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      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:

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      Cheshvan 25, 5768, 11/6/2007

      Good Sportsmanship--Winner Takes All--Rabin's Legacy


      Having grown up in America, the concept of "good sportsmanship" was ingrained, the way I'd hope that "derech eretz" would be in the Jewish World.

      Israel is all abuzz with the way some Betar Jerusalem Soccer fans reacted to the imposed "minute's silence" in memory of Rabin.

      Who remembers how Rabin, as Prime Minister, treated the opposition?

      "Let them spin like propellors!"

      "I'm Prime Minister of 96% of the people."

      "לא מזיז לי!"  Meaning: "Doesn't interest/affect/move me." 

      These were his reactions to the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of Israelis who protested his Oslo Accords, in which he had pledged to destroy most of the Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. 

      I'm not even going to get into the Shabbak, Israeli internal secret service, connection to the pre-assassination anti-Rabin protests and all that.

      Rabin made it clear that "winner takes all," meaning that he, as Prime Minister, was not beholden to the opposition.  He only cared for his supporters.  That same philosophy explained why he never apologized for leading the troops against his fellow Jews on the Altalena.  They killed Jews.  Yes, Yitzchak Rabin was the commander of the Palmach unit which shot and killed Jews.

      And for the past twelve years, how has his supporters reacted to his death?  They incite against all who politically opposed him.  They haven't ceased accusing us of complicity in murder.

      We are innocent.  We are victims of hate.

      Betar Jerusalem fans said: "Ouch!"  Yes, they could have used more dignified language, but they aren't murderers.  They are tired of being accused of crimes they didn't commit.  Don't forget how Rabin's Labor party would refer to them as the "riff raff," when putting down Menachem Begin's supporters.  There's certainly no reason to penalize the Betar Jerusalem team for its fans' uninhibited behavior.

      Keep politics out of sports.

      Nobody should expect the "right" to be silent until the "left" stops attacking it. Christians preach "turning the other cheek," but they don't follow it, and we certainly don't need to adopt such a dangerous precept.

      Rabin's legacy is to attack the opposition, cause dissent.  It's time to move beyond it.

      Good Sportsmanship is "how you play the game," not about winning and losing.



      Cheshvan 23, 5768, 11/4/2007

      Terrible Weather--The Sun is Shining!


      Look at the date, the Hebrew one,  23 Cheshvan 5768.

      A month has passed since Simchat Torah when we said T'filat HaGeshem, The Prayer for Rain.  I shouldn't have to water my little garden.  G-d should be sending us the blessing of rain.

      Let's change that "should" to "would." We shouldn't expect G-d to do things just because we want.  We shouldn't have green parks and gardens.  They waste water.  G-d would be sending us the blessing of rain, if only we were keeping His commandments.

      Not only is Israeli society disengaged from the serious consequences we will suffer if more of our precious land is given to our enemies, the Arab terrorists, our very limited water supply is not only wasted when used to water parks and gardens in an attempt look like London or Amsterdam, but high powered hoses are used  for cleaning.

      The Lake Kinneret's "red line," indicating too little water, has been lowered so many times that nobody takes it seriously any more.  It's like Ehud Barak's threats to the Arabs, "if you shoot one more rocket..."  Those Arab-launched kassams keep doing damage, and Barak has no plan to destroy the kassams before they're launched.  "Nu, nu nu" is not an effective way of destroying and ending Arab terrorism.

      It's all connected, the water shortage and terrorism.  I'm sure that none of the government ministers have a garden as dependent on G-d's generosity as mine is.

      In the Torah we are told that if we live according to G-d's commandments, there will be enough rain, but if we don't, the Land will be parched.  Food won't grow.  Our economy will suffer, and we won't have the money to import food.

      Unfortunately we are being ruled by people who waste our natural resources, the treasures G-d gave us.  They waste water on grass and flowers and they steal land from fellow Jews and hand it to the Arab terrorists who want to destroy us.



      Cheshvan 21, 5768, 11/2/2007

      Have We Become The "Jews of Silence?"


      Yesterday afternoon, a small group of AFSI activists visited me in Shiloh. Among them was the tireless Helen Freedman and the legendary Glenn Richter, of SSSJ.  My husband and I first met at SSSJ's 1967, Tisha B'Av "Fast-In For Soviet Jewry," organized by Glenn and Yaakov Birnbaum.

      My guests were very concerned.  Why is there so much silence?  Shiloh along with most of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are in danger.  Olmert has pledged to destroy us. Why aren't we out in the streets demonstrating?  Why are we so silent?  Behind their words, I could hear the fear that we had, G-d forbid, given up.

      No, Baruch Hashem, we haven't given up.  Like the Biblical Chana who prayed to G-d with actions, rather than spoken words,  we are busy building our homes, our communities, praying to G-d, since it is a waste of our energies to make human sounds.

      Isn't that the lesson we learn from Chana?

      Chana's prayers are fullfilled.  The son she had prayed for in Shiloh is soon born, Shmuel HaNavi, Samuel the Prophet.  He's the leader who helps the Jewish People through the transition from tribes to a nation.

      We all must focus our prayers on HaKodesh Baruch Hu, the One G-d.

      Shabbat Shalom



      Cheshvan 19, 5768, 10/31/2007

      "Israel should become like every other country"


      Israel's Interior Minister Shitrit wants Israel to be "like every other country." 

      Isn't it enough that we have prostitution, drug addicts, murderers, alcoholics and every other crime and personality disorder?

      That statement of Shitrit's reminds me of the ancient Biblical national crime at the time of Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet.  G-d had been waiting for the Hebrew People to ask for a king to obey the mitzvah of establishing a King, but instead, they asked for a king "like all other nations."  And we got King Saul who, sounds familiar?, fought David instead of Amalek and the Philistines.

      Now Shitrit wants to limit/restrict/change immigration, forget about the mitzvah of aliyah, to "good people," no crooks and no protexia to someone just because he may be Jewish.

      Shlomo HaMelech, King Solomon was right, as he repeated many times in Kohelet, Ecclesisastes, "Nothing's new."

      We sure live in Biblical times...



      Cheshvan 17, 5768, 10/29/2007

      Hunger-Striking for His Grandchildren


      I was at the Striking Teachers Demonstration today near the Knesset, in Jerusalem.

      There was a man there, of my generation, holding a sign that said:

      I'M HUNGER-STRIKING FOR THE SAKE OF MY GRANDCHILDREN!

      Recently, I had blogged about "mother's love," (http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2007/10/mothers-answer.html) and here I was, just a few steps from this determned looking man.

      Even though I was in a red strikers T shirt, I "changed my hat" to that of blogger/journalist to discover more.  He answered my American accented Hebrew with Russian accented Hebrew:

      "Are you really hunger striking?"

      "Yes"

      "Who are you?"

      "I'm a school principal in Tzrifin.  My children have all graduated university, and now I'm worried about my grandchildren."

      Whenever I read about education in the states, I read complaints about how it's "dumbing down."  It seems like no place could kids pass the tests from ten or twenty years ago.  They just don't know as much. 

      The Israeli Government, delusional as usual, is convinced that young academics are the cure, and they want to force us, the about to retire age-group, out.  I didn't see too many young teachers at either demonstration.  I also overheard some teachers talking about how some of the universities no longer have enough students to train as History Teachers, so they closed the department.

      And this sign says:

      WHOEVER WANTS TO CHANGE PLACES WITH ME, GET UP, AND TAKE IT!

      Now, in all honesty.  I love teaching.  It's challenging and rewarding.  I've worked at all sorts of jobs and on the whole teaching my high school teenage boys, or attempting to each them can be a lot of fun.  I enjoy it more than all the other jobs I've ever had.  But that doesn't mean that the government can pay such a low wage and offer difficult conditions.

      Must get to bed.  Tomorrow I go to my favorite "students" after work, to my grandchildren, of course!