Hamas War

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Con, Hoax, Myth of "Palestine," sic

There isn't and never was a "Palestinian People." There is no historical basis for claims that they have rights. This part of the world, aka the Land of Israel has been invaded and occupied by many armies, but the only people that actually had an independent viable nation/kingdom here are Jews.

from exhibit in Israel Museum, 1-2016
It was Hadrian who could be credited with inventing "Palestine," sic, by changing the name of this part of the world on the maps from Judea to Palestine.

I highly suggest reading the excellent article, 5 Mendacious Myths of One False Narrative by Martin Sherman.
"The entire edifice of “Palestinian” national aspirations is a giant political hoax, a massive sleight of political hand designed to serve a more sinister ulterior motive. Five points explain what that is."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Very Disturbing

I saw this sacrilegious, by Jewish values and theology picture on display in the Cardo, Old City, Jerusalem the other day.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

New Plugat Hakotel Exhibit, Museum, Movie

It's hard to categorize the newest venue in Jerusalem's Old City, the Plugat Hakotel. It's called a "museum," but there aren't really any exhibits. And unlike most every other museum, there's no walking around, so it's very good for those who find standard museums difficult to handle.

The Plugat Hakotel Museum is in the building of the historic Plugat Hakotel, on Rechov Hayehudim near the corner of Plugat Hakotel Street, where the patrols that protected Jewish worshipers at the Kotel almost a hundred years ago were quartered. The street level rooms have been set up to show a very good historic reenactment movie, which tells the basic story, fictionalized of course.

Yesterday I went to the Plugat Hakotel Museum with a group of friends from all over the country. It's best to call in advance to book a time slot.

We saw the English dubbed version of the movie which had Hebrew subtitles. It is very well written and acted and tells how members of the Betar Zionist youth movement, inspired by Zeev Jabotinsky worked together to not only guard Jewish worshipers but risk jail time by blowing the shofar at the end of the Yom Kippur fast. Yes, the British forbade shofar blowing.

For me this building has special meaning, because it was our first home in Israel, Maon Betar. We knew the history of it, but at that time, the Old City was undergoing major repairs to make it more habitable and modern. Just now, a half a century after being liberated from illegal Jordanian occupation has the museum been opened.

Shofar in the Plugat Hakotel Museum, Old City Jerusalem

Monday, May 28, 2018

Disengagement Part 2, Something Unexpected

Here's Part 2 of my Disengagement series. See Opening Old Wounds, Disengagement, Part 1.

Nitzan, Gush Katif Memorial, The "price" of Disengagement

Last Friday, early during my visit with Menachem Begin Heritage Center employees to the Gush Katif Visitors Center in Nitzan, suddenly something hit me. I hadn't thought of it before at all.

I'll never forget how during the horribly tense times before the forced evacuation of Jewish communities and homes actually happened, I corrected those saying that it was a matter of 8,000 (whatever the exact number) families. I kept saying that we had to stop the precedent of Disengagement to protect Jewish life in Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jordan Valley, even later on the rest of the State of Israel.

It was just too clear to me that a successful sic destruction would whet the appetite of those who were against Jewish life/communities in all of these places to destroy even more. And in the first flush of Disengagement, during the rule of Ehud Olmert, if I remember correctly, there was an announcement that the new maps had been drawn, and lists of the next communities to go...

Yes, I remember a government official/minister on television, looking drunk with the power of life & death happily announcing that more of the Land of Israel would be judenrein very shortly. And that included Shiloh, which then was considered small, unimportant and isolated.

But here we are over a decade later thriving. Gush Shiloh has grown enormously, as have most other Jewish towns, communities and cities in Judea/Samaria.

Despite the precision/efficiency of the army in dragging people from their homes, packing their possessions and bulldozing the houses, schools and more, the country was ripped apart and in pain by the sight of IDF solders crying and obviously traumatized by their cruel orders.

The government had put more effort into planning the destruction of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron yishuvim included in Disengagement, than in the "day after." There were prefabricated homes set up for only a small fraction of the families. Others were crowded into small hotel rooms and rented apartments. And don't forget that the Arab terrorists in Gaza reacted to the proclamation of Disengagement, the destruction of Gush Katif by launching rockets at Israel's south. This had been going on from before the actual destruction.

Over time, as the victims of Disengagement, slowly and painfully tried to rebuild their lives, talk of destroying mine and my neighbors got softer and softer. The true price of Disengagement was/is a lot higher than the State of Israel had ever imagined it could be.

Some of the Left still pays lip service to the idea that our communities can be easily destroyed for a "peace sic agreement," but as second and even third generation Jews in Judea/Samaria build homes here reality mocks their plans.

It becomes clearer every day that Disengagement was a cruel, evil mistake. It certainly didn't bring peace, and it may have kept Arik Sharon out of "jail." But Gd then took away his power in a stroke to remind us all Who's really in charge. Davka, the ramifications in terms of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria are something else. Disengagement showed the State of Israel that we aren't chess pieces that can be easily manipulated.

My biggest complaint about the "message" from the Gush Katif Visitors Center is that when they listed communities where people moved to, they leave out the Netzarim group in Ariel and all of the many in various yishuvim of Judea/Samaria. That inaccuracy makes it very clear that the leadership didn't and don't see us all as one group with the same needs, but that would be another blog post, not as upbeat. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Opening Old Wounds, Disengagement, Part 1

On Friday as part of the program I participated in with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, we visited Nitzan, where there is a visitor's center which attempts to explain Disengagement. I wasn't the only English language blogger there. Click to read what Ilana wrote.

Notice that I wrote "which attempts to explain Disengagement." That's because that entire chapter of Israeli History is so awful and so inexplicable and can't be logically explained, certainly not in a nice way.

The area marked in Green is Gush Katif

One of the younger participants in the tour, which was for Begin Center employees, volunteers, retirees and their families, asked the perfect question. I can't remember her exact wording, but this is the gist of it:
"What was the reason for Disengagement?"
Our guide couldn't give an answer, so I just had to raise my hand. I prefaced my answer by saying that I'm probably the oldest person present, which wasn't countered by anyone. My husband, who is older than me, had decided to stay in the hotel and not join us.

With few exceptions, the other participants were a generation or two younger than me, so I began with a bit of history. After the 1967 Six Days War, besides Jerusalem, the only parts of the Land liberated which were settled by government decree were the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and Northern Sinai, which actually included what was later called Gush Katif. All of those areas/communities were for agriculture, not for Biblical, historic sentiment.

And in those days, when the Labor Party ruled, the business end of agriculture was a monopoly. Exports were only via Agrexco, which was closely entwined with the Labor Party. The big attraction of Northern Sinai and the Jordan Valley was their climates. Summer fruits and vegetables can grow there in the winter, a potentially very big money maker, especially since Israel is much closer to Europe than the competing agricultural countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

After the surprise 1977 change in the party ruling the government, when Menachem Begin's Likud took over, there were many economic changes. One of them the was end of the monopoly. Agrexco had competition, and the Left/Labor Party was not happy about it at all. The agricultural communities in Gush Katif were doing very well. As our guide told us, 10% of Israel's exports were from Gush Katif, and the numbers were growing.

That was the gist of my theory, and the guide listened and said she hadn't thought about it quite like that.

To continue with what happened here in Israel:

Apparently, the Left had something over Prime Minister Arik Sharon, and like the famous line in The Godfather, it was an offer he "couldn't refuse."

Sharon, the Bulldozer, announced that his government would destroy Gush Katif and hand the land over to the Arabs ruling Gaza. The campaign the residents and Moetzet YESHA organized was totally ineffective. 

Anti-Disengagement protests
Sharon even left the Likud with most of his ministers when the Likud's members voted against Disengagement in a referendum, which he had promised to obey.

The scars of the גירוש Girush, Uprooting, banishment, displacement, exile or whatever you want to use as a translation, are still very painful, even though most of the families have done their best to establish new lives and homes.

Most of the families, if I'm not mistaken, are now living in communities  with their former neighbors. I considered this a mistake then and haven't changed my mind.

Disengagement is in the same awful category of Israeli self-made tragedies, when the government pitted Jew against Jew, Israeli against Israeli as the horrendous Altalena Affair.

I have more to write about this, including a new idea that hit me when I was at Nitzan.

In the meantime, I'd like your reactions to this article. Please feel free to tell me in the comments, thanks.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Disengagement, Stay Tuned

Today I visited Nitzan where many of the victims of Disengagement, those displaced from their homes now live. Suddenly I thought of something, but there is no way I can write it up on my phone.

Please watch this blog. Gd willing I write  about it next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

PA Covered With "Teflon"

Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

The acceptance and promotion of the PA-Palestinian Authority by numerous countries and international organizations is totally irrational, unless you are willing to recognize the inherent antisemitism which is even stronger than the history of terrorism of the PA.
PA joins more international organizations
Nobody lets simple facts and history get in their way of their enthusiasm for this corrupt administrative body.

  • There never was a Palestinian people.
  • There never was a country called Palestine.
The so-called Palestine was invented to block the Jewish return to our historic Holy Land. The British who were supposed to facilitate a Jewish State during the period of the Mandate did everything in their power to invent an alternative. That's why they invited the Hashemites to take over Transjordan, which was far from the Hashemites' own land. 

The easiest thing to prove about the Arabs is their violence and terrorism against both Jews and Christians. That's why if you look at the demographics, you'll see that the only country in the middle east that isn't rapidly losing their Christian population is Israel. And the only country that gives full human and religious rights to all is Israel. Most of the Arab countries, including Jordan, are judenrein. That's the Nazi term for "Jew free," no Jews allowed.

While it's so easy to prove a Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the rest of the Land of Israel, the world keeps trying to invent an Arab narrative to compete.

Many kingdoms, nations etc occupied the land here, but only the Jewish People had an independent kingdom here. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

End BDS!

If you'd like some anti-BDS, that's the euphemism for anti-Israel those who are trying to destroy us financially and politically, information, then check out the End BDS site.

BDS is supported by extreme Leftists who influence the media, politicians, industry, business, academics and even celebrities, singers, actors etc. Their ultimate aim is to destroy the State of Israel, even though they don't like to come out with the "dirty words." Instead they give all sorts of idealized benign reasons and aims, but don't fall for their lies. BDS is Leftist fascist antisemitic. They have no problem with Arab terrorism, but they can't abide Israeli self-defense.

We con the world...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Two Pictures that Meant Most to Me at Beit Hatfutsot

Last week I visited Museum of the Jewish People - Beit Hatfutsot as part of the senior citizens program in the Ofra Girls High School, Ulpanat Ofra, with the students who worked with us on our oral histories. As we were all taken from exhibit to exhibit, we were told to look with our student and choose what means the most to us.

Here are two things that meant a lot to me:

This Life Magazine article was tucked away among other things, which is a shame. This article tells of the illegal Jordanian Occupation from 1949-1967, when Jews were forbidden to go to their Holy Places in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and more. There was a border, and the Jordanians also shot at Jewish neighborhoods. The world didn't care.

I took a selfie of myself next to this picture of children leaving a boat docked in an Israeli port, making aliyah. We made aliyah by boat, but as a young married couple, almost twenty years after the photo had been taken.

It's such a strange feeling to know that my life is considered part of Jewish History. I really don't feel that old, but in my head, I know that what others learn as history I experienced and/or remember being part of.

Monday, May 21, 2018

PA Post-Abbas Prediction: Death, Violence and Instability

Terrorist in tailored suit Abbas's days are numbered.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas admitted to hospital
President Mahmoud Abbas is in hospital for a third time this week, according to Palestinian media.
Abbas is elderly with multiple health problems, so one doesn't need a crystal ball to know that he won't live much longer.

Even though technically, Abbas was elected to his position, it was supposed to be for a limited term. The "expiration date" came and went; no elections were ever held. So, for all practical purposes, Mahmoud Abbas is a dictator, and like many dictators, in order to hold onto his position, perpetuate his rule, he hasn't groomed a successor. And we all know what happens once a dictator dies or comes incapacitated, others violently compete to succeed him. And there's always collateral damage. That means others, innocent bystanders get killed.

Unfortunately, there's a chance that the violence will spread outside of Ramalla and other cities and towns included in the so-called  PA-Palestinian Authority. Gd willing, they'll keep their violence and killing within the family, and it will end quickly.

Shiloh Memorial of those murdered by Arabs

Shiloh Cemetery 

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Story on Beit Hatfutsot, Diaspora Museum Site

As part of the Senior Citizen program in the Ofra Girls High School, I told "my story" to the "harav dori," multi-generation site of The Museum of the Jewish People, Beit Hatfutsot, formerly called The Diaspora Museum.
ממחול בניו יורק לתפילה בתל שילה From Dancing in New York to Praying in Tel Shiloh
It's in Hebrew, as you can see if you click above. I know that they also have an English version of the site, and I have to find out how to redo my story in English.

There are two basic aims to this oral history program. Besides having the stories of thousands of Jews from all over the world on their site, the museum also wanted the younger generation to hear about the lives of us older ones. That's why we were matched up with high school students, who asked us questions and typed up the stories on the computer.

Since our program began last fall, we've participated in many activities in which we "veteran Israelis" got to tell the teens about ourselves. I went from feeling that I had either no story worth telling or too many to choose from. This isn't meant to be a full biography, just one small but important aspect of my life.

When I found a couple of pictures of my marching/dancing, while holding an Israeli flag, at the 1970 Salute to Israel Parade in New York, it seemed like the perfect example of my "old life" to contrast with my present one. In the mid-late 1960s I was one of the prominent Jewish student "activists" in New York, SSSJ, NCSY, Betar and more. Today we live in Shiloh, and over a decade ago I initiated women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh.

Yesterday, as part of the program with The Museum of the Jewish People, Beit Hatfutsot, we went to the museum for a special tour. I hadn't been there since it had first opened forty years ago. They've changed it so much, not just the name.

To continue to build our connection with the students, we were told to walk around various exhibits with them and choose the items that we both felt connected to. By doing this we shared experiences and backgrounds. The students are the ages of our grandchildren, so they know very little about us. It was a very interesting exercise.

I definitely recommend visiting The Museum of the Jewish People, Beit Hatfutsot, and hope to go again, soon.

I couldn't resist a selfie next to this photo of olim chadashim, new immigrants leaving a ship, since we, too, made aliyah by boat, though about fifteen 15 years after this photo was taken.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Where Were You? Liberation of Jerusalem, Kotel, Temple Mount 1967

I'll never forget spring 1967. The terrible stress and worry which predated the miraculous Six Days War. culminated in Israel's liberation of Jerusalem's Old City, including the Temple Mount and Kotel, Western Wall.

During those tumultuous weeks I was simultaneously busy with all of the things that American high school students did in their last weeks of school, being that I was about to graduate and finally leave Great Neck. As one of the very few Jewish student activists, busy with NCSY (National Conference of Synagogue Youth,) SSSJ (Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry,) Betar and all the pro-Israel activities I could find, my priorities were very clear to me.

It was hard to be "two places at once," listening to all of the news updates and attending lame duck classes, which no longer had any real purpose. The school administration made it pretty clear that they could take revenge and withhold our diplomas if we had dared to skip classes or even the "Senior Class Beach Day."  At Jones Beach, I went from student to student giving them the opportunity to donate money to Israel via the NCSY Torah Fund. And in class, my friend and I took turns sitting on a gigantic transistor radio which was tuned to a news station, so we could hear the latest from Israel.

But the television newscast I remember best found me babysitting, just across the street from my house. That was when I saw and heard the reports of the IDF liberating the Old City and the Kotel. I can't find it on youtube with the loud crying of the soldiers, which I remember so clearly to this day. As they cried, so did I.

Do you have any memories of that historic and miraculous time? If so, what are they?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jewish Book Carnival, May, 2018

I'm proud to present the May, 2018 Jewish Book Carnival. This is a blog carnival that floats around the world on various Jewish blogs. If you'd like to host one of the monthly editions, then email carnival@jewishlibraries.org and reserve your month.

I hope you click, visit, comment, share the various reviews/blog posts. Enjoy!

At Life Is Like a Library, Chava Pinchuck had a fabulous day in Mishkenot Sha'ananim attending the Jerusaelm International Writers Festival, meeting with author Anna Levine, and doing a test run on Tali Kaplinski Tarlow's new ScaVentures Jerusalem: The Experiential Guidebook:
The International Writers Festival 2018

Over on the Jewish Book Review, Rivka Levy uncovers a book that literally changes her life. You can find out how, HERE.

Barbara Krasner at The Whole Megillah interviews memoirist Mimi Schwartz, author of the newly released When History Is Personal (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). Author’s Notebook | When History Is Personal by Mimi Schwartz

From the My Machberet blog, Erika Dreifus sends in some reflections inspired by Yossi Klein Halevi's Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.

Deborah Kalb interviews a wide range of authors on her website, deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com. Here's a recent Q&A she did with Elissa Brent Weissman on her new middle grade novel for kids, The Length of a String.

And here's mine. Wonderful Aliyah Story, "From Big Whine to Big Grapes." We bloggers do consider ourselves writers and journalists, but very few of us take the giant step into publishing actual books. Ruti (Mizrachi) Eastman has taken that great daring leap and published "From Big Whine to Big Grapes"

Again, if you'd like to host or have any questions about this series, email carnival@jewishlibraries.org.


If Joshua Were Alive Today
(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)

Joshua was one of the greatest leaders in Jewish History,
and the proof is that an entire book of the Jewish Bible
was named after him – a claim very few people can make.

Joshua, chapter 23, verse 6, narrates the prophet Joshua
instructing the entire Jewish nation to be very strong
to obey all of the commandments revealed by Moses
(“the Torah”), and also be very careful to not deviate
from them in any way.

Joshua, chapter 23, verse 7, narrates the prophet Joshua
instructing the entire Jewish nation to avoid mentioning
the names of foreign gods, and also to avoid causing
other people to swear by foreign gods.

Joshua, chapter 23, verses 12 to 13,
narrates G*D revealing that:
If Jews intermarry with non-Jews, then He will NOT
help the Jews conquer the Land of Israel.
And even worse, the sin of intermarriage will cause
the Jews to be driven out from the Land of Israel.

In our times, the ONLY Jews who believe that all
the commandments revealed by Moses should
be obeyed [when it is still possible to do so],
are the Orthodox Jews.

In our times, the ONLY Jews whose religious beliefs
include not mentioning the names of foreign gods and
not causing other people to swear by them are Orthodox Jews.

In our times, the ONLY Jews who are totally opposed
to intermarriage with non-Jews, and refuse to accept it,
are the Orthodox Jews.

Therefore, if Joshua were alive today,
he would probably be an Orthodox Jew!
Please also read: If Daniel Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Isaiah Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Ezekiel Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Jeremiah Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Ezra Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Nehemiah Were Alive Today:

Please also read: If Joshua Were Alive Today:
Please also read: Refuting the Fans of Vashti:
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How to Convict the New York Times of Unfair Bias Against Israel:




The Land of Israel is Central to Judaism, Not a "Yetzer Haraa"

I got some very peculiar reactions to my blog post about Israel's Eurovision win. Someone even called me on my home phone to tell me how objectionable he found that article. He kept referring to Netta Barzalai as "an abomination." I honestly don't understand how he can say that.

As female performers go, Netta was rather covered up. She used a costume, rather than her skin to get people's attention. This caller and some of them who commented on my blog had the gall to insist that as a religious person, I should condemn her and the song. Also they suggested that I have nothing to do with Eurovision. You can check the comments on the post if you're curious.

All I can say is that they are not my rabbi, and I didn't ask their opinion. I mentioned how Rav Kook had even seen the good in the chalutzim, pioneers who worked the Land, even if they considered themselves secular. The caller was horrified when I said that, claiming that Rav Kook would side with today's chareidim, which I consider rather unlikely.

One of those who commented said something I consider awful:
"...I'm not "condemning" anyone, I'm criticizing. Not Neta B and other non-observant Israelis, but members of the religious public that have made love of the land into a form of avoda zara."  Emphasis mine
Honestly, it goes against the very basic principles of Judaism to remove/ignore the Land of Israel. First of all I don't see us as "worshiping it." What we do is recognize the centrality of the Land of Israel to Judaism.

Judaism is not like any other religion. Judaism is Land-based. Christianity, for instance, isn't; it has no diaspora. The moslem calendar is a simple lunar one which makes the holidays float from season to season. Those religions can be observed equally anywhere.

The Jewish Calendar is the only which is both lunar and solar. This guarantees that our holidays will fall in the correct season. Jews all over the world pray for rain and dew when they are best needed in the Holyland, in ארץ ישראל the Land of Israel. There are many mitzvot that can only be performed the Land of Israel. We are supposed to live here in the Holyland.

Remember that the baal teshuva phenomenon began after the Establishment of the State of Israel, especially after the phenomenally miraculous 1967 Six Days War victory. Before then, the trend was to reduce religious observance, not to increase it. Our return to the Land and sovereignty, even as imperfect as it presently is, has rejuvenated Torah living.

We must keep looking for the good in what is being done and do our best to make things better, not to criticize and look for the faults.

Thank Gd for the miracles and wonders He performs for us. And we mustn't forget that it is our responsibility to do our best for Judaism, The Jewish People and the Land of Israel.

When I look back on the half a century I've lived here in the Land of Israel, I see such phenomenal improvement in so many aspects of Jewish Life and Nationhood, Baruch Hashem!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

USA Pres. Trump Corrects Historic Wrong

Yesterday was a day that should be treasured, not for what it did for Israel, but what it did for the United States of America. As American President Donald Trump and others stressed, the official recognition of Israel's chosen Capital City, Jerusalem, should have been made seventy 70 years ago. 

It was a horrendous historic injustice, antisemitic for sure, that although then President Truman was quick to officially recognize the State of Israel, it seriously scarred that recognition by refusing to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel. This very undiplomatic and unprecedented snub continues in the American Court's refusal to list American citizens born in Jerusalem as born in Israel. Gd willing, now that the American Embassy is in Jerusalem, citizens born in Jerusalem will be able to have their passports amended to state that they were born in Jerusalem, Israel.

I was one of the many millions all over the world to watch and listen to the ceremony. It was a very wise decision to do simple "sign-changing," which produced an "instant embassy" in the rather new consulate building, so the official opening wouldn't take years to be a reality.

The main theme in most of the American speeches, including the prerecorded one by Trump, was that the State of Israel, like all other countries has the exclusive right to decided on its Capital City.

Even though my husband and I made aliyah just weeks after our wedding, almost half a century ago, we are still American citizens. And we have friends, who like American Ambassador David Friedman straddle their loyalty to the United States and love for Israel. I kept wondering how Friedman felt as the MC of the ceremony. If he writes his memoirs, will he say that it was the high point of his professional and personal lives? How much of this "instant embassy" was of his doing?

We in Israel never doubted that Jerusalem is our Capital. The change by the American Government is for its benefit, not ours. Gd gave us this Holy Land, and three thousand years ago, King David chose Jerusalem as our Capital City.

Monday, May 14, 2018

No Room on Ariel Buses

Yesterday afternoon I was pretty lucky. Only one overfull bus bypassed/skipped the Tzomet Yarkon (Junction) as I waited for a bus to Ariel. I noticed from the computerized bus sign earlier in the day and my public transportation phone app that buses are more frequent than previously, but they were still full of Arab workers at 4pm. Besides the Israeli public transportation, I saw Arab vans picking up Arabs at the bus stop.

After another few minutes of waiting, a #286 stopped to let off passengers. I could see that there were some passengers standing, but I went to the driver's door anyhow. She, yes a female bus driver, let me in. I paid and was about to sit on the stairs when I noticed a young woman signalling me that she was giving me her seat. She and an older Arab got up for me. I got in, and then they each insisted that the other sit with me. In the end, the young woman did.

Looking around I didn't see any other females, just us and the driver. And I only heard Arabic being spoken. The bus was packed, and the driver skipped all the stops, since nobody rang to get off. It's against regulations to have passengers standing in the aisle.

But at the Oranit/Elkana Junction stop, a couple of young Jewish women got off from further back. And then a few stops later, the bus pretty much emptied out at the last stop before Ariel. Only a handful of us remained on it as it entered Ariel.

I got off at Ariel University and then waited for a ride home to Shiloh. B"H, three rides later I got home safe, sound and relatively quickly.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Eurovision: Israel's "Toy" Not to be Pushed Around

Please don't think I posted this on Shiloh Musings, my "political/serious blog" by mistake. If you'll read the post, you'll understand.

Not everyone in Israel stayed up all night to follow the Eurovision final including the count which gave Israel's Netta first place. I woke up to the exciting news.

I got a real kick out of the costume Israel's Netta Barzalai chose to wear to sing her song "Toy" at Eurovision. Once I saw that she was wearing a Japanese style Geisha* girl outfit in the "semi-final," I saw more than a flaky, clucking, attention-getting performer. You shouldn't be surprised to know that I had never heard of Netta Barzalai before reading all sorts of negative things on news sites and social media. And it has also been years since I had paid any attention to to Eurovision or Israel's songs for it. Honestly I don't like this modern "music," which is more performance than anything I can sing and dance to.

Israel's first two Eurovision wins, which were consecutive, were lovely clean-cut, singable and dance-able tunes, Abanibi and Halleluya. Both suited the classic Israeli folk song/dance genre perfectly, including the chosen costumes. In the following years, Israel got a few good results, but didn't win again until Dana International, the most well-known transgender in the country pulled off first place. Since then nothing until last night.

It had been considered impossible with the anti-Israel sentiment/policy in Europe for Israel to get enough top votes to win, no matter how good the song/performance.

Apparently the "show" and lyrics of "Toy" broke the hold of the BDS and other anti-Israel groups.

I don't know if Netta and whoever is responsible for the lyrics and geisha get-up intended the extra/additional meaning I hear in her song.

noun: geisha; plural noun: geishas; plural noun: geisha; noun: geisha girl; plural noun: geisha girls

a Japanese hostess trained to entertain men with conversation, dance, and song.
The role of a geisha is to be a toy to entertain men who pay for their time and services, so the costume is brilliantly ironic. Add that to the obvious fact that Netta is a "big woman," plus size to put it mildly. It's clear that she won't starve herself into submission.

Davka, the timing of Eurovision this year is so siyata d'Shmaya, Hand of Gd. We in Israel are celebrating seventy  70 years of Independence and a half a century of our miraculous 1967 Six Days War victory which left us with all of Jerusalem in our hands.

Most of the world thinks of Israel as a "toy" of its making, because the United Nations voted its approval of the establishment of the state November 29, 1947. The declarations and policies against Israel, including the refusal to recognize Jerusalem as our Capital City are unprecedented, something that never happens to any other country.

The State of Israel is nobody's "toy." Today we are truly a world power, yes, little Israel. Tomorrow the United States of America is finally opening its Embassy in Jerusalem. US President Trump has defied precedent and the State Department. He is the first American President to follow through on a very popular campaign promise. Many of his predecessors campaigned that they'd move the embassy, but they didn't.

Today is Jerusalem Day, the date on the Jewish Calendar when a large part of our Historic, Biblical Homeland was liberated in the 1967 Six Days War after thousands of years of occupation, most recently by Jordan.

Chag Jerusalem and Shiloh Sameach!!! 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5778, 2018, Jewish Calendar Connects Us to The Land

It always amazes me how quickly the months change. When I walk outside at night, I usually notice the size and shape of the moon, which like an old-fashioned clock hands shows the minutes even when there aren't any numbers, indicates the time in the month. A full moon means that we're halfway through the month, and now when there's a small crescent, getting narrower every night, it's clear that the new month is about to begin.

Yes, the Jewish months are lunar, but the Jewish Calendar is lunar with a crucial difference. It is also lined up with the seasons, the solar calendar. Unlike the Muslim Calendar which is a simplistic lunar one that has holidays that go from season to season, because the lunar year doesn't fit exactly into the solar one.

Jewish Holidays must be celebrated in the correct season.  Even the secular pioneering Zionists got that right, as they stressed the agricultural aspect of Jewish Holidays. Just like planting and harvesting must be done in the correct season, Jewish Holidays must be celebrated in the correct season, and the season is according to the Land of Israel. That unbreakable connection is intrinsic in the Jewish Calendar.

This coming Tuesday, May 15, 2018, we will be celebrating Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5778. Women are invited to join us for prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh.

ראש חודש סיון נתפלל ביחד בע"ה בתל שילה
א' סיון, יום ג', 8:30 15-05-2018
הלל בשירה ומוסף
סיור קצר בשילה הקדומה
דבר תורה
בואו ולהזמין קרובות, חברות ושכנות

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5778
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
1st of Sivan, 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.

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.