Arie E. Pelta

USA Jews – Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut?

Dr. Pelta, on Gasdar 6609 maneuvers in the North during War Swords of Iron

These are my thoughts after 155 days (5 months) of battle under daily fire on our Lebanon border vs. Hezbollah. Some call this the “Swords of Iron War” חרבות ברזל or The Shmini Azeres war. As of now, we do not have control of our borders or Gaza. The world, including the USA  is against us. The expected anti-Semitism is clearly apparent in the USA; it will only get worse and will not get better. There is only one place in the world a Jew can fight our enemies and that is in Eretz Yisrael. Our strength only comes from Jews living in Israel.

Several years ago, the anti-Semitic Democratic US House of Representative from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar commented on the USA Jew’s dual loyalty. She is correct! Every Jew should have the belief and commitment that we should live in Israel. We pray for this three times daily and after every time we eat bread, cake, drink wine, or eat one of the seven fruits that is Israel is Biblically recognized for.

Ironically Omar is not accused of “dual loyalty”.  She supports Sharia law, USA law, Islam and her native country Somalia. Similarly, Black Americans are not accused of dual loyalty to African nations; nor are Irish Americans accused of dual loyalty to Ireland by having huge annual St. Patrick’s Day parades. Similarly, Polish Americas are not accused of dual loyalty to Poland, even though many celebrate Casimir Pulasky Day. Mexican Americans are not accused of dual loyalty to Mexico, even though many choose not to speak English and only Spanish and celebrate Cinco de Mayo (celebrating Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862).  Italian Americans are not accused of dual loyalty to Italy. Chinese Americans are not accused of dual loyalty to China. Moslem/Arab Americans are not accused of dual loyalty to Islamic countries etc. So, why single out the Jews?

In February 2019, Omar tweeted about the American Jews that, “It’s all about the Benjamins Baby”.  This was a clear anti-Semitic slur, implying that Jews are motivated by material wealth. This statement was very hurtful to many Jews – because it’s true! This is true for many people in the world including Jewish people. So, why single out the Jews?

It’s a known fact that many Torah observant Jews are aware of our religious obligation to serve G-d by living in Israel. However, the most common reason for religious Jews choosing to remain in the USA and not move to Israel (after 2000 years in Galus) is for financial or career reasons. All of our prayers, holidays, Bible and Talmud study contain the Jewish desire to return to our homeland in Eretz Yisrael. Since the year 1948, ALL Jews can choose to return home to Israel; most Jews choose not to return to Israel. Many USA Jews actually despise Israel and unite with causes that are openly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.  Others give minor lip service during our prayers or “chirping of the birds” during rallies and Yom Ha’Azmaut parades about their insincere Jewish desire to return home to Eretz Yisrael.

But then again, aren’t most Americans materialistic? The American culture is known for large houses, big cars, and lavish lifestyles.  Look at the Moslem world! There are plenty of “Benjamin’s” display of wealth in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and yes even in Gaza.  This is not a unique Jewish characteristic; but like the rest of the world, many Jews in the USA have traded in their values and desires for material wealth.

This desire of the Jews to remain in the USA will continue until their material wealth is taken away.  How do we know? Because this is what happened in our past history in Spain during the brutal Spanish Inquisition, in Germany and all of Europe during World War II.  Post-World War II, this pattern continued in Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran etc. In all of these countries, the Jews enjoyed prosperity for a specific time period and were then were murdered, expelled and had their houses, property and money stolen. On the 9th of Av in 1290, King Edward I expelled all of the Jews from England.  In 1394 King Charles VI of France ordered the expulsion of all of the Jews from France. Once the Jews had their financial rights and incentives restored they returned to both England and France hundreds of years later; but they did not move to Israel.  In 1948, options for Jewish settlement in Israel dramatically changed for the better.

Surprisingly, the currently anti-Jewish United Nations, supported the foundation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and the recognition of Israel as the one and only Jewish Homeland.  This was probably stemmed from the international community’s collective guilt and complacency that allowed the organized murder of more than 6 million Jews during WW II. This included the culpability of the USA government and its president  Franklin D. Roosevelt for actively refusing to allow Jewish refugees enter the USA.  There were quotas on how many Jews could enter the USA; the quotas were not filled. In June 1939, the German ocean liner St. Louis and its 937 Jewish passengers were illegally turned away from the port in Miami, forcing the ship to return to Europe knowing that the Jews would be executed. Thousands of Jewish refugees were turned away by the U.S. Government. Under the President Biden administration the USA has currently allowed 7.5 million illegal immigrants to enter and not be deported. During WW II, the USA military chose not to bomb the train tracks bringing Jews into the Auschwitz concentration camps; at least 12,000 Jews were murdered daily at that specific location. After WW II concluded, the USA government eagerly protected many known SS Nazi officers such a Wernher von Braun. There is even a National Space Society honor called the  “von Braun Award”!

Since many Jews could not gain entry to the USA and other countries, this forced many Jews to settle and build up our homeland in Israel. Prior to 1948, the area that is currently called Israel and Jordan was known as “The Palestine Mandate” by the British. Historically, there was never a “State of Palestine”. The people who lived in this area were called “Palestinians”, this included all of the Jews. The Arabs at the time had ethnic pride and insisted on being called Arabs. The term “Palestine” was a pejorative created by the Roman’s in the year 70CE to further to humiliate the Jews with their expulsion from Eretz Yisrael. The Romans from Europe, wanted to erase our Jewish history and give recognition to the extinct Biblical Philistines. Ironically, Philistine or “plishti” actually means “occupier”. Since Yehoshua conquered the Land of Israel until the current day, there has always been a Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael.

Prior to the 1940s, it’s a fact, that most of the land of Eretz Yisrael was desolate. Many Arabs came to Israel from the surrounding countries for “the Benjamin’s”; that is for jobs provided by the British and then later on by the Jewish communities.  The Jews never stole any land. All land in Israel was initially purchased land from the Arabs with actual money. These lands were settled, farmed and built into vibrant communities.  Pogrom’s against the Jews were rampant, prior to 1948. Local Arabs for no apparent reason, other than baseless hatred, spurred by Islamic religious leaders, murdered Jewish men, women, children and babies with no mercy (just as they did on October 7, 2024). This occurred when there was no modern state of Israel and no land or territory disputes. A stark example of this occurred in August of 1929. The Jewish communities of Hevron and Shechem were brutally wiped out by their previously “friendly” Moslem Arab neighbors. The Arabs stole the Jewish homes and property claiming it as their own to this very day. The mass murderers of the innocent Jewish community of Hevron, are celebrated as heroes to this day. There is a memorial to these evil men in Acco. They are commemorated every year by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. To this day, most of the Jewish property stolen by Arabs has never been returned. Some homes have been reclaimed by purchasing this property from the families of the Arabs who initially stole it. For some reason, legally owned Jewish property is always in dispute. There is no international actions for justice to compensate millions of Jews for their property stolen all over the world; from the Middle-East to Europe.

In Yerushalayim, the Jews were expelled from their homes by the British and the Jewish areas were conveniently renamed “The Moslem Quarter”. In the 1880s, some Jews returned to their homeland from Yemen and purchased land in the area of Yerushalayim known as Kfar Hashiloach.  In 1936, their local Arab neighbors with the British forcefully expelled all of these Jews. Their houses and property were stolen by the local Arabs; these same stolen homes and Synagogues are claimed as Arab property to this day . The Arabs even had the audacity to change the name of the area to Silwan and then claim that Jews never lived there.  The Arabs and Moslems cannot factually explain the presence of local Jewish cemeteries that are 3,000+ years old, like the ancient Jewish cemetery on The Mount of Olives (Har HaZeitim) and in Hevron.

On this background the modern State of Israel was formed and settled by a minority of the Jewish world population in 1948. As of 2024, most of the “Halachically” Jewish people in the world, live in Eretz Yisrael! This feat has never occurred since the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash in 586 BCE. This major milestone in Jewish history must be acknowledged by every Jew today.


Galus Mizrayim

The entire goal of the Exodus from Egypt and the celebration of Pesach was to enter the land of Israel.

דברים ו:כג פרשת ואתחנן

וְאוֹתָ֖נוּ הוֹצִ֣יא מִשָּׁ֑ם לְמַ֨עַן֙ הָבִ֣יא אֹתָ֔נוּ לָ֤תֶת לָ֨נוּ֙ אֶת הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַֽאֲבֹתֵֽינוּ.

And he brought us out of there [Egypt], in order that He bring us and give us The Land [Eretz Yisrael] which He swore to our fathers. (Devarim 6:23).

We pray at beginning of Pesach Seder in מגיד to live in Israel the following year. The Ha Lachma Anya prayer does not really apply to us living in Israel.

הגדה של פסח

הא לחמא עניא די אכלו אבהתנא בארעא דמצרים. כל דכפין ייתי ויכל. כל דצריך ייתי ויפסח. השתא הכא לשנה הבא בארעא דישראל. השתא עבדי לשנה הבאה בני חורין.

This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.  Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and celebrate the Pesach. Today we are here [in Galus], the next year we will be in Eretz Yisrael. This year we are in bondage; next year may we be free men.

Again, at the end of the Pesach Seder in נרצה  we say the prayer חסל סידור פסח and sing merrily לשנה הבא בירושלים (next year in Yerushalayim, [Israel]). Is this a sincere dream of most of the Jews in the USA or is it mere lip service like sated in the Kuzari that he calls ,”chirping of the birds”.  Who is stopping the Jews of the USA from making Aliyah? It’s not the British and for sure not the Arabs.

Eliyahu Kitov, quotes Rav Yaakov Emden the Yaavetz (Germany 1697-1776), who is bothered by the repetition of this prayer. If we pray to be in Israel than by definition we are free; so why add to the prayer that, “next year may we be free”?

…Are we not still in exile? What then is purpose of being happy? Therefore the Haggadah tells us that this is not considered true exile. For even if we live in a foreign land [USA] today, next year we could be in Eretz Yisrael by our own free will. No one is stopping us (as they were slaves in Egypt)…the Land of Israel is before us, to go and dwell there at any time…

Jews pray to be in Israel next year, which is a physical redemption. We in addition, pray that the Moshiach will arrive so that we have complete control of our country Eretz Yisrael, in order to serve G-d properly and have the freedom of spiritual redemption. We don’t pray to just be a free people, להיות עם חופשי בארצנו , to do whatever pleases us in Israel. Jews pray to have control of all Israel especially Yerushalayim.  In this way, we can build the Beis HaMikdash and serve Hashem properly. This is not “crazy Mashichistim”, as secular Israelis call us; this such basic Judaism that is written plainly in the Torah, all of our prayers and in each and every Hagaddah for Pesach.

הגדה של פסח, נרצה

חסל סידור פסח כהלכתו…פדויים לציון ברנה.  לשנה הבא בירושלים!

The Pesach Seder is Halchically completed…we should be redeemed to Zion [Israel] with joy. Next year in Yerushalyim [Israel, where we are to bring the Pesach offering on the actual Temple Mount].

The Holiday of Pesach is called זמן חרותינו  , commonly translated as the “time of our freedom”. The literal translation is that this is our “time of being engraved”. The Luchos (The Ten Statements/ Two Tablets) were engraved “חרות\cheyrus” with words. We were slaves to Egypt before and now in Israel, we are slaves to G-d and His Torah. This is TRUE freedom; this is called “cheyrus” or divine slavery. We can choose to serve G-d properly in Eretz Yisrael.


What is Galus? Are Israelis in Galus?

There are three types of Galus/:גלות

  1. Absolute Exile – Galus. When Jews are physically banished from Eretz Yisrael and are spiritually exiled (not able to observe all of our mitzvos properly). They are physically in the Golah גולה (Diaspora/USA) but spiritually in Galus גלות.


  1. Absolute Redemption – This will occur when Moshiach comes. Jews will be both physically to Eretz Yisrael and spiritually connected to Hashem (Torah Orthodox Judaism with a fully rebuilt Beis HaMikdash and fully functioning Sanhedrin court system).


  1. Parve Gallus (Israelis) – Jews are in a state of exile but do not live in the lands of exile; they rather live in Israel. This is not the redemption; but this is not absolute exile. These Jews are physically and spiritually closer to G-d in Israel. However, Jews living in the Diaspora are both in a state of exile and in a place of exile which is spiritually distant from Hashem. Jews in Eretz Yisrael are one step closer to redemption because they do not live in the Golah (Chutz LaAretz).


The Ya’avetz (Rav Yakov Emden) stated 300 years ago that we have the free will to live in Israel but many choose not to live here.  What is our excuse in 2024/5784?  It’s true that Israel is a difficult place to live, the Meraglim at the time of Moshe also disparaged The Land of Israel by saying that it devours its inhabitants “ארץ אוכלת יושביה”. G-d heard that specific excuse from the Meraglim spies, who were the greatest Rabbis in the generation of the Midbar – the !גדולי הדור  We have evidence that it is not a contradiction to be a Gadol HaDor and against Aliyah and clearly mistaken. This excuse was rejected by G-d back then and the same is true today. These great Rabbis suffered a miserable death and the Jews of the Midbar had to die out over a period of forty years in the wilderness. We are still suffering from this same cardinal excuse today. In every generation we have an individual and collective opportunity to rectify תיקון)) the grave error of the great Meraglim Gedoli HaDor Rabbis.

For those in the USA who naively think that they are guaranteed to make Aliyah when Moshiach comes, are very mistaken. Many erroneously think this because they were lied to by their Rabbis and teachers. This misconception comes from lack of a proper education about Geulah (redemption) and Eretz Yisrael. These topics are not really taught or studied in the Yeshiva or Jewish day school curriculum.

The Jewish Exile from Egypt is the paradigm of our future Redemption. This is why  we review it every Pesach.  The Torah states that the Jews left Egypt  “Chamushim/חמושים”. They left with weapons? No. What are slaves doing with weapons? Rashi points out the pshat is that the Torah is teaching us that only (20%) 1/5 left Egypt, i.e. chamushim/חמש. What happened to the other 80%? G-d killed them off during the Plague of darkness חושך in Egypt. These were the Jews who wanted to stay and fight anti-Semitism when it reared its ugly head. They decided that now that they defeated the Egyptians and were successful “fighting anti-Semitism”; it was time to resettle and rebuilt the Jewish communities in Egypt. They refused to go to Israel! So G-d killed them. Not a pleasant story, but let us learn from our past mistakes.

Today around 80% of Jews in the USA are assimilated and are continuing to assimilate under the freedoms granted to us there.  Anti-Semitism is getting worse in order to remind us who we are.  Some Moslems remind us who we are and how we are to believe in G-d; this is their purpose in this word. The Moslems originate from Yishmael/ישמעאל. Their actual name spelled out in Hebrew teaches us their life’s goal is “Yishma” – to listen to, “El” – Hashem.

ישמע   – Listen

אל   – To G-d


The Moslems are fanatical about the belief in one G-d, they are not atheists. Most Jews identify as atheists.  The Moslems are fanatical about settling the Land of Israel and not allowing any non-Moslems to live here. This is what Hashem instructed Yehoshua to do when they initially conquered Israel. The Arabs are also fanatical about holding onto and praying on the Temple Mount הר הבית. Instead, Yehoshua did not conquer all of the Land; against G-ds instructions he made peace treaties with non-Jews.  In our time many great Rabbis are against prayer and our ownership of the Har HaBayis. We should listen and learn from the Moslems.

Instead of choosing Eretz Yisrael, most Jews follow their desire for materialism and honor in the exile.   Instead of this plan, we are supposed to settle the entire land of Israel which includes the Golan, Yehuda, Shomron and  Gaza etc. We are to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash on the Temple Mount; since most Jews now live in Israel.  The physical Beis HaMikdash will not miraculously fall out of heaven. We need to build the physical building and the spiritual Heavenly Beis HaMikdash will then come down (Eim HaBanim Semeicha, Rav Teichtal).

Every Jew who has a Pesach Seder prays to eat the Pesach sacrifice in the Beis HaMikdash the following year, in the future. Where is this going to take place? On the Har HaBayis – the Temple Mount.  One must live in Israel in order to accomplish this feat. This is not “crazy messianic Judaism”. This belief is mainstream basic Judaism. In addition, we also pray for the building of the Beis HaMikdash in our daily prayers at least three times daily!

שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו…וערבה לה’ מנחת יהודה וירושלים…

The Beis HaMikdash should be built speedily in our days…Hashem should be pleased with the sacrificial offerings of Yehuda and Yerushalayim…


Don’t Behave Like Jews – Be Israeli ישראלי

The term “Jew” or “Yehudi” was first used Tanach to refer to the Exiled Jew. We see the word “Yehudi/Jew” used by the tragedy of Gedaliah, which was the last official Jewish ruler in Israel during the Babylonian Exile. The next mention of the “Jew” term was by Mordechai “HaYehudi” who was living in Persia. We are only identified by the term “Yisraeli” or “Bnei Yisrael” in all of the Tanach and Talmud. Our father Yakov had his named changed to “Yisrael” once he made Aliyah to Israel and crossed over the Yabok river from Galus. Thus, the name “Jew” or “Yehudi” refers to the Galus Jew; whereas “Yisraeli” refers to the Jew living in his homeland.

The Torah specifically instructs us not to follow the behaviors of Egypt or Canaan. This demonstrates our belief in Hashem and His laws.

            דברים יח ג-ד , אחרי מות

כְּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֧ה אֶֽרֶץ מִצְרַ֛יִם אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְשַׁבְתֶּם בָּ֖הּ לֹ֣א תַֽעֲשׂ֑וּ וּכְמַֽעֲשֵׂ֣ה אֶֽרֶץ כְּנַ֡עַן אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֲנִי֩ מֵבִ֨יא אֶתְכֶ֥ם שָׁ֨מָּ֨ה לֹ֣א תַֽעֲשׂ֔וּ וּבְחֻקֹּֽתֵיהֶ֖ם לֹ֥א תֵלֵֽכוּ: אֶת מִשְׁפָּטַ֧י תַּֽעֲשׂ֛וּ וְאֶת חֻקֹּתַ֥י תִּשְׁמְר֖וּ לָלֶ֣כֶת בָּהֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י ה’ אֱלֹֽהקיכֶֽם.

Like the practice of the land of Egypt, in which you dwelled, you shall not do, and like the practice of the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you, you shall not do, and you shall not follow their statutes. You shall fulfill My ordinances and observe My statutes, to follow them. I am the Lord, your G-d. (Devarim 18:3-4)

What was the practice in Egypt and Canaan that we are not supposed to emulate? The Torah specifically states not to commit illicit sexual acts such as LGBTQ+ and idolatry; it’s much worse to violate these sexual sins in Israel since the consequence is expulsion from our land (the Torah says that these people will be vomited out to Chutz LaAretz). Idolatry and the forbidden sexual practices are more tolerated by Hashem in Chutz LaAretz; this was why Sodom and Amora had to be eradicated from the Jordan Valley of Israel during the time of Avraham. The Talmud in Avoda Zara teaches us that living in Chutz LaAretz is like practicing idolatry in purity.

The Kli Yakar (Rav Shlomo Luntschitz , Prague, 1550-1619) teaches us how to relate to Eretz Yisrael and Chutz LaAretz. The Torah states (Devarim 18:3-4) that the Jews dwelled ישבתם in Egypt and that Hashem had to “bring us” מביא  to Canaan. In addition, the pasuk repeats the phrase twice “you shall not do”  לא תעשו. Why is it important to know that we “dwelled” and that G-d had to “bring us”? Why the repetition of “do not do”?

G-d is clearly telling the Jews, choose wisely and not be “free” to follow these nations’ practices (not עם חופשי); but rather follow the laws of the Torah by living in Eretz Yisrael.

…The first verse accuses Israel of seeking to dwell permanently in Egypt…what evil did you do there? You dwelled there, i.e. You sought to dwell there permanently, because you desired their abominable idols…Do not do this again! Do not attempt to dwell permanently amongst a rebellious nation, whose ways are not good, lest you learn from their ways, as happened in Egypt.

…the Torah accuses Israel of despising the Holy Land…the Holy one had to bring them there forcibly..and like the deed of Canaan…and what is that deed? That I bring you there…that I am forced to bring you there against your will…the Holy one took them out of Egypt in a roundabout way, through the desert to the Reed Sea, so that they would not return to Egypt…they despised the Holy Land…a Land upon which most of the Torah’s mitzvos depend…Do not do this again! Rather, go willingly to the place G-d said is conducive to keeping all of His laws and ordinances.

Do not repeat these same mistakes again of dwelling in Chutz LaAretz. It seems that those Jews who choose to dwell permanently in the USA are repeating these mistakes. Some of us, who made Aliyah or who chose to live in Eretz Yisrael, are not repeating the mistake of the Jews in Mitzrayim. In actuality, the only Jews who left Mitzrayim and actually entered Eretz Yisrael were Yehoshua and Calev. The Talmud Bavli (Sanhedrin 111a) sates that only 2/600,000 left Egypt and the rest perished!

תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין דף קיא עמוד א

תניא רבי סימאי: אומר נאמר (שמות ו, ז) “ולקחתי אתכם לי לעם” ונאמר “והבאתי אתכם” מקיש יציאתן ממצרים לביאתן לארץ. מה ביאתן לארץ שנים מס’ ריבוא אף יציאתן ממצרים שנים מס’ ריבוא. אמר רבא: וכן לימות המשיח שנא’ (הושע ב, יז) “וענתה שמה כימי נעוריה וכיום עלותה מארץ מצרים”.

It was taught in a Baraisa, Rav Simai says: It is stated (Shemos 6:2) “And I will take you to me as a people” and juxtaposed to that pasuk it is stated (Shemos 6:8) “And I will bring you into The Land”. The Torah compares their exodus from Egypt to their entry into The Land [of Israel]; just as during their entry in The Land only two of six hundred thousand entered the Land of Israel, [as they all died in the wilderness except for Calev and Yehoshua]. So too, during their exodus from Egypt, in terms of the ratio, only two of six hundred thousand left Egypt and the rest died there. Rava says: And likewise, that will be the situation in the Messianic era as it is stated: “And she shall respond there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up out of the Land of Egypt” (Hoshea 2:17).


What Is The Hallel Prayer?

What is the source for saying Hallel (Tehillim 113-118)?

תלמוד בבלי פסחים דף קיז עמוד א

וחכמים אומרים נביאים שביניהן תיקנו להם לישראל שיהו אומרים אותו על כל פרק ופרק ועל כל צרה וצרה שלא תבא עליהם לישראל. ולכשנגאלין אומרים אותו על גאולתן:  

The Chachamim said: The Niviim among them established that Israel [Jews] should recite it [Hallel] at every season, and upon every trouble that does not come upon them [a euphemism for the reverse], then when they are redeemed, they recite it upon their redemption.(Talmud Bavli, Pesachim 117a)

What are the specific themes covered in the chapters of Hallel (Tehillim 113 -118) that we recite?

תלמוד בבלי פסחים דך קיח עמוד א 

מאי טעמא אמרינן האי? משום שיש בו חמשה דברים הללו: יציאת מצרים, וקריעת ים סוף, ומתן תורה, ותחית המתים, וחבלו של משיח.

why do we say these [specific Tehillim in Hallel]? Because they include these five things: the exodus from Mitzrayim, the splitting of the Reed Sea, the giving of the Torah, the resurrection of the dead, and the birth pangs of Mashiach. (Talmud Bavli 118a)

According to the Gemarrah all the themes of Hallel have to do with going to Eretz Yisrael and leaving Chutz LaAretz or Eretz Yisrael itself. One reason that Hallel is not recited on Purim is that the Purim miracle occurred in Chutz LaAretz. The majority of the Jews still chose not to make Aliyah after the Purim miracle, of being saved from anti-Semitic annihilation. It was not a full redemption or geulah.

We say Hallel to thank and praise G-d for receiving certain specific gifts. We thank Hashem for Sukkos/Shemini Atzeres for bringing us out of Geulas Mitzrayim and protecting us in the Midbar on the way to Aliyah in Israel. On Chanukah we thank Hashem for our victories in Israel against the Greeks and assimilated Jews (Misyavnim). On Pesach we thank Hashem for taking us out of Geulas Mitzrayim. Shavuos we celebrate accepting the Torah on Har Sinai, on the way to fulfill it in Eretz Yisrael. Rosh Chodesh can only be sanctified by the Jews in Eretz Yisrael (קהל ישראל) and then the rest of the Diaspora follows the Israeli canlendar (Rambam).

תלמוד בבלי ערכין דף י עמוד א 

… דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יהוצדק: שמונה עשר ימים שהיחיד גומר בהן את ההלל – שמונה ימי החג ושמונה ימי חנוכה ויום טוב הראשון של פסח ויום טוב של עצרת, ובגולה עשרים ואחד תשעה ימי החג ושמונה ימי חנוכה ושני ימים טובים של פסח ושני ימים טובים של עצרת.

Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: An individual recites the complete Hallel on 18 days [throughout the year] – the eight days of Chag [Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret], eight days of Chanuka, the first festive day of Pesach, and the festival of Atzeret (Shavuot). And in the diaspora, 21 days – the nine days of Chag, eight days of Chanuka, the first two festive days of Pesach, and the two festive days of Atzeret. (Talmud Bavlim Arachin 10a)


Hallel is saying thank you to Hashem for the gifts of these Holidays and salvations (Geula); which all stem from Geulas Mitzrayim זכר ליציאת מצרים  and established us as Jews in the Land of Israel. If individuals choose not to live in Israel today, than they are rejecting G-ds gift of Eretz Yisrael. They may or may not have very valid reasons. But today the choice is our own. So why is there a debate of  whether to say Hallel over the re-establishment of Jewish control over Israel?

If one has chosen to reject Hashem’s gift, allowing us the freedom and Geulah to live in Israel; then it is not appropriate to praise Hashem for a gift that we don’t accept. If we reject G-d’s gift to us, than what are we praising Him for? For example, on Shavuos we thank Hashem for the Torah and then we spend all night long studying some of its texts. This can be analogous to Jews in the Navi who served Avodah Zarah and simultaneously thought that they could appease G-d with Karbanos in the Beis HaMikdash. It did not work back then and it should not be an effective practice today. The question of Hallel on Yom HaAzmaut is a uniquely Israeli issue.



Choshech Mitzrayim

Rashi comments on the Plague of darkness .חושך Why did G-d specifically bring darkness upon the  Egyptians? Because there were wicked Jews in that generation who did not want to leave Egypt and make Aliyah to Israel. These Jews were killed by G-d Himself during the three days of darkness, so that the Egyptians would not see their downfall.

The Midrash Tanchuma debates on how many Jews actually left Mitzrayim. Was it 1/5, 1/50, 1/500, or 1/5,000?. The Midrash also tells us why these Jews refused to leave Mitzrayim (VaEira 14).

Why darkness?…there were wicked Jews who had Egyptian friends and who enjoyed honor and fortune in Egypt. They did not want to leave…

In the USA, the land of the free, Jews are free to reject G-d, the Torah and can chose to assimilate and live there permanently. Around 70-80% of USA have chosen this alternative path.

NY Times October 1, 2013. Poll Shows Major Shift in Identity of U.S. Jews,  By Laurie Goodstein

The first major survey of American Jews in more than 10 years finds a significant rise in those who are not religious, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish — resulting in rapid assimilation that is sweeping through every branch of Judaism except the Orthodox.

The intermarriage rate, a bellwether statistic, has reached a high of 58 percent for all Jews, and 71 percent for non-Orthodox Jews…Two-thirds of Jews do not belong to a synagogue, 1/4 do not believe in God and 1/3 had a Christmas tree in their home last year.

The survey, by the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project (2013) estimates there are 5.3 million Jewish adults as well as 1.3 million children being raised at least partly Jewish. The survey uses a wide definition of who is a Jew, a much-debated topic [mother not Jewish]. The researchers included the 22 percent of Jews who describe themselves as having “no religion,” but who identify as Jewish because they have a Jewish parent or were raised Jewish, and feel Jewish by culture or ethnicity. Reform Judaism remains the largest American Jewish movement, at 35 percent. Conservative Jews are 18 percent, Orthodox 10 percent, and groups such as Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal make up 6 percent combined. Thirty percent of Jews do not identify with any denomination. In a surprising finding, 34 percent said you could still be Jewish if you believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion.

Intermarriage is a related phenomenon. It is much more common among secular Jews in the survey than among Jews by religion: 79% of married Jews of no religion have a spouse who is not Jewish, compared with 36% among Jews by religion. And intermarried Jews, like Jews of no religion, are much less likely to be raising their children in the Jewish faith. Nearly all Jews who have a Jewish spouse say they are raising their children as Jewish by religion (96%). Among Jews with a non-Jewish spouse, however, 20% say they are raising their children Jewish by religion, Among Jewish respondents who have gotten married since 2000, nearly six-in-ten [60%] have a non-Jewish spouse.

The survey also shows that Reform Judaism continues to be the largest Jewish denominational movement in the United States. One-third (35%) of all U.S. Jews identify with the Reform movement, while 18% identify with Conservative Judaism, 10% with Orthodox Judaism and 6% with a variety of smaller groups, such as the Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal movements. About three-in-ten American Jews (including 19% of Jews by religion and two-thirds of Jews of no religion) say they do not identify with any particular Jewish denomination. One-quarter of people who were raised Orthodox have since become Conservative or Reform Jews, while 30% of those raised Conservative have become Reform Jews, and 28% of those raised Reform have left the ranks of Jews by religion entirely…

Overall, about seven-in-ten Jews surveyed say they feel either very attached (30%) or somewhat attached (39%) to Israel, essentially unchanged since 2000-2001. In addition, 43% of Jews have been to Israel, including 23% who have visited more than once. And 40% of Jews say they believe the land that is now Israel was given by G-d to the Jewish people.

Just 19% of the Jewish adults surveyed say observing Jewish law (halakha) is essential to what being Jewish means to them.[80% reject Judaism]

Jews tend to be less religious than the U.S. public as a whole. Compared with the overall population, for example, Jews are less likely to say that they attend religious services weekly or that they believe in G-d with absolute certainty. And just 26% of U.S. Jews say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56% of the general public.

Fully one-quarter of Jews (25%) say they have a household income exceeding $150,000, compared with 8% of adults in the public as a whole…

As a whole, Jews support the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by more than three-to-one: 70% say they are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 22% are Republicans or lean Republican. Among Orthodox Jews, however, the balance tilts in the other direction: 57% are Republican or lean Republican, and 36% are Democrats or lean Democratic.

Today’s modern idolatry is “the Benjamin’s” money, wealth, material “success” and sexual licentiousness. Freedom of all Torah limits עם חופשי is a form of idolatry. We were brought to Israel by G-d and forced to form the modern State of Israel in 1948 as a direct result of the Holocaust. This is why Yom HaShoah is so important in modern secular Israeli society today. However, our claim and obligation to settle the Land of Israel actually originates the era of the Exile from Egypt. Mizrayim, like the USA was a very morally corrupt place and Hashem did not want us living there for too long.

What percentage of Mitzrayim’s Jews rejected G-d’s salvation and opted to remain on foreign soil? The Torah clearly states that only 1/5 (20%) חמושים  left Egypt; this means that 80% of the Jews did not want to leave Egypt and preferred to fight anti-Semitism and rebuild their Jewish communities in Mitzrayim. This “80%” number is it still with us today who desires to stay in Chutz LaAretz.

שמות יג:יח

וַיַּסֵּ֨ב אֱלֹק֧ים  אֶת הָעָ֛ם דֶּ֥רֶךְ הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר יַם ס֑וּף וַֽחֲמֻשִׁ֛ים עָל֥וּ בְנֵֽי יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם:

Hashem led the people around [by] way of the desert [to] the Reed Sea, and the children of Israel were armed/20% when they went up [to Israel] out of Egypt. (Beshalach 13:18)

Unfortunately, redemption from the Diaspora is not something that every Jew will automatically merit to experience. We all have the  freedom to chose בחירה  חופשית our level of closeness to G-d דביקות.  Our ultimate destiny as Jews is to live as a Holy Nation עם סגולה in our Holy Land ארץ הקודש . Rashi himself explains this in his first comment on the first pasuk in Sefer Bereishis.

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky discussed in his sefer Emes LeYa’akov the topic about millions of Jews dying during the plague of darkness in Mitzrayim. We can learn from this that we too we are close to redemption.

…these evildoers wanted to prevent the others from leaving Egypt, for they felt that the time of redemption had not yet arrived, since they had a tradition that the bondage would last 400 years…therefore the Holy One Blessed be HE killed them…

…during the Plague of darkness…the Jews were being afflicted even more severely that the Egyptians were.  After all, more that 2 million men – not to mention children, elders, and women – died over the course of 3 days, and they did not even know why they were being punished.  Undoubtedly, the Jews were confounded saying, “What has G-d done to us?”  This is our consolation in our present situation [after the Holocaust]…for according to the above, it seems that we are close to redemption.

It is very clear that all Jews should choose to live in Israel today. Unfortunately, there is a large Satmar movement based on the erroneous teachings of their leader the Satmar Rebbe (Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum 1887-1979). He instructed his followers to reject Eretz Yisrael on religious grounds. Ironically, during WW II, Yoel Teitelbaum personally equipped himself and his closest circle with certificates and visas that would facilitate their escape to Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) or the United States. He thwarted all attempts at cooperation between the heads of the Orthodox communities and the Zionist organizations, which could have helped the rest of Jewish community to escape. His daughter settled in Yerushalayim, while he openly called on his followers to avoid immigrating to British Palestine (Eretz Yisrael). He was saved from certain death by the Zionist deal with the Zionist Kastner train and Adolf Eichmann of trading “Jews for Trucks”.  Rav Teitelbaum escaped to Israel, while the rest of Hungarian Jewry was murdered in Auschwitz.   After the war, from the safety of Williamsburg NY he wrote the scholarly work (Vayoel Moshe) on confusing his followers to reject G-d’s chosen Land that He gave us. Rav Teitelbaum erroneously taught that the existence of the Zionist State of Israel was actually preventing the Messiah from coming. This lie is clearly debunked by Rav Teichtal in his sefer Eim Habonim.

The Navi Amos, in the Haftara for Acharei Mos instructs us not to be confused about Eretz Yisrael.

עמוס ט: יג-טו

הִנֵּ֨ה יָמִ֚ים בָּאִים֙ נְאֻם ה’ וְנִגַּ֚שׁ חוֹרֵשׁ֙ בַּקֹּצֵ֔ר וְדֹרֵ֥ךְ עֲנָבִ֖ים בְּמֹשֵׁ֣ךְ הַזָּ֑רַע וְהִטִּ֚יפוּ הֶֽהָרִים֙ עָסִ֔יס וְכָל הַגְּבָע֖וֹת תִּתְמוֹגַֽגְנָה:  וְשַׁבְתִּי֘ אֶת שְׁב֣וּת עַמִּ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וּבָנ֞וּ עָרִ֚ים נְשַׁמּוֹת֙ וְיָשָׁ֔בוּ וְנָֽטְע֣וּ כְרָמִ֔ים וְשָׁת֖וּ אֶת יֵינָ֑ם וְעָשׂ֣וּ גַנּ֔וֹת וְאָֽכְל֖וּ אֶת פְּרִיהֶֽם: וּנְטַעְתִּ֖ים עַל אַדְמָתָ֑ם וְלֹ֨א יִנָּֽתְשׁ֜וּ ע֗וֹד מֵעַ֚ל אַדְמָתָם֙ אֲשֶׁר נָתַ֣תִּי לָהֶ֔ם אָמַ֖ר ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ:

Behold days are coming, says Hashem, that the plowman shall meet the reaper and the treader of the grapes the one who carries the seed, and the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  And I will return the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall rebuild desolate cities and inhabit [them], and they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their produce.  And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no longer be uprooted from upon their land, that I have given them, said the Hashem your G-d.(Amos 9: 13-15)

Here in Israel is the ONLY place where we can actually achieve real spiritual closeness to G-d.

כוזרי ב:יב

ויש לארץ עזר בזה עם המעשים והתורות התלויות בה…אבל לא יתכן לסגולה הזאת על הענין האלהי בבלעדי המקום הזה

The land [Eretz Yisrael] is then aided by the deeds and the laws [of the Torah] that relate to it…Ultimately, this elite nation cannot achieve Divinity anywhere else…(Kuzari 2:12)

We are now in the middle of the most important war in modern Jewish History. This war will end with the arrival of the Moshiach. Many don’t see it, but this is the Generation of the dog דור הכלב. It is not by chance that anti-Semitism is on the rise in EVERY country; there is no escape. Jews foolishly think they can disassociate from Israel by saying they are “anti-Zionist” or against Israeli “occupation” of the Jewish Land of Israel. It won’t help.

Anti-Semitism is G-d speaking loudly to the Jews of the Diaspora – “Get Out ! Go Home to Israel!” As it says in Shir HaShirim that G-d is knocking  הכל דודי דופק. We are now the process of selection of the of the dross of the crucible קור הברזל – Jews who are with us in Israel or who are outside of the historical era.  For many Jews, its anti-Semitic to say “you don’t belong in the USA” or to say  “you should go home to Israel”. That is not Anti-Semitism, that this G-d speaking very loudly. The days are coming….הנה ימים באים . Let us all wake up stop sleeping מה לך נרדם (Yona).

יונה א:ו

וַיִּקְרַב אֵלָיו רַב הַחֹבֵל וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַה לְּךָ נִרְדָּם קוּם קְרָא אֶל אֱלקיךָ אוּלַי יִתְעַשֵּׁת הָאֱלֹקים לָנוּ וְלֹא נֹאבֵד.

The Captain went over to him [Yona] and cried out, “How can you be sleeping [so soundly]!” Get up! call upon your G-d. perhaps your G-d will be kind to us and we will not perish. (Yona 1:6)


It is clearly time to wake up, because we are now living in the actual era of the Moshiach as described in Mishnah Sota. We have a major war in the North of Israel on the Northern border against Hezbollah. The entire Northern population are evacuated from their homes; 80,000 Jews are refugees in Israel. They are moving from city to city. This is sad on one hand; however this is clearly the actual approaching time of Moshiach. One may we worried or scared based on the power of our enemies and the IDF’s apparent reliance on the USA. However,  we are not scared because we ultimately are relying on our Father in Heaven.

משנה סוטה פרק ט משנה טו

מִשֶּׁמֵּת רַבִּי מֵאִיר…. בְּעִקְּבוֹת מְשִׁיחָא חֻצְפָּא יִסְגֵּא, וְיֹקֶר יַאֲמִיר, הַגֶּפֶן תִּתֵּן פִּרְיָהּ וְהַיַּיִן בְּיֹקֶר, וְהַמַּלְכוּת תֵּהָפֵךְ לְמִינוּת, וְאֵין תּוֹכֵחָה, בֵּית וַעַד יִהְיֶה לִזְנוּת, וְהַגָּלִיל יֶחֱרַב, וְהַגַּבְלָן יִשּׁוֹם, וְאַנְשֵׁי הַגְּבוּל יְסוֹבְבוּ מֵעִיר לְעִיר וְלֹא יְחוֹנָּנוּ, וְחָכְמַת סוֹפְרִים תִּסְרַח, וְיִרְאֵי חֵטְא יִמָּאֲסוּ, וְהָאֱמֶת תְּהֵא נֶעְדֶּרֶת. נְעָרִים פְּנֵי זְקֵנִים יַלְבִּינוּ, זְקֵנִים יַעַמְדוּ מִפְּנֵי קְטַנִּים. (מיכה ז) בֵּן מְנַבֵּל אָב, בַּת קָמָה בְאִמָּהּ, כַּלָּה בַּחֲמֹתָהּ, אֹיְבֵי אִישׁ אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתוֹ. פְּנֵי הַדּוֹר כִּפְנֵי הַכֶּלֶב, הַבֵּן אֵינוֹ מִתְבַּיֵּשׁ מֵאָבִיו. וְעַל מִי יֵשׁ לָנוּ לְהִשָּׁעֵן, עַל אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמָיִם

From the time when Rabbi Meir died… He also said: In the times of the approach of the Messiah, impudence will increase and high costs will pile up. Although the vine shall bring forth its fruit, wine will nevertheless be expensive. And the monarchy [government] shall turn to heresy, and there will be no one to give reproof about this. The meeting place of the Sages will become a place of promiscuity, and the Galil shall be destroyed, and the Gavlan [North Israel] will be desolate, and the people of the border [North/South Israel] shall go round from city to city, but they will find no mercy. And the wisdom of scribes will putrefy, and people who fear sin will be held in disgust, and the truth will be absent [can’t define who a man/women is]. The youth will shame the face of elders, elders will stand before minors. Normal family relations will be ruined: A son will disgrace a father; a daughter will rise up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The face of the generation will be like the face of a dog [leaders will follow the will of the masses]; a son will no longer be ashamed before his father. And upon what is there for us to rely? Only upon our Father in heaven… (Mishna Sota 9:15)


In terms of prayers, we Jews in Israel do not need or benefit from the prayers of the Jews in Chutz LaAretz. The source of all prayer is here in Israel. The question to say Hallel or not on Yom HaAzmaut is not relevant to any Jew living in the USA. This is a question for Jews living here in Eretz Yisrael who have chosen to accept Hashem’s gift to live in the Holy Land. Hallel is not relevant to those  who chose not to live in Eretz Yisrael. There is nothing to be thankful for.

The source of all prayers is here in Israel. Rav Yakov Emden made this very clear in his Siddur Beis Yaakov. He explains that our Shemoneh Esrei prayers must face Yerushalayim (Eretz Yisrael). He is clear that this is only effective if we want to live in Israel; however if we chose not to live here “good intensions” will not help.

Siddur Beis Yakov, Sullam Beis El 3:6

It is well known that a Jew must face Yerushalayim when he prays. Scripture states this explicitly several times…this sign and gesture of facing Yerushalayim that we do as a remembrance, an example, and a mere symbol will suffice only when it is impossible to actually be in Eretz Yisrael. Then our intentions and good thoughts will be counted as deeds, since we are unable to bring them to fruition on account of duress and danger. After all, one who acts under duress אנוס  is exempt פטור  from all obligations, and a sin done by force is not disgraceful, but also not praiseworthy. However, good intensions will not help unless one can claim absolute compulsion; nor will it help at a time of comfort. Therefore, every Jew must make a firm and steadfast decision in his heart to ascend to and dwell in Eretz Yisrael…and to yearn to be privileged to pray there in the King’s Palace היכל המלך. For even though it is in ruins the Shechina never left it.

The USA and Europe are the descendant of Esav. The Navi Ovadia has already taught us what to expect and how to deal with Esav/USA in our times. There is supposed to be an ultimate war between the Jews and Esav. We will be hated and condemned by the nations of the world. G-d will judge Esav and we will be victorious by occupying all of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim.

עובדיה א: א-ב

חֲז֖וֹן עֹֽבַדְיָ֑ה כֹּֽה אָמַר֩ אֲדֹ-נָ֨י ה’ לֶֽאֱד֗וֹם שְׁמוּעָ֨ה שָׁמַ֜עְנוּ מֵאֵ֚ת ה֙ וְצִיר֙ בַּגּוֹיִ֣ם שֻׁלָּ֔ח ק֛וּמוּ וְנָק֥וּמָה עָלֶ֖יהָ לַמִּלְחָמָֽה:  הִנֵּ֥ה קָטֹ֛ן נְתַתִּ֖יךָ בַּגּוֹיִ֑ם בָּז֥וּי אַתָּ֖ה מְאֹֽ…: וּבְהַ֥ר צִיּ֛וֹן תִּֽהְיֶ֥ה פְלֵיטָ֖ה וְהָ֣יָה קֹ֑דֶשׁ וְיָֽרְשׁוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אֵ֖ת מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶֽם: וְהָיָה֩ בֵֽית יַֽעֲקֹ֨ב אֵ֜שׁ וּבֵ֧ית יוֹסֵ֣ף לֶֽהָבָ֗ה וּבֵ֚ית עֵשָׂו֙ לְקַ֔שׁ וְדָֽלְק֥וּ בָהֶ֖ם וַֽאֲכָל֑וּם וְלֹֽא־יִֽהְיֶ֚ה שָׂרִיד֙ לְבֵ֣ית עֵשָׂ֔ו כִּ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר:  וְיָֽרְשׁ֨וּ הַנֶּ֜גֶב אֶת הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֗ו וְהַשְּׁפֵלָה֙ אֶת פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים וְיָֽרְשׁוּ֙ אֶת שְׂדֵ֣ה אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְאֵ֖ת שְׂדֵ֣ה שֹֽׁמְר֑וֹן וּבִנְיָמִ֖ן אֶת הַגִּלְעָֽד: עָל֚וּ מֽוֹשִׁעִים֙ בְּהַ֣ר צִיּ֔וֹן לִשְׁפֹּ֖ט אֶת הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֑ו וְהָֽיְתָ֥ה ה’ הַמְּלוּכָֽה:

The vision of Obadiah; So said the Hashem concerning Edom [USA]; We have heard tidings from Hashem, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, “Arise and let us rise up against them in war!” Behold I have made you small among the nations; you are very despised… And on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, and it shall be holy, and the house of Yacob shall inherit those who inherited them. And the house of Yacob shall be fire and the house of Yoseph a flame, and the house of Esav[USA] shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them, and the house of Esav shall have no survivors, for Hashem has spoken. And [the inhabitants of] the southland shall inherit the mountain of Esav, and [the inhabitants of] the plain, the Plishtim, and they shall inherit the field of Ephraim and the field of Shomron, and Benyamin [with the inhabitants of] Gilead. … For the liberators shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esav[USA], and Hashem shall have the kingdom. (Ovadia 1:1-2,17-19,21)

Jews of the Diaspora and the USA, we don’t need your Hallel, we don’t need your prayers, support or rallies. What we need is for you to come home and live here. The only thing that counts here is Jews living on the actual land. No amount of money or “support” can accomplish this. Even the anti-Zionist Chareidi Jews living here are more helpful than any support from Chutz LaAretz. The donations have been given, the support has been planted and now it’s time to come home before it’s too late. The last war has already started. We must re-conquer all the Holy lands of Eretz Yisrael: Lebanon to the North, Syria and Jordan to our East and Gaza with Egypt to our South.  We are in the era of the Moshiach ben Yosef, let’s all greet him together when he comes to us from the Northern Israel.


עָל֚וּ מֽוֹשִׁעִים֙ בְּהַ֣ר צִיּ֔וֹן לִשְׁפֹּ֖ט אֶת הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֑ו וְהָֽיְתָ֥ה ה’ הַמְּלוּכָֽה


And the saviors shall ascend Mt. Zion to judge the mountain of Esav[USA], and Hashem shall have the kingdom.

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA, made Aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He received his Rabbinical ordination in 1997. He is also an active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Dr. Pelta is currently a full time Senior Surgeon practicing in Laniado Hospital (Netanya); specializing in the surgical care of all colorectal diseases.
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