Sunday, July 31, 2005
Rav Pealim - an article about Rabbi Yoel Schwartz Shlita of Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim. Especially interesting are his views on the redemption(Yaak, be sure to check it out!).
Avi HaAtzurim - an article about Eliyahu Herbst, the man who served as a father figure for the youths who were imprisoned because of their anti-expulsion activities.
Ma Yo'ilu HaHafganot? - Rabbi Eliezer Melamed Shlita explains why demonstrations against the expulsion are important.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
(Anyone who thinks that things will get better after the expulsion/withdrawal has apparently been asleep for the last ten years.)
"As an organization that represents the interests of Orthodox Jewry, we are stunned by reports of security forces singling out persons displaying outward appearances of religious observance for disparate harsh treatment," said the letter, signed by OU president Stephen Savitsky, OU executive vice president Rabbi Tzvi Weinreb, chairman of international public affairs Mark Bane and director of international public affairs Nathan Diament.Read the rest here.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Seeing the Sultan's beautiful pictures of New York City brought back long forgotten memories. As one who grew up in suburban New Jersey, New York City was simply "the city." This was the place where the pre-teshuvah Cosmic X went to see rock concerts, baseball and basketball games, etc. This was the place where the post-teshuvah Cosmic X would go to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, and others.
An early memory of New York that I have is being in Manhattan on a very cold day. I think that my parents took us in to the city to visit the Museum of Natural History. There was a guy with a push-cart that sold hot, salty pretzels. My parents bought me one. You can't imagine how delicious a hot salty pretzel is to a kid on a freezing cold New York winter day.
Monday, July 25, 2005
On the way down to the kotel, as I passed through the shuk, I regretted that I only know a few words of Arabic. Wouldn't it be nice to know what the merchants are saying? When could I find time to learn Arabic? I have to work, learn Torah, teach my children Torah, and do all the other duties of the average baalhabus. Apparently I won't be learning Arabic in the near future.
After Mincha I go up to the Jewish Quarter. Lots of tourists are here today. I look at some of them and think to myself: "Do these people know where they are. This is Jerusalem, the Old City of Jerusalem! Why did they came here dressed as if they were at the beach?"
"Cool it, Cosmic," I continue thinking to myself. "Try to remember how you were dressed in 1982 when you came with other college students to visit Israel. Zechor Maasecha HaRishonim! You went to the Kotel, and these are your thoughts? Have you become a haughty frum idiot?"
I hope that the answer is no!
Sunday, July 24, 2005
This is a date of disasters for the Jewish people, one of them being that on this date the wall around Jerusalem was breached. The destruction of the Temple followed three weeks later on the 9th of Av.
The challenges of life are many, and it is easy to get caught up in them and forget how much we are lacking our holy Temple. Our Rabbis instituted many pracitices that accompany us daily in order to cause us to remember the Temple. Unfortunately, these things become routine and often go unnoticed. When was the last time I looked at the unpainted cubit by cubit square on the wall in my house? How much kavanah did I have when I said "retzeh" this morning?
However, a fast day, when you are denied some of your most basic needs (food and water), is hard to ignore. As the stomach growls and the head aches, we are forced to remember the tragedy of the destruction of the Temple. We are forced to remember the causeless hatred that brought this calamity upon us. It is a day for introspection and teshuvah.
As I gaze upon the Temple Mount, I feel the destruction more keenly. A mosque stands on the site of the Temple. From another mosque on the Temple Mount huge crowds of Muslims regulary hear anti-Jewish incitement. If all this were not enough, our Israeli and ostensively Jewish government is planning to destroy the Jewish communities of Gaza and Northern Samaria. Voices of senseless hatred spew forth from the Israeli media, directed at the settlers and those that support them. Indeed, bein hametzarim. Please G-d, we need a miracle.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
He also told me of a meeting between high ranking army officers and the residents. Basically the officers came to explain to the residents how the army is going to come and throw them out of their houses. From August 15-17, the residents will be given time to pack their possesions and leave. After that, if the residents have not left, the army will come and pack up the residents' belongings and kick the residents out of their houses. Anything attached to the walls of the houses will be left behind.
I feel sorry for the residents who have been abandoned by the Sharon government and the Knesset. I feel sorry for the rest of us here in Israel who will surely suffer from the backwind that this withdrawal under fire will supply the terrorists with. I feel sorry for Jews all over the world who will have to suffer the consequences of this modern day "sin of the spies." I feel sorry for the civilized world, that will pay the price of surrendering to Islamic terror. I feel most sorry, however, for the soldiers and policemen that will carry out the orders to expel and destroy. This is a big aveirah, a very big aveirah. It will be with them forever, in this world and in the next. "I was just following orders" is not an excuse.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I met there about 20 Sabot and Savtot(grandfathers and grandmothers), most if not all were native English speakers. For some strange reason in Israel these kind of people are called Anglo-Saxons! A very nice, spirited group.
Afterwards I crossed the street to see if I could get a tour of the President's home. (I vaguely remember doing something like that over 20 years ago as a student. I was visiting Israel with a group of University students. We even received an audience with then President Navon.) I was told that the only time the President's house is open to the public is Chol HaMoed Sukkot. I guess that I'll have to wait and come with my Lulav.
Later on I was walking through the neighborhood and I saw sign hanging from one of the apartments:
We are choosing life and leaving Gaza - Peace NowTalk about Chutzpah! The utopian daydreamers that brought Arafat and Co. to Israel and made our life hell are still giving us advice!
Monday, July 18, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
This is a drastic change in the ostensive purpose of the IDF. Therefore, the army should change its name from the Israeli Defense Force to The Israeli Destruction Force. This is quite convenient as not only does the acronym IDF remain in English, the Hebrew acronym Tzahal will also remain unchanged (Tzva Hagana LeYisrael ==> Tzva Heres LeYisrael).
What do you think, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz?
So you have no choice. Get up tomorrow morning, go back to the hothouses, which you have been cultivating for many years. Go back to your saplings, go back to your land, the Eternal One of Israel will send you a blessing, because the Eternal People is not afraid of a long road.Are the winds of teshuva blowing at Ha'aretz?
Arab terrorists killed 22-year-old Dana Gelkowitz at Moshav Netiv Ha'Asara in a massive mortar shelling Thursday evening. She lived in Kibbutz Bror Chail, where she is to be buried on Friday.For those who do not understand: Moshav Netiv Ha'Asara is in pre-1967 Israel! But this is just the beginning:
The moshav is located about 200 meters (650 feet) north of the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza and has been the target of previous mortar shell and rocket attacks.
Terrorists continued massive mortar and rocket attacks Saturday on Israel, wounding dozens. Sharon allowed IDF air-strikes, but put on hold a ground response after Rice said she will visit.Who will open the eyes of our blind leaders?
Sixteen people, including seven children, were injured in a Kassam rocket blast on a house in Nissanit in northern Gaza on Saturday evening. They were hospitalized for light to moderate wounds.
Ten rockets and mortars exploded on Sderot throughout Saturday, continuing the shelling which became heavy there Friday. Several residents became hysterical. The two-day assault on Sderot caused many residents to flee to friends and relatives further away from Gaza. The remaining residents mostly stayed inside their homes, except to walk to synagogue Friday night and Saturday.
Update: Two Seriously Wounded in Shelling Attack
Update: Prayers Requested for Mortar Attack Victim Yigal ben Zahava
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Meet Vasili, your friendly Border Guard Policeman imported from the FSU. Shto?
This protester holds a banner and prays at the same time:
A lone protester at "Ganei Sakharov". The sign says, "A Jew does not expel a Jew":
A trash bin burns on "Kanfei Nesharim" Street:
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Perspectives on daily life in Israel, politics, and issues confronting the Jewish People through the eyes of one who was born and raised in New York, and who, as of January 2003, finds himself taking an active role in the compelling drama that is the life of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.
Israel, much like the fortress of Tel-Chai that Jospeh Trumpeldor fought to defend from Arab conquestors in the 19th century, finds itself beseiged by enemies both within and without. Terrorists, would-be friends inside and outside Israel, and even bad government officials. Here are the discussions of one proud Zionist resident on the state of the nation and abroad.
We discuss why as Jews we oppose: abortion-on-demand, euthansia, evolution, gay incestuous & bestial marraiges, gun control, life on other planets, radical feminism, spaying & neutering of animals & women in combat. As Jews we support: death penalty, mandatory uniforms in public schools, seperate gender public schools, school vouchers, voluntary prayer in public schools and a strong U.S. defense.
If Israel wants to throw you out of your house, convert to Islam. They don't transfer Arabs...just Jews.
WHAT WE see here unfolding is a situation where the anti-religious Left, the primary supporters of Ariel Sharon's policy to forcibly expel 10,000 Jews from their homes and communities, has given the policy their support – through its members' legal authority and public platforms – not because they see any security benefit arising from the move. In fact, they support the plan despite its security dangers because they see it as a culminating battle in their cultural war against religious Zionism.Thanks to Galileeblog for bringing this article to my attention.
Update: In Defense of Nadia
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Indeed, I am shocked. The ynet article itself states what every Jerusalemite knows:
Someone messed up - and should be fired
How is it that they can find out who sends suicide bombers and they can do "targeted assassinations", but they can't figure out how to prevent this?
Either it is a plant, or someone is messing up big time!
For those of you who don't believe that this is a plant, why aren't they firing the incompetent people in charge of stopping this??
Why isn't there a public outcry?
Security at the central bus station is one of the most extensive operations in the country. Passengers must pass through metal detectors, bags go through airport-style x-ray machines, and every passenger is frisked.In summary, either this is a provocation of the Shabak, or an incredible, almost unbelievable security lapse. Either way those in charge of security at the Central Bus Station owe the public an explanation.
Update: Dummy Bomb Suspected GSS Provocation
Update: Rachel Ann weighs in on this one.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Did I mention that I love the beach?
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
No rowdy protests at the entrance to Jerusalem yesterday. The police, however, took no chances, and sent a contingent to keep order. They were left with nothing to do but sit around:
The only one blocking the street is a cop:
These pro-expulsion blue ribbon distributers hail from the Baq'a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Baq'a was an Arab neighborhood until Israel's 1948 War of Independence:
A peaceful demonstration at the intersection of Kiryat-Moshe Street and Herzl Boulevard:
The sign says "O my land don't cry. We will never leave you or abandon you":
The sign says "The sign says, "One does not compromise on his mother":
Painting the town orange:
Kibbutz Kerem Shalom responded positively to a request from Defense Ministry officials, agreeing to host the major pre-disengagement training exercise scheduled to take place August 8-10. The Negev area community is situated in a good area for the exercise, and the forces will use the community dinning hall and other public and vacant buildings.My personal feeling is that this kibbutz will not see any blessing from the money they receive. They will probably regret that they gave a hand to the expulsion of Jews from their homes.
For its cooperation, the kibbutz will receive NIS 1 million. In addition, the women and children will not be present during the exercise, but will be treated to two free days in an IDF vacation resort village in Ashkelon.
That's just my humble opinion.
Here's another article about the kibbutz and its plans to profit from Sharon's expulsion plan.
Monday, July 04, 2005
"And Gideon said unto him: 'Oh, my lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all His wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying: Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian.' And the LORD turned towards him, and said: 'Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian; have not I sent thee?'" (Judges 6:13-14)
Update: See the very bottom of the Isreallycool post. His conclusion: The incident was not staged, but neither was it a lynch.
Update: See this link from Arutz 7.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
And here is a message for the guy who wanted to play "Pinchas the son of Elazar" and decided to knife a few gays: What Pinchas did was in accordance with Jewish Law, but what you did was not. You desecrated our holy city with needless violence. You are a fool that belongs in jail or in a mental hospital.
"He stuck his fingers into the protester's nostrils and pulled up and back in a quick and professional movement and ripped his entire face including damage to the eyes."The article includes a video of the incident. I hope that Arutz 7 will also put the article up on the English site.
Update: Here's the story in English. Thanks Patrick!
Update: Blogger Yoel Ben-Avraham receives anonymous threats for "spreading anti-government incitement".