Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blogger's Block

I am still suffering from a severe case of Blogger's Block. As John Lennon said,"I've got nothing to say, but it's okay."

Here's a picture of Tel Aviv from the La Guardia St. Bridge looking northward:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Don't Want...

to write about the "ceasefire", Benny Sela, or the strike. I am still suffering from a serious case of blogger's block.

Just for the sake of posting something, here's a picture I took of a Tel Aviv skyscraper:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nothing To Say

My wells of inspiration are just dry today. If you want something interesting to read click here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ceasefire breached: 2 Qassams fired from Gaza


Bradley Burston's Palestinian Problem

One of the characteristics of the Israeli leftists that I have had the priviledge(?) of arguing with, is an adamant refusal to deal with reality. Facts are meaningless, and evidence is something to be ignored. They have an idea, a goal, an agenda. They will stick with their premises even they have been proven wrong over and over again.

Ze'ev Orenstein at Israel Perspectives recently noted that Ha'aretz columnist Bradley Burston has a problem with people that speak the truth. According to the "talkback" guidelines for his weekly column, "A Special Place in Hell", the use of the phrase: "There are no Palestinians" or derivatives thereof is prohibited. I might have been surprised by such closed mindedness, however Burston's inability to deal with this annoying fact, up to the point that he promises to unapologetically censor "talkbacks" that mention it, is entirely consistent with the leftist Israeli mindset.

Baruch Gordon, the Director of English Media at Arutz Sheva, apparently reads Israel Perspectives (not surprising since Arutz 7 publishes Ze'ev's articles from time to time), and he published an op-ed that echoes much of what Ze'ev wrote. He closes with the following:
Your rule of deleting derivatives of the statement 'There are no Palestinians' does not coexist with your "guiding principle of openness of dialogue." One of them must go.

I urge you to retain your openness, and allow the political right to freely express historical truths which support its agenda.

I await your reply.
I hope that Baruch isn't holding his breath.

Haveil Havalim #95 at Smooth Stone

Check it out!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lock Your Doors! Benny Sela Is On The Loose!

As if Kassam rockets and suicide terrorists were not enough to worry about:
( Israel Police’s highest priority has shifted from preventing terror attacks to apprehending Benny Sela, the convicted serial rapist who escaped on Friday.

Police are investigating the events that permitted Sela to flee, with Public Security Minister Avi Dichter calling the escape a “disgraceful failure.”

Sela, who was apprehended on December 13th, admitted to at least 13 rapes and sexual attacks, and was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Police have published Sela’s photo in all major newspapers, announcing that all policemen in the country have his photo. The search concentrates in the Greater Tel Aviv area, with special attention placed on border crossings, land, air and sea. Over 2,000 policemen and volunteers are taking part in the manhunt.

Sela escaped en route to a Tel Aviv area court.

What He Said

A bullseye by Joe Settler.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hasn't The Olmert Government Failed Miserably?

Patrick from Clarity & Resolve:
I generally steer clear of Israeli politics because I'm not there. But when I see three young heroes languishing in the clutches of Islamic monsters for more than half a year, a massive debacle in Lebanon (admittedly, largely as a result of vociferous worldwide one-sidedness), and then when I see what's going on in Sderot... I can't help but think: Hasn't the Olmert government failed miserably?
According to a recent poll, many Israelis agree with Patrick:
According to a poll conducted by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily and the Dahaf Institute headed by Mina Tzemach, if the elections were to be held today, the Likud party would receive 20 Knesset seats, compared to 12 it holds today.

Kadima, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert , crashes to 15 Knesset seats, nearly half of the seats it has today.

The Labor Party, led by Defense Minister Amir Peretz , gets a similar amount of seats, compared to the 19 it holds today.

Both Peretz and Olmert are paying for the failures revealed during the Lebanon war. More and more people have been recently calling to replace Peretz as defense minister.
Ehud Olmert is soon to learn that media spins are not a substitute for leadership and effective government.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Baruch Dayan Haemet

One of the great halakhic authorities of the generation, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg - author of Tzitz Eliezer - passed away in Jerusalem Tuesday morning at the age of 89.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ibn Tibbon And The Genius Of Vilnius

Ibn Tibbon translated the book "Duties of the Heart" from Arabic into Hebrew. In the introduction to his translation he sets down three requirements for one who wishes to embark on such an effort:

1) He must know the language that the original work is written in

2) He must know the language that he is translating the work into

3) He must understand the matter that the work deals with

Conditions 1) and 2) are fairly obvious. The third condition is less so. It is often lacking by those that translate Hebrew into English when the subject matter deals with religious issues.

Why am I writing this? I just saw the English version of a Hebrew article that I mentioned yesterday. As I read it one paragraph made me smile:
The first speaker at the conference, Head of the Hebron Yeshiva Rabbi David Cohen, quoted the Genius of Vilnius, Rabbi Eliyahu, in saying “The evil urge, it’s spice for people is the Torah, and for modest women.

This is the original Hebrew:
ראשון הדוברים, ראש ישיבת חברון הרב דוד כהן, ציטט את הגאון מווילנא ואמר כי "היצר הרע, התבלין שלו לאנשים הוא עסק התורה, ולנשים הצניעות

The "Genius of Vilnius" is of course better known as the Gaon of Vilna or the Vilna Gaon. I wonder if the translator would translate "Rabbi Sa'adyah Gaon" as "Rabbi Sa'adyah Genius".

The rest of the translation is nothing sort of a disaster. It should be the following: "For men, the antidote for the evil urge is learning Torah, and (the antidote) for women is modesty."

I have a feeling that the ynetnews translation was done by a computer program or a drug addict.

When A Picture Just Doesn't Do Justice

The Belz World Headquarters in Jerusalem at night:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cosmic X In Hareidi Land

A meeting to strengthen tznius (Tzniut, modesty) was held last night in Jerusalem's Tamir hotel. The fathers of girls learning in the Beis Yaakov Seminary High Schools were asked to attend the meeting. Cosmic X was there.

Several rabbis spoke, stressing the importance of tznius as the foundation of a true Torah home. They urged the public to resist the fashion trends of "the street" and to preserve the character of the Jewish home.

Some of the greatest rabbis of our generation, including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman attended the meeting.

An exclusive Cosmic X photo:

BTW, ynet has a good article about the meeting (in Hebrew). Most of the talkbacks unfortunately reflect the ignorance of most Israelis with regards to Jewish concepts.

Photo Feature: Fear and Rage in Betrayed Sderot

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

These Are Your Intellectuals, O Israel!

Check out this article by Dr. Muli Peleg, a political communication lecturer at the Netanya College. The guy goes overboard in the first paragraph:
The real question associated with the "battle for Jerusalem" between the ultra-Orthodox community and the homo-lesbian community was not the pride parade or its prevention, but rather, the racist and fascist attitude objectors displayed towards those who initiated the parade.
Did you catch that? Those that opposed the "Gay Pride" parade displayed a racist attitude! How long will people use words that they don't understand? What does racism have to do with opposition to the parade? Does this guy think that the homosexuals are a race? I've already blogged that people have a habit of calling their opponents racists without understanding the meaning of the word.

The rest of the article isn't any better. Particularly offensive was this sad piece of demagoguery:
What would the Orthodox do had Jewish law marked the left-handed, elderly, and all those above six feet or blue-eyed as unworthy and deserving of stoning?
I've seen this kind of argument raised by those who oppose Brit Milah (cicumcision). They ask, "If God told you to cut off your entire sexual organ would you do it?" Of course the answer is that the "law of the Lord is perfect", and the Torah does not request silly, harmful, and/or unnecessary acts.

A quick search in Google teaches us a little bit more about Dr. Muli Peleg:
Samuel Peleg, or Muli Peleg as he is known in Israel, is a long time peace activist. After his military service as a tank commander in the Israeli Army, he became the spokesperson for the Peace Now movement and then became the close advisor and confident of Yossi Beilin, the former Minister of Justice and the initiator of the Oslo Agreements (1993) and the Geneva Accord (2004). Professor Peleg has been a top advisor on leadership and peace processes for the Peres Center for Peace and the New Israel Fund. He has also counseled the Prime Minister’s office, the Foreign Office and the National Security Council.
These are your intellectuals, O Israel!

Tel Aviv's Hassidic Restaurant

It is difficult to find a non-kosher restaurant in Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods. In Tel Aviv, the situation is different. There it is often difficult to find a kosher restaurant. During my current working-hours-exile in Tel Aviv I met a Belz Hassid near their Cheder on Ahad Ha'am Street, and I asked him if he knew of a strictly kosher restaurant in the area. He told me that at the end of Mazeh Street near the intersection with Allenby Street there is a restaurant called "Yeshurun" owned by a Chabbadnik, and that he himself eats there. I stored that information in my brain for later retrieval.

A few days later I went to the restaurant. There are certain places in Israel that entering them is like entering a time warp. "Yeshurun" is one of them. The cuisine is stictly Eastern European. You will find all the classic "Jewish" food that your grandmother (if she was Ashkenazic) cooked: Gefilte Fish, Kasha, Cholent, Knishes, Latkes, etc. The owner of the restaurant, Zusha, can be heard chatting with his workers not only in Hebrew but also in Russian and Yiddish. This is probably as close to being in a shtetl as you can get in downtown Tel Aviv.

Zusha is a Lubavitcher Hassid, and he runs his business like one. Children that learn in a nearby school stop by after school hours to receive a free treat from Zusha. Sometimes it's a candy, sometimes it's a soft drink. The day I was there, Zusha was handing out doughnuts.

Did I say the treat was free? Well, it's almost free. If you want a treat from Zusha you have to say the verse, "Here O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." And of course the proper blessing must be recited over the treat in question. (This is reminiscent of the Midrash where the patriarch Abraham teaches his guests to thank God for the food that he served them.) The kids don't seem to mind paying the price.

By the way, the food is pretty good.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Teacher, Why Are Our Desks Made Out Of Concrete?

That's the question that students in Ashkelon will soon be asking their teachers:
The Home Front Command is planning to provide concrete desks for students in Ashkelon as a solution to the threat of Kassam rocket attacks. The desks for the children will give them instant shelter in the event of a Kassam strike on a school, the Home Front Command said.

The rockets have reached the southern port city at an increasing rate, raising fears of an explosion at one of the city's chemical, electric or oil and gas facilities.
If I were a teacher, I would answer them: It is because of the foolishness of all of the politicians, professors, journalists and army officers that supported the disengagement plan.

Question Of The Day

I saw this in Tel Aviv the other day. The graffiti reads, "Who, what, how and how much(many)?" A very interesting philosophical question. I would like to know the answer myself.

P.S. If you are the guy that wrote the graffiti, I recommend that you open up a blogger account, instead of dirtying the walls of Tel Aviv. You have a great future as a jblogger.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cosmic X In Kahane Land

Last Thursday I went to the annual memorial gathering in honor of Rabbi Meir Kahane z"l. Rabbi Kahane wrote numerous books and articles. Some of his literary output was on sale at the entrance to the hall:

Inside the hall was full of family, students and admirers:

A film was shown showing how Rabbi Kahane's murder was perpetrated by the same Al Qaeda terror cell that was later to attack the World Trade Center.

Several people spoke. Noam Federman attributed the violent resistance to this year's gay pride parade to the self-sacrifice of Yishai Schlissel, who is now serving a twelve year sentence for stabbing three people in last year's march.

Yossi Rabin encouraged the younger people to get to know Rabbi Kahane via his books.

Shmuel Cytryn declared that he is a Kachnik, that he was born a Kachnik and that he will die a Kachnik.

I admire these guys, but I do not agree with them on every issue. This being so, if Meir Kahane were alive today I rather vote for him than vote for any party currently in the Knesset. He proved to right about a lot of issues. Unfortunately, the Knesset turned our democracy into a farce by making the Kach Party illegal. They made a joke out of themselves by redefining racism. We are all suffering as a result.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rabbi Meir Kahane Was Not A Racist

In honor of the memorial for Rabbi Meir Kahane, that will take place tonight (at 6:00 PM at "Heichal David", 14 Oholiav Street in Jerusalem), I would like to utter this simple truth: Rabbi Meir Kahane was not a racist. Anyone who has a working knowledge of the English language and is familiar with Rabbi Kahane's ideology know this is true. Here is the definition of racism:
Any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview—the ideology that humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races,” that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some “races” are innately superior to others.
Rabbi Kahane's opposition to Arabs in Israel was not due to any genetic/biological differences that may exist between Arabs and Jews. I remember at least one case of an Arab that converted to Judaism who joined Rabbi Kahane's Kach party. Rabbi Kahane's desire to rid the land of Israel of its Arab dwellers was based on his understanding of Arab national/religious aspirations here, and that they will never live with us in peace and harmony.

Kahanes opponents purposely applied the racist label to him because they lacked the intellectual ability to debate him on the issues that he raised. It is also interesting to note the following from
By the 19th century racism had matured and the idea spread around the world. Racism differs from ethnocentrism in that it is linked to physical and therefore immutable differences among people. Ethnic identity is acquired, and ethnic features are learned forms of behavior. Race, on the other hand, is a form of identity that is perceived as innate and unalterable. In the last half of the 20th century several conflicts around the world were interpreted in racial terms even though their origins were in the ethnic hostilities that have long characterized many human societies (e.g., Arabs and Jews, English and Irish).
Rabbi Kahane was a great Jew, towering above the shallow Jewish "leaders" who were unwilling to honestly discuss and face the issues at hand. May his memory be a blessing.

Update: An anonymous commenter to this blog claims that Rabbi Kahane thought and wrote that Arabs are biologically/genetically inferior to Jews. I challenge anybody to bring a source to this outrageous claim!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

No More Gay Pride March Posts

That's it, I've had enough. I think that I have made my opinion clear, and I think that those who disagree with me have also expressed themselves clearly. That's all folks. Life goes on. Let's hope that nobody gets hurt. It's time to put the fire out. Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mazuz Approves Rape Of Jerusalem

Att. Gen. Menachem Mazuz ordered Jerusalem Police Commander Ilan Franco on Sunday to issue a permit to allow the homosexhibitionist parade to march through the streets of the holy city of Jerusalem.
We the people have to finance the march of the degenerates. This, in spite of the fact that 90% of Jerusalemites oppose the parade:
Ninety percent of Jerusalem residents, including secular and religious people, are against holding the planned parade by homosexuals in the capital this Friday, according to Voice of Israel government radio.
I'm pretty disgusted.

A Question For Supporters Of The Gay Pride Parade In Jerusalem

Why is having your reproduction system aroused by someone of the same sex something to be proud of?

Kahane Was Right

Another sign of the times:

The memorial gathering will be on Thursday at 6:00 PM at "Heichal David", 14 Oholiav Street in Jerusalem. I hope to be there.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Sign Of The Times

Seen in Jerusalem last Friday:

And Saturday night:
Hareidi religious Jews took to the streets once again Saturday night in massive demonstrations spreading to numerous neighborhoods in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country.

Demonstrators had been advised by the Hareidi Rabbinical Court not to carry out demonstrations Saturday night, but rather to wait until Franco made his decision on whether to authorize the parade. The announcement by Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss was broadcast by cars traveling through the religious neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, the streets were packed with protestors shortly after the end of Shabbat in defiance of the recommendation. Streets were blocked in the following Jerusalem neighborhoods: Meah Shearim, Geula, Givat Mordechai, Kiryat Moshe and Bayit V’gan. Some of the demonstrations escalated beyond voicing protest.
Today is the day that the police chief can save Jerusalem's honor by preserving the city's holy character:
Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco will make the pivotal decision Sunday whether to permit the homosexhibitionist parade to march this Friday through the streets of the holy capital city.
We'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Synagogue Vandalized In Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv police pursue unidentified persons who smashed windows of Geulat Yisrael synagogue in Tel Aviv. Left behind graffiti warning: 'If we don't march in J'lem – you won't walk in Tel Aviv'.
Meanwhile, things are heating up in Jerusalem:

I fear that last year's violence will look like a girl scout meeting compared to what is going to happen this year.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Police Considering Calling Off Homosexual March

From INN:
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Edri has asked the police to consider banning the Homosexual Parade in Jerusalem, scheduled for nine days from now. The
police are leaning towards calling it off.

The police announced last night (Tuesday) that they were planning to deploy in top-level strength for the event - a declaration perceived by some to be a salvo in the public-opinion war over whether or not to allow the march. One internal police source said the announcement was publicized merely to stir up anti-march sentiment; official police sources denied this.
INN has a few other interesting articles dealing with the subject. When Tolerance Invades by Ellen W. Horowitz exposes the march for what it is:
The force-fed tolerance festival (the Gay Pride parade) planned for November 10th is nothing more than a ruthless assault on traditional Jewish values and the sanctity of Jerusalem...This isn't about pluralism, freedom of expression, the principle of equality and freedom of assembly. This is about the deliberate and planned trampling of the religious and moral sensitivities of the people of Jerusalem, and of those who hold that physical intimacy and sexual expression should be sacred, holy and private. And, like the homosexual approach to sex, those who predict violence while at the same time promoting the event are being both brutal and sadomasochistic.
How I Almost Became a Lesbian by Kaelly Langston is also worth reading.

Another Cartoon From The Yisraeli

Click on image for an enlargement:

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