Hamas War

Monday, November 30, 2009

Change the Game Plan to Bring Gilad Shalit Home

The number of terrorists touted to be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit is going up faster than my weight when I eat carbohydrates!  The latest rumors say that close to one thousand (1,000) Arab terrorists may enjoy undeserved freedom.

It's obvious that the Israeli government hasn't a clue about how to negotiate.  Every time our hapless government gives in and agrees to a terrorist demand, a new demand pops up like poisonous mushrooms after a long rain.

Paula Stern who blogs the very popular A Soldier's Mother wrote a rather confusing post about Gilad Shalit and what she sees as a major dilemma, what to give the terrorists in exchange for him.  Here's my comment:

As I write this my two sons are in milu'im (reserves.)

Gilad Shalit would probably have been home now if we hadn't been nice to the Arab terrorists in our jails, if we had told the RC that they don't see those prisoners until they see Gilad and arrange his return home. He's not the equivalent of a terrorist, and it's dangerous for us and our kids for that formula to be accepted.

If we hadn't kept offering more and more, he'd probably be home in Israel already.

If we'd acted strong and sovereign rather than weak, desperate and pathetic, he'd probably be home already.

The doubt she shows is dangerous and weakening. We have to be pragmatic and recognize the fact that all of our niceness, gestures etc have only brought us more trouble.

When we close our eyes to reality, the pressures spin us around like in a game of "pin the tail on the donkey." We could end up walking out the door, going miles, blindfolded, searching for that tail-less donkey. We must resist the pressures to play the games that the world keeps pushing us into. We must pull off the blindfold and take a good look at reality.

Only our determination to do what's best for us and us only will free Gilad Shalit. We've lost the deterrence weapon a long time ago. The Arabs know very well that we're a paper tiger. The time has come for us to change gears and play by different rules, our rules, Jewish rules, Torah Laws.

Bad News in Blog Carnival Land

For the past few years, we blog carnival hosts have become very dependent on blog carnival, at least once I got used to it after a previous service closed down.

Your ordinary blogger chooses a post to contribute to a blog carnival, clicks the appropriate bc form, fills it out in two easy steps, and then bc sends a receipt to the blogger and all the info to the carnival host, including a html sentence which can be copied straight into the blog carnival.  One the predetermined deadline passes, a link to its "instacarnival" is sent to the carnival owner and host.  With some minor editing, it's possible to turn the "instacarnival" into a respectable blog carnival.  I've done it myself.  It's so easy, that it has made me a very lazy blog carnival host.

In the olden days I would get links in the mail and have to check out and embed them myself.  That's why I feel that instacarnival is like cheating.

Well, there's a problem.  Blog Carnival hasn't been fully functioning as of late.  I sent out a "send your links to Havel Havelim and the Kosher Cooking Carnival" notice yesterday to my mailing list.  Generally I start receiving them by Sunday night.  some Havel Havelim contributors do their best writing on Sundays.  Nothing came. So I experimented.  I sent one of my posts to myself.  No receipt and no bc notice.  I should have gotten two, as both the sender and host.  I tried again, and again zero.  I contacted Jack who said that the address is right, but if he had put up the  wrong address, I still would have gotten my receipt.  I sent a post to KCC, and still nothing. I sent a query to bc and still haven't heard from them. I asked my husband who's also a blogger to send in a post... nothing came to me, nor the receipt to him.

The bottom line:

Please send this week's deadline Friday Havel Havelim links to shilohmuse at gmail dot com  and please blog about it so more people will know.

Thank you!!

Using The Law For The Good of Israel, or Scraping Off The Teflon

It's about time that we catch the anti-Israeli Left wing Peace Now on their illegal tricks.David Bedein reports:

Philadelphia Attorney Asks US Justice Department to Investigate "Peace Now" as an Unregisted Agent of Foreign Governments

Atty. Lee Bender is the head of the Philadelphia based ISRAEL ADVOCACY COMMITTEE, which has perused documentation which shows that the government of Norway has allocated a new grant to "Peace Now" in the amount of 1.3 million Kroner, which is somehting over $200,000.

Since Peace Now is a legal entity in the US and NOT in Israel, Atty. Bender has asked the US Department of Justice as to why Peace Now has not registered itself as a foreign agent in the USA.

The consequences of Peace Now not registering itself as a foreign agent are that Peace Now runs the risk pf prosecution for functioning in DC as an unregistered foreign agent, since it has been receiving funds from foreign governments for many years.

The Left is coated in Teflon.  That's no surprise, considering that the first four letters in the word "Teflon" T E F L actually spell LEFT.  At present it seems like TEFLON means LEFT ON.  We need to change the order of the last two letters, so we'll have: NO LEFT.

As we all know, at least those of us who have ever owned a Teflon pan, that eventually, the surface loses its no-stick abilities and even becomes poisonous.  Teflon deteriorates very quickly if you cook with high heat.  It's only effective when properly coddled.  The actual pans are generally very poor quality metals.

Hopefully, this lawsuit will fire things up and destroy the Teflon which has been protecting the Leftist Peace Now.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

For This They Have Money? or Chanukah in Our Time!

I wonder who's going to be hired to be Ehud Barak's building inspectors.  Just like Arik Sharon planned the destruction of Jewish Gush Katif for Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, the Hellenist Ehud Barak is going against Jewish Life in Judea and Samaria as a sick, perverse Chanuka celebration.

Yes, davka Chanuka, the Jewish holiday celebrated by Jews all over the world.  How do most  of them celebrate it?  They may light a Chanukiya, special nine candle menorah.  They may even eat some oily food, like potato latkes (pancakes.)  They probably just give and receive presents in what has become the Jewish version of xmas giving.

What is the real Chanuka story all about?  Why are we celebrating this holiday in the middle of the winter?  Chanuka is actually the easiest of all Jewish Holidays.  There aren't any restrictions.  We can cook, eat, drive, play musical instruments, watch a movie.  There are fewer mitzvot, requirements/commandments than Purim.

For eight nights, as the moon is waning, getting smaller, we're required to light candles anytime from sunset throughout the evening and night.  Each night we light one more candle, so the lights get brighter and brighter in our doorways or window sills.  We must place these candles in a place where passerbys will see them.  We must be proud of our Judaism.

Torah/G-d loyal Jews were battling two fronts.  One was against the Greeks who were ruling the HolyLand and had made laws forbidding the practice of Judaism.  Our other enemy, actually the most dangerous, were the Helenists, the Jews who tried to be more Greek than the Greeks.  They took the side of the Greeks against Judaism.

There was a fierce battle for the our Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple.  Everything was destroyed.

The pro-Jewish Jews led by Judah the Macabee defeated the Greeks but were almost in despair, because it seemed certain that there wasn't any pure oil which was necessary to resume worship in the Beit HaMikdash.  When a small vial was found, it seemed like a mockery.  The quantity wasn't enough to last until more would be fit.  But with great faith, it was lit and lasted long enough. That's why the holiday lasts eight days.  Each day the miracle got stronger, more amazing.

Logic was against us.  We didn't have the people and arms to fight the strong well-equipped Greeks, but we were victorious!  And then we didn't have enough pure oil, but G-d continued to bless us with miracles.

Yes, it takes faith and action on our part.  And yes, we'll keep building and fighting today's Greeks and today's Helenists!  And we certainly will be victorious!!

Rebellion From The Ranks? Or Just Posturing?

I'm one of the simple citizens, Israeli citizens disgusted but not really surprised that our Prime Minister, the Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu has buckled under "foreign pressure," and declared a new White Paper forbidding Jewish growth in the Land of Israel.

What irony that Bibi sent Benny Begin off to defend it.  Begin son of Menachem sounded just like his father, and I trust him even less. I remember Menachem Begin's claim that his giving the Sinai to Egypt would guarantee Israel's eternal possession of Judea and Samaria. As compensation for the destruction of Jewish communities in the Sinai many communities were rebuilt with international guarantees in Gush Katif, and we all know what happened to them. And yes, those two unprecedented massive destructions were under the rule/administration of the Likud. Yes, only the Likud can do it.

Israel's Loony Left Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent out official orders forbidding future building right before Shabbat.  Ariel's Mayor Ron Nachman condemned it and claims that he will ignore them.  Beit El's Mayor Moshe Rosenbaum ripped up the orders he received.

Efrat has suffered from building hold-ups for eight years already. How ironic, since Efrat, as the largest community of Gush Etzion, has always marketed itself as "not a settlement," being in the "Israeli consensus" to always be in Israel.  It's about time that residents of Gush Etzion take a good look and good listen and admit that those who object to my being in Shiloh don't see their addresses as any more acceptable.  They should unite with us and proudly say that they, too, are "settlers."

Nadia and Ruth Matar's Women in Green (or was it Moetzet YESHA?) had a great slogan in its early years:
YESHA ze kahn!  YESHA is here!

I attended their demonstrations all over the Jerusalem area to show the old defunct "green line."  Most Israelis have no idea where it was.  Remember that the Six Days War was in 1967; that's forty-two and a half years ago.  Even Israelis in their mid-forties who grew up in Jerusalem can't remember what it was like before we liberated our Land.  They can't imagine Jerusalem without Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, Ramot, Giloh etc.

Barak used that dangerous term to describe the decision, "unilateral."
Barak, meanwhile, said at a closed meeting at his ministry in Tel Aviv, "We are talking about a unilateral step, at the government's initiative, which has been coordinated with the United States, with the intention of advancing the diplomatic process with the Palestinians."
That means that we get nothing for it.  And Israel has tried that method with one consistent result every time. It has only made things worse, more terrorism and more death and destruction for Israelis.

Binyamin Netanyahu and family may be occupying the Prime Minster's Residence, but our government's policies are from Ehud Barak, whose Labor Party received very few votes.  I'd say that we've been had, bamboozled, conned!

Now, it's very "photo op" that Moshe Rosenbaum and Ron Nachman have made their little protests.  What's next?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Special Second Wedding at Tel Shiloh

Thursday night, when we attended a "second wedding," not not "second marriage" at Tel Shiloh, we considered it a rather unique event, when an already married couple with kids in their quest for a more Jewish life decides to get married again.

Our Chief Rabbi of Shiloh, HaRav Elchanan Bin Nun conducted the one here in Shiloh.  Tonight I read that Chabad is doing the same sort of thing.

There was a very interesting crowd, as suited the couple, considering their history.  Most of the invitees were either native English or Russian speakers.  Few of the guests grew up in Israel.  The official language of the wedding was Hebrew, because that's the language we all have in common.

The chuppah, Jewish wedding ceremony was outside at the Tourist Center of Tel Shiloh. Afterwards there was a festive meal, a se'udat mitzvah,  a required meal according to Jewish Law.

Mazal Tov to the couple and their children!

Friday, November 27, 2009

News Flash: Israel's Right and Left Agree!!!

Won't Bring Peace!

Yes, it's true.  Israel's Right and Left actually see the situation the same way and for the same reasons.  Only the Center is deluded, and that's because they're neither talking to, listening or actually negotiating with our Arab enemies.

The "international community," led by the United States and United Nations, doesn't know bupkes!  Even Israel's extreme loony Left has a better comprehension of things, and that's because they're in touch with the Arabs here. They know that the Arabs have no plans of making peace in exchange for a building freeze.

I've been repeating ad nauseum that the Arabs want us dead and gone.  When I write "us" I mean all of Israel.  That's where Israel's loony Left makes its mistake.  They're totally, crucially wrong when they think that the Arabs will accept a small Israel here in the HolyLand.  They haven't been listening carefully to the Arabs.  Push comes to shove, the Arabs want them out of Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon as much as, if not more so, than Shiloh, Giloh, Hebron and the Golan.

There's is only one way to true peace, and that's when we become strong enough and confident enough so that the Arabs fear us and respect us.

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bibi's Capit, Kaput

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's capitulation to foreign demands for a building freeze in Judea and Samaria should make him totally kaput for those who kept insisting that he's Right and Reliable.  I could have titled this:

Re:Bibi, I Told You So!

Granted that I haven't trusted the Likud, and its forerunners (Herut, GaHaL) since Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords to give Egypt's Sadaat the Sinai over thirty years ago.  But ever since I heard Bibi speak to us Jbloggers at the very first International Jewish Bloggers Convention almost a year and a half ago, I had no doubt that he'd be worse than Labor/Kadima in power.

Why worse?  Simply because he doesn't have the great orator Binyamin Netanyahu in the opposition to point out the faults in those dangerous Left wing policies.

Of course the Arabs aren't happy, because they want us dead and gone, not restricted.  This new policy certainly won't bring us peace, just more terrorism and war and international pressure.

Having lived through most of Israel's history up close, there's no doubt in my mind that the Likud and its forerunners have been the worst governments for our security and strenghthening our hold on our Historic HomeLand.  Having Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister hasn't improved things one iota.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where Was The Storm?

Yesterday was supposed to be stormy, but although it did rain, stormy wasn't an accurate description. You can't sing in the rain like this in a storm. But actually Sharon Katz and I would have been happier to have huddled under the awnings for filming.

Israel is suffering from a major water shortage, and the "Yiddishe kup" keeps attempting taxes technological solutions for the problem.  There was even talk of importing water, but at the same time, we're giving some of our limited water to nearby Arab countries and don't supervise to preserve purity. Experts say that the pressure from Syria for the Golan is really for the water.

Personally, the water shortage frightens me more than anything else, more than the political threats to banish me forcefully from my home, more than terrorism.  Maybe that's strange, but it's true; that's how I feel.  It's like a soldier surviving a war and then getting killed crossing the street.

As a G-d believing Jew, I have no doubt that G-d gives us our rainfall as reward for our following His Commandments.  The amount of rainfall reflects our behavior.  What's worrying is that government policies are in direct opposition to our Torah.  It's only a couple of months since Yom Kippur, the "Vidu'i" confession prayer is in the plural.  It's not a private prayer.  Rain doesn't fall for the individual.  The quantity is calculated by G-d for our Jewish Nation.  We must treasure the rain and thank G-d for every drop.

Asking Crucial Questions

Israel Resource Review posts an important article by David Bedein and Arlene Kushner reminding us about the questions everyone should be asking about the Pseudistinian aka "Palestinians" sic plans.  Most people, and that includes allegedly pro-Israelis, journalists etc do everything to avoid the unpleasant truth that the Arabs want us dead and gone.

So far, Israel has really fouled things up in its attempt to win back Gilad Shalit from the terrorists.  Israel has acted from weakness, not from strength, and the loony-Left media seems to be dominating negotiations.

The prisoner exchange being touted by the media would only endanger Israel further.  To ask the right questions, one must be capable of thinking.  Serious thinking may be very unpleasant at times.

The little boy in the "Emperor's New Clothes" was braver than all the grown-ups.  We ought to emulate him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Irony of It All

Hat tip: IMRA

This sort of headline always gets me:

Emphasis mine.  It sounds like the Qassam is self-powered.  And to make matters worse, damage is always pooh-poohed as minor.  Hamas isn't strongly blamed/condemned, although they should be!  Israel's Hasbara, PR stinks. That's the most polite word I can think of.  Instead of rebranding us as "club Med" with bagels and bimbo-filled beaches, we should be telling the truth about Arab attacks and terrorism.  At the same time, it should be made clear that our city streets are safer than the popular big cities around the world.  And tourists should be taken on Bible tours to be shown Jewish History where it happened.  Yes, places like Shiloh, which only has a Jewish History.  No other people have a national history here in the Holy Land.

Another point:
If the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel thinks that Arabs in "east" Jerusalem are suffering because MDA Ambulances need security to travel there, then let them go in their own ambulances sans security.  And while they're at it, let them set up their own hospitals and clinics at their own expense.

The MDA crews are human and desrve the Human Right of safety.  Too many MDA ambulances and crews have been attacked by Arabs on their way to help.  They need security escorts because the Arabs attack them.  Let the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel put the blame where it really should be, on the very Arabs they are defending.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Re: Obama's Health Bill, What About The Expats? Will We Be Fined?

The New York Times had the following sentence:
"And it would impose a requirement that nearly all Americans obtain insurance or pay monetary penalties for failing to do so."
Emphasis mine.  Does it mean that we're in the clear?  It's obvious that the present situation in the United States is horrendous and something must be changed.  I'm not interested in the details of the proposed law, except for how it affects me.  I have no right to interfere in such internal American affairs.  

I'm an American citizen but don't live in the United States and have no plans to do so.  I visit family there and always purchase Israeli Travel Insurance, so I'll be covered if I need medical care.  If I'll be threatened with a fine, aka "monetary penalty" for not having an American Health Insurance Policy, I just won't go to the states.  And I'm not the only one who will look for other places to meet family and friends.

If anyone if anyone is familiar with the nitty-gritty of the bill passed in the Senate, please let me know in the comments here.  Thanks

King Solomon's Divided Baby

There's a well known medrash, legend about King Solomon and the two mothers fighting over a baby.  King Solomon suggests cutting the baby in half, so both mothers, women, would get part.  One mother agrees, but the other refuses, not wishing to harm the beloved, innocent child.

I thought of it when reading this New York Times article about fathers who discover through DNA testing that their child isn't their biological child and all the legal, financial and emotional repercussions.

Recently Torah Tidbits has had a series from The Puah Institute about children with "two mothers," the one who provided the egg and the one who carried and nurtured the baby in her womb.

There's so much modern relevance in ancient Jewish Law.  In the NY Times article, some of the fathers reject the child the minute they realize that there's no biological connection, but others have true paternal feelings irrelevant to any DNA.

How can I write about this without discussing our claim to the Land G-d Gave Us, Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel?  Israeli politicians, media and all sorts of misguided Jewish leaders, here and abroad, are endangering the very existence of the State of Israel, because they are offering compromise, cutting the baby in half.  I don't have "polite words" for them.  I'm firm and consistent, unwavering that we Jews are the only People with a national history here, and we're the only People who have the right to a state a nation here.

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

Israel's TV Tax, Taxation Without Broadcast Reception

The State of Israel has a Television Tax Law which requires payment by all TV owners, even if the set is used for VCR and DVD only.  It's supposed to cover expenses of the IBA Israel Broadcasting Authority.

That may make sense in principle, but the truth is that they don't broadcast all over, certainly not to my neck of the woods in Samaria.  Our TV doesn't receive Israeli television broadcasts.  Jordan comes in better.  Recently, the government has sent inspectors out to fine people in the yishuvim ("settlements," sic,) and force us to pay the tax, although we receive no service/reception. 

Neighbors who do want to watch Israeli television shows pay a monthly fee to "yes," a "cable" company.  The package includes much more than IBA shows.  It's not cheap, not at all, and its service and the "fine print" make it a Pandora's Box of unpleasant surprises.

Some people have paid for private "satellite dishes" to receive international television.  That's a one-time payment.  Now that my father is living with us, there's more of a need for television.  We have to decide what to do.  We can continue without television or we could sign up for "yes" or get a residential satellite.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

According to The Torah, The Jewish Bible, No Two State Solution!

Now that my father is living with us, I can't get to the synagogue on Shabbat.  I have to be home with him.  I still doven, say my prayers, and I read the entire Parshat Shavua, Week's Torah Portion and Haftara, but at home.  It's amazing what once suddenly notices, even though we read the same words every year in the Parshat Shavua annual cycle.  This week's Parsha is Toldot, and this is what it says:

כא וַיֶּעְתַּר יִצְחָק לַיהוָה לְנֹכַח אִשְׁתּוֹ, כִּי עֲקָרָה הִוא; וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ יְהוָה, וַתַּהַר רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ. 21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD let Himself be entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
כב וַיִּתְרֹצְצוּ הַבָּנִים, בְּקִרְבָּהּ, וַתֹּאמֶר אִם-כֵּן, לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי; וַתֵּלֶךְ, לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת-יְהוָה. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said: 'If it be so, wherefore do I live?' And she went to inquire of the LORD.
כג וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה לָהּ, שְׁנֵי גֹיִים בְּבִטְנֵךְ, וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים, מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ; וּלְאֹם מִלְאֹם יֶאֱמָץ, וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר. 23 And the LORD said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

There is nothing about sharing our Land and Birthright.  And the Arabs don't even claim descent from Essau, not that their Ishmael claims are even valid.  If you read further, you'll see that Yitzchak (Isaac)'s blessing to Ya'aqov (Jacob) when he thought he was blessing Essau did not include the Birthright to be the next stage of G-d's Brit, Covenant with G-d.  That was given later to Jacob as Jacob:
Genesis Chapter 28 בְּרֵאשִׁית
א וַיִּקְרָא יִצְחָק אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ; וַיְצַוֵּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, לֹא-תִקַּח אִשָּׁה מִבְּנוֹת כְּנָעַן. 1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him: 'Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
ב קוּם לֵךְ פַּדֶּנָה אֲרָם, בֵּיתָה בְתוּאֵל אֲבִי אִמֶּךָ; וְקַח-לְךָ מִשָּׁם אִשָּׁה, מִבְּנוֹת לָבָן אֲחִי אִמֶּךָ. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
ג וְאֵל שַׁדַּי יְבָרֵךְ אֹתְךָ, וְיַפְרְךָ וְיַרְבֶּךָ; וְהָיִיתָ, לִקְהַל עַמִּים. 3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a congregation of peoples;
ד וְיִתֶּן-לְךָ אֶת-בִּרְכַּת אַבְרָהָם, לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אִתָּךְ--לְרִשְׁתְּךָ אֶת-אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר-נָתַן אֱלֹהִים לְאַבְרָהָם. 4 and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojournings, which God gave unto Abraham.'

That's the crucial blessing.  The words and their meaning are very clear.  There's nothing ambiguous about them.  Another parallel to today is:

מא וַיִּשְׂטֹם עֵשָׂו, אֶת-יַעֲקֹב, עַל-הַבְּרָכָה, אֲשֶׁר בֵּרְכוֹ אָבִיו; וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו בְּלִבּוֹ, יִקְרְבוּ יְמֵי אֵבֶל אָבִי, וְאַהַרְגָה, אֶת-יַעֲקֹב אָחִי. 41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart: 'Let the days of mourning for my father be at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.'

We must take it all very seriously and not let PC fancy talk confuse and weaken us.   

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Post

I wrote a post for this blog over the evening.  It's about what's written in the Torah, our Bible, what I read in this week's Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week.  As I typed, some strange things happened, it suddenly "got published."  So I changed the time to make it "scheduled," and I continued working on it.

When the "clock struck 12," the "coach turned into a pumpkin." All the finishing touches, actually most of what I had added just disappeared.  All there was to read was the original few lines which had inadvertantly posted itself.  I checked, drafts, scheduled posts etc, but all my hard work just vanished.

I really don't have the energy at this time of the night to rewrite it, so... G-d willing I'll do it tomorrow.

Shavua Tov!
Have a Great Week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

U.N. = UNfair

Hat tip: Arlene From Israel

It's no secret that the United Nations is fueled by various agendas.  If you're looking for objectivity, justice, fairness etc, you won't find it there.  That's especially true when it concerns the State of Israel.  November 29, 1947, the newly formed international body recommended/approved the establishment of a Jewish State, and ever since then, they've been trying to undo it.

No country has ever been condemned more than Israel.  No matter what we do, we're declared guilty by the United Nations.  And Israel, instead of packing its bags, closing its expensive Mission and condemning the rampant international hypocrisy, just keeps on trying to "make friends" and win back that fleeting moment of acceptance.

We have very few defenders there.  Eye on the UN stands alone, and now its Director Anne Bayefsky has been banned.
Israel is very much alone in the United Nations, and Bayefsky's NGO is its only consistent defender.  Now she is forbidden to enter.
Anne Bayefsky claims that as retaliation for giving a two-minute impromptu speech defending Israel, her 25-year career of monitoring the U.N. is now in jeopardy — likely to be placed in the hands of a committee chaired by the genocidal regime in Sudan.

Bayefsky gets special access to U.N. meetings in her capacity as the director of a non-governmental organization, the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust at New York's Touro College.

But the longtime U.N. observer has found herself in what she calls a "Kafkaesque" gray zone, where the U.N. confiscated her credentials, then denied to reporters that her access had been blocked.

"This is no accident," she told FoxNews.com, arguing that she is being denied access to vital meetings concerning her prime focus: defending Israel. "This is keeping [the U.N.'s] major critic absent during the heart of the year."

Following a vote Nov. 5 at the U.N. General Assembly, a microphone was set up outside the UNGA chamber for delegates to tout their endorsement of the controversial Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during its invasion of Gaza last winter...

Here's the video of Bayefsky's impromptu speech:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Rogue" Sarah Says It Right!

The American media is lurching Left in response to Sarah Palin's statements about Israel in her Barabara Walters interviewNotice their matching blue outfits. Wouldn't they look perfect next to an Israeli flag?

Palin said:

“I disagree with the Obama administration on that,” Palin said. “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”
I really get a kick from their reasoning:

"The administrations of Presidents Nixon, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Clinton all considered the annexation of land seized in 1967 illegal. President Ronald Reagan took a position that some might be legal, but opposed their expansion. Priot to becoming president, as the Us ambassador the UN, George H.W. Bush called the settlements illegal. His son, President George W. Bush, thought natural growth for existing settlements was fine, but was opposed to new ones."
I was brought up on:

"If everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?"
So, just because successive American Governments, other foreign leaders, many Israeli politicians and the international and Israeli media all say that the Jewish Historical HolyLand should be judenrein, does that make it right?

The United States hasn't stopped its interference in internal Israeli affairs; it's just getting worse since Barack Hussein Obama became U.S. President.  Jerusalem, Israel's Capital City, is suffering from a terrible housing shortage and Obama has the chutzpah to tell it not to build more homes.

Just like in any abusive relationship, a certain amount of the blame goes to the victim who doesn't walk away, doesn't defend itself.  Israel and the Jewish People have a dangerous tendency to feel too comfortable in the role of victim.  For years I've been saying and writing that we must boycott the official Capital City of any country which does the same to us.  We should choose a different city to locate our Israeli Embassy, just like they do.  In the United States we could decide that Atlanta, GA, or Trenton, NJ would be just perfect. For Great Britain, how about Liverpool? 

Successive American candidates for President have pledged to move the Embassy to Jerusalem, but of course once they win, they never do it.  Of course, we have no idea what Palin would do if ever in power, but in the meantime I'm enjoying her rogue statements.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mixed Messages From Rav Yigal

HaRav Yigal Kaminetzky, Rabbi of Gush Katif, was in Shiloh for Shabbat.  He gave a shiur/talk to the entire yishuv, men, women, youth, anyone who was willing to give up their Shabbat afternoon rest.  Since I always go to a Women's Torah Class Shabbat noon, I had no problems with the timing.  I just had to wait until my husband returned home to be with my father; that made me a few minutes late.

When I walked in, Rav Yigal was talking about faith and the greatness of what his people, the Gush Katif DP's are experiencing.  I was upset, turned off.  This was too consistent with the reports I'd been reading and hearing of how he had worked with the government before and immediately after Disengagement.  I did not want to hear about the great opportunities for Kiddush Hashem etc.  I have no patience to hear about the "bright side" of the gerush, the expulsion from Gush Katif by the Israeli Government which turned loyal Israeli citizens into homeless, unemployed "evictees."

It took all my self-control to stay rooted to my seat and not make a fuss.  I'm glad I did it, because after that awful saccerine speech, Rav Yigal said much better things, things I could relate to, agree with or found particularly interesting.

Just a couple of his points:
  • The families that stayed to the end and protested have done better, both emotionally and financially.  On the whole, his statistics, it was good for the parents and youth to defend their homes and very crucial for the children to see their parents doing so.
  • The time that those families were housed in hotels at full-board were less of a financial hardship than for the families which went immediately to Nitzan (the carravilla site) where they had to support themselves from day one.
  • The government's (Sela's) cruelty was unprecedented, and it continues to be inexplicable.
  • The Arabs had never demanded Gush Katif.  They had never lived there, and according to him, present agricultural attempts by the Arabs have not been successful.
Personally, I think that the official protest movement was not as determined to stop Disengagement as it should have been.  Rav Yigal was part of that movement.  Our soldiers in the IDF should have refused to participate.  It's interesting that davka now there is less fear to protest and pay the price.  This isn't all that surprising, considering that Israelis reelected the Labor Party after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the "mechdal," disasterous mismanagement and misjudgement of our defense and Military Intelligence.  But the following elections in 1977 brought Menachem Begin's Likud (or was it still GaHaL) into the government for the first time.

It does take a while for things to sink in.  There's the perspecitve of time, and many people need that to make changes in their thoughts and actions.  Change of any sort is not easy for most people, and very few are natural risk-takers.  G-d willing, the Jewish People will understand what we must really do.

Chodesh Kislev Tov.  In a few weeks we will celebrate the Holiday of Chanukah, or Miracles of how the "small" defeated the "mighty."   

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Straight Talking, Plain Talking, Whatever It's Called, I Don't Beat Around the Bush

The other day, my husband handed me the phone.  It was Ben Hubbard of the Associated Press.  He wanted to come to Shiloh for an interview on a day when my husband wouldn't be home, so I was asked to cover.

No big deal.  In the twenty-eight years plus since we moved to Shiloh, I've had more famous journalists and dignitaries over.  My father would get a kick out of reading about me in  The New York Times.  Now, he's part of the show.  We sat on a bench in the park across the street.  I gave him a sandwich to eat, since we were missing lunch when the crew, Hubbard plus photographer and sound man finally arrived.

I try to listen very carefully to the questions and have no problems asking for better wording.  I try to give extremely clear and explicit answers.  The trick is to never be ambiguous nor sarcastic.  Plain, straight talking is best.  Otherwise, your words may come back to haunt you.  I'm never PC, (politically correct,) just plain honest.  If you want any official line, don't come to me. I write my own script and don't take orders.  I represent myself, my view of things, not always very conventional or even polite.  "Out of the box" is my comfort zone.

Well, so far I haven't seen any sign of that interview.  If you have, please let me know.  Thanks

Monday, November 16, 2009

Making Sense Out Of Obama's New Health Plan Law

I've been trying to make sense out of the law, not because I live in the United States, but because we've been hearing very peculiar and frightening things about the proposed law.  At first I ignored the scary emails, because I just couldn't believe that the United States would tax expats, those of us citizens who have chosen to live abroad.  Then more and more people who generally are immune to scare tactics showed worry.  So I blogged about it.

But I really wanted to hear the opinion of my rebbe in these matters of United States Law and how it affects us in Israel.  I'm referring to Yitzhak Heimowitz, known as "our lawyer" by New York Betarim of my generation.

I asked Yitz to summarize the proposed law and his opinion of it.  Here's what he sent me:

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives (House) are considering bills for health insurance reform, a major Obama campaign promise. The purpose of the law, when enacted, will be to force all Americans to buy health insurance from "qualified insurers", a term which will not be defined for some time to come.

Americans who do not buy such health insurance will be encouraged to buy it, or punished by having to pay an excise tax of $750 per person per year, for which they will get nothing.

Americans who live outside the US are unable to obtain health insurance from American carriers, because these do not provide services abroad. Medicare and Medicaid only provide services in the US, not outside. In the past when an effort was made to set up an HMO in Israel to enable such services, it was not successful.

Thus the law will force American citizens abroad to buy insurance from which they cannot benefit, and if they don't, it will punish them by charging them the $750 excise tax. For us it will be a lose - lose situation.

The House bill recognizes this and exempts Americans abroad from the penalty. The Senate bill does not. We are trying to explain this injustice to the Senators so they will also include the exemption, as the House bill does.
If the Senate and the House pass different bills, which is quite likely, there will be a conference committee of members of the Senate and the House to compromise the differences. If by then both bills do not provide the exemption for Americans abroad, the conference committee will provide another chance.
One of the causes of the American revolution was "taxation without representation". We must do our best to remind the Senate of that.

Yitzhak Heimowitz

Nachshon Joins up with Shimshon!

Amazingly, a mere few weeks after their counterparts in the Shimshon Battalion staged a protest at the Kotel [Western Wall, above], two members of the Nachshon Battalion expressed themselves in a similar fashion. And what a name for their unit!

Nachshon [ben Aminadav] was, according to the Book of Exodus, an important figure in the Hebrew's Passage of the Reed Sea which according to the Midrash he initiated – by walking in head-deep until the Sea split. The popular Yiddish saying "to be a Nachshon" means to be an "initiator."

Soldiers Escalate War Against Expulsion
(IsraelNN.com) Combat soldiers in the Nachshon battalion Monday morning raised an anti-expulsion banner on the roof of their base shortly after security forces destroyed two nearby Jewish homes and expelled the families living there.
“Nachshon also does not expel Jews,” read the banner, similar to the Shimshon banner, a protest action at a swearing-in ceremony last month at the Western Wall that resulted in two soldiers being sentenced to 20 days in a military jail and thrown out of combat service.
The unprecedented move by the soldiers in the Shimshon unit was aimed against repeated expulsions at the destroyed site of Homesh, where Jews were expelled by the government four summers ago.
Both battalions are in the Kfir division of the IDF. The Nachshon soldiers unfurled their banner Monday morning at their base in the southern Hevron Hills, less than a few miles from Negohot, where two families were expelled earlier in the morning. Police and soldiers carried out government orders at the community, escalating Civil Lands Administration policy by targeting sites where families have been living in their permanent homes for more than 18 months.
An American donor has provided money to the soldiers' families for each night in jail, and a nationalist group in Israel has promised that a similar gesture would follow for any other soldiers who are punished for refusing to expel Jews from their homes.
And let us say "Bravo" to both Battalions! Hashem is the King, and He is with you!

Why Hasn't Israel Protested?

Israel should have pulled its Ambassador from Austria after such an insult!

Nov 15, 2009 2:25
Israeli wins gold in fencing; Austrian hosts don't play 'Hatikva'

Israeli fencer Daria Strelnikov won the gold medal at the cadet's fencing world championship in Austria Saturday night. However, as the 14-year-old athlete stood at the podium waiting to hear the Israeli national anthem, she was greeted by a disturbing quiet.

Strelnikov and a fellow teammate on the podium decided to fill in the silence by singing Hatikva themselves. They were joined by their coach, and other supporting voices in the crowd.

A Dumb Question

There are a number of programs for the elderly here in Israel, not far from us, in Eli, Beit El, Ofra, Jerusalem.  I would love to take my father to them.  There's even a possiblity of organized transportation, which is no problem for him physically.

Unfortunately there's another problem.  The programs are in the morning.  My father needs a lot of sleep and it would be terribly stressful to try to get him up and out so early in the morning. 

I know that his schedule isn't unique, especially among those who are on all sorts of medications.  He would really enjoy the programs and socializing, even though not everyone speaks English.  But he can't participate.  What a shame.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Birthright for Jesus?

Posted by Jewish Israel

UPDATE: Gordon Robertson Cancels Birthright Event
a Jewish Israel member has received notification from Rebecca Sugar, Director of Birthright Israel NEXT, NY, that
"Unfortunately, Mr. Robertson had to cancel the event for this week." (received November 16th 2009)

Gordon Robertson (Pat’s boy and CEO of CBN) is scheduled to speak at Birthright's educational program, Reunion, in New York on November 18th. The topic is a loaded one: "Are Christian Zionists More Fervent Zionists Than American Jews?"
But what Taglit folks are most upset about is Gordon’s record on the missionary front. Like his father, Gordon Robertson is a “believer” in deception. He’ll tell you, "You don't have to change your culture, you can still observe the Torah, you can still be Jewish and still believe that Jesus is the messiah."
At the time of this writing, Gordon Robertson’s name is off of the Birthright New York Region homepage and no longer on the calendar. Has the event been canceled, or is Birthright keeping a low profile?...more

Jewish Israel gives presentation to AFSI:
On November 11th, Jewish Israel gave a presentation to participants on the AFSI/Manhigut Yehudit Chizuk Trip.
The address entitled, “Crossing Lines: a Jewish look at the Israel-evangelical Relationship”, was well received with the audience expressing great interest and concern over growing Christian missionary influence in Israel...more

Rav Sholom Gold Issues Opinion on Interfaith Discussions:
There’s a glut of missionaries on the streets, Jewish-Christian interfaith centers and worship events are in vogue, and the right to proselytize is the law of land in Israel – according to the U.S. State Department.
Under the circumstances, the staff at Jewish Israel asked our rabbinic advisor Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold to issue a halachic clarification on interfaith dialogue.
“Discussions of a religious nature between members of different religions is unwise, fruitless and, worse, it is a prescription for increased hostility and enmity…” Read the full text here as well as other rabbinic positions in our halachic section

My Father, Here in Shiloh

Frum N' Flipping wrote her "defense" to her neighbors here, who may be thinking nasty thoughts about her.  It made me wonder if my neighbors understand why the lights are going on and off in my house on Shabbat.  Nobody has said anything and considering my neighbors, I don't think they will.  I trust that they understand.

I've been blogging more on me-ander about the ongoing saga of my caring for my elderly father.  And on both blogs, I've mentioned that I didn't grow up in a Torah observant home.  This makes my father's living here even more complicated than just dealing with an elderly man with memory difficulties. My father's childhood was in a kosher home, and they made the house kosher forty years ago, so the kitchen isn't a problem.  He doesn't prepare his own food and hasn't for years even in his own home.

The biggest issue is Shabbat.  I've decided to "ignore" what he does in his room, including turning off lights in the hallway and bathroom.  If he asks about plugging in his shaver, I just tell him that it's not necessary, since it's Shabbat and nobody shaves on Shabbat.  We've kept things calm and pleasant, and isn't that what it's all about?

Here in Shiloh, everyone has been friendly and supportive.  Baruch Hashem, thank G-d. 

Lots of Building Here in Shiloh

As a long-time resident of Shiloh, the genuine article, the Biblical location Shiloh, I'm proud to display some of the building going on here:

They are houses for Jewish families and expansion of our synagogue.  All can be qualified as natural growth for a very convenient and popular town.

Bill Clinton, I Can Play Those "If" Games, Too

If Hillary had divorced Bill, she would be United States President today!
That's a lot truer than Bill's Rabin worship:
"There would be peace if Rabin were still alive"

Hat tip: IMRA

Considering that Clinton's judgment was lower than his charisma, why should anyone take him seriously?  Did Bill use his "Divorce is not an option" line to Hillary when caught in his extra-marital affairs?

As I've written numerous times, peace isn't up to us.  We're not at war against our neighbors.  The Arabs unabashedly declare that they want us dead and gone.  They attack, terrorize etc.  Israel just takes it, trying to invent various "defensive shields," and on the rare ocassions when we do fight back, we're condemned by the world.

Yitzchak Rabin's policies were not bringing Israel towards peace, just to a more weakened state when our enemies were (as always) planning our destruction.

There's nothing like death, especially a violent one, to turn a controversial figure into a "saint."  Israel's Left, supported by like-minded international figures and organizations, has so efficiently and professionally exploited Rabin's murder; you'd think they had orchestrated it...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Out Popped Abbas From Pandora's Box!

Fun and games in the Pseudistinian aka Palestinian sic election plans.  It looks like Mahmoud Abbas is using every bargaining chip he can find.  As far as I'm concerned, they can delay it forever.

It seems like yesterday, for an old fogey like myself, when every Israeli politician, right, left and center insisted there was no such thing as a palestinian sic nation.  Then  Menachem Begin, as Israel's Prime Minister, offered the Arabs "self-rule," which like your proverbial Pandora's Box transformed into "autonomy" and now the "two state solution."

And anyone who thinks that Israel would be safe and secure with an Arab terror state in its midst...maybe, you'd be interested in that Brooklyn Bridge...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beware of Gerrymandering!

Hat tip: my husband

For years, or more accurately, forever, whenever I hear people say that Israel should change its it election system to America-like districts I hear a chirping in my ear getting louder and louder, shrieking:

It's very hard to turn this warning off.  Not all election districts are created equal.  New York State is a perfect example of districts drawn to produce specific results.

Isn't this a work of art?  Wouldn't you love to see what Israeli politicians would produce if allowed to freedom to create districts? 

Israel can't afford the luxury of such a mistake.  Our very existence is at stake, so although our system isn't perfect, it's the best system for us until the Moshiach is here and in charge.   Democracy is risky, because we're dependent on the intelligence and judgement of human beings.  Need I say more?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Prevents Aliyah?

This post is inspired by a poll on Arutz 7.
Poll: What's the biggest obstacle to Aliyah?
1. Finding a good job
2. Leaving family behind

3. Security concerns

4. Not knowing Hebrew
The answer I wanted to give isn't one of the choices.  I think that most people fear change. That's the key, and everything else is just an excuse.  The next biggest difficulty is conquering Hebrew, the fear of making mistakes, sounding stupid.
With good Hebrew, you can get a good job, not one limited to those for "English speakers."  With good Hebrew, you can become part of Israeli society and not restricted to being friends with fellow anglo (English speaking) olim, immigrants.
There is no intellectual linguistic reason to think that learning Hebrew, or any other language, is impossible.  Immigrants from all different countries to all different countries manage to learn the new language and function.
And for those Jews who have graduated from a life time of Jewish schooling, it's criminal that they're not totally fluent in Hebrew.  Jews were once, until the mid-twentieth century, known as multilingual experts.  That's why there were Jews on the ships which sailed to the new land, America.  The same students whose parents would tell me that their family is incapable of learning English would later admit that their grandparents were fluent in three or four languages.
What changed was expectations.  It used to be that immigrants expected, demanded from themselves a few months to immerse themselves in the new language and culture and then be as fluent as anyone else.  Today this is harder.  Immigrants come with their old language DVD's, ipods filled with their old music and quickly set up cable or a dish to receive television from the old country.
As I've already written, "...most people fear change."  And to make aliyah successfully, you have to change more than your address.

"Gifted Orator?" My Foot!

Anyone dependent on a teleprompter is not a "gifted orator," and statements like the following from the New York Times are totally ridiculous. 
"As the most gifted orator of his generation, President Obama finds speechmaking perhaps his most potent political tool."
A few well-written campaign speeches aren't enough to cement such a lofty reputation.  Considering that one can hear when Obama's reading verses reciting from memory, I wouldn't put him in the class of his predecessors.  Ronald Reagan was known to say that he couldn't imagine being president without his acting training.  U.S. President Ronnie Reagan had a point.

A truly great orator and great leader can turn on the passion; it's part of charisma.  Obama is lacking that magic ingredient.  What do you expect from a man who voted party line 96% of the time?  That's the sign of a follower, not a leader.

Barack Hussein Obama was cast in the role as United States Presidential candidate, because he was easy to package.  He's a Democrat, half-Black who showed he could follow instructions.

There are two questions:
  • Who's controlling him?
  • Why didn't he get better acting lessons?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shades of... Taxation Without Representation!

I've been mulling over the pros and cons of blogging about the latest Obama scare, his creative way of subsidizing American health care by taxing expats, those U.S. Passport bearing citizens who reside in other countries.  It's funny to think that his own mother would have been billed for health care she couldn't get during parts of her life, if there had been a law like that when she was a young mother.  Ironic, but very "Obama."

L'havdil, very different, is the Israeli draft law, which was once strictly enforced on every Israeli citizen, even those residing abroad.  The result was that once a foreign-country-living Israeli citizen reached the age of seventeen, he (and some she's) stopped visiting Israel, because they were subject to the draft.  It was very difficult to get a temporary exemption, and without it, the young citizen couldn't leave Israel legally.

Today, it's much easier.  The policy is to allow non-resident citizens to visit without being forced into the IDF.

Maybe it's just my mind-set as I live in a slower lane taking care of my elderly father, but I just can't believe that the American border control will bill us all for medical care we don't need.  If you'd like more information, then just read what Jameel wrote

The medical care system which presently exists in America is awful, and if they dare make me pay to improve it, I just won't visit.  Right now my father is living with us and we're waiting for my mother to join him.  Israeli medical care is a good reason to stay in Israel. 

He's Probably Standing on It

Ehud Barak, the master of bombastic statements:

I picture him on some "soapbox" to give a bit of needed extra height when he said that. Like the actual short-sighted dove, he can't see much further than his nose, and he's oblivious to the source of our state of war/tension.

Ehud Barak and his fellow Loony-Leftists are standing on the very stones they need for peace. There is only one way to bring peace, the real thing not the phony imitation rhinestone variety, to the Middle-East. It all depends on the Arabs. When the Arabs here want peace and all it really means, we'll have peace. They are the cause of war, terrorism and destruction.

Barak should take his stones and build homes in the Jewish HomeLand. That will bring peace, too. Because the Arabs will only quiet down when they realize that their terrorism won't get them anywhere.

I'm proud to be a hawk.  A hawk is a smart bird that sees long distances and can sniff out and defeat enemies.