Actually, Modesty Is About Empowerment, Not Oppression

As a writer, I usually abstain from getting involved in popular articles criticizing social trends… and politics. The latter because, well, I just don’t have that thick of a skin, and the former because normally it’s a waste of time.


But after reading Michelle Honig’s aggrandizing article , and then Emily Schneider’s response “Modesty isn’t About Shells. It’s About Patriarchy”, which argued that shells are a symptom of a patriarchally imposed system of modesty, I felt compelled to respond and set the record straight. The opinion that Schneider expressed in her piece, that dressing modestly is a set of restrictions imposed on women by men, is closely related to a commonly held but completely false premise – the idea that exposing one’s body is an expression of empowerment and covering one’s body is a result of male oppression of women.

Of course, in order to come to this conclusion, one must overlook the fact that Western women’s fashion has pretty much always been dictated by men, and has always attempted to expose, or highlight, women’s bodies to a greater degree than men. Simply consider the history of 20th-century fashion design: The first strapless evening dress was designed by Main Rousseau Bocher in 1936. Parisian designer Louis Réard designed the first bikini in 1946. In 1954, Roger Vivier unveiled the first stiletto heel for Dior. From very early on, women have been convinced (read: sold a bill of goods) that flaunting all is an exercise of freedom. That covering one’s body is an indication of shame, and that “if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” and anything else is a sign of oppression or domination.

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Video `Herzl Goes Viral: What if There Was Social Media at First World Zionist Congress?

This week marks the 120th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress, where founding father Theodor Herzl introduced the revolutionary idea of building a modern Jewish state – and changed history forever. How would it be celebrated in the world of social media? Watch, laugh and find out!

Texas Jews, Besieged by “Biblical-Style Flood”, Seek Kosher Food, Shelter With Chabad

5“Do not withhold good from one who deserves it When you have the power to do it [for him].” Proverbs 3:27 (The Israel Bible™)

Chabad-Lubavitch has announced it is aiding Jewish residents of Houston with kosher meals, clean water and shelter amid the biblical-style flood enveloping the region resulting from Tropical Storm Harvey.

More than 30 inches of rain has fallen on Houston and the surrounding area since last Thursday as a result of Hurricane Harvey, now down-graded to a tropical storm. Up to 50 inches of rain is possible by the end of the week as Harvey continues to pelt the area with downpours. Texas authorities said Monday afternoon at least eight people have died as a result of the storm and 2,000 people have been rescued from flooded homes with tens of thousands fleeing.

According to Chabad, the southwest Houston neighborhood of Meyerland, home to a number of synagogues, kosher restaurants and supermarkets, is nearly completely submerged, with almost nothing edible for Jewish residents there. The local Chabad chapter in Houston, Chabad of Uptown, launched an online registration form early Monday for people who have been evacuated and are in need of kosher meals. Kosher breakfasts have already been delivered to Jewish residents at some local shelters or those in holed up in local hotels.


Pastor Brings Christians ‘Back to the Book’ by Teaching Torah in Hebrew

“Our mouths shall be filled with laughter, our tongues, with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, ‘Hashem has done great things for them!’”

Last weekend, Methodist Pastor Keith Johnson held a three-day Bible conference in Charlotte, North Carolina with a lofty goal: to teach Christians how to learn the Bible in Hebrew. The pastor enlisted the help of a rabbi named after his grandfather, the man who restored the Hebrew language to the Jewish people.

The roots of the conference, called Return to the Book, began in 2002, when Pastor Johnson established the Biblical Foundations Academy to inspire people around the world to build a Biblical foundation for their faith. He began to teach in a way few pastors do: in Hebrew. “Biblical faith has to be based on the Book,” Pastor Johnson explained to Breaking Israel News. “Christianity offered the little book and the big book. The little book, the New Testament, spoke all about the big book: the Torah, Prophets, and writings. But we didn’t really learn it. Too many Christians think the New Testament is all there is, and that the Torah is good for stories.

“The reason the Church is in crisis today is because they left the book. Through the translation, the Septuagint, we’ve missed the blessing of the book. The Torah has guided so many people for thousands of years. Any tradition that is not based on this will not last.” As preparation for establishing the academy, he traveled to Israel, bringing along an empty suitcase with the intention of returning with a Torah scroll. He succeeded in his mission and now learns directly from the parchment scrolls. “The Torah was written by the finger of God so the blessing is there,” Pastor Johnson said. “You can see this in the way the Jewish people treat the scroll. It is holy, and they treat the scrolls accordingly.”

On the cloth covering of the pastor’s Torah is a verse from Isaiah.

For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3

The pastor took the verse to heart. When he sought out a Hebrew teacher in order to fully access the blessing, he went to the source: a rabbi born in Jerusalem with a powerful connection to the Hebrew language. Rabbi Eliezer Ben Yehudah, who lectured at the recent conference, was named for his grandfather, who worked to revive Hebrew as a modern language for the fledgling state of Israel one hundred years ago.


Daily Devotional!

In days to come Yaakov shall strike root, Yisrael shall sprout and blossom, And the face of the world Shall be covered with fruit.
In chapter 5 of the Book of Yeshayahu, the prophet describes Israel as a rebellious vine which produces inferior fruits. Chapter 27 presents a happy conclusion to the prophecy with Hashem’s song to His vineyard. While God may punish, it is not out of anger or fury, but the hope that it will lead to harmony between Israel and Hashem. In this chapter, Israel is described as attached to its land with an unbreakable connection, like a deeply rooted vineyard. As a result, “Yaakov shall strike root, Yisrael shall sprout and blossom, and the face of the world shall be covered with fruit.” Indeed, with the contemporary return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael, the former desert land has begun to blossom and bud, a sure sign of divine favor.

UN Chief Guterres: Calling for Destruction of Israel Is Modern Anti-Semitism

“So is the word that issues from My mouth: It does not come back to Me unfulfilled, But performs what I purpose, Achieves what I sent it to do.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, where he told his guest about the imbalance in the international organization treatment of Israel. “There is no doubt that the UN has a discriminatory attitude towards Israel, but I hope you will have an opportunity to see the strong Israel that works to acquire knowledge for the benefit of our people and humanity as a whole,” Netanyahu said.

According to Netanyahu, the United Nations failed regarding Israel, as its cultural arm, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is making a mockery of the world’s heritage when it denies the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. Netanyahu added that the UN is in charge of peace, but it allows Palestinian hatred to flourish in its institutions. Netanyahu added that the time has come to renew the moral clarity of the UN. “I know that this is a big undertaking, and that the Secretary-General has no power over the member states, but I believe that your leadership can be meaningful, you can make an important change,” he said.

Guterres told Netanyahu, “As secretary-general of the United Nations, I am totally committed to be […] adamant” about Israel’s right to exist.” He added, “I understand the security concerns of Israel and I repeat that the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the state of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective.” “I have always had a dream that I would be able to see in the Holy Land in which Jerusalem is clearly a city linked – deeply linked – to three religions [with] two states living together, in mutual recognition, but also in peace and security,” the UN Secretary-General said.


At 50th Anniversary of Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu Vows Israel Will Never Leave “Land of Our Fathers”

“And Hashem your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.” Deuteronomy 30:5 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel will never withdraw from any Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday night at a ceremony marking 50 years of Jewish settlement in Samaria.

“This is the land of our fathers, this is our land. We are here to stay, for ever,” Netanyahu said at the event held at the Barkan industrial park. “There will be no uprooting of communities in the Land of Israel.”

Netanyahu told a crowd of several thousand that past experience showed that withdrawing from Jewish settlements had not furthered the cause of peace. “Communities were uprooted and what did we get? We got missiles. That will not happen again,” the prime minister said.


Four Generations Unite in Jerusalem to Feed Israel’s Hungry

“For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.”

When four generations united in Israel to celebrate Chaim Moshe Kahn’s bar mitzvah, no one expected that the highlight of this rite-of-passage would be feeding the impoverished. Yet that is the experience that stands out in the mind of each family member. “We shared a fabulous time together in Israel, hiking through gorgeous Ein Gedi in the south and doing water sports on the Mediterranean,” shared Adi Kahn, resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh and mother of the bar mitzvah boy, with Breaking Israel News. “But, I have to honestly say that the activity we keep speaking about is our day at Pantry Packers, packing food packages for Israel’s needy citizens.”

Pantry Packers is one of many successful social welfare projects organized by Colel Chabad, Israel’s longest continuous running charity organization. Volunteers arriving at Colel Chabad’s food packing plant in Jerusalem watch an informative film about the 1.7 million Israelis living below the poverty line and join an assembly line, packaging and boxing food staples for thousands of needy people throughout Israel. Kahn reported to Breaking Israel News that great-grandmothers Ruth Mermelstein and Gladyce Moseson, both from New York, were particularly moved by the activity. Mermelstein, nearly 90 years old, survived the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust and Moseson lived through the Great Depression.

“My grandmother knows first hand the pangs of hunger and watched family members and friends starve to death,” expressed Kahn. “It was shocking for all of us to learn that in the promised land there are so many people going to bed hungry, not knowing where their next meal is coming from.” In fact, every month Colel Chabad delivers 5,000 food packages and basic home supplies throughout Israel. Kahn stated that the intensity with which the great-grandmothers packaged the food was not lost on the younger participants.


Fears of North Korean-US War Open Up Messianic Portal for Return of Elijah

“Lo, I will send the navi Eliyahu to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of Hashem.” Malachi 3:23 (The Israel Bible™)

In a dramatic escalation of hostilities, North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Tuesday morning, setting off warning sirens and sending residents running to shelter, and at least according to one rabbi, opening the door for Elijah the Prophet to appear.

At six AM Tuesday morning, an unidentified North Korean missile flew over Erimo Misaki District, on the northern island of Hokkaido, breaking into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 733 miles off the Japanese coast. There were no efforts by the Japanese to down the missile as it passed over their airspace. The Trump Administration responded immediately and strongly with the ominous warning, “All options are on the table.”


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