Issue 70 Download Archive Links Search Contact Us


The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Thoughts And Afterthoughts

by Naim Dangoor

Synagogue Offerings

When I was walking through the vegetable market of Yuksek Kaldirim, the old Jewish quarter of Istanbul, I noticed the shamash of the local synagogue going from stall to stall demanding payment. When I asked him what it was all about, he said he was trying to collect overdue aliyah offerings from congregants who were not in a hurry to part with their money.

It appears that some people regard offering after aliyah to a sepher reading not an outright gift but a vow (neder) payable only on the granting of a request from the Almighty - payment subject to performance. This may be halachically permissible as the worshipper says in the Psalms Nedarai l' Hashem ashallem (my vows to the Almighty I shall deliver).

I don't know if this practice is allowed today.


I die that Israel might live

When Prime Minister David ben Gurion was told of the level of crimes, drug addiction and prostitution in Israel, his comment was, "Now we have become a nation like other nations." This cynical view, however, does not tell the whole story.

A people become a nation when its members willingly, even gladly risk and sacrifice their lives for their country: "I die that Israel may live." This is martyrdom, and is a better ending to one√s life, however short, than living to be a hundred.

The ancient Rabbis who advised that it is all right to give up land to save lives were thinking of private property, not of material territory, at a time when the Jews had long since lost a state of their own.

The present challenge for Israelis is to defend and retain the meagre territory that is at their disposal.

The concept of "Land for Peace" is a fallacy that cannot apply to the Arab/Israel conflict


Where was God During the Holocaust

Where was God during the Holocaust? "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God!" What the fool means is that while God created the universe, He takes no interest in human affairs. But the Holocaust demonstrates not that there is no God, in that sense, it clearly demonstrates to us the limits of God's ability to influence human affairs.

To the question: Where was God during the Holocaust? We often hear the daft retort, "where was man during the Holocaust?" The correct response should perhaps be, where is man after the Holocaust? God has given man the power to carry out His will, to carry out the job that God was unable to perform. We are told that a spoonful of anthrax can kill 100 million people (the entire German race). Men should not hesitate, should be bold enough to carry out where God left off.

"And let all the people hear and fear."

NB: Our free will is the area of Man's action beyond God's limits the Tsimsum of the Kabbala.


I came into this world some eighty years ago in complete ignorance. Now that I am nearing the end of my very long experience, I still don't know what it is all about.

Why is God keeping us in the dark?

People should give up half their daily life activities and try and work out the mystery of life! Double or nothing!

Those who complain that they were brought into this life without their permission are completely wrong.

There was a sperm race and the winner was the one who came into being.


If you would like to make any comments or contribute to The Scribe please contact us.