Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Top Ten Words and Phrases of תש"ע/5770

8 of the Sixth Month 5770

This annual tradition continues! ...usually being presented around my birthday,...which is today!

Also, don't forget to see the previous four years’ Top Ten Words & Phrases.

10. Y-M (JM), T”A, R”G, B”B, Q”S, B”Sh, RaShLa”Tz, GaBa”Sh, QaMa”Sh – Use of abbreviations is very common in Israel. Who can guess what these abbreviations are short for?

9. קטניות (qitniyoth – various legumes & edible seeds) – You know? Those things many Ashkenazi Jews in Israel still do not think they are allowed to eat during Passover.... I have talked about this a lot over the years. Yet, this word has never earned a place of honor in the Top Ten Words and Phrases. I think it's about time, don't you?

8. לעבור דירה (moving) – In the past 15 months I have moved four times, after having lived in the same house for almost five years.

7. Likud – The party currently in power in the K'nesseth (Israeli Parliament). Prominent members include current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. I have been too busy (and too lazy?) to cancel my party membership. Lisa, by the way, does not think it's a good idea for me to cancel it.

6. Alpha Epsilon Pi [AEΠ] – A predominantly Jewish, college fraternity, and member of the IFC. I'll bet you wouldn't guess that I would include something “Greek” in my Top Ten List! Well, over the years, AEΠ has increased its identification with Israel through annual, sponsored trips.

It seems that I bump into AEΠ's now in Israel on a regular basis. Every year, several brothers come for their Junior years abroad. I love to seem the look on kids faces, when a guy with beard & payos, comes up to them, and gives them the secret handshake!

Last summer saw the founding of the first college fraternities in Israel, new AEΠ chapter at IDC in Hertzliyah. People may have mixed feelings about bringing this American institution to Israel. But, developing awareness and a closer connection to Israel is definitely a good thing! If you are an alumnus, and living in Israel, please join our Facebook Group.

5. The 'Hood – For me that is Qiriyath Moshe, as I am back in 'hood, after an eight absence. This is the first neighborhood in Jerusalem in which I ever lived, made lots of friends, many of whom are still here or in nextdoor Giv'ath Sha'ul. I have several other friends who have lived here at one time or another, usually while learning in yeshiva, such as Merkaz HaRav Kook, Machon Me'ir, Nahalath Tzvi (now in Pisgath Ze'ev), or Darchei No'am (Shappell's). So, I guess for me this will always be “The 'Hood.”

4. Nachla'ois – Every few weeks or so, I have been spending a Shabbath meal in the neighborhood of Nahla'oth, only the third neighborhood built outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. I like to tease my friends there by pronouncing the name of their neighborhood in a pronounced, Hasidishe manner, being that it is a traditionally “super spiritual” neighborhood. Teasing aside, there are many friendly and interesting Jews who live there. Why, even I almost ended up living there,...twice.

3. Super Spiritual – This phrase is an inside joke for me, old friend Mattitiyahu, new friend Ze'ev, and a handful of others. Maybe you can figure this one out from A Tale Of Two Neighborhoods.

2. רכבת קלה (light rail) – The first line of the Jerusalem Light Rail is almost here! Estimated time of completion is April, 2011. I can't wait! Read more about the project's progress on Cosmic X In Jerusalem.

And the number one Top Word or Phrase of תש"ע/5770 is...

1. Flotilla – What the hell is a flotilla? Since when is a few rag-tag boats compared to a "a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet?"

Shannah Tovah!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ten Reasons You Know You're Israeli

6 of the Sixth Month 5770

Don't forget to see Top 12 Reasons To Live In Israel!

You know that you're Israeli when...

10. You go to a restaurant, and the waitress automatically gives you a menu in Hebrew, not in English.

9. You ask for extra zhug (or arisah, etc.) with your food, and it's still not spicy enough.

8. Someone pulls up next to you in his car to ask for directions, another Israeli standing next to you beats you to the punch, and gives the directions instead. Then you say “Lo, lo, lo...,” and give alternative directions. And THEN, the Israeli who gave the original directions ends up agreeing with you, and tells the driver of the car that your directions are better.

7. You “just want to ask a quick question” at a government office, the clerk ends up taking care of your issue before everyone else in line, AND no one in line complains to you about it.

6. Your te'udath zehuth (identification card) becomes worn and damaged, and no one cares, because the number and enough of the photo are still recognizable.

5. Israelis stop accusing you of smiling too much, an American.

4. You get caught with a new computer at customs, and convince Ahi (“my brother”) the customs agent, to let you go through without declaring it.

3. Your Israeli roommate believes that you are more effective at dealing with your Israeli landlord, and has you talk to him instead. (What a minute! Does that make me Israeli, or a freier?)

2. You hear Americans talking about you in English, and think that you do not understand what they're saying.

And the number one reason you know you're Israeli is when...

1. You eat raw tehinah (sesame butter) directly out of the jar, instead of peanut butter, for a late night snack. (Do Israelis even do that?)

Haveil Havalim #280 Is Up!

6 of the Sixth Month 5770

This week's edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival is up at Soccer Dad's, this blog carnival's founder!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Torah Will Not Stand For An Investigation!

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parashath Shofetim 5770
75th Yom HaZikhron of Rav Avraham Yitzhaq HaKohen Kook ztz"l

The Torah Will Not Stand For An Investigation!
"The Torah Will Not Stand For An Investigation!"
(click image to enlarge)
Rabbi Refuses to Be Questioned
Elad Benari, 30 Menahem Av 5770/August 10, 2010

(Israel National News) Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hevron, and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of the Shas party’s spiritual leader, are wanted for questioning about the book The Torah of the King, which was written by Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the town of Yitzhar in the Shomron region.

Arutz 7 (Israel National News) has learned that Rabbi Lior was summoned and was asked to present himself to police on Monday morning, but chose not to do so. Rabbi Yosef was summoned for Tuesday but is also not planning to attend. (Read more....)

The IDF Rabbinate was silent during the expulsion of Jews from Azza.

Rabbi Avraham Shapira ztz"l, Rosh Yeshivath Merkaz HaRav Kook, told soldiers to sit in jail before executing an IDF command which violated the Torah, such as participating in the expulsion of Jews from Azza.

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel was arrested for calling Gen. Yair Naveh into his Beth Din (he never arrived), and discussing the halachic punishment for being a mosser.

Rabbi Paleh (Yitzhar) was arrested for teaching certain ["unacceptable"] parts of the Ramba"m's Mishneh Torah.

The Israeli Supreme Court has been telling the Israeli Chief Rabbinate which companies to give kasruth certifications to.

Rabbis Lior and Ya'aqov is just the next in the intensification of the conflict between the Erev Rav controlled State and the Torah. A large segment of the Religious Zionist community, the Mamlachtim, would like to deny that such a conflict exists,...but it most certainly does.

Religious Zionists, Modern Orthodox, and Traditional Jews, the time has come for you to decide which takes precedence, Israeli Law or Torah, because the conflict between the two is only going to get bigger.

The Erev Rav controlled, Israeli government is running scared. To them, those of us loyal to HaQadosh Barukh Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He) and to His Torah are dangerous, and threaten its power. We are gaining ground,...not to mention, having more children.

Bringing goyim from the Former Soviet Union to keep the Erev Rav in power did not work as well as it thought it would. Granting rights to foreign workers, including, I predict, citizenship and the right to vote, will also be insufficient.

The only strategies left are to crack down on Torah, and on those who value the study and the keeping of it.

My fellow Jews, you simply can no longer have your cake and eat it, too.

Kosher Cooking Carnival #57 Is Up!

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parashath Shofetim 5770
75th Yom HaZikhron of Rav Avraham Yitzhaq HaKohen Kook ztz"l

This month's Kosher Cooking Carnival is being hosted by Batya on the Me-Ander Blog.

It's the Pre-Holiday Edition.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chaim Perlman To Be Released

Rosh Hodesh HaShishi 5770

(Photo Credit: Moti Kimchi)

Itziq Sabban, writing in the Hebrew daily Israel Today, reported today that Chaim Perlman is expected to be released within two days.

Judge Nahum Sternlicht set down that...
"There is not any significant nor serious evidence in order to bring a conviction of the suspect (Perlman) for the cited offenses."

He further stated...
"I did not find any actual progress in the base investigation nor in the gathering of new evidence."

Let us pray that Chaim finally does come home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Story Of Proving Ones Jewishness

Rosh Hodesh HaShishi 5770

Recently, there has been much discussion over the experience of Hillary Rubin trying to register to be married through the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

The story was picked up by the [Am] HaAretz Israeli daily, which took great pleasure in exploiting the opportunity to bash the Rabbinate, and the Torah establishment in general.

I suggest that you read Hillary's story in her own words, which can be found on her blog “Shmutz In My Head.”

I do not know all of the details, whether the scrutiny was warranted or not, nor do I know much else about Hillary, not her political views nor her religious ones. Mention was made of a “Conservative” spiritual leader, but I will set that aside for a moment.

However, I would like to take the opportunity to share a few points on this issue, with some of which Hillary may even agree. I cannot say. You will have to ask her yourself. After sharing these points, I will conclude this post with the story of a friend who also had to prove his “Jewishness.” Yet, I guarantee that you would never find such a story in the [Am] HaAretz newspaper, nor in any mainstream, Israeli news outlet.

First, my Esser Agaroth [10 ag'] on proving ones Jewishness....
1. We must all be held to the same standards. If Hillary Rubin must jump through hoops, then so should everyone else. My beard and payos should not make me nor anyone else an exception to any necessary scrutiny. One standard should not be used for Americans and another for sympathetic Jews from the Former Soviet Union who have little or no Jewish documents to support their claims.

I was surprised at the Rabbinate's reaction to Hillary's letters which included one from a Chabba”d rabbi. I have heard many cases when men had to bring two witnesses with them to the Rabbinate, in order to testify that the prospective hathan (groom) was, in fact, Jewish. Why was this method not employed for Hillary? Perhaps the Rabbinate had more details about the case than we. Certainly, we cannot count on the traditionally anti-Torah [Am] HaAretz newspaper to report on this case objectively. Nonetheless, I would be interested in knowing why this common procedure of bringing witnesses to testify on Hillary's behalf was not employed.

2. An overwhelmed Rabbinate with a back up of cases is no excuse for brushing people off, and telling people to convert. Sometimes photographs of Jewish grave markers combined with birth certificates of the Jew in question, his or her mother and maternal grandmother are requested. Yet, approach, too, needs to be presented in a sensitive manner. I agree with several of the points brought up on the Between Tel-Aviv And Jerusalem Blog. The tone of the rabbi(s) can have a big influence on the individual or couple with whom he is working. Will he succeed in sparking an interest in a non-religious couple to develop a connection with Torah community? Or will he turn-off such a couple completely? Yes, this is a big responsibility for [I can only assume] a rabbi who must turn over cases quickly. Yet, if we cannot count on the Rabbinate to step up to the plate, and accept its leadership role in this area, then who can we count on?

This sounds like a great opportunity to put many kollel participants to work, even for only a few hours a day each. It wouldn't cost anything. They are already getting paid. After all ולא המדרש הוא העיקר, אלא המעשה - אבות א,טז (The main point is the deed), right? Unfortunately, I doubt that many in the government want an increased presence of Haredim in the activities of the Chief Rabbinate, preferring to do what they can to break the “hold” they think the Rabbinate has on society. I also doubt that the Haredi leadership would be overjoyed over such a proposal either. Oh well.

3. There are a few sentences in Hillary's post which I found to be puzzling. Here is one:

If I'm Jewish enough to be hated by the world, I am Jewish enough to get married in the Jewish State. No one should EVER tell me otherwise.

This still does not answer the the question at hand. Sorry, Hillary, but this is not a halachic response to a halachic question. It is a rant.

Here is another:

Idiots will always be idiots. Haters will always hate. At the end of the day, I will still marry Craig and the Rabbanut cannot stop that.

I am not sure who she is talking about. I may disagree with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate at times, but I sincerely doubt they are idiots, and I equally doubt that they hate Hillary Rubin. Hillary, feelings are [mostly] irrelevant when it it comes to the halachic decision making process. In other words, when it comes to making a halachic decision,..."Just the facts, ma'am."

Another Story Of Proving Jewishness
I have a friend who lived in Israel under a work visa for a few years. While here, he mat an married his wife, a native Israeli. They were married through the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, and they lived happily ever after, right? Well, pretty much, but this friend of mine hit a snag. No, the snag was not with the Rabbinate. Even though he was relatively new to Torah observant life, he did what was necessary to prove his Jewishness, and was married. The snag came later with the Ministry of the Interior.

(To be fair, I had a very positive experience, applying for citizenship in Tel-Aviv with an apparently secular clerk, and with a kippah on my head. All that was required of me was a letter from my [Young Israel] rabbi,* and I was good to go.)

That was not the case for this friend of mine. Not only did he have his documents he had already presnted t the Rabbinate, he had is te'udath n'su'in (marriage certificate) and the kethubbah (traditional marriage contract) from his wedding. Yet, all this was not enough to prove his Jewishness for citizenship, which is a lesser standard than that for getting married?

My friend was being played. The fact that his kippah was crocheted and not black velvet did not make one bit of difference. He asked to jump through more than just hoops.

If he had presented a letter from a non-Torah observant spiritual leader, there never would have been a question. He simply would have been told to come back in 30 days to receive his te’udath zehuth (identification card) and “Mazal Tov!”

My friend's wife was a distant relative of the then Minster of Interior. My friend's file reached the minister's desk, yet even he was powerless to do anything about his case. Why? The minister may be able to set some policy and establish some changes in the way the Ministry operates. However, the civil servants are the ones who actually run things, and control the official stamps, file, and the flow of the paper pushing.

I recently found out that anyone converting in Israel must also go before a Ministry of Interior committee to receive approval for aliyah. This is apparently done to prevent people from taking advantage of the monetary rights of olim hadashim (new immigrants). Limits are also set on such a convert's right to work during the first year of residency. I am all for some kind of measures to be in place to aid in preventing conversion under false pretenses. But, what if this committee simply decides that is does not like you? Is that it? A Jew must leave the country, while foreign workers and their children may stay?

HaShem yishmor!


*TIP: Orthodox Union [OU], Young Israel, and Chabba"d rabbis are found on separate lists. Before going to the Ministry of Interior, I called the Jewish Agency to make sure that my rabbi was on the list. They clerk had checked the OU list, and thus I was told that he was not on the list. Fortunately, I thought to have her check if there was a separate list for Young Israel rabbis.

Remember, proving that one is Jewish for the purpose of getting married through the Rabbanuth is a much higher standard. Citizenship is still based, more or less, on the Nuremberg Laws, and nothing to do with halachah.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Shabbath Leftovers - Re'eh 5770: The Yeshivah Bochur's Cookbook & Almost Grilled Chicken

28 of the Fifth Month 5770

Many might be wondering what I am doing by posting simple recipes on this blog, which is supposed to be a "commentary on life in Israel and on being Jewish."

Well, a long time ago, I had the idea to produce a bood called The Yeshiva Bochur's Cookbook. (Please, don't steal my idea! And, please don't tell me if it's been done before.) The goals of the book would bed twofold. One, the single, yeshivah student would not have to feel helpless in the kitchen. He would be helped to cook simple, tasty, and relatively healthy meals, helping him to keep to a budget by not eating out all of the time. Two, he would be encouraged to perform the misswah of hakhnasath orhim (welcoming guests) himself, instead of always feeling obligated to help others perform this misswah for him. Once in a while it is nice for “the guys” to get together on Shabbbath, without the apprehension of going for a meal at the home of a family he has never met. He won't have to end up feeling stuck staying until the family decides to finish the meal. He also won't have to worry about when the meal starts, immediately or after two hours of minhaggim and maisehs to be completed before qiddush. In his own home, he and his roommates will get to decide. He also won't have to fear any awkward, “stealth shidduch” (match-making) attempts, when the lady of the house announces, “Oh, look who's in town! My second cousin, Esther. I just had to invite her over. Hey, aren't you the same age?” And you get forced to speak to each other all night. Even though you already went out, and both amicably decided that you were not a good match.

Now, I am NOT saying never to go out for a meal to a family's home, even a family you know nothing about. Go out! How else will you meet new people? Plus, going to families out of town is a great way to experience various communities, and in the case of Israel, visit parts of our Homeland you have yet to see. It IS also important for you to allow others the opportunity to perform the misswah of hakhnasath orhim for you. Once in a while, it may mean an awkward experience, or the need to come home as soon as possible to put some more food into his stomach. But, hey. That's all part of the adventure called yeshivah life.

All I am saying is that a yeshivah bochur need not feel helpless, and have to depend upon families for their only decent meals, and for that matter, only one day out of the week.

As you may recall, two Shabbathoth ago, I cooked for a new friend who was staying over. I asked him what he liked, to get a general idea of what to prepare. He said, “Grilled chicken, rice, and potatoes.”

Pretty standard fair for Shabbath.

Well, I do not own a grill. The barbeque got lost in the last move, and there would not have been any place to set it up anyway. Even the balcony is so small that my apartment, along with a few of the neighboring apratments, would have smelled like smoke all of Shabbath.

So, sans grill or barbeque, I prepared “Almost Grilled Chicken,” rice, and potatoes, plus some qishu'im (green squash, similar to zucchini) in tomato sauce.

I prepared the same chicken this past Shabbath for the two of my friends who were willing to schlep all the way over from Nahla'oth, a good 40 minute walk up and down a few hills.

Without further adieu, here is the EASY recipe:

chicken (duh!)
4 cloves, garlic
one brown onion
soy sauce
chopped parsley

Cut up defrosted chicken into nine parts, the ninth being the neck if it came with it. If the organs were included, set aside, or freeze for another time. If the uncooked liver was included, remember, a special procedure is necessary for its preparation. So set it aside as well, separate from the other organs.

Rinse off and dry each piece of chicken. Place into a pre-heated pan. A little oil may be necessary. I prefer canola oil. Fry the chicken for a couple of minutes, flip, and fry on the other side for a few more. Here's the catch, though. You can't call it frying. Every one knows how frying is unhealthy. So, don't call it that. Call it "almost grilled" instead.

While the chicken is on the fire, peel and chop the garlic, and throw it into a food processor or blender. Cover the food processor, chop up the garlic as finely as it can. Add the peeled onion, and water as necessary. Purée the onion together with the garlic.

Remove the chicken, and place onto a plate. Dump the excess fat out. Before putting the chicken back into the pan on the fire, push aside the skin, sprinkle a little soy sauce onto the meat, and then spoon the garlic-onion purée onto the chicken. Add a bit of the chopped parsley, and then replace the skin. (This keeps the spice & herb flavors in the chicken.) Add a little oil and cover.

Check the chicken, flip over, and recover. To check to see if the chicken is done, poke a folk through eat piece, close to the bone. If it goes through easily, it is done or near done. Add the remainder of the garlic-onion mixture. Cut into a couple of pieces at the age the pan, near the bone to see that it is no longer red or pink inside. When that is the case, turn the fire off, add more soy sauce, and flip the chicken over a few times. This ways the soy sauce will not burn.


Haveil Havalim #279 Is Up!

28 of the Fifth Month 5770

This week's edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival is up at Ima's!

It's the "It's Almost Ellul" Edition.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Going To The Physical Therapist In Israel

24 of the Fifth Month 5770

Two weeks ago, I started to develop a pain in my right quadricep. Over the next few days, it spread down to my shin, and up into my hip and lower back. It hurt so much that I only got a few hours of sleep two nights in a row.

I went to my doctor, and begged the receptionist to squeeze me in. She did. When the doctor examined me, he narrowed it down to “pre-disc problems” or “pre-diabetic problems.”

Well, that narrows it down, now doesn't it?! (sigh)

He gave me hafnayot (referrals/permission) for some blood tests and to see a physical therapist for an examination and treatment.

In the meantime, I found some relief with Paramol (Acetaminophen) and Advil Liquigels (ibuprofen).

When I went to make an appointment at my qupath holim (analogous to HMO), I found that it would only cost me a NIS 27 ($7.00) co-payment, which would cover me for up to four visits. (So is socialized medicine really that bad?)

The male physical therapist who recommended to me was not available until August. I asked the clerk to give me the soonest appointment possible with whoever was available. I did not care who it was with. They are all professionals. Just make the pain go away!!

The clerk gave me an appointment for two days later. It would have to do.

The physical therapist with whom I met interviewed me thoroughly. She asked if I wanted to speak in English. Usually, I would have said no. But, since I was so tired, both physical and emotionally (I'm a big baby, when it comes to pain!), I welcomed the opporunity to speak to her in English. As the meeting progressed, we ended up speaking in “half-n-half,” anyway.

As it turns out, she did not even have to touch me during the examination, not that I would have cared. She only had to look at my bare back while bending forwards, backwards, and sideways. She then said that, yep, it was a “wake up call.” And that now, I had the opportunity to do some work to prevent or at least limit any future problems.

Since I was feeling better, and that it was not the result of serious pain killers, she felt that my body was doing what it needing to do to heal itself. Thus, she did not feel that it was necessary to work on me. “If it's not broke, then don't fix it” were her exact words.

She taught me two exercises to perform everyday, and told me to return for an examination in two weeks. She was very patient with me and with my questions.

With the information she gave me, I walked away with some hope, and feeling a lot less anxious, even though I was still in pain.

Well, I hope this helps the next oleh (immigrant) who needs to tackle walk into his or her qupath holim to request an appointment. It is pretty much the same procedure to visit the eye doctor, dermatologist, dietician, or other specialist, as it is to see a physical therapist.

Now, I have to go do my exercises before I go to work!

Shabbath Leftovers - Eiqev 5770: Accidental Chollent

24 of the Fifth Month 5770

Last Shabbath, I cooked for a new friend who was staying over. I asked him what he liked, to get a general idea of what to prepare. He said, “Grilled chicken, rice, and potatoes.”

Pretty standard fair for Shabbath.

Well, I do not own a grill. The barbeque got lost in the last move, and there would not have been any place to set it up anyway. Even the balcony is so small that my apartment, along with a few of the neighboring apratments, would have smelled like smoke all of Shabbath.

But I digress....

Sans grill or barbeque, I prepared “Almost Grilled Chicken,” rice, and potatoes. However, vegetables were still conspicuosly missing from the menu. So, I prepared an old standard and very simple recipe, qishu'im (green squash, similar to zucchini) in tomato sauce.

We did not end up eating much of the qishu'im. Even though it turned pretty well. I just figured that it would be good for a couple of lunches during the following week, and prepared to take it off the plata (electric warmer designed for Shabbath).*

But, then my friend said, “Just leave it on the plata for tomorrow.”

“Huh? It'll burn.”

“Nah. It won't burn.”

“Um,...OK.” What the heck, I thought. Let's see what happens.
I left if where it was, the only place where there was any room, on one of the corners....

Well, what do you know? The next morning, I woke up to find that it did not burn afterall. In fact, the qishu'im had not even become too squishy since the night before.

Qishu'im In Tomato Sauce
3 meidum size qishu'im (green squash)
3 medium tomatoes
tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic
basil, black pepper, cumin (all optional)
*oregano to basil ratio 4:1

Bring a liter or two of water to a boil. Add the green squash which has been already sliced into circles. Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes and garlic and purée in a food proessor or blender, along with the tomato paste and your choice of spices to tasted. Once a knife can easily be stuck through a circlet of qishu'im, add the puréed tomato mixure.

Cook until the sauce thickens to your likening. If preparing to leave on the heat all night, then add boiling water to it, as you would for your regular chollent or hamim.

I used tomato paste instead of more tomatoes and sugar, because I figured that between the combination of fructose and glucose in the tomato paste, and the sucrose in processed sugar, the tomato paste was the lesser of two evils. If anyone has any suggestions for healthier sweetening of sauces, please leave them in the comments section.


*This post does not address if, when, nor how one may put food items onto a heat source on Shabbath. Please consult your local local authority on halachah (Jewish Law).

Monday, August 02, 2010

Torture And Abuse Continue Against Chaim Perlman

22 of the Fifth Month 5770

I was very upset to receive the following e-mail about a former neighbor of mine. Chaim and his wife are the epitomy of "nice," helping their neighbors and young couples getting started, without a second thought.

Chaim is the son of immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are also no strangers to mesiruth nefesh (self-sacrifice). Chaim was in the process of finishing his B. A. in Education with the goal of being a physical education teacher.

Please help, by posting on your blogs, and otherwise distributing this information.

(Photo Credit: Moti Kimchi)

Shabak, Israel's Internal Security Agency Continues to Torture Perlman to Obtain a Confession

Honenu has recently taken on a high profile case. Chaim Perlman, age 30 who was once hired by the Shabak to provide information has enraged his handlers by releasing 20 hours of taped conversations to the public showing how the Shabak incited him to commit crimes against Arabs.

is being charged with a 1998 killing of two - four Arabs. Pearlman denied all the allegations and said in an interview recorded two days before his arrest and aired on Channel 2 that he was being framed. Perlman claimed the Shabak was taking revenge on him because he taped their conversations. His lawyer claimed that the Shabak has no evidence linking the crime to Perlman. In order to save face, the Shabak needs to obtain a confession. Many times in Israel, a confession is proof of guilt even if there is no evidence corroborating the confession and even if the evidence contradicts the confession. The Shabak denied Perlman a basic right, a meeting with his lawyer. It was 10 days after his arrest that Perlman was finally able to meet with his Honenu lawyer due to Honenu intervention and a ruling of Justice Edmond Levy. Perlman confided to his attorney of the torture he was enduring ie: being handcuffed for 18 hours a day, beatings etc. Now after 19 days under Shabak interrogation, Honenu is once again charging the Shabak with continued abuse.

Donate to make sure that Honenu can fight for a fair judicial process in Israel. Help us build a better Israel.

©2010 Honenu PO Box 2, Kiryat Arba 90100, Israel

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Haveil Havalim #278 Is Up!

22 of the Fifth Month 5770

This week's edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival is up at The Israel Situation!

It's the "Kehila Edition." Check it out, and find out what the edition title means!