Yishai’ Big Week: Cohanim, Glenn Beck, and Aliyah. whew!

By Yishai - Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011
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Hey folks!

Things have been exciting recently for your old pals at Kumah.  We just put out what is – in my opinion – our best video to date, called “Under the Prayer Shawl – Secrets of the Priestly Blessing”, all about Birkat Cohanim and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Don’t miss it!

This week, not only did we have the opportunity to do some elbow-rubbing in Knesset and chat with some of the leaders and influencers of Israel during the recent visit of TV and Radio pundit Glenn Beck, but we were able to host Glenn and his team at our place in Maale HaZeitim and give it to him straight about the real courage, truth and independence for which we stand here in Jerusalem.  You can see pictures from the event here.  VIEW VIDEO OF THE EVENT HERE.

Following our latest radio program on Galey Yisrael, we got TOOONS of feedback from people about Beck – some were thrilled that their hero – whom they consider to be a great friend an advocate for Israel – was in town to show support, and that we featured him on our show.  Others were frightened that someone they consider to be suspect – a devout and vocal Mormon with a lucrative media enterprise – was swooping in to tarnish their holy city and fleece their good buddies Yishai and Malkah.  A very lively discussion ensued on our Facebook event page. You can add your comments on The Yishai Fleisher Page on Facebook – or down below in the comments section – to let us know what you think of us, Glenn, or anything else!

And if that was not sufficient excitement for one day, Yishai (and our great intern, Jonathan) had the blessed good fortune of being present at the arrival of a whole plane-load of new citizens of Israel!  Mazel tov to the wonderful new neighbors, friends, spouses, employers, employees, soldiers, rabbis – the mishpacha – who came home for good, and mazel tov to all of us who benefit from their presence!

Good times!  You might be thinking to yourself  “Boy, I wish I could party like Yishai and Malkah”.  But you can!  Download our latest show featuring Beck AND the latest aliyah (and much more), and join in the fun!  Here’s the link to download our FREE podcasts on iTunes.

If you like our show, you’ll want to know about our cool vids on www.eyeonzion.com – check them out!  You can also subscribe to our youtube channel.

Alright, folks, that’s another update from eastern Jerusalem.  A pretty good week, huh?  Let us know what you think about all our new stuff, and stay in touch :-)

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14 Responses to “Yishai’ Big Week: Cohanim, Glenn Beck, and Aliyah. whew!”

Comment from Aviva
Time July 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm

(re-edit, I had accidentally left out a word). Thanks!

I was disappointed to read you would be featuring Glenn Beck on your show. I feel that he is a disingenuous supporter of Israel, that he is a political and economic fear monger, and that his image attached to your show will simply polarize anyone, like myself, who is moderate or left leaning. You have fans across the political spectrum, and your arguments are well researched and sincere. Don’t hitch your wagon to clowns like him. I will still continue to listen to your show and support your aliyah efforts. You guys are rock stars.

Comment from Malkah
Time July 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

Hi Aviva,

Thanks for your comment. Certainly, we are not doing any “wagon-hitching”. Glenn Beck IS a controversial figure, especially when it comes to Israel. We got very strong feedback on either side – some were thrilled that we had the opportunity to meet and talk with him – others, like yourself, were very concerned.

For myself, I can say that I do not really know what is in Glenn’s heart or what his true agenda is, and so I, too, feel that caution is necessary. What I do know is that a large conglomeration of genuine, time-tested lovers and defenders of Israel were on hand to welcome him in Maale HaZeitim. It felt good to address a person who at least on paper has consistently promoted and backed the Jewish people’s right to live on its ancestral soil, and who seems to want to connect to the Jewish people on some level.

I would also like to note that our participation in Beck’s event in eastern Jerusalem is no indication of Kumah’s (or the Fleishers’) political leanings. We are not Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter). We are Jews.

In any event, thank you for taking the time to be in touch with us, and for listening to our show! We are always happy to hear from you, take your suggestions, and to be in touch :-)

Comment from Greg
Time July 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I have to admit that I’m a bit baffled. Yishai has, in the past, replied to various arguments raised against his position… whether it was a liberal Jew (Charney) or a teen saying Jews kill Arabs (out jogging)… but when challenged on the priestly blessing, he’s completely silent.

Well, I guess it’s better that way. The last time he just ranted on air, making no sense whatsoever…

But it leaves me wondering where the truth, courage and independence are when it comes to long cherished traditions?

Comment from yishai
Time July 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Dear Greg,

Don’t be baffled why I did not answer your email. It’s called being busy. Other than the clear acerbic tone which told me your were displeased, I could not understand what your beef is.

Here is what Greg wrote to me:


I caught your video on the priestly blessing and wondered how someone who doesn’t understand how it works, instruct? Not the first time I came across someone trying to do that. But you did at least interview someone who attempted to explain it. However, as I watched and listened, I wondered how you could hope to pour pure water through a dirty vessel and get pure water out. I mean, would you take a filthy cup fill it with water from the tap and hand that to your daughter to bless her with a glass of water?

Then came to mind where God pretty much asked the same question (Haggai 2).

As I think about the footage of the people gathered together, the tradition it repeats… the image that comes to mind is those Hindu’s in India who gather beside the banks of the Ganges to bath in the fouled, muddy waters to receive blessing… and that brings to mind Ezekiel 34…

Arising… as dross rises to the top of what is being refined… (Ezekiel 22)”

Greg, it seems to me that is your rant which is unclear and the email your wrote is the dirty vessel you speak of. It is for this reason that I was not compelled to write back. I think reasonable people can understand why answering every angry email might be a time consuming and unproductive endeavor.

While I am sorry that you did not like my video, please try to not to abuse me.

Now, what is your critique?

Comment from Greg
Time July 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm


I don’t remember saying I didn’t like your video, just asked about the content… substance. And, like with the other questions I asked via email, you seem willing to answer the easy questions, but leave the difficult ones unanswered. That’s why I’m baffled.

You seem to have answers for the liberal Jew who says settlements are an obstacle, and for the teen who says Jews kill Arabs… but, for mine… you don’t answer because you’re too busy, the tone of my emails are acerbic (to you, but not how I conveyed them) and because ‘it seem to you…’

Don’t you think that reasonable people would expect that if they had a question which challenged your position, that you would answer them as you have those more hostile than them?

Strange form of abuse…

Comment from Malkah
Time July 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Greg, I can at least say for myself that having read what you wrote, I still have no idea what your question is.

Maybe if you post it, Yishai – or other readers here – will be able to answer you.

Comment from Greg
Time July 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm


Think of the blessing is the water and the priests (in this case, Rabbis) giving it are the vessels. Hoping that helps bring things into focus.

Comment from Malkah
Time July 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm


Thanks for replying. Unfortunately, for me, it really doesn’t.

Comment from Greg
Time July 19, 2011 at 2:03 am


Yishai talked about the mystery of the blessing and I was just wondering if God uses filthy vessels to pour out pure blessing?

When Aaron and his sons were given the charge of blessing the people, were they to be clean or unclean, holy or unholy?

Comment from Malkah
Time July 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

Hi Greg,

I’m not sure who these “filthy vessels” are that you speak of (not a nice thing to call Jews, but we’ll let it slide for the purpose of discussion).

But MY answer to the question would be: OF COURSE G-d uses “filthy vessels” to pour out blessings. G-d uses whatever He wants – however that may appear to you.

How do you feel about the story of Lot and his daughters? Judah – you know, the guy who sold his brother, left the family, and impregnated his daughter-in-law (don’t worry, he thought she was a hooker) – becoming the father of the Jewish royal family? King David and Batsheva? Are these nice, clean, neatly folded stories? NO. But we are not always capable of understanding what G-d deems to be fit to serve His purposes (heck, I’m sure not capable, anyway).

Of course, we must do our best to make determinations regarding what is clean and what is unclean, holy and unholy. But be careful before you chuck out the “filthy vessels”. You just might be one.

Comment from Malkah
Time July 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

I want to take a moment to shout out to the “Life in Israel” blog (lifeinisrael.blogspot.com), which has been posting our recent videos. THANK YOU!!

Comment from Greg
Time July 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm


Pop quiz: Who did the Rabbi say gave the blessing? Through whom was the blessing to be given? And who was shown in the video to be giving the blessing? (Well, partially shown because unlike the cartoon, these guys were covered by a blanket.)

I was reading yesterday when Hezekiah was holding the Passover and feast of Unleavened bread, many priests sanctified themselves so they could serve.

So, not really calling the Jews filthy… nopers; remember the question centers on the blessing as presented. Lot and his daughters didn’t give this particular blessing (preceding the Levites, not to mention the blessing itself) Judah also preceded it… So, rather not get sidetracked along that tangent.

Pretty good comment though about ‘not always capable of understanding what God deems to be fit to serve His purposes…’ as it brings to mind when Samuel went to Jesse to find a replacement for Saul. He thought the oldest was the one God would choose to be king, but God rejected him, saying to Samuel that He doesn’t judge as men do, but instead looks on the heart…

Comment from Aviva
Time July 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Yishai and Malkah for the post-Beck reassurance. Looking forward to your next show!


Comment from Greg
Time July 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Really glad I grabbed screenshots of my comment waiting moderation and is still waiting after Aviva’s comment was posted.

Because otherwise it gives the impression that I was unwilling or unable to answer Malkah’s comment.