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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



      Iyar 5, 5770, 4/19/2010

      Israeli Flags Forever Flying!

      I am posting this at the tail end of Israel's Soldiers and Terror Victims Memorial Day.  In a very short time we will transition from mourning to celebration.  I consider the connecting of our Memorial and Independence Days to be among the wisest decisions made by our early leaders.  There wouldn't be a state if we hadn't fought for it.  John Lennon was wrong in claiming that an ideal world is one in which you don't have to die for anything.  If it's not worth dying for, it's not worth living for.  The recent addition of terror victims to Memorial Day is also very important.  Our enemies attack us all, not just our soldiers.  They don't distinguish between civilian and military.

      Veteran readers of this blog know that I blog elsewhere, on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  Please visit those blogs. I've been debating which of my recent articles to post here. In the end I decided to fly the flag of the State of Israel. Please read U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates Admits: "The Emperor Has No Clothes!" and Ehud Barak, Wrong Again. "Brave Decisions" Don't Bring Peace by clicking the titles. Thank you.


      Israeli Flags Forever Flying!

      Through thick and thin, no matter what the world wants and says. Wind is רוח ruach, spirit.
      Just like we see in Jewish History, we will overcome our enemies.
      We just must let our רוח ruach, spirit  prevail.
      חג עצמאות שמח
      Happy Israeli Independence Day

      Iyar 1, 5770, 4/15/2010

      "A" Holocaust? Or is It Always "The" Holocaust?

      Chodesh Iyyar Tov!  May you have a wonderful and healthy Month of Iyyar.
      As you probably know, I blog more frequently and on a much wider variety of topics on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  You're welcome to visit.

      It's the former English Teacher in me kicking in again.  Remember that "a" is "one of a potential many."  Most people don't understand the meaning of "a" and "an."  Calling it "an article" doesn't give an answer.  You have "articles" in a newspaper or magazine.  A blog post is a form of article.  When I began teaching English I had yet to be "trained" in the profession, so I had to search well within my mind and experience to figure out how to explain things to my students, who had been the school's failures until I got them, or they got me.  I realized that "a" and "an" were like the "un," "uno" and "una" in Spanish.  Those words are simply translated as "one," "1."

      United States President Obama overuses the term Holocaust, considering it no more than a synonym for "pogrom."  One must remember that he was raised by an extreme loony Left mother who married foreign men of different religions and cultures.  She also lived in their countries for portions of her life.  The chances are that Obama has no idea that he's historically incorrect, mistaken.

      Googling "Holocaust" I found it as "The Holocaust," because it's the term for a very specific historic event, the German Nazi persecution and systematic murder of Six Million Jews and millions of others.

      It's pretty dangerous for the United States to have a president so intimately entrenched in extreme Left ideology.

      Obama's statement at his Nuclear Security Summit about committing to limit nuclear weapons may sound good to cockeyed Pollyanna optimists (international loony Left,) but what it does is to destroy all remaining deterrent.  The "good guys" tie their hands to get progressively weaker, and the "bad guys" keep on developing weapons of destruction.  How is that supposed to promote world peace?

      Nisan 28, 5770, 4/12/2010

      The Holocaust and Me

      To set the mood, watch the new version of the classic Passover song Chad Gadya:
      Unlike many of my peers of the immediate post World War Two Jewish world, I was brought up totally oblivious of the Holocaust.   No, it wasn't a silent, repressed and repressing shadow shading and affecting my life.  It just didn't exist, didn't affect my immediate family.  My parents' voices and those of the other neighborhood grown-ups were totally American though with Jewish inflections and Yiddish slang.  And before you guess wrong, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York.
      The fathers in the spanking new garden apartment neighborhood of Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, New York, were all United States military veterans.  That was a condition of acceptance to the Veterans Authority co-op.  I wonder if any sociologists have written their doctorates on why that and other similar housing developments were almost exclusively filled with young Jewish families.  BPG was over 90% Jewish and so were the other nearby garden apartments, Oakland Gardens and Windsor Park.  The same went for the one and two-family homes in the neighborhood.  All of the new, post-WWII neighborhoods in northeastern Queens were Jewish.  Churches could only be found in older, pre-World War Two areas.
      I first heard about the Holocaust when The Diary of Anne Frank was published.  It was featured on television shows, and I probably heard about it in Oakland Jewish Center's Hebrew School, which I attended for five years, three days a week.  At that time there weren't many books, especially for children, written about the Holocaust.  I tried to take out The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich from the Hebrew School Library, but the librarian offered me Minister of Death, about Eichmann, instead.  I presented it to my Sixth Grade class for an oral bookreport.  As soon as I named the book and author the teacher interrupted:
      "No sixth-grader is capable of reading a book by Quentin Reynolds.  You must be lying.  You get a zero!!!"
      In those days, one didn't question authority, certainly did  not argue with teachers.  I did read the book, though I probably didn't fully comprehend it.
      I only became aware and met children of Holocaust survivors when I joined Betar.  Many of my Betar friends had the opposite Jewish childhood.  All of the parents in their circles were survivors or got out just in time.  Think of it as an old film picture and negative.  From different directions we ended up embracing the same ideology.  Many of us made aliyah and live in Israel.
      My children, Israeli born and raised, grew up with strong knowledge and awareness of the Holocaust.  Jewish History is intertwined with Israeli culture and education.  Personal history, stories of bravery and survival from their friends' grandparents give them an intimate knowledge beyond anything I can comprehend or pass on.
      Today is Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day.  It's a day I feel as a stranger here in Israel.  That may sound peculiar considering my politics and ideology.  Regardless as to how I arrived, I have no doubt that as a Jew my place is the Land of Israel.

      Nisan 25, 5770, 4/9/2010

      No Excuses, Our Land Is The Essence

      Shabbat Shalom, Shavua Tov, Have a Peaceful Shabbat and/or a Good Week depending on when you read this.  Just to remind you that I blog more frequently and on a greater variety of topics on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  You're invited to visit them.

      I'm taking advantage of the "extra daylight savings hour" before Shabbat to write this.  A negative comment to one of our dear friend and former neighbor Tzvi Fishman's Arutz 7 blog really bothers me. Fishman wrote about the importance of the mitzvah/commandment to live in the HolyLand, and someone wrote that he wouldn't come, because the country isn't perfect. It's not the first time I've heard that ridiculous, irrelevant excuse for not living in Israel.

      The mitzvah to live here is to live in the Land.  It overrides politics, judicial, philosophy etc.  If we want perfection, we must work for it and not expect G-d to hand it to us on a "silver platter."  Those miracles ended with the last "mon," G-d given food which nourished us when we wandered the wilderness for forty years, in between the exodus from Egypt and entering the Land of Israel, the Holy Promised Land.

      Anyone who hangs out waiting for others to do the hard, dirty difficult work may find him/herself written out of Jewish History.

      Vote with your feet, hands and children.  For those of you who don't want to make aliyah, because you don't want your children to serve in the IDF Israel Defense Forces don't think you love your children more than I love mine.  Living here in Israel gives my kids a more precious life, something money can't buy.  It's a higher spiritual level than anything any place else in the world.

      G-d won't reward us with the Moshiach, Messiah for the deeds done in Golus, Galut, the Diaspora, only for what's done here.  If you truly believe in G-d, you'll obey G-d's commandments.

      Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
      Have A Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

      Nisan 23, 5770, 4/7/2010

      Signs of The Moshiach, Messiah, All One Family

      Now we're back from the Passover Holiday.  I've been blogging all through on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  You're invited to take a look.

      Living in Shiloh for almost thirty years, we've become part of a very Jewish community.  Diaspora-based ethnic distinctions are getting more and more blurred.   Every year after switching the kitchen back to its normal chametz mode we reward ourselves by celebrating the Moroccan Maimona, a Jewish holiday we knew nothing about growing up in Ashkenaz (Eastern European) New York Jewish families.

      Like most of our neighbors with married children, we have grandchildren of "mixed ethnic" Jewish identities.  Everyone is 100% Jewish, but it's common for Yemenite grandmothers to have Ashkenaz grandchildren.  Or, like us, our Tunisian progeny eat their rice, forbidden by our ethnic custom, at our Passover table.  Menus, like families, are very mixed.
      After thousands of years of exile, we Jews have become comfortable, too comfortable in many of our temporary homes and cultures.  We've adopted and adapted foods, menus and cooking styles, clothing, art and music from our hosts frequently forgetting that those locations were supposed to be be temporary punishments.

      Recent polls have shown a new a wonderful tolerance and acceptance of this phenomena.  This is very different from the early days of the State of Israel when the European Zionists  unabashedly discriminated against North African and Indian Jews.

      We're in the midst of a process, preparing ourselves as a People to accept Moshiach Ben David, when he shows himself, speedily in our days, G-d willing.