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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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      Kislev 9, 5769, 12/6/2008

      Autistics Speak: MAKE ALIYAH NOW

      by Tamar Yonah

      I am not sure how I feel about 'FC' (Facilitated Communication) and the whole idea of messages from certain 'Austistics".  However, I feel it cannot hurt to cover what they are reported to be saying to us.  Personally, I wonder about the 'Facilitator' and if he/she unconciously moves the person's hand.  But since I have actually stated a lot of what they say below on my radio programs and on this blog, which is to make aliyah and strive to be better people through tshuvah, repentance, I am hoping that you will take these words to heart. Their website is HERE for anyone who wants to explore it and know more about these two famous Israelis named Binyamin and Dani who are autistic and are believed by many to have a special pipeline up to Heaven.  I leave it to you readers to decide whether you want to accept their messages or not. 

      Facilitated Communication with Binyamin Goldin. Dani appears at the end of this clip.

      BS”D A BLACK STAR BRINGS DARKNESS

      A MESSAGE FROM BINYAMIN AND DANIEL, AUTISTIC BOYS 13 CHESHVAN 5769

      The world has changed greatly since Elul. The whole world is now living in apprehension.  People have stopped relying on the stock market and all the vanities that once directed their lives (the “Golden Calf”). The materialism that revolves around money, credit cards, various forms of entertainment, bank accounts along with all the rest of the excessive materialism that directs people's lives is now suddenly in danger [see message 42 “The world of decadent materialism is dying”].

      Suddenly they don't know what is going to happen, how they will be able to go on living the false, mad lifestyle they led until now. However they are in no way willing to give it all up, which is why they just continue to go around full of confusion. Then, suddenly, a black star appears who has attracted most of the world – a star by the name of Obama.

      A DANGEROUS COMBINATION

      This Obama came out of nowhere without any prior warning that such a person's exists. He hasappeared by the hand of Heaven, and suddenly much of the world is prepared to follow him. And who is this "Obama"? No one knows. He is a big question mark in people's minds. His origins are very hazy, to the point where no one even knows if he was born in America or not and whether he has an additional citizenship or not.

      Yet, who cares? The main thing is that this black star has arrived to supposedly “save” America and the rest of the world [the world of falsehood and excessive materialism]. So who is this Obama really? He is both Edom and Yishmael together. A complete merger. On the one hand his father was a Muslim and he himself went to a Muslim school. On the other hand he spent many years in a church run by a notorious anti-Semitic priest.

      TESHUVA CAN SAVE US

      He is truly a combination of Edom with Yishmael - and that is why he has so much power. He has the merits of both Esav who honored his father and Yishmael who observed the mitzvos of Bris Milah [circumcision] and hachnasas orchim [receiving guests] like his father, Abraham.  When such a combination exists at a time when the spiritual level of Am Yisrael is so low, the danger is great. The combined strength of Esav together with Yishmael poses a terrible threat to the Jewish people when they are on such a low spiritual level as they are today.

      However, if we do teshuva [repent] and follow in the ways of Yaacov Avinu, may he rest in peace, who through his good deeds and his closeness to Hashem [G-d] was worthy to be saved from the danger of Esav [who is Edom], we will have no problems and nothing to fear. But, if, G-d forbid, we do not repent, we certainly do have what to fear.

      Baruch Hashem there are now Jews who are doing true teshuva and these Jews can feel secure during the period when Hakadosh Baruch Hu [G-d] will judge the world [just before the Redemption]. I still pray, although at this time it seems very unrealistic, that all of Am Yisrael will join this group of repenting Jews.

      THE WAR WITH GOG

      So then who is Obama? Time will tell; perhaps he was sent by Heaven to lead all the wicked people of the world. To gather them together and bring them to Israel, where a war will take place.  A war Hashem Himself will fight for us [see Yechezkel 38 and Zecharia 14]. This war will take place here, in Eretz Yisrael. Gog will come to the land of Israel with many forces ["on the day when Gog will come to the land of Israel, etc." ibid, prophecy of Yechezkel], and an evil spirit will penetrate him . Gog will fight against the Jews and against Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Hashem will fight the battle and we know the outcome. However we will not know for sure who is Gog until the last minute.

      Now why am I speaking about Obama? What do I care about Obama? Obama did not just appear on the scene by chance. He is like the hurricanes that suddenly appear in the ocean, like “Ike”, “Katrina”, etc. He also suddenly appeared. This is what Hashem commanded - that the signs of the Redemption which will occur at the end of days will happen suddenly, without prior warning [see Malachi 3 “Suddenly the master you seek will come”], and those who know the prophecies written in the Torah will remember that Hashem foretold these things for us thousands of years ago.

      Those who are not interested in the prophecies will not recognize Gog nor Moshiach and they will cease to exist, may we not know of such things [Shabbat 31, see Rashi on “looking forward to the Redemption”].

      HASHEM IS TEACHING US

      Hakadosh Baruch Hu sends us wicked messengers in order to cause us to return to the Truth.  He has undermined and will continue to undermine gashmius [materialism] until nothing remains that a person can rely upon for his livelihood. Not his credit card, his social security, his pension plan, his paycheck, the doctors, his medical insurance, his car, electricity, or even the water that flows through the faucet in his home. Hashem is teaching us [as explained at length in Daas

      Tevunos and other books from the Ramchal z”l] that we cannot depend upon any materialistic thing [as the Jewish people were taught in the desert when they lived on divine food and water etc.]  In addition, Hashem will bring upon us natural disasters far greater than we have seen until now, and a terrible and most frightening war, in which most of the world will be destroyed ["I will remove evil from the world...two parts [of the world] will be destroyed and will die, and the third part will remain." Zecharia 13:8]. Hashem is bringing us step by step to recognize the Truth.  He wants to direct us to our source of existence and to recognize the fact that there is no other besides Him [which is a central purpose of creation as explained in Daas Tevunos and in the words of the prophets]. He is omnipotent and there is no other power that can help to save us.

      NOTHING WILL SUCCEED

      That is why He is letting the greatest experts of the various countries worldwide try and implement every plan they can possibly come up with for saving the world. At some point even the leaders of these countries and their advisors and all of humanity will come to realize that “ein od milvado” – "There is no other besides Him" and all of their efforts and all their “wonderful” ideas are one great failure. If people want to be saved and continue to live, gentiles and Jews alike, they simply have to pray to Hashem – and the Jews must of course also do complete teshuva.

      That is the current situation. How things will end is still undecided. If Am Yisrael does complete teshuva (repentance) , the Redemption will come very easily. Conversely, if only part of the Jewish nation does teshuva, then the Redemption will come with great suffering [“let the Messiah come but I should not be there” (Sanhedrin 98)]. There will be a complete Redemption, but with terrible suffering, may Hashem have mercy on us. This is our choice to make now.

      ONLY TESHUVA CAN SAVE US

      Any person with even limited vision can see the situation we are in. We are right before the end, before the Redemption and Techiyas Hameisim [Resurrection of the Dead]. But we must do teshuva in order to merit the Redemption and the days of Moshiach. It's very exciting to listen to the radio, chas veshalom, or watch television, chas veshalom, and see Obama, watch his team and see the hurricanes taking place around the world, and so on and so forth. But that's not important. What matters is that we do teshuva. We should accept upon ourselves to do teshuva, to return to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, to return to the emes – the Truth. Only the Truth is our “ticket” to live in the world of Moshiach.

      We must regret each and every sin. The men should sit on the ground, wear sack cloth and put ashes upon their heads and cry and cry and cry. We must weep over our sins and the sins of our generation and all of the sins since Adam Harishon and then make the effort to do complete teshuva and return to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

      SEPARATION FROM THE NATIONS

      Am Yisrael, good Jews, I am asking of you, pleading with you to return to the Truth. Throw away all of the excessive gashmius. Dress like Jews and not like goyim. Eat like Jews and not like goyim. Live like Jews and not like goyim. Think like Jews and not like goyim.

      Oy, Am Yisrael, Am Yisrael, how much can one speak, how much can one plead and beg? The end is here, now! The end is here, now! And I will once again say to those in the Diaspora that have the possibility of coming to Israel: do it at once, as soon as possible. Don't make a lot of calculations, just come. Hashem will help.

      There is not much time, not much time at all. I pray that with Hashem's help everyone, all of Am Yisrael will make the right choice. To the Jews that are distant from Hashem and married to gentiles – leave them. If their children are not Jewish and do not want to become Jewish, leave them there and come to the Land of Israel.

      TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL

      Why should you come to Israel? Because whoever comes to live in Eretz Yisrael receives many zechuyos [merits]. Whoever moves to Israel for the right reasons has to make great sacrifices – messirus nefesh. And this messirus nefesh is beloved in Shamayim. In addition, those who come to Israel because they recognize the signs of the Geula [Redemption] are saving themselves a lot of future suffering by coming in the final moments of this world. I bless all of Am Yisrael that we should merit seeing the Truth, reaching the Truth and receiving Moshiach Tzidkenu.

      There are many Jews who even after seeing all the warnings from Hashem over the past few years, say "Never mind, Hashem will save us all", etc. and put their faith in all sorts of optimistic prophecies said by various prophets and sages.

      However, allow me to clarify that the positive prophecies will only materialize if Am Yisrael does teshuva. If, chas veshalom, they do not, then there are other prophecies from our holy prophets that are harsher; so much so that the "Chessed leAvraham" said that in Eretz Yisrael only 7000 Jews will receive Moshiach Tzidkenu [Chessed Leavraham Maayan 3 Nahar 22]!  I am therefore asking Am Yisrael: why suffer? Why hold on to the Golden Calf and the falsehood of the goyim? Keep away from the sheker, stay close to Hashem and you will be worthy of receiving Moshiach Tzidkenu!

      HOW TO BE SAVED

      Daniel: Now I will speak and what I will say will be like the final sweet dessert. Why sweet? Because I want to tell you what you will gain if you do everything Binyamin said and do complete teshuva now. Those that are very distant: start observing Shabbos and family purity, keep kosher and so on. Those that are closer to Hashem: throw away all the excess gashmius that has penetrated Am Yisrael. Stop with the restaurants, the wigs, stop with all the goyish things that have been given so-called "hechshers” and regret all of your sins.

      Do real teshuva. Then, even if the most terrible war erupts you will not feel it and will receive Moshiach Tzidkenu joyfully, refreshed and full of hope and joy. It will be the greatest joy there has ever been; coming to Beis Hamikdash, receiving our righteous Moshiach, once again sacrificing korbanos to Hashem and living a life of peace and shleimus [completeness].  If we don't do teshuva, chas vehsalom, it will be much more difficult. Only very few will receive Moshiach, after enduring very devastating wars with much grief and sorrow. But at least there will be those few who will receive him, then, Be'ezras Hashem.

      Make your choice, Am Yisrael, which version you want. Choose now. Choose now. (END)

      To visit their website, click here.



      Kislev 4, 5769, 12/1/2008

      Women in Green Call Upon All Friends of Israel

      by Tamar Yonah

      * I am posting this urgent letter from heoric Jewish lovers of the Land of Israel.

       

      Dear Friends,

      We here in Bet Hashalom are receiving information and are even witnessing that over the past 12 hours many Border Police are flowing to Hevron. There is certainly great reason to worry that the authorities are planning the expulsion from Bet Hashalom in the next 24-48 hours.

      It is therefore of utmost importance to come and strengthen Bet Hashalom with your presence. The more people in Bet Hashalom, the more the authorities will think twice whether to expel or not.



      But even those of you who live outside Israel can do a lot TODAY to save Bet Hashalom !

      Women in Green call upon all friends of Israel abroad to call, TODAY, the Israeli Embassy/Consulate nearest your home with the following message:
      (the text is obviously just a suggestion, each and one of you will phrase it the way he wants.)

      Phone message to Israeli Embassy and consulate:

      “I am outraged over the government threat to expel Jews from Bet Hashalom in Hebron.

      I promise that if the government forces the Jews out of Bet Hashalom, I and my friends will see this as a crime against the Jewish People, and we will do whatever we can to prevent any representative of the Israeli government, including the military, from appearing at our …(synagogue, church, organization, lodge…).

      If you want to lose the only friends you have left in America, then by all means, expel the Jews from Bet Hashalom. We’ll see how far your government can operate without US support.

      I love Israel but your actions and anti-Jewish policy are a threat to the Jewish People in its Homeland. On the eve of national elections in Israel, I realize we must do everything to bring down those of you who are giving a hand to the Arab enemy by uprooting Jews from the Land of Israel.

      I repeat: do not touch the Jews from Bet Hashalom! Instead, send the IDF to fight the Arabs who daily attack the Jews living in the Negev and in Sderot/Ashkelon by launching kassams from Hamastan in Gaza."

      * * * *

      You might not realize how much influence such phone calls have. Each phone call makes a difference. Be polite but very firm.

      The list of the Israeli embassies can be found by clicking on:
      http://www.science.co.il/Embassy.asp

      With Love for Israel,

      Ruth Matar - Nadia Matar - Anita Finkelstein
      Women in Green


      =============================================
      Women For Israel's Tomorrow  (Women in Green)
      POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
      Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
      mailto:wfit2@womeningreen.org
      http://www.womeningreen.org

      To make a contribution through Paypal, go to: http://www.womeningreen.org
      and click on the Paypal button



      Kislev 2, 5769, 11/29/2008

      Johnny/Annie Get Your Gun

      by Tamar Yonah

      "It's just not Jewish to have a gun" a lot of people think.  Better think again.  One of the famous slogans coined by Rabbi Meir Kahane, z"l was "every Jew, a .22".   Many Jews get uncomfortable at the thought of a having a gun.  In Israel, it's common to have weapons in the home, but in America??? 

      After the horrible and tragic murders of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka that took place at the Chabad House (Jewish center) in Mumbai, India, including all the others in the building, I think we need to re-access the world we live in.  Every Jew should consider him/herself a target.

       

      We are going into hard times.  Rumors are that food will be scarce, and money will be like tissue paper, not having any buying power. People are gonna get very angry.  Riots may ensue, and police may not be able to help you.  Jews never fail to be blamed when a host country is in hard times.  Nice Jewish families and Jewish institutions are sitting ducks and will be targets.

      Knowing that a .22 doesn't have much stopping power, I think a .38 is better for protecting one's life. If you are the head of your household, wherever they allow gun ownership, GET A GUN. Protect yourself and your family. (Remember, if you own a gun and are making Aliyah, make sure to get the proper permission from Israel to bring your gun over in your lift.  Not notifying and shipping a gun to Israel without the proper legal permission can land one in jail.)

      It is the responsibility of most every family (especially if they are Jewish and therefore more of a target) to have a gun and know how to use it.  Husband as well as wife, as what if the husband isn't home at the time a threat happens?  A woman shouldn't be defenseless. She may also have kids at home with her and she needs to be able to protect them as well.

      Remember the old cowboy movies from Hollywood when the American settlers went out west, and the woman was left at home on the ranch when her husband was gone, exposing her to possible wayfarers wandering into her home and having their way with her?  We all saw those scenes where the woman grabs her husband's rifle, strands of hair falling in front of her eyes as she raises the rifle butt to her shoulder and shouts, "Don't come a step closer, or I'll shoot!"

      Well, today, it is getting to be like the wild west.  Everyone should get a gun, and KNOW HOW TO USE IT.  That of course includes safety. LEARN GUN SAFETY LAWS and again, make sure the country you live in lets you own a gun and that everything is legal.

      Folks, there are bad guys out there.  They come as criminals, drugged-out-of-their-mind-thieves, and terrorists. They have no problem murdering innocent men women and children in the streets and buildings of Mumbai, or New York City, a McDonald's restaurant, or in your own home.

           Would you rather be like this?                 Or like this?

       

      I remember reading a very good book called, "Armed & Female" by Paxton Quigley. In there was a true story about a woman in Florida named Kate Petit,  whose car broke down on the side of a road.  After some time of waiting for help, an expensive looking car stopped and a nicely dressed man got out to help her. 

      "I had to sum up the situation in a hurry," said Kate. "Here was this respectable-looking gentleman who stopped an expensive-looking car on the highway and backed all the way up to me and my burning car. I didn't have much choice except to ask him for help."

      She was standing there, clutching her purse to her body, as he talked to her politely.  As he was talking, he  got physically close to her, when he slipped a knife from inside of his suit and pressed it sharply into Kate's ribs. He told her that if she didn't cooperate, he would push the knife into her heart.  He then slit a tear in her blouse and she felt the knife cut her. She was then ordered into the trunk of his car.  The man drove for about half an hour.  "All the time I was in the trunk, I could hear him yelling from the driver's seat about what he was going to do to me."

      When the car came to a stop and she heard the engine cut, she knew it was time.  Kate repositioned herself in the trunk of the car so that she was lying on her back, her feet tucked up under her and her knees pushing hard up against the inside of the license plate wall. Her head was jammed up against the back seat, and she hoped the overhang wouldn't obstruct a clear view of him when he opened the trunk. She knew he would have his knife out. She waited as he opened the trunk of the car.

      Kate doesn't remember when the man stopped yelling at her in the trunk, and doesn't remember what he said when he opened the trunk. All she remembers is the BANG BANG BANG of the bullet holes being made in the man's chest by the .38 caliber revolver she had taken out of her purse that she clutched with her as she was thrown into the trunk.  And thank G-d she had her gun, knew how to use it and then saved her life with it.  The man she killed was" a twice-convicted felon who had previously been found guilty of 11 counts of sexual assault, including sodomy, child molestation, and rape. He had served several prison sentences in another state for his offences. At the time he picked up Kate on the highway, he was out on parole for good prison behavior(!) after serving only 22 months for raping a woman and her 12-year-old-daughter.

       Mickey the murderer has a gun.  Danny the druggie has a gun. Robbie the rapist has a gun.  Mohamed, Fatima and even little Ahmed have guns. They know what they are going to do with them.  Why shouldn't the 'good guy' purchase and learn how to use a gun? If you're alone, or you have kids, at least you'll have a fighting chance.  Johnny/Annie Get Your Gun. 
      Mohamed, Fatima and even little Ahmed have guns.

                  

      "Don't be a victim."   Israeli Annie gets her gun.



      Cheshvan 27, 5769, 11/25/2008

      The Infiltration and Self-destruction of America

      by Tamar Yonah

      I did a show recently about Red-Lists / Blue Lists. Hear the show.  We briefly touched on how the U.S.A. isn't what we were brought up to think it was.  It APPEARED that the American way was alive and well and cherished by all.  However, that was only on the surface.  But thank goodness it at least had that appearance.  It gave us all hope and pride that we lived in a nation that was free and just.  Growing up though, and scratching beneath the surface, one learns the dirty truths.  There are many who don't want to see a 'free people'.

      Many of you don't like it that I show you the 'ugly'.  I am sorry that the truth is hard to accept.  I am sorry that it goes against everything we were raised to believe in.  But the rug has to be lifted, or you will get sucked into and swallowed by the evil, without even realizing what happened to you.

      Fact:  The government is commanding more power in how you live your lives.  Their power is growing, your freedoms and rights are shrinking.   

      Fact:  America has turned socialistic. People are getting too fat, too lazy and they are perfectly happy having the government come in and 'fix things' with promises that other's hard earned money will be 'spread' around to them. They want the easy way out and they are going to get it – to their later dismay. 

      Fact: America is losing its sovereignty.

      Fact:  There are huge efforts to get America in line with the rest of the world with 'gun control'.  The U.N. is getting sick and tired of Americans bucking their disarmament efforts.  'Goverment' does not want armed citizens able to resist them.

      Fact:  There ARE detention camps in the USA that are holding facilities – or worse to be used against certain U.S. citizens.  Why so many, why so big? Who are they for?

      We 'innocent' people tend to grow up assuming that everyone thinks like we do.  So if we can't imagine being ruthless and evil, we assume others wouldn't cross that line either.  This is where we err.  This is what will help lead us to a grim future. One that we don't want for ourselves and our children.

      This is one of the reasons that I show you videos.  Some of these are not necessarily new.  You may have seen them before.  But it is a good reminder how easy our rights and freedoms can be taken away from us through planned or even unplanned 'national emergencies', financial crises, or just a political social revolution - like the one with the Obama /socialist win.  Remember, you can't rely on the United States constitution to protect you.  The Constitution IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE PEOPLE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR IT.

       

      Now, not just to pick on Obama, as I believe that the ones who tell our politicians what to do are bi-partisan (grin),  but both party candidates are pawns, if not more heavily involved in the destruction of American sovereignty.  However, I digress.  I would like to point your attention to an over-looked news story that is of UTMOST attention.  This last week or so, President Bush hosted the G-20 Economic summit.  In this meeting, he reportedly handed over U.S. economic sovereignty to the European Union.  I URGE you to read this piece that explains how it will affect America.  In essence, America has become a socialist country.  Part of the article states: 

      "Sovereignty is out the window. Without a vote, we are suddenly members of the European Union. Given the dismal record of those nations at creating jobs and sustaining growth, merging with the Europeans is like a partnership with death.
      At the G-20 meeting, Bush agreed to subject the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and our other regulatory agencies to the supervision of a global entity that would critique its regulatory standards and demand changes if it felt they were necessary. Bush agreed to create a College of Supervisors."  Please go and read the whole article

      The bail out scam they had in the USA this past September, where the government is taking over mortgage banks and other major companies, will bring the American people back to the middle ages where feudalism was alive and well.  For those unfamiliar with history, there was a time - let's take Europe for example, when the only people who owned land were the 'Royalty', the 'Barons' etc.  All others basically played the role as peasants living upon that land, allowed to farm and work it, but it did not belong to them.  Some would call that akin to slavery.  These people could be picked up and moved at whim. They had no land or property to call their own, and thus no real roots or rights.  We don't realize it today, but we are very fortunate that we can be property owners. 

      To own our own home, our own little patch on this earth is a 'tzchut', a privilege, and a blessing.  We take it for granted that we can own our own home, our own ranch, or buy some property to someday build on.  As one listener, Avrohom wrote me, it is not a privilege, rather a right. "Americans have fought and died for the RIGHT to OWN LAND!".  Well, with the mortgage banks taken over by the government, in essence, the government now owns your home.  It's back to the 'Royals".  We see feudalism revived, and socialism, alive and well, thank you.

      The only thing socialism has done for a country's economy is to stifle hard work and ingenuity.  Citizens of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) used to joke about their work...  "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work". 
        
       And the only way I see retrieving the freedoms, rights and free markets Americans once had, and that Bush just gave away, would be to go to war against Europe/ the U.N., etc.  It is sad to see a country die.  With the beginings of socialism that Bush brought, and (Marxist) Obama nourishing and spreading it with zeal, it is the death of a once great country. 

      Next, they will come for your guns. 

       

      p.s.  I am not leaving Israel aside,  I shall soon write a piece about what is happening here as well.



      Cheshvan 22, 5769, 11/20/2008

      Scams: I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me

      by Tamar Yonah

      I thought I'd do a bit of public service, and post this forwarded email I received today from a listener named Stella.  One never knows when a scam might happen to them.

      (I don't know where this report came from so I cannot credit the writer.  If anyone knows, I will be happy to give full credit.)

      Crimes via Text Messaging

      "A woman has changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag,  which contained her cell phone, credit  card, wallet, etc.was stolen. Twenty  minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking
      about our Pin number  and I replied a little while ago.'
      When  they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had  actually used the stolen cell phone to text hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

      Moral of the lesson:  do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.  Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby,Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.  ... and very importantly, when sensitive info is asked of you through texts,  CONFIRM by calling back.

      Also, when receiving  a text from your friends or family to meet them somewhere that is not planned or usual, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you  don't reach them, be very careful about
      going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you."

      My addition: If you are in Israel, be very careful about this, that you are not lured by Arab terrorists posing as a contact of yours, to meet them somewhere. This has happened already once with a young man who was lured through computer chat, by an Arab young woman to meet him, and was then taken away in a car and kidnapped. They found his body later on.)

      Another story that actually happened to me personally, about 2 years ago....  I was reading one of those emails that warned people about a phone scam where someone would call and tell you that one of your family members was in an automobile accident and was rushed to the hospital.  They told you that they had no details, but that you must immediately call a special number to find out where he/she was taken and what condition they were in.  In actuality, this number they gave you and asked you to dial was a number that enabled call forwarding.  For Americans, I believe the number they told you to dial was 72# followed by other numbers.  In Israel, I believe it is *72.  When this number is dialled, the customer is billed for the forwarded calls, which could include additional collect or long distance charges. In America, there was a scam that involved prisoners calling from an inmate facility.  They also manipulated people with this story to gain access to your phone line to make long distance calls.

               PHONE SCAMS

      I remember reading that email, thinking, hmmm, what will people do next?  And then deleting it thinking these things never happen to me.  Well, I was wrong.  It was about half a year later that I received a telephone call in the afternoon from a man, with an Arab accent, telling me that one of my family members was rushed to the hospital, that he had no details other than that I must call a certain number to get more details.  My first thought was my parents...  that perhaps something had happened to them, but then I remembered that they were away in the USA visiting their other grandchildren.  That canceled them out, and I knew they were safe.  The next panic-y thought I had was my children, even though they didn't drive at that time. Perhaps one of them had left school early, traveled to Jerusalem for some reason and somehow was involved in an accident? All these thoughts racing through my mind, but something didn't feel right, it was too vague, and my kids schedule just didn't fit this situation.  It was then that that email snapped back into my memory, and I realized I was being conned.  

      To my personal training, (I try to teach or psych myself out, that in times of danger, not to panic, but to get angry.  Panic or fear, tends to make one freeze and not function correctly.  Anger makes one bold and to take charge. To my delight, my personal psych training kicked in and I got angry.  From somewhere in me, I yelled at this caller that I knew what he was doing, that it was a sin, and that Allah would curse him for his evil. He was in shock, expecting me to be needy or in hysterical fear, instead I continued raising my voice and telling him how I hoped he would suffer for his evil, and that his Allah should curse him, and curse him and curse him.  - he answered, "lamah?" which means, 'why? in Hebrew.  What audacity!  I continued to unfurl even more of my anger on him for his evil acts and chutzpah.  I was surprised myself at how I was raising my voice and being so forceful.  One of my kids was home from school already and even he looked up to see who was his mother hollering at on the phone. There was silence on the other end of the phone line, I guess he was speechless, not knowing what to say or do, and he hung up. 

      So, well, it actually happened to me!  And that is why I ask you to pass these messages and warnings around (after you check on sites like Snopes.com etc.) to warn others.  I thought it would never happen to me.  It did.  And if someone didn't think to send me that email going around, who knows what would have happened? 

         "Hello? Is your Mommy there? No? Well, we have bad news, your mommy has been in an awful car accident and she was taken to the hospital.  You have to dial this number to find out where she is...."

      After I had hung up, I was grateful that I had answered that phone call, and not one of my children. If I was not home and they had received a phone call like that, telling them that their parents were in an automobile accident and were in the hospital, -what trauma, fear and panic they would have gone into.  -Forget now, about the phone bill I'd be paying, that doesn' t compare to the trauma it would have caused my kids. It would be unforgivable to put them through something like that. I feel bad for all the other kids who have answered phone calls like this.

      AT&T offers the following to warn the public about the 72# telephone scam:

      "If you receive a call seeking assistance and asking you to dial numbers, be very leery. Educate family members not to accept collect calls from someone they don't know and not to follow instructions given by a caller they are unfamiliar with.

      If an AT&T residential customer believes that they have been a victim to the 72# scam, they should first dial 73# on their telephone to deactivate the call forwarding feature.

      If an AT&T residential customer feels like they have been victim of a phone scam, they should contact a AT&T customer service representative. Customers of other local telephone providers should call their respective customer service numbers."

      Anyone have any other scams that we should all be aware of?  Please check them first on places like Snopes.com before passing on.  You could be helping someone just like me, and I am grateful to whoever sent me that email years ago.  

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

      I just remembered another scam...

      Always make sure when paying by credit card, that when you give the card to be swiped by the cashier, that you CHECK your card when he/she hands it back. I have heard of scams, where cashiers have a set of old expired cards from different companies: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, etc... and when they take your card, and you are not watching, maybe you are scrambling around in your purse or wallet, or taking the new bag of your purchases off the counter, they take your card and hand you back an old expired card of someone else's.

      Most people don't look, and just take the card handed to them, and stick it back in their wallet.

      ALWAYS make sure, when you get your card back, that you check to see that YOUR name is on the card, and that it is not a replaced, stolen, old, card of someone else's.