Two Great Mystical Moralists of the 18th Century

Dec. 23 2016

Moses Ḥayim Luzzatto of Padua (1707-1746) and Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812) were innovative and highly influential Jewish theologians whose thought drew heavily on the teachings of Isaac Luria and other kabbalists. Neither was a stranger to controversy: Luzzatto was eventually hounded out of Italy by his coreligionists for his idiosyncratic messianic beliefs, while Shneur Zalman, as founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect, was one of the leading figures of Ḥasidism just as its conflict with the Misnagdm (rabbinic opponents of the movement) was heating up.

Tali Loewenthal places both rabbis in their respective historical contexts and explains their different ideas of man’s struggle for moral and spiritual perfection. (Video, 32 minutes.)

Read more at Chabad,org

More about: Chabad, Hasidism, Jewish history, Judaims, Kabbalah, Moses Hayim Luzzatto, Religion & Holidays


Close the PLO Office in Washington

April 24 2017

In the wake of the Oslo Accords, and in order to facilitate futher negotiations, Congress carved out an exception to the 1987 Anti-Terrorism Act to permit the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—a known terrorist group—to open an office in the U.S. capital. The legislation allows the president to extend this “temporary” waiver at his discretion—which every president since Bill Clinton has done. Shoshana Bryen argues that putting an end to the policy is a proper punishment for the PLO’s continued financial support for terrorists and their families.

[The waiver] was conditional on the PLO’s meeting its Oslo Accords obligations, including refraining from terrorism and renouncing international moves that would impede a bilateral agreement on final-status issues. . . .

In 2011, a Palestinian bid for recognition as a full member of the UN failed, but the waiver remained. Over U.S. objections, “Palestine” joined the International Criminal Court in 2015 [in violation of the Accords and thus of the waiver’s conditions]. . . .

[Furthermore], worried about foreign-aid payments from the U.S. and the EU, in 2014 the Palestinian Authority (PA) claimed it stopped paying salaries [to terrorists and their familites] and that future money would come from a new PLO Commission of Prisoner Affairs. . . . [I]n 2015, a year after the PA “officially” transferred authority over Palestinian prisoners to the PLO, it also transferred an extra 444-million shekels (more than $116 million) to the PLO—nearly the same amount that the PA had allocated in the previous years to its now-defunct Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. . . .

[T]he U.S. government should let the PLO and PA know that we are onto their game. Disincentivizing terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington would be a good first step.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy