Hamas War

Friday, March 31, 2006

Taking advantage of "chesed"

Chaza"l, our Sages, tell us that the world stands on, is supported by, three pillars: Torah, avodah (work) and g'milut chassadim (kindness to others).

Judaism is the only religion that synthesizes all of these factors.
  • We must keep religious laws
  • We must work, create
  • and we must help others

The YESHA communities are perfect examples of this with a large percentage of Torah-committed Jews, all sorts of business and other occupations and a social structure that supports all.

One of the examples of the help given to others involves giving rides, since public transportation isn't frequent nor extensive enough, and not everyone has cars.

Last night the terrorists took advantage of this chesed and murdered four Jews. He disguised himself as a Jew, was welcomed into a car and thanked them by igniting explosives and blowing up the owners and two other innocent Jews.

As a frequent hitch-hiker, trempistit, as I'm called in Hebrew, this obviously adds stress to my already difficult commute to work. There is no public transportation between Shiloh and Beit El, and my bosses insist that there is no budget to provide me any sort of "taxi service." If I were to take the existing public transportation it would take me hours to travel the twenty minute trip, and I would have to wait around unprotected. One of those murdered last night was a bystander, not even a passenger.

This week's elections had the lowest voter turn out in Israeli history. A very large percentage of Israeli citizens doesn't see the point in voting. Politicians are all crooks, and they change their opinions and party affiliations, so what's the point. Of those who did vote, many don't care that their fellow Jews are in danger, and that the danger is getting closer to all, wherever they may live.

Southern Israel is being attacked daily. Though it was hushed up until a half-hour before the polls closed, a Katyusha was fired in southern Israel Tuesday morning for the first time ever. Five Kassams were fired Wednesday morning.

The Jewish month of Nissan, miracles, began yesterday.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, March 30, 2006

comment on the comment on the comments, my ideas for electoral reform in Israel

I wrote this as a comment to the first comment on the previous post:
Apology accepted.
If I had been really upset at your comments, I wouldn't have paid them any attention, but I felt that so many of the comments deserved my attention.
Everyone is so concerned, and rightfully so.
My feeling is that in terms of government reform, there must be a "checks and balances" and a judicial which can't control the making of laws according to "agendas" nor replace itself.
We should return to the aborted independently elected executive, so we'll have three, rather than two branches of government.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Commenting on the A7 comments

No excuses here, but I must say that it sure paid to be jetlagged at 1am after election day here in Israel. I couldn't sleep, so I made my way to the computer, read the news and wrote my response to the "projected" election results based on over 90% of the count. My The Ultimate Protest Vote is appearing at the moment as top opinion article on Arutz 7, and even after it's not on the homepage, it will be available via the previous link.

The comments up on the site are varied, and I wish to reply to some. At this point there are already fourteen, far from a record number, and I'm sure that there will be more within the next couple of days. I'll refer to the comments by their numbers, not the names of the writers. If you have something to add, you can comment to A7 and this blog. Don't be shy.

#1 You obviously don't read my blog, in which I've written quite a bit against democracy and the "rightness" of election results. The majority is usually "wrong." But I'm pragmatic in that we do have a government, and we have to deal with it. I was commenting on the election results, not giving "...credence to the grotesque mockery of 'democratic values' that is the System in Israel, by treating it as legitimate - " Sorry if it wasn't clear. A7 doesn't publish everything I write. I'd love to change the system to something that will work here, not imitation America.

#2 & 3 & 8 (and any others on the same topic) I admit I'm probably wrong about Pollard and Rafi Eitan. My information was faulty. For sure those involved from the Israeli end share in the guilt. Pollard should never have had been jailed.

The person I spoke to who voted "Retirees" did it as a total protest, figuring that the other parties didn't deserve the vote.

#4 Feiglin wimped out of fighting for his right to be an MK. I think his supporters must think again about what to do. If they really voted Likud, that support to NU would have put it neck to neck with YB or even better. They could have used the power in Moledet to balance out NRP. Unless his people didn't vote Likud, if so for whom did they vote?

#5-6 (and #10) We've been agreeing on the whole about this. (Yehoshua comments frequently on my blogs, and we "converse.") The partial eclipse is great timing. I hope that G-d's wink is to cheer us up. About what Rav Tzuriel said, my fear isn't that Marzel will be boycotted, it's more that he likes to play the loner. He needed to portray himself like Leiberman did, as a national leader, rather than a nationalist leader. That's how YB got all those votes. Feiglin didn't get it right either on that; backtrack to the wimp reference.

#7 Thanks, but I can't get any of those politicians to let me in. I could use a day at the spa.

#11-2 You're in the right direction. It's going to be real crowded in the Kadima offices.

#13 But I agree with you! The "so-called U.S. support" wasn't the topic, but I'm totally against what those "buy American" coupons have done to the Israeli economy. It's just that Bibi's budget cuts are something else. We need to build our own defense industry without American components, with their required American approval needed before we can sell to other countries. As I told #1, read more of my musings on the blogs, and you'll see that I always demand independence, and we don't need anybody's approval to exist, etc.

#14 We agree, too. I commented on the election as it was, post election. Now's the time to build a strong, positive nationalist Jewish party.

Keep commenting. I do read them!

Chodesh Tov!!
Chodesh Nissan is the Month of Miracles!

Neither nice, nor accurate!

The post-election spinning and spamming will continue for awhile, as the politicians and journalis and bloggers, too digest the results of the Israeli elections.

One statement that really bothers me is from Tzvi Hendel of the NU-NRP:
MK Tzvi Hendel of the National Union/NRP attacked Marzel and Herut's Michael Kleiner, blaming them for the NRP/NU's relatively poor showing. "We must wipe the 'Baruch Marzel' phenomenon off the map!" said Hendel.

It's neither nice nor accurate!

IMHO, the problem was that the National Union should have had made its agreement with Marzel, not the National Religious Party. Together they would have gotten well over twelve seats, and yes, the NRP may have faded from the political scene. The agreement Hendel did make lost his party votes. If he and his Tekuma (former NRP) buddies really feel that much close with NRP, they should have rejoined it and let Moledet and Marzel run together.

carnival update

This week's BOMS has Woody Allen's words helping to introduce the posts. Just perfect!

And the latest Carnival of the Recipes has some really great recipes.

It may be that I have posts in other carnivals, but I'm still rather "out of it" and haven't been keeping up with things.

The Ultimate Protest Vote

The surprise of the Israeli Elections, the Ultimate protest vote was the Retirees Party. Many people still walked out the polling booth, after putting the little paper in the envelope still didn't know which set of politicians could be trusted to run our beleaguered country. The undecideds decided to vote anyway, so they voted for a party that was established to protect and support the people who really built Israel, The People's Party of Retirees, pensioners, the Gimlayim!

They ended up with an unbelievable eight (projected) seats!

Outside of better pensions and other related issues, they truly are the party without ideology. Kadima's Meir Shitrit claims that his party is the one without ideology, but he's wrong. It does have an ideology, it's the "me and now and who cares about tomorrow or our forefathers" party. Kadima is selfishness to the extreme. People who voted for the Retirees care about tomorrow, at least they want those who contributed, whatever their roles, to be compensated with dignity. There's no dignity in Kadima.

From what I understand, the Retirees Party the only one that seems sincere about getting J. Jonathan Pollard home to Israel. His former Mossad "handler," Rafael Eitan, is one of the party leaders. But even he has stated that outside of their specific socio-economic issues, the MK's will have the freedom to vote however they choose. I hope that they do improve the pensions and other old-age benefits. I'm getting closer to the "official age," and many of my friends are retiring after the required thirty years as civil servants. I only began teaching English a few years ago and won't have a "pension" from my previous jobs. I wonder if people like me will benefit from their proposed laws.

Every Israeli election has its new "big" party, and they've all been buried: Free Center was one, and Shinui was the most recent. They all have similar ideologies, and in every case, between internal personality conflicts and a lack of "historic" ideology, they go out of favor very quickly. I presume that the same will happen with the Retirees Party.

And why did Likud lose so badly, shrunken to 11-2 seats? Very simple, it just lost its "popular touch." Bibi showed his toughness in slashing subsidies to the poor and large families, and Limor showed her total lack of "reality engagement" by engineering and supporting the destructive Dovrat Education restructure Plan. And the rest of the politicians there were just weak and pathetic, allowing Sharon to bulldoze the once proud, pro-settlement party into the one that destroyed Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. It only stands for memories. Almost thirty years after Menachem Begin finally brought it into national power for the first time, it seems to be breathing its last, though one never knows in Israeli politics. One thing for sure, it doesn't seem to have a strong "next generation." By betraying its original ideology, it has nothing to offer. After Begin gave the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for the world's praises and a promise to develop Gush Katif and preserve YESHA in Israeli hands, its fate was sealed.

Enough has been said over Kadima, the politicians who will promise anything but a Land for its people. It's not really a "party," since its "Let's imagine there's no..." Ideology won't keep those ambitious and scheming opportunists together for long.

Now for Avigdor Leiberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party. It's a great name. Israel is Our Home, which it should be. Party leader, Lieberman lives in a community that is not on the "ghetto" side of the wall being built, but he has been preaching "compromise," and it's not clear exactly what he really wants, besides power. In his own words, he's "open to all offers...."

Finally for the NU-NRP, which did very poorly in the election, only getting maybe eight seats. The National Union would have done just as well on its own without the NRP, which repulsed many voters to vote for Marzel's National Jewish Front, which didn't make it in again. Think of all the wasted votes. Many people I know voted NU-NRP with great trepidation, wary, since the ailing Rav Benny Alon made a very poor agreement with the dying NRP. By giving the NRP life, it destroyed Moledet, the party which did the most to try to stop Disengagement.

So, to boil it down, I think that, should we G-d willing survive, we will see more changes in the Israeli political spectrum. Likud is always stronger in the opposition, and its only chance of survival is to use those instincts. It still hasn't recovered from Sharon and Olmert and the "cancerous cells" they left in it still haven't been eradicated.

The political scene is just the thing to make our children even more cynical. There will be great changes, and demography is in our favor.

G-d willing we will survive
v'hamoshiach yavo b'mhaira, b'yameinu
and we will be redeemed, speedily
in our days...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Just over two hours...

Just over two hours... and polls close, but my eyes are closing right now.
Because of the type of election systerm here in Israel, we won't know exactly how the governemt will be made...
So I may as well go to sleep and find out, whenever I finally get up.

I saw lots of "ToV," "tet-bet, NU-NRP" signs as we were driving from the airport to home.

I'm dozing, fading, so out of it, must get some sleep.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

hours left

Here in golden golus, it's two days before elections, but in the HolyLand elections are closing in, just over a day away.

The deadline for us is a wedding this afternoon, and it's so strange to be concerned with manicures and make-up when the fate of our nation is to be decided.

Less than a day after Michael will break the glass under his and Jessica's chuppah, which is to remind us of the Destruction of Ancient Jerusalem, we will be flying back home to Israel and vote in an election which will be a "referendum" on whether or not our nation, our people, care enough about our Land to defend it.

The de facto prime minister, Olmert, has stated that he's "tired of fighting" and "tired of winning." But strangely, though he's tired of building and defending our country he has pleanty of energy to scheme to rule it.

That is the gyst of it from what I can gather.

After the 1967 Six Days War, there already were Israelis who were embarrassed by the gift G-d gave us. The gift wasn't just the Land, Judea, Samaria and historic Jerusalem. It was the gift of survival. The Arab armies had massed against us to eliminate us, defeat us, wipe us off the map, throw us into the sea.

The great Israeli satirist of the time wrote: "So Sorry We Won." It sounded funny, but we're still suffering from it.

I don't have time to finish these thoughts, but please send them out.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't worry

Don't worry if you don't see any posts during the next few days; I probably won't have much computer access. If I can and have something to say, I will. Otherwise, G-d willing, I'll be back for the Israeli elections.

Mock elections and history--just five days to go...

Are the pollsters mocking us? According the polls being touted by the media, the National Union-National Religious Party, NU-NRP is pretty marginal. The media publicizes "coalition talks" as if the elections were in the past, and Kadima got over forty seats.

But yesterday there was a news report that the results of the Hebrew University Mock Elections were exactly the opposite. The NU-NRP was the overwhelming winner, though for some strange reason the exact numbers are different in the articles from The Jerusalem Post and Arutz 7. What's interesting is that the Hebrew University is terribly left-wing, at least the professors are. Students on the "right" have to be careful, because sometimes their opinions aren't "accepted." Neither of the articles I found include the percentage of students who voted. These mock votes sometimes have a very low turn-out.

One thing for sure is that demographics are on our side. Simple numbers. The "right" and religious have larger families, with more of our children staying here in Israel. This key fact is what's behind a lot of Olmert's vicious hostility against us. One doesn't have to be a top psycho-analyst to figure it out.

Olmert's children are not following in the footsteps of his strong Zionist Revisionist family. They are very left-wing at best; not all even live in Israel.

Olmert, himself was raised as one of the "elite" of the Revisionist "princes." Among that crowd, whose parents were in the Etzel (Irgun) and Lechi (Stern Gang) were the Meridors, Uzi Landau, Tzachi Hanegbi, Limor Livnat, Benny Begin and Tzippi Livne. (Please correct me if I left anyone out.) The Netanyahu brothers were also part of that circle, though they spent much of their childhoods abroad, where their father was a university professor. Even though he wasn't considered a "prince" one must include Dr. Arye Eldad, whose father led the Lechi after the killing of Yair Stern. This puts a very different spin on a lot of today's politics.

An important point is that their parents were shunned by Israeli society. The Labor Party (Mapai) was the elite, and "Revisionists" had trouble getting work and worse. To back the prejudice, the Labor leaders kept bringing up the Alosoroff murder, which historians say wasn't even done by the Revisionists.

Their parents were arrested during the "Sezon", shot at on the Altalena, and in general it's easy to see why there are "chips" on some of their shoulders.

To understand today's Israeli politics, one must know the history. And someday, today's news will be history.

The 183rd Carnival of the Vanities!

The original bloggers' carnival has reached 183 editions, and we're included. See what other great posts are there!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Houses of cards and glass

People are still making a big deal about the election polls, as if they're real results. It's like a house of cards, all make believe, one sneeze and down it goes. Less than a week, and we know how many seats, and a week or so after that we'll know the coalition. It reminds me of the class I taught a few years ago, where the kids kept thinking that James Bond was a real person.

And after the horrendous pogrom in Amona, how can we criticize other countries? We always thought that Jews were above such behaviour. Jews don't get drunk, and they don't beat their wives and kids, but unfortunately Jews practice the same evils as all others.

We have a long way to go...

Deals will be Deals

Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beteinu is denying that he made a deal with the Likud Party. From what I've been reading he's out to make a deal with just about anybody, except his old partners in the National Union.

He was once considered a "right wing politician," but recently he seems just a deal maker, whom nobody can trust.

He is promoting his own map of what should stay and what should be given to the Arabs. It's difficult to fully understand what his ideology is.

One thing for sure is that he's charasmatic, but that doesn't make him good for the Jews or Jewish Nation. So, is he just an Olmert with a Russian accent?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

quick note

I think that many of us just have a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach about all that's happening in Israel, and whoever thinks it's just a problem for Judea and Samaria is mistaken.

I don't have time right now to search, but there's a line in "Shmuel" which seems so deja vu...

Shmuel was the last Prophet, the one who got the monarchy, or to be more exact--monarchies going. He had a tought job, and the People didn't obey. He, very similar to some of the things that Moshe Rabenu said to G-d, complained to G-d that "the people aren't listening."

Then G-d replies in a way, I'm paraphrasing: "You're complaining?" or "You think you have trouble?"

I'd appreciate if someone could help me find the pasookim.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Final Countdown, a week before elections

Israeli Channel One's Election Newscrew is being advertised as if they, themselves were running for office. They claim that I'm watching them, because I trust them, because they're the most reliable, have the best polls, et al, ad nauseum.

But it's not really the reason. The reason is much simpler. Our simple little indoor antenna only gets Channel One and Jordan, so we don't have much choice.

I don't trust the news on Channel One, it's neither reliable, accurate nor pleasant, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that none of the news shows are any better. I'm not going to get truly objective news anyplace, even if I had the biggest satellite dish. And as bad as the news shows are here, I found the one hundred or so channels at my parents' New York home no more informative. As a news-watching experience, it was worse. I was totally frustrated in my search for information about what was going on here or anyplace in the world, except some televised hearing that was of no interest to me.

The closest thing to a reliable news source is the internet. Just "google" your "search word or phrase," and all sorts of sites, news, opinion etc will be available. It takes less time than checking all the TV stations. At least I don't waste my time in a strange version of "Russian Roulette" hitting commercials for creams, snackfood and prescription medication, when all I want to know is if things are "quiet" in Israel.

As we approach the "final count-down," a week before elections, the feeling is still like preparing for one of those unpleasant medical tests, like a colonoscopy. It's even worse than a root canal, since the results and ramifications may reverberate for years.

There are three things I must do next Tuesday, March 28, 2006.
  1. Land safely, after traveling from NY for a wedding
  2. Vote for NU-NRP
  3. Pray to G-d that whatever the results, it will be good for my family, friends, community, country and Land

Meet NU-NRP before the elections

Please forward to anyone you feel might be interested in attending this event.




#1 HaIchud Haleumi-Mafdal List

#10 HaIchud HaLeumi-Mafdal List

#11 HaIchud HaLeumi-Mafdal List

Rav, Kehillat Zichron Yosef, Har Nof

Date: Wednesday March 22nd, 2006

Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
60 King George St. Jerusalem

next to Kikar Tzarfat

For further information:


Official government announcement:

(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), 19.3.06:

"Bird flu has recently been discovered in Israel. The Government has been prepared to deal with this issue for some time. Today, we are taking all the measures that we prepared for. All of the dead birds will be buried in order to prevent the disease from spreading. It is important to emphasize that at this stage, we are talking only about bird flu; there is no indication that the there is the possibility of the disease spreading to people. All necessary measures to ensure that this does not happen, are being implemented. Of course, while I suggest attributing due seriousness to the appearance of bird flu, we should also be more relaxed about the dangers that people may be concerned about, given the measures that we have taken and are taking to prevent further spreading. In any case, it will not lead to an outbreak among people. Of course, the team that the Government will set up will deal with compensating farmers who have been damaged as a result of the disease and this will be done soon. Agriculture Minister Ze'ev Boim and Health Minister Ya'akov Edery will brief us on the bird flu phenomenon.

In addition to the $300,000- the former kibbutznikim of Shomriya are receiving, and they're leaving willingly after failing to make a success of their kibbutz. I'd like to know how much government money was wasted on Kibbutz Shomriya as they floundered, since kibbutzim have been highly subsidized by the government and Jewish Agency. They're not being charged for the mortgages of the homes the government stole and destroyed. Kibbutz homes are free for members.

But at the same time, the expellees of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron are not receiving their compensation for the "loss" of their homes, businesses and jobs.

And don't forget the "fence," whether you call it "security," "separation" or border, billions of dollars have gone into it, and it's far from complete. Amazingly, neither the Israeli right, which considers it a danger, nor the left think it will solve anything, as I read in The Olive Branch, Youth Magazine of Seeds of Peace:

"In my opinion, putting this wall between people is not going to stop anything, except the hope that some people still have of a better future."

The only ones in favor of the fence are the businessmen who are profiting from it, especially every time the route is changed. It seems like money is controlling Israel, and that's bad news, not only for us, but for the entire world.

The latest BOMS

Last week's BOMS brought me-ander lots of hits, most probably because my link/blurb was illustrated by a picture of a woman showing off her "whatever," and people must have thought that it was me. I wonder if this latest BOMS will prove attractive, since it has a picture of the Beatles for me-ander, but the Shiloh Musings link has some old shoes.

Take a gander; the other links look really interesting.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Do you see a pattern?

Unemployed Disengagement victims protest! Finally, let's get to the issue of human rights, civil rights, unemployment! All the things that the Left usually monopolize! I just checked the other news sites, and their protest isn't mentioned. No surprise.

For whatever peculiar or perverse reason, Jews aren't considered as part of the human race. No human rights, civil or other for us. Just a simple reading of history.

The Ancient Greeks and the Chanukah story. Jews were deprived of religious rights. Punishment -- Death!

The Crusaders plundering and murdering Jews in the Holy Land.

The Spanish Inquisition, murdering or converting Jews to Christianity.

The Nazis murdered Six Million Jews, and the world was silent.

Arab armies attacked the young restored State of Israel, and the western countries banned selling weapons to the Jews for defense.

Arab armies attacked Israel in 1967 and 1973, and the world stood silently by.

Israel gave Egypt the Sinai, destroyed Jewish communities, and the world cheered.

Israel pledged to give more at Oslo, and the world cheered.

Israel threw peaceful, hardworking Jews out of their homes and businesses in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, and ... of course the world became totally ecstatic, especially when de facto PM Olmert pledged that more of Eretz Yisrael would be judenrein.

Do you see a pattern?

Havel Havelim #62, Specially for You!

Post-Purim Edition

There's supposed to be a picture here, but blogger isn't cooperating, must be in kahoots with Haman, so if at a later date it gets "done," you'll, see it, but in the meantime...

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

You're only seeing this edition of HAVEL HAVELIM, now that it's finished, but for me this is a rushed one, since it's already Wednesday, Shushan Purim and I'm only beginning. It usually takes me a
full week. I've already heard three out of four Megillah readings, one of the advantages/disadvantages of living in Shiloh, and I've had enough sugar and other diet "no no's" to ice a wedding cake for a thousand.

Posts are pouring in, thank G-d, and yes, some bloggers are multiply represented. I'd rather include all the posts than have the thankless task of choosing "the best from each," since it's like choosing which of your children you love the most. I remember reading an interview with one of Israel's greatest song writers, the late
Naomi Shemer, in which she was asked which was her favorite song, and she answered that she always loved her most recent one the most. I'm not presumptuous enough to consider my varied posts as having the artistic merits of Naomi Shemer's songs, but I'm certain that I'm not alone in feeling, undoubtedly more than once a week, that I've written something that should be included in Havel Havelim.

Obviously, I'll start with Purim posts…

Instead of Havel Havelim,

Bavel Bavelim!!

The Muqata is the place to be
For innumerable Purim Parodies!
Decide which is best in your eyes
vote for the CRIB First Prize!

And if you want to know what to sing
Yitz's Purim niggunim!

Just not too
Or I won't join the crowd.

hates firecrackers;
I can't stand the noise,
But for some "boys will be boys."

Purim by the bloggers
Like a bunch of groggers

Ya'aqov Ben Yehuda
Sing this louder than a tuba

Have we forgotten
What happened in ancient

And if you want to feel better
Read the Purim
Arutz 7

Here are some wise
From Chavie Willig Levy

And the Sin of Expulsion
Asks Howdy Doody's help
In deciding the

This rabbi may be
But she sure knows about Purim.

Listen to this
Monkey speaking

Menorah—News and Views
All about
Purim, "venahafoch hu!"

About that perfect
Purim poster
Not Quite Perfect's confidence needs a bolster

This is no Purim spiel;
It's actually for real.

From a Balloon Twister's Aliya Saga
A first
Purim which sounds rather gaga

All about
From Miri, who lives afar

The Cos' returns only to announce
His plans to
drink every ounce
Whether he did,
or whether he didn't
Next morning he threw everyone out of bed
To hear the

See psychotoddler's Purim
It's great

A Simple Jew and a
Space Cadet
Oy Gevelt!

From the Pillage Idiot, good news
Irish Jews
Though not written for Purim,
It's a good'n

YUTOPIA's about
Purim, no doubt.

Thinking of Haman inspires Irina to tell a moving a moving story about a small
resistance cell against the Nazis.

Treppenwitz reminds us that
the Jewish heart and values can't be judged by the external, or more simply put, that there's strong Jewish feeling in many Israelis who don't appear "religious." And he later explains the background to the Jericho army operation.

Carl sees the Jericho Operation
this way. And he also writes about the inflated PA demographics.

Look at the beautiful, early spring
flowers from Elms in the Yard.

Katif.net is still reporting and updating, but now the Arabs are
attacking the Negev.

It's hard to tell if my husband's
taxi story is uniquely Israeli, or is it the type of thing that happens wherever there are taxi drivers.

Over six months after Disengagement, the condition of the
refugees no longer gets its own heading. There's more in The Sin of Expulsion.

My Ober Dicta writes about the importance of
Mishpat Ivri, Judaic Law.

The olah chadash From French Hill tells us why she's
so tired, and it's not from cooking.

knits across Greece. OK, it doesn't really belong in this section, but she did say that Greeks are like Israelis.

My Eye tells us
why Israel is not a democracy.
Adloyada gives us the scoop on the media.

Westbankmama brings up some interesting points about
democracy and voting.

Don's "On the Contrary…" discusses Bibi's
failed attempt to form a coalition, pre-elections.

"It's Almost Supernatural" has a series of posts
defending Israel, which was accused of being an apartheid state.

Daled Amos explains the
importance of Jewish blogging.

Ze'ev's perspective about
Israeli Arabs is very clear.

Outside Esther tells us what she thinks of the
raid on Jericho.
Robin writes of virtual mishloach manot.

Meryl Yourish complains of
A.P. media bias, though I was reasonably pleased with the A.P. article I was interviewed for.

Here's an
excellent, comprehensive article about media bias from Soccer Dad.

Shaister wrote that MK Naomi Blumental's
jail sentence is justified. Personally I think that it's out of proportion to the punishments given to much more serious offenders. It's sort of like the income tax paid by multi-millionaire business men, who write off "business failures" and hardly pay any tax.

Read Daled Amos' post about the
Jericho Operation.

Some of the Israeli bloggers are not just observing the political scene; they're actively involved, like
The Path to the Knesset, which is supporting Yisrael Beitenu.

Many of the NU-NRP supporters are disappointed in the campaign ads. Read what my husband wrote about

The Sin of Expulsion
reminds Israelis to vote.

And soon we'll know, are the vegetablepundits right in their
election prediction?

Barak of IRIS Blog explains that the
Dubai Port Capitulation Likely Fraudulent.

Rachel Ann has a very clear idea of what
a hero is. And she also writes about how the nearby Arab kids are being "educated."

Dry Bones gives us more in a small cartoon than most op-ed writers find to fill a full page.

Blog Free! presents:
The Campaign Speech That We Didn’t Hear by Israel Zwick.

What's a monitor? Israpundit explains.

And Smooth tells us
what's an Islamaphobe.

The police brutality in Amona is still strongly affecting us. My husband's blog offers a
link to one of the better videos shot there.

Thoughts about Parah Adumah, the Red Heffer… and its

And more about that
ruste taurus from Reb Chaim HaQoton.

hosting the pre-Passover Kosher Cooking Carnival! Send in your recipes, menus, food stories and traditions, "anything kosher!"

Elie's Expositions announces:
A Tzedaka Fund for Aaron.

Irina writes about
the role of women and race from her very special perspective.

A Simple Jew
fits a piece in a "puzzle." And he also posts some beautiful paintings.

Different River describes
a strange kind of "art."

On Cross-Currents, there's an article about
easing conversion to Judaism.

Who remembers
John Falotico?
May he RIP.

AbbaGav presents his very own:
Hollywood Squares!

This post on Judeopundit reminds me why I'm happy to live in Israel.

From the Aliya Blog we learn about
kosher toilet paper, which reminds me of the old "crepe toilet paper" which could be used to scrub pots.

Read all about the
YU Alumni Shabbaton.

Irina tells us
what she misses about her grandmother.

Here's the Canonist's view

in love;

The clown picture is one of
Fred's; thanks, Fred! (I hope that I get blogger to load it.)

Send your links for the next edition of Havel Havelim via Conservative Cat’s
handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. You can also use those forms to send kosher recipes and other kosher food posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

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.

This appears in the
Please put up a blurb on your site alerting readers to Havel Havelim

This will be cross-posted to my other blogs; each has different templates and different "viewing pleasures." I guess at some point I'm going to have to repair the templates or switch, so if anyone can help....

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Jerusalem Post

Hardsell at the Jerusalem Post. For years they've been trying to get us to subscribe to the paper copy, claiming that it would arrive daily. Over the years we've tried a few times, but daily doesn't mean on time.

Quite a number of years ago, when my father-in-law was here, he subscribed in one of those deals, first couple of months practically free, then you pay, and it was a disappointment, since the paper came late.

Since then he has passed away and is buried in the local, Shiloh Cemetery, but like clockwork the Post's telemarketers call him to sign up again. Each time I tell them that he's no longer in this world, and they should delete him from the list.

About a month ago, my husband agreed to try again, and this last attempt was worse than all the previous ones. The paper comes by mail a couple of days late at the earliest. We demanded that they cancel it, and it has taken days for the cancellation to take effect. All it does is stuff up our tiny mailbox with old news. And for that they're charging us money.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Did you think I was kidding?

For a while I've been saying that if properly calculated the polls show that the largest party is undecided! And I'm right.

The latest polls give 36 seats to Kadima and 38 to undecided! That's out of 120, meaning that 30% of the Israeli public can't find a party worth voting for. Now my question is, are these from the total-total or only from those who say that they are planning on voting?

Meeting at the ends

You must have heard what they say about the political and religious spectrums, that the extremes of both ends have a lot in common.

Watch and listen, OK, read the subtitles, to this recording of the Neturei Karta and compare it to Olmert and other Israeli far-Leftists.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is it because of Purim?

The de facto PM keeps claiming that things are rosy. He claims that his policies are fine. So, if that's the case, why are Ashkelon and the Negev being bombed by our neighboring Arabs? I guess they must be the thorns.

And it's being said that more and more Israelis are confused and don't know whom to vote for. It's clear to me. And I'm sure that the drop in the polls of NU-NRP is due to their horrendous election ad.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Electoral Reform, American Style

It's about time. There's talk about changing the electoral system in the United States. They want to eliminate the districts and just count the popular vote. That's because it's too easy for someone who got the most popular votes not to be elected, president that is.

The Electoral College seemed ridiculous when I first learned about how the American government works almost a half century ago. I can't believe that it has lasted so long.

Monday, March 13, 2006

an exception, because

This blog is for my own, original writing, but I decided to make an exception and publish an article that has one measly quotation of mine. An A.P. Associated Press reporter was here last week with a photographer and not only interviewed me, I did my old "Press Relations" volunteer job and took them around Shiloh.

Here's the article:

Jewish Settlers Despair Before Election

By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer
31 minutes ago

SHILO, West Bank - Jewish settlers are looking to
Israel's March 28 election with growing despair. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the front-runner, says he wants to give up large areas of the
West Bank and uproot most settlements there, and the settlers do not have the political clout to stop him.
Still disheartened after last year's Gaza pullout, settlers are torn over what to do. Opinions run from collecting compensation and leaving willingly to negotiating with the government or even resisting with force.
Giving up more land is "surrendering to terror" and will bring Hamas militants, who won Jan. 25 legislative elections, "to our doorsteps," said Bentzi Lieberman, head of the settlers' council.
"We will do everything we can to stop it," he added.
The 250,000 Israelis living in 120 West Bank settlements make up only 3.5 percent of Israel's population but for years wielded disproportionate political influence, bolstered by powerful allies in parliament.
That began to change last summer, when Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon their longtime patron, withdrew from the
Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank, uprooting 25 settlements.
Many settlers acknowledge that public opinion has shifted.
"We understand that what we think should be the Israeli dream is no longer shared by the entire society," said another settler leader, Shaul Goldstein.
Sharon said separating the settlers from Palestinians would improve security and help ensure Israel's future as a democracy with a Jewish majority. It was the first time Israel removed settlements built on land captured in the 1967 Mideast War and claimed by the Palestinians for their state.
Settlers said they were mistreated at the time, and a new government report backs the claim. The state comptroller said poor planning and handling of the evacuees caused unnecessary suffering, leaving thousands of settlers in temporary quarters months after the pullout.
Olmert, who has been running the Israeli government since Sharon's massive stroke Jan. 4, appears even more willing to take on the settlers. Last month, Israeli troops demolished nine homes in the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona, in what became the most violent clash ever between settlers and the security forces.
The incident has shaken the settlers.
"They're trying to demonize us. They're trying to demoralize us," said Batya Medad, a New York native who settled in Shilo nearly 25 years ago.
Nestled on a wind-swept ridge in the northern West Bank, the community of 250 families is a strong candidate for removal under Olmert's plan.
Polls predict Olmert's Kadima Party will win about 38 seats in the 120-seat parliament, putting it in a strong position to lead a coalition with moderate parties.
The settlers are in "deep, deep trouble," said Reuven Hazan, a political scientist at Hebrew University. "Their future is to make a very big decision whether to fight or pack up nicely."
Goldstein said the settlers will not go against public opinion if Olmert wins a clear mandate. If Olmert goes forward with his plan, settlers will try to rally public opposition but also work with the government.
"They will try to fight, scream and shout, and then negotiate," he said.
Olmert scored a public relations coup recently when Yoel Bin-Nun, an influential settler rabbi, announced his support for Kadima. Bin-Nun said he appreciated Olmert's offer to consult with settlers as he determines the border.
"If we say all or nothing, we could end up with nothing," Bin-Nun said.
However, Bin-Nun said he believes he is in the minority among settlers. He said many people have told his friends and students they are upset with him, though he has not been directly confronted.
Avshalom Vilan, a lawmaker from the dovish Yahad Party, has launched a program promising a home in Israel to anyone living in a settlement outside Israel's West Bank separation barrier. Under Olmert's plan, the barrier is to be the basis of the final border.
Vilan said his group, One House, has been contacted by about 1,000 people since it began work last year. He estimates that half of the roughly 80,000 people living beyond the barrier would move out willfully.
"They know they don't have any future," he said.
The other half, however, are likely to resist in one way or another, he said. Most resistance likely would be passive, as was the case in Gaza.
But given the religious significance of the land, violence is a possibility.
"If Olmert decides to uproot the settlements, that is a violent act," said Yair Shalev, a real-estate developer in Shilo. "If Olmert is going to be violent, some people are not going to be the battered wife. They might fight back."
During the Gaza withdrawal, and more recently in Hebron and Amona in the West Bank, small numbers of protesters threw skin-burning chemicals, eggs, bricks and other debris at security forces.
Government inquiries have noted in the past that militants among the settlers have acted with impunity, both against the Palestinians and against Israeli security forces.
Beyond the violence, Israeli critics of the settlers have long complained that the settlers have led the nation astray for decades and antagonized the international community. Israeli governments have invested billions of dollars in settlement construction, including generous subsidies for settlers.
The settlers still believe they are the vanguard of Zionism. They have transformed barren West Bank hilltops into bustling communities, fulfilling what they believed was God's command to settle the biblical Land of Israel.
Shilo resident David Rubin, a U.S.-born Orthodox Jew who survived a roadside shooting that wounded his 3-year-old son, said the attack only steeled his resolve to remain.
"Olmert is going against his heritage and right to be here," he said. "Hopefully the rest of the country will wake up in time."

Yes, Purim

There's a very important lesson from Purim. Things aren't as they appear.

Let's start with King Achashverosh, who king over many countries, very powerful, but if you look at the text, you'll see from Megillat Esther that he was a bumbling fool and a drunkard.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine

In front of his friends, he called for his wife, Queen Vashti to come and display herself, but when she refused, he didn't know what to do and asked his friends' advice and then
21 And the word pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan;

Later on we see him obeying Haman
8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus: 'There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it profiteth not the king to suffer them. 9 If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed; and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those that have the charge of the king's business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.' 10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. 11 And the king said unto Haman: 'The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.'

Haman used this power to plan, legally of course, the extermination of the Jewish People,
13 And letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

Modechai knew that there was only one person who could save the Jewish People, Esther, the new queen, chosen in a beauty pageant after Vashti was banished.

Then Mordechai took advantage of King Achashverosh's weakness for a pretty woman, as Esther appeared unbidden, all dolled up:
2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight

Apparently, thinking about Esther's invitation to a "banquet" kept the king up at night,
1 On that night could not the king sleep;

So he decided to go over old records and discovered that he had neglected to reward Mordechai service above and beyond...

Not being able to make decisions on his own, he decided to consult with his trusty Haman to find out how to reward a national hero.
7 And Haman said unto the king: 'For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, 8 let royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and on whose head a crown royal is set; 9 and let the apparel and the horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man therewith whom the king delighteth to honour, and cause him to ride on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him: Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.'

Haman was certain he was to be honored, so he suggested what he dreamt of, but the person to be honored was the man he hated the most, Mordechai, the Jew! But he comforted himself with the knowledge that at least Queen Esther admired him, why else would he have had been invited to her special banquet. Then at the banquet she invited them both--the king and Haman--to another banquet.

And just as Haman was certain that everything was going his way, the king pledged to give Queen Esther whatever she wished
whatever thy petition, queen Esther, it shall be granted thee; and whatever thy request, even to the half of the kingdom, it shall be performed.'

And then came the biggest shock of all:
3 Then Esther the queen answered and said: 'If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; 4 for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my peace, for the adversary is not worthy that the king be endamaged.'

And who was blamed?
6 And Esther said: 'An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman.'

And, yes, it was Haman who was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordechai. But could Achashverosh cancel his decree to exterminate, kill all the Jews, young and old? No he couldn't. A law's a law, but he permitted them to defend themselves.

Have a Purim Sameach, and have faith that G-d is really in control, and we will see Haman on the gallows and a much better ending than we read in the Megilla.
3 For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren; seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his seed.

Remember that all this happened in "Chutz L'Aretz," the New York of the day. They let Achasverosh decide and rule instead of returning home and fighting for independence. We still have a long way to go.

V'Nafochu, May all the evil be reversed

Lots going on

Yes, there's lots going on in this blogging world.

First, Different River has an excellent post linking us, showing true understanding of the issues.

There's also Carnival of the Insanities, which has some excellent posts depicting the world's absurdities.

I just checked the Owner's Manual to see is BOMS was up, and here it is! Just that picture isn't me.

Here's the latest Havel Havelim, and don't forget, I'll be hosting the next one, so please get your links to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com, and also send me more kosher food links for the fourth Kosher Cooking Carnival.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Despite the despicable

I understand how repulsive the entire Israeli political system is for any of us with strong Jewish values and who value true human rights, etc.
But we have to vote, regardless, despite the despicable.

Try to think of a large unruly clan, and there's an important family event, and you really can't bear to think of seeing your cousin, who has done the most horrendous things possible to you. You really don't want to do anything to "honor" him, but if you didn't go your grandmother and favorite aunt would be distraught.

For those two, your grandmother and aunt, you have to vote, please.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Overheard over potatoes and onions...

Everyone keeps asking:

"What's with the elections?"
"What do people think?"

So on Friday when I was picking out onions I overheard my neighbors.

"Peretz, it'll be Peretz."
"Peres? Did you say Peres?????"
"NO, he's finished. It'll be Peretz, from Labor. And that's good"
"Peretz, hmmmmmmmmm, and you say it's good, yes, that sounds pretty good."
"It's sure better than that !$%#$ Olmert for sure."
"And Bibi's no better. Yes, I like that."
"Peretz? Yessiree, that will be fine. I'm voting NU-NRP, but if Peretz can pull off a coalition, I'll be happy."

Have a nice week!
Shavua Tov!