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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



      Kislev 7, 5769, 12/4/2008

      The Phone Hasn't Stopped Ringing

      I don't listen to the messages on the phone.
      You'd think I was popular with all the calls I'm getting.  It's even worse than the "friends" on those internet "social" networks.  These people make no efforts to listen to me or read my opinions.  It's all technology.

      The calls are from people who want to be Members of Knesset from the Likud.  Many years ago we signed up as members of the Likud.  I think that getting out of the deal is harder than leaving a Cathoic marriage, at least the type which existed in the days when they prayed in Latin and ate fish on Thursday or was it Friday.  The Likud is going to have Primaries, and since the polls predict lots of seats, all sorts of people have suddenly decided that they are loyal Likudniks and deserve to be in Knesset and make our laws etc.

      In the olden days, predating Likud, when it was Cherut or Gachal, not all Israelis had phones in their homes, and computers were those enormous things we read about.  The closest thing to a cellphone was the spy gadget, like the "shoe phone" in Get Smart.  So, in those days, we'd just go to the Cherut office in downtown Jerusalem and get a list to copy from a Lechi hero whom we trusted.  It told us whom to vote for.  Don't worry.  I didn't follow it religiously.  I first searched out the few female names on the actual list of wannabees and then crossed off the same number from the recommended.  And then I voted for the rest according to the special list. Since I hadn't the vaguest idea who all those people were, it made no difference to me.

      Now things have  changed.  Some people are sending recommended lists via email.  Wannabees record messages which are sent via the telephone.  Also, now I know that I can't trust anybody.  It doesn't matter what they say now.  It doesn't matter what they promise.  And now I know more about them, and there are some I don't want to see in the Knesset.

      I don't listen to the messages on the phone.  They're just ads, meaningless words. 

      Kislev 6, 5769, 12/3/2008

      Chicken Little, Mortars Falling!

      Is this a Chicken Little story?

      Or does "mortar fall" rhyme with "water fall?"

      a natural wonder

      Did the mortar which very seriously injured Elyasaf ben Nurit just fall?  Our enemies are trying to destroy us.  One thing for sure.  We need a lot more than "wishing" and "make believe" to protect us.


      Kislev 4, 5769, 12/1/2008

      *New Version* Like Being Kicked In The Kishkes!

      This post has been re-written. I have been corresponding with Robert Katz. Please read this new version; it comes to different conclusions. Thank you

      I didn't expect this.

      A couple of minutes ago, after dinner and after washing the dishes, I returned to the computer to read the news. My husband had left the Ha'aretz English newspaper on the screen. And no, in this case Ha'aretz isn't the guilty party. I saw that there was an article saying that Rebbitzin Rivka Holtzberg, HaYa"D's parents are thinking of taking up their dead daughter's post in Mumbai.

      Apparently the information was given by Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman's fundraiser, Robert Katz. Rabbi Grossman was Rivka Holtzberg's uncle and he is the founder of the Migdal Ohr in Migdal Haemek.

      Katz then said: "This couple wasn't living in the West Bank. They weren't settlers. They weren't occupying anyone's land. They were killed because they were Jews,  plain and simple."


      Yes, I felt sick when I read that, and I don't have to pretend otherwise.
      Thirteen years ago, I survived an Arab terror attack with light injuries. Our Shiloh Cemetery has many victims of Arab terror attacks, mostly teenagers.
      Terror attacks are a very sensitive subject with me.
      Robert Katz emailed me explaining that he hadn't meant what he said. He was being "sarcastic."
      Obviously, he had never read my instructions for dealing with the media. Sarcasm is the big "no, no." My lawyer daughter says that she learned a lot from the movie, "My Cousin Vinnie," which is about the importance of punctuation and avoiding sarcasm.
      I wish Mr. Katz the best of luck and apologize for writing badly of him.

      Kislev 2, 5769, 11/29/2008

      Hands in The Kitchen, Hearts in Mumbai

      By now, we all know that Jews were murdered in in India, in Mumbai last week.  Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg,  and kashrus inspector Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum and some not yet identified, Hashem Yinkom Damam.

      Yes, in laid back peaceful India, the place Israelis and others go to escape the pressures of the real world.  Well, the real world is in India, too.

      Since Thursday we had been praying for those Jewish hostages, and all others in danger, in the Chabad Nariman House in Mumbai.  Friday morning, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, we prayed for them at Tel Shiloh.  In my house, my husband and I had internet news coming out of India reporting anarchy, battles, attempts at rescue.  It was hard to cook and concentrate on anything.

      Specially trained Israeli "emergency medics," from ZAKA arrived in India.  They were hoping to do first aid, but instead they protected the dead, the murdered Jews.

      We didn't know any of the people, but our hearts are with their families and friends.

      HaMakom Y'Nachem, May G-d Comfort the Mourners...

      Cheshvan 28, 5769, 11/26/2008

      "I'm a Pragmatist!"

      The Arabs' aim is to destroy Israel
      We had some British Foreign Office people over this morning, and they weren't here to taste my cooking.
      I'm a pragmatist
      They weren't here to listen to me either, but.. I couldn't play Pat Nixon or Nancy Reagen if my life depended on it. I don't know how Michelle Obama's going to handle it. Hillary Clinton had a tough time.

      I put out some teas and coffee and miss-matched cups and saucers. I couldn't decide if I should hide in the den, on this seat or be "sociable." So I got up and down, putting things away and trying not to show how bored I was. Finally in the choreography of the conversation I managed to get in a few words. I made it clear that nothing I said should reflect on my husband, since we don't agree on many issues. I also tend to "call a spade a spade" and don't let the fragence of the rose mask the truth.

      "The Arabs' aim is to destroy Israel," I remeinded our visitors. "Nothing we give them or do for them will change their goal. It's important to listen to what they say and not to imagine, like John Lennon."

      "Have you seen a map?" I asked them.  "Take a good look and tell me if Israel could survive with a terror state here.  I'm a pragmatist.  The only way Israel can survive is if we stop terrorism and cease encouraging the lie that there's another people in this area .

      "You're a mother," I reminded the visitor from Great Britain.  "If a bully goes after your son, will you tell him to keep trying to buy the bully off, or will you make your son stronger and more confident?"

      That's right.  I'm no dreamer.  I see things very clearly.  I'm a pragmatist.