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A holy conference should be held in a holy land.

The picture in last week’s report showing thousands of Chabad emissaries and their guests at the annual Lubavitch kinus (conference) was indeed awesome. One can almost hear the thunderous sound of “We want Mashiach now” emanating from the throats of these dedicated Jews.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Choni Davidowitz, Johannesburg

My first reaction would be that since this slogan would entail the speedy ingathering of our entire people to our Land of Israel after 2 000 years of exile, any conference of this kind by so many holy Jews should be held in our own land and not in a doomed Diaspora. A football field in Tel Aviv is far holier than any venue in the Diaspora.

Rabbi Dovid Hazdan was quite right when he reminded us of the time 26 years ago when the Rebbe “assured” South African Jews that it would be “good” for Jews in South Africa, and even better when Mashiach arrives.

Rabbi Hazdan, however, did not tell us that the same Rebbe also wrote the following profound words: “Any Jew living outside of Israel should always feel deep pain and remorse that he is living in exile away from his Homeland.” (Likutei sichos Vol 30 p234).

In my opinion, if any Jew in the Diaspora felt this emotion at the time before the Second World War, he might have thought of making his way to “Palestine”. Almost all the chassidic and Orthodox rabbis in Europe before the war gave their communities the same advice to remain where they were. We all know the tragic and unspeakable consequences of their judgement.

Today, the raging plague of intermarriage and assimilation in the Diaspora is staggering. No amount of kiruv by Chabad or any other outreach movement is going to stop it. It is a crisis that only aliyah can stop. I believe that Chabad should concentrate much of their holy work in the Diaspora to this end. Isn’t this what we mean by “We want Mashiach now”?

I repeat: The picture in last week’s Jewish Report was indeed awesome.  (But) it would be far more awesome if future conferences were held at the greatest gift of love Hashem gave to His people: The Land of Israel.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Myrna Jankelowitz

    Dec 8, 2016 at 11:45 am

    ‘I have gooseflesh!!! Every word is so profound and so true, the depth of your writing, the empathy with your words, and the truth in them is quite amazing. I salute you!!!
    \nChoni has the gift of expressing his feelings and he is always so spot on. He deserves all the accolades, I wish we had more of him around especially with BDS hiding behind the bushes – or rather the trees!!!’

  2. Jp

    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:16 am

    ‘Is it not about time to establish a Sanhedrin in Israel?’

  3. Choni

    Dec 11, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    ‘Jp, Google \”Sanhedrin in Israel\” 

    Regards

    Choni’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

“Clearly you’re a Zionist, going around demanding shit”

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I’m so sad that I came across this terrible article (“Professor of propaganda” by Howard Sackstein, SA Jewish Report, 3 June 2021).

First, I’m a Wits-trained doctor, and I admire doctors like Professor Shabir Moosa who are able to step outside their comfort zones and challenge the minds and beliefs of their younger doctors. South Africa needs more doctors that stand up for what’s right. Israel is an apartheid state. Please stop denying it! You’re basically killing Arabs and jailing innocent kids. You have no humanity as a Zionist.

Second, he posted his article on this group, and that made interns feel uncomfortable! Oh please, grow up! It’s a bunch of white men trying to bully us into acting in a way suitable for them. Imagine, a bunch of privileged white men felt uncomfortable for the first time in their life!

Third, screw the author! That he thinks he has any authority to report and demand “action”. Who do you think you are? Clearly, you’re a Zionist. Going around demanding shit. When you deserve nothing.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Why seek citizenship of murderous Lithuania?

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“Most of our ancestors were forced to flee Lithuania in terrible circumstances, and restoring our citizenship will go a long way to address the wrongs of the past.” I find these words by the national vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to be shameful and incomprehensible. To claim, as Zev Krengel does, that ex-Lithuanian Jews have an ancestral right to citizenship is an insult to the G-d of Israel. The only country to which any Jew has an ancestral right is the land of Israel.

When the Nazis marched into Lithuania in 1941, the government and people (with a handful of exceptions) didn’t lift a finger as Jews in more than 200 shtetls were humiliated, tortured, and ultimately murdered by Lithuanian collaborators. Which Jew with pure emotions would now wish to seek citizenship of that country, or any European country which willingly aided and abetted Nazi murderers?

The yizkor (remembrance) prayer that Jews recite in synagogues four times a year includes one for martyrs: “May G-d remember the souls of the holy and pure ones who were murdered, gassed, burned, strangled for the sanctification of the name through the hands of the German oppressors and their collaborators. (Yemach s’hmom v’zichron – may their name and memory be obliterated.) No, Mr Krengel, no amount of time will “restore the wrongs of the past”.

The most tragic event in Jewish history – the Holocaust – has taught the Jewish people that it’s forbidden for us to derive any benefit from countries that persecuted our people. (Hilchot Sanhedrin 15:9). How can any Jew with pure emotions associate with these places, much less seek citizenship?

With all due respect to Krengel and all those who seek citizenship of these murderous countries, may I humbly suggest that you rather seek citizenship in your one and only true ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. Seeking citizenship anywhere but Israel, after 2 000 years of bitter exile, is scorning G-d’s most precious gift to His people.

Further, I believe that to fulfil the commandment of “may their name and memory be obliterated”, no Jew should ever set foot in or associate with these countries in any way. It’s with dismay that one sees influential Orthodox groups spending money on resurrecting Judaism in these murderous countries instead of obliterating their names.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

None of us are angels, but condemnation of Israel is truly sick

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I’m appalled by prominent members of our government, even one of our own – Ronnie Kasrils – who has the gall to speak out against Israel, Zionism, and the Jews for what happened recently in Gaza, even to the extent of mentioning a Jewish policeman or soldier with his knee on a dead Palestinian child. This isn’t the way Jews behave. We are very conscious of our Judaism and families, and kindness is in our genetic make-up.

The photo I’m referring to was taken years ago, in a completely foreign country, and it incites hate where it doesn’t belong.

Sick people have caused anxiety and fear during the pandemic by publishing pictures of COVID-19-related crimes and other lies on Facebook and WhatsApp, and by publishing old photos and leading us to believe that they are fresh situations.

None of us are angels who never sin. But can anyone truly believe that no action should be taken against 4 000 rockets fired at a country indiscriminately? Does any other army in the world advise the perpetrators that they should evacuate because they don’t want to hurt or kill innocent people when they retaliate?

Well, Israel does.

In conclusion, Israel isn’t fighting Gazans, it’s fighting Hamas. The people who run Gaza are Hamas, not the Palestinians. They made the fatal mistake of allowing Hamas to run their country. It uses them as shields and doesn’t give a damn about their safety or well-being.

So, wake up South Africa, and all who condemn Israel for defending its citizens – you would do the same!

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