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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Something Stinks!

Hat tip: Mystical Paths

Suckers, fools, frei'erim, suicidal masochists... which label do you prefer for a country that financially supports its greatest enemies?

After the Obama visitation, the news that Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to release the withheld funds as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority.  The fact is that the "PA" owes Israel money and we should just take what is owed to us.
Israel currently supplies all electricity needs to the West Bank. Palestinian customers receive the electricity through the Palestinian Authority and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company Ltd., each of which operate in different cities in the territories. The two entities' aggregate debt to IEC currently totals NIS 730 million (US$ 197.2 million debt) . Each month, IEC sends a warning letter about the debt, and it is in talks with the Palestinian Authority and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company, but no agreement has been reached on payment… Mystical Paths

If I'm not mistaken they also owe us for medical care and lots of other "services" that we ordinary Israelis must cover ourselves.  Why should we pay our enemies?

Yes, the "PA" Arabs are our enemies.  Their entire aim is to destroy and replace us.
After the UN vote in November 2012, the PA built a monument in a central square in Bethlehem called "The State Monument," which shows the "State of Palestine." However, the model of "Palestine" also includes all of Israel, thereby erasing it completely. The monument celebrates the UN vote on statehood as well as the first PLO/Fatah terror attack against Israel in 1965, which is seen as the beginning of the Palestinian "revolution" and Fatah's anniversary date. The words on the map-shaped monument are:
"Birth certificate of the State of Palestine - Nov. 29, 2012,
The outbreak of the glorious revolution - Jan. 1, 1965
PMW

Have the Arabs ever done any "goodwill gestures" to us?  Nu?  If you can list them, I'd appreciate if you'd add them in the comments, thanks.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Honestly, Do You Believe What Politicians Say?

Honestly, think about it.
  • We all know that politicians will say (and do) almost anything to get elected.
  • We all know that almost no politician writes his/her own material, speeches, articles etc.
Nu, so do you believe what a politician says?

Nu, so do you believe what a visiting politician says in a foreign country?


Then why should anyone believe United States President Barack Hussein Obama's folksy friendliness when he was just in Israel, especially when all of his previous times with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were far from friendly?

I know that most Israelis fall for the pretty words and practiced smiles.

'Post'/Smith Research survey shows percentage of those who consider US president pro-Palestinian falls to four-year low.

I am a much tougher customer to convince.  I agree with Liat Collins opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post.
And here lies my problem, also, with President Barack Obama’s speech in Jerusalem last week. It was brilliant, feel-good, escapist – and full of clichés and phrases that, when you actually take the time to think about them, don’t necessarily add up. Obama’s visit, in effect, turned into one long commercial break.
Ahead of his trip, Channel 2’s Yonit Levi gained an in-depth interview with the US president, preparing the ground, like a promo for a new movie. Indeed, his whole trip took on the dimensions of a visit by a film star. And he certainly knows how to deliver his lines, even when he can’t deliver the goods...
I would not, of course, turn down the opportunity to interview Obama, but I think it would be more interesting – and more revealing – to spend time talking with his speechwriters.
I was not surprised to learn last month that Jon Favreau, the 31-year-old head of Obama’s speech-writing team, has chosen to stop being his master’s voice and elected to pursue a career as a Hollywood screenwriter. The required skills are clearly linked...
Sarah Honig also saw through the tinsel.
Too many Israelis who should have known lots better were reduced to the infatuation of a bewitched, bothered and bewildered teenager.
How American President Barack Obama stroked our ego with all those smiles, all the photos he obligingly posed for, all the seemingly folksy chitchats, all that backslapping, all those effusive flatteries, all the facile historic allusions, all the Hebrew words he was painstakingly taught to enunciate by his Jewish aides – most of them left-wingers with well-known Peace Now sympathies.
Should I be surprised that the writers who are on the same track I'm on are all female?  We're not afraid to say/write that
The emperor has no clothes!

Politics is all theater.  The words, the clothes, the staging, the acting, the movements. Can we trust anything?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Passover as Perfect Preparation for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day

I noticed this display of Yom Ha'Atzma'ut "toys" when we were in Jerusalem over Pesach.


I can't exactly say why, but every years we're surprised anew at how soon Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is after Passover.  Of course, a quick look at the calendar shows how close they really are, just over two weeks from the end of Passover until Independence Day.
Passover ends the 21st of Nissan
As you can see, Israeli Independence Day is exactly two weeks later.

Considering how much work most of us do at home to prepare for Passover, the Israeli custom of hiking and outdoor cooking makes sense.  It's needed to escape the confines of our homes.  For many families, Passover cooking is women's work, while outdoor cooking is the responsibility of the men. 

But my reasons for this post aren't the culinary nor feminist.

The core of Judaism is the Biblical narrative, and the Holiday of Passover celebrates our against all odds escape from Pharaoh's rule in Egypt.  The Jewish People, although they had entered Egypt as an independent, proud and affluent clan found themselves over a century later as poverty stricken dependent slaves to the Egyptian Pharaoh.  Although we had multiplied greatly in numbers, the slave-ghetto mentality dominated every aspect of our lives.

That's the reason why it took a Moses, who had been raised in Pharaoh's palace, as the adopted son of Bitya, daughter of Pharaoh, to lead the escape of the Jewish People.  There's an irony in the linguistic pun of Bitya's name.  In Hebrew it means "daughter of G-d."  The Egyptians considered their Pharaohs to have been gods, but from the actions of Bitya, it's clear that her "god" wasn't her father.  She was the tool of G-d Almighty, the Jewish G-d.

In G-d's original plan, the Jewish People was to have entered the HolyLand, the Land He was to show us, immediately after the Exodus from Egypt.  Genesis Chapter 12 בְּרֵאשִׁית
א  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. 1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
ב  וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
The Jewish People began with Abraham (Abram) who had been instructed by G-d to leave his home and family and go to a place G-d would show him.  That was the plan.
Of course, from one man, Abraham, until we reached that critical mass of numbers to be a people took quite a while.  And being a People is complicated, so we needed to experience quite a few, sometimes unpleasant, things.  In G-d's original plan, we were supposed to go straight from Egyptian slavery to freedom and independence, but...

Yes, the big "but..."

But G-d had also given us Free Will, and that can get us into trouble.  Free Will means that we have the ability to sin, make mistakes and mistakes we did make.  That's why we had to wander in במדבר bamidbar, the wilderness for forty years before entering the Promised Land.

Since we're supposed to connect the Exodus from Egypt  with the Modern State of Israel, G-d had the date of our Declaration of Independence happen soon after the Passover Holiday.  A Jewish State is a great G-d given miracle, even with all its imperfections. As I wrote just before, we do have Free Will and that can be a recipe for disaster.

We just have to keep on working hard and make our State of Israel better. It's up to us, not G-d.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quinoa Isn't Kitniyot, Legumes

Last night we were at a neighborhood Passover BBQ על האש Al Ha'esh, cookout.  The hostess provided the meat and the guests brought all sorts of side dishes.  We brought wine, since we had plans to be in Jerusalem all day (read all about the lovely museum we visited) and didn't want to commit to prepare food. 

All of the guests were Ashkenazim descended from European Jewry and keep to the custom of not eating kitniyot legumes on Passover. Davka, the most learned of the guests and his wife contributed a quinoa dish.


Quinoa is relatively new to many people. 
Quinoa, a species of goosefoot, is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. Wikipedia

There is a lot of controversy among Ashkenazi rabbis about whether it should be added to the list of forbidden legumes or not.  This salad my neighbor brought looks like a bulgur salad, which is totally forbidden on Passover for all Jews.  Instead it was a quinoa salad.  Try this quinoa salad recipe leaving out the cheese.

It's ironic that it was davka these neighbors who brought the quinoa salad.  They are very meticulous in their Torah observance.  If it had been almost anyone else, almost nobody would have touched the quinoa.  Here's the Machon Shilo explanation of quinoa and Passover.
2. Exactly 29 years ago I heard the very same opinion expressed by HaGaon HaRav Shaul Yisraeli z’l. The conversation took place right after Shaharith in Y’shivath Merkaz HaRav, a few days before Pesah. I asked him what his view was regarding qittniyoth. He responded that only those items that Ashk’nazim originally refrained from eating were forbidden. Therefore, he continued, soya beans are permissible because they were unknown in Europe at the time. He added that peanuts are mutar, and that in his home town in Russia, Slutzk, peanuts were the item of choice placed before guests during Pesah. He explicitly mentioned that this was done by all Jews in his town, including the Rav of the town, the world-renowned Gaon, HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer, author of Even HaEzel on the Rambam, who later moved to Jerusalem.
3. By the same logic quinoa may be consumed during Pesah even by those who refrain from qittniyoth; quinoa was unknown in the West till relatively recently.
It makes sense to me.  One thing is that I'm not looking for a food that has to be carefully checked. It's just more work when I don't have the time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

There's Nothing "Right" in Our Unnecessary Groveling Apology to Turkey

In another disgusting display of obedience to the modern Pharaoh, Israel has groveled before Turkish-American pressure to admit to and apologize for faux faults.  The Jerusalem Post has it all wrong; there's nothing "right" in this embarrassing and disgraceful government action.

Regional realities require that Israel now swallow a bitter pill and do what is right, for the future of Israel, the region and our common interests with the United States.

The inexcusable and undiplomatic aggression was by the Turkish Government, not by Israel.  Esser Agaroth got it right, not the editors of the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expresses an apology over the deaths of a pack of thugs with iron bars and knives, who were killed in self-defense by the Israeli troops who had boarded the boat for inspection.
U. S. President Obama believes this crap about having the restoration of Israeli-Turkish ties in his pocket.
Supposedly symbolic Israeli President Peres thinks this crap about Israel and Turkey having 1,000 reasons to be friends.
And they both seem to be wrong, because in response, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has been talking crap about how Israel should not expect normal ties despite Netanyahu's apology, and then there is this crap about his planning a trip to Gaza. If you cannot connect the dots on your own here, then you are delusional.
Israel's dangerous apology will only encourage more and more terror, simple physics and history have shown this to be true.  Life was so much safer in Israel before this faux "peace" began.  The very early years after the 1967 Six Days War were heaven.  The Arabs feared us and we could ride Arab buses and go all over Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Jordan Valley and the Golan without fear.  That was peace.

The post 1967 Six Days War peace was destroyed by the Israeli Left, which kept offering the Arabs the Land we had just liberated.  When the Arabs realized that Israel didn't understand the enormity of our victory, then Syria and Egypt conspired to attack Israel from the north and south on the holiest day of the Jewish Year, Yom Kippur, in 1973.

The miracle of our 1973 victory was even greater than the one in 1967, because we were so mentally unprepared.  Most Israelis firmly believed the fantasy that the Arabs would never dare attack us again after the 1967 victory.  And we also believed the myth that our defense structures were impregnable.  We trusted in the "might of men," the IDF and Leftist ideology, rather in G-d Almighty.

Today's belief that we must obey United States President Barack Hussein Obama, rather than standing tall and following G-d is just too déjà vu for me. I truly hope and pray that we don't have to learn the hard way.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Real Message of Passover, Not Obama's Version

The Obama Democrats certainly consider his custom of holding sic Jewish Passover Seders good politics, which they probably are in the American Jewish reality.  But in terms of the true meaning of the Pesach Passover holiday, they've gotten it all wrong. And United States President Obama also got the Passover message wrong when he was telling us (and the world) during his recent visit to Israel that he sees a connection with the Arabs aka Palestinian demands for a state inside the Biblical Land of Israel and the Passover holiday.

THE JEWISH PEOPLE NEVER ASKED FOR A JEWISH STATE IN EGYPT!  So using the Passover narrative to support the Arab demands should only make some sense if the Arabs were to leave Israel and find some other land to demand.

The story of the Jewish People in Egypt was very different.  It's more like the story of Naomi and Ruth, which is read on Shavuot, the Holiday most connected to Passover.  We are required to Count the Omer, the forty-nine days, seven weeks from the second night of Passover to right before Shavuot.

In both stories, the Jewish People or main characters started off in the Land of Israel.  We must begin the Passover story as a prequel, to show how we ended up in Egypt.  By ignoring what precedes Jewish slavery to Pharaoh we can't fully understand what the holiday is really about.  Over a hundred years earlier, there wasn't a large Jewish People, there was just a family.  Jacob was the father, and he had twelve sons from four women.  One of his sons, the favorite-being the elder of his favorite wife, had disappeared under suspicious circumstances.  His other sons claimed that the boy had been killed by an animal, but he didn't believe them.  No body and no closure. 

Jacob was a very wealthy man, so a number of years later when the area was cursed by famine he sent his sons to buy food in Egypt. And to make  a long story short, it ended up that the missing son was the very high official in charge so selling food during the famine.  Pharaoh probably didn't want the son to possibly leave Egypt and join his family, so he invited the entire clan to live in a very fertile location in Egypt.

The Jewish time in Egypt had started as a privileged one, but at some point everything went downhill and they became slaves.  Conditions became unbearable for Jews and they cried out to G-d to make life easier.  G-d appointed Moses and told him that he would take the Jewish People back to the HolyLand.  And that's where the Passover story comes in.

In Megillat Rut, The Scroll of Ruth, we have a similar scenario.  The story starts with Naomi, whose husband Elimelech decides that  his family must flee the famine and go to nearby Moav.  Just like with the Jewish People in Egypt, it turned out disastrously.  He and their sons die leaving Naomi poverty-stricken and alone with the two childless daughters-in-law.  Naomi then decides to return to the HolyLand alone, but one daughter-in-law, Ruth, insists on joining her and her fate as a Jew.  At first Naomi is shunned, but  Ruth ends up the great-grandmother of the greatest Jewish King, King David.

To simplify both stories:
  • Jews leave HolyLand for economic reasons.
  • Jews have great hopes that their new lives will be better, and maybe they are for a while.
  • Jews end up poverty-stricken, suffering.
  • Jews end up realizing they must return Home to the HolyLand!
That's it in a nutshell.

American Jews, it's time to come HOME!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Building For Our Future

When we first came to see Shiloh, over thirty-two years ago, while we were looking for a place to make a new home for our growing family, we discovered a piece of Land in our Biblical Homeland that was full of delicate wild flowers.  It was clear that this Land had been deserted for more than centuries.  There hadn't been any active communities in Shiloh since Biblical times thousands of years earlier.

In the decades since we moved to Shiloh, it has grown enormously.  Our local school, which opened September 1, 1981, with eighteen students in three classes, now is two large prize-winning regional schools, one for girls and one for boys, from First Grade until Eighth Grade. 

part of the Shiloh Elementary Schools Campus

Our district extends from the Shomron, Rechalim to the north of us, Ma'ale Levona, to the west, Gitit and Ma'ale Efrayim to the East, Kochav Hashachar to the south and lots of Jewish communities in between.

The Shiloh Ramat Shmuel, Samuel Heights neighborhood was established by Ariel Sharon in the summer of 1981.
While new buildings are being built,  ancient ones are being dug up.

 
 


 
 


As we earlier families are getting older, it's wonderful to see that our children are marrying and having children of their own.  And many young families are making Shiloh their home.


As many new homes as we build, there's still a housing shortage in Shiloh.  Jewish families of all ages, from all over the world want to live here.

A new generation has taken over that never knew a time when Judea and Samaria were in foreign hands.  This post-1967 generation is much more rooted than we ever were, thank G-d.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

U. S. President Obama versus Jonathan Pollard, Obama Sees it as Jewish Issue

For those who think that United States President Barack Hussein Obama can be convinced to free Jonathan Pollard for humanitarian and/or legal/logical/moral reasons, you've pegged Obama 100% wrong.  Listen carefully to his words.  He sees Pollard as a Jew, and he sees the demands to free him as tribal loyalty.
 “I recognize the emotions involved in this,” he said. “One of the strengths of the Israeli people is you think about your people wherever they are. I recognize that and am sympathetic.” (from article in the Jerusalem Post)

  • Obama thinks we're emotionally involved. 
  • He doesn't see any logical, objective, legalistic reason for Jonathan Pollard to be freed. 
  • Obama doesn't think there was a travesty of justice when a "spy" for an ally gave the ally information and then was sentenced more disproportionately severely than enemy spies.
  • For Obama this is a Jewish problem, not an American one.
US President Barack Obama being interviewed by Channel 2's Yonit Levy
US President Barack Obama being interviewed by Channel 2's Yonit Levy 
Photo: Courtesy US Embassy

 
U. S. President Obama was interviewed by Israeli journalist Yonit Levi.  Levi is the Israeli journalist of choice for the Americans.  She treats Obama with the reverence he craves.
 
Now let's go back to that interview.  Everyone, especially Obama's staff,  knew that she had to ask about the chances of Obama freeing Pollard.  That means that Obama's reply had been well thought out and well rehearsed.  What exactly did Obama say?
“I recognize the emotions involved in this,” he said.
He accused Israel, Israelis and Jews of considering Pollard as an emotional, tribal issue.  Obama firmly denies that there has been any injustice, prejudice or anti-Semitism involved in Jay Jonathan Pollard's legal punishment. To Obama our demand that Pollard's sentence was more severe and longer than any other similar or more dangerous criminal is just a matter of what "your people," as he refers to Jews, would do for any Jew regardless of the crime.
 
I don't see Barack Hussein Obama as a friend of Israel or friend of Jews.  I see this as his showing his true feelings about us. Please remember that his, like all other visiting politicians' speeches here are just well crafted, diplomatic flattery which aim to get the most applause and praise possible. IMHO anyone who really thinks that Obama is a sincere friend ought to hurry and decorate those eggs for the Easter Bunny.
 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's Your Favorite Passover/Pesach Hagaddah?

Like pretty much everyone of my generation in the United States, I grew up using some free Hagaddah; it had easy to follow instructions.  The idea that there were choices of Hagaddot with commentary was something we didn't know.  Around the time I became religious, I think that Reform and/or Conservative Jewish groups began to produce their own.

Neither my husband nor I grew up in a family that "did the Seder" the way it should have been done.  My husband's grandfather would just drone on, quickly reading the Hebrew text, everything except when he allowed the youngest to say the four questions.  There were no discussions, explanations, fun, games, songs. There was just the break for eating.

In my family we took turns reading the English translation, with the exception of the Hebrew four questions by the youngest, but we didn't really discuss anything.  We didn't know we were allowed to, certainly didn't know that it was actually required. We sang a song or two, and then we ate.  We didn't resume the actual Seder after the meal, so we somehow missed out on singing the songs I had learned in Hebrew School.  It wasn't until I did my first full Seder at friends that  I discovered when the songs were to be sung.

We made aliyah right after we got married and discovered that people had very interactive, fun, participatory s'darim.  We weren't all that good at making ours great adventures, but I always encouraged the kids to break into song whenever we got to words they knew a tune to.  And I also instructed them to interrupt whenever they had something to contribute. I tried to make a "no drone" rule, but couldn't enforce it on my own.

Over the years we collected quite a few different Hagaddot. There are all sorts of illustrations, the IDF, immigrants and more. And there are those with interesting commentary.  A recent family favorite is Yisrael Eldad's  הלילה יוצאים ממצריים Halayla Yotzim Memiztrayim, Tonight We're Leaving Egypt.

Even today after over forty years in Israel, I stick with English translations.  A number of years ago I bought myself two new ones, the Shlomo Carlebach and the Nechama Leibowitz, both from Urim Publications.

I absolutely love the Carlebach one and find myself reading it during the Seder, just for fun.  It's full of the stories he was so well-known for telling.  The Nechama Leibowitz one is just too academic for me during a Seder, tired and drinking wine.  Her Hagaddah would be perfect if I were to study the text before the  Passover Holiday.

And what's your favorite Hagaddah and why?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Obama's Visit a la Latma and an Israeli Soldier Responds to the World



This week's episode of Latma's Tribal Update is definitely one of their best.

Latma is a project of Caroline Glick.  I recommend reading her article about the Obama visit and also Ruthie Blum's latest Obama article.

Spiderman versus Obama

One of my main complaints about the Obama visit to Israel concerned the timing. 

When someone dangerously important comes to Israel, the roads he (has there ever been a she?) are closed for security reasons.  Israel isn't Manhattan with lots of alternatives, parallel roadways etc.  The road closings can cause major inflexible inconveniences.  My friend in Beit El told of the announcement that anyone needing emergency medical care would have to be helicoptered out of Beit El when the roads were  closed for Obama's Ramallah visit.  Beit El, which has hundreds of families and thousands of residents only has one entrance/exit.  There used to be another one via Al Bira and the refugee camp Jelazoun, but due to the anti-Jewish apartheid in Israel, only Arabs are allowed on that road.  But taking that road would mean an hour's speeding ride or more to a Petach Tikvah hospital.  Beit El is considered a suburb of Jerusalem, which is closer than that.

Another place that had been locked down for Obama's visit was Sha'ar Binyamin, which is actually an oasis of coexistence.  It's the shopping center, industrial zone, with a major medical clinic, wedding hall and more just north of Jerusalem.  It has only one exit/entrance, too.  Jews and Arabs work and shop there.  I know it very well, since I work in one of the stores, Yafiz, Clothing for the Entire Family.

Obama visited Ramallah on Thursday. Thursday is the busiest shopping day of the week in Israel, because people like to stock up before Shabbat, Saturday and the Muslims before Friday.  Adding to the usual Thursday business is the fact that next Monday night is the Passover Seder.  The week before Passover is always busier than any other of the year.  And davka that's when United States President Barack Hussein Obama decided to descend on Israel and visit Ramallah.

It would have been totally legitimate and acceptable for the Israeli Government aka Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to have requested a different time for the visit.  The phrase אחרי החגיםת acharay hachaggim, after the holidays is a standard in the Israeli lexicon.

And what does this have to do with Spiderman?  The religious Jews of Williamsburg, Brooklyn asked the producers of the newest Spiderman movie to change their schedule so they wouldn't be filming in their neighborhood on Passover.

It's good business to be accommodating, and it's good politics to protect the "little man," the ordinary citizen.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher v'Sameach

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Couple of Messages, Subtle and Not so Subtle to U.S. President Obama

"A picture is worth a thousand words" they say.

Look carefully.  Where is this picture taken? What's the message?
 
Look carefully. Where is this picture taken? What's the message?
For those who don't know, this is the road between Jerusalem and the turn-off to both Beit El and Ramalla.  Yes, this is part of the road that was closed twice today so that Unite States President Barack Hussein Obama could visit Ramalla.  This is the road that goes to Jerusalem and Sha'ar Binyamin, the commercial-industrial center where I work.  Tens of thousands or more of Jews and Arabs travel this road every single day.  Yes, it's a road open to both Arabs and Jews.  And Sha'ar Binyamin is also open to both Arabs and Jews.  I serve them all, same prices and same service in Yafiz, the clothing store for the entire family.

Have you noticed which flags our regional council, Mateh Binyamin put up as decoration?  Yesterday as I noticed that there were flags up, I got worried.  Obama's road trip, rather than being flown by helicopter, would be inconveniencing the tens of thousands of people normally on the road at that time.  That's because the road was to be totally closed.  Many people had been forced to change their plans and travel times because of the closed road.  Beit El, Psagot, Kochav Yaakov and Adam were totally locked in, because they don't have any other roads they can take. 

Luckily I work part-time and didn't work today. 

Back to the flags...
Two types of flags have been flying on the roads, the Israeli flag and the one for Mateh Binyamin.  I found that a comfort.  Flying the "stars and stripes" would be like pouring salt on the wound, celebrating our inconvenience.

And this poster down here is to urge Obama to finally free Jonathan Pollard.

The campaign to make Obama free Jonathan Pollard

I doubt if Obama will ever see these posters, but G-d willing he'll hear from enough Israelis that Pollard has served more than enough for his crime.

Reflecting on Over Thirty Years in Shiloh

Cross-posted on me-ander.

Shiloh isn't just any old town in the world.  It's not just any location, piece of land with amazing views, clean air and relatively mild weather.

A "self-portrait" shot at Tel Shiloh
Today's Shiloh is the actual location of the Biblical Shiloh.  Shiloh is where Joshua took the Jewish People when it was time to establish a capitol city and more permanent location for the Mishkan, Tabernacle, the forerunner of the Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple. 

Shiloh was "waiting" for Joshua.  It is one of the ancient cities that did not need to be conquered.  Most of the book of Joshua is a report of the progress the Jewish People made in conquering the Land.  Quite a number of the battles didn't go all that well and easily until the Jewish People and their leaders understood that victory only came with G-d's help, by following G-d's instructions.

Shiloh is in the center of the Land of Israel, on a high mountain.  It's convenient and is surrounded by excellent agricultural land.  Today biblical fruits, such as grapes, figs and olives grow easily here.  If my husband and I can enjoy the grape and olive harvest, then it means that the Land must be especially suitable for those crops.

Chazal, our sages, tell us that the Shechina, Holy Spirit never completely deserts a location where it had been for hundreds of years.  The Mishkan and Shechina  were here for almost four hundred years.

I'm not the same person I was before I moved with my family to Shiloh.  Living in Shiloh has connected me to the Tanach,  Bible in a way I could never have been before.  I feel the presence of Chana, Hannah and I sense the pilgrims who once came to pray here.  Their prayers and subsequent miracles haven't left here at all.

That's why I've been organizing Women's Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the Jewish Month) Prayers at Tel Shiloh the past few years.  I also try to publicize other events.  This Passover, during the Intermediate Days, Wednesday and Thursday, March 27 & 28, 2013, 9am- 5pm, there will be activities for the entire family, tours, crafts, shows and more.  For more information check the Shiloh Hakeduma site or contact us.



Next Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, will be soon after Passover is over.  So please mark it in your calendar already.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Iyyar
Thursday, April 11, 2013
1 Iyyar 5773 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson

Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors


תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אייר בתל שילה

יום ה' 11-4 א' אייר תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

And don't forget that the Tel Shiloh, aka Shiloh HaKedumah is open for visitors six days a week. For information call 02-994-4019.  Please join our facebook group/page.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Obama Visit "Strangles" Israel

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis will be adversely affected by United States President Barack Hussein Obama's visit to Israel.  The Israeli media and political bigwigs may be all gaga with excitement, but most other Israelis are filled with total dread.  The main road from Ben Gurion International Airport aka Natbag will be closed for hours today and when he finally leaves. 

The King David Hotel has been brimming with activity, getting dozens of suites ready for the "royal" entourage; the 15,000-strong police detail is gearing up to guard against security breaches; streets and highways are being cleared of cars and closed off; the foreign press is descending en masse from all corners of the globe and provided space in which to set up their computers, microphones, and cameras; the local media have been promoting the coverage they will devote to the hot event; menus are being planned, speeches crafted, and the newly crowned Miss Israel — an immigrant from Ethiopia — is excitedly awaiting the gala dinner at President Shimon Peres' house, where she will be introduced to her counterpart, Mr. America.
And all this is in spite of Obama's decision not to address the Knesset. Indeed, he claimed that the purpose of this trip was to "connect with the people."
To this end, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv invited college students from around the country to submit essays on why they should be selected to attend the president's large-scale "meet and greet" at the Jerusalem Convention Center. Given Obama's insistence on being surrounded by sycophants, one can only imagine the syrupy content of the chosen applications. One can also figure out why Ariel University students were told they may not enter the competition. (Ruthie Blum)
Many, many Jerusalem roads will be closed off periodically during the too long visit, as will roads going from his hotel, The King David, which is in the center of Jerusalem, to all of the various buildings he'll be entering in addition to the south of Jerusalem when he goes to a from Bethlehem and the north of Jerusalem when he goes to Ramallah.  And that Ramallah visit means that the large, normally bustling commercial-industrial center Sha'ar Binyamin will be closed off from its only access road.

I usually agree with Dry Bones, but he should have shown the anger and disgust and dread of your typical Israeli citizen here.

Dry Bones
This visit, on the Eve of the Passover Holiday is so horrendously timed that all involved would be totally condemned for their incompetent thoughtlessness and selfishness.  I know that I have been blogging an awful lot about it issue, but I'm not exaggerating one iota.

We Jews are an ancient and distinguished people.  We should have the confidence to remember that.  We also must remember that our help and salvation comes from G-d Almighty, not from the United States.

What is the theme of Passover?

עבדים היינו לפרעה במצרים, עתה בני חורין
Avodim hayinu liparoah bamitzrayim, atoh bnei chorin
We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt; now we're free men
Yes, that's it in a nutshell.  It's derived from the Bible,
Deuteronomy Chapter 6 דְּבָרִים:
כא וְאָמַרְתָּ לְבִנְךָ, עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם; וַיֹּצִיאֵנוּ יְהוָה מִמִּצְרַיִם, בְּיָד חֲזָקָה. 21 then thou shalt say unto thy son: 'We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
כב וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה אוֹתֹת וּמֹפְתִים גְּדֹלִים וְרָעִים בְּמִצְרַיִם, בְּפַרְעֹה וּבְכָל-בֵּיתוֹ--לְעֵינֵינוּ. 22 And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his house, before our eyes.
כג וְאוֹתָנוּ, הוֹצִיא מִשָּׁם--לְמַעַן, הָבִיא אֹתָנוּ, לָתֶת לָנוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ. 23 And He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers.
כד וַיְצַוֵּנוּ יְהוָה, לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-כָּל-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה, לְיִרְאָה, אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ--לְטוֹב לָנוּ כָּל-הַיָּמִים, לְחַיֹּתֵנוּ כְּהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. 24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
כה וּצְדָקָה, תִּהְיֶה-לָּנוּ: כִּי-נִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-כָּל-הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ--כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּנוּ. {ס} 25 And it shall be righteousness unto us, if we observe to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as He hath commanded us.' {S}

This is the time we're supposed to remember that everything, including the State of Israel, our security, economic success and more are the gifts from G-d.  There is no human who can save us or help us.  This Obama-worship is a danger to the Nation, the People of Israel.

Davka, now on the Eve of Passover we should be remembering that our salvation will come only from G-d, not the President of the United States.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Obama, Chutzpah! Of All the Nerve!

Jerusalem Post
If the Israeli public doesn't have enough to do just days before the Festival, Holy Holiday of Passover, פסח Pesach, residents (and those who work, shop etc.) of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Mateh Binyamin, Sha'ar Binyamin and further afield will find many of their travel logistics changed, canceled and worse because United States President Barack Hussein Obama, for some very peculiar fokocked for sure reason davka chose this week to descend on Israel and visit the "PA" Arabs in both Bethlehem and Ramallah.  And to make matters even worse, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu didn't have the guts to tell him:
"It's a bad time for us.  Come after Passover."

Now, you must be wondering why it's so disturbing to me that Obama is coming late this week, less than a week before Pesach.  If Obama was to just hang out at a hotel near the airport, it wouldn't be all that bad, but he's going to be on the roads a lot.  And do you know what it means for a visiting American President to be on our roads?  It means that those roads must be cleaner of innocent Israeli citizens than my kitchen must clean of chametz for Passover!  No exaggeration at all.
Commuters can expect massive delays and road closures during the visit, but Rosenfeld said national transportation police will post traffic updates on the police Facebook page and police website around the- clock during the president’s stay here.

None of the men, I doubt if women are involved in such policy planning, accept my idea of keeping him safest by using plain, popular inconspicuous vehicles that nobody in a million years would guess were carrying important people. 
During Obama's arrival on Wednesday and again during his departure on Friday afternoon, the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway will be closed to all traffic • And on Thursday, when the U.S. president visits Ramallah, all traffic will be halted on Route 60, the main road through Judea and Samaria.

These horrendously disruptive chutzpadik motorcades are moving phallic symbols.  There's no other way to describe them.  The more they disturb the innocent the more powerful the men feel.  It's bullying by government decree!

Another reason it's bad timing is that our newest government has just been sworn in. 

 Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

There's anarchy in the Foreign Ministry, which doesn't have an official minister until Avigdor Lieberman's legal status is decided.

An excellent explanation of the Israeli system and situation, as explained by Ruthie Blum, can be heard in this video:

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Disturbs Me The Most About The New Israeli Government Coalition

There isn't yet a festive photo of the crew, that exclusive new club, THE ISRAELI CABINET MINISTERS.  But the Jerusalem Post describes the results of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's wily ego shuffling.  It's like trying to fit the contents of a mansion into a small apartment.  I'm copy/pasting the most important parts of that article:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late on Sunday night appointed Yuval Steinitz as Minister of International Relations and Silvan Shalom as Energy and Water Minister, resolving feuding over portfolios in a series of late-night meetings with Likud MKs, Army Radio reported.
Shalom is to also maintain his role as Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee and Regional Cooperation, Army Radio reported. Shalom will also be a member of the ministerial committee in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
In negotiations earlier on Sunday, the prime minister appointed Moshe Ya'alon Defense Minister.
Likud's Danny Danon will serve as Deputy Defense Minister.
Gideon Sa'ar will become Interior Minister, as expected. He said on his way out of his meeting with Netanyahu that he plans to bring reforms to the ministry, as he did as Education Minister.
Gilad Erdan received the Home Front Security and Communications portfolios, with a few extra responsibilities.
Erdan, who was considered a candidate to replace Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, will be responsible for the strategic relationship with the US. The position essentially means he is in charge of strategic dialogs with the US twice a year. In addition, he will be a member of the security cabinet, along with Netanyahu, Ya'alon, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni.
The Communications Ministry will be expanded to include the Israel Broadcast Agency and the Government Publications Bureau.
As planned, Bennett will be Economy and Trade Minister, Uri Ariel will be Housing and Construction Minister, Uri Orbach received the Pensioners’ Affairs portfolio, and Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan will be Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.
Nissan Slomiansky, who was an MK for over 10 years, will be chairman of the powerful Knesset Finance Committee, and Avi Wortzman, former deputy mayor of Beersheba, will be Deputy Education Minister.
I don't know if anyone's happy, at least not in the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties.  There weren't too many pickings left over after Bibi handed out the goodies to Livni, Lapid and Bennett.

There's something that really bothers me about this coalition.  I felt it in my kishkes, and I had trouble saying what it really is.  Then I saw the latest Dry Bones, which put my feelings in clearer terms, not that Ya'akov says it in his cartoon.

Dry Bones

There's something inherently undemocratic in a government coalition which aims to change the lives of a large and growing sector of the country/society while refusing them the rights to join the coalition and help draft the laws to make the changes just and possible.

Yes, I'm referring to the forcing of chareidim to be drafted into the IDF.

Now please get me right.  I am not in favor of their (chareidi) universal policy idealizing a life a just learning Torah.  I don't see it as Jewish.  It's not.  It's more like the Christian monasteries and nunneries with the crucial difference that the chareidim marry and are encourage to have lots of children.  It's also a Christian, not Jewish, belief that "men of the cloth" shouldn't bear arms, serve in armies etc.

But I don't think its just nor moral for some sectors of society to try to legislate major changes in the lives of others.  It unfortunately smacks of the early days of the State of Israel when religious immigrant children were sent to secular Aliyat Hanoar schools and worse.

The making of changes must be done gradually and with the cooperation of the affected sector of society.  That means the the only fair, just and democratic way to increase the draft of charedim must be done with their cooperation.  In recent years more chareidim have joined the army, and more chareidim are studying key secular subjects and professions and working.  This will take time. 

Blocking chareidim from the government coalition means that the government will seem like (or actually be) a dictatorship, rather than a democracy.

Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett and Livni are making a big immoral and undemocratic mistake.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nu? The New Israeli Government, Will it Be Good for The Jews?

Yes, even here in Israel we must always ask that question:


Will it Be Good for The Jews?


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's latest coalition government has many competing factions.
MK Tzipi Livni, Israel’s newest Justice Minister, stressed on Saturday that she would not support the basic law bill “Israel is the national state of the Jewish people,” whose promotion is part of the new coalition agreements with the Jewish Home party.

Maybe "competing" is too gentle a word.

Netanyahu is hoping to be able to control his warring partners, certainly long enough to see himself soaring in the polls and trying for better election results.  Bibi's Likud and partner Israel Beitenu bombed terribly in the recent elections, losing a critical amount of Knesset seats.  His formal announcement to President Peres was the easy part.  Governing with such partners will no doubt be the greatest challenge to Netanyahu's political career.

Livni's chance of being Prime Minister is now nil, but by controlling the Justice Ministry she will have a lot of power.  That's why she demanded it.  And unfortunately, Bibi gave in.

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett have both been promoting themselves as Centrists, just like Bibi had done earlier in his political career, since neither are shy about admitting that they dream of holding the top position, Prime Minister.  Right now they are working together against Bibi, but when they weaken him sufficiently, no doubt their alliance will crumble, like very fresh matzah.

Do I feel sorry for Bibi?  No!

Binyamin Netanyahu made his bed when he put pragmatic secular politics over Jewish values and Jewish History and Jewish Rights to The Land of Israel.  Our greatest leaders, from Biblical time onwards were those who could see that G-d controls the big picture.

That's why the only two of the "spies" who had been sent to לתור latur, stakeout The Land, Numbers Chapter 13 בְּמִדְבַּר who merited to enter it forty years later were the ones who trusted that G-d would make it possible for the Jewish People to rule it as Jews.

Remember that our first king, the Benjaminite Saul was deposed by G-d as punishment for not obeying His orders.  G-d replaced Saul with David who understood the Power of G-d could overcome all human power and weapons.

Too bad that Benzion Netanyahu didn't name his second son David...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This is One Thing I Wouldn't Blame on Obama

During my thirteen 13 years as Shiloh's Girls Gym Teacher, I was careful to obey the rule that said it's forbidden to have outdoor lessons when the temperature is over 30 degrees Centigrade.

Friday was a hot  spring day.  In Tel Aviv, up to 36 degrees centigrade where they were having their Half Marathon.  One runner died and others were hospitalized.
Tel Aviv half-marathon ends in tragedy after runner dies


Man in his early 30s collapses from heat stroke, medical crews unable to save him • Over 50 runners hospitalized, 12 in critical condition • Tel Aviv mayor: Obama's visit made event impossible to postpone* • "Writing was on the wall," says health expert.

They didn't expect such summer weather.  Looking at the Christian calendar, people were surprised that we had such hot weather in the middle of March, but if you look at the Jewish Calendar, and it's very common for there to be summer weather early in the month of Nissan, just over a week before Passover.  We almost always have some very hot weather this time of the Jewish Year. 

The organizers should have thought of what's best for the runners and cancelled the race.  And from now on, they should schedule according to the Jewish Calendar and have it before Purim.  Yes, it may rain, but it doesn't snow in Tel Aviv.

*emphasis mine

Friday, March 15, 2013

Latma Reveals How Israel is Preparing for The Obama Visit

Here's Latma's Tribal Update at its best. I couldn't stop laughing out loud.  They hit it right, even better than ever.



Unfortunately, it's true.  Too many Israelis, including the government  are relating to the upcoming Obama visit as if it's a carnival and not something serious and possibly dangerous to Israel's independence and security.

Ruthie Blum has written an excellent article about how Obama's staff is using the Obama worship of Israel's media to promote the American President. 
Levi was true to form. She cooed through a list of sympathetic questions, and accepted each of Obama's replies with nary a challenge to a single stuttered platitude on his part.
This included his ridiculous response to her hesitant query about the possible release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. No, said Obama, he did not have plans to pardon Pollard. Pollard committed a criminal act, and criminals in the U.S. are punished. Levi nodded. Got it. No further questions, your honor. Your majesty. Your royal highness.

It is no secret by now that Obama does not tolerate being cross-examined by anyone, least of all members of the media, as rare an occurrence as this may be. He is accustomed to being handled with kid gloves. Levi's performance, then, merely put her on a par with her American counterparts where Obama worship is concerned.
There are parallels in both Blum's article and this week's Tribal Update.  I guess it's pretty easy to show the absurdity in what's happening here.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
May You Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Ultra-Marathon Coalition Talks, So Much Blinking, Like an Epileptic Attack

Ultra-marathons are for the more mature athletes, and if we can believe the media, the final blink came from Bibi's younger challengers, Lapid and Bennett who gave up on their most recent demands-Sgan aka vice PM.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett agreed to give up the titles of vice premier, that had been promised to them in the coalition deal they reached with the Likud-Beytenu party, Israel Radio reported on Friday morning.

You must hand it to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who survived the two to one onslaught of the Bobbsey Twins, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, who were certain that they could defeat the wily Netanyahu and get absolutely everything they had been demanding during this brutal and almost never-ending coalition negotiations.  Every time the leaks to the media blasted headlines of the incoming cabinet agreement, suddenly another demand stopped the show.

I have no doubt that I'm not the only Israeli totally sick of these negotiations.  Arlene Kushner wrote about her disgust a couple of days ago, Outrage.
Actually, outrage upon outrage upon outrage. What a day.
Let's start with the coalition formation and Lapid. With all of the concessions Netanyahu had made for him, it was not enough. Lapid wanted Rabbi Shai Piron, second on the Yesh Atid list, to be Minister of Education and Netanyahu wanted Gideon Sa'ar to retain that position.
It had long ago become obvious that there was little true idealism and an overabundance of raw ambition in the demands of Lapid and his partner Bennett in these negotiations.  "Gimme, gimme" was what we kept hearing about.

I'm of the generation who remembers the late United States President John F. Kennedy exhorting the United States with:
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Personally, I must say that Lapid and Bennett just made me sick.  To put it mildly, I 'm not very enthusiastic nor positive not optimistic about Israel's latest government and its potential.

I pray to G-d that I'm wrong.

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
May You Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Prayers, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Searching for The Past at Tel Shiloh, Shiloh HaKeduma

I was thinking about writing about Israel's possible new coalition government, what I think of PM Binyamin Netanyahu and the chutzpadik new political power Yair Lapid, but Arlene Kushner says it so well that I suggest you read her article aptly titled Outrage.

Here in the Holy Land, there's one month in the Jewish Calendar that typifies "spring" as the poets would describe it, and that's the month of Nissan, miracles and the holiday of Passover, Pesach.  As has been my practice for quite a few years, I go to pray at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh, the site where the Biblical Mishkan, Tabernacle rested/was located for 369 years after the Exodus from Egypt, from the time of Joshua until the death of Eli the High Priest.  For almost four centuries, Shiloh was the religious and administrative Capital of the Jewish People/Nation.



Recently, archaeologists have been back to Tel Shiloh looking for ancient treasures and secrets to show what life had been like in Biblical times when Jewish pilgrims came to Shiloh to pray.





I've made it my custom to come to Tel Shiloh, which is just a short distance from my home, every Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month, to pray with other women.

Next Rosh Chodesh, Iyyar, we will be there again, G-d willing.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Iyyar
Thursday, April 11, 2013
1 Iyyar 5773 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אייר בתל שילה

יום ה' 11-4 א' אייר תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות
 



And don't forget that the Tel Shiloh, aka Shiloh HaKedumah is open for visitors six days a week. For information call 02-994-4019.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep Barack Hussein Obama Off Our Roads!

Whoever sent out this press report has neither seen a map of the affected area, nor ever driven there:
Obama Visit to Affect Traffic in Binyamin Region
The visit by United States President Barack Obama to Ramallah, a week from Thursday, will result in occasional closings of Route 60 to the public in the Binyamin region, just north of Jerusalem. The highway will be closed between 8:30 and 10:30 in the morning and between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
The Binyamin Regional Council said the closings will affect the communities of Adam, Beit El, Cochav Ya'akov-Tel Tzion and Pesagot. The communities of Migron and Ramat Migron also stand to be affected. Residents of other communities will have the alternatives of the Alon and Hamercaz routes.
The emphasis and italics above are mine.

Here's a map, not the best but to show you that from the Hizma-Jerusalem city line you should follow north.  Geva Binyamin is Adam.  The box with the illegible on my computer number would be the turn off to to Kochav Yaakov-Tel Zion and Psagot aka Maavar Michmas gas station.  A kilometer south of that turn off is Shaar Binyamin.  If you don't turn off but continue north you'll get to Givat Asaf the turn off to Beit El and the way that Obama is expected to go to Ramallah.  Continue on that road, which may not be on the map-but imagine it, north and you get to Ofra, Shiloh, Eli etc.


Jewish Press

Sha'ar Binyamin, the very busy shopping, commercial and industrial area with a Rami Levy, Yafiz, Kupat Cholim Le'umit Medical Clinic, a hardware store, other food and clothing shops etc., north of Jerusalem is right there in the middle of the effected area and will be blocked during those times.  Considering that it will be the busiest Thursday of the year, just before Passover and Thursday is the biggest shopping day of the week, even without a holiday, Obama's route and travel plans will wreck havoc for thousands of people.  There is no eastern entrance/exit from Sha'ar Binyamin.   There is no alternative route. 

Unlike the press release which so blithely says that we from Shiloh, Eli, Ofra etc. can just travel to Jerusalem on the Alon Road, the truth is that many of us work, shop, get medical care etc in Sha'ar Binyamin or must get to other affected areas.  Or residents from there must get to us or Sha'ar Binyamin.

There is only one solution.  United States President Barack Hussein Obama should be helicoptered from Jerusalem to Ramalla and back.