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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



      Shevat 18, 5768, 1/25/2008

      Almost Shabbat...

      Food for Thought: Moral Codes


      The Jerusalem Post, obviously to generate more Internet traffic, has a section called "Hot Potato." They throw out a quotation and ask readers to respond. This morning they had this up:
      'If Israel truly didn't care about moral codes, it would level Lebanon, Gaza, and W. Bank'
      Here's my reply:
      The only "moral code" a country should care about is the one which demands protecting its own citizens. By caring more about the enemy's, Israel is totally immoral!!!
      Before seeing it, I had planned on blogging a post I was going to call:
      "Give 'em an Oscar!"
      That's because of the unbelievably over-acted, melodramatic newscast about the Israeli blockade on Gaza. The Arabic-accented IBA reporter was part of the show. He was hysterically shouting as he "reported" that the Gazan announcer had "burst into tears" as he told the public that their electricity was down due to the cruel Israelis. Then he showed an enthusiastic children's demonstration against Israel, where the children burned replicas of American flags and put out the flames with their feet. This picture of the kids marching with candles wasn't shown in the clip I saw. I guess the Jerusalem Post doesn't want to show the anti-Americanism of the Gazan Arab terrorists. The children's candle march is so much more "peaceful" and "sympathetic." The truth is that there is no "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza. It's no more real than James Bond or ET. The "crisis" is a PR lie manufactured by those who want to damage Israel's reputation. If we would use a screenwriter like theirs, maybe Tzvi Fishman should go back to his profession, we would get the world support we deserve. If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, the world would know how much of Sderot has been destroyed by Arab rockets from Gaza. If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, pictures of Israelis injured by Gazan rockets would be flashed all over the world. If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, pictures of the damage by Gazan rockets would be broadcast for all the world to see. Obviously, there's something insidiously perverse in the priorities of the Israeli politicians, media, judicial etc. They care more about the enemy than they care about Israel. And they call this "morality!" It's sick and it's dangerous. There's nothing moral about protecting one's enemies. There is only one way to have peace, and that's to destroy, defeat your enemy! That is what we learn from the Bible, the true source of morality
      Deuteronomy Chapter 25 יז זָכוֹר, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק, בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם. 17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; יח אֲשֶׁר קָרְךָ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, וַיְזַנֵּב בְּךָ כָּל-הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִים אַחֲרֶיךָ--וְאַתָּה, עָיֵף וְיָגֵעַ; וְלֹא יָרֵא, אֱלֹהִים. 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. יט וְהָיָה בְּהָנִיחַ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ מִכָּל-אֹיְבֶיךָ מִסָּבִיב, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה-אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--תִּמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם; לֹא, תִּשְׁכָּח. {פ} 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget. {P} 1 Samuel Chapter 15 א וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל, אֶל-שָׁאוּל, אֹתִי שָׁלַח יְהוָה לִמְשָׁחֳךָ לְמֶלֶךְ, עַל-עַמּוֹ עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע, לְקוֹל דִּבְרֵי יְהוָה. {ס} 1 And Samuel said unto Saul: 'The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel; now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. {S} ב כֹּה אָמַר, יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, פָּקַדְתִּי, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה עֲמָלֵק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל--אֲשֶׁר-שָׂם לוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ, בַּעֲלֹתוֹ מִמִּצְרָיִם. 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. ג עַתָּה לֵךְ וְהִכִּיתָה אֶת-עֲמָלֵק, וְהַחֲרַמְתֶּם אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ, וְלֹא תַחְמֹל, עָלָיו; וְהֵמַתָּה מֵאִישׁ עַד-אִשָּׁה, מֵעֹלֵל וְעַד-יוֹנֵק, מִשּׁוֹר וְעַד-שֶׂה, מִגָּמָל וְעַד-חֲמוֹר. {ס} 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.' {S}

      Shevat 14, 5768, 1/21/2008

      I Have A Dream

      I have a dream that our People will return from Exile.

      Refuzenik 9

      I have a dream that we will walk freely and safely in our Land.

      Od Avihu Chai Shiloh-Jerusalem 2007 8

      I have a dream that we will build new cities and rebuild our ancient ones.

      Tel Shiloh II 5

      I have a dream that pilgrims, ordinary Jews from all over the world, will return to Shiloh.

      olive cotton candy

      I have a dream that more Jews will sense the Ketoret, which still wafts here in Shiloh.

      Tel Shiloh, 8

      I have a dream that Shiloh will once again be a great city.

      Tel Shiloh, and modern Shiloh

      I have a dream that today's Channah will come in great numbers to beseech G-d, like the Channah of Old, for a leader of our people.

      Tel Shiloh II 1

      I have a dream that we will have a leader who will speak the words G-d tells him and obey the orders G-d gives.

      Tel Shiloh, Mishkan, Tablernacle Model

      I have a dream that our People will do what is right.

      Shiloh sign

      I have a dream that we will destroy our enemies, because only that will bring us Peace.

      And in my small way, I've started bringing friends to pray at Tel Shiloh. me at Tel Shiloh We pray for our Nation, our People. I'm tired of going to Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb. Honestly, I don't think it's the right place for our National prayers.

      Kever Rachel, outside

      There is a very crucial difference between the prayer/request of Rachel for children and that of Channah. Rachel wanted a child for herself:

      א וַתֵּרֶא רָחֵל, כִּי לֹא יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב, וַתְּקַנֵּא רָחֵל, בַּאֲחֹתָהּ; וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל-יַעֲקֹב הָבָה-לִּי בָנִים, וְאִם-אַיִן מֵתָה אָנֹכִי. 1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: 'Give me children, or else I die.' Genesis Chapter 30

      Channah wanted to give birth to the man who would lead the Jewish People:

      ט וַתָּקָם חַנָּה, אַחֲרֵי אָכְלָה בְשִׁלֹה וְאַחֲרֵי שָׁתֹה; וְעֵלִי הַכֹּהֵן, יֹשֵׁב עַל-הַכִּסֵּא, עַל-מְזוּזַת, הֵיכַל יְהוָה. 9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk--now Eli the priest sat upon his seat by the door-post of the temple of the LORD; י וְהִיא, מָרַת נָפֶשׁ; וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל עַל-יְהוָה, וּבָכֹה תִבְכֶּה. 10 and she was in bitterness of soul--and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. יא וַתִּדֹּר נֶדֶר וַתֹּאמַר, יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אִם-רָאֹה תִרְאֶה בָּעֳנִי אֲמָתֶךָ וּזְכַרְתַּנִי וְלֹא-תִשְׁכַּח אֶת-אֲמָתֶךָ, וְנָתַתָּה לַאֲמָתְךָ, זֶרַע אֲנָשִׁים--וּנְתַתִּיו לַיהוָה כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו, וּמוֹרָה לֹא-יַעֲלֶה עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ. 11 And she vowed a vow, and said: 'O LORD of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy handmaid, and remember me, and not forget Thy handmaid, but wilt give unto Thy handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.' 1 Samuel Chapter 1

      That's why she prayed to G-d; she didn't demand that her husband do something. The child she wanted was no for herself. After Shmuel (Samuel) was born, she had many other children, and according to the Bible, she then lived a full life. Rachel, on the other hand, died in childbirth, though she said that she would die if she didn't have children.

      Our Nation, Our People, is in danger. It is time to return to Shiloh, as in the days of Eli, Elkanah and Channah, and pray to G-d to send us a leader and pray to G-d that we'll recognize our generation's Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel The Prophet.

      Shevat 11, 5768, 1/18/2008

      MAZAL TOV!!

      Yes, Mazal Tov to כל עם ישראל All Am Yisrael, the People of Israel!

      It's 30 years since Jewish Life returned to the Holy City of Shiloh!

      What a modern day miracle!

      Before King David declared Jerusalem the Capital of the Jewish Nation, Shiloh served that purpose for 369 years.

      Thirty years ago, in the middle of the winter, the Jewish month of Shvat, seven young families and a few yeshiva students renewed Jewish Life where Chana prayed for a son to serve G-d.  We are now a few hundred families from all over the world.  We share a dream.

      Today Shiloh has a hesder yeshiva, elementary schools (to the 8th grade,)

      a library, medical and dental clinics, stores, a cemetery... everything one needs.  Why don't you join us?


      Shevat 7, 5768, 1/14/2008

      We Shouldn't Be Surprised

      Israeli thought police may be focusing on us bloggers, according to the article that Carl cited.
      We really shouldn't be very surprised. Remember, that this is the same government which has jailed young, barely into their teens, girls for their loyalty to our ancient Homeland.
      The Israeli riot police who brutally attacked the passive demonstrators in Amona were ordered to use "use their clubs whenever necessary" by their officers.
      I'll never forget how my students, terribly embarrassed, told me how they were beaten and that they saw their rabbis grabbed by the police and thrown out of the windows, head-first.
      It really galls the Leftist Israeli establishment, politicians, academics, media, judicial, etc. that their youth has dreams of making money and leaving the country. Jealously is the prime mover, motivation in all of their anti-democratic and totalitarian actions.
      A few years ago, they began to notice that the elite units in the army and the young officers were primarily from "national religious" backgrounds. At first they didn't care, because it was obvious that a disproportionate amount of soldiers killed in Lebanon were from religious families, meaning that their sons were safer. But then they heard their sons and grandsons calling front-line soldiers "fri'erim," suckers, and they were presented with expensive bills from psychiatrists for army deferments. It began to look like an epidemic, rather than a rare, embarrassing occurrence.
      If Dosh was to draw your typical Israeli "new Jew" farmer today, there would be a beard on his face and tzitziot flying out from under his shirt.
      A hundred years ago and fifty years ago all of the "great modern Jewish thinkers" predicted, without any doubt whatsoever, that Jewish ritual, strict observance of Jewish Law, was outdated and would end. The truth is the opposite. Most of their descendants, if they have any, aren't Jews, and Torah-observant communities all over the world are growing.
      People like me may be "locked out" of the mainstream media, but blogging has given me the opportunity to run my own "news magazine." That's what I think of my blogs. They are the modern, high tech samizdat.
      If the Israeli Government goes after me for my opinions, then I'll take it as a vote of confidence that I'm saying the truth.

      Shevat 4, 5768, 1/11/2008

      Why Let It Happen Again?

      The OU fundraises for the victims of Disengagement, the exilees, but it did nothing with its massive membership to prevent Disengagement. Every time I see their ad my blood boils.
      They did nothing! Instead of asking their rabbis and synagogues to protest Disengagement, they preached helping Darfur.
      Immediately after Disengagement, Olmert announced even more drastic destruction of Jewish Life in our Holy Land, and that was predictable, too.
      Are you planning a new department for your fundraising, if G-d forbid Olmert and your President Bush have their way?
      • I don't want to be an object of your pity!
      • I don't want my home to be destroyed!
      • I don't want to be exiled!
      • I don't want to be murdered by the terrorists the world is funding!
      • It's not about Jerusalem!
      Don't think that by protesting the division of Jerusalem you're doing your job!
      Jerusalem can't stand alone! G-d helped us liberate Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as a package deal. Oxygen doesn't go to the heart without lungs.
      Yes, "their grief is our grief," but not the way you mean it. Their grief is that they were abandoned by their brothers, our brothers.
      Don't abandon us, like you abandoned them!
      also posted on Shiloh Musings