Hamas War

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shiloh's The Place To Be!

One of those, "only in Israel" moments.  This afternoon the phone rang.  I answered:
"You live in Shiloh, right?"
"Well, maybe you know when the activities at Tel Shiloh end today."
"At five."  It was a couple of minutes to five as we spoke.
"Will it be open tomorrow?"
"Yes, from 10am to 5pm."
"Thank you"
I have no idea who called, and I wasn't in the Tel Shiloh office.  Nor do I work for the Tel.  I was in my house.

It may be too late in the season to see that little pond, but there are lots of other things to see and do at Tel Shiloh tomorrow, Thursday.

I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself.

And if you can't make it tomorrow, April 1, 2010, go a different day.  For more information contact telshilo@gmail.com

What's A Mediator? or Why Israel Should Ignore American Pressure?

I got a kick out of seeing something in Israel's extreme Left Haaretz newspaper which echoes what I blog about the United States and its mediation sic between us and the Arabs.

What's a mediator?

Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. Whether an agreement results or not, and whatever the content of that agreement, if any, the parties themselves determine — rather than accepting something imposed by a third party. The disputes may involve states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome.

Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial.

Mediators don't impose, especially prior to mediation. 

United States President Barack Hussein Obama is so sure that his agenda is the right one that he is not embarrassed to go against all principles of mediation. Yes, he's a fraud; he's not a mediator.  The United States is putting unprecedented pressure on Israel to impose its pro-Arab position.  It's time for Israel to declare American "mediation" ended, null and void. 

Stop the farce now!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The New York Time's Roger Cohen, Wrong Again

There's no connection between Obama's success in passing his healthcare bill and the United States Middle-east agenda's chance of fruition.  The New York Time's Roger Cohen wrote an op-ed connecting the two issues.  Let's start with the two most obvious differences:
  1. U.S. President Obama's Healthcare Bill is an internal American issue.
  2. Israel is an independent foreign country.  Though it is legal according to the United States and Israeli laws to be citizens of both countries simultaneously, Obama isn't.  He has no vote in Israel and has neither a legal nor moral right to lobby/pressure the elected Israeli Government.
Barack Hussein Obama, Roger Cohen, Joe Biden, Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter etc do not know more than I do about what is best for the security and future of the State of Israel.  Another thing is that they don't live here.  I do.  If their policies are followed and it ends up a mistake, no skin off their backs.  As I already wrote, they don't live here.  They'll make some pretty speeches and help establish a memorial.

Another crucial point to ponder is that mediators are supposed to be sans opinions, impartial.  That eliminates the United States and all the diplomats and international organizations from such a role between Israel and the Arabs.  Peace between us and the Arab terrorists  will be achieved when the Arabs want peace, the real stuff.  Until then, any agreement or treaty isn't worth anything, because they'll break it.  The Pseudostinians' aka Palestinians' sic aim is our destruction; they negotiate to facilitate that end.  Just listen to them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Different Perspective

Now that we've finished with chametz, the Bedikat (Search For) Chametz was last night, we can free our minds to concentrate on Pesach, the actual holiday of Passover, the Seder and the miracles G-d makes for us.

My dear friend Sharon Katz of Voices Magazine wrote a great post on her Voices blog about how G-d has the last laugh.

Jewish History is like the Perils of Pauline.  Time after time we seem like real goners, but then somehow  G-d rescues us and we survive.  Yes, whether we deserve it or not, G-d comes to our rescue and saves us.

This happened with the very first Jew, Abraham.  Abraham and his wife Sarah began what could have been a very short history, because they were barren, didn't have any children.  It made no sense, because G-d kept promising that they would have descendants.  Low and behold, miraculously when they were 90 and 100 years old, one child was born to them, and we're all somehow descended from that one child, Yitzchak, Issac.  And what's the Hebrew meaning of the word יצחקת Yitzchak?  He will laugh.  And so as Sharon wrote, G-d does and will always have the last laugh, as long as there are G-d fearing, Torah observant people on this earth.

We will, G-d willing, defeat our modern enemies, just like we defeated the Greeks, the Egyptians, Haman and the rest of our ancient ones.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach,
Have a Happy and Kosher Passover

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pre-Pesach update from Jewish Israel

Posted by Jewish Israel
Anita Tucker to Receive Moskowitz Prize for Zionism:
Jewish Israel is pleased to report that Anita Tucker is to receive the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism. A7 writes that, "Anita, one of the early pioneers of the Gush Katif settlement enterprise, became one of the leading spokespersons for the residents during the long and intense struggle against the Disengagement...She now works to help the Gush Katif communities retain their unique, pre-expulsion character of Torah and Land of Israel values, friendly communal relations, and pioneering spirit."

Anita is certainly well-deserving of this award! With everything she manages to do, Jewish Israel is pleased and honored to have her actively serving on our board as Community Affairs Advisor – a role which she has taken on with characteristic dedication and enthusiasm...more

Rabbinic Conference on Christian funding scheduled for Chol Hamoed
On the second day of Chol Hamoed Pesach, Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim will be sponsoring a rabbinic conference entitled “The Missionary Enemy”. The subject under discussion is the problems inherent in accepting funds from Christian sources. A number of prominent rabbis are scheduled as featured speakers. This conference is in Hebrew and the details can be seen here.

Jewish Israel gave presentations at a Rabbinic Conference in mid-February on the topic of "Activities of Christian organizations and Evangelicals in Israel”. We are pleased that some of the participants and attendees at that conference took matters seriously and organized this upcoming conference as a follow-up. Although the Ateret Yerushalayim conference will be in Hebrew, Jewish Israel will be giving an English presentation at the Israel Center in Jerusalem shortly after Pesach. Time and details to be announced... more

Rebranding Won't Help Israel With Obama at the Helm

A good friend sent me this Spengler piece on U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama.  "Who is Barack Obama," by  David P. Goldman.  I wonder if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his Foreign Ministry staff have read it.

The Foreign Ministry, even prior to Bibi's election has been attempting "rebranding" to make Israel more "popular."  Israeli politicians and ordinary citizens are terribly naive and desperate for foreign approval.

United States President Barack Hussein Obama is not sympathetic to Israel, the opposite.  He's not susceptible to the arguments and urgings that worked and works with other American politicians.  Remember he was raised abroad by an extreme Leftist anti-American mother.
Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother’s milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.

There is nothing mysterious about Obama’s methods. “A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is,” wrote Karl Krauss. Americans are the world’s biggest suckers, and laugh at this weakness in their popular culture. Listening to Obama speak, Sinclair Lewis’ cynical tent-revivalist Elmer Gantry comes to mind, or, even better, Tyrone Power’s portrayal of a carnival mentalist in the 1947 film noire Nightmare Alley. The latter is available for instant viewing at Netflix, and highly recommended as an antidote to having felt uplifted by an Obama speech.

Passover cleaning is more than ridding the house of bread crumbs.  We must clean the chametz, ghetto mentality from our minds.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sefira Reminder Season, Again

Ever since I've had the help of all these electric internet etc reminders, I've counted "Sefira" from day one until the 49th day.

But as usual it's hard to find where to sign up.

If you know, please send the links, thanks.

Thank You for All the Cleaning by Hadassa DeYoung


Thank You for All the Cleaning

I'm serious. I emptied out the laundry/storage room, except for the washing machine because the faucet was too tightly attached, onto the porch and I noticed how well supplied I am. (Anyone who has read some of my comments, OK rants, on the various Pesah posts will wonder why I emptied out the entire room, almost. It needed spring cleaning as much as it did Pesah cleaning. One of my daughters asked if it was the ant room. I could only answer that it looked that way. It adjoins the kitchen and houses the microwave.) I looked at the selection of my worldly possessions arranged for cleaning on the porch and started to think about the rest of the house.

We should be thankful for what we have, even though we have to clean it all for Pesah. Some people don't have much to clean and I'm sure they'd readily accept the burden of cleaning along with a few more rooms, tables, chairs, helpful appliances etc. (Up to a point larger houses are easier to clean than cramped areas anyway.)

Then there are the kids. Are yours underfoot, hampering efforts to rid the house of hametz? Well thousands of childless couples would be happy to deal with that too. And they do grow up and start to help too. The six-month old who cried almost incessantly – no exaggeration – twelve years ago is now not only cleaning, but playing with her baby sister so that I can accomplish my tasks.

Is the kitchen a struggle? Be thankful that it's well supplied. Was there a lot of food that had to be either prepared and eaten quickly or wasted? Ask anyone who distributes food baskets how many families would welcome that problem. All there a lot of pots, pans and dishes to be stored and Pesah ones to be hauled out of storage? Be happy that you don't have to kasher pots or silverware and eat off of a small set of Pesah dishes. Ethics of the Father, 2:7, “increase possessions, increase worry,” comes to mind.

Are you rearranging shelves to accommodate food for Pesah, perhaps for a few guests, family or friends? Don't take either the purchasing or the hosting ability for granted. Perhaps you've been invited. Are you able to bring a nice holiday gift? That's not a given either.

Time to end the cleaning break! With half a cleaning day left before Shabbat HaGadol, about a day and a half left before bedikat hametz (that includes motzei Shabbat), and a few frantic hours of “I can't believe I forgot that!” after that, be'hatzlaha. Wishing everyone success in staying sane while finishing the last stage of Pesah cleaning. Have a kosher and happy Pesah – there's still time to say “THIS year in Jerusalem!”

Hadassa DeYoung, K'far Darom/Elon Moreh

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No Surprise, The New York Times' Unbalanced Blogroll

The New York Times isn't the only print publication, which is now also online and offers their internet readers various blogs to supplement the op-ed page.  They call it At War, Notes From the Front Lines.  I looked for Israel.  Other Middle-East countries are assigned their own category.  The closest I could find was:
Arab/Israeli Politics, Policy, Culture
You won't be surprised to hear that of the big choice of three blogs, there are Arabs and Leftist Israelis.  No, nothing even closely resembling my neck of the political woods.  No balance, of course.

I guess that doesn't surprise you, my intrepid readers, simply because if you wanted the message of the New York Times or found it satisfying, you wouldn't be reading my blog.


An Example of Why We Can't Rely On The United States

I don't trust the United States judgment nor expertise in foreign affairs and diplomacy.  The following Jerusalem post Opinion article gives a good example of why.  Personally I don't like the title, but there's nothing  can do about it.  It gives the impression that there's something "unintentional," which unfortunately most probably isn't the case.  Here's the article:

24/03/2010 10:42

This message to the Palestinian Authority from the US, if not immediately rectified, will have devastating implications for peace.

Someone in the State Department is giving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imprecise information about Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

On Monday night, in her speech to AIPAC, Clinton condemned Hamas for renaming “a square after a terrorist who murdered innocent Israelis,” saying it was “wrong and must be condemned.”

On the other hand Clinton “commended” PA Chairman Abbas.

Clinton’s condemnation of Hamas alone, because the municipality that named the square after the terrorist is run by Hamas, was erroneous. For in fact, it has been the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas, who have been leading the Palestinians in glorifying Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist bus hijacker who was responsible for the killing of 37 civilians in 1978, whom Clinton accurately called the “terrorist who murdered innocent Israelis.”

Palestinian Media Watch has documented the continuous Mughrabi veneration by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in recent years, both in connection to the square near Ramallah in the West Bank and in many other contexts.

THE FOLLOWING are 15 examples of the glorification of this one particular terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, five by Abbas himself, five by the Palestinian Authority or its leaders, and five by Fatah or its leaders:

1. It was Abbas himself who defended the naming of the square after Mughrabi: “I do not deny it. Of course we want to name a square after her.” [Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Jan. 17, 2010] for complete article click

Something New In Shiloh

First of all, I almost always have my camera strapped to me when I go out of the house.  It's not that I always take pictures, but there's a feeling of "what if...?"  Last night as I was ready to go out, my neighbor asked:
I ignored her comment, best as I could...
"Would you really feel naked without it?"

From a distance, this metal enclosure looked like some sort of animal cage.  When my friend and I were walking (more like shuffling for me) around the neighborhood last night, we spied something new.  She tried reading the Hebrew first.  I was too busy getting my hah! I knew I should have brought it camera out of the case.

"What does this mean?  It looks like it's to collect plastic bottles and bags, but it says, 'לא למחזר Don't recycle.'  That doesn't make sense.  What do they mean by זה מטורף? Zeh metoraff?"

I finally looked at the sign.  Yes, it was clear that this new structure was for collecting plastic for recycling.  What could that sign mean?

זה מטורף לא למחזר
Zeh metoraff lo l'machazor
The actual translation is:
It's insane not to recycle

Yes, Shiloh has joined the international recycling community.

חג פסח כשר ושמח
Have a Kosher and Happy Passover

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

International Media Incitement Against Israel

I had to flee the living-room.  The CNN news report is bad for my health.  They are outraged at Israel's "defiance" of the United States.  They can't understand how it is that America can't control Israel.


Israel is an independent country.  No other country, nor international body nor media giant has the right to tell us how to live our lives, where to build etc.

But that's not the worst of it.  We have a government, and successive previous ones who try so hard to make the world like us, approve of us etc, when we should just be telling them...

"Go, #$%$%!!!$%!"

Fill in the "blanks."  Every time Israel tries to be diplomatic, it boomerangs back worse.

Just a little history.  Israel does not exist because of the United Nations vote, nor because of the United States.  It certainly doesn't owe anything to Great Britain which did everything in its power for years to prevent the Jewish State from being established, even though it had been mandated by The League of Nations in the early 1920's to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish State in what was then called "Palestine" on both sides of the Jordan River.  Yes, today's Jordan, ruled by the non-native to the area Hashemites, was  supposed to be part of the Jewish State.  Yes, sadly, the land has already been divided, and Jordan is "Palestine."

In November, 1947, when the infant United Nations had that vote to "approve" a state for the Ancient Jewish People, nobody really expected the Jewish state to survive.  We had nothing.  All we had were enemies.  The Arabs were attacking, and the British, at best, stood by, and frequently did what they could to help the Arabs and hinder our self-defense.  Poor sick, Jewish refugees were fighting the British to enter the HolyLand.  Great Britain did everything in its power to prevent the Jewish population from growing.

Why isn't this mentioned, or known, by the journalists writing about Israel?  Why isn't Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs telling our true history?  Why is it left to bloggers like myself to remind everyone?

The only effective way of stopping the attacks on us is to stand tall and remember that we are a State because G-d made it possible.  Against all odds, we're here over sixty years after our Declaration of Statehood.  Math and nature don't work here, because G-d is in charge.

That's what Passover is all about. 

Re: Healthcare, Obama's Bill Isn't As Good As What We Have In Israel

Of late, I've enjoyed watching the long-time American TV series, E.R.  Over and over, it uses the horrible and dangerous financial abuses of the existing United States "Healthcare" system for plot-lines.  There's the kid who almost dies from diabetes complications, because his family doesn't have a policy, and they are waiting for a new one which won't cover existing conditions, so he can't be officially diagnosed and treated until the new policy kicks in.  (Sorry for the convoluted sentence.)  And there's the poor man who ends up needing an amputation, because he couldn't afford to check with a specialist after an infection.

Obama and the Democrats are ecstatic after their healthcare program passed congress, but from what I've read, it is far from solving all those problems.  It still sounds confusing and complicated.  Congress is giving the government four years to try to work out the kinks.  That's a long time.  Lots of people can die before then.

Here in Israel, we have a simpler system.  No, it's not a blanket socialist "the government pays all."  (I wonder if such a country really exists.)  There are a handful of different healthcare organizations, and you choose the one you want for basic services.  Payment is either from salaries or "welfare."  You can upgrade care and benefits by paying extra each month.  Everyone is covered, all ages, all conditions.  Some medications are highly subsidized, and others aren't.  Childbirth is covered, including the expenses caused by complications.  There's a fourteen week paid (a high percentage of the woman's salary if she worked most of the previous year) maternity leave.  She has the right to extend her leave without pay, and the job is held for her for six months to a year, depending on the job.

In Israel, there's also the "private" option for certain specialists and speedier care when there's a long wait.

The general medical level in Israel is extremely high and people come from all over the world to be treated.

When I was a teenager and decided that I was going to make aliyah, move to Israel, I knew nothing of healthcare.  I was just enamoured with the Zionist dream.  Israeli healthcare is a bonus.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Misplaced Outrage!

Great Britain should have protested against Dubai for sheltering the terrorist.  There's no reason to expel an Israeli diplomat.  Whoever executed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh did the world a great service.

Why is it that we never hear or see any signs of outrage when Jews are murdered by Arab terrorists?

Because of that lack, I have no respect for the opinions and so-called morality of all those preaching at Israel about how to behave, respond, live and build.

Chanukah, Passover and Purim, All Connected

I'm pretty sure that I get on this basic track every year.

So you can say: "Here we go again..."

Seraphic Secret, a very popular, excellent blog, has a post about Passover and freedom and that's what got me going this morning.

The freedom discussed in the Passover Haggadah is of loyalty, allegiance and faith to our Jewish G-d.  It's Mordechai refusing to attend King Achashverosh's festive banquet and his standing proudly, straight and tall as Haman walked by.  It's Judah the Maccabee confidently fighting for Jewish religious independence and practice when the experts told him he hadn't a a chance, too small and weak for the mighty Greeks.

Present day, the modern State of Israel is being ruled by those who although they live in the Land of Israel,  are slaves to the United States, the United Nations, foreign leaders and alien values.

It is not enough to be here in the Land of Israel.  We must burn away the chametz of the mind.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach
Have a Healthy, Happy and Strictly Passover
Remember: You are What You Eat

Monday, March 22, 2010

Passover At Tel Shiloh

That EU Official is Right. Jerusalem is Not Tel Aviv

Of course my reasons for saying that Jerusalem is not Tel Aviv aren't the same as that of Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn:
The EU is "very disappointed by the position of the Israeli government, I think I can say very clearly that Jerusalem is not Tel Aviv..."
Anybody with even the most minimal knowledge of history, ancient and modern know that the two cities have almost nothing in common.  Jerusalem is an ancient city that has been the holiest city for the Jewish People for thousands of years.  That status predates the existence of both Christianity and Islam.

It was declared the Jewish Nation's Capital by King David, and Jews have lived there ever since.

Tel Aviv just celebrated its hundredth anniversary.  It was established by the leaders of the Zionist movement.

Need I say more?

Reading and Writing Polls and the Magic of Words

You get your answer according to how you word your question.  Words have such power.  Veteran readers of this blog know how riled I get by misuse of words.  The mother of all Holocaust museums, Yad Vashem does all the Nazi victims a disservice by saying they "perished" rather than that they were murdered.  People perish in floods, epidemics and earthquakes, but the Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions of others, whether directly with bullets, gas, poison or indirectly by creating these disease-filled camps, ghettos and other deadly conditions.

Another example of the power of words is the Obama campaign theme of "change."  It's brilliant.  It says nothing, because it means something else to each person.  Almost everyone wants change, but they don't want the same things to change, nor do they want the same changes.

Israeli governments consistently get us into "hotter water" by trying to answer the unsubstantiated and antisemitic accusations against us.  Obviously they're unfamiliar with Disraeli's wise advice, "Never complain and never explain."  We've seen how when we act contrite, apologize and explain, it just legitimizes and increases the accusations.  Sometimes you must make your own Teflon.  I remember learning that the ancient walls surrounding Biblical Shiloh had a substance that stopped invaders from climbing them to protect the city.  Israel's Hasbara Information Campaign must develop a modern version of it, and I'd start with Disraeli's instructions.

Opinion polls have too much power over the public and politicians.  There are politicians who resemble cats chasing their tails in their attempts to modify their policies after opinion polls, rather than showing integrity, leadership and vision.

hat tip: IMRA
I got started on this rant after reading how Israel's extreme Leftist Haaretz newspaper distorted poll results.
Haaretz misled readers to give the impression that an overwhelming majority of Israelis see US President Barack Obama as “fair and friendly” toward the country, the newspaper’s pollster, Tel Aviv University professor Camil Fuchs, said on Sunday.

No matter who writes his speeches and what they say, United States President Barack Hussein Obama is ironically incapable of change.  He is too inyani, focused on his own narrow interests.

Yes, you can read in the result of that poll, if you know how to interpret the words and numbers. 
The bulk of the "fair and friendly" is from "51% defined Obama’s approach to Israel using the Hebrew word “inyani,” which can be translated as “matter-of-fact” or “businesslike,” but not as fair."  Actually, "inyani" is a much too ambiguous word to be used in a poll.  It means different things to different people.  You can also explain/define it as focused, even myopic, closed-minded and short-sighted when it comes to a politician like Obama.  He has his policies and nobody should dare get in the way.  That's not very diplomatic, davka,  the exact opposite.  There's no empathy, neither genuine nor fake.  I guess that's the key to understanding Obama.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Miraculously Beautiful, Tel Shiloh in the Jewish Month of Nissan

Yes, it looks like a miniature lake.  But there's neither a lake nor a pond at Tel Shiloh.  This is no more than a giant puddle.  Unless G-d blesses us with more rain, it will soon dry out.

I've been making a point of going to Tel Shiloh for Rosh Chodesh Prayers for over two years already, and month after month I'm WOWed by the beauty.  Rosh Chodesh Nissan was stupendous, rich green leaves covering the earth and branches, wild wheat blowing in the wind like the most luxurious velvet, juicy almonds waiting to be picked and eaten and the colorful wildflowers sparkling like precious stones.

This Rosh Chodesh more women came to pray than in previous months, and there's room for many more.  We wandered around communing with G-d, like the Biblical Chana, each with our own prayers.  As women we have more freedom in praying.  We don't need a minyan of ten men.  We don't have to pray as a group.  We each came with our own siddur (prayer book) and T'hillim (Psalms.)  We were together as individuals.  There was no Eli the Priest to tell us that we didn't pray correctly or accuse us of drunkenness.

For thousands of years, Shiloh has been a central place for Jewish Prayer.

Joshua made it the first Capital City of the Jewish People.  For 369 years the Mishkan (Tabernacle) rested here.  There are still the remains of a variety of old and ancient structures.

Shiloh is a modest place, home to many educators.  That shouldn't be a big surprise considering that Ancient Shiloh also had a school, a boarding school, where Samuel the Prophet was sent by his mother Chana.  Since modern Jews returned to Shiloh over thirty years ago, there has been a hesder yeshiva, which combines Torah Learning and army service.  Almost twenty-nine years ago our elementary school was opened.  There were only eighteen students that first day, in three classes.  Today it's a full eight year elementary school with many more than eighteen classes.  Students come from as far south as Kochav Hashachar and as far north as Rachalim.  There are also many second generation students, whose parents also studied in Shiloh.

If you're interested in joining us for Rosh Chodesh Prayers, please send me an email with "Rosh Chodesh Prayers" as the subject.

Passover Fun!

Pesach Festival in Shiloh

Street Theater from Biblical times with ancient craft workshops, tours to the site of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)

Weds and Thursday March 31st-April 1st 1st and 2nd days of Hol Hamoed 10:00-17:00

Musicians and period-costumed actors, arts and craft market, Entrance fees: - 30 shekel single entrance– 120 shekel  Family entrance

Food stands and Refreshments at The Tabernacle Cafe`

The event is authorized by the Security Forces

Tel Shiloh and The Tabernacle Gallery/Cafe` are open throughout the year

For more information please call: 02-994-4019 telshilo@gmail.com  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Embarrassed? Insulted? The U.S? No! We're the Victims!!

I thought I had written enough about that topic, how Biden, Obama and Clinton went ballistically "Mommy Dearest" when the Israeli Government routinely mentioned a stage in the approval of building plans in Jerusalem the Capital of the State of Israel and the Eternal Capital of the Jewish Nation.

But then tonight I saw just how badly Israel has handled it and also how badly and incorrectly even normally pro-Israel American rabbis understand what had happened.  By "chance" I saw a letter a prominent American MO (Modern Orthodox) Rabbi sent to his congregants and my usual mellow motzei (after) Shabbat mood began to boil, hiss and steam.
"As you know, the Israeli government embarrassed Vice President Biden during his recent trip to Israel. The ill-timed announcement of a new housing project in Jerusalem (however legal and in keeping with Israeli policy it was) was an affront to a country to which we owe tremendous gratitude."
  • I'm still trying to figure out how the U.S. Vice President could have been embarrassed by the announcement.
  • Biden as a representative of the United States was supposed to be mediating between Israel and the Pseudostinians aka Palestinians sic.
  • A mediator isn't supposed to have an opinion, certainly not supposed to voice or promote one.
  • The United States has a plan, an agenda.  They have been unabashedly pushing for another Arab State in the Ancient, Historic Jewish Homeland, and they want it now.
  • That means that the United States isn't doing mediation; it's lobbying, very heavy-handed lobbying.
OK, back to the question of what could have "embarrassed" Biden.  Nu, what do you think?  I can understand "anger," but if Biden came as an honest broker, he wouldn't be embarrassed by that announcement.

Could it be that Obama-Biden-Clinton promised, reassured the Arabs that they control Israel?  Could it be that Obama-Biden-Clinton promised, reassured the Arabs that  Israel wouldn't build any more Jewish homes in Jerusalem neighborhoods Israel liberated (yes, my term) in the 1967 Six Days War?  If that's the case, then our Israeli politicians would be best off not continuing with this dangerous farce.  There's no mediation going on, direct, indirect or "proximity," the latest euphemism for indirect.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should never have apologized.  He should have asked the questions I did and push the Americans into the corner.

G-d willing next week should be better!
Shavua Tov!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Something Good About Passover?

Leora asked for our favorite things about the passover Seder.  I'd like to broaden the question, especially after a very negative and revealing post of my own on me-ander.

When I was down at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I revelled in the beauty nature had miraculously revealed.  I took picture after picture, as if I was photographing my grandchildren at play.  Bli neder (not an oath) I will post them at a later time, like when we have a better computer.  This year, we were blessed with more rain than recent years, though according to our neighbor Rabbi Dov Berkovits who keeps records, only about 85% of the official annual quantity.  Maybe it's also because we had a relatively warm winter, but the almond trees were full of delicious green almonds.  At this stage, they are totally edible.

There are many animals which "change their skin" every year.  Is that related to our Passover cleaning?

In the fall, we move into temporary homes, succot, to remind us that we're on a path and the material possessions are just fleeting, temporary.  Is there a relationship to Passover and the need to change all the dishes and kitchen equipment?

Chametz חמץ in Hebrew also means "spoiled."  If food is too old and dangerous to eat, it smells חמוץ "chamootz," spoiled.  If we hold on to things and feelings too long, do we endanger ourselves?

Is this why so many people, present company excluded, go "whole hog" (rather an oxymoron, outrageous idiom considering) cleaning for Passover?  People scrub their windows and ceilings, while for sure there's no food, nor does anyone eat on their ceilings and windows.

I don't expect to find food in the clothes closet, since only clean clothes are hung there, so a year like this (and too many others) year I don't pull out all my clothes to check every pocket.  There's no way I could have sandwich or cookie crumbs in a pocket, especially since I don't eat those foods.  A year and a half ago, I changed my eating/menu and lost weight.  Chametz, bread, cakes, noodles etc aren't on my daily menu.

For almost six months, my father has been living with us, so the grandkids have only come for short visits.  We don't get food all over.

What's the best thing about Passover?  It's reaching the deadline, biyur chametz, burning the chametz, that time the morning before the seder when I know that I'm finished.  Nothing more can be done.  What's done is done.  Make peace with it and go on with Passover.  Until we make the "Hamotzy," prayer on the matzah during the seder, we can eat neither chametz nor matzah or any matzah meal based food.

Then I wonder why the holiday is only a week long.  All that work for only a week...

If Passover is only a week, maybe we should calculate our preparation time for just the same, a week?

What are your thoughts?  That's what comments are for...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The New York Times Agenda, Against Israel

Before illustrating the organized and vicious campaign in the New York Times and by the Obama administration against Israel, I'm showing you a couple of pictures to illustrate the location of Ramat Shlomo.  It's in a Jerusalem forest, former no-man's land.

I photographed these yesterday when traveling the "Ramot Road" on my way to downtown Jerusalem.  I rolled down the car-window, but we couldn't stop.  Ramat Shlomo was built on empty land, between other Jerusalem neighborhoods, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, Ramot and the Har Chotzvim Industrial Park.

New York Times op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd admits that she's a spokesperson for the Arabs repeatedly  mentioning that Arab officials  spoke to her about Israel.
At least she's on the opinion page.
"Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned me..."
"Arab leaders groused to me..."

And about Obama and his advisers, I think they've gotten it all wrong.
“That’s not how you treat your best friend,” said one Obama official.
Reverse that, please.  You're neither acting nor speaking like a friend of Israel.  Israel ought to rethink its relationship to the United States.  Obama sure doesn't treat Israel like a friend.

Another of the New York Times op-ed columnists, Thomas Friedman, can't see the forest for the trees. His recent article details the disagreements, anarchy and unstable leadership among the Pseudostinian, aka Palestinian sic, leadership, but he doesn't take his observations a crucial step further.  It's obvious that none of these Arab leaders, even the most moderate and western, are capable of guaranteeing peace and stability for the Middle-east and security for Israel.  It just won't work.

The entire concept of "two states" is an unworkable mistake.  It's like expecting Santa Claus to cover your credit card bill for Xmas presents.  America can live in La-la Land, but I'm too pragmatic for that.  My life and further and the future existence of my country require that I think for myself and not trust any foreign leaders nor the media.  Dowd refers to a "defiant Israel." Let her call us whatever she wishes.  I don't care what she thinks.  Her antipathy is obvious.

We in Israel must make our own decisions about what's best for our secuity and our future.  Let the world butt out!

ZOA's National Student Essay Contest

Jews have a historical, legal, and religious right to live in Judea and Samaria (West Bank)

Cash Prizes Awarded to Top 3 Essays

First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250

The writers of the top 50 essays will be invited to attend ZOA's National Essay Contest Luncheon, featuring distinguished speakers on the topic of Israel advocacy in the 21st Century.

For more information, please email essay@zoa.org

Deadline Extended: April 19, 2010

Submit your essay here

Campus & Young Professional Divisions
Zionist Organization of America
ZOA Website
ZOA Fan Page

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Building, The Marvels of Hebrew Linguistics

בן בנים
בת בנות
לבנות בנינים
ben bannim
bat banot
livnot binyanim
son sons
daughter daughters
to build buildings

We build families, and our children, with G-d's help, marry and build their families and brick by brick, child by child new families are built.

The building freeze, whatever the time limits as if they can even be taken seriously, is immoral going against nature.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is very proud of his sons and no doubt would do anything to help them develop their talents and live fulfilled lives.

He shouldn't stop us and our children from building full lives, communities and homes in the Land Of Israel.

Invoking Melchizedek, - or jesus - in Jerusalem?

Posted by Jewish Israel

Considering the large evangelical Christian presence at the recent CUFI Night to Honor Israel event in Jerusalem and Rabbi Riskin's background in Christian studies, it is awkward, puzzling, and potentially problematic that he chose to conjure-up the image of the biblical Melchizedek – “the King of Jerusalem" in his invocation at that event.

A Melchizedek = Jesus theological connection is widely accepted across Christian denominations and is especially popular among evangelical sectors due to the eschatological implications. Among Christians “it is largely accepted that Melchizedek was an incarnate of Jesus” who “was a superior priest, who offered a superior sacrifice, and who also enacted a superior Law.” The new testament uses the example of Melchizedek in an attempt to establish Jesus as "not only king-messiah, but as the high priest, capable of offering a sacrifice on behalf of the people."

Evangelizing entities have previously taken advantage of Rabbi Riskin’s lack of clarity and lines as he attempts to share Torah and find common theological ground with Christians (this has caused him to have to retract and clarify statements again and again).

Jewish Israel has asked former messianic missionary Penina Taylor to draw definitive lines between faiths for us on the issue of Melchizedek...more

Now for some comic relief...

Rapture-ready atheists form alliance with evangelicals:
Regardless of how good and loyal a pet has been, come Rapture time, evangelicals just can’t take Fido with them. The good news is that an enterprising retired retail executive has assembled a team of moral, humane atheists who will be on hand throughout the Bible Belt and in 22 states to come to the rescue and see those pets through tribulation. This venture is serious enough to be worthy of an article in Business Week, and these atheists are top of the line...more

About Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem, An Interesting Clarification

Hat tip: IMRA

When people hear the term "East Jerusalem" they think of a old, rundown section of Jerusalem teeming with Arabs.  They don't think of the fancy apartments and homes in Beit Chanina, nor of Jews and Jewish History.  The labeling of Ramat Shlomo as "East Jerusalem" makes people think its an enclave, like the Jewish buildings supported and protected by the Ir David, City of David Foundation.

Now just to clarify before the clarification, Jews have the right to live and build in any neighborhood in Jerusalem and any part of the Land of Israel.  Anyone who says otherwise is supporting anti-Jewish apartheid, immorally discriminating against Jews.  The fact that Jews are forbidden to live as Jews in various countries in the Middle East is contrary to the accepted norms of civil rights, and I don't understand why there aren't international protests against this.  Can we credit latent antisemitism?

Now, I'm just curious.  Do you know where Ramat Shlomo is?  Next to which Jerusalem neighborhood is it adjacent?

Basically, Ramat Shlomo is in the middle of a forest in what was once considered "no man's land."  Between 1948/9 and 1967, it was pretty much ignored by both Israel and Jordan.

It's located between Ramot, Ramat Eshkol and French Hill accessed by a new road.  Nobody lived there before Ramat Shlomo was built.  I wish I had some pictures to show you.

Again, I'm going to repeat that there is a terrible housing shortage in Jerusalem.  Prices are sky high, and that's the reason many people have been forced to leave the city.  Especially under former mayor Ehud Olmert, luxury housing projects especially in the center of the city were approved.  The apartments are used mainly as vacation and "future" aliyah homes for wealthy Jews who visit on occasion.

We need many more housing projects for ordinary Jewish families and singles.  The Israeli Government has been terribly slow about building and approving such projects.  Part of it is that they're kowtowing to foreign pressure, like the present situation with the United States.  We must do what's best for us and build.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No Backbone; Bibi's Trying To Squeeze Through A Crack

I find no comfort in Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's words about building in Jerusalem:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Text: PM Netanyahu to Knesset: No restriction on construction in Jerusalem

"No government of Israel for the last 40 years has agreed to place restrictions on building in Jerusalem - not Levi Eshkol, not Golda Meir, not Menachem Begin, not Shimon Peres, not Yitzhak Shamir, not Yitzhak Rabin, not Ariel Sharon, not Ehud Barak, not Ehud Olmert.

During that time, all these governments have built in the suburbs of Jerusalem - in Gilo, in Ramot, in Neve Yaakov, in Ramat Eshkol, in French Hill, in Pisgat Zeev, in Ramat Shlomo and elsewhere.

The establishment of these Jewish suburbs did not harm the Arabs of East Jerusalem in any shape or form and did not come at their expense.

Today, nearly half of Jerusalem's Jewish population lives in these suburbs.
None of these places are far away, they are all a few minutes travel from here. They are all within six kilometers of the Israeli Knesset.

Regardless of whatever political differences there may be in this house regarding the final-status agreement, the ultimate borders of Israel, everyone agrees that all of these neighborhoods will remain part of Israel in any final peace settlement.

We will continue to keep Jerusalem an open city accessible to all religions.

A city where Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims live in together and have freedom of religion and access to religious sites."

They're just historical facts and it's not as simple as he wants us to believe.  If enough homes and apartments and schools had been built in Jerusalem these past (almost) forty-five years, there wouldn't be a housing shortage, and the prices wouldn't be so unaffordably high.

Bibi didn't state the policy of a proud and independent nation.  He didn't say that no other country has the right to dictate to us.  Netanyahu should have said that to prove that we don't take orders from foreign nations, we're speeding up the process for getting building permits, yes, just davka.  The Israeli Prime Minister should have told the Americans to "take a time-out" and leave us in peace to celebrate our Holiday of Freedom of Bondage.

Avodim hayeenu l'Paroh b'Mitzrayim
We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt

The important aspect was that we were once slaves to Pharaoh, to a foreign leader. 

Now we're a free and independent people.  Please, let us all remember that.

Atah bnai chorin, bnai chorin
Now we are free,
yes, free from foreign influence

Acting Like A Nebich Just Brings More Abuse

Just days after the United States' rude and disgraceful treatment of Israel concerning building plans for our Capital City Jerusalem received such absurdly embarrassing responses from the Israeli government, we've been slapped again.  This time it was Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who declined the traditional visit  to Herzl's Grave, but he's paying homage to Arab terrorist Arafat.

There's a saying that "a mitzvah brings a mitzvah, and sins bring more sins."  I'd add to that the corollary that insults just bring more insults.

It's not enough that Foreign Minister Lieberman pointedly ignored the Brazilian President, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Foreign Ministry should have made it very clear that visiting Herzl's grave was non-negotiable.

If we don't demand respect, we won't get any.  Step number one is self-respect.

Chodesh Nissan Tov!

It's hard to believe but in just two weeks from now it will already be Passover, and we'll be Post-Passover Seder, that is all but the very western reaches of the Jewish world.

I have two special things to do today.  One is to go to Tel Shiloh to pray and another is to read the Bima Ima's hot of the press edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

Not all of you can get to Shiloh, but if you're reading this, you're online and you can check out all of the posts concerning kosher cooking, Halacha (Jewish Law,) customs, restaurant and cookbook reviews and don't forget recipes.

If you'd like to host one, please contact me.  To send in your posts, click here.

Chodesh Tov!
Have a wonderful month!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Enemies Are Happy For Sure

No surprise to those of us who refused to vote for Likud,  Yisrael Beitenu (Israel's Our Home) or the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) parties, they haven't provided any strong, proud Jewish element to the Israeli Government coalition.  Labor Party may be dying at the polls, but its ideology is the dominant one in government policy.

Bibi's buckling under United States pressure and threats.  Jerusalem building plans are being hidden under the rug, as if they were pornographic magazines in some religious school.

Of course the Arab terrorists aka the "Palestinians," sic, have no compunctions about celebrating their cruelty. Fatah officials celebrated popular inauguration of terrorist square and  PA TV honors anniversary of terror attack with interview of terrorist's sister.  Don't expect virulent condemnation from the Americans.  The United States policy is very one-sided, and they aren't sided with Israel.

As far as I'm concerned this is all Israel's fault.  Israel's weakness, cooperation with the United States and pathologically courting world approval has only brought more and more pressure. There's something very sick in the Israeli psyche and it is worst in government officials, ministers and Knesset Members.

Refuah Shleimah
May We Enjoy A Complete Recovery

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yes, The Rabbanit (Rebbetzin, Rabbi's Wife) Yemima, Not the Rabba

I wasn't quite sure what was acceptable when Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi spoke in the Ofra Synagogue last night, so I only took a couple of pictures after it was over, and only one is even barely acceptable. You can see her in the distance wearing a black hat.

Strange for me, I have trouble remember her points, even though I was mesmerized and listened to every word.  But I'm very kinesthetic and feel experiences instead of memorizing verbal details.

Davka, on Shabbat we ate at neighbors and discussed the Rabbi Avi Weiss "Rabba" controversy concerning his ordaining Sara Hurwitz, as a "rabba," female rabbi.  Besides this "smicha," ordination controversy, I know nothing about Sara Hurwitz.  Her position in  is a job, which she shares with others.  As far as I'm concerned none of these private rabbinic "smicha" titles are all that convincing, man, woman or whatever.  I don't think the testing should be by the teachers.  The fact that it's Rabbi Weiss's school, shul, smicha etc makes it totally problematic as far as I can see.  There should be "checks and balances" like a good government system.  Hurwitz's attempt to break through that "glass ceiling" in the American Rabbinate seems much more like a worker's problem.  Since we don't have synagogue based Jewish communities here, and I've been living in Israel two-thirds of my long enough to get some discounts life  it's really difficult to relate to the issue.

The Rabbanit Yemima seems much happier in her frum female skin.  Not only isn't she trying to break through any glass ceiling, she reminded us not to obsess about Passover cleaning and to give the kids fun jobs, so they won't remember pre-Passover as a nightmare.  It's a bit too many decades late for me and my kids, but I'm glad that my daughter was influenced by better mothers.

As I wrote in last night's post, the Rabbanit Yemima's presentation is pure "stand-up."  Mary Poppins sweetened it with a spoon full of honey, and Rebbetzin Yemima with laughs.  Laughing is healthy.  The evening began with Tehillim, Psalms for the sick and those in need of other types of health.  If any of you were there, please give more details in the comments, thanks.

May this be for a refuah shleimah, complete recovery for :
Rachel bat Echya
and all others in need of our prayers

Classroom Control, What Burnt Me Out

Well, it's small comfort to know that my problems controlling a class are international rather than personal.

I spent over two decades of my life teaching.  For a total of about fifteen years I was first a Creative Dance teacher and then a Gym teacher.  For the health and safety of my students they needed to listen to me.  And considering the high percentage of outdoor lessons when I taught sports, shouting, supplemented by a loud whistle, was the only way I could be heard.  Those were the days before portable loud-speakers. No surprise I developed the reputation of a teacher always yelling.

Teaching became very difficult after the elementary school classrooms became larger, and the students got used to sitting "in groups" around square tables.  The children faced each other, not the teacher, nor the board.  Eye-contact was with each other, and even when I had them all together they had much more difficulty (than their elder sisters whom I had also taught) following instructions.

A few years after I ended that career, I reentered teaching as a EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher.  At first I was more a glorified tutor helping small, highly motivated groups of high school boys.  It was a pleasure and very easy.  Those boys wanted to succeed and succeed they did.

My problems began when I was "promoted" to regular classes.  Gentle encouragement was perceived as weakness, and I couldn't revive the tough persona needed to keep the kids in line.  They didn't accept nor understand the concept of "no."  This was/is a generation raised on whispers and sweet voices, hearing things like:
"Kootchy kootchy coo, sticking the lollipop stick in the baby's eye may be unpleasant."

The local child psychology gurus brainwashed parents into believing that the shout of "no, stop" would stunt something in their child's psyche.

For decades now the noisy, open classroom is the norm in many countries, the countries where there are problems controlling classes.  Kids aren't educated in quiet listening.  The classrooms aren't arranged to maximize teacher control.

Nobody and that includes both the teachers and the students get enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation cause concentration, attention span, impulsivity, memory problems.  That's bad news for the classroom.

And lastly to the new teacher who realizes that with all the pedagogy and education classes he/she was required to take, there was no course with tnt, tried and true classroom control techniques, it's because your university professors haven't a clue.  They're teaching you, not a bunch of seven or seventeen year olds.