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.
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