Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cosmic X And Yingele Protest In Jerusalem

Yesterday I was at the protest near the entrance to Jerusalem and I had the pleasure of meeting Yingele there. He's a really nice guy. Here are some screen captures from a video I took of the protest:

Protesters block car on Givat Shaul Street:


Border guard policemen run after protesters on the Tel Aviv - Jerusalem Highway:

Run with me!

Female protester apprehended:


Water cannon blocks Givat Shaul Street:

water cannon

Israeli police on motorcycles:

Black hats and black helmets

Smiling in spite of it all:


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More On The Homo March In The Holy City

Arutz 7 reports:
In an apparent response to the Jerusalem District Court decision permitting Thursday’s Gay Pride Parade in the capital, signs were pasted on capital walls during the night calling for “sanctifying G-d’s name by lowering the impure [gay pride] flags”.

The signs add the parade will offend approximately 96% of the residents of the Holy City.
I already expressed my opinion that the best thing to do now is ignore the parade and to be nowhere near it when it happens. Let the homosexuals march in a Jerusalem whose shops are closed and whose sidewalks are desolate. The parade in Jerusalem is a provocation, plain and simple. They want to see the newspapers filled with pictures of black-frocked bearded Jews ripping down signs and protesting against the "innocent" gays that just wanted to take a stroll. Don't fall into their trap!

Nails And Oil On The Highway? I Smell The Shabak

Jpost reports:
Right-wing opponents of the disengagement launched their day of massive roadblocks Wednesday morning by pouring oil and scattering nails and spikes on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road near Kfar Chabad.
Ha'aretz headlines:
Pullout foes throw oil and nails on TA-J'lem highway
Ynet also thinks they know who the culprit is:
Anti-pullout activists pour oil, place spikes on Highway 1
Isn't it funny how all of these news outlets know who did this incredibly stupid and dangerous act? I must admit: I do not know who did this. At this point in time the journalists do not know who did this either, but this did not prevent them from publishing their assumptions as fact. If you ask me, this really does smell like a provocation of Israel's General Security Service (GSS), known by its Hebrew acronym as the Shabak. The memories of Avishai Raviv's escapades during the 1990s are still fresh in my mind. This act seems to be in his style: Do something that even the right wing condemns and blame it on the right wing. Only time will tell if I am correct.

Update: Road-Blocking Organizers: Beware of Gov´t Provocateurs

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The IDF Was Not Consulted About The Disengagement Plan

Here is the smoking gun and the finger prints of Abu Omri are all over it! The disengagement plan was formulated without consulting the IDF:
Former Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon tells Knesset committee he was consulted about disengagement plan only after decision was taken; army chief says he first heard about pullout through media reports.

Read it and weep!

Sharon's Violent Past

Ben-Ami Zamir recalls:
One of these towns was Kfar Malal, home to young Ariel "Arik" Sharon. "One Motzaei Shabbat [Saturday night], a truck arrived at the cafe, and out of it jumped a group of uniformed Haganah men, led by Ariel Sharon holding a hoe-handle. We knew him in the area as someone who always holds a hoe-handle to catch Etzel and Lechi people. They tried to break into the cafe, which was still closed because of the Sabbath. I came close to him, and he said, 'Give me some soda,' and pointed to a box of drinks on the ground. I bent down to the bottles, and then he picked up his arm and smashed me with all his might with the hoe-handle. My head was covered in blood, which dripped down all over me."
Read the rest here. This is particulary interesting in light of Sharon's latest media spin.

Exclusive Cosmic X Pictures From Yesterday's Demonstration

Note: These are screen shots from a video that I took of yesterday's demonstraton, hence the poor quality.

Someone tied an orange ribbon to the side-view mirror of the police car:

Eileh Barechev

Israel's mounted policemen:

VeEileh basusim

A police helicopter hovers above the entrance to Jerusalem:

Afilu Masokim!

Orange ribbons a shekel a piece:

Paint It Orange!

A high ranking police officer. In the foreground a religious Jew's black skullcap and a border-guard policeman's green beret:

Three Falafels

The girls are urging the border-guard policeman to refuse orders:

Shoter, Chayal, Sarev Pekuda!

An orange ribbon and an orange popsicle:

I love orange!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Avi Biber Was Not Alone

From ynet:
Soldiers who took part in razing of abandoned Gaza Strip structures Sunday say they were misled; twelve of them tried by commander, reprimanded after threatening to refuse to take part in future settlement evacuation
Read the rest here. The commander is a fool for misleading his soldiers. His soldiers, even those who are pr-disengagement, will not trust him anymore.

Corruption Can't Wait

Nadav Shragai, one of the few sane voices in Ha'aretz's den of leftist lunacy, tells it like it is:
The timing of the public debate over corruption is no coincidence. It is directly connected to the upcoming implementation of the disengagement plan. Corruption wasn't born yesterday, and every now and then, as Yoel Marcus rightly pointed out in this newspaper on Friday, there are historic developments that are of such vital importance that the state must concentrate on them at the expense of other issues, no matter how important they may be.

The disengagement plan is not such a development. More and more security experts now believe that it is a sure recipe for disaster. It is defective, both from the moral point of view and from the point of view of democratic conduct, but the question of whether or not it is "good for the Jews" is a matter for another discussion.
Read the rest here.

Quote Of The Day

Avi Biber, 19 years old:
"Some nine years ago, as a child, I immigrated to Israel with my family from the United States. We didn't come to the country to expel Jews from their homes.

"I didn't enlist in the IDF in order to destroy communities or prepare the ground for the destruction of communities. I enlisted in the IDF to defend the state, and this action is not the role of the IDF."

Haveil Havalim #26 By Batya

You can see it either at Shiloh Musings or at Me-ander.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Parshat Shelach: Knowing The Land

I davenned at Machon Meir last Shabbat. Rav Dov Begon, the Rosh Yeshiva, said a Devar Torah between Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv. I don't remember everything that he said but one thing in particular I do recall:
The Torah says (Numbers 14:31),"But your little ones, which ye said should be as prey, them I will bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised." This verse could have been shorter: "But your little ones, which ye said should be as prey, them I will bring in the land which ye have despised." Why does the Torah mention that "they shall know the land"?

The simple meaning is that they will know and be familiar with the land since they will merit to live in it. Having a good knowledge of the land of Israel is certainly praiseworthy. But the verse has a deeper meaning. "They shall know the land" means that they will know the value of the land of Israel, they will know the true meaning of the land of Israel.
After davvening I went to say "Shabbat Shalom" to the rabbi. I said to him, "Perhaps the knowledge of the land is also similar to what is written (Genesis 4:1),"And Adam knew Eve his wife...".
Rav Begon immediately said, "Chibur (Connection)."
"Knowing the land of Israel means being connected to the land of Israel," I added.

I think that the rabbi agreed with me.

Too Bad I Was Right

As usual, the judicial dictatorship in Israel has forced its will on the majority. The court ruled against the Municipality of Jerusalem and the gay pride march will take place in the Holy City, as I had predicted.

My advice to all Jerusalemites is to stay away from the gay parade. There is no reason to go there and protest against the deviants. That is exactly what the organizers of the provocation desire. Instead, stay at home or go to the synagogue and do what we do best: pray.

As for the homosexuals I will repeat what I have said in the past:
I have never been able to figure out why somebody is proud that his reproduction system gets aroused by members of the same sex. Is having your wires crossed something to be proud of?
What we all need to know is that a quorum of queers promenading down King George Street or even a slew of sodomizers striding around the city will not turn darkness to light; nor will they turn a malady into a blessing.

Anti-Disengagement Information Hotline

( A Hebrew telephone hotline number has been established to provide around-the-clock bulletins regarding anti-disengagement demonstrations and other protest activities, general information about efforts to stop the plan, information geared to soldiers, how to act if arrested and permitting one to leave a message.

The number to call is 050-800-6060. From North America, one dials 972-50-800-6060.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Will The Homos March In Jerusalem?

I blogged about this many moons ago. It seems that Mayor Uri Lupolianski is doing his best to prevent this event from taking place. My guess is that the courts will force the Jerusalem's residents to suffer the insult of having to foot the bill of an event that they are overwhelmingly opposed to.

Bauer: Major TV Networks Boycotted 'Hospital Bomber' Story

When talking to people abroad I am sometimes shocked by the fact that they have no idea of what is going on in Israel. Here is the reason why they don't know (hat tip to Galileeblog).

Did King Solomon Cede Part Of The Land Of Israel To Gentiles?

Rabbi Gil Student asks the question and provides the answer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

IDF Reserve Soldiers and Officers Say No to Disengagement

Hundreds of IDF reserve soldiers and officers gathered in Jerusalem’s Binyanei HaUmah Convention Center Tuesday to call upon their fellow soldiers to refuse to take part in the Disengagement Plan. Read about it here.

The Punishment Must Fit the Crime

Yet another worthwhile read from David Wilder. Here's an excerpt:
According to the book Boomerang, written by journalists Raviv Drucker from Channel 10 news and Ofer Shelach from the Yediot Achronot newspaper, Sharon's fear of indictment, loss of office and jail, directly led to the decision to unilaterally flee from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. This accusation, backed up by interviews with people 'very close to the Prime Minister' is identical to charges leveled at Sharon months ago by Member of Knesset Tzvi Hendel, who virtually swore that Sharon realized he had two choices: public disgrace or abandonment of Gush Katif. He choose the latter, preferring double appeasement to a court of law. The double whammy he inflicted on his land and his people: submission to the Israeli Left, certain that they would not dare touch a prime minister implementing their life-long craving, the beginning of eviction of Israelis from Judea, Samaria and Gaza; and acquiescence to the Arab enemy. The latter learned that terror pays off. Kill Jews and get what you want.
Read the rest here.

Disengagement Protests Postponed Following Train Crash

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Several Different Requests To Investigate Sharon's Motives For Disengagement

National Union Party leader Uri Ariel

Likud Central Comittee Members

The Land of Israel Legal Forum

New Israeli Government Super Web Site

Cosmic X has something nice to say about the government for a change. The government has just launched a new super web site, and it is very nice. Ladies and gentlemen here it is: The Israeli Government Portal!

A Modern Day Spy In Jerusalem

Near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem is a tent called "Ohel Hidrabrut" or rapprochement tent. The idea of the tent is to lower the tense public atmosphere with regards to the disengagement plan by facilitating a dialogue between those of differing opinions.

I went in out of curiosity. Inside, standing in front of a group of about twenty people and delivering a lecture, was a pleasant looking, clean-shaven, kipa clad man. He had this perpetual artificial smile on his face as he spoke. I listened to him as he charted a course of deceitful rhetoric. He bombarded them us with lies, half-truths, and unproven hypotheses: The Golan Heights is stolen from Syria, modern historians claim that we did not have to fight Syria in the Six Day War, the public likes settlers from the Golan more than settlers from Judea and Samaria, and similar rubbish. He expressed his opinion that we should give large amounts of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs even though that this will not bring peace. Why? Because of humanitarian issues like making the Arabs wait at roadblocks.

"This guy is repeating the sin of the spies," I thought to myself. I raised my hand to ask a question.
"At the end of the lecture I'll answer questions," the man replied.
"Some dialogue," I thought to myself. I waited. Finally he announced that he is willing to answer questions.

"Do you know what Parsha we'll be reading this Sabbath?", I inquired.
"Are you testing me?", he asked.
"No, I am not," I answered.
"The spies," he answered.
"Parshat Shlach," I said. Then I added, "The spies also had all kinds of humanitarian and military claims why not to conquer and settle. But G-d has commanded us to do so. All of your claims are totally insignificant (beteilim umevutalim) in the light of G-d's command."

The lecturer answered me with the following claim: Rabbi Reines said that we should by land from the Arabs and not conquer it. Few people are aware of Rabbi Reines' opinion, which is in opposition to Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook's opinion.

I was shocked by the answer. I must admit I was not aware of Rabbi Reines' opinion. However, Rabbi Reines died in 1915(!) in Lida (near Vilna). He certainly was not addressing the current situation of land that has already been conquered. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook died in 1982, in Jerusalem, and expressed his opinions with regards to the land that was liberated during the Six Day War in 1967. Before I could say anything the lecturer quickly moved on to the next question.

A young man sitting next to me quietly expressed his disgust at the ridiculous answer that I received from the lecturer. He tried his luck and asked a question:

"We are commanded to conquer the land. It is not a matter of choice. Since we can do it, we must do it."

The lecturer mentioned Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's opinion (Rabbi Yosef once ruled that in return for TRUE PEACE it is permissible to give land to the Arabs). The young man quickly countered and said that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef strongly opposes Sharon's disengagement plan. The lecturer waved his hand in dismissal and said, "I'm not talking about that."

I decided to leave as I had heard enough. I had seen a modern day spy. On my way home I passed the entrance to the city, which will be blocked by anti-expulsion protesters this Wednesday at 5:00 PM. With G-d's help, I will be there!

Nine Questionable Premises of the Disengagement Plan

Here is a must read!

Monday, June 20, 2005

More Signs Of Panic

Now that public support for disengagement is slip-sliding away, the supporters of disengagement are trying to explain why they support it. Needless to say, it is difficult to defend the indefensible.

Today in Maariv, Shlomo Gazit does a lousy job trying to defend the disengagement plan. His argument: It was a mistake to settle in an area heavily populated by Arabs. The readers responded quickly to this argument and brought up, among other things, the following points:

1) Gush Katif and Gush Erez are not in heavily populated areas.

2) According to this logic creating the State of Israel in the midst of hundreds of millions of Arabs was also a mistake. (Many Europeans would agree with this.)

3) Evacuating the settlements will only make the situation worse.

In short, Gazit is very unconvincing.

Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz reveals what everyone knows: The disengagement plan will not bring peace. Bar'el supports the retreat from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria as a first step towards further retreats:
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will go on, and all means will continue to be used in the conflict - unless the government succeeds in explaining, first to itself and then to the public, that this withdrawal will be followed by additional withdrawals, concessions and installments.
What Bar'el doesn't mention is that only the complete liquidation of Israel as a Jewish State will placate our enemies. But then again, destroying the Jewish character of the State of Israel is consistent with Ha'aretz's editorial policy.

More Vile Reporting At Ha'aretz

Ha'aretz reporter Amos Harel sees fit to include the following in his report:
Said one senior IDF officer yesterday: "It is clear that the hotel occupants were the provocateurs here. This is what they do at their homes in Judea and Samaria ... They feel their Sabbath is incomplete if they have not attacked Palestinians."
Really Mr. Anonymous Senior IDF Officer? Perhaps they also kneed their challah dough with Arab blood?

Disgusting reporting from a disgusting newspaper!

Haveil Havalim #25 At Soccer Dad

As usual, an interesting roundup of jblogosphere posts. David, thanks for mentioning Cosmic X!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Ha'aretz Believes The Arabs

Check this out. The headline and accompanying article parrot what the Arabs involved claimed:
Residents of Neveh Dekalim hotel attack Palestinians
By Amos Harel, Yair Ettinger, Arnon Regular and Yuval Azoulay

Right-wing extremists living in the hotel at Neveh Dekalim in Gush Katif yesterday attacked Palestinians from the adjacent Moassi area. Three Palestinians were injured in the attack, which met a response of mortars being fired at Gush Katif.
You have to dig deep down to see that there is another version as to what happened. Notice that unlike the Arab version, the Jewish version is put into quotation marks:
A spokesman for the Gaza Coast Regional Council said that hotel residents had been walking on the beach when they were attacked by dozens of Arabs, and that the wounding of the Palestinians had been an "act of self-defense" by the settlers. Shortly after the incident, about seven mortars were fired at Gush Katif. There were no injuries. Light arms and an anti-tank missile were also fired at soldiers in the area.
I guess Ha'aretz behaves this way because the Arabs are known for telling the truth.;-) Is there anybody in the world who takes Ha'aretz seriously? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Click here for a much more professional report of the incident.

Disengagement Plan Formulated to Escape Sharon Corruption Probe

When the disengagement plan was first publicized MK Tzvi Hendel quipped, "the depth of the uprooting is related to the depth of the investigation." That is to say, the entire plan was formulated because of Sharon & Sons' legal problems. In Hebrew this is a nice play on words:
עומק העקירה כעומק החקירה
Now two journatlists back up this claim.
Two veteran journalists, based on talks with persons very close to the Prime Minister, say that the Disengagement Plan was hatched up simply to avoid Sharon's indictment in the Greek Island scandal.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

They Got The Guns But We Got the Spirit

Last night I attended a meeting of anti-expulsion activists. I am not going to divulge details of the meeting: who spoke, who attended, and what is being planned. I am not a police informer or a GSS mole. (The meeting was well publicized and held openly. If the "authorities" did not send a representative that is just a further sign of their ineptness.)

My impression from the meeting is that we are in for a very fierce battle. One side has the guns and "the law" on their side. Spirit however is lacking. It will be very difficult for most of the policemen and soldiers to carry out their orders enthusiastically. The soldiers and policemen know that this plan is a disaster for Israel. Granted, there are a few souless robots that will zealously be willing to follow any orders given. But they are a minority. Israel is not Nazi Germany. Here individual conscience takes precedence over any decisions made by the government or the Supreme Court, especially when the corruption of these institutions is evident.

The other side is infused with a great love for Torah, the Land of Israel, and the people of Israel. They have already shown that they are people of great courage. They did not flee from the bullets fired from the guns that Rabin and Peres gave to the Arabs. They did not flee from the Kassam rockets. They are not afraid to sit in jail. They know that morality is on their side, and they are willing to fight for it.

It's guns versus spirit. Let's see who wins.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Sharon Defeated In Four Consecutive Knesset Votes

The Tower of Babel that Sharon built is starting to fall:
After a series humiliating if symbolic defeats for the government on Tuesday, when the opposition managed to pass three no-confidence measures, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin called to disband parliament and hold early elections to replace the government.

Love, Love, Love

During Shavuot I was learning with my daughter the "six constant commandments" that a Jew is required to fulfil at all times from Sefer HaChinuch. One of these commandments is "the commandment of loving G-d", Mitzvah number 418 in Sefer HaChinuch. There was a line in the Chinuch that caught my attention:
"And they(the sages in the Sifre) said that this love requires a person to arouse others to love Him and to serve Him, like we found with (our father) Abraham."
I was reminded of my college days. There was a guy who spent a year studying in Israel, where he was truly filled with the love of G-d. When he returned to the campus the following year he spent a lot of time and effort returning other students to the fold, myself included. (This student, Menachem "Kenny" Herman z"l, passed away a couple of years ago, a young man in the prime of his life. May these words be an elevation for his lofty soul.)

Loving G-d is not a simple matter. It requires "with all of your heart and all of your soul, even if He takes your soul." (See what the Gemara Brachot 61B says about this.) This I knew! But what the Chinuch says is something new for me. I thought about the words of the Chinuch and I feel that I have not fulfilled this. What have I done to arouse others to love G-d?

Food for thought!

More Lunatic Leftist Pathological Disorder At Ha'aretz

Simply laughable:
Why a counter campaign has not been initiated remains a mystery: Why have the public bodies behind the disengagement plan not initiated the flying of blue ribbons on balconies and cars? It isn't a complex or expensive operation. If such a call were to be heard from a prominent public figure, one can assume the spontaneous response would be significant. Yes, there would also be a need for an organizational mechanism that would produce the ribbons and take care of their distribution, but is such a task too much for the government, the left-wing parties or the secular youth movements?
Does this guy really believe what he writes?

Michael Jackson And Israel

I must admit that I was annoyed to see that Michael Jackson's acquittal made front page news in Israel. Who needs to know about this? Shiloh Musings has the answer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ha'aretz Editorial Reveals Lunatic Leftist Pathological Disorder

If you really want to understand what makes those suffering from LLPD (Lunatic Leftist Pathological Disorder) tick, check out this Ha'aretz editorial.

Another Great Article By Caroline Glick

Here's an excerpt:
The government is in trouble. With each passing day the fact that the plan to which it owes its existence – the forcible removal of 10,000 citizens from their homes and communities and the transfer of their land to the Palestinians who have been attacking them continuously for the past five years – is seen by more and more Israelis as irrational and dangerous.

This week, the polls, which over the past several months have registered a gradual yet consistent erosion of public support for the plan, showed that today only 48 percent of the public supports it.

In its attempts to defend its increasingly precarious position, the government has reacted wildly to its critics. Rather than increase public support, its moves have simply added to the general sense that the Sharon-Peres government has lost control of events and, in its zeal to defend its controversial program, it is willing to sacrifice the nation's security and its own morality.
Read the rest here.

Rabbis Against Reserve Duty for the Near Future

Arutz 7 reports:
A group of 50 rabbis have issued a call not to enlist in the reserves in the coming months, in order not to free up other soldiers to take part in the expulsion from Gush Katif/northern Shomron.
Thank G-d that I won't have to deal with this issue. The army has already released me from reserve duty because of my age.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tikun Leil Shavuot

What are you all going to learn on the eve of Shavuot? I myself am not sure what will happen in real time, but I was thinking about the following:

1) Daf Yomi - it never takes a day off!

2) Rambam's Introduction To His Commentary On The Mishnah - this is in line with my fundamentalist tendencies. It is interesting that the Rambam decided to cover many fundamental issues of Judaism in his introduction. Perhaps he was trying to say, "Before you ask when to read sh'ma at night, first make sure you know how the Torah was transmitted, what prophecy is, etc."

3) Gemara Shabbat 88A ("Kafa Aleihem HaKadosh-Baruch-Hu Et HaHar Kagigit") followed by "Tifferet Yisrael" by the Maharal chapter 32.

4) If I don't doze off Megillat Ruth and Mishnah Bikurim. In the olden days I would walk to the Old City to daven vatikin but "Na'ar Hayiti Gam Zakanti." I'll probably doze off.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hallel — When to say it and Why

An excellent article by Rabbi David Bar-Hayim.

Conflict Resolution

One headline says, "Eiland: Gov't not ready for pullout."

Another headline says, "Sharon: There is a solution for each and every evacuee."

We have two clearly conflicting assessments of the situation. Let's use Talmudic principles to solve this one. Since Sharon has the supposition of being a liar (in Hebrew: Hu Bechezkat Shakran), I give the benefit of the doubt to Eiland.

Small Israeli Army Kitchens

Most of my reserve duty was spent in small positions: Mutzavim, roadblocks, settlement entrances, etc. Listen to what a Rabbi Zecharya Ben-Shlomo has to say about army kitchens in places like these:
"Kitchens in small Mutzavim, where there is no one responsible for kashrut, and which can be freely entered, and anyone who enters can cook there whatever he likes, the kitchen and all of its utensils have a supposition(chazaka) of being forbidden, and one should not eat there unless it is properly kashered (Hilchot Tzava, second edition p. 315)."
Now these are wise words from a wise man. Remember, among the soldiers using these kitchens are Jews who know almost nothing about Judaism, Druze, Bedouin, and even gentiles from the FSU. If you think that such a kitchen will remain kosher without supervision then you might be interested in buying the Brooklyn Bridge from me!

In my first time around in reserve duty, the position that I was stationed at had an unsupervised kitchen where anyone and everyone could enter it any time of day or night. There was one soldier stationed with us who brought pork from home (poor guy, he couldn't bear to go a month without it). I did not eat any cooked food from that kitchen after what I saw what was going on there. In my following stints in the reserves, I always brought a pot and dishes from home, just in case. I am not writing this to complain or to disparage the army, G-d forbid! I am writing this so a religious soldier who is about to enlist should know what he is getting into.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Haveil Havalim #23 At Soccer Dad

Good stuff!

There He Goes Again

Mofaz comes out with a new slew of incredibly ridiculous statements. Here is one of them:
"The committee's main guest, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, asked the settlers slated for evacuation to voluntarily move their children elsewhere before the implementation of the pullout in order not to expose them to unnecessary trauma."
I say make sure that your children see how the descendents of the Maccabees behave like the soldiers of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Then they will know what to do when they get their draft notice.

A Unique Protest

Just when I thought that I had seen everything!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Kosher Food That Is Treif

As a new immigrant and relatively old(about 30 years old), I entered the army through "Shlav Bet." This was a program where boot camp lasts six weeks, and the participants would "graduate" at a level of "rifleman 3" (rova'i shalosh). Afterwards we were supposed to serve 2 1/2 months of active duty.

The group that I did boot camp with was almost entirely new immigrants, except for a couple of Hareidim. This was long before the "Nachal HaHareidi". I think that we had people who came from about 20 different countries. About one third of the trainees were religious, and this relatively high percentage worked to our advantage when we had to stand up for our religious rights.

Every day somebody from our group had to work in the kitchen. At first people avoided this job. Who wants to wash the dishes and clean up after hundreds of soldiers? But as boot camp progressed and became tougher, people volunteered to do kitchen duty in order to take a breather from our "sadistic" commanders and their demands.

One night the volunteer from our group was a clean shaven immigrant from Iran. Let's call him Moshe. He was busy cleaning the kitchen when the military base staff (the "Segel") decided that they wanted to party. The Segel was comprised of young soldiers (aged 18-21) who were doing their regular army duty. They had bought food from a supermarket in a nearby city. Among the things they had purchased was raw chicken liver, certified kosher by the Rabbinate. They placed the liver on the army's metal trays that are used to cook meat. Then they cooked the liver in the army oven.

Moshe was a religious Jew and he objected. He explained to the staff that chicken liver must be roasted over an open fire and that they are "treifing" up the kitchen. But the Segel members, products of the secular ghetto who think that they are experts on Judaism from what they read in Maariv, Yediot and Ha'aretz, would have nothing of Moshe's objections. "The liver is kosher and it has the certification of the Rabbinate," they answered.

After Moshe was finished cleaning he came back to the "Ma'ahal" (the group of tents where we lived) and told the other trainees what had happened. A third of the "Pluga" was now up in arms and the commanders realized they had a problem. The trainees went to the kitchen and took the tray that was "treifed up" and threw it in the garbage. The Military Rabbinate was notified.

In theory the staff members should have been put on trial in a military court for breaking army orders(Pekudat Matkal 34.0103). In practice, I don't think that anyone was punished.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Our Kosher Army

Inspired by Galilee This, I'm going to write a little bit about being a religious soldier in the IDF.

Thank G-d, questions of how to be a religious Jew in a Jewish Army in the land of Israel are being asked and dealt with by rabbis for the first time since the Bar Kochba revolt. A whole genre of army halacha books has come about. The books that accompanied me during my service in the army were "Dinei Tzava VeMilchama" by Rabbi Shlomo Min-HaHar and "Hilchot Tzava" by Rabbi Zechariah Ben-Shlomo.

In "Hilchot Tzava"(second edition p. 390), some of the Army's orders concerning kashrut are listed. Like I wrote previously, if all of the orders concerning kashrut were followed, the army kitchens would be just fine. I still remember the signs in the Army's kitchens, "Shmor Al HaKashrut - Bifkudah!" meaning "Guard the laws of kashhrut - and that's an order!" But in practice, knowingly and unknowingly, these orders were trampled upon by the soldiers and commanders who were commanded to uphold them. I hope to blog about some concrete examples in future posts.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I Am A Fundamentalist

I am a fundamentalist, but not according to the usual definition of the word. I am a fundamentalist in that I believe that in any endeavour it is important to master and understand the fundamentals. I once read that the great basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, credited his success to his high school coach who taught him "the fundamentals." What is true for basketball, I believe, is true for any and every human enterprise. If the fundamentals have been properly learned and mastered, the chances of succeeding are greatly increased.

As a Ba'al Teshuvah, I believe that success in Judaism is also based on knowing "the fundamentals." Many people have strayed from the path because of their lack of understanding with regards to the basics of Judaism. This is usually not their fault, but rather the fault of their parents or the institutions in which they were educated. Why waste time with basic issues when we can debate "what's bothering Rashi" or "how can we reconcile the Rambam with what is written in the Gemara?" In the end, after many years of learning, a Jew can be a "migdal pore'ach ba'avir", a tower suspended in midair, without proper foundations, because he never learned the fundamentals.

Similarly, our problems in relation to the land of Israel start with a misunderstanding of who we are, what the land of Israel is, what Torah is, what prophecy is, and what G-d wants from us. These misunderstandings are what is causing the "sin of the spies" in our generation as well us other negative trends among the Jews today.

That's just my humble opinion.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...