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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Politically "Homeless" Post Israeli Elections 2019

I've seen this term on the pages of a few facebook friends who, like me, had supported Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's "The New Right" party. The New Right missed getting into the Knesset by a ridiculously small number of votes.

In response to those who suggest that we should "just return to the NRP/Jewish Home party," that's totally absurd and further proof that I've been orphaned yet again.
Why do they presume that I had a home in the Jewish Home?
I'm not of Bnai Akiva/NRP/Jewish Home. My Torah Judaism is a result of my years in NCSY, my Zionism is from Betar and it was coming to age during the 1967 Six Days War which drew me to live in Liberated Shiloh.

My Israeli political identification was more Yisrael Eldad than Menachem Begin, especially once Begin gave Egypt the Sinai and destroyed all of the Jewish communities that had been built there. As a result of the Camp David Accords, I aligned with the Techiya Party, but after about a decade, that, too failed to make the cut and enter the Knesset. Since then I find myself searching for a political party which I can trust ideologically.

One very important thing that keeps me from feeling "at home" in The Jewish Home is that I am ideologically opposed to parties based on religious observance. Here in the State of Israel we must look out for all Jews and citizens, what's best for the entire country, not just the "crocheted kippah" crowd.

The second recommended option for political affiliation is the Likud, but that, too isn't a good match for me. The Likud is too Centrist for my ideology, and I firmly believe that it is important that there be a strong Right party to pull the Likud Right.

The New Right was a good match for my requirements, and I like and respect some of the top people. I think there were two reasons they missed votes. One was in their control, and the other wasn't, though there's a connection.
  1. Moshe Feiglin's mishmash/supermarket party with a conflicting/contradicting choice of ideologies, plus his past as a Right wing politician/wannabe attracted some voters who had been debating between him and New Right. Some of them refused to read the "fine print" of his platform and Knesset list; they voted for Feiglin.
  2. I wasn't impressed by the campaign run by the New Right. I had been hoping that Caroline Glick would have been given free hand to produce and publicize a lot of Latma style campaign videos,which would have been more attractive and less strident. I have no doubt that the additional voters they would have attracted would easily have put the New Right into the Knesset.
Now I'm politically homeless, or more accurately orphaned. While my favorite politicians and political wannabes lick their wounds, recover, heal and plan for the future, I'll wait patiently. Really, there isn't much else for me to do. I won't be quiet. I'll blog and comment when I have something to say. That's what I do.

Gd willing Binyamin Netanyahu and his crew will build a ruling coalition that will pleasantly surprise me. Let's see if he really annexes all the yishuvim, which was his last minute campaign promise.

Gd willing next Knesset Elections results will be more to my liking.

Not enough people voted as I did, for נ The New Right
Knesset Elections 2019 Israeli Elections

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Easy Sefira Reminder


There's along running mitzvah in Jewish Life, Counting the Omer, Sefirat Haomer. We're supposed to do it from the second night of Passover until just before Shavuot, seven weeks, forty-nine days, though it's done at night.
In the days of the Holy Temple, the Jewish people would bring a barley offering on the second day of Passover (Leviticus 23:10). This was called the "Omer" (literally, "sheaf") and in practical terms would permit the consumption of recently-harvested grains.

Starting on the second day of Passover, the Torah (Leviticus 23:15) says it is a mitzvah every day to "count the Omer" – the 50 days leading up to Shavuot. This is an important period of growth and introspection, in preparation for the holiday of Shavuot which arrives 50 days later.

Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven-week preparation period. The commentators say that we were freed from Egypt only in order to receive the Torah and to fulfill it. Thus we were commanded to count from the second day of Pesach until the day that the Torah was given – to show how greatly we desire the Torah.  Sefirat Haomer complete article
For the first thirty-five years or so when I was trying to get into the swing of being a Torah Observant Jew, Sefirat Haomer was my greatest failure. Not once did I succeed in counting the full 49; I never even got close.

The first time I succeeded in Counting the Omer was when someone signed me up for phone message service. After that I began setting up my phone to send me a message every night. Actually, even though the count starts Saturday night, after Shabbat, I've already programed my phone. See the screenshot above.

My phone is fine most nights, but not Leil Shabbat, Sabbath Eve and the last night of Passover. Then I put up a sign across from where I sit, when my husband goes to synagogue. Bli eyin haraa, not to tempt the evil eye, it has worked so far.

For weeknights, I go high tech, and for Shabbat, I stick with low tech. Gd willing, this year will go well.

I hope this helps you.
Chag Kasher V'SameachHave a Kosher and Joyful Holiday

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My Father, Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L, 3 Years

Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L, 1920-2016, United States Navy World War Two
You could say that in my father's death he did me a favor. He passed away just a few days before Passover, just as I was about to really clean and get the house ready for Pesach. It was also a year I had thought would never happen again. We were to host the Passover Seder for two of our (then) unmarried kids. They had requested a "quiet" Seder "without strange strangers."

I'm a terrible housekeeper; the Pesach cleaning is always very stressful for me.  And I had thought that I'd retired from Seder hosting, since our daughter now hosts the big family one every two years, and we've been going to others as guests on the alternate years.

Once I got the news that my father had died, from the complications of "old age," my halachic, Jewish Law status changed. Since I wasn't going to travel to New York for the funeral, which would only be three days later, also leaving no time for more than a bare minimum shiva, Jewish ritual mourning period, of less than an hour, my status as a morner began almost immediately.

As a mourner, I was forbidden to clean, cook etc. My children and husband had to make time to take over all responsibilities for Passover and the Seder. All the food we had already bought for the Seder was sent to my married daughter, who suddenly became the expert in preparing Gefilte Fish. I wasn't supposed to even peek into the kitchen to give orders.
My father with his brother,
my Uncle George, who had
predeceased him.

My father with his brother,
my mother, who had
predeceased him.
My father was blessed with a long life, even though he wasn't all that happy being the very last of his generation. His brother and sister had both died before him, as did my mother. He missed them all.

During World War Two, my father served in the United States Navy, being a pioneer in the use of radar. He discovered that a lot of his training had been riddled with inaccurate presumptions. A gifted "problem solver," his analysis and solutions were crucial to the success of radar in the Pacific against Japan.

After the war, he found my mother, whom he had first met before going overseas, and married her. When they were first married, they lived in Brooklyn, NY, where they had both been born. When I, their firstborn, was an infant we moved to Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, where my brother and sister were born. In late summer, 1962, we moved to Great Neck, NY. My father worked as an accountant, adding CPA to his qualifications. After starting his career in the State Insurance Fund, he began a private practice on the side, eventually only working for himself.

Family, friends and work were my father's life; he had no hobbies.

Later on my father suffered a form of dementia that affected his ability to care for himself, but left him very social and fascinating. At one point, due to my mother's condition, she could no longer care for him, and we brought my father to Israel to live with us. My father enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, niece and other family members. Here in Shiloh, my father made a lot of friends, and we had hoped that my mother would join him in Israel, but it didn't work out. Instead, my sister cleared the house for sale and moved my mother to Arizona, near her. We brought my father to join her. 

That's why they both died in Arizona, but they're buried in New York, in the burial plot of Oakland Jewish Center, of which they were among the founders. Both my parents stayed New Yorkers in their minds and hearts. One of the standard questions asked to check dementia is:
"Where do you live?"
My parents would answer "New York," even after being moved to Arizona. That answer to me was not due to dementia. I have no doubt that they were totally accurate. They were just visiting Arizona until they were to be returned to New York, buried among their old friends. 

לעילוי נשמתו
אלכסנדר זיסקין בן צבי הירש
בן דוד יוסף 
בן אלכסנדר זיסקין

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Shiloh, A Place of Great Beauty

As you know, I live in Shiloh. Some of you even know that I take walks, mostly for fitness. The other day my walking partner and I decided to change our route a bit. We took a short detour, right near our neighborhood, and it was such a treat.









Shiloh is in the center of the Biblical Heartland. It is mentioned many times in the Bible. We Jews have more connections to Shiloh than almost any other part of the Land of Israel. Only Jerusalem and may Hebron could have more.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Israel On The Moon, Davka After "New Moon" Shabbat

By now I guess everyone knows that Israel's landing on the moon was a crash-landing. We do things with a bang, of course. Seriously, it was a great accomplishment, and only three countries, all much larger and wealthier than Israel did better.


When just a few meters to the moon, a super tiny fraction of the entire impossible journey from earth to moon, there were engine and communication problems, and the spacecraft crashed.

In the universe of space travel research, Israel's attempt is a great success and very unique. Unlike the other attempts, Israel's space industry is not a government project. It's a department of a company, Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI.

I'm not at all qualified to discuss the technical stuff, but I couldn't get over the timing. Just last Shabbat we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Every Rosh Chodesh celebrates the New Moon, the new month. And it was also, Parshat HaChodesh, when we celebrate the first Mitzvah Gd gave to us as a People, The Jewish People. The phases of the moon keep us on track, tell us when our months begin and holidays will fall.

Gd created all of this in the universe, and it is brilliant. The cycle of the moon, and the earth revolving around the sun. The Jewish Calendar integrates these different and conflicting cycles very accurately and successfully. No other religion, culture does it. And none of our ancient foes still exists, while we, the Jewish People in the State of Israel thrive in the modern world, Baruch Hashem.

In just a week we celebrate Passover, Pesach, the holiday in which we're commanded to tell our history to all and make us relate to the narrative, as if we personally escaped slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt and then began the journey to the Promised Land, the Land of Our Forefathers, the Land Gd gave us, and only us, the Jewish People.

May You have a Truly Awesome Shabbat



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gantz & Co Folded Without a Fight

The Blue & White Party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid officially conceded the 2019 Knesset Elections to Likud- Binyamin Netanyahu. I kept hoping that he'd say something about waiting to hear the final tallies after the double-envelope votes are counted, plus surplus distributed. I guess Gantz and crew are awful Poker players. They'd lose to Bibi in Chess, too.

Am I crazy to feel this way? I voted New Right, and we won't know for sure if they're really out in the cold until all the double-envelope votes are counted. Gantz & Co had been played up, promoted like they could beat Cassius Clay, but they ended up like a Woody Allen character, but in real life.

I had been hoping for more drama and excitement. The hype was so stupendous. Think about it. On paper, this shouldn't have ended so blahh.

Three top generals, who had been IDF Chief of Staff and a media star versus the professor's middle son. You'd think it would be a piece of cake for them. Now, granted that the professor's kid had been in a top commando unit, but against three GENERALS?!

It seems that being the middle of three sons can make one pretty tough, too.


Now Bibi, Trump has already moved the United States Embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the Golan as Israel, so we expect you to immediately annex, declare Israeli Sovereignty on Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, at least all of Area C. Don't forget to destroy all the illegal Arab buildings up there, including those funded by the EU and any other foreign bodies. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Israeli Elections 2019, Shiloh





We voted. That is my husband and I voted mid-morning. Elections are in the Boys Elementary School. Outside the school was a very hectic, carnival like atmosphere. Mostly young kids were manning the tables trying to give out last minute flyers urging us to vote for the party that had sent them. I don't think there are too many people who can be convinced by last minute flyers, but...

In the hallway outside the three (Shiloh Bloc has grown from two to three) classrooms where the actual polling stations were located, a local artist/jewelry designer was selling.

Lady Feyga. Charismatic jewelry & gifts boutique / ליידי פייגא

Proper identification of a voter is the most important step. In Israel we all have Identity Cards with photographs. You are assigned to a polling station near the address you have registered with as part of your ID. This prevents, or makes much more difficult, voter fraud. And of course, only citizens vote in National Knesset Elections.




We first voted in the 1973 Israeli Elections, after the Yom Kippur War. The system hasn't changed. It works as well as any can, and it suits the multiple parties who compete in Israeli elections. The Likud party had tried a few computerized methods in their primaries, but this year they went back to the simple pieces of paper.
This time the ballots were arranged in three rows on a long table. I remember the shape being more of a square in the past.

Instructions

Pick out ONLY ONE ballot/paper and place it in the envelope.



Yes, I voted! The pictures of me were taken by my husband.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Who's The Winner of the 2019 Knesset Elections? I Can Wait Until Morning

Tomorrow will be the 2019 Knesset Elections. The three main Israeli television stations/channels are promoting their overnight vote "count."

Well, count me out.

I'll be happy to wait until morning for the numbers, and then until whenever we hear about the deals to make a coalition. Believe me, Trump hasn't a clue about "deals." Forming a ruling coalition after these elections will make his Trump neighborhood on Manhattan's Westside look like a piece of cake, and his so-called "peace deal" will fall like poorly made souffle in a thunderstorm.

Local Shiloh Elections 5777, 2017
Nothing like the Knesset ones, except that I voted.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Bibi, How Dumb Do You Think We are?

Generally just before Knesset elections, Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu, #1 in Likud, starts his:
"Gevalt!! If you don't vote Likud I won't be able to form a ruling coalition."
And when the votes are counted, it's clear that Likud has leached votes from the Right wing parties. The sum total of potential MKs amenable to being in his coalition are the same as the polls had been predicting, but more are from the Likud. The "smaller" parties are even "smaller."

This time the "smaller" parties aka potential coalition partners are making a point of saying that since they plan on being in the coalition, one shouldn't fear that voting for them would make it harder for Likud to form the next government. So, now, especially since there are at least three political parties self-labeled as Right, now the Likud has come up with a new line:
Jerusalem Post Israel Elections NETANYAHU VOWS TO ANNEX SETTLEMENTS IN WEST BANK IF HE WINS ELECTION
Duh!? Bibi has had a decade to do it. Why hasn't he annexed our Land? It sounds like he's suddenly reading from the New Right platform, which calls for Israeli Sovereignty in Area C. Honestly, ideally I would love to undo the PA-Palestinian Authority, but it's not really feasible at this time. Anyone who says it can be done, is lying.

We know that despite Bibi's promises and smooth talking, he'll just continue as he has, unless he's more dependent on his coalition partners. The only way to see progress in annexing/declaring Israeli sovereignty is  to have a large, strong New Right in the government and Knesset. Honest Right MKs will pull Bibi/Likud Rightward. That's how politics works in Israel. This isn't Kansas; it's not even New Jersey.

Shiloh, Israel

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Only In Israel, Bringing MIA Zachary Baumel Home

Funeral of Zachary Baumel 

Funeral of Zachary Baumel 

ONLY IN ISRAEL

I'm proud, can't think of a better word right now, that the State of Israel does not give up in its search for missing soldiers.

This evening there was the official military funeral of Zachary Baumel, HaY"aD, almost thirty-seven years after he was killed in action, during the Sultan Yacoub battle in what's known as the First Lebanese War. Two more IDF soldiers from that battle, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman are still missing in action.

Apparently the search for his body and the other missing soldiers was with the help of Russia and other countries. The search is still on, until every IDF soldier, alive or dead, is brought home to Israel.

The State of Israel is about to celebrate 71 years of independence. For more than half that time, almost thirty-seven 37 years, Israel has been doing everything possible to find out what happened to those three soldiers. That certainly makes the time seem even longer. Gd willing all of our missing soldiers will be returned to Israel very, very soon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Yamin HeChadash, New Right MK List



The Yamin HeChadash, New Right has assembled an amazing group of people running in their list to be MKs, members of Knesset.

I've been following Israeli politics for half a century, and it's clear to me that we must vote נ in the upcoming elections.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The State of Israel Needs Experienced Fearless Leaders

One of the reasons I'm voting for HaYamin HeChadash, The New Right is because I want them to have enough seats in the Knesset so that the Likud will have to give Naftali Bennett the Defense Ministry. The worst thing for the State of Israel would be for Netanyahu to continue holding multiple ministries, including Defense, and even worse than that would be for him to invite the Four-Headed Monster Party aka Blue and White to join a massive Center coalition and crown one of their failed wimpy IDF heads with the Defense Ministry.

I hope you know enough Hebrew to get the message from this campaign video by The New Right. The message is that it was only due to Bennett's pressure on Benny Gantz, then IDF Chief of Staff, and Bogie Ya'alon, then Defense Minister, that the army put together an operative plan to destroy the terrorist tunnels in the south. The clip quotes actual security cabinet meetings to prove it.



An important theme of the New Right campaign is to give them your vote so that Ayelet Shaked can continue rehabilitating the Israeli Judicial System and Naftali Bennett can take charge of Security/Defense.

Vote נ

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Guest Post: Waiting for Normal Life to Return to Netivot

From Life on the border with Gaza - things people may not know (but should)

Waiting for Normal Life to Return to Netivot
by Esther Hilf Revivo

We had a quiet (I wish) night Motzei Shabbat. There were 4 rockets sent to the Eshkol Region -- but nobody gives a ding-dong about THAT! The tanks are still there so the terrorists are behaving themselves, relatively speaking. If you call 40,000 people rioting and throwing thousands of grenades and other explosives at our IDF all through the night behaving. But there was no breaching of the fence.

Our government has to look for a long-term solution, which it does NOT CARE TO DO! So we, especially those on the border, continue to suffer from the whims of Hamas, as do innocent Gazans who want peace, and indeed they do exist! I've heard one speak twice on my laptop via Adele Raemer, a friend living on the border Kibbutz, Nirim.

We are fed up with the apathy of the government, media and all of the country outside of the area affected by the present violence. Below I will present an article posted in The Times of Israel on Friday, March 29th, by Joshua Davidovich and address each of his points.

I originally penned this on Friday but nothing has changed since then. We are in the same stalemate! Rioting continued on the border and the noise was unbearable at border settlements and clearly heard here in Netivot from Friday until motzei Shabbat! We were awakened on Shabbat at 4 and 6 a.m. by huge BOOMS from an IDF tank that targeted a Hamas outpost. The government reacts but is not proactive in seeking solutions.

Before I answer Mr. Davidovich’s points, let me tell you that ALL of Netivot has descended on the shops to fill up on food, bottled water and gas for their cars. We are mentally prepared for war. Everyone is walking on eggshells and feels terribly tense. The noise last night was horrific. I couldn't stop thinking of our soldiers out there. Well, here are what aforementioned Joshua Davidovich sitting safely in Central Israel had to write and my responses:

1. "BRACING FOR THE WORST: Massive protests on the Gaza border are not planned to take place until Saturday afternoon, but Israel already seems to be at peak gird."
BOOOOOOOMING all last night. That was Thursday, March 28, 2019. The first arrivers to the party threw HUGE explosives at our IDF. One thankfully blew up in their faces seriously wounding 5 terrorists. What a boom that was. My friends at the border had ANOTHER sleepless night. How much more can we take?
2. “According to the Walla news site, senior commanders are preparing for a variety of scenarios, including the possibility of deterioration to the point of a large-scale ground operation. TOI’s Judah Ari Gross notes that “The Israeli military is preparing for the possibility that Saturday’s protests will be some of the most violent yet.”
We know. We see the tanks and here the drones etc. But there have been preparations before and the GOVERNMENT HAS WIMPED OUT. We’ve had a year of Hamas violence specifically rockets, grenades, incendiary balloons, etc. AND WE ARE FED UP!
3. “Though Hamas is referring to the Land Day demonstrations as the ‘million-man march,’ only a few tens of thousands of people are expected to participate. The weather, which is currently predicted to be cold, rainy and windy, may help keep the numbers even lower than that,” he adds.
A FEW? How are "only tens of thousands” a few?! Get your butt down here to smell the fires; hear the noise from the grenades thrown at our soldiers, and tell me how you would feel if you were not be able to calm your children's fears nor stop them wetting their beds at ages 10- 12!!!
4. “According to Yedioth Ahronoth, troops will be stationed along the border starting Friday, with ‘tensions reaching their peak.’ Trying for a truce: Reports indicate that Egyptian mediators are still working furiously to try to broker some sort of calm ahead of the expected melee. On Thursday, the delegation passed a message from Israel to Hamas, telling the Gaza-ruling terror group: ‘Any mistake you make on Saturday could lead to war,’ Channel 12 news reports."
Yeah, yeah. Heard that for a year but we still have no solution. HAMAS IS STILL CALLING THE SHOTS! We only react mildly, which doesn’t help at all.
5. Walla’s Amir Bohbot said that it will be hard to predict how the demonstrators will act following the “extreme speeches and incitement to violence against Israel. “ Especially after the brainwashing by Hamas, which according to events of the last year is leading them back toward Israel.”
BRAINWASHED. That is the problem exactly. From kindergarten, if not earlier, children are taught to "KILL THE JEWS!" Hamas, as you all know, has special camps to teach elementary school age children how to become terrorists. May Hashem (G-d) continue to create miracles for us, and may the government have the guts to finally do something other than allow more Qatari money into Gaza!

Just Over a Week Before 5779, 2019 Knesset Elections, and We're on Verge of War

Life here is Israel is rather surreal. From what I've heard and know of history, Israeli culture and living here for almost half a century, that's "normal." There's just over a week before the 5779, 2019 Knesset Elections, and I notice less election hysteria than in the past. Maybe it's because the Israeli news has been so anti-Bibi that I feel that nothing has changed, or is it because of the EU backed Arab terror, riots, incendiary devices and rockets fired from Gaza for the past year, which has the country on the verge of war.

As tiny as the State of Israel is, and by American standards, it's about the size of New Jersey, we don't see and feel the terror/violence in most of the country. A few decades ago, Israelis in the north complained that most of the State of Israel was oblivious to the rockets, terror/violence they suffered. So, it's very deja vu for me. Israelis who had been alive during the War of Independence would tell similar stories, how despite the war all around, the cafés, coffee shops in Tel Aviv were always full of revelers.

Here in Shiloh, we haven't been directly affected by the Gazan attacks/terror, but other waves of terror, the intifadas were nearby, and then it was quiet in both the north and south.

Life on the border with Gaza - things people may not know (but should) Facebook group

Shiloh is northeast of Ramalla, which isn't in the "red zone."
As for the 5779, 2019 Knesset Elections, when I speak to neighbors and friends, we all seem to want the same thing from our MKs, but we differ on which political party will be the best choice.

Last night I even posted on facebook :
This may shock some people, but I don't mind if Likud is in the opposition for a bit. It'll go more Right.
Most responders/comments didn't agree with me. They just don't get it. Being in the opposition would be a good shock/cleanser for the Likud. It would remind them that the Israeli voter wants a real Right party in power, not a bunch of Centrist wimps. This scenario would happen if their prospective truly Right political parties, like the Shaked-Bennett New Right lose votes to the fake Right, like Feiglin and Kahalon.

And concerning the terror from Gaza, the IDF has called up a lot of reservists who are waiting for a decision. IMHO, we should have bombed them to bits last year when it started. Any terrorist or agent provocateur, regardless of age should have been eliminated. We're being attacked. That's war, and there's no need to act like these are toddlers having a bissell tantrum.

In less than two weeks, maybe there will be some election results. Or will the 5779, 2019 Knesset Elections be suddenly postponed because of war? Tune in ...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Knesset Elections 2019, 5779, Polls are Just Polls & Feiglin Kingmaker

This post isn't the one I told my facebook friends I'd write, but I think it's good pre-Shabbat food for thought message. Print it if you don't have time to read it now, or if you want to show it to others.

To be honest, I also check the polls and appreciate Jeremy's Knesset Insider, which just gives the basic numbers and attributes his findings. The polls indicate possible trends, though because an Israeli Prime Minister must negotiate a coalition, the more detailed the poll, the less accurately it may actually predict who will run the next government.

What I find absurd and inaccurate are those television news commentators, who excitedly read off various poll results as if they're giving us a real-time report of a Wimbledon final. A few hundred people willing to fill in an online form or answer a telephone caller isn't the same as the actual elections. Please, don't take it all so seriously.

For the first time, now in the 2019 Israeli Elections, there are quite a few political parties campaigning as Right. Not only hasn't this happened before, but former MK Michael Ben-Ari has davka been forbidden to run by the Central Elections Committee. Their excuse is that he's too Right. Center used to be the popular label. To be honest, I don't see most of the self-labeled Right parties as truly Right. They're mostly trying to cash in on the fact that Israelis are getting tired of the weak Center.

Bibi, Center
Bagel Hole

We have just a week and a half now before Knesset Elections 2019, 5779, and once the votes are counted enough to see which party got how many Knesset seats, if not before, Likud and Blue-White negotiators will be seriously courting and competing for the only unaffiliated supermarket party running, Feiglin's strangely named Zehut, Identity. That's a terribly ironic name for a party that has no real ideological identity.

Moshe Feiglin has gathered a diverse collection of MK wannabes, who don't have anything in common other than wanting to get elected to the Knesset. In terms of ideology, they cancel each other out. As a party, they can't be labeled truly Right or Left or even Center. Just call them Opportunist. They'll end up being offered "the moon" by both Likud and Blue-White. That's very dangerous for the State of Israel.

The State of Israel seems to be on the verge of war in  the South and political chaos, if my prediction about Feiglin is correct.

Let's pray.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Has Gantz - Hit The Fan?

Right now there's a Likud Press Conference demanding that Benny Gantz, who has branded himself as "clean" be investigated. Apparently, Gantz's friend Roni Alshech, head of the Israeli Police had arranged a deal using equipment from Gantz's company without the legally required public call for bidding, opening it to the public.
Likud Demands that Gantz be investigated
Following the State Comptroller's report regarding critical problems in the Home Front command and Helicopter commands the Likud party demanded that chairman of the Blue & White Benny Gantz be investigated, saying:
"There is no one law for Netanyahu and another law for all the rest. We can not accept double standards and decisions that apply only to Netanyahu. If the law enforcement system wants to prove that every citizen has the same law, it is necessary to announce the opening of an investigation against Gantz and the others mentioned this evening."
and
COMPTROLLER: THE POLICE ACTED IMPROPERLY IN DEALINGS WITH GANTZ’S COMPANY

Joseph Shapira’s report mentions that “Company A” was given an unfair advantage when it got to be present during internal police meetings about who to choose for the supplier role which Company A was competing for.

The police even granted Company A use of proprietary police technology at a discount to help it develop its solution which the police wanted it to produce.

However, the report goes even further and accuses Company A of making misleading statements to the police in order to win an NIS 4 million payment in 2016 to carry out a pilot project in the cyber technology realm.

Gantz company eventually went bankrupt after the US sanctioned its main investor, a Russian tycoon linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But it is even possible that Gantz’s company could have been paid NIS 50 million by the police if his company had not gone bankrupt.
The 2019-5779 Israeli Knesset Elections is getting more and more interesting.



This news conference was broadcast on the internet, not on any of the three Israeli channels. Those channels are all pro-Gantz and anti-Bibi and didn't want to make the Likud look good. My husband had to send me the link, since I had been watching the tv news.


Monday, March 25, 2019

The New Right, HaYamin HeChadash, הימין החדש in Shiloh

Last night there was a parlour meeting with The New Right, HaYamin HeChadash, הימין החדש in Shiloh. Yes, of course I attended.

The New Right, HaYamin HeChadash, הימין החדש in Shiloh. MK candidates Matan Kahana and veteran MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli

It was in Hebrew, which is no problem for me. Davka, most of the attendees were English speakers, but we've all been in Israel for many years.

Matan Kahana and MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli introduced themselves to us, and their backgrounds are extremely impressive. Kahane, whom I had known nothing about until last night, spent years in the IDF and Israeli Air Force, also managing to get law degrees and other professional training. I'd really like to see him using his obvious intelligence in the Knesset. Moalem-Refaeli, a nurse, is more well known and has taken well to her Knesset work.

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett have certainly attracted and assembled an extremely talented, diverse and experienced team on their New Right Knesset List.

The parts of the New Right's Campaign Platform Kahana and Moalem-Refaeli stressed in Shiloh were, obviously, those that affects us. They spoke about Ribonut, the importance of declaring Israeli Sovereignty here and Jewish building and rights in "Area C."

No beating around the bush here, I fully support The New Right, HaYamin HeChadash, הימין החדש and plan on voting for that party. I certainly hope that many other Israelis agree with me. As I see the Israeli political system, it's the Right versus Left blocs one must think of when choosing a party. For instance, if you want a strong Right coalition, then there must be a large political party on the Right to pull the Centrist Likud Rightwards. I'll never forget hearing Binyamin Netanyahu state, at the First International Bloggers Convention state that although is political beliefs are firmly on the Right, he thinks that a Prime Minister should be in the Center of the political spectrum. That was a true eye-opener for me. And that's why I don't vote Likud.

The NRP aka Jewish Home has its source as the Israeli Center. No matter what it's calling itself today, the mafia that pulls the strings historically prides itself on being able to join any coalition. That's why Shaked and Bennett had to leave after they rehabilitated the veteran party, which was pretty much dead when they were recruited to take over.

I will only vote for a party whose leaders are unabashedly on the Right of the Israeli political spectrum. The New Right, HaYamin HeChadash, הימין החדש

Sunday, March 24, 2019

For Want of an Asterisk, Shiloh Celebrates Two Days of Purim

Before I get started, I want to thank my husband for doing some of the research for this.

There are a number of places here in the HolyLand where Purim is a two day holiday. Many of them are neighborhoods in modern day Jerusalem, which are distant from the Old Walled City. In those cases, it's perfectly understandable that their status is questionable. But for many of the other locations where Purim is celebrated both days, especially Shiloh, it really makes no sense.

As I understand it, the basic criteria for celebrating Shushan Purim, the day after regular Purim is this Mishnah, the requirement that the city had a wall at the time of Joshua.
Sefaria, Mishnah Megillah 1

מְגִלָּה נִקְרֵאת בְּאַחַד עָשָׂר, בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר, בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר, לֹא פָחוֹת וְלֹא יוֹתֵר. כְּרַכִּין הַמֻּקָּפִין חוֹמָה מִימוֹת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן, קוֹרִין בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר. כְּפָרִים וַעֲיָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת, קוֹרִין בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר, אֶלָּא שֶׁהַכְּפָרִים מַקְדִּימִין לְיוֹם הַכְּנִיסָה:

The Megillah [Scroll of Esther] is read on the eleventh, on the twelfth, on the thirteenth, on the fourteenth, [or] on the fifteenth [of Adar], not earlier and not later. Cities surrounded with walls from the days of Yehoshua son of Nun read it on the fifteenth [of Adar]. Villages and large cities read it on the fourteenth, but villages read in advance on the day of assembly.
Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Biblical Shiloh, the Canaanite Wall

Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Biblical Shiloh, the Canaanite Wall
According to those criteria, Shiloh fits the bill perfectly. Sections of that wall exist even today, as you can see in the above photos. This is the Shiloh, agreed by both Biblical and archeological scholars, where Joshua brought the Tabernacle.

Nu, so what's the problem? The Mishnah also lists a number of cities where Jews are to celebrate Purim the second day, and Shiloh, for some reason, isn't in that list. It's presumed that at that very time the Mishnah was written, there wasn't much of a Jewish community living in Shiloh. But that isn't a requirement according to the actual Mishnah, unless I'm mistaken.
Joshua 18

וַיִּקָּ֨הֲל֜וּ כָּל־עֲדַ֤ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ שִׁלֹ֔ה וַיַּשְׁכִּ֥ינוּ שָׁ֖ם אֶת־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְהָאָ֥רֶץ נִכְבְּשָׁ֖ה לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃

The whole community of the Israelite people assembled at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there. The land was now under their control;
Today over forty 40 years since we, the Jewish People and State of Israel have returned to Shiloh, we're stuck in a strange halachic situation. We live a short walk from the wall which dates to the time of Joshua, but we're not among the cities celebrating Purim on the 15th of Adar. On the 14th of Adar we celebrate Purim with a bracha and Al Hanisim, but because we know that Shiloh existed as a walled Jewish city at the time of Joshua, we celebrate the holiday sans bracha on the the following day.

The listing in the mishnah of cities that should celebrate Shushan Purim should have included an asterisk*, with the following note:
"*plus any walled cities in the Land of Israel we may have left out"
Photos from each of the four readings of  Megillat Esther, Purim 5779, the fourth being my walk home.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Star of The Purim Story Esther, Not Haddassa

I have my "differences" with the accepted Biblical commentaries in a lot of issues. And I see things in the linguistics of the Tanach/Bible in ways that others don't. It's hard to say why, but for sure, one of the main reasons is that I didn't grow up with the "Torah stories" that most others grew up with.

Almost everything I know about the Tanach/Bible I learned as an adult. Add that to the fact that my mind does work a bissell differently from others, and you shouldn't be surprised.

Unlike EVERYONE ELSE, I read the line I've circled here as:
"And he raised Hadassa, actually named Esther..."
Standard commentary of her name is that her Persian name was Esther, but her real name was Haddassa.




It's a well known fact that there's a Hebrew root to the name Esther סתר.  סתר S-T-R means "secret." And the same linguistic root להסתיר lihastir means to hide.  Those who claim the root to be Persian, say it's "star." I have a question for you:
When are stars out?
Did you answer "at night"?

Think again, please. Stars are always surrounding the earth. It's just that daylight hides them. Clouds and rain hide them even at night. Yes, stars are mostly hidden.

Not only did Esther hide her national identity when in the palace; she hid her intelligence, too. Ester was a woman of secrets, just like her name in Hebrew, Esther סתר , אסתר S-T-R means "secret."

There's a linguistic theory that Hebrew is the root of all languages. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Shabbat Zachor, Remembering 23 Years Since "My" Terror Attack

Davka Shabbat Zachor...
This Shabbat as I sat in shul reading the special Maftir (Torah portion) and Haftara, ISamuel 15:1-34 (click and read the entire chapter;) the words were so clear and simple.
זָכ֕וֹר אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֥ה לְךָ֖ עֲמָלֵ֑ק בַּדֶּ֖רֶךְ בְּצֵאתְכֶ֥ם מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃
Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt—
אֲשֶׁ֨ר קָֽרְךָ֜ בַּדֶּ֗רֶךְ וַיְזַנֵּ֤ב בְּךָ֙ כָּל־הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִ֣ים אַֽחַרֶ֔יךָ וְאַתָּ֖ה עָיֵ֣ף וְיָגֵ֑עַ וְלֹ֥א יָרֵ֖א אֱלֹהִֽים׃
how, undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear.
וְהָיָ֡ה בְּהָנִ֣יחַ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֣יךָ ׀ לְ֠ךָ מִכָּל־אֹ֨יְבֶ֜יךָ מִסָּבִ֗יב בָּאָ֙רֶץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יְהוָֽה־אֱ֠לֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵ֨ן לְךָ֤ נַחֲלָה֙ לְרִשְׁתָּ֔הּ תִּמְחֶה֙ אֶת־זֵ֣כֶר עֲמָלֵ֔ק מִתַּ֖חַת הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם לֹ֖א תִּשְׁכָּֽח׃ (פ)
Therefore, when the LORD your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!
2 So said the Lord of Hosts, 'I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid (wait) for him on the way, when he came up out of Egypt.
בכֹּ֚ה אָמַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת פָּקַ֕דְתִּי אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָֹ֥ה עֲמָלֵ֖ק לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אֲשֶׁר־שָֹ֥ם לוֹ֙ בַּדֶּ֔רֶךְ בַּעֲלֹת֖וֹ מִמִּצְרָֽיִם:
3 Now, go, and you shall smite Amalek, and you shall utterly destroy all that is his, and you shall not have pity on him: and you shall slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.' "
געַתָּה֩ לֵ֨ךְ וְהִכִּֽיתָ֜ה אֶת־עֲמָלֵ֗ק וְהַֽחֲרַמְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְלֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ל עָלָ֑יו וְהֵמַתָּ֞ה מֵאִ֣ישׁ עַד־אִשָּׁ֗ה מֵֽעֹלֵל֙ וְעַד־יוֹנֵ֔ק מִשּׁ֣וֹר וְעַד־שֶֹ֔ה מִגָּמָ֖ל וְעַד־חֲמֽוֹר:
Unfortunately, the message, the mitzvah, is still very relevant. That's because King Saul did not obey Gd's orders, that important mitzvah. Saul didn't immediately execute all of Amalek. Yes, it's a mitzvah to execute/kill Amalek and his descendants, those enemies who aim to destroy us. It isn't cruel to kill them, even the women and the children. We won't have true peace until our enemies are dead and gone.

That's the message or Zachor,Remember. That's the message of Purim. We dress up in costumes to disguise ourselves, and lehavdil, to differentiate, our enemies of today dress in proper suits and come armed with NGOs, diplomats, academics, journalists and smiling surgically enhanced celebrities using doublespeak to demand our destruction in pretty euphemisms.

Today, thousands of years after King Saul failed in his Gd given mission, more innocent Jewish families are in mourning, because more Israelis are being murdered by Arab terrorists. And successive Israeli Governments continue the ways of Saul by warning our enemies, rather than executing them.

  • Wasting expensive ammunition on empty buildings will not bring us peace.
  • Apologizing for killing or injuring rioters, regardless of their age/sex, will not bring us peace.
  • Giving diplomatic immunity to terrorists and their supporters will not bring us peace.
  • Negotiating and compromising will not give us peace.
May this year be the year we totally destroy Amalek, Gd willing!

Chag Purim Sameach