Hamas War

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Marrow Magic - Save lives!" Please vote to support the project

This was sent to me by a very good friend. Please vote for the project. It could save lives!

I'd like to tell you about a project I submitted to the AMEX Members Project. It's called "Marrow Magic - Save lives!"

For years, I have seen the large efforts that go into small drives to register people to be bone marrow donors, and know there has to be a better way. I would like to get the whole country registered as potential bone marrow donors by having the nation's dentists collect cheek cell samples for the registry. Currently less than 3% of the US population is registered in donor banks.

I think I've found a way to make it happen: American Express has a competition for the funding of new projects:

Members Project is an initiative that brings people together to make a difference in the world. People go online to share ideas for projects. and ultimately vote on which projects will share $2.5 million in funding from American Express.

Please help my project, Marrow Magic - Save lives! receive up to $1.5 million in funding from Amex;

Currently over 150 projects are competing to be the top 25 projects. The 25 that get the most "nominations" will then be voted on to narrow the group to five.

To nominate Marrow Magic - Save lives! for potential funding, please go to
membersproject.com and nominate my project,to reach the Top 25. It's listed in the Health section under Education, or use their search feature, for the word "marrow".

Please campaign for my project by promoting it on the Members Project Discussion Boards and forward this email to all of your friends and family members .

In 2007, Members Project provided clean drinking water to children all across Africa. This year, maybe Marrow Magic - Save lives! will receive funding.

Thanks for your help,
Rose Landowne

Olmert Has Done His Homework

By announcing his future resignation, Olmert has set himself over his critics. He has taken the "high road."

This, of course, is worse for us. He is claiming to be a victim, not a repentant crook. I'm sure that he has made neither move nor statement without checking the legal implications. He's calculating and smart. Never, never underestimate him.

Too many people are cheering, but there's nothing to cheer about. His Kadima Party is in shambles as the "leaders" compete for the prize, stabbing each other in the front, back and center.

I'm just curious. Has Tzachi Hanegbi said anything? Is it possible that he's waiting in the wings as a "compromise candidate" when the dust settles and they discover that there isn't anyone with sufficient backing to take over?

Tzachi is not like his mother. She, Geula Cohen, can't fake anything. She's honest with her ideals for all to see. Tzachi has been at Olmert's side, silent, helping, watching, waiting.

Let's see...

Feiglin warns about missionaries

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

The following is an English translation of Moshe Feiglin's article which appeared in last week's Makor Rishon.

No Strings Attached?
By Moshe Feiglin
Tamuz 5768
July, '08

"He has recently become more religious," the reporters explained as they described the second Jerusalem Moslem who attempted to murder Jews with a tractor.

The Israeli public is already used to terror attacks in the name of Allah. These attacks are euphemistically described as 'nationalistically motivated'. But everybody knows in whose name the terrorists stage their murderous assaults. The Arabs who piloted the Boeing jets into the Twin Towers did not yell "Long live Saudi Arabia!" and last week's murderous tractor driver did not declare "Long live the Arab nation!" before perpetrating their horrendous deeds. Every Israeli knows what Arabs shout as they murder. They shout the Moslem motto, 'Allah hu akbar.' They act in the name of their god. Their terrorism is not nationalistically motivated. It is religiously motivated.

As opposed to the Left, the nationalist camp – and especially the national religious camp in Israel – is capable of understanding and dealing with this fact. But it is specifically this camp that is rapidly falling under the influence of a religious threat even more dangerous than Islam. It is specifically the nationalist and religious nationalist public that has been opening the door to xtianity and allowing it to slowly but surely sway Israeli reality.

The xtian conquest is much more dangerous than the Moslim conquest because it is not direct. It is not violent. It is embracing and supportive. It connects with Israel against the Moslem enemy. It supports a Jewish Land of Israel in its entirety. It even speaks up for the sanctity of the connection between the Nation of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel. It just forgets to mention to which Nation of Israel and to which Torah it refers.

The nationalist public is not aware of the extent and depth of the influence that these groups have achieved in Israel. It is very easy to be enticed by the fact that they hide their motives and offer large sums of money to causes that are important and often crucial for Israel.

It took me a bit of time to realize their true intentions, and in the meantime, I also received a small number of contributions from xtian factors. They insinuated that they were Noahides – non-Jews who have accepted the seven commandments that G-d gave to Noah, which negate xtianity. They declared that they were not part of any church and that the crucifix offends them. They simply forgot to mention that for them, G-d is actually the xtian deity and that the Nation of Israel is actually those who believe in that deity. Thank G-d, it took me a relatively short time to figure out what was going on and I cut off all ties with them.

They are careful to hide their true intentions. They will not usually display the crucifix and will not mention the name of their deity in conversation with Jews. They simply 'love' us – "no strings attached." But their goal is clear: To immigrate to Israel by the millions, to become citizens and to convert us all, G-d forbid. They do explicitly admit that as far as they are concerned, a Jew who does not accept their deity will burn in hell.

On the surface, why should we care? What difference does it make if huge sums of money for Israeli welfare causes are from xtian sources? "When Mashiach comes, we'll ask him what religion he is," the cynics wink. But this is not a matter that can be laughed off. Money talks. The organizations that feed the hungry children of Israel will eventually control their minds, as well.

Slowly but surely, more and more xtian institutions are being built in Israel. They have infiltrated almost every Jewish organization. And most worrisome of all, they have infiltrated the political Right. Acting MKs and candidates for the Knesset from all the rightist parties have been busy running to their churches in the US, hugging the most despicable missionaries and giving their activities in Israel and their beliefs the legitimacy so crucial to their success. Big money from these groups has been blinding the eyes of many Likud candidates, as well as Orange MKs and rabbis, and strictly kosher Haredi rabbis, as well.

It is hard to blame the Likud candidates for taking their money. If well-known rabbis and MKs with large skullcaps and beards see nothing wrong with xtian support, why should the less religiously knowledgeable Likudnik be more stringent than they are? These xtians have been waiting 2,000 years for their messiah to arrive. They certainly have the patience to position more and more politicians who owe them their seats in key slots in Israel. Missionary activity in Israel is growing by leaps and bounds. But what mayor or politician will fight the missionaries after they have received millions from the very same 'Israel loving' organizations?

These xtians have been waiting 2,000 years for their messiah to arrive. They certainly have the patience to position more and more politicians who owe them their seats in key slots in Israel. Missionary activity in Israel is growing by leaps and bounds. But what mayor or politician will fight the missionaries after they have received millions from the very same 'Israel loving' organizations?

It is astounding how a history of 2,000 years of bloodshed evaporates in the face of large sums of cash. The children of Beit El will not pay the price of this abomination any time soon. The price will first be paid by the children in poor neighborhoods and in families whose Jewish identity is not well developed.

But every Jew is responsible for one another. If we do not open our eyes and reject these xtian groups and their money, we will all pay the price.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Olmert May Be in Office for Another Four Months!

I wish Olmert were Japanese for two reasons.
First, he would be in Japan and not here and somebody else's problem, not ours.
Second, any Japanese political leader after screwing up so royally would not merely resign, he would commit harakiri and it would be OVER. How much more damage will the creep do before he is OVER AND OUT?
I saw this afternoon (though I can't seem to find it now) on the A7 English website a piece on illegal Arab building in Jerusalem. It seems our fearless leader Voldemoron back when he was mayor of Jerusalem was already thinking ahead and destroying files of illegal Arab building since "they are going to get East Jerusalem anyway"(!).
They've been planning this for years!
The shutting down of A7 radio broadcasts was planned to be far enough in advance of Operation Judenrein Gaza so there would be no opposition voice on the radio. It was giving the taxi drivers and the people on the buses too many ideas!
Now, I found it! Here is the URL, lest you think that it disappeared:
We can't afford to despair, we are in for the long haul!

Don't Count Your Chickens...

...before they're hatched and don't count out Olmert until he's gone, really gone.

I don't agree with MK Dr. Arieh Eldad:

The other Ehud, Barak, who is back in power, heading the Labor Party, was actually a worse Prime Minister. His reign was short, so I guess many people have forgotten.

  • But I can't forget the rampant Arab terrorism.
  • I can't forget the shootings and bombings.
  • I can't forget wearing those heavy, and mostly useless, bulletproof vests.
  • I can't forget the fear, the terror and the empty downtown Jerusalem.
  • I can't forget Barak's pitiful empty threats.

My sons were in the army then, and I was more afraid of their traveling to base than going house to house in Shechem.

And I haven't forgotten that Ehud Olmert is smart, and he's still in office, and he will be in office for at least another couple of months.

  • Ehud Olmert is far from gone.
  • Ehud Olmert's here and he's in power, the most powerful "lame duck" politician.
  • Ehud Olmert hasn't stopped negotiating with our enemies.
  • Ehud Olmert hasn't admitted guilt.

Those who want to take over Olmert's position haven't promised the public better policies, stopping the appeasement, the gifts to the Arabs.

I'm not celebrating. I hate to think what Olmert has up his sleeve...

Marching Through The Land of Israel

Thanks to Yonathan Gormezano for these gorgeous pictures of this week's hike through Eretz Yisrael. These pictures were taken near Shiloh, Givat Achiya.

Veteran Eretz Yisrael activist, the tireless Daniella Weiss, has been inspiring the youth. She was in Shiloh last week to tell us about it. Near each stop, the neighboring yishuv has organized to provide the hikers with food, drink and other support.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Public Prayer and Private Notes

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Could it be that Obama prayed that the public read his “private” note to G-d which was inserted in a crevice in the Kotel (Western Wall), and subsequently “stolen” by some Yeshiva students?
(warning: this video is a major chilul Hashem and might as well be called "Raping the Kotel" – Parental guidance suggested)

Israelinsider is running a story that exposes more than the presidential hopeful would hope for. Both the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz reported that a Ma'ariv spokesman said that "Barack Obama's note was approved for publication and that Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem."

Let's face it, that beautifully written and expressed note was custom made for public consumption and propaganda purposes – and possibly intended to garner some evangelical Christian votes. Watch this slick campaign ploy which just screams “I Barack Hussein Obama am a Christian.” Sing along to “Amazing Grace”, as not since the Crusades has the Kotel been so enmeshed with the Cross.

Israelinsider suggests, that Maariv may have "collaborated with the Obama campaign in getting the "private" prayer, with its "modest" supplicaton to the Lord, out to the public, buffing his Christian credentials and showing his "humility."

They Should Cover Clark Kent's Legal Fees

According to the Jerusalem Post, The Committee for Saving the Nation and Land of Israel is giving an honorarium of NS1,800 to the various civilians, non-policemen, who stopped Arab terror attacks by killing the terrorists.

Police can't be everywhere all the time, and even if they are at the right place, they don't always do the right thing. This has been the case during recent terror attacks.

In Israel, most men serve in the army. Our soldiers are our husbands, sons, neighbors, etc. So are our bravest heroes. I never cease to be surprised to discover that some seemingly ordinary guy isn't ordinary at all. But I guess that is ordinary in a community like mine.

And it's also nothing new for a "Clark Kent" looking guy to suddenly whip out his pistol and stop the Arab terrorist in his tracks by killing him.

That's what happened twelve and a half years ago, when an Arab terrorist rammed his car into dozens of bystanders, murdering one and wounding many, including me. Three young, yeshiva students on their way to Shiloh did what had to be done and killed the terrorist. If we had to wait for the police or army, he would have escaped.

It sounds simple, but the government was trying to prove that the Arab had made a sharp right onto the sidewalk and the sharp left on my foot to hit the dozens of innocent Jews by accident. So the police made life miserable for the heroes.

Sometimes even heroes can find themselves in trouble, so I hope that donors will cover any legal expenses which result. Nobody should avoid taking action to save others, because they're afraid of the police.

Of course, it would be even better if the police and army would destroy terrorism.

Even Arutz 7

You just can't trust anyone. Even I've made mistakes.. But this strange line on an Arutz 7 news article has me disgusted. They describe Shimon Peres as a "mainstream politician."

Peres: Jerusalem Needs Wall and Bridge
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) President Shimon Peres, following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon, has become the latest mainstream politician to intimate that Jerusalem must be divided...

Shimon Peres is Left; that's for sure. Maybe the writer is too young to remember Oslo and his "New Middle East," sort of John Lennon on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Read carefully...

Clarifying My Point

When I wrote "Pre-Post" About An Important Topic , I should have realized that because it's not done, most people wouldn't understand what I was saying.

After years of teaching, especially the last eleven as a remedial teacher, I should be able to express myself better.

Teachers are taught how to construct a lesson. Students can't do one thing for too long. Especially today, people's attention spans are very short.

Now, the same goes for a "political meeting." I've been to a few recently, and they all have the same thing in common--
bad planning

Last week, I was at a meeting at a neighbors which lasted about three hours. One of my friends was there for two hours. She's a busy lady and came in late on purpose, knowing that the first half hour would be a waste. Then two hours later, she left. The next morning, at the pool, she asked me:
"What was the point? What did they want from us?"

The meeting could have been done in an hour and a quarter and should have been constructed totally differently. Instead, even those of us who wanted to help had a feeling that we'd just be wasting our time. "Good intentions" aren't enough.

The little movie they showed to give an example was so repetitive and amateurish, we stopped listening long before the middle. The main speaker answered in speeches--lecturing, rather than short, to the point, concise answers.

A couple of months ago, when I was at a parlour meeting for another group, we were also lectured and lectured, not inspired to be active members.

Most people get bored after a couple of minutes, so talking for fifteen loses your audience completely. A rousing political meeting needs a tight schedule.
  • Use a stopwatch/timer if necessary.
  • Early on, state your main goal.
  • Keep up the excitement.
  • Finish while people are still interested-- leave them begging for more!

That's just one small lesson. None of these techniques are revolutionary. It's not like the patented Coca Cola recipe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Couple of Points for Batya

Yesterday I went to the third annual conference on Judaism, Society and the Internet, which I previously marked in an earlier post as a coming attraction. I was a little bit run into the ground because of good news, namely a new grandson born on Shabbat and the Rebbetzin running off to the hilltop to take care of Mommy and baby. So I got there a bit late. It was held at the Inbal Hotel, all in Hebrew, which seems strange to us International Jewish Conspiracy bloggers, but it was a thoroughly Israeli event. I went there with the expectation of trolling the waters to find people conversant with Torah and media and do some networking. I did a little, not as much as I would have liked.
The sponsorship included the website Kipa, Lifshitz College, Ynet, Machon Puah, the safe ISP Internet Rimmon, the newspaper Makor Rishon and a few others. The crowd was a mix of middle-aged folks like myself along with a lot of the usual bright-eyed and bushy-tailed student types that you would expect, a nice bunch of people. The yishuvim in general were apparently well representated. Shiloh in particular was represented by my good friend and Batya's neighbor Rav Dov Berkovits. Batya can get some nachas from having been mentioned, though not by name. R. Dov was on a panel about community together with, among others Rav Shmuel Eliyahu. R. Dov pointed out what blogging can do for someone who is into it and referred obliquely to Batya. Another important rabbinical personality present in another session on anonymity was not at all anonymous but very well known, Rav Menachem Burstein, head of Machon Puah, which deals with reproductive issues and halacha. He pointed out that anonymity can be both positive (freeing people from embarrassment in asking delicate halachic questions) and negative (going ape and slandering people). The last speaker, whom I was tipped off not to dismiss, was the Minister of Communications (from Shas) Ariel Attias, who has been a solid consumer advocate in lowering phone charges and trying to get local and religious radio of the ground. One of the principles of JobKatif told me that he is a solid person, and his address seemed do bear that out. But it also incidently served as good election propaganda at the right time. For 20 shekels, worth it. I also hope to hear from people later on.

May I Use The "S" Word? Or The "T" Word?

Should we call "a spade a spade?" Or use our "sense of smell" to "sniff out" a "rose?"

What do you call a country's ruler who supports the establishment of a new country which has one aim and one aim only, and it's the destruction, annihilation of the ruler's country?
Olmert: Palestinian State is the Goal, But Still Far Off
PM Olmert told a Knesset committee, "Israel is the Jewish national home, while Palestine is the Palestinian national home."

Smells like "sedition" and "traitor" to me...

Lighter Look -- From An Email

Sometimes, smiling's good:
Pinocchio, Snow White and Superman are walking in the street when they come across a sign:
"Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."
"I am entering," said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how was it?"
"First Place", said Snow White.
They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world."
"I'm entering," says Superman and after half an hour he returns and they ask him, "How was it?"
"First Place," answers Superman.
They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?"
Pinocchio enters. After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes. "What happened?" they asked,
"Who is this Olmert?" asked Pinocchio

The Likud--Far From The Right

Israel's political scene is rather deceptive. Labels can be tricky. Or is it the fault of the typical psyche of a politician. Politicians want to be elected to office, and they will do an say almost anything to achieve that goal.

The Israeli media has convinced almost everyone, except those of us who due to some mental/emotional fault are immune to the brainwashing, that "everyone wants peace" and that "extreme right wing politicians" aren't popular.

As far as I'm concerned, it's all a lie. "Peace" must be defined, and the apartheid--Jews in the Ghetto "peace" being promoted would not be popular if the public was exposed to the true ramifications. And it's because of the public's attraction to right wing leaders that the left leaning media works so hard to oppose them.

The Likud's Bibi Netanyahu consistently makes it clear that he's a "centrist." The Likud's voters are to the right, but remember that it was the Likud's Menachem Begin who gave the Sinai to Egypt and destroyed all of the Jewish communities there. And don't forget that Ariel Sharon was elected as head of Likud when he announced Disengagement, gave Gush Katif to the Arab terrorists and destroyed the Jewish communities there and in northern Shomron.

Those left wing policies could never have had been implemented by the left, because they would have been opposed by the right, but the minute the so-called right is in power it turns left. Yes, it sounds like a tank out of control.

And now, Uzi Dayan announced that he's joining the Likud. Why?
He's left wing to Kadima. So why is he joining Likud? He's joining, because today's Likud, which is trying to dilute Moshe Feiglin, is really left-center.

Some people tout the NU-NRP (National Union-National Religious Party) as right wing, but it isn't. The NRP is a chameleon party which traditionally joined any coalition to protect its interests. In recent years its supporters have tried pushing it to the right, but it's a Moetzet YESHA kind of right, which is really "pragmatically center," about the nicest thing I can say.

The National Union began as Moledet, reliably right, but since Rechavam Ghandi Zeevi's assassination, it has been rudderless and hooked up with the NRP. The fact that its
MK Elon Supports Creating Unity Gov't shows how far from the right it has gone. He sounds like the old time NRP, willing to agree to anything as long as they're in the coalition.

It looks like I really have
no choice other than to continue with my imaginary party, Zot Shelanu!

Statistics Battles and the Expellees by Hadassa DeYoung

Statistics Battles and the Expellees
I've done it again. Spent hours translating a document for the Friends of Gush Katif so that we can combat the lies and half truths that the SELA Authority and other organizations, the Prime Minister and other politicians constantly and consistently spread about the status of the expellees. I lost count of how many tables I'd constructed after about 25. I have at least ten left. Quite frankly, I'm tired of the statistics battles. I wish more people, in the government and out, would realize what's genuinely important.

Arab terrorists are trampling a Garden of Eden, part of the Holy Land of Israel and using it as a training base and huge launching pad for missiles on the entire Negev.

The building permits for over a thousand Jewish families have been bandied about by the Israeli government for almost three years. Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Mostly out of sinat hinam – baseless hate, and that's why it's taking so long to rebuild it. Why was Gush Katif destroyed? Mostly for the same reason, and that's why it's taking so long to rebuild it – or even decent housing for the expelled. It's no coincidence that the expulsion began immediately after the 9th of Av.

The caravillas were designed to last for about five years and friends of mine have told me that some are already disintegrating and the others will endure for probably no longer than a total of seven years.
I sincerely doubt that more than 10 MK's care whether or not the expellees have permanent houses within four years. I have a lot of respect for the "Green People" who strive to protect the environment, but what they did to try to block the expellees from building a few small settlements in the Lachish region is ridiculous. If they truly cared only about the environment they would be concerned about the over 10,000 illegal structures the Arabs and Bedouins have built in the Negev with no regard for natural resources. And if keeping Israel green is so important to them why did they put hundreds of growers – growers who'd led the world in water conservation and increasing yields – out of work?

This Tisha B'Av and the week after it, don't spend too much time reminiscing. There's work to be done, and a lot of it. Donate to the Temple Institute, the Temple Mount Faithful and others striving to ready all of the Nation of Israel to build the Third Temple. Find out what you can do to prepare yourself. Contact the various Gush Katif funds to see where you can help. Contact the various groups in Judea and Samaria – Homesh First, etc. - to see how you can help keep "Yosh" in Jewish hands.

And have an easy fast, if we don't merit building the Third Temple by then.

Hadassa DeYoung,
K'far Darom/Elon Moreh

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Pre-Post" About An Important Topic

I don't have time to write as fully and completely as I would wish about an important topic.

Why does the Left manage to promote their causes so efficiently?

They know how to plan activities, lobby etc. We, on the Right, are just a bunch of bumbling amateurs. I've become so frustrated at how badly we handle things.

There are time-proven techniques. Why don't we utilize them? Why don't we teach them to our grassroots organizations?

The New Israel Fund, the veteran Left-Wing umbrella organization, has Shatil. Shatil supports and trains community activists of various organization. Most are Left-wing and others are non-political.

I attended some of Shatil's sessions a number a years ago when I was working with a non-political organization. I recently offered to help out the Hatikvah Party, but the professors running it totally snubbed me. There's another group I'd like to help. I have to contact them. I certainly don't know everything, but I do know that "we don't have to reinvent the wheel." We'd be better off following "how to succeed" techniques than our consistently unsuccessful guesswork.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Wish I Had Been At The Lady BlogHer Conference

I had absolutely no idea that there was a "network" of female bloggers, BlogHer, until I read this article in the New York Times.

Apparently, like me and my blogs, it's a much more varied group than the "mommy blogs." Only one of my blogs is at all "female," me-ander. This blog and The Eye of the Storm are mostly political and also deal in religious issues.

Do readers relate to the blogs as "female," Israeli or a combination? In addition there's the age issue. Few female bloggers, at least the jbloggers, are older than me. Of the bloggers I've met in person, those I only know via blogging, most are my children's ages or younger. Does my age show in my posts, even when I'm not talking about what I remember from decades past?

I've been blogging a four years, and as I got more into blogging, I've concentrated my contacts in the jblogging (Jewish blogging) networks and carnivals. I've been living in Israel since 1970, and even when I blog about the American elections, my perspective is from my home in Shiloh. It's rare for me to see things otherwise; though there have been notable exceptions.

There are female bloggers who hide who they are and what they are, figuring that people would take them less seriously, if it were known that a lady was blogging the blog. I can't play that game. I'm me, a wife, mother of five and a grandmother. And, yes, I blog.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Good Job For A Jewish Boy

For years I've been recommending that we encourage our kids to go into journalism, since the real power is the media. At the same time, more and more of our kids have found themselves making a career out of the IDF, the Israeli Army. It's more a matter of filling a need, the vacuum created when the trendy, children of the Left, grandchildren of the Haganah and Palmach began to look for the easy desk jobs. Growing up on "peace," they're not going to risk their lives for their country. So more religious and yishuv-raised kids have gravitated to higher and higher positions. It's more pragmatism than planning. John Lennon's "Imagine" caused "life to happen when you're making other plans."

Just like galut, the diaspora, Jews aren't in the building trade, just management. That's becoming a problem. All the heavy machinery is being controlled by Arabs, and now two Arab terror attacks were perpetrated by Arab workers on tractors.

Now, wouldn't you feel safer if Jews would enter the building trade as builders, earth-movers etc? I would.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
Have a Complete and Blessed Shabbat

Problems With Arutz 7 Site

This morning the Arutz 7 site seems to be down. Does anyone have information? It's our homepage, and it not only doesn't open, but the "headlines" on my sidebar doesn't work either.

I presume that it will be back on later this morning. What appears on the screen is different from what had been appearing during earlier problems a few months ago, when it was down after Shabbat.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

That's Not "Love" Buster

What makes this NY Times writer, NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, such an expert in Israel, history and civil rights? His op-ed, Tough Love for Israel? is an outrageous mish-mash of pseudo-facts, distortions and ignorance.

The Jewish Nation has a well-documented history thousands of years old, and the United States is barely a pisher, just over two hundred years old.

Don't talk tough love to me, Kristof! Respect your elders. I don't need to hear your chutzpadik demands. Of all the nerve to instruct American politicians to tell us not to build and develop our country. Don't you dare compare Christian and Muslim history in the HolyLand to our Jewish History. We Jews have existed long before those two other religions, both of which tried to usurp our forefathers, history and Land.

Don't let our tired Prime Minister fool you. He's not the real power. The Israeli people are, and we're not tired, not at all. We'll surprise you.

We'll surprise you and the world, just like King David did when he seemed definitely on his deathbed, oblivious to everything. Suddenly his beloved Batsheva walked in, the woman for whom he risked his throne. She told him that one of his older sons had proclaimed himself king, as if King David was already dead. But, she reminded him: "You promised me that our son, Shlomo (Solomon), would succeed you as king."

All of a sudden, King David came back to life and instructed her, his staff and son Shlomo exactly what to do. And Shlomo haMelech, King Solomon ruled.

Remember that the Moshiach, Messiah is descended from King David. Today we may appear weak and leaderless, but like our ancient king, our strength will revive, so stop talking about us and to us like we're an unruly child.

The Jewish People has existed thousands of years before America, and we'll be around thousands of years after you're history.

The Nine Days--Time to Pray at Tel Shiloh

The days from Rosh Chodesh (the first of the Jewish Month of) Av until the Ninth, Tisha B'Av, are days of mourning for our Holy Temple and prayer. Therefore we will, G-d willing, meet at Tel Shiloh:

Monday, August 4th, the third of Av
9:45 at the Tabernacle Gallery-Beit Cafe`

Together, we will pray for the Jewish People and also our own personal prayers in the same place as Biblical Chana prayed for a son who would serve G-d. G-d gave Chana a son, Samuel, who learned from Eli the High Priest in Shiloh and later annointed our first two Kings, Saul and David.

Today, thousands of years later, Shiloh is still a popular place of pilgrimage. People come from all over the world to Shiloh.

Tel Shiloh is open to visitors and pilgrims on the weekdays; so if Monday, August 4 isn't convenient and you want to visit another time, you may. For more information call the Tourist Office of Tel Shiloh, 02-994-4019.

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

"Instant Houses"

I didn't make it to any museums during my recent visit to New York...

As we were driving home, I was as surprised by a new neighborhood as was the driver. It had gone up in a couple of days,
in situ building. (It will take another couple of weeks to actually finish construction.) Of course the instant houses are neither as large nor as luxurious as the ones exhibited in MoMA.

But they're providing homes for Jewish families who want to live in our Biblical Homeland.

Welcome to Zot Shelanu! It's Ours!

Continuing about the imaginary Israeli Political Party I wish would exist, I'm going to give a "first speech." If you're interested in doing more for the cause, please contact me. This is also posted on The Eye of the Storm.

Zionism is live and well. Just don't expect to hear about it from the media.
Zionism is the action of Jews settling Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.
Zionism is when Jews make themselves self-sufficient and sovereign in Eretz Yisrael.

Zot Shelanu is for Jews who want a strong, independent state in the Land of Israel. Non-Jewish Israelis who fully support Israel as a Jewish State can certainly back us.

Zot Shelanu is for all Jews, no matter what your level of religious observance. It's between you and G-d. All of us keep some mitzvot more and others less. The mitzvah which unites us the mitzvah of yishuv Ha'Aretz, settling the HolyLand.

Eretz Yisrael is for all Jews, whether in the Golan, Negev, Tel Aviv, Kedumim, Nes Tziona, Shiloh, Eilat or Hebron. For each of us there's a different spot in Eretz Yisrael which beckons. Every rock, cave, hill and plain in Eretz Yisrael is calling someone.

The media is keeping it a secret, but thousands of youth, adults and grandparents are establishing new communities in our Biblical Homeland. The mountain range, gav hahar, is the home of modern chalutzim, Jewish pioneers.

We, of Zot Shelanu, support them, but not one hundred percent, one thousand percent!

Yes, Zot Shelanu! All of Eretz Yisrael is ours, and we must make that clear, not only to the world, but to everyone here in Israel.

Enjoy and take advantage of the great gift G-d gave us, because
Zot Shelanu!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Difference Between Obama and McCain re: Israel

Lots of "scare" posts and letters are being distributed against Barack Obama insinuating that he'd be much worse for Israel than John McCain. I wonder.

My gut reaction is that they're all the same.

Both McCain and Obama have appointed a special Jewish advisor. McCain has the veteran politician, Democrat-Independent Joe Lieberman, and Obama has United States diplomat and former US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer.
Kurtzer and Lieberman are both Torah observant Jews who consider themselves Americans first. I've been researching their positions and can only say that they really are just the same in terms of their Israel policy.

The big difference between the two is more in terms of their careers. Daniel Kurtzer is a career diplomat and Joe Lieberman is a politician, even running as Democratic Vice Presidential candidate. Also, Lieberman seems more a "policy purist" and did something very unusual for an American politician. He changed party allegiance. After decades in the Democratic Party, he became an Independent and now supports Republican McCain.

None of this can predict the future. But one important thing must be remembered, never forgotten. American politicians never waver on their determination to only do what's best for America in their eyes. They don't go around asking opinions of other countries nor expect others to defend them.

Israel and all Israelis must remember that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Eight Weeks" Is A Long Time

Headlines are blaring that Olmert's days are numbered, that in 8 weeks, Olmert will be voted out of Kadima's leadership.

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
Olmert is one of the world's most wily politicians, and we must never forget it. Never underestimate him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

So, It's Not Just My Imagination

During my recent trip to New York I found it more and more difficult to discover any important news about Israel. All the media hyped was celebrity divorce and marital problems. And a murder here and there.

This Friday's Jerusalem Post obituary about the late journalist Eric Silver mentioned that nowadays there aren't many foreign journalists any more. Until a few years ago, all of the major foreign newspapers had their "man in Jerusalem."

The New York Times just wrote about it, too. Money is put in local news, not foreign.

That's because people don't buy the paper to find out what's happening far away. They're more interested in reading about themselves.

McCain Has Learned How to Govern

This article reminds me of how LBJ was the one who actually got JFK's platform passed. Kennedy never would succeeded, not being as skilled and experienced a politician and legislator as Johnson.

Taking this a step or so further, I wonder who is actually controlling Obama. He is inexperienced, so he'll be much more dependent on staff. He came out of the far outfield. He hasn't been tested. The toughest thing he ever did was this presidential campaign and he was mentored carefully.

Recently, friends have been begging me to change my "I don't vote in US Elections" policy. I wonder...

JBlogger f2f with NBN

Fellow JBloggers, this is our chance to meet, f2f or pictured live on screens. Nefesh B'Nefesh and WebAds are organizing the First International JBloggers Convention.
And we are all invited, either in person or watch it all by webcam. There's a full program including nosherei, for those attending in person. I guess those of you looking in from afar will have to self-cater.
The convention will be on Wednesday, August 20th from 5pm to 9pm (Israel time) in Jerusalem. That will be morning in New York and a bit earlier for jbloggers on the west coast.
Space is limited, so please click here to register. It should be a great event. I wonder how many of the anonymous/identity-hiding jbloggers will show.
They're flying in some jbloggers on a Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, too. I did that two and three summers ago, and it was thrilling. That's how I took some of these pictures. Others I took when greeting a flight here in Israel.

Hoping to see you!

Don't Forget Jerusalem

The afternoon/evening before I traveled to New York, I was on a tour of Jerusalem with the staff of the yeshiva high school. It was my last time as one of the staff, since I won't be teaching there any more.

Considering that the tour was almost a month ago, and I didn't take notes, I can't give you a detailed description/explanation of the pictures. I'll just post them, and if anyone can add information, please do via the comments.

The tour started in Armon Hanatziv "Lookout." At one point we discovered a wedding going on.

Enjoy, and yes, although both Jerusalem and New York City are both cities and beautiful, they have nothing else in common.











I Just Couldn't Resist

At one point I was posting weekly "Caption Contests," but since participation began to wane, I stopped. But then, now, I came across this picture in the Jerusalem Post internet edition, and I just couldn't resist temptation.

Nu? Inspiring, isn't it?

Deadline is July 30, which should give you lots of time for lots of captions, to be submitted in the comments. Please let others know by blogging this.

Thanks and have fun!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

U. S. Religious Freedom--Jews Not Included

According to U.S. Law, there can't be religious nor racial discrimination in housing, but...

It doesn't mean that a Jew can follow his religion and put a Mezuza on his door post.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, expressed its disappointment with a ruling issued today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit against Orthodox Jewish apartment owners in Chicago whose condominium association had temporarily banned them from affixing a mezuzah to their apartment doorpost. The appeals court, in the case of Bloch v. Shoreline Towers Condo. Assn., ruled that the federal Fair Housing Act does not require a condominium association or landlord to accommodate an Orthodox Jewish tenant’s need to affix a mezuzah to his/her doorpost, as required by Jewish law.

The case arose when Shoreline Towers adopted a rule banning materials of various kinds outside of tenants’ doors and the Bloch’s mezuzah was removed during repainting and not allowed to be re-affixed. After the Bloch’s filed suit against Shoreline in response, Shoreline adopted a religious exception to the hallway rules, and both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois adopted laws guaranteeing the right of a tenant to affix religious symbols to their doors. Nonetheless, the lawsuit proceeded as the Bloch’s sought monetary damages from Shoreline due to the incident.
This is the second such case recently. If I'm not mistaken, the previous one ended better.

Zot Shelanu-- That's Why!

A month and a half ago I wrote Still Hoping, which included a promise or two. One promise I kept here and here, but I didn't explain what happened to The Hope, HaTikvah, the "hopeful" Israeli political party which hoped to be headed by MK Dr. Arieh Eldad.

I really tried. Yes, I really tried to like and trust Hatikvah, but I could no longer lie to myself, nor to those of you who read my blogs for information you can't get any where else.

My report about their Yom HaAtzmaut-Independence Day Reception didn't tell it all. I left out the lack of professional organization, no registration of participants to get their names, numbers and what they volunteer to do. I didn't mention the horrendously boring program, the history lecture by the university professor, nor the fact that the organizers made no efforts to meet and greet the attendees unless I was intentionally snubbed.

To put it very simply, there are tested and proven techniques for establishing successful ideological and political movements. None of them were used, and without them, the movement hasn't a chance.

But I gave them another chance, so desperate for a political party with an ideology I could support. The same person who had invited me to the reception then invited me to a parlour meeting. The host was a name I had read many times in "letters to the editor." I was encouraged. So I went there to meet the founder/organizer of Hatikvah.

I didn't let the paltry number of participants bother me, nor the fact that I was younger than all by a couple of decades. I was impressed that those very elderly people managed to walk up all the flights of stairs. Then the speaker began... to lecture us. He started off bragging about how many generations his family has lived in Israel. I couldn't get the significance of it unless he's anti-immigrant. I tried to cut off some personal tangents by the other participants about their experiences in the pre-state undergrounds, very politely wondering what that had to do with the subject at hand.

I even stayed after the speaker said that Hatikvah was established because their study showed that the only group of Israelis who didn't have a party to support was the secular right. I disagreed and tried to explain that for people like me, religious-right who in principle don't vote for religious parties, there isn't a reliably right wing party. He looked at me blankly, unable to comprehend my point.

But half-way (or less) through the very detailed university lecture about the history of the State of Israel I begged the speaker to get to the main topic. He insisted that we wouldn't understand anything until we heard his entire speech.

That was too much and I left.

There is no political party, nor leader I trust to get us, the State of Israel, out of this dangerous mess we're in. So since I love politics and won't be teaching this year, I've decided to create a "pretend" party, the one I'd want to vote for.

Zot Shelanu!
It's Ours!

Two Local Events to Check Out

1) A week from today, Sunday, July 27, 24 Tammuz 5768, there will be a conference (in Hebrew) at the Inbal hotel on Judaism, Society and Internet. See www.kipa.co.il/kenes .

2) Shabbat Parshat Nachamu (three weeks from now), a Shabbaton for Manhigut Yehudit in Kochav Yaakov. Below is the information copied from their e-mail which I received:
Shabbat Nachamu, 14 Menachem Av (August 8)Manhigut Yehudit Shabbaton (Hebrew)
Join Moshe Feiglin, Michael Fuah and Manhigut Yehudit members for this second annual Shabbaton and workshop. 7 lectures/workshops are planned.
Place: Kochav Yaakov
Accommodations in the caravans of the ulpana.
Price: Adult:120 NIS Child: 60NIS
Registration, payment by credit card and info:
Manhigut Yehudit office: 09 792 9046
Shaul Cohen: 052 706 0117
Elyada Yaakobson: 050 875 0895

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not Fasting Weather, But...

Jewish fast days require that we neither eat nor drink. Tomorrow is one of them, the 17th of Tammuz. It's a "short," meaning "daylight only" fast. But this is dehydration weather.

I ought to drink and drink tonight so I'll feel better tomorrow.

The 17th of Tammuz is the beginning of the period of Three Weeks which culminates with the 9th of Av, stretched to the 10th. This is the period of time when our Holy Temple was destroyed.

Three weeks, you may be wondering. Why three weeks? It couldn't have taken that long.

That's because the attack wasn't spontaneously on the Holy Temple, our Beit HaMikdash. It was a long process, approaching Jerusalem and then our enemies surrounded the Jerusalem City Walls and then breached them and then approached the Beit Hamikdsh and began the destruction which only ended on the 10th.

Rarely is aggression spontaneous, a surprise. There are always signs if you know how to read them. The problem, like in the late summer of 1973, Israeli military and politicians kept filtering the data received through their theories and ideologies. That's why Israel was "surprised" on Yom Kippur when Egypt and Syria attacked.

That's why Jews are supposed to fast twice during the hottest day of the year and spend the interim three weeks contemplating the destruction of our Holy Temple, so we won't make the same mistake again.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Readers' Choice: Choose Your Punch Line

Suppose an Arab terrorist group attacks the Kirya, the government office complex, in Jerusalem. They have surrounded the Knesset, Prime Minister's office and Supreme Court Building. The security forces have imposed a news blackout, but the Jerusalemites pass it along by word of mouth until, a short time later there is an extemporaneous demonstration of thousands of people at the perimeter of the captured zone. The people are shouting:

A) Blow 'em up, already!


B) Idiots! This isn't where they run the country, it's at the television up a little further north.

Comment, but not on the bad taste, I know about that.

My point is that we don't know beans about communications. The progress of communications has gone from oral to pictorial on stone to alphabet on paper to print to electronics. If there are any Torah sages who have any insight into what media are doing to our heads and our lives, I want to hear from them and talk to them. It is time to bring our age-old wisdom into the area which Marshall McLuhan dealt with in the '60s and '70s and Neil Postman in the '80s and '90s. If you don't understand it, you get hit over the head with it.

Doggone, I miss Adir Zik!

Pinchas--The Not PC Torah Hero and Rabbi Akiva

The story of Pinchas really begins where the previous one ends. In the end of the Torah Portion of Balak, Pinchas takes the law into his own hands and executes a Jewish prince a Midianite woman, who were "in the act." This ended the plague which had killed 24,000 Jews, the same number of Rabbi Akiva's students who had also died in a plague.

There must be a connection.

For years I've had a problem with the adulation of Rabbi Akiva and his wife. I consider theirs a very peculiar and dysfunctional relationship. It is said that they lived apart in order to "allow him to learn Torah." But they were still living apart when he was a great rabbi. That sounds more like a Christian or Buddhist monk, not Torah people.

Nobody, including many rabbis who have listened to my thoughts, has been able to shake me of the firm belief that it was Rabbi Akiva's example of marriage which badly influenced his students and caused the punishing plague.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
May You Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Guess It's Time For The Little Red Hen!

I'm sure you remember the Little Red Hen who could never find partners to do the hard work, the planting, reaping, grinding and baking. But when it came to eating the bread... suddenly she had lots of willing barnyard animals.

Well for quite a few years, I've been kvetching and ranting about the dearth of reliably Right and patriotic political parties here in Israel. With a heavy heart I agree to vote for a party which inevitably disappoints me.

So, now, instead of kvetching and ranting and pretending that some politician or party will do what must be done for the future of our precious State of Israel...If I have to pretend, I may as well go whole hog and invent my dream party or political movement.

I'm debating between two names

מחר Tomorrow
זאת שלנו It's Ours!

Names and slogans are very important. Look at the US's Obama. His "Change" won him the nomination verses Hillary Clinton whose "My Turn" sounded childish. (Ok, maybe it wasn't her slogan, but it was her theme.)

There's a great old snappy Israeli song, מחר "Machar," Tomorrow. I danced it down Fifth Avenue during the Salute to Israel Parade, when I was younger. It's important to plan for the future, so there will be a future and not to just think of today.

I imagine a montage of images from all over Eretz Yisrael--including Tel Aviv, The Land of Israel, and on top we'll see the slogan, Zot Shelanu! It's Ours!

Please send your vote via the coments to help choose the party's name.
More to follow...

Pictures Speak

The results of Olmert's policies and practices:

The family of Ehud Goldwasser, HaYa"D

Ehud Olmert made them very happy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Fiction Than Fact

The U.S. Government pr department has been creatively writing up war stories to bolster public support for the Iraq War/Occupation. The "legends" would make great screenplays. Maybe that's where the officials should be working--Hollywood.

Decades ago Ronald Reagan would be the star. Now Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson would fight over the male roles and Hillary Swank would go for the female one.

Are there already movies being made about these stories?

More Than Skin Deep

No surprise that, according to the polls, most American Blacks are enthusiastic about Barack Obama for US President, but those who aren't planning on voting for him, whether, black, white, yellow, red or blue, don't necessarily calculate his skin color in their decision.

During my very recent trip to New York, I discovered that few people are waffling between McCain and Obama, except those who can't stand either of them.

For those who have always wanted a choice, this is the year. What could be more different than this year's U.S. Presidential nominees? And forget about skin color! Just look at their ages, military experience, life experience, marital history, family background. Need I go on? Oops! I left out policies, but that's because in a Yes, Minister kind of way, they usually get "evened out" once in office.

Maureen Dowd writes complaining that it's hard to for comedians to get a grip on Obama. Honestly, I think the real reason is because he seems so anorexic. His thinness isn't from a Bobby Kennedy type of hyperactivity; it's more like a culinary nouveau riche attitude towards food and life.

Obama's "change" slogan is brilliant, but if it wasn't for the "pc" guilt-trip re: his skin color, I don't think he would have had a chance.

Good Luck America and Good Luck World!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who Is Right Correct?

This isn't a matter of "Right" and "Left," even though "right" means correct, not only politically "right," and as Arieh Eldad has pointed out, it's rather interesting that the Israeli Professor's for a Safe/Secure Israel aren't from the humanities; they're from science and math. That means that it's logical and easy to prove that Right is right, and Left is wrong, but I'm writing about something else... that exchange agreement with the Hizbullah. There are all sorts of conflicting opinions:

'Cabinet decision a victory for Israel'
Miki Goldwasser: Country should be proud; Zvi Regev: I hope this nightmare will end tomorrow.

'Deal's approval an admission of defeat'
Senior Hizbullah official: Exchange shows
Israel's "humiliating failure in confronting the

This isn't easy for me to say, but the Hizbullah is probably right, oops, correct. They're usually pretty straight and honest in their statements, like when they tell the world they want us destroyed, gone, murdered, dead, vanished, G-d forbid. The problem is that the Left, the media and most politicians and diplomats try to sugar-coat it, claiming, Officer Krupke-like, that the Arab terrorists are really nice, just deprived and suffering, so if we make them feel better and treat them well, they'll be "just like us."

I do feel sorry for the Goldwassers, but I worry about the future of our country more.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Don't Be So Sure

It seems like not all men are created equal and not all are equal before the law... at least in Israel.

There are different ways of judging, Jews, Arabs, Right, Left and Olmert.

If I was on my home computer, I'd do a search for all the headlines like this one,

I remember a few years ago taking my parents to kvell seeing my daughter in her lawyers' robe in the Israeli Supreme Court at a hearing which charged Arik (Etrog) Sharon with corruption. His government lawyer insisted that there were secret reasons why he was permitted to accept the money, and the judges accepted that reason on faith.

I admit being mistaken in thinking that today's MK's would be willing to let the government fall after their two year pension rights kicked in. Apparently they're too greedy and don't want to lose any of their present power, which all polls say would be the result of new elections. The only way they'd risk it would be if the polls would go in their favor. So, if you're asked your opinion in a poll, say you'll vote for Kadima or Labor.

"Closed for the Holidays"

Shabbat I was in Suburban, USA.

It reminded me of an old joke about Reform Judaism.

On Rosh Hashannah, there's a sign on the "Temple:"
Closed for the Holidays!

I wasn't at a "Reform Temple," nor a "Conservative," just a plain ordinary Modern Orthodox. And, no, it wasn't closed. But the rabbi must have had been on vacation. He wasn't there. So, there was the basic dovening, but no sermon, no Dvar Torah, no explanation of the Torah reading.
I'm certain that there are many knowledgeable members who would have been able to "pinch hit" and enrich the service.
Have a good week!

Noise, Too Much NOISE!

I've always loved Manhattan, but I think that this visit I overdosed on mid-town, my favorite section. Actually, in my Stern girl days, I lived there on East 34th Street.

Every one of my NY visits, ever since my aliyah in 1970, I've enjoyed my trips to "the city." Not this time. The noise got to me. I don't remember so much noise. Some stores had music at volumes that must be illegal, damaging to one's health. The streets were also too noisy to hear my cellphone.

A few months ago, I tried out the Curves in Pisgat Zeev, Jerusalem. There, too, I suffered from the noise and had to request that they lower the volume of the music. I was told:

"You'll get used to it."
"But I don't want to. If I do, it means that my ears are damaged."

What long-term effects do the noise have?

Years ago I read that if there's music blasting in a car, even if it's sophisticated classical music, the concentration of the driver is reduced.

What does this say about the modern world?

While wandering in Manhattan, I went into a very popular super-giant electronics store. It was noisy. No efforts have been made to reduce the noise. I found it totally unbearable. It was hard to concentrate on the answers and formulate questions. I would never buy something in such a store, unless I knew exactly what I wanted and the price was much lower than any place else. Even then, I don't think I would buy there. You can't develop a rapport with the salespeople to ask questions, etc. It's so confusing, too easy to buy something more expensive and complicated than necessary. I think that's part of their plan.

Remember that one of the techniques in brainwashing is noise.

Just a few more days and I'm back home in Shiloh, G-d willing, and now I'm enjoying the quiet in the suburbs.

Shavua Tov
Have a good week.