JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

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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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.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

GUEST POST: Forgotten Anti-Jewish Remark

Forgotten Anti-Jewish Remark
(a guest post by Mr. Cohen)

In the early 1980s [or maybe it was the late 1970s],
Reggie Jackson was one of the greatest baseball players.

During a dispute about wages between Yankee
baseball players and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner,
Reggie Jackson (who just happened to be African-American) said:

“Blacks do all the work, Jews just own everything.”

Reggie Jackson received no punishment and no criticism
for this public statement, which was reported in the newspapers,
not even the smallest of the small.

In addition to being anti-Semitic, this statement was also foolish,
because Yankee owner George Steinbrenner was NOT Jewish
and had no Jewish ancestors.

Contrasting sharply with the total immunity granted to
Reggie Jackson, “Jimmy the Greek” was immediately
fired from his job as a sports commentator because
he said that African-Americans have superior athletic
abilities because of their history as slaves – which
was not an insult, but a compliment.

Reggie Jackson never retracted or apologized because
he had no need to, because Jews can be insulted
without consequences.  For “Jimmy the Greek”,
no retraction or apology would have ever been
sufficient to save him, because blacks can never
be insulted without consequences.

This is one of the unfair double-standards
that is promoted by Political Correctness:

Blacks can never be insulted without consequences,
because they have been granted Victim Status
by the rules of Political Correctness.

Jews can be insulted many times without consequences,
because they DO NOT HAVE Victim Status according
to the rules of Political Correctness.

The most frustrating aspect of Political Correctness
(for me) is that most Jews continue to promote it, 
even though it obviously discriminates against them. 
This is insanity.

Reggie Jackson’s anti-Jewish remark has been
completely forgotten, as if it never existed. 
That explains why I feel compelled to publicize it.

Last but not least, the fact that Jews have not been
granted Victim Status is amazingly unjust, considering
how many times Jews have been persecuted.




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Polls Show Strong Support for Likud

In the Israeli Election System, one votes for political parties, not for individual candidates.
The leader of the party getting the most votes, after the one-hundred-twenty seats of the Knesset are calculated, generally becomes Prime Minister. 

In at least one case, which I remember, the second largest party became the ruling party. That's because Israeli Governments are coalitions, and the leader of the largest party was incapable of forming one. You have to be a very skilled negotiator/politician to be Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

That's why I never take seriously those who state "-- would make a great Prime Minister," because of some clever or even super intelligent idea/policy/article etc. Being Prime Minister of the State of Israel is not for political amateurs. It's a super complex job, which not only includes the complex political situation in Israel but the super-complicated status Israel has internationally.

Even with all the complaints, and there are many, I have against Prime Minister Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu, it's impossible to imagine who can fill his well-crafted shoes.

The tiny State of Israel is a or the world leader, and many Israelis recognize this.
The poll found that if an election were held now, Netanyahu’s Likud party would rise from its current 30 Knesset seats to 35, up from the 28 predicted by the same pollster just two weeks ago on April 23 and the best the Likud has fared in Midgam polls in a decade.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Israel's Very Long War of Independence

During last night's discussion among neighbors about the 1967 Six Days War, read 60+ is Fun," Getting Together Talking About Wars, we got into some very interesting topics. A couple of the women stated that the 1973 Yom Kippur War was a continuation/conclusion of the 1967 Six Days War, and there were also discussion and questions about the post-1967 aliyah boom from the more affluent Jewish communities.

About half the women in our group were raised in Israel in kibbutzim and cities. The other half came from different countries, France, the United States and Canada. Some of us are already retired, while others still work. At least half of us were in high school in 1967, while the youngest was in the lower grades of elementary school I'm the eldest, but not by much.

We talked about the differences between the "before and after" 1967 Six Days War Israel, both Israel itself and how it was perceived abroad. The miraculous 1967 war was a watershed event for sure. Nothing was the same afterwards. Before the war, Israel was weak, poor and with a draining population. The standing joke was to request that "the last one to leave should turn off the lights in Lod* Airport."

During the tense and frightening time, those weeks leading up to the Six Days War, not a single solitary foreign country or international body came to Israel's defense in any way. They were all lined up either supporting Egypt's Nasser, or just silently watching and waiting to witness the final collapse, destruction of the State of Israel. That is what intelligent and knowledgeable people expected to happen.

Not a single military expert in the world expected/predicted Israel's great victory or even Israel's survival if war was really to breakout between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

When the "dust settled," there was collective shock all over the world, including the Government of the State of Israel. It was so clear that the dynamics of the war were conducted by Gd Almighty.

Just as we were about to get up to leave, I found myself summarizing that period of time, the first two decades of the State of Israel. I realized that the 1967 Six Days War was really the conclusion of Israel's 1948 War for Independence. During those twenty years, Israeli leaders had discouraged western Jews from coming here and begged for their money instead. There was serious insecurity, both in terms of the fear that the country with its crazy zigzagging borders couldn't defend itself and an emotional insecurity that only Jews who had no other choice should risk living here.

Pre-1967 Israel was like a helpless baby, unable to walk, but after the war, we were up on our feet, straight, tall, strong and proud. Only then were we ready to cheerfully welcome, absorb and invite all Jews, even from the wealthiest countries to make aliyah, live in Israel.

Salute to Israel Parade, New York, 1970
NCSY Dance Group
That's me holding the flag. (photographer unknown)
*Israel's international airport was called Lod, after the nearby city. The name changed to Ben-Gurion International Airport after the death of David Ben-Gurion who had been one of the country's founders and the first Prime Minister.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Israel-Jordan were Supposed to be Like India-Pakistan, But...

The Indian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Pavan Kapoor, on far left, at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Next to him is American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I attended a diplomatic reception, plus panel discussion at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. On the panel was the Indian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Pavan Kapoor.

Before the panel began, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu greeted the honored guests and made a point of saying that Israel and India were established at the same time, India in 1947 and Israel in 1948. It was as I heard him say that when the seeds of this article began to sprout.

Both the Indian subcontinent and Mandate for Palestine had been ruled by Great Britain. Both areas had sizable and violent Muslim populations.

The experts of the time decided to segregate the populations by religion. In the Indian subcontinent two countries, one for Hindus and the other for Muslims, were established. And, yes, this required in some places massive and difficult population transfer. They exist today in rather peacefully, India and Pakistan.

Things were handled slightly differently in  the area called "Palestine." One of the reasons is that in 1921 Great Britain handed the Hashemite Abdullah a very large portion of Mandated Palestine to invent a kingdom for him, all of the land east of the Jordan River. It became known as the Emirate of Transjordan. The "minor" fact that Britain had been mandated by the League of Nations to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish state was ignored. 

The Hashemites had a very difficult time ruling and keeping the peace, even though the veteran population was rather nomadic and very poor. That required Great Britain to continue to play a strong role in propping them up financially and militarily until very recently.

Post-World War Two, at the same time when Britain gave up the Indian subcontinent and India and Pakistan were established, it was also time for them to finally promote the establishment of a Jewish state.

Of course, the simple solution would have been for Britain to complete what they had begun over twenty years earlier, transfer the non-Jewish population to the Moslem Hashemites and allow the Jewish Zionists to build and develop their country in the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. But they promoted a new Arab country instead, which they wanted to call Palestine. But there was no such people, history, leadership etc.

Instead, very tiny, disconnected and completely nonviable portions of land were allocated by the newly established United Nations to the Jewish State. Jews were transferred from other areas, but Arabs (Muslims and Christians) were told to stay put. The population transfer was one-sided, which gave a judenrein section to the proposed non-Jewish country while the so-called Jewish state would be forced to include a large antagonistic and extremely violent population. Basically, the Jewish state was established to deconstruct, fail miserably and quickly. In order to speed up the process, Britain armed and supported the Arab uprising, once David Ben-Gurion declared Israeli Independence.

And today we are still suffering from these decisions, policies and events.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kashrut Alert, Buggy Lettuce Question

How many bugs are too many?

Well, first of all, anyone with minimal knowledge of kashrut, Jewish kosher food laws, knows that we are forbidden to eat bugs. That means that if you find bugs, especially in the plural, in your food, or a food you're about to cook, you have to check if there are more, and if the number just keeps growing, throw it out.

On Friday, as I was getting ready for Shabbat, I pulled out the nice, green leafy lettuce my husband had bought. In the package, it looked nice and fresh. It had impressive "Hechsharim," seals of rabbinic approval, and instructions to rinse, just to be safe. I put the leaves in a large bowl, and as soon as the first drops of water hit, I could see fully formed creatures, bugs swimming happily. That was even before I had added my usual salt to chase the more stubborn ones from their hiding places.

A couple of simple rinses later, I realized that there was no way this lettuce was going to be clean enough to eat. I wasn't going to waste anymore precious water or my limited time. We had lots of other salad vegetables in the fridge, and the kuzbara my husband bought was completely clean of bugs. So I trashed the lettuce.

The quantity and variety of bugs of all "ages" made it clear that this lettuce was not for us. It wasn't even about the store's storage conditions, since the leaves were very fresh and pretty.

Contrary to what was printed on the label, the growing process did not prevent bug infestation. It takes longer for the bugs to grow to full adult size than it takes for leaves to wilt and go soggy and disgusting.

Personally, I prefer as much as possible for my fruits and vegetables to be seasonal. Citrus is for winter for example. And also are leafy and flowery vegetables, such as lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli. I can easily live another six months without lettuce. And I think it's actually sinful to waste our precious limited water on cleaning the leaves.

עלי בודק Alei Bodek
Green grown specially to prevent bug infestation, sic 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Blog Round-Up, Lots to Read

Even though Havel Havelim no longer exists as a weekly round-up of international Jewish and Israeli blog posts, I still periodically post links to other blogs. I've changed the format somewhat and hope that readers and bloggers enjoy the posts.

Anyone on the internet can read, share and comment. Please feel free to do so. I also appreciate suggestions of new blogs, which aren't on the blogrolls of my two blogs. In order to encourage/tempt you to read different blogs, I just list the titles without identifying the blog.

Please read, comment and share thanks. Here we go:

The New World
Israel 70 Years: Past and Future
Best Wine Producer in Israel
Merlot" Great Shiloh Dairy Restaurant
Nine (9) things I wouldn't have to tell a Canadian neighbour
Wonderful Aliyah Story, "From Big Whine to Big Grapes"
New Starts and Fresh Beginnings
Miriam Peretz, Israel Prize, Yom Ha'atzmaut 5778, 2018
Chuck (Haim) Hornstein Pictures
Yaron's remember garden
Suddenly, Mahmoud Abbas' closest allies turn against him after he mouths off with more antisemitism
Obama Spokesman Blames (Who Else?) The Jooz!
New Discovery in Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Everyone Knows
It's A Journey Not A Destination

Shabbat Shalom Everyone

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tanach/Bible "What If's"

As a student of the Bible, who has very little back knowledge and an awful memory, I sometimes find my mind going in strange directions during classes or when thinking about what I've learned. Last week I found myself writing the following note:

The day before my chevruta, study group had gone over the account of King Saul's visit to the witch/fortuneteller, 1 Samuel, Chapter 28. Chazal and midrash have a lot to say about the woman.

Did she really conjure up Samuel The Prophet, or did she just fake it?

Considering that her/Samuel's prediction was on target, totally accurate, that King Saul and his sons would die in battle, gives it all a spooky  legitimacy. Add to this the similarity to Samuel's very first G-d given prediction, when he was told to tell Eli the High Priest that Eli and his sons would all die ending their ruling dynasty. For some strange reason, it popped into my head that the woman was Chana/Hannah, Samuel's mother. No place in the Bible tells of her death.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Roseanne, Aliyah Would be Great, But Forget PM

Apparently, the irrepressible Roseanne has announced that she'd love to join her people in Israel and even become the chief aka Prime Minister.
“I want to make aliya, I do, and before all the stuff is sold – all the real estate,” she said. “I still have this fantasy of being an old Jewish lady living in the Jewish homeland... I want to buy a farm there and maybe bring my family.”
Of course, Barr won’t be moving just yet, since she just signed on to another year of her smash hit TV show, the revival of Roseanne. Barr said it’s true she committed to another year “but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Weiss asked Barr about the phone call she got from US President Donald Trump after the premiere of her show scored excellent ratings.
“He said ‘Congratulations on the ratings.’ He’s really into ratings like I am,” said Barr. And then the actress said she had a message for Trump – to thank him for his decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Being the rare TV star who not only supports US President Trump, but Roseanne Barr says so on nationwide television. The PCs don't seem to scare her.

I guess Roseanne looks at the real numbers, like the fact that although all the pundits and most polls had predicted an easy win for Hillary Clinton, it was Donald Trump who won the most recent United States Presidential Elections. So, nobody should be surprised that her revived television series is a hit. More Americans agree with her than the media and Hollywood care to imagine.

Roseanne would feel at home in Israel, though I hope that her talks of getting involved in running for the Knesset, which is the only way to be a Prime Minister, was just for the headlines. Like all Jews, she should make aliyah, Gd willing.