligence establishment receives funding from Congress, and Congress is its supervising body. One word by AIPAC would free up a giant and powerful lobby in this direction. I tell you with full responsibility that if AIPAC would just nod or hint, it would happen. The CIA would give in. That's how the American network works."

Oren said that though he and then-Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh informed AIPAC that it would be desirable to work for Pollard, it didn't happen: "I remember an AIPAC event at which the Ambassador [Ben-Elissar] called openly and publicly upon AIPAC not to intervene in the Pollard affair. They really didn't intervene, and the whole thing hit an iceberg..."

"All these years," Oren said, "we wasted energies on the executive branch, the President, but it was hopeless. The President cannot bend the giant intelligence community - but Congress sure can... The CIA head can't threaten Congress that he will quit; Congress can fire him. All that was missing was AIPAC's blessing for the efforts to have him released. Senators like Arlen Specter and Ben Gilman waited for it, but it didn't come."

Asked if he can explain why Ben-Elissar objected, Oren said, "No. Perhaps because of reasons of recognition, or because of his past as a Mossad man... I can just say, as someone who worked under him, that this is what happened. He said this on-the-record." Caspit added that the Mossad had no sympathy for Pollard, who was employed by a different government organization.

Oren also cannot explain why the American establishment is so vengeful against Pollard: "It is unfathomable. It is, perhaps, an attempt to strong-arm and trample Israel, on Pollard's back. Very strange things happened here. After all, transmitting information to an ally is a relatively light crime. And yet, suddenly, [then-Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger gives the judge a 46-page memorandum that led to the unheard-of life sentence... "

"I also think it's not too late," Oren said. "Even now, via AIPAC, it can be done. There is a Senator named Chuck Schumer of New York who is willing to lead it. There is no reason that the State [of Israel] should not do this for Pollard - especially in light of all the dirty and strong-arm tricks that were used against Israel and against him in this story."

In February 1998, Pollard's wife Esther told IMRA that Israel had several easy options at its disposal in its attempts to secure her husband's release - and one of them was AIPAC.

"The State of Israel, in accomplishing any important initiative in the United States, first engages AIPAC," she said. "With the support of AIPAC Israel then gets the necessary meetings on Capitol Hill and the proper exposure. AIPAC also helps Israel to engage the American Jewish leadership. It doesn't matter if we are talking about advancing the peace process or selling any Israeli idea. This is standard practice. In 13 years [since Pollard's arrest], AIPAC has never been engaged by the Israeli Government on the Pollard case. In 13 years, the American Jewish leadership has never once heard from the Israeli Government, 'This is a national priority, we'd like your support on this.'"

Another example of an easy initiative, she said, is, "Israel simply had to go to the money people in the Jewish community who fund the Clinton Government. All that Israel had to do was to say to them, 'We could use your support on this.' You don't even have to threaten not to sign the checks. Just remind the President that releasing Pollard is a priority of the Government of Israel that you support.'

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3. Massive Pollard Rally in Jerusalem
By Hillel Fendel

Several Pollard events are taking place this week, including a mass rally Wednesday afternoon, a special Knesset session, school classes, and a rare televised interview with Esther Pollard.

This afternoon (Wednesday), a mass demonstration is planned in Jerusalem, demanding Pollard's release from U.S. prison. The participants will first chain themselves with handcuffs, forming a human chain from the American Embassy to the Prime Minister's Residence several hundred meters away. At the rally to be held afterwards, Pollard's wife will read aloud a speech written for the event by her husband.

A special Knesset session on Pollard was held yesterday (Tuesday), at which the Knesset resolved by an 84-0 vote to demand that Prime Minister Sharon officially request a Presidential pardon for Pollard. The Knesset also recognized Pollard as a "Prisoner of Zion" - though Pollard supporters emphasized that efforts continue to convince the Government to officially grant him this status.

MK Uri Ariel said at the session, "The Knesset has made many resolutions over the years regarding Pollard, but they have not brought results. The Israeli public is united in its wish to see Pollard free. 112 MKs signed a request to President Bush to release him, but Prime Minister Sharon 'forgot' to bring it to him, and in fact never submitted it."

MK Ariel noted that Israel had "freed Elchanan Tenenbaum from Hizbullah captivity, and Azzam Azzam from Egypt, but Jonathan Pollard remains in prison in the United States. Today is a day of reckoning for all of us to see if we did enough to have him released."

MK Ariel also read aloud a letter from Pollard, in which he expresses his pride at having saved many Jews with his actions, and a prayer for his release written by former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.

On Monday, public schools all over Israel dedicated an hour to learning about Jonathan Pollard. The instruction was issued by Education Minister Limor Livnat, who said it was "appropriate to do so because Israel's obligation to Pollard is not controversial." Livnat said, "The education system [should] bring his contribution to the State of Israel to students' attention."

On Monday night, Pollard's wife Esther was granted a rare television interview, with Ya'ir Lapid on Channel Two. Lapid played recordings of Jonathan Pollard speaking from prison on the occasion of last week's 20th anniversary of his incarceration. Jonathan spoke of the constant sense of danger he feels: " with the fear of imminent death - because violence occurs very quickly, and from out of the blue."

Pollard was also heard sharply attacking Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz for the fact that his name is not on the official Ministry of Defense list of captives. Saying it was a "calculated refusal to keep my name off the list," Pollard said, "Every Knesset Member that I've talked to about this has been shocked and disgusted when they realize what has been done. And I blame Mofaz himself, personally, for this. Mofaz has knowingly abandoned a soldier in the field."

An agent whose name is on the list is entitled to rights and benefits as an Israeli agent, including the fact that the Israeli Government would be obligated to seek his immediate release. It would also enable Pollard to receive financial benefits, which he has in fact never received.

During the interview, Mrs. Pollard also noted the ongoing struggle to have Israel recognize her husband as a Prisoner of Zion: "We made an official request, but the government did not agree, and so we brought it to the Supreme Court, where the issue currently stands."

She noted that this is just another struggle that the Pollards have had to wage in the Supreme Court against the government: "To receive his citizenship, we also had to go to the Supreme Court, and also to receive the recognition as an Israeli agent. We always have to struggle against the State."

Lapid asked if she accepts the explanation that the government has been working for his release "via secret channels," Mrs. Pollard said,
"How is it possible to have 20 years of secret efforts, without even one centimeter of progress? It cannot be... There are some thing that the government of Israel can do, but it is just not doing. For instance, it can officially inform the U.S. Justice Dept that he is an Israeli agent - but it has not done so, and he is therefore treated as a common criminal. The Americans also understand from this that Israel is not so serious about wanting him."

"Israel has not done the most essential and basic things to free this agent, as it did with its other agents in Switzerland and Cyprus," Mrs. Pollard said.

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4. Hesder Student Saves Soldiers From Hizbullah Abduction
By Hillel Fendel

IDF paratrooper David Markowitz, a student of the Hesder yeshiva in Mitzpeh Ramon, became a national hero for a day on Tuesday when he killed four Hizbullah terrorists with one gun burst.

photo courtesy of IDF Spokesman: the thwarting of an abduction
Markowitz, who will be 21 next week, has been in the army for only eight months. On Monday night, during the furious Hizbullah attack against northern Israeli targets, he and the soldiers in his unit prevented a planned abduction of an Israeli soldier.
He was the first to notice a band of Hizbullah terrorists that had crossed Israel's Lebanese border on jeeps and motorbikes - and shot them to death.

In a similar attack five years ago, Hizbullah terrorists abducted three soldiers - and never notified Israel that they killed them almost immediately afterwards.

This week's incident accompanied a multi-pronged Hizbullah rocket and mortar shell attack against Israeli military and civilian targets. When he saw the terrorists arriving, Markowitz later said, "I was scared" - but he kept his cool and composure, opened fire, and shot three terrorists dead. A fourth one died of his wounds a short time afterwards.

Markowitz's commander, Lt.-Col. Yaniv Aluf, described his actions as an "amazing display of courage, discipline and composure."

In summarizing the incident, the Northern Commander said that had Markowitz not noticed the approaching danger, the incident would have ended with many casualties and "in an extremely grave manner." "With his first shots, he determined the fate of the battle," Northern Command sources said. The army is considering awarding him a certificate of honor.

A resident of the small town of Gimzo in central Israel, Markowitz serves in the army in the framework of Hesder, which literally means "arrangement." It provides for five years of alternating periods of yeshiva study and combat army service.

The Hesder yeshivot, which are widely known for their highly-motivated and skilled soldiers, have come under fire of late from army officials for their stance vis-a-vis the Disengagement plan. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz has even gone so far as to demand that the yeshiva in Elon Moreh no longer be granted Hesder status because its Dean, Rabbi Yaakov Levanon, called upon students to refuse expulsion-related orders.

The final decision as to whether to close the yeshiva lies with Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz.

Rabbi Levanon himself said that this was not a personal issue and that he would not fight this battle: "I will leave this war for my colleagues, the other yeshiva heads... The question is when a Torah personality expresses a Torah opinion, is it right to punish him? Is it right to train people to deny their personal truth in order to 'get along better in life'? Every yeshiva head could find himself facing a question like this..."

The Hesder yeshiva heads are to meet today (Wednesday) to formulate a stance on this issue. Spokesman Rabbi David Stav said that the Union of Hesder Yeshivot "does not accept this decision by the Chief of Staff, and is trying to have the decree rescinded."

The Commander of the IDF Personnel Corps, Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern, announced plans a few months ago to disband, to some degree, the Hesder yeshiva units. Relations between the yeshivot and the army are thus not at their zenith.

In the meanwhile, the fact that David Markowitz is a Hesder yeshiva student was all but buried in the press reports - despite the prominent role that Hesder yeshivot have played in recent news.

Army Radio interviewer Razi Barkai asked Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz this morning whether he does not feel "discomfited" by the fact that "a soldier" was so highly praised for simply "doing his job." Mofaz said he does not feel that way, that the soldier deserves to be praised, and that the army publicizes the details of failures as well as successes.

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5. National Union´s Desire for Unity, Unity & Unity - and Anglos
By Ezra HaLevi

The National Union Party, in addition to wooing the National Religious Party to join its ranks, continues its drive to represent Western olim (immigrants) in the Knesset.

Uri Bank, who is currently in the ninth spot on the National Union list of Knesset candidates, believes that those who made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel from Western countries have much to offer the Israeli political system, with regard to accountability and creative solutions.

Bank, who heads the Moledet Party's efforts to get English-speaking olim (immigrants) to join the party, did not make it into the 16th Knesset. His party won just seven seats and he was number ten on the list. Bank's supporters are circulating a petition to have him moved to the seventh slot on the list ahead of the upcoming elections – to ensure that the enthusiastic and vocal "Anglo" activists who have joined the National Union are represented.

One of the things Bank says matters most to his constituency is that politicians be held accountable to those who elected them. "Basically there is no accountability here," Bank told IsraelNationalRadio's Stutz & Fleisher Show. "And Anglos, coming from true western democracies throughout the world, are astounded by it."

Bank cites Ariel Sharon's implementation of his election-opponents platform as the most blatant example, but says that the lack of accountability did not start with the Disengagement Plan. "It became particularly evident in the past 10-15 years - starting with the MKs who sold their souls and totally betrayed their platforms in return for a Mitzubishi [the car that goes with being a Minister, awarded to at least one MK in return for voting in favor of the Oslo Accords in the Knesset]."

However, Bank does not see the purging of Likud’s Sharon supporters from the party as a positive sign. "It will have an adverse effect on the ideological camp in Israel," he said, explaining:

"The Likud voters who voted for Sharon last time around and were totally disappointed by his betrayal were thinking of leaving the Likud and voting for true right-wing ideological parties such as the National Union. Now that Sharon has left, I am afraid that Netanyahu is going to take control of that party - and Netanyahu is a total ‘false prophet,’ if you will. He is totally not what he makes himself out to be, and unfortunately in Israel the public has a very short memory. We know that he was the biggest, most vocal opponent of Oslo until 1996, when he was elected and implemented it. When the Palestinians shot at us during the riots against the Kotel Tunnels – Netanyahu, the great Oslo opponent, ran to Washington and shook Arafat's hand."

At the same time, Bank does not rule out the National Union joining together with the Likud to form a united right-wing bloc in the Knesset. The National Union has been trying to join up with the National Religious Party for weeks.

"I have no problem joining up with the Likud," Bank said. "But the problem is that the Likud has never had a solution. When they responded to Oslo and said that what Labor and Meretz are suggesting is horrendous – that is not a solution. When you ask any of them, even Uzi Landau, what the solution is – they raise their eyebrows and say, 'We don't really know.' And that is why Netanyahu and Sharon and even Uzi Landau - if he came into power - would start implementing something in the line of Oslo – maybe not the same as the left would, but the same direction."

The National Union, on the other hand, does have an alternative solution to that of withdrawals and adding another Arab state to the Middle East, Bank insists:
"The alternative that the National Union presents originated in Moledet and was adopted by all seven MKs of the National Union in the last election. It is the 'Jordan is Palestine' solution. This recognizes the fact that there already is a Palestinian state east of the Jordan river – the Hashemite Kingdom. Jordan's population is 75-80% Palestinian, and therefore a Palestinian state already exists. But only if we realize the mistakes that have been made over the past 15 years – the basic tenet of ‘land for peace’ and [the mistakes of] supplying the Palestinians with guns and sovereignty over land to the west of the Jordan River – will we switch our way of thinking about the solution."

The Moledet plan, termed the "Right Road to Peace," consists of dismantling and disarming the Palestinian Authority and persuading the international community (Bank says it need only be the U.S.) to resettle the Arab refugees in Jordan using American economic aid as leverage. The complete plan can be read on

"Once the Likud changes and finds a solution," Bank says, "- and it doesn't have to be the solution that I am advocating - then I would consider teaming up with them. But the Likud has absolutely no alternative – and it’s not only Netanyahu, it's Landau as well, and it's Feiglin as well. There is no alternative there."

It is not by chance that Bank dropped Moshe Feiglin's name as being part of the problem. Anglo Moledet has gone on the offensive in recent months, attacking Manhigut Yehudit's efforts to take over the Likud from within, on English-language email discussion lists and in public forums. Despite the fact that nearly all Manhigut Yehudit activists, many of them English-speaking olim, vote for the National Union, the Moledet activists feel that the efforts that go into trying to affect individual internal Likud votes could be better spent campaigning for the National Union.

There is also an element of defensiveness, as Moshe Feiglin has consistently been dismissive of the right-wing religious parties, saying they aim only to be "lobbies" and not to lead the country.

Bank is also dismissive of small parties, and that is why he says the National Union is putting so much effort into uniting the right-wing. Regarding Baruch Marzel's new Hayil party, Bank said:
"We are repeating the same mistakes again and again. We have to get politically savvy. And that is what Marzel, with all the good things he has done for the Nation and Land of Israel, doesn't have. He doesn't understand that splintering off – as wonderful of an individual as he is - means losing power for all of us, which means losing part of the land, which I am sure he is against. And it is especially egotistical on his part to consider running again, especially when he did it once and failed. All through the previous election we said that they are going to throw out two seats – and that is exactly what happened. The National Union would have had nine seats instead of seven during this term if [Marzel] hadn't run last time. To try to do it again just proves selfishness at this point. If we want the national camp to gain ground at this point – we need unity, unity, unity."

Bank truly believes that a right-wing bloc can garner more seats in the Knesset than the Likud Party – though he is hesitant to suggest that even then the National Union would lead the country. "Today we already make up 29 reigning members of Knesset. The Likud has 40. If the Likud bloc falls to 34 and we rise by [those] 6 to 35, then we will truly have the power. [Then we can] either suggest a prime minister of our own – and maybe for the first time we [will be able to put up a religious] prime minister in this country, and Benny Elon fits that bill. Or – if not that – [we can] come to whomever the Likud leader is and tell him, 'you want to be prime minister – you have to fork over the portfolio of Education Minister to Zevulun Orlev, the Justice portfolio to Benny Elon and you have to write in the guidelines of your government – which we will join – that there will be no more capitulation to the Palestinians and no more land or guns given to them.' "

Bank was asked by host Yishai Fleisher why Zevulun Orlev as Education Minister would make any more of a difference than the NRP's Zevulun Hammer, who was Education Minister for years.

"That was only under the NRP," Bank answered. "I am not talking about small partisan politics anymore. I am talking about a large bloc that will cooperate with each other…Our conclusion from the Disengagement was that the only way to prevent further disengagements is to garner a political force. If the politicians and Hareidim (the Agudat Israel, Shas, and Torah Judaism parties) don't understand that, we are going to lose a lot of ground in this country - fast.

"[National Union and Moledet Chairman Rabbi] Benny Elon has been putting all his efforts into unifying the right-wing camp. He has been talking to Eli Yishai of Shas, talking to the heads of [the Hareidi-religious] Agudah and talking specifically and especially about finally getting the NRP to join because we have been courting them ever since 1999. They have refused to join forces and really lead the National Union at various stages since then. Once we get this united bloc, we will become a true threat – a true power in Israeli politics."

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6. Dov Shilansky: Sharon’s Views are Close to Those of Yossi Sarid
By Scott Shiloh

Former Knesset Speaker Dov Shilanksy, who fought alongside Menahem Begin during Israel's Independence War, explains that Ariel Sharon's views are much closer to those of Meretz MK Yossi Sarid.

Dov Shilanksy, holocaust survivor and one the “fighting family,” the small cadre of fighters who made up the “Etzel” (Irgun), the underground, nationalistic group commanded by Menachem Begin during Israel’s War of Independence, is no newcomer to the Likud.

Shilanksy was in the Likud’s forerunner, the Herut party, well before Ariel Sharon got the idea of merging Herut with a number of small parties at the liberal center. That famous merger by Sharon turned into the Likud. Herut, though, with Begin at the head, still made up the party’s ideological core.

Before forming the Likud, however, Sharon had another brilliant idea: form a party with MK Yossi Sarid, whose political views put him at the far left of the spectrum.

According to Dov Shilanksy, Sharon has come full circle: “From our perspective, Sharon did the right thing,” by leaving the Likud. “Ideologically, he’s closer to Yossi Sarid than to the party I belong to [the Likud].” MK Sarid is a member of the Meretz-Yahad party that favors returning all of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Old City of Jerusalem, to Arab rule.

Shilansky says that in the last election, Sharon “stole” the votes of Likud voters. Shortly after the election, Sharon began espousing policies, such as the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, which ran against the party’s election platform.

Sharon’s plan to disengage or withdraw from Gaza and northern Samaria, destroying in the process 25 Jewish communities, was also diametrically opposed to the party’s platform. In fact, the idea for the withdrawal was put forward by Sharon’s opponent in the 2000 election campaign, MK Amram Mitzna of the Labor party.

“Now he’s gone back to where he belongs, with us remaining where we belong, faithful to our ideology,” Shilansky said.

Shilanksy, who served in the 1980’s as Chairman of the Knesset, has stayed faithful to the Likud’s core values of building Jewish communities throughout the land of Israel. Shilansky was one of the key speakers at the final rally against the disengagement in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square last August.

Shilansky said he is not worried about early polls that show Ariel Sharon’s new party attaining more votes than the Likud. He said Likud the party has endured unfavorable polls before, but despite this, the Likud must remain faithful to its ideology until it ultimately prevails.

Quoting Yitzhak Shamir, who as head of the Likud party served as Israel’s prime minister for most of the period from 1983-1992, Shilanksy holds that there is no need to change Likud ideology: “The Arabs are the same Arabs, and the sea is the same sea.”

“If we remain completely faithful in the justness of our ways,” he said, “our victory will be guaranteed.”

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7. Hevron Arabs Ask Jews For Help in Banishing Leftist Activists
By Ezra HaLevi

Arab leaders in Hevron have contacted the city’s Jewish leaders for help in getting rid of self-proclaimed anarchist volunteers who, they complain, are destroying their traditional way of life.

The anarchists, many of whom are members of the International Solidarity Movement, flock to flashpoints throughout Judea and Samaria, ostensibly to help PA Arabs contend with IDF closures and protect them from harassment. In actuality, many of the volunteers seek confrontations with IDF soldiers and local Jewish residents, taking advantage of their Western passports to cause havoc – knowing that, at worst, they will be deported, not jailed.

The local Arabs in the Hevron region whom the activists claim to be helping are now complaining that the American and European students behave in a provocative and offensive manner in Hevron’s public areas. The Arabs say the activists disrespect the moral norms and standards of the local population.

Several local Arab residents told the Kol Ha’Ir newspaper that the activists have been exposing the local youths to drug use and sexual promiscuity.

One interviewee told Kol Ha’Ir that the volunteers show a disregard for the religious norms of the local villages and teach the local youth to reject and disrespect the traditions of their forefathers. "These anarchists come here and undermine the education we give our children. At first we took them in with hospitality - after all, they claimed they wanted to help us, so why kick them out? But very quickly they infuriated me with their lewd behavior."

In a bid to rid the region of the anarchists, local Arab leaders approached representatives of the Jewish community in Hevron – a rare, but not unheard of occurrence – in order to find a solution. The two sides agreed to have Arabic-speaking Jewish observers along Hevron’s main thoroughfares to replace the anarchists in ensuring calm between the city’s Jewish and Arab populations. The left-wings activists would then be informed by the local Arab population that they appreciate their offer to help, but that they are no longer needed.

Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon confirmed the arrangement to Arutz-7, saying that the new replacement observers will be acceptable to local Arabs. He added that the international anarchists came to Hevron come from Western cultures steeped in sexual lewdness and depravity, permissiveness, and drug use. "Their presence in Hebron serves to inflame violence because they are seeking to create provocations and encourage violence," Arnon said.

He added that the observers end up causing more trouble for the local Arab population, by antagonizing soldiers and brazenly leading local Arabs in between Jewish homes.

Arnon recalled a specific incident in which an Arab woman tried to stab an IDF soldier with a knife. The soldiers grabbed her, but were attacked by a group of anarchist volunteers who tried to free the woman and take the knife out of her hand and hide it.

In recent months, Jewish organizations have also come to Hevron to stand up to the anarchist activists. The Jewish activists investigate the anarchists regarding their entry to Israel and strengthen the morale of the soldiers in withstanding attacks by leftist extremists.

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8. Evening of Study to Honor Anniversary of Nechama Leibowitz
By Debbie Berman

Israel's Open University will be hosting a study evening to mark the 100th birthday of the late Biblical scholar Nechama Leibowitz, and 900 years since the death of medieval commentator Rashi.

The evening is scheduled for November 27th, at the Open University's campus in Raanana.

Nechama Leibowitz was born in Riga, Latvia in 1905, and passed away in Jerusalem in 1997, at the age of 92. Nechama, as she was widely known, is recognized as one of the leading Torah teachers of the twentieth century. She studied in the Universities of Berlin and Marboug, and immigrated to Israel in 1931 after completing her doctoral studies.

Leibowitz taught at the Mizrachi Women Teachers Seminary, Tel Aviv University and many other schools and Yeshivot throughout Israel. Professor Leibowitz was awarded the Israel Prize for Education in 1956.

Rashi (an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak) was born in Troyes, France in 1040. He was educated in Germany and died in the year 1105. Rashi is known as the greatest commentator on the Jewish Written and Oral Law. Experts and beginners alike study Rashi's prolific exegetical writings on the Five Books of Moses and the Talmud.

Avraham Nussbaum, Educational Coordinator of the course entitled "The Commentary of Rashi on the Torah," and Dr. Avriel Bar Levav, the Open University’s History, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies Department Head, will head the program. The evening is open to the public and entrance is free of charge.

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