Hamas War

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Some Israeli officials have been pretty nasty claiming that they could have done a better job rescuing the hostages in Mombai.

This picture was taken last Thursday night in Jerusalem, on the corner of King David and Mamilla Streets. If you don't understand the meaning, even from the very good graphics. It reminds us that 886 days have/had passed since Gilad Shalit was captured.

If Israel was really as skilled at rescuing captive hostages, or if Israel was better at negotiations, Gilad Shalit would have been home a long time ago.

Yechiel, You Can't Be Just A Little Bit Pregnant

Oy, I'm not surprised that Yechiel Leiter, in the best of Begin's Likud tradition, thinks that he can save the nation, save Eretz Yisrael by not quite keeping it all.

Yechiel has a plan "...his diplomatic plan that calls for immediate steps that will lead to the annexation of some 50% of Judea and Samaria." Just like the Leftists, he's talking to himself, the proverbial wall. What makes "sense" to them was never an option as far as the Arabs are concerned.

Yechiel, you have a university degree in law. Didn't anyone teach you that negotiations aren't a "solitary activity?" And that's as if your "plan" made any sense. It doesn't. Arab terror strongholds in the middle of our Land do not bode for peace. That's for sure.

Besides the fact that as you, as a father of many must know, even if your wife has stomach muscles of steel, and doesn't show, pregnant is pregnant. You can only pretend there's nothing for so long, and then you have another child to be responsible for.

You may be too young to remember this, but I remember Menachem Begin bombastically proclaiming that his handing over of the Sinai to Egypt was to ensure that Israel could keep Judea and Samaria. I also remember the new communities built in Gush Katif as compensation, like the new Yeshivat Atzomona and Neve Dekalim for Moshav Dikla. Avi Farchan was transferred from the Northern Sinai to Gush Katif, and almost three and a half years ago, he was transferred again!

Menachem Begin's "peace plan" failed to protect us. Yechiel, do you think you're greater than Menachem Begin? If I vote in Likud Primaries, I'll vote for Moshe Feiglin, not for you.

Considering that even if Feiglin and his supporters within the Likud do well in the primaries, I don't see that he'll have any power within the Likud. Too bad that he didn't join up with Dr. Arieh Eldad and Baruch Merzel and the NRP-NU crowd. Now, that would be a party to vote for. They're not into playing G-d with our HolyLand.

clarification on OU stance

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

[UPDATE: I was informed last night (motzei Shabbat) that the Orthodox Union's resolution entitled: Working in Coalition with Evangelical Christians - which was the subject of my most recent post , and was scheduled for approval at last week’s convention in Jerusalem - has been withdrawn and is under reassessment due to new information being brought to light.

This decision followed a flurry of activity including several private meetings with key figures from the OU, as well as intense lobbying efforts by the newly formed grassroots movement “Jewish Israel” (their public awareness online portal will be launched next month) They can be contacted at info@JewishIsrael.com]

Praying at Tel Shiloh

Last Friday, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, we prayed at Tel Shiloh for many things. Among them the safe rescue and refuah shleimah (complete recovery) for the Jewish hostages in Mumbai.

Sometimes G-d says "no," and sometimes evil people harden their hearts.

We also prayed for rain. As you can see from this solitary crocus flower, we have not been blessed with rain here in the HolyLand. Our rain is in direct proportion to the blessings we deserve, and as a People, we deserve drought. So we pray to G-d for forgiveness.

We wandered around the site of Ancient Shiloh, each of us finding the spot we felt most attached to the shechina, G-d's presence. Then we ended by praying together.

Yes, this is the same Shiloh where Channah prayed for a son who would bring the Jewish People to the rule of a king. Her son, Samuel, The Prophet, annointed Saul and David, our first kings.

Next Rosh Chodesh, Tevet, will be during Chanukah, Sunday, December 28. G-d willing we'll meet at 9:30 and pray together. If you can get here earlier for Shacharit, the morning prayer, that would be good, if not please doven that prayer on your own, and then together we will doven Hallel and Musaf. And yes, there will be time for T'hillim, Psalms, and personal prayers.
There's an 8:30am bus from Jerusalem. If you'll be taking it, please let me know, so I can arrange for you to be taken to Tel Shiloh from our bus stop. If G-d blesses us with rain, there are buildings we can use. There is also the Tabernacle Gallery & Coffee Shop. Tel Shiloh is open for visitors every day but Shabbat. For more information, please contact 02-994-4019 or email telshilo@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Remnants of the "Old" Kever Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)

The Kever Rachel of today doesn't resemble the old pictures. It doesn't resemble the place I visited in the fall of 1969. Then it was easy to imagine our forefather Jacob stopping there as his beloved wife, Rachel, went into labor to give birth to her second child; she died as her son was born.

Today it's an imposing fortress, which we enter on a special road. It's no longer the small, round-roofed, modest tomb in the dusty city of Bethlehem.

When I was there last week, I searched for remnants of the old building. I wonder if these pillars could have been what I once saw. They are so different from this corridor.

Outside, there's now a traffic circle with a "tree" of sorts. It did remind me a bit of that old street.

But today, you don't see the Arab tourist shops selling that blue-green Hebron glass, which used to be a classic souvenir.
Even though many people do visit Kever Rachel, I'm sure that nobody can enjoy it the way we once did.
"Peace" has certainly made life more difficult.

HaMakom Y'Nachem, May The L-rd Give Comfort...

Friday, November 28, 2008

India Wasn't Prepared

For hours we've been trying to understand what's happening in Mombai, as police have stormed the Chabad House in an attempt to rescue the hostages. There seems to be total anarchy.

The violence doesn't jive with India's peaceful reputation. Thousands of Israelis are there are all times in order to escape our stressful existence. It looks like the greener grass is just an illusion.

One neighbor, not a kid, who went on a tour and just got back this week, reported that her group had eaten at the Mombai Chabad House on Shabbat and had met the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. There were absolutely no security precautions whatsoever.

Of course, until something happens, who takes precautions? India's a large country, and presumably most areas are relatively safe? But if this attack came without warning, then who knows what the next target will be?

Refuah Shleimah
Chodesh Tov
Shabbat Shalom

A Complete Recovery to all of the Wounded
Have a Good Month (It's the first day of the Jewish Month of Kislev)
A Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath to All

What Will They Find?

Indian commandos are attempting to rescue the hostages and capture the terrorists in the Chabad House in Mumbai. Contradicting Reports on Fate of Chabad Couple
I have to get ready to go down to Tel Shiloh for a previously planned women's Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the new Jewish Month) Prayers there. So, of course I'll check for updates before going down, and I'll G-d willing add their names for Refuah Shleimah, a complete recovery.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

Israel is still being attacked by the world's most beloved terrorists. Yes, Officer Krupke!

According to Arab terrorist actions, there is no ceasefire. When will Israel admit it?

We won't have peace until we destroy terrorism!

Twitter's Not Just For Social and Flaky Stuff

Jews and non-Jews all over the world are anxiously awaiting news of the hostages in the Chabad house in Mumbai. Apparently the most up-to-date on-the-spot reports are from the amateurs via Twitter. Thanks for the link, L.

There are people right there reporting what they are seeing and hearing.

Eat your heart out Reuters etc.

Please continue to pray.

The public is being asked to pray for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, Aryeh Leibish ben Elta Nechama Maltshi and Ben Tzion ben Elka, as well as "anyone else affected by the tragedy."

May we have a Chodesh Tov, a Good Month.
I guess, I'll have to sign up for Twitter.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mixed Reports From Mumbai

Indian officials: Eight captives freed from Mumbai Chabad center

22:29 Diplomat: No hostages have been freed from Chabad center in Mumbai (AP) (from the Haaretz ticker)

Eight Jewish hostages held by Islamic terrorists were released from the Chabad House in Mumbai on Thursday evening in an Indian commando operation, according to a state official.
Mumbai Beit Chabad under siege
The condition and identities of the hostages were unclear, but Israel Radio reported seven hostages were members of the same family.
However, a diplomat who had been monitoring the situation closely said no hostages were released. He spoke on the customary condition of anonymity, and contradicted the Indian official.
for complete article

No Israelis left in Mumbai's Chabad House
22:28 - Nov. 27, '08
Report: Escapees from Chabad House Were Not Rescued
22:11 - Nov. 27, '08

Honestly, I don't know what to tell you. I don't have inside knowledge, haven't heard from my contact for a few hours. G-d willing they have been rescued and are receiving medical care. May there be a refuah shleimah to Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivkah bas Yehudis and all of the others in need of our prayers.

A special Refuah Shleimah to

Pnina bat Sofia Zlata


OU's Parve Stance

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Like a number of OU products, this one was stamped “parve”. The one page document which made its way across my desk is entitled: Working in Coalition with Evangelical Christians. And, according to reports, it is one of a number of resolutions which is expected to be approved at this week’s Orthodox Union Convention in Jerusalem.

It is clearly an American document, and it sort of reads like “Diaspora Jewry’s First Amendment in praise of Evangelicals”. The statement endorses shared values regarding religious liberty, support for parochial schools, tax policies, attitudes on same-sex marriage, and physician assisted suicide; while “agreeing to disagree” on issues like stem cell research and matters related to reproductive health policy. Modern Orthodox American rabbis are certainly intune with American culture and headlines.

But one wonders if Orthodox Union rabbinic leaders read Israeli papers, or if they are in sync with those matters concerning their Jewish brethren in Israel.

Those OU members who did manage to peruse their morning Jerusalem Post, on the eve of the conference, should have picked up the hint that something is terribly amiss in the holy land when headlines reported that Birthright now finds itself in the position of having to screen out Messianic Jews (JPost, November 26). And that a messianic attorney for the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, called the screening practice "blatant, ridiculous discrimination" and "a shame."

That fundamentalist Christians now have a political, legislative, economic, cultural, philanthropic, and religious foothold in Israel - as well as property holdings - should have piqued the interest of any rabbi concerned with Jewish continuity. Missionary activity is running unchecked in the Jewish state and the spiritual integrity of the Jewish people is in jeopardy due to a lack of ethical accountability, legislation, and rabbinic guidelines vis a vis our relationship with impassioned Christian leaders and organizations whose very raison d’etre is and remains evangelism.

These matters should surely be of the utmost concern to Jewish leaders and yet I don't see the OU addressing the halachic implications of accepting Christian monetary donations, or placing limits on Christian involvement in Israel's political decision-making and legislative process. Nor has the problematic issue of the evangelical quest for a "Judeo-Christian" union been broached by our spiritual leaders. The Jewish people are at a loss over whether or not to attend evangelical-sponsored joint prayer sessions and theologically-loaded events. And laws pertaining to avoda zara are rarely addressed by our rabbinic authorities. Basic halacha with regards to real estate purchases and conducting business with gentiles in Eretz Yisrael fails to make the rabbinic agenda, and many rabbanim steer clear of any debate having to do with freedom of religious expression versus prohibitions against spreading the gospel, and the need for counter-missionary legislation in Israel.

Without rabbinic guidance and consensus the Torah observant Israeli and Diaspora public don’t have an inkling of how to approach or avoid the growing Hebrew Christian and apostate Jewish community which sees Jesus as their lord and savior, and who want recognition as a legitimate community in Israel. All Orthodox rabbinic leaders should be up in arms over aggressive attempts to change the Law of Return in order to accommodate messianics.

A vague statement that “many non Orthodox American Jews and their organizations have consistently questioned the advisability of working in coalition with Evangelicals…due to disagreement on other matters” is included in the resolution, but the OU statement fails to elucidate on what those “other matters” are - although they hint that they are political or theological in nature. I can tell you that one of those “other” concerns has to do with the evangelical’s overt missionary agenda.

Another difference of opinion may be over the territorial integrity of Jerusalem . But with regards to Jerusalem, surely Orthodox rabbis – even American ones – should have some sense of Jewish history. While numerous nations, empires, and crusaders have all valued and attached themselves to Jerusalem for political, territorial or religious purposes; without a respect for Judaism that support is worthless, detrimental and destructive to the Jewish people. And as long as numerous evangelical groups continue to see the Land of Israel as fertile ground for “harvesting souls”, while simultaneously “supporting” us, then one has to question their level of respect for our faith and for our people.

In the final paragraph of the statement, OU does indeed express an awareness “of the desire of some Evangelical Christians, as a matter of faith, to spread their religion to Jews”, and the OU claims they will “remain vigilant to the dangers this presents to Jewish continuity”.
However, by relegating this concern to the end of a resolution replete with words of appreciation and gratitude to evangelicals, it takes on the status of a mumbled afterthought. It would have been far more appropriate and effective had the Orthodox Union had the gumption to place this matter of concern at the top of their agenda – after all Jewish continuity is the priority.

Perhaps the most unsettling part of the OU statement does come at the beginning. OU uses the legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l to defend their partnering with evangelical groups. It appears that the Rav did indeed, as the statement claims, encourage working “in partnership with all people in the service of human welfare and rights” while proscribing theological interfaith dialogue. However the current relationship being nurtured with evangelicals is inevitably replete with religious, biblical and eschatological discourse and theme. And this cooperation is often couched within the context of “preserving our Judeo-Christian heritage” – something the Rav utterly rejected. It’s worth asking ourselves whether or not evangelical exclusivity has actually hindered the message of a universal striving for morality which Rav Soloveitchik did encourage, and whether or not it contributes to the alienation of non-Orthodox Jews from their Orthodox brethren.

Rav Soloveichik’s legacy is that of a genius who did not skirt weighty matters nor treat them superficially. His writings and halachic rulings are absolutely profound. The OU resolution on working with evangelicals is bereft of a spirit of soul-wrestling and introspection – and the Rav loved to wrestle. He was hardly parve.

Even Rav Soloveitchik's halachic essay on interfaith dialogue was entitled “Confrontation”, and not “accommodation”. Indeed one wonders if OU’s feeble and evasive stand on the missionary threat facing Israel would be deemed as an insult to the Rav who back in November of 1963 joined the halachic giants of his generation and penned a no-nonsense protest to then Prime Minister Levi Eshkol:

We the undersigned…shuddered at reports of missionary activity in the Holy Land, which threatens our survival as one people in the Land and in the Diaspora… We turn to the Prime Minister…to bring to an end by legislative means the duplicity of the missions which wean Jews away from their faith.”

The Orthodox Union’s statement abounds with "feel good" declarations on religious freedoms and American values, but it is simply too comfortable, lacks backbone, and is not intune with the reality on the ground here in Israel.

Keep Praying

The Chabad baby in Mumbai was freed, but his parents haven't been. No recent report on their condition.

Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma
Rivkah bas Yehudis


Probably everyone has heard about the terrorist situation in Mumbai, and in particular at the Chabad House there. WE ARE TRYING TO GET 43 WOMEN TO BAKE CHALLAH AND WHEN MAKING THE BROCHO TOPRAY FOR THE SAFETY OF:
Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma
Rivkah bas Yehudis
Moshe Tzvi Ben Rivkah

THE SHLUCHIM IN MUMBAI and the other Jews there.

Please can any women who are baking challah and will do this contact me immediately at
Thanks so much!

May we hear only besuros toivos! Moshiach NOW!!! A guten Shabbos! Leah--

Chabad of Crimea and Bais Menachem Jewish School appreciate your help. Please see our website http://www.chabadcrimea.org/ Secure tax deductible donations can be made online. Or send checks to: American Friends of Chabad of Crimea1601 Union StreetBrooklyn, NY 11213 Thank you very much for your kind support!-- Chabad of Crimea and Bais Menachem Jewish School appreciate your help. Please see our website http://www.chabadcrimea.org/ Secure tax deductible donations can be made online.
Or send checks to:American Friends of Chabad of Crimea1601 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11213 Thank you very much for your kind support!


Yes, it's Thanksgiving in America today. I guess that lots of jbloggers will be mentioning it. Hesh did. Here's the comment I wrote:

Besides all the "yay yay America" stuff, I think that a lot of frum Americans celebrate Thanksgiving for the pragmatic reason that it's a day one can travel to relatives for a meal, none of the halachik restrictions.
When I was growing up Thanksgiving was an occassion to crowd into a tiny one bedroom walkup in Brooklyn with all my mother's family. When I became religious I ate first at kosher venues. Once we moved to Israel, I never thought about celebrating it, since it wasn't Thanksgiving without all my cousins.

Actually, a couple of years ago, a neighbor decided to organize a big Thanksgiving meal. We all chipped in with parts of the menu. It was fun being together, but there was nothing very "Thank America" about it.

Think about the history:

A bunch of unhappy Europeans risk their lives to travel the high seas to an unknown place. They arrive sick and infect the local natives. The survivors are introduced to local foods and declare an annual Thanksgiving feast.

Could that be considered the true story in a nutshell? Those Europeans had no prior history with the land they conquered and settled. They were very different from those of us Jews (Zionists) who've made it from all over the world to our HolyLand. Even before the Zionists came, there were always Jews here. Many lived in places which are now judenrein (cleansed of Jews), like Gaza. As a people we never abandoned our Land. Only the Jewish People have a history of an independent country here.

I thank G-d for the opportunity to return to my Historic HomeLand. That's my Thanksgiving!

Emergency Request

Chabad fears for safety of its Mumbai rabbi and his wife

No contact with Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg since terror attacks; Foreign Ministry: Contact with 20 Israelis in India yet to be made.
Fire engulfs a part of the...

For the past few hours we have been unable to reach Rabbi and Mrs. Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, the Shluchim to Mumbai, India, where terrorists attacks have occurred.
The reports we are hearing from there could be better (see below.)
It is a time for Tefillah. Please say Tehillim for:
  • Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma
  • Rivkah bas Yehudis
  • Moshe Tzvi Ben Rivkah.
We hope and pray that we will hear good news very soon.
Terrorists attacked multiple locations in Mumbai, India, late Wednesday night, with much of the gunfire occurring near the Chabad-Lubavitch center run by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.
By 3:00 a.m. local time, police reports indicated at least 78 people were killed when gunmen affiliated with an unknown Islamic terrorist group entered a series of hotels, a central train station and other popular tourist sites and began firing. An initial police response was met by heavy resistance; at least three officers, including a top commander, are dead, according to IBN, the local CNN's local sister station. Throughout the night, people reported explosions, which police attributed to grenades carried by the terrorists. More than 200 were injured.
Of particular concern to authorities is the report of two gunmen taking foreign tourists hostage at the five-star Oberoi Hotel. The Indian military was reportedly making preparations to take the hotel by force before daybreak. Another 100 tourists and three members of India's parliament were holed up in the Taj Mahal Hotel.
One friend of Gavriel Holtzberg reported receiving an e-mail from the Mumbai rabbi at 11:30 p.m. local time. The Israeli Consulate was in touch with Holtzberg, but the line was cut in middle of the conversation. No further contact has since been established. Other reports on IBN showed the Chabad House's building as being occupied by terrorists, but no further information could be confirmed.
Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in New York and Israel are working alongside the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai and a volunteer team of local residents to ascertain the well being of the Holtzbergs and other Jews in the area.
People are urged to say Psalms for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma, Rivka bas Yehudis and Moshe Tzvi Ben Rivkah, and anyone affected by the tragedy.

Chabad of Crimea and Bais Menachem Jewish School appreciate your help.  Please see our website
Secure tax deductible donations can be made online.
Or send checks to:
American Friends of Chabad of Crimea
1601 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Thank you very much for your kind support!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Could There Really Be Justice In Israel?

The Moshiach must be closer!

court has ruled that the police didn't act properly when it threw the Federman family out of their home and then totally destroyed the home and their possessions!

"Indeed," the judge continued, "producing this order [implies an attempt] to prevent a 'terrorist infiltration,' and it is inconceivable that [Federman] be included in this category. For this reason he should have been permitted to remain in the closed territory in order to protect the Israeli communities from terrorist attacks and infiltration, and not have been expelled from the area." "The methods by which [the State used to evacuate the outpost] were unconstitutional and not proportional, in as much as they prevented Federman from living in a significant portion of the land of Israel," the ruling read. "The petition by the State is defective [because of its] grave discrimination. I have not heard any explanation as to why the State chose to evacuate a man with a family which includes a wife and nine little children at 1:30 at night. I don't see how this kind of thing exhibits an obligation by the state to protect its children."
Mazuz told Olmert to expect an indictment on charges of fraudulent receipt of goods under aggravated circumstances, fraud, breach of public trust, false registration in corporate documents and tax evasion.

Thirty-Five Years

Thirty-five years may be more than a lifetime for some of you. It's more than half of mine. I was a young mother of two thirty-five years ago when the Yom Kippur War "broke out."

What a strange verb to describe one of the most frightening and dangerous wars in the History of The State of Israel.

It was early Yom Kippur afternoon, and my husband was about to leave for Mincha (the afternoon prayer.) Suddenly we heard a siren. The stairwell was filled with neighbors rushing into the shelter. I was sent up to try to explain to an elderly woman, Bubby Willig, an English speaker, that she ought to join us, but I was told not to panic her.

We soon discovered that Israel had been attacked on two fronts, in the north by Syria and the south by Egypt. Our troops/soldiers (troops don't give it a personal enough sound) had been overrun, killed, captured. Israel was in mortal danger.

Miraculously, within a couple of weeks, we were victorious. It would have been easier if the government hadn't kept consulting wiht the Americans, who weren't really allies. For them it was a game trying to control all the fighting forces/armies. We did much better in the 1967 Six Days War on our own.

In the very early days of the war, our New York Betar friend, Chaim (Chuck Hornstien) Haran was killed. Almost two months later, yes after the ceasfire, Eli Solomon was killed by an Egyptian sniper. For many of us in the New York Betar crowd that made it that 100% of our friends who had fought were dead.

Since then, we gather at Har Herzl Military Cemetery every year. Now it's thirty-five years, and Baruch Hashem, bli eyin haraa, we were entertained by the antics of Eli's grandchildren. Afterwards we went to a friends' Jerusalem apartment where we toasted to:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Political Tricks with a Basketball

Remember the Harlem Globetrotters? They were playing what was supposed to be a basketball game against a team of straight men, usually called the Washington Generals but sometimes the something-or-other All-Stars. The poor white boys played good basketball but the talented Afro-Americans were playing a different game: theater on the basketball court. They did all the hotdog stunts which could cause your coach to kill you if you ever tried one in a game. The funny thing was that they always won while their poor stiff opponents were always looking the wrong way.
Well, now the pastime of basketball sleight-of-hand has come to Israel. No, the Globetrotters are not scheduled to play in Yad Eliyahu. Along with all sorts of other "big names" (Begin, Jabotinsky, Dayan, Meridor), American-Israeli basketball legend Tal Brody is running for the Likud list in the Knesset primaries. The majority of the people in the country, according to polls, want a right-wing, strongly security conscious government with Jewish values. Instead, they are in danger of getting a Likud list top-heavy with all sorts of people whose real intentions have never been tested or who are known leftists.
With the Europhile Obama Administration about to take office, it has never been more imperative for the Likud to be resolute in its determination not to be pushed into further appeasement and suicide initiatives. There will almost certainly be pressure from the new administration. Bibi Netanyahu, if the Likud wins, as elected head of the party will be Prime Minister. He needs the strongest and most principled people behind him. Of course he has so far gone in the opposite direction, refusing to cooperate with Moshe Feiglin, who finished second in the race for party leader, and opposing the entry of Effi Eitam into the Likud.
It is too late for those who are not yet members of the Likud to join and vote in the primaries this time. But those who are already members should vote for Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit and encourage others to do so. Otherwise the Begin-Sharon tradition of giving away territory for terror will continue and the Likud will continue to be the Licouldn't.

A Way of Learning About Jbloggers

We jbloggers (Jewish bloggers) are a varied crew. At some point, someone came up with a method of "interviewing" other bloggers. It's a bit sneaky and called memes. Instead of just asking questions, we're ambushed by being "tagged."

My participation in this is usually from
me-ander, but Hadassa--In the Pink, tagged this persona. I shouldn't be surprised, because very few me-ander visitors are regulars; most are via google.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
And here are my seven facts:
  1. In the second grade, I wrote my first composition, in which I stated that "...I want to be an entertainer, because I am talented." Yes, it's amazing what one remembers.
  2. My first memory was from when I was just over two and went to my uncle's wedding. I was sat at the "children's table" but couldn't reach the food. My Cousin Butchie helped me. The rest of the cousins, all bigger were too busy having fun.
  3. When I was little, we called my grandmother "bubby." Then I stated that she should be "grandma," and everyone accepted it. When my first child was born, her first great-grandchild, I stated that she should be called "bubby."
  4. My favorite color in high school was bright orange, and I had at least three orange dresses.
  5. The biggest mistake I made since aliyah was not perfecting my written Hebrew. I find reading it torture. Many friends and neighbors beg me to write in Hebrew, since their English isn't up to reading my articles. I know that it would be so important to have a wider influence in Israel.
  6. I've always loved art, but since I could never draw well, I wasn't considered talented. Thank G-d for photography.
  7. Living in Shiloh is the longest I (and my husband) have ever lived in any place in the world. We've been here since 1981.

I tag:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Knock, Knock! Ehud Barak!

Yoo hoo! Anything there?

The latest from Ehud Barak is:

I have no doubts that the statement is correct, if not worse. But why hasn't Barak resigned and apologized for being responsible for that dangerous situation?

Hizbullah has been able to keep on preparing for war against us, stockpiling weapons etc, because when Barak ran for Prime Minister of Israel against Bibi Netanyahu, he pledged to withdraw from Southern Lebanon. He won and then had the IDF run out leaving an enormous quantity of valuable equipment, which the Arabs were happy to receive and use against us.

Why isn't Bibi using this and the fact that under Barak's reign, terrorism reigned in Israel?

Orange--Losing Its Luster

I still wear my orange bracelet, which shows me as someone who considers Disengagement a great tragedy. Orange became the protest color against Disengagement.

Orange became the euphemism for the leadership of the Gush Katif communities.

My orange bracelet is no longer bright orange. And it's starting to split. And I have no doubt that some day soon, in another few days, weeks, or maybe even months, I'll suddenly notice that it's gone.

Now, will I try to replace it? Should I already be looking to buy a new one?

No, I won't. It's not that I've changed my mind about Disengagement. It's simply because my suspicions about the "orange leadership" are getting stronger. I haven't trusted the "political judgement" of Moetzet YESHA for years, actually ever since they began their "camp out" protests during the anti-Oslo times. I even wrote an article in Hebrew opposing it, insisting that they were making a game out of our possibly being homeless, making it look too easy to leave our homes. I refused to even visit those protests.

Then during the anti-Disengagement protests, I was firmly against the slogan "Ten l'Am L'hachlit," "Let the People Decide," which demanded a referendum, rather than protesting the principle of destroying Jewish communities and giving our Land to our enemies.

It seems more and more true that the orange leadership and Moetzet YESHA have/had been working together. That's hard for me to accept. And it's even harder for me to show any sign that I may support that very same leadership.

When this bracelet falls off, it won't be replaced by another. It symbolizes their mistakes. I will have to find another way of expressing my feelings.

A "Full Circle," by Arlene Kushner

November 23, 2008
"How About This!"
Ze'ev Jabotinsky -- 1880-1940 -- was a giant in Zionist history, standing for the sort of proud Jewish integrity that kept us strong.
He came out of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century as a journalist, who ultimately achieved much acclaim for his writing. The pogroms of Kishnev spurred him to organize Jewish self-defense units and to participate in the sixth Zionist Congress. He promoted the use of Hebrew and the establishment of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
During WWI, he was instrumental in forming a Jewish Legion. After the war he became a member of the Zionist Executive and a founder of Keren Haysod. Taking issue with the policies of the Zionist Movement, he established the Revisionist Zionist Alliance, which promoted immediate founding of a Jewish state. Within the Revisionist movement developed the Betar youth movement, which taught young people nationalism; the Irgun, the military arm of the movement; and the New Zionist Movement, the political arm. It was the Revisionists who promoted illegal Jewish immigration into Palestine after the British blocked it.
Once Israel was founded, well after Jabotinsky's death, the Revisionist Movement melded into Herut, which was a precursor to today's Likud party.
Jabotinsky, who has been described as "both a visionary and a warrior," made immeasurable contributions to the Jewish state.
I have thought over the years that he has been much neglected, and I have wondered how many really know about him any more. Thus it gives me pleasure to have this opportunity to write about him.
And the opportunity? Seems Jabotinsky has a name-sake grandson, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who, just hours ago, stood with Binyamin Netanyahu at Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv to announce that he would be running in the Likud primary next month.
Netanyahu, elated and excited, said, "Things have come full circle. It is a privilege for the Likud to have such a man in its ranks."
Replied Jabotinsky:
"I admit I'm excited. It's a privilege to join the movement. The last time Jabotinsky [his grandfather], Begin [Benny's father, Menachem] and Netanyahu [Binyamin's father, Benzion, still alive at 93] served the Jewish public was in World War II, when they tried to save Europe's Jews from annihilation. Today we are a team again and we want to do everything we can to meet the challenges Israel is facing."
Arutz Sheva cited Jabotinsky as having said in a Yediot Ahronot interview that Oslo made things "500 times worse."
A "Palestinian" state, he said, "would be the base for the international terror of Al Qaeda and Hezbollah with Iranian funding. If they opt for that we will reach a situation in which instead of 1,400 [Jewish] dead there will be 30,000 dead. They will not hesitate to use chemical weapons against us."
And how about this, as well: Yaakov Turkel, who served as a justice on Israel's High Court for ten years, until 2005, has given an interview to Arutz Sheva in which he says that the High Court did NOT order the eviction of the residents of Beit HaShalom in Hevron. Rather, the court put it in the hands of the State and gave authorities the freedom to decide whether or not to evict -- it said the State MAY evict.
"When the Defense Minister said he would abide by the Supreme Court ruling ordering the Jews' eviction," Turkel said, "this was very much not to my liking, since there was no such order… This misunderstanding has caused the great rift in the religious and right-wing's trust in the Supreme Court."
The question, I would say, is whether Barak knew full well that he didn't have to proceed with eviction but opted to put the onus on the court.
The article cites Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) who said last week: "The ruling is not a recommendation, and we will implement it exactly as written [saying in 30 days no Jews would be living in the building]. We have no intention of straying from the Supreme Court ruling, which is the law." Arutz Sheva suggests that Dichter must not have read the ruling.
I will follow up on this. Justice Turkel puts much of the responsibility for the misunderstanding on the media, which comes as no surprise -- the media is in the main anti-"settler." But why were there no lawyers in the past days who raised this issue? It does change matters.
As to Hevron, some 20,000 visitors were estimated to have been in the Jewish Quarter of the city over Shabbat because of the Torah portion. Some have remained because of the political situation.
There were a handful of incidents, involving youngsters from the outside, but for the most part things were peaceful.
There was a report today that officers in the IDF Central Command were worried that when Barak give orders to evacuate Beit HaShalom soldiers and police who live past the Green Line (and figure they may be next) or those with a nationalist orientation may refuse to participate.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Do You Feel About All These?

And when I read about the discrimination here in Israel against Jews, whether being able to live where we wish or travel where we want, I truly wonder why the international civil rights activists don't rush out here to support us. Why do these sic liberals support the repression of Jewish rights?

And Where Were You When...?

Yes, I know, many of you weren't even born then. But do you have stories from your parents, grandparents etc? What political assassinations or attempts do you remember? It'll soon be 28 years since John Lennon was murdered.

On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Suspected gunman Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States.

I was in the 9th grade in Great Neck North Junior High School. There was neither panic nor hysteria, just some confusion. In our very WASPy school, emotions weren't exposed publicly. We just sat in the classroom, not fully comprehending. I don't know how the adults were handling it in the office, far from the curious and prying eyes of the kids.

Our TV was black and white, since color was barely an experiment at the time, so we didn't see the red blood on Jackie Kennedy's lemon yellow coat. Maybe it would have been a more frightening time if we had seen the blood in color.

My impressions were that "everything was under control." Johnson was immediately sworn in to succeed Kennedy. And being that LBJ was an experienced and very skillful politician, he really had things under control. His biggest challenge was ridding his government of Kennedy people.

Kennedy had brought in some new, non-political people into the cabinet and other high positions. I remember reading some "memoirs" telling of naivite and confusion when the Kennedy appointments first tried to navigate the US Government. Actually, it was Johnson who passed the laws Kennedy had promoted. Kennedy just wasn't wily enough to be politically effective. I guess that Obama's apppointing Rahm Emanuel is to bring an experienced and powerful person in to prevent a Kennedy-like failure.

I wonder if I should make this a meme and tag people to blog about it. I just request that if you have anything to say about the topic, please do blog about it and, of course, pass the link to anyone you think will have an interesting memory. Thanks

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Enough of New York for Carpetbagger Clinton

New York's Senator, Hillary Carpetbagger Clinton has had enough of New York. I guess even Chapaqua has lost its luster. She's moving back to Washington, but not to the White House. She's taking on the world as Secretary of State.

Her instant New York identity has always bothered me. The Clintons were very blunt and honest about the move. That honesty is the only thing in their favor. She/they had decided that in order to position herself to successfully run for the presidency, she should be a senator and of the possible seats, they figured that she had that best bet in New York. The tactics worked, and she was elected.

I was born in New York, but left it as a newly wed almost forty years ago, but New York's in my blood. True, New York is full of immigrants, whether from foreign countries or other parts of America. Some do come with ulterior motives, and Hillary wasn't the first to use it as a stepping stone to the presidency. She should be grateful that she didn't end up like Bobby Kennedy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big Fish In Small Pond

Who's that "big fish?"

Someone is flexing his muscles, and I'd really like to know who, or what group of super-wealthy people have shown that they can control the stock market.
Israel is in "pre-election season." The political parties are meeting and "primarying," vying for top positions on the party election lists.
Our economy is relatively stronger than the United States, though it's hard for me to figure out why. One idea I have is that the birthrate in Israel is much higher, especially among the educated and middle class.
Recently, with all the high profile celebrity babies, having kids is more "in." But in the 1970's fewer women, according to statistics, had children. That means that percentage-wise the US is missing a strong work-production population in their thirties right now. At the same time, the babyboomers are retiring, and many still have parents alive and needing care. Some of these "boomers" are "sandwiches," trying to help their children, grandchildren and parents, but many others are the last in their line. When they're elderly, there won't be any kids to assist them.
OK, so that's part of the American problem, but who's manipulating the Israeli economy?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Jay Jonathan Pollard!

The United States judicial, egged on by the executive, punished Pollard beyond any other security criminal, except for the Rosenbergs.

But actually, Pollard's crime was giving information to an ally, information the ally should have received as per a treaty between the two countries.

Even stranger, he never should have seen that information. Very complicated...

Communist spies have served much less time, and they were America's greatest enemies.

Pollard's still in jail.

I hope this campaign works, but all of his campaigns have been failures, and his wife isn't an easy person to work with. Things are not all that simple.

Life's A Game of Chance

I'm trying not to get too worked up about the upcoming Israeli Elections. We never know what we're getting, pretty much. When both Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon were elected, it looked like we'd get strong Right wing, pro-Jews in the Land of Israel governments, but we got the worst, most nightmarish, destructive governments to date.

Yitzchak gave us Oslo, but he also developed an excellent road system, bypassing Arab cities.

All over the world, modern highways are kept out of the cities, so I have no problem with the fact that we are no longer forced to travel through Ramalla. I just wish that we weren't banned from Ramalla. Many, many roads in Judea and Samaria are Judenrein, forbidden to Jews. That makes traveling very difficult and lengthy. Arabs are allowed on all the roads, except within small Jewish communities.

The Israeli Government has already created a situation separating Israel from Judea and Samaria with "checkpoints." We never know how long it will take to get through. Choosing the right lane is like choosing a line at the supermarket. There are times during the day, when there isn't a wait, and sometimes, even with all lanes open and manned, (some guards are even female,) the lines stretch a kilometer or more.

Why has Israel cooperated with its enemies?
And there never was a Pseudistinian state, nation or history.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking About Abe Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address

Sometimes there actually are useful things in The New York Times. The email headlines edition ends with an event that happened on the same day, but a different year. Today it was Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address.

When I was a student we memorized the opening lines, but then I was just a kid, and I didn't fully understand it.

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

Here in Israel, there's a civil war, too. It's not a physically bloody as the American one, but it's vicious, even more vicious. Jewish Law and Philosphy disagrees with the little rhyme I was raised with in America:

Sticks and stones can break my bones
But words can never harm me.

According to Judaism words have powers stronger than the physical. Our minds control our bodies.

The Left, Israel's "elite," accademics, media, etc have been trying from the very beginning of Zionism to make a "new Jew," disengaged from religious restrictions, a Jew engaged in farming the Land, not meek tailor or peddler from Europe. They've evolved into urban, white-collared worker, but the disdain for traditional Judaism is still a central part of their philosphy.

Ironically, today it's the Torah Jew who embraces the Land as a crucial and irreplaceable living part of our heritage. We're being forced to fight for our rights, ordinary civil rights, as if there wasn't a Jewish State. Disengagement Protestors to be Tried After All .

A building in Hebron, bought by a Jew, is being threatened by the Israeli Government. According to the government and the courts, Jews are forbidden to live there. What if this was happening in Philidelphia, Boston, New York or Sacramento? Would anyone protest? It happened in Nazi Germany, and nobody cared, but I thought the world, the Jewish People realized the injustice and that it would never happen again.

Many Jews were killed during Israel's War of Independence and our wars of survival here and the still ongoing terror attacks. Have they "died in vain?"

L'Ilui Nishmata shel Rachella Druk, HaYa"D
In Loving Memory
And the Elevation of Rachella Druk's Soul
17 Years After Her Brutal Murder By Arab Terrorists

A Little Irony

I've always found it rather humorous/ironic that while Americans, and other westerners, swear on the Bible, they deny what's written in it. And Israelis, aping what they perceive to be American/Western ideals use the courts to propagate laws denying civil rights to Jews.

Three and a half years ago, the Israeli Sharon/Olmert Government blithly announced the day for activating Disengagement. Since they were only looking at the goyish calendar, they didn't realize that they had chosen Tisha B'Av, the 9th of the Jewish Month of Av, which has been a day of great tragedies for the Jewish People over the millenea.

Now, davka, the Israeli Government has decided that Jews are forbidden to live in our holy city of Hebron, even in a building owned by Jews, and they must be forcibly evicted. What date was chosen? The eve of The Torah Portion, Parshat Chaye Sarah, which mentions Abraham's purchase of land in Hebron.

It's like moving an ancient pillar.

PS Did you ever hear of someone swearing on a UN Resolution?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Armed With A Bible

I took a Bible Tour today, davka, to Shiloh. It was more than just Shiloh. We went to Nebi Samuel. I have vague memories of going there a long time ago. There's a commanding view, and many Biblical scholars think it's the location of "Mitzpeh," which means, "Lookout," "Watch."

Looking at Nebi Samuel

Looking at Nebi Samuel

The View From  Nebi Samuel

Looking at Nebi Samuel

We spent a lot of time there. Then we went to Shiloh. I felt forced to correct the guide who kept referring to the route we were taking as "Derech Avot," the Patriarch's Path. I was getting very annoyed. The section of "Derech Avot" between Jerusalem and the northern end of Waadi Charamiya is judenrein, "cleansed of Jews." That includes the section of the road which goes to Beit El.

As part of Yitzchak Rabin's Oslo, he built new roads. We no longer have to are allowed to go on the road to the west of Beit El, past the Jelazoon refugee camp, Beit El and Ramaalla. Arabs only travel that road. They also travel the new road. There are no restrictions on Arabs.

The new road, OK, not all that new now, about thirteen years old, is well to the east and makes Ofra convenient and closes in Beit El, now the end of a dead end road.
Touring Tel Shiloh
The guide doesn't live in this area, so isn't sensitive to the problem with her "little white lie." Calling the new road by the old name is like what happened in the early years of the State of Israel. Suddenly the Land of Israel lost its importance and only the borders of the State of Israel became "holy." After the great victory of the 1967 Six Days War, many Israelis reacted to the liberation of our historic HomeLand with:
"Who need it? We have enough land without it."

And that's why we're in such a terrible state today.

More Salt on the Wounds

The Disengagement DP's are being wrung through the ringer some more. The government has raised the prices of building plots in the new neighborhoods.

According to an earlier agreement, those Gaza residents who did not own their own home and wished to join their Gush Katif communities in the Lachish region would be required to pay NIS 148,000 for half a dunam of land (approximately 1/8 of an acre). They will now be forced to pay NIS 225,000 for the same land.

Former residents of Gush Katif said the new price was unrealistically high. When representatives of the communities planning a move to Lachish first toured the area, they said, they were told each plot of land would cost approximately $10,000, at that time NIS 40,000.

Isn't it bad (such a mild word) enough that they're still paying back their mortgages on the homes the government destroyed? And don't forget that many are still unemployed.

Too bad that they didn't forgo the government's refugee camp--caravilla neighborhoods. Even subtracting the "fine" for moving to communities Judea and Samaria, they could have built nice homes for less money. And they wouldn't have been so dependent on the government.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Picturing The Nuclear Danger From Iran

thanks, "ig"

This visual lesson is good for lots of "unpleasant" situations, the kinds of situations we prefer not thinking about. Unfortunately, Israelis are the Olympic Champs of avoiding reality.

For decades the media, courts and politicians have been attempting to sweet talk and bribe the Arab terrorists into becoming our friends and live in peace with us. Each gesture is met with derision and demands for more, but that doesn't stop the looney Left.

The brainwashing goes on, and sensible people are called "haters of peace," or "Land worshippers," or even nastier things. Sometimes those speaking common sense are jailed and exiled from their homes.

Entire Jewish communites and Jewish districts have been destroyed, to placate Arab demands. The results have been more attacks and even a war. I guess their heads are so far deep in the sand, their ears are stuffed and their eyes blinded.

Pathetic and Unhelpful

I feel abandoned by the Israeli political system. My gut feeling and unofficial/informal polling indicates that many Israelis feel the same way.

How stupid do those veteran politicians think we are? Two political parties are running garage sales, offering places on their lists, real cheap.

Three years ago, with the ballooning predictions in the polls, MK wannabees flocked to Kadima, which ended up with fewer seats and more disappointed opportunists. Many of those who voted for it and for the Labor Party have been disillusioned by their performances and have been telling the pollsters that the Likud looks better.

So, Bibi Netanyau is taking bids from sundry MK wannabees, trying to turn the Likud into a Centrist Supermarket of Ideas. That's what Kadima claimed to be last time. What actually happened is that Israel got an unlabeled surprise package. No reliable and consistent ideology, so there was more anarchy, like that horrendous war two years ago, run by politicians who followed the polls, rather than reality.

I haven't voted for the Likud for over thirty years. Actually, even though we still have membership, I think that I only voted for them once, just after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The following elections found us in England on Shlichut (doing Jewish Youth Work,) and after Menachem Begin gave Egypt the Sinai, destroying the Jewish communities there, I followed Geula Cohen to T'chiya.

Since T'chiya's demise, I've had terrible times deciding which party deserves my vote.

I don't vote for religious parties, and the "new national religious party" is just the old one with a face lift and nose job. And the people running Arieh Eldad's Hatikvah are incompetent as politicians. I went to a couple of meeting, and I'm as turned off by their claims to be secular as I am by the NRP's official religiosity.

All I want is a political party which is for all Jews and promotes:

Eretz Yisrael L'Am Yisrael
The Land of Israel for the Jewish People

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unsafe Blabbing

There was a time, when you'd never even get a hint on the news where a rocket or missile fell. The security forces here were strict about not giving any information to the enemy which would help them aim better.

Now the press is all over the place. People call and the photographers are taken to the spot.

First time: Qassam rockets disables Israeli security facility

The old situation was much safer. A little "discretion" goes a long way.

Meet Shifra Shomron, Book Promo

Hello Everybody,

I'm very excited to share with all of you my latest book promotional!

During the last years of Gush Katif Shifra Shomron, then a teenager finishing high school, kept a diary and published several articles and poems about life in Neve Dekalim.

A glimpse at the author Shifra Shomron with a personal look into the writing of her first novel Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim.

It's not just a book - it's a piece of history!


Will Olmert Ever Be Brought To Justice?

I used to say that Olmert has collected so many secret files, like FBI's Hoover, that he's immune from prosecution.

Olmert must have ticked off some equally powerful people, since for the past few months there has been "battle" of sorts.

I think the Israeli public is sick and tired of him and all these repetitive headlines. Olmert's early political life was technically brilliant, except for one mistake when he allowed a quotation from him supporting Ehud Barak to appear in a Barak election promo. He was then Mayor of Jerusalem and in the Likud.
Things may get even more difficult for Olmert, since the new mayor-elect of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has promised to totally investigate Olmert's legacy to Jerusalem, the lightrail, which has given new meaning to the phrase "hell on wheels."