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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
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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:
Kislev 18, 5768, 11/28/2007
My neighbors and I in Mateh Binyamin, the Benjamin Regional Council, north of Jerusalem, have been busy with both regional and local elections. Yes, at the same time as Olmert has been conspiring in Annapolis to destroy us we've been campaigning and voting for our town councilmen/women, mayors, governor and "parliament" representatives.
Have we been fiddling, while we should be raising the roof in protests?
The regional elections were rather heated. Adi Mintz, of Moetzet YESHA, who had been quoted that "under certain conditions he'd give the Arabs 40%, was defeated by Avi Ro'eh S'gan Assistant Head of the Regional Council.
photo by Yona Zoref, Shiloh
For many, Adi Mintz's Moetzet YESHA connection was the deciding factor in a difficult election.
photo by Yona Zoref, Shiloh
Judaism is the only religion which combines Kodesh and Chol, the Holy and the Profane. That's why we must do both, continue with our local issues and protest against the government.
We must fight, as loyal dissidents, all the evil the Israeli Government is involved with, and at the same time, we must develop and expand the Jewish Communities in all of the Land of Israel, for the sake of our children, our future!
Photo I took at the elections here; two ballots are in his hand, since we allow power of attorney for spouse.
Kislev 15, 5768, 11/25/2007
I was in Jerusalem today. No, I didn't go to the Jerusalem Demonstration, and I'll explain why later.
I was looking for justice, and to get to the Supreme Court, I passed through a tunnel, part of a road named for Yitzchak Rabin, of all people. Rabin's second reign as Prime Minister was a dark time, darker than the tunnel.
He was the Oslo Prime Minister, and his aim was very similar to Olmert's. He planned on destroying Jewish Shiloh, among other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and planned on making me and my neighbors homeless. He also tempted Syria by mentioning that he'd be willing to "talk" about the Golan. Don't you remember those "The People are With the Golan" banners? During his reign there was also police brutality against protestors.
At that time most of our politicians fought like the lions in the tunnel for Jerusalem. It was unheard of to turn back the clock and divide it like the 19 nightmarish years before the Six Days War. Now our politicians have other priorities and patriotism and loyalty to our precious Historic Homeland aren't on the "must do" list.
I didn't find any justice, but I did see some kids handing out some pale, goldish ribbons, sort of like the color of Jerusalem stone. They didn't offer me any, but they tried to give their ribbons to cars stopped at red lights.
Their ribbons weren't gold and their campaign is also faulty.
There are some demonstrations planned to "protect" Jerusalem from Olmert's willingness to sign parts of it away to the Arabs in Annapolis.
I don't support those demonstrations.
It's not because I want to give away Jerusalem. G-d forbid! I want those horrid walls destroyed and the city to be totally united. If Arabs can live in French Hill and Pisgat Zeev, then Jews should live in Beit Chanina or whatever Arab neighborhood they wish.
Those demonstrations are dangerous.
They're dangerous, because they indicate that they've given up on Judea and Samaria. They're not fighting for the preservation of our Historic Biblical Homeland. They've written us off without a fight. They accept the Arab and American demands of a juden rein Judea and Samaria. They're accepting that hundreds of thousands of Jews will be exiled and homeless.
Do they honestly believe that Jerusalem will survive surrounded by another Arab State, one conceived through murder and terrorism?
Do they honestly believe that the State of Israel will survive with such borders?
This isn't 1948, when the entire area was poverty-stricken and weapons were primitive. Only 19 years later, in 1967, the surrounding Arab countries threatened us with extinction. They bragged that they would drive us into the sea. The UN Peace-Keeping Forces fled.
The world waited and watched, expecting an Arab victory. None of them helped us.
Jews all over the world prayed.
Instead of being wiped off the face of the earth and buried at sea, Israel, tiny, weak, poor Israel was victorious. Finally we found ourselves with defensible borders. Finally we found ourselves in possession of our Biblical cities, Hebron, Beit El, Shechem, Shiloh and the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Baruch Hashem!
The world was in awe. They recognized the great miracle.
But how did Israel react?
"We don't need it."
They succeeded in turning our victory and peace into a terror-filled nightmare.
The Arabs wont give us peace no matter what "gifts" they're bribed with. They'll just demand more.
The world will never fully recognize us a legitimate country with Jerusalem as our capital. But they'll add annexes to their Holocaust Museums to memorialize the State of Israel that self-mutilated, proving that Jews are cursed to wander.
G-d forbid it should all end like that.
We have to fight for all of our Land, not just Jerusalem. We must never give up!
Kislev 13, 5768, 11/23/2007
With the hindsight of history and the physical distance between Israel and the United States, I see things from a very different perspective.
American Jews for generations now have been worshipping FDR and been more loyal to the Democratic Party than to Torah and Mitzvot. Bill Moyers little speech is so typical.
FDR became US President during the Depression. Just like "whatever goes up must come down," after a financial depression there will be an improvement in the financial situation. Ups and downs are normal fluctuations, especially when the down is followed by a war which jump-starts industry making lots of people rich and providing jobs for all willing to work.
FDR was president during WWII, when the United States was the leader of the Allies who defeated the Nazis. Considering that the US was never really in direct danger, being protected by geography, the US only joined the fight when it felt it had no choice. At the end of the war, the anti-Jewish Holocaust was revealed.
Defeating the Nazis to save Jews was never part of the war plan. The US would never endanger its soldiers for some Jews, but American Jews adopted the fantasy that the US went into Europe to save Jews from Nazi murder.
This fallacy is worshipped more than G-d Almighty. How pathetic and maybe it explains some of the Israeli public's acceptance of corrupt politicians and dangerous policies. Ordinary people don't look at the "fine print."
Kislev 11, 5768, 11/21/2007
Haven't you heard?
The international public protests were successful!
Here's proof that the world has a heart. The campaign to save Anne Frank's tree, the one she saw from the window of her hideout, is a success!
It reminds me of the hysteria of the idealistic Left in Israel after they discovered that some of the Jews, who had been forcibly evicted from their homes in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, due to the Left-supported Disengagement, had "cruelly and irresponsibly abandoned their pet dogs." Of course those very same "humanists" didn't think it cruel that the government had evicted, exiled those same innocent Jews from their homes, destroyed their businesses, farms, trees and gardens. Minor details, like the dog owners' being homeless, most temporarily housed in small no animals allowed hotel rooms didn't excuse them.
Where were the international protests?
And now, Israeli politicians and media and the world's moral standard bearers are going blithely ahead with their plans to exile, G-d forbid! more innocent Jews, well over 100,000, from their homes totally disengaged from the dangers they will be putting the entire State of Israel.
photo by me, Batya Medad, taken in Shiloh
Instead of defending and strengthening our State of Israel, they are at the forefront of the international movement to establish an Arab terror state in our historic Homeland, in the heartland, an easy rocket-launch away from all Israeli cities.
Why doesn't anyone care? The world protested about the possible destruction of a diseased tree in Holland, once admired by an "imprisoned" Jew. Why doesn't anyone care about preserving our country? An Arab terror state which unabashedly proclaims its aim to destroy the Jewish State is bad news for the entire world. Why doesn't anyone care? Where are the protests?
Why does that tree mean more to people than all the vibrant Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria? Why do people ignore the dangers to the State of Israel?
photo by me, Batya Medad, taken in Shiloh
Why do people prefer to donate to Holocaust Memorials than the needs of live Jews? Why did they unite for Anne Frank's tree rather than to protest the uprooting of mine?
Kislev 9, 5768, 11/19/2007
While we've been trying to figure out how to save Jerusalem and our precious country, Jerusalem has been seeing a lot of construction, and I'm not talking about reasonably priced homes for all those Israelis who want to buy.
Jerusalem is being walled in.
I took these pictures walking around Pisgat Zeev-East, a lovely looking Northern Jerusalem neighborhood. That is it was lovely until I noticed the encroaching wall, and then I felt claustrophobic, like I was in a ghetto.
I hadn't realized that Pisgat Zeev was walled in like that. I knew that the Hizme "crossing" to Mateh Binyamin, the Benjamin Regional Council was next to Pisgat Zeev, but I didn't know that the entire neighborhood is surrounded.
Then I saw that dangerous wall, snaking its way up to French Hill, mutilating our city.
Arabs walk around every where. They're buying apartments in French Hill, Neve Yaakov and also Pisgat Zeev. But we Jews are restricted to where we go and live. The Olmert Government has declared a building freeze in Judea and Samaria for Jews only!
Isn't that discrimination? Racial and religious discrimination?
The Berlin Wall was taken down. When will the Jerusalem wall and that entire, ugly, useless wall cutting through our Holy Land be destroyed? It prevents peace. It restricts Jews. It limits our access and security.
Certain people are getting very rich building it; that's for sure.