Hamas War

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is It True that Young Israel Discriminates Against Converts?

hat tip: ajg

There's trouble brewing in the Young Israel synagogue organization according to this The Jewish Week article.  The article focuses on pressure by the official Young Israel leadership to expel its Syracuse synagogue,  Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, allegedly because it has a female president.

The article discusses how the Young Israel Movement has moved religiously and politically to the "Right," which is at odds with some member congregations. 

Several of those leaders interviewed cited in particular an August 2007 letter that included the following in which the organization said there were a series of new regulations:

* Synagogue presidents must be male and Jewish from birth; (emphasis mine)
and more regulations

That's outrageous and contravenes Jewish Law.  One is never supposed to remind a convert that he/she is a convert.  Once someone converts they are Jewish and that's it.  Davka, about their forbidding women from the position as synagogue president, I won't get involved, because I see it as cultural not halachic.  Also, I am not a member of such a shul, nor do I live in the United States.  But I'm shocked by their unabashed discrimination against converts.  It reminds me of the American law which requires all U.S. Presidents to have been born in the United States. 

What's next for Young Israel?  No "BT's*" in high office? 

*Baalei teshuva, those who accepted Torah Judaism, later, not raised in it.

The Galilean Resort’s Missionary and Rabbinic Hechsher

Posted by Jewish Israel
In this report, Jewish Israel explores and exposes the evangelizing agenda of certain Christian personalities whose names appear as endorsers on the list which Jewish Israel found in the Advisory Board section of the Galilean website (see previous post).

Jewish Israel continues to alert the Jewish community that these Christian leaders are fully committed in their mission of bringing the gospel of jesus christ to the Jewish people. We hope that Rabbi Riskin and the rest of the Jews involved in this project will take this report into consideration and will bear in mind that their continued theologically–based endeavors with these missionary personalities poses an existential spiritual threat to the Jewish people in the Land of Israel...more

[NOTE:This report is an important follow-up to last week's post on the new Christian resort and spiritual center being established by Anne Ayalon and David Zwebner on the shores of the Kinneret.]

Does It Pay (Or Is It Safe) To Help Israel?

Theatre of the Absurd?

A few months ago it was revealed that a son of a high-ranking Hamas Arab terrorism leader had spied for Israel.  Mosab Hassan Yousef now lives in the United States and his right to live there is now being challenged by Homeland Security.  They want him deported for the role he had to play as terrorist while actually helping to stop terrorism.

Deportation to his childhood home would be a death sentence.

I hope that Israel won't abandon him the way our government has abandoned Jonathan Pollard.

Their stories are very different except for the "bottom line" which is that the United States does not consider Israel a true friend and ally, and the State of Israel knows neither how to to defend its needs nor the secrity of those who've risked their lives for us.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Two State" Bluff, Not Going To Work

A history lesson...

Even though the slogan is "two states," international pressure is actually for three, but that won't work either.

There never was an independent country called "Palestine." It doesn't exist in the history books.  This is one sick fairy tale. Various countries ruled in this part of the world as imperialists, invaders, most recently the Turks and then the British.  They named the "mandate" "Palestine."  Then after the Balfour Declaration which pledged that the land would be a Jewish State, the British imported the Hashemites to take over the eastern bank of the Jordan.  The Hashemites weren't native to this area at all, but they enjoyed their perks of kingship and all sorts of other freebies the British offered in exchange for limiting Jewish settlement.  The remaining part of the mandate, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean plus the Negev desert was then promised to the Jews, but the British decided to renege again.

According to their grand plan there was to be another Arab state between Hashemite Jordan and the sliver of land left for the Jews.  That new Arab state would be "Palestine."  The  British were hoping to get them ready to take over before the Jews declared a state. 

The British plan didn't work, because of Hitler.  There was too much anger and too many Jewish refugees, survivors of Nazi's incomplete extermination.  The Zionists were too impatient and declared its State of Israel before the Arabs were ready.

Now, sixty-two years later, the world is still trying to invent that country.

They've created a monster they can't control.  Those Arabs don't want to share the land, even though the pro-British Leftist Israelis have been waiting to fulfill the British plan.

Unfortunately, the con is so old, people think it's real.  And frequently I wonder if I'm the only sane one in the insane asylem.

Is "Not Building" A Form of Destruction

As I sluggishly fast on the 17th of Tammuz, my mind has begun to wander in wondrous ways...

Even before the Seventeenth of Tammuz, which officially commences the period of mourning for the destruction of our (Jewish) ancient Holy Temples in Jerusalem we're considered in that tragic time frame.

Among the religious Jewish objections to birth control and  abortion is the idea that preventing life is related to murder.

We're close to the end of the "building freeze," that unilateral proclamation (shades of Disengagement) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced late last year (goyish calendar.)  He, or whoever is pulling his strings, envisioned it affecting small contractors and private families in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  He forgot about the major builders in places like Maale Adumim etc.  They demanded financial compensation.  He miscalculated about foreign reactions.  Obviously he expected lots of praise.  He didn't calculate that foreign countries and international bodies would insist that Jerusalem would be included in the freeze.

Luckily in Shiloh we had some already approved and begun housing projects which have been allowed to continue construction.  Other projects are on hold, frozen.

Every new family absorbed in a community like Shiloh is new life.  By freezing construction, the government is killing new life.  But it's not Shiloh which will suffer in the end.  It's the State of Israel which refuses to fully live and thrive. 

In the big picture of history, the state may end up just a pathetic footnote, like the generation which died off in the wilderness on the way to the HolyLand.

NYC Restricts AFSI Pro-Building Demo

1751 Second Ave, New York, NY 10128
Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717; afsi@rcn.com  www.afsi.org
Contact: Helen Freedman, Executive Director

June 28, 2010


In order to protest the disgraceful demolition plans of the Israeli government for the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, Israel, Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI planned a demonstration for Monday, June 28, in front of the Israeli Consulate on Second Ave. & 42nd Street. We hired a bulldozer on a flatbed to be driven into Manhattan and to be parked in front of the Consulate while demonstrators chanted, waved Israeli and American signs, and carried signs.

It was 92 degrees in New York’s summer heat, and 25 stalwart supporters of Americans For a Safe Israel responded to AFSI’s call for the demonstration. They assembled across from the Israeli Consulate, on Second Avenue. Israeli and American flags were draped on the barricades. Our signs read: BARAK/BIBI, DO NOT BULLDOZE OD YOSEF CHAI YESHIVA. APPEASING THE ENEMY IS SUICIDAL; BARAK/BIBI – BUILD! DON’T DESTROY JEWISH HOMES, SCHOOLS & SYNAGOGUES; BARAK/BIBI – THE JEWISH STATE MUST NOT DESTROY JEWISH HOMES, SCHOOLS & SYNAGOGUES.

We kept looking up Second Avenue for our truck and bulldozer, as passing cars honked their horns approvingly when they read our signs. The truck and bulldozer never arrived. Jack Ross, our AFSI member, who had cleared the route with all the necessary police personnel, and had been with the truck all the way from Westchester, called to tell us that the police had detained the rig at Second Avenue and 55th Street in order to “inspect” it. It was clear that our truck had been singled out because it was part of our protest. Following the “inspection”, we were notified that it had to be “measured.” Following that we learned the truck had to be “weighed.” As delaying tactic piled one upon the other, a few of us decided to walk up to where the truck was parked. We walked the 13 blocks in the heat, to finally see our truck with the bulldozer on it. Sure enough, it was there, carrying our large signs:


We learned that the police had been tracking it from the very beginning of its trip. It was clearly safe enough to be on the highways and bridges of the city so that it was allowed onto the streets of Manhattan. Why it was stopped 13 blocks from its destination is an interesting question. It was clearly not usual police procedure since anyone living anywhere in the vicinity of New York City is aware of the huge amount of truck traffic that uses our roads, bridges, tunnels and streets.

Could the Israeli Consulate have been responsible for preventing the truck and bulldozer from being parked across from their offices? Could there have been an order from Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to prevent New Yorkers from knowing the shameful truth about the political cowardice of Barak and PM Bibi Netanyahu for ordering the demolition of a Jewish holy Yeshiva and Synagogue? Will we ever find out the truth about this violation of our First Amendment rights in NYC? Were the police “just following orders”, and if so, who had issued them?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kagan's Hero


Having learned about good government, balance of power etc in New York, United States schools, I am particularly incensed by the Israel judicial system.  "Activist" judges make decisions not according to law and judicial precedence, but according to their personal opinions and concept of morality.  Yes, they think they're G-d almighty.

Of course there's a certain mix of personal opinion in judgement, but it should be based on law.  Israeli justices are notorious for their following their "conscience" and ideology rather than law.

What out America, your latest Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan,  worships Israeli Justice Aharon Barak.

Israeli Left, "Chareidim" To Their Cause

IMRA just publicized the Sarid poll which amazed me with the consistency of the numbers of supporters for the Kadima party.  It is Israel's Leftist party masquerading as "center."  It makes them feel better to call themselves "center" to give the impression that there's a strong consensus for their ideology.

The purpose of the poll was to see how former-MK Aryeh Deri would be received by the public if he was to start a new political party.

Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sarid Poll: Deri party would get 7 seats
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date 27 June 2010

Israel Television Channel 2 broadcast the following Sarid Institute poll result on 22 June:

If elections held today (expressed in Knesset seats)
Current Knesset seats in [brackets].
-- 07 00 [--] Party headed by Arieh Deri
33 31 28 [27] Likud
28 27 29 [28] Kadima
12 12 13 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
10 08 09 [11] Shas
08 0808 [13] Labor

Too bad that the rest of the results weren't publicized.  I'm curious to see whom the Yisrael Beiteinu voters are now supporting.  Many of the votes they received in the last elections were last minute decisions.  This press release doesn't show the nationalist, religious or chareidi parties.

What is the Sarid Institute trying to hide?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No, I'm Not Marching For Gilad Shalit

Please don't get me wrong.  I don't want Gilad Shalit to remain imprisoned by Arab terrorists.  I object to the focus on this media-driven campaign.  The Israeli media is doing its best brain-wash the Israeli public and politicians that the entire country blames our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Shalit's continued imprisonment.

They are wrong on all counts:

  1. Bibi isn't directly responsible for Shalit's imprisonment.
  2. There is no possible "deal" with the terrorists that could free Shalit.
  3. The entire country isn't in favor of offering more and more Arab terrorist prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit. 
  4. My stand is a lot more popular than the Israeli media would allow you to believe.
If the Shalit family and activists want to march to "something" to protest inaction and his continued imprisonment they should focus their anger and pressure on the so-called humanitarian organizations, especially those that aid the Arab terror prisoners in Israel jails.  Yes, including the Red Cross.  These organizations should be told to pack up and only return when they have Gilad Shalit with them, alive and well.

If the Shalit activists would do this then there's a chance that the Israel Government would ban those dangerous hypocrites from operating in Israel.

That's the only way to successfully and safely get Gilad Shalit home to Israel.

The Sign of Havel Hevalim

Yes, it's here!

Visit, enjoy and more.  Thank Toby for a great job.

Iceland's "Flatto-Sharon" or Politics is A Joke, Isn't It?

As all the great comedians agree (nu, Benji) the closer your "spiel" is to reality, the funnier it is.  Israeli political history has some great comedic moments, such as the election to Knesset of French fugitive Samuel Flatto-Sharon, who was fleeing arrest on corruption charges in France.  As an Israeli Knesset Member, he'd be safe, and that was the theme of his campaign.

That's what I thought of when I read about Reykjavik, Iceland's new mayor, Jon Gnarr.  He started the Best Party as a joke, but is the joke on him or the citizens of Reykjavik?

When I was a university student, we had an assignment to write a political campaign speech with lots of cliches.  I remember one of the lines I wrote.  I think it's even better than Obama's "Hope" theme, which said nothing, but Americans colored it with whatever they wanted which helped him win that lop-sided landslide victory.  It promised them anything, but gave them a joke.

I wrote:
"I want what you want."

Nu?  Maybe I can get a job writing for political hopefuls...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Life Isn't Fair, and There Are Things That Can't Be Equally Divided

Even though I had reached quite an old age to have two living parents, I never found myself with something to contribute when friends and neighbors would be discussing the stresses and burdens or caring for elderly parents.  Mine were in New York and I'm here in Shiloh, Israel.

That is until late last summer when my mother fell and it all fell apart.  My mother was hospitalized and my father couldn't live on his own.  I found myself making plans to fly to New York, bring him to Israel for two or three months we estimated, and I had to nudge and harass the Nefesh B'Nefesh and Jewish Agency staff to miraculously and magically move mountains so that he could officially immigrate to Israel.  (As exhausting as the previous sentence may be to read, living those days was even harder.)

Since October I've been in the caregiver club.  One thing I discovered was that the only times the burden is equally spread among siblings is when there's only one child.  No matter how civilized and well-intentioned everyone is, the burden always falls heaviest on one of the children.  Since October I've had full-time responsibility for my father, with my husband's help and cooperation.  My sister gradually took over my mother's care, even though they had been thousands of miles apart.  Our brother's contribution to the care of our mother is and was of a different sort.

That arrangement has come to an end, because my mother decided not to move to Israel, but to move to Arizona to be near my sister.  In a couple of weeks, G-d willing, I'll be taking my father on a long plane ride, with the help of one of my sons, to Arizona.  And then the balance will shift dramatically and drastically.  My parents will be in an assisted living home near my sister.

It won't be easy for her, and I pray that she'll stay healthy and enjoy having our parents nearby.  The experts all agree that it's not easy.  So far she has done a great job getting things ready, including choosing a place for them to live.

I hope to be able to concentrate on grandmothering and mothering when I return home.  I'm the sandwich generation and there was little balance since October.  Of course I'll have to visit more than once a year.  It's about time that I learn how to get the best out of the "points" from the airlines etc.

Someones it's a tough call to know what to do, but G-d willing, we'll all get through this better and stronger as a family.

Shavua Tov U'Mevorach
Have a Good and Blessed Week

Friday, June 25, 2010

Twenty-Four Thousand, 24,000

This Shabbat is my son #1's Bar Mitzvah parsha, the Torah Portion of the week which he read for his Bar Mitzvah.  I can still hear him practicing, especially the last line:
ט וַיִּהְיוּ, הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה--אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים, אָלֶף. {פ} 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand. {P} (from Numbers Chapter 25 בְּמִדְבַּר)

That number repeats in Jewish History.  It's the number of Rabbi Akiva's students who perished in an epidemic, yes, 24,000.

Chazal, our sages have problems explaining why twenty-four thousand righteous students of the saintly Rabbi Akiva were killed/perished in that epidemic.

My friends and neighbors who have suffered through my sometimes sacrilegious commentaries know my theory.  I have very serious objections to the idealization, idolizing Rabbi Akiva's relationship with his wife, Rachel.  They agreed to live separately so he could study Torah.  I'm sorry, please forgive me, but we all know that such a thing is wrong.  It goes against Jewish Law. 

There are religions which celebrate and require celibacy from its religious leaders, but Judaism is not one of them.  The opposite.  We are obligated to marry and reproduce.

Rabbi Akiva and his wife, Rachel, were bad role models for his students. 

Going back to Parshat Balak, Zimri who should have been a positive pro-Torah role model for the Jewish People sinned with a Midianite woman.  They were both executed by Pinchas.  Pinchas's action ended the plague which had already killed twenty-four thousand.

Yes, I know that some of you are seething with shock and anger that I dare compare Rabbi Akiva with Zimri, but those numbers are the same, and there must be a reason.  Rabbi Akiva and Rachel certainly had good intentions, but like Nadav and and Avihu's deadly "strange/foreign fire," that doesn't make it right.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

The More We Apologize, The More We're Blamed

I wish I could just call this: "Paranoids do have enemies," but Israel isn't hyper about fighting back, like any good paranoid would be.  The world would leave us alone if we did.  Nobody wants to trigger a neurotic who punches people out at the hint of an insult.

The State of Israel and most Jews are the opposite, more psychotically driven to apologize and desperate to do anything to gain approval.  And of course we won't get it.  The world gets its kicks from watching us cringe, beg and self-mutilate.

There's lots of cruelty in this world.  Lots of countries, even our big critics are guilty, as you can see in this article by Ben-Dror Yemini featured in Israel Behind the Scenes.  Nobody's going to pick on them, since we're too willing to be victims.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Gaza Terrorists Bombard Israelis in Northern Negev," So, Nu?

Gaza Terrorists Bombard Israelis in Northern Negev
Gaza terrorists unleashed a barrage of mortar shells at Israeli towns in the northern Negev on Thursday. At least 12 shells were fired over the course of the afternoon and evening.

9 mortars, rockets fired from Gaza
Palestinians fire rockets at Israel through the day...

Rocket explodes in south; none injured
Rockets continue to fall on Gaza-vicinity communities. A Qassam rocket exploded near a kibbutz north of the Gaza Strip Thursday evening, shortly after two mortar shells ...

I checked a number of foreign news sites and didn't find a mention of the attacks on Israel by the Arab terrorists in Gaza.  Does that mean that it never happened?  Sort of like that philosophical question about hearing a tree fall in a forest empty of humans.  If the international news services don't publicize that Arab terrorists fired rockets on southern Israel, and nobody hears, does it mean that it never happened?

We know it happened.  The Israeli Government certainly knows, so, nu, what will the government do?  These attacks won't stop unless we stop them.  Ignoring them won't help.  It's like the post-World War II "new" child psychology which claimed that children are so inherently good, if you don't punish them, they'll turn out just ducky.  The theory may have worked with some kids, but it certainly doesn't work with terrorists.

Interfaith Jesus resort to open on shores of Galilee

Posted by Jewish Israel

Anne Ayalon, Rabbi Riskin and a host of other Jewish Israeli luminaries, have gone public - via an internet site - with plans for the establishment of a five-star resort, “celebrating” the Christian faith. The Galilean resort is being built on prime real estate on the shores of the Sea of Galilee - in the “cradle of Christianity”, and is being heralded as “an historic opportunity to establish the world Christian spiritual center at the very birthplace of Christianity.” The project enjoys a staggering Jewish-Christian list of endorsements . Everyone from Orthodox rabbis and Torah observant academics and entrepreneurs, to notorious mega-preachers and missionaries (including a famous advocate for Jews for Jesus), have jumped on this Jesus boat...more

"Hamas: We won't let Red Cross visit Shalit " Nu? Where are the Protests?

Headline from Haaretz:
Hamas: We won't let Red Cross visit Shalit

"Shalit's parents have pledged to camp outside the prime minister's residence until their son is freed from captivity."

I agree that it's a disgrace that Gilad Shalit has been in captivity for four years, but the Israeli Prime Minister isn't holding him prisoner.  The Arab Hamas terrorists are, and international "aid" organizations like the Red Cross are cooperating with the terrorists.

If all these "human rights" and "aid" organizations really did their job, they'd be protesting day and night against Hamas about the imprisonment and isolation of Gilad Shalit.  They aren't because they don't care.  They have no problem when innocent Jews are imprisoned.

The protests should be against them.  Jews and all world citizens who truly care about civil/human rights should stop contributing to or donating to all those organizations which aren't doing their jobs.  The Red Cross is at the top of that list.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cruelty to Animals, Shechita (Jewish Animal Slaughter) and Hunting

The Jewish World was recently thrown into a tizzy by the enactment of anti-shechita laws in New Zealand, which will severely restrict Jewish Life there.  The governmental rationale is that they're protecting animals. 

New Zealand isn't the only country which forbids kosher slaughter of animals. Switzerland has forbidden it for decades.  I may be just a dumb granny, but if the Swiss really cared about animals, hunting would be forbidden.  It isn't.  Hunting is permitted in Switzerland

And yes, hunting is also permitted and a big business in New Zealand.  The same for Iceland, Norway and Sweden where shechita is also forbidden.

It's considered a sport in those countries.

Yes, that means that if you want to terrorize animals by stalking, shooting  and wounding them with rifles, you may, even if you just want to stuff it and mount it on your wall.  But if you just want to carefully and quickly slaughter an animal according to Jewish Law for eating you could be jailed.

Something stinks, like rotten meat...

Five Long and Difficult Years Since Disengagement


This year Tisha B’Av (July 19 and 20), when we commemorate the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem, we also mark another tragedy for Israel - the 5th year since the destruction of 21 Gush Katif/Gaza, and 4 northern Shomron communities.

The destruction and expulsion of over 10,000 Jews from religious and non religious communities was disastrous on so many levels - personal and political. The personal hardships of joblessness, young people who feel abandoned, family units in crisis, and a 100% growth in illnesses related to high blood pressure, heart, and malignant diseases, continues to this day. The political fall-out included the 2006 2nd Lebanon war, the intensified rocket bombing of Sderot, Operation Cast Lead in Dec. 2009 followed by the outrageous Goldstone report, and the flotilla fiasco that took place just recently and threatens to continue to plague Israel.

It is critically important that Jews and Christians everywhere understand the magnitude of this event and its aftermath. NEVER AGAIN must we allow Jewish communities and lives to be sacrificed on the altar of appeasement of enemies who refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and who swear to annihilate the country.

Rabbis have been contacted throughout America, asking them to include mention of the Gush Katif anniversary in their Tisha B’Av services. In addition, plans are being made for concerts, film festivals using professionally produced Gush Katif films, and speakers at events taking place before and after the fast day. Plans are in progress for Chicago - July 21, Miami - July 18, New York - an ongoing series of programs beginning July 18- in LA, an August event is planned. New Jersey, Los Angeles, Texas, Philadelphia, Seattle, Oregon, Boston, are all on board.

Organizations have agreed to help with programming and planning of events. AFSI, OU, Young Israel, ZOA, One Israel Fund, and Manhigut Yehudit all sent representatives to the first planning meeting, led by Dror Vanunu. The list of organizations spearheading the events continues to grow and we welcome them all with outstretched arms.

We ask that everyone take it on as a personal task to make some effort to see that his community does SOMETHING to remember the anniversary. Calls should be made to Helen Freedman at Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI 212-828-2424; 1-800-235-3658; or email: afsi@rcn.com to find out what you can do and to receive information and materials to create your own program in your own community. The Gush Katif committee, led by Dror Vanunu and Laurence Beziz, is busily at work in Israel preparing posters, films, brochures and whatever materials are needed for a successful program. Displaced persons from the former Gush Katif communities may be available as speakers.

Please recognize that you are part of the team. It's your turn at bat. Hit that home run for Gush Katif and help those who have suffered to begin to rebuild their lives. At the same time you will be strengthening the promise, NEVER AGAIN.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Americans, Why Don't You Just "Delete" The Electoral College?

A half a century ago, gevalt, am I old, when I first learned about American Government in Social Studies class in New York City, and later in Nassau County, NYS, I couldn't understand why the United States Presidential Elections were still decided by that archaic dinosaur, the Electoral College. 

If you're dealing with a national election, the results should be simply the count of each voting citizen.  Of course there can be a rule, like in many countries that the winner must get 40% of the popular vote or have a runoff between the two top vote-getters.

I just read that some states which oppose the Electoral College are trying a rather "double-jointed" way of bypassing it

"...requiring the state to assign all of its Electoral College delegates to the candidate who wins the national popular vote..."

It would be so much easier to have a simple popular vote.  By eliminating the Electoral College, there would be less bureaucracy, too.

Ehud Barak, Too Agreeable to The United States

I wonder if it's a matter of loyalty when a high official or minister of a country goes against his government's policy when on a visit abroad and supports another government's criticism.

Working on Shabbat in Israel

There used to be very strict laws here in Israel forbidding and limiting working on Shabbat, but in recent years the Israeli Supreme Court has made decisions contrary to Jewish Law and tradition.

In the medical field, many hospitals have state of the art equipment specially designed for Shabbat use.  Rabbis also permit the transporting of medical staff to and from hospitals on Shabbat according to specific halachic (Jewish Law) guidelines.

But commerce and hi-tech are much more difficult for those who live Torah lives or want Shabbat with family.  In most parts of Israel there are stores and malls open on Shabbat, so the workers are expected to take Shabbat shifts.  Also, many international hi-tech firms demand Shabbat shifts.

I think it's important to boycott the malls and chains which open on Shabbat.  If anyone has a list, please send it to me.  Thanks

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shiloh, the Greatest Neighbors

I consider myself very blessed to be living here in Shiloh.  After I had decided that I must blog about the community here in the yishuv, I first thought that I should blog on me-ander, my more personal and "mundane" blog.  But then I thought a little more, when I was walking, doing circuits around the neighborhood.

There's nothing ordinary, mundane about good neighbors.  Having good, caring neighbors means that your neighbors strictly observe the mitzvot (Torah commandments) of how to behave bein adam l'charero, between man and his fellow man.  Jewish Law is divided between those mitzvot and the ones between man and G-d.

Many people find it easier to be good to their neighbors during dramatic times, like after death when helping mourners,  helping the ill or the poor and other special cases.

But it's the everyday good neighbor stuff which makes the real difference.  Today's a case in point.  My Jerusalem daughter got some things for my father and transferred them to my other daughter in Ofra.  Ofra is close to Shiloh.  Many neighbors work there or pass by.  The question still remained. 
How could we transfer the stuff to us in Shiloh?
I decided to send a simple bilingual email to the yishuv (community) email list.  I gave my son-in-law's phone number, since he would be in Ofra all day, and it would be more efficient if he was to be contacted directly.  The replies to the email began even before I left the house for various errands.  My son-in-law told me that someone he didn't know had called saying she'd call when she got close to Ofra.

By the time I got home, the package hadn't yet arrived.  I called my daughter who was afraid that her husband had missed the call.  I began working on alternative plans using the emails which had piled into our inbox.  Then the phone rang.  A neighbor was on her way home, would be passing Ofra soon and hadn't been able to touch base with our  son-in-law.  I spoke to my daughter giving her the neighbor's number.

Then I quickly wrote a card for the neighbor's son's wedding present, which I had finally bought but hadn't delivered.  Yes, so when she showed up with the bag, she got one in exchange.

Of course, we're not all perfect, and there are numerous things I'd like to change and fix about Shiloh, but when you need something, the neighbors are great.

Another Wimpy Policy Switch From the Bibi Government

Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu can be a very convincing speaker/orator.  Those Americans who worship their President Barack Hussein Obama should be bright apple green with jealousy if they ever bothered to listen to the two.

I just think that Bibi's a great actor, and if you ignore his lack of bulk, he'd do a great job with Winston Churchill's patriotic war speeches.

But, unfortunately, push comes to shove and he's a feathery lightweight.  Even though Gilad Shalit is still imprisoned by the Arab terrorists, and their threats against us haven't lessened, we've poked more holes in the Gaza blockade:


Israel’s policy is to protect its citizens against terror, rocket and other attacks from Gaza. In seeking to keep weapons and war materiel out of Gaza while liberalizing the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza, the Government of Israel has decided to implement the following steps as quickly as possible:

1. Publish a list of items not permitted into Gaza that is limited to weapons and war materiel, including problematic dual-use items. All items not on this list will be permitted to enter Gaza.

2. Enable and expand the inflow of dual-use construction materials for approved PA-authorized projects (schools, health facilities, water, sanitation, etc.) that are under international supervision and for housing projects such as the U.N. housing development being completed at Khan Yunis. Israel intends to accelerate the approval of such projects in accordance with accepted mechanisms and procedures.

3. Expand operations at the existing operating land crossings, thereby enabling the processing of a significantly greater volume of goods through the crossings and the expansion of economic activity.

4. Add substantial capacity at the existing operating land crossings and, as more processing capacity becomes necessary and when security concerns are fully addressed, open additional land crossings.

5. Streamline the policy of permitting the entry and exit of people for humanitarian and medical reasons and that of employees of international aid organizations that are recognized by the GOI. As conditions improve, Israel will consider additional ways to facilitate the movement of people to and from Gaza.

6. Israel will continue to facilitate the expeditious inspection and delivery of goods bound for Gaza through the port of Ashdod. Israel welcomes cooperation and coordination with its international and regional partners in implementing this policy and will continue to discuss with them additional ways to advance this policy.

The current security regime for Gaza will be maintained. Israel reiterates that along with the U.S., EU and others, it considers Hamas a terrorist organization. The international community must insist on a strict adherence to the Quartet principles regarding Hamas.
Hamas took over Gaza and turned it into a hostile territory from which Hamas prepares and carries out attacks against Israel and its citizens.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to prevent the flow into and out of Gaza of terrorist operatives, weapons, war material and dual use items which enhance the military capability of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. Israel calls on the international community to stop the smuggling of weapons and war materials into Gaza.

Gilad Shalit is approaching four years in captivity. The international community should join Israel in strongly condemning those who hold him captive and in redoubling their efforts to secure his immediate release.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Please Pray, An Appeal by Concerned Israeli Mom

A friend sent me this as an email.  I requested and received her permission to blog it.

Shavua Tov,

It's been keeping me awake at night, so I decided to write an email to my friends with these thoughts in my head.

I believe we should all pray very hard that these "flotillas" stop coming towards Azza. 

In fact, if anyone is going to the beach in the coming days, PLEASE say tehillim at the shore for Hashem to stop these ships! They are a disaster waiting to happen and could easily spark, Chas V'Chalila an all-out war in our region.

Please choose a mitzvah and do it with extra kavana that Hashem stops these ships!

There's no one else to turn to except HaKadosh Baruch Hu! We really need to cry out NOW, especially before this ship from Lebanon sets sail!

Tizku l'mitzvot! Am Yisrael Chai!

Jewish Mourning, The Practical Aspects

Leora interviewed me for her blog about how to help during the shiva* plus other practical aspects, including for the mourners themselves.

I'd like to hear your reactions, suggestions, experiences etc. And of course that includes from the mourners' perspective, too.

*Shiva is the customary Jewish seven day (really six plus) mourning period.

News From Latma

English subtitles for those who don't understand spoken Hebrew

Latma is an Israeli political satire group, which see the Right side of things as they mock Israel's extreme Left media.  The site is in Hebrew, but many of the people involved are English speakers and well-respected journalists, like Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post and Ruthie Blum Leibowitz.

My "Life's Story"

This afternoon, Shabbat afternoon, I was expecting visitors, some teenage girls who had requested that I tell them about becoming religious and making aliyah, moving/ascending to Israel.

There was a lot of noise in the background when the girl was calling me.  I understood that she's the daughter of friends, and they were staying in Shvut Rachel for Shabbat.  Shvut Rachel is a short walk east of my house.  I told the girl that I'd talk to them on the grass across the street.  When they came, I took my father and a chair for him.  I had also prepared bottled water and some cups, but the girls said that they had come with enough water.

It ended up that they were a graduating eighth grade class from a nearby elementary school.  I mistook them for high school students.  In two plus months they'll be in high school, so I wasn't off by much.

I blog everything about my background, but I don't usually tell my story in Hebrew, especially to a group of kids who have been raised in religious communities similar to Shiloh.

They seemed rather surprised that I had no idea of kashrut and Shabbat when I was growing up in New York.  Yes, New York.  Not all Jewish communities are religious, not even fifty-sixty years ago. 

As I wove my story, I could see that it seemed so impossible, unlikely that the person standing before them grew up the way I did.  One thing that repeated was that I was never forced into browbeaten into religious submission.  When my friends and I bought the food for Hebrew School parties, the teachers never yelled at us for buying traif.  We could see them sorting the food, but we were ignorant of the criteria.  And I wasn't thrown out of NCSY events, or demoted from office, for showing up sleeveless.  I have no doubt that this tolerance contributed to my feeling good about Torah Judaism.

I also told the girls how I promised my father that I'd stay honest, unlike the religious Jews he had audited in his state job.  I asked the girls to remember that superficial "religiosity," the "uniform" isn't a barometer to indicating the person's true G-d fearing spiritual level.

Shavua Tov
Have a Wonderful Week

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Girls School in Emanuel, Another Side of The Story

Hat tip: HL

I must admit that I, too, like many found myself believing the media's reports about the girls school in the Chareidi Samaria town, Emanuel.  Then a friend fowarded these two stories to me from some chareidi friends of his.  I'm posting them with their permission.

First article
The story with Emanuel is a long one...

Emanuel is home to a community of Slonimers and a community of Sefardim - the majority of which are not religious.

There is only one elementary school for girls there -the Beit Yaakov in controversy. Until this law suit came into being, the school had 2 tracks -the religious track which serviced the religious girls i.e. the Slonimers and a handfull of Sefardi girls who are religious - and the non-religious track which serviced the non-religious girls - all of them Sefardim. Both tracks were quite happy with this arrangement.

Mr. Lelom, who receives funding from a extreme left anti-chareidi organization, has no personal interest in Emanuel, as he does not live there nor do his family members. His law suit is motivated by an agenda to vilify charedim as racists, and not at all to promote the interests of the Sefardim in Emanuel. 80% of the parents from the non-religious track signed a petition to stop the lawsuit because they are happy to keep their daughters 'segregated'. The teaching staff for both tracks of the Beit Yaakov consisted of Slonimer mothers - those now going to jail - and so Lelom's victory has left the 'vicitimized' Sefardi girls with no teachers and has done nothing to help their education.

When this lawsuit began, the Slonimer parents consulted with the Slonimer Rebbe who advised them against mixing the tracks and bringing their daughters into contact with mixed dancing, television, treife food, etc etc. The parents sent a request to the bagatz to allow them to explain their position. This request was ignored, and until 1 1/2 months ago, all of the proceedings were based off of information provided by Mr. Lelom.

In the meantime, they took their daughters out of school, and started 'home schooling' them.

The week before Lag B'Omer, the Slonimer parents were subpoenaed to court to deal with their 'contempt of court' for not integrating the classes (and for not sending their daughters to a recognized school).

In court, the parents explained that their decision to keep the classes separate was not racist - in fact there were Sefardi girls in the religious class! - it was merely a religious matter. One track preferred a sheltered religious approach to education, and the other did not.

(One parent - a ZAKA volunteer - went further and said that racism is obviously not part of their lives - when he 'cleans up' after a bombing he cleans up dark skin with the same broken heart that he cleans up white skin.)

The court was taken aback by hearing this 'new' information and ordered a compromise - that they create an acceptance board with members agreed to by both parties, kick all the girls out of school, re-accept them and place them in an appropriate track via this acceptance board.

Lelom did not accept this compromise. And so the parents were again ordered to send their girls to Beit Yaakov and mix the classes.

Despite the fines and threat of jailing, the parents adhered to the Slonimer Rebbe's advice. They were told that the court would not oppose them if they decided to send their daughters to school outside of Emanuel. However, when they arranged for their daughters to attend a chassidish Beis Yaakov in Bnei Brak - the misrad hachinuch threatened to close the school down if they accepted the girls from Emanuel. The court would not allow the Slonimers to open a private school in Emanuel either.

The rest of the Charedi world has joined the Slonimers in this because this case is setting a precedent for the bagatz* (who's wisdom comes from where? This country does not even have a constitution that they can claim to base their decisions on!) to coerce parents in issues regarding the education of their children. The protest today, and the parents' willingness to go to jail, is meant to demonstrate that we chareidim intend to educate our children in the way we chose - under the guidance of our gedolim and NOT under the coercion of the bagatz. And that we chareidim are willing to make sacrifices to uphold our freedom of religion - freedom to practice Torah true Judaism in this country that calls itself Jewish.

The judge (the only Sefardi judge on the bagatz - hmmm... sounds kind of racist....) stated clearly that he sees no reason why a Rabbi's opinion should have any baring once he has made a ruling. And he compared this to the 'separate but equal' and desegragation struggles in the US 50 years ago.
The Slonimers have stated clearly that they answer to G-d alone (not to some arrogant man who believes in judicial activism), and compared this to the sacrifice and triumph of the Chashmonaim when the Greeks tried to undermine their Judaism.

We should be zoche to see Hashem's name sanctified, and raise our children to give Him nachas!

bagatz* an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court

Second article
...I thought I would share with you my thoughts and experiences from today as one of the participants in the ma'amad kidush hashem that took place today in Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim.

The smallest estimate of total participants that I heard was 300,000, though I have heard people say larger numbers (we'll have to wait to hear the polices official estimates). The Emanuel parents started in Bnei Brak, and continued in Yerushalayim, on their way to turn themselves in to the police. In light of the great z'chus that they have, to be persecuted for their Judaism, the Slonimer Rebbe ruled that they would walk to prison in full shabbos attire, shtreimel and all, with their heads held high. From where I joined them in Yerushalayim, we started with tehilim, avinu malkeinu, slichos, shma yisroel, hashem melech... etc.

After that Rav Elyashiv's gabbai spoke, followed by Rav David Batzri, a sephardi mekubel. In his speech he said that there has never been any discrimination against Sephardim amongst Torah Observant Jews. All Torah Observant Jews learn the Rambam together with Tosfos, the Beis Yosef with the Rema, the Arizal with Baal HaTanya, and the Mishnah Brurah together with the Ben Ish Chai. He said that discrimination against Sephardim was introduced by the Secular Zionists when they took the yaldei teheran and cut off their peyot and forced upon them the gods of secularism.

After that, one of the parents spoke, Rav Almaliach, a sephardi father who is right now starting his two week sentence for discriminating against sephardim. He told over his conversation with the judge in court before lag b'omer. He said to the Shofet, show me one Sephardi girl who applied to the Chassidic track and was turned down, and I will fight to have the school closed down. Since there was not once any such girl, the Shofet had to admit his error, so he asked Rav Almaliach, where have you been all this time? To which he replied, I filed a petition to be added as a defendant to this case from the beginning, and that petition was denied. And now the Shofet has sent him to prison without bothering to answer any of the legal arguments made by the parents lawyers (like you might expect from a tribunal in Communist Russia). Rav Almaliach went on to tell the world the statistical truth, that 30% of the 43 families of the Chassidic track are Sephardim, and many of them ba'alei Tshuvah.

From there, the parade started to the police station, Jews from all the different shades of skin and affiliations, Rabbanim and Admorim, accompanying the parents as they were mekadesh shem shamayim b'rabim. When we arrived at the police station, the Slonimer Rebbe was allowed past the barriers, as he was to personally accompany each of the prisoners in to custody. The Karliner Rebbe, although he did not have prior clearance to do the same, climbed on the front of his car and jumped over the barrier, after which the police allowed him to stay there. Then the parents started through the crowds, carried on others shoulders, one chossid with one sephardi, taking along also their sons. As they were carried through the crowd, the chossid would start Shma Yisroel, and after the crowd answered, the Sephardi started Hashem Melech. After the Chossid led the crowd in Hashem hu ha'elokim, the sephardi led ana hashem hoshiya na. After those two prisoners were taken into custody amongst very loud applause, the next set of parents started making their way, in the same fashion. If this kidush hashem didn't show our misguided secular brothers (and misguided people who happen to not be secular like Mr. Lalom), that G-d's people is One Indivisible people, then they must be blind to the truth.

Once the prisoners have been processed in the police station and are ready to be transported to the prison in Ramlah, the Slonimer Rebbe will with G-d's help be traveling behind their transport until the gate of the prison.

I leave you with the words of the Navi, which is the slogan of the parents triumph, "Plan a conspiracy and it will be annulled, speak your piece and it shall not stand, ki Emanuel, for G-d is with US."

"The Three Terrors"

LATMA does it again with this very terrorizing ditty. After they conned the world, the terrorists are back serenading all they hold near and dear. Beware or they'll visit you real soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Being Kind to Our Enemies While "Freezing" Loyal Israelis

The son of Disengagement ten month building freeze in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is coming to an end, at least on the calendar.  Many loyal Israeli families are anxiously awaiting approval of their building requests for new homes and expansions of small crowded ones.  Contractors are being threatened with law suits by buyers who paid long ago and expected to already be living in their new homes.  Buyers are suffering financial difficulties, because after paying contractors they're being forced to pay further rent or have lost their homes which had already been sold and the new owners have moved in.

But at the same time, our enemies are benefiting from more and more "friendly gestures" from the Israeli Government.

Security Cabinet Decision
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

The Security Cabinet conducted an extensive discussion over the last two days regarding adjustments in Israel’s Gaza policy.

It was agreed to:

* Liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza.
* Expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision.

Was George Bush an Idiot? (Passed Around via Internet)

Food for thought.  If nobody has sent this to you yet, read it here:

Was George Bush an Idiot??????

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a TelePrompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the nonexistent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes,would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States, would you have said that he is clueless.

If George W. Bush would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in Texas, would you have thought he was a self important, conceited, egotistical jerk.

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had misspelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoes as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America, would you have approved.

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 15 months -- so you'll have two years and nine months to come up with an answer.

Author unknown

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clutter of The Mind

There's a whole industry, all sorts of businesses, professions, philosophies to help people get control of their lives, clean up their mess.  The western world is one giant consumer society.  Love is all commercial, lots of presents.
Buy! Buy! and Buy some more!!!

It has been proven that one of the reasons there are more problem with kids concentrating on school, instructions etc is that rooms are too cluttered and distracting. 

So many of us are slaves to our possessions, physical and emotional and intellectual and ideological.

For a while I was part of the internet Fly Lady groups.  At the same time I joined the Jewish and Israeli Flybabies groups, where we encouraged each other to get ourselves out of chaos, get rid of clutter, a bit at a time.

A neat orderly home isn't stuffed with things.  And the best way of accomplishing something is to break the task into small doses. And the best way to clean is to throw things away.

I see Israeli policies, especially those in relation to other countries as total chaos.  We've lost focus on what's most important.  Our politicians and Foreign Ministry are cluttered with unsuccessful ideologies and policies and instead of deleting them, rejecting them, successive governments just keep repeating them over and over thinking that gravity will cease and boulders will float to the moon.

We make concessions to the Arab terrorists, "sacrifices" for peace and we just keep suffering more and more attacks and war and terrorism.  Nu, how dumb can one get?  Pretty dumb from what I can see.

We look for approval from countries and international big-shots who wouldn't lose sleep if Israel, G-d forbid, ceased to exist.  They advise things they'd never do themselves. They'd willingly lend their names to fundraising drives for memorials. 

So let's just throw out all those dangerously failed policies, politely close the door on the "help" and just do what's right for us, for Israel for the Jewish People.  Believe me, we'll get more support and less pressure once the other countries realize that we can't be pushed around.