Hamas War

Thursday, May 31, 2007


It seems like people have actually taken this seriously. It was never meant that way.

It's an elaboration (drash) on the classic joke about the nations/religions reacting to the announcement that there will be a flood to rival the one during Noah's time.

The Americans hope to make spaceships large enough to take a good portion of the population to another world. The British plan to build floating islands for its population, and the Jews... "We just have to learn to live underwater."
A good friend described my post as "surreal." To me the announcements of the politicians, media and military are even less real.

If you go through my old posts, you'd see that I've been ranting about how there is no battle plan to destroy terrorism. They use words like "diminish" and reduce. There is this totally illogical, unrealistic and dangerous idea that one can just "live with it," by building more shelters, more "secure rooms."

I'll tell you about something that happened here in the beginning of 1974 or the very end of 1973, just after the Yom Kippur War. I used to listen to the English radio broadcasts. Around 1pm there was a half hour show, usually including an interview.

One day I heard someone I was acquainted with, Essy Ben-David, who had also been a Folk Dance leader at the Israeli Dance Festival in New York. She and her husband, Benny, who was a high school friend of my husband, were recent immigrants along with their three young sons. They were living in Ramat Hamagshimim, in the Golan Heights.

One of the questions she was asked was about security. She told them about the security rooms built into every house. I've never forgotten her words:

"My husband says that it's so strong that if a missile lands in the livingroom, we won't be touched."
Well, you may not know this, but a few weeks later, when she was out walking with her youngest son, a missile killed her. Her son survived.

Besides G-d of course, the only way to be safe is to destroy terrorism, and that means destroying the terrorists and those who support them, whether actively or passively.

I'm very serious about that!

How about... Rebuild Sderot Underground?

Sure; that makes sense.

The government was ordered by the court to reinforce the classrooms, but, the kids have to get to the classrooms, via the corridors and the streets from their homes, and all that must be made safe.

Now, considering that there's only a short warning--of seconds at best--before the kassams land, the government must think of the good of the people.

Well, there are a few options. Our brilliant military inventors can make special protectors for people. Bullet-proof vests aren't strong enough against kassams, and many of those killed and seriously injured by kassams had head injuries. The vests don't protect against head injuries. Yes, so the new law must be that everyone must wear special anti-kassam helmets and vests. The factories must rapidly produce them in all sizes, from, k'neine haraa, hefty adults to toddlers. Special baby-carriages, designed to protect infants, must be made from the same material as tanks.

I can see a very practical way of protecting small groups of people, especially good for large families and nursery school teachers. Have a large rocket-proof umbrella, mounted on wheels, so it can be pushed. It must be large enough so a number of people can be protected at once. I'm sure that our engineers can find a way to do it.

To make it even safer, these protective "clothing," carriages and "umbrellas" should be painted/coated with material that won't reflect the sun or be easily traced by radar. A design called "urban camouflage" would be just perfect.

Now, of course, this is only temporary. How long can people manage above ground, even with these protective devices? I'd take for granted that the community centers and fitness experts will provide muscle-training to prevent strains and sprains, an added risk when having to carry around such heavy things. It's a risk the residents of the south must be willing to take for the good of the country. We wouldn't want them all to desert their homes. What a horrid precedent that would be?

At the same time, a massive bunker, "Sderot Underground" must be constructed. It will be reinforced in all directions against all warfare. Of course, it will be a pleasant place to live with gardens, playgrounds, and the ceiling must be painted an attractive and calming, sky blue, with just wisps of clouds, so it won't be boring to look at. Actually, with today's technology, it should be possible to vary the colors and even reproduce the effects of sunrises and sunsets.

"Sderot Underground" should be so strong, secure and reliable, that the new "Sderot" will be the most desirable place to live in all of Eretz Yisrael, especially when Iran (G-d forbid) gets the bomb.

I have no doubt that Olmert and his fellow travellers will love this plan. Think of all the money they can make off of it!

Excellent Time Line--History of PA Shelling Against Israel

This is from Arutz 7. For the complete article, click here.

Background: History of PA Shelling Against Israel
by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) On Jan 31, 2001, for the first time in the Oslo War, Arabs shot a mortar shell into Netzarim, a Jewish town in central Gaza. The rocket hit and damaged a house, but no one was hurt. Two more mortar shells were fired at Netzarim over the next two weeks.

On March 18, Gaza Arabs fired three mortar shells at an IDF base near Kibbutz Nachal Oz in the Negev - the first such attack from Gaza at pre-1967 Israel. A reserve duty soldier on the base was lightly wounded by shrapnel. Minister of Defense Ben-Eliezer stated that Israel "will not accept the current situation and will deploy the necessary forces to protect its citizens." IDF commanders stated that the attack signals the crossing of yet another red line by terrorist forces...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I still haven't recovered from hearing Israel's political and military "elite" rulers (notice that I don't call them leaders) bragging that the great accomplishment of last summer's devastating war with our Arab "neighbors" was that we now have "foreign soldiers to guard us." What a pathetic, sorry excuse for a nation, when that's its aim.

Nowadays there are frequent articles, op-eds in the newspapers written by establishment "pundits" and tired politicians spouting ideas about which country should protect us. One of the latest and more absurd ideas, this time from Meretz MKs Avshalom Vilan and Zahava Gal-On, that the Arab League should take responsibility for the Gaza Strip.

Two things:
  • How is this supposed to protect us, when they don't like us any more than the Pseudistinians do?
  • And do you really think that the members of the Arab League want to fight the terrorists and make "order" in the Gaza Strip?

Of course, the Left never lets common sense get in the way of their ideology, and they think the religious are strange. Can you make any sense out of this? Here's an excerpt; for the complete article, click this.

Brains and brawn
Yoel Marcus
1. No country in the world would sit around and watch one of its cities being bombarded for six years, powerless to bring the violence to an end. 2. With all due respect to the Palestinians, they must be complete idiots to be fighting one another. As Abba Eban famously put it, the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss every opportunity. 3. The dreams spun at Oslo have been shattered for good. All the stars of this show have died, become weaklings or disappeared from the stage. Challenged by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Fatah has lost the reins of government and the confidence of its people. The handshakes on the White House lawn and the Nobel Peace Prize have faded away like a dream.
4. Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement turned out to be a serious mistake. It gave terror a boost, allowed the Iranians to call the shots in Gaza instead of the Egyptians, fueled anarchy in the Palestinian street and pushed the chances for an agreement even further away.

There's only one solution to the Arab Violence Against Israel

It's not negotiations, that's for sure. The Arabs launching those Kassams are not doing it to "negotiate;" they very simply want all Jews out of the Land of Israel. "Terrorists only understand force." That's what those who know them the best, the Arabs who've worked for Israel's Defense Forces say it, straight and simple.

Also, according to recent polls, more than half the Israelis asked also say that the only solution is a military one.

The people of Sderot are suffering. Normal life has stopped. People are starting to pay solidarity visits from other parts of the country. A delegation from Shiloh is going today.

Olmert claims that there's "no magical solution." He hasn't a clue. Nobody is asking for magic. We just want any solution which will destroy terrorism.

No one has any faith in the incompetent politicians, who act like they're in some sort of Theater of the Absurd. Caroline Glick describes it well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stuffing the Ballot Box

I didn't find this on the net, but I definitely heard it on the TV news:

During the Labor Primary elections, "problems" in the Arab sectors. "Vote early; vote often," as the saying goes. This is consistent with the stories I've heard from people who were supposed to be the election poll supervisors or "observers" in Arab villages and neighborhoods. There's a very efficient machine there guaranteeing that names are checked off and ballots put in the box. No one dares mess with the "bosses."

Israel, as you can see in the picture, has a simple and "primitive" voting method, and the counting is by "hand."
  • a table is set up with a box, signed (by election local officials) envelopes and check-lists of registered voters for all the officials and observers
  • a voter comes in and is approved
  • and the officials and observers mark the name on their lists
  • periodically, party activists check with their observers to see who still hasn't voted, and they keep ferrying the voters to the polls
  • the voter is given a signed envelope
  • the voter goes into a "booth" where there's a tray of "ballot slips"
  • the voter takes the desired ballot slip and puts it in his/her envelope
  • then he exits the booth and puts the envelope into the box
  • when the polls close the box is opened
  • the envelopes are counted and the total compared with the voters who voted
  • if the numbers don't match, recount
  • in some cases, if there are too many envelopes the easiest solution is just checking more names, until they reach the "right number" of course it's illegal, but it does happen
  • then each envelope is opened if there are two ballots in the envelope, one is thrown out, but if there are three or more, the envelope is "invalid"
  • then the counting begins, yes by hand and out loud
  • one reads the ballot and the rest, "keep track"
  • then again, it's all added up and must match, including invalidated ballots

And one more thing about yesterday's elections....

If I remember the news item correctly, Ehud Barak did well in those problematic Arab villages.

Monday, May 28, 2007

There's more Arab building going on

When Arabs build for themselves, they sure build quickly. I haven't been able to get a reliable reason why such a large percentage --in places like Turmus Aya (the Valley of Shiloh) almost every single structure has been enlarged-- I'm not referring to just adding a room or two. This is more than just nuveau riche excess.

I took these picture yesterday when leaving Beit El. The lighting isn't great, since it was dusk, and the focus won't win prizes. I was in a moving car. At least I took advantage of my front seat perch.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

None of them get my vote!

Today Israel's once-the-only-ruling Labor Party is having its primaries. Paid members get to choose between the devils and the deep blue sea for a new head, who would be Prime Minister if the party gets enough votes in the next, b'mhairah b'yamainu (speedily in our days), elections.

I must admit that as much as I can't stand the Labor Party and all that its true history stands for, of the three main parties in today's Israeli political scene, it's not the worst. The Kadima opportunists, the worst of Likud, Labor and other political hopefuls, gets that title. Those who stayed in Likud and Labor get my grudging respect for their "loyalty."

Basically the candidates all have the same fatal philosophy.
"Peace" has its price. Give the Arabs enough, and they'll offer/accept "peace."

For that reason, it doesn't matter which candidate "wins," it's bad for Israel, and "bad" is the kindest of words I could choose.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

So obvious, no way to avoid it.

Scare tactics!

Just wait for the instability and violence when the Americans leave Iraq!

Of course, it's obvious.

The American invasion, and forget all the euphemisms--it was an invasion-- destabilized Iraq and made things more "sensitive" in the entire middle-east.

The Arab culture is not the European or Japanese from 60+ years ago. It's dangerously naive to think so. And the damage is done. It doesn't matter when or how, but as violent and dangerous Iraq is today, it will suffer even more when the Americans finally leave.

Is it the job of the United States to be the "world's policeman?" As a long-time citizen of Israel, I don't see things as an "American." I don't see American "morality" as superior, especially when it's combined with the delusions of inaccurate analysis of the true situations in other countries.

Good luck world!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Big deal! So what?

Syrian overtures stir interest in J'lem

Honestly, I can't see why the politicians running oops ruining things should get so excited.

Their aim isn't peace; it's our destruction, G-d forbid!

Shavua Tov!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why go there?

Actually this title refers to two places...

I don't like giving my money to people who treat us as enemies.

I've always considered the "peace" with Egypt as superficial and farcial. It's not "peace" in my eyes. Over the years various "incidents" and media "coverage" have proven that Egypt does not consider Israel a friend at all. For example the constant anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons and various attacks on Israelis and the subsequent delay of quality first aid.

Recently, Dan Pattir, one of those who actually "brokered" the original deal between Begin and Sadaat was embarrassed when his visa to visit Egypt wasn't honored. Instead of just telling them to %#$ it, he begged and pleaded, using all of his connections, until he and his entourage were finally let in.

Even though I was the one who made the arrangements for my husband and elder son to visit Poland with the yeshiva high school I teach in, personally, I have no desire to go there. I think others should rethink the visits considering the attitude of the Polish media-plus. Most of the Israeli and Jewish youngsters who take the "Holocaust Tour" are serious and well-behaved. The fact that the Polish media only stresses the negative just shows that they haven't changed since their enthusiastic assistance to the Nazi murders.

should be here in Eretz Yisrael,
the Land of Israel.

Our history began here in
Shiloh, Beersheva,

Jerusalem, Beit El and

Thursday, May 24, 2007

אושר, Osher, Full of Satisfaction

Psalms 84, 5
ה אַשְׁרֵי, יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ-- עוֹד, יְהַלְלוּךָ סֶּלָה.
5 Happy are they that dwell in Thy house, they are ever praising Thee. Selah

Psalms 144, 15
טו אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ: אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֱׁיְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו.
15 Happy is the people that is in such a case. Yea, happy is the people whose God is the LORD.

Yes, these are the opening lines in the אשרי Ashrei prayer, which is said at least three times a day as part of the daily prayers. The lines are taken from King David's Psalms, and in a sense it's like a "summary," or the "main idea" of the 150 Psalms.

Recently, I've been very disturbed by the enthusiasm the residents of Sderot are taking to leaving their homes. Yes, I admit that my community of Shiloh has never, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, suffered the daily onslaught of enemy rockets like they've been. Is it like the blitz London suffered from during World War Two? My mother's cousin told me stories of how she was taken to a rural maternity hospital in her ninth month, so as not to have the baby in London. But a short while after the birth she was back home, with the German bombs and all the dangers. The Jewish residents of Gush Katif lived their "everyday lives" for years while the Arabs launched rockets on their homes.

Today after babysitting for my grandchildren, I got back home and said the Mincha, afternoon prayer, which starts with Ashrei. The words shouted themselves out to me:


יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֶׁכָּכָה לּוֹ:

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, שֱׁיְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו

Those who dwell in G-d's house are happy, satisfied with what they have. The People who are like that are happy. The People whose G-d is the true G-d are happy, satisfied with what they have.

The residents of Sderot didn't fully love living in Sderot before it became the target of Arab missiles. On the whole, like many Israeli "Development Towns," it was always populated by people who would have had preferred to live somewhere else.

The Kassams are just the proverbial straw that is breaking the camel's back.

Optical Illusions in the Clinton Clan?

When Bill Clinton was the candidate and later US President, it was known that Hillary had more than a "strong influence" on things. Now she's the candidate, and pundits aren't quite sure what their relative roles really are.

Bill, it seems like the media has decided to call her "Clinton," instead of Hillary, and he to denote his lessor status is refereed to by his first name, was always the "nicer" or more seductive, of the two. She was always more involved in his planning, tactics and decisions.

My guess is that things haven't changed all that much, that is except for the "masks" and labels.

The biggest difference will be that she'll be making the speeches this time, instead of just "designing" them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gaydamak is taking his campaign to Tel Aviv

Arkadi Gaydamak is definitely running for something.

He's taking his "rescue mission" to Tel Aviv. The movers and shakers won't be able to avoid him, and even better, they won't be able to avoid the fact the Israel is being attacked by Arabs from Gush Katif.
At least I hope they won't ignore it.
It really bothers me, frightens me that the residents of Sedrot are so quick to leave their homes. When there were Jewish communities in Gush Katif, pre-Disengagement, they were also bombarded by the Arabs shooting missiles at them, but they wouldn't budge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do you? Or don't you?

My question is simple, or maybe not so simple.

Do you learn all Shavuot night or not?

There's a tradition to learn all night,
  • but not every location has shiurim (classes) to attend
  • but some people need to sleep
  • and some of us uncontrollably doze off if we sit still, after a certain hour
  • is this considered a "women's tradition?"
  • or is it really a "requirement," mitzvah?

In Shiloh, for quite a long time, there have been a number of "all night" or "most of the night" learning options for men, women, children and English speakers. That's not including the shiurim and open Beit Medrash in the local Hesder Yeshiva.

We've been hosting some for well over 15 years. It started the year after our elder son was seriously injured when a small truck hit him, while he was riding his bicycle. I'm convinced that his miraculous recovery is due to the fact that he had insisted on going to his classes' Shavuot Shiurim just a few weeks before, even though he had seriously sprained his ankle. We had to carry him; he couldn't walk.

The following year, to thank G-d, we hosted his class's shiur. After that there always was some shiur in our home on Shavuot. The year my mother-in-law passed away, we hosted a slew of English language shiurim, so my father-in-law would have something to attend. That included a shiur or two Shavuot afternoon.

Since then, we've made it our tradition to host a Shavuot Shiur in English, which our next door neighbor, HaRav Dov Berkovits, gives. For many of the English speakers, who aren't getting any younger, it's much easier to stay awake and alert in the afternoon.

A few years ago, some neighbors started putting together all-night learning in English. Our local Chief Rabbi Elchanan Bin Nun even began giving a shiur in English. For those who don't understand Hebrew, it's a real treat, and many of us who can understand both languages show up to support his efforts to serve the English-speaking Shiloh population. Yes, there are quite a few English speakers here in Shiloh, probably more than one would expect.

That's it for now.

I have lots to do today, even though not much cooking. We were invited to eat at neighbors tonight.

Chag Sameach!

Shavuot Dvar Torah, which I was asked to post

A neighbor asked me to post this, and since some of you may be looking for extra shiurim for Shavuot, I'm posting it.

the jews of the holy land and the trap of the lie

by Shraga Hanchinsky

>A great talent is exemplified by the angel
called the Samech Mem (Samael),
>to have a creative and theatric imagination.
Hereby are a few cases in which
>we find him also in the Midrash in the Bible:
seducing Eve by means of the
>serpent, creating a river in the path of Avraham
Avinu en route to the
>Akidah, disguising himself sometimes as a robber
and other times as a Torah
>scholar wrestling with Yaacov Avinu, disguising
himself to those who
>departed from Egypt as if Moshe Rabeinu was dead
as an excuse for the sin of
>the golden calf, and creating a tough and sturdy
context in testing the
>faith of Iyov.
>The great and final test of Am Yisroel before
the Geula is and attempt
>of ג€œZionismג€ and its state which is the most
impure in the world ג€“ whose
>sole goal is to defile all the flesh of the
earth by means of an irreligious
>anti-Torah judicial system, and a truth-twisting
theatrical media. In a
>journey that is focused to confuse, the founders
even called this state by
>the name ג€œthe state of Israelג€, and in its
club of heads and ministers and
>advisors who stole the name Mishkan, that refers
the the Mishkan that was
>built by Moshe Rabeinu: ג€œMishkan
>Indeed, the reason that the angel of Esau is
called Samael (and is nicknamed
>Samech Mem), because he blinds the eyes,
similarly to the wicked Esau who
>asked Yitchak Avinu how to take tiths from Salt
disguising himself as a
>Tzadik (since when do we tith salt?). For the
past 110 years that Zionism
>and the state took control over the Holyland,
and most of its dwellers using
>certain Rabbis and religious symbols, murdering,
by apparent and hidden
>maiming, extortion etc. etc.,
>Hereby a fable:
>There used to be a Jewish gג€™vir (richman) G-d
fearing and with a good heart
>(Am Yisroel) that for many years used to invite
and accommodate in his grand
>wooden house many Jews who ended up in the snowy
area in which he lived, as
>a free hostel in which they could recuperate
before continuing their
>journey. . . As Avraham Avinu how accommodated
his guests.
>The righteousness of the gג€™vir as given rise
to the jealously of his
>neighbor (the samech Mem), who contracted the
services of a transgressor
>(Zionism) in order to demolish the way of life
of this righteous gג€™vir, and
>to turn him into one of the simple and drunken
peasants (ג€œnormal as all the
>nationsג€. . . as they call it).
>And the day arrived and this transgressor
disguises himself as a guest that
>arrived at the house of the gג€™vir. In the
evening he spread gasoline in the
>corners of the house, and when all fell asleep
he lit the house on its
>guests. When everyone tried to flee the house,
this sinner took the bag ג€“
>the Tג€™filin of the gג€™vir from the table (as
a religious symbol . . . to
>blind the eyes of the people. Samech Mem).
>The stentorian voice of this criminal rose as if
he saves some of the people
>fleeing (certificates - Aliyah permits, only to
ideologically affiliated
>irreligious Jews).
>The gג€™vir cries and refuses to be consoled
even to the beseeching of his
>sons and daughters who were saved, and then all
of a sudden appears this
>criminal and asks ג€œnaivelyג€, if anyone
recognizes the bag of Tג€™filin that he
>The gג€™vir falls on his shoulders with hugs and
kisses and tells him that
>these Tג€™filin he inherited from his great
grand father, and are more dear in
>his eyes than the walls of the house that was
burned, which can be rebuildt.
>In his naive faith that the merits of his
attending to the Mitzha of
>Hachnasat Orchim, he received such a
ג€œsuccessfulג€ and innovative guest, and
>he promised to pay him bach only with great
favors. This is the end of the
>parable from the series of ג€œDid thou murder
and also inherit?ג€.
>And what is the moral lesson of the fable?
>The majority of Am Yisroel is under great
duress, being blindly greatful for
>more then 110 years to Satan (the Samech Mem)
that orchestrated a successful
>irreligious notional movement, due to the
support of a great many religious
>men that were confused and serve it with great
delight and loyalty even
>after it has transgressed the 3 oaths whose
purpose is in short:not to
>establish a country before its time so not to
disrupt and to erase the
>proceedings of the redemtion as its that isreal
will be saved by hashem [g-
>d] to bring the salvation for eternity.
>Placing our future in the defiled hands of
ג€œZionismג€ overlooking the
>punishments meted out to those who donג€™t heed
to the three oaths: ג€œI hereby
>permit your flesh as gazelles and deers of the
fieldsג€ caused the great
>Holocaust of European Jewry, and thus the state
(and army) continues
>to ג€œsave usג€ only from failure to failure,
Hashem will save us from ג€œthe
>Zionist Stateג€.
>Will the events and signs of the last year not
awaken the religious brothers
>and settlers to the sights of the uprooting of
Gush Katiff, the attempt to
>mass mureder a big crowd in Amonah by officers,
and the disgrace of the war
>in Lebanon, these are all signs that clarify
that the entire theatre of ג€œthe
>Zionist creationג€ is a test that the Samech
Mem places before us, that the
>state and the army are now and always null and
void, and there is no one to
>cling to except Hashem?
>Till when will the Pride Parade of the Samech
Mem continue, and what are his
>plans and final goals? This you will only
discover in the books ג€œVג€™Yoel
>Mosheג€ and ג€œAl Hageula Vג€™Al Hatemurahג€
by the rightous Admor Yoel Teitlebaum
>ZTג€L from Satmar.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Are we ready?

Tonight we counted "49" of the Omer.

Shavuot is tomorrow night. Are we ready to accept Asseret HaDibrot, The Ten Commandments, the ten main mitzvot of the 613?

Most people are more concerned with getting the right cheese for the cheesecake and not the spiritual preparations.
Chazal say that we should choose one mitzvah, commandment to try to observe in an extremely intense way.
How about charity and chessed?

Another death, murder, Just don't say "perished!"

Sderot burning. The Arabs are shooting missiles at Sderot from Gush Katif. Their aim is to destroy it and make Israel retreat. This is a war, a war of Arab aggression against Israel. No euphemism can change it!

1 moderately hurt as Kassam hits car;

attack comes as Livni, Solana meet in w. Negev town;

PM: Gaza border towns 'conflict zones.'

Woman killed in Qassam rocket strike on Sderot
One moderately wounded in attack; PMO: Israel will do whatever it takes to halt ongoing rocket fire. 21:05

From the Holy and Ancient City of Shiloh

Last week, while my neighbors and I were waiting and waiting to be given the "privilege" of entering Kever Rachel, the Tomb of Rachel, on the border of Jerusalem and Beit Lechem, I voiced something that has been on my mind for quite a while.

We should really be having
prayers, especially women's prayers, at home in Shiloh
by the ancient tel.

We may not have any ancient Biblical Tomb in Shiloh, but we do have a well-documented ancient spot of great Biblical, Spiritual and Historical Significance.

Anyone can come to Shiloh by bus, bullet-proof, via Egged, or by any vehicle. It's no big deal. We can walk if so desired.

Why should we, the Jewish People, have to suffer such unpleasantness, when the very spot where Chana prayed is much more easily accessible?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

In G-d's Honor

Bimhaira biyamainu... Speedily in our days...

Yesterday at the last of this year's Pirkei Avot classes, we learned the last chapter.

11. Everything that G-d created in His world, He did not create but for His glory. As is stated (Isaiah 43:7): "All that is called by My name and for My glory, I created it, formed it, also I made it." And it says (Exodus 15:1): "G-d shall reign forever and ever."
As we read and discussed it, suddenly I saw a "vision," or call it an "inspiration."

I imagined that if only, as the 1967, Six Days War, ended, if everyone in Israel had only ascended the Temple Mount, Har HaBayit, instead of crowding at the inferior Kotel, the Moshiach would have come!

Yes, the more I think of it, the less doubts I have. G-d was ready to reveal the Moshiach, the Messiah, but the Jewish People weren't ready.

Not only did we crowd at the outer wall and hand the key to our Holiest Place to the goyim who want to destroy us, but we thanked and praised the army, not G-d. And instead of repopulating our Holy Ancient Land, we (as a People and government) have been offering it to the terrorists and terrorizing the good Jews living in every hill and valley.

Each wrong step we take, makes it harder to return. But return we must.

Chag Shavuot Sameach

Turncoat in position of power!

Otniel Schneller, YESHA's well-connected turncoat was just given more "kapo-like" authority over his neighbors.

He was appointed by Tzachi Hanegbi, of all people, to "oversee situation in settlements." (sic)

It's so dangerous, shocking, pathetic when people turn on their Homeland, family, neighbors and friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Is this war?

If this is war, then Israel ought to fight back to defeat our enemies!

Attacks from Gaza continue Saturday
An IDF soldier was wounded from shrapnel, Saturday afternoon, after an anti-tank missile hit the military bulldozer that he was operating near the border fence in the northern Gaza strip. He was taken to hospital ...Full story

Hamas: After Sderot Comes Ashkelon
21:33 - May. 19, '07
Twelve Kassams Fired at Israel Saturday
21:17 - May. 19, '07
Two Soldiers Wounded in Gaza Attack
21:02 - May. 19, '07

Kassam lands outside of Sderot; none wounded[ 19/05 21:35 - ISRAEL ]
Three Kassams hit Sderot; no reports of wounded[ 19/05 20:46 updated 20:46 - ISRAEL ]

Getting wiser?

According to the new poll on IMRA, Israelis are getting wiser, IMHO.
Here's a small selection of the numbers. There's more in the above link.

What are the real goals of the Palestinians?
[IMRA: A cynic would say that these are a set of optimistic goals. The goal
of destroying Israel and killing most of the Jews is not included as an
42% Destroy Israel and expel most of the Jews
29% Destroy Israel
21% Get the territory captured in '67
07% Get part of the territory captured in '67

Is the Government capable to make the right decisions on security matters?
Yes 33% No 66%

MK Dr. Arie Eldad on Yom Yerushalayim

This is from AmiChaiUSA.com, a site worth visiting.

Deep Down
I was seventeen years old on the day the paratroopers broke through the Lion’s Gate and ran diagonally across the Temple Mount looking for the Western Wall. Three weeks earlier, a pitiful and truncated military parade marched through the streets of Jerusalem.Read the Rest of the Article »

Friday, May 18, 2007

We're guilty because of miracles?

This morning a reporter from a major foreign newspaper sat at my cluttered diningroom table interviewing my husband, while I cooked. No great surprise. I couldn't keep my mouth shut, and I wasn't eating.

As I explained:

"Like many women, I multi-task."
I highly doubt that he had expected me to participate, ok--butt in, the way I did. When I "coach" people in the art of being interviewed, I stress that we have the right to refuse questions, not in terms of "the fifth amendment," but in terms of:

"That question is badly worded."
"Your premise is incorrect."
and things like that

Today's interview was difficult, because I was the "third wheel" and couldn't respond to everything.

There was a recurring theme which bothered me tremendously. The Arab attacks are considered minor nuisances by the world press and international diplomats, since G-d is always performing miracles. Very few Israelis have been killed or injured.

It's a classic "good news--bad news" scenario, but it's no joke. The good news is that G-d keeps saving us, and the bad news is that the world uses those statistics to "prove" that the Arabs are "harmless."

Remember what happened during the Gulf War, when Daddy Bush was US President?

Dozens of scud missiles were launched at Israel and landed in major population centers. Some homes and businesses were damaged. Few were destroyed. And if I'm not mistaken, the Israeli who died, died of a heart attack. And considerably few Israelis were even injured.

At the same time one of the same type of scud missiles hit American Army barracks and over a dozen American soldiers were killed. (It's close to Shabbat, so I don't have time to google for exact numbers.)

According to the "laws of nature," hundreds or at least dozens of Israelis should have died from the barrage of Iraqi missiles, but G-d performed miracles.

For years in Gush Katif, before Disengagement, rockets were launched at the communities and fell there. There was some damage and only a couple of deaths. Miracles happened all the time, but because of those miracles, people in Israel and all over the world refused to recognize that the Arabs were trying to murder Jews.

Consider all of the Arab attacks on Israel to the north, south and more. Casualties have been less than expected, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d. But because of G-d's miracles we are being victimized in a different way.

The Arabs are trying to destroy our country.
We are in danger.
We must use G-d's miracles to get stronger, not to cringe in shelters.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!

Chaos! Was it intentional?

Last night, before I went to sleep, I posted a picture and "tease" asking readers to guess where I had been. Nobody took me up on it, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway. Actually I just posted the simple answer on me-ander. That was the "pshat," now for the "drash" plus.

There's a monthly trip from Shiloh to Kever Rachel just before Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the Hebrew month. We have been doing it for years. Sometimes it goes simply and other times... with great difficulty. Once we never even got in.

So now you know. Yes, this is one of the worst, yes no doubt, the worst trip, so far, to Kever Rachel.

It started off fine. I was picked up at the "T junction" from Beit El. We got into Jerusalem without any delays, and there weren't any major traffic jams. We didn't even wait all that long at the demeaning "border" between Jerusalem and Beit Lechem.
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A number of people waiting there came on the bus, filling all the empty seats and even standing in the aisle.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The soldier joined the bus, and we drove to Kever Rachel, where we saw mobs of people outside. The bus opened, and a couple of passengers managed to get off before the driver locked us in from the outside.

Yes, it's one of those stories. We began to get worried.

After quite a delay, we were told that there was no room for us inside, and our bus, for incomprehensible reasons, was forbidden to fill with the waiting people for us to take their places. We were forced to return to the "border" and promised that as soon as some Gush Etzion buses took the people back,we'd "be the first to go in." Hah! You're not surprised, nu?

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We waited, and yes we waited almost an hour, and we didn't see empty buses go in returning full. Also we couldn't understand why davka it was so crowded. Maybe everyone wanted to say the special Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan prayer?

Ours wasn't the only bus waiting. The soldiers had promised that we'd be first, "just 10 minutes," we kept hearing. Then we saw some Gush Etzion buses scoot ahead. So we followed. As we approached, the jeeps cut us off. Is that the maneuver they use against criminals and terrorists? That's how we felt!

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It wasn't pleasant. People got off the bus to ask and argue. Nothing made any sense. We were outraged that the soldiers demanded the drivers license. He hadn't done anything wrong. Why weren't there shuttle buses to efficiently transport the people back and forth? One of those who came onto our bus said that she had been waiting for two hours at the "border." The neighbors who had managed to get in reported that it wasn't all that crowded.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Finally, a couple of buses left the "compound," and we and the jeeps backed up a bit. Then we were let in. It was crowded, but if the army had been better organized, it wouldn't have been.

I found myself a spot in the back corner of the inner women's section. There were candles lit there, even though it's not permitted. They were hidden.

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After close to an hour, it was the time we had set with the driver to meet and return to Shiloh. MOBBED! Yes, totally mobbed. It was almost impossible to get near the sinks by the exit. The back door was opened for the "Bostoner Rebbe" and his entourage.

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I finally made it to the sink, looking frantically for my neighbors. Usually, it's no problem to make contact with everyone while waiting. I found one, and we waited along with hundreds of other frantic Jews.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The metal door was locked for security reasons, and people were feeling faint from lack of air. Cups of water were passed around, and finally the door was opened, but nobody was allowed out.

Eventually buses came, and people tried to leave on the "right bus." There were buses from all over the country.

At last the call "bus to Shiloh," and we happily boarded. Then we let others fill the empty seats, and we went home to Shiloh, menucha."

Chodesh Tov, Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Preview--Can you guess the story?

Who? What? Why? When? Where? How?
That's the story guide for teaching writing.

Sorry, I'm too tired and it's too late to blog the story, but here's a clue, a preview:

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Hesder, the "Arrangement" is "cracking"

For decades, the "national religious" crowd has been very proud and protective of the Yeshivot Hesder. They are five year programs for religious high school graduates in which they learn in yeshiva and, periodically, also serve in the IDF in special units.

Of the five years of the program, less than three are in the army. Three years is the standard army service for Israeli men. But since the hesder units, at least until Disengagement, were considered the best motivated and disciplined, the army was willing to have them as part of the elite paratroopers and others. The hesder units are made up only of hesder students, meaning they're religious.

Most religious Israelis serve in regular units, fully integrated with soldiers of all "life-styles" and backgrounds. Competing for the religious guys who want to learn Torah before the army are the "Mechinot," religious preparatory yeshivot. Their students study from a few months to a year and a half or more, and then they serve in regular units for the full three years. A few years ago they were getting lots more kids than the hesder.

Recently, there has been talk from the IDF, that they want to change the "hesder," arrangement with the yeshivot. One of those who support the change is Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. This is bad news for the yeshivot hesder. It goes together with the debates heard in the "national religious" crowd about how we should relate to the State of Israel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This has me worried

It's beyond tzedakah, charity, chessed.

Residents of the suffering city of Sderot, which is being bombed by the Arabs from Gush Katif and Gaza, have no faith in their local government and no faith in their neighbor, Amir Peretz, the Minister of Defense.

The one person they feel they can count on is Arkadi Gaydamak. And nobody is even sure who or what he is, besides being a filthy-rich and very generous billionaire.

Arkadi Gaydamak now owns the very popular soccer team, Betar Jerusalem, and it's winning. Last summer he treated thousands of Israelis to a respite from the war. On Independence Day he made a party for thousands in Tel Aviv. He has announced his interest in running for Mayor of Jerusalem.
The head of the city's "PTA" sent him a letter asking for help, and he sent buses to bring them to hotels. The Gaydamak said that he's negotiating with contractors to reinforce the city's buildings, so they can withstand the missiles.
What does he really want for this?

For an eye a .... an empty eyeglass case?

That's how the Israeli government is responding to the constant missile/rocket attacks by the Arabs.

The recent ones seriously injured innocent Israeli civilians, but only the usual farcial response by Israel.

Desperate Sderot residents are begging Gaydamak to rescue them.

Compare these two politicians

Ramon to resume Knesset activity
Former Justice Minister to return to Knesset after conviction for indecent assault
click for complete article

Naomi Blumenthal asks for pardon
Former Likud MK Naomi Blumenthal filed a request for a pardon Tuesday, in a last-ditch effort to avoid starting her eight-month prison term.
click for complete article

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Olmert's Bad News

That title can mean two things. Either "Bad News of/from Olmert," or "Olmert is Bad News." Honestly, I mean both here. Read these two items, and you may agree.

Olmert Promises to Restrict Jewish Building

(IsraelNN.com) In his meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised that Israel would not build new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. He told Abdullah that Israel would be willing to resume transferring tax monies to the Palestinian Authority if there was a way to assure that the money would not be used for terrorism. Olmert invited all Arab leaders to meet with him with no preconditions in order to discuss the Saudi Initiative. The initiative calls for Israel to give the PA control of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and much of Jerusalem, and to grant automatic citizenship to millions of foreign Arabs. Olmert called the initiative “very interesting.” He pointed out that Israel has some reservations about the plan, but said that nonetheless, he and Arab leaders “need to meet.”


Attack Foiled in Jerusalem; Rock Attack in Beitar

(IsraelNN.com) An Arab man was arrested in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov on Tuesday afternoon after police found two knives on his person. The man, a resident of the Arab village of Kalandia, north of Jerusalem, admitted that he had intended to stab Jews.
Arabs attacked a house in the Jewish town of Beitar on Tuesday afternoon, throwing several large rocks. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Jerusalem!! Myths and Facts by Eli E. Hertz


Only twice in Jerusalem's history has the city served as a national capital. The first time was as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First and Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents. The second time is in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.

No matter where Jews lived throughout the world for those two millennia, their thoughts and prayers were directed toward Jerusalem. Even today, whether in Israel, the United States or anywhere else, Jewish ritual practice, holiday celebration, and lifecycle events include recognition of Jerusalem as a core element of the Jewish experience. Consider that:

Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem.
Arks (the sacred chests) that hold Torah scrolls in synagogues throughout the world face Jerusalem.
Jews end Passover Seders each year with the words: "Next year in Jerusalem"; the same words are pronounced at the end of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
A three-week moratorium on weddings in the summer recalls the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That period culminates in a special day of mourning - Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av) - commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.
Jewish wedding ceremonies - joyous occasions, are marked by sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem. The groom recites a biblical verse from the Babylonian Exile: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning," and breaks a glass in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples.
Even body language, often said to tell volumes about a person, reflects the importance of Jerusalem to Jews as a people and, arguably, the lower priority the city holds for Muslims:

When Jews pray they face Jerusalem; in Jerusalem Israelis pray facing the Temple Mount.
When Muslims pray, they face Mecca; in Jerusalem Muslims pray with their backs to the city.
Even at burial, a Muslim face is turned toward Mecca.
Finally, consider the number of times "Jerusalem" is mentioned in the two religions' holy books:
The Old Testament mentions 'Jerusalem' 349 times. Zion, another name for 'Jerusalem,' is mentioned 108 times.
The Quran never mentions Jerusalem - not even once.

To learn more click HERE * To send a comment click HERE

Monday, May 14, 2007

Our first Jerusalem Neighbor

After my husband and I got married we moved to Israel, traveling by boat.

We were among the lucky olim chadashim (new immigrants) to have a job waiting, and that job included housing.

He had been hired by World Betar to run the Maon Betar, Betar Student housing in the Old City of Jerusalem. The old city was a difficult place to live. There were very few Jews there in early September, 1970. You had Yeshivat Hakotel, Nachal Moriya, Maon Betar and Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Segel and his wife, Rachel. The Segels lived just across the lane/path from the Betar House, which is on the corner of Rechov HaYehudim, Street of the Jews, and Rechov Plugat HaKotel. The "Plugat HaKotel" had been a group of defenders of Jews in the Old City before the Jordanians conquered it and banished Jews. Their headquarters was the building we were in.

It's also the building that Yoram Gaon refers to as his "grandfather's house" in the movie "Ani Yerushlami," "I was Born in Jerusalem."

Harav Segel was a hero to us, besides being our only neighbor. Read all about him in the following article:
The man who sounded the shofar

Hard for a mother, but...

Yes, in some parts of the world it's Mother's Day, so you may find this a strange piece for me to be posting. I'm the mother of two front line IDF veterans who are subject to reserve duty.

When our elder son was inducted into an elite unit, the speeches and the "souvenir video" we ended up with struck a peculiar and unexpected chord. The officers promised to take "good care" of our sons, and the video commentary kept harping on the premise/myth that "it's your darling son's first time away from home." Strange. Our son and all of his friends had just spent four years in a yeshiva high school dorm and then many a year or more in a pre-army "preparatory" yeshiva. That's not counting the overnight treks with Bnai Akiva from as young as elementary school. So, obviously, by the time he was drafted into active service in the army, he was a veteran of being "away from home."

Unfortunately, we weren't naive to the reality of Israeli military service. Two of our friends from New York Betar had been killed while fighting the Yom Kippur War in 1973, eight years before that son was born. We had all experienced terror attacks, and I was even injured when he was in high school.

Of course, we hope and pray that our children, their friends and all Israeli soldiers come home safe and sound, but nothing is guaranteed, and the army isn't just another summer camp.

You can't be victorious in a war if all you care about is not getting hurt. The point of war is to defeat the enemy, not to warn them before attacking and not to endanger our soldiers in order to protect enemy civilians. War is dangerous, and it hurts.

There's something dangerously perverse in the Israeli Government's attitude. Read this article from IMRA:
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Uri Heitner: If top goal of an IDF operation is not to get hurt then mission is superfluous

Reserve duty. We came up to the line for active duty and met the area
commander for a briefing.
At the end he remembered that he hadn't yet presented to us the main point:
"and the most important thing is that you all return home safely.
All of
this activity isn't worth it to us if one hair on the head of one soldier
should fall," said the commander, pleased with himself for the populist

This wasn't a one time occurrence. It took place many times, with many
commanders, including one regional commander.

These remarks always angered me.

If the most important thing is that we return home safely then why did you
call for us? After all, we could have remained safe at home. Not a hair on
our heads would have fallen if we stayed there.

If this is more important than the mission then the mission is completely

Victory first and foremost depends on fighting spirit. We were victorious in the past thanks to our fighting spirit and we failed in the Second
Lebanon War because of the lack of fighting spirit. I am not talking about
the fighting spirit of the soldiers and the lower ranking officers but
instead mainly of that of the senior IDF command and the government

Uri Heitner, Kibbutz Ortal
In a letter published in Nekuda - May 2007 edition
English Translation by IMRA

Victory means...

Last summer I kept ranting about how the Israeli Government had no plans of totally defeating the Arab enemies. The talk was of "diminishing" the violence and synonyms of the same.

In last Friday's Jerusalem Post I saw a letter to the editor which so perfectly explains the issue. No great surprise that it was written by a long-time friend of ours, Doug Greener.

Here's the letter:

Sir, --

As the son of an American World War II veteran, I completely identify with Nelly Gootin’s frustration over the different war narratives as understood by Israelis and the rest of the Diaspora (“The Russian Mimouna,” May 4). One could easily go through the Yad Vashem Museum, or listen to the stories on Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, without realizing that the Holocaust was ended only by the military defeat of Nazi Germany. (Quite possibly, it has been the Israeli left which suppresses this fact, since one of its core beliefs is that “violence only begets more violence.”) Be that as it may, we in Israel should be celebrating V-E Day, whether on May 8 (as in the U.S.) or May 9 (as in Russia).

I would like to offer a suggestion to prevent the celebrations and parades from becoming a Russian-only holiday, as Ms. Gootin fears. Like Soviet soldiers stretched out their hands to American GIs when they met at the Elbe River, the Red Army veteran organizations should welcome World War II veterans from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Free France, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and other nations, to join in the parades and parties. Let them drink vodka and sing together, like our fathers did 62 years ago. I’m sure they’ll find a common language – and perhaps every Israeli will understand it too.

Doug Greener, ddwgreen@netvision.net.il
Pisgat Ze’ev

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nothing's New! or Never the Negev!

This ynet writer doesn't quite understand why David Ben Gurion moved to the Negev.

David Ben Gurion must be turning in his grave. Israel’s first prime minister’s vision of settling the Negev never seemed further away, as new poll shows 50 percent of Israelis are unwilling to relocate to it, under any circumstances. (click here for complete article)
Ben Gurion knew that the percentage of Israelis willing to live there was almost infinitesimal. His dream of attracting masses of Israelis to the Negev was because it was so undesired, and he thought that considering the tiny bit of land (pre Six Days War) Israel had the Negev had to be utilized. He didn't see the Bedouin as a competitive threat, so to him that was the great potential of it.

The Negev, which lacks natural resources and is a desert, is not suited to house masses of people. And deserts have never been popular with Jews.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The apple fell far from the tree

There was a time when the Left in Israel was jealous of the fact that the sons of the Etzel and Lechi members were strong patriots and very involved in Israeli politics. At the same time most of the children of the Palmach and Haganah leaders weren't interested, or even worse, had left the country.

Unfortunately, time has shown us that many "Likud Princes" were more interested in power than Eretz Yisrael. Just look at the Kadima Party leaders, Ehud Olmert, Tzachi Hanegbi and Tsippi Livni.

Yes, Princess Tsippi is the focus of many who are wondering if she'll succeed Olmert. She's flexing her muscles with headlines like this:

It seems like the Jerusalem Post told its opinion writers to focus on her in yesterday's paper. Read this great article.

It shows how far that apple fell from that tree.

Friday, May 11, 2007


It was obvious. Either the Europeans would either love it or hate it. In the middle of Israel's anti-war song, Push de Button, the sound went off. It was censored.

TeaPacks did not make it into the Eurovision final. They put on a uniquely great show, but politics rules.