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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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      Tevet 21, 5770, 1/7/2010

      History Won't Wait For You - Sell & Get Out Now

      by Tamar Yonah

      Really, I can't find the time to post, and there is so much I want to, but I don't have time to accompany the news items with what I want to say, and do it eloquently.  So I decided to just rush this post and leave it up to you to discuss, because really, this stuff needs to get out....

      If you are living in the USA and own a home, you may not be able to sell it after next year.  It seems that the new Act. H.R. 2454 "Cap & Trade" bill is going to require homeowners to get a licence on their house, not unlike having to get a license on your car, your business, and even your pet.  In order to receive this license, you have to have your home meet EPA standards, kind of like your car has to have a smog device put into it and have it meet state regulations before you can re-new your car's license.  If the cap & trade bill passes, and it already has in the the House of Representatives, and is now going to the Senate then American homeowners are looking at having to retrofit their homes to meet the federal �green� guidelines.  And each year, these 'guidelines' may increase.  What does this mean? It means if you want to sell your house to make aliyah and then be able to come with a little money, you will first have to have your home inspected.  Probably you will need to upgrade your home's efficiency in how it uses energy and what carbon footprints it leaves behind. After spending money on things such as your water heater, sewage lines, wall and roof insulation, necessary re-wiring and plumbing, you invite the inspector back.  If it passes the EPA requirements, your home will be given a 'rating'.  You then need to put a sign on your lawn or somewhere that can be seen, on how well your house is rated - 3 stars? 4 stars? 5 stars? And this spending does not include the cost of renovating to get your house looking decent enough to sell. 

      According to a piece posted on the NACHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) site about this new cap and trade bill, you will NOT be able to sell your home;

      • ...Without the permission of the EPA administrator.
      • To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured.
      • Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.
      • Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner.
      • If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act."

      To read more, click HERE. http://www.nachi.org/forum/f14/cap-and-trade-license-required-your-home-44750/


      In the end, you may have spent more money on license and renovation requirements  than you can make up for it after selling. And if you want to sell now because the mortgage is just too much, what will you do?  Just 'walk away' from the house?  Then you are left with nothing.

      My Jewish brothers and sisters still residing in the Exile, come home NOW.  G-d doesn't wait until you 'feel' like making aliyah.  It's a mitzvah, and G-d tells us over and over again that THIS is the land we belong to, not the pit stops along the way of history like Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, Rome, Spain, Germany and now America.  Odds are, that your grandparents or great-grandparents spoke Russian or Polish or German, and identified themselves as loyal Poles, Russians, Germans.  And today, you mistakenly do the same thing thinking you are WESTERNERS, when you are really not.  And the World has told you that through history, through all the anti-semitism abound today despite the fact that you look and talk and want to be like them.  They will not let you. You are really JEWS forced into a 2,000 year Exile, but that Exile is over. Israel is your home, Hebrew is your language.  G-d ended the Exile for us in 1948, and started fulfilling the prophesies of the in-gathering of the exiles.  How many 'warnings' and 'wake up' signs do you need?  Do you need a clop on the head?  Are you expecting a telegram or urgent email from Hashem saying, "Get Out Fast, It's All About to Blow!"?  Well, you are not going to ever get that telegram or email from G-d.  G-d is showing you in other ways that it is time to come home, to get out, to save yourselves and your children - your future.

      If you are saying to yourselves, "But I don't have a job waiting for me there in Israel",  then just remember, that MOST new immigrants don't have jobs waiting for them.  In fact, when your grandparents came to the shores of America, they didn't have jobs waiting for them either!!!! But they made it.  You are alive, and educated, and come from a once wealthy country. You have more going for you than any of your past ancestors did.

      I am not promising you an easy, carefree aliyah.  You will meet your challenges here, it is part of growing, but you will not starve.  We don't have people dying of starvation here.  We don't have a 'street people' problem like you do in the West. The government helps you as well with free language courses and financial and job seeking help. Are you more a wuss than your grandparents?  If they could leave their whole families behind, their language, their culture, to come to the shores of the Americas where they did not receive this help, then you can certainly do it and come home where you belong and will receive aid.  And I do believe that you will have G-d's help in doing so.

      Remember, in these times before the redemption, your plans for return are not on your time schedule, history will not wait for you.  We learned that the hard way in Europe.  G-d is sending you hints, signals, news headlines, .... it is only for you to open up your eyes and see, and to go forward with complete faith that this is THE RIGHT THING TO DO.  If G-d has blessed you with a home, the biggest purchase you probably ever made in your life, then sell NOW and come with whatever you can get, and bring the blessings that you have now, however big or little they may be.  Soon, you may NOT be able to leave America.  Soon, a new law can be passed that anyone who makes money in America cannot take it out of America.  That's the way it was in South Africa, and where people had such a hard time trying to get out with their money.  It can certainly happen again in a country which is facing an imminent empirical fall. Sell Now & Get Out, before it get's worse for the Jews, because whenever a country suffers financially, the Jews are always the ones to get blamed.  History won't wait for you.







      Tevet 16, 5770, 1/2/2010

      PC vs. Profiling

      by Tamar Yonah

      It used to be fun and exciting to travel.  Now?  Now it's not only a pain, it's dangerous and humiliating.  Somehow I never minded the security checks at Israeli airports or Israeli El AL counters around the world.  I knew I was being protected and it wasn't too much of a bother.  But then, on returning home to Israel from abroad, I have to go through ridiculous and often humiliating security checks. 

      First of all, they have this official 'no profiling' policy.  However, inevitably, I - as well as my elderly parents (who travel separately from me), are ALWAYS 'randomly' picked for a special check.  I am publicly asked to step aside for this 'random' security check.  You might be familiar with the drill...  Taking shoes off, having to remove my head covering (which I  refuse to do in public, and then only with a female security person).  They run their fingers through my hair --checking for a barrette bomb? And as I am in this private room while they are checking me, I keep wondering, has there ever been an Israeli, or a Jew for that matter, that has tried to blow up a plane? Why do they always 'randomly' pick me? Shouldn't they be 'profiling' or 'randomly' picking passengers that have connections to Islamic terror sponsoring regimes?  Yet, people tell me when they travel, Muslim women covered with a burkah are usually let through without any check whatsoever.  Go figure.  Albeit, I don't feel any safer after these checks, except for the fact that I now know that at least I am not a terrorist.  (wink)

      So I suggest that the international airport security agencies implement Israeli style safety and security procedures.  It is called, PROFILING.  Yes, I said that politically incorrect word.  Israel profiles 'everyone'.  Yet the way they check you keeps the traffic flowing quickly and without make it humiliating.  It's all how you act, not necessarily what your background is.  Take a look at this piece that was written last week in The Star entitled:  'The 'Israelification' of airports: High security, little bother'.

      "While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

      That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.

      "It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He's worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.

      "Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for � not for hours � but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, 'We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport." 
      "Israelification" - a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.


      That, in a nutshell is "Israelification" - a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.

      Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

      "The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport," said Sela.

      The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

      "Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

      Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" � behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

      "The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?" 
      "The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"


      Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

      Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

      "This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.

      You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

      "The whole time, they are looking into your eyes � which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.

      Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

      At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate � what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

      "I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is 'Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, 'What would you do?' And he said, 'Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, 'Oh. My. God.'

      "Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic � which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, 'Two days.'"

      A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.

      First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

      Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes'. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

      "This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.

      Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson � the body and hand-luggage check.

      "But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

      "First, it's fast � there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

      That's the process � six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.  (To read more click here.) 


      Video:  "CNN's Paula Hancocks assesses Israel's airline security and asks whether the world can learn something from it."

         








      Tevet 14, 5770, 12/31/2009

      New Years Blood Bath

      by Tamar Yonah

      Don't drink to that!  Any Jew who raises his cup for the 'Sylvester'  New Year, is toasting to a day synonymous with the flow of Jewish blood.  I hate to be a party-pooper, but really, let's take a look at the history of this day....

      From Simple To Remember:    http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/newyearshistory/

      "In 46 B.C.E. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar first established January 1 as New Years day. Janus was the Roman god of doors and gates, and had two faces, one looking forward and one back.  Caesar felt that the month named after this god (January) would be the appropriate door to the year.  Caesar celebrated the first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee.  Eyewitnesses say blood flowed in the streets.  In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgiesa ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was ordered by the gods." 
      Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgiesa


      "The Israeli term for New Years night celebrations, Sylvester, was the name of the Saint and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.).  The year before the Council of Nicaea convened, Sylvester convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem.  At the Council of Nicaea, Sylvester arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation.  All Catholic Saints are awarded a day on which Christians celebrate and pay tribute to that Saints memory.  December 31 is Saint Sylvester Day - hence celebrations on the night of December 31 are dedicated to Sylvester's memory." 



      And what has this celebration begot today to our youth and Western culture?  A night of partying, drinking, making out under a mistletoe, and making new year resolutions that are hardly ever kept.

      Is Dec. 31st / Jan 1st not a night where there are massive car accidents?  Where people never even have a chance to finish the end of their Jan. 1st hangover?  I mean, friends, what's there to celebrate here, Drunk Drivers Day?  Spilled Jewish Blood Day?  If one really wanted to honor the Gregorian New Year to make it meaningful and to better themselves and this world instead of having an excuse to dress up and get drunk, then wouldn't it be more fitting to celebrate it with a nice meal with family and friends and some meaningful time for introspection and serious accounting?

      When I came to Israel in 1978, Jews didn't celebrate the 'Sylvester' as they call it here.  In fact, one was hard up to find a hotel that had some bar open until midnight where they could go and maybe find some sort of partying there.  Today?  Today it is different.  Today the western culture has invaded Israel and our secular youth are celebrating this day (unbeknownst to them) of a Jewish blood bath by an evil anti-Semite.  Today on the news, I heard them beseeching people to not drive home after any parties, and that instead taxis would give people a special 'new years discount' to take them home.  Yes, we have come to this.  But maybe a little history lesson like the one above will make people think again before raising a glass to this historically anti-Semitic day.


      Tevet 7, 5770, 12/24/2009

      CHRISTMAS AND PAGANISM* 2009

      by Tamar Yonah

      Holidays are given to us to in order to remind us who we are. We remember the history and the importance of the day and use it to develop and mold us into better people so we can serve G-d better. 

      Note: This post is a re-post from 2007.  I want to remind everyone that this piece is not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or put anyone down. This is merely to enable people to make an educated decision as to what they want to teach their children and bring into their home.  

      Growing up in the West, where people are steeped in a xmas atmosphere with trees, lights, mistletoe, santas and manger scene decorations, I decided to do some research to find out more about the symbols of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, some of the holiday decorations are very beautiful to the eye, but I believe that one should know the truth behind these symbols in order for them to be true to themselves and serve G-d the best they can.  We should not be deceived by 'cosmetics' or decorations, if behind these symbols lies darkness and leads people away from truth.

      And so, below are some questions posted on the internet asked by people wanting to know more about their own holiday, and some of the answers posted by their own fellow holiday celebrators.

      Question:                                                                                       

      Why do we celebrate Christmas in December when Jesus was born in March or even around the feast Of Tabernacles (sukkot) in the Fall?  Why did the Catholic Church choose December 25 for the birth date of jesus?  

      Answers:
      "It was chosen in order to compete with the pagan winter solstice festivals. It was not chosen because it is the correct historical date…"

                Is this in your house?
        

      "The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 apparently originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity's existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, Mithras during this time of year. Although it was not popular, or even proper, to celebrate people's birthdays in those times, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of (their god)….
      Xmas was slow to catch on in America. The early colonists considered it a pagan ritual. The celebration of xmas was even banned by law in Massachusetts in colonial days."              

      Question: Why do "Christians" use a Pagan symbol, like the Christmas tree, in their celebration of the birth of Jesus?

      Answer:  "Because way back in the day, the Catholic church started to absorb Pagan symbols in order to make conversion less of a drastic step for Pagans."

      "Pagan and Christian families would bring a live tree into the home so the wood spirits would have a place to keep warm during the cold winter months. Bells were hung in the limbs so you could tell when a spirit was present. Food and treats were hung on the branches for the spirits to eat and a five-pointed star, the pentagram, symbol of the five elements, was placed atop the tree. The colors of the season, red and green, also are of Pagan origin, as is the custom of exchanging gifts." 

      Christians, you believe in the Tanach, the Bible. G-d specifically commands: 

      Jeremiah 10:2 
      Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

                               Cutting down a tree to place in the house.

         

      This is what the Pagans did, and you are carrying this on.

      Question: Why do they allow a plethora of other Pagan symbols?

      Answer:
      "Mistletoe and Holly: Two hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They believed the plant had special healing powers.  Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmascelebrations because of its pagan origins."

      Elves are a pagan idea from Scandinavian countries.
      Santa never existed.  He is based on the original St. Nicklaus who lived in what is now modern-day Turkey back in the 3rd or 4th century.

      Answer from another Christian site:                                    

      "Christmas is a Pagan holiday - "Christmas" is not in the Bible, and we are not commanded to celebrate the Messiah's birth in all of Scripture. The Messiah was not born on or near December 25. He was born sometime in late September (most likely Sept. 29) or early October during the Feast of Tabernacles, but no one can be sure of the exact day. If the Almighty Sovereign Creator wanted us to celebrate the day He would have told us in Lev. 23.

      "December 25th was celebrated by the Pagan sun-worshippers of Mithraism as the "birthday of the invincible sun," because on that day the sun began its return to the northern skies "the winter solstice." And so, the sun and the Son, have become a deliberate Pagan mix. Tammuz, the Babylonian Pagan sun deity, was also the first counterfeit savior…   December 25th was also the date of the Pagan Brumalia (winter) festival in Rome. It was preceded by the Saturnalia festival Dec. 17-24 - in honor of the Roman god Saturn, as a period of unrestrained merriment in celebration of the winter solstice.  The Saturnalia and Brumalia festivals were so popular among the heathen and so deeply entrenched in their customs, that rather than attempt to reform the Pagan populous the Roman Church, the Emperor Constantine, chose instead to absorb their festivities into the Constantine Roman Catholic Church."   

      Friends, is this what you wish to perpetuate? Do you wish to continue pagan ways in today's world?  

      Paganism: It's the fastest-growing religion in Australia, according to the 2001 census.  Sydney pagan worshippers  learns about spells, covens and the importance of being "skyclad"( being clad/covered only by the sky, Ritual nakedness performing their rituals naked).

         

      Moonstruck: high priest David Garland celebrates the summer solstice with other pagans on Rotaract Hill. Photo: Tamara Dean

      So, to my brothers and sisters on this planet who celebrate xmas, this is not an attack, but an honest query to you: What’s the deal here?  What are you bringing into your homes? What rituals are you really observing?  Will you embrace a holiday that brings paganism into your homes? Should you not go back to the word of G-d as given to Moses on Mt. Sinai?  Should you not embrace instead the 7 laws of Noah as commanded by G-d to all Gentiles, whom He created and loves and wants to be closer to Him?  To read about what your obligations are as a Gentile, you must RETURN to the source.

      Wishing you truth and a closer relationship with the One Creator of the Universe.  May you remove darkness from the world and let in the light!        

      Hear my show "The Surprising Origins of Christmas".







      Kislev 29, 5770, 12/16/2009

      3-D Tour of the Holy Temple!

      by Tamar Yonah

      It's like you are there.  A cool video that brings you inside the Holy Temple making you feel wonderful, and embraced by G-d. 

      But first - I have a confession to make.  Let me tell you about it.  Well, you know that it is Chanukah vacation, and it's a slower pace now.  And with this mindset, I thought that I would make some pop corn and sit and watch a movie that one of my guests had checked out from the video store.  It was called Benjamin Button, about a man who was born old and aged backwards.  I thought, great, no prob, the idea of someone going through life backwards sounded intriguing and they needed to return the video soon.  And so I sat and watched, and watched, and watched...  The movie was un-ending!  But I wanted to see how it would wind up, if he would be a baby in the end, or die with the mind of a baby but be 6 feet tall, or whatever, and what he learned from life, etc.  Well, I finally got to the end of watching, and zzzzzzzzzz.  What a waste of my precious time!  It's winter, and night time comes early.  I had started watching in the mid afternoon, and now, it was all dark outside, and I hadn't accomplished anything that day. Not even learned anything or come away with anything after watching that looooooong movie.  Thumbs down on that one.  ...But it won't be thumbs down on this one. 

      Watch this move below (thanks to Judith who sent this to me) it really is uplifting and a wonderful holiday experience.  May we merit the Third Temple soon in our time, amen!