Thursday, July 31, 2008

We Will Be Aggressive on Behalf of Our Security

You know, sometimes one can get very upset with the State Department's attitude towards Israel and to be specific, its presence in Judea and Samaria.

Here's an extract or two from last Tuesday's press briefing


MR. MCCORMACK: Good afternoon. I don’t have anything to start off with, so we can get right to your questions.

QUESTION: Any readout, sir, from the Defense Minister’s meeting with --

MR. MCCORMACK: ...I can tell you what the intent and the thinking behind the meeting was – is that – to talk about issues related to the Roadmap, Roadmap implementation and what Israel has on the books in terms of what it needs to do, but also talk about what the Palestinians need to do. And because the Ministry of Defense has a particular role to play, specifically with respect to the West Bank, which is really the focus of our discussions regarding the Roadmap right now, is particularly timely for Secretary Rice to meet with Minister Barak.

...In terms of the settlements issue, I know that that was on the agenda for us to talk to Minister Barak about. Our position on that is well known. We’ve talked about it. The fact that there are these continuing activities with respect to settlement activity is a problem. We have talked to the Israelis about that. We’ve talked to them about their Roadmap obligations and we’re going to continue to do so.

What caught my eye was this but also talk about what the Palestinians need to do.

Yes, I think we do.

You recall the Cordesman article, right? The one in which he writes of

an American-led mission, based in Jerusalem, that is trying to build new security forces on the West Bank that will support stabilization efforts by the Palestinian Authority’s president...The importance of this effort cannot be overstated: unless there are effective Palestinian security forces, Israel will never trust in a Palestinian state or be able to act on the quiet progress being made toward reaching a final settlement...As became all too clear on my visit to Israel, however, this American-led effort is being crippled by decisions within the State Department. The small mission, called the office of the United States Security Coordinator and under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, is effectively locked into a building in Jerusalem. While it’s a military mission, the State Department and the consulate in Jerusalem are in charge of Palestinian affairs and General Dayton’s advisory teams.

Of course, I don't believe that the Americans can adequately assure Israel's security, even if they could properly train the Pals. But is there any oversight - Congress, Presidential - into the workings of this special mission, which I believe is being managed as CIVPOL, , subcontracted to DynCorp, supported by Federal funds and referred to as a "Transformation Program". It's official.

INL is working with the U.S. Security Coordinator in Jerusalem to enhance the capabilities of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces in the West Bank. Our assistance is focused on providing basic, leadership, and refresher training for the National Security Forces and the Presidential Guard. We are also upgrading their training facilities and providing non-lethal equipment to support their operations

Is the program at all successful? How successful? What is the failure rate? Is all in order? What specific problems exist?

I wish I could speak with some of these people:

Peter Liebert, Mike Thomas, Joe Schreiber, Gherdy Francis (who was an East Timor Site Manager, International Police Program, Dyncorp), Paul Richards, Dick Jones, Rick Trapp, Dave Butzer (who was former deputy chief of the Portland Police Bureau), Dan Mathis, Ben Roberts, Jesse Valdez, Louie Muniz, Holt Coleman, Tom Moselle, Jim Cavalucci, Mark French, Walt Redman

among others and ask them about the Leadership and HQ staff course logistics course, the Advanced Police Tactics Course and the Police Support Ops course and other training directions.

They, and others in the American Consulate General, are directly responsible for my security, that of my family and friends all across Yesha and also Israel. They, I think, are attempting to make sure that the PA's "policemen" can do a proper job (based on manuals like this one) and they might need to speed up the process as I understand Hamas is threatening to take over the PA in Judea and Samaria.

And if they fail, they should know that the blame will be laid not only on the State Department and their employers but on themselves as well. They have undertaken a professional task and if they know they cannot accomplishment it, or know that the PA "police" have no real intentions of contributing to Israel's security, then they too are liable to face legal steps. Israel and its citizens are not far-away East Timor or Iraq or Kosovo. There are options open to us and we will be aggressive in our own pursuit of justice.

Unity House: A Bit of Personal History

In the middle to late 1950s, my family spent two weeks every summer for a few years at Unity House in the Poconos (which was included in the term The Catskills). My late father was then a floor manager for a ladies' sports and swimwear factory and belonged to the ILGWU.

I stumbled across this site where I found this picture

and this one

and here is some explantion:

Name: Unity House
Region: Poconos
Location: Bushkill Falls Road, Pike, PA

A vacation and labor education retreat was operated here, 1919-1989, by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU). Each year it hosted several thousand visitors — including union members, retirees, and public officials — and offered cultural events significant to the labor movement. The only workers’ resort of its size in the U.S., it closed due to declining employment in the domestic apparel industry.

Unity House featured bungalows for families or small groups, an on-site doctor, a chef, and a dietician. The union built an amphitheatre for talks and seminars and brought in professors and other speakers. Members could attend lectures on current events, economics, art and literature, and social psychology. The mostly-New Yorker staff grew to several dozen people over time, including dining room servers, musicians, and a lifeguard. The ILGWU’s decision to rent the facility out to other unions made Unity House a getaway spot for the larger labor movement.

The 1950s and 1960s in many ways saw Unity House at its best. The union began bringing speakers such as Eleanor Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy and labor leader George Meany. In 1956, Unity House opened a new theatre, which enabled ILGWU members to see Broadway shows. In 1962, the AFL-CIO held an executive council meeting at Unity House that again attracted a host of famous politicians and activists. In February 1969, a devastating fire gutted much of the main building.

I will search at home for photographs from that period (so, come back here in a day or two).

There were great memories from this place.

Into the lake (was it Lake Minisink? * ) I was tossed from the off-shore raft by my father as my first experience in learning how to swim.

The raft is center-right in this picture

I recall Jackie Mason as a 'tummler'. It was a great time and I really think that of the many things we did as a family at that time, this was the best, the very best. Sports, outdoors, woods, hikes, visits.

Just great.

More info here and here and more pics here.

An academic article is Wolensky, Kenneth C. 2000. “A Working Class Haven in the Pocono Mountains: Unity House -- ILGWU” [International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union]. In Canal History and Technology Proceedings 19: 69-90. Easton, Pa.: Canal History and Technology Press.



No, it seems it was Second Pond. Here

UPDATE 2023:

From the Book "The Land's Goodness"

Behold the holy Torah and Eretz Yisrael have a unique relationship. So too the Jewish people have a unique deep spiritual relationship to the land of Israel. This can be seen from the prophet Ezekiel (chapter 48) dividing up the land between the twelve tribes, granting each tribe the parcel of land best suited for its needs. This was accomplished by each tribe bordering the place from where the soul of his tribe emanates from. Thus each mitzvah performed in Eretz Yisrael ascends and adorns each of the borders in relationship to the soul of each tribe. In this way, the completeness of the soul is dependent upon which portion of land it dwells in. And the fulfillment of the land is dependent upon the souls that dwell there in accordance with its existence.

The essence of this is that Zion is the point of the original creation (Gemara Yoma 54b.) For, from that point the rest of the world unfolded. That point of course is associated with the Shechina. There are twelve boundaries emanating from that central point. They are the mystery of the measurements of the land and the sanctuary as recounted by the prophet Ezekiel (ch. 48). The Jews take shelter under the edges of the out-spread wings of the Shechina that extend to the entire border of Eretz Yisrael. Yet, just as the Shechina is not complete so long as the Holy Temple is incomplete, so too the Shechina is incomplete so long as Eretz Yisrael is not complete to the extent of its true borders, which are from the river of Egypt until the Euphrates. That completion is dependent upon its being inhabited by Jews, each according to the place that is most befitting him; this is because G-d had promised Abraham ten lands as an inheritance to his descendents.


Who's the Grumbler Now?

This is going around (Kippah tip: Muqata)

Actually, I think this is a better representation of our "I-promise-I-am-going-to-resign" Prime Minister

Muhammed's Jewish Companion

Ishaq:437 “The Apostle ordered them to prepare for war and to march against them. Muhammad personally led his men against the Nadir and halted in their quarter. The Jews took refuge against him in their homes, so he ordered their date palms to be cut down and burnt. They shouted, ‘Muhammad, you have forbidden wonton destruction of property and have blamed those who perpetrated it. Why are you doing this?’”

Qur’an 59:5 “The palm trees you cut down or left standing intact was by Allah’s dispensation so that He might disgrace the transgressors.”

Ishaq:464 “The Jews were made to come down, and Allah’s Messenger imprisoned them. Then the Prophet went out into the marketplace of Medina (it is still its marketplace today), and he had trenches dug in it. He sent for the Jewish men and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in batches. They numbered 800 to 900 boys and men. As they were being taken in small groups to the Prophet, they said to one another, ‘What do you think will be done to us?’ Someone said, ‘Do you not understand. On each occasion do you not see that the summoner never stops? He does not discharge anyone. And that those who are taken away do not come back. By God, it is death!’ The affair continued until the Messenger of Allah had finished with them all.”

Ishaq:461 “Muhammad besieged them for twenty-five nights. When the siege became too severe, Allah terrorized them. After the siege exhausted and terrorized them, the Jews felt certain that the Apostle would not leave them until he had exterminated them. So they decided to talk to Ka’b Asad. He said, ‘Jews, you see what has befallen you. I shall propose three alternatives. Take whichever one you please.’ He said, ‘Swear allegiance to Muhammad and accept him; for it has become clear to you that he is a prophet sent from Allah. It is he that you used to find mentioned in your scripture book. Then you will be secure in your lives, your property, your children, and your wives.’” Tabari VIII:30 “The Jews said, ‘We will never abandon the Torah or exchange it for the Qur’an.’ Asad said, ‘Since you reject this proposal, then kill your children and your wives and go out to Muhammad and his Companions as men who brandish swords, leaving behind no impediments to worry you. If you die, you shall have left nothing behind; if you win you shall find other women and children.’ The Jews replied, ‘Why would we kill these poor ones? What would be the good of living after them?’”

Tabari VIII:38 “The Prophet selected for himself from among the Jewish women of the Qurayza, Rayhanah. She became his concubine. When he predeceased her, she was still in his possession. When the Messenger of Allah took her as a captive, she showed herself averse to Islam and insisted on Judaism.”

Ishaq:466 “The Apostle chose one of the Jewish women for himself. Her name was Rayhanah. She remained with him until she died, in his power. The Apostle proposed to marry her and put the veil on her but she said, ‘Leave me under your power, for that will be easier. She showed a repugnance towards Islam when she was captured.”

Don't You Just Love It?

Suppose you received an invitation on the Middle East which promised that

This event is intended to foster a more open debate, leading to new approaches and equitable solutions.

Wouldn't you be excited?

Well, calm down. Here are the details

Israel, Palestine, and the US Congress: Realities and Opportunities, Part 1, CNI's Public Forum at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. Wednesday, 21 May 2008, 12:00pm - 2:00

Lunch will be provided

Featuring a panel of experts:

-Dr. John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

-Uri Avnery, leading Israeli peace activist and former Knesset Member

-Menachem Klein, Professor of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

-Honorable Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and noted lecturer on the Middle East

-Honorable David Newton, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and former head of Radio Free Iraq

-Introduction and Moderator: Honorable James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator

Can a new Congress and Administration benefit from a fresh look at errors of the past, present realities, and possibilities moving forward? This sixty-year struggle has an obvious and major impact on U.S. interests around the globe. What are we missing?


We're missing balance and a new fresh look, one with dialogue.

P.S. CNI supports the most radical extreme groups around like Sabeel and If Americans Knew

Absolutely Logical - Arieh Eldad

...terror groups will realize that they found the way not only to release the murderers in our jails, but also "their entire Palestine." Tomorrow, more soldiers will be abducted for the sake of Mount Dov (which they refer to as the Shebaa Farms,) and two days from now, they will kidnap more troops and demand that we withdraw from Hebron. They will demand Temple Mount in exchange for several abducted civilians, and if, heaven forbid, they take over a kindergarten, they'll demand Arab autonomy in the Galilee.

There is no logical reason for them to stop, unless we stop and say: No more.

Whole article

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Shepherd Youth on a Hilltop

I stopped by my wife's blog and found, at this post, this picture:

Photo credit: Yonathan Gormezano, Petah Tikva

1 Samuel 17:-

12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse;...14 And David was the youngest;...22 And David left his baggage in the hand of the keeper of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brethren. 23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words; and David heard them...26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying: 'What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the taunt from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should have taunted the armies of the living God?'...32 And David said to Saul: 'Let no man's heart fail within him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.' 33 And Saul said to David: 'Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.'

Tsk, tsk #38

Human rights groups have accused rival Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza of making politically motivated arrests and torture.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, said torturing detainees was widespread in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank under Fatah.

Both the Islamist Hamas and nationalist Fatah have acknowledged failings but say the problem is being dealt with.


Can You Tell the Difference?

Well, one is Jewish and one is Muslim.

That's Haifa Wehbe on top and Amy Winehouse below. Both singers.

A third one is now dead:

Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim has been found dead at her home in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, media reports say...Media reports say her body was stabbed repeatedly and her face mutilated...Tamim was reported to have fled Lebanon to Egypt some years ago after a number of bitter legal battles with her estranged second husband, music producer Adel Maatouk.

She doesn't look like the other two

An honor killing?

And Here Comes Big Brother?

The Grapes Are Delicious

And they're in the Medad garden in Shiloh.

Aw. Ain't That Just Too Bad

Chabad Temple seminar rankles Islamists

A brief course offered by the Chabad Hassidim about the Temple endangers the Aksa Mosque, Islamic Movement spokesman Zahi Nujidat said Tuesday.

The three-part seminar, which is being held this week and next week at some 200 Chabad Houses throughout the country, comes less than two weeks before Tisha Be'av, which marks the destruction of the Temple.

"We view this as a serious and drastic move toward the fruition of extremist organizations to establish a temple in place of al-Aksa Mosque," Zahi Nujidat said. "This represents a real danger to al-Aksa."

A similar condemnation was issued in Arabic this week by the Aksa Foundation.

...Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod said () "This is a pure provocation by an organization that is exploiting any opportunity to incite the Arab public to violence against Israel," he said. "Every time they are looking for some other excuse to incite, and now they found it in the course."...Chabad hassidim do not even ascend the Temple Mount, he said.

Menachem, it won't help.

I've Entered a Dialogue

Here, relating to the Temple Mount.

Will it develop?

Now Its Really Getting Complicated

Abbas vows to dismantle PA if Israel frees Hamas prisoners for Shalit

If Israel releases Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament as part of a deal for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, PA President Mahmoud Abbas will dismantle the Palestinian Authority, Abbas warned Israel last week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

18? Of Course Not

Abbotsford, B.C. woman gives birth to 18th child

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Alexandru Ionce and his wife never planned to have 18 children in 23 years but when they welcomed little Abigail Ionce into the world, that's just what happened...The couple immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1990 and now live in Abbotsford, B.C. Their 17 other children range in age from 20 months to 23 years old.

...Ionce said the family has received calls from Germany, Romania and England, as well as from media outlets across Canada. One TV station even suggested doing a documentary about what they suggested is the world's largest family. It's an idea that amused him, but Ionce doubts they hold any record titles. "I think we are not the largest," he said.

Of course not.

Some 30 years ago, Uzzit Schneerson, daughter of Rav Moshe Tzvi Segel, had givenbirth to 20 (and had adopted two others). I know her. And we won't mention some Beduin families with much more.

How True (On Blogging)

Picking up the phone at 4:30 in the afternoon, Shmarya Rosenberg answered in a voice still bleary from sleep. He explained that he was just napping after having blogged the whole night, and most of the morning.

"It's hard to do one of these blogs," Rosenberg said. "It owns you. It's terrible. If I had any idea four years ago that it was going to do this, I don't think I could've started it."


How true.

These Are Not Gitty's Friends

Non-Satmar Chassidic women respond to Gitty's story.

(Kippah tip: Jewess)

So, Canada Is Not Immune

Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan opened fire on a speeding car, which they feared was about to attack their convoy, and killed a 2-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister, officials said Monday.

Current and Future

Today, we carefully check our ethrogim.

Tomorrow, will we be checking pigeons for the Temple service?

Editing is Slanting

In the New York Times, I found this headline:

U.S. Military Says Soldiers Fired on Civilians

but in the International Herald Tribune print edition it reads:

U.S. soldiers killed civilians, military admits

whereas the online edition has it:

U.S. military says soldiers fired on civilians, killing 3

And the author, Richard A. Oppel, Jr. was one and the same.

This called editing (or, how to slant the news).

Ever read a headline "Palestinian terrorist kills Jews"?

I've read this Palestinian attacks using construction vehicle and this, Jerusalem bulldozer 'terrorist' kills 3 in rampage and this is really close, Palestinian kills three in Jerusalem bulldozer rampage.

And I did see this recently, Jewish terrorist leaflet unearthed from 60 years ago.

Well, you get my point.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rabkin's Rubbish

There's a lot behind every letter-to-the-editor.

Yakov Rabkin, Montreal Professor of history at the University of Montreal, had a letter of his published in the Int'l Herald Tribune the other day.

In it, he deals with Iran and Israel and writes:-

...While Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and publicly refused to develop nuclear weapons, Israel possesses such weapons and has not signed the treaty.

True but does he mean that Israel is the real threat to world peace and that the Iranian's leader's spouting off on theology, the destruction of Israel and how much nuclear potential his country possesses is not indicative of any danger?

[Iran's president said Saturday his country now possesses 6,000 centrifuges, a significant increase in its nuclear program]


[Note this: "Of course he says they aren't producing a bomb, but they are producing the wherewithal to make a bomb once they have the enrichment capability...they haven't agreed to a slowdown in progress, not withstanding all the hints they would be doing so," Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow for non- proliferation at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies policy group, said]

Rabkin continues:

Moreover, Iran has not attacked another country for centuries.

What about this? But more to the point, when in the past few centuries have they had a leader like this one: crazy, meglomaniac and with the capability?

...While overtly anti-Zionist, he [Ahmadinejad] is not anti-Jewish. Indeed, had he been anti-Semitic, he would harass Iran's Jews rather than challenge a nuclear-armed regional power...Like many non-Zionist Jews, he wants Israel to evolve from a state for the Jews - a major source of the Israel/Palestine conflict - to an inclusive state of all its citizens...

Well, if you must know, Rabkin is a semi-Neturei Karta.

I found here and here that he espouses a antizionist position based on religion. Try this, too.

There's a lot behind just one letter-to-the-editor.

Marty Peretz Responds to N. Kristoff

Or, TNR vs. NYT.

(The New Republic vs. the New York Times)


An extract:-

There has been a demographic struggle for Jerusalem for centuries. Jews have had the predominant numbers at least since the early nineteenth century, and probably earlier. Christians no longer figure in the competition, there being only 14,000 of them in a city of some 700,000 and growing fast. Moslems by the tens of thousands smuggle themselves in from the West Bank so that they can live under Israeli control rather than any form of Palestinian rule whatever. This is what fuels some of the resentment of the separation barrier in Jerusalem. Palestinians want to be Israelis, with social and economic privileges that come with being residents of the Holy City but without citizenship in the Jewish state.

The race for population mastery continues. It will also be won by Israel, and this outcome will be guaranteed by securing contiguity of Jewish neighborhoods in the city and linking the capitol to the largest Israeli community in the West Bank, Ma'aleh Adumin and its offspring. The Palestiniams may whine about this but the wise among them have no illusions. The necessity of such outcomes was set when the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem was utterly demolished and Jews were kept from the Western Wall of the temple and other holy places for two decades. History also makes its claims in such circumstances: you gamble and lose then you really lose. When and where has it ever been different?

So to Kristoff's own four concrete cases. The first: Hebron. "The Jews have deep ties to Hebron, just as Christians do to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but none of these bonds confer any right to live in these places or even visit them." Forget about Hebron's historic Jews for a moment. But notice how casually Kristof has vacated the right of Christians to reside (or even visit) Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Probably without knowing it, he is actually alluding to a real situation in Bethlehem. Not so long ago, Bethlehem's proportion of Christians used to be some 75%. It is now roughly a quarter, maybe a tiny bit more. Bethlehem's Christians were and are Arabs. No matter. The Moslems wanted them out, and over the decades the Moslems pushed them out. But this is the place where Jesus was born and where the Church of the Nativity (Armenian and Greek Orthodox) sanctifies his arrival. Surely, the remaining Christians deserve some protection of their historic presence in the place where their religious journey began.

I Figured It Out

I finally figured out what drew Madonna to Kaballah.

(the following is for mature adults only, which, of course, may be an oxymoron)

As we know (the quotation is a bit long, but be patient)

the ten sefirot involved in the creation of the world—described as numbers in the Sefer Yetzirah—become emanations, or qualities, of God. Listed in order of their appearance and with a literal translation of their Hebrew meaning in parentheses, they are Keter (crown), Binah (understanding), Chochmah (wisdom), Gevurah (strength), Chesed (love), Tiferet (beauty), Hod (splendor), Netzach (endurance), Yesod (foundation), and Shekhinah (kingdom). Each sefirah represents many things, including one of God’s qualities, a stage in the creation of the world, a biblical character, and a part of God’s body. Kabbalists portray the ten sefirot on a Tree of Life that serves as a visual map. The location of each sefirah on the Tree of Life represents a variety of qualities, including the sefirah’s gender and position on God’s body.

The first sefirah that emerged from God lies at the top of the Tree. Then, beginning with Keter, each sefirah arose out of and slightly modified the sefirah (or sefirot) that preceded it. Binah came from Keter. Gevurah came from Keter and Binah, altering both of them. The sefirot on the left side of the Tree (Binah, Gevurah, and Hod) are associated with feminine traits, whereas those on the right side (Chochmah, Chesed, and Netzach) are thought to be more masculine. Those in the center column (Keter, Tiferet, Yesod, and Shekhinah) are neutral...The masculine side of the Tree represents pure energy: force, expansion, and expression. The left, or feminine side, represents limitation, restraint, and strength, all of which provide guidance and direction to the energy on the right side. The two sides need each other and thrive off of what each provides the other.

Nothing distinguishes Kabbalah from mainstream Jewish thought more than the sefirot. The underlying implication of the sefirot is that God is composed of many things, but the Torah strictly demands a belief in only one God, a belief known as monotheism...

...Yesod is the ninth sefirah and appears in the middle of the Tree of Life. Yesod has two main roles: it balances out Netzach and Hod, and it channels the energy from the upper sefirot to the final sefirah, Shekhinah. Yesod means “foundation” and is associated with God’s circumcised penis, which unites Tiferet, the son of Binah and Chochmah, with Shekhinah, the final sefirah, which represents the human world. The biblical character associated with Yesod is Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers and there interpreted the dreams of the Egyptian pharaoh....

...The goal of all kabbalists is to bring about the union of Shekhinah, the feminine representative of God in the human world, and Tiferet, the masculine side of God. Kabbalists believe that righteous action on the part of believers stimulates Yesod (God’s phallus) and hastens the divine union of Shekhinah and Tiferet. Marriage and sexual intercourse among human beings are believed to be symbolic of Shekhinah and Tiferet’s divine union. Shekhinah’s biblical character is David, the second king of the twelve tribes of Israel.

...Whereas many religions shy away from embracing, or even addressing, the sexual side of life, Kabbalah makes the sexual act the source of the religion’s highest aim. In most kabbalistic writing, the longing of Tiferet for Shekhinah (and vice versa) is described explicitly as sexual desire. Their lust for one another is said to stimulate God’s penis, which brings the two together in sexual bliss. Perhaps most surprising is that Kabbalah followers believe that the only way for them to restore the wholeness of God is to stimulate God’s penis by studying Kabbalah and doing good deeds. Another way kabbalists believe they can honor the union of Tiferet and Shekhinah is by getting married and having sex. Kabbalists have long considered Friday night, the beginning of the Sabbath, Shekhinah’s holiest hour and therefore the ideal time for marriages and sex to take place.

And Kabbalah places much emphasis on the spiritual value of circumcision (here)

When the Jewish People do not keep the covenant of circumcision, the nations of the world dominate them. (Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 13)

Well, that being the case, here is Madonna being introduced to Kabbalah study:

Are There Brains Under Them Yarmulkes?

Obama, McCain Supporters Have Kippot on the Brain


But do the skullcap wearers have...brains?

Rael Jean Isaac's Tribute to Shmuel Katz


Rael Jean Isaac

Editors note: This tribute was given at a memorial for Shmuel Katz at Temple Emanuel in New York City on June 18th. Other speakers were Herbert Zweibon, Gerald Strober, and Joel Gilbert.

My husband Erich and I first met Shmuel in 1969. Erich was teaching for a year at Tel Aviv University and I was working on a doctoral thesis on the opposing movements that had burgeoned in Israel in response to those amazing six days in June 1967 in which Israel had suddenly become over five times as large. On one side was the Land of Israel Movement, which said Israel should keep the territories it had won in battle; on the other was the peace movement, which said Israel should relinquish them.

Studying these movements involved interviewing their leaders and Shmuel, naturally, was active in the Land of Israel Movement. Of all the people we interviewed we became closest to Shmuel. He was friendly, approachable, a wonderful story-teller and, a huge bonus for me, spoke impeccable English. It may be hard to imagine today, as Israel sinks ever deeper into retreat, demoralization and political decline, but 1969 was a heady time. There were tectonic changes in the political landscape. For Shmuel much of the Land of Israel Movement’s excitement and joy was in bringing together former enemies. The word “enemies” is not an overstatement.

The gulf was enormous between Labor activists and former members of the underground—and Shmuel had been a member of the high command of the Irgun. For years, in Knesset debates, Ben Gurion would not even use Menachem Begin’s name—he would refer to him as “the person sitting on the right hand of Professor Bader” or use similar circumlocutions.Shmuel told us of an incident that dramatized the transformed climate. Shortly before the war he had been invited to a kibbutz high school to present the Irgun’s version of the Altalena incident, in which a ship bearing arms for the nascent state of Israel was destroyed on Ben Gurion’s orders. The kibbutz had invited Benny Marshak, who had been a political officer in the left-wing Palmach when the Altalena was sunk, to present Labor’s version. Marshak refused to debate on the ground he would not enter the same room as Katz.

Yet a few months later they would be sitting amicably together on the executive of the Land of Israel Movement. To many in the Israeli public, all too familiar with the long internecine conflicts, it was stunning that leaders from the far left Mapam, from the Kibbutz Hameuchad movement, from Labor, would unite in a common platform with people like Katz, not to mention ultra-orthodox rabbis—this was every bit as astonishing as an agreement with the Arabs would have been.

Shmuel, never interested in putting himself forward, his eyes always on the cause, told us he was anxious that the Land of Israel movement maintain its image as primarily composed of converts from the left. He told us, and I quote: “I came into the Movement with some reluctance because of my background, and I told others to stay away. I just came to see that the movement stuck to the point. And on the whole there has been no need.

”Although I’m here to talk about Shmuel, not about these movements, I can’t resist pointing out that the Land of Israel Movement was united while the opposing peace movement was splintered into lots of disputatious grouplets. The peace movement was divided not only about how much of the territory to give up (all of it? all but Jerusalem? all but the Golan?) but was also divided about what, if anything, to demand in return and who would get the territory. There is virtual unanimity today among peace processors that a Palestinian state is the solution but in 1969 many in the Israeli peace movement sharply rejected this idea. Why? Some felt it wouldn’t work but others felt it would be morally wrong—it would be a species of Israeli “imperialism” to dictate to the Palestinian Arabs how to shape their future.

My husband and Shmuel agreed on the importance of spreading the ideas of the Land of Israel Movement in the United States, emphasizing that a strong Israel in defensible borders was not only in Israel’s interest but in the interests of the United States, this at a time when the Soviet Union was establishing client states in the region. At that time the always left-leaning Jewish community here was firmly attached to the notion that whatever the Israeli Labor government did was right, and Israel’s lightning victory in 1967 did nothing to change that conviction. This was the case even though the government’s position at the time produced paralysis. The government of Israel’s line was that it was prepared to give up almost all the territories—for peace. The Arab states had responded with the three nos of Khartoum, no recognition, no negotiations, no peace. So the government’s position was simply to hold the territories in limbo, waiting for an Arab change of heart.

We weren’t surprised when Shmuel showed up not long after our return to the United States, to prod us into doing something, and AFSI was born. My husband was chairman until the task was taken over by Herbert Zweibon, the only person I know as dedicated and as selfless as Shmuel. Shmuel would come to the states repeatedly in the following years, full of plans and ideas, meeting with a great many people. I remember a running argument with Shmuel in those years. Shmuel would insist that AFSI could do more and I would say that it was tough to be more Catholic than the Pope. I would contend that until Israel’s government adopted a policy assertive of Jewish rights, it was an uphill battle here to persuade the Jewish community and the political elite, however supportive of Israel they might like to be. Shmuel did not want to hear this, insisting that our efforts in showing that a strong Israel was in U.S. interests were quite independent of what went on in Israel. In the end Shmuel would pound the table, and that would end our chicken and egg discussion—at least until his next visit.

In 1977 it looked like such arguments would be a thing of the past. Like Shmuel we were filled with hope when the seemingly permanent hegemony of the Labor Party finally crumbled. We were especially encouraged when Shmuel himself arrived as the advance representative of the new government. It was his task to reassure a Jewish establishment-in-shock and defuse a media that ran headlines like Begin rhymes with Fagin. It was precisely because of Shmuel’s earlier single-handed, independent efforts in the United States that Begin reached out to his long-ago associate in the Irgun.

What Shmuel wanted, and he would have been absolutely ideal for the task, was to reshape and reinvigorate Israel’s information programs abroad, hasbara, as it is called in Israel. These were in woeful shape, and remain so today. But although he promised Shmuel a cabinet level post to do this, Begin backed down when Moshe Dayan, his miserable appointment as Foreign Minister, objected, insisting that hasbara remain under his control in the Foreign Ministry. To be sure, even if Shmuel had won control of information policy and performed brilliantly, his tenure would have been short. There is no way Shmuel would have presided over an information policy promoting a policy of retreat and defeat. This became Begin’s policy as he turned over the Sinai to Sadat, destroyed the Jewish communities in northern Sinai and paved the way, in the Camp David accords, for Judea and Samaria to go to the Arabs.

Deeply disappointed with Begin, Shmuel returned to private life, writing op-eds and most important, working on the definitive biography of his hero and mentor, Zeev Jabotinsky. Shmuel was convinced that it was vital that the heroes and pioneers of the Zionist enterprise not be forgotten, that their lives and sacrifices and ideas inspire new generations. And so he turned his attention to those outside the dominant narrative who had played a vital role in the creation of Israel—people vilified and sidelined by the mainstream in their own lifetime, but subsequently proven right. After Jabotinsky, he turned to the saga of Aaron and Sarah Aaronsohn, who ran the Nili spy ring, which played an important role in the British victory over the Turks in Palestine. They too had been harassed and vilified by the local Jewish community.

Despite his humor and good nature, Shmuel is often thought of as an unbending ideologue. As a result many of those who agreed with his views felt it was impossible for him to have been a political leader. In fact Shmuel was unbending only on issues having to do with Israel’s security. His first break with Begin came on the issue of inclusiveness: when Shmuel was a member of the first Knesset on the Herut list he felt it was important for the party to cease being an Irgun club and open itself up to attract Labor members. Personally ascetic, living in the most Spartan way, Shmuel was willing to make concessions on economic issues — I never spoke to him on these matters but I would be surprised if he were not suspicious of huge prosperity in Israel, fearing it would undercut the qualities of discipline and self-sacrifice the population needed if Israel were to survive.

Shmuel had the characteristics of which Israel was most in need in a Prime Minister. He had vision, optimism, high intelligence, political understanding, determination, his own firm road map, the ability to inspire and lead. He was incorruptible. Can anyone imagine Shmuel agreeing to Oslo? To the destruction of the Jewish communities in Gaza? Can anyone imagine Shmuel even considering giving the Golan to Syria? Or taking wads of cash for favors granted? It is Israel’s tragedy that it did not bring Shmuel Katz to the helm and instead has installed in the Prime Minister’s office an ever more dispiriting collection of political drifters and self-servers.

Shmuel’s unfailing optimism was sorely tested in recent years. He understood, none better, where the country was heading. And so it was a blessing that something wonderful happened to him near the end of his life: he discovered a son he did not know existed; they became close; and his life was greatly enriched.

Shmuel led a life full of adventure, physical adventure in the first part of his life, when he was an underground leader, intellectual adventure thereafter. Shmuel wrote by far the best book on the Irgun, Days of Fire, as gripping a read today as when it was written over forty years ago. In Battleground, Shmuel provided the definitive work on Jewish rights in the context of the Arab-Israel conflict. There remains today no better single source to counter the lies of Arab propaganda. Then there are the collected essays in The Hollow Peace and Battletruth and the major biographies, of Jabotinsky and the Aaronsohns. We hope that a way will be found to perpetuate Shmuel’s legacy for a new generation.

Winning "Play on Words" Poster

The Hebrew alphabet is very unique.

One element is that letters also stand in for numbers.

Aleph (א) = one
Bet (ב) = two
. . . .
Chet (ח) = eight
Tet (ט) = nine.

Now, there are some words that also sound like a letter. In our case, the letter chet (ח), sounds like the Hebrew word for 'sin', 'transgression' which is properly spelled out as חטא.

So here's the poster (explanation below)

The theme of the Ellul Bet Medrash activity is "The Chet Before the Tet" which can mean the 8th before the 9th, or, and this is the subliminal intention, the sin before the Ninth Day (of Av)!

Very nicely done.

A Reminder from William Blake

I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

Till we have built Jerusalem

A Message From Harry S. Truman

But there are some people who would rather play politics than have strong defenses. They would rather embarrass the White House than to checkmate the Kremlin. They have been playing a foolhardy game with the national security. It is a horribly terrible game that they are playing. It is one that should not be played in these emergency times. I am a politician, and I don't mind playing the game in the political field, but that game should be confined to our shores, and should not jeopardize the peace of the world.


What To Feel Pessimistic?

20 reasons why any “negotiations” with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will ultimately prove fruitless.

Crazy Israeli (the Best Kind There Is)

[Shai] Agassi’s plan, backed by Israel’s government, is to create a complete electric car “system” that will work much like a mobile-phone service “system,” only customers sign up for so many monthly miles, instead of minutes. Every subscriber will get a car, a battery and access to a national network of recharging outlets all across Israel — as well as garages that will swap your dead battery for a fresh one whenever needed.

His company, Better Place, and its impressive team would run the smart grid that charges the cars and is also contracting for enough new solar energy from Israeli companies — 2 gigawatts over 10 years — to power the whole fleet. “Israel will have the world’s first virtual oilfield in the Negev Desert,” said Agassi. His first 500 electric cars, built by Renault, will hit Israel’s roads next year.

Agassi is a passionate salesman for his vision. He could sell camels to Saudi Arabia. “Today in Europe, you pay $600 a month for gasoline,” he explained to me. “We have an electric car that will cost you $600 a month” — with all the electric fuel you need and when you don’t want the car any longer, just give it back. No extra charges and no CO2 emissions.


Temple Fight To Break Out?

No, no. Not the Temple Mount. Just the Temple.

Cambodia, Thailand Prepare for Fight Over Temple

What started as a decision by Cambodia, with Thailand's blessing, to register the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has grown into a potential military conflict.

"This is a grave situation for Thailand's interests with potential for outbreak of hostilities," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

The dispute goes back to 1904, when the border between the two countries was established by French authorities. The century-old decision is a model of how old colonial ghosts continue to haunt Southeast Asian politics.

As of press time, Thai and Cambodian troops were facing off at the border area near the Hindu temple, with ministerial talks between the two nations scheduled for July 28. However, diplomats will have a hard time sorting out the issue because of the twisted political causes for the recent spat.

Sunset Over Ariel

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Suggested Freudian Analysis of Jacqueline Rose

Jacqueline Rose has been treated at this blog before (here).

An antizionist, she teaches at Queen Mary, University of London. "A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity", edited with Anne Karpf, Brian Klug and Barbara Rosenbaum is one of her books and A Question of Zion is another.

I participated in a question-and-answer session with her and we collaborated, sort of, on a book review she published in The Nation on Jabotinsky.

She has published a novel about was written:-

One of the central tenets of the feminist literary theory that has proliferated in recent years - "gynocriticism", as Elaine Showalter terms it - is the recuperation of female characters buried within fictional texts. Encompassing aspects of deconstruction and psychoanalytic theory, this was a project with many and various aims. By no means the least significant was to attempt a rereading - and, potentially, a re-inscription - of "textual women", which took into account previous misreadings, and explored the assumptions and difficulties inherent in their creation and their reception.

As a critic, Jacqueline Rose's work falls clearly into this corrective tradition; her studies reflect an interest, in her own words, in "the interface between literature, psychoanalysis, politics and culture". Now, as a first-time novelist, she has diverted these interests into a fictional production of her own, taking as her starting point one of the most famous heroines and one of the most famous novels in literary history.

Notice that word "deconstruction"?

Well, look at what Ms. Rose herself has written now about another novel:-

But by the time the novel has returned to this enigma several times, I was starting to feel uncomfortable, as if the aftermath of the war were being made to depend on how we decipher the sexual transgression of a woman (most of Schlink’s narrators, with the exception of the narrator of The Reader, seem to be more or less happy to admit their chauvinism if not misogyny).

But there is more, or rather worse, to come. The narrator will never find out how the story ends, but he does find its author: his own father, whom he believed to have been shot early in the war. Instead he turns out to have been a member of the SS, a devoted Nazi ideologue called Volker Vonlanden, who faked his own death and escaped to the US, where he is now John de Baur, a successful academic who teaches deconstruction and its relation to the law and who delights in experimenting on the mental and physical endurance of his students under the cover of scholarly retreats: ‘He had studied under Leo Strauss and Paul de Man and was the founder of the deconstructionist school of legal theory.’ It isn’t clear which is his greatest crime: having been a member of the SS, faking his identity, abandoning his son, or following the principles of deconstruction.

Hmmm. Is there something Freudian in this? Is Rose a bit uncomforatble with her savage attacks on Israel, discovering, perhaps, herself being deconstructed?

Picture credits I, II

Ever Heard of the Kabbalistic Concept of Tzimtzum?

Ever hear of the concept of tzimtzum?

Well, here's what some Kabbalah students saw last week as Madonna/Esther exited the Kabbalah Centre in Manhattan last Friday. Seems she has been exhibiting signs of strain as reflected in her face and arms.


Another pic here.

Maybe someone she teach her the meaning of zoftig, a goof Jewess trait.

They'll Call Him "President Barry" Soon

It's real.

HH 175 is Up

Here at FrumeSarah who is "Shabbos-observant -- in a Reform way, that is" because she is Rabbi Rebecca Yaël Schorr aka HaRav Rivka Yael bat HaRav Shalom Yaakov v'Racheil Shoshanah of Congregation B'nai Tzedek, Fountain Valley, CA.

Don't Give Them...

It reads:


Biblicalese Mistake

While funny, and even hilarious, this satirical piece of writing, a take down of Obama, includes a paragraph I take affront at.

Gerald Baker writes, inter alia,

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

What's wrong?

Well, why doesn't he mention Israel? He does mention a state that doesn't exist - 'Palestine'.

If he is manipulating a language called Biblicalese, then (a) Palestine isn;t in the good book whereas (b) Judea and Samaria are.

And if you're thinking that, (c) Arabs aren't in Scripture either, you're wrong:

Joshua 15:52
Arab and Dumah and Eshan,
Nehemiah 2:19
But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
Nehemiah 6:1
Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates,
Isaiah 13:20
It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there,
Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.
Jeremiah 3:2
“Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see;
Where have you not been violated?
By the roads you have sat for them
Like an Arab in the desert,
And you have polluted a land
With your harlotry and with your wickedness.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You Never Know Where the Temple Mount'll Pop Up

A new book out which deals with the Templars.

And they were, well, read on:

The Templars were a rum lot, all right, quite apart from Da Vinci Code imaginings. At the time of their suppression in 1312 they were accused of worshipping a head, of spitting on the crucifix, and of sodomy. These habits were presumed to have been picked up in Moorish lands. In 1314, their Grand Master, James of Molay, protesting his innocence, was burnt at the stake by Philip IV of France.

Only in 2005 was it discovered why he protested so much. A scroll misfiled in the Vatican Secret Archives turned out to be the sworn account of the interrogation of Molay and his colleagues at the castle of Chinon. They admitted that on initiation into the Templars they had been told to spit on the crucifix and to denounce Christ, but they declared they had not meant it in their hearts. As for sodomy, none admitted it, and none had worshipped any head.

The importance of the Chinon parchment is that it proves that Pope Clement V had absolved these Templars from their crimes and cleared them of any taint of heresy. The subsequent dissolution of the order was the work of the French king's persevering campaign.

And the Temple Mount?

Well, it started back in 1191 1119 and

The new foundation was granted as its headquarters the al-Aqsa former mosque. This domed building on the Temple Mount was thought at the time to be Solomon's Temple, hence Templars.

Michael Haag, in his well-knit narrative, gets through an enormous spread of history, helpfully telling readers what the Bible has to say about the Jewish Temple before running through the Roman, Muslim and Crusader centuries.


The Four Ladies of Shedma

Here they are, Jewesses all:

(l-r: Nadia Matar, Inna Viniarski, Datiya Yitzhaki and Yehudit Katzover)

And you ask 'what's Shedma?', right.

Well. I try to keep my posts shorter than longer, so let's just say it's an abandoned IDF base near Bethlehem that is about to go over to the PA and there's a struggle for its possession. More here, here and here.

The above four women have been in the forefront of organizing the effort to maintain a Jewish presence there. Nonviolence and positive constructive projects has been the method. Kol HaKavod! Ladies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jewesses Getting High

First mother-daughter Everest team waves flag for Israel

Cheryl and Nikki Bart of Sydney, Australia, became the first mother-daughter team to reach Mount Everest’s summit...on 24 May after battling the elements and perhaps the most extreme conditions on Earth...They are both active members of Australia’s Jewish community and graduates of Moriah College, the largest Jewish school in the Asia-Pacific region.

Reading Between the Lines

Two men were released from custody on Thursday after having been detained earlier in the day for firing in the air when Palestinians threw stones at their cars. Police said that the two had acted properly, since their lives were endangered by the stone-throwing. of the men stopped his car close to an IDF vehicle, took a weapon from one of the soldiers and fired into the air several times. The other driver fired his own weapon.

Yitzhar residents said the man who seized the soldier's gun was not a resident of the settlement, but rather an air-conditioning technician from Jerusalem. "He happened to be at the site and was hit by stones, and since the IDF did not respond, he decided to do something," explained one.

So, (a) he wasn't a "settler" and (b) he was justified and (c) why didn't the IDF respond properly?

The Babbling Whore of Palestine

Here she is, Tali Fahima, a woman scorned. Her beloved terrorist, aka freedom fighter, has betrayed her and the "revolution".

The kettle calling the pot black, methinks:

Zakariya Zubeidi is Israeli security service's whore

Tali Fahima, a Jewish Israeli woman who was tried and convicted for her contacts with Zakariya Zubeidi, former Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, criticized Zubeidi on Thursday, saying that he had turned into the "whore of the Shin Bet security service."

Speaking to Channel 10 news, Fahima complained that Zubeidi, who was once on Israel's most wanted list for his role in the Palestinian resistance, was now on friendly terms with the Shin Bet when it served his purposes.

Fahima referred to Zubeidi's recent request that the Shin Bet allow him leave the West Bank city of Jenin and undergo eye surgery in Ramallah.

So, the Left does manipulate the semantics of sexism.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yesha Council Chairman Quoted

Maskiot received government permission to reopen its doors to some two dozen families expelled from Gush Katif. That bothers Washington immensely.

And the NYTimes saw fit to include a reaction from Dany Dayan:-

According to Peace Now, an Israeli advocacy group that tracks settlement growth, there are over 100 established settlements and about 100 less formal outposts in the West Bank.

Settler leaders and government officials say that four illegal outposts have already been quietly removed but they refuse to go into details, saying that publicity limits the possibility of compromise.

Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, an umbrella group representing the settlers, said in a telephone interview that there was “no direct connection” between the permission for the new homes and the removal of outposts, though he said that the settlers’ unilateral removal of four outposts “may have created a positive atmosphere.”

And while on the subject of State Dept. peeving, have you read this?

Senior officials in the U.S. State Department, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have repeatedly complained to Israel recently over relatively minor Palestinian issues that it would have ignored until a few months ago, Israeli officials say.

Complaints about settlement construction or army operations that kill Palestinian civilians have always been the norm. But Israeli officials are worried by the State Department's new tendency to intervene in a much broader range of issues.

One such case occurred two weeks ago, when the daughter of Palestinian parliamentarian Hanan Ashrawi sought to visit Israel...She therefore asked the State Department to intervene...Another case was Washington's demand that 10 Gazan Fulbright scholars be allowed to enter Israel for visa interviews at the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem. However, Israel refused, saying they had been blacklisted for security reasons.

Rice personally intervened. In addition, an Israeli official said, the consulate leaked the story to the New York Times to embarrass Israel.

...Yet another case involved an eviction order issued to an East Jerusalem family over nonpayment of rent. Officials from the U.S. consulate visited the family and sent a telegram to Washington, and the State Department demanded that Israel prevent the eviction. The stunned Israelis responded that the eviction had been upheld by the High Court of Justice. Moreover, they said, this was an internal affair.

A senior Israeli official said that the person behind this growing American criticism is the U.S. consul in Jerusalem, Jacob Wallace [correct spelling Walles]. "Every week, he receives dozens of complaints from Palestinians and transfers them to Washington without examination," the official said. "He's really inflaming the atmosphere, causing public relations damage to Israel and even maydamage our relations with the U.S."

And I know of another case that Condi Rice personally demanded she be involved in regarding incidents between a Jewish farm and a nearby Arab family, asking for documentation and pictures.

The Rabbi Came Second (at the Wedding)

Andrew Lippa, a composer, and David Bloch, a film marketing executive, were married on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Diane Wayne, a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, officiated at the home of Paula Holt, a friend of Judge Wayne’s.

On Sunday, Rabbi Daniel Sklar will lead a religious ceremony with his wife, Cantor Shirah Sklar, at the Mr. Lippa’s and Mr. Bloch’s country house in Milford, Pa.

Well, Jewish Family Service

Mr. a son of Ellen Bloch and Donald M. Bloch of Framingham, Mass. His mother retired from the Jewish Family Service of Metrowest in Framingham.

And when love fits

Mr. Lippa and Mr. Bloch met in May 1998 in the lobby of the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center...Mr. Lippa said he was “instantly smitten” by Mr. Bloch. “I felt that magic thing you feel with someone who fits,” he said.


And here we have mixed traditions:

Kimberlee Dawn Auletta, a daughter of Mary and Richard Auletta of Manhattan, was married on Saturday to Eric Daniel Landau, a son of Nancy and Peter Landau of New Hope, Pa. The Rev. Cathlin Baker, a minister of the United Church of Christ, led a ceremony that included Christian and Jewish traditions at the summer home of the bride’s parents in Killingworth, Conn.

Here, too

Tamara Lynn Wieder and William Brock Bair were married on Saturday at Blithewold, a historic house and estate in Bristol, R.I. Dennis I. Revens, who retired as the administrator of the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court in Providence, officiated at a ceremony incorporating Presbyterian and Jewish traditions that was led by Anne D. Lowrance, a friend of the bridegroom’s family.

And one more

Suzanne Christa Hoppough and Neil Robert Blecher were married on Saturday at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. Rabbi David Abrahams officiated at the ceremony, and Cathleen M. Brauen, a minister of the Sanctuary of the Beloved, assisted.

Not Quite a Burning Bush But...

Crazy Kristoff

Tough Love for Israel is another Nichola Kristoff op-ed that misunderstands Israel, misrepresents its situation and misleads those who wish to support it.

You can comment at his blog and my comment there read thus-

You've written:

True, Jews have deep ties to Hebron, just as Christians do to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but none of these bonds confer any right to live in these places or even visit them. If Israel were to bar American Christians from Jerusalem, that would not be grounds for the United States to send in paratroopers and establish settlements. And if Israel insists on controlling the West Bank, then it needs to give citizenship to Palestinians there so that they can vote just like the settlers.

Well, first off, using that Christian analogy, you, I must presume, deny that the Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism are one. While Christians might think they have rights (this is a made-up case) to the Temple Mount just because Jesus overturned some tables there, we have rights to Hebron and Shiloh not only because the Biblical history and archeology, too, attest to the Jewish people's presence there - a situation which permitted the entire civilized world 80 years ago this day to authorize, through a Mandate to Gt. Britain, the reconstitution of the Jewish national home in Palestine in a territory, surprise!, that included Judea and Samaria - today's "the territories". And since for over 30 years the Arabs of the area did absolutely little to actually prepare themselves for future statehood but rather attacked, killed, pillaged, raped and robbed Jews, and pressured Gt. Britain to declare Palestine off-limits to Jews just as Hitler went into Poland, Russia, etc. and killed 6 million Jews, potential immigrants, they never achieved any national goal and wouldn't even accept the 1947 Partition which, in addition to giving a Saudi Arabian refugee an eventual kingdom in the eastern portion of Palestine, gave them have of the left-over western section.

As for citizenship, well, I'd be for it if we can wait about 15 years to undo all the hate education instilled in Arab children by the PA's system for the last 15 years, have the Hamas disappear, have the Western world stop rewarding Arab terror by contributing monies to the PA which are promptly stolen and embezeled, and have Jews being allowed to pray on the Temple Mount just like Jews and Muslims can pray in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs. That isn't so much to ask of peace-loving people, is it?

Have a say!



My comment is up - #60

One for the Good Guys

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a surprise pre-dawn visit to Jerusalem's Western Wall on Thursday, at the end of a trip aimed at showing his strong support for Israel.

Obama, wearing a Jewish skullcap, placed a prayer he had written in the wall and bowed his head while a rabbi read a psalm calling for peace in the holy city.

One worshipper chanted "Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale" and "Jerusalem is our land" as the Illinois senator stood at the wall, a relic of the ancient Jewish temple destroyed during Roman rule nearly 2,000 years ago.


And While We're on Films: 66


England, the summer of ’66 and the country is about to be consumed by World Cup Fever. For 12-year-old Bernie (GREGG SULKIN), the biggest day of his life is looming, the day he becomes a man - his Bar Mitzvah. However Bernie’s North London family seems a little distracted. His father Manny (EDDIE MARSAN) is concerned about the giant supermarket opening opposite his grocery shop, a business he shares with his more charismatic younger brother, Jimmy (PETER SERAFINOWICZ) -- and it’s making Manny’s bizarre obsessive compulsive disorder even worse than usual.

Between worrying about Manny and Bernie’s older brother Alvie (BEN NEWTON), mother Esther (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) barely has time to notice her better behaved younger son, and the only attention Bernie ever gets from Alvie is a punch for stepping onto the wrong side of their shared bedroom. Bernie believes his Bar Mitzvah is about to change all this. He’ll no longer be the kid everyone ignores, and he envisions and begins to plan the perfect ceremony and reception, where everyone assembled will acknowledge his new status as a man. Unfortunately for Bernie, things don’t quite go according to plan...READ MORE

Happy Anniversary

Eli E. Hertz writes:

86 years ago - on July 24, 1922, the League of Nations (equivalent to today's UN) published the historical document "Mandate for Palestine" that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine - the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.

The "Mandate for Palestine" was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

It is important to note that political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate]. [but Eli, there was a major difference in the definition of the type of Mandate. The Palestine Mandate was a Class 'A', unlike the others!]

Any attempt to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine - Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated as the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations is a serious infringement of international law.

Those claiming that Jewish settlements in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are illegally occupied, should answer just one simple question: In 1922 Jewish settlements were perfectly legal - What has changed?