Hamas War

Friday, April 29, 2005

Jerusalem, Israel's Capital City

Smoothstone has an important post about Jerusalem . For years I've felt that the best way of making our point would be if the Israeli government chose non-capital cities for its embassies in all countries that don't honor ours.

for example

USA- Baltimore
England- Liverpool

any other ideas.....

The Truth About Abu Mazen


Isralert.com source: Friend of Isralert Jonathan Feldstein in Israel


click this powerpoint presentation:
file:///C:/WINDOWS/קובצי%20אינטרנט%20זמניים/Content.IE5/AXLQN6XO/262,8,שקופית 8

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

#115 More Playing With Words and Letters

Musings #115
April 25, 2005
16th of Nissan

More Playing With Words and Letters

My mind never ceases to host dancing Hebrew letters, busy changing partners. In addition, people write to me asking questions, stimulating my mind even more.

Suddenly I realized that I had left out an important, possibly the most important variation of the word, “chametz.” Remember that the word “chametz” is made up of the letters, “chet,” “mem” and “tzaddi” in that order, and one must banish it from one’s possession during the Passover holiday. But if you reverse the order of the letters, you have the word “tzemach,” plant. The verb, “l’tzmo’ach,” means to grow, expand.

There are no coincidences in Hebrew; there must be a reason for this. Judaism is the one religion that recognizes all of man’s physical and spiritual needs and contains a series of Laws to control these needs to utilize them for good. Chametz is powerful; it can both destroy and create, like G-d. When we rid ourselves of the chametz, desist from playing G-d, we can enjoy the benefits of the tzemach, the growing, expansion, progress.

The next word I’ll be playing with was inspired by a shiur (Torah class) this past Shabbat HaGadol by Rabbi Reuven Grodner of Kfar Adumim. He and his wife Chaya were here in Shiloh and he gave a very stimulating class. What I’m writing is not a transcript of what he said, though there are many things I learned from him that day. He had my mind spinning with ideas. If it hadn’t been Shabbat, I’d have been taking notes non stop, and then I would have run home to the computer to write it all down before the glorious messages and ideas were forgotten. But, as we all know, not only was it Shabbat, but it was also the Eve of Passover.

Saturday night, once the sky filled with stars, I couldn’t run to the computer. I had to set the table for the Passover Seder. And then until well after midnight we were busy with the tradional reading of the Hagadah and eating the ritual foods and the festive meal. The next night, once the holiday restrictions were eased there was so much else to do, and now so little of what I learned and thought is remembered in accessible places of my mind.

One word keeps playing in my brain, as it played while Reuven spoke. It’s “Pharoh,” “Parroh,” as we say in Hebrew. “Peh,” “resh,” “eyin,” “heh.” “Pri,” “ra,” bad or evil fruit. “Ra” means “ratzon atzmi,” or ego, selfishness. “Avodim hayinu l’parroh b’Mitzrayim,…” “We were slaves to Pharoh in Egypt,…”

Maybe I’m the only one, but every once in a while I’ve wondered why Yaakov and clan stayed in Egypt. Why didn’t they leave as soon as the famine was over? Why did they make that deal with Parroh for the land, the riches? Look again at that very well-known line in the Haggadah, and read “Parroh” as its meaning. “We were slaves to the evil fruits, the addicting riches and materialism in Egypt.”

When we read it like that, everything becomes clear. Their sometimes irrational behavior even after seeing those great miracles include worshipping the Egyptian cow and dreaming of the “Egyptian delicacies.” The Children of Israel weren’t happy to have left. Many blamed Moshe for making a difficult situation worse.

I’m reminded of the Holocaust survivors who, despite all they suffered at the hands of the Germans still considered the German culture superior to all others. Even when their daily lives became more and more difficult, the majority made no serious attempt to leave. And they didn’t rebel in sufficient numbers to be successful.

Human nature hasn’t changed, or has it?

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

MK Dr. Arye Eldad

The great "Israeli liberals" are calling for the prosecution of MK Arye Eldad

due to what he has been saying

I consider him to be one of our greatest patriots and the true son of his father , Professor Yisrael Eldad .

Here is the text of the letter I wrote to The Jerusalem Post:
MK Arye Eldad is only calling for civil disobedience, like the Indian Ghandi over 60 years ago.
Trying to shut him up, prosecute him and jail him is immoral and against all principles of democracy and liberalism.

Batya Medad, Shiloh

Gush Katif

Tens of thousands visited Gush Katif yesterday http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=80935
and even more throughout the week.
Many, many in private vehicles and all of the group organizers reported that they could have filled more than double the buses--tens of thousands had no way of getting there.

People coming from all over the world.

AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL/AFSI;1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128; Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717; afsi@rcn.com; www.afsi.org; April 27, 2005
Contact: Helen Freedman, Executive Director


AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL/AFSI & ZOA are issuing a last call for their ten day, May 29-June 7 CHIZUK mission. The trip will include visits to the four communities of the northern Shomron which are threatened with evacuation, and two nights and three days in Gush Katif/Gaza, visiting as many of the 21 communities as possible that are slated for expulsion. Wearing our orange shirts of solidarity, our message of “Not One Inch,” will be a clear one. In addition, we will visit other threatened Shomron communities, and conclude our trip with a celebration of Yom Yerushalayim -a day of commemoration, prayer and thanks for the re-unification of Jerusalem. Since the Kassam rockets that land on Gush Katif carry the address Al Quds (Jerusalem) painted on them, it is clear that saving Gush Katif means saving Jerusalem and all of Israel. For information, call AFSI at 212-828-2424, or write: afsi@rcn.com.

The DOV HIKIND mission, June 5-8, consists of three days and two nights in Gush Katif/Gaza offering CHIZUK to the 8,500 inhabitants, who with boundless mesiras nefesh, continue to persevere in the shadow of expulsion. For information, contact: Lev Kropsky, 718-853-9616.

If other groups are planning similar missions, please contact AFSI so that we can publicize this information as widely as possible.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No surprise, and there's work to be done

Unfortunately Shimon Peres seems to be controlling things behind the scenes, and he's getting more and more confident, predicting/promising more withdrawls, if only the Arabs would behave themselves.

But not all is lost. The incoming chief of staff, Major General Dan Halutz, says that 100,000 demonstrators will be more than the army can handle.
So let's make it 200,000 and the sea will part, like for Nachshon!

dangerous on the high wire


Looks like the two chief rabbis are trying to walk the high wire. Someone should remind them of the danger. A gentle breeze, in any direction, or someone falling into the supports holding it up, or sudden "surprises," and off they go.

If Disengagement is forbidden, bad, to be opposed, then there must be action. Remember at Har Sinai, Mount Sinai, "na'aseh v'nishma," "we will do/act and we will listen." We must do something against evil, not try to balance ourselves on the high wire.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet

Ezer Weizman passed away. He was definitely an Israeli original.

Ezer Weizman, the rebellious nephew of the first Israeli President, Chaim Weizman, was one of those people with more charisma than he could handle. At times he charmed and insulted almost everyone. An unabashed "ladies' man," he got the feminists upset, because he was pretty clear about what he thought females were for. He was head of the Israeli Air Force and took full credit for the Israeli victory in the 1967, Six Days War, when Yitzchak Rabin was actually the Chief of Staff. He entered politics as part of the Israeli right wing with Menachem Begin but ended it on the left. It's believed that the wounding of his son, Shaul, caused him to change ideology. But I've always felt that he liked being the "rebel." That's why he changed sides when Likud was entrenched as the ruling political party in Israel.

I took a great picture of him and Begin striding together at the "civilianizing" ceremony of Moshav Argaman, in the Jordan Valley, spring, 1971. He was tall and handsome. He and Begin were definitely an "odd couple" to be working together, but it was Ezer Weitzman who took Begin's Herut party out of the fringe of Israeli politics.

He held many government positions, including President of Israel, which he had to resign due to financial scandal. A sorry exit for an extraordinary man. There will never be anyone like him.

Friday, April 22, 2005

the media


Chief of Staff: Israeli Media Shallow, Ignorant and Unethical
19:38 Apr 21, '05 / 12 Nisan 5765

IDF Chief of Staff Liut.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon attacked Israel’s media Wednesday, calling its members "shallow, ignorant, unethical and beholden to manipulative foreign interests." link for continuation

Years ago, when I used to host numerous foreign journalists, I got to know an editor of a big paper who told me that whenever he needs to hire a new writer he tried not to get those who studied journalism, because they don't know anything. He prefered those who studied history and other similar subjects, because anyone can be taught to write, but he wasn't about to teach them world history, geography etc.

Guess he's a rare bird.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

#114 Starting to Understand

Musings #114
April 19, 2005
10th of Nissan

Starting to Understand

This year I did something rather traumatic and revolutionary; I hired someone to help get my house ready for Pesach. It was a real pleasure and worth every penny, nickel, dime and more. Since my own kids are fully grown, nesting, residing, visiting and trekking elsewhere the burden of Pesach cleaning and house organizing has fallen very heavily on one person, the muse, yes me.

As one of my neighbors mentioned when I told him that I had hired one of the neighbors, “it’s easier and more pleasant than one’s own kids.” “Yes,” I answered; “they don’t argue.” Some of the things the young man did were the same things I had wanted my own to do, but of course no one considered those tasks important. The hired hand, asks no questions, just follows orders, and in this case did a fantastic and efficient job.

In the evening I found myself in front of the TV, and didn’t manage to escape quickly enough. This time the “experts” around the table were complaining that the people in Gush Katif expected too much. They should be grateful that the government’s being so generous. The government officials are laboring so hard to find them alternative accommodations, but the residents of Gush Katif aren’t cooperating. The officials need to know where to set up the refugee camps; they’re willing to be flexible, the Negev, the Galil, near Ashkelon.

The speakers sounded terribly hurt and insulted. They, the hard-working bureaucrats are slaving away trying to create the shantytown of your dreams, and those ingrates, the “settlers of Gush Katif” aren’t cooperating. They’re being offered money, so what’s the problem?

I’ll tell you what’s the problem. The loyal patriots of Gush Katif don’t want government money; they don’t want to move; they don’t want their homes, schools, businesses and lives to be destroyed. It’s not the same as my young neighbor who gratefully took my money and cleaned and schlepped for me. http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=80651

It doesn’t matter how much money is offered and how many dunams are given as compensation. Some people just aren’t for sale.

For years I have been amazed that the government, the Left and the media are so certain that “everyone has his price.” I’m also offended, because according to their plan, someday soon a letter from the Judenrat will be delivered to me, too. To think that some spiteful bureaucrats will G-d forbid have to power to evaluate “compensation,” a price, for home, for my life.

Listening to some of them, you can feel their confusion. They honestly can’t understand why the residents of Gush Katif aren’t tempted by their offers. They try to “sweeten” them with an additional few meters, rental housing, or a chance to live with old friends. For them “money speaks.” They expect the Israelis in Gush Katif to follow their instructions like my neighbor’s son did when I asked him to schlep the branches that had been taken off the succah a half a year ago or the old stove that had been braving snow, rain and sun for eighteen months.

There’s a difference between someone who’s looking for work or to move and someone who isn’t. Not every nineteen year old boy in the neighborhood would have cleaned my house, no matter how much money I’d offered, and I wonder if those same government officials would give up their homes, communities and businesses to move into refugee camps, ok “alternative housing solutions” just because the government decided they should.

As hard as it is to say this, I must. Israel is becoming a totalitarian regime.
Ministers Must Exhibit Loyalty 11:10 Apr 21, '05 / 12 Nisan 5765

(IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warning that any minister who does not vote to support government policy has no alternative but to leave the cabinet immediately.

What’s the point of a cabinet that is filled with puppets? People keep telling me that government decisions in a democracy must be obeyed. Maybe that’s true, but the State of Israel is no longer a democracy.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach,

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

most peculiar and extremely frightening

This is a most peculiar report from the Arutz 7 site, that

Hepatitis Vaccine for Disengagement Forces 06:16 Apr 21, '05 / 12 Nisan 5765
(IsraelNN.com) All Israel Police and IDF troops taking part in the disengagement force will be vaccinated against hepatitis in a precautionary move officials report.Health officials advise the move to avoid the possibility of the spread of the contagious disease among the troops who will be working in close proximity to one another during the implementation phase of the Gaza and northern Shomron expulsion of residents.

Does that mean that the victims/refugees will, G-d forbid, be herded into unhealthy, crowded camps? And that, G-d forbid, disease will run rampant? What hell is being cooked up for innocent, loyal, law-abiding Israeli citizens?

How is it that the same people who object to a terrorist's home being razed are not demonstrating against this atrocity?


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

a different deja vous

Eleven and a half years ago I started planning the Bar Mitzvah of our elder son. I seemed so perfect, his being born in the summer meant that I could invite people from the states and there was even a chance that they'd come. I started early, thinking of ideas, and then came Oslo.

According to the Oslo time table, we were to be refugees by Pesach. So in the Oslo hysteria Bar Mitzvah plans weren't planned. I envisioned myself marching to Jerusalem, a homeless refugee, then living in a tent in Independence Park, Jerusalem. It had to be better than some refugee camp.

Miracles happened and that part of Oslo was ignored, or cancelled. But the feeling that if I was ever, G-d forbid, thrown out of my home, I'd live in a tent in Independence Park hasn't left me.

My son's Bar Mitzah was quickly planned; only my parents and in-laws came. It was a casualty of Oslo. I did my best, but the times were very traumatic, and I didn't function at my best.

There are many young families in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. I'm sure that some have boys who will reach Bar Mitzvah this summer. The spiritual level there is much higher than what I lived through eleven years ago. G-d willing they will merit to celebrate many smachot in their homes. Mazal Tov

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

a treat

There's something good to read-- Hevel Hevelim ! It's fuller than full, so take a gander!


Monday, April 18, 2005

Deja Vous

Wasn't one of the reasons that the world Jewry wanted a Jewish state so that there would be a refuge for Jews?

Now, what's happening?

Jews are being threatened with deportation...By the Jewish State.

and communities, cities etc are refusing to let the Jewish (G-d forbid it should really happen) refugees enter...

just like in the 1930's and until the establishment of the State of Israel.

But now it is happening here in Israel. The state is destroying Jewish communities and the same state, its cities and communities and Environment Ministry is planning on turning away (G-d forbid it should really happen) Jewish-Israeli refugees.




#113 IMAGINE...

Musings #113
April 18, 2005
9th of Nissan

A Very Special Musing

Imagine--Not Like John Lennon, at all!
I don’t want to be sued by Yoko Ono

Imagine if everyone says no
It's easy if you try
No hell of disengagement
No reason to reason to kiss our homes goodbye

Imagine all the people
Refusing government orders...
Imagine if during World War II

the Germans would have refused
What the Nazis had ordered them to do
Hitler would have been jailed
And the Six Million would have lived
and realized that their home was here...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But Herzl and the chalutzim* were, too
I hope you'll really join us
And make this dream come true

Imagine no terror

It’s easier than you think
Just refuse to participate
In the destruction of our state
Better to be jailed
Than just hoping...

Imagine if all the teachers
and civil servants, too
workers of all sorts
were jailed by Tzippi Livne
for saying what we thought

Who would teach the children?
Who would sort the mail?
Who would drive her to her meetings?
Who would cut Sharon’s hair?

Imagine if more people
Would say what they think
We could rescue our nation
There would be no disengagement

You may say I'm a dreamer
But it’s all up to me and you
Because together we have the power
To make this dream come true

*chalutzim were the early Zionist pioneers who established the kibbutzim and Jewish communities

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

important link

Even if you don't understand Hebrew, the images say it all


Sunday, April 17, 2005

official government notice re: disengagement

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media
The Cabinet today (Sunday), 17.4.05, by a
majority vote, approved Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal that sets
special work procedures for all
matters regarding advancing the implementation of
the Disengagement Plan
(http://tinyurl.com/43l87). The goal of the
decision is to achieve maximum
efficiency and to hasten the work procedures
regarding both the evacuation
of communities in the Gaza Strip and northern
Samaria and the provision of
various alternative residence solutions.
The decision determines that a special
ministerial committee chaired by
Prime Minister Sharon, and with the participation
of Industry, Trade and
Employment Minister Ehud Olmert, Vice Premier
Shimon Peres, Justice Minister
Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
Interior Minister Ophir
Pines-Paz, Construction and Housing Minister
Yitzhak Herzog, Agriculture
Minister Yisrael Katz and Environment Minister
Shalom Simhon will be
authorized to make decisions in all matters
regarding Government
preparations ahead of the implementation of the
Disengagement Plan in the
civil sphere, when the committee's decisions are
approved by the Cabinet.
The decision defines the ministries'
directors-general forum
(http://tinyurl.com/7vpmb), chaired by Prime
Minister's Office
director-General Ilan Cohen, as the body that
will coordinate and promote
the implementation of the Disengagement Plan in
the civil sphere. The
directors-general forum will consider the
feasibility of the establishment
of sites designated for community or urban
settlement for Gaza Strip and
northern Samaria evacuees, and will make
recommendations to the
aforementioned ministerial committee regarding
the implementation of the
Disengagement Plan.
According to the decision, all ministries
participating in the
implementation of the Disengagement Plan will
appoint a senior employee to
be responsible for the ministry's preparations
ahead of the implementation
of the Disengagement Plan, with the
representatives of the various
ministries working in full coordination.
The decision also defined that, in keeping with
the opinion of
Attorney-General Meni Mazuz, those instances in
which it would be necessary
and desirable to make use of the clauses
regarding exemption from public
tender in the public tender rules regarding
contacts requiring special
urgency in implementing the Disengagement Plan.
Thus, the time needed for
contacts between the Government and various
suppliers will be significantly
The Israel Lands Administration Council will
define those cases in which
exemptions from public tender will be awarded
regarding land transactions
with Gaza Strip and northern Samaria residents.
These rules will enable the
immediate allocation of lands for the residents'


Musings #112
April 17, 2005
8th of Nissan

No Time To Waste!

There’s no time to waste, and I’m not even thinking about the Pesach. It’s like if the house is on fire and you spend time asking people if you should use the green hose or the blue one.

Even without the latest news about “Disengagement II” it was always obvious that after Begin’s Sinai withdrawal, AKA, the destruction of Yamit, the Oslo Accords, which gave weapons to the Arab terrorists, Bibi’s Wye, (
http://www.mideastweb.org/mewye.htm) which caused increased deterioration in the security situation and other similar government decisions that we were spiraling towards disaster, G-d forbid!

When Menachem Begin shocked us all and announced that he and Egyptian President Anwar Sadaat had made a deal, many of us knew that it would end in tragedy. His rationale, the excuse he gave until he sequestered himself away from the public, was that he was doing it so that Israel could finally have “peace” and to develop the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, Golan and Gaza (

As we all know, instead of guaranteeing Israel peace, Begin’s Camp David Accords just opened up a Pandora’s Box of terrorism and further withdrawal from our precious Homeland. Begin’s successors have each sliced away at Israel’s security just adding euphemisms to glossaries in Political Science texts.

This “disengagement” doesn’t even pretend to bring peace, http://www.middleeastwindow.com/article-print-754.html,
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=66470 Nobody is happy with it including the Arabs http://www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=4&id=1764. It is probably the most “peculiar” government decision in world history. It makes the World War II European “map changes” look benign in comparison. (See this excellent Time Line showing Europe from the 1918-1946 http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm#1939.) No other country so voluntarily self-mutilated like Israel has been doing for the past twenty-five years.

Now, even before the nightmare has taken place, we’re being prepared for the next stage, named “Disengagement II.” First denied by Ehud Olmert and then followed by the official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2005/04/official-prime-ministers-statement.html. We all know what that means. The pattern of leaks and denials is eerily familiar. We have to get our heads out of the sand.

We have no choice. We have to do something to make sure the suicidal spiral is permanently stopped. A totally new leadership must replace the present establishment. Our country and our people are in danger! Each one of us has a different role to play.

On Shabbat there was a guest in Shiloh who spoke to us about the “Panim el Panim” campaign, in which those of us who value Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, have been knocking on doors throughout the cities and towns of Israel just talking to people and listening to them. Those participating report that most Israelis are against “disengagement” and don’t agree with the media.

I must admit that I haven’t joined any of the busloads of my neighbors who have been going to Kiryat Ono to meet the people, the silent majority. Apparently these missions are successful, or the government wouldn’t be sending the police to stop the buses
http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=80099. Yes, unfortunately, the government is using the police and soldiers to enforce unpopular decisions, the definition of a totalitarian police state. http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=80357

It wasn’t that long ago when Israeli politicians, including the Prime Minister, could mingle freely with ordinary citizens. Israelis trusted their leaders and there was a sincere mutual respect and fondness between the politicians and the voters. Since Begin’s Camp David and his subsequent withdrawal from public life, there has been a steady deterioration.

A politician who fears the public is not doing his job properly; he is going against the will of the people. In a democracy the people should be ruling, and if they are feared by those in “power” and need to be policed, then it isn’t a true democracy. Our rapid descent in totalitarianism began with Yitzchak Rabin who belittled the anti-Oslo demonstrators. http://www.afsi.org/OUTPOST/97DEC/dec8.htm
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Summaries/V101I1P25-1.htm .

Simultaneously, agent provocateurs, like Avishai Raviv, were given more and more power and worked with the IBA staging “news” that made the anti-Oslo population look violently dangerous.
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2527/listraviv.htm and http://www.freeman.org/m_online/dec97/expose.htm There’s so much written about Avishai Raviv’s career, he specialized in infiltrating groups of teenagers and university students.

We have to rescue Israel from this dictatorship, and I think that the first thing we should all do is to just say: “I’m against disengagement; I don’t agree with the government.”

The more people who say it and write it and publicize it, the more people will have the confidence to admit it. And G-d willing, from these few words, the sea will part, and we will have true freedom to build our country.

“Avodim hayinu… v’atoh bnai chorin!” “We were slaves… and now we are free men!”

Chag Cherut Sameach!

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

Fantastic timeline

Study this timeline which begins at the end of World War I and ends in 1946 to see the development of the Nazis, the fall of Europe and more.

We must learn from the past--and quickly. Included are links with more details. This is especially eerie with what's going on in Israel and the recent scandal with Princes Harry and William who showed total ignorance of what the Nazis did to Europe.


interview with Menachem Begin

This interview with Menachem Begin on the Sinai withdrawal reveals a lot.


122 Interview with Prime Minister Begin on IDF Radio- 27 April 1982
27 Apr 1982
VOLUME 7: 1981-1982

122. Interview with Prime Minister Begin on I.D.F. Radio, 27 April 1982.
Mr. Begin used the opportunity to discuss in detail the nature of the relationship between Israel and Egypt. He hoped that it would be much more than mere nonbelligerence, and that it will become peace between people rather than an agreement between governments. Text:
Q: Mr. Prime Minister, some senior cabinet ministers have recently termed the peace following the final withdrawal a "cold" peace, approximating a situation of non-belligerence. How do you see the- nature of peace in the second stage which the two countries entered?
A: My friend, my colleagues the ministers did not say what you reported to me they said. Some three weeks ago, they said things connected with violations by the Egyptians of the peace treaty conditions and the Camp David Agreements, and indeed there were violations and they created a serious crisis in the relations between us and Egypt on the eve of the withdrawal of our forces to the international border between Israel and Egypt. And we expressly notified the Egyptians and the Americans that if these violations are not corrected, we will consider postponing the withdrawal by a month at least - I said precisely till 25 May 1982. 14:00 hours Greenwich Mean Time. I believe that they knew our intention, but the truth is that all the violations were corrected and that's what we hoped for. We did not look for excuses not to carry out our international commitments or not to fulfil the conditions of the peace treaty on our part. If there had been reasons we would have drawn conclusions. If the reasons disappeared, we fulfilled our commitments. The violations Were noticed, we have a 150 kilometer demilitarized zone in Sinai. For us the soul of the peace treaty is our security. Since it is desert we can know of every movement and every change, and we do know them. We demanded of the Egyptians that they correct and they corrected. They removed all the additional units and this area remained completely demilitarized of the Egyptian army.
There was a second thing which we also viewed with great seriousness: That is the smuggling of weapons and explosives originating in Lebanon from El-Arish, and we caught more than 500 hand grenades. You can imagine how many people could have been killed or wounded by such a quantity of grenades. We also demanded of the Egyptians that they end this smuggling, and indeed, President Mubarak, in his letter to me of 16 April, made a commitment to prevent the smuggling and combat it, and he sent the chief of Egyptian military intelligence to us in order to discuss with our chief of intelligence practical steps to prevent the smuggling in the future. Of course, all this will be tested in the field, but the commitment was given.
Now, above all, the crisis broke out in recent weeks preceding 25 April in the area which I call political-moral. The Honorable Dr. Meguid, Egypt's Representatives to the U.N., first attacked Israel in a way which I would term most severe - I would even say with verbal violence - in the Security Council, when it discussed the complaints of two most righteous states of our times, Jordan and Syria. I commented on this in my letter of 26 March 1982, to President Mubarak, and told him that Dr. Meguid should not have made the speech he made. Our Ambassador gave me a report of the moment in which the President of Egypt read those words, and Mr. Mubarak did not have reservations about what I wrote. Afterwards this same Dr. Meguid goes to Kuwait to the Non-Aligned Nations Conference, 80 of them, most of the members of the U.N., and submits to them what is termed a "Program for Principles of Behavior", as Dr. Ghali told me, containing 11 points. In short, this is a plan for the destruction of Israel in stages, not immediately. Withdrawal to the lines of 4 June '67, the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District, Arab sovereignty over Jerusalem, or at least part of it, the return of refugees from 1948 or compensations, depending on the refugees' choice. This is the destruction of our state. So I asked President Mubarak, are we to carry out the withdrawal on this basis? We are about to make the decisive and fateful step of returning to the Land of Israel from Sinai, and behold Dr. Meguid declares to the whole world, to 80 states -and even requests their assistance to implement - a plan which means the destruction of Israel. And in President Mubarak's letter sent to me on 16 April, he did not even mention the word autonomy, did not commit himself to keep the Camp David Agreement. So I told both the Americans and the Egyptians, under such conditions we may possibly consider delaying the withdrawal, at least for a month, until the distortions are corrected. The distortions were corrected. In a letter of 20 April President Mubarak makes a commitment to observe the Camp David Agreement, reiterates the important sections of this agreement regarding the autonomy - including the retention of an Israeli military force in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District - and promises to observe all the conditions in accordance with the peace treaty. The President of the United States, Mr. Reagan, wrote me a letter of great importance in terms of Israel's security, and the securing of its future - one of the most important letters, may I say, which was ever written by an American President to a Prime Minister of our country. Under these conditions we were able to meet our commitments, and the peace is certainly not "cold", and certainly not (merely) an abolition of the state of war. Today this is not so: We have a peace treaty. And I will give you the most salient example: We sail freely in the Suez Canal - not only merchant ships, but our warships also pass through the Canal, for the first time after 30 years ... Today an American battallion is stationed at Sharm-el-Sheikh. These are not U Thant's forces which were removed from the Tiran Straits overnight at the behest of President Nasser, and the Six Day War began. An American battallion is stationed there, and there is no one who will drive it out. This means that freedom of navigation in the Tiran Straits has actually been assured us for generations to come. Is this a "cold" peace? And all the normalization agreements. Only this morning we heard how every Israeli can reach southern Sinai with no difficulty whatsoever. So these are the conditions of two states who are living in peace. This is a revolutionary change, a fundamental change. My colleagues would have been correct if the violations of the peace treaty had not been rectified. but following their rectification, they also voted in favor of honoring our national commitment. And the peace is not cold, and there is no need to frighten the people of Israel. This is a fundamental, revolutionary and far-reaching change. We have breached the circle of hostility which surrounded us. We have signed a peace treaty with the largest and strongest Arab state ... Therefore, I think we can look to the future with good hope.
Q: Why was it necessary to demolish the buildings of the entire Yamit Salient and how was the decision to do so taken? A: How the decision was taken is not a matter for a radio conversation. There is a decision-making process. But I will simply say in one sentence: There were overriding security reasons. Of course, everyone would have preferred either leaving the houses standing up or transferring them to Israel for use, but under the circumstances it was impossible to do this, and there were overriding reasons of national security which created the necessity of carrying out the action which was certainly very painful. But sometimes there is no choice and the national leadership must take painful decisions.
Q: Sir, do you also include among these reasons that Israel preferred to avoid a situation in which a dense Egyptian population center would be created right on Israel's border.
A: If I mentioned security reasons, it means that I cannot detail them.
Q: Mr. Prime Minister, do you today see a need for a government resolution, as proposed by Minister Hammer, that no Jewish settlements be dismantled as a result of any future diplomatic negotiations?
A: I have already recommended the acceptance of that resolution and I have also written the draft of that resolution. Next Sunday, at the Cabinet meeting, we will discuss (it). I hope that it will be accepted, and then on Monday we will initiate debate on a draft resolution of this kind. We will ask the Knesset's approval. This government does* not requite it. This Government will not dismantle settlements in Judea, Samaria, the Gaza District, and the Golan. But we want to guarantee the future. We want to give the settlers throughout the country confidence. What happened in the Yamit Salient was a one time thing, unique in our era. It will not happen again, and a resolution of this sort, approved by the Knesset, may not be necessary from a pragmatic point of view, but from a psychological standpoint I think it's healthy and desirable.
Q: Sir, you said in an interview with American television that if Egypt's commitments in the peace treaty are violated, Israel will respond immediately
A: "Swiftly", I said.
Q: Swiftly. Can you explain precisely what Israel will not agree to?
A: If my intentions are to be satisfactory, I cannot explain.
Q: Can you explain from the Egyptian side?
A: I can say this: We have means to respond to violations, very many of them.
And if, God forbid, there will be a violation - I hope there will not be - then we will choose the most appropriate one. But let it be known that we will by no means acquiesce in any violation of the conditions of the peace treaty, and our Egyptian and American friends know this. They have experienced our stand in the last three weeks and therefore there is good reason to assume that the peace treaty will be observed, with all its conditions and annexes.
Q: Two questions, if you will, regarding the situation in Lebanon. It seems that following an increase in tension after the airforce strike, the situation there has calmed down again. The terrorists have not opened fire again. We would like to ask you if this see-saw of alternating rise and fall of tension can continue for long without matters being decided?
A: It all depends on what happens on the other side of the border. If the terrorists and the Syrians won't attack us, then from our side there will be absolute quiet. If, God forbid, there will be any attacks, we will hit them. I expressly said this to the Americans. I not only notified the U.S. Ambassador of this, but also the Under-Secretary of State, who is the number two man in the State Department, and I asked him to report the contents of these statements of mine to the Secretary of State and the President. There will be no surprise. If they attack us, we will hit them much harder than we did on Wednesday of last week. Everyone knows this, but we prefer quiet. Now you see the situation. The situation is that the terrorist fear a further reaction by the State of Israel. They received a serious blow, but they did nothing, since they were told for a full night: Don't take any action. If you take action against the State of Israel, you will sustain an even more serious blow. And that had an effect on them. It cannot be known till when, but we are prepared: prepared to keep the peace if peace is kept by the other side. Prepared to hit them if they try to attack us.
Q: Sir, can Israel take 'such heavy action against the terrorists without leading to a wider confrontation, with Syria?
A: We don't want war with Syria. But if we must take action against the terrorists, then will we be intimidated by Syrian threats? This is inconceivable. And the Syrians will allow the terrorists to shed Jewish blood? No one considers this. But I believe that the Syrians will also be very careful. They know that Israel is very strong. Thank God, I can say this on the eve of Independence Day ... And this is known also to people outside of Israel.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Official Prime Minister's statement

The fact that it was first denied by Olmert, whose checkered past is no secret, makes one wonder. Also, "The Road Map" is not in Israel's interest at all. Personally I don't consider it any better than "disengagement." For me, this statement is neither reassuring, nor comforting. All (most?) of Israel's withrawals and abandonments of Eretz Yisrael were supposed to be accompanied by Arab "peace steps."



(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Bureau states that
Prime Minister Sharon is
not planning another unilateral move and that the
reports to this effect are
without any foundation. The Prime Minister’s
Bureau adds that the Prime
Minister’s position was, and remains, that
following the successful
implementation of the Disengagement Plan
(<http://tinyurl.com/43l87>), there
will be no diplomatic moves except in the context
of the Roadmap, if and
when the conditions for beginning its
implementation are fulfilled.

stupid question

This may be a very stupid question, but what's the difference between what Tzachi Hanegbi did, for which he was questioned by the police for hours, and what Ariel Sharon did, and it's considered legal?

Of course, Tzachi's mother is the one and only Geula Cohen , legendary Israeli freedom fighter and patriot.

Unfortunately, Tzachi tries to be "less extreme" and it hasn't made people love him any more. He's just a politician with legal trouble. His mother is sincere and honest and is respected by those who don't even agree with her. No one respects Tzachi.

Very sad.

Israeli psyche

Read this post; it includes some very interesting observations about the Israeli psyche.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Musings #111 Theater of the Absurd

Musings #111
April 13, 2005
4th of Nissan

Theater of the Absurd

I should be cleaning the chametz from my house, instead of trying to clean it out of my brain. The problem is that last night I had the TV on to try to record “Law and Order,” but instead I found myself watching “Popolitica,” a uniquely Israeli “shout” show, in which groups of Israelis sit around a table, armed with microphones into which they declaim their opinions. Periodically the moderator switches topics, and then a different cast of speakers appears in the seats.

Usually my husband acts the gentleman and records my two favorite shows for me; the second being C. S. I., but he wasn’t home, so I was stuck. In the end, due to broadcasting changes because of the death of Ehud Manor, (
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/artists-ehudmanor.htm, http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/564039.html), I wasted my time and lost sleep for nothing. And even worse, another musing began fermenting in my mind—chametz!

Ionesco could have written this one in two acts. The first one starred a politician named after his grandfather, who was Chief Rabbi of Israel. This man, in his nasal voice, fantacized about which type of cookies left by the fireplace would bring better presents from Santa Claus. At least that’s how realistic he seemed to me. His theory is that there is about to be a major change in the Arab world, and they will become rational, peace loving, like Europeans if we amputate YESHA. That’s the gist of it.

Sitting next to him was Effi Eitam, who lives in Gush Katif
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3060478,00.html, and tried to describe how the Arabs are shooting missiles and bombs at innocent civilians, including children waiting for school buses, but he was told to keep quiet by the others. Those were not the images the other participants wanted publicized. They did their best to shut him up and ignored what he said. Young Mr. MK Herzog made it very clear that he wasn’t going to let some measly bombardments get in the way of his theories. Truth is how you wish or imagine it, not what really happens. That’s faith, no?

Hard to believe, but the next act surpassed the first. It was a truly absurd, perverse, display of misplaced sympathy. Such strong emotion over alleged cruelty. You had to witness it to believe it. I hope you’re trying to guess; one hint, it wasn’t about the dead whale (
http://news.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/563712.html) that had the news staff in full mourning the evening before.

There was outrage over the cruelty to poultry and calves, raised to feed the masses of inhuman humans. I must admit that the first example, of the high cholesterol goose livers had some justification, but mostly because, as delicious as the delicacy may allegedly be, the process is unhealthy both for the goose and the human who eats them. It wasn’t much of a debate, since the sole representative of the “chicken breeders” wasn’t given a fair hearing. He tried to explain how they do their scientific best to raise healthy economical chickens, affordable by all, but he was treated like somebody defending rape as a desirable social skill.

I wish the animal defenders and the media would show the same enthusiastic sympathy to their fellow Jews. In comparison they discuss the forced transfer of thousands of innocent Jews from their homes with less feeling then they would express while putting their socks away. They show more concern over the possible destruction of the environment by the building of new communities and neighborhoods. http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=79839

The Passover Hagaddah is written to help us feel as if we, too, suffered in Egypt and exited with Moshe Rabenu. It is time to bring back the slogan “YESHA zeh kahn,” “YESHA is Here!”

There’s no difference between Tel Aviv and Tel Zion, Haifa and Hebron, Ofakim and Ofra, Rechovot and Revava or Savyon and Susiya. It’s only when every Jew understands this fully, with all their soul and with all their might, will we merit “Geulah shleimah, the full Redemption,” G-d willing, soon.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach,

Batya Medad,
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Musings #110 NO EXCUSES-- The Buck Stops at Arik Sharon!

Musings #110
April 12, 2005
3rd of Nissan

No Excuses
The Buck Stops…
At Arik Sharon!

I did something foolish, dangerous and even masochistic last night, but in the end it was important. I watched some news on the TV and saw and heard my prime minister.

After my husband came home from work, the TV was on. As many of you know, he’s a news addict and has a high tolerance for those broadcasts. I’m more sensitive, just a few words and images and I’m either rabid, or running for refuge to the keyboard or both. In professional education lingo, I’m a quick processor, so it doesn’t take me much to get the main idea and take it yonder.

Just my luck, a very rumpled Ariel Sharon easily filled the screen. Considering how careful he usually is with his public appearance, I was shocked. He looked better in the famous wartime photo, when he was crowned with a bandage. Unlike US President Bush, Jr., who was well dressed with his “born to it” flair, my prime minister looked more like he was dragged out of bed and stuffed into clothes that had been stored in an old duffle bag. It had nothing to do with the strong winds that were battling with him over his prepared text. It’s easy to believe that he was literally fighting with G-d over what to do with the speech.

I don’t know who actually wrote the speech, but it was obvious that Sharon wasn’t well rehearsed, since he struggled over the words. And there were some very important words in his speech. Ariel Sharon, Israeli military legend and hero, Prime Minister of Israel, took full-responsibility (or credit) as initiator of the Disengagement from Gaza Plan.

Simplistically, we can take this two ways and consider both the truth. First of all, let’s give Sharon some credit. He’s not blaming anyone but himself, when the entire country is now in danger. But then again, he hasn’t yet admitted that the country’s more in danger now than before his plan. Also, he hasn’t given a convincing rationale that his plan will benefit the country.

Remember, the Arabs have not promised peace, true or any other flavor or variety, in exchange for the destruction of Gush Katif and northern Shomron, the Jewish homes, businesses, farms and educational institutions, etc. The fact that the Americans, UN, Europe, Peace Now, the media—that’s right—almost everyone at best hopes that this will satisfy the terrorists, at least for awhile. Then why is Israel doing it? Good question.

Ariel Sharon admitted that nobody asked him to destroy Gush Katif and the Jewish communities in northern Samaria. Then why is he inviting the Arab terrorists to set up their military structure, mortar launchers, on the outskirts of Israeli cities? Why is he making it easier for the Arab terrorists to strike at all major Israeli population centers? Why is the Israeli Prime Minister promising, pledging, to banish Jews from the most strategic hills and mountains in the Holy Land?

Yes, this “disengagement” policy brings up lots of questions. And they are very disturbing questions. One important question is answered. Is the United States involved in the formulation of the Disengagement Plan? No, it isn’t. At least, that’s what I heard last night.

I sawThe show last night was a carefully written insurance policy by the United States to cover their – if and when Israel, G-d forbid, is destroyed.

If only Arik Sharon had the dignity and foresight of Vashti, the Persian queen who preferred giving up the perks and limelight of royalty rather than exposing herself to ridicule. Yes, ridicule, because the terrorists, anti-Semites et al are joyous and amazed that the Israeli government is committing national suicide. The main theme of that press conference was that nobody was forcing Israel to “disengage,” but now that it has promised to, much more will be expected.

We are now in the month of miracles, Chodesh Nissan, the month that signifies the first mitzvah, commandment, given the Jews as a nation. We must pray to G-d, beseech Him, convince Him to make another miracle for us. And this time we mustn’t waste it by worshipping the “Golden Calf.”

Chodesh Tov and Chag Kasher V’Sameach,

Batya Medad, Shiloh

Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

Monday, April 11, 2005

from the GPO, Government Press Office

April 10th, 2005
Since last night, Palestinians launched 70 apparent mortar shells at Israeli communities and IDF outposts in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported but there were several instances of damage reported.

What did they think they were? Popcorn?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

this week's

This week's Hevel Hevelim!

#109 Spooky

Musings #109
April 5-10, 2005
25th of Adar Bet-Rosh Chodesh Nissan


Every once in a while we’re shown who’s really in charge. This week has been one of those.

First, on Monday, I made it to Jerusalem after waiting a bit for a ride. At French Hill, I had to decide where to wait for a bus to town, since one of the stops is for just one bus, and the other lines can be picked up at the stop on the street above. Contrary to my norm, I walked down to where there’s only one bus, but I beat the odds, and it was the first to arrive.

Minutes after getting off in town, I ran into a friend who seemed startled to see me. She explained that she was spooked, because she was sure that she had seen me a half hour earlier in the Ministry of Education offices and then had realized that it wasn’t me. And then, there I was, in the center of Jerusalem.

After I did a few things in town I couldn’t find my sunglasses. Convinced that I must have left them in one of the shops, I retraced my steps asking everyone if I had left them on a counter. At the shoe repair shop he didn’t have my sunglasses, but my sandal was already repaired, three hours earlier than he had predicted. So I paid and took it instead of having to make a special trip later in the week. Afterwards, I went through my bags and pockets again, and yes, the sunglasses were found.

Two days later, I was at the Malcha Mall looking for something for a friend to help her organize her workspace. I called her to check measurements and found out that she was about to go to shop for just that, though she wasn’t sure what to get. Perfect timing; she met me in the store, and we got her just what she needed.

If that wasn’t enough to spook me… On my way home finally, I went to “wash” at the Jerusalem bus station and saw two rings on the sink counter. I took my time there, but nobody ran in to claim them. So I took them and went to one of the “snack bars” and asked the salesgirl where I was supposed to bring them. She took a look and said that she thought they belonged to the young woman with the baby carriage at a nearby table. It seemed strange to me, since the woman didn’t look like she was worried about missing rings. But I went over and asked her. She looked startled, checked her hands and thanked me. She hadn’t even noticed that her rings were missing. Miraculously I went to just the counter from which she had bought her food, and the salesgirl just “knew” that it had to have been that woman.

We are now entering the month of miracles, Chodesh Nissan. The Pesach, Passover holiday, takes place when the moon is full, and we can see, even in the middle of the night.

May we merit the Geula, the Full Redemption.

Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov,

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

not for pity's sake

Following is a comment I made to Soccer Dad on this:

I've always felt that the excuse that "we deserve a state because of the 6 million...," etc is a real problem and related to today's troubles. We shouldn't go for the pity angle; it's sick. It relates to the Jewish people asking Shmuel (Samuel the Prophet) to make them a king like all other nations. That's how we got stuck with Saul who let Amalek reproduce before executing (not killing) him.

We are a people, a special people, and we should have a state to be independent and live according to the laws G-d gave us.

that wall, and I'm not referring to the "kotel," western wall

For the longest time, I'd been able to say: "What wall?"

Then I noticed what looked like a new road being built near the one that enters Jerusalem from the north, to Psgat Zeev, at "Hizme." There's an army check-point, two lanes entering and one leaving Jerusalem.

It's only when tall concrete slabs suddenly appeared along that new road that I couldn't avoid recognizing it for what it is. It's not going to bring security. There are constant court cases in which the Arabs petition changes, because the route isn't convenient for them. The reduction in terrorism is due to instructions they got that they're getting more from the Israeli government with the quiet. They don't want the "simple Israeli" to be reminded that they're terrorists.

So they're waiting for us to, G-d forbid, amputate our arms, legs, hearts, and then it'll be, G-d forbid, easy to wipe us out.

I keep writing G-d forbid, even though I'm sure that G-d wants us to take responisibility and not trust a wall, UN, US ad nauseum.

And as horrendous as the northern exit from Jerusalem now looks, the southern one to Bethlehem is worse.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005


Just to remind you, there are some great things on EFSI-Engage for a Secure Israel, and new things are added all the time. Take a look daily. like that apple a day to keep the doctor away. Let's keep disengagment away.

proof for sure

If you had any doubt, about Moshe Feiglin's judgement, the man who joined the Likud, claiming that he was going to take over, since the other members don't deserve their power, or something like that. Now, I agree that the Likud is populated by people I don't respect, but if you want to take over, you have to "lehitchanef," "charm them."

But that's history.

His latest "brainstorm" is even more dangerous than Pandora’s Box. Really, how does he think he can do it? And who's a Jew?

never give up

Read this!

new law

I wish that we had this law . At present, self-defense is difficult here in Israel. If a Jew is attacked by an Arab, and he kills or injures the Arab in self-defense, the judges give him a hard time. Quite often the Jew is jailed for self-defense. There's a perverse logic here.

If Israel really holds up America as an example, then we should do it like the United States.

Strange that their terrorists must be eliminated but not ours.

And if you were wondering, that wall has been going up, locking us up. But it's not going to save anyone, just giving "parnasa," money to the builders. That's another topic.

Monday, April 4, 2005

The latest Hevel Hevalim

Party time!

The latest Hevel Hevalim is finally up, hosted by Critical Mastiff. Lots of musings recommended, but the young man believes the fairy tale about the U.S. being a friend of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Of course, he didn't live through it. I was in Jerusalem with two babies at the time.

He can't be any older than my youngest, and it's nice to be part of such a multi-generational blogging world.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

#108 Playing With Words and Letters

Musings #108
April 3, 2005
23rd of Adar Bet

Playing With Words and Letters

Hebrew is very different from English. Each Hebrew letter is rich in significance, meaning and numerical value. Linguistic relationships between words are found through their common letters. Words are related via two and three letter roots. Delving into Hebrew is like entering an “amusement park.”

One doesn’t have to be an expert in Hebrew to play these games. Since we’re approaching the Passover, Pesach, holiday, I can’t resist playing with the word “chametz,” which is forbidden on Pesach. Chametz is a concept in Jewish Law that can be easily understood if you take a good look at the Hebrew word which is made of the three letters, “chet,” “mem” and “tzaddi.” First combine the first two letters, “chet” and “mem” which give you the Hebrew word, “cham,” meaning hot. Then combine “mem” and “tzaddi” for “mitz,” juice, the essence of fruits and vegetables. What happens if juice gets hot? It ferments into vinegar, “chometz.” Don’t get so hot under the collar about my ignoring the vowels. In Hebrew one spells with consonants only; vowels are small “signs” added underneath the letters.

Now, what is the power of vinegar? It changes matter; apologies to Einstein. Think about it. If you spill vinegar on a hard stone surface, like marble, it will eat away at it, and if you add it to flour, the flour will ferment, expand. The use of “chametz” gives us a lot of power, like the power of G-d. During the Passover holiday, it is forbidden for us to possess, or benefit from “chametz” in any form.

The Passover “bread,” “lechem,” is “matza,” yes; which begins with “mem,” “tzaddi.” It is a combination of water and flour, and the entire preparation, from mixing to baking, must take exactly eighteen minutes, yes, eighteen, “chet,” “yud,” “chai,” which according to gematria) means life. If it takes any longer, fermentation will commence, and it will be chametz, forbidden. So, to put it simply, on Passover we eat dead bread.

One of my favorite word games is comparing the words containing the roots of “mother” and “father,” “eim—alef, mem” and “av—alef, vet.” From “father” we have the words “evven,” stone and “ma’avak,” conflict, while from “mother” we have “emunah,” faith and “emmet, truth.

Now, if we combine “mother” with “essence,” we have “ometz,” which can be defined as daring, emotional strength. This is the strength of the mother lion fighting against all enemies, against all odds, for her children. And this is the female characteristic that explains why the females give birth, “laledet.”

We are now in a major fight, “ma’avk,” war, “m’lchama,” for our Homeland, “Moledet.” Listen to the linguistic relationships between the words. “M’lchama,” war, can be seen as “from bread.” Bread is slang for money. Now, let’s take another look at the people who are out to destroy the Jewish communities, educational institutions and businesses in Gush Katif. One thing Arik Sharon, the Labor establishment and Disengagement Authority head Yonatan Bassi all have in common is financial interests in Israeli agriculture. Yes, they are in competition with Gush Katif, financial competition.

The Gush Katif agriculture export business is extremely successful. It is innovative, well run and something any normal country would want to expand. But for some perverse reason, Israeli politicians are out to destroy it. It’s all about money and power, “chametz,” which has the power to both build and destroy.

We need “ometz,” the strength given when there’s faith in G-d. Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the beginning of the Jewish month of Nissan, miracles, is almost here. “Chodesh,” month, is from the same root as “chadash,” new. We pray to G-d to renew the miracles.

Chodesh Tov

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA

Friday, April 1, 2005


who should live
and who should die
and who plays G-d

select those worthy
select those not

sent in different lines
given different foods
---or none

Did the American judicial system have the right to decide that Terri Schiavo's life wasn't worth continuing? Her struggle is over. I wonder if those who decided to deprive her of life-giving food struggled over the decision.

And this brings me to the political situation in Israel. Why should the seaside city of Tel Aviv, established by Jews when there wasn't even a Jewish state, be considered legitimate, when Yamit and Neve Dekalim, both established by the State of Israel, be something to be destroyed?

How does one select who should live and who should die? Who has the right to decide who should live and who should die? How can a state established to defend its people destroy them?

Israel has declared it illegal to compare government acts to the Nazis.


No, we're not paranoid. There are dangers from the Shabbak.
The key is not to agree to anything violent nor illegal, and we must be careful with sarcasm.