JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Israel's Enemies have United, and Now We Must Unite Against Them

As many of us have been saying for years and years that there's no real difference between Hamas and Fatah, we're not surprised that they are now a united front. We're just surprised that they have admitted it.

Hamas and Fatah leaders hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement Photo: REUTERS

And we're even less surprised that Fatah aka read Mahmoud Abbas has admitted that his aims and ideology are no different from the unabashed Arab Hamas terrorists based in Gaza.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's official reaction is rather limp.
"I said this morning that Abu Mazen needs to choose between peace with Israel and an agreement with Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and which both the United States and the European Union define as a terrorist organization.
This evening, as talks are still ongoing about extending the negotiations, Abu Mazen has chosen Hamas and not peace.
Whoever chooses Hamas does not want peace."
I'm hoping to hear that he's reassigning "Negotiations" Minister Tsippi Livni to Beach Cleaning or some other job that would suit her capabilities.

The reason I'm surprised that Fatah has so publicly allied itself with Fatah is that its separation had allowed foreign governments and international bodies to shtupp it with humongous amounts of money that isn't legally allowed to be given to terrorist organizations. The American Government is now in a bind, because it wants to continue supporting the P.A. which can't (shouldn't) be done if the leaders admit that they are the same as Hamas.
Washington sends about $500 million to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority each year. Frustrated members of the U.S. Congress, who are generally strong supporters of Israel, said that money could be cut off.
"Not only does this action potentially derail any hope of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, it puts in jeopardy future U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority," Republican U.S. Representative Kay Granger, the subcommittee chairwoman, said in a statement.

Recognizing, admitting that the P.A. is really just a well-dressed front for Gazan Hamas terrorists makes the United States President Barack Hussein Obama's Middle East policy a disastrous mistake. It's based on a lie.

Yesterday, at my shiur by Dr. Yael Ziegler in Matan, The Divided Kingdom and the Story of Elijah, I kept feeling Déjà vu. I could have had been reading the newspapers. She was discussing the fire challenge between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (IKings Chapter 18.) We learned how the followers of Baal actually knew that their god was a fake, but they continued shouting to it regardless.
כו  וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת-הַפָּר אֲשֶׁר-נָתַן לָהֶם, וַיַּעֲשׂוּ, וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְשֵׁם-הַבַּעַל מֵהַבֹּקֶר וְעַד-הַצָּהֳרַיִם לֵאמֹר הַבַּעַל עֲנֵנוּ, וְאֵין קוֹל וְאֵין עֹנֶה; וַיְפַסְּחוּ, עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה.
26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying: 'O Baal, answer us.' But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they danced in halting wise about the altar which was made.

כז  וַיְהִי בַצָּהֳרַיִם וַיְהַתֵּל בָּהֶם אֵלִיָּהוּ, וַיֹּאמֶר קִרְאוּ בְקוֹל-גָּדוֹל כִּי-אֱלֹהִים הוּא--כִּי שִׂיחַ וְכִי-שִׂיג לוֹ, וְכִי-דֶרֶךְ לוֹ; אוּלַי יָשֵׁן הוּא, וְיִקָץ.
27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said: 'Cry aloud; for he is a god; either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.'

כח  וַיִּקְרְאוּ, בְּקוֹל גָּדוֹל, וַיִּתְגֹּדְדוּ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָם, בַּחֲרָבוֹת וּבָרְמָחִים--עַד-שְׁפָךְ-דָּם, עֲלֵיהֶם.
28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with swords and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them.

כט  וַיְהִי, כַּעֲבֹר הַצָּהֳרַיִם, וַיִּתְנַבְּאוּ, עַד לַעֲלוֹת הַמִּנְחָה; וְאֵין-קוֹל וְאֵין-עֹנֶה, וְאֵין קָשֶׁב.
29 And it was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening offering; but their was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
It so reminded me of all of those who have been trying to convince Abbas to say the "magic words" which would force the State of Israel to release convicted terrorists and give him our precious Land in the name of their false "peace."

Abbas and his Fatah have no admitted that he and his followers have been conning the world.


Now it's up to us Israelis and Jews all over to unite and build and settle all of the Land we hold. Make it sovereign Israel! That is the only way we will enjoy true peace!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Since Israel isn't The Aggressor, Peace isn't Up to Us

David Ben Gurion reading
the Declaration of Independence
of Israel on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv
The State of Israel from its very inception, from those few simple words of independence and even before, has always bent dangerously over backwards to have peaceful coexistence with the Arabs who live here in our Land. Therefore, peace, true peace, isn't up to us. We've offered it on gilded platters forever. Nothing we do will bring peace to our Land.

It's the aggressor, the Arabs, who terrorize us, murder, maim Jews and undermine our national security who must change totally for there to be peace, true peace.

The demands of the P.A.'s Abbas must be silenced!
Speaking to a group of Israeli journalists in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his three conditions for continuing talks with Israel: that Israel release the fourth batch of Palestinian security prisoners, including Israeli-Arabs, and that none of them be deported; that Israel freeze all settlement construction; and that the first three months of the extended talks deal with the borders of a future Palestinian state. (Jerusalem Post)
We should be shouting out the truth!

The messages Mahmoud Abbas sends to Arabs are the ones we should be paying attention to, not his well-crafted English for foreigners and journalists. Remember that we're not going to have peaceful coexistence with his public relations team. Peace has to be with ordinary people, and the Arabs Abbas is trying to control either support Hamas or prefer that the Israeli Government stay in charge. There are very few Arabs, except those on the "take," who want to perpetuate his rule. Corruption is rampant in the P.A. under Abbas.

Abbas admits PA sent terrorists to kill Israelis
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:"I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We - the [Palestinian] Authority. They should not be punished while we sit at one table negotiating. Besides, they spent many years in prison. How much longer? Do they have to spend all their life in prison and even die there?"

Interviewer: "How can we deal with their criteria "bloodstained hands?"

Abbas: "Such talk is illogical talk and I do not accept it. What does a bloodstained hand mean? We were fighting each other. They kill and kill. They hunt down people with planes and tanks and killed. The soldier who kills 50 or 20 persons here and there - are his hands stained with talc powder? They are stained with blood. This is war. One (i.e., Israel) ordered a soldier to kill, and I ordered my son, brother, or others, to carry out the duty of resistance (i.e., euphemism for terror). This person killed and the other person killed. So why say this person's hands are stained with blood, and [he] must be kept in prison? He is a fighter just like any other fighter. We were in a state of fighting. When a truce is reached, in any country in the world, the past is forgotten... What meaning is there to peace with the Israelis if the wanted continues to be wanted, the prisoner continues to be imprisoned, and the deportee continues to be deported? What am I worth in the eyes of the ordinary [Palestinian] citizen? The ordinary citizen will ask me: 'What did you get me? You ordered me - you are responsible for me.'" (Palestinian Media Watch)

There is only one logical thing for the State of Israel to do. Just tell the truth.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Which is Cruel and Endangers World Peace, Syrian Use of Chemical Weapons or Israel Building in Land Liberated in 1967, aka "Settlements?"

If the United Nations Security Council or United States President Barack Hussein Obama etc really cared about humanity, peace etc they'd leave Israel alone and go after the Arabs, such as the Syrians who are using chemical weapons to murder civilians or the Gazans who bombed the Israeli south yesterday.
(Reuters) - The United States has indications that a toxic chemical, probably chlorine, was used in Syria this month and is examining whether the Syrian government was responsible, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.
"We have indications of the use of a toxic industrial chemical" in the town of Kfar Zeita, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, referring to a rebel-held area.

Attack by Gaza on Israel:
The first 3 projectiles sic* struck uninhabited areas in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and set off sirens and caused no damage.Another two rockets were launched and caused light damage in Sderot.
In addition, the IDF reported that early Monday morning an RPG was launched toward IDF forces on the border but caused no injuries.
IDF later shot warning shots into Gaza. The shots caused no reported injuries inside Gaza.
Last week, Israel Air Force jets struck five terror targets in the Gaza Strip, following rocket attacks on southern Israel the previous night**. (Jerusalem Post)
Sderot. April 21, 2014. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkowitz Ha'aretz
Israel is one of the most benign, even nebishy (wimpy) countries in the world. Instead of destroying our enemies we politely desperately beg for peace.

The truth is that we won't have peace until we totally destroy our enemies. No "deal" or "peace" sic treaty will do the job. The Arab terrorists should be executed and not wined, dined and educated in Israeli jails until they're released to attack again!

*What's a "projectile?" It sounds rather obscene, like a tool for rape...
**According to Reuters, there had been quiet from Gaza "the first cross-border clash in several weeks..." Whom do you believe?

Monday, April 21, 2014

American Chutzpah and Israeli Nebbishkeit

A bit of vocabulary.  Chutzpah and nebbishkeit are antonyms.

Israelis may be known for their "chutzpah," but the truth is that we don't stand up for ourselves. We're more nebbish than chutzpadik. Simply put. As a country we're a bunch of wimps. A good example is the fact that instead of protesting the chutzpadik offense that all countries do against Israel by insisting that Jerusalem isn't our Capitol City, successive governments have accepted the insult as only true nebbichs would.

The theme of the just ended Passover Holiday is that we celebrate no longer being slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. But by letting foreign countries place their embassies in Tel Aviv, Herzliya or any city other than Jerusalem, we're still slaves to Pharaoh. It's just that we're no longer living in Egypt.

Here and there we hear sounds of proud Jews trying to break out of this acceptance. A family of Americans, the Zivotofsky's  who immigrated to Israel have taken their protest to the American Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court Monday decided to hear the case of an American born in Jerusalem, once again taking up the sensitive issue of the status of the contested city, according to AFP.
The justices will hear argumentsin the case in the fall before deciding on the constitutionality of a 2002 law that directs the State Department to give Israel as the country of birth in passports of Americans born in Jerusalem.
At the center of the struggle between the Congress and the presidency is Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002 to two American parents.
His passport says "born in Jerusalem" but his parents want Israel added to the place of birth, putting them at odds with the State Department.
Jerusalem is Israel's capital, but the international community repeatedly refuses to recognize it as such.
In 2002, president George W. Bush signed the bill declaring Israel as Jerusalemites' nationality into law, but he added a signed statement condemning it as unacceptable interference in the president's powers to conduct foreign policy.
In March 2012, the top court ruled that the Zivotofsky suit was legally admissible, without pronouncing on the underlying issue.
After the case was thrown out twice - most recently, in June - the Court will decide this time whether the president alone has the authority to say who Jerusalem belongs to, in the eyes of the United States.
The Obama administration argued at a hearing in November 2011 that to list Israel as the country of birth would be tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the country. (Arutz 7)
Too bad the Israeli Government isn't spearheading the protest law suit.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

OurCrowd Is Messing With the Wrong Crowd at Jerusalem Passover Breakfast

 Posted by JewishIsrael.com
OurCrowd, Jon Medved’s venture capital platform encouraging investment in Israel, is hosting a Passover Breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem. 
Israeli Attorney Calev Myers is scheduled as the guest speaker. Jon Medved may be unaware that Myers is a messianic Christian leader and an active advocate for messianic Christian rights in Israel.

It is important that Jewish investors and leaders carefully consider the costs involved in giving a messianic leader and activist such as Myers legitimacy, knowing that he has an agenda to establish a serious Christian foothold in Israel and is determined to change the nature of Judaism and the Jewish state...more

Additional news from JewishIsrael

  • JewishIsrael has just established a Facebook page. Our readership and friends should please get the word out.

  • Our recent report on Rabbi Riskin and Ohr Torah Stone hosting Missionary Joel Rosenberg at Lincoln Square Synagogue is now available in Hebrew and should be disseminated

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lots o' Matzah and Jewish Blog Posts aka Havel Havelim

Passover is almost over, and there hasn't been a Havel Havelim for two weeks already. Since blog carnival hasn't been functioning, we're organizing via our facebook page. That's where you can find out who's hosting and volunteer to host one of the editions of our weekly international Jewish blog carnivals aka Havel Havelim. Next week's host is Esser Agaroth. Send your posts to  EsserAgaroth at gmail. dot com.

Please enjoy, read, comment and share the posts and this blog carnival, too. I'm just posting the titles without indicating the blog. So dig in and start chewing. There's plenty of "brain food" on the blogs.

On giving and being given to
Marketing Christian Messianism
Pesach “balloons” of happiness…
Certified to Save Lives!
Down South for Passover Fun, Susiya
Photos of Park Shamir in Ma’ale Adumim – Choel Hamoed Pesach
Passover Seder is Jewish Life, Charoset with Marror and All Four Sons
Broken Bones
From Somalia to Brandeis, The Road of Liberal Fascism
In the Passover Aisle
Kosher for Passover beer? -- Maybe for next year.
Antisemitism, Jonathan Pollard Still Waiting for Redemption, for his Freedom
Pesach and Genetic Memory
Old Habits Die Hard
Safed Stabbing: Exclusive Report!
Jewish Ethnic Customs, Sefard vs Ashkenaz, Maybe Cancel Them All
To The Holy Warriors of Yitzhar - Chazak!!
On MRI’s and Yetziat Mitzrayim…
How Much Longer Will The Almighty Tolerate Arab-Israel "Peace Talks?"
Saying Goodbye to 50 Year Old Sweatshirts
Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #3, Near the "CBS" Central Bus Station

I hope you enjoyed this.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dayenu? Is The "Deal" Talks Danger Over?

Are we safe?
Has the American Secretary of State Kerry's high-pressured "deal" talks really been taken off the table?
Can we say "dayenu," we tried, isn't it enough already?
Recent news is that Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't have full cabinet backing to continue the American mediated pressured peace deal talks with the Arabs. Does that mean that U.S. President Obama and his side-kick Kerry have given up and will take on other "projects?"
Hmm, count them. "Four questions." No surprise, since it's Passover, the holiday that requires us to ask, to think. And I have been thinking a lot about this issue.
Efforts to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on extending talks hit a snag on Thursday when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lost his majority for such a deal......“If Abu Mazen [Abbas] does not condemn the attack fiercely in Arabic, there is no point in continuing the talks,” said Aharonovitch, whose vote would be crucial to pass the deal.
Multiple Likud ministers are said to be wavering over whether to support the deal. A group of Likud mayors in Judea and Samaria wrote the party’s ministers on Thursday urging them to oppose the agreement.
“We call upon you to declare that more murderers and terrorists will not be freed and there will be no more talks with the Palestinian Authority, which has proven that it supports, organizes and funds terrorism,” the mayors wrote the ministers in a letter.
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett has threatened to remove his party from Netanyahu’s coalition if Israeli- Arab prisoners are released in the deal. (Jerusalem Post)
The United States is the modern Egyptian Pharaoh. And at present we Israelis are acting as slaves.
עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם
Avodim hayinu liparoh bemitzrayimWe were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt
It won't stop until the Israeli Government says unanimously that the United States of America isn't our god.

Simply put:
The danger is not yet over!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Passover Seder is Jewish Life, Charoset with Marror and All Four Sons

So much has been and will be written about the Passover Seder. It's an amazing home-based (when it isn't in a hotel or some public hall) required religious ritual in Judaism.

It's a ceremony involving contrasts, opposites. We starve (during the sometimes seeming unending recitations and discussions) and we also feast, not only on the festive meal but a number of ritual foods.

Contrasts start with the "four questions" traditionally recited/sung by the youngest capable attendee at the seder:
1. On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza.2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables and herbs, but on this night we have to eat bitter herbs.3. On all other nights we don't dip our vegetables in salt water, but on this night we dip them twice.4. On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining. (about.com)
I understand that this is to get the child involved, but the answers aren't very clear and relevant to a child's understanding. I'm a former remedial teacher, and I can't see how "because we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt..." would make much sense as an answer to why we dip our vegetables in salt water.

Of course the children may and should insist on better answers if dissatisfied with the Seder's text. The next big contrast are the supposed questions of four different types of children. The compilers of the Passover Hagadah recognize that we're all different and so are our children. Also it's important to welcome all Jews to the seder no matter what their level of observance. That is important and very different form many other Jewish rituals which quickly become rejected and forgotten by those who aren't Torah observant. The Passover Seder is one ritual that many people make an effort to observe, even partially, no matter how far they are from Torah living.

Dry Bones
"The four sons," or daughters if you wish, all ask the same basic question but each from his/her perspective.
Four Blessings, Four Children
Blessed is the omnipresent one, blessed be He!Blessed is He who gave the Torah to His people Israel,blessed be He!The Torah speaks of four children: one wise, one wicked, one simple, and one who does not know how to ask. (Chabad)
What does the wise one say?“What are the testimonies, the statutes, and the laws that G‑d, our G‑d, has commanded to you?” (deut. 6:20)What does the wicked one say?“What is this service of yours?!”12 The Simple One—what does he say?“What is this celebration about?”As for The One Who Knows Not How To Ask—you must open up [the conversation] for him. 

Judaism is an open religion in many ways.  We communicate directly with G-d, and we were given Free Will. G-d did not create us to be robots or angels, who can be described as G-d's robots. Human beings were gifted with the abilities to make mistakes, yes, even bad ones, and to repent, do teshuva. Many families contain all versions of these four children.

The ritual meal at the seder opens with a food combination that symbolizes our families, the Jewish People, when we combine the sweet charoset* with the sharp, burning bitter herbs**. First they are eaten together, just the two contrasting foods. And then we (most Jews, at least those who do not have the minhag, custom forbidding matzah to to touch any other food) make a sandwich of it between two pieces of matzah.

When we eat this combination we should remember that G-d loves us all, as a Father. That isn't a green-light to disobey His Laws; it should remind us that G-d wants us to improve ourselves and live according to His Laws.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach to All

*our charoset recipe
chop up apples, walnuts, almonds
mix together and add cinnamon and sweet red wine

**bitter herbs
romaine lettuce and/or horseradish root, which we grate and add a bit of vinegar to keep it potent

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Antisemitism, Jonathan Pollard Still Waiting for Redemption, for his Freedom

Way back when, a gazillion years ago, possibly in the first grade when I went to a young kids Sunday School in Oakland Jewish Center, or if not just two years later in Hebrew School, I learned a rousing song I've sung at almost ever Passover Seder ever since.

Avodim HayinuAtoh binei chorinWe were slaves and now we're free!

Just days before Passover, Pollard was dangled before the State of Israel to bribe our government to endanger the country more and kowtow to terrorist demands.
Indyk tells sides that if deal reached to extend talks, US will consider releasing Israeli agent.
"This is part of the Israeli suggestion which is now being considered by the Palestinian side, while at the same time the US mediator sent a message to Israel - the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard from a US prison is still a possibility the US administration will consider, if the sides reach a deal that includes Israel freeing terrorists," the sources said. (Jerusalem Post)
I have a sick feeling that within a short period of time, the Binyamin Netanyahu Government will agree to release the convicted Arab terrorists in exchange for more dangerous policies, just to "talk a deal" with the Americans and the Arabs. No, I didn't make a mistake here. I did mean to write that Israel would get nothing for this concession, just more dangers. What can I say other than the conditions for participating in these American sponsored  pressured "negotiations" are worse than the usual unilateral "deals" we've come up with, such as Disengagement when Israel gave the Gazan terrorists Gush Katif, which required the destruction of Jewish communities, homes, businesses and worse, resulting in making Israel's south a very easy target for Arab terror attacks.

What's behind these inexplicable policies?

On the Israeli side, it must be some insane, psychotic need to please enemies and try to get approval at all cost. And on the American side, the pressure on Israel to agree to policies no American government nor politician would ever allow the USA to be subject to is clearly rooted in antisemitism.
But other college campuses in recent years have been theaters of anti-Israel discussions that occasionally veer toward, or bleed into, condemnations of Jews. And while we don’t have the anti-Semitism in our politics that some European countries do, there’s still bigotry under the surface. There are still caricatures that won’t die. (Frank Bruni)
Antisemitism is getting much stronger in the United States, now cloaked in all sorts of pseudo-moralities and ideologies.

Back to the lyrics of that cute Passover song. The first line is an abridged version of the actual story behind the holiday.
עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם
וַיּוֹצִיאֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה
Avodim hayinu l'paroh bimitzrayimViyotzi'ainu Hashem misham biyad chazakah uvizroa nituyaWe were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt
G-d took us out with a strong hand and outstretched arm.
The song makes it sound easy, like a piece of cake. We sing as if we did it all ourselves, taking full credit. But the actual story is very different. We exited Egypt because G-d used His Power to defeat our enemies. And that's the lesson we must remember.

Peace, when it comes, will come from G-d, not from man. When we remove the modern Pharaoh from our lives, we will have peace and only then will we know how to free Jonathan Pollard. There's a big question here.  Will Jay Jonathan Pollard live long enough to enjoy life as a free man in the Land of Israel?

Baruch Mizrahi HaY''D, The Latest Jewish Terror Victim

Arab terrorists shot up a Jewish family on their way to the Passover seder in Kiryat Arba.  The father/husband,  Baruch Mizrahi HaY''D, was murdered and his pregnant wife seriously injured.

How are we supposed to trust Arabs and agree to a "peace deal" with them?  Those Arabs have not stopped terrorism against Jews!

Emergency vehicles near the Idna Junction, where a fatal terrorist attack took place right before Pesach.
Emergency vehicles near the Idna Junction, where a fatal terrorist attack took place right before Pesach.
Photo Credit: Tazpit News Agency
The IDF is still searching for the terrorists, and believe this may have been the action of a group of terrorists and not a lone shooter.
PM Netanyahu has blamed the Palestinian Authority for the attack, saying it is a result of their incitement.
Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said that every terrorist release emboldens the terrorists, and demands the government cancels all future releases, and makes the cancelling of any PA steps at the UN a precondition to continuing any peace talks. (Jewish Press)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anti-Jewish, Antisemitic Terror Attack in the USA

I woke up with thoughts of the Passover Holiday in my mind. Passover, Pesach, is the Jewish holiday in which we celebrate our escape from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt. It's all recorded in the Jewish Bible. Yes, our history, the Jewish History is very clear and well-documented.

The Jewish People started here in the HolyLand with Abraham and Sarah. Their grandson, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren left for Egypt during a famine, only to return after many difficulties, a number of generations later. It took G-d's miracles to help them escape. Now, thousands of years later, we still remember and still celebrate that escape.

Davka, such ironic timing for a terror attack against Jews in Kansas City, Missouri.
During the shooting, he asked people if they were Jewish before shooting at them, witness Rabbi Herbert Mandl told CNN. A total of five people were shot at, but only three were hit. (Jerusalem Post)

Suspect in shooting at two Kansas Jewish centers which left three dead, April 13, 2014.
Jewish Press

The Passover seder, during which we recount that escape, ends with the singing of "L'Shana HaBa b'Yirushalayim," "Next year in Jerusalem."

Nowadays the only thing holding Jews out of the HolyLand are themselves, their priorities.

Israel is a wonderful modern country. I feel safe here. The more Jews who join us, the better it will be. So please stop with your empty words and give those words real meaning. Come to Israel and make it your home.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach
Have a Happy and Kosher Passover

Sunday, April 13, 2014

'In Every Generation...' A Voice From My Past

As I've mentioned quite a few times, I'm an NCSY success story. Although I came from a Jewish home, in which my parents were always synagogue members, we weren't Torah observant.  Actually, I wasn't even aware during a good portion of my childhood that something was missing. But even later on when I became more aware of the mitzvot,  the positive and negative commandments, I didn't really think that I needed to observe them.

It was only during the 1965 NCSY National Convention Havdalah, the ceremony that separates Shabbat (the Sabbath) from the regular days of the week that somehow Rabbi Pinchas Stolper found the right formula, the right words to break down whatever barrier was holding back my neshama, Jewish Soul. And ever since that night, my life just hasn't been the same.

Here's a recent recording of Rabbi Stolper.

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach
May you have a happy and kosher Passover

Modern King David Fighting the USA Campus Goliath

On Shabbat I read a disturbing open letter in the Jerusalem Post and decided to blog about it. Unfortunately, it's not one of the op-ed on their site. After a mercifully quick google search, I found it someplace else.
FM Avigdor Lieberman.Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
An open letter to the FM
Dear Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the entire Netanyahu government, I asked you, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, a question this Sunday at the Jerusalem Post’s Annual
Conference in New York. My question, I thought, was simple; “What is the Foreign Ministry of Israel doing to stand with college students, like myself, to fight BDS [Boycott, Divest, Sanction] on campus?”
Your response was nothing but loaded rhetoric downplaying the existential BDS threat and downplaying the attacks against me on my campus for being a Zionist. Perhaps worst of all, you downplayed the anti-Semitic attacks on students across the United States, Europe and soon the world. These attacks exist because we are proud Zionists.
You should have responded with a big fat “nothing,” because the Foreign Ministry of Israel has decided to focus its attention elsewhere. Though it may be more practical to allocate time and resources elsewhere, in doing so, Israel is taking a risk it cannot afford to take. By focusing all of its energy on its adversaries, many of whom will never recognize Israel either on a map or as a Jewish state with a right to exist, Israel is putting the passion of North American Zionists, many of whom are Jews and many of whom are not, on the back burner. This, I believe, is of a greater existential threat than a nuclear-ambitions Iran.
I was not born in Israel. I was not born in an Israeli home in American. I am a Jewish American. But before I am anything, at the most fundamental level of my existence; like Foreign Minister Liberman, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, like every soldier my age in the IDF, I am a Zionist. And you, Mr. Foreign Minister, overlooked the fact that, unlike Israelis, I and the thousands of students made the active decision to fight for Israel, a country which has redefined and challenged our perception of what “home” really means.
Though five thousand miles away from Israel, we awake to Israel each morning as we flinch our eyes to see the Israeli flag hanging in its infinite blue beauty above our beds. We do so with pride. Israel is with us as we wake to see the news from the past day in Israel as we slumbered in our secure beds in upstate New York. Though not wearing a Magen David every day, we carry our Zionism on our backs each day, and people try to slander us for it as if “Zionism” is a dirty word.
We are the lost unit of the IDF Spokesman’s Office, we are the story of SUNY (State University of New York) students who stayed up until 5 a.m. to watch the victorious fight against BDS resolutions at UC Berkeley, we are the students who laughed off the libelous labels of being called “imperial genocidal maniacs” by a paid employee of our university. And we carry out these increasingly routine acts of educated-backed passion, not because we are in contract with Israel to do so or because we want accolades; we do it because we are Zionists. Contrary to those closed-minded individuals who say Zionists must live in Israel, the movement of young college students in the States fighting for Israel represents the very core of Zionism. That is, young people doing incredible things for the State of Israel.
You have given us MASA, you have contributed to the founding of Birthright-Taglit and this was your gift to us. We, now, have a gift for you, Mr. Foreign Minister and Mr. Prime Minister. Its called hasbara (public diplomacy). It’s free, it’s our duty, it’s our calling, it’s our obligation and it’s our gift to you and the Jewish state and the flag we awake to every morning.
What do you think?

Personally I must say that I'm glad that there are loyal Zionist Jews on campus who are trying hard to defend the State of Israel against our massive, dangerous enemies who mask themselves in pseudo-academics, euphemisms, pseudo-history and perverse morality. I bless Justin Hayet with the power and determinism and charisma, which he'll need to not only succeed but to survive unscathed. I invite him to Shiloh to breathe in the holy air and inspiration that keeps me going. Further searching shows that he wrote a previous article which can be found in the Jerusalem Post's site, My university won’t stand up for Israel.

Fighters like Justin Hayet are no less important than soldiers in the IDF and all those so-called professional hasbara workers. I see Hayet as a modern King David who is willing to fight Goliath. His approaching Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is very much like when King David tried on the armor offered by the quivering and fearful King Saul. King David rejected the armor. The Biblical King David knew that he would only succeed if G-d made him a miracle. He needed a low-tech, low budget weapon, and that's why he took his five stones. And the young King David succeeded in executing Goliath.

I've been a blogger for years and also very involved with the international Jewish blog carnival, Havel Havelim. Maybe the key today is something similar using social media. Trying to get the Foreign Ministry to chip in may be as unproductive as King David found the armor King Saul had offered him.

All I can say to Justin Hayet is not to give up!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jewish Ethnic Customs, Sefard vs Ashkenaz, Maybe Cancel Them All

Unfortunately Passover, Pesach is a very divisive holiday. There are just too many customs celebrated/observed so differently that sometimes even members of the same family won't eat at the same table.  Thank G-d it lasts only a week, because the second most divisive issue, Shmitta, Sabbatical year, can cause problems for years. I find that one so traumatic, I can hardly even get myself to blog about it.

There are two large problematic issues during Pesach, the biggest being kitniyot, aka legumes, but not exactly in the botanical sense. There are non-kitniyot eaters who do eat the derivatives, such as soy oil, though not the beans. The basic divide is between Ashkenaz (European) and Eidot Mizrach (North African) Jews, or those whose paternal lines, ancestors lived in those exiles when the customs took hold.

Ashkenaz Jews are forbidden fresh as well as dried versions of the vegetables such as peas, rice, lentils etc, but the Eidot Mizrach have a wide variety of customs depending on which rabbinic sources they follow. Our Tunisian family members eat all sorts of fresh and dried legumes and rice after multiple checking, while Moroccan neighbors are forbidden rice and some of the legumes.

In recent years there are more and more Asheknazi families who have decided whether from convenience or conviction to adopt Sephardi custom on Pesach. Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of Machon Shilo (no connection to the Shiloh where I live) has been pushing for this unifying move for quite a few years.

The basic premise of Rabbi Bar-Hayim is that when investigating the history of the minhag, custom he discovered that the most prominent rabbis of the time the custom began opposed it. They considered it a mistake. Therefore he considers it permissible and preferable to stop this incorrect practice. The big problem is that he is in a very small minority. It would take the agreement of a number of highly respected poskim, rabbinic deciders to take his very interesting points reality.

photo credit
My feeling is that cancelling divisive ethnic customs should be an all or nothing decision, especially since there are many Jewish families like my own with more than one ethnic tradition-custom. It's very common nowadays, especially in Israel for families to be multi-ethnic, Ashkenaz and a few Eidot Mizrach all mixed up. When my daughter and her Tunisian family come on Passover, they bring rice. It's permitted for them, neither chametz nor treif (non-kosher) so I don't mind it on the table. And when we visit them on Passover, the food is cooked according to Ashkenaz custom so we may eat it all.

G-d willing, all of these divisive customs will soon be history with the Coming of the Moshiach bimhairah biyamanu, speedily in our days...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rabbi Riskin and Ohr Torah Stone Host Missionary Joel Rosenberg at Lincoln Square Synagogue with Shocking Consequences

Posted by Jewishisrael.com

Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin, recently shared the podium at New York’s West Side Lincoln Square Synagogue with Christian missionary Joel Rosenberg in an interfaith theological exchange sponsored by Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).
The event was a coup for Rosenberg who openly and enthusiastically supports the proselytizing of Jews.
Even more disturbing is the enormous promotional boost Rabbi Riskin has given to major missionary organizations such as Chosen People Ministries (CPM), which closely rivals Jews for Jesus in the race to convert Jewish souls
Rabbi Riskin’s interfaith discussion clearly demonstrates is that there is a direct and disturbing link between dialoguing with evangelical leaders and empowering the missionary agenda directed at Jews....more

Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh, Events, Passover and Rosh Chodesh

Shiloh, where the ancient משכן Mishkan, Tabernacle had stood for almost four hundred years and was the pilgrimage site for the Jewish People, is again alive with Jewish visitors and Jewish Prayers. In recent years there has been a big festival at Shilo Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, every Passover and Succot Chol Hamoed with lots of activities, crafts, street theater, tours etc. for all ages. And every Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month, women gather to pray together.

Since people have been asking me what's planned for this Passover, which is soon, only next week, here's the official poster:

If you can't understand the Hebrew, it'll be Wednesday and Thursday 16-17/4 from 9am to 6pm. The photos will give you a good idea of the sorts of activities offered. There's usually a way to go by chartered bus from all over the country, so call the number on the poster for more information.

And since by the time Pesach is over, it's almost the end of the month of Nissan, I'd like to remind women that they are invited to join our Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group.

Next month is Iyar, and we have special plans for a brunch after the prayers at the Tel Shiloh, You'll have to reserve for the brunch (email shilohmuse at gmail dot com subject Rosh Chodesh Iyar) so we know for how many to prepare, but the prayers don't need reservations.

Women's Prayers at Tel ShilohRosh Chodesh Iyar
Thursday, May 1, 2014
1st of Iyar 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשיםראש חודש אייר בתל שילה
יום ה' 1-5 א' אייר תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות
Mark your calendar, and join us.

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email visit@telshilo.org.il  or phone 02-994-4019.

This isn't a "women's minyan," although we do sing the Hallel prayer out-loud together.

Shiloh is a popular tourist site and recognized by all authorities as the actual location of the Biblical Shiloh. It was at Shiloh where the Biblical Hannah successfully prayed for a son. He was the Prophet Samuel, who was instrumental in transitioning the Jewish People, first a tribal nation, into a kingdom and anointed the first two Jewish Kings, Saul and David.