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      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 20, 5769, 9/9/2009

      The IDF's Status Quo

      Before the "main attraction," check out the latest media news.  Also, please don't forget that I post on Shiloh Musings and me-ander much more frequently. This week's special event is JPIX-The Jewish Blog Picture Carnival, a collection of links to illustrated Jewish blog posts from all over the world.

      The Tal Law, Postponed Again

      The Tal Law, changes the army exemption for yeshiva students, limiting it and requiring some basic army service.  It was passed years ago but never implemented.
      My feeling, ever the cynic about certain things, has always been that the original exemption, supported by Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, had nothing to do with being nice to the Chareidim, "ultra-Orthodox" Jews, it was because Ben-Gurion and his Palmach and Haganah friends who were organizing the IDF, Israel Defence Forces, didn't want the army to be religious.
      Tonight on Israeli television, one of the Tal Law supporters was being interviewed and was even asked why he wants the chareidim in the army, considering that the army would become more religious.  The reply was unexpected.  The man, whose name I missed, made it clear that he'd be very happy with a more Jewish and religious army.  He praised the "kippah srugah" soldiers, the national religious with their crocheted kippot as the best soldiers we have.
      Today, when statistics are showing that more and more non-religious youth are finding reasons for army exemptions, and the non-religious demographics are dropping, many Israelis realize that the army must become more religious, because who else will serve? 

      Elul 16, 5769, 9/5/2009

      A Head Not A Tail

      Please check Shiloh Musings and me-ander, which are posted to more frequently.  Thanks


      Somewhere in the middle of the longest "parsha section" in this week's Torah Portion, Ki Tavo, I noticed:

       מג הַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבְּךָ, יַעֲלֶה עָלֶיךָ מַעְלָה מָּעְלָה; וְאַתָּה תֵרֵד, מַטָּה מָּטָּה. 43 The stranger that is in the midst of thee shall mount up above thee higher and higher; and thou shalt come down lower and lower. Here we are, less than two weeks before Rosh Hashannah, right in the middle of the Jewish Month of Ellul, and we ought to be getting ready for our annual "hearing" before G-d Almighty. מד הוּא יַלְוְךָ, וְאַתָּה לֹא תַלְוֶנּוּ; הוּא יִהְיֶה לְרֹאשׁ, וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה לְזָנָב. 44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him; he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. מה וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וּרְדָפוּךָ וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ, עַד, הִשָּׁמְדָךְ: כִּי-לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ, בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ--לִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו, אֲשֶׁר צִוָּךְ. 45 And all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou didst not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded thee.

      What does that phrase mean?  It's customary at the Rosh Hashannah Evening meal/s to have a "head" on the table and say a special request to G-d that "we should be a head and not a tail."  In our family we've been using fruit heads, like the one illustrating this post.

      What does all this mean?  On Rosh Hashannah, we ask that G-d make us the "head not the tail," because the opposite is a curse, a punishment for our sins. 

      What do we hear in the news all the time?  Our politicians, the faux leaders of Israel are concerned about what U.S. President Obama thinks, what the U.N. will vote, the opinions of everyone but G-d.  We have become "tails" rather than the "head." 

      We're taking orders from the goyim, just like in the curse detailed in the Torah! G-d willing we'll be blessed with true wisdom and true leaders.

      Shannah Tovah to one and all!

      Elul 14, 5769, 9/3/2009

      I Thought It Was Against The Law!

      Please visit my other blogs!  They're updated more frequently. 

      I was having a lovely, yes another, birthday lunch, this time with Sharon Katz, of Voices Magazine, in the Mamilla Mall, Jerusalem, when we were disturbed by the noise outside. It was hard to believe.  An entire crew of yellow-coated (wearing yellow, waterproof raincoats) were hosing down and hosing down and kept on hosing down one of the fancy apartments just across from us. Months ago the municipality had sent out notice that it was against the law.

      We pay a lot for water in Shiloh.  If the owners of that apartment are billed like we are, they're in for a surprise.

      Elul 11, 5769, 8/31/2009

      Human Rights, Free Enterprise

      As usual, I'm having trouble deciding which of my Shiloh Musings articles to post here.  Don't be shy in letting me know if you think I made a mistake.  My me-ander is a different sort of blog; some of you may find it interesting. You'll see a different side of me there.

      Human Rights, Free Enterprise

      Human rights, civil rights, free enterprise, natural growth, capitalism... We can throw Darwin in too, the survival of the fittest and all that. We have a major housing shortage and over-crowding in Shiloh. Our neighborhood synagogue is being almost doubled in seating capacity. The committee has done a miraculous job finding ways to expand it and quickly. One of the advantages of being in a climate where it doesn't rain in the summer is that building additions is easier. No covers were needed from rain. OK, I should have worn a sun hat and sunscreen on Shabbat. My seat isn't too exposed, but some of my friends kept changing their places as they chased the shade.

      There are dozens of temporary, quickly built homes like these, constructed on site, like giant lego or tinker toys. Luckier families, who already own real homes are expanding them to suit their needs. In the rest of the world, or for Arabs a couple of kilometers away, this would be no big deal, but the world makes different rules for Jews in the our HolyLand. And unfortunately, our Israeli politicians concentrate their efforts on currying favor with our enemies, rather than doing what's best for Israel.

      Enough of the hypocrisy! Let the international politicians, world community and "moralists" concentrate on real problems like Iran, Arab terrorism, cancer and pollution.

      In the meantime, we're busy living and building.

      Just mind your own business!

      Elul 8, 5769, 8/28/2009

      What Wasted Votes!

      There's always more on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  The following post also appears on Shiloh Musings, where there has been quite an interesting response. 
      Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

      I feel like a broken record, repeating time after time, that most people who voted for Likud had wasted their votes.  They trusted that Bibi's "Center" campaign would get him in power to give us Right wing pro-Jews in the Land of Israel policies.  Instead, as I suspected and blogged, he is using his power to give us Labor-Kadima and Loony-Left policies.

      Sorry, chevra, but you've been had!
        Don't kvetch now about not liking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policies.  Do something.
      Leave the Likud en masse and join the National Union, and that especially includes Likud MK's who, along with Moshe Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit, are the guiltiest of this con.  They gave the Likud a "Mehadrin Hechsher--strictest approval" that a vote for Likud would ensure a strong and Jewish Israel, protecting Jewish Rights in our HolyLand.

      Things will not get better within the Likud and we don't have time for Feiglin's plea for "patience."

      Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorah
      May you have a peaceful and blessed Sabbath