Hamas War

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is This True?

Hat tip: Ted Belman

Obama campaign staffer blows the whistle - THIS IS HUGE
Posted on Team Sarah
Another Obama campaign staffer spills guts from redstate.com (cant attest to the authenticity of it but sounds interesting)…I found this posted over on the hillaryclinton.net forum
After a long and careful consideration of all the implications and possible consequences of my actions today, I have decided to go through with this in the hope that our country can indeed be guided into the right direction. First, a little personal background… I am a female grad student in my 20’s, and a registered Democrat. During the primaries, I was a campaign worker for the Clinton candidacy. I believed in her and still do, staying all the way to the bitter end. And believe me, it was bitter. The snippets you’ve heard from various media outlets only grazed the surface. There was no love between the Clinton and Obama campaigns, and these feelings extended all the way to the top. Hillary was no dope though, and knew that any endorsement of Obama must appear to be a full-fledged one. She did this out of political survival. As a part of his overall effort to extend an olive branch to the Clinton camp and her supporters, Obama took on a few Hillary staff members into his campaign. I was one such worker. Though I was still bitterly loyal to Hillary, I still held out hope that he would choose her as VP. In fact, there was a consensus among us transplants that in the end, he HAD to choose her. It was the only logical choice. I also was committed to the Democratic cause and without much of a second thought, transferred my allegiance to Senator Obama.I’m going to let you in on a few secrets here, and this is not because I enjoy the gossip or the attention directed my way. I’m doing this because I doubt much of you know the true weaknesses of Obama. Another reason for my doing this is that I am lost faith in this campaign, and feel that this choice has been forced on many people in this country. Put simply, you are being manipulated. That was and is our job – to manipulate you (the electorate) and the media (we already had them months ago). Our goal is to create chaos with the other side, not hope. I’ve come to the realization (as the campaign already has) that if this comes to the issues, Barack Obama doesn’t have a chance. His only chance is to foster disorganization, chaos, despair, and a sense of inevitability among the Republicans. It has worked up until now. Joe the Plumber has put the focus on the issues again, and this scares us more than anything. Being in a position to know these things, I will rate what the Obama campaign already knows are their weak links from the most important on down.
1 – Hillary voters. Internal polling suggests that at best, we are taking 70-75% of these voters. Other estimates are as low as 60% in some areas – particularly Ohio and western PA. My biggest problem with this campaign’s strategy was the decision NOT to offer Hillary the VP slot. She was ready and able to take this on, and would have campaigned enthusiastically for it. This selection would have also brought virtually all of her supporters into the fold, and the Obama campaign knew it. Though I have no way of knowing this for certain, and I do admit that I am relying on internal gossip, Senator Obama actually went against the advice of his top advisors. They wanted him to choose her, but the only significant opposition to this within the campaign came from Barack and Michelle Obama. In short, he let personal feelings take precedence over what was the most logical thing to do. Biden, by the way, has been a disaster inside the campaign. Everyone cringes whenever he gives an interview, and he creates so many headaches as the campaign has to stay on their toes in order to disseminate information and spin whatever it was he was trying to say.
2 – Sarah Palin. Don’t believe what the media is telling you about how horrible a choice she was. Again, our internal polling suggest that though she has had a minimal impact on pulling disaffected Hillary Democrats to McCain, she has done wonders in mobilizing the base for McCain. Another thing – we were completely taken by surprise with her pick. In my capacity in the research department, I looked into the backgrounds of Leiberman, Romney, Pawlenty and Ridge, and prepared briefs. I don’t mind bragging that we had pretty good stuff on all of them. With Leiberman, the plan was to paint him as an erratic old-timer who didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing (pretty much a clone of McCain). In Romney, we had him pegged as an evil capitalist who cut jobs. Pawlenty was going to get the “Quayle treatment”, or more precisely: a pretty face, with no valid experience. Tom Ridge was going to be used to provide a direct link from McCain to Bush. As you can see, we were quite enamored of all of them. Then the unexpected happened – Sarah Palin. We had no clue as to how to handle her, and bungled it from the start. Though through our misinformation networks, we have successfully taken some of the shine off. But let there be no doubt. She remains a major obstacle. She has singlehanded solidified “soft” Republican support, mobilized the McCain ground game, and has even had some appeal to independents and Hillary voters. This is what our internal polling confirms.
3 – Obama’s radical connections. Standards operating procedure has been to cry “racism” whenever one of these has been brought up. We even have a detailed strategy ready to go should McCain ever bring Rev. Wright up. Though by themselves they are of minimal worth, taken together, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfelger, and now, Rashid Khalili, are exactly what the campaign does not need. The more focus on them, the more this election becomes a referendum on Obama. The campaign strategy from the very beginning was to make this election a referendum on Bush. Strategists have been banging their head on how successfully McCain has distanced himself from Bush. This has worked, and right now the tide is in his favor. People are taking a new look at Barack Obama, and our experience when this happens tells us this is not good news at all. When they take a look at him, one or more of these names are bound to be brought up. McCain has wisely not harped on this in recent weeks and let voters decide for themselves. This was a trap we set for him, and he never fully took the bait. Senator Obama openly dared him to bring up Ayers. This was not due to machismo on the part of Obama, but actually due to campaign strategy. Though McCain’s reference to Ayers fell flat in the last debate, people in the Obama campaign were actually disappointed that he didn’t follow through on it more and getting into it. Our focus groups found this out: When McCain brings these connections up, voters are turned off to him. They’d rather take this into consideration themselves, and when this happens, our numbers begin to tank.
4 – The Bradley Effect. Don’t believe these polls for a second. I just went over our numbers and found that we have next to no chance in the following states: Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada. Ohio leans heavily to McCain, but is too close to call it for him. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa are the true “toss up states”. The only two of these the campaign feels “confident” in are Iowa and New Mexico. The reason for such polling discrepancy is the Bradley Effect, and this is a subject of much discussion in the campaign. In general, we tend to take a -10 point percentage in allowing for this, and are not comfortable until the polls give us a spread well over this mark. This is why we are still campaigning in Virginia and Pennsylvania! This is why Ohio is such a desperate hope for us! What truly bothers this campaign is the fact that some pollsters get up to an 80% “refuse to respond” result. You can’t possibly include these into the polls. The truth is, people are afraid to let people know who they are voting for. The vast majority of these respondents are McCain supporters. Obama is the “hip” choice, and we all know it.
As part of my research duties, I scour right wing blogs and websites to get somewhat of a “feel” as to what is being talked about on the other side. Much of it is nonsense, but there are some exceptions which give the campaign jitters. A spirited campaign has been made to infiltrate many pro-Hillary sites and discredit them. A more disorganized, but genuine effort has also been made to sow doubts among the unapologetically right wing sites such as redstate.com. Don’t you guys get it? This has been the Obama campaign’s sole strategy from the very beginning! The only way he wins is over a dispirited, disorganized, and demobilized opposition. This is how it has been for all of his campaigns. What surprises me is that everyone has fallen for it. You may point to the polls as proof of the inevitability of all of this. If so, you have fallen for the oldest trick in the book. How did we skew these polls, you might ask? It all starts with the media “buzz” which has been generated over the campaign. Many stories are generated on the powerful Obama ground game, and how many new voters were registered. None of this happens by coincidence. It is all part of the poll-skewing process. This makes pollsters change their mixes to reflect these new voters and tilt the mix more towards Democratic voters. What is not mentioned or reported on is not the “under-reported cell phone users or young voters” we hear so much about. What is underreported is you.
I changed my somewhat positive opinion of this campaign during the unfair and sexist campaign against Sarah Palin. I will never agree with her on the issues and will probably never vote for her, but I am embarrassed of what has happened. I can’t ignore our own hand in all of this. What I do know is that I will not be voting for Obama this time around. Treat that as you will.


There's a bird someplace here. I kept trying to capture it with the camera. If you look really, really carefully.

It's like some classic philosophic dilemma.

Where's G-d during these difficult times? What does G-d want from us?

Everyone sees Him someplace else, interprets His wishes differently.

It's like the question, "Where's the sun?" on a cloudy day. The sun is always in the same place in the heavens. It's just that sometimes it's hidden by clouds and storms.

We have to react, behave, as if G-d is holding our hand, even if it's hard to feel His strength. Because G-d really is with us.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach

May you have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Whether Bibi, Or Not

This was sent to me by bok. I don't know if the original source is Binyamin Netanyahu, Bibi, or not. But the material is true and important:

Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict

Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel's occupation of Arab lands -- his response was 'It's our land.' The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned -- read below 'It's our land...'

It's important information since we don't get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.

'Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict'

Here are overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation.

These were compiled by a Christian university professor.


(It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!!!)

It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew -- it doesn't matter.

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E. Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E., the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The U. N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?

START NOW- Send this to 18 other people you know and ask them to send it to eighteen others, Jew and non-Jew--it doesn't really matter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

At Tel Shiloh, From All Over

Today, an international group of women came to Tel Shiloh to pray. For some it was their very first time, and they traveled long distances to get here.

Jewish tradition has lots to say about "Mama Rochel," Jacob's favorite wife of the four. Chana, of Shiloh fame, was a more modern type of woman. She prayed on her own and stood up to Eli, The High Priest.

G-d willing, we'll meet again for Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Everyone's invited.

Election Fever, More Like Malaria

I remember when elections were fun. Now, they're downright spooky.

American Presidential Elections can be used to set your watches, computers or DVD burners on the TV. Yes, every four years. During previous campaigns, I shrugged off the differences between the candidates as Bobsey Twins or Tweedle Dumb vs Tweedle Dee.

This year, America has a candidate whose story and sudden rise is like the introduction of a Stephen King or John Grisham horror story. What terrifying things will happen to the United States and the world if Obama gets elected? I've put down a number of books, refusing to read further, when it was so obvious to the main character that those "wonderful people" were really dangerous tricksters.

I can't "put down" this "book," since it's no book. It's real life.

My dear friend, Chava Willig Levy, best known for her warm, personal, overcoming and thriving articles, has written a very complete expose` on Obama. I highly recommend that you read it.

And here in Israel, after over two years of demanding new elections, we got what we asked for, but there's no one to vote for. The NU/NRP, which got my vote last time, is now talking about changing its name to a more marketable one.

Dumbbells, they were supposed to be doing all that in between elections. They should have been campaigning all the time, not just during official pre-election time. Before the previous elections, I tried to get involved, but the old NRP losers dominated everything and wasn't interested.

The Left understands that there is never a break between campaigns. Every minute must be utilized to hammer your point in various ways. Hammering isn't always with a sledge hammer. When done all the time, you need delicate taps, and that way the message goes in gently and pleasantly.

So, in the meantime, all I have left to do is to pray. I'll be at Tel Shiloh this morning, G-d willing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Dangers of Democracy

Cross-posted on The Eye of The Storm

For a few centuries already, the western world has a god, which has led it on all sorts of follies, Democracy.

Leadership is a popularity contest, and the judges are neither trained nor educated. They decide according to the most superficial and impulsive reasons.

In the United States, it's pretty easy to predict the winner in a presidential race. He's usually the taller candidate. The Kenndy-Nixon results were close, because JFK and Dick were the same height.

Yes, that means that Obama will probably defeat McCain, no matter what McCain does. The
Republicans shouldn't blame Palin, which they're all set to do.

In Israel, it's even more complicated. That's because we don't elect leaders, we elect lists of candidates. The winners, all 120 Members of Knesset, then form into a coalition government by way of "deals." That's how what seems like a Right wing Knesset can turn into a Left wing government, which happened with Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon.

In Biblical time it was simpler. Religious leadership came from the Kohanim, Priestly Tribe, and the first Kings were chosen by G-d and anointed by Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel the Prophet.

How we need a Shmuel HaNavi now!

Chana knew that and it is why she prayed in Shiloh for a son, to be that Prophet. Join us in Shiloh to pray to G-d to bring us the Prophetic guidance we need in the upcoming elections.

Our next Rosh Chodesh Prayers will be tomorrow, Thursday, the First of Cheshvan, October 30, at 9:45am.

Tel Shiloh is open for visitors everyday. For more information call 02-994-4019 or email
telshilo@gmail.com. The Tabernacle Gallery and Coffee Shop is also open for snacks and sells local art. To order meals and get more information, email tabernaclecafe@gmail.com .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For The Ears And Eyes, No Reading Necessary

Hat tip: rm

We have, bli eyin haraa, many senses: hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, etc. And modern educators know that different people learn in different ways. The basic ways are: visual, audial and kinesthetic.

One of the euphemism I learned for "learning disabilities, " was "learning differences."

This illustrated song tells an important message, which you don't have to read:

"Where can I go?" Yiddish song Steve Lawrence

As Promised--Update

Recently I was asked for an update on the health situation of those injured in the Arab Terror Attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva over half year ago.

Today I checked with a neighbor who is more involved than I am. As she understands it, only one of the students still has serious health issues, even though he is back in yeshiva. He studies and gets whatever therapy and treatments he needs. So please continue to pray for a Refuah Shleimah, and complete recovery for:
Shlomo Naftali ben Gilah Rachel
Thank You and Tizku l'Mitzvot, may you be rewarded with more Mitzvot.

Here's the Letter I Wrote To The Jerusalem Post

It's extremely important that this message get out, so please join me in my letter-writing campaign. Thank You

New Elections
Well, isn't that what I've been hoping for, writing and talking about for almost three years? Why am I not overjoyed?
Like a bride alone under the chuppah, I, too, await my "prince charming." So far, there isn't any politician campaigning for my vote. Of course, they'd all love it, but that's like sex sans ketuba.
Not a single politician has said that his priorities are the Jewish People, secure and sovereign in the Land of Israel.
If it were simpler, I'd just establish my own political party.

Please contact me if you can help translate my material into Hebrew. Thanks

It's Like A Groomless Wedding

Isn't this what she has always dreamt of and prayed for?

Finally, the big night is approaching. The gown is bought and fitted, the hall is ready, the band is tuning and the food is cooked, but...

...there's no groom.

That's how I feel about the upcoming Israeli elections.

After all my begging for new elections, I'm stuck!

There's nobody to vote for. None of the parties are vying for my vote.

The Likud is offering a "scaled down" Kadima/Labor Pseudistinian State. Don't they realize that you can't be "a little bit pregnant?" It's like a surgeon leaving in some of the cancerous tumor, because he doesn't like to be a "radical."

Zot Shelanu is looking better every minute!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tsippi is Glowing and The Country is Groaning

What came first the chicken or the egg?

Did Tsippi see a poll that her heading Kadima could do better than Bibi's Likud, and then she told Shas to $%$%&# it? Or did she
go up in the poll after she sent Shas home empty-handed?

I forced myself to watch the TV broadcast of the
Knesset session which declared that there will be elections this winter. It was nasty.

Peres, who's President was totally Loony-Left Political. He said that making peace should include painful sacrifices. He sounded like he was doing PR for some Sado-Masochist club. Sorry Charley, but peace isn't supposed to be painful. If it hurts, it's not peace!

Dalia Itzik claimed that "everyone" wants a National Unity Government. I don't. She didn't ask me. But then again, she doesn't care what I think.

Peres, Itzik and Tsippi were blaming these "unwanted elections" on everyone. They may not want elections, but I do, not that I have anyone to vote for.
Bibi playing for the "center," that empty hole in the bagel, mentioned that he would protect Jerusalem and didn't want to go back to the pre-1967 Six Days War borders, but the areas he mentioned as important for Israel didn't include Judea and Samaria.

It seems like it will be a two party (there aren't direct elections for Prime Minister) fight. Labor under Reign of Terror Barak isn't popular. I wonder if it's "him," or do people remember the terrorism during his term as PM or has Kadima taken over their constituency?

The worst of it all was that it was so clear from all of the words that nothing important to me is important to them. They all speak in their "everybody" language, but I'm not part of those groups.

Even though the Israeli Media and most politicians range from Radical Loony-Left to Meaning Well-Left and Faux Center-Leaning Left, I'm firmly in The People and Land of Israel First and Indivisible. I haven't heard any politician with that message. I'm not giving up and not giving in.

I honestly and firmly believe that the amcha, your typical Israeli, the Israeli version of "Middle America," actually relate more to what I believe. The problem is that many are vulnerable to the media and want to be like what the broadcasters tell them to be. I wish I had a way of talking to them.

We are a special people and have one small piece of Land. If we give parts of that Land to our enemies, they will attack us, but like the Arab terrorists who are now in Gush Katif. It's not like putting in the wrong number in your cell phone, you just erase and go back a step. Every time we gave the Arabs more sovereignty, guns and Land they've used it against us. It's idiotic (and possibly psychotic) to think that they're about to change.

I feel like I'm locked in an insane asylum, the only sane one, imprisoned by maniacs.

As much as I want new elections, I dread them, too.


From Arutz-7 at 4:30 pm today:

Emergency Heart Surgery for Rabbi Eliyahu
(IsraelNN.com) The condition of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi and a top rabbinic authority for the religious-Zionist public, has taken a turn for the worse. He was rushed to the operating room for emergency heart surgery late this afternoon.

An angioplasty procedure on the Rabbi this morning apparently did not succeed. A top doctor from the United States arrived in Israel last night to oversee the rabbi's medical treatment.

Large prayer sessions have been held for the rabbi over the past several weeks, including one of thousands at the entrance plaza to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where Rabbi Eliyahu is hospitalized.

Everyone is asked to pray for a refua shleima (a speedy and complete healing) for

(HaRav) Mordechai Tzemach ben Mazal Tov

Dancing To The US Presidency

I've gotten some nasty comments on my A7 blog post:

You can join in the fray if you want. I'm being accused of possibly causing the election of Obama. Some of you may like that, and others....

And of course, part of my opinion comes from the feeling that if I break this principle, the person I vote for will turn out a billion times worse than I had expected, a billion times worse than I had expected the opponent to be.

Most US Presidential Elections have left me totally cold. I couldn't decide between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb or the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and any other cliches you can think of.

American politicians do and should do what they think is best for America. I have no delusions that Israel is any priority for them.

But to lighten the mood, here's a very creative bit of dancing. It's the
McCain - Obama Dance-Off, done with some creative video photoshop or whatever.

I just wasted too much time trying to get the embedded link, so you could see this here, but I guess you'll just have to click the link above.

hat tip: hts

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Needs OUR Help!

Urgent Request! Prayers for Kavod HaRav Eliyahu Shlita

Tomorrow, Monday, 27 October 2008

His honor HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu Shlita, is expected to undergo a complex medical procedure.

Everyone is asked to pray for a refuah shleimah

(a speedy and complete healing)

for HaRav Mordechai Tzemach ben Mazal Tov

Was This A Set Up By The Bushies?

When Sarah Palin was drafted into the Presidential Campaign she wasn't all that prepared. She was postpartum, though never took a maternity leave, and she has a husband and four other kids besides the new baby.

The campaign has taken over her life, including buying her clothes and combing her hair. And this is the same lady who didn't move her family into the Governor's Mansion, nor use an official driver.

The staff, a lot tougher than the "Yes, Minister" one provided everything, and a lot of that everything is setting Palin up for disaster. Her outfits each now cost enough to feed a family for a month. Her hairdresser gets more money than you'd like to imagine.

The "coaches" have made her wary and lose that spontaneity. All this is costing even more in support from the voters.

And now they're getting nervous, because she doesn't trust them. She's starting to go back to being herself.

If McCain loses, she can be blamed. Is that what it's all about?

Tsippi Points Fingers

Considering that Tsippi comes from such dedicated Revisionist stock it's surprising to see her so friendly with Add ImagePeres.
Her "I give up speech," proclaiming that there must be new elections, was of the "it's all his (Shas's) fault" genre.
She claims to have offered "everything plus," but those selfish chareidim wanted to bankrupt the future of our country.
Of course, the only people endangering the future of the State of Israel are her boss/mentor Olmert and all their Loony-Left friends who have offered our precious Land to the Arab terrorist enemy who has vowed to destroy us.
If this was a normal country, they'd all be jailed. Can you imagine, NYC's Mike Bloomberg offering to sell Staten Island to Saudi Arabia? Of course Obama would probably like the idea of returning Alaska to Russia, and include its governor as a bonus.
Seriously, didn't Great Britain go to war a few years ago for some island near Argentina? What country self-amputates in sedicious suicide?
Yes, there's something very sick going on here. Unfortunately, it'll probably get worse before it gets better, like a natural health "healing crisis."

For Lack of "Red Line," Tsippi Sinks

Staying at the top is lots harder than the trip up. That's what Tsippi Livni, Peter's Principle's Poster Girl, is discovering.
The trip up was relatively easy, but it's sure windy up there.
Kadima, the party which tries to suit everyone, eshewing red lines, is now discovering that they've crossed others'. And since their support is dropping in the polls, the other parties are looking for a better alliance.
The final straw is Jerusalem. Both Tsippi and Tzachi Hanegbi, who seems to have a very important role in the negotiations, refuse to elaborate on any "red lines," caliming that it's all subject to negotiation. Most political parties know that they'll lose support if they join such a coalition.
Jerusalem's municipal elections are coming up, and it will be very interesting to see which national politicians align themselves with which mayoral candidates. It's clear that the Chareidi parties wouldn't join Tsippi, because that would lose votes for Porush, even though chareidi voters generally vote according to their rabbis' instructions.
The big question will be if Peres will give Bibi a chance to try to form a government, or will he declare elections. If Bibi has a chance sans new elections, then there's a chance that some of the Kadima MK's will join Likud. I think that Bibi should tell them to "get lost," but as he told us at the Jewish Bloggers Convention, he thinks they will add strength to the Likud. I think that Bibi's Likud would get more votes if they rejected the opportunists. That's especially since there isn't a firm Right wing, patriotic party to compete. He'd get more support if he'd stop his wishy-washy centrist !$%$!!#. (Sorry for the foul language, but I just can't think of a nice word for it.)
And don't forget that ol' Olmert is still Prime Minister, at least until a new government is formed, and that will probably be after new elections. So we're stuck with Wily Ehud for the months to come.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is This Good for the Jews?

Well, well. Tzipileh has finally "thrown in the towel," and yes, has announced that she will inform "president" Peres that she cannot form a coalition. New elections here in Israel are almost a certainty, which will probably mean a Likud victory.

According to DEBKA, "After allowing three weeks for another would-prime minister to come forward with 61 Knesset member supporters, the Knesset is dissolved and a general election called, most probably on February 17, 2009."

BUT -- meanwhile, guess who will be in power, till the elected one takes office, maybe in 4-5 months from now? Oh, no! Our "good friend" Ollie Olmert. Oy vey!!!

So, is this good for the Jews or not? Please comment...

False gods

The polls are showing that an overwhelmingly high percentage of American Jews are voting for Obama.

That's no surprise. For your typical American Jew, the Democratic Party and FDR are their gods. It doesn't matter that he did nothing for Jews that he he didn't do for any struggling American during the depression. It doesn't matter that he did nothing to stop the Holocaust. The death camps were irrelevant to his battle plans. And it doesn't matter that his Foreign Office, which Harry Truman inherited, was against the establishment of a Jewish State. Even Truman was at best ambivilant. That's why his old Jewish buddy was sent to convince him to change American Foreign Policy.

The highest level of support for Obama according to the poll is among Jews over the age of 55, 74% of which have said they're voting for Obama over 67% of Jews 18 to 34.

Yes, I'm not surprised. They worship the concept of "Liberalism."

But the Jews who worship G-d and keep the laws of Judaism see things very differently:
Not surprisingly, the Jewish vote swings heavily in McCain's favor among the Orthodox. According to the survey, the Arizona senator can count on support from 75 percent of Orthodox Jewish voters.

In my opinion each election must be decided differently. All of the candidates will declaim their support for Israel, but one has to look much deeper and check the records of the candidates.

Too Many Deaths

Yes, I admit that no number is acceptable. But tonight, as I checked the news on the internet, these were the headlines which shouted out to me:

2 cases of alleged murder on weekend
Four Israelis killed in plane crash
No eulogies for Ra'anana cop who killed family
Family, Friends Mourn Ozeri: Everyone Loved Him
28-year-old Eilat resident found dead; police suspect murder

Terrorism, accidents, murder and suicide.

Who was that old-time Zionist leader who yearned for a normal society, like all others, with Jewish crooks?

Easy for him to speak when he knew he'd be dead long before.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Just Like America"

One of the very annoying things during my visits to the states is the news.

and all of the above

That's the best way of describing the contents. It's rare to discover anything of real importance.

Yes, I do have my complaints about Israeli news, which is generally Left-wing propaganda, rather than objective balanced reporting. But at least the subjects are serious, security, politics etc.

Yesterday, it was different. The headlines were about a murdered family. Signs indicated that the father/husband murdered his wife and children and then committed suicide. This is no lower class, unemployed, never fit in immigrant family.

The couple were police officers from good and successful families. The media is full of stories about what a happy couple they were. That is except for a woman interviewed on Israeli TV, who reported terrible shouting that morning. When asked what was said:

"I quickly went into my house and closed the door. I didn't want to hear."

Maybe they can hypnotise her.

Baruch Dayan Emet
HaMakom Yenachem
May the mourners be comforted...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UN Watch--Naive And Ignoring History

Hat tip: Carl, though I see it very differently

"What has happend to the European Union?"
Asks UN Watch's Anne Bayefsky at the preparatory conference for the Durban II in Geneva.

I'm no lawyer nor a Phd in History, but I find Ms Bayefsky's question rather silly and ignorant. I wouldn't expect anything else from the European Union or nations, or most countries in the world.

I don't think more than one, at most, country objected when the Nazis began their anti-Jewish discrimination laws.
  • And did any country actually object when Jews were rounded up and then slaughtered?
  • And as the Nazis conquered other European countries, did those countries object to the slaughter of their own Jewish citizens?
  • Why should Ms. Bayefsky expect the European nations to suddenly see Jews as deserving civil rights or equal rights?

They should be reminded that their long and consistent history of anti-Semitism is something that takes away their right to criticize any other country, especially Israel.

Don't forget that during the Holocaust, the United States kept to strict immigration quotas and turned refugees back to Germany. In addition, Great Britain refused them entrance to the HolyLand. And after the Holocaust how were the survivors treated? Great Britain wouldn't even permit them to enter the HolyLand. Entry visas were strictly limited.

As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, which we read during the recent Succot Holiday,

"Nothing's new!"

They Don't Want Shiloh

For decades already, ever since the 1967 Six Days War, when Egypt, Syria and Jordan attacked Israel, Syria from the north, Egypt from the south, and Jordan from the east, with the explicit aim of sending us into "the sea," to the west, all we hear is that Israel must give back "all of the territories" it won while defending herself.

I live in an ancient city, Shiloh, in that Land. It was never an Arab city. Its only history is Jewish and written in the Bible.

The Arabs didn't declare war on us in 1967, because Israel was holding Judea and Samaria, becasue Israel didn't have any of that land. The Arabs wanted and want pre-Six Days War Israel, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Beersheva, the villages they hastily abandoned on which agricultural kibbutzim and moshavim were established, and Haifa.

They don't have streets named after Shiloh, but there is one in Iraq named after Haifa:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Barely A Twig

I used to handle much of the journalists and foreign visitors who came to Shiloh. It was a voluntary position, which I enjoyed immensely. An added bonus was discovering interesting things about my neighbors when they were interviewed. Of course, I was careful about who should be allowed near a journalist's pen or microphone, but a good journalist could always ask the questions to get the most out of the interviewee.

One of my favorite interviews was when I took them to neighbors who told a beautiful story. They started off in their garden and the wife pointed to little, though very lush, vineyard:

"Do you see these grape vines, the large green leaves and all the juicy grapes? I am like that little vineyard. Today it looks large, impressive and full of grapes. A few years ago, when our house was added to, the grape vines seemed to have had been destroyed, covered with rubble. It broke our hearts.

Then in the spring, we noticed what looked like a little twig, where the vines once were. To our amazement, the grape vines quickly returned as strong and fertile as ever, as if nothing had happened to them.

I am like these vines. I'm an only child. My father was killed during World War II before I was born. My mother managed to arrange our escape from Hungary by taking advantage of the fact that a government official would do anything to get our apartment and all it contained.

We survived and made it to Israel. And here I am in Shiloh, married and the mother of five wonderful children."
That was my neighbor, Yehudit, who passed away on the Eve of Succot.

Investing Time

Yesterday, our Simchat Torah services/prayers, in the Ramat Shmuel Synagogue, Shiloh, took almost all day. We started a bit earlier than on a Shabbat, but we ended up finishing in the afternoon. On Shabbat it takes us just over two hours to pray.

No, it wasn't because of an operatic Chazan with a choir. Baruch Hashem, the kids kept things going. Actually things started off pretty quiet and slow. Many of us ran out at nine to attend a Brit Milah (circumcision ceremony) in the nearby yeshiva, but when we returned things were "hopping." Not only was the floor filled with dancing worshipers holding the Sifrei Torah (Torah Scrolls) but kids were dancing on the railings.

Yes, it was wild! I was glad to have a front row seat in the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Gallery.

The enthusiasm of the youth was wonderful. So what if the prayers were taking longer than planned. We want the youth to have good positive memories of the holidays.

After our community kiddush, in the middle of the Hakafot, dancing with the Sifrei Torah, I joined the over twenty, mostly young girls, visiting the elderly, who couldn't make it to synagogue. We have a custom in our neighborhood to go from house to house to involve everyone in the Holiday. This time there were so many young participants, we asked the elderly to join us dancing and singing in the streets.

Like in many synagogues, honors are auctioned, and the men offer to pay lots of money. This year we're fundraising to expand the synagogue, since there isn't room for everyone to sit, nor seats for new members.

We had a new auction this year, and it involved the kids who bid for honors, too. They didn't bid money. They pledged to learn pages of Jewish Law. There were different categories, up to ten years of age, up to Bar Mitzvah, post-Bar Mitzvah. A big "siyyum," will be held before Passover, and the winners will give "Divrei Torah," Torah talks, to explain what they learned.

Yes, the auction for the youth also took more time. And the extra dancing and singing that the kids wanted took more time. But that's time invested well.

Have a wonderful year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Don't You Love These Headlines?!

What can I say, but... what evil kassams...

The first headline gives the impression that the Kassams are the aggressors. The Kassams seem to be attacking from the wording in the headline.

The second two headlines are written in passive tense, alluding to "some other force" controlling the kassams. But its identity is kept secret.

Amazingly, it's davka the extreme Left-wing paper, Ha'aretz, which is the only one to give a "hint" as to who the aggressor is:

Gaza militants fire Qassam into W. Negev after month-long lull

OK, they don't use the "t" word. They just couldn't say "Arab terrorists, and they don't call them "Palestinians," either, even though they, unlike yours truly, call the Arabs that. They just would never admit that their "peace partners" are really attacking Israel.

We can't defeat our enemy until we recognize who it is. And we won't have peace until we defeat our enemy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Maybe The "Silent Majority" Likes The Unconventional

The polls and the big money are going to Obama, but it seems like middle America, that silent majority rarely heard in the media like Sarah Palin.

Dudes sure do.

The media keeps hounding away that Obama's in the lead. If middle America believes them, loses hope and doesn't vote, then McCain loses the election. If they go out to vote in record percentages, then McCain has a good chance. Of course, the Electoral College distorts the popular vote.

The next big question is how many individual votes per Electoral College vote per state. It's not totally equal. Each state gets the total of their Congressmen and Senators. So, if that's the case, it takes fewer voters in the less populous states.

Add that into your computation.

Shiloh Shines

Recently, many Israelis have made it to Shiloh for the first time, and I've spoken to some. They all have good things to say about their visit to Shiloh.

Even more important is that some were profoundly affected by the shechina (G-d's presence,) which remains here, even though the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies have long departed.

Last night, at a friend's simcha (joyous event,) I had the opportunity to speak to someone who tried helping me over the hurdles of changing my life, becoming religious, over forty years ago. It was so heartening to discover that now we are actually closer in our way of thinking than we were all those decades ago. She, too, strongly felt the kiddusha, holiness of Shiloh.
I keep asking why Shiloh isn't a popular place for pilgrimage, for prayer and special events.

US Financial Problems--Democrats' Fault

hat tip: hl

A country's financial situation is like the game "hot potato." Nothing's immediate. The results of policies take time to "cook." In the meantime the position of president is passed around. When the "explosion," for good or bad, finally happens, the person who put it in play is usually far from the scene. If it's good, he'll still try to take credit, but if it's bad, the guy hold the potato is blamed.

The Democratic Party is having great fun blaming the Republicans, trying to connect McCain with President Bush, but the truth is something else entirely. It was Democratic President Clinton who cooked that potato.

Is McCain wily enough to throw it back into the Democratic court, specifically into Obama's hands?

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''
Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.
In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.
''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.
Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.
Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.
In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.
Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.
In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.
The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live

So far, SNL is blocking YouTube, so I'll just give you the link. It's definitely worth the click. And you can also see it by clicking the blank screen.
My husband found it on the NBC site:

One thing for sure, win or lose, McCain and Palin can have new jobs after the elections. Either Pres and Veep or in comedy.

Ronald Reagan was Right, Sort Of

The late US President, Ronald Reagan, whose previous profession was acting, used to say that he couldn't imagine how someone without acting skills could be president. In today's America, when people don't have the attention span and patience to listen to deep thoughts and complex ideas, just acting skills aren't enough. Comedy and timing are even more important.

Last night, I caught a bit of McCain's comic speech at the Smith Dinner on TV, and I'm glad to have found it in the New York Times. To be fair, here's the link to Obama's routine. He sounds much less comfortable and natural. His voice isn't as pleasant to listen to. McCain's much better at stand-up.

But I'm really waiting for the clip of the real Sarah Palin on last night's Saturday Night Live. If anyone finds it, please send it, thanks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Succot & Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) A Perfect Match

It's customary to read Kohelet the Shabbat of Succot. I must admit to reading the English translation, but I did study the Book in a Bible class, and in Hebrew. So my knowledge of the book isn't all that superficial.

A couple of years ago, there was a blogging debate about when King Solomon actually wrote it, before or after Shir Hashirim, (The Song of Songs,) and Mishlei, (Proverbs.) I hold a very minority view about it. I think he wrote it first. The writing of Kohelet was cathartic, helping him mature past his "excesses." Only afterwards could he have written the other books. But that's not the main subject here.

When King Solomon writes that the riches, the "good things in life" are all Havel Havelim, hot air, nothingness, norishkeit, he's preparing us to leave our comfortable, sturdy homes and move into temporary huts, succot. One of the main requirements for a succah is a special roof. It can't be solid. It must be fragile. The walls of the succah may be strong, even permanent, but not the roof. It's made of s'chach, leaves, branches, wood. You must be able to see the sky. The roof is the part of the house which protects, and davka, the roof of the succah is the most problematic.
When we're in the succah, we connect with G-d. G-d is our building engineer, the inspector.
During the Od Avinu Chai March, which this year took place in the hills near Shiloh, our local Rabbi, HaRav Elchanan Bin Nun spoke to us. He described the succah as protection. I wish I had recorded his words.

Back to King Solomon's words in Kohelet. King Solomon "had it all," and in the end he realized that it's hevel, nothingness. It isn't the fancy homes which keep us safe, it's living G-d's commandments in the succah, which seems so flimsy.
Rav Elchanan spoke to us two days after our neighbor, Yehudit's, funeral. The actual topic of the Rabbi's talk was the community of Givat Harel, named after one of his sons, who was murdered by Arab terrorists.
L'illui nishmatam:
Harel Oz ben HaRav Elchanan
Yehudit bat Shmuel Shachne

Friday, October 17, 2008

parade of missionaries?

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Hope everyone is enjoying Sukkot! Just a quick note before Shabbat (don't want to dwell on missionaries too much, as it takes the joy out of the Chag)...

But a classic case of the problem we face is seen on the A7 TV report of this weeks Jerusalem Parade. The report speaks of those who have come to support Israel, but the American man blessing and professing his love for Israel is sporting a "jesus loves you" T-shirt (the text is within of the Star of David -- ugh!)

By the way, that particular T-shirt is a product of a major Southern Baptist proselytizing organization called Jewish Outreach International,

To come to Eretz Yisrael and publicly sport such a T-shirt - while professing love for Israel - is the height of disrespect, and is no less abominable than marching through the streets of Jerusalem in a gay parade.

I think our rabbis, the government of Israel, and the Jerusalem municipality should lay down some ground rules for the Christian Embassy and other participants in the annual parade.

Meanwhile, the cover girl for this Friday's JPost Magazine is the Christian Embassy's Charmaine Hedding - the organizer of the ICEJ Feast of the Tabernacles.

Shabbat Shalom.

I Wouldn't Say That Shiloh Is Like New York,

But Shiloh is probably larger and more developed than many of you imagine. The media, and that includes the Israeli media, love to give the impression that we're either like some squatters or scruffy demonstrators or that we've invaded some Arab town.

We're none of the above.

From my house, the hills are mostly empty, just dotted with small Jewish communities. Jews have been back in Shiloh for over thirty years. The scrawny trees and vines we planted decades ago are large and lush. The children of children born and raised in Shiloh now study in the local schools.

We're a twenty-first century community. We communicate on an email list, and the roads are sometimes blocked because of traffic jams.

This was the scene the other day. I filmed it when I was waiting for my neighbor to finish her shopping. My purchases from the greengrocer were in her car, which was locked. I was standing outside with the other grocery items. That other store is more a supermarket than a local grocer. The white truck trying to get up was supposed to deliver more fruit and vegetables. He finally got aggravated and left, so the store owner went after him.

Never dull, but just ordinary excitement, Thank G-d.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Have a Peaceful Shabbat and a Joyful Holiday

You'd Think It Was An American Barbeque

No, I'm talking about the menu, or even the fact that we were all speaking English. It was the topic of conversation:



Weren't there more important things for us to discuss in that Shiloh, Israel yard?

  • Is Obama a loyal American or will the Muslims use him?

  • Was McCain an incompetent American soldier, wrecking planes and working for the enemy as POW?

  • Did Obama get his Harvard University position and acceptance only because of "affirmative action?" Why hasn't Obama's thesis and transcript been published? What is he hiding?

The real irony for us is that few of us are even using our legal right to vote in the American Elections.

Carl of Israel Matzav writes about how ridiculous it is for Jews to be supporting Obama. He posts a film for support:

Very Impressive

One of the aims of Disengagement was to demoralize the "settlers," the dati leumi, national patriotic religious segment of the Israeli population. It did for a bit, but I see great strength among us.

Yes, there's more cynicism, but that's the opposite of naivete, and being too naive and trusting is a problem.

Thank G-d the kids are amazing. I get a real kick out of seeing the much younger generation. Today and the Succot Fair in Shiloh, kids were offered the chance to blow enormous shofrot.

Watch and listen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yes, Succot is a Real Holiday

Robert, of Seraphic Secret, has a great piece of dialogue about Succot:

I was asked to attend a script conference tomorrow, Tuesday morning. I told the producer that it was a Jewish holiday and I couldn't attend.
“Wait, the holidays are over, your Yom Kee-pur just ended, right?”
“Uh, yeah, but now we have Succot, Shemini Atzeret and then Simchat Torah.”
“No disrespect, but you are kidding, tell me you're kidding.”
“Let me get back to you.”
An hour later the producer, not Jewish, truly bright, creative and decent, calls back.
“I asked all the Jews in the company and they're drawing a blank.”
“Right. Well, I'm not surprised. Look, lemme send you a few links and then get back to me.”
“Hey, I believe you. Just tell me when we can have our sit-down?”
I suggest a day and time.
“I respect your commitment. I really do. But tell me, how come none of the Jews in the company know what I'm talking about?”

It brings me back to the days when I didn't really know about the holiday. In OJC Hebrew School, they took us to see the funny hut decorated with hanging fruit, and I think I visited the rabbi's home with my aunt who was their friend, but it wasn't a holiday we actually celebrated.
We didn't celebrate Simchat Torah either.
In New York City, at least in my school district in Bayside, the schools were closed for Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, but after that it was business as usual, except in Hebrew School. But since it was the beginning of the school year, it didn't feel like a school vacation.
Shavuot from my childhood is a total blank. We must have learned something about it, but I don't remember anything, not even cheesecake. At least for Purim I have vague memories of hamantashen and a grogger. No, I don't remember hearing the Megillah. And no mishloach manot either.
At least in Israel, even for the non-religious, the Jewish Calendar is the calendar of the country.
Succot are all over. My kids put up ours.
They even hung a picture of their favorite rabbi, "HaRav Tzimmerman."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebrating Succot in Shiloh!

In Biblical Times, Shiloh was the place of pilgrimage, for 369 years, from when Joshua brought the Jewish People there and set up the Tabernacle, until Eli's death.

During the thousands of years since, the occasional pilgrim came here, and connected to its permanent holiness.

We've been back since January, 1978. There's a vibrant Jewish community in Shiloh of hundreds of families. One of our modern customs is a
Succot March in memory of Avihu Keinan, who was killed in a badly planned army action. For the first five years, we marched to Jerusalem as a protest against the perverse, distorted morality of the government and army which values the lives of our enemies more than the lives of our soldiers.

This year, it was decided to do it differently. Instead of marching in protest to Jerusalem, we hiked through the nearby mountains around Shiloh to celebrate our living in Eretz Yisrael.

During our earlier years in Shiloh, we hiked the holy hills frequently. My children remember walking all over the nearby hillsides. For many of the children with us this morning, it was the first time they had wandered so freely in the nearby countryside.

As you can see, there is so much empty, uncultivated land, just waiting for us.

We started off at the cemetery, so Avihu's father could visit his grave, and then we were bussed part way to Maale Levona, southwest of Shiloh. There Rafi Fisher gave some historic background. From there we walked to one of the hilltop communities from where we could see Givat Harel. It was there where our rabbi, Rav Elchanan BenNun, Harel's father, explained the history and special signicance of the location his older sons chose to establish a community in Harel's memory.

The hike continued and ended up at Tel Shiloh, where there are great celebrations and activities today and tomorrow.

There are tours, arts and crafts workshops, music, and street theater.

And for those who wanted food, there's the Tabernacle Gallery Cafe.

A very large succah has been set up outside.