Talmud, every day

by Yardaena Osband

Moses discovered early how necessary the Oral Law is to understand the Torah — it’s one reason I believe everyone should try learning Daf Yomi (Yitro

Jethro advising Moses, Jan van Bronchorst, 1659. (Wikimedia Commons)

Jethro advising Moses, Jan van Bronchorst, 1659. (Wikimedia Commons)

Moses has the almost impossible task of being the sole judge of this newly formed nation and It takes Jethro to explain to his son-in-law that he will not be able to uphold God’s law without help, for no one person can possibly teach, explain, and adjudicate. Indeed, Jethro devises a judicial system, and Moses listens to the older man, appointing capable men over the people to help judge.

There is a problem, however. The Torah has not yet been given! The story of the giving of the Torah appears in chapter 19 — after the visit from Jethro in chapter 18. Commentators argue that chapter 18 must have taken place after the giving of the Torah, and the question is why the text is presented out of chronological order.  

I believe this shift in the text teaches a valuable lesson about the Torah itself. Namely, the Torah explains the system of the Oral Law, Torah SheB’eal Peh, before the actual account of the Torah being given on Sinai as way of showing how essential that system of commentary and interpretation is to the preservation and practice of the Written Torah. Without the Oral Law, the Written Law cannot be implemented. 

* * *

Just over 40 days ago, the Jewish world started a new cycle of “Daf Yomi” — the daily initiative to learn one folio page of Talmud until that massive compendium is completed — it takes nearly seven-and-a-half years (and is then often begun again). Even before the new cycle began, it was a project that attracted multitudes of the Jewish learning community, and the new cycle has attracted what is surely thousands of additional learners. I am one of them, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.

About a month before the previous cycle of Daf Yomi was completed, I came to Israel with my 13-year-old son, to join another 14 parent-child team finalists for the first International Talmud Contest, on December 15th, via the Talmud Israeli organization — none too different from the Bible contest every Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

One of the goals of Talmud Israeli is to make Talmud accessible to children and adults and to encourage families and friends to make time to learn together — and it is an effective program to that end. The contest was a truly thrilling and emotional experience and for me personally and as a parent, a culmination of my education and ability to learn Talmud and teach it to my children and to others. After months of preparation with my son in New York, being on stage with him in Jerusalem for a televised competition shown to all of Israel and the world felt like a dream.

Friends and family were excited to share this adventure with my son and me. Our mother-and-son team also seemed to strike a chord with people, reflecting how much has changed over the last 100 years since Sarah Schenirer, arguably the founder of modern Jewish education for women, taught her first class in 1917. The contest saw four teams of fathers and daughters, and one mother-daughter team. One of my proudest moments was when an Israeli news reporter interviewed my son and asked him whether it was strange for him that he had prepared for the context with his mother, since it is usually the father who learns Gemara. My son replied nonchalantly that it was not weird, for his Gemara teacher at school is also a woman.

Beyond the marvel that was the trip, I want to share my reflections from my experience of the Talmud contest and preparing for it — if for no other reason that the fact that I think everyone should try to learn Talmud, whether via the Daf Yomi schedule (the 14th cycle began on January 5th, and there’s still time to catch up), or via other means. 

* * *

The sages of the Talmud (the Tannaim and Amoraim) struggled with many of the same issues we do today and their stories and wisdom are still relevant today.

Each page of Talmud therefore has ethical and moral teachings for the contemporary learner. Often, people think that Talmud is a dry, boring back and forth with opinions that are hair-splitting a particular issue. A different approach to learning Talmud (and one I learned from my father, Michael Osband z”l) is to focus on the personalities of the Mishnah and Talmud, their lives and challenges. Many of the stories in the Talmud and even the Halacha teach values that resonate in our modern world. Issues of social justice, societal change, and relationships are some of the many areas where the Talmud is instructive and challenging, which also makes Talmud a great springboard for family learning.

Although completing a daf is admirable, I encourage people to even consider learning just a section of each daf every day and discover one new idea. The Talmud Israeli material presented a small section of each daf in accessible way for adults and children of all educational backgrounds. The Talmud is our Jewish heritage and everyone has a right to it — and deserves to learn it.

I have read many articles in the last six weeks or so by women who never learned Talmud, whether for lack of interest or few opportunities. Many of them are now inspired to start a new journey with a commitment to Talmud study.  I watched the Hadran Women’s Siyum in Jerusalem with excitement and awe, and was grateful that my daughter had the opportunity to attend (she is currently studying in a midrasha that was founded by the granddaughter of the rabbi who was responsible for my own strong Jewish education). 

I knew I wanted to try to commit to the new cycle of Daf Yomi. But my recent experiences and the changes I see in the Jewish world of learning have pushed me beyond my initial goals.

* * *

That is, I do have a new project that goes beyond my own learning Talmud every day. Together with my long-time friend and now-havruta, Anne Gordon, I am hosting the podcast, Talking Talmud. We’re reflecting on an idea or two from the daily daf — from the global Daf Yomi. It’s brief (15-20 minutes per day) — to offer insight into what’s going on, or some of what’s going on, with each daf.

We’re here to have a conversation — and to engage our listeners (I say, our “co-learners, because that’s really what we are) in conversation. Behind the scenes, Anne and I are learning the daf of the day… And then she and I meet virtually, via the wonders of technology to converse about what we’ve learned.  We’re “Talking Talmud” to bring you a thought, an idea, a point to ponder that we found in the day’s daf. And I will surely test my belief that the Gemara can be accessible — that there is always something interesting to find — but so far, early in the seven-and-a-half years of study, it’s true.

Granted, our podcast doesn’t expect our listeners have to have learned the daf beforehand — we’ll give you a taste of what’s on the daf. And if you are learning the daf in total yourself, we’re aiming to offer you food for thought too. Anne and I are “talking Talmud” because we know the Gemara to be the foundational text of Jewish life. Torah SheBeal Peh, the Oral Law, is what makes Jews Jews — different from other “peoples of the Book.” Shouldn’t it be learned by everyone?

מה אהבתי תורתך, כל היום היא שיחתי

How I love Your Torah; all the day, it is my conversation. 

As taken from, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/talmud-every-day/

Why the Giving of the Torah is a Turning Point in History

by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

What are the key turning points in history? What are the events that changed the world beyond recognition and whose impact was felt by everyone, everywhere? You could talk about the invention of the electric light bulb, or Gutenberg’s printing press. You could mention the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which set off World War I, and led to World War II, or the French and American Revolutions, or the fall of the Berlin Wall. More recent examples could be 9/11 or the 2008 Crash or the invention of the Internet.

But, in this week’s parsha, Yitro, we encounter history’s single biggest turning point, a moment that changed everything, for everyone, forever: the giving of the Torah by God to Moses and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. From this moment onwards, nothing would be the same. The Torah had entered the world.

But, what is the Torah really? And why is its impact so powerful and far-reaching? We know that the Torah comprises 613 distinct commandments – the mitzvot – but what is their meaning and purpose?

The starting point is to understand that the Torah’s total focus is the human being. This is expressed most vividly in the Talmud (Shabbat 88b), which records how, when Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Torah from God, the angels vehemently protested, asking how God could consider giving away His most treasured possession – the Torah – to a creature of flesh and blood. God told Moses to answer the angels, and Moses proceeded to list the Ten Commandments: “I am the Lord your God, Who took you out of Egypt”; “Honour your father and your mother”; “Don’t murder”; “Don’t steal”; “Don’t commit adultery”. “Do you have a father and mother?” Moses asked the angels. “Have you been enslaved in Egypt? Have you passion or jealousy or greed, or any evil inclination?” In so doing, Moses clearly demonstrated that the Torah was intended for human beings. Or, put another way, human beings are created in order to fulfil the mitzvot of the Torah.

But, how do the mitzvot work?

The Torah calls the first human being Adam, which comes from the Hebrew word adama, meaning “earth” or “ground”. What is the connection between the two? The Maharal explains that humans are similar to the ground in one essential respect: they are both pure potential. Whether or not a piece of land will produce fruit depends on what is done with it. Even the most fertile piece of land will not produce fruit if it is left to lie fallow; it needs to be ploughed, fertilised and cultivated. So too, the human being is pure potential, and to live a fruitful, productive life requires great and continuous efforts. We arrive in this world as pure potential and, through the process of life, we actualise that potential. And it’s up to us. We have been given free choice to turn that potential into personal growth and spiritual greatness, into becoming refined, elevated, moral and holy – but we can also choose to squander it and simply let it lie dormant.

The Maharal (Tiferet Yisrael, chapters 6-8) says the 613 mitzvot are a blueprint for us to “create ourselves” – to access and actualise our Godly potential. The mitzvot have been specifically designed by our Creator to catalyse our latent spiritual energy. At its heart, this process of self-actualisation – of converting potential into actuality through performing the mitzvot – is an act of sublime creativity.

What are the mechanics here? How exactly do the mitzvot unleash our Divine potential? The Maharal explains that the mitzvot have been formulated by the Creator of everything, and therefore have the spiritual energy to develop the full potential of the human being. There is a natural bridge between Torah and the soul. With every new mitzvah we perform, we create a corresponding extra dimension within our soul. In essence, by living in tune with Torah, we live in tune with our soul; by living a true Torah life, we nurture and expand our spiritual selves.

Living in harmony with the soul brings with it a deep sense of spiritual connection and tranquillity of spirit. Indeed, the Midrash says the union between body and soul is fraught with tension. These two constituent parts of the human being come from different worlds, and have different needs. The Midrash illustrates this with the analogy of a marriage between a farmer and a princess; the farmer brings the princess all of the produce from the field that is so precious to him, but which is meaningless to her. So too, the body brings the soul all of the physical pleasures of this world, but the soul remains empty and unsatisfied. The soul originates from the palace of God and requires the goods of the spiritual world to feel satisfied and fulfilled. It requires a life of meaning and good deeds, and a connection to God, which the Torah provides. This is what gives us satisfaction and pleasure at a deep level.

There are many ways to demonstrate this. For example, we’ve all experienced the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from giving to others. A recent research project conducted by Michael Norton of Harvard Business School found that, regardless of income level, those people who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is the feeling of guilt – the deep sense of spiritual unease we experience – when we do things that are not in harmony with the soul.

Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, known as the Ramban, explores another way the mitzvot are catalysts to unleash the full potential of a person. He emphasises that the mitzvot are not for God’s benefit, even though He commanded us to perform them. He says God gave us the mitzvot for our own sakes – to mould us into better people. According to the Ramban, each mitzvah refines us in a particular way. He gives the example of the mitzvah to send away the mother bird before taking the chicks or the eggs from the nest, and how this helps us cultivate the quality of compassion. He also refers to the mitzvot of commemorating the great miracles of Jewish history. These are not, he says, for glorifying God, but rather for our own sake, so we should understand and appreciate these formative moments of our people, and so we can reinforce our faith and clarify our worldview.

According to this, the mitzvot are a comprehensive programme of thought and action designed by God to help us become wise, compassionate, refined, loving, idealistic, giving, courageous, spiritual, ethical and holy. To help us become better people in every conceivable way.

So, from the moment in history when we received the Torah, life would never be the same. From that moment on, we had a blueprint for how to live life, how to love life, and how to fulfil our awesome potential.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

The writer, who has a PhD. in Human Rights Law, is the chief rabbi of South Africa

As taken from, https://www.aish.com/tp/b/languageoftomorrow/567710481.html?s=hp8

La envidia

por Rab Eliezer Shemtov

Una de las grandes causas de la angustia es la envidia. Cuando uno mide su éxito y valor en base a lo que tiene, es muy difícil estar feliz y contento, ya que siempre habrá quien tiene más, y por ende implica que uno no vale tanto.

¿Cómo se hace para combatir esa tendencia? ¿Cómo hace uno para estar feliz con su vida cuando ve —si no personalmente, por Facebook o Instagram— los éxitos y la felicidad de los demás que a él o a ella lo eluden?

Y debe haber una manera de lograrlo. En los propios Diez Mandamientos sobre los cuales leemos en la lectura de esta semana, Itró 1 , nos dice claramente que no debemos codiciar. Si Di-s nos dice que no debemos codiciar, debe haber una manera de poder ponerlo en práctica. ¿Cómo se hace?

Hay quienes explican que la llave está en el propio mandamiento2 : “No codicies la casa de tu prójimo. No codicies la esposa de tu prójimo, su siervo, su sierva, su toro, su burro, ni todo lo que pertenezca a tu prójimo.”

Si uno analiza el versículo salta a la vista una pregunta bastante obvia: dado que concluye diciendo que uno no debe codiciar “ni todo lo que pertenezca a tu prójimo”, o sea uno no debe codiciar nada de lo que le pertenece al prójimo, ¿por qué listar unas cosas específicas? ¿No estarán ya incluidas en “todo lo que pertenezca a tu prójimo”?

Una explicación que escuché hace mucho es que la manera de dejar de envidiar a alguien por algo que tiene es poner las cosas en perspectiva. ¿Te gustaría tener todo lo que tiene? Sí, puede que lo que ves sea envidiable, pero ¿qué sabes de las cosas de su vida que no están a la vista?

Me imagino cuánta gente le tenía envidia a Kobe Bryant por su helicóptero, hasta que vieron el final de la película….

De hecho, hay dos clases de envidia, una positiva y la otra negativa.

La envidia que te empuja a superarte para lograr y tener lo mismo que tiene el otro está bien. “Los celos entre los sabios aumenta la sabiduría,” dice el Talmud3 . La envidia que te aplasta porque te sentís como un fracaso al no ser como fulano que tiene tal o cual éxito en la vida, no solo es un pecado, es tonto. Cada uno tiene lo que necesita para cumplir con su misión en la vida.

Me hace recordar una anécdota que contó un judío que estaba en la cárcel cumpliendo un castigo injusto y todos los días recibía bolsas de correo conteniendo cartas de apoyo de todas partes del mundo.

Había reclusos que no recibían correo y manifestaban sus celos al respecto. No es una buena idea fomentar envidia en la cárcel. Así que un buen día se le ocurrió una solución. Cuando llegó el momento del reparto del correo, el recluso judío agarró toda la bolsa de su correo y se la regaló al recluso “celoso”. “Tomá,” le dijo. “Te regalo mi correo. Me tiene ya podrido tanto correo.” El recluso “celoso” se puso contento y empezó a abrir las cartas. En pocos minutos se le fueron los celos. Todas las cartas fueron escritas en Idish o Hebreo y no entendió nada. ¿Para qué le sirve una bolsa de correo escrito en un idioma que no entiende?

Lo mismo se aplica en cada aspecto de la vida. A cada uno le llega el “correo” de acuerdo a sus necesidades. De poco sirve tener algo que no te sirve o por un precio que no estás dispuesto pagar.

Así que la herramienta de esta semana es: si ves que alguien tiene algo que tú no tienes, no pierdas sueño. También tiene cosas que tu no quieres, y tu tienes cosas que otro no tiene. Cada uno tiene lo que realmente precisa. Si no tienes lo que quieres, querré lo que tienes.

1. Éxodo 18:1- 20:23

2. Éxodo 20:14

3. Bava Batra 21a

Segun tomado de, https://es.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4646351/jewish/Itr.htm#utm_medium=email&utm_source=94_magazine_es&utm_campaign=es&utm_content=content

Racism and the Wisdom of a Gentile

by Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

וירא חתן משה את כל אשר הוא עשה לעם ויאמר מה הדבר הזה אשר אתה עשה לעם מדוע אתה יושב לבדך וכל העם נצב עליך מן בקר עד ערב

When Moses’ father in law saw what he was doing to the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?” Shemot 18:14

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, one of the great Jewish leaders and thinkers of modern times, asks us to take notice of a strange incident that occurred in the days of Moshe. After Moshe left Egypt with a multitude of people, his father-in-law, Yitro, criticized him for the way he was arbitrating disputes among the Israelites:

“What are you doing to the people? Why are you sitting alone and letting all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” And Moshe replied to his father-in-law: “Because the people come to me to seek God. Whenever they have a problem, they come to me, and I judge between man and his neighbor, and I teach God’s decrees and laws.” And Moshe’s father-in-law said to him: “What you are doing is not good. You are going to wear yourself out, along with this nation that is with you.”[1]

Yitro then suggested that Moshe reform the existing legal system so that only the major problems would be brought to his personal attention while minor disputes would be decided upon by a large number of wise people who would assist him. “It will make things easier for you, and they will share the burden. Moshe took his father-in-law’s advice and did all that he said.”[2]

Moshe’s Exhaustion

Rabbi Hirsch poses a very simple question: Could Moshe not have determined this on his own? Did he not realize that he was exhausting himself and it would not be long before he could no longer cope with the situation? One does not have to be a genius to recognize the problem. Moreover, Yitro’s suggested solution is basically a simple one and does not require any extensive judicial knowledge. So why did Moshe, who possessed great wisdom, not think of this himself?

Before studying Rabbi Hirsch’s comment, we would like to pose another question. We are informed that at the end of Moshe’s life “His eyes had not dimmed and his vigor was unabated.”[3] His physical strength was beyond average, and indeed we do not see that Moshe ever got tired (except in the case of the Jews fighting Amalek, when his hands did become heavy).[4] It is therefore strange that Moshe suddenly felt weary while judging the people. We would not have been surprised to read that Moshe told his father-in-law not to worry, since he was untroubled by fatigue and he could easily handle all those who came to see him.

Moshe, however, made no such claims. Instead, he seemed most eager to implement Yitro’s suggestion. We must therefore conclude that he did indeed feel extremely tired!

Our question, then, is obvious. Why did he suddenly feel weary? Would the man who was without food and water for forty days at the top of Mount Sinai not have been able to sit from early morning until late at night to judge the people without exhausting himself? Why did God suddenly deny him his usual though unprecedented strength?

All this aside, we would suggest that God had good reason to ensure that Moshe actually maintained his strength. As the great leader and teacher of Torah, Moshe desperately needed to stay in contact with all of his people. The best way to accomplish this would be by guaranteeing that he would see them on a regular basis. Once he would no longer encounter all of them, they would become spiritually distanced from him, and he would be unable to teach them in the manner to which he was accustomed. (Indeed, this seems to have happened after he implemented Yitro’s advice!) So what were God’s motives in causing Moshe to suddenly feel tired?

We may now refer to Rabbi Hirsch’s observation:

Nothing is so instructive to us as this information regarding the first legal institution of the Jewish State, coming immediately before the chapter of the Law-giving. So little was Moshe in himself a legislative genius, he had so little talent for organizing that he had to learn the first elements of state organization from his father-in-law. The man who tired himself out to utter exhaustion and to whom of himself did not occur to arrange this or some other simple solution, equally beneficial to himself and his people; the man to whom it was necessary to have a Yitro to suggest this obvious device, that man could never have given the People constitution and Laws out of his own head, that man was only, and indeed just because of this the best and the most faithful instrument of God![5]

In other words, Moshe, in spite of his immeasurable talents and abilities, lacked basic insight into how to administer proper judicial process. God denied him this insight to prove to later generations that he could never have been a lawgiver and that the laws of the Torah were not the result of his superior mind.

The Greatness of a Non-Jew

I would like to suggest a second reason. God denied Moshe his usual strength so as to allow a non-Jew to come forward and give him advice! The Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Ibn Attar, known as Ohr Ha-Chaim (1696-1743), indeed alludes to this when he writes that the very reason why God caused Yitro to come and visit the camp of the Israelites was to teach the Jewish people that although the Torah is the all-encompassing repository of wisdom, gentiles, while not obligated to observe all its laws, are fundamental to its success and application.[6] There are areas in which Jews do not excel and where non-Jews are much more gifted. One such area seems to be judicial administration skills.

Judaism has never been afraid to admit that the gentile world incorporates much wisdom and insight. While Jews have to be a nation apart, this does not exclude its need to look beyond its own borders and benefit from the wisdom of outsiders.

“The gentile world may not posses Torah, but it definitely does possess wisdom.”[7]

It is this message that God sent to His people only a short while after He had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. Due to their experience in the land of their slavery, they had developed such animosity for anything gentile that they became utterly convinced that mankind at large was anti-Semitic. God immediately crushed that thought and sent them a righteous gentile by the name of Yitro, to impress upon them that the non-Jewish world includes remarkable people who not only posses much wisdom but actually love the people of Israel and contribute to Jewish life.

Moshe’s sudden weariness and God’s decision to deny him his usual strength is therefore highly informative. The Jews may begin to believe that they’re self-sufficient and can do it all alone. This attitude, which is rooted in their conviction that all gentiles are anti-Semitic and therefore not to be relied upon, could lead not only to total isolation but also to an air of Jewish arrogance contrary to God’s will. By allowing Moshe to become exhausted, God made sure that he would indeed require the knowledge from someone else. This time a non-Jew.

At the same time, it kept Moshe humble.

By designating Yitro to be the father-in-law of the most holy Jew of all times, God made it crystal clear that He would not tolerate any racism and that even a righteous gentile could climb up to the highest ranks of saintliness. Only after that message was sent were the Jews ready to enter the land and begin their life as an independent nation.


Notes:

[1] Shemot 18:14-18.

[2] Ibid. 18:22, 24.

[3] Devarim 34:7.

[4] Shemot 17:12.

[5] The Pentateuch, Exodus: trans. and explained by Samson Raphael Hirsch, rendered into English by Isaac Levy (Gateshead: Judaica Press, 1989), 247.

[6] Ohr Ha-Chaim on Shemot 18:21, beginning with the words Ve-nir’eh ki ta’am ha-davar hu.

[7] Echa Rabba, Buber ed., 2.

As taken from, https://www.cardozoacademy.org/thoughts-to-ponder/fundamentalism-education-and-the-wisdom-of-the-gentile/?utm_source=Subscribers&utm_campaign=68dd723d2e-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dd05790c6d-68dd723d2e-242341409

Horrific Valentine’s Day Massacre of Jews

by Dr. Ivette Alt Miller

Horrific Valentine’s Day Massacre of Jews

On Valentine’s Day 1349 thousands of Jews were burned to death, accused of poisoning wells

Most people associate February 14 with love and romance. Yet hundreds of years ago Valentine’s Day saw a horrific mass murder when 2,000 Jews were burned alive in the French city of Strasbourg.

The year was 1349 and the Bubonic Plague, known as the Black Death, was sweeping across Europe, wiping out whole communities. Between 1347 and 1352, it killed millions of people. Historian Ole J. Benedictow estimates that 60% of Europeans died from the disease. One Italian writer recorded what the plague did to the city of Florence, where he lived: “All the citizens did little else except to carry dead bodies to be buried… At every church they dug deep pits down to the water-table; and thus those who were poor who died during the night were bundled up quickly and thrown into the pit.”

Bubonic Plague is caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis and is most commonly spread by fleas that live on rodents like rats and mice. The disease still exists, and sickens thousands of people each year, including a handful of people in the United States and other developed countries. Caught early, Bubonic Plague is treatable with modern medicines. In the Middle Ages, of course, no medical treatment existed to mitigate the Plague’s devastating effects. It’s estimated that about 80% of people who contracted the Plague in Medieval Europe died.

The Massacre of Jews at Strasbourg, by Eugene Beyer

The first major European outbreak of Plague occurred in Messina, Italy, in 1347, and it spread rapidly from there. Historians estimate that the largest wave of Bubonic Plague – the pandemic that was dubbed The Black Death – originated in Central Asia. As it began sweeping through European communities, terrified people cast about for someone to blame. Jews were a natural choice. As the Black Death advanced, Christians turned on the Jews in their midst, accusing them of spreading the Plague by poisoning Christian people’s wells.

Many Christians leapt to accuse Jews of deliberately spreading the disease to harm Christians.

Jews, often forced into overcrowded and fenced-in Jewish quarters, suffered from the Black Death at rates comparable to their Christian neighbors. Yet even though it was apparent that Jews were sickening and dying as well, many Christians leapt to accuse Jews of deliberately spreading the disease to harm Christians. Historian Heinrich Graetz described the fevered atmosphere of hate and accusations leveled at European Jews: “…the suspicion arose that the Jews had poisoned the brooks and wells, and even the air, in order to annihilate the Christians of every country at one blow”. (Detailed in Graetz’s History of the Jews, 1894).

Jewish communities found themselves under attack. Of the approximately 363 Jewish communities in Europe at the time, Jews were attacked in fully half of them by mobs blaming them for spreading the Plague.

These attacks were horrifically violent. In Cologne, Jews were locked into a synagogue which was then set on fire. In Mainz, the entire town’s sizeable Jewish community was murdered in just one day. Jews were massacred and tortured across Europe, in Spain, Italy, France, the Low Countries, and the Germanic Lands. Emperor Charles I, the Holy Roman Emperor, decreed that the property of Jews murdered for supposedly spreading the Plague could be seized by their Christian neighbors with impunity. With this financial incentive to kill Jews, the attacks only intensified.

In 1349, a group of feudal lords in France’s Alsace region attempted to make the attacks on Jews official. They assembled in the French town of Benfeld, and formally blamed Jews for the Black Death. They also adopted a series of steps to target Jews, singling Jews out for murder and calling for them to be expelled from towns. This “Benfeld Decree” had an immediate effect as Jews in thirty communities across Alsace were attacked. Only the city of Strasbourg, which had a large Jewish community, resisted, protecting their city’s Jews.

The atmosphere in Strasbourg in early 1349 was tense. The Black Death had not yet reached the city, though anxious citizens awaited the first case of victims to sicken and die any day. Strasbourg’s Bishop Berthold III railed against Jews, but the city’s elected officials held firm. Mayor Kunze of Wintertur, Strasbourg’s sheriff, Gosse Sturm, and a local lay leader named Peter Swaber all vociferously defended and protected Strasbourg’s Jews.

On February 10, 1349, the restless citizens finally had enough. A mob rose up and overthrew Strasbourg’s city government, installing an unstable government “of the people” instead. This hateful group that was now in charge was a strange amalgam: led by the local guilds of butchers and tailors, it was financially backed by local nobles who hated the Jews and hoped to seize their property. One of this new mob’s first acts was to arrest the city’s Jews on the charge of poisoning Christian wells in order to spread the Black Death.

The Black Death

Friday, February 13, 1349 was a black day for Strasbourg’s Jews. Normally, they would have spent the day preparing for Shabbat, baking challah, cleaning their homes and preparing festive meals. Instead, under heavy armed guard, women, children and men were dragged from their homes, imprisoned, and charged with murder. Any Jew who was willing to convert to Christianity would be spared, they were told. As the terrified Jews awaited their fate, the city’s new governors were building a huge wooden platform that could hold thousands of people inside the Jewish cemetery. For the Jews, the next day was Shabbat. For Strasbourg’s Christian citizens, the next day was February 14, St. Valentine’s Day. They designated this saint’s day as the date on which they would execute Strasbourg’s entire Jewish population.

In the morning of Valentine’s Day, a large crowd assembled to watch. A local priest named Jakob Twinger von Konigshofen recorded the grisly massacre: “they burnt the Jews on a wooden platform in their cemetery,” he wrote. “There were about two thousand of them.” Some young children were yanked away from their parents’ arms, and saved so that they could be baptized and raised as Christians. For most Jews, however, no such aid arrived. As the enormous wooden structure went up in flames, around 2,000 thousand Jews were slowly burned alive.

Their murder took hours. Afterwards, eager townspeople combed through the smoldering ashes, not searching for survivors, but looking for valuables. von Konigshofen recorded the financial motive for this enormous massacre: “…everything (all debt) that was owed to the Jews was cancelled… The council…took the cash that the Jews possessed and divided it among the working-men proportionately. The money was indeed the thing that killed the Jews. If they had been poor and if the feudal lords had not been in debt, they would not have been burnt.”

Strasbourg’s mob government and citizens faced no criticism. A few months later, Emperor Charles IV officially pardoned the citizens of Strasbourg for killing their town’s Jews and for stealing their money.

With the passage of so much time, many have seemed to forget the cataclysm of violence that led to the torture and murder of so many Jews during the Black Death. Yet we owe it to the victims to remember.

As taken from, https://www.aish.com/jw/s/Horrific-Valentines-Day-Massacre-of-Jews.html?s=mm

Seeing the Sounds

by Menachem Feldman

As the Jewish people gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai, they heard the voice of G‑d speaking the Ten Commandments. The Torah describes the awesome experience:

And all the people saw the voices and the torches, the sound of the shofar, and the smoking mountain, and the people saw and trembled; so they stood from afar.

What is the meaning of the words “and all the people saw the voices”? How can voices be seen? The Midrash tells us that there is a disagreement regarding this verse. Rabbi Yishmael believes that the Jews did not see anything unusual. They saw the torches and heard the voices (in which case the word “saw” refers to the torches.) Rabbi Akiva, however, insists that the verse must be read literally—they actually saw the voices. In the words of Rabbi Akiva: “They saw that which is usually heard, and they heard that which is usually seen.”

According to Rabbi Akiva, the experience at Sinai was much more than just receiving ten moral instructions for life. Sinai was a spiritual revelation that changed the way the Jews perceived the meaning of existence. In general, the world can be divided into that which is “seen” and that which is “heard.” The concrete, physical needs, desires and experiences are “seen”; they are experienced as the ultimate reality. That which is abstract, theoretical and spiritual is “heard.” The intangible spirit is not something we can see with our naked eye. To experience it, we need to “hear” and “listen.” We must use our mind to discover truths that are not obvious to the observer.

According to Rabbi Akiva, at Sinai they “heard that which is usually seen.” In other words, the physical matter, which is usually perceived as absolute reality, became an abstract idea, while spirituality, “that which is usually heard”, became real and obvious.

The experience of Sinai was not merely a one-time event. Every time we study Torah, we are recreating the revelation of Sinai. We are not only hearing the words of G‑d being spoken directly to us, but our perception of what is meaningful and worthy is enhanced. When we study Torah, our priorities are realigned. The sublime ideas in life—meaning, holiness, transcendence—become real and tangible. For each time we study Torah, we are standing at Sinai and “seeing the sounds.”1

FOOTNOTES
1.Based on the teachings of the Rebbe, Likkutei Sichot, Yitro, vol. 6, sicha 2.

As taken from, https://www.chabad.org/tools/subscribe/email/view_cdo/i/8A35D917402345A2:48CBD0CC6924F227283A4091431088341DE118ADD02CC9A06CE07CBB944AB561#utm_medium=email&utm_source=6_essay_en&utm_campaign=en&utm_content=header

Pío XII y la Iglesia cómplices del nazismo: La Leyenda Negra se debilita cada vez más

Image result for Pio XII
Por
Vatican News – FSSPX.Actualités

Mientras que cuatro rabinos han expresado su molestia por la presencia de una iglesia en Birkenau (Polonia), un artículo publicado por Vatican News el 29 de enero de 2020, analizó el papel fundamental que desempeñaron Pío XII y muchos religiosos en el rescate de miles de judíos durante la redada de 1943 en Roma. Una nueva refutación de la Leyenda Negra que acusa a la Iglesia de haber sido cómplice del régimen nacionalsocialista. El sábado 16 de octubre de 1943, día de descanso entre los judíos, los hombres de la Gestapo rodearon el gueto judío de Roma desde las 5:30 a.m. En el transcurso de ocho horas, 689 mujeres, 363 hombres y 207 niños fueron hechos prisioneros. Solo 16 de esos 1,259 judíos fueron deportados.

Una cifra que podría haber sido mucho más alta si la Iglesia, bajo el liderazgo del Papa Pío XII, no hubiera abierto sus puertas a los fugitivos. Esto es lo que Paolo Ondarza explica en Vatican News: “una puerta abierta, un refugio seguro para escapar de la muerte: esto es lo que representaron más de 220 conventos, iglesias y casas pertenecientes a diferentes órdenes religiosas que, en medio de la persecusión nazi, ofrecieron refugio a 4,500 judíos en Roma, casi la mitad de toda la comunidad judía presente en la capital, que en ese entonces representaba entre 10 y 12,000 personas”.

Si bien es cierto que debido a la clandestinidad, es difícil cuantificar con precisión el número total de judíos salvados por la Iglesia, la investigación histórica puede, sin embargo, basarse en numerosos testimonios orales confiables, en particular aquellos “de los judíos escondidos en casas religiosas o acogidos en monasterios de claustro por indicación y con la dispensa de la Santa Sede; sitios cristianos como las Catacumbas de Priscila, se convertieron en puntos de referencia para la red de documentos falsos; numerosas casas religiosas recibían víveres del Vaticano para alimentar a los refugiados que albergaban. Múltiples instituciones abrieron sus puertas gratuitamente y otras solicitaban el pago de una pensión”.

Una oleada de generosidad auspiciada por el propio Pío XII, como lo atestiguó en 1961 el exsecretario privado del papa Pacelli: este último indicó a los conventos romanos que “podían y debían” recibir a los judíos perseguidos.

Cabe destacar que el seminario mayor de Letrán -el seminario del Papa- brindó asilo a todo tipo de refugiados, en particular a los opositores al régimen, incluidos los comunistas: la Iglesia no es rencorosa cuando se trata de salvar almas.

Segun tomado, https://diariojudio.com/ticker/pio-xii-y-la-iglesia-complices-del-nazismo-la-leyenda-negra-se-debilita-cada-vez-mas/321840/

Conoce a Najshon ben Aminadav

por Mendy Kaminker

Era un príncipe de la Tribu de Iehudá. Era el cuñado de Aron, el Sumo Sacerdote. Cuando todos los demás vacilaron, el saltó dentro del mar. Era Najshon, el hijo de Aminadav.

Fue el tipo de persona que su callada acción dejó una gran marca en nuestra nación.

Origen de la familia

Najshon era la quinta generación descendiente de Iehudá, hijo de Iaakov.

Aparece por primera vez en la Torá cuando Aron se casa con su hermana: “Aron tomó como esposa a Elisheva, hija de Aminadav, hermana de Najshon”. La Torá generalmente escribe nombres sólo cuando mencionan a alguien nuevo, y los comentaristas se preguntan por qué el hermano de Elisheva es mencionado aquí también.

Sugieren que antes de casarse con Elisheva, Aron había averiguado sobre Najshon, su futuro cuñado. Aprendemos de Aron que cuando se busca una esposa, es importante saber de sus hermanos.

En la División del Mar

Siete días después de haber dejado Egipto, los Israelitas se encontraron atrapados entre el mar y el ejército Egipto. Luego Di-s le da una orden a Moisés que parecía imposible de cumplir: “Habla con el pueblo de Israel, deben viajar”.

La orden fue dada para que siguieran adelante, con o sin mar. Pero, ¿quién haría el primer movimiento?, en ese momento, la valentía y devoción de Najshon, salió a la luz. El Midrash y el Talmud cuentan lo siguiente:

Cuando Israel estuvo parado frente al Mar de los Juncos, y la orden de moverse hacia adelantada fue dada, cada una de las tribus se quejó diciendo: “Nosotros no queremos ser los primeros en saltar al mar”.

Najshon vio lo que estaba pasando, y saltó al mar.

En ese momento, Moisés estaba parado orando. Di-s le dijo: “¿Mis amados están ahogándose en el mar, y tú estás acá orando?

Moisés le respondió: “Amo del universo, ¿qué debo hacer?”

Di-s dijo: “Levanta tu palo y estira tu brazo sobre el mar, el cual de partirá e Israel entrará sobre tierra seca”

Así fue. Siguiendo al líder Najshon, los Israelitas entraron al mar y fueron salvados.

La recompensa de Najshon

El Midrash nos enumera las recompensas que Najshon recibió por su valentía:

Se le fue dado el nombre de Najshon, debido a que saltó dentro de las olas (najshol) del mar.

Hubo cinco héroes de Israel dentro de su descendencia: David, Daniel, Janania, Mishael y Azaria.

El eterno reinado de Israel fue dado a su tribu, Iehudá, y Moshiaj también va a ser de su descendencia.

Luego de que Moshé había completado el tabernáculo en el desierto, los príncipes de las doce tribus de Israel, ofrecieron sacrificios especiales de inauguración, y regalos. A pesar de que Iehudá no era el más grande de las tribus, Najshon, príncipe de Iehudá, fue el primero en traer el sacrificio. Esto debió haber sido una recompensa por su especial acción de devoción.

Najshon también estaba dentro de los setenta ancianos que Moisés les había conferido su espíritu.

Su fallecimiento

Haber sido nombrado como un anciano tuvo una trágico resultado. Leemos que el segundo año después de haber salido de Egipto, “el pueblo buscaba quejarse, y era malvado en los oídos de Di-s. El lo escuchó y Su enojo hizo que un fuego saliera, quemado los extremos del campo”. El Midrash explica que los “extremos del campo” es una referencia a los setenta ancianos, incluyendo a Najshon.

Un símbolo de fuerza

El nombre de Najshon se hizo sinónimo de coraje y deseo de hacer las cosas bien, incluso si no es popular.

Inspirado por Najshon, el Rey David escribió en los Salmos: “Me he hundido en las profundidades fangosas, y no hay ningún punto de apoyo, he entrado en las aguas profundas, y la corriente me ha arrastrado. . . No permitas que la corriente de agua me barra, ni la profundidad me trague, y deja que el pozo no cierre su boca sobre mí”

El Rebe vio la acción de Najshon como una llamada de acción:

“Un hombre llamado Najshon saltó dentro del mar, y causó el gran milagro de la División del Mar. Técnicamente, no tenía la obligación de hacerlo, pero el sabía que Di-s quería que Israel se dirigiera a Sinai. Entonces hizo lo que tenía que hacer. Tenía un mar en el camino. Saltó dentro del mar y se dirigió a su meta.

La lección para todos nosotros es, que debemos centrarnos en nuestra misión de la vida, sin tener en cuenta todos los obstáculos”

Tomado de, https://es.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2640434/jewish/Conoce-a-Najshon-ben-Aminadav.htm#utm_medium=email&utm_source=94_magazine_es&utm_campaign=es&utm_content=content

The Halachic Madness of a Chess Game

by Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

There is probably no game as difficult and captivating as chess. Millions of people break their heads over strategies to win this game and spend years learning its ins and outs. It holds them captive as nothing else does. They dream about it and discuss the move of one single pawn as if their lives depend on it. They will follow the most famous chess tournaments and discuss every move of a world champion for days and even years. They replay famous, mind-boggling games of the past, even those that took place as far back as 70 years ago. These chess aficionados try to improve on those games of the distant past, often getting into heated arguments about a brilliant or foolish move that took place 50 years earlier. Thousands of books and tens of thousands of essays have been published on how to improve at playing the game. The rules are set up in the World Chess Federation’s FIDE Handbook. Strategies are developed and tactics suggested; countless combinations have been tried to the point that some typical patterns have their own names, such as “Boden’s Mate” and “Lasker’s Combination.” Mikhail Botvinnik revolutionized the opening theory, which was considered nothing less than a Copernican breakthrough. Famous chess studies, such as the one published by Richard Reti (1921), are revelations of tremendous depth. (He depicted a situation in which it seems impossible for the white king to catch the advanced black pawn while the white pawn can be easily stopped by the black king.)

The rules are ruthless. There are no compromises, no flexibility. Zero rachmanut (mercy). It is all about midat hadin (harsh rendering). The terrifying, rigid rules can make players mad to the point of possibly considering suicide.

But is chess rigid?

The rules seem easy until you start playing. The entire game takes place on a chessboard smaller than the size of a side table, but the game is larger than life. Each player has 16 pieces, which are played on 64 squares, but they become so large in one’s psyche that they dazzle the eyes of the spectator. Some of the pieces can move in any direction; others can move any number of squares along any rank or file but may not leap over other pieces. There are those that can only move diagonally and others that are allowed to move two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally, thus making the complete move look like the letter ‘L.’

It may sound very easy, but what any player soon realizes is that these basic rules allow for thousands of combinations, maneuvers and sub-rules, depending on the position of a pawn, a rook, or a knight. These rules can become so complicated and can cause such major obstacles that one may prefer to take on higher mathematics, which looks easy in comparison. (It is not!) There is good reason why the most famous chess players are considered not only brilliant people but geniuses with advanced mathematical minds.

But is chess rigid? Does it constrain? Is it “fundamentalist,” or perhaps “dogmatic”? Does it deny the players their freedom of thought or action? In one sense, it does. Players cannot move the pieces as they would like to. There are rules that make the game incredibly difficult. But that fact is exactly what makes this game so exciting. It leads to an unprecedented outburst of creativity. In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister. Und das Gesetz nur kann uns Freiheit geben, said Goethe.[1]

The chessboard becomes the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are the laws of nature; and players roam freely on this board once they apply the rules in a way that will deepen their impact to such an extent that a whole new world is revealed.

But let us never forget: One who knows all the rules is not necessarily a great player. What makes players formidable opponents is their ability to use these rules to unleash an outburst of creativity, which resides deep within them and emerges only because of the “unbearable” limitations. They then strike! One small move forces a major shift, creating total upheaval and causing the opponent to panic as never before. And all this without ever violating one chess rule. It’s mental torture. But it’s the height of beauty as well. It is poetry to the game, as melody is to music. Like one gentle brushstroke of Rembrandt on a colorful canvas, making everything look radically different; or like the genius musician playing her Stradivarius, re-creating the whole of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. It transports the chess player to heaven. Their bodies must be in top form, because their playing ability deteriorates when their bodies do. They are inseparable. An entire world of feelings, images, ideas, emotions and passions come to the forefront.

There are hundreds of opening moves and end games. And all of them are authentic.

And that is why Talmudic scholars, religious Jews and secular Jews love this game and are often very good at it.[2] Chess reminds them, consciously or subconsciously, of the world of Talmudic halachic debate with all its intrigues, its severe obstacles, and its seemingly deliberate tendency to make life more difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. The truly religious Jew loves it because it is these challenges that make life exciting and irresistible. For the true posek (halachic expert and decisor), the tension, challenge and delight involved in discovering an unprecedented, mindboggling solution is the ultimate simcha (joy). Skipping through a maze of obstacles, circumventing what seems impossible in the eyes of his halachic opponents, and backing them into a corner like a pawn on the chessboard, thereby solving a serious halachic problem, is the peak of divine satisfaction that a halachic authority can experience.

Chess reminds one of the Talmudic concept of eilu ve-eilu divrei elokim chayim (these and those are the words of the living God, Eruvin, 13b). There are rishonim (early authorities) and acharonim (later authorities). There are commentaries, sub-commentaries, major differences of opinion, fiery clashes, and even mistakes that carry dimensions of truth.

Halachic discussion is like chess. It is a clash of the minds. Sometimes, “the passed pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police surveillance, are not sufficient”.[3] Its position is treif (non-kosher) by all standards. Other times, maneuvers are possible in the opinions of some, while still others have their doubts. But above all, “chess is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game”.[4]

And so it is with Halacha. Who would have a bad thought while studying the Avnei Miluim[5] and Ketzot HaChoshen,[6] two of the most sophisticated halachic works ever to appear on earth?

Halacha is the greatest chess game on earth. It is the Jewish game par excellence. For people who want to live a life of great meaning and depth, nothing is more demanding and torturous while simultaneously uplifting and mind-broadening. They love the rules because they are the way to freedom. All the real chess player wants is to play chess. Players recognize that others prefer dominoes or rummikub. And that’s fine. But the chess player smiles, for those games can’t hold a candle to chess. They are child’s play. The serious chess players embrace this greatest game of all, because the impossible rules give them the thrill of life as nothing else does. They make players divinely insane. On top of that, they have to choose from among many options of genius chess players. This reminds us of the famous halachic positions of Rambam (Maimonides, 1138-1204), the Ravad (Rabbi Avraham ben David, 1125-1198), Maran (Rabbi Yosef Karo author of the Shulchan Aruch, 1488-1575) and the unparalleled Rogatchover (Rabbi Yosef Rozin, 1858-1936).

Certainly chess is just a game, while Halacha, if properly understood and lived, deals with real life, deep religiosity, moral dilemmas, emotions, and intuitions far more significant in a person’s life than a chess game.

Those who play chess in real life will realize that if they “play” well they’re on the right track to drawing closer and closer to the King, until they are checkmated and, unlike in a chess game, fall into the arms of the King.


Notes:

[1] “It is in limitation that the master proves himself. And law alone brings us freedom.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s sonnet “Natur und Kunst, sie scheinen sich zu fliehen” (“Nature and Art, they go their separate ways”) in Was wir bringen (1802).

[2] Jews make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions. (David Brooks, “The Tel Aviv Cluster,” The New York Times, January 11, 2010). The Israeli city Beersheba has the most chess grand masters per capita in the world. (Gavin Rabinowitz, “Beersheba Masters Kings, Knights, Pawns,” LA Times, January 30, 2005). A typical example of a great Jewish chess player is David ben Gurion, first prime minister of Israel, who used to secretly play chess behind the Knesset plenum, when he was bored with the superfluous debates in the Israeli government!

[3] Aron Nimzowitsch, My System (Dallas, TX: Hays Publishing, 1991) p. 32.

[4] This quote is attributed to Austrian and later American chess Master player Wilhelm Steinitz, the first undisputed world chess champion from 1886 to 1894.

[5] A halachic work by Rabbi Aryeh Leib HaKohen Heller (1745-1813), which explains difficult passages in the Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, which deals mainly with marital issues.

[6] A halachic work by Rabbi Heller, which explains difficult passages in the Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, which deals mainly with business and financial laws.

As taken from, https://us11.campaign-archive.com/?e=ea5f46c325&u=001429d2ea98064eb844c6bf8&id=e873214540

El acuerdo del siglo: ¿A quién beneficia?

Image result for Temple Mount
por Esther Shabot Askenazi

Donald Trump mató varios pájaros de un tiro: cumplió con un compromiso de campaña, pues entregó, finalmente, un documento respecto a cómo solucionar el conflicto palestino-israelí y distrajo la atención de su proceso de impeachment

Tres años después de que el presidente Trump anunciara que bajo su mandato se gestaría el “Acuerdo del Siglo”, el cual lograría, presuntamente, la solución al complicado conflicto israelí-palestino, el martes pasado, finalmente, se presentó, con bombo y platillo, el plan que la Casa Blanca diseñó a ese efecto. Un plan que, como se anticipaba, mostró ser producto de una perspectiva muy parecida a la que, en su momento histórico, tuvieron las potencias coloniales al trazar fronteras de manera arbitraria en las regiones colonizadas, dividiendo poblaciones que pertenecían a un mismo hábitat étnico, religioso y cultural y soslayando cualquier criterio lógico respecto a la distribución de los recursos naturales necesarios para el sustento de sus habitantes.

Como se ha repetido mucho por los analistas durante esta semana, el plan de Trump es equivalente a una boda en la que la novia no está invitada. ¿Por qué esta afirmación? Porque una de las dos partes implicadas en este diferendo -la palestina- no fue nunca tomada en cuenta para consulta alguna, manejando su destino, insisto, muy al estilo de la tradición colonialista que utilizaba a pueblos enteros como simples alfiles en su juego de ajedrez particular.

De ahí que el plan resultante no pueda, de ninguna manera, calificarse como algo que remotamente prometa conducir a la paz, sino que constituye una especie de “sueño guajiro” mediante el cual se pretende imponer lo que es conveniente para la visión de los sectores radicales mesiánicos israelíes, sin importar la suerte que tal proyecto le depara al pueblo palestino ni, tampoco, lo que ocurriría con la vibrante democracia israelí que necesariamente desaparecería, tragada por la transformación de Israel en un Estado apartheid que controlaría la vida de los fragmentados enclaves palestinos de manera definitiva y oficial. Ello acompañado, por supuesto, de las complicaciones derivadas para Israel en el campo del derecho internacional, en la medida en que mucho de lo planteado por la Casa Blanca, si llegara a concretarse, infringiría una serie de normas consagradas en esa área.

Incluso hay advertencias de parte del jefe del Estado Mayor israelí, Avi Kojavi, y de Nadav Argaman, del servicio de inteligencia Shin Bet, en el sentido de que la propuesta anexión israelí del Valle del Jordán, el cual constituye el 22% del territorio de Cisjordania, provocaría, muy probablemente, un rechazo contundente de la monarquía jordana la cual podría muy bien tomar la decisión de anular el acuerdo de paz firmado con Israel en 1994.

Ahora bien, fue pública la presencia sonriente del premier israelí Netanyahu al lado de Trump durante el anuncio del famoso acuerdo del siglo. Lo cual sugeriría que, en efecto, tal plan era un gran regalo para Israel. Sin embargo, todo indica que, en realidad, Netanyahu mismo, como astuto político con colmillo que es, sabía muy bien que ese plan, por lo impracticable que es, se acumularía en los archivos históricos de los diversos proyectos fallidos que al respecto se han producido a lo largo de décadas. Pero a pesar de eso, el anuncio en ese momento le brindaba a Netanyahu la posibilidad de aumentar su popularidad doméstica de cara a las elecciones israelíes del 2 de marzo próximo, en las que un triunfo suyo podría, quizá, salvarlo de enfrentar el juicio que por corrupción, soborno y abuso de confianza le tiene planteado la fiscalía israelí. Sin embargo, esa posibilidad, para su desgracia, se vio anulada ese mismo día al decidir, él mismo, renunciar a la inmunidad, al darse cuenta que no la conseguiría de ninguna manera.

Así que, por lo pronto, hay un sólo ganador en lo que se refiere al mentado Acuerdo del Siglo. Se trata de Donald Trump, quien mató varios pájaros de un tiro: cumplió con un compromiso de campaña porque, en efecto, entregó finalmente un documento respecto a cómo solucionar el conflicto palestino-israelí; distrajo la atención de su proceso de impeachment. Además, y no menos importante, reafirmó la lealtad de su nutrida base de votantes evangélicos, conformada por muchos millones de personas, quienes perciben como parte del proyecto mesiánico en el que creen fervientemente, todo aquello que se muestre como pro-israelí.

Es previsible que el compromiso personal de Trump con este asunto se reduzca a lo que sucedió esta semana, cuando ha conseguido un éxito coyuntural que no pasará de ahí. No en balde declaró que si su plan sirve, qué bueno, y si no, también se podrá vivir sin eso.

Según tomado de, https://diariojudio.com/opinion/el-acuerdo-del-siglo-a-quien-beneficia/320931/