Hamas War

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Nu? What's New in The Jewish Blog World?

Clouds but not much rain
It's winter here in Israel, though there hasn't been enough rain yet. Gd willing the rains will start soon. But considering that the sages say that Gd gives us the rains we deserve... No doubt the awful political situation is holding back the blessed rain.

Let's see what our intrepid bloggers are blogging about. If you have blogs to recommend, please let me know in the comments, thanks. As usual, I'm only listing titles, so click to see which blog and what's written. I'm only responsible for the contents of my own blogs, not the others here.

Enjoy, read, comment and share.

#ShidduchCrisis, Book Review
Rockets & Reads: The November Jewish Book Carnival
Hold the Phone
Just enough rain to sweeten
the oranges
Berkeley Professor’s Survey Findings Confirm Embarrassing Ignorance of Israel-Haters
Proposed Law: changes to the electoral process
Bibi's Not Perfect, But He's Not Corrupt
Indictable Offenses
Judaism starts with the Land of Israel, Parshat Lech Lecha 2019, Beyond The 4 Amot
Rosh Chodesh Kislev
this Friday, Women's Prayers,
Tel Shiloh, 8:30am
Dinner at Hatch Brewery, Great Beer and Wings
Israeli za'atar beer from the Nomads
Improving Safety and Traffic at Shiloh Junction
Overcoming Challenges in Jerusalem
Should I Or Shouldn't I?
The Trail Of Our Lives
Real life beyond the headlines
Progressive Democrats Get it Wrong About Israel, Again
The Rockefeller Archaeological museum
To every fruit, there is a season (with helpful seasonal Hebrew vocabulary!)
Daily Mail Corrects Tel Aviv Error
Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment: Part 2

I'd appreciate if you'd tell me which blog posts you enjoyed the most, and of course please recommend blogs I haven't included in this edition.

Dry Bones

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bibi's Not Perfect, But He's Not Corrupt

What the Left, International Left to be exact, couldn't achieve in legal elections, they are doing by inventing crimes. My complaints about Prime Minister Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu are that he hasn't used his legal official position as PM to fully annex all the Land we liberated in the 1967 Six Days War, and he tries to please the world rather than act as a proud Jew. Bibi's attempts to be Centrist weaken the State of Israel. I want him to be a David not a Saul*. But these trumped up charges against Bibi are a coup, just like he claims.

I have no doubt that the funding, backing mentoring for Gantz's Blue and White Party can be traced to the same international Leftist conspirators who brought Obama to the US Presidency and funded the "anyone but Bibi" groups, V15 etc ad nausuem. Now, that's really illegal, but the judicial here and almost everywhere are terribly politically Left leaning.

This anti-Netanyahu coup is not only dangerous for the State of Israel, but it's dangerous for the world. There's no objective "truth and justice. " They've colored everything, spent the last century effectively taking over universities and media all over the world.

Someday it will just be chapter in World History, but it's hard to live through it knowing what we know.

Gd is The True Judge and can override everything. Shabbat is soon, and we certainly need a rest from the mundane world. Thank Gd for creating Shabbat.

שבת שלום ומבורך
Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
May You Have A Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

*King Saul was from the Tribe of Benjamin, and his weakness as a leader caused Gd to choose David to be King and establish a dynasty.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Coalition News? Haven't a Clue, But Don't Like What I Hear

Maybe by the time you read this there will be a coalition.

Benny Gantz and crew are busy trying to tack together a ruling coalition leaving out the MKs voted for by most Jewish voters in the State of Israel. Yes, please think of it like that. Blue & White doesn't want chareidim, the "ultra-Orthodox/religious Jews. He's not crazy about my crowd either.

The Blue & White leaders use the term "unity government," but they're not talking real unity. They don't want to serve with the fastest growing (reproducing) Jewish community in Israel and in the world  chareidim, the "ultra-Orthodox/religious Jews. For some strange reason they prefer Arabs to very religious Jews.

Basically, the Gantz crowd wants to go back to the days before 1977, before Menachem Begin's becoming Prime Minister. For those twenty-nine years of Leftist Labor rule, the idea that Labor would ever be in the Opposition seemed preposterous.

Remember that it was during those twenty-nine years, certainly the first decade, when Yemenite and other non-Ashkenaz new immigrant infants and children were kidnapped and given to Holocaust survivors and other infertile European Jews for adoption. It was during that time when religious new immigrant children were sent to strictly secular boarding schools for "better education."

Blue & White doesn't want unity with Jews.

On the other hand, Bibi Netanyahu has been Israel's Prime Minister for over a decade, and he failed just as I predicted before he was re-elected. Instead of being a strong leader, Bibi restricts himself to what he considers the "Center." Instead of aiming/leading forward, Bibi's focused on the Center, and it's like trying to cut a tough steak with a butter knife.

That's why Israel hasn't won a war. Our Prime Minister is a "centrist."

Likud may be out of power for a few years. Gd willing the country will survive, even though the anti-chareidi utterings of the wannabes sounds too much like the sinat chinam, baseless hatred that caused our exile over two thousand 2,000 years ago.

Gd willing, if there's a Leftist aka Liberal government, it won't last long enough to do too much damage.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Parshat Shavua Vayeira, Akeidat Yitzchak, Testing Issac

Bereishit, Genesis 22, Vayeira
We could spend a whole year studying the Torah Portion Vayeira, and I've written about it before. There's so much in it, narrative, theology etc. One of my pet peeves is the totally inaccurate translation of the term  עֲקֵדַת יִצְחָק, Akeidat Yitzchak, as the "Sacrifice" of Issac. Issac wasn't sacrificed, wasn't killed. The more accurate meaning of the word is "binding," and here it's not in a physical sense. Issac proved his commitment to Gd, so he could follow his father Abraham as leader of the new nation.

I believe that Abraham understood that this was a Divine test. It was already clear to everyone that his older son Ishmael didn't have any of the necessary characteristics needed to lead, but Issac had to be put to a very serious test.

As parents, we sometimes must witness our children's struggles. We can't take their place or stop it. It wasn't easy for our forefather Abraham to cooperate administrating this frightening test on his beloved son. But he played the role perfectly, and that's why Gd praised him afterwards.

Abraham was then able to "retire" as "national leader," but he still had to marry off Issac. More about that next week in חיי שרה Chayei Sarah, the Lifetime of Sarah.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Déjà Vu War- Let's Destroy The Terrorists So There Won't Be Déjà Vu 2

Israel's security is like a broken record. We keep having the same sort of crises, or wars, or whatever you want to call them. Of course the government doesn't call it a "war," since a war would not only require real fighting, but there's certain expenses and compensations that people must receive during wars, while "operations" or whatever euphemisms are chose cost the government less.

So far, I don't think the government has come up with a "snappy" marketing name for this one. Since Israel's citizens, especially those in the south of the country, have been suffering through these massive military terror attacks but the government never calls it a war every year or so I'll just refer to it as "The Déjà Vu War."

It's a vicious cycle. Israeli citizens are ordered to "shelters" and told to wait it out. How long should they wait it out? Until there's quiet aka until the Gazan terrorists use up all their missiles.
"Don't worry," our suffering citizens are told by the Israeli Government. "The Iron Dome prevents most missiles from hitting you. Statistics are in your favor."
I think the Gazan terrorists aimed about a thousand deadly missiles at Israel during the last Don't Call It a War.

Periodically, Israeli "forces" succeed in a movie-worthy attack on the Gazans, or more accurately a Gazan "command center," missile launcher or terror leader. But our government wouldn't dare destroy Gaza.
"What would the world say?"
Yes, I'm angry. Just because my house isn't under attack doesn't mean I don't care. My country and fellow citizens are under attack, and our government isn't protecting us. The only real protection would be to destroy the Gazan terror base, the entire enclave.

Following are pictures and videos sent to me by Gedalia Bloom. I'm using them with his permission.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Improving Safety and Traffic at Shiloh Junction

Just a few years ago, the powers that be in our Binyamin region thought they were improving our lives by building a sort of bus stop/hitchhiking post on Highway 60 going north at the Shiloh Junction. It has a bench, top and backing. For safety there are even a few poles that in theory would stop a terrorist vehicle from ramming into waiting Jews seated there.

Yes, in theory, sitting at some desk, designed and planned by "experts" who own cars and get cars from their employers, that bus stop/hitchhiking post is a gem.

But for us, those who get dropped off there, or those who have to that bus stop/hitchhiking post, it's terrifying.
  • The bus stop/hitchhiking post is far north from the Shiloh junction.
  • There's no safety barrier, or even sidewalk between the "shelter" and the turnoff to Shiloh.
  • Walking to the Shiloh turnoff requires walking directly into traffic, and most of the traffic is Arab. 
  • Walking from the Shiloh turnoff requires having your back to the traffic.
  • All this brings up my post traumatic stress from the terror attack, first ramming, in which I was injured over twenty years ago.
A couple of months ago, there was an announcement that due to the heavy traffic by the Shiloh Junction, we're being upgraded to a traffic light. 

Thank Gd, more than just a traffic light will be gracing our junction. The entire Shiloh Junction is being upgraded. There will be designated lanes for right turns. The construction of this new Shiloh Junction has been causing traffic delays most nights. It's far from finished, but the terrifying walk along the road is now a thing of the past. Last night I happily hopped, skipped and jumped while making my way through the dirt and rocks until I could cross the road and catch a ride going into Shiloh. The icing on the cake was when someone offered me a ride before I even reached the sidewalk. 

Next big request is that they make that  bus stop/hitchhiking post into an official bus stop, so we'll have more transportation northwards to Eli, Ariel and Tapuach. Gd willing....

Friday, November 8, 2019

Quiet on The Coalition Building Front, Good or Bad?

Israel has been in the Election and Government coalition building mode for close to a year already. We've had two national Knesset Elections, and still Bibi's steering a "temporary," lame duck government.

After the first 2019 Elections, Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu, the sitting prime minister and #1 in Likud, was entrusted with forming a ruling coalition, because he appeared to be the only party leader with a chance. He failed. And Benny Gantz, head of the Blue & White Party didn't do what the wily and experienced Bibi would have tried. Gantz didn't work behind the scenes to craft a coalition and surprise the country with it at the Knesset vote to disband and call a second 2019 Knesset Elections.

2019 Knesset Elections Redo also ended with a tie. There are basically four blocs of Knesset Members:
  • Right 
  • Left 
  • Hareidi (ultra-religious)
  • Arab
Likud leads the Right, though it prefers calling itself Center, and Blue & White leads the Left, though it prefers calling itself Center. Please don't get too confused, because they define Center differently. "Center" is one of those code words that politicians think make them popular with citizens of all stripes, like parve food in a kosher kitchen which can be served with both meat or dairy.

Center doesn't work with me. I don't vote for anyone whose ideology is "get me elected." I must know what the person plans to do for the country, their vision, red lines etc.

Simply put, the Likud can work with the Hareidi, while Blue & White campaigned to delegitimize chareidim from Israeli society and government. Blue & White promised a chareidi-free government. Their stated reason is the lack of patriotism of the chareidi public and their relatively low IDF army service. They'd like the support of the Arabs instead, but truth be told, Arabs are even less patriotic and less apt to serve in the army. Hmmm... does that make sense?

The best way for one of the big parties to make a coalition is to get deserters from the other side. Or are we going to have elections yet again?

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Tower of Babel and "The Twilight Zone." Parshat Noah

This past Shabbat's Torah Portion of the Week was Noach, or Noah. There are lots of topics in this Parsha, the flood, rainbow, Tower of Babel, antecedents of Abraham and Sarah and more. At our "Parshat Shavua Group," led by a neighbor, we discussed the sin that angered Gd in the "Tower of Babel" story.

In all honesty, I can't quite remember all the details, since my mind kept exploding with inspiration and ideas as she and others spoke. She read from an article that the late Rav Neria had written about it in which he mentioned the difference between  אחדות ואחידות, achdut viachidut, unity and uniformity. Unity is good, but uniformity אחידות achidut isn't. In both Hebrew and English both words seem almost the same. They are from the same linguistic roots meaning "one."

I was warned not to get into politics. You must know that a mantra of mine in recent years is:
Liberals aren't liberal.
We see this all over the world. Those who ascribe to the Liberal philosophies are horrendously intolerant. Socialism evolved into Communism which ran countries with very tight fists and forbade religions. And today Leftist leaning universities, politicians etc call those who disagree with their philosophies and leaders "wrong" rather than respecting the rights of others to other opinions.

When I was still a rather impressionable youngster, I'd watch the iconic and legendary television show The Twilight Zone. One episode has stayed strongly rooted in my mind for over half a century. It was set in the "future." This was a very regimented time, when even home libraries were limited to "approved books only." And not only were books censured, but people had to dress and look in the required way. At a certain age everyone was to choose a certain face from a catalog and submit to surgery. The episode told of a family of rebels which had forbidden books, and their daughter refused to submit to the surgery. They refused to conform to the uniformity of society. Finally the authorities seized the daughter, brought her to the hospital and operated. As I remember it we were shown her reactions as the bandages are being removed. She looks in the mirror for the first time at her new face:
"Oh, how pretty I look." She said sounding amazed and pleased. Then she looked at the woman who was holding the mirror for her and continued. "And best of all, I look just like you."
Light faded; the show ended. I'll never forget it. When they gave her the uniform catalog face, they also changed her brain, her independent mind implanting something to make her a complete law-abiding conformist.

Gd created us humans with Free Will, even though it meant that not all humans would follow Gd's laws. We're challenged by Gd to overcome our Evil Inclinations, which tempt us to conform to human philosophies and ideologies, rather than Gd's laws.

We're supposed to be united under Gd, for Gd and help others. The Sin of the Tower of Babel was that they made their own language, laws and morality. By creating a new language and building a tower they considered godly, they rejected Gd as Supreme Being and Commander.

We must unite under Gd not unify to defy Gd.

In Matan we learn as one, unified, united but not in a uniform. No uniformity