israel news

Israel News for 9-21-18

Terrorists Hit
Israeli aircraft attacked a terror cell in northern Gaza yesterday that was launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory.

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Demolition Order
The IDF has informed the family of terrorist Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, who killed Duvdevan soldier Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, that it plans to demolish their four-story house. According to the IDF Spokesman’s Office, the family already received notice about the intention to demolish two floors of the structure some three weeks ago. In recent weeks, the IDF has conducted further examination of the matter, at the conclusion of which it was decided to demolish the entire building.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman praised the decision to demolish the entire house. He tweeted, “We’re fighting terrorism with determination! We’re going to demolish, down to the foundations, the entire four-story building that housed the despicable terrorist—may his name and memory be blotted out—who murdered IDF soldier Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky. The demolition will be done as soon as possible.There are no compromises in the war against terror. Only an iron fist.”

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Warning Violence
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned the Security-Cabinet that there is a more than moderate chance that a violent conflagration could erupt in the West Bank, adding that the US decision to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is counter productive for Israel and could inflame matters in the area.

Other security officials have made clear that maintaining the PA’s stability was in Israel’s best interest. They have also noted that the US’s $60 million in funding for the Palestinian security services was not affected, but all civilian aid budgets were stopped. The officials blamed Abbas for working to sabotage Israeli indirect negotiations with Hamas to put an end to the daily border violence in Gaza. According to the officials, Abbas is deliberately seeking to ensure an intensification of the humanitarian crisis gripping the strip.

The officials have accused Abbas of choking the Gaza residents in order to foment further conflict between Hamas and Israel, hoping that Israel will attack the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave and deal a fatal blow to the terror movement, which competes with Abbas for power. An Israeli offensive against Hamas would also give Abbas ammunition to attack Israel in international forums.

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Report to Moscow
Israeli Air Force (IAF) chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin presented a 40 page report to military officials in Moscow detailing the events that resulted in the downing of a Russian military plane with 15 service members by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

According to the report, the coordination system between the IDF and the Russian army prior to the attack operated according to procedure and fixed orders, as shown in more than 200 similar attacks in the last two years.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said in a studio interview with Ynet Friday that “inside Syria itself, soldiers who targeted the Russian plane were arrested by the Russians or by Syrian officials with Russia’s cooperation. Obviously, Syria made a serious mistake here. It irresponsibly launched missiles. Israel acts according to the same rules that were agreed upon, and of course will continue to abide by these rules in the future us as well.”

Russia’s President Putin absolved Israel of any blame in the incident.

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Trump Meeting
The White House announced Thursday that US President Trump will meet with PM Netanyahu next week during the UN General Assembly in New York.

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The holiday of Sukkot begins on Sunday night, lasts for 7 days and is followed by the holiday of Shmini Atzeret – Simchat Torah (which share one day in Israel and are 2 days everywhere else). During Sukkot Jews “live” — eat, study and (some people) sleep — in a hut-like structure called a Sukkah.

The Talmud states two reasons for the mitzvah of living in the Sukkah for seven days.

The first is to commemorate that our ancestors dwelled in Sukkahs in the wilderness. The second is to remember the “clouds of glory” that surrounded and protected the Jews in the desert. The Talmud seems to lean towards the second explanation. If this is the case, then why do we use a hut to represent the clouds? Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to live out in the open air, under the clouds? Wouldn’t that give us more of a feeling of complete dependence on the protection given us by God?

Although, in truth, living out “under the clouds” does starkly represent total dependence on God, real life isn’t as clear cut. We all try to build structures to provide us with security and protection. We live in these structures and feel safe and in control. We view these structures as permanent and without them we could not function. The reality, however, is that our structures are really just flimsy huts that create for us the illusion of permanence and security. They fall apart when we least expect them too.

The Sukkah that we live in for seven days reminds us that our own structures of security – our houses, careers, social status – are just temporary. They last for a week, a month, a year, several years, but are then taken down. The Sukkah reminds us that our real security and protection comes not from the walls that we build but from the graces of God.

May we all be blessed with the wisdom to differentiate between the security that is true and comes only from God and the false security of the hut that just looks real, but is only an illusion.

Taken from Deep Waters.

On Simchat Torah, in a little over a week, we will complete the reading of the Torah and begin again from Genesis. Then we’ll read one parsha (Torah portion) each week. In a book called Deep Waters: Insights into the Torah and the Jewish Holidays, I’ve included original insights and lessons on each of the 52 Torah portions and on all of the Jewish holidays. Each lesson is usually no longer than a page or two, so you can absorb it minutes. The book is for people of all levels of Jewish knowledge, from beginner to advanced. And the book is available on Amazon Prime, so you can get it quickly and return it if you don’t like it (but you will like it).

To get your copy of Deep Waters click here.