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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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      Tishrei 12, 5770, 9/30/2009

      My Husband is Leaving Me, Again!

      by Tamar Yonah

      -And he's taking the kids.  No amount of begging helped.  I am alone in the house, and the quiet is...  well, actually, it's not THAT quiet.  I hear giggling and my husband's low voice telling stories to my kids. You see, my husband left me - for the sukkah.  I usually stick to sleeping in the house.  I am too old for the 'outdoor adventure'. I've turned into an old fuddy-duddy, and hey, I earned it!   Anyway, I peer down from my upstairs bedroom window which is right next to, and above, the sukkah that we built for the Sukkot holiday. If I look out my bedroom window, through the schach and palm branch roof of the sukkah, I can see slits of light from inside there shining through.  I try to peer and see the kids inside, lying in sleeping bags near each other and having a blast with their dad!
      []
      Our sukkah (2007) . Notice the green grass and our back yard's rock wall with a small water fall in the back.  Old torn couches were brought in against the temporary wooden wall of the sukkah. My kids placed their mattresses on the grass inside our sukkah, and the table and plastic chairs will be pushed towards the other wall to make room for a few more sleeping bags.

      I wonder what G-d thinks as he looks from above and sees His nation, His people, sleeping in sukkot all over the Land of Israel.  It must be a very beautiful site. 

      This is the time of year that Jews go out to the sukkah to 'dwell'.  Many men and children sleep there as well, and sometimes us mothers do too.  My kids were ecstatic when I slept out there with them last year.  I decided to stop being a fuddy-duddy wimp and brave the mosquitos, but this year, there aren't so many of those pesty bloodsuckers in our area, so yippee!  However, I confess, my back likes my mattress and I appreciate having a nearby bathroom. And anyway, even ONE mosquito zzzzz-ing near my ear can drive me nuts.  I've become soft in my old age (sigh).

      Nevertheless, on Sukkot our sukkah at night turns into a 'wall to wall' sleep hall, with mattresses and old torn couches we use outside, on the grass.  The kids think of it as an adventure.  My husband is just a little less enthusiastic than the kids.  He feels more spiritual sleeping under the stars.  G-d bless that man!

      One of the customs we do on the Sukkot holiday is to participate in a 'sukkah hop'.  What is a sukkah hop you say?  It is where all the neighbors get together and hop from sukkah to sukkah.  Of course we don't really 'hop'.  What we do is make a list of whose sukkah we are going to go to, and at what time, and then stroll from one sukkah to the next, oo-ing and ah-ing and admiring the different way children have decorated their family's sukkah.  Everyone who hosts serves refreshments; coffee, tea or cold drinks, cakes, etc. and people can sit and say a bracha (a blessing) over these refreshments in the sukkah.  Then, as guests are sitting and eating, the host of the sukkah gives a 'dvar Torah' or a talk on the Torah. Usually guests stay for about 15-20 minutes and then together move on to the next neighbor's sukkah and the next 'dvar Torah'. It is a lovely time and we all get to see the different sukkot and the different decorations the children made, etc. 

      So, in the spirit of the 'Festival of Booths', I thought I would host YOUR sukkah photos.  Send me one photo of your sukkah and, blog room permitting, I will post them up here.  I wish you all a happy and healthy new year, and a wonderful and warm Sukkot holiday!

      First sukkah put up by new immigrants in Israel. Yeah!  Submitted by M from Jerusalem.







      Elul 28, 5769, 9/17/2009

      From Buddhist Priest to Haredi Rabbi

      by Tamar Yonah

      Rosh HaShana Post: Something to think about.

      Yitzhak Fanger was a typical secular Israeli guy.  His story though, is anything but.

      Yitzchak grew up in the center of the country and after graduating from high school, he went to serve in the IDF.  His life took a very interesting turn a few years later, and I was interviewing him as he shared his story with me and my listeners on my radio show.

          Rav Yitzchak Fanger

       

      (This blog post is a repeat of one I wrote in 2007.  I am re-posting it for Rosh HaShana. Listen to the audio interview from links provided below.)

      After finishing his army service, Yitzchak was going to make his way out in the world. He decided to learn Reiki (a Japanese technique for healing administered by ‘laying on hands’).  After taking courses and  excelling in his new trade, his Reiki teacher urged him to go to the Far East to learn to be a
      Reiki  Master and return to be the top teacher in Israel. 

      Fanger listened to his teacher and traveled to India. There he pursued more learning and became heavily involved in Buddhism.  He became a Buddhist priest and was encouraged to go for an extended stay at a type of monastery or solitary retreat for Buddhist priests up in the mountains.  There, one was forbidden to speak, their task was to concentrate on mediation, yoga, and to try to reach nirvana.  The only work they had to do at the retreat was gardening.  Gardening was very important, as they grew their own food.

      A few months went by and Yitzchak was well into his daily routine of meditation, yoga, gardening, - and not talking.  One might imagine that it would be difficult not to speak for months on end, especially for a Jew from Israel. Yitzchak was getting antsy. He had an urge to talk, to hear his own voice, and the feeling was bubbling up inside him that he felt he was going to burst.  The urge got so strong, that Yitzchak ran away, far from ear shot of the retreat and the other Buddhist monks.  He arrived at a brook a distance away, and all of a sudden, words came pouring out of his mouth.  He couldn’t stop rambling off speech.  The amazing thing was, that the first words that he had spoken after months of silence, ---was his Bar Mitzvah portion from the Torah.

        

      Yitzchak was shocked. Why did THOSE words come out of him?  He didn’t identify with his Judaism, in fact, he hated the religious people, especially those from the near by city where he grew up, Bnei Brak.  Bnei Brak was full of religious Jews and he had a prejudice towards ‘them’ and that place.

      Yitzchak  was now 26 years old, he had carved out a path for himself, and was happy about his experiencing this new spirituality.  Judaism was a long way away, and had not thought about his Bar Mitzvah since he was 13.  He was stunned that the words he read from the Torah on his Bar Mitzvah should be the first words out of his mouth after his long silence.  

      Yitzchak released the built up pressure from within him after his outburst near the brook.  He headed back for camp, and decided to put the incident behind him.

      One evening, a few days after the occurrence at the brook, Yitzchak was ready to retire for the night and crawl into his sleeping bag in the small room he was given.  But he kept having a feeling that someone or ‘something’, was in his room.  It was a bad feeling, and being an Israeli, he decided to himself, “Mishane makom, mishane mazal” – “change the place you are at, and you will change your luck/destiny”.  And so, Yitzchak decided to take his sleeping bag from his room, and sleep underneath the stars that night.  As he reached for his sleeping bag, a scorpion jumped out from the part of the sleeping bag where his head was supposed to be.  He realized then, that he could have been killed by that scorpion, and that his instinct not to sleep in his room where his bag lie, was not just a fortunate premonition, but that someone, or something, was watching over him.

      About a week later, in the evening, after practicing his meditation, the candle in Yitzchak's room went out. He went to search for more candles in his bag, when he found a card with Hebrew print on it.  It was then that Yitzchak remembered that when he was at Tel Aviv’s (Lod) Ben Gurion Airport, a Hassidic Jewish man was passing out cards to people, and handed Yitzchak one as well. The card had some type of prayer, or text from the Torah on it. Yitzchak asked the man what he should do with it, and the man said, just keep it with you, it will protect you.  So Yitzchak shrugged his shoulders and then stuffed it in his bag, quickly forgetting about it.
      After finding the card in his bag, Yitzchak got an itchy feeling.  It was then that a small still voice came from within him and said, “Why don’t you meditate on something in Hebrew, all the time you have been meditating on words in Japanese, try concentrating on the words on this card in Hebrew.” 
      He thought, "Ok, let's see what happens".  He held the card and read one of the lines written there.  “Shemah Yisrael, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem Echad”.  It was the 'Shemah' prayer (Hear oh Israel, The Lord our G-d, The Lord is One).
      Meditating on this line, Yitzchak repeated it over and over again like a mantra.  “Shemah Yisrael, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem Echad”.    ...Suddenly, he started to tremble, and a light bulb went off in his head.  No, - it was more like an inner explosion.  Yitzchak had a burst of spiritual enlightenment. He had found a treasure!  “Yes, of course!” he said.  “Yes, The Lord is our G-d, the Lord is one.  YES! YES! YES!  I want to know more about this. This is truth!" 
         

      Yitzchak looked at his surroundings, the bare wooden hut where he had spent so many months, the foreign looking landscape and geography. It was not where he was supposed to be. No one here, not one of these monks, could teach him about G-d. He decided that the very next morning, he was going to pack his things and leave immediately for Israel.  Home.

      After arriving in Israel and  back at his parent’s house, Yitzchak was hungry to learn about Judaism and what the Torah said.  He saw an advertisement in the paper that there would be a lecture given on Judaism, with ample time for questions and answers. 

       Almost immediately after his return from India, he found himself listening to a rabbi explaining basic Jewish concepts and a little bit of Jewish mysticism. But Yitzchak’s hunger wasn’t satisfied.   He went the following weekend to a Shabbat  program held at a hotel, for Jews who wanted to learn more about G-d.  Yitzchak was a person who needed logic and scientific explanations.  He liked the way in which the rabbis were explaining and proving through intellectual discourse, the existence of G-d. 

      The lecture schedule went from first proving that G-d existed, to the revelation at Sinai, and then to the conclusion that if A was true, and B was true, then C was also true, and that we must observe the Torah and mitzvoth (commandments) that G-d gave us.

      Yitzchak  made a decision after that weekend, and his past quest for truth and enlightenment… that he was going to become a ‘baal tshuva’, a returnee to Judaism, a religious Jew.

      When he broke the news to his parents, his mother went ballistic.  “You’re going to be religious and then you are going to leave me”, she cried.  “How can you do this to me”, she sobbed.  Yitzchak reassured her that there was no reason to cut himself off from his family just because he wanted to be religious, and that she was imagining things and should calm down.  Ironically, the fact that he came off the plane in orange pajamas with a bald head didn’t seem to phase anyone, but the fact that he would start wearing a Yarmulke on his head put people into a stir. <grin>

      Soon after, Yitzchak rolled up his sleeves and went to work.  He opened up his own Reiki center and school for Reiki.  He taught students, lectured around Israel, and took in private patients.  He was indeed THE rieki master of Israel, and he was doing very well financially. He bought a nice car, a beautiful home, and one day, his mother, who was doing his bookkeeping, called Yitzchak on the phone and told him that according to her latest calculations, Yitzchak was a millionaire!  Things were going very well for Yitzchak.  He was keeping the Sabbath, wearing a kippah,  keeping more and more mitzvoth, and he was content.  Things were wonderful, and his business was thriving.

      One day, after lecturing to a  group of Haredi women about Reiki, and hoping that they would want to sign up for his courses he gave, he ran into trouble.  After his presentation, one of the women from the audience came up to him and asked him if this ‘reiki’ was ‘kosher’.  Yitzchak, answered her that of course it was kosher.  After all, one doesn’t eat reiki.  What could be wrong with it?
      The woman said, just to be sure, if you want us to sign up for your courses, please go to our rabbi and ask him to give you a letter that this ‘reiki’ is kosher, then we’ll be willing to do it.

      Yitzchak did as the woman asked.  He made an appointment with the well respected rabbi and asked him for a letter saying that reiki was ‘kosher’.  The rabbi wanted to know exactly what reiki was.  Yitzchak explained that reiki was based on the idea of an unseen "life force energy".  This energy force would flow through him to his patient, as he concentrated on the word – ‘Rei’ which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."   The rabbi, understanding that many of the eastern and oriental healing methods were based on avodah zarah, -calling on foreign gods, and therefore 'reiki' was ‘unclean’.  He told Yitzchak that he was unable to give him a letter saying that this was kosher.

      Yitzchak did a double take, then leaned towards the rabbi and said,  “But rabbi, you don’t understand, this reiki is my profession, it’s how I make my living.  You HAVE to give me a letter saying this is kosher.  The rabbi repeated that he was unable to give a stamp of approval for this, as it stemmed from avodah zarah, (idol worship) and thus was  not kosher.

      Yitzchak was floored.  He was stunned beyond belief.  He went home in a daze.  His world was spinning out of control, and he was feeling sick to his stomach.  As he opened up the door to his home, he threw himself on his couch and started to cry like a baby.  He was heaving sobs from the depths of his soul.  He was broken.  He was bewildered, and he did not know what he was going to do.  On one hand, he was the reiki master of Israel, a millionaire, and his years of learning and practicing reiki had become his identity.  It was WHO HE WAS.  Yitzchak was a reiki master.  What would he be without it? 
      On the other hand, Yitzchak had a deep belief in G-d now.  He had discovered the truth and he wanted to cling to G-d, Torah and the commandments. What should he do?

      After his sobs subsided, Yitzchak Fanger lifted his eyes towards the heaven, and said to G-d, “My G-d, I have never asked you for anything.  But I am asking you for something now.  I am telling you with firm conviction, I WILL GIVE UP my reiki.  But I want a promise from You, that YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP on me!”

      With that, Yitzhcak picked up the phone, and dialed his mother.  “Ima”, he said, “Right now, I want you to cancel all my appointments, cancel all my lectures, cancel all my courses, and all my patients.  I am closing down my reiki center.”

      A scream came on from the other end of the phone.  “Yitzchak, are you mad?  You are a millionaire!  You are so successful! You cannot mean it!”  But Yitzchak stood firm.

      I broke into Yitzchak’s story, because I told him his mother may have been upset as well, because in essence, he was firing her.  He laughed and said that everything had worked out for the best.

      I asked Yitzchak how he was doing now, years later. He told me, “Tamar, I am a millionaire today.  I have six children, each worth more than millions to me.  I have a wonderful loving wife, we live a religious life and we are so very happy.  And do you know what, Tamar?  My parents are very happy now as well.  They see how well I treat my wife, how wonderful she treats me and the children, and they are so happy.  In fact, my own children do not know that my parents are not religious.  Whenever my parents come to visit us, my mother comes with her hair covered, and my father puts on a kippah.  In addition, my parents had their kitchen kashered,  (made their kitchen kosher) so that whenever we go to visit them, we can eat there.  Yitzchak added to me as an aside, “And you know what?  My beautiful wife just happens to be from Bnei Brak, the city that I had so much hatred for.”  Things are looking up, and Yitzchak’s younger brother has also now returned to Torah and mitzvoth as well.  His parents couldn’t be happier.

      Yitzchak Fanger learned much from his experiences.  Today, he is a Haredi rabbi.  He is now trying to develop a system that uses some of the basics of reiki, and yet does not call for concentrating on foreign names of god. 
      I was very impressed and touched by Yitzchak Fanger,, and how everything turned out for his family.  What made the biggest impression on me was his sacrifice for his beliefs.  This man, who was a self made millionaire through his expertise and hard work, gave it all up for Hashem (G-d).

      What strength that took, because it wasn’t only the money he gave up, but his identity, how he defined himself. What strength and commitment that took, what utter faith in G-d.  And I ask myself, and ask all of you who are reading this….
      What are we willing to give up for G-d? What do we have in our lives that needs changing, or giving up, to help us serve G-d better?
      Are we partaking in bad habits that hurt our health and service to Him?
      Are we engaged in frivolous activities that are taking us away from what we should be doing?
      Should we stop smoking, kick the TV out, stop visiting the pubs and night clubs?  What is it that we need to do this Rosh HaShana, from now on, to make ourselves at least as worthy as this once secular guy from Tel Aviv?


      What are WE willing to give up for G-d?

      Wishing you all a sweet, happy, and healthy new year!

      SPECIAL NOTE:

      Listen to this interview:

      From Buddhist Monk to Haredi Rabbi: Part 1

      To listen click HERE.

      From Buddhist Monk to Haredi Rabbi: Part 2

      To listen click HERE.






      Elul 21, 5769, 9/10/2009

      Have We Already Forgotten Sept. 11th?

      by Tamar Yonah

      It's only been 8 years.  Have we already forgotten who the enemy is? Or did we buy into the 'Islam is a religion of peace' propaganda thrown at us? 

      Friends, there is 'good' and 'bad' in this world.  Forget about moral equivalency, it is a false philosophy. These terrorists funded by Islamic regimes and led by their Imams have declared war on the World.  They seek world domination and they will fight their jihad while using the media to spread their propaganda and lies that they are tolerant and a religion of peace.  This is not to say that all Moslems are evil.  There are always good people in every religion and country, but their leadership has repeatedly stated that America is the Big Satan, and Israel is the Little Satan.  They repeatedly say they will fight, 'First the Saturday People and then the Sunday People'.  If Israel were to 'go away', do not think that all of a sudden there would be peace in the world. After the Jews would be out of the way, they'd come for the Christians.  Just ask those Christians still in Bethlehem how bad it is for them since Israel left it and gave it to the Palestinian Authority.

      Before you watch this special video below, I want you to remember this and pass it on to others on how the Arabs in the Palestinian Authority were laughing and celebrating the tragedy of Sept. 11th.  They handed out candy in the streets as Americans were jumping out of windows.

      And this video of that brave hero Brigitte Gabriel (about 5 minutes)

      Here's more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMOZvbYJMvU&feature=related

      And last, you can watch The Third Jihad, a full length video available to watch for FREE in honor of the Sept. 11th memorial.





      Elul 19, 5769, 9/8/2009

      NWO: Incestuous Pedophilia is Healthy

      by Tamar Yonah

      *** Addendum to this last blog post: Please see talk-back #42 where I make a calrification that this booklet has indeed been revoked, and that this story was from two and a half years ago.

       

      Sick, Sick, Sick. 
      Germany has done it again.  Apparently it's lust for genocide has now taken a turn for pedophilia. A new booklet has come out from the German Federal Health Education Center a subsidiary of Germany's Ministry for Family Affairs.  The booklet, entitled, "Love, Body and Playing Doctor", promotes what seems to be officially sanctioned pedophilia. It advices German parents to "sexually massage their children as young as 1 to 3 years of age."  After the age of 3, they follow with more suggestions on how a father can stimulate the private parts of their daughter's, and that she should do the same for her father.  It is 'State-encouraged incest'.

      The article from this website entitled, "Germany and EU to Legalise Paedophilia", goes on to say, "According to the Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita, the BZgA booklet is an obligatory read in nine German regions. It is used for training nursery, kindergarten and elementary school teachers."

      Unbelievable?  I thought so too, and I would post here what else this booklet encourages parents should do with their children, but it is too sick, too sick, too sick. 

      This is why mankind needs Torah.  When man abandons the Bible, he abandons his humanity.  Because without G-d's word, there is no absolute truth or morality. Man just makes things up as he goes.  The strong rule over the weak.  And the world becomes a cesspool of evil. 

      For those who wish to read about the German government promoting incestuous pedophilia themselves, they can go to this article or this one.  However, as a warning, the description of what they tell parents to do is graphic.

      - "This article was brought to you by the New World Order A.K.A. Modern Tower of Babel, where man's ego, pleasures and lusts are above G-d's word."  To order a copy, send an email to:  FishyFlag@GermanEUwhiteHouse.gov







      Elul 14, 5769, 9/3/2009

      The End Of America: Sink or Swim

      by Tamar Yonah

      The new school year and other obligations are keeping this mom busy, but I did get something interesting in my inbox and wanted to share it with you even though I don't have time to write a lengthier piece here to accompany these videos.  I am NOT happy to hear and report these dismal predictions about the end of America, however, I think it is important to listen, examine it, and make some decisions.

      From an email I received:
      "Russian Professor Igor Panarin says that events are continuing to confirm his doomsday prediction first made over 10 years ago, that the U.S. completely collapse like the Soviet Union before the end of 2010 & warns that the chaos could begin to unfold in as little as 2 months. (Read more from this article at the Wall Street Journal  and see the video below)

      America Able To Collapse By 2010, Or Even In As Little As Two Months
       
      Also:

      Sen. Jim Inhofe, [Republican from Oklahoma] "I've never seen an administration so determined to destroy America." And he added that he "hope(s) this country can hang on another 16 months."  Now, take a look at this awful, horrifying video of what some Americans wouldn't mind seeing in the future (pay attention to the map shown in the video).  Oy va voy!

      The End Of America



      In a New World Order where there will be a one world government, they need to wear away the sovereignty of nations, especially that of the USA where people are used to freedom, own personal weapons, and are financially strong.  The USA needs to be weakened and broken.  When they are, they will have to come begging to the UN/world/international community to be saved.  Then they will be absorbed into the bigger order of (weakened) nation states, and that will be the end of America as we knew it.

      Every time a country's finances tank, it's always somehow blamed on the Jews.  And I am afraid it will be no different in America. Don't depend on the law or the constitution to protect you.  The constitution is only as strong as the people willing to defend it, and it looks like it has already been trampled to the ground by the last two American administrations.

      Now, if the prediction about the end of America turns out to be true, the question now is, will you sit there and wait, clinging to the old way of life in denial, or will you rise to the occasion and bring your family back home from the Exile, to Israel, the Promised Land?

      Will you sink in the 'galut' (Diasporah) or will you sail off to your Jewish destiny, to the soil where your forefathers lived and are buried, to the land where our history is and where our kings reigned, and to the land where our future awaits us?

      Don't be like our ancestors were in Europe. We were in denial, we had a much longer history in Europe than we do in the USA, and the Jews did not see the 'house on fire' there either.  They needed to swim, to make a physical action and flee from that sea of hatred to the Land of Israel and be saved and build a new future.

      And now it is your choice.  You can open your eyes and see the blaze or you can close your eyes and continue by rote.  You can go to:  www.NbN.org.il  or you can write a nasty talk back here and make yourselves feel better.  Essentially, it comes down to this:  sink, or swim.