Friday, October 31, 2008

The Federman Farm - Interview

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Tzaddik from Sodom

Israeli Police succeeded today in arresting the Kirya Arba resident who used extremely insensitive and caustic language at the Border Policemen who destroyed the Federmen's home this past Saturday night. 

The police have not arrested (nor even investigated) any of those from the Akko mob who screamed "Itbach Al Yahud" (Slaughter the Jews) this past Yom Kippur time.

Amidst all this, the single "tzaddik from sodom" (righteous person from sodom) is Yariv Mohar -- a social activist who engages in PR activity for organizations committed to social change and human rights.

This lone human-right activist's voice was heard on YNET today, in a scathing critique of the Israeli police's terror tactics in evicting the Federmans and destroying their home in Kiryat Arba. 
Israeli human rights groups must condemn the manner in which Border Guard forces evacuated the Federman Farm in Hebron. According to reports, the evacuators arrived at the family home late at night and raided it while breaking windows, as children slept inside. The family says that after it was forcefully evacuated, its belongings were buried under the ruins of the home. We need to examine whether this aggressive modus operandi undermines human rights principles.

Particularly, it would be appropriate to check whether it was possible to carry out the evacuation in a manner that does not traumatize children. In this respect, the evacuation seems to contradict the spirit of the children’s rights convention signed by Israel in 1990.

In addition, we need to examine whether the situation was handled using civilian standards, rather than military standards, in order to safeguard the right of due process and promote the application of civilian rather than military law in the territories.
He hits the nail on the head by lambasting the leftist organizations that routinely ignore any and all human right's abuses against Jewish Israelies, living in the settlements.
We must not ignore the cliché about human rights groups defending only Arabs and leftists. This cliché must be disproven by emphasizing the types of actions and positions adopted by those groups whenever anyone’s rights are being violated. We must make clear that human rights are universal and cannot be taken away from a person because of his views or actions, regardless of how despicable and terrible those are.

Violence and the violation of rights on the part of law enforcers is not part of the democratic package.

The big test of human rights groups in Israel is their ability to systematically and principally protect the human rights of those shunned by the masses, even when dealing with those shunned by the leftist masses. Those familiar with Israeli movements know that this principle is applied in most cases. However, it needs to be prominently highlighted by those groups.
Unfortunately, he is a lone voice, and a rather naive one as well. There is so much settler-hatred among the leftist and anarchist groups that demonstrate on behalf of Palestinians, that human rights for settlers is simply not on their agenda.
Such campaign could shed new light on human rights groups among the Israeli media and public; it would connect the importance of defending human rights with a sense of potential danger threatening any Israeli citizen and resident, thereby creating growing consensus.
Yes, it could create a consensus. Unfortunately, the month of November in Israel is the last time anyone on the left is looking for consensus or reconciliation.

hat-tip: Walid's Scrabble friend from Elazar.

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is Sarah Palin Jewish?

Rumors are flying high on the internet that Sarah Palin is Jewish.

While she looks like a nice frum girl in this picture (except for the seatbelt), the rumors are probably quite false.

Sarah Palin: MoT? Unlikely.

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aggadic Appreciation

"If Rabbi Akiva knew about the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement, he would be turning in his grave"

I heard this statement dozens of time when I attending a Right Wing Orthodox Jr. high school yeshiva in the NY area.

As a parent, I may not be thrilled that my kids spend hours out of the house during Bnei Akiva's "chodesh irgun", but the following competition is simply heart warming.

YNET and Bnei Akiva teamed up to host the "Aggadic Appreciation Competition" and asked 6 "people of the arts" to state their favorite "Aggada" -- and people can vote for their favorite one.
The 6 people aren't all religious, but are all Jews living in Israel with an appreciation for their heritage. What more of a wonderful Jewish embodiment of the Israel experience can be expressed than a spectrum of notables chosing their favorite aggadic story?

The competition includes the following:

Chaim Be'er: "When Moshe met Rabbi Akiva" (תלמוד בבלי, מסכת מנחות, דף כ"ט עמוד ב)

The Talmud in Menachot states: "Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: When Moshe Rabeinu ascended to Heaven, he found the Holy One, Blessed be He, tying crowns onto the letters of the Torah. He said to God: ‘Creator of the Universe, who prevented You?’ [The Maharsha explains that Moshe received the entire Torah on Mt. Sinai - including everything that a skilled student would eventually clarify. All of a sudden, Moshe sees "crowns" on the letters, representing another layer of Torah truth, its greatest secrets. So he asks Hashem: ‘Who prevented You [from revealing these secrets to man in the basic text of the Torah that You have to add on information through the addition of such crowns - (Rashi)? What's more, You wrote the Torah in order to reveal it to man. These secrets are beyond man’s comprehension and therefore seem superfluous".]"God answered: 'There will be a person several generations from now and Akiva the son of Yosef is his name. He will extrapolate innumerable halachot from each of the crowns.' Moshe responded: 'Master of the Universe, let me see him!' God: 'Take a step back.' (This is a difficult statement. Moshe Rabeinu is speaking to God face to face and yet when he is about to meet Rabbi Akiva, he is told to "move back") Moshe thereupon went and sat at the back of the eighth row - and when he listened to Rabbi Akiva’s class, he did not understand the content of what was being discussed. He became exasperated. At one point during the class, however, a student asked Rabbi Akiva: 'What is the source for that law?' To which the teacher responded: 'It’s a halacha transmitted from Moshe on Mt. Sinai.' Moshe was relieved." (link)

Shahara Blau: "Two Sisters and the 'Bitter' Waters" (מדרש רבה ט', ה')
[missing this in English...anyone have a link to it?]
Sivan Rahat Meir "The Legacy of R' Yochana Ben Zakai" (תלמוד בבלי, מסכת ברכות, דף כ"ח, עמוד ב)

When Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai became sick, his students came to visit him. When he saw them enter, he began to cry. "Rebbi, the light of Yisroel, the right pillar, the strong hammer," said his students, "why do you cry?" Answered Rebbi Yochanan, " If I would have to appear in front of an
ordinary King who rules only temporarily and whose anger is not lasting and whose death penalty is only of short duration, wouldn't I be terrified? Now that I must come before the King of Kings, Whose rule is eternal and Whose anger is eternal and Whose punishment of death remains everlasting, should I not be frightened?"" Furthermore," he said "there are two paths in front of me, one leads to Gan Eden while the other leads to Gehenom, and one can never be sure on which path he will be led, shouldn't I therefore cry?" Thereupon they said to him "Rebbi, please bless us". He thereupon told them "If only your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". "And not more?" they asked. "When a person sins he is always afraid lest a person see him," was his reply. "If only you realize that HaShem is always watching." (

Miron Issacson, "The Guest of R' Yanai" (ויקרא רבה, פרשה ט', ג)

"Rabbi Yanai was once walking along a road and he saw a richly dressed man. He took him into his house and gave him food and drink. He tested the guest in verses of the Tanach but he didn't know, he tested him in Agada but he didn't know, and he tested him in Talmud but he didn't know. He said to him, wash your hands and make the blessing, and he replied, let Yanai make the blessing in his own house (that is, he didn't know to recite the blessing). So Rabbi Yanai declared: A dog has eaten Yanai's bread ... But he said to Rabbi Yanai: it has never happened that I heard something bad and that I replied by gossiping about the person, and I never saw two enemies fighting without being able to bring peace between them. So Rabbi Yanai said: You have such good customs, how could I have called you a dog? Rabbi Yishmael bar Rabbi Nachman said, Derech Eretz preceded the Torah by twenty-six generations, as is written, 'To guard the route to the Tree of Life' [Bereishit 3:24] - the route is derech eretz, natural habits, and only after this does it mention the tree of life, which is Torah." [Vayikra Rabba 9:3]. (link)

Ruchama Weiss, "Achnai's Oven" (תלמוד בבלי, מסכת בבא מציעא דף נ"ט)

"Achnai's oven" deals with the severe controversy that erupted among the sages regarding the impure clay oven that broke and was put together again with sand.The Gemara tells us that Rabbi Eliezer declared the oven to be pure and the sages declared it impure. Rabbi Eliezer, who held a minority opinion, called forth many signs from heaven to prove his point. A carob tree was pulled out of its place. An aqueduct changed its course. The walls of the Beit Midrash tilted as though they would fall, and even a celestial voice was heard to justify his stand. However, the majority opinion prevailed over the minority, even though G-d was on Rabbi Eliezer's side. (link)

R' Chaim Sabato, "Shmirat HaLashon [watching one's tongue]", (תלמוד בבלי מסכת תענית דף כ, עמוד א)

The Gemora cites an incident with Rabbi Elozar illustrating this theme. R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon rode his donkey along the riverbanks, traveling from his yeshiva to Migdal G'dor, his hometown. He was extremely happy, and self-assured having learned so much Torah. Suddenly, he met an exceptionally ugly man.

"Shalom alecha, Rebbi," the man greeted R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon. R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon however, instead of greeting him in return, scolded him.

"You -- good for nothing -- how ugly you are! Are all the people in your town as ugly as you?"

"I don't know," answered the man, "but maybe you'd like to tell the Craftsmen who made me, how ugly His work is!

R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon immediately realized that he had made a bad mistake. He got down from his donkey, and bowed down before the man.

"Please, forgive me," he begged.

"First," answered the man, "tell the Craftsmen who made me, how ugly His work is. Then I will forgive you!"

The man walked off, with R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon tailing humbly after him. They came to Migdal G'dor, R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon's hometown. There, many people came out to greet the great
scholar. "Shalom alecha, Rebbi, Rebbi, Mori, Mori," they called.

"Whom are you calling Rebbi, Rebbi," the ugly man asked them.

"The person who walks behind you," they answered.

"If this is a rabbi," he exclaimed, "may there not be too many of them in Yisrael."

"Why do you say this?" they asked.

"Do you know how he treats people?" he answered, and told them the story.

"Even so, forgive him, for he is a Torah giant," the people requested.

"For the sake of this town I will forgive him," the man responded, "as long as he promises never to act like this again."

R' Elozar b'Rebbi Shimon then entered the shul and the people assembled there. "A person needs always to be as flexible as a reed," he taught them, "and not hard like a cedar." This, says the Gemora, is the reason, the common reed is used as a quill to write the Torah, tefillin, and mezuzos (link)

What's your favorite Aggada?
Chodesh Tov,

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

The Center of Democracy in Israel

What an exciting evening it was.

I headed over to the OU Center to exercise my right to (absentee) vote and found myself surrounded by hundreds and eventually (probably) thousands of other Americans doing the same.

American expats were just streaming in and out of the building all night long.

Exit polls should be released on Thursday.

That was some shindig that VotefromIsrael put together.

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

A Torah Falls in Modi'in

During the Simchat Torah dancing last Tuesday at the Zachor Avraham shul in Modi'in, a 12 year old boy stumbled and fell when a Sefer Torah was passed to him. The Torah slipped from his grasp and fell to the floor, causing the congregation to pose a question to Modi'in town rabbi, R' David Lau..."what do we do now?"

R' Lau stated that since the child who dropped the Torah was over the age of 10, this was not intentional, but and accident, and this is a "call for the community to gather and strengthen the holiness of the shul and Torah."

"It is a sign from heaven that the community should examine their actions, because they have surely sinned...and they should improve their actions."

Additionally, R' Lau stated that the men in the shul should fast this coming Thursday, to recite slichot prayers in shul, gather to learn, and accept upon themselves to try not to speak [idle conversation] during prayer and Torah reading."

"It saddens me that this occurred [to the child] of such a serious and responsible family, and it is a difficult feeling to dismiss. Despite this not being the child's fault, Jewish law specifically mandates that the community fast" (source in Hebrew, and accompanying letter from R' Lau, courtesy of Rafi G.)
Not that my community is any better than Modi'in, or that we talk in shul less than they do, but a few years ago, we were saved from a similar mishap -- the amazing Simchat Torah Save of the Day.

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

Vote From Israel – the event!

Here's todays Voting event:

For you residents near Jerusalem you can submit your absentee ballot and vote:

When: Tuesday, October 28.
5:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m.

Location: The OU Center
22 Keren HaYesod, Jerusalem

If you have questions, just call at: 052.569.7236

You will be able to drop off your official ballot, or for those who have not received their official ballot in the mail there will be Federal Write-in Ballots available at the event.

Now go and vote.

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

Monday, October 27, 2008

Muqata and NYT on Kever Yosef

Over Sukkot, while visiting the Samaritan community on Har Greizim, we took a slight detour to "Mitzpeh Yosef" -- the lookout over Kever Yosef/Joseph's Tomb in Shechem.

View from Above -- Har Kabir on the left, Elon Moreh on the right,
with Shechem down below.

The view of Kever the bottom left.

Zooming in now...building in the center left.

Zooming in even more.

This past weekend, the NY Times rather accurately portrayed the state of affairs of the difficulties for Jews to pray at the site.

Crammed into a dozen buses and escorted by the Israeli military, the Jewish pilgrims slid quietly along deserted streets throughout the early hours of a recent morning while the residents of this Palestinian city, a militant stronghold ruled until recently by armed gangs, slept in their beds.

The destination was the holy place known as Joseph’s Tomb, a tiny half-derelict stone compound in the heart of a residential district that many Jews believe is the final burial place of the son of Jacob, the biblical patriarch.

The first group arrived around midnight. Rushing through the darkness into the tomb, they crowded around the rough mound of the grave and started reciting Psalms by the glow of their cellphones, not waiting for the portable generator to power up a crude fluorescent light.

They were praying to be infused with some of the righteousness of Joseph, as well as to be able to return. A gaping hole in the domed, charred roof of the tomb left it partly open to the sky, a reminder of the turmoil of the recent past.

Read it all here.

It brought back memories of my last trip to Kever Yosef, this past Chanuka.

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

Maligning Hevron's Jews -- Calling them Dogs

JPost: Setters Return to "Federman Farm"
"Setter" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Setter is a type of gundog used most often for hunting game such as quail, pheasant, and grouse. A setter silently searches for game by scent. When prey is encountered the dog's behavior defies nature, and the dog freezes rather than chases after the game. Setters get their name from their distinctive stance; a sort of crouch or "set" upon finding their quarry. Most setters are born with a natural proclivity to hunting. Dogs which show excitement and interest in birds are described as being "birdy", and trainers look for puppies that show this particular trait. Training is usually done with domesticated pigeons. The ancestors of modern setters probably originated in Spain in the 1500s and evolved from spaniels. Later these dogs were exported to France and England where the breeds were developed into today's varieties. Most setter breeds have long smooth, silky coats that require maintenance. Setters have a tendency to be happy, playful dogs and are usually very friendly both to people and other dogs. They have a great deal of energy and require daily exercise. Setters include the following breeds: English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter (also called a red setter), Irish Red and White Setter, Black Welsh Setter, Russian Setter.
But Seriously.

Forget the stupid typo in the JPost: What was Federman Farm destruction all about?

Elisheva Federman described the ordeal on Saturday night to YNET:

"It was a regular Saturday evening. We were cleaning after Shabbat. Our nine children went to sleep. I finished working on a paper for school, Noam was on the computer, when we suddenly heard dogs barking.

"We received a phone call that massive forces were headed towards us. Noam went out to see what was happening, and then Yasamniks ((Israel Police special patrol unit) jumped on him. I haven't seen him since.

"I saw herds of black uniform. I locked the door, but they broke into the house, smashed the windows, and all this without any warning. The children woke up and came to my room.

"Three of the children – aged six, eight and 12 – asked me what to do. I told them to go to Givat Haharsina, knock on good people's doors and ask them to take them to their grandfather and grandmother in Kiryat Arba.

"They pulled out the entire contents of the house. Everything that was in the cupboards – books, clothes, money. They forcibly removed us from the house and took us to the Gush Etzion Junction. They said we were all under arrest. Me and six other children – aged one, three, nine, 14, 16 and 17.

"They destroyed the entire house and cut off its gas supply. Several hours later, they told us we were not under arrest and let me go back to the house to take the car. I saw the complete destruction in the place and they told me, 'Take what you want.'

"Eighteen years of marriage are folded under the wreckage. I didn’t even have Materna to take for the baby. The oldest daughter was taken to the police station and was arrested after her hand was broken."

The Federman family has been living in the place for two and a half years. According to the residents, the far had been manned for 11 years. Elisheva Federman said there was no legal motive for the evacuation.

"We have had right of possession on this land for 10 years. No Arab has demanded it. We launched legal proceedings and paid a lot of money. How can they do this without any warning? I hope God gives us the strength to return. We have no property now. We can build a tent there. We have nothing to lose," she said.

Photos of the destruction of the Federman's home. They were not allowed to save anything from the home till after it was destroyed. They were only shown the destruction and eviction orders after the home was destroyed.

This comes at the same time that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has just authorized 600 armed Fatah "policemen" to enter Hevron. These policemen were trained under the supervision of the United States.

It boggles the mind that the US has anything to do with Palestinian Policemen training, considering that the Palestinians attribitue the large number of Israelis killed and wounded in the current Intifada -- to the credit of their American training.
"I do not think that the operations of the Palestinian resistance would have been so successful and would have killed more than one thousand Israelis since 2000 and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without these [American] trainings," a senior officer of President Abbas's Force 17 Presidential Guard unit, Abu Yousuf, said.

America has longstanding training programs at a base in the West Bank city of Jericho for members of Force 17, which serves as de facto police units in the West Bank, and for another major Fatah security force, the Preventative Security Services.

This weekend diplomatic security officials announced that the State Department will begin training Force 17 again this year in an effort to bolster Mr. Abbas against Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in June when the terror group easily defeated American-backed Fatah forces in the territory. [NY SUN]

In addition to Fatah policemen's recent spate of terrorist activities, Tanazim "operatives" were responsible for the murder of Hevron's 10 month old Shalhevet Pass.

Warning: If you have the stomach, see the story and photo here. Its important to see, but I advise against children viewing it.

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Haveil Havalim #188

Friends you can find it over here.

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

Today's News.

No, not the upcoming Israeli elections...

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

Today - only in Tel Aviv

OK all you Americans in Tel Aviv (and reading this blog)...

Today only, is offering you one beer at half price with every absentee ballot you vote. (Limit 1 vote per US citizen.)

Tel Aviv
For you residents near Tel Aviv you can submit your absentee ballot and vote:

When: Sunday, October 26.
6:00 p.m. till midnight

Location: The Dancing Camel
HaTaasiya #12, Tel Aviv - Corner of HaMasger near the Central Bus Station

So go out and vote.

(And I hope you vote for the same person I plan to vote for.)

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

Friday, October 24, 2008

CNN's memory hole

A guest post by Lurker:

What does CNN do when they get caught lying?

They try to erase the evidence that they lied; that's what.

A couple of days ago, CNN's Drew Griffin interviewed Sarah Palin. During that interview, Griffin tried to humiliate Palin by citing an article from the conservative National Review that supposedly trashed her viciously. The only problem was that the article in reality did no such thing -- in fact, it did the exact opposite. The article, by conservative journalist Byron York, actually praised and commended Palin. Here is the relevant context:
Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it’s sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above. Palin, the governor of Alaska, has faced more criticism than any vice-presidential candidate since 1988, when Democrats and the press tore into Dan Quayle. In fact, Palin may have it even worse than Quayle, since she’s taking flak not only from Democrats and the press but from some conservative opinion leaders as well...
Yes, there are legitimate concerns about Palin’s lack of experience. Who wouldn’t, at the very least, wish that she had more time in the governor’s office on her résumé? But a look at Palin’s 20 months in power, along with interviews with people who worked with her, shows her to be a serious executive, a governor who picked important things to do and got them done — and who didn’t just stumble into an 80 percent job-approval rating.

And here is how CNN's Drew Griffin cited the article in his interview with Palin:

Governor, you've been mocked in the press. The press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.

Palin probably hadn't read the article, but she clearly was suspicious. "Who wrote that one?" she shot back with a smile. "Who wrote it? I'd like to talk to that person." Griffin, unprepared to have the tables turned on him, sputtered back, "That - that was in the National Review, I don't, have the author". Then he changed the subject.

The big problem, of course, wasn't that Griffin didn't "have the author", but that he had completely inverted the message of the article so as to present it disingenuously as an attack on Palin, instead of a support piece.

Or, to be a bit more accurate, the problem (for Griffin and CNN, at least) was that he got caught doing that. Because within hours, the right-wing blogs were all talking about it.

So back to our question: Now that CNN's gross distortion of the truth was exposed, what did they do? They did something that would make the party hacks in Orwell's Ministry of Truth proud: They tried to toss that part of the interview down the memory hole:

The above quote, containing Griffin's deceptive misrepresentation of the NR article, used to be in CNN's transcript of the interview. You can still see it here in Google's cache. But if you look for it in the current version of that page, you won't find it. CNN snipped out the entire paragraph.

And they didn't only delete it from the transcript -- they even deleted it from the on-line video. (The video link is near the top of the CNN page; the snip happens at 11:06.) You can see the part CNN would rather you didn't see here, starting at 1:24:

Why do you suppose they did that, hmm?

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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Samaritan Sukkot - From Har Greizim to Cholon

Over Chol Ha'moed one of our family trips was to Har Greizim in the Shomron Hills -- to see the "sukkot" of the Shomronim/Samaritans. We learned that their sukkot are different that ours because of persecution by Arabs, and they had to differentiate themselves by "proving" they weren't Jews. Here are some pictures of our trip... (explanations on Samaritans at the links in the bottom of this post)

Note the "schach" above the hanging fruits/vegetables.

How interesting! While we went to visit the Shomronim on Har Greizim, unbeknowest to us, relatives went to visit the Shomronim in Holon (a Coastal-Israel city which is home to the sister community of the Har Greizim Shomronim) Some of their sukkot are indoors, while some are outdoors...(I guess they reverted back to their original tradition, since Arab persecution isn't an issue)

Home of the Samaritan High Priest/Cohen Gadol.

Previous posts (and pictures) of Muqata visits to the, here, here and here.

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

The Muqata Sukka

Sukkot at the Muqata...(yes, the waffles are missing since I was too lazy to take a picture when my wife made them...)

Tiyul posts coming up as well...

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Never Waffle on Paying the Bill

In honor of my dear friend, Jack.

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A woman decided to go to jail rather than pay her bill at a Fort Pierce Waffle House restaurant.

The total she went to jail over: $7.45.

According to a police report, Maryanne O'Neill, 66, ordered coffee and a sandwich waffles at a Waffle House restaurant on Saturday but refused to pay the bill.

The report said an officer asked her to pay or go to jail and she refused.

A jail official says she was released Monday from the St. Lucie County Jail. She is charged with obtaining food or lodging with intent to defraud, a second degree misdemeanor.

How totally uncouth.

Obviously not a reader of the Muqata blog.

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

Did Somali Pirates Save Israel from Iranian Nuclear Attack?

The blogs are ablaze with talk of an Iranian (Radioactive) Dirty Bomb that was on its way to Israel to be blown up on Yom Kippur.

According to the stories, the hold of the ship was filled with radioactive sand.

Somali pirates intercepted the Iranian ship and opened the sealed hold. 16 Somali pirates have supposedly since died of extreme radiation poisoning.

The ship was meant to be detonated near Israel with the fine sand to be carried over Israel.

If this story is true, then all I can say is that God works in mysterious ways, and now we know why the Somali pirates have been running free and pirating these past few years.

We're all still a little skeptical about this story over here, even if it does have a ring of truth to it.

Why hasn't the mainstream media (besides Arutz-7) started picking up on this story yet?

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

Blog "kills" Mossad Spy Chief

The anti-Israel "Filkka Blog" (authored in Jordan or perhaps Lebanon) has created something of a news sensation which was covered by Iranian and Jordanian media outlets for the past few days.

They reported that Meir Dagan, Chief of Israel's Mossad Spy Agency was assasinated in Amman, Jordan this past Sunday in a traffic "accident" between Dagan's car and a gasoline tanker truck on the Amman Airport highway -- in retaliation for the assasination of Hizbollah intelligence office, Imad Mughniyah on February 12, 2008 by a car bomb blast in the Kfar Suseh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria.

Israel Government sources report (much to Iran's dismay) that Meir Dagan is alive and well, and the entire story is a fabrication.

Try to figure the whole story out from the Google "Arabic to English" translation of the blog, here

Wishing Meir Dagan a long, healthy life and many more years of protecting the Jewish people in their homeland.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Lehman Brothers' Etrog

I saw this in shul this morning.

Now I understand why the market crashed...

Chag Sameach.

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

Palin as herself on SNL

Reminds me of on Motzei Shabbat when I was growing up.

Watch Love Boat.

Watch Fantasy Island

...get something to snack on...

Watch Satruday Night Live.

Then my parents sent me to yeshiva with school on Sunday. That ended my Saturday Night TV career....(and little league on Sundays)

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Voting Rights- Should American Jews Be Given a Vote

Hi all, it is Jack and I have a thought or two to share with you. Last week during a slow moment in shul a few of us began a discussion about voting rights for American Expats and whether American Jews should be allowed to vote in Israeli elections.

It was a very heated discussion and not just because of the fast. Here is a short synopsis of what went on.

Some people felt that if expats became citizens of other countries they simply should not be allowed to vote.

Others took a more nuanced approach and said that if an expat became a citizen of another country, was not paying taxes and lived more than 3/4s of the year outside of the U.S. then they should give up their right to vote.

Still another group maintained that unless you give up your American citizenship you should always retain all rights granted therein.

It is an interesting discussion to me for a variety of reasons. I am Pro-Israel and will always be concerned about Israel's welfare, but at the moment I live in the U.S. So while I may make aliyah one day I have to look at the U.S. first and Israel second.

None of this negates my love for Israel and for all Jews. None of it means that I am not concerned about what happens to Jews. It just means that I think that the responsible thing to do, the moral thing to do and the Jewish thing to do is to vote according to where I live.

Now I should add that I do not trust any of the American political parties to look out for Israel's best interest. I think that it is a mistake. Countries are not friends, they are allies. It is a different relationship. Allies require common and mutual interests and when those no longer coincide the relationship ends.

Let's go back to the discussion regarding voting rights and cover the question of what role should American Jews be given in Israeli politics. Really we should say all Jews, but for this discussion we'll keep it simple.

If we accept the premise that one should not be given a vote unless one is a citizen than the point is moot. But as one of the participants said it is not that far a leap to suggest that Jews be given a vote in Israeli politics.

Around the world there are sad examples of Jews who have been maimed or murdered supposedly because of Israeli politics so one could say that we all share risk based upon the actions of the government. Why shouldn't we be given a say in what happens.

For myself I tend to lean towards saying that if you don't live there you than you shouldn't vote. Your interests and concerns are not the same as those who do live there.

What do you think?

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

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jewish Teenager Fights to Save Eye -- Wounded by Akko Arab Mob

On his way to shul this past Shabbat, Barak Abboudi (18) was attacked by an Arab mob in Akko.

"I live in Akko from birth, and have experienced Arab violence in the past.  Yesterday at 9:30 PM, we were in a private yard near Kibbutz Galuyot Street in order to pray.

On the nearby rooftops were 30-40 Arab teenagers that threatened and cursed us.  At the same time, there were a few policemen walking around,  and saw what was going on, but were called to deal with an incident a block away.  This provided the impteus for Arab teenagers to throw a barrage of large rocks at us.

One of my group started to yell for us to take coverm and we ran from edge to edge of the yard trying to avoid getting hit.  Suddenly, I was hit in the eye by a rock and I feel down.  A friend helped me get up, and led me to a nearby house where I received first aid till the ambulance came, which took me to the Nahariya hospital.  During all that time, the Arabs continued to scream, "Alla-hu Akbar" (Allah is great) and curses and threats in Arabic." (source, YNET in Hebrew, picture credit to Roney Albert/Mister Fixer)

Doctors are currently doing all they can to save Barak's eyesight, but are currently not very optimistic.

Additional images of damage from Arab Riots in Akko from Yom Kippur through Motzei Shabbat. (credits to Vaknin Photo)

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

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