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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.

       

      Kislev 7, 5769, 12/4/2008

      Eyewitness Report


      It's been a sad day for the Jews. Around noon, with ongoing negotiations between the settlers and Defense Department, and talk of a possible compromise, lots of people started leaving the Peace House for a rest and to make preparations for Shabbat. Outside, the mood was calm. There was even a pick-up basketball game with a tire for a hoop. Journalists were everywhere. I went down to the Cave of the Patriarchs to pray. As I was returning to the Peace House, the bad guys were already on the way. They took the house by surprise. We were caught off guard. There were lots of screams, noise grenades, gas bombs. The army and police did a quick, professional job. First they took over the roof and worked their way downstairs. Resistance was minimal. Barak's gorillas didn't hesitate to beat kids with their clubs and drag people away handcuffed and bleeding. Clusters of girls screamed and cried as the wounded were rushed to ambulances. Soldiers kept us forcefully away from the building. My arm was twisted in a very unpleasant fashion. But it could have been worse. Not every soldier acted like an ape. Arabs on rooftops started to pelt us with rocks and cement blocks. Youths scattered into adjacent Arab neighborhoods to express their rage. Here are some photos. We'll have more to say about the meaning of this sad day in another blog.

      Basketball just before evacuation
      Women's Section
      Media all over the place

        

      Last Kaddish
      Surrounding building
      Soldiers take the roof
      One of the many wounded

         

      Arabs throw rocks on us
      Rescue car smashed
      Soldiers beat youth
      balagan!
      We shall return!


      Kislev 7, 5769, 12/4/2008

      Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are


      Looks like Big Barry is saving his money to stock up on more bagels, those little lifesavers of Jewish identity that allow lovers of Galut to feel like they are serious yidden.

      Jewish Lifesaver

      Meanwhile, only Moses Brown has volunteered to donate money toward the 5 giant signs we put up on Beit HaShalom. It's kind of embarrassing that out of the thousands of Jews that read this blog, only a Black Hebrew felt the urge to help out in the struggle. (And good old Rob).

      Where are the rest of you? Talkbacks maybe help you all feel like you are really involved in what goes on here, but frankly, it's all a lot of hot air. 

      I'd rather have you here in Israel, then collect your checks, but since you're not coming, at least send some cash for the cause, to help us hang on to the Land of Israel for your children. Yes it's rebbe gelt, but it is also a big mitzvah, as it says, "Israel will be redeemed through charity."

      You can send cash or checks straight to me:

      Tzvi Fishman, 19 Shoshana Street, Jerusalem, Israel, 96149.

      If everyone sends one dollar, that will pay for the signs which are powerful weapons in the media war that we are waging. Thanks for your help.

       

            



      Kislev 6, 5769, 12/3/2008

      Big Barry - Put Up or Shut Up!


      It's midnight at the Peace House in Hevron. The army has closed off the area. Inside the house are hundreds of spirited, beautiful, holy, idealistic young Jews, waiting for the cops to arrive. Most of them study Torah; some listen to guys with guitars; others are crashed out in sleeping bags on the floor.

       




      "THIEVES" Barak and Supreme Court Chief Judge, Banish

      Today, I made 5 jumbo 3X4 meter signs and hung them up tonight from the roof of the building.


      G-d Gave Israel to the Jews

      So Barry - if you want to help - the signs cost me $1500. Some good Jews from Toronto are sending $500. You can have a part of the mitzvah too. If you are too over-committed with your other charities to help with this one, at least send me a hot pastrami with mustard on rye via the next El Al flight out of Kennedy. It's freezing up here on the roof and I have humous coming out of my ears. 

      This is Tzvi Fishman, from Hevron, still dreaming about pastrami.   



      Kislev 1, 5769, 11/28/2008

      What a Bum!


      I have a confession to make. For those of you who believe that I am a loathsome creature, this will prove you right.

      When my last birthday came around, my wife gave me a present. It was an expensive book, filled with prayers for all occasions. She had spent over an hour browsing in a bookstore before making the choice, wanting to give me a gift that I would enjoy. But when I opened the gift wrapping and saw what it was, I asked her if she had saved the receipt so that she could bring it back. I told her that I appreciated the gesture, but I had most of the prayers already in an assortment of different books, and there was no need to spend unnecessary money for a book just because it had a fancy cover.

      Of course, she was hurt. What a bum I am, right? How ungrateful can you be? Here she went to the trouble to pick out a special gift for me, and I threw it back in her lap.

      To what is this similar?

      In this week’s Torah portion, it is written, as it is written again and again throughout the Torah:

      “Dwell in the Land that I shall tell thee of; live in this Land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for to thee, and to thy seed, I will give all of these lands….” (Bereshit, 26:3). 

      G-d's Gift to the Jews

       

      The Land of Israel is Hashem’s special gift to the Jews. Tell me. What is the proper thing to do? To accept it gratefully, and live here, as Hashem commanded us to, or to reject it, like I rejected my wife’s gift, and live in foreign lands instead?



      Cheshvan 29, 5769, 11/27/2008

      Prayers for a Miracle in Mumbai


      We join people the world over in prayer for the speedy recovery of all those wounded, Jews and non-Jews alike, in the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, and for the welfare and safety of the Jews trapped in the Chabad House and hotels which are still under seige. In the merit of the new month of Kislev, the month of redemption, may they be saved from the forces of darkness, just as salvation and light were granted to the Jews during Hanukah, in these days, back then.