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      The Eye of the Storm
      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.)  Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching.  She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:

      Shiloh Musings



      Elul 21, 5770, 8/31/2010

      Abbas Isn't Negotiating for Peace

      Being a pragmatist I know that the world is against us.  Yesterday I was interviewed by the NPR radio, and I think they were taken aback, by surprise by my bluntness, especially when I say that I really don't care what other countries etc say about us.  I also don't care what our politicians and media say.  They're not up to standard as moral compasses.  Read more on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.

      And in case you're wondering, since Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is Rosh Hashannah, there won't be a Rosh Chodesh Prayer gathering for women at Tel Shiloh, but I highly recommend coming to Tel Shiloh during Chol Hamoed Succot, Monday and Tuesday September 27-28.  There will be wonderful activities for the entire family.  Details to follow.

      The "PA" whatever you want to call him,   Mahmoud Abbas, was just on the IBA and said very clearly that he's going to U.S. President Obama in Washington DC to "negotiate the end of the occupation."  Peace isn't on the menu.

      Read his lips.
      Abbas, in a televised speech on Sunday night, expressed hope that the Palestinians would find a partner in Israel “that would be capable of making major and responsible decisions to end the occupation and ensure real security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
      Abbas noted that the Quartet statement had “stressed the need to end the occupation that began in 1967, including that of east Jerusalem.” (complete article)

      Elul 19, 5770, 8/29/2010

      Gilad Shalit's Family, Barking Up The Wrong Tree

      I try to keep my blogs interesting with a variety of posts.  Read about a strange visit we had our first Succot in Shiloh and some thoughts about the sound of the Shofar, kol shofar on Shiloh Musings and  about an interesting improv theater perfomance on me-ander.

      As this year winds up, there 's still a lot of unfinished business, like freeing Gilad Shalit from his Arab terrorist captors.  I've written about it a number of times.  It seems to me that there's something very wrong in how it has been handled.


      Gilad Shalit's Family, Barking Up The Wrong Tree

      This morning the radio was on at the Shiloh Swimming Pool.  Every little while I could hear the announcement by Aviva Shalit, Gilad's mother, reminding us that tomorrow will be Gilad's fifth birthday in captivity.  She then invites us all to protest after Shabbat.  So far, so good, but then she announces that the protest's slogan is that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must free Gilad.

      Duh!?!  Did I miss something here?  Is Bibi Netanyahu holding Gilad prisoner?  No, well, if that's the case how does she expect the Prime Minister to free her son?

      Bibi wasn't even Prime Minister when Gilad Shalit was captured.  There's something very fokokt in the Shalit family's tactics and logic.

      Didn't Hamas kidnap Gilad Shalit?  Yes, it did.  So the focus of the demonstrations must be on the agencies, organizations, countries etc that represent Hamas.  There should be a constant vigil against the International Red Cross, European Union and the United Nations for their laxity and hypocrisy in not demanding to visit and assist Gilad Shalit in returning home.

      It's obvious that the Shalit family is mixing their own anti-Likud politics in with their personal pain.  They are wasting precious time by fudging the issues here.  They should be working with the government to pressure those who support Hamas to return Gilad home.

      Elul 16, 5770, 8/26/2010

      Hitler's Judenrein Policy Lives On

      I guess you all know that the world is ganging up against us.  They want us to hang ourselves, give the Arabs terrorists our Land for another state.  It's history repeating itself.  Nobody defends the Jews.  The United States entered the fighting against the Nazis to salvage their own honor and help Great Britain and then European countries to roll  back the Third Reich.  Nobody cared that Jews were being slaughtered and tortured and murdered.

      So, I'm a pragmatist.  I don't care what the world thinks.  I keep writing the same message over and over on Shiloh Musings.  I write about more mundane things on me-ander.  This blog is updated a couple a times a week with whatever post seems most timely.

      Dry Bones has a brilliant, as usual, post about Hitler and Nazism.  The cartoon is minor in this one.  So read the entire post, please.

      It's so totally outrageous and immoral that people all over the world, including Israel, have no problems with the demand that parts of the world including the Jewish National Homeland, the Biblical Land of Israel, be judenrein, cleansed of Jews.  That's racist.  That's immoral.  And that's part of the Nazi ideology.  Connect the dots.

      No matter how hard the media and politicians keep pushing the "negotiate with our Arab enemies" line, most Israelis do admit that it won't work.  This isn't like trying fly to the moon with paper wings, just foolish unless you count on the wings holding you up when you jump off a cliff.  If that's the case, it's suicidal.

      Actually, the chances of real peace and security for Israel to be the results of a negotiated "peace treaty" with the likes of Abbas and his terrorist buddies really do compare with a safe and successful flight to the moon flapping paper wings.  Are you a believer?

      I'll never forget how around twenty plus years ago I begged our school to stop teaching Hebrew reading and writing with the "Bli Sodot" method.  Not only did it remind me of the terrible method which had been used to teach English reading and writing to my eldest when we were in England, but it required very skilled fine motor coordination beyond the level of some kids.  When seeing frustrated and miserable little kids who couldn't cut the tiny words and sounds, I called it:
      "No cuttee, no readee."
      The school principal replied:
      "But we just invested so much money in the videos."
      Well, after many parents complained about having to invest in  assessments and tutoring, they finally went back to a more traditional and successful phonics method.

      As hard as it may seen today to call these negotiations all off, it'll be harder tomorrow.  There's no light at the end of this tunnel.  One just must drill up and climb out.  They say that if you discover you're walking in a mind field go back exactly the way you came.  So, whichever method they choose, it's fine with me.  Just escape!

      These negotiations won't bring peace!

      Elul 12, 5770, 8/22/2010

      "Let's Make A Deal"

      Things are heating up here in the HolyLand in more ways than one.  We are having one of the hottest and most humid summers ever.  G-d's in charge of that.  No doubt He's trying to remind us that we're supposed to follow the Torah and not Obama, the U.N., the media or any other fad or celebrity. If only the politicians would straighten up and clean up their acts.

      I've written a lot more about things on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.  I'm sure you'll find something of interest there. There's a short post about one of the mitzvot (Torah Commandments)  in this week's weekly Torah Portion, returning lost objects.  Another worth clicking is about the recent digs at Tel Shiloh with some pictures.

      But the big news is about negotiations with our enemies:

      At this moment I'm listening to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi' Netanyahu's assistant Ron Dermer on the IBA News.  His emphasis on the importance of "making a deal" makes him sound like a used car salesman.

      We don't need to "make a deal."  We need to develop our country, the State of Israel.  This isn't a computer card game with an "undo" option.

      True peace won't come from "difficult decisions" and other euphemisms for Israel giving up on its heritage and security.

      Be patient.  The stronger we make our country, the State of Israel, the more peacefully the Arabs will treat us until there's true peace.

      Unfortunately, successive Israeli governments try to be too nice and not demand our due.  That's why we end up with egg on our face after each round of negotiations.  Successive peace sic treaties have caused horrendous deterioration in our security situation.  Long gone is the day when Israelis could safely walk and shop in Arab stores, towns etc.

      Why are our politicians, media etc so desperate for a "peace agreement?"  An "agreement" isn't true PEACE.  It's just a photo op, no more and no less.  At least Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is demanding security as a first step, though I think he should go further and elaborate on Israel's red (or call it "blue and white") lines.  It's not worth talking if the Arabs won't accept them.

      One of our  "blue and white" lines should quite obviously be Jerusalem.  It is the holiest site in the world for Jews and has that distinction to no other religion, race or people.  It's relatively minor in Arab history and culture.  Even Arabs recognize it and admit it.  That's one of the reasons why it shouldn't surprise everyone that Ramalla is more important to local Arabs.

      Long before the modern State of Israel was established in our historic, ancient Biblical Homeland, other countries kept insisting that Jerusalem must be internationalized or divided between Jews and Arabs though there's no historic precedent or justification for  such a status.  Their interference has prevented the Arabs from accepting Israel and living in peace with us.

      So, if Israel makes it clear that Jerusalem is ours, totally Jewish and Israeli and the world then objects, we can stop this whole dangerous and absurd "peace" process and negotiations.  Without the world's interference there's a chance that the Arabs will eventually, not tomorrow nor next year, but within a generation for two, decide to stop attacking and terrorizing us.

      Another necessary demand is that  Jews should be able to live and work any place and every place in the Land of Israel.  Anything less than that is blatant racism, antisemitism, discrimination against Jews!

      None of these so-called "peace plans" get to the nitty-gritty of true unadulterated peace.  They all require Israel to amputate entire sections of our Homeland and give it to Arab terrorists whose aim is our destruction.  The Arabs have made their ultimate plans, aims very clear.

      We will only have true PEACE when we're willing to fight for it with both words and actions.

      Elul 6, 5770, 8/16/2010

      Zionist Renewal

      It's hard to believe that Rosh Hashannah is in Just a few weeks.  I had better start inviting neighbors for meals, or we'll find ourselves all alone! And since I'm mentioning food, maybe you'd like to check out the pre-Holiday Kosher Cooking Carnival, a round-up of blog posts from all over the world about kosher food. Another popular post is Judaism, 24/7.

      As usual, I'd like to remind you that I post much more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  Please check them out, thanks.  And now, for the "main attraction:"


      Zionist Renewal

      My dear friend Isramom sent a very inspiring video out to friends.  I trust that she'll, too, be blogging about it and explaining her connection.  You can probably connect the dots if you look at her gorgeous blog banner.

      The younger generation of דתי לאומי dati le'umi, national religious Israeli Jews are doing amazing things all over Israel.  They have taken up the challenge of Zionism today and have the idealism and creativity of the very early Zionists who had left Europe, poverty, universities, great cities, and frequently traditional Jewish Life etc to reconnect with our historic Homeland building and planting. 

      They thought that they needed to be "new Jews" and tried to replace Torah adherence and Jewish Law with a socialist "Utopian" Zionism.  A large proportion of their descendants now feel disconnected, disengaged from that very Land.

      Davka, it's the religious Israeli youth who are the new pioneers.  They embrace both the Torah and the Holy Land.  They're planting a newer and better Zionism with strong roots.  Without celebrating our Torah and ancient Biblical history, our country will wither like the descendants of the early secular Zionists.