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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



      Tevet 1, 5769, 12/28/2008

      No Santa Claus, No Tooth Fairy, Other Myths Demolished

      I'm pretty confident that none of you believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. But did you you get all weepy when reading that moving story of the little boy imprisoned during the Holocaust who was given an apple a day by a sweet little girl, and then they met up again in America and married? Well,add that to Rudolf and Santa's Elves. It's fake, too.

      Another con is the Olmert-Livni-Barak Troika's war. No doubt that it will cause death and injury, just like a real one. But like the Olmert-Livni-Peretz war of two and a half years ago, it doesn't have a clear aim. It's not out to destroy our enemies, just get the troika elected. Olmert keeps stressing that he has nothing against the Pseudistinian people, just the terrorists, as if the terrorists came from Mars. That's why the Israeli government has been shtupping them with food like some nutty Yiddishe mamma.

      And now I'd like to ask your opinion. What do you think of this picture?

      I took it from last night's Jerusalem Post site. 

      Kislev 28, 5769, 12/25/2008

      Creating A Dream

      My orignal plan for this post was to discuss the repercussions of the Madoff con, the Ponzi scheme, financial scandal. I had just read of the suicide of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, who had lost over a billion dollars, not all of it even his. This may not be the first.

      In the beginning of the movie Seabiscuit, the narrator explains that immediately after the Stock Market crashed
      the creation of a logo for Nefesh B'Nefesh that inspired them to make aliyah
      people didn't jump out the windows, it took a while for the reality to hit.  So, who knows what the final price will be?  That's why I nominated Bernie Madoff for the 2nd Annual Self-Hating Jew Award.

      I see this like the ripples on the face of the water after a stone is thrown in.

      Now, l'havdil, something very different,  I'd like to think of something good having that ripple effect.

      Nefesh B'Nefesh is advertising a new logo contest.

      It's for students, Grades 4-7, and I'd like to think that trying to create a logo for an organization that promotes aliyah, moving to Israel, will make a great, positive impression on these young children.  The "ripple effect" should inspire them to live here in our HolyLand.

      I'd love to hear in five, ten, twenty years from now, olim chadashim, new immigrants to Israel, telling one and all that it was the creation of a logo for Nefesh B'Nefesh that inspired them to make aliyah.

      Kislev 25, 5769, 12/22/2008

      Blunt on the BBC

      Aleem Maqbool quoted some of my uncompromising answers to his questions in his BBC diary chronicling his trek from Nazereth to Bethlehem. Actually, I'm rather pleased with his choice of my words.

      "If people think my views are extreme, then fine, I'm an extremist," said Batya Medad. "I have no problem with that." Batya lives in the Jewish settlement of Shilo, in the middle of the "West Bank" (though Batya does not use that term, instead calling it by the Biblical regions it covers, Judea and Samaria).

      Every country around the world, except for Israel, considers settlements like Batya's illegal, built on occupied Palestinian land. When I put that to her, she responded angrily. "We (Jews) are the only ones with history here, we were here first and we should be here now. It's totally immoral to say we can't be," she says.

      Batya instantly felt at home when she moved from New York to Shilo. "I don't care what the world thinks. They didn't care when the Nazis started against the Jews and when Jews were murdered. So why should I care?"

      Batya and her husband, Yisrael, were both born and raised in New York, but moved in 1970. She says she never had a feeling of belonging when she was in the United States, but that when she moved here, she instantly felt at home. Israeli and Palestinian politicians, supported by the international community, are meant to be working towards an end to the Israeli occupation here and the creation of an independent Palestinian state. However, Batya says she thinks that the peace process will go nowhere, and that her future in Shilo is not under threat at all.

      I just disagree with his description of my responding "angrily." I think that the picture gives a more benign image. But, all and all, I don't think that anger is misplaced as a response to statements like his.

      • The big mistake in our hasbara, information campaign, "rebranding," is being too nice.
      • Why should we be willing to compromise and give gifts to those who want us dead?
      • Why should we be deprived of basic human rights?
      • Why should we agree that our HolyLand be empty of Jews?

      And Aleem Maqbool surprisingly missed a major bit of our story. We didn't move directly from New York to Shiloh. It's a funny thing for him to get wrong, considering that we told him that we had lived in London for two year in the middle 1970's. And he must have known that we and his photographer discovered that we had lived in the same Bayit, V'Gan, Jerusalem building in the early 1970's.

      All in all, I consider it a successful interview. I got my message across, and he published it in his diary. He included neither me nor my husband in the accompanying video. Whoever did the editing decided that the public cared more for his donkeys, which, like the old Pony Express, had been changed a few times, than they cared about hearing from Jews living in Shiloh.

      Kislev 24, 5769, 12/21/2008

      It's Not A Joking Matter

      Someone sent me a cheerful little Youtube ditty, I'm Keeping Kosher for Christmas. It makes light of the children of intermarriage and the competition between Chanukah and Xmas.

      It's funny but not. Even though it's cheery and humorous, it's sad, because there are lots of Jews who are caught between Judaism and the prevailing non-Jewish culture where they live.

      I remember watching the Jewish TV show, "The Eternal Light," (I'm pretty sure it was that show,) soon after the Diary of Anne Frank was published. There was a skit, in which combined the Greek persecution of Jews with that of the Nazis. The characters discussed how much they would risk to keep the Jewish traditions and laws. One very proudly expounded on how he'd be willing to risk his life. The other one resonded:

      "Now you do have the right to observe all of the Jewish Laws. Why don't you?"

      That made a great impression on me and is one of those pivital moments that inspired me to be a Torah observant Jew and move to our Holy Land.

      Chag Urim Same'ach

      Have An Enlightened Chanukah Holiday

      Kislev 21, 5769, 12/18/2008

      Peace--We Had It!

      This is cross-posted on Shiloh Musings
      We must totally and completely and unembarrassedly defeat our enemies

      There's only one way to establish peace. You must defeat your enemy in war. And you then must behave like a victor. We had peace, for a few minutes after the 1967, Six Days War, and then Eshkol's government decided to give possession of הר הבית Har HaBayit, The Temple Mount, The holiest place in the world for the Jewish People, to the Moslems. After that, things have just gone down hill, as the saying goes.

      For some perverse and peculiar reason, Israelis refuse to recognize the single-mindedness and violent fanaticism of our enemies. Government after government continue with the same failed policies, wishful thinking, hoping that our friendly gestures, Lima Syndrome, will make the Arab terrorists into peace-loving people. Even affluence and education don't change our enemies, as the British have been reminded recently, during the trial of the Arab doctor terrorist. Instead we keep getting attacked. Ashkelon, Sderot, the Negev were all attacked by Arab terrorists who launched kassams. But the politicians, media and judicial all make light of it.

      What right does a "legal advisor" have to give the government military instructions? Another annoying thing I point out frequently is the ridiculous headlines in the media. Today Arutz Sheva went "poetic" instead of accurate. Terror from the Skies in Sderot: 3 Wounded in Shopping Center

      Sorry Charley, but the terror wasn't from the skies. The terror was from terrorists, Arab terrorists. Please don't be creative with the truth. This isn't some game. Those Arab terrorists want us all dead and our country destroyed, so don't get all cute and flowery.

      There is only one way to stop terrorists, and there's only once way to have true peace, not the rhinestone variety.

      We must totally and completely and unembarrassedly defeat our enemies without apologizing, without trying to make them happy, without compensating them for their losses.