JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jewish Nationalism and History Unique and Proves Land is Ours

Workers at the Tel Shiloh archaeological site
Recent discoveries confirm that Shiloh remained an active city for thousands of years after the Tabernacle was destroyed. 
The other day I wrote Six Days War, Lots of Memories But No Pictures  and "shared it" to a Great Neck facebook page, since it was about my high school memories. Never in a million years did I expect the post to spark a vicious/vigorous debate about Jewish rights to this Land versus the Arabs.

Actually, it's still going on. The crux is whether or not just residing in a place gives someone national rights. Here are a few of the posts I wrote:
The only independent countries/kingdoms in this part of the world were Jewish. The Turks, British, Jordanians (a truly fake invented nation) etc were all invaders and occupiers. Learn history.
Were there Turks and British 2,000 years ago? List the kings/prime ministers of an independent country in this land during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The only people/nation with a history of national aspirations for this part of the world is Jews. For all others, this land was just a place to be, but not their national homeland. Nomads passing through.
I don't think that the people arguing with me fully understand what a nation/people is, nor nationalist aspirations and history.

I certainly don't deny that there have never been non-Jews living in what we'll refer to as "the Holyland" from the time the Jewish Kingdom and Holy Temples were destroyed, invaded and occupied. But one must remember that those who ruled were occupiers/invaders, representing foreign kingdoms/countries.

The Arabs here had "city states," like there had been in Europe a few hundred years ago, but unlike Europe, they had no national aspirations and never evolved into a country. Even today, after enthusiastic and professional "mentoring" by foreigners, Arabs of Ramalla, Gaza, Shechem etc do not consider themselves as one people.  Compare that to Jews, who even two thousand years after being exiled and being forced to wander all over the world still have a united singular tradition of being a nation in this very Holyland, celebrate the same religious holidays, pray the same prayers and Bible in the same language and mourn the destruction of the same Holy Temple that stood in Jerusalem.

We Jewish People in The State of Israel aren't like any other. Our Jewish History confounds and even angers international military and economic experts. According to them, there was no way we could have survived the Holocaust. And even the countries that voted "yes" for a Jewish State in the United Nations, November 29, 1947, never expected us to survive. We had no allies, unlike the Arabs fighting us. And in 1967, our so-called friends again waited on the sidelines certain of our imminent demise. Instead of being pushed into the sea we liberated our Biblical Homeland and pushed our enemies past the Jordan River, to the Suez Canal and the the other side of the Golan Heights. Since then the "world" has put even more energy and money into inventing a "people" to replace us here in the Holyland. Unfortunately, even many Jews and Israelis have fallen for the con, the lie that we must share our tiny Homeland with Arabs who terrorize us, murder and maim.

Today our fight is more a war of words and ideas. We must stand strong and put our faith in Gd, not men and certainly not foreign leaders. In a few days we celebrate the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot, which can be translated as "Weeks" or "Oaths." Seven weeks from the Passover Holiday, and now we Swear and Oath to Gd to accept the Torah, accept the Laws Gd demands us to follow.

Chodesh Sivan Tov
Shabbat Shalom 
and Chag Sameach!

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5777, will be Sunday June 25, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jerusalem as Seen by Many

This was also posted on Israeli Blogger.


I haven't posted a Havel Havelim, Jewish Israeli blog carnival/round-up, in a very long time. And I think that today, the day after Jerusalem Day and three weeks after Israeli Independence Day is just the time to post a special Jerusalem themed edition.

Lots of bloggers have posted about Jerusalem of late, the politics, life, pictures and what the world says about the holy city. Post titles will be listed here without the name of the blog or author. I hope that makes you curious to click, read, comment and share. Enjoy.

The Ancient to Modern Story of Jerusalem
Returning to You Again
Jerusalem: Unite or divide?
What is Yom Yerushalayim, and why do we need it?
Simple Reason Why World Won't Accept Israeli Rule Over Jerusalem
A 44-Line Summary of the Miracle of The Six Day War
Celebrating Israeli Independence Day, 5777, 2017
Jerusalem Day 50 Yom Yerushalayim
BBC Middle East editor’s ‘impartiality’ on view in Jerusalem
Jerusalem – Reunited Fifty Years
My Six Days War
Czech Mates: Czech Parliament Recognizes Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital, Condemns UNESCO Resolution
Six Days War, Lots of Memories But No Pictures
The War for Jerusalem
The Six Day War: An Event of Biblical Proportions
50 Netiv HaRav Aryeh Bina (video)



And please share around the link to this post. Also, I welcome ideas for more special editions like this one, thanks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Six Days War, Lots of Memories But No Pictures

This is how I looked when in high school. I'd wear sweatshirts from NCSY or Seminars decorated with SSSJ buttons. I was the true non-conformist. No green bookbags for me!

In my last couple of years there, in Great Neck North, I became a big Jewish activist. It began when I got involved in the synagogue's NCSY chapter, which led me to SSSJ-Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, TLS-Yeshiva University Seminars and then to the Betar Zionist Youth Movement. To put it very mildly, if I didn't fit into Great Neck society before, (we only moved there in 1962 when I was thirteen 13,) the the new Zionist and Orthodox Jew was definitely an oddball and hadn't a chance in hell to ever fit in.

If someone was writing a screenplay or coming of age novel, they'd love the timing of it all, since I graduated in 1967, which for a very involved Jew and Zionist as I had become, was the perfect time to have a major crisis or change.

As high school was finishing, most of my classmates were busy with prom plans, graduation parties etc. I was just counting the days to be out of that place.

When the threats against Israel began in May, we began fundraising. One Sunday, the kids in my NCSY chapter made a "workday," and people paid us to do all sorts of chores. The payment went to NCSY's Torah Fund to be transferred to some project in Israel.

I have memories of standing outside of some Jewish event in Manhattan, holding two corners of an Israeli Flag, while someone else had the other two, and passersby put money on the flag. I think I did that with my Betar friends. I ended up joining Betar at the beginning of my senior year in high school, when Israeli Folk Dancing just wasn't enough for my budding Jewish activist and Zionist identity. 

There was also a giant meeting in Great Neck for the Jewish Community, which had the participation of all four rabbis, Rabbi Wolf from the Orthodox Great Neck Synagogue, the Conservative rabbi from Temple Israel, and the two Reform from Temples Beth El and Emanuel. I was an usher.

During the war, our class had its Senior Class Beach Day at Jones Beach, which I was required to attend. Attendance was very strict in those days. I walked around collecting money for Israel from my classmates, the Jewish ones. One, who was dating a non-Jew at the time, got into a big fight with his girlfriend when he donated. Some told me that their parents had "donated tanks" etc. Great Neck had some very wealthy people. The nickels and dimes I managed to  collect were nothing compared to the real fundraisers.

And finally, where was I when I saw the broadcast of the IDF paratroopers crying at the Kotel, Western Wall at that first moving prayer? I was across the street from my house babysitting. I'm glad the kids were all asleep, because as I heard the soldiers crying, I cried, too.

Just over three years later, I was married and we made aliyah. I just can't imagine living anyplace else but in Israel!


Here I am getting the National Standards Award from NCSY at the 1967 National Convention, just a few weeks after the Israeli Victory in the Six Days War! My dress was bright orange.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nice Zionist Patriotic Booster, Moskowitz Prize for Zionism 2017, 5777

The media is so negative when it comes to idealistic Zionism that we all need some good "booster shots" periodically, and attending the prize-giving ceremonies put together for the Moskowitz Zionism Prize are just perfect. For various reasons I hadn't been to one for a few years, and I'm glad to have come this year.



Yehoram Gaon was the MC, and he did a phenomenal job both singing and providing the necessary introductions and background. Apparently, he had been invited to perform for visiting US President Trump and entourage but respectfully declined because it was at the same time as the Moskowitz ceremony.

The Moskowitz Prize has evolved over the years. It used to be that three people got the main prizes, and the audience was full of their families, friends and admirers. The program stressed the accomplishments of these magnificent individuals and was interspersed with amazingly photogenic and kitschy performances with the backdrop of Ir David, City of David.

This year it was at the much more accessible Sultan's Pool, between Jaffa Gate/Mount Zion/Old City Walls and Yemin Moshe. And instead of a variety of awardees, there was just one, the incomparable Moshe Arens. Arens is one of the last of a generation of Israelis, originally from the states actually, who was involved in a totally amazing amount of Israeli History. Yes, he's definitely worth prize recipients, or more.


One of the highlights of the event was certainly Education Minister Naftali Bennett's speech. There was a double theme of the evening, which were that it's ten years since the prize began and the fifty years since the Liberation of Jerusalem and the Six Days War.


Bennett gave a personal aspect to this, by telling how the tension and Arab threats before the war, plus the miracles all of my generation and older remember so clearly affected his parents.  According to Bennett, pre-Six Days War, his parents were typical unaffiliated assimilated Jews living in America, but the extraordinarily miraculous Six Days War woke up their Jewish identity and changed their lives completely. That's how they ended up making aliyah and discovering Torah Judaism.

Bennett also voiced a plea to visiting American President Trump to make history and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital City.

A large proportion of the audience were teenagers. Schools came to attend, and it wasn't for the Zionism booster shot. There were some popular entertainers, two generations younger than the veteran Israeli star Yehoram Gaon. I whispered to my husband:
"Am I the only one who has never heard of these singers?"
As soon as the "concert" part of the evening began, many of us old fogeys left and went home. We had enough fun...













Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's Visit to Jerusalem- Will the Chaos Get Worse?

I have friends who live in a Trump building, and I've always been impressed by the facilities, overall conception, Trump-planned neighborhood etcetera. And to be honest, I had been hoping that he'd bring that sort of organizational talents with him to the White House. I'm sorry to say that he left them on some construction site and hasn't a clue.

None of the people Trump trusts the most have any real political experience, other than getting building and development permits. And it certainly doesn't help that the State Department and White House employees are out to sabotage all and make the Trump Administration look as idiotic as possible.

I once read an interesting and revealing article by one of JFK's close friends who had been brought into his White House administration. The writer revealed that although many of them were prominent academics, they quickly found themselves clueless on how to get Kennedy's impressive idealistic platform into reality. The real world of White House politics was totally different from how it looked from the "ivory tower." No doubt in a few years, Trump confidants will admit that running the USA is not like building a neighborhood, golf course or hotel.

And just because Jared Kushner spent some time here as a teen, it doesn't make him an expert on how to plan a visit for his father-in-law, aka POTUS- President of the United States.

The Israeli Government has experienced experts who have put together all the plans and logistics for numerous high-ranking foreign officials. It's a sign of the American overconfidence and inexperience that they didn't work together on it. Did they think they could reinvent the wheel?

The only really good thing that the Trump team did that other foreign leaders don't do as a general rule, if at all, is that he's going to see the PA-Palestinian Authority leaders in Bethlehem and not Ramalla. Whoever made that decision really deserves extra-credit for a great idea. No doubt that our friends who live south of Jerusalem and in the southern Jerusalem neighborhoods aren't happy about it, but my part of the country is overjoyed.

Trump and crew are landing here in a few hours, and then the very experienced Israeli government officials and police will take over all the logistics. The visit will inconvenience people just like the visits of  the pope, Obama and others. And since I have to be in Jerusalem today, near where Trump is planning on being, I'll report on it, too. Check out my Twitter and Instagram.

So, will the visit be worse than the usual, or after all the negative hype, will it be better?

What do you think?  And  I'm not even mentioning all the "peace" sic threats we have to deal with. 

Will the Jerusalem lightrail be running?
Will we feel like we've been hit by a speeding train?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Batsheva and King David, "Takes Two to Tango," Said The Busdriver

One of the things so very different here in Israel is that here the bus drivers are "peers," meaning "regular people," the sort who can be neighbors, friends, fellow Tanach, Bible aficionados.

There are Arab bus drivers, too, as I wrote about here, but they are the exceptions. Unlike the American Jewish society in which I was raised, here in Israel Jews aren't pushed into only the "clean" white color professions. Everyone knows that the plumbers live better than clerks, and police is a civil service job. So, back to the story...

I can't exactly remember how we got onto the subject, but as has been my custom since reaching a certain exalted age, I was sitting in the front seat on the bus, and the veteran driver is known as friendly, very knowledgable and the sort of person who could easily be a neighbor.

If I'm not mistaken, we got onto the subject, because there had been talk of someone taking the blame or responsibility for something, and I brought up one of my favorite Bible topics, of which my opinion is far from the the classic/standard commentary.

In my reading/comprehension of the straight text, I see Batsheva as seducing/tempting King David, and the atypical and most important result of the entire sordid story is that totally unlike the first human male, Adam who quickly blames Eve for everything:
"It's all her fault; she made me do it." Adam tells Gd.
King David consistently takes full blame and tries to legitimize his relationship with Batsheva, and they do marry. Remember that during that early narrative, there is no word from Batsheva except for when she sends David a message that she's pregnant, and then she's silent again.

The busdriver and I discussed the textual description of the beginning of Batsheva and King David's relationship. He davka used the phrase "it takes two to tango," very certain that the  Bible would have mentioned if Batsheva had protested King David's advances if there had been any. Later on we do read of Tamar's reactions to Amnon's attack. And if the David-Batsheva scandal is raised to show that even David can be immoral and sin, then we would need to hear protest and sorrow from Batsheva. The driver agreed that Batsheva may very possibly have had seduced David by intentionally bathing in his view.

After the death of their first son, they have another, Shlomo, Solomon. II Samuel Chapter 11,
Chapter 12.  
24And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and he came to her, and he lay with her: and she bore a son, and she called his name Solomon*; and the Lord loved him.כדוַיְנַחֵם דָּוִד אֵת בַּת שֶׁבַע אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא (כתיב וַיִּקְרָא) אֶת שְׁמוֹ שְׁלֹמֹה* וַיהֹוָה אֲהֵבוֹ:
*And shouldn't we consider it significant that Batsheva named her baby son Shlomo, Solomon, which in Hebrew means "complete?" For her, the mission/quest to have a son with King David was a success! This was her plan!!

We hear nothing more about Batsheva until  The Prophet Natan confers/conspires with her in I Kings Chapter 1:
13Go and come to king David, and you shall say to him, 'Surely, you, my lord the king, did swear to your maid saying that, 'Solomon your son will reign after me and he shall sit upon my throne,' Now why did Adoniahu reign?"יגלְכִי וּבֹאִי | אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד וְאָמַרְתְּ אֵלָיו הֲלֹא אַתָּה אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַאֲמָתְךָ לֵאמֹר כִּי שְׁלֹמֹה בְנֵךְ יִמְלֹךְ אַחֲרַי וְהוּא יֵשֵׁב עַל כִּסְאִי וּמַדּוּעַ מָלַךְ אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ:
There is no such conversation recorded in the Bible. What there is in the Bible are a number of other determined women to seduce, marry, have children with men of this Davidic and Messianic line. Remember that the Messiah is to be a descendant of King David. They are Leah, Tamar, Ruth-Naomi and Batsheva.

I'm glad that I had gotten into this conversation with the busdriver, since the route was too long and convoluted for me, but as we spoke I began to hope that it would take even more time, at least until we came to a satisfying conclusion.

Traveling in Biblical landscape can be amazingly inspiring 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gd Makes The Rules Clear, Parshat Shavua, This Week's Torah Portion


Just because Gd Almighty loves the Jewish People and has rescued us many, many times, recently and thousands of years ago, doesn't mean that we are free to disobey and expect to thrive and survive. This week's Torah Portion, B'har- B'chukotai, a very long double makes it clear. That's especially in the fifth out of seven sections:
Fifth Aliyah: And more blessings: An overabundance of crops and G‑d's presence will be revealed in our midst. This section then describes the severe, terrifying punishments which will be the Jews' lot if they reject G‑d's mitzvot. The punishments include disease, famine, enemy occupation of the land, exile, and desolation of the land. The non-observance of the Sabbatical year is singled out as the reason for the desolation of the land. The aliyah concludes with G‑d's promise never to utterly forsake us even when we are exiled in the lands of our enemies. (Chabad)
This Aliya begins with the last four p'sukim of the "good" part - the promises for our proper Torah behavior. G-d will be with us; He is the One Who took us out of Egypt, broke the yoke of our oppression, and led us out with heads held high.
[P> 26:14 (13)] But then we get to the "Tochacha" containing G-d's detailed admonition to the People, warning of the dire consequences that will result from disregard of Torah and mitzvot. Because it is so painful to hear these terrible words - especially realizing how often they have come true - the custom developed to read this portion in a low voice. We are ashamed that G-d needs to threaten us in so graphic a way. The minhag is to call the Rabbi, Gabbai, or the Baal Korei himself for this portion, so that no one else will feel slighted by receiving this harsh Aliya. The Tochacha is always contained within one Aliya which begins and ends on "cheerier" notes.
A significant theme of the Tochacha is the connection between the keeping of the laws of Sh'mita and our hold on the Land. We must always realize that we do not keep Eretz Yisrael without any strings attached. We have a clear commitment and responsibility to keep the Torah and fulfill the mitzvot as individuals AND as a community. Sh'mita was commanded in B'har. In B'chukotai, we are presented with the dire consequences of the disregard of this important mitzva. [S> 26:27 (20)] Continual reference is made of both physical and spiritual benefits from observance of mitzvot,
and the opposite, for disregard of the mitzvot. This combination of promise of good and threat of bad, together with the body of mitzvot of the Torah, constitutes the covenant between G-d and the People of Israel at Sinai via Moshe. (Torah Tidbits)
Yes, that means that as we celebrate fifty 50 years, half a century since the super miraculous of Biblical proportions victory over our enemies, we have not been given a "free pass" to do whatever we want with those gifts.

Unfortunately, even after half a century and a new generation in the driver's seat, our politicians still haven't grasped that Gd may let the Arabs exile us once again if we don't fully embrace the Land and act as a proper sovereign nations.

I pray that our Israeli politicians will lead us to the Redemption and blessings that await, instead of trying to please our enemies and compromise on our security.

Shabbat Shalom V'Chag Yerushalayim Hashleimah Sameach!
Have a Peaceful Sabbath and Joyous Complete Jerusalem Day!

Shiloh is one of the key Biblical locations liberated from Arab Occupation in the stupendously miraculous 1967 Six Days War.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Simple Reason Why World Won't Accept Israeli Rule Over Jerusalem

Crossposted on Israel Blogger

ANTISEMITISM

Yes, it's that simple. Not only does it predate the 1967 Six Days War, it was a principle in the United Nations Partition Plan.

Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UN_Palestine_Partition_Versions_1947.jpg
By Zero0000A/RES/181(II) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I circled Jerusalem here, and you can see that besides the simple fact that international bodies, like the newly invented United Nations, and various foreign countries did not envision the proposed Jewish state as having Jerusalem as its Capital City, it didn't include Jerusalem in the proposed Jewish country at all. And what it had planned on giving to the Jews as a "country" was even less possible to defend than we ended up controlling in 1949, which created borders known to this very day as "the Green Line," or Auschwitz borders.

Picture credit.
Illegal Jordanian Occupation
pre 1967 Six Days War light beige
credit

The Jewish Israeli diplomatic fight over Jerusalem isn't fifty 50 years old; it's seventy 70 years old and even older when you take pre-state history into account.

And for all those decades the State of Israel has been using the wrong "weapons," the wrong everything. That's because it has wimped out at admitting that our enemy is the antisemitism that has existed from the very beginning of Judaism.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Just Stop Nudging About "Peace!"

Why does every single newly elected POTUS think he can "solve the problem," make a "peace deal" between Israel and the Arabs?

If such a thing was doable, negotiable, it would have happened already.

And if such a thing was in the realm of "possible," it would have happened on its own, and it certainly wouldn't need the arm twisting and bribery we keep seeing.

US Presidents have pretty short shelf-lives, generally either four or eight years barring death, serious illness or impeachment. And quite a few in the last forty years have gotten praises and prizes for making "peace" between us and Arabs. It's almost a rite of passage, part of the routine for American Presidents after they redecorate the Oval Office and the residential wing.

Promising "peace in the middle east" sic is even more popular than promising to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. Hmmm... Does anyone really think that Trump will do it?

Taking bets. What do you think?



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Welcome to Israel, Ambassador Friedman!

This was first posted on Israel Blogger.

Decades ago, I remember an American friend saying he'd only live in Israel if in a position like Ambassador from the USA. Well, David Friedman sure hit the jackpot. After a long business, personal and more recently political relationship with Donald Trump, Friedman is now United States Ambassador to the State of Israel.

screenshot

Friedman is an Orthodox Jew who even owns a home in Israel. So it's pretty obvious that he's no stranger to Israel and especially Jerusalem.

As Ambassador Friedman made it very clear during the rather unpleasant confirmation hearings, he will no longer be a private citizen in Israel. As ambassador, he'll follow the rules. And as we must remember it's the perpetually anti-Israel State Department that makes up most of them. Get real. We can't expect US President Trump to have done a clean sweep, firing and replacing all the many, many employees whose antipathy to Israel is horrendously blatant. And Friedman won't be able to replace his staff with those he'd prefer either.

No doubt that we will be in for interesting times, and it won't be easy for Friedman who is a lot more familiar with Israel and Israeli history than most, if not all of the embassy and consulate staffs. And no doubt that this will make it extremely difficult for all of them.

My husband and I have hosted the incoming consular officials for decades, as part of their "getting to know the scene." So I do have a working knowledge of what happens. The staff changes all the time. By the time they become familiar with a place they are posted elsewhere.

Ambassador Friedman will certainly be between a rock and a hard place, especially since the international media and most American governmental bodies, besides all the disappointed Democrats are constantly looking to criticize and find fault with any and everything concerning POTUS Trump. I expect Friedman to be targeted too.

Good luck, Ambassador Friedman! May Gd be with you...


Monday, May 15, 2017

And Yet, Again 4/6 on Arutz 7

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Israel Must Stop Begging!

This was first posted on Israel Blogger.

Centrist PM Bibi Netanyahu
Can't lead when rolling around
looking ridiculous 

It's so embarrassing and demeaning to keep hearing our Prime Minister and politicians begging.
  • They beg our sworn enemies to "make a peace deal."
  • They beg foreign leaders, like US President Trump, to recognize Jerusalem.
I think we'd get a lot more respect and peace, too, if only we would act with strength and self-respect.

For sure, the begging only makes the Arabs see us as weak, and that encourages them to attack more and compromise less. And foreign leaders see us as less deserving. They certainly think less of our rights to our Land and Capital City Jerusalem when we keep offering to give pieces away. Of course it’s like the King Solomon story of the two women who were fighting over the baby. King Solomon believed the woman who wasn’t willing to harm the baby.

Our enemies aren’t afraid of us, and that’s a problem.

Fifty years ago, as the totally miraculous Six Days War ended we did have a chance for peace. The Arabs saw that our victory was by Gd, and they were terrified. If we had acted like victors we’d not only have peace today, but we’d be in Messianic Times.

Instead, successive Israeli Governments have just gotten us into bigger and bigger trouble by trying to please foreign rulers who wouldn’t care if the Arabs destroyed the State of Israel, Gd forbid, and we’d find ourselves exiled yet, again. Gd keeps on giving us more chances, but there’s a limit to Gd’s mercy. He may decide, yet again, to wait for a more deserving generation.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Many Mistakes and Distortions in JPost's Feature on Hebron

The Jerusalem Post's Friday edition had a big feature about Hebron, the Jews, Arabs and history. There are so many misleading distortions and mistakes that any good researcher could have corrected/prevented, I'd say not to read it at all.

I will just mention a few things here and hope that people a lot more knowledgable than myself will go through it carefully and thoroughly. Just to explain that I have more than a simple passing knowledge of Hebron and Kiryat Arba. My husband and I spent Shabbatot and even the Passover Seder in Hebron, 1970-71 and had been signed up for an apartment in the first stage of Kiryat Arba.

Distortion #1:
"Hebron was once a model of Jewish-Muslim coexistence,"
That's a totally idealized version of the history. Relations were not all that rosey. Although there are a couple of isolated stories of Jews being friendly with neighboring Arabs and then rescued by them, this was the exception to the rule. There were always tension and attacks on Jews. And when the massacre began, the Jewish community was horrified that even most of the Arabs who had always seemed friendly attacked and killed with great enthusiasm.

Totally False #1:
"In the late 19th and early 20th century, Jews and Arabs lived side by side in Hebron, sharing shops, hospitals, and holy sites."
Moslems forbade Jews to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building. (Jewish Virtual Library)
Distortion #2:
"On April 4, 1968 a group of Jews led by Levinger posing as Swiss tourists checked in at the Arab-owned Hebron Park Hotel. The next day, after koshering the kitchen, the group announced that they were staying put. Then-defense minister Moshe Dayan ordered their evacuation, but compromised with a deal: they were resettled in a nearby military base, which eventually became the Kiryat Arba settlement, a suburb of the city of Hebron, now numbering over 7,000 Israelis."
Until Kiryat Arba, which isn't in Hebron, was built, a number of Jewish families lived in the police compound in Hebron, known in Hebrew as "hamemshal." That is where we visited. Kiryat Arba wasn't habitable until either late 1971 or early 1972.

Besides these inaccuracies, the most sympathetic person in the feature is the Arab, which just shows how subjective the writers and how poor and incompetent the editing and fact-checking in the article.

Jerusalem Post, (MARK NEYMAN / GPO)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Simple Low-Tech Sefira-Count Reminder

I probably posted about this before, but since it does repeat, no harm to be repetitive.


Counting the Omer, Sefirat Ha'Omer was one of the most difficult religious tasks for me to master. Decades after taking on Torah observance, aka Orthodox Judaism, I hadn't once managed to count the 49 days or even a week of them. To be honest, I was barely aware of the mitzvah in the early years and don't remember even hearing about it. So I didn't teach my kids, either.

Around fifteen years ago, I started getting a reminder on my phone as an SMS, but then I'd get stuck on Friday nights when the phone was off. So, the past few years I leave a sign up on the closet across from where I sit/collapse when my husband goes off to shul. I usually notice it, B"H. One night I didn't, but I suddenly noticed our guests looking at it rather strangely. Quickly I said the blessing and counted, and then I told them what it is.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Shabbat, A Life Saver

This was first posted on Israel Bloggers


I wasn't raised in a Sabbath observing family, but when I was a child weekends in New York were very different from the rest of the week. All stores, except a few small food stores, restaurants and bakeries were closed on Sundays, and many people didn't have to work on Saturday. 

Things have definitely changed. Nowadays the weekends are super-busy shopping times, whether for clothes, or food or household and garden supplies. There is no day of rest. Weekends are more hectic than midweek for many people, and I don't know how people who work at all the stores manage to care for their kids who are off from school. Maybe they just don't have too many kids. Demographics aren't like in Israel.

For over half a century, since I was in high school, I've been an Orthodox Jewish Sabbath Observer. That means, no cooking, no writing, no television, no computer, no shopping, no telephone, no cleaning, no traveling, arts, crafts, etc.

And when life is stressful, and it seems like the whole world is against us, I take a break from it including the news, for twenty-five 25 hours. On Shabbat we rest not only our bodies, but we refresh our souls. 

After all these decades, I just can't imagine surviving without this special holy day.

I sincerely thank Gd for giving us Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom UMevorach, 
May You have a Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Israeli Sovereignty Trumps Trump

This was first posted on Israeli Blogger.

I am disgusted by the reports that building for Jews in Judea/Samaria will be temporarily  frozen until after United States President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit. As an Israeli I’m disgusted and embarrassed by the report.

Didn’t we just celebrate our 69th Israeli Independence Day?
Are we an independent sovereign state, or not?
If we are an independent sovereign state then we don’t need approval from any foreign ruler, nor do we need to worry about their feelings and opinions.
Yes, it’s that simple!
For the first twenty years after declaring our independence and before that, and previous to that while Nazis murdered millions of Jews and then the British refused the survivors permission to relocate/immigrate to the Holy Land, no country allied with us or defended us Jews. We were on our own!
And the truth is that we’re still on our own when it comes to international diplomacy. But we do have one ally, and that’s Gd Almighty.

  • Gd’s help enabled us to defeat the Arabs, who had been assisted by other Arab states and Great Britain in 1948-49.
  • Gd’s help enabled us to defeat Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967.
  • Gd’s help enabled us to defeat Egypt and Syria in 1973. Our dependence on American advice almost led to our defeat in the Yom Kippur War.
Israel does not owe any country for our existence, our survival. It is only through the grace of Gd that there is a State of Israel. And if we want the respect and support of American President Trump, then we must act like a strong, independent sovereign state, not a weak fawning nebbich.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Expanding The New Shiloh Neighborhood

The newest neighborhood in Shiloh is Rechov Techelet, which can be translated loosely as Sky Blue Street. If I remember correctly, the area was first planned and approved for building pre-Madrid Conference time.

The Israeli Government had approved a massive building project for Shiloh of something like 134 houses, which was to double the population. Half were to be in my neighborhood, including a large extension of it to the north, and the other half was in the middle neighborhood, extending it to the south and east.

My memory on the timing is pretty exact, because half the homes ended up being built in Shvut Rachel which was established in memory of our neighbor, Rachella Druk, who had been murdered when on her way to a demonstration in Tel Aviv, which was to encourage Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir to be strong and resist international pressure at the Madrid Conference. In those days it was considered important to memorialize someone murdered by terrorists by building a community in the person's memory. In order to make sure that Shvut Rachel got a good start, our Town Council requested that half the homes allocated to us be transferred to the new community to the east.

In the past decade or so homes have finally been built in that area, and it's a lovely neighborhood. A new section is under construction called  Karmei Shiloh, and here are some photos I took this week.






I find all of this building in Shiloh very exciting, and it's wonderful to hear that nowadays Shiloh isn't considered "out of the way." Shiloh is considered the Center of the Country, convenient and a wonderful place to live. Thank Gd!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Debate "Jewish State" Bill?

This is The State of Israel established in the Jewish Holy Land, the only Land which is holy according to the Jewish religion.

We are connected to this Land in all ways, history, theology, literature and genetics, too.

There have always been Jews living here, even under the worst imaginable conditions. 

We've outlived, survived our most bitter enemies, here and in the Diaspora.

Since our relatively recent return to the Land and the Establishment of the State of Israel, our military victories have been or miraculous Biblical proportions. Our agricultural, economic and technological successes are unsurpassed. And we have the highest birthrate in the developed world.


Not only Jews want to live here. There are citizens and permanent residents of other religions and nationalities. That should not negate the Jewish essence of the State of Israel. We don't have to bend over backwards to make them feel welcome. They are guests and not the raison d'être for the establishment of the State of Israel.

Gd commands us to empty the Land of others when we return and then establish a kingdom, a government that doesn't ape the non-Jewish world. We are still in that process and the Knesset must pass the Jewish State bill.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Negotiations With The Arabs Won't Bring Us Peace

I've been following news in Israel since before the 1967 Six Days War, and I've lived here since 1970, so I do have quite a long perspective. I remember when Israel's political Center and even Left mocked the idea of a Palestinian State and People. That was the consensus here. Some of us haven't changed our opinions, but most inexplicably have.

I emphasis  inexplicably, because facts and history haven't changed. All those Israelis who in recent decades, Right, Left and Center, who now insist, as I've heard Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu say, "...the Palestinians deserve a state..." have fallen for a dangerous con/sting.

Why should and how can anybody insist that a bunch of immoral blood-thirsty terrorists should be given land from a peaceful legitimate internationally recognized country so they can invent a new state?

Netanyahu keeps claiming that if he puts enough impossible conditions on this state, it just won't happen, but he's wrong.

Palestinian Media Watch
The ultimate and unrepentant aim of those Arab terrorists, who are called Palestinians, sic, is the destruction of the State of Israel, Gd forbid. Yes, it's that simple, that black and white.

Highlights of the speeches from the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, see this and this, show that there are politicians and government ministers who are wary of such a state, but that's not enough to make me feel safe. And of course, all of their proposals are based on negotiations.

There's a basic, and very dangerous, premise in negotiations. That is the recognition of the other side as legitimate, equal. That's the tragic flaw in negotiating which shouldn't be ignored.

For decades already, the Americans have made it clear that they see the Arabs, even Hamas, as equal to Israel and peaceful citizens like myself.

PM Rabin with Arafat and Bill Clinton
Over twenty years ago, in my living-room, an American Consular official had the utter gall to equate me and my neighbors with the terrorists of Hamas. I told him off and he seemed very surprised. Since Yitzchak Rabin had been willing to accept the terrorist Arafat, the game had changed for many, but not for me.

Arafat never stopped his support of terrorism against Jews and Israelis and ditto for his successors, such as Abbas.

Support of terrorism isn't something that can be negotiated away by a bit of compromise. It's an intrinsic fact.

It doesn't matter what the format, how direct, indirect, whether in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or the White House, negotiations with terror supporters won't bring peace. Such negotiations will just weaken us, militarily, ideologically and diplomatically. Take a good look. This is exactly what has been happening the past few decades. Israel's legitimizing the so-called Palestinians have just chipped away at our acceptance. Today most universities, all over the world, are hotbeds of anti-Israel, pro BDS ideology.

The cat's out of the bag and we have an almost impossible mess to undo. Gd willing we will succeed.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Building in Shiloh, We're Expanding!

This is also posted on Israel Bloggers.

During "the season" we moved to Shiloh in the summer of 1981, Shiloh doubled in population from over thirty families to sixty plus. And the yishuv (town) also got much, much larger, because Arik Sharon who had then been Minister of Construction had decided on insisted on making a whole new neighborhood on a large hill a kilometer, as the crow flies, to the northeast of Tel Shiloh. The first homes, which were trucked in were right near the Biblical Shiloh. And permanent homes were being built just above them. But when Sharon visited Shiloh just before that Passover, he, very correctly judged that larger hill to be much more suitable for housing and living. The forty prefabricated cement homes he had sent by truck are still being lived in, though most are almost unrecognizable after having been expanded by the owners.

Our house was built on a building plot Sharon had prepared, which didn't get a house. We preferred building from scratch.

There are now close to four hundred families living in Shiloh. Not only are there one-family homes, but there are also terraced apartment buildings overlooking totally amazing views. And we've even reached the point where people buy a house and then knock it down in order to build something much larger and nicer.





Recently, I was informed that the Shiloh will soon be doubling in size. There are that many houses being constructed or already approved for construction. The Shiloh Bloc, unlike many other communities in Judea/Samaria has a lot of State Land which can be used for housing, schools etc. And, yes, a new school campus and girls high school are also being worked on. It's to be located just above the Shiloh-Shvut Rachel Junction.

And our regional council, Mateh Binyamin, has announced that finally a proper access road to the Alon Road is getting approval. Right now we have a paved "one-lane" road, which isn't the most pleasant to drive on. But even this below standard road makes Shiloh a very convenient place to be. We're just minutes from the Jordan Valley.

Shiloh is very central. We can drive to Petach Tikvah and Kfar Saba as quickly as to Jerusalem, though you do need to change buses in Ariel if using public transportation. Also the Number Six Highway and Rosh Ha'ayin Train Station aren't far. Of course the Ariel University is barely ten minutes away from Shiloh. Lots of kids now move back home after the army and National Service to study nearby.

Shiloh is now in its fortieth year, and we've come a long way, thank Gd!



You'll see me towards the beginning and the end of the video.