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      The Eye of the Storm
      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



      Adar 23, 5769, 3/19/2009

      Gilad Shalit, Jiminy Cricket and Executing Terrorists

      Gilad Shalit and Jiminy Cricket are what I've been blogging about recently on Shiloh Musings.  I generally post there at least a couple of times a day, and there are also some interesting comments, though not always as wild as here.

      Ehud Olmert has passed the Gilad Shalit "hot potato" to Bibi Netanyahu.  So when, and if*, Bibi gets his coalition together, the crowds will welcome him to his new home by shouting: "Bring Gilad Home!"  At least Noam Shalit mentioned in his statement yesterday that Olmert had been in power at the time of Gilad's capture.
      Let's legislate a law to execute Arab terrorists!

      Now, about Jiminy Cricket...  In the original Carlo Collodi novel,  Pinocchio, the cricket acting as conscience was nameless, but Disney gave it the name, a euphemism for the Christian Jesus (Hat tip, Hadassa.) 

      I used Jiminy as an example of what I think is the responsibility of the Ichud Le'umi, the National Union Party.  I voted for them. I don't want them haggling over government perks and trying to be "diplomatic" and compromising.  We need MK's who are willing to say the truth without fear.

      And I suggest that among their very first bills to be proposed as law, should be one demanding the immediate execution of any Arab terrorist who murders Israelis.  Swift punishment is the best way.  That will prevent the situation we're in now, when convicted, murderous Arab terrorists are living comfortably in Israeli jails as bargaining chips, awaiting their release in exchange for captured Israelis.

      If you listen carefully to what the Arab leaders and terrorists are saying, there's no difference between their ultimate aim concerning Jews and that of the Nazis.  Let's legislate a law to execute Arab terrorists!

      *And if he somehow fails, then Tsippi will get a chance, and if she fails, Lieberman will get his chance, and if they all fail, we're back to elections, while during this entire time, Olmert remains Prime Minister.

      Adar 20, 5769, 3/16/2009

      Where Did The Guns Come From?

      Israel returned 300 confiscated weapons to PA
      For the second time in two months, Arab terrorists shot at Jews in the Jordan Valley.

      Just two months ago, Moshe and Sarah Avitan of Shvut Rachel were shot at in the southern Jordan Valley, on their way to Kochav Hashachar. Moshe was seriously wounded in the head. Thank G-d, he has made a miraculous recovery, but his vision is now greatly impaired. Please pray for his refuah shleimah, a complete healing: Moshe Refael ben Aliza A'isha.

      Last night Arab terrorists attacked and murdered two policemen.

      The victims’ squad car overturned after the terrorists shot them in head. Medical officials say one victim died as a result of injuries suffered by the car overturning. (complete article)
      Not long before that, it had been announced that Israel returned 300 confiscated weapons to PA. (hat tip IMRA) What do the Pseudistinians need with more weapons? Do they shoot rabid dogs?

      Adar 17, 5769, 3/13/2009

      Gilad Shalit--At Any Price?

      When I was first learning about life in Israel, over forty years ago, people talked about how one is expected to bargain. Never pay the first price offered. Pay as little as possible. Walk away from the shop, and they'll call you back with a better and yet better price. It was quite a switch from the very "proper" and inflexible America in the mid-1960's.
      Maybe we should send one of the veteran stall owners from Machene Yehuda to negotiate

      Israelis seem to have lost the knack. They're (we're) playing all these negotiations like total patsies, total fools. We've given away our precious Land for nothing--Disengagement or a smile and Nobel Peace Prize--Menachem Begin's Camp David.

      Instead of simply refusing all aid to our enemies and Red Cross visits to the terrorist/enemy Arabs we've captured until our soldiers are returned--alive or dead, we keep offering to free more and more terrorists.

      Gilad Shalit's family are media darlings like the religious parents of our soldiers captured in Lebanon could never be.

      Yes, Gilad Shalit must be freed, must be returned home to Israel, but what happened to the master Israeli bargainers of old? Maybe we should send one of the veteran stall owners from Machene Yehuda to negotiate. I'm sure he wouldn't do any worse than our politicians, diplomats and media have done.

      Adar 15, 5769, 3/11/2009

      Word Association: Violent Riots-Ehud Barak

      Bibi Netanyahu is completing his coalition negotiations and choosing his cabinet.  For months we've been hearing that he's courting Ehud Barak and offering him the Defense Ministry.  Incomprehensibly to me, Barak has support.  The media always describe him as the expert, but for me Ehud Barak is something else entirely.  I hope he refuses all of Bibi's offers and gets fades into the sunset, but whatever he decides, we won't be through with him.  The International media will interview him for his opinions, and big money think tanks will offer him more money than most Israelis earn in a year for an hour's lecture.
      L'havdil, just like we have the mitvah to remember Amalek, we must remember the King Saul's, who didn't obey G-d, who didn't execute Amalek when they had the chance.  The following article appeared on Shiloh Musings, which is generally updated at least twice a day.
      Escaping riots and my mind suddently went back a few years, to
      It is beyond my comprehension how/why the Israeli Labor Party could have reelected him as party leader. Their "reserve of potential leaders" must be totally bankrupt
      the horrors of the "reign of terror" when Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israel.
      Ehud Barak was definitely the worst Prime Minister we ever had. Personal safety in a good portion of the country was in the minus category. Arab terror attacks were daily, and all Barak did was to threaten. It is beyond my comprehension how/why the Israeli Labor Party could have reelected him as party leader. Their "reserve of potential leaders" must be totally bankrupt.
      As I write this, all I can think of is that most Labor supporters must be from parts of the country which weren't under attack, and they're too short-sighted and selfish to look at what's happening beyond their own neighborhoods.
      My neighborhood and my "stomping grounds" were definitely under attack. My youngest, just a young teenageer at the time, was in a bus going to volunteer in the nearby fire station, when a bullet passed his neck, close enough to "burn." Arab terrorists were terrorizing the roads of YESHA.
      At first we tried to keep up routines, business as usual. The Beit El Yeshiva High School, where I taught, is close enough to the road between Jelazoon Refugee Camp and Ramallah-El Bira, so that it was easily targetted by the Arab terrorists. We had to flee the classrooms facing the road when Arab terrorists shot at us. Bullet-proof windows had to be installed.
      The diningroom, even closer to the road, was out of bounds and tables and chairs had to be set up in the lobby for meals.
      One day, when my teaching was interrupted by shooting at the classroom, lessons were cancelled and my then boss and still neighbor decided that we had better go home. He figured that if we didn't leave soon, before dark, we may end up stuck in Beit El for a few days.
      The big problem was that the army wasn't allowing Jews on the road we usually took. So we went a different way, through an Arab village, which my neighbor knew well from army service. Arabs lined the streets watching us, and it was a miracle that they watched and didn't attack, because we were all alone. I don't know if he had a gun. If they had stormed the car, we would have been killed.
      Baruch Hashem we arrived home safely.

      Adar 13, 5769, 3/9/2009

      Remember! זכור It's Never Too Late

      This past Shabbat (yesterday) was Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat we're supposed to remember what Amalek did to us all those millennium ago, because in actuality, Amalek is still active, still
      ...even when G-d seems to be absent, He is always with us, Hester Pannim
      attacking us.

      Amalek wasn't destroyed by King Saul, even though Saul had been ordered by G-d, via Samuel, to destroy him totally and utterly, even his livestock. To this very day, we're paying for Saul's sin. Saul was a weak and fearful "leader." When G-d had commanded Samuel to anoint him king, it had been hoped that Saul would accept instructions from Samuel. But free will can be very unpredictable and dangerous. Saul, enjoying his power as king, didn't obey, and for that reason he was deposed in what I consider the Bible's greatest dramatic scene.

      Sounding very much like a modern politician, Saul, blamed the people. If you look carefully at the Biblical text, it doesn't say that the people ordered, or urged Saul to disobey G-d. It says: "...Saul and the people..." Saul is mentioned first. This is not like the sin of the Golden Calf, when the people rebelled and Aaron tried to control it by joining. The Hebrew makes it even more clear that Saul led, because all verbs in Hebrew are either in singular or plural. " וַיַּחְמֹל שָׁאוּל וְהָעָם עַל-אֲגָג" "Vayachmol" is in singular. Even if it's supposed to mean that Saul and the people were totally united, as one, it condemns him for not struggling to obey G-d.

      1 Samuel Chapter 15 ז וַיַּךְ שָׁאוּל, אֶת-עֲמָלֵק, מֵחֲוִילָה בּוֹאֲךָ שׁוּר, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי מִצְרָיִם. 7 And Saul smote the Amalekites, from Havilah as thou goest to Shur, that is in front of Egypt. ח וַיִּתְפֹּשׂ אֶת-אֲגַג מֶלֶךְ-עֲמָלֵק, חָי; וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעָם, הֶחֱרִים לְפִי-חָרֶב. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. ט וַיַּחְמֹל שָׁאוּל וְהָעָם עַל-אֲגָג, וְעַל-מֵיטַב הַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר וְהַמִּשְׁנִים וְעַל-הַכָּרִים וְעַל-כָּל-הַטּוֹב, וְלֹא אָבוּ, הַחֲרִימָם; וְכָל-הַמְּלָאכָה נְמִבְזָה וְנָמֵס, אֹתָהּ הֶחֱרִימוּ. {פ} 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, even the young of the second birth, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but every thing that was of no account and feeble, that they destroyed utterly. {P}

      Saul's blaming the people was even worse than when Adam blamed Chava (Eve) for eating the forbidden fruit.

      Today we are caught in a situation very much like the Haftara of Shabbat Zachor, but today is much, much worse. Saul and his sinful advisers dominate the government, the media and even our religious leadership. The voice of Samuel is gagged and muffled. Even worse are those who speak in his name confusing us.

      In a couple of days, it will be Purim, the Holiday which reminds us that even when G-d seems to be absent, He is always with us, Hester Pannim.

      Let's pray that G-d will once again bring us miracles, even if we don't deserve them.