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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Torah Tidbits Audio
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:
Iyar 3, 5769, 4/27/2009
This is also posted on Shiloh Musings. You're invited to comment there, too. Thanks
I got the idea for this post from a comment by josh.
The Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI is due to visit Israel very soon. Josh suggested that maybe he'll be bringing one of our Holy Temple Treasures which the Romans stole from the Beit HaMikdash thousands of years ago. I doubt it, because it would admit that they have our property.
Nu? What do you think? What do you expect the pope to bring us? Israel is planning an outrageously disproportionate gift of our Holy Mount Zion.
Nisan 30, 5769, 4/24/2009
The cliche` is correct. Truth is stranger than fiction. If someone had "invented the story," there would be protests that the plot was anti-Semitic.
Bernie Made-Off with lots of other people's money. And now there's going to be a movie about him. No surprise. Crooks generally make interesting characters.
I once went to a lecture about book-writing. We were told that there must be some conflict. The Bernie Madoff story has lots of conflict. On one hand, he lived a very moral life. He was involved in Jewish organizations and seemed the model super-rich Jew. Unknown to almost everyone, he was really a top con artist. Now, the real billion dollar que$tion for the script-writers will be:
"Who else was in cahoots?"
So far, I haven't heard any real answers. Did his wife know? Did Madoff's sons know?
I think (of course, I can't prove anything being just a blogger, neither police nor Private Investigator) that his sons knew.
They, both generations, feared that the Ponzi Scheme would soon be discovered. So they decided on one last scam. The sons would turn him in claiming that they had just discovered the truth. Bernie would swear up and down that his precious sons were totally innocent, as if anyone with half a brain could really believe the guy who had been lying and tricking even his best friends all these years.
Well, fools, like tigers, don't change their stripes so fast. Just look at Israel, which keeps on giving the Arab terrorists Land, gestures etc to encourage them to make peace, and all Israel gets in exchange is terrorism, war and threats.
Will this movie really be made? And if so, who gets the profits?
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov
Have a Peaceful Shabbat and a Good Month
Nisan 29, 5769, 4/23/2009
“Never complain and never explain.” Benjamin Disraeli, who also said: “You will find as you grow older that courage is the rarest of all qualities to be found in public life.”Yes, that's what was going through my mind last night as I glanced at Israel's Chanel One News, when an IDF, Israel Defense Force's officer was trying to explain, point by point why we hadn't done anything wrong during the recent Gaza "war."
It's foolish and dangerous to justify the complaints and accusations in that way. The only way to respond to say: That's the price of war. If the Gazans don't like it, they shouldn't attack us.
They certainly shouldn't expect G-d to protect them the way He protects us. Yes, I know that sounds a bit flaky, but there's no other explanation for the very small amount of casualties we've had. Yes, "disproportionate," but just like some families have more "bad luck" and illnesses than others, and some have more boys or more girls or more talent and money, life isn't "fair." It's also not a simple mathematical equation.
After the 1967 Six Days War, there was a popular book, So Sorry We Won, by Efraim Kishon. That's the perfect title to sum things up. The world was ready to give the young State of Israel a glorious funeral, but G-d directed a very different outcome. Yes, G-d, because there was no Israeli battle plan to liberate the Sinai, Golan, the Jordan Valley and our ancient and Biblical Homeland to the Jordan River.
Benjamin Disraeli may not have been the perfect Jew, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from him.
Recently, there have been all sorts of mailings and articles telling us to bombard US President Obama with urgings to cease his "two states" policy. That would be a total waste of time and energy. The object of such a campaign must be Israel, politicians and media. The problem is here, not abroad. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is correct when he says that the United States will follow Israel on the issue.
Some countries, like Great Britain, have always been anti-Israel. That's why we had to fight it to establish our state, and things haven't changed. They may be experts at "proper statements," but that doesn't change history. I'm a pragmatist; I don't fall for pretty and unbacked words.
Our battle for survival is really here in Israel. We must change public opinion, the media and the politicians. Actually, the most effective order would put the media first. They control both the politicians and public. The media also muzzles the public, in order to create an impression that the public agrees with the media.
Just like how people are instructed how to avoid being attacked by bullies and muggers, it's the same here. Israel uses the "body language" of a victim. We're easy targets. That must change!
Nisan 26, 5769, 4/20/2009
The UN Watch surprised the delegates at the U.N.’s “anti-racism” conference, known as Durban II. The chairwoman kept banging her gavel and interrupting the Arab doctor who had been imprisoned in her country. She kept insisting that he was off-topic. Here are two videos of it:
And here is the short and clever video produced by Israel to illustrate the vast variety of races living together here in Israel.
Honestly, I don't think the way to influence the United Nations or most other countries is to be
Remember that the United States did not fight the Nazis for the sake of the Jews
"nice" and amenable. No doubt the countries which walked out of the conference in protest were inspired by the fact that Israel, the USA and others didn't attend.
We're better off just cancelling our membership in protest and saving the money we waste. We'd probably make more friends by standing up for our rights and not being afraid of foreign disapproval.
Tonight and tomorrow are Holocaust Memorial Day. What country in the world did anything to try to stop the murder of the Six Million Jews and the millions of others the Nazis decided didn't have the right to live? A few individuals, yes, but not a single country. And yes, that includes the United States which refused entrance to refugees.
Remember that the United States did not fight the Nazis for the sake of the Jews. And Britain didn't either. Both countries fought the Nazis for their own benefit. Great Britain just wanted to survive, and the United States didn't want the Nazis to attack the United States, so it joined, rather late, Britain in the battle to contain them in Europe.
After the allies defeated the Nazis, then the Jewish prisoners in the death camps were discovered. Many of them died, because they were overfed, given the wrong foods by the American soldiers.
The message we must understand from the Holocaust is that we are alone, alone with G-d and we can't trust any other country, organization or leader to care about what happens to us.
"Yisrael Batach B'Hashem!"
"Israel, Put Your Faith in G-d!"
Nisan 25, 5769, 4/19/2009
Just because Israel's Defense Forces have prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities doesn't mean that the plans are truly operational.
We should reject all American aid and advice... I fear our "friends" more than our enemies.
Every single country has its military prepared for operations it may never order. In Hebrew, the term is "b'megurot," in the "drawer," or "closet."
Sometimes, to "shut up" military officers and keep them from nagging their superiors, they're given a unit or platoon of soldiers for their "pet" battle plans. This doesn't mean that the plans are taken seriously. It's just good management to let the overly dreaming officer play soldiers so he'll stop driving everyone nuts.
A classic case was in post Six Days War Israel, 1967. During the summer of 1973, my husband attended an unforgettable World Betar Convention. He told me that some of the older Israelis there were bragging about their IDF positions and history. Somebody got the late Gidon Shiponi to reveal his army reserves job:
"Arik Sharon and I are training men to cross the Suez Canal."
That sounded ridiculously far-fetched, even to Betarim, but that's the army, and that was Arik Sharon, and that was Gidon Shiponi. And that's probably why Arik was passed over for Ramat Kal, Chief of Staff.
Well, I don't know how many of you remember who had the last laugh.
Yom Kippur, October, 1973, Israel was shocked by coordinated attacks by Egypt and Syria, on our northern and southern fronts, the northern and southern June, 1967, cease-fire lines. Our army and politicians were in a frenzy of panic. All of our military experts had declared us invincible. We had been reassured over and over that the Arabs would never attack us again.
There was only one spot of calm, and that was Arik Sharon. He and his officers, including Shiponi of course, were fully prepared. They shocked Egypt by efficiently crossing the canal.
But I have no doubt, that most surprised were Sharon's superiors, including the politicians in the know, who had never expected those plans to go any further than some "reserve duty exercise."
The IDF file cabinets are full of "what if" plans, long past their possible usefulness. Every army has them. You have to be prepared for all possibilities. They're supposed to be kept top secret, since their effectiveness is severely reduced when the element of surprise is deleted.
It was once much easier for Israel to keep its secret plans secret. No foreign army was privileged to know anything. Israeli army officers didn't consult with foreign countries. Israel didn't ask permission. We were much stronger then.
Our security is endangered by the close contact, the close connections we now have with the United States. It's to our detriment and possible, G-d forbid, destruction. We should reject all American aid and advice. I don't want to be killed by kindness and Trojan Horses. I fear our "friends" more than our enemies.
G-d willing a Shavua Tov, A Good Week to us all.