Hamas War

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Passover Lesson for Today and Always


In the mitzvot/instructions for celebrating the Holiday of Passover, חג פסח, חג חרות The Holiday of Herurt--The Engraving of Gd's Commandments into Our Souls and Beings, we are told to feel as if we exited from Egypt. We should not be disengaged from what happened to our ancestors, because they are us, and we are them.

Chazal, our Sages say that all Jewish Souls, including those who are righteous converts to Judaism were together at Mount Sinai pledging:
נעשה ונשמע
Na'aseh v'Nishmah
We will do and we will listen/obey
Also many (if not most) of the mitzvot/commandments Gd commanded us have the "because I took you out of the Land of Egypt" in their wording.

We are connected.
We are one People.
We pray in the plural.
Jewish History happened to us, too, and it can happen again, the rewards and the punishments.

We must never take for granted that no matter what we do, Gd will save us. That's a distortion of the truth. Gd will make sure a remnant remains to begin anew, but if we do not follow Gd's commandments, then we may find ourselves yet again exiled.

This is a very special year on the Jewish Calendar. It happens rarely. All Jews are required to eat  food Kosher for Passover for eight days. Normally, in Israel the restrictions are for seven days only, while out of Israel they have an additional day, but this year the day after Passover is Shabbat and we can't prepare chametz, nor can we open the chametz closets until a couple of hours after Shabbat. So, we are all united.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach
Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach

Arutz 7 Readers Like This Blog

Arutz Sheva

Yet again, I see that I have three out of the six most popular blog posts on the Arutz 7 Blog page.

Popular Posts

Almost daily I copy posts from here and repost them on Arutz 7. Arutz 7 is a very popular news site. I've been blogging on it on and off from when they first invited bloggers to blog on it.

In those days the site was complicated and annoying to use for us bloggers, and eventually I just gave up and stopped. Then a couple of years ago, when Ari Soffer took over as Arutz Sheva's Managing Editor, he asked me resume blogging, which I did. Considering the popularity of my blog posts with Arutz 7 readers, I guess it was a good move for both of us. Most of the time, I see that two of my posts are usually on the top six, which is still impressive and a real vote of confidence.

I can't say how many people read my opinion pieces aka blog posts, because not only do many appear on Arutz 7 where I can't see the stats, but the Jewish Press also posts me. They choose the articles, and sometimes I post of the Jerusalem Post, which has an awfully annoying/difficult posting site and rules about photos. The only photos I can post there are my own.

Since in a few hours, less than ten will be chag/holiday, the last of Pesach immediately followed by Shabbat, so I don't know if I'll be able to find the time to write a better article.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Republicans More Pro-Israel than Democrats

My gut feeling about the antipathy and unreliability of the American Democrats towards the State of Israel is shown in the numbers in this article:
The US may offer Israel the ‘largest single pledge’ of military assistance in US history
Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons were behind the letter, which was signed by 51 Republican and 32 Democratic senators*.
Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz was one of the signatories, while Sanders was not.
And besides those numbers, don't forget that POTUS wannabe Bernie Sanders has not shown support for the bill.

I have no doubt that the timing of the bill is connected to the campaign, but the important thing to remember is that the two Democratic frontrunners are extremely problematic when it comes to Israel. It is beyond ambivalence or neutrality. Hillary Clinton has a long history of anti-Israel policies and statements. She also has some gevaltik pro-Israel (or good faker) speechwriters, so listening to Hillary talk, you'd think she's the epitome of pro-Israel, but it's an act. As the late President Ronald Reagan was known to say, "I don't know how someone not an actor can be President." (Sorry for the paraphrasing, but I haven't found the exact quotation online.)

And radical Leftist Bernie Sanders has shown and stated much more sympathy and understanding for the Arabs, even the Gazan terrorists, than for Israel and Israelis.

Just because they mantra over and over that they love Israel and are pro-Israel means nothing. It's just words! Think of abusers who claim "love" as they beat and punish their victims!

One thing, no doubt, is that the Republican frontrunners will be better for Israel than the Democrats, especially since the Bush Machine does not control them. I am very relieved that the grassroot Republican voters defeated the Bush Machine in the early primaries.

*emphasis mine

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

No Peace, Because The Arabs Don't Want It!

Just be pragmatic, please.

There is nothing Israel can do or offer to "make peace" with the Arabs here. And only once Israel accepts this reality, will the terror calm down. Because part of this acceptance is to admit that the Arab terrorists are not ordinary criminals with legal rights to defend themselves. They are fantastic ideological monsters lacking in accepted human values. Their murderous terror does not come from poverty and hopelessness.
Bus bomber's family: 'Only you Israelis are guilty'
Terrorist's family tells Israeli media bombing was 'self-defense,' reveals 19-year-old terrorist grew up with wealth and had his own car. (Arutz 7)
Bus bombed by Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The affluent are as dangerous, if not more so, as the poor. They are supported by the academics and the "pets" of the international anti-Semites masquerading as humanist idealistic dogooders.

Don't forget that so-called "moderate" sic Mahmoud Abbas  President of the PA-Palestinian Authority  is supporting terror mastermind  for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Palestinian Authority backs convicted killer for Nobel Peace Prize
Palestinian leaders have offered up an unlikely candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize: A man serving five life sentences for murder.
Marwan Barghouti, who founded al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and is called “the Palestinian Mandela,” was convicted in 2004 of five counts of murder – including a 2002 attack at a Tel Aviv seafood market in which three civilians were killed. While in prison, he has toyed with running for president and polls suggest he would win if it were up to the voters. (Fox)
Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, (c.), remains wildly popular among Palestinians despite being imprisoned for life. (Reuters)
I will be perfectly honest when I say that Israel is to blame for the success and acceptance of Arab terrorism, because it tolerates Abbas and his ilk. There must be ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ALL ACTS OF ARAB TERROR AND SUPPORT OF ARAB TERROR. Also, the acceptance of negotiations with the PA etc must stop. All of it endangers Jewish and Israeli life, security and sovereignty.

Read their lips:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Is There Another Holocaust on The Horizon?

Anne Frank pictured in 1940
Adolf Eichmann
Unlike many of my peers of Jewish Ashkenaz-European background, I wasn't raised with any Holocaust awareness, stories, survivors etc. You can stress the "awareness," because I knew absolutely nothing about targeted Jewish death/murder in Europe during World War Two until the Diary of Anne Frank got a lot of publicity when made into a movie in the late 1950's and after that the Eichmann capture and Trial at around the same time. There may have been some earlier mentions in Hebrew School, but I did not feel particularly connected.

Last week, just before Passover, when I was sitting shiva for my father, many of the comforters who came to the shiva were surprised that my paternal grandfather's family, the Spiegelman's of Neshelsk/Nasielsk, Poland had moved lock, stock and barrel to New York well before Hitler had taken over Germany. My father and his two siblings had grown up with two sets of grandparents, also his mother's parents and most of his aunts (and families) had left Rogotshov, Belarus, well before the Holocaust, and lots of cousins on both sides.

So many other Jewish families are plagued and haunted by stories of grandparents, great-grandparents who refused to read the writing on the wall, were opposed to Zionism and even refused the precious visas that their relatives had gotten for them to facilitate moving away from Europe. They refused to recognize the dangers that were sprouting around them. There had to be some GD given wisdom in my great-grandparents to have made the decision to leave.

Deja vu...  Today, when I read the news I see that the future will only get worse for Jews all over the world.  It is so obvious to me. The "best" universities in the United States delegitimize the State of Israel, support BDS and Arab terrorism against us, and that includes me personally and all my family and friends. Nobody today is surprised when yet another antisemitic/anti-Israel statement comes of the United Nations and other international and foreign bodies. We all shrug our shoulders; so, what else is new? We've lost the ability to be shocked at the antipathy that Isrel suffers from all the time all over the world. Another Israeli official is threatened by a foreign country with a lawsuit for alleged terror? Big deal, not the first time.

We shouldn't let these things roll off like liquid on teflon. We should be fighting it and World Jewry should be on their way home to the HolyLand!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Passover Story, Jewish Slaves, Nothing Like Pre-Civil War America

a very typical depiction of what is known as Jewish slavery in Egypt

Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago I posted a series of articles about the true meaning of the Hebrew word חרות HERUT.

חרות Cherut/Herut is Not Freedom!

Guest Post by Atara Snowbell on חרות Herut

In a sense this is a continuation of my quest to properly understand the Hebrew terminology and not get it confused with modern, or more recent history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy.

It has always seemed that people, when growing up in New York and here in Israel, have made some confusing and most probably totally inaccurate image of what both "series" were.

black slaves hard at work

That's because both in Hebrew and in English the same word is used for the status of both, slaves and עבדים avadim. The lack of choice and personal freedom may have been very similar, but their status and how they became slaves were totally differnt.

I had tried to explain that to my neighbors at our weekly Shabbat class, the shiur nashim, many of you have read about. Please remember that the black slaves in America and other parts of the world were human beings who had been (or their parents/grandparents etc) rounded up and captured like animals from their native Africa and then sold as "work animals" to those looking for servants/workers etc. Because of their dark, unfamiliar color and the fact that they had been captured in the jungle, the "white men" considered them as trainable apes who were non or sub-human. And that is one of the reasons the discrimination against them continued long after the American Civil War when it became illegal to own a human being.

In Biblical Egypt the Jews were not slaves in that sense. The history of how they arrived in Egypt is well-known. During a time of famine, Jacob's children and grandchildren accepted the generous offer of the Pharaoh of the time to move lock, stock and barrel to Goshen, a very fertile area in Egypt, because Pharaoh's Viceroy was Jacob's son Joseph. As explained in the Bible, after a few decades "there was a new Pharaoh who didn't know/remember Josef" and didn't remember/recognize the promise/contract that had been made with Jacob way back when.

The result was more like Hitler's antisemitic laws that discriminated against Jews and forced them from their homes in pre-World War Two Germany. Life in a Concentration Camp, or especially a Forced Labor Camp could be considered more like the Jewish slaves in Egypt during the time of the Bible.

I will end this here to give you some food for thought and sincerely appreciate your comments about it.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Caroline Glick's "Our estranged generals"

Considering the lateness of the hour after chag rishon Pesach/Shabbat and the fact that after sitting shiva for my father most of this week, I am having trouble concentrating on the news and thinking of something interesting to writ, I'm copying here Caroline Glick's latest article/op-ed from the Jerusalem Post:

Our generals are not on the same page as the rest of us. In fact, they aren’t even reading the same book.

IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot (R), Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit:GPO)

It's been a long time in coming, but it finally happened.

The IDF General Staff has lost the public trust.

This is terrible for the General Staff. But it is more terrible for the country, because the public is right not to trust our military leaders. They have earned our distrust fair and square.

The final straw came in less than optimal circumstances.

But such is life. Things are never cut and dry. On Purim, Sgt. Elor Azaria killed a terrorist in Hebron as he lay on the ground, shot, following his attempted murder of one of Azaria’s comrades.

Still today, we don’t know whether Azaria acted properly or improperly. He claims that he believed the terrorist had a bomb beneath the heavy jacket he was wearing in the middle of a heat wave.

Azaria claims that he shot him because he feared that the terrorist – who was moving – was trying to detonate the bomb. This view was shared by emergency personnel at the scene caring for the wounded soldier.

But even before he had a chance to tell his story, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had already declared Azaria guilty of murder. Based on an initial field investigation and a snuff film produced by the European-funded anti-Israel group B’Tselem, Eisenkot and Ya’alon excoriated Azaria and pronounced the soldier, who was decorated for his service just last year, a rotten apple.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially joined them in their condemnations. But when he realized that the public wasn’t buying it and that the evidence was far from cut and dry, to his credit, Netanyahu walked back his remarks.

Ya’alon and Eisenkot, in contrast, have refused to let the uncertainty of the situation affect them.
Their continued assaults on the soldier have compounded the damage. Their stubborn refusal to give Azaria the benefit of the doubt and admit that he may well have comported himself properly indicates that they have no idea how their statements are being viewed by the public, or worse, they may not care. They may simply be playing for another audience.

And here lies the beginning of the real problem.

For the public – including the five thousand citizens who came to the support rally for Azaria at Rabin Square on Tuesday – the critical moment was when the film of Azaria being led away from the scene in handcuffs was broadcast on the evening news. That image, of a combat soldier who killed a terrorist being treated like a criminal, was the breaking point for the public. Whether he was guilty or innocent was beside the point. The point was that his commanders – beginning with the defense minister and the chief of General Staff – were treating him like a criminal instead of a combat soldier on the front lines defending our country from an enemy that seeks our destruction.

This image, combined with Ya’alon’s and Eisenkot’s increasingly shrill and caustic condemnations of Azaria, was a breach of the social contract between the IDF and the public. That social contract says that we serve in the IDF. We send our children to serve in the IDF. And the IDF values us and values our sons and daughters as its own.

The sense that our generals are not on the same page as the rest of us has been gnawing at us since at least April 2002, in the aftermath of the battle in Jenin, during the course of Operation Defensive Shield.

Back then, fearing CNN and the UN, IDF commanders sent a reserve battalion into Jenin refugee camp, the epicenter of the Palestinian murder machine, without air cover and without armored vehicles. Thirteen reservists were killed in one day. Twenty-three soldiers were killed in the three-day battle.

The sense of alienation continued through the war in Lebanon four years later when the IDF conducted one of the most inept campaigns in its history. Soldiers were sent willy-nilly into battles with no strategic purpose because the General Staff wanted to “stage a picture of victory.”

This sense has been maintained in successive inconclusive campaigns in Gaza.

Now, with the General Staff’s decision to turn Azaria into a scapegoat at a time when it is failing to defeat the Palestinian terrorist wave in Judea and Samaria, that gnawing sense that something is amiss has become a certainty.

Our generals are not on the same page as the rest of us. In fact, they aren’t even reading the same book.

Our generals are motivated by three impulses and strategic assumptions that are not shared by the majority of Israelis.

The first of those is their willingness to sacrifice soldiers in battles, and, in the case of Azaria, in show trials, in the hopes of winning the support of the Europeans and other Western elites. This impulse is not simply problematic. It is insane, because for more than a decade, it has been continuously proven futile.

At least since the battle in Jenin, it has been abundantly obvious that the Europeans will never support us. The Europeans, along with the UN and the Western media, ignored completely the lengths Israel went to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties in Jenin. They accused us of committing a Nazi-style massacre despite the fact that not only wasn’t there a shred of evidence to back their wild allegations. There were mountains of evidence proving the opposite. The Palestinians were massacring Israelis and would have continued to do so, had the IDF not retaken their population centers and so ended their ability to strike us at will.

And yet, despite the trail of UN blood libels from Jenin to the Goldstone Report and beyond, despite the faked media images of purported IDF bombings of civilians in Lebanon and Gaza, despite the hostility of EU diplomats and politicians and the open anti-Semitism of the European media and public, our generals still care what these people think about us.

Eisenkot and his generals still believe that by giving soldiers sometimes life-threateningly limited rules of engagement, by forcing every battalion commander to have a legal adviser approve his targeting decisions, the Europeans will be convinced that they should stop supporting our enemies.

The second impulse separating our generals from us is that almost to a man, members of the General Staff want a Palestinian state to be established in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and they want that state to be joined in some way with Gaza.

After 15 years of Palestinian terrorism and political warfare, our security brass still believe that the PLO is Israel’s partner. It doesn’t matter to them that the PLO is driving the current wave of terrorism just as it drove all the previous ones.

This is the reason that Eisenkot and his ideologically driven generals insist that we leave the Palestinian population centers after we spent so much blood and treasure fighting our way into them 14 years ago.

This is the reason that while Eisenkot and his generals insist that the PA security services are helping us fight terrorism even though no help would be necessary if the PA wasn’t inciting terrorism.
The generals’ stubborn faith in the notion that Palestinian terrorists who seek the destruction of our country will magically be transformed into allies the minute we turn the keys to our security over to them, sets them apart from the vast majority of Israelis.

Most Israelis support a theoretical Palestinian state that is at peace with us. Most Israelis would be willing to give up substantial amounts of territory if doing so would bring peace with the Palestinians.
But most Israelis also recognize that the Palestinians are not interested in peace with us and as a consequence, it makes no sense to give them any land. Most Israelis recognize that you can’t trust the good intentions of leaders who tell their school-age children to stab our school-age children.

The third impulse separating our generals from the public is their embrace and glorification of weakness. On every front, for more than 20 years, members of the General Staff have embraced the notion that there is no military solution to any of the security threats facing the country.

Until the Syrian civil war, the generals believed that if we left northern Israel vulnerable to attack and invasion by giving the Assad dynasty the Golan Heights, then the Assads would be magically convinced to ditch their Iranian sponsors and make common cause with an Israel that could no longer defend itself.

They have opposed attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, insisting that we can trust the US, even though it has been obvious for years that the US would take no action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

As for the US, the IDF embraces strategic dependency on the US. They insist that we can trust the Americans even though the Obama administration sided with Hamas in Operation Protective Edge.

They continue to argue that we can depend on American even though the Obama administration is actively enabling Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Utterly foreign to them is the notion that Israel would strengthen its alliance with the US by acting independently against Iran’s nuclear facilities, because doing so would prove that Israel is not a strategic basket case but a regional power that commands respect.

They oppose destroying Hamas’s military capabilities.

As a consequence, they have conducted four campaigns in Gaza since the 2005 withdrawal that all lacked a concept of victory. And by the way, the General Staff enthusiastically supported the strategically irrational withdrawal from Gaza.

When the public gets angry at our generals for not striving to defeat Hamas, for instance, they look at us like we fell off of Mars. Why would they want to defeat Hamas? Their job is to contain Hamas. And they are doing their job so well that Hamas managed to dig a tunnel right under their feet.

What explains our generals’ embrace of positions that most Israelis reject? Why are they willing to sacrifice soldiers and embrace Orwellian notions that weakness rather than strength is the key to peace? It is hard to say. Perhaps it’s groupthink. Perhaps it’s the selection process. Perhaps it’s overexposure to Europeans or Americans. Perhaps they are radicals in uniforms. Perhaps it is none of those things.

But whatever the cause of their behavior, the fact is that behavior has alienated them from Israeli society. In treating Palestinian terrorists with more respect than it accords its own soldiers, the IDF General Staff is earning the public’s fury. And in their contemptuous dismissal of the public’s loss of trust, our generals – including Ya’alon – are demonstrating that they have become strangers to their own society. This of course is a calamity.

The IDF lost the public’s trust at Purim. Let us hope that at Passover, our generals will leave their bubble and begin repairing the damage they caused. They are not in Europe. They are here.
And they need to be with us.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L, 1920-2016, As An Israeli

My late father and I on the plane to Israel when he made aliyah in 2009

One of the reasons I was glad to be privileged to sit shiva for my my father here in Shiloh is because he lived here with us for close to a year and had many friends.

Around Rosh Hashana of 2009, my mother had fallen badly and needed to be in rehab for a month. My father was in no condition to live on his own, so it was decided that I would bring him on aliyah, which is blogged about quite a bit way back when.
Aliyah To The Land of Israel At 89
It certainly wasn't an easy thing, but with the help and support of my children, husband, cousins and neighbors, I think we gave my father a wonderful experience. His brains cells may not have remembered it for long, but for sure my family here and neighbors certainly do. Many of the neighbors who came these past few days to menachem avel, comfort the mourner told me how much they had liked him and admired him.

Casting A Shadow
We had planned/expected/hoped to have my mother along with him here in Israel within a few months, but it just didn't happen. That's why after less than a year, we packed all but his heavy winter coat and took him to live in Arizona, with my mother and near my sister, who then had responsibility for both my parents.

I Explained That They Were Like Spies
But while my father was here in Shiloh he joined in all of our activities. One was the annual visit of "the spies."

Dementia is a very strange and variable condition. I'll have to blog more about it at a later time, but I must say that although my father hadn't been able to take full responsibility for himself for many years before he came to live with us, his "social genes/brain cells" were unaffected. Many people who got to know him during the time he had lived with us were completely unaware that he suffered from dementia. He could still win playing cards. His game of choice was "Casino," which requires planning and addition. That was a favorite in his family for kids and suited his CPA mind.

Keeping Busy, Arts, Crafts and Exercise
I must say that the father I had live with us was not the same father who had raised me. When I was growing up he was busy and stressed out working, supporting the family. But decades later--remember that I was already a grandmother--I got to meet a really wonderful loving person. I had to stop working that year, and although we really didn't have enough income to live on, it was a year of great value for the entire family and our Shiloh neighborhood.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Father, Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L

I am sitting shiva for my father until Friday noon. His funeral will be in New York on Friday, but I'm not traveling in for it.

My parents and I over ten years ago or more, maybe even twenty years ago. In a few months it will be three years since my mother, Shirley Spiegelman, passed away.

I was always certain that my father would live forever. He was a powerful person in his way, and he survived war and illnesses, even recently. The doctors were amazed by him. But in the end, he had enough. He never liked being idle. He wasn't a spectator and didn't watch sports at all. I remember that a cousin's husband kept trying to convince him to bring my brother to watch a baseball game with him and his sons. He finally did it once, but that was it. My father liked to be active. Once he and I went with a friend of his and his daughters on a fishing trip. They rented a boat and we caught fish to bring back home to cook. I wouldn't touch the live bait, so he'd put the bait on on the hook, and I fished and even caught some. That was fun.

Sitting in an audience watching wasn't his thing, except if it was to accompany my mother to a play. She loved the theater. I don't know how much he enjoyed watching plays, but he loved my mother and would go wherever she went. During one of my visits to New York without my kids, when my parents were still functioning pretty well, we went to a folk music production on the shore of Steppingstone Park in Great Neck. It was one of those settings in which you sat in your own picnic/beach chairs you had brought along. My father immediately fell asleep and slept through the entire show. Afterwards he complained about the music, but he would not have been happy staying home alone. He liked people and was never put off by strangers.

We have my father's album from the time he was in the US Navy. He was on the western, the Pacific front and went to Japan, Manila and more. He returned home rather cynical about war and fighting. Before being drafted he had rushed himself through City College, NYC, because he knew that war and military service was imminent. He wanted to be an officer in the US Navy, to enlist and be able to choose the basic type of service, rather being drafted and be at the mercy of the military bureaucracy. For that he needed more than the university degree, he needed to find a way to hide the fact that one of his eyes was much weaker than the other. And that, too, he succeeded in doing.

The US Navy trained my father in electrical engineering, and on the ships he had to figure out how to assemble, use and repair radar. "Problem solving" was a specialty. Also when he did his CPA exam as an accountant, the first section he managed to pass was the "problem solving," not the laws and basic calculations. He could figure things out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sidney Spiegelman, 1920-2016, 5680-5776

Baruch Dayan Haemet ברוך דיין האמת

My father, Sidney Spiegelman, passed away yesterday after a long active life.

He was born in Brooklyn, NY, to parents born in Nasielsk, Poland and Rogotshov, Belarus.

During World War Two, my father served in the United States Navy and was involved with early radar systems, assembling and running them from the ships in the Pacific Ocean. He was saved from almost certain death when unexpectedly transferred from the USS Indianapolis just weeks before it was torpedoed. He told me that his transfer had been due to the fact that he was a good card player, learned from his father. Apparently there had been informal gambling--playing for money among the crew, and some higher up officers owed him a lot. They had him transferred to avoid payment.

After the war, he married my mother, Shirley Shankman, also of Brooklyn, whom he had met briefly before being drafted. They were married from March, 1948 until her death in June, 2013, sixty-five years. He adored her to the end.

I'll write more in later posts, Gd willing. My father's funeral will be on Friday, before Passover, in New York. Since I can't travel in for it, I'm sitting shiva at home in Shiloh at present until before the Holiday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Deja Vu, Arab Terrorists Blowing Up Buses and Innocent Jews

Yes, again.

Yesterday at work, one of the staff, who gets news alerts suddenly reported a bus explosion/bomb/terror attack. At first the police tried to explain it away as a simple "malfunction," but then they admitted that the terror attacks, the bombmakers for the suicide bombers of twenty years ago, were out of retirement.

Nati Shohat/FLash90
Police: Jerusalem public bus explosion caused by bomb
After initial confusion about the cause of the inferno, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a forensics team, aided by bomb disposal experts at the site, confirmed the fires were ignited by an explosive device. (Jerusalem Post)
This type of terror attack is so frighteningly random and deadly. I just don't have the words and energy to say more about it right now. I pray for a refuah shleimah, complete and speedy recovery for all of the innocent injured victims, and may Gd properly punish the terrorist and his trainers and supporters with painful drawn out deaths.

Late last night, after the Arab terror attack/bus bombing, Reuters posted this headline:
U.S. feels 'overwhelming frustration' with Israeli government: Biden
Yes, it's a reminder that the United States Government is NOT A FRIEND OF ISRAEL!!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pre-Passover Rant

Let's start with the basic and true that I'm an awful housekeeper, always was and I guess I'll always be one.
my kitchen in Passover mode

this is chametz
A lot of what's accepted as "cleaning for Passover" has absolutely nothing to do with ridding the house of the forbidden Chametz.
Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and "rise.”
In practice, just about anything made from these grains—other than Passover matzah, which is carefully controlled to avoid leavening—is to be considered chametz. This includes flour (even before it is mixed with water1), cake, cookies, pasta, breads and items that have chametz as an ingredient, like malt. (Chabad)
And a lot of products that proudly and sometimes more expensively display "Kosher for Passover" labels and certification have absolutely nothing to do with chametz at all, no matter how and where it's produced. I'm happy to have found this list, NON-FOOD ITEMS – 2016, OU Kosher Staff:
The consensus of the OU’s poskim (rabbinic authorities) is that the following may be used on Passover without certification:
Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil baking pans
Baby ointments
Bags (paper or plastic)
Body wash
Bowl and tub cleaners
Carpet cleaners
Copper and metal cleaners  
Cosmetics (except possibly lipsticks, see below)
Cupcake holders
Cups (paper, plastic or styrofoam)
Dishwashing Detergents
Drain openers
Fabric protectors
Furniture polish
Glass cleaners
Hair gels, sprays and mousse 
Hair removers and treatments
Isopropyl alcohol
Jewelry polish
Laundry detergents
Napkins (paper)
Oven cleaners 
Paper towels
Plastic containers
Plates (paper, plastic or styrofoam)
Scouring pads and powders
Shaving cream and gel
Shaving lotion 
Silver polish 
Skin cream  
Suntan lotion
Talcum powder (100% talc)
Toilet bowl cleaner
Water filters
And to tell the truth, since I've never allowed eating in bedrooms, meaning no breakfast in bed, and my kids (and their friends) even at the youngest ages did not wander the house eating cookies, crackers, etc. there never is any actual chametz in the bedrooms. I clean what I can, but my real focus is on the kitchen. And as I wrote on my blog, A Jewish Grandmother,  Tolerance, Acceptance, Pesach Can Be Complicated.

I pray for good health and good humor. Let's not go crazy and make ourselves sick and forget that Passover is a holiday which shouldn't be tortuous.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!
Have a Happy and Kosher Passover!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Of Israeli Messianics with Pigskins

Dear fellow Israeli Jews, your children are being tackled by missionaries. JewishIsrael states this both figuratively and literally. ... more

Today’s Reality of Christian Missionizing in Israel

In the most recent Musaf Shabbat supplement of the Hebrew language newspaper, Makor Rishon, two articles were published, regarding Israel’s and the Jews’ relationships with the Christian world. ... more

UNESCO's Anti-Jewish Policy Due to Israel's Ambivalence

From my visit/ascending to Har Habayit almost two years ago
There has been a big hue and cry here in Israel about the UNESCO's Anti-Jewish Statements re: Israeli/Jewish connection to our holy sites by the very same people who are complicit in perpetuating the problem.
UNESCO adopts resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount
Resolution refers to Temple Mount area solely as Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parenthesis.
Our Jewish group waits while non-Jewish tourists are allowed
ahead of us, fewer restrictions for them
The hypocrisy really annoys me. The same people, such as Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and MK Yair Lapid, who have no problem with the rulings forbidding Jewish worship and easy access to Har Habayit complain about the UNESCO resolution.

This terrible Israeli policy, and the handing to the Wakf "the keys" soon after our miraculous 1967 victory is the reason all sorts of foreign/international and even some Israeli groups have de-judaized our holiest spot.

This anti-Jewish policy is supported by successive Israeli Governments.
"Announcement and Warning
According to Torah Law, entering the Temple Mount Area is strictly forbidden due to the holiness of the site."
In actuality, this is not entirely true. Only one tiny section is too holy to enter, and there are easy to accomplish purification tasks one can do beforehand. And if it is so holy, then why allow others to defile it with ease?

Since this Israeli Law has been in effect for decades, why should our politicians be so outraged? We've deserted our holiest site and given it to a bunch of dangerous anti-Israel terrorists!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bernie Sanders, More Radical Leftist than Jew

You can call Bernie Sanders a "mehadrin radical Leftist" and a shanda, too. And even though many Jews in the USA and Israel may find this hard to accept, he would not be good for Israel if elected President of the United States of America. And I don't know how good he'd be for the USA...

Radical anything isn't all that great. A good government cares for all. And even in the American "winner takes all" system, in which the Executive branch aka the president does not need to work with a formal coalition (the Israeli system,) most winners, regardless of their political philosophy,  find themselves moving towards the "center." For Sanders, that would probably leave him still well to the Left of Obama.  That's because Sanders is a strong dedicated ideologue, of a generation that takes its politics very seriously, like religion.

While the Carter, Bush, Obama and and other political families loved to show what dedicated churchgoers they are, we shouldn't expect that from Bernie Sanders. From what has been revealed about his religious allegiance, he lives neither as a Jew nor a Christian. As I said, his Radical Leftist ideology is his "religion." Sanders is so far removed from the Jewish American community and organizations, he hadn't a clue that his appointee as Jewish Outreach Coordinator, Simone Zimmerman would alienate him even further from mainstream Jewish America. Zimmerman’s anti-Occupation, pro-BDS stance got him less support form American Jews rather than more.

No doubt you know that I also don't want to see Hillary Clinton as United States President, and we all know that the Democrats have a pretty empty bottle of tricks this year. The only two wannabes are of retirement age.

That brings us to the other party, the Republicans. Now I know that most American Jews prefer breaking the Jewish Mitzvah of kashrut, only eating the permitted foods, but they are strict when it comes to "voting Democrat." I suggest they throw out their lobster and bacon and then try voting Republican, no matter who gets the nomination.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Know Where You Are When Reporting Danger/Attacks!

It must have had been last year, when I was on a public bus, late at night on my way home from work, and the the bus was stoned by Arab terrorists. As the driver continued driving, the safest thing to do as long as it's mechanically possible, he called in to his people to report the attack. The problem was that he really didn't know the area and couldn't describe where it had happened. In the end he gave me the phone. Remember in today's world of GPS and Waze, fewer people have a clue as to where they are; they just follow instructions/directions.

Yesterday morning before going to work I read an article on Arutz 7 about road markers being put up in Judea Samaria because of just that problem.
The blocks will function much in the same way as 'mile markers' along major US highways: to provide additional information about a motorist's - or potential terror victim's - location.
"The Engineering Division of the Judea and Samaria Division has been working on the 'mile marker' project for several months," Major Michael Biton, officer of the Engineering Division for the Binyamin Regional Brigade, stated Wednesday night.
"The project is aimed at shortening the response time to incidents unfolding in the area by creating a 'common language' between civilians and IDF forces," Biton continued. "During a rock-throwing, shooting attack, or explosion, every resident will be able to most accurately report where the accident happened, thanks to these concrete markers." (Arutz 7)
The aim is for people to notice the closest marker and give that as their location. Besides terrorist attacks this would help if the car suddenly malfunctions and people need help and rescue.

And then yesterday afternoon, on my way home, I was sitting in the front seat of a neighbor's car and saw a series of them on the road.

Ours are labeled with the letter ב (B) for the fact that we are the Benjamin Council/County, Mateh Binyamin, between Jerusalem and Samaria/Shomron.

Most drivers aren't yet aware of the significance and reason for the signs. I discovered that when I had to explain to my neighbor who is generally very well-informed.

Besides the signs, we really need better cellphone reception on the roads. A large portion of the road between Sha'ar Binyamin and Shiloh/Eli etc has no reception at all. So it doesn't help to know your location if you can't report it when stuck. Gd willing that will be taken care of sooner rather than later.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Guest Post: Shabat Table Derech Eretz

Shabbat Table Derech Eretz
a guest post by Mr. Cohen

Many years ago, I visited a very fine Orthodox family
for the Shabbat daytime seudah.
Something happened there that surprised me.

When the mother summoned her children to the
table to hear kiddush, she had to ask them nine (9)
times until they finally complied with her request! 

Since I was merely a guest, I just kept
my mouth shut and never spoke about it;
but it made a very bad impression on my mind,
and I still remember it more than ten years later.

This incident violated several Torah principles:
[1] honoring parents
[2] VeAhabta LeReacha Camocha
[3] the obligation of hearing Kiddush
[4] unnecessarily delaying a mitzvah
[5] Torah law obligates guests to obey their hosts

This incident was especially upsetting to me because
complying with the mother’s request was so easy:
there was no monetary expense, no distance to travel,
no need to learn a new skill, and no need to endure pain.

I wondered: If this is how slow they are to perform
an extremely easy mitzvah, then how slow would
they be to perform a difficult mitzvah?

When the mother (or father or host or hostess)
summons the people of the house to the table
to hear kiddush, every Jew in the house should
comply IMMEDIATELY, without needing to be asked
a fourth time or a third time or even a second time.

Similarly, when the mother (or father or host or hostess)
summons the people of the house to the table to wash
their hands, every Jew in the house should comply
IMMEDIATELY, without needing to be asked a
fourth time or a third time or even a second time.

Finally, when the father or mother says that it is
time to recite Birkat HaMazone, all Jews present
should stop talking and quickly proceed to the table,
without needing to be asked a second time.

When the father or host is singing [a zemer],
the best Derech Eretz is for the children and
guests to help him sing by singing along with him. 
The second-best Derech Eretz is for the
children and guests to remain silent and listen
while the father or host is singing.
The third-best Derech Eretz is for the children
and guests to speak to each other in low voices
that are not loud enough to interfere with
the singing of the father or host. 
The worst Derech Eretz is for the children
or guests to speak to each other in loud voices
that interfere with the singing of the father or host.

“One [New York] Times opinion editor, Matt Seaton,
even admitted last year [2014 CE] that the newspaper
has a policy of veering away from criticism of Palestinians.”

SOURCE: Final sentence of article titled: “New York Times Editor:
Coverage of Israel Most Criticized Aspect of Opinion Pages
by Shiryn Ghermezian, 2015 October 14, found in: The Algemeiner.
PLEASE help the battle against
internet anti-Semitism by
making a PayPal donation to:


Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel and Jerusalem:

Rambam Rejected Childless Messiah:


Why Muslims Hate Jews:


Forgotten Oppression against Jews:



Seven Times Stronger
(a quick quote about American anti-Semitism during the Holocaust):

How a Reform Rabbi Become Orthodox (true story):


<b>Why Barak Hullman left Reform Judaism and became Orthodox:</b>

How to Convict the New York Times
(of unfair bias against Israel):

Why Israel’s 1967 Borders are Undefendable:

How Torah Can Defeat Terrorism:
Like all things Islamic, the Palestinians have
long-been officially above criticism in the West…”

SOURCE: Useful idiots for Palestine by Pat Condell,
2011 November 4 (available for free on YouTube)

Pat Condell is an atheist, who was born in Ireland around
1950 CE, and raised in England as a Roman Catholic,
and educated in Church of England schools.
He has no Jewish ancestors and no religious beliefs
that might cause him to favor Jews.

Please help Shurat HaDin SUE the terrorists in court:

Shurat HaDin won $9.4 million in appeal against Iran for terror victims:

Shurat HaDin successfully froze over $600 million in terrorist assets:

Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook:

Shurat HaDin Wins Major Victory in Lawsuit Against Iran

PS: Please check out these pro-Israel web sites:
www.camera.org * www.HonestReporting.com * www.memri.org *
www.ActForAmerica.org * www.aish.com * www.IsraelLawCenter.org