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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:
Shevat 30, 5770, 2/14/2010
I grew up in mid-Twentieth Century United States. I always lived in areas which were mostly Jewish, but I never had a doubt, no doubt at all that the United States was at heart, mind and media a Christian country.
"Before the Jews came, we had such beautiful Christmas pageants."
As I remember, the early history and its stories of religious freedom were about various Christian groups, not full religious rights for all religions, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and any others. We lived with other Jews to feel more comfortable. The local New York City public schools were closed Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. No other Jewish Holidays seemed to be known. We weren't religiously observant.
In neighborhoods like ours, the schools kept the "winter holiday celebrations" pretty G-dless and sans Jesus, too. We sang about snow, Santa and dreidles. The only "religious" song was "Silent Night," which most of us Jews didn't quite understand. Easter, I associated with bonnets and decorated eggs. I never caught onto any religious message about it from the TV shows; it remains an enigma. Yes, television was the great educator and assimilation tool.
May father learned English in school and both my parents learned American customs and values there. But I learned from the TV.
As a teen I felt that I had to choose between being Jewish and being an American, Being American meant accepting christian customs and priorities. In Great Neck North, NY, I had a teacher who would complain that the Jews ruined things for Great Neck. I was amazed and asked what she had meant:
Every once in a while I hear or read discussion about the place of Christianity in America. I accept it as the dominant ruling religion. That's why I strengthened my Judaism, became Orthodox (Torah observant) and moved to Israel.
Shevat 27, 5770, 2/11/2010
תפילת נשים ראש חודש אדר תל שילה
בע"ה יום א' ל' שבט 14-2
Women's Rosh Chodesh Adar Prayers Tel Shiloh
Sunday 14-2 30th of Shvat
Tel Shiloh is open for visitors every day except Shabbat. There's a gift shop and snack bar. You can celebrate festive occasions there, too. For more information email email@example.com
Shevat 21, 5770, 2/5/2010
My father is back to watching his World War Two documentaries on DVD. He's as fascinated as if it's the first time he has seen them. I'm horrified by the parallels I see to today's news. It's like those books I don't finish, because I can too easily predict what dangers and predicaments the characters will get themselves into. It all seems so obvious, but they act oblivious.
I feel the same way watching the news. How many times can our politicians make the same mistakes? Don't they remember the previous times they tried bribing the Arab terrorists with land and privileges the results was that our security only lessened and terrorism increased? My father has an excuse for not remembering. Some of his brain cells have "expired."
The people leading the State of Israel supposedly have all their faculties. What's their excuse? Chamberlain's "Peace in our time" didn't protect Great Britain. Nor did American isolationism keep the United States out the war.
It's Friday afternoon, my time is short. Shabbat is approaching. I'm glad to have Shabbat to escape a bit from This World, Olam Hazeh.
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat
Shevat 10, 5770, 1/25/2010
Better late than never and better partial than nothing at all. G-d willing this is the first step in trying to unify our battling nation. What's the "this" I"m referring to? As a former English Teacher, that's a reading comprehension question I had asked many times. The answer should come before the pronoun, but I purposely left you in suspense. That should get you guessing.
I'm referring to the law passed in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) which will cancel the police records for the majority of those arrested for anti-Disengagement protests. It's not a blanket amnesty, and many of those who will be pardoned have already served their sentences and suffered for their dissident opinions.
Israel's history, beginning from the early pre-state days, is plagued by conflict between the Zionist Left and a series of opposing groups, Revisionists, Etzel, Lechi, Herut, "settler," anti-Disengagement and "settler," yet again. We've been accused of numerous crimes, the murders of Allozoroff, Rabin, Dir Yassin sic massacre and being sic anti-peace. There were probably some other crimes the Left tried to pin on us. If I've forgotten any, please add in comments.
We Right wing pro-Land of Israel nationalists are the "Israel of Israel." Just like the State of Israel gets accused of all sorts of things on the international scene, we get the same treatment in Israel. And just like Israel doesn't properly defend itself in the international arena, we don't do it well at home. Actually, things were starting to improve when Arutz 7 had its radio station. The message was getting out, so the government closed it down.
We mustn't be shy about standing up for our rights and true justice. A tiny grain was moved, and if we keep working it'll all tip in our favor.
Shevat 5, 5770, 1/20/2010
Please listen very carefully to the reporter as he tells about the great job the Israeli team is doing rescuing people in Haiti.
And then, towards the end, few of his lines seem scrubbed of necessary and obvious details.
Davka this morning, I received the perfect youtube film clip "response" from Boris.
Clint Eastwood in White Hunter Black Heart.