Thursday, November 29, 2007

Getting Ready For Channuka

If you haven't done so, it's time to dust off the Channukiya, buy oil, wicks, candles, and anything else you might need.

The Jerusalem Municipality is also gearing up for Channuka. They put up some nice decorations on Kanfei Nesharim Street. Click on the pic to get a better view:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rabbi Melamed on the Dangers of Internet

Rav Zalman sent an interesting letter to the parents of students learning in his yeshiva. Here is my loose translation of the letter:
Chesvan 5768

Dear parents of the students learning in our yeshiva,
Peace and all the best.

We have been asked by the students of several yeshivot to turn to the parents and request of them that they should not have an internet connection in their home that is not filtered. The boys requested this because the stimuli are so strong that even good children, Heaven fearing and diligent in Torah study, it is hard for them to resist the temptation and they surf to sites that stimulate when they come home. They surf, regret, suffer and again they fail to stand up to temptation and they fall.

It is impossible to describe the psychological damage that this causes to these boys that feel that they are not able to stand up to temptation; this weakens all of the strengths, vigor, and happiness.

Therefore please do not interrogate your sons if they are among those that faltered, do not put them to the test; neither the yeshiva high school students nor those that are after high school. Do not have internet at home that is not reliably filtered.

Internet "Rimon" meets the very best criteria, and I recommend connecting to it.

I'll finish with a great blessing that the boys will ascend upwards in the levels of Torah and the fear of Heaven, with good and straight character traits, and that they will bring honor to you and to all Israel.

Zalman Baruch Melamed

Click on the image below to read the original:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Jerusalem Calatrava Bridge

Here's a pic looking east. The northern end of the bridge has finally been connected to the ramp on Jaffa Street:

Here's the southern side:

Here's a poster at the construction site:

The big pole in the middle still has a long way to go but it is already awe inspiring:

HH #142


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fishman's Folly

Tzvi Fishman seems to be stuck sometime in the 1970's, when ethnic humor a la "All in the Family" and "Sanford and Son", was acceptable. I guess that's why he thought he could get away with this:

Apparently he changed the caption to mollify angry readers as he published in comment number 29:29.
Apology and Retraction
Tzvi Fishman, Yerushalayim (21/11/07)
I apologize to anyone I offended with my first photo caption and have replaced it with a substitute. I hope you all like it.

Here's the new caption:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Bloody Good Day

It sure was! Today I donated blood for the first time in more than twenty years!

Magen David Adom came to my workplace and set up a room for donating blood. The last time that I gave blood, over twenty years ago, I felt sick. I was slim back then, and weighed about 130 pounds. I decided that giving blood is not for me.

Times have changed. I'm about twenty pounds heavier now, and I decided that I should give donating blood another try. I prepared myself, eating a good meal about an hour before they stuck the needle in my vein. Before you give blood here you have to fill out a questionnaire. They want to know if you are on medication, if you have certain diseases, if you got a tattoo, and if you keep Leviticus Chapter 18, among other things. They don't accept blood from just anybody.

Giving blood is a great mitzvah, although I must admit that my intentions were not entirely altruistic. When you give blood you and your family are insured for one year that if you need blood from the blood bank you get it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

HH 141 And Other Ramblings

This week's edition of Haveil Havalim can be found by the Yid With Lid.

I'm trying to learn a chapter a day of Mishnah. A friend at work gave me a copy of the "haperek hayomi" calendar. (Click here for a copy). So far so good, as I've learned the tractate of Brachot many times and I have no trouble learning a chapter a day with the Bartenura commentary. I am wondering if I'll be able to keep this up with all of those lesser known tractates in the order of Zera'im, many of which I've never learned.

I have a lot to say about the present political situation here in Israel, but that is really Haveil Havalim.

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Weddings On Yitzchak Rabin's Yahrzeit

This is simply amazing. The "National Authority of Religious Services" lists Rabin's Yahrzeit as a day of "national remembrance" on which one should not marry.

Give me a break!

Correction!: The page is not on the site of "National Authority of Religious Services". The page is from the site of "The Jewish Life Information Center", which the "National Authority of Religious Services" links to from its main page, "" In any case it is pretty pathetic!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rabinfest 2007: It's not over until it's over

Yogi Berra once said, "It's not over until it's over." Well, The 12th of Marcheshvan is behind us, and the 4th of November has also passed. In spite of this, Rabinfest 2007 is still going strong, and there is no end in sight.

The latest is a ruling by the Israeli Football Association (IFA) against the Beitar Jerusalem Soccer club:
Beitar Jerusalem has been slapped with a two-match crowd ban following the behavior of Beitar's fans during a minute of silence held in the memory of assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin this week.

The Israeli Football Association (IFA) delivered the sentence after having found the team guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct with severe circumstances. In addition, a suspended sentence of two additional games without supporters was handed down to the team.
George Orwell fans will love the following from the IFA ruling:
"This was a mass disruption on the part of a significant part of the supporters among Beitar fans. The number of disrupters reached into the hundreds. "The issue at heart is (respecting Rabin's memory), something considered to be a national consensus(CX: you guys got to be kidding) and an assault on it is an assault on our democratic existence(CX: you guys wouldn't recognize a democratic idea even if it slapped you in the face). Due to that consensus, the excess of those supporters shook the country, crossed every red line. This incident has nothing to do with freedom of expression."(CX: It's all about the reaction of people who are sick of having the ideas of the Rabin cult shoved down their throats.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Final Rabinfest 2007 Update?

I sure hope so. Here's the latest festivity:
The left-wing Peace Now organization has demanded that a soccer club be probed because its team's fans booed the name of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin during a moment of silence before Sunday's game. Peace Now did not define what law the fans had broken.

The incident involved the Beitar Jerusalem team, whose management condemned the booing. "We are sure that the overwhelming majority of our fans will join us in condemning the calls," an official said.
The Beitar Jerusalem club will pay the price for their fans' heretical behavior:
The Israel Football Association has decided to punish the Betar Jerusalem soccer club for its fans' behavior at Sunday's game during a minute of silence for slain Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. The fans booed Rabin's name and chanted "Yigal Amir," who is serving a life sentence in prison for murdering Rabin.

The team's fans have been noted for unruly behavior and racist comments at games, but punishment has been rare until the booing was considered embarrassing enough to rule against Betar. The punishment will be decided later in the week, but a fine is the harshest punishment that can be applied, according to Voice of Israel government radio.
Beitar Jerusalem's owner, Arkadi Gaydamak, sides with the Beitar fans:
Russian-Israeli billionaire and Jerusalem mayoral candidate Arkadi Gaydamak said Monday that he would not condemn the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. Several politicians condemned the team and its fans on Monday after fans whistled and booed during a moment of silence in memory of slain Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin on Sunday.

Gaydamak, who owns the team, blamed the game’s organizers for the incident. Holding a respectful moment of silence “is not appropriate for a soccer field,” he said.
Let's hope that this is the concluding event of Rabinfest 2007!

Update: See also Joe and Batya.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

HH #139


Rabinfest 2007 Update (4)

Tel Aviv Rally Marks 12 Years Since Rabin Assassination: Nothing new here, just the same old politicians spouting the same old nonsense that only idiots believe.

Amir's Son: Yinon Eliyah Shalom
: I'm against giving multiple names to children. It makes life hard for the gabbai when he has to call them up to the Torah.

Bradley Burston joins Yair Lapid in admitting that the Israeli left did not have the country's best interests in mind when it supported the disengagement:
But for many on the left, slamming the dungeon door on Yigal Amir didn't go nearly far enough. Following the 1995 assassination, the rage of the left - as well as its guilt over its often waffling support of Rabin - was so all-consuming, that it was not enough for its members to see Yigal Amir apprehended, indicted, convicted and imprisoned for the rest of his natural life.

The left wanted to see the right as a whole punished for the murder. The left wanted to see the right as a whole suffer for the crime. The left was willing to wait as long as necessary to see the right punished. Ten years later, the left would get its chance.

When Ariel Sharon floated the notion of expelling all settlers from the Gaza Strip and several settlements in the West Bank, the left kept quiet about the longterm wisdom of Israel taking unilateral actions that bypassed the Palestinian Authority.

How better to pain the right, than to erase entire swaths of the settlement enterprise. How better to pierce the very heart of the national religious right, than to use the Israel Defense Forces to oversee the expulsion of settler families, the demolition of settler homes, the dismantlement of settler schools, synagogues, hothouses, farms and small businesses.

If revenge is a dish best served cold, you couldn't get much colder than the left. There was little concern for the plight and the fate of the settler deportees, the baffled and distraught children, the deeply betrayed teens, the suddenly unemployed and homeless parents.

The right was finally paying the price for the assassination, and the left was there to watch every moment, live and in color, by satellite.

There was little speculation on the left as to the potential consequences of the act, the effect it might have on the rise of Hamas, the chance that jihadists would exploit the pullout to attack Sderot and other border towns, kibbutzim and moshavim within Israel.

There was little willingness on the left and among leftists in the media, to go after the prime minister over a long series of corruption suspicions. After all, this was Ariel Sharon, of all people, the vaunted champion of the right, the very symbol of settlement expansion, who was taking the settlement movement apart, red roof tile by red roof tile.
I know, a little bit of truth and a lot of nonsense.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rabinfest 2007 Update (3)

I probably should have called this post Amirfest 2007.

1) Rafi posted the video calling for the release of Yigal Amir on his blog. I commented there:
What's good about the video is that it reminds of the hell that Rabin created for us in Israel when he brought Arafat and his henchmen here.
Israel after Oslo became a place where people were scared to board a bus.

2) Arutz 7 reports:
The Tel Aviv District Court granted permission Thursday for the brit mila (circumcision ceremony) of Yigal Amir's son to be held in his father's prison, reported Voice of Israel government radio.

Amir had asked the judge to be allowed out of the security prison in order to attend his son's brit on Sunday, the 13th anniversary of the date he assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzchak Amir, according to the Gregorian calendar.

The State Prosecutor asked the court to deny Amir's request, saying "he poses a material threat to public safety."


3) Yitzchak Rabin Wishes you a Happy Halloween
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