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      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



      Cheshvan 13, 5768, 10/25/2007

      I'm Not That Dumb!

      Please, take a look at these maps, a good look.


      Now, did you look at the numbers, the distances?

      Do you honestly think that Israel could survive if we allow Condeleeza Rice's dream to come true?

      Do you honestly think that there's room for another Arab State in the Land of Israel?

      Do you honestly think that Israel should take any more advice from US's Bush and the rest of the international busybodies?

      Do you honestly think that Israel should attend the upcoming "conference" no matter what they call it?

      Do you honestly think that Israel's present government is leading us in the right direction?

      Or do you honestly think that something "stinks?"

      Don't be shy.  We have a country to save!

      Cheshvan 12, 5768, 10/24/2007

      The Doctor Prescribed Aliyah!

      The best Vitamin there is!

      Before my parents, ad me'ah v'esrim, flew back to New York, it was decided to check that my father was really healthy enough to make the trip.  After a bit of networking with Israeli friends, my mother decided to take him to the Shaare Tzedek Emergency Room.

      The head doctor checked him out.

      Baruch Hashem, bli eyin haraa, he passed all the tests.  Regardless, the doctor gave them a prescription:

      "Make aliyah!"

      Considering that most of their descendants are here in Israel, and the visit to Shaare Tzedek's Emergency Room confirmed the high level of medical care available, making aliyah would definitely be good for their health!

      Cheshvan 11, 5768, 10/23/2007

      Learning Patience

      I am not the patient kind.

      I get bored much too easily.

      I hate waiting.  Some of my most gorgeous photos have been taken while waiting.  Please don't expect me to sit patiently.  I don't watch the pot boil, nor hover over some cooking food.  Sometimes it causes the bottom to get a bit "too crunchy," but don't worry.  I know lots of tricks for cleaning pots and pans.

      During my years in Shiloh, sans car, I've trained myself to wait for rides.  My mantra is "a better ride is on its way."

      Last night, after teaching six "teaching hours" in the Bnai Binyamin Yeshiva High School, Beit El, I waited and waited for a ride.  I admit that I had rushed my last double lesson, "No break, and as soon as you do everything I planned, you're released."  It worked; they completed everything on my list nice and early.  But there was no ride to Jerusalem; I waited a very, very long time.  Finally a ride, and I didn't even ask to where nor the route.  "Jerusalem" was enough.

      Siyata D'Shmaya, I discovered that it would pass just a few minutes' walk from my destination.  A quicker ride going to a different part of Jerusalem would have caused me to arrive even later.

      As impatient as I am by nature, I don't rush peace.  No "peace now" for me.  Real Peace cannot be rushed nor hurried nor bought.  When it comes, it will come from G-d, not from any summits, peace conference nor the like.

      Hu Oseh Shalom B'mromov.  Hu Ya'aseh Shalom Aleinu...

      He makes shalom in His heights.  He will bring shalom/peace to us...

      Cheshvan 7, 5768, 10/19/2007

      Come On! Lech, Go! I'm Talking Lecha, To You!

      HaKodesh Baruch Hu (G-d) makes it very clear in the Torah, that's m'dirayta, (right?) that we're supposed to leave everything and go to That Place, He will show us.

      No ifs ands buts or maybes.

      No conditions.

      This is the simplest Mitzvah to understand, and today living in Israel is easier than it has ever been.

      We made aliyah in 1970. 

      • In those days you were lucky to get a phone line in under a year. 
      • In those days it was routine to build 4-6 story walk-ups.  Elevators were rare.  There wasn't even one in our multi-storied Kupat Cholim.
      • In those days we made overseas calls with the help of an operator.  When they first instituted "direct dialing" it was revolutionary.
      • In those days not only were clothes dryers rare, but many people still boiled the cloth diapers on the stove.
      • In those days if you had a car, the army drafted it.  If you were lucky, they let you drive it.
      • In those days, Israel didn't have TV, and when it finally entered the TV age, black and white only.
      • In those days almost all stores and businesses closed down for the afternoon "siesta."
      • In those days women's dresses were sold with "optional sleeves."

      Actually, I didn't plan on blogging a nostalgia post.  The message I want to get across is that it's very clear that G-d meant this mitzvah, yishuv Ha'Aretz, for all of us.  Things will only get better with more and more Jews living their lives here in the HolyLand.  Things will only get better with more and more good Jews in the IDF.

      And most important, I don't think that rabbis, regardless of their "label," abroad have the moral and halachik (concerning Jewish Law) right or authority to make a decision for others about aliyah.  To me, it's no different from asking someone who eats traif to posken on Kashrut.

      Welcome Home

      Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!

      Cheshvan 4, 5768, 10/16/2007

      Amona in Tel Aviv?!?

      We didn't expect to see riot control horses and riot police at the Teachers Demonstration last night.

      It was rather unnerving for some of us.


      It helped to disguise ourselves.

      We joined teachers from all over the country protesting the proposed "reforms," and G-d wasn't forgotten.


      Just because they call it "reform," doesn't mean it's good.  It's just a euphemism.


      As you can see, I was dressed to demonstrate in orange, but I added a red "protest shirt" to show that I was a teacher, not that I can dress like that for work.

      So far we haven't gone on strike, because the "custom" is that teachers in Judea and Samaria keep their students safe in school, rather than letting them wander.

      Honestly, I think that we must strike.  The government isn't offering an improvement.  We're voting again on it.

      And in case you're curious, there was no violence at the demonstration.  Having the horses and riot police were a pathetic provocation.