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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:
Av 21, 5769, 8/11/2009
As you can read in the poster, Amichai Steinmetz, of Ma'ale Levona, has disappeared in India. There's more information and recent pictures of him on the Hebrew site.
Money and prayers are needed. The search is very expensive. Bank details are on the above poster.
Please pray for the soon and safe return of Amichai Steinmetz:
Amichai ben Dvora
Av 19, 5769, 8/9/2009
A few months ago, the Israeli Ministry of Education decided to poll the "public" in order to decide which works of literature would be added to the resurrected required curriculum in EFL English studies.
Some of the suggested works proved controversial, and the debate even made the local press*. (*Strangely, now when I went back to the site/link, I found that the talkbacks have been deleted. There had been quite a public debate.) A number of teachers wanted the debut historical novel, Grains of Sand, by Shifra Shomron, who based her novel on her experiences as a teenager expelled from her home in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif.
I'm considered a veteran high school English teacher here in Israel, and I admit to having encouraged Shifra with her writing and offered her to blog on Shiloh Musings. It's a good book and I think that its inclusion would have made the students think and encouraged Israeli students to try writing. But the book didn't make it into the official recommended list.
Ironically, while Shifra's book is very understated, personal and non-political, a much more controversial book did make it in. Actually, I'm overjoyed that The Wave by Morton Rhue is one of the two choices for top level (5 point Bagrut) Israeli students.
"The setting of the book is Gordon High School in 1969. The plot of the book revolves around around a history teacher (Mr. Ben Ross), his high school students, and an experiment he conducts in an attempt to teach them about how it may have been living in Nazi Germany. He hopes this answers the question of why the Germans allowed Adolf Hitler and the genocidal Nazi Party to rise to power, acting in a manner inconsistent with their own pre-existing moral values...I think it should be required reading to prepare our students for IDF army service. We don't want "just following orders" Nazi-like robots in the army, and we certainly don't want our children to be mind-controlled.
The Fall of the Last Community in Gush KatifAddThisThe Last Hours of Netzer HazaniAddThis
Every time I see films of how our soldiers systematically, methodically and trained to overcome their emotion as they force innocent Israeli Jews from their homes, I'm spooked, scared out of my wits. It's inhuman and against Jewish Law how our soldiers behaved. I'm glad that my sons were already out of the army when Disengagement happened.
Descended from the same Jewish souls who sympathize with every underdog, even the fakes and antisemitic ones, our politicians, leaders, media and judicial must have undergone some perverse mutation. How else can this be explained?
It would be best if Israeli high school students would be exposed to the dangers of cults and brainwashing in their native Hebrew, but it looks like it's up to the English teachers to immunize the youth against the mind control of the "politically correct."
Av 14, 5769, 8/4/2009
There are Jews all over the world who rationalize, excuse their not moving to Israel, because
My sons served in combat units, frontline of course, in the army. I was proud and scared, but I've also been afraid of other dangers. There are dangers our kids face, no matter where they're living. As hard as we try, we can't protect our children from illnesses, accidents or their own foolishness.
When my sons were growing up, I was no stranger to the Emergency Room. I even had to take my daughters there on occasion.
The most seriously ill was my youngest at the age of two weeks. That was one of those "nobody's fault" life-threatening situations which could happen any place to anyone. My Shiloh neighbors helped enormously for the six weeks we were in Shaare Tzedek Hospital. I can't imagine any community any place in the world doing more for a young family with four other kids.
Then a few years later, my other son was hit by a small truck when on his bike, and we had four weeks total in Hadassa Ein Kerem and Alyn Children's Orthopedic Hospital. Until my son was back on two feet sans crutches, a few months later, my neighbors were great.
Those things can happen any place to anybody. According to statistics, most accidents happen at home or nearby.
For two years simultaneously (of the three years each) my two sons were both serving in the army. I can't say that I didn't worry, because I always worry. I worry about them crossing the street.
I worried the most when my elder son took a post army trek to South America. Then I was worried sick. And now, a young man from Maale Levona is missing in India. Search parties have been sent from Israel. Please pray for the safe return of:
Amichai ben Dvora
And accidents are a serious danger, too. There was one the other day in Shiloh to a young teen. Please pray for a refuah shleimah, complete recovery for:
Yisrael Or ben Tova
Av 10, 5769, 7/31/2009
It's an old American custom. When one wants to prove that he or she won't be lying, a Bible is taken out, and the person swears on it.
This is a very common and accepted and required custom. Christians swear on the Jewish Bible and their additional writings.
Jews are allowed to just use the original Bible. Some people use family Bibles. Yes, even George Washington swore on a Bible over two hundred years ago. Two hundred years may seem like a long time ago, but it's nothing compared to Jewish History.
Jewish History, yes, the history written in that Bible they all swear they'll live by.
The Story of Shiloh and the Jewish Nation are in the Bible, yes that book that smiling Michelle Obama is holding while her husband, Barack Hussein Obama places one hand on, that same Bible, and raises his other and promises, swears on the Bible to be a good President of the United States of America.Now for a small question, a minor detail:
If he makes demands that deny the validity of the Bible, what does that do to the legitimacy of his presidency?Just one of my dumb questions. Food for thought.
Av 8, 5769, 7/29/2009
While our pre-Tisha B'Av meal is cooking on the stove, the words I heard in the Knesset two day ago, at MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari's seminar about Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount) are "cooking" in my mind.
This morning I read something from Aish.com which raised the flame, or made it more like a "pressure cooker."
The prophet describes all of the suffering that befell the Jewish people at the time of the destruction of the Temple. "Eichah! How is it possible? The proud majestic city of Jerusalem, in ruins! Her inhabitants in exile! Her enemies rejoicing!" The sages point out the similarity of the word "Eichah" (How!) and the word "Ayecha?" in Genesis when God asks "Where are you, Adam?" The answer to Jeremiah's question - How did it happen? - is that the Jewish people disregarded the Almighty, just as Adam did in the Garden of Eden
For years it has been bothering me that we, as a nation, people, religion, failed to do something crucially important as the 1967 Six Days War ended. G-d performed a miracle for us on the level, size of a Biblical miracle and we have been rejecting it.
The miracle is two-fold, and I'm using the present tense, because it still holds, bli eyin haraa, (keep away the evil eye.)
One is that the State of Israel, the first Jewish State in two thousand years survived the well-planned military onslaught from the north, south and west, which aimed to literally throw us into the sea. When the Jewish People left Egypt, G-d had to make miraculous passages through the water. In 1967, we stayed on dry ground.
The second miracle is the gift of the HolyLand, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Sinai, Jordan Valley, Golan and the missing parts of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount.
One of the speakers on Monday, (sorry, but I didn't take detailed enough notes,) reminded us that although two hours after we, with the help of G-d, liberated the Temple Mount government ministers decided to give the keys to the Wakf, the Temple Mount is still in our hands. Not all is lost. We can fix it. We can fix it if we want to. Judea and Samaria, where most of our Biblical History took place are also still in our hands.
"Eichah! How is it possible?" How is it possible that Jewish leaders, rabbis from all over the world haven't returned home and settled our precious land?
"Eichah! How is it possible?" How is it possible that we haven't built our Holy Temple in the forty-two (42) years since Har HaBayit b'yadeinu, The Temple Mount is in our hands?