Monday, March 27, 2006

Cosmic X Endorses...

My impression is that the public is not excited about the upcoming elections, and that is an understatement. The reason why, in my humble opinion, is that the public has lost faith in the political system. Israeli politics has become corrupt, and the public wants nothing to do with politics or politicians.

The corruption in Israeli politics is not only on the level of the personal mideeds of the politicians, i.e. the use of public money to provide friends and cronies with a livelihood, although this certainly exists. Israeli political corruption runs much deeper. It is the ability of politicians to promise one thing to the public, get elected on the basis of these promises, and then proceed to ignore their constituents and execute an entirely different policy. Sharon's "disengagement" policy, the uprooting of thriving Jewish settlements in return for nothing, in opposition of what he promised to the voters, was a glaring example of Israel's political corruption.

Israel's three major newspapers, Ma'ariv, Yediot Acharonot, and Ha'aretz, as well as Israel's television stations 1 and 2, are full fledged partners in Israel's political corruption. The job of the media is to be the "watchdog of democracy". Israel's MSM failed in their job, and instead of calling Sharon to order, they rooted him on in his effort to make the Gaza Strip judenrein. One of Israel's leading journalists was quoted as saying, "We must guard Sharon like an Etrog." Woe to us that these are our MSM journalists!

When we look back on the past year many other Israeli institutions get low marks as well, for example the police, and the army. Both of them stumbled and fell, and their uniforms are still soiled. Who knows how long it will take for these institutions to rehabilitate themselves? As for Israel's judicial system, it is rotten to the core. It is similar to impure earthenware vessels which can only be purified by breaking them.

My son Moshe X is now 18 years old and will be voting for the first time. He told me that he will be voting for the Ichud-Leumi/Mafdal. I asked him if he will hold his nose when he puts the slip in the envelope. He said that he will hold his nose and close his eyes, but that is what the hour requires. I agree with him.

So on Tuesday I encourage all lovers of Torah and the land of Israel to go out and vote for either Shas, Agudah, or the the Ichud-Leumi/Mafdal. I will be voting for the latter, since Rav Avraham Shapira the Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav supports them. Whoever you vote for, don't forget to hold your nose!

Friday, March 17, 2006

And When I Awoke, I Was Alone

Purim is a very busy day.
The first item of the day was making sure that everyone, especially my wife, would hear the reading of the Book of Esther.

Shacharit started at 7:30 AM. Although I tried making sure that everyone got there on time, I was the only one that did. My kids came strolling in at around 8:00 AM. Moshe X had been at a Purim party until 2:00 AM the previous night, and he was obviously suffering from its after-effects. The main thing was that they all, except for my wife, arrived in time to hear the reading of the Megillah.

One of the signs of getting old is that you would prefer that people would not "stamp out" Haman's name during the reading of the Megillah. I'm old. I would prefer to hear the Megillah without those interruptions. Dream on!

When I came home that morning my main job was to make sure that my wife heard the special reading for women at 9:30 AM. Mrs. X needed a little bit of encouragement to finish her shower and dress quickly. In the end, she arrived on time. Mission accomplished.

The next task was Mishloach Manot. This was easy as they had all been prepared the previous day. The children were happy to deliver them, especially to a particular family that had a custom of giving five shekels "dmei Purim" to children that brought them Mishloach Manot.

Daf Yomi never rests and today the lesson would be at 11:00 AM, before the participants would be unable to comprehend a page of Talmud due to the high levels of alcohol in their blood. The lesson ended at 12:00 noon. Layehudim Hayeta Ora(the Jews had light), where Ora(light) is Torah according to our sages as it says "A mitzvah is a candle and the Torah is light."

One of my daughters wanted to visit her grandmother who lives in a different neighborhood. That's what fathers and automobiles are for. I let her know that I will not be able to drive her back home, for the time for sobriety is running out.

12:30 PM was the time for the Minchah prayer immediately followed by "Yeshivat Mordechai HaTzaddik", the Purim version of Avot U'vanim.

2:30 PM was the time to fulfil "ad delo yada", which means drinking enough wine so that you do not know the difference between "Cursed is Haman" and "Blessed is Mordechai". I chose a liter bottle of Grenache Rose from the Hebron Winery to do the trick. Perhaps the merit of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs buried in Hebron would save me from a hangover.

We had a very nice family over for the Purim meal. After the meal and about 3/4 of the above mentioned wine was in my stomach, I crashed out on my bed. I woke up a couple of hours later. It was dark out. The house was empty. All of the Purim fanfare was over. What a hangover! That's the last time I drink so much wine...until next Purim.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Purim Sameach!

Purim Sameach!

Happy Adar

Along with the other mitzvot of Purim, I plan to fulfil the Mitzvah of "ad delo yada" tomorrow. I hope that the hangover won't be too bad.
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