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      by Tamar Yonah
      A biting & sometimes humorous analysis of current events, Israeli politics & the Jewish World.
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      Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.

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      Av 9, 5771, 8/9/2011

      Killing Yourself

      by Tamar Yonah

       

       
      It is said that each day that we do not have the Holy Temple, it is because we are committing the same sin of Sinat Chinam (Baseless Hatred) that our ancestors did, all the way down through our grandfather's and father's generations, and now to us.  So the question is, when will it stop?  When will we finally get our act together?  Somewhere down the line, ONE of the generations is going to have to make this tikkun, or 'fixing', of this sin of sinat chinam, baseless hated.  So why shouldn't it be us?  What are we waiting for?  How much longer do we have to be without our Holy Temple?  How much longer will we be sitting on the ground and fasting for something that we can do and have?
       
      Part of the cure of hating our neighbor, or fighting with our family members, or despising a group of people with different solutions for solving the problems of the world, is ....to kill ourselves.  And when I say 'kill ourselves' what I mean is killing that ego that belongs only to us, so that we can be more humble, apologize, or just 'suck it up' even if we are in the 'right', in order to make peace between brothers.  After all, it is our ego, our pride, honor and self righteousness that many times holds us back from moving forward, which keeps internal wars with family, co-workers or neighbors, ablaze.  
       
      I am dealing with someone semi-close to me that has been making - in my eyes - unreasonable demands on me, without taking any responsibility for the trouble they brought on themselves, and expects me - since I was willing to help, to be grateful to them because -in their eyes- they are leaving some of their belongings to me, that I never asked for or wanted.  Long story, but in the first few emails to this person, I 'corrected' their view of the facts, in which they in turn -in their eyes' corrected the facts I listed and expected me to say thank you to them.  This went on for three emails back and forth, when I just threw up my hands and decided to 'kill myself', my ego.  I just said to myself, learn how to lie down flat on the floor and make yourself a 'shmata', a rag, and just don't stand up for your sense of what the facts were with this person, and just make peace already in this relationship.  It's just not worth the strife that it makes in the nation of Israel.  So I wrote this person back and I said 'thank you', and that I appreciated all they had done.  
      Let me tell you all something.  It killed me to do it.  Because I know I am right. heh heh   But whether or not I am really right or not, I 'killed' my kavod (honor), and I just graciously let it go, for making peace in Am Yisrael, the nation of Israel.  I have done this a few times before, 'killing' my pride, my 'honor' and ego.  I must add, it gets easier each time.  Learning to 'lie down like a rug', when warrented, can bring peace.  Does it really matter who is right ALL the time? Especially when it is a matter of perspective and what could be loving relationships? Learning to 'suck it up' for Am Yisrael, is a hard thing to do, sometimes even personally humiliating.  But I love Israel more, and I want to do right by it, and if it means taking the blows to help rebuild our Holy Temple so ALL OF US can enjoy true peace, then I will do it.  
      Again, it's hard to open oneself up and make oneself vulnerable.  It's hard to make peace with people we may not even like, like a family member or co-worker or neighbor, or whatever,,,, but this is what has to be done, and some generation has to do it, so why not us?  WHY NOT US?  Let's just get it over with already.  We know it's gonna hurt.  We know whichever generation does it, it's gonna be painful for them, so why not let us just open our arms, pull out our chests, present our egos to G-d and say goodbye to them in order to make peace and just do this tikkun?  "Here I am, G-d!  Take away this extra pride and ego from me that I don't need. I am ready, I know it may hurt, but I am ready to lie down and take it, for the well being of my nation, to rebuild the Temple, and to make the world a more peaceful place with my fellow man." Someone's gotta do it.  Why not us?  Enough already!!!!  WE WANT MOSHIACH NOW!
       


      Av 2, 5771, 8/2/2011

      Cannibals & Children Warriors

      by Tamar Yonah

      The film above is disturbing to watch, yet it is gripping.

      How do the rebels get kids into their ranks and become brutal heartless killers themselves?  The rebels go in and slaughter the father, mother and siblings leaving one child left, and then these young boys, some as young as 5 years old bereft of any family but the rebels themselves, get pulled into their 'new family.

      These cut throats could be the missing twin of the Hamas, Al Qaida, and other terror groups.  One thing I hope you catch when you watch this film...  is the part when the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) Col. Sharif (the African with the tooth necklace) tells the British Major Ashby, that some of these African rebels believe that if they eat the heart of a brave man, they will be brave themselves.  The major then asked him if he had ever eaten anyone.  Col. Sharif replies, "Yes".  Major Ashby says, "Okay".  He then asks him, "Is it true what they say?  Does it taste like Pork?  

      Col. Sharif replies, "I don't know, I'm Muslim."


       

       

       

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      Tammuz 24, 5771, 7/26/2011

      The Wedding

      by Tamar Yonah

      Keep your eyes wide open before the wedding, half shut afterwards. -Benjamin Franklin

      By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. (Socrates)

       

      My wife dresses to kill. She cooks the same way. (Henny Youngman)

      My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. (Rodney Dangerfield)

      I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. (George Burns)

      I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. (Rita Rudner)

      Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. (Phyllis Diller)

      There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again. (Clint Eastwood)

      The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. (Henny Youngman

       

      ------------------------

      I assume many of you are curious as to all the hoopla about my daughter's wedding. Let me tell you, I have gained a new respect for Millavot (the Hebrew word for the girlfriend that accompanies the bride wherever she goes before the wedding, mostly to assist her and also make sure she doesn't jump off a roof.) No, it's not that my daughter didn't want to get married, she did and she herself stated that she got the best guy in the whoooooooole world!  It's just there are all the worries that everything should go right, and his family should be happy and our family, etc...

       

      Then there's the dress. Well, to be truthful, the whole dress thing happened about two months before. Dresses are so expensive to rent here, and it is cheaper to order something from a catalog, but dress offerings aren't what they used to be

       

      The Dress Saga

      If anyone has tried to buy a wedding gown lately, you will know that you can't find a frock with sleeves anymore. Everything is apparently for arm-less women. (When I was a little girl and played with Barbies, I couldn't afford their expensive clothes that the stores sod, so I would take a roll of aluminium foil, tear a small sheet off, and wrap and then squeeze it around the doll and make a gorgeous silver skin tight evening gown with it. Wedding dresses today remind me of those squeezed-on silver dresses. I didn't know how to make sleeves then, and apparently wedding gown makers don't know how to make them today either.) It seems like the only place one can find wedding dresses with sleeves is if you go to a Muslim website, and then the woman is covered from head to toe, including her neck and head -- imagine an ivory colored hooded ski hat on a bride.      Where's the Bride? Muslim Bridal Gown

      Not wanting to convert to Islam, I did a search for winter wedding gowns. Doesn't help. Those women models also don't seem to need sleeves, they just wear a pretty white mink looking stole over their shoulders and that's it. Brrrr !

       

      We finally found a nice wedding dress, believe it or not from China, and when we ordered it, asked them to include a couple of meters of the same material, so we could have a bollero jacket made for the gown here. (Mothers, take note!)  I must say, we were VERY happy with the dress. It had beautiful bead work, was lined, had a beautiful train, and was under $100.00 !!! (How nice to think about these mundane things instead of the news.  Weddings are a good escape from the world!)  I was surprised China gave such good quality for such a good price, and best yet, it came door to door and there was no duty tax on it when it came to Israel. To ensure customer satisfaction, the company we used (here's a plug for DHGATE.com http://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/wedding+dresses+long+sleeved.html#search) to order the dress didn't release payment to the dress company until we were satisfied with the gown (we were!) and gave the 'ok' to release payment.

       

      The Big Day

       

      In any case, the big day finally came. All was beautiful. The groom was there and happy. The wedding took place in Jerusalem at sunset, and it was absolutely beautiful, filled with love, and dancing, and celebration, and family and friends and everyone was happy.

       

       

      Holy Matrimony

       

      One more thing.... As a parent, I think it is a blessing, and a relief, to know that one has raised a child to the chupah (wedding canopy) where you know that they and their mate share the same values; fear of G-d, family purity, and living a religious life together where they plan to set up home and raise children. So many times today we see single people getting older and older, going from heart-break to heart-break, because they live in a society that encourages instant gratification, sexual freedom with a variety of partners, and living for 'whoever fills your desires and needs at that time' and, and, and..

      . I was folding the laundry the other day and watching an episode of Oprah, when she was interviewing Shirley MacClaine. Some call her nuts but most would agree that she has lived a spicy and unconventional life. She told of how she and her brother, Warren Beatty grew up in a family atmosphere. As a child, she learned dancing and later decided she would go into show business. She then talked with 'O' about how she was married for several years, but had an 'open marriage' where she and her husband both had affairs. MacClaine then stated that she didn't believe in marriage, and the only reason her first and only marriage lasted for so long was because they both strayed. I listened to this poppy-cock and thought, she wouldn't be who she is today if it wasn't for growing up with a mother and a father and having a healthy home life. It's hard enough to raise a child with two parents, how much harder for single parents? And how much does a child lose out when he is missing a parent in his/her life. How does it affect a child when he sees his parent moving from relationship to relationship? Ever see an episode of Orange County Real Housewives (something like that) I saw the mother looking like daughters, bleached blond hair, bodies like venus, and husbands who work all day. Or another who lived with a man and had a child with him but never tied the knot, and now she kicked him out, but her other children (from a previous marriage) are still attached to him, but they don't have the access they need and the kids are turning out to be either wild teens or general dufuses . I would imagine it's not a very healthy recipe for a stable life. But to each his own.

       

      I am so blessed, soooooo blessed, that my daughter is happy, that she is G-d fearing, has her head in the right place, and has married a young man who values the same things. A young man that has committed himself to her and to building a bayit neeman b'Yisrael (A home faithful to the traditions of Israel

       

      Now, I only have 4 children left to see off to the canopy. Thank G-d they are all boys  - I imagine I'll buy them a suit and that's about it.   And please, no one wake me up from this fantasy dream with REAL-LIFE horror groom stories. I still haven't recovered from this wedding 



      Tammuz 1, 5771, 7/3/2011

      "Rabbis Above the Law"

      by Tamar Yonah

      I am taking a few days off because my daughter is getting married and I still have many things to attend to before this wonderful day.  In the meantime, this came to me from a listener, and I am posting it as a blog for you all to read and comment on.  The author wishes to remain anonymous.  


      "Rabbis Above the Law"

      The other day, the Israeli police detained Rabbi Dov Lior for questioning.
      Rabbi Lior's "crime"?  He endorsed a controversial book called "Torat ha-Melech" ("The King's Torah) about the laws of warfare.

      The book is about the laws of war in complex situations such as Israel faces, where terrorists hide themselves within a civilian population and use their neighbors as human shields.

      The author of the book, Rabbi Shapira, did not intend for people to "try this at home" and have "Texas necktie parties" for terrorists, but is obviously attempting to influence the public discourse in Israel. 
      The media has been presenting  "Torat ha-Melech" as a book about killing non-Jews.
      While it is true that terrorists in Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in fact not Jewish,  this is a very misleading description of the book's contents.

      The non-Jews referred to in the book do not live in Nebraska (then again, who knows, wasn't there recently a TV program called "Mosque on the Prairie" ?).

      However, public discourse in Israel has been taken over by the radical left and discussion on alternative ways on how to deal with the enemies of Israel have been pretty much nipped in the bud, and the answers fired back are always 'there is no other way' to attain peace except for the 'land for peace' formula.
       
      Further, to hinder a strong military solution as opposed to a weak footed diplomatic solution, many NGO's in Israel, funded by the New Israel Fund, seemed to invent lies about the IDF for the Goldstone commission which put out a UN report further damaging Israel and its military operations against the terrorists.
       
      Every time an IDF soldier goes into battle it seems he has to consult with a lawyer before getting off a shot.
      As a result, Tzahal (the IDF) is forced to fight with one hand tied behind its back.

      Then there is the problem of preservation of property.
      Some homeowner might have bought a house with his hard-owned savings and yet stories are heard of leftist activists (funded by NGO's) that entice an Arab, armed with an Ottoman certificate of ownership created in photoshop, to petition the court that the house was built on "private Palestinian land."  
      (Perhaps this is why Obama is so fond of the Palestinians, because he also has a hobby of creating certificates in photoshop).

      Rabbi Shapira, with his book based on halachic law (Jewish law) is merely trying to inject some sanity into the public debate, and the left cannot accept that. Instead, the Israeli "justice" system has decided to go after the Rabbis who endorsed "Torat ha-Melech."

      The headlines scream "Nobody is above the law, not even Rabbis."
      The loyalty of religious Jews is questioned because they believe that the Torah is above the law.

      Of course, in Israel today, nobody is above the law,  ... well, except for Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Arab MK's, and leftist professors and activists [sic].

      Is it true that the law of the land is above all other considerations ? 
      Of course, in Israel today, nobody is above the law, ... well, except for Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Arab MK's, and leftist professors and activists [sic].

      What about John Locke's principle of Natural Rights, the basis for modern western democracies, without which, governments would become tyrannies.

      Locke stated in his "Two Treatises on Civil Government" (Book II, Chapter II, "The State of Nature"):

      "The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent,  no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker;  all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, ... there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our’s."

      Hence, according to Locke, there are certain natural rights to life, liberty and property, which he derives from the fact that we are all the creation of one Creator.

      In Israel, the word "democracy" is frequently used by the left to justify all sorts of cruel policies.  
      The claim that these were voted on by the Knesset, Israel's legislature, trumps all other arguments.
      Thus, it was forbidden to demonstrate against the expulsion from Gush Katif, because that goes against "democracy."

      This is certainly not Locke's view.
      In his chapter on Tyranny in the "Two Treatises on Civil Government" (Book II, Chapter XVII, "Tyranny"), he states that forms of government other than monarchies can result in tyranny, in which power is used to harrass, impoverish or subdue members of the society (cf. the Israeli government's treatment of people who live over the green line)

      "It is a mistake, to think this fault is proper only to monarchies; other forms of government are liable to it, as well as that: for wherever the power, that is put in any hands for the government of the people, and the preservation of their properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the arbitrary and irregular commands of those that have it; there it presently becomes tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many. Thus we read of the thirty tyrants at Athens, as well as one at Syracuse; and the intolerable dominion of the Decemviri at Rome was nothing better."

      Further, Locke states in the treatises that legislative power cannot be unlimited (Book II, Chapter XI, "Of the Extent of Legislative Power"):

      "Though the legislative, whether placed in one or more, whether it be always in being, or only by intervals, though it be the supreme power in every common-wealth; 
      yet, First, It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people: for it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to that person, or assembly, which is legislator; it can be no more than those persons had in a state of nature before they entered into society, and gave up to the community: for no body can transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no body has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. "

      In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers alluded to Locke's conception of natural rights: 
      "... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights ..."

      The founding fathers repeated Locke's conception that there are  natural rights given to man by God which no government may take away.

      They created the constitution to limit the power of government.
      The basic principle of the American system of government is not "democracy", but limited government.  
      In fact, until the 17th amendment, senators were appointed by the state legislatures, to limit the power of the Federal Government.

      Ironically, it was an Israeli professor, Prof. Jacob Talmon, completely forgotten in Israel today, who coined the phrase "Totalitarian Democracy," a rather apt description of Israel's system of government today.
      Thus, the right in Israel must change the discourse from phrases such as 'sedition against democracy' to 'freedom against tyranny'.


      Thus, the "seditious" Rabbis who believe that the Torah is supreme are simply asserting the natural rights of citizens against the tyranny of the government. 

      The natural right to life:  The right of an Israeli soldier to defend himself and not be a sitting duck, for example, facing a hostile mob, as on one of the flotilla ships with terror linked groups aboard, with only a paintball gun.
      And the right to property:  Not to be expelled from the home that you paid for and have lived in for 30 years.

      The right to liberty: Against arbitrary arrests.

      Thus, the right in Israel must change the discourse from phrases such as sedition against democracy to freedom against tyranny.
      The right should make it clear that the purpose of government is not to elect any frivolous laws that the people are enticed to support by demagogues, 
      but to preserve life, liberty and property.

      And it is the Rabbis grounded in the Torah, who are better attuned to preserving life and liberty, and serve as needed critics of the policies of our elected officials.
      Just as  the prophets during the time of the first Temple warned the Kings of Israel when they were violating the rights of the people.







      Sivan 20, 5771, 6/22/2011

      Stand Up For Israel, or Lie Down with the Wicked

      by Tamar Yonah

      Stand Up For Israel, or Lie Down with the Wicked

      Just recently, the State of Oklahoma came out with a proclamation that they are allies of Israel, are spiritually and culturally linked to Israel because of their citizens’ strong Judeo-Christian values, and to top it off,  Oklahoma's Governor Mary Fallin has officially proclaimed May 9, 2011 as “Peace in Israel” day in Oklahoma.
      To read the official document close up click HERE.
       

      Why did Oklahoma do this?

      It's not just because Oklahoma “has a long relationship with Israel which includes trade, educational exchanges and sister cities.”
      It's not just because of  “its battle against terrorism, and its efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
      It's not just because, as state Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, says, that he "feels very strongly that Israel is a lonely beacon of hope and freedom in the Middle East, and we must do all we can to support our most important ally in that region”.

      No, it is because these Bible-believing citizens have proclaimed that “the Holy Bible states that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed (Genesis 12:3), and Oklahomans desire a blessed state.”

      Need one say more?  G-d said it.  G-d proclaimed it in the Bible which all 3 major religions of the world concur is divine and true.  (Genesis 12:3)  "And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed".  These words are there in black and white, as plain as day, 'the blessing and the curse'.
      Oklahoma wants to be blessed.  

      What will the other 49 states do?  What will the rest of the nations of the world do?  
      The citizens of these places must contact their representatives and urge them to to stand with G-d's people, the nation of Israel. They must urge their papers and radio and media to report the truth about the 'Land for Peace' formula as insane and counter-productive and a detriment not only to Israel, but to all the free world.  They must urge all to shoo away the fog of sound bytes & political correctness and cut a path towards truth and clarity.  They can do this by simply opening up the Bible and reading the book of Genesis.

      One either stands with Israel, and is blessed, or chooses to be lazy and by default, lies with the Wicked.
      It's your choice.  I hope you make the correct one and do what the citizens of Oklahoma did.
      Long live Oklahoma and may it prosper!

      Hat-tip to a kind and wonderful reader and listener named Elaine G. who sent me this news from her home state of Oklahoma!