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Friday, October 24, 2014

Chodesh Tov! Lesson From Biblical Shiloh, Prayer and Human Nature

Chodesh Tov, Everyone!
It's the first day of Rosh Chodesh Marchesvan, the Jewish Month of Cheshvan when winter truly begins. Winter here in the Holy Land doesn't always mean freezing snow. It's supposed to mean blessed rain, at the right time, the right quantities, gifts or rewards from G-d for our proper behavior.

Today some friends and I went to Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh, Tel Shiloh, the location of many Biblical stories, narratives that are being confirmed consistently by archaeologists working here to discover our past.

Shiloh has always been a location for prayer.  I, davka, prefer praying in Shiloh than in the more popular (non-synagogue) prayer sites. I just don't get "turned on" by graves, and the  Kotel littered with "Santa letters" is a "turn off." And since the Israeli Government has inexplicably allowed the Muslim Waqf to dictate what Jews can or can't do on our holiest spot, the Temple Mount, the next holiest, to my count when eliminating tombs and cemeteries, is Shiloh, specifically the area where it's believed the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle had stood for close to four hundred 400 years when Shiloh was the administrative and spiritual capital of the Jewish Nation. That was just before the era of Kings and the building of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


One of the most well-known Shiloh stories from the Biblical era, is the story of Chana, Hannah. Chana was barren. She was married to Elkana, who had a second wife, Penina (Pearl) who did have children. Despite her inability to give him children, Elkana loved Chana more than he loved Penina. The situation was difficult for both women. Chana would have given anything for a child, and Penina was jealous of the favoritism Elkana bestowed on Chana.

The family/clan made the pilgrimage to Shiloh for all of the Holidays to pray there. One year Chana made an extra effort to pray to G-d. She prayed silently with all of her soul and might. Only her lips moved,  because G-d can hear what's in our hearts and minds, there's no need to shout. Chana's yearning for a child wasn't for her own personal selfish maternal needs. She understood the chaos and lack of leadership among the Jewish People and wanted to bring a son into the world to be a leader in G-d's name. She promised that if G-d would give her a son, that son would be brought to Shiloh to be trained by the priests there to lead the nation.

Eli, the High Priest, blessed her after hearing her story, and the next year Chana gave birth to a son. When he was weaned, she brought him to Shiloh and entrusted him to be educated by Eli.

Her subsequent "thank you prayer" to G-d is what is known as תפילת חנה Tefillat Chana, Hannah's Prayer, 1Samuel Chapter 2.


The line that fascinates me the most is:
ה  שְׂבֵעִים בַּלֶּחֶם נִשְׂכָּרוּ, וּרְעֵבִים חָדֵלּוּ, עַד-עֲקָרָה יָלְדָה שִׁבְעָה, וְרַבַּת בָּנִים אֻמְלָלָה.
5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry have ceased; while the barren hath borne seven, she that had many children hath languished.
I actually disagree with how it's generally understood. For those who aren't familiar with Hebrew, please look at all those dots and symbols on the bottom of and sometimes the tops of the Hebrew letters. They are the vowels. Without vowels, the letters can be pronounced frequently as different words meaning different things. The one I'd give a different meaning to is  שִׁבְעָה shiv'ah, seven, which I'd pronounce as sav'ah, satisfied.

Chana was satisfied with her one son; that's all she had prayed for. When more children were born to her, that was wonderful, but that isn't what she had asked for. Numbers weren't her priority. I've been telling people my theory for a few years already, and most people agree once they think about it, because the Bible was written without vowels.

The accepted commentary from the midrash for the next few words, that the mother of many was miserable, a better definition than the "languished" in the translation above, is usually explained that with each new child born to Hannah, one of Pearl's died. I can't imagine Hannah gloating over this. Today, at the Tel, when I told one of the women about my reading of שבעה she continued and said that Penina's personality was to be miserable. She wasn't happy even with her many children. The אֻמְלָלָה feeling miserable/depressed is an antonym for being satisfied with life, Chana's emotional state.

Some people manage to always see the best and be happy, while others are always finding fault in their situation. Chana does begin the story unhappy, wanting a child, but instead of being jealous wishing bad on others, she prayed to G-d, knowing that her fertility was in G-d's hands. She made her deal with G-d and didn't renege. Her precious first born son was sent to serve G-d, and he was Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel the Prophet who anointed Israel's first two kings, Saul an David. He did what he was born to do. He changed the world. Shmuel, like his mother accepted that they were just tools of G-d.

We all must learn to stop saying "I want..." and learn to hear what G-d wants us to do and be satisfied with it.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Calm" is The Dumbest, The Most Dangerous Response to Arab Terrorism!!!

It has been reported that the United States Government is prescribing "calm" after another Arab Terrorist rammed into innocent Jews at a bus stop injuring many and murdering a tiny baby girl.

Chaye Zisel Braun, HaYa"D,
May G-d Avenge Her Blood
"We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement quoted byAFP.
"We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident," she added. (quoted on Arutz 7)
Fox News:
Oct. 22, 2014: Israeli police officers inspect a car at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem. A Palestinian motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding several people in what police called a terror attack. (AP)

We should not be "calm."

"Calm" makes sense when you have no control over things, and getting angry, taking action/revenge would harm you more than it could ever solve the underlying problem.

There are certainly many occasions when "calm" makes sense.

  • If you're on your way to someplace, and the car breaks down, causing you to be late, one has no control, so then you should calmly get it repaired and then continue on your way.
  • If you plan an outdoor party, and it rains, then getting angry won't help matters. It's best to calmly put together an alternate venue or postpone it. 
  • Calm helps when someone suffering serious autism, Aspergers etc. disrupts or damages something.

But this Arab terrorism which has been going on against Jews since even before the official 1948 declaration of the State of Israel is not something we should be "calm" about.

Arab terrorists are hardened criminals. In the majority of cases they have the support and backing of their families and communities. They have been educated from the youngest age to do anything, including/especially violence against Jews and Israelis.

We must not "calm" down. The State of Israel must totally revise all policy regarding the Arabs and Arab terrorists.

The truth about them has been open forever. It's no secret at all that they plan on destroying the State of Israel. The Palestine Media Watch and David Bedein's Israel Resource Review keep up to date reports about what the Arabs are really doing.
Official PA TV host:  "What Israel? It's our land"

Palestinian kids are taught to expect Israel's destruction   
"Haifa, Jaffa, Acre. These are our occupied lands,  the 1948 lands that Israel occupied in 1948... Allah willing, they will return to us some day and will not be under the rule of the occupation"




Israel Resource Review“Palestinians want to destroy the Jewish state

The United Nations and the United States are major problems for the State of Israel. The policy of negotiations with Arab terrorists is a very dangerous misguided mistake for Israel, and we must draw the right conclusions and stop all negotiations.

The State of Israel must totally rethink policy and stop begging for peace, because peace won't come from our being nice and "calm."


  • Automatic and immediate Death Penalty must be required for all convicted Arab terrorists. 
  • There shouldn't be any Arab terrorists, young or old in Israeli prisons.
  • No relatives of "Palestinian" leaders should be treated in Israeli hospitals.
  • No enemy wounded or even children with congenital conditions should be in Israeli hospitals.
An enemy is an enemy. An Arab terrorist is a danger to Israeli peace. Let's draw the obvious logical conclusions instead of this fokokt loony Left dreaming!

Hamakom yenachem to the mourners.
Refuah Shleimah, a complete healing to the wounded.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deja Vu, Latest Arab Terror Attack in Jerusalem, Too Similar to "Mine"

Deja Vu, yes, so sadly I cry for the dead, the injured the mourning.

Jerusalem PostSuspected attack in Jerusalem,
October 22. (photo credit:TAZPIT)
Deja Vu, when I stand at a bus stop, again, I'll find myself, hyper-vigilant.

Deja Vu, I should have chastised the young woman trying to hail a tremp in the middle of the street, as she concentrated more on her phone conversation than the cars rushing by.

Deja Vu, the healdlines refused to scream ARAB TERROR ATTACK: ARAB TERRORIST RAMMED INTO INNOCENT JEWS TO MURDER THEM, instead I saw the phrase "suspected terror attack."

Deja Vu, a spot I've stood at more times than I can count is now added to the list of Arab terror attack locations.

Deja Vu, the holy silence of our sacred Capital was shattered by screams, sirens and wails.

photo credit:TAZPIT
Deja Vu, an Arab terrorist used his car as a weapon of death.

Deja Vu, new people have entered the "club of the bereaved."

Deja Vu, more Jews now have a terror attack to call their own.

Deja Vu, the City of Peace is being terrorized.

Deja Vu, fear reigns.

Deja Vu the Arab terrorist had already been convicted of terrorism, but had been released from Prison.

Deja Vu, the Arab terrorist was shot after he tried to escape his car, but this time, unlike "my terror attack," he's alive.

Deja Vu, the Arab terrorist has nothing to fear, since Israel treats terrorist prisoners well and there's no death penalty.

Deja Vu, Jews die and Arabs live.

I'm tired of this Deja Vu.

Location of "my Arab terror attack" as it looks today.
French Hill, Givat Hamivtar, Jerusalem
I was injured along with about twenty others, and a woman was murdered.

Israel-Focused Political Pundit and Blogging

I became a blogger when people kept telling me to get an internet site to publicize my articles about what's really happening in Israel and my take on it. I used to send out via email what I called "musings," my thoughts about things like Arab terrorism and the murder of young neighbors by Arab terrorists. Then I wrote my essays only occasionally. Now as a blogger, I write daily.

I did try to get my articles published in mainstream newspapers, dreaming of being a freelance writer instead of teaching, which was my profession at the time. The op-ed editors weren't very supportive, and I was informed that I'd have to wait quite a few days until I'd be informed of acceptance or rejection, and then I could send my article someplace else or throw it in the trash.

That's when I decided to be my own boss/editor and rely on my very own blog to give a public forum to my opinions.

Soon after, the mainstream media, which had begun publishing on the internet along with paper editions, discovered that their readers wanted more op-eds, and they began allowing people to write for free on their "newspaper's blogs."

At present, my posts/essays/articles appear on two sites, and I'm fascinated by the differences in the reactions of the readers of those site and also compared to this blog. Both of them have editors who are happy enough with what I write here to agree to post identical articles. There was another internet newspaper, Times of Israel, which wanted only original posts. Considering that they weren't paying me anything for my time, efforts and knowledge, I thought that an outrageous and immoral demand, so I stopped blogging for them.

Of course, I still dream of finding a publication that would pay me for my articles, and then that would be my main forum. They'd get "first crack" and here I'd set things up, so each essay would link to them. Hint! Hint! Is someone reading this who can help?

I keep track of the statistics of readers, and over the years, there hasn't been any real increase of people reading this blog, but sometimes the share/like numbers on my articles posted in the Jewish Press are outstanding, like for The World Wouldn't Care if Israel was Destroyed, G-d Forbid, which has reached 1.2k (thousand) facebook likes. That's pretty impressive. There are also 233 comments at last count.

The same article,  The World Wouldn't Care if Israel Destroyed, G-d Forbid, has been ranked in the Arutz 7 top six blog posts for days already and shows 25 comments.

The original, on this blog, has just 7 comments, 5 shares and 153 readers.

Since I haven't succeeded in making a living from my writing, and I do write to get my opinion out, yes, I'm a political pundit, I continue allowing these, and sometimes other publications re-post/reprint my articles.  Over the years, I've heard many times that I've written what others think, and they are extremely happy that I've done so. Yes, that's why I continue, and I do write daily, barring Shabbat and Jewish holidays of course.

I'm also very much involved with Havel Havelim the International Jewish Blog Carnival, which appears weekly after Shabbat. I call it a "floating" magazine, because a variety of bloggers host it. We organize on our facebook page, and I end up as "default" host, when nobody else can do it.

Also, I've given blogging rights here to a few other people, so sometimes you'll see articles by others, which is fine by me.

I'm interested in your opinions and suggestions. Please comment and share, thanks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Doubt The Majority of Israelis Would Support PM Bibi if He Stopped Negotiating a Palestinian State!

True we all know that polls can be manipulated depending on how the questions are worded, but this recent poll written about in the Jerusalem Post makes it very clear where most Israelis stand. Following are the numbers directly from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
Since 2005, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has conducted opinion polls on the peace process, Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, continued Israeli control of the Jordan Valley, and the proposed division of Jerusalem.According to the latest poll conducted on October 12-14, 2014, by Shivukim-Panorama for the Jerusalem Center, 75% of the Israeli Jewish public continue to oppose Israel’s withdrawal from the Jordan Valley and the division of Jerusalem.Moreover, the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East has made the Israeli public even less ready for territorial concessions in the West Bank. While 70% report that the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) has not affected their position, 17% say it has made them less ready for concessions, while 5% say they are more ready for concessions.Some 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state if it means an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley. A similar percentage would oppose the replacement of the IDF with international forces in the Jordan Valley. Notably, 52% of Israelis who identify with “the left” oppose the replacement of the IDF with international forces in the Jordan Valley.Overall, 74% of Israeli Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, while 76% oppose a Palestinian state if it means the division of Jerusalem.

Profile of respondents

Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
How do you identify yourself? (Total #)

505

304

125

68

421

84
1. In light of the spread of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, has this affected your stance regarding Israeli territorial concessions in the West Bank?


Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
More ready for concessions
4.8%
2.3%
4.0%
17.6%
5.7%
-
Less ready for concessions
16.8%
23.7%
9.6%
-
14.3%
29.8%
No change
70.1%
66.8%
75.2%
73.5%
72.2%
59.5%
Don’t know/no answer
8.3%
7.2%
11.2%
8.8%
7.8%
10.7%
2. Do you support or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines?


Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
Support
18.2%
4.3%
21.6%
72.1%
21.4%
2.4%
Oppose
74.3%
91.8%
63.2%
19.1%
71.5%
88.1%
Don’t know/no answer
7.5%
3.9%
15.2%
8.8%
7.1%
9.5%
3. Do you support or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state if it means an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley?


Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
Support
11.5%
6.3%
11.2%
35.3%
13.1%
3.6%
Oppose
74.9%
85.2%
67.2%
42.6%
76.0%
69.0%
Don’t know/no answer
13.7%
8.6%
21.6%
22.1%
10.9%
27.4%
4. Would you agree to the replacement of the IDF with international forces in the Jordan Valley?


Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
Agree
16.6%
10.2%
20.0%
38.2%
18.1%
9.5%
Disagree
75.4%
84.5%
67.2%
51.5%
74.8%
78.6%
Don’t know/no answer
7.9%
5.3%
12.8%
10.3%
7.1%
11.9%
5. Do you support or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state if it means the division of Jerusalem?


Total
Ideology
Group
Right
Center
Left
Veterans
Former USSR
Support
16.2%
6.9%
20.8%
51.5%
18.8%
3.6%
Oppose
76.2%
89.1%
64.8%
39.7%
74.3%
85.7%
Don’t know/no answer
7.5%
3.9%
14.4%
8.8%
6.9%
10.7%

- See more at: http://jcpa.org/poll-israeli-jews-oppose-palestinian-state/#sthash.2lqGWZo8.dpuf
Add that to the fact/rumor that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, barring any last minute national and international emergencies/crises is planning on calling elections some time in the spring.
Speculation was rampant Monday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to shelve the Conversion Bill, introduced by MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua), is part of his preparations for new elections, possibly next spring.
Several media outlets reported on Monday night that the reason behind Netanyahu’s move is to get closer to the hareidi parties in the Knesset in an attempt to receive their support as he forms the next government.
According to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Netanyahu plans to tighten his alliance with the hareidi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, as well as with the Jewish Home party.
Netanyahu’s first step towards general elections, however, is to hold the primaries for the leadership of the Likud, noted the newspaper, and he plans to do so as soon as possible, with a possible date being November 25.
Netanyahu's associates confirmed to Yedioth Ahronoth that the prime minister is pushing for quick elections for the party leadership. (read more on Arutz 7)
Bibi's best chance of bringing the Likud to another victory would be to finally shed his Center image and go Right where most Israelis feel safest and most comfortable. This isn't the Israel of the 1960's and 1970's. The demographic of larger families among the dati le'umi-national religious and the chareidi-ultra-Orthodox is felt very strongly in the ballot-box.  Many religious and Right voters are looking for an alternative, far from the Likud and more reliable than Naftali Bennett's NRP aka Jewish Home Party. Bibi and  Bennett  have only one way to remain in power, and that's to tell the USA, UN, Europe etc. that we will not negotiate nor cooperate in the establishment of a new Arab terror state called "Palestine" within our State of Israel!