Why the News Comes First

My late beloved wife used to ‘chastize’ me early every morning. As soon as I awoke, washed and dressed, I would run to the computer and turn on the daily news from Yisrael Hayom, The Jerusalem Post, THE TIMES OF ISRAEL and HaAretz newspapers. “Why don’t you say your prayers first before turning on the news?” she would ask.

I would reply that “I need to know what is happening, good or bad, that I can pray for. So the morning news must come first before I recite the daily prayers”.

Between the broadcasts on Arutz 2 and the daily Israeli press I am fortified with sufficient requests to incorporate in the day’s prayers.

What can one pray for? Raqqa and Daesh (ISIS) are in disarray. The Kurdish region of oil-rich Kirkuk has been over-run by Iraqi troops. Even the Peshmerga are fleeing into other areas of Kurdistan.

The United Nations Commission on “Human Rights” (!!!) led by a Jordanian prince has joined with the BDS in blackmailing Bezeq and our telecommunications services for providing service to West Bank settlements.

The only recent good news from Arutz 2 yesterday was about the life-saving treatment of a Mongolian baby, a story which I wrote and  which was published on October 16.

I do terribly miss the evening news of London et Kirschenbaum, the famous team which began their broadcasts in 2003.  Yaron London and Moti Kirschenbaum were household names. No one was permitted to talk in my home when Arutz 10 was broadcasting the nightly news.

Regrettably, Moti Kirschenbaum died in September 2015 but in tribute to him, the nightly news broadcasts are still listed as “London et Kirschenbaum”.

There are differing remarks concerning the “unification” or reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, events which were agreed upon and signed in Cairo with the help of President al-Sisi. But Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, refuses to disarm its military forces and surrender its weapons to Fatah, and gives no assurance of the end of terrorist activities in Israel and the territories. Nor has it said that it would recognize all previous agreements which the PA had made with Israel.

Obviously, Israel cannot and will not accept the terms of such a reconciliation between the two warring factions.

Hamas, unlike Fatah (the Palestinian Authority) has done in recognizing the State of Israel and frequently cooperating in security matters, only recognizes what it calls the “Zionist entity”. And neither Fatah nor Hamas will ever recognize Israel as a Jewish State.  So—- what is and where is the good news?

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are being arrested for refusal to report for induction into the IDF. The ultra-Orthodox are rioting in the streets of B’nai Brak and their conclaves in Jerusalem and are physically assaulting police who come to arrest their non-compliant sons.

Our government has not, in my personal opinion, acted sufficiently to punish the refuseniks. Bibi is held in “servitude” to the Orthodox and religious parties and nothing…absolutely nothing… is more important to our prime minister than holding on to his seat and strengthening his Likud membership. There is no moral nor ethical approach. With Bibi Netanyahu it is all politics.

If our government were to curtail allowances given to the ultra-Orthodox, depriving them of national insurance and health benefits pending the agreement of their sons to enlist, like the requirement for all 18 years olds, male and female, we might speedily see a change in the ultra-Orthodox revolution against the basic laws of the State of Israel.

Until then, the good news cannot be better news and the bad news will become worse.

So—why do I read and watch the morning news prior to beginning the shacharit prayers?

Only God knows. Go and ask Him.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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