Thursday, October 29, 2015

PARSHAS VAYERA 5776



“RABBI’S MUSINGS (& AMUSINGS)”
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Vayera
17 MarCheshvan 5776/ October 30, 2015

If the wicked journalists of CNN, BBC, NPR, AP, NY Times, and all of the other unbalanced news agencies were around in the time of Avrohom, these may have very well been the headlines:

Ø  “ABRAHAM ABANDONS ELDERLY FATHER TO SEEK FORTUNE & FAME”
Ø  “RABBI LIED ABOUT WIFE FOR SELF-PROTECTION AND TO SOLICIT RICHES”
Ø  “RABBI BANISHES ORPHANED NEPHEW; SENDS HIM OFF ON HIS OWN”
Ø  “ABRAHAM DECLARES WAR ON NIMROD & THE GREAT ALLIANCE; DEMANDS RELEASE OF INSURGENT SODOMITE REBELS”
Ø  “RABBI’S WIFE COERCES HUSBAND TO MARRY PRINCESS TURNED MAID, THEN BANISHES HER FROM HOME”
Ø  “PETA FILES CHARGES AGAINST ABARAHAM FOR NEEDLESS SLAUGHTER OF 3 HEIFERS, 3 GOATS, 3 RAMS, TWO BIRDS, & CHASING AWAY STARVING BIRDS”
Ø  “RABBI OFFERS SON AS HUMAN SACRIFICE; WIFE DIES FROM SHOCK”
Everything in life is a matter of perception. Three years ago when Rav Ovadiah Yosef zt’l was niftar, Klal Yisroel lost an absolute giant who was responsible for incredible amount of Torah learning and for reviving the Sephardic community.
His life was dedicated to serving G-d and his love for his people – no matter their background – was unparalleled. His humility gave him the uncanny ability to relate to even the simplest Jews and his charisma was contagious.
The well over 800,000 Jews of all levels of affiliation that attended his funeral, and thousands more who couldn’t even enter Yerushalayim, are the greatest testimony of his greatness. This was a man who cried about the million Jews who don’t know “Shema Yisroel” and wanted nothing more than to spread the word of G-d.
Yet the foolish secular media portrayed him as a ‘politician with controversial views’.
I would venture to think that the average American who hears a few headlines about the current Mideast crisis simply cannot believe that they are being presented with outright lies.
Consider the following recent Euronews report about the situation in Israel: “Palestinians have been burying their dead, with at least seventeen killed in this upsurge recent in violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.” It sure sounds like Israel is walking around causing terror among the defenseless and blameless Palestinians. The fact that the seventeen dead were knife-wielding terrorists who tried to kill innocent civilian Israelis is not mentioned.
Then there was this news report: “On Sunday an Israeli air strike killed a woman in Gaza who was five months pregnant along with her three year old daughter. The IDF claimed the airstrike was retaliation for a Hamas missile fired from the area. The streets of Gaza were flooded with mourners.”
The reporter failed to mention that Hamas purposely fired the rocket from a residential area, so that Israel’s effort at self-defense through retaliation would inevitably end up hurting civilians.     
These false media representations which are outright lies, affect us as a nation and as a religious community. There is nothing and no one who cannot be tarnished by false portrayal and misrepresentations.
We would be wise to remember that today’s written word is more often than not unbalanced broadcasting and that ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ is not too ‘fit’ after all.    

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
R’ Dani and Chani Staum         

720 Union Road • New Hempstead, NY 10977 • (845) 362-2425

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