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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



      Iyar 18, 5768, 5/23/2008

      Getting Ready For Jerusalem Day

      Jerusalem is a lot more than golden lights at the kotel.
      Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach

      Sorry about the blur, but the bus wouldn't stop for me as I photographed the first of the Jerusalem trains. I hope they're moving us commuters before they need to be replaced.

      When I first came to Jerusalem, almost 40 years ago, vehicles were rare and pedestrians ruled. Now...

      Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat
      But, still, the streets of Jerusalem are the best theater.

      Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach

      Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

      Iyar 16, 5768, 5/21/2008

      Punishment In Which World?

      It's hard to believe that for over two years, Ariel Sharon, the once-bulldozer has been hospitalized in an undignified, helpless vegetative state.
      Before then, he was one of those people you either hated or loved or both, but you could never be neutral.
      The neighborhood I live in was his "inspiration." On a visit to Shiloh in early 1981, he was shown around the small Shiloh community near the ancient Tel. he heard the plans and looked around. Two hills up and over a kilometer away was a gorgeous, large, mostly flat piece of land, much more suitable for building than where Shiloh's founders were excavating for their permanent homes. When they seemed doubtful of his idea, he sweetened it by offering fifty pre-fab homes.
      Chazal, our Sages, say that the righteous are punished in this world, so the next will be all rewards. Arik Sharon built, but he also destroyed. He destroyed Yamit so that Begin could give the Sinai to Egypt, and then he was the Prime Minister who declared Disengagement. Only G-d knows how much longer he will have to suffer in this world. Sins between man and his fellow man are the most difficult to repent.

      Now, why am I thinking of Arik? It was announced that Teddy Kennedy of Chappaquiddick Island infamy has a malignant brain tumor.

      Does G-d punish non-Jews in the same way as Jews?

      Iyar 15, 5768, 5/20/2008

      "Battling" On The Roads

      Those of you who read my husband's blog know that he frequently posts about posters he sees in Jerusalem, especially the chareidi neighborhoods.

      Well, I don't wander those same streets. We have a different genre where I hang out waiting for
      This entire issue of whether or not Moetzet YESHA is doing what it should be doing for yishuv HaAretz, settling our HolyLand, is one of the reasons why the youth has no respect for authority.
      . At Givat Asaf, the t-junction to Beit El, and at the "ride stop" outside of Ofra, the latest posters concern Moetzet YESHA, Council of YESHA Communities.

      Many people are totally disgusted with its activities. It has been years since Moetzet YESHA has been involved with actually establishing new communities, or even neighborhoods. They headed the totally disastrous, F for Failure campaign to cancel Disengagement. Now they've been busy negotiating with the government about the destruction of Jewish communities, shades of the Judenrat. I know that many people don't like it when modern Jews are compared to such people, but you can't deny the parallels.

      Pinchas Wallerstein, former head/governor of Mateh Binyamin, the Benjamin Regional Council, is now head of Moetzet YESHA. Recently there were reports of opponents damaging his car. This first poster decries the act. A slew of rabbis signed the "emotional" letter.

      This second poster claims to have the actual agreement between the government and Moetzet YESHA. This entire issue of whether or not Moetzet YESHA is doing what it should be doing for yishuv HaAretz, settling our HolyLand, is one of the reasons why the youth has no respect for authority. The phenomena began during the Disengagement protests and has continued.

      Personally, in all honesty, I must admit that I admire them and am embarrassed that we adults cannot offer them the leadership and role models they deserve.

      Iyar 14, 5768, 5/19/2008


      These pictures have been haunting me. I live here in Shiloh, in relative (bli eyin haraa--don't
      Today the news is out, the pictures are instantly published, there are no secrets, but we see that nobody cares.
      tempt the evil eye) safety. We're far from the kassams and other rockets the Arab terrorists are launching at southern Israel, and we're far from the missiles launched by the Hezbollah, the Arab terrorists of the north. But I'm finding my nights filled with nightmares just the same.
      Bush claims to be anti-terrorist. He gave a rousing speech in the Knesset (of which I'm still trying to find out who wrote it--maybe Eli Wiesel?) Olmert, as Israel's Prime Minister, is supposed to have Israel's defense/survival as his main priority. But at the same time Israel's south is suffering Arab terrorist bombardments, innocent Jews are being killed and injured, the two of them are having a grand time.

      My generation, the post World War II baby boomers, of which both Bush and Olmert are members, was raised to mock the excuses of our elders that they "didn't know that there was a Holocaust going on."

      In the pre-satellite, pre-Internet, pre-digital, pre-cellphone, pre-cheap phone calls, etc. era it was much easier to hide the cruel anti-Jewish actions of the Nazis.

      Today the news is out, the pictures are instantly published, there are no secrets, but we see that nobody cares.

      In the 1930's when the democratically elected Nazis began the anti-Jewish laws culminating in the Extermination Camps and the murder of six million Jews, the official Jewish leadership tried to work with the Nazis, rather than broadcast emergency calls for help, condemnation and cessation of the Nazi Regime.

      Yes, I do see similarities in the Nazi period with today. The Nazis aimed for a judenrein (an empty of Jews) Germany, later all of Europe, and the Arabs, with the full support of the entire world, including the United States, the United Nations, the world's media and the Israeli Left, want a judenrein Judea, Samaria (Biblical Heartland) and most of the Middle-East.

      I'm horrified at myself for continuing my everyday life when our very existence is in danger!

      Iyar 11, 5768, 5/16/2008

      Is Israel Really "The World's Happiest Country?"

      Can you really "chart," calculate happiness? Or is it like the poetry graph mocked by the Robin Williams character in the movie, "Dead Poets Society?"



      That's exactly what I thought of when I saw the article claiming that according to the relationship/differential between fertility and suicide you can calculate the happiness factor. Now, if that's really true, you must compare the different Israeli sectors.


      Actually, I just recently discussed something similar with a friend. We both believe that the human body holds various illnesses and "conditions" which only "come to life" when various other factors exist. For instance, that's why the Disengagement victims, the expellees are suffering from many more illnesses than before. The stress of losing their homes, communities and jobs and the knowledge that Israeli society not only doesn't value their lives, but they mock their idealism. They were much healthier even during the constant Arab terror and kassam attacks. That's because they felt positive purpose in their lives. Disengagement made a mockery of it all. So their physical defenses went down and illnesses rage.

      Bottom line: I don't put my faith in those charts. When you have something to live for that means enough to you that you'd die for it, you're happy. That's not what John Lennon wrote in his famous song. "Imagine" yearns for an existence in which there's nothing to die for. I guess that's why he and his friends were so dependent on drugs and similar things.

      "I get no kick from champagne." I prefer building Jewish Life in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.