Archive for November 2013

An interesting video about Hanukka

November 29, 2013

click to view…

What God is doing these days…

November 29, 2013
 Israel Returns Logo Israel Returns
Bringing home lost tribes and “hidden” Jewish communities
Bnei Menashe Community in India


 Michael Freund 

Shalom friends,

For more than 2,000 years, Jews around the world have been faithfully celebrating the festival of Hanukkah, commemorating the great miracles performed for our ancestors when a small band of Jewish freedom fighters (known as the Maccabees) defeated the powerful Syrian-Greek occupiers and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem.  When the Jews entered the Temple, defiled by pagans, they found one tiny jar of pure, holy oil to light the Temple lamp, yet the flask which should have burned for just one night lasted for 8 days and by then the Jews had time to produce more pure oil for use in the Temple.

Today the story of Hanukkah lives on in the story of the miraculous spirit of the Jews, surviving against all odds as a national people in a national homeland, surrounded on all sides by forces more powerful and numerous. We pray this Hanukkah that God protect the Jewish people as He did in years gone by, and guide Jews around the world to find their way back to the Land of Israel. And just as the Jews purified the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and re-established Jewish sovereignty in our Land, so may we see the rebuilding of the Temple and the return of the exiles in our days.

Please make a Hanukkah donation to Israel Returns today, and receive a beautiful Shofar as our present to you.

Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah,

Michael Freund

Founder and Chairman of Israel Returns

Thanksgivukkah song

November 29, 2013

click above to view and hear the Thanksgivukkah song

Read John 6:22

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap
for the first time since 1888
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap for the first time since 1888

The big holiday buzz this year surrounds the convergence of two other major holidays, an event that won’t take place for another 79,000 years.

Today Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap for the first time since 1888, creating what many are calling “Thanksgivukkah.”

Happy Thanksgivuka!

November 28, 2013

And they sang one to another in praise and giving thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever toward Israel.

EZRA (3:11)

וַיַּעֲנוּ בְּהַלֵּל וּבְהוֹדֹת לַי-הוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל

עזרא ג:יא

va-ya-ah-NOO be-ha-LALE oo-ve-hoe-DOTE la-doe-NIE kee tove kee le-oh-LAM khas-DOE al yees-ra-EL

Today’s Israel Inspiration

Let the gifts begin! Today in honor of “Thanksgivukah” – the rare convergence of Hanukkah and the American holiday of Thanksgiving, we are excited to present another special new gift to you. We all know the story of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and giving thanks for their survival.  Most people, however, don’t know that the Pilgrims were deeply encouraged by the story of the Jews crossing the Red Sea to escape persecution. With a strong biblical foundation, America’s “Judeo-Christian values” remain one of the main reasons for America’s strong support for the Jewish State. For those of us who share in this love and support of biblical values and the Land, I urge you to deepen your connection to Israel by supporting Israel365. We have a wonderful “Thanksgivukah” gift ready to be mailed to you!

Newt knows what happened yesterday

November 23, 2013

Gingrich Productions

The Death of the Senate

The Death of the Senate

No one should be confused about what happened yesterday.

The Obama Democrats killed the United States Senate as a deliberative body 226 years after the Founding Fathers created it.

The use of a simple majority to change the Senate rules and eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominees and other appointments–a device that made getting 60 votes a practical necessity–was a decisive first step toward reducing the Senate to a body that operates by simple majority.

The Democrats have tried to argue that they killed the filibuster only for a handful of presidential nominees. But in fact they’ve killed a tradition that had survived more than two centuries. There will be no principle to stand on to block controversial appointments or legislation in the future.

This is a big deal, and it will change the culture of the Senate profoundly. And the Obama Democrats understood exactly what they were doing.

In 2005 as a senator, Barack Obama himself said that “everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.”

The same year Senator Joe Biden said, “We should make no mistake. This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party… We have been through these periods before in American history but never, to the best of my knowledge, has any party been so bold as to fundamentally attempt to change the structure of this body.”

He called it “the single most important vote” he had cast during his three decades in the Senate.

He said “I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

Senator Harry Reid himself praised the filibuster at the time, lauding it as “far from a procedural gimmick.” It is, he said, “part of the fabric of this institution we call the Senate.”

That is what Senator Reid and the other Obama Democrats destroyed yesterday, fully aware of the permanent damage they were causing in order to achieve fleeting political goals.

That trade of long-term stability for short-term gain is exactly the opposite of the wisdom the framers of the Constitution intended for the Senate (a big part of the reason the body exists in the first place). The Founders were worried that the House, with its frequent election cycles and small Congressional districts, would be shortsighted, easily impassioned, and unaccountable for the ultimate consequences of their decisions.

The Senate was supposed to guard against this danger, as a “temperate and respectable body of citizens…to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind,” as Madison put it in Federalist 63. It would do so by making decisions for the long term, he thought–“well-chosen and well-connected measures, which have a gradual and perhaps unobserved operation.”

Until yesterday, the filibuster was one such device–an important protection which for centuries had been inviolable.

Harry Reid and the Obama Democrats’ reckless decision to kill it will change the Senate forever.

Your Friend,

Reprinted from

November 22, 2013

This year’s once in a lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Hannukah has not only given us the cute name ‘Thanksgivukah’, but focused attention on Judaism’s encounter with the great American holiday. When I used to live in the United States, my curious non-Jewish friends would ask me at this time of year whether I, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, celebrate Thanksgiving?  The mere question reminds me that we still have much to learn about each other, because the answer is so obvious once you understand what Thanksgiving is all about.

Every American Kindergartner knows the story how the Pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 and gave thanks for their survival and successes.  What most people don’t know, however, was that the Pilgrims looked deeply towards the Bible for inspiration which established the Book of Books as the foundation for the New World.

Unlike any other group before them, the Pilgrims were fleeing from religious oppression in Europe. They looked to the Bible for guidance and even studied Biblical Hebrew in order to read it in the original. The Pilgrims saw themselves as the chosen people fleeing from the brutal King James I, whom they referred to as Pharaoh, thereby casting off their yoke of bondage and oppression.  They referred to their voyage on the Mayflower as passing through the Red Sea into the wilderness and when they arrived in what they referred to as the “Promised Land”, they offered thanks and prayer to God, like the biblical Feast of Tabernacles.

We must not take for granted the fact that no other group in history had ever felt that they were reenacting and fulfilling the experience of the Israelites as did America’s first settlers.  For centuries, European explorers had set sail for new lands without referring to the Bible, seeing themselves as God’s chosen people, or searching for the Promised Land.

Furthermore, the history of early Americans who looked towards the Biblical narrative for inspiration doesn’t end with the first Thanksgiving. In fact, that’s only where the story begins.

At the first presidential inauguration in 1789, George Washington held up the procedures until a Bible was found, insisting upon swearing his oath of office upon it, a tradition that has continued to this day.  Every American president has referred to the Hebrew Bible in his inauguration address, comparing his generation to Israel in the wilderness, confronted with challenges, yet on the verge of the promised land.  Former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has pointed out that not only does every American president look to the Biblical narrative for inspiration, but the United States is the only country in the world where this occurs.

The Jewish people have always claimed to have a divine mission to promote the universal values of peace, freedom and hope, but unfortunately, for the last 2,000 years, no one was listening.  From its inception, however, America was different.  Despite pockets of anti-Semitism, there has always been a distinct appreciation for the Jewish people in the United States.  The “American Dream” was built upon a Biblical foundation, and we refer regularly to America’s “Judeo-Christian values,” which is one of the principle reasons for America’s strong support for the Jewish State.