Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Future Of The Esser Agaroth Blog

22 of the Eighth Month 5770

Last Monday, I completed my move into a new apartment, where, as it turns out, I do not have any Internet access.

I was informed that installing a connection via ground line is not an option, since I do not have any access to a ground line (long story). The routers which occasionally pop up, when I scan for available networks taunt and tease me with password protection or by being just out of range.

I am not thrilled about signing an 18-month contract with one of the local cellphone companies to receive service through a portable modem. What if I move the week after I get such a modem, and then no longer need the service?

That should also answer the next burning question on your minds: No, I do not own a laptop, and thus cannot pick it up and go to one of the free “hot spots” available in Jerusalem, nor can I sneak around my neighborhood, scanning for available networks.

So, what to do?

Unlike those bloggers toying with the idea of taking a break, it seems like a blogging break may have been plopped into my lap.

My only solution seems to be to write at home (where everytime my refrigerator clicks on, I have to unplug and re-plug in my keyboard), carry it to work via disk-on-key, and then upload it to my blog during the one hour of access to a computer I have per week. The same goes for e-mail. Downloading background material and interesting podcasts will have to be done during this hour as well.

I can also go to Internet Cafes, like I am doing now, and hope for a fast enough service so that I do not end up spending two hours on something which should only take me 20 minutes.

My other option is to spend money, I really should be saving for a rainy day, on a laptop, as if I really want to spend a lot of time outside in the cold, or in a jam-packed Jerusalem Central Bus Station, where it is impossible to concentrate.

Now that the withdrawal symptoms are beginning to subside, I think for the time being, I will see how it goes with the “upload at work” option.

Maybe I'll learn more. Maybe I'll read more. Maybe I'll finally write that book(s) I have always wanted to write. Or maybe I'll end up watching all six Harry Potter films so many times, that I'll have them memorized in time for Purim.

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I will miss tweeting and twoozing with you, as much as I would like.


Any suggestions will be welcomed.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Real Story Behind Ya'akov Teitel

19 of the Eighth Month 5770

After the umteenth person asked me whether I had ever met Ya'akov Teitel or not, I decided that it was time for me to chime in with my Esser Agaroth on the matter.

First off, no, I have never met Ya'akov Teitel, resident of Shvuth Rahel. nor does his photo look at all familiar to me. I am actually quite surprised by this, considering the hundreds of times I tremped (hitched) in and out of the town of Shiloh between 2001 to 2005. Everyone seemed to think that as a [former] resident of K'far Tapu'ah, I am supposed to know every Jew ever accused of violence. (No value judgments here.) Boy, have they got the wrong idea about [the now very mamlachti] K'farTapu'ah. Nonetheless, nope,...never met him.

While others have expressed shock or surprise, excitement or disgust, over Ya'akov Teiltel's accusations, I am not in the least bit surprised that such an incident has surfaced at this time. But, wait. Didn't I just write that I had never met him? I'll explain.

First, I will list a few components of the case in introduction:

1. We do not know what Ya'akov Teitel did or did not do.

2. We do know that he was in the custody of the Shabba"k (General Security Services) for quite some time, during which he reportedly "confessed," after having undergone God only knows what kind of "treatment."

3. The Erev Rav-controled, Israeli news media has already tried and convicted (and demonized) Ya'akov Teitel. (No surprises there.)

If nothing else, Ya'akov Teitel is being used as this year's excuse to demonize and otherwise incite against "extreme" religious nationists, "extreme" meaning having loyalty to the Torah over loyalty to the State (There is a difference between the two, you know, a big difference).

It must resort to intensifying campaign of fear mongering. Even Mafda"l/Jewish Home Party officials partly acknowledge the incitement. (They also say a number of other idiotic, non-Torah-based nonsense. Nevertheless,...)

The Israeli government's mamlachti (undying state loyalist) religious lapdogs are diminishing in number, because their rabbis' logic is increasingly unable to address the questions coming from this community's youth. Meanwhile the Torah nationalalists and haredim are increasing in number. Half of all of this year's second-graders are religious. No matter how much apologizing the mamachtim do, the Erev Rav-controled, Israeli government still sees this as the primary, impending threat to its control over Israel.

The Israeli government is desperate and running scared, and for good reason. In the [paraphrased] words of the Hesed leAvraham, ...pride will bring these treif birds down.

This, I say, is the real story. Ya'akov Teitel is only a distraction, allowing the Erev Rav to continue its anti-Torah, anti-Eretz Yisrael operations, or an excuse for incitement (wag the dog), desperately trying to maintain its un-Jewish control. Look at it either way you choose.

I'll conclude with the some final observations:
1. The Shabba"k appear to intensify its operations before Pesah and Sukkoth. You can almost set your calendar by it.

2. The gag oorder regarding the case of Ya'akov Teitel was "coincidentally" removed around the anniversary of Yitzhaq Rabin's death, the traditional season of free for all incitement against religious nationalists.

3. Today was the anniversary of the murder of Rabbi Me'ir Kahane HY"D. Expect more fear mongering and goverment-sponsered hate speech.

But such desperate measures are all in vain. B'Ezrath HaShem, the truth will eventually win out.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Jewish Idea

"Without a new, profound sense of purpose, Israel’s days are numbered"

Yoel Meltzer
14 Marheshwan 5770/November 1, 2009

Most people are barely cognizant of the fact that many of their actions are a result of ideas that have seeped into the collective mindset of their community or society. A simple and clear example of this can be seen in clothing. In the world of fashion, some guru sitting in Paris develops an idea of a certain type of shirt that should be worn by a particular age group in the coming year. The actual physical shirt is then designed and produced, and then afterwards is cleverly marketed towards the target audience. Unsuspectingly, this audience falls in line and starts proudly wearing the latest "in" shirt. Then the following year, the same guru changes direction and promotes a previous "in" shirt with the not surprising result that once again the target audience follows suit.

While this is an oversimplified example, many societal behaviors and thought patterns can be traced back to ideas that have been implanted into the individual and collective mindset of the society. Frequently this is the result of a cleverly designed marketing campaign, especially when financial or political gains are the goal, although many times it's just a result of ideas that happened to appear at the right time and in the right place and connected to inner feelings and thoughts of the society. Such ideas, which are usually more altruistic by nature, answer to certain needs of the society, be it emotional, psychological, or spiritual.

Anyone somewhat familiar with the state of Israel today, be it a veteran or new immigrant, cannot help but be aware of the many problems that are plaguing the country. From the threat of Iranian missiles to increasing violence, the list goes on and on. Of all the problems, however, perhaps the most pressing for the long-term survival of the nation is the lack of a shared sense of purpose. Whatever held the nation together years ago, mainly the idea of coming together to physically build the country, has long since faded away. In its place, nothing has appeared which has been able to unite the country around a new shared sense of purpose.

Of course there are moments, especially during times of warfare, when the county comes together, but these are just passing moments that have no sustaining power after the cessation of hostilities.

Inspiring the nation
Moreover, parallel to the disappearance of the shared sense of purpose has been a constantly growing feeling of societal cynicism and disgust with many of the state's institutions. It is therefore clear that this country from top to bottom desperately needs to be provided with a new, profound, and lasting sense of purpose. Without it, its days are numbered.

This then is the need, both on an individual and societal level, which must be addressed. What is required, therefore, is the idea to answer this unmet need. Not just any old idea that comes and goes like the wind but rather, something of depth that can affect and inspire an entire nation. Of course the only idea that can possibly satisfy this need of the Jewish people is not surprisingly the old-new Jewish idea.

The intention here is not the watered down "religious idea," an oversimplified system of "dos and don'ts", but rather, the authentic and infinitely more profound "Jewish idea." Although it does include the standard religious aspect, the intention here is to something much broader and deeper which provides a clear sense of purpose and direction for both the individual Jew and the larger Jewish nation. Such a profound idea, based upon a deep understanding of the Jewish sources, history and life, has the potential to literally create a revolution. The Jewish people, and the rest of humanity with them, have the ability to soar to such heights if only the idea would be properly understood and internalized, since ideas are ultimately what cause actions and change societies.

The time is right for the reemergence of the true Jewish idea, the authentic Jewish dream, since the county has never been more in need of a renewed sense of purpose and direction. All that is needed then is the way to disseminate the idea.

Yoel Meltzer has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and lives in Israel.

Cross-posted on YNET.

A Jerusalem Bus Map,...Finally!

14 of the Eighth Month 5770

Want to know how to get someplace by bus you've never been to?

Want to keep track of the frequent line and route changes during the light rail construction?

Ever wondered where some of those bus lines which you never ride go?

Sick and tired of waiting for the Egged Bus Company to put out a route map already?

If you've answered yes to any of the above, then click on the following link:

It's available in Google Earth and Google Maps versions. Personally, I stick with the Google Maps version. However, you may find this interactive map to be very cluttered. No worries. Just un-click the routes, landmarks, and neighborhood names you don't need on the left-hand column. The map will then be more tailored to your needs.

Sorry. Only Egged lines are represented here. For Superbus and Connex, you'll have to check out their sites in Hebrew.

You can also become a Fan of Jerusalem Bus Map on Facebook, and send in your questions, comments, and corrections via the discussion forum.

Haveil Havalim #241 Is Up!

14 of the Eighth Month 5770

Snoopy The Goon at Simply Jews is hosting this week's edition of Haveil Havalim, the world's largest Jewish and Israeli blog carnival.

It's The Blogoversary Edition.

It sounds like a good way celebrate ones blogoversary by hosting Haveil Havalim. If you're interested, just contact Jack at

If you'd like to submit a post, just use the handy dandy on-line submission form.