Tuesday 29 November 2016

United with Israel: The Ethic of Nations: Balancing the National with the Universal

Modern day ethics generally grew out of a perspective which focused on the individual without a consideration of an ethical value in sub-groupings within humanity – groupings such as nations or even families. The result is an ethical muddle. In regard to this, please see my latest post in the United with Israel blog at https://unitedwithisrael.org/the-ethic-of-nations-balancing-the-national-with-the-universal/.

I am sure this will also be up on the UWI Facebook page in the near future. Please feel free to comment here or on one of the UWI sites.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Huffington Post: Circling The Wagons

We live in a time when differences of opinion seem to be voiced so primarily in a voice of dogmatism. I am right and you are simply wrong is the tone of the day. How different this is from the way of Beit Hillel who always quoted Beit Shammai first.

I develop this idea further in my latest Huffington Post blot -- Circling The Wagons -- at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rabbi-ben-hecht/circling-the-wagons_b_13139518.html

Feel free to comment here or there.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Thursday 17 November 2016

"Filling the spiritual void with politics - doesn't work,"

From RRW
Arutz Sheva
Matthew M. Hausman, J.D.,  11/13/2016

Progressive Jews wear their partisan allegiances on their sleeves during election season, often taking positions that are so inconsistent with tradition as to cast doubt on whether their values are Jewish at all, or merely secular political dogmas.  The most fundamental priorities for those claiming loyalty to tradition should be respect for ancestral values and commitment to religious, cultural and national survival.  Instead, progressives espouse views that are hostile to Jewish continuity and often display greater affinity for left-wing anti-Semites, Islamic radicals, and revisionist narratives that deny Jewish history.  

Unbalanced criticism of Israel and disrespect for tradition are not authentic Jewish perspectives, but instead betray discomfort with Jewish identity and history.  It seems the further removed they become from normative belief and practice, the more progressive Jews seek to fill the spiritual void with secular philosophies and political ideals.  In many ways, left-wing politics is just as incompatible with Jewish tradition as so-called Jews for Jesus.  Both embrace positions that contravene tradition, and both take advantage of ignorance to promote alien ideologies as authentically Jewish. 

The agendas of progressive groups like J Street and the New Israel Fund (NIF) are inconsistent with Israel’s continuity as a Jewish state.  Though such organizations may claim affinity for Jewish values, they validate causes and programs that delegitimize Israel and undercut Jewish cultural integrity... 

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Sunday 6 November 2016


From RRW

"The Dogma of Political Correctness Has replaced Actual Morality"

5 Towns Jewish News
November 4th
P. 13

Thursday 3 November 2016

Hilary and the Ultra Orthodox

From RRW

Viewpoint #1
Rabbi Genack: VOTE FOR HILLARY – “She Understands Our Values” | Matzav.com

Viewpoint #2
Hillary Denies She Traded Clemency in Exchange for Votes

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Voting in the Upcoming U.S. Elections

The following is from a message that was sent out to Young Israel members from Bob Levi, Chairman of the Board, National Council of Young Israel. I thought it was worth sharing - RBH
...I would like to magnify the importance of voting by pointing out that participation in elections is not only a civic responsibility, but also a halachic obligation for Orthodox Jews. This point must have resonance with our co-religionists who are deeply disappointed in the candidates and, therefore, are considering sitting out this election.

I would respectfully suggest that we follow a path consistent with Halacha, as articulated by Rav Yosef Soloveitchik TZ’L and Rav Moshe Feinstein TZ’L. In 1940, Rav Soloveitchik wrote “only a political system can guide people” within the marketplace of political and legislative ideas. The Rav concluded that a Jew “fulfills G-d’s will in working for the public good” and, as a consequence, we must vote in elections.  Also, the words of Rav Feinstein are decisive when he wrote in October 1984:  “A fundamental principle of Judaism is hakaras ha-tov – recognizing benefits afforded us and giving expression to our appreciation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each Jewish citizen to participate in the democratic system which guards the freedoms we enjoy.”

Furthermore, on a practical level, elected officials are attentive to Jewish voting turnout. As a result, our ability to influence legislative decisions impacting our community is linked to engagement in the electoral process. So, I urge each and every Young Israel Branch member and supporter of the Young Israel movement to vote in this year’s election.


Bob Levi
Chairman of the Board
National Council of Young Israel