Monday, January 31, 2005

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Kotel(Part Two)

Click here to read Part One

I call home and one of my daughters answers the phone.
"Has Ima come home yet," I ask.
"No," is the answer.
"Well tell her to call me right away the minute that she gets home!"

I walk over to the entrance of the City of David. There's a security guard there to protect the Jewish residents from the Arab Islamofascists.
"Tell me. Did a tow truck come and tow a Mitsubishi from the Givati parking lot?" I inquire.
"Not as far as I know."
"Listen, my wife said she parked our car here and now I cannot find it."
"Maybe she parked it up there near the Old City wall. The Jerusalem Municipality tows away the cars that park up there."
"Thanks a lot."

I walk back to the parking lot. The Arab kids are starting to get curious. What is the Yahud looking for?
"I am looking for my car," I explain. I soon see that their Hebrew is not much better than my Arabic, and in any case they won't be able to help me.

Suddenly the familiar hip tickle. My cellphone is ringing. It's my wife.
"I cannot find the car! I've been walking around here for ten minutes and I cannot find the car!" I exclaim.
"Misken! In the end someone came and helped me start the car, Baruch Hashem. It seems that the car was not in "park" and that is why I could not start it. I am at home now but I am on the way out to buy food for Shabbat. Why don't you go to the Kotel to thank G-d that it turned out like this?"

To be continued.

Why I Was Not At The Demonstration

As I write these lines a huge demonstration is taking place near Prime Minister Sharon's office. Those who oppose Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and in the process ethnically cleanse the Gaza Strip of its Jewish residents, are protesting Sharon's dictatorial behavior, and demand that the matter be brought to the people in the form of a referendum. There are several major flaws here, each one of them enough to prevent me from participating:

1) The referendum that the protesters are requesting was already held a few years ago. Labor candidate Amram Mitzna ran on a platform calling for unilateral withdrawal, while the Likud candidate Sharon dissed such an idea. The Likud won almost twice as many seats as the Labor Party.

2) I hold that the destruction of Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel is against Jewish Law. Even if 99% of the public supported such an action, I will not support it and will do nothing to implement it. If the laws of men conflict with the laws of G-d, my loyalty will always be with G-d.

3) Demonstrations are a tool in a democracy. Since the present Prime Minister has disdained his own party's platform and two internal party elections which rejected his disengagement plan, he has become a dictator. Democratic tools do not work with dictators.

So instead of wasting my time hearing the same banal speeches that are repeated ad nauseam at demonstrations of this kind, I attended my daf yomi class as usually and learned another page of Talmud. This is my contribution to the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.

The Prevarications of Disengagement (Part 2)

One of the claims used to sell Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan is that we will finally be rid of all those nasty Islamofascists from Gaza (disengagement cultees call them Palestinians). If we destroy the Jewish communities in the Gush Katif and other areas of the Gaza strip, the Islamonazis will be on one side of the border, and we will be on the other side of the border. Thus peace shall reign in our little corner of the Middle East.

This sounds familiar. All this was supposed to happen with the implementation of the "Gaza and Jericho First" agreement. Of course, we all know that exactly the opposite occurred. The number of Israelis killed and wounded by Arab terrorists(yes I use the t- word) skyrocketed. Based on past experience, this will happen again if G-d forbid Sharon succeeds in carrying out his idiotic program. What's more, the Gazans will continue to cross the border to work in Israel. Soldiers will continue to die when the Arab ingrates blow themselves up at the border crossings which were set up for their economic benefit. Israeli towns and villiages near Gaza will become the victim of PA police snipers. The Islamofascists will continue to target Israeli civilians with homemade missiles and probably with more sophisticated ones that will be smuggled accross the Egyptian border under the Egyptian army's watchful eyes.

Those responsible for the careless decision to import terrorists from Tunis and arm them, in a normal country, would have been distanced from any position of power. Indeed the Israeli electorate rejected those that have made them mourners and cripples. However in Israel's dysfunctional political system, the present government is implementing the very policy that was rejected by the electorate. How utterly disgusting it is to see Shimon Peres once again a minister in the Israeli government! Excuse me while I puke!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mubarak The Dictator

It is amazing that the press, when refering to the dictator of Egypt, calls him "President Mubarak." Even Arutz 7, which is an island of sanity among the sea of Israel's LLL media, refers to Dictator Hosni as "Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak." It is really pathetic to hear "President Bush" and "President Mubarak" mentioned in the same breath. The former is a president, while the latter is a dictator!

It was interesting to read the following today at Power Line:

Roger peaked again just before he signed off last night:

9:40 - Mubarak is getting dissed on Fox. He deserves it. Iraq gets democracy. Why not Egypt? Time to eliminate hypocrisy from foreign policy. We're on the way.

Right on!

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Kotel

A friend called me on Thursday. He said that he would be in Jerusalem on Sunday for the big demonstration against the "disengagement plan". In the course of his visit he would of course go to the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Temple Mount to pray. I said, "I haven't been to the Kotel in a long time, perhaps I will go there for Minchah (the afternoon prayer) today."

Well Minchah time came and I thought to myself, "It's Thursday. Tomorrow you have to go shopping and prepare the Sabbath. Dovven(pray in Yiddish) Minchah at the office minyan. You'll just get tired out if you go to the Kotel today." So I dovvenned with the office minyan. In the middle of the silent prayer I felt something tickling my hip. It was my cellphone, in silent-vibrating mode. Well you cannot stop in the middle of prayer to answer a cellphone! Soon the tickling stopped. After the prayer service was over I left the synagogue and looked at my cellphone. The unanswered call came from a number that I did not recognize. What's more, they left me a message. Who was the mysterious caller?

I listened to the message. It was none other than my wife calling from a stranger's cellphone. She had travelled to the Old City that day, parking her car in the "Givati" parking lot near the City of David. She said that she could not start the car, and that she had to get home to take care of the children. "Figure a way to get the car out of here. We have a problem," was the end of the message.

I called the cellphone that my wife had used. "Excuse me. My wife used your cellphone to call me. Are you still near her?"
"No, I'm far away already. She's stuck with her car in the Givati parking lot."
"Thanks so much," I said and hung up.

So I left work, making sure that I had the number of the towing company that the car insurance pays for. A million thoughts go through my head: What's wrong with the car? Maybe she ran out of gas? Will I be able to start the car, or will I have to call a tow truck? How long will I have to wait for a tow truck? Suddenly I catch myself and say, "What are you getting all worked up about? G-d will help and everything will be alright."

I entered Jaffa Gate and special atmosphere of the Old City hits you: Arab merchants, Armenian priests, European tourists, and ultra-Ortodox yeshiva students are all together in this special world. I turn right by the Tower of David. There's the Kishle, the police station. I had mixed feelings when I saw the men in blue. I know that these guys work day and night to protect us, on the other hand I recalled my own experiences with the police's mounted troops and their horses. Those guys scared the you know what out of me during the anti-Oslo Agreement prostests. Back then the slogan we said was, "Don't give them guns!" Unfortunately we were absolutely right.

Further down the street the aroma of treif food from an Armenian restaurant assaults my nostrils. Turn left. Soon I'm in the Jewish Quarter. Jerusalem, I love you! I used to guide tours here, but now is not the time for sightseeing! The car, the car! I walk down Batei Machase Street. Beyond the Old City's walls, a majestic view of the City of David below is revealed before my eyes. "As mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the L-rd is round about His people from now and for eternity(Psalms 125:2)." I leave the Old City through the Dung Gate and head down to the "Givati" parking lot. I see a lot of cars and bunch of scruffy looking Arab children playing with an even scruffier looking soccer ball. I survey the entire lot very carefully. My car is nowhere to be found.

To be continued.

Breaking In To The Blogsphere

Breaking into the blogsphere has not been easy. I referenced an entry in Michelle Malkin's blog in one of my posts but for some reason Cosmic X did not get listed as a trackback. I'm so insulted!

Same thing happened when Power Line. I was sure that Hindrocket, The Big Trunk, and Deacon, once they saw the Cosmic X blog, would invite me to join them on the talk show circuit to talk about how the blogshere will make the MSM obsolete. In the meantime silence. Nothing but deafening silence!

I had a little better luck with Little Green Footballs. My first entry pings one of his older posts. I actually saw Cosmic X in his list of "last Referers" but I disappeared pretty quickly as everone refers to LGF. Charles has put still has not put me on his list of Anti-Idiotarians. That's okay, I 'll just have to be patient.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Homosexuality Is Nothing To Be Proud Of

I remember hearing a recording of former New Jersey Governer McGreevy on the radio here in Israel saying,"I am a gay American." Well friends, I have a confession to make: I am a heterosexual Israeli. Actually I was born in America and have dual citizenship so that makes me a heterosexual American. Maybe I should write that I am a heterosexual-Israeli-American, or an American-Israeli-heterosexual. I really love being Israeli, American and heterosexual. I know that there are some of you out there that will accuse me of multiple loyalties, but that's just the way I am.

The last couple of years the queers and the dykes, I mean the gays, have been holding a "gay pride" here in Jerusalem, much to the chagrin of most of the inhabitants. I have never been able to figure out why somebody is proud that his reproduction system gets aroused by members of the same sex. Is having your wires crossed something to be proud of?

Do not get me wrong. I do not think that heterosexuality is something to be proud of either. I will not attend a heterosexual pride parade. I am very grateful to G-d for being this way, for this facilitates a good married life and progeny. I am not proud of being heterosexual. It is nothing to be proud of.

If there are any feigeles, I mean gays out there reading my blog, do me a favor. Do not come to Jerusalem to hold your "gay pride" parade this year or any year. It is an affront to the vast majority of the residents, and a discourtesy to our city's holy status. The truth is that the "gay pride" parade is also an affront to San Francisco and Amsterdam. Homosexuality is nothing to be proud of.

Update: After writing this I discovered that Jack Engelhard wrote something similar.

Oh well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Continuing Marginalization of the Religious Zionists

Religious Zionists were just recovering from the Education Ministry's lame attempt to discriminate against Yehiva University graduates, when they received another blow below the belt. IDF Personnel Corps Commander Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern has decided to disband the special yeshivat hesder units in the army. Maj.-Gen. Stern's disbanding of the Hesder is just another attempt to push the religious Zionists out of the mainstream of Israeli life.

"Beginning with the upcoming recruitment in March, the hesder yeshiva students – who combine army service with yeshiva study in a five-year combined program – will not serve in special hesder companies. Instead, they will be dispersed in smaller groups throughout larger battalions.

"We have no interest in ideological units in the army," said Stern, himself an observant Jew, to Army Radio today. "The IDF is an army of the people, and people should get to know each other, and not think that the other side has horns." He implied that even the Nachal Hareidi - special units that enabled many hareidi-religious soldiers to serve in the army because of their nearly-total separate nature - might be dismantled as well.

The special hesder units were established to enable the observant soldiers to pray together and otherwise maintain their religious way of life."

As one who has served in the army, I can testify to the fact that it is very difficult to maintain a religious way of life there. Stern's decision is really a form of secular coercion. I know he wears a kippa. So what? He is a tool in the hand of the secularists. This decision is a way to force young religious men to be in an environment that is an absolute contradiction to the values that they were raised on. The army's secular atmosphere as well as the pressure of being a soldier will be too much for many young soldiers to bear. This was the reason for establishing the hesder units in the first place!

I imagine that some religious Zionist parents will continue to send their children to the army. When their one of their sons comes home bareheaded from bootcamp, those parents will roll their eyes towards heaven and cry,"Oy vey. What happened to Rafi. He doesn't keep Shabbat anymore!" Other parents, not willing to sacrifice their sons' souls on the State of Israel's secular altar, will find ways for their children not to enlist. Vehamevin Yavin!
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The Prevarications of Disengagement (Part 1)

Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan is immoral and anti-democratic. Consequently, it is not surprising that the supporters of his plan (who I call members of the "disengagement cult") are resorting to the lowest forms of disinformation and deception.

One of the claims that is often posted in internet forums and talkbacks by disengagement cult members is that the Gaza strip is not part of the Land of Israel. Indeed, Gaza appears many times in scripture as a Philistine city, for instance:

"And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day. And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a guilt-offering unto the LORD: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;" (Samuel I 6:16-17)

However, a close look at the Bible shows that Gaza is certainly part of the Promissed Land:

"This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families....Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; unto the Brook of Egypt, the Great Sea being the border thereof."(Joshua 15:1, 15:47)

True, Gaza was occupied by Philistines for a certain period, and is occupied by Arabs today. This in no way diminishes from the fact that Gaza is part of Eretz Yisrael.

With regards to settlements in Northern Samaria, even the disengagement cult admit that they are part of Biblical Israel.

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No Mention Of Cosmic X

Power Line reports about which is supposed to be "portal where most of the respected bloggers, massive blog engines, and just plain good & well maintained blogs were easily found and accessed." Well I poked around there and I did not find the Cosmic X blog. I am so disappointed.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

America In Search Of Modest Dress

I was glad to see that Michelle Malkin and others are distressed by immodest dress. IMHO the subject of modest dress can be split up into two separate subjects: "How" and "Why". As for the the "Why" I saw an excellent article by Dina Coopersmith at As for the "How", this matter is covered extensively in Jewish Law. The "Biblical Garden Clothing Collection" has a summary of these laws.

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A Glatt Kosher Deal?

Haaretz reports that Liora Glatt-Berkowitz (LGB for short) and
the prosection have reached a plea bargain:

Plea bargain agreed in Glatt-Berkowitz case

The plea bargain in the case of attorney Liora Glatt-Berkowitz, who confessed to leaking details of the investigation into South African businessman Cyril Kern to Haaretz correspondent Baruch Kra, will be submitted to Tel Aviv's Magistrate Court next month. Glatt-Berkowitz leaked the details about Kern, who was suspected of bribing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, three weeks before the elections of 2003. Glatt-Berkowitz was charged with fraud and breach of trust and breach of duty. The prosecution agreed to drop the more serious charge of fraud and breach of trust as part of the plea bargain, which was reached after several months of negotiations. It was also agreed that the prosecution will ask for a suspended sentence and a fine, and Glatt-Berkowitz will announce her resignation from the civil service. (Zvi Harel)

This kind of leaves me scratching my head. LGB escapes
a jail sentence, but what did the prosecution gain? It seems to me they had an airtight case, since LGB reportedly admitted to committing the crimes that she was accused of. This deal will not do anything to improve the impression that the Israeli courts tend to give leftists and especially Ashkenazi leftists preferential treatment.

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Rathergate Arouses Old Memories

The minute I saw the Killian memo on the Little Green Footballs blog I knew it was a fake. I could not have articulated the reasons as well as some of the Lizardoids there but it was obvious that the document was not produced in the early 1970s. Typewritten documents just did not look like that!

I could understand why somebody under 30 years of age, who may have never seen a typewriter in his life could be fooled. But how could Dan Rather, the veteran reporter, not recognize such an amateur fraud?

This whole incident made me think back to the early 1970s. Imagine a world without cellphones, email, internet, personal computers and fax machines. I remember how my mother (may she live until 120) used to help me with my school reports, typing them on a Remington typewriter that she probably bought in the 1950s. You had to have strong fingers to press down those keys! I distinctly remember the sound of the bell when you would reach the end of the line, and the sound that was made when my mom would return the "carriage". (That's right kiddies. CRLF means "carriage return line feed" and that meant pushing a lever that would physically move the carriage back the beginning of the line. This action would simultaneously rotate the page one line down!) In school the tests and quizzes were printed on ditto sheets. The Xerox copying machines were yet to be born. The print was purple, sometimes barely legible. These ditto sheets had a smell that I was not too fond of.

In college thing were not much different. Mom was not around to type my papers so I had to do it myself. I used a portable Smith Corona typewriter that my brother had also used. Correcting mistakes was a pain in the you know what. Even worse, the only spelling checker we had back then was our brains!

In those days the Texas Instruments pocket calculators had just come out. Previously, engineering students would walk around with sliderules. Now how many of you know what a sliderule looks like? Who today would know how tho use one?

Technology has certainly advanced. But have we really become any wiser?

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