Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Leftists Mean: Support the Savage

As a looney lefitist in the NY vandalizes approved ads in the subway, under the guise of  "freedom of expression" (while not allowing others to freely express themselves), her message is very clear.

She sides with the savages.  She finds it offensive that Jihad is considered "savage."  Savages are those who murder in the name of Jihad; those that murdered the US Ambassador to Libya are savages, those that attacked the World Trade Center are savages, those that stab to death Israeli infants and blow up buses are savages.  That's Jihad.

See the Jihad Supporter here:



CNN and MSNBC Pundit Mona Eltahawy is a supporter of Savage Jihad.  Her billboard could be easily summed up as follows:


Make sure you know which side you're on.


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Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Unmentionable Pig

One of the stranger aspects of Israel's ultra-Orthodox, "Chareidi" press, is their determination not to use the word "pig."

Last night, 2 Israelis were killed when their car smashed into a wild boar on Highway 5, East of Tapuach Junction.  Here is how the Chareidi newspaper, HaModia reported it:

HaModia Newspaper reports on the unmentionable wild boar.

"In a head on collision last night, in which 2 "wild other things" ran into the road, 2 men in their 40's were killed.

The accident took place in the area between Tapuach and Migdalim in the Shomron.  Magen David Adom's (Israel's emergency medical and rescue service) attempts failed to save the wounded, and doctors pronounced the men dead on the scene.  MDA reported that next to the car were 2 dead "wild other things" and it is assumed they caused the fatal accident."

It's a bit ridiculous that HaModia can't even use the word, "pig" (or wild boar).


Had this not been such a tragic story of 2 people being killed, I would have added a picture from Maurice Sendak's book, "Where the Wild Things Are."

May their memories be blessed. 


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Do you have any idea how offensive that is?

Found on Facebook.
I think Islam's religious tolerance can be more than appreciated by the way the Palestinians burned down and destroyed all the synagogues in Gush Katif after Israel left Gaza in 2005.


Or the way they burned down Kever Yosef / Joseph's Tomb in Shechem.


Or the way they can't even be bothered to do maintenance work on Islam's third "holiest" site, in a way without desecrating the rock of the "Dome of the Rock."  Instead, Muslims think (or behave) as if the gold dome is more important and holy than the rock itself, and place scaffolding ON THE ROCK.



Or the way they routinely play football/soccer on the Temple Mount.


Bottom line is that the Islamic world is far more upset over a silly film than the routine, daily slaughter of Moslems (by Moslems) in Syria or anywhere else in the world.

From Daryl Cage, Facebook

Or as in the words of Thomas Friedman, who I rarely agree with:
"..an insult — even one as stupid and ugly as the anti-Islam video on YouTube that started all of this — does not entitle people to go out and attack embassies and kill innocent diplomats. That is not how a proper self-governing people behave. There is no excuse for it. It is shameful"



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Sunday, September 16, 2012

U'netanneh Tokef - the hymn of Israel

U'netanneh Tokef (ונתנה תוקף) is one of the most well known liturgical songs (piyyuts) - a description of the frailty of Man standing in judgement before G-d, who endures man's sins and wants him to repent.  

I think almost everybody knows the story of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz ('Magentsa' in Hebrew) in Germany, who was wiling to undergo intense punishment rather than convert to Christianity (see Wikipedia).


The story was written down by the 12th century Rabbi Ephraim of Bonn, who also gave us another interesting legend about the feud between the Israeli poet Yannai and his student Eleazar Kalir.


The Cairo Genizah gave us many fascinating finds.  One of these was a copy of Unetanneh Tokef, from which we know that it was written before the 10th century in Israel, or possibly nearby.  Researchers date it to the Byzantine era.  Some attribute it to the poets of the late Byzantine era, Yannai or Eleazar Kalir.  However, it may even originate from the earliest Piyyut period, in the 3rd and 4th centuries, as during this time anonymous poets wrote liturgies not confined by rhyme or meter.   

The story of Rabbi Amnon might have an historical basis.  Amnon was a common Jewish Italian name, and we know that the ancient Israeli traditions, including the piyyuts, made their way from Israel to the Ashkenaz communities via Italy. 

However, we should recognize that Unetanneh Tokef is part of our Israeli heritage.  It was written here in the Land of Israel, by Israeli poets, for Israelis.  For them, and for us, a cloudless sky, withering grass and flying dust are not just irrelevant similes, they're the reality of the end of summer.

Unetanneh Tokef gives us a glimpse of the hardships faced by the Jews in that very obscure era,when the Romans destroyed Jewish life, and left us with the shards of pottery and memory.


Over the past year I've written about our history in this land.  It is not just a matter of history, it's a matter of continuity.  Every generation, facing trials and tribulations, can relate to the words of Unetanneh Tokef.  Following the Yom Kippur War, this rendition by Yair Rosenblum, sang by the Givatron, made it into a modern Israeli hymn.



May we all have a good and peaceful year.

 See here for more articles about our history in Israel

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

When the Wall Falls


The ancient synagogue in Meron is located on a hill above the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.   Like other Galilean synagogues from the Byzantine era, its entrance faces south, towards Jerusalem.


But what makes this synagogue special is a story from its later history.  A student of Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura wrote in 1495 about the synagogue:
I also saw the synagogue of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and it's also a building made of large stones, but now it's in ruins and there's only one wall remaining.  And the people of Safed say that when the wall falls, our Messiah will come, speedily in our days.  And I was told that in the year of the Spanish Expulsion lightning struck that wall and it started to fall, and the people of Safed made a day of feasting and happiness.
The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, just three years before this story was written down.

The broken lintel stands till today, though the Antiquities Authority has made sure it won't fall on the visiting tourists, by fixing it with cement.



[Thank you to Daniel Ventura and friends who helped with translating the Hebrew-transliterated medieval Italian]

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Monday, September 03, 2012

As America Throws Israel Under the Bus...

Generally reliable Shimon Shiffer reports in YNET:
The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
According to the report, Washington used covert back-channels in Europe to clarify that the US does not intend to back Israel in a strike that may spark a regional conflict.
In return, Washington reportedly expects Iran to steer clear of strategic American assets in the Persian Gulf, such as military bases and aircraft carriers.
In "liberal-speak", pundits say that countries don't have allies, they have interests.  That's incorrect; political leaders have interests...countries still have allies.

I hope that other representatives of the USA will stand with Israel, since it appears the current President would rather throw Israel under the bus..."Hey Iran, stay clear of us, and you can bomb Israel as much as you want."

Thanks.

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Sunday, September 02, 2012

New Jewish town discovered

After more than 100 years of archeological research in Israel, I'm always surprised there's still so much more to discover.  Sadly, today most such discoveries are driven by construction work.


The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced today that a 6th century Jewish town was discovered north of Beersheba, during work on the southern extension of Route 6.

Photo: Skyview,IAA

The archeologists discovered two ritual baths (mikveh) and two large public buildings.  Both buildings had a large platform facing Jerusalem, and archeologists think they served either as synagogues or as a beit midrash, a place for Torah study.

The town was evacuated at the end of the 6th century or the beginning of the 7th century.  A century later a new town was built over the ancient remains.


P.S. After a bit of a break, I hope to get back into regular blogging about our history.  

See here for more articles about our history in Israel.


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