Wednesday, November 30, 2005


The jblogosphere has been full with talk about Matisyahu. I downloaded some Matisyahu songs from his website out of curiosity. I was pretty sure that I would hear some pretty mediocre music that passes as good since its "Hasidic". After listening to the songs, I must admit that I was wrong. This guy is really talented, and he is accompanied by three other talented musicians (Aaron Dugan - GUITAR, Josh Werner - BASS, Jonah David - DRUMS). I don't know if the other musicians are partners with Matisyahu on his spiritual trip. They are certainly partners with him on his musical journey, and the four make up a very tight combo.

I was particularly taken in with the song "King Without A Crown", played live. It starts very softly, switches to a reggae rhythm with the Dugan playing chords on the offbeat. Matisyahu sings/raps some real tongue twisting lyrics about his love for Hashem. The chorus has a kind of Mediterranean beat while the guitar plays counterpoint to Matisyahu. After a few screams of "Yuh" (I guess that's Matisyahu's version of "yeah"), the band switches into a solid rock beat. Werner plays eighth notes from all over the neck to give the underpinning to Dugan's searing guitar solo. The song ends with some nonsensical reggae words like "zee-why-oh" and a final "yuh". (If you think about it "ai yai yai" isn't any better than "zee-why-oh".)

In my opinion, these guys are good by any standard. Matisyahu sings from the bottom of his heart, and as our sages said, "Words that come out from the heart enter the heart."

I also give a lot of credit to Matisyahu's rabbi for not stifling Matisyahu's desire to play and perform this kind of music.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Kfar Darom Evacuees And The High-Rise In Ashkelon

Here is a great lesson in how the Israeli MSM sells the government spin on things. Ido Efrati of Ynet reports the following:
State purchases apartment building on former settlers’ request; now, evacuees change their mind, refuse to move into new homes
The settlers sound quite unreasonable don't they? In the 11th(!) paragraph of the article, the settlers side of the story is finally reported although in a very vague manner. The whole matter seems entirely illogical. The Arutz 7 report of the same story seems far more credible:
The 58 families of the former Jewish Gaza community of Kfar Darom, for instance, have been told time and again that their move to a high-rise building in Ashkelon was just a matter of time, and that they could expect to move within a short time. In fact, after several delays and postponements, some families actually began moving their belongings this week into what they thought would be their home for the coming 2-3 years.

But then came the last straw. The homeless citizens were told that the company that would be taking responsibility for the apartments - Amigur, a public housing provider - had a new series of demands, and that a new delay was forthcoming.
Read both accounts in full. It reveals a lot about how the Israeli MSM distorts the news.

Mirty In The City Of Sin

Mirty has a really good post about her visit in city to Las Vegas. It is truly unfortunate that this modern day Sodom exists. Thousands of years may have passed, technology may have progressed, but too many of us are still enslaved to our most primitive impulses. It is so sad to read about the exploiters and the exploited in the "Sad City of Lost Souls":
Further down the block, a man was handing out coupons so I took one of those. When I looked at it, I saw a naked woman in an inelegant position. Under her picture was the name “Miko” and a phone number. The fact that she had the same name as one my dogs was disturbing in its own right, but I really had no interest in this Miko and tried to hand back the coupon.
The good news is that all of the debauchery and general debasement of humanity did not interest Mirty's family, as Mirty quotes:
But I was very relieved to hear my kids announce that “this place sucks."
Way back when, I posted on a somewhat similar experience that I had in Atlantic City.

Haveil Havalim #46 At Israel Perspectives

Many thanks to Ze'ev for staying up late last night for this Thanksgiving edition of Haveil Havalim.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

More Disturbing Statistics From The Arabian Peninsula

Check out this visitor from Dubai, who joins a fellow animal lover from Saudi Arabia:

Shatuf Zima

They used to say, "I'd walk a mile for a camel," but these guys apparently have a totally different interpretation.

They Shall Still Bring Forth Fruit In Old Age

We just finished the tractate "Shabbat" in my daf-yomi class. This is a long tractate, having 157 pages, and at a rate of a page per day it took over five months to complete.

After the class an old Jew with a long white beard limped into the beit midrash. He's the kind of guy that if you tell him what page you are learning, anywhere in the Talmud, he can tell you what subjects are discussed on that page. We told him that we just completed learning the tractate "Shabbat" and he immediately replied:

That's appropriate for this week's Torah portion as we read:

ואברהם זקן בא בימים

And Abraham was old, well stricken in age...(Genesis 24:1)

"Zaken", the word for "old", has the numerical value 157, the same as the number of pages in the tractate Shabbat. What's more, there are 24 chapters in Shabbat, equal to numerical value of "Kad" (pitcher), which is a central word in this weeks portion (see Genesis 24).

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Sharon is calling his new party "Kadima" which means forward in Hebrew. This is quite astonishing. After all, after pulling out of the Gaza Strip, and with the rumors about further retreats, shouldn't Sharon call his new party "Achora" (backwards)?

A Public Service Anouncement From Cosmic X

Starting January 1, 2006 Israelis will be required to have a reflective vest in their automobiles.

I bought one the other day for 20 shekels (about $4.50). The idea is that if you have to stop on the road at night, you put the vest on so that other drivers can see you. If it saves even one life, it is worth it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Braving The Lebanese Rocket Attack On Northern Israel

Read this great post from Galilee This. An excerpt:
No rockets hit Maalot and we had a nice bbq dinner. I made a mean spicy honey mustard sauce for the wings, and we broiled them instead of using the bbq (cause it is outside). The children slept in our room, so that we would all die together if it came down to that.

Does AIPAC Hold The Keys To Pollard's Prison Cell?

Yitzchak Oren, who was the Israeli liaison to the U.S. Congress in 1997, seems to think so:
Oren explained that the long-time efforts by Pollard supporters to pressure the American President were in vain:
"Only Congress can force the release. The president [Clinton] tried, and we saw how it ended with [Clinton and Netanyahu] at Wye Plantation - the intelligence community forced the president to change his mind, with [CIA head George] Tenet threatening to resign. But with Congress, it's the opposite. The intelligence establishment receives funding from Congress, and Congress is its supervising body. One word by AIPAC would free up a giant and powerful lobby in this direction. I tell you with full responsibility that if AIPAC would just nod or hint, it would happen. The CIA would give in. That's how the American network works."

Even A "Godol Hador" Needs A Rav

Godol Hador has posted a very revealing post which IMHO is worth reading. At the end of the post he tells us what's really bothering him:
I guess it’s more a question of existential angst. Here are some of the thoughts that consume my mind:

Just who is G-d? Is He really there, by my side, at every second, listening to my every inner thought, observing my every action? That’s a pretty frightening thought, if you really think about it. In fact, if I really really thought about it, wouldn’t I be completely paralyzed by fear?

Perhaps more importantly, what does G-d really want from us? When I read Tenach, am I literally reading the word of G-d, or has it been affected by Human imprint? Can I be medayek every word, or just hope to learn some broad lessons? When a Rishon (or Acharon) gives peshat in a posuk, can I take that as a mesorah from Sinai, again the word of G-d, or just the result of a serious scholar’s ruminations?
He goes on and on. Read the post.

I do not think that Godol Hador will find his answers in the jblogosphere or anywhere else online. Godol Hador needs a good rabbi, a rabbi who is not only well versed in Jewish law, but is also well versed in Jewish philosophy and science. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner comes to mind as the kind of rabbi the Godol needs to learn from.

All this just comes to show that even a Godol Hador needs a Rav.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Open Thread For Tuesday

I know that this is a pompous thing to do. So what, it was fun last week. Say what's on your mind, or just let me know that you were here. Thanks.

Pollard Suing To Force Spy Swap

I have a feeling that this is not going to work, but I can't blame him for trying:
Imprisoned Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard, has instructed his attorneys to file suit in Israel's High Court of Justice, today November 21, 1985, the 20th anniversary of his arrest.

Pollard's petition asks the Supreme Court to compel the Government of Israel to arrest Angie Kilciensky --- a self-confessed Israeli traitor who spied for the United States and exposed Pollard -- to interrogate him, and then initiate a spy swap to return Kielcynski to the US and Pollard to Israel.

Angie Kielcynski, (aka Yosef Barak) an Israeli Likud party activist (not an MK) was appointed by Arik Sharon to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in 1985. He took advantage of his appointment to this Knesset Committee and his access to classified information to spy for the U.S.
Be sure to read the rest of the press release.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Shevet Achim Gam Yachdav

I had the great pleasure of meeting my friend Barry Freedman, who was in Jerusalem yesterday. He enlightened me with some Torah of Rabbi Nachman, and we reminisced about the good old days. Hinei Mah Tov Umah Na'im!

Fighting The Yellow Plague In Jerusalem

Here is some good news from ynet:
Almost all Jerusalemites know those spots well: They are all over the center of town, out of sight, but well within nose's range. That's the reason passersby who find it hard to hold it in just urinate in public.

The most illustrious public "toilets" are next to Zion Square, at the nearby picturesque pedestrian mall of Nahalat Shiva, next to the Italian synagogue and the cross streets. You can't miss these sites; the heavy stench is unbearable.
City Hall is taking a two-pronged approach to the problem:
Those who ignore the warning will receive a NIS 430 (approximately USD 90) fine. In addition, the city will offer a public tender for the construction of public restrooms in the area.

Sharon's Retirement March

Read this interesting analysis by my friend Patrick, although I disagree with him.

My feeling is that Sharon's new party is going to flop for a number of reasons:

1) The burden of corruption is hanging from the neck of the Sharon family with the conviction of his son Omri.

2) Many Israelis tend to be loyal to the parties that they traditionally vote for as one who is loyal to the brand of the toothpaste that he uses. These kind of people, that received "Likud" with their mother's milk, will continue to vote Likud. The same holds true for the ever aging constituancy that votes Labor.

3) As the lies that were behind the "disengagement" become clear to more and more Israelis, Sharon and those who join him will receive less and less support. Those who support Sharon will come from the left side of the Israeli political map. Most of the support for his new party will come from Labor and Meretz, and not from the traditional Likud constituency.

My guess is that the next Prime Minister of Israel will be the head of the Likud party, and that Ariel Sharon will have a lot of time to spend with his grandchildren. Time will tell if I am correct.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Haveil Havalim #45 At Mirty's Place

Mirty does a great job as usual!

Stonewalling At Ha'aretz

Read about it here. (Hat tip: Solomonia)

Rally For Jonathan Pollard

20 years in jail is an unjust sentence for the crime he committed. The time has come to release him.

Why are the American Jews silent? Why are the American jbloggers silent?

Update: Amechad agrees.

Update: Ze'ev's perspective.

What Is "Cosmic X"?

Why in the world would a Jew from Jerusalem call his blog "Cosmic X"? Usually blogs of this kind have a name that has to do with something Israeli or Jewish, often utilizing words in Hebrew, Yiddish, or Aramaic. I could have called this blog "Kadur Felafel", "Pintele Yid", "Ipcha Mistabra" or "Little Jewboy in Altneuland". So why did I call this blog "Cosmic X"?

"Cosmic X" was a nickname that I had in high school. So if anyone reading this remembers a Cosmic X that they knew from high school, it is probably yours truly. I know that it is a pretty stupid name for a blog, but what is done is done.

How I got the nickname is another story. Hashfanatic, it's not what you think.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jonathan Pollard - Still In Prison

Dry Bones has a great cartoon on this subject. This is what I think about the matter.

Elections Coming Up In Israel [yawn]

I can't say that I am excited about the upcoming elections. Experience has taught me that Israeli politicians, once elected, often execute a policy that is opposed to what they promised their voters. We need to look no further than the current Prime Minister and what he did to the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip to be reminded of this painful fact. Add to this the presence of the judicial dictatorship (see previous post), and you have a recipe for voter apathy.

In the past disenchanted and/or apathetic citizens would spend election day at the beach or at a picnic. This time the elections will be in the winter. Hmmm, it's been a while since I've been to Eilat.

Aharon Barak's Agenda

Another excellent article from Evelyn Gordon in The Jerusalem Post. An excerpt (the emphasis is mine):
Indeed, traditional democratic theory sides with Gavison: It holds that major issues are supposed to be decided by the people, via their elected representatives, rather than by an unelected court. By usurping the legislature's role in making such decisions, the court has made normal democratic politics - which centers on trying to elect people who share your views - largely irrelevant. It has thereby gutted our political culture, increased alienation and undermined belief in the value of democracy. And ultimately, it is liable to undermine the court itself - because the court, like any other dictator, will increasingly become the focus of popular resentment.

Is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice An Ignoramus?

Yes, unfortunately.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Staring Reality In The Face

The other day I was in downtown Jerusalem and felt that my stomach was growling. "A hot slice of pizza will solve that problem," I thought to myself. I went into "Big Apple Pizza" on Jaffa Street, ordered a slice of pizza and sat down to eat. There were was some technopop music playing in the background. It kind of reminded me of the disco music of the 1970s. Perhaps it was the taste of the pizza, perhaps it was the music. Slowly my mind drifted away from Jerusalem, and headed back to suburban New Jersey 30 years ago. All sorts of images passed through my mind: High School, shopping malls, friends, parties, etc. I was totally oblivious to the other people at the pizzeria as well as those passing by on Jaffa Street. Suddenly I looked up and saw a middle aged guy with a grey beard staring at me. It was my own reflection. The wall in front of me was covered with a long mirror. I quickly returned to reality.

I Wish I Had Blogged That!

The Forgotten Yitzchak's: Who will remember them?

A Tale of Two Taxis - in Jerusalem...


A Prayer of Thanks - HaGomel LeChayavim Tovot

The Mount Zion Scandal

A government that destroyed flourishing settlements, made thousands of Israelis homeless and jobless, and uprooted graves is capable of anything, if the price is right. Why doesn't President Katzav's denial of the matter calm me? Is it because that I'm used to the fact that the politicians here lie through their teeth?

Let's hope that President Katzav is telling the truth.

The Political Situation In Israel

Let's see: The Prime Minister's son is a criminal whose crimes financed the election of his father. The Labor Party elects a new chairman who has been called an "economic terrorist" and a "Socialist-Marxist" by my fellow bloggers. The Israeli government again endangers its citizens by giving in to the demands of our friend(?) Dhimmi Condi.

I'm optimistic.

Update: Some related links:

Dry Bones, LGF, Power Line, Zion Report

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tuesday Morning Open Thread

I know that I don't get thousands of hits every day like LGF. So for this to work, everyone who visits my blog today has to comment here. That means even if you arrived here by searching for "Sultan Knish homophobia", even if you stumbled upon this blog searching for zoophilia, even if you are here because you clicked on Blogger's "next blog" button, please leave a comment. It can be something simple like "Kilroy was here" or a or anything else that crosses your mind. Just keep it clean in the spirit of this blog.


Update: This thread is now closed. (After all, it's Wednesday already!) Thanks to everybody who participated.

Jacob Richman's Bible Quiz

I received an email from Jacob Richman. I do not know him personally, but I don't think that there is a native English speaking web surfer in Israel that hasn't made use of his fantastic web site. Here's the email:
Hi !

This week I launched a new website called:
The Bible Quiz

The, free, online Bible Quiz contains more than 3,000
multiple choice questions about the 5 books of Moses.
Choose a chapter and timer setting, then the fun begins.
The quiz, randomly, selects questions from its database,
thus no two quizes are alike. There is, also, a database
browser for reviewing and printing the Questions with the
correct Answers. Adults, as well as children will find the
quiz entertaining and very educational.

Feedback is welcome.

Please consider informing your readers of this new
educational site.

Thanks for the consideration.
Have a good day,
Hope this gets you a few hits, Jacob.

In appreciation,

Cosmic X

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pluralism and Floralism

My son Moshe was reading a history textbook the other day. He encountered a word that he has heard often, but did not know its meaning. "Dad, what does floralism mean?", he asked.

I immediately understood that he was talking about pluralism, and explained to him, that in the context of what he was reading it means:
A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.
I then went on to say that the word is "pluralism" and not "floralism." (When the word is spelled in Hebrew letters, one who is not familiar with the word could vocalize it as Moshe and many other Israelis do.) When you say "floralism", I continued to explain to him, it sounds like you are talking about flowers.

"Thanks for the explanation Dad. Now I know what floralism is."

"Pluralism, not floralism!", I said, raising my voice in frustration.

"Dad, everybody says floralism," replied Moshe.

I gave up.

Haveil Havalim #44

This week you can find it at View From A Height. Rocky Mountain high, Colorado...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Rabinfest 2005: "Shalom Chaver" Clinton Returns

Bli Neder, my last Rabinfest 2005 post.

Last night was the annual rally, this year featuring former U.S. President Bill Clinton:
Clinton ended his speech by saying "Shalom Haver," Hebrew for "Goodbye friend," the same words he famously used to bid farewell to Rabin at the Israeli leader's funeral.
Orthomom remembers what she felt ten years ago when she heard Clinton say "Shalom chaver":
I cried hardest during those awful dark days while watching the funeral, and cried hardest during the funeral when I heard Bill Clinton say those famous words "Shalom, chaver". I still don't know why his words resonated so with me. I didn't feel a particular connection with Clinton before then, but all I know is hearing those words, that day, from that man, made me sob and sob.
Here's a link from someone who feels differently.

Rachel Imeinu's Yahrzeit

Today is Rachel Imeinu's yahrzeit (Wow! Three different languages in one sentence!). To my great dismay, it's been years since I've visited Rachel's tomb. Click here for a virtual visit.

Update: Pinchas was there and has pictures!

The Torah Comes First

From Arutz 7:
Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Dan is demanding that the hesder (joint Torah study and military service) yeshiva in the Shomron town of Elon Moreh be dismantled due to the head rabbi's views on refusal. The reason for Halutz’s demand is that the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, called upon his students to refuse orders to take part in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria.
And what is Rabbi Levanon's reaction?
Rabbi Levanon is not phased by the prospect of losing hesder status and says he would always choose expressing his honest view of the word of Torah over subjecting his Torah study academy to the whims of the political system. “We will wait for other times, because there will always be a different Chief of Staff and different decisions – all subject to change. The yeshiva and the Torah, however, are not subject to change and they will stand. The Torah truth will continue to make its own way.”
Rabbi Levanon, I salute you!

Rabbi Menachem Liebman zt"l

A great Torah scholar and righteous man, Rabbi Menachem Liebman, passed away last Friday just before the Sabbath after a long illness and great affliction. He was 60 years old. After the Sabbath ended a large crowd gathered at the "Merkaz HaRav" Yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem to pay last respects to this great man. Among those who eulogized Rabbi Liebman were Rabbi Shmuel Tal, Rabbi Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi David Dudkevitch, and Rabbi Liebman's son Yehuda. After the eulogies, several busses full of mourners made their way eastward to the Mount of Olives where Rabbi Liebman was buried next to his father.

I knew Rabbi Liebman personally, and was a guest at his home with my family for Sabbath meals and even once for the Passover Seder. His home was a quintessential home of Torah. My condolences go out to his wife Rachel, a true Eshet Chayil, and to their children, grandchildren, and to Rabbi Menachem's siblings. May they know no further sorrow, and may they be comforted with the building of Zion.

Update: Read more about Rabbi Liebman here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is Shimon Peres A Loser?

Everybody is having a good time calling Shimon Peres a loser. I hate to be a party-pooper, but let's remember few things:

1) He may lose elections, but unfortunately, in the end, his policies get carried out by others (Rabin, Sharon).

2) He's raked in a lot of dough in the past 80 years or so. I wonder how many millions he is worth.

If he is a loser, it is in the fact that he never understood that our mission is to be a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" and not the Hebrew speaking branch of the Socialist International.

Disengaged From Reality

Here is an interesting sociological document: Israel National Radio's Eli Stutz & Yishai Fleisher interviewing Labor MK Colette Avital. It is interesting because it demonstrates the total disengagement from reality and the inability to carry on a rational discussion that characterizes many Israeli leftists. Colette, read my lips: The Oslo Agreements were an act of insanity and stupidity, and you and your friends are responsible for it.

In the meantime, Israel is not alone. America also has those who refuse to accept reality.

Memorial Services for Rabbi Meir Kahane

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Dead End Of Jewish Culture

Here is something worth reading. An excerpt:
American Jews have been occupied for four decades in a desperate attempt to stay the tide of assimilation and intermarriage (not to even speak of their more hideous confrere: conversion). I remember as a teenager in the early 1960s sitting through sermons where our rabbi pontificated on the various solutions to The Problem. Yet exactly what is the Jewish leadership trying to perpetuate? Jewish genes? Jewish culture? A fondness for kreplach and klezmer and Isaac Bashevis Singer?

Oh Dear, The Jews Want To Build Houses In Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Post wants to create a "controversy":
A controversial east Jerusalem construction project, which is being backed by an American Jewish millionaire and an Israeli right-wing organization, has moved a step closer to fruition after a city committee approved the demolition of a century-old hotel at the site.
Oh dear, it's those "ultra-nationalists" again!:
The project, which still needs multiple city committee approvals, would be the latest outpost by Israeli ultra-nationalists in the predominantly Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
The property is owned by American businessman Irwin Moskowitz. Now he wants to build there:
The compound where the hotel is located originally belonged to Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini (CX: al-Husseini was a murderer and ally of Hitler) , and then served as a hotel from 1945 until the 1967 Six Day War. It was later transferred to the Custodian General, and was subsequently acquired by Moskowitz in the 1980's. Most recently, the site was rented to the Jerusalem border police as a base.
How dare he?

The Mesorah Bug Strikes

This bug was started by Joe Settler, passed on to Jameel, who passed it on to Ze'ev, who passed it on the me. The idea is to comment on the following which was published by Ha'aretz:
The Jewish public's pessimism can apparently be ascribed to the state of affairs today, which leads an overwhelming majority of 74 percent to expect that even if Israel withdraws from all the territories beyond the Green Line and the occupation ends, Palestinian violence will not stop and may even intensify.
I am reminded of Adir Zik's play on words: seqer (a survey), sheqer (a lie). I do not have a lot of faith in polls, and I don't get excited when the Israeli MSM publishes one. This particular poll was conducted by The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, seems to be an organization with leftist orientation (check out their links), which may have influenced the results of the survey.

I'll attack this from a different angle: What about the remaining 26 percent? Are there really that many naive (I'm trying to be nice) people in Israel? I find that hard to believe.

I'm passing this bug north to Shiloh Musings.

Update: Shiloh Musing's post

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

7 Marcheshvan

In the land of Israel:

Ashkenazim - ותן טל ומטר

Sephardim - ברך עלינו

Don't forget!


Never mind.

Islam Spam

Yesterday I was surprised to see a trackback ping from a blog called Opinionated Voice, whose owner describes himself as "A Muslim twentysomething, with a dislike for injustice and oppression." See the second trackback ping:

In fact, Opinionated Voice is a blog filled with Taqiyya and laced with the bizarre fantasies that inhabit the brain cells of many Muslims. I checked the post that I was "trackbacked from", and lo and behold, no mention of Cosmic X. I left Opinionated Voice a message saying:

I came here from a trackback ping that was put at

However, I do not see that you refer to my post.

Just puzzled.

Comment by Cosmic X — November 7, 2005 @ 4:10 pm
As of yet Jamal has not responded. This is what I call Islam Spam.

Needless to say, I have deleted the trackback ping. BTW, if you don't know what taqiyya is, click here.

The Current Of Life

Sichot HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Talmud Torah II paragraph 31:
'It is true, there was a need to write the things(the Oral Torah), but the Gemara is not a regular book, it is a living book, full of vitality. Someone who deals with "the science of literature" claimed: "Why are talented youth wearying themselves, sitting and learning the Gemara which is a labyrinth, a maze?" At first glance he is correct, the Gemara appears to be unorganized in comparsion to book "Mishneh Torah" by the Rambam which is organized. But the Gemara is the continuation of the current of life of arguments and noise, Halacha and Agadah. Can the current of life be quiet? Also within ourselves it isn't quiet, rather there is uninterrupted activity in the brain, in the heart, and in the blood's racing. Thus also the Gemara is a labyrinth of the current of life that flows profusively upon our Rabbis and their students, a current of faith, a current of inquiry of law and justice. The more that you are connected and caught up in this current of life, the more that you are filled with the vitality of the Oral Torah, the more you will perfect yourself and be healthy in your Judaism. "Happy is the man that...his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psalms 1:1-2).'

Monday, November 07, 2005

Don't Forget Versailles

That is to say, the Versailles Wedding Hall in Jerusalem. From Arutz 7: Two Versailles Wedding Hall Owners Sentenced to 2.5 Years

This was a tragic event etched in the memories of most Israelis:
A crowded wedding reception hall collapsed Thursday night in Jerusalem, killing at least 25 people and injuring 250, police said.
I was in reserve duty at the time, guarding the gate of a small army base. I heard a lot of commotion from soldiers watching television in the dining room of the base. After I finished my shift, I went to see what the commotion was about. Horror! Some time afterwards the video of the wedding photographer was shown on television. I remember seeing the people dancing to some rowdy music, and then, all of a sudden, the floor collapses under them.


When I came home from reserve duty the mourning notices were pasted up all over Jerusalem.

The Answer To My Riddle

The riddle:
"With a kamatz he is one of three, with a cholam it is one of eight."
The answer (drumroll): The Hebrew letters Chet and Mem, when vocalized with a kamatz, make up the word Cham, one of Noach's three sons. When the vocalized with a cholam, these letters are Chom, heat, one of the eight things that will not cease:
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."(Genesis 8:22)

Two Versions Of Rabin's Last Speech

Version 1: Jerusalem Post

Version 2: WZO

The differences? There are slight, benign variations in the translation to English. But I'm posting this because the Jpost version omits the following:
"There are enemies of peace who are trying to hurt us, in order to torpedo the peace process.

I want to say bluntly, that we have found a partner for peace among the Palestinians as well: the PLO, which was an enemy, and has ceased to engage in terrorism. Without partners for peace, there can be no peace.

We will demand that they do their part for peace, just as we will do our part for peace, in order to solve the most complicated, prolonged, and emotionally charged aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."
An innocent omission?

The Murder of Earl Krugel

MentalBlog has an important post about this.

Off The Derech

Why do some baalei teshuva go "off the derech"? There are of course many answers to this question.

One reason is the desire to jump into mitzvah observance too quickly, before a solid base of faith is built. Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zt"l used to say that faith is something that must be learned, just like one learns Chumash or Gemara. That is why the students in Merkaz HaRav and its related instutions spend time learning books like the Kuzari and the writings of the Maharal.

The rush to observe mitzvot before developing a solid faith stands in contradiction to the Mishnah (Berachot 2:2): "Why does "Shma" precede "Vehaya Im Shamoa"? In order that one should take upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven first, and afterwards take upon himself the yoke of mitzvot.

Without a strong faith, it is easy to go "off the derech."

For more on this see Torat Eretz Yisrael by Rabbi David Samson pages 15 - 17.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Haveil Havalim #43

I've been boring myself and my readers lately with my rantings about Rabinfest 2005, and I did not think I had anything worthy to submit to Haveil Havalim. Therefore I was surprised to see that I was mentioned this week's edition. Thanks Jack! Check it out at Random thoughts.

Intifada in France

Don't miss this post at the Dry Bones Blog. Cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen reveals to us a little about the creative process that goes into making a cartoon. He also seems to upset some people (Read the comments).

A Riddle For Parshat Noach

My younger daughter asked me this riddle at the Shabbos meal:
"With a kamatz he is one of three, with a cholam he's one of eight."
Do you know the answer?

Update: I just realized that my word for word translation from Hebrew to English is misleading. Here it goes again:
"With a kamatz he is one of three, with a cholam it is one of eight."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rabinfest 2005: The Left's War Against Religious Zionism

Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post:
The Left has been waging its culture war against religious Zionism at least since Menachem Begin's ascension to power in 1977. Since the enactment of the Oslo process with the PLO in 1993, that war has become the main objective of the Left. It is an objective that eclipses the importance of attaining either security for the state or peace with the Arabs.

This war is nowhere more apparent than in the commemoration of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin 10 years ago today. Indeed, as the years have gone by, in the service of the culture war against religious Zionists, Rabin himself - who he actually was and what he stood for - has been all but forgotten.
Orit Shohat proves Carline Glick's point:
Rabin's assassination was a consolidating event for the hard core of the secular left, those who had loathed the religious right all along. This hard core sought a probing clarification, a creative hatred, a civil war over the future path of Zionism, and had no patience with explanations, justifications and movements for reconciliation like Tzav Piyus.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rabinfest 2005 At The Jerusalem Post

Rabinfest 2005 has started in earnest at The Jerusalem Post.

One article, by Jonathan S. Tobin, is actually pretty good:
IN THE mythology of the Jewish Left, it was Rabin's murder that cut short the peace process. According to that narrative, had Rabin lived, he would have been able to lead Israel's people to accept peace and his strength would have ensured that the Palestinians did the right thing too.
Another article, by Yossi Beilin, attempts to promote the leftist mythology that Tobin warns us about:
His solution involved an effort to reach a settlement with all the Arab countries by the end of the 1990s. He supported the Oslo process, and if he had lived and remained in power, he would have obtained a final status settlement by May 1999, the date agreed upon with the Arab states, in the spirit of the Clinton plan and our own Geneva Initiative.
Yet another article, by Yoram Peri, is also full of typical leftist dribble. The Jerusalem Post informs us that Yoram Peri "is head of the Chaim Herzog Institute for Media, Politics and Society at Tel Aviv University." But they don't tell us that he was a spokesperson for the Israel Labor Party, a political advisor to Rabin, and president of the New Israel Fund!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A New Type Of French Fries?

Click here.

Joe Settler gives the French a piece of his mind.

More on this: C&R, LGF.

Four Years Since Rehavam Ze'evi Was Murdered

As the Israeli MSM celbrates Rabinfest 2005, few recall the anniversary of another murder.

Rabinfest 2005: Rabbi Yisrael Rosen Takes On The Rabin Cult

Rabinfest 2005: Uzi Benziman

Uzi Benziman of Ha'aretz wants to inundate the public with leftist mantras:
Instead of dealing with Rabin's "heritage," the public debate must be inundated with examinations and interpretations of the causes leading to the tragic ending of his public mission. The annual commemoration days must be used as catalysts to teach insights on the dangerous implications of incitement. Among other things it must focus on the limits of public controversy, the duty to obey the law, the proper rules of the game for making national decisions, the precedent threatening democratic society's ability to continue functioning after the political assassination of its leader, the built-in contradiction between the halakha edict, or the intention of the rabbis interpreting it, and an order by the authorized government.
Sorry Uzi, I'm tired of being inundated with leftist nonsense. Instead, I will inundate myself with Torah!

Keep It Clean: A Thought For Parshat Noach

"Of the clean beasts, and of beasts that are not pure, and of fowls, and of everything that creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 7:8)

Why does the Torah speak at length and say "and of beasts that are not pure" when the Torah could have been brief and say "and of impure beasts"? Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi learned from the wordiness of this verse a very important lesson: That one should choose his words wisely, and not say things that are indecent (see Pesachim 3A).

This applies not only to the spoken word, but to the written word as well. In this blog I often deal with heated issues, and sometimes I wonder if I have passed the bounds of what the Torah permits to say/write. It is not hard to do so, especially when blogging as I do under an alias.

In short, let's keep it clean.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Has The "Cidor" Gone Sour?

Peggy Cidor has written a real tear-jerker about how the Hareidi School System discriminates against Sephardic girls:
But Rahel still hasn't begun the school year because she hasn't been accepted into any educational institution within the haredi system.

She is convinced that she has been rejected from four of the most prestigious schools, despite her high grades and commendable behavior, for one reason only: because she is Sephardi and the schools are Ashkenazi.
Only at the end of the five page article is the truth revealed:
Still at home, Rahel says that is discouraged and fears that her reputation has been ruined. She is ready to "give in," she says, and attend a less-prestigious school.
In other words, she was or could be accepted to a "seminar", but not one of the prestigious ones. [Sniffle]

A Google search on "Peggy Cidor" brought me to the following:
Ms Cidor is a member of Women of the Wall, an organisation launched 14 years ago to challenge centuries of tradition that permits only men to wear shawls and speak prayers from the Torah at the wall. But the organisation's broader aim is to break the grip of men over Orthodox religious practices that, among other things, exclude women from becoming rabbis.
Do you think the lady has an axe to grind?

Rabinfest 2005: M.J. Rosenberg

Here's an excerpt from a ridiculous article by M.J. Rosenberg in jpost:
Rabin hoped that, within five years, he could have achieved peace with the Palestinians and thereby removed Iran's pretext for an attack on Tel Aviv.

It didn't happen. Rabin was assassinated, and with him went the chance of achieving a final status agreement on schedule. But the chance to achieve Rabin's goal remains. In fact, the withdrawal from Gaza makes it even more likely.
What is this guy smoking?

Rabinfest 2005: Mofaz Gets Into The Act

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz spouts a Rabin Cult mantra: The lesson from Rabin's murder has apparently not been learned:
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday that "Unfortunately, the lesson from (former Prime Minister Yitzhak) Rabin's murder has apparently not been learned. The evil spirit of violence, violation of the law, and defiance of the State's authority, up to physically assaulting soldiers and officers on duty and threatening leaders and state functionaries, still persists and is perhaps even getting stronger."
All this from a man who acted contrary to two democratic decisions of his own party against the "disengagement." Ya'ani democrat.

David Hatuel is Engaged

Last night Arab terror victim and former Gush Katif resident David Hatuel got engaged. He and his fiancee Limor held an engagement party at Machon Meir in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem. Cosmic X happened to be there at the beginning of the party. Among the notables present was MK Effie Etam. When David and Limor arrived, a local journalist requested to interview Limor but she politely refused. Later on, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu also arrived. Read more from Arutz 7.

Update: ynet(Hebrew) ynet(English).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...