Hamas War

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Places, Not Just Names

I've been blogging about my Bible studies in Matan, especially the Al haPerek course which will take us on a learning tour of the entire Bible within a few years.  Most of the places we've been reading about in Joshua are pretty familiar.  Before all the faux peace we were able to visit Jericho, which is the first place Joshua got to.  Finally I learned of the conquest.

Afterwards there's the battle of "Ha'Ai."  It's not "Ai," it's "the Ai," like "The Bronx."  As soon as we came across it I began asking:
"Where is this Ai

I kept getting all sorts of answers in the Jericho area, maybe  Maale Adumim.  But then we studied Chapters 7-8 and understood that it's close to Beit El.  If that's the case it can't be Maale Adumim, unless Beit El of today isn't near the Biblical one.  It's almost playing that new game Sudoko, shuffling things around to make sure they all fit.

Why soes it concern me so much?  I guess it means a lot because I live here in the Benjamin area, just south of the Shomron... or are we southern Shomron?

Yes, living in Shiloh and having worked in Beit El puts a personal relationship to all these places.

And that's why we're commanded to walk the Land, not drive by in protected vehicles with the windows up, the airconditioner/heater on and music coming out of the loudspeaker.

We should all get to know our precious Land better.

Li'Ilui Nishmata shel RivkA bat Yeshaya

חסד של אמת Chessed Shel Emet, RivkA's Funeral

This post is an elaboration of my comment to Jameel's post on RivkA's blog, Coffee and Chemo written after her funeral.  Here's my comment to his post, and following that is my post about the funeral:

Thanks, Jameel,
I was one of the lucky ones to be near the front. I could see what a good friend you are to the family. The friends I traveled with had decided to leave at 11:30 "regardless." That was exactly when the "hespedim" ended, so we didn't see the burial. I understand that it was in the new "vault" section.
All the hespedim were very special, rounding out more of the knowledge of RivkA I lack.
Obviously there's much more.

As one of the speakers said, I trust she's making a balagan up there. We need her energy in Olam Haba, since we in Olam Hazeh are failing.

Soon after RivkA's soul left her body, we received two calls to notify us.  One from Jameel and the other from someone I know in Eli who offered me a ride to the funeral as long as it wasn't going to be on Friday.   I asked if there would be room for a neighbor who knew RivkA from yet another part of her busy life, and then I notified the neighbor.  Later on we got word that it would be a 10pm Saturday night funeral.

Trust G-d to plan things well.  Earlier in the week I had been asked to host our neighborhood Shabbat Shiur Nashim, Women's Torah study class, so as soon as I heard of RivkA's death it was obvious that the learning would be in her memory, לעילוי נשמת l'ilui nishmata, to elevate her soul.  The neighbor who gave the class did his best to connect our RivkA with the Biblical one according to my description of her.

I title this: חסד של אמת Chessed Shel Emet, Charity/Kindness to the Dead, because it's considered the greatest level of giving. That's because the dead can't repay you.  Whenever I see the word אמת emet, true, in this context, I see it with an added "vov," making it אמות amoot, "I will die."  We will all die at one time. That's the truth and the only absolute.  The mitzvah of חסד של אמת Chessed Shel Emet, Charity/Kindness to the Dead is a vital chain which we must never break.

RivkA, ZaTza"L, as young as she was, knew that her life would probably be much shorter than the ideal 120 years, performed her חסד chessed charity/kindness with a zeal rarely seen.  Her blog gave strength and inspiration to others.  Her family, Moshe, the children, her parents, siblings etc and f2f friends have volumes of stories to tell about all the wonderful things she accomplished in her much too short life.  RivkA wasn't out there to get paid.  She lived as fully as possible doing חסד chessed charity/kindness, because it must be done before one dies.

I stood inside the בית הספדים  Beit Hespedim Eulogy Building.  I was almost touching distance to her covered body.  For those who have never been to or seen an Israeli Jewish funeral, you should know that according to Jewish Law there is no coffin.  We are buried wrapped in cloth so that our bodies can return to nature as quickly as possible.  The body is carried on a stretcher which is held by male family members and close friends.  The Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, בית הספדים Beit Hespedim Eulogy Building has a small closed off room at the front where the family members can depart from the dead in private. 

When they were ready, Moshe and their son (with others holding the sides and back of the stretcher) led her out and gently placed her on the platform.  Then various men and women were called to say their parting words. It built up, each one added various perspectives on RivkA.  Finally the family, her father, brother and Moshe all spoke.

A few people recorded it, and I trust that Jameel will get the recordings posted on her blog and possibly facebook, too.  I don't trust myself to summarize what was said.  Most of the people spoke in English.  I'm sure there will be some translation of the Hebrew hespedim, eulogies.

HaMakom y'nachem...
May G-d comfort the mourners...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How do you solve a problem like our Bibi?

I don't know how true the latest headlines are about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offering 41% of our precious homeland to the Arab terrorists who want to destroy us.  I'm too upset with other things like RikvA's death to write a serious political piece about Bibi.  So, I've just rewritten these Sound of Music lyrics here:

How do you solve a problem like our Bibi?
How do you catch a clown and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Bibi?
A flibberti gibbet!
A willo' the wisp!
A clown!
Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him,
Many a thing he ought to understand.
But how do you make him say,
And listen to all you say?
How do you keep him targeted on the dangers?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like our Bibi?
How do you get him to zip up his mouth?

Original Lyrics
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a clown and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibberti gibbet!
A willo' the wisp!
A clown!
Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her,
Many a thing she ought to understand.
But how do you make her say,
And listen to all you say?
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

The Most Objective News in Israel, Latma's Latest

I'm a Latma fan.  That's why I post their weekly satire show.

In this week's Tribal Update, the television-on-Internet satire show produced each week by Latma, the Hebrew-language media satire website I (Caroline Glick) edit, we bring you Jamil and Awad's marvelous jihad adventures. We also celebrate the great Tom Friedman's recent visit to Israel and we bring you to the border with Egypt where we celebrate this year's 10,000th illegal alien.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Was Learning Biblical Geography as RivkA Breathed Her Last

G-d has rescued RivkA from earthly pain.
The funeral for RivkA will be held Saturday evening, Moetzei Shabbat at 10PM.
It will be at the Kehillat Yerushalayim Beit Hesped in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, across from the Herzog Hospital (on Har Hamenuchot).

Now we'll take RivkA with us... 

Baruch Dayan Haemet ברוך דיין האמת

Shabbat Shalom
I had expected to see RivkA at the third annual International Jewish Bloggers Convention.  There wasn't one, and I haven't seen her all this year, since the last one.  We emailed and commented on each other's blogs.  And when I told her that a friend had just had surgery for breast cancer, she called my friend to help her out.

So Sadly...

RivkA is no longer suffering from this world pain.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet
Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Blessed is the True Judge.
This is the blessing said upon hearing the news of someone's death.

About 11:10 AM this morning (Friday), RivkA passed away.

The funeral for RivkA will be held Saturday evening, Moetzei Shabbat at 10PM.

It will be at the Kehillat Yerushalayim Beit Hesped in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, across from the Herzog Hospital (on Har Hamenuchot).

Shiva information and additional details will be posted.

May RivkA's family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for the memory of RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism, RivkA's family

The Liberal Scam

One of my latest "campaigns" is the point out how Liberals aren't liberal.  The general definition of the word "liberal" is:
Definitions of liberal on the Web:

broad: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"
•having political or social views favoring reform and progress
tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition
•a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
•big: given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather"
•a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
•free: not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem"

Please pay attention.  In this list, the first definitions are linguistic.  See what I indicated in simple bold.  That's the definition of "liberal" with a small "l."  "Liberal" is the label some clever political marketing experts chose for their ideology.  You can see that ideology in bold/italic.

Those who follow Liberalism are among the most militantly close-minded and rigid.  They aren't liberal at all!

I'd love your examples...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Letter to RivkA

Coffee and Chemo's RivkA has requested letters. I sent the following letter via Pesky. Since RivkA has been so public about all aspects of her cancer, medically and how she and the family cope, I'll publicly post the letter I wrote her:

RivkA, you've given a new face to cancer. Unlike many who've had chemo, even in the past, you'd rush up for a hug and kiss. Unlike others, you continued going to the pool, not giving up your regular activities.

I pray that I (and my loved ones and everyone in this world) never have to face your challenges. You've taken them on without ducking, shirking or hiding. I'm convinced that has given you more time here in this world.

You've taught us so much.

G-d decides how much time we have, but we decide how to spend it. It's one thing to learn this in theory, in some machshvet or philosophy course. Everything seems so easy when you don't have to do it in real life. But you, and your ezer k'negda Moshe have been showing us how to live.

This world is meant to be temporary. Here we buy our tickets, determine whether we'll have cheap or luxury seats in the Next World. Only G-d can read the code.

I don't know if I'll make it to the hospital to see you. f2f hasn't been the main part of our relationship. Since you have so few minutes of the day when you have the strength to be with others, you should use it for your family and f2f friends. You're in my mind where you've always been ever since I began reading your blog.

I pray for miracles, and if a great medical miracle doesn't happen, then I hope that G-d lets us meet again when He decides my 120 has come.

Brachot and Good Health to Your Family,



May G-d grant RivkA bat Teirtzel a רפואה שלימה  Refuah shleimah, a complete recovery

Does Obama Have a Hidden Teleprompter?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

He seems to be looking down when speaking most of the time. Is he just trying to remember his rehearsed answers, or is he reading them? No doubt he knew what he'd be asked on the Jon Stewart show and all his talk was rehearsed.

J Street, A Magnet for Anti-Israel Money

J Street is a great unifier of sorts.  It unites/attracts money from those against the Jewish State of Israel of all stripes, colors, religions and nations.  Lenny Ben-David's Jerusalem Post article reveals more about those who have been contributing to J Street.
According to records filed with the US Federal Election Committee on October 20 and October 21, J Street recorded hundreds of donations from Americans of all sorts, most Jewish and some Muslim. But several names jumped out from the 2,100 pages.

Lynch, the NIAC board member and a member of J Street’s Finance Committee, is listed contributing $10,000 in October. At one point last year, J Street and NIAC leaders worked together to block anti-Iran sanctions measures proposed by Congress. Belatedly, J Street changed its position and supported sanctions.

Nancy Dutton earmarked last week $250 for the Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak. Her late husband Fred served as a Saudi foreign agent in Washington for 30 years. (During the 1982 AWACS debate he was believed to be responsible for the line, "Reagan or Begin?" which strongly suggested American Jews’ double loyalty.) After Fred’s death, Nancy picked up the pricey Saudi gig.

The Saudi connection is also seen in contributions made last month to J Street’s PAC by Ray Close, now of Princeton, NJ. For many years Ray Close’s address was in Saudi Arabia where he was the CIA’s station chief for 22 years. Later, he went to work for Saudi intelligence bosses. Close’s son Kenneth is registered at the Justice Department as a foreign agent, working for Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the author of the Saudi "peace plan."

Perhaps reflecting today’s state of Israeli-Turkish relations, a Turkish American from Chicago, Mehmet Celebi, contributed $440 last month to J Street’s PAC. One prominent Jewish leader in Chicago vouches for Celebi as a friend of the Jewish community. Nevertheless, the former fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign was booted off when the campaign learned he was involved in the production of a virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic film in Turkey called "Valley of the Wolves."

Another new name on the J Street PAC’s list of contributors is M. Cherif Bassiouni, a well-known professor of law at DePaul University. Bassioni is also an unlikely candidate to contribute to a purported "pro-Israel" organization. Several years ago he complained in an article in the Harvard International Law Journal, "A large segment of the world population asks why Israel's repression of the Palestinian people, which includes the commission of ‘grave breaches’ of the Geneva Convention and what the customary law of armed conflict considers ‘war crimes,’ is deemed justified, while Palestinians' unlawful acts of targeting civilians are condemned? These are only some contemporary examples of the double standard that fuels terrorism."

The fact that Lynch, Close and Dutton are repeat contributors to J Street suggests that the upstart lobby’s activities meet their approval and that J Street solicits their contributions.

It's obvious from these money sources that J Street is not among the lala good but faulty intelligent and logic Left.  J Street is much more dangerous than that.

A Missionary Sham and Shame for the Knesset

Posted by Jewish Israel
From November 2nd through 11th, the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) is holding the Third Jerusalem Assembly with their partners from Covenant Alliances -an organization run by missionaries.

In part 4 of the Rav series, Jewish Israel exposes the missionary connections and the "Judeo-Christian" theological agenda of the Caucus.

Does encouraging a theological, covenantal relationship with passionate Christians put the foundations of Judaism at risk? What would Rav Soloveitchik say?

And has former MK Rabbi Benny Elon learned from his mistakes and changed directions in his approach to the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation (IIACF)?...more

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crisis in Leadership, Nothing New

The three Tanach classes I've been taking in Matan are really great, but in the long run, of the three, it's the "independent study" class which probably will have the greatest impact on me.  Al HaPerek is a program that plans on our learning (not their teaching us) the entire Bible within a few years.  I forget how many exactly.

Each week we're given study/thinking questions on two chapters.  We've started with Joshua.  Both men and women can sign up.  You can be anywhere in the world.  You can study alone, with a partner or a group.  You can communicate in person, phone, email or various chats/skypes etc.  You can request that the questions be in either English or Hebrew.  They may be adding additional languages.

This week we're studying Joshua, Chapters 7-8.  Until Chapter 7, it's all so upbeat, and then we were defeated in Ai and Joshua goes into deep mourning.  I'm no expert in Tanach, so even if I had read it before it felt new, and I, too, got depressed by the story.  Then I read Chapter 8, but I couldn't absurb it.

Today my study partners and I got together to work on them and suddenly my mind cleared.  Our defeat in Ai was more than just cowardice on the part of our soldiers.  There was no leader.  No place in the text does it say who was leading the few thousand soldiers into Ai.  Joshua's handpicked spies reported that it should be an easy victory and only a small amount of the soldiers were necessary, but that ended up being a very dangerous, fatal mistake.  Thirty-six soldiers were killed and the Jewish soldiers fled in fear.

Then G-d spoke to Joshua and told him what had to be done.  Joshua and all of the soldiers re-entered Ai, and suddenly everything was different.  G-d gave orders and Joshua communicated them to the people.

This brought me back to a very significant memory.  It was only a year or two after the 1967 Six Days War.  I was still a university student in New York.  HaRishon L'Tzion, the Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Nissim came to New York.  He spoke in Yeshiva University to YC and Stern College students.  Dr. Belkin, head of YU, introduced him.  In the Hebrew-language introduction he proudly boasted that there are many Yeshiva University students and graduates in Israel.  HaRav Nissim quickly interrupted:
בארץ אומרים אחרי,  Ba'Aretz omrim acharai.   In Israel we say "after me."

G-d allowed Joshua the chance to use his free will, and he made mistakes.  He allowed his two spies to make tactical decisions on how to conduct the battle.  He sent the soldiers to battle without leading them, and he didn't ask G-d for advice.  People need leadership.  Most of us are always searching for someone to make the big decisions to tell them what to do.  Joshua projected his own strength onto the people and overestimated their capabilities.  Luckily, G-d gave him a second chance.  We don't always get a second chance. 

Latma's Latest, on Rabin and David Grossman

Rabin shares his views on current affairs, David Grossman causes a shahid to change his mind, and a Dutch plumber considers the option of boycotting Israel.

I must say that the Right political satire is getting better and better!  It's done in Hebrew with English subtitles.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We Should Sue!

Jews of Judea and Samaria, pro-Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel Jews keep finding lies and deceits about us in the news, so it's truly a breath of fresh air to discover that Elon Moreh is bringing a law suit against French news agency AFP for libel.

A Jewish town in Samaria plans to sue the French news agency AFP for libel for reporting it flooded an Arab olive grove with its sewage. The latest AFP article on the olive harvest follows an increasingly long line of anti-Israeli reports based almost solely on reports from Arabs and left-wing activists, including anarchists.

AFP quoted an Arab farmer in a nearby village who went to harvest his olive crop and ”could hardly see the land – it was flooded with sewage and chemicals,” resulting in 2,000 trees dying.

However, Elon Moreh has an advanced water waste treatment facility that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, according to Gershon Mesika, chairman of the Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council. The water also is used for irrigation. It is doubtful the water, a scarce and expensive commodity in Israel due to four years of drought, would be wasted.

We shouldn't be silent.

Generally the courts and justices have their agenda, so being right doesn't guarantee a legal victory.  But it still should be done.

Good luck!

More Examples of Why Peace is Impossible

Hat tips: IMRA, Palestinian Media Watch and Arlene Kushner

The Palestinian Leadership Fears a Hamas Takeover in the Judea and Samaria Region

“The most extreme situation that we can envision in the Command is that the Palestinian Authority will decide to turn its weapons against us. This is a possible scenario, but we do not believe it will happen in actuality,” GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrachi said. The Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, emphasized to participants that they must be prepared for a situation whereby the Palestinian Authority would turn itself into an enemy and would no longer operate to overcome terrorism as it currently does. (click title for complete article)

"Text in teacher's book: "a, b, c, d, e, f ... p, q r, s, t..."
Text in child's mind: "Map of Palestine covering Israel a, b, c..."
Note that Arabic is read from right to left.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 19, 2010

The cartoon shows a teacher teaching a Palestinian child the letters of the alphabet. However, the text in the child's mind shows that he visualizes the map of "Palestine" replacing all of Israel before he starts learning the alphabet. The cartoon also carries a message of violence, as the child's pencil is shaped as a slingshot with a stone next to it... (complete article)"

Listen to Wafa Sultan, who left her native Syria to live in the United States and speak out about Islam:

Each of these sources is a complete example, proof that Israel' desperate quest for "peace" only endangers us.  Together the truth is so overwhelming, but still most Israelis, most Jews, refuse to face reality. 

Peace won't come from "making a deal," negotiating with with the Arabs.  Peace, true peace, and there is no other, will only come from our strength and confidence.  We will only have peace when we stop looking for it in others, when we refuse negotiations, when we stand straight, tall and proud, filled with faith in G-d, when we tell all those putting pressure on us that we are no longer listening.  And words aren't enough.  We must stop listening to others, and we must learn to listen to and obey G-d.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mining The Survivors For The True Story

Will the world, or their families, ever discover all that transpired to the trapped Chilean miners?  The rubble united them for weeks on end.  Do we really need to know?

Some of them expect to benefit from the interest of the world which should produce books, movies etc.  If that's the case they need good lawyers and agents, or they will just be exploited and embarrassed.  They may discover that it's harder to find trustworthy professionals than it was to have escaped that dangerous underground mine.

These men and their families have been through literally hellish times.  I may be wrong, but most men don't work in mines from choice, meaning that they didn't have many employment options.  Are they going to return to the mines?  How will they rebuild their lives?

Post-trauma plays differently with most.  You need viable options to survive, and I wonder how many of those rescued miners have real choices.  It's not just conventional "help" that they'll need.

Good luck to them and their families.

Spied in Jerusalem!

I always go around with my camera strapped to my waist, so if I spy something interesting, it just takes a few seconds to shoot it. (photograph it, of course)

Admittedly, I haven't the vaguest idea who appears in these pictures, but something made me preserve them on... well, it's not film!

Quite a few were taken in Jerusalem's Emek Refaim area. It's not far from Matan where I study Bible every week.

I'm a walker, which gives me a great vantage and lots of opportunities, though the picture below was taken from a bus.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HH is Praying For RivkA

My dear friend, in real f2f life too, Risa hosts this week's Havel Havelim and she has dedicated it to the רפואה שלימה Refuah Shleimah, Complete Recovery of Coffee and Chemo's irreplaceable RivkA.

Please add  RivkA bat Teirtzel to your prayers and check out Risa's Havel Havelim

Risa will be hosting the next Kosher Cooking Carnival, so please send your posts, anything about kosher food and kosher cooking.  If you'd like to host one, please let me know.

Also it's still not too late to enter the Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation rhyming slogan contest.  The winner gets a free copy of the latest Susie Fishbein cookbook.

“Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam,” A Time Line?

There's a new impressive exhibit at the New York Public Library, “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

Considering the history, the sequence of events, when and how each of those three religions began, I wonder if there's a Time Line prominently posted to indicate to one and all how both Christianity and Islam are just faux Jewish aggressive wannabes.  To this very day, both Christianity and Islam are attempting to take over the status, people and land of the Jews.

In fact, because Christianity developed out of Judaism, and Islam grew out of both, similarities and allusions are also the markers of great differences. Each religion aggressively reinterpreted its predecessors, accepting its sacred texts but radically altering their implications and meanings. And each predecessor religion, in turn, opposed attempts to treat it as a prelude to something greater.

These are not subtle disputes, and the consequences were far from ecumenical, particularly when successor religions sought to spread their beliefs through conquest and conversion. And while the three share many traits — these are not primarily meditative or contemplative religions, after all, and they are indeed historical faiths, concerned with action, even with mission — their commonalities also lead to profound contrasts. For two millenniums, Judaism, tied to a particular people, was the least outwardly directed, but all three religions saw themselves as shaping world history. Each one also imagined a distinctive role for believers within it. And here the three are quite diverse indeed.

This is, of course, beyond the scope of this show... (complete article)

There is no simple benign, philosophical, intellectual discussion among spiritual leaders.  This "competition" is the core of the rabid, seemingly irrational anti-Israel, antisemitic atmosphere in places like the United Nations, the international media and academic universities and journals all over the world.

A number of years ago when I accompanied a Christian tour group to Tel Shiloh, a young girl innocently asked me, during question time, why so many nations, peoples and religions attacked Jews.  None of us had an answer for her, and that question has been troubling me ever since.  But now I know.

The world's dominant and competing religions, Christianity and Islam exist to be replacements for Judaism.  Therefore they see the survival, existence of the Jewish Religion, People and State to be a threat, proof of their illegitimacy.  That's why we're attacked.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Comparisan, Newsweek, Hamas/PLO Isn't Mao's China

About twenty years ago when I was my busiest being interviewed by innumerable foreign journalists, I had a talk with the editor of a large American newspaper.  He told me that he tried never to hire Journalism majors.  He said that he preferred those who studied, History, Economics, Science etc. 
"Any intelligent, well-educated person could be taught how to write a newspaper article.  The Journalism Departments don't teach the necessary history, geography etc for their graduates to understand what's happening in the world."

In the title of this post I included Hamas, because it's obvious that they have a lot of support among local Arabs.  They shouldn't be ignored.  As a pragmatist I keep looking at what's really happening and not just hoping, wishing and praying.

There is a track record to contend with.  When Israel gives Land to the Arabs our security is endangered.  We were much safer before all this "peace" stuff started.  My husband and I made aliyah in 1970, three years after the Six Days War.  In those days we could safely travel Arab buses, visit Arab towns and shop in their stores.  We're in Shiloh since 1981 and have seen a terrible deterioration in security.  Arabs were happy that we were here and sometimes got medical care from us.  Things were very different from today.

The Leftists, Israeli and foreign, who come to support the local Arabs encourage them to oppose us.

China is half a world away from the United States and despite the rhetoric, the United States wasn't in danger from Communist China.  At that point, China was extremely poor and technologically primitive.  Now, decades later, the Chinese economy is much healthier than the American one.  Food for thought....
That's how I feel about this Newsweek article which says that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should do what Richard Nixon did when as U.S. President he visited Red China and established relations with it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Updates on RivkA bat Teirtzel, A Refuah Shleimah

It's best to check her blog and keep praying for a Refuah Shleimah for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

This is a picture I took of RivkA at the International Jewish Bloggers Convention.

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach


Dry Bones has been abroad at the CAMERA convention:
"This is one of the cartoons I drew for you to enjoy while I'm away.
I'm off in America (Boston) taking part in CAMERA's Conference on the Delegitimization of Israel (Oct 10-11).

On the 21st I'll be at Yale, giving a seminar/presentation at YIISA."

He drew a selection of cartoons and set them up to automatically post on his blog.  A couple of them ended up very timely.  It's his take on Islamophobia.

Apparently this is now a big issue in the United States.
Alexandria, VA – National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb.  (complete article)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Only 550?

Settlers have broken ground on nearly 550 West Bank homes since end of freeze, survey shows

If that's true, it's well under natural growth for a population as large as ours.  As of a year ago there were well over 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria.

According to the CBS, the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria grew from 290,400 on December 31, 2008, to 301,200 at the end of September 2009.

Locations like Shiloh are very convenient for families needing to be near Jerusalem and the the Yarkon, Sharon and Petach Tikva areas.  We're five minutes from the Jordan Valley, too.

Human rights and building rights are intertwined.  All the restrictions are too reminiscent of the days when Great Britain ruled here and insisted, in the notorious White Paper, that there wasn't enough room for a Jewish population a fraction of the size that now lives in the country.
These numbers do not include Jews living in east Jerusalem, who are often included in statistics compiled by the international community.

Settlers living in Judea and Samaria represented 4.1% of Israel’s population of 7.4 million at the end of September 2009. The total population grew by 1.8% compared to last year at the same period.

Thomas Friedman, "Just Knock It Off," Already

These self-professed "liberals" are so bloody* close-minded.

Thomas Friedman started off his latest op-ed surprisingly well.  Then he turned off his common sense and continued with his usual anti-Israel balderdash.

a- "Some of Israel’s worst critics are fond of saying that Israel behaves like America’s spoiled child. I’ve always found that analogy excessive. Say what you want about Israel’s obstinacy at times, it remains the only country in the United Nations that another U.N. member, Iran, has openly expressed the hope that it be wiped off the map. And that same country, Iran, is trying to build a nuclear weapon. Israel is the only country I know of in the Middle East that has unilaterally withdrawn from territory conquered in war — in Lebanon and Gaza — only to be greeted with unprovoked rocket attacks in return. Indeed, if you want to talk about spoiled children, there is no group more spoiled by Iran and Syria than Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia. Hezbollah started a war against Israel in 2006 that brought death, injury and destruction to thousands of Lebanese — and Hezbollah’s punishment was to be rewarded with thousands more missiles and millions more dollars to do it again. These are stubborn facts."

b-"And here’s another stubborn fact: Israel today really is behaving like a spoiled child..."

Part "b" is in direct opposition to part "a."

What makes this Thomas Friedman such an expert in morality, political science, self-defense etc?  The facts he lists in Part "a" should be taken as facts, but in "b" he just returns to his nonsensical Leftist agenda.

At this point, I'd prefer a go by gut Sarah Palin to these pseudo-intellectual moralists like Thomas Friedman.

*Sorry, but the sentence just seemed too "empty" without the word.  It just didn't read well to my ears.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RivkA in Her Own Words and Voice

A short while ago I posted that Coffee and Chemo's RivkA bat Terzel needs our prayers.  The T'hillim Psalms list is doubling.  The more prayers the better.

I just discovered (as I was logging out to go to bed early) that Jameel posted youtubes of one of RivkA's talks.  Please watch, listen and let others know.  Tizku l'Mitzvot; may you merit more mitzvot.


Yitzchak Rabin's True Legacy, Hatred of His Fellow Jews

It's "that time of the year" when the Israeli "big brother" resurrects one of the great history rewrites, the Yitzchak Rabin legend.  You'd think the guy was some sort of saint, but he wasn't.

Modern Zionist History has been written by like-minded ideologues with a very clear agenda.  The same people who controlled who received the special immigration certificates to the Holy Land during the British Mandate created the "new Jew," the secular Zionist, who was freed of Jewish religious law and opposed the pro-Jabotinsky Revisionists at all cost. 

Yitzchak Rabin was the poster child of the Ben-Gurion secular Zionists.  He was an officer in their pre-state Palmach when Labor Zionist head David Ben-Gurion, feared that Irgun and Revisionist head Menachem Begin would get a serious increase in popularity if the Irgun succeeded in freeing Jerusalem's Old City from the Arabs.  Military arms were on the way in the ship, the Altelena.  Begin had made a deal to share them with Ben-Gurion and together they would fight to free Jerusalem, the Kotel and most important Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount.

Ben-Gurion double-crossed Begin and sent Rabin and troops to fire on the Altalena to kill Begin and his soldiers.

Let's skip a few decades...

Yitzchak Rabin as Israel's Prime Minister was as divisive as he had been when willing to attack the Altelana.  He used expressions like "they should spin like propellers" in reaction to demonstrations against his Oslo Accords by pro-Land of Israel groups.

Today's Labor Party and Yitzchak Rabin cult continuously try to incite Israelis against the patriotic Right.  That's the Rabin legacy...

Fallen apple breaks interfaith fence

Posted by Jewish Israel

Jewish Israel resumes its series on Orthodox leaders who publicly engage in interfaith activities which challenge Jewish tradition and halacha. Part 3 of our series deals with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and his continued quest for theological commonality with Christians via his major role in an upcoming conference at Yale University exploring "new frontiers in Christian-Jewish theology."

Has Rabbi Riskin overturned the psak of his own mentor, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik? Jewish Israel takes an "academic" look at the situation.

Pastor Hagee has Jews and Christians "bound together by a covenant relationship." But what are the costs involved when pastors like Hagee start building our synagogues, Judaic studies departments, and recruiting our rabbis? Is Judaism in for a theological realignment?

Also, this month reports from major evangelical and messianic sources claim that Jews are coming to faith in Jesus in unprecedented numbers – "the numbers are not just rising, but spiking, observers say."...more

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Do Leftists Want?

There is a famous quote from Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, who in despair once asked, "What do women want? Dear G-d, what do women want?" I ask the same thing about leftists. Suppose the state of Israel should withdraw to the pre-Six Day War borders and all the Jews in the yishuvim would have to be in "Little Israel" somewhere, what would happen? Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Hashem would do miracles to maintain the existence of Little Israel with the "Palestinian" state on its peculiar borders. But what would Israel look like socially. Where would all these Jews go and what would they (we) do?
Some Jews would go to the Galilee and the Negev to the border areas to do classic Zionist settlement activity. The problem is that in both places there are Arabs, either Bedouins or "regular" Arabs, who won't like having "settlers" around any more than the Arabs in Yesha do. The other Jews, the ex-settlers, will be in the center of the country working and/or learning Torah and where do you think the spiritual energy which went into settlement will go? Into KIRUV. There will be MORE of us all the time. The hareidim are starting to go into the army and the labor force, too. Nobody is going to stop having babies. All those leftists will have myriads of Jews covering Tel Aviv and environs like a blanket offering to help them put on tefillin, give out Shabbat candles on Friday, invite them to shiurim. Those people who want a secular Jewish democratic Israel would get all of this in their faces much more, in addition to the usual reports in the news of clashes between settlers and Arabs and police within the Green Line. Ask your leftist friends and acquaintances whether that is the kind of Israel they want. Add that to the usual issues of insecure borders. Dear G-d, what do the leftists want?

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh, Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Rosh Chodesh Kislev, Women Let's Gather where Chana prayed for a son to save the Jewish People. Rain or shine.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Sunday, November 7 · 9:30am - 10:30am
תפילת נשים
There will also be a Dvar Torah
ראש חודש כסלו
תל שילה
יום א' ל' חשון
7-11 9:30
יהיה דבר תורה, בע"ה
נא לפסם ולהזמין נשים
Please spread the word and invite others

Tel Shiloh is open for tours and visitors. For more information contact telshilo@gmail.com  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gilo Rhymes With Shiloh, But They are Very, Very Different

I've been tutoring a child in Gilo recently. Until then, I have very few occasions/reasons to ever go to Gilo. Of course, I've passed pretty close by when going to Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb.

Gilo, just a Jerusalem neighborhood, is enormous. It's the size and population of an Israeli city.

These photos give just a tiny peek. The easiest way to tour it is just to get onto one of the buses that go through it, like the 31, 32, 71, 72.
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"Nothing's New..."

In קוהלת Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, King Solomon repeated many times that "nothing's new under the sun," and he was right.  That's one of the reasons I'm getting so much out of my Bible studies.  I'm taking three Bible, Tanach,  courses at Matan.  In one, I'm studying about King david with Dr. Yael Ziegler, the third is Megillat (the Scroll of) Esther with Atara Snowbell and the course I learn with friends during the break in between those two is Al haPerek, an interactive Bible course based on questions sent weekly by the Matan staff.

When my public school alumni friends and I complain that we have no background in the Bible, our Jewish day school peers insist that they, too, learned almost no Bible, so we're all in the same struggling boat. 

The more I ask others about their Bible-learning background the more upset I get.  As little Bible as girls learn, boys learn much less.  In the Israeli yeshiva high school where I taught English, Bible was an "afternoon," secular subject.  It wasn't part of the morning Beit Medrash-Study Hall curriculum.  And in the chareidi schools and yeshivot, there's even less Bible study.  And they generally concentrate more on "medrashim," rather than the actual text.

Jewish nationalism is history-Bible based.  Jews who are familiar with the Bible feel more attached to all the locations here in the Holy Land.  Judaism isn't a religion like any other.  It's not enough to just keep various mitzvot, G-d-given commandments, because there are many are contingent on being in the Land of Israel.  Outside of Israel a Jew is restricted, deprived of the full range of mitzvot.

The Jewish People/Religion/Land are all intertwined in one unique package.  The Holy Bible is the key.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Does Bibi Want Pollard Home In Israel?

As ambivalent as the Israeli government was from the beginning of Jonathan Jay Pollard's nightmare with American law, I don't think it's a secret that getting him released from prison and bringing him to Israel are far from the top of the Israeli Government's "wish list."

Pollard's lawyers are trying to arrange a release from jail by petitioning US President Obama.

Pollard's punishment has been totally unprecedented when taking into account that he gave information to an ally.  He did not work for an enemy of the United States.

Over the twenty-five years he has been imprisoned, he and his second wife, Esther, have become the darlings of Israel's Right.  Actually, it was former MK Geula Cohen of Techiya who was the very first Israeli official to champion his cause.  Pollard's an intelligent man who worked with secret American security information before his arrest.

I have no doubt that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not want an unmuzzled Jonathan Pollard in Israel.  The classic children's story of The Emperor's New Clothes ends with the townspeople agreeing with the little boy who said that their ruler was stark naked.  But in Israel, when someone on the Right points out the mistaken Leftist policies of the government, they are frequently jailed. 

The proof's in the pudding, because after twenty-five years of difficult imprisonment, Pollard doesn't seem closer to release.