Netanyahu: ‘A struggle is now being waged for the heart of Jerusalem’

May 10, 2021 Netanyahu: ‘A struggle is now being waged for the heart of Jerusalem’Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Flash90/Yonatan Sindal)

Netanyahu referred to the “forces of intolerance” and evinced his support for the Israeli police as they battle to restore order in Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff

“A struggle is now being waged for the heart of Jerusalem,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, addressing recent Arab violence plaguing the city. He made his remarks at a state memorial ceremony for Ethiopian Jews who perished on their way to Israel.

“It is not a new struggle. It is the struggle between intolerance and tolerance, between law-breaking violence and law and order. This struggle is not new because it has been waged, in effect, over Jerusalem and the heart of Jerusalem for hundreds of years, since the rise of the three monotheistic faiths,” he said.

On Monday, which is Jerusalem Day, an annual celebration of the unification of the capital during the Six Day War, Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount and in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. They threw stones and launched fireworks at police. They also attacked civilians, in one case, causing a driver to crash.

Netanyahu emphasized in his speech that when Jerusalem was in the hands of others, freedom of worship was restricted, but “only under Israeli sovereignty since 1967, have we witnessed a prolonged, stable and safe period in which we have been working to ensure freedom of worship and tolerance for all.”

Presumably referring to the Palestinian provocateurs, he said, “This is not a mission that we can carry out without conflict from time to time with those same forces of intolerance that want to expropriate our rights – first of all our rights, but not just ours – on the Temple Mount and other holy sites.”

“We insist on ensuring the rights of everyone, this occasionally requires taking a strong stand as the officers of the Israel Police, and our security forces, are doing at the moment.

“We back them in this just struggle. Of course, these things are being expressed erroneously and misleadingly in the global media. In the end truth will win but we must constantly reiterate it,” Netanyahu said.

Israel has banned Jews going up to the Temple Mount during Jerusalem Day as the result of the violence, an apparent win for the rioters. However, it hasn’t cancelled a flags parade, one of the staple events of the holiday, in which thousands stream through the Old City carrying Israeli flags. Police estimated 30,000 will take part.

Israel’s critics are right: ‘Sheikh Jarrah’ exemplifies the Arab-Israeli conflict

Shimon HaTzadik is a neighborhood where Jews and Arabs could have lived side by side peacefully—had Arabs not tried to ethnically cleanse all of the Jews living there..Op-ed.

Micha Danzig , May 09 , 2021 11:59 PM Share
Jewish worshippers at the tomb of Shimon Hatzaddik

Jewish worshippers at the tomb of Shimon Hatzaddik Flash 90

(JNS) Last week, anti-Israel forces went into overdrive regarding the Jerusalem District Court’s decision authorizing the eviction of certain Arab families from homes in the “Sheikh Jarrah” neighborhood of Jerusalem. These critics have aggressively railed against Israel on social media and even started a trending hashtag, “SaveSheikhJarrah,” all while claiming that what is happening in this Jerusalem neighborhood exemplifies the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

And they are right. The dispute over “Sheikh Jarrah” does illustrate many of the principal features of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

But first, some history about this neighborhood is needed. “Sheik Jarrah” is an Arab neighborhood that was established in 1865. And before 1949, there was a separate Jewish neighborhood within it. For about 2,000 years before that, this area was known by the name “Shimon HaTzadik” (Simon the Righteous), named after the famous rabbinical sage whose tomb is located there.

For centuries, the Jewish presence in the area revolved around the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik, who was famously one of the last members of the Great Assembly (HaKnesset HaGedolah), the governing body of the Jewish people during the Second Jewish Commonwealth (after the Babylonian Exile). Shimon HaTzadik, whose full name is Shimon ben Yohanan, was so impactful that practically every Jewish kid going back 2,000 years learned his most famous verse in Pirkei Avot (“Sayings of the Fathers”), which was incorporated millennia ago into the Jewish morning prayers: “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of kindness.”

Because of the tomb and its significance to the Jewish people, the Sephardic Community Committee and the Ashkenazi Assembly of Israel purchased the tomb and its surrounding land (about 4.5 acres) in 1875. Shortly thereafter, it, along with the neighborhood of Kfar Hashiloah in the Silwan area of Jerusalem, became home to many, mostly Yemenite, Jews who had migrated to Jerusalem (Zion) back in 1881. Notably, by 1844, Jews were the largest ethnic population in Jerusalem.

Between 1936 and 1938, and then again in 1948, the British Empire assisted Arabs, incited by raw Jew hatred, in ripping Jews from their homes in Shimon HaTzadik (and in Kfar Hashiloah). The Yemeni Jewish community was also expelled from Silwan, for “their own safety,” by the British Office of Social Welfare. Essentially, the British preferred to force Jews out of their own homes rather than expend the resources to protect Jewish families and their property rights in Jerusalem.

Then, in 1949, after TransJordan (now Jordan) invaded Israel as part of an express attempt by the entire Arab League to destroy Israel and “push the Jews into the sea,” TransJordan’s British-created and British-led Arab Legion captured Judea and Samaria, all of the Old City of Jerusalem and many of its surrounding neighborhoods, including the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood. Then the Arab Legion either killed or ethnically cleansed every last Jew. Not one was allowed to remain. Not one. Even those whose families had lived in the region for centuries before the Arab invasion in the seventh century.

After Israel gained control of all of Jerusalem from the Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel passed a law that allows Jews whose families had been forced out of their homes by the Jordanians or the British to regain control of their family homes if they could provide proof of ownership and the current residents could not provide proof of a valid purchase or transfer of title. All of the homes that are the subject of these 2021 eviction proceedings, in addition to being on land purchased in 1875 by the Jewish community, were owned by Jewish families that had purchased those homes, and had deeds registered first with the Ottoman Empire (which governed the region from 1517 to 1917) and then with the British authorities (who controlled the area from 1917 to 1948).

These four houses, subject to the pending eviction notice, have already been the subject of extensive litigation in Israel, with appeals going all the way up to Israel’s very liberal Supreme Court and with all parties receiving representation and due process. The court determined last week that these homes must be returned to their legal owners and that another four homes shall be returned to their legal owners by the end of the summer. The court further determined that the people currently living in these homes had been illegally squatting in these homes for decades without paying rent or holding proof of ownership.

This is how the current controversy and conflict surrounding the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood is emblematic of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict:

Shimon HaTzadik is an area that holds deep historical and religious significance to the Jewish people. It is a place where the Jewish people developed—as Ben-Gurion said in Israel’s Declaration of Independence—their “spiritual, religious and political identity.” It is a place where the Jewish people “first achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance.” It is land that was part of the only independent state that has ever existed west of the Jordan River over the last 2,000 years (that wasn’t part of some foreign colonizing empire). All of this, of course, also applies to every inch of the land of Israel.

Shimon HaTzadik is also where Jewish organizations purchased land and built homes during the Ottoman Empire and British Empire’s control of the region. The Yemenite Jews who moved to the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood in the 1880s came with the dream of living in Zion and re-establishing the Jewish homeland. This applies to every Jewish community established in the land of Israel between 1870 and 1947.

Shimon HaTzadik is a neighborhood where Jews and Arab could have lived side by side peacefully had Arabs—incited with antisemitic fervor by Nazi ally and collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini and then by five of the most powerful armies of the entire Arab League—not tried to ethnically cleanse all of the Jews living there. This also applies to every Jewish community established in the land of Israel before 1947.

In Shimon HaTzadik, Jews are trying to move back into homes which were purchased peacefully and legally by their ancestors on land that is part of the Jewish people’s indigenous, historical and religious homeland. They are trying to move back into homes on land that was conquered by a foreign Arab army and renamed to erase the historic Jewish connection and character of the area. This, too, applies to every inch of the land of Israel before 1948.

Shimon HaTzadik and Sheikh Jarrah: the Arab-Israeli conflict in a nutshell.

Micha Danzig served in the Israeli Army and is a former police officer with the NYPD. He is currently an attorney and is very active with numerous Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, including Stand With Us, T.E.A.M. and the FIDF. This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.

Tags: Micha Danzig Shimon HaTzaddik Sheikh Jarrah

Pre-State Israel: Jewish Claim To The Land Of Israel

Jewish Virtual Library

by Mitchell Bard

A common misperception is that the Jews were forced into the diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. and then, 1,800 years later, suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years. A national language and a distinct civilization have been maintained.

The Jewish people base their claim to the land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham; 2) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 3) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people and 4) the territory was captured in defensive wars.

The term “Palestine” is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what is now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century A.D., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word “Filastin” is derived from this Latin name.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel formed the first constitutional monarchy in Palestine about 1000 B.C. The second king, David, first made Jerusalem the nation’s capital. Although eventually Palestine was split into two separate kingdoms, Jewish independence there lasted for 212 years. This is almost as long as Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in Palestine continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.

Many Jews were massacred by the Crusaders during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years. By the early 19th century-years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement-more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.

When Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in large numbers in 1882, fewer than 250,000 Arabs lived there, and the majority of them had arrived in recent decades. Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.” In fact, Palestine is never explicitly mentioned in the Koran, rather it is called “the holy land” (al-Arad al-Muqaddash).

Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:

We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.

In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”

The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said “Palestine was part of the Province of Syria” and that, “politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity.” A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”

Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel’s capture of the West Bank.

Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel’s people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.


Sources: Moshe Kohn, “The Arabs’ ‘Lie’ of the Land,” Jerusalem Post, (October 18, 1991); Avner Yaniv, PLO, (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Study Group of Middle Eastern Affairs, August 1974), p. 5; Encyclopaedia Judaica.

The Divine Monarch

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17.15 “thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….”

B’rashith 17.5-6 “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

B’rashith 17.15-16 “And G-D said unto Abraham: ‘As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.’

Shmoth 19.6 “and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ ”

We see from these sources in the Torah that the Will of HaShem is a monarchy; a holy nation! Not a nation like all other nations as the people clamored for, before Navi Shemuel. 1 Samuel 8.18-20:

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye shall have chosen you; and the L-RD will not answer you in that day.’ 19 But the people refused to hearken unto the voice of Samuel; and they said: ‘Nay; but there shall be a king over us; 20 that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.’

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Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17.15 “thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….”

1 Chronicles 28.4 “Howbeit the L-RD, the G-D of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever; for He hath chosen Judah to be prince, and in the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel; ….”

2 Chronicles 6.6 “But I have chosen Jerusalem so that My Name will be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ ”

Tehillim 78.70 “He chose David also His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;….”

1 Samuel 16.1 “And the L-RD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”

The mitzvah is to appoint a king for HaShemwhom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….” HaShem chose David as King over all Israel, even as King David confirmed in 1 Chronicles 28.4.

As the Tanak pointedly states, the people chose Saul as King rather than allowing the prophet and high priest as agents for HaShem to choose a king (presumably through the Urim and Thumim)!

From 1 Samuel 16.1 (“… for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”) we see that the Tanak makes clear [that] the king chosen by G-D serves HaShem; as Tehillim 78.70 points out: “He chose David also His servant,…” and as 1 Samuel 13.14 points out, David was found by HaShem to be a “man after the heart of G-D:

1 Samuel 13.14 “But now thy kingdom shall not continue; the L-RD hath sought him a man after His own heart, and the L-RD hath appointed him to be prince over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the L-RD commanded thee.’ “

R. Yossi and R. Yehuda, the Rambam (R. Moshe ben Maimon, 12th century, Egypt) and Sefer HaChinukh (author unknown, 13th century, Spain) and all those commentators who are of the opinion that there is a mitzvah to appoint a king, imply in their opinion both the fact that the Torah involves itself in the regulation of human affairs and that it chose to endorse monarchy as the proper form of government.

So if (since) HaShem chose David as King then there is no need to select, choose or appoint a king from outside King David and Shlomo’s lineage. In fact, it was improper for the Hasmoneans to rule over the people for they were of the priestly caste!

****

To quote from one article on the discussion of “Appointing a King” –

“In Sanhedrin (20b) which states that the phrase “Ki yad al keis Kah” (“Hand upon the throne of the Lord,” Shemot 17:16) refers to the king: “Ve-ein kisei ela melekh she-ne’emar Vayeshev Shelomo al kisei Hashem le-melekh” – “‘Throne’ refers to the king, as it is written, ‘Shelomo sat on the throne of the Lord as king’ (I Divrei Ha-yamim 29:23).” (See also Ramban ad loc., who adopts this position.) The upshot of this statement, further emphasized by the gemara’s subsequent statement that “Be-tchila malakh Shlomo al ha-elyonim she’ne’emar vayeshev Shlomo al kisei Hashem le-melekh” (“At first Shelomo ruled over the the upper spheres”), is that the king is not solely a human figure serving the needs of his countrymen, but rather he is also a sacral figure, representing Divine interests in the human world. Just as the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) is the Divine representative in the religious sphere, serving as a “shelucha de-rachmana” (emissary of God) no less than a “shelucha didan” (emissary of man), so too is the melekh an ambassador of God in the political sphere. The Heavenly Throne (kisei Hashem) serves as a symbol of Divine involvement in the human world and, therefore, the description of the king as sitting upon this throne serves to establish his rule as a manifestation and executor of Divine Will in our world. In this context, mention should already be made of the fact that the king, as the kohen, is anointed with shemen ha-mishcha (the anointing oil).

If we accept this line of reasoning, the Torah’s interest in a royal head of state is not due to his practical utility to human society, but rather is due to the fact that a royal figure is a better representative of God on Earth. By adopting such a position, we are able to understand the need for a king, despite the drawbacks which Abarbanel pointed out. To offset those, the Torah added a whole list of regulations and mitzvot designed to distance the monarch from “gavhut ha-lev” (arrogance), involvement with earthly affairs and the temptations of power (i.e. women, money and horses) and to instill in him and his subjects the sense of a Divine mission (the need to constantly have a Torah scroll at his side).”

SOURCE: YESHIVAT HAR ETZION

ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)

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JEWISH POLITICAL THEORY – HILKHOT MELAKHIM

SHIUR #1: The Commandment to Appoint a King

by Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein

Copyright (c) 1997 Yeshivat Har Etzion. All rights reserved.

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While the above article does not touch upon the subject of the unifying mission of the King, it is important to note that I Divrei Ha-yamim (1 Chronicles) 29:23 concludes with the phrase “… and all Israel obeyed him.”

“David came and increased their number to 24.”

24 mishmarot (lit. “guards”; Ta’an. 4:2), which served in a regular weekly rotation. The mishmarot were further broken up into a varying number of battei avot (“houses” or “families”). Each division and subdivision was presided over by a head, called rosh mishmar and rosh bet av respectively (Tosef., Hor. 2: 10); there is also mention made of a bet av (Tam. 1:1; Mid. 1:8; cf. Yoma 1:5). The levites were similarly divided into 24 mishmarot, which replaced each other every week (I Chron. 25:8ff, et al.; Jos., Ant., 7:363ff.; Ta’an. 4:2). These were in turn subdivided into seven battei avot, and presided over by “heads.” Finally, there was an analogous division of the Israelites themselves into 24 mishmarot, each of which had to take its turn in coming to Jerusalem for a week. They served to represent the whole body of the people while the daily (communal) offerings were sacrificed, for “how can a man’s offering be offered while he does not stand by it?” (Ta’an. 4:2, et al.).

That part of the mishmar of priests, Levites, or Israelites actually engaged in the performance of its duty was called a ma’amad or ammud (“station”) and was headed by a rosh ma’amad (Tam. 5:6). When the time for the service of a mishmar came round, all the priests and Levites belonging to it would go to Jerusalem. Not all the Israelites of that mishmar, however, proceeded to Jerusalem. A portion of them certainly did (Ta’an. 4:2; cf. Tosef., Ta’an. 4:3) but those who could not do so assembled in their own towns and read the story of creation, etc. Only those in Jerusalem who actually “stood by” while the sacrifice was being offered could, strictly speaking, be called a ma’amad, or ammud (see Sof. 17:5; but see Lieberman , Tosefta ki-Feshutah 5, 1962, 1104, who shows that according to a different opinion the ma’amadot were of Israelites alone).

23 “And Solomon sat on the throne of the L-RD as king instead of David his father, and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.” 24 And all the leaders and the mighty men and also all King David’s sons placed their hand under King Solomon.

Hoshea 3.5 “afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek [desire] the L-RD their G-D, and David their king; and shall come trembling unto the L-RD and to His goodness in the end of days.”

Yekezkel 37.22 “and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all;”

Thus, in a Divinely chosen monarchy, the king sit as an emissary of the Merciful One on the throne of the L-RD uniting the people, to worship as one by an oath; even as Avraham’s servant swore by the “Covenant of Circumcision” B’rashith (Genesis) 24:3!

Aboriginal (Indigenous) Title & a Trusteeship Agreement

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that, where a “First Nation” maintains demographic and cultural connections with the land, aboriginal title (including self-government rights) can survive both sovereignty changes and the influx of a new majority population, resulting from foreign conquest.Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 SCR 1010 (Case Number 23799).

This jurisprudence is an important decision because it is only Jews who are indigenous to “Palestine” (Eretz Yisrael) that have maintained an “indigenous demographic and cultural connection” to the Land of Eretz Yisrael, have survived foreign (Arab) conquest/colonialism and were guaranteed POLITICAL rights to self-government within Mandate for Palestine “Treaty Territories” pursuant to the San Remo Resolution!

(The Arabs acquired independence, as contemplated by the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement via the Kingdom of the Hejaz, were guaranteed political rights at the San Remo Conference via the Mandates for Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) and are indigenous to Arabia!)

The Canadian Treaty Land Entitlements Agreements process, and the Jurisprudence decided in behalf of Indigenous First Peoples provides a useful model that could be negotiated as part of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement under a ‘post-OsloTrusteeship Agreement as contemplated by Chapter XII (Articles 75 through 85) of the UN Charter, to “set aside” Land Reserves for “close Jewish and Arab settlement” in historical “Eretz Yisrael” (Palestine) both East and West of the Jordan River.

The Commandment to Appoint a King

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17.15 “thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….”

B’rashith 17.5-6 “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

B’rashith 17.15-16 “And G-D said unto Abraham: ‘As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.’

Shmoth 19.6 “and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ ”

We see from these sources in the Torah that the Will of HaShem is a monarchy; a holy nation! Not a nation like all other nations as the people clamored for, before Navi Shemuel. 1 Samuel 8.18-20:

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye shall have chosen you; and the L-RD will not answer you in that day.’ 19 But the people refused to hearken unto the voice of Samuel; and they said: ‘Nay; but there shall be a king over us; 20 that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.’

****

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17.15 “thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….”

1 Chronicles 28.4 “Howbeit the L-RD, the G-D of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever; for He hath chosen Judah to be prince, and in the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel; ….”

2 Chronicles 6.6 “But I have chosen Jerusalem so that My Name will be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ ”

Tehillim 78.70 “He chose David also His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;….”

1 Samuel 16.1 “And the L-RD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”

The mitzvah is to appoint a king for HaShemwhom the L-RD thy G-D shall choose; ….” HaShem chose David as King over all Israel, even as King David confirmed in 1 Chronicles 28.4.

As the Tanak pointedly states, the people chose Saul as King rather than allowing the prophet and high priest as agents for HaShem to choose a king (presumably through the Urim and Thumim)!

From 1 Samuel 16.1 (“… for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”) we see that the Tanak makes clear [that] the king chosen by G-D serves HaShem; as Tehillim 78.70 points out: “He chose David also His servant,…” and as 1 Samuel 13.14 points out, David was found by HaShem to be a “man after the heart of G-D:

1 Samuel 13.14 “But now thy kingdom shall not continue; the L-RD hath sought him a man after His own heart, and the L-RD hath appointed him to be prince over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the L-RD commanded thee.’ “

R. Yossi and R. Yehuda, the Rambam (R. Moshe ben Maimon, 12th century, Egypt) and Sefer HaChinukh (author unknown, 13th century, Spain) and all those commentators who are of the opinion that there is a mitzvah to appoint a king, imply in their opinion both the fact that the Torah involves itself in the regulation of human affairs and that it chose to endorse monarchy as the proper form of government.

So if (since) HaShem chose David as King then there is no need to select, choose or appoint a king from outside King David and Shlomo’s lineage. In fact, it was improper for the Hasmoneans to rule over the people for they were of the priestly caste!

****

To quote from one article on the discussion of “Appointing a King” –

“In Sanhedrin (20b) which states that the phrase “Ki yad al keis Kah” (“Hand upon the throne of the Lord,” Shemot 17:16) refers to the king: “Ve-ein kisei ela melekh she-ne’emar Vayeshev Shelomo al kisei Hashem le-melekh” – “‘Throne’ refers to the king, as it is written, ‘Shelomo sat on the throne of the Lord as king’ (I Divrei Ha-yamim 29:23).” (See also Ramban ad loc., who adopts this position.) The upshot of this statement, further emphasized by the gemara’s subsequent statement that “Be-tchila malakh Shlomo al ha-elyonim she’ne’emar vayeshev Shlomo al kisei Hashem le-melekh” (“At first Shelomo ruled over the the upper spheres”), is that the king is not solely a human figure serving the needs of his countrymen, but rather he is also a sacral figure, representing Divine interests in the human world. Just as the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) is the Divine representative in the religious sphere, serving as a “shelucha de-rachmana” (emissary of God) no less than a “shelucha didan” (emissary of man), so too is the melekh an ambassador of God in the political sphere. The Heavenly Throne (kisei Hashem) serves as a symbol of Divine involvement in the human world and, therefore, the description of the king as sitting upon this throne serves to establish his rule as a manifestation and executor of Divine Will in our world. In this context, mention should already be made of the fact that the king, as the kohen, is anointed with shemen ha-mishcha (the anointing oil).

If we accept this line of reasoning, the Torah’s interest in a royal head of state is not due to his practical utility to human society, but rather is due to the fact that a royal figure is a better representative of God on Earth. By adopting such a position, we are able to understand the need for a king, despite the drawbacks which Abarbanel pointed out. To offset those, the Torah added a whole list of regulations and mitzvot designed to distance the monarch from “gavhut ha-lev” (arrogance), involvement with earthly affairs and the temptations of power (i.e. women, money and horses) and to instill in him and his subjects the sense of a Divine mission (the need to constantly have a Torah scroll at his side).”

SOURCE: YESHIVAT HAR ETZION

ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)

**************************************************************

JEWISH POLITICAL THEORY – HILKHOT MELAKHIM

SHIUR #1: The Commandment to Appoint a King

by Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein

Copyright (c) 1997 Yeshivat Har Etzion. All rights reserved.

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While the above article does not touch upon the subject of the unifying mission of the King, it is important to note that I Divrei Ha-yamim (1 Chronicles) 29:23 concludes with the phrase “… and all Israel obeyed him.”

“David came and increased their number to 24.”

24 mishmarot (lit. “guards”; Ta’an. 4:2), which served in a regular weekly rotation. The mishmarot were further broken up into a varying number of battei avot (“houses” or “families”). Each division and subdivision was presided over by a head, called rosh mishmar and rosh bet av respectively (Tosef., Hor. 2: 10); there is also mention made of a bet av (Tam. 1:1; Mid. 1:8; cf. Yoma 1:5). The levites were similarly divided into 24 mishmarot, which replaced each other every week (I Chron. 25:8ff, et al.; Jos., Ant., 7:363ff.; Ta’an. 4:2). These were in turn subdivided into seven battei avot, and presided over by “heads.” Finally, there was an analogous division of the Israelites themselves into 24 mishmarot, each of which had to take its turn in coming to Jerusalem for a week. They served to represent the whole body of the people while the daily (communal) offerings were sacrificed, for “how can a man’s offering be offered while he does not stand by it?” (Ta’an. 4:2, et al.).

That part of the mishmar of priests, Levites, or Israelites actually engaged in the performance of its duty was called a ma’amad or ammud (“station”) and was headed by a rosh ma’amad (Tam. 5:6). When the time for the service of a mishmar came round, all the priests and Levites belonging to it would go to Jerusalem. Not all the Israelites of that mishmar, however, proceeded to Jerusalem. A portion of them certainly did (Ta’an. 4:2; cf. Tosef., Ta’an. 4:3) but those who could not do so assembled in their own towns and read the story of creation, etc. Only those in Jerusalem who actually “stood by” while the sacrifice was being offered could, strictly speaking, be called a ma’amad, or ammud (see Sof. 17:5; but see Lieberman , Tosefta ki-Feshutah 5, 1962, 1104, who shows that according to a different opinion the ma’amadot were of Israelites alone).

23 “And Solomon sat on the throne of the L-RD as king instead of David his father, and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.” 24 And all the leaders and the mighty men and also all King David’s sons placed their hand under King Solomon.

Hoshea 3.5 “afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek [desire] the L-RD their G-D, and David their king; and shall come trembling unto the L-RD and to His goodness in the end of days.”

Yekezkel 37.22 “and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all;”

Thus, in a Divinely chosen monarchy, the king sit as an emissary of the Merciful One on the throne of the L-RD uniting the people, to worship as one by an oath; even as Avraham’s servant swore by the “Covenant of Circumcision” B’rashith (Genesis) 24:3!

Spies Smuggle Jewish Bibles Out of Syria

This week a court ruled that the Damascus Bibles must stay in the Israel’s National Library.

By Ezra Stone, United with Israel

In a daring mission 27 years ago, Israeli spies, a Canadian activist, and a rabbi spirited nine rare Jewish texts called the “Damascus Crowns” out of the Syrian capital and into the Land of Israel.

The death-defying mission spared the manuscripts destruction or desecration at the hands of the Assad regime and any of the Islamic terror groups, from Hezbollah to ISIS, that have operated in Syria during the past quarter century.

This week an Israeli rule that the medieval books must stay under the control of Israel’s National Library.

The Damascus Crowns consist of the Tanach, or the Jewish Bible, which encompasses Judaism’s 24 canonical books. This edition was written on parchment in the 13th century CE and was the property of Damascus’ Jewish community, which fled Syria during the decades following the establishment of the State of Israel due to brutal pogroms, discriminatory anti-Semitic laws, wide-scale property theft, and other forms of persecution.

As of 2019, there were no known Jews living in Syria, despite the fact that it had been home to a thriving community for centuries.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Chief Rabbi of the Syrian community Avraham Hamra oversaw the clandestine removal of a trove of Jewish holy objects to Israel, including nine bible manuscripts, 40 Torah scrolls, and 32 ornamental boxes that housed the Torahs. The holy items are housed in the National Library and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Library.

On Monday the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Damascus Crowns, are “treasures of the Jewish people” that have”historic, religious and national importance” and must be protected, The Associated Press reported.

“The trust and its conditions are aimed at ensuring first and foremost the preservation of the Damascus Crowns and their care for the public, the Jewish people and future generations,” the court added.

The mission that delivered these treasures included the Mossad spy agency, which worked with Canadian Judy Feld Carr and Rabbi Hamra.

“Feld Carr said that in 1993 she coordinated with Hamra to give one of the manuscripts to a Canadian diplomat, who slipped it out of Syria in a black plastic shopping bag,” AP reported.

While Syria has not attempted to get the Crowns back, Rabbi Hamra sought custody of them. He claims Israeli officials promised he could keep the books and place them in a Syrian Jewry cultural center outside of a Tel Aviv.

The court ruled that the Crowns must stay in Jerusalem. Trustees of the items will include Rabbi Hamra, other members of the Syrian Jewish community in Israel, National Library representatives, the chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, and Hebrew University’s president.

Jewish Kings and Monarchs: From King David to the Messiah Live webinar

  Shalom from Israel! United with Israel is happy to invite you to an interactive webinar broadcast LIVE from Israel on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Renown speaker and scholar Rabbi Ari Enkin presents highly educational, thought provoking, inspiring classes covering topics from the Land of Israel to Bible study to contemporary Jewish and Israeli issues and more. This week, Rabbi Enkin’s topic will be:
Jewish Kings and Monarchs: From King David to the Messiah Live webinar will be broadcast on Thursday August 20 at:
10:00am EDT (Eastern USA)
3:00pm London time
5:00pm Jerusalem time
12:00am (Friday) Melbourne, Australia Space is limited so please be sure to sign into the class early. If you registered for a previous week’s class you may use the same link to attend. Otherwise, please register for the webinar below. Click Here to Register for the Zoom Webinar Rabbi Enkin will begin the class with a review of this week’s Torah portion, “Shoftim” (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9). After a brief overview of the Torah portion and the many commandments that it contains, Rabbi Enkin will discuss the history of the monarchy in the Land of Israel and review the life of King David and Solomon. We will explore some of the lesser-known facts and details of the final king: King Messiah. Register NOW for Rabbi Ari Enkin’s LIVE Webinar Although not required, please consider making a donation support United with Israel’s ongoing program by clicking here. It would be greatly appreciated! We look forward to seeing you there! With Blessings from Israel, The United with Israel Team CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

A synagogue on the Temple Mount? Activists say let the Jews move in

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.

Jpost – Israel News
By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman
March 6, 2019 04:09

A general view of Jerusalem's old city shows the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims a

A general view of Jerusalem’s old city shows the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, October 25, 2015. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

A group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer.

According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzel (Otzma Yehudit) and members of the rabbinate.

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the First and Second Temples used to sit.

Riots have continuously erupted on the Temple Mount since last month, when thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Jerusalem Police arrested two senior Wakf officials – east Jerusalem Wakf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Wakf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.

In response, the Muslims took over and converted a 1,500-year-old structure located near the Golden Gate (known as Shaar Harachamim in Hebrew) into a mosque. Currently, the Muslims have four other mosques on the mount, said Fried. Jews, on the other hand, “if you try to pray, you will be arrested.”

The activists argue that by opening the Golden Gate and establishing a new mosque, the Muslims have broken the status quo agreement. Israel has made attempts to shutter the gate, but the Muslims have refused, threatening increased violence.

“If the status quo is broken anyway, then Israel needs to break it, too,” said Fried, arguing that Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. “We need a place to pray and we want that structure near the Golden Gate.”

Establishing a synagogue is not unprecedented, explained Yaacov Hayman, head of the Yishai Organization for the Establishment of Synagogues on the Temple Mount. He said in Temple times there was always a synagogue near the Temple.

“The Talmud tractate that talks about Yom Kippur clearly states there was a synagogue,” he said.

His organization has mapped the Temple Mount and created renderings for where up to four synagogues could be located on the holy site.

Marzel told The Jerusalem Post that the Temple Mount is “the holiest place for the Jewish people. Our enemies are taking it over, they are breaking the law, destroying archaeology sites and disgracing Judaism and God. We have to fight.”

Fried said the group is not asking to take over authority on the mount. Currently, the Jerusalem Wakf Islamic religious trust controls and manages the Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount. The east Jerusalem Wakf is controlled by Jordan.

However, they would like to see the Temple Mount divided like the way that the Cave of the Patriarchs was divided into a synagogue and a mosque in 1967.

This latest call for a synagogue on the Temple Mount is not the first.

In 2017, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) called for the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount in the aftermath of the brutal Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf) attack, in which a Hamas terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement and murdered three people at their Shabbat table.

“I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” Smotrich said then. “If someone thinks that through terrorism, violence, and the massacre of a family that he will push our sovereignty back, then – if I am the prime minister – this morning, I would close the Temple Mount to Arab prayer and establish a synagogue for Jews. And if the terrorism continues, I would close the mount to Arabs and there will be only Jews there.”

A similar demand was made in 2014, when a large group of religious-Zionist rabbis – including Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Eliyahu Zinni and Rabbi Haim Cohen – penned a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advocating the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount. No action was taken.

Furthermore, there have been bills raised in the Knesset calling for equal prayer rights for Jews on the Temple Mount, but they have generally been shut down, as Muslims threaten violence if the status quo is altered.

Fried said he believes that this time the goal can be accomplished because Israel is in an election period and politicians who can effect change will want to appear responsive.

On March 14, the group is arranging a massive Jewish trip to the Temple Mount. He said he expects hundreds of Jews to attend and to pray in their hearts.

Then, in late March, they will run a protest rally from City Hall to outside the Golden Gate.

“We are all angry about what is going on the Temple Mount,” said Fried. “If we will it, we think this time it will be.”

Ancient Genealogical Records Prove King David’s Descendants Are Alive Today

Breaking Israel News

“Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Yisrael for ever; according as I promised to David thy father, saying: There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Yisrael.” I Kings 9:5 (The Israel Bible™)

It might come as a shock to many to learn that hundreds of descendants of King David are alive today, with verifiable family trees dating back 90 generations, and that the royal Davidic dynasty could potentially be established today in Israel.

Though some may be skeptical of the genealogical proof, many secular researchers of genealogy have studied the line of David. The research is facilitated by the fact that a number of European monarchs throughout history have gone to great lengths to prove family ties to the Davidic Dynasty, and a solid ancestry has been established.

Within the Jewish community, genealogical studies have shown several families that can claim descent ben akhar ben (father to son) in a direct line, most notably the Dayan, Shealtiel and Charlap/Don Yechia families. Most of these families come from Aleppo, Syria.

Susan Roth (Davidic Dynasty)
Susan Roth (Davidic Dynasty)

Susan Roth founded the Davidic Dynasty organization in 2000 to gather and reunite Davidic descendants in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Roth has a personal interest as well, tracing her lineage back to King David through Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the preeminent 11th century French Torah scholar known by the acronym Rashi.

Her registry currently lists approximately 150 descendants who have verifiable descent to King David. However, efforts to introduce this reality into mainstream Judaism have met with surprising resistance.

When she first compiled her list, Roth contacted Israel’s Chief Rabbinate to inform them of her registry but, surprisingly, they expressed no interest.

“They were shocked, but they never followed up. My interest was simply to do God’s will, but they understood it as a political agenda. They don’t want King David’s dynasty and they don’t want Moshiach (Messiah),” Roth told Breaking Israel News.

“Even though it is clear Moshiach is here. He is just hiding,” she added.

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)
Mitchell Dayan  (Courtesy)

One of her discoveries was Mitchell Dayan. In 1983, Dayan was mourning for his brother. Amazed at the number of visitors who claimed to be from his family, he began to research his genealogy. Dayan’s research led him to a book called Yashir Moshe, a commentary on Song of Songs written in 1864 by Rabbi Moshe Dayan. In the prologue to the book, the rabbi lists his genealogy, leading back to King David. In this list, Mitchell found the name of his great grandfather from Aleppo.

Another genealogic list was found in the Cairo geniza, a storehouse of over 300,000 Jewish documents discovered in the late 1800’s. The two lists were almost identical, despite the Cairo list being compiled hundreds of years earlier. Through these sources, Mitchell Dayan was able to verify his lineage back 87 generations to King David.

“The actual descendants may not know it but there are descendants of King David alive today,” Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “This was prophesied in the Bible but it is also fact. Politics are irrelevant. It is going to happen, one day or another.”

For thus saith Hashem: There shall not be cut off unto David a man to sit upon the throne of the house of YisraelJeremiah 33:17

In 2005, another Dayan, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, was recognized by the nascent Sanhedrin as a direct descendant of King David and, as such, a candidate to re-establish the Davidic Dynasty. Similar to Mitchell Dayan, his discovery came as a result of a death in the family.

Soon after he immigrated to Israel in 1968, Rabbi Dayan buried his grandfather in Jerusalem. He was surprised to see inscribed on the headstone the words “M’Bet David” (from the house of David). Rabbi Dayan discovered that this inscription was a family custom dating back to their origins in Aleppo.

Several years later, Rabbi Dayan received an antique document from a cousin which lists his genealogy, showing him to be the 89th generation from King David. This document was verified by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel.

“This concept of family tradition is not surprising,” Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “The Kohanim (priests) have a family tradition that they are descended from Aaron the Priest, well before King David, and this tradition is totally accepted by the rabbis. This tradition has been proven accurate by DNA testing.”

Rabbi Dayan is disappointed by the lack of acceptance by rabbinic authorities and mainstream Judaism.

Rabbi Yosef Dayan. (Screenshot)
Rabbi Yosef Dayan. (Screenshot)

“Just as the Kohanic tradition is accepted, the same should be true for the descendants of King David, but even more so,” Rabbi Dayan said. “We have written family trees, and our tradition is engraved on gravestones for the offspring to take note of their ancestry.”

Breaking Israel News asked Rabbi Dayan why he thought there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic Dynasty.

On why there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic dynasty, Rabbi Dayan explained, “There is a basic error in understanding the Kingdom of David.

“The Moshiach is already here. Moshiach in Hebrew means ‘anointed’. It is not a miracle. The family of David exists and is waiting for Israel to choose one and anoint him.

“By claiming incorrectly that there are no living descendants of King David, the Moshiach becomes dependent upon a miracle from heaven, thereby absolving the rabbis from any responsibility for taking action to bringing the Messiah.”