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Friday, September 30, 2005

Two Years Since Avihu Keinan, HaYa"D, was Killed

I wrote this just two years ago, before I began blogging. And now I'll post it, l'ilu'i nishmato, to memorialize Avihu, so his soul should rise to even greater heights. And it's all in purple, the color of Givati, the branch of the Israeli army in which Avihu served with distinction.


Musings #18
September 25, 2003

The Night Before Rosh Hashanah

The night before Rosh Hashanah and the siren-like sounds wailed and wailed and wailed, gut-wrenching, like women in childbirth. The shadows lengthened and the cries became louder. Chana, the mother, the sisters, the grandmothers, the friends, the neighbors, the soldiers in their rainbow of berets—the elite of the IDF—and the father showing all from where his son learned strength.

Instead of cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the Holiday that heads the year, we gathered outside the Tabernacle of Shiloh. Hundreds, thousands, impossible to see how many, all to say good bye to a young man. A young man who will no longer be able to make his friends laugh, be a loving son, grandson, brother, uncle. A young man who didn’t have a chance to marry and have children of his own. A young man who was known as the strongest in Shiloh, Avihu.

The sun disappeared beyond the horizon, and the son of the Keinan family was buried in the Shiloh Cemetery, in the row over his grandfather’s grave. Many people spoke, but his father’s words over his fresh grave burned deeply into all who heard. Moshe, the sweet-voiced chazan, the father of Avihu, accused the IDF of cruelty. He accused them of causing his son’s death, because they were protecting the lives of “innocent Arabs.” The army is not fighting like solders; they are unnecessarily endangering our soldiers, our sons.

Then he sang to Avihu, the Yiddish lullaby he used to sing to him, to comfort him. The song he once sang to baby Avihu in his clean crib and loving father’s arms; now he sang to Avihu in his freshly dug grave as HaKodesh Baruch Hu and our Kidushei Hashem: Rachella, Harel, Yehuda, Avi, Shmuel and Noam welcomed him to Olam HaBa, the Next World.

According to Jewish Tradition, the new day begins with the darkness of the previous one. And this new year is beginning with the darkness of Avihu’s murder. B’ezrat Hashem, may it be a wonderful year of Geula Shleimah—Complete Redemption.

Batya Medad, Shiloh

Quick note

I just popped over in between cooking to send off the "dirty politics" post to my musings list. Yahoo won't sent to everyone all at once. And I checked "the news."

The usual annoying hypocrisy: What if any of us spoke about the less observant, the way Shinui's Avraham Poraz says:
Poraz opposed the prime ministerÂ’s efforts to entice the Shas hareidi (fervently-Orthodox) party to join the government, explaining Shinui would be a more natural partner. Poraz stated that all the achievements by him and his colleagues during their tenure in the
coalition were being thrown out the window by the prime minister now turning to the hareidi parties to strengthen his unstable coalition.


Why can the anti-religious spout such things without anyrepercussionss? There are just different rules for different people.

And more about the farcial fence, which won't increase security. This is one of the government's major "pork barrel" policies to enrich themselves and friends. Since, as I've mentioned before, the fence makes it impossible to observe what's going on in the area, it reduces security. The "businessmen" had cameras put up to try to compensate, but the cameras broke down and are too expensive to fix.

Dirty Politics

There are those who say that all politics is intrinsically dirty, run by egomaniacs. Honestly, it does take a certain type of personality to go into politics, especially as a "life goal" or profession.

Think about it.

What's the real aim of a politician? Personal gratification and control over others.

That's one of the reasons I trust people who have succeeded in other professions first before being thrust into political life. It's important to know the real world.

In some ways it all reminds me of what a visiting newspaper editor once told me. I don't remember if it was a he or she.

"I prefer hiring people with degrees in history, economics etc, not journalism. Any intelligent person can be taught how to write an article, but if they have no knowledge, they really can't write with any understanding of the issues and background."

Politicians who only know politics are too obsessed with their own status and are usually insensitive to the needs of the ordinary citizen.

Climbing the political ladder as a full-time obsession causes situations like we now have in Israel. The two main parties, Likud and Labor, are far removed from the people. Many of the voters support them from inertia, because

"that's the party I always vote for."


Even the "better" of the politicians don't make independent decisions, because their "party" is more important to them than the needs of the country and its citizens. Recently Uzi Landau, considered the most ideologically reliable in the Likud, was approached about joining with the Ichud Leumi, National Union block of parties. His reply was that the Likud meant too much to him to desert it. Rather pathetic considering the dangerous situation Israel is in today. Obviously, he's stuck in the slime. His priorities are all wrong.

We need national leadership that looks at our country's needs first and foremost.

Shabbat Shalom and Shannah Tovah

Thursday, September 29, 2005

orange

Yes, I, too, am still walking around with orange. An orange bracelet and orange ribbons on my bags and an orange ribbon on the front door. Cosmic X wrote about it, but I'm having trouble getting his blog to work, so you'll have to get the link from the sidebar.

I see many places, buildings, windows, cars etc with the sign "lo n'slach." We won't forgive.

Erev Rosh Hashannah is a time for "cheshbon nefesh" accounting for our soul of everything we've done this year. It's a very sad time. Tisha B'Av is still in the air. There was no Shabbat Nachamu, no TU B'Av, no summer fun.

I came back into teaching feeling heavy hearted, no enthusiasm.

The rain clouds are supposed to promise a blessing, and all I feel is the threat of storms. Maybe that's why all the flooding in the states. Nobody's immune.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ichud Le'umi and Avigdor Lieberman

There is an interview on Arutz 7 with Avigdor (Yvette) Lieberman of the Yisrael Beitenu Party, one of those in the Ichud Le'umi, the National Union Party. I agree with things he said about the state of the Likud.

I thought there was something fishy when it said that he wanted to:
re-establish his right-wing
Yisrael Beiteinu party for the next national elections.


But I ignored it and read on. Silly me. At the end of the article he gave the bad news:

Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party ran together with the Tekumah and Moledet parties on the National Union ticket in the previous elections. He said he does not see such unity occurring again, however.

"Artificial unity that does not lead to a clear victory will do more harm than good," Lieberman said.

If he runs separately, it means that we'll be losing seats, just like when Rav Levinger and Daniella Weiss ran against T'chiya. Neither party got in, and lots of votes were wasted.

The ideologically strong members of Likud, like Uzi Landau and Moshe Feiglin should leave the rest of them to drown in the poluted political swamp of the Sharon family, aka the Likud. If the security and fate of our country, Israel, is really important to them, they'll stop wasting their energies on the crooked politicians in the Likud.

This week's vote in the Likud Central Committee just confirms how deeply entrenched the Sharon clan is.

The Ichud Le'umi must be strengthened.




Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Likud Central Committee Vote

To be honest, I think that it's probably best for the country to have the elections later, rather than sooner. Gives the terrorist time to get bored with being "good." That's if can call their present murdering and bombing good.

Election Reform, another un-numbered musing

this has been corrected; the early version had a crucial mistake

Election Reform is a big issue in Israel, especially among the Anglo-immigrant community, who have rose-hewed memories of "clean government" and "democracy" from the "old countries."

Whenever I hear the words "election reform," usually followed by "representative" and districts, the term "gerrymander" begins shouting in my mind. That's the art of drawing districts to guarantee certain results. It's very common in America; that's right. Just think of the Electoral College, which really elects the president. Presidential elections in the states is not what it seems. The direct elections are a first step to guide the Electoral College. And that's not the dirty part.

The dirty part is how districts are drawn, and if anyone thinks that the Israeli politicians would make fair districts, they ought to send in their requests to Santa real soon.

The parties make up lists of candidates, and the voters vote for parties, and according to the percentage of voters, that's how many representatives from each party. It's an ideological vote, rather than a local vote. Meaning you vote for a platform, an ideology. That's the main reason why people in Israel who voted for the Likud in the last elections say that they "were robbed."

There have been calls to change the system in Great Britain. There are people who consider the district system to be a distortion of the will of the people. Basically, they have three main parties in the elections, but Parliament really has two. Taking the total national vote and looking at the percentages shows a strong third party, but the third party, the Liberals, have almost no Members of Parliament. Coming in "a close second" gets you nothing.

The only real change I would make in the Israeli Government would be to have some sort of "balance of power" between the three branches of government, judicial, Kenesset and prime minister. First of all, the judicial shouldn't vote for itself. And we can go back to the directly-elected Prime Minister; it was tried once and changed back to the old system. Yes, if you caught this. Arik Sharon was not elected Prime Minister of Israel by the people. He was elected to the "number one spot" in the Likud, and that's how he became Prime Minister. The Likud got the most votes and was given a chance to form a government coalition.

And now we see from yesterday's Likud central committee that his "machine" has taken over the Likud. Results from the Central committee were as Sharon wanted, that party elections will not be in 60 days. That reinforces my long-time feelings that the Likud is not my party. I don't trust the people running it. And it won't be any better when Sharon is gone. It's rotten to the core.

Since the Israeli electoral system is based on "ideological parties," I've chosen Ichud Leumi-Moledet, which is for all Jews and Eretz Yisrael.

Live it up!

There's lots to see in Blogsphere. Just to remind you of some great "carnivals." I think of them as "magazines," where you can find links to a great variety of posts.
First of all Heval Hevalim, the Jewish-Israeli blog carnival. Lots of food for thought.

Then the "Best of Me Symphony," known as BOMS. It's always full of surprises.

And lastly, for now, getting back to food, is the Carnival of Recipes.

Take a look at them all. Enjoy, enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2005

More on Moze and Muse and how we see it all

Moze gave an additional introduction to our dialogue. I was in such a rush to the spa, which I'll describe on me-ander, when I get the chance, that I didn't take the time.

Moze said some interesting things. One, which I must disagree with, was that Israel lost the Yom Kippur War. I was here in Israel when it happened. My husband was about to leave the apartment, on Rechov Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem, when the sirens sounded. So, lucky for me he was available to help me with the then two babies. We had to go down from our third floor walk-up to the shelter in the underground level. Then I was sent upstairs to the second floor to use my English to urge Bubby Willig, our elderly American neighbor, down to the shelter. Somehow I had to tell her it was dangerous, but safe in order not to panic her.

The war only lasted a few frightening weeks. Unlike the previous Israeli wars, Jerusalem was the safest place to be. From my vantage and others, it was our greatest victory. We weren't prepared at all. We lost lots of territory and soldiers in the beginning, but thank G-d we got back all the territory and more, and we won the war. Two friends from American Betar war killed. Chuck Hornstein was killed in the very early days or hours, and then later, after the cease fire with Egypt, the Egyptians killed Eli Solomon.

What saddens me in Moze's approach, and she admits it in her introduction, is that she doesn't have that optimism that I have. For me the best part of the sixties, which stays with me, is that confidence that we can change the world. I do have a strong dose of cynicism, but it flavors my humor, like in the Baile Rochels, which you can find on the me-ander sidebar. And I can get nasty, which my readers can testify, but I can see past the #$%#$ and see a wonderful future, whenever it will be.

Shannah Tovah!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Moze and Muse discuss the issues

This may still need some work, but better posted than saved.

Cross posted to me-ander and mozemen


This started as a private e-mail correspondence. It has not been edited or spell-checked. The discussion is not yet finished.


The original post is in response to the Is it only in my shul? post on Shiloh Musings.

Flush left, green comments are by moze, indented, purple comments are by muse.



Are you saying the way your shul behaves is a good thing or a bad thing? In my shul weekly pulpit speeches rail against serving in National Service and are beginning to advocate not serving in the army, either.


Actually I agree with what's happening in the shul.


I am against the trend not to serve in the army. It was one of the aims of Disengagement to disengage us from the state. We're all suffering because the chariedim kept out of the army and many national affairs. We all have to be strongly involved and not let the anti-religious, anti-Eretz Yisrael continue to run the country. This was a battle, and we have to fight harder to win the war.


Do you really think the Charedi back the dati leumi except as allies
in their battle against the chiloni?


No, I think that they should see themselves as part of Am Yisrael, instead of as a superior waiting on the side.

And being part of Am Yisrael means fighting in the Israeli army?


Yes , becuase to boycott it means to only have others there making decisions and risking their lives.


We've been here since 1970, during the Yom Kippur War, when my husband worked pr in Shaare Tzedek, they had to take turns being there Shabbat and chag. The rav of the hospital poskened that only religious workers could work then, because they would be doing it "shem shamayim." And they had to dress expesially nice. Someone donated ties for the men, at a time when ties were never seen.


> Yes , becuase to boycott it means to only have others there making decisions
> and risking their lives.


Maybe the risk is there because those who hold the State holy allow it
to do suicidal things, stepping back from the brink of true protest
because "we can't break with the State--the State is the people"?


How can the Israeli government/army/institutions be Am Yisrael when
most of Am Yisrael doesn't even live in Israel?


By the same token, many blame America for forcing Israel's hand. How
can we, particularly we who are American citizens, sit back and let
others have to work to influence American policy while we soak up the
spiritual benefits of living here? Maybe we should move back to NY and
try to influence the American givernment from the inside?


We have to keep pushing into the system. That's what's behind #143, that they are trying to disengage us, and we must hold fast, because they don't have the numbers of kids we do, and they're scared and fighting dirty.

Who are we going to push in? What are we going to end up with? A
Mafdal MK as PM? What will that help? How many decades did "we" have
control of the educational system, and what did "we" do with it?


What party do you feel you could vote for if the elections were to be
held in a few months?


I was never for mafdal..


We push ourselves, and it has been happening, when so many army officers are religious or their parents are. Other professions where you rarely saw relgious people are filling, and we can't give up now. The burden was always on us, since chareidim just took the money for their silence..


Can we turn this discussion into a post that we'd crosspost? I'm sure that others are asking the same things. I've been writing about the issue a lot.


> I was never for mafdal..


Then who for? Not Leiberman, I don't think.


And even off the national level -- Moetzet Yesha? That's no model for
our young people. I can't think of a yishuv which is run totally
honestly, either. Where are the kids to learn the ideal way to run
things? Are there any role models out there at all?


Or is it the system, the "magiah li" mentality, the problem, and not
the number of bare heads? Might it not be so rotten that it has to be
torn down and built anew rather than shored up with our help?


> We push ourselves, and it has been happening, when so many army officers are
> religious or their parents are.


And did that help us any? We've been pushing since 48, very strongly
since the 70s. It got us Yamit, it got us Gush Katif, it got us North
Shomron, and it's getting us the wall. Why shouuld I allow my son to
go off and defend the people on the other side of the wall, the ones
who are leaving me vulnerable so they can feel (feel, I said, not be)
safe?


> since chareidim just took the money for their silence.


And meanwhile they get the money and the perqs. We get stepped on and die for our troubles. Maybe they had the right idea all along. In a
world of "magia li," take what you can and always ask for more.


> Can we turn this discussion into a post that we'd crosspost?


I'm not sure how, but it would be fine with me. I'm always looking for
blog fodder.


There wasn't any pushing until the mid 1970's. Mamlachti dati used to be a mafdal "pie," and Cherut the Begin componant of Likud, pre-Likud, had nothing.


I'm for Arye Eldad. I used to vote "Begin" then Techiya and since then Moledet, especially now I'm for Arye.


We have more power than you think.


I don't respect Moetzet Yesha.


> There wasn't any pushing until the mid 1970's. Mamlachti dati used to be a
> mafdal "pie,"

As you say. Do you think that if "we" get the power of pie again we'd
use it any better than mafdal did? We do have religious hot shots in
the army--the head of AKA for one--is it making any dent?


Obviously it's hurting them; that's why they've been trhreatening the hesder yeshivot. They won't have any koach adam without us. Each year we're stronger.

But stronger at what? Playing their game their way? Is that what we want to do?


The system is rotten at the core. Replacing Sharon and Bibi with
Bentzi and Wallerstein won't get us anywhere.


By the time "our people" work their way up the ladder of the system,
they'll be as thoroughly co-opted as today's "pet religious." Fie on
that. I have more choices than Sharon or Peres -- I can choose to work
to topple the whole house of cards.


Bentzi and Pinchas, yuch and double yuch.


Remember, the "powers" were hurting; that's why they disengaged. You can't imagine how much.


But again,


> what is it you want the kids to engage with? Business as usual?


learning, working and settling etc
never give up


> learning, working and settling etc
> never give up


But you also want them to make their future in *their* institutions--the army, politics, etc.


So what happens to all the education we give them, when they get the conflicting message of "Torah" and "obedience to government" all their lives? How do you expect these kids to play the game by *their* rules and survive long enough with *our* values intact?


Not easy, but Judaism is the integration of all aspects of life.


> Not easy, but Judaism is the integration of all aspects of life.


But
Judaism is against the hilul HaShem which is the inevitable result of
working with corruption, and Israeli institutions are riddleed with
corruption. In Judaism, when a house is infected enough, the only
solution is to destroy it.


You're saying that we can save the situation by putting our good nails
int a rotten wooden house. I say fie on that--let's build our own
sturdy building.


And you still haven't said--can you name one person--just one--from
"our camp" who'se made it into public recognition through "their"
system and who hasn't been co-opted? Can you name one yishuv that
isn't riddled with corruption problems, for example? (I know the
situation on our yishuv. I've heard residents talk about yours, too,
but there may be another side to that story. And look at Karnei
Shomron--ouch.)


Maybe I"m crazy, but I just try to look foward. this summer I kept thinking of Nachshon and Avraham and Yitzchak and their perfect faith. It's said that the water came up to Nachshon's nose, and Avraham was less than a fraction of a second from sacrificing Yitzchak. We can't look around and get bogged down in the corruption and filth.


When I see Tzachi Hanegbi on TV I want to cry, because I love Geula Cohen, trust and respect her. To think that her son has become such a disapointment. There's "nothing" in his eyes.


I do trust Arye Eldad; he's a credit to his parents. And I think that a "mesorati" leader suits us. He's not a politician; he's a world reknown plastic surgeon, and he was head of the medical department in the army, despite his politics.


I read the Uzi Landau 18 points, and there are some red lights, like his support of a referendum. He's not a leader; he's being run by a "committee."


I just keep doing my thing and saying what I think and feel, and I'm amazed every time someone tells me that I've put in words exactly what he/she believes. That gives me strength, and that's why I write and send things out without making a bloody cent on it.


> Maybe I"m crazy, but I just try to look foward. this summer I kept thinking
> of Nachshon and Avraham and Yitzchak and their perfect faith. It's said
> that the water came up to Nachshon's nose, and Avraham was less than a
> fraction of a second from sacrificing Yitzchak. We can't look around and
> get bogged down in the corruption and filth.


Exactly--Nachshon broke the paradigm. Moshe did, too. He was in a
position to "work his way up the system" and didn't. He broke the
cycle of slavery from the outside, nearly ruining Egypt in the process
(according to our tradition). Maybe Israel should have tried to get
more babies adopted into the royal household instead of the
destruction of the 10 plagues?


And Avraham--he's worked outside the paradigm his whole life, and then
G-d tells him to go back into it, to perform a child (man) sacrifice.
And if G-d hadn't told him to go back out of the paradigm and leave
Yitzchak alone, where would we be now?


Jews don't generally play inside the box--especially a box taken from
the non-Jewish world, which is the box you want our kids to try to
take over and I'd like to see our kids replace with something more
true.


> When I see Tzachi Hanegbi on TV I want to cry, because I love Geula Cohen,
> trust and respect her.


I wonder if she thought, as she saw her son take his first steps in
politics, that he was the first of a generation of "our camp" who
would eventually take over the country? See what I'm afraid will
happen to our kids?


> I do trust Arye Eldad; he's a credit to his parents. And I think that a
> "mesorati" leader suits us. He's not a politician; he's a world reknown
> plastic surgeon, and he was head of the medical department in the army,
> despite his politics.


He's coming from outside the system. Again--any "rose in the ranks"
who are worth the electrons to discuss them? I'd bet not--by the time
they get any prominence they've been thoroughly corrupted.


Tzachi was raised in Tel Aviv and Arye in Jerusalem and both in different family situations.


Tzachi was not the first, the first were Olmert, the Meridors, the Netanyahu brothers etc.


The older generation, post independence, took the discrimination against them (for being Lechi, Etzel, Revisionist etc) as normal and didn't fight it. So they suffered and their kids like Tzachi and Olmert were raised thinking that you have to bend laws to be successful; that's what the elite do.


The Mafdal crowd were "Uncle Toms." Yosef Burg was king and look at his son and the Herzogs even worse. I see them as the same mentatlity.


The younger generation, those born and raised after the 6 Days War are different. They're a higher madrega, level. How many more stages do we have to pass? I have no idea, but I'm in awe of these kids.


G-d willing, we won't have to wait much longer, but thinking back to the Bible. Things went very slowly then, too, slower than now. Shiloh was the capital of the Jewish Nation for 369 years before David made Jerusalem the capital.


Shabbat Shalom


> The younger generation, those born and raised after the 6 Days War are
> different. They're a higher madrega, level. How many more stages do we
> have to pass? I have no idea, but I'm in awe of these kids.


You're talking my age, maybe two or three years younger than me. I look around at my contemporaries and I see few Nachshons. The few that are there are getting their...nether regions trampled by our own "religious leaders" (who are not far off from the 'younger generation' -- maybe in their mid-40s?).


If you're looking for true leadership, look to the under-20 set. But again--how to keep them pure?


And, frankly, I think you're attributing too much idealism to some of the kids. Do you really think most of those thrown out of Gush Katif will rally to the defense of Gav HaHar or Drom Har Chevron? If yes--where are they now for North Shomron? Netzarim is already fundraising for itself. The Katif job site doesn't even mention the 4 non-Gush losses. Do you recall an "I heart N. Shomron" bracelet earlier this summer? Nope, neither do I.


It isn't right that Northern Shomron has been ignored. Strategically it's so important. Davka that's where Arye and his wife made their home this summer.


Of course not all the post-67 generation are idealists. And many won't go back to this sort of protest.


Democracy, majority rule has always been a danger with us. Moshe and later Shmuel had to fight to rule. And that's besides the classic example of the spies.


There are some unbelieveable psukim in the TaNaCh, where Shmuel complains to G-d that the people aren't listening etc, and G-d replies that He knows, since He has the same problem.


> It isn't right that Northern Shomron has been ignored.


But it makes perfect sense. My son is in school with several kids from Gush Katif, and what they say about their "leaders"--it doesn't surprise me that GK was targeted first or that it got all the attention. What does surprise me is how much communities in Shomron and Binyamin are cooperating in hushing-up the expulsion of N. Shomron--my daughter's off for 2 days to plant in GK hothouses, but there's never been a volunteer day for NS communities, though some of their teachers were from there!


I may be getting into Barry Chamish territory, but I don't think the primary targeted area was random at all. They knew who would get the media attention yet go quietly.


But back to the main topic. I spent a lot of time talking to my son this Shabbat. He's due to go into the army in the summer. He sees the army as his enemy. How can he be expected to follow orders when he considers the army as the corrupt enforcement arm of Sharon's plans? Most of the boys his age who are already are in the army, he says from conversations with them, are in it only for the shooting (occasionally) and access to the "mizron plugati" (most of the time). Why on earth should I encourage him to swim in a cesspool? In the hopes he can clean it out before he gets covered in muck? What are the chances of that happening when it hasn't happened over the last 30 years?


True there wasn't equal focus to the two areas of Disengagement. Northern Shomron was never a "moetzet Yesha stronghold." I guess that's why Arye Eldad ended up moving there. At some point in the near, pre-election future, I must have a good talk with him. I'm on the anglo moledet yahoo list, and it's not serious. I'll drop from digest to special notices. I don't know what party influence it has, but I'm disappointed. The powers ignore me. Ok, it would help if I wrote in Hebrew, but maybe I'm safer this way.


From what I was able to hear on Shabbat from Rav Elchanan Bin Nun's drasha in my shul, the state and army should still be supported. Rav Elchanan is Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Orot, near Har HaZaitim. Maybe your son should speak to him, and you, too.


> True there wasn't equal focus to the two areas of Disengagement. Northern
> Shomron was never a "moetzet Yesha stronghold."


And GK was?


> From what I was able to hear on Shabbat from Rav Elchanan Bin Nun's drasha
> in my shul, the state and army should still be supported.


Why? Could you give me a short summary of his reasoning?


GK had mafdal and MY people. Northern Shomron had none of that.


Sorry, I only heard snippets from Rav Elchanan. He generally bases on Rav Kook. I'll have to ask around.


Ah, well, then, it wouldn't be of much help to my family. Our philosophy is Talmidei HaGRA, and you'll find that most of the Old Yishuv people had serious disagreements with R' Kook, though they might have shared a Shabbat chulent with him.


Only in Israel, Ellul Special

There's nothing like the weekly sports roundup to show what it's like to be a "man" in Israel. Over a year ago, I was impressed by the announcer's "3 week beard," which appeared on the kippah-wearing one during the 3 weeks. That's the time of the year between the 17th of Tammuz and 9th of Av, when Jews mourn the destructions of the Holy Temples. One of the Jewish Laws of Mourning is that it's forbidden to cut hair, which includes shaving. Also, it's very common for Israeli men, even those not normally considered "religious" to follow the 30 law not to shave after the death of a close relative. This includes politicians and media stars.

A couple of years ago, the tv feature about the head Israeli basketball coach opened with his dovening, praying, wrapped in his T'fillin. Many of prominent Israeli men, including world famous actor, Chaim Topol, are very proud to let people know that their days begin with morning prayers and T'fillin.

The other night there was an item on tv about how the "in thing" for those looking for a great spiritual experience is to go to a certain Sepharadi synagogue for midnight or pre-dawn "Slichot" prayers. I discussed this with a neighbor who said that it really is intense, even addictive, in a sense. That's why the shuls, (ok, funny to use the Yiddish work for a North-African synagogue,) are full every night for the month of Ellul, which leads up to Rosh Hashnnah.

And finally, last night's bit of inspiration for sports fans. It's well-known in Israel that many people are finding G-d, becoming Torah observant Jews. That includes, not only "ordinary people of all walks of life," but famous and successful actors and athletes. Last night they showed the highlights of a soccer match between the now religious athletes and others; I didn't catch whom they were playing. I'm also not familiar enough with the players to have caught their names, sorry. The emphasis was on how the sportsmen feel today, when the Beit Medrash, Torah Study Hall, has replaced the soccer field. They all stressed how much happier they are. One said: "I had everything material, but I had nothing. Now my life is so much fuller."

One of the best things about this crop of Chozrei B'Tshuva, Returnees to the Faith, is that they are comfortable with their past and present. In the earlier days, 30-40 years ago, of this "trend," newly observant Jews were encouraged to totally turn their backs on their past, not only the sinful habits, but their friends and professions. Now, more and more people are integrating all of aspects of their lives.

Shanah Tovah!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Civil Rights in Israel

This has become a very difficult issue for many of us. CIVIL RIGHTS IN ISRAEL. Who would have thought that the Jewish State of Israel would become one of the worst abusers in the 21st Century?

I'm including the AFSI Update about Moshe and Chaya Belogorodsky's visit to the USA. They are neighbors of mine. It's impossible to comprehend that the quiet shy, young girl I've seen walking their dog and helping to care for her baby sister can be so feared by the Israeli Government that she was jailed under the most restrictive conditions. And what did she do? She wouldn't listen to the policewoman. She wasn't violent or dangerous. and for that she spent over a month in prison.

But another little neighborhood girl has been in longer. The government considers her a real "danger." Why? Basically, she just doesn't respect the system. She's a high school student of high ideals. She demonstrated repeatedly to cancel Disengagement, and on a number of occasions the police picked her up, literally off the street.

Did you know that all sorts of Labor Unions have blocked traffic to demand more money, and none of them were jailed. The media was not full of dire warnings that their demonstrations would cause the deaths and needless suffering of ordinary citizens. No one was arrested when businesses lost enormous amounts of money, because their goods couldn't be released from port or sent to customers. They weren't' arrested when planes didn't take off or land causing losses to the tourist industry. Ambulances found alternative routes.

Unions demanded money, oh, that's the Israeli way...

But back to these young kids, like my neighbor's daughter, who kept going back to demonstrate to fight for Eretz Yisrael, like in the pre-State times. No passive sheep-like behavior for her. And she was thrown in jail and became totally disillusioned with the system. Being disillusioned with the system is now what's keeping her in jail. She just doesn't want to play their games.

There's nothing like a teenager for seeing through the lies and tricks. They're so pure. But that's not criminal, is it? It is in a totalitarian regime.

Laws are applied differently for different people. It's like in the United States and J.J. Pollard. He took the "law" into his own hands when he saw that his bosses weren't passing Israel information it should have had been receiving according to signed treaties. He than passed the information on himself. He was caught, and Israel didn't protect him. And now he's still in jail. His punishment was more severe and longer than anything given to enemy spies. And he didn't help any enemies. You can say that he was foolish, or you can say that he was too naive, but he was helping an ally. But---he is Jewish and helped Israel. American civil rights activists ignore him, or he would have been released years ago.

And international civil rights activists don't care that Israeli teenagers are being jailed for political dissent, for sitting down in the street, for talking back to policewomen. They're too busy defending the rights of Arab terrorists.

And nobody seems to think there's a civil rights issue in the fact that most of the Arab world is Judenrein--empty of Jews. What kind of peace is being brewed where Jews are forbidden to enter? where synagogues are destroyed? What about Jewish civil rights?

Here's the AFSI notice:
AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL/AFSI; 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128; Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717; http://www.afsi.org/; http://us.f538.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=afsi@rcn.com; September 23, 2005
Contact: Helen Freedman, Executive Director
ALERTING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO JUDICIAL HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHTS ABUSES IN ISRAEL
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005, Herbert Zweibon, Chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI, and Helen Freedman, AFSI Executive Director, escorted Chaya and Moshe Belogorodsky through the halls of Congress in Washington, DC. The two leaders of AFSI believed it was very important to introduce the Members of Congress to a father and daughter who have been victims of the “judicial imperialism” that exists today in the Israeli courts, encouraged by the Sharon government’s disregard for the will of the people. Robert Bork, American legal scholar, describes the Israeli Supreme Court as one that “is gradually producing an Israel that is neither Jewish nor democratic.” Chaya, 14 years old, was arrested by the Israeli police for standing on the sidelines in a protest against the expulsion, and then speaking rudely to a policewoman. She was kept in solitary confinement for five days, without permission to call her family or a lawyer, denied water and basic needs for periods of time. After the five days, she was moved out of solitary and kept in jail for an additional 35 days. All of this was prior to any trial, the date of which must still be set. At the trial, should she be found guilty of her “crime”, the penalty for this would be a monetary fine, without any jail time. But for this, she has already served 40 days in jail. Her father, Moshe, tried desperately to get her released, going from one court to another, until he reached the Supreme Court. There the judge ruled that Chaya was an “ideological criminal” and therefore more dangerous than drug dealers, murderers, rapists, and even terrorists, who are released as good will gestures to other terrorists. It was only public opinion pressure that finally secured her release.
As Chaya and Moshe told their stories to Congressman Jim Saxton, and aides for Senator Inhofe, Congressmen Mike Pence and Tom Tancredo, they received overwhelming interest and concern. It is expected that action will be taken on the part of those who heard the Belogorodsky story to inform Prime Minister Sharon that such civil disobedience actions as taking part in demonstrations is part and parcel of the democratic process, and jailing minors for long periods of time for such offenses is intolerable.
As Freedman, Zweibon, Chaya and Moshe spoke in the halls of Congress, they also told about the hundreds of other cases where minors are sitting in jail for similar offenses. The case of Shimshon Cytryn, presently being held for “attempted murder” in a clearly trumped up case, and eleven new cases of arrests of minors, illustrates that the “judicial imperialism,” producing egregious violations of human and civil rights in Israel, is running out of control. Honenu, an Israeli Jewish civil rights organization that defends the legal rights of minors and others caught in such cases needs the support of an informed public. Call AFSI, 212-828-2424, or write: http://us.f538.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=afsi@rcn.com, for additional information.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's all in the Torah

This week's Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week, is frightening. That is especially when you think of what has been happening in Israel and the Jewish World.

It's called, Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8. In it are "curses," or "promises, or "threats," depending upon how you want to see it. They are the punishments G-d tells us will fall on the entire Jewish People for sinning against the Land. I'm scared. We, as a people, didn't do enough. Read this commentary I found on the Aish site.

On one hand, as an individual, my faith is strong, and I see, despite Disengagement, general improvement. It's like a long birth.

For hours the baby's hair shows, looking long and wavy, then suddenly, it's back in the mother. In and out, no matter how hard the mother pushes. The baby keeps teasing, more hair, the top of the head, and then drawn back in. It seems like forever. The mother's in pain, when? When? How much longer?

But according to the Torah, for such sins, there will be punishment, G-d forbid!

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!

part two

Here's the second and final part of Israel Zwick's document refuting "Palestinian" claims.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

#143 Don't You Get It?!

Musings #143
September 22, 2005
The 18th of Ellul

Don’t You Get It?!

Over and over I keep reading and hearing on the news that the government’s Disengagement Authority made arrangements to divide the Disengagement victims and designed all sorts of “temporary” solutions, necessitating multiple moves and further dislocations even though the experts and the victims themselves all agree that they want to preserve their communities and social, educational and religious ties. It’s a known fact that the best chance of a healthy recovery and adjustment is to facilitate the continuity of the refugees’ communal lives.

But don’t you get it? The government, made its plans to divide, separate and disorient the victims, because it was the opposite of what is best for the refugees! Their overall aim is, not was but is, to demoralize and destroy the national religious and pro-Eretz Yisrael section of the population.

Add to that the cost of all these temporary “solutions,” especially the “caravilla” town of
Nitzan. It costs the government $100,000 per family for this temporary shantytown for refugees. Now, considering that when the two to three years are up, most of these poor people will be so totally bankrupt after continuing to pay their old mortgages and loans and paying the government rent and being unemployed, that they won’t be able to afford to buy new homes.

Nitzan will end up being the “mother of all” Israeli slums, outdoing the “asbestonim,” erected for the North African immigrants who made aliyah in the early days of the state. As horrid as those asbestos shacks sound, they were a lot sturdier and more weatherproof than the prefab huts, euphemistically called “caravillas,” which are made of “reinforced” cardboard.

Now, I have one of my “dumb questions.” If the government is willing to throw out $100,000 per family for temporary housing, why can’t they just give each family the money, their officially calculated compensation and some government land and allow the people to build their own communities? Yes, it’s capitalism, rather than the paternalist socialism. It would certainly save a lot of money all around. And the most important factor is that it would give the victims power, control over their lives again. It is the best way for them to recover from the horrendous traumas of recent months. It would also help preserve family structure by showing the children that their parents aren’t pathetic failures, which will, G-d forbid, be one of the secondary negative effects of Disengagement if things don’t change soon.

The one shining light has been the community of Atzmonah, which has established a kibbutz-like refugee town in a failed industrial zone way in the south, called
Ir Ha'Emunah, the City of Faith. Despite the obvious difficulties, such as two washing machines for dozens of families, the residents radiate purpose and faith. They wish to stay there together while building their new homes. They are already a community. The only problem is that the government doesn’t approve and wants them to leave and live in the scattered apartments all over the country, which had been rented for the refugees.

Last night there was an investigative feature on TV showing how the Disengagement victims are coping. I was really impressed by what’s going on in Ir Ha’Emunah. It certainly fleshed out my friend’s description. One should never forget the emotional and spiritual strength and fortitude of the people of Gush Katif. They had lived for the past few years with rocket bombardments and terrorism that was more like a horror movie than the idyllic picture they paint of their former homes. These are people of great strength, and they function best when they can make their own decisions. The government, the Disengagement Authority, has been doing its best to destroy them by vetoing all of their suggestions and redistributing the population.

Redistributing means that the communities have been, on the whole, divided and then patched up with others, primarily in Nitzan. Nitzan has the added burden of almost total unemployment. Even the enthusiastic residents, anxious for their moment of fame on national TV, contradicted their words of praise with reports of no jobs and no prospects. And it was clear that many of them were unrealistically optimistic that the schools their children finally began, just that morning, weeks late, would be the end of their educational problems.

There was a very disturbing scene from the Noam Girls School in Jerusalem when some of the children became totally hysterical while being interviewed, accusing the media of trying to make the unspeakable horror of Disengagement seem benign and normal. Then the principal spoke, apologizing for miscalculating the pain and trauma his refugee students are still undergoing. He had assumed that the well-behaved girls were well adjusted to the move, and therefore had approved the media’s interviewing them.

The vast majority of the Disengagement victims are still in turmoil, without any permanent home in site. One of the basic things taught in first aid courses is that when treating cuts, one should quickly put pressure on it, to hold the skin together, so it will begin to heal. The longer the cut is open, the larger the gap between the pieces of skin, the more difficult the healing and the thicker and larger the scar. The more the government, the Disengagement Authority, prevents the victims from finding the solutions best for themselves the more damage and scarring, not only to the victims but to our entire country.

Refuah Shleimah, a Complete Healing,
Gmar Chatima Tovah, May G-d Forgive Us and Accept Our Prayers,


Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

one of the "lucky" ones

Not all the Disengagement victims are in refugee camps and hotels. Some, not many, either had other property or managed to make their own arrangements.

Here's the latest report about one of thse "lucky" ones.

This family made a deal with someone they know to buy a small house near good friends. All of the compensation is supposed to cover expenses, more or less, but of course no money has been given the victims, so in the meantime, they have a "rental arrangement." OK, fair.

These people don't have a lot of money, so it was decided to only take what would fit in the minimal standard moving van provided, for hefty payment, of course, from the Disengagement Authority. The payment/charge is far more than if they had been able to get a regular mover, but since they needed the "Authority's storage facilities" for a few weeks until the new home was ready, they had no choice. Remember that none of these facilities are free. A lot of their possessions were just left in Gush Katif, because the movers couldn't fit it in the van.

Being middle-aged with grown kids, they moved around while the house was gotten ready. Luckily family members helped get the house ready.

Finally the big day, and they had their furniture and other household items brought from storage.

What do you think? Come on; it's pretty easy to guess. Yes, everything was broken, damaged, destroyed. Now they have to see what insurance they had. When they had been forced to leave, they were sad but willing to start over.

They never thought that starting over would be this bad.

And remember that these are the lucky ones.

Please support Arutz 7

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Good luck!

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a real hero

History will show that Avri Ran is a true hero of Israel. In a hundred years or more, not even today's media will be able to hide the truth.

Settling our Land is the most important thing for us to do, and it's done by individuals. The objective is not to fence in Jews, it's to "ufaratzta" spread us out all over the Land.

Someday, his great contribution will be honored in this world, not only in the world of truth.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Is it only in my shul?


Is it only in my shul?
that embarrassed reluctance
to stand for the blessings
for the state and soldiers?

Is it only in my shul?
that a waving flag
of blue and white
gets our backs
rather than proud eyes?

Is it only in my shul?
that a freed jailbird
is honored as a hero?


Is it only in my shul?
that the chatan
a week before his wedding
is missing his honors
jailed instead?

Is it only in my shul?
that we wonder
if we're Sharon's
next painful concessions?

Is it only in my shul?

Liberty!

In my quest to spread my musings further afield, I decided to try to get into The Carnival of Liberty! Haven't I been complaining that somehow Jewish civil rights are, davka, abused by those so sensitive towards others? Why is it that frequently Jews are so willing to make demands of other Jews, that they wouldn't make of any other religion, race etc? The host wrote to me asking why I felt that my post was relevant to "liberty." I wasn't sure that it would be included, but it's there. I suggest that more of us should spread our message.

What do you think?

More money to the terrorists

The European Union sure loves terrorists. It has decided to give more money to the same guys who destroyed over twenty synagogues last week. When will my fellow Israelis ever understand that it doesn't matter what we do, the world will always hate us. That's why, as I've said before, Yad Veshem raises more money than Jewish education. People love giving to the Holocaust. Dead Jews get money, but young, live ones don't.

And my young lively students deserve that I get off the computer and plan the lessons for today!

Monday, September 19, 2005

A friend visited a refugee camp.

A friend of mine visited people she knows in one of the refugee camps. She gave me permission to post her letter.

Dear All of you,

Here's some stuff I wrote in a letter to my friend D the other night, while the impressions were fresh, that I thought you might also like to see. Apologize in advance that it's unedited, unrevised.

The images in that presentation [http://tinyurl.com/csn7k] are wonderful. That's exactly how it was.* * I wasn't there in the days of the evacuation, but I was glued to the TV much* * of the time, and many of my friends andneighbors were there. The whole* * issue of ordering soldiers and police, Jews, to expel--I'm not being* * hyperbolic here and I am being literal-people who may include their teacher,* * parents, brothers, and best friendsfrom their homes, this issue has been* * tearing us apart ever since Sharon first started talking disengagement.* *

Some leading rabbis have forbidden their soldier students to follow these* * orders, while others have passionately argued that the IDF IS the Jewish* * state, and nothing must ever be done,no matter how painful restraint may* * be, that might weaken our army. The settlers themselves, T and E* * and all their friends and neighbors, really and truly believed a miracle* * would happen at the last minute and the evacuation would never actually* * happen.

Very few people did any packing or any planning for the day after* * the expulsion (some finally did a week or so before August 15 or 17, and* * many didn't even pack then, taking with them only what you'd take if you* * were going away for a couple of days, which, ostrich-like though it may be,* * kept morale very high until the very end and made any visit to the Gush in* * the months and weeks before theexpulsion an experience that left one amazed* *at how normal, how positive thesepeople and their lives were, even living* * under such a shadow.* * When I get a little time,I'm going to take a look at Naomi Ragen's site and I'll* * probably subscribe to it.* *

Today I went for the first time to Ir Ha'Emuna, "The City of Hope", near* * the city of Netivot in the Negev, to visit T and E in their new* * temporary home. It was an unbelievable experience. For one thing, I may* * have stupidly made myself a littlede hydrated (I'm better now). The* * important thing is how they're living.The secretariat of Atzmona, where* * their home used to be, first decided that Atzmona was going to stay together* * at all costs, and they got (I guess someone donated) a huge empty industrial* * structure consisting of a floor and a sort of a roof, which is subdivided* * into scores of tent-like units for those families who wanted to be REALLY* * together with each other (for those who preferred a little more privacy and* * something approaching something slightly more solid, there are caravans-or* * in T and E's case, since they and their 3 children are considered a* * small family, half a caravan, surrounding the big "tent"). Overnight,* * because of the dictates of their new reality, they're a kibbutz. There are* * duty rosters, communal toilets and showers (most people try to shower during* * daylight, since the solar water heaters can only provide so much hot water),* * a big dining area where a catering service brings in hot lunches (H and* * E like the potatoes, rice, and pasta fine, but they won't touch the meat* * because it's too spicy), and off to the side are deposited, in a more or* * less orderly fashion, some of the possessions of individual families as well* * as of the community that they managed to get out of Atzmona before the* * bulldozers got there. These include the synagogue furniture. There's a* * shack opposite the pews that's been designated as a synagogue, but for the* * thrice-daily prayers the men just gather together where they happen to be in* * the huge "tent" to pray. There are also play areas for the children, with* * slides and swings and such, and subdivisions for day care and for school,* * and a couple of washing machines adjacent to the lavatories, and some of those long metal two-sided* * sinks with maybe 10 faucets like they have at cemeteries, and laundry drying on racks outside the various "houses". Mothers stand talking in the common area balancing babies on their hips, and children and teenagers walk, run, bike, trike, and skateboard all over the place.* *

But what struck me most was the building. It's a very male thing. I don't* * know all the people well enough to know how many are professionals brought* * in from outside, how many are volunteers, and how many are Atzmonans* * themselves, but it's easiest to peg the teenage sons of Atzmona who must be* * having the time of their lives, to balance out the hardship of being* * homeless:

I think everyone has finally been hooked up to electricity, but* * there still is no water in T's or most of the other caravans, meaning* * lots of men are working on plumbing. There are piles and piles of* * corrugated metal (I hope it's not asbestos) waiting to be laid to extend* * that huge roof, with guys walking purposefully back and forth up there.* *

Outside the huge structure you walk on rubble (after I got back home I felt* * like I wanted to soak in a tub for an hour), and you pick your way around* * forklifts and bulldozers. There weretwo boys helping b-they* * assembled some plastic cabinets for her and moved stuff around so that she* * could plug the refrigerator into the outlet (no easy matter-every inch of* * floor space in her caravan is taken up by carton boxes).

Entering the huge* * structure from the direction ofT's caravan, the first thing you see is* * a "room" whose plank walls are onlywaist-high. Inside are 3 beds in a* * U-shape around 3 of the 4 walls, with an area rug in the middle giving it* * all a homey touch. I asked T who lives there, with so little privacy?* * She said that room's for the teenage boys who are working and building and* * doing odd jobs, and that they're contstantly adding to the walls, so that by* * tonight they will have privacy-only then did I notice Y with a* * bunch of nails in his mouth and a hammer. See what I mean about the time of* * their lives?* *

Y's mother O, whom I like verymuch, spoke about Atzmona's decision* * to come to Ir Ha'Emuna instead of accepting the government's offers of* * hotels and various other temporaryliving arrangements. Ora says that those* * who accepted the government's offer shave been split up and dispersed (many* * who I do not consider conspiracy-theory types at all, excoriate the* * government, accusing it of intentionally undermining the strength of the* * evacuees by their "divide and conquer" strategy), and have been enjoying* * being spoiled by the good people who can't do enough, can't give enough to* * make the lives of the DPs a little easier, instead of putting all their* * energy into building their community like Atzmona are doing.

My friend* * E told me her son-in-law from Katif, another destroyed Gush* * Katif settlement very similar to Atzmona in composition and spirit, visited* * Ir Ha'Emuna and came away very excited. He and his wife find the spirit and* * energy there very infectious and they think they want to join them.* *

There, I guess I'm pretty talked out, and it's late.

Insanities

There's a Carnival of the Insanities, and we're included. Not that we're insane, G-d for bid you shouldn't get the wrong idea.

What a world we live in. Everything is upside down.

Israel always enters the Eurovision International Song Contest. OK, sometimes the songs are horrendous, but sometimes they really are great. Because of "politics" Israel's chance of winning are basically nil, but a few years ago Israel did win. I'm sure that one of the main reasons was that the performer was a "self-castrated" male on female hormones. Of course the anti-Semites voted for the guy, er, it. They got such a kick out of the fact that a Jewish, not only Jewish, but Israeli male would do such a thing to himself. Very pathetic.

BOMS, a new one

The latest BOMS packs more interesting articles. It's a great weekly magazine. Take a gander.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

This is the week that has begun

I took this off of the arutz 7 site. A picture says a thousand words.
Arutz 7 has a good update on the Disengagement victims. What can be said about rudderless people out of work, living out of suitcases at best. The way it looks to me, your ol' CPA's daughter, that the ones taking the government offers of new housing after 2-3 years paying rent in dollars for leaking shacks, that there won't be any money to buy the new houses. I haven't done detailed calculations, but people are best off looking to buy almost anything and get on with their lives. That's just my opinion. There are places, actually like Shiloh, with inexpensive housing that would be affordable even considering the penalty for buying in the Shomron. A handful of friends moving into the same neighborhood will give enough comfort, while a stable supportive community would do the rest.

During my parents' visit over a year ago, I took them to the Israeli Supreme Court for a dose of "nachas," joy to see their granddaughter, (one of my kids) in her lawyer's robe as one of the lawyers of the Israeli Movement for Quality in Government, who were trying to convince the judges that Ariel Sharon and sons had taken bribes. It was an impressive event, though the judges decided that the government's secret info made it all acceptable. Apparently the Austrians are willing to call a bribe a bribe.

One of the amazing things during this entire nightmare has been the strength of the kids, so enthusiastically going off to jail. It's like a badge of honor, and badges, or certificates will be given at a ceremony this Thursday. G-d willing all we be out of jail, and at least one will be attending something even better.

a comment

I'm finally starting to visit other blogs again and found something I had to say something about on Esther's blog.

Here's my comment:

Oxymoron--ain't no such creature. Never was a Palestinian people, just in modern times the British chose it for the Arabs in the Jewish Homeland, and then a bunch of terrorists adopted it, only about 40 years ago.

You could have called it a name without a people. And after good advertising, an easy sell, since the world didn't want to let the Jewish People return home, this instant "terror nation" was hatched in hell.

another HH, now#37

Honestly, I don't know how Soccer Dad does it. There's so much in this Havel Havelim.

Wow!

I just accepted an invitation from Shmittah Rediscovered to be a contributer. So my "blogger dashboard" has five blogs. It seems like I'm driving a five ton truck. I'm also part of The Orange Revolution. Don't forget EFSI, which still provides its unique coverage of Disengagement.

And of course there are my pictures on the muse's pics.

me-ander wasn't forgotten. It has it's own dashboard.

...and the laundry awaits

A little education

A couple of interesting links have been sent to me recently. One is a document that shows that the UN knows lots more about the lies against Israel. I highly recommend that you read this and distribute further. It brings life to the saying (I forget the author) about not wanting facts to get in the way, as a great way to describe the UN and "world powers."

Israel is constantly maligned, even by her own citizens. Israelis are responsible for the outrageous, perverse and absurd situation wherein Israeli army officers are in danger of arrest when traveling abroad. They are being charged with "war crimes" in various courts. The only charges should be treason in the Israeli courts against "Yesh Gvul" and similar groups.

An old friend sent me this movie about how the Arabs stage incidents and manipulate the media.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

#142 Do They Hear It?

Musings #142
September 16, 2005
The 12th of Ellul

Do They Hear It?

As I write this, the music in the background is the sound of the shofar, the ram’s horn blown every morning at the end of prayers during the Jewish month of Ellul, which leads up to Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year. And during Rosh Hashannah prayers the shofar is blown a total of at least one hundred blasts in three different patterns. There are times during the day, when it seems like everyone is practicing and shofrot blast from all over the neighborhood.

We are now in the month of reflection, when we’re supposed to do a “cheshbon nefesh,” an accounting, deep into our souls about our past year. This has been a very difficult year for many Jews and Israelis.

At the same time that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is being praised in the United Nations, well known for its anti-Israel policies and decisions, people he uprooted from their homes
fear for their lives. Among them are the refugees from Elei Sinai who took the government’s offer to live in Carmiya, only to discover that their new homes in the Negev are much more dangerous than what they had left, especially since Gush Katif is Judenrein, no longer protecting the Negev and Southern coast. And this is the “peace” that the world is praising Sharon for.

At the same time that some of his opponents, “dangerous” teenage girls who trust in G-d as their
Judge, are still in jail, the government is letting leftist stone soldiers. Those violent leftists are being treated with “kid gloves” while the anti-Disengagement demonstrators have been punished worse than murderers for blocking traffic, asking for policemen’s names and playing “practical jokes.”

It is said that the sound the shofar makes reflects the soul of the blower, and it is a great honor to be asked to blow the shofar for the congregation of Rosh Hashannah. Even if one cannot attend prayers, for medical reasons, it’s required to hear the blasts. In Jewish communities it’s common for people to go from house to house blowing the shofar for those who could not hear it otherwise.

There are three basic types of blasts. Tekiyah is a long, strong sound, like a siren. Shvarim is three, equal attention-getting shorter wails. And Teru’ah is nine short, quick, strong jabs or blasts. I must admit that there are years when they hit me straight in the gut, transforming my seat by the far wall into something of another world. Only after the final magnificent Tekiyah Gedolah, Giant Tekiyah blast that I slowly sink back to earth. But I’m a “dancer at heart” and music strongly affects me.

I’m also a teacher and know that today’s pedagogic experts preach that there are many different learning styles and
intelligences. For me the three different shofar blasts remind us how different we all are. Not only do people learn differently, different speeds, senses etc, but we all relate to G-d differently, and we all need different types of reminders to repent.

For some people, one hint does the job, and it hits deeply into the soul, like the Tekiyah. Other people need periodic reminders, very much like Shvarim. And some, unfortunately, need a constant hammering away, to get them to wake up; it’s hard to ignore Teru’ah.

Whether we like it or not, we the Jewish People are judged as one. It’s a hard thing to accept, especially at times like this. It really doesn’t seem fair, that some Jews should suffer, because others are disengaged; they don’t care about our Nation.

Our job is to bring them back, each one according to his needs.

May the sound of the shofar awaken their souls and ours, so we will be united.

Gmar Chatima Tovah*,


*After the High Holidays, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, G-d either acceps or rejects our prayers. And Gmar Chatima asks that G-d signs us for life.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.
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Friday, September 16, 2005

Worse than I thought

Unfortunately, I was rather naive and optimistic in my previous post about the state of the Disengagement victims.

There's no need for me to re-write what is so clearly stated in this article from Arutz 7.

4. Gov´t Leaves Expulsion Victims Without Work
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu & Nissan Ratzlav-Katz


The Sharon government has left expelled Gush Katif residents out of work while trying to show the public and Likud party members it is caring for the victims, the ex-Gaza Coast spokesman charged. Eran Sternberg said the Disengagement Authority and the office of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are making headlines without any news in an effort to win support from the Likud Central Committee, which will meet in two weeks to set the date for party primaries.

The government has given the expelled Israeli citizens "breakfast and a place to lay down, but the bottom line is that the people have no work," said Sternberg, the former spokesman for the Gaza Coast Regional Council. Sternberg now lives temporarily in a small guest apartment at Kibbutz Hafetz Haim.

Sternberg pointed out that many of the Gush Katif residents were farmers and are now in their 50s. "Whoever understands a little bit about agriculture knows that it takes about 10 years to establish a profitable farm," which he says would leave some people unable to possibly generate income until they reached almost 70 years old.

The government is also ignoring people from other trades. Expelled teachers staying temporarily in Jerusalem hotels said they have not received salaries from the Education Ministry. Students from the former N'vei Dekalim community went on strike Thursday in support of the teachers.A former Ganei Tal resident who drove his own trucks said he does not know what he will do. "I have two trucks, but they are standing still" because his clients are in other areas, he explained."The government works to make a check mark [that it is helping], but does not find solutions," Sternberg charged. He said offers of employment are unsuitable. "Two hundred people go [to the government office] and 190 return. If there are job offers, they are suggestions that a kindergarten teacher work as an electrician or welder."

Sternberg, who is also unemployed, sharply criticized the government's advertising campaign claiming that "for every [Gush Katif] resident that there is a solution." Sternberg said, "It is a cheap campaign without any value or content, and now the reality is blowing up [in our faces]."

Earlier this month, a private effort got underway to find jobs for the many Jews who are unemployed as a result of the uprooting of Gush Katif and northern Samaria. Netta Shapira, who has taken it upon herself to be a clearing house for employers seeking to offer jobs to the expellees, quotes Maimonides in her email announcing the effort, saying that the greatest charity is to make a person independent. "As of now," Shapira writes, "the families are in a state of uncertainty in every aspect of life; yet, in coming weeks, each family will have to decide where it is headed. And the matter of livelihood is a critical aspect of that decision. As the group in question is large and varied in every way, any open position may be appropriate for someone among them." Shapira asks for any and all employment opportunities to be sent to her at jobkatif@hotmail.co.il.
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