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Monday, April 29, 2019

Rosh Chodesh Iyyar Next Week!


It'll be warmer Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

Rosh Chodesh Iyyar is two days, but we'll be dovening together only once, Gd willing, on Monday, the first of Iyyar, 5779, May 6, 2019 at 8:30am, Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh.  For more information email me shilohmuse@gmail.com, subject: Rosh Chodesh.

תפילת נשים בראש חודש אייר תהיה יום ב', א' באייר, ,8:30 6-5-2019 בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה. לפרטים נוספים,
shilohmuse@gmail.com
For thousands of years women have come to pray at the holy site of Shiloh, where the Mishkan Tabernacle had stood for 369 years. It predated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Today there is a constantly updated and developed Biblical archaeological site in Shiloh Hakeduma. One can easily spend the day there. It is open on weekdays and is suitable for all ages. You can just walk around or arrange for an official tour. There are also interesting events, especially during Passover and Succot. For more information, contact them directly at visit@telshilo.org.il, or call 02-5789111.


Far From 120, Sad Day


We don't know Gd's plan. Birth and death are in Gd's Hands.

Yesterday I joined many neighbors at a funeral, a young woman who had grown up in Shiloh. I remember when she was born, and then I followed her to her grave.

אין מילים

Ain milim

There are no words, just prayers and sorrows.

המקום ינחם

HaMakom Yinachem

May Gd/The Place give Comfort





Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Redemption, Exodus: Would You have been One of the One Fifth 1/5?



In the simplistic rendition, narrative of the Exodus from Egypt, when the Jewish "slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt" managed to flee with the help of Gd, multiple miracles, one gets the impression that all the Jews left together. But a more exact reading of the Bible and Hagaddah and commentaries tells a different story. Only one fifth 1/5 20% of the Jewish slaves to Pharaoh followed Moses and Aaron out of Egypt and through the for forty years of wandering and transformation into the Jewish People who entered the Holy Promised Land with Joshua.

That's a better percentage than Gd got a few hundred years before when He sent out the לך לך Lech lecha, "Go, yes, you" message, and only Abram and Sarai, later renamed Abraham and Sarah responded by voting with their feet.

I'm pretty sure that my husband and I, plus many of our friends would have been among those to have followed Moses and Joshua throughout all the challenges they had faced. Not only are we here now in the Holy Promised Land, but we've been here ever since we were old enough to make our own life decisions, marry and have children. Our children and grandchildren, bli eyin haraa, not to tempt the Evil Eye, are here, too.

What happened to the 4/5 four fifths 80% of the Jewish slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt? They're gone, wiped out. There's no trace of them anymore, unlike the descendants of the Hidden Jews of the Spanish Inquisition, who even after over five hundred years have been returning to Judaism.

Yesterday we returned to our first home in Israel, Maon Betar, in what is now called the Jewish Quarter of the Old Walled City of Jerusalem. Maon Betar has long closed down, but the building is in use. The section where we had lived is now a dormitory for the Netiv Aryeh yeshiva, and downstairs is the Plugat Hakotel Museum.

In my life experience and decisions, I see the beginnings of Zionism to build vibrant Jewish Life in the Land of Israel as the call from Gd, echoing  לך לך Lech lecha, "Go, yes, you." Then it got louder in 1948 with Israel's Declaration of Independence and even louder in 1967 when the State of Israel so miraculously defeated the Arab armies who aimed to totally destroy the State of Israel. Three years later we docked in Haifa Port and began our new lives as a married couple here in the Holy Land.

Contrary to the many negative predictions and warnings we received as we packed up our few possessions before boarding the Greek Lines Queen Anna Maria, our move to Israel in 1970 proved a wise move. The State of Israel has miraculously developed into one of the most advanced modern countries in the world. I can say the same for our 1981 decision to move to Shiloh, which then was a small isolated community, dependent on an unreliable generator for electricity and trucks bearing water. Today Shiloh is the main community in a large vibrant bloc of Jewish towns, home to a couple of thousand families. Nearby Eli is even larger than Shiloh. The Gush Shiloh Bloc extends from west of Highway 60 to the Alon Road way to the east. Just a ten minute drive north west of Shiloh is the City of Ariel, which not only has government offices and lots of stores but also the Ariel University. Today it's hard to imagine, but the Shiloh we first visited in early 1981 had barely thirty families.

As crazy as it had seemed to our family and some of our friends when we made aliyah as a young married couple in 1970, it was the right move. If you're still stuck in the Diaspora, join us. Don't risk disappearing like 4/5 80% of the Jews who had been slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.




Sunday, April 21, 2019

Politically "Homeless" Post Israeli Elections 2019

I've seen this term on the pages of a few facebook friends who, like me, had supported Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's "The New Right" party. The New Right missed getting into the Knesset by a ridiculously small number of votes.

In response to those who suggest that we should "just return to the NRP/Jewish Home party," that's totally absurd and further proof that I've been orphaned yet again.
Why do they presume that I had a home in the Jewish Home?
I'm not of Bnai Akiva/NRP/Jewish Home. My Torah Judaism is a result of my years in NCSY, my Zionism is from Betar and it was coming to age during the 1967 Six Days War which drew me to live in Liberated Shiloh.

My Israeli political identification was more Yisrael Eldad than Menachem Begin, especially once Begin gave Egypt the Sinai and destroyed all of the Jewish communities that had been built there. As a result of the Camp David Accords, I aligned with the Techiya Party, but after about a decade, that, too failed to make the cut and enter the Knesset. Since then I find myself searching for a political party which I can trust ideologically.

One very important thing that keeps me from feeling "at home" in The Jewish Home is that I am ideologically opposed to parties based on religious observance. Here in the State of Israel we must look out for all Jews and citizens, what's best for the entire country, not just the "crocheted kippah" crowd.

The second recommended option for political affiliation is the Likud, but that, too isn't a good match for me. The Likud is too Centrist for my ideology, and I firmly believe that it is important that there be a strong Right party to pull the Likud Right.

The New Right was a good match for my requirements, and I like and respect some of the top people. I think there were two reasons they missed votes. One was in their control, and the other wasn't, though there's a connection.
  1. Moshe Feiglin's mishmash/supermarket party with a conflicting/contradicting choice of ideologies, plus his past as a Right wing politician/wannabe attracted some voters who had been debating between him and New Right. Some of them refused to read the "fine print" of his platform and Knesset list; they voted for Feiglin.
  2. I wasn't impressed by the campaign run by the New Right. I had been hoping that Caroline Glick would have been given free hand to produce and publicize a lot of Latma style campaign videos,which would have been more attractive and less strident. I have no doubt that the additional voters they would have attracted would easily have put the New Right into the Knesset.
Now I'm politically homeless, or more accurately orphaned. While my favorite politicians and political wannabes lick their wounds, recover, heal and plan for the future, I'll wait patiently. Really, there isn't much else for me to do. I won't be quiet. I'll blog and comment when I have something to say. That's what I do.

Gd willing Binyamin Netanyahu and his crew will build a ruling coalition that will pleasantly surprise me. Let's see if he really annexes all the yishuvim, which was his last minute campaign promise.

Gd willing next Knesset Elections results will be more to my liking.

Not enough people voted as I did, for נ The New Right
Knesset Elections 2019 Israeli Elections

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Easy Sefira Reminder


There's along running mitzvah in Jewish Life, Counting the Omer, Sefirat Haomer. We're supposed to do it from the second night of Passover until just before Shavuot, seven weeks, forty-nine days, though it's done at night.
In the days of the Holy Temple, the Jewish people would bring a barley offering on the second day of Passover (Leviticus 23:10). This was called the "Omer" (literally, "sheaf") and in practical terms would permit the consumption of recently-harvested grains.

Starting on the second day of Passover, the Torah (Leviticus 23:15) says it is a mitzvah every day to "count the Omer" – the 50 days leading up to Shavuot. This is an important period of growth and introspection, in preparation for the holiday of Shavuot which arrives 50 days later.

Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven-week preparation period. The commentators say that we were freed from Egypt only in order to receive the Torah and to fulfill it. Thus we were commanded to count from the second day of Pesach until the day that the Torah was given – to show how greatly we desire the Torah.  Sefirat Haomer complete article
For the first thirty-five years or so when I was trying to get into the swing of being a Torah Observant Jew, Sefirat Haomer was my greatest failure. Not once did I succeed in counting the full 49; I never even got close.

The first time I succeeded in Counting the Omer was when someone signed me up for phone message service. After that I began setting up my phone to send me a message every night. Actually, even though the count starts Saturday night, after Shabbat, I've already programed my phone. See the screenshot above.

My phone is fine most nights, but not Leil Shabbat, Sabbath Eve and the last night of Passover. Then I put up a sign across from where I sit, when my husband goes to synagogue. Bli eyin haraa, not to tempt the evil eye, it has worked so far.

For weeknights, I go high tech, and for Shabbat, I stick with low tech. Gd willing, this year will go well.

I hope this helps you.
Chag Kasher V'SameachHave a Kosher and Joyful Holiday

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My Father, Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L, 3 Years

Sidney Spiegelman, Z"L, 1920-2016, United States Navy World War Two
You could say that in my father's death he did me a favor. He passed away just a few days before Passover, just as I was about to really clean and get the house ready for Pesach. It was also a year I had thought would never happen again. We were to host the Passover Seder for two of our (then) unmarried kids. They had requested a "quiet" Seder "without strange strangers."

I'm a terrible housekeeper; the Pesach cleaning is always very stressful for me.  And I had thought that I'd retired from Seder hosting, since our daughter now hosts the big family one every two years, and we've been going to others as guests on the alternate years.

Once I got the news that my father had died, from the complications of "old age," my halachic, Jewish Law status changed. Since I wasn't going to travel to New York for the funeral, which would only be three days later, also leaving no time for more than a bare minimum shiva, Jewish ritual mourning period, of less than an hour, my status as a morner began almost immediately.

As a mourner, I was forbidden to clean, cook etc. My children and husband had to make time to take over all responsibilities for Passover and the Seder. All the food we had already bought for the Seder was sent to my married daughter, who suddenly became the expert in preparing Gefilte Fish. I wasn't supposed to even peek into the kitchen to give orders.
My father with his brother,
my Uncle George, who had
predeceased him.

My father with his brother,
my mother, who had
predeceased him.
My father was blessed with a long life, even though he wasn't all that happy being the very last of his generation. His brother and sister had both died before him, as did my mother. He missed them all.

During World War Two, my father served in the United States Navy, being a pioneer in the use of radar. He discovered that a lot of his training had been riddled with inaccurate presumptions. A gifted "problem solver," his analysis and solutions were crucial to the success of radar in the Pacific against Japan.

After the war, he found my mother, whom he had first met before going overseas, and married her. When they were first married, they lived in Brooklyn, NY, where they had both been born. When I, their firstborn, was an infant we moved to Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, where my brother and sister were born. In late summer, 1962, we moved to Great Neck, NY. My father worked as an accountant, adding CPA to his qualifications. After starting his career in the State Insurance Fund, he began a private practice on the side, eventually only working for himself.

Family, friends and work were my father's life; he had no hobbies.

Later on my father suffered a form of dementia that affected his ability to care for himself, but left him very social and fascinating. At one point, due to my mother's condition, she could no longer care for him, and we brought my father to Israel to live with us. My father enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, niece and other family members. Here in Shiloh, my father made a lot of friends, and we had hoped that my mother would join him in Israel, but it didn't work out. Instead, my sister cleared the house for sale and moved my mother to Arizona, near her. We brought my father to join her. 

That's why they both died in Arizona, but they're buried in New York, in the burial plot of Oakland Jewish Center, of which they were among the founders. Both my parents stayed New Yorkers in their minds and hearts. One of the standard questions asked to check dementia is:
"Where do you live?"
My parents would answer "New York," even after being moved to Arizona. That answer to me was not due to dementia. I have no doubt that they were totally accurate. They were just visiting Arizona until they were to be returned to New York, buried among their old friends. 

לעילוי נשמתו
אלכסנדר זיסקין בן צבי הירש
בן דוד יוסף 
בן אלכסנדר זיסקין

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Shiloh, A Place of Great Beauty

As you know, I live in Shiloh. Some of you even know that I take walks, mostly for fitness. The other day my walking partner and I decided to change our route a bit. We took a short detour, right near our neighborhood, and it was such a treat.









Shiloh is in the center of the Biblical Heartland. It is mentioned many times in the Bible. We Jews have more connections to Shiloh than almost any other part of the Land of Israel. Only Jerusalem and may Hebron could have more.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Israel On The Moon, Davka After "New Moon" Shabbat

By now I guess everyone knows that Israel's landing on the moon was a crash-landing. We do things with a bang, of course. Seriously, it was a great accomplishment, and only three countries, all much larger and wealthier than Israel did better.


When just a few meters to the moon, a super tiny fraction of the entire impossible journey from earth to moon, there were engine and communication problems, and the spacecraft crashed.

In the universe of space travel research, Israel's attempt is a great success and very unique. Unlike the other attempts, Israel's space industry is not a government project. It's a department of a company, Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI.

I'm not at all qualified to discuss the technical stuff, but I couldn't get over the timing. Just last Shabbat we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Every Rosh Chodesh celebrates the New Moon, the new month. And it was also, Parshat HaChodesh, when we celebrate the first Mitzvah Gd gave to us as a People, The Jewish People. The phases of the moon keep us on track, tell us when our months begin and holidays will fall.

Gd created all of this in the universe, and it is brilliant. The cycle of the moon, and the earth revolving around the sun. The Jewish Calendar integrates these different and conflicting cycles very accurately and successfully. No other religion, culture does it. And none of our ancient foes still exists, while we, the Jewish People in the State of Israel thrive in the modern world, Baruch Hashem.

In just a week we celebrate Passover, Pesach, the holiday in which we're commanded to tell our history to all and make us relate to the narrative, as if we personally escaped slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt and then began the journey to the Promised Land, the Land of Our Forefathers, the Land Gd gave us, and only us, the Jewish People.

May You have a Truly Awesome Shabbat



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gantz & Co Folded Without a Fight

The Blue & White Party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid officially conceded the 2019 Knesset Elections to Likud- Binyamin Netanyahu. I kept hoping that he'd say something about waiting to hear the final tallies after the double-envelope votes are counted, plus surplus distributed. I guess Gantz and crew are awful Poker players. They'd lose to Bibi in Chess, too.

Am I crazy to feel this way? I voted New Right, and we won't know for sure if they're really out in the cold until all the double-envelope votes are counted. Gantz & Co had been played up, promoted like they could beat Cassius Clay, but they ended up like a Woody Allen character, but in real life.

I had been hoping for more drama and excitement. The hype was so stupendous. Think about it. On paper, this shouldn't have ended so blahh.

Three top generals, who had been IDF Chief of Staff and a media star versus the professor's middle son. You'd think it would be a piece of cake for them. Now, granted that the professor's kid had been in a top commando unit, but against three GENERALS?!

It seems that being the middle of three sons can make one pretty tough, too.


Now Bibi, Trump has already moved the United States Embassy to Jerusalem and recognized the Golan as Israel, so we expect you to immediately annex, declare Israeli Sovereignty on Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, at least all of Area C. Don't forget to destroy all the illegal Arab buildings up there, including those funded by the EU and any other foreign bodies. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Israeli Elections 2019, Shiloh





We voted. That is my husband and I voted mid-morning. Elections are in the Boys Elementary School. Outside the school was a very hectic, carnival like atmosphere. Mostly young kids were manning the tables trying to give out last minute flyers urging us to vote for the party that had sent them. I don't think there are too many people who can be convinced by last minute flyers, but...

In the hallway outside the three (Shiloh Bloc has grown from two to three) classrooms where the actual polling stations were located, a local artist/jewelry designer was selling.

Lady Feyga. Charismatic jewelry & gifts boutique / ליידי פייגא

Proper identification of a voter is the most important step. In Israel we all have Identity Cards with photographs. You are assigned to a polling station near the address you have registered with as part of your ID. This prevents, or makes much more difficult, voter fraud. And of course, only citizens vote in National Knesset Elections.




We first voted in the 1973 Israeli Elections, after the Yom Kippur War. The system hasn't changed. It works as well as any can, and it suits the multiple parties who compete in Israeli elections. The Likud party had tried a few computerized methods in their primaries, but this year they went back to the simple pieces of paper.
This time the ballots were arranged in three rows on a long table. I remember the shape being more of a square in the past.

Instructions

Pick out ONLY ONE ballot/paper and place it in the envelope.



Yes, I voted! The pictures of me were taken by my husband.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Who's The Winner of the 2019 Knesset Elections? I Can Wait Until Morning

Tomorrow will be the 2019 Knesset Elections. The three main Israeli television stations/channels are promoting their overnight vote "count."

Well, count me out.

I'll be happy to wait until morning for the numbers, and then until whenever we hear about the deals to make a coalition. Believe me, Trump hasn't a clue about "deals." Forming a ruling coalition after these elections will make his Trump neighborhood on Manhattan's Westside look like a piece of cake, and his so-called "peace deal" will fall like poorly made souffle in a thunderstorm.

Local Shiloh Elections 5777, 2017
Nothing like the Knesset ones, except that I voted.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Bibi, How Dumb Do You Think We are?

Generally just before Knesset elections, Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu, #1 in Likud, starts his:
"Gevalt!! If you don't vote Likud I won't be able to form a ruling coalition."
And when the votes are counted, it's clear that Likud has leached votes from the Right wing parties. The sum total of potential MKs amenable to being in his coalition are the same as the polls had been predicting, but more are from the Likud. The "smaller" parties are even "smaller."

This time the "smaller" parties aka potential coalition partners are making a point of saying that since they plan on being in the coalition, one shouldn't fear that voting for them would make it harder for Likud to form the next government. So, now, especially since there are at least three political parties self-labeled as Right, now the Likud has come up with a new line:
Jerusalem Post Israel Elections NETANYAHU VOWS TO ANNEX SETTLEMENTS IN WEST BANK IF HE WINS ELECTION
Duh!? Bibi has had a decade to do it. Why hasn't he annexed our Land? It sounds like he's suddenly reading from the New Right platform, which calls for Israeli Sovereignty in Area C. Honestly, ideally I would love to undo the PA-Palestinian Authority, but it's not really feasible at this time. Anyone who says it can be done, is lying.

We know that despite Bibi's promises and smooth talking, he'll just continue as he has, unless he's more dependent on his coalition partners. The only way to see progress in annexing/declaring Israeli sovereignty is  to have a large, strong New Right in the government and Knesset. Honest Right MKs will pull Bibi/Likud Rightward. That's how politics works in Israel. This isn't Kansas; it's not even New Jersey.

Shiloh, Israel

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Only In Israel, Bringing MIA Zachary Baumel Home

Funeral of Zachary Baumel 

Funeral of Zachary Baumel 

ONLY IN ISRAEL

I'm proud, can't think of a better word right now, that the State of Israel does not give up in its search for missing soldiers.

This evening there was the official military funeral of Zachary Baumel, HaY"aD, almost thirty-seven years after he was killed in action, during the Sultan Yacoub battle in what's known as the First Lebanese War. Two more IDF soldiers from that battle, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman are still missing in action.

Apparently the search for his body and the other missing soldiers was with the help of Russia and other countries. The search is still on, until every IDF soldier, alive or dead, is brought home to Israel.

The State of Israel is about to celebrate 71 years of independence. For more than half that time, almost thirty-seven 37 years, Israel has been doing everything possible to find out what happened to those three soldiers. That certainly makes the time seem even longer. Gd willing all of our missing soldiers will be returned to Israel very, very soon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Yamin HeChadash, New Right MK List



The Yamin HeChadash, New Right has assembled an amazing group of people running in their list to be MKs, members of Knesset.

I've been following Israeli politics for half a century, and it's clear to me that we must vote נ in the upcoming elections.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The State of Israel Needs Experienced Fearless Leaders

One of the reasons I'm voting for HaYamin HeChadash, The New Right is because I want them to have enough seats in the Knesset so that the Likud will have to give Naftali Bennett the Defense Ministry. The worst thing for the State of Israel would be for Netanyahu to continue holding multiple ministries, including Defense, and even worse than that would be for him to invite the Four-Headed Monster Party aka Blue and White to join a massive Center coalition and crown one of their failed wimpy IDF heads with the Defense Ministry.

I hope you know enough Hebrew to get the message from this campaign video by The New Right. The message is that it was only due to Bennett's pressure on Benny Gantz, then IDF Chief of Staff, and Bogie Ya'alon, then Defense Minister, that the army put together an operative plan to destroy the terrorist tunnels in the south. The clip quotes actual security cabinet meetings to prove it.



An important theme of the New Right campaign is to give them your vote so that Ayelet Shaked can continue rehabilitating the Israeli Judicial System and Naftali Bennett can take charge of Security/Defense.

Vote נ