Monday, January 03, 2005

Initial post - 1/2/05


Although I have no intention to use this site to review movies etc., I must commend the film PAPER CLIPS as a must-see for each adult and child above 11-12, Jewish or gentile. Tears will roll down your cheeks as you view this sensitive and moving story of a school in Tenn. as it undertakes to teach its children and community about prejudice bias and eventually the holocaust.


It was sad to learn of the passing yesterday of Cong. Robert Matsui D. - Calif . He was a warm and gentle individual who worked tirelessly on behalf of the U.S.-Israel relationship. I had the pleasure of meeting with him twice in 2004 in N.Y. and Washington, the latter at the HUVPAC annual mission. He spent a great deal of time educating many of his Democratic colleagues (who somehow did not appreciate the nuances of the middle east.) the key role of Israel as a partner and friend. He will be sorely missed.


The terrible disaster of this past week brings to mind the prayer of Yom Kippur, Mi Bamayim, who will face their moment of death by water. Certainly we look to the almighty to respond to our prayers our repentance and our charity.

My late grandfather, Menachem Mendel Ganchrow, of blessed memory was a Lubavitcher chasid and was named for the alte rebbe.

Sheila and I had the opportunity this past year to avail ourselves of Chabad hospitality in Tokyo, Mumbai, India, and Puerto Rico, in addition to the mitzvah tank on 57th St. during Chanukah. Thus it was wonderful to see them be among the first to respond with kosher food, transportation, emergency services, trauma counseling, helping to locate families and assisting the Israeli consul in Thailand.

Their 24-hour phone 661-837-7618.


The American Joint Distributions is providing relief directly or you can contact the OU 212-563-4000.

When I was at the RZA I initiated an emergency fund as part of the maot chitim campaign I believe whatever is in the account would be well spent in this disaster.

Whenever there is a natural disaster Israel is among the first to respond with medical and food supplies, forensic and rescue teams. When in the face of a human catastrophe Muslim countries refuse to accept Israeli volunteers, it speaks to the underlying hatred for the Jew and the role of the state of Israel in this world. We should not forget the failure to accept the Red Magen David alongside the Red Crescent and Red Cross. Neither should lovers of democracy forget these countries when we shop for exotic vacations. They don’t deserve that we spend our money in their countries.

Povnitz Violence

A desecration of g-ds name is the only way to describe the scandal reported in today Jerusalem Post regarding the violence in the Ponovitz Yeshiva in Israel. To defame our Torah in the name of scholarship” is inexcusable.

As in every scandal the goal should not be cover-up and censor, but investigate and expel those responsible for the threats and violence (for the purpose of having their rebbe give a coveted shiur (class)).

Great torah leaders need do more than give the most intellectually challenging class. they must lead the torah life by example.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS for this initial effort—Abu Mazen (ABBAS} is not the hope for the future. Though he wears a business suit, and does not use the word JIHAD, the language, intent and policies are those of Arafat. His call for an end to violence has to do with public relations, not morality. It is unconscionable to see a headline that the Israeli gov’t. is thinking to allow him to make a campaign stop on the Temple Mount.

Next week, we will discuss Abbas and disengagement.