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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

      And:

      me-ander

      Nisan 16, 5770, 3/31/2010

      Stop the farce now!


      Chag Pesach Sameach!  For those of you in Israel, I hope you'll be visiting the Festival at Tel Shiloh.  Today and tomorrow from 10am-5pm.  There are workshops, tours and more activities for the entire family. Check out the Artisans' Fair and eat at the Tabernacle Cafe`.

      There's more than this blog for those interested in reading my articles; check out Shiloh Musings and me-ander.

      What's A Mediator? or Why Israel Should Ignore American Pressure?

      I got a kick out of seeing something in Israel's extreme Left Haaretz newspaper which echoes what I blog about the United States and its mediation sic between us and the Arabs.

      What's a mediator?

      Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. Whether an agreement results or not, and whatever the content of that agreement, if any, the parties themselves determine — rather than accepting something imposed by a third party. The disputes may involve states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome.

      Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter. Normally, all parties must view the mediator as impartial.

      Mediators don't impose, especially prior to mediation.

      United States President Barack Hussein Obama is so sure that his agenda is the right one that he is not embarrassed to go against all principles of mediation.  Yes, he's a fraud; he's not a mediator.  The United States is putting unprecedented pressure on Israel to impose its pro-Arab position.  It's time for Israel to declare American "mediation" ended, null and void.

       

      Stop the farce now!






      Nisan 9, 5770, 3/24/2010

      Chanukah, Passover and Purim, All Connected


      There's plenty more to read on my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  Also recommended is a visit to Tel Shiloh during Passover; special activities are scheduled for Weds and Thursday March 31st-April 1st 1st and 2nd days of Hol Hamoed 10:00-17:00. For more details contact telshilo@gmail.com .

      Chanukah, Passover and Purim, All Connected

      I'm pretty sure that I get on this basic track every year.

       

      "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt..."
       

      So you can say: "Here we go again..." Seraphic Secret, a very popular, excellent blog, has a post about Passover and freedom and that's what got me going this morning.

       The freedom discussed in the Passover Haggadah is of loyalty, allegiance and faith to our Jewish G-d.  It's Mordechai refusing to attend King Achashverosh's festive banquet and his standing proudly, straight and tall as Haman walked by.  It's Judah the Maccabee confidently fighting for Jewish religious independence and practice when the experts told him he hadn't a a chance, too small and weak for the mighty Greeks.

      Present day, the modern State of Israel is being ruled by those who although they live in the Land of Israel,  are slaves to the United States, the United Nations, foreign leaders and alien values.

      It is not enough to be here in the Land of Israel.  We must burn away the chametz of the mind.

       

      Chag Kasher v'Sameach
      Have a Healthy, Happy and Strictly Passover
      Remember: You are What You Eat






      Nisan 6, 5770, 3/21/2010

      Miraculously Beautiful, Tel Shiloh, Rosh Chodesh Nissan


      Even though I'm almost single-handedly getting our house ready for Passover, I still blog daily on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.  So click-over to visit my other blogs.

      There will be special activities in Tel Shiloh duirng Passover.  Highly recommended, fun for young and old.

      Miraculously Beautiful, Tel Shiloh, Rosh Chodesh Nissan

      Yes, it looks like a miniature lake.  But there's neither a lake nor a pond at Tel Shiloh.  This is no more than a giant puddle.  Unless G-d blesses us with more rain, it will soon dry out.
       
       
      I've been making a point of going to Tel Shiloh for Rosh Chodesh Prayers for over two years already, and month after month I'm WOWed by the beauty.  Rosh Chodesh Nissan was stupendous, rich green leaves covering the earth and branches, wild wheat blowing in the wind like the most luxurious velvet, juicy almonds waiting to be picked and eaten and the colorful wildflowers sparkling like precious stones.
       
       
      This Rosh Chodesh more women came to pray than in previous months, and there's room for many more.  We wandered around communing with G-d, like the Biblical Chana, each with our own prayers.  As women we have more freedom in praying.  We don't need a minyan of ten men.  We don't have to pray as a group.  We each came with our own siddur (prayer book) and T'hillim (Psalms.)  We were together as individuals.  There was no Eli the Priest to tell us that we didn't pray correctly or accuse us of drunkenness.
       
       
      For thousands of years, Shiloh has been a central place for Jewish Prayer.
      Joshua made it the first Capital City of the Jewish People.  For 369 years the Mishkan (Tabernacle) rested here.  There are still the remains of a variety of old and ancient structures.
       
       
      Shiloh is a modest place, home to many educators.  That shouldn't be a big surprise considering that Ancient Shiloh also had a school, a boarding school, where Samuel the Prophet was sent by his mother Chana.  Since modern Jews returned to Shiloh over thirty years ago, there has been a hesder yeshiva, which combines Torah Learning and army service.  Almost twenty-nine years ago our elementary school was opened.  There were only eighteen students that first day, in three classes.  Today it's a full eight year elementary school with many more than eighteen classes.  Students come from as far south as Kochav Hashachar and as far north as Rachalim.  There are also many second generation students, whose parents also studied in Shiloh.
       
      If you're interested in joining us for Rosh Chodesh Prayers, please send me an email with "Rosh Chodesh Prayers" as the subject.






      Nisan 3, 5770, 3/18/2010

      Ramat Shlomo, Israel and The New York Times


      There's always lots more to read on Shiloh Musings and me-ander, which are both updated much more frequently.  You may comment there, too.

      The New York Times Agenda, Against Israel

      Before illustrating the organized and vicious campaign in the New York Times and by the Obama administration against Israel, I'm showing you a couple of pictures to illustrate the location of Ramat Shlomo.  It's in a Jerusalem forest, former no-man's land.

      I photographed these yesterday when traveling the "Ramot Road" on my way to downtown Jerusalem.  I rolled down the car-window, but we couldn't stop.  Ramat Shlomo was built on empty land, between other Jerusalem neighborhoods, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, Ramot and the Har Chotzvim Industrial Park.

      New York Times op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd admits that she's a spokesperson for the Arabs repeatedly  mentioning that Arab officials  spoke to her about Israel.

       At least she's on the opinion page.

      "Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned me..."

       "Arab leaders groused to me..."

      And about Obama and his advisers, I think they've gotten it all wrong.

      “That’s not how you treat your best friend,” said one Obama official.

      Reverse that, please.  You're neither acting nor speaking like a friend of Israel.  Israel ought to rethink its relationship to the United States.  Obama sure doesn't treat Israel like a friend.

      Another of the New York Times op-ed columnists, Thomas Friedman, can't see the forest for the trees.

      His recent article details the disagreements, anarchy and unstable leadership among the Pseudostinian, aka Palestinian sic, leadership, but he doesn't take his observations a crucial step further.  It's obvious that none of these Arab leaders, even the most moderate and western, are capable of guaranteeing peace and stability for the Middle-east and security for Israel.  It just won't work.

      The entire concept of "two states" is an unworkable mistake.  It's like expecting Santa Claus to cover your credit card bill for Xmas presents.  America can live in La-la Land, but I'm too pragmatic for that.  My life and further and the future existence of my country require that I think for myself and not trust any foreign leaders nor the media. 

      Dowd refers to a "defiant Israel."  Let her call us whatever she wishes.  I don't care what she thinks.  Her antipathy is obvious.

      We in Israel must make our own decisions about what's best for our secuity and our future.  Let the world butt out!







      Adar 26, 5770, 3/12/2010

      Great News! "Peace" Talks Off! At least for now...



      I consider this whole hysteria about the Ramat Shlomo housing to be the best thing that has happened to us during US Vice President Biden's visit
      Just to remind you that I blog more frequently on me-ander and Shiloh Musings, please visit!

      Great News! "Peace" Talks Off!

      From Haaretz: Biden to Israelis: Mideast status quo is unsustainable Vice President says that Palestinians, Israelis must decide for themselves if they want peace. PA: Peace talks off until East Jerusalem housing shelved PA says indirect negotiations with Israel on hold over plans for 1,600 Jewish homes in E. Jerusalem.

      I like these "unplanned" happenings.  They are the work of G-d.  Since we can't rely on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, G-d decided to shake things up no doubt.  That's the best way of describing the timing in the building approval announcement for more Jewish homes in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo.  Israel, the government, the Jerusalem municipality and many Ramat Shlomo residents refuse to recognize that the United States and the Arabs refuse to recognize Jerusalem municipal boundaries as "kosher," approved.

      As far as they're concerned, Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo, Solomon Heights, is no different from my Shiloh neighborhood of Ramat Shmuel, Samuel Heights.

      I always get a kick out of it when G-d "interferes" to correct our bad planning.  Just this week it happened to me.  I had to take my father to Jerusalem for a few official errands.  It would require more walking than he usually does and I was very concerned and nervous about it.  So, I decided to try to find him a wheelchair.  I advertised in our local email list and was told to call a neighbor who lends one out.  When I went to her house to pick it up, her son couldn't find it.  All he could find was a "walker."  He convinced me that as long as my father could walk, that would be the perfect solution, rather than a heavy wheelchair.  And, no surprise it is.  Yes, is.  We've been taking it on our walks.  He rarely uses it, but when he does, he enjoys the speed and confidence it gives him.

       So, yes, I consider this whole hysteria about the Ramat Shlomo housing to be the best thing that has happened to us during US Vice President Biden's visit.