Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Flies, Maggots, and Suburban New Jersey

It's amazing that I had to enter my late forties to learn this marvelous trick. Did you ever want to get rid of a common house fly, but you did not have a fly swatter handy? I just learned from one of my coworkers a fantastic method for killing those annoying pests.

If you try swatting the fly with your hand or any other solid object you will probably miss. The fly feels the wind created by you hand and takes off for greener pastures, only to come back to a few seconds later to continue bothering you. What you need to do is clap your hands about three inches above the fly. The fly feels the wind coming from both directions, so he flies straight up just in time to be zapped by your hands. The winged, compound eyed nuisance gets stunned and falls to the ground. Then you can finish him off and throw him away. Try it, it really works!

Since we are on the subject of flies I'll mention some of my childhood memories in suburban New Jersey. When I was young in the 1960s/1970s we used to throw our garbage out into a few galvanized steel garbage cans that were in our backyard. The garbage truck used to come to collect the garbage once a week. It was my job the night before the collection to carry the garbage cans from the backyard to the strip of grass that was between the sidewalk and the street. The sanitation workers, who we used to call "garbage men", would empty out the contents of the garbage cans into the garbage truck. Sometimes the garbage was stuck inside the cans, and they would bang the cans on the truck until the garbage came out. This of course would bend the cans out of shape in a way that made it impossible to seal the cans with their lids.

This of course was a blessing for the flies. Since the garbage cans could not be covered properly, my favorite insects had and excellent opportunity to enjoy our leftovers. These leftovers were often became a fly nursery, especially if I forgot to bring the garbage cans to the front of the house the night before the collection. This gave the garbage had an extra week to "ferment". I was often greeted by little cute white maggots after opening such a garbage can.

I don't remember when almost everyone replaced the metal garbage cans with green, plastic ones. They were lighter, and they did not bend out of shape. They would eventually crack. I think that they also started collecting the garbage twice a week. After that the maggots would appear less frequently.

Aren't you glad that I shared this with you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The "D Word"

As Kiryat Malachi joins the lists of towns hit by rockets launched by Arabs terrorists in the Gaza Strip, it is interesting to note that there is a particular word that the Israeli MSM refuses to mention with connection to the current situation.

It is the "D Word". Do you know what the "D Word" is? Oh yeah, Disengagement!

Do you remember the disengagement plan? Here's a reminder:
Disengagement has two main purposes, Sharon said: enhancing Israel’s security by reducing terrorism and boosting Israel’s economy by improving the quality of life.

Ariel Sharon, look what you have done! Security? Quality of life? If only you could see the disaster that you caused!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Zot Channuka

There are a million things to write about. I just don't have the time. If you want to know what's going on check out Jameel and Dave who are liveblogging the war. I just hope that they don't send in ground troops. It is not good to die for Olmert, Livni, Barak or Abu Mazen. On the other hand, if the government wants to drive the Arabs out of the Gaza Strip and return this part of the land of Israel to its rightful owners, the nation of Israel, I'm all for it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Cats have always fascinated me. Incredibly agile, aloof and aristocratic. When I was a child my best friend had a few pet cats. We played with them petted them, did experiments with them. One of the things that we checked is that if you drop a cat it always lands on its feet. They are amazing creatures.

Jerusalem is full of cats. For some reason Jerusalemites use the female "hatula", when referring to cats, and not the male hatul which the rest of the country uses.

These cats got into trouble by getting stuck on the roof of a tall building.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Definite Blogging Slump

I haven't been blogging much lately. It's not that there isn't what to blog about - I just don't have time.

Some interesting links:

The Likud's Rebirth

Rabbi Fleischer on Al Jazeera (video)

Jpix 21

By the way, it's raining and I am happy!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

How Dry I Am

Where's the rain? We really need rain in Israel this year. The past few years have not been good ones in terms of rainfall. So far this year has been pretty dry. "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron (Deuteronomy 28:23)." I can't help but feel that we are under that curse. Of course this means that we have to do some real Teshuvah.

HH #194

Batya's got it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Peace House Expulsion

I've been much to busy to blog this week. However I have to express my disgust with the Israeli Government and Judicial System for the great injustice inflicted on the residents and the true owners of the Peace House in Hebron. Here's a pic of the house that I took before the expulsion:

Olmert, Barak, Livni and all those that took part in the expulsion are just deepening their abode in hell.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

When the Image of God Vanishes

הוא היה אומר, חביב אדם שנברא בצלם; חיבה יתרה נודעת לו שנברא בצלם, שנאמר "כי בצלם אלוהים, עשה את האדם" -אבות פרק ג
The Torah tells us that man was created in the image of God.
"And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:27). "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ." (Genesis 2:7).
There is something in humanity which distinguishes it from the rest of creation. Man has the capacity to reach great spiritual heights. On the other hand, man can enlist the great spiritual gifts he received from the Creator to perform acts of evil that even the most savage of beasts is incapable of.
"And He said: 'What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground."(Genesis 4:10).
Last week in Mumbai the world became acquainted with two extremes of the human race. On one end are the righteous, those precious souls that devote themselves to giving to others at the expense of their own comfort. Such were the those emissaries of Chabad, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who devoted themselves to helping their fellow Jews in any and every way that they could.
חביבין ישראל שנקראו בנים למקום; חיבה יתרה נודעת להם שנקראו בנים למקום, שנאמר "בנים אתם, לה' אלוקיכם" (אבות פרק ג')
On the other end of the spectrum are those low-life filth, the Islamic terrorists, those cowards that murder and maim unarmed civilians. They are the foulest of creations in that they harness the gifts that were given to them by the Creator, gifts that were given to them in order to settle the world, in order to destroy it.

Here is Israel we have to deal with this malevolence on a daily basis. The rest of the world gets a wake up call every so often in different locations: the Twin Towers in New York, the subway in London, the subway in Madrid, and all over the place in Mumbai . Then, with the help of their unwillingness to face reality, the rest of the world goes back to sleep, hoping that it was only a bad dream.

I don't believe in moral relativism. Evil must be confronted. Evil must be subdued. Evil must be smashed. There is no other way.

HH #193

This week you can find Haveil Havalim at "What War Zone???".

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This May Be Your Last Chance

Will this be the last photo of the bridge before Barkat tears it down?

Okay, he didn't say that he will definitely tear it down. But he might.

Terror Attack in Mumbai

Everybody is blogging about the latest Muslim terror attack. I have nothing to say but keep praying.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big Sister Tzippi is Watching You

When I see this kind of advertising campaign I wonder what was the advertising agency thinking of. Who are they trying to appeal to? Is this an appeal to people that immigrated to Israel from dictatorships, and just can't get through the day without seeing a pictures of their authoritarian leader plastered up all over the place?

The sign says, "Tzippi Livni, what's good for the country.

Don't these signs just make you want to vote for Kadima?

I think that they better start working on another campaign.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



by Cosmic X

The day comes to a close.
Look back.
What have you done?
Rewind. Play. Start from the time you opened your eyes this morning.
Cheshbon Nefesh.
Lot's of mistakes, few accomplishments.
Don't be sad.
We'll try to be better tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some Links

23 Marcheshvan 5769

That's the stuff!

No more holding your nose and voting Gimmel

Cross Currents and DovBear duel it out over the verdict in the Valis case. I also weighed in on the Valis case way back when. I am in the process of reading the verdict and I hope to post something about it in the near future.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rabbi Yisrael Rosen Wins Libel Suit Against "Yated Ne'eman"

22 Marcheshvan 5769

Here's some more fallout from the disengagement: Rabbi Yisrael Rosen took the "Yated Ne'eman" newspaper to court for libel, and he won. I know. What does this have to do with the disengagement?

The story starts way back in the beginning of 2005. The Israeli government makes one of the stupidest decisions ever, the decision to to destroy the Jewish towns in the Gaza Strip, and to withdraw the army from it. The name that they gave to this crime was "disengagement". The National Religious Party (NRP) leaves the coalition, and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party joins the coalition. Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, a well known NR rabbi, writes a column in the Shabbat BeShabbato parsha sheet deeply critical of the UTJ. Among other things he writes the following:

"ואומר מיד, עם נציג הפלג החסידי אין לי כלל דין ודברים, "כי השוחד יעוור..ויסלף דברי צדיקים", כולל 'צדיקים' (=אדמו"רים). ומה לנו שוחד יותר מקופת המדינה כולה, הממושכנת כערובה אצל יו"ר ועדת הכספים...".
My translation:
"And I will say immediately, that with the Hasidic faction (of UTJ) I have nothing to deliberate with them at all, 'for a bribe doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.', including 'Tzadikim' (=Hasidic Rebbes). And what is a bigger bribe than the purse of the entire country, which is mortgaged as a guarantee with the Chairman of the Finance Committee (of the Knesset)."

These words upset the people at Yated Ne'eman very much. A scathing article about Rabbi Rosen appeared in the satirical section of the paper. This is the quote caused Yated Ne'eman to lose the case:

"אם כבר מזכירים גיור המוני, מן הראוי לציין, כי את תחילת דרכו המקורית עשה הרב רוזן בהפעלת פס ייצור לגיורים המוניים, באמצעות שיטת הוקוס- פוקוס. השיטה היתה פשוטה בתכלית: נרשמים, משלמים במזומן, שומעים כל מיני הרצאות בנושאי יהדות-בדרכי-נועם, לומדים תפריטים נבחרים מהמטבח היהודי, עוברים עוד אי-אילו עניינים פרוצדוראליים, קופצים למים, ו...הוקוס-פוקוס: אתה יהודי חילוני כשר. ברוכים הבאים לעם הנצח.
Again the translation according to your's truly:
If we are mentioning mass conversion, it is proper to point out that the beginning of Rabbi Rosen's original path was the running of an assembly line for mass conversions, using the hocus-pocus method. The method was ultimatively simple: you register, you pay cash, you hear all kinds of lectures about ways-of-pleasantness-Judaism, you learn selected menus from the Jewish kitchen, you go through a few procedural matters, you jump into the water and... hocus-pocus: you are a kosher secular Jew. Welcome to the nation of eternity.

The judge, Shirli Renner, wrote the following about this:

הצגת התובע, שהינו רב, כמי שמספק הכשרים לעקיפת ההלכה תמורת בצע כסף נועדה להשפיל ולבזות את התובע. הנתבעים בתצהיריהם לא הניחו כל תשתית ראייתית ולפיה מצג עובדתי זה הוא בגדר אמת. מדובר אפוא בפרסום שאין כל ראייה לאמיתותו ולפיו מספק הרב הכשרים הילכתיים בשל תאוות ממון. סבורה אני כי אמירות אלו הן בגדר לשון הרע.
That is to say in Mamme Loshon:
The presentation of the plaintiff, who is a rabbi, as one who supplies certification for the circumventing of Jewish law in return for money was intended to humiliate and put down the plaintiff. The defendants in their declarations did not bring any proof that this presentation is true. Therefore we are dealing with a publication that has no proof to (back up) its truthfulness, which according to it the rabbi provides halachic certification out of the desire for money . I am of the opinion that these statements are in the realm of libel.

A bizarre aspect of the case is that the rabbinic committee of Yated Ne'eman, which is supposed to be a spiritual supervising body of the paper, instructed the editors to react to Rabbi Rosen's article in the satirical section of the newspaper . Even more bizarre is that Yated Ne'eman claimed in its defense that the article is not libelous since it appeared in this satirical section of the newspaper. The judge did not accept this claim.

The bottom line is that Yated Ne'eman - Yeteidot Publications, Yisrael Wertzel (Wortzel?), Yitzchak Rot, and Natan Grossman were found by Judge Renner to be responsible for the libelous publication. The amount of damages will be set at a later hearing.

I can understand how the Yated Ne'eman newspaper, and the public which they serve, would be offended by Rabbi Rosen's article. But that does not justify printing things about Rabbi Rosen that have no basis in fact. I hope that the amount of damages will be high enough to deter the newspaper and others from publishing things that are so distant from the Torah that they purport to represent.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The "Peace Process" Corrupts

One of the propaganda cliches of the Israeli Left is that the "occupation corrupts". Every social ill was attributed to the fact that the State of Israel was "ruling over another nation". Empirical evidence was never brought to support such a hypothesis which was presented as a proven fact. It was not in vain that our sages referred to this world as "'alma d'shiqra", the world of falsehood.

I would like to present an alternative hypothesis which states that the so called "peace process" corrupts. The thought occurred to me as I read about the murder of crime boss Ya'aqov Alperon, in which innocent bystanders were also wounded. This is a relatively new phenomenon, that the Israeli mafia is indifferent to harming innocent bystanders during "the settling of scores." Could it be that this indifference is a shadow of the indifference of the Israeli government to the acts of murder, maiming and terror perpetrated by our Arab "peace partners"? Has not the life of the average man on the street become cheap ever since the establishment of the "New Middle East" by Rabin, Peres, Aloni, Sarid, Beilin and Der'i?

With regards to the Israeli MSM, it seems that the "peace process" increased the corruption of a band that was already rotten to the core. The guarding of the etrog, Ariel Sharon, as long as he was intent on destroying Jewish towns in the Gaza Strip is a good example of this corruption. The Israeli MSM was an active participant in selling this outrageous idea to the public. They parroted the government terminology of "disengagement", "they are over there and we are over here", instead of questioning the wisdom of what now history has proven to be a disaster.

There has never been a government more corrupt than the current one, and there has never been a party more corrupt than "Kadima". Both of these creatures are the products of the "peace process". When Olmert brought convicted sex offender Haim Ramon back into the government did he not teach us all that crime does pay? The main thing is that Ramon supports the "peace process".

Let's not forget Oslo accomplices Alexander Goldfarb and Gonen Segev! Their deserting of the right wing Tzomet party in order to receive positions in the Rabin government and vote for Oslo II was a clear cut case of political bribery. But all was forgiven in the name of "peace".

It seems that the police force discovered that it is much easier to beat up teenagers in Amona and to harass the Federman family than to deal with car theft, burglaries and organized crime. The policemen that took part in the expulsion received a special bonus.

The courts are also party of the corruption brought about by the "peace process". There is no equality before the law as right wing protester that blocks a road will receive jail time where anyone else receives a slap on the wrist. This is of course to deter the opponents of the "peace process".

In short the "peace process" in its various stages has caused a moral breakdown in many Israeli governmental bodies and consequently in society in general. This only strengthens our desire to see a true Jewish government, driven by true Jewish morality. May we merit to see it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who's the Jew?

Can you name the Jew? I'm talking about the guy with the beard. Do you have any idea where this pic was taken or when it was taken? Guess your best!

Update: The place is Tel Romeida in Hebron, the year is 1985, and the Jew is.....

Yechiel Leiter! He would like to be a candidate on the Likud list in the upcoming elections. Back then Yechiel, or Rav Leiter as he was known, was one of my teachers in Machon Meir. He invited me a couple of times to spend Shabbat with him and his family in Hebron. That was a wonderful experience!

A couple of gems that I remember hearing from him:
- Halacha covers every facet of life, from how to go to bathroom in the desert to how to offer sacrifices in the Temple.

-"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; ..."(Isaiah 55:7): To be a true Ba'al Teshuvah it is not enough to stop sinning, to put on a kippah, keep Shabbat, and keep Kashrut. One must also shift his thoughts away from the bad and towards the good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Havel-Havalim, The “Mama Rachel” Edition

19 Marcheshvan 5769

From somewhere in the Wild West Bank.

Post Election Fallout

19 Marcheshvan 5769

We thought that life was returning to normal, and that the streets of Jerusalem would be clean of political fliers and posters. But it seems that the election process itself, and all the more so the results of the election, have left the ultra-Orthodox community wounded. The pain felt from these wounds is reflected in a post election "paper war" that is "decorating" the city's walls and littering its streets.

It started with wall posters stating the Talmudic dictum that "Jerusalem was destroyed because they disgraced Torah scholars." The poster was signed "The Honor of Torah". This is a somewhat ambiguous poster for one not familiar with Hareidi politics and social codes, but for the rest of us the hint was clear: the race for mayor was lost to the secular candidate (who will bring about the destruction of Jerusalem) because of Meir Porush, who disgraced Torah scholars.

If anyone had doubt as to who and what the posters were referring to, the following day the streets were littered with fliers that were a carbon copy of the wall poster. The difference was that the flier had two sides. The flip side of the flier was an editorial from the Yated Ne'eman newspaper (from the 15th of Cheshvan 5769), which is the mouthpiece of the Degel HaTorah (Lithuanian) faction in Agudat Yisrael. It was a very long editorial, which among other things was a trial in absentia of Meir Porush, although his name was not explicitly mentioned. However, his political crimes were described in detail:
"He acted with public irresponsibility, he caused intense arguments, he divided the public, he turned his back on the great Hasidic leaders and Torah luminaries."
Needless to say the paper found him guilty as charged. The editorial declared Porush as being unworthy to be a public servant for the ultra-Orthodox community.

This of course could not be left without a reply. So today we were greeted on the way to work with a poster singing the praises of Meir Porush. Why wasn't I surprised?

As far as the editors of Yated Ne'eman are concerned, Meir Porush's political career is finished. It will be interesting to see Porush's next move. He is currently a member of the Knesset, but it is now doubtful that UTJ will give him a place on the list for the elections that are scheduled for February. Will he continue in the city council? Will Barkat give him the job as "assistant-Mayor"? Will he split away from UTJ and form a rival party? Time will tell.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Dollar From the Lubavitcher Rebbe

16 Marcheshvan 5769

Here's a dollar bill that I received from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneursohn zt"l, on the 12th of Tammuz in the year 5744 (1984). Wow, I've been holding on to this thing for 24 years!

The Rebbe used to distribute dollars to his Hasidim in order that they would give the money to charity. I was told by the Hasidim that the custom is to keep the dollar as a momento from the Rebbe, and to give a different dollar to charity in its place. So the Rebbe's dollar has been with me for a long time. Not too long after I made aliyah, the Rebbe's dollar also made aliyah, along with some of my other momentos.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a righteous man and a great Torah scholar. Even those that opposed him, mainly because of the messianic undertones which were heard frequently among his followers, realized that the Rebbe was a great man.

I'm not a Hasid, so why am I holding on to this dollar? I owe a lot to Chabad. If it weren't for the Chabad House on my college campus, I don't know where I would be now. They had a profound effect on my life. Perhaps that will be a subject of a different post.

Fine, that doesn't answer the question of why I am still holding on to this dollar. I'll let "The Path of the Just" explain:
In the same way, the food and drink of the Holy man is elevated and is considered as if it had actually been sacrificed upon the altar. As our Sages 'of blessed memory have said (Kethuvoth 105b), "If one brings a gift to a Scholar, it is as if he offers up first fruit" and (Yoma 71a), "In the place of libation, let him fill the throat of the Scholars with wine." The meaning here is not that Scholars should lust, glutton-like, to fill their throats with food and drink (God forbid), but rather, as we have indicated, that Scholars, who are Holy in their ways and in all of their deeds, are literally comparable to the sanctuary and the altar, for the Divine Presence dwells with them just as it dwelled in the sanctuary. Their consuming of food is similar to the offering up of a sacrifice upon the altar, and the filling of their throats is analogous to the filling of the basins. In accordance with this view, anything at all which is made use of by them in some way is elevated and enhanced through having been employed by a righteous individual, by one who communes with the Holiness of the Blessed One. Our Sages of blessed memory have already referred to "the stones of the place" that Jacob took and set around his head (Chullin 91b), "R. Yitzchak said, `This teaches us that they all gathered together, each one saying, `Let the righteous one lay his head upon me.'"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jerusalem Municipal Election Post Mortem

15 Marcheshvan 5769

Jerusalem has a new mayor: Nir Barkat. Those of you that follow this blog know that I supported his rival, Meir Porush. I felt that Porush was much more qualified for the job, and that choosing between the two leading candidates was really a no-brainer. What's more, as a Torah observent Jew, it seemed to me that we are required to choose the God-fearing candidate. Finally, Barkat's record as a political zigzagger along with his affiliation with the ideologically empty and corrupt Kadima party made him one of the last people that I would vote for.

The majority of Jerusalemites that made it to the voting booth felt otherwise and they put the slip with Nir Barkat's name into the envelope for mayor. There were many factors that lead Barkat to victory and Porush to defeat. I'll list a few:

1) Hard work: Barkat worked hard over the past few years in order to get the the mayor's chair. He worked hard to change his image among the city's voters from a native-Israeli Tommy Lapid to an innocuous run-of-the-mill Israeli. He was willing to meet with rabbis and take part in religious ceremonies. (Check out this post from 2005!!!) He succeeded in distancing himself from Kadima and their plans to divide the city.

2) Money: He invested/raised/spent a lot of money on this campaign. Eyal Arad and Li'or Chorev don't work for free.

3) Internal ultra-Orthodox strife: United Torah Judaism was far from unified. The desecration of God's name which Rav Elyashiv was worried about was realized. According to various reports members of the Gur chassidic group not only abstained from voting to Porush, they actually voted for Barkat. Could be.

There are some that will say that this election was the second round of last year's municipal elections in Beitar Ilit. Many UOs can not and did not forget Porush for going against the rabbis that wanted R' Pindrus to continue being mayor of the Hareidi town. Porush won the first round. His candidate got elected. Rav Elyashiv was "mocheil al k'vodo" by supporting Porush's candidacy for mayor. The leader of "Lithuanian Jewry" requested from his flock that they do everything they can to get Meir Porush elected. However, some of Rav Elyashiv's followers were not so forgiving. They were so angry at Porush for going against "da'as Toyre" that they themselves went against "da'as Toyre" by waging an aggressive campaign against him (wall posters, newspapers, fliers) and not voting for him. A true UO paradox!

4) National Religious Support: The national religious vote was certainly divided between the two candidates. This was in spite of the fact that most of the rabbis supported Porush. However, many of the NRs don't listen to rabbis. In the polling station where I voted the Barkat representative was a NR guy. This community, if it can be called one, is leaderless; every man does what is right in his eyes.

5) Secular Support: Porush probably lost any support that he had in this sector after his remark in Yiddish that the Hareidim are multiplying quickly and soon there won't be any "ChiLOYni" mayors in the major cities. Porush forgot that "the walls have ears", and that some of those heimishe guys in the audience have MP3 recorders and digital cameras. This was a silly blunder which may have cost him the mayoralty.

I hereby bless Mr. Barkat on his victory and wish him much success in running our beloved city. Hail to the chief! I hope the Nir Barkat that will be running our city will be the one with covered with a prayer shawl grasping a lulav and not the one wearing a Kadima tee shirt with a cup of beer in his hand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vote Porush!!!

I did. And now for some pics. Here's what it looked like across the street from the voting station. Last minute propaganda:

Inside the voting station:

Monday, November 10, 2008

HH #190

13 Marcheshvan 5769

Better late than never, ck!

Proposition 8 is Great!

13 Marcheshvan 5769

Jack said:
Prop 8 is a disgusting measure that will not be allowed to stand. It is wrong. People may not agree with gay marriage, but outlawing is just wrong.
I answered him:
"After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their statutes" (Leviticus 18:3). The Rambam (Laws of Forbidden Relations ch. 21) considers such marriages among the "doings of the land of Egypt". Prop 8 is great!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Nir Barkat - Tax Dodger?

12 Marcheshvan 5769

Someone set up an anti-Barkat web site. The site contains plenty of interesting revelations about the man. I found this one particularly interesting:

For those of you that don't read Hebrew:
"Barkat is an example of smuggling taxes abroad - Barkat used tax shelters in order to dodge paying taxes in Israel (The BRM company that he set up is partially registered in the tax shelter country The Cayman Islands in the Caribbean) and declared that he would not invest in Israeli companies that are not registered abroad, in order to not pay taxes in Israel. " (Ha'aretz, "Kol Ha'ir" 23.5.2003)
A quick Google search reveals the following about The Cayman Islands:
There is no direct taxation imposed on Caymanians and Cayman Island companies. The government receives the majority of its income from indirect taxation. A 20% duty is levied against imported goods. Some items are exempted like baby formula, books and cameras. Duty on automobiles depends on the class and make of the model; duty can reach up to 40% for expensive models. Financial institutions that operate in the islands are charged a flat licensing fee by the government. A 10% government tax is placed on all tourist accommodations in addition to the small fee each tourist pays upon getting on the island.
Barkat's propaganda always mentions how he is a Zionist. Based on the above report, I'm willing to wager that Meir Porush has payed a lot more taxes to the Jewish State over the past ten years than Barkat has. Anyone who considers himself a Zionist should vote for Porush.

The Obama Nation Outlaws Abomination

Israel National News reports that the voters in the states of California, Florida, and Arizona did the right thing:
While many Americans celebrated the victory of liberal-Democrat Barack Obama, other more conservative voices had something to celebrate as well. California, a state considered a bastion of liberalism, passed a ballot measure banning homosexual marriage. The measure, also known as "Proposition 8", calls for an amendment to the state constitution which will now read: "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Florida and Arizona passed similar bans on Tuesday. Also, in Arkansas a measure was passed that was intended to bar gay men and lesbians from adopting children. In all, thirty states have now passed bans on same-sex marriage.

Elated by the rejection of gay marriage in state elections, conservatives Wednesday urged Congress to follow suit by approving a federal constitutional amendment that would extend the prohibition nationwide. In February, President George W. Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage saying: "I believe marriage has served society well, and I believe it is important to affirm that — that marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal, and the job of the president is to drive policy toward the ideal."
Read the rest.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lech Lecha: True Change

9 Marcheshvan 5769

At the end of last week's Torah portion, Abraham, our father, appears on the scene. I have always been inspired by Abraham. He's the man that changed the world. We're talking about real change, and not Obama Bubba Mayses that are marketed to the ignorant masses of AmReika. Abraham spreads the faith in the one and only God, the Almighty, in spite of the opposition of the idol worshipers of his generation. Abraham leaves his land and family in order to go where God tells him to go. There are no ifs, ands, or buts by Abraham. He fulfills God's will without any excuses. There is so much to write about him, so much to learn from him, but Shabbat is approaching.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Druckman Letter to Barkat: Far From Being an Endorsement

9 Marcheshvan 5769

Some Israeli media outlets are publicizing that Rabbi Chaim Druckman supports Nir Barkat in the Jerusalem mayoral race. However a careful read of the letter that Druckman wrote for Barkat tells an entirely different story:

Here's my translation:
To Mr. Nir Barkat

Much peace and God's blessing!

From my meetings with you concerning Jerusalem, I was very impressed with your seriousness and your sincere desire to devote yourself to guarding the unity of Jerusalem and its Jewish and Zionist identity.

May God help you succeed in this holy task by increasing its population, and guarding its Jewish and Zionist identity.

With the blessing of the Torah and the Land,

Chaim Druckman

The honest reader will see that there is no endorsement here. Rabbi Druckman doesn't even mention the mayoral race. He is simply blessing that Barkat will succeed in guarding the unity, Jewishness, and Zionist identity of Jerusalem.

Let's hope that he does so, but not from the mayor's seat.

Best Jblogger Reaction to the US Election

9 Marcheshvan 5769

'לב מלכים ושרים ביד ה - so really there's nothing to worry about if we have Bitahon - we need to pray that if Mashiah doesn't come before Obama takes office, that President Obama will be good to the Jews and Israel.

More Leading Religious Zionist Rabbis Endorse Porush

9 Marcheshvan 5769

Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav has come out in support of Meir Porush:

Other leading rabbis, including Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl and Rabbi Avraham Tzukerman have also came out in support of Meir Porush:

Who is the Dati Leumi who is still going to vote for Barkat?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Obama Victory: Jbloggers Weigh In

8 Marcheshvan 5769

The Battle is Over, the War Begins

President Barack Hussein Obama

No 100 Days of Grace for Zbig Brzezinski's Front Man "president"

The Black House

Barack Hussein Obama, the next President of America

Jerusalem Cabbies Support Porush

7 Marcheshvan 5769

Read about it on his blog.

Obama, Obama, Obama, oy, yoy, yoy, yoy, yoy, yoy

7 Marcheshvan 5769

Wow. America celebrates. You might have thought that the Messiah has arrived.

"Happy days are here again". Or are they? I have a feeling that after the party everybody is going to wake up with a hangover. A cup of coffee won't cure the hangover and hollow promises of "change" won't cure America's problems. The reality check is in the mail.

From this side of the Atlantic the elections looked more like a popularity contest than an attempt to deal with the issues and make an intelligent choice regarding who is the best man for the job. An election of gimmicks: A man with African ancestry got the black vote out. A female vice presidential candidate on the opposing ticket also garnered a lot of publicity and generated enthusiasm among many. What will they think of to fire the average American's imagination four years from now?

A little bit of unsolicited advice from Cosmic X in Jerusalem for Barack Obama: Don't try to mess around with us Jews! Remember what is written in the book of Genesis (12:1-3), in the Torah portion that Jews from all over the world will read this Sabbath:
"Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'"
Again, don't mess around with the Jewish People. Don't listen to the Arabists in the State Department, Dhimmi Carter, or to Zbignew what's his name.

One more thing: Be sure to read Soccer Dad every morning.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Shmuel Shkedi Endorses Porush

6 Marcheshvan, 5769

Shmuel Shkedi, the outgoing head of the National Religious Party in the Jerusalem Municipal Council, has endorsed Meir Porush in the upcoming elections for Jerusalem's mayor. The endorsement appeared in the most recent issue of BeSheva. The article is in Hebrew. A money quote:

בזמן שניר ברקת סופר אותנו רק בדרך לקלפי, פרוש היה ועודנו שותף נאמן שנים הרבה לפני שמישהו חלם על האפשרות שהוא יתמודד על ראשות העיר
My translation:
While Nir Barkat counts us only on the way to the ballot box, Porush was and is still a faithful partner many years before anyone dreamed about the possibility that he would run for mayor.
Read the rest and vote for Porush!

Obama or McCain

Soccer Dad has an endorsement roundup. I don't feel well enough informed to endorse either one of them, although it seems that the majority of the jbloggers that I follow support McCain. Leora has some interesting advice:
Don’t worry about which politician will take care of Israel or the Jews. God will take care of that. Vote for the one with the best midos. Because the President sets a tone for the country. If the president is lying and thinks lying is OK, so will others.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Jpix #20

See it from "the banks of the old Raritan".

The Barkat Zigzag and National Religious Gullibility

The more I learn about Nir Barkat, the more I realize how unfit he is to be Jerusalem's Mayor. The assumption that someone who is a successful high-tech entrepreneur will make a successful mayor is has no legs to stand on. Politics is a totally different game with different rules. Different talents are needed.

Barkat's political career is a series of zigzags. He started with a Tommy Lapid like anti-ultra-Orthodox agenda. After the expulsion from Gush-Katif and the pogrom in Amona, Barkat joined the Kadima party and lead its campaign in Jerusalem. In January 2006 Barkat stated,
"They created a party around my opinions and around my 'I believe'. There is mutual appreciation between Olmert and myself. Kadima is the body that is fit to lead Israel at this time."
Today Nir Barkat is courting the religious Zionists in Jerusalem with a promise of "true partnership". If you believe him I have a great deal for you: There is a bridge that connects Manhattan with Brooklyn that you might be interested in purchasing from me.

What's amazing is that there are National Religious (NR) voters in Jerusalem that are going to vote for Barkat. I am not kidding! There are a variety of reasons for this:

1) Some NRs feel closer to the secular than to the ultra-Orthodox. They spend more time in front of the television than in the Beit Midrash. They are more likely to read Ha'aretz than to open up a Gemara. You can imagine what kind of bizarre Weltanschauung someone like this develops. These characters are the poster children of cognitive dissonance.

2) Some NRs hate Hareidim. It's a shame but it's true. Sometimes this is a result of bad experiences with members of the ultra-Orthodox community. Sometimes it is a result of bad NR education. That is to say, sometimes the NR educators attack the Hareidim in order to justify themselves and their way of life. The results of this type of education are disastrous. (The same thing happens in the Hareidi world. Some of them hate the NRs. They attack the NRs and their way of life in order to justify themselves. Again, the results are a disaster.)

3) Some NRs suffer from a terrible inferiority complex. They feel like second-rate Zionists. (This problem is more prevalent among the over 50 crowd, those that remember Ben Gurion). They search for acceptance from the secular, and will do things that should not be done and say things that should not be said in order to gain favor in secular eyes.

4) Every community has its share of naive and vulnerable people.

Personally, I am going to vote for Meir Porush. No, I don't think that he will deliver on all of his promises. However, the Rambam taught us to choose God fearing people to be our leaders. What's more, if I compare his resume with that of Barkat, there is really no contest. Porush's experience in government, whether it be on a municipal level or whether it be on a national level, far surpasses that of Barkat. "Barkat has the money, but Porush has the receipts." Just as Nir Barkat would not hire an inexperienced programmer to be a project leader in one of his start ups, I will not vote for an inexperienced politician to be my mayor. In a better world, this would be obvious to all. However, in our world of media advisers and media spins, anything can be sold to the gullible. And in a country where a labor union leader is appointed to be the Defense Minister, anyone can be mayor of Jerusalem.

Haveil Havalim #189 - The Elections Edition

Ben-Yehudah has got it. Here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

We Have the Obama - Khalidi Video

4 Marchesvan 5769

Would you like to see the video? Here it is:

I hope that you enjoyed that one. Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barkat and Kadima

In a previous post I mentioned that Nir Barkat is a member of the Kadima party. Today I read a letter in an old issue of BeSheva (14 Tishrei 5769) by Eviatar El'ad, Barkat's media adviser. In the letter El'ad claims that Barkat resigned from the Kadima party when the latter decided to make territorial concessions in Jerusalem. Fine.

However, the fact the Barkat chose of his own free will to become a member of the Kadima Party tells us much about the man. If you think about it, Barkat joining Kadima tells us a lot more about him than a collection of campaign slogans and a fat stack of fliers. After all, what is the Kadima Party? It is a political refuge that Ariel Sharon formed for himself after he brazenly ignored the Likud Party's democratically reached decisions against the "disengagement". It is a party devoid of ideology, a collection of politicians that have nothing in common except the desire for power and wealth. To join such a party is disgrace for anyone who has even an iota of integrity and self-respect.

The expulsion of Jews from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria was a crime against the Jewish People in general and those Jews that lived there in particular. Kadima was formed by the perpetrators of that crime. Someone who joined such a party is not fit to be Jerusalem's dog catcher, and all the more so Jerusalem's mayor. Sorry Nir, you are not going to get my vote.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And Now For Some Anti-Porush Graffiti

The orange spray paint declares that "Porush is only for the ultra-Orthodox". For some reason I am not impressed by the anti-Hareidi appeal. I think that Lopolianski has proved such prejudices to be false. Not only that, Porush proved that he knows how to serve the general public when he was the Deputy Housing Minister.

Once again I protest the defacing of the city for political purposes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not the Jblogosphere Modestry Patrol

29 Tishrei, 5769

I'll say it straight out, without further ado: The God of Israel hates obscenity, bawdiness, lewdness, whatever you want to call it (see Sanhedrin 51B - 52A). It is not the He dislikes it, or that He has reservations about it: He hates it! All of the Hollywood "culture", with its half naked actresses, pop singers, etc. is not "cool" nor is it "chic". It is a snare to anyone who wants to progress in spirituality, and a stumbling block to anyone who wants to be something more than an animal that walks on two legs.

Therefore I plead with everyone here in the jblogosphere: Please do not post pictures of scantily clad women on your blog. If you consider yourself religious, posting such pics is absolutely in opposition to the Torah, in letter and in spirit. If you don't consider yourself religious, consider the fact that posting such photographs degrades women, lowering them to being nothing more than objects for male lust.

Let's clean up the neighborhood! Thanks in advance and yishar koach!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Porush Meets the Srugim

25 Tishrei, 5769

Last night Jerusalem mayoral candidate Meir Porush had an "eye-level meeting" with residents of Giv'at Shaul at the Noam School. The purpose of the meeting was to enlist the support of the National Religious public for his candidacy.

The residents expressed the feeling that Mayor Lopolianski and United Torah Judaism have been discriminating against the National Religious community in different areas. Porush said that if he is elected mayor he will be a true partner of the National Religious community, just as he was when he was head of the Housing Ministry.

A flier was available containing letters from Rabbis Dov Lior, Elyakim Levanon, and Yisrael Rosen is support of Porush.

Here's an exclusive Cosmic X picture from the meeting:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maimonides Endorses Meir Porush?

As the Jerusalem mayoral race heats up, the conventional wisdom is that the secular public will vote overwhelmingly for the secular candidate Nir Barkat, whereas the ultra-Orthodox publice will do likewise for Meir Porush. With regards to the National Religious community, things are not clear. Both Barkat and Porush have a special staff (Mateh) of National Religious supporters.

It seems to me that according to Jewish Law, one should vote Porush. The Rambam states in the Laws of Kings and Wars (1:9) that:

וכל מי שאין בו יראת שמיים, אף על פי שחכמתו מרובה, אין ממנין אותו למינוי מן המינויין שבישראל

And anyone who is not God fearing, even though his wisdom is great, is not to be appointed to any position among the positions of (the people of) Israel.

Disclaimer: I am far from a Torah scholar and I haven't asked one if this law applies to the municipal election. Food for thought, and a question for your local Orthodox rabbi.

Hijabs For Sale!

Have we got a hijab for you! All the latest styles! All the best colors and designs! Cool pink, flowers, and fancy geometric forms!

Ya Mirvat, don't think twice! Sneak out of home while your husband is at work and treat yourself to a new hijab! You deserve it!

Ya Marwan, what have you done lately to make Fatima happy? Did you buy her a present for her birthday? We thought so! Here's your chance to make amends! Buy her a new hijab! Sahten!

Ya Jameela, aren't you tired of wearing the same hijab for the last twenty years? It's time to throw out that old rag and get a new fancy hijab! Be the envy of the entire Hamula!

Do you think I have a future as a hijab salesman? The photo was taken as I walked down Rechov HaGai (El Wad, Valley Street) on my way to the Western Wall during Chol HaMoed Sukkot.

Disclaimer: The photo has nothing at all to do with the above sales pitch and is for illustraton purposes only.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Calatrava Sunset

21 Tishrei, 5769 (6th day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, Hoshannah Rabbah)

Took this pic yesterday:

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah is coming...Chag Sameach!

Sukkah of the Year?

21 Tishrei, 5769 (6th day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, Hoshannah Rabbah)

One can see a lot of Sukkahs here in Jerusalem. This one really caught my eye. It's the old "I don't have a balcony, so I'll make a temporary one for building a Sukkah" trick:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

HH #187

21 Tishrei, 5769 (6th day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, Hoshannah Rabbah)

Read The Sukkot 5769 Edition here.

Anti Barkat Graffiti

The graffiti says, "Barkat is dangerous for Jerusalem". Who knows, perhaps the guy who wrote this is correct. Barkat is after all a member of the Kadima party! However, I don't know why the guy who wrote this thinks he has the right to deface the city. IMHO, people like this are dangerous for Jerusalem!


20 Tishrei, 5769 (5th day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

Last Thursday we were in Hebron. I parked my car in Kiryat Arba and we walked to the Cave of the Patriarchs. On the way from Kiryat Arba to Hebron we passed "Beit Hashalom" (the house of peace):

After about a fifteen minute walk, we finally make it to the Cave of the Patriarchs (me'arat hamachpeilah):

We davenned Minchah inside. Saying the first blessing of the silent prayer, Avot, when you are standing so close to where they are buried brought tears to my eyes.

Sinai Tor among other musicians played outside of the Cave. For me the music was way to loud!

It was great to be in Hebron. I hope to visit there more often.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not National, Not Religious

18 Tishrei, 5769 (3rd day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

A pretty disgusting ad in BeSheva from the "National Leumi Staff for Nir Barkat". It is a bad example of mudslinging against Meir Porush. If the people who created this ad call themselves "National Religious, I wonder: What nation do they belong to and what religion do they practice?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Gaydamak Campaign

18 Tishrei, 5769 (3rd day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

Let's face it: the guy doesn't have a chance. He would have a much better chance of winning an election in Sderot. So why is he running for the Mayor of Jerusalem? It could be that he knows that this time around he won't win, but he want's to "put himself on the political map." Perhaps he likes seeing his picture hanging from buildings in the Capital:

Who am I, a guy struggling with his overdraft, to argue with Arcadi Gaydamak?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arabs, Leftists Torch Jewish Outpost, Kill Puppy. Four Arrested

17 Tishrei, 5769 (2nd day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

Check this out. So far the Israeli MSM is ignoring this:
A group of Arabs and Israeli leftist collaborators attacked a Jewish outpost in Samaria Wednesday morning, killed a dog and burned holy books, while the outpost's residents were away protecting a nearby olive orchard.

The outpost that was attacked is called Churshah and is located next to the community of Adei Ad which was established ten years ago. The residents number about a dozen.
Read the rest.

Jerusalem Mayor Wannabees on the Web

16 Tishrei, 5769 (1st day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

The Mayoral race in Jerusalem is heating up. We are seeing more and more posters, advertisements and unfortunately...graffiti. The net is also a battleground: The two major candidates, Meir Porush and Nir Barkat both have web sites and even blogs:

Meir Porush's web site and blog

Nir Barkat's web site and blog

To Err is Human....

16 Tishrei, 5769 (1st day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

but you need a computer to really mess things up!

Yaak has a good example of this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HH #186

16 Tishrei, 5769 (1st day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot)

Better late than never. Here!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Stocks Go Down and the Sukkahs Go Up

14 Tishrei, 5769

Here in Jerusalem Sukkahs are springing up like flowers after the rain. They are everywhere: in the parking lots, in the courtyards and of course on the balcony. It's a real Kiddush Hashem to see how the nation is eagerly preparing for the holiday.

In deep contrast, the present financial crisis is no doubt a tragedy. How many people have seen their money, earned through years of hard work, evaporate like water in the Dead Sea on a hot day?

As we leave our comfortable homes and go to live in a shack, with a roof that really isn't a roof, we remember that money isn't everything. Really, it isn't! Just as the sukkah is a temporary dwelling, so are we temporarily dwelling in This World. In the end we die, and we leave all of the money and property behind. The only thing that we take with us to the Next World is the Torah we learned and the mitzvot that we performed.

So what if you lost a few thousand shekels or dollars? Keep things in perspective! Serve God with happiness! Chag Sameach!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Quickie

11 Tishrei, 5769

We had perfect weather in Jerusalem for Yom Kippur: Nice and cool. That made fasting much easier.

I davenned in a "sunrise" minyan which was also good because we finished Musaf at about 10:45 AM. That gave me some time to rest before Mincha and Ne'ilah (3:00 PM).

Just finished building most of the Sukkah. Shabbat is on the way and then Sukkot. It's a marathon but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

גמר חתימה טובה

9 Tishrei, 5769

From this morning's selichot:

May you all have a meaningful fast. Gmar Chatimah Tovah!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Holy Grape Juice

7 Tishrei, 5769

The shmittah year may be over, but here in the land of Israel we are still eating holy shmittah fruits.

Last week I received two boxes of holy shmittah grape juice, each one containing twelve one-liter bottles. The box comes with a sheet with instructions concerning the special holy grape juice. For instance, it is forbidden to take the juice outside of the holy land of Israel. It is also forbidden to waste this juice, so you can't overfill your kiddush or havdalah cup until it runs over. There is a lot of other things to know but this is just a blog post, not a shmittah guide!

Here's a pic of two bottles with my kiddush cup and a figurine of a Jew learning Torah:

Why in the world did I put a figurine of a Jew learning Torah you ask? Perhaps the Jew is a farmer who is taking advantage of the Shmittah year to learn more. Perhaps he is learning the different laws concerning the holy shmittah grape juice. Perhaps I like figurines of Jews learning Torah. Whatever.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

HH #185

7 Tishrei, 5769

Click here.

More of Barkat's Head Has Been Removed

6 Tishrei, 5769

I mentioned that in last week's issue of BeSheva, Jerusalem mayoral hopeful Nir Barkat had the top part of his head chopped off. I presumed that the reason for the head-cut is to prevent the religious readers from seeing Nir's kipah-less head. This week they chopped off even more of his head:

If they are already playing games with graphics, why don't they just do this?:

I bet it will get him a lot of votes. :)

Some Really Cool Pics!

6 Tishrei, 5769

Click here to see them. Kol HaKavod, Batya!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Deri Campaign

4 Tishrei, 5769

Although Deri's supporters wanted to "let Jerusalem decide" if Arye Deri will be the next mayor of Jerusalem, the court felt otherwise:
Former Shas head Aryeh Deri cannot run for mayor of Jerusalem this year, the Jerusalem District Court ruled Thursday. Deri was barred from the race under a law mandating a seven-year wait before entering politics following a prison sentence. Deri was sentenced to prison in 1999 for bribery, and completed his sentence six years ago.

Deri's attorneys argued that at the time of his sentencing, the post-prison wait was only six years, meaning Deri would be eligible to enter politics in 2008. The wait was extended to seven years after Deri was sentenced, and cannot be applied retroactively, they said.

State attorney Inat Golomb argued that the waiting period could be extended retroactively because the wait did not constitute a punishment. Judge Moshe Sobel accepted the state's argument, and said the waiting period was meant to “maintain a reasonable period of time between the punishment and the elections.”
So unless Deri files an appeal and wins, the Deri campaign is over.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Barkat Campaign

3 Tishrei, 5769 (The fast of Gedaliah)

I mentioned in a previous post the ingenuity of Meir Porush's campaign. Today's post will deal with the flip side of the coin. How does Nir Barkat market himself to the religious public?

This advertisement in the national-religious Besheva weekly newspaper gives us the answer: Off with (the top) of his head!

The average religious reader isn't foolish. He knows that Nir Barkat doesn't sport a yarmulke which by chance got cropped out of the picture. However, by cutting off the top of his head, Barkat's advertising firm dulled the brazenness of Barkat's bare-headed appearance in the eyes of the religious public.

Such is politics in Israel. I can't wait till this is over!

And BTW, check out what is going on in Beit Shemesh.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tova

29 Elul, 5768

May you all be written and sealed for a good year!

- Cosmic X in Jerusalem

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Porush Campaign

28 Elul, 5768

I try to be positive. I like to write about positive things, to see the "good of Jerusalem" (Psalms 128:5). Unfortunately I don't always succeed, especially if I write about politics. Today I have the pleasure of writing a positive post about something political.

Meir Porush is one of the candidates in Jerusalem's mayoral race. The Porush campaign is ingenious. Take a look at the advertisement on this bus:

It says, "Jerusalem will love Porush". In the circle it says "from experience". So what's so ingenious? Take a look at the picture of Porush. They made him into a comic book character! That is ingenious! Most candidates post their photos all over the place. The people at the Porush campaign realized that a photo of a Chasidic Jew with a long beard may turn off certain voters, and that's an understatement. Lopolianski, Jeruslaem's outgoing ultra-Orthodox mayor, had a short, well trimmed beard gave him a less "threatening" appearance than Porush. Porush's advertising agency apparently realized this, so they turned Porush into a cuddly cartoon character. Isn't he just adorable?

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