Hamas War

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Annual Ellul Pilgrimage to Shiloh, T'fillat Chana

This year the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh staff were sure that they had learned from last year's mistake.  At last year's T'fillat Chana, the couple of thousand seats for Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi's riveting talk and the following musical performance weren't enough.  This year they set up for an audience of three thousand, and to make it more comfortable and easier viewing they had a special extra section with an enormous screen.  People still complained that there weren't enough seats; the estimated attendance was three thousand, three hundred, 3,300 woman, young and old from all over the country, students, mothers, retirees and lots more.

I'm certain that in Biblical times, during the close to four hundred years when Jewish Pilgrims came to Shiloh to pray there were also stalls to buy food, clothing and more.

I go to Tel Shiloh every Rosh Chodesh to pray with other women.  Our groups are smaller than the thousands who came to the T'fillat Chana.

Next Rosh Chodesh is the beginning of the Month of Cheshvan.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

Friday, October 4, 2013
30 Tishrei 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson

Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש חשון בתל שילה

יום ו' 4-10 ל' תשרי תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join us.

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email visit@telshilo.org.il  or phone 02-994-4019.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, at Shiloh הרבנית ימימה מזרחי בתפילת חנה, תל שילה

הנה חלק מהשיעור של  הרבנית ימימה מזרחי בתפילת חנה, שילה הקדומה, תל שילה
הכל בעברית
Sorry to those who don't understand Hebrew.

Israeli Curriculum for Arabs in Jerusalem, A Pragmatic move?

Last night as I was observing Arab families shopping in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, I couldn't help but notice how loving many of the fathers were towards their kids.  Suddenly I thought to myself:
"Would these fathers want their children killing themselves as a tool to murder Jews?"

Then I wondered if maybe I was just projecting my own love and value of life over ideology and hate.  Do the Arabs who promote terrorism and pass the evil onto their children shop in the Jewish-Israeli shopping center, Sha'ar Binyamin?  Do I meet, work with, serve a typical cross-section of Arabs or are these the less ideological, more pragmatic ones?

From body language and tones of voice, I can easily see many of the Arab parents admonishing their children to behave properly in the stores.  Many of the Arabs who shop in the Sha'ar Binyamin stores are forbidden to enter "Israel proper," sic, most of the State of Israel and nearby shopping/industrial areas like Mishor Adumim.  They need the right certification for that.

In the more than two and a half years since I began working in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin there seems to be a slight rise in the percentage of Arabs who speak Hebrew with me.  Prior to that I used mainly English and pantomime to help them select clothing to buy.  Having a good grasp of Hebrew is a key tool for getting good jobs and a good education for the Arabs here.  The Arabs lucky enough to be employed at even the Israeli Minimum Wage jobs in Rami Levy Discount Supermarket make more money than a qualified teacher in cities such as Jenin and Shechem.  I've had discussions with Arab English teachers who told me how little a teacher makes there.

So I'm not at all surprised to read that five Arab schools in Jerusalem are switching to the Israeli school curriculum.
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The director of education in Jerusalem has urged families with schoolchildren in Jerusalem to be aware that at least five Palestinian schools are switching to Israeli education materials.
Sameer Jibril said the Ebin Rushd and Abdulla bin Hussain schools were using Israeli education materials in the seventh and eighth grades. The Sour Baher school is using them for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and the Ibin Khaldoun school uses it for seventh graders.

There are Arabs who are ambitious for their children and want the best possible education for them. By following the Israeli curriculum, it'll be easier for the students in these schools can more easily get into universities and get better jobs. 

Another reason the schools are switching to the Israeli Curriculum is that they will have a larger budget and higher salaries if they become part of the Israeli system.
The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem offered to increase salaries for teachers and principals who agree to implement the plans in their schools, the official said. The proposal would add about 2,000 shekels (about $550) per student enrolled in schools using Israeli curricula.

As we all know, money speaks; money speaks very loudly.

Statistics show that Arab family size is shrinking.  Many Arab families do still indoctrinate their children to do everything to oppose the State of Israel and are dangers to us, but my gut feeling is that more and more are pragmatically accepting Israel and don't want Arab rule.  They are in touch with their family and friends in Arab countries and know how difficult life is there.  That's not the life they want.  I also see over and over that local Arabs take visiting friends and family members to Sha'ar Binyamin to go shopping.  It's one of the major "must-see" sights and experiences when visiting.  The Arabs come on "shopping tours,"  oohing and ahhing over what we have to sell.  I've been told more than once that our simple family clothing store reminds them of America.

I see a great irony in the fact that despite Israel's foolish (and dangerous) decision in 1967 to allow the Arab schools in Jerusalem to continue with Jordanian curriculum, it's due to the Arabs' needs that almost a half a century after the Six Days War they are adopting Israeli educational requirements. G-d willing it's a step in the slow but sure path to a true peace.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

War With Syria? Should We Be Dusting Off Our Gas Masks?

There's nothing more dangerous for world peace than a bunch of trigger happy, inexperienced Leftists. 

United States President Barack Hussein Obama should never have been elected.  It was the most racist elections in the history of the United States.  If he had been 100% white, with his experience and qualifications, he never would have been elected.  People voted for him because he's colored. Now he may be causing a very dangerous war in the Middle East by totally overacting in how he wants to "punish" Syria for using chemical weapons.

Obama doesn't even have the support of the American Military.  Listen to this Fox report, which I can't get the embedded link for.  Anyone with a minimum of military/diplomatic experience will easily point out how senseless the threats are.  And just like with Bush The First's Iraq/Gulf War, it will just be an excuse for Israel to be attacked.  The Syrians will take out their anger on us, not on the Americans which are spearheading the threats against them.

The internal (within a foreign country) use of chemical weapons is immoral by popular western standards, but it's certainly no reason to plan on bombing the said/guilty country.  How will that show, teach moral superiority?

It's like beating up a kid because he hit another kid.
"Don't you ever hit," smack! "anyone ever" bang! "again!!"

First of all, there should be emergency United Nations Security Council meetings called to condemn Syria and institute a full range of sanctions, including closing all foreign embassies in Syria, sending their diplomats packing, etc.  If the point is to punish the Syrian regime, then they are the ones to be punished, not the Syrian citizens.  The fallout from an American-led attack would land on Israel, while Bashar al-Assad would be emboldened and strengthened for standing against America.

All foreign aid and NGO programs to Syria must cease.  That's how you use moral superiority against an enemy regime.  You don't use military weapons.

Thankfully, the more other foreign leaders think about the issue, the more sense they are making
photo credit: Gili Yaari/Flash 90
"To see a government in the 21st century gassing its own citizens is an abomination and the world has to move against that, Mulcair said. "That should be done through the institutions of international law, in particularly the United Nations."

So, G-d willing, we won't have to search through our attic for the old gas masks and then exchange them for new ones.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jewish Year, 5774, We Start the Year by Eating on the Fast of Gedalia

Rosh Hashanah fruit head
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashannah starts in just a week.  It's a two day Jewish Holiday even in Israel.  It's actually the only such Holiday on the Jewish Calendar.  Jews in chutz l'Aretz, Outside the Holyland, also celebrate Succot, Shmini Atzeret-Simchat, beginning and end of Passover and Shavuot as two-day Holidays.  For us in Israel, they are one-day holidays, so we need fewer festive meals (and generous calories.)

My husband and I have been married for forty-three years.  The first year we were married coincided on the Jewish Calendar and days of the week just like this year. Two and a half months later, less than a month before Rosh Hashannah we docked at Haifa Port and began our lives as Israelis.  I'll never forget my shock and disappointment at discovering that my very first Jewish Holiday as a Jewish wife would be a "three day Rosh Hashannah."
"...but I thought that there weren't three day yoniffs in Israel!!"  I complained bitterly.

We had no family to invite us, to support system. I had hardly even cooked Shabbat meals in the two months we were married, especially since we had arrived.  I had minimal kitchen equipment in our newly renovated ancient Old City Jerusalem apartment and was still trying to figure out shopping logistics. 

All these decades later, I still feel panic when the calendar repeats the quirk.  Easy years are those when my freezer is empty and I can precook and freeze food.  But this year the freezer is too full making it rather complicated to plan a menu that will stay fresh for three days.

The third day of the Jewish Year is supposed to be a very important fast day, Tzom Gedalia, the Fast of Gedalia
Tzom Gedaliah (Fast of Gedaliah) is an annual fast day instituted by the Jewish Sages to commemorate the assassination of Gedaliah Ben Achikam, the Governor of Israel during the days of Nebuchadnetzar King of Babylonia. As a result of Gedaliah's death the final vestiges of Judean autonomy after the Babylonian conquest were destroyed, many thousands of Jews were slain, and the remaining Jews were driven into final exile.
Shabbat is the third day of the year, and it's forbidden to fast on Shabbat, except for Yom Kippur, the only day holier than Shabbat.  And since the tenth day of the year is Yom Kippur, an exact week after Tzom Gedalia, this week we fast on Shabbat.

This year Tzom Gedalia will be observed on Sunday.  Tzom Gedalia is one of the "minor" fast days, those when we only fast during daylight, unlike Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av which last twenty-five hours, like Shabbat.  But the Fast of Gedalia is considered a very serious fast, since the death of Gedalia is connected to the end of Jewish sovereignty in Biblical Times.
There is another aspect of the Fast of Gedaliah that relates to the Era of the Redemption. This fast was instituted because the tragic assassination of Gedaliah extinguished the last embers of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael after the destruction of the First Beis Hamikdash.
Rosh Hashanah fruit head
Considering the state of our Israeli Government today, how our politicians kowtow to foreign ideals and leaders which endanger the continued existence of the state, I think that we should make every effort to properly commemorate the Fast of Gedalia by talking about it on the Shabbat immediately following Rosh Hashannah and fasting the following day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Comprendo! What Good Would It do For the USA-GB Alliance to Attack Syria?

Honestly, I think there should have had been a surprise "surgical attack" on the sites of the nuclear development in Iran.  But I don't see what useful, suitable target there could be in Syria
Warplanes and military transporters have begun arriving at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast, in a sign of increasing preparations for a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria.

It's one thing if they had secret agents to surprise assassinate/execute Assad and his higher ups. 

It's pretty clear that the United States hasn't a clue as to what to do and what the Syrian and Arab culture, mentality is really like. Yes, I understand that they are "outraged."  But how do you militarily attack a "regime" in a useful, efficient way?  I'll never forget the absurdity of the American attack on Iraq that killed thousands of soldiers and civilians to give Sadam Hussein a fair trial.  What fair trial di they give to those soldiers and civilians they killed? And if the allied forces do get the Assad regime out of power, who will rule in his place?  Does the United States really want to find itself with another Iraq to rule?

Barry Rubin writes that none of what's going on in Syria is really all that new.
To understand Syria’s special feature, it is best to heed the all-important insight of a Lebanese-American scholar, Fouad Ajami: “Syria’s main asset, in contrast to Egypt’s preeminence and Saudi wealth, is its capacity for mischief.”
In the final analysis, the aforementioned mischief was in the service of regime maintenance, the all-encompassing cause and goal of the Syrian government’s behavior. Demagoguery, not the delivery of material benefits, is the basis of its power.
Why have those who govern Syria followed such a pattern for more than six decades under almost a dozen different regimes? The answer: Precisely because the country is a weak one in many respects. Aside from lacking Egypt’s power and Saudi Arabia’s money, it also falls short on internal coherence due to its diverse population and minority-dominated regime. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein used repression, ideology, and foreign adventures to hold together a system dominated by Sunni Arab Muslims who were only one-fifth of the population. In Syria, even more intense measures were needed to sustain an Alawite regime that rules based on a community only half as large proportionately.
I don't think it would be wise on Israel's part to use logic and common sense when trying to predict Syrian action.  Yaakov Lappin is wrong:
Any US military step will probably serve as a “slap” to the Syrian regime, but won’t go as far as toppling President Bashar Assad from power.
Hence, it would be an act of self-destruction on Assad’s part to drag Israel into the conflict, for any direct Syrian retribution against Israel would endanger the very existence of the embattled regime in Damascus.
It's important to remember that the "international community" is consistently wrong in its analysis and policy when it comes to the Middle-East, which is the most dangerous thing when talking about international peace and stability.

One response that would make sense would be for Israel, Right, Left, Center, politicians, academics and media to publically state that the Golan will remain forever in Israeli hands for the safety and security of Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike.

Monday, August 26, 2013

At what price will a “Christian Zionist Visitor Center” be established in Har Bracha?

Posted by Jewishisrael.com 

At what price will a “Christian Zionist Visitor Center” be established in Har Bracha?
In a demonstration of continued collaboration with grape harvesting volunteers Tommy and Sherri Waller and their Hayovel Ministries, "Rabbi Eliezer Melamed has taken an initiative to establish a Christian Zionist Visitor Center on the Mount of Blessing in Samaria", reportedly declaring, “If we say no to these people, we will say no to the Messiah!” 

 The costs of encouraging a Christian attachment to the land of Israel are becoming alarmingly apparent. As these Christian volunteers become increasingly attached to the Land of Israel, their religious fervor has translated into concrete support of missionary activity and increased affiliations with messianic entities in Israel...more

The WJC and the KCAC are joining the ICEJ in their "walk with christ"
The International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem’s annual Feast of the Tabernacles is a christ-centered pilgrimage and worship event intended to inspire and challenge Christians in their "walk with christ". The event frequently features, as speakers, missionaries who have targeted Jews for conversion. Jewishisrael is at a loss as to why the World Jewish Congress and the Knesset Christian and Israel Allies Caucuses have once again announced their participation in ICEJ's Feast...more

Anne Ayalon Promotes Christian Worship Center and Forges Partnerships with Missionaries
Anne Ayalon, founder and president of the Galilean Resort project, and of ICC-Galilee Properties Management Ltd, continues to use Christian television to promote her Christian worship center, discuss jesus, and encourage a Christian attachment to the land of Israel through property acquisition...more

Missionary Mike Evans Launches New Book at Menachem Begin Heritage Center
Pastor Dr. Mike Evans, the celebrated Jewish boy who found christ and went on to convert scores of young Jews to Christianity, recently had yet another book launch at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center...more

The Morsi, Syria, Lebanon etc Lesson for Israel

I should hope that this principle is taught in "Introduction to Political Science/International Relations" courses, the required prerequisite for anyone interested in learning how governments and history really work.

International treaties require stable governments or they are useless.

Maybe I'm naïve.  I must admit that I have no formal academic training in Political Science or International Relations.  I've just been following the news, international of course, for over half a century.  Yes, I'm old.  I've seen countries and super-powers come and go.  I remember the irony of Mao, when his Communist Red China population was forced to wear one type of jacket as he mocked the United States as a "paper tiger."  Today the Chinese have a stronger and more materialist economy than the USA, and their Communism is long gone.

I remember American government leaders quaking at the thought of an attack from the USSR, which today doesn't exist.  But the Americans, who claim to be the strongest and most powerful country in the world, still fear Castro's poverty-ridden Cuba.

To be honest, I don't have too much respect for the "experts."  How many predicted the events I lived through?  I prefer my common sense.

According to Jewish Law, an insane person can't sign an important contract. Potential aka wannabe converts who are mentally unstable can't be converted to Judaism. One has to be fully rational to make such a life-changing decision. If a woman is married to a man with serious psychiatric problems, his ability to give her a get for divorce can be affected.

Considering the instability, anarchy in the Arab world, how can the Israeli Government even think of signing any sort of "peace treaty" with anybody?  And certainly the so-called Palestinians sic have no reliable track record to attempt an "enemy country in a country" which has never been peaceful/successful.  Have you ever heard of West Berlin?

Israel is the one economically successful, democratic, stable country in the Middle East. 
Lots of Arabs are also being killed in Lebanon
Saudi, Gulf throw weight behind Egypt after Morsi ousted
Too late for Obama to act on Syria
Report: U.S. to Warn Israel in Advance of Syria Attack, Security Officials Say Assad Unlikely to Retaliate Against Israel  (Has the USA ever predicted these things correctly?)
Russia to U.S.: Don't Repeat Your Past Mistakes in Syria
Here’s How Kerry, Hillary and Obama Let Assad Get Away with Murder
Iran Draws ‘Red Line’ against US Intervention in Syria

Why risk everything for an experiment AKA "Peace Treaty" sic that will inevitably result in war, death and destruction?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kapora, Kapora, Getting Priorities Straight

Since my mother's death, my jewelry has suffered. 

One of my very favorite, and relatively new, earrings disappeared during the Shabbat of the shiva. I suddenly realized that it wasn't on my ear, and I never found it.  Then two weeks ago, again on Shabbat I was very tired Friday night and went to sleep wearing my earrings.  In the morning I discovered that one, the remaining of a pair I once had to break to get out of my ear, got stuck and began causing a very uncomfortable infection.  After Shabbat I went to neighbors who are jewelers, and we finally removed it by straightening and cutting.  It took almost two weeks for my ear to heal.  Finally yesterday, on Shabbat, I was able to change the earring in the newly healed ear.  At shul a neighbor noticed that a piece of gold was missing from one of the earrings.

That's three gold earrings lost or damaged in just over two months.

There was a time in my life when even just one such even would bother me, but not now.
"Kapora!"  Yes, Kapora is all I can say.

Nu?  What does that mean, "Kapora?"

I've davka been reading Zeh Kaporosi – The Custom Of Kaporos, Mosaica Press, by: Avrohom Reit a book about the Jewish minhag, custom of Kaparot.
It is customary to perform the kaparot (symbolic "atonement") rite in preparation for Yom Kippur.
The rite consists of taking a chicken and waving it over one's head three times while reciting the appropriate text. The fowl is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic procedure and its monetary worth given to the poor, or, as is more popular today, the chicken itself is donated to a charitable cause.
We ask of G‑d that if we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity. (Chabad.org)
One thing I really like about the book is that it begins by explaining that as important the author and many other Torah observant Jews find this custom, it is just a custom.  As a married woman there are halachik, restrictions according to Jewish Law concerning my learning and adopting minhagim and chumrot, customs and stringencies.  So, I'm reading this book as a reviewer, without feeling any obligation to adopt the custom.

Zeh Kaporosi – The Custom Of Kaporos is an attractive and easy to read book about a difficult subject.  It's the perfect book for a family that wants to make it clear, even to young children.  It's also excellent if you're not all that familiar with the custom and really want to observe it.  It doesn't end after swinging the chicken over your head and then handing to a shochet, ritual slaughterer.  It gives a fantastically clear series of pictures and easy explanations of cleaning and koshering the chicken, something that few people are familiar with in the modern Jewish world.

As an enthusiastic, though amateur Hebrew linguist, I really appreciate the explanation of the root of the word, כ,פ,ר which can mean, cleanse, replace or cover/shield.  This is connected to the holiest day in the Jewish year,  יום הכיפורים Yom HaKippurim, the Day of Spiritual Cleansing, Replacing our Sins with Blessings and this should Shield us from harm.

Observers, followers of the custom of Kaparot see the chicken (*or fish can also be used) as the replacement to receive their punishment, which then cleanses them from sin and shields them from harm.

And what does this have to do with my missing, broken and destroyed earrings?

The very first time in my life I heard the term and concept of "Kapora!" was from a friend who had said that his bicycle and special all-weather cycling clothes had been stolen.  I responded shocked and horrified for him, but he carefully corrected me.
"I've been cycling long distances on roads for a long time.  I've never been in a accident. Kapora! The loss of the bicycle and outfit are nothing compared to what it would mean to be injured or killed, G-d forbid."

That was an excellent and important lesson for me.  We must get our priorities straight.  If it helps someone to focus on teshuva, repentance by practicing the Kaparot custom, that's fine.  And if G-d wants to remind me that the loss or breaking of  a gold earing holds little importance compared to human life and health, I accept the lesson, the reminder.

It may be a little too early to say this, but I wish you a

גמר חתימה טובה
G'mar Chattimah Tovah
A Good "Grade" From G-d

*Many years ago a visiting cousin came to us with a live fish for the Kaparot ceremony, which we did on our Jerusalem merpeset, balcony.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Big Question: Is it News When it Keeps Repeating Itself?

I'm getting tired of following and writing about the news.  Everything is so deja vu. We've heard it all before, and read about it and seen it ad nauseum.  You'd think the politicians, policy makers, journalists, academics etc. would be as bored as I am.  It's like waiting for a suitcase to come onto the turning thing at the airport.  You watch and watch until you feel like you're turning in circles and the suitcases are standing still.  Yes, the same old suitcases; every one is there, but the one you're waiting for.

For how many years have we been hearing that Iran is developing nuclear weapons?

And how many times and for how long has Israel, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that it's almost too late?

And how many times and for how long have American Presidents promised to do something, threaten, negotiate, investigate...?

And how many times and for how long has Israel offered the Arabs peace, even begged for peace?

And how many "good will gestures" has Israel offered the Arabs for peace?

And how many times and  from how much land have we withdrawn our troops, all in the hope of peace in return?

And how many times has Israel frozen Jewish building in Jerusalem and other parts of the Land of Israel to try to placate the Arabs and foreign countries, just because we want peace?

And how many dangerous, convicted Arab terrorists have been released by Israel to encourage the Arabs to make peace with us?

And how many dangerous, convicted Arab terrorists have been released by Israel in exchange for Israelis and Jews held by Arabs?

And how many dangerous concessions have various Israeli governments and leaders offered the Arabs in an attempt to make peace with them?

And how many times has Israel apologized for things we didn't do, killings we're not guilty of, all so that people would "like" us?

When will the assimon (phone token) drop?  When will Israeli society, its politicians, its media, academics and all accept the reality that there is nothing we can do to encourage the Arabs to "make peace" with us? 

The Arabs will only be satisfied when, G-d forbid, we're destroyed.  They and their supporters will quickly celebrate, try to take over our agriculture and industries.  And then, a short time late, just like what happened in Gaza they'll just destroy it.  Soon there will be a massive brain drain as the more educated Arabs will quickly leave the area for any country that will take them.  And the poorer people will migrate away leaving the HolyLand desolate as it was before the Zionists began developing it.  And then after forty, fifty, a hundred years or more a new wave of idealistic Jews will return in an attempt to reclaim our Land, build a state and then G-d willing the Holy Temple on Har Habayit, the Temple Mount.

Friday, August 23, 2013

That Hidden Camera...

Eagle Eye Hidden Camera
Frequently at work I come across women, teenage girls or women dressing young girls in what they presume are hidden places in the store.  I can't just ignore it. So I warn them:
"You should be aware of the fact that there are cameras all over here, and people are watching.  You're not in a private place.  We do have dressing rooms for trying on clothes."

Sometimes it stops them, and sometimes it doesn't.  But I wouldn't feel right without saying something to warn them.

I've been meaning to blog about this for the longest time.  We're in the Month of Ellul, the month of Teshuva, Repentance, when we're supposed to be extra mindful of the fact that G-d observes every act we do and every thought we think. G-d has His "security camera" observing us every second.

This morning I saw that the OU sent out an article by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb in which he mentions this as his Parshat Shavua and Ellul message.
The Shulchan Aruch, the Jewish code of law, opens with a statement recognizing that a person's behavior, when he is alone at home, is very different from his behavior when he appears before a great king. And it urges the religious person to be aware that he is always in the presence of the great King of Kings, the all-knowing God.
But it is not only from a spiritual perspective that it is wrong to act demeaningly in private. There is a practical aspect as well to the importance of behaving properly even in secret. There always is the very real possibility that our secrets will be "leaked" and that things we were sure would never be known will become embarrassingly exposed.
I know of no place where this is conveyed more cogently than in these words of caution, to be found in Ecclesiastes (10:20):
Don't revile a king, even in your intimate thoughts.
Don't revile a rich man, even in your bedchamber;
For a bird of the air may carry the utterance,
And a winged creature may report the word.
Indeed, as our Sages say (Berachot 8b), the walls have ears.
But many times, we go too far and indeed split our personalities between the Dr. Jekylls of our external visible behavior and the Mr. Hydes of our inner sancta. How well advised we would be to set as an objective for ourselves the words of the Daily Prayer Book:
"A person should always be God-fearing,
privately and publicly,
acknowledging the truth and speaking it in his heart."
Only G-d sees what we really are.  G-d sees through everything.  We can't hide our faces, actions and thoughts from G-d.  That's why when we hear that someone has died we say, "Baruch Dayan Ha'emet," "Blessed is the True Judge."

It doesn't matter what costume or uniform we have worn throughout our lives. G-d sees the truth, the אמת emet.  For the longest time, I've seen the word אמת truth as אמות amute, I will die.  That is the final, ultimate truth.  Someday we will all die, whether we want to or feel ready to or wished we had died sooner.

And on that day, the day we die, G-d will make His final judgment about how we lived our lives.  Will we be rewarded or punished?

The Month of Ellul and the early days of Tishrei, Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur are our "dress rehearsals" for the big show.  Every year G-d does His accounting, the subtotal of our lives, our deeds.  It's our chance, the big reminder to wipe clean our slates, get into practice, do some good spiritual housekeeping while we still have some control.

Let's remember that there's no hiding from G-d, the All Seeing and All Knowing.  Remember that the only ones we can change are ourselves.

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ellul the Month of Change, Transition and Teshuva, Repentance

It just hit me.  We're in the midst of the Jewish Month of Ellul, the month before Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur when we're supposed to prepare.  No, I'm not talking about cooking in advance, buying new clothes (drop in where I work) and other mundane things.  Ellul is about the spirit, our religious, moral, spiritual evolution, change, teshuva, repentance, getting closer to G-d.

I should have followed the bima ima's example.

And I can't use that the excuse that I was busy or distracted by my son's wedding and prior to that my mother's death, because nobody has been busier than the Bima Ima and family with their concerns and care for Superman Sam.

Last night I admired the full moon and said to a friend. 
"From the fullness of the moon, I can see that my son and his wife got married exactly two weeks ago."

Yes, they got married on Rosh Chodesh Ellul.  Some other family members who attended the wedding came up to them to inform them that they all share the same anniversary.  Apparently, it's a very popular wedding day.  That's where my mind has been.

And now we're less than two weeks to Rosh Hashannah the beginning of the Jewish Year, when we're supposed to work hard cleaning our souls from sin.  I'm going to quickly go through the first half of the Bima Ima's list, and bli neder* (not a vow) continue more later on, G-d willing.  I don't know if I'm doing this right, but I'll give my interpretation of what these actions mean in Ellul.  I can't do justice to these as separate blog posts, because we're more than halfway through Ellul. 
  1. prepare- Prepare for both the expected and the unexpected, because G-d likes to surprise us, and sometimes the surprises aren't all that pleasant.
  2. act- Act, do and not say "We would if..." We have to take what we have and make the best of it.
  3. bless- Bless G-d and each other.  Make even our difficulties a blessing.  See the cup as partially full, even if it's only a quarter full.
  4. accept- Accept what we can't change and don't waste energies on things we can't control.  Accept the challenge and "make lemonade."
  5. know- Add to knowledge; it gives us the power of understanding and can be a comfort. 
  6. do- Do, don't procrastinate.  That's a hard one for me. 
  7. be- Be the best you can and accept yourself.
  8. believe- Believe in G-d and His rules aka Mitzvot.
  9. hear- Hear even what isn't being said in words.  G-d speaks to us in many ways.
  10. see-  See G-d and blessings in everything, even though it is sometimes very difficult.
  11. count- Count the good G-d has given, especially when it's hard.  And calculate the time you have, so you can fit all your responsibilities in.  Plan.
  12. trust- Trust that it will all work out. Sometimes it takes a long distance to see clearly.  Yesterday I was in the museum, and we saw a picture that was so beautiful.  But then as we got close up it looked ugly.
  13. forgive- Forgive people. Don't waste your energies fighting, hating and being negative.  And most important, forgive yourself.  We're not all powerful and we're not G-d.
  14. remember- Remember the good; use it as a foundation for a happy life. 
  15. learn- Learn something new all the time.  Don't get into a rut. 
  16. change- Change is a key to Judaism. That's Teshuva, Repentance the power to change, improve ourselves.  Try small doable changes, improvements.  There's the response one says to someone who did a chessed, kind act: "Tizke (or tizki in the feminine) l'mitzvot." "May you merit more mitzvoth."  The more we change ourselves to the better, the more sincere our Teshuva," the easier it becomes to do more.

*The Erev (Eve of ) Yom Kippur prayer, Kol Nidrei is to cancel vows we shouldn't have made.  Yes, it's time to really get into "Ellul mode."

Best of Latma, Part 2

Latma is the brilliant Israeli political parody brought to us by Caroline Glick.  Due to financial problems, it's being forced to change somehow. 
After 200 episodes, the Tribal Update, Latma's flagship satirical newscast is coming to a close. We were supposed to be broadcast on Israel TV's Channel 1 as the station's prime time satire show. We were approved by all the professional committees not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 times over the past two years. Time after time, they told us they were about to send us the contract. We even sat down and negotiated a contract with them a year ago, but then, each time, they put us on hold. In this fourth iteration of this farce, we have been waiting to receive a contract since Shavuot. Maybe one will arrive in the mail. Maybe it got lost in the mail. Or maybe our assessment at the outset, that the Left's control over the Israeli media is so enormous that leftist commissars are willing to break their own rules to keep a satirical voice of Zionism off the air was spot on, and they will continue leading us by the nose and pretending they are a meritorcracy and don't discriminate against Zionists for the next generation.
At any rate, we have reached the end of our financial rope. Over the past year, believing the stories we were told by the powers that be on Channel 1 that we would be moving to the small screen almost immediately, we built up the production capabilities of a top line prime time television show. And the costs, for a donation based project are just too high. So we're ending our run...
I'm not one of those who knows what will happen next, but the Latma team has put together this "Best of Latma" program, which is definitely worth watching.

There is English translation, which may be hidden by ads.  Click the "x" on the ad to see the English.  Listen, read carefully and be prepared with tissues, really.  They hit on the truth like a good reflexology that hits just the spot connected to the pain.

The downsizing of Latma is a sad day for Israeli democracy and free thought.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Israel, Facts Not Fiction

Shouldn't news be objective?  It's much too easy to slant news turning what's supposed to be a simple factual article into an insidious biased piece of fiction.  When I was growing up, the only newspaper we ever saw at home was the New York Times, and as I've reminisced before, for me the "Sunday funnies" were the political cartoons in its "News of the Week in Review."  And in elementary school when we learned about newspapers, we only used the NYT.  So it's rather ironic that as an Israeli I've discovered that that's the newspaper once should be most suspicious of.  Journalists and bloggers from all over are kept busy writing expose`s about the inaccuracies and intentional slanting of their "news" articles and biased op-eds.
Among the many Israeli sources of irritation for The New York Times, none is more persistently aggravating than Jewish settlements. August has been an especially difficult month for the Times. In rapid succession, its Jerusalem reporter Jodi Rudoren, Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Thomas Friedman, and editorial board contributed factual errors about settlements that not only  revealed  falsehoods but blatant bias. Algemeiner

So I have my own way of finding the news.  I'm a long time fan (and friend) of Ruthie Blum, who's very upfront about the fact that she writes op-eds from the Right point of view.  Here's her latest:
The Palestinians' two-faced solution
Last week, while the first batch of Palestinian terrorists was being released from Israeli jails, the Palestinian Authority was too busy condemning Israel to express satisfaction. This is because the Israeli government had approved the construction of hundreds of new houses in east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The plans to build these new units were made public well before the start of the current pre-negotiation discussions, brokered by the United States. Furthermore, the additional housing is slated for areas that the Palestinian Authority ostensibly agreed would remain in Israel after a "two-state solution" was reached.
Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority and its apologists, both in Israel and abroad, did what they always do when faced with "settlement expansion" -- they raised a stink, accusing Israel of provocation, at best, and violation of international law, at worst...  Israel Hayom 
It's also a good idea to subscribe to the IDF's youtube page.

Seeing is believing.  I must admit that sometimes it works too ahrd to be PC-politically almost Leftist correct, but they do show some valuable videos.

The Jewish Press's site also gives real news and isn't afraid to tell the truth.  This isn't the same Jewish Press I first read when visiting my then future in-laws forty-five years ago.

There's also Arutz 7 which was a pioneer site telling the truth.

In terms of today's political cartoonists, there's Dry Bones.

Dry Bones, cartoon, Egypt, Egyptians, Israel, Moslem, Muslims, moslem brotherhood, islamists, islamism,jihad, Islam, Islamism, democracy, morsi, president morsi, coop, jihad,
Egypt's Turn
The current drama of the Middle East is that every Arab state seems to be under attack by one bunch of Islamists or another ...and the countries are crumbling.
Years ago, I encouraged his creator to blog them.

And now there's a new guy on the block, i24, hat tip Tablet Magazine.  I don't know how accurate and objective they will end up being, but we'll see.

As a blogger, my aim is more editorial than hard news. That's my choice, and I don't hide it.

Where do you find your most objective news? Please answer in the comments, thanks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Netanyahu, Lapid Punish Families With Children and Bennett is Silent

Only the wealthy won't feel Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid's latest budget cut, which reduces "child allowances" to a pitiful joke
Where just a few years ago families received as much as NIS 400 per child, the payments for children will fall to NIS 140 (less than $40) per child per month... Arutz 7

Contrary to Lapid's rantings, it's not the lazy unemployed sector that will feel it the most.  Those families with almost no income get various welfare subsidies; it's the working poor, who even with the previous child allowances barely finished the month. 

I have no idea how Lapid has come up with his so-called facts:
“We will help needy families and set aside hundreds of millions [of shekels] to make sure no children go hungry, but [the cuts] are a historic move from a culture of allotments to a culture of work.”
Beginning on August 20, parents will receive only 140 shekels per month for each child born after June 1, 2003.
According to Lapid, National Insurance Institute (NII) child allotments perpetuated poverty instead of stopping it.
“There is only one thing that allows families to get out of the cycle of poverty – work. The poverty rate in families with two working parents is under 5 percent.” Indy News of Israel
Apparently, Yair Lapid is just as anti-religious and anti-chareidi as his father was.  He just packages himself differently. 
For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year. Jewish Press

Lapid's timing is extra cruel considering the season.  Summer is extremely, unbearably expensive for families with children, no matter what their income.  Children on vacation from school need to be minded, cared for which is expensive.  Summer camp, vacations, babysitters, bathing suits, crafts etc. are difficult for many parents to pay for.  You see many parents taking their children to work, because there's no alternative especially when they are working at low wages.  Sometimes it costs more to go to work than to stay home.  By reducing child allowances it can become completely financially impossible for both parents to work.

Even before these new child allowance cuts, parents were finding it difficult to pay for school supplies, books and the expenses for the upcoming Jewish Holidays.

Israel doesn't have much of a parliamentary opposition, but I hope this latest government move galvanizes them to action.
“It injures where it’s supposed to heal. Once again, [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid is taking advantage of and encouraging a mistaken and inciting idea that haredim and Arabs are the only ones who are harmed by budget cuts. First of all, a child is a child is a child.”
According to Yacimovich, the average family will lose NIS 2,000 per year because of the allotment cuts.
The Labor issue took with a statistic Lapid cited – that only five percent of families where both parents work are poor – and said that 65 percent of poor families are working families.
She added that there are 870,000 poor children in Israel, more than any other Western country.
“This is an economic and national mistake, evil for its own sake, and a total detachment from people’s regular lives,” Yacimovich wrote.  Jerusalem Post

But my big question concerns to silence from Lapid's buddy, Naftali Bennett. A large portion of Bennett's NRP-aka Bayit Yehudi voters will be losing thousands of shekels a year in this government decision.  Ignored by Lapid, Netanyahu and Bennett, who is also in the government coalition, is the fact that many, many families that will be losing thousands of shekels a year are from the dati Le'umi, national religious portion of the population.  They voted on the whole for NRP and Likud.  There's a good chance they won't be able to afford to make that mistake again.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's the Real Threat to World Peace?

While the United States, United Nations, Europe etc are busy trying to destroy Jewish homes like these in its campaign for faux peace, sic:

The Iranians are still developing its nuclear arsenal.
Iran is edging closer toward its goal of nuclear weapons possession and is leading the already deeply unstable Middle East region down a path to a new crisis.
The warning signs are being drowned out somewhat by the horrors of the Syrian civil war and deteriorating unrest in Egypt, but they are present for any observer to see.
Egypt is in total turmoil.

If democratisation doesn’t work then groups like al Qaeda will have a field day as they will say the only way is revolution, you will not get your way if you take the democratic path because you will be ousted from power.
President Morsi’s government did not do well. It was inefficient, it concentrated power but it was democratically elected.

Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/egypt-analysis-paul-rogers-violence-2169332#ixzz2cPBLhbSk
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook
Also in Egypt, "At least 24 Egyptian policemen have been killed in an ambush attack in the Sinai peninsula, say reports."

Syrian refugees are fleeing.
Thousands of refugees from Syria are pouring over the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, the UN refugee agency says.
Up to 10,000 crossed at Peshkhabour on Saturday, bringing the total influx since Thursday to 20,000. The UN says the reasons are not fully clear.
Dry Bones
And what does the world focus on?
Israeli "settlements," sic.

Israel is being bullied, and our politicians are just amoral or should I say immoral humans who have no great national Jewish vision nor ideals.  Just like their misguided foreign gurus, their concentrating their judicial and governmental anger on innocent idealists, like Boaz Albert.
They wanted to arrest him.  He had no weapons, and he didn't resist with violence.  He laid down on the floor.  All the police had to do was lift him at his head and his feet and carry him out.
But they brought with them -- outrageously -- a taser unit.  A taser gun is an electroshock unit that causes pain and temporarily stuns its victim; it is used to subdue a dangerous or fleeing individual.  It can be used by discharging electrical impulses near the body, which then enters the body.  Or it can be used with prongs that actually enter the body.
Instead of fighting our enemies, they use their firepower on the little boy who announced that "the emperor is naked."  And all we can do is keep on shouting that our politicians running the government are no wiser than the foolish vain emperor in the fairy tale.  They are stark raving naked!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Israel and That "One-Dollar Solid Gold Watch"

In "Guys and Dolls," a favorite show of mine, there's short running gag about people, chumps, more willing to buy a "one dollar solid gold watch," rather that going to a "prayer meeting."

Israeli politicians and the media have been trying to sell us a "one dollar solid gold watch" for years.  There was a time when many Israelis firmly believed that they could get such a bargain, and they mocked us who called them chumps.  But now polls are showing that the vast majority of Israelis no longer trust those salesmen.
A new Israel Hayom poll shows that the vast majority of Israeli Jews believe the newly launched talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are a futile endeavor.
The poll was conducted by New Wave Research on Aug. 14 from a representative and random sample of 500 Hebrew-speaking Jews, aged 18 and up. It had a 4.4 percent margin of error.
Some 79.7% of respondents said the talks would not end with a permanent peace accord that would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just 6.2% said such an agreement would be reached, and 14.1% said they had no opinion.
In a similar poll in July, 73.1% said negotiations would not lead to a peace agreement, while only 5.3% said the talks would conclude with a deal, and 21.6% had no opinion. Israel Hayom
Unfortunately, they still think they can find a solid gold watch for a bargain price some place.
Sarah... should you be able to
bend a solid gold watch?
Some 62.9% of respondents said they would have preferred it if Israel had announced a settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem, instead of agreeing to a prisoner release. Eleven percent said Israel made the right decision by opting for a prisoner release over a construction moratorium, and 25.8% had no opinion. It should be noted that the respondents were given a hypothetical scenario in which Israel was presented with an either/or choice.

There is still some illogic in your typical Israeli mind.  Why do my fellow citizens continue to believe that we can negotiate peace with people who want us destroyed?  The aim of the Arabs is another Holocaust, this time  against the Jewish population in the Land of Israel.

I am not in the market for a one-dollar solid gold watch. Guys and Dolls

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Those Jerusalem Views, Always Changing

In 1969 I came to Israel to be a student at Machon Greenberg in Jerusalem.  At the time I had many friends doing the year at Hebrew University.  Most of them were housed in brand new dormitories, called "Shikunei Elef" at the edge of the Givat Ram campus near the orchards that separated the campus from Givat Mordechai and Bayit Vegan. The buildings were long, thin rectangles on barren land.

I spent a Shabbat with one of my friends, and in the afternoon we walked from her dorm through the orchards to Givat Mordechai to see friends of hers.  Two years later I was married, a mother and we lived in a top floor walk-up on Rechov Bayit Vegan which davka overlooked Shikunei Elef.  During the ten years we lived there, I was able to observe how the university's landscaping department managed to camouflage those plain buildings. 

I hadn't seen them for a long time until last week when I visited a friend who lives in the Senior Citizens Residences of the Shalom Hotel.  During the time we lived in Bayit Vegan we also saw the hotel under construction.

Now Shikunei Elef is hidden by greenery. I remember when the buildings were new; now they're among the oldest you can see.

My friend and I went out on the terrace and I was mesmerized by the view.  It was the same basic view I had from my old apartment.  That's for sure, because you can't see our building from there.  I walked around and tried to see from the sides, but it blocks our old building.

The Shalom Hotel has two buildings.  In between is the swimming pool.  I couldn't get a picture of our old home.  It's blocked by the other building.

There's so much building going on in Jerusalem.

It doesn't matter how many apartments are built.  Housing prices still go up in Jerusalem.  Supply never reaches demand, because the more there is, the more people want to be in Jerusalem.

When we moved to Bayit Vegan in 1971, it was considered a suburban, almost country-like neighborhood.  There's little to remind anyone of that today, except for the tall trees in the park near our old building.

This picture is taken on Rechov Uziel, under our Rechov Bayit Vegan.  Our old building is hidden by the trees. When we lived there, we were next to the large park/playground that connected the two streets.  There was just an empty lot in-between us and the park.  I could even see my kids playing there from our apartment.  You can't do that today.  Just as we were planning our move to Shiloh building began on an apartment house on that empty lot.

Nothing stays the same in Jerusalem.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hot August Havel Havelim

For many of us it's the end of the summer.  At work, in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, we're busy selling off summer clothes at great prices to make room for both school clothes and Holiday clothes for Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur and Succot. In addition the local Muslims have been buying clothes for their holiday and their children's school clothes. It's hectic to say the least.  None of that will keep me back from hosting this week's Havel Havelim, the veteran Jewish blog carnival.

I'm the "default" blog for the new weekly Havel Havelim, the international Jewish blog round-up aka carnival.  In principle Havel Havelim is a floating blog carnival hosted by various Jewish and Israeli bloggers every week in time for Shabbat, but it may be posted as late as Sunday your time.

If you'd like to host an edition, please let me know, thanks.  We communicate via our  facebook page.  Hosts are to post links submitted (just edit out any spam) and you may and should add any other suitable links you've found over the previous week.  It's really easy to host.  Your base is the blog carnival's "instacarnival" and you just add additional posts and pictures from posts if you want.  I'll coach you through it if necessary, so don't fear.
Jewish-Israel blog carnival aka Havel Havalim
Submit your posts by clicking here.
and Please add the logo to your blog's sidebar.
I'm going to use the format Rafi used, just posting tempting titles to encourage getting to know new and different blogs.

Aliyah Anniversary Season, Making More History
Coming Home....Twenty Years
One Has Flown The Nest
The Kotel through [some of] the ages
Is Danny Danon the Second Coming?
It Was Forty-Three 43 Years Ago Today....
Show your Excitement
#blogElul 9: Hear
Shanah Rishona Guilt
Who Needs Arab Nationalists when We've got the Peres Peace Center?
Everything that Hashem has spoken we shall do (Shemos [Ex.] 19:8): On The Anti-Jewishness Of The Israeli Establishment
Chief Rabbis Anyone?
Finally, Some Pool Time
"Inquiring Minds Want to Know..."
the problems of a three-day yomtov
Mourning, Comfort and Forgiving
Hidabroot Women at Rachel's Tomb
Jerusalem’s New Water Park
Time Marches On
Growing Older..Do you regret or are you proud?
August Jewish Book Carnival  (Could someone please tell me how to participate in this carnival?  I also review Jewish books, thanks.)    

Next week's  Havel Havelim will be at  Ruti's Ki Yachol Nuchal!         
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of jewish-israel blog carnival aka havel havelim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Mockery of Justice, Releasing Arab Terrorist Murderers and Those Who Attempted Murder

I'm a firm believer in capital punishment, the death penalty.  Unfortunately Israel has only practiced it once when it executed Eichmann.  According to Israeli law, the death penalty is only to be used against Nazis, and the law has never been amended to include Arab terrorists who are even more dangerous.

The media, both international and Israeli, keep referring to the convicted Arab terrorists being released to encourage sic the terrorist representatives to talk to us as just innocuous, benign-sounding "prisoners."  They could be white-collar clerks caught pilfering staples or shoplifters who took too much bubblegum for all the media tells us.

I'm not in favor of comparing this illogical, dangerous act, the release of terrorist murderers with Jonathan Pollard or Jews jailed in Israel.  That's why I haven't joined any of the campaigns to free Pollard from American jail or Jewish Israelis jailed for various security breaches.  None of them are terrorists so they shouldn't be considered in parallel/similar status.

The State of Israel is making a terribly dangerous mistake in releasing the convicted Arab terrorists.  That's what they are "convicted Arab terrorists."  Keep repeating that over and over.  There's a big difference between a "prisoner" and a "convicted Arab terrorist."  One is a "prisoner" before being tried and convicted.  Quite often people are imprisoned by mistake.  These terrorists were captured, tried and convicted.  Most if not all should have had been immediately executed after conviction.

Releasing convicted Arab terrorists, no matter what Israel would get "in return" is dangerous and demonstrates that the State of Israel does not value its citizens, security, justice or sovereignty.

Convoy of released Arab terrorists
Photo Credit: Flash90
Two convoys left the Ayalon prison on Tuesday night at around 9 pm, carry 26 terrorists who were released as the first part of an Israeli gesture to the Palestinian Authority.
One convoy, carrying 15 terrorists traveled to the Erez junction, near Gaza, where those terrorists were released. The second convoy, carrying 11 terrorists, went to Ofer prison, and then on to the Beitunia checkpoint. The conveys reached their destinations after midnight.
Palestinian Authority Arabs have gathered to greet the terrorists upon their arrival. Over 1000 Arabs have gathered at the Muqata in Ramallah to greet the freed terrorists, and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be leading a welcoming ceremony.

The implied and easy to predict dangers make me wonder about the patriotism and morals of all of the politicians and government officials involved.  They are the same people who try to marginalize what they refer to as "the settlers," aka people like myself.  In the years leading up to the Nazi invasion of Europe and the Holocaust, people like Ze'ev Jabotinsky repeatedly warned European Jewry to leave and move to Israel.  Not only was he ignored and mocked in Europe, but the dominant Labor Zionists did their best to attack and marginalize him and his Revisionist followers.  In the end it was Jabotinsky whose analyses of the situation that was correct.

We're still fighting the same war, just a different battle.  G-d willing we will soon be victorious.