Monday, March 31, 2008

Shomron Hilltop Torched!

24 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Elnaqam, one of the hilltops adjacent to K'far Tapu'ah Hill was torched Sunday night, and the police aim to complete the pogrom:
ElnaqamElnaqam 4: One year ago

Sunday night the Tapu'ah Response Team and volunteer fire dept woke up to a horrible fire on the Tapu'ah hilltop known as El Nakam-4. The last remaining tent that housed a Torah study-hall, dormitory and dining hall for the small unique canine yeshiva was torched at approximately 3:00 AM. Miraculously, no holy books were damaged and nobody was harmed in the fierce fire, which is believed to have been started by gas firebombs tossed lit into the tent.

Hurban Elnaqam
Elnaqam 4: Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov praying early Monday morning

Firefighters controlled the blaze by 4:00 AM and military trackers were unable to find conclusive signs or direction of the fleeing arsonists.

Gen. Gad ShamniThe entire hill has been slated for destruction by the IDF Central Commander Gad Shamni like most other "illegal" hills in Judea and Samaria. The police were scheduled to tear down the remaining tent at 6:00 AM and to seal the area off. The forty specially trained canines that were kept and/or trained on the hill were removed several weeks ago, after the Administrative Closure Order was leaked out early to the directors of the Canine Yeshiva program. Clearly, it was this horrible breach in security that enabled the terrorists to sneak on to the hill and carry out their attack.

Yekutiel Ben Yaakov, Director of the program said

Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov"I wonder if Shamni will still send his troops to confiscate the ashes he has brought about of our once thriving hilltop. If it was not sad it would be comical. Our dogs and students have saved countless lives in Israel. We will continue to do so. Sm-OlmertHow many Jews will Israeli leaders continue to sacrifice to appease the international community? How far will Shamni and Olmert go to strip Jews in Israel of any basic right or tool of self defense against pogroms like the ones we are seeing here in Israel these days?"

For more information call 054-4876709
(972-54-4876709 from outside of Israel)

Donate online

Or send a generous check now to help rebuild:

"Canine Yeshiva Academy"
P. O. Box 6592
Jerusalem Israel

Cross-posted on the B'nal Elim Blog

Facebook Halachah

24 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

1. It is imperative to update your status immediately after becoming engaged, getting married, divorced (lo aleinu), or adding children to your family.

Some poseqim hold that one must even update ones "married" status before entering the yihud room.

Others are more lenient, allowing for this to be done within 24 hours of the Qeddushin. The source in support of such leniency is invariably that "One who is engaged in a misswah is exempt from [another positive] misswah." However, practical considerations such as the hazaqah that the hall will not have Wi-Fi and that not everyone owns a laptop to schlep to his wedding, are also relevant to this opinion.

The rebuttal against such leniency stems from the understanding that of course updating ones Facebook status takes precedence over focusing on the details of the wedding itself. One should surely secure a hall with Wi-Fi, as well as a laptop if one does not own his own. TNSPR is of the opinion that this is not burden, as one can update ones Facebook status via text message.

All poseqim agree that this is one of the rare time-related, positive misswoth which are incumbent upon women.

One who is sitting shiva (lo aleinu) is exempt from updating ones status. However, a friend should offer to do it for the avel (mourner), so that others can be informed of the details and location of shiva.

2. One is obligated to make appropriate wall posts regarding the above events. One is exempt from birthday, wall posts. However, if one has less that 30 Facebook friends it will look suspicious if one does not make birthday, wall posts, in which case lack of time or too many friends cannot be used as excuses not to make birthday, wall posts.

3. If one has the "Top Friends" application, then one is required to make birthday, wall posts for top friends. Not doing so, is on the level of breaking a vow, as it is come to be a minhag for all Am Yisrael to monitor the birth dates of "Top Friends." One who is unable to take this upon himself, should remove the "Top Friends" application, until he has properly prepared himself for this obligation.

4. One must add the Dogbook or Catbook applications as soon as one obtains such a pet. Otherwise, each day which passes, the pet owner is mevatel a positive misswah.

5. Too many annoying applications on a friend's Facebook page are grounds for that friend's dismissal. Why? Da'as Torah!

6. Hafradah (separation) - All poseqim agree that married rabbeim may have female facebook friends if they are members of his community and/or in the name of qeruv. The agreement amongst poseqim stops here. This blogger will not get into this mahloqeth here, except to say that there have been many violent confrontations regarding the issue of opposite sex facebook friends, and that most of the confrontations have been started by those with opposite sex facebook friends against those who do not, and not the other way around.

7. Brooklyn Habiru reminds us that "poking" a member of the opposite sex on Facebook is out of the question, as this is considered negi'ah.

Too be continued...

Please leave your contributions to the open-source Facebook Halachah compilation in the comments section.

...and so that I am not transgressing the negative misswah of not placing a stumbling block before my fellow, this blog post IS indeed a joke.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Haveil Havalim #160 Is Up!

23 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Haveil Havalim #160 is up at Life In Israel. It's the "Waffles Edition."

Really, Rafi. Enough with the waffles already!

Shouldn't you humrah-addicted, qitniyoth-shunning bloggers be cleaning your blogs for Pesah already?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kosher Cooking Carnival #28 Is Up - Dayenu Edition

18 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Kosher Cooking CarnivalCheck out the Dayenu Edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival (#28) at Little Frumhouse on the Prairie. I am afraid that I am a week late in letting you about it. Please go check out the creative recipes and tips posted there. If you would like to contribute to next month's edition or host, use the handy contact information and on-line submission form.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

If It Looks Like A Border Crossing....

17 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."
-- Douglas Adams , The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Thus we can discern from this pattern of logic that if it looks like a border crossing, sounds like a border crossing, and feels like a border crossing, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have an opening in a wall, where individuals are stopped by guards and gates before passing between two areas of separately controlled pieces of land,...on our hands.

Hizmah Border Crossing, entering the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev

Quite frankly, I am surprised that no one has written about this yet. Maybe, I just missed it. Bayta alludes to it here and here.

Ariel Sharon YSh"W kept saying, no, no, no, the "security barrier" is not a de facto border between Israel and [yet another] Arab [terrorist] state.


C'mon. Did any of us really believe him? Well, obviously some of us did, as he was re-elected. Hey, even the leftists are against that stupid waste of space, and bazillions of sheqqels, ...albeit for sick and demented reasons.

Let's take a look at some of the clues that the so-called security barrier was always meant to be a de facto border, shall we?

Peres Insists Jerusalem's Jewish Sites Part of Israel

5 Marheshvan 5768/October 17, 2007

Peres da Prez( President Shimon Peres toured Tzfat Wednesday and vowed that the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem must remain under our control." Concerning a division of the capital, he said that "currently we all want a unified Jerusalem."

PM SmolmertHowever, he clouded his position by stating, "The only thing the State of Israel must ensure is a Jewish majority in Jerusalem." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in the Knesset this week, "Was it necessary to annex the Shuafat refugee camp, al-Sawahra, Walajeh and other villages and state that this is also Jerusalem?" All three neighborhoods are on the outskirts of Jerusalem and are outside the separate barrier.

Translation from Perespeak: It's all in how you define what "Jerusalem" means. (PM Olmert clears that up for us in the above, bold type.)

Yes, prime minister, thank you for clearing that up for us. We really ARE that stupid for you to pull this kind of fast one on us. (eyes rolling)

The next day....

Rice: 'Let's Be Real.There is a Security Problem'

6 Marheshvan 5768/October 18, 2007

"Let's be real. There is a security problem," she said. "No one wants to have barriers, but there is a security barrier there. We've been told many, many times and been assured that it's not a political barrier and it cannot be a political barrier."

"Told," the key word in her sentence is "told." Really. Do you believe everything you're told by the Israeli government? Do you think we believe everything you tell us?

Now, would you believe there are actually Torah observant, "Zionists" who actually agree with having a huge, ugly fence running through our country? At least one of them is a blogger, who shall remain nameless, ...for the time being. Needless to say, he and I live on different sides of said fence.

Qassam Rocket"It has been shown to save lives," he says. Has it? Better yet, does it matter?

Wait a minute. How long has there been a fence around Azza? How many lives has that fence saved?

Meanwhile, Condaleeza Rice obviously hasn't been in touch with Hayim Ramon lately, has she?

Ramon: Time for Compensation Plan

17 Adar 5768/February 23, 2008

Hayim Ramon...Keeping these 80,000 plus people in their homes “endangers the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” he said, adding "When a right-wing government headed by the Likud and Shas determined the route of the fence, it decided for all intents and purposes that everything beyond the fence will not be under Israel's sovereignty....”

Any questions?

Of Course You Know, This Means War!

Special 3rd Day of Purim for Walled Cities 5768

OK. This was the last straw. Rafi G. got his waffles personally delivered, as did Joe Settler.

I issued the following warning:

"Jameel? Jack? I know where the money's hidden; I know where the bodies are buried. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH ME!"

...but to no avail. My warning was not heeded. Thus I have no choice but to exact revenge.

I will now reveal Jameel's secret identity and location. Jameel is none other than... No, really! It's true, and I can prove it! First, notice the uncanny resemblance between these spy photos stolen from Joe and Rafi respectively, and Bugs Bunny's official face shot. (See how effectively the hat covers up his ears?) Second, the gimatriah qetannah of Jameel Rashid is "5," and that of Bugs Bunny is "3." Both names contain 2 words. 2 plus 3 equals 5! The third bit of evidence comes from Bugs Bunny's star on the Hollywood "Walk Of Fame." The star has 5 points, the gimatriah qetannah of Jameel's name. Fourthly, the star is located in Los Angeles, the location of Jack. Jack is in the "Valley" where North Hollywood is. The star is in Hollywood. See how the pieces of the puzzle are coming together? By extension, this had led me to the implication of The Holy Hyrax in the conspiracy. Why? He's an Angelino, just like Jack. I don't know how he's involved in the conspiracy, but I know he is. We San Diegans learn early on in life not to trust Angelinos.

But, I digress....

Jameel Rashid, or rather Bugs, lives in none other than K'far Shmaryahu, next door to Shulamit Eloni YSh"W, widely known for her wearing of a halter top through the streets of Me'ah Sha'arim, in order to "make a point." (eyes rolling) Apparently, Shulamit doesn't get any waffles either. Jameel, you are truly evil, denying a former minister in the Israeli government her waffles! Have you no shame?!

If you don't care about me and Shulamit, then at least think of Batya. She was very upset at not receiving her waffles. Gila and Baila didn't either. I'll bet you stopped by Treppenwitz, and even DHL'd waffles to Ezzie.

You know what, Jameel? I don't even want your stupid, lousy waffles anymore! I'll bet their awful! Don't even THINK of coming over to my house, even though you have been invited several times, to deliver me any waffles. I do not want them! (Let's see if the Paradoxical Injunction -- that's the misnomer of "reverse psychology" to you silly lay-people -- will work!)

I'll get that Jameel, one way or another!

Where Are My Waffles?! Haveil Havalim #159 Is Up.

Special 3rd Day of Purim for Walled Cities 5768

JackHaveil Havalim #159 is up at Jack's Place. It's the "Purim Is Over Edition." Don't worry. Several of us have already chastised him for forgetting that Purim is not yet over in Jerusalem, nor in Hevron, Shilo, Tiveria, and Tzfat, I think. This special situation of three days of Purim for "walled cities" and for cities which might have been walled during the time of Yehoshu'a Bin-Nun apparently won't happen again for another 15 years. Jack suggests that you check back periodically throughout the day, as this edition will be updated.

Oh, yeah, and don't expect any waffles. The waffle enticement is just scam!

Now, bloggers like Joe Settler are rubbing it in that "All bloggers are equal, just some bloggers get waffles, and others don't." (My word, not his)

Jameel? Jack? I know where the money's hidden; I know where the bodies are buried. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH ME!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Conversation With A Soldier

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Ssaw/Purim le'Muqafin 5768

Walking back from the Tapu'ah West and Elnaqam 4 Hills on Shabbath afternoon, I re-entered the fence surrounding K'far Tapu'ah (I hate that fence) to encounter a soldier's queries. After the requisite nodding of heads....

Soldier: Are you from here?

10ag (Me): (jokingly) No, I'm from Yassuf (a neighboring Ishma'elite village).

Soldier: (grin & holding a paper in his hand) Can I ask you something,...about where we are?

10ag: (a matter of fact-ly) Why? So, you can know from which town you're supposed to throw the residents out?

Soldier: No, so that I can know about the area where I'm guarding.

10ag: Why don't you ask your commander?

Soldier: I don't really appreciate you talking to me that way.

10ag: Look. I have nothing personal against you, at all. Ask me any other question, ANY other question, and I'll be happy to answer it.

Soldier: You have another reason not to have anything personal against me. I'm your neighbor. I live in the Shomron.

10ag: Yeshivah students from Qarnei Shomron participated in the expulsion from Amona. So that you live in the Shomron doesn't mean anything to me. (I start walking away again.)

Soldier: Well, do you know where (Arabic name) is?

10ag: I really don't have a clue.

After I walked down the security road, and up the hill into my backyard, I saw a former member of our town council and his kids walk up and start talking to this same soldier. So, I'm sure I will get chastised for exercising my right to free speech, and hurting the town's precious image. (eyes rolling)

Oh, I almost forgot. I do not have any such right. I live in Israel.

So, was I rude and unwelcoming to the soldier? I think not.

Years ago, there was man walking around a Jerusalem neighborhood, asking about a particular shi'ur (class) which was taking place in the area. The rabbi teaching this shi'ur got wind of this, and said it sounded like he might fit the profile of a Shabba"k (Israeli secret police) snooping around. He said not to say anything to him. It wasn't because he had anything to hide. He didn't. Rather, he said, "If he's too lazy to pick up the phone book, and look up my address, which is plainly there in black and white, by all means, do NOT help him do his job."

Sure, the soldier could probably find his way away the map he had with or without my help. But, the minute I started answering such questions, I would have risked getting pulled in, and then later, stuck, hemming and hawing about answering more pointed questions:

Elnaqam 4What exactly is that structure over there?

Who goes down there anyway?

Get my drift? By the way, the Elnaqam 4 Hill (see photo) received an evacuation order recently, as did the kennel which has housed guard dogs, which protect various towns in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria). So, you can understand my hesitation to any inquiry from anyone about local geography, let alone a soldier.

Even more so, the self-defense program in K'far Tapu'ah has been canceled. We are now guarded solely by soldiers, as opposed to our own residents employed, or doing their reserve duty, to do so instead. We're not the only town which has this program canceled, due to "budgetary concerns." For the first time in Tapu'ah West's 10-year history, there are soldiers guarding hill, placed there by the Ravsha"tz (town security chief). Most of the residents do not want them there, perfectly capable of defending the hill themselves. Holes in the town's fence by the main entrance have been plugged up. Now, to leave the town on foot, you have to get the guard to open the main gate. There are only a couple of other ways to leave by foot (without climbing over the barbed wire), one of which takes you passed a small IDF base. Are they locking out the Arabs? Or are they locking us in? How convenient to have the soldiers here, already in place, when it comes time to expel us. May God forbid!

I had just left se'udath shlishith (the third meal of Shabbath) at Elnaqam 4, while a couple of soldiers were snooping around, on the pretext of taking a stroll. Funny. This is the first time in the year of the hill's existence as a residence that soldiers have come down for a stroll.

Who knows when the powers that be will actually have the order executed. Everyone knows that plans are in the works to expel more Jews from Yehudah and Shomron. The only questions remain are...

1. Will the government learn from its expulsion mistakes it made in Azza (Gaza)?

2. Will the government attempt to show any caring for the housing of those expelled?

3. How much blood will be spilled this time? (May God forbid!)

4. How will the government attempt to cover it up?

5. Or will they just try to demonize us, and get the world to root for "The Settlers Demise?"

...and most importantly...

6. How far will we let them go?

7. How far will YOU let them go?

Nope. No conspiracies here. Just some simple logic guided by the recent trail of events, with full knowledge of the current government's wishes. Here in K'far Tapu'ah we are all to familiar with destruction and expulsion....
Photo: Aftermath of the work of soldiers on the Tapu'ah West synagogue,...under IDF "rabbinic supervision," years before the destruction of synagogues and yeshivoth in Azza (Gush Qatif and surrounding area)

Friday, March 21, 2008

What Is Racism?

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Tzav/Purim 5768

Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akovYekutiel Ben-Ya'akov stands convicted of "Incitement to Racism," and is expected to be sentenced on this coming Tuesday. Below is my translation of a poster (click image to enlarge) which can be seen around Israel, protesting the Israeli government's policies, which have failed to protect its citizens.

The Expulsion of Jews Is Not Racism


To Suggest the Expulsion of Hostile Arabs Is Racism

Such is what the "religious" Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman has ruled -

- in a ruling she gave against Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov who was convicted of "Incitement to Racism," for arranging an independent, national referendum. In a referendum which was set up before the expulsion of Jews from Gaza ("Disengagement"), the Misha'lot Yisrael organization, under the authority of Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov, offered two proposals tens of thousands of participants in the poll were asked to choose between "Sharon's Disengagement Plan," which meant the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes, and the "Jewish Disengagement Plan," to expel hostile Arabs, and to move them far away from the borders of the Land of Israel to prevent terrorist attacks and the shooting of Kassam rockets over Israel's cities.

Come protest against this injustice, on the day the judge is to pass sentence on Yekutiel. He can face up to five years imprisonment. Whoever supports such a ruling which even prohibits the mounting of a "survey," suggesting the removal of our enemies from Israel, an participant in any terror attack or Kassam that falls!

Dear Families in Mourning and People who dwell in Zion, We are sorry!

...but Judge Rivka Frienman-Feldman and her friends have decided: The need to protect the rights and sensitivities of Arab enemies overrides the right of our children to live!!!

The death sentence of the eight holy men and boys killed on Rosh Hodesh Adar Bet 5768 (March 7, 2008) at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah, was signed and sealed of by the ring of the "Ahashveroshes" and encouraged by the "Hamans" who sit in the Kenesset, and who interpret the law in the courthouses.

We are really sorry, but consolation is not at all relevant. written norms in the Kenesset and in the courts to continue to remain amongst us to butcher us and our children (May God have mercy on us!).

Whoever does not protest against this is complicit in murder, and will not be able to say that his hands have not spilled any of this blood.

Demonstration across from the Courthouse (Russian Compound, Jerusalem), Tuesday, 18 Adar Bet 5768 (March, 2008), 9:30 AM (the time of sentencing arguments)

Cross-posted on B'nai Elim

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Waffle Conspiracy

10 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Jameel Rashid's waffle obsession is just out of control! Check out The Muqata, and see for yourself how many of his posts contain the word "waffles."

Hosts of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival were promised waffles for hosting.

I'll Call Baila did not get hers. Gila did not get hers ("Yo man....where's my waffles????"). Batya did not get hers("...And if you decide to deliver waffles to Yaaqov, then please bring some here, too. We're not that far away."). And, I did certainly did not get mine:

There is a vicious rumor going around that hosts automatically gain an invitation to a waffle breakfast at Jameel's place.

Jameel? Where are my waffles? Did Ill Call Baila get hers? Please make mine with spelt flour and without eggs. I'm on a diet. Also, please hold the vanilla, or any other spirit, called for in the recipe.

Until I see my waffles, I am afraid that this rumor cannot be confirmed.

Did anyone get their waffles? I think not. Unless, of course, there are some favorites of Jameel and Jack's inner circle.

I have received taunting and teasing, but NO waffles.

Yet, ALL of our inquiries into this waffle sham have been ignored, scoffed at, marked as "spam," or worse, treated as the ravings of a mad blogger.

NYA HA HA HA! can often be heard in the background of Jameel and Jack's podcasts.

NOW, they're changing the rules, and denying that they have changed the rules at that!

Jack wants to blame his words on how tired he is. Sorry, Jack. It's a no go. Being tired is NO excuse for aiding and abetting Jameel in his waffle scam.

Now it seems, they are trying to entice innocent by-standing blogs Treppenwitz and Serandez into the conspiratorial plotting and planning. But to what end?! What sick and demented goals can be achieved by cheating unsuspecting blog carnival hosts out of their waffles?

The following is a transcript of a secretly monitored e-conversation I had with Jameel and Jack, CC-ing Treppenwitz, as he had already been dragged into it somehow. I'm so traumatized by the experience, I have already blocked out the nature of his involvement.

10ag (Me):
Now, listen. This whole waffle thing is getting out of hand. NOW, it's "you COULD" win a waffle breakfast?

"Could" is a modal, indicating the lack 100% confidence that the speech will take place.

What's going on? You and Jameel just keep teasing and taunting me for your own sadistic pleasure.

I can't take it anymore!

You might already be the winner of a waffle breakfast!

Just ask Ed McMahon.

--Happy Adar,

Jameel @ The Muqata Waffle Hut

No. There weren't any conditions on it before. You can't just go changing the rules.

That's OK. I get it.

I don't want your frickin' waffles anymore. Now that I have [even] a [minimum] wage job, I can afford to stay away from wheat, B"H.

No waffles for me, thank you very much!

They probably aren't any good anyway.

Just a bunch of hype.

A bunch of hype? You havent seen hype yet.

Just wait till purim...

(Sounds like a threat to me.... And just look at those blatant grammatical errors!)

I keep a low key during Purim..... I don't even know where I'll be yet, Jerusalem, Tapu'ah West, or Elnaqam 4 (near K'far Tapu'ah), so that Elnaqam 4I can hear a proper Qeriyath Megillah from gvil, without stupid [originally Roman custom of] costumes and lots of noise, so that I can actually be yotzei mahahovah.

E-mail me when it's over.

Now what about that coffee? You've been hear longer than I have, so I expect you to reveal the best cup of coffee Jerusalem has to offer, now that the Internet Shtiebel and its $2,000 Italian machine have been shut down by the police (2006).

(Slight digression here....)



They probably taste lousy anyway.

I believe I will be launching a waffle boycott shortly.

Better yet, how about a blog war? I've never had one of those before. Perfect for Purim.

Treppenwitz has yet to chime in,...probably a smart move on his part.

Now the entire J-Blogsphere knows the truth about why Soccer Dad gave up ownership of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival: Waffles.

He threatened to blow the whistle on your scam, didn't he? So, you pressured him. You got him addicted to waffles, then threatened to put the plug on his Baltimore connection if he talked.

Hey, Soccer Dad! You never DID get the Fox's Chocolate Syrup they promised you for your waffles, did you? How many waffles to do they string you along anyway? ...just barely enough to keep you alive? Such cruelty! Hang in there, Soccer Dad! I am sending help, even as I write....

OK, Jameel. Bring it on. I'm ready for you.

I can handle anything you can dish out: Maraschino Cherries (artificial color-free, of course), exploding whipped cream (Halav Yisra'el, of course), batter projectiles, and spatula catapults.

You are mine!

Haveil Havalim #158 Is Up!

9 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

JackHaveil Havalim #158 is up at Jack's Place. It's the "Almost Purim Edition."
Jack suggests that you check back periodically throughout the day, as this edition will be updated.

Oh, yeah, and don't expect any waffles. The waffle enticement is just scam!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gilu'i Da'ath: Neqamah?

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wayiqra/Zakhor 5768

Most of you have heard or have seen the gilu'i da'ath (opinion statement) poster signed by the following rabbis calling for Neqamah (revenge) for the murder of the eight students at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah. Or did they?

Rabbi Yitzhaq Ginzberg
Rosh Yeshivath "Od Yosef Hai"

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef
Rabbi, Givath Moshe community

Rabbi Daniel Stavsky

Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira
Yeshivath "Od Yosef Hai"

Rabbi David Drukman
Habba"d, HaQrayoth

Rabbi Ido Alba
Rosh Kollel Ma'arath HaMakhpellah

Rabbi Gadi Ben-Zimra
Rosh Ulpanath Levonah

Rabbi Shmuel Yaniv

Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf

Rabbi Yigal Shendorfi

Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer
Rosh Yeshivath Ra'ayon HeYehudi
(Rabbi Kahane's HY"D Yehshivah)

I finally found an extra poster laing around, and was going to translate it tonight. But Comic X in Jerusalem has beaten me to it. You can see his English translation of the poster at "Here Is What Ynet News Won't Show You." His post also includes a photo of the original Hebrew poster for those of you who would prefer to read that.

Either way, see for yourselves what these rabbis have signed their names to. In my humble opinion, they were very careful with their words.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Gotta Job!

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wayiqra/Zakhor 5768

Well, after months of unemployment, searching, sending out resumes, a month of moderate to serious depression, being chased down by the bank, doing temporary jobs, a translation or two and helping a shiputzniq (renovator) do a couple of jobs, and sitting through a handful of interviews, I finally got a job, a print shop, Jerusalem,...and paying minimum wage (NIS 20/hour; about $5.55).

Hey, I'll take it!

Who's gonna do it? Arabs? Foreign workers? I'll cover my intense displeasure with the [mainly] American, messed-up, and utterly galuthi (diasporan) mentality related to what is an acceptable job for a "nice Jewish boy" or girl another time....

The main point I want to make is HOW I got the job.

Pure and simple it was "protexia."

"Protexia" can be roughly translated into English as "connections." In other words, it's what you know, but who you knew.

Ever wonder why there are some pretty bad translations of Hebrew signs into English?

Now you know why.

It did not matter how many job sites I scoured over nor how many resumes I sent out, not this time anyway. I got a phone call from someone who knew I was job-hunting. She asked if I wanted the job. I said yes, and she took care of arranging the interview. The truth is that I had just seen the ad for this job on a jobs site, and had already called and left a message. Still even if I hadn't....

That got my foot in the door. Then they just wanted to see that I could do the job. They did not even want to see my resume.

After a few weeks at it, I was finally told officially that I had the job.

Use of protexia is very common in Israel. As I have said a million times before to new immigrants and to prospective new immigrants from North America, "If we don't help each other, no one will."

It sounds jaded, I know. But that's been my experience, for the most part. Even with teaching, my first few jobs were given to me by immigrant "old-timers." Those jobs then gave me the experience I needed to get hired for my next teaching positions.

So, for now we'll see how it goes. Even though I was told that this could lead to something else within the company. My experience is such that I shouldn't count on it, and keep my eyes and ears open about other opportunities.

In the meantime, I feel like the pressure's off. I am going to give myself some time to adjust to my new schedule, and go from there.

I would like to thank all of those people who were supportive, helped me to look, passed on my resume, or all of the above.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Menahem Avellim

6 of the Thirteenth Month

The Eight Martyrs of Merkaz HY-D

Top row: Avraham David Moses, 16; Ro'i Roth, 18; Neria Cohen, 15; Yonatan Eldar, 16.

Bottom row: Yochai Lifshitz, 18; Segev Peniel Avihail, 15; Yehonadav Hirschfeld, 19; Doron Meherete, 26.

Yonatan Yitzhaq Eldar HY"D learned with me only for a quarter, years ago. I was in a car with him only two weeks ago. I asked where he was learning. When he said Yashla"tz (Yeshivah le'Tze'irim Yerushalayim), I was impressed. I told him that I could see that, that I thought it was a good choice for him.*

A friend of his was visiting my town last Shabbath. I mentioned how Yonatan was so adept in computers. His friend combated, "Computers?! The Torah Yoantan knew!"

I felt stupid. He was right. The impeccable reputation of Yashla"tz has been mentioned in the media a lot recently. Believe everything you hear. The students really are the cream of the crop.

I was at the Eldars' house on Sunday. I saw his brothers, two older, two younger, one who looks just like him. After Minhah, I made my way to the brother I knew. I couldn't get to the other family. It was packed.

Rav Avraham Yerushalmi, the Eldar's next door neighbor, led the mishnah study, the first letter of each chosen mishnah spelling out Yonatan. Rav Avraham also lost a son, Shmu'el Efraim HY"D, almost six years ago, in the attack I survived. That whole street in Shilo was hit hard: Yerushalmi, Kessler, Apter...HY"D. There was one more, but I do not remember the name.

I stood in line with everyone else....

HaMaqom yenahem ethkhem im kol avlei Tzion viYrushalayim.


*I have always been free with my opinions of yeshivah high schools and yeshivoth gedoloth to my students, and about where I thought was appropriate for them, both for their personalities, needs, and, of course, hashqafah.

Here's a link to Batya's (Eldars' neighbor) piece about Yonatan's HY"D funeral.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Haveil Havalim #157 Is Up.

2 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Haveil Havalim #157
is up at Gila's My Shrapnel Blog. You'll find my Four Kugels post there. Do not be hard on Gila for leaving out some posts on the attack. The deadline for submission is Friday, so many posts would not have made in time. There were undoubtedly countless posts she had to sift through as well. She could not include all of them.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Update: After The Attack

Mossa'ei Shabbath Parshath Pequdei/Sheqalim 5768

Merkaz HaRav and fence dividerThursday night, after the attack, hundreds of people gathered outside the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah. The yeshivah is located on Rav Tzvi Yehudah Street, a four lane street with a fence down the middle (See photo). Demonstrators gathered on the other side of the fence, as they were not allowed to approach the yeshivah. They gathered to show their support for the yeshivah students and staff, as well as to protest the Israeli government policies which led to the attack.

As protesters started yelling "Mavet le'Aravim!" (Death to Arabs), the Yassamniqim (Israeli riot police) charged across the street to "take care of" those chanting the [apparently offensive] epithets. One Jew started yelling toward the Yassamniqim in Hebrew, "Go on! Hit only Jews! Not the terrorists!" To his amazement, one of the officers actually stopped his tracks, apparently analyzing the comment. Meanwhile plenty of other Yassamniqim ran down around the fence. (I'm not sure why they didn't just jump over it, as so many pedestrians do on a daily basis.)

"Mavet la'Mishtarah" (Death to the police!) was then heard. My souces report that more than a fair few Jews were beaten.

Who was it that said there is free speech in this country, under this regime?

Meanwhile, the family of the terrorist sat in mourning displaying Hamas YSh"W flags. Even the Jordanian government YSh"W forbade such mourning tents to be set up, or so they claim. Yet, here in Israel, Members of Kenesset are only now just debating the issue.

I guess there is free speech in this country, under this regime,...for Arabs and leftists.

Remember how journalists were trying to silence Yitzchaq Dadon, the hero who killed the terrorist murderer, during his interview with Channel 2? It was broadcast live on Channel 10 (owned by Channel 2). But then on Channel 2, it was chopped off before Dadon attempted to accuse Pres. Peres and PM Olmert of the complicity in the killings.

Here's the full video up at Rafi G.'s Life In Israel blog.

The State of Israel: Still the home of the Jew, and the Land of the Co-dependent

HaShem yishmor! God help us!

Friday, March 07, 2008

He May Have Worked There?!

Alef d'Rosh Hodesh of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Both Israel National News and the Jerusalem Post (still officially the Paslestine Post) are reporting that the Arab terrorist who killed eight Jewish students last may even have been a driver for the yeshivah.

I have great respect for the Merkaz HaHav yeshiva, for the late Rav HaGaon Avraham Shapira ztz"l and for his son and successor Rav Ya'aqov Shapira.

There is no question that it was a mamlakhti (state loyalist) who was involved with this driver's hiring, if he indeed was a driver for the yeshiva.

Idiotic mamlakhtim include the super idiot "Rabbi" Yuval Cherlow Head of the Petah Tiqwah Hesder Yeshivah who has equated Avodah Ivrith (Jewish Only Labor) with Nazism.

This is what we are up against: Not the Arabs, not the leftists, but the misguided, assimilationist, "religious" Jews, who continue to confuse Israeli Law with Halacha,...among other things.

The Cafe Rimon attempted poisoning was done by Arab employees. The Hebrew University bombing of 5762 (2002) was perpetrated by an Arab employee.

When will we learn!

HaShem! Please save us from ourselves!

Of course, the Israeli government is not off the hook. Apparently they had this terrorist in custody for a couple of months several months ago. The reason for his release is unclear.

But, where was his background check, either by the yeshivah or by the agency employing him?

****This just in:
Israel National News reports that the terrorist never worked at Merkaz HaRav.

My statements about the dangerous philosophies propagated by the mamlakhti (state loyalist) "rabbis" stands.

They Were High School Students!

Rosh Hodesh of the Thirteenth Month 5768

I already wrote about the terrorist attack on Merkaz HaRav. Now that I have seen the list of victims, I'm too upset to write much more about this, so I'm doing a hand off to Batya at "Shiloh Musings." Please click "Another Grave to be Filled." Then click her main page, and scroll down through her coverage.

Yonatan Eldar HY"D of Shilo, and only 16, a junior in high school, was one those martyrs killed.

Top row: Avraham David Moses, 16; Ro'i Roth, 18; Neria Cohen, 15; Yonatan Eldar, 16.

Bottom row: Yochai Lifshitz, 18; Segev Peniel Avihail, 15; Yehonadav Hirschfeld, 19; Doron Meherete, 26.

He lived next door to the Yerushalmi family, whose son Shmu'el Efraim HY"D survived the attack on another yeshiva high school, "Hitzim," six years ago, only to be killed himself a month later at the Givat Tzarfatit (French Hill) bombing, where I was the last one to see him.

I can't get Yonatan's face out of my mine: blond hair, glasses. He was only a student of mine for a short while, four years ago. He was only in the sixth grade, yet the principal and all of the teachers had to call upon him to install and operate software, or even fix their computers. He was that bright.

I just sat next to him in a tremp the other day. He was telling me that was studying at Yeshivah leTze'irim Yerushalayim [Yashla"tz], the Merkav HaRav associated High School, and most prestigious Religious Zionist yeshivah high school in the world.

I will miss you, Yonatan. May your blood be avenged!

When I go to visit your family, no doubt I will see more of my former students. It is a common custom for the martyr's classmates to sit with the family much of the time, and stay close by in the same town. They are after all like brothers.

Lately, I have bumped into many former students who are now serving in the Israeli Defense Forces [IDF]. I say to them "HaShem Yishmor Otcha" (May God watch over you).

From now on, I will have to remember to say this to every one of them I meet, even if he's only on his way to school.

I don't know what else to say.

From Israel National News, The Jewish martyrs are:

Doron Mehereta, 26, of Ashdod
Yonadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav HaShachar (a community in the Binyamin region of Samaria)
Ro'i Rote, 18, of Elkanah (a community in Samaria)
Yochai Lipshitz, 18, of the Old City of Jerusalem
Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shilo (a community in Samaria)
Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem
Segev Pniel Avichayil, 15, of N'vei Daniel in Gush Etzion
Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat, Gush Etzion

Doron, Yonadav and Ro'i were students in Merkaz HaRav; the others were students in the LeTze'irim Yeshiva High School of Merkaz HaRav in the adjacent building.

Seven of the ten wounded students remain hospitalized. The public is asked to pray for the recovery of: Naftali ben [son of] Gila from Sderot, Yonatan ben Avital, Shimon ben Tirza, Nadav ben Hadas, Reuven ben Naomi and Elchanan ben Zehava.

Cross-posted at B'nai Elim.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Terror Attack At Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah

Rosh Hodesh of the Thirteenth Month 5768

Merkaz HaRav YeshivahReports are still coming in about the terrorist attack at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah in the Qiriyath Moshe neighbor of Jerusalem. The yeshivah is not far from the entrance to the city and to the central bus station.

You can read the reports from Jameel, Comic X and Tomer Devorah, and get additional commentary from Debbie Schussel and Tel-Chai Nation.

I will just emphasize the words of the hero Yitzchak Dadon who killed the terrorist, and undoubtedly saved many lives in the porcess:

Shimon PeresAsked by a Channel 2 TV reporter what weapon the Palestinian Authority terrorist had, Dadon said, "A Kalachnikov," and turning to the camera, he angrily added, "The Kalachnikov that you gave him, President Peres..."

A video of Yitzchak Dadon's interview (Hebrew) is up at Life in Israel. At the 1:14 mark in the video, Dadon begins to accuse Peres and Olmert. You can hear people in the background trying to silence him. My guess is that they were journalists. Although I have my suspicions as to who else they could have been (mamlakhtim). The Channel 2 journalist, the token reporter with the kippah, sent for good reason, deserves credit for risking his job by allowing the comments, even though it did not appear that he was initially inclined to do so. Welcome to the world of free speech and front line journalism.

Of course, the leftist Ynet News did not even mention the name of the famous yeshivah until several paragraphs into the report, referring to it only as a "seminary in the Qiriyath Moshe neighborhood." Utterly disgraceful. It also left out Yitzchak Dadon's comment about Shimon Peres's complicity in the attack. Surprised?

Returning home to the Shomron by tremp (hitching) I had to battle with a very crowded trempiada. It is Rosh Hodesh, so the trempiada was filled with people returning home after the the monthly Sivuv Sha'arim, in and around the Old City.

On the way back (north), there were soldiers, jeeps and/or make-shift check points at Ofra, inside Wadi Kharamia, Ma'aleh Levona Junction South, and the Eli gas station. Those were in addition to the wait to leave the city at the Hizma check point.

I just checked in with a friend outside of Merkaz HaRav. He reports there are a t least a couple hundred people outside protesting. Our connection was poor, but I could make out that there was loud chanting and yelling.

HaRav HaGa'on Avraham Shapira ztz-lWithout any intention of getting into conspiracy theories, I will say that the terrorist's choice of venue is significant. Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah is not only the world capital of Religious Zionism, it is a very important symbol. When Ynet News said that the Yeshivah was identified with the settler leadership, they only got it half-right. Plenty of criticism of the YeSh"A Council (the self-appointed "official" settler leadership) issued out of Merkaz HaRav. The "settler leadership" with with which Merkav HaRav identifies is the Holy One Blessed Be He and His Torah. Merkaz HaRav students were involved with protesting against the 2005 expulsion from Azza from the start, even leaving shi'urim (classes), in order to block roads, against the better judgment of the YeSh"A Council.

Their Rosh Yeshivah at the time, the great Rav HaGaon Avraham Shapira ztz"l supported soldiers refusing orders which violated Torah prohibitions. After Rav Shapira was chosen over Rav Tau to be Rosh Yeshivah, he gradually led Merkaz HaRav away from blind loyalty to the, more often than not, treif Israeli government, getting his students priorities back in order.

Rav Shapira publicly ripped up writings of the popular, "settler leader" Shlomo Aviner which proclaimed that soldiers should not refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes.

Several questions remain about the attack. One might ask, "With the hundreds of Jews in the Old City, why didn't they attack there?" (God forbid!) Did they avoid the higher than usual security there in favor of a softer target?

Why wasn't another yeshivah hit? (God forbid!)

We may never know. Anyway you slice it, someone is trying to break us, and no one is going to protect us sufficiently. We must pray, and take the action to protect ourselves.

I used to live in Qiriyath Moshe, and hope to move there one day. Friends and I have affectionately come to refer to it as "The 'Hood." And so, I anxiously await the report of the victims' names. Will I know anyone on the list?

We will not be broken.

May the blood of those killed tonight be avenged!

****This just in: The terrorist was a Jerusalem Arab. He would have had a regular, blue ID card allowing him access throughout the city.

Surprised? Now all that's left is for leftists and Europeans to blame the attack on MK Effie Etom's [truthful] comments in the Kenesset the other day.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Four Kugels

27 of the Twelfth Month 5768

There is a custom to eat eat four kugels on Shabbath Parshath Zakhor: Eppel (apple), Mel (flour), Lukshen (noodle), Kartofel (potato). The first letter of each of the kugels combine to form the name Amaleq YSh"W, corresponding to the qeriyath hamaftir of the day, Deuteronomy 25:17-19.

יז זָכוֹר, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק, בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם יח אֲשֶׁר קָרְךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, וַיְזַנֵּב בְּךָ כָּל-הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִים אַחֲרֶיךָ--וְאַתָּה, עָיֵף וְיָגֵעַ; וְלֹא יָרֵא, אֱלֹהִים יט וְהָיָה בְּהָנִיחַ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ מִכָּל-אֹיְבֶיךָ מִסָּבִיב, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה-אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--תִּמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם; לֹא, תִּשְׁכָּח

17 Remember what Amaleq did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amaleq from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.

When one eats each of the kugels, one recalls the misswah to destroy Amaleq. I have heard this minhag (custom) attributed to the Kotzker Rebbe, but I am not entirely sure of its origins.

I also heard there was a problem as some claim that Eppel should be spelled with an Alef instead of an Ayin. Others claim that there is a change from one letter to the other when writing the plural form. If you know anything about this custom, its origins, and/or the significance of the Yiddish spelling, please post a comment and link.

My only experiences with this minhag have been in the spirit of silliness common to the month of Adar:

"One must eat a kazayis of each of the kugels, or else one is not yotzei min hahovah," etc.

I even brought back kazaysim of kugles from Jerusalem after Shabbath to my house mate last year, so that he could fulfill this minhag bedi'avad.

I think you get my point.

I have wracked my brains trying to come up with a Hebrew version, combining four ingredients into one dish, for the sake of convenience. For some reason, I have only managed to come up with one possibility, a fruit salad of grapes, melon, lemon (juice), and kiwi, three of which are not even Hebrew words.

(tomatoes) starts with an Ayin, so I was tring to think of something Italian. No luck.

Please list your suggestions in any language below.