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Events, happenings, and Opinions Concerning
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23 Shebet 5768, 29 January 2008
1. Palestinians Overflow into
2. The Sabbatical (Shemittah)
3. "Palestinian state temporary ruse to destroy Israel'
1. Palestinians Overflow into
From: Leah Rafaeli <email@example.com>
Subject: The Lekarev Report
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 04:54:24 -0500 (EST)
Iran Offers Help to Egypt on Border Crisis
Iran yesterday offered to help Egypt deal with growing chaos on its breached
border with Gaza, according to a spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Ministry.
The offer came during a rare visit to Cairo by a top Iranian diplomat, Ali
Asghar Mohammadi, who serves as the Iranian Foreign Ministry's director-general
for Arab, Middle East and North African affairs. He met Sunday with Egyptian
Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Egypt and Iran have had no formal relations in nearly three decades, but
government ministers from the two countries have met frequently in the past two
months. Last week, the Iranian President, Ahmadinejad telephoned his Egyptian
counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, for the first time to discuss the Gaza border
Mohammadi offered Iran's "cooperation with Egypt to provide help to the
Palestinians," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki. He did not
give details of the Iranian offer, but said Egypt welcomes cooperation between
the two countries through their Red Crescent branches.
We have now learned that part of the advance planning of this border breach
which Hamas admitted to last week, included a $300. grant to each of the half a
million Gazans in flight, one-third of the total population, which accounts for
the shopping spree they could suddenly afford. Hamas was able and willing to
spend $15 million on a maneuver designed to seize control of a region in
Early this morning Jan. 28, Cairo deployed a border guard brigade in the
northern Sinai town of El Arish, to hold the line against the spread of the
Palestinian tide into the largest town in the peninsula. This move came after
large numbers of Egyptian border guards were unable to contain the rising tide
of Palestinians overtaking the Sinai. Attempts to hold them back with gunfire
simply drew more gunfire from within the Palestinian mobs.
Egypt is deeply concerned that if the Palestinians take over El Arish in the
Sinai, they will use it as a springboard to advance further into Egypt proper.
Egyptian forces have in the last 24 hours, apprehended 30 Palestinians on their
way to the Suez Canal armed with weapons, explosives and devices for monitoring
Egyptian and Israeli security communications, and a second group heading for the
unfenced 220-km Egyptian-Israeli border.
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2. The Sabbatical (Shemittah)
This year is a Sabbatical (Shemittah) Year.
According to the Bible every seventh year the ground had to be left fallow:
"You may plant your land for six years and gather its crops. But during the
seventh year, you must leave it alone and withdraw from it. The needy among you
will then be able to eat just as you do, and whatever is left over can be eaten
by wild animals. This also applies to your vineyard and your olive grove."
More details concerning Shemitta may be found in the Wikipedia article on the
It should be noted that according to many authorities the Shemitta Year is only
obligatory when ALL the Twelve Tribes are settled in the Land of Israel and the Jubilee Year is also
At present the Shemitta Year is a Rabbinical Enactment though one that is
considered quite stringent.
The difference between a Rabbinical Enactment and a direct Torah Law is that in
time of need the Rabbinical Enactment is considered more elastic and other Rabbinical
Enactments may be used alleviate its effects when there is a need for such alleviation.
In the case of the Shemittah Year a good proportion of the population of Israel
relied on the "Heter Mechira"by which the land was fictitiously sold to a Gentile and land sold to Gentile
according to many (but not all) opinions is not obligated by the Shemittah Laws.
Most of the Ultra Orthodox and many of the merely religious however never relied
on the "Heter Mechira".
Instead they buy imported produce, or produce from the Arabs, or produce from
land whose owners have technically relinquished possession of for the duration of the Shemittah Year.
There were many justifications in the past for the "Heter Mechira" but these
days they may no longer be valid.
The "Heter Mechira" was never meant to be a permanent solution but only to be
used when the Jewish Settlement
in Israel would be in danger due to lack of agricultural produce or lack of
control over vacant lands.
On the whole such conditions no longer apply.
What is more from an ecological point of view as well as from a sociological and
economical one observing the Shemittah strictly could bring a lot of benefits to Israel.
The land would lie fallow, pesticides and artificial fertilizers would not be
used, the air and water resources would have a chance to recuperate,
Experts warn nature not getting adequate share of fresh water reserves
In addition, superfluous agricultural projects could be reconsidered, priorities
adjusted, and agricultural workers in some cases be retrained etc.
In addition to all this the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel for the last 100 years or
more have always adhered to the Shemittah Laws with great dedication at times suffering because of it.
Even though it is probably nowadays only a Rabbinical Enactment it is related to
in some circles as if it were a Torah Commandment.
There is some value in this from a nationalist Zionist point of view in so far
as we should want to see a revival of the ancient Biblical Laws in the Land of Israel, a Return to
what once was or at least to what the Almighty indicated in the Torah that there should be.
In light of the above the following excerpts may be of interest:
News Analysis: The Shmitta-Iran
Thursday, 24 January 2008
This year, 5768 in the Hebrew calendar, is a shmitta or seventh year, when the
Torah requires the land of our holy and beloved homeland to lie fallow, for this
is a year of rest for the land. Jews are not allowed to eat vegetables illegally
grown during the seventh year, and must either purchase our veggies from
non-Jewish farmers or from abroad.
For the last four months, since Rosh Hashanna [Hebrew New Year], the anti-emuna
[belief] regime in Israel has been waging a covert war on the Torah-observant
populace. Sanctioned with the backing of the Prime Minister himself, the
ministries of agriculture and trade made staunch protests during cabinet
meetings, calling for the government to ban the import of vegetables as well as
outlaw the sale of Gaza-grown vegetables within Israel. Even the Israeli Supreme
Court intervened to force the state Rabbinate to grant kosher certificates to
vegetables that were grown on Jewish-owned land according to the heter mechira,
which the ultra-orthodox population doesn't recognize.
The situation was bleak, with vegetable prices rocketing sky-high in Haredi
[Ultra-Orthodox] neighborhoods. With the government attempt to coerce the
Haredim to lower their halachic standards, supplies were dwindling and prices
were constantly rising. This was acute, especially in light of the fact that we
Israelis consume a large amount of fresh vegetables.
Hashem decided to put an end to the Israeli government's newest sanctions
against the Torah-loyal population. Not only have the last four months - our
annual rainy season - been as dry as a bone, but we are just now emerging from a
devastating nationwide frost that has destroyed virtually all the vegetables
that have been planted during this current shmitta year. So, not only is the
Haredi (ultra-orthodox) population eating vegetables from overseas, but the
general populace as well. The same government ministers that tried to prevent
Hashem's loyal sons from strict observance of the shmitta year by refusing to
allow them to import veggies are now eating salads made with carrots from
Morocco, onions from Egypt, and tomatoes from Jordan.
Hashem is showing us that He can overturn the silly schemes that the anti-emuna
government devises at any given moment. If Hashem decides what's for dinner,
He'll also decide our future. Therefore, we need not lose a moment of sleep
about the government's poorly-pondered pointless puppet-style peace plans.
If you're still sceptical, all of Israel is talking about the shmitta miracle
of two adjacent banana orchards: Despite the frost, the one managed according to
Halacha was completely spared, while the other plot was destroyed in the frost.
Hashem is talking to us loud and clear: "Beloved sons and daughters - when shall
you throw away your follies and begin to believe in Me!"
*The Shemittah or sabbatical year is a Biblically-ordained, year-long period
during which Jews are forbidden to work the Land of Israel. It is observed once
every seven years. Some 120 years ago, when Jews began to return to the Land of
Israel after nearly two millennia of exile, they began farming the land for
their livelihood. When the first Shemittah year arrived, in 1889, leading
rabbis ruled that the farm land could be sold to non-Jews for the Shemittah
year, and could be then farmed almost as usual - with the condition that major
agricultural activities such as plowing be performed by non-Jews. This
arrangement was known as the heter mechirah, literally, the "sale
dispensation." Other leading rabbis did not accept it, however - setting the
stage for a century-plus of disputes on this issue.
3. "Palestinian state temporary ruse to
Official television network calls for 'liberation' of 'all Palestine'
by Aaron Klein
List of Brit-Am Video Clips on Web-Site
featuring Yair Davidiy and Gavin Finley
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