Monday, August 29, 2005

Passing The Site Of The Murder

I was just at the kotel. On the way home I walked through the Shuk. Near the end of the Shuk I passed the place where Shmuel Matt z"l hy"d was murdered by an Arab. Paper signs, written in Hebrew and English are posted on the wall, letting those who pass by know that they are passing the place where the detestable murder took place. A yahrzeit candle was also burning there. A young woman who was at the site asked us if I wanted to say Tehillim for Shmuel's soul, and pointed to a a stack of Tehillim. Of course I said yes.

The Generation After

I have no doubt that the Israelis that settled in the Gaza Strip will be remembered by future generations of Jews as heroes. They followed in the footsteps of the Vilna Gaon's students, settling the land of Israel with great personal sacrifice (mesirut nefesh).

On the other hand I have a feeling that future generations will attach the "shem resha'im yirkav" or even the "yimach shmo" suffix to the names of those who surrendered to Arab terrorism and decided to make the Gaza Strip judenrein. These Jews will be lumped together in the collective national consciousness with the biblical spies that rejected the land of Israel. In some repects they are much worse than the spies.

That's just my humble opinion.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

So Much To Blog And So Little Time

I really have a lot to say about what has been happening in Israel, but it is vacation time! The X family is trying to enjoy itself in spite of the terrible tragedy that has befallen the country. The destruction of the Jewish communitees in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria is an immense tragedy, a tragedy not only for those that were expelled from their homes but for the entire country and the Jewish people as a whole. The fact that many do not realize this only adds to the dimensions of the tragedy. "Dead flesh does not feel the cutting of the scalpel." Apparently it will take time for many Israelis to awake from their slumber.

Shavua Tov everybody! We will not fall prey to depression and mourning. We will redouble our efforts to serve G-d with joy, to build and to be built in the land of Israel.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We Are Still Orange

The orange strips are still attached to our car. I thought of removing them, but Moshe X convinced me to leave them where they are. The settlements may have been destroyed, but we remain orange.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Giving A Prize To Terror

From last Thursday's protest at the entrance of Jerusalem. The sign says, "Sharon the dictator is giving a prize to terror".

sharon the dictator

And this is only part of what is wrong with the destruction of the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Good Question

Here's a picture from last Thursday's protest at the entrance to Jerusalem. The protester asks an interesting question:
"What happened to land for peace
now - land for terrorism?!?"

I do not think that he will receive a reasonable answer soon!

land for terror

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Sunset Of Kfar Darom

Moshe X returned to Jerusalem last Thursday after being expelled from Kfar Darom. I asked him to put into writing his experiences, so perhaps I can post them in the future.

He also took some pictures. Here's one of the last sunsets in Kfar Darom before the expulsion of its residents:

sunset in kfar darom

Shalom Kfar Darom! We shall return!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Terrible Crime Against The Entire Jewish People

From The Israel Reporter:
I went on the bus ride from hell today, which I will describe in greater detail with photographs tomorrow. At this time, I have had one 6-hour stretch of sleep in 4 nights, and I am frankly having trouble making this post. In summary fashion, being escorted by your own army (and if not dragged or carried) from your home (because you are Jewish) is a terrible crime against the entire Jewish people.
I couldn't have said it better.

Moshe X In Kfar Darom

I called my son last night. He said that Kfar Darom is beautiful. The people are wonderful and the air is nice.

This morning he called me and told me that he is in the synagogue and that the troops have entered the town.

Update 12:00 noon: My son is on the roof of the synagogue. He told me that the Chief of Staff has arrived in Kfar Darom.

Update 14:50: My mother-in-law reports that she saw Moshe X on Israeli television. The expulsion of the residents of Kfar Darom has begun. According to Israeli television those currently in the synagogue will be the last to be forcibly expelled.

Update 15:50: I talked to my son on the telephone. He is inside the synagogue. He is under the impression that the troops will come to expel them shortly.

Please Stop!

Enough is enough! Please stop these senseless killings! Also, please find better ways to protest.


Update: See Me-ander for background on the Shilo attack.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Winners and Losers

The Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip are being destroyed one by one. Israel's corrupt government, acting against the will of the electorate, with the support of the Israeli media, is perpetrating an act of evil. Yes, this is evil. Comfortings words, hugs, apologies, and a sea of crocodile tears from the perpetrators will not wash away this fact.

These are the acts of Jews that have forsaken G-d, that have forsaken Torah. Their love of the land of Israel has been transformed into a pathological hatred. The result is the devastation of thriving Jewish communitees, the ability to throw brave, patriotic, pioneering families out of their homes, and to give them over to barbaric murderers. Rabbi Kook zt"l warned us about the danger posed by these people.

The losers in the "battle" raging in Gush Katif are not the settlers being thrown out of their houses or the "illegal residents" who may be thrown into jail. The losers are the "destroyers and monsters", the committers of this evil, from the highest echelons of the government until the lowest ranking soldier.

"When the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they may be destroyed for ever." (Psalms 92:8)

Read The Black Blog

Biur Chametz, who went from orange to black, confronts Sharon's disengagement from common sense, and examines Sharon's latest speech to the nation.

Pics From Yesterday's Protest At The Entrance To Jerusalem

A policeman with peyos. Only in Israel!

A policeman with peyos

The sign says, "I will never join the Israeli Expulsion Army."

I will never join the Israeli Expulsion Army.

The sign says, "Commander! I am not able!"

Commander, I am not able!

Ubiquitous Lubavitcher Rebbe pictures:

Lubavitcher Rebbe pictures

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Protesting The Expulsion

From Arutz 7:
The Joint Committee Against the Expulsion is calling upon everyone who is unable to travel southward toward Gush Katif to gather groups of activists and take to the streets at 7 PM.

"It is unconscionable that life will go on as normal in Israel on the day the government of Israel prepares to uproot Jews," read a statement from the group, an amalgamation of extra-parliamentary groups opposed to the expulsion. "As long as Jews remain in Gush Katif, the struggle is not lost and everyone is drafted to take part."

The call is for people to take to major intersections and thoroughfares to protest, pray and block roads - according to their ability and preference.

A Conversation With My Cousin

My cousin (we'll call him Dr. Y) is one of Israel's leading doctors. He's a typical secular Ashkenazi Israeli who lives in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, what Israelis call Gush Dan. Dr. Y. is a very nice, intelligent guy who almost never votes in Israel's elections. This always struck me as strange, for two reasons:

1) My American upbringing caused me to associate lack of participation in the democratic process with the lower socioeconomic classes and

2) The percentage of Israelis that vote is usually high

The other day I called him to see how he was doing. He asked about the family and I told him that my eldest son is currently in Kfar Darom. He said that he is not surprised knowing our family's history and political orientation. I actually detected a little admiration in his voice. I then mentioned my disappointment with Israel's political system, law enforcement and media. I told him that the checks and balances that were supposed to protect us from corruption failed. He said that among his patients are Knesset members, and he proceeded to rattle off some names. "I know many of them personally," he added. Then Dr. Y. switched to English, as Israelis do when they want to emphasize something.

"Nobody there (in the Knesset) cares about us," he said.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Have You Met Joe Settler?

Here's a new blog: JoeSettler. I discovered him while visiting The Muqata, where he is guest blogging. Here writes good stuff, very good stuff. Highly recommended!

The Pillory Of Shame

'People, who operate the "Disengagement" are human beings, family men, high positions bearers. They are adults who are thoroughly knowledgeable of the implications of the felony they are committing by carrying out the uprooting and expulsion of their fellowmen. And yet they are willing to execute these commands, consciously and cold-bloodedly, for the sake of their promotion, false honor, publicity, and greed, or - "just" to preserve their breadwinning or else even out of blind, robotic obedience. Their aspirations for selfish welfare and career come at the expense of the safety and existence of the whole nation - in addition to the blood, the shattered dreams and the suffering, not mentioning the soundness and healthiness of their brothers and sisters.'
This is a quote from The Pillory Of Shame web site, which is documenting those who are behind the crime of destroying Gaza's Jewish communittees and those who are implementing the destruction. If you understand Hebrew, be sure to visit the Hebrew site as it contains information that the English site lacks.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It Was Awesome!

Yesterday's prayer at the Western Wall was a very special, unforgetable experience.

The prayers started on time at 6:00. Surprise! Hello, am I in Israel? After Minchah, the special prayers started. There were special booklets available containing the special prayers to be said, one of which I held in my hand. After the fact it turns out that some of the prayers said were not in the booklet, and some of the prayers in the booklet were not said. The plaza is full of people, but not packed tight like sardines.

Different people rabbis led the prayers at different points in time. The reknowned cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot was particularly impressive with his piercing tenor voice. When the crowd chanted the 13 midot together with the sounding of trumpets and ram's horns, I felt like my entire body was electified. Another memorable point was when Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef blessed the entire crowd.

During the prayers I could see that the entire plaza was full. What I did not know is that all of the streets and alleyways leading to the Kotel were also packed with people that were prevented by the police from going any further. Unlike a previous prayer rally, this time my promptness payed off. After Maariv, it took me perhaps an hour just to get out of the Old City. The crowd was well behaved, and as far as I know nobody got trampled.

This was an impressive event, reminiscent of the 1999 prayer/protest against Israel's Supreme Court. But in my mind, the location of yesterday's prayer made yesterday's event more special. It gave us all a taste of what aliyah laregel will be like, speedily and in our days, Amen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mazuz Denies Israeli Leftist Tenet

AG Mazuz denied one of the tenets of the Israeli Left:
Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz said on Wednesday that there was "no proof" that the killer of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 was driven to commit the murder because of incitement against the prime minister, and that the death was a direct result of the failure of his security guards to protect him.
These are obvious and simple truths as far as I am concerned, but for the leftists this is the denial of an article of faith.

Update: Check out what Am Echad has to say about this.

Update: Also this at Israel Perspectives.

Update: Rabin lackey Eitan Haber has a hard time dealing with the truth.

Tefillah At The Kotel Today

I will, Bli Nedder, be there!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Al Tishlach Yadcha El HaNa'ar *********

While the entire world was busy chatting about the latest Harry Potter book, I was reading "Al Tishlach Yadcha El HaNaar", by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. Rabbi Lau is well known all over the world as the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, and is currently the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. The book tells Rabbi Lau's life story, from his amazing survival of the holocaust through his event filled term as Israel's Chief Rabbi.

This book is simply fantastic! It is a best-seller here in Israel, and it will be no doubt be translated into many languages. There are certain things in the book that I don't agree with, for instance his flattering descriptions of Yitzchak Rabin, Nelson Mandella and Fidel Castro. However, this does not detract from the overall greatness of the book. I give it nine cosmic stars out of ten.

An Order That Is Against Jewish Law Has No Authority

Rabbi Avraham Shapira reiterates his halachic ruling that it is forbidden to take part in the destruction of Jewish communities in the land of Israel. Here is a link (in Hebrew) containing the ruling.

This Is Really A "Must See"!

Check out this great photo essay of last Sunday's civil disobedience in Kfar Darom. Compare it to this dry report from

Monday, August 08, 2005

Rabbi Shapira Calls on IDF Chief Rabbi to Resign

From Arutz 7:
Rabbi Avraham Shapira, the dean of Jerusalem’s Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva and a former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi has called on his student, IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Yisrael Weiss to resign from the IDF.
From Ynet:
“IDF rabbis are also bound by Jewish law,” said Rabbi Shapira, and hinted that Weiss could “cleanse himself in an instant” by returning to civilian life.

Shapira added his opinion that the Jewish law forbidding giving parts of the land of Israel to non-Jews applied to civilians as well as soldiers.

“Expulsion of Jews is halachically (Jewish law) forbidden.”
Rabbi Weiss is now in a once-in-a-lifetime situation where he can sanctify G-d's name by listening to his rabbi and resign, in spite of the personal price he will pay. Let's see if he is up to it.

Update: Rabbi Shapira's own words.

Moshe X In Gush Katif

My son successfuly penetrated the pre-expulsion blockade, and is now residing in Gush Katif. Ken Yirbu!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bibi Resigns!

It's about time! Here are some excerpts from his resignation letter:
“It’s becoming clear that the unilateral withdrawal under fire is not giving us a thing. The opposite is true, it undermines the security of Israel, splits the nation, entrenches the principle of withdrawal to the 1967 borders, which are not defensible, and is not the way to achieve peace,” Netanyahu wrote in his letter.

“What do we get in exchange for the withdrawal?” Bibi asks in his resignation notice. “What do we get in return for the uprooting of families and their children, homes, and graves? We’ll get an Islamic terror base. In recent months I hoped the government would open its eyes in the face of this clear reality and change course, but the opposite happened.”

“A balanced government reflecting the will of the people in the last elections has turned into a government that automatically executes a policy that contradicts Likud principals and the mandate we received from our voters.”
Let's hope that other ministers will follow suit!

Od Yosef Chai!

Before writing this post I have a confession to make. My knowledge of torat hanigle is quite limited, and my knowledge of torat hanistar is almost non-existent. Despite all this -

I had the privilege of taking part in the "Od Yosef Chai" prayer as outlined in the book Kol HaTor by Rabbi Hillel of Shklov, a disciple of the Vilna Gaon. About 30 people gathered at a place in Jerusalem which, according to tradition, is "Pitcha DeQarta" to say the prayers.

May G-d answer our prayers and may all the evil decrees be annulled!

Sharon And The Number 40

Here is something interesting that was published in Ha'aretz (surprise!). Read Letter from Gush Katif / A message to Arik .

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Something Positive For A Change

People are making aliyah, even in these turbulent times. Check out this great post from Point of Pinchas:
But still, there are two ways to move a donkey with the stick or with the carrot. And when SEVEN Nefesh B'Nefesh planes full North Americans – that are living the "good life" go ahead and "throw it all away" to make Aliyah – not because we are being beaten by a stick but because we are chasing the carrot – that's something to sound the proverbial great Shofar about and announce to the world! I'm here because I WANT to be here. I'm here because I WANT to be Home!

Corruption, Disengagement, And The Israeli MSM

Does anyone involved in the "disengagement" (the Orwelliand word for expelling Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria in order to make these places Judenrein) have anything to gain financially? Eival Giladi sure does:
Yet a third such enterprise has as its managing director none other than Eival Giladi, the official in the Prime Minister's office whom Sharon has designated as the "coordinator" of the expulsion-retreat. The British-owned Portland Trust corporation has plans to raise US$500 million to build 150,000 housing units for Arabs on the land seized from the Jewish farmers. Giladi will substantially augment his meager income as an Israeli civil servant by directing the development of the land, whose present owners are to be "evacuated," after he supervises their expulsion himself. No public official, it would seem, has ever had a stronger incentive for getting his job done!
Will the Israeli MSM report about such corruption? Apparently not:
Independent Journalist David Bedein, speaking from the audience, asked Dankner a biting question, which the latter did not answer. Bedein wanted to know whether tomorrow's edition of Maariv would feature a report on the conflict of interest of Eival Giladi, recently appointed by Sharon to a high-ranking disengagement post - despite the fact that he represents major investors in Palestinian Authority housing projects. Bedein noted that reporters from the right-wing papers covered this story, but that no one from the mainstream newspapers did.
The IDF soldier or policeman who takes part in this, is not only sinning according to many important rabbis, he is also a pawn in a scheme to line the pockets of others with gold.

Update: Report: Israeli Gov´t Corruption Highest in Western World

I'm so surprised!

Blogging From The Grave

Did you all know that Yasser Arafat is blogging?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Memories Of Golus

I was walking down the street in Jerusalem the other day and I had a flashback to my days when I worked in Newark, New Jersey in the early 1980s:

Back then I used to commute by train from my suburban New Jersey town into Penn Station in Newark. After work, I would return to Penn Station and take the train home. The trains were quite prompt, and missing a train could mean waiting half an hour for the next one.

One day upon leaving work I glanced at my watch and I realized that if I walked at my usual leisurely pace to Penn Station I was going to miss the train. Dressed in a suit and tie, sporting a leather "Wall Street" yarmulke and carrying a briefcase in my hand, I immediately started sprinting down the street in Newark towards Penn Station. I must have looked pretty strange.

All of a sudden I saw a Afro-American guy, probably a resident of the city staring at me and shaking his head. He openned his mouth in wisdom and said, "Dat guy be wantin' to get out o' Newark real bad."

I think I caught the train.

The Ugly Face Of The Israeli Government And Judicial System

If you have a strong stomach, take a peek here.

We Really Do Need A Miracle

Barry at Galileeblog: We really do need a miracle. I couldn't agree more!

Thanks Yaak!

Yeranen Yaakov posted a nice translation of excerpts of an article that I recommended here. Thanks Yaak!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Some Police Also Refusing to Take Part in Expulsion

I really admire these guys. They gave up their careers because of their convictions. Kol Ha Kavod!:
( Four policemen have notified that they will not take part in the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif.

Two policemen refused to take part in the exercises in Tze’elim to train the security forces in expulsion. They will be dismissed from the service. A soldier in the Border Guards was expelled from the corps and will be transferred to the army. Another policeman is planning to resign from the police service.

Another Excellent Article From Caroline Glick

Caroline Glick will no doubt go down in the annals of Israeli journalism as one of the few that refused to toe the line. While the overwhelming majority of Israeli journalists have decided to treat Prime Minister Sharon and his expulsion plan like an etrog, Glick remains one of the few journalists that have kept true to their role as "the watchdog of democracy". Read Caroline's latest, "Democracy's Descent To Darkness."

Eli Pre-Military Academy Head Calls for Insubordination in Inner Circle of Expulsion

Rabbi Eli Sadan, one of the heads of the “Bnei David” pre-military academy in Eli, has called on his former students now in the army to refuse to take part in the inner circle of the expulsion from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron.

Harav Sadan and his family recently moved to Sa-Nur in the Northern Shomron. He advertised his view from there. The pre-military academy in Eli is known for the high numbers of elite soldiers who studied there and still see it as their source of inspiration.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Wonder Button

As the date that the government has set for the destruction of the Jewish communities of the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria approaches, the obligation to know exactly what this entails in terms of violating commandments becomes greater. I found an online copy of Rabbi Shaul Bar-Ilan's treatise Kaftor HaPele (The Wonder Button). Here Rabbi Bar Ilan elaborates on the multitude of commandments that will be violated by a soldier that takes part in the expulsion. It's a lot more than I would have thought. Especially interesting is the reason why the treatise is called "Kaftor HaPele". In short, this is a must read for all G-d fearing Jews.

Face To Face

Yesterday I took part in an activity of the "Panim El Panim" movement. What is Panim El Panim? I found an article by Channa Shapiro that describes the movement:
He tells us about Panim el Panim, the movement he (Rabbi Eli Adler) has started to counteract what he calls "the real disengagement, of the State of Israel from its roots, from Torah." Volunteers across the country knock on people`s doors spreading the concept of ahavat Yisrael – love for the people of Israel – as well as a spiritual message.
As one who has lived in Israel for the last twenty years, I couldn't agree with Rabbi Adler's analysis more. The disengagement from the land of Israel is only a symptom of a much larger spiritual malady.

I joined two busloads of people from my Jerusalem neighborhood that spent the evening in a city in the Tel Aviv area, going from door to door, and talking to people, face to face. The conversations dealt not only with "disengagement" but with all the other problems that Israeli society faces.

I must say that I really enjoyed the evening. It was a chance to meet people outside my usual circle of neighbors, professional colleagues and learning partners. It is also my impression that those who chose to open the doors and speak to us also valued to opportunity to see the "other" face-to-face, and not through a highly biased media report. These meetings not only open doors, they open hearts.

Will The Road Blocking Return?

Ynet reports:
Right-wing group ‘National’ home’ threatens to block roads across country Wednesday during mass anti-pullout march. ‘Police will be deployed in the south, so there will be no officers to stop the blockers’
It looks like the Cosmic X camera crew will have some work to do.
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