Hamas War

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

an old musing, but answers some questions

I've noticed a big difference in many of the comments and letters I've gotten on some of my recent musings. For that reason I'm going to post one from a year and a half ago. I couldn't find it on blogger.

Musings #30
January 18, 2004

It All Depends on Where You’re Sitting

I overheard my husband ask our local rabbi something. Should he “bensch gomel,” the prayer thanking G-d for surviving a dangerous situation, in the name of someone, who was almost in a car accident. The rabbi replied that it if she really felt endangered, then she should say it herself. After my husband finished, I approached the rabbi, “But Rabbi, a few years ago, when I was sitting in the back seat, and an Arab taxi rammed into it, certainly, definitely dangerous, you told me that I should not ‘bensch gomel.’ You said: ‘I was driving, and I didn’t feel that we were in any danger.’”

Behind the steering wheel, the rabbi felt safe, in control. My neighbors and I in the back seat, though unharmed, were shaken in more ways than one. I was sitting next to the young man who had killed the terrorist who had run me over only a couple of years earlier.

When we look at the same thing, we all see something else. Living here in Shiloh, I feel peaceful and calm. I enjoy the views of the hills, the sunrise over Shvut Rachel to the east of us, my neighbors’ gardens and the wonderful people who share all of that and more with me. I’m on the roads everyday, in almost any vehicle offering me a ride. I felt safest when we marched to Jerusalem, the intimacy with the Land gave a strength from a different dimension.

As I travel the road of Jewish history, I am calm and confident, like my rabbi was during that accident, because it all depends on where you’re sitting.

What's a Leader?

Many people have been writing to me, demanding that since I'm not shy about criticizing Israeli politicians, office-holders and of course Moetzet YESHA (#138 finally made it to Arutz 7, and you can comment to the site) I should announce the name of the person I think should lead our country.

Before I make the grand announcement, as preparation, I'd like to do some brain-storming with you.

Let's define the term "leader."

First some characteristics: And fellow-females, please don't be offended that I'm writing this in the masculine; the person, or people most closely fitting the requirements may very well be ladies. So I hope that suitable women will be mentioned.

A leader has what's in Hebrew called "yozma," initiative. He doesn't check the polls or his advisors to find out what he's supposed to think.
A leader exudes confidence not confusion.
A leader is connected to his "people" and doesn't expect his underlings/staff to do the job.
A leader has principles.
A leader isn't afraid to apologize and explain that a mistake has been made or that the situation demands a change in policy.
A leader has clear goals.
A leader knows how to delegate and motivate people.
A leader isn't appointed; he just leads.

I'll end with a story, true of course; some of you may have heard it, and some of you may have been there when it happened.

When I was a Stern girl, in the late 1960's, the Rishon L'Tzion, Chief Sephardi Rabbi came to New York from Israel, HaRav Nissim, ZaTz"L. Among his public appearances was one at Yeshiva University, when he spoke to the students. I was there.

I think that YU President Belkin introduced him, and in the introduction he bragged that many YU students went to Israel.

HaRav Nissim interrupted:
B'Aretz omrim--acharai!
In Israel we say--after me!

I really do want your feedback before I announce my leader.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Netzarim in Shiloh

The Netzarim refugees spent the afternoon in Shiloh today. Since their expulsion from their homes and community, they have been housed in the student dormitories of the college, (or is it already a university?) in Ariel. We're not far away.

A couple of the adults even spent part of their childhoods in Shiloh.

The activities were for the children. Lots of animals and even snakes and a parrot. Nosherei that I didn't go near, but the kids loved it. They had pitah baking over an old-fashioned "oven." All sorts of arts and crafts and tee shirts to be dyed.

Kids are kids, and the Shiloh and Netzarim ones mixed well.

The adults still sported that haunted look.

I asked if they needed anything and and was told that people have been very generous. They don't know where they'll be living. I shouldn't have said that their community was destroyed, because only the material/physical was. They are still a community of people who care about each other and want to stay together.

For some it's not the first time they've experience such destruction; they were in Yamit and some descend from the Jewish refugees forced out of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948.

They've had their own school up to the 8th grade, and then the kids go off to high schools. The teachers are also from the community. When the principal contacted the Ministry of Education to try to get organized for this year--wherever they may be--she was told that her school "code" doesn't exist. Therefore there's no official school. So now they not only have to find all the minimal equipment like blackboards, office supplies, books etc. According to the officials, it's just a phantom, without rights of course. Officially school opens in less than 36 hours.

But for a few hours, they had fun, enjoyed the Shiloh breeze and saw the most incredible sunset.

How things change

Read this article on Israpundit by Paul C. Merkley about how his recently published book has lost relevance. When he wrote it, Bush and Sharon were firmly against rewarding terrorism, but now....

Helping the Refugees

I sent this idea out to a few people and just found out that there are Gush Katif, Northern Shomron refugees who are interested.

My idea is that those with laptops should go to the hotels or wherever the refugees are and help them write cv's. Many, too many, are jobless. It's not enough to just take notes and return with a cv. There's a power in watching it emerge on the screen and having a chance to control which font, style etc. Feeling in control of something will help them recover. Printing facilities are important of course, and have it sent and saved to an email account, like yahoo, is also advisable. If they don't have accounts, then help set one up.

It's important to get them out of the "helpless refugee" syndrome. People or offices can invite the refugees over, even by appointment, to get it done.

Tizku B'Mitzvot

this will also be on me-ander

Monday, August 29, 2005

An Answer!

Today when I was goofing off at home, I read the recent Newsweek magazine. In it was a real eye opener!

Article 1 of 137, Article ID: nwov220920050829August 29, 2005, Newsweek International, Atlantic Edition
By Tara Pepper
Of Criminals And CEOs
For a while, Brian Blackwell seemed to have it made. His girlfriend believed the cosseted only child from Liverpool was a professional tennis player, with a $125,000 Nike contract funding his jet-set lifestyle. He hired her as his private secretary and wrote her a check for $90,000. He bought her a $16,000 car, then purchased $22,500 worth of flights for them to New York, Miami, Barbados and San Francisco. When they returned, he spent the summer at her house. One day the police knocked on her...

(too bad I couldn't get a link or the full text)
The subtitle in the paper states:

The difference between bold, creative visionaries and deluded psychopaths is not as big as it used to be.

The article continues by giving examples and descriptions of those who smudge the boundaries between the two types of people. People with "severe cases of narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD..." "...grandiosity lack of empathy and exploitativeness..."
How about? "...exceptional managers, galvanizing employees and making far-reaching changes..."
and these? "...arrogant and manipulative, but almost charismatic and hard-charging..."

Now, who has these very characteristics?

Ariel Sharon?

BOMS #92

My recent Heval Hevalim* is nothing compared to BOMS. It has graphics from another world, and this week's edition also has a variety of Robin Williams' lines. Take a gander.

*I'm still waiting for your guesses about the photos. Don't be shy!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

#138 Ends and Means

Musings #138
August 28, 2005
The 23rd of Menachem Av

Ends and Means

On Shabbat I found myself in a very unpleasant argument. At first glance we were all in agreement. Moetzet YESHA, the YESHA Council had failed in its campaign against Disengagement.

The argument was about the campaign and slogan that Moetzet YESHA preached to the very end. And actually just a few minutes ago when I entered my home after a “fitness walk” with friends, I saw that Pinchas Wallerstein, the council’s chairman, was on television explaining that he ran the correct campaign.

Maybe I’m just too much the CPA’s daughter and can’t forget that one and one are two, but it seems to me that if the campaign failed, then obviously there’s something intrinsically wrong with it. If it had succeeded in repealing, canceling Disengagement, then I would have praised them and admitted that I was wrong. Over the past few months, I had been very blunt and public in my opposition to their campaign for a referendum. Read: Why I Won't Be At Sunday's Demonstration, January 28, 2005.

Did you catch it? Yes the Council demonstrated for a referendum, not to repeal Disengagement. Their slogan was, and still is: “Ten l’am lihachlit,” “Let the People Decide.” It sounds like some professional public relations experts, the superficial type, composed it. It sounds modern, liberal and theoretically should go well with the people who don’t normally support Jews in YESHA.

There are only a couple of problems. One is that it could and was used against the same anti-Disengagement crowd, since it supports “democratic process.” It takes for granted that the majority is always right, and that the majority will vote the way they expect.

The second and most important reason that it’s a disaster is that it doesn’t educate the people of the dangers of Disengagement. Moetzet YESHA totally lost track of its goal. It and many others thought that since legally a referendum was a good method to force the government to repeal Disengagement, it should be the goal. Suddenly the means became the end, and we ended up short and thousands of families are now homeless.

Moetzet YESHA’s anti-Disengagement campaign should not have been for a referendum, and it should not have been an emotional plea to save a few thousand good, adorable, hard-working, large families.

The anti-Disengagement campaign should have been a strong campaign showing how withdrawal from Gush Katif and northern Shomron would endanger the entire country. “From Here You Can See” Tours should have set out frequently to the Sanur and Chomesh mountains to give people a chance to see what vantage points were to be turned over to terrorists. Movies and stills from the sites showing how they look over into the coastal plain should have been shown and distributed.

Information campaigns should have been mounted explaining how much more difficult it will be to defend the southern part of the country without Gush Katif. Again a picture campaign, this time showing the guns pointing directly into Ashkelon and other population centers.

There should have been clear and simple quotations from the Arabs, explaining that they’re not offering peace, and certainly not promising it. The public needs to know that the Arabs were just making more and more demands for “after Disengagement;” the same for the Americans, Europeans and the U.N. None of them were shy about their true intentions. The “Road Map” was the least of it. After Sharon’s enthusiasm in turning thousands of Jewish Israelis into refugees, it’s now even more difficult for an Israeli Government to reject foreign demands.

And don’t forget that a large successful Israeli export business was pulled out by its roots. Prize-winning vegetables and flowers will no longer be sold; their farmers are now unemployed, and the hothouses either destroyed or passed by moneymaking agents to Arab terrorists. Yes, I kid you not. There are fewer vegetables in the Israeli markets, and I told my husband that I’d rather we don’t eat lettuce than give our money to those benefiting from Gush Katif’s destruction.

In addition, some of the communities that were destroyed were promised as permanent compensation after the Sinai was given to Egypt, and its Israeli communities were destroyed.

The anti-Disengagement campaign should have focused on stopping Disengagement and the various points I just mentioned should have been part of the information campaign to help convince the public. In my short list there are enough issues to find one to suit every sector in the Israeli population, and with the funds Moetzet YESHA spent on their totally unsuccessful campaign, they could have convinced the nation. There wouldn’t have had been any need for a referendum, because the government wouldn’t have wanted it to go to a vote.

Just like the United States never invaded Cuba to depose Castro, Bush would have quieted down, once he saw that Sharon was totally out of favor with the Israeli public. And yes, I really admire Castro and Cuba for doing their own thing since 1959.. Mao, Khrushchev and their ilk are long gone. The “Iron Curtain” and Berlin Wall are dust and debris, but Castro’s still at the helm.

The lesson is that America really is just a paper tiger when a country takes itself seriously. Israel once did, in the early decades we didn’t get all the “aid” so prettily tied with strings. We won the Six Days War with the help of G-d. World Jewry prayed and donated money for ambulances. There was great unity, and it was a wonderful experience.

The dangerously unsuccessful anti-Disengagement campaign was nothing like it. And even worse, Pinchas Wallerstein and his friends are insisting that they did the right thing. How could it have been right when the results were so disastrous?

Need I say more?

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

Heval Hevalim #34

Hevel Hevalim #34

“Hevel Hevalim,” ”Vanity of Vanities” is the Jewish-Israeli blogging carnival consisting of posts from blogs all over the world. It’s hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by
Soccer Dad. The term “Hevel Hevalim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “hevel” or in English “vanities.”

Let’s start with Parshat Shavua,
Torah Portion of the Week from the one and only Velveteen Rabbi.

Extra credit to those who can guess where the two pictures are from and how they connect to this week's HH!

You all must know the saying about what’s reported in the news:
“Everything’s true, except the things you know about personally.” Many people consider blogs an alternative news source, especially since we’re generally personally connected to what we write about. Many of us are very suspicious of what’s written in the
papers. Yes, that’s from my husband’s blog, and here’s another of his posts. Strange how the government and media tolerate, or even encourage some protests and not others…


Disengagement won’t leave the national consciousness so quickly. How will we recover? Read
Mentalblog’s “pivotal renewal” and me-ander to see how Judaism requires us to discipline our grief.

Jewish Future has a wonderful logo to symbolize how many of us feel. I hope that she’ll send us the code to add to our sidebars.

Cosmic X is
still orange.

This is for all of those who miss
Moshe Saperstein‘s unique eloquence. And here’s another voice from gush Katif Diary; no matter what your politics, please read it.

And Willow Green reveals where her thoughts have been during these
difficult times. My neighbor Yoel Ben Avraham writes Letters from Shilo about winners and losers. I know that I’m politically incorrect, but this got doctor's approval. And here’s a suggestion from israpundit about where the refugees can be resettled. The Upsidedown World weeps at the memory of Zionism. Here are some good questions from the House of Joy. And some of my thoughts on how we ended up in today’s situation.

Smooth Stone reminds us of the fate of all of the
synagogues in Gush Katif, and Outside the Blogway writes of the four-legged refugees.

And is murder the result of Disengagement? Read what
SerandEz has to say. He also tells the story of a soldier. More post-Disengagement from Destination Jerusalem.

What can an Israeli do to influence politics?
Moshe Feiglin has his plan. But we have to pay attention to what the Arabs are doing; Kira Zala takes a look.

Smooth Stone reminds us to check our food labels, because you don’t know who will be
making money from the lettuce you buy. Food for thought from The Raphi, but don’t read this immediately before going to bed.

Israel Perspectives writes of
the difficulties we have blogging negative things about Israel and also proposes a wonderful slogan: Never forget--together we will rebuild!

…and Now for Aliyah

Israel Perspectives proposes a way for Israeli society to
recover from Disengagement and hopes that his criticisms won’t prevent other Jews from coming.

If you remember, the last time I hosted Hevel Hevalim, I mentioned that I’d be traveling to New York and returning home with
Nefesh B'Nefesh. I did, and it was very thrilling. Look at the pictures, and there’s more and even more on the blog. Of course there was a blogger on the plane. He’s The Balloon Twister.

And if we’re mentioning aliyah, we shouldn’t forget the “pnimi” type, meaning “internal” or just plain large families. Psycho Toddler may have fewer kids than some of his neighbors, but it’s still nice to hear how his household of
six kids functions. And of course when you see how cute they all are, you’ll wish you had such sweet hearts at home. There are other ways of increasing the population, adoption for one.

…and lots of other topics

Mystical Paths takes us to
the Temple Mount, where our Holy Temples stood, and he introduces us to a settler.

Soccer Dad memorializes the Arab
terror attack at Sbarro’s in Jerusalem four years ago. And the Dead Pool shows how little the world really cares and understands.

Biur Chametz writes about a
radio/blogger program. Smooth Stone writes about Michael Graham who was fired because of Arab pressure.

And about a controversy closer to home, wherever you live… Devarim writes about whether or not both parents should be working
outside the home.

Emet m’Tsion gives the
truth about Jerusalem’s population in recent centuries.Read the book review by Melanie Phillips about "The Oslo Syndrome:
Delusions of a People under Siege." A Very Heavy Stone
posts from America.

Many of us forget that there are Jewish soldiers in the United States military, and they have Jewish
religious needs, too.

Now, if you want to take your mind off of politics, refugees and thieves, read Moze’s
sock saga. Learn how Mirty helped her synagogue make a tough decision.; it’s hard being a Jew in public life, no matter where.

Getting into a “covered head,” Kisui Rosh, I presume that this speaks for some married women who
cover their hair, which is a mitzvah based on the visual, since a woman is supposed to “look married.” And speaking about visual images, here are some from Fred; I can’t do an “HH” without him.

For a wide variety of articles on Jewish themes, there’s always the
Weekly Megillah. And of course, for more news about Hevel Hevalim, just check in at Soccer Dad.

uber carnival

Grave Robbers

The Gush Katif Cemetary is being destroyed.
Here's the official announcement:

August 27, 2005
Beginning of the Gush Katif Cemetery evacuation
Tomorrow, August 28, 2005, the IDF and the Disengagement administration ad will begin evacuating 48 graves berried in the Gush Katif Cemetery.
The evacuation of the graves is a complicated and sensitive mission, deposited upon the IDF as part of implementation of the Disengagement plan.
The mission will be conducted in coordination with the families and in accordance with Jewish law.
The process of the evacuation of the graves will be closed to media coverage due to respect and privacy afforded the deceased.

Friday, August 26, 2005

How to Donate to the Gush Katif Refugees

I received this letter from a friend I can trust.


Katif Fund is legit and if you'd like to direct to a particular project, please note: for NOW
(Netzer Chazani) although there are plenty of vital and urgent needs for the evacuated, etc. I can vouge for every penny sent to Netzer Chazani that it will be used for urgent needs. I don't want to send you sob stories. You can find them yourselves in the news but it's impossible to imagine the upheaval and loss these thousands of families are suffering. Baruch HaShem, the beautiful people of Israel have come out in droves volunteering and buying basic needs for our fellow Jews and new refugees with all their hearts!

For Israelis who don't need an American tax deduction, you can make out a check to Keren Yochanan (and get an Israeli tax deduction) which is an emergency fund for Netzer Chazani and mail it to: (ask me and I'll get the address. The chairman of the fund's wife is due any day, beshaa tova, so I can't reach him at the moment.)

Don't believe any of the government lies about all that they are doing. So far, all they're doing is paying expensive PR firms to make themselves look good when they are not. And blaming the victims for their plight. HaShem Yerachem.

Sorry, guys. Just love HaShem with all your heart and your pockets.(me'odecha) and help Gush Katif refugees cover their enormous debts.

Anita Tucker has suggested that each community try to adopt a Gush Katif community-- there are 24 communities, as you know. This will assure that your funds get to "your" community and that they have someone to thank and to turn to. Please share this suggestion with the OU and World Mizrachi and all the wonderful organizations that have begun collecting for Gush Katif and its refugees.

Tizku LeMitzvot!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

#137 Re-Thinking

Musings #137
August 25, 2005
The 20th of Av


Six months ago, trying to make sense of what the Sharon Government was forcing on the nation, I wrote my
one-hundredth Musing. In it I mused and meandered wondering if the concept of Religious Zionism and its attachment to the State of Israel wasn’t just a foolish naïve mistake.

Just yesterday someone who reads my “musings” on a regular basis, wrote to me quoting from that hundredth one. Apparently not only am I not alone in this dilemma, but it is occupying the minds of many. The question of our place in the State of Israel has been bothering me more and more. My thinking has been going in another direction completely.

Now, I sense that the real cause of our problems is the fact that the chareidim didn’t integrate into the state and army from day one. Ben Gurion was very happy to give them the opportunity of not serving in the army, because he didn't want them there. It would have been a very different army if chareidim had been included, or should I correct this grammatically and not use the passive. The chareidim should have included themselves and fully joined the country in all ways, rather than happily locking themselves in the ghettos and Batei Medrash, collecting their stipends and letting us, “their inferiors,” endanger our children by sending them to work and war. The life style of chareidi men in Batei Medrash instead of working should not have been encouraged. It's not Jewish to have that sort of separation between kodesh and chol, holiness and the mundane.

That’s right, it isn’t Jewish to insist that religious scholars be exempt from the military. It’s the norm in the United States, because the United States is a Christian country, and Christian values are included in its Constitution. Jewish tradition is different.

Also, historically it was never the norm that massive numbers of men were supposed to cloister themselves in Batei Medrash to learn full-time, removed from day-to-day responsibilities. Our great “gedolim” worked. Judaism is a religion of the real world integrated with kodesh, holiness. Shabbat is supposed to be a break from the six days of work, and yes, there are supposed to be six days of work, “melacha,” the specific Jewish concept of labor, craft and creation, which is expressly forbidden on Shabbat.

It is no secret that Ben Gurion and his labor Zionists were anti-religious. The stories of religious children being sent to non-religious educational frameworks and the kidnapped Yemenite children are numerous and not denied. When the state was first established and the chareidim asked for a totally separate education system and army exemptions for yeshiva students, they were granted for two reasons. The first was because their population was so small, that the ruling elite was certain that those tiny remnants of strict orthodoxy would never be a population to reckon with. And second, the ruling party didn’t want to have to integrate the chareidim into the army and general society. Strict observance of kashrut and Shabbat were things from the hated “shtetel,” not for the modern “new Jew” Israeli.

Until the miraculous results of the “Six Days War” in 1967, the religious Zionists worked hard to fit in with the non-religious, so they weren’t a threat. Afterwards things began to change, and religious Zionism began to switch its ideal from the Mapai kibbutznik to the chareidi yeshiva bochur. The State Religious School Stream began to add hours to the school day for more religious studies, Yeshivot hesder with their five-year yeshiva and army program and the “mechinot” pre-army yeshivot grew in popularity, influence and power. In addition, non-chareidi, crocheted kippot, full-time married yeshiva students became common. One no longer had to don a black hat to learn Torah full-time.

I don’t think it bothered the Labor Zionists that YESHA settlement was dominated by the religious population. It was only when they saw what was happening in the army that they began to panic. A common “joke” is that there are two types of officers, the religious ones in crocheted kippot and the ones who used to be religious. The more elite the unit, the more there were soldiers from religious homes. The “old guard” was in a panic. They had less children, and their children weren’t interested.

One of the aims of Disengagement was to “shake up” the army, and the most pathetic site on TV was to see the soldiers crying as they forced people out of their homes. They knew they were doing wrong, but they didn’t have the moral strength to oppose orders. And this includes good religious boys in addition to those who weren’t raised with the ideal of “yishuv ha’Aretz” settling the Land.

Do you blame a child suffering malnutrition if he has always eaten what his parents gave him? No, and it’s hard for me to blame the state when the rabbis, the chareidi rabbis, could have fed it more Torah. The State of Israel is suffering from spiritual malnutrition, because it was deprived of the element that would have made it a strong Jewish State. Chareidi society has been disengaged from the state, and it is time to connect and join us.

The State of Israel is our only option. That’s one of the lessons Disengagement has taught us. As imperfect as it is, it’s the only game in town.

This is not the time for any of us to disengage from the State of Israel. We must get more and more involved and rebuild it into the Jewish state and society it should be.

Shabbat Shalom U’Mivorach!

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

hh reminder and pre-school song, dance etc

I've been putting together the next Hevel Hevalim. So far I have some interesting stuff, at least in my opinion. I want it finished early Sunday morning Israel time, bli neder.

It's scheduled for just before school resumes here in Israel, which is the perfect time for me to volunteer. I can't believe that I'll be back in the classroom soon trying to teach Israeli male teenagers their favorite subject--English. Ok, I wish it was their favorite. It's certainly their favorite to avoid and complain about.

Honestly, I should be cooking and cleaning and doing other domestic chores. ...but man doesn't live on bread alone...

And how did we ever live without computers and internet? So if you've posted something special about Israel or Jewish issues this week, or if you saw something on the topics, please send the link and a blurb to:
shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

And now let's all sing along with me:

Keep me out of the

keep me out of
the grease

buy me some

and take-away
I don't care if I never
scrub plates

for it's root, root, root
for disposables
and vcr's and

one, two, three
lift my feet
the arm chair's for

more pictures up

I've been going through my pictures from the Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, and they're slowly getting up on The Muse's Pics. Keep checking in to see more. I was on the flight that left New York on August 2 and arrived here the following morning.

I have a great variety of pictures of olim of all ages and species, yes, species, since people made aliyah with their pets, too. Oh, and there are also pictures of the machers, like former Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Lau, who is now Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. I even took a picture of him waiting for his luggage. I took quite a few pictures of people waiting for luggage; I waited a long time for mine.

There are a maximum of five pictures in each post, some with only one. Posting pictures via blogger isn't the most efficient way. That's why I didn't give you specific posts. I'm up to #6, and G-d willing I'll be more successful today.

Feel the excitement of aliyah, certainly a good antidote for today's mood after another terrorist murder of a Jew in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Bad news for some of you. Mehadrin is also tainted.

Keep the news coming in!

more to boycott

Important information from smoothstone.


B B, though not in Netanyahu. The B B I'm thinking of is using the letter "B" for BOYCOTT and the second "B" for the head of the Disengagement Administration, the one and only Bassi. He's a businessman and has connections to all sorts of businesses.

Personally, I like to buy from my friends. If there's a choice between a friend's store and the store of someone I don't like, without any hesitation, I prefer giving my money to my friends. For example, we only buy organic eggs from a neighbor. He sells to the local grocer. If none of his eggs are in the store, we ask him if there are any available before buying a different brand.

Someone else cheated a friend of mine, so I won't do business with that person. It's very simple, not even political.

So I just think that any business that has ever been connected to Bassi should be, let's say: "avoided." As long as there's an alternative, and I'd rather not eat lettuce, if the only lettuce in the shop is tainted with Bassi.

Bassi worked hard to shut down the Gush Katif agriculture.

Here's a link in Hebrew about Bassi's businesses and career, and here's another.

Let's just patronize the businesses of good, moral people. There's nothing wrong with that.

Please excuse my language,

... but don't you want to puke when you read things like this from The New York Times.

They praise Sharon for brutalizing peaceful law-abiding citizens.

letter to the editor, Aug. 24

Dear Sir:

On Sunday two things will be happening. The first "wave" of Disengagement refugees will be kicked out of their insufficient hotel rooms, and the first of the bones of bodies in the Gush Katif Cemetary will be dug out.

Mourners will be required to sit shiva for an addional day, when the bones are reburied.

But there's a big problem. The mourners are homeless refugees and therefore have no place to bury their dead. Who is going to pay for the funerals? Where will the bones of the dead be buried?

The government charged the families, that the government evicted from their homes for moving expenses. Some people left their possessions, because they didn't have the thousands of dollars that it would cost them to store their material possessions in containers.

Now, for those whose loved ones have been buried in Gush Katif, will they be billed again? And how can one ever compensate people for such pain?

Batya Medad

kickin' 'em when they're down

Here's the official announcement from the government about moving the graves from Gush Katif. Remember that Jews in Israel are buried in shrouds, thin fabric, so finding the remains is a ghoulish task of sifting the sands for bones, every last one. Yes, think about it. It's not like those American movies and TV shows, pulling out a nice, heavy intact coffin. This is more like on C.S.I., when some hiker comes across what looks like bones from a human hand, and the authorities start digging for the rest of the body, or more bodies.

Families, homeless families, at the catonic state after the shock of being truly evicted from their homes, their dream homes, in wonderful communities, who are now scattered all over in hotels and student dorms and have no idea what awaits them and where. Now the government is so efficiently calling them to a meeting to proceed with transferring the remains, the bones of the terror victims and those who died "natural deaths" and were buried in Gush Katif to be near their loved ones, in what was to be their "final resting places."

And now the mourners, still mourning, must intensify their mourning. They must cooperate with the authorities and pick new grave sites, and they must rip their clothes again and sit shiva for a symbolic day.

August 23rd, 2005
Meeting of family members in the cemetery of Gush Katif

In preparation for the exhumation and transfer of the 48 graves in the Gush Katif cemetery, among them three graves of IDF soldiers, family members of the deceased arrived at the cemetery today, August 23rd, 2005, in order to pay respects to their loved ones.
This mission of relocating the graves, which is due to be carried out in the beginning of next week, is sensitive and complicated and was assigned to the security establishment as part of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan. The mission of relocating the graves will be carried out according to Jewish law, and with the utmost sensitivity and honor.
In recent weeks IDF liaisons that deal with families of injured or deceased soldiers have been in contact with the families of both civilians and soldiers that are buried in the Gush Katif cemetery to coordinate the details regarding the new resting places of their loved ones.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

minor fact

Just a minor fact, if you didn't know.

The Israeli electorate did not elect Ariel Sharon Prime Minister. There are no public elections for Prime Minister. We elect political parties, lists of people who become members of Keneset according their order on the list. the first on the list becomes Prime Minister, but it's up to the political party.

We don't elect people as individuals. We vote for platforms, party ideology. During Israel's last national elections the parties which got the most votes, or ideologies which got the most votes were in favor of Jews, Israelis, living in YESHA. The sum total of the votes to parties in favor of withdrawal was much less.

As they say in the old country:

We was

Yes, Rape

It's very rare for me to say this. This article is one I had thought of writing, and Sarah Honig did it even better. She described Disengagement as rape, gang rape.

You should see the TV people salivating on the screen. For this is an event, the destruction of Jewish settlement, Jewish communities, religious communities. They were hoping for violence, a civil war, and they seem very disappointed.

The cameras were allowed to accompany the soldiers bringing the eviction notices, reality TV reaching new heights, and the innocent people being thrown out of their home aren't being paid for the privilege of their pain being broadcast worldwide. Reality shows generally pay well to exhibit people losing their dignity. Oh, that's the rub. There was no loss of dignity, except for soldiers crying as they "obeyed orders."

Terrible headlines and repeated showings of what the media considered a disgrace, when families including young children left their homes with orange stars pinned to their clothes and their hands in the air in the pose of a famous Holocaust photo.

And the media considers it "damaging to children" for them to be crying and shouting at the soldiers: "Take off your sunglasses and look me in the eyes, when you force me out of my home. Look me in the eye; take off those things!" "You should have nightmares from this!" "What will you tell your children?" and similar things.

Honestly, I think that these kids may have an easier time. If ever there was justification in saying that "repression is bad," this is it. The families walking out of their homes in silent dignity may have much worse problems. Trying to be nice, holding in the anger, are known personality causes of cancer and other health problems.

It's known that it's healthier to fight back. In many law systems, a woman isn't considered raped, unless she can prove that she fought back.

So it's davka those whose dignity wasn't silent who are disturbing the public the most. All those "public psychologists and media experts," who are busy claiming that the disturbing scenes of the children reacting in anger at being thrown out of their homes are damaging, are wrong. These are the proof that at least some of the population fought back, tried to defend themselves, though without violence.

Those who shouted were not passive victims. They won't be plagued by the guilt: "If only I had at least said something."

As usual, at least so far, everyone seems to be condemning those parents, but I think that the parents were right. When you are in pain, you can and should cry out. Those who didn't may need extra emotional help, just because of their silence.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Netzarim to Ariel College

CJS Release
August 22, 2005
CJS to Host Netzarim Community

The College of Judea & Samaria (CJS), scheduled to become Israel's next university, will provide housing to the 500-strong Gush Katif community of Netzarim, with families expected to begin arriving in Ariel this evening.
Netzarim's former residents, consisting of approximately 80 families, will move into student dormitories on campus and also receive food supplies, logistic support, basic equipment and a synagogue from the College.
"Absorbing the people of Netzarim is an act of national responsibility. By opening our arms to the community, we hope to create a supportive environment and to ease the trauma they are currently experiencing," said Yigal Cohen-Orgad, Chairman of the CJS Executive Committee.

During the summer months, only a third of the dormitories are occupied by students. With the College anticipating a 10% increase in academic enrollment this year, school officials are working to find alternative accommodations for several hundred students, if the Netzarim families remain on campus after the beginning of the fall semester.

The initiative to absorb Netzarim's former residents in the City of Ariel was promoted by two CJS faculty members, Dr. Miriam Billig of the Behavioral Sciences Dept. and Prof. Shraga Shoval of the Industrial Engineering & Management Dept.

Both recently attempted to facilitate talks between the Prime Minister's Office, the Housing Ministry and the Netzarim leadership to base the evacuation on professional and planned parameters. Two key principles were stressed: 1) To keep the original community together, and 2) To preserve the community's social, education and municipal framework, in order to help reduce the trauma that former residents would experience in the coming months.

"As long as the Netzarim community stays together, it is much easier to care for the families with the help of its own leadership and with outside assistance", said Dr. Billig.

In addition, residents of Ariel and other nearby communities have begun organizing initial assistance to build children's playgrounds and to fund social support networks for the former Netzarim residents.

For more details, please contact:
Office of Development & External Affairs
College of Judea & Samaria, Ariel, Israel
Tel: 972-50-771-4700; Fax: 972-3-906-7440
E-mail: http://us.f538.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=development@yosh.ac.il

Hevel Hevalim #33

This week's Havel Hevalilm is centered on Disengagement, but there are some articles on very different topics. Think of HH as a Jewish magazine online.

Next week I'm hosting it. So send me links from your and any Jewish and Israeli blogs.
Write a sentence summarizing the post or why you chose it.
to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com
subject: hh

I'm not going to plan a central topic this time. Let's see what arrives. Times are tough, so let's try to find something good and unifying.

#136 Reflections

Musings #136
August 22, 2005
The 17th of Av


A few short weeks ago, I was one of the privileged few journalists to accompany a
Nefesh B'Nefesh flight to Israel. Over two hundred Jews, between the ages of two months to eighty-five years, from all over North America were on the airplane with me on their way to new lives in Israel. They were in transition, suspended from one life to another, high over the heavens, in a high-tech vehicle traveling rapidly.

No one could promise them the life of their dreams or security, but it wasn’t stopping them. They all had different plans, Eitan to the army, Ruth to an Assisted Living Home, Jay, twisting balloons and high tech, and Nechemiya too young to remember that he had any other home. They were all so open, photogenic and enthusiastic. All who could speak were itching to tell me their stories and plans. And yes, they were very aware that Israel was on the verge of one of its greatest traumas, but as Jerry insisted, “I’m making aliyah now because of what’s happening… to influence… ”

All of the experts say that moving from one’s home is considered one of the major traumas a person can endure.

Yesterday I walked into one of the Jerusalem hotels housing refugees from Gush Katif. The people I observed looked shattered. I couldn’t establish eye contact, and I didn’t want to invade their private grief. They were at the post-trauma stage during which they needed some time to re-gather their energies in order to decide how to proceed with their lives. The person in charge told me that I could interview the youth gathered for an activity, but when I tried to ask the kids, they looked at me blankly, with dead eyes.

There were many volunteers looking for things to do, but there wasn’t much that could be assigned. A bulletin board in the lobby had a sign announcing that a barber and someone to cut women’s hair would be there at certain hours. People were milling around, and when I tried to talk to them, only those who were friends, volunteers and non-refugee guests were willing to respond.

The Gush Katif refugees and the Nefesh B’Nefesh immigrants answered the same call. The Land of Israel is calling all Jews to make it their home. The tragedy is that the government, contrary to the electoral platform it professed, destroyed Jewish communities and made parts of Eretz Yisrael Judenrein, empty of Jews.

It has been such a strange feeling torn between the enthusiasm of new immigrants and the mourning of people burying idyllic lives in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. My recent visit to New York was like experiencing a parallel universe. The vast, vast majority of the Jews in the United States are not only “neutral” about what has been going on with Disengagement, but they honestly don’t believe that it has anything to do with them.

In Israel and many other places where there are Jews, the traditional game to play on Chanukah is “dreidel.” It’s a spinning top with four sides. Each side has a Hebrew letter, the first letter of each word in the sentence: “Nes gadol haya poh!” “A great miracle happened here!” It commemorates the story of Chanukah that ended with finding a small bottle of pure olive oil to re-light the flame in the Holy Temple, so that worshipping there could commence.

The dreidels made for use outside of Israel are different. Instead of the letter “peh” for the word “poh,” “here,” they have a “shin” for the word “sham,” “there.” That’s the root of the problem. There is no unity in the Jewish Nation as long as there are two types of dreidels, the “poh” and the “sham.”

IMHO, the very best slogan ever by YESHA was “YESHA zeh kahn,” YESHA is here!” Unfortunately, many Israelis don’t think of themselves as part of YESHA. That is why and how the government succeeded in implementing Disengagement. They started with the two spots in YESHA most avoided by your average Israeli, Gush Katif, (which people confuse with Gaza,) and the northern Shomron. And if your average Israeli avoids these spots, certainly most of Diaspora Jewry feels even less connected.

The Jews of Gush Katif disappointed the government and media by being so dignified and non-violent. We were bombarded by “experts” predicting civil war and violence by the “fanatic settler population.” They were completely wrong. As of today, Gush Katif is being emptied of its remaining Jewish civilians, and the television shows soldiers crying as hard as the refugees.

The first time I saw Israeli soldiers crying on television was June 1967. I’ll never forget the TV newscast of the liberation of the Kotel, the ancient wall of the Temple Compound. Then they cried from pride and joy, and now from embarrassment and sorrow.

We really believed that “Geula,” Redemption was close, but we miscalculated. So much more must be done first. We must unify the Jewish People. I have a small request for those of you who live in “Chutz L’Aretz,” outside of Eretz Yisrael, please get rid of your old dreidels with the letter “shin.” Remember that we’re all connected, one family. Please try to feel our pain and know that our danger is yours.

And we in Eretz Yisrael also have to find ways to emphasis that we are one Nation and one People. We welcome our olim chadashim, new immigrants and we try to comfort and help the Disengagement Refugees establish new homes in Eretz Yisrael.

Rachem, Rachem, May G-d Have Mercy on Us All,

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


Bassi's getting paid a bonus, and refugees are and can't even pack. Corruption is rife.

Bassi is a prime example of why my father told me that I shouldn't become religious. He said: "They're all thieves!"

When he started his career, after WWII, as an accountant he worked for the New York State Insurance Fund. He was sent to check the books of businesses. He kept finding "irregularities" in the accounts of Orthodox Jews.

He didn't stop me from becoming religious, but I promised him that I would keep Shabbat, kashrut etc, but I would also live according to the standards he set. I would not be a "ganeff."

Bassi wears a kippah and comes from a religious kibbutz. He is the type of Jew who gives Jews a bad name. And now, besides his despicable job, which destroys businesses in competition with those he has been associated with, he is getting a bonus. He's getting paid extra, because good people with more pride and dignity than he could ever imagine, left their homes without physically attacking the soldiers and police.

These people are now homeless and jobless. The "lucky ones" have been stuffed in small rooms and trailers. Their possessions destroyed and stolen. They are being billed for storage containers without any guarantee that they will ever recover what they had.

Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert and the rest of those getting paid as government officials are pleased with Bassi's work.

We have a lot of work ahead of us to fix/correct the country, not heal it. It's not good when the skin over an infection heals, when the pus and bacteria are multiplying. That was always the mistake of the Revisionists and Begin over the years. They wanted healing, not cleansing.

to take your mind off of things...

Yes, life goes on, and sometimes we need to take a break, so take a gander at this week's BOMS, a favorite internet magazine/anthology of blog posts.

Traveling Restrictions in Shomron

Official Announcement

August 21st, 2005

Changes in the traffic regulations for Israelis traveling through the West Bank, as part of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan
Beginning on Saturday evening, August 21, 2005, the IDF put into effect a number of changes in the traffic regulations in the West Bank. The changes are meant to prevent the entrance of civilians who have not been granted permission into the areas due to be evacuated in the northern West Bank, and to prevent the disruption of the activities of the security forces in the area.
The following are the changes in the traffic regulations:
The bypass road south of Nablus will be closed for transport.
Travel to the communities of Elon Moreh, Itamar, Beracha, and Yitshar will be permitted only via the Tapuach Junction.
The community of Shavei Shomron and the routes leading to the community will be closed for entry to those who are not residents of the community, and to those who have not been issued a special permit by the authorities to reach the communities of Sa-nur and Homesh.

Upon implementation of these changes, an information and control center will be opened in the northern West Bank, through which special permits for travel on the roads that are closed, and entry permits to Shavei Shomron and Kdumim will be issued. In addition, the information and control center will provide necessary updated information regarding the travel policy.
The information center may be contacted via phone: 09-7759332, or via fax: 09-7759360

so true

I very rarely link other people's posts, but this one is so true, that not only am I putting a link to Israpundit, but I'm going to give you the short, simple text.

The words of a Jewish Refugee from Gush Katif:

Quoting one of the Deportation refugees

"Our feeling is like this is the start of a holocaust," said
Ruthie Harush, a mother of seven.

"Didn't the Holocaust begin with Hitler saying
he was a democratic leader and soldiers saying they only carried out

Posted by Joseph Alexander Norland at August 21, 2005 07:42 PM

Sunday, August 21, 2005

My Favorite Author is Still Writing!

I have wonderful news. I found Moshe Saperstein's latest diary entry.

I've been an enthusiastic fan of his since he wrote humorous pieces for a short-lived English language Israeli paper. I think it was called "The Nation." In the 1970's we lived in Bayit V'Gan. I first met Rachel in the park playground where we took our kids.

I wish them both good health and the strength to survive. Baruch Hashem, bli eyin hara'a, they are survivors.

Last year, when I studied Kohelet and T'hilim, we were told that G-d doesn't want the tzaddikim to be punished in Olam Habaa, the world to come, so he makes them suffer in this world. That way they only get rewards in the Next World.

And the evil get their rewards in this world, so the next will be all punishment.

Text of Speech I Gave at New York Anti-Disengagement Demonstration

photos by Rose and
graphics by Fred

I know that it's a bit late; the demonstration was on July 19, if I remeber correctly. Here are the other pictures.

I spoke slowly and paused for cheers, and they did cheer. It was a very thrilling experience.
And this is the speech:

Greetings from Shiloh! First capital of the Jewish Nation!

I am wearing orange to remind us of Gush Katif. The Jewish communities in Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron are being sacrificed to pacify world terrorism. This is a fatal mistake and must be stopped!!!

This rally and others throughout the world have been organized by good Jews, because Israel must be made safe, or the entire world is in danger.

We’re here to save the world from terrorism. The root of world terrorism is in what’s incorrectly known as “Palestine.” They were behind the massive September 11th terror attack on the United States, and they were behind the recent multi-terror attack in London. They make the World War Two Japanese Kamikaze pilots look like pacifists.

International politicians, diplomats and “security experts” claim that if they let the terrorists terrorize Israel, the rest of the world will be safe, and the terrorists will be satisfied. That’s not true!

By Israel’s giving in to terrorists’ demands, the terrorists are just getting stronger. We must stop this dangerous cycle.

If Israeli politicians, like Arik Sharon, Ehud Olmert, career officers, Peace Now politicians and media no longer have the strength to fight, they must resign. They must leave the positions of power and authority to those who are willing to fight for Israel! This isn’t a matter of some small beachside communities.

The Israeli Government has plans to give most of Judea and Samaria to the terrorists, and they have admitted it. The ugly cement wall mutilating our Holy Land and Capital, Jerusalem, is planned as a border, with gates to give Arabs easy access. It won’t protect the Jews. It will just make security more difficult and less efficient by blocking the view and locking Jews in ghettoes.

King Solomon said: Ein Chadash tachat HaShemesh, there’s nothing new under the sun.

And so I will quote his father, King David, who was pursued and persecuted by King Saul, like we the true patriots are being pursued and persecuted by the Israeli Government:

34, 22 Evil shall kill the wicked; and they that hate the righteous shall be held guilty.

37, 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Or in other words:Just like Haman was hung on the gallows he prepared for Mordechai, those who are preparing our demise will be destroyed by their own tools.

In the interim, we must continue to work hard, because we don’t know how, when and where G-d will save us.

My message to the Israeli police and soldiers:
Don’t be like the Germans!
Don’t obey orders!

Remember, Nachshon didn’t drown, and Isaac wasn’t sacrificed.

B’ezrat hashem, we will stay in all of Eretz Yisrael!!

amazing! read this!

News Report from arutz 7

N’vei Dekalim Continues the Struggle 07:00 Aug 21, '05 / 16 Av 5765
(IsraelNN.com) Activists report that despite media reports to the contrary, hundreds of people remain in N’vei Dekalim, families that were not uprooted and outsiders who came to support the anti-expulsion effort. They spent the Sabbath in the community. Arutz-7 Hebrew News reports that veteran community resident Michal Shomron is calling on anti-expulsion activists to make their way to Kissufim on Sunday, at 16:00, and continue efforts to return to N’vei Dekalim.
Click here for our free Daily News Report from Israel


I have some very disturbing suspicions about the government's true plan and what Disengagement really is/was.

Am I the only one?

So far, I'm too upset to write. G-d willing in a day or so or less, I'll be able to get it organized and posted.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

b'ratzon, willingly?

So much is going around in my brain, and I can't write the long musing that composed itself this morning, when it was forbidden to write.

So, I'll just go over a term they kept repeating on the news. The media, so disappointed that the poor, citizens, residents of Gush Katif, hadn't opened fire, hadn't physically attacked the soldiers and police who had come to drag them from their homes and gardens and business and schools and jobs. The media kept asking when the fireworks would begin.

And when they saw the grim-faced people being marched from their homes, the media said that they were going "b'ratzon," willingly. That wasn't true at all.

They left with dignity, against their will, but with more pride and dignity than those blood-thirsty reporters and politicians could ever imagine.

Shavua Tov, and G-d willing it should be a shavua tov a good week, but I know that the nightmare isn't over.

Now thousands of people must find new homes, jobs and build new lives. And we all have to deal with a major trauma.

And the world, yes the world, will be less safe, since Disengagement strengthens terrorism, and the terrorism here is the root of world terrorism.

Friday, August 19, 2005


The government is bragging about how quickly and before scheduled they're banishing, dragging, deporting Jews from their homes, making our Holy Land judenrein. As if it's a great accomplishment, against "enemy forces." What an army of wimps and a government of traitors.

Yes, I'm sorry to say that, but it's the truth.

They only succeeded, because we're not an enemy force.

The innocent patriotic residents of Gush Katif are good peaceful people. The media was clamoring for blood. You should have heard the broadcasters asking the residents: "You're going to shoot, right? When?" and worse, much worse.

What a tragic disgrace!

The Jewish People have a lot of tshuva to do.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

ordinary people

Our power comes from our ordinary person, not the "leaders" with their salaries. We see where they've dragged us.

Today, in downtown Jerusalem, I saw a wonderful sight. Young people set up tables, with lots of large papers taped together. They asked passersby to write to the refugees of Gush Katif. And we did.

And just further up Ben Yehuda Street, young people, teens, and our teens are the best in the world, were sitting on the ground, in a circle. Many wore orange. Some had guitars, and they were singing.

I walked to the Old City, and in the Jewish Quarter I saw a lot of soldiers. One officer looked familiar. He had been a student of mine. He left his soldiers and came to talk to me. It was so wonderful; I love teaching these boys. That's why I do it. Such a feeling to see how they've grown up. I'm so proud of them.

And I went to the kotel, expecting to find refugees from Gush Katif, becuase Netzer Chazani said that they'd be camping out there. As I got in view of the kotel I saw buses, lots of buses, so I was sure. Then as I got closer I saw that the passengers weren't the Disengagement refugees from Gush Katif. There were dozens and dozens of wheel chairs. And teenagers wearing "madrich," "counsellor" t shirts, were helping the handicapped into their chairs and wheeling them. And some of the guys were singing and dancing for them. All this was in the big plaza by the kotel.

And then I traveled to Beit El to friends, whose youngest was Bat Mitzvah, just after the brit millah of their first grandchild. All that in one week.

Baruch Hashem, the people here are wonderful, ordinary people.