Wednesday, April 01, 2015

What are the Israeli Government's Real Plans for Judea and Samaria?

י"ב לחודש הראשון תשע"ה

JPost.com: Shin Bet arrests IDF soldier alleged to have passed classified info to far-right settlers
April 1, 2015

According to Army Radio, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) last week took into custody Elad Sela, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, who is being accused of endangering national security.

Israeli military censors permitted media outlets on Tuesday to report that an IDF soldier from a West Bank settlement was arrested for allegedly passing classified information to far-right settlers.

According to Army Radio, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) last week took into custody Elad Sela, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, who is being accused of endangering national security.

Army Radio reported that Sela, a conscript serving in the Etzion Divisional Brigade, is alleged to have passed secret information about plans that the IDF had prepared for West Bank settlements to far-right activists.

The alleged crimes were considered so serious that military censors banned the press from reporting details of the investigation, according to Army Radio.

(Tip Credit: Ya'akov Golbert)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Endangering national security?

I'm surprised they did not charge him with treason!

But, they could not possibly do that, because the negotiating of land giveaways is still listed as a treasonous offense. At least, that is my understanding.

Of course, the real question which should be on everyone's mind is...

What are these secret plans of the Israeli Government for the "settlements" in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria)?

Oh, and another thing, how was this soldier privy to such information?

I know that the IDF is extremely careful regarding whom they allow even near to sources of such information. They know perfectly well which soldiers are from which town or "settlement," and which of those "settlements" are made up of undying State loyalists, and which are not.

They know who their soldiers parents are, which youth groups they were involved with, and even what religious and political views they have.

I should know. When I was living in K'far Tapu'ah, and my students, graduating seniors, were interviewing with the IDF to determine their units and positions, I was told just how much scrutiny they were put under.

They were never told that any of this information could not be shared, and as far as I know, it is common knowledge that the IDF, and any other reasonable military force on this earth does security checks of each and every individual, coming under their command.

As usual, we only have enough pieces of the puzzle to hypothesize the governments potential shenanigans. Or maybe this information, fed to the press, was designed only to distract us from something else which "they" really do not want us to discover.

We can only imagine what that could possibly be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Israeli Election Shenanigans? Surprised?

ד׳ לחודש הראשון תשע״ה

Reports of alleged shenanigans during the recent, Israeli elections have been streaming in. Calls from Eli Yishai's Yachad Party to join the protest, by adding their names to a petition of declared Yachad voters, has been circulating the Internet. 

Some photos of the shenanigans can be seen in a report on the matter on Yachad's Official Website:
Eli Yishai
Yachad Party Head
Yachad: Battling Over The Truth!
(
Esser Agaroth (2¢) Translation)
March 20, 2015

We have received you encouragement! Your support! We feel your outcry, and we have decided, to fight for the truth! Hundreds of declarations of counterfeiting have been brought to our attention. Were you witnesses to any of this? Join the fight! (cont.)


It is pretty easy to have a ballot disqualified. All it takes is a slight ink mark, or even a folded corner, if you can believe it. But, there were much more creative ways employed to go after Yachad voters.

For example, some ballot notes were replaced by fake ones with Baruch Marzel's name on them. Baruch Marzel, on the Yachad list, ran independently in a previous election. This was one of many attempts to confuse and mislead Yachad supporters, with the goal of having as many of their votes disqualified.

Here is another example from Official Yachad (English) Facebook Group, a comparison between real Yachad ballot notes and another fake one found at polling stations. These were later disqualified by official ballot counters.

L: Fake election note "HaRav Eliyahu Yishai"
R: Real ballot note "Eli Yishai"
My sources, who have been in contact with those present at the official recount, claimed that the were about 50,000 ballot notes which had been disqualified. Of those 50,000, 13,000 were for the Yachad Party.

One fourth of the disqualified ballot notes came from one small party? Does that make any sense to you?

Furthermore, reports indicated that the Yachad Party was between 11,000 and 12,000 short of making the minimum threshold to enter the K'nesseth with four mandates.

My educated guess would be that if Yachad had made it in, there would be one less mandate (MK) for the Likud Party, one less mandate for the far left Meretz Party, one less mandate for the Untied Arab Parties, and one less mandate for another party, which would shift the edge to the right, and probably give Prime Minister Netanyahu the option to leave out  supposedly centrist Kulanu (Kachlon) Party from the government he is attempting to form.

As far as any complaints, petitions, and protests against the election results go, I really don't see the point.

I think that today might even be the deadline for the completion of any investigations into complaints about the elections. I'm not sure. But, quite frankly, I don't think it matters. Does Yachad have a chance of winning an appeal? They have a chance at convincing the Supreme Court

As if.

We have seen, time and time again, how Torah-observant Jews have begun to gain ground, sticking to the established rules of Israeli democracy, only to have those rules changed by the government, the justice system, or by party heads themselves, as in the case of Netanyahu vs. outgoing MK Moshe Feiglin. This is one of the reasons why I refer to the system of government of the State of Israel as deMOCKracy.

An additional question remains regarding the alleged, Israeli election shenanigans. Whoever was behind the shenanigans, more likely than not, presents themselves in public as being pro-democracy, yet privately subverts the democratic process, and even justifies it using a totally distorted understanding of democracy.

Were they religiously motivated? Were they anti-religiously motivated? Either way, it all spells the same thing: H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y. None of us should be in the least bit surprised by this.

Either you believe in democracy, real democracy, or you don't.

Personally, I pray for the time, when we don't have to worry about such things as democracy, or in Israel's case, deMOCKracy.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Is this the End of the Two-State Solution?

ב' לחודש הראשון תשע"ה

In order to bring the Jewish Home Party [JHP] into the newly forming, Israeli Government, Prime Minister Re-Elect Binyamin Netanyahu has capitulated to JHP Chair Naftali Bennett's demand to renounce the so-called Two-State Solution, and thus any future "Palestinian" state.

But, now it appears that Netanyahu's stance against the establishment of yet another, Arab terrorist state is not so clear after all.

None of this matters, though. What people refuse to see is that Bennett himself would like to lead us down the road to a defacto, "Palestinian" state, whether he knows it or not.

His so-called "plan" may include annexing parts of Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria). But, it also includes granting autonomy to many of the Arabs currently residing there, and granting Israeli citizenship to others.

How can a "religious" Jew suggest such a thing?
הלכות עבודה זרה וחוקות הגויים י
ד [ג] אין מוכרין להם בתים ושדות, בארץ ישראל; ובסוריה, מוכרין להם בתים, אבל לא שדות. ומשכירין להם בתים בארץ ישראל, ובלבד שלא יעשם שכונה--ואין שכונה, פחותה משלושה. ואין משכירין להם שדות; ובסוריה, משכירין להם שדות. ומפני מה החמירו בשדה: מפני שיש בה שתיים--מפקיעה מן המעשרות, ונותן להם חניה בקרקע.
Mishneh Torah, Laws of Avodah Zarah, Ch. 104 [3] One does not sell them houses or fields in the Land of Israel; but in Suriyah, one [may] sell them houses, but not fields. And one rents them houses in the Land of Israel, provided that it would not create a neighborhood--a neighborhood being not less than three [units]. And one does not rent them fields; but in Suriyah, on rents them fields. And why were they strict about fields? Because of two [reasons]--profiting from the tithes [from which they are exempt], and it allows them to remain on the land.
From the next halakhah, we learn that these "houses" do not refer to residences, rather to storage facilities only.

And, before anyone gets up in arms about the term "avodah zarah," and how this does not include Muslims, I will say that this is a common misconception. The Ramba"m's use of the term "avodah zarah" here refers to the category of non-Jews, not having accepted upon themselves the Seven Noahide Commandments. In other words, this term does not exclude Muslims (See Ramba"m Sh"uT 248, Tur, Hoshen Mishpat 249, with Beth Yosef, and [uncensored] Ba"Ch])

Of course, the major point of this negative commandment of "Lo Techonem" (Deut. 7:2) is to prevent non-Jews from gaining any foothold on our Land, whatsoever.

Bennett's Plan vs. Arafat's Plan
Disturbingly similar...
However, many have suggested that Bennett's "plan" is simply progress in this direction, and that we can currently expect to achieve, due to the current time in which we live, and current attitudes of Jews, who cannot quite get their heads around the fact that halakhah (Torah Law) does not always usually match their preconceived, Western-exilic notions. But the ultimate goal of such "progress" never seems to get mentioned.

Peace? Peace with people who want the Land of Israel to themselves, Land which was Divinely promised to the Jewish? Peace with a people who wants to annihilate us?

Annexation of Yehudah and Shomron, without any thought given to even the theoretical possibility of the migration of Arabs currently residing in these areas, has been tried already, over and over and over again. No one would dare mention even the theoretical migration of Arabs from one area to another, because that would be racist, right?

And no one wants to be accused of being a racist, certainly not even the Prime Minister, like when he warned about Arabs being bused to polling booths.

The Jewish Home Party, its previous incarnation as the National Religious Party, and the Techiya Party, have all refused to acknowledge both parts of the misswah (Torah commandment) of inheriting the Land...
במדבר לג
נב וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת-כָּל-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, מִפְּנֵיכֶם, וְאִבַּדְתֶּם, אֵת כָּל-מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָם; וְאֵת כָּל-צַלְמֵי מַסֵּכֹתָם תְּאַבֵּדוּ, וְאֵת כָּל-בָּמוֹתָם תַּשְׁמִידוּ. נג וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וִישַׁבְתֶּם-בָּהּ: כִּי לָכֶם נָתַתִּי אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, לָרֶשֶׁת אֹתָהּ. נד וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ בְּגוֹרָל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיכֶם, לָרַב תַּרְבּוּ אֶת-נַחֲלָתוֹ וְלַמְעַט תַּמְעִיט אֶת-נַחֲלָתוֹ--אֶל אֲשֶׁר-יֵצֵא לוֹ שָׁמָּה הַגּוֹרָל, לוֹ יִהְיֶה: לְמַטּוֹת אֲבֹתֵיכֶם, תִּתְנֶחָלוּ. נה וְאִם-לֹא תוֹרִישׁוּ אֶת-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, מִפְּנֵיכֶם--וְהָיָה אֲשֶׁר תּוֹתִירוּ מֵהֶם, לְשִׂכִּים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם וְלִצְנִינִם בְּצִדֵּיכֶם; וְצָרְרוּ אֶתְכֶם--עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ. נו וְהָיָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּמִּיתִי לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם--אֶעֱשֶׂה לָכֶם.
Numbers 33
52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places. 53 And you shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for to you have I given the land to possess it. 54 And you shall inherit the land by lot according to your families--to the more you shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer you shall give the less inheritance; wheresoever the lot falla to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers shall you inherit. 55 But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those that you let remain of them shall be as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land wherein you dwell. 56 And it shall come to pass, that as I thought to do unto them, so will I do unto you.
Who can honestly say that the Arabs have not been "...as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides?"

One Jewish Home Party supporter even reminded me that it that it took hundreds of years, since Yehoshu'a Bin-Nun's initial conquest of Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel) until it was mostly free of the Canaanites (See the Books of Joshua and Judges).

My response was a simple one. Not only was he right, but that this source was the only logical one I have ever heard supporting Bennett's "plan."

However, I also had to ask him if over this 200 + year span, the Tribes of Israel settling in their Divinely Promised Homeland ever deter from their Torah principles, and thus their ultimate goal of a Canaanite-free homeland? Did they ever hide the truth of their ultimate goal of a Canaanite-free homeland?

Even if it were permissible to accept gerei toshav at this time, which the Israeli Chief Rabbinate apparently believes is the case, how many Arabs in Yehudah and the Shomron would actually qualify? For that matter, how many Arabs in Be'er Sheva, Yaffo, Nazareth, Akko, and Haifa would actually qualify?

Has Bennett ever once talked about his plan being just "progress," as a step in the direction of Jewish, Torah-observant, Homeland? What about a Jewish plus gerei toshav Homeland?

Not to my recollection.

PM Bibi Netanyahu
Let us also not forget that it was "right-wing" Prime Minister Netanyahu who gave "autonomy" to Jericho and Azza (Gaza), and not "left-wing" Rabin, Peres, nor Baraq.

The "Palestinian" Authority is up in arms over yesterday's elections, and Netanyahu's statements denouncing a future, Arab state within Israel's borders, which he already appears to have flipped-flopped on.

But, if the Arab are smart, then they are actually laughing behind the scenes, laughing because of the increase in number of Arab MK's, Netanyahu and Bennett's "plans," or their ever increasing birthrate, and voter turnout.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is simply acting the politician that he is.

But, Naftali Bennett is "religious," which I had always though meant Torah-observant, as in all of the Torah, and not just regarding what we put into our mouths and do or not do on Shabbath.

So, what's Bennett's excuse?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Who Really Won the 2015 Israeli Elections?

ערב שבת קודש/ערב ראש חודש פר' ויקרא/החודש תשע"ה
YNET: Netanyahu wakes up to shock election victory
With 99 percent of the ballots boxes counted, Likud opens six seat lead over Zionist Union with 30 mandates, Joint Arab List retains third place; Lieberman, who was polling at the electoral threshold, surprises with 6.


Yaron Druckman, March 18, 2015

PM Re-Elect Netanyahu
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been trailing his Zionist Union opponent in the polls leading up to the elections, the real-time results on Wednesday morning show the Likud leader enjoying a major advantage over the left-wing's Isaac Herzog.

The exit polls conducted by three major Israeli television channels showed a slender Likud lead over its rival, with a one seat margin of victory, while the partial returns counted by 6 am have Netanyahu with a six seat lead on the Zionist Union, at 30 and 24. (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
The number of Arab MK's elected to the K'nesseth have been on the study increase since being allowed to run in the first place. I have listed approximate numbers below.

3 (1973)  (1977)  (1981)  (1988)  (1992)  (1996)

10 (1999)  (2003)  10 (2006)  11 (2009)  11 (2013) 


Final Results of the 2015 Israeli Elections

So far, I have only found that Debbie Schlussel and Uri Heilman, in an Op-Ed in the Jewish Telegraph Agency [JTA], of all places, have been able to connect the dots and see the elections for what they really are.

Besides the steady increase in Arabs entering the K'nesseth, if you bother to examine the results, you will see that the block of MK's comprised of right-wing and religious MK's has actually decreased in number from the previous make-up of the K'nesseth.

Even with 13 Haredi (UTJ, Shas) MK's the Prime Minister will only be able to form a government with the supposedly centrist Kulanu. A unity government with the misnamed Zionist Union has also not yet been ruled out.

So, seriously? Who really won the 2015 Israel Elections?

Friday, March 13, 2015

The U. S. will Force Israeli Concessions

ערב שבת קודש פר' ויקהל-פקודי/פרה תשע"ה

John Kerry
This article is one of the most reflective of the reality on the ground I have seen in a long time. I have been writing about possible intervention by U. S. Troops since 2005. At the time, I was called a conspiracy theorist.

Barack Hussein Obama
Year later, U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry revealed his plan to station U. S. armed forces in the Jordan Valley.

Still think it's conspiracy?

Please read the piece by Eitan Haber posted below. I have highlighted what I believe to be particularly significant.

YNET: Israeli concessions will not remain on paper
Op-ed: One horrible day, the American empire which we depend on will decide that 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000 people must evacuate their homes in Judea and Samaria.

Eitan Haber, March 12, 2015

The mere existence of the document that my colleague Nahum Barnea brought from Washington is important, but it's not the most important thing. The most important thing is to understand that what is described in this paper will not remain on paper, but will eventually materialize. When? In a year from now. Or in five years. Or in 10 years.

Let there be no misunderstandings: According to the way I was raised at home, I would rather never see the content of that wretched paper executed. I would rather not see Israel returning to borderlines based on the 1967 borders, Jerusalem being divided and refugees crossing the Green Line. I want the people of Israel to sit peacefully under their vine and fig tree, and the hundreds of thousands of residents and dozens of communities beyond the Green Line to do the same. After 2,000 years of exile and endless suffering, we deserve it.

But the world, and mainly the United States, which is responsible for our existence, don't want it. The foundations of the document from Washington are almost identical to the American statement which has been repeated since the last bullet was shot in the Six-Day War.

This is exactly what they think. This is exactly what they have been saying for decades. We are disregarding them in the name of the Land of Israel, the love of Israel and the Torah, but what is written in the document is exactly what will happen.

For the Americans, we are like a medium-sized city in the US. They have evacuated cities within hours following floods and storms. And the same will happen on the horrible day in which the Americans decide that 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000 people must evacuate their homes in Judea and Samaria.

The settlers are trying to frighten us with growing numbers of residents, of houses being constructed. They are trying to convey to the whole world that such a large number of people cannot be evacuated. I wish they were right.

The Americans may be failing vis-à-vis Iran and may have failed in Iraq and in Afghanistan, but they are a mighty world power, an empire, and Israel depends on them in everything. That's why they are chuckling deep down in their hearts, and the evacuation plans are already lying somewhere in the Pentagon drawers.

Once, during a tour of the US Army, we learned that they have a language school where they send officers to learn Kyrgyz, Swahili, Turkmen and other languages. "When will you need them?" we asked curiously. "We may never need them," the guiding officer replied, "and we may need them in 20 years." They have a lot of time and a lot of money. If and when they decide, the earth will move under our feet, while they won't feel a thing. That's the Americans, for better or for worse.

I am under the impression that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is in no rush, because he and his people are convinced that time is on their side. The world is against us and in favor of the Palestinians. That's why he is acting the way he is and waiting for the world, especially the Americans. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I highly recommend reading the rest of this op-ed, which concludes with a reminder of the politically-incorrect, historical relationship between Israel's right-wing and non-Ashkenazim. I have written about similar issues previously.

In the meantime, I will keep

One final point, regarding the mention of the U. S. Army's language school, it does exist. As far as I know, it is still located in the Monterey, CA, area.

I had a friend learning Russian there. That was not even classified information. It was no secret that the U. S. still felt it necessary to keep tabs on the Soviet Union. Nowadays, I am sure the U. S. government still believes Russian to be an important language to know, if for no other reason, than for cultural exchange and understanding.

I have no doubt that Arabic is taught there. At least, it should be for its own good. After 9/11, President George W. Bush made it very clear that the U. S. lacked sufficient numbers of Arabic translators.

Is Hebrew taught there?

My guess is yes, that it is.

Even though a large percentage of Jewish residents in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) speak English (or French, or Russian), Hebrew would be better for spying.... Whoops! I meant "cultural exchange and understanding."

Oh, wait a minute. I doubt that the U. S. Government is in the least bit interested in cultural exchange and understanding with the "crazy settlers." So, spying, it is, not to mention giving final warnings through bullhorns to such "religious extremists" (tongue in cheek) to abandon their homes and land,...or else!

Fat chance.

The U. S. Government is just wasting its time. But, like all of the various faces of Esau, it is simply fulfuling its role in history, and in my humble opinion, prophesy.

European Jews, It's Time to Stop the Insanity!

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ ויקהל-פקודי/פרה תשע״ה

I know I sound like a broken record, but it is so frustrating to witness Jewish "leaders" insist on making the same mistakes over and over again, expecting different results.

It is even more frustrating for me to witness Jews continuing to listen to their "leaders."


The Jewish Press: Germany’s Central Council Of Jews Warns Against Wearing Yarmulkes
"It is a development that I did not expect five years ago and that's a bit shocking."

Ilan Shavit, JBN / Jewish Business News February 26th, 2015

Josef Schuster, a leader of the Central Council of Jews, told German radio that Jews need not hide in fear, since most Jewish institutions in Germany are protected, but in some places it’s better if they don’t recognize you as a Jew, Reuters reported.

To that end, Schuster recommended that Jews not wear skullcaps in parts of Germany with a large Muslim population.

Mind you, he did not indicate Jews should avoid only Muslim areas known for their extremism, but instead suggested that a Jew is in danger should he or she be recognized in any Muslim neighborhood.

That’s refreshingly honest.

“The question is whether, in areas with a large proportion of Muslims, it is sensible to be recognized as a Jew by wearing a kippa or if it isn’t better to wear some other form of head covering,” Schuster told rbb Inforadio.

“It is a development that I did not expect five years ago and that’s a bit shocking.” Schuster said.

Naturally, he blamed much of this new state of things on Israel, whose inability to live in peace with its Arab neighbors is very upsetting to European Muslims, who end up attacking Jews, seeing as there aren’t any Israelis handy nearby.

A late 2014 survey by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation noted blurring of the lines in Germany between antisemitism and hate for Israel, with 27 percent of those asked equating the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians to what the Nazis did to Jews in WW2.

In keeping with this policy of hiding from confrontation, Berlin’s Jewish community last week started mailing its monthly magazine Jüdisches Berlin wrapped in a plain paper envelope.

Reported antisemitic crimes in Germany grew by more than a third last year, to 1,076, according to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation citing unpublished government figures. These crimes included vandalizing Jewish cemeteries, painting swastikas on synagogues, and inciting antisemitic hate.
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Didn't expect this?

Sensible?

C'mon! Are these people blind?

Even if Muslims were the only threat, living in Germany (and they most certainly are not the only threat), are those Jews, such as Josef Schuster suggesting that Jews wait around until the Muslim population of Germany reaches a critical mass? And then what?

Is Josef Schuster suggesting that Jews residing in Germany, and for that matter, any other European country, wait around until the beatings and murders begin, as they did in France and Belgium?

Jews stopped wearing kippoth (yamakules) in many areas of Paris ages ago? Did that help?

All of this does not matter anyway. Jews do not have any business living outside of Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel), now that its gates have been opened, and has successfully febuffed any attempts to close them.

Eretz Yisra'el is the only, true Homeland of the Jewish People.

Eretz Yisra'el is the only place on earth in which we should invest our time, money, and lives, our blood, sweat and tears, if you will.

It is high time for European Jewish "leaders" to stop playing games with Jewish lives.

It is well passed the time for them to stop the insanity!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Losing Your Rav Kav

כ"א לחודש השנים עשר תשע"ה

The Rav Kav is Israel's version of an all purpose transit card. It can be loaded with up to eight different series of payment options, from a variety of different companies.

For example, if you live in Jerusalem, but work in Tel-Aviv, you can have your Jerusalem city bus and light rail pass encoded on the same card with your your round-trip tickets between the two cities, and your Tel-Aviv city bus pass. Then there is still room for five more passes or series tickets.

Sure, you can theoretically be tracked, but the system is convenient, right?

Well, there is a catch, or two.

I recently lost my Rav Kav. No problem. I'll just get a new one, right? It was even promised that since the computerized system keeps a record of what gets purchased and loaded into it, and would even be able to recover my monthly pass, lost along with it.

Not so fast.

I got my card replace from the Egged Bus Company easily enough. There was a line. But, they had five stations open to receive customers, and they were open until 7:00pm. So, there was no need to miss work. I was told the the remaining trip ticket I had on my pass would take a week to replace. OK. No big whoop.

Unfortunately, I had purchased my monthly pass at one of the light rail ticket machines. Sine the light rail is operated by Citypass, and not Egged, I had to get my replacement pass from Citypass, which, as I had anticipated, was only open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and a few hours on Friday, making it a heck of a lot less convenient than dealing with Egged.

Like the last time I had to torture myself at the Citypass office in the Klal Building, I stood there for way too long, and not because there were a lot of other people there, either. There were three people working there, but only one seemed to be handling a customer at a time. It seems like there were some computer issues. So, maybe it was a fluke. Still, I did not understand why it took so long.

Finally, I reached the counter. The clerk recognized the print out I had received from Egged, already knew what I needed, and began to process it. That was a pleasant surprise. But, what was not a very pleasant surprise was that since I came in one day too late, I could not receive a replacement of my pass for the current month. Instead, I would have to wait until the next month, at which time I would still have to come in, in order to get my Rav Kav charged with the new pass.

Get it?

From now on, I think I will still with Egged for one-stop shopping, which I can do without leaving work early, or have to schlep in on a Friday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The U. S. Reassures Israel on Iran

י״ט חודש השנים עשר תשע״ה

YNET: US reassures Israel: We'll know if Iran goes for nuclear weapons
Days after Netanyahu's Congress speech, senior American official vows: 'We will know when Iran breaks through to nuclear weapon production'.

Itamar Eichner, March 9, 2015

The US is making an effort to calm serious tensions with Israel over the Iranian nuclear issue. A senior US official told Israeli reporters at a recent briefing that the agreement reached with Iran will not be limited to ten years, as has been widely reported.

"We're talking about several stages of the agreement that would last beyond a decade, and include transparency, supervision and a control mechanism that will ensure Iran's nuclear program does not reach nuclear weapons," the official said.

He said that the US and world powers are not rushing to reach an agreement with Iran, and will need additional time beyond the March 21 target date, in order to finalize the complex technical details of the deal.

The comments come less than a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fiery speech to a joint session of Congress, in which he denounced the agreement currently being formulated on Iran's nuclear program as "bad", and argued that a "better deal" should be drawn up. President Barack Obama dismissed his address as "nothing new."

The official noted that great effort was currently been made in order to ensure that Iran would need at least a year from the moment it decided to develop nuclear weapons to the moment when it possessed them.

"We want to have time to react if we find that Iran has violated the understandings, and has a covert channel to produce nuclear weapons," he said.

And another US official said: "The agreement, which will be expanded well beyond a decade, will better achieve our objectives than a military strike that would halt the nuclear program for a shorter time period.

"We think additional sanctions or a military attack would lead lran to expel IAEA inspectors and move the program underground. If after an agreement is reached, Iran tries to break through and acquire nuclear weapons, we and the entire international community will be able to use other means to ensure the world's safety."

The official stressed that there is no stronger alliance in the world than that of Israel and the United States. He said Obama has taken every step possible to ensure Israel's security, and that reaching an understanding with Iran will provide greater security for Israel, the US and the world.

He also revealed that Israel's Military Intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy is due in Washington this week for routine intelligence discussions.

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Future Prime Minister of Israel, Future President of the U. S. A.

We're talking about several stages of the agreement that would last beyond a decade, and include transparency, supervision and a control mechanism that will ensure Iran's nuclear program does not reach nuclear weapons.

They cannot seriously expect transparency from Iran, can they? Supervision? Control mechanism? Seriously?!
President Barack Obama dismissed his [PM Netanyahu's] address as "nothing new."
Um, look who's talking?!

Bending over backwards to placate Islamists? Sure. THAT's original. Nothing new, indeed.
Iran would need at least a year from the moment it decided to develop nuclear weapons to the moment when it possessed them.  
And a year is enough time to do anything about it? Seriously? And, in the meantime, the U. S. Government really believes that Iran will not, or has not already, smuggled in a nuclear warhead from another country? The U. S. Government has that much confidence in its intelligence agencies?

I don't. Do you?

Chief Clown of the
United States of America
The only question which remains is...

Is the United States Government really that naive and stupid, or is it filled with evil intent, and hatred toward Israel?

My guess is that it is probably both.

Still think that the U. S. is still our "friend?"

Guess again.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

A Happy but Disappointing Purim

י״ז לחודש השנים עשר תשע״ה

Two young men with kippoth approached me for a photo of me in my costume. I was impressed that they had asked my in Hebrew.

I agreed.

After the photo shoot, I asked them where they were from, and what they were doing in Israel, visiting, living, learning.

They said that they were from the U. S., and learning in yeshiva for the year.

I told them to remember that they have places reserved for themselves in Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel).

They smiled, and said that yes, they knew that.

Then, I told them not to wait too long in the U. S., and to get out while they could.

To this, their smiles turned to frowns.


Click here to read the entire article on the Times of Israel.

Purim: A Lesson in Surviving the Exile

י״ז לחודש השנים עשר תשע״ה

In Megillath Esther, we read...
The Scroll Of Esther
אסתר גא אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, גִּדַּל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אֶת-הָמָן בֶּן-הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי--וַיְנַשְּׂאֵהוּ; וַיָּשֶׂם, אֶת-כִּסְאוֹ, מֵעַל, כָּל-הַשָּׂרִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ. ב וְכָל-עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר-בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ, כֹּרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהָמָן--כִּי-כֵן, צִוָּה-לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ; וּמָרְדֳּכַי--לֹא יִכְרַע, וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה. ג וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר-בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ--לְמָרְדֳּכָי: מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה עוֹבֵר, אֵת מִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ. ד וַיְהִי, באמרם (כְּאָמְרָם) אֵלָיו יוֹם וָיוֹם, וְלֹא שָׁמַע, אֲלֵיהֶם; וַיַּגִּידוּ לְהָמָן, לִרְאוֹת הֲיַעַמְדוּ דִּבְרֵי מָרְדֳּכַי--כִּי-הִגִּיד לָהֶם, אֲשֶׁר-הוּא יְהוּדִי. ה וַיַּרְא הָמָן--כִּי-אֵין מָרְדֳּכַי, כֹּרֵעַ וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לוֹ; וַיִּמָּלֵא הָמָן, חֵמָה. ו וַיִּבֶז בְּעֵינָיו, לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בְּמָרְדֳּכַי לְבַדּוֹ--כִּי-הִגִּידוּ לוֹ, אֶת-עַם מָרְדֳּכָי; וַיְבַקֵּשׁ הָמָן, לְהַשְׁמִיד אֶת-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל-מַלְכוּת אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ--עַם מָרְדֳּכָי.

Esther 31 After these things did King Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed down, and prostrated themselves before Haman; for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordechai did not bow down, nor prostrated himself before him. 3 Then the king's servants, that were at the king's gate, said unto Mordechai: 'Why do you transgress the king's commandment?' 4 Now it came to pass, when they spoke daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordechai's words would stand; for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordechai did not bow down, nor prostrated himself before him, then was Haman full of wrath. 6 But it seemed contemptible in his eyes to lay hands on Mordechai alone; for they had made known to him the people of Mordechai; wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordechai.
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Granted the prevailing opinion is that Mordechai refused to bow down to Haman due to the image of avodah zarah woven into Haman's clothing (Midrash Esther Rabba 7:6), thus preventing any Jew from bowing down in front of it, even in the face of physical danger, if not death. However, this does not explain Mordechai's actions found later on in the Megillah...
אסתר וי וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמָן, מַהֵר קַח אֶת-הַלְּבוּשׁ וְאֶת-הַסּוּס כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ, וַעֲשֵׂה-כֵן לְמָרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי, הַיּוֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ: אַל-תַּפֵּל דָּבָר, מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ. יא וַיִּקַּח הָמָן אֶת-הַלְּבוּשׁ וְאֶת-הַסּוּס, וַיַּלְבֵּשׁ אֶת-מָרְדֳּכָי; וַיַּרְכִּיבֵהוּ, בִּרְחוֹב הָעִיר, וַיִּקְרָא לְפָנָיו, כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הַמֶּלֶךְ חָפֵץ בִּיקָרוֹ. יב וַיָּשָׁב מָרְדֳּכַי, אֶל-שַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ; וְהָמָן נִדְחַף אֶל-בֵּיתוֹ, אָבֵל וַחֲפוּי רֹאשׁ.
Esther 610 Then the king said to Haman: 'Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as you have said, and do even so to Mordechai the Jew, that sits at the king's gate; let nothing fail of all that you have spoken.' 11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordechai, and caused him to ride through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him: 'Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delights to honor.' 12 And Mordechai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hastened to his house, mourning and having his head covered.
The Talmud recounts the details of what transpired between Mordechai and Haman, during this segment of the story, including how Mordechai kicked Haman, while he was down, so to speak...
תלמוד בבלי, מסכת מגילה ט"ז,אבתר דשקלינהו למזייה לבשינהו למאניה אמר ליה סק ורכב אמר ליה לא יכילנא דכחישא חילאי מימי תעניתא גחין וסליק כי סליק בעט ביה אמר ליה לא כתיב לכו (משלי כד) בנפל אויבך אל תשמח אמר ליה הני מילי בישראל אבל בדידכו כתיב (דברים לג) ואתה על במותימו תדרוך (אסתר ו)
Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 16aAfter he had trimmed his hair he put the garments on him, and said to him, Mount and ride. He replied: I am not able, as I am weak from the days of fasting. So Haman stooped down and he mounted [on his back]. When he was up he kicked him. He said to him: Is it not written in your books, "Rejoice not when thine enemy fails?" (Prov. 24:17) He replied: That refers to an Israelite, but in regard to you [folk] it is written, "And you shall tread upon their high places." (Deut. 33:29)
How could Mordechai, a Jew, living in galuth (exile) take such a risk by perpetrating physical violence against a powerful goy?

In fact, the prevailing attitude in galuth, even today in the U. S., and not just in France or Denmark, but in the U. S., is not to make waves, but rather to assimilate.

Mordechai refused to accept this strategy upon himself as the way to survive the exile.

Liberal Modern Orthodox, pacifist Haredim, and the like will undoubtedly make silly excuses, such as...
We are not on the level of Mordechai to make the decision to take such actions.

The fate of the Jews was sealed, and thus he had nothing to lose.
...and other such, unsubstantiated tripe.

On Purim I discussing this with someone, who happened to be a member of the Orthodox Union [OU]. His conclusion was that Mordechai was the Rabbi Meir Kahane of his day.

I couldn't have said it better myself.
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