I’m voting Arabs unless someone pays me not to

My recent Facebook post.

Alright Facebook feed. I’m now going to blackmail you, and I’m serious. The Satmars have offered me $100 not to vote. But since I’m not 100% sure they’ll pay up as I don’t dress Satmar, I’m going to do something else.

I’m going to vote for the Arab Party because I don’t think it makes a difference and the only thing I really want to see is no possible coalition, and I think that the larger the Arab party, the less likely a government is to form at all. The government, the whole thing, is my enemy, and I want it as weak as possible.

The only way I will not vote for the Arabs is if someone convinces me not to, and the only way you can convince me not to is by paying me money. Words will not convince me of anything.

So if you think it’s really important that I not vote for the Arab party, put up your pledge. If we reach $100, I won’t vote at all. If you want me to vote for a specific party, say which one and pledge your amount. The party with the most pledges above $100 gets my vote. You can also PM me if you want, but any name calling will be promptly deleted from the thread.

100% of all proceeds will be donated to the Tzedaka of your choice in the amount of your pledge, but no government-run tzedaka and no political parties. All proceeds must be collected before Tuesday or I’m voting Tibi.

Iran’s “Evil” and the Fear-Based Incessant Warmongering of Right Wing Jews

The backing to this post is the video below. The point of the video, in a single sentence, is that Iran is now fighting ISIS, which is a good thing. They are fighting ISIS because Iran is Shiite and ISIS is Sunni. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Who cares. I certainly don’t.

Ron Paul asks the question, very basic. If Iran is fighting ISIS, shouldn’t Israel send her a thank you note?

Well, yes, they should. It should be hand written by Netanyahu with profuse apologies for badmouthing the Iranians. No, not because the Iranians are good amazing great liberty-focused people. But because it would be good for peacemaking and dialing back the possibility of bombs flying and people here and in Iran getting killed who have nothing to do with a spat between loudmouthed warmongering schmucks like Netanyahu and Khamenei.

Why is it that when I or someone like me even suggests that Netanyahu, instead of drumming up war fever on Capitol Hill, write a nice letter to Zarif or Khamenei, just thanking them for fighting ISIS, or for saying that Iran doesn’t want to nuke Israel? It would be nice. A nice thing. Maybe it would calm things down. Maybe it would decrease the chances of war by 1%.

Are there security concerns against sending a letter, for God’s sake? What is wrong with talking? Why do Jews, especially, under Netanyahu’s or AIPAC’s spell insist that peaceful overtures to Iran are the worst possible thing that anybody can do, and anyone who even suggests saying nice things instead of war language is a sympathizer with terrorists?

Here’s what I want, from the Israeli government, to the Iranian government:

Dear Persian People,

Hello, Benjamin Netanyahu here. I realize I’ve been such a dick lately, but it’s because I’m really worried about your nuclear program and the words of your past president Ahmadinajad. I believe he said something about wiping Israel off the map, which made me nervous and upset. Could you explain that please? Maybe I misheard, or misread. But I recently read that your Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said he does not want to nuke us. That was very nice, and I appreciate it. I also read that you are now fighting ISIS on your borders. I thank you for that. I offer Israel’s financial assistance and intelligence cooperation if you wish. It could be discreet, you wouldn’t have to tell anyone.

I would like to invite you to chat on the phone about this any time, and perhaps we could have a meeting on Skype about how to mutually tone down the rhetoric, and perhaps we could save our countries a war or two. Let me know!

Sincerely Yours,

Bibi

Does this mean Israel has to ignore the nuclear program? No. It simply means Israel should make peaceful overtures, because it’s a nice thing to do. That’s it. Can we do that?

No, because someone will accuse me of sympathizing with ISIS now. Even though IRAN IS THE ONE FIGHTING ISIS RIGHT NOW.

Socialist Healthcare in Action: Doctor Googles Antibiotics in Front of Me

I have no problem with doctors Googling things in front of me. Really, I don’t, it’s fine. It’s just funny that they do it and aren’t embarrassed about it. In fact, the doctor that did this is actually a pretty good one as State doctors go.

But anyway, my wife has strep last week, so she is immobilized and I have to take care of 3 kids by myself, one with a butt problem and a stomach problem, a baby with a stomach problem and a 4 year old who is sort helpful but is still a 4 year old. The doctor gives her penicillin, which has never worked for her before. The doctor said it is proven to work.

Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work, and the strep comes back. She is immobilized again, and wants another strep test. The nurse refuses, saying that since she already had antibiotics, she can’t have strep. I guess it’s illegal. Nobody told the schmekl male nurse that bacteria doesn’t follow government protocol.

Meanwhile the one with the tushy problem we go in for an appointment and we say we suspect parasites. The pediatrician asks what parasites are.

Added to that, this time I have a staph infection in right ring finger and I need antibiotics too. But I can still move around. So wife goes to a neighborhood Leumit doctor who gives her the same penicillin again, insisting that it works. It doesn’t work, again. We make another appointment at the state-funded Kupat Cholim and she explains the situation to the doctor, and tells him she has strep again, and she needs a stronger antibiotic because penicillin has never worked for her as a kid.

He orders a strep test, and lo and behold it is positive. He looks at my finger and says I could lose a fingernail and gives me ointment and puts me on the same antibiotics.

Wife asks if the stronger antibiotics have side effects for breast feeding. So…

He Googles it. We already Googled it.

And his government computer crashes.

Sometimes I think God is whispering personal jokes into my ear, because I’m the only one that gets them.

My fingernail is still on my hand. But if by Sunday it gets worse, I may have to get surgified.

70 Years too late? Greece Now Demands Money from Germany over WWII

This won’t go over well with the Germans. The Greeks are now playing the Nazi/WWII card.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Germany on Tuesday of using legal tricks to avoid paying reparations for the Nazi occupation of Greece and said he would support parliamentary efforts to review the matter.

His comments are likely to heighten tensions between Athens and Berlin as Greece’s new, leftist government struggles to persuade its euro zone partners to renegotiate the terms of a 240 billion euro ($260 billion) bailout.

Germany last month rejected renewed calls from Greece for war compensation, saying the issue had been settled at world power talks that led to German reunification in 1990.

But Tsipras said his government approved plans to revive a parliamentary commission to look into the issue.

Forget whether the Germans owe anything. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Legally, I have no idea, as legalism are made up by the victors. Morally, maybe, I’m not God. But clearly, this is a soured attempt by the Greeks to actually pathetically bully the Germans into giving them more money, and it is so plainly obvious it won’t work that you have to wonder if Tsipras is such a dark red commie that maybe he’s actually insane.

You don’t bully a country that’s bailing you out to the tune of $240B. It’s just nuts. If Greece is daring Germany to kick it out of the Eurozone, this pissant move might actually accomplish that.

GREEK SADNESS Tsipras and Varoufakis Completely Cave Like Dogs

If I were a Syriza fan, of which I absolutely am not, I would see this line as the saddest letdown ever. From Bloomberg, and it’s really, really pathetic. I almost feel for these sad Greeks. Not for Tsipras, but for the people. Just sad.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to access European bailout funds for Greece without completely ditching the anti-austerity agenda that won him election seven weeks ago. So far he’s dropped demands for a writedown on Greek debt, abandoned his plan to halt privatizations and accepted that he won’t get “bridge financing” without signing up to conditions.

In return he’s won concessions to shift some meetings to Brussels and persuaded European officials to describe the country’s official creditors as “institutions” rather than “the troika.”

So that’s it then. All Tsipras and Varoufakis have been able to get out of the EZ overlords is to change their name a bit so it doesn’t sound as bad. And move some meetings to Brussels. Wow.

But even sadder, is they couldn’t get even that.

 Greek officials are not hiding their frustration at the reappearance of the dreaded word “Troika” in statements made by several euro zone finance ministers today, reports Helena Smith.

The German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, no less, used it four or five times – in what some are calling a deliberate act of spite.

Why is a worthless name change for the same freaking people and their sophisticated bailout acronyms so damn important? I don’t think it’s just an emotional thing, though that is part of it.

They want to be able to lie more convincingly to their sad Greek people that they did something positive, that the “Troika” is no more, that there are “different” people auditing us now, that everything is different.

But if the Germans keep calling a spade a spade, they can’t pass the lie.

Syriza did nothing, as expected. And Varoufakis cowers along. His fire is gone.

In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. Varoufakis wanted a writedown and to stay on the Eurozone. He was never going to get both. He can have a full writedown of course, but the ECB will never give Greece another Euro cent in that case.

GREXIT The Real Question is, Do the Morons at the ECB understand the Consequences?

Here we go again with Greece. With Zero Hedge reporting (they really are on top of the latest crap, got to give them that, even if it’s sometimes overstated):

Unfortunately for Greece, moments ago Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirmed the bad news, when it said that the EU commission has rejected the Greek request for speedy aid payments, cites Valdis Dombrovskis, EU commissioner for the euro. The commissioner adds that the Varoufakis letter “lacks specific enough action plan and that the reform steps must be approved by Greek parliament and be implemented.”

In other words, as we reported before, Greece is back to square minus one, where first Europe will send the dreaded Troika inspectors “on the ground” in Athens to catch up to everything they have missed in the months they have been absent and then, and only then, does Greece have any chance of even being seriously considered for more aid.

I’ll stop pretending I know what’s going on here. But the funniest part is that Greece (may have, depending on whether you think ZH is credible or not) issued a plan to use foreign tourists as wires against tax evaders, a plan which was laughed at by European creditors, Troika, ECB, EFSF, whatever:

Financial Times reports that the reaction from eurozone officials to the tourist plan was received with humor. They thought the proposal was hilarious and even laughed when they read it. “It’s quite hilarious, if it were not so tragic, that this is what a government in an industrialised country comes up with,” said one eurozone official involved in the talks.

Here’s the question really. It all comes down to this. Does whoever is financing Greece currently, with whatever stupid acronym they use to name themselves, really understand the consequences of a Grexit? Do they undestand the chain reaction that will ensue, given that the world is embroiled in a debt crisis the likes of which it has never, ever seen in history?

If they understand it, they will keep funding Greece indefinitely. If they don’t, they will start a chain reaction that will end the entire game.

Maybe I’m wrong. That’s what I think.

I’m reminded of a line from Payback, that Mel Gibson movie where Porter goes after the whole Outfit by himself for $70,000 he claims was stolen from him. Porter is looking for the one man in charge of the outfit. He says to one of the gangsters, “One man… you go high enough you always come to one man… who?”

It’s the same in legalized gangs like the Eurozone. You go high enough you always come to one man. Who? And does he understand that he has the trigger to the entire pile of cards collapsing in a matter of weeks? By that I mean everything the whole western financial system?

If he gets it, it’ll be a few more years. If he doesn’t get it, it could be any day now. But I don’t know, because I don’t know who that one man is.

Why Terrorism Exists, OR Why do they Hate Us? A Lesson in Pshat versus Drash

It’s about time I addressed this question head on. (Apply directly to the forehead!)

This all began last night when some guy responded to my post quoting Mohammad Zarif, FM of Iran, as saying that he was not interested in bombing Israel. In response, he brought up some guy I’ve never heard of, I think it was “Hitler” or some such name, and said that I would have defended him, too.

He then accused me of having sympathies with ISIS. Now, I haven’t seen brainwashed McCarthyism so blatantly expressed by human drones in response to something I’ve written. Nevertheless, I don’t “unfriend” people because I think it’s childish, no matter what they call me. The only exception is if I or my family is physically threatened, which has never happened.

But anyway, before this guy started saying I’m part of ISIS for quoting an Iranian who doesn’t want to bomb Israel, another friend of mine, let’s call him “Dave” asked a very good question. Why, in my opinion, did the September 11th attacks happen, and why are there suicide bombers? It’s not a very common question because most people assume they already know the answer. But most people are wrong, even and especially about this very basic question.

Before I answer, I once knew a guy at Brandeis named Bert Cohen. I thought he was nuts. This was around 2003 at the beginning of the Iraq War. I was a full blown neocon back then, rooting on the American bombing of Iraq. Bert was absolutely against, and he would go around campus wearing a baseball cap with a bunch of antiwar pins in it, every day, all the time. One pin I remember was “Don’t bomb my Muslim friends!” He was a doofusy guy in general and people just saw him as the campus idiot.

I interviewed him once for the Brandeis Justice newspaper about his antiwar views. I remember going through a list of wars with him and asking if any of them were justified. He kept saying no, for the same reasons that I now agree with. It’s all a racket to expand the power and ego of a few politicians that use their subjects – and their “enemies” – as human fodder. That’s really about it.

Then we got down to World War II and he said that that was “close to a justified war” but not totally. I remember being stunned at what I thought was pure insanity.  Now I try to go back to that moment and I try to think why was I so stunned? Why did his words sound so insane to me? Why, now, do they sound so correct, absolutely right, and self-explanatory?

Yes, some of you who read this think I’ve lost my mind. I get that. I can’t prove that I haven’t because one human mind judges another, and there are never any third parties. Even if God came down and told me I wasn’t crazy I would still be interpreting that through my mind anyway.

Let me digress a little bit more before dealing with the core question. I think the answer as to why I thought Bert was so crazy back then, and the reason that McCarthy types say I have ISIS sympathies now, has to do not with logic, or anything cerebral in the conscious area of the brain. It has to do with something much more reptilian than that. If you’re on the other side of the fence with foreign policy (meaning not the libertarian one), then when someone like me says something like Muslims are not the problem and it’s the US that’s the problem, some form of reptilian disgust goes off like “I’m so sick of these people, how can they THINK this?” Then the cerebral conscious brain protects whatever is deeper inside and tries to “explain”, logically, why these disgusting positions are absolutely wrong, and people like me are going to cause the “collapse of Western Society”.

What I’m saying is the thought process is first emotional disgust and revilement, followed by logical explanations that seek to soothe the emotions. Not the other way around. I can say this with confidence because I used to be these people, and from what I see, this is how they still act.

So why did I change? I can only guess, because one can only psychoanalyze oneself so far. Here’s my guess. On the night I discovered Ron Paul, I was looking up partial birth abortions, or late term abortions or whatever you want to call them. I was just curious about what all the argument was about. So I looked it up, and I ended up on Ronpaul.com, on this page. At that page was this paragraph:

Many people feel very strongly about the issue of abortion, and once they make up their minds they rarely change their opinion. If you are undecided and/or open-minded, check out this page and this site for more information about abortion, including images and a description of medical procedures.

So I clicked on those links.

There were these diagrams, not pictures, just diagrams, of doctors inserting giant syringes inside a baby’s head while the body was literally outside the birth canal (hence partial birth), and sucking the baby’s brains out while the body was squirming.

Just looking at the diagram, I almost threw up. I think it hit the same region of my reptilian brain that went off every time I saw Bert Cohen and reviled in disgust about this crazy Muslim sympathizers and America-haters. Before I could open my mind to Ron Paul’s view of the world, my reptilian brain had to prepped, so to speak. It was prepped.

Then I clicked back, read what Ron Paul had to say about it. Then I looked up what Ron Paul thought of Israel, and found this post. With this paragraph:

If Israel believes that Iran might one day become a nuclear power and that such a development would be against her interests, Ron Paul would not stop Israel from doing whatever she deemed necessary to defend herself. Israeli assassination squads are already operating within Iran, and several Iranian nuclear scientists found themselves torn apart by mysterious explosions over the past few years. Ron Paul did not interfere. In fact, he would not even prevent Israel from initiating a devastating nuclear attack on Iran.

And that was it. I was converted.

What happened then was that I became open, on principle, to anything Ron had to say. Not that I agreed with everything and still don’t, but I became open to it. So when he said something about foreign policy, namely that Iran should be left alone and America should stop inciting wars, I no longer had that reptilian “HOW CAN HE SAY THAT??” visceral emotional response. I didn’t agree with it at first because I thought Iran was a threat (and still do, which is why I support Israel getting rid of its nuclear program) but I listened. And allowed it sit in my brain and cook, without kicking it out with some programmed feeling of deep-seated disgust.

The source of that visceral emotional response is from decades of propaganda, pledging allegiance, listening to my father’s sermons every week about how wonderful America is, hearing all my Rabbis say that it’s a “Medinah Shel Hessed”, whatever it was, it was something everyone agreed on. America is great, everything it does is awesome, it is the hope for the world, the beacon of freedom.

Now that I didn’t shove it out, I had time to let it sit. And I let it sit. And I began to question all my underlying assumptions about this great thing, “America”. Once I allowed the questions to sit there, it was only a matter of time before I had to come to the conclusion, based on the raw facts, that America is responsible for millions of deaths. Ron spoke facts about military bases and military budgets and invasion of defenseless countries and all of it was true. It’s not like neocons try to say that America doesn’t have the most foreign military bases in the world. They admit it, and try to justify it like it promotes freedom.

But I couldn’t stomach the “promote freedom” stuff anymore, when it was so obvious by the facts who is the occupier and who is the occupied. America is the Empire. They have conquered the world. Their bases are everywhere, they bomb everything, especially Muslims. Even if you’re a neocon you cannot deny that. They just do. Justify it however you want.

Why do they hate us?

Now, the question, why do they hate us? We have all been trained to believe that they hate us because they are Muslim extremists who want Sharia law everywhere and want the 13th Imam (whatever that is) to return and everyone to worship Mohammad. That’s why there’s terrorism, because of Islam. And Islam hates freedom.

But stop for a second and ask yourself, does that make any sense? It repeats what you have been taught about the goodness of America, but does it make any sense?

The problem is, if you are on the neocon side and you question for a second whether or not it actually does make sense, then you’ll hit that reptilian center of disgust again and you’ll have to shut off the questioning and just accept it. So let’s try a different approach.

Pshat versus Drash

Among religious Jewish circles, there’s a serious problem of confusing Pshat and Drash. Pshat is the simple explanation, and Drash is more of an exegetical, fancy explanation, to define it loosely. From grade school, frum Jewish kids begin to blur the distinction between Pshat and Drash, very early on, and are not taught the essential difference between the two. First graders at Mesivta or Beis Yakov come out thinking that Drash is Pshat and are never taught the difference. To put it simply, Drash is based on Pshat. Without Pshat, there is no Drash. Period.

There is always a source in Pshat for the Drash. You can’t have Drash without Pshat. Got it? Here are a few examples.

The Drash, or Midrash, is often used to resolve a contradiction in the text. For example, during the Song of the Sea (אז ישיר) in one verse it says that the Egyptians floated like straw in the Red Sea. In another it says they sank like lead. Now, the pshat is that it’s a song, a poem, and the poet wanted to use different words in the song, just like when you write a poem you generally use different expressions. The drash is that the relatively righteous Egyptians sank like lead. The really bad ones floated like straw and took longer to die.

Now, the song doesn’t say that the bad ones floated and the good ones sank. That’s just the drash. It says they floated and it also says they sank. The drash comes in to resolve the contradiction – did they float or did they sink? They can’t do both. But without the words “straw” and “lead” the Rabbis would have zero basis to say that the good ones sank and the bad ones floated. Midrash is never woven from whole cloth. There is always a source for it in the text.

Here’s another example. When Pharaoh’s daughter sees a basket floating in the Nile, she sends her servant to get it. The verse says ותשלח את אמתה, she sent her servant, or her “amah”. Now the pshat is that she sent someone else to get it, her servant. The Midrash, however, reinterprets the word “amah” which can also mean “limb” to say that her arm magically grew very long so she could reach out by miracle and get the basket.

So what happened? Did she send her servant or did her arm magically extend farther than humanly possible? The answer is, for the love of God, that she sent her servant. The Drash adds a miraculous flavor to the whole event saying that it was meant to be, very important, watched over by God, therefore it was as if her arm magically extended. But she sent her servant, OK? SHE SENT HER SERVANT. Her arm did not actually grow, OK? Got it? Why is this so damn important?!

BECAUSE!

Because when you try to answer the question of why do they hate us, why did 9/11 happen, why are there suicide bombers, there is a pshat and there is a drash.

And you must never confuse the two. Without the pshat, there is no drash, remember that.

Now, the pshat, the simple reason, the simple explanation, why did 9/11 happen, is that America is all over the freaking world bombing everything and occupying almost every Muslim country supporting ruthless dictators that oppress their poor people. The reason people hate you is that you do bad things to them. The pshat is that everyone is the same. All human beings. They don’t want to be hurt by bullies. Nobody does.

Now, how do the Muslim leaders get people to fight for them? They use the drash, that religious motivation some people have, that America is the Big Satan and and is against Islam and if you go over there and bomb the Twin Towers Allah will bless you and we hate their freedom and their women skimper around in bikinis everywhere and women are allowed to drive cars and they drink alcohol and have no religious morals. That’s the drash. Does it exist? Absolutely. But it ain’t the pshat.

Now if you want to get deeper into the sod of the Muslim equivalent of the Zohar, then they’ll have 72 virgins in heaven and all the rest of whatever they want to believe.

Why is drash of Muslim world domination and 13th Imam the drash, and not the pshat? Because, let’s say America had no bases in Muslim countries. Zero. And let’s say the US army never invaded a single Arab country, ever. Never dropped a single bomb on any Arab, period. Now, let me ask you this honestly, neocons, and answer honestly:

Do you really think, in that case, that Muslim religious fanatics would be able to convince anyone to go bomb the Twin Towers?

If you really think that “terrorism” would exist if America did not conduct wars in Arab countries all the time, for years on end, then you are crazy. Crazy crazy crazy. You think that Bitya’s arm magically extended and that she had no servants. You hopelessly confuse Pshat and Drash like a kindergartner.

But why do you do that? Because if you accept the Pshat as Pshat, then America is ultimately responsible, and maybe all the propaganda you’ve been inculcated with since you were a kid is all bullshit. Because maybe Bert Cohen is right, and you have to reassess everything. So you completely dump the pshat. And along with it you dump anyone who says that pshat is pshat. That they hate us because we kill them. That America started it. That the drash is just drash. And anyone who says that…is “evil,” “lacking basic human decency,” “Paultard,” “egregious” and an “ISIS sympathizer” and would defends some guy named “Hitler”. And if I bring up a quote that says that maybe Muslims don’t actually want to destroy Israel, I’m the insane one.

There is no Drash without the Pshat. Yes, Muslim religious fanatics, especially leaders, will say that they want the 13th Imam and America must be destroyed and American women wear bikinis all hours of the day in all weather conditions. And drive cars.

Muslims are by far not the first group to want to conquer the world and make everyone believe in their religion. And they won’t be the last. And ISIS is not the first group of people to behead their enemies to get a rise out of them.

But in order to conduct a war, you need to convert the masses to believe in it. And masses generally don’t give a damn about countries that do not attack their home. In order to conduct a war, Muslim extremists need a pshat so people fight the war. And the pshat is that American foreign policy started and is responsible for 9/11. 

Muslims are not the first to target civilians in a war (that’s the definition of “terrorism”, no?) America did plenty of that with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sure, America justifies it by saying it saved American lives. Well so does Al Qaeda. Go after American civilians, bankrupt the government, and it’ll stop attacking our countries. I guarantee you that’s what they say. 9/11 saved Muslim lives.

Now, call me crazy, call me insane, call me evil. Whatever you want. But at least I don’t confuse Pshat and Drash.

Think about the Pshat, and please, let it sit in your brain as a possibility, for 5 seconds. Just 5 seconds, consider it. Then you can throw it out. But just give yourself 5 seconds to question everything. Don’t let the reptilian disgust disturb you for at least 5 seconds. And let that doubt about America sit there, undisturbed, for just 5 seconds. And see where it leads you.

And Bert, I’m sorry I thought you were so nuts. You were right.

Iran does not want to Nuke Israel

Those who think Iran would nuke Israel are easily swayed by American propaganda. I would still support Israel destroying the Iranian nuclear reactor though, but not this pandering whining nonsense of Netanyahu constantly crying to the West to “do something”.

RT just interviewed Mohammad Jahad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, on this topic. To preempt, no, I don’t agree with everything Zarif says in this article. Just making a point that the State-controlled US main stream media (state licenses all the airwaves) emphasizes what it wants and ignores what it doesn’t. There will be zero, absolutely zero, American media outlets reporting these comments. And people therefore assume, from what they read in the state-controlled media in America, that Iran for whatever reason wants to nuke everything and reinstate the 13th Imam and other warmongering stupidity.

If Bibi wants to take out the Iranian nuclear program, then shut up and do it and take the consequences. Stop the warmongering US-pandering BS.

These comments, however, I completely agree with. Thank you Zarif for your sanity, at least as reflected in these remarks:

“It is truly, truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved Jews three times in its history: Once during that time of a prime minister who was trying to kill the Jews, and the king saved the Jews; again during the time of Cyrus the Great, where he saved the Jews from Babylon, and during the Second World War, where Iran saved the Jews,” he said.

“We’re not about the annihilation of Jews,” Zarif stressed, reminding the channel that 20,000 Jews reside in Iran “in peace” and even have their own representative in parliament.

“We have a history of tolerance and cooperation and living together in coexistence with our own Jewish people, and with Jews everywhere in the world. If people want to espouse fear mongering to fan such hysteria in the world, that’s to their detriment,” Zarif said.

 

Purim Chidushim for 5775

Here a list of new stuff I noticed in the Megilah this year that may be able to help you give a nice, good, drunken Dvar Torah at your Purim Seudah tomorrow. These are preliminary thoughts for development.

First, I noticed that, indeed, it was entirely Mordechai’s fault for endangering the entire Jewish people by exposing himself to Haman as a Jew. When Esther is kidnapped into the palace in a sadistic beauty pageant by a tyrant who wants a new plaything, Mordechai tells her not to tell anyone her nation or her heritage. את עמה ואת מולדתה are the words. כי מרדכי צוה עליה אשר לא תגיד. Mordechai commanded her not to say anything.

Why? What did he fear? Judging by Mordechai’s sitting at the gate, saving of the king, and respect for regulations (not going to the gate when he’s dressed in sackcloth), he was a political animal. So he probably didn’t want Esther to ruin her chances of coming out of this at least alive.  If Achashverosh killed Vashti, who knows what he would do with all the women he didn’t want. If she said she was Jewish, Achashverosh might have killed her.

Second, why, when pestered by the people at the gate as to why he does not bow to Haman, does Mordechai not follow his own advice and shut up about his nation and heritage? כי הגיד להם אשר הוא יהודי. Same words as he uses in telling Esther not to tell anyone. But he tells. Reluctantly, after they ask him again and again, but he breaks. After that, they tell Haman, who decides to go after everyone.

If either Esther had told the king at any point after she was chosen that she was Jewish, or Mordechai had not told anyone that he was, Haman would not have been able to go after the Jews as he did. If word came out that Esther was Jewish, Haman would never have been able to go after us. If Mordechai had kept his mouth shut, he would never have wanted to go after us in the first place.

But because Mordechai tells Esther not to say anything, but he himself doesn’t follow the same prudent course, Mordechai is responsible for this whole thing, and that’s why he rips his clothes. He reverses when he tells Esther to reveal herself at whatever cost.

Amalek vs Agagi, Israel vs Jew

The Torah reading for Purim starts ויבא עמלק ויילחם עם ישראל ברפידים. Amalek vs Israel. Full nation versus full nation. But Haman is never referred to as an Amalakite. He is referred to as an Agagi. Agag is the king of Amalek, just like Yehuda is the king of Israel. So the royal stock of the Jews, represented by Mordechai both as a Benjaminite (Saul) and a Jew (Yehuda) is fighting the royal stock of Amalek, Haman. Two shards fighting one last round, one never to recover (there is no more Amalek genetic line) one to return.

Haman has Esav Qualities

Maharal points out the language of ויבז with both Esav and Haman. ויבז עשו את הבכורה, vs ויבז בעיניו לשלוח יד במרדכי לבדו. Same personality, same language. Further, Esav in meeting with Ya’akov who offers him gifts says יש לי רב אחי, יהי לך אשר לך. I have much my brother, keep what you have. Ya’akov responds with כי יש לי כל, I have everything, please take my gift. Chazal make a big deal about the רב versus כל, that someone who has  רב always wants more, and someone who has כל is satisfied.

Haman has the same language. He tells his family, probably while drunk because he seems to be recounting his entire life story to his family who no doubt know it already, about his כבוד עשרו ורב בניו, his great riches and many sons. Not כל בניו, all his sons, but his many sons, same language as Esav.

 

 

Bureaucrat Caught Watching 6 Hours of Porn a Day, Good for Him!

An EPA worker caught watching 6 hours of porn a day since 2010 (it only took 5 years to catch him) with 7,000 videos on his government hard drive isn’t fired because of “Red Tape”. While some are infuriated over the waste of taxpayer money, I would gladly subsidize the porn addiction of any government employee and even pay for his memberships to all kinds of fetish sites of his choice because I’d rather my tax money be wasted on porn than spent on telling me what I can and can’t do with my own body and property.

It’s much more important though for everyone in the defense department to start feeding their porn addictions right now so they stop killing people and trying to start wars with Russia. Imagine if Bush were indulging a porn addiction when he was supposed to be in a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff about how to invade Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved. While this is sort of humor, I’m actually kind of serious.

All government workers should be watching porn, all day, all the time, and doing nothing else. Good for you, government porn addict, and thank you for interfering less in my life! Glad to help!