Hamas War

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Tree Grows in the Nitzan Caravillas

A Tree Grows in the Nitzan Caravillas

by Shifra Shomron

My goodness, how I love acacias! Their dark-brown trunks smoothly rising from the ground, their slim dark-green leaves a dancing canopy against the sky. And they grow so quickly! It was these characteristics that made my family decide to plant them back in our garden in Gush Katif. True, our neighbors laughed at us for planting such wild weeds. But we cared not for their laughter – these were the only trees hardy enough to grow independently in the arid sand dunes of Gush Katif. However, to our dismay, we quickly discovered the secret of these trees survival. Their roots. Yes, indeed. Even when they are so young that only two tiny leaves have burst up from the sand, their roots are already two feet long. And those roots grow down deep and they spread out wide. And in the end, we were forced to uproot our acacias – because they were stealing the water from the surrounding plants; the grass and flowers were being sucked dry. And we replaced them with meek, tame, slow-growing trees.

And yet I continued to love acacias. How could one fail to love such a wild, beautiful, hardy tree? Theirs was the only splash of green in the Gush Katif sand dunes. They were the trees in which my siblings and I built our childhood forts. And it was their bright-yellow puff-ball flowers that yearly announced the coming of spring and…my allergies.

Since Disengagement, it only takes the sight of a stunted, dusty, road-side acacia to remind me of my destroyed home and of my lost land. And the Nitzan Caravilla site has very few trees.

My father refuses to invest much in our temporary Caravilla – or in the small adjoining patch of ground. My father was being pragmatic, logical and right. "Wait until we have a permanent home, Shifie. Then we'll make a nice garden," he said. But time passed. And no permanent house is visible on the horizon. My brothers planted mint, myrtle and a few other small plants. Eventually, my father agreed to water these plants when my brothers were away at Yeshiva. And one day, when we were walking through the construction site where Neve Dekalim hopes to rebuild our community, I noticed that one of the little piles of dirt was covered with small acacias.

I looked at them longingly. Dark green, silky leaves, tender shoots… "Aba, why don't we plant some acacias?" I slowly asked my father. He glanced at me, looked at the acacias, and the idea took root.

Well, we've done it. We've planted five nicely sized acacias around our Caravilla. Four have already produced new leaves. They will grow quickly and provide us with shade as well as with the aesthetic pleasure of seeing green outside the windows. Sturdy, hardy trees – they'll grow well even in our temporary Caravilla site. There is no grass around them, no flowers for them to bother. Their roots can spread as far out and as deep as they please. True, their life-span is short – about 5 to 7 years. But that's fine with us. That's approximately the amount of time we'll be living here in the Caravillas.

Shifra Shomron is the author of Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim, (2007), Mazo Publishers.

Travel back in time and revisit Gush Katif, Israel.
Shifra's website:

strange juxtiposition

I hope the title is spelled correctly, since spellcheck ignores it.

I haven't been online since Wed. night for a couple of minutes. The Jerusalem Post headlines on this blog just had these two:

Mt. Hebron: Boy who fell from electric pole dies
Beersheba: Girl who fell from window wakes up

"There's no one to vote for."

Guess where.

No, not just in Israel. I thought it was a problem exclusive to Israel, but as the American Presidential Elections are starting to heat up, a year before the parties choose their candidates, everyone I speak to tells me that there's nobody of all the candidates, both parties, plus, they would vote for or support.

I've been speaking to Americans, right, left and center, and they all agree that the men and women attracted to politics are the pits, and that's the best anyone can say. Politicians are a bunch of phony opportunists.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Draft Evaders

The real Israeli draft evasion is not from the Chareidi males; it's from the "yaldei shammenet," creme de la creme, the upper classes and those who worship the super secular celebrities who flaunt their draft evasion.

That's the truth and it's alluded to in this article which discusses how the army is trying to get the kids to go in a join the units most in need of soldiers.

I hope it's true

Peres grants clemency to Naomi Blumenthal

I honestly think that Naomi is one of the nicest, most sincere and least selfish of all those in the Israeli political sphere. She competes with the incomparable and legendary Geula Cohen, who is of a very different style.

There are so many major crooks in Israeli politics, plus the sex defenders. I doubt if 15% of them have done less "illegal acts" than Naomi did.

May she be blessed with good health and the opportunities to continue the good she has already done for so many.

Can it get worse? Sure, unfortunately.

Check out Arlene Kushner's site.

At this moment the post I suggest isn't yet on the site. Her site is always good. Look for:
July 22, 2007


different lives

Here I am in suburban America, from neighborhood to neighborhood where wealthy Jews live. There are many wonderful people here, but it's a different world.

Only those with internet have any idea what's going on in Israel. There's nothing of any depth, actually nothing I've heard/seen on TV.

In Israel, lovers of Eretz Yisrael are trying to return to Chomesh. And I'm eating "white fish" and bagels.

I feel so removed, like a tourist.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

G-d Forbid!

Olmert hasn't given up on his plan of exiling me, my neighbors and over a 250,000 other law abiding Jewish Israelis from our homes, G-d forbid.

He plans a ghetto, a small walled in ghetto to "protect" us. Hah! It won't work. Shrinking Israel won't make Israel safer. Claiming that the new "borders" will be better since Arabs would be left out is a lie, a very dangerous lie.

It's ironic that as I was riding to the airport last week, to take the plane here to New York, there was a radio show we were listening to. For generations, generous jews have been donating to the JNF--Jewish National Fund to buy land in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel for Jews to live on. Some Arabs want to live with Jews on land bought by the JNF, and they went to the Israeli Courts to have the laws changed so they could. And what do you think the courts said? They can. Yes, Arabs can live on Jewish owned land, even though Jews can't live in Arab towns, that is unless it's Jewish women married to Arab men who live as Arabs, but that's another issue.

So, in the Jewish Ghetto Olmert is walling in, will be Arabs...

No, it's not Purim time. It's Tisha B'Av this week!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gevalt! Keep them out!!

I'm posting a letter I got from Ellen Horowitz. As you know, I'm not in Israel and I don't have frequent computer/internet time. The news I've found on American tv doesn't give me the info I need. Yesterday, by chance, I met a friend, also visiting from Israel, and we both said that we feel totally removed and ignorant of what's happening.

Ellen informed me, among others on her mailing list, that the Likud is following the example of Ron Nachman, who has been making Ariel into a Christian city in the Shomron welcoming Christians into Ariel. They have been inviting the Christians to get involved, to help. The Christians have been very generous; foreign Jews much less so.

Gevalt! Keep them out!!

World Likud invited Evangelicals to join their
Board of Governors. the PR
is incredibly slick (see below links). Wish the
Jewish State's Likud Party
could appeal to their own people like this:
Bibi is being challenged by Danny Dannon, World
Likud Chairman and the new
darling of our Christian friends, but they just
love Feglin, too....
Not surprisingly, the American religious right
loves Feiglin. Here's part
of what Watchmen's Warnings (part of "Capitol
Hill Prayer Alert") had to
say about him:
He is not a Christian and we are not endorsing
his religious and/or
political beliefs. Yet he has much to say of
value. His dedication to the
Jewish Scriptures, and his desire to see them
impact Israeli culture and
government are worthy of respect. We need to pray
for this man - that he
will come to know Jesus Christ as Messiah.
Jul. 19, 2007 19:16
World Likud head seeks evangelical funding
World Likud chairman Danny Dannon is going to the
United States next week to
take part in an evangelical Christian
fund-raising campaign to bolster his
campaign for party leadership.
Dannon, who will be traveling to Texas next
weekend, is facing off against
Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu in next month's
internal party primaries.
Dannon said that he was proud to accept
contributions from evangelicals
"whose ideology about the Land of Israel is equal
to [his]," rather than
receive funding from Israeli building
Netanyahu, who was long a star in the evangelical
Christian world, has
disappointed Christian Zionists as he takes a
more centrist view to pander
to Israeli voters, Dannon said.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

not so simple, teach'

Another piece of news which is worse than it sounds...

The Knesset just passed a law mandating kids to remain in school until after the 12th grade. Yes, it sounds wonderful, but there are a couple of downsides:

  1. Not every teen is ready or capable of high school education
  2. The high schools will have a harder job expelling disruptive and unsuitable students!

As a high school English teacher, who specializes in weak students I get stuck with kids who should not be in a regular high school frame work. Some of the students make life literal hell for others. I see them 3 or 4 hours a week, but I teach in a dormitory school, and when I tell the administration that some of my students must go, I'm not being a fuddy dud old lady. I"m experienced enough in what's acceptable behavior and what kid need a more "structured" environment than we can offer.

Now, best intentions do lead to hell and too many kids need a "framework" or school other than the one they were registered in at the age of 14 or 15. Many parents have delusions about their children's capabilities. Or they think that being in a "regular" school will make their kids, just like they wish they were.

dictator delayed and more news

I'm not very up on recent political developments in Israel, having left home Monday morning for NY, but I remember that many were suspecting that Gaydamak was hoping for the repassing of a bill to elect Israeli Prime Ministers in separate ballots. It was defeated. That's good news.

More good news is that the Knesset is working on some sort of amnesty Law for those arrested during Disengagement. Obviously I don't know much and hope that it compensates every time for all the expenses etc. Lots of lives have been messes up due to Disengagement and the government must do something good for a change.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Off, up and away for awhile

It's time to turn off the computer and finish getting ready.

I don't know when I'll be on again.

I changed my yahoo account, so that any mail yahoo thinks "junk/spam" will automatically be deleted, including my own. So I can't rescue them. That means that some legitimate mail will disappear, and I won't see it. So if I don't reply, even after a week, your mail may have had been mislabeled by yahoo.

About the Kosher Cooking Carnival, A Mother in Israel should be posting today, before she travels. Next month's host is Juggling Frogs. Send your links via blog carnival.
G-d willing there will be some guest posts to keep things interesting. It's nice to have such good friends.

Chodesh Tov Have a good month, and I'll post when I can.

Two Years

Psychologist say that it takes two years to "recover" from major losses. I remember when a friend was widowed, she said that she was told to wait two years before making any major changes or moves.

Now, two years after Disengagement, we're starting to see more protests.

Two years after law-abiding Israeli citizens were exiled from their homes, people are starting to wake-up. The new housing, that Ariel Sharon so confidently promised, never materialized. The well-manicured, instant "town" of Nitzan looks more and more the shanty town, refugee camp, it really is. The tiny prefabricated "cardboard" structures are falling apart and many people have been forced to add "rooms," since they can't fit their families in them.

The TV news has been showing the difficult conditions of the refugees and the protests of the farmers, who no longer have land, businesses nor jobs.

It was all so easily predictable. Check my archives from two years ago.

You're giving charity, and you don't even know it!

This is to those to check out the ads on my blogs:

Tizku l'mitzvot!
May you be awarded with more mitzvot, good deeds.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

From Golden Stalks to Golden Grains…And Back Again by Shifra Shomron

From Golden Stalks to Golden Grains…And Back Again
by Shifra Shomron

I stood outside the Nitzan Caravilla site on a warm summer afternoon and watched the golden hay being baled. The heavy machinery grinded loudly and spat out large, square sweet-smelling bales. And as I stood silently and stared, I was once again a small five year old child with big brown eyes and short, curly brown hair – clutching my mother's hand tightly on a Shabbat afternoon in Chandler , Arizona . After the Shabbat morning meal, my family would always go on a walk to Desert Breeze Park . And on the way there, when the season was right, we would stop and watch the hay being baled. My father would watch with a grin and a sparkle in his green eyes – explaining the hay baling process to us, my mother would be cheerfully amused, and my siblings and I would stare with wide-eyed wonder.
But time passed, and with G-d's help my family made aliyah to Neve Dekalim, Israel . And agriculture was different there. Vast, rolling gray hothouses took the place of open fields. Bug-free vegetables and beautiful flowers took the place of stalks of hay. Golden sand dunes and small communities replaced the urban sprawl. And only the summer heat remained the same… And I wasn't sorry for the change – nor was my family. We grew and blossomed in lovely Gush Katif.
But more time passed. And every paradise has to have its snake. And Gush Katif was invaded by several nasty vipers. The second Intifada burst into being; road side shooting, road side bombs, attempted Arab infiltrations, mortars, kassam rockets, Jews injured, Jews killed… Budding Jewish lives were cruelly snipped. And we learned to live under the shadow of Arab terror. And we were hurting, and our wounds were raw and open and bleeding. But we persevered; we smiled bravely and dug our roots deeper into the sandy soil.
And then the second viper showed its fangs. The Arabs were plucking our flowers, when our Jewish government announced its desire to uproot us! And the smile froze on our faces and our hearts were heavy. We set-out to struggle. It was a long struggle, and it was a brave struggle. There were demonstrations, a human chain, a Likud referendum in our favor, orange streamers, prayer vigils, street blocking, face to face… But the government won. And the Jewish nation lost. We were quickly uprooted, our houses were swiftly destroyed, and the Arabs smiled maliciously and paraded victoriously among the ruins.
And then the people of Gush Katif were forced into two years of wandering. And they traveled to Jerusalem . And from Jerusalem they dispersed to a great many locations, for their numbers were vast and the government did not know where to place them. And from Jerusalem they wandered as far south as Be'er Sheva and as far north as the hills of the Galilee and the Golan. And eventually they settled in numerous, temporary Caravilla sites. And they were sad, and they were weary, and they cried unto the L-ord. And slowly, slowly they gathered strength. And they recalled the five years of hardship they had borne in Gush Katif. And they remembered their fallen. And they remembered the joyful faces of their foes. And they refused to be beaten. And if one listens, one can once again hear the determination in their voices and their visions for the future.
So, I stand and stare at the hay being baled outside the Nitzan Caravilla site. And it's a lovely day; the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the golden hay is being gathered. And, for a bit, I allow myself the luxury of taking a trip along memory lane. And my brown eyes smile, and my hair blows in the wind. And despite the pre-fab Caravillas, and despite the high unemployment, and despite the corrupt government and the national security problems…I laugh, enjoying a golden moment. It's been a very long journey from the hay fields of Arizona to the hay fields of Nitzan. And we've been temporarily banned from paradise. But this little girl has grown up – with strong roots in the past and a fervent hope for the future.

Shifra Shomron is the author of Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim
www.geocities.com/nevedekalim, 2007, Mazo Publishers.
Travel beyond time and beyond location into Gush Katif.

Peres: "We Must Rid Ourselves of the Territories" Peres

He's a very dangerous man!

Peres: "We Must Rid Ourselves of the Territories"
Peres also said he would continue his crusade for peace, noting that this would require Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria. "We have to get rid of the territories," he said. "I won't make any secrets of my mind. I shall respect the minority. I shall not insult them. I changed my position. I didn't change my beliefs and concepts."

Eldad on the AttackMK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) responded with anger at Peres' remarks. "I wanted to accept Peres as the President of the entire country," Eldad said, "but he decided to begin with divisiveness and discord. To say so derisively that Israel must 'get rid' of area and, consequently, a quarter of a million people who live there... This is not the way to start." ... (click for complete article)

Benny Liss, more truth!

Last night, again, I was pleasantly surprised when veteran Israeli TV journalist, Benny Liss gave a scathing report about Disengagement. Just a few days before, I saw and heard him report about the Arab destruction of ancient Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount. He emphasised that that the official Israeli Archaeological Authority isn't protesting!

Back to last night...
On the religious Saturday night, post Shabbat program, he was featured giving background about Disengagement, two years after. Benny Liss showed documents of government lies, how the government claimed that Disengagement would save the country and that there was a "solution for every family," the thousands ripped out of their homes. The government claimed that within two years they'd be living in new permanent homes, etc.

He really was fantastic. Liss is one of the oldest reporters, and I presume that he's close to retirement. I'm amazed at the turn-around in his reporting. He was not like this years ago. When I tried to get more information about him, I saw that he was involved in a program that Women in Green complained about.

One of the beauties of Judaism is tshuva, repentance. I'm glad to see these changes in Benny Liss.

Shavua Tov.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

2 more-- Barak's to blame for last year's kidnappings & political action on Israel's Right

According to Maariv, an investigation has found that the terrorists who captured
IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were using equipment that was
left behind when the IDF retreated from Lebanon in 2000. (full article
The person who, as Prime Minister, initiated and is responsible for that withdrawal from Lebanon is non other than Ehud Barak, who as the new/old head of the Labor Party, is trying to be Israel's Prime Minister, again!

Many of us who have been voting for Ichud Leumi, the National Union, are unhappy with it ever since it merged with the NRP, National Religious Party. MK Dr. Arye Eldad, MD, the only Knesset member from the NU, who doesn't use the label "religious" is looking at the option to start a new party“Hatikvah,” Hope. For more information, read this article.

Shavua Tov

Hard to concentrate

I have a lot to do before my trip to New York, and I really can't put together anything serious, but there are a few articles I recommend that you read.

Olmert has an "agenda," and I think that he's a danger to the country. What was he doing on a secret trip to Jordan?

It seems like Arkady Gaydamak doesn't quite understand how things work in Israeli politics. The Prime Minister isn't voted on separately, though it was once, when Bibi was elected. The only way of showing support for Bibi would be if he joined and backed the Likud.

There's one of those excellent Ruthie Blum interviews in the Jerusalem Post. This time with Joel Fishman, a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) and adjunct fellow at the University of Calgary's Center for Military and Strategic Studies.

What do you think?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dreaming on

If I have to say one "good thing" about last summer's war, is that it has shaken up a lot of Israelis. Of course they don't have the emotional and moral strength to admit that their entire way of thinking is faulty and dangerous, but they're starting to ask some good questions about the way the military and political establishments make decisions.

The recent television programs commemorating the war have brought up some good points. They've also had some outrageously bad things, like asking a Hamas representative what he thinks of Israel. I kid you not!

One person who refuses to admit any mistakes whatsoever and continues to fantasize about the Arabs "peaceful intentions," (an oxymoron if there ever was,) is Olmert.

Israel does not want war with Syria, and does not believe Syria wants war either, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday. (for complete article click here)

He still doesn't get it.

  • That's the delusional thinking which almost lost us our country in 1973, when Syria and Egypt attacked on Yom Kippur.
  • That's the delusional thinking which kept the defense establishment from properly preparing for war since our victory in 1967.
  • That's the delusional thinking on which most politicians and the media keep trying to brainwash the country into believing.
  • That's the delusional thinking which endangers our lives every day.

There's no basis to that theory. It's wishful thinking at its worst.

How much do we have to suffer, how many attacks until Israel wisens up?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Signs of the Moshiach!

Arutz 7 couldn't have done it any better!

There it was on Israel's Channel 1, a news item by veteran TV journalist, Benny Liss, about the Arab digging on Har Habayit, The Temple Mount, the holiest place in the entire world for Jews, and the destruction of holy artifacts.

He also described with undeniable excitement how groups of Jewish volunteers are sifting through all the "debris" rescued.

Baruch Hashem, it's so nice to have something good to say for a change about Israeli TV.

Two Ladies

Lady Bird Johnson, the very dignified widow of LBJ, who became US President after John F Kennedy was assassinated, passed away at the age of 94. It was her husband who passed the laws, for which JFK was credited. Kennedy was popular with the media and public, but he wasn't much as a "politician." Johnson was an astute and wily politician. They were an "odd couple," for sure. I can't imagine LBJ enjoyed being just the Vice President.

Lady Bird had a tough act to follow, since Jackie Kennedy was so popular, a real icon. But here, too, it was Lady Bird and her
beautification projects which had more lasting effects than anything her more "elegant" predecessor did.


I'm glad that
Naomi Blumenthal won't be serving jail time. I know her; my husband worked for her for a year. She is sincere in how she helps others and very generous. There are some real crooks in politics, and she's not one of them. The crooks are making the laws and sit in Knesset and the Cabinet.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Never too old, if this is true

One of the MK's from the Retiree Party, Yitzhak Ziv, is now being accused of sexual assault. The woman had been planning on going to the police, but had second thoughts after seeing what happened, and is still happening, to the woman who complained about Katzav.

Considering that almost nobody knows who this Yitzhak Ziv is, I haven't the foggiest, it won't get the same publicity. This is all I could find on him in English:

Yitzhak Ziv, 68, from Ramat Gan, fourth on the party list and Acting Chairman of the Bezek Pensioners’ Union, (article)

Both Ramon and Katzav are ambitious and were considered as possible party leaders. They have "enemies," so no matter what, their cases got get lots of publicity, and it's not over yet. With Ziv it's something else.

pictures from ynet

Yes, Bibi, I agree, but...

That's true, but your time as PM wasn't all that much better. I've been saying the same things about Barak. Maybe you read this blog? Or your staff? I wouldn't be surprised, but if that's the case, you'd know from the comments of my other readers that we can't forget the terrible things you did to our control of Hebron, for example.

Sylvan Sour Grapes Shalom quit trying to compete with you. I could never figure him out and wonder whom he's going to latch onto.

You're no "metzi'ah," great find either. Your big problem is that you want to be perceived as a "moderate," in the "center." Parve may be great in the kitchen, but it's traif in terms of leadership.

A leader must have clear "vision," meat or dairy. You have to have a clear direction and not try to attract all to the middle. It's an oxymoron to be a leader of the middle, since the middle isn't going any place. At best it treads water, and just surviving isn't enough.

Arkady Gaydamak's popularity should have you frightened, not as a politician competing for votes, but as an American educated man. We're of the same generation and know that when a country's population is looking for a savior to solve all their problems, they're looking for a dictator.

You have potential, training and a staff. Too bad you're wasting it pointing out the lard in Barak and how his policies have endangered us, but that's old news.

Bibi, you haven't shown that you're any better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All the king's horses and all the king's men, Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Disengagement didn't just destroy communities; it destroyed lives.

The politicians and media which supported it, kept denying the inevitable.

Now, two years later, the good Jews exiled from their homes are suffering even more. It's a rare family which isn't plagued by the POST DISENGAGEMENT STRESS SYNDROME.

'Gaza evacuees are in dire condition'
Israel Radio reported Tuesday afternoon that most of the evacuees were still living in temporary housing and that hundreds of families were dependent on assistance from welfare services.
The report also found that the percentage of unemployed Gaza evacuees was double the number before the disengagement.
The Education Ministry estimated that approximately half the schoolchildren from evacuees' families did not return to function ad normal, that about a third of them needed extensive help to study and that many of the children needed support and professional counseling. (complete article here)

Gaydamak is "buying" the Knesset

Add that to Betar Jerusalem, the Bikur Cholim Hospital, the citizens of Sderot and more.

I've been nervous about him for awhile. The citizens of Sderot aren't surprised at the recent allegations against their mayor. That's why when they need help, they ask Gaydamak.

Gaydamak has a political party which will run in the Jerusalem elections, but he said that he doesn't want to be mayor.

Now it has been announced that he registered a party to run for the Knesset, but he himself doesn't want to be in the Knesset. The "laws" of the party state that Gaydamak will choose the list and be in charge of everything.

This new party has totally changed the political picture. He's competing with everyone.

Politics isn't dull, especially in Israel.

War Photo, Lebanon, Summer 2006

The media here is busy writing about last summer's war. One of the newspapers published pictures from my son's unit.

Yes, that's my elder son, who was "in the thick of it."

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Jerusalem Homeless

Today, while filling the hour it took to get pictures printed, I went by Menorah Park, on King George Street in Jerusalem. The homeless are still there.

There are well-kept public toilets there, very convenient for all sorts of needs, as you can see.
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An amazing discovery took place yesterday, which received very little coverage, except on some Hebrew news websites.

The following was on Arutz Sheva's News Briefs:
Miriam's Well - Found in the Kinneret

(IsraelNN.com) The spot of Miriam's Well, as identified by the 16th-century Kabbalist sage Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (also known as the Arizal), who lived in Tzfat, has been found once again. Talmudic tradition has it that the source of water for the Israelites during their 40 years in the desert was the Well of Miriam, and that when they arrived in the Promised Land, the Well was "deposited" somewhere near Mt. Carmel or in the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee]. The Arizal identified the exact spot of the Well as being near or between certain ancient pillars in the Kinneret. These pillars have now once again been found, just south of the Tiberias Municipal Beach.


Much more detail, in Hebrew can be found on the Hebrew NFC news website, which broke the story.


BUT for the Significance of this Discovery, such as:

The Boundaries of the Tribes of Israel

...the Me'am Loez explains that the "Well of Miriam" was more to the Israelites than just their source of water. When the leading clouds came to a stop it indicated to the nation that they should make camp. The arrangement of the camp as detailed in the beginning of the Book of Bamidbar was deliberate and divine, and directed initially by the Well, which would move to the very center of the camp, marking the position of the Tabernacle. The Well then overflowed and created a canal system that delineated the placement and boundaries of each tribe within the desert encampment.

...for that you'll have to read the entire post, The Significance of Miriam's Well, at my other blog, Heichal HaNegina. Enjoy!

Vice Minister

According to the Israeli Courts and Politicians, there's nothing intrinsically immoral in forcing a kiss, so Chaim Ramon has been returned to the Cabinet as... Vice-Premier, aka Vice Minister. Obviously, his specialty is vice, what else? There's no reason to write parody when the truth is so sick.

Protests seem to have fizzled, though the anti-Katzav protests are growing.

IMHO, Ramon should not be in the Knesset and certainly not a Minister. Minimally there should have been a period of time, like five years, when he'd be forbidden to hold public office. After all the hullabaloo, it was barely a "slap on the wrist."

Politics all over the world attracts a "people-hungry" type of person. I can't see how Hillary and the American public can accept Bill Clinton as anything but an unrepentant lying womanizer.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Israeli Baseball

In baseball, it's:
"One, two three strikes you're out!"

But the Israeli version is different. They keep releasing the terrorists for another try at the Arab terrorists' version of a "home run," the murder of Jews.

The Arab terrorists are given unlimited strikes/chances to try murdering again. Those without "blood on their hands," another 250 terrorists prisoners are being given more chances to score, G-d forbid.

I'm here close to 40 years and I still can't figure the rationale for it. Why don't the politicians who promote and approve it volunteer to be the next victims. It can be like the sudden death at a tied soccer or American football match.

The old Kever Rachel and the new

Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb, 1969

And today,

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behind the walls,

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What's a "militant?"

Chaotic Lebanon Risks Becoming Militant Haven

BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 6 — Minutes before Islamic militants and government troops began killing each other in northern Lebanon six weeks ago, a flurry of cellphone calls set the tone for the contagion of violence.

Palestinian refugees, who have fled the Nahr al Bared camp because of fighting, taking refuge in the Beddawi refugee camp outside of Tripoli.
The calls began at 2:55 a.m. on May 20 when Lebanese security forces surrounded a Tripoli apartment building used as a safe house by Fatah al Islam, a newly formed militant group with Qaeda aspirations.
“Stop it or I will go out and attack,” the group’s military commander, Abu Hureira, said from his headquarters in the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al Bared, north of Tripoli, according to a recording of the conversations that was played for reporters with The New York Times. (for entire article, click title)

Don't you just love that title and opening sentence?

What is a "militant?"

disposed to warfare or hard-line policies; "militant nations"; "hawkish congressman"; "warlike policies"
competitive: showing a fighting disposition; "highly competitive sales representative"; "militant in fighting for better wages for workers"; "his self-assertive and ubiquitous energy"
a militant reformer
belligerent: engaged in war; "belligerent (or warring) nations"; "a fighting war" wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
The word militant can refer to any individual engaged in warfare, a fight, combat, or generally serving as a soldier. Journalists often use militant as a purportedly neutral term for violent actors who do not belong to an established military. Typically, a militant engages in violence as part of a claimed struggle for achievement of a political goal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militant


No end to the euphemisms!

But to "quote" Shakespeare:

"A terrorist by any other name
is just as dangerous!"

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Card playing can save your life

All right, I admit that this is a rare case.

Anyone out there ever heard the story of the USS Indianapolis?

The 600-foot-long USS Indianapolis was attacked just days after delivering to a Pacific island the uranium-235 and other components of the atomic bomb that was later dropped on Hiroshima.
The ship's mission was so secret she sailed alone, unescorted by ships better equipped to detect and fight Japanese submarines.
Two days after leaving Guam, two torpedoes fired by the Japanese submarine I-58 struck the cruiser and it sank in minutes.
Blast injuries, shark attacks, drowning and dehydration killed many of the sailors before the crew of an anti-submarine plane accidentally spotted them on Aug. 2, 1945, and radioed for help.
The Indianapolis' death toll --880 members out of a crew of 1,197 died-- is the U.S. Navy's worst single at-sea loss of life.
Well, my father was on the ship, that is until a short time before the torpedoes sank it. He had been transfered off, because, according to him, he was a great card player and lots of people owed him money!

Some people have all the luck!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hypnotised, Senile or Worse?

It is beyond my capabilities to comprehend how any Israeli can even think of supporting Ehud Barak for a second try as Prime Minister.

When Barak was elected, the media kept telling us how brilliant he is and how he had improved the army. They really hated Bibi (still do) and, not that I was happy with Bibi's reign, but they never gave him a chance. As disappointing as Bibi was, his time as Israeli PM was pure heaven compared to Barak's short--but too long for comfort--nightmarish reign.

Terror attacks became so common place when Barak was Prime Minister that it was more a feeling of "where," not "if." So many innocent Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists, and all Barak could say was:

"Nu, one more time and..."
"If you don't stop, I'll..."

Bullet-proof vests became the required uniform for the unlucky ones in "regular" vehicles in our neck of the woods.

Barak made a campaign promise to "get the boys out of Lebanon," which he did. Unfortunately it was done so badly that they ended up leaving a fortune worth of valuable military hardware. Things were hushed up, but it was hard to keep the secret when our soldiers had to return last summer and discovered the enemy using Israeli equipment against us!

While the Barak-style army was basking in "peace," the Arabs in Lebanon were preparing for war. Last summer's disastrous war was a result of Ehud Barak in both his major roles, Cheif of Staff and Prime Minister. Peretz and Olmert were out of their league and incapable of improving matters. Yes, if anyone can compete with Ehud Barak for "worst Israeli Prime Minister," it's Ehud Olmert. Beware of politicians called Ehud.

Yes, I know that in a democracy, the "people" elect politicians to lead. What can I say? Democracy is looking like a very dangerous form of government when the voters are foolish, hypnotized, senile or suicidal.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!

PS Many people, who are on my email list, ask me why I haven't written recently, but the truth is that I write all the time. I have two active blogs, me-ander and Shiloh Musings. I usually blog on both a couple of times a day. You can check them at your leisure.

In another week and a half, G-d willing, I'll be traveling to the states for family reasons. During that time, I won't have much Internet access. I won't see daily emails nor be able to post frequently to the blogs. G-d willing, I'll return home in early August.

Take this seriously

Just what the doctor ordered after discovering that Arab doctors are the latest terrorists in Britain:

Hamas has rockets than can hit IDF planes
During its recent takeover of Gaza, Hamas seized mass quantities of arms from Fatah depots, including anti-aircraft and antitank missiles. Weapons could help Hamas army more than double number of gunmen (for complete article,
click this)

Hard to believe...

I find it very hard to believe that any Israeli in his/her right mind could thing that Israel won last summer's war.

According to this poll, fewer do than did last year.

Uh haaa! Maybe, they're either not in their "right mind" or they're bluffing for the poll, just to be contrary...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Home Improvements--Arab Life

This Arab family, who lives just across the road from Ofra, has just fixed up their house.

I wouldn't mind having my simple home made so nice, even though it's no mansion!

Ya'alon's Inconsistencies

At first glance, former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon seems to understand the dangers of Israel's policies:

But then, as I read the article, I saw that he really doesn't. He hasn't a clue, but that's no surprise.
First of all, remember that he spent his first retirement year as "Distinguished Military Fellow" at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was also Ramat Kal, Chief of Staff, after Ehud Barak's withdrawal from Lebanon, and we know how badly the army dealt with that dangerous campaign pledge. I consider him responsible for the results.
So what's under the headlines of his admitting that "land for peace" is a failure?
At the same time, he said Israel should give the Fatah-run PA in the West Bank a chance to establish autonomous rule
Isn't that basically the same? I think so, and it's consistent with the US aim of a G-d forbid Pseudistinian State. He does add the "condition" that Israel should be responsible for "security," but we all know that the Arabs won't accept that condition. It has been offered before and was the Pandora's Box which brought us to the horrendous situation we are in now.
Ya'alon's mixing of good and bad makes him as dangerous as all of the other politicians. He is no improvement, just a new model of the same.

A downside of running two blogs--4th of July epilogue

In general, I have no problem with the two separate "personalities" of my blogs, this one and me-ander, but on occasion either I can't decide which blog should be the forum for an "idea," or I start writing something on one and by the time it's complete, I realize that maybe it really belongs on the other one.

That's sort of what happened with my 4th of July post on me-ander. me-ander was "open" and it seemed like a suitable venue for my 4th of July thoughts, but somehow as I typed, the post became more serious, more like Shiloh Musings.

Veteran readers know that I don't vote in American elections, and I don't consider the US a reliable ally for Israel.

Not everyone may be aware of this, but for the past few months the Israeli Shekel is stronger than the American Dollar.

As much as I want to have international Arab terrorism destroyed, I don't see America in danger. Israel's existence is in danger, and if the US can launch a war against Iraq for such flimsy reasons, then Israel should make the terrorist government in Gaza and their civilians suffer.

And no, I didn't mention these points in my me-ander post, so it's worth checking it out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

'We won't forget and we won't forgive'

Yes, there is no reason to forgive those who promoted and facilitated Disengagement when thousands of law-abiding Israeli citizens were evicted from their homes for one reason and one reason only.

They are Jews.

Entire towns and villages were destroyed, because they were Jewish towns and Jewish villages.

One of those exiled from his home is a Knesset Member, Tzvi Hendel. This is what he said in the special Knesset session about the ongoing plight of the 9,000 expellees from Gush Katif and the Shomron:

"I am sometimes asked whether a bumper sticker sported on many cars, which reads, 'We won't forget and we won't forgive,' is not too strong and mean-hearted. I explain that in Judaism, forgiveness has rules. We are called upon to ask forgiveness every year on Yom Kippur, and we are forgiven only if certain conditions are fulfilled. For one thing, the person who sinned must ask forgiveness - and this has not been done in this case. Secondly, the one who sinned must admit his error and express regret, and this was not done either. Thirdly, he must commit himself not to do it again, and neither has this been done! Therefore, under these circumstances, there is no place for forgiveness regarding the expulsion." For entire article, click here.

'We won't forget and we won't forgive'

Rats fighting over the cheese

It's pretty easy to decide whom not to support when it comes to politics. The opposing politicians have no trouble telling us how awful their opponents are.

The problem is finding a politician worth supporting.

The every seven year dilemma

Dilemma is the mildest word for Shemitta, the Sabbatical of the Land. How can I say the truth of what I think about a Torah Mitzvah, that it's a nightmare?

The late Rabbi Kook, ZaTza"L, developed a halachik way to include all of the Jewish agriculture in Eretz Yisrael within observing the Mitzvah. That was Heter M'chira, "permitted selling" of the Land.

In recent Shemitta years more and more Torah-observant Jews have looked down on this psak, rabbinic decision. Now it seems like the rabbinate is phasing it out.

For me the nightmare isn't finding "permitted" fruits and vegetables, which actually lasts almost two years from the quickest growing greens, until the fruits which blossomed in the Shemitta year finish their marketing season late the following year. What disturbs me is the "one-upmanship" of other Jews as they try to show their "superior" Torah observance over others.

I doubt if this will be the last post about Shemitta, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rebuild Chomesh!

Here are the posters!

You can get the phone number and all the information here. Chomesh will be the first step in resuming the rebuilding of our Land.

OOPS! Last minute TV War Memorial.

The media here is filled with "One year after" war news. One of the big things is that Olmert hid out, rather than attending any of the events. During ceremonies praising the bravery of Israeli troops, Olmert showed cowardice claiming "security considerations" were keeping him away.

Israeli TV Channel One had planned a regular Monday night schedule, including "Law and Order," but at the last minute they added a few short movies about soldiers who had been killed during the war, which were originally broadcast on Soldiers Memorial Day. They didn't even replace the blurbs for the upcoming "59th Israeli Independence Celebrations."

Monday, July 2, 2007

Power Spouse

Cancer has taken the apron off of Elizabeth Edwards. There's no hiding her role in her husband's campaign.

Hillary never attempted the domestic brilliance of Eleanor McGovern, who had five children and sewed enviable clothes, but Hillary is now running for US President in her own name. Way back in the 1970's many were sure that Eleanor would have been the successful candidate, her husband George wasn't. It was her presence in the campaign which made Nixon send out Pat, who is still remembered more smiling, as the obedient and adoring wife.

How does Israel compare? Well for one, we had a female Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who was divorced, and two, Olmert's wife is credited with moving him from right to left.

Golda Meir hid her cancer, until she had no real choice, but Elizabeth Edwards' honesty about her illness shows herself to be the strongest of all.


Many of us jbloggers have mentioned the term "worst Israeli Prime Minister," mentioning both Olmert and Barak as candidates.

I think that we should really make two different categories:

Israel's WORST Prime Minister

Israel's MOST DANGEROUS Prime Minister

Let's take nominations.

I'll start with Ehud Barak as "worst," and Ehud Olmert as "most dangerous."

It would be nice to have a third category:
Israel's BEST Prime Minister

But I really can't think of anyone. Maybe Levi Eshkol?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Before the Beit HaMikdash...

Yes, before King Shlomo built the Beit HaMikdash the Holy Temple, the was the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. It was built as a portable Sanctuary as the Jewish People wandered the desert between Egypt and the HolyLand.

Then for hundreds of years it "rested" in Shiloh, where I live. "Rested" doesn't mean idle. It means wasn't schlepped. Temple-like sacrifices took place there, and the Kohanim and Leviim reigned. That's my connection, since neither my husband nor I come from Priestly stock.

So, if you want to know more about the Holy Temple work of the Kohen and Levi, you ought to check out the Cohen-Levi Conference, which will be taking place in Jerusalem, from Rosh Chodesh Av, July 15-19, 2007.

It won't cost you anything. The program is amazing.

They haven't ceased firing!

There are no signs of peace out here in this corner of the middle east.

Israeli Jews are being attacked, and the world doesn't care. Actually, other Israelis don't care much, as long as it doesn't happen in their neighborhood.

This article mentions shootings, kassams and other Arab aggression. We must thank G-d for the constant miracles.

Shavua Tov