Thursday, June 29, 2006

JBloggers Stand With Israel

The Renegade Rebbitzen wrote an excellent post-Israel Independance Day posting the other day, and I'd like to share part of it with you. (I edited out some of it due to space considerations, but you can read the whole posting on her blog)

So here's the other Israel-related pasuk (verse) I like to think of (or that I don't like to think of, but that I sometimes think of in spite of myself and my guilty conscience). It's Numbers 32:6, and it's Moshe's response to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, who have expressed a desire to stay on the eastern side of the Jordan River instead of entering the land.

Here we go:

?ויאמר משה לבני גד ולבני ראובן: האחיכם יבאו למלחמה, ואתם תשבו פה

"And Moses said to the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben: Will your brothers go to war, and you will stay here?"


The Jews are getting ready to enter the land. They've just been wandering for 40 years, for the express purpose of getting to this particular land, which has been chosen for them by God. And a group of Jews decides at that moment that the economic opportunities outside the land are better suited to their needs. And so they ask not to go. They ask to live outside the land.

And Moshe Rabbeinu responds by asking if they are just going to sit "here" - outside the land - while their brethren go to war, while their own flesh and blood fight in order to live there.

Yeah. Like I said. Hmm.

So anyhoo, those are two of my favorite - or at least my most frequently thought about - Israel-related pesukim in the Torah. The specialness of the land itself; the nature and the constancy of our interaction with God, and the role the land plays in that relationship; and the collective responsibility of the Jewish people not to sit idly by while their fellow Jews put their lives on the line.

So, happy belated Yom HaAtzmaut.

(Postscript: The Torah, follwed by the book of Joshua, goes on to describe how the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and ultimately a portion of the tribe of Menasseh as well, were indeed given territories outside the land of Israel proper, and were allowed to settle and make their livings there. But only after they first headed off the conquering army themselves, and made sure the rest of the nation was settled safely and securely into their homes. Then, and only then, were they permitted to make their permanent homes outside the land of Israel. Like I said: Hmm.)

The main reason I started blogging was to promote Israel awareness (and if I'm lucky...aliya awareness)...and now close to a year later, I wonder if I've been successful. Have I met my objective? Do readers of this blog feel they have a stronger connection to Israel than they used to? Has aliya been moved up a notch on people's list of priorities?

This blog takes up a lot of my time, and I'm greatly appreciative to my wife for supporting it. When she told me to point some people who were thinking about aliya, in the direction of my blog, I knew she understood that I'm trying to push a very serious and worthwhile agenda. Granted, posting about Jewish handshakes, Elvis the drug dealer, and Fleeing Manila are probably not as educational, but I like to think they contibute some additional flavor to the blog.

Therefore, I would like to call your attention to a new intiative for the JBlogosphere: JBloggers Stand with Israel. The message is apolitical -- you can stand with Israel because this is the land of the Jews, because of political Zionism, because of Eretz Yisrael, because it's the sole democracy in the Middle East, or even if you just like my blog.

If you have a blog, go ahead and put up this graphic...

...and if you're already privledged to live here in Israel there's this:

Jews pray towards Jerusalem in prayer 3 times a day...shouldn't your blog have just a tiny bit of focus for Israel as well?

Go ahead, put the graphic on your blog's template - you'll be glad you did :)

Also advocating this initiative are Ezzie, Irina and Sarah-- read what they have to say as well (and a big thank you to Sarah for the excellent graphics work!)

Now, I'm in a quandry how to end this post. On the one hand, Israel has just started a very serious defensive operation, aimed at stopping Qassam rocket attacks and bringing home safely, Gilad ben Aviva (Shavit) it would be a good time to remind people to keep Israel's soldiers in their prayers.

On the other hand, I hate using guilt as a means to influence people to think about Israel or aliya, and would much rather this ends on a lighter, positive note.

So...end it yourself with whatever works for you.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


the sabra said...


Ayelet said...

Thanks for the graphic. I had a hell of a time figuring out how to get it into my template but I did it all by myself!

Anonymous said...


Why hasn't a single governnent official referred to the killing of Asheri A'H or mentioned him by name? I don't want to even consider it was because he lived in Yesha. Any thoughts?

kasamba said...

Uh, Jameel, I hate to reduce the tone of this post, but what happens when a blogger is too techinically challenged to put up the little icon you recomend?

For heavens sake- I can't even blogroll!!!!

The Jewish Freak said...

I would be honored to add the graphic, if I could only trouble you for a little technical help with it.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jewish Freak and Kasamba: Drop me an email and I'll be more than happy to explain how to add the graphic...

Ayelet: Kol Hakavod!

Anonymammer: The IDF had what to say. The politicians are too busy trying to low-profile the IDF incursion to think about Eliyahu, HYD.

Bari: Excellent idea! Hopefully next week...I have an IDF excersize tomorrow, got to get to sleep.

The Town Crier said...

The sad question is how long will American and Israli Jewry remain interested in the plight of Gilad Shalit before abandoning him like the other mias?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the graphic in support of our beloved land.

Me? Always dreaming ... hope to soon be living it. I know it will not be easy (to say the least), but it is time.

Shabbat Shalom, ~cm

Smooth said...

Just wanted to let you know that I placed your graphic on my site. Thank you, Jameel. Now I look forward to you placing my site on your blogroll. (hint-hint) ;)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Smooth and Meira - Welcome! I don't think I've seen you around here commenting before...OK..blogrolls for all on motzei shabbat :)

TTC: That's a very depressing thought. Hopefully, he will be returned home safely, soon.

Anonymous said...

Why support israel in their illegal occupation. This would make them think they are right. Even if they want to take it to a biblical level it would be difficult to justify their land theft after breaking the covenant.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

My blog is mostly focused on American legal and political issues (so I don't know if I qualify as being part of the "JBlogosphere"), but I put it up anyway.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I would not be able to figure it out. I am to tech challenged. I would with help.

Lion of Zion said...

I can't even figure out how to add a link to your blog in the "favorite blogs" place.

"This blog takes up a lot of my time, and I'm greatly appreciative to my wife for supporting it. When she told me to point some people who were thinking about aliya, in the direction of my blog . . ."

How did you break it to your wife that you were blogging? I need some advice as I think she is onto me (-: (granted that you have a more worthwhile goal when blogging).

Shavu'ah tov.

FrumGirl said...

Wow, the Renegade Rebetzin seems to have really nailed it, huh. I'd be glad ton add this graphic to my blog, I will email you for instrutions....

Smooth said...

Jameel, thanks for linking to my site. Swing on by and visit mine. I don't think you've visited in a while.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Smooth - my pleasure. I'll drop by your site soon.

(I linked to a whole bunch of new people today as well)

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Great article! Thanks.

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