Hamas War

Monday, October 31, 2005

Like Modern Art?

Sometimes it seems like Modern Art, the strange juxtaposition of things.

Did Jackson Pollock really plan that his paint would splash, just so? If so, then no big deal for G-d to have it all organized in advance... like this past Sunday, even though I left the house late, knowing I had missed the bus... before I started going down the hill to wait for a ride, someone stopped. They were going in the wrong direction, but no big deal. I could still go with them as far as the main road, and then as soon as I got out of their car... I saw a neighbor just behind, and an empty seat, just one, waiting for me. So I got to Jerusalem, no problems.

But back to this strange combination of news this week.

According to a survey, many Arabs want to leave, to emigrate, get away from their violent neighbors, from the recruiters who lure their children, recruit them to blow themselves up. They're looking to get away from it all...

and go to...

While at the same time, a bloggers' debate became a news item, when the topic was the mix of aliyah and marriage. You'd think they were making explosives. Why is preserving a Jewish community in suburbia more important and valuable than preserving our country, our Land and its Jewish communities?

And, at the same time of course, the arrests continue... The greatest of the modern pioneers of yishuv Ha'aretz, Daniella Weiss, The Mayor of Kedumim, is considered guilty of a crime. Yes, Savta (Grandma) Daniella is being held in House Arrest until further notice for trying to build a new neighborhood.

Yes, it's all in the news, now...

Something to think about...

Is it a threat or a promise?

PM Sharon is trying scare tactics, predicting that his government will fall if his new ministers aren't approved.

That's the good news. It would be good for his government to fall. We need a new government. But Lame Duck governments in Israel can also be more powerful during that time that precedes the election and inauguration of a new government. That's because it is in office and cannot be removed, since new elections were already decided on. Nothing can stop them from doing what they want.

It's common to choose the latest possible date for new elections, so that during that interim time, the government can dictate what it wants and create facts. It can't be voted out of office, because it's just the caretaker.

But that time period will happen, whether sooner or later, and we mustn't fear it.

The so-called Likud loyalist faction is trying to organize tactics to bring on new elections as soon as possible. Let's support them. I honestly hope they are capable of doing this properly.

BOMS #101

Another great selection of posts from all over, including some of mine. Gary's graphics and commentary are in a league if their own.

Take a gander.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Havel Havelim #42

Celebrating Havel Havelim #42

Welcome to the post-Holiday edition of the Jewish-Israeli Bloggers Carnival!

We’ll open up with a news item from
Dry Bones about Syria. Yes, if you haven’t yet heard, Dry Bones blogs.

We’ve just finished over three weeks of Holidays, quite a lot and no two the same. Read Blog D’Ellisson’s
Whomping Willow. And for a different way of seeing the holidays, or just about anything, there’s the one and only Hulah Hoop. Nothing beats Willow Green’s holiday guest

And speaking of guests,
Soccer Dad’s Succah Saga
says it all
about smachot
on Succot.
Surprises galore,
read it all.

In a beautiful post, Mirty reflects on the past year and her
return to an active Jewish life. Shaister reminds us that not every Jew is raised knowing what Yom Kippur means.

If You Will It reflects on his post-aliyah
Simchat Torah, and brings up some very interesting points.

It’s hard for many of us to be just spectators, and Devarim tells us how hard it was for her this Simchat Torah, since she wasn’t allowed to
hold a Sefer Torah.

There’s a mitzvah of “Aliyah l’Regel” to Jerusalem. “Regel” means foot, so read about the
march to Jerusalem, and see the pictures here and here.

Israel Perspectives reminds us of differences between the lives of Jews here in Israel and those abroad, even if they are here for the holidays. And Cosmic X reflects on American Orthodox Jewry. But Esther, Outside the Blogway, shows what power some other rabbis have.

A bit more on the holiday spirit, what’s special about being a Jew and a great-looking
succah from Boker Tov, Boulder.

There’s more to being a rabbi than preaching and holding the Sefer Torah; the Velveteen Rabbi tells us of her Holiday

It’s time for some Parshat Shavua from Elie’s Expositions about "V'Zos Haberacha." (If I’m not mistaken, he doesn’t take into account that we celebrate Simchat Torah on different days in Israel and the Diaspora.)

Here’s an important
lesson from Shemittah Rediscovered.

And Moze writes of how her kids took their minds off of “hamatzav,” the “situation” because of a star.

Yes, Succot is a holiday that causes men to complain of hard work, but how does it
compare to the holiday seasons when women have lots of work? And don’t forget that we still have all the cooking plus, even though it’s usually the men constructing the succah and hurling, rolling or dropping the s’chach.

Kesher Talk offers a Caption Contest. “I’ll wow them with this bright yellow gem; they can’t catch me!”

Elms in the Yard shows a little Passion.

And “passion” brings me to the singing rabbi, honored and forgiven by many after his death, the unique and intriguing, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Thank Shaister for this well-written and well-researched

And on a more serious note, nobody can escape terror. Read what Israel Perspectives recommends.

IRIS points out how
tainted and anti-Israel AP is. And Daled Amos tells about the anti-semitic poem in a book of children's poetry to be distributed among schools in the UK.

A Very Heavy Stone
quotes the Bible and sounds like a modern prophet of doom.

I hope that Chayyei Sarah’s “b’shert” reads this, contacts her real fast and they should G-d willing consider me the shadchan.

Israel Perspectives gives his opinion about Jewish singles and the
aliyah issue.

Celestial Blue's in Israel; read about her adventures and look at her gorgeous photos!

Many of us Torah observant Jews have a problem with the chareidi life style, in which the men don’t work; they expect to be paid for learning. This is in direct conflict with the great Torah scholar, Maimonides, as told on Blacktriangle.

Reb Chaim HaQoton writes a two-parter about the halachot concerning murder and morals in Judaism.

I think that one of the great questions of the world is how or why a person is willing to even kill himself if the act will also kill/murder someone he hates. Unfortunately, we’re in constant danger, because Moslems think such murder is wonderful. Blog D’Ellisson gives us some background
why. And here’s more comparative religion from Rishon Rishon.

Read Smooth Stone’s

Why is the death of one Rachel considered tragic by world media, while the murdered Rachels are ignored? Thanks to Israpundit for the article. Our murdered Rachels were murdered by terrorists, and so many good Jews have been murdered, that many of us are numbed, beyond feeling. Yeranen Yaakov writes how he makes himself mourn and feel for the many he has never even met.

If you haven’t heard, the Israeli Government is talking about giving the Vatican a building used by the Diaspora Yeshiva at Mount Zion, Jerusalem. Read what my husband
wrote. More details are here. And if you think that Jewish prayer on Har HaBayit is a new issue, take a look at this news item he scanned in from 1971. And read what Israel Perspectives discovered. Here’s more on the digs from Smooth Stone.

Unfortunately, it has not been a very joyful time for some, since they their succah has more permanence than anything else in their lives. On Blog Free! a mother/grandmother writes of her visit to Ir Ha'Emuna to see her daughter and grandchildren. The situation is terrible, and I think that people are giving them the wrong advice. What do you think? Read this letter from one of the evacuees.

Daniel writes about a new, or first, Jewish radio programme in England. And the Jewish Atheist shows illustrations from a gorgeous Bible.

If you’re among those moderns who depend on the internet for your newspapers and magazines, or just like to read from a wide variety of sources, subscribe to
The Raphi, Think Israel and The Gantseh Megillah for a great choice of Jewish and Israeli themed articles from all over. Yes, they’re not blogs, but…

I don’t have time to play Avian-MEME-7 flu virus right now, so to all of you, please consider yourselves tagged by The Muqata. Sorry, Jameel, I’m sure you understand. And just to show no hard feelings, I’m really impressed that you showed seven ways to tie tzitziyot with Techelet. Biur Chametz and Nathan’s newly re-decorated blog explain that MEME-7 is not just a time-wasting game.

I’ve been a bad girl and didn’t follow
Mirty's instructions to save my template before replacing the blogpatrol code in Shiloh Musings. Now the “buttons” or whatever they’re called are missing from both the blogpatrol and sitemeter counters, even though they’re on the template. Help!

Now, before I finish I want to run a new idea by you. How about something for the kosher cook? Ever since the Carnival of Recipes rejected my kneidelach, because their theme was pork…

Send your links for the next edition via Conservative Cat’s
handy form, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. Jack's Shack is hosting the next Havel Havelim; you can also send your post directly to talktojacknow at sbcglobal dot net. Thanks to Soccer Dad for his hard work keeping this going, and if you want to host, please let him know at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.
Shavua Tov and have a Wonderful Week, even though it's back to work for some of us after almost a month of vacation! I shouldn't complain, since it's one of the perks of teaching in a yeshiva high school in Israel.
I took the photo on top approaching the kotel, Sunday Chol Hamoed late afternoon, yes, it was packed, Baruch Hashem!
cross-posted on me-ander, where the links may be easier to find

Friday, October 28, 2005

Vatican, You Take Katzav!

Vatican, You Take Katzav!
We'll Keep Zion!

A scheme was cooked up by Pave the Way Foundation and other miss-guided fools to give the Vatican a building on Mount Zion, which has been used for decades by the Diaspora Yeshiva. They figured that it would be a nice house gift when Moshe Katzav, the Israeli President, visits.

We can't let this happen!

We must protest!

For more information, read: The Mt. Zion Situation.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pictures from the March to Jerusalem

They are here and here!

Sides of a Wall

Yesterday Arutz 7 had short article about the community Tzofim being cut off from other communities in the Shomron.

Tzofim is to be on the ghetto side of the so called "security fence," which will be a de facto border between Israel and the terrorists. According to the article, a majority of Tzofim considers themselves part of the Shomron and enjoys the educational, cultural, social and medical facilities which, when the wall is completed, will be much, much further away.

They will have to do with getting used to either longer traveling or become more part of the ghetto.

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, it hit me that this was in actuality a very peculiar article, since it only dealt with the inconveniences of living in the ghetto, not at all touching on the inconvenience, difficulties and dangers that will await those Jews on the terrorist side of the wall. Yes, in case you were wondering, Shiloh, is on the terrorist side, though not in the Tzofim neighborhood.

Besides the complaints from the Gush Etzion area, which had believed that they were included entirely in the ghetto side, I'm not aware of much publication of the negative effects that the wall will have for Jews. My community is ignoring it. We don't even have a fence around Shiloh. We have never had one, for ideological reasons.

Personally, I generally ignore the whole fence business, because I don't think that it will bring anyone peace and security. It's just bringing some contractors a lot of money, and one day it will go down, be blown up or whatever.

Determined terrorists will get "around it," over, under--it won't stop them, and enough Arabs live within the proposed ghetto, so they can offer refuge for their friends and relatives. And their convenience is monitored by the world and self-hating Israelis.

As I've said so many times, the Arabs are interested in pre-'67 Israel, the part within the ghetto. They never lived in Shiloh, so rich in Jewish history, and Jews have no ancient history in Tel Aviv. Most of the kibbutzim are on Arab villages destroyed post-'48.

Stop building the wall, and let's build our country in all of Eretz Yisrael.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Is it fair? I don't understand.

This recent "Iraq War" has me wondering. Honestly, especially now when "the great villain Saddam Hussein" is being tried. Among other mysteries, why does he deserve a trial? Remember that war, that America waged so enthusiastically? Remember how many innocent Iraqis were killed by the American armed forces? It was at least a couple of thousand.

Yes, I used the word innocent. They certainly are much more innocent than the Arabs, whom the world calls innocent, in my neck of the woods. The US, UN, Europe and world media beat their chests and drums war-dancing around Israel when Arabs protecting terrorists are even injured. And they enthusiastically condemn us even when we practice "targeted killings" to carefully only kill the terrorist, even if it endangers our own soldiers.

So what about the poor Iraqis, who were probably the most endangered by Saddam Hussein, killed by American bombs, as the Americans were trying to scare him out of his rat hole? Did they have a trial first to see if they deserved to die?

The big mean dictator gets a chance to defend himself, and as all dictators/megalomaniacs he loves the spotlight, and now he has his chance. What chance did the little people have?

None of this makes any sense to me.

The United States has lost 2,000, and Iraqi civilian casualties are 26,690 as of 26-10-05. And Saddam Hussein is being honored with a proper "western" trial. Is it fair?

And the United States is dictating what's an acceptable government to a people with a very different culture and value system. I thought that a democracy is supposed to come from the will of the people, and I don't see that in Iraq.

I don't understand.

And one should never forget that Hitler was brought to power by democratic means.

It's getting late for HH!

Havel Havelim, the Jewish-Israeli blogging carnival

Post-Holiday edition

Please hurry!
Try to get your suggested links to
shilohmuse at yahoo dot com
before Shabbat


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

#149 A "Chazuka"

Musings #149
October 24, 2005
Succot, The 21st of Tishrei

A “Chazuka”

There’s a tradition in Judaism that if you do something three times, it is forever. Yesterday was the third annual
Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem, and I must admit that it didn’t have the novelty and freshness that the two previous ones radiated.

Now that we’ve
marched, (OK, partially, since we were bussed a good portion of the way,) from Shiloh to Jerusalem three times, it is a tradition. Some people planned their day around it marching the first stage or meeting us in Jerusalem. There’s no need to insist on one hundred percent. There were about one hundred people, mostly from Shiloh, marching together at all times. A high percentage was kids, boys and girls, teenagers mostly, though an eight-year-old girl had no problem marching the entire route. The most difficult part was fitting everyone in the bus.

There’s such an irony, absurdity, personally a great feeling when we’re on that road, walking, all of us, men, women and children where others fear to go even in a bullet-proof vehicle. It’s not that we’re braver; it’s just that we feel safe, and we know that this Land is ours. That’s our security. Doubt is the danger. By using “Gematriya,” the numerical values of the Hebrew letters, the word “doubt” equals Amalek, the Jewish People’s traditional enemy. The lesson from this is that our greatest enemy is our “doubt,” our lack of unquestioned belief, pure faith. Without the confidence that we are Home and doing the right thing we are in danger.

By enabling the youth to walk joyfully on the road between Shiloh and Jerusalem we are ensuring our survival. As we went, passing cars honked in support, waving, thumbs up for us. It gave them a thrill, no less than ours just to see us. I was overjoyed to read that yesterday a few hundred others marched
to Sebastia, near Shechem and Jews returned to Chomesh, in the Northern Shomron, a community destroyed as part of the Disengagement.

Of course, the kids aren’t naïve, nor are they oblivious to the tragedy of Disengagement just over two months ago. As we were setting out after paying homage at Avihu’s grave, I noticed one of the kids putting the Israeli flags they usually march with against a large rock. At the moment I didn’t think about it, but later I realized that the only flags with us were the Shiloh flags. Yes, it seems like those Israeli flags had been left there on purpose. As Jews, as life-long residents of Shiloh they feel proud, but not as Israelis.

You can’t fool kids. They see things very clearly, in black and white, and the blue and white aren’t their colors right now. We marched in purple and orange. The purple was for Avihu’s Givati Brigade, and the orange was to show opposition to Disengagement.

After resting in Givat Asaf, our Jerusalem march resumed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel where some of the Disengagement homeless evacuees, are housed. We entered the succah as they ate their lunch. I’m glad that I wasn’t asked to be one of the speakers. I have no idea what I would have said. Our hearts are with them, and we know that if, G-d forbid, we’re ever driven from our homes, we’ll end up in tents and caves. They haven’t gotten on with their lives at all. They live this strange insecure existence in a luxury hotel, and if they don’t find a way to get out of it soon, the damage both psychologically and economically will be irreparable, G-d forbid. We invited them to join us. They looked at us rather blankly, thanked us and wished us well on our march.

During our rest stop at Givat Asaf it was decided to change plans, and instead of going to the cemetery in Har HaZaytim, Mount Olives, we felt that it was more suitable to go to the Kotel, Western Wall. It was important that we end the march with a truly uplifting experience. And so we resumed our march, with lots of “meretz,” energy to the Kotel.

I love seeing how confident and self-assured our youth is, even when walking along streets filled with Arab shoppers. The only other Jews were the police, and suddenly we were stopped and prevented from continuing. We could see the City Walls, just a minute’s walk away, and the police began to surround us.

Finally after some “negotiations” we were allowed to continue with a minor route change. We were
forbidden to enter the Damascus Gate, Sha’ar Shechem. The Israeli Government gives priority to Moslem holidays over Jewish Holidays. Ramadan is considered more important than Succot; the religious sensitivities of the Moslems are considered superior to that of the Jews, and that’s in the Jewish Homeland.

We weren’t there to fight the police, so we accepted the compromise and detoured to “The New Gate,” another of the Old City gates. It isn’t beautiful and impressive like Sha’ar Shechem, which has a plaza we danced in last year, but we entered singing proudly. A hundred years ago, Jews lived in all parts of the old city, and today’s squatters, the Arabs, didn’t seem very happy to see us. Their comments weren’t pleasant, but we kept singing as we marched through the market.

From the merchandise on sale, it looks like the Arabs are doing great business from tourism. If my camera was better quality I would have taken a picture of the tee shirts on sale, especially the one saying “Super Jew.” I guess they’ll do anything for money.

It was still daylight, time for Mincha, the afternoon prayer, when we made it to the Kotel. There was even enough time for spirited dancing. Afterwards we gathered again and marched another couple of kilometers to where our bus was waiting.

Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avihu Chai,
The People of Israel Live, Avihu Still Lives,

Chag 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

BOMS #100

Gary has a great variety of blogs to celebrate his one-hundredth edition of the Best of Me Symphony! I had suggested that he make a real party out of it, but he's waiting for BOMS second birthday, which is coming up real soon.

Take a gander. These posts have passed the test of time. Not quite vintage, but not hot off the press. Whenever I see the great job he does, I feel that my attempts at Havel Havelim--Remember to get your links to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com--are so pathetic. His graphics are on a totally different standard. I'm happy to change colors and fonts, which is all I can do with my limited skills.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Meet up with the march in Jerusalem!

G-d willing tomorrow morning we're marching from the Shiloh Cemetery to Har HaZaytim, where most of the bodies that had been buried in the Gush Katif Cemetery are now buried.

The Od Avihu Chai march is in memory of my neighbor, Avihu Keinan, who was killed in a badly planned army action just over two years ago. More information here and here.

We should, G-d willing, be arriving in Jerusalem early afternoon. Join us for the final part of the march.

For information call 0545-649-140 or 0545-321-136.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Beware of fast-talking lawyers.

I understand that there are some really dangerous and peculiar things in Alan Dershowitz's book. I just read a review in the "National Jewish Post and Opinion."

More after the Holiday.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Join the "Od Avihu Chai to Jerusalem March"

G-d willing, this coming Sunday, Chol Hamoed Succot, the 23rd of October, we will be marching from Shiloh to Jerusalem.

There will be three stages of marching.
  1. From Shiloh Center to the Shiloh Cemetery, Avihu Keinan, HaYa"D's, grave.
  2. From Waadi Charamiya (just north of Ofra) to Givat Assaf, the Beit El Junction
  3. From French Hill to Har HaZaytim, the Mount of Olives, the cemetery where the bodies from the Gush Katif Cemetery have been re-buried.

Please join us! We should be reaching Jerusalem sometime in the afternoon.

These are the contact numbers for more information. This number should be called also if you're marching from Shiloh, Waadi Charamiya or Ofra and to check during the afternoon when and where to join us in Jerusalem: 0545-649-140, and this just for updates during the march itself: 0545-321-136.

Yes, I took the photo last year, as we were crossing the road at French Hill, Jerusalem.

This will be cross-posted on my other blogs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

#148 Humpty Dumpty

Musings #148
October 19, 2005
Succot, The 16th of Tishrei

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty back together again

There’s a Humpty Dumpty situation going on here in Israel. Unfortunately, too many people think that they can put “Humpty back together again.” I’m referring to the destroyed communities of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron.

I understand the desire of the uprooted refugees to recreate their pre-Disengagement lives, but it’s impossible, and I don’t think anyone’s doing them a favor by supporting this dream. Even if by some miracle, identical communities could be built and erected in similar topography in a few months, they would never be the same. And by expecting to duplicate the heavenly lives they once had, they’re setting themselves up for even more pain.

The Disengagement victims must each make decisions for what’s best now for themselves and their families and get on with it. First of all they must job hunt, retrain where necessary, and find some sort of housing to buy. They shouldn’t spend their limited funds on rentals, unless they really don’t have any money and had never been homeowners. They shouldn’t waste their money on those government built shantytowns, where there is no employment, no opportunities. It’s a recipe for disaster, a pressure cooker for traumatized stressed-out people.

The uprooted, evacuees, owe it to themselves and their children to find themselves the best opportunities and soon as possible. Depression is a socially contagious disease, and it’s spreading rapidly.

Any new communities founded should be for the sake of the mitzvah of “yishuv Ha’Aretz,” “settling the Land,” and they must be envisioned as totally new endeavors, wherever they may be.

For another very different reason, it’s important to spread out “yamma, v’kedma, tzafona v’negba,” west, east, north and south, is to break the disengagement between the different sectors of our beloved country. Too many of us are totally removed, oblivious, of what’s happening to the evacuees. The refugees are isolated in hotels and caravan (trailer) sites. It’s much too easy for your typical Israeli to pretend that either they don’t exist or that they’re of such a different breed, that they “deserved it.” And they’re no longer even seen on the news or read about in the press, since the editors find nothing new and earth shattering in their painful predicament. They’ve been homeless for months already. That’s too boring to rate even a few seconds or column inches.

It would be a very different situation if throughout the country, in various buildings and neighborhoods ordinary Israelis would be faced with new neighbors, who’ve lost their previous homes to Disengagement. They would see the broken furniture being taken out of the moving vans and end up helping take the refrigerator and other appliances back down the stairs after it’s discovered that its wires were burnt by the heat in the storage facility. Children would come from school telling of new students in their class who have nothing, since all their old toys and books were damaged or lost when they were forced to leave their homes.

This meeting is the next stage of “Panim el Panim,” the meetings, face-to-face and it must happen. This is how we’ll finally begin “hitchabrut,” connection, unity, which is what our nation, our people need desperately. This is the only way we can heal and bring salvation and Redemption, the Geula Shleimah.

“HaRachaman Hu Yakim et Succat David Hanofalet,”
May the Merciful One Raise up for Us the Fallen Tabernacle of David,”

Illustration from http://www.authorama.com/through-the-looking-glass-6.html

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, October 17, 2005

BOMS, and the World Terrorism Epidemic

As new families "join the club" of the bereaved--due to the terror attacks by Arab terrorists against innocent Jews-- and rush to bury their dead before the Succot Holiday begins, I received the latest edition of BOMS, Best of Me Symphony. I noticed that I'm not the only one writing about terrorism. It's a world-wide epidemic.

If only others would just "connect the dots" and see that all of this terrorism is related. And the source, the main power of world terrorism is here in the Holy Land. If you want "world peace," then you have to go after it's enemies, and the enemies are the same ones who are wined and dined by U.S. President Bush and the U.N. and the European Union and the media, etc.

May the mourners be comforted and the wounded healed...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hevel Hevalim

Biur Chametz is hosting the latest Heval Hevalim. Read the wide variety of posts.

The next Heval Hevalim will be here and here and here and maybe here.

Please try to send me your posts before the Shabbat after Simchat Torah.
shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via Conservative Cat's form.

I'm sure the times will inspire you, so I won't mention topics, except that due to the murders of innocent Jews by Arab terrorists here in the Holy Land, there will, unfortunately, be a section for obituaries from those who knew the victims personally.and if there are any blogs or posts or reports from Disengagement victims, they're all welcome.

But please remember that the main mitzvah of this holiday is "simcha," be happy. We must learn how to control our joy and sadness.

Chag Sameach

ps This will be cross-posted here and here and maybe here.

Terror returns

The year is young, and terror has returned to our holy land.
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet
and refuah shleimah, a complete and speedy recovery to the injured

and to the mourners, strength and faith
and to those caring for the injured, more strength and faith
and some humor to lighten the burden

Allies? Friends?

I somehow woke up too early, maybe a remnant of Day Light Savings Time, which was just recently cancelled.

Checking Arutz 7, I found two very related news items. They make me wonder what type of "friend" or ally the United States is to Israel.

This is a frightening article, if you read it carefully. Because of that, I will copy it in full, highlighting specific lines:

Poll: Israelis Oppose Unilateral Pullouts; PM Aide Wants More
00:22 Oct 16, '05 / 13 Tishrei 5766
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

More than two-thirds of Israelis oppose further unilateral pullouts and expulsions of Jews without a final accord with the PA, according to a Maariv poll, but a Sharon aide said more are planned.

The Teleseker poll for the Israeli newspaper revealed that only 28 percent of those surveyed support dismantling more Jewish communities without an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) over the final status of a proposed new Arab state. More than half the respondents said they supported this summer's expulsion of Jews from the Gaza and northern Samaria regions, but 68 percent are against a repeat performance.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said several times that the recent expulsions were the first and last unilateral withdrawals but that more communities would be destroyed as part of a mutual pact with the PA.

However, the Middle East Newsline quoted Sharon aide Eival Giladi, "Only unilateral [withdrawal] can work in this era. Israel determines where, when and how it withdraws." It also stated that the Defense Ministry is examining options for multi-stage withdrawals in 2007 which would force up to 100,000 Jews out of their homes in Judea and Samaria after the completion of the security fence, most of which follows the 1949 Armistice lines.The government has not responded to the report.Giladi said last month that Israel still would be in Gaza if it were negotiating with the PA and that continuing "with the old strategy like Oslo" would end up in failure.

It's a good thing that I read it before eating breakfast.

Now, if Israel was a truly democratic country, the will of the people would dominate current events. And since the will of the people is against unilateral withdrawal, it shouldn't happen.

The real problem is that too many Israelis, and that includes the media and most politicians, would do anything for a little approval and promises from any goy or foreigner, and that includes the terrorists.

And if the United States was a true friend and ally of Israel and respected its will of the people they would not have invited the Arabs for a little chat and lots of promises to force Israel to endanger itself further.

We have to stop looking for support and approval from the other nations.

"Yisrael, Yisrael batach b'Hashem!" "People of Israel, trust in G-d!"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

#147 Now for the Third Time

Musings #147
October 15, 2005
The 12th of Tishrei

Now for the Third Time

In just over a week, on Sunday, October 23, during Chol Hamoed Succot, G-d willing I’ll be attending the third annual “
Od Avihu Chai” Memorial March from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Unlike the very first year, less than three weeks after my neighbor, Avihu Keinan, was killed in a badly planned army action, we won’t be marching the entire route by foot. Last year, due to army pressure, we were bussed part of the way, and even though it was disappointing, I must admit that it still was a glorious experience.

Two years ago Moshe, Avihu’s father, led us to Jerusalem and not even the army could stop our advance. We ended our march outside the President’s Residence, and a succah was quickly constructed. It was during the Succot holiday and Moshe spent his days in that succah meeting with people. Some were famous politicians, and some were other bereaved parents and some were just ordinary Israelis and tourists. He explained to all who came how the army followed a false, a perverted morality that valued the enemy over the lives of our soldiers, our sons, brothers, cousins, fathers and friends.

Since then Moshe has continued his mission to try to bring some sanity to the Israeli psyche. He has become a symbol of a father who fights for the lives of Israeli soldiers, even after his son is dead.

Last year we marched to the “Kotel,” the “Western Wall,” in the Old City of Jerusalem. We entered via Sha’ar Shechem, the Damascus Gate. At the gate we stopped marching and danced and sang, waving Israeli and Shiloh flags, while the Arabs and security forces watched in disbelief. Such a display of Jewish pride has been, unfortunately, rare in recent years. Then we continued singing all the way through the Arab market to the Kotel.

This year the plan is to begin from the exit of Shiloh and walk first to our cemetery, to Avihu’s grave. We will end the march at Har Hazaytim, the Mount of Olives Cemetery, where most of the disinterred from
Gush Katif are now buried.

Since we failed in canceling Disengagement, now, we too are in danger of losing our homes. This is one of the points that wasn’t stressed enough during our protests. I tried to tell people that it wasn’t just a matter of a few thousand good Jews in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, it was a, G-d forbid, dangerous precedent for all Jewish communities in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. If we don’t have the right to live in Sanur or Elei Sinai, then we don’t have the right to live in Rishon Letzion and Tel Aviv.

Even before the innocent Jews were thrown out of their homes and the bodies dug out of their graves, the government was already leaking their plans to destroy more communities, like ours in Shiloh, G-d forbid. You just have to look at the route of the so-called security fence strangling Jewish towns and cutting off tens of thousands of loyal patriotic Israelis, deserting us to the dubious “protection” of terrorists.
Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post explains how the fence endangers Jews and protects Arabs, hauntingly like Moshe Keinan describes our mistaken and dangerous military strategy.

The mutilated country within those “borders” will be impossible to defend. Just because we lost the battle for Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, we must not give up. We lost that battle, but the war isn’t over yet.

The first Jew buried in modern Shiloh was Rachella Druk, HaYa”D, who was murdered in a terror attack almost fourteen years ago. Today there are a few dozen bodies in the Shiloh Cemetery. At least one was reburied after being disinterred from his Soviet grave, and others only came to Shiloh after their deaths, and that includes my husband’s parents. Others buried in our cemetery were residents of Shiloh who died from various “natural causes.” And unfortunately, Rachella was joined by a number of others, all young, who were also murdered by Arab terrorists. None of them lived long enough to marry and have children of their own. They are all “resting” together in what, G-d willing, will be their “final resting place.”

We can no longer take anything for granted, and we must be strong, like Avihu was strong. “Od Avihu Chai,” is what the march is called not to commemorate his physical strength, which was legendary, but to remember his strong charismatic morale. His soldiers tell of how he successfully motivated them to attempt the most difficult and dangerous tasks. That strength still lives.

Join us in our march to preserve the State of Israel.

For more information call 02-940-1111. I will also post the scheduled time we should be arriving in Jerusalem for those who want to join us there. Check my blogs for that information.

Shavua Tov and Chag 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

Friday, October 14, 2005


There's a principle in psychology called Projection. A person accuses or imagines what he himself is capable of. This has been going on in Israel a lot. Sharon and his henchmen kept predicting violence, a civil war, armed violent rebellion during Disengagement. As we all know, there wasn't any. The poor, innocent victims left their homes peaceful, with dignity, even if they were carried out physically, nobody attacked the soldiers.

All that training for nothing. The soldiers were trained in arm-to-arm combat: "When a settler attacks you with a knife..." was a typical training exercise.

According to the media, Sharon was supposed to be assassinated months ago, but nothing happened.

Now the government is starting again. According to "The Jerusalem Post," Internal Security Minister Gidon Ezra, they're expecting Sharon to be attacked.

I guess that this is another warning of violence against us, since they're the ones capable of violence, not us. And remember that it was the Shabak, Israel's Secret Service that was behind Rabin's assassination. Avishai Raviv had been infiltrating for years, about ten from my reports.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I've written about my friend, Judith Nussbaum, a tireless worker for Israel, who needs a kidney transplant. Well there's progress, Baruch HaShem, Thank G-d. A possible donor is willing to travel here to Israel to check if they're really "compatible."

It's a long complicated procedure, lots of tests. And since he's not an Israeli, he and a care-giver companion will need a place to live. Judith is trying to find them an apartment in Tel Aviv.

If you can help, please write To: Judith

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Avihu Keinan, HaYa"D, Memorial March

Od Avihu Chai!
G-d Willing, Sunday,
October 23, the 20th of Tishrei
Avihu Keinan, HaYa"D,
Memorial March
This year's route will be from
Avihu's grave in the Shiloh Cemetary
to the Hazaytim, Mount of Olives Cememtary
where the dead of Gush Katif were reburied
It will start from Shiloh, 9am, and we will march to his grave. From the cemetary we will be bussed to Waadi Charamiya, just before Ofra. From there we will march until Givat Asaf, the "T" junction to Beit El. Then we will be bussed to French Hill, Jerusalem, and from there we will march to Har Hazaytim.
To register call 02-940-1111. NS10- participation fee. Wear a sunhat, hiking shoes, and bring food and water. It is possible to join up mid way or for the last part.
Read about the march and the second one.

Yom Kippur

I don't know if I'll be posting again today. I have to finish cooking for lunch and the pre-Yom Kippur meal, since it's a fast day.

What can I say besides that we live in difficult and confusing and frightening times?

Our prayers are in the plural, "we," "our." We don't just pray for ourselves and families and friends. We are praying for all Am Yisrael, the entire People of Israel. One of the other mitzvot in the group I wrote about, but didn't spell out, in Giving the Benefit of the Doubt demands that we intensify our prayers, with strong concentration and sincereity, not to just mumble jibberish, while our minds are else where.

May we pray hard and well, and may our prayers for all Am Yisrael be accepted by G-d.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Carnival of Liberty

There are some really great articles in the Carnival of Liberty. Take a gander.

Child Welfare

It's amazing at what an excellent administrator G-d is. I know that there are people who prefer to complain, but honestly, I think He does an amazing job.

Just today for example...

After kvetching, complaining about having to wait for a ride home, competing with the kids also trying to get home, and there's no public transportation between Beit El, where I teach and Shiloh, where I live.

So I waited, and there actually were only a few kids, not the mobs I had been dreading. I guess that's a lesson to me not to allow myself to get into one of those funks.

So after a short, ok not short, reasonable amount of time, who should show up, but a neighbor I had been hoping to talk to. He's very involved with the kids who have been jailed.

He gave me one of the stories you're not going to see in the mainstream press.

Did you know that there is still a young teenage girl in jail? She's one of those who kept insisting that she didn't recognize the judicial system, because it's not "Jewish." Others, like a neighbor of mine, who follow the same ideology, decided that regardless, she'd do whatever to go home.

It hasn't been doing anyone any good to stay in jail. The judicial, government and media have tried to portray it that the parents have brainwashed the kids into demonstrating and getting arrested, that they're just not good parents. So when there were still more kids in jail and a rabbi came to visit them, the authorities insisted that the rabbi's discussion with the kids had to be "witnessed" or supervised by someone from the Children's Welfare authority. This bothered the kids and made it difficult and uncomfortable for them to speak to the rabbi.

The rabbi may have had been able to convince all of the kids to sign whatever was necessary if he had been able to talk without that outsider.

Now there's still one young girl in jail, according to the report I got today. This girl refuses to recognize the Israeli court. And she refused to allow a court appointed lawyer represent her. The authorities have now decided to declare her mental ill and are sending her for psychiatric testing. And we all know that the psychiatrists medicate when they can't control a person.

Something must be done to save this girl. She's not a dangerous criminal. She's just an ideological purist. She's an idealist. She's a teenager!

There's no reason for her to be in prison. She has certainly served enough time for just being an idealistic Jewish kid.

#146 Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

Musings #146
October 11, 2005
The 8th of Tishrei

Kaf Zchut, Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

There’s a very important concept in Judaism, considered a significant mitzvah, commandment, between man and man, that one should give others the benefit of the doubt.

According to the
Gemarah, (a series of books explaining Jewish Law), by giving others the benefit of the doubt, others will treat you the same way. It is one of only six mitzvot for which you not only benefit in “this world,” but the principle stays in “your account” in Olam HaBa, the Next World.

This past Shabbat, Shabbat
Shuva, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, when we’re supposed to work harder at repentance, my neighbor, Rabbi Dov Berkovits gave a talk in English. He discussed this mitzvah and the other five with the same status. They concern making extra time, first thing every morning to learn Torah, to visit the sick, to make sure we teach our children Torah, and others. Most are very obviously important, but this one had me bothered.

The traditional example of giving someone else the benefit of the doubt is of a worker, who after a number of years went to his employer asking to receive his wages, so he could return to his family for the holidays. The employer told him that he was sorry but he had no money to give. So the employee suggested that he be given some of the goods in lieu of money, but his employer told him that it would be impossible.

The poor worker kept making reasonable suggestions, but each was vetoed, without explanation, by his boss. Finally, he just went home empty-handed, no money for his family. A few weeks later, suddenly his boss showed up with donkeys laden with goods, payment, and money for the poor man.

The boss asked his employee why he had been so accepting of all the
refusals, and the worker told him. Amazingly, each of the reasons was the true reason why the employer couldn’t give him anything at all at the time.

All right, this sounds reasonable, but I kept thinking of all of the cases of sexual abuse that have been revealed as true, years after they were denied. The Catholic Church and all sorts of religious schools, all religions including Orthodox Jews, and youth activities, all over the world have had scandals revealed and confirmed in recent years.

Not long ago, it was disclosed that my “very own” NCSY had a long-time sexual abuser as a rabbinic staff member. Apparently, this began just after I made aliyah so I knew nothing about it. Over the years there were complaints to the top administration, but they found it impossible to believe and using the halachik (Jewish Law) concept of “Kaf Zchut,” “giving the benefit of the doubt,” they accepted the account of the abuser.

It’s now Tuesday, three days after the shiur, and I should be preparing my English lessons before going to work, but this dilemma has been occupying my mind. Finally, I think I have it. The high level rabbis who received the complaints were supposed to give the benefit of the doubt, but not to the rabbi-abuser. They were supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to those complaining. By not taking them seriously, by not believing them, they were actually causing “motzei shem ra,” giving those reporting a “bad name,” casting doubts on their integrity.

What resulted, in the short term at least, was a perversion of a very important Halacha, Jewish Law. In this specific case, after a number of years the truth came to light and some of the authority figures who had supported the abusing rabbi, themselves lost their positions and good name.

There is no doubt, that this is an extremely difficult Halacha to observe properly. We need a major amount of “Siyata d’Shmaya,” help from G-d, to know who is telling the truth, who deserves the benefit of the doubt.

May G-d help us, and may we understand His instructions and messages.

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

updates, Blog Free!

I've finally gotten Blog Free! rolling. One of my aims for it is to showcase the excellent "From Israel" reports by Arlene Kushner, and the latest is posted on it.

I'm willing to put other items that don't get into the mainstream media. Please send me links or texts, no attachments nor pictures, please.

Send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

This blog remains primarily for my original writing.


Monday, October 10, 2005


Maybe there's hope for some unity. Though according to the shiur, Torah class, I heard last night from my neighbor, Rabbi Dov Berkovits, there are Chazal, Torah sages, who say that true unity of the Jewish People will only take place after the Moshiach, Messiah. That's then a great philosophic question, like what came first, the chicken or the egg.

But the unity I was referring to was a political union between the Mafdal, National Religious Party and the Ichud Leumi, the National Union, which is itself a union of political parties. There has been a great yearning among the patriotic public, which includes many religious Israelis, for the NRP to join with the NU, which has many like-minded religious supporters and leaders.

Especially now that the Likud has proven itself so corrupt and ideologically "unreliable," it's of the utmost importance for there to be a party that a large portion of the public can support without great compromise.

Unfortunately, at the same time some of the NRP feels close to the NU, there are those hoping to join the government coalition. Traditionally the NRP had always been a member of the government, regardless of which party was in power. Ideology always played second fiddle to getting money for their institutions.

But today, Israel is still suffering the damage and pain of Disengagement. Thousands of good people are homeless, and the situation is only getting worse. The hotels are complaining that they haven't gotten payments, and they want paying guests. The evacuees, refugees, victims--choose your name or names--are still unemployed and rudderless.

G-d willing.

and what was Disengagement?

Abbas is complaining that Israel has to "give more," for him to find the time to speak to Sharon.

Nu, what was Disengagement, just a "first course," as I had been warning. And besides that, why should we talk to a bunch of terrorists? It's so demeaning to see our elected officials groveling.

BOMS, the Best...

The latest "Best of ..." is up. Vintage posts froma wide variety of blogs.

Take a gander.

Heval Hevalim #40

The 40th edition of Heval Hevalim is hosted by Israel Perspectives, who did an excellent job. Take a gander...

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Playing G-d and Blog Free!

Playing G-d is a very dangerous game. Recently a Jewish billionaire, James Wolfenson, has been using his money to "make or change history."

Just because he has been very successful in making money doesn't mean that he understands what's best for Israel.

Do you remember the scheme in which rich American Jews donated $14 million dollars to transfer ownership of some of the Gush Katif hot houses to the Arabs? And do you know how the Arabs repaid that generosity? The Arabs looted and destroyed the hot houses. They don't want to be peaceful, successful farmers; they want to be terrorists. As they say in Hebrew: "Uvdah, facts prove it!."

And what's this guy's next brilliant idea? He's pressuring Sharon to agree to let the Europeans, yes the same ones who keep giving financial support to the terrorist strongholds surrounding Israel, responsibility for Israel's security.

New paragraph to give you time to get out of your faint.

Considering how Sharon and sons are already proven to have accepted bribes, it's frightening to imagine how much influence a billionaire can have on him.

I know that "money makes the world go around," but in the end we pay for their mistakes, while the billionaires go on to more dangerous games.

Also, think of it, I can't get my articles into the mainstream press, while the Oslo and Peace Now crowd can.

So I must thank G-d for the internet and opportunity to be part of the "alternative" news media. It reminds me of the Samizdat, the underground press during the Communist regime in the USSR.

Maybe we should call our movement "Blog Free!"

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Josh who commented

Please let me know what your proof is re: Uzi, thanks

The Terror of Hailing Rocks

I was just paying a simple visit to smooth's blog when I realized that the post was about a terror attack on my family. We weren't the only ones there that day. I'm referring to that Succot afternoon when Arabs threw heavy stones onto the kotel (western wall) plaza from Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount.

We used to have a family custom, every Succot holiday we would pack a nice picnic lunch and travel to the kotel and then eat in the large succah in the back of the plaza. We did this when we lived in Jerusalem and continued even after moving to Shiloh. I'd bring fruit and sandwiches, and I could never understand how other Israeli families could schlepp pots of food and serve proper meals on the narrow tables. We were always lucky just to find a chair or two.

We were in the succah eating when we heard noise, a sort of shooting sound but didn't really pay any attention at first. Then we realized that others were acting concerned, peeking through cracks trying to see what was going on. Looking at the kotel, we saw what seemed like hundreds of giant white balls raining on the kotel. But they weren't balls, they were large rocks, and people were fleeing. And these rocks were being thrown by Arabs from Har HaBayit.

Israeli soldiers were trying to stop them by shooting tear gas. In the succah, we could see and we could hear it all, but we didn't "feel the tear gas." The succah walls and the leafy schach roof protected us. We felt very safe.

Then soldiers came in and ordered us to leave, for our own "safety" of course. Unfortunately, once we left the protection of the succah, we felt the tear gas. Let me tell you about tear gas. It hurts, burns the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. The longer you're exposed the worse it is. And the more physical effort you have to make, the worse it is.

We were instructed to go into the "Jewish Quarter," which meant that we had to climb lots of stairs and breathe deeply. Of course it just made everything more painful. And the air wasn't clean up there.

I'm not going to lie to you. It was our last big family visit to the kotel succah, though I did manage to convince my young sons to go with me a couple of years later, accompanied by two "body guards," olim chadashim, new immigrants from Russia, who had become like family. That way I was able to doven on the ladies' side, and each son had an adult man with him.

There are things one just never forgets. I could taste the tear gas as I wrote this.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Uzi support

No, not mine. But Irving Moskowitz, the very generous American Jew, has just announced his support for Uzi Landau, and his support is green, like in money. I don't know if that would be enough, since politics isn't all about money. And I have a problem with too many "experts," "paid public relations professionals" running political campaigns. It's not a matter of slick; it's a matter of irresponsible. It also shows a lack of imagination and confidence on the part of the candidate him/herself.

But the pragmatic in me says that I have to make peace with the fact that the chance of Arye Eldad's Moledet Party getting enough seats to choose the Prime Minister is pretty slim. Also, Arye, at present, isn't even "number one" in Moledet. I'll still support him, but I must pay careful attention to the Likud.

Besides Moskowitz's money, Uzi needs people to support him, and there's one person in the Likud who should stop his own private campaign and join Uzi. That's Moshe Feiglin. Uzi is an individual, ok with good yichus, in the Likud, while Feiglin has a faction and is a good organizer and has imagination and daring; (ok now it's time to test his ego.) These are all things lacking in Uzi.

G-d willing, they'll find a way to work together, and we'll all work together for the good of Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael.

Shabbat Shalom