Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shiloh. Dispute. Conspiracy. Surrender. Arrest.


Not at Shiloh, Mateh Binyamin.


And the Shiloh is a dog:-

After Mark Dixon and his ex-wife, Carol Johnson, terminated their marriage in late 2009, they got into a custody dispute over Shiloh, an Australian shepherd.

On Dec. 2 of that year, Dixon was pulled over by three plainclothes Pinal County sheriff's deputies with semiautomatic weapons, according to the incident report and court records.  Dixon alleges he was ordered to surrender the dog or face immediate arrest, so he acquiesced. A civil complaint he filed in federal court against a group of Pinal County deputies and Dixon's ex-wife says he argued that the disagreement with his wife was a civil matter and that deputies "did knowingly and willingly criminally extort property" by threatening arrest if he did not give up the dog. His lawsuit accused Pinal County officials of conspiracy.

In a court motion, Dixon asserted that his ex-wife, who then worked for a credit union, had assisted Pinal County Superior Court Judge William J. "Bill" O'Neil in obtaining a $300,000 loan prior to the canine-custody dispute.

Dixon, who represented himself during most of the case, speculated that O'Neil, who was not named as a defendant, returned the favor by influencing deputies to seize the dog.

Deputies denied any conspiracy, court records show, and O'Neil also denied any impropriety in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Defense attorneys successfully argued that the lawsuit, which sought $5 million in damages, was legally flawed and failed to show proof...


BBC Headline Comes Up Short

BBC presumes you know who gets "killed" in the territories:

And while the lead-in sentence manages to include the word "Israeli":

A meeting between Palestinian and Israeli peace negotiators has been postponed in the wake of a killing of an Israeli in the West Bank.

Somehow, they couldn't find room for that word in the headline: 

Or perhaps they were hoping you'd think the IDF was running wild.  Or those "hilltop youth".


Received this from a friend:

It's taken them three days and numerous versions of that same article to even get to that:

and a P.S.

just noticed this at the bottom:

Also on Wednesday, clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at a holy site in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
Reports say the violence broke out after the site was opened to visitors in the morning. The protesters began throwing stones, and the police officers responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets. The AFP news agency reported that dozens of protesters were hurt.
Clashes, dear BBC, do not just "erupt".  They start when, as in this case, Muslims throw stones and worse in order to prevent visitors, Jews, from entering the compound.


And now a P.P.S.:-

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli riot police entered one of Jerusalem's most revered and politically sensitive religious compounds on Wednesday to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians opposed to any Jewish attempts to pray there. The confrontation erupted after Israeli police tried to escort some 20 visitors onto the plaza revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's walled Old City. Palestinian youths, who a Reuters photographer said had gathered inside al Aqsa mosque, ran outside and threw rocks at the group. Israeli police in riot gear pushed onto the plaza and used stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators, but did not enter al Aqsa itself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Haaretz Goes A-Stormin'

Haaretz adopts Islamic sematics:

Police storm Temple Mount to disperse Palestinian riot
Palestinians say 25 people hurt in clash with police, including one seriously; Israeli officer lightly hurt.
By Nir Hasson | Apr. 16, 2014 | 12:31 PM


Deeply Troubling

For the record:

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in his message to the Meeting stressed that the UN remained committed to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resulting in the two-State solution...Increasing incidents at Temple Mount/Haram Al Sharif were deeply troubling, as they could be perceived as serious acts of incitement in the wider region.

If anything is troubling, it's the UN.


Does He Look Like A Nazi To You?

Found here:

Max Blumenthal.

A German Nazi:-


Bending the Truth at the NYTimes

A good friend pointed out that the New York Times had a headline for a story by David Herszenhorn, who is based in Moscow, no one can remember being applied to the Palestinian authority, that Russia "bends the truth".

Has that newspaper even once used this or a similar a phrase in connection with the Palestinian Authority? 

When Christians Almost Killed A Jew

I published a Hebrew article on the killing of a Jew during Pesach 1947 for accidentally entering the Temple Mount compound. 

For balance:

Later, Finn reported how he intervened in yet another incident roused up by fanatical pilgrims around that time. This happened when a Jew, newly arrived from Europe, had not yet had time to learn the rules and did not know that laying foot in a certain part of the Old City was tantamount to a death sentence.
Without warning, he was attacked and almost killed by a crowd of fanatical Christian pilgrims after he crossed the far side of the open square in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This site was strictly out of bounds to Jews although not, of course, to Moslems. Having no consul of his own, the Jew appealed for justice to the British Consulate.
“I appealed to the Pasha,” Finn writes. “The Greek ecclesiastics pleaded before him that the passage was not a public thoroughfare but part of the Sanctuary of Christianity, and only used for transit on sufferance. They even dared to send me word that they were in possession of an ancient Firman which fixed the Deyeh, or blood-fine, to be paid by them if, in beating a Jew in that vicinity for trespass, they happened to kill him, at the sum of ten paras, about one halfpenny English.”
After an inquiry was sent to Constantinople to ascertain whether this claim was true, word came back that no such document existed.
“Thus that mischievous untruth was silenced,” Finn concluded. “But the incident shows the disposition of the high convent authorities towards the Jews. It may be that they themselves believed there was such a Firman: if so, what degree of pity of liberality could one expect from the multitude of brutal pilgrims? The Pasha said that he knew of no such Firman as that referred to, but that Greeks, Latins and Armenians, all believed that a Jew might be killed with impunity under such circumstances.”


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shiloh - Jam'a A-Sattin


See here and also here.


A Century Ago, So Much More To See

This is a photograph of the NW corner of the Temple Mount's raised platform:

See the natural rock outcroppings.


Arab "Settlements"?

Yes, there were:-

In the Desert Margins the Settlement Process in an Ancient South and East Arabia.Mouton Michel and Schiettecatte JeremieAnno di Edizione: 2014Edizione: L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDERCollane:Arabia Antica, 9

Ancient Arabia has promptly been pictured as a vast empty desert. Yet, for the last 40 years, by digging out of the sand buried cities, archaeological researches deeply renewed this image. From the second half of the 1st millennium BC to the eve of Islam in East Arabia, and as early as the 8th century BC in South Arabia, the settlement process evolved into urban societies. This study aims at reviewing this process in South and East Arabia, highlighting the environmental constraints, the geographical disparities and the responses of the human communities to ensure their subsistence and to provide for their needs...In East Arabia, the settlement pattern followed a different model which emerged in the last centuries BC along the routes crossing the empty spaces of the steppe, in a nomadic environment. Each community spread over no more than one, two or three settlements. These settlements never grew very large and the region was not urbanised to the same degree as in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. Permanent settlements were places for exchanges and meetings, for craft productions, for worship, where the political elites resided, where the wealth from long-distance trading was gathered, and where surplus from the regional economy was held. Each town was isolated, like an island in an empty space.


Dayan On Peace

Janurary 31, 1977  --- before joining the 1st Begin government coalition:


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Madonna's Brother

Dear Anthony Ciccone, I read this statement of yours here:

And then he announced: “Until my mother passed away, we celebrated Passover every year.”
Passover? “Right. I know it’s strange, but my mom insisted on it,” he said. “She felt comfortable with Judaism, so we learned about the Ten Commandments and all the Jewish customs. Our Passover wasn’t kosher but it impressed me very much. I have no doubt that Madonna was affected by it and that it related to her Kabbalah studies. Both of us have a lot of respect for your country; you fight against endless enemies that want to crush you, and you don’t give up because you’ve got balls and a heart. I hope that one day I can visit the vineyards in Israel. The women, too.”

We've got heart.

We men also have those gonad things.  And even without them, our women fulfill the role of being our towers of strength.

And as for this:

I hope that one day I can visit the vineyards in Israel

on behalf of Shiloh and environs, I extend to you an invite that once you do get here, our vineyards are for visiting.  And I'll personally arrange for some imbibing.


Brandeis U. vs. Louis Brandeis

On the background of a craven shameful decision to exclude Ayaan Hirsi Ali (her statement) from receiving recognition for her human rights work on behalf of Muslim women, here is a formation of the true Brandeis outlook:

According to Brandeis Zionism was not inconsistent with American patriotism. Multiple loyalties were only objectionable if they are inconsistent in their core values.  According to Brandeis every Irishman who supported home rule of Ireland was a better American for doing so as was every Jew who supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  The reason there was no inconsistency between loyalty to America and Jewry was because “brotherhood of man” was a key American ideal as it is and was for two and a half thousand years for the Jewish people. The brotherhood of man was a concept which Brandeis placed at the heart of the American Republic.

Since, according to Brandeis, this was a key value of the Jewish people, Jews were well suited immigrants for America. Brandeis also believed that Jews shared the American goal of social justice.  Since Zionism was the ultimate expression of Jews of these values, Jewish nationalism was no threat to the American nation. Because of these shared core values loyalty to America demanded that each Jew become a Zionist as the ennobling effect of striving for Zionism would benefit the best in each Jew.  Hence Brandeis turned his previous position against hyphenated-Americanism and against national identification on its head. 

Brandeis U. cannot follow through on that conceptualization anymore.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Recalling Dov Sperling

Here is Yaakov/Yasha Kedmi/Kazakov at the memorial event for Dov/Boris Sperling at the Jabotinsky Institute I attended last night:

Dov immigrated to Israel in January 1969, having been imprisoned earlier

Here he is (1st on left front row) in 1960 in a prison camp

Seated from the left:Jora Nutsuev, Meir Draznin (Kiev), Iosif Shnider (Riga), 
Davod Havkin co (Moscow). Standing: Haim Kaufman-Koristen, 
Anatoli Rubin (Minsk), Dov Sperling (Riga), 1960

hooked up with Yasha and became one of the most high-profile and charismatic of the new generation of activists and quite outspoken.

(Left to Right: David Khavkin, Yosef Shneider and Dov Sperling, Riga, 1964)

On October 19, 1969 he and Lea and Boris Slovin and Kedmi met with with Prime Minister Golda Meir and realized that salvation would not come from the Israel government to the extent and form they desired and knew was required, especially after have discussed matters with the chief of Nativ Shaul Avigur in August. (source)

Eventually, they both went to the States* where I met them as an activist in Betar and the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry ("Others such as Lenore Wolfson, Yisrael Winkelman (now Medad), and Beth Spiegelman [my wife] were outstanding.").

During Yasha's hunger strike, Yasha used my sleeping bag and twice I slept over in the mobile van at nights to keep him company and to make sure no harm would come to him.  Of that strike, we read this:

A friend of Yasha Kazakov accused the Israel government today of short circuiting the struggle by the 23-year-old Russian emigre to secure emigration rights for his family in Moscow. Boris Sperling claimed that the government did not wholeheartedly support young Kazakov’s eight-day hunger strike in front of United Nations headquarters in New York and actually “short circuited” it by calling on him to end his fast. Mr. Sperling, speaking at the Commercial and Industrial Club here, hinted at possible sympathy strikes in Israel. As long as the government fails to carry on the struggle in the way “we understand it should be conducted, we will abstain from our normal work and carry on the struggle openly, shouting aloud what we have to tell the world,” he said.

Later, Dov tried to enter Likud politics but did not succeed or rather was basically prevented from succeeding and eventually became a Jewish Agency representative in Vienna.

Although close for a brief period of a decade or more, I lost contact with Dov.

He was handsome, energetic, impassioned, brilliant and a good person.

Silva Zalmanson and Elie Valk, Chairman of the Association of Latvian & Estonian Jews in Israel, and family members also spoke.

His passing hurts.

Let’s return to 1969 when you and Dov Shperling planned to travel to the States.

We met many people. At a meeting with a group of officers I made the acquaintance of Arik Sharon and later Yitzhak Shamir—I was in his home, a small two-room apartment on the second floor. Geula Cohen once introduced us to an American named Bernie Deutsch. We told him the same story that we told everyone else. It made such an impression on him that he was eager to familiarize American Jews with this information. He began to plan a trip in conjunction with Jewish organizations in the States. He informed Nehemia about it and turned to Begin, the head of the right-wing opposition. At Levanon’s request, Begin tried to talk us out of the trip.

Ultimately Begin said that he did not have the right to forbid us. People had escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and how could he say “no” to them. Acting on instructions from Tzvi Netzer, who headed “Bar”[7], Yoram Dinshtein, the Bureau’s representative in the U.S., contacted all the Jewish and non-Jewish organizations with which meetings had been arranged. In the name of the Israeli government he asked them not to meet with us because one of us was most likely a spy and the other a provocateur or the other way around. Almost all the Jewish organizations listened to him but the non-Jewish ones did not. I recall that we gave an interview to the Christian Science Monitor. The journalist said, “I don’t understand how the Israeli embassy could say such things about you.”

This Maariv story on March 2, 1970 is headlined: "Are Kazakov and Sperling suspect Soviet agents?"

You were aware of it at the time?

He told us after the interview that they had called him from the embassy and told him all kinds of things. “How could they say that? Your words are the most deserving of publicity.”

After our return Shperling wrote a good article in Maariv about how they hindered us and why. I wanted to sue them.

Here is Yona Yahav (now Mayor of Haifa and then recently elected WUJS head) announcing in Maariv on July 6, 1970 that Yigal Allon was lying in the Knesset when he claimed as Foreign Minister that no pressure was brought to bear against the students active for Soviet Jewry, specifically including Sperling and Kazakov):

The Bureau?

The head of “Bar” in Israel and his representative in the States. But Geula Cohen dissuaded me. When we returned my parents were already refuseniks. After Shulamit Aloni’s speech in the Knesset and others’ remarks, the censorship in Israel was a little more accommodating. Then Geula said, “Let me interview you.” I agreed.

Until then journalists were unable to interview you?

They couldn’t publish it. Geula interviewed me at length and sent it to the censorship. The censor left about twenty percent. “This will anger the Soviet Union and aggravate relations.” Moreover, the censor demanded that it appear as if the interview had not been conducted in Israel and that my name not be mentioned. Geula did not agree with this decision and decided to create a scandal. After some struggle, they permitted almost the entire lengthy interview. It was published in two Friday editions, creating a strong impression in Israel. It included everything that I am telling you now and also information about the situation in Russia. Bernie Deutsch, who had arranged our trip to the U.S., then translated the article into English and disseminated it there.

and I recall Abe Bayer blocking an entrance to prevent Yasha speaking, which was unsuccessful.

Kerry's "Poof" Remark Has Gone Poof!

This transcript does not include the "poof" throw-away, as in the NYTimes:

“Poof, that was sort of the moment,” Mr. Kerry said. “We find ourselves where we are.”

The State Department transcript also lacks it.

Here it is again:

In exchange for the deal being kept of the release of prisoners and not going to the U.N. Unfortunately, the prisoners weren’t released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released. And so day went by, day two went by day three went by and then in the afternoon when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem. And poof! That was sort of the moment.”





Roger Cohen:
Poof. Poof.
The word Secretary of State John Kerry used before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a good one. Nine months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiation and, faster than you can say Holy Land, everything goes up in smoke. Or rather, everything descends into a pre-K schoolyard squabble that amounts to proof that neither side is serious today about a two-state peace settlement.


A "Greenberg" Comment on Jewish Self-Hatred

From the script of the movie "Greenberg":-

She and Steven are getting a divorce.
They were a cool couple.
(looks at Greenberg)
Come to think of it he’s kind of a 
less Jewish looking version of you.
Less? I’m not even...I’m only half. 
But you’re doing this.
Beller holds his hands about a foot apart 
and shakes them, imitating Greenberg’s
previous gesture. Johno laughs.
What’s...I’m thinking small...I’m...
(trying to figure out what he did)
Is this a Jewish gesture?
Beller shrugs. Johno laughs. 
(to Johno)
Beller, always with the self-hatred.
You kidding, have you been to one of 
Eric’s Seders?
Eric gave trees to Israel.
Am I not allowed to make a joke about it?
No, I know, I’m just saying since you 
said “less Jewish looking...” Because 
people think I look Italian. And 
since my mom was Protestant I’m 
actually not Jewish at all. 


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

And The Public Thinks That ...

According to The Peace Index of March 2014 (Published: 08/04/2014; Survey dates: 30/03/2014 - 31/03/2014) the opinions they polled were as follows:

Chances for success of the U.S.-sponsored negotiations – ...92% viewing the chances as very low or moderately low. Such a consensus indicates that the feeling is common to all the political camps. Indeed, a segmentation of the responses by self-affiliation with one or another political camp revealed 95% of the right seeing low chances for success, 88.5% of the center, and 87% of the left. In the Arab public as well, the majority sees scant likelihood of the talks’ success, though at 62% this majority is clearly smaller than in the Jewish public.

The urgency for Israel of reaching an agreement – ...A small majority of the Jewish public (52%) believes it is very urgent or moderately urgent, while 45.5% say reaching an agreement is not at all or not very urgent from Israel’s standpoint...

Yaalon’s criticism of the U.S. administration – ...The responses show a Jewish public evenly divided between those who think his statements could cause such damage (46.5%) and those who do not (49%). The public is much more unequivocal on whether Yaalon was right in saying the United States is showing weakness in its foreign policy; the majority (65%) is sure or thinks he is right. At the same time, a clear majority (72%) believes Yaalon was unwise to voice his criticism publicly...a pragmatic attitude.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Rabbi Landes and Ghosts Past

Just as an aside, I was present at Rabbi Daniel Landes' talk on the Temple Mount at Limmud UK in late December.  He didn't mention this following aspect of which he now writes in Haaretz today although he made then two errors I caught.

Now, to the op-ed.  Here are a few excerpts from his current article which demands of us that

We must not allow the messianisms of the religious right cloud the call from our greatest religious authorities to return the territories, for the sake of saving life.

and I will make a few comments afterwards on that but, to continue with a few more excerpts:-

...the hardest act is to shake off the messianisms that envelop[s the religious right] society - ranging from overt and imminent “end-time” scenarios, to the hazy metaphor of the “beginning of the dawn of our salvation” the actual psyche of the religious Zionist, the persistently suppressed horror of that past repeating itself propels us further - into a delusional messianism that needs to be coupled to a secular rightwing ideology promising salvation by standing ‘strong’ and ‘proud’, that is confirmed by our increasing isolation.

This messianisms [sic] must be confronted...

The greatest Talmudic theologian of modernity was my master, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik...Already back in 1967...was clear that while sanctity of place such as the Temple Mount have great meaning in Jewish law, they are nothing compared to the safety of the Jewish people...

...Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s public position must therefore return the territories out of concern for the danger of war...[out of] concern for pikuach nefesh...

...Ariel Sharon...discovered that despite his high evaluation and ready use of Jewish power, Israel cannot survive controlling the Palestinians...Israel needed to separate from the Palestinians and consequently much of the land they occupy, for what we halakhically call pikuach nefesh.

These old guys, call out to us from their graves – “Wait for the true Messiah, but in the meantime - get out while you can, or you will inevitably join us here.”

Landes is Director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where he teaches the Senior Kollel Talmud class and Theology but his views are his own.  I wonder what are the views of his students after they learn from him things like this.

This outlook, of a fear of messianism, has been very central to the less-than-nationalist Religious Zionism camp since R' Binyamin, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Ernst A. Simon and Judah Leib Magnes. It has been visionary but completely out of touch with the reality of Arab hostility.

But I will not enter into an ideological, ethical or/and philosophical debate.  I'll keep to the facts.

As far as I personally know, Rabbi Soloveitchik first announced his views on the future of land and peace in 1968 in response to the Betar position that we would demonstrate against Lord Caradon's appearance at YU (he was the UK Ambassador to the UN and tried to get Israel to  retreat, with a past as a Mandate District Officer in the 1930s).  

By the way, if one is to base himself on Rav Soloveitchik, earlier on, the Rav considered Arabs to be Amalek as I have previously noted:
The Mossad HaRav Kook editon of Ish HaEmunah includes Kol Dodi Dofek and on page 101, RJB writes [my translation YM]: “the evil machinations of the Arabs are not directed only towards the political independence [of the state of Israel] but to the very existential essence of the Jewish community in toto. They aspire to destroy, *chalilah*, the *Yishuv*, from man to woman, from child to infant, from bull to sheep. At one of the assemblies of the Mizrachi, I said in the name of my father, my teacher z”l, that the portion in the Torah “Hashem wages war against Amalek from generation to generation” is not limited in its community application as a *milchemet mitzva* to a certain race, but is inclusive regarding the obligation of rising up against any nation or group that is infused with irrational [crazed?] hatred, and directs its hate against *Knesset Yisrael* …In the 1930s and 1940s, this role was filled by the Nazis and Hitler at their head. They were Amaleks, representatives of the pathological animosity of the last period. Today, the masses of Nasser and the Mufti are substituting for them.”

I wonder what Rabbi Landes would make of that.

As for Rav Yosef, he refused to go along with Ariel Sharon's disengagement. Shaul Mofaz, another CIC of the IDF, couldn't convince him either.  In other words, not every withdrawal can be approved of in a blanket "pikuach nefesh" definition (and someone has no informed me that he would not agree to handing over territory to a terror group).

And, sadly, as for Ariel Sharon, he was very wrong and even one of his sons tried to alter the decision but bowed to his father's authority as a parent.  The rockets and missiles, the two major military operations, his weakness in yielding to Condi Rice over the Philadelphi Corridor and more all indicate a major collapse on Sharon's part, and the failure of the policy.

Landes is misrepresenting the facts and reality of history and the results of the polciy he would have us follow and thus, misleads us all.

I leave him to talk to the ghosts from the graves as he seems to be caught up with a peculiar version of messianism.


JVP Squeezes It

Alerted, I found this:  

We are respecting the Palestinian call for a boycott, so please try to bring wine (or whatever) made in places other than Israel. We will also be updating you about our exciting boycott campaign.

That's in the invitation for the Seattle chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace's eighth participatory Seder on the second night of Passover.

I have just one question: are matzot baked in Israel permitted?


Not A Silenced But A Louder Right

Amazing how everyone presumes it a prerogative to interfere in all facets of Israeli life?

Now its about who can own a newspaper.

No one got much excited about the German investor in Haaretz, although I tried.

Now it is Sheldon Adelson's purchase of Makor Rishon after his free-distributed Israel Hayom and its driving the far left wild.

First, yesterday we had a snipe by Tom Friedman and now a full blast from Shmuel Rosner in the New York Times:-

His purchase is

bad news for Israel’s public sphere.

Unproven, he claims that Adelson has a

dominance of this segment of Israel’s media market

Maybe he means this?

On every issue, at every juncture, it always seems to take the prime minister’s side.

But maybe that's like Haaretz and Yedhioth always seeming to take the opposing side to Netanyahu?

Anyway, Rosner goes off on another track:

...Mr. Adelson’s rivals have reacted foolishly to his newfound dominance; they try to legally compel him to charge a fee for Israel Hayom. Seven Knesset members signed a proposed bill in March calling for a ban on free newspapers... 

and notes that 

Mr. Bennett called Mr. Adelson’s paper “Pravda,” and he vocally supports the anti-Adelson legislation. 

But what really bothers Rosner is that Adelson

...has taken an ideological camp and turned it into a personal’s no longer clear that opposition from the right will ever have a megaphone with which to argue against Mr. Netanyahu’s policies.

And despite being a non-rightwinger, he suggests that

the only way to restrain Mr. Adelson’s conquest of Israel’s right-wing media scene and ensure a healthy clash of ideas on the right is to compete with him by establishing other newspapers and finding other rich people to finance them. 

But if Adelson cannot purchase a newspaper now, why should other rich rightwingers be able to purchase, without being criticized, another newspaper in the future?

And why nothing about Eli Azour's purchase of Maariv to add to his Jerusalem Post?  Doesn't Rosner (and for sure, his left-wing friends) consider the JPost a non-left newspaper/media site?

Isn't it just great when non-rightwingers fight for the right of the right to be right?

What gives here?  After all, the left-wing press has been so much more unethical and biased.

Silencing the right?

I think it will be louder and stronger.


Mixed Prayer at The Kotel

I am sure that you, like me, have seen photographs from early in the 20th century, if not earlier, showing how men and women, even without the separation partition, aka Mechitza, were standing at the Kotel in a two distinct groups. This is, it is claimed, proof that prayer at that site was not as the custom of the Women of the Wall.

Now, on the one hand, my position is that the Women of the Wall should be allowed to practice worship customs at the Kotel, as long as (a) they do not make too much distracting noise and (b) they are dressed modestly (we do not need a repeat of the 1756 Lanckoronie Affair).  On the other, I think it irrational that a court in Israel would declare a custom of 20 years, observed but once a month for an hour, to override a custom of many hundreds of years 24 hours a day daily.

In any case, look at this picture:

Men to one corner.  

Then two women.

And then another man.

Yes, they are all posing for the photographer but nevertheless, even pictures cannot be trusted.

Or perhaps there really was relatively mixed prayer at the Western Wall.  And yes, I know that the Women of the Wall do not prayer men and women together as one quorum group, except when in the vack of the main Plaza area.


Really Enjoy Pesach, Biblically

From Simcha J:-

The “Tempest Stela”, also known as the “Storm Stela”, was found in pieces between 1947 and 1951 at the 3rd pylon/tower at the temple of Karnak in ancient Thebes, Upper Egypt. It consists of a single text in horizontal lines...they were just re-translated by Ritner and Moeller. What do they describe?
The text speaks of a tremendous storm that involved both upper and lower Egypt. It states that this storm displayed the “wrath” of a “great God”. Notice it speaks of “God” in the singular. It also states that this God was “greater” than the “gods” of Egypt. According to the Storm Stela, the tempest plunged Egypt into total “darkness” for a period of several days. The darkness was unusual because it made it impossible to even light torches: “no torch could be lit in the two lands.” The aftermath of the inundation was such that the temples of the gods were flooded, the roofs had “collapsed” and the holy places “had been made/rendered nonexistent”. The Nile was literally full of human bodies, “floating” like papyrus “skiffs” in the water. According to the Stela, “every house” was affected and the whole “wonder”-provoking event was accompanied by “voices” louder than anything that had been heard earlier in Egypt.
Compare all this to the description in the Biblical book of Exodus, of the plagues of hail and darkness that preceded Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery.