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Friday, January 31, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Adar! Let's Reverse The Political and Security Decline!!

It's traditional to see the Jewish Month of Adar as a time of reversal, hafochu.

Considering the horrendous lack of true sovereign leadership coming out of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's present (and humongous) cabinet we truly need a change, a very radical one.  No sovereign independent country with a smidgen of self-respect takes orders the way the Israeli Government does.
Photo by Chen Galili Jerusalem Post
Photo by Chen Galili Jerusalem Post

Trying to scare us by Caroline Glick

Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered a scary speech on Wednesday. At the Institute of National Security Studies conference, Lapid warned that if we don’t accept US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for negotiations, the Europeans are going to take away our money.

Lapid claimed that Israel’s economic future is dependent on surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the PLO. If we don’t, he said, the EU will abrogate its economic association agreement with us. And such a move on Europe’s part will cause serious harm to our economy.

According to Lapid, “If negotiations with the Palestinians stall or blow up and we enter the reality of a European boycott, even a very partial one, the Israeli economy will retreat, the cost of living will rise, budgets for education, health, welfare and security will be cut [and] many international markets will be closed to us.”

We shouldn't give a bloody "hoot" about what the United States of America or Europe or any other country thinks.  They certainly didn't care 70-80 years ago when Hitler began and carried out the Holocaust against the Jews of Europe.
Attorney and current affairs analyst Yoram Sheftel remarked that this week, following International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is particularly timely to remember the global complicity in the Holocaust, and heed the warnings not to rely on the world again.
"Precisely this week it's important to remember the crimes of the European countries, Russia and the US that secretly in their hearts hoped (Nazi leader Adolf) Hitler would finish the job" and wipe out the Jewish people, commented Sheftel to Arutz Sheva.
There is no "compensation" for the loss of a home and Homeland.  WE'RE NOT FOR SALE!!!  It's outrageous to even consider the American proposals.  And finally recognizing that Jews were forced to leave Arab countries doesn't sweeten the package.

In a month and a half, we'll be celebrating Purim, the only holiday we have based on something that happened while exiled. Its story is told in Megillat (the Scroll of) Esther which begins with the massive celebrations of the Persian King Achaverosh's rule.  All of the residents of his kingdom, even the Jews celebrated.  The result was the endangerment of the Jews, because Haman was given royal authority to annihilate them.

Our rescue did not come from the Persian king. It came when Mordechai and Esther united to have the Jews pray to G-d.  And today, our rescue, our security won't come from any international agreements or promises.  It will only come when we unite before G-d and proclaim our loyalty to Him and the Land of Israel.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Told You So...

Every time we have Knesset Elections in Israel I blog and tell people that being in the coalition is not the way to have a true influence.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proved me right again with his showdown at the "Volvo Corral" this week when he and Naftali Bennett locked horns.

Bibi runs a tight ship.  If anyone balks they walk the plank, and Bennett was told to jump.  In the end he didn't.  Bennett just apologized to his boss.
Officials close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were satisfied on Wednesday evening that Netanyahu’s ultimatum to Economy Minister Naftali Bennett had worked.
The officials made clear that theletter dismissing Bennett was ready and would have been delivered on Sunday had Bennett not apologized for his remarks against Netanyahu.
Those same officials said that the ultimatum had worked “faster than they could have imagined”. Housing Minister Uri Ariel of Bennett’s Jewish Home party had reportedly mediated between the sides and led to Bennett’s apology.
Earlier, Bennett issued a public apology to Netanyahu over the personal criticism he had leveled at him over the idea that Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria would be allowed to live under Palestinian Authority (PA) control in a future agreement.
"In recent days there has been a lot of discussion about the idea of the PA retaining sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and certain people from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) have tried to turn an existential conversation into personal attacks [on the PM] that were never there," Bennett stated to the press.
Bennett formally apologized to the Prime Minister, stating, "if the Prime Minister was hurt [by my remarks] - that was never my intention."

Now, honestly what's the point?
What's the point of being a government minister if you're supposed to be a "yes man?"

If principles were the point, then Bennett would have leapt gracefully and proudly into the opposition.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let Common Sense Rule

I'm in the states now, and as usual people ask me where I live. The people who ask aren't Jewish.  They're the sales people, ordinary non-Jewish Americans.  When I say Israel, there are two reactions.

  • I was once there.
  • I want to go.  Is it dangerous?
Nobody tells me that "Israel should make peace" or anything like that.

I find this IMRA survey from the ZOA interesting.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
New Poll: Americans Show Overwhelming Support For Israeli Positions - Oppose Obama’s Positions
58% ––17% PA Will Be Terror State,
47% –– 14% Support Settlements
59% –– 17% Want Stronger Iran Sanctions
New Poll: Americans Show Overwhelming Support For Israeli Positions ––
Oppose Obama’s Positions
28 January 2014 www.zoa.org
A new poll of American public opinion has found that the vast majority of
Americans support Israel on virtually every major issue concerning the
Israeli/Palestinian situation, while opposing the positions of the Obama
Administration. Additionally, only 31% of Americans believe President Barack
Obama is a close and reliable friend of Israel. By a ratio of 3.5 to 1
(58% –– 17%), Americans believe any future Palestinian Arab state would be
hostile to Israel and support terrorism. By a ratio of over 3 to 1 (47% ––
14%), Americans believe that Jews have the right to settle in Judea/Samaria
(West Bank).
The National Omnibus Poll, conducted by McLaughlin Associates and published
on January 17, 2014, surveyed a large, nationwide cross-section of 1000
Americans, consisting of Protestants (46%), Catholics (30%), Jews (3.6%),
African Americans (13%), Hispanics (12%), Asians (3%) and Whites (70%).
Politically, the respondents were 42% Democratic supporters and 41%
Republican supporters.
The poll found that:
To the question, “Do you think that if a Palestinian Arab state were
established, it would live peacefully with Israel or would it be hostile to
Israel and support terrorism?,” 58% of Americans reply that a future
Palestinian state would be hostile and support terrorism, whereas only 17%
think it would live in peace with Israel.
To the question, “Iran continues to call for Israel’s destruction and calls
America the Great Satan. Do you believe that President Obama has done all he
can to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons?,” a majority of 51% of
Americans believe that President Obama has not done all he can to prevent
Iran developing nuclear weapons, as opposed to a mere 28% who believe that
he has (almost a 2 ––1 ratio).
To the question, “Should the United States pass stronger sanctions against
Iran or should they weaken sanctions in order to convince Iran to stop
developing nuclear weapons?,” a large majority of 59% of Americans reply
that the U.S. should impose stronger sanctions, as opposed to a mere 17% who
believe the U.S. should weaken sanctions on Iran (almost a 3.5 –– 1 ratio).
To the question, “Do you believe that Israeli Jews should have the right to
live in settlements in the West Bank, in part to self-defend Israel’s
borders, or should only Palestinian Arabs have the right to live there?,”
47% of Americans believe that Israeli Jews should have the right to live
there, whereas only 14% of Americans believe only Palestinian Arabs should
have the right to live there (over a 3 –– 1 ratio).
To the question, “Do you support President Obama’s plan to give the
Palestinian Authority $440 in American taxpayer dollars in financial aid?,”
an overwhelming majority of 72% Americans oppose President Obama’s planned
funding to the Palestinian Authority, as opposed to a mere 15% who are in
favor of it (almost a 5 –– 1 ratio).
To the question, “Do you believe that Jerusalem should remain the undivided
capital of Israel?,” a clear majority of 55% of Americans reply that
Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel, as opposed to a
mere 13% who believe it should not (over a 4 –– 1 ratio).
To the question, “As part of the current negotiations, should the
Palestinian Authority publicly recognize that Israel is the sovereign state
of the Jewish people?,” a large majority 63% of Americans believe that the
PA should, whereas only 11% believe it should not (almost a 6 –– 1 ratio).
To the question, “Do you believe that President Obama is a close and
reliable friend of Israel?,” only 31% of Americans believe that he is a
close and reliable friend, whereas 38% believe that he is not. (This is a
surprising result, given that the U.S. has always been known as Israel’s
closest and most reliable friend).
(The Zionist Organization of America commissioned these poll questions on
Israel, the Palestinians and Iran).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The results of this latest,
very detailed and highly representative survey of American opinion show
gratifyingly high, indeed, overwhelming levels of support for positions
Israel takes, as opposed to the position the Obama Administration takes. It
also shows an understanding of the dangers Israel faces from a
terror-sponsoring Palestinian Authority.
“Americans believe by an overwhelming ratio that Israeli Jews have a right
to live in Judea/Samaria (West Bank), whereas only a small percentage
believe in the racist, anti-Semitic Palestinian position that only
Palestinians have the right to live there.
“Large majorities of Americans clearly understand that a Palestinian state,
if established, will not live in peace with Israel and will simply be
another Mideast terrorist state.
“President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry should heed these results.
They should understand that the American people expect our government to
support Israel; stop promoting a Palestinian state; stop condemning Jewish
communities in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem as ‘illegitimate’;
support Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital; stop funding the PA and
impose stronger sanctions on Iran to persuade it to terminate its nuclear
weapons program.
“Pro-Israel Jewish organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, should cite
these results to promote stronger support for Israel.”
I guess that Americans, the ordinary American aren't that dumb.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Different Dimensions of Jewish Reality

Being in Phoenix, Arizona, I feel very removed from my real life in Shiloh, Israel.

I keep the same Mitzvot, make the same brachot (blessings,) but I'm not sure to which direction I must be facing.  In the morning I had no idea about north, south, east or west.  Then I figured out that since it still seemed dark at a time when there was light, so east must be in the other direction.

Words and actions mean different things here.

News is about the weather, yes, the weather and also random shootings.  I'm very glad that I planned this visit to be in two of the warmest locations in the USA.

There are dangers here in America, dangers for all and dangers for Jews.

Anyone can be the random target of an angry deranged killer.

And the comforts and relatively easy life in America make it too easy for Jews to remember that they are supposed to focus on living in the Biblical Holyland.  Even in this plain old motel where I'm staying it's possible to make a kosher breakfast out of the food they have out every morning.  Kosher food is big business in the states, and it's not because tens of millions of Americans eat kosher food for spiritual reasons.

There are all sorts of assimilation and it's gluing the Jewish community to America.  Even kids in Jewish schools aren't always learning Hebrew, and without Hebrew they will be strangers in the HolyLand.  Hebrew is the key to successful aliyah.

Sorry for the rant, but, that's what's coming out tonight.

Monday, January 27, 2014

One Thing Israel Should Copy From The USA

For someone to become an American citizen, they must swear, affirm loyalty to the United States. They must promise that if required, they'd fight for the country.  Bli neder, (no oath) I plan on getting more information about the American citzenship laws/requirements, when I'm home again, G-d willing.

If/when Israel adopts a similar law, which as far as I'm concerned can include Jews who want citizenship, there will be absolutely no problem no danger of Arabs "taking over" when full sovereingy is extended over all of the Land the State of Israel still holds.

The Arabs wouldn't risk their lives pledging loyalty to the Jewish State.  And besides that I think that it's just good policy.  We need totally loyal citizens who have studied our history, basic laws etc.

What's a Good Jew? Mishpatim, G-d's Commandments, The Laws, Parshat Shavua

This week's Torah Portion of the Week, Parshat Shavua gives us a rundown on some of the many, many -613- Mitzvot G-d commanded us to obey.

Too many people, like most of us, somehow lose focus on the big picture and concentrate on just a few of the mitzvot, sort of picking and choosing our battles with the Yetzer Haraa the evil inclination, or picking the mitzvot that seem the easiest or the most fun.

There are those who make a super fuss over only eating the strictest of kashrut supervisions and restrictions, but they are must less stringent about what comes out of their mouths, the words they say to others.

Others are careful about Shabbat, but not about their business practices.

And then there are those who say we must be careful about not looking at the opposite sex, so careful that they don't assist when needed.

And there are those who say they just must be good people, nice to others but don't see why they should serve kosher food to those who keep kashrut, or make events on days other than Shabbat or Jewish Holiday.

There are those who run to help all sorts of people in trouble, but don't run to help their fellow Jews especially Jews in Israel.

Our job is to obey all the mitzvot, all categories.  It's not easy.  If we concentrate on one aspect and ignore another it's not good, not at all.

Let's all try to improve.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Peace? With Whom? Does Anyone Care?

How can we "make peace" with people who want to decimate/destroy/replace us?

You can't force peace.  Here in the quiet newsless bubble I'm living in rather temporarily, it would be so easy to totally ignore the news from Israel.  Actually it's very hard to find out anything, anything at all.

I've found no references on any of the news reports I heard on television in the motel where I'm staying.  My relatives don't follow the Israeli news.  My Shabbat host and I talked a lot about politics and the Pollard issue.  He brings up freeing Jonathan Pollard at absolutely every opportunity.  But there was no reference to Israeli news in conversations where we ate on Shabbat nor from the rabbi in synagogue.

Everyone is busy with their own local problems.

But when you go to Israeli news sites, it's all different. We keep reading that United States President Obama and his Secretary of State Kerry insist that we "make a deal" as if it's some tv game show.  It doesn't concern any of them that the Arabs don't want peace.  It's not like one can just medicate them, pour that castor oil down their throats, stuff them with antibiotics...

Peace isn't so simple.  It's harder than curing cancer.

Forcing it, just to make a deal will be fatal, and the ramifications of the mistake will cause a tsunami of instability and terror all over the world.  Some things just take a long time.  If you push it, it'll be like expecting a three month fetus to live, survive and be a normal baby.  This peace pregnancy will take many generations.

The world hasn't a clue and most people don't really care.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another World, A Different Danger/Terrorism

It took me about 24 hours door to door to travel from Shiloh, Israel to Phoenix, Arizona.

My son-in-law picked me up before 4am, and we traversed the empty roads which made Shiloh feel even closer to BG International Airport aka TLV.  We shot through Petach Tikva without stopping at a single light, which had him in shock.  It's a good reminder how small Israel is.

I took BA British Airways to Heathrow.  I think that Heathrow Airport is larger than most Israeli cities.  It's probably larger than the entire southern Shomron area, from Tapuach, Ariel to Elkana and Oranit.  Or as large as Rosh Haayin to Petach Tivka inclusive.  I had to take trains and buses to get from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5.  I had time and wonder how I'll make the connection back, since I won't have as much time.  Maybe I should request to fly "handicapped" and get driven and wheeled....  I'm very tempted.

People were very polite all and all.  British security didn't pay attention to my scarf and skirt.  Israeli security never does.  The American agriculture border inspector decided that I was the perfect candidate to have brought in foreign fruit.  When I admitted it, they confiscated my clean wrapped apples.  So this morning I had an apple from the complimentary breakfast at the motel.

News?  I turned on the television in the motel looking for news.  All I found was local news, two accidents.  One was caused by a deranged passenger on the bus from LA to Phoenix.  He lost his mind, was angry or whatever and attacked the driver shouting that he wanted to flip the bus over and kill everyone, or at least himself.  Somehow he was stopped, and the driver did his best to control the bus although many were injured.  Photos were shown of the passenger in custody in a police van seeming very agitated.

I find that event terribly frightening.  Many, many people think that I live in a dangerous part of the world, but I don't think it's any more dangerous than any place else.  In many ways it's safer to be in Shiloh, Israel.  Certainly we do have dangers here.  There are Arab terrorists and international anti-Israel anarchists who are willing to do anything to kill and destroy us, but the sort of unpredictable attack  that happened on that bus, or those school and other shootings that happen without any sort of warning in America are pretty much unheard of in Israel.  The closest things we have are family tragedies, which have been happening of late.  That's when an angry husband or ex-husband murders his wife or a parent murders his/her child.

These are tragedies, but they don't endanger the general public.

IMHO Israel is most endangered by the politicians who refuse to accept the reality that the world would prefer us to be in the "past tense."  They would prefer, or just don't care if the State of Israel be relegated to history, to an annex in the Holocaust Museums going up all over the world.  Yes, that's my basic philosophy of life here as a Jew, as an Israeli.  I don't see any difference in the attitude of the world between today and the 1930's when everyone with few exceptions paid any attention to Hitler's plans.

Ignoring reality is dangerous.  It's much too easy for people, including Jews to sit in their "safe" sic cocoons and pretend that they are disconnected or disengaged from what is happening in Israel and in the United Nations.

We must open our eyes, ears and minds to accept the unpleasant truth.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Canada's PM Harper is Better than Most, But...

Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin
The State of Israel is acting like the least popular girl in school who is finally asked out.  The fuss being made oveCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit is really getting on my nerves.  Even my favorite writer, pundit friend Ruthie Blum has joined the bandwagon and ignored the details.

As I've written whenever some visiting head of state comes to call and speaks in the Knesset, remember that they don't write their own speeches.  Whether it's a Bush, Obama, Harper or others, their staffs invest a lot of time and money getting the perfect speech crafted for the occasion. Those applause-filled speeches aren't policy.  The are written by professionals to get cheers and make their hosts feel loved.  They are no more real than James Bond and Spiderman.

Photo credit: AFP
Granted, that Harper has been consistently saying nice and sensible things about Israel, but he was also very generous to the PA bringing them lots more than flowers and chocolate.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a $66 million aid program for the Palestinian Authority on Monday.Harper made his announcement during a visit to Ramallah, where he met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Canadian government says the money would “help advance the peace process, promote security and deliver humanitarian assistance.”
Canada has provided more than $650m. in assistance to the Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
Harper may have said "...those who scorn modernity, who loathe the liberty of others, and who hold the differences of peoples and cultures in contempt. Those who often begin by hating the Jews, but, history shows us, end up hating anyone who is not them. Those forces, which have threatened the State of Israel every single day of its existence, and which, today, as 9/11 graphically showed us, threaten us all." but he also said "Canada is a strong supporter of the peace process. Our position is not an Israeli position or a Palestinian position. It is a Canadian position of principle supported by the overwhelming majority of Canadians."

As usual with fine talkers, he would never take his own words seriously or to their logical conclusion.  

But honestly, the more I read of Harper's speech the less I find it more pro-Israel than the American speech-writers compose.
“I raised the issue of settlements privately. I am not here to single out Israel for criticism. There are more than enough to do that, they don’t need me. I find it interesting that yesterday in the Palestinian Authority no one asked me to single out the PA for any criticism about governance or human rights, I’m only asked to single out Israel.”
Read more: Harper admits Canada concerned about settlements | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/harper-admits-canada-concerned-about-settlements/#ixzz2r3wfwwgX Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

The more I look at the big picture, the less enamoured I am, which does put me in a minority, a small one.  I don't mind standing alone on this. No doubt I'll be joined later on by others when the party's over...


Down With The "Land Swap" Idea!!!!

Should musical parents swap tone-deaf kids with those who don't know what to do with their own too musically inclined/talented ones?
They should according to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. That's how I read their agreement to "land swap" with the Arabs.

How can one trade children? And how can one give up one's Land?

Maybe they should just take up that old offer for land in Uganda...
Zionist Congress:The Uganda Proposal
(August 26, 1903)
When Theodor Herzl began his quest to establish a homeland for the Jewish people, he sought out the support of the great powers to help achieve his goal. In 1903, Herzl turned to Great Britain and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary and others high ranking officials who agreed in principle to Jewish settlement in East Africa.
At the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basel on August 26, 1903, Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. By a vote of 295-178 it was decided to send an expedition ("investigatory commission") to examine the territory proposed. Three days later the British government released an official document allocating a "Jewish territory" in East Africa "on conditions which will enable members to observe their national customs."
That's what "land swap" means.  It's the John Lennon "Imagine" doctrine.
Imagine there is no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Read more: John Lennon - Imagine Lyrics | MetroLyrics 
Nothing means anything to them.  When you have nothing to die for, you really don't have anything to live for.

Jews who believe in G-d, and many believing Christians, too, see G-d as the owner and ruler of the earth and all of us.  We are not in charge.  We are not the "all powerful."  It wasn't the IDF that was victorious in the 1967 Six Days War or the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  We survived, because G-d wanted us to survive.

It takes more than two people, a man and a woman, having sex to "make a baby."  It takes G-d's agreement or override on unsuccessful birth-control.  The proof is all the infertility problems that have always existed. It's not just a modern phenomena; just read the Bible.  As soon as you recognize that G-d is the True Ruler you see the absurdity of the so-called "peace negotiations," sic.

Instead of trying to bargain with the Arab terrorists, we should be educating ourselves and our children of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

Photo by Miriam Feyga Bunimovich
Photo by Batya Medad
The other night at the Event in which we Celebrated 36 Years of Renewed Jewish Life in Shiloh, the youth interviewed us old-timers about our early years in Shiloh.  We all blessed the children to make their homes and raise their families in Shiloh.

We Jews have no other Land. Yes, there are countries which welcome us and give us rights to live and practice our religion and participate politically etc.  But it's not the same as building a Jewish Country in the Land G-d gave us and nobody else.

It is worse than dangerous for the continued existance and security of the State of Israel to recognize and support Arab rights in the Land of Israel.  The Land is not anything that can be divided or given away.  If we don't cease these "negotiations" we will find ourselves back in exile like we were over a hundred years ago. I have no doubt.  We won't be totally destroyed, but we'll have to start a new and better "Zionism" all over again if this fails.  Our aim shouldn't be peace.  Peace isn't up to us.  Our aim should be total Jewish sovereignty in the ENTIRE LAND OF ISRAEL. Then G-d will chip in with His "matching funds" and we'll have Peace and the true Moshiach, G-d willing speedily in our day...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Power of G-d

The blizzard last month was a strong example of how weak  and vulnerable we really are.  Modern technology couldn't help much sans electricity. And the damage to trees and weak structures can still be seen.


Posted from my phone and now fixed up on the computer.

May The Rain (Precipitation) be a Blessing Not a Curse

This has been an awful rollercoaster of a year when it comes to rainfall (precipitation) in Israel.  First we didn't have any, besides a short strong burst of rain a few months ago, so the rabbis requested we start to pray for rain.


It was declared an official drought.  Then came the blizzard or rainstorm depending on the climate, which brought massive amounts of precipitation to Israel, so the rabbis called off the emergency addition of prayers.


And since then, almost nothing, barely a drop. The temperature is also rising as if spring has arrived.

So we're back to having to add the special, "please let us have rain" prayers to G-d.
בע"ה יח' בשבט תשע"ד
 
 
 
תפלה על הגשמים
 
לצערנו הרב מאז ירידת השלג לא נתברכנו בברכת שמים.
יש צורך גדול להתפלל שוב על הגשמים.
בברכת 'שומע תפלה' של תפלת עמידה גם בלחש וגם בקול
נוסיף ע"פ מנהג התפלה של יוצאי אשכנז
 
'ועננו בורא עולם'
 
ולמנהג יוצאי ספרד נוסיף את המלים:
 
'אנא, א-ל חי פתח אוצרות שמים, השב רוח יזלו מים
בגשמי רצון תברך עדה, בפחי יגון כציפור לכודה,
בצדקת אברהם אב המון הכין סעודה, ואמר יקח נא מעט מים'.
from Kumah
That's a letter from a few years ago.

That's the announcement our rabbi, HaRav Elchanan Bin-Nun sent out yesterday.

Rain here in the HolyLand is the barometer of how well we Jews as a nation are obeying G-d.  And considering two crucial factors, I have no doubt that there will be rain problems.

One is that we're soon to enter the year of Shmitta, the Sabbatical for the Land and farmers. Not only is this a complicated year halachically, according to Jewish Law, but there is very little respect for differences in opinion.  Rav Ariel has thrown down the gauntlet and given his Psak, Halachic opinion. 
Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel of Ramat Gan made it clear, last week, that Jews are prohibited from buying from non-Jews during the Shemita agricultural sabbatical year, starting with Rosh Hashana in September. Speaking at Machon Torah Vehaaretz (Torah and Land Institute) conference at the Machon Lev Jerusalem College of Technology, he noted that buying from non-Jews is an option discussed every Shemita year, along with Heter Mechira (selling land to non-Jews) and Otzar Beit Din, where the land is under the ownership of a court and a farmer may only collect production costs.
No doubt that others will say the opposite, and then people will refuse to eat at each other's homes or at smachot, festive events.

The third Binyamin Netanyahu Government is more talk than action when it comes to defense.
At the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said: “We are determined to maintain quiet in the south. We will do so by a policy of preventive action and strong reaction against those who try to harm us or who harm us. I suggest that Hamas take our policy into account.”
It's pretty obvious that terrorists don't care about logic. They only understand force, real force. Until we demand unconditional surrender we will be plagued by terror.  That was the crucial tragic mistake after the 1967 Six Days War. The Eshkol Labor Government turned the miraculous victory into a farce by trying to coddle a peace agreement out of the Arabs who had wanted to and still want to destroy the State of Israel.

But even more worrying is what is happening right now in the government's participation in the American bulldozed Kerry "Peace" sic talks.  Our governments over the past forty-seven years still haven't learned the lesson.
PEACE CANNOT BE NEGOTIATED WITH ARAB TERRORISTS!
That's it plain and simple.  When we have an Israeli Government that does the right thing and embraces the Land of Israel and Jewish rights to settle all of the Land and rules fairly over all of its residents, then we won't have a drought.  The water drought comes from a drought in Jewish Leadership.

Let's pray that wisdom be given to our government leaders.  May they follow all of G-d's Commandments.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Ten Commandments' Havel Havelim, Parshat Yitro


Havel Havelim is the veteran weekly Jewish blog carnival.  It floats from blog to blog coordinated on our facebook page.  You can submit your articles via blog carnival. Next week and the following week it will be hosted by  A Jewish Israel.  Please share, link, read, comment and join our community.

On this Shabbat, Parshat Yitro, we read the Ten Commandments.  It's customary for everyone to stand while it's being read, as we stood at Mount Sinai all those thousands of years ago, when in the greatest sound and light show ever, G-d proclaimed the basis of Judaism.  I'm going to stick to my recent custom of not identifying the blog, but I'm making a special Parshat Shavua Category.

Preparing for God
AT MOUNT SINAI

And here are the rest of the posts.  Please read, enjoy and share, thanks:
Write Kids' Books! Make dreams come true.: Interview with author / illustrator Ann D. Koffsky.
Memories
Selling boutique beer: Mission Impossible?
Thirty
Moshe Ya'alon, A Pawn or Player?
J Street's Pro is a No
Picture of the Day
Yitro vs. John Kerry – Advice vs. “Advice”
Yair Lapid vs. Israel's Chief Rabbis: Any Bets?
The religious thing
Two lives touched by the same nightmare
Tu B’Shvat, Jerusalem Transitions
Seder tu b'Shvat
36 Years of Renewed Jewish Life in Ancient Shiloh
Don't Call Me Shirley
“Palestinians” Really Do Need to be Treated like Human Beings
Write Kids' Books! Make dreams come true.: Interview with author / illustrator Ann D. Koffsky
deMOCKratic Free Speech in Israel gets Chipped Away Even Further
Today's Google Doodle - Chaim Nachman Bialik
Jewish Israel updates and announcements
Same Old Arab Rhetoric Needs an Authentically Jewish Response!
My Glorious Washing Station and Why You Should All Be Envious

Ariel Arik Sharon Memorial Section
And What are The Jewish Bloggers Saying about The Late Ariel (Arik) Sharon?
Warrior: Ariel Sharon, 1928 – 2014
That Surprisingly Small and Quiet Funeral Just Proves That Sharon's Sons and Loyalists Don't Comprehend The Sin of Disengagement
Assessing Ariel Sharon's Life
Ariel Sharon's Funeral
If Arik Had Been Healthy...
Moshiach ben Yosef and Sharon in Torah Code

In case you're not yet familiar with it, there's a fourth Jewish blog carnival.  It's monthly and focuses on reviews of Jewish books.  Here's the latest at  Needle in the Bookstack.

And don't forget that the Adar Aleph  Kosher Cooking Carnival will be hosted by  Foodiscovery  for the first time.  So please get your links to her via blog carnival.  We also coordinate on facebook.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of jewish-israel blog carnival aka havel havelim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Cross-posted on me-ander

Saturday, January 18, 2014

JewishIsrael updates and announcements

Posted by JewishIsrael.com


This Sunday (Jan 19th), Ruth Guggenheim from Jews for Judaismhosts the Shalom USA Radio Show, and talks with Ira Michaelson, former Hebrew Christian "rabbi" and Avraham Leibler, Administrative Director of JewishIsrael.com...more







Two months ago in JewishIsrael’s report, Evangelists, Politics and Shomron PR – The Pew of It All, we outlined a number of concerns regarding the November 2013 Shomron Regional Council's Israel advocacy conference in New York. Representatives from JewishIsrael attended the conference and this report is based on their observations...more
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The following are two updates on the status of the Jesus statue project*
* [Note: as of this posting no written denial from Tourism Minister Uzi Landau has been received.]

This is a continuing update to JewishIsrael’s report of December 22nd,"Cast a Giant Jesus over Israel"JewishIsrael's Rabbinic Director Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold met with Tourism Minister Uzi Landau. At the meeting Landau was emphatic in his denial of having ever endorsed such a project. Landau personally told Rabbi Gold that such a project"will never happen". MK Moshe Feilgin also contacted JewishIsrael after speaking with Landau…more







Since JewishIsrael’s posting of its December 22 report, "Cast a Giant Jesus over Israel", attorneys at the Legal Forum for The Land of Israelhave taken up the cause to stop such a project from happening. The Forum has already sent letters to Knesset members and to ministers, as well as to the Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL)...more

Headlines! Troubling News.

While I'm busy putting together this week's Havel Havelim, the international Jewish blog carnival and also celebrating 36 Years of Jewish Renewal in Ancient Biblical Shiloh, I don't want to leave you bored.



Resident of Druze town of Majdal Shams injured after shots fired from Syria.

Global Agenda 10:29 PM 1/17/2014
The United Nations’ cultural body cancels Jewish exhibit, citing "concerns for Israel-PA peace talks."

J Street and Open Hillel claim they want openness and honesty in the discussion about Israel, but that's only for those who agree with them.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/


In 1943, just before Yom Kippur, some 400 rabbis marched to the White House.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/

Friday, January 17, 2014

Moshe Ya'alon, A Pawn or Player?

Ariel Hermoni /
Israeli Defense Ministry via EPA
Defense MinisteMoshe Yaalon was in hot water for telling the truth, and now he's in boiling water for apologizing.  Simply put, no matter what he does, there will be condemnation.  Many Israelis cheered when Ya'alon said what we've been thinking and saying for a long time.  We wondered how long those words would stay "live," and we're still wondering how long he'll keep his job.

Dry Bones

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu runs a tight ship.  He makes the decisions, and he decides just how far his coalition can go. Many people had expected Bibi to appoint Ya'alon as Defense Minister for his second (this is now the third) term as Prime Minister, but he took the Leftist Ehud Barak. In that government coalition Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister would throw out the "extreme Right" statements, sort of testing the wind.  Now Lieberman has changed his tune and sounds almost to the Left of Peres at times.

Could it be that this whole "crisis" has been choreographed by Binyamin Netanyahu himself?   Or is it more accurate to call it an example of Netanyahu's chess playing tactics?  (I still consider myself a dancer, so choreograph would be the word, but since Bibi is a chess player...)

Gelfand with Netanyahu and Livnat (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
And let's go back to the big question.  Does Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon really have power and influence?  Many on Israel's pro-Jewish rights in all of the Land of Israel Right have been counting on Ya'alon's power, position, influence to protect the State of Israel from endangering itself.


  • Does PM Netanyahu have any real advisors? 
  • To whom does Netanyahu go to for advice?
  • Does the cabinet, the coalition have any say in security policy?
  • Does Bibi have the guts to call off further American brokered mediated PRESSURED talks when it's so obvious that U.S. President Obama and his Secretary of State Kerry want us to accept P.A. Arab terrorist demands which will weaken Israel to the point of destruction?

Plaques awarded to terrorists show map of "Palestine" erasing Israel
Palestinian Media Watch

Thursday, January 16, 2014

36 Years of Renewed Jewish Life in Ancient Shiloh

In the heart of the winter, in the beginning of the Jewish Month of Shevat thirty-six years ago seven young families and a handful of yeshiva students came to the site of the Biblical Shiloh to renew Jewish Life in one of the most important Biblical sites.

They, with the help of Gush Emunim and the more veteran Ofra residents, cleared a spot near some old roofless buildings, just south of Tel Shiloh and brought in caravans/mobile homes/trailers and a few tents. Infants, diapers and all, they were in the guise of archaeologists on a mission. The official mission was to dig up the past, but the true mission was to renew Jewish Life in the First Capital of the Biblical Jewish Nation, Shiloh.

There wasn't a proper road, no electricity, piped water, public transportation, telephones etc.  And you must remember that in 1978 not only weren't there cellphones or internet, many Israelis in the major cities still had to wait years for a phone line.  In nearby Tourmus Aiya, in the Valley of Shiloh, they still had the old operator system for phoning.  When Jordan illegally occupied the area from 1948 until 1967, they didn't modernize anything at all.  The State of Israel began modernization after the 1967 Six Days War building better and safer roads, bringing in electricity to replace the generators, water lines to replace local wells and a modern telephone system. But this all took time and money, and they hadn't yet gotten to the area of Shiloh.

Three and a half years later, when we moved to Shiloh, electricity was from a generator, water was trucked in daily and a few of proper modern phone numbers/lines had been assigned to the community that numbered over sixty families.



Today well over three hundred families of all ages and backgrounds live in Shiloh.  When the yishuv was smaller, we had a few years with a communal Seder TU b'Shvat, but nowadays people get together on their own.  Last night we were invited to neighbors to celebrate TU b'Shevat.  It was a nice mix of people from the most veteran to newer neighbors from all the neighborhoods.



And our local school which opened its doors, in a different location on the yishuv, for the first time on September 1, 1981 with only eighteen students in three classes is now a large regional school with hundreds of students in grades 1-8.


Actually it's now two different independently administrated schools, one for boys and one for girls. The students come from all over the area, not only from the Shiloh bloc of communities in the Mateh Binyamin Council.  There are students from the Shomron (Samaria) and the Bikaah (Jordan Valley.)  In addition there are stores and an industrial zone.  One of the big local businesses is the well-known Meshek Achiya Olive Oil, founded by the late Yossi Shuker, Z"L.