Hamas War

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back In The News: Ehud Olmert

Yes, Israel's disgraced Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert is back in the news.  Mr. Teflon has been caught, indicted for multiple fraud and corruption.  Basically, all the international news articles say the same thing.

I must admit that I was one of the many who used to respect him and anxiously awaited his term as Prime Minister.  Yes, that was when he was Mayor of Jerusalem and touting Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel.  That's when we saw him as a proud Israeli of Betar Revisionist background and ideology.

Foolishly I had no doubts that he'd be the Prime Minister the country truly needed, and still needs.

Olmert conned us, tricked us.  All the while he spoke as a patriot, he had already adopted his wife's rabid, extreme, loony Left policies.  He was a "sleeper," just waiting for his chance to reveal his true self.

In the end, OK we're not yet finished or even started with the trial.  Ironically, it wasn't his Left wing policies, Disengagement and badly run wars which brought him down.  It was the selfish, addictive corruption which snared Olmert.

Now, it's up to Israel's Judicial to make Ehud Olmert pay for his crimes in this world, Olam HaZeh, while the True Judge, G-d will work out his account in Olam HaBa, the World to Come.

No surprise that this has happened in the Jewish Month of Elul, the month we're supposed to reflect and repent, do Tshuva.

I'm Not In Suspense

Dry Bones is in suspense about Bibi, but I think that our Prime Minister has already sold us down the river.  He caved in and how, when he made his "two states" statement.  I had my serious doubts about his reliability before, but after that, he sealed it for me.
Yes, Israel's in trouble with Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu as Prime Minister.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy, Scandal Survivor

Who would have expected that young Ted Kennedy, whose early days in public life were almost totally strangled by scandals would end up considered respected, king-maker, active-to-the-end "Elder Statesman?"

The Kennedy (Caroline and Uncle Teddy) support for Obama was the  tipping point against Hillary Clinton.  It's ironic to think that Kennedy served in the Senate for forty-six (46) years, and Obama was born just two years before Teddy became a Senator.

For people of my generation and older the terrible irresponsibility (if not criminal action) of young and married Kennedy when he left Mary Jo Kopechne trapped in his car under water.  His seriously troubled first marriage was no secret at a time when journalists protected politicians.

I left America to live in Israel almost forty years ago, so in my mind Kennedy never really matured.  Yes, he got older and his hair whiter, but I've always been suspicious of him.

The younger Kennedy's have stayed mostly in his large shadow.  At one point it seemed like Bobby's daughter Kathleen would be the next Kennedy in power, but she didn't have the machine behind her.  She was more "nice" than charismatic.  Actually, she was in our house, not this one, the prefabricated one we lived in during our first five years in Shiloh.  Her cousin Caroline, more like her mother, prefers the privacy over the fame.  There are a few male cousins in minor office, but none seem to have that drive, that  need to control everything.

Teddy was thrust into the Senate as soon as he was old enough because his father Joe wanted to "keep it in the family."  Jack was in the White House and Bobby was Attorney General, but Teddy was too young, so one of the Kennedy followers "held" the seat until Teddy came of sufficient legal age.  So, now, maybe since he's dead the younger generation will fill his heavy shoes.

Human Rights, Free Enterprise

Human rights, civil rights, free enterprise, natural growth, capitalism...
We can throw Darwin in too, the survival of the fittest and all that.

We have a major housing shortage and over-crowding in Shiloh.

Our neighborhood synagogue is being almost doubled in seating capacity. The committee has done a miraculous job finding ways to expand it and quickly. One of the advantages of being in a climate where it doesn't rain in the summer is that building additions is easier. No covers were needed from rain. OK, I should have worn a sun hat and sunscreen on Shabbat. My seat isn't too exposed, but some of my friends kept changing their places as they chased the shade.

There are dozens of temporary, quickly built homes like these, constructed on site, like giant lego or tinker toys.

Luckier families, who already own real homes are expanding them to suit their needs.

In the rest of the world, or for Arabs a couple of kilometers away, this would be no big deal, but the world makes different rules for Jews in the our HolyLand. And unfortunately, our Israeli politicians concentrate their efforts on currying favor with our enemies, rather than doing what's best for Israel.

Enough of the hypocrisy! Let the international politicians, world community and "moralists" concentrate on real problems like Iran, Arab terrorism, cancer and pollution. In the meantime, we're busy living and building. Just mind your own business!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Here We Go Again

A little background to how my mind sees things. The term "Second Intifada" always confuses me. I never noticed that it had ended. I don't remember any announcement or ceremony.

We've been suffering from Arab terrorism that is aimed at murdering us Jews and destroying our homes and making a mockery of our security. A lull is no more than a lull, a short, unpredictable break.

As Bibi basks in the spotlight for his generosity and willingness to compromise his principles...

A Kassam rocket fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in an open area in the Sdot Negev region on Saturday morning, Army Radio reported.

Yes, here we go again.

Israel is willing to free 450 Arab terrorists who are presently imprisoned in exchange for Gilad Shalit. The Arabs have nothing to lose, because they know that in the end, they'll be released after a relatively comfortable imprisonment.

All those Jewish communities in places considered "safe" are discovering what I've said all along, that we're all in the same boat as far as the world is concerned, whether Gush Etzion, Gush Shiloh or Pisgat Ze'ev. The United Nations, United States and assorted international busybodies and their favorite tool, Peace Now, don't distinguish between our various locations. They have one rule only:

Jews aren't allowed to build in land liberated in 1967 including parts of Jerusalem.

It doesn't matter what we give the Arabs, they will just want more. Only when we fight to destroy terrorism and be strong will we achieve peace, not with concessions.

This Week's Torah Portion, Ki Tetzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19,) ends with the eternal message:
יז זָכוֹר, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק, בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם. 17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt;
יח אֲשֶׁר קָרְךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, וַיְזַנֵּב בְּךָ כָּל-הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִים אַחֲרֶיךָ--וְאַתָּה, עָיֵף וְיָגֵעַ; וְלֹא יָרֵא, אֱלֹהִים. 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
יט וְהָיָה בְּהָנִיחַ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ מִכָּל-אֹיְבֶיךָ מִסָּבִיב, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה-אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--תִּמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם; לֹא, תִּשְׁכָּח. {פ} 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget. {P}

Friday, August 28, 2009

Heichal Shlomo Deceived by Missionary Group : UPDATE #1

Posted by Jewish Israel

Jewish Israel has revised this posting due to new information received on August 30th. The management at Heichal Shlomo was aghast at reports that their facilities – including their Renanim Synagogue – were to be used by missionary Christine Darg and Women of the Walls for a worship convocation and banquet. The management at Heichal Shlomo at no time agreed to such usage of their facilities, nor had they seen the publicity and invitation advertising the events.

An advertisement and invitation has been disseminated by parties associated with Christine Darg, indicating that Heichal Shlomo is to be hosting a Christian “worship convocation” and banquet sponsored by evangelical missionary Christine Darg of Exploits Ministries. The event is scheduled for October 1, 2009 (a day before Erev Sukkot), and is being promoted as a prelude to ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles. The advertisement for the event calls for an afternoon “Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation in the 18th Century Renanim Synagogue of the Heichal Shlomo, followed by a banquet at the Heichel Shlomo.

Jewish Israel alerted our Rabbinic Advisor, Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold. He immediately notified the relevant parties of this urgent and distressing matter. More details and a full report (with a likely positive outcome) is forthcoming.

Heichal Shlomo is a complex which for years served as the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and currently houses the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Heritage Museum, the Renanim Synagogue and a number of rabbinic offices.

A poster advertising “The Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation and Banquet can be seen here. The Daughter of Jerusalem facebook page created by Christine Darg was also carrying a graphic of the inivitation to Heichal Shlomo ( see advertisement page).

According to the ad, other known “messianic”(Christian) and evangelical personalities will be featured at the event. Also participating is at least one Knesset member and Jewish community leaders - including Josh Reinstein the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Christine Darg and her husband Peter regularly work with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and organize events for them.

In the past Reinstein has consistently denied working with missionary groups and has upheld the position that “The Christian Allies Caucus…refuses to work with the messianic Jewish community on the grounds that it actively seeks to convert Jews. ‘We believe they work against the interests of the State of Israel.” David Rotem, the current Chairman of the Knesset Christian Caucus also reaffirms that “the caucus's guidelines bar any connection with missionary groups.” And the Caucus admits that “it is legally bound to refrain from all connections with missionary groups in order to have NGO status”

However, according to a trustees report for Exploits Ministries, Christine and Peter Darg describe Exploits as “a missionary society.” Their objectives include taking "the Good News of Jesus Christ back to the Bible Lands where the Gospel began, to both Jew and Arab …”. A similar message is prominently featured on the Exploits Ministries web site homepage.

The Dargs have been directly involved in projects which target the Jewish people for conversion. Christine can be heard on radio describing her work and declaring that, “The Russian Jews are the most open Jewish people group to the gospel on the face of the earth at this moment. The Russians today were begging us for New Testaments … ". Peter Darg can be seen on video promoting a missionary publication on the New Testament in Hebrew, “It’s heartbreaking…that Jewish souls will be lost to eternity unless they come to know him [Jesus] as their Jewish Messiah…I encourage you to sponsor a chapter of the much needed bible so that you can show the love of Yeshua to the Jewish people here in Israel…”

Rabbi Glick of the Temple Institute can be seen in a video clip participating in a highly unorthodox ceremony with Christine Darg. The video was entitled, “Exploits Watching for the Return of Jesus to Jerusalem”

Other featured participants in the advertised Worship and Banquet event include the Christian Embassy’s Charmaine Hedding, Christian worship leader Rosalind Hershkovitz, Female Christian vocalist Vesna Bühler, and “messianic Musicians” Merv and Merla Watson.

Jewish Israel feels that the management of Heichal Shlomo was deceived and that it is more than disturbing that an Orthodox landmark and synagogue in Jerusalem was almost used for a Christian or interfaith worship gathering . This should serve as a wake-up call to the Jewish community to become aware of the prevalence of evangelical missionary deceptions and it should alert the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and Knesset members to be fully aware of the evangelizing intentions and agenda of a number of the individuals and organizations that they work with.

The management of Heichal Shlomo reported that they had received numerous calls and emails from concerned parties (we have removed Heichal Shlomo's email and phone number in anticipation of a positive outcome to this matter.)

Jewish Israel will continue to keep you posted. Contact us at info@jewishisrael.com

[note: The following is an exclusive Jewish Israel report. Please credit Jewish Israel with a link if you choose to use and disseminate this information]

(Thanks to a special Jewish Israel member who tipped us off on this story)

What Wasted Votes!

I feel like a broken record, repeating time after time, that most people who voted for Likud had wasted their votes. They trusted that Bibi's "Center" campaign would get him in power to give us Right wing pro-Jews in the Land of Israel policies. Instead, as I suspected and blogged, he is using his power to give us Labor-Kadima and Loony-Left policies.

Sorry, chevra, but you've been had! Don't kvetch now about not liking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policies. Do something.

Leave the Likud en masse and join the National Union, and that especially includes Likud MK's who, along with Moshe Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit, are the guiltiest of this con. They gave the Likud a "Mehadrin Hechsher--strictest approval" that a vote for Likud would ensure a strong and Jewish Israel, protecting Jewish Rights in our HolyLand.

Things will not get better within the Likud and we don't have time for Feiglin's plea for "patience."

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorah
May you have a peaceful and blessed Sabbath

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Signs Sans Hebrew, Not New

A couple of years ago, on the anniversary of when I was injured in a terror attack by an Arab terrorist, I went to the stop it happened. It's in Jerusalem, at the junction of French Hill and the Begin Highway going south. It's the corner going towards the Atarot airport and industrial zone. When it happened it was the road home to Shiloh passing Neve Yaakov. Now we travel on a new road and our bus stop has moved.

It took a lot of guts for me to go there. Not because I'm phobic, but because it's now an Arab-only bus stop, yes in Jerusalem. And the signs had no Hebrew, just Arabic and maybe English. All I noticed was the lack of Hebrew.

So the big announcement that the United States is funding new new signs in Judea and Samaria sans Hebrew isn't terribly surprising. Why hasn't anyone protested the sans Hebrew signs in Jerusalem?

AFSI's Helen Freedman In Israel

After her travels with Mike Huckabee, popped into the Menachem Begin Heritage Center with me and was happy to see DNY State Assemblyman Dov and Shani Hikind. Pictures follow article.

First-Person Account: Touring Israel with Mike Huckabee
by Helen Freedman

A first-person account of a US presidential candidate's trip to Israel by a prominent Jewish-American activist reveals a calm man with strong principles.

When I received the invitation from Shani Hikind at the Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Reclamation Project (JRP) to accompany Republican Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on a mission to Israel, I agreed immediately.

Having listened to Huckabee speak at the many debates held amongst the candidates, and being a fan of his Fox television show and his ABC radio shows, I knew that traveling with Mike would be a unique and extraordinary experience. It was all that and more!!

arrived at Newark Airport late Saturday night, August 15, and waited at the gate to board my El Al midnight flight to Israel. An unassuming man walked into the area all alone. There was no entourage, no guards, no secretaries, and no press. When I looked again, I realized it was Mike Huckabee. I approached him, introduced myself, and told him I was part of the group with which he would be traveling. He was as gracious as could be, agreed to take some books and materials that I had for him, and posed for a photo with me. From that time on, he greeted me as Helen whenever we met.

He had that same warm quality with everyone in the group, remembering each one's name and greeting each one with a smile. This calm, affable, genuine quality about him continued throughout our three-day trip in Israel, despite the constant pressure of the media surrounding him, pushing their way forward, shouting out questions, and following him everywhere.

The trip was under the tireless guidance of JRP Representative in Jerusalem, Daniel Luria. Our first day was concentrated in Jerusalem, with a fascinating tour of the City of David, where ancient excavations dating back 3,200 years have been discovered. This was followed by trips through the former Yemenite village in Silwan, mostly Arab but with a renewed Jewish presence as there was decades ago, a visit to Maaleh HaZeitim, a flourishing Jewish development on the Mount of Olives, and a delightful stop at Kidmat Tzion, another Jewish development, adjacent to the ugly wall that cuts through Jerusalem and separates Abu Dis from the rest of Jerusalem.

While most of us enjoyed a picnic lunch in the lovely shaded forest area adjacent to Kidmat Tzion, Mike Huckabee sat in the strong sunshine, in front of a stunning view of the Old City, while he gave interview after interview to the omnipresent press.

Huckabee's remarks to the press have been well-recorded, but there were some particular comments that stand out in my memory. He insisted that his visit was not meant to be a provocation. He believes that two sovereign nations cannot control the same piece of territory, and that though the PA deserves to have a state, "it can't be in Israel." He affirms the unique relationship between the U.S. and Israel which he describes as "organic," with both having experienced the same struggle and victory. He also spoke about his experiences growing up in the deep South with segregated schools, which makes him very sensitive to issues of discrimination and prejudice.

When asked about the "occupation," Mike Huckabee responded brilliantly. He described Israel's government as one of "accommodation, not occupation." He spoke about Israel's efforts to bring all types of services to the Arab communities such as schools, infra-structure development, hospitals, and welfare payments.

The Moskowitz family, owners of the Shepherd Hotel in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, hosted a lovely cocktail reception on Monday evening at the hotel. Although the hotel is located near the National Headquarters of the Israeli police, near the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik, and adjacent to the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, the purchase of the hotel by a Jewish family, with the purpose of converting it to apartments for Jews, had set off a storm of protest. As we arrived at the hotel, we saw the protestors from Peace Now screaming their opposition to Huckabee's presence. Huckabee's reaction to their insults and noise was that their ability to behave in that fashion simply demonstrated Israel's democratic character, where free speech, even if ugly and unwanted, was fully tolerated.

On Tuesday, the former governor was given a tour of Maaleh Adumim and the E1 corridor to Jerusalem. The town's mayor, Benny Kashriel, explained that the population of nearly 40,000 people in the city provided 2,000 jobs to Arabs, and that freezing construction meant putting Arabs out of work. Huckabee agreed that Obama's policies are not in sync with either his campaign promises, or his assurances made to AIPAC of his continued support for previous understandings regarding Israel's settlement situation. Huckabee asserted that Israelis must be allowed to make their own decisions.

He continued along these lines as we toured Shomron/Samaria with David HaIvri. We visited Beit El, Mt. Gerizim overlooking Shechem (Nablus), Har Bracha, and Givot Olam. In each place he met hard-working, devoted people who love the Land of Israel and dedicate their lives to its preservation. Gershon Mesika, the head of the Shomron Regional Council, asked Huckabee to do what he could to encourage the Jewish people to love Israel and thus restore the Temple to Jerusalem.

Huckabee spoke about American Christians' very deep support for Israel. He believes there is more unity amongst Evangelicals for Israel than there is among Jews. He describes the Christian connection to Judaism as one that is totally genetic, "part of its DNA," and that because of this, Bible-believing Christians assert the right of the Jews to their homeland.

Huckabee suggested that Obama's positions on Israel have brought anxiety to Congress, and that Democrats don't want to be seen to be in conflict with Israel. He reminded us of Reagan's bombing of Libya, and stated, "Abandoning the Israel/U.S. relationship would be the undoing of both countries." Responding to questions about defensible borders for Israel, Huckabee maintained that there would be none if control were turned over to Hamas.

Referring to the years of peace processes, he reminded us of Einstein's definition of insanity, namely, "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Huckabee recommends starting with a blank slate and seeing what is realistically possible; "there is no point in talking about a plan that is a proven failure." Although he recognized that he is out of the mainstream in his beliefs, he says he prefers that to the position of always having to check the prevailing winds.

Asserting that Jews should have the right to live wherever they choose in their homeland, he commented, "If Arabs didn't want to lose land, they shouldn't have started wars." He reminded us that wars and history have caused so many lands to change hands and populations.

That evening, back in Jerusalem, there was a cocktail reception at the very beautiful home of Mr. Guma Aguiar in Yemin Moshe. The former governor was awarded photos and plaques for his deep devotion to Israel as the Jewish homeland. Many Members of Knesset and other dignitaries were there, along with the press of course, and once again Huckabee displayed his modesty, equanimity, and sincerity as he graciously accepted the awards and once again pledged his devotion to Israel.

By Wednesday, August 19, work commitments began to intrude in the planned schedule. Though he did not make it to the Gush Katif "resettlement camp" in Nitzan (see below), Huckabee did get to the Gush Katif museum in Jerusalem, where he met Rivka Goldschmidt, an evacuee from the destroyed Gush Katif communities. He spoke to her earnestly, listening to her description of what it had been like to have led a useful and productive life in a beautiful home and community and then to have it all torn away and destroyed. Four years later, only 15 percent of the 400 farmers of Gush Katif have received proper compensation. There were 50 greenhouses in Gush Katif; today, the former residents have only three. People are still paying off the mortgages on their destroyed homes, and must pay rent for the caravans in which they live in the "refugee camps." Huckabee seemed deeply moved by what he heard, as well as by the vivid photos and powerfully emotional film of the expulsion.

He was unable to continue with us on our visit to Nitzan, the largest of the Jewish "refugee camps," where we met with Dror Vanunu and Rachel and Moshe Saperstein, former residents of N'vei Dekalim. After a lovely lunch at the visitors' center, we traveled on to Hevron to enjoy the spirituality always present in this city of our Matriarchs and Patriarchs. David Wilder once again served as our valuable guide.

At our farewell dinner at the "Between the Arches" restaurant in the Old City, Huckabee was there to greet each one of us. He shook hands with us individually, and posed for photos. I spoke to him briefly about his plans to visit Israel again in late January/February with a Christian group. I reminded him that Herbert Zweibon, chairman of my organization, Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI, has always worked closely with the Christian community and would work with him on his planned visit. He indicated that he would look forward to discussing this further.

Mike Huckabee did not stay to dine with us; he fought the Jerusalem traffic that erev Rosh Chodesh Elul night simply to say farewell personally to each one of us who had accompanied him on this memorable trip. He then left for the airport and his return flight to New York. I look forward to watching his personal reports on Fox News and listening to his radio commentaries on Israel.

I trust that the messages he brings back, which are strong contradictions of the Obama policies, will help educate the general public about the true situation that exists in Israel today, and the necessity of keeping Israel a viable ally of America.

Helen Freedman is Executive Director of Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI - 212-828-2424; afsi@rcn.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maybe I'm Stupid

I just don't understand this "agreement negotiation" as a condition to "peace talks." All of these "conditions" before the "real talks" seem to cover what should be discussed, if you believe that "peace" can be negotiated between a country under attack and the terrorists attacking it.

Is the United States the enemy? If not, why are we negotiating with them?

These negotiations are just the entry ticket to talks with the Arabs. So that means that whatever concessions the USA wrings out of Israel, the Arabs will start at that point and grind us down to nothingness.

I just don't get it. Why are we participating in this horrendously dangerous game?

The Effectiveness of the "Defense Barrier" Between Israel and The Arab Terrorists

This picture says it all!

Send Soccer Dad to The Second Jewish Bloggers Convention!

Soccer Dad should be at the Second Jewish Bloggers Convention. We Jewish bloggers are a group because of one person and one person only, Soccer Dad. He's the jblogger who established Havel Havelim. Newer jbloggers are probably unaware that in the very early days of blogging, Soccer Dad searched the internet for Jewish blogs and Jewish bloggers. Even on weeks when he wasn't hosting Havel Havelim, the host would get a number of emails during the week with lists of links, "just to help a little." I'm glad that I was trained in blog carnivals by the best. There isn't a jblogger who deserves to be flown to Israel by NBN more than David.

...my good friend and "blogfather"... - Elie's Expositions
Soccer Dad to me is the Godfather of Jewish and Israeli blogs... - It's Almost Supernatural
Soccer Dad, who is something of a national treasure ... - Seraphic Secret
indefatigable - Elder of Ziyon
Wolf Howling - He leaves the flayed remains in his wake. Quit blogging and change the baby. - Mrs. Soccer Dad

If it wasn't for Soccer Dad's hard work, we jbloggers wouldn't be as connected as we are... meaning that there probably wouldn't be enough community for there to be Jewish Blogger Conferences.

Today and Yesterday, Two Sites Worth Visiting

If only there was something like this, Toldot Yisrael, and organization collecting oral histories of those who fought for Israel's Independence, when my Uncle Izzy was still alive. Uncle Izzy was extremely reticent about telling his story, or more precisely stories, from the time he came to help the Jewish refugees from post WWII Nazi Europe who were attempting to make aliyah, emigrate to Israel.

After decades of silence, secrecy, Uncle Izzy was willing to answer a few of our questions, because we were living in Israel and knew the history. He didn't tell his children anything. As in many families, we missed out and never recorded him. "Next time" never happened, since he passed away.

A totally different site worth visiting is Through Torah Colored Glasses. It's Evelyn Hayes' blog. Evelyn is the hardworking idealist who has been instrumental in bringing more than just pilgrims to Kever Rachel. You can read her essays and more on the site.

One of Bibi's Better Soundbites

This is all so obvious, but unfortunately rare to hear it from an Israeli politician in power:
Netanyahu to UK: Jerusalem is Sovereign Capital of Israel

Actually in this speech, he gets even better.
"Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and Israel will not accept limits on its sovereignty there," he told reporters bluntly. "We have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years."

Moreover, growing Jewish families in the existing communities of Judea and Samaria need schools for their children and homes to live in, he added. "This is different from grabbing land," he emphasized, and said he hoped to find a "bridging formula" that would enable Jews living in the regions to live a "normal life."

Unfortunately, without consistent action, it's just empty words. And why distinguish between different cities, town, etc into "settlements" and "not settlements?"
I don't understand why we don't arbitrarily decide which city we should recognize as capital of the countries which refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital City! Obviously, New York City is the Capital of the United States, and Liverpool is the Capital of Great Britain. Which cities/countries would you recommend?

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's This "Obama Plan?"

Arutz 7 has had the details of "Obama's Peace Plan" on its site the past couple of days.

I've been planning on writing some scathing criticism of Bibi's government for not condemning it, but first I wanted more details. Arutz 7 is a fine news site, up to a point. Many of its new articles, besides hometown Judea, Samaria and a few other places in Israel, are culled from other news sites. So, I've wanted to find more about this plan.

So far nothing. I couldn't find anything in The New York Times. Of course, it may just be that I'm an awfully incompetent news researcher. The A7 article is based on a Saudi Arabian one.

Over the years, when I've done this sort of research, I would just discover the same text/reports in all the news services.

So if anyone knows of something, please let me know in the comments. I really wonder if Obama would come out with anything like this. It seems much "too pro-Jewish settlement."

I Twooze, If That's The Term

I not only WEJEW, even though it doesn't like my blogs, now I'm Twoozing, if that's the correct term for it. From what I understand, the WEJEW, people aim to establish safe Jewish alternatives to all of the "social media" services, or whatever they're known as.

I guess
Twoozer is a combination of Twitter and shmooze. I'm pretty much ignored on Twitter and am curious if I'll be a more popular Twoozer. And no, I'm not going to do all this by phone!
And re: my avatar, profile picture. Yes, it's old. It's from my high school days in Great Neck North, not quite the hot bed of Jewish Life, though I did my best. I was in NCSY, SSSJ and attended YU Seminars. Yes, there was anti-Semitism in my Great Neck Public School. The sewing teacher downgraded me an entire mark, from A to B, because I refused to appear in the fashion show on Shabbat.
That's it for now, before the virus scan clicks in and slows this computer to an unbearable/unbloggable speed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

If It's Good Enough For The USA, It's Good Enough For Israel!

This interesting little New York Times article illuminates some information which I hadn't realized was true. Not even the United States automatically reveals the names etc of its non-American prisoners to the International Red Cross.

So, if that's the case, we really don't have to cooperate with the Red Cross or any other international body, nor do we have to give our Arab terrorist prisoners more than the minimal food and medical care. We certainly don't have to give them visitors, nor packages. They shouldn't have the rights to lawyers and clergymen. They shouldn't have telephones nor television, videos nor dvd. They are prisoners not campers. They are enemies not friends.

And not only must we demand that Gilad Shalit be released and sent home, we have other missing soldiers, such as Ron Arad and the others captured decades ago, during the Lebanese War. If they're alive, then let them return home to their families and friends, and if they're dead, let their families bury them here in Israel.

Israel must stop this nebichy, weak nice-guy schtick and start showing self-respect and determination.

Successive Israeli Governments have just been embarrassments and failures. It's time to stop and use the strength G-d has given us. Nachshon, where are you?

Catholic Bishops: Interfaith Dialogue an Invitation to Evangelize Jews

Posted by Jewish Israel
Jewish-Catholic relations have once again hit a stumbling block. It seems U.S. Catholic bishops deem interfaith dialogue with Jewish groups as an evangelizing opportunity - a chance to “invite” Jews to become Catholic. A new document appears to signify a dramatic shift in position from the 2002 Reflections on Covenant and Mission statement, which downplayed any attempts by the Catholic church to target Jews for conversion.

This latest rift is one of a number of incidents that may mark a new (old?) and darker era in Jewish –Catholic relations. But American Jewish leaders across the religious and political spectrum have offered a unified response.

Jewish Israel explores the downhill trend in Jewish-Catholic relations, as well as the unified statement by
• the American Jewish Committee
• the Anti-Defamation League
• the National Council of Synagogues
• the Orthodox Union and
• the Rabbinical Council of America.

Taking the gloves off and confronting the Catholic church over a shift in their evangelizing stance is a step in the right direction, but Jewish leaders will have to wake-up and realize that it’s the evangelical churches and their messianic proxies which pose the far more formidable threat to the Jewish faith and to the spiritual continuity of the Jewish people.


One of those Jewish community leaders who only sees the good, but turns a blind eye to the bad and the ugly side of the evangelical coin is Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Leibler. Jewish Israel penned a Right of Reply to Isi, but the Jerusalem Post passed-up the opportunity to publish the response. Israelinsider has picked up both opinions.


“Rather than lapse into a predicable rant about those liberal Jews who have “embraced postmodernism” or dismiss concerned Orthodox Jews as being “ill-informed” , Leibler should recognize the natural aversion to our “unconditionally” embracing evangelical Christians as a healthy, unifying trend – and as a survival instinct among all of our people. After all, the one common denominator among all Jews –secular, religious, and all shades in between, is that we don’t believe in Jesus as a lord or savior.

As long as evangelicals evangelize, the Jewish people will have to be vigilant and monitor the relationship carefully. To take a critical look at Israel’s relationship with fundamentalist Christians is neither “misguided”, nor “churlish”. It’s simply being responsible and Jewish. It’s regrettable that such a sensible stance over this formidable challenge makes Jewish leaders terribly uncomfortable.”

more at Jewish Israel

Finally, Caroline Glick Took Off Her Bibi-Blinding Glasses

I've found Caroline Glick, of the Jerusalem Post, to be almost brilliant at times. What dulled her has been her worship and trust in Binyamin Netanyahu. So many times, I've been disappointed that she had ruined a great opinion article by agreeing with Bibi.

Now finally, she has opened her eyes and criticized him.

"This week we discovered that we have been deceived. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's principled rejection of US President Barack Obama's bigoted demand that Israel bar Jews from building new homes and expanding existing ones in Judea and Samaria does not reflect his actual policy.
Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias let the cat out of the bag.

Attias said that the government has been barring Jews from building in the areas since it took office four months ago, in the hopes that by preemptively capitulating to US demands, the US will treat Israel better.

And that's not all. Today Netanyahu is reportedly working in earnest to reach a deal with the Obama administration that would formalize the government's effective construction ban through 2010...

Unfortunately, far from treating Israel better as a result of Netanyahu's willingness to capitulate on the fundamental right of Jews to live and build homes in the land of Israel, the Obama administration is planning to pocket Israel's concession and then up the ante. Administration officials have stated that their next move will be to set a date for a new international Middle East peace conference that Obama will chair. There, Israel will be isolated and relentlessly attacked as the US, the Arabs, the Europeans, the UN and the Russians all gang up on our representatives and demand that Israel accept the so-called 'Arab peace plan.'"

Honestly, if you read my articles (blog posts) you know perfectly well, that I've been complaining for years that "concessions," agreeing to foreign and Israeli Left-wing policies and demands only make more demands, stronger demands on us.

Glick isn't saying anything different. She just finally woke up that Bibi is no savior, no leader. He's just another Israeli politician barking up the wrong tree. Our Israeli Prime Minister is a follower, not a leader. Unfortunately, he has buried his potential and is now interchangeable with Livni, Barak and even Olmert in terms of policies.

But Glick is still deluded:

"For Israel to secure its national interests, Palestinian society needs to be fundamentally reorganized."

We can't and shouldn't expect such a thing as a "reorganized" "Palestinian society." Changes in social and cultural values and morality must come from within the society in question. Outsiders can't change things. That's one of the reasons that the United States is failing and dying in Iraq.

Stop being in such a rush. We won't have "peace now." It will take generations for peace to evolve. If it's not true peace it's a dangerous sham. We must stop talking peace, stop searching and begging for peace. It only makes us vulnerable and weak. The Arabs don't respect us, and that causes violence.

There's only one way for us to be secure, and that's to be strong and stop listening to others and stop trying to get love and approval from foreign countries.

Get back to basics. There's only One we must please, and that's G-d Almighty!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Very Busy At Kever Rachel

I ended up at Rachel's Tomb during the ceremony when the Sefer Torah, written for Gilad Shalit's safe return, G-d willing, was brought there.

Yes, that's me being interviewed on TV. I'm the one who said that Israel must be strong. The Arab prisoners we're holding shouldn't get anything Shalit doesn't get, and that includes letting the Red Cross visit them.
The Red Cross is anti-Israel. That's why they opposed our Jewish Star as an officially recognized symbol. That's why they haven't campaigned for Gilad Shalit. If it doesn't bother them that he has been without their official care, then Israel doesn't owe them any respect.

Torah Scroll for Shalit's Freedom

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Fragrance of The Shechina

This morning, the first day of the Jewish Month of Elul, I joined other women for a calm and leisurely Prayer and Psalm session at Tel Shiloh.

We all felt the Shechina, G-'d's presence, as we prayed to G-d, possibly, in the very same area the Biblical Chana did thousands of years ago.

What a contrast to the stressful, crowd-filled Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb, which is strangled by concrete and bars.

That's one of the reasons I began inviting women to come to Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of each Jewish Month.

Tel Shiloh is open for visitors everyday but Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. Tours may be arranged. For more information email
telshilo@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019. If you'd like to join my Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email me, shilohmuse at gmail dot com

No Confidence, No Charisma

Israelis and Jews and Israel-lovers are barking up the wrong tree. Creating better more pro-Israel policies from foreign governments and more pro-Israel editorial policies in the media aren't dependent on logic. Even finely crafted editorials, like this one from Stephen J. Savitsky, President of the OU won't change Obama's or anybody's opinion and feelings.

It all depends on us, on Israel.

People keep asking me about Mike Huckabee and Israel. It doesn't matter how pro-Israel Huckabee may be if Israeli policies don't protect us and if Israel keeps acting like a desperate nebich.

It's all in the "body language." It all depends on us. If you act like a hero, you'll be treated like one. But if you act dependent and weak, people, nations will just work harder to destroy you.

That's our, Israel's problem.

We keep begging, offering treats and bribes, so the world and our enemies just demand more from us.

We're an ancient and noble nation. We need nobody but ourselves and G-d. Christianity and Islam were both invented to replace Judaism, and that's because their original leaders understood well that G-d loves us and only us. Christian and Muslim leaders have fooled many people, but they don't fool G-d.

G-d is waiting for the Jewish People to return to Him, to repent.

Today is the first of the Jewish Month of Elul, the month of Tshuva, Repentance. We must prepare ourselves for Judgement.

Chodesh Tov and Shannah Tovah
Have a Good Month and a Good Year

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chodesh Elul Tov!

Rosh Chodesh Elul, the first of the Jewish month of Elul is two days. Tomorrow, Friday, at 9:30am, we'll be celebrating with Women's Prayers and T'hillim (Psalms) at Tel Shiloh.

Please join us and/or spread the word!

Prayer and an Update

Chodesh Tov dear brothers and sisters! Deepest thanks to all those who prayed for my Rebbe, Aharon Reuven ben Hinda. Boruch Hashem he came through surgery okay and the doctors are cautiously optimistic.

I told Ella this afternoon about the taanit dibur that friends arranged on his behalf until "Chatzot Ha'yom." Of course, many fasted the entire day as Rav Shlomo Amar had requested for a "ta'anit tzibur," but some like myself find fasting arduous so I opt for a "taanit dibur." I savor the feeling of being locked in my own little world, attempting to liberate myself from the material and rise to spiritual heights.

Immediately after this conversation I went to pray at the Baba Sali's shrine. The place was teeming with hundreds. Erev Rosh Chodesh is a wonderful time to meet women from all over the country. Several of my friends and I go there armed with special kits about family purity and other mitzvot.

I have a wonderful suggestion for prayer time: This summer I vacationed up north. Occasionally, I got so overwhelmed at my arrival to Kivrot Tzaddikim (Burial sites of saintly men,) that I forgot to daven for some of those I pray for daily. Hence this time I prepared a special "pinkas"(tiny notebook,) with lists of people I wish to pray for, under headings: Need children; need a shidduch; need a refuah shleima; need to be freed from captivity; need Hashem's shmira during their army service; etc. This way I don't have to wonder, "Now who else did I want Abba to help?"

I hope Hashem grants Rabbi Rappaport a full recovery in time to witness the coming of Moshiach. No, I'm not a Chabbadnikit, but adopted years ago their slogan, "We want Moshiach now!" I wish that when I prayed Shmoneh Esrei my "kavanot" remained pure instead of wandering off into the realms of cooking or checking exams. With the coming of Ellul, I'll have to work a bit harder on that! Chodesh Tov to all, and may we hear bsorot tovot!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Missionary Jim Vineyard shows his true colors

Posted by Jewish Israel
The red, white, and blue - plus orange - pastor, who valiantly defended the Jewish community in Gush Katif and penned heart-felt letters to President Bush in defense of Israel, has come out of the closet as a flaming Baptist missionary. And his eyes are now set on converting Jewish IDF soldiers to Christianity.

Dr. Jim (James) Vineyard the purportedly true blue friend of the Jews who led the pre-Gaza Disengagement protest in Crawford Texas, and who accompanied Dov Hikind on a solidarity visit to Gush Katif in the summer of 2005,was exposed by blogger Geula Girl of The Key to Redemption.

An ad for the 2009 national conference of Pastor Vineyard’s organization Yedidim of Israel invited participants to “Join us for three days of study on Israel and find out what you can do to get involved in evangelizing the Jew

The brochure for the conference was equally telling:

“While in Israel, Brother Vineyard met Guy Markizano, an IDF
artillery commander. This opened a huge door to several battalions
of IDF soldiers, to whom we were able to feed a full hot
meal. Three short years later, because of that relationship, we
have been able to place several library containers on military
installations across Israel. These are evangelistic tools because
they contain both Old and New Testament Bibles, and are airconditioned
units the soldiers can escape to, to read a book or
God’s Word. Could these be some of the 144,000 that the book of
Revelation speaks of?”

More than four years ago this writer expressed apprehension over Pastor Vineyard and his agenda in an article posted by Arutz 7 and Israelinsider, I advised the national camp to exercise caution. At the time I urged, “…our nationalist rabbis and Christian Zionist leaders to lay everything out on the table and draw-up some principles, ethical codes and red lines to guide our relationship and activities before we run into any misunderstandings.”

In an October 2008 Jewish Israel update, I wondered why Pastor Vineyard was "hooked up" with 80 IDF officers at a "War College" in France in late September of that year. Vineyard stayed at the same hotel with "these 80 Hebrews to study primarily, the Normandy Invasion". According to one of Vineyard's letters, packages were distributed to the IDF officers. "when we put that package of books and DVDs into their hands. They would ask, "For Me?" Then they would walk away amazed."

A word of caution:

It was Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind who helped Jim Vineyard become the “save Gush Katif” poster pastor back in 2005. Rabbi MK Benny Elon also encouraged Vineyard to join a widely publicized solidarity mission of “Bible Belt Baptist ministers” and American Jews, which Hikind organized and led. According to an article in The Jewish Week, at the time it was reported that Hikind was unconcerned about the issue of proselytizing by Vineyard and his Baptist pastors’ group:

“Hikind said he was undaunted by the proselytizing activities of the Evangelical ministers, a source of concern to some Jewish organizations that are skeptical about fundamentalist Christian support for Israel. “As far as I know they are not directly involved in [proselytizing]”Hikind expressed frustration [during a solidarity rally] that more Jewish leaders had not signed on to his trip.
“It is easier for me to find Baptist ministers than rabbis,” he said in a booming voice.

Pastor Vineyard remained the trusted friend of a number is right-wing activists including Ruth Matar of Women in Green. When Mike Huckabee was running for the Republican primaries, Ruth penned a widely distributed letter which stated in part, “ My personal friend, Dr. Jim Vineyard, knows him[Huckabee] personally, and assures me that Mike Huckabee is a very good and loyal friend of Israel.”

Well, now we know that Pastor Vineyard is not to be trusted, as he lied about not having an evangelizing agenda in Israel. And thanks to the “generosity” of the good Pastor our soldiers across Israel can now read the new testament in air-conditioned comfort.

Governor Mike Huckabee is currently in Israel on a widely publicized trip, and is being accompanied by Assemblyman Dov Hikind . Jewish Israel wants to make it clear that it has absolutely no information with regards to any history of Huckabee having evangelized Jews. Nor do we have any reason to doubt Governor Huckabee’s sincerity and commitment to Israel.

However, we do know that Huckabee was an active and devout Baptist pastor for 12 years prior to his launching a political career. Last month he was a featured speaker at the Southern Baptist Convention. That means he takes “the Great Commission” (missionary work and spreading the gospel) seriously. At that convention “The Great Commission Resurgence Declaration” was passed. Jewish Israel will keep readers abreast of developments on that bill and what it could mean for the Jewish people.

So Jewish Israel thinks that any relationship with Mike Huckabee needs to be approached with the old “respect and suspect” formula. The unveiling of Pastor Dr. Jim Vineyard’s true colors should alert every Jew to the possibility that those who praise, throw banquets for, and honor pastors and/or politicians could – down the road - end up eating their words and having to imbibe some pretty bitter waters.

Jewish Israel thinks “respect and suspect” is the order of the day – now more than ever.

Please visit Jewish Israel for updates on this report and more.

Huckabee - Read His Words Carefully, Please

Mike Huckabee, U.S. President wannabe, has been saying some interesting things. Instead of spoon-feeding you my take on his words, I'm going to copy/paste an article from the Jerusalem Post. It's full of Huckabee's own words. I'll just highlight the ones you should think about. Please "comment" your interpretations.

Thank you!

Aug 18, 2009 16:33 Updated Aug 18, 2009 23:56
Huckabee: 2-state solution 'unrealistic'

Palestinians have a right to a homeland, but not within the boundaries of Israel, former governor of Arkansas and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee suggested at a meeting with reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning.

Huckabee advocated for a one-state solution, thereby challenging the policies of both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.

Huckabee, who many consider the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is here on a four-day visit sponsored by Ateret Cohanim, the organization spearheading efforts to buy property for Jewish homes in east Jerusalem.

In an exchange with The Jerusalem Post, he said that while both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to a self-governed homeland, it would be impossible for the countries to live side-by-side.

"The point is that if you try to layer two governments on top of each other, there is going to be nothing but conflict," Huckabee said when asked if the Palestinians had a right to a homeland within territories currently controlled by Israel. "I don't know how that would work. That comes back to the question of how you designate two owners of the same car."

"Historically, the international community has already said Israel has a right to be here, that this is going to be their homeland," Huckabee said.

The same international community* that granted Palestine to Jews ought to decide where Palestinians should establish their homeland, he said.

"The question is, should the Palestinians have a place to call their own?" he asked. "Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That's what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic."

However, Huckabee backed away from a suggestion he made in 2007 that the Palestinian state could be formed in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

"It wasn't so much of a plan, I think, as it was a speculation," he said. "I was speculating. My question was, why does it [the Palestinian state] have to be here?"

It was unreasonable for the world to expect Israel give up any of its land for a Palestinian state, he said.

"They [the Jews] have been given a tiny minuscule strip of land to upon which to call home," he said. "To ask them to further give increasing amounts acreage away for what is hoped to be a peaceful arrangement - it has not resulted in creating any level of peace."

Huckabee's one-state solution is politically to the right of the prime minister, who recently came out in favor of a two-state solution as long as the Palestinian state is demilitarized and does not pose a threat, and as long as Jerusalem remains Israel's undivided capital.

"In my vision of peace, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect," Netanyahu in an address delivered at Bar-Ilan University in June. "Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, and its own government."

"And how is that two-state solution working out for them?" Huckabee asked reporters on Tuesday morning.

But he said that despite his preference for a one-state solution, if he were president, he would defer to Israel's leadership on the issue.

"I would pursue allowing Israelis to self-govern. If that's what they decided, then that's their prerogative," he said in reference to a two-state solution. "The Israeli government, not another government, should decide where Jews live inside the boundary of Israel."

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister on his 11th trip to Israel, said he has not yet decided whether will run for the White House in 2012.

After meeting with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Tuesday, Huckabee took a tour of the West Bank, starting in Ma'aleh Adumim, where Mayor Benny Kashriel explained how American policy was preventing the building of the E-1 neighborhood that would link his city to Jerusalem.

From there he went to Bet El and received an explanation of the area's historic centrality to the Jewish people from Sarah Netanyahu's brother, Hagi Ben-Artzi, and then to Har Bracha, and one of the first settlement outposts - Givot Olam near Itamar and Nablus.

The trip affirmed for him that "this is a very, very special land. It has been an amazing place to watch over the years, from the first time I saw it in 1973, through the various times until today. I continue to be amazed at places that I remember desolate at one time, now producing food, commerce and families. The dry bones have come alive," he said, in reference to the prophecy in the book of Ezekiel.

Huckabee said Israelis have the right to live wherever they want.

"It was very telling" that when his tour bus got to the outskirts of Nablus, "we couldn't go in, because Jewish people couldn't go there. Arab people can go to the Jewish parts of Jerusalem, and to Jewish parts of Israel, but the Jewish people could not go there. It was sad. I don't think a lot of Americans understand there are very seriously restricted zones," he said.

*The British Mandate no longer exists. The November, 1947 vote was just a later confirmation of previous international decisions. None of those bodies exist today. Anyway, those decisions were based on the facts on the ground that modern Zionism had reestablished Jewish Life in the HolyLand. All this is based on the Bible, recognized by both Christians and Jews.

Nu, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

-- Voted for Feiglin And Got Barak or The Jewish National Psychosis

Many Israeli voters are pro-Jews for Land of Israel, lots more than the numbers who voted for Ichud Le'umi, The National Union. The NU was the only political party not willing to compromise on our Jewish National Civil Rights.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no pride, endangering the country to please U.S. President Obama. What's the point of restricting Jewish life?

In all honesty, what's the difference between Bibi's policies and what Tsippi Livne and Ehud Barak support?

  • Why have successive Israeli Governments, whether elected as Right, Left or Center given such authority to the United States?
  • Why is our government negotiating with the United States about our basic rights as an independent country?
  • What is wrong with us?

Ever since I began sending out my articles, and later on blogging and getting published in a few periodicals, I'm asked the same question:

Why aren't Israelis out in the street protesting?

There seems to be a serious national psychosis, personality disorder, which affects most Jews both in Israel and the galut, abroad.

Jews are always in the forefront of all civil rights protest movements, except when Jews are the victims!

Even though successive "gestures" to our enemies have only brought us terrorism and war, we keep trying to give them more.

Patriotic Israelis who support Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel voted for the Likud, even though Bibi Netanyahu made it clear that he was pushing "Center" policies and disenfranchising the more Right wing members of the Likud, especially Moshe Feiglin.

I'm a pragmatist, maybe simplistic in my logic. I see things clearly. I look at the facts, the actions. Don't try to sway me with theory and wishfulness. It just doesn't work on me. I'm probably a bad candidate for hypnosis.

My priorities are simple.

  • The Land of Israel for the People of Israel, the Jewish People!
  • We can't trust anyone but ourselves and G-d Almighty!

The Jewish Month of Elul, the preparatory month before Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, the High Holidays, begins tonight.

Chodesh Tov

May it be a good month,

A month of Tshuva (Repentance) and Blessings.

My First Rebbe

As a fledgling baalat teshuva more than 40 years ago, I was nurtured by many kind-hearted people. However, the very first religious frum family I came in contact with was that of Rabbi Aahorn Reuven Rappaport. A "simple" hardworking man who held down several jobs, he raised a family in Flatbush, Brooklyn and journeyed up to the Catskill mountains to be chazan at our tiny Spring Glen Synagogue for the Yamim Noraim (High Holy Days.) Sadly, that shul now stands deserted as all who prayed there have either died or moved away.

I quickly became close friends with one of his ten (plus) children who today is Mrs. Ella Adler. She is a one woman kiruv project who just this past Tisha B'av gave an hour and a half long lecture to group of Russian Baalot Teshuva. The Adlers' table on Shabbat is packed with all manner of people.

Last year I spent a memorable 4 days there on my way to visit my Dad. Ella stopped her car near a young man (sans kippa,) and shouted, "Yuri! Why don't you come any more? How about this Shabbos? Please! We miss you!" Honking horns forced her to drive on yet the same dialogue was often repeated that week. (Result? The Adlers never know exactly how many guests they will host for meals.) In addition, they have a "gemach" named for their son Michael who tragically died merely 2 months after his Bar Mitzva. Yankee and Ella, far from wealthy themselves, fund tefillin and clothes for needy Bar Mitzva boys.

Rabbi Rappaport had endless patience for the standard queries of a non-religious girl barely Bat Mitzva, such as "How can the Torah say the world is only 5000 years old, when modern carbon dating processing shows otherwise?" I was invited to share Yom Tov meals behind the Shul and later spent many Shabbatot and holidays at the Rappaport household. They treated me like a daughter and theirs became a home away from home during my studies at Touro College.

Rabbi Rappaport raised outstanding children who do kiruv work throughout America, from Phoenix, Arizona to Atlantic City, N.J. (Yes, I wish that all American Jews made aliya, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as parents that survived the Shoah who are unwilling to live in Israel.)

Today this humble Jew, whose grandfather fought in the Czar's army yet remained Shomer Mitzvot throughout those turbulent years, is undergoing extremely life threatening surgery. In addition, he is in danger of having a limb amputated. Widowed several years ago, he has continued to work until recently. Please pray for him: Aharon Reuven ben Hinda. May the zechut of helping me and several others to become frum aid his recovery from this crisis. Tizku La'mizvot!

Jerusalem Obstacle Course

I'm a pedestrian. We don't own cars, nary a one.

Car owners stay away from from downtown Jerusalem, especially Ben Yehuda Street.

Can you see why?

This is the road path whatever I took while walking to the central bus station. Granted, I admit that I could have walked on a sidewalk on the other side of the street, but I needed to walk in the shade.

Every time I walk there, I find changes. I didn't expect it to be so awfully sandy, like the beach. Actually, there was probably more sand on Jaffa Street than on the beach by the Kineret (Sea of Galilee.)

Simply put: It's both dangerous and unpleasant. The present obstacles, the result of the construction of the "light rail system" has made walking in Jerusalem a high risk activity.

What Does Huckabee Really Think?

Mike Huckabee is here in Israel, experiencing the Israeli political divide. Yesterday he was at the Shepherd's Hotel, where he could see and hear protesters from opposite sides of the Israeli spectrum.

Honestly, even for me it's inconceivable that "civil rights activists" don't protest when Jews are discriminated against and forbidden to live in Jewish-owned property.

We mustn't forget that he's running for the United States Presidency, an ultra-marathon race, considering that the next elections are more than three years off in the future. He's setting himself up as counterpoint to newly elected Barack Hussein Obama.

Former Arkansas governor and US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee kicked off his visit to Israel on Monday by telling reporters that recent American policy toward the Jewish state has been "far more harsh" than that of previous administrations. He questioned US President Barack Obama's authority to dictate where Israelis could or could not live in Israel.

"My question is how the government of the United States would feel if Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu began to dictate which people could live in the Bronx, which ones could live in Manhattan and which could live in Queens," Huckabee told reporters as he toured the City of David in east Jerusalem.

Please don't forget that even Obama said some very strong, pro-Israeli security things when he ran for president. All candidates do, and then when the winners start their new jobs, suddenly it all changes. All of a sudden Jewish Israeli rights to live in their own homes in safety and security become "problematic" and we're "strongly advised" to get thee to a ghetto.

So please forgive me if I'm rather cynical. Push comes to shove, yes, put the politicians in office and they all sound the same. Our salvation won't come from foreign politicians. It's up to us. Yes, like Dorothy, who was wearing the magical ruby slippers all along, we must save ourselves.

We need strong Israeli leaders who have their priorities right.

The Land of Israel for The Jewish People!
The Land of Israel belongs to us and to nobody else!