Hamas War

Monday, June 30, 2008

Checking in

I'm now at my son's office computer.
I'm glad that ellen and goysih' have blogged.

Sorry about the typos, due to a bandaid...

No, sorry, haven't heard much news.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The State of Israel vs. Social Welfare

Israel is in the process of making a rather cruel transition from a welfare state which takes care of its citizens to a free-market economy run for the benefit of the wealthy and crooked. Up until a few years ago Jewish children were considered a national asset. The cynical might claim that this was about producing children as future cannon-fodder, but the fact was that in the former state of affairs the hareidi families also benefited from child allowances. At a certain point our beloved Supreme Court decided that giving the special additional child allowance for families who had a member serving in the IDF was discriminatory. Therefore there had to be equal child allowances for all.
The next step was to decide that the state budget could not stand the amount of money being spent in such large payments to so many citizens. Never mind that some of it was going to families of Arabs who considered the very existence of Israel a "nakba", a disaster. But they don't mind taking our disastrous money, do they? But with Bibi as Finance Minister and CFR Uber-beancounter Stanley Fischer as Governor of the Bank of Israel, the child allowances were drastically dropped. Large families with working parents found themselves in a sudden shortfall of thousands of shekels a month. Naturally, the budget for yeshivot and anything related to Judaism (with the exception of the homophile Reform variety) was cut, but that's not the topic of this post. Always in the background, though also not the subject of this post, the defense budget also went down just as the second intifada was ratcheting up as if nobody knew it was coming. Private charity filled some of the gap. That included not only the poor but the welfare of the soldiers as well.
The new policy was a great success in terms of the purpose for which it was designed. The state became solvent, budgets were balanced, surpluses went into the treasury. The stock market boomed. The shekel became strong. The rich got richer, as did their buddies in America and Europe. They could send more money to their draft-evading sons around the world.
So here is the latest episode: For the last 77 days the social workers have been on strike. No doubt, dear reader, you think that they are justified because they are underpaid, in line with everything else we have mentioned above. That's probably true, although I have not checked the pay slips of friends and neighbors who work in the field. But that's not what the strike is about. Arutz-7 news reports that all they are demanding is the hiring of more social workers to lower their case-loads so that the system will not collapse.
Well, just as the play-to-lose approach has been operating in defense, it has been applied to social welfare. The government and the elites of industry and media want the system to collapse. Labor will be cheap, unwanted people will leave the country, foreign laborers with no vote will troop in, just hunky-dory for the monied interests. Besides, they would rather have no state of Israel than that it should be too Jewish and controlled by the likes of us.


We've just spent Shabbat in Holliswood, Queens, NY, a community which has changed greatly. It has gotten bigger. Nearby Young Israel of Windsor Park has shrunk. Great Neck, NY, is growing as an Modern Orthodox community.

It's hard to know how they'll develop. I have no idea of news, politics etc. We don't hear much here.

People are concerned and curious about what's happening in Israel. They're asking us lots of questions, some questions are very good. The community, Holliswood, is very connected to Israel. Our hosts just made a wedding in Israel.

More updates when possible.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Aviad Cohen: The Anti-Jew Unplugged and Deranged

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Aviad Cohen, the once popular Jewish rap star (50 Shekel) who was hailed as "The World's Most Kosher MC", has turned Jesus freak in the worst kind of way – and he has turned on himself and the people who used to be his people.

Watch this video. An insane anti-Semitic assault starts about 4.50 into the clip.
Cohen calls Jews every name in the book and accuses us of nearly every crime in the book. (thanks to Penina of Jews for Judaism for the heads up)

Excerpts of Cohen's diatribe are loosley transcribed as follows (but it's best if you hear him say it):

Orthodox, Hassidic, and even secular Jews send hit men to kidnap, drug, beat up families, shoot in the head, firebomb churches, blow-up kids, slander and defame every single Jew that comes to faith in Jesus. If you leave the rabbinic Jewish cult, they'll kill you, beat you up, destroy your business, tap into your email account, hack your website. Jewish anti-missionaries, rabbinic Jews and rabbinic authorities do manipulation, murder, arson, beat people, slander, threaten, defame. They are terrorists…rabbinic Jews are Talmud terrorists

Aviad was born in Tel Aviv. His family left Israel for Brooklyn when he was two. He was educated in the Yeshiva and Jewish private school systems of New York and New Jersey.
After receiving much acclaim for his popular remake of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” song called “In Da Shul”, it seems the Heeb-Hop rapper went off Da deep end.

But this is no joke. The now “messianic” Aviad Cohen has an evangelical following and can be seen on the Christian talk show and concert circuits spreading the word and other bad news. Check out his appearance on TBN the Trinity Broadcasting Network (and pray for him and his family)

Far be it for this Jew to appear unfair and favor one evangelizing network over another. So allow me to give equal time to a story on Aviad which appeared on CBN (Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network)

Meet Aviad Cohen. He’s still the same fun-loving Jew, who loves to write and produce songs for his fans. The difference is he’s more Jew now than he ever was before...blah...blah..blah...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

They Haven't a Clue

Barak, sans "c," thinks that threats and minor "punishment" will keep the terrorists in line.

What psychiatric syndrome is dominating Israeli thinking?

Someone I know just came back from his first visit to the states and told me that there was something he really liked. I guessed that it was the feeling of confidence and chauvinism. An American doesn't suspect that his government is selling out and endangering the country's existence.

He agreed. Here in Israel, our stress comes from the fear that the politicians are more dangerous than the Arab terrorists. Like a cancer eating away at our vital organs.

For me, when I'm away in the states, I worry more. I don't hear the news. I jump from channel to channel looking for vital information, and all I hear is of pregnant teenage celebrities, rape, fires and sports.

OK, today we're off. G-d willing all will be well. Also, my guest-bloggers will keep you busy thinking and enjoying. I don't know if I'll have a chance to blog again. Keep checking the blog for updates. I hope at some point to be able to post about the tour I took around Jerusalem yesterday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not Looking Foward To This...

Yes, I admit that New York can be very attractive, but I'm not really excited about being so far removed from my real life.

It's always so difficult to discover what's really in the news when I'm in New York. I'll also have only the rarest access to internet, so don't worry if I don't post much.
I've asked some good friends to try to blog instead, just so you won't be bored. Of course they won't be able to blog on Eye of the Storm, my Arutz 7 blog.
Two years ago, I was in New York during most of the "Nameless War." It was very difficult for me. G-d willing, things will be quiet here.
We plan on being in Holliswood for this Shabbat and New Rochelle for the next one.
ps Did I just lose my option to choose fonts?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Apartheid Today

Synonyms of 'apartheid'
2 synonyms - Roget's II: Thesaurus

The policy or practice of political, legal, economic, or social discrimination, as against the members of a minority group: segregation, separatism.

Other definitions specify that it's only apartheid if the group discriminated against are black Africans.

Definitions of 'apartheid'
(ə-pärt́hīt́, -hāt́) - 3 definitions
The American Heritage® Dictionary
apartheid (n.) An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
apartheid (n.) A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.

apartheid - Apartheid is a strict system of racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa against black South Africans. "Apartheid" is the Afrikaans word for "apartness." (Afrikaans is the official language of the Boers, or Afrikaners.)

That makes me wonder. If a different racial, national or religious group is forbidden to live and work in certain places, is it immoral, apartheid or perfectly acceptable, even to the extent that Nobel Peace Prizes are given to its proponents?

Why is it against American Law to restrict housing only to certain races and religions in Jericho, Long Island, New York, but the same moralists and legislators have no problems restricting Jews from the original Jericho?

Actually the Nazis had a term for that, "Juden rein," clean of Jews. That was their goal, to make a Europe "clean of Jews." They failed, but now the new French President unabashedly proposes:

Ironic. He, with the Jewish blood and soon to be Jewish daughter-in-law, sees nothing wrong with segregating and discriminating against Jews. Yes, I know that Israeli and other Jewish Leftists feel the same, but does that make it right? Not at all.

We're living a classic children's fable, The Emperor's New Clothes. We all must shout along with the little boy who wasn't afraid to tell the truth.

Too many people who pride themselves on their "liberalism" and "morality" are as naked as that foolish emperor was.

Expellees and Illness by Hadassa DeYoung


Batya, Shalom!
The following is a result of some of my thoughts, pre*- and post-expulsion. I do not know how many of my fellow expellees agree with me, although I do know that some do. In addition to my personal thoughts I have, of course, discussed these issues with expellee friends. I have also had the experience of translating numerous letters and other documents from fellow expellees with whom I am not at all acquainted. Most of the letters have been heart-breaking. Some people had such faith in the government, and the "solution for every settler" slogan publicized before the expulsion. BeSheva was the only major newspaper that had the journalistic integrity not to publish the lie.

I welcome you to give your opinions and to ask other expellees theirs. More settlements are on the chopping block and if we internalize the ramifications of more displaced families – and more land given to the enemy – perhaps we'll be more successful this time at preventing an expulsion. On the subject of displaced families, I met two people at the Hotel Paradise (now the Golden Tulip, same wonderful staff) in Be'er Sheva who identified with our situation. One was a Greek woman from Cyprus who spoke beautiful English and said, "I sympathize with you." The other was an Jewish man from America who was, with his wife, visiting their son, a student at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. (He also, upon hearing that we were from K'far Darom, said, in the voice of someone remembering events of the past, "Yes... You put up some resistance..." And to him that was a positive act. Dancing with the soldiers earned no respect from anyone with any self esteem.) The man related to us that he had been born in a displaced persons' camp after the Shoah, and that he understood our situation. He wished us well.

I read in one of your blogs that you'd discussed with an expellee friend the high rate of cancer and other illnesses among the expellees and explained the root of the causes. There's one aspect that you didn't mention: Those who saw it coming, those who didn't and those who buried their heads in the plentiful sand of Gush Katif when they saw it coming. Those who saw it coming had the opportunity to mentally prepare themselves and decide how, when - and of course if - to protest the expulsion forces when they came. (We lived directly opposite the synagogue of K'far Darom. Jewish soldiers - yes, most of these particular soldiers were Jewish - lined up in circles five deep in their black, tan and green uniforms around it, waiting for orders to storm it. If acts like this are not predicted, we have no hope of maintaining our settlements.) Those who saw it coming also were obviously not prone to sitting around after the expulsion with their heads in their heads wondering, "How could it have happened?" They were also more likely not to suffer nervous, marital or physical breakdowns. (Anyone who didn't see it coming after the Regional Council of Hof Azza gave the hotel to the IDF and the Yesha Council lead the travesty in K'far Maimon was suffering from delusions. I hate the fact that the Yesha Council doesn't see fit to protect all settlements.) Those who didn't see it coming were most likely to either suffer breakdowns or after the initial shock pick up the pieces and pull their lives together. Most of them are probably still clinging to the caravilla sites, but that's just my opinion.

The most problematic group are, of course, the people who denied reality. They so much wanted to believe that they would never leave their beloved Gush Katif that they could not accept the fact that our defeat was imminent (due to faulty strategies). They are probably still living in a daze and clinging the most tightly to the caravilla sites. Again, that's just my opinion.

This is the result of very informal surveys on my part. There are, however, lessons to be learned from realizing that these three groups exist. That these groups exist is, I think, a certainty.

What is also a certainty is that the government has slated tens of settlements and thousands of families for the same fate as Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. Will we make the same mistakes again?

Hadassa DeYoung, K'far Darom/Elon Moreh
note: * Background information: K'far Darom did not plan ahead for the day after. There was not one container on the settlement until after we were all forcibly removed. Rav Shreiber mentioned at a meeting before the expulsion that he had seen a where-they-are-going chart on the Internet. The Rav stressed that "half of the information was lies", but he went on to say that K'far Darom was the only settlement with a question mark.
We had a members' meeting several months before the expulsion at the Givat Washington College Campus. The media reported it as K'far Darom deciding where they were going, which wasn't true. We discussed not deciding where we were going and what we were going to do to stop the expulsion. I remember one member saying "If it [G-d forbid] happens, two months after the expulsion no-one is going to care about us." That, by the way, is one of the reasons why it is so important to resist expulsion. I remember that very clearly because I thought to myself, G-d help those who haven't figured that out yet.

Tel Shiloh--Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

It's wedding season, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, too, at
Tel Shiloh.

But during the day people still come to the Tel for their private prayers, the very same place where the Mishkan, the Holy Tabernacle rested for 369 years, the very same place where Chana prayed for a son, Shmuel, who was the force in Jewish History who transformed the Hebrew tribes into a Kingdom.

In today's troubled times we need a Shmuel and a King David.

Join us at the Tel on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, Friday, July 4th, the First Day of Tammuz, at 9:45 am. For more information and travel instructions contact mmdcta at yahoo dot com .

You don't have to wait for a special time. Shiloh is open and available for visitors, tourists, pilgrims etc. for tours, private prayers and special events. For more information, please call the Tourist Office of Tel Shiloh, 02-994-4019.

There is now, also, a Coffee Shop--Gallery. Snacks, art work and souvenirs including photographs are for sale. Meals for groups can be arranged.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Huh? Just Like Suicide's Good For One's Health

That umbrella picture was right here on the ask image page, just waiting for this headline.

Olmert--The Higher He Goes, The Harder He'll Fall

Each time Olmert gets away with something, whether a statement or crime, he feels stronger and more invulnerable to the laws the rest of us have to watch out for.

His latest outburst is just causing me to shrug.

Olmert: Era of mass Aliya is at an end
Olmert outlines to Jewish Agency Board of Governors his vision of a new Israel-Diaspora relationship.

We've gone beyond anything normal or expected. They is so much Teflon on him. Nothing has stuck so far. But you know about cooking with Teflon, don't you? Once it starts "to go" it can't be fixed or polished. It's not like stainless steel; some bleach and scrubbing will make it look like new. If you put Teflon in a moist closet it will go moldy. Bleach and scrubbing will only make it worse.

Ol' Teflon Olmert will soon be in the trash.

Shavua Tov--Have a Great Week!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sung To The Tune Of...

It's All the Same of Man of La Mancha fame.

sung by ALDONZA, the voter who has put her faith in too many elections:

To the candidates:

One politician is like another
I don't know why or who's to blame,
I'll vote for you or for the other
It's all the same, it's all the same.
This I have learned:
That when the count's out,
No pres' will rule with special flame,
You'll prove to me before your term's out,
You're all the same, you're all the same.

So do not talk to me of change,
I'm not a fool with starry eyes,
You'll take my vote to the White House,
And you will hobnob with the stars!

One politician is like another
I don't know why or who's to blame,
I'll vote for you or for the other
It's all the same, it's all the same.
This I have learned:
That when the count's out,
No pres' will rule with special flame,
You'll prove to me before your term's out,
You're all the same, you're all the same.

Oh, I've heard too many promises,
But I know they're only lies,
And I have voted for those like you
Though you can't look me in the eyes.

I do not like you or your opponent,
I do not trust the promises you make,
But I will vote, because I'm a citizen.
Not that I believe it will help.
One politician is like another
You're all the same, you're all the same!

Original lyrics:
One pair of arms is like another
I don't know why or who's to blame,
I'll go with you or with your brother
It's all the same, it's all the same.
This I have learned:
That when the light's out,
No man will bum with special flame,
You'll prove to me before the night's out,
You're all the same, you're all the same.

So do not talk to me of love,
I'm not a fool with starry eyes,
Just put your money in my hand,
And you will get what money buys!
One pair of arms is like another,
I don't know why or who's to blame,
I'll go with you or with your brother
It's all the same, it's all the same.
This I have learned:
That when the light's out,
No man will bum with special flame,
You'll prove to me before the night's out,
You're all the same, you're all the same.

Oh, I have seen too many beds,
But I have known too little rest,
And I have loved too many men
With hatred burning in my breast.
I do not like you or your brother,
I do not like the life I live,
But I am me, I am Aldonza.
And what I give, I choose to give.
One pair of arms is like another
It's all the same, it's all the same!

Friday, June 20, 2008

If Only...

Chazal, our wise men, say that coincidence is just a message from G-d.

Davka today, just hours before Shabbat Shelach, the Torah Portion when we read of the "Sin of the Spies, in which the most distinguished and honored of the Jewish Nation reported back to Moshe and the People that it would be too difficult and dangerous to live the Land G-d was sending them to, I got the YU Bulletin.

Now, Yeshiva University is a very impressive university with massive campuses, world renown undergraduate and graduate schools offering the most impressive academic opportunities. This isn't the first time we've received this publication, but today I was trying to think of a way to bring Parshat Shelach to modern life and blog.

If only...

If only all of that great energy, investment, enthusiasm and vision had been in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. Just think of the magnificent opportunities, the attraction for potential olim (immigrants.) The world would have been a different world. Israel would have been a different country. World Jewry, Torah and academic, would be centered here in the Holy Land.

Phil Chernofsky expresses it well in Torah Tidbits:

This issue of TT is the 17th one for Sh'lach and the number of times we've tried to make the point that living in Israel is essential to G-d's Plan for His Nation is far greater than 17. And each time, we try to say it in a different way. Maybe one way will hit home with the person who needs the message.

Try this: When a generally observant Jew reads/listens the Torah, he reacts positively to ZACHOR ET YOM HASHABBAT L'KAD'SHO, remember the Shabbat, etc. And he reacts negatively to this week's episode of the "wood gatherer". He neither admires nor emulates the M'koshesh Eitzim (Tz'lofchad, according to Tradition).

How does (should) this same basically observant Jew react to the passages in the Torah that speak of G-d's "desire" that we follow His Torah and be faithful to Him in Eretz Yisrael? How does he react to the episode of the M'raglim (also from this week's sedra, of course)? Is he as appalled at the behavior of the 10 M'raglim as he is about the Shabbat desecrater or the one who "blessed" G-d's name? Does he admire Kalev who risked his life to passionately plead with the people to listen to G-d? And who does he emulate: Nachbi b. Vofsi or Kalev b. Yefuneh?
Over forty years ago, when I announced to my parents that I planned on making aliyah, moving to Israel, I told them that to me living in the Land of Israel was a mitzvah, G-d given Commandment, no different than kosher food and Shabbat.

Israel is the way it is because of the results of our decisions and actions. When I was much younger I studied dance. My dance movement expert, (Alan Wayne), taught us that every movement, even the very slightest change in position will have very different results. If the hard-working visionaries who built Yeshiva University had decided that it must be in the Land of Israel, today's State of Israel would be totally different. And while I'm at it, I must say:

If the Chareidi rabbis had seen serving in the Israeli Army as a crucially important mitzvah, today's IDF would be a strong Torah Defense Force!

Judaism never accepts that things can't be fixed or changed. That's what tshuva, repentance, is all about. We must constantly strive for a higher level of Jewish Life and to correct our, yes, our, mistakes.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
May You Have A Complete and Blessed Sabbath

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Did I Hear Right?

Last night, on the way back from the wedding, before being dropped off at the "trempiada," our bus stop/hitchhiking post, the midnight news went on.

"Today nine people were killed in road accidents."

"Nine? Did I hear 9--NINE!"

It was said so deadpan, like the weather report.

They weren't all killed in the same accident; four in one, two in another and three in a third.

Now, searching the Jerusalem Post homepage for details, which were not in the top headlines, I saw:

Think about it. Bad driving, here in Israel, by Israelis, local Arabs and tourists, causes more death and injuries than the Arab terrorist-launched kassams. Is that why the Israeli public is so apathetic, so accepting of the Arab terror? What happened to our valuing life?
  • Is this all connected to abandoning soldiers to the enemies?
  • Is this all connected to lack of outrage when innocent Jews are exiled from their homes?
  • Is this all connected to the silence when Arab terrorists attack Jewish cities and individuals?

What has happened to us?

Why don't we hear the primal scream of pain and outrage?

Why aren't we screaming and fighting the injustice?

What is wrong with us?

"Give my regards to..."

Last night I was at a lovely wedding. I knew few people, besides the person who invited me. She did a great job of organizing the tables and I was enjoying my companions.

"You're from Shiloh, so give my regards to..."
"How do you know her?"
"Our sons were murdered together."

Then I quickly knew next to whom I was sitting. Unfortunately there have been so many terror attacks and so many victims nobody could be expected to remember them all, but davka this one I did. We spoke a lot more. It ended up that we have lots of mutual friends.

I'm not in the "club," Baruch Hashem--bli eyin haraa, but so many of my neighbors are, and I was lightly injured in a terror attack. We talked about how everyone reacts differently, and she told me about some of their memorial projects.

This could be considered one of those "only in Israel" posts, but it's not a cutesy, sweet, feel good one. It's just real life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I don't like the term the esteemed and respected Caroline Glick used to describe Israel in her book, Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad.

"Shackled" is passive, meaning that someone did it to someone else. That means that Israel is some sort of victim. I don't think it's so simple.

Israel has a choice. It doesn't have to be a victim. Israeli leaders have chosen victimhood. That's the rationale behind using the Holocaust to excuse our having a state. The Jewish Nation existed long before the German one and long before Nazism. Even Zionism predates all that. We did not need to lose Six Million precious Jewish souls to "deserve" a state.

Our Zionist "leaders" have shackled ourselves. Just like Dorothy always had to power in herself to return to Kansas, we have the power to brake the shackles and be a free and independent nation-- if we really desire it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Justifying and Deconstructing Hagee and Ourselves

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

It simply feels wrong that liberal American Jews continue to relentlessly pursue and cast stones at John Hagee in order to further their political agenda. But Pastor Hagee’s rhetoric and gestures do present the Jewish people with certain halachic and moral challenges, and before Israelis can authentically approach these issues, we need to reinstate our unique status and clarify our ethical obligations as Jews living in Eretz Yisrael. Only after we set our priorities straight will we be able reconcile the magnanimous political, humanitarian, and even theological support that the Jewish state is receiving from Pastor Hagee and the American evangelical community.

While John Hagee is a well-intentioned, very generous and determined philo-Semite, he is also a devout Christian mega-church leader who is wrestling with his evolving theology, and trying to make adjustments. That being said, we Jews need to remain vigilant because it is an historic truism that philo-Semitism can be a mere hair away from anti-Semitism, and when the church and Christians make sweeping and bold moves towards reconciliation – and Jews reciprocate in turn - sometimes things can go terribly wrong. So the Talmudic formula of "respecting and suspecting" would seem to be the wise approach.

While we can, and perhaps should, exhibit a certain reserved degree of support and encouragement toward those church leaders and denominations who are grappling with Christianity’s past, I don't think it's the role of the Jew to play “theotherapist”. Nor should Jews be put in the position of feeling that they have to defend or understand a Christian pastor's theology, theodicy or eschatology. This is forbidden halachic ground. But the current American and Israeli political reality has unfortunately put many Jews in the ridiculous and impossible position of either wholeheartedly justifying, or brutally trashing, a megachurch leader’s spin on scripture.

Partisan political agendas and allegiances have, at times, seemingly overshadowed our commitments to G-d and to our faith. I find it confounding that so many purportedly Torah observant Jews adhere to political pundit Ann Coulter’s view that, "the survival of Israel is inextricably linked to the survival of the Republican Party and its evangelical base." I, too, am concerned about the outcome of the Presidential race and how it will affect Israel, but isn’t it high time that the people of Israel learn how to roll with the punches and come up on top - regardless of shifts in American foreign policy and changes in the White House Administration?

Israelis have the responsibility and need to take this debate out of the realm of U.S. partisan politics, and bring to the fore authentic and pressing issues of concern. Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is a problematic organization. I don't believe this is what Pastor Hagee intended, but he simply cannot - as he had hoped - control the minds, hearts and agendas of 50,000,000 American evangelicals. It seems he can't even control his own executive board members and regional directors – some of whom are promoting a Jewish Messianic (Christian) restoration in Israel, are signing recent statements calling for the conversion of Jews, and are giving air and press time to those accusing the Orthodox Jewish community of violence and church persecution.

I believe that Pastor Hagee is a mega-maverick who sincerely believes that if he could rid the church of anti-Semitism, then the path for a theological reconciliation and fusion of Judaism and Christianity would be attainable. He likes to refer to the “Judeo-Christian faith”, has been known to don a tallit at church services, and sees “Christians and Jews coming together to stand together and be together forever." So it’s our responsibility as Jews to inform the good pastor that while we appreciate his enormous altruistic efforts, he needs to understand that even in the absence of anti-Semitism, any theological Jewish-Christian reconciliation remains an impossibility.

While it may be unjust to go into his church and dredge up sermons to be used as political fodder, Hagee himself has chosen to enter the public political arena, and as a mega-church leader he has become a visible part of America's cultural and entertainment scene - where nothing is sacred. His take on the End of Days and other theological issues are readily available in Wal-Mart, on Cable, DVD, CNN, in featured films, and in Cyberspace.

So when this Torah observant writer views a popular YouTube clip of the pastor explaining the fully illustrated Book of Revelations, which depicts Israel as a woman pregnant with the child Jesus, surrounded by the sun, moon, and stars, and towering over a great red dragon; I tend to become very “pro-Choice” - and would opt to terminate the pregnancy.
Rather than interpreting this as a swipe at Christianity, (I react the same way to the pictures in the Bhagavad Gita), consider it is a reaffirmation of my Jewishness. While I find common ground, share interests with, and enjoy people of other cultures and faiths; I hope and pray that I always find alien theologies and mythologies somewhat disconcerting - because that indicates that my head, heart and soul is in the right place, and that I remain fiercely loyal to one G-d and the Torah.

On the political front we have to remember that Pastor Hagee has been among those who have led the charge to smash the wall that separates Church and State in America. Most mainstream Americans were satisfied with "one nation under God" and being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”. Generic monotheism was fitting for a multicultural melting pot, and good for the Jews. I personally believe this was a source of blessing for America. But now Jesus is out of the cloisters , and sitting exclusively and squarely on Capital Hill. “Bible believers” may see that as progress against liberal secularists, but a number of loyal, G-d fearing U.S. citizens deem that a serious cultural, religious and political regression – and it frightens them.

Common sense should tell us that we Jews do not need to excuse the over-the-top religious rhetoric which has become the primary campaign issue in America, and has all but busted the God-O-Meter. As far as we're concerned, theodicy is theoidiocy , and some things you just don't say - even if your mind and heart has toyed with them (and I admit that a lot of us play with the same type of toys as Pastor Hagee).

No need to defend Hagee when he offends, as that's not part of the "unconditional" deal. The grand gesture of 30 million dollars in donations to Israel should not immunize the good pastor from Jewish critics on the Left, Right and Center of the political and religious spectrum. One would hope that partisan politics and money would not blind the discerning eyes of the Jews. Journalists and media organizations in the Zionist camp need to address the issue of our relationship with the evangelicals in a fair, honest, and accountable manner - even if that means leveling criticism and exposing problematic areas in that friendship.

But not to worry, because John Hagee is a big boy and he has an excellent Jewish spinmaster named David Brog, who I imagine gets paid well for damage control – David even knows how to quote Matthew as well as invent institutions like “a rich Judeo-Christian tradition of theodicy”.

Hagee also has a rabbi who had the audacity to compare the pastor’s Hitler comments to those of Holocaust martyr, Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, author of Eim Habanim Semeicha.
But juxtaposing the introspective and humble thoughts of a condemned Torah scholar, who was hiding in a ghetto cellar, to a wealthy and secure preacher confidently booming prophecy through the rafters of a megachurch is a little… shall we say… sacrilegious?

Pastor Hagee may claim to have all the answers, but the Jews, admittedly, have none of them. But we do have a lot of questions. And primary among them is not whether G-d punished or abandoned us, but rather did we abandon G-d? And that is not a despondent question, it is a redemptive one.

More than partisan political differences, the brouhaha over Pastor Hagee’s recent statements clarifies and defines the very contrasting worldviews and approaches of Judaism and Christianity. And it validates the position of the halachic giant Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who consistently opposed theologically-based interfaith dialogue, and any references to a “common tradition uniting two faith communities such as the Christian and the Judaic”.
Perhaps it’s best to conclude with an excerpt from the Rav spoken and published in 1945:

“When a minister, rabbi, or priest attempts to solve the ancient question of Job's suffering through as sermon or lecture, he does not promote religious ends, but, on the contrary, does them a disservice. The beauty of religion with its grandiose vistas reveals itself to men, not in solutions but in problems, not in harmony but in the constant conflict of diversified forces and trends.”
(from "Sacred and Profane, Kodesh and Chol in World Perspective," Originally a Yahrzeit Shiur, which appeared in Hazedek, May/June 1945.)
The writer and her family live on the Golan Heights. She is the author of The Oslo Years: A Mother's Journal and is working on a new book which takes a critical look at the Israel-Evangelical relationship.

Moshe Feiglin, Is He...?

Many people expect me to be a Moshe Feiglin supporter. A lot of people I respect are, but...

Yes, but... I'm not.

Politics isn't just a matter of having the right policies. Politics is the most complicated of all fields. Lots of people have the "right ideas" in theory, but getting elected and putting them into practice are the problems.

"Getting elected" is a very broad topic.

  • personal charisma

  • campaign-- the targeted electorate and technique

  • in Israel, choice of party, existing or new, must also be taken into account

I'm told that Moshe Feiglin has many of the same ideas I have about what's good for the State of Israel and the Jewish People. But (yes that word) from the moment he announced that he was taking over the Likud, that the present members aren't real Likudniks etc I groaned, gevalt. That's not how you win supporters and influence people.

"Takeovers" are most successful when there's an element of surprise. That way there's less opposition; be a Trojan Horse. As the saying goes, you can win more with honey than vinegar.

And another very important point, you must campaign to all and not limit yourself to just religious or secular. Feiglin is clearly marketing himself to the religious public instead of to all Israelis.

And, yes, the bottom line is that I'm still searching for an Israeli politician and political party to support and trust.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just Like In The Movies

Have the big shots in the CIA, or the politicians in charge, seen the movie, The Siege?

It really should be a lesson of the dangers of training Arabs in military things, like explosives.


PS Who will the future victims be?

Olmert and Rice!

Is this really something to celebrate?

A bitter anniversary - seven years of Kassams from Gaza

These two things, the headlines and the picture were on the same Jerusalem Post homepage this morning. How the Prime Minister can have the audacity to smile when innocent civilians of his country are being constantly attacked for seven years is totally immoral. And his smiling partner is only concerned with alleviating the "miseries" of those attacking us. Something "stinks" here; that's for sure.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We Gave "Peace a Chance," and It Failed

Making a mistake once is normal; twice isn't, and multiple times a sign of serious mental illness.

The continuation of the "Peace Process" is proof of the foolishness of the masses, the media the politicians. For decades Israel has been lusting for "peace."

It has brought is war, terror and lost us of the respect and fear of our enemies.

Peace comes from strength, when our enemies know that if they touch us they will be destroyed. The "do anything for peace" philosophy just encourages our enemies to attack, terrorize us, because then they know that we will do anything to stop them but fight.

I am disappointed and frustrated that I don't see a sign of any politicians or political party here in Israel telling people the truth, clearly. And even more upsetting, those who may have policies which are realistic have no chance of getting elected. They don't know how to campaign. They don't understand politics and human nature. Being right isn't enough to get elected. Politics is a science; there are known, tried and true techniques.

G-d willing...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Do You Really Trust Olmert or Kadima to Run Another "War?"

Israel's media is hinting at a "military action/operation" as an alternative to a "ceasefire" in the south.

Well, the Arab terrorists who received Gush Katif all the better to kill you with my dear haven't offered a real ceasefire. Of course, they don't mind it when we don't fight back.

Yes, we need some sort of war to destroy the terrorists, but is Olmert or any of the Kadima crowd, including the Labor party really capable of running an effective successful war?

I don't think so. They made of mess of the last war, less than two years ago. OK, it was an "operation," not a full-fledged war, but the solders killed are full-fledged dead, aren't they?

If I had the time, I'd research for a list of Ehud Barak's threats from the time he began his reign of terror (his time as prime minister) until today. He's like those "modern parents," who tell their kids not to walk in the street, or... And then they go back to talking on the cellphone as their kids wander in the street. And they don't even notice. By the time they wonder where the kids are...

Tsippi, the "great white ignore the dark roots hope, Livni always seems confused. And Olmert insists that since he made some mistakes he should be given the chance to try again and do a better job.

As an Israeli citizen and mother of reserve soldiers, I just don't trust the government to plan and conduct the battles in the best possible way. I don't trust them to make a proper battle plan, with realistic options. I don't like the idea of my sons being pushed around like valueless pawns.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Following Orders"

My generation was taught that the Germans who excused their cruelty to Jews in Nazi Germany with the rationale that the were "following orders" were just as evil as those giving the orders. That's why I am even angrier at the Inbal Hotel for hanging a Pseudistinian flag than I was before I heard their excuse/reason.

Nadia Matar of Women in Green did a great job researching and reporting about it. So read:

Dear Friends,

The posting about the Inbal hotel's waving the PLO flag last week during a conference on "Homeland Security" made a lot of waves. Hundreds of loyal friends of Israel from Israel and abroad bombarded the Inbal hotel's office with faxes and emails of complaints and shock, many of them even announcing that they will not go to the Inbal anymore.

The amount of complaints must have been so great that Inbal's General Manager himself, Mr. Rodney Sanders, took the time to answer by sending each person an email with the same answer.

Here is his response, followed by Women in Green's comments:

Dear Mr X,

I am responding to your note of concern regarding reports of "Plo flags" displayed at our hotel during the last two days of May.

Let me say directly that I am very sensitive to the concerns of our guests, and that I, too, felt uncomfortable when asked, even by the Israeli government, to fly the colors of the Palestinian Authority at the hotel.

But that is exactly what happened. The Israel Minister of Public Security Avi Dicter chose the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel to be the venue for the International Security Forum, a conference on "Challenges to Homeland Security", of which MK Avi Dicter was the chairman. The conference was from May 28 to May 30.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertkoff and a dozen other internal security ministers from Europe and beyond were invited and Minister Dicter also invited the Palestinian Minister of Interior.

We were instructed by the Israel Ministry of Public Security and the organizing committee to fly the flags of all those participating in the conference, including that of the Palestinian Authority.

While not meaning to add to anybody's distress, I think it important for me to mention that other prominent hotels are often asked by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host Israel-Palestinian negotiating sessions. Sometimes this also involves flags.

I can assure you that I, as the General Manager of the hotel had no intent of making a political statement and have no desire of doing so in the future.

I would like to apologize for placing the flag on the building. I have now since learnt how sensitive this issue is to the feelings of our nation and our people, but I believe I had no choice but to follow the request of the Ministry.

I look forward to welcoming you at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Sanders, General Manager


Women in Green's answer:

Mr. Sanders,

You write; "I had no choice but to follow the request of the Ministry".

This is where you are wrong. You DID have a choice.You could easily have said "No" to Mr Dichter's request.

You could have said:

"I am sorry Mr Dichter. The Inbal Hotel has a policy of not flying the flag of Arab terrorists whose platform is: Murder Jews and destroy the State of Israel. In fact, we here at the Inbal Hotel would like to understand how you Mr. Dichter invite the Palestinian Authority at a conference which title is: "Challenges to Homeland Security" when our homeland security is exactly being challenged by those PLO terrorists!

We at the Inbal Hotel are loyal to the people of Israel and to the Land of Israel. We refuse to insult and hurt the feelings of thousands of victims of Arab terror in Israel and abroad and hence the Inbal refuses not only to fly the PLO flag but we refuse to host your conference."

You could have said all that. But you didn't.

Sadly you chose to "obey the orders".

The time has come for all Jews to understand that no orders are holy. The fact that a Prime Minister or a minister or a policeman or a IDF officer gives us an order, does not mean that we immediately must obey. We must think twice before executing the order and ask ourselves: is this an order that I, as a Jew, loyal to my People and my Land, should carry out?

We assume, Mr. Sanders, that if some extreme leftist minister would have asked you to serve pork in your hotel, you would have refused. So why did you not refuse to fly the PLO flag?

People who blindly follow orders are punished by the people for their disloyalty. That is what is happening now at the Inbal where so many people have cancelled their stay.

Let this be a lesson to all the minor officials everywhere in the country, in the government, in the army, in business....: the sentence "I believe I had no choice" is a sentence that must be erased from our vocabulary.

Ruth and Nadia Matar
Women in Green

Not The America I Grew Up In

Almost 50 years ago when JFK was elected President of the USA, it was a shocker. He was a Roman Catholic, Irish yet, even worse. For the almost 200 years of America's history presidents were exclusively WASP males and married once only.

Now, just under 50 years later and the unthinkable! The Democratic Party, Kennedy's party, is going to nominate a Black man. OK, his mother was WASP, but he looks black and has a proudly Black-first wife.

And who's the runner-up? A woman! I kid you not. If Rip Van Winkle had gone to sleep in 1960 and woken up this year, he'd not believe it. He'd probably have more trouble absorbing this shocker than the Internet.

The US Left/Liberals, including JFK's own family, decided that Black was better than the feminists. But it may be a mistake. Hillary is a lot tougher than Obama, and her support is a Trojan Horse or sorts. She has been planning her run for 50 years, before
Obama was born. Actually, he was born just a few months after Kennedy took office. Will he be able to reign her in? She's old enough to be his mother and would have supported him as her successor.

This should be fun to watch.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Walls--Berlin vs Jerusalem

How ironic. Today's NY Times archives pulled out the headline from June 12, 1987, when US President Ronald Reagan was in the then divided Berlin and insisted that there was "only one Berlin" and the wall must be torn down.

The Berlin Wall had become a symbol of Communist tyranny, since it was constructed to keep East Germans in East Germany and not to all them to escape to the West.

Jerusalem had a wall, dividing it between Israel and Jordan, from the 1949 ceasefire until the Six Days War. Jews weren't allowed to pass to "east Jerusalem," even to go to Jewish shrines, like the Western Wall and the massive Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. The Jordanians also used their vantage points to shoot at Jewish civilians on the Israeli side.

Today the US's President Bush supports the division of Jerusalem and a new wall to restrict Jewish access.

Pisgat Zeev, Walled In 5

Prior to the 1967 Six Days War, no international leaders nor US Presidents demanded the razing of that wall and freedom of movement for Jews. Does anyone care about how the new wall restricts Jewish Civil Rights?

The Real World

It was never easy to raise kids. Now it's probably even harder. I'm glad I raised mine here in Israel, first in Jerusalem then Shiloh. Honestly, I can't say they turned out exactly to "plan," but I'm certainly not what my parents planned, either.

Here in Shiloh my kids enjoyed lots of independence, even from the youngest age. Looking back, it's amazing that we took it for granted that once a child was old enough to go to "gan," nursery school, he/she was expected to walk home all by himself. My youngest is a November baby, so he was less than three and walked a kilometer and a half, a mile, home. There was no traffic, and the kids all walked together in a group. In those days there was a van that took them in the morning, or they never would have made it on time. Of course, the kids who lived closer walked without their parents. The kids ran their own social life. I didn't have to deal with "play dates."

The Jewish kids coming to Israel for their "year before college" weren't raised with a fraction of that freedom. That's why many can't deal with the challenges and sudden independence their year in Israel offers. Emes Ve-Emunah: Facing the Truth of Religious Dropouts Most kids have little experience with public transportation and freedom from parental supervision. Even though they've been educated from the age of three or four in Jewish schools, they aren't fluent in Hebrew. Their first taste of freedom came with their car keys. Only with a drivers license, have they traveled alone.

Yes, many of the kids do fine. They adapt to their new environments and take it all very seriously. But for others being in Israel, away from family, is their chance to do something "new."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Caroline Glick's site

Maybe I'm the last to know, but Caroline Glick, of JPost fame, has her own site. Thanks to Ya'aqov, worth more than Esser Agaroth for letting me know.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

This post is a response to/complements Ya'aqov's The Real "Religious Zionist".

Religious Zionism is stuck between a rock and a hard place, the secular anti-Zionists who were determined to invent a "new Jew," rooted in the Land a free from the restrictions of Jewish Law, and Chareidi Jews who value living in the Land but reject the Zionist institutions.
Religious Zionism began by partnering the secular Zionists in order to develop state-supported religious institutions, while suffering an inferiority complex about its more "lax" than the Chareidi observance of Jewish Law.
Contrary to the laws of nature, common sense, rather than being crushed and destroyed, religious Zionism has grown, developed and prospered. Religious soldiers make up a large percentage of elite army units, and it is becoming more and more common for them to be promoted to the much higher ranks. Religious Zionists are at the forefront of all settlement and farming activity replacing the secular, whose children are much less interested.
Torah-learning, for religious Zionist men and women, is on a very high level and popular. There are also religious-academic institutions which combine religion and technology, even specializing in application of Jewish Law and innovative technology.
This, not surprisingly, has caused jealousy.
The true aim of Disengagement was to "break the settlers." And this year's Shemitta (farming sabbatical) began with a major controversy concerning whether or not heter mechira, a solution rooted in Jewish Law for "selling farmland" and still farm it, would be accepted. The recent firing of Rabbi Druckman is another battle on that front.
Just like the Jewish Calendar combines both the lunar and solar years, Judaism combines kodesh and chol, the Holy and the Profane. Religious Zionism struggles to integrate Torah with governing the Land of Israel in a Jewish way. It's a long and difficult process. We are far from its completion. It will take much more hard work to make the State of Israel a Jewish State.
G-d willing, we will succeed.

Generation of the Cynic

Left, right and center...

There's one thing that the vast majority of Israelis agree on; over 90% find corruption in politics. Of course, everyone blames someone or something else. The funniest is that the most veteran Israeli politician, the 80+ Shimon Peres recommends that politicians, excepting himself of course, should be limited in the number of years one may hold political positions. The same man whose name is synonymous with the Oslo Accords recommend that university students be able to practice their ideas in the Knesset. Is he kidding? Knowing Peres...

Proudly on the right, I have no problem admitting that I'm an uncompromising extremest, Right-wing nationalist, when it comes to my Land, People and Country, I see the government, judicial and media dominated by the Left. That makes it hard for me to understand how the Left can also be so disenchanted with the government.

Yes, the good news is that we actually agree on something. The question is the solution. And yes, I see good news there, too. I'm not giving up, not at all. I hope and pray that the apathetic Left will just give up, not vote, not get involved and let us rehabilitate the country! But please don't tell them...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still Hoping

Tonight I traveled to Jerusalem for a political meeting. Unfortunately, I was horrendously disappointed and after trying to get the information I needed, I just left. I'm not really ready to go into details.

I came to the conclusion to leave, just a bit late to catch the 9pm bus home. I waited for a bus to the "trempiada," the bus stop which is also for catching rides. Was I surprised when I saw my bus approach, late according to the schedule, but just in time for me. That made it clear to me, that I had done the right thing by leaving. Added bonus was seeing a good friend on the bus. I went over to talk to her, and someone gave me a seat. Yes, it was that crowded.

I told her what happened, and we brainstormed a bit.

I may start dreaming out loud. No, not tonight.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Could Never Go Back

We've been in Israel for almost 38 years. I almost wrote "40," but the CPA's daughter I am couldn't exaggerate. We just completed celebrating our one day of Shavuot. Out of Israel, Torah Jews celebrate two. I just can't imagine doing it.

Two seder nights, four holiday nights during the week long Succot-Simchat Torah holiday marathon, and don't forget Shabbat.

I wasn't a Torah-observant Jewish too many years in New York, so my norms have really developed here.

Don't make aliyah just for the reduction in holiday restrictions. Just think of it as an added bonus, like the icing on the cake.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's Not Just About Converts

In a few hours we'll be celebrating/observing the Shavuot Holiday. The Story of Ruth, the most important of our many converts, is read on Shavuot. What's the connection?

Most people translate "Shavuot" into "weeks," but it's also the Hebrew for "oaths."

Ruth is most famous for her oath to commit/connect herself to her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth Chapter 1
טז וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי, לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין--עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי. 16 And Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
יז בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת, וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר; כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי, וְכֹה יוֹסִיף--כִּי הַמָּוֶת, יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ. 17 where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the LORD do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'

Even though I was born and raised a Jew, I have always felt connected to that oath and even gave a shiur about it.

Judaism isn't a proselytizing religion. Prospective converts are turned back, like Naomi did to Ruth:

יא וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי, לָמָּה תֵלַכְנָה עִמִּי: הַעוֹד-לִי בָנִים בְּמֵעַי, וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לַאֲנָשִׁים. 11 And Naomi said: 'Turn back, my daughters; why will ye go with me? have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
יב שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי לֵכְןָ, כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ: כִּי אָמַרְתִּי, יֶשׁ-לִי תִקְוָה--גַּם הָיִיתִי הַלַּיְלָה לְאִישׁ, וְגַם יָלַדְתִּי בָנִים. 12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say: I have hope, should I even have an husband to-night, and also bear sons;
יג הֲלָהֵן תְּשַׂבֵּרְנָה, עַד אֲשֶׁר יִגְדָּלוּ, הֲלָהֵן תֵּעָגֵנָה, לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת לְאִישׁ; אַל בְּנֹתַי, כִּי-מַר-לִי מְאֹד מִכֶּם--כִּי-יָצְאָה בִי, יַד-יְהוָה. 13 would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye shut yourselves off for them and have no husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes, for the hand of the LORD is gone forth against me.'
יד וַתִּשֶּׂנָה קוֹלָן, וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד; וַתִּשַּׁק עָרְפָּה לַחֲמוֹתָהּ, וְרוּת דָּבְקָה בָּהּ. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth cleaved unto her.
טו וַתֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּה שָׁבָה יְבִמְתֵּךְ, אֶל-עַמָּהּ, וְאֶל-אֱלֹהֶיהָ; שׁוּבִי, אַחֲרֵי יְבִמְתֵּךְ. 15 And she said: 'Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god; return thou after thy sister-in-law.'

But once someone does convert, his/her background isn't supposed to be mentioned. That's one of the anti-Halachik (Jewish Law) "ironies," or inconsistencies, with the blanket/mass cancelling of conversions by a chareidi court. But that's no surprise to me. I find a lot of inconsistencies with Chareidi Judaism. Now, some of you may really blow up when you read this, but please read through to the end. IMHO, it has copied foreign religions in one of its basic premises, that men should learn Torah full time and not work in a full variety of professions. I also disagree with its refusal to recognize the validity of the State of Israel and the official Rabbinate.

One of the great beauties and uniqueness of Judaism is its integration of the Holy and Profane, Kodesh v'Chol. We don't send our holy people, our learned rabbis to isolated monasteries, nor ban them from the physicality of married life. I have no doubt that the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's students was caused by the idealizing of his marriage, that he lived for years without his wife Rachel.

Our wars, the fighting soldiers are doing great Mitzvot (Holy Commandments) and should be G-d fearing, Torah-knowledgeable people. Therefore the Chareidi custom of shirking this duty/mitzvah is also against the basic tenant of Judaism.

The State of Israel has a Rabbinate which has a department which give Kosher Certification to foods. The Chareidim don't recognize it and they have their own kashrut certification. So, I wasn't surprised that they insulted the Official Rabbinate's certification of converts.

These poor Jews, yes, Jews, have been caught pressed between a rock and a hard place. Rabbi Sherman's "Beit Din," religious court, is trying to score anti-state points by destroying the lives of countless Jews.

According to Jewish Law, we're not supposed to eat insects, but when checking food, we're not supposed to use anything stronger than our simple, everyday if you need them reading glasses. If you use a high-powered microscope, nothing will be clean enough to eat, and you'll starve or die of malnutrition.

Let us all have a Chag Sameach, a Joyful Holiday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

LBJ and Israel

I know that many will find this surprising, but for its first two decades Israel didn't get any sort of financial or military support from the United States. Israel had a small arms industry and bought what it couldn't produce, mainly from Europe or more complicated ways.

The United Nations had "peace keeping forced" to "protect us," or more precisely, to prevent war, but in May of 1967, when Egypt's Nasser told them to "scoot," they did, no protests, no conditions. They weren't going to endanger their lives to protect Israel.

When we won the Six Days War, we really did it totally on our own. Lyndon Baines Johnson was the US President, and he was the first to improve the relationship between the US and Israel.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Picture Really Is The Best

This is just brilliant.

Same Old Words

I don't know why people are getting all excited about what Obama has said about Jerusalem. It's the same old stuff all the candidates and elected presidents have spouted for the past forty years, at least.

None of it means anything. If American Presidential Candidates' words meant something, after being elected they would have recognized Jerusalem as our Capital City, and by now there would be a nice American Embassy here, instead of that insultingly embarrassing Consulate in East Jerusalem.
It's posturing, campaigning, useless hot air words.
Remember that most candidates will say and do anything to get elected. The combination of best speech-writers/pr/acting skills win. That's really it. It's not all that's different from the Beauty Pageant Business.
As I've written before, Obama's slogan "change" is brilliant. It says absolutely nothing and allows each listener to fill in the blanks to his/her wishes.
PS I've tried to have some influence on an Israeli politician, whom I trust, trying to explain that politics is a business, requiring certain techniques, which can increase chance of success. Olmert has those books memorized. The only way to defeat him is to use the techniques even better. But-- of course, nobody listens to me.

Talansky's Teeth

Just when we were so confident that Talansky had gotten his teeth into Olmert, it has been revealed that he's being sued by his 84 year old dentist.

Would you feel safe with an 84 year old dentist?

Honestly, there are some very big holes in this story. The dentist claims that they are long-time buddies.

Barashick said he had been a friend of Talansky for 40 years, and they couldn't be "closer," adding that the dentist-patient relationship is the most "intimate" of all.
"In the hours that you have root canals done, you talk to your dentist," said Barashick.

Have you ever had root canal? Or even a regular filling? How much talking can you do when your mouth is clamped open and the dentist has it filled with tools?

Talansky's gifts/loans/? to Olmert are documented, at least according to the leaks to the press. So his alleged violence against the dentist shouldn't really affect the issue.
What's interesting is that the dentist claims that Talansky didn't want to pay, and in the Olmert case, Talansky complains that Olmert was supposed to return "loans."
Does anyone know the present state of Talansky's finances?

Robertson turns up the "heat" on the Jews

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Note of Clarification (June 6th): I spoke to David Nekrutman of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Efrat. David clarified the context of the ruling that Rav Riskin made several years ago regarding the missionary bible that was distributed into everybody's mailbox in Efrat - with the intent of converting Jews to Christianity. The ruling was to burn the entire bible which included both the Hebrew and New Testament Bible. A Bible which is written on a heretical basis is not considered sacred. The correction to the blog below has been made accordingly.
(Thanks to David and Rabbi Riskin for this important clarification)

Yes Virginia, there is anti-Semitism...

must see this video of Pat Robertson attacking Orthodox Jews and promoting the messianics, and the change in the law of return (which was really not changed).
CBN Report: Turning Up the 'Heat' on Messianic Jews (June 4, 2008)

"Ultra Orthodox Jews in the Israeli town of Yehuda burned new testament bibles belonging to Messianic Jews... It's the latest in a series of incidents - in Israel - against Jesus...excuse me...Jews who believe in Jesus as the messiah."
---Pat Roberston on CBN NEWS

Ok. Pat...

a) the name of the town is Or Yehuda

b) the missionary material did not belong to Messianic Jews. It was given away as a deceptive little "gift". Which means that those who were, unfortunately, in possession of the material were free to dispose of it as they saw fit (see my previous blog on the proper disposal of missionary material)
BTW I met with Rabbi Riskin last week (it was a good meeting), and he mentioned that several years ago the residents of Efrat received missionary bibles in the mail - as part of a campaign to convert Jews - and he poskened that people should burn them ( the missionary materials, not the missionaries).

c) that little freudian slip about "a series of incidents - in Israel - against Jesus", is telling (should have edited it out, don't you think?)

d) Note:
Victor Kalisher, who is interviewed, is not a Jew as he claims. He is a practicing Christian and prints missionary materials.

e) Although the report fingers the Orthodox community for the pre-Purim attack, no suspects have been detained and no arrests have been made, but there was a fatwa out on Ortiz, and The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing according to the Bethlehem-based Maan news agency.

Pat Robertson is the founder of the the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). He received a special Zionist award from Benny Elon in 2004 for having "saved Israel's tourism from bankruptcy."

At the 2004 ICEJ sponsored Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Robertson gave the cause of Messianic Judaism a big boost :
Jews need to begin to cry out for their Messiah, he said. "I've met wonderful Jews... here in Jerusalem, who are all saying 'Yes, Jesus you are our Messiah,'"

Pat Robertson's main man, Jay Sekulow, is the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and a "Jew for Jesus" turned "messianic" who feels strongly about freedom of religion in Israel.

And CBN's President Michael Little sits on the Executive Board of CUFI (Christians United for Israel). I think Pastor Hagee would be far more successful in ridding the church of anti-Semitism, if he started in his own backyard. His publisher and CUFI regional director Stephen Strang is a signatory on the recent widely publicized World Evangelical Alliance statement endorsing efforts to evangelize the Jews (a full page ad appeared in the New York Times and other major papers).