Friday, September 28, 2007

Rav Shapira's Funeral

It's hard to know exactly how many people filled the streets of Kiryat Moshe today to mourn the passing of Rabbi Avraham Shapira zt"l, the 94 year-old Religious Zionist rabbinic leader. Surrounded by a sea of mourners - white kippah and black hat alike - Rav Shapira was eulogized with tears and the cry of hearts broken at the loss of a spiritual giant of our age. I felt honored to be among what felt like 100,000+ Children of Israel, saying goodbye to the last link to the lineage of Rav Avraham Yitzak HaKohen Kook zt"l of blessed memory, father of Religious Zionism.
Yeshiva boys hung by the dozen from sagging balconies of dormatories, families filled the streets, quiet and still despite the mid-morning sun on what began as a cloudless Friday. Black velvet and white knitted kippot side by side with the occasional fur streimel, n'na'nah'nachman beanie, black felt hats of every conceivable dent bowed their heads together as our nations Rabbis eulogized him over loadspeakers, which caught every heartbroken sob and gasp of grief such as that of an orphan, left alone in this world without shelter and guidance.
The sound of all those people - some say there were 100,000, some say 20,000 - however many were there - the sound of all those people saying the Shema together, my own voice joined to the sound of the assembled Clal Yisrael - was the most powerful sound I've ever heard in my life, descending into the very DNA of my soul and fundamentally altering something I can neither describe nor understand, only feel.
Psalm 116:15 - "Dear in the eyes of HaShem is the death of His devout ones"

The Jerusalem Post reports: Former Chief Rabbi Avraham Elkana Shapira, the 94-year-old spiritual giant of religious Zionism, was laid to rest Friday after passing away Thursday morning following a sudden deterioration in his medical condition.
The funeral procession, leaving Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 10:30 a.m., reached the Mount of Olives where the rabbi was buried. Reportedly, thousands (by some accounts, tens of thousands) attended the funeral procession and the funeral.
Shapira is known principally for his uncompromising opposition to any territorial compromises, even within the context of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. He called on soldiers to refuse orders to aid in the dismantling of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and in northern Samaria during the 2005 disengagement.
Religious Zionist rabbis who opposed Shapira on military insubordination were severely criticized for rebelling against the man they had crowned as "the greatest halachic authority of the generation."
Known by his students as "Rav Avrum," in 1982 Shapira was appointed head of religious Zionism's flagship Mercaz Harav Yeshiva after the death of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, son of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Exile on Main Street

In case anyone wonders, this is the face of a woman who flew thousands of miles to drive hundreds of miles to come to the aid of her children, and after criss-crossing the State of California not once but twice in two weeks, finds herself Exiled on Main Street - in Galut for Yom Kippur - and in the words of the prophets Mick and Keith, I urgently want to Rip This Joint, because I'm Torn & Frayed - ready to be Happy and Shine A Light as a Soul Survivor..because I Just Want To See His Face.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Long & Winding Road

Zig-zagging across the State of California for the last two weeks, with one to go, playing Tshuva Tag with family and friends, making the most gigantic Tikkun for everything, both large and small. Picture here my son Cameron Kude and my virtual step-son Jacob Martin, and the big ass white cargo van we rented to haul heirlooms and horror stories from SoCal to environs north.

From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv to New York, New York to San Francisco, San Francisco to Long Beach, Long Beach to ... so far, a hotel room in Santa Nella, California.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Yet another reason why Moslem women need Moschiach too!

Egyptian man forces his wife to be circumcised
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST
Sep. 1, 2007

An Egyptian man forced his 20-year-old wife to be circumcised after a year of marriage, resulting in her hospitalization for acute bleeding, the state-run news agency reported Saturday.
According to the police commissioner of the Cairo's gritty northern suburb of Shubra el-Kheima cited by the Middle East News Agency, a dispute erupted between Shaaban el-Menshawi and his wife because she had never been circumcised, a once common operation in Egypt that has since been banned by the government.
When her husband started beating her, Ashgan Riyadh Abdelati fled to her mother's house. Once there, however, her mother brought in a doctor to conduct the illegal operation on the spot, said the news report.