Thursday, October 27, 2005

ONCE UPON A CHASID: What Is A Chassid? (Bereishis)


Tishrei 24, 5766 * October 27, 2005


Parshat Bereishis

Let there be light (Genesis 1:3)

* * *

What Is A Chassid?

In 1907, when Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch was staying at the health spa in Wirtzburg, Germany, a group of chassidim came to spend a Shabbos with the Rebbe. Among them was Reb Yosef Yuzik Horowitz, his son-in-law Reb Feivel Zalmanov, and Reb Elimelech Stoptzer.

The Rebbe prayed for many hours that Shabbos morning, as was his manner. Meanwhile, the chassidim made kiddush and consumed a respectable quantity of 'l'chayim's. Later, when the Rebbe had finished and they sat with him to the Shabbos meal, Reb Yosef Yuzik asked:

"Rebbe, what is a chassid?"

Replied the Rebbe: " A chassid is a lamplighter. The lamplighter walks the streets carrying a flame at the end of a stick. He knows that the flame is not his. And he goes from lamp to lamp to set them alight."

Asked Reb Yosef Yuzik: "What if the lamp is in a desert?"

"Then one must go and light it," said the Rebbe. "And when one lights a lamp in a desert, the desolation of the desert becomes visible. The barren wilderness will then be ashamed before the burning lamp."

Continued the chassid: "What if the lamp is at sea?"

"Then one must undress, dive into the sea, and go light the lamp."

"And this is a chassid?" Reb Yosef Yuzik asked.

For a long while the Rebbe thought. Then he said: "Yes, this is a chassid."

"But Rebbe, I do not see the lamps!"

Answered the Rebbe: "Because you are not a lamplighter."

"How does one become a lamplighter?"

"First, you must reject the evil within yourself. Start with yourself, cleanse yourself, refine yourself, and you will see the lamp within your fellow. When a person is himself coarse, G-d forbid, he sees coarseness; when a person is himself refined, he sees the refinement in others."

Reb Yosef Yuzik then asked: "Is one to grab the other by the throat?"

Replied the Rebbe: "By the throat, no; by the lapels, yes."


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Tishrei 24, 5766 * October 27, 2005


Parshat Bereishis

How To Win
- - - - - -

Mr. Benson was just getting in to his weekly Sedra lesson, that the whole story of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge and getting sent out from the Garden of Eden all took place on the sixth day of Creation

Ben was just getting comfortable sitting back in his chair, thinking. What was he thinking? Not about Creation. Rather, about the last level he just reached victoriously on his cyber space game and the new level that he was going to challenge after school. He was going to get past the monsters that were trying to stop him landing his spacecraft on planet Sulizta. Turning a tiny bit of his attention to the teacher for a moment, he thought If G-d wanted me to listen in class then He wouldn’t create such cool games.

The question is, the monster in the front of the cave was saying, while the class-room walls, ceiling and desks dissolved away, How could the Torah say at the end of the sixth day and G-d saw all which He had made and behold it was very good if on that very day Adam and Eve sinned and were punished by being driven out of the garden of Eden?

That is an interesting question Ben thought. It must be the clue how to destroy the monster.

Let me give you another clue, said the monster. Our rabbis explain the verse and G-d saw it was very good it is referring to the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination. How can G-d say that the Evil Inclination is good?

Ben listened fascinated. He was coming close to the secret of how to destroy the monsters! And the monster in the large cave was itself giving the clues!

To answer the question said the monster we must understand that everything is created by Hashem, G-d, which means that all bad things although they seem bad on the outside they really are good on the inside.

Does that mean that the monster is good on the inside? wondered Ben.

If a person does something bad and then repents, he is sorry, and now he does much more good, he has turned the bad thing into a force for good. This means that the bad has become a force for good! That’s the secret, thought Ben, excited. The seemingly bad monster is really a force for good, if we only know how to turn it that way!

So today, continued the monster, to celebrate the fact that we have begun studying the very beginning of the Torah, the rest of the lesson will be a class party.

The monster began giving out different kinds of nosh and soft drinks. Instead of being a dangerous monster, it turned into kind Mr Benson, smiling and telling jokes to the boys, giving them nice goodies to eat for the rest of the lesson. The cave turned into a pleasant, familiar classroom.

“I've won!” thought Ben. The ultimate challenge!


By Dr. Tali Loewenthal, Director of Chabad Research Unit, London

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CHASSIDIC DIMENSION: "Separate but Equal" (Bereishis)


Tishrei 24, 5766 * October 27, 2005


Parshat Bereishis

“Separate but Equal”
- - - - - - - - - - -

At the beginning of the Torah portion Bereishis, the verse states: “G-d made the two great luminaries [the sun and the moon], the greater luminary to rule the day and the smaller luminary to rule the night.”

The Gemara notes that the phrase “G-d made the two great luminaries” indicates that they were of equal stature. However, the verse goes on to say “the greater luminary... and the smaller luminary.”

How are these two portions of the verse to be reconciled? The Gemara answers that at the outset, G-d made the sun and moon of equal brilliance. The moon then said to G-d: “Is it possible for two kings to use the same crown?” G-d responded: “Go and diminish yourself.”

Since “G-d made... the greater luminary to rule the day and the smaller luminary to rule the night,” it is clear that from the beginning His intention was that one luminary be greater than the other. Why was there a need for such a “two-step process,” first creating them of equal stature and then diminishing the moon as a result of its “complaint”?

Creation resulted from G-d’s gazing in the Torah — “The Blueprint of the World” — and accordingly creating the universe. Thus the sun and moon were created in accordance to their source in Torah. The reason they were first equal will be understood accordingly.

The Shaloh explains that the two luminaries within Torah refer to the Written Torah (the sun) and the Oral Torah (the moon). The Oral Torah is called “the moon” because it obtains its illumination from the Written Torah, just as the moon obtains its luminosity from the sun. Thus the Talmud often employs the expression “From whence do we know? For the verse states....” In other words, the Oral Torah is based on the Written Torah.

In light of the above, we can understand why the two luminaries were first created as equals, and only afterwards was there a diminishment in the light of the moon. That the Oral Torah is dependent upon the Written Torah only applies as it relates to the Jewish people, who received the Torah — they derive the laws of the Oral Torah from their source in the Written Torah.

However, from G-d’s perspective as the Giver of the Torah, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah are equally great. Thus the Rambam states: “All the mitzvos were given [from Above] with their commentaries” .... He would tell him [Moshe] the commandment [the Written Torah], and then G-d would relate to him its meaning and all its aspects [the Oral Torah].”

In a deeper sense, the Written Torah and Oral Torah are referred to as sun and moon not only because the latter receives its illumination from the former, but also because the Written Torah emphasizes the Giver of the Torah — the “sun” and benefactor, while the Oral Torah stresses the recipient — the “moon” and receiver.

Thus the Written Torah was transmitted with an exact number of letters, stressing that it is G-d’s Torah and loftier than man’s comprehension, while the Oral Torah is a reflection of man’s comprehension. This is why when one does not comprehend what he is studying in the Oral Torah, it does not constitute Torah study at all.

Just as this is so with regard to the “sun” and “moon” of Torah, so too with regard to the physical sun and moon. The difference between them is only as they find themselves within the world; as they exist before G-d, they are of equal stature, for the moon is just as much G-d’s creation as the sun. It is only that for them to serve their purpose within the world, the moon receives its illumination from the sun.

This is similar to a rich person and a pauper — another example of benefactor (sun) and recipient (moon). G-d provides the pauper’s sustenance through the intermediary of the well-to-do person. For inasmuch as G-d desires the mitzvah of tzedakah, He created the world in such a manner that there would be givers and recipients, the wealthy and the poor.

Thus, the poor person does not actually receive from the wealthy individual, but from G-d (for everything which the rich person owns also belongs to G-d). It is only with regard to the physical channel that the poor receive their sustenance via the rich.

So too, the moon told G-d that in order for it to act its part in the world — the part of a recipient — it must receive its light via the sun.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXX, pp. 8-14.)


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(718) 774-4000 / FAX (718) 774-2718

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A7news: IDF Forces Enter Jenin

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IDF Forces Enter Jenin
The army has begun retaliating for the murderous terror attack in Hadera with a "limited maneuver" in Jenin. Ground offensives in Gaza are also expected. PM Sharon: "We won't accept terrorism."

 1. IDF Forces Enter Jenin
 2. Reactions to the Hadera Bombing
 3. Iran´s President Calls for Destruction of Israel and the West
 4. Funerals of Five Terror Victims
 5. Soldiers and Police Chase, Arrest Young Idealists
 6. Another Expulsion for Gush Katif Residents is Postponed
 7. Knesset Forum Debates Evictees' Plight
 8. Jordan Cancels TV Series Following U.S. Rabbis´ Protest
 9. Peres, Peretz Leading Leadership Poll

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Thursday, October 27, 2005
24 Tishrei 5766

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1. IDF Forces Enter Jenin
By Hillel Fendel

The army has begun retaliating for the murderous terror attack in Hadera with a "limited maneuver" in Jenin. Ground offensives in Gaza are also expected. PM Sharon: "We won't accept terrorism."

IDF forces entered the PA-controlled terrorist-haven city of Jenin in the Shomron this afternoon (Thursday), arresting at least one terrorist leader amidst scattered gunfire. One report states that two Israel Air Force helicopters were seen overhead, while 40 jeeps and tanks entered the city. Israel says it is a "limited" maneuver.

The offensive was the first concrete result of a high-level security consultation that followed yesterday's murderous attack in Hadera. The attack claimed five lives and wounded 28 others. Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz convened the consultation in Tel Aviv, and resolved to wage comprehensive war - by the army, police, and General Security Service - against the terrorist infrastructures in the Shomron. The series of measures decided upon included these:

* A general closure has been clamped down on all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Gaza's Karni and Erez Crossings have been closed, after being opened only yesterday morning. Only in cases of special humanitarian need will goods be allowed out of or into the closed areas.

* The Air Force bombed open areas in northern Gaza from where Kassam rockets were fired, as well as a road leading to the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, only 3-4 aerial kilometers from Sderot. Additional such missions will be implemented when necessary.

* Ground offensives in northern Shomron and northern Gaza will be initiated, and are slated to last a number of days.

* The Islamic Jihad will be especially targeted: Targeted killings of particular terrorists will resume, arrests will be made, private Arab vehicles will be banned in northern Shomron, and illegal structures will be razed. The army has generally restrained from taking down illegal buildings so as not to harm the Arab population.

Security forces operating in Judea and Samaria arrested 11 Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorists in various Shomron areas last night. Among them was the father of the Islamic Jihad terrorist who blew himself up in Hadera yesterday.

Speaking this morning, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "The army's operations will be unceasing and widespread until terrorism stops. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority has not taken significant steps to fight terrorism. Under no circumstances will we accept continued terrorism."

Sharon's words were reminiscent of past statements he has made. On Aug. 12, 2003, for instance, addressing thousands of Birthright participants in Jerusalem, Sharon said there would be no progress on the diplomatic front as long as the terror continues and the PA takes no action against it. He placed the blame on [PA leader] Abu Mazen, who, Sharon said, "is not fulfilling his obligation to fight terrorism."

Exactly three months earlier, on May 12, 2003, Sharon said that the time was ripe for Abu Mazen to take action against the terrorists: "If they are given a chance to re-organize, to manufacture and smuggle in weapons, they will be quiet for a few months - and then [the terrorism] will erupt again. This will, of course, force us to take very vigorous action, because we will under no circumstances accept terrorism against us."

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2. Reactions to the Hadera Bombing
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz and Naomi Grossman

Israel suspended official meetings with PA officials after Wednesday afternoon's suicide bombing in Hadera, which killed five people.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, who returned today from a working trip to Egypt, said that during his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he warned that the Islamic Jihad and Hamas were planning terrorist attacks in Israel. Minister Mofaz said that, in the wake of the Hadera bombing, he is calling his staff together Wednesday night for a situation report. He said that he would do "everything necessary to defend the citizens of Israel."

Echoing the Defense Minister, Deputy Minister of Public Security Yaakov Edri (Likud) told reporters at the scene of the devastation that the security services knew that the center of Palestinian Authority terrorism would move to Judea and Samaria. "The IDF is acting and there are arrests every day, in order to prevent what, to our sorrow, happened today. We have a long struggle ahead of us with the terrorist organizations."

Israel's Communications Minister Dalia Itzik (Labor) called off a scheduled meeting today with her counterpart from the Palestinian Authority, saying, "We cannot discuss daily affairs with the Palestinian leadership while innocent Israeli citizens are being murdered."

Knesset Member Ehud Yatom, among the opponents of the Gaza Disengagement Plan in the Likud, said the Hadera attack is part of the lessons the terrorists have learned - that it is possible to expel Jews through the use of force. MK Yuli Edelstein, also of the Likud, said that "the Islamic Jihad is reaping the fruits of the Disengagement" in successfully carrying out the bombing.

Reactions from the opposition benches in the Knesset were also swift in coming.

The chairman of Israel Beitenu, former Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman, said, "The attack in Hadera joins the Kassam fire on S'derot and the murderous attack at the Gush Etzion junction. These terrorist attacks testify to the fact that Israel is in the midst of a violent struggle and not in the midst of a diplomatic process." Lieberman said that the government of Israel is confused between the two: "A government that refuses to see the truth is fully responsible for the continuing security failure."

Mr. Lieberman made his comments during a tour of the Samaria region security fence. Upon hearing from the mayor of the city of Ariel, Ron Nachman, that the fence has been built right along the main cross-Samaria highway, Lieberman commented, "The path of the fence allows terrorists to shoot at passing cars with a pistol. Travel along the highway will become dangerous and in a short amount of time, we will return to the [pre-State] days when travel to Mt. Scopus was with armored escorts."

Israel Beitenu is planning to table a bill on Monday that would legally and formally annex Ariel, Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim and Givat Ze'ev to the State of Israel.

MK Aryeh Eldad of the National Union party called on Prime Minister Sharon and Defense Minister Mofaz to resign due to the deteriorating security situation. The two had promised that the pullout from Gaza and northern Samaria would improve Israel's security.

MK Effie Eitam of the Religious Zionist Renewal party said, "The Sharon government is marching in the path laid down by the government [that brought the Oslo Accords] - into a security abyss - with open eyes."

"The Disengagement enlivened the terrorist organizations and returned the suicide bombers to the heart of the country, just as the Oslo Accords brought about hundreds of dead and wounded after a period of quiet," Eitam explained.

Chairman of the National Religious Party, MK Zevulun Orlev, said, "The residents of Hadera are paying the price of the flight from Gush Katif, and the citizens of Israel are reaping in blood the seeds of destruction of the Disengagement." According to Orlev, "The flight from Gush Katif gave an shot of encouragement to the terrorists and the government of Israel is compounding the crime with a sin as it counts on Abu Mazen and his coterie instead of fighting an uncompromising war of destruction against terrorism."

The Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council released a statement, saying: "The Council expresses its sorrow over those murdered in Hadera; it has been proven that he who runs away from terror - the terror chases after him. And the flight from Gush Katif and northern Samaria set the security situation back by years, while demolishing the fantasy of the security fence. Only an ongoing war against terrorism at its bases will bring about its elimination and an improvement in the security situation."

On the Palestinian Authority side of the fence, PA Chairman Mahmoud ("Abu Mazen") Abbas reacted to the Hadera attack by saying that it "harms Palestinian interests and could widen the cycle of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodshed." He did not, and has never, in any way express blanket condemnation of suicide bombings in principle.

Abroad, the bombing was roundly condemned by the United States and the European Union.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan issued a sharp condemnation of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday for not doing enough to control terrorist groups in the wake of the Hadera bombing. Labeling the bombing as “a heinous attack on innocent civilians”, McClellan called on the Palestinian Authority to “do more to end the violence and prevent terrorism attacks from being carried out.”

Britain’s Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, Kim Howells, also condemned the attack. However, Howells, speaking on behalf of the European Union, added that the European Union urged “restraint on the Israeli authorities in responding to this cowardly attack.” At the same time, he stated that the Palestinian Authority must make a stronger response against terrorist acts.

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3. Iran´s President Calls for Destruction of Israel and the West
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Iran's president told attendees of a conference in Teheran on Wednesday that "Israel must be wiped off the map." Last week, Iran promoted anti-Semitic literature at a German book fair.

"The creation of the occupying regime in Jerusalem is a strong action by the ruling arrogant world order against the world of Islam. There continues a historic war between the [powers of] World Arrogance and the Islamic world, the roots of which go back hundreds of years," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared. "The Islamic nation will not allow its historic enemy to exist in its heartland."

Ahmadinejad was addressing a Teheran conference entitled "A World Without Zionism".

"I have no doubt that the new wave [of attacks] which has started in dear Palestine and which we witness today all over the Islamic world will soon wipe this scourge of shame from the Islamic world. This is doable," Ahmadinejad encouraged the audience, which included thousands of Islamic students, as well as representatives of Arab terrorist organizations and their supporters. He noted his belief that the turn towards Islamism in the Palestinian Authority has brought the Arabs success against Israel.

Western Civilization, the Iranian leader said, "turned the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem into a staging-ground to dominate the Islamic world. ...They have created a base, from where they can expand their rule over the entire Islamic world; it has no other purpose other than this."

The goal of a world without the United States or Zionism, Ahmadinejad said, is "attainable and could definitely be realized. ...Our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] ordered that the occupying regime in Jerusalem be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement."

Compromise over the elimination of Israel, the Iranian president said, is tantamount to the defeat of the Islamic world, as "the central and command base of the enemy... is the occupying regime in Jerusalem." Ahmadinejad characterized the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria as a "trick" intended to seduce Islamic leaders to recognize Israel.

In reaction to the Iranian premier's statements, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Gillerman was told by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to demand Iran's removal from the world body.

In Iran, this Friday - the last Friday of the Islamic month of Ramadan - is Jerusalem Day, as per the late Ayatollah Khomeini's designation. Demonstrations against Israel and America are a feature of the day's events.

Meanwhile, in the heart of the West in Europe, Iran promoted Western-style anti-Semitism at its pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week. Among the books on display were The czarist anti-Semitic propaganda tract The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Henry Ford's The International Jew and Tale of the "Chosen People" by an Iranian author. The publishing event, which ended Sunday, attracted more than 250,000 people this year. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) confirmed that all books on display in Frankfurt were selected with government oversight. No action was taken against the Iranian delegation by German officials, even though German law prohibits the sale of some of the books displayed in the Iranian pavilion.

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4. Funerals of Five Terror Victims
By Hillel Fendel

The five murdered victims of yesterday's terrorist attack in the Hadera open-air market will be buried today.

The funerals are scheduled as follows:

Yaakov Rachmani, 68 - 4 PM at the New Hadera Cemetery. Survived by three children and eight grandchildren. He found his death while filling in for his friend - who was attending a memorial ceremony for his father - at a vegetable stand.

Michael Koifman, 68, from Hadera. Immigrated to Israel in 1993 with his wife and two children. The funeral is scheduled for 2 PM at the New Hadera Cemetery

Pirhiya Mahluf (female), 53, from Hadera. Survived by her husband Chaim and three children. She will be laid to rest in the Old Hadera Cemetery at 3 PM.

Sabiha Nissim (female), 66, from Moshav Achituv. Survived by her husband Aharon, six children and eight grandchildren.

Jamal Kaada (male), 48, from the Arab town of Baka al-Garbiye - afternoon hours in his hometown. His brother and father died in the past month. Two of his five children study in a university in Jordan.

Final Magen David Adom figures show that 33 people were hurt or killed in the attack: Six are in serious condition, and 22 are listed as lightly wounded; several of the latter were released this morning. Most of the wounded were evacuated to Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, while others were taken to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, Laniado Hospital in Netanya, HaEmek Hospital in Afula, and Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Two of the more seriously wounded were later taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah and Tel HaShomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

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5. Soldiers and Police Chase, Arrest Young Idealists
By Hillel Fendel

Activist youth efforts to expand the Jewish presence in the Land continue,despite the less-than-successful four-pronged youth initiative to do so yesterday.A major chase was underway in Efrat today.

Hundreds of youths, activists of the newly formed Youth for Land of Israel organization, took upon themselves to build new neighborhoods in various areas in Judea and Samaria, beginning yesterday. The sites chosen are: a hilltop south of Kedumim; another one between Elon Moreh and Shechem; an area alongside the Efrat-Tekoa road; and the Heroes Hill outpost between Hevron and Kiryat Arba.

Outside Kedumim, for instance, separate groups of boys and girls began building stone-and-cement structures yesterday (Wednesday), hoping to remain for the night without army interference. However, as activist leader Merav told Arutz-7 this morning, "Around 11 PM, about 200 policemen and many soldiers arrived and forcibly removed us. Three people were arrested, including Mayor Daniella Weiss, on charges of entering a 'closed military zone.' However, some of us were able to remain there, and in fact we plan to make another ascent later today."

The young activists at the Efrat site, known as Maoz HaHar - Fortress of the Mountain - were not bothered throughout the night, other than receiving a warning that they must leave. However, army and police forces encircled the site late this morning and began moving in. The activists ran away - first to one hill, then another - with the forces pursuing them all the while. Finally, the group made it into Efrat itself - but not before several of them had been arrested. "What is infuriating, however," said one young man from the scene, "is that they continued to arrest us even when we were already in Efrat. Nadia Matar, for instance, has been taken away, and they tried to arrest me as well." He then said he could not continue talking, and the conversation terminated.

Speaking from Elon Moreh, activist leader Leah said: "We were about 80 people there last night, when around 2:30 AM, the army came and removed us - quite violently, in some cases. Some people were arrested, including Rabbi Yehuda Richter and some of the youths, on charges of violating a closed military zone [the army] had just declared. They also took about 30 of us by bus and left us at the Ariel Junction; it was already around 5:30 AM... The soldiers destroyed one of the structures we had started building." Tzvi, a yeshiva high school student speaking from the boys' side, said that the structure on his side had only been partially taken down - but members of both groups began returning to the site early this morning.

In Kiryat Arba, IDF forces allowed the old/new Hevron Heroes (Giborim) site to stand, but took advantage of the opportunity to destroy another unrecognized Jewish site nearby - the Hazon David synagogue. The synagogue was originally established in mid-2001 following the terrorist murders of David Cohen and Chezi Mualem nearby.

Worshipers at Hazon David said that they would rebuild it once again. "We won't forget and we won't forgive those who dare to arise against that which is sacred to the Jewish People in our Land," one said. "Every once in a while, the army comes in and loots all the equipment here, valued at thousands of shekels. Despite repeated promises, they never return the equipment, except for some Siddurim [prayer books].

One of the organizers of the latest settlement initiatives is Aryeh D., 22, who is uniquely able to receive and transmit messages from and to the various sites because of his particular status: He is currently under house arrest in Kiryat Arba for his role in the youth march to Shomron of a few days ago. Aryeh said that the two sukkot built in the the Giborim neighborhood, as well as another wood structure, are still standing. "People are there now," he said, "continuing to clear the area and fortify our presence there. Prayers and other events have been held there fairly regularly in the past, at an old building that was there, and these of course continue."

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6. Another Expulsion for Gush Katif Residents is Postponed
By Hillel Fendel

Homeless citizens who last lived in N'vei Dekalim and were relocated to Jerusalem's Hyatt Hotel received a letter yesterday telling them they had until today to leave. They later received a stay.

The letter, signed by the Hyatt Hotel management, stated, "We hereby inform you that as of tomorrow, Thursday, after breakfast, the hotel will cease granting services, food or cleaning to the guests of the Disengagement Authority. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation." The letter explained that the Authority had signed a contract with the hotel only through Thursday, and that the hotel could not provide services without being paid.

For the former Gush Katif residents, this news was impossible to digest - for they literally had no place to go. Several dozen of them are scheduled to move to pre-fab caravillas in Nitzan - where hundreds of other expelled families live in temporary quarters - but these structures will not be ready for another month. Another group of some 80 families, who are scheduled to move to similar buildings in Shafir, know only that their caravillas won't be ready until long after the ones in Nitzan are ready.

Nitzan is located north of Ashkelon, and Shafir is northeast of Ashekon, on the road to Kiryat Malachi.

The bitter decree was slightly sweetened last night, when an extension was reached allowing the homeless guests to remain until this coming Monday, Oct. 31. One guest, Elimelech Fixler, told Arutz-7, "Apparently, the Knesset provided money for hotels for the residents only through Oct. 31. Our contract was only through the 27th, so they made a nice gesture and equalized us with the others. But we still have no idea what we will do come Monday."

Fixler said he understood that MK Uri Ariel and N'vei Dekalim secretariat head Lior Kalfa were to meet this afternoon with Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert to see if ways could be found to provide more funding for housing for the evictees.

Arutz-7 called MK Ariel, who provided the following welcome news:
"The meeting has been pushed off until next week, but in the meanwhile, I succeeded in obtaining an extension for the people in the Hyatt until Nov. 15. We hope to extend it even longer, until the caravillas are ready."

In the meanwhile, the difficulties of living in a hotel refuse to go away, and even intensify. Asked if it was true that the respect traditionally accorded parents and teachers by the children of Gush Katif had been dissipated, Fixler said,

"Look, there is no family framework here. Family life has been all but ruined. Each family has two or three rooms, and when the parents go to sleep, the children are free to go out or do what they want. I have heard that some of our youth have already been seen hanging out at Zion Square late at night... Even worse, there are those who have been psychologically scarred by this ordeal - screaming out, bedwetting, not being able to sleep. One child in the hotel said something today about wanting to die... When children are expelled time after time, it begins to tell on them. Though I am not facing these problems, thank G-d, I can tell you that on the day of the expulsion, they brought our family to a hotel - and there was no room for us. So we had to stay on the bus for four hours while they figured out where we should go. The children felt, 'Not only do they throw us out, but they don't want us anywhere?'"

As do many of the former Gush Katif residents, Fixler ended the conversation on an optimistic note: "From here in this hotel, we can see G-d's house [the Temple Mount] in ruins - so if He can take being in exile for 2,000 years, then we can withstand it for a few months."

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7. Knesset Forum Debates Evictees' Plight
By Naomi Grossman

Knesset Members and evicted Gush Katif residents held an emergency session on Wednesday, discussing the need to find immediate housing solutions for the expellees.

The debate was held in time for the opening of the Knesset’s winter session. Apart from the secretaries of the dismantled communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, other representatives were also present. Various suggestions for a permanent solution to the evictees’ housing problems were raised.

Community leaders spoke about the urgent need to move the families out of the hotels where they are currently housed. They raised harsh criticisms of the situation, describing a very bleak picture. Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky of Neve Dekalim stated that it was impossible to lead a normal life in a hotel, where the whole family has to share one room and there is no privacy.

The secretary of Gadid stated that, “the Agriculture Ministry has refused to allocate land for farming in the south of the country, and doesn’t permit the employment of Thai workers in order to set up new farming communities. How can we possibly start over like this?”

Rafi Seri, representative of the Council of Communities, said that there was no communication between the social welfare authorities and the evictees. This could be seen from the way in which the evictees had been scattered around the country and the authorities’ lack of suitable solutions to the situation. “We have been compelled to set up our own, independent welfare authority, basically funded by donations,” Seri stated.

Many MKs have decided to work together and use all of their parliamentary connections to ensure that the issue is not dropped from the Knesset agenda until suitable solutions to the problems faced by the evictees have been found. A joint political faction will be set up to force the government to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Among those present were MKs from the National Union Party, as well as representatives from other parties, including Ayoub Kara (Likud), Yair Peretz (Shas), Yuri Stern (National Union), Uzi Landau (Likud) and Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism).

During the debate, the forum met with Knesset Chairman Ruby Rivlin. They presented him with a full report of the government’s failures in dealing with the situation of the evictees.

MK Uri Ariel, who initiated the debate, stated, “We would like to facilitate and improve the evictees’ current situation. Just this week, the hotels announced that the evictees will have to leave by October 31st because the government has not transferred any money [to the hoteliers]. They can’t even get to their possessions that are currently stored in containers. These people are suffering every day. During the winter session we will do whatever we can to put an end to this.”

MK Ruby Rivlin stated, “We want and can get involved, and we will do our utmost to ease the suffering of the evictees. We are in ongoing contact with the director of the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Referring to the Likud’s current situation, Rivlin added that on Sunday the prime minister would be holding a meeting to unite Likud Knesset members. “At the same time, I intend to meet with the people who were expelled from Gush [Katif] and organize a tour to visit them. The Likud is in an absurd situation. Everyone used to join us in our struggles, but we are now finding ourselves joining with others,” Rivlin said.

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8. Jordan Cancels TV Series Following U.S. Rabbis´ Protest
By Baruch Gordon

The government of Jordan has agreed to cancel an anti-Semitic series airing on Al-Mamnou TV after receiving a protest letter from 24 American rabbis who had met last month with Jordan's king.

"During the 1930s, too many Americans were silent in the face of rising anti-Semitism, with tragic results," said Wyman Holocaust Studies Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff who organized the protest letter. "Our generation must not repeat that error. We must speak out against anti-Semitism today, whenever and wherever it erupts."

The rabbis' letter was sent to the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2005. Two days later, the Jordanian Embassy announced the cancellation of the series calling the program "controversial".

Signatories to the protest letter included Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, vice-president of Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College and other Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist rabbis.

The Syrian-produced television series, called "Al-Shatat," includes horrific distortions of Judaism, including the presentation of the use of a Christian child's blood in preparation of Matzah for Passover, as religious necessity. The graphic episode features Jews kidnapping a Christian boy and slitting his throat to drain his blood, and the brutal execution of a Jew by a "Talmudic" court, by pouring boiling lead down his throat. [Warning: The following two video links to the above episodes are very difficult to view: 1) Christian boy, 2) Talmudic Execution] All of the anti-Semitic libels in this series are presented as fact.

The series also portrays Jews conspiring to assassinate world leaders, cause stock market crashes, and provoke world wars, as part of a plan to conquer the world. Another episode shows Jewish leaders helping the Nazis slaughter Europe's Jews in order to win world sympathy for Zionism.

The 29-part series has also aired in the past on Hezbollah's Al-Manar Television and on Iranian Television.

In their letter to Jordan's king, the twenty-four rabbis wrote: "We fear that these horrifying libels could incite viewers to hatred and even violence. Jordanian citizens, especially young people, should not be inculcated with such messages and images, which undermine your noble efforts to promote peace ... Your Majesty, the words you spoke at our meeting last month gave us hope. Please do not allow Al-Mamnou to shatter that hope by broadcasting incitement to hatred."

The letter also suggested that Jordanian Television should air the Holocaust movie "Schindler's List," which Jordan and other Arab countries refused to show when it was released in 1994.

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9. Peres, Peretz Leading Leadership Poll
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Shimon Peres leads the pack in his bid to continue as leader of the Labor party, but Histadrut labor union leader Amir Peretz is close behind. Contender Matan Vilna'i: Both of them are losers.

Peres, who also is Vice Premier, has the support of 32 percent of party members, according to a Ma'agar Mohot poll reported by Israel government Radio. Peretz is in second place with 27 percent, far ahead of two other contenders, Knesset Members Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer (14 percent) and Vilna'i (13 percent).

A poll released by the Dahaf institute earlier this week reported similar results except for Peres, who was backed by 40 percent, the minimum needed by the leading candidate to prevent a second round of voting. The leadership vote in the party primaries is scheduled for November 9.

Vilna'i accused Peres of hurting the labor party by his close association with Peretz, whose two-member Am Ehad faction merged with Labor earlier this year and increased Labor's mandates to 21. "If Peretz will win, this is because of Peres," Vilna'i charged. "Voters understand that Peretz and Peres are left-wingers who are not able to win."

On the Likud side, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently beat back a bid to advance the primaries from March to next month.

However, MK Michael Eitan, who backed the Prime Minister's expulsion policy, demanded Thursday that the party return "to an acceptable democratic path, accept majority policy votes and uphold them in the Knesset."

Prime Minister Sharon last year promised to accept the decision of a party referendum last year on whether to support the expulsion plan. Two-thirds of the voters turned down the plan, but the Prime Minister said he was not legally bound to accept the decision, which he rejected.

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