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      From the Hills of Efraim
      by Yisrael Medad
      This blog will be informative, highlight foibles, will be assertively contentious and funny and wryly satirical.
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      Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem.  He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981. 

      Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History.  He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes.  He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.

      He also blogs at MyRightWord in English and, in Hebrew, at The Right Word.

      Tammuz 22, 5768, 7/25/2008

      Humorous - But Not Really Funny


      Somehow, we Jews always manage, even in the depths of our travails, to crack a joke.  Academic studies exist on the subject.  And if we can't make a joke, we laugh anyway, straining to see the funny side of the situation.  It is probably a defense mechanism or, in my opinion, the triumph of Jewish optimism.

      Take, for example, this lady (you should pardon the expression):

      Her name is Tali Fahima and many of you will remember her as a veteran of two years or so in an Israeli jail for aiding and abetting the enemy, a Jenin terror commander.  As I wrote here, and trying to be funny myself by making a play on words, she could be termed The Babbling Whore of Palestine for terming her former friend and comrade, a Martyrs' Brigade terrorist, a whore himself for making a deal with the GSS in order to obtain medical treatment in Ramallah.

      But the joke is on us.  She became a media personality with T-shirts and rallies.  Her former friend the terrorist, who is in the business of getting Jews killed, is afforded the opportunity to extend his life by Israel.  Of course, he actually could be a collaborator, helping the GSS catch the "real" terrorists and then the joke would be on Tali.

      And what about this sign, created by one Dede for the Maariv newspaper:

      Twice in one month, tractors have been used as weapons of death by Arabs.  So, what is our response?

      Well, we could start a new campaign: "Don't Give Them Licenses!".  We could start bashing the tractoronim, the Hebrew for the mini-tractors, on the principle of "kill them when they're small".  As the old joke goes, a grandfather is showing his grandson around old building sites in Tel Aviv where he worked as a Sollel and Boneh laborer in the 1930s. "Here," he says, "I was a carpenter and there a bricklayer and there I worked on the plumbing."  And the grandson responds, "What, Saba, you were an Arab?"

      On another topic, the increase of Jewish same-sex weddings is on the rise.  In one case I discussed, one Andrew Lipka married his friend, Daniel Bloch.  And a Rabbi, Daniel Sklar, officiated at the Sunday ceremony that followed the justice-of-the-peace one.  Okay, admittedly, that's not really funny.  But in a closer reading of the notice I found, it seems that Andrews mother worked for, wait for this, the Jewish Family Services organization in Metrowest (that's another term for New Jersey).  I can't wait for the future Lipka-Bloch family.

      If we've mentioned family, Bar Mitzvahs are always a great source for humor.  This summer, we have a film that deals with the English Jewish community when a young lad's big day falls on the same day the English national team gets to play in the World Cup Final against Germany in 1966.  Based on a story by Peter Weiland, they need one Bridget O'Connor to write the screenplay.  Now, I know the Irish and Jews have a lot in common - red hair, fighting a liberation war against the British - but a Bar Mitzvah script?  And don't forget, the Rabbi in the film who helps prepare the kid is - blind!  Ha!  (Since the mother is played by Helena Bonham Carter,                                                                        

      it can't be all that bad).

      And for the last case, the drop-out rate from Satmar's Kiryat Joel went up by two recently.  Both woman. Both divorced women.  Both divorced women with children.  I blogged about Gitty Grunwald and also found out that Baila Glauber (below):                                                                        

      left her community, too, and is now a...policewoman.  Was that just a change of uniform?  A desire to assert dominance?  After all, she could have moved to Israel, achieved the mitzva of yishuv Eretz-Yisrael and made many people happy, including Tzvi Fishman.

      And so, have a nice Shabbat, and remember, there's a new charity joint campaign under the slogan: "Help Us So That We May Help Them"                             

      Shabbat Shalom.