Hamas War

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Strange elections

These elections, just four, could it really be only FOUR, meaning 4 weeks away seem rather unreal. The general feeling is a cynical blaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Many people are choosing the party to vote for by "the process of elimination" rather than any true enthusiasm. It seems like most of us feel that we have to compromise on our ideals and general political philosophy. And we're the ones who are planning on voting.

The most "excitement" in my circles are the arguments between the "to vote" and "not to vote" supporters.

There are rumors that the polls aren't showing the true picture. Some people are claiming that the most popular answer isn't "Kadima," it's "undecided." If that really is the case, then we all may be very surprised when the votes are counted.

A TV undercover crew revealed that many pollsters just fill in what they want, but I'm sure that it's a common phenomenon, nothing really new. Since I never make decisions by following others, I can't understand why everyone is so mesmerized by the polls. So what!? All I care about are the real election results not the pre-election guess-work.

I have very little faith, OK the truth is no faith in the wisdom of the masses. That makes democracy a bit like Russian Roulette with more than one bullet in the chamber. We've seen that the politicians don't rule in accordance with their promises. They like to surprise the public. And it's not only here. Remember that anti-communist Nixon sent the "ping pong players" to Communist China. And the liberal JFK was responsible for "The Bay of Pigs."

Could it be that Yes, Minister was really a documentary on how a government is run, rather than one of the all-time best TV comedies?

It's one thing to have elected the French-Jewish "con man," Shmuel Flatto-Sharon to the Knesset in 1977, in his ploy to stay out of French jail, but today's Kadima list is filled with politicians fighting criminal charges in Israeli courts.

To me it's inexplicable that these politicians don't repulse the Israeli public. Instead, your typical Israeli admires them. All I can think of is the phrase from the Bible:
And Isaac loved Essau, Genesis 25:28

Our forefather, Yitzchak (Isaac), was considered to be the purest of all of the early Biblical figures. He was the only one to have spent his entire life in the Land of Israel. As a young man, he walked calmly with his father, not knowing if he was to be sacrificed or not. But when it came to his two sons, he loved Essau, the wild one, the hunter, not the quiet Jacob, who seemed so much more like himself and his father Abraham. So, if holy Yitzchak could be attracted to Essau, what can we expect from a Nation that brings its foreign visitors to Yad Veshem, which exists to say: "We suffered." It wants to get the sympathy of the world, but it doesn't have the guts to use the "m" word. Read the signs, which tell of people who "perished," but somehow omit to make it clear that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their supporters. They didn't "perish" in some natural disaster, unless you think that anti-Semitism is the nature of man.

I do try to keep my sense of humor, but we must remember that our country is in danger. Our very existence as an independent nation is being threatened. As any doctor will tell you, you can't cure the disease until you have a diagnosis. So let's stop playing games.

Chodesh Tov,

Mi Shenichnas b'Adar, Marbim b'Simcha!

When the Month of Adar Begins, Joy Increases

B'Ezrat Hashem, With the Help of the Almighty

Monday, February 27, 2006

NU Knesset link

Here's the official National Union, Ichud Leumi Knesset information and history.

thanks to MW for the tip

Recipes, The Mundane and BOMS, yessiree!

Yes, the latest issue of BOMS is hot off the keyborad! Take a gander!

...and about The Carnival of the Mundane, it seems like I must have had missed it when it first came out, but you shouldn't ignore it; there are some great posts in there. And notice who was singled out for being the "Queen of Mundanity."

I must thank Sun Comprehending Glass for putting my Kosher Cooking Carnival in place of honor in the 80th Carnival of Recipes!

So, enjoy! There's lots to read out there!!!

Rav Benny's Vision of NU, the National Union, Ichud Leumi

This feature article from the Jerusalem Post gives a good clear explanation of Rav Benny Elon's vision and political stance.

Personally, I found it reassuring, since there have been some things publicized of late which bothered me tremendously.

I am 100% convinced that when taking all into account, that there is only one party to vote for in the upcoming Israeli elections, and that's the Ichud Le'umi, The National Union.

I agree with Rav Benny that the Likud is finished. Honestly, I never liked Limor Livnat, even though her mother is wonderful. Limor destroyed her credibility as an intelligent human being, forget about being a wily, wise, ideological politician, when she developed and supported the Dovrat Commission, for the "restructuring" of the Israeli Educational System. She failed in every aspect of her job as Minister of Education. Her wishy-washy stance on Disengagement only confirmed my worst suspicions.

About Sylvan Shalom, who sees himself as Likud leader vying for top spot, I still can't see him as a real Likud ideologue. He always impressed me as one of those who joined the Likud when it was the party in power, because he wanted to be on the winning team. Rather inexplicably he stayed with the Likud, while the super-dirty-oportunists, like Olmert formed Kadima. My feeling is that he was left to bring the rest of Likud into a coalition with Kadima.

And how can I forget Bibi Netanyahu, who took the flack as the tough Finance Minister taking responsibility for unpopular decisions and policies in the Sharon Government. Somehow, I get this strong feeling that regardless of the outcome of next month's elections, his career is far from over, especially if he inherited his father's longevity. Yes, Bibi was already Prime Minister once and did a disastrous job, but he'll keep trying.

As depressing as the present situation is, we must vote. By not voting we are giving victory to those who want to destroy the State of Israel.

Haveil Havalim #59 wow!

Read Daled Amos: Haveil Havalim #59

I'm experimenting with the blogger automatic link maker, or whatever it's called. And if you haven't yet read this latest HH, I humbly suggest that you make the time, since there are some very interesting links.


Sunday, February 26, 2006


thanks to Antony Rose for the general idea, which I changed, of course

להזהיר! סכנה=קדימה

Arlene's news

Arlene Kushner, the writer of "From Jerusalem," has her own site! So, now I won't be posting her "From Jerusalem's" on Blog Free!.

It's a real site and definitely worth checking on a regular basis. I had been nudging her to "blog or something," and I'm really glad that she has done it.

Good luck!


Here's the press release:
Requests Swamp Israel Trip Program

by Jewish Telegraphic Agency 2006-02-24www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=15477

Birthright Israel has received many more applications for its upcoming trips than it has spaces available. Approximately 14,000 young Jews applied for 8,000 spots in the program's spring/summer trips this year in just the first 12 hours of registration Feb. 8.

The organization provides free trips to Israel for Jews ages 18 to 26. In the six years since its founding, Birthright has brought 98,000 people from 45 countries to Israel. The upcoming trip will include the program's 100,000th participant."

The level of demand is unprecedented and well exceeds our financial capability to accommodate the majority of those who currently wish to go on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips," said Susie Gelman, Birthright Israel Foundation chair.Taglit is the Hebrew name for the program."

As Taglit-Birthright Israel grows rapidly and develops into a community-supported organization, we hope that our friends will support us in enabling more young Jews to participate in the Taglit-Birthright Israel experience, so that we can send the 100,000th participant and plan for the next 100,000," Gelman said.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and AnalysisWebsite: www.imra.org.il

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a cousin to announce that his child, whom I had never met, was on the program, and at that moment in Israel. Included were the itinerary and cell phone. Immediately I called and introduced myself. The trip was already almost half over. They weren't allowed to leave the group at all. They had no free time, and the Jerusalem hotel wasn't in Jerusalem. It was like a tourist going to New York to see the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, but staying in a hotel in Great Neck, Long Island or Norwalk, CT. Suffice to say that we didn't meet the cousin.

A tour from a bus, highly supervised and restricted could be done with one of those new-fangled "viewers" I've read about, all computerized. You sit in a chair, put them on and "experience" all sorts of things. If the participants in these trips aren't allowed the freedom of wandering a bit here and there, they don't really connect to our Land and People.


By reading the latest Carnival of the Clueless it's easy to discover that Israel doesn't have a monopoly in absurdity, stupidity and the like.

The big question is whether it should comfort or terrify us. What do you think?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

"a nation like all others"

The early Zionist had a dream, and it has come true. We've become "a nation like all others."

I just checked the news on ynet and read that:
Knife attacks continue to take place as four people are stabbed during incidents in central Israel over the weekend
Man in his 20s hospitalized after being shot in shoulder during argument over lane change

Now, is this really what they wanted?

Add to that sort of violence, the corrupt politicians and the police brutality in Amona .

Partying at the Carnivals!

We bloggers like to party, cyber-style. That means that we do it from where ever we are, and we don't f2f the people we party with, or should I say carnival with. Yes, that's right. We maybe passing people in the street whom we know very well, but we've never met them in person. And in some cases, we think that we don't know a blogger, but the truth is that we do, since not everyone reveals his/her identity.

We read and write all sorts of things that get distributed all over the world. The "posts," aka articles, are collected into "carnivals." They're not the sort of carnivals where my son won all sorts of stuffed animals. They're like internet magazines, filled with all kinds of posts. Usually there's some sort of theme to the carnivals, like my very own "Kosher Cooking Carnival."

In my various guises, like me-ander, Shiloh Musings, Blog Free! and The Muse's Pics, I participate in the carnival scene. Recently I've had posts in Carnival of the Walkers #35, Carnival of the Vanities #179 and Carnival of Comedy #43.

So please, take a gander, I'm sure that you'll find some great reading there.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stabbing Soldiers

The army is allowing the Machsom Watch Women to lecture soldiers on ethics. This is the same as stabbing the soldiers, as far as I'm concerned. They believe that Arab rights are superior to Jewish/Israeli. They weaken the defense forces and destroy morale.

This new decision shouldn't surprise us after how the (sic) defense forces used such brutality against patriotic Jewish demonstrators.

From a letter I wrote...

You're writing from Golus, Galut, punishment by G-d who expelled our People from Our Land.

Around 14 years ago, neighbors of mine did a short weekly vigil across from the Knesset with a sign that said something like "Only one million Jews in YESHA will bring peace." It was their reaction to Oslo, if I'm not mistaken. I used to go with them a lot. It didn't get any publicity, but their point was correct.

The Jewish Nation must vote with their feet.

One of the "innovations" to Judaism that Jesus made was that the mitzvot could be "in one's heart" and didn't need "action."

I was told that at Amona, the troops (sic security forces) had expected the demonstrators to flee at the sight of their superior physical force. They freaked out when the young kids would just walk up the them and politely ask "Why are you here?" "Why are you attacking us?" Their physical strength has a corresponding spiritual weakness, while the kids we raised are of the opposite proportions. On my way to Ofra that day, I was amazed/impressed to see young kids standing tall, politely arguing with soldiers and police.

To borrow a phrase "We shall overcome" with the help of G-d!

Remember that Nachshon didn't drown!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Finding the strength

Our precious people have been battered and traumatized. Disengagement, Amona.

Today I was among a group of women who got together, through the initiative of Sharon Katz of Efrat and Anita Tucker, formerly of Nezer Chazani and Ellen Horowitz of the Golan.

I'm waiting "official notice" before giving details, but it was a wonderful experience. We were together to unite to save our country, Land and People. Together we will succeed, G-d willing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


There are a number of English language events that HaIchud Haleumi-Mafdal (National Union-NRP) will be hosting, or participating in, in the coming weeks.

Please forward this to any English speaking friends or family who are still undecided as to who to vote for, or whether they intend on voting at all.

If you are interested in more information or hosting/arranging such an event, please contact our Operations Coordinator Ze'ev Orenstien at: zevinzion@yahoo.com

If you can volunteer some of your time to help our Anglo Campaign, please contact our Volunteers Coordinator Danny Gottlieb at: dannygott@bezeqint.net

Thank you!

Uri Bank
HaIchud HaLeumi-Mafdal's Anglo Candidate

The King is in his "altogether!"

Yes! The emperor has no clothes!

And the "little boy" who shouted it out is being indicted for telling the truth! The Israeli Government with the support of (Yes, we have an agenda) the Israeli Judicial system is prosecuting, or should we say "persecuting" Nadia Matar.

Personally I have no faith in the objectivity, nor its faithfulness to the law of the High Court Judges here. Chief Justice Barak has repeated many times:
the court must decide such issues "according to the views of the enlightened community in Israel" - where the justices, of course, are the arbiters of what qualifies as "enlightened."

I just hope that the hearings will be public, so that people will have an opportunity to hear Nadia's defense.

Monday, February 20, 2006

OK, Maybe I am Stupid

I'm not denying the possibility, and I'm sure there are all sorts of people out there and much closer who think I am.

Let me tell you what has me confused. I've been under the distinct impression that we're a country in danger. We have enemies, real ones. They attack, terrorize, murder, bomb, shoot rockets at us. This isn't a polite disagreement for diplomats to chit chat about. Our survival, very existence is at stake.

That's why I can't see the point of training Border Police and Yassamnikim (special forces units) for crowd control in soccer matches. Shouldn't they be protecting Israeli citizens from terrorists? Terrorism is a bigger danger than unruly sports fans.

Another thing that makes no sense to me is all of the investment in temporary "solutions" for the Disengagement victims. None of it is helping the victims restart their lives. At present, most find it impossible to get work and begin to recover. They live in a twilight zone of unreality. Many are still paying mortgages for homes the government destroyed. I don't know how it works in the rest of the world, but here in Israel one is penalized by the bank, which demands a high cancellation fee if you want to pay your mortgage early. So if these poor homeless people ever get their compensation, in some cases they will have to pay more to the bank than their house was worth, and then nothing will remain with which to pay for a new home.

Another thing: An absolute fortune was invested in reinforced buildings and shelters in Gush Katif to protect the residents from Arab rockets launched by the terrorists. All of this was left and destroyed when the thousands of loyal citizens were forced out of their homes last summer.

Now they're living in temporary quarters, dormitories, hotels and trailer homes. In some of the areas they were put, they are now in danger, since the PA Arabs now aim their rockets inside the "green line" where the refugees now are.

And lastly, I have trouble accepting that most of world Jewry is so disengaged from what is happening here in our Holy Land. We're all one people, and if others think that the trouble here won't affect them, I'm sorry to inform them that they are wrong.

G-d willing, we must bridge the gaps and work together.

We're in BOMS!

Yes, we're in BOMS again, among some very interesting and intellectually stimulating company. Take a gander!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

They keep dishing it out

While the world is still reeling from the Moslem attacks on Danes and whomever for allegedly insulting them with cartoons, the Fatah newspaper has regularly published some really vicious anti-Israel ones. For more information, go to the Palestine Media Watch.

Soccer Dad shows us how...

...to do a great Havel Havelim! It's number 58, if you're counting. He started it over a year ago, and other bloggers, including yours truly, usually host it. But periodically Soccer Dad takes over.

This new edition is so filled with posts from Jewish and Israeli blogs from all over. There are many blogs which are new to me. So I highly recommend that you make time to visit.

And I wish to thank him for the reminder to send me links about food, "anything kosher," for the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Please send them to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Thanks and Shavua Tov
Have a wonderful week!

The "Golden Rule"

Growing up in Christian America, public schools and all, we were taught the "Golden Rule."

I remember it as: "Do unto others as you have others do unto you."

Later on when I learned about Judaism, I was taught it as
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.

This concept exists in most religions, since without it there is terror. It seems like the one exception is Islam.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

El Al Security

El Al, Israel's airline, put out a press release to notify the world that they've invested a lot of money to increase flight security. That reminds me...

During the Gulf War, about fifteen years ago, my husband and I were given tickets to travel to England as he was guest speaker at the Cherut Convention there. This was a "high level" invitation, which was for guest and spouse.

Though the Gulf War was between the United States and Iraq, Israel was the victim, since the Iraqis launched rockets, scuds, at Israel. It was strange, since for some peculiar reason Israel didn't respond, just passively "turned the other cheek," in the Christian way, which Christians don't do. There were parts of Israel damaged by the rockets, but Shiloh wasn't targeted. There were even people who came to stay in Shiloh, or send their children, since it was relatively safe.

We left the kids who were post-high school and down. In a friendly supportive neighborhood it was fine.

I'll never forget how the clerk at "passport control" looked at me when she said: "And you left your kids at home?!" such an accusatory tone! I just put on my "I don't understand what you're saying" look and didn't reply.

El Al was the only airline flying during the war, so that's what we flew. The plane began to take off, going faster and higher, when suddenly it made a sharp turn. Can you guess? Luckily the pilot had "fighter" experience, though generally that sort of avoidance is done in smaller planes. He had seen a missile going straight at us, and that's why he turned.

Yes, I do feel safer in El Al, even without the new machinery.

Here it is!

Presenting the Ichud HaLeumi--English site!

Take a look!

Friday, February 17, 2006

I still have to hitch hike

As most of you know, I "tremp" hitch hike to and from work. I also use that mode of transportation when no bus is easily available. It's pretty standard and accepted here. My neck of the woods isn't Manhattan,which has fantastic public transportation. In some ways it's better than Great Neck, which at least when I was a teen had just the Long Island Railroad, LIRR, which could take me, after walking a mile to the station, either to Port Washington, which I never needed or west to Bayside, Flushing or Penn Station. When the World's Fair was happening, it took me there, too.

But I'm not hitching to have fun. I have to go to work or get home, rain or shine. Once I'm on the main road, most of the cars are Arab, even if they have Israeli license plates. So I stay on the shoulder, behind cement barricades, when available, and patiently wait. The new barricades outside of Ofra were destroyed when the houses in Amona were destroyed. I don't know by whom.

Recently, there were announcements that the Arab terrorists plan to kidnap Israeli soldiers. True, I don't look like a soldier, and I never was one, but still, that means that all of us are in danger, especially since their aim is to use the, G-d forbid, kidnapped Israelis for "trading."

I have no other reasonable alternative way of traveling. As it is, the twenty minute direct drive takes me an average of an hour or more. And that's on a good day. On very rare occasions, I make it home in about 45 minutes, which is double what it could be if I had door-to-door non-stop transportation. Of course, I don't get into a car unless I've taken a good look at the driver. Frequently I know him or her. When I'm waiting outside of Ofra, I don't hail passing vehicles.

I also don't "tremp" on routes and roads I'm unfamiliar with. When I visit my cousin in the other direction, Neve Ne'eman (a suburb of Hod Hasharon), I first got to know the route by bus, even though it made the trip longer. It's extremely important to know exactly where I need to go. People endanger themselves by not knowing their routes. And that includes soldiers who sometimes haven't the vaguest idea where they are. That is how people really put themselves in trouble.

There's no guarantee, and traffic accidents are also a danger, just like any place else in the world.

Shabbat's approaching, and I have a lot to do.

So, if I don't' have any more time later,

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Link to letter to Olmert

A link to the letter to Olmert from Paster Jim Vineyard can be found here.

Please pass it around. It's an excellent, very strong letter telling Olmert how the police attack on civilians in Amona was a horrible, horrible act, which Olmert must take responsibility.

walls and roads

Today in the teachers room a teacher asked me how I would "be getting to work when the road is closed." I was a bit surprised at her certainty that it would happen. I told her that if they don't provide me with transportation there's no way I could get to work. It's hard enough tremping now.

The Olmert Government wants us to "leave voluntarily." That means G-d forbid give up our homes, jobs, lives and move into the ghetto walls they're planning. Today's news mentions that even in our "wilderness" ghetto walls will be built.

Horrible, just horrible.
We must fight it.

Fasting again?

Some of you may remember that a few years ago, Eli Joseph went on a hunger strike to put pressure on the "powers" to free Jonathan J. Pollard. According to my memory, this went on for quite a while, and as we all know, Mr. Pollard is still in an American jail. No one should consider this a personal failure of Eli, since the forces of American anti-Semitism are much stronger than anything we want to admit to ourselves.

We first heard of Eli Joseph when we went on shlichut to England, to do youth work for the Jewish Agency, to develop the Betar Zionist Youth Movement. Eli had been in it until just before we arrived in 1975, and he was a legendary figure. And I guess that he still is. It's just that he has taken on projects so overwhelmingly impossible.

Background to Jay Pollard scandal is rather complex. The scandal is the American Government. Israel and the United States had an agreement, treaty, that each was required to inform the other if it discovered dangers that would affect the other country. Jay Pollard discovered that the United States wasn't upholding its end of the agreement, and he took it into his own hands and gave "intelligence information" to Israel.

He and his first wife, Ann, were caught, and Israel didn't protect them. The United States Defense Department and Judicial system gave them the strongest and heaviest punishments. There is absolutely no precedent for such punishment. Even communist spies, who intentionally endangered the United States didn't get any punishment that compares to what Pollard got. Doesn't it make you wonder?....

Back to Eli Joseph...
In case you try to hear this broadcast, after it's no longer online, I'll explain that this new hunger strike that Eli Joseph is doing is to promote a national referendum. This is a big mistake, even with the campaign he's suggesting to promote the integrity of Eretz Yisrael. Basically he's just re-hashing the Moetzet YESHA campaign which failed tremendously.

Personally, I'm against risking Eretz Yisrael by promoting democracy. Yes, I don't consider "democracy" to be an ideal. In Jewish history we've seen how the majority is generally wrong. The majority of the Jews stayed in Egypt and didn't leave with Moshe. The majority of those who did leave voted with the ten out of twelve spies who said that it would be "too risky" to enter the Land of Israel. And of course you remember that Hitler was voted in by democratic means.

I wish that Eli Joseph would use his great talents to promote, to teach to the Israeli public the importance of all of Eretz Yisrael and forget about his referendum idea. If he really succeeds, then there wont be any need for a referendum.

G-d willing.

Kever Rachel Announcements

Three Big Events Being Planned at Kever Rachel …
There are three important events being planned for Kever Rachel in the
next two weeks;
- On Wednesday, 22 February, 2006; Atara Gur will be giving a Shiur about Kever Rachel at 11:00 AM.
- On Thursday, 23 February, 2006; Reva Twersky will be giving a Shiur on the Midos of Rachel Imeinu at 11:00 AM.
- On Wednesday, 1 March, 2006; On the second day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, there will be a special leyning at 10:00 AM from the Sefer Torah placed in B'nai Beit Rachel House in July, 2005 by the Sefer Torah Recycling Network and dedicated by Dr. Lee Caplan in memory of his Dad.
These three events are particularly important and crucial in light of the current attempts by the government to encage the Kever Rachel complex by way of walls and fences, thus attempting to obstruct normal, regularly scheduled access to Kever Rachel.
Transportation is available via Autobus #163 which leaves the Jerusalem Central Bus Station at 9:10 AM and 10:10 AM respectively, arriving at the Kever Rachel complex at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM respectively. The #163 can also be boarded from stops on Malchei Yisrael and Shiftei Yisrael.
Transportation is also available via Shuttle bus from the Machsom, the entance to the road to Kever Rachel.
For more information, please call Evelyn Haies, President of Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation at cellular # 050-856-3898.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Criminal education?

If Amona wasn't enough, to show the "fighting spirit" of our "security forces," yesterday they invaded an elementary school, a Jewish one, in Itamar. That's the yishuv that suffered a couple of terror attacks, in which Arab terrorists invaded the yishuv, Itamar, and murdered innocent Jews. In one attack our young neighbor, Avi Siton, was murdered.

Something's very wrong in the State of Israel.

The Passing of a Legend

Israel's greatest singer, Shoshana Damari, passed away yesterday. For many of us, her voice is the one we hear in our heads when we think of Israeli songs, at least the songs of Israel's early days.

She still performed until recently. She was an amazing woman and is irreplaceable.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Letter to The Jerusalem Post re: NU & NRP

This is a letter to the Jerusalem Post in response to an article about the NU NRP union

The NRP collapsed, because its constituency matured. It's as simple as that. The patriotic, national religious community no longer feels the need to leech onto the party in power and stay in its political ghetto.

At the same time, the political leadership of the NRP disengaged from its potential voters. Orlev's statement that: "he would he would rather close down a settlement than a state religious school," he obviously forgot that there are state religious schools in the "settlements." This lack of simple common sense is typical of the way the NRP leadership thinks.

Many people whose life style fit the "NRP stereotype" find the National Union, consisting of Moledet and Tekuma, to be the political party that most supports and defends our positions and needs. We don't accept the idea that the Mamlachti Dati, State Religious School System should be political, dependent on the NRP. It's a responsibility of the national government, not a partisan political party. We also don't see being religious as a political statement. We are part of the entire country and want to work with Israelis of all levels of religious observance to improve and defend our country. In this, too, the National Union is the only party in the political spectrum for us.

The NRP is finished, and I for one think that it got too many places in the agreement to join the National Union, especially since Tekuma is already included.

There's no need to be so sentimental, let the National Religious Party rest in peace.

Baruch Hashem, Back Blogging

Baruch Hashem! I hope you missed me!

It's one of those stories...
A couple of days ago, suddenly there was trouble with "blogger," that's the blogspot I blog from. Such things happen periodically, and usually within a few hours they fix it. While I "patiently" waited, I suddenly noticed that even though I couldn't blog and couldn't comment on blogger blogs, others were commenting on mine and others could blog. I went to sleep on it, and in the morning, yesterday, it still didn't work. I was starting to get annoyed, but I figured that blogger's this big international internet service, and they'll fix it.

Yesterday morning one of my walking buddies mentioned that she couldn't access my blog. She's also a regular reader. Then it hit me! She also uses Netvision for her internet/email. Maybe, since others are blogging and commenting, that the problem is Netvision. I sent out a few queries within the Israeli blogging community and discovered that other Netvision users were having problems. I asked my husband and the other bloggers to complain to Netvision and I went to bed early. If I can't blog, I may as well sleep.

So, this morning I woke up and still couldn't blog. My husband reported that at first Netvision denied that the problem could be with them, but he kept pressing, and techies listen to men, which is why I gave my husband the assignment. Finally he admitted that there may be a problem with Netvision.

But this was hours later and still no blogging, so I called. They told me that the technetium should be arriving in an hour, just the phone crew works 24 hours a day. He asked if I wanted notification when it's fixed. Of course, considering what we've paid all these years. I figured that it would take them a few minutes to change their "settings" or whatever. But no call and no blogging all morning. Then I had to go to work, no call and no message.

When I was in Waadi Charamiya, between Ofra and Shiloh, the phone rang. There's no reception in the valley, so it went dead after I heard: "This is Udi from Netvision." Finally I got home, and there was a message, that all was fine, and I could surf to my heart's delight. Of course, surfing isn't my thing, it's the blogging.

So here I am!

This will be cross-posted on me-ander and Blog Free!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's Havel Havelim, again

Yes, it's the 57th Havel Havelim! This time brought to you by AbbaGav. I just read through it and saw links to lots of "new to me" blogs, so I strongly suggest that you take a gander and read the great variety of posts.

Shavua Tov and Enjoy!

Let's take bets!

Here's the latest official government notice:
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Following are Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 12.2.06:

"We are encouraged by the reports from Hadassah-Ein Kerem Hospital on the state of the Prime Minister's health following his operation yesterday. The entire Government embraces Omri and Gilad who are sitting at their father's bedside day and night.

Today, we will be briefed by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on the security situation and regarding his recent trip to the NATO Defense Ministers' conference in Sicily and by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni following her recent visit to the US and her meetings with US President George Bush, US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice (http://tinyurl.com/758w3), Congressional leaders, and UN leaders and ambassadors."

Remember that Olmert is only PM only as long as Sharon is alive, since Sharon, as a person, wasn't elected.

The Likud was empowered with making the government, and Sharon as head of the Likud was made Prime Minister. Once Sharon is dead the position goes back to the Likud. That's why the doctors have been ordered to do everything possible to prolong Sharon's life. He died and was resuscitated. He's in a coma, massive brain damage, but as long as they can keep his heart ticking, Olmert is defacto PM. And Olmert has an agenda.

If it's only a matter of a few days, I guess the PM position won't go to Likud, but if it's longer, it must, meaning that Bibi will be back in. The doctors have a lot of pressure on them for sure.

Let's take bets! When will Sharon be declared dead?

Send in your bets. I'll put mine on the table already. I think that it will be about a week before the elections, scheduled for March 28.


The back-stabbing has begun. I don't see any real positive "vision" in the Israeli political parties. Kadima, Labor and Likud are fighting for the same votes. I hope they all end up well "bloodied."

G-d willing, the new NU-NRP will entice voters with faith in Eretz Yisrael and the unity of Am Yisrael.

Shavua Tov

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The bionic man?

I'm not saying: "Pull the plugs," but was Sharon's surgery on Shabbat really necessary? He has been in a deep coma for quite a few weeks already, with many reliable reports that he had died, and it's just the machines keeping him going, until they can find a propitious date for his death an funeral. Bets are going strong for about a week before the elections. That way the defacto PM will get lots of publicity for his election campaign.

Friday, February 10, 2006

So Disengaged

So what? Another American rabbi took a tour of the Disengagement victims' present living conditions--you call that living!?!--and decided that it's a shanda, a disgrace. And we're supposed to be impressed?

All of this was predictable, and you didn't need any great mystical gifts to see it. One of my greatest disappointments during last summer's visit to New York was the fact that the Orthodox Jewish community was disengaged from the threat of Disengagement. Besides the rally I attended in Times Square, there were no other public expressions about the fate of our People.

I admit that I didn't expect the sort of fear and unity I remember from the pre-Six Days War. That was an amazing time, but I was certain that there would be an awareness of the dangers Disengagement would bring. First to the people uprooted, thrown from their homes. It was clear that there wouldn't be any housing for the vast majority. And that was the easy part.

The most serious of the Disengagement dangers was the precedent of giving away Jewish land to the Arabs without even the pretence of getting something in return. This Disengagement just to make Jews suffer is the worst. It is DISENGAGEMENT in the purest sense of the word. It is a flight from reality. That is the meaning of "disengagement." Disengagement is the act of releasing from an attachment or a connection.

That is exactly what I felt was happening. The American Jewish Community had disengaged from the Israeli Jewish Comminity. And I must admit that the situation is much, much more serious. There is disengagement in Israel, too. Most of the Israeli Jewish Community is also disengaged. They really don't care what happens to other Jews, even in Israel.

That's why the Kadima Party is so popular. It's the "me and now" party. Don't care about Eretz Yisrael. Don't care about YESHA. Don't care about other Jews. Don't care about the future. As long as terror and rockets just touch the perifery, the "border" areas. Keep Ramat Hasharon, Ramat Gan, Ramat Aviv.

They don't want to be reminded of history. Who cares about Shiloh, Shechem, Hebron and Beit El? They're disengaged. But they don't realize that without our ancient history, they have no rights to Tel Aviv, Kfar Shmariyahu and Herzliya. There would be no Herzliya without Herzl's dreams. Today's Israelis dream of Los Angeles and New Zealand. The kibbutzim dream of selling their land to yuppies for luxury housing and reaping millions from the deal.

The "settlers" frighten them by their unabashed love of the Land, by their large families, by their faith. Just look at the pictures from Amona, and it's clear that Olmert, as head of Kadima and defacto Prime Minister, declared war on loyal citizens. That's one of the reasons that the (sic) security forces were instructed to hit the young demonstrators in their reproductive organs. The physical blows were sexual, sadistically aimed to physically and emotionally traumatize those innocent young kids. They aren't the sexually active teens you'll find in the Tel Aviv pubs. Most of the demonstrators strictly follow Jewish laws restricting sex for marriage.

The physical attcks at Amona are a continuation of Disengagement. All of those who didn't protest Disengagement helped encourage the government to go further in attacking Jews. Now it's just harder to stop, but we must, because each additional government act is worse.

It is up to us, each and every one of us. Yes, it's late, but we have no choice. We must not give up and we must not give in.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 9, 2006

...and what if we...

All over the world, Moslems are going on rampages, rioting, claiming insult over some cartoons. Are they so "thin-skinned," or are there other reasons?

Just a couple of months ago, there were a couple of weeks of riots and destruction in France, by ... Moslems.

Bin Laden, the master terrorist behind the 9-11 attack on the United States is a Moslem.

Most of the Arab terrorists who attack and murder in Israel are Moslems. Actually most of world terrorism has an Islamic connection.

But the vast majority of Security Council resolutions of condemnation are not against them, neither the Arabs nor the Moslems. They are against Israel.

Years ago when the intifada began, and as far as I'm concerned, we're still in that same one, since it never ended, our home was on the "must visit list" for foreing journalists.

During one of the interviews with me and a neighbor the journalist, who if my memory is correct, was a female from Denmark. She was trying to be nice and helpful, so we'd understand what was really going on: "The Arabs throw rocks at you to get the world's sympathy."

I didn't miss a beat: "You mean if we threw rocks we'd get the world's sympathy." She looked at me with horror, and my neighbor looked like he wanted to hide under the table.

And I still can't understand why those who harm Jews can win popularity contests, like the polls giving Kadima a plurality of Knesset seats. Just because it's incomprehensible to me doesn't mean that it's not the way the world runs. Remember that one of the greatest all time Jewish fund-raisers is Yad Veshem. It's a lot easier to raise money for dead Jews than for the Jewish Education of live ones. The big donors prefer memorializing dead Jews than preventing assimilation, which is the loss of live Jews.

It doesn't matter what we do, everyone's against us. Every type of demonstration is either condemned or ignored. But that doesn't happen to the Arab terrorists. They murder and maim, and the world loves them. Remember all the praises heaped on the dead Arafat, and when he was alive, too.

The only solution is to "disengage" from the world. We have to become immune from what others think.

There's only one opinion we should be worried about, and that's G-d's.

Good News/Bad News

To say I'm ambivilent is to put it mildly.

Just before the deadline, The National Union and the National Religious Party have come to an agreement.

Here's my coment to the Jerusalem Post:
It's like good new - bad news.Unity in principle is good, but NRP doesn't deserve so many places. The party is dead. This will dilute Moledet, which is the most reliably pro-Eretz Yisrael party in politics.

It really bothers me that the NRP received so many safe places. I hate the thought that my vote will bring people like Orlev into the Knesset. He's more like Bibi in his willingness to give away parts of Eretz Yisrael.

Like one and one are two

It may not be "pc" (politically correct) according to the international arbitrators of thinking, but some things are so obvious.

The "smart" Jews may not know it, but the Arabs sure do:
Hamas: Terrorism Brings About Israeli Retreat

That's right, I predicted it. Yes, I agree with Hamas, not with the Israeli Government.

And, le'havdil, (they're not the same), I also agree with Nadia Matar, who said that Yonatan Bassi and his Disengagement Authority are a modern-day version of the Judenrat, even though the Israeli Justice System ruled against her.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Politics, yuck

In some ways I can sympathize, understand my friends who don't think it's worth voting in the upcoming Israeli elections, next March 28. But on the other hand, I firmly believe that we must vote, even though I consider democracy a pretty dangerous way to be governed. Just because the majority thinks something, doesn't make it good or right. Generally the majority is really dumb.

Israeli politicians are now finageling and maneuvering and manipulating and... trying to get into Knesset. It's like a tossed salad. The new political constellation will be nothing like the old one. And I have this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, that it won't be better.

Olmert has been going Kadima into the sea. For someone who wasn't elected Prime Minister, even by a political party, just followed Sharon into Kadima, Olmert is acting very dictatorial. At least the Knesset has voted for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the police initiated violence when destroying the houses in Amona. I have to do more than just kvetch!

For another "angle" from Amona, read Shlomo Blass telling how his middle-aged, rabbi father was hit in the head by the (sic) security forces.

And remember, it's important to vote in the upcoming elections. It's part of our "hishtadlut," the effort we must make in order for G-d to interfere and save us.

united, yes united

It's agreed by many that some changes must be made here in Israel, especially on the political scene. Some think that a united religious party is the solution, but that's not unity in the large sense. That's separation. That has been our problem, each sector supporting itself.

Our prayers are in the plural--"we," "our"

And our politics should unite the entire nation. Religious, "non," in between, YESHA, Tel Aviv, Eilat, the Gallil, everyone, everywhere.

That's the solution.


Tuesday, February 7, 2006

More on the Police Violence in Amona, My Students Told Me...

Yes, there have been an awful lot of posts and articles about the violence in Amona, when the riot squads, soldiers and police came in force to destroy a few buildings. Some of you are probably tired of reading about it and seeing the pictures. And some of you may be wondering how come it is taking so long for people to recall and report all that happened there.

Experts in Post Traumatic Stress say that it takes awhile for the victim to be able to verbalize his or her experiences, and it's very important to do so and not repress it all.

Some of you may also be wondering why so many high school students were there instead of in school. I'll start there by saying that a number of high schools, including Yeshivat Tichonit Mateh Binyamin in Beit El and Ulpanat Ofra were there in Amona, students and many of the teachers. Students were required to get parental permission. Girls from the Ulpana (girls high school) told me that their teachers went around checking up on the students at their own personal risk. My students from the Yeshiva Tichonit (boys high school) told me that they were together with their rabbi teachers. Students from other schools just arrived to demonstrate.

Last Wednesday, when I saw a number of my students in Ofra after the "pogrom" I decided that I needed to have them write their stories. That's one of the advantages of being an English teacher. Composition writing is one of the requirements, so I decided to take advantage of it. There were no classes on Thursday, since the kids were sent home to recover. That was fine, since my tenth grade class has a double lesson on Mondays.

I wasn't sure how my fifteen year old students would react to the assignment. Teenage boys are still teenage boys, so I opened their textbook to prepare a backup lesson. I could't believe it. According to the book, the next assignment was "A Letter of Complaint."

That was it! Just the gimmick or approach I needed to help them write. That was really siyaata d'shmaya, the hand of G-d helping me.

Almost a week after Amona was the perfect timing, since the kids were feeling better, stronger and more willing to talk and even joke about it than they were last week. They also liked the idea of a letter, and we discussed the various options, to whom to write. First on their list was the "Yassamnik," the "riot police," next Olmert and President Katzav.

I'm not going to quote the letters directly, nor give any identifying material, but I'll just tell you what I discovered from their compositions. And I must tell you that it was a successful lesson. Everybody wrote, even one student who hadn't handed in a single assignment the entire year. I gave them all good grades, just for writing. This was not the time to penalize them for incorrect spelling and bad grammar.

Most of them addressed their letters to the Yassamnikim, asking them how they could have been so cruel and violent. "What did they do to turn you into animals?" That was a frequent theme.

I only discovered that their rabbis were with them when I heard the descriptions of how the police dragged the rabbis by their hair and threw them out of the window (of house #8) onto their heads.

My students described the event as a "pogrom" and "nightmare." They were beaten on all parts of their bodies, yes, all. And they told me that girls were beaten on their abdomen and were afraid that they wouldn't be able to have children due to the damage.

The kids were not prepared for violence. They were sitting peacefully, non-violent, passive resistence, just like they were instructed and that's their nature. They're not violent kids, especially this class. They were totally taken by surprise.

The only ones prepared for violence were the police and army. That's why they were all geared up for war. Reports by medics confirm that the police didn't suffer any serious wounds whatsoever, while the demonstrators did. And of course the pictures make it clear that all of the violence was by the (sic) security forces.

I received many reports of the riot police telling demonstrators that they "didn't want to hurt" they "wanted to kill." Not only was this shouted back to demonstrators asking "Why are you trying to hurt us; aren't we all Jews?" But the police kept repeating it also at the first aid stations and hospitals, even to the family of Yechiam ben Rachel.

There's something very wrong in the State of Israel.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Just curious

I know that not everything that's in the paper edition of The New York Times is on the internet version. There doesn't seem to be any coverage of last night's anti-Olmert, anti-police violence demonstration. I'd appreciate if anyone can please let me know which newspapers covered it abroad. Links to articles would be great!


BOMS again

We're in the latest BOMS! Take a gander!

A Hundred Thousand, and I Wasn't There

Many of us who think that Olmert is responsible for the unprovoked violence against the demonstrators at Amona, weren't at last night's Jerusalem demonstration.

Some of you may disagree with my use of the adjective "unprovoked," since there was some stone-throwing by those at Amona. That was secondary, a reaction to the horses, riot gear, swinging and swatting metal police batons and worse. The (sic) security forces arrived, trained and primed for violence. They were mean and vicious. They were out for blood. None of the police injuries compared to the injuries the same police caused to the demonstrators, young and old alike. They'll be pulling out that policeman with a cut on his face for a long time, but 's that's minor compared to the kid who had to be resuscitated in the ambulance and the other serious concussions, broken bones and cuts the demonstrators suffered because of police violence.

Notice, too, that I don't call Olmert "Prime Minister." There are legal problems with his taking on the position. According to many legal experts, the Prime Minister should be a member of the Likud, since the Likud formed the government after the last elections.

At least there was no police violence at last night's demonstration. I take that as a sign that they realize that it would have just proven the point that they were violent in Amona and endanger the state.

I'm very happy that so many Israeli citizens attended the rally. Many of us who couldn't were there in spirit.

Sunday, February 5, 2006


On my way to Jerusalem this morning, I looked out of the bus window and suddenly saw an image that made me think of "jaws." A shark's jaws about to grab us by the neck, crush us and eagerly eat the bloody remains.

I had noticed the big wall, like tall, grey sharp teeth hungry for blood and getting ready to suck it out like Dracula. On the other side of the road was a similar image, both coming closer and closer, each time I pass through it. I thought of that opening scene in one of the Indiana Jones movies, where Harrison Ford quickly leaps through the space as the giant stone door is about to shut on him.

Of course, Indiana Jones times it perfectly. I don't think it will be so simple for us. Some day, G-d forbid, we will be locked out. There will be no "freedom of movement" for Jews. The jaws will clamp shut. That's the government's plan.

Between Shiloh and Jerusalem are many bare, unoccupied hills. If one was to give a general description of the view one sees while traveling the route, "unpopulated" and "barren" would be the words that come to mind. In a few places you can see Arab villages with some newly built mansions and apartment buildings. The Jewish communities, yishuvim, are mostly a distance from the main road. The exceptions are Ofra and Givat Asaf. There's so much unused and government owned and ownerless land north of Jerusalem.

If the Arabs really want peace, and if the nations of the world and even Peace Now really want peace, we wouldn't be in danger of losing our homes. There's so much land here. The yishuvim are all on land which was available for development, unlike some of the kibbutzim or Tel Aviv suburbs like Ramat Aviv, which were built on Arab villages.

Do they really believe that they can appease the sharks, the Arab terrorists by handing them our homes? Don't they realize that they are only making the terrorists hungrier for Jewish blood?

Don't they realize that just like Gush Katif didn't satisfy their appetites, Judea and Samaria won't either?

How much of our precious country, our irreplaceable Land must be covered with blood before this terrible "process" is stopped?

The Latest Havel Havelim

The latest Havel Havelim is on Modern Orthodox Woman. Yes, I am one, but I'm not her. I'm just me.

She did a great job!


I'm in a major dilemma. I have no doubt that there was pre-meditated, sadistic brutality, violence, by the (sic) security forces on the demonstrators, mostly young teens, at Amona last week. The pictures and all of the stories I heard make it very clear. Tonite there will be a demonstration demanding an "inquiry." Fine, expect for one thing. The demonstration is being called, organized, by Moetzet YESHA, and I just don't trust them.

They have fouled up so much and endangered so many people. I don't consider them my "leaders." I blame them for the unsuccessful anti-Disengagement campaign. They're also behind the call for all of those kids who left school to go to Amona. A number of high schools were, literally, emptied out.

Maybe I should just restrict my protests to the computer, where I have more control.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Is it too late?

In Hebrew the term for "civil war" is "milchemet achim," "war of brothers."

Our media and podiums of all natures have been warning that "if something isn't done, there will be a civil war, or "kera b'am," a division/chasm within our nation.

On Shabbat some neighbors got together to try to make sense of the post-Amona reality. Among those sitting in the living room was a beautiful young high school student with a terrible scratch on her face. It was done to her by a "Yassamnik," a Special Forces policeman who had attacked her, even though she was only sitting passively in one of the Amona houses. She was cursed at by the policeman and he told that he hoped the scar would stay on her forever. She told him she considered it a "badge of courage."

The kids said that the police were trained to attack them. They heard them count: "five, four, three, two , one--whamm!" And the kids weren't given a chance to move, forget about defending themselves, and how could a bunch of young teenagers defend themselves again well-trained, muscle-bound men wielding metal batons? The teens were just sitting on the floor, making it easier for the police to hit them in the head.

Foul, obscene and hateful language were used by the (sic) security forces against the kids. There were many reports of "If we had been given the orders, we would happily shot you all."

Even in the lobby of Hadassa's Ein Kerem hospital, a policeman told Yechiam ben Rachel's brother:
"I'm sorry he [Yechiam] isn't dead."

One of the now classic pictures from Amona is of a young man facing hoards of well-armed, well-protected police, trying to ask them how they could attack fellow Jews; their response was to throw him to the ground and beat him.

The police are trying to make themselves out to be the victims. And we're being blamed, at least according to the polls.

Our country is being attacked, and innocent Israelis are being injured, and the Olmert government is sending the police and army against some Jewish kids who value our Land and history.

Now, this sounds like there already is a "great divide," "kera b'am" in our precious Nation, and the politicians are working hard at making it longer and deeper. The government has declared war on the country's patriots. Something very sick is going on here.

This week's Torah Portion is "Bo," "Come." Moshe Rabenu is struggling to get permission from Pharoah for the Children of Israel to leave Egypt. Finally, they can go. But did they? The majority didn't. Only one-fifth, twenty percent left Egypt. According to democracy, we should have stayed there. The 80% of the Jewish People who stayed in Egypt disappeared; they assimilated into Egyptian culture or they were killed. But the twenty percent who left are the ones whom we're descended from. All of Jewish History is because of that small minority. The Jewish Nation, Jewish History would have ended if we had let the majority rule.

Shavua Tov

Friday, February 3, 2006


Chazal, our Sages, tell us that the Second Temple was destroyed because of "sinat chinam," baseless hatred. I find it so hard to believe that despite the pictures which clearly show unarmed youth and adults trying to "passively resist" the police and soldiers, most Israelis blame the "settlers" for the violence in Amona.

And the Kadima party is doing better than ever in the polls, not only despite the destruction of Jewish homes, but becasue of it.

Shabbat Shalom

Baruch Hashem, Yechiam ben Rachel is recovering

Here he is in the hospital with his father.

Kadima requirement?

No great surprise:
HaNegbi Says Indictment Wont Necessitate Leaving Kadima

I thought it was a requirement for those in the top echelons of Kadima!

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Pictures say it all

The text of this New York Times article seems almost ludicrous, especially the quotations from Olmert, when you look at the pictures illustrating it. This is David against Goliath for sure. It's just taking a little while longer than the Biblical battle.

From reading the Ha'aretz report, it seems like many politicians and the media were hoping that Disengagement had broken the pro-Eretz Yisrael population, especially the kids. They were certain that a strong "showing" by the (sic) security forces would frighten the young demonstrators away. Instead it had the opposite effect.

The younger generation hates and despises the police and soldiers. They don't fear them. They don't respect them either. The only ones respected are the ones who have refused orders. They are considered the true heroes, risking their service records and careers for Eretz Yisrael.

Yesterday, on the way to Ofra, we passed a number of road blocks. I saw young kids peacefully trying to explain to the soldiers and police about the significance of Amona and the importance of settling the Land. These little kids, who rarely reached the shoulders of the military are so much larger and greater in spirit.

And via this Arutz 7 link you can see many more pictures of what really happened in Amona.

picture links

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I suggest you look at this and this this. I don't know who photographed them, but they say so much about what is happening in Israel.

Over a dozen injured demonstrators still hospitalized

Over a dozen anti-Destruction of Amona houses Demonstrators are still hospitalized. The good new is that Yechiam ben Rachel is coming out of his coma. But there are reports of other serious injuries, including a young girl who was blinded.

Head injuries were very common, especially due to the relative sizes, heights, of the police, even on foot, compared to the young kids who made up most of the demonstrators. It was very easy for the police to swing their heavy metal batons on the top of the children's heads, which is how Yechiam ben Rachel had his skull fractured.

In some cases siblings were injured, and at least one set of parents had four injured children scattered in two hospitals and a first aid center. One of those children was hit by a rubber bullet in the stomach from close range. Police regulations forbid the use of rubber bullets against targets in close range.

Here and here are some pictures in which you can see the unequal physical forces.

There were also protests in various parts of the country. I saw one with hand-made signs saying:
Olmert has blood on his hands!
Kadima! to Jail! illustrated by a picture of Omri Sharon and Olmert

Refuah Shleimah, a Full Recovery to all of the wounded