Monday, March 31, 2008

For a good laugh...

For a good laugh, read the talkbacks (especially the first 20) on this YNET article about the settlers who just killed a terrorist in the Shomron.

My favorite so far is:

20. very misunderstood

"They were approached by the terrorist, who began talking to them in broken English, mixed with Hebrew and Arabic. He seemed nervous, put his hand into his shirt between the buttons, pulled out a knife and shouted, 'Allah Akbar'
What actually transpired was the poor dead man was doing an advertisement for Ali's Snack Bar not Allah Akbar and pulled out the knife to cut some camel pastrami for a sandwich. This is when the horrible "settler" shot him.

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

Exciting Things to do on Pesach (1)

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I dont know about you, but we're always looking for something to do during Chol HaMoed that is different, and just as important, not some park or site so packed to the gills you can't move, much less enjoy yourself.

Israel Challenge opens up a completely different Israel experience.

From Desert Jeep Tours, Rappelling, Paint Ball, IDF Experience, Mountain Biking, and more, they've got it all.

I've seen these guys zipping around in their big black safari jeeps. It looks like they are having a ball.

They have packages for individuals, groups, families, half-day tours, overnights - Israel Challenge gives you a different experience of Israel.

So don't go on a tour, go on an adventure.

(They also do Bar and Bat Mitzvahs).

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

Muqata Daylight Savings Time

Thanks to the close to 50 people that wrote me asking for the Muqata clock to be updated. It's been fixed. Welcome to Daylight Savings Time.

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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Brave Rabbi

The original title of the post was "Pass the Kool-Aid". I have been dying to use that title for something. Seriously, how often does a serious (and positive) event happen, that you can satirically tack a title like that onto it? (I used it on JoeSettler instead).

But after Jameel's post about the OU and what appears to many people to be their disturbingly typical stance of ignoring Israel and Aliyah as a viable and desirable alternative, I felt that a new title was in order.

What am I talking about you ask?

Well, a well known Rabbi, Rabbi Sholom Rosner of Congregation Bais Ephraim Yitzhok of Woodmere, NY just announced to his congregation that he is moving to Israel, forging a new community, and that a number of his congregants are joining him.

Seriously, the last Rabbi I can think of that had the guts to do that was Rabbi Riskin, and look where he is now... Chief Rabbi of Efrat with American residents at his beck and call.

The truth is, I doubt Rabbi Rosnor's congregants were that surprised. His wife (a doctor) gave a major interview about how Nefesh b’Nefesh is helping her with their Aliyah plans. And obviously Rabbi Rosnor has been talking to amenable ears in his congregation who will be following him.

Of course, most people talk for years about Aliyah, before they actually get around to it (some wait to make aliyah as a lift instead of with a lift, but that is a story for another post), still, it takes a brave rabbi to buck the trend of the other rabbis and when he says that "Israel is home" in his speech, and then actually follows through with it - and to an "Emerging Jewish Community" at that too.

Anyway, Rabbi Rosnor is moving to a new neighborhood in Beit Shemesh called Nofei HaShemesh, where he will be taking a lead role in helping build the community (of 400 homes), schools, shuls, and so on.

If you want to hear all the details, you can click here for the entire story.

Welcome to Israel.


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

Haveil Havalim #160 The Waffle edition

Hungry for some waffles? Check out Haveil Havalim #160 The Waffle edition.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Another reason for Aliyah

I was reading this article in the NYTimes about the cost of Health Insurance in the US.

I was shocked. An average family of 4 (who are self-employed) can easily be paying out $1000 a month for health insurance (if they don't find some company to pay it for them)!

How it actually works in Israel is that by law, part of your Social Security payments goes to your health insurance (Bituach Leumi is 10% of your salary so basically 5% of your salary is goes to Health Insurance).

If you are independent or not working, then you have a minimal Bituach Leumi payment to make of around NIS 100-200 a month depending on your status ($30-$60 a month).

If as an independent you are taking a salary, again it comes out of the Bituach Leumi from the part you take as salary.

I don't have exact numbers, but I think that my wife and I are paying an extra NIS 100 a month ($28 a month) combined, for the "complete packages" to supplement the government required basic insurance package.

If we go to Terem (our preferred private, emergency clinic in Jerusalem), then there might be an additional supplement of NIS 50-70 that we have to pay directly to Terem, and that is regardless of how many X-rays or tests they may do.

Doctors in Israel are also world class, so it is not like you are taking a drop in the level of your treatment. In fact, from what I hear about hospitals in the US, the personal attention and consideration you get in an Israeli hospital simply blows away anything that the States has to offer.

(Yes, I know people are going to disagree with me on the above paragraph with some exceptional cases, but the exceptions aren't the rule).

I think I've made my point here, but I expect some vitriolic comments anyway.

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

The Jihad Continues

UPDATE: Video link is working again. (Hopefully, it'll remain that way, unless Google caves in to the mullahs and takes the video down...)

Warning: This video contain disturbing images, parental guidance is advised.

A new movie has just been released in the Netherlands entitled "Fitna", which documents atrocities in the name of the Quran. There are multiple death threats against the director, Geert Wilders already. Although disturbing, it's worth viewing.

From Wikipedia:

Wilders released the film on March 27, 2008 at 7PM local (Dutch) time on the video website Liveleak. Liveleak subsequently received threats to their staff, and decided to remove the video. On March 29th 2008, a banner on top of the site declared that to be a "sad day for freedom of speech on the net". The Dutch version of the movie
received 1.6 million pageviews in 2 hours.[citation needed]

The English version garnered over 1.2 million in 5 hours[citation needed]. Wilders originally negotiated a possible broadcast of the film on Dutch television. The contents of the film were not known at the time. None of the Dutch broadcasting companies would agree to show the film in its entirety, without editing. Wilders then said that he would "Rather have [the film] entirely on the Internet, than half on television"[citation needed].

Kudos to Google, who have so far, refused to buckle under Islamic threats to remove the video. Youtube has already started penalizing people who upload the video. We'll see how long Google keeps it up (though I can't imagine it will be up for long, since Google purchased Youtube).

I'll still have alternate links available. LiveLeak, the original video host for this video had to pull it because of serious threats on the lives of the Liveleak staff.

After thoughts; I'm reminded of the Israeli, Tatiana Suskind who drew a picture of a pig with a kafiyya on it, and hung it up in Hevron. That got her arrested and imprisoned for 3 months. Reason: Incitement, disturbing the peace. Could have caused a riot.

Israeli sculpturer, Yigal Tumarkin made a sculpture of a pig wearing tefillin, he won the Israel prize (not for this sculpture, but for others). No one rioted. Disgusted at him, yes, but that's as far as it went.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eliyahu's Cup

Without a doubt; the strangest Pesach gadget for 2008.

We can't tell you exactly. At least not until you are the proud owner of this new hit of the seder.

What we can tell you is what your children and Passover guests will see:

They will see a beautiful Cup of Elijah sitting in the middle of the seder table filled with wine throughout the evening. When the time comes you will lift the cup and invite someone to open the door for Elijah to enter. You then say a few words, be they traditional or off the cuff, about Elijah truly coming this year. Encourage everyone to watch to see if Elijah drinks. Place the cup back on the table, let go, and the wine slowly disappears.

Josh Waxman found this gadget, and suggested while it might help keep the kids up at the seder, there's a good chance it will fool them into believing that Eliyahu visits every single Jewish house on seder night to drink wine from this cup

Cute, and perhaps a way to keep kids up until the end of the seder. But I have my objections to it. Adults shaking the table and joking that Eliyahu sipped is one thing. But having the come mysteriously drain as the child watches is another. This might, in some circumstances, constitute fooling our children in matters of faith.

Yet another good reason to read parsha blog every week.

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

Last Chance before Pesach

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Purim is over, Pesach is just a few weeks away, and this is your last chance to book a Seder (or Sedarim) and room(s) at one of TravelDeal Israel hotels/programs in Jerusalem or on the Kinneret!

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ramat Beit Shemesh Violence and The Burka Tramp

From a post on Rafi G and DovBear on the arrest of a Burka clad woman, arrested for child abuse, molestation and terrible, almost indescribable family incest (reminiscent of the Sabbatean offshoot Frankists):

The woman arrested, it turns out, was none other than Rabbanit Bruriah keren,** herself. The founder and leader of the group. So the group is not just an eccentric group with on sicko as a member. the group is rotten from the core.

BTW, this information has been confirmed by my source - he confirmed it with her neighbors and with the police.

So now that she has been arrested and her evil exposed, hopefully that will be the demise of this evil group of people.

Not only that, but her son in law is Binyamin Friedman - the leader of the kannoim in RBS B that have been the source of all the violence in the past. The question is if the expose revealing all that she has done will now put a damper on Friedman's activities, and the support he has had from the local Rabbonim of the Eidah and of the even more extreme Rabbonim...

While many (myself included) viewed the Burka women as just some wacked-out fringe, it's clear that something far more dangerous lurked within their cult. Yet the link between the Burka tramp and the abhorrent violence in Ramat Beit Shemesh (her son-in-law) caught me off guard.

Is the lunatic fringe of Chareidi, Ultra-Orthodox society really approaching that of Islamic Fundamentalism? What's next? Honor Killings of women who aren't dressed modestly enough? Is it only a matter of time before this lunatic fringe goes mainstream? Ramat Saudi Arabia Bet?

More info over at MominIsrael here and here.
Updated from the J-Post.
A 54-year-old mother of 12 is under arrest for allegedly severely abusing her children, police said Tuesday.

The woman who allegedly abused her children arrives in court on Tuesday.Photo: Channel 2 The Beit Shemesh resident is also suspected of failing to report multiple
cases of incest among her children. She was remanded for six days by the
Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
It took police two hours to gain entry to the home, with the intervention of local rabbis. Officers and social workers soon uncovered brutal physical abuse of several of the children, including whippings with both belts and electric cables, according to a police officer's court testimony. The mother is also suspected of breaking one daughter's nose with a rolling pin, leaving her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when they came home late, and preventing them from receiving medical treatment for their injuries. The mother said it was all part of their "education," according to court documents.
When the children of the family were treated by social workers, it emerged that the teenagers had committed incest with each other, over a long period of time, the police officer said. The teenage boy who was removed from the house told social workers that he had had sexual relations with his 18-year-old sister, and that he had told his parents and his rabbis, and that the latter told him not to tell anybody else.
**Though there is apparently a court order against using this person's name, the Haaretz article clearly links it to her, and Rafi G personally confimred this information.
PS: Note: As of 3/27/2008, the alleged behavior described above has been reported by the Israeli police and the Beit Shemesh Social Services and Welfare department - no indictments have yet been filed, though the Burka lady and her 28 year son are still under arrest, and the husband is under house-arrest.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The OU and you...minus Israel?

For an organization that routinely talks about Israel, has a huge office in Jerusalem and actively tries to involve itself in Israeli life, and has Nefesh B'Nefesh events on their website, I found it rather disappointing that the Orthodox Union kept Israeli communities off their list in their upcoming "Emerging Jewish Communities Showcase."

Thinking of relocating? Israel's off the list...doesn't even make the cut.

Looking for an affordable Jewish community? If affordable, means sky-high tuition, then this ad is for you!
Kosher Stores? We have a few of those.
Close Knit Communities? Perhaps
Rewarding Retirement Opportunities? What could be more rewarding that retiring to the amazing Jewish community of New Orleans, LA??? (sorry, I'm sure it's a lovely community, with Jewish roots going back to the time of Avraham Avinu)

The OU is pushing the following vibrant communities...

Bay Area: Oakland and San Francisco, CA, Charleston, SC, Columbus, OH, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO Edmonton, AB, Canada, Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Memphis, TN, New Orleans, LA, Omaha, NE, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Using just a tiny bit of extra effort, they could have combined this with the Nefesh B'Nefesh event (or at least, reminded people that Israel is ALSO an option).

There are great vibrant communities here as well!

Modiin, Beit Shemesh, Hashmonaim, Raanana, Kedumim, Shilo, Eli, Jerusalem, Elazar, Neve Daniel, Alon Shvut, Givatayim, Ginot Shomron, Petach Tikva, Be'er Sheva, Karmiel, Maalot, and many, many others.

Hey OU -- if you want your Torah Tidbits circulation to rise, why not remind people that aliya and Israeli communities are also an option for Orthodox Jews.

hat-tip: The Beit Shemesh Burka Ninja Squad

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

Monday, March 24, 2008


Big Surprise Post going up Sunday Afternoon, March 30th.

Look for it.

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

Burka Babes Take Over Beit Shemesh!

scary stuff - not for the faint of heart.

Update: Just to be absolutely sure there is no misunderstanding, this video is 100% real. fake. Need proof? See what Mom in Israel has to say. (And she's one of the original Burka bloggers...after me of course :)

Hat-tips to: Lurker for sending me the email, and to the very talented Sara K Eisen and friends from the Nofei Aviv neighborhood of Beit Shemesh. Updated to include the following: Sara K Eisen's VERY TALENTED friends are Talli Rosenbaum (she of the swinging cellphone), Jaely Kurtz (who said, let's do a movie about those burqa ladies...), and Deb Weisblatt (who went to Ramle foraging for the Burqas!). Also Raanan Rosenbaum, 19, who is an amazing video editor, if you're making a simcha...

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

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Haveil Havalim- Purim Is Over Edition/See Who Got Waffles

Haveil Havalim- Purim Is Over Edition.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael ה הארץ מאד מאד

Tanakh Yom Iyun on March 23!

On Sunday, March 23, there will be a Tanakh Yom Iyun at Yeshiva University. It is completely free and features a powerhouse lineup of speakers.

The event will take place at Furst 501 on the Wilf Campus and begins at 12:45, running until 5:30.

Check out the speakers/ subjects below! Hope to see you there!

Click here for the fullscreen version (and hit the magnifying glass to enlarge.)

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

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jameel on Purim

Jameel dropped by my settlement to bring us some Mishloach Manot.

You would think that on Purim, Jameel would at least have thought to dress up in some sort of costume. Party Pooper.

Well, at least he brought us waffles.

Purim Sameach from JoeSettler and Family.

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

What Changed?

Cross posted on JoeSettler.

As I’m reading the Megillah, something in the story really began to bother me.

Something quite scary.

What actually changed in the end?

Mordechai did nothing more than send out an official letter to the Jews that they should defend themselves against the oncoming onslaught.


Does this mean the Jews were not going to defend themselves?

Were they were going to be good, quiet citizens and go like sheep to the slaughter?
Were they were going to let Amalek kassams arrows rain down on their heads?
Were they so afraid to go against the goyim, the authorities or the establishment?

I think the answer is yes, they were not going to defend themselves.

I think the Jews of Purim were going to passively participate in their own destruction.

Perhaps no different than when we waited on the shores of Yam Suf (millions of people, armed to the teeth) while a mere few hundred Egyptian chariots chased after them (or other historical events of more recent vintage).

Perhaps that is an important message of Purim (and Chanukah too for that matter, though Purim really shows how far it goes).

The message here is that the Jews as a group always have the ability to defend ourselves. What we lack is the will .

Nothing changed in Mordechai’s message, except they suddenly got permission from the authorities to not die passively.

Why did they need that “permission”?

They didn’t, but they thought they did, just like we thought we did in so many other recent and historical attacks against our people. Just like we think today.

Perhaps we need a “leader” to rally around as a group. But perhaps not, as we saw Esther was willing to play her role as an individual (with the spiritual backup of the nation).

Mordechai certainly wasn’t leading the revolt directly (so it seems), but he did stand up (literally) for what was right.

We as individuals have to do the right thing when it comes to protecting our nation, and we as a group can not be afraid to fully and completely defend ourselves against our enemies.

Only after the Jews absolutely defend themselves, do we suddenly we see Bush Achashverosh and his empire giving our nation the healthy respect (and fear) we deserve.

In short, nothing changed before or after Mordechai’s letter, only our internal perception of the events and our ability to change our environment and future.

That is my lesson to you this Purim.

Chag Sameach.

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

Important Announcement!

Click the image so you can read all of it clearly.

Purim Sameach!

Hat-tip: CG.

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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Purim at the Muqata

Hey All. Remember 2 years ago? The JBLOGOSPHERE's Purim Pardoy Carnival? That was pretty cool. A tremendous amount of time...but worth it. (And I got to meet alot of really funny people at the same time).

Some of these bloggers havent been heard from in months...Paging RenReb, paging RenReb, do you still exist? Amshinover? You come to the Muqata for Shabbat and then you stopped blogging. Nice. Some have rehashed their blogs a few times, like XGH. Some drop by once in a while like OM or Krum, but the Jblogosphere has definitely evolved.

For a trip down memory lane, see what the JBlogosphere was like 2 years ago.

(*will cost lots of cash)

So that was two years ago.

LAST Year, Ezzie and I raised the bar (yet again) with the First JBlogosphere Purim Podcast. Took about twice as much time as the year before...

So what's gonna happen this year? Well, this year I had almost no time whatsoever and I can barely keep my eyes open now. That doesn't mean we ignored the JBlogosphere, it means we're busy. Not too busy to do anything...check back next week, and we may have a cool purim post. No promises, but it could work out.

In any event, a Happy Purim to all.


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

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Different Perspective

Where is this from?

Scroll down for the answer.

Its a different a recent Belz Bar Miztva.

(hat-tip: אמונה)

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Mechina for Americans (and other English Speakers)


Way back when, it took me a few tries until I found the right Yeshiva for me (but I did). The selection available today to young people today just wasn't around back then.

What I did learn is that not everyone fits into the "misgeret" of the standard yeshiva or yeshiva program. I certainly didn't (and I wasn't a troublemaker - just doing my own thing).

In recent years the concept of the Mechina program has really taken off.

Mechina is essentially an “academy” where post-high school yeshiva guys can sit and learn for a year, while simultaneously preparing themselves to be officers and leaders in the IDF, particularly in special units.

Besides Torah studies, the year includes physical training, leadership training, advanced academic studies, army/outdoors skills, and more.

And it’s a fact, guys who graduate from these academies tend to go on to be officers in the army in special units.

A few years ago, some graduates of this system got together and created a yeshiva based on the Mechina model specifically for post-high school Americans (and other English speakers).

They called it the “
Leadership Yeshiva Acadamy” or LYA.

Located up North in Hispin (in fact, Torah studies are partially integrated with the Israelis in the Hispin Hesder Yeshiva), it is a one of a kind program.

Their goal is to help young men develop their Jewish leadership (and personal) potential.

Students are not expected to go join the army (though some do). Rather they are completing the program with the life skills to be leaders in their communities (wherever they end up choosing to live).

Unlike most yeshivas which only have a few trips or hikes over the year, a significant portion of the students time at LYA involves hiking, bike trips, learning about Israel by visiting on-site, navigation courses, a "gibush", a "masa alunkot", volunteering, and so on.

LYA offers college transferable credits for courses in Political Science and Israeli Archeology.

If you or your son loves Israel, wants to learn Torah, but also needs (or wants) a more active, physical, interactive environment, and wants to develop skills not normally associated with the standard sit-in-the–beis-medrash all day program, then
Leadership Yeshiva Academy should be on your short list.

They have a very comprehensive and interesting website (I like the talking rabbi) with a number of interesting videos.

LYA is accepting application right now - so
go apply right now.

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

Livni Redux

Cross posted on JoeSettler (of course)

There's nothing like idiotic comments from Tzipi Livni to provide good fodder for this blog.

The Original Livni Statement:
"Whoever claims that we must cease negotiations should be straight with themselves and explain how that would end terror."

The Obvious Intelligent Rejoinder:
"Whoever claims that we must continue negotiations should be straight with themselves and explain how that would end terror."

The Original Livni Statement:
"Only if we fight terror on the one hand, and conduct peace negotiations on the other, will we come to a final settlement"

The Real (and idiotic) Original Statement:
"We will fight terror as if there is no peace; and pursue peace as if there were no terror."

(Sounded stupid when he said it too).

The Original Livni Statement:
"Israel cannot allow terrorism to be used as an excuse to end negotiations, just like the Palestinians cannot use IDF operations in the Gaza Strip as an excuse to freeze the diplomatic process. "

"IDF operations to end terror attacks are morally equivalent to PA sponsored terrorism."

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

Monday, March 17, 2008

Water and oil - Jews and Arabs in Israel?

On this morning's drive into work, I heard IDF radio personality Razi Barkai interview a resident of the Jerusalem "Jabbel Mukabre" neighborhood about last night's attempt to dismantle the house of the terrorist who shot up the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva a week and half ago.

This person's house came under a barrage of rocks by angry right wing demonstrators,
upset at the Israeli government's refusal to implement its own decision of dismantling the house of the terrorist...and they wanted to carry out the law themselves.
Razi asked the person; "How far do you live from the terrorist's house?"

The person replied, "about 2 kilometers...but the real question you need to ask me is how did a young person who was about to get married, get into the situation where he did this thing"

Razi: "OK, why don't you tell me what were the motives behind the terrorist's attack?"

The person replied: "We are brothers and sisters of the Palestinian nation, and seeing day after day children in Gaza killed by the IDF, he did what he did. And then last night, this large group of settlers came and threw rocks at my house on their way to that person's house. How dare they."

Initial thoughts that came to mind:

1. The Arab interviewee justifies the action of the terrorist because of "seeing day after day [Arab] children killed by the IDF", yet gets all Judge Judy indignant when a crowd wants revenge for seeing yeshiva students killed by a resident of his neighborhood and they throw rocks at his home. Doesn't he see any comparison?

2. Arab kids throw rocks all the time, they are released by the justice system immediately (in the best case that they were even detained)

3. Why did the group throw rocks? They would have been far more effective if they just marched into the neighborhood and held signs: "We demand the eviction of terrorists and their supporters" That would have conveyed their message just as clearly.

Initial reports right after the terror attack at Merkaz HaRav (which I personally heard on IDF radio and Israel Radio channel 2) that the terrorist was a bus driver, employed by the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva. Within 24 hours this was denied by Merkaz HaRav. Some have commented to me that they think he did work there, but Merkaz HaRav didn't want to admit it, so they denied it.

And of the foremost Gedolim and poskim of our generation, R' Chaim Kanievsky formally announces that one should not hire Arabs...and definitely not in yeshivot....for it's a matter of life and death...and we are at war with them.

No distinction was made between Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab (the terrorist who attacked Merkaz HaRav was an Israeli Arab).

Rafi G. asks the same question that I thought of; why is it suddenly forbidden to hire Arabs, yet the Ultra Orthodox world has no problem buying Shmitta produce from Israeli Arabs...and even Palestinian Arabs in Gaza! We have been saying for years that its a matter of life and death, and yet everyone turned a blind eye to the inherent danger of buying produce from Gaza Arabs?

I wonder if the Police will now target R' Chaim Kanievsky -- people who printed t-shirts advocating only Jewish Labor were arrested, tried, and found guilty of "incitement" a few years back.

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

Sderot T-Shirt

I saw this t-shirt on a boy from the hesder/high school in Sderot.

It has the Kassams falling around the school. The shirt says, "Torah Protects and Saves".

They of course spelled it wrong (on purpose I presume).

Reader Yitz correctly points out that this is a quote in Aramaic from a Gemorah, and not Hebrew as I originally read it.

Don't forgot, for quality blog posts (updated regularly) visit JoeSettler.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Serious Enquiries Only, Please"


I seriously want to know how much they are asking for this house in Ein Karem.

You can live in Israel - without giving up on style.

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

Haveil Havalim- The Almost Purim Edition Is Live!

Haveil Havalim- The Almost Purim Edition is live. Come check it out here!

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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moshe Feiglin Responds

25 Adar I, 5768
March 3, ‘08

To the British Government
Home Office
Border and Immigration Agency

Two months ago, I received a letter from your office in which you stated that I am not welcome in your country. As I was under the impression that the letter was a practical joke, I attempted to clarify its authenticity before I replied. Now that I have ascertained that the letter is indeed authentic, I wish to make a few points:

1. I did not request entry into Britain and I have no immediate plans to do so.

2. It would be proper to investigate the reasons for this strange initiative against a political figure in Israel. This initiative constitutes yet another example of European interference in Israel’s internal affairs.

3. Being that infamous terrorists such as Ibrahim Moussaui of the Hizbollah are actually most welcome in Britain, while I -- who have never harmed anyone - am not, I understand that your policy is to encourage and support terror.

4. As is clarified in your letter, the basis for your decision is material that I had written years ago citing the necessity to fight Arab terrorists and my analysis of the culture from which terror grows. Among other facts, you quote my article in which I wrote that "The Arab is not the son of the desert, but rather, its father."

For your information, that quote was taken directly from the book "The Desert Yesterday and Today" written by none other than British High Commissioner of Sinai, Sir Claude Jarvis in 1938.

5. Considering the moral depths to which your nation has sunk, I find your letter most complimentary. It is a great honor for me to join the illustrious list of former prime ministers of Israel, Menachem Begin and Yitzchak Shamir, who also received similar letters from your offices.


Moshe Feiglin

For More Quality Posts Read JoeSettler

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

Extremist Rabbis Against Archeology

Who are these radical extremist rabbis, willing to physically stop archaeologists?
No, it's not Ultra Orthodox Rabbis.
Not Satmar, not Neturay Karta worrying about possible Jewish graves.
Its...Rabbis for Human Rights!
After clashing yesterday with excavation crews outside the Old City, Arik Asherman from "Rabbis for Human Rights" was requested by the police to join them at the police station and sign that he would stay away from the excavations.
When he refused, he was arrested. The Jerusalem Post touched on these excavations a few days ago in, "Digging Too Deep?" and how Palestinians and Israeli leftists are worried about archaeological excavations by "Elad" -- The City of David reclamation project. Starting with Yasser Arafat's statement that there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and continuing with the ongoing destruction of remains from the Jewish Temple by Palestinians on the Temple Mount, Palestinians are scared that Elad's finds will strengthen historical Jewish ties to the city.
And what better way to help the Palestinians in all their causes then to enlist the ranks of more useful idiots, the "Rabbis for Humans Rights"?
Turning every Jewish resident of Jerusalem into a "settler", "The Times" from England say the following:

Jewish settler groups are digging an extensive tunnel network under Muslim areas of Jerusalem's Old City while building a ring of settlements around it to bolster their claim to the disputed city in any future peace deal, anti-settlement campaigners have told The Times.

One group, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, said that settler tunnels could one day extend under the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest site, and claimed that extremists could use the access route to attack the structure in an attempt to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. Settler groups flatly deny such allegations.

[money quote from Useful Idiot, Meir Margalit, field co-ordinator for the anti-demolitions committee]

Our main concern is that as the extreme Right feel existentially threatened as to any real potential for withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories, they may try to prevent it by committing a cataclysmic act that would change the course of history,” he said, citing the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister, by an Israeli extremist because of his commitment to the Oslo peace deal.

What he meant to say was, "Our main concern is that as the Palestinians feel existentially threatened whenever archaeological Jewish History is uncovered in Jerusalem, they will try to prevent it by committing acts of terror."
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


-- Advertisement --

TODAY ONLY (Sunday March 16).

Atid's WebYeshiva is offering a series of free (and interesting) video shiurim on Purim.

The Series will run all day long this Sunday, March 16.

For information on logging in to participate (for free)
click here.

Here are some of the speakers and subjects:

Mrs Ilana Saks: Between Lines and Behind Masks - Reading and Understanding Megillat Esther

Mrs Nomi Berman: These Days Should Be Remembered

Rav Morris: How the Jews Beat Haman - Understanding the Particular Power of the Jewish People

Rav Light: Where is the Kedusha in Megillat Esther?

Mrs Geula Twersky: Purim - A Holiday in Disguise

Rav Brovender: Matanot L'Evyonim - It's Better to Give than to Receive, but is it Tzedaka?

Rav Twersky: Secrets for Life - From the Pages of the Megillah

Rav Zuriel: Why don't we Recite Hallel on Purim?

Rabbi Geller: Secrets to the Midrash Encoding within the Megilla Text

Rav Weinstein: The Drinking Life According to Halacha and Midrash: A Look at the Many Faces of Ad d'lo Yada
(I wonder if Rabbi Geller, Rabbi Uri Geller? - JS)

For exact times go to the website.

And as always, WebYeshiva offers their
free two week trial for their full Yeshiva program.

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Useful Idiots Walk Among Us

During the Cold War, the USSR's leadership used the term "useful idiot" to describe Soviet sympathizers in western countries and the alleged attitude of the Soviet government towards them. The implication was that the person in question was naïve, foolish, or in willful denial, and was being cynically used by the Soviet Union, or another Communist state. (wikipedia)

With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the useful idiots needed another cause, and quickly found it. Unfortunately, these useful idiots walk among us daily.

Today's example is that of Jewish Israeli, Tali Fahima. Here's some background info:
Tali Fahima (Hebrew: טלי פחימה‎; born 1976) is an Israeli woman of Algerian Jewish family background, who was tried and convicted for her contacts with Zakaria Zubeidi, Jenin terrorist chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah)

Until 2003 she was a Likud supporter; she then read an interview in which Zubeidi described his transformation from peace activist to wanted terrorist; intrigued, she found Zubeidi's phone number, and spoke with him several times. When she learned that Zubeidi was at the top of Israel's list of intended assassinations, she decided to travel to Jenin and live in his home as a human shield. [1], [2] She became involved in the Palestinian children's project in Jenin which featured in the film Arna's Children, along with Zubeidi before his imprisonment. She does not deny that she later met Zubeidi in Jenin a number of times, but she denies any involvement in armed activities. In March 2004 she stated that she was prepared to act as a human shield to protect Zubeidi. Both she and Zubeidi deny the allegation that they had a romantic relationship.

On 23 December 2005 she pleaded guilty to some less serious charges in a plea bargain which would have led to her early release. However, on 13 September 2006, the Parole Board ruled that she would not be released early, since she "acted in an insolent and rude manner toward prison guards."[3]
So how does she walk among us? She personally paid a visit on Tuesday to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber -- visiting the mourning tent erected for the terrorist who killed eight students in Thursday's shooting attack at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva.

Her justification:
"I was with the family, and I have no doubt that the Israeli security forces are mainly just exacerbating [the situation] and causing civilians to be killed, like the yeshiva students, because of the years-long policy of occupation," Fahima told Israel Radio." (JPOST)

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

Reflections from a bus

Received today via my wife from a yishuv community email list and
The following is an email I recently received:

Every morning I take the 35 bus line to work. It's a quick ride and usually takes no more than 12 minutes. The third stop after I get on by the shuk is directly in front of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. This morning I found myself a bit anxious, unsure of what I was going to see as we passed by. As I looked around, I saw death notices pasted all over the street and flowers that had been brought lined the entrance to the Yeshiva. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the driver shut off the engine and stood. With tears in his eyes he told everyone sitting on the bus that one of the boys killed on Thursday night was his nephew. He asked if everyone on the bus would mind if he spoke for a few minutes in memory of his nephew and the other boys that were killed. After seeing head nods all over the bus he began to speak. With a clear and proud voice, he spoke beautifully about his nephew and said that he was a person who was constantly on the lookout for how to help out anyone in need. He was always searching for a way to make things better. He loved learning, and had a passion for working out the intricacies of the Gemara. He was excited to join the army in a few years, and wanted to eventually work in informal education. As he continued to speak, I noticed that the elderly woman sitting next to me was crying. I looked into my bag, reached for a tissue and passed it to her. She looked at me and told me that she too had lost someone she knew in the attack. Her neighbors child was another one of the boys killed. As she held my hand tightly, she stood up and asked if she too could say a few words in memory of her neighbor. She spoke of a young man filled with a zest for life. Every friday he would visit her with a few flowers for shabbat and a short dvar torah that he had learned that week in Yeshiva. This past shabbat, she had no flowers.

When I got to work, one of my colleagues who lives in Efrat told me that her son was friends with 2 of the boys who had been killed. One of those boys was the stepson of a man who used to teach in Brovenders and comes to my shul in Riverdale every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to be a chazan for one of the minyanim.

We are all affected by what goes on in Israel. Whether you know someone who was killed or know someone who knows someone or even if you don't know anyone at all, you are affected. The 8 boys who were killed will continue to impact us all individually and as a nation. Each one of us has the ability to make a profound impact on our world. This coming wednesday morning, I will be at Ben Gurion airport at 7 am with Nefesh B'Nefesh welcoming 40 new olim to Israel. We will not deter. We can not give up. We will continue to live our lives and hope and work for change, understanding and peace.

Sharon Millendorf

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crossing the Chasm with Ahavat Chinam

From Vos Iz Neias:  Satmar Rabbi: Yeshiva Massacre, Sad Era For Klal Yisroel.
Monsey , NY - This past weekend the Anti Zionist Satmar Rabbi, Rabbi Aaron Titelbaum of Kiryas Joel, NY, visited with his chasididim in Monsey NY, to raise money for new Satmar facility's in Monsey.

In his speech, he took a few moments to recognize, and to speak about the shooting attack on the Merkaz H'Rav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, with a sad voice the Rabbi said, "the shooting is like the burning of the Beth Hamikdosh, he continued to say "although its a modern yeshiva [most likely he meant a pro Zionist philosophy] its a very sad era for klal yisreol, that in middle of torah learning an evil 'Rotzech' can walk in, and spray shoot torah learning Bochrim" the Rabbi said. and he raised his voice with sadness "Tzion Bemar Tivkah, Velirushilayim Titen Kolah" "ציון במר תבכה וירושלים תתן קולה"

The Rabbi extended a heartfelt condolences to the family who lost their loved ones, and wished for a speedy recovery for the many who still remain injured.

From Yeshiva World: Belzer Rebbe Shlita Visits Bochrim Injured In Merkaz Massacre
March 9, 2008 The Belzer Rebbe Shlita visited Shaarei Tzedek Hospital on Sunday, to visit the Bochrim who remain hospitalized from gunshot wounds. The Rebbe arrived with with son and first stopped in at the Intensive Care Unit - where one boy remains in grave condition. The Rebbe sat next to the bed, and spoke with the boys father - giving him much needed Chizuk in these devastating times.

The Rebbe then went to another boy - who is B”H recovering from his wounds - and sat with him for a while. The Bochur related the entire incident was had transpired on that dreadful Thursday night which none of us will ever forget. The Rebbe then too gave the boy words of Chizuk to help him pull through.

These are the only two Bochrim which are still in Shaarei Tzedek Hospital - as some others were Boruch Hashem discharged this morning.

It is interesting to note, that upon hearing of the horrifying attack, the Rebbe stopped taking any visitors, and locked himself in his room to Daven and say Tehillim. Thousands of Belzer Chassidim had been visiting Yerushalayim last week for the Bar Mitzvah of the oldest Einikel of the Rebbe - but did not allow anyone to come in. The Rebbe then attended the Levaya on Friday along with a large group of Belzer Chassidim.

Additionally, YWN has learned that there will be a Hesped in Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav at the end of the week, and the Rebbe is scheduled to attend.
Faith Through Tears:  ( Rabbi Yerachmiel Weiss, who lost six students in the Merkaz HaRav massacre, was interviewed by usually hard-hitting TV personality Ilana Dayan - and turned the show into an experience in faith amidst crisis.
Rabbi Weiss is the head of the Yeshiva High School of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. Five of the eight students murdered on Thursday night by an Arab terrorist from Jerusalem studied there, and one is a recent graduate.

Answering probing questions about his relationship with G-d when facing untimely death head-on, Rabbi Weiss spoke, with a voice alternating between choked sorrow and firm confidence, about his students, himself, and G-d.

A written account of such an intense discussion, as the one below, necessarily loses most of its sheer power. The interview can be viewed (in Hebrew) in full by clicking here.

Read the whole transcript in English, here.
Hat-tip to Amshi.  Lurker insisted I post this.

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

A Haveil Havalim Reminder

This is just your friendly reminder that I (Jack) am hosting the next edition of Haveil Havalim at my blog.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Haveil Havalim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Letter to the UK Home Office


Dear Sirs,

I recently became aware of your decision to ban Moshe Feiglin from entering the UK.

I was personally offended to learn, that among the various distinguished gentlemen that your country has banned from entering the UK (such as Menachem Begin and various IDF generals, and not Hezbollah terrorists), that I am not on that same list!

I hereby request and demand that I immediately be added to your banned list.

With all due disrespect,


The Power of Land

Last week right after the terror attack in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in Jerusalem, MK Aryeh Eldad suggested that the home of the terrorist be demolished, the family deported to Gaza (after all, the family hung up Hamas flags), and a yeshiva built on the ruins of the terrorist's home. I am positive that such a yeshiva would have been overwhelmed with people wanting to learn there.

Rav Yoel Bin Nun has a similar idea in his opinion article on YNET.
Eight princes fell, in the name of God, in the war on our existence as a sovereign people in the Land of Israel. Dear parents and bereaved families – hold your head up with pain and tears. This was not a massacre, bur rather, a war; a very long war for our existence as a sovereign people.

The evil members of Hamas who are corrupting the land and taking God’s name in vain are not fighting against us as people or as capitulating religious communities that wish to continue the Diaspora here. They are fighting against our sovereignty, which they refer to as the “Zionist regime.”

Shifting the arena of blood and war into the library of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, named after Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, is incredibly symbolic – it is a blow to the banner of national Jewish sovereignty. This blow joins the waves of frustration with the State and the IDF that we see both in the religious and general public on all directions, as well as the effect of the accumulated weakness among our leadership.

However, the enemy is miscalculating. The despaired amongst us do not truly represent the spirit of the people or its internal strength. What is reflected through the Israeli media is no more than artificial panic waves. Eventually, our enemies will force us to rise up like a lion and defeat them, and release the name of God from their impure mouth and murderous hand.

The more Israel withdraws and weakens in the eyes of the enemy, the slimmer the chances of peace become. The Israeli Left has been occupied with intensively weakening the State of Israel, because in its view an Israel that is too strong will not be making any concessions, and without concessions there would be no peace. However, in the Middle East things work the other way around.

What’s worse is the moral distortion – the gravest crime is murder, not occupation. When we controlled Jabaliya we did not kill there, neither “terrorists” no terrorists dressed as civilians or women and children (today they are being killed accidentally, of course!)

When we ruled Gaza, they lacked national rights, but they had work and could make a living, and not by producing Qassams. In Gush Katif too, thousands of Palestinians were making a living through honest work, until some of them started to murder their employers. When we ruled Gaza, no innocent civilians were killed, neither in Sderot nor in Jabaliya.

The Left corrupted its own banner, both the chance for peace and morality. The moral distortion started with the legitimization, the “willingness to understand” murderous terror against the “occupation,” and continued with the claims that “controlling another people” is a grave matter that creates all other injustices, and finally, the cynicism that led us to declare that “if they hurt us after the withdrawal, we’ll hit them without holding back.” All of this has increased the bloodshed.

Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook did not educate his students to be zealous or vengeful. He always said we had no war with “Ahmad and Mustafa,” but rather, with an enemy that seeks to destroy our independence and send us back to the Diaspora. He believed and insisted that our control over the entire Land if Israel is the most moral choice under the current conditions and will ultimately bring peace.

Therefore, the proper revenge for the murder at the yeshiva is under no circumstances more bloodshed. This would only serve the evil members of Hamas, who are drenched in blood. The proper revenge is through land, the land of Israel. This is the only thing they understand.

We should take over the open areas in the Gaza Strip and stay there at least until Hamas and Islamic Jihad recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish State and lay down their weapons.

We should also recognize West Bank outposts as official communities, even if in some cases we would have to establish them on another hill or close to their current locations.

Should the prime minister and defense minister continue to think in terms of military retaliation and revenge, they will not be resolving the problem of Sderot and Negev communities, they will not be advancing peace, they will not bring quiet, and they will be unable to defend every corner where Jews live, build, create, and study the Torah.

If the IDF is ordered into Gaza, don’t take it out. Hamas perceives the exit as weakness and celebrates it. They don’t care how many of their own are killed. They care about the land and they should be paying by losing their land as a result of the Sderot attacks and yeshiva murder.

If we want to have a chance for peace and morality, we must return to our Land of Israel, in line with the belief and path outlined by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, who headed the Mercaz Harav yeshiva for a whole generation. This is the banner of honesty and peace based on his way.
Nothing hurts our enemy more, than holding on to Eretz Yisrael.  Nothing is more Jewish than building up the land of Eretz Yisrael.

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

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