Thursday, June 23, 2005

G-d bless America

I know, you may have mistaken me for an ardent passionate Zionist. In some ways I am. But I love this country. Heve Mispalel Lishloma Shel Malchus - you should pray for the welfare of the goverment - especially here. We are so lucky to live here and now. Why? What do I love about it?

The way you can go anywhere to shop, and the shops are piled high and cheap as hell.

Some of the lowest tax rates in the world.

Thanksgiving.

Watching the NCAA female softball final - blond cheerleader-type girls running around playing sports, if that isn't heaven then I don't know what is, but it's enough to make anyone want to chop off a limb or commit hari-kiri just to bat one innings with them! The third reich would be happy to know their blonde uber-babes are ruling my world.

I don't suffer the anti-semitism of Britain and France, the high taxes, darkness and cold of Scandinavia. The dull soccer games where you stand around for a couple of hours and it ends up with no goals and a boring stalemate - Yawwwwn. Or cricket, which I can't get for the life of me. One game takes five days? Who would want to watch that, when Tim Duncan is duncan them in?

I don't have to put up with the reputation of being boring - thank you Trey Parker and Matt Stone for telling the world what Canada is really about. 30 million people populating one of the biggest countries in the world - it's enough to drive anyone crazy.

Israel is great but for one major problem - the Israelis! Unless you love a bunch of sweaty, aggressive, obnoxious people. And living in the middle of billions of people who would rejoice if your nation was annihilated.

Ok, we have a load of obese, uneducated, Morgan Spurlock-ignoring trailer trash. We have race issues that will never go away. We do take a deep interest and major role in world affairs, with varying levels of success. Sometimes we are like a giant trying to delicately attach small pieces of lego together, bumbling but well-intended.

With all our faults, warts, fights and idiosyncracies it is still the greatest country the world has ever seen.

Goodnight America, wherever you are (quote anyone?). It's good to be back blogging.

TRK

14 Comments:

At 6/23/2005 5:19 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

TRK:

With your such wonderful comments of Ahavat Chinam about Israelis, its no wonder Mashiach is here and the 3rd Beit HaMikdash is built in all its splendor.

I'm really flabbergasted by your remark -- "sweaty, aggressive, obnoxious." Sweaty, because we live in a desert? Been to Phoenix lately? Obnoxious? Been to the center of Jerusalem lately? The American one-year-yeshiva/seminary people can really give you a course in obnoxious...and what it means to be "loud". Aggressive? The privilege of fighting for your country's survival is bound to take some toll. But to trash Eretz Yisrael based on its Jewish inhabitants?

Here's a story for you. During Chol Hamoed Pesach, the Rashid Clan left the Muqata to go to the mall in Ra'anana. Parking was very scarce. When we found a spot, I waited patiently for the exiting driver to pull his car out. I started maneuvering my van towards the spot, and someone else zipped into the spot. I almost crashed into him. Boy was I angry. I got out of my van and went over the smug looking guy who had just completed his park. He started yelling at me for trying to take his space. He said he had been waiting 10 minutes for the same spot, and I was out of his field of vision which is why I didn't see him. Still mad, I wished him a Moed Tov, and went back to my van...totally pissed off. I started backing out to find another spot, and the guy who had been screaming at me a minute ago, came over with his kid, and apologized for screaming, and said it must be very frustrating waiting for a spot and having someone else zoom in and "grab" it. He asked to shake my hand, and also with me a "moed tov".

For all the problems we have, and believe me, we have lots of them, there is no other place I would rather live.

And you can eat Turkey on Thanksgiving here as well, if that's what will make the difference. We do as well.

Lastly:

15 years ago there was a debate on the topic of aliya by Rabbi Berel Wein vs. Rabbi Riskin. I'll spare the blog the details, except for the closing "arguments".

Rabbi Wein said that he knows from a close friend that Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky' zt'l mention the following to him. 3 things were stolen from Am Yisrael. Tanach was stolen by the Christians. Hebrew was stolen by the maskilim. And Eretz Yisrael was stolen from the Jewish people by the Zionists.

Rabbi Riskin was given the final word. He got up and said, far be it from me to contradict the words on one of the gedolei hador. Yet, when a gadol says something, we need to analyze and understand the deeper meaning of what they actually said. When he said that Tanach was stolen by the Christians, that its now part of the "Christian Testament" -- it was obviously stolen, because we stopped learning it. Do you see Tanach being taught in yeshivot? Its all gemara now. Hebrew stolen by the maskilim? Of course it was stolen - because we stopped speaking it. Yiddish replaced Hebrew and the holiest of languages. And Eretz Yisrael...why was Eretz Yisrael "stolen" by the Zionists? Because we stopped moving there. The Torah describes that when Yosef was about to be sold by his brothers into slavery they through him into an empty pit. Rashi asks, why does it bother to say "empty pit" - obviously the pit was empty of water. Rashi comments, that nature abhors a vacuum -- it said "empty pit" to teach us that it was empty of water, but full of snakes and scorpions. If you don't fill up Eretz Yisrael with Torah, it will get filled up with secularism.

He ended by saying its up to us to reclaim what's rightfully ours. Just as Rav Yakov zt'l said...reclaim the Tanach by learning it, reclaim Hebrew by speaking it, and reclaim our land...by moving there....here.

 
At 6/23/2005 8:09 AM, Blogger Chai18 said...

"If a Jew thinks that Berlin is Jerusalem...then a raging stormwind will uproot him by his trunk...a tempest will arise and spread its roaring waves, and swallow and destroy, and flood forth without pity. " Meshech Chochmah, by the Ohr Somayach, Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen from Dvinsk, pg.171-2.

 
At 6/23/2005 10:50 AM, Blogger tmeishar said...

Everyone needs to chill out. Personally, I take issue with what TRK said, but that doesn't give us an excuse to be verbally abusive. Please, a little respect.
I doubt that TRK disagrees that Israel is of fundamental importance. He was simply saying that he values America more. I'm not quite sure why he said it and I abhor the attitude, but he has a right to feel the way he does.

While we're quoting Rav Riskin...
He was giving a speech on how to behave towards Conservative Judaism, but I think it applies here as well. He said, loosely, 'I am a proud Orthodox Rabbi and I believe that I am correct.' Then he explained that the fact that he believes his is the correct way to serve God does not mean that the other's right to think that they are correct is negated. You can RESPECT and accept the other person EVEN IF YOU THINK THEY ARE TOTALLY WRONG.

 
At 6/23/2005 1:53 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

tmeishar: chilling out is fine. I didn't verbally insult TRK, nor call him smelly or offensive (as he described over 6 million Jews living in Israel). I did write that his attitude is offensive. Big difference between disagreeing with a person, and disagreeing with their IDEAS.

 
At 6/23/2005 2:01 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Tmeisher, thanks. Jameel knows I mean well - and by the way I consider myself smelly and offensive, and often downright abusive.

Before Jameel leaves the Mukata and hunts me down, my post if sull of stereotypes for a reason. Don't take everything at face value, kids. But keep them coming, I can handle it.

TRK

 
At 6/23/2005 2:04 PM, Blogger tmeishar said...

I don't know why you're thanking me. I am still really upset with what you wrote, I was just more upset with what Jameel wrote.

 
At 6/23/2005 2:54 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

"I consider myself smelly and offensive, and often downright abusive."

yes well you are smelly, offensive and abusive so i don't see why you have a problem with Israelis

 
At 6/23/2005 6:26 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

I always thought TRK lived in Israel. You mean, lulei demistafina, he's HERE???

That means we could go grab a beer, dude!

You do, lulei demistafina, have to be careful what you say about E. Israel, it's produce, and it's occupants. How ironic, that you picked Parshas Shelach for this particular moment to criticize!

BTW, that Rabbi Riskin/Rabbi Wein debate on Aliyah is a classic--and I have the tape! The irony there is that, lulei demistafina, Rabbi Wein was taking the position for staying in America--and he has since made Aliya.

Anyone who wants a copy, just get me your contact info.

 
At 6/24/2005 12:41 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Cloojew, I wanted you to think that so I wouldn't have to pay for your beer!

 
At 6/24/2005 5:15 PM, Blogger TwennyTwo said...

Yo, for what it's worth, I thought you lived in Israel as well.

Breh, lemme tell you something. You're priviledged to be able to see the country of Israel as you do-and be excused because of who you are. If I said the same thing, folk would jump all over me. Feel lucky.

peace
twennytwo

 
At 6/25/2005 5:22 PM, Blogger Karl said...

"How you love it!"

 
At 6/27/2005 12:25 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Cloojew -

Rabbi Wein is one fine person! And even at the debate 30 years ago, he wasn't really "against" aliya...

I would love to get a copy of the tape/debate - how do I contact you?

Thanks,

Jameel.
muqata@gmail.com

 
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