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Monday, September 30, 2013

Prayer for Rain, Jews, Stay Focused

The two main Holiday seasons on the Jewish Calendar coincide with the two major seasonal and climate changes from our dry summers to wet winters, Succot/Simchat Torah  and the reverse during Passover, rainy winters to dry summers.

At the end of Succot we say the Prayer for Rain and on Passover the Prayer for Dew.  The "we" is supposed to be all Jews, wherever one lives or is visiting.  Inevitably there are questions by Jews who reside abroad, in galut, exile or more precisely chutz la'Aretz, outside of the Land of Israel aka Chu"L.  They ask why they must pray for rain or dew when they personally don't need it.

 

There's a very simple answer to this, and it may bother or offend them.  The answer is that the only location and weather a Jew must be concerned about is when it affects the Land of Israel, the HolyLand.  The weather in Chu"L is spiritually irrelevant; it's not included in Jewish Prayers. We are the Jewish People, and we are supposed to be primarily concerned with our Land.

The Jewish Calendar, the timing of the Holidays and many of the Mitzvot, Commandments G-d gave us to observe concern and are connected to the Land of Israel, not any other.

Sorry, but there's no equality between various lands/locations.  It's the HolyLand versus all others.  In Creation, G-d separates, light and dark,  water and dry land, and then a bit later on He gives instructions to Abram (as Abraham had been called earlier) to go לך לך lech lecha to the Land I (G-d) will show you:
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.
ג  וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
ד  וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ, לוֹט; וְאַבְרָם, בֶּן-חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, בְּצֵאתוֹ, מֵחָרָן. 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
And from then on the Bible concerns itself with the growth and development of the Jewish Nation and its relationship to the Land G-d gave us.

G-d sees us as one People wherever we are, whatever we do.  When you read the siddur, Jewish Prayer Book, you're bound to notice that our prayers are in the plural.  We pray to Our G-d.  And even on Yom Kippur, when we confess sins it's in the plural.
(The "Al Chet" confession of sins is said ten times in the course of the Yom Kippur services: Following the Amidah of the afternoon prayers of the day before Yom Kippur; just before sunset on Yom Kippur Eve; and twice during each of the following services--the evening service of yom Kippur eve, and the morning service, the Musaf service and the afternoon service of Yom Kippur day--once at the end of the Silent Amidah, and once during the cantor's repitition of the Amidah.)
For the sin which we have committed before You under duress or willingly.
And for the sin which we have committed before You by hard-heartedness.
For the sin which we have committed before You inadvertently.
And for the sin which we have committed before You with an utterance of the lips.
For the sin which we have committed before You with immorality.
And for the sin which we have committed before You openly or secretly.
For the sin which we have committed before You with knowledge and with deceit.
And for the sin which we have committed before You through speech. (continue)
We're in this "boat" together.  So, please stay focused on the unity and the centrality of the Land of Israel.
 
Shannah Tovah, Have a Wonderful and Blessed Year

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Has Israel Already Been Sold Down The River?

Recently people have been in panic informing me that Israel already signed away our independence and Land and is planning on uprooting, disposing  tens of thousands or more Jews like myself.  They want to know why I'm not rioting, screaming, firebombing, rebelling etc.

I keep on checking the news sites to see if this could really be true.  As imperfect as things are here in Israel, Israel is still a democracy with over-chatty politicians and well-connected news media, so I really don't think all that much can be done, especially after the Oslo fiasco, so secretly.  Remember that the Oslo Agreement was negotiated by extreme Leftists who were not government representatives.

At least in English, I haven't seen anything very new.  We've been in Shiloh for thirty-two years and we've been hearing these scaremongering rumors for the entire time.  The summer we moved to Shiloh, 1981, the population doubled from thirty-something families to sixty-something families.  And many of us who moved to Shiloh that summer had larger and older families than the more veterans, so we truly doubled the yishuv. In a few months or less I'll be able to say that I've spent  exactly half my life here in Shiloh.  There are now over three hundred families of all ages and backgrounds.  Many of the young families are second generation.  Their children are also the second generation to be studying in our school, or more accurately schools.  The tiny three class school of eighteen kids that opened September 1, 1981, has mushroomed into an enormous school complex of two elementary schools (separate for boys and girls) each educating until the Eighth Grade.

That doesn't mean that I have faith in our Israeli Government and politicians.

The Israeli leaders have been making dangerous and foolish decisions from before the Declaration of Israeli Independence, the official establishment of the State of Israel.  Remember that David Ben-Gurion and followers accepted the United Nations Partition Plan.

The partition plan took on a checkerboard appearance. This was largely because Jewish towns and villages were spread throughout Palestine. This did not complicate the plan as much as the fact that the high living standards in Jewish cities and towns had attracted large Arab populations. This demographic factor insured that any partition would result in a Jewish state that included a substantial Arab population. Recognizing the need to allow for additional Jewish settlement, the majority proposal allotted the Jews land in the northern part of the country, Galilee, and the large, arid Negev desert in the south. The remainder was to form the Arab state.
These boundaries were based solely on demographics. The borders of the Jewish State were arranged with no consideration of security; hence, the new state's frontiers were virtually indefensible. Overall, the Jewish State was to be comprised of roughly 5,500 square miles and the population was to be 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs. The Arab State was to be 4,500 square miles with a population of 804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews. Though the Jews were allotted more total land, the majority of that land was in the desert.
Further complicating the situation was the UN majority's insistence that Jerusalem remain apart from both states and be administered as an international zone. This arrangement left more than 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem isolated from their country and circumscribed by the Arab state.

Luckily (the Hand of G-d no doubt) the Arabs rejected it and went to war against us.  In a sense the result was a stalemate, and the ceasefire lines lasted less than nineteen years.  Also, it's important to remember that the Jordanians invaded the land on the west bank of the Jordan that was supposed to be an additional Arab state, and Egypt occupied Gaza. This illegal occupation was only recognized by two other countries, Great Britain and Pakistan.


Copyright © 1998-2013 Information Regarding Israel's Security

That status quo ended in June 1967 when Jordan, Egypt and Syria threatened Israel with total destruction.  The result of that was the dramatic Israeli victory in the Six Days War.

Elder of Ziyon

Just over six years later, 1973, was the Yom Kippur War, when G-d saved us again.  I have no delusions that any of our victories, our survival was due to human intelligence and advanced military weapons.  Nor do I have any ways of finding out what secret negotiations have been going on.  And I don't believe that G-d will always rescue us, like in the fictional "Perils of Pauline." 

We must fight and we must pray.  We don't know if G-d will allow our destruction and then wait for a new generation to be able to take over and try again.

I have not given up.  One of the reasons, the main reason I blog is to try to make the Jewish People and our true friends aware of the perilous situation we are in.

G-d willing, we will do the right things and G-d will help tip the scales in our favor.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Soul Saver: Jewish Cultbuster, A Book Review

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and wished it would go on forever, or at least another few hundred pages?  Well, that's how I felt this afternoon when I finished Rabbi Shea Hecht's Confessions of a Jewish Cultbuster, Mosaica Press.  This is the revised and updated edition, written with the help of Chaim Clorfene.

Rabbi Hecht is a riveting storyteller.  It took no time to read his fascinating and educational book.  Rabbi Hecht had never intended to go into the profession of cultbusting, but one could say that he was born into it being from a family that never said no when a fellow Jew, even a total stranger, would ask for help.

The stories included have mostly happy endings, and they are all very different.  In some cases there wasn't actual deprogramming, cultbusting, because the Jews in trouble hadn't been brainwashed by a cult.  Rabbi Hecht explains the difference between adopting an ideology or other religion versus being sucked into a cult.  Each case demands a different approach.  One of the stories in the book is even of a Jewish woman married to a Christian for a decade who suddenly realized that she and her children needed to escape from her suddenly abusive and fanatically Christian husband.

Other stories are of classic deprogramming during which some of the same sort of physical and mental brainwashing techniques must be used to break the hold of the cult and enable the captive to think for him/herself and realize that they had been used and abused.  The book includes information and stories about scientology, the Moonies and a variety of Christian and Messianic groups.

Rabbi Hecht makes it clear that saving Jewish souls from cults and extreme assimilation is not an easy task.  It is terribly stressful work and hard not only on the families of the victims, the victims themselves but also on the people involved in this holy work and their families.  When an urgent call comes in on the Eve of Shabbat or a Jewish Holiday, one can't just tell people to wait a week or so until after the holidays...  Just like in medical emergencies, doctors must leave their families, and Hecht's staff are emergency doctors of  Jewish souls.

According to Rabbi Hecht, modern communication, technology, the internet have all made it even easier for people to get snared.  And it's also harder for parents to realize what their children are being exposed to, because now they can meet the enemy at home on their computers or smartphones. Just like with any other illness, the sooner the "doctors" are called in the better the chance for a cure.

Rabbi Shea Hecht's Confessions of a Jewish Cultbuster is a must-read and would make a great gift for anyone, including yourself.

Friday, September 27, 2013

For Common Sense on the Middle East and Israel, Read Caroline, Ruthie and Arlene

Unfortunately Israel is ruled by men and women like Tsipi Livni, who dress like Hilary Clinton, old-fashioned feminists who try to think like men.  It's all these men and faux men who have gotten us into dangerous situations. 

Even in Biblical times, the women had to instruct our leaders on what to do.  Think about how the Matriarch Sarah was the one to tell Abraham that his first son Ishmael had to be banished, because not only wasn't he suited to inherit leadership, but he was a dangerously bad example for their son Isaac. And G-d confirmed that Sarah was correct.  Even when Tamar seduced her father-in-law Judah, which on the surface seems immoral, it ended up being the right thing to do.  Later on the five daughters of Tzlofchad had to instruct Moses about Land inheritance when there isn't a son, and again, G-d confirmed that they were correct. And during the dangerous anarchist time of Judges, again, women, Ruth, Naomi and Chana had to take charge to save the Jewish People.


Arlene Kushner
Caroline Glick
Ruthie Blum


So, you shouldn't be surprised when I say that common sense and the Right direction for the State of Israel and the world can be found in the writings of Caroline Glick, Ruthie Blum and Arlene Kushner.  To this very distinguished list I ought to add Ellen of Jewish Israel.  Sadly I must say that I have no respect for the judgment and policies of our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition.  To be accepted in the coalition, an MK must sell his soul.  That's the bottom line.  That's the meaning of coalition discipline.  That's why before the recent Israeli elections I kept on writing that I wouldn't vote for the NRP aka Bayit Yehudi, Jewish Home.  I was very upset that some seemingly good people like Orit Strook agreed to join them.  I had no illusions about Naftali Bennett's being a politician more than an idealist.  The "idealism party," the one run by Arieh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari, didn't get enough votes to pass the "threshold."  If people like Strook had gone with them, instead of the NRP, we'd have a Right opposition, instead of absolutely none.

And if I have no respect for the Israeli politicians and government leaders, I have even less for the American ones.  It's no secret that United States President Barack Hussein Obama is little more than a wooden dummy who reads his teleprompter screen or repeats what he hears through the tiny high tech earphone he now sports.

Here's a taste of recent articles by Caroline Glick, Arlene Kushner and Ruthie Blum:

Obama's power and its limitations
by Caroline Glick
US President Barack Obama's rapidly changing positions on Syria have produced many odd spectacles.
One of odder ones was the sight of hundreds of lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee fanning out on Capitol Hill to lobby members of the House and Senate to support Obama's plan to launch what Secretary of State John Kerry called "unbelievably small" air strikes against empty regime controlled buildings in Syria.
AIPAC officials claimed they were doing this because the air strikes would help Israel.
But this claim was easily undone. Obama and Kerry insisted nothing the US would do would have any impact on the outcome of the Syrian civil war. This was supposed to be the strikes' selling point. But by launching worthless strikes, Obama was poised to wreck America's deterrent posture, transforming the world's superpower into an international joke.
In harming America's deterrent capabilities by speaking loudly and carrying an "unbelievably small" stick, Kerry and Obama also harmed Israel's deterrent posture...
 
by Arlene Kushner
...To gain a more complete picture of what the PA leadership is like, consider the following.  It is far worse than their refusing to condemn those Palestinian Arabs who committed the terrorist attacks of the last few days (more on this below):
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee (Fatah, remember, being the political mainstay of the Palestinian Authority), has charged that what the sniper in Hevron did is the fault of the Israeli government:
"The soldier was not on a picnic in Hebron."
Darn right he wasn't. Sgt. Kobi was stationed in Hevron, along with other members of the IDF, to protect the thousands of Jews who came for Sukkot.
And of course, the Palestinian Arabs who were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails not far from where Kobi was standing were doing so for peaceful reasons...
 
Ruthie Blum                                                                                                                            

Ahead of his participation in the U.N. General Assembly this week, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has launched what many have been calling a "charm offensive." Though this term is inherently cynical, the reporters and pundits using it to describe Rouhani's recent overtures to the United States -- by way, among other things, of an op-ed in the Washington Post and interview with NBC News -- are not.
This is in keeping with the overall attitude toward the new leader of the Islamic Republic. Indeed, all Rouhani had to do to persuade the West that he is a "moderate" was to refer to himself as such. His predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had been far less accommodating to the Middle East peace fantasists. His public vitriol, nuclear grandstanding and genocidal threats made it difficult for them to dismiss the danger posed by the mullah-led regime in Tehran. This was in spite of great attempts to give him the benefit of the doubt, not to mention access to a podium at Columbia University...
 
Read on, my friends, read on...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Simchat Torah, Memories

Here in Israel, we've just finished the marathon of Jewish Holidays which begins the Jewish Year.  A couple of hours ago, this year's Simchat Torah, Being Joyful in the Torah ended.  Whew!  I'm just catching my breath before getting read for Shabbat, which begins in less than twenty-four 24 hours.  Outside of Israel, Torah observant Jews are only now celebrating Simchat Torah. They won't have a break.  Holidays are a bit different there, but that would be the topic for another post, if at all. I'm not a real expert in it, so no promises.

Eretz Israel Museum
I have very limited memories of Simchat Torah from my "pre-frum" (before I became religious) days. No doubt they taught us something in the Oakland Jewish Center, Bayside, NY, (Conservative) Hebrew School.  I went to "services" at least once and have memories of dancing around with special flags and being given a "jelly apple" to eat.  I have no idea why we got the apples, but they are as distinct in my memory as the flags we were waving while singing and marching/dancing.

The next very distinct memory of Simchat Torah was when I was becoming religious and attended services, as the prayers are called in America, at the Great Neck Synagogue.  I remember it as joyous and that the men were extra "joyous" due to the shot glasses of schnapps that they were polishing off.  If I'm not mistaken we danced with the Sifrei Torah in the street, or am I imagining it?  I don't remember if women received one to hold.  Possibly the following year, NCSY arranged for our region to be in Boro Park, Brooklyn for the holiday.  As usual we danced during the meals, but I don't remember much about the synagogue we attended. 

My first Simchat Torah in Israel was before I was married.  I as here as a student, and my friend and I went wandering around Meah She'arim looking to see the dancing.  I remember being disappointed.  It wasn't as large as I had expected, at least where women could view it.  The Hakafot Sh'niyot, Second night, which actually was after the holiday was great fun.  It's a very popular Israeli custom to celebrate Simchat Torah when it's over, but then one is permitted to use live bands.

I had no idea there was a custom to have all of the children gather under a Tallit (or as many as needed to cover) to be blessed.  I just don't remember seeing it until I was a mother, and my husband would take the children.  It's a gorgeous sight to behold from the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Section when we're sitting high up on a balcony.  This year things were a bit different; I guess it's a new custom.  Apparently parents were informed that there wouldn't be enough room for all of the kids, so little girls over the age of five were to be excluded.  Or this could have been the custom from the neighborhood shul that joined with us for the dovening/prayers.  As a response, the young mothers showed up with a collection of large tallitot and made a canopy for the little girls upstairs.  I have no idea if this custom will continue.

A real local, neighborhood custom is for young girls, youth, women to go to homes of those unable to make it to the synagogue and sing and dance for them.  It's enjoyed by both the "entertainers" and those being "entertained."  That's the joy of Simchat Torah, the mitzvah of being good to others and making including them in the holiday.

Shabbat Shalom!  Yes, it's soon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who's Israel's Most Dangerous, Public Enemy Number One?

Despite the fact that the Arabs are still trying to murder and destroy us, a simple Jewish Samarian farmer has become the target of Israel's police and security forces.


Nobody is quite sure why Boaz Albert of Yitzhar has been sentenced, restricted, banished from his home.
Boaz Albert has repeatedly refused to leave his home in the town of Yitzhar in Samaria (Shomron), despite an administrative order from the IDF ordering him to stay out of the Samaria region. The order was issued without a hearing or trial, and Albert says he has no idea why it was issued.
He has published an op-ed explaining his decision not to obey the order. (Arutz 7)
You'd think that the Israeli security forces would have bigger fish to fry.

Here's the video of the police's latest arrest of Albert for defying the law and living in his home with his family and tending his vineyards.



There's something dangerously fokokt  in this country when their police and security focus is on Jews rather than on Arab terrorists.

Boaz Albert has become a cause célèbre by those who value the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and full civil and religious rights for Jews here.  That's certainly the exact opposite of what the government wants, so the persecution of Boaz Albert by the government is only strengthening those who are dissatisfied with Israeli Governmental policies.

This police and judicial farce only reinforces the feeling among many of us that we lack, and desperately need, full Jewish sovereignty here in the Land of Israel. 

I just wonder what is the true agenda of the Israeli Government?  I follow actions, rather than fancy words, and these actions against Boaz Albert are horrendously disturbing.  It seems much too similar to the old USSR's "gulag" mentality. Many Soviet immigrants to Israel have strong feelings of déjà vu.

This is further proof that Israel has a Leftist Government.  Prime Minister Binyamin's periodic fine words are just smoke screen to hide his true agenda.  For all of those who thought, and continue to think, that the Likud is Right wing on the Israeli political spectrum, sorry, but facts prove you wrong.  The Israeli Government coalition does have some strong patriotic Right wing MK's, but it unabashedly campaigned as Center and is ruled by a small group of Leftists.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

American Jews Disturbed by Missionary Assault, Israelis Think Christian "Love" is Prophetic

Posted by Jewishisrael.com

Literally within a minute of each other, on this past Erev Sukkot, September 18th, The Times of Israel published two articles about Christian love for the Jewish people that are worlds apart in every sense.

The prophetic hopes of Israel's Rabbi Eliezer Melamed and his post, "Christians Fulfilling the Prophecy of Isaiah" met the harsh reality of the streets of Brooklyn in the news feature "New Brooklyn Messianic center set to missionize Orthodox neighbors."

Of course what would connect the disconnect between these articles is if Jewish leadership in Israel would come to an understanding that many of  the very same evangelical organizations supporting Israel on the political, economic and humanitarian fronts are involved in supporting a growing Christian messianic restoration in Israel and in missionary efforts directed at the Jewish people.

While Christian missionary "outreach" efforts targeting the Jewish community in the Diaspora are deemed an existential threat, resulting in a zero-tolerance consensus among American Jewish leaders of all sectors, things are ironically very different in the  Jewish state....more
-----
Update of interest: 24/9 10:30pm
The Times of Israel is running a piece by journalist Judy Balint, "Christian Love: Buying their way into Jerusalem". This article exposes missionary Mike Evans and uses and links to much of the research found in Jewishisrael's report "The Day Jimmy Carter Saved the Jews from Mike Evans.

Words! Words! Words! Abracadabra and "say your hail maries"

Photo Credit:
Issam Rimawi/Flash90
Yori Yanover of the Jewish Press has a point in his article What if Abbas Condemns the Murders and No One in the PA Hears It?
In any event, even that miserly, self righteous, immoral statement has gotten no mention in Palestinian reports today. WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, only mentioned the two murders with a quote from Foreign Minister Riyad Malki:
“Malki expressed concern that Israel may use the killing of an Israeli soldier in Hebron on Sunday and another off duty soldier in Qalqilya two days earlier in order to discredit the Palestinian Authority.”
Various international "leaders" and wannabes have perfected the art of "saying the right thing" to protect themselves from our suspicions that maybe they're not quite the "good" people or allies they hope to be perceived as.  United States President Barack Hussein Obama always claims that he is a great friend of Israel while he promotes policies that weaken and endanger us.  Should we go for the words or the actions.

We don't have to look at the non-Jews for more examples.  J Street, the extreme Leftist anti-Israel lobbying group claims to be pro-Israel, even though it cares more about Arab rights than Jewish Rights and Jewish History.

Don't forget all of those "rabbinic" lobbying groups that support Arabs over Jews here in Israel.  Just because someone calls himself (or herself) a rabbi, doesn't mean the person is an expert in Jewish Law, Jewish History, Bible etc.  It also doesn't mean that the person lives by Torah Law, Shabbat, Kashrut etc.  So I really don't consider the opinion of some person who drives, cooks, sells, shops etc. on Shabbat or eats traif is an expert in Jewish morality.  So when they come to the nearby Arab villages to encourage the Arabs to destroy our agriculture and attack Jewish villages I see only enemies. They are Jewish enemies of the Jewish People.

So, if this is what our fellow Jews can do against us, I certainly don't think any formulistic "condemnation" of violence and murder by Abbas, Obama et. al. should be taken very seriously.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Jewish People/Religion/Nation/Land, We're Unique

Yes, the Jewish People/Religion/Nation/Land stands alone in many ways. We're beyond "unique."  That's another of the many reasons why it's impossible for us to negotiate, mediate with the Arabs.  For negotiations or mediation, you need to be two equals or at least of similar status.  The Arabs whom have been propped up, promoted by the world for the past century plus as our legitimate "competitors" for this Holy Land do not have the same sort of history or connection to the Land.

Various tribes and clans have lived here, wandered in and out, barely making a scratch in the history books.  They were never a nation, and their most recent religion, Islam, is much younger than Judaism.  Actually, it, like Christianity, is an attempt to supplant, replace Judaism. Think of "identity theft" in a theological and historic context.


Our history is well-documented.  The Jewish Bible is recognized as a very legitimate history and theological book by the Christians.  That's why they have the custom of "swearing on the Bible" at formal occasions and in court.  Their additional bible is their attempt to replace Judaism, aka "identity theft."  They do not deny the Jewish Bible.  And the Muslims also adopted much of what is in the Jewish Bible, but with illogical revisions to suit their agenda that they are the new religion of the "one god."

Moslems consider their holiest city to be Mecca and don't mention Jerusalem at all.  Early Christians moved their concept of holy city to the Vatican in Rome and became Catholics.  Later on Christianity split into many different sects all worshipping Jesus in addition to god.

Only the Jewish People had a history of nationalism here in the Holy Land.  Joshua set up a national tribal federation, after the Exodus from Egypt, which was based in Shiloh and governed by the Judges and Priests.  This period lasted close to forty years and is well documented in the Bible, reinforced by archeological discoveries.


The Jewish People have used and preserved the Hebrew language over the millennia.  The Ancient Jewish Bible in its original Hebrew is comprehensible to Jews today. We still celebrate the very same holidays in the same seasons as directed by G-d Almighty in the Bible.  For thousands of years, Jews all over the world, regardless of location and climate, pray for rain in the winter according to the needs of the Land of Israel.  That is because the Holy Land, here in the Middle East is the center of Jewish Life and History.

Every year on Purim, when I listen to the readings of Megillat (The Scroll of) Esther, I'm amazed anew when I hear the instructions to the surviving Jewish People at the end, to fast, feast and give "gifts."  We celebrate the Purim Holiday exactly as described over two thousand years ago. To me this enforces, proves the continuity, historic legitimacy of the Jewish People and Judaism.

The Succot Holiday is even older.  G-d commanded us to live in temporary dwellings for a week, and we do.
Leviticus Chapter 23 וַיִּקְרָא
לט  אַךְ בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי, בְּאָסְפְּכֶם אֶת-תְּבוּאַת הָאָרֶץ, תָּחֹגּוּ אֶת-חַג-יְהוָה, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים; בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן שַׁבָּתוֹן, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי שַׁבָּתוֹן. 39 Howbeit on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruits of the land, ye shall keep the feast of the LORD seven days; on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.
מ  וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים, וַעֲנַף עֵץ-עָבֹת, וְעַרְבֵי-נָחַל; וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--שִׁבְעַת יָמִים. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
מא  וְחַגֹּתֶם אֹתוֹ חַג לַיהוָה, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה:  חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי תָּחֹגּוּ אֹתוֹ. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year; it is a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall keep it in the seventh month.
מב  בַּסֻּכֹּת תֵּשְׁבוּ, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים; כָּל-הָאֶזְרָח, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, יֵשְׁבוּ, בַּסֻּכֹּת. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are home-born in Israel shall dwell in booths;
מג  לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:  אֲנִי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם. 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Chag Sameach l'Kulam
Joyous Holiday to All

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Say: NO To Negotiations and Two State "Solution"

An unofficial hint for when you want to access an article, especially an opinion piece, from the New York Times and don't have a paid subscription.  Since they limit the amount of articles you can access for free each month, the best thing is to do a simple google search for the title and author. There's a good chance that you can find the complete text on a free site or even one of their partner newspapers. And if you can't find it, then enter through the google list, because you can view more articles via google than directly.

Enough of the Oslo Accords.  It tied a noose around the neck, the safety and sovereignty of the State of Israel.  I agree with what MK Danny Danon wrote in his New York Times op-ed about annulling the Oslo Accords, though I don't think it's possible. 
Despite attempts to rewrite recent history by fringe elements, the failure of the Oslo framework cannot be attributed to a lack of will and persistence by Israel. What didn’t we try? We attempted direct negotiations, third-party mediators, public conferences and back-channel talks. We staged withdrawals and unilateral disengagements, established joint Israeli-Palestinian military patrols in Gaza and deployed American-trained security forces in the West Bank. None of this worked.
The P.L.O., and later the Palestinian Authority, never truly accepted that Israel, as the national state and homeland of the Jewish people, was here to stay. No amount of impressive ceremonies, cosmetic changes to the P.L.O. charter and Palestinian doublespeak to Western media outlets about their commitment to peace was able to change this grim fact.
To understand the mind-boggling scope of Oslo’s failure, it is best to look at the statistics. According to the organization B’Tselem, during the first Palestinian intifada in 1987, six years before Mr. Rabin’s attempt to recast the archterrorist Yasir Arafat as a peacemaker, 160 Israelis were murdered in Palestinian terror attacks. In the mid- to late-1990s, as successive Israeli governments negotiated with the Palestinians, and Mr. Arafat and his cronies repeatedly swore they were doing their utmost to end terrorism, 240 Israelis were brutally killed as suicide bombs and other heinous terrorist acts targeting unarmed civilians were unleashed in every corner of our nation.
Oslo truth
There must be ways of going around it, which would have the same effect.  That's "poetic justice" for sure, considering that the Israelis who "negotiated for us" were not acting in an official capacity. They were doing it privately and I'd say illegally.  They claimed to be representing Israel, but the truth is that they were just promoting their extreme Left agenda, and Yitzchak Rabin was too weak to prosecute them.

Peace or Terror

Bli eyin haraa, warding off the "evil eye" as the saying goes, Arab terror attacks have gone down of late.  The multiple causalities of the suicide bus bombers are out of fashion, thank G-d, of late.  Maybe it's because Israeli public transportation is very multi-cultural aka integrated with both Jews and Arabs.  That's further proof that there is no anti-Arab apartheid in Israel.  (The only apartheid is anti-Jewish.)  One of the things I've noticed in my interactions with Arabs at Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin is that the Arab families are smaller than in previous generations, and the parents care about and try to spoil their children.  No doubt the more extreme anti-Israeli/Jewish Arabs don't shop in Jewish Israeli Yafiz. 

The pragmatic versus the ideological day to day life is changing here. This is not at all due to "peace negotiations."  It's a slow process that can't be negotiated and can't be legislated.  We must let it develop; be patient.  Don't force the issue.  I wouldn't call it "peace," but quiet can come to this area only if Israel is in charge.

Israeli security forces were able to solve the Arab terrorist murder of  Sgt. Tomer Hazan, because there is no Palestinian sic State, hat tip IMRA.  Any change in the status quo that empowers the Arabs will only cause terrorism and death to both Jews and Arabs who have been working with/for Jews.

As I've said many times before, I'm a realist, a pragmatist.  I believe in looking at the facts at history.  I agree with former MK Dr. Arieh Eldad when he says that it's interesting that Israeli scientists and mathematicians are on the Right of the political spectrum, while those involved with unprovable theories are on the Left.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Limits, Can Jews and Arabs be Friends?

I work with Arabs.  It's part of the reality of my job, a simple job.  Regular readers know that I'm an ordinary salesperson in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin.  Sha'ar Binyamin, for those who don't know, is an Israel-Jewish shopping center/industrial zone just north of Jerusalem.  Arabs do not need "papers," special permits to work and shop there. Therefore, especially in the two largest stores the large discount supermarket Rami Levy and Yafiz-Clothing for the Entire Family, you'll find Jews and Arabs interacting all the time.

There's a comfortable camaraderie between Jews and Arabs, both staff and customers.  Arab tourists also shop there and act very polite and friendly. No matter what our politics, we try to put it all aside and just do our jobs, and I figure that if the Arabs really didn't want us here, they wouldn't shop in our stores.

There's a limit to the friendships relationships between Jews and Arabs.  At least there should be. On Friday a young Jewish man who worked with Arabs in a restaurant in Bat Yam was murdered by his Arab friend  and fellow worker.  They had traveled together towards the Arab's village by taxi.  I wonder if they had done that sort of thing before.
The soldier's family reported Friday that he went missing and failed to make contact since the morning hours. The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and the police, began a strenuous investigation, and came up with intelligence information indicating that the soldier had taken a cab together with an Arab man who worked with him in a restaurant in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.
The Arab is named Nadal Amar, and he is a resident of the village of Bayt Amin, near Kalkilya. The two had taken the taxi toward Shaarei Tikva, which is close to that village.
I consider myself a realist, a pragmatist.  This isn't the first time a Jew was attacked or murdered by an Arab he had trusted.

As far as I'm concerned there's a big difference between working with Arabs in a Jewish owned store and hiring Arabs to work in my home, or having Arabs working in Shiloh, whether a group working at a building site, or just one or two doing a small job.  There's no way that a guard can really keep track of what's happening.

Being polite, friendly, helpful etc does not have to require letting down our guard. 

My condolences to the family of Sgt. Tomer Hazan

This tragedy should be a lesson for us all.

Friday, September 20, 2013

View From The Sukkah: Can We Count on The USA?

The Succot Holiday is a real challenge of faith.  We're supposed to move out of our sturdy homes of wood, brick etc. and their solid roof and move into a hut covered by something holey enough to let in some light.  And yes, if it rains or storms, we are permitted to escape to more permanent buildings, because G-d doesn't demand death to prove our faith and observance. 

We, the Jewish People are still in the process of reaching the required height of faith and connection to G-d in order to recognize and follow the true Moshiach, Messiah. Foreign countries, including the United States, are not the Savior.  We shouldn't trust in any foreign, non-Jewish leader or politician.  G-d wrote His instructions to us in the Torah thousands of years ago.  Not even Israeli politicians or professors or courts or media personalities have the authority to change, amend or delete these instructions.

The United States has a long history of deserting its allies.  These diplomatic "love affairs" are terribly one-sided.  Davka, the Russians and before them, the USSR communists were much more loyal to those who followed them.  Many countries tried aligning with the USA before realizing that their loyalty was being rebuffed and they'd be safer on the other side of the international political spectrum.
Many countries in the world compare the behavior of the bloc under Russian leadership to the conduct of the West under United States’ leadership and conclude: The United States betrays her friends and abandons them, while Russia is faithful to her friends and defends them. When the world analyzes what the United States has done for states and rulers in recent years it finds Mubarak, who was abandoned by President Obama with the start of demonstrations against him; the president of Tunisia – bin Ali – who was forced to flee from the demonstrations without even one of his European friends  to rescue him; the United States abandons its friends in the Gulf and in Saudi Arabia in the face of Iran’s threatening buildup; the West does not back Israel in its efforts to maintain its security and its strategic assets, and urges it to establish another Palestinian terror country in the mountains of Judea and Samaria, overlooking most of the territory of the State of Israel. (from Dr. Mordechai Kedar's article in the Jewish Press)

When will the Israeli movers and shakers admit that their loyalty and worship of the United States is totally misplaced?

I'm tired of our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's good statements, sound-bytes being contradicted by his actions and policies.
The world must not be deceived by the moderate statements made by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday night, in response to an NBC interview with Rouhani broadcast Wednesday. 

He always ends up retreating to the "Center," the hole in the bagel as I call it.  Blah, blah and blah. Israel and the United States have lost their deterrent decades ago.

"There is an opportunity here
 for diplomacy."
U.S. President Barack Obama
                                         
                                                
|
Photo credit: AP
Is there anyone who actually believed that Obama would act against Iran?  He just reads his scripts or recites/repeats what he hears from his mini-earphones.
Obama says ready to 'test' Iran's willingness to talk
U.S. president tells Spanish network that Iran's new president seems to want to pursue dialogue over country's controversial nuclear program • Iranian supreme leader: Iran's objection to nuclear weapons stems from our faith and our principles.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
We're now celebrating the Jewish Holiday of Succot, the holiday of joy and faith in G-d. If you have faith in the words of United States President Barack Hussein Obama, you probably believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa, too.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Twenty Years of Oslo, Nightmare Not Dream

I wasn't planning on posting about the Oslo Accords which had been illegally and immorally forced on the State of Israel by extreme Left Israelis who didn't have the authority to negotiate in the name of the government but did.  I thought I'd post something nice about Succot, the holiday that commemorates the Biblical trek to the HolyLand.  But when I listened to the "discussion" on the Israel Hayom site between Ruthie Blum and Steve Ganot, I grrrumbled and knew that I just had to write about it.



I don't know Ganot but I do know Ruthie Blum and agree with her.  She didn't get her fair share of the time.  Ganot didn't make sense.  One of the earlier things he claimed was that the Arab violence was  against the Oslo Accords.  That's totally inaccurate.  The Arab violence was terrorism against Jews in the Land of Israel and the existence of the State of Israel.

Ganot also kept talking as if he was speaking for all Israelis, which isn't the case.  It's obvious that he's a Leftist no matter what he may call himself.  His aim is "peace" and not a viable, secure Jewish State called Israel.  Ruthie Blum hit on target when she said that  a war shouldn't have peace as its goal, only victory. 

Ganot also kept harping on the Israeli "dream" of peace.  Dreams aren't always realistic.  And the fact that the Israeli media has promoted a "dream" that has no chance of being reality in the near future is a big problem.  It's dangerous, just like those anorexics who want to be "thin like models" even when it's not suitable for their body type.  Anorexia can kill, and those who claim that Israel can survive after giving our Land to the Arabs are 100% wrong.  An anorexic state can't sustain itself when not only is it surrounded by enemies, but there are enemies inside whose goal is to destroy us.

Stop dreaming. Get real, or life will become a real nightmare!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shomron Leaders Court Christian Missionaries Who Target Jews for Conversion

 Posted by JewishIsrael.com

A number of leaders in Judea and Samaria continue to partner with notorious Christian missionary entities while turning a blind eye to the risks involved.  

Official fundraising bodies for the Shomron Regional Council, such as Shuva Israel, as well as private charitable endeavors, like the Shiloh Children's Fund, regularly solicit and encourage some of the very same evangelical organizations which are actively engaged in missionary activities in Israel and involved in efforts to proselytize Israel's most vulnerable sectors.

Under the circumstances, "shmad" would not be an incorrect term to use for what is being allowed to occur in Israel. It is most tragic that Torah observant leadership in Israel has unabashedly chosen to partner with and embrace those who are determined to draw Jews away from their faith…more


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Chag Sameach from Jewishisrael

Only in Israel, Blessings

I had to pick something up at the pharmacy Pharm 4 you in Sha'ar Binyamin the other day and was surprised and pleased to see this blessing.


The translation of the title is:

A Prayer for the Sick to Say Before Taking the Medicine

So, obviously I just had to take this picture.

I love the fact that even in the medical profession people recognize that it's all up to G-d.  Neither the doctors nor the pharmacists do the actual healing.  A close friend of mine who's a doctor always says that she's no more than a "tool" of G-d. 

Nothing is ever guaranteed.  I'll never forget listening to my father's aunt reminiscing about her childhood.  She was my grandfather's younger sister.  I never knew my grandfather.  He passed away a couple of years before I was born.  They were very close.  She told me that she had also had a younger brother.
"We were both very sick.  We were put in the same bed. We were given the same medicine.  He died, and I lived."

That tragic event haunted her for her entire life.  She could not accept the fact that the medicine didn't work on her little brother.  She remained a G-d fearing woman for her entire life.

Here in Israel it's always surprising to see people who by their mode of dress don't look religious at all, but they never forget to kiss every mezuzah they pass.

Here in Israel, it's pretty easy to find sukkot for sale, the arba minim, four species and whatever holiday equipment you may need.

The aliyah saga of Jennifer in MamaLand is full of lovely "only in Israel" stories, too, Weird moments of holiness… I love the fact that she is surprised that Judaica can be found all over and at reasonable prices.  Being a Jewish country, the items are for use, rather than display.

In a few hours we'll be celebrating the Holiday of Succot, moving into our sukkot as much as we can.  It's a holiday that reminds us that life is a "journey," and we shouldn't get too attached to possessions.  It's davka the Holiday of Joy.  We're supposed to celebrate ושמחת בחגך והיית אך שמח   visamachta bichagecha vihayita ach same'ach, be joyful in your holiday and be very happy.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Comfy Pension for Arab Terrorists

According to the latest Palestinian Media Watch bulletin, convicted Arab terrorists released from Israeli jails will receive a "Dignified Life Grant" aka a nice comfortable pension.
PMW has documented that the PA pays salaries to terrorists in prison.

Reporting on Israel's release of 26 prisoners in August as part of a goodwill gesture towards the PA, the official PA daily reported that these prisoners, who "received a hero's welcome... by senior [Palestinian] Authority officials and by their relatives" would receive grants:
"Money is not an immediate concern because the [Palestinian] Authority will pay at least 4,000 shekels a month to prisoners released after serving a long prison term, and considers them to be returning soldiers."
That's a lot of money by Arab standards. Among the interesting conversations I've had with Arabs at work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, was the one with an Arab English teacher. The young woman commended me on my  "excellent accent" in English.  I had to admit that I came by it easily, having been born and raised in New York.  She told me that she is an English teacher and really enjoyed the opportunity to use English with someone who speaks as well as I do.  I confided that I'm actually a high school English Teacher.
"You could get a great job in Jenin or even Nablus" she said with excitement.  You could make a lot of money, four thousand shekels."

When I worked as an English Teacher, I could make lots more than that, but I didn't tell her. By Israeli standards, salary norms, ns4,000 is minimum wage or less.  So if that's what a top English Teacher is paid, then the PA considers terrorism to be an academic profession.

I just want to end this with my position about justice and what sentences these Arab terrorists should really be given.  All who killed or attempted to kill Jews should be executed.  The death sentence is the only suitable  way to punish Arab terrorists.  The precedent here is Israel is the execution of Eichmann.  I don't see any real difference between Arab terrorists and Nazis.

Shiloh's The Place to Be!

As in previous years, there will be a big festival, activities for all the family at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh over Succot.



It will take place, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Chol Hamo'ed Succot, September 22-24, the 18-20th of Tishrei, 5774 from 9am until 5pm.

There will be tours, street theater, crafts and more active activities. For more information call 02-994-4019. 



Just over a week later will be Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, the perfect time and place for Women's Rosh Chodesh prayers at the site of the Biblical Mishkan Tabernacle.  Yes, of course, that's at Shiloh, too.


Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
Friday, October 4, 2013
30 Tishrei 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson


Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש חשון בתל שילה


יום ו' 4-10 ל' תשרי תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join us.