JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pre-Election Political Shenanigans

I was going to call this "Pre-Election Political Maneuverings," but that would put everything on a higher level.

Along with a large percentage of Israelis, I'm disgusted by our Prime Minister's fake "war" to stop the terror from Gaza which had burnt up a large portion of southern Israel and made life total Hell for Israeli citizens living there.

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

  • Instead of really fighting the terrorists to destroy them, Netanyahu went back to the farcical warnings to empty buildings technique. Nobody was fooled, not the terrorists and not any Israelis. What did we accomplish by bombing a few empty buildings? To be honest, absolutely nothing.
  • Since we're months, barely a year, before scheduled elections, and elections could be called at any time,  Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman surprised nobody by resigning. That's so he can campaign from the Right of Bibi's Likud. 
  • That left Bibi with the narrowest of coalitions, so of course Bennett and Kahlon are now competing for the Defense Ministry and threatening to topple the government.
  • Deja vu, elections will no doubt be soon
Let's see who's really the best chess player.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Chanuka, Rosh Chodesh Tevet, Women's Prayers Tel Shiloh

We're a week into Kislev, and not only is Chanukah almost here, but Rosh Chodesh Tevet, is, too.

Gd willing we will have our Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduam, Tel Shiloh, site of the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle on the 1st of Tevet 5779, 9-12-2018, 8:30am.

כולן מוזמנות, תפילת נשים, ראש חודש טבת, א' טבת, יום א' ,9/12/2019 , 8:30, בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה

We sing Hallel out loud, but the rest of the prayers are said silently. There will be a tour of the Tel and Divrei Torah, Gd willing, in both Hebrew and English. If you'd like more information, please contact me shilohmuse@gmail.com with "Rosh Chodesh Prayers" as subject.

Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh is open six days a week. It's a recognized tourist and archeological site. Contact them at visit@telshilo.org.il, 02-5789111.

Shabbat Shalom U'MevorachMay You Have A Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bibi, We Israelis are Totally Disgusted With Your Policies, Voices From The People

Even on the French English language tv news, best of the pathetic choice of news channels we have on our television, has been broadcasting how disgusted the Israeli public is with the farcical and dangerous so-called "ceasefire."

I don't think too many people believe anything that Avigdor Lieberman says or does. We've been watching him long enough to know that he's less reliable and more volatile than Prime Minister Bibi Binyamin Netanyahu. Most of us haven't a clue as to which party to vote for. In Israel one votes for political parties, which have lists competing for Knesset seats. The largest party gets a chance to form a coalition, with its leader, number 1, as Prime Minister. If they don't succeed, then the next largest party, or the party which the most others tell the president can form a coalition gets a chance. It's obvious that Lieberman has chosen this time, maximum a year before elections, to start maneuvering himself to the "Right" of Bibi to attract voters. Deja vu, he has done this sort of thing before.

Following are quotations from friends and various blog links about our feelings:

Praying for Relief

We are very VERY upset over this ceasefire which is not solving the problems we've been suffering for months: The incendiary balloons; the shelling of the Eshkol area and Sederot whenever the mood strikes Hamas, and not ending the violent weekly demonstrations that have led to incursions over our border. We've come out pf this like a dog with its tail between its legs. I personally am LIVID because I have NO DOUBT that if such things occurred in Tel Aviv, the govt would have acted much differently AGES ago. We have large swathes of land burnt to a crisp. Can you believe Batya that on one of the yishuvim on the border crops could not be planted because their yearly allotment of water had been used up by putting out fires???? WE ARE FED UP! It's not enough that we had a HORRIFIC 24 hours with well over 400 rockets; they now send the rockets at a much swifter pace than before one right after another, boom, boom, boom. I salute those manning the iron dome that they were able to keep up with the pace that Hamas set. We are tax paying citizens and our young people do NOT deserve to grow up in the shadow of such terror.

Ceasefire call was shameful! These kids are suffering.

They would NEVER EVER do this to kids in Tel Aviv. I'm so sick of this elitist government. All they care about is getting votes.

"About shooting at empty buildings: Buildings don't set up or send bombs, rockets, or bullets. Kill terrorists instead of letting them strike from another location."

"All of this could have been prevented if the prime minister would support a war to end all future attempts at war. Gaza should become a lifeless crater." Or use my quote that "We surrendered Gush Katif for peace? I want that land back!!!!!!!!!!"

The govt better get off it's behind (I'd use a different word but I'm polite) and DO something. Enough putting off the inevitable! The present situation (of incendiary balloons here in Netivot and all over the south; the huge swathes of land burnt to a crisp; the ongoing violent demonstrations almost daily) cannot go on! WE HAVE HAD IT! ENOUGH! You can quote me, Batya!

If You Condemned Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting But Not Rockets At Israel, You Are a Hypocrite

Another Round from Gaza

Just waiting

What is wrong here?
After 470 rockets and a ceasefire was called so that Egypt and UN can work out a permanent agreement.
Now Celebrations break out on the streets of Gaza after Hamas declares victory.
And once again the resident of the south have been abandoned by our government.
Residents of the south furious, are holding a demonstration at Tzomet Sderot.
Time for elections...

Trauma and Terror: The View from the South

Monday, November 12, 2018

War Against Arab Gaza Terror, Finally, Gd Willing Destroy Them

As far as most Israelis and fair-minded people all over the world are concerned, the military action, which we'll call a "war," on Arab Gaza Terror should have had begun about a half a year ago. The State of Israel has taken much too long to react strongly to the ongoing terror against our country and civilians.

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

photo credit: חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom

The Arab Gazan terrorists, supported by all sorts of NGOs and even foreign countries began their latest war against us as a clever little "photo-op" "demonstrations" of innocent-looking kites and balloons that carried dangerous incendiary devices over the border to set fires all over southern Israel to destroy and kill our Land, agriculture and people. They quickly morphed into raging, violent mobs of anti-Israel terrorists attacking the border and invading Israel.

Gd protected our people, and thank the Good Lord that we build with bricks, rather than wood and other flammable materials, or there would have been more deaths and destruction.

I guess Bibi is really readying for elections, because he has finally decided to do something to protect us. Of course the only way to truly protect us is to unabashedly destroy the terrorists. By being gentle with the terrorists to please the EU, media etc, Prime Minister Netanyahu is only encouraging the antisemites and anti-Israelis, who are many. And, of course, all that does is strengthen terrorism and endanger us.

In all honesty, I'm disgusted with the basic defense policy of Netanyahu and his cringing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman acts and talks like a toughy, but his policies have been weak and dangerous for Israel's security.

I pray for a miracle. Gd willing make our Israeli Government strong and confident, willing to totally destroy our enemies, all of our enemies!

All photos are from חמ'ל הדרום Chamal Darom.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Caroline Glick's US Elections Article Complements Mine

Last last week, I wrote an article about the recent US Elections, Who Really Won the 2018 American Elections. And on Friday, so did Caroline Glick, WHAT AMERICA CHOSE ON TUESDAY. I must admit that Glick's article had many more facts and interesting information than mine did. And I do recommend that you read her article; it's much more informative than mine. Of course, she's a professional, and I just dabble in these things.

Glick and I did come to the same conclusion, that it's good for the Republicans. But unless I missed it she didn't mention what I considered a very important point. American senators serve for six years, while congressmen only serve two years. The Senate bothers the American Left, because each state has the same number of senators, regardless of size and population.

One of Glick's excellent points in her article is the rise of the radical Left in the Democratic Party. This is worrying for Israel, since the radical Left is extremely anti-Israel and pro-Palestine. They consider us invaders.

American society is undergoing a lot of upheaval and hatred. It's getting more dangerous and less tolerant. Honestly, I'm very glad to be living in Israel.

Shavua Tov
Have A Wonderful Week

Friday, November 9, 2018

GUEST POST: Massacre Aftermath

Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Aftermath
(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)

Even after the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre, Jews are still not granted Victim Status according to the rules of Political Correctness.

I strongly suspect that Jews will NEVER be granted Victim Status according to the rules of Political Correctness, regardless of how much they suffer.

According to the rules of Political Correctness, Black Lives Matter, but Jewish lives do not matter, and I strongly suspect that they never will matter.

Muslims and African Americans have both been granted Victim Status by the Leftist Political Correctness people, even though both of those groups include high percentages of people who hate Jews.

A related problem, which has become so completely normalized that most people do not even consider it to be a problem, is that Muslims and African Americans both get a free pass for their anti-Jewish-hatred, and not just a regular free pass, but an unlimited free pass.  Louis Farrakhan and his Nation Of Islam organization have used that unlimited free pass to constantly propagandize against Jews, which has resulted in many millions of people believing that Jews are [or were] responsible for slavery, which is false.

Since the year 2000, thousands of Jews have fled from Europe, because of rapidly increasing anti-Semitism, including beatings and even killings.  Thousands more Jews are seriously considering fleeing Europe, for the same reasons.  This might not sound like a large number of people, but when you consider how few Jews live in Europe, it is a significant percentage of European Jews.

Even with thousands of Jews fleeing from Europe, because of anti-Jewish violence, the so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) still have not granted Victim Status to Jews.

Even with Europeans Jews under attack from both European right-wing Nationalists and Muslim immigrants, the Social Justice Warriors and Leftists consider Jews to be unworthy of Victim Status.

In the 1990s, a Moroccan Jew told me that fled from France because he could not cope with the anti-Semitism there at that time, which was much-less-severe than the anti-Semitism that exists there now.  That Moroccan Jew was one of the biggest and strongest Jews I ever met, and he was also a Black Belt – yet even he was unable to cope with the anti-Semitism in France in the 1990s, which has become much worse since then.

“An incredible 90 percent of British Jews believe that the Labour Party is anti-Semitic, and 40 percent are considering leaving the United Kingdom because of the spike in anti-Semitism.”
SOURCE: www.jns.org/poll-40-of-british-jews-considering-leaving-uk-%e2%80%8eover-anti-semitism/
BOTTOM LINE: Even with 40% of British Jews considering leaving the United Kingdom because of anti-Semitism, Jews still do not receive Victim Status.

In year 2016, the FBI reported that 54% of religion-motivated Hate Crimes were anti-Jewish, even though less than 2% of Americans were Jews,
SOURCE: www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/statistics-on-religious-hate-crimes

BOTTOM LINE: Even with Jews being victimized by Hate Crimes far beyond their percentage of the total American population, Jews still do not receive Victim Status.

If the Political Correctness people and Social Justice Warriors really believed in Social Justice, then they would grant Victim Status to Jews, because Jews are the most-persecuted people in World History. To deny that Jews are worthy of Victim Status indicates that the Political Correctness people and SJWs have a problem with Jews.

If you want the truth about Israel and the Middle East,
then do not waste your time with the FAKE NEWS of
The New York Times and the Israel-bashing mainstream-news-media. 

Instead, visit these web sites:

Time Magazine vs Truth:
Who are the Palestinians?
How Torah Can Defeat Terrorism:
Did Captain Kirk believe in negotiating with terrorists?
How to Pray for Tzahal-IDF:
Rambam Rejected Childless Messiah:
Was Daniel an Orthodox Jew?
Why all good people should STOP BUYING The New York Times:

***** END OF MESSAGE *****

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Who Really Won the 2018 American Elections

Just a short time ago I watched the press conference with US President Donald Trump. Of course the hot topic was the 2018 American Elections, specifically the results in the Senate and Congress.

Simply put, both parties won, since the Democrats now control the House (Congress,) while the Republicans control the Senate. Superficially, that makes it look pretty even. But IMHO, this was much better for the Republicans. There's a simple reason for that.

Congressmen/women serve two years, while Senators serve six years. Those senators elected are in for three times as long and can get a lot more done. Congressmen/women spend most of their time campaigning. The newly elected ones barely get to know their way around when they have to campaign again, since the 2020 elections are coming up. And the 2020 elections are also US Presidential elections. And the year before that, there are primaries.

Congress will be very busy with things other than their official jobs.

Time to pull up on a comfortable seat and watch the fun.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Kislev, Join Us This Friday

Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh, the Site of the Biblical Mishkan, Tabernacle.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev is actually two days this year, the 30th of Cheshvan and the 1st of Kislev. I asked the women who most frequently come to doven together at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh to choose the day most convenient for them. The majority voted for Friday, the 1st of Kislev.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Friday, 1st of Kislev, 5779, November 9, 2018, 8:30am. There should be a short tour and a Dvar Torah, Gd willing.
כולן מוזמנות, תפילת נשים, ראש חודש כסלו, א' כסלו, יום ו' ,9/11/2019 , 8:30, בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה
בע"ה יהיו סיור קצר ודבר תורה, גם.
We hope you can join us.

Modern Shiloh is at the same location as the biblical one where the Mishkan, Tabernacle stood as the major Jewish Prayer site for close to four hundred years. It is where Chana prayed for a son who would dedicate his life to the Jewish People. The son born to her was Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Priest, who led the Jewish People and anointed the first two kings, Saul and David.

Shiloh Hakeduma is open six days a week, and you can arrange tours, see the movie, museum and other special attractions at the beautiful archeological site. Contact them for more information, visit@telshilo.org.il, 02-5789111.

If you'd like more information about our Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers, please send an email with "Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers" as subject to shilohmuse@gmail.com.

Chodesh Tov
Have a Wonderful Month

Monday, November 5, 2018

Traffic Jams, Gd Willing Some Relief Soon

It used to be that the trip to and from Jerusalem-Shiloh, even by bus was barely an hour. And that was when we went through Ramalla and some chareidi neighborhoods in Jerusalem. So, you'd think that today, almost forty years later, after modern bypass roads have been built and highways in Jerusalem, plus the permitted speed has been raised, the trip would be much faster. It isn't. We are plagued by traffic jams.

When I make it to Jerusalem by bus in an hour, I'm in total shock. When it happens, it's either mid-morning or very late at night. The photo below was taken 6:05 PM last Thursday. That's the exact time according to my phone/file info.

As crowded and "jammed" as the traffic was going to Jerusalem, reports on the traffic jam whatsapp group indicated that there were much longer delays in the opposite direction. Every weekday morning reports come in from travelers sitting in traffic jams as early as 6:05-6:15 am before and after Adam going to Jerusalem. Those trying to drive/ride out of Beit El have it much worse. It is frequently a half hour wait among mostly Arab cars just to get to Highway 60 aka Derech Avot, the north/south road to Jerusalem to the South and Shiloh/Tapuach Junction to the north.

Givat Asaf, the Beit El Junction is being redone, and very soon a right-turn lane will be opened, so that the traffic jams at that T-junction should be reduced by a lot.

The Adam Junction, where many of our traffic jams originate, is also being redone. There will be a tunnel, so the traffic between Binyamin/Shomron and Jerusalem will bypass Adam and the Road to Ramalla.

There is also work widening the road south of Adam, towards Jerusalem, because that's another area that gets overfull.

Of course, these are the problems of the "rich," the fact that none of the city/road planners ever expected that so many people would be living in Binyamin-Samaria. They didn't expect industrial zones and shopping malls. Not only has the Jewish population been booming here, but Arabs have been moving here too. Many of them work with and for Jews.

Ironically, the traffic jams on the road to and from Jerusalem have caused something good in the Shiloh-Eli area. People quickly discovered that we are just as close to, or closer to the Rosh Haayin/Petach Tikva/Hod Hasharon area, besides being a ten minute drive to the Ariel University. Government offices and shopping opportunities abound in Ariel, and if you need something larger, you can get to nearby cities without suffering all those long annoying time-wasting traffic jams.

More and more neighbors have discovered that if they go east, to the Alon Road, they can work in the Bikaah, Jordan Valley. Even Beit She'an is more accessible than Jerusalem.

Shiloh is the true merkaz ha'Aretz, center of the Land of Israel.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

23 Years After Rabin, and The Left Still Uses Him to Incite vs Right

It's a full generation, twenty-three 23 years since Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated, and the Left continues spewing hatred, blame and distrust against what they call "the Right."

Their definition of  "the Right" is anyone and everyone who didn't agree with Rabin's policies. We, yes, me too, are considered as guilty of, complicit in the murder. Honestly, I am innocent; I had nothing to do with the murder. You can go through all of my articles of the time. You won't find a hint of violence against people I disagree with.

I knew of nobody promoting violence. We were too busy trying protect ourselves against Arab terrorism and threats from the Israeli Left to banish us from our homes. We saw the Oslo Accords, which had been forced on Rabin by the Left, as a danger to Israeli security. We couldn't understand the logic in giving Arabs weapons. And our assessment was correct.

The Israeli Left continues to use the murder of Yitzchak Rabin as a weapon against their political opponents. The dangerous hate comes from their end of the political spectrum, not ours.

We're too busy building and developing our communities and Our country, the State of Israel. That's all we ever wanted to do.

Their refusal to respect our right to disagree is antidemocratic, as is their refusal to allow us to speak. Promoting hatred can only backfire. It is bad for any society, especially a country like Israel, which has deal with so much antisemitism from the world. The Israeli Left is only playing into the hand of our international enemies.

Gd willing, may they soon rid the hatred from their souls.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Israel's Municipal "Election Day Vacation" a Fake

I hate to break it to all of you, especially those who have been so quick to condemn all those who didn't vote claiming that since it was a "vacation day," voting was easy for all. Election day was not a vacation for all.

  • Didn't you notice that the stores were open?
  • Didn't you notice that restaurants were open?
  • Didn't you notice that lots of fun places for kids were open?
  • Didn't you notice that the movies were open?
  • Didn't you notice that there was public transportation?
Do you really think these places were open without staff?

Start thinking about all of the people who had to work on Election Day.

Of course not all of the non-voters had good excuses, but for some voting wasn't easy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Jewish Funerals and Mourning in Israel

Israel, being a Jewish country, and nothing bringing out traditional Jewish values more than death, funerals are much better attended than in most other places.

Recently a neighbor passed away, and people came from all over to pay final respects.

According to Jewish Law/Tradition, the funeral is to honor the dead person. In my experience, being given time off from work to attend a funeral of a friend or neighbor is relatively easy in Israel. And if the dead person is a relative, there isn't 'even a question. Everyone knows that it's a requirement.

Children also attend funerals and memorial events in cemeteries. Death is part of life, and many children are taught about it at the youngest ages. Death isn't hidden.

Our memorial ceremonies, and funerals, include ordinary people talking about, and to, the dead person.

We don't dress up for a funeral in black, and neither does the family. More accurately, the immediate family, the official mourners --children, parent, spouse, sibling of the dead person-- certainly don't dress up in "proper black suits," like you'd see in traditional christian countries. Many Israelis, even those not all that religiously observant, follow the custom of having their shirt/jacket ripped at the funeral. The ripped clothing is worn for the week of mourning, shiva, except for Shabbat. Yes, the same clothing is worn the entire week, except for Shabbat. Hair isn't combed/styled or washed.

The mourner isn't supposed to take care of him/herself. Neighbors and more distant relatives are expected to cook, shop and straighten the house during the shiva week. Mourners are not told to ignore their pain and shock. They aren't supposed to be distracted from it by taking care of their routine household needs.

Shiva visitors are called "comforters." The proper Hebrew term for visiting a mourner is to "comfort" the mourner. Proper conversation during a shiva call is to ask the mourner about the dead person. Side conversations among visitors isn't acceptable behavior. It's not a social call. The center of attention must be the mourner, and if the mourner doesn't feel capable of speaking, it's permitted to ask to see a photo of the dead and see if that helps the mourner.

Serve the mourner; don't expect the mourner to be a host.

Many experts in human psychology say that the Jewish Laws and customs for mourners are most suited for the needs of a mourner.

When you leave the mourner, you say Hamakom yinachem... May the Place/Gd give you comfort...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I Voted in Municipal Elections

photo by one of the election staff
I went down to the polling station which is in the Ohel Shiloh Banim, local boys school very early to get "training," since I had volunteered to be an "observer." Well, there was no training, so I just voted early. And I highly doubt that I'll return to "observe." There will be enough "observers" without me, Gd willing.

Even though I have written/blogged quite a bit about my choices, I know from long experience that once people are in office, they tend to "surprise" us. Sometimes it's for good, but more frequently for bad.

Between Free Will, that major responsibility that Gd gifted us, and siyate d'Shmaya, when Gd overrules, it's not a good idea to think that we can predict much. The only thing we can really predict is that things won't go exactly as expected, and that officeholders rarely do what they promised when campaigning. 

When confronting choices, like I had in the "booth" behind the screen, sometimes we change our mind. You may have noticed that I only blogged about two of the choices we had to make, two of the issues. I wrote about head of the region, sort of the governor. And I wrote about the local council list. I wrote nothing about who should represent us in the regional "parliament." That's because I couldn't choose. One campaigned that he'd work as part of the coalition no matter who's in it, which turned me off. I'm too much an idealist. I like policies and plans. The other one just wrote all sorts of ordinary platitudes, to make everything "better." That didn't enthuse me at all. I had been thinking of an empty envelope, or two ripped half ballots. I even thought of playing a "switching game" with my eyes closed and the ballots upside down, so I wouldn't know for whom I voted. At the last second I made a choice, but since it wasn't with my full heart, I won't say who got my vote.

Gd willing, I put the best choice of ballot in each envelope.  
I consider it very important to vote, even in the case when you're not impressed by the candidates.

An important thing I want to show and tell you is that our voting station is handicapped accessible! Take a look at the picture below. Thank Gd the location is perfect. It's also near bus stops.

Gd willing, the results will be the best possible. That we will only discover in the months and years to come.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Not Afraid of Change, Vote עמ- Emek Shiloh Local Council

Rafi Fisher עמ- Emek Shiloh leader
Despite the modest plans, way back when, for Shiloh's growth and development, Shiloh and the surrounding area has been miraculously fruitful. Today there are close to one thousand 1,000 Jewish families in Shiloh and various yishuvim (towns) and hilltop from Givat Harel, just west of Highway 60, and going east until the Alon Road. This doesn't include Eli to the north, Maale Levona to the west or Amichai, which at present as a different government status.
Fertile vineyards in the area of  עמ- Emek Shiloh
For the second time, there will be elections for a "local council," which would have the authority to plan joint projects and even eventually make changes in how all of the various communities are governed. This council will consist of nine 9 members, and there are two parties competing.

I'm supporting עמ- Emek Shiloh, because its leadership sees the future of our region as a vibrant growing municipality, in which the existing communities need to join as one governing unit to the betterment of all. We shouldn't be competing, otherwise we will just end up strangling, slowing down or limiting our growth.

The outgoing council was dominated by people who wanted to preserve the status quo, keep the various communities separately governed. And those same people are hoping to continue; they are running on a competing list.

Last night, the עמ- Emek Shiloh candidates met with some of the English-speaking community in Shiloh to explain the situation and their plans.

It's time for change. We need to unite for a better future, Gd willing.

Vote עמ- Emek Shiloh!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Deadly Antisemitism in the USA, Pittsburgh Prayers

11 killed in Pennsylvania synagogue shooting

8 killed in Pennsylvania synagogue shooting


At least four reported dead, 12 injured in shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue

Pray for the injured Jews and police.

The United States isn't immune from antisemitism and certainly not from violence. Jews who think they are safe are sadly mistaken.

My husband and I made aliyah as a newlywed couple almost half a century ago. It was the smartest thing we ever did.

Today's numbers show that the largest Jewish community is here in Israel. Between immigration, diaspora assimilation and the fact that Israel has the highest birth rate of any developed country in the world, our Jewish population is growing quickly.

In 1970, when we boarded that large ship to Israel, we entered a country that had a much lower standard of living than the one we had left. And even three years after the legendary, miraculous Six Days War victory, the future of the young country was still uncertain.

I always felt secure here in Israel and had no real worries about the physical security of American Jewry. Things have changed. Now Israel has advanced in every way, and the United States is in trouble.

Israel is the Home for all Jews. Join us.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Very Cultured IDF Army, Only in Israel

As I blogged on A Jewish Grandmother, the other day I spent a few hours in the Israel Museum. It was full of IDF Israel Defense Force soldiers. No, there wasn't a security emergency. Going to the Israel Museum and many other cultural and historic sites is part of "basic training."

Our soldiers come from all walks of Israeli society, plus many come from abroad and voluntarily serve in the army as lone soldiers. It's very common to see groups of soldiers touring around the country. I consider that one of the very special "only in Israel" aspects of living here.

IDF soldiers aren't just a "fighting force," they are an important part of Israeli society, whether Jewish or not. That's right. Many IDF soldiers aren't Jewish. Some aren't because they are descended from Jewish fathers, and neither their mothers nor they have converted, although they are very Israeli. And less well-known is the fact that Israeli Druze, Bedouin and even regular Israeli Arab Muslims serve in the army.

Life in Israel isn't what the international, very Leftist, media likes to portray. The truth is very different. The only apartheid here is in the areas controlled by Arabs and the PA-Palestinian Authority.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Talmud on Broadway

This morning while walking around the neighborhood alone, meaning without my walking buddies, I was listening to Broadway tunes on Spotify. The King and I is one of the shows on my "Broadway" selection, and as I listened to the words before the song "Getting to Know You," I suddenly realized that the "ancient saying" referred to was Jewish. I was sure that the concept  "If you become a teacher, from your students you'll be taught." was from  Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers. When I got home, I quickly skimmed a translation I have of the book but couldn't find it.

Then I asked my husband to find the source, and he did. It's in the Talmud, Taanit and was said by Rabbi Chanina.

Considering the disproportionately large percentage of Jews who were involved in writing/composing Broadway musicals in the mid-twentieth century, the chances are pretty good that the line was inspired by the words of Rabbi Chanina. Rodgers and Hammerstein fit that ethnic/Jewish bill. Richard Rogers was Jewish as was the father of Oscar Hammerstein.

Can you think of any other Broadway shows or popular tunes or stories that could be inspired by, or related to the Talmud or other Jewish sources?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Celebrating Yom Aliyah Day

Last year I celebrated Yom Aliyah Day by officially performing stand up for the first time, something I could cross of my "bucket list." This year my husband and I attended a Betar-Likud event to which immigrants/olim from all over the world were invited.

photo taken by Yisrael Medad, from Betar blog

It was in a Netanya hotel, and I found us places to sit at a table that had a sign saying "English" on it. Other tables had Spanish and French signs. We ended up sitting with some old friends from American Betar and our shlichut, youth work job in London.

We enjoyed the rendition of Betar songs by the young band that performed. And, of course, it was nice to get together with old friends. Not everyone at our table knew enough Hebrew to understand the speeches, which was a shame. There should have been some multilingual greetings to make them feel truly welcome.

Many of my closest friends here in Israel are olim, immigrants. We come from wide and varied backgrounds. Everyone contributes to the flavor of life in Israel, like the holy Biblical ketoret, which was a combination of a wide variety of "fragrances," some ingredients being very bitter on their own. But mixed in the recipe that Gd instructed, they combined into something exquisite. That is our life here in Israel, Israeli society.

We feel very privileged to be in this wonderful time, when we see the fulfilment of Gd's promises to the Jewish People. I have no doubt that things will get even better. Jews, join us for your own sake, לך לך, Come to the Holy Land to live with us.

All except one, photos by me, Batya Medad

Monday, October 22, 2018

Who Should Replace Avi Roeh as Head of Binyamin Regional Council?

There will be local elections all over Israel next week. That includes the Regional Council of Binyamin (Benjamin,) the local council of Gush Shiloh Bloc and our representative to the Binyamin Forum (parliament.) Yesterday I wrote that I'm supporting עמק שילה- ועד מקומי Emek Shiloh-Vaad Mikomi, vote עמ list for our local council,  and today I'll write about the top position.

Last night I attended a chug bayit, parlour meeting to meet, listen to and ask questions of Shiloh Adler, one of the two candidates hoping to replace Avi Roeh as head of the Binyamin Regional Council.  The meeting was very well attended, which doesn't show up well in the photos because of where I sat. Men and lots of women were there, too. Most were of the younger generation with children in school and still having babies. There were a few around my age. I was the oldest, but not the most veteran in Shiloh.

By process of elimination, I had quickly decided that I'd vote for Shiloh Adler even before hearing anything about him, but I needed to make sure I wasn't making a big mistake. The reason why I didn't want to vote for Yisrael Ganz is simply because I'm disgusted at how things are being done by the Binyamin Regional Council, and Ganz is one of the present hierarchy there.

Our public transportation is awful. Buses are unreliable, schedule problematic, routes, not enough or varied etc. A couple of years ago, the Binyamin Regional Council replaced very good wooden bus stops (shelters) that had windows  and replaced them with badly designed and constructed metal ones that neither protect us from the elements nor allow us to see an approaching bus nor let the driver see that we're waiting inside. And then right before elections, there was extra money, so they decided (like many other municipalities) to give us new sidewalks which almost cancelled our bus service. That's because the so-called planners never bothered to check government regulations for road width. They also destroyed very safe and sturdy safety rails on the staired paths and replaced them with cheap, thin rickety ones, which not only are already falling apart, but they are falling out of their sockets. While working on these "upgrades," as the Mateh Binyamin, the regional council calls them, they broke my main water pipe and damaged the garden wall. And there are other problems. So, for me, it was an easy and obvious choice not to vote for anyone connected to the present administration.

But I'm too much a political pundit and realist to blindly vote for Shiloh Adler. I had to meet him. That's why I went to the meeting last night. A few English-speaker friends had asked me to send a report about the meeting. The following is what I wrote/emailed, typos and all:
There was a nice group at the meeting, mostly young people from the middle and down the hill.
Adler came well prepared, with a staff/crew of impressive people, who also spoke.
What bothers him is that nobody ever says they're from Binyamin. After all these years, and despite the large size and population, it never has made people feel its presence. That bothers him, and he'd like to fix it.
He asked for questions. I had to reduce what I had planned to the minimum, so I mentioned public transportation and the awful roads. I stressed that we can't get to most of the Binyamin yishuvim easily, even Kochav Hashachar which is close as the crow flies. And Places like Talmon are near impossible.
I also complained that the moetza put all the offices in Psagot, which is out of the way and now in Sha'ar Binyamin. I mentioned that I consider Shiloh as having moved to Petach Tikvah and in my combination bus/tremp, I can get to Tzomet Yarkon more quickly than Jerusalem.
Adler seems to understand a lot about the financial potential, business etc.
Later he replied to my question. He has researched (his staff no doubt) the public transportation in other areas and agrees that ours is the worst.
I came up with someone who says that Ganz says many of the same things, but Ganz didn't come with a strong backup team. And although he has been with the moetza for a number of years, he never really succeeded in fixing anything and moving stuff.
I saw at least one person from the Emek Shiloh list. Moshe Batish was there, too, and he's running for the Moetza council seat. 
Before previous moetza (regional council) elections, I had gone to a number of "meet the candidate" events, and I must say that Adler's was the best presentation I've ever experienced. Not only did he take notes as we spoke, he tried to answer some of our questions after all questions had been asked, including mine. Then when he rushed off to his next meeting of the evening, his crew (cabinet) stayed to further answer our questions. I was impressed that one even buttonholed me for more information.

I have no doubt that we need new leadership in Mateh Binyamin. The only one offering that is Shiloh Adler. The icing on the cake is that he seems very competent and has surrounded himself with a good team.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hiking Through Emek Shiloh Valley עמק שילה

Last Friday at high noon, a multigenerational group from גוש שילה Gush Shiloh Bloc took off together under the guidance of Land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael guide extraordinaire Zeev Ehrlich

A treasure trove of little-known history and Biblical geography, Ehrlich told us about the unusual nature of the massive Shiloh Valley and its place in Jewish History.

Apparently today's growth of Jewish communities around Emek Shiloh Valley עמק שילה isn't new. Over the millenia, even a few hundred years ago, there were also Jewish towns surrounding the valley and  taking advantage of the fertile land for agriculture.

Zeev Ehrlich
The tour was sponsored by the עמק שילה- ועד מקומי Emek Shiloh-Vaad Mikomi, vote עמ list for the Local Council. In recent years the גוש שילה Gush Shiloh Bloc has grown enormously in every way. It's situated between just west of Highway 60 and goes all the way eastwards to the Alon Road. There's potential for much more growth, since most of the Land is government owned. That's why the new community of Amichai, designated especially for the former Amona families/residents, is located here. 

I'm supporting this list, because I feel that it has the most vision for growth and unity. In order to maximize our potential the numerous existing communities must give up some independence and work together. This is a process that has played out all over Israel. Many of today's major and successful cities also began as small independent communities. No doubt that the גוש שילה Gush Shiloh Bloc will remain a combination of rural and suburban, but too much money and manpower are now being wasted.

The Biblical stories centered in גוש שילה Gush Shiloh Bloc are well-known, and it was very exciting to learn of Jewish life here during other times, even long after the Destruction of the Second Holy Temple. As you can see from the pictures, there's plenty of empty Land for Jewish Life here in גוש שילה Gush Shiloh Bloc.