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Monday, July 16, 2018

9 Days Rather Ironic, Fish Yes, Chicken No

Jewish Life is now in the midst of the "9 Days," a time of national mourning. From the 17th of the Jewish Month of Tammuz, until the 9, or more accurately the 10th, of the month of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temples and our exile from the Land of Israel.

Restrictions get more intense and end with a 25 hour fast on the 9th of Av. Restrictions during the 9 days include no parties, weddings, new clothes, listening to music, swimming for enjoyment, drinking wine and eating meat or poultry. You can eat fish.

I know that it's not the same all over the world, especially when people follow the Laws of Kashrut. Here in Israel a meat, especially poultry, meal cost less than a fish meal. Fish is very expensive here, whether buying it in the supermarket or a restaurant meal. Good cheeses also cost more. A very satisfying and pleasant meal in my favorite meat restaurant cost less than a similar fish meal in my favorite fish restaurant.

It's so ironic that the less expensive animal protein is forbidden as a sign of mourning, while the more expensive one is permitted. Eating fish is generally a treat, while chicken is an everyday, ordinary bargain menu in our house. So the halacha makes little sense to me.

My guess is that in ancient times the slaughtering of an animal or bird and the ritual preparation of their meat, plus safe storage was rather complex and not frequent. If you lived where you could easily catch fish, that was less complicated.

What do you think?

salmon and vegetables 

Sunday, July 15, 2018


(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)

The Three Weeks are not mentioned in the Talmud. 
They were created in response to the massacres of
the Crusaders, which occurred seven centuries
[700 years] after the Talmud was sealed.

According to Sephardic Halachah, there are no
Three Weeks and no Nine Days; there is only
the week of Tisha BeAv; and when Tisha BeAv
is the day-after-Shabbat [Sunday], there is no
week of Tisha BeAv, there is only Tisha BeAv itself.

In our times many Sephardim abandon their own
Sephardic Halachah and also abandon their own
Sephardic pronunciation, because it is easier to
follow the majority. Many Sephardim, especially
those who attended Ashkenazic Yeshivot, do not
know that the Three Weeks and the Nine Days
are NOT Sephardic Halachah.

Other Sephardim assume [incorrectly] that when
it comes Halachah, stricter is always better, so
they abandon the lenient Sephardic Halachah
in favor of the often-stricter Ashkenazic Halachah.

Contrary to what many Jews believe, stricter
Halachah is NOT always better Halachah!
Sephardic Jews REJECT Reform Judaism:
The part of a fish locked inside that bony
triangle tucked between the gills is called
The Collar.  It is the most flavorful part
of the fish, but most fish stores do not sell
them because they are ugly.  Ask a fish store
for The Collar, you can probably buy it cheap.
Grilling and intense marinade are recommended.

SOURCE: Men’s Journal magazine, July 2018,
volume 27, number 7, page 24, article:
Hot Around the Collar by Adam Ence
Sephardic Jews REJECT Reform Judaism:
PLEASE help by making a PayPal donation to:

One-Sided War: No Moral Equivalence Between Gaza and Israel

IDF Spokesperson 
Israel is the victim here. The aggressors are the Arab Hamas terrorists in Gaza. It's that simple.

The European Union Ambassador should be ordered back to Europe in retaliation to his anti-Israel statements.
EU ambassador to Israel expresses 'concern' over possibility of 'further escalation.'

Arutz 7
The State of Israel has a responsibility to its citizens to militarily attack all who attack the state.

The kites and balloons that have been launched at Israel aren't carnival toys. They are weapons, and now the Arab Gazan Hamas terrorists, encouraged by NGOs like those coming from the European Union have escalated their attacks by launching rockets at Israel. They have declared war, and we must not ignore or downgrade it.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Having Coffee "Out," Kashrut Complications

my home prepared coffee
From what I've read, Kashrut observers in the states are very upset by the reduced "approval" of the kashrut of Starbucks coffees and other products.

my home prepared coffee
When I used to visit the states, I'd buy coffee in all sorts of places as long as they adhered to a few very simple "rules."

The cups/mugs has to be disposable, the coffee had to be made and served from a coffeemaker (not served from a pot,) and I only bought a simple coffee. Davka in Starbucks, I'd order Americano.

The only "iffy" thing I did was to take milk from their pitchers. Milk is cold.

my home prepared coffee

Whenever possible, I'd get my coffee in Coffee Bean, a chain that claims that all the coffees and teas sold/served are kosher. Some branches also have kosher food but not all branches.

I haven't been to the states for a couple of years, so I'm not an expert. But to be honest, even here in Israel where it's much easier to find strictly kosher coffee, I make my own.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Av, This Coming Friday

ראש חודש אב נתפלל ביחד בע"ה בתל שילה

א' אב, יום ו', 8:30 13-07-2018
הלל בשירה ומוסף
סיור קצר בשילה הקדומה
דבר תורה
בואו ולהזמין קרובות, חברות ושכנות

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Av 5778
Friday, July 13, 2018
1st of Av, 5778, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors.
Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh, is an active archaeological site. We never know what we'll discover when we show up to pray. One month, the excited archaeologists showed us this gorgeous discovery:

לפרטים נוספים For more information about our Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email shilohmuse@gmail.com with Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group as subject, thanks.

לכתוב ל SHILOHMUSE@GMAIL.COM, לציין שזה בקשר לתפילת ראש חודש.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kenes Shiloh Conference #7, 5778, 2018, Sign Up!

Next week will be the next Kenes Shiloh Conference. I highly recommend it for anyone with oral Hebrew comprehension.

Kenes Shiloh is where you'll see and hear all about the latest discoveries at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh plus lots more. Be prepared for a long afternoon evening of activities. It's definitely an event you shouldn't miss.  I greatly enjoyed all the previous ones I've attended.

Bring a sunhat, walking shoes, water, snacks optional, since they do have some things on sale and set on tables during the lectures. Of course, you may want to take notes, too, so bring a pad and paper.
כנס שילה ה-7 יערך בתאריך ה' אב התשע"ח 17.7.2018 מה בתכנית?13:30 צעדה בעקבות 100 שנה למסע הגדודים העבריים בבנימין: מפגש בחניון נחל שילה. סיום משוער בשעה 17:3016:00 ו-16:30 יציאה לסיור מודרכים באתר בשתי קבוצות: (הסיורים בתשלום ובהרשמה מראש)סיור חידושים בארכיאולוגיה: הסיור יועבר על ידי מורה דרך מקצועי מבית שילה הקדומה ויציג את החידושים האחרונים מהחפירות באתר.
סיור הכרות עם האתר: הסיור יועבר על ידי מורה דרך מקצועי מבית שילה הקדומה, ויגולל את סיפורי המקראי והארכיאולוגי המרתק של שילה הקדומה. הסיור כולל כניסה למיצג מגדל הרואה
18:15 אירוע הוקרה למורי הדרך  עם שר התיירות יריב לוין, ב"בית קדם" במקביל לתערוכת ז'בוטנסקי. 18:45 פתיחת כנס שילה - במעמד שר התיירות וראש מועצת בנימיןמושב ראשון: תנך וארכיאולוגיהיושב ראש המושב - חנניה היזמי, קמ"ט ארכיאולוגיה
ד"ר יפה גיסר - מתפילת חנה לתפילת האדם | ד"ר גלית רגב - דרכי מסחר קדומות, מתכות, קטורת ושילה | הארכיאולוג יודן פלייטמן - חידת המבנה הציבורי למרגלות תל שילה
מושב שני: אתגרי הבטחון של ישראל בסימן 100 שנה ללחימת הגדודים העבריים בארץ ישראליושב ראש המושב יוסי אחימאיר - יו"ר מכון ז'בוטינסקי
גדעון מיטשניק, מנכל מכון ז'בוטינסקי - "השלשלת נמשכת: מהגדודים העבריים דרך ההגנה ועד לצה"ל, חזון ומעשה" | אלוף במיל גרשון כהן - חיוניות ההתישבות לשיווי המשקל הבטחוני
בהנחיית יוסי אחימאיר, ובהשתתפות הדוברים גדעון מיטשניק – מנכ"ל בית ז'בוטינסקי ןאלוף במיל' – גרשון הכהן

בכנס נערך מדי שנה בחודשי הקיץ, לזכרה של רחל ארליך ז"ל.
הכנסו לערוץ היוטיוב שלנו להנות מהרצאות של שנים קודמות 
Maybe I'll see you there!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

"Palestine," sic, is a "Toy!"

The Jerusalem Post had a feature article in its Friday edition titled:
No surprise, but the writer got the whole "Palestinian thing" all wrong, because it didn't get to the gut/history of the issue.

"Palestine" is the Barbie Doll, the toy invented by anti-Semitic Europeans and British who were determined to sabotage the Zionist efforts to promote Jewish Nationalism and its aim of re-establishing a Jewish State in the Biblical Holyland.

There is absolutely no history of a Palestine, people, nation, culture. And the so-called Kingdom of Jordan is even a bigger fake, invention. The British moved the Hashemites in, even though the land east of the Jordan River was supposed to be part of the Jewish state, and anointed them rulers over the nomads residing there. This was in direct contravention of the Mandate, the assignment the British had been given by the League of Nations.

But as you most probably have noticed, the world didn't care. It's very similar to the way the world powers, at the same basic time, reacted to the rising antisemitism and violence against Jews in Nazi Germany.

And after World War Two, the British did everything in their power to keep Europe's surviving Jews out of the Holyland, while simultaneously helping to strengthen the Arabs.

Yes, there was a United Nations vote November 29, 1947, supporting the establishment of a Jewish State, but it had no "teeth." The Jews would have to survive a "fire test," a war during which surrounding Arabs, armed and trained by the British, would attack them. The UN suggested a further division of land between Jews and Arabs for another new Arab state. They drew a map assigning small amounts of land in various disconnected locations for the "Jewish State." The Jewish Agency accepted it, despite the dangerous borders, but the Arabs refused insisting on more.

After the ceasefire in 1949, Jordan illegally occupied the land not in Jewish hands, including half of Jerusalem. No surprise, that there were no formal complaints by the world powers of the time or from the United Nations.

In the decades since, these same countries, diplomats and NGOs have been creating their Barbie doll, financing "her" every whim, paying for everything and turning a blind eye when their toy literally terrorizes Israel. And in 1967 when the Arab countries surrounding Israel gathered their forces and threatened destruction of the Jewish State, nobody cared or tried to stop them. The State of Israel fought a brilliant and miraculous war in which not only did it survive but it liberated all the land to the Jordan River, the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Only then did the world get angry. World powers, NGOs etc got angry with the State of Israel. And then their toy, the so-called "Palestinians" were given a makeover to look moderate and deserving.

The  so-called "Palestinians" are a toy. It never would have existed if other countries hadn't invented it. It's no more than a bloody Barbie doll.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

We're Burning With Anger!

Here in Israel, we're burning.

Southern Israel is suffering from a burning plague of Arab terrorism. Cheered on by various NGOs and supportive countries, the Hamas terrorist Gazans have been launching incendiary kites, balloons and other devices at Israel.

The clips and photo are from מחאת הדרום - "דין עוטף עזה כדין תל אביב"

The international media has been ignoring the terror here, but they publicize the death of rioters and terrorists as if they were innocent bystanders. Nobody cares about Israel.

Arab terrorists are burning our land, fields, orchards and more. It's only due to Gd's mercy and love for us that the fire weapons launched by the Gazan terrorists at us haven't burnt up homes, schools, clinics etc. The fact that numerous Israelis haven't been killed isn't because these weapons aren't dangerous. The Arabs want to kill us. And the world doesn't care. For that I am burning with anger!

If they Arabs cared about the Land, they'd treasure it and not burn it.

I'm burning with anger that the world sympathizes with the terrorists and not the victims.

Deja vu, so much like the 1930's and the rise of the Nazis in Germany, then Europe. Nobody cared about the discrimination and then systematic murder of the Jews living there. Nothing's new, and I'm burning with anger!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Two 2 State "Solution" Oxymoron

The meaning of the word Oxymoron:
a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect
Since two states aren't a solution to the violence here between the Arabs and Israel, the "Two 2 State Solution is an Oxymoron for sure.

Our Arab enemies, the terrorists, the PA-Palestinian Authority etcetera all reject the continued viable existence of the State of Israel, it's clear that giving them a state will only cause more wars, terrorism and bloodshed. Taking that simple basic fact into account, then it's clear that according to the basic Arab aim, there can never be peace, a solution, with two states, one Israel and one Palestine. I don't even think that there can be two peaceful states if they are Jordan and Palestine. And don't forget that Jordan practices ethnic cleansing, apartheid against Jews. Besides Israeli tourists, who are very restricted, foreigners who don't admit to be Jewish and the Israeli diplomats, you're not going to find many or any Jews in Jordan.

And the Hashemite rulers/occupiers of Transjordan aka Jordan aren't at all enthusiastic about giving the so-called Palestinians more authority, weapons, recognition a "state," because that struggling kingdom has been threatened by the same Arab terrorists who terrorize Israel.

For decades, various international leaders, NGOs etc have been trying to succeed in facilitating a negotiated "peace deal" between Israel and the so-called Palestinians. Sometimes they "help" by offering very detailed suggestions. Various Israeli leaders have even offered to endanger the State of Israel for the "chance" of "peace." But the Arabs just up their demands.

That's because the Arabs prefer their cushy well-paid terrorism. The UN, EU and number NGOs and foreign countries support them very generously. Those Arabs aren't a people nor a nation; they're just in it for the money.

Let the Flag of the State of Israel wave in freedom and security, Gd willing!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Wonderful Learning at Matan

I had an offer I couldn't refuse yesterday.  A neighbor said that she'd be going to Matan for their Fast of the 17th of Tamuz program. Now, even though I prefer spending my fast days dozing and lounging around... I just had to go, especially since some of my favorite Tanach, Bible teachers were teaching.

Yael Liebowitz teaching in a packed classroom
There were three sessions of classes from 8:45 until 1pm, with a choice of Hebrew or English. The Hebrew classes were in the auditorium, and the English were in a large classroom. But the classroom wasn't large enough.

We squeezed in for Yael Liebowitz, who is one of my favorite Matan teachers. I have been taking her courses for a few years.

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Afterwards we moved to the larger Beit Medrash, Study Hall to hear Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, and that, too, filled completely. Matan definitely needs more space!

Leibtag spoke the same time that very popular speaker Racheli Fraenkel was lecturing in Hebrew. Some of those who attended Leibowitz's talk went down to the auditorium, but many more started their day at 10:15 with Leibtag. That's why the Beit Medrash was so full.

I am glad that I stayed upstairs to hear Leibtag, because he filled in many of the gaps in my basic knowledge of the history that parallels the Tanach narrative.

Every teacher has a different way of presenting the same material. I really didn't mind that both those lectures discussed and clarified the almost "mantra" which says that the First Holy Temple was destroyed because of "idol worship," and the Second Temple was destroyed because of "baseless hatred."  Apparently, both types of sins were rampant before both Temples were destroyed. Things weren't so simple. During Leibowiz's lecture, she mentioned that עבודה זרה avodah zarah, isn't really idol worship. It's more an incorrect attitude towards Gd and other religions. Even giving legitimacy to another religion, equating it as a legitimate/equal choice is forbidden. Also claiming non-Jewish values as Jewish is forbidden. That reminded me of how Gd punished/killed the sons of Aaron the Priest, because they worshiped in the Holy Tabernacle with an אש זרה aish zarah, strange/foreign fire.

For the third lecture I went down to the auditorium to hear Taphat Halperin in Hebrew. I've been studying with Taphat this past year in the Senior Citizens Program in Ofra Girls High School. She, davka, quoted from many of the same bible verses as Leibtag.

By then I was pretty tired, due to the fast and not sleeping all that much the night before. So I must admit that I wasn't up to taking notes. Gd willing my mind will find a way to process it all. Some of what she said was familiar, since the course in Ofra is also about the period between the two Temples, the exile and return.

From when I first started taking Tanach courses, here in Shiloh, I've said that it's like trying to assemble a puzzle that has thousands and thousands of pieces. Just connected a couple here and there is a great accomplishment.

I must thank everyone, Matan, the lecturers and my neighbor who took me, for a wonderful morning of learning.

PS Yes, I highly recommend studying in Matan, and if you're too far away, sign up for their online lectures.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Parshat Balak: We are Our Own Worst Enemy

This week's Torah Portion of the Week, Balak, like many in במדבר Bamidbar, Numbers, is rather depressing. How could it be that the Jewish People could have so quickly forgotten the great miracles Gd did to enable our escape from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt?

In the past few weeks we've read about how the tribal leaders chickened out of immediately entering the Promised Land, claiming that the locals were too strong. We also read how they missed the Egyptian slave food. After years of slavery, which had an advantage of being fed and cared for, they found responsibility a drag.

And this week's Torah Portion, since the Moabite King Balak was in awe of Gd's protective powers over the Jewish People, he hires the famous sorcerer Balaam to curse and weaken them. It doesn't seem to work, because Balaam ends up blessing them.

Then the Parsha ends rather ironically, or tragically, because the Jewish take up with non-Jewish women causing a terrible epidemic killing 24,000, until Pinchas executes one of the leaders in the act with his lady friend. With that the plague ends, as does the week's Torah Portion.

And the Three Weeks mourning and restrictions begin for the invasion of Jerusalem and destruction of our two Holy Temples. Jewish People have been observing this mourning period for two thousand years. And today, even after experiencing so many miracles from Gd to facilitate the establishment of the State of Israel and our miraculous military victories over vicious enemies, we again hear Jews claiming we aren't strong enough to be fully sovereign in our Land. Also, the plague of intermarriage is  growing. There are even Jews who promote replacing Jewish Israel with Arab Palestine sic. The Israeli Supreme Court has been ordering the destruction of Jewish homes, and Israeli Leftists sympathize with terrorists rather than Jewish victims. In addition, our tax money goes to giving food and medical care to our enemies. All this does is make our enemies more confident, so they attack us more and more.

Where is our Pinchas?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Prince William and "Palestinian Culture," Gets Wish, Stoned

By clicking these you should be able to hear Britain's Prince William's statement in Ramalla, in which he says that he wants to learn more "Palestinian culture," sic.



While driving by Jalazon, (west of Beit El,) he did according to the Arab Press, translation click here. His vehicle was stoned by Arabs.

As Prince William’s convoy was driving through the Jelazun refugee camp north of Ramallah, Arab children threw rocks at his car. This was a very embarrassing event for Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. The official excuse for the stoning of Prince William was that they didn’t “prepare” the residents of the refugee camp for the Prince’s arrival... for complete article in Israel Unwired click here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

War, Surreal

Occasionally, we get a series of phone messages to tell us that there's a security drill going on here in Shiloh. Sometimes it's just to warn us not to panic when a siren goes off. They describe the drill siren versus a Gd forbid real one. Other times we have to lock up, turn off inside lights, get off the streets and even call in to a certain number to say we're fine. It's important that our security crew practices, and we all pray that they never have to deal with the real thing, an attack by Arab terrorists, dangerous rockets or finding our pastoral community a war zone.

Israel, even if you ignore that pesky "green line" and consider the June, 1967 ceasefire lines, is a very tiny country. At some point, I think it was post-Nixon, an American general suggested serious security buffer zones between Israel and the Arabs. In theory, maybe, he had a good idea, but his so-called buffer zones to go north-south were wider than  pre-1967 Israel.

TORAH AURA Map of Israel

Even though the State of Israel is very small by international standards, I only hear about the Arab attacks from Gaza on southern Israel from the internet news and Israeli media. They don't directly affect us. We in Shiloh aren't awakened by sirens, alarms, rockets, jets or raging fires the way my friends in the south of Israel are. It's surreal, and the dangers are just too easy to ignore.
Rocket barrage on southern Israel, IDF attacks in Gaza
Series of sirens heard in Gaza Belt region. IDF says 12 rockets fired, three of them intercepted by Iron Dome
I have friends who, like me, live far from the south, but they have signed up to get real time alerts on their phones, as if they lived in Ashkelon or one of the small communities that are constantly suffering from Gaza launched rockets, fire bombs etc. They wake up in a panic just like our friends in Netivot. The only difference is that they don't have to run within seconds to a shelter, and they can stay safely in bed in pajamas.

Israeli news media tries to "comfort" readers/listeners by relating the successes of the Iron Dome in intercepting dangerous rockets which had been launched at Israeli civilians. Instead of using military might to destroy our enemies, we just try to render their attacks harmless. That just encourages to increase the violence against us. The State of Israel must take off the kid gloves and defend us by destroying our enemies, not just deflecting the rockets.

Also, in the long run we here in the center of the country, far from Gaza, are also in danger, since local terrorists are encouraged by those in the south. Gd willing we will get a government that isn't afraid to truly defend us by destroying our enemies!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Stunning Old City Renovations Masks Jordan's Destruction

Yesterday when I was wandering around Jerusalem's Old City, there was more than music on Mount Zion. I found myself walking into the very old Ramban Synagogue, which is in the center of what today is called the Jewish Quarter. I don't think I had been there for almost half a century.

My memories of the Ramban Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem is of a ruin, walking down and although there was no artificial light, still seeing the old pillars. There was just dirt on the floor. If it had been paved in stones, I didn't notice or remember. Those are my memories of the place.

As you can see from the above photos, the synagogue has been reconstructed, and those pillars are in use. The floor now has well-kept tiles. There's furniture, and the Ramban Synagogue is in use for prayer. That's rather bittersweet for me. I'm glad that there's a Jewish community using that ancient location/building for what it was constructed, but it's one of the buildings, holy sites, the Jordanians had defiled and destructed during their nineteen 19 year illegal occupation of the Old City, from 1948 until the miraculous 1967 Six Days War.

When it was announced that the "Churba "Hurva" Synagogue" would be reconstructed, many people protested the decision. The reason was that it was/is important not to hide the immoral actions of the Jordanians during their illegal occupation. 

During yesterday's walk, everything looked "too pretty." There are museums depicting very ancient Jerusalem and Jewish History, but I didn't see anything to remind us of the cruelty of the Jordanians.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Trump/Kushner Falling Into "Palestine Peace" Trap

As disappointed as I am in the Trump/Kushner attempts to describe the Arab terrorist instigator and supporter Mahmoud Abbas as a peace sic partner, we mustn't forget that US President Trump did recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital City and moved the American Embassy to there, even if it wasn't much more than a sign change.
US envoy’s message to Palestinians: ‘Don’t allow your grandfather’s conflict to determine your children’s future’.
This talk reminds me too much of modern child-raising instructions. When a child's behavior is cruel nowadays you're not supposed to tell the kid that he/she is bad when he does it. You're supposed to tell him/her that he/she is good but "confused" or made a "mistake."

At no point has Mahmoud Abbas shown any sign that he wants peace with Israel. His administration of the PA-Palestinian Authority supports Arab terror by giving salaries/pensions to convicted terrorists and their families. Relations between Israel and the Arabs have only gotten worse under his administration. I saw that very clearly during the six years I worked in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin. During the first few years, Arabs came in great numbers to shop in Yafiz Clothing Store. There were even group shopping trips during which the Arabs bought lots of products in Yafiz and Rami Levi. Arab tourists, businessmen and visiting family members would stock up on our clothes. We had very friendly relations with Arab customers, especially the wives of UN and NGO officials based in Ramalla. But that ended about four years ago when PA Police began threatening our customers and confiscating their purchases.

Much earlier on Trump said that he wouldn't impose a "peace" agreement on Israel and the Arabs, but now he's planning something of the sort. This is a major error. Trump should stop the project, because it won't be successful. It won't bring peace. It will just encourage more terrorism against Israel and Jews.

Jerusaslem's String Bridge

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Av, Women's Prayers

For those of us who live by the Jewish Calendar and Judaism, there's no "bad luck" on Friday July 13, 2018. It's Rosh Chodesh Av.

ראש חודש אב נתפלל ביחד בע"ה בתל שילה
א' אב, יום ו', 8:30 13-07-2018
הלל בשירה ומוסף
סיור קצר בשילה הקדומה
דבר תורה
בואו ולהזמין קרובות, חברות ושכנות

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Av 5778
Friday, July 13, 2018
1st of Av, 5778, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors.

לפרטים נוספים For more information about our Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email shilohmuse@gmail.com with Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group as subject, thanks.

  לכתוב ל SHILOHMUSE@GMAIL.COM, לציין שזה בקשר לתפילת ראש חודש.

Granted that the First of the Month of Av requires a decrease in festivities and an increase in mourning the loss/destruction of our Holy Temples, but we still sing the joyous Hallel as part of our morning prayers. Ladies, please join us in prayer. And Gd willing it will soon be a joyous period when the Moshiach comes, the Temple is rebuilt and all Jews come Home to the Holy Land!

Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh is a beautifully maintained archaeological park, besides a holy site for prayers. For more information about visiting the site Phone: 02-5789111, Fax: 02-9948011, visit@telshilo.org.il or art@telshilo.org.il.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Migron, Still in "Transit," Waiting

2,243 Days 
Since the Removal/Evacuation of Migron
Still in "Temporary" Housing!

I took the picture a couple of days ago, so now you can add a few more to the number.
The community of Migron, north of Jerusalem, south of Beit El, was removed from its location 2,243 days ago and counting... They agreed to go peacefully because of promises of a new approved location nearby. Years have passed, and they are still waiting in their makeshift quarters.

The Israeli Supreme Court cares more for phantom nameless Arab landowners than Jewish rights and the law.

Friday, June 22, 2018

More Truth From Caroline Glick

I highly recommend reading her latest opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post:

Trump shows his friendship and respect for Israel every single day...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

UNHRC US Withdrawal, Don't Agree

About the announced withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council, in all honesty, it makes good headlines but I think it's the wrong decision. I would have preferred that especially with the present American Administration keeping the American voice of reason, the USA should just severely reduce its financial contributions to the United Nations while keeping its voice and vote. Financial sanctions and restrictions would be a much better and suitable way of showing protest.

Truth be told, I think the other members of the UNHRC are overjoyed that there won't be a voice of true conscience piping up telling them the true evil of their anti-Israel statements and decisions.

What do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Israel Under Attack- Who Cares?

There's nothing peaceful about the protests from Gaza. They are vicious attacks on Israel, people, Land and more.

The fact that Israel has been condemned for self-defense, but the Arab terrorists haven't been condemned just shows that the world hasn't really changed since the 1930s when Hitler and the Nazis began and continued their persecution and murder of Jews.

There is only one reason why many Israelis haven't yet died from these attacks. Gd has been protecting us, just like in the Gulf War.

I don't really expect fairness from the world, because the two most dominant  religions, Islam and Christianity have a strong theological hatred of Judaism and Jews. We must recognize that. Our only chance for survival is to be more Jewish and obey Gd.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Singing Naomi Shemer in Shiloh

Naomi Shemer, 1930 - 2004, was one of the greatest, if not the greatest Hebrew songwriters ever. Many of her songs are classics, including the iconic "Jerusalem of Gold," which has been proposed to replace Hatikva as the National Anthem of the State of Israel.

Well before my Hebrew was fluent, or even passable, I sang and danced to her songs. Unlike most modern music, Shemer's tunes are very easy to follow. And now that my Hebrew has improved over the decades, I can now appreciate the beauty of her Hebrew. That was one of the great unexpected bonuses from last night's Naomi Shemer Singalong, which I attended. For the first time I really looked at her lyrics and understood more than the superficial. Some are like prayers. She mentions Gd quite a bit, asking Him to intercede.

My first awareness that there was a composer-songwriter named Naomi Shemer was in 1967, when her song "Jerusalem of Gold" became an international hit. And a few years later, when I was an olah chadasha, new immigrant in Israel. we learned a few of her songs in ulpan, the Hebrew immersion course I took.

The Naomi Shemer Singalong was advertised as a 50+ social/cultural event, but it attracted younger neighbors, too. I suddenly noticed that among the attendees were neighbors who had taught my children Naomi Shemer songs, my children's classmates and my own former students.

We sang from modern versions of the "slides," from way back when.

אנשים טובים Anashim Tovim, Good People
I was surprised to discover that a song I used to dance to in New York, מחר Machar, Tomorrow is a Naomi Shemer song. It's one of the dances I remember dancing down Fifth Avenue at a Salute to Israel Parade.

There's no doubt in my mind that Naomi Shemer's songs are far superior in every way to modern music. Last night as I sang along with my neighbors, I really wanted to dance, too.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Korach, The Gist of His Sin

In the Book of Bamidbar, which takes place at the same time as Vayikra, we read of a forgetful ungrateful people, who had just been rescued from slavery in Egypt by a very powerful Gd. Last week in Parshat Shlach, it seems unthinkable, but ten of the twelve tribal leaders, who enter the Promised Land on a pilot trip to stake out which section of Land would go for each  tribe, end up coming to the conclusion that there's no way they can conqueror the locals and live safely.

For that bad, rebellious and chutzpadik decision they're condemned to die within a short time, and the Jewish People must wander the wilderness for forty years. Only the next generation will enter the Land.

Next comes Korach. Korach is from the the tribe of Levy. Now, Levy is the tribe that Gd appointed to be in charge of the spiritual needs of the Jewish People. One branch of the tribe was appointed by Gd to be the Priests, and other branches were given specific jobs to do in the Mishkan, Tabernacle and later the Holy Temple.

Korach isn't a "happy camper." He's obviously jealous of cousins who are priests, especially Moses.

Numbers Chapter 16

1Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi took [himself to one side] along with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, descendants of Reuben.אוַיִּקַּ֣ח קֹ֔רַח בֶּן־יִצְהָ֥ר בֶּן־קְהָ֖ת בֶּן־לֵוִ֑י וְדָתָ֨ן וַֽאֲבִירָ֜ם בְּנֵ֧י אֱלִיאָ֛ב וְא֥וֹן בֶּן־פֶּ֖לֶת בְּנֵ֥י רְאוּבֵֽן:
2They confronted Moses together with two hundred and fifty men from the children of Israel, chieftains of the congregation, representatives of the assembly, men of repute.בוַיָּקֻ֨מוּ֙ לִפְנֵ֣י משֶׁ֔ה וַֽאֲנָשִׁ֥ים מִבְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים וּמָאתָ֑יִם נְשִׂיאֵ֥י עֵדָ֛ה קְרִאֵ֥י מוֹעֵ֖ד אַנְשֵׁי־שֵֽׁם:
3They assembled against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for the entire congregation are all holy, and the Lord is in their midst. So why do you raise yourselves above the Lord's assembly?"גוַיִּקָּֽהֲל֞וּ עַל־משֶׁ֣ה וְעַל־אַֽהֲרֹ֗ן וַיֹּֽאמְר֣וּ אֲלֵהֶם֘ רַב־לָכֶם֒ כִּ֤י כָל־הָֽעֵדָה֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם קְדשִׁ֔ים וּבְתוֹכָ֖ם יְהֹוָ֑ה וּמַדּ֥וּעַ תִּתְנַשְּׂא֖וּ עַל־קְהַ֥ל יְהֹוָֽה:
By blaming Moses and Aaron, Korach is distorting/denying the divinity of Judaism.

Bamidbar - Numbers - Chapter 3

10You shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall keep their kehunah; any outsider [non kohen] who approaches shall be put to death.יוְאֶת־אַֽהֲרֹ֤ן וְאֶת־בָּנָיו֙ תִּפְקֹ֔ד וְשָֽׁמְר֖וּ אֶת־כְּהֻנָּתָ֑ם וְהַזָּ֥ר הַקָּרֵ֖ב יוּמָֽת:
In Korach's rebellion he gathers others dissatisfied with their roles, but soon they are defeated.

We must remember that Judaism is from Gd, and we don't have the authority to make changes. It's not a club.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nothing's New, All in the Bible/Tanach

I didn't get much of a Jewish education growing up. My parents weren't religious, so besides occasionally remembering to light the Chanukah Menorah and having the traditional, though shortened Passover Seder and a rare Friday night when my mother lit Shabbat candles, we did know we were Jewish...

We were always shul (synagogue) members. When we lived in Bayside, NY, we were founding members of the Conservative Oakland Jewish Center, which has since closed for business. Then when we moved to Great Neck, NY, we joined the Orthodox Great Neck Synagogue, though the choice of Orthodox wasn't for theological reasons. Even though I'm a graduate of the OJC Hebrew School, I didn't learn much, certainly not much  Bible/Tanach. And then later as an active member of NCSY I learned living Judaism, not Bible/Tanach.

All the Bible/Tanach I know has been learned as an adult, and not when I was younger. Sometimes when I'm in a class, whether with hundreds of others in Matan, or the small senior citizens class in Ofra, I see so many parallels and similarities between what happened to the Jewish People thousands of years ago and today. It's really mind-boggling to think about it.

As in Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, it has all happened before. Human nature, our intelligence and foibles haven't changed at all. In recent years I've been studying Ezra-Nehemiah, the time between the First and Second Temples, when the Jewish People returned in part from exile. The controversies, debates and problems of that time were so similar to today's among the Jewish People. That includes the controversy over "Who's a Jew?"

I have no doubt that we are in an era of Biblical significance, and Gd willing we will do what must be done to truly bring the Moshiach. We need leadership to fully build and develop the Jewish State of Israel. Build for Jews and BUILD THE HOLY TEMPLE!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Should We in Israel Care What Diaspora Jews Think? Part 1

There have been headlines and articles all over the media about how "American Jewry" doesn't approve of Israeli politics and policies.
  1. Should we care?
  2. How do they, the pollsters and writers define "American Jewry?"
Let's make it very clear that the State of Israel was established despite the feelings and policies of American and other diaspora Jews. We, here in Israel, don't owe them anything! Nor do we owe any thanks or loyalty to foreign countries and NGOs which did nothing more than pay a bit of "lip service" to "approve" the establishment of a Jewish State.

After the historic United Nations vote, November 29, 1947, the "yeas" collectively sat on their respective hands and waited for the Arabs to defeat and destroy the "Zionist entity." They were either the same national leaders or diplomats who did nothing to stop the Nazis' systematic destruction of European Jewry.

The State of Israel is alone and treated to a different standard from any other country. 

Only the State of Israel has its chosen Capital City snubbed and vetoed by international bodies and foreign countries. This was very recently changed when USA President Donald Trump bucked the crowds and stated that the State of Israel, like all other countries in the world, has every right to choose its Capital City. This is davka something that many candidates, both winners and losers, for the US Presidency claimed when campaigning, but they quickly reneged post-elections. You'd think that American Jewry would be cheering Trump's policy, but they, the majority, won't support anything Trump does, even if previously they had been in favor.

So, in all honesty, I don't consider the majority of American Jewry honest brokers or truly pro-Israel. 

And about my second question. That will have to be answered in a different post. You can already respond to it in your comments.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

GUEST POST: Who Are the Palestinians

(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)

1. Who Are the Palestinians? by Yashiko Sagamori
2. What happened to the Philistines? by Mr. Cohen
3. Josephus and the Philistines by Mr. Cohen
4. Where did the Philistines come from? by Mr. Cohen
5. Where did the Philistines live? by Mr. Cohen
6. Three Quotes about Palestine
7. Articles about the Palestinians from Aish HaTorah:
8. More Articles about the Palestinians (miscellaneous)
9. Articles about the Palestinians from Mr. Patrick Condell
10. Pro-Israel Articles from Aish HaTorah
11. Articles Refuting the BDS Movement from Aish HaTorah
12. Articles about Media Bias against Israel from Aish HaTorah
13. Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel
14. Why Israel’s 1967 Borders are Undefendable
Who Are the Palestinians?
by Yashiko Sagamori  --  2002 November 25

Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based
Information Technology consultant.
If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back
through most of recorded history", I expect you to be able
to answer a few basic questions about that country of "Palestine":

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence,
at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the [unique] language of the country of Palestine?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history
and try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian
 monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound,
Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

12. Have the Palestinians left any artifacts behind?

13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work
of Palestinian literature produced before 1967 CE?

14. And, finally, since there is no such country today,
what caused its demise and when did it occur?

If you are lamenting the "low sinking" of "once proud"
nation, then please tell me, when exactly was that "nation"
proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people
you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic
Arabs collected from all over - or thrown out of - the Arab
world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives
them right for self-determination, why did they never try
to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating
defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern-day
"Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting
etymology for history won´t work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. 
Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying
Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed
to achieve their evil goal through military means, they decided
to fight Israel by proxy. 
For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically
called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea,
and Samaria.  How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan
and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank"
and Gaza, respectively, in the aftermath of the 1967 war?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have
much less of a claim to nationhood than the American Indian
tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose
of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive
goal that motivated them.
The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation:
the destruction of Israel. In my book that is not sufficient to
consider them a "nation" -- or anything else -- except what they
really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East.
Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in
their war against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel
reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have
visited upon it. The most appropriate form of such reparations
would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the
land of Israel and acceptance of Israel´s ancient sovereignty
over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

That will mark the end of the Palestinian people.
What are you saying again was its beginning?

What happened to the Philistines? by Mr. Cohen
Some Palestinians claim to be descendants of the Philistines,
an ancient nation that is mentioned in the Bible.  This claim
is very unlikely to be true, because around the year 600 BCE,
King Nebuchadnezzar [king of Babylon] destroyed most of
the Philistines, and the rest were deported to Babylon. 

According to the article titled: “Who Were the Philistines?
written by Owen Jarus, which appeared in Live Science
magazine on 2016 July 16:

“The Philistines disappear from written history during the 6th century B.C. when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (reign ca. 605 BC – c. 562 BC) conquered the region and destroyed several cities, including Ashkelon [which was their main city].”

Josephus and the Philistines by Mr. Cohen
Michael Avioz wrote an essay titled: “The Philistines in Josephus’ Writings”.
In the final paragraph of this essay, which is titled “Conclusion”, he says:

               “Unlike the Egyptians, the
               Philistines no longer existed
             in Josephus’ own life-time.”

Since the famous historian Josephus lived around 2,000 years ago
in the Holy Land [which was then called the land of Judea] this
means that the Philistines were already vanished from the Holy Land
around 2,000 years ago.  Therefore, claims that the Palestinians
are descendants of the Biblical Philistines are very unlikely to be true.

SOURCE:The Philistines in Josephus’ Writings” by Michael Avioz

Where did the Philistines come from? by Mr. Cohen

The ancient Philistines originated from the
AEGEAN area, according to the World Book
Encyclopedia, volume 15 (letter P), page 382, 2017.

The Aegean Sea is part of Greece.  Therefore,
the Philistines were Greeks. They were NOT
indigenous to the Land of Israel; they were foreign.

Where did the Philistines live? by Mr. Cohen

The ancient Philistines lived in what is now
southwestern Israel, according to the World Book
Encyclopedia, volume 15 (letter P), page 382, 2017.
Therefore, if the Palestinians have any claim
to the Land of Israel that is based on the
ancient Philistines, then that claim is limited to
southwest Israel, also known as Gaza.

Three Quotes about Palestine

***** QUOTE 1: *****

"From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning
of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was
not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries…"

Professor Bernard Lewis, Commentary Magazine, January 1975

***** QUOTE 2: *****

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian Arab nation...

Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Israel with the express
purpose of infuriating the Jews...

Why should we use the spiteful name meant to humiliate us?

The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine,
and the Arabs picked it up as their nation's supposed ancient name,
though they couldn't even pronounce it correctly and turned it into
Falastin a fictional entity."

SOURCE: Golda Meir quoted by Sarah Honig,
Jerusalem Post, 25 November 1995

***** QUOTE 3: *****

"Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity.
There is no language known as Palestinian. 
There is no distinct Palestinian culture. 
There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.  Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians
(another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.  
Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands.  Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. 
But that's too  much for the Arabs.  They want it all.
And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . .
No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make,
it will never be enough."

SOURCE: Myths of the Middle East by Joseph Farah,
an Arab-American editor and journalist,
www.WorldNetDaily.com, 11 October 2000
Articles about the Palestinians from Aish HaTorah:




More Articles about the Palestinians (miscellaneous)

The Palestinian Connection to the Nazis
by Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, 2017 May 14
How a pro-Palestinian American reporter
changed his views on Israel and the conflict

by Hunter Stuart, 2017 February 15

Dismantling the Palestinian Lie
by Yaakov Menken,  2018 May 25

Why Palestinian Incitement Matters
by Jonathan Rosenblum, 2009 November 5

End the False Israeli-Palestinian Parity
by Daniel Pipes, 2017 July 9  

Palestine: Failing the test of history
Martin Sherman 2018 June 6

Rudy Giuliani said: Terror promotion proves
Palestinian Authority is ‘not entitled to be a state’

What is Palestine? Who are the Palestinians?

Mr. Patrick Condell has no Jewish ancestors
and no religion that might cause him to favor Jews.

Please read these short pro-Israel articles that
expose the Palestinians by Mr. Patrick Condell:

Pro-Israel Articles from Aish HaTorah

Articles Refuting the BDS Movement from Aish HaTorah


Articles about Media Bias against Israel from Aish HaTorah
Why is the Media Biased?
4 Reasons Why the Media is Biased against Israel:
Dishonest Reporting: Media Bias Against Israel
The Media: Destroying Jerusalem Again
European Media and Anti-Israel Bias
Palestinians: Western Media's Ignorance and Bias
Huge source of high-quality pro-Israel videos
An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth
by Matti Friedman, 2014/8/26

This article exposes intentional anti-Israel bias in the news media.
It is still VERY relevant, even though it was written in 2014.
Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel: