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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Secret Behind Those Great Low Prices

I'm generally a cynic when it comes to the news.  Last summer in Israel the pseudo social justice groupies were all up in arms and having a blast at free concerts and other freebie entertainment.  It all started with cottage cheese.  They said that the so called food staple cost much more than in the states.  Well, things are never so simple.  In the states, as in Israel, there are all sorts of stores, all sorts or pricing and packaging of food etc.  There is no one price.
There is also what's called loss leaders, when the store knowingly and intentionally sells a specific product for less than it cost them.  I recently found an article about how the stores in Jewish neighborhoods of New York are even giving matzah for free to get the customers.
Psst! That 5-pound bundle of Streit’s matzo you just bought for $8.99 probably cost the store about $14.99. Your friendly neighborhood supermarket manager was willing to take the $6 hit just to lure you in so you’ll stock up on Manischewitz gefilte fish and Gefen dish detergent.
For years, supermarkets have treated Passover matzo as a loss leader — a product sold at a steep markdown to lure Jewish shoppers and their expensive Seder shopping lists. In highly competitive markets such as the New York tristate area, some stores are literally giving it away.
In recent weeks, shoppers at Waldbaum’s supermarket, in the Long Island town of Great Neck, N.Y., could choose between a $3 coupon for a bundle of heavily discounted American matzo, or a free bundle of Israeli matzo with every $25 purchase.
Read more
I work in Yafiz and I see the prices in Rami Levi.  He does that, too, with some products especially before holidays.  He'll also drop the prices of rolls and even chicken a short time before closing if he has too much left.

According to the news, the Korach political agitators are planning more carnivals and camping in city parks for this summer.  It may be cheaper entertainment than some day camps....

Friday, March 30, 2012

We Females Should Be Running The World, At Least in Israel, Plus the Latest Latma

Just like in the Biblical days of the Judges, a period lasting close to four hundred years, there were more gutsy heroines than heroes, Deborah, Yael, Naomi, Ruth and Chana.  They all took over when the men hadn't a clue.

Today's top political commentators here in Israel are two women, Caroline Glick and Ruthie Blum.

Ruthie Blum's latest Israel Hayom op-ed is about the Global Jihad on Jerusalem:
What fun for Hamas and the PLO, who get to pretend that the parade to Israel’s borders from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt -- and the solidarity demonstrations in front of Israeli embassies elsewhere -- is a testament to how much the world worries about the plight of the “Palestinian people.”
But they know something that their Western backers don’t bother noting. They know that if it weren’t for the stupidity of some fellow travelers, the knee-jerk ideology of others, and a new legitimized anti-Semitism disguised as “criticism of Israeli policies,” their self-proclaimed nation would long ago have been forgotten or annihilated. Not by Israel, mind you. No, Israel isn’t into mass murder, in spite of what the radical Islamists who enjoy beheading men and circumcising women constantly claim. And it’s a pretty clever propaganda tactic on their part, since they actually respect barbaric practices, and believe their prophet, Muhammad, did too. But they read The New York Times, the Guardian and Haaretz just as carefully as their left-wing apologists in democratic countries do. You see, despite the myth that suicide terrorists and their dispatchers are the product of poverty and despondence, many of them are in fact graduates of MIT, Oxford and even the Hebrew University. Osama bin Laden may have lived in a few caves after 9/11, but he was plenty familiar with room service and wireless Internet. (complete article)

And Caroline Glick wrote about the United States Government's chutzpa concerning Israel's Capital City, Jerusalem:
The new consulate is much different, and much worse. The State Department opened its new consulate in Jerusalem in October 2010. It is located in the Jewish neighborhood of Arnona. It was built on the plot that Israel allocated for the US Embassy after Congress passed Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 requiring the US government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. I read that construction began in 2004. I haven't been able to find out whether when construction began it was to build the embassy or a new consulate so I don't know yet whether the Bush administration thought it was building an embassy that the Obama administration turned into a consulate or if the Bush administration thought it was building a consulate that the Obama administration completed.
Whatever the case, the fact that the building that was supposed to be an expression of US recognition of Israel's capital in Jerusalem is being used as the consulate is an unvarnished act of aggression against Israel and Congress. (complete article)

And please don't forget that Latma is another of Caroline Glick's "babies." Here's its latest episode.

Nu, What is The Passover Holiday and Message All About?

I was looking for something on youtube to explain Passover.  I kept finding all these snappy songs and even some history like the following.

 

Here, as I write this at the one week/seven day countdown, it seems like pre-Passover is just an awful, stressful time. That's nowt what it's supposed to be.
The countdown to Pesach has officially begun, complete with its angst, anxiety, stress and exhaustion. Tragically, many people associate Pesach with backbreaking work, exorbitant expenses, endless preparation, and bread deprivation. It is not unusual to hear moans, groans and krechts coming from both men and women when mentioning the upcoming holiday. Most describe themselves as rolling into Pesach “like a shmatta (rag),” unable to enjoy the festive atmosphere, meaningful Sedarim, or even quality time with friends and family.
My usual theme is that most people skip the most important message.  It's not that we were "slaves in Egypt."  The problem was that "we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt."  That was our mistake.

Nowadays when I get all these email petition etc requests that I should join the many protesting to Obama and his ilk to stop putting pressure on Israel, I'm outraged.  No, I'm not outraged at Obama; he's not my president.  I'm an Israeli, yes, granted with an American passport,  and my Government is the Israeli Government.  I'm not a slave to any other.

The responsibility for our fate is in our hands and our relationship to G-d.  As I had earlier watched last year's clever little video from aish.com, it suddenly hit me.



We shouldn't have been begging Pharaoh for our release from bondage. If we had been on a spiritual level to go straight to G-d for our request, we would have been "transported" miraculously to the Holy Land. It's alike when Joseph asked Pharaoh's chief butler to try to get Pharaoh to free him instead of praying to G-d, Genesis Chapter 40 בְּרֵאשִׁית.
יד כִּי אִם-זְכַרְתַּנִי אִתְּךָ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לָךְ, וְעָשִׂיתָ-נָּא עִמָּדִי, חָסֶד; וְהִזְכַּרְתַּנִי, אֶל-פַּרְעֹה, וְהוֹצֵאתַנִי, מִן-הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה. 14 But have me in thy remembrance when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.
Chazal, our sages say that Joseph should have prayed to G-d, and if he had, he would have been released much more quickly.  So, my feeling is that the entire Passover-Exodus story could have been much quicker if only we had prayed directly to G-d. And then I/we wouldn't have this nightmare of Passover cleaning to do.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kadima, Great Name, But Empty of Values and Vision

My earliest reading was store names and labels; then I quickly graduated to advertisements.  And to this day, I love reading ads.  During my short (just a couple of years) career as an advertising agent, my favorite part of the job was to "help" the graphic artist properly interpret the clients' wishes and get the wording just right in the ad.

With that background, no surprise that I consider קדימה Kadima, to be a fantastic choice as a name of a political party.
2.קָדִימָה adverb  forward, onward; in front, in the front, ahead ; מקדימה  in front, in the front
3.קָדִימָה interjection  Forward!, Onward!, Let's go!
The Kadima Party isn't really quite "forward" thinking.  Its history shows that it's more inward, considering that it was begun by Likud politicians protecting their own "backs."  The troika most involved with its establishment were all under police investigation for various corruption charges, Ariel Sharon*, Ehud Olmert** and Tzachi Hanegbi***.

Yes, how moral, realiable and forward thinking can a political party parented by such politicians be?
*Sharon and his sons have been named or investigated in four cases of suspected misdemeanor or felony:
-A mysterious loan from an Austrian bank.
-The so-called "Greek island affair," in which Sharon's son Gilad was paid huge sums of money by a leading Likud activist when Sharon was foreign minister and, later, a candidate for party leader.
-Building permits for that same activist in the town of Lod.
-The proposed rezoning of agricultural land in the center of the country, where the Sharons have a second farm. (complete article)

**Haaretz expose: All the corruption charges being leveled against Ehud Olmert Former prime minister to be questioned on Tuesday in Holyland affair, over allegations he accepted bribes totaling more than NIS 1 million from real estate developers to promote their interests in several projects. (complete article)

***A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that MK Tzachi Hanegbi's perjury conviction consists of moral turpitude and sentenced him to pay a NIS 10,000 fine. The ruling bars Hanegbi from continuing to serve in the current Knesset, yet will enable him to run for the next Knesset. (complete article)

Israeli political history is  riddled with large "Center" parties that came and went onto/from the political scene and are now just postscripts in history.  They have been as long-lasting and reliable as balloons, large and impressive for a short period of time, until they pop.



That's because, just like this balloon, they were only filled with hot air, empty words.

Shaul Mofaz, Kadima's newly elected leader is already showing himself a weak unimaginative follower.  He has pledged to "lead" next summer's Korach aka (faux) social justice carnival demonstration.  He's hoping to attract voters from those wealthy enough to take the summer off and play "pauper" in the streets, while being entertained by Israeli celebrities.  The truly poor and suffering have no time and money for those games and festivities. 

Kadima has been dropping in the polls.  Its great support seems to be coming from the media which has less and less influence on the voters.  If we want to watch fiction, we can watch a movie.  Science fiction is even more convincing than Kadima politicians.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hagee Preaches the Gospel from the Aish HaTorah Rooftop

Posted by Jewish Israel

Last week, Pastor John Hagee used the rooftop of the Aish HaTorah World Center, which overlooks the Western Wall and Temple Mount, to declare that jesus is lord and king and to assert that "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess" that belief.

Jewish Israel contacted the administration of the Aish Center at the Kotel to ask some questions...

In this report we also ask, how is it that Pastor Hagee felt so emboldened to take such liberties at the site of a renowned Torah institution in Eretz Yisrael?…more

J Street, Dangerous to Israel, Like Those Who Say That Mind-Set and Vitamins Can Control Serious Illnesses

A number of years ago, after a life-time of suffering periodic uncontrollable flare-ups, a friend was diagnosed with a serious illness.  The doctors said it could be controlled with medication.  As she and her body finally adjusted to the life-saving meds, well-meaning friends kept harping that it was "all in her mind, and with the right therapy and attitude, she'd be fine."  She had been there and done that and almost died from those non-medicated methods. Today, thanks to modern medicine she has been enjoying years of function and a wonderful relationship with family and friends.

Well, to be nice,  I'd say that J Street and their ilk are like those friends who almost killed mine.  Some may really think they're "pro-Israel," but as Ruthie Blum so perfectly wrote, they're really "Pal Street."  They support our enemies and endanger our very existence.

No Jewish organization is more troubled by the Palestinians’ predicament than J Street, the self-described pro-Israel, pro-peace organization that was established in 2008 to counter-balance AIPAC’s work on Capitol Hill, which has consisted of looking out for Israel’s interests by representing the position of any and every Israeli government.
J Street’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, wanted to change all that. His idea was to look out not for Israel’s interests, but rather for those of “peace in the Middle East” – a euphemism for Israeli concessions in exchange for nothing. Well, nothing other than terrorism, that is. But Ben-Ami and his ilk don’t see it that way. In their view, if it weren’t for Israeli settlements, the Palestinians would have no reason to commit acts of terror. Too bad the Palestinians don’t actually agree with that, as has been proven repeatedly with every Israeli withdrawal from anywhere.
J Street insists that it has all the answers, but when  Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC, Barukh Bina spoke to them and told them the truth, they were shocked and mute, as if rudely awoken from hypnosis.
Audiences at the annual J Street conference in Washington on Monday were shocked when one of the event’s honorees, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC, Barukh Bina, stood at the podium and issued a respectful yet scathing criticism of the advocacy group’s policies. As he took the podium at the event's gala dinner, Binah received rapturous applause, according to the tweets of several conference-goers. However, as the tone and content of Binah's speech became more apparent, the crowd was stunned into silence. (complete article)
They don't take well to hearing the truth, like the "natural health" extremist getting news that one of their followers is dead or dying while religiously following their instructions.

J Street's pushing for a "Two State Solution" is worse than chutzpah.  They're not going to pay the price for their mistakes.  The United States won't either.
Peace is not something Israel can buy.  Israel has not been the aggressor in any way.  We're always reacting,  just trying to protect ourselves, and usually not strongly enough.  The Arabs don't want peace, true peace.  They just want us gone and dead and destroyed.  There is nothing Israel can do, painfully or not, to make peace. 

When the Arabs are ready to live with us in peace, that's when there will be peace.  So J Street, Obama, Blair, the UN, Europe, the international Left--including Israelis etc ad nausuem, please just leave us alone and let us survive and thrive.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Passover Activities, Tel Shiloh, שילה הקדומה Ancient Shiloh HaKeduma

Translation on the bottom.

 
If you know Hebrew it's easy to read this. So far, I haven't seen it in English. So, here's the main idea: This year's Passover activities in Tel Shiloh will be April 8-11, Sunday-Wednesday, from 8am-6pm.

There will be tours, including in English, and workshops for the entire family.  The cafeteria will be strictly Kosher for Passover.

That's right.  There will be plenty to do and KP food to buy.

Kadima Primaries, Mofaz versus Livni, Does It Make a Difference?

The media is having a blast getting paid lots of overtime covering the Kadima Primaries from start to finish as if the political party of opportunists will ever be elected to govern the State of Israel.  Yes, they did in the past and almost did in the last elections, but their history says a lot about them, all very negative.

If you've forgotten your recent Israeli political history, Kadima was established by Likud politicians, ministers, who while running the country totally rebelled/deserted/contradicted the Likud platform and ideology in proposing and promoting Disengagement, the destruction and upheaval of Jewish Life and communities in Gush Katif and a couple of yishuvim in the northern Shomron.  They fled Likud with their tikkim, ministries and positions, attracting other Leftist political opportunists.  The three wheeler-dealers who orchestrated their big successors are no longer in the picture.
  • Ariel Sharon has been comatose for years
  • Ehud Olmert was forced out of the position of Prime Minister, because he's facing multiple charges of corruption
  • Tzachi Hanegbi had to leave politics after being convicted of corruption.
 Ever since Tsippi Livni failed in putting together a coalition after the most recent elections, Kadima has been losing relevance in Israeli politics.  Her knee-jerk opposition to everything Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has done and said shows that she has no values, no ideology, other than trying to be PM.  Tsippi is just a whiny contrary kvetch.  And Shaul Mofaz hasn't proven himself any better, ever since he retired from the IDF.


So, it's pretty clear that this primary is more like a tournament consolation game for third place.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tel Shiloh, AKA Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh

The Tel Shiloh tourist office has a new name, Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh.  I got an email telling me to stop calling it Tel Shiloh.  Actually, I disagree.  The location is Tel Shiloh, but the tourist enterprise is Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh.  At least that's how I see it.

But whatever you want to call it, that's OK as long as you remember that it's the very same site/location where the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle rested for 369 years, after the Jewish People entered the Land G-d promised us.  Shiloh was our first Capitol City.  Shiloh, yes the archaeologists agree that this really is the site of Ancient Shiloh, was our spiritual and administrative capitol, where Jews came for Holiday pilgrimages and prayers.  It's where Biblical Chana prayed for a son and then her son Samuel, studied until the destruction.

For the past few years I've been going there every Rosh Chodesh, beginning of the Jewish (lunar) month to pray with other women.  Next month's prayers will be:

The Rosh Chodesh Iyyar Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Sunday, April 22, 2012 8:30am
Shiur Torah, Short Tour & Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים ראש חודש אייר בתל שילה
יום א' 22-4 8:30
יהיו סיור ודבר תורה קצרים
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email telshilo@gmail.com or phone 02-994-4019.

There will be special programs for people of all ages during Chol HaMoed (intermediate days of) Passover.  I don't yet have the details.  When I do I'll post them.  You can contact the office for more information.  Tel Shiloh has new paths and is more accessible for those who have trouble walking.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's This Passover Holiday? More Than Matzah and Kneidlach?

Most Jewish Holidays are spoofed as:
"They tried to kill us.
We won.
Let's eat."
Does that apply to Passover aka Pesach?

The background of the Passover story starts with food.  The Pharaoh (King/ruler) of Egypt dreamt about food.
In his dream Pharaoh saw seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed, come up out of the Nile, and they all together grazed peaceably on the brink of the river, In years when the harvest is abundant, friendship reigns among men, and love and brotherly harmony, and these seven fat kine stood for seven such prosperous years. After the fat kine, seven more came up out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and each had her back turned to the others, for when distress prevails, one man turns away from the other. For a brief space Pharaoh awoke, and when he went to sleep again, he dreamed a second dream, about seven rank and good ears of corn, and seven ears that were thin and blasted with the east wind, the withered cars swallowing the full ears. He awoke at once, and it was morning, and dreams dreamed in the morning are the ones that come true.
Pharaoh's wisemen couldn't explain the dream, which had him very worried. His butler recommended the imprisoned Hebrew slave/servant Joseph as a dream maven.  And as we all must have heard by now, Joseph so expertly interpreted Pharaoh's dream that he was appointed viceroy of Egypt to administer food stock during the years of plenty and the subsequent years of famine.  In Joseph's position, he reunited with his family, when they came to buy food.  Pharaoh invited them to live in Goshen, a very fertile area in Egypt.  After Joseph's death, policy changed and the Jewish People became salves to Pharaoh in Egypt.  Pharaoh's  wisemen warned him that the Jews were a danger, and he should have all Hebrew male babies killed.  Moses's mother gave birth to him during that time, hid him, and then had his sister Miriam float him in the Nile where Pharaoh's daughter rescued him and he eventually became the Jewish leader who took them out of Egypt and to the Promised/Holy Land.  (long story very short)

The Jewish People have been celebrating this great event for thousands of years. Yes, like all of our other Holidays, we're commanded to eat. But unlike those other Holidays, this one has a required menu.  We must eat matzah and there's a long systematic menu and ceremony.
And this day shall become a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival for the L-RD, for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you observe it. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your homes ... you shall guard the unleavened bread, because on this very day I will take you out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your generations as an eternal decree. - Exodus 12:14-17
 No, kneidlach isn't universally eaten by Jews all over the world.
  • Kaddesh,
  • Urechatz,
  • Karpas,
  • Yachatz,
  • Maggid,
  • Rachtzah,
  • Motzi,
  • Matzah,
  • Maror,
  • Korekh,
  • Shulchan Orekh,
  • Tzafun,
  • Barekh,
  • Hallel,
  • Nirtzah
Now, what does that mean?
1. Kaddesh: Sanctification

A blessing over wine in honor of the holiday. The wine is drunk, and a second cup is poured.
Urechatz (in Hebrew)2. Urechatz: Washing
A washing of the hands without a blessing, in preparation for eating the Karpas.
Karpas (in Hebrew)3. Karpas: Vegetable
A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten. The vegetable symbolizes the lowly origins of the Jewish people; the salt water symbolizes the tears shed as a result of our slavery. Parsley is a good vegetable to use for this purpose, because when you shake off the salt water, it looks like tears.
Yachatz (in Hebrew)4. Yachatz: Breaking
One of the three matzahs on the table is broken. Part is returned to the pile, the other part is set aside for the afikomen (see below).
Maggid (in Hebrew)5. Maggid: The Story
A retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the first Pesach. This begins with the youngest person asking The Four Questions, a set of questions about the proceedings designed to encourage participation in the seder. The Four Questions are also known as Mah Nishtanah (Why is it different?), which are the first words of the Four Questions. This is often sung. See below.
The maggid is designed to satisfy the needs of four different types of people: the wise one, who wants to know the technical details; the wicked one, who excludes himself (and learns the penalty for doing so); the simple one, who needs to know the basics; and the one who is unable to ask, who doesn't even know enough to know what he needs to know.
At the end of the maggid, a blessing is recited over the second cup of wine and it is drunk.
Rachtzah (in Hebrew)6. Rachtzah: Washing
A second washing of the hands, this time with a blessing, in preparation for eating the matzah
Motzi (in Hebrew)7. Motzi: Blessing over Grain Products
The ha-motzi blessing, a generic blessing for bread or grain products used as a meal, is recited over the matzah.
Matzah (in Hebrew)8. Matzah: Blessing over Matzah
A blessing specific to matzah is recited, and a bit of matzah is eaten.
Maror (in Hebrew)9. Maror: Bitter Herbs
A blessing is recited over a bitter vegetable (usually raw horseradish; sometimes romaine lettuce), and it is eaten. This symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. The maror is dipped in charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine, which symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews in building during their slavery. (I highly recommend it -- it's the best tasting thing on the holiday, and goes surprisingly well with horseradish! My recipe is included below.)
Note that there are two bitter herbs on the seder plate: one labeled Maror and one labeled Chazeret. The one labeled Maror should be used for Maror and the one labeled Chazeret should be used in the Korekh, below.
Korech (in Hebrew)10. Korekh: The Sandwich
Rabbi Hillel was of the opinion that the maror should be eaten together with matzah and the paschal offering in a sandwich. In his honor, we eat some maror on a piece of matzah, with some charoset (we don't do animal sacrifice anymore, so there is no paschal offering to eat).
Shulchan Orech (in Hebrew)11. Shulchan Orekh: Dinner
A festive meal is eaten. There is no particular requirement regarding what to eat at this meal (except, of course, that chametz cannot be eaten). Among Ashkenazic Jews, gefilte fish and matzah ball soup are traditionally eaten at the beginning of the meal. Roast chicken or turkey are common as a main course, as is beef brisket.
Tzafun (in Hebrew)12. Tzafun: The Afikomen
The piece of matzah set aside earlier is eaten as "dessert," the last food of the meal. Different families have different traditions relating to the afikomen. Some have the children hide it, while the parents have to either find it or ransom it back. Others have the parents hide it. The idea is to keep the children awake and attentive throughout the pre-meal proceedings, waiting for this part.
Barech (in Hebrew)13. Barekh: Grace after Meals
The third cup of wine is poured, and birkat ha-mazon (grace after meals) is recited. This is similar to the grace that would be said on any Shabbat. At the end, a blessing is said over the third cup and it is drunk. The fourth cup is poured, including a cup set aside for the prophet Elijah, who is supposed to herald the Messiah, and is supposed to come on Pesach to do this. The door is opened for a while at this point (supposedly for Elijah, but historically because Jews were accused of nonsense like putting the blood of Christian babies in matzah, and we wanted to show our Christian neighbors that we weren't doing anything unseemly).
Hallel (in Hebrew)14. Hallel: Praises
Several psalms are recited. A blessing is recited over the last cup of wine and it is drunk.
Nirtzah (in Hebrew)15. Nirtzah: Closing
A simple statement that the seder has been completed, with a wish that next year, we may celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem (i.e., that the Messiah will come within the next year). This is followed by various hymns and stories.
It's not enough just to eat some matzah and drink wine with a regular meal. We really ought to go through the steps and read the Hagaddah in a language we understand.  And we must discuss what the story signifies for us as individuals and as a People. 

The Jewish People is like no other.  We are the same Jewish People who were enslaved in Egypt.  We have been observing the Holiday of our release for thousands of years.  We have been observing all of our Holidays for thousands of year and reading the same Torah that was given to us by G-d thousands of years ago. 

We, the Jewish People, are in the Land we had been in thousands of years ago.  Jews today live in Beit El, Beersheva, Jerusalem, Shiloh, Hebron and many more of the locations mentioned in our Bible.  NO OTHER PEOPLE HAS A CONTINUOUS HISTORY; ONLY THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WITH THE SAME RELIGION!

That is what we're celebrating, and that's why it's so important to concentrate on the actual Seder, order and text in a classic Passover Hagaddah.  This is not a "universal" holiday.  It's a very important JEWISH HOLIDAY!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spoof Kazakhstan Anthem Foul-Up, Like Those Spellcheck Goofs

Could the Kazakhstan officials who threatened to sue Sacha Cohen for using the name of their real country in Borat have feared such a goof-up as recently happened?
A gold-medal winning athlete from Kazakhstan was forced to stand through a national anthem that insulted other countries and boasted of her nation's "clean prostitutes" when organizers at a shooting competition accidentally played a fake anthem from the comedy film "Borat."
...Dmitrienko won the 75 target event at the 10th Arab Shooting Championship in Kuwait on Thursday. She stood on the podium with the event's other medal winners and expected to hear "My Kazakhstan." Instead, she was greeted with Sacha Baron Cohen's mock anthem from his 2006 film.


You'll find the lyrics here. They're too dirty for my blog.

This happened in Kuwait. Can you imagine if it had happened in Israel? There would be war.

Google searches, translations and spellchecks can be dangerous.  I think we all have experienced some really strange results when trying to get information from the internet.  Double-checking is extremely important.  As an EFL English teacher, I'd beg my students not to rely on the internet for translations or trust spellcheck.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruthie Blum and Latma, Brooklyn "Confusion" and Ashton's "Award"

Ruthie Blum's latest article concerns the big debate going on in a trendy food co-op in Brooklyn.
The Park Slope Co-op is a hippy-dippy creation for lovers of organic produce, composting, Zen music, and whole-grain cookery. Oh, yes, and for kosher-keepers, as well. To become a member, one has to pay an entrance fee and volunteer one’s services two to three hours per month. Only members are allowed to shop there. What they get in exchange is great food and other products at a far lower cost than is charged at regular supermarkets.
But something began eating at a bunch of members who had been sacrificing valuable iPad and yoga time to stack shelves and ring up purchases: A fair number of the items on sale at the Food Co-op are – gasp! – manufactured “beyond the Green Line.”
Such irony. A hundred years ago, Jews like my grandparents found that Brooklyn was the perfect American refuge after fleeing Eastern Europe. When I was growing up, we'd go to Brooklyn to visit relatives, driving quickly through the dangerous neighborhoods where they had once lived. Almost a half a century ago, my husband and I moved to Israel and now live in Shiloh. That didn't make our families very happy. And now Brooklyn Jews even think it immoral that Jews live and work in Shiloh. Do they want us back in Brooklyn? Let them first bring back the Dodgers...

And Latma is busy with Katherine Ashton, awarding her an award with an amazing name.  Watch the show and find out what it is:




Shabbat Shalom to All

"Even-Handed" Equals Anti-Israel

Most of the world likes to describe the "Mideast problem" as some sort of "disagreement," claiming that both sides are "equally" justified. That is totally wrong and inaccurate. 

Over twenty years ago, I almost threw an American Consulate official out of my house (and would have if my husband hadn't been there) because he equated "settlers" like me with the Hamas Arab terrorists who had recently murdered a close friend.  Even the most extreme pro-Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel Jews have no record of terrorizing or murdering like the Arab terrorists.

Like in this Dry Bones cartoon, the "world" is totally unrealistic and in denial when it comes to the true ideologies and values of Arab terrorists.

Dry Bones


Let's start with something easy, recent news.  Just this week there was a horrifying murderous Arab terror attack on a Jewish school in France which resulted in the death of three children and a teacher.  First the French Police had tried negotiating with himThis isn't the first time Arab terrorists have attacked Jewish schools.  Elder of Ziyon has compiled a list beginning in 1970 of Arab terror attacks on schools.

The most recent Arab terrorist to murder Jewish school children wasn't captured alive as the French Police had hoped.  He jumped to his death in a hail of bullets.  Is there anything comparable that Jews have done? 

Most people in this world, including United States President Barack Hussein Obama and the United Nations movers and shakers and all sorts of international diplomats and media find it best to equate us, Israel and the "settlers" with the Arab terrorists, because they really don't like us. That's the truth, and it would be a good idea if we would open our minds and recognize it and stop trying to cooperate with their fokokt hair-brained ideas/schemes on how to make peace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is The Best Defense, Self- Defense or Offense? Is Life Like Football?

Israel Hayom has an excellent thought-provoking op-ed Defense is not the best offense by Dr. Eyal Levin.
In Israel, however, a new invention has become the essence of our national resilience: self-defense. No longer is psychological resilience important. No longer does it matter how we conduct ourselves geopolitically. The nature of the regime doesn’t matter either. Self-defense is the new response to any attack.
Self-defense, in contrast to the classic yin-yang offense vs defense competition is a total defense strategy.  Just make sure the other team doesn't score a touchdown.  If your team is made up only of defensive players, like these two guys, your team won't win a game.  At best, you'll tie, zero all.  That won't give you the championship, victory.

To win a game, you must have more than a strong defense.  You need a powerful offense.  And there must be defensive players working with the offense and the defense must also be capable of taking the ball to score a touchdown, when the opportunity arises.  In actuality, that's what happened in the 1967 Six Days War.  The Israeli Government originally just wanted to defend itself and keep status quo, land-wise*, but with the ball in its possession and the other team disintegrating it just ran with it and scored.


 

I'm getting to know football, since I have a son who plays in the IFL, and I attend the games when I can.

And another thing we can learn from IFL American Football in Israel is how to thank our chief fan, G-d.



Football players know that it's easier to win when they have loyal fans cheering them on, and we must remember that without G-d's support and help, we'll lose big.

*The Israeli Left is reactionary, ultra-conservative stuck in that pre-Six Days War mentality.  They're too inflexible to accept that their war aims were not only incorrect but are totally irrelevant. That's why they keep insisting that we revert to the pre-June, 1967 "green line."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beinart and His Know-Nothing Ilk

Here's another fantastic article by Ruthie Blum, Beinart’s Zionist B.S.

The subject of Ruthie's article is someone called Peter Beinart, who wrote a meanspirited anti-Israel op-ed in the New York Times.  This Beinart, like most diplomats, academics and op-ed/editorial writers for papers all over the world, including the Jerusalem Post, think that they're all smarter than people like me who live in Israel and deal with Arabs all the time.  They all think that they know what Israel should do for "peace," what's moral and what's proper, practical etc.

They all make it seems so easy.  All Israel has to do is listen to them and the world will be a wonderful place.

They're the same people who have been telling us to just "give the Arabs Land" and we'll get "peace."  We've tried that, and it doesn't work.  A few years ago, there was Disengagement when we gave the Gazan Arab terrorists Gush Katif, and we were rewarded with aerial bombardments, destruction and death.  We're still paying the price for that well-praised dumb move.

I remember attending anti-Olso Accords demonstration, where we shouted out:
"Don't give them (the Arabs) guns."
We were mocked by politicians and the media as dumb women, but we were right.  The guns were used against us Jews, and not only in the parts of the Land of Israel that had been liberated during the 1967 Six Days War.  Terrorism flares in all parts of the State of Israel.  None of us are immune.

This Beinart defends his right to give us orders by saying that he's "...a committed Jew. I belong to an Orthodox synagogue, send my children to Jewish school and yearn to instill in them the same devotion to the Jewish people that my parents instilled in me. Boycotting other Jews is a painful, unnatural act. But the alternative is worse."

Who set up this Beinart as judge, arbitrator of morality and political science?  Who is the guy? 

It's bad enough when Israelis try stabbing us in the figurative "back."  But at least an Israeli lives here in the HolyLand, pays taxes to the Israeli Government, usually serves in the IDF and expects his/her kids to do the same.  I don't expect to agree with everyone, and I don't expect all Israelis to agree with me.   But I do prefer them, even when their as "confused," very fokokt, like those young Israelis I heard about on the news sending all sorts of internet messages to the Iranians telling them that there are Israelis who like them and don't want war.

There's an important Mishne worth thinking about:
ת"ר: לעולם ידור אדם בארץ ישראל אפילו בעיר שרובה עובדי כוכבים, ואל ידור בחו"ל ואפילו בעיר שרובה ישראל 1 , שכל הדר בארץ ישראל - דומה כמי שיש לו אלוה, וכל הדר בחוצה לארץ - דומה כמי שאין לו אלוה, שנא' (ויקרא כה): "לתת לכם את ארץ כנען - להיות לכם לאלהים". וכל שאינו דר בארץ אין לו אלוה?! אלא לומר לך: כל הדר בחו"ל - כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים; וכן בדוד הוא אומר: (שמואל א, כו) "כי גרשוני היום מהסתפח בנחלת ה' לאמר לך עבוד אלהים אחרים", וכי מי אמר לו לדוד לך עבוד אלהים אחרים? אלא לומר לך: כל הדר בחו"ל - כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים. (מסכת כתובות דף קי ע"ב)
To summarize, not exact translation: It's better for to live in a town in the Land of Israel full of sinners, even those who worship the stars, than live in the diaspora among Jews. That's because one has G-d living in the Land of Israel and G-d isn't in the Diaspora.
Leviticus Chapter 25:38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.
From Virtual Jerusalem:
If we accept this premise, we can also understand the intent of the Sages in their words: "Everyone who lives in the Land of Israel it is as if he has a God, and anyone who lives outside the Land it is as if he has no God."
And even Torah observant rabbis have no right to make proclamations of how various mitzvot should be observed.  We each must choose our own rabbi, and this Beinart doesn't qualify and hasn't been chosen.  And to be perfectly honest, United States President Barack Hussein Obama, United Nations officials and all the others who keep giving us orders have no right to do so.

Let them clean up their own messes.

Thanks to Hadassa for all her help.

Humor, Unintentional, On The Israeli Political Scene

Last night I caught one of those Israeli talk shows on politics.  From my perspective there was a lot of unintended humor by the participants who ranged from sinking Center to extreme la la loony Left.  There weren't any politicians I would vote for or trust with the future of the State of Israel.  Actually, there are very few sitting Knesset Members I trust or agree with about almost anything, bu that's another story...

First heard the consistently unrealistic MK Isaac (named for his esteemed grandfather) Herzog, who kept insisting that "the public will be surprised" at the voting results of his party after the next elections.  Herzog's party is the Labor Party, which although has a long history, may be history after the next elections.  Although the latest polls give Labor a couple more seats than now, it is no longer in the position and shows no signs of dramatic enough increase in voters to lead the country. Ynet Poll shows stable Likud, drop for Kadima and modest gains for Labour, Lapid
Respondents were asked how they would vote if Livni heads Kadima and if Mofaz heads Kadima, if elections were held today (expressed in Knesset seats): Current Knesset seats in [brackets].
13 — [28] Kadima headed by Livni
— 10 [28] Kadima headed by Mofaz
28 28 [27] Likud
15 16 [13] Labor
00 00 [---] Ehud Barak Independence Party
13 14 [---] Party lead by Yair Lapid
05 03 [---] Party lead by Arieh Deri
08 08 [11] Shas
12 13 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
02 02 [03] Jewish Home/NRP)
06 06 [05] Yahadut Hatorah
05 05 [03] Meretz
04 04 [04] National Union
11 11 [11] Arab parties
Labor and Kadima will probably  be challenged by Yair Lapid if he enters as an independent before his flame goes out.  I have no doubt that both parties are busy courting him, since they all basically have the same aims/ideology.  Another potential Center-Left spoiler would be Arieh Deri, who has lots more political savvy and experience than Lapid.  But I can't see the super secular Labor or Kadima parties agreeing to compromise with Deri, even if it may give them more voters.  His religiosity may lose them just as many.

Another bit of humor, at least to my mind, were the statements from the (unrecognized by me) Kadima member of the panel, who kept talking about Kadima as if it has a long distinguished history.  It's the party of opportunists whose guiding principles is to get elected.  I once heard one of its founders, former MK and Minister Tzachi Hanegbi describe it as a "supermarket" of ideologies.  Everyone can find someone they agree with.  Well, when I vote, I want to vote for a group of reliable people I agree with and trust.  Kadima is the opposite.  Why should I or anyone else give their vote to a political party that is full of politicians on the opposite end of the spectrum and every shade in between, even if there may be one person I sometimes can agree with?

For the past three years, ever since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took over, the media and all those Labor, Kadima politicians have been predicting that Bibi's term won't last long.  So far he has outlasted all of their predictions and seems to have a good hold on his coalition.  It's not that I'm a fan of his, but I trust the others even less.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Waiting Outside A Jewish School in London Felt Dangerous in the Mid-1970's

This week's vicious, violent fatal terror attack outside the Jewish school in Toulouse, France, brought back unpleasant memories. 




In the mid-1970's we were on shlichut, doing Jewish youth work in London, and our older daughters attended a Jewish school on a main street in NW London.  There were many other children of Israelis studying in that school.  There were Israeli security guards stationed in the school. 

We, the parents, had to wait for our children outside, not near the main entrance.  The school property was walled in by a thin wall about six feet, less than two meters high.  We waited by a door in that security wall.  Sometimes there were quite a lot of parents.  I came with the younger children who weren't in school. 

At least once, some car slowed down near us and shouted unpleasantly.  We were lucky. That's as far as it went.  But it was pretty dangerous to make us wait outside like that, like sitting ducks.

Jews are in danger all over.  I'm not saying that there aren't any dangers here in Israel, but if you're staying away from Israel because you think you're being "safe" and "smart," you're wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Would CSI, Bones, Cold Case or Harry Bosch Have Handled the John Demjanjuk-Ivan the Terrible Case?

I'm a fan of those top police/detective TV shows, CSI, Bones, Cold Case and all the Law & Order series.  My favorite detective novels are those by Michael Connelly, especially the Harry Bosch ones.

Those of you who share my taste in television and detective novels know very well, that there isn't always a happy ending.  Sometimes the good guys don't win.  Sometimes the "system" protects the guilty at all costs.  Human justice isn't perfect.

That's the view of the John Demjanjuk trial, which charged him with being "Ivan the Terrible," for many Israelis and Jews.
‘I have no doubt Demjanjuk was Ivan the Terrible,’ says Dalia Dorner
Following death of John Demjanjuk, retired Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner defends her 1988 ruling convicting Demjanjuk for crimes of brutal Nazi guard known as “Ivan the Terrible” • Supreme Court overturned conviction in 1993 over reasonable doubt. (complete article)
By REUTERS/Sebastian Widmann/Pool
Demjanjuk spent the last decades of his life fighting legal battles, but eventually he just died of old age, unlike the six million Jews plus millions of others who were murdered by and as a result of the Nazi Regime.

For some that never-ending legal maze may be considered punishment, but in between trials and appeals, Demjanjuk was mostly free, not in jail.
John Demjanjuk, who died of natural causes at 91 on Saturday, was a Nazi war criminal. A German court sentenced him to five years in prison not too long ago, but he died in an old age home, awaiting the hearing on his appeal. Demjanjuk was transferred from this court to that court, did some hard time in an Israeli prison and in other countries as well, but managed to avoid a peremptory, final and undisputed punishment. The lingering wait for his appeal saved him... Ultimately, the quality of Demjanjuk’s life outside prison wasn’t good, but justice wasn’t done. Even when he was finally convicted of assisting in the murder of 28,000 Jews in Sobibor (not the crime attributed to Ivan the Terrible), he was not kept in custody, but rather allowed to go free until his appeal – which never transpired.
Demjanjuk’s legal battle resonated internationally, making its conclusion somewhat symbolic of the quest for justice for Nazi war criminals and their collaborators. The generation is dying out, and justice is being doled out in small portions. (complete article)
I'm not a Holocaust expert. I didn't grow up in a family or neighborhood that had "survivors."  My parents and their friends were mostly American born and raised.  Mine and my peers' grandparents had the European accents and had arrived arrived in the United States mostly before and after World War One, long before Hitler and his Nazis terrorized European Jewry.

My knowledge and awareness of the Holocaust was from the media and Hebrew School when we learned of Anne Frank's Diary and during the Eichmann Trial.  The Eichmann Trial did bring a sort of "closure" to many victims, since Adolf Eichmann was found guilty and executed.  The John Demjanjuk trials and question were the opposite.  It was like a very bad case of lupus, which can't be easily diagnosed,  properly cured or fully controlled.  It just plagues the sufferers all their lives.

Will Ivan The Terrible's identity as John Demjanjuk ever be proven to satisfy all? I think that people will be debating the issue forever....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jordan is Not Palestine-- Both Fakes!

Here's the link to my latest blog post on Times of Israel.


Please read, comment and share, thanks

Drivers, Just Drive!! "Switzerland bus crash driver 'was changing DVD"

Yesterday when I was catching up on reading last week's International Herald Tribunes, (the real paper kind,) I came across news of a horrendous, nightmare of an article about a school trip bus crash that killed or seriously injured almost all of the fifty-two (52) people who had been on the bus.
Twenty-two children and six adults, including the two drivers, died in the accident. Another 24 were injured, including three critically. The children -- aged around 12 -- were returning home to Belgium from a skiing trip. The bus, which was carrying 52 people, was one of three hired by a Christian group. Read more:
It is believed that the driver was changing a DVD when he lost control/concentration for that fatal second.

Drivers are too busy concentrating on other tasks, like dialing phones and sending/reading messages to drive safely.

Another problem is insufficient sleep, which seriously affects one's concentration, patience and impulsively.  I did a study on that when I was getting my teachers license.  The increase, in recent decades in the amount of students showing symptoms of ADD/HD is most probably due to insufficient sleep.  The effects of insufficient sleep are identical to the primary neurological syndrome of ADD/HD.  And now, when most of the northern hemisphere is going Daylight Savings, the situation will only get worse.  The longer the sun is shining the later people go to sleep.

Drivers, beware!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Real Life in Southern Israel, While Being Bombarded by Deadly Missiles

The Israeli Government keeps trying to stress how "under control" everything is in southern Israel, even though it's being attacked by Gazan Arab terrorists.  We hear about the Iron Dome's effectiveness at "catching" the missiles, like a world champion soccer goalie stopping the ball, or great American football player tackling his opponent and grabbing the ball.

From friends of mine who live in Israel's beleaguered south I hear different stories.  One of them is about the missile that "landed in a field."  The government spokespeople gave the impression that the field was far from humans, far from homes, schools etc. But the truth was that the field was:
The field is on the corner..a very small field I should add...and across the street and down the street etc was the school, moan, ganim Shul.
Another story not being told is the one Miriam blogged about the animals, the pets and the moshav chickens etc.  Read Miriam's real life, true story of how the constant noisy attacks are affecting the animals.
My friends who have dogs all say that their pets are suffering and that their behavior during this time is not their norm. Some have stopped eating, they need and want extra attention and others just bark morning, noon and night.
We have a sweet eight month old Beagle mix that lives in the house. Patches is traumatized, suffering from anxiety from all the noise. She is terrified of the sirens, booms and helicopters and barks like crazy whenever there is a siren or boom.
She is so afraid being alone and doesn’t let us out of her sight to a point that she scratches and bangs on the door when you are in the bathroom or taking a shower. All Patches wants is to be patted and played with all day long...
Here's the link to the official government instructions on what to do when under attack.

To vary vocabulary, obviously  translated from Hebrew, they not only use the word "attack, " but also use that very "parve," benign word "event," from עירועה iru'ah which I hate in Hebrew, too.  The same word is used for festive occasions, like weddings.  A missile attack isn't just an "event;" it's an attack.  It's an attempt to kill and destroy and we mustn't make it seem harmless, just because G-d in His Mercy made a miracle and saved the residents from death and injury.  If you think I'm exaggerating, here's an example, my emphasis:
How to recognize an event?
When you hear an alert siren, a sound of an explosion or a “Tzeva Adom” warning.
Most Israelis are totally disgusted with the way the government is "handling" the attacks on Israel. I suggest reading Another Tack: Marie in Morag about how the media and government refuse to publicize what they fear will show how they are bamboozling the nation.

NY Salute to Israel Parade Accepting NIF, But Not AFSI

One of the most consistently and dedicated pro-Israel groups in the United States is AFSI, Americans For A Safe Israel.  They have requested the right to march in the Salute to Israel Parade but have been rejected.

Salute to Israel Parade, 1968
Yes, I'm one of the dancers
I have a personal connection to the parade, having marched (and danced) in the first few Salute to Israel Parades with NCSY, and a couple of times, after reaching the finish line I'd backtrack and then march with Betar.  Those parades are among my greatest pre-aliyah memories, competing with the Israeli Dance Festival and NCSY conventions/shabbatonim.

Here's the letter from AFSI:

A few years ago when AFSI wanted to march in the Israel Day Parade, we were turned down because we were too "extremist" and our banners in support of a whole Israel - yisrael shlayma -were not welcome. Today we see that the New Israel Fund, which enables groups supporting boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against Israel, are welcomed as participants in the parade. Pollution has set in. Your voice must raised in protest. See the Alert below, prepared by Richard Allen of the JCC Watch. We are indebted to him for his diligence and tenacity in leading this fight.
JEWISH COMMUNITY ALERT

EXTREMIST ANTI-ISRAEL GROUPS TO MARCH ON JUNE 3 IN CELEBRATE ISRAEL PARADE
UJA-FEDERATION IS PERMITTING ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROMOTE BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL TO PARTICIPATE.
A coalition of community Jewish organizations urgently calls on all friends of Israel to make their voices heard. The UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) have granted permission to extremist anti-Israel organizations to march in the Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3rd in New York. These groups encourage Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, seeking to delegitimize and economically weaken the Jewish State.
We call on all supporters of Israel to contact the UJA-Federation and JCRC and ask them to reverse their misguided decision.
THESE ARE THE FACTS:
  • This year, New Israel fund is slated to march again, and we expect B'Tselem and the other groups will once again join NIF, displaying their banners.
  • New Israel Fund finances numerous Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which promote Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
  • The chair of B'Tselem's board, Oren Yiftachel, has publicly called for "effective sanctions" against Israel. B'Tselem is a major grantee of the New Israel Fund.
  • B'Tselem produced the Video that was shown at the infamous "Israel Apartheid 2012" events held at Universities and Colleges worldwide.
  • Despite New Israel Funds stated opposition to Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), their continued funding of these groups shows their actions are not in line with their statements.
ACT NOW
We urge everyone to raise your voices and call the UJA-Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Urge them to stop these groups from marching in the Israel Day Parade and hijacking a pro-Israel event for their anti-Israel purposes. While the JCRC runs the Parade, the UJA-Federation has effective control over the JCRC, as they appoint Board members as a right and contribute the major portion of JCRC funding.
Richard Allen, a member of the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade and founder of JCCWatch.org stated: "It is not surprising that the UJA-Federation is pushing these bash Israel groups to march in the June 3, 2012 Israel Parade. Published reports show that the UJA-Federation's Chief Executive Officer, John Ruskay, worked with Noam Chomsky in one of the first political bash Israel groups; CONAME (Committee On New Alternatives in The Middle East). The reports stated the group CONAME specialized in attacking Israel. John Ruskay also gave over 1 million ($1,000,000) of UJA-Federation Jewish Charity Dollars to the political George Soros funded group, Jewish Funds for Justice. The community must make its voice heard by calling and writing The UJA-Federation and demand that Jewish community charity funds not be used for these divisive purposes."
PUBLIC CAMPAIGN
CALL OR WRITE TODAY
Tell John Ruskay and Jerry Levin of the UJA-Federation of New York:
NOT ONE DIME to Legitimize the De-Legitimizers of Israel!
STOP groups that work to Delegitimize Israel from Hijacking the Israel Parade!
Call and write the Board of the UJA-Federation of New York
Tell the UJA Federation you do NOT want your Jewish Charity Dollars Going to Support John Ruskay's Political Agenda
Phone: 212-980-1000
Email the UJA-Federation CEO John Ruskay: ruskayJ@ujafedny.org
Email the UJA-Federation Board: President Jerry W. Levin: jwlevin@jwlevinpartners.com
Email the Jewish Community Relations Council board:
Rabbi Michael Miller, millerm@jcrcny.org or call 212-983-4084

Subject: YOU May be Committing a Crime Against the Jewish People
Anyone who donates to the Jewish Federation or Hillel could be supporting a program that creates anti-Israel activists! That could be YOU!

The Jewish Federation and Hillel BOTH support - financially and logistically - sending Jewish, Christian and Muslim students to Washington and Israel to meet with Muslim Brotherhood organizations like MPAC, Hamas terrorists and leaders, Hezbollah supporters and others who have pledged to annihilate Israel and kill Jews! Follow-up information finds that these programs successfullyturn pro-Israel advocates into anti-Israel pro-Arab-Palestinian activists.

Are YOU funding this?

Read about this travesty below. It is not JUST J Street and the New Israel Fund who sabotage the Jewish people. Mainstream Jewish organizations that YOU may support are guilty as well. STOP THIS
Visit us on Facebook & Twitter. Just go to www.afsi.org and click on the icons.
Or, for facebook: Americans for a Safe Israel. Twitter: afsinews

Friday, March 16, 2012

Latma and Ruthie Blum versus Gazan Arab Terrorism and International Self-Proclaimed "Experts" in Morality

Latma's newscast this week is the Right one to watch. Latma presents the strange, natural phenomenon of missiles in the South and more.



Ruthie Blum's Israel Hayom article takes on Obama, J Street and the unabashed hypocrisy of other self-proclaimed experts in morality who keep lecturing Israel on how to act.

Shabbat Shalom

Jerusalem Lightrail, The Honeymoon is Over

photo by Batya Medad
Among the many complaints/warnings about the bad planning concerning Jerusalem's lightrail is the issue of security.  There are many aspects to the security of lack of it on and surrounding the internal Jerusalem train.  One of them is seen in the picture on the left.  There's no barrier, of any sort, in many places between the train and pedestrians.

photo by Batya Medad
There are also multiple doors on each train and no way of security-checking people before boarding.

Train passengers are a cross-section of Jerusalem and other Israelis including Arabs.  The train passes through both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.

photo by Batya Medad

photo by Batya Medad

photo by Batya Medad

Yes, it happened,  Arab terrorism on the train!  A female soldier was seriously stabbed, multiple times. 
...A 19-year-old female soldier was stabbed in her chest and hand on Jerusalem's Light Rail on Thursday. She was treated at the scene by United Hatzalah medics and taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition...
A suspect who fled the scene was later arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint. During his questioning he admitted to the stabbing. The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that the army placed roadblocks and held extensive checks in the Gaza vicinity checkpoints. Several suspects were detained for questioning.
An initial police investigation suggested that the woman was stabbed by an Arab man who fled the scene...
Scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Is there anything we passengers can do to prevent more attacks?  Nothing, really.  Arabs travel freely on all of Israel's public transportation, including Egged buses.  They feel safe.  Nobody attacks them.

The trains are designed in a way that makes security impossible.  We've all known that from the very beginning.  So far, at least, none of the planners, from the politicians to the technocrats to the business people involved, have taken the moral step of apologizing for their mistakes.

Refuah shleimah,  a complete recover to the injured woman.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Under Fire is No Way to Live


Life Under Fire is No Way to Live
Ashdod, Israel - March 2012
by Sara L. Shomron


The beautiful and bustling coastal city of Ashdod had all but come to a screeching halt recently. Stores and outdoor cafes in the commercial center that remained open mid-afternoon had nary a customer. Ashdod’s central bus station usually filled with foot traffic and noise was eerily skeletal and quiet.

Midday Ashdod. Traffic was barely noticeable. Few people were on the streets enjoying the lovely weather. One of my students pointed out that he was, for the very first time, able to immediately find parking and arrive at class on time – even a tad early. Certainly a silver lining to the security situation.

What is it like to live under fire? How are people coping? Ever aware that post traumatic stress can be minimized if people exposed to traumatic experiences and events immediately express themselves, I asked my adult students to share their thoughts.

Picture yourself residing in a high-rise apartment; fourth floor; no elevator; the bomb shelter is in the basement. You’re elderly or perhaps have young ones underfoot or are a physically challenged person. You might be in the shower or bath when suddenly you hear the blaring siren alerting you of the incoming rocket projectile(s). You have only 45 seconds in which to seek cover. You must have the presence of mind to decide where to seek cover. The stairwell? An interior room? Or perhaps you’ll race down the flights of stairs to join those ahead of you calling you in a state of panic, to hurry – as one of my students did. He quickly took several stairs at a time challenging himself to take more stairs each time he rushed downstairs to the protected area. In the process of accomplishing five stairs at a time his new iPod, an item he described as a personal appendage, flew from his hand shattering the screen. A war casualty not to make light of it. He mused that he needs a fireman pole.

And what of those with young children? Parent and child(ren) alike are afraid to go out to the park, ride a bike, or roller blade.A student with toddlers said her four year old son wants to know the meaning of the siren. An age appropriate explanation was given and now he’s terrified to go outside. How many others? Another student rhetorically asked how she, with two youngsters, could adequately protect her children and herself outdoors. While yet another student with older children said her children were angry with her because she ran to the balcony to watch the people running for shelter and see the plume of smoke from the Iron Dome in action. She related how a girl was in the street running for cover with a young boy in hand when the boy fell. An oncoming car saw the child in the road and squealed to an abrupt stop as a group of men rushing out from the pre-fab synagogue quickly picked up the child and carried him to a nearby shelter.

And public transportation? “Open the bus doors- I must get off the bus – I have a baby to bring into this world” a pregnant student shouted at the bus driver whose doors weren’t responding. She was the only passenger on the bus when the siren blared – and she was shaking with fright. The bus had pulled to the side of the road – but the doors wouldn’t open. Finally the doors opened and the student ran for cover in a nearby building. Whenever outdoors, her eyes scan the area in search of a protected area were it to be suddenly needed.

And while driving? One student related that he was on the Tel Aviv southbound highway when a car suddenly pulled over to the side of the road. He opened his window and like others behind him, pulled over to the shoulder. It turned out there wasn’t a siren; the driver in the front car had merely pulled over. Other students weren’t clear how to proceed on the road saying traffic continued and it was impossible to pull over to the shoulder though one student shared how she chose to step on the gas and drive through a red light.

Lastly, students told of hospitality offered them by family and friends living in other parts of the country. While they were most appreciative they were unanimous that their life must continue as normal – or as normal as possible given the circumstances. They have their work, their friends, their lives to live and wouldn’t consider leaving Ashdod.

Their conclusion: life under fire is no way to live.